"I saved your life!" "No you didn’t."

I got a birthday present today! I’m gleeful. Third World sent me a present for my birthday, but it got turned back at the border the first time. So, instead of saying “Hard Times, girlie.” (as most people will do when an international parcel gets sent back), she sent it again! So now I have two new DVDs (X-men and Sahara) and a stuffed puppydog with an adorable, no other word for it, pleading expression. 

In other news, the mainfloor is covered in two inches of polybead, then radiant heating piping, then wire mesh. Tomorrow we pour cement. I am going to be at work when the actual pouring of cement starts, but given the size of the job it’ll probably still be going on when I get back four hours later. Darn. 😛 
I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but the bathroom is gone. As in, two walls are now reduced to support beams and the counter, bathtub, toilet, sink and counter are at the dump. While this does free up a marvelous amount of floor space, it also makes things a bit touchy when it comes to showering. And you know; renovation days and associated grunge, having to go to work in a respectable environment, my natural tendency to attract any loose powders in the kitchen, so on and so forth; it seemed like a good idea to beg, borrow or steal a means to get clean. 
As it turns out only begging was required. I traipsed over to the neighbors house with all the little ones in tow. “Hi, can we use the shower?” “What?! Oh. It’s the crazy people in the old church. Just head on upstairs.” *smirk* (Actually, Mommy had called ahead of time. I’m not THAT lunatic.) The two teenage boys (13 and 18) tried to set up invisibility vibes when the horde of small children invaded their living room, but since they were both using laptops the attempt was futile. Shiny things… Since I am the soul of mercy I distracted the small ones with my own laptop, thereby proving that you should always bring your laptop with you, even to shower. Of course my laptop was liberally spiced with death threats, but it also had Photobooth- which means that it easily won out over a pair of motley Dell-ish things. 

It’s Palin! *cough* *coughcough* Right. I’ll be quiet now. 

And then we came home and vegged out.

That’s the thing about living…

Several things of note have happened since I last posted. My brother PT was home for the weekend, which was lovely. We watched Stranger than Fiction, which I would watch again, and Nacho Libre, which I wouldn’t. 😀 No, it wasn’t that bad, just, not my cuppa tea. The American version of “humiliate the main character” humour is not something I find funny most of the time. I say American, because I find Fawlty Towers hilarious, and Chef (the first episodes), and that humour is not the gentle kind, I’m afraid. Anyhow, I also loved the special effect at the beginning of STF, where Harold’s life is being narrated, and white explanatory symbols keep popping up while he does things. Hmmm, that was a stunningly bad description. If you’ve seen it, hopefully you’ll know what I’m talking about.

So that was the weekend. Then on Sunday Mommy and Daddy and Gideon went to St. John’s for Gideon’s assessment. If the drug was working, they would continue treatment, and be back on Saturday. However, they came back on Monday evening. The drug wasn’t working. It was the last treatment option. So as soon as they came through the front door, I knew what had happened. It’s funny. This doesn’t come as a surprise, but it still hits very hard. The world feels curiously unreal, so that I’m not quite sure how people and things will react this time. I suppose that is from the fact that some people do react differently to me, and also since death is such an incomprehensible thing. What was that quote? “Death is an insult to life. We rage against the cessation of existence.” So when it is obviously inevitable, and previously known, the foundations which direct your actions are shaken ever so slightly.

My mind has been working constantly since Monday evening. It’s as though I have about four levels of thought going on at any one time, and as soon as one is resolved I fall through into another one. Yes, if there was any doubt about how I react to emotion, it’s rapidly disappearing. I analyze. Given that I’m also rather tired from work, I don’t necessarily analyze very efficiently, but still I pull apart my reactions and look at them from new angles all day.

Its interesting. From my past experiences, some things which would really freak out other people I can view completely sanguine. For example, I can look at the spectre of living without hot water, or lights, or an oven, without undue distress. I mean, I would grumble, but still, I know it’s perfectly doable. If my dad was to say tomorrow that we were moving across the country, or out of the county, next week, I would be excited and looking forward to the new place. This is probably due to the fact that I had my first cross-continental move at 6 weeks of age, and my first intercontinental move when I was two. By my family always came along. Even when I moved out on my own I knew what was happening at home to an extant.

