Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another reason I love the Mawr

Today, while waiting for the blue bus at Haverford I was sort of half-eavesdropping on a conversation between an acquaintance of mine and one of her friends. I felt I had relevant information, so I mentioned it. Once we got on the bus, this girl and I started talking and we pretty much talked about anthropology, linguistics, and languages for the whole time the bus was sitting in front of stokes and the entire bus ride.

This just reminded me that as awkward as we generally are as Bryn Mawr women, we can also have great moments like these. It was only as we were parting ways after we got off the bus that this girl and I thought to ask each other’s name. It’s just cool that we can have intellectual conversations with people we barely know and still have some sort of connection.

On a side note, but relevant to my love of BMC, as well as my post about my obsession with BMC, I bought another water bottle… But it’s pretty and it’s my class color and it holds more! See! Useful!
Lauren’s post about childhood got me thinking and now I miss mine. The thing is, I don’t have any particular moments in mind. I’m sure I enjoyed my childhood to the fullest extent and I definitely have plenty of great memories from that time of my life, but when I say that I miss childhood, I guess I’m not 100% sure what I mean. I guess I miss things being simpler, not worrying about the future and constantly fighting some sort of battle with anxiety. I miss play-dates with friends where we actually play. (Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and love hanging out with them, even if we just end up watching a movie or something, but I sometimes I wish it was like when we were kids. Maybe this summer I’ll convince my friends that we need to play. I’m not entirely sure how to do that as a 20-year old, but that’s a dilemma for a different post.) I think sometimes I just miss being a kid. Especially now, where I’m theoretically an adult, but don’t feel ‘grown-up’ at all. I can’t make decisions for myself, I am never completely sure of my decisions, and sometimes I just really need my mommy. On a more practical level, tax and medical forms still provoke a deer-in-headlights type expression from me and nearly always result in a phone call beginning with “mooom?” When I get frustrated looking for something online, I call my mom. You know that summer language program I applied for? My mom found it. Basically, I have a future as a crazy cat lady who calls her mom at least once a day. I think there are probably worse things in life…

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My first identifiable anxiety attack (that I can remember) was in 10th grade. We had to do presentations – speeches, really – in class. I spent an inordinate amount of time on it. I wanted to know exactly what I was going to say because I was (and pretty much still am) terrified of public speaking. I worked hard and I was ready for that presentation.

When I woke up on the day of my presentation the first thing that hit me as soon as I was awake was an overwhelming feeling of panic. I tried to push through the panicky feelings and start to get ready for school, but the anxiety so overwhelmed me that I felt physically ill. And then I started crying. Sobbing. I couldn’t stop.

Needless to say, between all these things, I did not go to school that day. I felt ashamed though. Almost like I’d faked sick to get out of something I wasn’t adequately prepared for. Of course, that wasn’t the case at all. I had no control over myself that morning and I was completely prepared for that presentation.

Still, when I miss things now, I always feel this need to prove, in some way, that I really was prepared and that my absence was unrelated to my level of preparation for class. I should probably get over this. In my experience, that is not a college professor’s first thought, whether because they trust their students or because they don’t really care that much. It’s college. We’re old enough and theoretically responsible enough to get our shit done, get to class, etc. and if something doesn’t happen there might be a reason or there might not be, but that isn’t really the point.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Oh My God, that's so profound!

So I have my iTunes on repeat and I’m currently listening to Arlo Guthrie sing “Walking down the line” at Woodstock and in between actually singing he’s just musing on things, like if people actually walk down any lines while singing the song.

It’s completely ridiculous, but he says all this with such confidence that it almost sounds profound.

Of course I realize it probably sounded really profound to all the people listening to him because they were all under the influence. Of what, I don’t necessarily know, but that’s a different issue.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Worst timing ever

My body has the worst timing ever. Why does it choose now, when there's only 1 more week of classes and then 2 weeks of exams to slip backwards? This is almost as bad as last semester.


