Sunday, December 25, 2005
I'm not sure how well I like writing sixes.
The Christmas spoils are good. Lots of movies, including the Harry Potters. Some books. Some music. Some gift certificates. It's all good. But, to be as cheesy as possible, the real Christmas spirit kicked in when Kathryn opened her first couple presents and called them by name -- baaaay-bee! and bot-tle! And there were a few gifts that I gave out that went over very well. That makes me happy.
The rest-of-break plans are a bit hazy. Nothing planned. Nothing stressful. I can't complain.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Okay, it's going to be two grammary/conversationy Spanish classes. Plus a 400-level (400-level!) Spanish-American lit course. A 500-level (500-level!) English lit class that might as well be considered a foreign language course because it's over Old and Middle English texts. My only saving grace -- and God knows I'll need it -- is my classroom com class, which is notoriously cake. *sigh* And book selections are up online. Looking at $400-ish. The Spanish classes are running, as usual, about a hundred bucks a-piece.
I'm-a be reading Spanish literature over break. Were it a perfect world.
Last final tomorrow. Spanish. Should be no big deal. I already know that I made a 94 on my HELL final. I'm a bit concerned with world lit, but the chips will fall as they may. I have to work on Friday morning, and then my Fall 2005 obligations will be officially met.
Come New Years, it'll be 2006. That means we will be, looking at the timeline, nearer to 2010 than we will be to 2000. Surreal.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
And there are no barking sparrows
Just emptiness to dwell upon.
I fell into a winter slide
And ended up the kind of kid who goes down chutes too narrow
Just eking out my measly pies.
But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know there is this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea.
Another slow train to the coast
Some brand new gory art from way on high
I sink and then I swim all night.
I watch the ice melt on the glass
While the eloquent young pilgrims pass
And leave behind their trail
Imploring us not to fail.
Of course I was raised to gather courage from those
Lofty tales so tried and true and
If you're able I'd suggest it 'cause this
Modern thought can get the best of you.
This rather simple epitaph can save your hide, your falling mind
Fate isn't what we're up against there's no design, no flaws to find
There's no design, no flaws to find.
But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea.
"Young Pilgrims," The Shins
Saturday, December 10, 2005
I've spent today doing relatively nothing.
Yesterday afternoon, I had to finish my world lit paper after my last class. I had already finished classes an hour before the notion of the novelty came to me. But I had to furiously finish the paper before the offices in Faculty closed up at 4:30, so I couldn't quite relax yet. I dashed in to drop my paper off in the box a half an hour before closing time, walked back to my apartment, hit the couch, and have hardly been up since. I've been reading Bee Season. I'm almost done. It's good to read whatever I want. Though I should be reading A Passage to India for world lit. Ah, I've got until Tuesday.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Tiiime, why you punish me? Oh, who'm I kidding? I punish myself. Time is on my side. If it weren't for the time crunch, I'd never get anything done.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Let the countdown begin. The kind of countdown that doesn't really require counting. As long as there are days left in this semester, there are too many and too few.
Possibly inspired by my frosty-wintry looking door wreath, I have the second half of "Winter Wonderland" in my head. It will forever stick out in my mind as the
in the meadow, we can build a snowman / and pretend that he is parson brown (what kind of color is parson brown?) / he'll say, "are you married?" / we'll say, "no, man / but you can do the job when you're in town." (what job? i don't get it. what job?) / later on, we'll conspire (transpire, aspire, perspire) / as we dream by the fire / to face unafraid (this made no sense to me. now i know it was because we should've been singing an adverb instead of an adjective) / the plans that we made / walking in a winter wonderland
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Like the kind you fold up and put in an envelope (other acceptable variations: the kind you fold up and put in a Christmas card and then put in an envelope, the kind you type into a text box interface thingy and click send).
Then there are the single little shapes that, if you clump them together, make words. And if you clump enough of the words together, you get whole ideas. And if those letters, words, and ideas proliferate so that you can clump, arrange, and tweak them a bit, you end up with things like a research paper, a teachable unit plan, an eight-page paper about what I learned from doing a project, a revised short story, and if you're lucky, a decent blog entry.
Oh, how lucky.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Tonight, Sara Groves was singing about a song that beauty and why it matters in our lives, about how the story God's telling us and putting us in is beautiful. And the end of that song goes, "Like a single cup of water / How it matters." And it reminded me:
When I worked at Hart lab on Sunday nights a couple semesters ago, there was a non-trad lady who would be there every time. I guess I didn't notice her at first, but one day, she came in the Applied Science lab where I worked throughout the week. I worked with her for about an hour, trying to see if she could edit a PDF. We never figured it out, but she was grateful nevertheless.
I suppose it was after that day that I began to notice her in Hart. She had set up camp in that lab, often leaving her belongings (textbooks, project materials she'd been working on for countless hours, whatever) spread out around her workstation while she would be gone for extended amounts of time. I guess she had faith in the other students, that they wouldn't take her things.
One time when she had left for nearly half an hour, she came back in the door with a bag from Fast Track. And she handed it to me. "For me?" I asked her. "Yes, I thought you might be hungry." She was serious. So I took the plastic sack from her, thanked her, and sat there at my computer, dumbfounded. She smiled and went back to her work.
I opened the bag, and inside was a red apple, a small package of peanut butter and crackers, and an ice cream. I wasn't hungry and it was against the rules to eat in the lab (and I, being the lab supervisor), but I ate the crackers and the apple (the ice cream was already kind of melty) out of sheer gratitude. I don't know if she had money on her meal plan left over and bought these items with me in mind or if she got full and decided to give me the rest of her meal or just what. I have no idea. But she gave it to me, and I know (if I know anything) that it was with love. And that is true love -- perplexing, uncommon, and beautiful love. Love like a cup of cold, fresh water when you're thirsty.
It's been just over a week since the woman known to many as Nana -- known only to me as the kind lady who gave me a sack of food from Fast Track out of the goodness of her heart -- was killed in a hideous accident. When I heard her name in the news, I did not recognize it, but it was still very sad to me. It broke my heart. And it had crossed my mind that the victim of the hit-and-run was the woman from Hart. It was confirmed to me yesterday when I saw her face on the front page of the Murray State News.
In the front-page article and in a piece on the opinion page, people gave testimony of Nadia Shahin's pure spirit, her kindness, her gratefulness. And I knew it was true. She had shown both her kindness and gratefulness to me. When I had deserved neither. That is love. That is beauty. She gave me a single cup of water. And now in shadow of her death, I can see how it mattered -- to me and to everyone else around her.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Today was Wednesday-like, as Wednesdays often are. We workshopped my story in fiction. That went well. I always have mixed feelings about my stories. It's so hard for me to see a story as it is as opposed to how I think I've written it. I got some great compliments and some very constructive suggestions. And Hovie says I've grown as a writer. That's all that matters.
