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one month to go.

13 May

I’m feeling good today, which has been really nice. I’ve been in a rut for the last week, feeling depressed about life while also feeling excruciatingly lonely, so I’m happy that today has been a good one.

I think there’s a whole combination of reasons for my positive outlook on today. For starters, I got to write some articles for BP this afternoon. It’s been a while since I’ve been asked to write for them, and there is no greater feeling on this planet than getting paid for your words. Then this morning I went for a run and listened to I Am America, which was just an amazing way to kick start the day. I also found out Nick is coming to town this weekend, which just fills my heart with glee. To top it all off, the weather is just beautiful (and not sweltering hot like the last couple days), and good weather always puts me in a good mood.

I realized today that I’ve begun to slowly come to terms with The End. The end of school; the end of my time in Ashland. It’s a rather bittersweet feeling. I’ve wanted out of this town for a while (since my junior year, really), but now that the end is in sight I’m sad to leave it all behind. I’ve been reflecting on my definition of “home” recently and have come to realize that, in almost two months, I’m not going to have a home for an entire year. That both scares and invigorates me. Ashland’s been my home for so long; so much so that Portland doesn’t quite feel like home to me anymore.

Anyway, I’ve got about a month left before I leave Ashland. In that time I’d like to revisit my favorite restaurants/bars/coffee shops, say goodbye to all my friends, walk all of Lithia Park one last time, hang out at Emigrant Lake, perform in the Rogue Valley Poetry Slam for my third (and final) time, and perhaps see My Fair Lady or King Lear at OSF.

It’s funny. When I close my eyes I can see my dorm room back when I was a wee freshman; Amanda sitting on her bed in the corner sketching while I watch CSI over at my desk across the room. Things were so different back then. I was so different back then. I was still a kid. I didn’t know anything about the world. And now… well, okay, I still don’t know much about the world, but I know so much more now than when I was a frosh. A part of me feels like I’m just a giant kid wrapped up inside an adult’s body, and I think I’m always going to feel that way, but I can also recognize how mature I’ve become. Nowadays I love cleaning, budgeting my paychecks, grocery shopping, cooking/baking, running/exercising, drinking, writing poetry, and having a job. I literally despised all of those things I just listed when I was eighteen.

The gap between an eighteen year old and a twenty-two (going on twenty-three) year old doesn’t seem like much, but holy hell, it really is a lot. You just deal with so much in that time frame. You try new things. You learn new things. You learn who you are and how you perceive the world around you. That’s one reason why I’d argue the importance of going to college; not so much for the degree and all the student loans you’re guaranteed to wrack up, but because of the people you meet and the interactions you partake in and the experiences you garner. Would I have turned out differently if my neighbor back in the dorms hadn’t slowly transformed into a transwoman before my eyes? If I didn’t gain friends who outwardly enjoy sex, weed, and alcohol? If I hadn’t dealt with friends coming out, friends expressing suicidal thoughts, and friends who went through pregnancy scares and abortions? Would I be the same sheltered girl that I was when I was eighteen, so wide eyed and naive to the ways of the world?

Probably.

This wasn’t meant to be a rant. This was supposed to be a quick update on how I’ve been having a good day, but then I got… nostalgic? I guess I’m just grateful. Despite wishing I had chosen a different college many times throughout my education, if I had to go back I wouldn’t have chosen differently. I’m sure I would’ve had a great time at other schools as well – and probably gotten more for my money – but I wouldn’t trade in the friendships, experiences, and memories I made at SOU for anything in the world.

One more month to go.

Let’s try to make the most out of it.

September, 2008

 

May, 2013

school’s last first.

2 Apr

Well this is it, folks.

My last first day of school starts in twelve minutes.

It’s an odd feeling, knowing I’ll never return. Knowing graduation is right around the corner. Knowing there’s no denying the fact that I am an adult any longer. What’s more, it’s kind of scary. School is what I’ve come to know over years. Three month learning increments. Spring breaks. Christmas breaks. Summer breaks. Midterms. Finals. Late night cramming. Last minute project work. Doodling during lectures. Commuting to classes. Teachers rambling. All of it gone only two and a half months down the road from this very moment.

