Thursday, March 31, 2005

Whistling Dixie

It's coming towards the end of the semester. Stuff to read, papers to write, papers to grade, leading classes. Stressful. And also the time of semester where I'm just tired. Physically, emotionally, intellectually tired. And yet, have a ton of pent up aggression. I just don't want to use it to do homework. It doesn't help that the weather is starting to get nice. When it's pretty, and warm, no one has any desire to hang out in the library. Pre-lims start on Monday for several of my friends. That means they'll be really, really stressed out. And next year, I lose my good friend, because she'll be doing research in Germany. And I take my pre-lims next year. That's going to be hard. I have to make more friends so I don't feel like I'm doing it alone.

I ran into my former student again. She seemed very happy to see me and suggested we go out again. Now, she's said several things that lead me to believe that she may be interested in me, but she knows that I prefer men. I did go through an experimental phase in college, but who didn't. But she is cute. My friend mentioned that this was a more confusing situation because when it's a guy, they do all the asking. But, I've always been the one who asked the guy out, so that doesn't apply here. I'm just going to sit back and see what happens. I'm honestly not sure what I want to happen.


Saturday, March 26, 2005

Not in my league!

I should probably start this blog by stating that if you struggle with your weight, you might not want to read this! I just realized the other day I have to get into shape and look really, really hot by May 21st. What's on May 21st, you ask. Well, some people I know are getting married. No, I don't particularly like them. Matter of fact, I think she's a bitch and he's a prick. So, why in the world am I going to the wedding. Well, for one thing, if all of us who didn't like them didn't go, no one would be there, but also because I have to show up looking better than the bride. Now my friend Marie informs me I could roll out of bed and show up and look better than the bride, but I want to look really good. Now, this may seem petty and make me look like a total bitch, but I DON'T CARE! Why? Because she thinks we're in the same league and we aren't even close. She thinks she's as good looking as me (she looks like a fraggle, or the scientist on the muppets), she's thinks she as intelligent as me (very few people actually fall into that category!), and she thinks her personality is as delightful as mine (whatever, bitch!). This irritates me to no end, because none of it is true. Even remotely. I just saw her and it looked like she took a weed-whacker to her hair, and then dumped easter egg dye on it. And, to top it all off, they spelled my name wrong on the invitation. I worked at the same place as them for a year and a half, and I still volunteer there. They could have easily gotten the correct spelling. Or, they could have just looked at the e-mail I sent them with my address. How hard would that have been? So, anyway, I have to look good, and I've realized that my body weight is shifting. I am heavier than I've ever been (117 lbs) but still, I don't know where all this extra skin around my middle is coming from. But that would explain why my boobs are getting smaller. And no, they aren't sagging. (I still don't wear a bra half the time; I think you need "real" boobs to do that). And I have been swimming, but I think I need to add a few sit-ups and some arm exercises (it's a sleaveless dress). I want to look so good that she cries. Yes, I am petty. Get over it!

Meanwhile, the running joke is that I only fall for a guy if he 1) lives out of this state/country, 2) has a girlfriend, 3) is gay, or any combination of the three. Yes, I have once again developed a crush on someone who is not available, if only because he doesn't live in this country, and has a girlfriend back home. At least this one is intelligent though. So, in one way, my taste is getting better.

Finally, I would really recommend the new Tori Amos CD. It is beautiful. I also saw the movie Ghost World last night, and if you haven't seen it, you should.

Alright, it's the end of spring break and I should finish up that last bit of homework. (who am I kidding: I'm going to go color my hair).


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The birds are back!

I saw a whole flock of robins yesterday. And today, when walking through campus, I realized the bushes were singing again. Ok, I know it's really the birds in the bushes, but you can't always see the birds. I love birds. I love hearing them sing. And it's nice to know they're back. Now if it would only get warm!

Spring break has been less than exciting. I've spent lots of time at the library and I decided today that I can't do it tomorrow. I should: I have a ton of stuff to do, but I just can't do it. Instead, I'll finish cleaning my apartment and I do have a ton of reading I must do. Yes, it's still not fun, but at least I won't have to get dressed.

That is about it,

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Warning: Parental Discretion Strongly Advised

And I don't mean because this is going to be a fun XXX blog. I mean because this blog is going to be disturbing in a Bastard out of Carolina way. It's going to be about the nature of people, love, God and forgiveness. And it's about a parent's worse nightmare.

Let me tell you a story: Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl, who didn't know she was beautiful. She was funny, smart, and she was my best friend. Although we were in highschool she didn't live with her parents, because her mom had died of cancer many years earlier, and due to sexual abuse, the state had taken her away from her father. After highschool, her past caught up to her, and she experimented with drugs, sex and everything in between, and we lost track of one another. She had a beautiful daughter, but her lifestyle did not change that much. She felt lost, alone and like her life was out of her control. One day, she looked up my parents and got my phone number, here in Wisconsin, and gave me a call.

