Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hiatus-y Again

It's been over a week and I haven't posted. Dang it.

The funny thing is that I've had so much I wanted to write about, but every time I tried, I was always pulled away by life's responsibilities. I'll get to my backlogged drafts later, I suppose.

I promise, I will tell you about the two-tiered field where I watched two events at once, the NC state fair, and the randomness of my life. But it will have to wait until I am not swamped in schoolwork. Sadness.

I swear, I get so frustrated with the sheer amount of work I have to do. I write so much for so many people, I barely have time to write for myself.

Oh, well. Not much I can do about it. For now, just know that goodness is coming, and that I haven't forgotten about this blog.

Monday, October 18, 2010

High School Daze

If you were to look up my old high school on Google, there would be three things that would pop up in the search bar.

Those would be:
W___ B_____ shooting
W___ B_____ football
W___ B_____ riot

Yessir, those are the three things my alma mater is known for. I graduated in '07. The riot happened two years ago. The shooting happened last year. The football has always been awful, so...uh yeah, no real improvements there. Though they are winning games now. Maybe other schools are scared we're going to shoot them. I heard that one of the girl's teams were at an away game and their opposing team refused to high-five them at the end of the game. I heard that was because the other team was afraid of our girls. Our girls.

My old high school has a really bad reputation right now. It's not that the school is bad, or that the kids are bad. It's not that the teachers aren't good. I swear to you, that school is full of good people. You want to know what I think the deal is? I think that there are a few misguided kids who fell in with the wrong crowd. A few "bad apples" if you will. Gang activity has been rising in the area for the last decade or so. They are very territorial, and are divided into about three main sections of our half of the county. By "our half," I mean the half that attend my old high school. For some reason, the Board of Education decided that it was a good idea to shove all the high schoolers into two high schools. So, whereas there was a high school for each gang's territory before the merger, now there is only one for all of them. Sounds like a bad idea, right? I think so too.

So, what does this mean for the good kids? Well if they keep their noses clean, then they don't have anything to worry about. I was never afraid to go to school. I was never afraid to walk the halls, and I'm not afraid to go back and walk them again if I ever have a reason to return. My brother attends there now. He isn't afraid to go to school there, and I'm not afraid for him either. He's a good kid. He'll be fine. There are way more good kids than bad ones at that school. Let's not forget about them.

They recently hired a no-nonsense principal who is doing his best to clean up the school. It's true that not everyone is happy about his "improvements," but no matter what you do there will be people who disapprove. What I disapprove of is all the Facebook status updates and comments saying how they're scared to send their kids to W___ B_____, and how the kids are scared, and how everyone's just this quivering ball of terror. False. I know loads of people who attend/have recently attended who are not afraid. I know parents who are not afraid. Fear will not solve anything.

Do me a favor? Quit being scared and start teaching your kids to stay out of trouble. Tell them to avoid the kids always doing something stupid. Here's the thing. If your kid gets in with the gang bangers, there's going to be trouble.

Yes, I'm concerned just like everyone else. But I am not afraid, nor will I ever be. Fear will not solve anything. Action will.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

In which I am back only a few hours and trouble brews already.

Question of the day: Does an apology alone solve problems?

I just received an apology from someone, one that didn't sound heartfelt at all. Said person then turned around and implied that I apologize on the spot, which is a problem since I don't think I have anything to apologize for. I'm not in the habit of putting my personal issues out there on the interwebz, so I won't go into detail. But I have to ask. Should I apologize for things that aren't my fault? This new development of non-heartfelt apology is disturbing to me. I feel like I -should- apologize, for convention's sake. But I don't think I've done wrong. And I've only been back five hours. Great.

Anyway, the drive back was rather uneventful and filled with the mindless chatter that girls so often fall into. I'm realizing more and more that my views on religion and Christianity are sort of radical, as I tend to challenge typical viewpoints and think outside of the box. Here's an example: I want to keep my "bad" emotions when I get to heaven. That's right. I want to keep my anger and sadness. Why? Because I feel that if you took those emotions away, you're left with hollow, shallow, chipper people. I want to have the capacity for those emotions. Maybe God will prove me otherwise when I get to heaven. But...I don't want to be shallow or hollow, not ever.

On the other hand, if we're unable to hold grudges, then maybe my housemate and I will get along in heaven. Because I've let mine go, but...

I'm tired. This weekend took a lot out of me. Back to the grind tomorrow. I'll miss the sweet fellowship of the LU girls and the Guthrie family. I'll miss the harmony we shared. I hate the tension here. So much. Maybe next year will be different.

Until then, I've got to hold strong. Got to. Because I can't let myself be walked over. I've done nothing wrong.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Good Work Ethic

Random fact: I just vacuumed out over thirty stink bugs, fifteen or so flies, and one ridiculously huge, hairy spider out of the attic bedroom I'm staying in. Uggggggggh.

