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Friday, April 8, 2016

This I Believe #12

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.

23 comments:

  1. Humanity seems to not only progress, but also digress simultaneously. While this idea seems counterintuitive, it absolutely makes sense, especially after seeing how some of the newer generations are acting and taking advantage of the long leashes that they are given.

    Every day, technology advances, and the seemingly advanced niche in society becomes that much more advanced. While there are still some people who have not and will not attend a post-secondary education, the society continues to change requirements for roles. Trades, at one point, were the most important part of society; however, machinery and changing technology have decreased the needs for most, such as seamstresses, milkmen, press printers, and more. At this point, you would think that we would need less school since technology continues to increase, but the opposite is observed.

    While our education system attempts to keep up with the forever changing requirements from society and advancement in technology, the upcoming generations are doing their own form of evolution. The generations of saggy pants and sassy mouths lacking respect have branched away from the elegance and grace of dressing respectably and being obedient.

    So what happened to the generations then? Is it something in the air? The pollution? How about the water? Food? It has to be something.

    What I believe is that parents are becoming less strict on their children, and what used to be considered as acceptable punishments are now obsolete and considered to be abuse. I can easily see the difference between how my own parents were raised, to how I was raised, and now how my own sister is being raised. My parents were both raised in strict households, and even I was raised in more strict conditions and la ck of technology being shoved into my face. Even now, I rarely watch TV and I continue to be outside as much as possible. On the other hand, my sister, while incredibly bright, is much less domineering in the direction of being as active and as helpful. Instead, she remains on the computer or ipad in every waking moment. I cannot harp on her due to the fact of her not only being my sister, but also because I don’t consider her to be a “bad kid.” But, I have witnessed many parental fails in terms of the newer generation of kids who more than deserve to be punished/grounded/etc.. They seem to “rule the roost” and even those born after my sister seem to be even worse off in the motivation factor.

    This is where I believe that humanity has digressed. It seems to be a trade off, where technology and requirements increase, but generational morality and motivation decreases. What I would like to emphasize is that parents should indeed have a strict hand, but not too strict, in fear of doing the absolute opposite of what should be considered as good doing. I also think that society could do a much, ,much better job with helping parents to raise children. There are so many advertisements geared towards kids and violent video games and movies--- the list goes on and on. What happened to simplistic shows? What happened to playing outside? What happened to volunteering and helping neighbors? Why are we so focused on the “ME” factor? Because this is what we are taught/teaching this new generation—to focus only on yourself. As a result, I believe that we should be focused together as a community, and help to bring each other up and move humanity forward rather than just the technology factor behind society.

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  2. I woke up one morning last summer after a night on the town and was feeling great. I had energy and wanted to use it. So I suggested to my friends that we go hiking. As I walked outside I noticed that my car was leaning a little more to the left than usual. As I got closer, I realized that I had a flat tire. I should’ve taken it as a sign, but my friends helped me change it, and we went on our way. My friend wanted to hike this “unofficial” trail called the Indian Staircase, at the Gorge. So once we got there, we found the trailhead and went on our way. We ran into some guys asking if we were going the right way, and they told us yes and to be careful! As soon as they said that I began to think, “Why would they say that? Is this going to be scary?” As we began to climb up some rocks I noticed that we were getting higher up in the air, and there wasn’t really a way down. I began to freak out. I told my friends that I had to be in the middle incase I fell and then at least one of them would be going down with me. We began to climb even higher up the side of this mountain. There were little hand and foot holders naturally engraved because that was how the Native American’s climbed up the mountain back in the day. As we got halfway up, we stopped and sat to get some water and take in the scenery. As I sat there, I lost it. I started to hyperventilate. I looked down hoping I could climb back down, but it was too late. The only way was up. My friends were laughing at me as I had this panic attack. I could not believe that I was barely hanging on to this mountain, and trusted the imprints from hundreds of years ago. I composed myself and we began to continue our climb. I focused on the top, and never looked back. Once we got to the top, a sense of relief came over me. The view was amazing. We were on top of the world. No wonder why the Native Americans frequented the mountain. I was so proud of myself for making the climb, and over coming this fear. We hiked around the mountain and found a safer way down- well sorta. Would I do the hike again? Heck no. But I believe in conquering fears and making memories with my encouraging friends.