I had fabulousthanksgivingdinner at Winslow tonight with Holly. And tomorrow night, we're consummating our love (for Harry Potter, that is) and going to the midnight showing of Goblet of Fire. Oh, and this weekend is
I'm also going to try to get ahead on some end-o'-the-semester stuff. Yes, I hear it now. Your (my) snickering and doubt is tangible. But I've got a ten-page research paper, a twenty-page unit plan, a linguistic term project, and a revised writing porfolio all due in three weeks-ish. I think I've already picked my research paper topic. I've looked up some sources, and I checked two books out of the library today. Let's hope I can actually start the doing process. It's such a foreign concept to me, getting things
Next week, as far as school goes, is going to be gloriously short. It'll be like waking up early and realizing that I can go back to sleep for two more hours. There's hardly anything more beautiful.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
It's practically the end of the semester. Final papers and projects have been assigned. Final exams have been spoken of. (So far, I'm going to have at least two open-book exams. That's new.) That means it's time for me to start wasting my time in hyper mode. I'll probably be working up a new blog design soon. A testament to the times.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
He has this thing called the Lifeboat Theory, and I think he's right. He got all hung up on the idea that after the Fall in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve realized they were naked. This is something we just kind of breeze past, but he thinks it's pretty significant. When we are separated from God and him loving us perfectly, we suddenly become very self-conscious. See, A and E (like the cable channel) weren't self-conscious before because they had no reason to be. They were being loved completely and perfectly, and as we know, we find security in that. We feel like we know who we are, and we are okay with who we are. We don't even care about it because we are being loved and that's all that matters. And when we are separated from the love of God, we search frantically to find something to tell us we are okay. And this is when we start looking at everyone else to see if we are okay. Thus begins the trend how we compare ourselves to each other constantly, making sure we are better because it's like this: Imagine we're all in a lifeboat (Titanic-style, if you wish), and it's sinking, too. All we have to do is throw one person off and we won't drown. And we want desperately not to be that person because that would mean we are less valuable. We continually try to prove ourselves as best; that way, we can stay in the boat. This accounts for a lot of the silly things we do, like looking at someone and automatically feeling bitter toward them because they might be considered better that ourselves.
Okay, I realize I did a horrid job of explaining all of that, but Don Miller did it in a very long chapter in his book, whereas I tried to do it in a paragraph. But this is having a serious impact on me. If you stop and look at the things we do, the things we think, this makes so much sense. We are trying as hard as we can to feel like we're okay, and a lot of times, that means that we're making sure we're at least better than other people. And as it turns out, that's all really absurd because we don't have to be. We are trying to fill up a void we can never really fill.
I've grown wary about Jesus, you know. I'm going to be honest. I'm not going to pretend that I'm one of those people who understand faith and find it easy or even logical to tell people (or myself) that Jesus is the answer to all their problems. I know how incredibly weird it is because this Jesus figure seems so ambiguous and vague and like a silly, unbelievable character from a fairy tale. I know. But what I mean when I say I've grown wary about Jesus, I think I mean I've grown wary of the Jesus that he's been made out to be. Not the real guy. He was just some guy who would've hung out with you at the coffee shop or bar and philosophized with you and listened to what you're saying and made you feel loved, like you knew who you were. 'Cause he didn't feel so scared about being okay like we do. 'Cause he wasn't separated from God's love like we are. And all he really wanted to do was share that with us.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
This isn't the John Mayer that millions of screaming teenagers, including myself, fell in love with. Or is it? In "Who Did You Think I Was," he seems to be anticipating some flack about his full-blown move to Blues. I can just imagine whimpering little girls saying, "But, but this isn't you! Where are my poppy beats? Where is your acoustic guitar? Why do you look like trash?" And to this, on top of an up-tempo electric jam, he answers with a question:
Am I the one who plays the quiet songs?
Is he the one who turns the ladies on?
Will I keep shining til my light is gone?
Who did you think I was?
Call it a sleezy bait and switch operation if you will, but I think he's doing us all a favor. He's like a rock evangelist, and he's reaching out to us poor saps for whom he might be the only
He made it easy on us, though. It started with live shows where he'd be, one minute, sitting in a fold-up chair crooning and telling us about how our bodies are wonderlands and, the next minute, curled over an electric guitar jamming out tunes that resulted in things like the over-ten-minutes-long "Covered in Rain" on his double live album Any Given Thursday. And then Heavier Things gave us more electric than acoustic and a collection of songs that were soft in the studio and rock hard on stage. He was taking his pop music crowd and teaching them a lesson. He's been saying, "You liked that? Okay, now listen to some real music."
Who did we think he was?
He's sure not the guy who plays the quiet songs. These days, I'm hearing things that sound more like "Pride and Joy" than the songs from the golden days of "No Such Thing." He's even traded in some of his deep and brooding lyrics for some brief, yet poignant, lines for repeating.
And is he the guy who turns the ladies on? He might be, but he's looking more and more like JMG every day. And his voice, if you listen to "Need No Doctor" that he recorded with John Scoffield, isn't the same boyish sugar-fix we used to depend on. It's got the no-holds-barred brashness of experience. It made me stop and think, "Is this even John Mayer singing?" But all it took was a few pitchy squeaks, and I knew it was him.
But there are still slow songs to be found, and that soothing voice hasn't vanished. "Dreams to Remember," a track he laid down with Buddy Guy, is a slow one and his voice has the same quiet pleading to it as "Come Back to Bed." But it's a long way from Wonderland.
His side project the John Mayer Trio -- which I think is less a side project than an attempt to do what he's been wanting to do all along -- is putting out their live album Try! on November 22. I, of course, will be all over it.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
8:30 am - 9:20 am History of the English Language
9:30 am - 12:00 pm Work, also known as Working Furiously on My Short Story to Get it Finished
12:00 pm - 12:20ish pm Spending Way Too Much Money and Time on Getting Fourteen Copies of My Story Made
12:30 pm - 1:20 pm Lunch with Ryan
1:30 pm - 2:20 pm The Spanish Inquisition
2:30 pm - 5:30 pm Fiction Workshop
5:30 pm - 6:15ish pm Hang Out with International Students
6:30 pm - 7:45 pm Eat Some Supper and Make Really Cute Acceptance Letter from Hogwarts as a Project for Teaching Lit
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm Tutor Erin and Jessica in Spanish
And that brings me up to the time when I came home, finally took my shoes off, put some laundry in the washer, and made me a hot cocoa. I should be asleep in a matter of minutes.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Tonight will be very interesting. I can't wait to see how people have decided to replicate different professors' styles. I tell myself that I can't stay for very long, but I know I will. I should be here writing Short Story Number Two. I've got four pages of it written, and yes, it's due tomorrow. Eh, oh, well.
Morgan canceled both classes today. Very wonderful. That's what gave me time to go to WalMart and get my costume stuff. So I thought that WalMart surely wouldn't be busy at noontime. Okay, yeah. I was very mistaken. Just for future reference, that place is always busy. Always.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
I've got myself convinced that (about four years ago) I lost part of my personality, my spirit. I'm not sure (but I have a clue) where it went. I've taken note of this loss a couple times, and I think now is the time to reconvene the search. Is this like "finding myself"? I don't know about all that.
I'm being vague. Which is really useless. If you wanna know, I'll tell you all about it.
I thought it was 9:00.
Friday, October 28, 2005
But some years later, I had an epiphany of sorts. Alanis was satan, embodied in a little black CD. These days, I say I lost my original copy of Jagged Little Pill. The truth is that it lies, in shattered bits, at the bottom of our pond. God, I don't know why I did that. "No fun with no guilt feelings." And I still hadn't made it to listening to "Wake Up" or "Your House." I still didn't understand Alanis.
I'm really thankful for the new Jagged Little Pill Acoustic. I got to give Alanis a second chance. I could skip "Ironic" without listening to it, but when I do, it's nostalgic. "You Oughta Know" and "Hand in My Pocket" are finally more than their "cuss" words. And now, not only do I understand "Forgiven," I know it isn't sacrilegious.
