Old Business and New

Saturday night, I forgot to tell you, I accepted a miniature cupcake from a tray thrust at me by strangers wearing red white and blue and dangling a large American flag out of the window of their minivan.  They had apparently been circling campus for the past hour and a half, because, although we denied them the first time they slid open the door and shouted at us to take a cupcake, the next time they stopped us (we were walking in the opposite direction; Play in a Day was over) we shrugged and chose vanilla cupcakes with globs of orange (or was it red?) icing.

“Are you college students?” I asked them.

“Some of us are,” the boy in the middle seat began, grinning at me from under his spangled hat.  But he was interrupted when another party of walkers was spotted: “Forward!” the driver bellowed, and so forward they went, cheering and letting the flag whip parallel to the speeding van.

The cupcakes, although cold, we delicious, and I think I can safely say that they weren’t poisoned, as I am able to type this post with minimal numbness.

To counteract that potentially poor decision, this morning I woke up at 4:45, struggled into yesterday’s jeans, sweater, coat, mittens, hat, and the longest scarf I could find (for optimum neck wrapping), scooped up backpack and gym bag, and caught a ride to campus.

This week is the first inaugural Mental Health Awareness Week at UMM, and as MCSA is the main planning squad, MCSA (or fifteen of us, at least) met on the Mall at 5:30 to put out the shoes.

It was early, and it was cold, and the sprinklers came on in the middle of the operation.  At one point, Annie held up a pair of women’s shoes: “Look at how huge these are!  Who has feet this big?”

I walked over on my size 10.5 (11 on a poor day) feet.  The shoes were too small for me.

Yep.

Anyway, each pair of shoes we arranged on the Mall (there were 1,100 pairs) represented a college student who committed suicide last year in the United States.

It ended up being a powerful display; the shoes scattered around reminded me of gravestones.  Eerie.  It was fun, however, to watch the sun rise and the students trudge to class and do double takes as they walked past the Mall.  Some decided to cut across as usual, picking their way carefully.  Most chose to circumvent the memorial, instead craning their necks to read the signs we had posted.

Here’s What’s Happening

Here’s what’s happening:

1.  I’m desperately trying to figure out what to do with my summer.  So far I have research that will last until the end of July, a few hours of an office job that will last until the end of June, and a solar systems class that could potentially kick my butt (but that would get rid of my very last gen. ed.).  But I don’t have an official job that will earn me a decent amount of money.  And this, for a girl who’s planning on graduate school, is problematic.  I’ve had two interviews so far, one for groundskeeping and one for a crazy job that would entail peddling gas cards to various local businesses.  I didn’t get either position, which I guess is good as neither of them sounded like they were up my alley, but still.  I think my only option may be to beg for a library position.  I just want to get this all straightened out because I have bigger fish to fry right now (see below).

2.  I have six papers to write before the end of the semester.  The semester ends on May 11th.  I also have two large final exams to take.  I also have a presentation to put together.  I also have to do basic things, like eat, sleep, and attempt social interaction.

3.  As my Politics and Film class is two hours long, we traditionally have a ten minute break after the first hour.  During said break this evening, half the class (led by the professor, I might add) went into an informational session that was taking place down the hall, and stole leftover pizza.  And cookies.  And no one stopped us.

4.  My second short story for Advanced Fiction Writing has progressed exactly a paragraph.  It’s about cannibalism in space.  And when/if I ever get a large chunk of time during which to sit down and write it, I will be absolutely thrilled.