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  3. Seven years ago I returned to my doctor, the woman who diagnosed me an idiopathic hypersomniac. Saving me from becoming ineligible for health insurance—sold by corporations and paid for by co-workers who fear I drive up their premiums—this label is a euphemism. I have narcolepsy.

    Seven years earlier, I had laid myself to sleep attached to an electronic umbilical cord for gathering data. Thin golden wires sprouted from sensors spread, like rows of corn, across my chest and in the furrows of my brow. A tightly lashed bundle of neurotransmitters, the wires delivered crashing waves of information about my breathing, grimacing, heartbeat, and the activity in my brain. I usually fall asleep quickly, but I laid awake counting acoustical tiles in the drop-ceiling. Twenty-two hours of twenty-minute naps at each even hour and every time I laid awake, counting. Betrayed by testing and by the gilded quills of the porcupine coat I wore to bed, I was tethered to the wall. I could not find sleep quickly. I could not recall searching for it before this day.

    Seven years ago my doctor reproached me for my adolescent relationship with sleep. I was terrified of it. I dreaded it overtaking me each night and woke stiff-necked with grids on my skin: marked by the pressure of a keyboard across my face. With movements to match exactly those in my dreams, I would leap from bed and sprint circles around the room, lunging to grab the legs of a chicken. I woke from a night of sleep with a mind full of rich visions, tasting poison: my skin sticky with adhesive.

    One year ago I learned of REM Behavior Disorder (RBD): sleep—much like my own—that launches sleepers out second-story windows when dreams find them running and jumping hurdles, minds racing. Dream-state adrenaline may save their lives though not for long as RBD is an appetizer for neurodegenerative brain disorder.

    Today, after seven years of undoing twenty years of REM-sleep deprivation, I believe in sleep. I slide under covers without fear, curling into a comma.

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  4. Growing up going to church was a part of my family’s Sunday ritual. My dad was very involved with our church. He was an usher, taught Sunday school, led bible studies, and was active in most church events. My mom was not as involved however every Sunday she and my dad made sure I was in church. Once my parents got divorced my mom quit going to church as often and did a lot of worshiping God on her own. I still attended church when I stayed at my dad’s house but my mom never made me go if she was not going. Therefore I knew a relationship with Christ was important however I had yet to firsthand experience how powerful God can be. A few unfortunate events in my elementary and middle school years really made me question God and why these things were happening. I hardly ever found myself praying and even though I went to youth group a lot with friends and spent a week every summer at church camp, I never really felt connected with Christ.

    Junior year of high school I decided I wanted to strengthen my relationship with Christ. I started going to youth group every week and church on Sundays, a lot of times by myself. I began to set aside every day to spend a few minutes praying. I found myself having a lot less fear by turning to prayer in rough times. By setting this stronger foundation with Christ before entering college I realized how powerful prayer can be. I now find myself turning to God multiple times throughout the day, whether if it is for help with a tough situation or just to thank him for blessing me with new experiences each day. There have been many times recently that I did not think something was going to work out or go the right way however I spent a lot of time praying about those things and God made them work out in my favor. Not everyone may believe in God and I respect everyone’s beliefs, however I have come to believe in the power of prayer.

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  5. This I believe that I am not an adult. I still wear pajamas around like it’s acceptable. I will laugh at things that aren’t funny so that no one is left out. I still get excited every time I see a dog; I mean, every. Single. Time. Sure, I have a driver’s license and can legally vote, but I will watch classic animated Disney movies if I feel like it.
    I cry when they take my blood at doctor’s offices, which is more often than I’d like to admit. Sometimes I pick flowers though it inevitably kills them and make crowns or rings out of them. On good days, I try to say hello to everyone like I did when I was little and didn’t care what other people thought.
    I ask way too many questions. They say that there is no such thing as a dumb question, but I can guarantee that if a professor has already answered it, I am that kid that still asks. There are oodles of knowledge that I want to know so I ask in layman’s terms because I try to squander any possible bit of confusion. But I get so excited that the words don’t come out right and once again my meaning has been misconstrued and I feel small again.
    I won’t be skeptical like they are. I choose to see the good in every person even when they have wronged me. I believe in second chances even when a person is annoying, I believe in patience. I believe that I am not an adult because I refuse to give up like I’ve seen most of the ‘adults’ around me do.

