Thursday, April 29, 2010

The beautiful things in life.

I often forget to stop and take in the scenery, just take a moment and breath... listen to the silences.
I get so caught up in school, in work, in social activities.
I don't give my mind a break. I worry about this. I worry about that.
I forget to appreciate the beauty around me every day.

The moments that get me are the bad.
The heartbreaking scenes that no one else notices.
The man on the bus who has been to hell and back, but no one offers him a seat.
The beggars with signs on the street corners.
The people who can't even read time to know when the bus arrives.
Small children being yelled at by their parents for asking a question.
Parents swearing at their kids.
These things can stop me dead in my tracks.

I seem to only notice destruction, decay, death.
I see what is wrong with this world and I don't know how to fix it.
I cry over the news: disasters, murder, crimes of hate.
Sometimes all I can do is cry.

A close friend at work told me a story last weekend.
We started talking about the health care bill, kind of on accident. She is very much for universal health care, as I am also.
But I had not known her personal reasons for her views.
She has a son with medical problems. Serious medical problems. He is now 8 years old.
But these medical issues started from birth.
None of the regular insurance companies would cover him. At least none that she could afford.
In fact, that is the primary reason that she works at TJs, our insurance will cover him. It's the only one that will.
He has a "preexisting condition" that required a higher premium.
The cheapest insurance available would have cost $12,000 a year, and have a million dollar cap. I don't even remember the ridiculously high deductible.
All because of a preexisting condition.
That he had since birth.


he is finally getting health care, now, at 8 years old.

They paid for what they could previously, and now they are poor, in debt.

My heart goes out to this family, this loving, incredible family.

It's easily distracting.
The bad is.

But tonight, I re-read some of my aunt's blogs, at My Life Interrupted, and I remembered the beautiful that comes with the bad.

It's always there. Hidden somewhere.

My aunt, this amazing, inspiring woman, picked herself up and made the best of her disasters. She has helped me in my life more than she knows, and she will always be one of the most beautiful people in the world to me.

This lady that I work with is the sweetest woman that I know. Love has held her family together, and that is the way she lives her life everyday.
She is a kindred spirit, and she is always trying to help where she can.

She even gave me the number of one of her friends who does grant writing for public schools!

All of these terrible situations, as horrible as they may be, there is some beauty to be found. Hidden somewhere. There has to be. We need to see the person behind the mask.

There is a beautiful person behind the cardboard sign.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Art project

I am so stuck as to what to do for my final art project.
The requirements?
It has to be an artist's book.
That can be basically ANYTHING!!!
Of course I've had about a million ideas, but none of them have stuck.
I thought about doing an illustrated version of part of Beowulf, with the writing in old English calligraphy. But that doesn't seem creative enough.
I just really don't know what to do!
My creative juices seem to be all used up.

On another note, my last project turned out really well! I think I will get a good grade on it, because the critique went really well, and my prof said that the craftsmanship was well done. I'm happy with how it turned out, which is surprising because I felt so rushed to finish it!

My art class is still the only one that I really like.
I mean, I like writing my thesis... kind of. I like the research that I did for it, and it was interesting and fun. But now I am just flustered as to what to do next. I am not so sure that is is cohesive, and I know that it is too much in the passive voice. I have trouble with that.
I also feel like it is just missing something, but I don't know what.
I guess that is why we do a peer edit. Hopefully I will get some useful feedback.

One happy thing: I felt almost okay this whole weekend! Friday, I felt mostly fine. Saturday, I was just tired with a sore throat... no dizziness. Sunday, I felt a bit dizzy, but I know I didn't eat often enough, and I think that the allergy medicine that I have been taking is what started to make me feel even worse.
I generally only take allergy medicine for a few weeks in the spring, and maybe the fall. But this year has been so bad that I have been taking it everyday for the past month. And I was taking the kind with Psuedoephedrine, which meant that I slept even less that usual. That kind tends to work the best, but I realized yesterday that it was making me feel worse. I stopped taking it for awhile and switched to Benedryl, even though it makes me sleepy.. but then I took the other kind yesterday, and felt funny again.
I know it's not the cause of my feeling out of it for the past two months, but I definitely think that it is what made me feel absolutely horrible.. I don't do well with stimulants. Especially kinds that mimic the effects of amphetamines. No good. I see why they limit the amount you can buy.
So it's nice to be feeling slightly closer to normal again :)
Here's to hoping that the rest of this gets figured out!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Starting to get sick of writing... kinda

So I have reached the half way mark on my senior thesis.
I could be done for this week, if I really wanted. I only need ten pages to turn in for my first draft, which is due on Tuesday... only ten :) Ha.

