Here’s the Friday Five: Firsts
1. First time you cooked for someone else? I make dinner for my family every now and then. The first time was probably after we moved into our current house, so maybe three or four years ago.
2. First time you threw up in someone else’s toilet? Eww. Never.
3. First time you did anything illegal? I’m so straight-edge it hurts. I drive over the speed limit, but that’s about it. (And it’s not even that far over.)
4. First time you saw snow/the ocean (whichever is more exotic)? I don’t remember. It snows every winter in Maryland, and I went to the beach fairly often when I was younger. Darnit, a memory f5. I lose at this.
5. First thought when I say “crumple-horned snorcack”? Luna! Second thought: That is so misspelled. Third thought: Hogwarts is Home, the HP LJ community I belong to. I also just found this HBP spoilery comic there. That is exactly what I thought when I reflected on that scene.
The first retreat committee meeting was moved to tomorrow, so I went to Mass at St. Ignatius with my mom and Ryan on Sunday. We went to Iverson Mall afterward, where I got new shoes. I haven’t had new everyday shoes in a very long time, so they make me quite happy. We ate at Wendy’s, where I was reminded that I’m not a big fan of chocolate ice cream or things resembling it.
I really cannot remember what I did on Monday. It was my last chance to sleep in before break ended, so I did. I spent the day gathering things together for the trip back to campus and generally wasting time. I woke up and watched some cartoons, feeling fine, but by the end of the day, I had a full-blown cold. I felt like crap. I managed to sneeze within about fifteen seconds of blowing my nose, and my left eye was watery all day.
I had to wake up early Tuesday morning, which didn’t seem fair because classes didn’t start until the next day. My dad was expecting the pest control guy by 10am, though, so I decided I should be dressed by then. My cold was basically gone, which was a great relief. I finished my laundry and crammed everything into bags, then my dad drove me back to campus. It was weird coming back after being away so long. I have this strange sensation now where the concept of home is being blown apart. Reminds me a little of Garden State. If I’m out on campus, when I say I’m “going home,” I mean my dorm room about as often as I mean my family’s house. At least they’re in the same state, the same county; my situation isn’t as rough as Sara’s or Andrew’s. But when I go home (there it is again) over break, I don’t take everything. So many times over those five weeks, I reached up to my bookshelf for my dictionary, only to remember that I’d left it in the dorm. So as we drove onto campus, I wasn’t sure if I was leaving home or going back to it.
Maura was on her way out when my dad and I finished bringing my things up from the car. I had to pick up my books and deposit some checks, so Hana went with me. I met her out between our dorms, where she gave me one of her awesome running-start hugs. She said she jumped on Andrew. Not missing a beat, I asked if he’d caught her. She said yes. The walk to the Book Exchange was infinitely better with such great company. There were a billion people there, and the line was really long, but we made it out in a reasonable amount of time. We hiked all the way back up to the bank in the Union before we came back around to our dorms. I’ve always wondered what would happen if I totaled (that word looks weird) the amount of my checks wrong. Would I have to write it over, or could they credit it with the wrong numbers I wrote?
Dinner was lovely. It got weird eating alone while watching tv at home, or even with my family, instead of forty-five people my age. (I’ve decided that “forty-five” is my new way of referring to large groups.) Diner food was appropriately unappealing, and we set a new record for Most People at One Table: twelve. We filled up a whole table in the upstairs room of South Campus Diner. I’m not quite sure who some of the guys at the other end were, but I knew at least ten of my dinner companions. Good times. I went over to Sara’s room to watch American Idol with Rebecca, Hana, and her. I don’t usually watch American Idol, but I didn’t feel like sitting around in my room any more than I had to. And they had some amazing singers, so it was all good.
I was tired from getting up early to move and unpacking, so I was in bed by about 11:30. Crazy. I had to get up before the sun, though, for breakfast before Spanish class. Maura was still asleep when I left. I was pleased to discover how much Spanish I retained over break despite not reading or speaking it at all. I hate speaking Spanish anyway. My teacher is from Minnesota, which is a big change from Argentinian Laura last semester. I found out I can reuse my book, which I kept, and don’t have to pay for access to the online stuff again. Yay for spending less money.