Earlier, before I had become friends with the girl, I was friends with a boy. He was smart, funny and he too had suffered from sexual abuse, although he didn't talk about it. After highschool, he quickly married and produced several offspring. After almost 10 years, his wife decided to leave him, and the boy, feeling lonely, decided to look up his old friend, me. Well, I was already in Wisconsin, and he gave me a call, the same week the girl called me.

Now, the boy and girl had been friends in highschool also, so I gave them each other's phone numbers and they contacted each other. They quickly fell in love, had a baby, and got married (yes, in that order). The girl finally felt like her life was in her control and that she had met the man of her dreams. They were very much in love, and they made an excellent couple.

Then, the girl discovered the boy had done inappropriate things with her beautiful daughter. Her world collapsed. Since she had gone through this as a child, she knew how devastating this was. She was very brave and she called the police and had the boy arrested and charged. The boy realized what he had done and he confessed to everything and started to go to counseling. He knew what he had done was wrong, but he asked for forgiveness, and he wanted to change and he still loved the girl. He begged her to stay with him, to help him and to still love him.

The girl, of course, refused. How could she stay with him when he had done this? But, the girl also believed in a very big God and she wondered if she was limiting God by claiming that the boy couldn't change. But, does forgiveness mean she has to stay with the boy? How could she trust him again? How could she allow him near her daughter again? Why did she still love him?

His actions and confession indicate that he wanted to be caught and wanted help. There were two incidents and there was no penetration of any kind. But, it is a child. It is a delicate situation. They are both my friends. I want the boy to get help. I want the girl to get her life back. I want them to figure out what is best for each of them. I want the daughter to magically forget what happened. I want it to be like it was when they fell in love. They made each other so happy. I want to beat him to death for hurting my friend and her daughter, but I also want to beat his stepdad to death for what he did to the boy. My friend wants and needs lots of prayer. She has difficult decisions she must make. I know she is not willing to sacrifice her daughter for love, for her husband. But, how will she know if he can indeed change? The boy needs prayer too. For forgiveness, for change, for a future.

you never think it would be someone you know,

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Spring break and snow

Tomorrow is the last day before spring break is officially here. And it has been snowing all afternoon and is supposed to snow some more tomorrow. Ahhh, life in Wisconsin.

Today I saw my advisor. Apparently she has several students in her class who are also in the class I TA. She said several students told her how well I had done during the lecture I gave. That was great to hear. She had missed the paper presentation I gave last week too, but said that one of the professors who was there told her how well I did. I almost got the impression he went to her just to tell her how well I had done. She seemed very impressed with what I did, and she wasn't even there! That really made me feel so good. Alot of my fellow graduate students are reconsidering working in academia. It is difficult and there are a lot of politics involved in getting through the graduate process. After that you have to find a job, get tenure, publish a book, serve on committees, be a great professor, present at conferences, and publish some more. But this is what I want to do, and that desire has not changed for me. I love to teach, and my advisor thinks I'm a natural at it. I'm also good at presenting my work. Unfortunately, my research and writing skills aren't as good as they should be, but I'm working on that.

Meanwhile, I'm dealing with students who are not so happy about their mid-term grades. Note to students, don't use "information" from a certain professor's class, because I've had three classes with him and his TA is one of my good friends. If you took better notes in class it would be a lot easier.


Monday, March 14, 2005

Wonderful Weekend

This was a great weekend. My mom had hoped I would be there, so it wasn't a huge surprise, but she sure was glad I was there. In addition to me, my dad flew in my mom's two best friends. All three of them hadn't been together for about 10 years. They both have daughters my age, and it was great getting caught up with them. The party was huge! It seemed like everyone we knew showed up, but yet, alot of people didn't make it. There were about 90 people there throughout the evening. It was great. There were a ton of people there I hadn't seen in ages. So of course, I had to answer the question, "So, when are you going to be done in school?" about a million times. But the party was great and mom enjoyed herself.

The strange thing about my mom's friends from out of town. It was probably presumed, back in the day, that my parent's marriage was probably the shakiest of all three. Yet, my parents are the only couple still married. Not only are they still married, but they have a great marriage. My dad worships the ground my mom walks on, but he's not whipped, and my mom is super appreciative of everything my dad does for her and our family. I know the secret to my parents' marriage: my mom refused to give up. Now, my dad, he probably never even knew there was anything wrong. But my mom, for a while, a long while, was miserable. But she was already divorced and now had three kids, so instead of leaving, she stuck it out. And instead of being bitter about it, she focused on my dad's positive attributes. And as he got older, he mellowed, and as she got older, she got better about asking for what she wanted. And they both considered their marriage a priority. So was my mom surprised when she answered the door on Friday and me and her two friends were standing there. No, not really. She knew that dad wanted her to be happy and this would make her happy.

I also got to see Camille and family. The new addition is beautiful. And she has a ton of hair! Camille looks great and very happy and relaxed. Bart looks at Francesca like she's the most amazing thing on the planet. I am so very happy for them.

