Monday, September 23, 2013

Remember Remember the Fifth of October

Anxious (anxiousness, anxiety)
1) feeling or showing uncomfortable feelings of uncertainty <Emilyn is feeling awfully anxious right now> 
2) marked by or causing agitation or uncomfortable feelings <the worst feeling in the whole world is most definitely the feeling of anxiousness
3) an uneasy state of mind usually over the possibility of an anticipated misfortune or trouble <anxiety happens to be the most recurring feeling inside of Emilyn>  

Events, texts, sleep, classes, lunch, the next episode of Korra. Waiting for any one of these things gives me a very high level of anxiousness. I know that life comes with things to wait for, and I can accept that. It's just unfortunate that here in the 21st century, all of our heres and nows make the just-as-necessary theres and laters seem much farther away.  

Currently I'm feeling a little anxious about October 5th on which quite a long list of things will be happening. Firstly, General Conference will be in session. This happens to be an event I quite enjoy, as well as an event I have missed the past four years due to either the Shakespeare Festival Competition itself, or the rehearsal for the competition the Saturday before. Secondly, speaking of the Festival, the Maeser Shakespeare team will be in Cedar City on October 5th performing their monologues and duo scenes. Thirdly, I will be working long hours at the ticket office so I will get neither the experience of watching October's General Conference, nor the scenes performed by the beloved Maeser team. Needless to say, I will not able to go home that weekend to attend my brother's fiancee's bridal shower.

You can tell I'm distressed because I just used the phrase "needless to say". I really do hate that phrase. If it's needless, why did you say it? I guess that's just the world's way of saying yes, I know everyone knows it's not needed out loud, but by gosh darn someone's gotta say it because if we don't state the obvious we might start verbalizing things that actually matter, or worse, lapse into the unknown silence and once we're there, who knows where our thoughts could take us? 

Whew. Take a breather Em. Just drag yourself slowly out of your peanut butter of anxiety and get back to your homework. You've got an entire free weekend ahead of you (if you ignore those emails about the Creative Writing Conference for a little while). It's only Monday. Just get through your long Tuesday, and by the time Wednesday comes around you can start a fresh to-do list with your favorite black-ink pen and then start thinking about the upcoming weeks. 

Oh to be anxiety free. My mini poem of the day. 


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Rain in Spain Stays Mainly in Cedar City

Well I don't know where the snoring old man is, but he needs to get up one of these mornings because it's been raining and pouring for a week. Even a bright, lovely girl in my choir class expressed to me today her deepest hatred toward the weather. I mean, I've always loved droplets tumbling down the windows and thunder shuddering miles away, but after being wet for a week, I wouldn't be all that opposed to a little more sun down here in Cedar City. With a capital C, that rhymes with D and that stands for D. Vitamin D. Which comes from the sun.

Honestly though, it's frightening what a few dripping hours can do to campus. Rain is such an introverted weather. Everyone hide under your hoods, umbrellas, and ponchos because we sure can't let a dreary thing like rain get into our systems. Just lets trudge along in our sopping shoes and keep our gaze toward the puddles because it's just grey and more grey for miles above; it's no use putting our chins up to see something so dull.

I've definitely noticed a difference in my own attitude. On my way to my eight o' clock History class, I only looked outside the bubble of my umbrella once, and it because I heard a sort of a slosh noise. Or maybe it was more of a shplish. Anyway when I looked up I saw this guy a couple yards away on the sidewalk just below a muddy slope of grass. I was surprised to find that only a couple thoughts slowly yawned into my mind. "Yikes, he just slipped right off the grass there," "Maybe I should help him up or at least ask if he's okay," and, "Poor guy. That would really suck." And then I walked into the building.

I've just felt so slow these last couple days. I feel like my body is literally filling up with every raining minute and soon I'll be as bloated as Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka's Factory and have to be juiced before the winter turns me into an icicle.

Maybe I should start the process now. I think I'll begin Rain-water Juicing by making some peppermint tea and popcorn, burrito myself in a blanket, maybe listen to some upbeat music, and read some Billy Collins poems. Then I definitely need to buy rain boots one of these days because my soppy toes could definitely use 'em.

Hmm. I like the yellow... But I've loved the polka-dot ones I've seen around campus...
Sigh. College decisions.

