quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


6 More Weeks

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. - William Butler Yeats
There is such a short time until I'm on my final semester in university.  In 6 weeks, I will have finished out this semester and transitioned from pre-service to intern.  After January 3 I will be teaching within the school district.  I don't have my palcement yet (which is making me a little crazy), but I'll be getting it soon enough. 

Until then, I still have to pass this semester, which this past week I felt like I wouldn't.  I suffer from anxiety.  Anxiety about school, about work, about family, about relationships.  I treat each day as an emergency and unfortunately it has taken its toll.  I am constantly tired.  My weight fluctuates like crazy.  I'm depressed.  I have mood swings.  And sometimes I can't breathe. 

Wow...I've never written that before.  I can't believe I'm sharing this because I feel such shame in admitting I even have this problem.  I'm not suppose to feel this way, to have this disability.  But that's my pschye for you; already stressed and then I get stressed about being stressed.  Ridiculous.

Ridicoulous is exactly what I have to focus on.  As my psychologist (another thing I can't believe I'm admitting to) says "I don't deserve to feel this way."  I have mantras which I'm to say over and over, specifically "This is not an emergency."  They actually do help.

Saying that, this week got away from me.  It was my own fault.  I have a bad habit of procrastination (doesn't go so great with the anxiety).  But I had 4 huge assignments due this week all within a three day time: a write-up of my education case study, a 7-15 page piece for non-fiction, a complete reading strategies lesson, and a 4-6 page paper in American Lit (which has one of the hardest professor I've had).  So when Sunday came, I started to hyperventilate.  But with the training and focus I've been working on, I was able to execute a plan of attack.  I made a schedule and I stuck to it.  With this tool in hand I got each part done without having a complete breakdown.

This has taught me two things: scheduling out my time helps me to focus on my assignments and realizing my capabilities helps me to complete my work confidently.

I hope that what you, my dear readers, take away from this is that 1) Life is NOT an emergency, and 2) You can complete what you put your mind to.


Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?

I loved this show as a child, and it is still going strong.  And it's still funny.  The writers are embracing popular culture (which could be a bad thing if you read the controversy over Bert and Ernie) and have created something both parents and children can enjoy.  I mean come on, Grover doing the Old Spice commercial?  Classic!


Review: I'm a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson

    In 1995, Bill Bryson moved his family from England, where he himself had resided for twenty years, to Hanover, New Hampshire for no other reason then “it seemed an awfully nice place”.  In 1996, an old friend of his, Simon Kelner, contacted Bryson to write a weekly column for the British magazine Night & Day about living in America.  In I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away, Bryson catalogs his experiences returning to America, and the strange situations he constantly finds himself in a series of essays adapted from the columns written for Night & Day.

    In the first essay of the book titled, “Coming Home”, Bryson chronicles exactly how it feels returning to his home land:

    “Coming back to your native land after an absence of many years is a surprisingly unsettling
     business, a little like waking from a long coma.  Time, you discover, has wrought changed that
     leave you feeling mildly foolish and out of touch.”

This sense of bewilderment and displacement is evident through out the essays, which span topics from a visit to the barbershop to buying a new computer.  Everything that Bryson has done as an adult, such as taking out a mortgage or buying a new car, he has done in England first and adjusting to the “American Way” is turning out to be just a little difficult.

     The experiences Bryson had in England are what enables him to turn the habits of American society upside down, making the activities which Americans find so natural utterly absurd .  No essay shows this better than “Why No One Walks”:

    “The fact is, we not only don’t walk anywhere anymore in this country, we won’t walk anywhere,
     and woe to anyone who tries to make us, as a town here in New Hampshire called Laconia
     discovered to it’s cost. “

Essentially, the poor government officials in Laconia spent $5 million in order to make the downtown shopping district pedestrian friendly, and while it was a beautiful design it was also a  financial disaster, pushing away the shoppers, who having to walk a block back to the parking lot, turned their patronage to suburbian malls.  The charming quirk to refuse to walk is just one of the wonderful things about living in America Bryson points out.

    However it isn’t all tongue in cheek; Bryson does reflect on the good aspects America has to offer, such as Thanksgiving, in his essay “The Best American Holiday”:

     “Perhaps the nicest, and certainly the noblest, aspect of Thanksgiving is that it give you a formal,
       official occasion to give thanks for all those things for which you should be grateful.”

As Thanksgiving remains one of the least commercialized major holidays in America, we can all sit back and appreciate it’s simplicity.  Reading of Bryson’s fond memories from his childhood, and the warm feelings brought on from his current Thanksgiving allows readers to reflect back on their own memories and smile.

     Throughout the book Bryson manages to paint a wildly funny, and oftentimes biting, portrait of America, leaving no tradition unexamined, no idiosyncrasy unturned.  Seeing America from the view of an insider who became an outsider who became an insider is a refreshing and infuriating read.  If that sounded confusing , as soon as you pick up I’m a Stranger Here Myself you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

Bryson, Bill.  I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away. New York, NY: Broadway Books, 1999. 288 pages. $14.95.