Of course, it's even more inconvenient since my doctor is currently out of town. And then there's the fact that I'm behind with some of my stuff for various classes because this semester as a whole has been a trying one.

So I'm burnt out with schoolwork, but I'm also at a point where my health could be a factor as well. I just need to get stuff done so I can go home and play with my pets and watch horrible tv. It's so close, and yet there is so much standing in the way right now. For some of this stuff I don't even know where to begin.

Sorry for all the bitching. I just feel the need to complain, and what better forum than a blog?
Sometimes I really hate parents. A lot. Not my parents – my parents are great, but some of my friends’ parents. They’re crazy and demanding and impatient. It’s awful and it turns my friends into neurotic, nervous messes.

In high school I had a friend whose parents were ridiculous. They pushed her so hard. Nothing was ever good enough. She wasn’t as good as her sisters. She didn’t do enough after school, she didn’t do well enough on standardized and AP exams, she wasn’t skinny enough. It was awful. I’m not saying my friend wouldn’t have had issues if her parents weren’t so horrible to her, but their treatment of her certainly didn’t make anything better.

Now I feel like it’s high school all over again. I have another friend whose parents seem a little, shall we say, intense? I don’t know this situation as well, so I can’t really comment, but I can see it on her face when she mentions something about her parents. They’re visiting today and between what I’ve overheard and what I can see on her face, it makes me think it’s at least a somewhat similar situation.

My parents expect me to do well. That’s not the issue here. They expect me to do well, but they also help me do well. They’re supportive and understanding. I never thought I had the “cool parents” until I got to college. Looking back I realize that I had it pretty good. I was allowed to dye my hair multiple times (many times my parents actually paid for the dye), I never got grounded (of course I never really did anything to get grounded for, but that might be beside the point), and my mom took me to get my nose pierced because I wasn’t going to be 18 for another 3 months. So yea, my parents are cool. If I fail a class, I’ll still have some ‘splainin to do, but I’m a decently good kid and I think my parents realize that.

I sometimes feel like a failure or a slacker compared to these friends and yet they’re so harsh on themselves because their parents are so hard on them. It depresses me greatly and I just want to yell at these people and make them realize what they’re doing.

I’m not in a whole lot of contact with my friend from high school. The end of junior year and then senior year she sort of withdrew from all of us. I’m not really sure what she did during lunch and the other times during the school day that we all used to spend together, but we didn’t see her. We would still invite her to movie nights or other things, but she always said no. Eventually we just stopped asking. Sometimes I regret that, but I don’t really know what else we could have done.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sitting in Carpenter avoiding work...

There are a whole lot of heads in Carpenter…
They’re everywhere. It’s kind of creepy.

I mean, the building was designed to look like an archaeological dig, so the prevalence of statues makes a fair amount of sense, but in addition to the full statue of Athena and the panels on the wall against Thomas, there are a bunch of busts and the heads of statues. They’re all over the place – by the stairs, on shelves above reference books…

And then there’s the head of Juno. You know you spend too much time in Carpenter when the giant head, well lit and resting atop a pedestal, ceases to perplex you.

It’s just kind of bizarre with all the heads here. I feel like I’m being watched…

Maybe all the statues are watching me not do my work and are now judging me for it…

Great, now I’m paranoid.

Seriously though, their eyes follow you.

That girly thing

There’s a facebook group called “I’m not a frilly pink dress kind of girl.” I think that’s fairly accurate in my case. I’m just not that girly. And really, I’m fine with that.

So when my aunt suggested that I sell mark products to make some extra money, I scoffed. I know very little about makeup. I don’t know what looks good, what’s ‘in style’, hell, I can’t even put the damn stuff on most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, every once in a while I like to get dressed up, put on makeup, etc., etc., but most of the time that I do, I end up feeling like an imposter. I do have some girly tendencies. I’m a complete bag lady and I love shoes. That pretty much is where my girly-ness ends though.

Somehow, the combined efforts of my aunt and mother convinced me to become a mark representative.

