Disclaimer: This post is selfish, even moreso than usual. But again, it's my blog. I'm allowed.
So I'm having an internal debate on how long I can go between posts without my blog being considered dead and revived, Lazarus style. Morbid thoughts aside, I've finally finished school work for the semester and have time to sit down in my hammock chair with a cup of tea and breathe. I mean, not a cup of breathe. You get the point. My syntax course this semester has, to paraphrase Steinbeck, been a bitch that has laid pups in my brain, preventing me from reading an ambiguous sentence without (1) immediately noticing the ambiguity, and (2) drawing syntactic trees on the fabric of my brain. (For the record, I will deny ever having drilled a rod into the beam bisecting my living room in order to hang said hammock chair.) Also, having just finished up a fellowship application, I'm in writing mode, and might as well channel the extra words floating around in my head into a blog post, since I'm procrastinating much-needed, much-dreaded journal writing.
The scene this morning, accompanied by imaginary blasting of Queen's "We are the Champions": I smugly walked past the Tower and across the West Mall, opened the unnecessarily heavy door of Calhoun Hall, climbed three flights of stairs, and unceremoniously slipped my epic 10-page take-home syntax final under the door of my professor's empty, dark office. (This final, Jesus H, took me 20 hours to complete, over the span of 48 hours.) I guess I expected it to "bang" when it hit the floor, but it just kind of whimpered. I guess that's the way
Luckily, I can read old blog posts when I need to remember where I came in. In particular, this post, in which I told you to stay tuned, and to come back and ask me at the end of the semester how I felt about studying Arabic. (Incidentally, I'm just as naive as I was when I wrote that, and I know this because I'm looking forward to spending large parts of my break reading LOTR in Arabic and letting Mahmoud Darwish poetry seep into my normally poetry-repellent bones.) Reading that post takes me back to where I was when I wrote it, what I was thinking, what my expectations were for coming to UT, what my fears were and what my hopes were. I've taken to writing down fears around big changes like this, so that I can go back later and write next to them how either the things I was afraid of never actually happened, or how they did but everything still turned out just fine. I guess I expected to feel more like a fish out of water. Or, since I really need an excuse to post these next photos, a grackle off a telephone wire:
So maybe I can't change the fact that I need to do some absorbing, some processing of all this change. But I do have the power to change the backdrop. So I'm going to get away for a few days over Christmas and take a mini, week-long camping trip in southern Arizona. Something about long drives and wide open spaces. Deserts and quiet. I was born with a little bit of that in my blood. We all were, I think. And the only cure is more... Christmas cookies! Wait, what?
I went to a cookie decorating party the other night--here's my favorite of my creations:
And the happy family of Christmas cookies when we were all done:
And, just to shake things up a bit more, I've accepted a TA position for Analytical Chemistry lab next semester. Didn't see that one coming!
The end! See you in 2013!