Posts Tagged ‘college’

I originally posted this in Reddit’s /r/Ravenclaw subreddit, but i wrote enough that I thought I should just turn this into a Facebook post.

Then I realised I haven’t written here in quite a long time, so it now serves as a blog post.

Do you need good books? Here are some good books.

1. The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar – Fantasy meets reality as a pair of drunken Scottish Fairies on a romp almost start World War 3 in modern day New York City while running around with a group of normal New York people. Seriously, it’s a riot and Neil Gaiman wrote an introduction for it.

2. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. When I was 14, I was given this book by my English teacher. This was my first all nighter. It changed my life, I started writing, and within the year I had been published in national magazines for poetry and I am still writing over 20 years later. I will graduate in 2-2.5 years with a triple Bachelor’s in Creative Writing and History Education and I attribute it to this book. I own it in two languages and I am reading it in Portuguese right now as that is my second language (the third being Spanish). I cannot tell anyone how much this book means to me, but how relevant this book is to even now in life.

3. A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury. Easily the best science fiction story I have ever read, the best short story I have ever read, this book overall is overlooked often and should never be overlooked. If you have heard of the Butterfly Effect, it originated here.

4. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. You are noticing a trend. Yes, I have classics on this list. Do not be scared; classics are here for a reason. They are not meant to scare you away, they are meant to draw you in. This book is an everyman book – this is real life. This still happens, in different areas, in different places, but this still happens nowadays. Don’t sit with a pen and paper, or feel like you have to because a teacher set you for a book report. Download it free on a kindle app, and read it a little bit at a time. Get into Jurgis’ story, put yourself in his shoes. Transport yourself into his time. You’ll find a newfound respect for anyone who has a job that they have to do to survive; a surprising empathy for anyone who has to keep fighting no matter what the world goes after them.

5. Any of the alternate fairy tales by Gregory Maguire. I especially adore the Wicked: A Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and the ensuing Trilogy, and After Alice, as I am a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland.

6. The Alice series by Carroll. all of it. It is by far my favourite Fairy Tale series of all time. I don’t care if it is the Disney version, or what. You give me the option of Hogwarts, of Wonderland, of a TARDIS, of Narnia, of Tolkien, anywhere.. I will choose Wonderland. I will always choose Wonderland. (Oh, now I’m sobbing again…)

7. Watership Down series by Richard Adams. It helped me, when I was much younger, to understand the concept of death, to understand the concept of a possible afterlife, to understand that animals, that every living thing can have feelings, emotions; it does not matter what you are, or how you believe, you can feel, you can act, you are alive, even for a short time, you can influence the world.

8. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. I picked it up for $1 before a trip, and it was one of the first books where I had to read it at least half a dozen times before I could understand what was going on. Sometimes I will read it and I will understand it in a completely different way than I ever had before. It is a book written in a different frame of mind than any book I had ever read previously or since.

9. The Madness Vase by Andrea Gibson – Poetry is now and forever a part of my life, and this poet, for all the modern poets, has been the one to influence me to always want to keep writing. Or never want to keep writing. But I got to see them speak, and perform, and I realised that if I gave up now, I would not be able to do what I need to do, which is write. So I keep writing. And I keep dreaming. “You, you stay here with me.”

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To be perfectly truthful, this schedule is condemning even if I am at 100%. But I have no choice. I had to drop my Honors class, but it is for the best, all told.

Tuesday 29: Dr. Appt.
Watch two movies, write two reports – watched one movie. film history
Brit Lit Paper #1 – 45 minutes

Wednesday 30: Classes
Brit Lit Essay #1 work on
KNEA meeting 530pm
write two reports – film history

Thursday 1:
Finish Brit Lit Paper #1 by 6 pm
write 2 reports – film history 6 pm – midnightish

Friday 2:
study for Film History quiz during lunch like normal

Brit Lit #1 DUE (turned in)
4 film reviews, 3
work on: Brit Lit #2 paper

Saturday 3:
Brit Lit Final Exam half done, question 3 done, question 4 started

Sunday 4:
Music Appreciation Quizzes by 11 am done at 9 am
Brit Lit Final Exam question 2 by 1 pm done at 1pm
Brit Lit #2 paper FINISH by 530 pm finished 615pm
watch last 2 movies

Monday 5:
get up early, study for Film Exam
1030am Brit Lit Final class 1030-1230
Film History exam 1 – 3 pm, plus quiz.
2 film review sheets in film history DUE

Tuesday 6:
Brit Lit #2 paper DUE
take Music Appreciation final exams (3) – finish by noon finished 1125
American Lit paper #2 – finish by 6 pm
Study for American Lit Exam – use post it flags to mark sections of book
Study for Film History Quiz (Chapter 5!)

