Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

I've taken a lot of pictures of a lot of different nieces, nephews, and little ones this weekend (which makes me sound like so much more of a creep than I meant it to, but oh well) but this picture seems the most appropriate.

"Heeeeeeeere's ELSA!"

Heh. I accidentally taught her about The Shining during the party on Saturday, and thereafter Elsa joined the ranks of Children Whose Heads Have Almost Gotten Stuck in the Banister.

I think my favorite part of the picture is how it's distorted to either extreme, as if there was an EMF affecting the photograph... *cue the theme music to the Twilight Zone*

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

Let's forget the part at graduation when I was still not feeling up-to-snuff (again, despite the best laid plans...). Through the ceremony, all I could think was the quote from Andy of The Office fame:

I graduated from anger management like I graduated from Cornell - on time.

And later, when Not Too Sharp was singing the alma mater, Andy's ridiculous cell jingle started in my brain...

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Best Laid Plans of [Sober] Mice and Men...

Yesterday, before 8 pm. A sober Andrew: "Oh, I have trivia tonight, but it always gets out at 10. I'll only have a beer and then I can study after it."

10:15. A drunk Andrew: "Screw French. Doctor Who!"

12:30. A closer-to-sober Andrew disposed towards self-embitterment: "Set the alarm for 6:30."

Cue nightmares and troubled sleep pattern.

6:30 am. A pre-coffee Andrew reviews grammar and syntax and morphology etc.

8 am. With still-untasted coffee in tow, Andrew pulls into A Lot. Thinks he has time to spare, as classes don't usually start until 8:10.

8:06. Walks into the class late.

8:07. Realizes an entire section is on vocab hasn't studied.

But it was so soft and fluffy! I didn't mean to hurt it...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Literal Imagination

I don't know if anyone is interested, but I wanted to give S. some credit and share the entirety of the art he let me steal.

Untitled charcoal from the four-part series, Literal Imagination.

She's really helpful, too

On our way back to campus this morning, V. and I stopped by Dunkin Donuts for an early morning revival. I'm now pretty sure that Pedroia, life size, is actually the same size as he is in the ad for the turbo iced coffee (which, I might add, is too much coffee even for a caffeine addict like me to consider drinking).

I had three dollars ready when I got up to the window to pay. "That'll be $1.90."

I passed over the three.

"Ok, you gave me three dollars..."

Exactly the same tone of voice as Holly in The Office: "Ok, that's a button..."

Friday, May 15, 2009

A technical post

I've gone techno and added a color negative of a sketch my friend S. drew for a drawing class. On my computer's resolution, the boy stands far enough away from the text that everything is visible. If my computer's resolution is different than the standard deviation and it actually is impossible to read what I've written, let me know and I'll fix it up.

This is what I'm talking about when I say I can't deal with not having a project. Instead of working on the thesis I beautify the blog...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Public Presentation

My boss made a mistake when she asked me to speak at "graduation" from the writing center. Some fragments of the speech I gave...

There’s very little I hate more than long goodbyes. We fall prey in them to one of two beastly temptations: to glorify and beautify the past and our fellows in our reminiscences, or to spurn and reject their memory, to yield to introversion. Hero worship or demonization? To Godbuild or to demystify a cult? In either case we trivialize our own memories by depicting them into one Great Story, encoding them into one Great Past. In either case, we distance ourselves from the truth…

Another worry I had when I was thinking about this was that we all know each other through work. Just how sentimental can I get about work – and how much are my coworkers going to allow me to be sentimental before them up on stage? Both questions are based on a false premise. Yes, what we have is a paying job. But it’s not work…

Nor can we be merely coworkers. How many of us have, either leaving a conference or waiting for a walk-in, sitting at the table, admitted exactly what was on our mind? How many deep and – sometimes inappropriate – conversations have each of us partaken of? I’ve “worked” hours under different core staff, a lot of different mentors – some of whom are in the room right now – and I can’t think of any semester where I’ve felt unwilling to share a thought, a joke, a moment with the staff on at the same time as me. If I haven’t had the chance to share hours with you, I’m sorry – because I’m sure we would have been friends, and likely facebook friends (the mark of true companionship. Oh, and by the way – if we aren’t facebook friends yet, rectify that.)

With you, my "coworkers," I’ve participated in protests, traveled across the world, sunned out on the grass, ridden the bus, enjoyed countless gas tanks full of coffee, gone to lunch, gone to dinner, gone to bars…our friendships are the product of the campus match.com. (And I’ll move on from this topic now, before Jennifer has to reiterate her staff meeting about appropriate versus inappropriate relations with students in the center…)

…Jennifer said to me, "I can always hear that it’s you inside the conference, that the same crazy Andrew I see out here is in there."

I’m going to pretend that it was a compliment. I’m not…positive…but here’s my Great Story for my own Writing Center past. We are all writers, and we are all helping writers. There is no way for us not to be true to ourselves; inside the conference, we have to be just as true to ourselves as the students. Let them have poured their soul out into a short story, or have just finished writing a term paper for class – I name their work LEGITIMATE, HONEST WRITING. The process of writing has brought some of the student to the conference, and we cannot distance ourselves from that honesty in our "work"...

In which I pretend I am Thomas the Rhymer

I've been stoked for the past forty-eight hours after my successful thesis defense, but in keeping with my m.o. of dualist dyads, I've been simultaneously flustered by free time. What am I supposed to do when I'm not sitting in the library working on that paper every free moment? What am I supposed to think about without it pressing on me?

I was feeling exceptionally panicked when I got up Tuesday morning. Finally I told myself that I was being ridiculous, and put on the orange Illinois tie Dad had gotten me as a gift. It acted as my talisman for the day; when I got nervous, I told myself, "Who cares if the professorial Trinity hates your work? You're already in grad school."

One of the critiques has stayed with me, although I've interpreted it differently, I think, than Prof. F. meant it to sound: "How are we going to make this poet into a historical analyst?"

If I can choose any part of my future, I hope that when I'm standing before a dissertation defense committee, the critique they have to say is, "If only we could have made you more of an analyst than a poet."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Is there life outside my apartment?

K. dropped me off after our final history class/dinner at Professor D.'s tonight. I've been sitting on the couch reading fmylife and watching TV - and no one else is home. I keep feeling like I'm forgetting something, but I think the thing missing is that I have no deadlines hanging over me.

That's a lie; my thesis defense is tomorrow, but I don't feel like there's anything I can do to fix anything that might be broken, so I'm trying not to stress.

In honor of the last day of classes, I present part of an amazing job advert I just stumbled upon:

...Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications field and 1-3 years related experience (or equivalent combination thereof); excellent written and oral communication skills as well as interpersonal skills; proven ability to work well under pressure and competing deadlines. Experience/passion for skiing/snowboarding strongly preferred. Compensation (3 days/week): $18k - $22k, depending on experience. Benefits include paid time off, gym membership, and 401K plan. Please send resumes as well as three clips/writing samples (ideally non-fiction, reported work) to ----...

One of these things is not like the other...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Moebius Strip

I begin this blog in the last weeks of my senior year at university, and it's oddly symbolic of the dichotomies of that graduating status: I will have a BA, yet I'm excited for the interview for a minimum wage hourly position I'm getting on Friday; plan-less, I nevertheless have a definite home - and money in the bank - for the next eight years.

I choose a sufficiently contradictory and indie name for this, which will supplant the spamming emails I sent from St. Petersburg or the previous blog I had for Moscow. Замёрз Икар - The Frozen Icarus.

Consider the compulsory introductory post sufficiently compulsified. Go forth and reify!