I feel like I’ve been in school forever. Maybe that’s because I have in fact, been attending school more years out of my life than NOT attending school. I guess most 20 something’s can say that for a little while, considering approximately 14 years of life is spent in the public school system (give or take Kindergarten and Pre-School… and pre-pre-School, which I hear is the new rage). Even if you don’t go on to college, you’d still have to be (… start… accessories…calculator…) 29 years + to say you’ve finally started entering a phase of life that will exceed the time you were constantly sitting in a classroom. Taking those mandatory 14 years into account, the 5 years it took me to finish my Undergrad, and now the 2 years it will take me to finish my Masters (6 semesters strong!), I’ve begun to realize that so much of my life has revolved around the phrase “I am a student.” So much of my identity, of who I am, is wrapped up in Studenthood. 22 years Internet. I will have been in school in some form for 22 years by the time I get ye old Master’s degree. I’m currently 27. That leaves only 5 school-free years. And those 5 years I wasn’t in school? I was drinking out of bottles and dirtying diapers. Oh, there was also that 2 year stint I now term as my “Drinking of the Bitter Cup Phase” that ranged from Spring 2007-Fall 2009. You see? I even organize my life within academic years … Falls to Springs. But I will tell you one thing, the lessons I learned in those two years you can’t learn in a classroom. The lessons I learned in those two years shaped my character and defined my beliefs more than all the schooling in the entire world could ever hope to accomplish in an entire lifetime. I became a better person, a more faithful person, a humbler person – and that’s worth any refiners fire. Rough stone a-rollin.
Moving right along…
What’s more, I’ve never been “without” education in any sense. I studied to become a high school English teacher and every “legit” job I’ve had since my Undergrad has involved higher education in some form. And now, I’m getting an MPA with an emphasis in higher education. Turns out, I’m really into education. Even now, I spent the entire day giving a presentation to swarthy 8th graders… and I LOVED it. Who loves swarthy 8th graders? NO ONE! Except me. I like them. Or rather, I like swarthy 8th graders sitting in lovely rows of desks, laughing at my jokes, and even, heaven willing, learning something useful. You’ll never convince me that there’s a better answer to solving hunger, poverty, disease, racism, abuse, tyranny, etc… than education.
But approaching education from the non-student perspective is giving me some anxiety. I love school. I hate school. I want it to be over. But, I don’t know what I’ll do when it is. I’ve made lists and lists and plans and plans of what I will do when I don’t have to “do” school. They’re very commendable things; ironically things that still involve learning and a “classroom” in its most metaphorical sense: learning Spanish, practicing French, Boxing is for Girls, traveling, leisure reading (ohhhh… leisure reading…), writing, practicing the piano, cultivating talents like cooking or painting (always been a secret ambition of mine to try my hand at watercolors), volunteering at the YWCA, going for a run every day… having the ENERGY to do these things without having the next assignment lingering in the back of my mind. It all sounds really very exciting, right? Very commendable!
Well, let me let you in on a little somethin somethin. This week is Spring Break. And tonight is Wednesday night. Usually on Wednesday nights I have a Retention Theory class. But it being Spring Break, I happily do NOT have this class. And what did I do with this freedom? Begin a novel or make a delicious meal? Go for a run? Buy Soy milk so I could eat some cereal later? Nope. Didn’t do any of those nice things. Instead, I settled in for some American Idol, Modern Family, and America’s Next Top Model, picking at various food scraps lingering in my cupboards and thinking to myself, is THIS what I’m going to do when I don’t have school? Absolutely nothing!?!
And then slightly freaked out. Had myself a little self-reflection moment. They teach you to do that in education classes you know.
When I am truly done with school, will I actually start doing all those things I dream of doing but simply don’t have the “time” right now? Will I really volunteer and run and cook and paint or will I just plop down in front of the tube, wondering why I get restless and bored and slightly depressed and lonesome in about 2 hours? Am I going to do all those things? Or is school my way of procrastinating cultivating these other interests? Does school give me SOMETHING just so I don’t have… nothing? Am I really a lazy no good piece of CRAP unless there’s an assignment or deadline lingering over my sorry head?
