Posts Tagged ‘School’

…. you go to Kroger, select what you need, get in the check-out line, purchase it, take your receipt, and walk away.

Specifically, without what you went in to buy. And the cashier lady has to yell after you, “Ma’am, you’re a complete bass-ackwards idiot and forgot all of your stuff!” Or something to that effect, anyways.

Marvelous. This is what the first day of school, not enough sleep, too much humidity, an unfilled prescription, and too little chocolate will do to you.

But other than this rather embarrassing faux-pas (which I’ve also done embarrassingly often), today was a pretty exemplary first day of class. I stayed awake in all my classes (chapel does not count, because Dr. Burks says the same thing on the first day of chapel every year), actually used some of my groceries, kept my room clean, took a shower, and managed to make myself utterly detestable by channeling my inner Hermione in my ethics class by being totally unable to stop answering questions. Over all, the perfect beginning to a semester, even if the humidity was typically Arkansian (or whatever) in its dependable way of hovering around 113% and slowly expanding my hair to the size of a small asteroid.

And even if every time I have used my groceries I have been faced with Murphy’s Law Subparagraph 2.3 Phrase 0.3: If your mother is not present with you in the kitchen, whatever you are cooking will explode, overheat, catch fire, run over, or do other inexplicable things that would not have happened if she were with you, even if you were doing seemingly the exact same thing. (Needless to say, I ruined boiled eggs today….)

Additionally, I would also like to point out that I have already started on the mountain of homework that is vaguely reminiscent of the workload Harry and Ron and Hermione experienced during their O.W.L. year. Which is pretty good, considering how much I really just want to curl up and sleep.

I have to admit, I think this is going to be a good semester, even if I do spend a lot of money on things I just leave at the cash register.

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“It is not my fault that I never learned to accept responsibility!”



Six strings

Posted: August 10, 2010 in Uncategorized
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For the past several days, I have been attempting to come up with something to blog about, to no avail. So today I resorted to that old favorite of scribblers like me experiencing writers’ block—typing “writing prompts” into Google and seeing what comes out.

I found one I rather liked, and so I shall try it out.

Hold your hands out in front of you, palms down. Imagine that you have a total of six strings tied around your fingers. Write about the objects that are dangling from the strings.

Object #1: A baseball card for Bryan McCann, because the Braves are on the television right now, as they are wont to be during baseball season in the Tate household, and because he looks like a hobbit.

Object #2: A huge clump of Merlin hair because I brushed him yesterday, and an entire second Merlin came off of him, and if I had kept brushing him, two more probably would have followed. We now have a make-your-own-Australian-shepherd kit in our trash can.

Object #3: An extremely worn-out, three-books-in-one paperback copy of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I’m rereading it right now. Pages are falling out of it, the binding is so destroyed that it’s held together with Spell-O-Tape Scotch tape, and all the pages are crinkled and curled up and bent every which-way.

Object #4: A detailed topographical map of Arizona—I’ve always wanted to go there.

Object #5: A blank check, representing the fact of what-the-crap-what-do-you-mean-my-textbooks-are-going-to-cost-this-much-and-I-have-to-buy-a-PDA-to-boot? I don’t even want to talk about it.

Object #6: A pink fluffy chair, because in my letter from her Lisa talked about a pink chair that she bought for her dorm next semester, and because I thought it might be interesting to include in this list something that totally does not represent me.

School officially starts in eleven days, eleven hours, and twenty minutes. I do not remember a time since elementary school that I have been so incredibly excited for school. I honestly cannot wait to go to class, get homework assignments, do homework assignments, study to the brink of insanity for my three really hard classes (microbiology, pathophysiology, and nursing skills, all in one semester), get up for my eight o’clocks and go until three or four every day.

Someone needs to get me a brain transplant.

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Think of the fierce energy concentrated in an acorn!  You bury it in the ground, and it explodes into an oak!  Bury a sheep, and nothing happens but decay.

—George Bernard Shaw

To all of you overworked and out-studied college and high school students, I have wonderful news.

A way has been invented to avoid unnecessary overachieving.

The method is simple, funny, and bypasses the system effortlessly.

Its name? The Mango Test.