Friday, September 6, 2013

In Response to My Tribute

I found Mrs. Martinez's question so intriguing I decided to dedicate a page on my blog to it. Hope you don't mind! If you have come by way of Mrs. Martinez's site, welcome to my blog! If you haven't, please take a moment to follow this link and avoid confusion.

Wow. I feel like a celebrity on the Ellen DeGeneres Show! *studio laughter*

Anyway, the question.

Will you honor us and explain what characteristics you possessed to admit your lack of understanding?

First off, Consider yourselves honored. 

Secondly, I want to be completely honest and say that it was eighth period, I was tired, and possibly slightly irritated having just come out of a room full of rowdy drama kids. Hearing my AP classmates ooh and ah over a concept that hadn't connected so miraculously in my brain could just as easily have brought out more of an eye-rolling "I don't get it" rather than a yearning "explain that again." 

But there is a very real intimidation about admitting your lack of knowledge, and there are lots of reasons, or should I say excuses, which I'm sure we have all heard within the confines of our own minds. 
"It's not that important."
"I don't want to take up class-time."
"What if I'm the only one who doesn't understand?"
"Everyone will think I'm stupid."

Each of these excuses are just as hard to combat as the others. So how do we combat them? Actually, the answer I found most helpful was written on the first page in my AP Lit binder my entire senior year.  

"Come to class not as know-it-alls, but as wanting to know it all." 
~Mrs. Martinez

Surprise! This phrase came to mind often during my Senior year in many of my classes. I learned that year that school is not a place to show off your academic greatness, but a resource available to students to better their education and understanding on their academic journey. So why not use the opportunities given to you in school? You're sitting in a class full of brilliant students and teachers who understand and can explain a concept that may not come as easily to you! Why step into that room just to come out with a cloud of unasked questions? 

There's another big reason for the times I had the courage to raise my hand in confusion, and that reason is Katie Cropper. Katie usually sat on the left side of the room, and I a little to the right, so I remember sharing many confused looks with her across the room when Mrs. Martinez or another student hinted at something neither of us understood. Just knowing that I wasn't the only one at a loss gave me enough reason to push any other excuses aside and seek an answer to the question. As we've all heard before, if you have a question, chances are someone else in the room is confused as well. 

And yet, sometimes you will be the only confused one in the classroom, it happens. Not to mention the loads of questions I've asked that I've found to be simple and obvious, and probably resulted in my stupidity in the eyes of my peers. But if I hadn't asked those questions, I still would have been the worse off. It is the wise man who plant their questions and allow them to grow into something beautiful. The fools leave their questions to gather dust and be used only as bookends to the volumes of questions answered by the wise. 

So get that hand in the air!

Educational Entree

"Liking or disliking has nothing to do with learning."

This phrase casually meandered out of my English Professor's tangent last Tuesday. I thought it was genius, so I copied it in the margin of my English packet and outlined it with one of those spiky, inside-out cloud circles.

I have to apologize. I just spent a couple hours finishing the final draft of a 13-line imagistic poem after the manner of Brewster Ghiselen's "Rattlesnake", so I think I'm still in poetry mode. I'm spending way too much time thinking about words; I've used a thesaurus like 5 times already for this post and I'm only in the seventh line. I just need a little free-write here for a minute. Please excuse me.

Purple children dancing in the hail and harvesting hay for the horses who eat only grass like the cows who are burgers for birthday children to chomp before cake and ice-cream from the freezer where things gather ice like flowers in Rapunzel's hair.

Okay. I think I've thrown out most of the extra scraps of poetry in my system. That feels a little nicer.

So anyway, liking or disliking. As I've let this roll around in my mind these past few days, I've determined that a student's liking or disliking could apply to the material, the assignments, or the teacher, all of which are often placed at the top of the line between drooling and learning. This statement encourages students to bring focus away from dislike toward some aspect of education and back toward the learning itself. No matter what a student may not like on their educational journey, something still can and should be learned from it. So many opportunities could be lost, not to mention dollars and time, if you let a five-page paper or a lecturing teacher get in the way of your education.

Now back to the poetic metaphors which are, despite my efforts, still orbiting the circumference of my skull. College/Highschool/Education-in-general isn't a steaming, three-course meal laid out on the table with three forks, a knife, two spoons, and a forest green, cloth napkin, but a recipe book full of millions of foods and desserts from which you have the freedom to cook.

And as Ratatouille's Gusteau says, "Anyone can cook."

Bon appetite!