Sunday, December 7, 2014

Marlene Contra Mundum

One of my best friends here at school has gotten into the terrible habit of saying dejectedly, "I wish I were Marlene," cue a pouty face. This is because, in a moment of weakness a last month, I revealed that my capacity for doing the crazy is much more elastic when Marlene is around.  So, this college friend of mine thinks that I would be (a) more fun and (b) happier if she herself were Marlene incarnate (Marlene's doppelganger?).  I repeatedly tell the wanna-be-Marlene friend that this is a disordered desire because there isn't room for more than one Marlene in this world and that she should be thanking her lucky stars that the type of crazy I am around Marlene is contained to only so often.  Let's face it.  Marlene herself and crazy Ally together is a novelty that shouldn't grace the universe with its presence too often for fear that it cause "discord in the spheres."*

Anyone who knows Marlene will agree that the physical realm can contain her existence ... but only barely.  There definitely isn't room for more than one Marlene because she fills up her life and her share in God's master plan of the universe to the fullest capacity.  It's just that simple.  Marlene is Marlene.  Two Marlenes would just not work.  (Technically this goes for everyone, but for Marlene in particular the idea of two of her is unfathomable.)

Exactly thirteen days ago, it was Marlene's birthday.  Yes, this is her birthday post.  I am very tardy in posting.  But let that not be any excuse for me to not wish her a happy, albeit belated, birthday in the blogosphere type of way.  It is a bloggy tradition here at C&M, and also ... it was an important birthday.

I, in a way not unlike Sebastian, a dear literary friend, wish that we could relive many of the birthdays we have celebrated together in the past.

"If it could only be like this always - always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe and Aloysius in a good temper ..."

But sometimes memories revisited must suffice.  To many more birthdays, to more birthday celebrations together, and to many more memories.  

Luvs ya, Marla.

*(I will refrain from actually footnoting this quotation, though the urge is strong, because I need to remind myself that I am no longer writing formal academic papers, but know that the quotation is indeed from Shakespeare. Look it up.)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Seven Quick Takes: Random Edition

1.  I go to the weirdest school on the face of the planet.  That is all.

2.  This is how my brain works.

Displaying photo.JPG
mahna mahna  Use all the highlighters! do doo be-do-do concept map mahna concept map concept map 

#writingpapers #shakespeare #ishouldhavestartedweeksago #eh

3.  Oh, hey, Ally is writing a paper about Shakespeare!  Yaaaaaaay!  *shouts of joy and celebratory noises*  Ha, imagine!  There is no way that this is following a precedent.  Heh. Heh heh. Hmm. And it's not like she has like two more posts about Shakespeare in the works or anything.  #ilovethatbardofaman

4.  I have had huge doses of humility regarding paper writing.  Guys, I don't know what I'm doing. I can't really write papers.  I just put verbosity down on paper and format Turabian correctly.  I don't really know what I'm doing.  And I am literally paid to help people with their papers.  What if all the theology exegeses come back with failing grades and all the people who brought their exegeses to me in the Writing Center will form a cohesive student military unit and break down the door of my dorm room with pitchforks and rakes from the janitor and dump all the stapled paper marked with big, juicy red F's onto my head and then kick me out of the school until I rewrite all the papers?  Or what if all the seniors who brought their really important upper level history papers to me to review petition the English department to refuse to give me my degree because I don't have the caliber to be a major in the department ... because I forgot that FOOTNOTES NEED TO BE INDENTED?  What if I am making enemies in the freshmen class because they came to me with paper advice and I was all

She basically makes this face for the full 6 hours of the BBC miniseries
oh my dear freshmen, my darlings, these papers will win you A's to be sure! Bravo! Don't change a thing about it!
and then they handed the papers in and the prof was like

Guy's got that cheeky, long-suffering Ben Franklin look


5.  I have good reason to believe that passive voice will be the death of me.

6.  When I am a senior, you will find me with a pillow and a blanket and a bag of snacks living on the top floor of the library in the Dead English Author section.  Specifically, the Shakespeare section.  I may not ever truly be seen.

7. I am not cut out for the extroverted life.  Hmm.  Yeah, let's stew on that.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

No Vacancy: Words Will Be Turned Away

So, here we are.  November 11, 2014. Wait, it's the eleventh? Pretty sure I've been writing "November 10" on class notes all day. Oops. That'll throw me off once finals roll around as I try to organize my disheveled life. (I'd make a terrible scribe.  Sorry, posterity, yon scribe wrote all the wrong dates on the manuscripts and messed up history forever. But, hey, at least you still have symbolism.)

So, anyway. Here we are. The semester is winding to a close. The window in my literature classroom this afternoon showed bright blue sky and trees with a few clingy orange leaves, as opposed to the bright blues and oranges of last week and the sapphire greens and cheery yellows of the weeks before. Midterms are officially and finally over, everyone is working on the last assignments due this semester, and everyone is dreadfully anxious for school to be over and for CHRISTMAS CHEER.  (Ok, I am probably projecting my Christmas longings onto other people, but oh *melts* Christmas.)

So many words. Reading them in books and on blackboards, scratching them onto lined paper, writing them on sticky notes, typing them on a keyboard. Now, I'll take a paper over a test any day because I love writing and because I learn best through writing.  So if I want to learn about something, I write about it.  And, yet, somehow I don't really feel like writing three papers, together a total of 30 pages, before December 4 (but realistically before November 25 [yes, that's right, in the next fourteen days] because who writes papers over Thanksgiving break [um, lol, not me]). Instead of papers, I would like to be writing the two blog posts I have started about Shakespeare: (a) on why Shakespeare should be the center of the Teaching Banned Books Controversy and why he ultimately made me realize why the uproarious indignation of that controversy is so pointless and (b) on how to revitalize the dear man's works to give the Shakespearean tradition a new life.  I feel in it my bones, in the beating of my nerdy heart of hearts.  The revitalizing of Shakespeare is coming, and I have a theory about how it's going to happen.

Emily promises me, with an annoyingly positive smile, that we are going listen to Christmas music and write papers happily and calmly and composedly for the next two weeks with nothing to distress or vex us. Meanwhile, I am writing not my English paper thesis statement but a blog post while listening to the low hum of voices (scratch that, I'm listening to outright laughs and a stage voice saying "JOHN ..."   *interrupted by loud shushing from library worker*   "... JOHN, check your backpack ... no, your backpack" *rupture of giggles*) in a library which imposes absolute SILENT HOURS after 9pm to absolutely no avail whatsoever.

Well, Christmas music or no, I will be retreating into a paper writing zone for the next two weeks. 

À bientôt, world.  

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Quick Tidbit Which Should Be of Particular Interest:  Marlene and I have plans (oh do we have plans) for this blog. Expect cool things over Christmas time but especially next summer.