Well Internet, I can say after a few spoonfuls of cookie dough and a really ridiculous moment feeling sorry for myself (yep – go ahead and look at my post on Perspective – enter irony) that the answer is No. Happily, NO! No, I really WILL do those things and no, I won’t succumb to the seductive glow of electronic heroine beckoning to me from within a 32 inch Toshiba flatscreen. No, school isn’t just a way for me to fill my lonely time with something useful… waiting for something else to come take its place. I WILL be able to replace the “school” part with other useful, happy, GOOD things. I will create a more vibrant identity outside of “I am a Student.” At least, I hope I will. I’ve felt the pang of loneliness on nights such as these because my only companions have been journal articles, annotated bibliographies, and major research papers.
I guess that’s the sacrifice I’ve chosen to pay; to focus on school, which to me is independence and freedom, and in turn short-change cultivating my other interests for awhile. Yet, that’s how I know I WILL cultivate my other interests. Because I’ve neglected my other interests for so long, and now because I’ll finally, FINALLY, have the time and MEANS to support my interests, I can say that yes, I WILL do all those things; volunteer, learn Spanish, practice French, travel, write, write, write, paint, and…siiiigh… leisure read… because I’ve learned the value of those things and how through school (and honestly – working nothing less and usually more than 30 hours a week while going to school – that’s a true time/energy/brain suck), I’ve not only gained the means necessary to cultivate these interests, but I can fully and wholly and completely appreciate them.
When I don’t have school… I know exactly what I’ll do. And I’m pretty excited about the whole thing. I can also tell you this, if anyone even looks at my with the glint of Ph.d in their eyes, I wallop them right upside the head so hard their mamma will collapse on the floor from impact!
(That said, I also had a meltdown last night realizing all the million things I have to do and only a month in which to do it. It was a night of pure panic.)
I’ve lost my camera battery charger. I don’t know where and I don’t know how, but never the less, lost it is. I remember having it on the boat during the great Christmas Cruise of 2010. I remember putting it in a little baggy with other electronic odds and ends I wanted to keep together. What’s more, is all those other little electronic devices, my IPod Charger, USB cable for attaching my camera to a computer, AA batteries, they’re all accounted for. Housed in the same little blue cloth bag I kept my camera battery charger – but WHERE is the CAMERA battery charger? Nowhere. That is my last memory of seeing it alive, officer, I swear to you.
It will turn up.
That’s what I thought when I first noticed it missing. It will turn up and I will once again be able to NOT take pictures of things because I keep forgetting to pack my camera around like “legit” bloggers, eager to capture moments on digital film. Usually when I lose little things like that; my red stone ring from Cambodia (which I FOUND this morning in my pants pocket! Huzah!), a semi-important piece of mail, chapstick (always chapstick), my IPod (happens), etc, they tend to eventually turn up. Ah HA! I exclaim! There you are! Turned up as I expected! I've learned to trust in the concept of "turn-up" - it's a little like karma I guess. It will come back around - just be patience little one.
My camera battery charger? Nuthin doin. End of March and my beautiful red Canon camera I bought this time last year for the Great Thailand Adventure, has been sitting there useless for months! MONTHS! And recently I’ve felt compelled to take pictures. For example: when that Dim Bulb of a girl ran her car through the Firestone window. THAT would’ve been a GREAT time for a picture. Eh? A great time! A time now NOT captured with a picture. Or perhaps the high volume of hipsters at the gallery stroll I went to last Friday. Another great photo moment – mustaches, skinny pants, and beat poetry galore! But did I have a camera? No I did not; for it is dead and useless at home without its battery.
