Monthly Archives: January 2012

A New Rhythm

The first week has passed largely with a rush of stories, experiences, and emotions that could constitute at least a half a dozen blog posts in and of themselves.

Unfortunately, time just didn’t permit those posts, and I can’t help but feel that really is something tragic in that.  See, my mind still bubbles with ideas that eventually become carefully articulated words.  When I don’t write, it’s just because the dictation just didn’t quite make it to my fingertips.

a little pre-semester/post-abroad number crunching

Like all my writing, I picture my blog posts as if I were presenting it to a crowd.

I feel the emotion and hesitancies and body movements as they align with my words.  That’s why writing used to annoy me so much, because prose alone felt like expression in isolation.

I can’t say that sense is fully gone.  Though I have learned how to put more meaning in my words, and I appreciate that ability immensely.

Besides that fact that I just expect it to be fun, that’s one of the reasons I’m taking Acting 1 this semester (3rd semester you try to get in is the charm:)  I’m very fascinated with the relationship between text and presentation and look forward to increasing mastery of communication techniques.

Aside from acting, I’m in your standard junior CSS classes, which are such a blessing.  No kidding, I was beside myself with happiness last Thursday/Friday as I wrapped up my first paper.

The familiar rush of fear, time, failure, and dense readings mixes perfectly with new ideas, ruthless editing, a nervous,slap-happy laughter coming from distracting company, running to the other room to share the thesis you’ve finished after 4 hours of labor, and that final feeling when you realize it is 2pm and there is nothing else that can be done.

Then you go to class and pray that you can actually explain what you wrote to the class, if called upon to do so.  You do so, just hoping that in first 10 minutes of class someone doesn’t say something to make you realize your essay doesn’t have a major factual error (cause that seriously happens in CSS).

But then the professor talks, and other people talk, and you talk, and you talk some more.  And then you realize that you actually do have a grip on the material. At tutorial, even the driest of readings come to life.  It’s like you can physically feeling your brain grow.

And then when you walk away from CSS and experience a little bit of the so-called real world, you are stunned to find the most-impacting text on your life is the desperately boring one you throughly fumigated over as a complete waste of time (shout out to Ricardo’s theory of rent).

It’s hard coming back, because the whole world moved on and filled in your place.  But despite all that frustration, I’ve found comfort in a few friends and the familiar feel of intellectual stimulus like I’ve only ever known in forums like CSS and ISI.


Metaphoric showdown: chin-up > pull up

With the ability to do what I want when I want to, the Paris white board pressure’s (nearly) dissipated, which has been not in the least assisted by that fact that I’m back in Indiana.

I have enough proof to indeed verify that there are folks here who could properly deliver their props to Dolores Umbridge herself.  However, this is the real exception in this community.

Honest to goodness, I’ve known hundreds of truly kindred folk from all kinds of places, but generally speaking, people are more friendly in the midwest than anyplace I’ve ever been in the world.

The security guards at the federal courthouse here in town acted just like what you’d think your grandpa would be like if he was hanging out with his old college buddies, the lady sitting next to me in the lobby at the pizza shop told me all about what her Fridays are like at work, and some stranger (noting that I was sitting alone, not drinking my coffee, had no work in front of me, made eye-contact with everyone walking into Starbucks, and was dressed in a non-dressy, but clearly showing that I really care Saturday morning outfit) took to openly teasing me about my job interview.

People do that kind of thing here, and I love that.

I haven’t the slightest idea where I’ll live after I graduate, but it is nice to be comfortable here now.  And somehow comfortable has led to clarity, and six informational interviews, a couple phone calls, a fistful of emails, and all the thank you cards my mom had in the house.  I still don’t know where it’s all going, but it’s nice to know it’s going somewhere.

Something else amazing emerged out this whole process, a flexible plan, one that builds on my month-by-month LSAT study schedule from last summer by adjusting some dates, re-prioritizing, and finally integrating a concrete long-term goal.  I didn’t throw anything out the window.  I just learned, added, adjusted.

So for now, looking at work and career plans seems to be a lot less like a dark mass and a lot more like freedom, and much needed peace.

And a huge part of that is the recognition that I could never pull myself up to where I want to go.  It’s all just been seeing who’s around and willing to lend a hand.  Can’t do that with your chin down or trying to pick yourself up off the ground.

See cause for someone to lend a hand, you gotta look up let go to grab it.


The Gilmore Affect

I’ve been spending a lot of contemplating the daunting mass of darkness that pretty much begins in May and appears to never goes away again.

Spain was incredible, so don’t even in the slightest read this to say that I didn’t treasure everything about my big European adventure and all the lovely people I met.  However, I can’t help but feel that I wasn’t, at least in some capacity, cheated out of the middle of what is my college experience.  See, I left a neck-deep-in-the-thick-of-it sophomore and I’m coming back an almost senior.  It all feels so over.

Comps essay idea wall

A few weeks ago, I was watching Gilmore Girls.  I started season two last July and finally, right after Christmas, I made it the final season, where Rory graduates from Yale.

For those unfamiliar with the show, Rory, the daughter of a single mother who ran away flying from her old money debutant lifestyle, has an intelligent, albeit incredibly quirky and socially-awkward friend, Paris.  Typically, Paris fills the foil of big personality sidekick that would be too much in the protagonist, but in a supporting role adds just enough comedy to the situation.  Point being, Paris is not the character you would model your life around.

When Rory and Paris return to Yale to wrap up their final year, there is a scene in there living room.  Paris has something like 8 gigantic whiteboards with everything they have to do before they graduate, broken up by categories (like job applications, fellowships, networking, final college experiences, etc) and color-coded (of course).  Beside each item in the lists there is a checkbox.

books, pdfs, and notes

The terrible part of all of this is when I watched this scene I didn’t just think this was a good idea, I found the scene strikingly similar to my room during comps last year.

The thoughts that ensue….”yes, that’s a great idea.  I just have to get organized again”……”I’m already organized”…”This is nuts”……….”Holy cow, seeing myself in Paris is probably an indication that I need to clear my mind”

I’ve been taking the latter part of that final statement to heart.  This is the longest break I get…ever.  From a couple days before Christmas to January 23, I’m free.  It is about as long as it could possibly get without making it practical to find a job.

And with a little space to think (and stockpiling a few hours of sleep for the upcoming semester,) it is truly amazing what all you can accomplish and just plain figure out.

 

 


I couldn’t find the lettuce

About 15 toppings and an hour or so later, Mychelle’s custom-made salads were done.  Though the oranges, apples, chicken, cheese, dressing, croutons, carrots, cucumbers, walnuts, and whatever else made finding the green bed a little challenging.


Shhhh (It’s a secret)

In the garage refrigerator, well below eye level on the bottom shelf, behind the pop, in the relish tray tupperware….that’s where I hid the wings.

After all, what better place to stash the loot on New Years Day than in a dish otherwise reserved for vegetables?

 PS

I’m not that mean…while I did hide them and am eating them after everyone else goes to bed, I might have shared my plan with my mother….and she might have relented because she knows I love them…and that I’m only home for a couple weeks.