Wednesday 7:
American Lit Paper #2 DUE
American Lit Final 8am – 10am
take History Quiz after American Lit Final (Chapter 5)

Thursday 8:
Music Appreciation Finals due 8 am
sell back all books, collapse accordingly in my tiny pile of money.

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Homework is always hard. It’s harder when you can’t remember half of your day, and most of what you read right after it.

My boyfriend decided to stay through the entire week to help me out with homework and with life. I’ve always been so independent and it is very difficult for me to admit when I need help.

So even though I am sick, and I am able to go outside, I am still not 100%. I am weak, with moments of even more weakness.

Having someone to watch over me, to help me through things when I can no longer get them through my brain, when I can no longer function on my own… this is an amazing feeling, and it is one that helps show, truly, how someone is in their life.

You can have a long distance relationship, you can talk about hopes and dreams… you can make them happen, but it’s times like this – when someone takes time out of their life, to show you how much you mean to them…

It’s not what you think.

It’s even a greater feeling.

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My boyfriend came up for the weekend and decided to stay with me for the week. His job is wonderful in letting him do this (while he is basically telecommuting). With his help, I am hoping to get through enough schoolwork this week to not have to take incompletes in any/many classes.

It is so hard for me to concentrate on much at all. I really don’t have a lot of energy. It is nice to be able to go out, though. I don’t trust myself to drive, so once a day I have been going on little excursions, with help to and from the car. I feel like a semi-invalid.

For a fairly independent person, having to rely on someone else is a rather new experience.

And I have less and less energy, and I sleep more now. So maybe this damned virus will run its course.

In the meantime, I have someone here to help me through it.

And to get me out into the sunlight once or more a day.

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I feel terrible today. Just the facts. Antibiotics are kicking up a fever, and today’s the first day I can actually tell I’ve lost weight. By that I mean I’ve lost 8 lbs in the past 6 days. I do not like being sick.

So instead I’ll post my homework schedule. It’s more for my ease… and to talk anyone out of ever taking multiple lit courses in the same semester. Or to reveal how much of a masochist I am.

AL: Test due 14th November. Paper due 16th November (topic: Emerson or Whitman?). Keep up with reading.

BL: Paper due. Exam due 14th November. Essay 2 due 2 December 3pm (Chaucer, Franklin’s Tale). Final 5 December 1030am. Honors Project due 5 December 3 pm (Gawain meets Alisoun). Crapton of reading.

Film History of WWII: Finish Sahara writeup. Do A Walk In The Sun writeup. Do The Best Years of Our Lives writeup. Film Project (Swing Kids, Grave of the Fireflies, Hitler’s Children) due 21 November. 5 film reviews due before final. Exam 5 Dec 1pm.

Music App: Chapter work every week. Final due 8 December (3 part, 30 minutes per section, 11-12 questions a chapter, 3-4 chapters a section)


so yes.. there’s a reason football blogging has taken a back seat. Sorry footy friends.

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I’m sick. I’m still accepting I’m sick. I’m having to accept I can’t run on all cylinders 15+ hours out of the day. In fact, I’ve had about 1 total hour since I’ve been awake that I’ve felt reasonably normal, and even then I’m maybe at 50% of firing. I feel like someone who is beaten down. I keep kicking myself internally because I can’t do these things. But it’s not my fault I got mono, and it’s not my fault I have zero energy to get things done. It’s a matter now of making sure I stay hydrated, eat enough to survive, and sleep when I feel like it, work on papers when I feel like it, and pray everything works out in a good manner. I’ve resigned myself that I might never get to work at my school again for my work study this year. I have not yet conceded my semester to this illness. I’m a fighter, down to my marrow of my bones.. and right now, I hurt.. to the marrow of my bones. It takes a lot for me to complain about being sick.

I hate feeling negative, so I’m trying not to. Both with not surrounding myself to it, and having it come from internally. So I’m dumping it all in this entry. *breathes*

Something I’ve noticed, especially lately, is the incredible and insane amount of negativity on Twitter.

I realize quite a few of the people I am thinking of are over 10 years younger than I am (or in that nebulous kind of range) and not only will probably not read this entry, but would feel it’s okay to mock it. I also notice that many of them are slyly insulting me, and my friends, behind my back, defollowing me on Twitter, etc. And that’s fine. If they feel the need to make themselves feel better, more power to them.

