.

.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

This I Believe #8

Same as last week, please post your essay here before class on Tuesday. Please also remember to bring a printed copy of your essay to class and be prepared to read it aloud.

41 comments:

  1. “I’m late! I’m late! I’m late for a very important date!”

    Rush in. Rush out. Hurry up. Let’s go. Get going. Faster. Tick tock. One thing ends- another begins.

    Every day seems to go by faster and faster. The constant rushing in life brings so much wear and tear on my body, and I very rarely have moments to stop- much less slow down. The monotony gets old, and the realization that my life is now a fourth of the way over has already begun to settle. Where did the time go?

    I get up, brush my teeth, comb my hair, go to class, sit down, get up, eat, do homework, and go to sleep, only to wake up the next morning and do it all over again. This is the basic skeleton of a schedule I have been living not only as a college student, but also since preschool. Where did the time go?

    Time is such a valuable asset to life that constantly gets taken for granted- even by me. I will put off things as if I have time to do them later and continue to add more and more to my ever-piling schedule. However, the one thing that I don’t ever seem to add is time for myself. Where did the time go?

    Something that I am realizing more and more is that I need to start having more “me time.” My unforgiving body tells me all the time that I cannot continue these incredibly late nights, forever on the move daytime events, and lack of nutrition because I don’t have it penciled into the schedule. Even my weekends are so busy that I can’t comprehend why they are never as rejuvenating and resetting as other people’s seem to be. Where did the time go?

    The questioning of time keeps running through my head, and as of now, I need to start listening not only to those around me telling me I need a break, but also to my body, which is screaming for help from the stress and neglect. I need to spend more time for me: whether that is going horseback riding, watching TV, enjoying fresh air, coloring in my adult stress relieving coloring book, or even getting a massage. I need to quit treating time as if there is an unlimited supply of it. I need to learn to quit treating myself as if my own time doesn’t matter. I need to start thinking of my health, my sanity, and my stress levels. Overall, I need to just take a step back.

    This past weekend, I took time to sit at a window and watch the rain. I took time to soak in a hot bath. I took time to adhere myself to mindless activity of coloring. I didn’t take time for homework, errands, or lab work. I didn’t take time to be monotonous. I just took time for me, and it felt amazing.

    So, this is my experience, and this past weekend has made me truly realize how much I have on my plate and how much I need to start taking time for myself. Now, I believe in “me time.”

