I'm closing down this journal--for a bit.
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I find that...well, too many people know this address. On the one hand, that was the intention all along--a way to keep in touch with friends. On the other hand, I'm craving anonymoty right now.
And when I look over my most recent entries, I realize that I've heavily edited this journal, culled out most of my thoughts, my life. There's no point in writing a journal when I feel that I can no longer write freely. Perhaps it's better to simply email my friends to keep in touch...a little more personal, a little less selfish.
I'll still be checking and commenting in my friend's pages (periodically). I'm not deleting this journal--there might be a time in the future (while I'm in Athens, for example), when a public journal is once again useful. But for now...no more entries.
This journal is starting to become my academic-life-only journal. It feels oddly incompletely--I'm a nerd, but even I'm not that one-dimensional.
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In any case...
I got into both classes that I was pushing for--and a good thing, too, as I'll explain later.
My profs are both amazing--they're the cream of the crop of the English department, so I expected no less. My classes are a mix of grad students, majors, and non-majors...so it makes for a good variety. I think I've been holding my own among the majors and grad students. I'm still a little skittish--I don't have the background knowledge in the field (English requires American Lit 1, Brit Lit 1, Am or Brit Lit 2...sort of like our 301 and 302 for Philo)...and truth is, NNHS didn't prepare me THAT well.
And I have to impress my prof's this semester. Pulling A's isn't enough. You see, I've been eyeing the honors major, which is "by invitation only." They choose their students after their sophomore year, who has attained a certain GPA in at least 3 English courses. It's a 2-year honors program.
I'm taking 2 English right now. A bit late for the first year (I can't take it my sophomore year anyway)...but since I'll be taking an extra senior year, I might be able to talk them into letting me in anyway. Much as I hate being definied by numbers, the 4.0 GPA--fairly or not--opens doors. But I'll need to maintain it...and I'll need leverage within the English department. I'm seeing Professor Benedict (head of the department, I believe) a week from Wednesday. I'll bring this up then--I know that he won't. Chances are, he might consider it once he finds out my GPA...and the fact that I'm basically a freshman, in terms of my graduation year, and tell me that he'll get back to me in a year, after I've taken a few more English classes.
Well, no matter. I'm almost done with the philo major (2 more classes, and the supplementry major is done...I'll probably take at least 4 more just to get in all the profs I want). After my semester in Athens, I should be almost halfway through with the history major.
Hum A (English-type course, Earlham requirement)
Eco-bio (science requirement)
Calc A (math requirement)
Hindiusm+Buddhism (religion requirement)
East Asia history (history requirement)
Hum B (English-ish, Earlham requirement)
Astronomy (science requirement)
Classical Greek philo (philo intro requirement, possibly classics minor)
Calc B (math requirement)
Kierkegaard (philo major--elective)
Faith+Reason (philo requirement)
302 (philo major--required)
Old Regime France (history major)
CORE (core requirement)
*Logic (philo major--*DROPPED)
301 (philo major--required)
Augustine (philo major-elective)
Romans+Gods (history major OR classics minor)
CORE (core requirement)
Proposed schedule (very, very tendative):
American Novel (English major--elective)
American religious imagination (English major--elective)
Byzantium history (history major)
Ancient Greek history (history major)
Aegan Paintings (fine arts requirement)
Greek mythology (counts of absolutely nothing!)
Brit Lit 1 OR Am Lit 1 (English major--required)
Methods course (English major--required)
French course @UIUC(no credit, up my French level to enter immediate course)
Logic course@UIUC (if they have it--no credit, complete Logic requirement for grad school w/o killing myself at ND).
Am or Brit Lit 1 (English major--requirement, whatever I didn't take before)
(history major) OR (French course--language requirement)
Am or Brit Lit 2 (English major--requirement)
(history major) OR (philo major--electives)
(history major) OR (French course--language requirement)--whatever I didn't take
(philo major--electives) OR Abnormal Psych (elective psych course I want to try)
(history major--electives) OR Cosmology (1st year physics course I want to take)
Thesis prep? OR above
English honors thesis
Philo honors thesis????? (am I insane?)
Yea...looking at this schedule...especially if I get into the English honors major, I'm guessing that it's going to start taking over my life :)
I'm definitely here for 5 years.
The Great Scramble for an English course...
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I got an email today notifying me that the poetry writing class has been cancelled.
It was the class that I had counted to get me a "taste" of the English major before Athens, so I would know whether or not to declare the major.
*sighs* There's only 2 400 level classes (the lowest level for credit for majors), both of which are closed. One is taught by Kevin Hart, whom Adrian mentioned is one of the stars of the department. Unfortunately, he did NOT tell me about his teaching ability. The other is Werge, who got uniformly rave reviews on NDtoday...but his class is closed. I might be able to weasel into anyway (since my class was cancelled, I might get some help)...we'll see.
I'm waiting, right now...waiting for Adrian to reply to my frantic emails (isn't it nice having an English major for a boyfriend?) and steer me towards the right class.
Grrr...I was just starting to get excited about the poetry course too!
Every time I sit down to write, I have nothing to say.
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When I look back on this journal, it seems like the writings of a stranger. I've so torn between the person that I was, and the person that I'm changing, too quickly changing into.
So much has happened this past year. I don't know when it started, but it excerated that Thursday before Easter break...and I'm not entirely sure that the storm is over yet. My world's been turned upside-down a few times over, and I'm still counting...counting who's left, who's still a friend...what still constitutes me.
I won't go into the details. I haven't even written them in my private journal...emotions, only, a few sketches of disconjucted details. It's too much, too soon for me to figure out what happened.
It's still happening.
I sound like a mad prophet (C'mon, every good fantasy novel has one) who speaks in riddles so that no one can prove him wrong.
