The Good With the Bad.

November 26, 2008

The good news is, it’s Thanksgiving break and I’m home.

The bad news is, there are only a few very selective parts of home that I enjoy.

The good news is, the paper I slaved over until 6 a.m. yesterday morning is handed in, and out of my hands.

The bad news is, the paper I slaved over until 6 a.m. yesterday morning is handed in, out of my hands, and will soon be ripped to shreds.

The bad news is I’ve been unable to sleep and uncomfortable being awake because I have been haunted for weeks by unwanted memories.

The good news is, I may not have to have those memories forever.

The good news is, my parents’ house will be heated again later today, and I will be eating delicious food for a few days, and it can’t be grey forever.

Let’s hold out for selective memory removal, and hope it has a positive effect on Swat performance. Every transfer student has a past, and the ones I know don’t have good ones. Swat is certainly a new beginning, and I think we’re all hoping it has a better ending than the other chapters of our lives.

I know I am.

The Transfer Student

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I realize it’s Monday, but it feels like a Thursday. Tomorrow Kayla will pick me up at Swat and take me back to Bel Air for Thanksgiving. I can’t wait! This has been one damned tough semester, that is for sure. Right now I’m procrastinating on four levels to write this entry. I should be:

1) Finishing (or, more accurately, starting) my works cited page for my poli sci term paper
2) Taking the aforementioned poli sci term paper to the Writing Center
3) Working on my econ problem set so I can go over it with Melinda tomorrow
4) In Lang, trying to hash out a plan for private lessons next semester, or just screwing around in one of the practice rooms

But I haven’t updated in a while, so that needs to get done too.

Thursday became an even better day than I thought it would be, even with the flurries. I finished my fifteen page term paper that has been hanging over my head since getting here. Hopefully it is MUCH better received than my literature review, as it is a huge portion of my grade and took up such an enormous amount of time and energy. It was such an unbelievable relief to write that conclusion paragraph!

From there I went to the Grapevine a capella concert with a bunch of friends, that was definitely entertaining. And, being that it was Thursday and there was no research paper to stop me, I went with Rayan, Rich, Robert, Ted, and Erick (who never comes out with us!) to an absolutely epic Pub Night. It was without a doubt one of the most entertaining nights I have ever had. And even though I woke up with a slight headache at 6:55, I was in a great mood.

My mood improved even more when I got up and went to get some water. I happened to peer through the tiny window on the Willets hallway door, and saw that it was SNOWING outside!! The ground and trees were covered, and snow was coming down like crazy! I woke up Charlotte and made her look out the window, but I was sure it would be gone by noon.

It wasn’t! Campus looked majestic all day. I crunched my way to Econ, then went into Philly with the boys. Rich, Robert, Ted and I missed the train in, so Erick got stuck with Rayan on a shopping trip for an hour and a half. (Erick is our hyperethcial transfer from the Air Force Academy…feel free to stereotype, and then imagine him in the commercial district of Philly with a flamboyant Pakistani prince…HILARIOUS!) But we eventually got there, ate a delicious and nutritious meal at McDonald’s, then hailed cabs to get to the movie theater and see Quantum of Solace. It was unbelievably cool hailing my first cab, Portland was really too small to do that sort of thing, plus my roommate Ashley had a car. Quantum of Solace wasn’t great, but it was definitely a ton of fun anyway.

We came back, watched some Sunny, baked some cookies…it was very relaxing. The next day I slept until a ridiculous time in the afternoon, then got up, went to dinner, and back into Philly! I met up with Esther, my CA from orientation, and a bunch of her friends at Parrish Circle for the free shuttle to Philly. We went to a chocolate place called Naked, very swanky and expensive. Not really my scene, but chocolate is chocolate, so no complaints. And after that, it was over to the Theater of Living Arts on South St. to see Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls do a solo show! She was incredible, and I got to meet her a third time. She is too wonderful for words, and I have posted pictures and video of the insane show on my Facebook. I encourage absolutely everyone to check out her music, and the Dresden Dolls too, they’re great.

And Sunday was uneventful…I edited my paper (my mother the writer sent me a bunch of line-edits that were extremely helpful), and that was it for productiveness. Oh and in the afternoon, I went and saw Greg in selections from “365 Plays for 365 Days”. It was…interesting. Not one of my favorite plays, but Greg was really amazing. The acting overall was very good, I was really impressed.

So here I am on Monday, just waiting for it to be break. I registered for classes at midnight, it was very satisfying. My schedule is great, I’m taking:

  • Macroeconomics – MW – 11:30 to 12:20
  • Macroeconomics conference (it’s apparently a small section of the class that meets every week) – TH – 2:40 to 3:30
  • Comparative Politics – TTH – 9:55 to 11:10
  • Modern Political Theory – TTH – 11:20 to 12:35
  • Greek Myth and Opera – W – 1:15 to 4:00

I’m really looking forward to all of the classes, but especially Greek Myth and Opera. It sounds so interesting, and Rayan, Rich, and Robert are all going to be in my class. It is going to be such a riot. Plus, my poli sci classes are going to be great, I can’t wait.

