Sunday, October 30, 2005


Self-tagged (because she didn't pick anyone) from BadAunt's blog.

Rules of the game: Post 5 Weird and Random Facts about yourself, then at the end list the names of 5 people who are next in line to do this.

They're mostly from my past, because my future goals don't count and my present is boring.

1. For as long as I can remember I have had a ritual that accompanied the first real (if it stays overnight it counts) snowfall. I will go outside barefoot and dance in the newly accumulated snow.

2. I believe in unicorns.

3. I had a strawberry cake with lemon icing on it for my birthday one year. My parents decorated it with several plastic horses. That was the last birthday I ever spent with my friend Autumn.

4. I used to want to change my name to Michelle. Now I love my name.

5. My favorite song is "You Are My Sunshine." When I was little I had a black and white teddy bear that played the song when you pressed its paw. I wish I remembered all the words.

5 People who should do this:
Rick, Allison, Stephanie, Jamie and Rio?
Or first five to comment.

This is An Opinionated Post

Girl Scout Camp was a topic of discussion tonight while the cast of "The Lottery" waited for our call. I remain fascinated by the number of girls who know the same songs I do, were in Girl Scouts for years, and will talk for hours comparing what we know.

Tonight was the night of our theatre group's Halloween double double-feature (two back-to-back shows in one performance, two full performances). We performed a student-written play called "A Glint of Silver" and a version of the well-known short story "The Lottery." Glint of Silver was creepy. "I'll do anything for you..."
Lottery was creepy in the 'I know people who act like that' kind of way, I guess. If you've read the story you get the idea. We had a great ending to it, in my opinion. Everyone waited until the woman's son threw the first stone, and then crowded around, screaming and throwing foam rocks until she finally stopped crying out, and then everything paused. Still-frame, while the little girl in the background sings a skipping-rhyme - "How many years will you done last, how many papers will you pass, over and over the lottery comes, over and over it takes its sums." She'd sung it earlier while she skipped rope - perfectly innocent. And then the end. Boom. You realize what the rhyme means. The stage is washed in red light, which fades artistically (well, as artistically as possible given our ancient and sparse lighting system) into black. A five-second blackout, two seconds of light which reveal all of us standing in a line, then blackness again and we disappear. The audience should have been STUNNED. Of course we had a small audience and our acting wasn't flawless (hey, we're amateurs who can't make it into the theatre majors' productions), but I think we did all right. Most importantly, we had fun.

Halloween is Monday, and I officially don't care. If I do anything at all it'll be wrapping my cape around myself and stalking theatrically down the hall to trick-or-treat. No parties to go to, no candy to hand out, no friends to hang with (that I know of) and lots of homework to do. And planning... for NaNo. NaNo is the bigger event, as far as I'm concerned. At this point it may not be worth starting, but the HMS Optimism is still afloat and it's not going down as tragically as Titanic if I have anything to say about it. This is my third NaNo attempt and it's going to be a success if I have to type in my sleep to do it. Who needs sleep anyway? That's what caffeine is for, right? *giggle*

Friday, October 28, 2005

Rotary subluxation?

The medical records from the ER finally made their way to the health center here on campus, where I had gone to check the possibility of getting help in finding a neurologist who had a working phone number and an appointment open earlier than December. They included my radiology results, which have pretty much no comprehensible information in them unless you're a doctor. The paper is full of big technical words for a very simple problem. The nurse did explain it to me, though. She was very helpful and even tried to look up a diagram to show me which bones they were talking about. Apparently the top vertebra in my spine is slightly rotated and sitting weirdly on top of the second one, which may have been due to the way my head was (the scan showed it tilted to the right). It could also have been a problem I was born with. They're not sure. What they think it means is that the vertebra was misplaced because of the accident and they want me to get it looked at more closely. Considering that the report also says "The spinal canal appears uncompromised," I'm not worried. It doesn't hurt.

Today felt like a very short day so far. I went to one class, skipped the next to go to the health center and would have missed the third but it was an optional field trip anyway. I have to usher for Miss Saigon tonight, which means most of my evening is automatically gone. The highlights of the day were talking to the lady at the pasta station and getting a smile, and finding a stowaway piece of chicken in my pasta which was supposed to have only mushrooms in it. I like the little things in life, especially during times when I don't have anything big to smile about.

None of my homework for this week has been finished yet, and I honestly don't care much. My midterm grades look more hopeful than I dared expect.