I don't write here very often anyone, because I don't know that the words will still be true a week later. In the privacy of my own journal, I have the freedom to sprewl the emotions, the words--the truth of the moment...but with an audience, I feel accountable.
I wish I have something...SOMETHING to anchor myself on.
I've been reading fantasy novels again. It's my comfort food for the soul. In fantasy stories, good and evil are usually pretty cut and dry--you have the mad and powerful wizard/ruler...versus the little hero that could and his assorted motley gang of losers. Add a touch of romance, a some budding, predictable powers on the part of the hero...and voila! you've got the makings of a fantasy novel. The hero, like the audience, starts off rather lost and questioning (often a bit bitter too)...but eventually...we all know that he'll eventually find his quest--and himself. The modern redition of Campbell's "The Hero's Quest."
I grew up on those stories. I grew envy not the hero's adventures (not to mention his magic swords and horses), but his dedication...the pillar of honor that is the mark of every would-be hero. I grew up wanting, but never quite achieving (or perhaps, it was only becuase I never thought to achieve) that core personality that makes him who he is.
I'm too old for the simplistic world of fantasy novels. Even finely crafted, the stories cannot compare with the depth and grayness of the real world. There's no absolute good and evil...everyone has a story, everyone has a justification that cannot completely justify his motives over that of another. Honor...what place does honor have in a world that's shaded in grey?
I'm not quite THAT cynical yet. I've seen friends who value honor above their life...the old knight's of chivalry (the history major in me is quite anxious to point out that the code of chivalry was never honored) never really died in their hearts. I admire them, envy them, even...but their way can't be mine. Nothing looks black-and-white to me. When I pick a side, I'm too aware tht that's all I'm doing...if the circumstances were different, perhaps I would be on the other side.
I'm so uncertain of truth...especially of my truth. I can't throw my heart, my soul into ANYTHING...because I'm too aware that perhaps it's another delusion...bred of hope and naivity.
The problem is, one can't live without roots. I can't denounce everything---after all, gray does contain some white...and I still see that which is worth redeeming in almost everyone, every situation. But I can't embrace it either. I watch things happen, take sides, even...but it all feels so empty.
I'm tired of drifting. I want the quest...I want the promise of answers that lie at the end of the fight. I want a CAUSE...a cause to believe in, a cause to take up...and perhaps even a cause to die for.
I want to stop looking searching for illusions in every shadow.
It's finally here.
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My last final ended on Thursday. I packed and moved out last Saturday. For the past two days (until Wednesday), Adrian is staying with us. He's headed to London for the next 4 months, then back to California.
My summer, unfortunately, isn't herely as exciting. I'm going to Athens in mid-September (God will, that I get this insane visa process done). I'm going to summer school from June 22-August 5th (IF the grants comes through).
The rest of the time...
I've only been home a few days, and I'm already starting to look for escape routes. My family and I have never really gotten along. We're all too insane...but we're insane in a way that isnt' compatible with one another. Already, I've averaged a fight a day with my parents...on everything from what time I go to bed (darling mother, I'm TWENTY years old!), to the temperature the apartment needs to be set at (she absolutely refuses to set it for lower then 80-82 degrees. I'm about to move into the freezer).
It hasn't been a good start at all...and there's nothing to suggest that things will get any better. The problem, I think...is that my parents love me, but they know so little about me. They're convinced that they know what is best for me...without having any real sense of who I am. I wish I could tell them, show them...but all my attempts have ended in either denial on their part, or rather badly. Take the depression. I told them during my senior year of high school that I was depressed. It should have come as no surprise, considering in the two years prior to my announcement, I went from being a straight-A, outgoing girl into a self-imposed isolation...while failing school and dating an abusive 22-year-old. My parents took me to the doctor's...who prescribed anti-depressents. I'm not a big fan of popping pills, but even I could tell that my situation was extreme...and counseling alone wouldn't be enough.
My mother took the medication away from me, citing some shoddy research from an herbal company that they were dangerous--despite my efforts to show her a mountain of peer-reviewed research in prestigious journals otherwise. *sighs* Looking back, it's almost comical. Back in high school, I was deeply depressed, dealing with an eating disorder, and occasional suicidal. I was far more dangeorus to myself.
I was 17 while I raged on this debate with my parents. They technically won: but my family doctor (whom I still adore), continued to give me samples of the medication until I no longer needed them. Even though I disliked going behind my parent's back, I still stand by the decision I made--there are times when I kno what's right for me. At the very least, I have the right to choose, now that I'm able to be responsible for the consequences of my choices.
But my parents...my mom especially...never really understood that. She has a very set view of what's "best" for me. She wants me to find the boyfriend that SHE wanted for herself 25 years ago, while she was in college. She doesn't realize that so many of the traits that she values means little to me...that I wouldn't be happy with her choice. She loves me dearly--I've never doubted that, but she can't understand me at all except in relation to herself...
*sighs* The issue is too complicated (and frankly, too depression) for me to dive into on a public journal. It's sufficent to say that I've pretty much given up on trying for a mutrually respectful relationship with my parents. Perhaps one day, when enough time has passed so that we can laugh as we look back, I can sit down and tell her everything (well, ALMOST everything). But for now, the face I present to her--the face I'm forced to present is almost entirely different who I am I really am. And it drains me.
I can't spend the next 6 weeks here, counting off the days until summer school starts. I've buried myself in books--just about a novel a night...but it's still not sufficent. I feel guilty for feeling this way...but I NEED to get out of here. Champaign doesn't feel like home--I'll never be here long enough for it to start feeling like home.
I might visit Blythe in Evansville, if things work out. We were roomates--if we can tolerate each other for a semester and a half while sharing our tiny room, I think we can get along for a few weeks.
