1st Semester Senior Year

I’m wearing a sweater and warm socks. I have a great window letting in the autumn morning light. I have a cup of coffee within reaching distance and a pot of coffee waiting just for me. I am listening to One Direction and they are singing just for me. And I am scanning 5 different news sources while going through my endless list of emails and checking twitter updates with the enthusiasm of a kid on Christmas morning.

I know this is a good day because I even want to study LATIN! I want to read read read. And then seclude myself in some cute little loft apartment and hammer out a soul ripping essay or two.

And repeat.

Brian made coffee for me and came and got me when it was ready. So sweet.

This is how the rest of my life should and will be. x

It was one of those awkward moments where you’re zoning out, and you make direct eye contact with a beautiful boy you haven’t seen in four years, and he’s walking straight toward you, and you’re about to have a wonderful exchange about how the past few years of each others lives have been and where you’re headed after graduation and how much you’ve changed and are still the same, and what’s up with global warming, anyway?… and then he realizes that you are basically suffocating from the enormous mouthful of chicken sandwich you had bitten into right before you saw him, and that you can only make dramatic head motions with wide apologetic eyes promising, ‘We’ll talk later!’

I am really appreciating all this discussion of women on the national stage. Even if the discussion is full of “binders of women” and is taking place solely to get our vote… it still feels like a shift in the right direction.

Danika, my deskie neighbor, has been traveling the world through study abroad, peace corps and flas fellowhships and rotary scholarships for the past 10 years. And then she fell in love and moved to Kansas for her husbands career. BUT she got 10 years of the world in before that. And I totally can’t wait to hear about them. She is going to tell me about her time in the Peace Corps and what she thinks of it later this afternoon. She was in Dutch speaking Suriname.

Oh. I just wanted to mention. There are these cute yoga boys who come to the house every Sunday and give us free yoga lessons. AND THEY ARE AMAZING.

I am now one of the two UKSHA Sunflower House representatives. :)

We voted tonight. I am still so shy sometimes- but I have come such a fucking LONG WAY.

And I want to continue pushing further for the rest of my life. :)

Who would have ever guessed, when five years ago I couldn’t raise my voice above a whisper? Anything is possible, people.

Fixed my window and my room is INFINITELY warmer now!

It is a double hung window– so it was actually open at the top and I had not realized it.

This squirrel outside my window is going to have me assassinated by the end of the year.

Something I’ve been thinking about for many years, but became firmly established as a way of life for me today:

If you feel like someone else needs to change, it is because something needs to change in you.

I realized that it doesn’t bother me how other people are now. It’s just a choice of whether I want to spend time with that person or not. I have that choice. And oh do I fucking use it. :)

When I was younger I felt like I needed to “change-the-world-because-everyone-has-got-it-wrong.” And I was full of anxiety and angst about it. And now that I’m older, and have learned more about myself, I realize back then I was clinging onto strong opinions to define myself because I didn’t know myself. And I was trying to find a purpose for myself.

But now that I know myself- the world can do WHATEVER it does. And I will live in it HOWEVER I WILL and I am totally at peace with that. And it is a beautiful world.

No anxieties at all, because I realize the battles worth fighting (which are rare) and the ones that you just need to breeze over. If you let yourself get caught up in all the little things, and don’t reflect on why you are angry, you will never learn about yourself and you will never change. And you SURE AS HELL are not going to change anyone else.

Really funny, because back three years ago when Pat and I were really close, he always talked about detachment, and it completely pissed me off.

“You HAVE to be PASSIONATE ABOUT WORLD ISSUES, PAT!”

But- as far as progress, happiness, and the nature of life is concerned– I’d say he had it pretty spot on. At least for me. :)

Talked to Jack at dinner about his time in Colombia and Italy. Marcus joined in with a different viewpoint.

I love this. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Meet different people from all over the world with all different opinions and ways of life and soak it all up. And write to make some semblance of sense of it all. The whole lovely mess.