So here I am. A representative for a company that sells mostly cosmetics (though I got an adorable bag from them) and skincare (which is actually really good) that I have very limited knowledge of and experience with.

I should probably mention that I suck at sales. I’ve worked in sales before. It is not my forte. It’s even worse when I have to track down my clients. My aunt and mother convinced me that I would find a bunch of interested customers on the campus of a women’s college. It’s like I forgot that this is Bryn Mawr. It’s not that people here don’t wear makeup, it’s just that this whole thing doesn’t really fit in with the overall community. I don’t know.

So now I get to the self-promotion: mark really does have good products and I suggest you check them out. And if you happen to want to buy something, why not make your fellow mawrtyr some money?

So yea, if you’re interested in anything or want to host a mark party (sort of like a Tupperware party, but with makeup and other mark products instead), just corner me somewhere and I’ll do my best to answer questions.

I also have an “e-boutique” so you can look at stuff online. To check things out just go to

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My parents came to visit today.

We went to brunch at Tango (by the train station) and then to a craft fair in Narberth

The craft fair was actually mentioned in a magazine that my mom reads, and it just so happened that it was taking place the weekend they were coming up here. Some of the people there were kind of obnoxious, but it was an interesting show. It was kind of bizarre though. There were some really nice pieces and then there were others that were just out of place at a craft show. I mean, I never really expect to like everything that I see at a craft show and that’s fine, but plastic buckets should not be displayed at the same kind of show as high-end jewelry and artwork.

After the craft show we decided to go see a movie, so we headed over toward King of Prussia and the multiplex over there. We ended up seeing “Date Night.” It was a lot of fun. I really like Tina Fey. I think she’s hilarious. She was one of the people we could pick to possibly come for the 125th Anniversary celebration. She was definitely on my list.

After the movie we went to dinner. I realized right as we got our dessert that I was supposed to work at the library in 15 minutes (thank you handy-dandy blackberry or I would not have remembered). We got our bill and a box for the cheesecake and high-tailed it back to Bryn Mawr. All things considered, I wasn’t too late. I also called to warn the person working the desk that I was going to be a little late.

It’s weird. I like when my parents visit, but I always feel like the day ends so quickly when they’re here. I feel like we didn’t do much or didn’t talk enough or something, yet I don’t really know what else we could/should have done. I mean, I need to go grocery shopping,; I guess we could have done that. Other than that and sitting around in my room though, I don’t think there’s really much to do. They’ve gotten the campus tour (many times) before, so that isn’t really necessary. Also, it was a little too cold to just walk around today.

I hope they come up again in the near future. It’s funny how I’m not usually that homesick, but I feel kind of sad now that they’ve left.

Ugh. I don’t have time to feel sad tonight. I was not at all productive this weekend so now it’s time to kick it into high gear and write the papers, work on the presentations, and study for the tests.

Why does college have to involve so much work?
Also, it is officially Sunday and my homework is not done and my room is not clean. This could be a problem...

In terms of homework, most of the stuff I still have to do is for Tuesday, so I have a little bit more time there. I don't have as much wiggle-room in regards to my room. There might be a bit of stuffing-everything-in-closet-before-parents-arrive if I don't manage to wake up with enough time to actually clean. I wonder if I could just keep them out of my room entirely.... probably not.

Maybe I'll try to clean a little bit now before I go to bed...

Another "life experience" to check off the list...

I have this lingering feeling that tonight my dreams are going to include my "disappointed" grandfather (who died of lung cancer) and great aunt (who died of emphysema).

I tried hookah for the first time earlier tonight in celebration of my friend's birthday. The whole hookah bar atmosphere thing was kind of cool, but I don't feel like the smoking was anything particularly exciting and as an asthmatic, my lungs will probably be burning tomorrow.

I don't really foresee myself smoking again. I might go and hang out with people who wanted to smoke, but I don't think I would partake. I mean, the reason I had fun tonight was definitely because I was hanging out with some awesome people -- many of whom I haven't spent nearly enough time with this semester.