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  6. I believe in keep trying. For my organic chemistry class, this year, we are doing only one lab. The professor gave us compound. We need to identify this compound and make two reactions with this compound. I was in a group of three, both of my lab partners were my close friends. And they were pretty good at chemistry labs. We successfully identified our compound and planned our reactions. We were in the right direction. However, one of the student dropped the class during the middle of the semester.. The professor switched me to that group to work with a new lab partner. The new group have identified the compound and had the proposal for the reactions. But they did not get any products yet from their reactions. I started to work with my new lab partner, we were running out of time. After we did the reactions from the proposal, we found out that our reactant got oxidized. So we were not doing the reactions from the proposal anymore. The professor gave me some more reactions to work with. We worked with those reactions for a couple weeks. But all of the reactions failed. We only have three weeks left, we still didn’t get any product yet. I started to get stressed, I had to make some products before the end of the semester. The reactions from the professor did not work out. I started to look for some new reactions by myself. I began to work in the lab everyday. However, the labs just did not work out so well. I only get a tiny bit of the products, I cannot do anything with this products. And I only had one week left. I started to thinking that I should not leave my old group, and I was so stressed out about to give up. The professor gave me a new reaction for the last week. I kept trying and trying. I spend most of my time in the lab, and finally I got the products on the last day. I believe in keep trying.

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  7. I believe in Bridge Day. Every October for one Saturday the New River Gorge Bridge is closed to motor vehicles. Thousands of people from all across the state and surrounding areas come to eat fair food, listen to live music, and watch BASE jumpers plummet 876 feet to the river below. This festival attracts dare devils from far and wide and is a spectacle that everyone should see at least once in their life. For me, Bridge Day is a showcase of all that my state has to offer. The Mountain State is often overlooked. West Virginians live with the stereotype that we are all dumb hillbillies who cook meth and sleep with our cousins. If I had to think of a generalization for West Virginians that might actually hold true, it’s that the great majority of us love nature.

    West Virginia is a hidden gem. There are hundreds of miles of great hiking trails, many cliff faces that are perfect for climbing, and two of the best rivers for whitewater in the country. Unfortunately, the media would rather talk about how West Virginia is facing a drug epidemic than about how beautiful The New River Gorge is in the fall. There are countless stories about how Obama hates coal miners but I don’t think I’ve seen even one about how acid from the mines and the coke ovens changed the color of the rocks around Douglas Falls in the Monongahela National Forest, the prettiest pollution I’ve ever seen. Bridge Day is the one day a year that West Virginia’s culture and natural beauty is celebrated by those from outside the state. On Bridge Day, the nation is finally shown what West Virginia’s really about, the land itself and our bond to it. Bridge Day makes me proud to be from West By God Virginia. This I believe.

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  8. I have no self control when it comes to ice cream. This might sound like a normal problem to have, but it seems pretty extreme to me. Sometimes I have the self control to just not buy the ice cream. If I don’t buy it, I won’t eat it. But if I buy it...the whole thing will be downed in one sitting. Lately, I’ve been trying to find ways to counteract this lack of ice cream self control. Recently, I tried throwing the pint away after I had eaten a good amount of it (but not all). Yes, it’s pretty wasteful, but I would rather throw it away than eat the entire 4,000 calorie pint and regret it later.
    Apparently, I’m not above getting ice cream out of the trash can 10 minutes after I throw it away. This has happened on multiple occasions and I really need to find a better method of disposal. What I’m about to share is pretty embarrassing, but it happened and it worked: I did not get the ice cream out of the trash! The other day at work I was eating from a pint of ice cream that I got from the 80. It was about halfway gone and I knew that I would hate myself if I ate the whole thing. Sadly, slowly I reached into the trash (I’m actually turning red right now) pulled out a random person’s dirty tissue and shoved it into my ice cream. I proceeded to put the ice cream in the trash and then go wash my hands for a solid five minutes. Needless to say, I did not get my ice cream back out of the trashcan and eat the rest of it. I believe in weird ways of enforcing self control.

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    Replies
    1. This is the funniest thing I've read, not going to lie

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    2. Ah, Leslie....I have no self-control where chocolate is concerned. But I would never do what you did!

