Sunday, October 30, 2005

The morning cuts you like a knife

I saw a falling star over Benton tonight. Takes me back to Bombs Over Benton.

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

Hands clean

"Ironic" is the first song I remember considering a favorite. I bought the cassette single and memorized the lyrics. Jagged Little Pill was the first CD I owned. After I got the CD, "Perfect" became my favorite on the album -- because I understood it, I guess. I didn't really identify with it, but in that awkward junior high stage, I think I tried to identify with it. You know, the angst and all. And I remember sitting in someone's van at Ashley Wallace's house listening to "You Oughta Know" and looking around to see if anyone was going to drop the eff bomb with Alanis. And I remember being at Ashley Holt's dance party in her garage in Providence, standing in a circle and singing "Hand in My Pocket" and being so proud to be "brave but chicken shit." We were. I liked "Not the Doctor," though I didn't get it. I secretly liked "Forgiven." Secretly, because I thought it was a sacrilege. Tried as I may have, I didn't understand Alanis, but I accepted her.

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


Having added Spanish as a major, each class period of 301 makes me want to drop it. Drop it hard.

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:
"Two cheeseburgers?"
"No pickle?"
"No cheese."

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

I'm not crazy

It is cold.

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

Terrible two

Saturday was Happy Second Birthday to the blog. This time, without the fanfare.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Crawling careless from the sea

The miracle of Morgan's classes: The world lit test, for which I was very unprepared, was much easier than the teaching lit test, for which I felt very prepared. Of course, I was really not that prepared for either one. And they were both easy. So there's that.

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.

Highs in the 100s and 0% chance of rain

So I'm definitely insane. Two midterms coming up in the next couple hours. I didn't study last night; I watched Finding Neverland. I haven't studied here at work because, one, I've been rewriting my future, and two, I've been having conveniently long conversations with people. I won't be studying when I get off work either because I need to go meet with Dr. Bodevin about my future in Spanish education.

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:

Spring 2006
Spanish 302 (possibly arranged)
Spanish 331 Advanced Grammar
Spanish 403 Spanish-American Literature
COM 372 Communication in the Classroom
English 502 Early English Literature

Summer 2006
EDU 303 Strategies of Teaching
Health 191 Personal Health

Fall 2006
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

Spring 2007
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

Summer 2007
Here's where we consider studying abroad again...

Fall 2007
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

On the mend

I am sick to my stomach. You know, the kind. The kind of sick-to-your-stomach that requires you to draw extended breaths through the nostrils instead of your mouth. Yeah. I just want to lie down and sleep it away.

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.

1 2 3 Random

Wouldn't it be neat if the people in the pictures I took were like characters in a story?

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?

We'll see.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Fall break

Due to the rapid procession of this and the last post, I like to point out that One-and-twenty: In Memoriam exists below.

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...

One-and-twenty: In Memoriam

On my way to class on Thursday, Ms. Catlett came back to haunt me (as she sometimes does) in the form of the day that she recited A. E. Housman's "When I was one-and-twenty" in senior English.

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

Coming soon

One-and-twenty: In Memoriam and Fall break.

In the meantime, check out approximately 100 new photos from this weekend.
See you soon.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Abra cadabra

So Wednesday is the longest day of the year. (I know. So what if there are 52 of them?) But today was good. I really enjoyed fiction workshop, and I bet people have marked me down in their infamous books as that kid who needs to quit talking so much in class. I can't help if I get excited about it. Hovie returned to me my short-short, and it restored my faith in myself as a writer. And I've been thinking, as I often do, and I've decided that what I really want to be -- regardless of talent, ability, practicality, or plausibility -- is a writer. In ways, I've always known this. But I have this completely unfounded faith in myself (which is miraculous enough as it is) that I can do it, and I'm trying to recognize and validate that. I just need discipline. Pesky discipline.

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

I heart EEIA

Like I said. I heart EEIA. This is our Tuesday-night English ed girls getting together for some pizza, stories, laughter, and more laugther.