But the death of a family member is something completely outside of my experience, and it’s weird. You have to keep living, without them. WEIRD. The doctors say that we won’t have him for Christmas. He won’t see his fifth birthday. Not learn to read. Not have kids. Not be taller than me. Not… Oh my. But the Doctors have also said that they will give him the finest drugs out there, and it won’t be painful for him. Not everyone is so lucky, I suppose. I do believe that God has this ordained. Gideon’s cancer did not take place because God looked away for a moment, or Satan won the coin toss. It was planned, and Gideon has lived and will live the exact life that was laid out for him. And he has a happy life, despite the needles and procedures. He’s a lovely cheerful boy, though I won’t get to introduce him to my classmates, I guess. I’m rambling. 😀 no good to hover in that line of thought. Okay.

Anyhow, one of the things that has changed in the plans is that Gideon’s Wish is taking place at the end of this month. He wants to ride Snot Rod, from cars, so we’ll probably go to Disney World. The details are being finalised today, actually. I was voting for Disneyland, in the hope that I could meet up with Third World somewhere, (It’s only a 13 hour drive. NOTHING! :D) but it appears that my devious plots will not come to fruition. I guess, since it’s supposed to be family thing, I shouldn’t go gallivanting off to meet my friends, but come on! It’s THIRD WORLD! 😀

Oh, one more thing before I go. As we’ll be going out of country for the wish, we all have to have current passports. So we’ve been filling out forms madly, and on Tuesday we went into Gander to have out pictures taken. On the way out of town, my carload received a phone call from Daddy. The photographer at Wal-mart had just called, and we weren’t allowed to wear white, black, or sleeveless shirts for our picture. (No one knows why…) This is where things started going pear shaped, since I was wearing a white shirt.

Once we get to Wal-mart, the photographer lady informs us that my shirt is indeed white, not cream, as I was hoping, and I would have to find another shirt. Cue me descending on the markdown racks. I grab five shirts whose colours I like, and dash off to the changing rooms. Of the five summer shirts, four were cut low enough, that, let’s just say that they were showing skin that never sees the light of day. Just basic summer tops, too. Odd. But the fifth was decent, and it had some kind of strange ribbing on the shoulder and neck. I looked at it and thought it looks kind of deviantart-ish. Sea nymph webbing style. I’ll take it! And yes, most of the clothing I own that I really like was chosen for its character inspiration qualities. For example, I am currently wearing my assassin shirt. 😀 But Fraulein said that it looks medieval, and nice, so fear not!

I buy the shirt, and arrive at the photographer, after quick-changing in the bathroom. I sit down on the stool, and the photographer starts to have a hard time getting the camera to work. She, with a grin, says that the camera just doesn’t like me. I grin in response, and the picture is finally taken. On the way back in the car, Mommy and I realise that she spoke truth in more ways than one. That was a BAD picture. Incredibly bad. I mean, I never need fear that I will look worse that my passport photo. I could be totally hungover and I’ll still look fresh and alert next to that picture. It takes bad to a whole new level. The nice new shirt is hardly visible, and every trick of the light works against me to open up a new realm of awful.

Oh, you say, it can’t be that bad.

It can.

I look like a sleazy drug addict. Greasy stringy hair; check. Unsteady posture; check. Glazed eyes that don’t quite line up; check. (I had to take off my glasses, and couldn’t really see the camera.) Nasty molestache; check. Unnatural pallor; check. Bad skin; check. Shadows under the eyes; check.

This is not a good photo.

And I live with it for five years…

"I will work harder."

Wow, the days are really just whirring by. What has happened since I last posted? Hmm…

First order of priority, which colours all the other news, is the fact that I successfully pulled off a 67 hour work-week. *pats self on back* Only.. seven more of those to go… 😛 It was good though. My nearing total lack of a “life” makes it relatively easy to spend most of my waking hours at work, since I’m not taking away from anything to do so. 😀

I got to call Third World on Friday night/Saturday morning, which was super jolly. 😀 Given that it was after midnight when I called, and I had already worked an 8 hour McDay, I don’t think it was the most intelligent conversation on my part, but it was lovely to hear her voice again. *grins*

Then Saturday night Fraulein and I watched How She Move after I got home in the evening. It was a very fun movie, and I think rather better than the other heartwarming-tale-of-a-dancer-who-struggles-to-escape-the-ghetto movies I’ve come across. The people reacted more realistically, the set-up was not really far-fetched, and the characters said believable things. Yeah, on the topic of “saying,” there were definitely language issues. But in traditional fashion, I didn’t really notice until I was repeating the dialogue in my head. “Hmmm, I shan’t be repeating that one- or that line- or that line- nor that one either. Hmmmm…” Yes, it was fun.