I really just want to apologize to the black shards of my first CD. I shouldn't have done that. But you live, you learn.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
My workshop and my Hovie think my story is great. They see something I don't. My writing sees something I don't. (They said my narrator is desperate, compulsive, and self-torturing. They said my implied auditor is a son-of-a-bitch, a user, and too good for the narrator. Thank you, workshop.)
McDonald's has a USA Today stand beside the building. Quoted on the front page of today's USA Today: McDonald's is still a place where you should be ashamed to bring your kids.
At the drive-thru window:
Sometimes, life feels like a movie. Like when you're waiting at a deserted bus stop and you're not even sure the bus is coming for you. Like when you make a dinner date with an old best friend you haven't seen in years because she's pregnant and scared as hell.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Is fall anything more than a concept? I felt it coming, and now, I feel it leaving. Was it here? It's possible that I've glorified it so much that I forgot that fall is cold like this. At least the leaves are turning. After HEL yesterday, I walked around the quad and took some (rather crappy) pictures. I liked shuffling through the yellow leaves under the trees in front of Pogue Library. It reminded me of playing in the leaves at my house before it was my house, when my grandfather lived there. Later, when I was leaving campus, I walked back in front of Pogue, and the maintenance men had chopped up all the leaves into a fine mulch. How nice of them.
Um, I guess that's it. I haven't anything else to say. Things are looking a bit busy. Lots of time consuming projects in my future. But they're spread out a little bit. A little bit.
I want to sound happier, but I read I am the Cheese for teaching lit, and I hated it. I know this sounds terrible, but mental illness creeps me out. Let's get real. I'm in denial because I know that crap runs in my family, and I think if I think about it too hard, I'll go crazy. And now, I have to write a journal entry about the book. Maybe I'll check back when I've forgotten about rubber rooms and paper slippers.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
I am officially a double major. It's going on the books. My projected course outlook has already changed. Senior seminar is only offered during the spring, which means I either have to take it next semester (very early in my Spanish coursework) or the next spring (during the grueling days of practicum). I need to find the lesser evil. On the other hand, Spanish ed also dropped the personal health class from the curriculum. Amen and amen.
This afternoon, Tessa, Jennie, and I went to the ESO/Philosophy Club get-together at the Faculty Club. Interesting times, it was. Schmoozing with T. Martell. Okay, not really. He was standing by the drink table while I was scooping ice into my cup. That's what I call schmoozing. After that great adventure, the three of us came back to Brentwood and talked for a couple hours. Jennie and I skipped TNT (makes it sound as if we were supposed to be there), but we did go the open mic coffee house. You ought to inquire about the phenomenon that is snowflake cocoa. It will change your life.
Turns out Jennie's not graduating but one semester before I am, or maybe even the same semester. And Jenny and I are rocking the December 2007 pretty hard. Two-thousand-seven. Sheesh. At least I got my Jennyies.
One day, I'll get what's coming to me. And maybe I'll learn a lesson.
It doesn't matter how much I string out my projected graduation date, my schedule stays pretty rigid. Here's the forecast:
Spanish 302 (possibly arranged)
Spanish 331 Advanced Grammar
Spanish 403 Spanish-American Literature
COM 372 Communication in the Classroom
English 502 Early English Literature
EDU 303 Strategies of Teaching
Health 191 Personal Health
MLA 400 Senior Seminar
MLA 514 Teaching Foreign Languages
Spanish 323 or 325 Spanish Culture and Civilization or Span-Am Culture
Spanish lit course or 300-level elective
English something, maybe
Spanish lit course or 300-level elective (whichever wasn't taken previous semester)
EDU 383 Evaluation and Measurement in Education
EDU 403 Structures and Foundations of Education (aka, School Law)
SEC 420 Practicum in Secondary Schools
English something, maybe
Here's where we consider studying abroad again...
SEC 421 Student Teaching in Secondary School
Could those all be considered The Semester from Hell? It's possible. Rearranging might have to happen.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
But I have two Morgan midterms tomorrow, so I might do a little reviewing for that and some other reading. And call it quits.
Fiction workshop was amazing this afternoon. Author Eric Gansworth joined us for our three-hour class. We've been reading his novel Mending Skins for the last two weeks. First, we workshopped one of our classmates stories, which was a golden opportunity for that writer because he had his work personally critiqued by a professional published author. Back when we were choosing workshop days for our story, George tried to get me to volunteer to have mine done during this class, but I knew my story was crap. I was afraid. I shouldn't have written the story I did because, otherwise, I would have been eager for the opportunity. But, like I said, my story would have been a waste of time. Like Gansworth said, limiting yourself to your experience limits your story. Nail on the head, right there. Anyway, for the bulk of the time, we just sat around with him and talked about the book, writing, and other miscellany.
College is amazing. These opportunities are abundant. At one point, I was walking through the hall on the first floor of Faculty Hall and Gansworth, George, and Dale Ray Phillips were all standing around. All fabulous writers. I have publications by each of them on my bookshelf. Not to be a hero-worshipper, but man, it really is something to have great writers, great minds like that at your disposal. And to think that we don't even take advantage of it. What it must've been like to be at Oxford or Cambridge when Lewis was on faculty...
Spring schedules are online. There are only two Spanish classes up for grabs for me, I guess. I might have an education class or two to snag onto due to Spanish ed. And I need a before 1800 lit class. BarbCobb's teaching Renaissance lit, and Dr. Ed's teaching early English lit. I'm hoping for the latter. Oh, and Beowulf (definitely been talking bad) is offering creative non-fiction again. The opportunies are endless. Well, not quite, but almost. Somehow, I think making my schedule for next semester is going to be fun. I could be mistaken.
Can a plant try to grow roots in two completely separate plots of soil and end up with any roots at all?
Is it possible that I can do my Spanish homework and read and reread and comment upon a not-so-short short story in two hours?
Monday, October 17, 2005
Fall break, heavily marked by birthday festivities, was wonderful. It was spent at the holidayesque getaway (also known as our little farm out in Wanamker). The first two nights involved a campfire. The second night was a larger gathering of family and family-friends. Gifts were plentiful. I very much consider presence of loved ones, food made by loved ones, and things wrapped up by loved ones all gifts. The latter two would include wunnerful coconut cake made by Sissy, a monogrammed fleece blanket from Wade, Day, & Co., CDs (Music Inspired by The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell), movies (Dead Poets Society and Finding Neverland), and books (Before We Were Free, James and the Giant Peach, Searching for God Knows What, Through Painted Deserts, and a really big book full of words, sayings, and expressions) coming from the family and, ahem, myself. I've never gotten so much for my birthday before.
And way too much love was poured out on Facebook. And I even got a card in the mail from Ashley Cottingham, who I had convinced myself had been abducted by aliens.
Even now, I am thinking of more and more things (material and emotional) that I have been gifted with over the past few days. It's so much. Mums from my Mom, a fan from Victoria (She gave it to me because I didn't buy myself a fan in Spain. She doesn't know it, but I did. But I gave it to her. What goes around comes around isn't always a bad thing.), home decor from my sister. I doesn't end.
And I wonder how we end up like this. With so much stuff. I enjoy it. And I am overwhelmed with gratefulness. But isn't it strange how I felt just as overwhelmed with a certain gratefulness because the leaves and the sunlight were beautiful when I was driving back to Murray through 293?
On an unrelated, less, um, philosophical note, you really ought to eat at Penn Station East Coast Subs. They've got a place out by WalMart in Evansville, and from what I gather, they're in other larger cities (ahem, not Murray). I had an Italian sub and it was fabulous. Do yourself a favor and hit them up.
