Where I am right now.

Madi Smith singing Vitus

Last weekend was Folk Fest, which is when everyone from the school and the community gets together to show off their artistic ability. I did a reading, but that’s not what this post is about. What this post is about is the sheer amount of artistic¬†ability¬†everyone was showing off, and the¬†artistic¬†passion. LOTS of song-writers, and visual artists, and photographers, and crafters; it was fabulous. And what was especially fabulous was the place the art was coming from.

Cause you create art out of your whole life, right? What stirs you,¬†fascinates¬†you, what you think is important and what you just can’t get out of your head. So there were songs about local history. And there were pictures of travel to Europe and Asia. And comics about relationships, and ethical jewelry made out of leather and guitar strings, and it was AWESOME. I have a picture up above of Madi playing guitar and kick drum while singing a song about St. Vitus’s Dance, which I think is a wonderful depiction of SSU in one sentence/image.

Creating art about things out of the ordinary, and thinking outside of the box is really why I wanted to go back to¬†university. I wanted to be able to take history and culture and language and make awesome things with them. And now I’ve found myself in a small artistic intellectual christian community which is close to the ocean, where that’s what people do. Success? I think so. ūüėÄ

I am still working through (“asking fondly,” as Milton says), my self and my faith. Most of the time I have no idea if I believe in God or Truth or anything, especially when my emotions are bound and determined to¬†sabotage¬†me. But If¬†I¬†believe¬†in God, and If¬†I believe that God has a¬†beneficent¬†plan for me, and If¬†I believe he wants me to follow all the things that fastinate me and fill me with joy to find that plan, I think God wants me to be here.

So even when I’m panicking over my inadequacy and¬†failure, (more often than not), I need to cling to that knowledge. Where am I? I’m in the right place for right now.

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"You’re from the East Coast, aren’t you?"

One of the things I had been rather loud about, while at Augustine, was donating blood. And Moon Unit had promised, back in the day, that she would go with me and donate next time I did. Of course, shortly after the promising I moved back to Newfoundland, so she seemingly escaped from that pledge. 
And then I came to visit! *evil laughter* 
I even made the appointments for us, and dragged Moon Unit along with me. We drove to a park-and-ride, and then rode the bus across town to the national headquarters. This was Moon Unit’s first donation, so she was a bit- not nervous, but tense. Something about needles and blood and the smells of a hospital tends to do that to people. I don’t know why… *pretends she wasn’t flinching at small noises the whole time herself*¬†
So we filled out the detailed questionaries. Those always amuse me, in a¬†perverse¬†way. Mostly¬†because¬†I answer no to all the questions about health issues, travel, and especially relationships. I’m just not a high risk individual!
And then we got to sit in big cushy laz-e-boy chairs, while they stuck needles in our arms. Don’t you wish you were there? I got hooked up a little before Moon Unit, but then I kept clotting up, so the nurses were doing a lot of hovering. “Just squeeze this ball here, every ten seconds, okay? Keep the arm still. *adjusts needle* Keep squeezing…”¬†
During the delicate operation of adjusting the needle again, one of the nurses spent some time staring at my chest. And, carefully not meeting my eyes, said the following. 

“I saw your shirt, and first I thought it said “I heart Baby Seals.” And I thought, that’s nice, that’s nice, Seals are cute. But then I looked again, and I saw there was a club there.” She paused. “You’re from the East Coast, aren’t you?”¬†

And I laughed and said I was, and she went to deal with Moon Unit, who was bleeding beautifully. In fact, Moon Unit finished her donation about five minutes before I was done, and stood by my chair until the nurses decided they were not going to get a full donation out of me, and pulled the needle out.
Then we headed on to get refreshments! Free tea and cookies, what is not to love? So I was trying to figure out the coffee machine, when from behind me I hear Moon Unit say dreamily, “I’m just gonna.. sit down.. here.” Looking around quickly proved that she was about the colour of a sheet of paper, and listing to the right. The¬†volunteers¬†and nurses quickly had her sit down and put her head between her knees, and then rushed over a stretcher, and wheeled her away behind a curtain, and took her blood pressure, and fed her juice, and fanned her, and generally Moon Unit was the centre of attention. Meanwhile, I drank tea, and juice, and ate my way through the basket of cookies. I’m such a considerate friend.¬†
At any rate, they eventually let her out, and I made her eat some more cookies. Then we decided to take our free mugs and get out of the hospital-smelling atmosphere. To the mall! Moon Unit magically had some more bus tickets, so that was good. Though while waiting for the bus we were both tired enough that we just sat down by the sidewalk- and found later that we’d been sitting in a collection of broken glass. You know the pebbles of safety glass that get everywhere after a¬†windshield¬†is broken?¬†Apparently¬†someone had had a windshield broken right about where we chose to sit down. But we only¬†realized¬†this later, observant girls.¬†
It was right about that time that we started joking that I had been having all the attention on me, so Moon Unit had to faint to get the attention on her. We just want attention! 
And then I started feeling stomach sick. Tempting fate much?¬†Oops…. ¬†Maybe we just need to eat. That sound about right!¬†So when we got to the mall¬†we reconvene at the food court. We decide on Thai food and root beer, and head off in¬†separate¬†directions to get said food and drink.¬†
Standing in line in front of the heat lamps, Moon Unit almost falls over. “I’m.. just… gonna sit down… over here. Call me when it’s ready!” *she escapes the evil line and sits down* And then she comes back to the table, and finds me lying across two chairs, eyes closed.¬†
Moon unit: “Are you okay?”
Me: “Fine…”
Moon Unit: “Do you want to eat-“
Me: “No!”