Then on Sunday, we all watched Nancy Drew. The movie had been the catalyst for the movie watching of Fraulein and I the previous night, since, if they were going to have a special movie, we needed one too! *cough* And, since we weren’t doing anything special, we watched it as well! I know, we’re bad. 😀 It was a fun movie, though I personally wouldn’t watch it again. The characters were somewhat- how shall we say- shallow. Best part? Nancy performs an emergency tracheotomy on an anaphylactic party-goer. (Am I serious? You’ll have to see the movie to verify.) This was the first almost-grown-up movie for the small ones, due to the tense music and made-you-jump cuts, and they were very seriously excited about it. I overheard them talking about it the day after, debating whether Nancy was smarter, or the bad guys were. One was arguing that Nancy was smarter, since she escaped in the end, while her debating and dish washing partner was arguing that the bad guys were smarter, since she didn’t know what was going on until they caught her.

My, but I have cute siblings.

Mommy and Gid came through McDonalds for ice cream on Monday, almost simultaneously as Fraulein and the Small Ones came through the Drive through for Ice Cream, (it was a hot day), and I was struck by that fact again. Gid’s eyes are so huge, and he was dancing around a little in anticipation of his ice cream cone. Not CUTE!

Oh, and on Sunday I was feeling rather tired, so I decided to curl up with a cup of coffee and some cozy books. And what cozy books did I choose? The Wild Children, about displaced children in Russia during Stalin’s ascent to power, and Animal Farm, by George Orwell.

Wild Children was good, and I’ll probably read it again. Animal Farm, however, was whole nother kettle of fish. “It was nasty. I loved it.” I really surprised myself with how much I loved it. It was just so balanced! And yes, I know that made no sense to anyone… Anyhow, I started to read 1984 last year, and I had to stop. I found it too hopeless and nasty. This time, however, I loved Mr. Orwell’s work. *shrugs* What’re ya gonna do?

Mommy and Daddy and Gid returned from St. John’s, and a course of Gid’s new chemo drug, on Sunday evening. They’re going to be back for a week, Lord willing, which is extremely reassuring.

That’s most of what has actually been happening lately, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, since both my jobs are not exactly highly intellectual. You engage anywhere from 50% to 5% of your brain, and the remainder goes into hiding. Anyhow, the main tidbit which the remainder of my brain has been chewing on has been- a wedding announcement. In fact, the wedding announcement of an OLD friend. How old? We played with caterpillars together when we were both three, in Germany. Our families hung out, and since we were only 6 months different in age, in the logic of our age group, it was decided that we were going to be married when we were really old, like 13 or something. Then, as we grew older, (try age 8) we both realized that more is required for marriage than close ages. Anyhow, I’d barely heard of him for years, though our parents remained in contact. Then our family receives a wedding invitation to this guy’s upcoming wedding.

(Remember, he was only six months older than me.) So, my first thought, when we received the little slip of embossed plastic, ribbon and paper, was “it has begun.” At college, several of the other students, at age 22, had talked about how most of their contemporaries are marrying off and/or having children (both with and without marriage as a prerequisite), so I heralded this guy as a front runner. An early front runner, I suppose, since he was only six months older than me.Wait a second; that really does seem awfully young, you know… Especially since the average age for marriage around here is, um, 26. There seems to be a discrepancy here. I’m sure that the others said that their cohorts were pairing off in the eyes of God and Man at age 22 and 24. 24 being late. But around here, 24 is positively early to get married. I mean, you’re not even done with you Masters, and if it took you a while to decide on your major you might not even be done with your Bachelors.

