Wednesday, August 31, 2005

funny!


Wow. I wish this were possible. I'm sure that if it were, people would accuse Juilliard of selling out. But GOSH! that cracked me up today.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

industrial resolution

Today I woke up ready to conquer the world. Maybe because I read JJ's friend Moe's blog about competing in a triathalon, maybe because I know I have a lot to do. But Moe is an inspiration. I mean, a triathalon?! I think it's amazing if I run for half a block, let alone run, swim, and do something else (I think that's what they're made of?). I need to fix that about myself, but more on that later.

It's raining here in Deposit. It goes between gentle, beautiful downpour (the kind the farmers pray for) and a tiny drizzle while the world outside looks so WET. It smells wonderful.

Today I have to go into school and accomplish a bunch of things. I enjoy making lists to help myself organize, so here goes:

Today's list:
substitute teacher folders for the MS-HS and elementary buildings
make sure I know what I have in the elementary classroom, browse textbooks (if I have any)
practice piano lots and lots
meet with HS principal about my syllabi for choruses and other questions
more curriculum-mapping
turn in my music room rules to my elementary principal
come home and practice guitar lots and lots, because my calluses are shot. :(
de-stink my one classroom

The list for what I must accomplish this week:
finish my elementary curriculum maps
figure out a way to type up said curriculum maps
be able to play at least half of the music I'm trying to play
requisitions for new music
requisitions for supplies
vacuum lots and lots
de-stink the classroom.

I have a small glitch in my life. It's called a stinky classroom. Literally, this room smells like rotting library paste. I've searched all the closets to see if there is a jar of rotting library paste, but I'm afraid there's not. My theory is that it's just a bunch of old, dusty paper shut in a room for a while. But here's my question: does anyone know how to de-stink a room? The method is not allowed to include fire, explosives, or removing the said old paper from the room, because we're not allowed to throw any music away. I'm thinking some kind of Neutra-air product? But if there are other ideas, please to tell me!!

Thanks.

On to work now.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

plan Omega

Forget plans B, C, D... etc. I'm whipping up plans until I hit Z and Omega.

Got mail back from the chair of my department; I was very disappointed in the result. She made it perfectly clear that she doesn't want to help me, but will stoop to it if she has to. Her email also responds incorrectly to several points I made in mine, which tells me that she either did not read it thoroughly or did not comprehend it. I'm going with the former in my theory.

I knew I didn't trust her for some reason.

But anyway; my choices run something like this:

Plan A.B:
Stick with my old advisor this coming semester, and give it the "good ol' college try."
Cons of this plan:
- it scares me already.
- I will have to work during the year, when I am at my busiest with students and teaching.
- emotional duress is a shitty thing, and I have a feeling that a lot of it is in store.
Pros of this plan:
- there is a small chance that it would actually all get done in a year, and it would be over, now and forever, Amen.
- it would cost a maximum of about $1600, which I can swing now that I have a JOB!

Plan B.C:
Say "screw it" and start applying for summer programs and un-entroll from TU-MF (yes, the MF stands for mutha fuckah), severing all ties with them, and file for an extension of certification.
cons of this plan:
- lots and lots of New York State bureaucratic paperwork. yeeeccccch.
- it'd pry take a LOT more time to finish my M.M.
- I'd have to spend me a lot of money and go into massive debt. another yecccch.
pros of this plan:
- I just might learn something useful in the courses I'd have to (re)take.
- I'd probably be emotionally happier.
- It is possible that I could do that in North Carolina and spend the summers with JJ. (that's a biiiiig pro.)

What I have actually done since I started writing this blog many days ago is this:
I emailed my current advisor in the most professional and courteous fashion and said that I want to be as proactive and efficient as possible. So I asked her for very clear instructions and made my goals clear. Instead of saying, "you bee-yotch, you never tell us what you want in our proposals, you just revise for eons until we read your mind and get it right," I asked her if I was correct in my idea of what a proposal should contain, and I listed it. Then I asked her if it was reasonable to expect to graduate by May 2006 if I turned in good work to her weekly. That was the final thing I said.