Love and Marriage, Love and Marriage. Goes together like a horse and carriage.

I've been thinking a lot about marriage recently. Why, you may ask. Well, both of my best friends happen to be engaged and one is even getting married within the next month. I am an education major and as such am constantly around fellow classmates getting engaged or married. My other best friend is talking up a storm about how she hopes her boyfriend proposes soon. Needless to say, I am exposed to marriage on a daily basis.

This also got me thinking about my parents own marriage. What did they meet, how did they know they were ready, how my dad proposed, where they had the ceremony, the whole shebang. Their story is an interesting one.

My father was a Seaman 1st class, stationed at NBSD and my mother worked at a local bank in downtown San Diego. They met while out clubbing. My mom was with a buddy of my dad's who was also in the Navy. So when they, along with a friend of my mom's, met up, my dad finagled his way in. (My dad oozes charm; it's sickening) But in perfect fashion, he ended up saying the wrong thing, making her flee the table and locking herself in the bathroom. The night was over as far as she was concerned.

Little did she know, my dad was already working his charm on my mom's friend and got the number to the bank where she worked. The next morning he called her no less than six times, but she kept ignoring him. (My mom can hold a grudge like no one's business) Finally he showed up at the bank bearing flowers, pretty much guaranteeing him another chance.

After that they went on a date almost every night and three weeks in, my dad popped the question at the beach at sunset. Three weeks after that they were married in Long Beach, CA. They have been married for 28 years. Pretty freaking unbelievable. It's a goddamn fairytale.

How do you feel about marriage as a concept? Realistic? Romantic? A pipe-dream?
How I feel about marriage is forever changing, but I do know that it's suppose to be forever. Coming from a traditional Catholic family (I mean my dad converted for my mom; we're pretty serious here) the vows are one of the most important things I will ever do. "...To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part" are all things I will take very seriously. So to me and how I grew up marriage is what one does, but it is also a romantic bond between two souls destined for each other.

2. Do you think you’ll ever want to get married?
I definitely want to get married. However, I am not going to get married until my sister can get married. In the United States, in 2004, the Government Accounting Office identified 1,138 federal laws in which marital status is a factor in determining or receiving benefits, rights, and privileges. 1,138 rights which I will receive upon my marriage, but which she will be denied. That in my mind is not right. So one way which I'm protesting besides writing my government officials and signing petitions, etc is by not marrying until she can. My "husband" will understand if he really loves me.

3. If you did get married, would you want a big blow-out celebration or would you keep it low-key?
I can't decide. I keep going back and forth. I do know some specific things I want. I want a traditional Catholic ceremony, hopefully at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NY. The ceremony consists, at least, of three biblical readings, the exchange of vows, the exchange of rings, the Prayer of the Faithful, the nuptial blessing, prayers and appropriate music.
I want a black and white color scheme. The bridesmaids all in black and the groomsmen all in white with myself in white and my husband in black OR both of us in white and the rest of the bridal party in black.
I want to march down the aisle to Trumpet Voluntary for two reasons: (1) I love the sound of it and it isn't commonly heard as a bridal march, (2) I played it while I was in band for my Solo & Ensemble piece, and it's one of my favorite classical pieces. Then for the exit I want the Trumpet Concerto in B-Flat Major: I, Allegro. LOTS of trumpets in this wedding. Father/Daughter dance: Daddy by Kendall Payne. This song makes me cry (I'm crying right now in fact because I'm stupidly listening to it) and tells my Dad exactly what i want him to know. Finally for the first dance: When You Look Me in the Eyes by the Jonas Brothers. Now before you judge read the lyrics:

If the heart is always searching,
Can you ever find a home?
I've been looking for that someone,
I'll never make it on my own
Dreams can't take the place of loving you,
There's gotta be a million reasons why it's true.

When you look me in the eyes,
And tell me that you love me.
Everything's alright,
When you're right here by my side.
When you look me in the eyes,
I catch a glimpse of heaven.
I find my paradise,
When you look me in the eyes.

How long will I be waiting,
To be with you again
Gonna tell you that I love you,
In the best way that I can.
I can't take a day without you here,
You're the light that makes my darkness disappear.

When you look me in the eyes,
And tell me that you love me.
Everything's alright,
When you're right here by my side.
When you look me in the eyes,
I catch a glimpse of heaven.
I find my paradise,
When you look me in the eyes.

More and more, I start to realize,
I can reach my tomorrow,
I can hold my head up high,
And it's all because you're by my side.

When you look me in the eyes,
And tell me that you love me.
Everything's alright,
When you're right here by my side.
When I hold you in my arms,
I know that it's forever.
I just gotta let you know,
I never wanna let you go.

When you look me in the eyes.

And tell me that you love me.
Everything's alright,
When you're right here by my side.
When you look me in the eyes,
I catch a glimpse of heaven.
I find my paradise,
When you look me in the eyes.

Again with the crying. Everything I want to tell my future husband is in that song. Even if it is by a Pop band (It is MY wedding!).

So now that I've written you an essay on weddings, I'm going to bed and dreaming of that day all over again.

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