As fall break is officially over, things are looking post-fall breaky. My to-do list takes up the entire front side of my to-do list paper.
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back...
When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
`Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free.'
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.
When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
`The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
'Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue.'
And I am two-and-twenty,
And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.
And so, between classes, I snuck down to the modern languages lab and printed me off a copy. I'm not sure I really live up to the wisdom and experience of it all yet. But what's better to mark a passing of a year than a poem? Right, right. Nothing, of course.
I really don't know where twenty-one went. So many things marked the year as special. (Warning: Faint whisperings of pseudo-moral haughtiness ahead.) Though it wasn't a big deal, legal alcohol consumption, the automatic presumed glory of twentyoneness, was enjoyable. I wasn't like aaaah, finally, but you know.
But really, twenty-one was about striking out into new territory, literal and figurative.
This whole year was lived "on my own," one could say, in an apartment by my own little self. Though that hasn't necessarily meant that I've grown up (though I have), it's at least been something drastically different. Through the experience thus far, I've learned volumes about decisions, relationships, and myself.
Journey, in its most literal sense, took form when I went to Spain this summer. I physically left everything known and went into the unknown for five weeks. Okay, it's not as if I went on an intergalactic quest without another soul within contact, but close. Leaving the homeland for a period of time (preferably extended) is a noble pursuit that everyone must chase. Fits nicely with twenty-one, I think. Not that I meant for it to work out that way. It just did.
Oh, and as a grand finale, I semi-sorta committed myself to following through with Spanish education. (I should be ironing things out with Dr. Bodevin this week.) Okay, so it's a bit weak for a grand finale, but it has some serious implications. Lots of extra schoolin'. Lots of extra opportunities. It is a venture that makes me apprehensive but excited, daunted but hopeful. I think those are the good ones.
I think we (or at least I) try to put heavy significance on every year, every chapter of our lives. This one was pivotal because... I'll never be the same after... But years and dates and birthdays and numbers are all so arbitrary. As much as I want to think that it's depressing that no one will ever remember how old I am again until I turn forty, it doesn't matter. Every bit of our lives is important. No matter how signficant or insignifcant something, some period of our lives feels, it all has equal impact on us. We are always a culmination of what we've been and what we are.
Today, I am twenty-two.
But twenty-one is not lost, for in addition to twenty-two, I also am twenty-one, twenty, nineteen, and everything that went before.
I like how Donald Miller puts it in the introduction to Through Painted Deserts:
And the closest thing I can liken life to is a book, the way it stretches out on paper, page after page, as if to trick the mind into thinking it isn't all happening at once.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Holly took me out for my birthday! I picked Los. The food could've been better (I guess I'd just built up too much anticipation and my expectations were unrealistic.), but it was a good time. Thank you, my b/f/f/. And why don't ya give Holladay a hug for the Reese's for me.
There's a white rabbit by the name of MorganWillCancelClassesTomorrow hopping around out there, and it would be nice if somebody'd pull him out of a magical silk hat. But if nobody does, tomorrow afternoon (sooner if you're feeling like a magician) takes me to the homeland for fall break and birthdayish things.
Happy three-day-weekend to you all!
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Thank God for this. Otherwise, English ed would something like suck. We having a dress-like-a-professor Halloween thing. Too exciting.
This afternoon, I found out by a fluke that the student teacher orientation for people wanting to student teach during fall 2006 was today. So in a last-minute rash decision, I went. Of course, this doesn't mean that's when I'm student teaching. If I chicken out on Spanish, though, that would be the semester and it would've been too late to do anything. Though I'm 99.9% certain I'm doing Spanish, too. I just freak out waaay to hard about this stuff. I just have to keep telling myself that I can do it.
I'm not sure I unplugged the curling iron. Again. Oh, dear.
Eh. Midterm grades were okay. I had As in everything except Morgan's classes. Let's do be honest. I make about C-effort in those classes, but I truly think he gave everyone Bs. He really has nothing to go on except our journals. And I'm golden in that department.
Taking a look at the ol' Murray State planner, it seems as if this week has possibility to be a bit stressful. And next week ain't a-lookin' much better. Tests and quizzes abounding. But those are always better than papers, I say.
It's not very often that I reread a book. Especially for a class. But I finished rereading The Giver last night. That's an awesome book. The second read produces a whole different insight because you know how things are. Anyway, it's a book I recommend to anyone at all. If you haven't read it, do. Nothing like an easy read that makes you think. Right now, I should be writing a teaching lit journal entry about it, but Morgan has my journal. I could write pages and pages and pages on that book. Maybe I'll write it on different paper and staple it in or something. Definitely a book I want to teach. No doubt.
Alright. Yes. I am just writing to do something in order to stay awake. And much to my slacking pleasure. There are SparkNotes for Heart of Darkness. I am really not helping myself at all...
Monday, October 10, 2005
Sunday was laid back. Did some reading and watched Mrs. Doubtfire. Did the Sunday WalMart ritual.
Today has been okay. Much colder than anticipated. I might've enjoyed it much more had I layered. Can't believe it layering season. Anyway, Spanish was quite fun. I even found out I got a 100 on some things, including a presentation. Promptly after Dr. Bodevin gave me compliments on improvising my speech with little use of notes, I made an extremely elementary blunder in front of the class. Eh, keeps one humble, I s'pose.
So. I want to go to the Jars of Clay concert on November 19, namely because Donald Miller of Blue Like Jazz fame is speaking. I'm feeling very conflicted because that is the night I was going to see Goblet of Fire. A dilemma, indeed. I need to figure out what to do. Might have to finagle a Sunday showing of the movie. Eh, it's over a month away. But I am thinking of going ahead and buying my concert ticket. Oh, despair.
In Spanish, we've been discussing an article about happiness, and at the end, there is a Rita Hayworth quote that would be translated like this:
The two attributes that marked my happiness are good health and bad memory.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
A steady stream of music will be played from iTunes.
Dishes will be done. Today, I ate my Honey Nut Cheerios out of a cup.
Sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming will happen.
Enormous mounds of laundry will be done.
A general cleaning of the apartment would be agreeable.
The first half of Mending Skins will be read for Hovie. I'm thinking midterm won't be looking down upon me favorably in that class, and our post-midterm midterm is over this book.
Or perhaps I'll read the second half of any of the extracurricluar books I've gotten halfway through.
And today, merriment will be had at Adrienne's. This, of course, I'm looking forward to the most.
Happy Saturday to all.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Went to ADPi's Battle of the Bands tonight to support my dear friends and their philanthropy. And the DANCE-tigators!!! Yay, for some good bands!
I wonder...have I anything else to say? Nope. I think that's it.
Ah! P.S.! The John Mayer Trio has released a two-song single. Happy early birthday to me, happy early birthday to me... I'm having an iTunes party.
As I walked beside the Lutheran church this morning on my way to class, hundreds of flapping specks in the sky caught my eye. They were organized in probably twelve Vs. I stopped right where I was and looked up at them with my hands stuffed in my hoodie pocket. I watched until they had rearranged themselves so gracefully into two large Vs. I just now realized that I hadn't heard them honking. They just silently glided into formation.