This email serves as a litmus test. If she writes back a nasty response, I'll probably go with plan B.C. If she writes a response that indicates that she's willing to help, I'll probably go with plan A.B. I ran the email by JJ. It's courteous and polite, and it's not making unreasonable requests. My opinion is that it's simply asking her to do her job, and if she's willing to do that, but in a roundabout, un-blunt way.

So we'll see what happens. No response yet.

On a different note: I am happy here. It is comfortable, homey, and good. I like it very, very much. I will blog about more of my "small-town Amurrica" encounters soon. :)

Addendum for James: the hurry in getting my masters is because New York state requires it for teacher certification within a certain number of years, on top of a certain number of years of teaching experience. My teacher-clock is ticking.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

a rock and a hard place

I am in the midst of a big decision.
JJ and I talked about it at length today; in fact, I think we broke 3 hours on the phone today. A new record! Good thing it was a weekend, when the minutes are unlimited and the calls are free.
I'm faced with a choice.
I could take the easy road and run away from my current masters degree situation by enrolling at Crane in the summers. I'd most likely be finished in three summers, and I wouldn't have to write a thesis; all I'd have to do is take a battery of comprehensive exams. Exams don't bother me, because I test well. But if I were to do this, I would have to acknowledge those two years in Philadelphia that gave me nothing except JJ and a huge interest in musical semiotics. And I would always feel like the Temple door never got fully closed. And I want it closed completely!

I could take the hard road and try to hash out my thesis with Dr. S, whose communication with me has been barely civil and definitely not friendly. I know our relationship is bad, and I am fairly sure that she would try to catch me in the system and get me stuck and subsequently make it so I don't graduate in time to apply for permanent teaching certification in New York. I know that I would get contradictory feedback, and I know I would probably say "enough!" after very little time, and most likely wind up back at option 1.

I could also try to convince JJ's advisor to be mine. There are problems with this; the only tenured prof that could be on my committee besides Dr. S already rejected me, and I have to have 2 tenured professors on my committee. (JJ's advisor would be the other.) I could try to pull strings, but it will wind up being difficult. I'm also not very confident in this advisor's timeliness of doing things. I know she never graded my midterm for the class I took with her, and it took her all summer to read JJ's thesis, when it was promised by Memorial Day. But I also think I can manage her. She tends to forget. If I make it a point to almost-pester as a friendly reminder that I am around, I might be able to work around that problem. The biggest concern would be what to tell Dr. S. But I think it might be best to sever ties with her completely. I distrust Dr. S THAT much. I really do.

I need to sleep on it. I have an email composed and ready to send to Dr. B (JJ's advisor), but I need to sleep on it and realize that it's the right thing to do. But it's starting to appear to be so.

It was still hard to come to this. And I still don't quite feel I'm there. But no matter what, I know that something will happen, and that something is the thing I will wind up sticking with.













don't you grammarians hate when people end blogs with prepositions? I wonder how many of you cringed when you saw that.

Friday, August 19, 2005

enough

There are people in this world whom I cannot stand in large doses. In fact, after about ten minutes, I must get out of those persons' proximities, or I fear I will burst or say something stupid or both. Sometimes I'm in situations where I can't get out, and I have to try my best to control my bursting.

This happens every time we visit the extended family. My brother lives in the same town as the extended family, and so I get stuck seeing him. Once you know me well, you learn that I absolutely, unequivocally, very strongly detest him. His simple presence in a room is enough to make my stomach churn. He tries to hug me and I can NOT touch him. I won't. The aversion I have to touching him is so strong that I will go to great lengths to be at least 10 feet away from him at all times. I could renumerate all the things he does that annoy me, but I won't, because it's just not worth repeating...again.

Whenever he's around I find myself saying things that are downright nasty. If anyone had been a judge of my character and judged me solely on reactions with my brother, they probably would judge me as a very nasty, hateful, and bitter person. My shame comes only because I know that I'm saying bad things, and that saying such things is a falling short of my potential.

