Let Me Catch You Up

Sorry I’ve been quiet lately.  Truthfully, there hasn’t been much to write about.  I walk to campus in -40 degree windchill (yesterday).  I try to save the world via student government (Monday).  I play intramural volleyball (Tuesday).

(This afternoon) I make a mistake with my checking account and hold up the line at the grocery store for fifteen minutes while I fiddle with my online account via Iphone, transferring money to pay for my cereal and pears and peanut butter.  And then the Chancellor of UMM, in line behind me, offers to pay for my groceries (“I don’t want anyone going hungry,” she says kindly).  I am thankful to go to a school run by such generous people.  But mostly, I am mortified.  I finally get my credit card to work, and then I practically run home, sliding on the ice and torn between laughing and crying.  I decide to laugh, because I am quite possibly the most ridiculous person on the planet.  My mom laughs too when I call her, and I realize that perhaps the reason why I get into such scrapes is so I can tell people about them afterwards.  It’s quite worth a little humiliation to have a good story to share.

And now (I assure you, having read the above, you’re quite caught up), I am sitting at a desk in Imholte Hall.  I am at UMM’s literary magazine’s All Night Write.  It’s a wondrous night in which students are locked in a large classroom with their laptops and various junk foods, and given permission to abandon scholarly pursuits in favor of creative writing.  My gentleman caller is next to me.  He’s given me permission to talk about him.  He’s focused, and being very patient with me (I keep interrupting his work to make jokes, to proclaim my undying love for orange soda, etc.).  I am here for the writing, yes, but let’s be honest: I’m mostly here for the socialization.

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Scenes

One year ago

Tonight

Funny, but both scenes look equally beautiful to me.

Scenes from today:

1. In which I wake up at 5 am with the worst shin splint of my life.  I say “splint” because it was only in my left leg.  Apparently, I run cockeyed.  Or cocklegged?  After whimpering in pain for a few minutes (not my finest hour), I braved the cold hardwood to snatch a bottle of ibuprofen from my purse.  I read The Faerie Queen by flashlight while I waited for the sweet relief to kick in.

2. In which I leave my iPhone at home, and am unable to retrieve it until 8 pm.  I’m embarrassed to tell you that it felt like I had left a finger at home.

3.  In which I learn what it feels like to truly mess up as a student government.  And what it feels like to look around the room and to see the same terrified look on everyone’s face.  And what it feels like to have to take a deep breath and vote “aye” once again, because there’s simply no other option.

4.  In which I decide that breastfeeding in public is gross.  I was taking the minutes at a division meeting, grumbling to myself over the sad fact that professors simply think themselves to be above Robert’s Rules, when suddenly the professor at the next table, who had been holding her five-month-old on her lap for the past half hour, stooped to grab a large scarf from her bag.  Before I could avert my still-scarred-from-too-much-TLC-in-high-school eyes, she draped the scarf around her shoulders and over the baby, and began the feeding as if there weren’t fifty other people in the room.  Gross.  I realize that it’s not fair that you should have to be a pariah just because you have an infant, but still.  Gross.

A Triumph and a Sinking

I forgot to tell you that after scrambling to create a resume, and after an interview with the new President/VP, I’ve been appointed the new Secretary of Student Services.

It’s nice, I must say, to have a win.

What I especially like about this position is that it will allow me to reach out to the same groups I reached out to as a vice presidential candidate.  Further, it will allow me (with help, of course) to enact some of our former platform ideas.

More importantly, and as I’m sure you know, today is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  Supposedly, my great grandmother had a ticket to travel on Titanic, but she missed her train and didn’t make it.  She would have likely been in third class, so it’s doubtful that she would have survived the sinking.

It makes me happy to be here.

It also makes me keener to remember those who weren’t so lucky, and happy that people all over the world are doing the same:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2012-04-15/titanic-anniversary/54295376/1

 

A Letter

Dear Friends,

This is tough for me to write.  For weeks my life (and my blog) has been nothing but campaign.  My academics have slid, I have hardly seen my friends, and I don’t even remember what it’s like to get more than six hours of sleep a night.  But I’ve loved every minute of it.  I’ve loved walking around campus with purpose.  I’ve loved looking critically at the way things run to see how they can run better.  I’ve loved meeting new people, shaking hands, and discussing ideas.  I’ve loved debating, I’ve loved strategizing, I’ve loved staying up until 2 am just to chalk the campus.  I’ve hated seeing my face on posters, but that’s a different story.

To lose, after all of the above, is slightly heartbreaking.  It’s hard to realize that although you tried everything you could think of, worked as hard as you possibly could, you still weren’t quite good enough.  It’s hard to hear people say that you clearly wanted it the most.  It’s hard to hear people say that anyway, you ran a good campaign.  It’s hard to look at professors and friends and acquaintances and know that they’re wondering just how bad you feel.  It’s hard to remember losing the student council presidency in eighth grade, and to think that maybe, just maybe, you’ve never been destined for this kind of leadership.

But then maybe you go out to Old Number One.  You have a Fat Tire with the winning team and the other losing team.  You talk about the crazy shit (sorry, Mom) that went down on all sides.  You admire each others’ platforms.  You toast liberally, feeling so very lucky to have run (and lost) against such stand-up guys.  You realize that even though it can’t be you, it can still be great.

And then you walk home, watch the wind turbines spinning, blurry, in the distance.  You think about the secretary position you’ll be applying for in the morning.  And then the night expands again, bulging against the Morris limits.  It’s a beautiful evening, you’re twenty-one, and you just lost a vice presidential race.  But tomorrow, you’re certain, will be something different.

All the best,

Holly

Tech Fee Take Two

I think I owe you a better Tech Fee explanation than the sleep-deprived name drop I tossed out last night.

Technology Fee is included in every student’s tuition for every year they’re at Morris.  The fee, once received by the University, is then transferred into a special account, which only the Student Government (MCSA) has access to.

In March, we begin receiving proposals from all areas of campus: student organizations, various departments, media services, athletic teams, the information desk, etc.  These proposals, thoroughly researched by the proposers, are for technology they feel will benefit many students at UMM.  Technology ranges from rotating lights for an auditorium to twenty-five computers for the library to an online ticketing program to digital melting point apparatuses for chemistry labs.

Last Friday and Saturday, MCSA heard proposal presentations and asked questions where necessary.  Last night, we went through every single request and discussed whether or not to fund it.  We were sitting in that hot room from 6 pm to 2:30 am discussing, which partially made me want to scream, and partially made me proud that we as a group take the process so seriously, and want to be sure that every piece of technology we fund meets all criteria.

To celebrate MCSA’s early morning accomplishment, I slept through my alarm this morning, and didn’t stir until 7:50.  I had class at 8.  I got to attend unshowered, teeth unbrushed, breakfastless, and wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday.  Thank you very much.

 

Student Government

It’s been an important Monday in the old student government.

First, we passed an amendment to encourage the bookstore to buy apparel made outside of sweatshops.

Then we approved a letter to be sent to the Minnesota legislature saying that we as university students are against the marriage amendment coming up for vote.  That we as students don’t appreciate our state’s efforts to institutionalize discrimination.  Here’s my favorite line: “Informed by our understanding of American political heritage, we firmly declare that the potential determination of a majority of voters this November to institutionalize discrimination-largely based on fear and appeals to convention and establishments of religion-tyrannically threatens not only minority groups, but the very spirit of what this institution of higher learning is all about.”

We all signed the letter afterwards, every last one of us scrawling our names into large John Hancocks.