I think for "going out" I prefer regular bars. occurs to me I've never been to an American bar. Perhaps I should save that particular judgment until I can actually compare.

In any case, they were playing music and sometimes we wanted to sing along or dance, but that place was just not really the kind of place where that fit.

Gah, I don't know.

I hope I can breathe tomorrow.

(ps- Rilo Kiley's "smoke detector" just came on on my itunes)

Friday, April 16, 2010

My parents are coming to visit me on Sunday. I'm looking forward to it. I'm not homesick, exactly, but I do miss my family. And I guess right now, while I'm dealing with all this crap, it'll be nice to be around them and not have to think about it too much.

Of course, the fact that my parents will be here on Sunday means I have to get everything done before Sunday. And I have a lot of stuff to do. More than I realized. I also have to clean my room so that my father doesn't have a coronary. I am done for the day. Free of commitments. And yet I still can't bring myself to do the stuff I need to do. I feel like I've been having this problem a lot lately. It's frustrating because I can recognize it in myself, yet I still find it difficult to just push forward get the damn thing done.

Maybe I'll take a nap and when I wake up I will have a surge of productivity.

One can only hope.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I finally submitted my application to the Summer Language Institute. Now I guess I just wait. I don't know if I should be nervous or not -- if it's one of those programs that you apply for, but that everyone is admitted to. Seriously though, I hope I get in because my backup plans are significantly less satisfactory.

Some people probably think I'm crazy -- putting myself through all this to study Chinese when I no longer 'have to'. I guess maybe I am, but I really like it. Even though I sometimes complain about it or don't study as much as I probably should, Chinese really captivates me.

I have a bizarre sort of connection with Chinese, or, rather, my family does.

My mom was a Chinese major in college (she went to Georgetown) and she studied abroad in Taiwan for a year. This back when study abroad was not nearly as common as it is now, especially for an entire year and especially in a place like Taiwan. My mom lived in the dormitories and took classes and made some great friends. One such friend basically became part of my mom's family and for many years afterward she and her husband (and later their children) can be seen in family photos. Two summers ago this friend was going to be in the DC area for a conference. We picked her up from the airport. The last time they had seen each other was when my mother was pregnant with me, but they were chatting like two old friends who see each other on a daily basis within minutes. It was kind of amazing and I hope my friends and I are like that. I hope we stay close, even if we're nowhere near each other physically.

So that's Chinese connection number 1. Chinese connection number 2:

Once my mom and her sisters were a little older, my grandmother started taking cooking lessons. Chinese cooking lessons. And then she started teaching. For some unknown reason the idea of my white, Jewish, Polish grandmother teaching Chinese cooking was not particularly strange growing up. I guess it still doesn't quite strike me as strange. Quirky maybe? I kind of just find it funny. In the greater context of my life and family, it is nowhere near the weirdest thing.

Those are the real connections, but there's sort of one more.

I'm obsessed with Firefly and Serenity. I won't go into a great amount of detail (right now), but basically Firefly is a TV show that FOX canceled way before its time and Serenity is the movie that was made based on the series. In this 'verse (as it's called) the two world powers -- the US and China -- come together to create a universe-wide governing body - the Alliance. We don't like the Alliance, but that isn't the point right now. The point is, in this 'verse, everyone from your high society companion, to your illiterate farmer speaks both English and Chinese.

Chinese has pretty much nothing to do with why I love the show/movie (and to be honest, the actors' Chinese rarely sounds like the actual language). I love it for the characters and story line and many other reasons that I might list in a future 'Why FOX sucks and cancels awesome TV shows'-type post. That being said, once the idea of learning Chinese crept into my head the thought that I could finally know what they're saying on Firefly was a neat little perk.

