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Just a quick pop in right here. I’ll try to post something bigger in this upcoming week.

But yeah! I got a job! I found out over a week ago, started training on Tuesday. I’m employed a front desk worker through a hotel and I think it will be an interesting experience. I have already learned a lot and have only been working for four days. My schedule has been switching around a lot, but eventually my regular shift will be the C-shift, better known as the “night shift” or “graveyard shift.” I keep joking that I’m going to become a vampire. I think it will be a good opportunity for me and I think I will gain a lot from this experience.

While the shift isn’t ideal, it’s something. I know that I won’t enjoy the weekends off like my friends and boyfriend will, but it’s something. I already can’t go to Christmas in Texas this year, but it’s something. The commute is an hour down and an hour back, but it’s something. I miss my free time, but it’s something. I needed to get out of the house and I needed to earn money, so it’s something. I am so happy to finally find a job after six months of sitting around and moping.

And with any luck, I’ll be able to at least cut the commute down in a few months when I move closer, and I’ll also be with the boy. ❤

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No, I’m not stopping the blog. Not that I’ve been posting much recently.

It has occurred to me that I haven’t been taking my student teaching seriously enough. Or well, maybe I have, but I really need to work on improving myself and my classroom instruction.

So, among some other changes in my life, I need to put the 101 Goals on hiatus. Well, some are still going to apply – i.e., complete student teaching and graduate. However, things like painting or growing plants… well, I can’t do them right now. I can’t really focus on anything, in all honesty. I suck.

So, I officially want to put the list on a break. I’m going to pick it up again as soon as this student teaching thing is over, or at least when I’m not anxiety-ridden and confused like a rabbit who has been plucked out from his cage and is freaking out when a bunch of kindergartners want to pet him.

I will then do math (I don’t feel like doing it now) to figure out how much time I have left to my “1001” days.

Yeah, so it’s going to be like, 1000+ days, but I want to make this a fair effort. Let’s face it, I won’t be doing much of anything besides schoolwork for the next three months…

Sunday, I had vowed I wouldn’t go outside. It had been snowing all day, and though it wasn’t much – or so I thought – I still didn’t want to go out in it.

But that night, Ruu and I were the only ones in the apartment, and I knew I wanted to get groceries the next day. I had told her I would buy her some stuff, since she was short on cash and I didn’t want her to starve. Anyway, I was about to make hot chocolate around 8:30 when she said, “I really want cookies.” And it hit me – I wanted cookies, too. I stopped what I was doing, told her to get dressed (she was wearing pajamas), and we ran out to my car. Of course, I hadn’t thought at all, so my shoes were thin flats and I was wearing them without socks – so the snow could get in and freeze my toes off, and I forgot my mittens in my other coat. So I scraped all the ice off of my car and jumped into the driver’s seat, where I let out a yell. It was really cold.

We drove to Marsh, which, on any non-snowy day, you could easily walk to in about ten minutes. The drive is no problem at all. That is, unless you accidentally hit your windshield wiper as you’re driving and smear ice all over to lessen your visibility. And then you run over a low median because it was covered in snow and therefore looked like a pile of snow. We got there and back safely, though, rest assured. My car is fine and not dead because of it, thank you very much, and I am NOT a bad driver. Anyone could have mistaken that median for a pile of snow.

Anyway, this finals week has been the most boring, yet the most relaxing, ever. I don’t have my finals until Thursday and Friday, and I’m not even worried about them. So all I have to do this week is work, and even then, the earliest I go in (except Friday) is at 1:00 p.m. So, I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping in, watching Buffy (I’m up to season six!), and knitting. It’s nice and all, but I really would like to go home. Sitting around doing nothing is not exactly my cup of tea. I’d much rather be at home, baking our Christmas goodies, or visiting my boy, whom I miss very much.

Monday, I decided to ride my bike to work. It’s crazy, but I’ve been doing it for a while in this weather. Well, I was lucky there were no cars around and it was in daylight, but even my mountain bike’s tires were no match for slush. It slipped out from under me, and I ended up landing face-down in the slush-covered road. Not fun. I’ve decided that I probably shouldn’t be riding my bike anymore, especially in the dark and on the icy, slushy roads. Now, I’m walking. It takes a half hour to get to work, and a half hour back. Not the best use of my time, but at least I’m not paying for parking (I have a bone to pick with Parking Services tomorrow), not risking my life (too much), and I’m getting (some) exercise.