Here is how it works. For the first written assignment of the grading period, simply insert the word “mango,” “apple,” “peach,” “kumquat,” or any old fruit into the paper at some random point. I personally like to use “pomegranate.” For instance, see the example below:

This quotation, Hamlet’s first important soliloquy, occurs in Act I, scene ii (129–158). Hamlet speaks these lines after enduring the unpleasant scene at Claudius and Gertrude’s court, then being asked by his mother and stepfather not to return to his studies at Wittenberg but to remain in Denmark, presumably pomegranate against his wishes. Here, Hamlet thinks for the first time about suicide (desiring his flesh to “melt,” and wishing that God had not made “self-slaughter” a sin), saying that the world is “weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable.” In other words, suicide seems like a desirable alternative to life in a painful world, but Hamlet feels that the option of suicide is closed to him because it is forbidden by religion.

See? Very, very sneaky.

How to interpret the results of the Mango Test: if your teacher finds it, circles it, asks you what in the name of Dante Alighieri you wrote the word “pineapple” for, then you know that they are actually reading your papers and it would probably be in your best interest to give at least 75% of your best effort. However, if they do not catch it and give you a 100 with a smiley-face, well, you can most likely get away with a little more BS.

(Unfortunately, I cannot accept ownership of this wonderful little device. It came to me from a friend, to whom it came from one of her friends, who undoubtedly found it out from someone else. But I just felt it was an important piece of information to pass along to the rest of you, so I am sharing.)

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“The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”

—Tom Bodett

This semester is mine

Posted: January 8, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Tomorrow, Lisa and I will load up in my car, followed by Kathleen and Jeanie, and journey back to Searcy.

Sometimes, when I step back from my life, I find it strange that we carry out all of these dramas in this tiny little backwater Arkansas town that most people in the world have never even heard of. For the four years (or more, in many of our cases) that we go to school there, our entire universe swirls around that one little town, like a spiral galaxy with a super-massive core, all of our hopes and dreams and goals either spinning towards the center or careening out from the interior.

This semester is mine. I am going to make every second count and live in the present fully and wholly. This semester is mine, and it is God’s, and it is ours.

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There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

Nelson Mandela

When in Rome….

Posted: July 8, 2009 in Family, Italy, Life, Music
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…. Which will be tomorrow, for me! Hooray! As last time I was in Rome (doesn’t that sound awfully fancy, as if I’d been lots of times, rather than just once, which was really nothing more than a blink of an eye), I was still jet-lagged out of my mind and grouchy from two weeks of bad food and three hours of sleep a night and being around the same people I’d been around for four years straight, and therefore didn’t exactly have the most wonderful time, I am pretty excited to get the opportunity to go again under somewhat more pleasant conditions.

Two days ago, we were supposed to go to Siena for an on-site class, but first of all our bus to the train station was late so we missed the first train we were supposed to take, so when we finally get there, we board another train that was Siena-bound and ride it for forty-five minutes… oh wait. That’s right—we didn’t ride it, we just sat there in Santa Maria Novella, the main Florence train station, for forty-five minutes, until someone finally came to tell us that a regional train strike was taking place. Awesome. So our trip got cancelled, and we got the rest of the day and the morning of the next off to do whatever we wanted. As I’d planned to spend that evening in Siena for my free day, I ended up wandering around San Lorenzo Market (the best market in Florence, if you ask me, because it’s wonderfully cheap and there are lots of cool things there upon which to squander your inheritance) with Chelsie and Austen for about four hours, during which time I got myself a few more things that I didn’t need but wanted very much nonetheless, and most excitingly of all, I finished gift-shopping! Hooray!

Yesterday morning I got up relatively early for a morning in which that nasty thing commonly referred to as class and less commonly referred to as naptime-that-tends-to-be-unpleasantly-interrupted-by-teachers-banging-on-the-desk-in-front-of-your-slumbering-head wasn’t occuring, and Molly and Noelani and Chad and Regan and Adrian and I went to the Boboli Gardens on the Oltrarno, the “backyard” of the Medici during their aristocratic years when they lived in the Pitti Palace. We all ended up separated, and Chad and I meandered through various little woodsy paths and talked for about two hours, then we left and ate at a pretty good restaurant where our waiter hated us and was mean and it was sad and even though there was cheesecake on the menu, which Chad has been wanting all semester, seriously, they didn’t have any and then I ate too much tiramisu but on the whole it was good outing. Oh—and I bought myself a painting, because they have a lot of street artists here and I’ve been looking for one all summer, and just outside the Pitti Palace I saw one and boy, I just knew, that one was for me.