This morning I was super extremely tired... I think I am sick with a cold and fever. (actually, my boyfriend pointed this out to me... it's sad when you have been feeling like crap for so long that you don't even notice when you get sick)
But anyway. I needed to get out of the house so that I could get some work done instead of sleeping or watching too many Bones episodes...
and Now I am at DunnBros on Grand.
I had too much coffee.
I'm thinking I need to go run around the block or something because I am too jittery to concentrate!

One cup of coffee=better concentration
more than one cup=CRAZY kit kat!
So much for giving up caffeine...
but anyway, I am just really excited that I am so close to being done with my first draft of my thesis. I don't really know if I have proved any point whatsoever, 'cause I am too scared to go back and proof it.
But the major part is done. The gritty part where I had to organize a million different articles of feminist views of Milton, and then ones on the other extreme... oh man. It was rough. Hope it went together okay.
But now, all I have left is showing the submission of Maggie in Mill on the Floss to the patriarchal society, and describe how it relates to Middlemarch. And then the exact same thing for Gwendolyn in Daniel Deronda. Also something about how this reflects George Eliot's own struggle with relying on benevolent patriarchs for her education.
Because, even if Eliot was unconscious of the effect of including Miltonic ideals in her stories, is speaks volumes to the type of life she lived. It adds to the internal struggle of her female characters in a way that allows the reader to see the reality of Eliot's life situation. She Was a soman in the time of a patriarchal society. She Did struggle with it. It is evident in the perfect understanding she has of the confusion displayed in Gwendolyn, the unsatisfied passion for knowledge in Maggie, and Dorthea's struggle to submit to her patriarch.
I like that.
Maybe it will go in my conclusion :)
Back to work...
but no more coffee.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Crazy dreams part two

OK. Seriously. Getting really sick of this!
I haven't had a good nights sleep for awhile. For some reason though, I'm not that tired today. But my dreams are getting really frustrating!
You think I'm a bit nervous about graduating??

Last night-more dreams about my thesis. Which is due one week from tomorrow. I'm going to work on it in just a few minutes... but I really don't want to! I feel like I have been working on it all night!
It is really horrible to feel like I just went through all the hard work of putting all my thoughts onto paper, and then wake up, and realize that I still only have four pages written.

Too often I get stuck at a standstill. Too often I let myself worry so much about what I have to get done that I can't get anything done.

And now I have an added "I don't feel well" attitude to add to it.
I've decided though, that positive thinking is the way I should be dealing with this.
And anybody who knows me, knows that that is NOT me. It's not that I am super negative. I'm just a realist. And a realist with somewhat unrealistic worries... like I always think that I did just SOOOO horrible on a test, when in fact I got a B+ on it. Or the fact that I think a C is failing. Or that I worry about my friends and family dieing just because I had a bad dream about it.

Enough of that. Positive thinking.
If I think happy thoughts, and tell myself that I feel okay. And that if I continue to eat healthy food, and eat more often, and drink lots of water (and pee every half hour), and get my B12 up, then I will feel better. I will feel worlds better.
And when I am done with school, when I get a chance to regain my mental and physical strength, I will feel better.
I am burnt out.
Five years of school (well more like four and a half because I took a semester off), working for most of it, along with all the emotional stuff that happens to everyone in college, deserves a break.
I am not going to worry about what I am doing after college.
I am not going to worry about a job.
I have a job.
And it suits me for right now.
I have a loving family.
I have a great relationship with my boyfriend (and it just seems to be getting better!).
I have great friends.
What more do I need?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Crazy dreams..

I have always had somewhat off the wall dreams. I dream about everything. Like most people, sure. But I remember ALL of them. It feels like that anyway.
But really, I dream about everything. Everyday activities, conversations with people that I actually had or just thought I had, death, monsters, and then there are the really fun cracked out flippin nutz dreams!
I've dreamt about so many people that I work with. Like one about a good friend Alison, possibly the sweetest person I know, beating up a couple of hockey players.... she really took them out! Or another coworker coming to my thanksgiving dinner at my parents and eating all the turkey (well, Trevor probably would do that!)
But the absolute worst, I mean toss and turn, wake up in cold sweats type dreams, are the ones about homework.
And that was all of last night.
I had a whole-night long dream that I was writing my thesis, and it wasn't going so well... and then I had people edit it...
the really weird thing is, I actually dreamt about some legitimate things... and now have some ideas on how to make my paper even better.
But I gotta admit, it would be much nicer to think of these things during normal awake hours and not remember them from breaks of short sleep intervals in my night...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The energy I need.

I was really hoping that bringing up my vitamin B12 really was going to make me feel worlds better. My doctor was so optimistic about it that I allowed myself to get my hopes up, even just a little.
But I swear I feel worse. I am tired all the time, not sleeping well, depressed, stressed the hell out, and still getting dizzy at random times.
I have no motivation for school or work. The only thing keeping me going is the thought that I HAVE to do it. So I do.
That is really all that is new in my life.... some more of the same old shit.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I don't even know how to describe today.