What's really weird is that despite the two (real) ties that I have to Chinese language/culture, I came to the decision that I wanted to study Chinese on my own. It wasn't an option at my first college, and while the idea of someday learning Chinese was lurking somewhere in the shadows of my mind, I didn't really think about it until I got to BMC. During customs week I went around to all the different department tables and learned about the classes I could take and the subjects in which I could major. I actually ended up at the East Asian studies table because I was talking to a linguistics professor who also teaches for the Chinese department. I don't totally remember how things happened, but I left TGH that day knowing that I was going to take Chinese.

So there you have it. My rambling, often tangential explanation for my love of Chinese. I realize it doesn't really explain anything, but I tried. I seriously do encourage anyone to try and learn. It's difficult and time consuming and it'll drive you crazy sometimes, but it's so interesting that that only matters for so long.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I needed to see this

it made my crappy day slightly better.
Also it's adorable.

(disclaimer: I stole this from my friend's tumblr and the whole 'reblogging' thing doesn't really carry over to other blogs as far as I can figure out)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I really enjoy watching Mad Men, and damn, they sure do know how to keep me watching. After every episode I’m just left wanting more, feeling just a little unfulfilled.

It’s so good, but I want more. At the end of each episode I just feel like something’s missing. For a moment it makes me wonder if maybe it’s because I’m watching it online. Then I realize that if I watched it when it aired, I’d have to wait an entire week to watch the next amazing-yet-somehow-unfulfilling-episode.

Also, I don’t have HBO at home, so I’d have to watch it online anyway.

I don’t really know where I was going with this. At some point I’ll probably break down and do some analysis/bitching about the individual characters. Right now I’ll just leave you with the fact that seeing Yo/Saf/Bridge in a different context totally messes with me even as I watch more of this.

Also, if you get that reference, I love you just a little bit more.
So I just returned from a Lady Ga-Ga themed party. Loosely themed. I wore a blue skirt and purple tights because that's really as ga-ga as I ge-et, but I was hoping to see some incredibly outrageous outfits. Sadly that wasn't the case. Some people were wearing PJs or sweats. No biggy really, and as a result I didn't end up feeling over/under/wrongly dressed.

Going to this party was nice. I got to have some good quality time with friends who I haven't gotten to have good quality time with, even though I see like half of them on a daily basis in our second home (Carpenter). Tonight's experience has led me to a somewhat contradictory decision.

I think I need to party more. I realize that most college student across the US will probably wake up tomorrow vowing to party less, and others, upon seeing their grades on the paper due next week will make that very same vow, but I think I need to party more.

I spend so much time agonizing over schoolwork. Sometimes I just need to let loose. It's probably good for my health. And so I will try. I make no promises because I am, after all, a creature of habit, but I will do my best.

I think it's important that we remember that school is important, but we're only young 20-somethings once and college is about a lot of things - not just about the degree we get at the end.

And now that I have returned to my hovel in Pem West I will watch an episode or two of Mad Men and eventually go to bed. Hopefully I won't sleep through brunch tomorrow...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Home at last!

And by "home" I mean Carpenter. And by "at last" I mean "again."

I joke about it, but I pretty much do live here. I once considered averaging out time spent in Carpenter vs. time spent in my room, but I decided that would be too depressing. It also wouldn't be an accurate representation since half the time I leave the library it's only because it's closing and I'm forced to. I also don't know how to count time spent sleeping...

In any case, if I'm going to spend an absurd number of waking hours in a library, I guess I'm glad it's this one. I really do love Carpenter -- almost to the point that I can get somewhat over-defensive of it.

I kind of think that Bryn Mawr's beauty almost makes up for some of the utter hell it puts us through.


It is a crazily beautiful campus. I keep meaning to bring my camera around with me so I can take pictures of everything in bloom. One day I will and then all the people I know will be subjected to facebook photo album after facebook photo album of "Look how gorgeous my school is!"
And they will be jealous and all will be right with the world.

And now I suppose I should return to doing what one does in a library - find new ways to procrastinate. Or work. Whichever.
At some point I will have a spare moment in which to play around with the magnetic poetry on my fridge and then you will once again be subjected to what can only be described as, well, Magnetic Poetry Gone Awry .