Halloween is coming... yay? I don't have a costume. I was originally going to use my little chinese silk dress that I'm in the process of sewing but I never did get it finished. Then I thought about being a zombified foodservice worker, but that requires buying makeup, and I don't have anywhere to go anyway. I also considered being the Food Fairy, with a chicken nugget on the top of my wand, but that idea is not only unrecognizeable, it's silly. I don't do silly, because I'm already silly enough without emphasizing it. And the entire idea of Halloween just doesn't appeal any more.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I rear-ended someone last night on the way back from Pittsburgh after having spent my entire fall break in Canada (nice, eh?). The car is totaled, my neck is sore and after an hour and a half in a hospital with a neck brace on, they gave me a CAT scan, a prescription for a muscle relaxant that I probably won't fill, and a "You're fine, you'll be sore, go home." Then they called me back this morning and told me something might be wrong. They want me to talk to a neurosurgeon who I haven't been able to get in contact with yet and have a neck brace/collar put on. Gah.

Rick came to get me, at least. I called him first and he came right out and sat with me in the hospital, then drove me home. He's a wonderful boyfriend ^_^. I feel bad that he called off work today because he stayed here to make sure I was okay last night, but I'm also really glad he did stay. Last night sucked.

Canada was nice, though. I got to meet Rick's ex-girlfriend, and she's nice. I'm afraid I was a bit territorial and clingy. I'd say it was more habit than conscious action - I don't mind the thought of hanging out with her. I hope she didn't think I was entirely nuts (although it's better than being thought entirely stupid). Either way we had a good few hours, just the three of us. We went bowling (my first time) and even though I lost I had some fun doing it. I also learned a few interesting things - you learn something new every day.

I guess the four-day break balanced itself out, because now I'm tired and sore but I'm still happy about Canada. Such is life, eh?

Friday, October 21, 2005

I'm ready!

(I hope).

This morning I got up extra-early, no more of that plague of sleeping in! Of course it helps when you tell your roommate not to let you go back to sleep, and then promptly get out of bed. Anyway, I dragged myself awake for the sole purpose of writing an essay. *gasp* This isn't just any ordinary essay, though. This is the essay that could change my life! Or at least my next semester. I've got to get into the Professional Sequence 1 to go on with my planned curriculum, and that means writing an essay which looks like this: "If you would pass by me, you must answer these questions three: Why have you decided to become a teacher? What personal and professional goals do you expect to achieve as a result of this decision? And What experiences have you had in working with children?" Of course I'm not allowed to just take the essay sheet up to my advisor and hand it in yelling "I DON'T KNOW!" Instead, I wrote two double-spaced pages about my inspirational teacher from 3rd grade (true), my experiences at camp and in KidsRead (mostly true), and my incredibly optimistic goals to improve the lives of my students (almost complete BS). Now I'm hoping it answered the questions well enough.

I have to meet with my advisor at 9. Here goes nothing!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

This scares me more than anything I've seen yet. It's bad enough that my cell phone has a GPS system with it, as do most new cars. It's worse yet that people are already numbers - SSN, Student ID - even in elementary schools the kids are being numbered. My little sister's number last year was 11, the boy I tutor's number is 17. The 'upper class' (government, big business and all the rest) is getting less and less personal and more and more overwhelming.

In other news, I went and stood in line for half an hour today, just to have someone ask me about my last menstrual cycle and stick a needle in my arm. The TB Test is a requirement to get into the ELED Professional Sequences here. I get to go back on Thursday to get the results (even though it's perfectly easy to see them for myself, as they're on my arm!). And maybe Friday I can get out of here... even if I have to miss Irish Dancing and two days of work, being irresponsible will feel good. I want to get off campus before winter hits and effectively traps me. I seriously dislike the cold.

Monday, October 17, 2005

KidsRead Session 2

(or Why I'll Never Have Boys)

I'm frustrated because I can't work magic. It's really that simple. Once again, despite Leah's attempts to get more tutors to volunteer, I ended up with the three boys (who I will call B, C, and K). The situation was supposed to be alleviated, Leah put me with three not because I asked, but because they all needed placement and she trusts me. That's a new one. At any rate, it wouldn't be so bad, but...