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  9. When I was 12 and got a DS for Christmas, I was so excited about all my new games. I couldn’t wait until my Nintendogs would win championships, until my BrainAge matched my real age, and I was even pretty pumped about the Pixar Cars game that was for my little siblings. What I was not excited about, however, was the New Super Mario Bros game. I harbored all sorts of ideas about how video games rotted your mind, and this notion was oddly directed at specific types of screen time. Clearly my mom didn’t make that distinction, because here was a little chip of some of the worst of it, maybe aside from the fight games I’d seen my cousins play. I wasn’t going to use it.

    I’m not sure how long this attitude went on, but it can’t have been long. My mind was soon opened to the most beautiful and complex videogame world I had so far experienced. This certainly outpaced Nintendogs. Karina and I played obsessively. We confessed to each other that we often even dreamed in Mario. Maybe this was a sign it was rotting our brains, but at least I’d stopped being that annoying kid at lunch who told her friends their video games were going to give them Alzheimer’s. I was too focused on learning how to do level 1-3 entirely in Blue Koopa shell dash mode. We beat every level and found every hidden world, set records in mini games and played multiplayer for so much longer than 5 levels calls for, and never got bored.

    I had a resurgence in my love for Mario recently, as life has gotten more stressful and whatnot. It’s so interesting how I went without playing much the last few years, but I still seem to have been maintaining skill. I’m in the process of clearing each level in each world in New Super Mario Bros. Wii of its coins with Max, We’re up to world 4 now. I believe in Super Mario Brothers.

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    1. me but with pokemon. I got a 3DS for my birthday a week and a half ago and I've already logged 19 hours.

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  10. I think the best thing about this class has been the homework. This is not something I would say in other classes. It was such a break from the norm, though. In no other classes have I done things other than writing papers and doing lab work. In this class, I had to get my stuff together and hand craft capes for real-life kids instead of pumping out papers for my teachers to read and send back with no conversation.
    Sure, sewing is frustrating. I cannot count the amount of times I held back swearing after not getting my thread through the needle the millionth time, or when the machine would just eat my thread and cape: a problem that can only be solved with frantic wiggling and pulling. It was a lot more satisfying to see a creation I spent hours on appearing at the end than scrolling through and seeing five pages written up.
    Also, I got to hang out with community leaders and kids for a grade. When does that happen? I met lots of inspiring people who are working hard to make Lexington act more like a big neighborhood. I also got to argue with a kid that, no, he did not create batman, flash, or the teenage mutant ninja turtles (an argument, by the way, I’m not sure that I won).
    This class is so different than any other I’ve ever taken and it really gave me a new perspective on this city and this school. I believe that every person who wants to experience frustration, hard work, and a break from the norm should take CETA, because it offers all three.

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    1. :)

      (So glad you took CETA, Shelby!!!)

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  11. On this trip he tells me about his grandmother. Packed snow envelopes the world as we find refuge into the still-cold insides of my blue car. He wears his two-piece suit under his overcoat, today’s newspaper folded in two in one of the coat’s front pockets. His maternal grandmother was a matriarch whom all the men in the family obeyed. Today none of his male cousins dares question the authority of women. We depart after dusk, darkness infusing more cold into the frozen air.

    A month later, February winds offer no relief from sub-zero temperatures. It’s too cold for most people to walk outside. Not for him. He walks everywhere, even to Hamburg Mall, “the armpit of the universe.” Armpit or not, Hamburg Mall has restaurants where birthday parties for grand-nephews take place. Still, I find it hard to believe he walks there. Sitting next to me, an oversized umbrella propped next to his left knee, he tells me about a female cousin who was the first black woman to earn a graduate degree from UK.

    On Easter I offer to drive him to the house of one of his sisters. It’s 70 degrees under aqua skies. My proposal rests on the argument that no one should have to walk 50 minutes to get to a family dinner. On the way there, he talks about his sister’s travels, about his siblings kidding him for his cooking, about the games his grand-nephews like to play outside. When we arrive, I park at the end of the driveway, half-expecting a woman older than me to open the front door and welcome me in.

    At times, he and I navigate in and out of conversations with friends so we can depart at the same time. I like my role as a chauffer. I have a car and he doesn’t. He has stories. My stories are slower to come. We make it work.

