Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Back to Boston

We flew in this morning at six o'clock, took a taxi back to the apartment, made up the bed with the decadent sheets my parents gave us, and promptly slept the daylight hours away. When we did wake up, we took the subway to Coolidge Corner and filled our cart with Trader Joe's groceries. Then we spent the rest of the evening cooking vegetarian stir fry, watching Harry Potter, and cuddling. Twas a wonderful return to Boston urbania and a comforting contrast to the suburban snow that dictated our actions for the past week. I do however miss my sisters, Wesley- my sweet adorable dog, chilis, native american flavour, and the dry air of Denver. Considering the familial changes going on, the fabulous down town scene, the ridiculously reasonable cost of living, and the presence of my college bound sister, Denver is looking like a very desirable place to live. Now the question remaining is, grad school?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Not Skiing

Graduation is over, papers are turned in, and we've made the long drive to Denver. It was wonderful to see so many old friends and so much family. Late night rendevous with Susan, Skillets encounters with Scott and Jennifer, dinner with Dr. Morris, stolen time with Stephanie, and a breakfast send off by the ever-generous Sosebees. The visit was pretty perfect, providing nostalgia and necessary closure to the school and community. I so want to keep in touch though.
Today, as I type from the office of my parents' home in Littleton still wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants, Zach and my brother-in-law are on top of a mountain skiing.
I am not with them for two reasons:
1. It's freakin 9 degrees on that mountain. In that temperature, a person like myself can only think of curling up in a ball and reading, sleeping, or crying- INside.
2. The last time I was courageous enough to try a new rugged sport for the sake of a boy, I left the mountain humiliated, bleeding from various brand new orifices, and having damaged said boy's mother's bike.
So in exchange for being alone in the house on a beautiful winter's day I will keep my dignity.
In all seriousness, I do hope to learn to ski in the next year or so but on a smaller mountain and with less intimidating ski-partners.
Happy Week before Christmas!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I just sent my last paper in. Good bye ACU, good bye undergraduate work!

Friday, December 15, 2006


Today I graduate from undergrad and I don't feel the anticipation I expected. For one thing, I still have eight pages left to write and unfortunately seven of them were due last night. For another, the rush to graduate so quickly has filled every minute of the last two semesters with planning and focusing on the goal of finishing. But the main reason is, despite some frustrations with the city and frustrations with certain politicies and mentalities, I honestly wish I had had more time here. I'm not ready to let go of the people and the professors. Of course the reason I didn't is take longer is that I was eager to begin my life with Zach, and long distance was impossible to bear. Comparing the two lives, pre-married and post, I wouldn't do anything to change the strength of our bond, our comfortabiility and partnership together, and the acceptance that our families have finally given to us. But the thing that I have really been lacking in Boston is a group of people with whom I can be myself and talk passionately and comfortably too. My family was immediately embracing, picking us up from the airport, driving us around, and letting us sleep at their place. Last night we saw Julie, Mark and Katrina, Alex, and Stephanie while "studying" in the library. Then I ran over to the English department and saw Jennifer Gross, Dr. Shankle. and Dr. Rankin. And after that we had such a wonderful dinner and starbucks with Dr. Morris. I realized that I haven't talked with ease with people since I've left Abilene. Then we "studied" with Susan, my sister in Abilenian, COC rebellry and English major nerdiness, and saw Scott and Jennifer Gross at Skillets.
I miss being excited about academics and I miss friends so much. Where have "I" been in the past six months? I've been lost in Boston, in work and graduate classes and people I don't know. Will there ever be a place like this again?

I am amazed that 25 family members are coming to see me walk across the stage and receive an empty diploma shell tonight. Considering that only 10 came to my wedding in Seattle (and five of them were under the age of five), I am dumbfounded. What does this mean? It means that to be involved in the Texas bubble and all of the wonderful community support that comes with it, you have to live in Texas.

Today I am existentially moved, deeply grateful, deeply uncertain, and deeply mournful of the loss of this place and these people that have been so loving to me.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sunday Mun-dayn- Working Blues

I checked out a book on painting murals today. I wonder if I will ever have the courage or talent to transform my walls into cavemen paintings or skylines. I think I could use the tips, shapes, and techniques to paint on very large pieces of hangable paper.