This session I wanted to get the boys to actively discuss what they picked to read over the break. No deal. C didn't seem to have read anything, B had chosen a book that was too difficult (although that's okay by me, at least he tried) and K he'd read the whole book but didn't know why he liked it. He also said he understood all the words except the spells - he's in fourth grade and had chosen Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Cue the astonished looks. I don't know if I can believe him but he's in an accelerated math class and his spelling words for the week included "isometric" and "acommodation." Why is he here? Probably because he's a minority student and his mother is the type who will do anything for her child to get ahead. *sigh*

The other two who hadn't read/didn't have anything to discuss sat and read Easy Reader books that C had chosen before they settled down toward the end. I never did get any of them to read out loud for more than a sentence, which means I still have no clear idea of their reading level. It's obvious that the three of them are at radically different levels, but exactly what they can and can't read/understand is beyond me. C is the worst to handle, at any rate, because he acts pretty ADD and won't focus on anything but drawing his comics. B is ok, but won't read out loud because he doesn't like it, and K seems to be doing pretty well without this program.

At any rate, I'm trying again. This time, they have to read and make a list of vocab words they want to know. If there were a poster child for indefatigable optimism, it'd be me. I refuse to give up, at least in the long run. Sure, I'll complain, but I'd rather be stuck in a bookless world for eternity than let those kids walk away from these sessions having learned nothing. And maybe one of them will be switched to another tutor...

NaNo is coming up. Sign up or die. Actually, that should be And. Sign up AND die. I haven't yet, but then I've never actually made it to 50,000 words either.

Monday, October 10, 2005

National Coming Out Week

is this week.

And since I've already had one soul-baring session this weekend, I thought it was a good time to say something I've half-hidden for a while. I'm bisexual.

Not that it makes a difference, but I just thought I'd let some of you know.

And on a totally unrelated note, I get lost too easily.

Monday, October 03, 2005


KidsRead, day 1 (for me, anyway). I am paired with 3 boys. Normally we try to do a one-on-one situation so that each child gets the maximum attention possible, but due to an abundance of children and a lack of trained tutors, many of us are working with two or even three kids in the same grade level.

My three boys are a mixed lot: two are chinese, two like Captain Underpants, and two can finish their homework without getting too distracted. And yes, it's a different pair each time. They're very gregarious and would rather laugh over Dav Pilkey's cartoons than read anything serious, but I got them to at least finish their spelling worksheets. They did their math homework, too. I'm not supposed to let them, as this is a reading workshop and not a study hall, but I'll admit I was unprepared. At the end we all trooped into the kids' section and each boy picked out a book he wanted to take home. Assignment: To read one chapter for next week's session... except I later found out there is no session next week, so they'll have two weeks to read. Yay? We'll be using the books they picked out as guides, I hope, so we can work on vocabulary, reading comprehension and reading out loud without switching materials each time they come in. The idea is that they will get some enjoyment out of reading the books they chose, I'll be able to judge their reading level more easily and mark progress, and by the end of the semester they should have completed one or more chapter books on their own. If it works I'll be thrilled.

I think being a teacher is going to be an incredible challenge, but at least I'm getting practice with smaller groups. And boys. Working at a Girl Scout camp leaves one with a rather lopsided education as far as the workings of children. I understand girls okay, and I am one, so that helps... but the opposite gender at any age is still rather mysterious, aside from the fact that most of them think toilet humor is great. Maybe tutoring three boys will help. Maybe it will drive me up a bookshelf.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


I have a tattoo. Don't worry, it's small. I don't have any pictures of it, so if you want to see it you'll have to come visit me in person. *waits for dad to do the Disappointed thing*

Work DHC today from 4:30-8, possibly longer if the manager is in a bad mood. I told her I might be able to work longer but had homework (which is actually true) and I think that since my shoulder's still a little sore, I'd rather not work overtime taking out garbage.

Yesterday was fun. My friend and sister and mom came down here... mom and sis for the Honors College open house, and friend just because. We wandered around for a while, mingling with the prospective students (who weren't frightened by me, which is a good sign). Then Al and I went out to glamourbomb the campus. It wasn't pure glamourbombing but we chalked a few things, left some cards with sayings and candy, and basically had fun. It might make people think, and that was the whole point for us.

I bought a book, too. It's a collection of poems by Pablo Neruda, including two of his love sonnets (one of which happens to be my favorite!), and it contains the translations as well as the original Spanish. I'm excited because this will give me the opportunity to practice reading in Spanish and maybe help my writing too, because it will improve my knowledge of the written language. Next on the list: read "Cien aƱos de soledad" and "Como agua para chocolate" in spanish. I've read the latter in English and it's fantastic, but it didn't give me the practice I wanted. The libraries around here don't carry any spanish literature. :(

Thus far the weekend has gone well. I'm waiting for the horrible tiredness that has become my life to drop upon me again... or anticipating it, since I have work in half an hour.