Dropped Mom off at work this morning, and took a joy ride around Manhattan.

Somehow ended up across the lake and venturing into the endless fields of “Lafin Angus Ranch.” It was, honest to god, one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life.

Golden green hills rolling into eternity and satin coated cows peacefully roaming the endless expanse of the earth.

Old windmills, silos and sheds dispersed periodically throughout foreverland.

After about 30 minutes of driving into the endless horizon, feeling on top of the world scaling the flint hills, that horror film constantly playing in the back of my head finally got too big for me to ignore anymore, and I became sure I would 1.) get a flat 2.) be met by some friendly farmer who would then 3.) chop me up with the beef and no one would ever know the difference.

So I turned around.

Here’s the thing:

Life turned out to be terrifyingly beautiful.

Meet it head on and enjoy the hell out of every minute of it.

Urdu/Hindi talk with international peoples over rice and beans and chai tea.

God, I LOVE extracting information from sources other people can’t crack. It is one of the best feelings in the world. Got estimates from two of the window companies and appointments set up with the other two. All information will be available and accessible by Monday night when we vote on who to work with.

People WANT to get along with you. As long as you make it clear that you really don’t NEED to get along with them, they will fall at your feet.

The importance of stepping back.

“Nice shirt.” (*Look over and realize the guy I had not 15 minutes ago also told had a nice shirt sitting at the table. Not wanting him to think I just said that to everyone and that I really, honestly DO like his shirt as well, I  Backtrack and Babble…)

“Everyone’s wearing nice shirts today. I’m really into brown.” (*pointing accusingly at both brown plaid tops, back and forth. Avoiding eye contact and allowing my cartoonish motions to fly in an attempt to bridge the void between us)

“Brown…” (*As I am slinking out of the room and they are attempting to comprehend what the FUCK just happened.)

Yesterday meeting with that research librarian— he used to work for the USDA!! So interesting to talk to him. And he basically opened up the whole world of investigative journalism to me. Showed me how to access all different databases- loaded a few articles for me and popped it on a flashdrive for light reading.

Reading through speeches from the presidents of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and suddenly overwhelmed by the magnitude of the world and how much goes on without us even realizing it. I will probably NEVER become fluent in these languages, yet there are politics and passions and hot button issues in this area that are just as important to people over there as things are here to me. Crazy.

Deb and Melani are hugging and making love in the kitchen while my headached head sets fire to a tea towel.

I feel like this circumstance was an odd metaphor for life.

Literally, the towel burst into flames.

I want you all to have this image in your mind.

9:28- Skinny tomboyish girl SWOOPING into her first class of the morning. Scarves swirling in the air. Keys, headphones, slices of bread, cell phone and papers colliding together in a crashing wave of chaos onto the desk as the bag falls with the force of heaven and hell onto the ground. Eyes dart down- the coffee thermos is spilling PROFUSELY all over the floor. Skinny tomboyish girl FLIES out of the room in a FRENZY and no one has any fucking idea what is going on. Returning with gusto, she zeroes in on the coffee spill and cleans it up with the force and focus of a Titan commanding the earth. LUNGING for the door she runs outside to throw away the paper towels, in an effort worthy of canonization.

She returns to her seat, lets out a big sigh, and class begins.

Just gave blood at the Union. Was really nervous for it, actually, as I haven’t given blood successfully since sophomore year! But my iron levels were GREAT, so I  must be doing something right. :)

And they didn’t care at all that I spent a year sitting around drinking lager in Britain. ;)

Tonight I am going to a lecture on the Higgs Boson “god particle.” I was really interested in the discovery of it this summer. The guy speaking is a physicist at KU, but worked at CERN!

Drinking tea, reading and editing.

Mmm. House meeting short tonight so I helped make bulk frozen burritos with Jason and Markus. Really good idea– used dumpster vegetables and bulk beans. We spent 50 dollars on tortillas and made 100 burritos for people to grab on their way to work this month. Cool. :) Markus toasted a few for us on the grill, and they were HEAVEN.