    I believe in driving Archie. I believe stories flow faster on car trips, even if we are headed only a zip code away.

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  12. There’s something remarkably unique about friendship. Alas, I have no friends(just joking!). Teamwork has always been something I’ve viewed as either an incredible opportunity to collaborate and grow with another individual, or just a frustrating experience. There’s usually very little middle ground. Nonetheless, when it works, when there’s a proper climate for mutual exchange, playing one’s strengths, compassionate investment in whatever the project may be, that’s usually when teamwork flourishes into something incredible that perhaps could have not been achieved without that special dynamic.
    Working on this CETA project with Ashley Montgomery has reminded me how refreshing it can be to work alongside a competent, passionate, responsible individual. When a team has the right elements to combine strengths and combine ideas, stuff usually gets done really well. I’m grateful for the times the college environment has allowed me to branch outside of my comfort zone to experience endeavors with people—I honestly believe that working in tandem with the right crowd can draw the best out of someone. I know that there have been groups where everyone involved brings something unique to the project, and that aspect of teamwork allows individuals to growth further than they possibly would on their own. That’s really friggin awesome. Teamwork is a pretty darn cool thing to experience when it goes right.
    I know that when I play soccer with a good team, I usually play a million times better than when I’m trying to play at my best on a subpar team. There’s just something magical about a good chemistry and strong communication. I think that these aspects of teamwork beckon some of the best attributes of human-being-ness. I can’t say I believe in a whole lot, but I do believe in good ol’ fashion, solid teamwork.

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  13. Last year, I wrote a this I believe about Edgar Degas and my kind-of-hard-to-put-into-words feeling that he was/is a scumbag. In may term of last year, just after CETA ended, I took Women in Art, and I wrote a paper entitled, “Unsettling Images: Expressions of Misogyny Through Voyeurism, the Unjust Glorification of Edgar Degas,” so you can see my language had at least improved since my this I believe.

    Going into the class, I knew I wanted to write about Degas. I had always disliked him, but I hadn’t ever been able to really vocalize why, outside of his “peering through a keyhole” approach to composition. With his contemporaries like Matisse and Gauguin, I knew exactly why I didn’t like them, because I feel like for the most part, that’s agreed upon, or at least acknowledged and known. When I began my research, every source I found would kind of admit the problematic nature of Degas’s chosen subjects but would reiterate that his mastery of light and color was reason enough to excuse, and after all, if you were a wealthy white man you would find the images erotic, not creepy. And I say that because that's usually who the sources were.

    Degas obsessively painted young girls in the ballet, some mid rehearsal, others posing for him in grueling positions. He then shifted to women who worked in brothels. The ballet and the brothel, both places where women/young girls were paid for what they did with their bodies, often contained a male observer, other than Degas, painted into the image. Finally, he settled on women bathing. The obvious male observer was missing, meaning Degas had taken that place (which is not to say he did not fulfill that role before as well). I had not yet found a source that discussed his works on a continuum and what it meant to put them side by side. So this is what I did. What I found when I did this was that the pose struck by the woman bending over to scrub her bathtub was uncoincidentally similar to the pose of the young girl bending to tie her ballet shoe, along with too many other parallels to ignore.

    I think I was so frustrated by my research because I found a source that talked about his friends and their quotes about them. I can’t remember who said what but one was, “Degas hated women,” and another, “He saw them as animals.” So I guess I just didn’t understand why people gave the discussion any sort of wiggle room?? Even now I am proud of that paper, not because I felt it was especially well written, but I felt like an art historian who was doing something new, which Nancy told me as well. Nancy also told me I had ruined Degas for her, and I told her good, that was the goal.

    There is a children’s book titled, “Degas and the Little Dancer,” that is the story behind one of his very famous bronze sculptures of a young dancer. This book teaches about perseverance and hard work, while simultaneously normalizing the way that Degas treated women and young girls as subjects. What this book left out, is that Degas first did a nude study of the little dancer before creating the final piece, whose clothes were actual material, meaning they were placed on her body after the completion of the sculpture, implying her nudity once again. So icky.

    I believe that Edgar Degas is a scumbag, and I will continue my smear campaign until I convince everyone I meet.