Do you believe in signs??

I don't know that I do, but today seemed like a big sign that fell in the middle of the road, and then I hit it with my car. Or something like that.

I had my career counseling session today. The lady with whom I spoke was amazing! She was so nice, so understanding, and shared a bit of her background so that I knew she had been through a similar situation.
That situation would be the one where I just up and decided that I didn't want to continue with my current life goals, career goals, or really anything that I had been planning, or even considered planning. Yep, that one.
So, I took this Strong Interest Inventory. It sounds kind of stupid because I should know what I am interested in, right? Well, there wasn't anything too surprising on there, but it did confirm these thoughts and feelings that I have been having about what to do with my life.
I have been struggling to find a balance between this corporate world that we live in and my personal values. I think I will always struggle with this. But I didn't want to give up everything that I believe in just for a secure job.
Today, I found out that I don't have to.
My "strong interests" lean almost completely toward the social and artistic. To expand a little, I like to work with people, I don't care as much about money as I do about making a difference, and I like to be creatively challenged. This is what the test told me. And it is true.
But what does this all mean??
Well, let me tell you.
I should be in education.
Not because some test told me to. But because that is where my passion is.
I just didn't know what kind of education jobs were out there.
But, lucky for me...
there was a meeting today with a panel of non-teaching education workers who met with a group of students to answer many questions and provide wonderful contacts.
I just happened to find out about it a half an hour before it started.
I think so.
But there was just so much that I figure out today. I am still crazy confused as to what to do, and totally scared to get started, but it feels right.
Editing and publishing just felt like what I was supposed to do.
This spark, this passion for education, has been growing since last semester when I volunteered at the high school. And now I realize that this is really what I want to do.
I don't know yet if I want to teach.
I'm not even considering more school right now. I need a break. Maybe someday I will be my MA in teaching, I'm not going to rule it out.
But I have slightly different plans right now.
I want to be a grant writer.
I want to help non-profit schools obtain enough of an income to fully educate its students. I think that I have the skills to be a technical writer. I have been writing research papers, forming arguments, and learning persuasive rhetoric for the past four years. And the thing is, I love it. I love research. I love the boring, dry crap that everyone passes up. I like to find ways to make it interesting to other people. I like to try and change people's opinions.
I talked with a PSTL administrator who was on the panel, and he gave me his email. I'm going to send him my contact information and a copy of my resume, and he is going to send me contact information of a grant writer that he knows, as well as some information on paid internships for grant writing.
The best part about this new career path is how wide it is. Even if I, for some reason, am not capable of becoming a grant writer, there are other ways that I can contribute to obtaining the funding for a school, or there are other areas of interest that I have in education.
I am so excited!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Monday monday

I still have a case of the mondays...
or it could be senioritis.
Lately I have been feeling just so incredibly busy that I don't have time to get anything done. It feels impossible to go to class, go to work, get all my homework done, AND keep a clean house. It really doesn't sound like that much, and I feel like I should be able to do it, but I am just too tired. This is partly because I haven't felt well for almost a month now. Maybe even longer than that. I can't remember the last time I felt well for a whole day.
I'm not extremely ill or anything, just mildly gross.
My doctor says it is because I have low vitamin B12, (at 240 instead of 1000) and so once I get that up I should feel a lot better.
But I don't think vitamin B12 has anything to do with feeling dizzy.
She said that might just be fluctuations in my blood sugar affecting me more than most people would be affected.
So I eat more often.
But I am never hungry.
I drink more water to make sure that I'm not just dehydrated. On work days now, I drink three liters of water.
I still get dizzy.
Maybe it's stress. Stress of finishing school. Writing my senior thesis that I haven't started yet. Finishing a million art projects that I spend too much time on. Worrying about finding a job but not actually applying anymore because I don't even know what I want to do.
Hopefully I will feel better in may.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Vino time.

After a bit of a break from drinking (Haven't been feeling well for a few weeks), I was due for a delicious bottle of wine.
Who better to share it with than a girlfriend of mine?
Well, we made a delicious dinner... pasta, garlic bread, cranberry salad, and of course-cheesecake! for ourselves and my boyfriend.
And we opened one of the expensive bottles!

Of course, for me, expensive means anything over ten dollars. This particular one cost me $20.99. Which is I think the most that I have spent on a single bottle of wine...
anyway, it was Wild Horse pinot nior. And it had been recommended to me by a customer. I was a bit unsure about it, mostly because I already have a favorite pinot nior under ten dollars.
But this was DELICIOUS. So tasty. I think that I still like the Echelon better, it is more unique, and quite different for a pn, but this Wild Horse was exactly what a *good* domestic pinot should be. It was black cherry aroma, surprisingly floral, and silky smooth tanins. mmmmm....