Monthly Archives: March, 2005

Not a Construct

Friday Five
1. What is your favorite movie of all time? I can’t pick just one. I’ve fallen in love with exactly three movies ever, though. The most recent was Garden State.
2. How often do you watch this movie? I’ve seen it… three times, I think. I watched once with the commentary playing over the movie. Never done that before, not the whole movie.
3. What’s your favorite line out of the whole movie? “Maybe that’s all home really is, a bunch of people searching for the same imaginary place.” I actually talked about that a little with Megan last night.
4. Who’s your favorite character from this movie? I like how Sam is ordinary. She’s not overwhelmingly gorgeous, and she’s not a genius, and she still lives at home. She’s an actual real person, not just a constructed “real” person.
5. What scene do you love the most? That’s hard, too. I like the scene where Large is on E, so the room is moving super-fast around him. I also like the scene where he’s saying goodbye to Sam, and mentions his ellipsis idea, but only because it shows someone else knows what an ellipsis is.

For Spring Break, this week has been pretty ordinary.

On Friday night, Greg called me to go out shopping with him. I was unsure, so I finally said I’d check with the parental units and call him back. He interpreted that as, “I’ll go. Come to my house now.” He sat around while I ate a sandwich, then we went to Waldorf. We spent a long time in Target. I helped him pick out a tv for David’s birthday. We rushed over to the mall, where Greg bought… something… in Sam Goody. I browsed around Old Navy, but neither of us was really into it. I have too many clothes anyway (which brought on the Winter Break Closet Cleanout).

I spent Saturday sitting around and watching movies on TBS: Legally Blonde (a favorite of mine; I own it, but it’s at school) and Runaway Bride. On Sunday I went to Palm Sunday mass with my dad. I managed to twist my palm into a cross this time. At the last Palm Sunday mass I attended (years ago, in Germany), I saw someone do that but couldn’t figure it out. It was only vaguely cross-like, but I was pleased.

On Monday, I went to Commons to see Greg. We spent the day watching the extended versions of all the Lord of the Rings movies. I got there later than intended (I won’t get up earlier during break than I do for church), and they’re very long movies, so we didn’t quite finish. I went to Chipotle for the first time with him and Wittig (one of his roommates). Yummy tacos. I’ve never been a burrito kind of girl. Maybe next time.

On Tuesday, I started working on Astro catch-up. I had two weeks’ worth of lecture and discussion notes to copy. It was agonizing. Studying takes so much time. I drove Ryan to soccer practice and went to the BX.

I kept working on Astro on Wednesday. I finished, then started in on The Handmaid’s Tale for women’s studies.

Yesterday, I read. Last night, I invited Megan over to chat and watch a movie. She hadn’t seen Spider-Man 2, and I was eager to see it again, so we watched that. I think that’s the best sequel I’ve ever seen. MJ and Spidey in the web at the end still terrified me.

Today, I finished The Handmaid’s Tale. It was a really good book. Compelling. It’s about a dystopic future where the Caucasian birthrate is very low and women are oppressed all around. The protagonist, Offred (as in “Handmaid of Fred”), has had her daughter taken from her and been forced into serving as a glorified mistress. Her responsibility is to get pregnant and have her Commander’s baby, then move on to another Commander. The society of the book is really scary. All of their actions, from not allowing women to read to providing handmaids, is based on the Bible. I don’t have many original opinions; this is no exception: You cannot take the Bible literally. Not all of it. Does anyone really think the advice Paul gives to the Corinthians (or whomever) is meant only for the Corinthians? No. Then why interpret anything else literally?

It’s Good Friday. I timed my daily rosary so that I said the Our Father for the last Sorrowful Mystery at exactly three o’clock. And for the last Lenten Friday for another year, I am off to not eat meat.

Free at Last

Finally, Spring Break is here. All of you who are also on break this week, say it with me: Ahhhhh.

Friday Five

1. What are your five favorite all time TV shows? The Cosby Show, I Love Lucy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Jeopardy! (that totally counts), and… Rugrats.

2. What five things you want to do before the year is out? Write another short story, read a classic book of my own volition, go on a road trip… you know, I’ll settle for just having a schedule where I don’t have to fight through each day.

3. Who are five people (alive, dead, or otherwise) you would want to have dinner with? J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, Hermione Granger (it says “otherwise”)… I don’t know who else.

4. Where are five places (cities, states, countries, etc.) you would like to visit? I’d go to Hawaii again, Spain, France, Australia, and New York City.