And then, today. I made an omelet for dinner, since I’m trying to use up what food I have left around here. It didn’t taste funny, but the egg texture seemed weird to me, or something. I got to work, and I started to feel sick. I made it through all three hours of my shift, even though Justin and Sarah said I could go home if I felt like it. My stomach was in knots, and I thought I was going to vomit a few times, but I was able to keep myself in check. I have decided that it was either my eggs or the turkey that I put in the omelet that wasn’t so good, but I pitched them both when I got home, anyway. Nothing like giving yourself mild food poisoning, right?

I swear I don’t have a death wish, but it seems like every stupid little thing is piling up against me. Karma? Pfft. Who knows? All I want is for this week to end quickly so I can stop waiting around in Muncie and go home to have some real fun!

You know what is a sad thought? I only have four days of classes this week, and it still seems to stretch on for eternity.

But do you know what is a happy thought? This past weekend. It was so nice to be with Alex and our friends. I only had one class, which was on Friday at noon, which I almost skipped, but I have an overbearing conscience that made me attend. When he got here, we went to the Artist Within and picked up our pieces. They look great, and apparently I got a lot of buzz about my awesome coffee mug. I’ll post pictures when I can – same with the pie. We had that after dinner on Friday, and it was so good! I will definitely make it, and many other pies, again.

I gave Alex his birthday present – tickets to the Electric Six concert in November. He knew about them, but I was so excited to actually say, “Look! We’re going, and it’s going to be great!”

We rounded up our friends on Friday night and hit the bars. It was a lot of fun. I really do miss seeing people. My social life is quite limited (so to speak) these days.

We slept in on Saturday afternoon and then picked Ninja up from the veterinarian. She’s now officially spayed, and we took care of her and Flareon this weekend for Jessi and Ruu.

The rest of Saturday was spent in boredom. We just relaxed and hung out, watching Shaun of the Dead in the evening. Alex had never seen it before, but he likes Hot Fuzz, too.

Sunday we went – drumroll please – car browsing! I need a car. I really need a car. I probably need to find a car by October 14th, or at least I’m hoping to find one that works. I like the Honda Civic, so I am leaning in that direction, but any good, similar, cheap car will do.

Later, we hung out with Scott, Sarah, Matt, and Geldes. We watched Taken and then the new episode of Mad Men. Sarah and I knit. When Alex and I got home, we weren’t ready to sleep, so we ate ice cream while watching Top Gear. The cats sat on either side of us. It was rather sweet.

I had to work at noon on Monday, and I was rather morose about it. Usually I work at one, but I had been talked into coming in an hour early. I would have rather not worked at all. Going to work after saying goodbye is a sad thing.

Classes and work are going all right this week, I guess. I wonder sometimes if I shouldn’t have moved off campus. I would be closer to where I spend all my time, and I would be able to go back to my room any time I want… but apartment living is cheaper, so after all, it was a good decision. I think.

Surprisingly, Alex came up today. I have now inherited the rocking loveseat that sat in his garage. It has flame-stitch-patterned fabric, but I think I might try to make a slipcover and make it less flamboyant. I know it was only two days ago, but seeing him today was nice, even if he couldn’t stay long. I just miss him, you know?

Among the rest of the things going on this week, I picked up a  three-hour shift for this Friday, so I don’t get a day off until Sunday, and after that, it’s next Friday. I have to wake up super early tomorrow to catch the bus because I’m going to the high school tomorrow and meeting my supervising teacher. Also, my copy of the Canterbury Tales got lost in the mail somehow and I’ve needed it for the past three days of class, and my laptop charger finally died. I only have 23% battery life right now, and that just rocks (sarcasm).

I’ve been busy again recently. My big project is due next week, and so I’m trying to finalize my interviews and other research, the work I’ve written so far, and the spaces in between to create one cohesive project. I’m not actually too worried about it, but I can’t believe almost five weeks of class and ten weeks of my time in Muncie has passed.