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  14. Story time: about two nights ago, my roommate and I sat on our respective sides of the room, looking like extremely sad and bored loaves. Suddenly I remembered all the things I did over the weekend. I sat there with a blank expression towards my computer screen thinking about the time I went to work, what time I came back, what I ate, when I called my mom, etc.; and suddenly I came upon the memory of a video I watched. I started laughing hysterically from under the covers while my roomie slowly turned her head, clearly judgmentally. Just kidding, not like that. She glanced over at me as I struggled to get out of bed saying: “Julia, Julia, you need to watch this video. It’s hilarious.” I managed to wobble to her side of the room and we looked up the thing. “BTS Dope (Greasy Version),” I told her to type into the search bar. What the hell was I watching at 3 am that day? These seven guys were singing and dancing in really cool costumes, but the video had been altered with the fish eye effect. It looked like a bunch of snowmen bouncing up and down, running all over the place; it was plain hilarious to me. I expected laughter to fill the room; however, that didn’t happen until the next video, when she randomly clicked “BTS I Need U (Swirl Ver.).” What is this? I haven’t seen that one before. The same seven guys (now singing and acting, rather than dancing) were altered with a swirl effect where it made their bodies look bent and stringy, while their faces looked like messed up potatoes. Our laughs echoed when we came across this one part and I have never felt so calm this whole year until that moment.
    I believe in laughter; in the kind that makes your stomach ache and tears roll down your cheeks. I believe in laughing with my friends, because there is the comfort that we all look just as goofy with our eyes turned into crescents and our mouths wide open, yet there is no judgment. When I truly laugh is when I feel the calmest, because someone else is laughing with me, not at me. We often forget how terrible it is to make fun of others and we don’t realize how it can affect someone’s self-esteem; their smile might turn upside down, their eyes might lose spark, their soul might drift away. I believe in laughing with others to show them that there is no judgment between us—I love you just the way you laugh—because you never know who is in need of that hysterical laugh.

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  15. Let me tell you fiends about nostalgia. Like Hannah, I have had this incredibly recent ticket onto the nostalgia train for video games. Mine however, has been sudden, disgustingly fanboyish, and is reaching critical mass at record rates. The game in question is… THE ONE...THE ONLY… Ratchet and Clank. Ever wanted to be a catlike space-fairing superstar sailing the cosmos with a backpack sized robot companion? Wanted to fire a ray gun that turns alien brutes into fluffy sheeps? Do you like the idea of fun and humorous stories? Than this game series is everything and all. I was aware that a long awaited reboot was happening but I thought it was going to be garbage. But then the reviews came in like some bright holy light shedding happiness onto the end of this dark,dank academic semester. My wallet and body are not ready………...

    I am not apologizing for how hard I am nerding out right now. Ratchet and Clank is middle grade science fair. It is traveling galactic sewers cleaning up spooky green amoebas. The game I would sketch about during my science class since we didn’t even learn anything about Science in there (besides watching reruns of Mythbusters that were great, but not beneficial). The game that is giving me those old school vibes that I have never felt until now. I am possessed by nostalgia now. Hell, I have been attempting to sell some rare old games of mine just to scrape by some cash so I can get it today. I believe nostalgia is a hell of a feeling and that sudden, without realization, it can transform me from a somewhat functioning individual to a feverishly fiendish fanboy (going to buy the game ASAP after class).

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  16. I believe I’ve had a very amateur semester, maybe semi pro at the best. In one class I was asked to re do two annotated bibliographies. I actually re did them relatively on time and didn’t even turn them in. I was embarrassed, so rather than face the rejection again I allowed them just to sit open on my laptop, I’d walk into class with these bibliographies hanging over my head literally right in front of me. Until a week ago I just ignored it until it seemed no longer relevant. Until a dreaded email read along the lines of “I’m disappointed in you, you’ve yet to get back to me with your bibliographies etc.” I was so full of dread knowing we were going to have to meet soon to talk this over. So I just said it “I’ve become very discouraged with myself from the beginning, I know I’ve done inadequate work not near my abilities.” She didn’t email me back until a day ago asking to meet today. I rescheduled the meeting for tomorrow. I hope that it goes well; I hope she understands where I’m coming from. I’ll then work extremely hard on my final paper, with or without good bibliographies. Luckily on my last paper I got an A. So I’m relatively keeping it together despite the amateur nature of my work.

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