5. What are your five favorite desserts? Vanilla ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, the s’mores sundae at Adele’s, vanilla milkshakes, and chocolate milk.

This week was hellacious.

My women’s studies midterm on Wednesday wasn’t too bad. I think I did okay, except that after writing an essay in twenty minutes, my hand was killing me. And afterward we watched part of the DVD of The Vagina Monologues.

Wednesday night was the worst. I spent all afternoon and all night, until 2:30 a.m., trying to finish the paper for my honors seminar. It was on Isabella d’Este. I didn’t have much trouble finding information — I actually had too much. I was stuck trying to distill a two-volume biography into a five-page paper. My paper actually came out around four and a half pages. I was just so fed up by the time I finally finished it, about ten minutes before I left for class. I hope I get a decent grade, even though it’s a sucky paper.

I got up early Thursday morning after a late caffeine-and-queasiness-filled night. I tried to study for my lit midterm, but it didn’t really help. I didn’t even finish reading some of the books, and the ones I did finish, I didn’t really understand. I’m not used to plowing through a novel in two days, then being expected to critically analyze the whole thing for discussion, only to move on to another novel for the next class. I don’t understand, and it’s killing me. My teacher gave us five possible essay questions; two were on the exam. She didn’t choose the Charterhouse of Parma question. I had actually prepared for that one, even though I never finished the book. We were allowed to use an index card of quotes to help support our essays, but I mainly just had a few Charterhouse quotes, so it was basically useless. She probably intended for us to strengthen our essays with quotes, but I was so exhausted from several days of frantic work that I just gave up. My essays were fairly general, and they took me a long time. That exam counts for a lot of my grade, so I hope I did well on it.

So, after my honors seminar, I went home and did my astro homework, my last assignment before break. I wound up going to March Madness dinner alone. They have theme dinner every few weeks. The food was actually good. I had popcorn chicken, Boardwalk fries, and a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich. So yummy. They also had hot dogs, cheesesteaks, funnel cake (the line was too long, but oh, did I want one), and non-alcoholic beer. It really did look like an arena concession. It was a nice change.

After dinner, I went back and finished my homework. Then I went to Commons to hang out with Greg. We watched the old BBC version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It was kind of cool. I might have to see the new version… but I might just see if it comes to the Hoff. I nearly fell asleep from being so tired. He was quite persistent in trying to get me to taste his… was it a mudslide?… but I didn’t want to. To be honest, if I were ever to try a “drug”, it’d be alcohol, but I just wasn’t up for it.

Today, I got up and successfully made it to astro lecture on time. Yay for not missing another homework grade. I went over to see Greg again. We talked for a long time — so long that I left for lunch late, which made me late for my dad’s picking me up. After frantically packing, we left. I got a new ID card, since my dad’s retired now. I came home, unpacked, and got online. Why, why am I cursed to the Land of Dial-up at home? Did I do something?

My plans for the rest of the night are up in the air. Greg is currently trying to convince me to go shopping with him. I’m not sure if I want to go. I’ve been in a weird place lately. He’s kind of stationed along the road to the weird place.

And with that metaphor, I depart.

The Work and the Fury

Friday Five:
1) What was your favorite toy as a child? I played with Barbies a lot. I loved my Skipper doll. She was the old version that looked like a twelve-year-old, not the New Teen Skipper of a few years ago. I liked to do their hair, but it always wound up… well, wound up. All tangled and knotted.
2) What is your favorite toy now that you’re “grown up”? I’m not grown up. I’m not ready to be a grown-up. I do love my computer, though. Oh, she’s lovely, especially with this lovely UMD high-speed Internet.
3) What is the most dangerous toy you had growing up? I had a Hot Wheels Barbie Corvette. I guess you could call that dangerous. More dangerous than a kitchen set, at least.
4) What is the most dangerous toy you have now? My real car, Mindy. I call a two-ton metal box with an engine pretty dangerous.
5) What one toy do you wish you had/have? I wouldn’t mind an Ipod, or any kind of digital music player, or a digital camera. I’m not going to ask for any of them, and I probably wouldn’t even put them to good use, but it’d be cool. “Cool” equals “toy”, right?

The traditional weekly recap follows.

Saturday: Homework. I wanted to go see the Satanic Mechanics do Clue, but Greg wasn’t back from visiting home early enough. I left him a note in my away message, meaning for him to come get me and then go to the Hoff. He misunderstood it as my wanting to meet him there, so he wound up going without me. I felt bad about missing him, but I wasn’t about to walk halfway across campus at midnight alone.