I want to visit Naperville...I have friends there that I haven't seen in months, or years. But trying if I'm going to do that, I'll need a place to stay...and our house is already up on the market.
In the meantime, while I'm waiting for the dice to fall...
I curl up under the blankets (yes, even in the sweltering heat) and read.
I stayed up late last night to finish my last CORE paper.
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This morning, I found out that it had been canceled...
As I'm going back to my dorm, I noticed that the elevator had padding over the sides and the floors (to protect it as people are moving out heavy furniture)..it now bears a striking resemblance to a padded cell.
How appropriate. When I break down in a few days, they only have to lock me up in the elevator...
Blythe, I think I owe you that dollar back.
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It looks like I will be writing you TWO long emails in the week after finals…sorry to keep you in suspense, but this will take some time for me to think through…and I must tackle 2 papers, 3 final papers, and 2 exams first (not to mention moving out of 2 dorm rooms…).
(*sighs* Why does life always get interesting RIGHT around finals? Last year, I had a midnight, half-drunken semi-fling. This year has managed to trump that…easily, and then some).
I know you check this journal occasionally. If you see this, PLEASE call/email me. I really need to talk to someone right now who...
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1. will be bluntly honest
2. knows me very well
3. has a clear head and can help me figure some things out.
*grins* I'm calling up on old favors...
email me: email@example.com
(my last name goes into the blank, no spaces or dashes)
I've noticed that I update much more when I'm either bored (breaks), or procrativative (semester crunch).
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Right now, it's the second state.
Unlike John, who has 3 papers and a Logic test this week...or Adrian, who's practically living in the library to write his senior thesis (as a junior?), or Z, who's trying to turn in perfect papers for every one of his 6 overloaded classes...my schedule is pretty sane. 2 papers, plus the usual bi-weekly Neiman essays, and keeping up with my notes. Somewhere in there, I need to catch up with John and/or Adrian on Logic, but that's not a priority.
I really don't have a right to complain about the workload: despite being out for 2 weeks, I'm doing quite well.
I think I'm just sick of it.
I want to curl up in a corner and read philosophy because I'm curious...not because the test is coming up. I want to reflect on classical literature because it inspires me, not because the paper is due. It's my age-old complaint...I'm doing well, but I'm not doing the work. I went to my CORE teacher last week to see about catching up...he told me not to worry, because I'm obviously keeping up with the reading.
Ouch. I've read 2 books for that class--the two I had to report on. Everyone else is merely skimming and half-hearted, failed attempts. I still keep up with class discusios...I'm still turning in my papers early. But it's all an appearence--I know how to LOOK like the good student, but I'm not one.
I'm starting to feel guilty...much more so this year then before. In past semsters, I at least put in the effort to do what's assigned, rather than skating by with only what I absolutely have to do. This semester, I've even stopped trying. I'm still "getting the grades"--setting the curve...but is it really fair? I studied for the last RG test with Christin. She put in SO much more effort and time then I did. I did better on the test...much better. But do I really understand the material that well? I know how to study for the test--not the subject.
I've taken to studying in Adrian's single. Despite our completely different studying habits (he needs noise to stay awake, I need silence to stay focused), it's pretty helpful--we tend to talk to the other person as a way of working through out ideas. I noticed that he always, always tries to get through the material. As an english major, he has so much more reading then I do--but despite his many complaints, he sits down and reads. I don't even bother.
Is it fair, I wonder?
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Nearly passed out yesterday. Again. Don't feel like going into details. My apologies (once again) to Geoff, whom I left at the last minute...and to Adrian, whom I once again intruded on--it's the third time this semester that I've collapsed at his door. This time, I didn't feel like calling security...I ended up staying the night. By the morning, the room was no longer spinning.
Doc's appointment tomorrow. They better have a...more detailed explanation for what's wrong with me then "you're dehydrated." 8 glasses of water--I counted--rules out that option. Maybe it's the corset...it certainly couldn't have helped, but that damn thing wasn't THAT tight...no tighter than most girl's jeans...and you don't see them passing out every day.
I'd feel a lot better about this whole thing if I just knew that's wrong with me. It's the lack of knowledge that bothers me the most...
SO behind on papers. Too tired to start again today...I'll just edit. Tomorrow will be the massive paper-writing day...
There's so many people that I haven't been spending enough time with. I'm falling behind in corresponding...I owe Josh and Blythe emails. I've yet to figure out a time to meet up with Mario...I really haven't spent that much time with John...and I've been woefully ignoring Sophie.
And until these CORE papers are done, I'm afraid my social life will have to stay on hold...
I don't leave for Athens until mid-september, a good 3 weeks after ND starts. I actually might spend some of that time here...I'll have to find a place to stay (not too difficult, I think) while on campus, since I won't have a dorm. I'm actually thinking of hanging around during that time. *grins* It would be really nice to enjoy all ND has to offer without having to do the work--or go to classes. And maybe for once, I'll have a decent social life. I have a good group of friends here...I just don't spend enough time with them. We'll see if the living situation pans out. There's also the slight complication of not having any meals...since I'm off the meal plan (not that I use my meal plan that often nowadays).
We'll see. In the meantime, if anyone is getting an off-campus apartment next year, and wouldn't mind a 2-3 week guest (who cooks, and will even clean up after herself!)...let me know.
Shawn and John brought up some good points last Thursday. It was nothing that I haven't thought about...but hearing it from someone else--from people who know me fairly well...makes it seem that much more real.
What AM I waiting for? To attain some sort of nirvana-like perfection? To be satisfied enough with myself? To have solved the mystery of who I am, where I'm going, and what will make me happy? I might as well wait for the second coming of Christ...