I went ahead and started walking toward the crosswalk at Main Street, and the line "birds are leavin' over autumn's endin'" floated through my head. It sure was cold, even in my hoodie, I thought, and I hoped that the autumn that had just began wasn't already over, which is just its style. But I, with hardly any sense of direction, compared their flight course to the north and south of 641, and they weren't exactly heading south. Before I crossed Main, I looked back over my shoulder to catch another glimpse of the geese, but they were gone.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
- "Why Georgia" by John Mayer
- "Passing Afternoon" by Iron and Win
- "Cry in the Sun" by Better Than Ezra
- "Landslide" by Stevie Nicks
- "Babylon" by Jennifer Daniels
Details about me
- I'm a senior in college, and I still don't really know when I am going to graduate.
- I'm becoming a bit ridiculous with my obsession with British children's literature.
- I have a Flickr Pro account for which I paid a small sum of money, and I use 0% of my 2 GB upload capacity every month.
- My 22nd birthday is a week from tomorrow.
- I was not in any of the pictures that Dr. Waag showed yesterday during his Segovia promotional slideshow. :-(
Things I did yesterday
- I found out I made a 92 on my History of the English Language test.
- I wrote a short short story that I titled "Rapture," but by the time I turned it in, I changed the name to "White Wash."
- I skipped conversation class at the BSU/BCM because...
- I went on a date with Holly to Asian Buffet.
- I watched an episode of The Cosby Show.
Things that make me happy
- New books
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe coming to theatres this holiday season
- Tuesday night English Education Impression Association get-togethers
- Dancing like no one is looking because, um, no one is looking
Things that impress me
- Artists -- of all kinds
- The night sky
- That John's still alive
- Segovia's aqueduct
- People who really listen and care
Things that don't impress me
- I'm with Jenny: bad grammar
- Yearbooks with trapped white space and without captions
- Jewelry (this could change)
- In-your-face and gratuitous religiosity
- Murray State parking
The next part is supposed to be "Five people who get to do this next," but let's get real. I don't have five people to push this off on.
Because of this, I checked A. A. Milne's The World of Pooh and The World of Christopher Robin out of the library today. Long live children's literature.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Several people shared their entries. Many people described the book that triggered within them an interest in language and reading. For some, it was the first book that they ever read.
I've been thinking lately about what made me choose English to study. How did I end up so interested in reading? Of course, that presumption could be debated. (See: All the books I haven't read.) But what started it? I'm not sure. If I had to pin a book down, it might be Charlotte's Web. In second grade, Mrs. Hawkins read it to us in class, and afterward, I got the book. I'm sure it was the first book that I ever read. But I've never thought of giving it credit for my literacy.
Maybe it was my cousin Arenda. When we were little, she (being two years older than I) would sit me down on her parents' bed and read Superfudge to me. Later, she made me read some of her books. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and A Wrinkle in Time are the ones I remember.
Oh, in third grade, there was this literacy push and the school gave us all a free book. I chose How to Eat Fried Worms. And at some point, I think I bought some Ramona books. I'm seeing a Judy Blume pattern, here.
And then, in junior high, there was R. L. Stine. Maybe that's where it began. I devoured those books. But I'm a little hestiant to credit Fear Street for everything.
I'm just not sure. And these days, I'm making up for lost reading with children's literature. If I had read about Narnia when I was little or if Harry Potter had've existed back then, I'm sure I know where I could place the (beloved) blame.
I guess I'm a fluke. Not that my parents aren't responsible for my active imagination. They told me stories and piqued my interest in the world. But reading wasn't something that happened very often. I remember being a kid and looking at a copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on the bookshelf (with the encyclopedias, whose pictures I looked at for fun), but it never ocurred to me to read it. And I didn't until I was a sophomore in college.
But here's the thing. Kids need books to spark their imaginations. And it is because kids don't see any value in books that there is a whole generation of functionally illiterate people. And this, my friends, is a sad thing.
If you get the chance, read a kid a book. Give a kid a book. Write a kid a book. I know I sound like a Saturday morning public service announcement, but I think it makes all the difference in the world.
For me, I think I'm expecting I'll wake up one day and I'll be skinny. And I'll be a real teacher. And I'll be happily married. I think I expect these things to happen. To happen to me. Just to materialize and take over so I can quit stumbling around. These are the things that I feel that are expected of me. The things I'm supposed to become. And whether or not I make any progress toward them, I think they'll come to me. And maybe they will.
But I can't sit here and dawdle and wait and hope in a future that may or may not come.
I am more than dreams. I am more than illusions. I am more than the teacher or wife or whatever that I may or may not become.
We've all been given life. And we need to live it despite the life we've made up inside our heads.
Friday, September 30, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
So, um, the humongous painting of Harry Waterfield is crooked. I've never wanted to straighten up a wall-hanging this much in my life. And I've never been so scared to do so. If that thing fell off the wall, it would not only kill me and the painting itself, but also about four computers and a student or two. Wouldn't that be lovely?
Speaking of lovely. No class today. That's right. Shakespeare festival is going on. But here's a question. What happened to the Shenandoah Shakespeare people? Is it the same people with a different title? This years it's the Black Friars Stage Company or something like that. Anyway, I'm seeing Richard III today. I think I'd rather see Much Ado About Nothing, which is tomorrow, but I can't. Oh, well.
Would somebody please tell me that all this talk about midterm is a joke?
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
So. It's happened again. There might not even be a chill in the air. But it's September and I know I should be hearing the introductory claps to "Clarity" and a delicious breeze should be coming through open windows. I should be wearing long-sleeved shirts. And I should be reading Narnian tales.
Right now, it's too hot to coerce the season with a hoodie. So I will conjure it. This is a cancelled-class afternoon, which is very indicative of end of the beginning of the semester, meaning summer is gone. Today is, afterall, the autumnal equinox. Here's to a seance of cider-scented candles. And Heavier Things in the background.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
So you never start too early on becoming a slacker. It has already set in. I tell myself I'll get things done eventually. And I usually do. So for now, it's extracurricular reading and naps.
I've taken to reading before going to sleep -- not to be confused with falling asleep whilst reading -- and I'm almost done with A Wrinkle in Time. This is one of those books I read as a kid and didn't understand at all the social and philosophical implications. It's much shorter and not quite as complex, maybe, as The Giver, but it invokes within me that same thoughts and feelings. Way to go, Madeleine L'Engle.
The readings for Hovie can wait until tomorrow. I've got other things to read.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
In the last twenty-four hours, occasional sneezing, coughing, and stingy eyes culminated into sick. I just took more allergy medicine and fixed me some tea. I'm thinking of taking one of the few may-cause-dizziness cough syrups I have and call it a night at eight o'clock.
I got my new Spanish dictionary this weekend. It's a teensy-weensy beeby, and I love it. And it's time to lay my old one to rest, what with its lack of a back cover and partially missing and tattered front cover. It will be loved and missed. I will keep it, though. This feels like Toy Story. My dictionaries will be battling over my love like Buzz Lightyear and Woody fight over Andy's love. Okay, maybe not.
I always forget that I don't work on Mondays. That's good because I need to go and fill out my time card after class. Kind of forgot to do that Friday.
Alright. It's time for a tablespoon of less-than-bubble-gum flavored medicine. Let's see how well I can read my HELL chapter under the influence.
Friday, September 16, 2005
Yesterday at the ESO meeting, we were trying to get organized, because despite the fact it's called the English Student Organization, there has never been anything organized about it. So the president posed the question to us, What do you want to gain from this organization? I had never though about that before. Then I realized that what I really wanted before was to get a Britt fix every other Thursday. Now that he's graduated, I might as well drop out of ESO. For real. That's some pure motivation, right there, isn't it?