After Spanish, I had an hour of downtime, so sat the front part in McKeldin to work on discussion notes for the Scholars Program (the class I’m “teaching”). Ly came up to me, which was nice, and I think I saw Tim, but he didn’t see me. Then I went to Susquehanna for Shakespeare class. I called Hana, hoping she was already up, which she was. I was so proud. Leinwand seems like the cool guy Hana said he was, and I generally like Shakespeare, so I think I’m going to enjoy that class. I’ll enjoy it even more if Hana comes to class to keep me company during lecture. We had lunch with Sara, Rebecca, Andrew, and Ana afterward.
We sat around forever, as usual, then I went over to Cole Fieldhouse to kill some time before my Scholars Program meeting. I was there first, also as usual. Alice brought us cookies, though, so I felt better. (I have to start eating better, though, Diner food notwithstanding.) They got a much lower enrollment than they expected, so I have two fewer classes to teach. And I still get paid the same. After the meeting, Liz and Akshay mentioned how, when they told their friends about Scholars, they’d complained. Usually, they make you pay for student teaching instead of paying you, yet we’re getting paid despite lack of experience. I love it. I don’t, however, love having to lead the introductory discussion next week. What if they don’t have anything to say? I have some notes, but I’ve never really led a discussion before. I’m excited and scared out of my mind. Remind me why I chose teaching as my career?
I had one more class Wednesday afternoon, British Lit. The class was way too full, and I knew so many people in it, but I already knew I wouldn’t be able to stay. The Scholars Program is 1-2:30 on Wednesdays, but the window is too small to get back from Severna Park in time for class. I wanted to take it so much, but I knew the time crunch those days would kill me. I stressed over it so much, but I gave it up in the end.
I went to Mass Wednesday night. It was good to see Father Bill again. Dinners don’t start until next week, so I met up with The 4400 afterward. It was so incredibly cold that night, I half-ran back from the CSC. This crazy weather is blowing my mind a little bit. Most of us camped out in the blonde boys’ room to watch the end of Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, during which I demonstrated my mad skills, and another episode of American Idol. I didn’t plan on staying out that long, but we were experimenting with what I have termed “social inertia”: once we get together and get somewhere, we are incredibly resistant to getting up and going home. It’s not being lazy; it’s a social science experiment (pun pun pun).
Thursday morning there was more Spanish, then another hour of downtime before African-American Lit. I read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 138 in McKeldin, then went back to Susquehanna. It seems like it’ll be an okay class, and Liz is in it. I had a feeling someone I knew would show up there and call my name. Not five seconds later, Liz did just that. My intuition is scary lately. I had lunch with Hana, Sara, and Andrew (I think; so many meals with so many combinations of friends is not good for my bad memory).
I had my first education class after that, Adolescent Development. The class was absolutely full of people, but I got there early, so I was fine. The professor did the standard syllabus overview, then decided to fill some more time by telling us about himself. He’s seventy-four years old and on his third marriage, so his oldest daughter is in her fifties while his youngest daughter is seventeen. And that’s not even the extent of the strange things he had to say. But I kind of like him. I have a theory that older people are polarized. Once you’ve lived that long, you have to decide whether you want to be nice or mean, ’cause you don’t have time left to play around anymore. We also talked about what “adolescent” means. Scholars and that class are weird for me, because I don’t feel like an adult. My parents still claim me on their taxes. I don’t feel like an adolescent per se, so I’m not quite sure what I am. Perhaps I’ll be able to figure it out after this class.
Sara talked me into going to Adele’s with Hana, Andrew, Scott, Dan, Ana, and her. I had thought about going to Mass that evening, but she took all the people I would have wanted to meet for dinner afterward, so I gave in. The food was good as usual. The company was fabulous. I made it back through the cold, cold wind in time for Smallville. It was such an amazing episode. The teaser literally made my jaw drop. I IM’ed Guy while I watched it, and he forgot it was coming on, so when I sent him “ARE YOU WATCHING? OH MY GOSH!” after the teaser, I imagine he thought I’d finally fallen over the edge. Clark pretty much ruined his life in that one.
