Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Official Book Club Selection

As I might have mentioned a time or two, I'm a big believer in reading. The problem is I, like many other people, am kinda tortured by having to pick out books. I can sit in Barnes & Noble for over and hour and leave without a single thing. My biggest fault is probably my incessant judgement of any and all covers. I am a walking aphoristic delinquent. I will look at a book with a silly or obtuse cover and discard it despite it's countless accolades and recommendations.

Really, I only listen to one person's opinions when it comes to literature...

When thinking of what a friend means, most people would probably say that a friend is someone who accepts for who you are, despite your differences or faults. Alex is not one of those friends. Now don’t get me wrong, I count her among the people I value most, but Alex is in a league of her own. Upon first encountering her, most people find the sudden urge to run very fast and very far away. Standing at a whopping 6 foot 1 inches, she is an Amazon, a Spanish/Puerto Rican Amazon with Jackie Joyner-Kersee fingernails. Instead of wielding a crossbow and gladiator sandals, Alex is more likely to be armed with a sordid array of blackmail and type of bitchiness that can burn holes into your skull. This is why I so adore her. All of the aforementioned facts are the reasons that prove that I can trust Alex's recommendations of any novel.

Our most favorite book EVER....
Alex's most recent favorable mention is of a book entitled "Little Bee." I'm about halfway through and so far, so great. The author, Chris Cleave, does an amazing job of injecting an impossibly realistic personal voice into the main characters. I can't really tell you what "Little Bee" is about, but I can tell you it's totally worth picking up.

The blurb on the back cover is obscure, but it reads...
"This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again - the story starts there ... Once you have read it, you'll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds. "
How can you not love that?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Reading Between the Lines.

Today, during my 3 hour Clinical Teaching class we discussed our upcoming internships! I was really, really excited to learn about the cool things I may be able to observe, but our lecture turned out to be a Q&A between a student and a professor that went something like this...

Professor: ...."So, does any one have any questions on what to expect during your observation?"

Student: (Craning hand so high in the air her ass has actually left her seat)

Professor: "Yes, Ms. Who-shall-not-be-named,-in fear-that-the D.E.A.-may-drag-you-into-custody-before-the-week-is-over."

Student: "So, I was just wondering... will the school that I have requested to attend do a background check on me?"

Professor: "Oh, probably not. Maybe when you do your final student teaching in a few semesters or start looking for a job. Okay, any other quest----

Same Student: "Yeah, but let's say that they do ask for one, hypothetically. Will I legally be obligated to submit to a background check?"

Professor: Well, if they do ask for one, then yes. But trust me when I say that no school will require a background check for 8 days of observation. Okay? Okay. So class, next week please remember that...."

Student: "What about drug testing? I mean, what are the schools' policy on that?"

*I should note that by that point, I have literally started crying from laughter. Tears. Real tears.*

Professor: (Blissfully unaware of any impending implications from said student) "I wouldn't worry about it!"

Student: "Awesome! So to get this straight, at no time will I be asked to pee in a cup, give a blood test, or have my car searched?"...........

And just think.... These are the future teachers of your children!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bird Droppings.

People always say that when a birdie leaves a little gift on your shoulder you should consider it a sign of good luck. I wonder what people would say to this?........

For years, I've had this wrought iron birdcage connected to a chain that hangs from my ceiling above my bed. It's seriously been there for years, (at least a decade) and it's always been a staple item in my bedroom. Well, the other night, I fell asleep pretty much as soon as my head hit the pillow. I was EXHAUSTED after a long, long day of class and work, and I literally don't even remember if I had set my alarm or not. But that was okay because at 4 in the morning, I was rudely awakened when all of a sudden, something hard and heavy fell on my head. I was so disoriented, all I could do was freak out and get in a fist fight with my sheets and this object that had fallen from the sky. Then, naturally, I assumed that I was being bludgeoned to death by the Fist of God. Just like any normal person would, of course.

After much swearing and stumbling for my light-switch, it turned out that my damn birdcage had somehow unbolted itself from my ceiling and decided to crash-land squarely where my head was resting. Awesome. Really awesome.

You can run, but you can't hide...

Thank God I sleep on my stomach, because the lump on the back of my neck probably wouldn't have looked so hot on my lip. Now I have to figure out how to replace the newly-vacated area with something that won't try to kill me in the middle of the night. Hanging fluffy, non-lethal cloud by fishing wire?..... Perhaps.

Oh yeah, and when I finally managed to crawl back into bed, I remembered to set my alarm... Aren't I "lucky?"