Then I got to thinking today, I’m planning various trips this summer and I’d really like to make sure I have a working camera to capture said moments and wield them as proof of my coolness on the Facebook. What are my adventures without FB documentation? Shadows and dust. Shadows and DUST! (e-high five for whoever knows the movie!)
So, I gave in today, got on Amazon, and bought another camera battery charger. You know what’s going to happen, don’t you? The SAME thing that happened when I thought I’d lost my red IPod and waited for it to turn up for 2 MONTHS before finally purchasing another one and THEN having the red one turn up inside the “black-purse-of-black holes-that-has-pockets-to-a-parallel-universe-I-swear-to-you!” when I was rummaging for gum during intermission at La Boehme. Grrrr. So that's what will happen with this - though significanly cheaper which is nice. I will find my camera battery charger a week after ordering the new one and then have two. One doesn’t really need two battery chargers (or maybe they do if they keep losing one - cough cough - me me). Irony: one of life’s real cruelties.
In other news...
I’m planning trips this Summer! Take a Look-see!
Trip #1 – Graduation March – May 6th. Hurah! Best trip ever.
Trip #2 – Charleston, South Carolina – 1 full week in May.
Trip #3 – Moab, Utah – Going with the Wardys (i.e. Church Group)
Trip #4 – Portland/Seattle – which WILL include the following… ahem hem… Portland, Astoria (Goonies Never Say DIE!), Forks and La Push (Forks for the ironic photo op, La Push for the beachfront Northwest style), Port Angeles (on the 4th of July – so cool), Leavenworth, and Seattle.
And that’s where I’m at! I love summer. I really do. And I’m so excited for this summer. I even revved up Holly (the Scooter) a few days ago and have been trying to locate her proof of sale/registration form (it will turn up) so when the first signs of 70+ weather and sunshine break through the grayness, Holly and I will be there, cruising around the streets of SLC! You know what would be really great for cruising around SLC on a scooter? A working camera. Sigh. 5-7 business days and I’ll have that too.
And suddenly, worrying about final papers, your job, changing the tires on your car, going on dates (or not), picking the right outfit, snow in March, counting carbs, affording the latest Ipad... doesn't seem so bad. Seems pretty great. How very blessed we are to have the worries we do.
I always feel really helpless when things like this happen - like I should be "there" instead of "here" with a great job in a beautiful city taking advantage of my opportunities to go to school and live safely day to day. People across the world are struggling for clean water,shelter, dealing with death and devastation, and I get up and drive less than a mile to work and eat food when I'm hungry and drink water when I'm thirsty. I tell you, if I could jump on a plane to Japan tomorrow... in an hour... I would do it. I'd do whatever they wanted me to do. But I can't. And most of you can't either, though we want to. And I know you probably feel as helpless as I do. BUT we CAN donate. So donate HERE or HERE. I'm sure anything helps.
How was your weekend? Mine wasn't bad. I saw two crappy movies - so there's that. To be fair, after seeing the second crappy movie the first only seemed sorta crappy - almost "okay" - as far as shoot 'em up, cliche, "been done", loose plot, alien movies go. Alien movies peaked during such films as Aliens (clearly), Predator, Independence Day, and Signs. What? I really liked Signs, okay? I don't know why so many folks out there gotta be hatin on Signs. I thought it was excellent. It also reminds us that Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix used to be really great actors and not just crazies who used to be in good movies. I guess they're "still" really great actors - just added the crazy and bad career/personal choices. Seems to be a Hollywood theme (see: Tom Cruise, Charlie Sheen.... Charlie Sheen.). Battlefield LA (as you've probably gathered from my "alien movies" allusion above) was the first semi-crappy turned "okay" movie which I saw on Friday. Saturday... oh dear... Saturday was Red Riding Hood and phhhhheeeeewwwwahhhhhh. Rough. And what saddens me is a movie like that has SUCH potential. Ya know? Truly. Red Riding Hood could've had the makings of something really spectacular. What they REALLY needed was Tim Burton or Quinten Tarantino OR, dare I mention, Christopher Nolan to make the darkness of such a classic fairy tale really come to life. As it is, we had old what's his name from the Twilight series (I know I know, clue #1) and it was DEFINITELY reminiscent of Twilight - what with the two hotties liking the same one girl and oh heavens, amongst wolf killins and religious zealotry was consumed with her little drama that any girl would love to have. Two hotties want me. Oh the torture. Whatever will I do? Naturally, she chose the WRONG guy (i.e: the emotionally wuss "bad boy") and the "nice guy" finished last. For the record - I like the nice guy! I thought maybe Gary Oldman would at least add some substance to the film, and really, he's great even delivering completely cliched lines, but mainly he must've been doing someone a favor. It was Days of Our Lives wrapped in a red cloak mimicking Twilight. Enter at your own risk.