She was rather pale at the time too. I took this particular picture to show how much better she was looking, now that she had some colour back in her face. And then I looked at it and went whatttt???? That’s less pale???? *cough*
Then we decided that the attention seeking was getting out of control, so we should just take the bus home before we were hit by a bus or set ourselves on fire, or something. Moon Unit ate the Pad Thai, and I drank the Root Beer, and we headed for the bus stop. *sigh* I made it about a hundred yards before I had to run for a garbage can to throw up in. Fortunately for the mall staff I was NOT actually sick, I just attempted to cough up a lung, and then collapsed on a bench.  (See picture there. \/ )
At that was when Moon Unit called her dad and asked him to drive us to where we’d left the car. It was very exciting.¬†
Some people can ride the bus to places, or give blood, without incident. Lesson of the day: we are not those people.

"How did you get here?" "I took a bus, a shuttle and two planes, and caught a ride with Moon Unit’s parents."

On Friday night, after arriving safely in Ottawa, Moon Unit and I hung out at mocked and stalked the College and met this year’s crop of insane students, as well as several alumni from previous years. And then Moon Unit and I kept each other awake for far too long, talking and laughing.¬†
And then Saturday was the grad! In traditional form, most of the class came over to the College early to be nervous and offer adjectives for the¬†Valedictorian’s¬†speech. So we hung out drank tea, talked about papers and¬†vegetables, and were¬†companionable¬†for a little, and then walked over to the church where the service was taking place.¬†
Ruth enjoys the tea and scones.
Em and TTGH are amused.
Em and TTGH are serious. 
We reconvened in the sunny living room once the boys started to arrive.
Moon Unit and TTGH are companionable. 
The service was quite similar to last year’s, only this time I sat on the other side of the church, and I didn’t get a piece of paper with Latin on it. *dejected* But I got to wear a lovely black robe again! ¬†Here is a pic of the graduating class, and a view of the church. It’s a high Anglican church, in case that’s not obvious from the candles, iconography, and general decor.¬†
After the service was the dinner, where according to tradition, the Alumni help serve the food and clean up. Which, given the hilarious and hardworking people who are Augustine Alumni, is actually oodles of fun. And it continued to be fun, despite the fact that the dishwashing took¬†approximately¬†two to three hours. After about 90 minutes time ceased to exist in the normal fashion. I just know that it was light when we got there, and dark and raining when we left. I was rather tired as well, so that might contribute to the haziness of my memory of that afternoon. ūüėÄ The professors didn’t know that I was coming either, so I had some fun moments when they did double-takes at me.¬†
And then we went back to the college and hung out drank tea, ate cake, and took pictures. I offer you a selection of the best pictures, for your eternal edification. 


There was a moment when, for unknown reasons, my hat started being passed around the room. And my camera was following it, taking pictures.

Write more later!

*stares*

I’ve successfully traveled overseas, using two different flights, AND I still have all my baggage. I even got in early. How about that West Jet, eh? The whole process of passing from one airport to another, in fact, was startlingly uneventful. I’m afraid this makes for poor blog entries, but I think I’ll defer my complains, for now. ūüėĬ†

And then I got to Ottawa, and Moonunit and Rose was there too meet me at the airport! With Moonunit’s parents, and a sign with my name on it! It was totally the most exciting day of my ENTIRE LIFE!!!! *pauses* Well, maybe not, but it was pretty awesome. I would have run down the escalator (and caught my skirt and tripped and spent the next little while in the hospital), only there was someone in front of me. So I had to wait while the whole escalator moved the whole length of the whole baggage claim. And then I attacked Moonunit, and she attacked me, and Rose watched- it was very exiting. Oh, and Moonunit’s parent’s took pictures! So I guess I need to get a copy of those.¬†

Now I’m at the College, where I’m staying for the next couple of days. The only thing is, I have no internet. No one knows what the password is for the College access, so I can’t log on. I have no idea when you’ll get this, if at all…

EDIT: Here, have some pictures.

Newfoundland, from the sky!

Killing time in Halifax.
Yes, those spots are on the window, you’re not just passing out. I thought it made a nice effect. And see, that’s the plane that brought me to Ottawa! Isn’t it shiny?

The lovely Ruth uses the borrowed internet-computer. It made the rounds…

Later, Moon Unit uses the same computer to send in her last assignment. Doesn’t she look harmless? ūüėÄ

We’re graduates now, does this mean we have to be mature?