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maybe Hercules needed to be a little more careful when he tried to catch that frisbee when he was clearly aware of his strength and the lack of control he had over it… Someone could have been seriously injured and all because Disney made him, at his 15-ish years of age, not be able to control his muscles. The poor kid just didn’t have the proper means of safety! Honestly I still do not understand what Phil did to teach him how to calculate and be more cautious regarding his strength, but whatever he did I think he should teach me, because I am clumsy, shambly and awkward. I wish I could walk and not have to tie my shoelaces every fifty steps or go down the stairs and not be afraid that I am going to miss the last step, which is right in front of me. I believe in being careful, because I have bumped into table corners, spilled drinks, torn holes in my sweaters, and broken door knobs by turning them too hard. I believe in safety because, even though I have never broken a bone in my body, I have sprained my ankle twice for not being careful and almost lost my eye for caring for the safety of others while disregarding my own. I have learned to be very cautious in the way I carry myself and how I interact with the things around me because one time, when my mom used to teach summer English courses in our backyard, I almost became a pirate. We had a huge lemon tree in the back of our house and since it was so big, we had a handmade hook-pole-thing to grab the ones at the top. During this time of the summer, children would be running around the yard. I feared that one of them would knock down the hook from the wall it rested on and hurt themselves. Therefore, I took said hook and hung it from a tree branch—out of the reach of children. I wish I could call myself brilliant, but as I was placing the lemon-grabber on the tree’s limb, the branch gave up and fell right in my face. All went dark for a few seconds. Panic. Pain. Where is my gosh darn eye? I felt blood oozing from my eye socket; the sticky redness trailing down my fingers as I tried to hold everything in place. I didn’t start crying until some of the kids started running to get my mom, yelling: “Ms. Torres! Annelisa is hurt!” Luckily, the thing didn’t fall out of my head, but I honestly believed that my eye was laying on the floor somewhere. To this day, that moment is so vivid in my head; almost as if I was playing a movie in my mind. I went to the hospital, got cured, and so on. All that’s left from the incident is an involuntary reaction to eyeliner and the strong need to be more careful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It would probably take me twenty hands to count the number of projects that I’ve left unfinished. I’m not talking about those projects that have been assigned to me by other people. I’m talking about that random, spur of the moment crafts that I suddenly decide I want to do. I think I have about 6 unfinished scarves, waiting to be crocheted in my bedroom at home. I get excited when I learn a new hobby and then slowly the excitement fades. Every now and then I think I”ll take up that hobby again, but it never lasts. This also happens with piano. I took piano lessons when I was eleven and I quit by the time I was thirteen. Of course, looking back I regret quitting. I wish I was good at piano and I often think about taking up piano again. However, it costs money to take lessons and I know that a few weeks after I start, the same bothersome feeling of being forced to practise will resurface. Don’t even get me started on the amount of scrapbooks and journals that I’ve tried to complete over the years. I partly blame pinterest. I constantly see new ideas that make me want to follow that old saying--out with the old, in with the new. This is probably a negative attribute to have, but I get tired of things really quickly. I get excited, halfway do a random craft, and then quit when I get bored. But at least I’m striving towards something. If I accomplished everything, what would there be to look forward to? To my parents’ dismay, they will just have to keep storing all of my half knitted balls of yarn because I believe in unfinished projects.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I relate to this on a personal level

      Delete
    2. Well, I would love to have one of your unfinished scarves...if you ever finished one :)

      Delete
  4. As a child growing up my family took a vacation almost every year. I was always very excited for our annual trips however we always just went to the beach. However as a kid the beach was always exciting and I looked forward to all of the traditions we had for our vacations since we usually always traveled to the same beach and stayed in the same condos. Aside from our yearly beach trips I never really traveled many other places prior to college other than New York City and Georgia a few times to visit family. Upon entering college and meeting friends that had traveled to a lot of cool places I became very curious about traveling to new places. The end of my freshman year I got to go visit my brother in his new home in Los Angeles, California and on this trip my mom and I also ventured down to Las Vegas to visit some other friends. This trip confirmed my new found love of traveling.
    The following year I was lucky enough to go abroad for May term to Costa Rica. Although it was a school trip and had a pretty strict schedule, I was amazed by all of the things we go to do and see. Since my trip to Costa Rica I have been back to California, attended a few other beach trips, been to Boston, Nashville, new city in Georgia, and worked in Wyoming. At the end of this week I will be in Kona, Hawaii. Two of my best friends and me are going there for spring break and have a huge list of all we want to do see. I am so excited to get out and see new things. This summer I will also be back in Wyoming with plans to drive back to Kentucky at the end of August with one of my friends. With all of these trips I have been on throughout the last few years I can say I officially love to explore. Being in new places and seeing new things brings an unexplained joy to my life. I plan to never stop exploring and to hopefully travel more outside of the United States. This I believe in adventure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are in Hawaii as I am reading your essay in Florida--like you, I believe in travel and adventure.