The light of the tunnel, it’s getting a little brighter every day. First semester is almost over, I just have to hang in there.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yours,
The Transfer Student

The Holiday Season.

November 20, 2008

Even though I’m drowning in and second guessing my research paper, sitting in poli sci class is still awesome.

BECAUSE IT’S SNOWING.

That’s right. There are crazy flurries everywhere.

I’m so happy, I love this time of year!

I think I see it…then again I could be waking up on the SEPTA tracks.

I am so tired. I am so tired and I feel awful on many, many levels. My weekend was relaxing, but unfortunately, despite the fact that I did get a fair amount of work done, I was nowhere near where I wanted to be for this week. My philosophy paper was late, and not even started, my econ notes on the Kuttner book were complete, and I still have to meet with my professors and rework my research paper. So I decided to bite the bullet and began working in Willets around 11. (I got back to campus around 9.) I went into the quiet room, but still found it impossible to concentrate. I pounded out more than half of my Kuttner paper, and then turned my attention back to Descartes. But I distracted myself with a thousand other useless activities, and it ended up taking me until about 6:30 in the morning to finish the Descartes paper. I emailed it to my infinitely understanding WA, who is a prince among men, and then decided to finish my econ paper. I did so, and it was just after eight. I went upstairs to my room, took a shower, then kept myself up by watching tv on my laptop. Having missed so many econ classes, I was terrified of missing another. So I stayed up, got to econ early…and drifted off about fifty times in class. I was mortified. This is a small school with small classes, and I’m sure my econ professor thinks I was doing a lot of hard drugs before coming to class. Great. I could not be making a worse impression on my prof if I showed up to class naked and started hula hooping. In fact, that may have even been preferable to falling asleep over and over, and then asking stupid questions.

But then it was over. I fell asleep finally for an hour, but it was during my aerobics class. So I have to go talk to her and explain why I haven’t been in class, and also beg Martin Warner (the registrar), to let me take gym classes at my local community college.

That was my painful day. I’m going over to a Hallowell sleepover tonight for chinese food and Desperate Housewives with Rayan. Oh, and today marked the beginning of Willets ASSassins…you are given a “kill” assignment, and have to kill the person by grabbing both of their asscheeks. So I’ve been covering my ass (literally, I had a guitar on my back all day), and plotting my kill. Wish me luck!

Fiendishly yours,
The Transfer Student

The Deep Breath Weekend.

November 15, 2008

I’m currently at my parents’ home in Bel Air, MD. It’s a Saturday evening, and it smells like homemade soup. A bad Lifetime movie is playing as I sit on the couch and work leisurely on my poli sci research paper and my econ paper. I’m waiting to eat dinner and sipping on my first Starbucks drink in way too long. Still haven’t quite figured out my philosophy paper, but I’m planning on completely writing it tomorrow before I return to Swat.

This past week was possibly one of the worst weeks I’ve ever had at Swat. I finally got back my American Elections midterm, B-. I was actually pretty happy about that. The same day, I started working on my Descartes paper for philosophy. But I could not find anywhere the answers to the questions asked by my professor. Eldridge is a fantastic philosophy professor, and he really knows what he’s talking about, but unless you have pass/fail, I would not recommend his intro course. Philosophy and decoding works of philosophy does not come naturally to me, and it is extremely difficult when you are juggling the first-year adjustment and three other classes. So I’m still plugging away on that, but Prof. Eldridge is really understanding.

Wednesday was pretty uneventful academia-wise, but there were a lot of stressful situations outside of classes. Dorm life sucks guys, I’m not going to lie. But at least at Swat, I’m guaranteed a single as a junior next year.

Thursday was mainly spent dealing with the aforementioned stressful situation, and I fell asleep during the (not so great) econ lecture on Thursday. I assumed the taxi driver subject would be more exciting, but according to Rich who filled me in, it was not. I went off to McCabe, forgoing Pub Nite. I got a little bit of my research paper done (which, from my literature review, my professors informed me I was doing all wrong), and after an hour and a half of working, Greg and Ted came and found me in the library. Greg’s birthday was Tuesday, we all went out to a Vietnamese restaurant and had a good time in Philly. Apparently he received a lot of classy food for his birthday, so I was persuaded to his room for some assorted cheeses, olive tapenade, port-soaked sausage, and Japanese beer. It was a refreshing night, and I was still able to get back to Willets an hour or so later and finish some more work.

Friday was awful. The weather was terrible, and to make matters even worse, I slept through yet another Econ class when my alarm didn’t go off. I was mortified, but I sat down and started getting ahead on some Econ reading in an attempt to make up for it. But it got better, because my mom picked me up at 4:30, took me to Panera, and then took me home. It’s definitely nice to be only an hour and a half away for times like this when life is just too stressful to deal with.

So I haven’t been super productive today, but I was infinitely more productive than I would have been had I stayed at Swat. Moral of this story? When life gets too tough to deal with, find a place you can breathe.

Yours in zen,
The Transfer Student