It is unhealthy for both of us to be near each other. He gets upset at my dislike for him, and I get annoyed at his presence. When he is not in my life at all, I am much happier. He thinks we should stay close because we're family. He believes that even if a family member committed murder, another family member should go on the stand and do anything --including lying-- to get that person off the hook, simply because that person is family. I don't. I believe that if you commit murder, no matter who you are, to hell with you.

I digress.

I could also explain that my brother has social and cognitive problems, that have gone undiagnosed all his life, until the doctors found that nice little category called "Pervasive Developmental Disorder." My brother has issues. I should feel pity and excuse him for lying about me and stealing some of my stuff because of his issues. Because he "doesn't understand things the way [I] do."

I'm sick of hearing the excuses. I'm sick of being the one to accomodate.

I get extremely annoyed at my mother when she tells me that I "have to treat him better" because "he's [my] brother," because she only maintains regular contact with two of her six siblings. I do not feel that some fluke of genetics is a reason to pretend to like someone all my life and consequently be miserable because of it. I want it to stop.

I had enough of it this visit.

Today, at 7 am, I was chomping at the bit to get back to NY, back to avoiding the whole family scenario until next time I have to go down there.

At this point in time, I don't know when I'll be ready to go next.

I don't want it anymore.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Home.


I have a new home. I am here now, sitting on my green carpet, because at the moment I am senza desk (thank heaven for laptops). Anyway, pictures. I want to show off my new home. It's exactly what I want in a home. So the tour begins. Welcome to Deposit, NY. Welcome to my house. The whole thing isn't mine; it's shared with 3 other families. My windows are on the first floor on the right in this picture. Notice the flowers and the white picket fences. I was as tickled as Sonja was to have white picket fences. hurrah!


Our tour continues by going in the front door into the front entryway, which is covered in... red and white velvet wallpaper. Dad calls it whore-house wallpaper, but that's because he had the same stuff in the entryway of a really sleazy apartment he had once. But in this house, it's old-fashioned and quaint and cute and stuff. My doors are on the right wall. The first one is vestigial (sorta), but the second one works. The second goes into my living room.



This is the living room. The door on the left is the aforementioned door. The doorways look into a sunporch (on the right) and a kitchen (on the left).
The other side of the living room has shelves and a TV and stuff, as you can see. It's so nice and homey and antique-y.

And more than anything, I love my built-in hutch. It's soooo cute. I still haven't figured out what to put in it, but I luuuuuurve it.

Cinnamon likes the couch best. I wish I could have her stay, but she would miss her Mommy (whose leg is seen here) and Daddy.





And my kitchen... I love my kitchen. The stove is now in its proper place, because Dad finally hooked it up and now I have gas (huh huh, she said gas). There is NO counter space, but it's still livable, because it's so purty. And white. have you noticed the white? Okay then. I know it seems colorless, but my very first apartment was almost all white, with touches of color here and there, and because of it, I have developed an abnormal affection for white paint. So when I saw how white this house was, I was happy.


And here is where I sleep. Note the aforementioned slightly vestigial door. Note the wood paneling on the walls. The living room has the same walls, except they're painted white. And I know the carpet is hideous, putrid green, but for some reason it doesn't offend me all that much, if at all. That alone impresses me, because normally I place a lot of emphasis on color. But here it just seems natural. Kinda grass-like. And because everything I own comes together so nicely with the carpet, I'm happy.

Things I know that I will complain about in the future:

  • There is NO counter-space. Period. At all.
  • There is one closet, and it's a utility closet on the porch. You can see the other excuse for a closet that I have in the bedroom, which is a quasi-wardrobe, but with no place to hang things like full-length dresses. So I'm thinking of trying to rig something up, but I haven't figured out what yet, or how.

But all that is okay. For now I'm going to sit on my porch....

and enjoy the magnificent scenery in this area.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

I don't get it.

