Tag Archives: Fall

And it was good

The beauty of Connecticut fall catches my breath.  The firestorm on the the tree beneath my bedroom makes me smile.  So does the quiet hope that wells up in my soul.

For every exasperated sigh I swallow in my carrel and long hour with an un-exhilarating paper are a dozen moments of sweet smiles.  Ideas excite me.  Despite the realization that most people don’t care, I am incapable of saying anything about my research without getting all bright eyed and smily.

And when the brillant professor I fumble my ideas to says that my argument sounds great, the fire burns brighter.  Likewise, I gladly give my time to the teaching that forces my thoughts deep into the recluses of my mind for reevaluation.  Ideas are like that.

In the last 72 hours, a friend and I hosted a make-your-own gourmet personal pizza night, complete with fancy cheese, fresh sausage, jalepenos, and eight of my closest-don’t-talk-to-often-enough friends.  Saturday, I drove to Providence for an ISI conference on the American University.  I’ve never wanted to read Plato so badly in my life.  I figure something like The Republic or The Odyssey ought to count as an appropriate beginning of the Western Cannon : )

Today was simply beautiful, and a few friends and I will be driving  up the Connecticut coastline in the morning as we run away with every last remaining precious bit of fall break.

This overcast night hides the moon from my bedroom window, but with a monstrously soft brown blanket draped over my shoulders and the quiet beat of my fingers, keeping time with the Bublé in the background, I just can’t help but feel at peace as the dreams and reflections that can’t quite make their way out dance on my heart.

Providence, Rhode Island

 

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Formal break-up letter

Universidad de Carlos III,

I would address my letter to you with a “Dear,” but somehow that seems deeply inappropriate.  Because even with the most formal of kind regards, I do not believe I could honestly greet you with such affection.

Now, let me be clear, I do not write you out of spite.  Neither do I deny that you house many a kindred spirit.   However, I do believe it is my duty to convey the magnitude of unkindness I felt on your grounds, with the hopes that you will welcome the new group much more warmly.   I do recognize that you will be cycling a whole new round of foreigners next semester, and I sincerely wish that you get along better with them.

I have attended 10 schools in my life, and I must say, you are indeed the crème de la crème in terms of un-welcomness, even worse than high school.  I repeatedly put myself out there for you.  I asked questions, took initiative, and even went so far as to order complete mystery foods from your ticketed vending machines, yet you continued to ignore me as yet another ignorant non-native speaker.

In very few cases do I believe you actually meant to be giving me the cold shoulder, but unfortunately good intentions only go so far.  See Carlos, you never even bothered to even learn my name, or where I was from, or what I liked.

I understand that we have cultural differences, so you might show your affection a little differently,  But even bearing those in mind, you just seemed to prefer to stay within your own groups and ignore the foreigners, many of whom were just desperately trying to make our way through you.

I do believe this phenomenon is best exemplified by our interaction today.  I was walking up from the basement where I had hoped to use the computer lab, you know, where the professor gave me a dirty look and yelled at me because I mistakenly walked in an open door (generally means the lab is free to use) while she was teaching a small class.   Anyways, I was almost up the stairs when I fell, very hard.

My knee and foot have been throbbing for an hour and half now.  I sat on those ugly old stairs, clutching my leg, wondering if I would be able to walk without help, and cried out in pain.  And not a soul came by to give me a hand.

Carlos, next time lend a hand.  It’s too late for us, but remember who’ll be arriving in January.   Please do try to do better.

 

With hopes for a better future,

Tori

 

PS

Don’t bother calling.


Madrid in the Fall

Though I suffered a minor setback this morning (apparently you can’t actually study in the National Library), today turned out great.  My quest for the perfect study spot took me all around the city on foot.  I spent a good portion of the morning reading at a beautiful, huge park, found lunch, more places to read, and ultimately a Starbucks with an outlet for my computer.  Can’t say I’ve found my study nook yet, but the search has been fun so far.

It felt really good to just sit down with a book in front of me, my laptop up, word open, and my fingers tap dancing on the keys.  The familiar beat and reading about something I love so comforting, and so are leaves moving like fire in the trees.

PS

I was eating lunch, looked up, saw this image and laughed.  That was probably as close as I am going to get to a typical American fall, but hey, the important thing is I’ll be back in the spring in time for March Madness.


My Final Summer Post, fall is coming…

I started this blog for a simple purpose.  I just wanted to create a way for friends to be able to keep up with my service in New York City.  For me, it has become so much more than that.

I learned how to write this year.  I mean, I guess I knew how before, and I certainly have a long way to go, but I feel like I’m finally starting down the path of actually knowing how to use my words to convey the exact sentiment that I am meaning to convey.  This blog is my first attempt to write something non-academic.  It’s my own thoughts and experiences.

I love having a forum to communicate the powerful ideas that spin like fireworks in my mind.  I know I’m not the best blogger.  I’m constantly nervous about boring anyone who occasionally clicks on this page or who might come across a more personal post and might use it against me.  I intentionally write in such a way that I would never be embarrassed if someone who was not a part of my intended audience came across it.

I know I still have a lot to learn about how to blog, but I also know that I’ve avoided the greatest sin of the blogosphere.  -I post regularly.  Sure, some are better than others, but I’m trying to work through the awkward ones.  Guess it’s all apart of that continually perfecting process.

Anyways, I say all of this because I’m leaving New York in 24 hours, so it no longer seems fit to title my page “Summer 2011 NewYorkIsCalling.”   I’m still not sure whether this blog will be retitled for my fall semester in Madrid or just default to a “fallfirst” theme to match the web address, but regardless, the title will be changing in the next day or so.