The graduation! Third World’s parents came over and drove her, Moon Unit, and Myself over to the church at 3. Unfortunately, no one had sent out any kind of information email, so none of the students really knew quite what was going on. We were directed to put on our awesome robes, so we did, and then we went outside, and progressed up the aisle of the church, all in typical Augustine “act like you know what you’re doing and maybe no one will notice that your shoes don’t match” style. Then, as is traditional for graduation ceremonies, I hear, there were speeches, by Dr. Tingley and Texas in our case, and the presentation of certificates. It was my first graduation ceremony I’ve been in or attended, so I don’t have much to compare it to, but I think it was good. Moon Unit said we looked like a murder of crows, which was jolly.

Then we had an excellent dinner, and chatted away. None of my family was able to make it, so I sat with Third World’s family, which was also jolly. Come to think of it, my family would have taken up two tables all to ourselves, and there was NO room for more tables in that hall. Everything works out for some good! So, we chatted for, well, three hours. There were people, (mainly professors,) making the rounds of the hall and talking to each of the tables. The professors especially were saying really nice things about all the students.

All through the evening, there were good-byes going on. It tended to give the evening a rather surreal quality, at least for me. I tend to not really process the fact that I won’t see certain people again. Instead, I just enter an artificial state where I smile a lot, and am emotionally neutral. This was helped by the fact that a lot of people looked different, all dressed up. Moon Unit had her hair up, and Third World had her hair down and straight. I kept not recognizing them in my peripheral vision, and then belatedly realizing that it was my friends who were sitting and standing there.

Anyhow, after the meal was over, we went out and sang Karaoke. This had been decided upon by the elders of the class, and they were able to say, “everyone is coming, and it’s the last night!” Everyone came, and everyone, pretty much, sang. Though, some people, (us), had faulty directions and were looking on the wrong side of the street for a while. But we all go there in the end! Moon Unit sang Janis Joplin, and Third World sang Nickleback, and I, fool that I am, sang Train. Yes, I sang. *cringes at the memory* I have been told that I was on beat and on pitch, though, which retains for me the last vestiges of my dignity. And before you ask, I had drunk only root beer. ūüėÄ

It was just the last night, and only my classmates were paying attention… I have decided that I am not a fan of bars. It was noisy, and there were people drinking alcohol, (fancy that), and people I didn’t know getting awfully cuddly. *shudders* My personal dislike of bars aside, it was a fun event. And, it was so noisy and impersonal that we couldn’t get too maudlin about parting, which was a plus.

Third World’s parents, who are lovely, were still driving us around, and they dropped Moon Unit and I off at the College, before returning with Third World to the hotel. They were flying back to Oregon at 8 the next morning, and so had to leave for the airport at 5 in the morning. So Moon Unit and I said good bye to Third World in the front yard, at 11:30 at night. I’m missing her a lot. Anyhow, I waved her out of sight down the street, as is my tradition for farewells; you wave until what you are bidding farewell is utterly out of sight. Moon Unit, who was Third World’s room mate (I have to use the past tense now, bah), didn’t want to sleep in the empty room, so she used Rach’s bed, as Rach had left earlier in the day.

Then Moon Unit packed up all her things the next morning, and she left in the afternoon. I waved her out of sight too. RM will be here till Wednesday, which is nice. Em is leaving today.

I’ve kept myself busy on the computer all day, but know I’m missing people already. Mainly because I know that we most likely won’t see each other again at the same time this side of heaven, and I have no idea when I’ll be able to see even a few of my lovely classmates. The missing will get worse, and then it will get better, I know this. We have the internet, and mail, and phone! yeah!

√ĺ√¶s ofereode, √ĺisses swa m√¶g. as that passed over, so will this

Also, I get to see my family the day after tomorrow, which is tremendously exciting! *cheers*

Crime and Punishment! It’s such a ~cuddly~ book!

I got my boxes mailed off today! And I had enough money! *collapses from relief* That was a really nervous point, but I got all THREE boxes off without incident. I am $104.50 poorer and a lot of stress lighter. ūüėõ

The graduation is tomorrow, and people’s families have been arriving all day. It’s starting to be quite exciting, what with reunions, and gowns arriving in the mail, and food preparation, and so on and so forth.

Third World’s parents arrived here yesterday, and they are really nice. *smiles at Third World’s parents* They kept including me, even to the point of inviting me and Moon Unit to breakfast at their hotel with Third World. Unfortunately Moon Unit was still at her sister’s house where she had been spending the night, but I got to go along. And then they drove me down to the Post Office! Really nice people.

It’s funny, how when I meet the parents of Moon Unit and Third World, they really remind me of my own parents. Just in how they are totally awesome, and happy, and have great relationships with each other. I’m seeing my own family on Tuesday! w00t!

I am now going to get off the computer, as I have spent the last two hours on here reading the news. Yeah! Hurrah for the time to read the news!