Anyway, today was the fall festival, and it was amazing! The festival featured some local bluegrass talent with lots of shows on their two stages. (There was also a quartet that sang under an oak tree.) Some mimes showed up, and I was amazed that a mime group could perform. I imagined the lot of them trapped in soundless boxes on stage. They did some interpretations of songs (that featured a little sign language), and some skit-type dramas to music. Regardless of how impressed I was with them, they still freaked me out. Mimes are in the same category as clowns for me-fun to watch, but they need to stay the heck out of my bubble.

I worked games at the festival, so I didn't have much time to goof off and have fun. I worked the Bean Bag Toss, the Egg Ball Maze, and Chicken in the Pot. Fun names, mostly aggravating games. I was a good sport, though, for the kids' sake. After all, it is fun for them. The festival featured an auction, and was closed out with a group of cloggers. The cloggers were actually from the area, and their practice room is located on the premises. It was so much fun to watch the big head lady get up there and clog with the rest of them!

After the festival was over, we went to work tearing down everything we had put up this morning before the festival started. There are piles of pumpkins and mums everywhere. We finished everything on the agenda for the day, then preceded to veg out and eat pizza to our heart's content. Mmm, Dominos. There was a bonfire in the fire pit, complete with marshmallows, and then we all got ready for bed. (This is when I vacuumed up the bugs.)

The best part of the day for me was probably discovering that the tire swings could indeed hold my weight without breaking. There were a bunch of cracks in the hooks holding it up, and I was worried. But it was, without a doubt, the best part of the day. What can I say? I'm pretty easy to please.

Tomorrow we're sleeping in, then heading back to the 'burg, where I'll head back into the college routine. I'm really excited, because I get to see my Victoria soon! Maybe the day after tomorrow! I can't wait to see you, love!

As for me, it's been a great few days, and I'm exhausted. Sleeping in sounds wonderful. Wake me when the pancakes are done, okay?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Country Living and Manual Labor

Today, the other volunteers and I-along with the Guthrie family-were in major festival set-up mode. We painted carnival-style games, along with various signs and bits of furniture. We scattered pumpkins and mums everywhere. We set out sixty hay bales. I've only moved a few bales of hay, ever. But I remembered enough to look semi-decent at it today. And let me tell you, I sure know how to move a hay bale now.

I felt like such a country bumpkin. I mean, I'm a country girl, but this was my first real taste of farm living. I rode in the back of a trailer, stood on the back of a tractor, fed some chickens, made baaing noises at sheep, shoved hay around (and climbed up into the hayloft), and loved on a Labrador Retriever named Angel. It was a very good day. I would love to live on a farm. It's manual labor, but it's fun! At least it is for animal lovers like me.

Anyway, the countdown to the festival has begun. Tomorrow I will be getting up at six-fifteen so that I can get ready and get breakfast before seven. I'll be running some games and just enjoying the day. But for now, I'm exhausted. I'll sleep good tonight, for sure.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Joshua's Hands

I didn't really think I'd be able to blog on this trip. I don't know why I thought that-most people do have the internet these days-but I did. When I got to the house I'll be staying in until Sunday, I thought for sure the 200+ year old plantation-style 5 bedroom house wouldn't have such a modern convenience as wireless. But it does. And I sit here in my attic bedroom on my laptop rapping away at the keys. This is bliss. If only I had a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte right about now, then it would be absolute perfection.

This morning I left my college town on a weekday to head off into the farmlands of Northern VA to do some good in the world. I'm volunteering my time for the next four days to support the organization Joshua's Hands. It's an amazing organization that's run by the Guthrie family in honor of Joshua Guthrie, who was killed in a car accident. The driver was a drunken police officer. That's rough, man. Anyway, it's a great cause, and I get school CSER credit for my work here. (CSER=school mandated community service: aka "free labor").

Aside from the excitement of staying in a farmhouse on a working farm, today I helped get some things ready for the fall festival on Saturday. If you're in the area, be sure to drop by. Everything's free, and I mean that literally. You want lunch on Saturday? That's totally on us. No worries, man. I hope you like hot dogs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's contagious, oh no!!

Yeah. So my life's been crazy lately. I said I was an English major, yeah? I thought so. Anyway, that means that about halfway through the semester my life gets taken over by papers, quizzes, and exams. If I'm really unlucky, I'll have the dreaded "mid-terms."

For those of you that don't know, the "mid-terms" is a viral disease inflicted upon you by certain professors infected with the "2-tests-per-year" infection. Once infected, you will lose the ability to sleep, feel tense 24/7, and feel compelled to consume horrendous quantities of caffeine. The good news? The symptoms only persist a few weeks.

My time is really limited at the moment. Mid-terms and exams are almost over for me, and I'll be posting regularly again soon. Until then, be sure not to expose yourself to the "mid-terms" virus!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What are they teaching us in school these days? Chapter 2-Moby Dick!