Lost my energy. Possibly going to walk up to the library with Tyler in a bit to study with other people from the house.

By making judgements, placing your own opinions on a pedestal and blockading yourself off from understanding the possibility of validity of multiple perspectives/opinions/lifestyles/truths outside of your own, you are PERPETUATING the problems of the world you claim you are “trying” to solve.

Absolutely amazing brunch this morning. Jordan always has the BEST food ideas. And I’m getting more confidence in my own cooking abilities during our brunch boot camp mornings. :)

This morning we made breakfast burritos. Jordan made this awesome tomato soup with lime and cilantro that went perfectly with the autumn weather, and I made banana bread with bananas that Jason and Tyler got out of the dumpster last night. ;)

Ended up making a 10x batch, using 40 bananas and 3 cups of butter. Deacon had to run and get more butter halfway through. ;) I was freaking out all morning because it seemed like a huge ordeal to me that could very easily crash and burn…

But it turned out PERFECCCCTTTTTT. WHAAAAAAATTT? I know, right? I don’t COOKK…

Everyone ended up giving us a round of applause for the food after brunch. I hid in the back of the kitchen and Brian and Jordan ended up PULLING me out of the kitchen. It was one of the most horrifying and pleasant things ever. :P

Could not figure out why Mariya always puts a comma after and in a list of things, i.e.:

books, bags, and papers.

In journalism this is an unforgivable sin, so when I was editing her book I deleted these commas. But she used them so frequently that I finally looked it up. And it says that in journalism, of course, it is a definite no- but in academic research it is commonly used, and helps to separate things better in complicated and long sentences. I definitely saw this, but couldn’t shake the idea of out my head that you NEVER DO THIS from journalism. But I guess I should brief myself on editing differences between the two.

OXFORD Commas. ;)

They definitely FEEL right; I’m happy to learn that they are right in these circumstances.

—Need to look up the academic perspective on “that”s: in journalism I got used to automatically omitting all of the unnecessary ones from the sentence, but I feel like it might be a bit different here.

Erin texted me from next door that she needed help getting dressed for her concert.

So I went over and made some really impulsive snap decisions on her attire. She is wearing neuron earrings with fucking awesome bright blue boots.

I truly believe there is a place in the world for impulsive decisions and people. EMBRACE US! :)

And now I’m listening to sassy Lily Allen music with my window open and jamming out like a fucking rockstar.

And then I’m going to do some yard work, finish my chores and print out my windows summary for the meeting tomorrow night.

AHMYGOD! JustturnedaroundtofindDebbieinmyroomrightbehindmebreathingonmyneck…. I screamed like a MOTHER and tackled her onto my bed. :P

Then wandered out into the hall and got sassy with Lily Allen and the other girls in my hallway.

“Good things come to those who wait/take the highs and the lows dear/everything’s gonna be alright/ BUT WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU NOW/ DO YOU THINK I CARE/ take what you take/ give what you give/ feel what you feel/ as long as it’s real” :)

Erin and I went for a walk out of town earlier today. It was so nice. Great sunshine and company.

I have this HUGE urge walk down the street and grab a pint or two at that weird pub with the uniformed dogs in frames all over the walls on London Road.

Have not been in the English mindset for the past two months because it’s been sad to think about, but I was finally forced to think about that crazy old island today, as I sat down to figure out the pile of transcript papers on my desk that will define the past year of my life.

SO. I was all over that Leicester website for the first time in months. And it was crazy how easy it was to feel like I was back there. Even though things have radically changed in my life it would not feel strange or surprising at all to wake up and live there again.

And if I DO wake up someday and find that I am living there, I am going to go straight to that pub and buy drinks for everyone in my sight. xxxxx

I am slightly crying right now. I miss you, everyone! I miss the European feel.