Alright. Gotta pack up and get away from my stalker here on messenger. Yep. Yours truly is being stalked. Don't get excited.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
I've grown so used to having to buy my books -- thus perpetuating my unhealthy love relationship with half.com -- that I forgot there existed the simple pleasure of freely pulling a book off a shelf and taking it home. My obsession with possessing the books had made me forget this. I'd rather have a well-read looking bookshelf than a well-read mind. Thank God for public (or institutional) libraries. I've been perusing Half to see if I could find super-cheap prices on C. S. Lewis' The Four Loves and Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quartet including A Wrinkle in Time, but really, I can read them for free. What's the use in buying more books at the moment? I've already got three CSL books on my shelf that I haven't finished yet. Anyway, yay, for libraries.
Erm, I went to the Study Abroad Fair. I'm going to pretend I didn't look at more abroad options...
I guess I'm going to go to the ESO meeting at Applebee's at 4:30. Afterward, I need to get some last-minute supplies on the for-real Elmo cupcakes. I'm going to go ahead and make the cupcakes here tonight or tomorrow. The party is on Saturday. Can't believe Kathryn is one year old.
Might go to TNT tonight. I don't know.
Yeah, so I need to get over it. I've never really been able to calmly react to a reprimand, ever. I remember when I was in about the first grade, and when my bus driver made a crazy curve and I came sliding out of my seat, I yelped. She glared back at me in that big bus-driver mirror, and I automatically started crying. Now, of course, I just get irrationally ticked off.
I guess if someone's done something "wrong," they don't need to be coddled, but I think there are more understanding ways of dealing with someone's mistake. These are the things I need to remember when I teach. God help.
Oh, and about mistakes. Our world lit text book is split into three volumes. Today, we are starting to read from the second volume. I made sure to put the different book in my backpack to that I could read while I'm here at work. Yeah. I brought the third volume with me. Oh, well. Not that it matters.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
I went to the park this afternoon to finish RG. Before I read, I thought I'd take a walk through one of the woods trails. Once I got the Frost line "two roads diverged in a yellow wood..." out of my head, in came Thoreau's "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliverately..." As literary and poetic as the whole experience sounds, all I got out of it was about seventy-three mosquito bites.
Speaking of bugs. I have my windows open. I can hear all kinds of bugs humming and chirping. I love how every place has its own unique nightsong. The combination of pitches, loudnesses, and rhythms of bugs, birds, and dogs is different everywhere. I still know the one I could hear from my bed beside the window when Holly and I lived in 325. And I'll never forget the one that can be heard at the farm.
I guess I just love the things you can only see, hear, feel at night. I love the moon. I love the stars. I love the nightsongs. And I really hate being someplace where I can't enjoy them.
Make a point to notice them.
Monday, September 12, 2005
1. What is your ringtone?
Nokia's Montuno. Forever and always.
2. What was your favorite childhood cartoon?
How about DarkWing Duck? What ever happened to him?
3. Who is the coolest person you've ever met?
Hey, Holly. Remember when we yelled at Scotty Crowe? He's definitely been talking bad about us. What, with that dirty look and cold shoulder he gave us.
4. What did you dress as for Halloween last year?
I don't even remember Halloween last year. I'm going to say I dressed up as myself. That's a safe bet.
5. What was your favorite movie growing up?
Wizard of Oz, fo' sho'. And I watched my VHS Aladdin about a gazillion times.
6. What did you want to be when you were young?
Artist, writer, singer, teacher. Any combination of those would've been alright.
7. What did you want to be when you were in high school?
A psychologist, maybe? And I went through the I'm-gonna-be-a-missionary phase.
8. Describe yourself in sixth grade.
Oh, dear. Well, I was a big confused blob of braces, barrel bangs, and a little cheap-o necklace with two charms: K and Z. Holla.
9. What's the first thing you notice about people?
Honestly, I don't know. I think it might be eyes.
10. Important physical features in the opposite sex?
I'm not sure this is considered a physical feature, but it's a characteristic that manifests itself physically: Eye contact.
11. Worst childhood fear?
12. Worst fear now?
Being completely alone. In the forever-isolated sense.
13. Describe your first boyfriend/girlfriend?
Well, he looked just like he does now. Only now he has a molestache.
14. Any inside jokes for anyone?
Um, not really. Which is sad.
15. Turn ons?
Goes back to the eye contact. It speaks volumes about other traits I enjoy.
16. Turn offs?
Constant complaining. And silence. Let's talk and let's talk about stuff, okay?
17. Favorite bands in high school?
Hmm. I listened to a lot of the country music, like your Tim McGraws and such. And things like Steven Curtis Chapman and Relient K.
18. What's the worst job you've had?
Well, my resume is a short one. But I venture to say that my current job won't be my worst.
19. What is your worst vice?
Procrastination. As much as I love it, it is not good for me at all.
20. What are your biggest pet peeves?
Chewing with your mouth open. Being talked down to.
21. Realist or dreamer?
We all need to be a little of both. Extremists are scary.
22. Red or blue?
I like both, but not together.
23. PB&J or grilled cheese?
Mmm, either would do.
24. Flowers or chocolates?
Flowers, I think. Though chocolates would be good, too.
25. Gold or silver?
26. Yankees or Red Sox?
You might as well asked me which eye I'd like a needle jabbed in.
27. What cussword do you use most often?
When it comes down to it, "shit" leaps out most often, and so often goes unnoticed.
28. What was your first job?
I guess tutoring Brittany Kitchens.
29. What is your favorite board game?
So there's not really a board involved, unless you count the one you use to write on. Scattergories.
30. What is the best concert you've seen?
John Mayer, last August, Nashville.
31. What are your pets names?
The one and only John Mayer Cusack.
32. What is the worst fashion trend you've seen?
Tight shirts on guys. Yeeeck.
33. What is the oldest thing in your closet?
Probably those leather easyspirit sandals I bought when I was a junior in high school.
34. What stickers do you have on your car?
A Murray State one you can't see because my windows are tinted, and there is a Kentucky State Police sticker in one back side window. It was on there when I got the car.
35. What do you hear right now?
"Fever Dream" by Iron and Wine. The A/C.
36. If you could have a drink of anything this second, what would it be?
That cream soda sounds good.
37. Does anything on your body hurt right now?
I kinda feel a headache coming on, but we'll ignore that.
38. What's your job position called?
Lab supervisor. What a joke.
39. Do you own a picture phone?
No. I'm still clunking around the dull silver Nokia with pieces missing.
40. What's your mom's favorite band/musician?
If I asked her, she'd say she doesn't know. Then she might claim somebody like Rod Stewart or Aaron Neville. Or John Mayer.
41. What's your dad's favorite band/musician?
He likes the Elvis. Anything bluesy or with pretty guitar or piano instrumentals.
42. What was your high school's mascot?
The Trojan, Travis Jordan.
43. What's your favorite bottled water?
Sam's Choice, no doubt.
44. What's the next concert/show you're going to and when?
Erm, Century Century on October 22?
45. What's the next movie that you want to see?
Everything is Illuminated.
46. What were you doing at 9pm last night?
Leaving my sister's house.
47. What's your favorite Starbucks drink?
Caramel macchiato. How I miss you.
48. What are you wearing?
My Moonlite Bar-B-Q tee-shirt (which reminds me of being Tror's teacher's aid, for some reason) and the jeans I don't like.
49. Did you attend your high school prom?
Senior year. That was enough.
50. Who's your dream man/woman?
I started my list about him this summer. Not complete, and even when it is, it probably doesn't matter. And chances are, you'll never see it.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Okay. That's all I wanted to say.