In the meantime, I still have to live. I still have to experience.
I can't wait, forever...
Question: Why did I leave Adrian, anyway? Do I even know anymore?
But I’ll write on happier topics…the steadiness of my day’s events, even lacking routine…is comforting.
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After I got back from the doctor’s office (pumping gas for the first time as I was running on fumes on the way there)…Mom and I went to Leny’s. Leny is a Filipino hairdresser that my mom has been going to for the past 5 or 6 years. Today, it was my hair that she cut. 2 inches off…closer to three. She did trim a lot of my split ends. Perhaps if I ate a little better, my hair will be healthier. Anyway…she was a sweet little old lady. She’s been running a saloon out of her garage for the past 25 years…you have to appreciate that kind of dedication.
Aunt Annie called when we were on our way back. She’ll be at our house before 2 pm. Mom and I hurried through the grocery shopping…and came back just in time for Annie. She brought Olivia, and their next-door neighbor…Matthew as well. The kids played, while Annie, Mom and I discussed Annie’s latest dating situation.
She’s still with Dave, though there are obviously problems between them. The communication is forced…and Dave is always on business trips. He’s lacking in the romance department—and generosity as well (according to Annie). She was most displeased with the gifts that he brought from his month-long business trips. When I heard her descriptions, I have to agree as well. Yet Annie isn’t planning on giving up on this relationship. She says that they seem compatible so far…and that’s what important to her. When I asked her if she loved him, she steered the subject away…she told me that they get along, and that’s all that really matters.
What matters to her? After abandoning her college love for a chance to emigrate to America, after one failed marriage and 2 failed relationships after that…Annie simply wants security. She wants to marry a man who can provide for her, whom she can “put up with.” Love? She’s too cynical to believe in love.
Or maybe I’m just too naïve.
I realized something: I don’t know anyone in my family who is happily married…It’s not to say that everyone is on the brink of a divorce (Annie is the one exception) or even unhappy in their marriage…it’s just that no one seems to be in love with their spouses after a few years…if they were every in love to begin with. They stay together out of duty to their children, or by the strength of tradition and societal expectations, or out of financial considerations…or for some, after many years of semi-content marriage, out of habit. Yet for so many of the friends and family that I know…they’re not together because they truly, truly want to be with each other. Being with the other person isn’t the end in itself…it’s the goal to an end, whether the true end be for the kids, for security, or having regular home-cooked meals. But love…there’s almost an assumption in my household that love is like infatuation: something one outgrows with time and maturity…that is truly need and responsibility that keeps a family together.
Geeh, no wonder I have such a hard time with commitment.
I’m still a romantic at heart, with a pretty thick cynical shell. I want to marry for love. I want to make my commitments out of love rather than expectation. I want, in 30 years, to look back on the person that I married and know that I love him even more than I did on our wedding day. I want to believe that love doesn’t die with the first financial crises, or the first child, or slowly seep away with the ordinariness of communal living.
Yet when I look at the marriages around me, when I look back at my own “relationship record”…my romantic ideals seems to fade to the substance of faerie tales. Wishing for love that endures—isn’t that rather like wishing for some guy to sweep me off my feet on his gallant white stallion? Hell—how many guys nowadays can ride? I know of one, and he’s most definitely gay: my dormmate from Earlham. (Besides, if “my knight” ever showed up, I bet that damn horse will buck him off and I’d spend the next few hours chasing down the “gallant steed”).
Ever marriage that I know of…where I can peer beneath the smoothly polite surface…shows me that even those who marry for love eventually stays married for some other reason. In my family, I’m the reason—my parents have told me repeated that it’s only because of me that they stay together. They “get along” most of the time…I’ve gotten used to the fights (besides, these occur a lot less nowadays)…but they’ve given up on each other. For the most part, they pursue their own individual lives…they’re strangers who happen to share a house and a daughter together. It’s not as depressing as I’m making it out to be…my parents are often happy in their own right, but they don’t make each other happy.
My grandparent’s marriage…my uncle Tom’s marriage…Auntie Annie…it’s a similar story. Love is an afterthought…and often fades as quickly. Practicality, compatibility, and security: that’s what marriage is all about.
I’ll take up stripping before marrying a guy for his bank account—it’s essentially the same thing, except that I’m not morally obligated to sleep with the guy. No pretense of love…we both know that my affections would be an illusion.
But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. I don’t have a guy, much less a guy to refuse to marry for his bank account :) Though I’m being critical of my family’s marriages…my own record for relationships is hardly outstanding. Even aside from the two “mistakes”…I’ve screwed up so many times with great guys…
I can’t help but wonder what’s wrong with me. Some of them were really great guys. One of them, at least, I deliberately pushed away because he knew me too well…and it terrified me that he still accepted me.
I don’t trust myself. I don’t trust my ability to live up to my commitments…I don’t trust my capacity to love. I don’t trust myself to make the right decisions…
And so I make no binding decisions, no commitments, and refuse to love.
I know that this will eventually get me nowhere. If I keep turning away anyone that I might have a chance of loving in a “more than platonic” way, I’ll being one of those “cat ladies” who keeps a highly illegal number of pets—and spends more money on them then most people do on a vanload of kids. The way things are now…I reach out towards the people who intrigue me, people that—given time and experience—I might grow to love…and I tuck them safely in my “friend” category: close, but untouchable.
Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to care for my friends…
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We went to see the Passion today. Despite the many warnings about the gruesomeness of this movie, and its empathize on suffering, I was unprepared for the sheer bloodiness of this movie.