But aside from some mediocre movies... I did witness something rather exciting - nay - possibly life-threatening I'd like to tell you about. Excited? Settle IN!
Picture if you will - a rainy Saturday - much like this last Saturday. Got it? Good. I've finally decided it's time to pony up the doe and pay for two new tires and a wheel alignment on my car. The tires because I was running on two new ones and two bald ones, and the alignment because my car rattles your brain when I reach speeds of 40mph and over. Rather disconcerting - and probably not too good for the car in the long run or your brain. I went to the Firestone Tires on 200 East 300 South, where I had gotten my other two tires and felt I had wheeled (pun!) and dealed them successfully in the past. Plus, I'd like my tires to matchy match. Upon parking in front of the large windows that are tradition for such establishments, I entered, and proceeded to discuss my various options with one of the workers at the front desk just inside the front doors, thus near the front windows (location is key in this story... keep going). The second worker was busy with another girl who, lets just say, didn't seem to be the brightest bulb in the pack. And likely, paid a lot of money for a lot of unnecessary things which was why this worker was continuing to spend a lot of time trying to get her credit card to accept such a sum. Poor sucker... both of them. So it was clear to me that this customer had been there awhile and the Firestone employees were happy to finally get her out the door. Finally, out the door she went as I finished my business with the first worker. As we were both looking at his computer screen solidifying my various needs at a fair price (damnit!), we both suddenly covered our heads as we heard a: THUMP!!!! CRAAAAASSHHHH! GLASS SPLATTER! REV! REV! BUMP... Glass crunch... glass crunch.... squeaky break.
The Firestone employee and I look up at each other through our hands; which had been covering our heads for fear of being... glassed. Or something dangerous and painful at any rate. And both of us turned too see if we would be coming face to face with a Velociraptor that had just crashed through the front window and was now eyeing us both hungrily (I also watched Jurassic Park this weekend - classic). Nope. Instead, we saw a swath of glass sprayed several feet into the building, around my legs thanks, and the "Dim Bulb's" vehicle humming angrily at the window it had just lurched through. Take that window! You don't mess with non-descript practical sedans! The entire window, floor to ceiling, in ruins about our feet and in the parking lot, and in the Firestone....silence and confusion. I look at the employee and croak, "Er... wooooow." Both the employees were just staring at the gapping hole in their building with firs,t shock, then a clear "WTF just happened?!?!" shortly thereafter.
So Dim Bulb, gets out of her car, clearly unnerved (I would be completely 103% MORTIFIED!) and walks tenderly into the store, all of us still staring in disbelief. And instead of bursting into tears (I would've), apologizing for her clear blond moment profusely (me again) and handing them her insurance card (clearly), she starts attempting to BLAME the employees.
"The car was in gear..." she says.
Employee: "Well... yeah..."
Dim Bulb: "So... I got in and it was in gear and just shot forward! Why was it in gear??"
Employee... stunned but controlled: "Be...cause that's what you do with a manual when you park it. Why would we put it in neutral and let it roll backwards into the street?"