Sunday: I was going to meet a girl from the UMD LJ for church, but she didn’t feel well, so I went by myself. Afterward, Jimmy gave Maggie, Tom, Eric, and me a ride back to North Campus. Tom and I waited for Testudo waffles (yum!), then ate with some other floormates. Came back, did homework. That is so my life lately. Class, food, homework.

I’m just going to skip Monday, because I don’t remember it at all.

Tuesday: I finished my laundry just barely in time. I was rushing, but I had an elevator-bonding moment with a fellow Tuesday morning launderer. I also got to wear warm socks straight from the dryer. Quite nifty. I managed to read up to the right section of The Charterhouse of Parma for my lit class, so wasn’t lost in discussion. I don’t like that class. We blow through the novels so quickly, I don’t feel like I really understand any of them. It almost makes me want Ms. Sim’s dorky worksheets again. At least with those, I understood. I feel like, even when I manage to get through the reading (sometimes I only have two days for 200-300 pages), I don’t understand what the novel means. And all this modernism/postmodernism stuff is way over my head. I hate theory. It didn’t help that we discussed postmodernism in ARHU. I sort of understand where he was going, but not really. I managed to speak up in discussion, finally. I didn’t do the reading for my Honors seminar, but I got through class. Astro lab was horrid again. We did naked-eye observations this week, but it was even colder than last week with the telescopes. It’s so unfair that the clearest nights are necessarily the coldest. I got a ride back, so I went to the Incon for food and shower gel. I studied, as usual, then went outside to start my independent astro lab.

Wednesday: I forgot my astro homework — this time for discussion — again! I was ticked off all during class, especially because zeroes are not going to help my grade in that class. Workshop was fun. I invited Greg to Sign Language Club. He was late, but now he has far less negativity toward ASL. It is so not dumb. Then I watched the last fifteen minutes of American Dreams before I studied. How could they move it to Wednesdays at 8? That’s the Smallville slot, and I already had to stop watching that in favor of SLC. And I don’t even have a VCR anymore, so I couldn’t tape it if I wanted to. Meg gave the shortest graduation speech I’ve ever heard of, but I still enjoy the show. The music is fabulous.

Thursday: After going to bed super-late (around 2:30), I slept in for about an hour. It was nice. Lit was not so nice. I never managed to finish the book, so I had absolutely nothing to say during discussion. But seriously, how am I supposed to read four hundred pages in a week, with all my other work? If this is what being an English (education) major is like, the rest of my college work is going suck a lot. Greg and I went to see The Taming of the Shrew in CSPAC. We randomly wound up with tickets right next to Crazy Mike, which was nifty. That interpretation of the play was nice. The costuming was weird, and the ending was totally different, but I enjoyed it.

Today, I went to see Greg again after astro lecture. He watched The Chronicles of Riddick; I wasn’t really paying attention. He can have a turn choosing which movie to watch, but I don’t have to like it. I did another Honors session for the Open House. It was much better this time — the students (and parents…) actually had questions. And I got to have Sicilian pizza at South Campus: arguably the best dining hall food at UMD. I came back after that, got online, and sent my first e-buddy letters. And now I’m going to eat.

One more week to spring break. Then I can… start in on my spring break work. Bleh.

There Must Be a Better Way

Friday Five
No thinking allowed! Write down the first answers that pop into your head:

1 thing that’s on your mind right now: I have way too much work to do.
2 songs you like: Breathe (2 a.m.), Follow Through (sung by Gavin Degraw and Anna Nalick)
3 things that make you angry: school, sometimes Greg, clumps of gross hair left in the shower drain
4 things that make you happy: chocolate, friends, getting work done, sleep
5 people who have made a big impact on your life: Greg, Jenny, Ms. Drago, my mom, God

Wow. Spring break is in two weeks. That’s the middle of the semester.

Where does the time go?

Saturday: I don’t remember what I did. Probably lots of sitting around, some studying, the usual. ‘Cause I’m so interesting like that.

Sunday: I went to church alone since Sara was working on a paper. I went to confession beforehand, so now I’m reconciled with the Church (God and I made up long ago). It was weird, being alone all morning. Lonely. There’s a girl who posted about mass in the UMD LJ community, and I offered to walk with her tomorrow. It’s a long way to the chapel, and it’s nice to have a buddy for the walk.