Slowly, light dawns. Oh, this is a cultural thing. Hmm, so marriage age is cultural, even within Western civilization. What are some other things that are cultural? I muse over the fry vats. Well, alcohol, to drink or not to drink, is certainly cultural within Christendom. Around here, if you’re a Christian, you just don’t drink, while to some of my classmates from the mainland, staunch Christians all, underage drinking is “no big deal,” so long as you don’t overindulge. And whether you download music with payment or no is cultural, and whether your church has evening services, and whether you date or court, and whether you sit in close physical proximity to guys- or any other people- or not, and whether you hug your family often or not, and whether you read fantasy or not, and whether you call your parents by their first names… etc, etc, ad nausem.

So, this is where I tear out my hair, and cry, “Everything’s cultural! There is no “one true way!” There is no truth!” Right? That’s what one is supposed to do at this point in one’s ruminations? Right?

Um, no. (Thank you, Professor Tingley and Alistair MacIntyre.) Repeat after me, class, “The jump to point three of post-modernism is insufficiently supported. Cultural differences are all different ways of striving for the same goals. Peace, harmony, fidelity… Because different cultures define modesty different ways does not mean that there is no such thing as modesty.”

But, it does mean that you have to think about, um, EVERYTHING. You can’t take anything for granted, since, after all, it’s a cultural norm, not necessarily absolute truth. It may in all actuality be absolute truth, (thou shall not kill? Yep, that one doesn’t need much thought), but you can’t assume that the way things are done is the right way to do them, simply since that’s the way they are done. You have to weigh them against the way things are done in other places, and most of all against the bible. (I’m not sure if that made any sense to anyone, or if I seem to be advocating heresy, but I’ll try to explain it if needed.) Nice, a very interesting thing to think on. But it does make for a lot of thinking!

And the other thing the wedding announcement made me thing on- (oh yes, there is more. 😀 This is what happens when I don’t get on the computer for almost three days. And don’t try and follow my jump from the invitation to the following thoughts. You’ll strain your brain.)- was one of the founding and motivating principles of our present society. I am referring to the truism;

You can do anything you set your mind to if you work hard enough.

This is, of course, a lie.

Strong words! What do I have to support this accusation? Well; what is necessary to accomplish something?

  1. Money (everything needs some)
  2. Time (again, every accomplishment needs some, even if it’s just 30 seconds)
  3. Opportunity (as in, I am not banned from said activity by law or ironclad custom.)
  4. Inclination (I need to want it)
  5. Ability (I need to be able to do it, by virtue of my God-given gifts and talents)

That seems to cover it. The problem is that all of these things are finite and limited. For example;

  • I do not have either the time, money, inclination or ability to be a quantum physicist. I have the opportunity, but it is still something that I am not going to accomplish, so far as I can see.
  • I may have the time, money, opportunity and ability to pierce my ears in the bathroom with a needle, or shave my head in the kitchen with a knife, but I do not have the inclination. That is something that I am most likely not going to accomplish.
  • I may have the inclination, opportunity, money, and ability to write a novel this summer, but I do not have the time. Not a probable accomplishment.

Why is this important? Because, for most of us, the accomplishments our inclinations and even our abilities lure us towards outweigh the time and money we can invest in them. It’s the eternal quandary; when we have money, we don’t have time, and when we have time, we don’t have money. It’s one of the less fun things of becoming an adult; realizing that we can’t do it all. It is fairly easy, in retrospect, to accept that those things that lie outside our abilities are most likely not going to be accomplished. Planing to win an Oscar for my acting abilities is not the best idea, given my stunning lack of acting abilities. 😀 Once you learn to look realistically at what you can and not do, you can line off a whole host of accomplishments with a minimum of suffering. (It is hard to learn to look, but that’s just growing-up 101.)

However, it’s harder when you look at your short list, and realize that there is still not enough time in life to fit it all in. Much less money. I want to travel, learn languages, learn, have a family, write, and manage to eat while I’m doing so. Eating, as we all know, requires money, which requires time, which cuts down on time for “fun” things. So, some things have to fall by the wayside, as certain accomplishments take precedent overs.