(Don't fret, folks. I moved into the apartment today but forgot a whole mother lode of stuff at my parents, so I came back for an evening and will return tomorrow... on to blog!)

There are some things I just don't get. Usually I can derive extreme amusement out of these things. Today's events amused me quite well. It happened as follows, with minor exaggeration added to enhance effect.

Mom and I went to Target to pick up some of the things I didn't realize I needed for my new, awesome apartment (such as an outdoor garbage can), and Mom saw a package of washcloths on sale. She got all excited and snatched them up, proud of her purchase. Then she came home to show Dad. An approximation of the conversation follows:

Mom: "Look, I got some new washcloths!"
Dad, looking puzzled: "umm, gee, that's great. I didn't know we needed any."
Mom: "Now we don't have to use the ones that go with the towels!"
Dad, looking even more bewildered: "huh???"
Mom: "well, if you use them, then they get all--"
Dad, cutting her off: "--USED? oh, wait, I get it. It's like leaving the plastic on the lampshade."
Mom: "That's what NORMAL people do!"
Dad, ever more gleeful at his mockery: "no one in this house is qualified to describe a state of normalcy!"

Then I started ranting about some of Mom's other habits and giggling. (And, yes, she actually DID leave the plastic on the lampshades for... years. Never mind that there are warnings about it being a fire hazard and her father is a retired firefighter.) For example: you know those rugs that come with cars to prevent the floor of the car from getting dirty? Well, Mom buys rugs to put ON TOP OF said rugs, ostensibly to keep the rugs clean. When I inherited her old car, I immediately disposed of the top layer of rugs, and she didn't seem to understand why I didn't want two layers of rugs on top of my already-carpeted car floor.

Maybe she'd enjoy a clean room between our house and the garage, so that her car will never get dirty. THAT would be funny. But I'd better not mention it to her, or it just might get done.

That reminded me of a conversation JJ had with her grandmother a while back. Grandmother had gotten a whole bunch of TV dinners, and JJ asked her if she's enjoying them. Grandmother replied that she hadn't had any yet, and didn't want to, because once she ate them, she wouldn't have them anymore.

I don't get it. But I am definitely amused, and the amusement these people provide for me only increases my affection for them.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

type A.

Things I have accomplished today:
  • packed up all the books on my bookshelves and armoire.
  • packed up all my winter clothes.
  • gotten cleaning and living supplies for my apartment at Target.
  • gathered and packed bedding.
  • acquired cable and broadband internet for myself, beginning Tuesday.
  • maintained a positive attitude for the most part.

Things I have to get done before tomorrow:

  • get a planner. mine ran out.
  • clear out armoire completely.
  • find a way to pack the important decorations.
  • gather lamps together.

oh boy, it's busy! We load the big ole truck tomorrow, and we move Saturday morning. I'll have internet again on Tuesday. Oh boy! :)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

meltdown

Today it hit me.

I. am. alone.

So many stupid, little things went wrong today, and I couldn't explain them to anyone so that they'd understand. Dinner time happened, and I melted. I just couldn't take it anymore. I still can't take it.

I'm alone. There is nothing, no where, that I belong and am welcome.

I no longer have my haven with JJ in Philly. It's gone. I moved out completely, except for a bra and a couple pairs of underwear, I think. Maybe a pair of socks. (I forgot to check the hamper...)

I don't have my keys for my new place yet, so it's not really mine.

And at my parents' house, I'm welcome to visit, but it's not my home either. My room, even though everything is still in it, is no longer my sanctuary. It's my temporary guest-room, nicely furnished. And in the next few days, I have to pack it all and leave it, and never call it completely mine again.

But do you know how much comfort it brings me to know that my bra is with JJ? It's irrational how much. Craziness. I could write about the symbology of it being close to my heart, but I won't because that'll make me cry again. And I look like a blubbering mess of boogers right now anyway.

Tomorrow, I continue the purge-and-gather. and I pray and pray and pray for a strength through this. It's much harder than I thought it'd be. sigh.