GOD the world is a strange and beautiful place. And it moves so fast you just get a taste of life before it rushes you on to something completely different. But parallel. Everything is the same but beautifully unique.

Wearing the warmest clothes I have, and still shivering in this office everyday.

So TODAY I brought a bag of chai tea with me.

There is a European electrical tea pot in the corner, and I flipped the switch on like I had been doing it all my life, and felt right proud. :)

While the water was boiling I literally stood over it like a campfire, warming my hands. And now I am slowly gaining the ability to move my fingers again, and am drinking hot chai tea while reading a book.

Chatted with Loic while he was at his UN internship in Geneva today. I was on one side of the world tearing up over how much I miss him, sobbing and crying over the fact that he can’t be here to have a coffee with me, and he was on the other side of the world discussing intergovernmental issues with very important peoples

Girl from my Latin class came up and talked to me this afternoon while I was hanging up posters. Thought it was kind of cool of her, seeing as we have never talked before, and think we should probably be friends. If I only had the time for friends. ;)

STUDY BUDDIIIIESSS. ;)

Mariya’s book is legitimately AWESOME. Started the first chapter today. Off work in eight minutes but I want to keep reading all night! MmmmmmMMMmmMMMmm.

Comedy of errors at the Brownbag this afternoon. WONDERFUL woman speaker commanding the room. But then 10 minutes into her presentation this cranky old man saunters into the CENTER of the room with a huge bag of Dunkin Donuts food. He literally spends the next 10 minutes making as much noise as possible unwrapping everything and slurping his drink while everyone in the tiny room cringes with disgust. 10 minutes later, though the presentation was one of the most engaging I’ve been to, old man on the RIGHT starts snoring. Everyone is silent, “Oh god, please stop!” is one the tips of our tongues as we lean forward and try to tell the speaker with our eyes that it is not her, it is just OLD MEN. Bart has to end up waking the guy up because the snoring is increasing in volume and speed. By this time I have taken pictures from all angles of the room and have ended up in the corner. The only seat left here is one next to the old man on the LEFT of the room. Immediately as I sit down I sense the unease of those around me. This man is basically hyperventilating from all the snorting he is doing. His handker chief goes up to his nose every 10 seconds, and alternating every 10 seconds he swipes it across his sweating frantic forehead. And I’m concerned for this guy’s health, but at the same time not because he doesn’t seem concerned at all. He especially doesn’t seem concerned whenever he blows his nose all over the backs of the people sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM.

Good day at the office.

I don’t hate old men. Just the ones who chose to come to the Brownbag lecture today.

Just took pictures for a brownbag lecture on Sorbs and the Sorbian culture in Eastern Germany. Sorbian is the smallest Slovenian language; it is not Germanic in any way. They are a culture without a state and speak one language at home and one at work. Embarrassed of their culture, but also worried their culture is going extinct. Really interesting dynamics. Had no idea they existed.

Noah found me some English road maps today.

Sitting in the library at a computer during my break; scooping peanut butter out of a skippy jar with a plastic knife and GLOBBING it onto my apple, eternally CRUNCHING throughout the hearts minds and souls of all present in the room and spraying apple juice left and right like a sperm whale.

Windows open, cold air slowly invading my room and the luxury of getting to pull the covers tighter around me and fade in and out of a sleepy haze all morning. Mmmm.

Got to campus around 10:30 and checked my email— THEY FOUND MY WALLET!!

I went to pick it up at the public safety office across town, and for once in my life found myself thanking the police instead of flipping them off. :)

I lost my wallet at SOME POINT earlier this week; date, time and place unknown. When I realized it was missing, I had so much other shit on my plate (and I am so USED to losing it… ha) that I went the whole week without it. But now it is back in my life- my lovely fake leather wallet which I bought at the Leicester market and and the whole 57 cents I had within it.

And I spilled coffee all over myself in the process of retrieving it, of course.

 

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