I think I’ve seen this in the lives of adults I admire. For heaven’s sake, I’ve seen my own parents give up an awful lot for the sake of their family. They put that “accomplishment” over top of things like “a thriving career,” “money,” “travel and vacation time,” even “social standing.” I know for a fact that they were offered opportunities that a lot of people would have taken without a second glance, and they put them on the side for the sake of a passel of unruly children, and their own relationship with each other.

So, as I try and weigh the things I have opportunity to do, as I acquire the necessary money and time, and whether I actually have the inclination and ability to accomplish said things, I have some very good examples close to hand!

"Reality, dude. Get some."

Another Alumnus, a certain Matt, came by for Breakfast today. Alison, who’s from the same year that he attended, came as well, and much hilarity ensued. I decided that I needed to work on improving my memory, and so I took note of the following quotes in honour of Moon Unit and Third World. *weeps*

Alison: (talking about Emily’s egg puffs) They’re cool cause they’re just the kind of thing you can bring in the car in the morning. Kinda hot and greasy though.
Matt: (in a high pitched voice) Like me!
Alison: Were you talking for me or you there?
Matt: Draw your own conclusions

Alison: Have you seen “Sweet Home Alabama?”
Matt: Do I look like a girl? No-
Me: You’re wearing pink.

Emily: (Talking about a boy’s really flowery prose style) It’s like his writing’s in drag!

Emily: Man, that Chaucer looks bubonic!

Matt: You’re making it your objective to destroy every ounce of propriety I have, aren’t you.
Emily: No, we know you don’t actually have any. We’re just tearing down the artifice.

Matt: (after Alison made a face at him) Excellent rebuttal.

Then after they left I went for a walk in the rain. Just in case that sounds really morbid, I hasten to say that I like rain, honestly! I think I’m getting my walking skills back, because I was able to go quite a distance. I headed up to Parliament, as per my brother PT’s advice, but unfortunately you had to pay for a tour, and I was really not in the mood to wander around alone. So I took the long way home, stopping in at Zellers to buy a wicked hat. It was half price, and actually fits me! (it’s a black pinstriped fedora, and now I will say no more about it. )

As I think I mentioned before, it’s raining. I have also heard that it is supposed to snow tomorrow. At this point, I actually find that hilarious. However, I really think that, given my druthers, I would prefer to be stuck in actually in transit, not just stalled before even getting on the plane, as happened over Christmas. Hopefully I at least get off the ground tomorrow.

I was running through the pictures on my camera before I went out, deleting the bad ones, and I found a bunch of shots I had taken on Saturday. I made a total nuisance of myself that morning in my constant firing away of pictures, but I got some good shots. Really, it’s just cause they are of my lovely former house mates that I love them. I had somehow forgotten that those pics were in the memory card, and I came a hair’s breadth away from bawling over my camera.

I’ve only actually cried the once since people started leaving- I don’t cry easily- but there is a pain in my chest, and I find it hard to breath when thinking of several of my classmates. Lamd, Swinger (also know as the Pun master :), Moon Unit, and Third World, I miss you. Enjoy yourself, you hear? And maybe I’ll get shunted out your way while traveling. You never know! I’m packing my passport, just in case. 😀

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. 😀

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!

þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg. as that passed over, so will this

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

If I don’t eat, how soon can I have the money to travel across the country?

So today was the graduation, which I will talk about later. Now, however, Third World just left, and I am not in a good mood.

I am not crying, which is stupid of me, I just feel numb.

I said goodbye to a bunch of people today, and just cause I’m heartless, I don’t feel that bad about leaving then. I mean, I’m gonna miss them, but I’ve moved too many times to feel sad about leaving acquaintances behind, or even minor friends. But there were certain people this year which I will miss a lot. Third World is RIGHT up there at the top of the list.

I had some advice given me at the beginning of the year, on making new acquaintances. As far as I can figure our, this was to stop me getting too close to any one or two or three people. I didn’t take the advice, I didn’t go out much, and now I have two really close friends. And yeah, Third World is the closest friend of my college mates.

But I don’t regret not going out. I wouldn’t have gotten as close to my college people if I had been all over the city all the time. And that would make this time easier, but without the awesome fact that I actually have real friends for the first time since I was 6. Despite the fact that one of those friends is going to be on the West coast and the other is going to be in Upper Canada.