I’m not a spontaneous person, so school’s always been perfect for me. I like routine, and school is nothing if not routine. Routine is comfortable; routine is cozy. Routine is safe. It’s frightening that in seventy-four days the routine I’ve come to know will be gone forever. Yes, I have New Zealand to look forward to, and a whole future of doing whatever the hell I want. No more stupid classes that mean diddly-squat for my future. No more trying to memorize pointless facts and figures just to pass a test so my GPA will remain at its pristine 3.5 level. No more having to deal with the stupidity of certain people of my generation in classes. Yet still, it’s hard not to feel scared when you’re approaching the end of something that’s been your life for almost twenty years. I started attending preschool when I was three. I’m twenty-three now. Just thinking about my lifetime accumulating an education and how that’s soon ending makes my stomach churn. I feel as if I’ve learned all there is I need to know at this point, but it’s still frightening; the prospect of letting go.

Oh yes, there might be grad school in the future, but I’ve been a bit skeptical lately that I’ll be attending grad school. I guess it depends a few years down the line, where my writing has taken me and what it is exactly I’ll be doing with my life. Only time will tell on that front.

The point of all this is, despite the senior-itis that is bound to hit in, oh, probably the next day or two, and the joy I take in complaining about how I don’t want to be in Ashland and how I can’t wait to be in a different country, I’m going to try to enjoy these last couple months. I’m going to spend time with my friends that I know I wont see much of once I leave. I’m going to visit all my favorite restaurants and shops as often as I can. I’m going to try (though I doubt I’ll succeed) to not take my education for granted and actually appreciate my classes instead of bitching about them. I’m going to try to enjoy every moment, god willing.

The rest of my life starts in seventy-four days.

I am excited.

I am aghast.

I am terrified.

Let’s begin.

TPhoto_00031

lazy saturday morning.

9 Mar

As I’ve already made clear time and time again, this school term hasn’t been a great one. It’s been an example of why I shouldn’t put things off to the last minute, and how horribly I crumble when I bite off more than I can chew. Two and a half jobs, seven classes, light crew, and an art show… Phew. It was a heavy work load, to be sure, which should explain my lack of entries on here as of late.

The term’s not over yet. We’re entering dead week in two days, and then to swiftly follow will be finals week. I’ve still got two portfolios to put together, three short stories to wrap up, and two more papers to write – not to mention three final exams to start prepping for. I’ve got a ways to go before I can breathe easy, and even after this term is over I still have one more term to go where I’ll have to throw myself into both Capstones to ensure completion, while also juggling four classes, preparations for my New Zealand excursions, and starting to make the transition into leaving Ashland, my home, behind. I don’t think I’ll truly be able to rest until I’ve crossed that stage and been handed my faux diploma.

And yet, this morning, I allowed myself some breathing room. I slept in until 9:30am, loitered about watching The Colbert Report and dicking around on Tumblr, and then I did something I haven’t done in ages. I got back in bed and spent two and a half hours reading. Nothing else. Just me and the book. It was glorious and comforting. I mean, there’s not much comfort in reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series (though I’m glad to say, unlike Monday when the book made me weep, today I found myself fist pumping the air), but the act of shirking the work I should be doing in order to escape to GRRM’s fantasy world… it was just nice, y’know? It’s nice to give yourself a break, which I don’t think I’ve done a good job of this term. Compared to the last two months, my work load today isn’t quite as grievous, so I allowed myself the chance to indulge. Everyone should indulge now and again, if only for the sake of their sanity.

98 days until graduation.

39 days of attending classes.

12 days until spring break.

6 days until finals begin.

I can do this.

not a bad day.

23 Oct

I’ve come to dislike Tuesdays so far this school term. It’s the day with my two least favorite classes, and I usually don’t get home until 6:30pm and have absolutely no energy. So I’m pretty surprised that today has turned out to be pretty great.