Let's get real. The only reason I'm posting is to christen my redesign.
To make your time here worth it, let me give you some advice: Be a stalker. Get Google Earth.
Friday, September 09, 2005
So yes, we will resort to the all-mighty bulleted list.
- I'm at work. I'm procrastinating. What's new? I'm sure you don't miss the usual entire paragraph explaining this phenonmenon.
- Mom and I had a very deep and cleansing (like deep-cleansing face wash, but not) converstaion last night. It was good. May expound some other time on this.
- Can I get an editorial in the Murray State News about the practical use of double doors? It's traffic with the two-lane possibility, but the people choose to funciton like two-way traffic on a one-lane system.
- I want to go see The Grey this weekend at Cinema International.
- I love the "goofs" feature on IMDb.com.
- The Study Abroad Fair is next Thursday, 11-2, Curris Center dance lounge. Go. See the world. And vote for my photos. Nothing like a little affirmation in the form of a cash prize.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Anyway, we were lying there, lights out, talking. I'm not sure what about. Probably who we thought we were going to marry. Either a thoughtful silence ensued or maybe Ashley fell asleep. But as I watched the glow-in-the-dark star stickers whirl around on her ceiling fan, I began to ponder the concept of memory.
What makes you remember something, I asked myself. Why do I remember stupid little things? Things, that seem to have no significance at all. It would seem that a memory would have a very strong feeling associated with it, be it happiness, fear, disappointment, and so on. But many of my memories are just memories. So that night, I promised myself I would remember that moment. I wasn't experiencing any obvious emotion. I supposed it was my own little experiment in the realm of memory.
Last night, for the first time, I remembered that memory. It was triggered by a passage in a book that didn't hold all that much significance. But it reminded me. And though I could not find a feeling to attach with that moment at Ashley's at the time, the remembering brought about a feeling I hadn't expected. It was akin to that cold shudder I get in my chest when I talk about love or Nana. It was akin to that hollow pit I feel in my stomach when I think about the time before my sister got married.
I can't explain these feelings. They are both physical and emotional. It's not longing. It's not melancholy. I think it's the feeling of being alive.
The most strangely uneventful moments fill my memory. I remember a man named Bill showing me his callouses from playing guitar when I was probably five years old. I remember going through the McDonald's drive-thru with Becca, and we told her mom that meander was on our spelling list that week. I remember Holly's brother showing me his WWF underoos probably 6 or 8 years before Holly and I became friends. I remember a lady who called the waiting room at the hospital when Victoria was being born thought I was somehow else and told me I sounded "chipper" when I answered the phone.
I don't know why I remember these things. They are just simple moments of life. And for that reason, I'm glad I remember them.
"For everyone, there's a person, place, or time that brings you back and makes you feel alive." Better Than Ezra, "Cry in the Sun"
Thursday, September 01, 2005
It is terrible what has happened because of hurricane Katrina. Days into the aftermath, people (elderly, babies) are dying because of the conditions. There is no food or water, and I imagine people's supplies of medication are running out. The heat is unbearable. People are stranded with what we might consider their entire lives torn away. No jobs, no schools, no families, no homes. Right now, over twenty thousand people are scrambling to get into packed buses to take them to the Astrodome in Houston. Others of them have started marching en masse up expressways in hopes of finding help -- somewhere. These people need our help, and if we believe in love at all, it is our duty to help. Few people would disagree.
But this is what I find disturbing. As I watch the footage on CNN, I see devastation. I see hopelessness. I see people who now understand so much more about life than most of us. It isn't about our jobs and what we own. They are trying, fighting, and dying in the process to carry on living. This is something we can see because a natural disaster struck our soil. We saw it also when the tsunami hit Asia. And we are moved and we want to help. But the truth is that this thing happens every day in parts of the world we never see. There are people who have lived their entire lives starving. What is admirable is that they keep on living a livelihood that Americans would consider the end of life altogether. But they die, too, while we worry about whether our computer is good enough to get us through the school year or if a bookshelf is big enough to hold all the books we have.
I guess I'm getting at two things. Something about how life is more than what we've got and what we've accomplished. And something about how devastation is every day, not just when CNN decides to cover it. But I think the bottom line is that we refuse (whether we mean to or not) to see beyond ourselves.
I know I can't single-handedly save the world. And I don't even know where to begin to try to help. You know, the thought crosses my mind, What, are we supposed to sell everything we own and give the money away and basically stop living because other people are dying? Part of me says, Of course not. And the other part says, There is more to life than petty things we fret about giving up, things that we think we need.
Maybe we should just live like there are other people in this world besides ourselves. Maybe we could stop worrying about what we want and start considering what someone else needs.
You would be surprised how little we actually need. Consider it. Now imagine if those few tiny things that you need weren't even available to you. That is where so many people in this world are. How selfish am I that I can ignore that? I've done it all my life.
If I learned anything from T. Martell, it is this saying of Plato's that I've taken to quoting frequently. "The unexamined life is not worth living." Maybe I'm taking it out of context, but that statement is so true. How selfish and lifeless (void of true, real, authentic life) is the life of someone (me, for instance) that has never been considered for what it really is. It is just me sitting on top of a pile of weak accomplishments and scavenged goods. Who needs that?
But all this clanging is about so much more than giving everything away. That's not what it's about. The root of it all is in love. I probably sound like a jumbled up mess of John Lennon, "What The World Needs Now is Love," and 1 Corinthians 13, but that's okay. I guess I am.
"There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds." Matthew 6.26
"If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere." 1 Corinthians 13.3
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
I was walking from the library to the Curris Center today, in the rain (as if there was another option). I'm not sure why, but it reminded me of when I was reading the Chronicles of Narnia. That feeling of the fall semester holds so much more nostalgia than hardly any other time of year. I always remember it most, and therefore, I am reminded of those fall memories so often. I looove fall.
In between times, I've been checking in on the hurricane coverage. News doesn't very often make me cry, but this afternoon, I sat here in my living room with tears coming down my face because a man could not find his wife after he let go of her hand as their house ripped in two. Because the disaster so much overwhelmed someone that he jumped to his death from the second level of the SuperDome. Because there are seas with nothing but rooftops sticking out of the surface of the water.
I'll rest comfortably tonight in my dry bed.
God help the people whose lives Katrina has demolished.
Monday, August 29, 2005
I think it's Spanish. I think I'm having an involuntary panic attack about my lack of Spanish agility. I feel like I don't know a thing about it. Courtney and I did some little presentation today about newspaper articles. It was nothing really, but we both pretty much bombed it. After ours, Bodevin began making some speech about speaking so everyone can understand. I don't know. I'm not sure what he was saying, and that scares me. I don't know if I have higher expectations of myself now or what, but I feel like a backslidden Spanish speaker. After class, I saw Dr. Howe. We conversed a bit. I did okay, but I'm now remembering everything I said incorrectly. I couldn't get on an elevator fast enough. Why didn't I duck for the stairs?
I know I am overreacting. But let me be totally honest with you. I fear failure. I don't know whose expectations I'm floundering about trying to meet, but I feel like I'm drowning in them. And they aren't very high, which is worse.
I thought I learned a lot about confidence this summer. Maybe not.
Oh, I know what this is all about. Give me a week, and I'll recover. I think I need some tea.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Three things I'm wearing right now:
- Java-colored (as the sales lady told me), 3/4-length-sleeved, gathered-neck, and other such-styled shirt.
- A worn pair of jeans.
