Studying, Studying, All-Nighter, Apology

I want to apologize in advance for having been absent from commenting. I have been writing a paper for my history course (Classic Greece) all day. And I mean all day. I woke up, ate, wrote, ate, took a brief break, wrote, ate, napped because of coming up all-nighter, ate, and now I’m writing this.

Funnily enough, my all-nighter has nothing to do with my course. No, it’s a voluntary night of studying that I’m spending with two friends. Today is Erev Shavu’ot, which is the eve of a Jewish holiday. I honestly don’t know very much about the holiday, except that it’s something to do with the harvest; that there’s a modern tradition of eating cheesecake during it; and that there’s an ancient custom of studying Jewish philosophy, lore and writings of several rabbis throughout the night.

My friends and I are taking the custom and making it OURS. We’re going to read each other poetry, study random Wikipedia articles, play instructive games, talk about philosophy, and generally make an intellectual pajama-party out of it.

Hope you all have a good Tuesday, and I’ll hopefully be back on schedule tomorrow!

A Little Ramble

This morning, I woke up, and I was sure it was going to be a horrible day. Now, about eight-and-a-half hours later, the day has turned out to be surprisingly lovely. I’m always a bit nervous when this happens; I keep expecting some sort of emotional lighting-bolt to hit me out of nowhere and crumble my good mood into ashes. You may say I’m being needlessly pessimistic. But I swear, I’m my own worst enemy, and I can do this to myself for not much reason at all. I guess that’s part of what brought my whole illness about.

No dwelling! I intend this to be a happy post. So I shan’t dwell, no sirree.

My mom and I baked brownies today. It’s amazing how little work it takes to make the batter. They taste so much better than a ready-made mix, and are just as quick to make. They’re currently sitting, ever-so-innocently, in their glass pan on the kitchen counter, calling out to be devoured.

I also managed to catch up on blog-reading lately, something that makes me happy because I love having all these different viewpoints, opinions and lives to learn from and peek into, if only through some words on a screen. It’s amazing, really, what a few words can make you think and feel, isn’t it?

Another good thing that happened today is that my studying has been going well. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m taking a course at the Open University here. It’s  history course focusing on Greece during the Classic period, but with some background into earlier times as well. So far, the material is fascinating, although it’s presented in a rather drab fashion – we get these course-books that summarize everything and are very dry and not appealing to read. Still, if I look past that, I find that what I actually find in the pages of the boring looking brown books is extremely interesting. Hopefully, I’ll even get credit for this class when I go back to Sarah Lawrence.

Finally, I took a walk today. I’m being allowed to walk again, and I love it. I just love walking fast, feeling my muscles work and my heartbeat rise.

So far, a good day.

On Th’Eve of Classes

I went to college one rainy day,

And now it seems I’m here to stay,

Until a hopefully snowing December morn’,

When from my collegiate life I’ll be torn.

The days are moving slowly,

Orientation for us new and lowly,

Friends are hard to come by,

With head tucked under and shy.

My rhyme suffers with fear,

For tomorrow is a day I hold dear,

Classes begin and I’m ready,

The smell of knowledge is heady.

I cannot say I’m good enough,

And this makes it rough

To have confidence in success,

So instead I’m stressed.

Seeing the talent in this school,

Makes me feel like a right damn fool.

I hope I’m not the only one here

Who’s holding back her tears.

I’m scared.

I’m ready.

I’m excited.

I’m scared.

I’m not good enough.

I’m good enough.

I’m unsure.

I’m scared.

Busy Busy Busy Bee

The last week has been crazy. I feel completely lost amongst the errands, orders, confirmations and packing that has to be done.

The next few days are going to be even worse. Tomorrow and Monday are going to be full-on packing days – going to college entails lots and lots [and lots] of packing. Tuesday early morning we fly to New York, arriving the same day in the afternoon. I’ve ordered my new mini laptop, I’ve ordered my new computer for the dorms, and more shopping will be done in New York. Saturday, August 29th is move-in day.

The next week or two are going to be crazy – chalk-full of outings, shopping, and once orientation week starts, lectures and registration processes. I’ll try to write as much as I can, but I can’t promise prompt or daily entries. This is too bad, because my stats are pretty pathetic as is, and I’ve been here a year. Still, hopefully once I get settles into a routine at Sarah Lawrence, I’ll be able to write properly, maybe even using my school-work and essays as entries or as ideas for what to write about.

For those who are interested, I already have my first course at SLC – this course is under the title of “First Year Studies” and the professor teaching me will be my Don, which is a kind of adviser. This class is for both semesters, and the one I got is this: Text and Theater. It’s a literature course that studies the texts of plays. The professor seems amazing so far [I received a very sweet email from him that he wrote everyone who will be in this class] and I’m excited.

I hope to be here as often as possible. I’ve been here almost a year, and I love my little blog.

Emily Dickinson

Ever since I read a silly little-girl book that had an explanation about who Emily Dickinson was, I’ve liked her. I only read a few of her poems back then, but I loved the idea of her. Not only was her name beautiful, but she had a certain strange charm about her – a recluse, misunderstood, hated having people look at her, wrote all the time… She was an appealing mystery.
When I went on my college-trip, I had the great pleasure of taking a class at Occidental College in Los Angeles. The class I chose was a class about Emily Dickinson’s poetry. The poem we studied was this, number 202:

“Faith” is a fine invention

For Gentlemen who see!

But Microscopes are prudent

In an Emergency!

The amount of discussion and conversation that went into the quotation marks around the first word, faith, was astounding. We spent an hour, a whole hour, on the meanings that can be derived from that. Perhaps she meant faith as a concept, perhaps she meant to be ironic or sarcastic about the meaning of faith, perhaps she simply wanted to make sure it was clear she meant the word faith as its own thing. Emily Dickinson usually has underlined words in her poems, odd capitalisation in the middle of sentences, strange and mysterious punctuation – all these things are great for beginning discussions in class.

Ms. M gave me a complete set of Emily Dickinson’s poems as a gift after I raved about that class. Her poems are beautiful. I consider myself now a fan.

A Thirst For Knowledge

I’d like to be able to say that I posses such a thirst. No, that’s not right. I do thirst for knowledge and I do love to learn new things – but I need to have good teachers in order to be passionate about a new subject or idea that I study. Good teachers are fiercely hard to come by in today’s education system, and so oftentimes in high-school I was either bored out of my mind, or else I was just utterly disinterested even though I knew that I could, theoretically, care about the subject.

I have a good friend who I can’t help but be jealous of – she is one who truly possesses a thirst for knowledge. There was a time when she just read Wikipedia articles every day and jumped from subject to subject, just out of pure curiosity. She teachers herself French, and doggedly studies it, not letting herself get lazy and forget about it. She even managed to memorize an insane amount of information during an army course and somehow find it interesting even though much of it was dull lists of former-generals and ranking systems.

Hopefully, though, once I resume my studies, I’ll have better teacher. Ones who are actually passionate about their subject and about imparting knowledge to their students.