      Delete
  5. This I believe that I am frustrated. It is a momentary thing that won’t last past tonight—if it makes it that far. The weary buzz behind my eyes and the dark circles underneath them are real. The congestion in my head leaves everything around me more dull than it really is. At this point, there is only one end goal: sleep.
    But sleep will not happen until later tonight once homework is finished, a work study meeting is over, and a shift at Jimmy John’s has been completed. I will probably pass out while watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on my laptop and have some crazy vivid dream that pertains to the emotional problems in my life. Then I’ll wake up at 10AM to get ready for another shift at Jimmy John’s and I will be able to continue on.
    But right now, I am frustrated. With myself mostly. As I walk around campus with my headphones on, I can feel people staring at me; my social anxiety escalating at a college where the social hierarchy rests on what sorority or fraternity you’re in. I will snack lightly today and call it a meal because if I eat too much, the digestion process could hurt. The never ending feeling that I am running out of time fuels my every move.
    To get me through this frustration though, I have friends that care. They take me driving late at night and we chit-chat and watch the countryside fade away. They know that I think that keeping up appearances is complete and utter bullshit, that there is nothing wrong with having a bad day so they hold me and feed me fried foods and we watch mindless television.
    Sure, I am constantly and will forever be running out of time to finish my homework, meet up with people, talk to my family, it is fine because there will be ‘me’ time in the future. I think a lot that I am not cut out for college but that is not the case—I am not cut out to hustle, especially on anyone’s terms that aren’t my own. But I will finish college and compared to most, I don’t have it that bad. I am in a bad mood and needed to vent.
    I am so frustrated with society and its institutions that oppress most and elevate only a select few. Social injustice gets me fired up and on days when I don’t have energy, getting angry and amped up about these things keeps me going because I know that one day, I have to help fix these discrepancies or at least motivate people to try and step out of their social class, though I know that it is nearly impossible.
    Despite all of this I do believe that frustration helps me to get shit done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the second essay this week about the need for "me" time... Glad you have good friends, Josie!

      Delete
  6. I believe that freedom is one of the most precious thing for humanity. I went to an international high school and during my senior year, there was a kid who transferred from a school in Syria to mine. His experience was totally different from everyone else I met. He told me the story of how he came to the United States for freedom. There was a war between the government and the anti-government of Syria and his parents were part of the anti-government group. He was not allowed to go to school anymore in Syria because of his parents. He was frightened and afraid everyday in that country. The society was such a chaos at that time. He could not just walk out of the place he lived in because he might even get killed from doing that. He told me that the government put handcuffs on his hands and sent him to a jail a couple times because of his parent’s actions, and he got beat up in the jail. He could not do anything in his country, so the only thing he wanted was just freedom.
    To be free, he applied for a passport and a visa to come to the United States. He thought he would not be able to get them. However, he was lucky enough to get approved to come to the States. The moment he got his passport with the visa on it, he realized that he was finally free.
    He told me that now he could not go back to his home, and he did not know how much longer he needed to stay in the States, but he said that at least he is free now, and freedom means so much for him. I never realized that how important freedom is until that story. I can always do whatever I want to do and go to anywhere I want to go. I am thankful for having the freedom and I believe that freedom is one of the most important things humanity can offer to all.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I Believe In Short Hair. Alternatively titled, the Reason I Didn’t Walk to the Plantory


    Up until the summer before my senior year of high school I kept my hair right around shoulder length. I then decided to grow it out. I’m not sure how long it got, but it was long. I had never learned how to do anything to my hair so my friends would French braid it for me. It parted naturally in the middle, so I always let it fall that way, even though people would tease me for it.

    In a need to reclaim my identity amidst a toxic situation, I cut my hair short in January after that summer. It was a classic pixie cut, and I was excited about it. As my hair fell to the floor, I felt no anxiety, and I realized I was 0% attached to my hair.

    I continued to go shorter and shorter.

    Last Wednesday I got a hair cut. I was itching for one. If my hair gets much past my ears I get anxious. I don’t feel like myself. I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied till I shave it all off but I haven’t mustered up the courage.

    On Wednesday Franklin dropped me off at the hair place and went on to class. I wore shoes I hadn’t worn before, receiving several compliments from the women working at the salon. Two hours later franklin wasn’t out of class so I took a walk downtown. I sent him a text to tell him I was walking, and my phone died. My feet then started bleeding.

    I ended up in a store to charge my phone. I felt so guilty for asking to borrow her outlet I ended up buying a necklace from her so she didn’t think I was taking advantage of her small-business kindness. I’ve worn it frequently since then.

    A week and a half later, my feet are still bleeding.

    I’m already thinking about trimming my hair again. I want to learn to do it myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too believe in short hair. And in purchasing a necklace so a small-business owner would benefit from my being in her store. I don't believe in bleeding feet.