Unnecessary blood, might I add. In truth, this movie was…moving, yet it doesn’t seem to move one to any specific purpose. It portrayed the suffering of Christ, without explaining reason for that suffering—they cleared showed why humans so needed redemption, yet it did show how we are worth redeeming. The lack of historical accuracy (or even biblical accuracy, as many scholars have claimed) troubles me…but I can understand that every artistic rendering of history, or legend, or religion for that matter…requires some artistic license. I agree with Adrian’s claim that such a movie is dangerous for it is more than mere art…for many, this movie will definite our views of religion for this generation—and this is not a view that I can agree with. The anti-semitic claim also has merit. Defenders of this movie claims that it shows that all are guilty of Christ’s death—but this movie heavy empathizes that the strongest burden of that guilt falls on the Jews. Piolute—who sentences Jesus to the death according to the Gospels, is actually portrayed as a victim, unable to stop the bloodthirsty Jews. And the cracking of the Temple upon Jesus’s death…that’s artistic interpretation taken too far. Too many will watch this movie to be moved…and they will be—but the message this movie sends, even unwittingly, suggests that the Jews are to be blamed for the sufferings of Jesus.
And the violence…
Neiman said in class that one criticism of this movie is that the physical aspect of the suffering that this movie portrayals in such a gruesome way actually detracts from the true dept of the suffering endured by Christ. After watching, I have to agree. The physical blows—the grotesque, torn body of Christ certain raises one’s emotions…yet it wasn’t empathy or understanding that I felt…merely nausea. I left the movie after the first scourging…I simply couldn’t take it anymore. I returned for the last 20 minutes, hoping for a conclusion that would justify the excessive bloodiness...there was none. A hint, certainly, that Christ’s suffering was not in vain—but than again, for 99% of the audience…we already knew that, didn’t we?
The greatest suffering is not physical...but mental—emotional. Christ’s physical pains were little compared to his emotional suffering…to being rejected and delivered to die by those he had come to save, to be hated by the people had set out to love…betrayed by his closest friends and disciplines. His greatest suffering was anguish—not merely the physical wounds that this movie empathized.
*sighs* I think of Dante’s hell, compared with hell as described by C.S Lewis. Though Dante fascinates me, I wonder—can we only understand eternal suffering through physical descriptions? Can only Dante’s gruesome descriptions of physical torture and mutilations move his peers—just as only Christ’s torn body and blood move this generation? Can we not understand that perhaps the sufferings of Sisyphus in Camus’ interpretation of the Greek legend, or Lewis’ description of men locked in self-imposed, eternal anguish…that these are the deepest and the truest suffering?
I wonder, what was the point of this movie.
Even when I left my church, I could never quite leave Christianity. So many of the best people that I know—the people that I wholeheartedly admire—are true Christians. Not your Sunday prayer-group Christians…or your Easter-and-Christmas Catholics…certainly not your evangelical-t.v-you’re-going-to-burn-in-hell type Christians. These are people who have never tried to shove doctrine down my throat…who, for the most part, never even attempt to “preach” to me…yet their very actions speak far louder than any words. I understand Christian love through how they care for their friends, I understand Christian forgiveness through their willingness to forgive. After 10 years of an evangelical church, I greet preaching with deaf ears…but I cannot turn away from their astonishing examples. I can never truly leave Christianity when there are people like these…who show me what it really means to claim to follow Christ.
I have two friends who once told me (on separate occasions) that they pray for me (among others) every night before going to bed. I find that oddly comforting, especially since I so struggle to find the words to pray. I haven’t tried in months…and it was years since I succeed, if even then. There’s something about the notion that someone else out there is passing a word, a thought, to God for me…
It isn’t merely that these friends care enough to pray for me (though that, too, is comforting)…it’s the strength of their faith, where my has faltered. Divine love feels out of my reach…but divine love channeled through human faith—that’s something I can understand.
I'm so exhausted that I'm giddy. No caffeine or sugar yet...
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My thanks to John and Z and Adrian who put up with me last night...they were incredibly helpful and patient as I muddled my way through Aquinas and bad grammar. (Poor John: 2 papers to edit is hardly the best birthday present)
It's been a LONG day so far.
The RG test this morning was...painful. Professor Bradley was downright malicious on the terms--I studied my tail off, and I STILL guessed on a good half of them. The curve will be high...last time, it was set to 80%. Apparently, I'm not the only one in the class who's struggling.
I can't believe how much work I have piled up. Professor Neiman is being EXTREMELY generous with letting me make up the short papers...dropping Logic has kept me sane...and I haven't even started to catch up for Freddoso's class, short of the papers. Despite the kindness of my professors, I'm still barely keeping the pace...that's what I get for being out 2 weeks.
It's John's birthday today! *grins* It's also April Fool's day. I won't write too much--there's a chance he might see this entry today. Unlike, but I like to keep the surprise...
Updates coming up. I've been promising that for a while. They're sitting in my laptop, in some obscure file I need to dig out....
Fever's pretty much gone today, but my stomach is still very much in revolt--and I think it's convinced the rest of my digestive system to join it's cause. (ok! I surrender! No more spicy food...this week!). What bothers me the most is the dizziness--it's constantly there (though oddly enough, I'm getting used to that)--but occasionally it's bad enough that I lose my balance.
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As for feeling like an idiot...
I spend the afternoon writing the Freddoso paper, which I THOUGHT is today. I owe John one (or three)--he patiently answered my 101 questions on Aquinas and Aristotle. I stopped around 4 page (maybe 2/3rds written, still in need of HEAVY editing) when I was too dizzy to finish. Apparently, writing the paper took much more energy than I thought...I felt a lot worse when I stopped.
And the best part? The FRICKING PAPER ISN'T EVEN DUE TODAY!!!!
I talked to Shawn on AIM....
Draco027 (12:45:13 AM): i told fredosso today you were really sick
Auryane (12:45:17 AM): and he said?