My mom is coming up Saturday to take my mattress and whatever else she can fit in the car. I’ll be sleeping on the floor again. At least Alex won’t be coming up, so he won’t have to suffer through it.

I miss him terribly; love him truly.

I’ve been working normal schedule, and then I picked up a shift yesterday for a few hours. It was nice to earn some extra cash. I really hope I can work some during interim and then I can have a decent schedule in the fall. I still don’t know what I’m going to do about the spring. I really want to work, but I don’t know how easy that will be while I’m student teaching.

The library’s a mess. They’re going to be laying down new carpet in a few days, so we’ve been scrambling to pack things up and move them. You wouldn’t guess that we had so much stuff at first glance. Hell, I’ve worked there two and a half years, and now keep thinking about how we’re going to fit everything into one place temporarily, and then put it back in its place later. Not to mention that I’m not used to having to sit and watch the desk in case patrons come up while everything is being packed up around me. It’s like the world around me is disappearing. I’ll admit, I’ve been having a tiny panic attack because of it.

I think I’m also freaking out because packing all our piddly things reminds me of moving. I am so sick and tired of packing up everything and going to a new place. My dad moved from Ohio to Louisiana to Alabama to Kentucky. My mom and I have moved three times as well. When I was a child, I had to pack my suitcase and travel to see my dad at least twice a year, and then come back a few weeks later. As a college student, I have moved from my hometown to my first dorm room, back home, and then repeat for my second and third dorm rooms. Now I’m in an apartment, and even that’s not temporary. I move out of here next week on Friday. I have to come back in about two or three weeks and move into a different apartment. Then what? After nine months or so, I’m going to graduate – and I’ll probably have to live back with my mom until I can afford my own place or I have a job.

Moving isn’t getting any easier for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling, but traveling is different from moving. Traveling, you can go see places at your own will (usually), and then always have a home to come back to. When you’re moving, you are just changing your home. I just don’t really know where home is anymore. I want a home.

Anyway, I’ve been a little glum lately. Life feels better than it ever did during the normal school year, but I’m dreading what’s to come. I have to look on the bright side, though, right?

Like Monday, that was good. Sarah, Thom, and I rode our bikes on the Greenway again, and we stopped at The Island, where the owner, a nice old man, made us smoothies. I had a peach-strawberry one, and I think it was the best smoothie I had ever had. Also, I got a slight sunburn – so no one can complain that I never see the sun.

Also, I’m on the first sleeve of my sweater. If I’m lucky, I’ll get the entire sweater done before I leave here. I hope so. I do a lot of knitting while I watch Mad Men – which, by the way, is still amazing. I just finished season two and I’m hoping to start season three tonight. Maybe I’ll be able to catch up with my friends; they’re only a few episodes ahead of me.

As much as I hate moving (one last thing, I know), I will say that I’m excited to leave Muncie for those few weeks. I get to spend time with the family, and my boy, and I might even get the chance to drive or sleep in. I’m going to try to enjoy as much of the summer as I have left.

My classes are over.

Next week is all finals and shifts at work.

Next week is packing, the tearing down of the room I have so nicely made for myself.

Next week is the realization that some things in my life are going to be different in a week, a month, a year.

I am joyous, and I am scared.

I am packing my books into a box, and April is ending.

So I just want to leave April with this poem, like April began. My Aunt Jo introduced me to this poem some number of years ago, but can’t really remember when. It’s just there, and it’s a poem that comes into my mind at times, and I smile. It is beautiful, and not many people I know have heard it. Sort of a secret.

Well, not anymore.

