Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Monday's Undead

Each Monday, students are still stumbling across the pavement in a drunken stupor, yet the one commonality amongst us with the professors is the inability to remove ourselves from the denial a new week is beginning. Like zombies drawn to the sounds and smells of nearby life--dragging limbs and heavy eyes--we all migrate to the library early in the morning to finish what was never started. Down the pedestrian mall, marching in uniform exhaustion to the beat of the same groans and grunts.

Students, of all lifestyles--ending in shame or Ramen-induced comas--stagger out of dormitories, greeted by a relentless sun and its glare; stretching and groaning the same as the walking dead. The final round of Beer Pong suddenly seeming like a waste of good beer. Under the dim lights of the library, we stare at bright screens, type--barely aware of the swift movements of our fingers (muscle memory, nothing more, zombies do not have the mental capacity for utilizing tools, even of the user-friendly kind)--and fight with the printers; and if we are lucky, we still have time for breakfast: eggs, hash browns, fruit and bacon. A cold glass of chocolate milk to complete the meal--a custom of mine.

Another hour passes and I am in a literature class studying the importance of Gilgamesh's potency and fetish for virgins. I do not know how I ended up in this seat towards the back of the classroom, but I am here, attentively scrawling notes on the themes of one of man's earliest--objectively considered so--stories.

What would Freud have to say about the demanding King of Uruk?

Our professor recently improved her status, as an educator and in her own discourse, with her approved doctoral thesis. Her obsession with rape as a theme in early British literature would give the psychology department more reason to live. "Doctor” whoever stands tall with a slender build. Something about the way she moves implies her frame is too frail to carry so much length--somewhat akin to the characters often found in Burton films: made of clay and appearing flexible without actually being so.

Doctor’s accent reeks of Wisconsin, though she has probably spent years overcoming her roots. Upon our first meeting, she openly expressed her depth of worldly experience and educational endeavors, stretching from her hometown to China. Some slow words uttered later, and a few eloquent ramblings about our latest read, and class is over, and with it, any need I have to care about Gilgamesh.

Anthropology is just as I expected the course to be--analytical, fascinating, and, just as any study of humans would be, hilarious. Gourd-shaped and vivacious, the woman with short, asymmetrical curls bounces around the classroom in a goofy manner--an incredibly endearing personality. Her manner is not as articulate as the worldly woman, yet she manages to appear even wiser. The study of language and the study of the humans are synonymous, but most find more reason to criticize the person and excuse the language (poor grammar is mere stupidity rather than cultural bounds). "Curls" has an obsession with artifacts--from fossils to more materialistic and modern, which is less peculiarly specific than the first.

Both women are more than willing to connect with their students; however one is more earnest in their want to learn our names. Despite her criticism, I suppose her study of humans has made her even more social--an interesting find any beings.

In my final live moments of the day, I was sent to a seminar of which has yet to change in the past year. The room was thick with sarcasm, strong personalities and a humor only Hunter Thompson would ever truly appreciate--together we sat, a group of inspired students aspired to be journalists. We report the news, feature entertainment, rant in columns, and joke about the authority and obstinate sources. Give us all a month and our shining faces will look just as ragged as the tread of our shoes. In tailored clothes and with a look of determination, I imagine my professional-self ripping-up pavement with soles more forgiving, instead of blister with every lesson learned on foot--article-by-article, I am paving my way, the tips of my shoes digging into the soft pavement caving under the breath of the sun.

There is peace in knowing my schedule for Mondays stretched into forever. I would rather have Monday’s pressing schedule than no experience or understanding at all—even if we do all resemble zombies without anything to kill.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bells, But No Booze



Typically, before attending a wedding, I go through a few items on my mental checklist. I must prepare myself for the long, ceremonious speech given by the minister, and the possible outbursts and dramatic reactions to happiness deserved and bitterness received by others.

Weddings are strangely arousing--but not in all the ways the prospect of a honeymoon would presume. They tear families apart, rekindle old loves, and make people want to do dance. A little of everything was experienced at this one: a young couple feeling pushed aside by their family for their baby out of wedlock; a model couple finally exchanging vows; dancing to every genre of song; small portions of delicious foods on small plates; snooty country club servants and members walking past the ballroom in dismay to see blue collars in their establishment; other couples kissing at every moment of glee; and some family members glaring down others.

The only reprieve to any dismay was the blessing of no booze being served as a main course at this particular occasion (as is the usual for others I have attended).

"If they want alcohol, they can go to the bar and buy it themselves, but my dad is not paying for it," the bride-to-be said at the rehearsal dinner the night before. She is wise beyond her years.

Despite the minister talking for a long time, and the song--playing as the couple exited--quickly turning into something akin to "Phantom of the Opera" with the slip of a few fat fingers, the wedding was actually less ceremonious and more celebratory.

Jordan looked into Katye's eyes and was finally able to call her his wife. For someone who is not a big fan of weddings (because none have actually been nice, except this one), I was moved. What a lovely way to spend the evening.