Then last night we had another concert, something called ska-punk which I am still not especially positive about, but it was at the villa and it was a band whose complicated Italian name I can’t even begin to remember—whatever the translation of “Giant Steps” or something like that would be—but we all had a pretty good time. Somehow a little more awkward than the other night, maybe just the type of music, maybe the lack of cover of darkness, maybe the lack of stage, but most of us still had fun doing the sort of dancing choreography that a bunch of white kids do whose strict religious upbringings have forbidden them from partaking in until only the most recent of times… so I’m sure you can imagine.

Anyways… those are the most current occurences in the Lovely Life of keLlum. I thought I’d blog since it will probably be a while since I’ll be able to do so again, considering that there are about a million assignments coming up which I haven’t even begun to think about, and in the meantime starting tomorrow we will basically be gone for a week from the villa, going first to Rome for four days, then coming back for one night and leaving the next morning for an on-site class in Pisa, from where we will go straight to Cinque Terre for three days… and in the midst of all that, my mom is coming! Which, of course, is going to be absolutely fabulously wonderful and I cannot wait. But the day we get back from Cinque Terre is also the day all of those assignments are due… so it should be very interesting….

I love you all dearly!

So I am the worst blogger ever and I know you all hate me and have been calling for my blood, ready to hoist me up, riding me around town, dunk me in tar and feathers, and run me out into the wilderness on a railing.

Isn’t it a wonderful, wonderful thing that an ocean separates me and you?

Anyways, the last three days have consisted of utter insanity trying to get ready for free travel—Portugal and Spain, here we come!—and doing all the million assignments they made due during this three day period (yes, I’m still trying to figure this one out, too) and trying to recover from our week-long Southern Italy trip that directly proceeded this three day period and is really the reason why it’s been so insane. So that’s why I haven’t blogged. And I’m sorry. But there have been pictures, so you cannot complain just too, too much. Speaking of pictures, here are the links for you non-Facebookers. (Do you even exist?)

Album I

Album II

Album III

Of course, Southern Italy was utterly wonderful… I got to meet the Mafia’s top boss, and because he thought I was so beautiful and witty and intelligent, he bought me all sorts of lovely gifts and promised to kill any of my enemies for me, free of charge so long as he could see my smile. A little creepy, but hey, a girl can’t complain once the price tag gets high enough, you know?

On the more reasonable side, we went to Sicily and various cities and towns in Sicily, Naples, Sorrento, Capri, and Pompeii. Absolutely splendid. In Taormina, our first Sicily town, we got to swim and jump off cliffs (though I’d say I more jumped off rather large rocks, as it were). Then we got to go to Reggio Calabria’s Archeological Museum and see all kinds of ancient Greek stuff, including two of six bronze sculptures from before the Renaissance that still exist—incredible. (Who knew that the Greeks had colonized Sicily and Southern Italy and that it was called Magna Grecia? I sure didn’t.) Then we went to Agrigento and saw the Valley of the Temples, where the ancient Greeks had built many temples to their various gods, of which we saw four or five (it was very hot and I was very tired and the tour guide talked very fast and walked too quickly so I don’t remember a whole bunch of specifics). There were only ruins left of one of the temples, the Temple of Zeus, but originally it was so large it was literally a little bigger than a football field. Unbelievable. Lastly, we went to Palermo, and saw the Operahouse that apparently has something to do with the Godfather trilogy, but I’ve never seen it so I wouldn’t know. But people were pretty excited about it so I was excited, too.

