Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall thoughts

This is undergrad: ramen noodles.

This is grad school: ramen noodles plus broccoli.

That's not entirely true. I did bake myself two lovely loaves of pumpkin bread with walnuts and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Now the house smells like autumn. And the air feels like it. And somehow everything is so much better because of that.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Midterm Resolutions

Wow, Tuscaloosa. Not really what I thought you would be. Your stormy weather is startling. You slay me with your river, trees, your sunsets. Your natives, who catcall the grad students as they bike by with phrases like "GET A JOB" charm me with the simplicity of their lives: they exit the womb, spit out the silver spoon, pick up a football/tennis racket/golf club, master that 80's prep school coif, drink wine with their parents at the country club, go to college, pledge a sorority/fraternity, don the non-required uniform (track shorts and size XL shirt w/flip flops or tennis shoes for the ladies, khaki and polos for the gentlemen), drink, network, make sexual advances on one another, and leave college married and set for life. It's so idyllic in its way. It has the same gentle, predictable rhythms as the life of a shepherd.

My life is organized almost at random. Shifts at the Writing Center, where I help said undergrads write better papers about significant events in their lives like cheerleading tournaments and rush week (no lie), are sprinkled across Monday, Friday, and Sunday. Shifts in the Graduate Office with the lovely Vernita and the lovely Carol are pleasant and offer ample time to catch up on reading (though I've learned that when I save homework for the last shift before a class, a mountain of work magically appears to reprimand and punish me for my procrastination). Classes occur on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of every week, with the exception of my publishing seminar, which pops up once every other Tuesday. Also every other week: Writing Center staff meetings.

On the side, I'm reading fiction, poetry, and non-fiction for the Black Warrior Review (which equals 3-4 meetings a month), attending readings (of course), learning to belay with Betsy at the rock climbing wall in the student rec center, trying to read "The Essential Jung," "Beloved," "Arkansas," and multiple slush piles simultaneously, making notes of other things I want to read and write, chatting through all of this with Andy, and last and regrettably least, the occasional run, the occasional session of yoga (video yoga), and some writing.

So here we are: fall break. I must say I am ready for it. I am busy in a good way, but busy nevertheless, and I am tired. So this weekend: the Shrimp Festival at Gulf Shores, the beach, my first alligator farm, and plenty of fun with Tim and Casey. Hooray!

But most of all, next weekend. Next weekend I fly out to Utah for some quality time with my lover. I am counting down the minutes. (No, really: at the time of posting there are 216 hours and 48 minutes until I see him again.)

I have goals for next semester. I want to spend more time writing and exercising, less time drinking. I want to get back in touch with my inner peace, the part of me that remains unruffled no matter what else is going on. I want to be less selfish. I want to nurture my friendships. I want to spend less time thinking about all of the great things I want to do while I'm here and start actually doing them.

Here's to midterm, everyone. Roll Tide.
Web Analytics