So, according to blogger's blog stats, apparently people are peeking at this blog. Interesting. If you've got something you'd like me to write about, just drop a comment and let me know. :)

Okaaay! So I was sitting in one of my many English classes (I'll talk about my insane course load sometime later), and the prof was talking about Moby Dick. For those of you who don't know,Moby Dick is a novel by Herman Melville about a big giant white whale named (you guessed it) Moby Dick. The captain of this vessel, Capt. Ahab, is psycho and winds up selling his soul to the devil to gain the power to take down the beast. Or at least he thinks he does.

So, right before Ahab goes after Moby, he baptizes his harpoons in his crew members' blood and says this latin phrase: "Ego non baptizmo te in nomine patris, sed in diaboli."

Translated, it means "I baptize thee not in the name of the father, but in the name of the devil."

So, what we have here is satanism. Yiiiiikes. This is scary stuff. Now it is important to note that Capt. Ahab's quest to kill Moby Dick backfires pretty badly. But still! Satanism in Moby Dick? Who knew! I sure didn't.

And they call this "fine literature."

Perhaps we ought to take Melville's own advice. When asked by a lady whether or not his book was appropriate for her to read, he said that "it is by no means the sort of book for you...warn all gentle, fastidious people from so much as peeping into the book."

If even the author knows that he's written an "evil book," then that's definitely saying something.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Life in so many words.

So, this week was pretty crazy for me. I, by the grace of God, somehow managed to pull two allnighters while going to most of my classes. Now, the root problem here is the issue of my procrastination, but the fact that I know about that problem doesn't help me fix it. Though maybe it should.

Anyway, during the course of the past week, I worked the Writer's Conference (which was amazing), went to my CSER (Christian Service, yay for college forcing me to do things) orientation, Lindsay (my roommate, and also the third occupant of our apartment) moved in, I completed two 8-page papers (one of them a research paper), and I did various bits of reading homework (though I must admit I didn't do most of it). Busy week.

And after pulling two nights of no sleep, what do I have to say for myself? Nothing, really. I can't say I'd like to repeat the experience, but I also can't say I learned anything from it. Which is really funny, because you'd think I'd have learned my lesson.

Anyway, today I've made the discovery that, on average, my hunches are usually correct. This is both a good thing, and a bad thing, I think. On the one hand, I'm not surprised when things happen. On the other, what if I don't want to be right? I've got these hunches, and I call things like I see them, but I don't want to be right most of the time. For example, today I found out that one of my hunches concerning a friend of mine was spot-on. That friend is beginning a new relationship, and I am happy for them. New relationships are amazing. But....I sort of....ah....I liked them, too. So now, even though I'm happy for him, I'm a tad blue.

Not that I'm surprised. 'Cause I'm not. I don't get boyfriends, because I'm afraid of relationships and men in general. Men have too much power to devastate me emotionally. I don't like that. Girls I can handle. Girls are witchy, catty, half-crazy, and big sacks of drama. I know how they think, because I'm also a girl. I know how to shrug off their stupid, envy-filled put downs and vicious words. But I don't understand. They are different, and for that very difference I am attracted to them. But I take what they say too literally, and I let it affect me on an emotional level. I assume they are only out to hurt me, because most of the men who have come through my life have hurt me.

And the fun thing is that they don't even know.

The guys in my life have crushed me emotionally by either verbally putting me down or ignoring me completely. I feel like they just put up with me, that they don't really like me or care to know me as a person. I'm not sure why they don't want to get to know me, but they don't. Maybe I'm not attractive enough, or maybe I'm too tall, or maybe they're intimidated 'cause I'm bright and know lots of generally useless information. Or maybe I'm a stick in the mud who can't tell funny jokes without getting the punch line wrong. God did not give me the gift of comedy. I'm unintentionally funny-I'm hilarious when I'm trying to be serious and it irks me sometimes.
But regardless of the reason behind it, one thing is for sure: I do not attract the kind of man I would like to one day marry. I don't know why this is. I do attract off-kilter, questionable men. I attract men I'm not interested in. I attract men I'm weirded out by. For some reason, I do not attract the proverbial "good guy" that apparently exists out there in the universe. He isn't interested in me.

So I've decided. I don't need him. If I am unable to attract a mate, then who cares. It only means giving up my dreams for my life, but really, what price is that to pay? Sure, I've dreamed of getting married, settling down, and having kids. What girl doesn't? But I don't need that lifestyle. I'll make myself a new dream. So, from now on I will try to give up my picket-fence dreams. I will replace them with the dream of independence and freedom, with the idea of living on my own in a nice place that I pay for myself. The dream of a powerful young woman with big ideas and enough gumption to change the world itself. The dream of a woman without a man at her side. Because honestly? If you men don't like me, then that's your loss. I am an amazing woman who is filled to the brim with creativity, laughter, and passion.

I will not be the damsel in distress, spending my whole life waiting for you to come rescue me from the drudgery of singleness. I refuse.

I don't need you. And I'll prove it.