      Delete
    2. I'll always cut your hair when you need it! I'll teach you how to do it yourself too :)

      Delete
    3. I love your hair cuts so much

      Delete
  8. Tossing a gelatinous fistful of untenable tadpole eggs to Jed, I ducked to avoid catching it all in my face. Atomized by the smooth surface of our driftwood bat, the tadpole jelly sprayed into my hair. We spent hours hatching a plan to market our invention: a natural product that holds summertime hair into near weaponized spikes and mohawks.

    I have not counted the heaps of money I lost because I failed to develop a business plan lasting longer than it took to find a dime in the street. Because the two-stick lime-flavored Hershey’s popsicles that fueled my money lust only cost ten cents, it was hard to sustain a commitment long enough to solve the challenges of packaging and distribution. I am still to convince a single person to put their pomade aside long enough to try tadpole jelly. Most cannot see past the sadness contained in a still-labeled jam jar full of unfertilized frog eggs. Capitalizing on this sadness and sensitivity to the loss of an animal—even when the animal is actually 300 unborn frogs—is the foundation to my most well considered and detailed business plan yet: bronzing pets.

    Popularized over 2000 years ago by men wise enough to scrape the hardened sap from weeping trees, Frankincense and Myrrh are, like tadpole eggs, more ephemeral than gold. Bronze is not. Like gold, bronze can be melted and cast into any form. The amount of gold one can purchase with the coin earned in a single week is barely heavy enough to make a paperweight. The same coin purchases enough bronze to make a doorstop.

    After passing through all nine of their lives, even the bravest of cats die. The bodies of our lost feline friends burn, just as baby shoes do. Bronzed baby shoes (regular baby shoes submerged into a plaster mold, burnt out in a kiln, and recreated by filling the now empty mold with molten metal) are often mounted and made into book ends. Because a single bronzed baby shoe can hold up heavy books, it is safe to assume a bronzed cat can hold open a door against all but the most tornadic of springtime winds.

    Hair gels, even those produced as floating nurseries for frogs, lose their value as advanced age reduces our desire to shape and style locks into veritable date or mate traps. A loved cat’s body cast in bronze doesn’t ever diminish in value. Your beautiful Tiger is even more beautiful in bronze. She no longer demands attention, claws your loveseat, or wets the carpet. Instead, she awaits your return by the door. Your own personal (no longer purring) Fort Knox, Tiger has become an investment. You can rest assured that if ever you need to replenish earthly treasures, a single paw or the tip of her tail cut off and sold would purchase enough Frankincense and Myrrh for two lifetimes.

    I believe I would be rich born two generations earlier when the world was steeped in making visual the act of mourning. Today, folks think I jest when I share my plan for burning out and bronzing dead pets—a process that could work with Uncle Joe as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Teddy, Kurt has an old cat, Basel. I bet Basel will look great in bronze :)

      Delete
  9. I do not believe in Donald Trump. I do believe however, in the threat that he presents to the American people and the rest of the world.
    I remember last year (before all the political excitement had really begun) watching NBC news with my parents when they aired a ridiculous story highlighting Donald Trump’s run for the presidency. This story featured Trump at a rally saying that Mexico was full of rapists and drug dealers, and that they should have to build a wall between our nations. My parents and I laughed in disbelief at his sheer idiocy. We couldn’t believe he could get up there and spout such racist nonsense with a straight face. We all basically laughed it off and didn’t think much more of it.
    That was a long time ago. It now seems like Trump is going to be the Republican nominee and this is downright fucking terrifying. This is one of the most dangerously moronic individuals the world has ever seen, and he is on a fast track to becoming the president. This is a man with no political experience. This is a man who is an advocate of torture and killing the innocent families of terrorists. He has mocked people with physical disabilities and encourages violence against protestors at his rallies. He does not believe in global warming. He refuses to acknowledge that a large percentage of his voters are white supremacists. He wants to ban Muslims from the United States. He has made threats to limit freedom of the press. He claims that outsourcing of jobs is harmful to our economy when he himself has done it in the past. He was born a millionaire and seemingly has no connection to lower class society. He called Bill Clinton one of the great abusers of our nation for having an affair, when he himself has had several. This is clearly a man who will do whatever it takes to become the President. He will make any empty promise, and crush anyone who stands in his way, as long as he gets to sit on the throne.
    To conclude this frightening essay, I’ll quote the 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. “Here’s what I know. Trump is a phony. A fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like this one. He terrifies me