Auryane (12:45:21 AM): (thanks for that, btw)
Draco027 (12:45:36 AM): that you had sent him 4-5 emails already
Draco027 (12:45:37 AM): hehe
Auryane (12:46:15 AM): lol...i was parnoid
Auryane (12:46:36 AM): i needed to talk to him about the paper, about being sick THREE times, about pre-reg, about Athens....
Draco027 (12:46:51 AM): he said you did really well on the exam
Auryane (12:47:06 AM): *groans* that's good
Auryane (12:47:22 AM): so it will tide me over on this fever-ridden paper
Auryane (12:47:34 AM): i was trying so damn hard to beat the deadline...
Auryane (12:47:41 AM): never asked for an extension, never will
Auryane (12:47:47 AM): still tempted to finish it tonight
Auryane (12:47:56 AM): but i think I might pass out first
Draco027 (12:48:07 AM): you know its not due till april 1st now right?
Auryane (12:48:21 AM): *faints*
Auryane (12:48:22 AM): you're.
Auryane (12:48:24 AM): kidding.
Auryane (12:48:25 AM): me.
Draco027 (12:48:26 AM): LOL
Draco027 (12:48:36 AM): no i sweaR
Auryane (12:48:37 AM): I almost KILLED myself for a fricking....
Draco027 (12:48:44 AM): im serious kat
Auryane (12:48:48 AM): *goes over to St. Ed's and shoots him*
Draco027 (12:48:49 AM): im sorry i thought he told you
Auryane (12:48:51 AM): look out your window
Draco027 (12:48:54 AM): lolol
Auryane (12:48:55 AM): I'm giving you the finger
Draco027 (12:48:58 AM): LOLOL
Auryane (12:49:06 AM): damn, facing the wrong direction :-)
Draco027 (12:49:07 AM): hey your lucky your actually talking to me know and gettign the info
Draco027 (12:49:12 AM): :-P
Auryane (12:49:16 AM): lol....true, true
Draco027 (12:49:21 AM): yeah we talked him into it last class
Draco027 (12:49:30 AM): april 1st is the new deadline
Draco027 (12:49:35 AM): so go to bed !!!
Draco027 (12:49:36 AM): rest
Auryane (12:49:37 AM): give my kudos to the class
I've been sick for almost all of last week, and I'll likely be out for most of this week as well.
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Monday: bad reaction to meds,left class early (only one class)
Tuesday: Still nauseous, decided to take the day off, figuring I could make it up later (4 classes)
Wednesday: went to my only class, felt decent
THURSDAY: Blacked out on my way to class, fell down 4 times on the stairs, hit my head a few times, passed out on the bathroom floor. Security called, sent to Health Services, stayed their until the night with IV's. No fever, no nausea, just dizziness and shaking.
Friday/Saturday: a little weak, occasional vertigo, but felt pretty good. Caught up on some work--not nearly enough.
SUNDAY: woke up with a fever, sent to Health Services,kept there until closing, when they sent me to the ER to bring down the fever...told I have a viral infection and would be out for the rest of the week. Nausea, dizziness...flu-like symthoms.
Monday: still fever, higher than ever...
It's been one HELL of a week..and I haven't even started on catching up on my work...still too dizzy to read, much less write.
Today was depressing:
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Besides packing (we're moving most of our things to the apartment in Champaign on Saturday, house goes on the market next week) *sniffles*, I went shopping with Mom.
Normally, I don't complain too much about shopping--aside from the usual gripes that nothing fits me.
But this time, we were shopping for a SUIT.
I felt like a kid playing dress-up. I kept staring at the stranger in the mirror...the outfits felt so stiff, so formal. The reflected image is almost comic. The sleeves are almost aways too long, resulting in that child-like appearence. The waistline is always too large, so the skirt sits awkwardly on my hips instead of my waist. Even when the jacket fits correctly, it seems so restrictive that I'm terrifying of ripping it every time I turn. The damn pen skirt limits my range of my motion to dainty, lady-like steps (i suppose that was the point)--utter frustrating for someone who finds jeans too restrictive. Maybe it's just the inital discomfort of having to adjust to unfamiliar article of clothing...but I suspect that it's what a suit implies, rather than the straining itself that truly bothers me.
There's a little voice in my head sniding, "this is real life, kid--and that philo major can't shield you from a job forever."
Me--wear a suit? Me--work a 9-5 job? Me--hold down a REAL JOB?
AHHH!!! It's enough to make me flee to the familiar stress of academnics--hello grad school!
Obviously, the intent behind finding a suit for isn't necessary for a job...my parents are perfectly aware that my job-hunting days are still at least a decade away. But in the meantime, I have dozens of interviews, formal presentations, etc...to crawl through. I will probably need to wear one within the last year. My mom and I are not close enough in size that I can wear hers (without REALLY looking like a kid playing dress-up)...and besides, the only thing worse then wearing a suit, is wearing your mom's pale pink suit--a lingering skeptre from the late 80's.
Still...I've always associated suits (correctly or not) with the staunch rat-race of the work world. I remember being dragged along on numerous suit-shopping trips back in the early 90's, when my Mom was coming out of grad school. The anxiety she felt about entering the workforce--a foreign workforce where the language and culture were still a struggle for her--was projected into finding a suit that actually fits. Ready-made metaphor: the suits were always too big on her small, thin frame...or too expensive for our meager budget. I wonder if she felt that way about her jobs in those early years.
I wonder if I'd feel the same way. Eventually, I need pull myself out of the ivory tower, and start paying off my students loans.
Eventually, I need to take responsibility for myself and my family: pay my bills, pick up the laundry and the grocery, get to work online (am I EVER on time?)...
