Grendel Cometh

I folded brochures at work today, lining crease up to crease and chatting with Sharon about dark chocolate versus milk.

I walked to Humanities, after, sat down in my professor’s office (although I would have preferred to stand), and gave my Beowulf recitation.  It was the scene where Grendel comes up from the mist, and spots the wine hall where men are drunk and sleepy and cannot prevent an attack.  Here’s the thing: I had to recite the passage in Old English.  Ergo, this is what the text looked like.  It sits forward in your mouth when you say it properly, rounded like a German umlaut.

I researched my first and last name for an onomastics paper due Monday.  “Holly,” as I already knew, means “plant with red berries” (fascinating), but my last name means “valley dweller.” My persona, then, the very essence of my being, is a prickly Christmas plant growing at low altitude.

Flocks and flocks of geese were qnacking overhead as I walked home from campus.  V’s overlapped against the sky, almost blocking out the sun.  I considered putting my hat on in anticipation of free-falling feces, but instead plodded onward, bare-headed and bold-hearted.

There was an email in my inbox when I got home.  Teach for America has selected me to participate in a final interview.  Which means that they must have really liked my application, because usually, they require several interviews/activities before the final.

My gentleman caller and I had our second intramural badminton match, and were victorious.  There was a moment when I dove for the birdie at the same time he did, and I thought all was lost.  We were both on hands and knees and writhing in agony over floor-burned shins, but somehow, somehow, we kept up the volley and won the point.  Even now, I can’t think of how we must have looked without laughing out loud.

Night, friends.

What I Learn In Statistics Class

That has little to do with statistics:

“Girls, never go to Aruba with a guy you’ve just met; they’re going to kill you.”

“It would be inappropriate for me to hug and kiss you now, but I want to.”

“What is this, a makeup brush?  Someone left it here a few years ago.  We’ve been using it as a whiteboard eraser.”

“This graph is nice, but like Mitt Romney’s tax returns, you don’t get to see the whole thing.”

“Moby Dick is the work of the devil.”

“Statistical pilgrimages are to the Guinness Brewery.”

“We knew the cake was likely contaminated.  We also knew someone had to eat it.”

“This box plot has had a bikini wax.”

“Someone-and I won’t name names-may have broken into the Science Building while intoxicated to do some statistics.”

“This was our Thanksgiving discussion: how does Let’s Make a Deal work?”

“He’s giving birth to small kittens.”

“You can tell whose frontal lobes are more developed.”

“I see no light of recognition in your eyes.”

“I was going to continue that analogy, but I decided to stop.”

(After someone asked for an extension on their midterm): “Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tell you I’m sorry in Spanish.”

(List subject to updates until the end of the semester)

All is Right in the World

All is right in the world when you wake up at 6:30 a.m., sit through a committee meeting until 9, and then trudge straight back to bed for two hours.  And later, your writing class spends a half hour discussing how stories should be submitted; electronically or physically.  One girl couldn’t handle the stress and walked out.

Truth:  In all my years of schooling, I’ve only been in two classes that had walkouts: Creative writing in high school, and now advanced fiction writing.  Writers are touchy people.

Things continue to be wonderful when the awesome German teacher wins Jeopardy, and when you and your trivia-obsessed buddies decided to forgo leftovers in favor of a better dinner in the Student Center.  Then, at your work safety training meeting, you laugh until you’re wheezing on the floor after the trainer says the following:  “Too many people try to sneak free pump coffee refills.  Next time I see this happening, I’m going to be all: ‘I will cut you!'”

Volleyball doesn’t go so well.  One of your teammates is struck down by a charley horse, which you know hurts like the dickens because it happens to you decently often.  Your team loses to a team that you probably could have beaten, but you don’t feel too horrible because afterall 5-1 isn’t a bad record.  And because you knew the moment you were all lined up on the court that you were probably going to lose because your team just wasn’t playing like they usually do.

After the game, silently ashamed of being a living breathing cliché, you say you don’t care about the loss, but you regardless spend fifteen minutes in the snow talking about what exactly went wrong.  And then you skip off to the Convenience Store, where friends are buying ice cream and you’re just looking for an excuse to avoid reading your book of nature-heavy poetry.

And then you come home and read it anyway.