I got up early and went on my usual Tuesday morning run, which went well, and then was able to catch up on some television shows before heading off to class. My first class was Grammar & Style, which I suppose has gotten better lately. I feel like ever since my teacher read my last paper she understands me as a person and respects me as a writer. Today was awkward since my normal seat was taken, so instead of sitting in the front row I ended up sitting right next to: A) Annoying Profanity Chick who I ranted about last week, and B) the cute guy in my class. You’d think sitting next to cute grammar boy would be a perk, but I recently found out (through the power of Facebook stalking) that not only is he in a relationship, but he’s in a relationship with a friend of mine. Cute boy and I still ended up being partners and sharing our in-class sentences, and then we talked about Jurassic Park… so… yeah… it doesn’t hurt to just look, right? I’ll just have to bite my tongue and resist the urge to yell at him, “HOLY FUCK, I LIKE YOUR FACE.”

Then I went to my Intro to Drawing class, which I’ve been having even larger problems with than my Grammar class. The first couple weeks just weren’t good for me. I’m not an artist. Well, not that kind of artist. I’m a photographer. I can doodle, but actually draw? Not so much. So with the first couple weeks focusing on drawing negative space, obscure shapes, and the like, it’s fair to say I’ve been struggling; especially with everyone else in the class being pretty damn good at drawing, making my work like a nine year old’s. Last week was slightly better though, because we moved onto drawing nude models. Glad to know doodling people since high school has finally come in handy.

Another reason Intro to Drawing’s been an overall meh experience for me is that I don’t really have friends in it. For the most part everyone’s a freshman and… I dunno. I just feel like an old fart taking the class. Also, I’ve been pretty convinced that the teacher’s tolerating me because he knows I’m only taking the class to fulfill a requirement.

Anyway, I get to class early today, and a couple of the girls were talking about the possibility of snow in Ashland. I ended up chiming in, since I’ve been in Ashland for four years now and know what the winters here are like. Suddenly one of the girls asks, “What’s a Browncoat?” I realize she’s seen my ‘BROWNCOATS FOR OBAMA’ button on my tote bag, so I tell her about Firefly. Another girl, a really sweet freshman, became really excited when she saw my button, but then becomes truly ecstatic once she saw that I also had a ‘LANNISTERS FOR OBAMA’ button. I told her all about the nerdsforobama.org web-site, which led to us geeking out about Obama and Joss Whedon. At this point my teacher, who’s been standing near us this whole time, reveals that he’s been eavesdropping. He asks us to explain Firefly, so I give him the “it’s a Western set in space” spiel, and the other girl chimes in and we do our best to explain it. We then end up talking about Obama and how we don’t know what the hell will happen to this country if Romney wins. From the way the conversation went, I’m now at least certain my teacher doesn’t dislike me as a person.

The teacher proceeded to let us out eight minutes into class time (still no idea why he didn’t just email us).

When a three hour class is canceled, there is much reason for rejoicing. On my way out another girl from the class and I bonded over how much we love the weather right now. Class being canceled gave me time to actually run to the store and pick up some essential food items to last me till next week (ie. my next payday). On my way to/from the store I reviewed the Italian flashcard app on my iPhone because, yeah, I’m finally trying to teach myself Italian. I then came home, where I have since finished a final draft of a paper, my one point perspective Intro to Drawing homework, and gathered quotes for a (short) paper that’s due Thursday.

Basically, today’s been pretty stellar. I’ve got all my homework due tomorrow done now, so I think I’m gonna go make myself a salad and watch Jurassic Park and The Walking Dead. Maybe do some more work on my Halloween costume and see if I can get that Rosetta Stone download to work.

If all Tuesdays were like today, I’d be okay with that.

Annoying Profanity Chick.

19 Oct

There’s a girl in my Grammar & Style class who I positively cannot stand.

Now, before I get into this, I’d like to state that there aren’t many people I purposefully dislike. There are people every now and again who I can’t stand, but for no good reason. Their being just displeases me, but because I can accept that me disliking them for no good reason is dumb I usually just keep it to myself. To quote Dita Von Teese, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” I know there are people out there who dislike me for no real reason, so, y’know, that’s just life.

But then there’s this girl – this girl whose name I don’t even know.

I’ve promptly dubbed her “Annoying Profanity Chick.”