But they’re wrong in doing so. They are doing themselves damage. No – not because they’re ignoring me (me? that egocentric? nah), but because they’re ignoring my message.

10 years ago I’m not 100% sure I would have accepted what I (and Bill Hicks) are about to say, but I hope the aforementioned people decide to read it.

This much negativity towards: people you don’t like, things you don’t like, people you are jealous of, people you are trying to get attention from and cannot, situations where all you exude are negative feelings, thoughts, and emotions.. have you ever considered, for one minute, that the person on the other side of the internet is EXACTLY THAT? a PERSON? with their own sets of feelings, thoughts, and emotions.

Switch places. How do you feel now? Would you HONESTLY be able to cope with the adversity and all the negativity being tossed at you?

Chances are, I doubt it. But – again – I do not know, as I do not know a lot of these people and I will not project negativity at them. I will hypothesize and say no. I don’t pretend to know your life. I don’t think I ever could. However, that doesn’t exclude me wanting to find out more about you – as a human being, as a person, as (insert name here), so I can understand you – and it – better.

Something I’ve realized, since I was 18, is how crazy people get on the Internet. How insane people can take it offline. I didn’t grow up with the Internet like most of the world.. my first exposure was when I was.. 16? 17? Life is different now.

So, an anecdote. Here’s something I don’t talk about much: I used to have a stalker offline. She sent me death threats. She brought them to concerts where I was working. She put nails in my tires when I had a 3 hour drive home at 2 am so I might get run over when I got a flat (her words). (PS, this is pre-cell phone – in fact, i still carry around a prepaid phone card, not because I need it, but just because.)

Would you like to know why? Because I dared to not have sex with a band member of a band I worked with that she was OBSESSED with. More specifically, “You told him no, and you should die for that.”

I’ll let all that sink in a bit.

Now.. that’s pretty much one of my excessive examples. But any kind of passion taken to the extreme negative like that always gives me chills. it also gives me a damned good perspective: there is no reason – no reason – to be nasty with someone you have never, ever met.

People do not realize that their negativity means they will draw more and more of it to them. I didn’t understand this until this year, but I understand it in dividends right now. I have people keeping me sane right now, because they care enough to tell me “you’re being silly. quit being hard on yourself. you didn’t make yourself sick, but you can make yourself sicker unless you take control of yourself.

I hear you guys. I hear you. And I thank you for continually saying it to me. And I ask my friends to hold me up while I’m sick, because it’s really devastating to me. This is just this important to me, and needed to be said, and out of my head.

I promised a Bill Hicks quote, and he says in just a couple paragraphs what I’ve spent a ton of energy on and after this I’m going to go nap. (Emphasis mine)

“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.

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This is a weird day in my life. I was put on bedrest yesterday. As most people know, I’m NOT the kind of person to just sit around and do nothing. Fortunately I have tons of schoolwork I can / need to work on (hello, Chaucer paper due tomorrow), and of course I have my awesome laptop Miranda (yes, my electronics are all named.) NaBloPoMo is also going on, so that’s a good distraction.

However, the real reason this is weird? I’m not usually one to get sick. There’s a 50/50 shot right now that I have mono. Actually, that percentage was of 9 am yesterday and it’s definitely swinging in favor. I am not researching it, as people would accuse me of being a hypochondriac; I have a very close friend who suffered from it for some of his life, so he keeps talking to me whenever I have questions.

and the symptoms just keep stacking up. The magic 8 ball of Mono keeps going “signs point to yes”.

Fortunately I have some amazing friends that will help me through it… but I’m not a person who likes to ask for help. I’d rather be the helper than the helpee. It’s very difficult for my brain right now to realize that I SHOULD ask for help for things… like going to get more bottled water, which I’m keeping by my bed, so I don’t have to get up.

But… I am just slowly falling into this illness feeling, no matter how I fight it, because it saps my energy terribly. I think my biggest use of energy now is NOT falling behind in school. I don’t care if i can’t go to work, can’t leave my room.. but me falling behind in school after I’ve worked so hard and so long on things, I just can’t deal with.

Even if it’s going to completely sap my energy and all I can do is look at my homework and move my fingers and type it out, I’m not falling behind.

I have way too much willpower to let that not happen.

I also feel like I’m whining, like I’m being a burden, and that I should just suck it up and deal with it.

Maybe I am too hard on myself.

One of those questions I just can’t answer.

I just trust that my friends understand I really don’t mean to sound like a spoiled rotten sad brat.

I just.. honestly, truthfully, feel this crappy.

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