Maybe I'll get used to this. Maybe I'll eventually "grow into" these starch, uncomfortable things...maybe I'll even learn how to run to catch the morning train in a skirt that proves the old feminist claim of social enslavement (how DO those woman do it? In Chicago, I seem them running all the time, in those awkward skirts and terrifyingly high shoes, briefcase in one hand and coffee int he other...)
*grins* After all, I eventually got used to a bra...10 years ago, when I practiced cried when told that I have to wear one of those damned things for the rest of my life, I didn't think THAT was possible. (think about it: A strap around your chest, that threatens to cut off your circulation and restrict breathing--can you blame me for crying?).
You get used to almost anything. Even pencil skirts.
how do I block someone by IP address?
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I have a fun little stalker...a romantic interest who won't leave me alone (even though I haven't replied to his daily emails/im's in literally months). When I finally dropped an obvious hint of my disinterest, he got rather nasty...I blocked his email and AIM, but he started im'ing me with new sn's...
Rather than go through the annoyance of having to block him anew every single time, I'd just rather block the IP address (for my aol mail, AIM, and LJ--he's posted here a few times as well).
I KNOW that there's a few computer geeks out there (hehe--why else would I have so many nerds as friends? You people are useful :) )...he's not the sharpest tool in the box.
IM/email/stop by my dorm if you know how to do this...
He really was perfect for a one-night stand: he was the opposite of what I admired, and appealed to what I never let myself desire.
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I always found darker hair attractive on men—anything from a light chestnut brown, to a deep black-blue. His hair was so blonde…so ash-blonde that it seemed silver against his fake-tanned skin. It seemed beached, save that his lashes were the same shade. Girls visiting tanning salons are bad enough—it’s unforgivable in a guy.
His body…it gave me no reason to disbelieve his claim that he models part-time…it was the hard, lean body of a seasoned runner. Normally, the absolute last thing I “look for” in guys is their physique: If you can carry an intriguing conversation, I really don’t give a damn if your abs are harder than mine. If you can’t—then there’s not much hope for you as far as a relationship is concerned. Or a friendship, for that matter. With him, it’s one of the first things that I always remember…
I remember the reek of alcohol and sweat…I remember the salty taste of his skin. I remember his eyes, which, even when he looked straight at me, never saw me. I remember his touch, his voice—slurred by the second shot of the tequila.
I don’t remember his name.
Michael. James. It was something common—and utterly irrelevant. We were two classes together both semesters, and I never bothered to learn his name. It mattered even less at the moment, as I was already packed to leave. It was the night before finals, and we were both transferring out of Earlham.
I don’t remember his eyes either, only that they seemed so repulsive that I could never look closely at him. Eyes have always been the most important feature to me…not the shape, or the color, or the size…but the expression hinted within them. When I looked at his, I only remember dropping my gaze.
I often look back on that night and wonder WHY. When I had passed him in the halls earlier that night, I stepped against the far side of the wall, nauseated by the stench of alcohol. Yet half an hour later, I was fighting that same nausea with his tongue in my mouth.
Why didn’t I stop him? Even drunk, he was polite. When I finally asked him to leave, he gathered his clothes and said “good-night” on his way out. There was reluctance on my part…but he couldn’t have sensed it: my morbid curiosity was much stronger. I can’t blame my lapse of judgment on the shot of tequila he had help up to my lips—I sucked the lime and handed the drank back to him. I can’t even blame it on uncontrolled passion…hard body or not, the smell and taste of the alcohol made him about as appealing as an angry porcupine.
I still don’t have an answer to that question…no more than I understand why I finally stopped him. Not that “it didn’t feel right”—the entire damn encounter didn’t feel right from the start. I knew how wrong it was…
I just don’t know why I let it happen. It’s the typical rape victim’s self-reproach—except that I don’t have their victim status.
I called my boyfriend even before he was out of my room. I was calm when I told him what happened. After an eternity’s silence (I will never forget the pattern of the hall rug—which I memorized in that long pause), he told me that he forgave me. No reproaches, no accusations—I wouldn’t, couldn’t have defended myself if he did become angry. But he didn’t—he only asked me the same question that I’m still asking myself: Why?
He didn’t dump me. I was the one who left him: He forgave me for what happened, but I find it hard to forgive myself as long as I still don’t understand—Why didn’t I stop him, when I didn’t want him the first place? Why didn’t I push him away—when I knew the consequences of my actions?
Why? Why in the world did I tolerate a foreign tongue against my mouth, reeking of tequila?
Now you know why I refuse to drink.
I'm going to ATHENS!!!
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I got the acceptance "letter" in my email yesterday...it actually took me a while to figure out what it was, since the message was simple and crynic (and no--those are not necessary contradictory!).
I'm leaving September 16, probably get back in early December. *grins* 4-month long summer break...I'll make good use of it. I might visit Sophie in France for a few weeks before going to Athens, as well as Mark+Mike in England. Shawn will be in France the same semester...we'll definitely stop by each other's "countries" :) I'm looking forward to this...I need a break from the pressure and the insanity of ND.
I'm looking into a 3 week history class, taught in Spain (late May, early June). It ends in time for me to pick up a begining French class, probably at UIUC (ND doesn't offer one this summer). Sometime in early/mid August (after the french class ends), I'm planning on joining the backpacking trip with Adrian's old Bellarmine friends. I'm still trying to juggle my schedule to squeeze in a road trip...not to mention visiting Blythe (we've been discussing that about a year, but have yet to actually see each other). It's going to be a packed summer. I should work as well...I might do so while learning French (it's the only time I'd be in one place for longer than a month).