- My I-bought-these-in-Spain-at-the-open-air-market-in-the-rain earrings.
Three things on my desk:
- John, who might fancy a water-change.
- Five mosaic candle holders.
- Remy Zero's album, The Golden Hum.
Three things I want to do before I die:
- I still want to write a book.
- I want to go back to Europe -- specifically, the British Isles.
- I recently decided that I'd like to live in a house with a bunch of people. Not permanently, mind you.
Three good ways to describe my personality:
- I try to be as objective as possible. It sometimes works.
- I'm going to stick to the creative thing, though it comes and goes.
- I cannot stay mad at someone. Cannot.
Three bad things about my personality:
- I block myself off from people. I don't let myself need them.
- I sometimes make my mind up too quickly about situations and people, and too often I'm wrong. And then I've made an ass of myself. Kind of goes against that "objective" claim I made earlier.
- Indifference plagues me. Make it go away.
Three things I like about my body:
- My eyes.
- My hair.
- My mom tells me I have pretty lips. Ooookay.
Three things I don't like about my body:
- The feet.
- My hands.
- The general unhealthy state of it all.
Three things I say the most:
- These days, my computer lab account creation speech.
- "Sweet mother" just made a comeback.
- When I lose something, which is often, I go about in the Paloma voice saying, "Where's my [whatever I've lost]?" It's the Paloma voice that's important here.
Three places I want to go:
- Well, I think Seattle is on the list.
- Back to Europe, like I said earlier.
- Oxford. Figure that one out. I don't know.
Three names I go by:
Three screen names I've had:
Three people I consider best friends:
Three CDs I couldn't live without:
- The Garden State soundtrack.
- Room for Squares, John Mayer.
- And now, Our Endless Numbered Days, Iron and Wine.
Three websites I visit the most:
Three books I want to read:
- I'm eventually going to finish Till We Have Faces, C. S. Lewis.
- Anticipating the seventh year of Harry Potter. Two years' wait.
- The Catcher in the Rye is still sitting on my bookshelf.
Three things that make me laugh:
- Guier's impression of Dr. Morgan.
- Seinfeld is officially the last good sitcom.
- Bridget's doing a good job.
Completely unrelated: Here's a belated R. I. P. to my man Peter Jennings. I see that Brian Williams is his official successor.
I'm bad with homework. The one assigment I had for Spanish, I didn't do it. I attempted to do it in class. And thank goodness Bodevin is scatter-brained. He's going to take it up Monday.
Saw Justin, Ryan, and PDR (totally forgot his name was Casey when I tried to address him) in the Curris Center. Possible chicken-thirtying will take place.
It's Friday. If only every week was this short, I might make it. Though, I don't think this semester is going to be too bad.
Is that thunder I hear? I thought I wasn't going to have to take a nap, but okay, weather. If you must.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
I did some shopping yesterday. I got a two pairs of shoes, a shirt, and a pair of pants. And I still cannot make a new outfit.
I'm hungry. And I thought I'd make a pasta-and-cheese concoction. Barely edible. But I'm doing my best to eat it.
Day two of schooling. Okay. Three minutes a piece in my Morgan classes. Lots of fun reading. Lots of probably-not-fun reading. Lots of probably-not-reading-any-of-it-at-all-and-making-up-reading-journal-entries.
Ate lunch at 10 freaking a. m. What exactly is that? Turns out, there are several poor souls on campus that also have to eat that early. Of course, as I was leaving the T-Room, I saw people eating waffles. I had Subway. What. Is. That.
I went with Tessa for her lunch since we got out of Teaching Lit early. We talked Harry Potter. Love newfound depth of geekity. We promised each other we wouldn't wear robes and cloaks or carry wands to the Cheri. We also, somewhat ashamedly, discussed that Hogwarts, like Murray, is on the residential college system, and Richmond, what with the red and gold and lions, is our very own Griffyndor. Then we leapt off the footbridge because our geekity reached an intolerable level.
Did you know you can put digital pictures through one-hour developing on walmart.com, and 4x6s are only 19 cents? You pick your order up in the store, of course. Thinking of testing the competency our local WalMart photo center to get those last few Spain pictures I failed to develop. If it works, I'll be in heaven. It's infinitely cheaper than the Kodak kiosk, and one hour doesn't seem so long when you're not already in the store.
Didn't print my syllabus for HELL tomorrow. That was, like, my one assignment. Way to start the year off right. I might try to dig out my old not-so-trusty Canon printer. I don't know if it has ink in it or not.
Took a tremendous nap this afternoon. I tell you. This school thing is wearing me out. Of course, I've gone basically from total bed-rest immediately to running all over campus. How about a 10:30 bedtime. Sounds grand.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
artist: iron and wine
song: teeth in the grass
Hello, first day of school. I just read an email from my mom. She asked me if it smelled like the first day of school. You know what I'm talking about. It's that hot-but-cold, foggy, school bus exhaust, classrooms freshly doused in some sort of cleaning fluid smell. It didn't, Mom. Not today.
It began with the dullness of History of the English Language, which I can (and probably will) dub HEL, or HELL, tacking Lorrah at the end of that. Off to Waterfield for a briskly passing 2.5 hours of "Yeah, everybody's accounts have been disabled. Sign in with username Murray, password Racers. That'll take you through an account creation process. Then you can log out and log back in with your new account. Oh, and this information is on the computer screen, in case you didn't see it." J. Matt stopped and tried to talk to me for about ten minutes. I gave that exact spiel to about seven or eight people while trying to discuss with Matt our respective trips to Segovia and London. So much for conversation. But it's supposed to be work, right? Right. Well, I read some Bridget after things died down. Oh, and the person who sold me the wrong book is going to send the right one to me. For free. Yee! Okay, then it was Spanish. Bodevin is almost precious. Today, anyway. Then it was off to HH, or Jungle George. You wild and dirty man. I plot-outlined "The Story of an Hour" for the eighty-third time in my college career. And so there's my big long day.
Ah, I chicken-thirtied by myself. I did see John Jenkins for a few minutes in there. As a matter of fact, I've seen lots and lots of people. If there's anything that's been great fun this beginning-o'-the-semester, it's the seeing of about everybody ever and being met with so many good-to-see-yous. I've never felt like I've had to get so reacquainted in my life. I've seen everybody from Spain, except Charlie, but I'll probably see him in the library since he works there. Anyway, the moral of the chicken-thirty story (what story?) is that I must find someone to eat my lunches with. This, however, will prove to be a most unusual problem on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I have to eat lunch at 10:00. No joke.
I've been having the strongest urges to open the bottle of wine my señora gave me and see about it. I doubt all that. But I'll need every drop tomorrow. It's Day o' Hammurabi. God help us all.
Where is something to eat?
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Well, I unintentionally ended my Realities on Campus tradition and took advantage of my last sleep-in day of my life. I'm not sure if I didn't set my alarm or if I turned it off in my sleep. Oh, well. I did, however, make to see Tom DeLuca (the hypnotist) after my lab worker meeting. A reasonable trade-off, I suppose.
I have completely not prepared for tomorrow. I did lie awake last night wondering what kind of books I'm going to tote with me on the ceremonious first day. Not that I came to any conclusion or anything. I don't know what I'm wearing, either. Not usually one of my utmost concerns, but you know. I might ought to go ahead and figure that out because I can see it now. I'll wake up at 8:32 and have to scramble out the door. No time for thinking.
Alright, I'm going to bed now, and maybe I'll fall asleep before daylight.