Until then I plan on returning to shirt making after I finish these papers. I have a pile of shirt design drawings from various class notebooks will be put to good use. Perhaps I'll post my creations if I can figure out that part of blogging.

Zach and I decided on some chillens names that we actually both like (or will in 5 years!). We can't think of boys names but Arundhati is a lovely and meaningful name. Of course Arundhati Herrington-Shaner (Ari for short) will have some identity crisies on account of being given an Indian first name, a hyphenated British-Irish last name, and no middle name (for length's sake). But won't being named after a powerful, articulate, fascinating woman be worth it in the end? Unfortunately, my side of family names won't be carried on to the second generation of Herrington-Shaners. According to Zach, Ollie Fay, Ima Fay, Zora, and Illa are cruel and sadistic choices. My poor great aunts!

As it stands I have roughly 22 pages left to write and then I am a student no more!!!

On a sad note, I won't get a chance to see Jessica or Michael before they leave Boston. I will miss them in town (even though our visits were few and far between) and always cherish secret piano scheming and Bertuccis.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

A Modest Proposal

Instead of writing my semester paper for postcolonial literature, I am going to write about writing it. I chose to write about the God of Small Things because I had already read it and it was one of my fav's. I was feeling kinda guilty at first because a lot of people in the class seemed to be reading their books for the first time. Another girl in my class is also writing about the God of Small Things and discussing our book with her I realized that she hardly caught the Roy's genius or the subtle complexity of the plot. In writing my paper I am realizing how enjoyable it is to write when you have all this knowledge on the book, and when all these secret passages touch you and prod your consciousness as you write. This must be what makes a dissertation worthwhile!
On that note, I propose an alternitive form for advanced literature classes. I propose that courses should be limited to 8 books (as opposed to 14 in American Lit!) (adjustabe depending upon length and density). These books should be read during the first 2/3 of the semester. During the last, no new books should be assigned. Instead, each student (or group depending on size) should sign up for one book to reread and present to the class an indepth critical and textual analysis with secondary sources that will be compiled at the end of the semester. If the students hates all books in the course, they should be allowed to choose an appropriate alternate book approved by the professor. Students should only have to reread one book during this time but should be able to reread as many times as necessary for ultimate enjoyment and comprehension of the text and so that they can write an honest, capable analysis.
Now I must return to work and resist the temptation to watch more of Pride and Prejudice (my only true addiction). Instead I will listen to my lyrical Damien and Lisa.

Monday, December 4, 2006

A Poem for the Woods

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

W. B. Yeats Irish Poet, lover of Maude, envier of the occult, visionary.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Christmas Lights and Snow books

My favorite thing about holidays (limited to Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Christmas) is the stuff. In autumn it is gathering fallen leaves one by one, drying them in whatever novel I happen to be carrying, and scattering them across bookcases, table tops, and our piano. In autumn it is also Halloween treats: peanut butter eye balls, haystacks, pumpkin soup, and cranberry cider. This season we finally entered the mode with our very first Christmas tree! I came home from work and there it was sitting sublimely in the living room between green and gray arm chairs! I can't express my love for our little tree! We were so enamoured that we laid couch cushions on the floor and squeezed onto the tiny pallat so that we could sleep in the same room as our tree. Christmas trees alight at night always enfuse in me a sense of wonder and magic. And the scent of pine makes me eager for our summer move to one undesignated land of evergreens.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Roy and Folklore Studies

I discovered two nights ago the University of Oregon's Interdisciplinary Folklore Graduate degree. How fun it looks!!! You have the option of triple majoring in any of the following: history, english, folk studies, women's studies, ethnic studies, communications, global studies etc... and in Grad school. This is looking like my kinda grad school.
This is a speech by Arundhati Roy that everyone should read and be humbled by. I love the intensity of her compassion and the complexity of her gaze. She makes me want to be a voice in politiics because when you read her political writing you realize that politics aren't politics as you have defined them. Politics are human lives and your personal responsibility. The realities of politics are human suffering, human injustice, and sometimes- human triumph.
Please read: http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~peer/arundhatiRoy.html