On the plane home, this little girl, probably almost three, sat in front of me. She was soooo cute. She was wearing a little pink outfit and had a pink cowboy hat on. She kept saying, "I'm a cowgirl." Her mom told her to say yee-haw and howdy, and she did. She was just adorable.

ok, I still have a ton of homework I need to do. I had a great weekend, but now I really need spring break!


Thursday, March 10, 2005

I Rock!

I gave my lecture on Monday. The Russian Revolutions of 1917. In 50 minutes. For that alone, I deserve a medal or a pay-raise, or something. I was extremely nervous and worked on it all weekend. Well, most of it is a blur, but everyone clapped at the end, the professor shook my hand, and several students stopped to tell me I did a great job. The next day, when I teach, several more students told me how good it was, that I was the best lecturer so far, and that they actually learned stuff. I am very flattered, but at the same time, I'm also still grading the mid-terms. But I do think they like me, and that I did at least a good job.

Today, I presented a paper for the first time ever. This, I didn't really prepare for. There were three of us, and the topic was: Jews in the eyes of others. I went last. My topic: the Bolshevik struggle against Zionism. One of the other presenters, whom I really, really respect, told me several times afterwards that I did a great job. So, that felt really good too.

Also ran into my former student again today. I am going to have to schedule something soon.

I have absolutely not prepared anything for class tomorrow. But that professor was at our presentation (all of us are in his class), so I'm hoping he'll be nice.

I can't wait to go home. I did laundry today. I sent my mom a flyer for today's presentation in her birthday card. She put it on the fridge. I hope she takes it down before her party.

I guess that's it.


Monday, March 07, 2005

Total chaos. . . .in slow motion

Where to start? Well, how about here! I need spring break to be here NOW!!!! I am so tired that I think I am physically unable to do any more homework. And my apartment is a disaster area. And I have so much homework to do it's ridiculous. And I have mid-terms I need to grade. And I'm lecturing tomorrow for the first time ever. And I'm presenting a paper on Wed. for the first time ever. And I feel totally unprepared.

I really didn't think preparing a 50 minute lecture would be that hard. I mean, in the class I TA'd for last semester, the revolutions took two weeks, which is more than 4 hours. But then I realized, this isn't a history class, and they don't need to know every single name and every single detail. And hence, I'm 10 minutes short!!!! I've probably spent 8 hours preparing this lecture this weekend. I can't wait until it's over. Meanwhile, I'm so exhausted by the revolutions (two, there were two revolutions in Russia in 1917), that I really haven't done any other homework this weekend. And I think my brain probably exploded earlier today, I just haven't had the energy to go look. I haven't worked on the Wed. paper presentation at all. But at least I already have the 35 page paper written and just have to condense it into 12 pages. Shouldn't be that hard. (those will probably be my unfamous last words).

Mid-Terms: What can I say? Some of the answers to the essays are so banal and insipid that they aren't even worth the time to read. Some are just plain out wrong. Although, apparently Peter the Great was a Westernizer because he simplified Russia's tax system. (he didn't simplify it, but he did change it: I'm still trying to figure out what that has to do with Westernization). I'll let you know how those turn out. Other than that. . . .

Ok, can I let you in on a secret? I'm pretty sure my mom doesn't read this because she hasn't told me I'm going to hell yet. My mom turns 50 this week and my dad is throwing her a huge party next Saturday. My mom really wants me to come for this. We have her totally convinced that I'm not coming home because my spring break doesn't start until March 19th (why so late?). I even sent her a birthday card telling her I was sorry I wouldn't be there, and today on the phone I told her that I was doing some church thing next weekend. I am so excited and I can't wait to see the look on my mom's face when I get there. And after this week, I'll really need the break.

And, I e-mailed the former student I went out with this week and suggested we do it again. The answer was: let me know when and where and I'll be there. Hmmmmm!


Thursday, March 03, 2005

That sucks!

Ok, so the birthday was ok, but not spectacular. Whatever. Today, I found out that this guy I know has put in his two weeks notice at work and is moving away. What sucks is that he hasn't contacted me to let me know this. Ok, so we're not great friends, but. . . .I fall asleep thinking about him a lot. I had asked him out and he told me he wasn't available, but he always made a point to talk to me whenever he saw me and told me he still considered me a friend. So, it's not like I ever expected him to really ever call me, but there was that little, itty bitty hope in the back of my brain that I might get at least one night of really hot sex. The dream is dead. No, he hasn't left yet, but really, what am I going to do, call him and offer one night of really hot sex? He knows I'm interested so, if that's what he wanted, wouldn't he call me? It just sucks, because he was pretty much the only really good looking guy my age in all of Madison.

On the other hand, a former student invited me out to drinks tonight, and we had a great time.

anyhow, I'm going to go pout and imagine all the great sex HE'S missing out on!