Posts Tagged 'College'

Libras Live on Balance.

Whenever I wake up and am working on things before 8am, and I decide to blog, my brain introduces itself by telling me I should start with the line “good morning teenage Baltimore!”  Yes, world, that is a Hairspray reference.  Since I don’t live in Maryland and most people my age don’t seem to bother themselves with musicals (*sniff sniff*), this would be a silly intro.  Therefore, I will simply say:  “Good morning!”

I have not been writing any fiction at all.  My brain will not allow it.  Besides, even though I’m only two days into school, I have loads of homework, so yeah… I don’t have time for a lot and still manage to sleep.  In fact, I got up early to do homework and I’m just procrastinating on it.  Yikes.  Right now, what I need to do is:

  • Read 60pgs. of Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World; 1400-1800.
  • Read 37pgs. of Early Medieval Spain.
  • Read 13pgs. of a handout we were given whose title eludes me.
  • Read 5pgs. of Sustenance and Desire.
  • Write 1-2 pages in a “Dream Journal”.
  • Write 1-2 pages in a “Cooking and Eating Journal”.
  • Write up all notes from Africa and Africans….

That’s my per day allotment of homework for today and yesterday.  That’s 115pgs. of reading, and about, eh, we’ll say 5pgs. of writing.  Plus classes.  And work.  And my internship that won’t freaking go away.  … I feel a little overwhelmed already.  I’m accidentally taking two seminar classes this term, although to be fair, one of them wasn’t supposed to be a seminar, but the professor decided that the class was so small, she’d run it like one.

On the bright side, it’s going to be less rough between Thursdays and Tuesdays, when I have 5 days to complete the assignments, not just two.

When I think about all that… it’s… just a lot.  You know?  I did get my 60pgs. of reading done no-sweat yesterday before classes, but when I picked up the Early Medieval Spain book, I wanted to run repeatedly into a brick wall.  I think it’s going to depend on the book and on the location of work.  And the weather.  When it’s humid like this, I just wanna flop.  I woke up at 6am drenched in sweat.  Seriously.  Six o’clock in the freaking morning.  Do you even understand how miserably hot it’s going to be in town?  At noon?  Gahhhhhhh.

Sorry.  Sometimes blogging is my way of dispelling stress.  I was feeling like this last night, too.  Just… unbalanced.  So I had to leave my house, and ended up working for an hour and a half, of all things, which should have stressed me about more, but it didn’t.  In fact, I felt really in control there last night.  So it was a good thing, I guess, but I didn’t read a full chapter of Early Medieval Spain because of it, and none of the handout thing.  Plus no dreams that I could remember last night, so no dream journal entry.  And the Cooking and Eating journal needs to be started, but at least those things I can remember.  Om nom, food.

Wish me luck today.

Maybe Hermione’s wand will come in the mail and dispel stress?  At any rate, it is definitely a Time Turner day.  Iamageek.

What is Reality?

These last few days I have had an appropriate amount of domestic rural adventures, from driving in a thunderstorm to preventing a kitten from ripping my toes to shreds.  These things are all the little things that we often overlook as we let our lives consume us.  I am that person sometimes, too, but I work hard not to be.  I’ve had a few things on my mind, and seeing the film Inception last night keeps pushing thoughts about the little things forward more and more.

First, I’d like to talk about the movie.  I’m not going to go into too much depth because I don’t want to spoil it, but it does bring you to appreciate life and reality.  The things that are always there and the things that you can depend on.  The details.  For example, the movie itself- I’m sure a lot of people will be walking out of it thinking about the deeper meanings of it and how it is a reflection on the world and our perception of it, and so on and so forth.  I walked out of that movie thinking a few things.  One: “Holy crap, where did that thunderstorm come from?  Crap.  I have to drive in it.  And I left my windows down.  Craaaaap.” Two: “I don’t think I have a single bad thing to say about that film.  From the acting to the special effects to the plot… it was all really well done.” and Three: “What was the theme, anyway?  It’s supposed to be a deep thought movie like Momento, right?  So there must be a deeper theme….”

For those that are curious, I’ve decided that the theme was “what is reality?”  It’s kind of like The Matrix in that way.  Now, I’m sure there are others who derived a very different theme about it, and I would love to rationally discuss that theme (or those themes) as well.  But from my perception of the film, there were strong themes of “what is reality” and “what is dream” running through it.  And, in saying that, I don’t feel like I’m spoiling the film because dreams are a present theme in the commercials alone.