      Delete
    2. You know, even more terrifying is the fact that Trump can run for president only because so many people support his views. This means we live in a country full of Trumps :(

      Delete
  10. I was raised by car enthusiasts. My dad used to be a mechanic at a shop that worked exclusively on European imports. The first car I remember was a beige, diesel Mercedes that sounded like a commercial jet and smelled like an Exxon. The first car I ever drove was a green Honda Element. I loved the feeling of being in control that driving provided, but it wasn’t enough for me. The Element was an automatic and sometimes, especially on hills, it just wouldn’t perform the way I wanted it to. I had grown up riding in cars with manual transmissions. I knew what it was supposed to feel like when you were going up a hill how downshifting gives the car that extra push it needs to make it and I wanted to learn to do that. My mother spent an afternoon trying to teach me how to drive a manual in her beat up Honda Civic in the high school parking lot. We were there for hours but I could never really get the hang of it. Likely because my mother kept screeching and grabbing at the dashboard in front of her like we were rolling to our deaths at 4 miles an hour. That night at dinner my mom told my dad how slowly things had gone and my dad decided to change tactics. The next day, my father’s friend Mike came to pick me up from lacrosse practice in his forest green, standard transmission Mazda Miata. Mike proved to be a much better teacher and in just two hours, I was driving stick on the street. That first time shifting out of first gear is an experience I won’t ever forget. My current vehicle is my mom’s old Civic. It isn’t a fast car, or a nice car, or even a particularly comfortable car but it is a standard and to me that’s what matters. I get to make the decision about how it drives, about what my fuel efficiency looks like, about how fast it goes, and that feels fantastic. I believe in the manual transmission.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love your essay! I learned to drive using a stick shift (all cars in Bulgaria at the time had manual transmission), but it never felt easy or natural...

      Delete
  11. I laid in bed and could not see a thing. I’m not kidding. I could not see the hand in front of me or my sister in the bed beside me. Lights aren’t permitted outside of the cabins because of the animals. The only thing I could do was listen. I listened all night to the bugs buzzing and flying. I listened to birds chirping, frogs croaking, and monkeys grunting.

    I will never forget the two nights I spent in the Amazon rainforest with my family. We were on a family vacation in Brazil, and our first stop was the rainforest. I was so excited to explore the forest and experience all it had to offer me, but I had no idea what it would be like at night.

    Nighttime in the Amazon is unlike anything I have ever experienced. I don’t know how to explain hearing all the sounds of the wild animals, and having no idea where they were coming from. I can remember one night after dinner we were in the open “game room” at the village/resort we were staying at. We were all gathered around the TV watching the Olympics when someone was like “uh ohh.” We turned around and a huge boa constrictor was slithering through. The natives working at the resort grabbed a large stick and got the snake out with ease. It didn’t faze them. They could tell we were a bit scared and told us to be careful of the tarantulas that can get into our rooms through the floors. Whether they were kidding or not, you best believe I was terrified. I made my sister push her bed up to mine so if something happened we were beside each other. I laid there, in complete darkness listening to the noises. Fear was all I could feel. Somehow I feel asleep, and woke up from the sun shining in our room. I was safe. There were no spiders or snakes in our room. Now looking back, I can’t believe I let fear ruin my nights in the amazon. Maybe someday I will have the chance to redeem myself. This I believe.

    ReplyDelete
  12. At 2:32 am on Sunday morning, I pull my son’s 6-year-old body close, chanting “In—out—in—out.” We’ve been through this before. We know what to do and we know how long it takes.