Why do all the cool people have to live so fiendishly far away?

I am going to go take a hot shower, and go to bed, and see if I can cry there.

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. 😛

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!

I passed! (the epic blog entry)

WHEAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [commence incoherent screaming of joy here]

In case you might have noticed, I was ever so slightly concerned about the possibility of my passing this year. Just slightly. Then we had the oral exam today, and learned the stats of who in the class passed. The verdict? Everyone made it. *punches the air*

Even the Scriptures exam, which as you also might have noticed I was rather concerned about, I passed. I got an 89. This is just wrong. I don’t understand that mark, at all. It was not a good exam. *shakes head vehemently* Not a good exam. But I am not going to try to argue a lower mark, rest assured! I just don’t understand. *is bewildered*

Moving on! Yes, the oral exam was today, and it was rather anti-climatic. I did not cover myself with glory, but neither did I go down in flames. This lack of combustion was chiefly because it was not really possible to ignite ones self, but the point remains! The dinner, on the other hand, was lovely. Em had made the famous braided sandwich rolls, and there were also veggies of joy, and cookies. Twas jolly.

Then the year books arrived, and we signed each other’s and chatted for something like a two hours. It was fun, and my first experience with signing yearbooks. All these experienced signers, and then Snazel biting her pen and trying to think of things to say that are amusing and representative. Not so much. I realized a bit more, when trying to think of things to say, how much I’m gonna miss everybody. I’ve really got used to all these people. *sigh* Grad in on Saturday afternoon, and then we’re scattering to all corners of the continent. West Coast, East Coast, Central, Prairies, South, Midwest; pretty much everywhere except The North or Southern California. *sigh*

But my little yearbook is jolly. *pats it*

We’ve also had our last class events, both official and unofficial, in the last week. The official one was when the class went out to Hal’s house for Community meal on Tuesday. Hal is the Office administrator for the College, and he’s been bringing his family by for community meal all year, which was very nice. It was oodles of fun, though I was tired early, as I had gotten up early to clean. We had done intensive deep cleaning of the house, which involved Moon Unit down on her hands and knees scrubbing the entry way for an HOUR, and general hilarity. We played a mix CD from one of Third World’s friends, very loudly. It was especially amusing when Swinger came in during Play that funky music.

Swinger : “I’d like to point out that there are no white boys in the house except for Peety and me, and we aren’t singing.”
Em: “We started it especially when we saw you coming up the walkway. *very bored* Dance, White boy, dance.”

Anyhow, what with the music and general hilarity, it was a fun cleaning morning. Then we headed out to Hal’s house in the evening. His kids were there, *happy* and we all hung out in the living room and the backyard. We had ribs, and salad, and pop, and marvelous mashed potatoes. It was delicious! Then those who were sports-inclined played soccer, and those we weren’t sat around and chatted. THEN, as evening fell, we had coffee, and unidentified berry-cake-pudding-trifle dessert, and CHOCOLATE CAKE OF GLORY. I called it that by accident after catching a glimpse of it in the kitchen, and the name was appropriate. It was four levels of marvelous dark chocolate cake, and iced with a ganache-ish icing. By then Moon Unit was a little loopy from exhaustion, and so was leaning on Swinger’s shoulder, and Third World and I were alternating leaning on each other and sitting on the ground , but we were leaving in someone else’s care, so we made unintelligent conversation for another two hours. Then we went home and slept like logs. *nods*

Oh, I forgot to mention that Professor Tucker, (lit.) was there, as was Professor Tingley, (Philosophy, Art, and Trivium,) and their respective families. SO there were lots of little ones running around, which was fun, but in retrospect I didn’t have any in my lap, which is why it didn’t feel terribly homey. Not that it was bad- quite the opposite! But the fact that there were children running about didn’t seem as homelike as it might have been. Interesting. And Hal and co. live in a very nice version of suburbia. I am beginning to think that that I may have judged suburbia too hastily. Not all cities are like Southern California! There were trees, and the houses looked different, and the inhabitants seemed to know their neighbors. In fact, the atmosphere was closer to the PMQs, which were a terribly fun place when you were under the age of 10. Kids everywhere, and a back yard that went on for miles. Anyhow, looked like a nice place, and the construction of the houses where definitely nicer than the PMQs!

