Friday, December 13, 2013

Ready, Set, BREAK

And just like that, as sure as the sun rises over the east and sets in the golden melted pools of western skies, I am done.  

One semester of grad school annihilated, two more to go.

Now on to one month of blessed rest.

Truth be told, I'm pretty proud of how this last semester passed.  Yes, moving here has been hard, and yes, I still had more annoying student habits than I wanted, but for the most part I was able to defeat the worst of my under-achieving demons.  True, my nasty procrastination habit is not completely gone. But I did kick it into submission about eighty percent of the time (the less said about that other twenty percent, the better).  Most importantly, I was able to finish finals with less stress and in a more timely fashion than ever before.  No last minute cramming for me this semester!  As an undergrad, I would usually frantically write my papers the morning they were due, finishing them with fifteen minutes to run to campus, print, and hand them in.  I am not lying when I say I was a lazy student.

So this is a pretty big deal.

This semester, every paper was finished at least by the night before class, and sometimes with a wider margin than that.  Let's check the timer and see how much time I granted myself, shall we?

Principles and Techniques of Journalism: 14.5 hours
Journalism Research: 18 hours
Arts Criticism: 29.5 hours
Media Law and Ethics: 66 hours

Might not seem like much, but to me that's solid progress.  Actual growth.  So eat that, all those people who stood up to violence or proved the Higgs boson particle or what have you.  I decreased my procrastination!  Victory is mine!

And now I can curl up and spend my break doing all those things I've wanted to do for weeks but have been delaying in favor of doing my work.  So over the next month, I'll be....

Reading these books:

Watching these TV shows:

And these movies:

And writing more on here (shameless plugging):

LIGHTBOX HEROES, a blog dedicated to reviewing new network TV shows.
Check us out at:

I have a new project coming up.  Stay tuned.

And last but not least, doing LOTS of this:

Garfield is my spirit animal

Have a wonderful holiday season, dear world.  Enjoy the rest of this year.  I know I will.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Same As It Ever Was

So, yesterday was fun.  If the looming terror and guilt about this wretched place and my wretched reasons for being here hitting me in one fell swoop can be termed as fun.

The worst of it happened right before church, and I felt so bad for the Primary class I teach.  I wonder if those five-year-old boys noticed their teacher staring out the window in a catatonic state.   I can imagine it now: "Hey, Sister McCarrey, are you going to teach us about not taking the name of the Lord in vain?"  "There is no hope or justice in this world, little ones.  Only darkness and loneliness forever.  So give up now, because nothing good will ever happen to you, and the more you work for something the worse your life will be.  Leave me to my solitude, small creatures."

But in all honesty, I hit a wall yesterday.  I've basically decided where I want to end up, and what I want to be doing, and how to get there.  And now that I see a clearer picture of my future, a picture un-tinged by romanticized filters, I just want it NOW.  Don't care how.  Just now.  Except that's impossible.  The soonest I can get what I want is in a year.  That makes the youngest child in me want to scream and kick my feet (acceptable behavior?  I'm still weighing my options...).

But last night, after the weight of it all had dissolved into exhaustion and a tears-induced headache, I remembered something.  I remembered David Byrne.

I have listened to this song an embarrassing amount of times since last night.

It struck something.  This knot of frustration and anger that had been twisting inside of me just snapped.  TWANG.  Gone.

There's this moment, when Byrne is questioning different things, when he throws his fists in the air, shouting:

"You may ask yourself, am I right, am I wrong? 
You may say to yourself, my god, what have I done?

Chills.  It's as if my entire experience was wrapped up in twenty-one words.  And suddenly, I was not alone.  This experience was not unique. Logically, I knew that.  I mean, it makes sense.  Everyone has difficulties, everyone has doubts. People have done this before.  And so will I.  And I know that.

But it felt good to have Talking Heads remind me of that.  It felt good to listen to David Byrne describing the slip underwater.  Joining the current, not to drown but to enter the constant stream and flow of humanity.  To know that this too will pass.

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down 
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground 
Into the blue again, after the money's gone 
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground 
Into the blue again, into silent water 
Under the rocks and stones, there is water underground 
Letting the days go by, into silent water 
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground 
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was 
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was 

Time isn't holding us, time isn't after us 
Time isn't holding us, time doesn't hold you back 
Time isn't holding us, time isn't after us 
Time isn't holding us... 
Letting the days go by, letting the days go by, letting the days go by, once in a lifetime  
Letting the days go by, letting the days go by, letting the days go by, once in a lifetime