Lessons Learned

It is hard to post anything now that I am back at school. I knew that it would be this way, given that, in addition to hammering myself with eighteen credit hours, I am working part-time. I wish I had the time to be creatively witty and post things on here but the sad fact of the matter is...I do not. In truth, many of the posts I have for you now are scheduled. (I set them up over the summer, months in advance.)

However, just to prove that I am still interested in sticking around, I thought I would share with you the few things that I have learned since the beginning of the semester.

1. My Gothic literature professor is amazing.

I took a class with her last year and determined that I would once again like for her to be my professor. In my opinion, she could be characterized as a brown-haired Tonks. (An Auror from the
Harry Potter works.) She is vivaciously spunky, intelligently wide-eyed, humanely and humorously ironic, and prone to the sufferings of buttered-popcorn flavored Jelly Bellies. Her short, spiky hair is always a contrast to the skirts she dons every day.

Also, every semester, she dreams that she must teach a classroom full of monkeys.

We also happened to be discussing Freud's philosophy of dreams that day. As Freud, of course, believes that nearly any symbol has to do with either a vagina or an erect penis, the class as a whole--and this includes my professor--concluded that the monkeys in her dream were subconscious fears of her father's phallus, and that the classroom must, in turn, represent her female anatomy.

Thank goodness I didn't share my dream from the prior evening: My father and I had been laying green and blue carpet down in his childhood home.

2. My Italian instructor wears green underwear, brief-style.

I happen to know this solely because the white dress that draped her palely fragile body today was see-through.

3. The word "douche" is a word that has fallen victim to semantics.

Other words' meanings that have changed include "retard", "hot", "sick", "text", and "epic". In other words, "epic" is no longer typically considered to be a lengthy narrative poem that typically centers on the details, deeds, and events of a seriously heroic character, nation, or culture. Today, the meaning is less insignificant; it may mean, as the girl from my class explained, "cool", as in, "That was an epic hot dog."

4. There is a different student in my theatre class who, I believe, most people would like to kick.

5. I can only spell the word "receive" in my casual life.

In my professional life, I now have the tendency to misspell headlines in our daily campus newspaper.

6. Admiring the tattoo of the guy who sits in front of me in ENGL 351 keeps me awake.

7. I cannot understand any of the sixteen minutes of Italian videos I must watch.

However, I can tell you exactly which Italian ballads and rock songs are playing in the background.

8. Bicyclists (without reflectors) may or may not pedal down the wrong side of the road and/or in the middle of the road after eleven at night.

9. Field trips in college are not as fun as field trips in elementary school.

10. Don't trust anyone.

Summer Shoestrings

Yesterday, I shared a dozen or so photos summarizing the activities of my summer. Today, I feel like sharing more pictures of my "adventures." Unlike the ones I shared yesterday, however, these photos depict more of the humorously exiguous affairs.

This summer, I inconsequentially:

...rearranged salt and pepper shakers to make a face.

...rode a stationary bicycle under a set of stairs in a hotel hallway.

...admired mud.

...photographed purple sunsets from the hospital parking garage.

...contemplated the use of plastic U.F.O.s while at a thrift store.

...rode a gorilla.

...caught toads.

...took more than 500 photos of my yard.

...looked at stain-glass windows.

...donned my grandmother's straw hat and my brother's mortarboard as a response to my how-come-I-don't-have-a-hat jealousy.

...modeled Willy-Wonka-meets-old-woman-from-Ratatouille-and-gives-birth-to-magnifying-glass sunglasses.

...photographed meters. Of all kinds.

...attempted to become creative again.

...get ready for Christmas.

No, I'm serious about Christmas. But Hobby Lobby is.

Summer Snapshot Series--August 22

Today is going to be a busy day; after church, I plan to attend a presentation by Khaled Hosseini, who is speaking at Purdue this afternoon. Though I did not necessarily enjoy The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns, I wish to listen to him speak about his family and his life in Afghanistan. After the lecture, I must attend a desk meeting for work.