Then on Wedsday we watched Lord Of The Rings. All day. With only minor breaks of less than 10 minutes. Yes, we are awesome. Sue has the extended version, so we watched the entire trilogy back to back. As this post is already too long I will not bore you with unnessesry details, except to say that it was very cool, and I was there the WHOLE time, and I was the only one who did that. The others skipped out for a couple of pieces of time, but I was there!!!!!

And, Moon Unit, Third World, and I cleaned out the fridges this afternoon. It was epic and furry.

"What you should be worrying about… is your Eyebrows!"

I’ll just say, the weather here is marvelous. I went through a couple of days of feeling not at all comfortable without a chill in the air, or a coat on, but now I’ve remembered what warm weather is like. Such a strange thing. *shakes head*

I’ll be flying home on next Tuesday- West Jet. Yes, I took an extra two days in Ottawa, including a day when I am the only student left in the College, in an effort to avoid flying Air Canada. Here is the plan of my time in the intervening space.

  • to do:
    • Monday
      • Move Computer files to Portable hard Drive
      • Write thank you letter for College
      • pack shipping boxes
    • Tuesday
      • Deep-clean house
    • Wednesday
      • Lord of the Rings Marathon!
    • Thursday
      • oral exam
    • Friday
      • Mailing boxes and Sally Ann
    • Saturday
      • Grad
    • Sunday
      • church
    • Monday
      • donate blood
    • Tuesday
      • Fly home

Looks doable, no? *nods* I can do this! Oh, and sometime in there, I need to do some birthday present acquisition for the four brothers who are having birthdays in my absence. Right. “You know I’m a poor student who has no conception of money?….”

[note: navel-gazing type musings follow. read at your own risk.]
And on a completely different tack, Third World, Moon Unit and I were discussing public school and its probable effect on us. We pretty much agreed that Moon Unit and Third World would have been the same people had they gone through Public School, but that I wouldn’t be the same. Quote: “You’d either be a total follower, or completely outcast.” I agree, really. I could see myself going in about 8 different directions, none of them positive. In thinking about this, I had two reactions, one positive and one, not.

On the one hand, I’m really glad that my parents kept me out of Public School for that reason. While it would have been interesting to see how I turned out, it would be interesting in about the same way that it is interesting to see what colours of mold grow on the unidentifiable things in the back of the fridge. Sick fascination.

On the other hand, the not-so-positive one, it doesn’t make me very confident for the future. Oh joy, I have so little of my own personality that I can’t be trusted to go out in public. My powers of self-delusion seem to be exceptional. What if I was to go to a College or University outside of the house? Would I lose myself then too? Do I even have my own personality, or am I such a social chameleon that I just take on the interests of the people I’m surrounded by? (protective coloring, right.) Will I EVER be able to stand on my own?

I don’t see it being much of an issue once I return home, cause, in all honesty, I really don’t see the potential for friends outside of my family. The high schoolers in my small town are all scared of me anyways, and they’re all obsessed with topics I mercifully am not interested in; namely, high school marks and the high school drama of the moment. People over High school age are either gone off to university, and therefore in a higher social bracket than I, or moving in crowds where I have no experience and don’t want any. The hard-drinking Fort Mac crowd? No, thank you. I don’t even know most of the words, much less how to communicate. 😛 That leaves people over the age of 30, who are nice to me, but not really friends, and my family. Moreover, my brother PT has now moved out on his own, which cuts my social scene significantly. Seriously significantly. If you include my parents, it cuts it by a quarter.

Okay, maybe I’m being overly pessimistic. Who knows, maybe there’ll be some interesting, intelligent, safe, and not-scared-of-me people near my age in town when I get back. Or maybe I’m drawing the lines too thick, and I can be friends with people who I already am acquainted with. Or maybe I’ll just have friends online for the foreseeable future.