    The first time it happened, his breathing grew progressively worse, every intake of air accompanied by loud, barking-like noise. I wondered if we should call an ambulance. My husband drove him to the emergency room instead. We were told it was croup: a condition common to babies and toddlers. We were told the best treatment for croup was a steamy bathroom or the cold evening air.

    Since then, it’s happened yearly. One time I wondered if I should take my son to Kroger, combining treatment with errands (we needed apples and milk). Because driving to Kroger required changing out of sleepwear, I opted for our front-porch swing instead. I wrapped a fleece blanket around my son’s body and held him against my chest. I told him when to breathe in and when to breathe out. In the quiet fall air, both of us fell asleep. I woke up half an hour later to no cough, only Monday, our neighbors’ cat, watching us.

    Last night I put on my winter boots and a warm jacket before we stepped out into the quiet street. Before we fell asleep in the swing, I realized we wouldn’t know if someone walked up behind us. Darkness would swallow the sound of treading feet. I wondered if we were safe, but was too tired to move. Exhausted, we swung and then slept. The quiet street absorbed our dreams. It was 3:15 am when we woke and parted for our separate beds.

    I believe every child should live on a street where a neighbors’ cat watches over them while they and their mothers sleep on a front-porch swing. I believe in safe neighborhoods even if I would rather not believe in croup.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is probably one of my favorite This I Believe's you have written.

      Delete
  13. This morning, I was not looking forward to a 10:30 AM meeting I had at the Clays Mill Location of North Lime Coffee and Donuts. I was meeting with a woman who was interested in hearing about a community project that I have been developing for over a year now. I had just gotten off a 5 AM shift and was too hyped up on coffee, and I felt like everything was vibrating. I felt like this was just going to be another, regurgitative meeting. I would tell her about the project, she would tell me how she wanted to volunteer, and I would see where she would fit into collecting data and fabricating a map marking businesses in downtown lexington for each way in which they are accessible to those with disabilities.

    One thing led to another, and Natasha from Oregon continued to share with me her perspective on the importance of art in community building. She told me about a friend of hers in Portland, a woman who runs the Geezer Gallery, a non-profit art organization devoted to helping artists above the age of 60 get their work into the community. She started telling me about these community paintings that tons of people would add on to that were huge, and how not everyone's additions were visible, but they mattered just as much.

    I started telling her about my girls from Felice’s house, the new house I was moving into, and how I really love the idea of big paintings. We talked about how great it would be if money from art went to rehabbing sidewalks so wheelchairs could get around easier, little kids would trip less, and streets would look nicer. She told me she was a grenade launcher. She’ll add her input, a beautiful massive idea is born, and then she steps away and let’s whoever is still standing handle the project. I loved this about her.

    I asked if she would help me make a new project happen, and she said she would love to talk through all the steps with me. I have been trying to figure out what I want my next big community project to be for months, and in less than ten minutes Natasha from Oregon figured it out. What I thought was going to be just another time commitment turned out to be one of the most impactful meetings I feel like I’ve been a part of in a long time. I believe in encounters like this one.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I believe that everyone’s life is a series of events in where they try to become less of an idiot. I mean the origin of the word idiot comes from the Greek idiōtēs, which vaguely means someone who doesn’t participate in democracy—since everyone one that was educated was member of Greek democracy it would make sense that naturally the person who didn’t was uneducated and dumb. I think that this origin of the definition brings back a connotation of also learning how to become a social being. Democracy isn’t a static action, and it surely isn’t a complacent one. Members of society should be actively engaged and involved in the process of creating a better state, and thus intrinsically creating the environment to internally interact and connect with the external world.
    I believe that losing the essence of an idiot is a process that demands undergoing a significant degree of emotional and intellectual maturity, that can be irregardless of how intelligent a person may have been prior to this process. We are, as homosapiens (and even in light of our gravest mistakes), without a doubt, gregarious beings! We are fundamentally social creatures, so it would rationally makes sense that part of our nature to undergo the process of losing the “idiot” inside of all of us.
    I know that where many people struggle in this process, myself included, is trying to find a meaningful connection to one’s environment when the democracy in America is extremely fragmented. How could we ever realistically aspire for harmony in America when the social discord avidly engenders internal separation? I sometimes wonder what it would take to unite us as a nation, or globally. I do know that as things are it is much easier to form smaller communities within the larger commonwealth, simply out of an act of preserving one’s sanity in such a hectic world. I blame free-market trade capitalism for that, but I hope that even in our given circumstance the process of losing the idiot is still very much present.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every year I comment on how much I have matured relative to last year. I also make that comment a year from when I last said it.