It was hard to get up Friday morning to face the American Lit class I picked up to replace British Lit. It’s right after Spanish, so I have ten minutes to get from Jimenez to Susquehanna, which I’m pretty sure I can do unless it blizzards on me. But when I found the room yesterday, the class inside seemed well underway, so I hung outside for a minute, thinking the previous class was running late. Another guy showed up and walked right in, so I awkwardly followed and found a seat. Not a great start. Then I realized the professor was assigning oral presentations (already!), so I was even less comfortable. As he started discussing why “American” probably isn’t the best term for literature before 1810 (which is what the class is about), I had the distinct feeling that everyone in that class (except one guy I recognized from 301 and 280 last semester, who answered a question mostly incorrectly) is older and smarter than I am. It’s a 400-level class, which I didn’t think would be an issue, but now I’m worried it will be. I hate scheduling. It was really hard to get the gap I needed for the Scholars Program, and now I don’t think that American Lit class was the best idea to leave that gap. And Brit Lit was full with a waitlist, so I’m definitely not going to be able to get back in.
Plus, I already switched books. I dragged the books for Brit Lit back down to the Book Exchange to return them and buy the one for American Lit, then went over to Vertigo Books for AA Lit. It was a cute little bookstore. I have no problems with independent bookstores, but I keep getting giftcards to the big chain bookstores, so for now, that is where I will shop.
A few hours after I got back from book shopping (that walk is killer!), I went to dinner with Hana, Sara, Rebecca, Andrew, Scott, and Seth; Guy showed up later. All of us except Andrew went to see Rent at the Hoff. We got there early, so Scott and Seth geeked out over Sudoku while we waited. The movie was really food. Those actors are all amazing singers. I had heard the film recording when Sara drove to RennFest, so “Leap of Faith” had made no sense. But when I saw Idina Menzel sing it in the movie, I understood what it was about and why she’d chosen to do it live. I imagine it’d be really hard to lip-sync a crazy performance art song like that one. Sara cried through most of the movie, but she wouldn’t take the tissue I tried to give her.
We wound up back at the blond boys’ again after the movie. We played Boggle in the basement lounge for a while. Sara beat me, but I came in a respectable cumulative second. We had to switch to Go Fish when Boggle got cutthroat. (There weren’t enough chips for poker, anyway, so it doesn’t matter that I don’t know how to play and don’t really want to learn.) At some point, the others decided they wanted ice cream, so we crammed into Sara’s car to drive to McDonald’s. Sara was behind the wheel, obviously. Guy shared the passenger seat with Rebecca, basically warping his spine. I sat between the blond boys in the back, with Seth lying across the three of us. (I’m cracking up just remembering it!) Scott took a picture of me and Andrew, each looking very uncomfortable under our respective thirds of Seth. Andrew and I climbed (I chose that word very carefully) out once we got to McDonald’s to make the drive-thru trip less ridiculous. Sara thought it would be very funny to drive off, leaving us outside while she made a U-turn at the next light and came back. Then she discovered that she couldn’t make a U-turn at that light. So she was hitting every red light as I was waiting, slightly annoyed, for them to come back around, because I knew they would eventually. Rebecca tried to call me, but my ringer was too quiet, so I called her back, and Guy started telling us how to walk back to his apartment. Sara eventually made it back down and we rearranged for the trip back. Rebecca sat on the tray between the front seat so Guy’s spine could get unmangled, and Seth sat on Scott’s lap. (Sara actually had a much better/raunchier way of putting it, but you get the idea.)
We piled out again over at Wicomico and watched random Google videos for a while with Hana, then she and I walked back and I went to bed. I woke up about an hour before my alarm, but I refused to get up, so I laid around until it went off, then got up to get dressed for shopping. I had breakfast (never brunch) with Sara and Rebecca, then we went to the Book Exchange and Target. We picked up Sara’s friend Grace and went to a cute little art supply store in Silver Spring. There were a bazillion people there, and Sara and Grace each spent over $100 on supplies for their art class, but I was happy to be an extra pair of hands to hold giant clipboards and newsprint pads.
I intended to get started on my reading before dinner, but I was distracted by email and Jack Chick until dinner. We managed to fit tonight’s group around a round table, but just barely. Everyone else went ice skating, but I knew I had work to do, and it’s a personal rule that I only go out one night of the weekend, especially when that one night gets me in bed at 3am.
In closing, I love my friends, I think I’m gonna hate that American Lit class, and The Merchant of Venice is a pretty cool play.