Furthermore, today is the last day of summer for me; my first day of the fall semester starts tomorrow. As I will be taking more than my usual number of credit hours and working part-time, I will be kept busy.

At this moment, I am unsure of how many times a week I will be able to post. However, I must move forward with an open mind and a positive attitude...
I can do this!

Having said that, the following photos are a tribute to the summer that passed so quickly.

Here are some of the things I did:

...warp photos. This is one of many photos that I have made a collage out of.

...attend the "Colin & Brad" Show in Omaha. It was on my twenty-second birthday.

...visit the community college I once attended.

...enjoy a mini vacation while watching my brother graduate from college.

...try shopping at a new store. In this case, Avanza (a Mexican grocery store).

...teach Vacation Bible School for the tenth year in a row...and make crafts aimed at five-year-olds.

...watch the sun rise over Lake Manitou.

...watch the sun set behind the Iowa hills.

...attend the last ever fireworks show at Rosenblatt Stadium.

...enjoy Council Bluffs.

...explore the Old Market up and down, cross-ways, diagonally, right-side up and inside out.

...stroll across the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.

...complete a five-hour, fourteen-mile canoe journey with the boyfriend.

...spend time with family. I attended my family's annual reunion as well as join the celebration for my aunt and uncle's 25th wedding anniversary.

...note the damage that wind shears do.

...swim in the cool waters of the local quarry.

...go "golfing" with three retired-men who exude hospitality, kindness, and innuendo.

...go boating and tubing with my family. (And, in the process, erase the skin from my elbows.)

...enjoy my time at home with those whom I love.

Forget Follett's; I'm Going to Von's

I am back in West Lafayette!

The drive itself was uneventful (which was good). My mom and I had a pleasant drive through the uninteresting cornfields of Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. I-cubed.

Moving in went well, too. It went well until I realized that, somewhere along the way, I had lost my debit card. Not being an individual to lose things, I was quite devastated. Luckily, when I called the bank, no action had occurred. Most likely, my debit card is in the back pocket of my pin-stripe, navy blue short shorts. Those shorts happen to be sitting in the laundry hamper.

At home.

Six-hundred miles away.

When my mother arrives home later tonight, I am sure that the first thing she will do is check my card.

One of the other two large mishaps that has happened was the lack of Internet.

Today, my Internet has finally been restored (thanks to the "No-I-insist-that-it-is-your-computer's-fault-and-not-a-problem-on-our-end-you-must-have-a-virus-and-it-isn't-our-fault-because-obviously-we-would-have-remembered-to-turn-on-the-switch-for-the-building-in-which-you-live" ITAP guys). With that, I wanted to share a trip to Von's, an amazing store in West Lafayette in which you can find comic books, records, stuffed animals, jewelry, used books, and clothing.

It is wonderfully retro.

It belongs in the Old Market.

Yesterday (Friday), I took my mother to Von's, who had never been there. She, of course, was in heaven. While I wandered about the store, she spent many a minute looking at beads and records.

The store is quite large, and its many rooms host a variety of purchase opportunities.

Jewelry strands of every color line nearly every wall.

Customers can choose from countless options of beads, medallions, charms, and the like.

Marbles are also a common sight.

Spider paperweights, however, are not. They are found in a back room along with all the rocks, stones, and geodes.

The store is so large that sometimes it names certain areas; here, this dead-end hallway was filled with stuffed animals...and beads.

Anyone needs a pink, polka-dotted dog?

Outside the "Animal Den", a few sets of jewelry were pre-made and ready to purchase.

I nearly purchased one of these rings.

Personally, I thought the scarves were incredibly soft. I could have gone for one of the more vivid purples or yellows.

These cats were interestingly colorful finds.

There is a steep set of stairs that lead to the used books.

Von's is just as satisfying as any used bookstore in the Old Market.

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