Written from a Humanities Classroom

I am currently perched atop a desk on the second floor of the Humanities building.  A whiteboard, scrawled with my notes, is behind me, shining with promise.  I swing my legs and peer out the window to my right.  Immediately across the way is the Student Center.  I see Isaac working his Higbies shift (it has to be him; no one else is that tall), I see unwatched TVs broadcasting TLC and football, I see scattered students unwrapping their packed dinners atop Turtle Mountain Cafe tables (they don’t bother to close their laptops while they eat).

And I’m in here, and my gentleman caller (is this getting ridiculous?  I still think it’s funny, but you tell me) is in the next room.  I had to leave because sometimes I need to sit atop the teacher’s desk and talk myself to a thesis, as if I were teaching a class:

“Now, you may think that Fortune is a simple entity, but actually, she’s a dichotomy, as evidenced in Greek and Roman texts…”

I worked my Writing Room shift from 3-5, and I was reluctant to go, as I often am on Sundays when schoolwork has piled up and I know that it will be a late night.  As always, however, I had more fun helping students to brainstorm theses and gather evidence and arrange outlines than I have at any other time during the week.  Sometimes I think that I should be a teacher after all; I derive such great joy from helping other people learn and improve.

Anyway, I walked out of the Writing Room, having crafted three theses for peers, and feeling confident that I could now craft my own.

And I did.  I’m currently sitting on a decently solid thesis, and a ten-paragraph outline.  I’m sitting on it because my goodness what a jump there is from outline to paper, from planning to executing.  I’d like to bask in the complete before I move on to the daunting.  At least for a while.  At least until Isaac finishes making one drink, until the girl in TMC finishes her slice of reheated pizza, until I finish my own meagre dinner of apple and Kashi crackers.

It has been a lovely weekend (I think as I bask and creep): The G.C. (is it too, too weird to abbreviate?  You tell me) and I finished watching season two of Game of Thrones.  I think we both just about sobbed at the end, not only because it’s a dramatic finish, but because what will we live for until Spring, when season three premieres? What is our relationship without weekend Game of Thrones watching to ground it?  Winter is coming, my friends, and I suppose we’d best start preparing for it (major GOT reference, don’t worry if you’re confused).

As I mentioned in my last post, Friday night was also the Anne Panning reading on campus.  What I didn’t mention was that Butter sounds just like Minnesota, and that even though I didn’t get home until 2 a.m. on Friday night/Saturday morning, I stayed awake for another hour blazing through 86 pages of that wonderful book.  It’s written from the perspective of pre-teen Iris, so the true intrigue stems from the fact that she can’t figure out what’s going on with the grown-ups, and by extension, neither can we.

Last night, G.C. (maybe I’ll just ask him if I can use his name in here.  Or make up a fake name.  That might be more fun) and I went to see UMM’s production of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.  The play dealt with the murder of Laramie, Wyoming resident Matthew Shepard (a hate crime; Matthew was targeted for being gay), and its effects on the town of Laramie and its citizens.  It was fascinating and inspiring and relevant, but mostly very sad.

After Laramie I attended a birthday party.  Theme?  Drunk authors: guests were asked to dress as their favorite alcoholic writers.  We had a Hunter S. Thompson, two Oscar Wildes, a Bob Dylan, a Sylvia Plath, a Virginia Woolf and Leonard Woolf, a Stephanie Meyer (pretty sure that one was a joke), and a Truman Capote.  I don’t think I need to tell you who I dressed as.  Hint:

And now, I plan to stop procrastinating and to start drafting the darn paper.  At least until 8, when our entire Woolf Lit. class will pile into our professor’s living room to watch the movie version of Orlando.  He’s buying us pizza and cutting up veggies and letting us sprawl on his living room rug and enjoy the hominess that just cannot exist in a college house.  Only at UMM, I tell you.

Butter

I apologize for the sparse posting lately, but it’s been kind of a rough week, despite the general glory that is Halloween.

This evening the wonderful Anne Panning did a reading from her book Butter.  Although I felt my arteries clogging as she read, it was highly entertaining, and when the reading was over, I bought a copy and got it signed.  We all know that there is no resisting when it comes to books.

Settling in to watch the last two episodes of Game of Thrones, Season Two.

Talk to you tomorrow.

 

Last Day of Twenty-One

It’s a glorious day to be twenty-one.  Winds are high, the air is sharp with cool, and Friday seems to have shaken itself out over campus, draping everyone in bright cheeks and worn-in jeans.

Tonight will contain the last few episodes of Game of Thrones (season one), perhaps striding the streets of Morris, grinning under flickering lamps, and pausing at the Met Lounge to see friends who have come into town for the weekend.

Tomorrow, unbelievably, I’ll be twenty-two by the time I wake up.  There is a promising pile of packages sitting by my bed; I will attack those first.  And then I’ll likely draw up my knees and think about the enormity of being twenty-two.  It’ll feel enormous, I suppose, because I remember being eight, and fourteen, and (heaven forbid) sixteen.  I remember all those years and yet somehow now they’re all lodged inside me like little bundles I only draw out for nostalgia’s sake.  And I’ll be forced, beginning tomorrow, to trudge forward into the age that means the end of school, at least for a while.  That means leaving my friends and my professors and all the wonders of college.

After a few minutes, I expect I’ll shake my head and begin getting ready.  There’s a parade tomorrow morning.  It’s not in my honor, but I’m pretending it is; I’m marching in it in support of a local DFL candidate.  I don’t know said candidate, but I’ve been bribed with a free t-shirt.  That’s really all it takes to make me happy.

Tomorrow night is the enormous birthday gathering I’ve planned for myself.  It seems sort of vain to throw a party for oneself, but as I haven’t had a ‘friends’ party since I was eight, and as it’s my last chance to throw one with my UMM friends, I’m going for it.  I tried to think of a theme: something about the Beatles, perhaps, or something literary.  But then I decided that the important thing is to have all of my friends under one roof.  And to have a potluck so that said friends can eat and be merry.

So They Told Me

They told me it was addicting.  Once I began, they warned, I wouldn’t be able to stop.

They told me it was spreading; it was being discussed in every dark alley, every lamp-lit living room, every high school cafeteria.

They told me, looking furtively around, that I would enjoy it.  That, despite all I thought I knew about it, it would be unexpected.  And wonderful.

They told me, handing me an ominous black hard drive, that the choice was mine.

And so it came to be that I downloaded “Game of Thrones” (season one) onto Mac.

And so it came to be that I’ve watched five episodes in an embarrassingly short period of time.

And now, with the weight of finals almost upon us, I’m passing this magnificent show to you, with my best wishes.

Yes, it’s graphic and bloody (it is on HBO, after all).

But it’s also given me renewed faith in Sean Bean.  It’s made me realize that no matter how tough I like to think I am, I couldn’t survive one day in the Middle Ages (the general lack of personal hygiene would get me straight off).  Mostly, though, “Game of Thrones” has swept me up in a tangle of engrossing, fast-paced stories.

Tell your friends.