DB: "Well! I mean... I just started it and it lurched forward!"
Employee... annoyed: "Well that's pretty amazing considering you have to put in the clutch AND the brake to even START your CAR!... miss..."
It was at this time I decided to take my leave. I smiled at the other employee still transfixed on the splayed glass and gaping hole, and said "So... I'll give you a couple hours then, eh? Good luck!"
I then walked the 4 blocks to my house, calling my mom and a few friends to let them in on my most exciting Saturday experience in a long time. Most people found it shocking and then entertaining. You know what would've been really great? If I would've taken a PICTURE! Yeah, sorry ya'll. I really need to get more into the "picture" taking because lets be honest - who even reads anymore? Not I! Hopefully you though, reader, right? Read on.
I went back to the Firestone about 3 hours later and there was some poor sap there boarding up the hole and sweeping the carnage. I had to snicker to myself in remembrance of the event. I mean, who does that? Well, truth be told, I could see me MAYBE doing something like that, perhaps if I were emotionally distraught or being chased by a hoard of zombies... or Velociraptors (sticking with a theme here)... but why in the world she reved that little vehicle to such an extent it popped over the curb and CRUSHED that window I'll never know. Just think if she'd been going in reverse with that much rev she probably would've backed into an oncoming car and THAT would've been mucho worse-o. In any event, she still would've found a way to blame the employees for her lack of brain power/judgement/forethought... even if she WERE being chased by Velociraptors: "What was i supposed to do? Back OVER them?" well, yeah.
2011 is an auspicious year! It is the 25th Anniversary of the highly acclaimed Broadway musical, Les Miserables, adapted from Victor Hugo's inspiring novel. Today is also an equally auspicious day; it's the day I bought 5 tickets for the 25th Anniversary of the highly acclaimed Broadway musical, Les Miserables, adapted from Victor Hugo's inspiring novel, for the Sunday, June 5th, 6:30pm showing, aka closing night aka the tickets were disappearing fast so I relented to purusing the Sunday availability. God appreciates good music right? And it's not like I'll be missing church.... justify... justify... justify....
Now what does this have to do with going on a date with the fabulous ME (or 24601) and watching a fantastic performance? A lot I feel. I'm a person of one, and as a person of one, having 5 tickets is a bit of an overkill, don't you think? Yeah, probably. Or maybe I just really like my space and am willing to drop hundreds (true) of dollars in order to make sure no one touches me. I don't like to be touched...
That said, where are these golden tickets going? Who gets them? Why do they get them? How do they even DESERVE such a wonderful cultural opportunity brought to you by yours truly? Well, because I'm related to most of them. My brother and his wife get two tickets - naturally - because they are paying for them. Cash is the fastest way to my heart... and tickets. Remember that. Second, my mom should probably get a seat, because without her I wouldn't even BE here to BUY the tickets, so I went ahead and bought one for her too. Love you, Mom! Cute. And of course I get a ticket... so ... (mumble numbers... counting on hands.... getting frustrated... finding calculator)... that leaves ONE golden ticket left.
Much like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. "I've got a golden ticket! I've got a golden chance to make my way! And with a goldon ticket it's a gooooolden day!" You too could have the chance to sing this song in your nightshirt!
Okay, so it's not THAT life changing (I mean Charlie pretty much won an entire chocolate factory so... yeah...) and maybe I'm hyping it up a little too much (me hype? Never) - but I'm pretty stinking excited about going to see Les Mis and I'd like to share the experience with someone who would be equally excited. I've seen it once - years and years and years ago - in semi-crappy seats. So I'm happy to say, that this gem is in the orchestra level "P" row, and I'd like someone seated next to me; i.e. someone who appreciates the music, history, language, culture, universal themes, authenticity, grace, that IS Les Miserables. Eh? It doesn't get any better. Here's a picture of me if that sweetens the deal...