Holy SMOEkes

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.” - 1 John 1:7
Every Summer, since the summer after 6th grade, I've been a member of Camp Emmanuel. For those of you who don't know, Camp Emmanuel is the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver's summer camp. It's open to kids from the age from middle school to the Summer after senior year of high-school.  CE is not just some activity filled week; it's a week of intense spiritual reflection and dedication. The thing that keeps me coming back every year is something that is hard to obtain in your day-to-day life. There is a profound sense of fellowship, which, in turn, fortifies your relationship with God.  It's not often that you get a whole week to devote to your own spiritual health, and when you grow in Christ, it becomes easier for those around you to do the same.

The past three Summers I have been attending CE as an advisor. It's basically one of the best weeks of the year. This past June, I had the distinct honor of being placed in THE BEST CABIN EVER! Our cabin was named after St. Mary of Egypt, (SMOE for short) and we basically had the time of our lives. My two fellow counselors are dear friends of mine, and we like to consider ourselves the "Big-Three" of camp.

This actually took me a long time, okay...
Between some awesome sessions with our hilarious and devoted clergy, and really fun activities, we had plenty of time for many an inside joke to be created. From arranges, bunk takeovers, to "I think there is a seed in your hair," to beeeeeeescuits, to mess day, we've created a bond that's inseparable. Peace, love, and SMOE forever.

Mess Day - I'm in there somewhere!

Here's to all the Camp Emmanuel sessions of the past, and to many more in the future!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ride or Die

This has always been a stressful time of the year for me. School is starting, the Tulsa Greek Festival is creeping up on me, work is still work, and most of all..... September is the last month of the regular baseball season. I live for the Red Sox, but I would die for them too.

This season, however, is looking grim. Soxtober is 34 games away, but right now we are 6 games behind the Yanks and the Rays... Ugh, I forgot how crappy this feels. You pour your heart and soul into a team that doesn't even know you exist. Regardless, you end up screaming at the T.V. like you're Terry Francona on a meth binge.

Before a game

Basically, for all you non-sports types, that means that we (and by we, I mean they) have to play our asses off. As in... We're pretty much screwed. Wicked screwed. Screwed like a light bulb in a socket.

My old college roommate can attest to how high-strung I would get watching a ball game. She couldn't tell you where home plate was to save her life, but she knew to retreat to her room before the 3rd inning... and by the 6th inning she would often come out again to make sure I was still alive, and to hide all the sharp objects. I owe her. That year, in 2008, when the Sox lost to the Rays in the ALCS, I didn't get out of bed the whole next day. It was pathetic. I don't even remember last year, if that tells you anything.

Sox fans are fickle creatures. Basically we are good at 4 things...
1. Loving the game
2. Bitching about the game
3. Losing.... and until the past 5 years...
4. Winning by the skin of our teeth

After the Game
So if by some miracle, orchestrated by the likes of ol' Teddy Williams and God, we happen to make it to the postseason, you will be sure to hear me moaning and groaning about it. Win or Lose.

Book Worm

"She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape."  - Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient)

If you hadn't already read so, I'm a bit of a reader. I wish I read more for pleasure now than I do, but schoolwork and work-work take up a lot of my time. Nevertheless, I still read and re-read books all the time. I love to pick up a book that I've already read and added to my library, and open it to a certain section or quote and pick apart every subtlety. Reading is so cathartic for me, but in the weirdest ways.... Every time I read something that sticks with me, I obsess over every part of it. The diction, the semantics, the way it rattles around in my head as I read to myself. I love it.

I could never pick a favorite book. Doing so would seem so blasphemous to all the authors I love. However, To this day, my favorite quote from any book I have ever read is by Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient, among other masterpieces. I'm sure you've heard of or seen the movie, (which I also love) but the book is so... so... I can't even put it into words. It truly is nothing like the film, and I hate to see it being thought of as some matronly, 90's love story. As we all know, a movie can never do a novel justice. Every time I re-read it and turn the last page, I feel an odd sense of inherit sadness. I'll rub my thumb down the spine and stare at the back cover as if the story might continue if I look long enough. It's odd how much of myself I can put into other people's words. Words I could never say out loud. I hope his words conjure up the same images for you as they do for me.
Here is my favorite bit... similar to the monologue in the film, but not quite identical.
"We die containing the richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves. I wish for all this to be marked on my body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography- to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience. All I desired was to walk upon such an earth that had no maps"
Ah, I couldn't have said it better myself. Truly.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First of Many

Well, here I am. 21 years old and feeling like I could be 81. It's a wonder I've gone this long without making some effort as to writing down the things that flutter around in my mind. There will be no theme or congruence to my posts, except this; they are all musing about my observations and life. Who am I, you might ask? I'm a elementary education student who loves my friends and family, dogs, winter, and literature. I have a love affair with language. Sometimes I will read my favorite books over and over and over again just to hear the sound of the words in my own head. It's ridiculous, really. That being said, there is a distinct chance that these oh-so-modern bloggings of mine might never actually be read by anyone.... Maybe that's a good thing, but at least I'm finally putting the proverbial pen to paper! Here goes nothing...

I hope you enjoy!