From the question “what is reality” we must ask ourselves… what is real?  What makes things believable?  For me, that is all the little things in the world.  The things that make our experiences our own.  We all may walk into a grocery store, but do you avoid walking through aisles packed with people (even if you desperately need something in that aisle) so you can stay out of peoples’ way?  Do you walk through the produce section and drool over all the berries and ultimately buy some, even though you know they’re out of season and they’ll be gone before you get home?  Do you hang out in the bakery for a few minutes just to smell the bread?  I do.  Things like that – little sights and smells and hopes and such – make the experience mine.

This week, I am going to try to stop and notice all the small things.  To stop and take a deep breath and appreciate the world as I run around.

Another thing that has inspired this thought process is a book I recently started reading.  It’s half for school, and half for research, since part of the reason I’m a History Major is to gather information about the world so I can use it in my writing.  The book is called Avengers of the New World by Laurent Dubois.  It tells the story of the Haitian Revolution and the world that led to it.  It’s for my Africans in the Colonial World class, basically a follow-up class to Atlantic History, which I took sophomore year.  Anyway.  I’m only 9o-pages into the book and there was a section all about culture and religion and the ways the Africans kept their customs alive in Saint-Dominique.  What do you do, when you’re lashed often for little to no reason, are not allowed to meet with other slaves… and even the free-coloureds kept having their rights lessened.  Heck, the thing that really annoys me is the “Liberty Tax” that white plantation owners had to pay when they freed a slave.  When you are in a position that most of the slaves (or any good person, really) where in, having their hands tied by the powerful few-and-far-between…the only thing you can do, once you’ve run out of options is to stop, see what there is for you in the world, and move forward.  Find the next path and renew yourself mentally, spiritually, and emotionally by the little things that have been driving you all along.

Today, a friend told me that whenever he hears “On The Dark Side” by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, he thinks of me, because I’m the only other person he’s ever met whose heard of the band.  It was a little thing, but it made me smile and lifted my spirits after six, seven hours of consistent photocopying, binding, and wanting to hit machines with a crowbar.  Has there been any little things in the world today that gave you the strength to move forward?  What are the things that you rely on daily to keep you grounded in this mad world?

Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmatic.

Amanda reading the program for "The Letter" in the Green Room.

“I’m so excited / and I just can’t hide it. / I’m about to lose control / and I think I like it.” ~ I’m So Excited by the Pointer Sisters.

There is something about that song that disturbs me.  Every time I read the lines above, I relate it to something different.  At the moment, the image in my mind is that of a hyper-active puppy meeting an apple-red fire hydrant.  That image, naturally, is not the one I want to convey; the song always gets into my head when I am thinking about something I am excited for.

I am excited for tomorrow.  Tomorrow is Saturday.  That in itself should be enough of a perk.  I am not working tomorrow, which, despite my lack-of-paycheck this last week, is still a nice respite.  I will also be seeing Sammy tomorrow, which, in this case, I am excited for.  See, we have plans.  We are going to be writing (unless something changes).  I am bringing my typewriter (erm, and my laptop) and I am going to finish editing chapter four of Fate.  For real this time.  Maybe.

I haven’t written properly in a while.  Every once and a while, I’ll pump out a piece of flash fiction, but hardly anything worth noting.  I think I’m burnt out from writing, which is terribly, but I’m finding every excuse not to do it.  Really.  Every excuse.  I feel like I’m in elementary school again, fighting with myself to do homework.  The only way I could summon up enough willpower to do my math homework in elementary and middle school was to tell myself that if I did five problems, I could read five pages of insert-Tamora-Pierce-novel-here.  After about an hour, the math homework would usually be complete.  It was an intricate rewards system that is no longer effective now that I am in college.

Seriously, though.  Writing feels like work.  I blame my writing classes.  My college writing classes haven’t been useless, per se.  The teachers have all been very helpful.  But the students are all just like me (or the have as much enthusiasm as me, at any rate).  We’re all tired.  We did the work, just barely, so now can we go back to bed?  It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I worked five hours at my other job today, then I had three classes, and I was up until three am trying to get homework done and I’m just not used to putting this much stress on my body.  So much to do, so little motivation.

Tomorrow, I am telling myself, will be different.  I will finish edits on chapter four of Fate.  My brother is watching Alice in Wonderland right now; maybe I’ll go join him and get motivated for Absolutely Mad.  I have a million options; all I need to do is sit in front of my computer and write (not go online).  I think Sammy will help me keep focused, and maybe I can help her keep focused.

Or, at least, amuse her with the typewriter.


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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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