Monday, April 5, 2010

My warning light is on the fritz

Today has been one of those days.

I'm exhausted, as always, but then I added fuel to the fire of doom by not sleeping last night. I screwed up and was late to work, which really wasn't that big of a deal, but kind of horrifying at the time. After that the day pretty much went up, and now I'm back at my second home (Carpenter library), but I'm still feeling off.

Earlier I reached for my phone as if it were the mouse for my computer.
...funny how I'm using a laptop.

I can't pay attention to anything for more than like 10 seconds.

I just had to ask for a semi-extension for a test in a class because I'm so over-scheduled that I can't actually find time to schedule myself to take the test.

Speaking of scheduling, I'm trying to schedule meetings with everyone - deans, advisors, professors, etc. There is so much up in the air right now concerning my schedule for next semester and it makes me anxious. I don't like having this many variables.

And there are presentations, not all of which are in English, and papers, and papers about presentations, and homework sets that are literally weeks late but I still can't finish them because I still don't understand which equation to use. Thank G-d for credit/no credit. Too bad I still have to get a passing grade...

This is ridiculous. I'm giving myself a bedtime tonight and sticking to it.

If anyone has any furry, cuddly animals in the vicinity, please bring them over for a visit. I need cuddle time with someone who won't judge me because I didn't finish that reading and won't have time to until it's time to do the next reading.

I need unconditional fuzzy love. Stuffed animals are just not cutting it at this point. We have passed stuffed animal territory. It is long gone. You can't even see it with binoculars.

I guess I'll go back to all that stuff that's stressing me out now...

(seriously. fuzzy. send it on over.)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

As a side note...

I have agreed to work the 8-10 a.m. shift tomorrow morning.

For those of you who don't know, I consistently fail to wake up for my 10 a.m. physics class (which is, sadly, reflected in my complete lack of understanding of all things physics).

So why did I come to the rescue of a coworker in need and agree to take this shift? Because I am a good person, that's why.

Also, I'm broke.

So if you have my number and will be awake around that time, call me tomorrow morning to make sure I'm awake and on my way to the library because I actually have to open it.

Seriously, for once my being on time will actually matter. That is, assuming people are insane and rush to be the first ones into Carpenter at 8 'o clock in the morning, but hey morning people are weird. You never know what they're going to do. Crazy sunrise yoga and early-morning hikes and whatnot. I'll take my mid-afternoon yoga and my late night "trek" to UG for tea.

But I digress.

I will not put my number up here because I'm not actually an idiot, but if you have it and will be awake for who knows what reason, please, for the sake of morning people who want to work at Carpenter, call me.

Winter has fled...

...and it has absconded with any of the work ethic I may have (at one time) had.

Spring has come to Bryn Mawr. And with it come flip flops and sun dresses and lying out on the green. Unfortunately, spring also obliterates my desire to do anything school related.

You see, theoretically this lying out on the green is accompanied by work. It is a brilliant theory, but not one that really works in the real world. When lying out there in the sun it's just too nice out to think about work.

Also, the sun melts brain cells. It's true. There have been studies. Look it up.

And so our brain cell-impaired selves are forced to do nothing but enjoy the lovely springtime weather and read non-academic books. In fact, if we attempt to do something productive, that lovely springtime breeze that feels so nice running through our hair ruffles the pages of whatever we're reading/working on in such an infuriatingly annoying manner that we are forced to relinquish our goals towards productivity.

But what, you may ask, if I go work in the library, guarded from the brain cell-melting sun and gentle breeze?
Well, I shall answer, then you encounter a whole different form of distraction, for in the library you are in a sanctum of work. Everything around you suggests work. And yet you know that just beyond those walls is a glorious day, calling out your name.

The call of that paper due tomorrow is strong, but the call of spring is stronger.

And yet, we Bryn Mawr women somehow manage to do it all - frolic in the sun and finish that paper. How do we do it, you ask? Well, maybe that's just one more Bryn Mawr secret...