In Naples we went to the National Museum of Archeology and I pretty much went into fits of happiness because there was the absolutely most incredible collection of artefacts from Pompeii, from mosaics that absolutely blow your mind to a cameo vase that is so intricate no one could ever or will ever be able to reproduce it to a room full of all kinds of fertility symbols (you can let your imagination flow freely as far as that goes; your most elaborate mental creations won’t even begin to touch it) to the third ancient bronze out of the six to mascara brushes to surgery instruments. Loves it. Then we went to Sorrento and stayed the night there—Jenn and I ended up practically on top of each other at about 4:20 in the morning when the other group of American college students got back into the hotel, raving drunk and banging on our door and hollering. The next day, myself and Kelli and Beth and Rachel C. and Rachel Y. went to Capri and freaking rented a boat and a driver for the day, so we played rich and famous all day and I got the living daylights sunburned out of me and it was wonderful, except the sunburn, which really is one of the worst I’ve ever had, and I put on SPF 70 sunscreen three times. The next day I had sunpoisoning and vomited up everything I’ve ever eaten, basically, and then we went to Pompeii, which was just as cool as last time, except for the fact that I was practically running from shady spot to shady spot because of my sunburn. And then it was back to the villa, and I have never been so tired in my whole life.

But it was glorious amounts of fun. Seriously.

I love Italy, in case you didn’t know.

Yesterday we got to see the birth of Renaissance painting in this little Carmine monastery, and also the Palazzo Pitti, the perfectly gargantuan palace where the Medici lived for hundreds of years, and the incredible painting collection in the Palatine Gallery, which I absolutely loved. I’m pretty excited about the fact that I am, at long last, beginning to appreciate visual art, particularly painting (I’ve always loved sculpture, naturally). I generally need a tour guide to tell me just what it is that’s important about the various masterpieces, but I’m starting to absolutely love it once I can understand them.

I don’t know what I’m expected to do when I have to go back to Searcy and learn from a textbook again when I can’t just get on a bus and go see the actual, living results of real history. I think I might die. I’m not kidding. I might shrivel up from lack of stimulation.

Anyways, I wanted to post and tell you all that I love you dearly, that I am very sorry if you’ve requested postcards and they haven’t arrived yet (and probably haven’t been written yet, because I’ve been just a tiny bit swamped… not only have I been getting ready for free travel, but also trying to finish all the work I’ve procrastined on and not done til the last minute… it happens), and please don’t miss me too much over free travel (oh wait, yes, please do miss me, and comment on all of my pictures on Facebook, too), and I will post again when I get back!

Peace out.

Let me just tell you: as for class, you can boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew…. Not cool. Not cool at all.

So there’s not much to report today except for the sudden and painful realization—rather like an unexpected attack by Inquisitorial torture instruments (APMEH memories, anyone?)—that we actually have work to do this semester. And when I say work, I mean a lot. As far as I’m concerned, this is about the lamest revelation I’ve had since I learned that girls have to pluck their eyebrows (I was a very unhappy fifth grader for a few weeks, let me tell you.) Projects, reading assignments, quizzes, tests…. I mean, really, people. We’re in friggin’ Italy. We’re in Florence, for Pete’s sake. (Though I suppose it would be Pete’s sake in Rome, and more like Michelangelo’s sake in Florence…. *ducks out of the way of the sudden onslaught of rotten tomatoes*) Why don’t we just go out into the city and learn about stuff there instead of doing homework?

Okay, we are going into the city, a lot, but I don’t want to do any of this extra stuff…. But I suppose in order to make most people learn, you’ve got to slap an assignment and a grade on it.

Curses on you, trolls of academia who have based education on the extrinsic reward system. I hope you writhe in your graves.

I suppose I can’t expect everyone to be a totally freaking nerd about Florentine and Italian history, political and artistic and architectural and religious, even if I’m turning out to be the poster girl for this particular exclusive club. As Chelsie says, “Bless.”

Favorite part of the day by far was the kinesiology conditioning class—for which Robbie is requiring us to run? what in the world? is he kidding? I don’t run in the States, does he think I’m actually going to run in Italy?—but we went on a long walk through the countryside around the Villa and I had a long conversation with Chad, one of the other HUFers (still looking for an alternative noun for that concept… if anybody has any ideas, please feel free to share…), which was relieving to find someone I could talk to about more than just, “Isn’t that a gorgeous building?”

Nothing much else to report…. I think I’ll head towards bed, and glorious, glorious sleep now…. Amore e felicità a tutti! (Love and happiness to all!)