Monday: Another snow day. I was so convinced it wouldn’t happen. Sunday night I’d given up on work, figuring I’d just be unprepared if we had school. I woke up at my normal time, shuffled across the room to check the UMD site, double-checked the calendar to make sure it was the right date, then went back to bed. I worked that day, finishing the things I’d skipped the night before. I managed to conquer my women’s studies reading for the whole week; usually I have to finish it on Sunday just before Monday morning discussion.

Tuesday: Back to class. It was hard after such a long weekend. I finished my laundry well before I had to leave for class, which was a relief. After that, I came home to eat. I rushed out the door and walked all the way to Susquehanna to meet with my workshop teacher for my presentation Wednesday. I was so uncomfortable; I hate analyzing poetry, and I kept my coat on to be able to leave ASAP. After the meeting, I rushed back to CSPAC for class. I was about five minutes late, very tired, and sweaty. I was walking so fast for so long, my knee spasmed a few times on the last stretch to CSPAC. Buffy class was okay. I got an A and lots of good comments on my writing assignment, but I was still quiet during discussion. I have trouble with discussion most of the time. I try, but sometimes it’s hard to jump in there and make a good point. Next week, we’re discussing something related to airdate delays. When I saw all but the last three (?) seasons, I was in Germany. I got all the episodes basically back-to-back. Might be another quiet discussion for Lindsay. Astro lab was cold. Literally. We finally got to go outside for observations. We were all freezing by the time we got back inside though. It was so cold, my hands were red. My group actually didn’t finish, but our lovely TA let us quit to finish some other time. Yay for her.

Wednesday: I was in a bad mood from the start. I was late out the door, and then, once I got to astro lecture, I realized I’d left my homework in the dorm. We have to turn it in at the beginning of lecture because they give out the solutions as we leave, so I was just out. Now, not only do I have to do every other homework, but they all have to be good. (We get to drop the lowest; that one will be what I drop.) I spent at least three hours total working on that homework, and I got zero credit for it. I was pissed. I revised my paper for my workshop presentation, just barely leaving in time to eat before class. I had to do the reading while I ate. I think my presentation went okay. She didn’t ask anything I couldn’t answer; my biggest presentation fear is that I’ll look like I don’t know anything. Women’s studies lecture felt shorter than usual. My professor brought up a mythological reason for control of women’s sexuality: Pandora’s box. The argument was that, once Pandora “opened” her “box”, all the pain and suffering was released onto the world. Sounds like crap to me. The video we watched was interesting, though. Ever notice how, when boys are violent, the media rants about “kids killing kids”, but when a girl does the same thing, they wonder what’s happening to the women? Sign Language Club was interesting. We did colors and clothing. I modeled in an odd fashion show.

Yesterday: I slept in a little. We analyzed poetry in my lit class, which is so unfair. I already have a poetry class. We discussed in groups, which was a nice change from lecture with a “usual suspects” discussion. I accidentally didn’t do the reading for my honors seminar, but it turned out to not be an issue. I spent two hours IMing Greg, then ate dinner with Sara and some floormates. After that, I studied straight for my astro exam. I got distracted for a while talking to Guy and Megha, but then I kept studying. On the way to bed, I was distracted by the Internet and chatting in the bathroom, but I got to bed around 1 a.m. It’s sad when that’s relatively early. There were five guys in the hall talking to Caryn, my neighbor, so I eavesdropped while I fell asleep.

This morning, I got up at the right time, but something managed to leave the building ten minutes late. I rushed into the Diner and scarfed a bagel, then fast-walked with Jonathan to astro. I joined the clump of students in the lobby while we waited to be let into the lecture hall for the exam. I’m not sure how I did. I must have spent too much time on the multiple-choice section, because I had to rush through the last question to be able to finish when the professor called time. Scary. I went to visit Greg for a while. We talked; he made me lunch. Then I went to Anne Arundel to be part of a student panel for the open house. We didn’t actually do much. I came back to the dorm, then left again for Anne Arundel. I’ve volunteered to be Honors E-Buddy. I get to bother admitted minority students about answering questions and such. Less intrusive than phone calls, but same purpose.

I’ve pretty much been sitting around since then. Not good, since I have to catch up on this week’s Diamondback (though some days it makes me want to cry). I also have a bunch of work to do, just like every weekend. There must be a better way to do this school thing and get good grades. Everyone else isn’t running themselves into the ground.

Argh.

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