The Tempest

I am currently sitting on the third floor of the library.  I am smug because I managed to snag one of the comfy chairs.  I am full because I just polished off my lunch of orange and homemade chicken soup.  I am focused because I’m reading for Feminist Theory.  I am tired because I chose the Downton Abbey finale over sleep last night.  I am slightly uncomfortable because there is a woman I’ve never seen in my life taking pictures of me from a few shelves down.

This is awkward.  She just moved around to my left and is taking some more.

Okay, it’s all right: she finally introduced herself.  She’s part of the University Relations team, taking photographs for the UMM website.

Welcome to my life, friends.  And you thought Kim Kardashian has paparazzi problems?

In other news, Morris is under yet another blizzard warning.  Not knowing this, I walked to school this morning (not that there were other options had I known) through 33 mph winds. That was fun.

What was fun was that at one point in the walk, I passed my friend Andy.  Not bothering to peel the scarf from his face, he shouted through it a quote from Shakespeare’s The Tempest:

“Hell is empty, and all the devils are here!”

Last Week of Classes

You know it’s that time of year again when…

1. You spot a student toting around a liter bottle of Mountain Dew and a styrofoam cup.

2.  There are suddenly no open seats in the library.

3.  Facebook whining abounds.

4.  Pajama pants are the new jeans.

5.  Procrastinating on one paper consists of working on another.

6.  You cannot talk about everything you still have to do without the seven people nearest to you jumping down your throat, bewailing seminars and presentations and cumulative exams.

7.  The line at the coffee shop is a mile long, especially after 9 p.m.

8.  The library begins to offer free five minutes massages, and turns the poetry room into a sanctuary of meditation and smelly oils.

9.  The expressions on people’s faces, once you get past the red eyes and pale cheeks, are identical: a healthy combo platter of frenzied, weary, and grimly resigned.



Everybody pray.


I studied on the fourth floor (the dreaded quiet floor) of the library this evening.  At the top of the stairs, before you turn right to enter the sacred chamber, there is a brick wall hung with floor-to-ceiling bulletin boards.  The boards are tacked with book covers.  You know: the ones librarians have to remove in order to fully plasticize and smudge-proof the humble cloth covers.  I stopped for a minute to stare at the covers longingly.

There was a book about American first ladies, one about pop art, one about traveling in Nepal.  And suddenly I longed for the day when I can leave schoolwork and assigned reading behind and be a reader again.  When I can go home at night, select a book from my shelf, and tuck in.  When I can research any topic on a whim, read trash, use a library card.  When I don’t have to take notes or analyze allegory unless I choose to.  When I know there will be no quiz the next morning.

It will be glorious.

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.

A Procrastination Poem

I’ve been at the library for weeks and months,

or maybe two hours.

I’ve bobbed up and down several times, up to check out two movies

(needed to write my paper on the cinematography of The Queen and Gandhi),

down again to write a paragraph, hammering at my thesis with bit-blunt nails

I would rather sink into this uncomfortable wooden chair

And watch Helen Mirren do her best

But instead I have to focus on the way the light bounces off her hair

and the reason why she stands behind the couch instead of sitting upon it with the rest of them.

Why should I suffer so, you wonder?

Folded into coat and scarf in the corner of the first floor?

For my GPA, of course.

And to graduate with Honors, and to get into grad school and to earn my masters and doctorate

and to eventually sit in a far more palatable chair, doling out papers such as these

to poor juniors who would rather



One of Those Days

It’s one of those days.

As much as I love the library, sometimes I can’t settle down and study there.  Most of the time I attribute my dissatisfaction to a subconscious need for readjustment, so I wander the various floors until I find a new spot to study.  The rest of the time (when I’m sane and honest, that is), I attribute it to my conscience lack of study motivation.  If you don’t want to write a paper on the 3rd floor, chances are slim that the 4th floor will change anything.

Secondly, I participated in World History today.  Sounds silly, but I’m one of those people who needs a week or so to “settle in” to a class before I start speaking out.  Anyway, the instant after I made my comment, it occurred to me that what I had said was incredibly stupid.  Bless the prof for simply blinking and moving on.

Thirdly, I am currently sitting on zero ideas for my 15-20 page story for Advanced Fiction Writing.  I thought I had something good last night, but I was wrong.  The morning light revealed it for the rubbish it truly was.

Finally, I am about to buy myself sour gummy worms as a bribe for running a few miles at the fitness center.  I have a feeling Heidi Klum would approve.