So do you want this ticket? Well you can't have it! No... MAYBE you can. I bought two thinking very optimistically that hey, I should really try and take a date to this. But really Internet, I really struggle with finding someone "neutral" enough to take. Ya know the whole "dating" weirdness that comes with these sorts of things and you (universal for all singles) kinda wanting to take someone you might have a slight interest in but then again, going through the stress of selecting said person and then just giving up and asking a guy-friend who by this time can't go because you waited too long to ask him and he is actually going with his girlfriend which, by the way, you had no idea they were even still dating so now you're a bad friend and a loner, so then you end up taking a girlfriend which is great but you sure wish you could've taken a date because everyone else here is ON A DATE!! Phew. I feel such a release right now. PLUS, this ticket was $72!! I feel that if I'm not dating or nearly wed or WED or owe some person a very large favor for doing some really extraordinary thing for me like lavishing me with expesnive gifts for no reason or writing the Cost/Benefit analysis paper due in my HigherEd Policy class in two weeks (anyone?), perhaps there needs to be a little "earning" power involved. Right? Perhaps someone should have to commit something in exchange for such an opportunity. I mean, this is something worth committing a little time (in lou of money) for. And really, as I've learned from the 5 Love Languages, giving me a little Time is basically the key to my soul. Secrets out. Keep your money - I want your Time.
So what are the stipulations? I don't really know yet. I'm still trying to decide if having a little contest for my one remaining ticket and lets face it, the joy of discussing the grandeur of such inspiring music and story with MOI, is either a really great and fun idea, or basically a set-up for crushed self-esteem. Oh how it languishes. I mean, think if no one really gives a damn about the ticket or... sniff sniff... me... and NO one wants to jump through my hoop to get it? OR! They really want the ticket but man, not sure if it's worth hanging out with that monkey-faced girl (see above picture). That would be very sad indeed. And embarrassing. And then I'd just sell the other ticket on KSL for double and be happy as a clam anyway (light bulb!). So, first, let me tell you a few stipulations for the contest and you tell me if it's a good (or really lame, bad, cheesy-ball, idea). Be honest! This is my self-esteem we're talking about here! It's fragile. It's tender.
First, I do kinda still want it to be date-esque, but who am I to deny the ladies a shot at such a great event? SO! I'd like to submit a little Affirmative Action disclosure - as I am an Affirmative Action advocate and feel that where there is historical disadvantage based on such characteristics as race, gender, and ethnicity, there needs to be some policies involved to create a more equal playing field. Historically I've asked mostly girlfriends to attend such events, so historically, men have been at a slight disadvantage for me and these things. Also, I tend to like to go on dates with men for the most part... always. PLUS! If you win, gentleman, you can call me your Lady Friend and you shall be my Gentleman Caller.
I've just lost you didn't I?
Men who submit to the contest will automatically have priority consideration... or an extra 5 points... or two gold stars instead of one... or two names in the sorting hat... or some sort of little privilege that gives them an edge against the ladies. Sorry ladies. But really, if you (men and/or woman) are the very best at this er... competition... I won't discount you based on gender! Promise! Just want you to know what you're up against (if anything at all - here's where the low self-esteem portion creates shadows of rejection on my mental wall... in fact, ladies please apply. At least I'll look like I have friends who like hanging out with me... I'm sure it would have nothing to do with going to a fantastical musical that's basically now sold out... right? RIGHT?!?!).
That's really as far as I've gotten as far as contest rules and planning. Doesn't bode well does it? It's early. So now, rather, I'd just like YOU to tell ME if this is a good idea, or if I should just see if one of my other little brothers wants to go (that could be a really good contest! Nick? Taylor? Wrestle to the death! GO!). OR, call up Colin Firth and see if he has any plans on June 5th. Robert Downy Jr.? I'm sure since I'm calling so far in advance they should be able to fit me into their schedules, don't you think? Just know if Colin says yes, it's a done deal. Here's a picture of Colin, just so you understand.