“Always”
Mark Strand

– for Charles Simic

Always so late in the day
in their rumpled clothes, sitting
around a table lit by a single bulb,
the great forgetters were hard at work.
They tilted their heads to one side, closing their eyes.
Then a house disappeared, and a man in his yard with all his flowers in a row.
The moon was next to go.
The great forgetters wrinkled their brows.
Then Florida went and San Francisco
where tugs and barges leave
small gleaming scars across the Bay.
One of the great forgetters struck a match.
Gone were the harps of beaded lights
that vault the rivers of New York.
Another filled his glass
and that was it for crowds at evening
under sulfur-yellow streetlamps coming on.
And afterwards Bulgaria was gone, and then Japan.
‘Where will it end?’ one of them said.
‘Such difficult work, pursuing the fate
of everything known,’ said another.
‘Yes,’ said a third, ‘down to the last stone,
and only the cold zero of perfection
left for the imagination.’
The great forgetters slouched in their chairs.
Suddenly Asia was gone, and the evening star
and the common sorrows of the sun.
One of them yawned. Another coughed.
The last one gazed at the window:
not a cloud, not a tree,
the blaze of promise everywhere.

I returned to school today after a week in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. I spent it with Alex and five of our friends, as I wrote about previously. We discovered and ate Bojangles’ biscuits for the first time, played board games, shopped at Food Lion (we’ve never seen any of those before, either), listened to mix CDs on the car rides (and sang along), visited Fort Macon, ate cheesecake and leftover Bojangles’ fried chicken for breakfast (though not the same morning), slept until noon most days, collected seashells, sank our toes into the sand, watched the sunsets…

… went to the aquarium and saw all sorts of neat things – I loved the jellyfish…

… flew kites on the beach (coincidentally, #50 on my list!)…

… and most of all, escaped. We (or at least, most of us) ditched our laptops, turned off our alarms, breathed fresh air, connected with nature and with ourselves, and relaxed. I feel like I bonded with everyone a bit better, and even if we were together all week, there was no agitation or arguing. We forgot about homework, stress, and the pressures we deal with constantly –  no tears, no anxiety.

We were completely and utterly happy. I loved it.

The other day, Alex showed up at my door with these.

I don’t often receive flowers, and he hadn’t given me any in a long time, so this was a lovely surprise. He is really sweet.

Later, we ate dinner at a tapas restaurant, BARcelona. The food was absolutely delicious, and I’d definitely recommend it. Hopefully it won’t be  the last time I visit.

The past semester has been a rough one. I had to adapt to a lot of changes I wasn’t used to, and I had to deal with old stresses. I’ll admit that I probably cried a lot more this semester than the past four. In fact, the first week of classes, I probably cried every day. I was miserable, but I’ve made it through.

I was on Opening Committee, like I wrote about before, and it was fun to work with my friends. It was a little frustrating because some people didn’t work as hard as others, and the elevator was broke for our move-in, it was fixed, and then it broke again after we moved all the incoming freshmen (and then it wasn’t repaired until Thanksgiving or so). We went to the awards ceremony, and even though we didn’t win “Best Decorated,” we won “Most Knowledgeable,” which I guess is fine because brains trumps beauty any day.

Anyway, it was hard not living in the Honors dorms, mainly because the new residents are dumb, lazy, greedy, and loud. I often have to wake up around 5:45 to go to work, and my neighbors would be screaming at each other at 1:00 in the morning. There is so much disrespect on my floor, and I’m really just tired of it and I can’t wait to move out.

In addition to that, there’s a girl who lives on my floor, has a lot of classes with me, and was my confidant at some time basically gave me flashbacks to middle school/high school. Guh. I’m working on putting that behind me, even though we’ll have two classes together next semester and we have a lot of mutual friends. But even more so, I can’t wait to move out of Botsford/Swinford. Ruu, Faryn, and I want to move to an apartment together, and I think Jessi’s in on it too. We just need to finalize everything, pick either Silvertree or University, and sign a lease.

I celebrated one year at Ed Resources. I still love it, though there were some rough days, and not everyone works to their full potential. I’ve been working very hard, and I think my supervisors have taken notice. Julie says she’s going to allow me to have every other Saturday off next semester – I’m really excited! I’ll actually have free weekends for the first time since I started my job!

My classes were a mixed bag. All of them were challenging in their own right, except for creative writing, I think. It was fun because Ruu and Zach were there, and we made some new friends, too. People really liked my writing, and it sparked my then-dead writer’s block. I think it’s back momentarily, but I’m going to try to write more, and possibly get published.