Let me explain.

On the very first day of class, our teacher – who is one of the kindest, most enthusiastic about grammar people you will ever meet – was going over the guidelines to everything we’d accomplish in the course of the next ten weeks. When she got to the subject of the papers we’ll be writing, she went over the rules and what she’ll be looking for in them. Pretty straight forward. She asked if there were any questions, and this one girl two rows away from me raised her hand.

“How do you feel about profanity in our papers?”

This struck me as an odd question. Profanity’s not necessarily something you use in a school paper. I jumped to the conclusion she was a freshman taking command of her opportunity to use profanity as often as humanly possible, seeing as she was no longer in high school.

My teacher smiled and told her that, while not preferable, if the situation called for it, yes, profanity could be acceptable in these papers.

“Good. Because I swear a fucking lot.”

This was when I knew I couldn’t stand her.

Since that first class, I don’t think a single class period has gone by where she hasn’t swore profusely. I’d like to make it clear that I have nothing – abso-fucking-lutely nothing – against swearing. I think profanity is a powerful piece of language, and when used really emphasizes the point you are trying to make. The fact of the matter is, if you’re a long time follower of this blog, then you know that I love to swear. I swear all the goddamn time. In fact, the first paper we wrote in our Grammar & Style class? I said “shit” in it. Twice. And got an A.

Here’s the difference between Annoying Profanity Chick and me. When I use profanity, I use it for a purpose. Back when I was a freshman, sure, I over used profanity a bit. Now I know better. The thing is, this girl? She isn’t a freshman. She’s my age. And it praticularly bothers me because it’s very obvious that my teacher does not approve of an over abundance of swearing, but is too sweet to say anything. It’s not that she’s totally against the act. There was a guy in class last week who called a writer we read an asshole, and she laughed, because by using the language he was pointing out a fact. This girl, however, throws her “fuck”s and “shit”s around like nobody’s business. I know we’re in college now and the great thing about college is you wont get in trouble for keeping your language PC as opposed to high school, but that doesn’t mean you should abuse your power of language.

And, y’know, it’s not even that she does it all the time. If it rolled off her tongue, almost as if it were infused to her everyday vocabulary, it probably wouldn’t bother me. But she throws profanity around as if she’s doing it only to piss everyone off.

Girl, if this is your mission, congratulations. It’s worked.

There are other reasons I’ve grown to dislike her as well, ranging from her responding to people not using correct grammar by saying “I want to stab [them] in the eye with a paperclip” (a direct quote), and the other day we were assigned to a group together and she refused to be productive. Ridiculous.

Profanity is a great way to emphasize a point you are trying to make… when you use it right.

In short, if I make it through the rest of this term without “stabbing her in the eye with a paperclip” I deserve a motherfucking award.

College

7 Apr

Sometimes I wish that college was more than me sitting alone in my room wishing Cameron Frye was a real person.

3 Apr

So I am back from Italy! I do plan on typing up some formal summary on my trip and then sharing some of my journal entries while I was away, but that probably wont happen till this weekend. I’d like to have some time before to get all my pictures on my computer to share along with the writing as well.

Anyway, I’m back in school now, so that’s… fun… yeah? … no, not really.

You see, I’ve picked up a rep for having notoriously bad spring terms. It’s the term where everything piles up, I become depressed, I cry a lot, and everything sucks. Spring term of freshman and junior year have been, so far, the two worst terms in college I have ever dealt with due to way too man personal things to get into.

It’s only day two of this spring term and I’m already starting to feel it. I’m dealing with a lo of financial stress right now, seeing as I had to spend $150 on textbooks today (and I still have more to buy), and I’m not getting a paycheck for another two weeks. I also had a dream last night involving my ex and then I saw him today, which was… less than desirable (it was a really nice dream, which makes it all the worse). Plus I’m taking a lot of classes, which I realize the stress from that is my own doing, but I’m still gonna bitch about it nonetheless.

In short, I don’t have any high hopes for the next two months. I’m fully prepared for everything to go to hell in a hand basket, especially four weeks from now (that’s usually when things start going downhill). I guess we’ll have to wait and see.