My, but I’m not looking forward to leaving Third World and Moon Unit. I do think I am myself with them, whoever that is. {Totally insane, and likes books!} Moon Unit has been going home on weekends so I’m partially used to her not being here, but Third World and I have been basically in each other’s constant company since January. *cries* I hung out with RM a lot last term, but she started moving on to other friends in November, and even earlier we didn’t do much together: Baking and talking, and occasional Latin. Third World and I wrote novels together, for heaven’s sake. I haven’t had such a close friend who I wasn’t related to since I was 6. Bah, why does Oregon have to be 5.5 time zones and another country away anyways? For goodness sake, the nearest people I would be able to visit, (those who make it to St. X’s in Cape Breton) would be at least 500 dollars to even get to the mainland, and then you have accommodation and food costs. Bah humbug.

Yeah, so, the weather here is nice, I’m having a low grade identity crisis, am I even a person? I’m not looking forward to splitting up from my friends, and aside from those minor stresses, and the family members who are hospitalized, I’m doing fine.

I just have to remember, I can’t see the future. I can always make what’s coming seem bleaker than it actually is. Even when it’s worse than I foresaw, it’s always easier to bear than I think it will be.

Right, I can’t see the future.

Just breathe.

"At this time of year, what with marking papers and exams, I was thinking, as one so often does, on grace…"

One left. Only one exam left.

I should be happy about this, but I still feel physically ill from the Scriptures exam. My hands are numb. I have never felt so bad after an exam in my life. I’ve been saying, about my exams, “well, nothing has made me cry yet,” but if I was ever to cry over an exam it would be about that one. I bombed so badly. I can’t talk well about theology ever, and that paper was no exception.

ANYWAYS! I got through music without too much issue. There were questions I was iffy on, but I knew the majority. Even listening I got through without major panic. All thanks must go to Third World and Moon Unit though, for that, who just kept going over the music clips over and over again, and making/letting me memorize them. I still wasn’t good, but I was able to put a name on half the pieces, I think, and an era on everything.

Have you ever noticed what adrenaline does to the body? It’s quite interesting. I wasn’t emotionally scared yesterday, but the adrenaline was definitely going. I was sitting and reading a fun book to try and relax before the exam and looked at the clock. It was ten minute to class, and totally without warning my breathing sped up, my heart rate went up, and I went analytical and noted this all. Then in the exam, I felt perfectly normal, but happened to touch my chest, and my heart was going like a trip hammer. I could feel my heartbeat when I touched my collarbone! And; (random side story) Rach scared me while I was reading earlier in the week and my eyesight sharpened. It was very odd.

Then this morning was literature, which was painful. We hadn’t had a test from this professor yet, so no one know what to expect, and we weren’t disappointed. I really don’t know how I did though. I answered all three questions, but I really don’t know what he was looking for. I don’t have very much experience with exams at all, and I’m not sure I know how to write them. EDIT: I do know, however, that I got halfway through my big essay and realized that I had just disproved my thesis, so I had to frantically rewrite. Fun times 😛

I also don’t have much experience in attending classes I don’t like, which is perhaps why I failed so badly on the scriptures exam. I can usually find something to get at least mildly interested in in any class, but this one- no. I mean, I though I didn’t like math in high school. In retrospect, I loved math. I thought I didn’t like writing. I adored it. I thought I didn’t like my papers this term. They were enjoyable. I thought I didn’t like the art exam. It was fun. Now I know what not liking an activity is, and that is the Scripture exam I just hacked my way through.

OH, and to forestall those people who will tell me, “you didn’t do that bad…” I was to write three essays, which are traditionally two pages each. I wrote one which was two pages, and it achieved that by being mainly comprised of quotes. The other two essays were less than a page each, and a total “scraping the bottom of the barrel” in terms of content. No, scratch that, this is where you beat the barrel apart to try to get at the tiny fragments of content that are stuck in the crevices between the rotten slabs of fumbling that make up the barrel.

That was so REMARKABLY bad. We’re talking a new section in the annals of abysmal exams. Above-the-fold, front page, in the Fumbling Times. Full alert with picture sent out to all those anywhere who attempt to stop idiocy. Full quarantine necessary to stop the incomprehension from infecting unsuspecting bystanders and dragging them down to a lingering painful death.

*sigh* I am going to go out and buy an extra large coffee, and try to study for the 8:30am oral exam I have tomorrow.


In 16 hours I am going to be all done with exams. *smiles*