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.


Oh. My. I am almost gone. Asleep. I can barely hold my eyes open. I would've thought that walking this morning to the library in the 7:20ish cold would wake me up. Nope. I'm sitting at the desk, making an attempt to read Heart of Darkness for world lit since I never read for that class, and I'm about to just fold up and go to sleep. How incredible that would be.

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


The remainder of my weekend was good. Holly, Jenny, and I had great times at Adrienne's. There's nothing like playing all sixteen possible rounds of Scattergories with people who give answers like "Mussolini," showing their intelligence, and "Teeky Teeky" (I'm sure I didn't spell that as it should have been, but it can only be appreciated as it is spoken, anyway.), showing their, um, creativity. Holly and I have this uncanny ability to give the same random answers, which, amusing as it is, docks us both points. But never fear. She usually comes out on top, and I, well, very much lost. Good times, nevertheless.

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

Forecast for Saturday

Windows will be opened since, after all, it is a window-opening sort of day.

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

No one is allowed to be so proud

I'm downloading Better Than Ezra's Before the Robots on iTunes. It's too easy to spend too much money downloading music. I know, I know. If only I could do away with that conscience that nags me about file sharing. Oh, well. But I listened to the 30-second previews of all the songs, and I couldn't help myself. I didn't know any of them (except for that mysterious re-release of "A Lifetime"), but I felt like I did. Could be that all their music sounds the same. I don't know. Or care. It made me excited to think that there is a whole new group of songs that I could love as much as my Three-Wide compilation. I love you, BTE. You take me back to golden times.

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.

Things that impress me, Revisited

Geese. This specific obsession I share with my mother. I remember the time we were driving down the road (more than likely a two-lane, no-shoulder death course), and a gaggle of geese were flying overhead. She, who was driving, completely took her eyes off the road and said, "Ooooh, are they precious?" And for a quarter-mile, she kept whirling around in the driver's seat to get a better view of them working on their V formation. We very well could've met our ultimate demise on a Kentucky highway that day. Just because of geese.

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

The Game of Five!

Songs I love
  1. "Why Georgia" by John Mayer
  2. "Passing Afternoon" by Iron and Win
  3. "Cry in the Sun" by Better Than Ezra
  4. "Landslide" by Stevie Nicks
  5. "Babylon" by Jennifer Daniels

Details about me

  1. I'm a senior in college, and I still don't really know when I am going to graduate.
  2. I'm becoming a bit ridiculous with my obsession with British children's literature.
  3. 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.
  4. My 22nd birthday is a week from tomorrow.
  5. I was not in any of the pictures that Dr. Waag showed yesterday during his Segovia promotional slideshow. :-(

Things I did yesterday

  1. I found out I made a 92 on my History of the English Language test.
  2. 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."
  3. I skipped conversation class at the BSU/BCM because...
  4. I went on a date with Holly to Asian Buffet.
  5. I watched an episode of The Cosby Show.

Things that make me happy

  1. New books
  2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe coming to theatres this holiday season
  3. Autumn
  4. Tuesday night English Education Impression Association get-togethers
  5. Dancing like no one is looking because, um, no one is looking

Things that impress me

  1. Artists -- of all kinds
  2. The night sky
  3. That John's still alive
  4. Segovia's aqueduct
  5. People who really listen and care

Things that don't impress me

  1. I'm with Jenny: bad grammar
  2. Yearbooks with trapped white space and without captions
  3. Jewelry (this could change)
  4. In-your-face and gratuitous religiosity
  5. 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


Today, Dr. Morgan asked us to journal about the most important text we've ever read. I had a difficult time coming up with something. I ended up saying that Brennan Manning's Ragamuffin Gospel has recently had a profound effect on me because it helped me to come the realization that I don't let myself be loved. Also, I'm now frequently reminded that I have my halo on too tight. That's what I came up with for my journal.

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.

In spite

What am I waiting for? Maybe we're all waiting for something, so certain that it will come that we ignore the reality of right now.

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.