      Delete
  15. I believe in deconstruction.

    No, not destroying houses… My favorite types of things (games, shows, etc.) are those which criticize their own existence in a meaningful way. To deconstruct something is to expose its hidden internal assumptions and contradictions and subvert its apparent significance or unity. Basically, something that’s aware of its context within the norms of a particular genre, and knowingly points out and/or comments on issues within that genre. Admittedly, this kind of work isn’t too common. Who wants to spend time criticizing something they like until they realize they shouldn’t like it anymore? Who wants to engage in something that’s specific purpose is to make you feel bad for (i.e. think about why you’re) doing it?

    To this I say: Yes, But. I believe it to be especially important to be critical of the things that you like BECAUSE you like them. It’s fine to like something even when you know it has flaws. The problems come when you avidly defend the integrity of something you haven’t spent any time actually thinking about in a bigger context, and how that might affect other people. Or...worse, if you just ignore it/don’t care.

    It can be very difficult to explain why you like certain things, not to mention exhausting, but I think it’s important to think about why that might be. Is it because you’re ashamed of liking some part of it? Or it’s not something you’d usually be into, but somehow you still like it and don’t know why? For those questions, there’s definitely an answer… There are absolute reasons behind why anyone likes anything they do. And I think figuring some of those out are important to learning about yourself - even if they’re parts of yourself and the things you like that you don’t want to know.

    I believe in being honest with yourself. Because it leads to making yourself better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristen, I so appreciate how your mind works.