Now, I just have to get through the rest of the semester...and dreaded Logic. I'm pushing myself for an A- in that class (It's the hardest thing for me to say that I'm no longer demanding an A from myself...the irony of it is that I'd probably end up working my tail off and getting that grade anyway). *sighs* 7 weeks...it feels too long. On the one hand, school gives me the short-term goals and the structure that I crave (not the mention the great friends I've made there)...on the other hand, I've never been very good at balancing the stress.
I have half-a-dozen entries sitting on my laptop, but I can't get them online...
Chances are, they'll end up being filed into my private journal. I've noticed that if I don't post entries (here) immediately, I tend to lose that impulse--or else it's so edited that its almost pointless.
I hear that phrase a lot, nowadays. I was browsing through BN a few days ago, torn between spending my last 3 dollars on books or a latte (books won—apparently, the $3 isn’t enough for the latte. I’ve been spoilt by flexpoints)…when I came across an entire SECTION devoted to this subject. It’s a sub-genre that has invaded popular fiction (gee, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse—I’ve found something to rival romance novels!). Titles like, “Confessions of a Shopaholic” and “The Devil Wears Prada” or “Lessons Learned from Shopping”…jumps out and offers to soothe shopper’s remorse. Best of both worlds—up-to-the-second haute couture clothing combined with the intellectualism of a book. (note the sarcasm).
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I wonder…modern psychology has moved towards an “I’m-ok, you’re-ok, lets-not-judge-and-just-accept-who-we-are” attitude. (Stay with me—this tangent does have a purpose!) Don’t get me wrong…I think this as desperately necessary and applicable in many situations…how our society views our bodies, for example…or dealing with racial issues. But shopping??! Are we really supposed to say that racking up a semester’s tuition on one damn pair of shoes (that’ll either break your ankles, or get splattered and permanently stained after the first wear) just because it has some little label—is as acceptable as saving for…say…college?
Maybe I’m reading too much into things. Maybe I didn’t spend enough time dressing up my dolls as a child (or my own body, as a teenager)…that I simply don’t understand the thrill of owing an “elite” item, even if its only value is the label. (Side rant: Louis Vitton is one of the most expansive label names out there—and everything he makes is in a hideous color combination of black and tan…with a laughable pattern of rabbits, spades, and locks. Why in the world does anyone, much less half the campus shell out a small fortune for his things? I almost suspect that he’s playing a Bill-the-Cat [Opus fans, anyone? You’ll get this] kind of prank…)
And as for the entire notion that shopping could somehow be therapy…
Confession: it is slightly theraptic in that it provides a thrill . But so does XTC and hooking up with Vegas prostitutes. Neiman would call it self-medication…his phrase works better than anything I’ve come up with. But like the other two “pastimes,” just because it’s a convenient way to escape stress, doesn’t mean that it should be recommended. The idea of shopping for the sake of THERAPY scares me. The word “therapy” suggests that something needs be dealt with…it could be something perfectly ordinary, like a bad day…or common (such as a break-up). But whatever it is, the person needs a way to get past the sense of anxiety and depression (however temporary), as well as deal with the problem. Shopping, like gambling or drinking, can serve as a way to numb…but it doesn’t deal with the problem. And like the latter two, it comes with its own inherent set of consequences that can very easily make things worse.
But I’m not being very fair. I’m hardly a saint, after all. I spend. Less than most woman my age, admitted, and the majority of that goes to books and my odd collections. A few times, I’ve even blown a ridiculous amount of money on something entirely frivolous…like the Hermes scarf that I’ve never worn (*grins* It has about 20 Lippizan horses, in performance stance…the horses made it irresistible). For the most part, I buy my clothes from the either the clearance racks (hehe, amazing how easy it is when you don’t give a damn what’s in style), the Salvation Army (conveniently located on my way to Martin’s), or Ebay (unlike poor John, I’ve never been ripped off on Ebay). Err, I also obtain a few odds-and-ends from Adrian or other friends. He eventually gets his sweaters back. Washed, too…but that takes longer :)
I’m not entirely “heartless” (as one female acquaintance suggested when we went shopping together, and I didn’t agree that the socks she wanted to buy was worth $15). I do go to malls for something other than their coffee shops and Auntie Annie’s pretzels (though those alone are worth the trek), or to make my way through the lotion samples at Bath&Body. Its just that my parents have it drilled into my head that the money I’m tempted to spend on that ___ could be much better spend elsewhere.
*smiles* That’s ironic, actually…
(beginnings of another tangent).
20th birthday in the Chinese culture is like sweet 16, your 18th birthday, and the legal drinking age all rolled into one—at least, where relatives are concerned. I got showered with gifts last November…from everyone, except my parents. I didn’t think much of it at the time. My parents were both still unemployed…and they had gone to a lot of trouble to put together a good birthday party for me (not to mention still shelling out 35 grand a year for my college education). Besides, I loved the scarf that they gave me (it’s the bright green one I always wear), even if my Mom has had it for a few years.
So I was rather surprised when Mom suggested, a few weeks ago, that she still wanted to buy me a “proper present.” What she had in mind surprised me even more: an evening gown. (first time she said it, I thought she said “gun”…) Apparently, my dear mother harbor some rather romantic notions…I think she’s seen “Gone with the Wind” one too many times. I can’t complain, though. She gave me a spending limit that’s greater than what I spend on all my “dance dresses” from high school combined…
Its been over 2 weeks. I’ve come up with dittily-squat…which is saying a lot, considering that I even combed through Ebay. When we talked about this again last night, we both finally decided to have the dress custom-made.
So perhaps this entire entry is largely hypocritical. This incident with the dress might not be exactly what the authors had in mind when they wrote about “shopping therapy”…but is it really that far off?
Its late, and I’m really too tired to think straight, much less about dresses.