I hated my Early American Literature class. The first day, the professor said we had to have six novels for the class, but hadn’t submitted the book list to the store. Thus, I thought I had bought all of my books for the semester, and at that moment, I wanted to throw myself in front of a bus. Being an English major sucks because you have to buy a dozen or so books and then you can’t sell them back for anything. Then, this same class went online for the last two months of class because the professor was on maternity leave. I know that having a baby is difficult, but she made it very inconvenient for all her students to not update grades when they were supposed to be.

My debate class was difficult at first, but then it became a lot of fun. I don’t know what it was that changed the climate in that room, but we all became very relaxed around each other. My final was a presentation of a logo I designed for BSU’s Knit/Crochet Community. It’s not everyday you can combine something you love into something for a grade.

My language and society class was boring, but not complicated. I’m just frustrated now because the professor hasn’t updated something pertaining to the class, and it is keeping me from registering for one of my classes next semester, which then might keep me at this college for another semester or two. Rawr.

The group-decision-making class was rather pointless, but I liked how we were in small groups throughout the class and had to work together. However, I felt like I had taken a dozen classes on group work before, and even though I did learn some things, I still prefer to work on a task on my own.

Then there was the class where we focused on teaching reading in the classroom. I learned a lot from this class, and it’s probably one of the most helpful courses I’ve taken at this school. However, I still only got a B for my work. Oh well, all the rest of my classes gave me As, and I’m still kicking ass and taking names when it comes to school.

One of my big adjustments was the fact that Alex moved to Dehority, where a lot of my other good friends, like Sarah, Thom, Geldes, Nick, and Scott moved. For the past couple of years, we’ve been in close proximity; my freshman year, I was in the dorm next door, and my sophomore year, we were in the same building. Often, I’d come back from class and he’d be in the lounge and greet me with a hug and a kiss, or vice versa. I really struggled with it the first month or so, but we’ve made it work. We’ll often meet for dinner, and we spend a lot of time alone or with other friends, but we at least try to talk/see each other every day, even if it’s for a short amount of time. I understand that he needs his space, but I think that he understands that he keeps me from going completely insane with all the stress of work and school. I also think this is sort of a warm-up for the next obstacle we have to face; he’ll be graduating in May (I think), and so he won’t even be in the same city next year. I love him so much, and I’ll do anything to keep him.

So that’s how “Hell Semester” went. Not exactly my best experience at Ball State, but I’ve been learning about myself. I’m glad I don’t have a roommate this year, because I think I’ve needed the space to myself. I just need to wind down at the end of the day, stop freaking out so much, have a better outlook on things, try not to be so clingy with Alex, and socialize more with my friends. Most of all, I decided that I was going to cut down on my classes next semester. I’ve been doing eighteen credit hours (with a job) for the last three semesters. I wanted to get out of school in four years, but what’s more important is my well-being. My mom has even encouraged me that it’s okay if I go an extra semester or two, she just wants me to be happy.

And happy I hope to be next semester, next year, and for the rest of my life.

I’m home now. I had my last final this morning and rocked it. I’ll be home for the next three weeks or so, and I’ll see if I can’t write some more.

But for now, I’m just glad I survived the Semester From Hell, and I’d really rather not talk about it right now.

I’m not a huge football fan, but I like to root for the Colts and the Saints. They are both having fantastic seasons, but I swear this is not a total bandwagon thing. I have family ties to both Indiana and Louisiana, though I’ll admit that this year was the first time I actually watched a football game for the game. I just had to see the Saints whomp the Patriots, and I wasn’t disappointed.

I usually side with who I feel are the underdogs, and in this case, it’s the Saints. The Colts have won a Super Bowl. The Colts have been to a Super Bowl. The Colts have never lost their city to a hurricane and had to rebuild it.

Even after all these years, it is still hard to think about what happened. I tear up when thinking about New Orleans. I really miss it, because it is a lovely city. It has its problems, as all cities do, but it has a huge heart.

So I just wanted to share this article that my stepmother passed on to me. I dare you not to feel some emotion. This is New Orleans – not exactly how it used to be, but it’s getting better all the time.