      Delete
  16. My favorite book is Perks of Being a Wallflower, and I really worry about Charlie. In the end he decided to participate in his life. I’ll stay up and think about how he’s doing now. How is his mom? Is she coping with the news of his aunt well? Then I’ll catch myself like, “Hey, this isn’t real life.” Did he know that he was writing his letters to me? Who are they intended for? I really hope he and Sam are doing well, regardless of what their real names are.
    My thoughts on people I don’t know aren’t always that deep. Yesterday, I looked at my friends and said, “You know what really bothers me? That episode of iCarly where she gets taken away from her brother because he almost kills her. Her grandpa lets her stay because he remembers she has asthma!” That’s a ridiculous reason to risk somebody’s life. As if that erases all the other problems. My friends thought it was hilarious that this is what occupies my mind, but it really bothers me. Why would her grandpa do that? Also: what happened to her other family members? Why did she go to Spencer in the first place?
    It’s also with real people, though. Ever since this thing with Kesha happened, I’ve worried about her like she is one of my old friends. I was walking and soaking up the sun earlier and I thought out loud, “I hope Kesha is having a good day today. She’s been through a lot.” This is clearly very silly because it doesn’t do much for anybody, but this is what stays on my mind. I think a lot about people I’ve seen in the news. How is Sandra Bland’s family? I worry about the husband of a blogger I follow. I don’t know either of their names. He wants to come out as nonbinary but is worried.
    I don’t know any of these people but I have a large amount of sympathy and empathy for them. I believe in the feelings of characters and people I’ve never really met. I don’t know what this says about my mental health, but I hope it says something about my character.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Today in Junior Seminar I semi presented about Pierre Bourdieu a French Theorists and Public Intellectual, I will not bore you with telling you anything about him. But, today I presented myself for maybe 30 minutes, talking about his ideas, my interpretations, my critiques etc. Dr. Ozkan carried the rest of the class, we generally would just go back and forth sharing ideas. It was more a conversation than a presentation, but I’ll say with a limit amount of help I presented for pretty much the totality of the class. I kind of picked at my fingers, adjusted my body maybe 30 times or so, all coping with the stress of talking in front of people. But I did pretty good I think, I had good interpretations good critiques and took up more time in class talking about Bourdieu than anyone else did with their theorists that they presented on. At the end of my presentation I had a sigh of relief, I got through it, then Jamie Vescio being the kind soul that she is said “that was really good,” something along those lines and that was pretty nice of her. Because I hate presenting in front of people, but I did well and others thought so as well, so that’s great. I’ll have to make longer presentations in my life I hope. I hope that 30 minutes of talking seems like nothing in front of colleagues. I took a good step today. I believe that I’m getting better at presenting in front of people, so that’s great.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Have you ever heard of the Lexington catacombs? To quote one of those hastily made urban legend websites : “LEXINGTON IS BUILT upon the dust of an ancient walled city of vast extent. In 1776 hunters discovered catacombs 300x100 feet, fifteen feet below the surface, in which there were numerous mummies.” Crazy, right? And to make things better, I was able to traverse in them!
    Although an obscure urban legend, there is supposed to be hidden tunnel systems underneath Lexington. Considering Transylvania attracts the macabre and bizarre, it should be no surprised these fabled tunnels would intersect under our campus. Most of the rumors point to Old Morrison being an entrance to this ancient city however, the basement of BSC intersects with the city so there is a second entrance on our campus. Although this expedition to the basement was for the collection of crickets, my heart was really set to see these tunnels that I have romanticized since my freshman year at Transy.
    Getting to the ancient city was no easy feat. My lab partner, Laurel, and I traversed the treacherous BSC basement full of defunct computer and arsenic laden stuffed animals. We climbed this dirt filled pit full of vintage crumpled soda cans and the occasional pint of bourbon (side note: Dr. Wagner told us not to take anything from the basement but I may or may not have snagged that sweet empty pint of Old Taylor,a once defunct distillery, since it was abandoned and encrusted with dirt. Images of 70s-80s physical plant workers or even professors drinking the work day away on a mound of dirt comes to mind) . And there it was…… the Lexington Cata….. what???? So, it turns out the catacombs, at least for the case of Transylvania, was actually a small steam tunnel vent that used to power Old Morrison and BSC. Contentful crouching through, the visions of slick cobblestone where the squeaking rodents quickly disappeared in my head.
    Despite the empirical method decisively refuting the second world of Transylvania, I do have a slight irrational belief that the catacombs have to be somewhere in Lexington. I want to believe in urban legends even though reality seems to trump my imagination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *Stuffed animals like Taxidermy animals, not Beanie Babies

      Delete
    2. I may or may not tell Dr. Wagner about this essay :)

      Delete
  19. Someone asked me the other day if I was “mixed” with something, and without thinking I told her I wished I was. I remember sitting on the carpet in June, with my then boyfriend, listening to his friends joke in Spanish. The most important parts of his life were in Spanish. I hoped if we stuck it out that I would adapt, that the separation I felt between us would dissipate as I changed for him. I wanted to change, I wanted to be more like him—he was beautiful, a cocky dancer with self-designed tattoos. I brought him to the top of the district court parking garage, and with my created persona it felt like I could match him.

    Later, sitting on that carpet, his friends told me the reason I didn’t get a ticket for speeding that time was because I was white. He agreed with them; he softened it by saying it was because I was pretty, but I could tell he believed it was because I was white. I could see then, my difference from him was obvious to everyone else. And maybe it was more obvious for me than I let on. As much as I didn’t want to I hated the way he sent me misspelled text messages, even if I knew, at age nine, his dad made him copy every word from a “great American book” so he would stop spelling things like he had in Venezuela.

    He couldn’t understand why I wanted to go to India (“I’ve seen enough of third world countries”) and we broke up over the phone before I left. There, in a house full of people whose native languages spread the globe, I felt like I could blend— my host parents were used to people like me, tourists of a beautiful way to live a life.
    Sometimes I believe I was born cultureless.

    ReplyDelete