Month: November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I love the start of the holidays. It’s a reminder of how important family is and how material things like Black Friday and all the shopping are really quite insignificant.

My sister is very young. She and I are nine years apart and she’s so excited to wake up at the crack of dawn to hit up the mall. Instead, I’ve decided I’m going to help my other sister get some important things done. As much as I love shopping, and I do, my graduate student budget has taught me a lot about things that are luxuries. I no longer feel the need to go browse the mall, and I don’t buy things unless I really really need them.  Also, it’s important that I keep as little clutter around myself as possible.

I have started to do this by donating clothes I don’t wear and only keeping the essentials, which in my case is a basic wardrobe and my books. That’s it.

As I’m home, helping my mom organize the house and maintain the chaos at a manageable level, I’ve decided my Black Friday will be spent sorting through my things and deciding what gets donated to charity. There is no need to consume consume consume.

I’ve already warned my family and friends this Christmas is not going to include a lot of gift giving. I would rather cook them something delicious, and have  a great time than exchange gifts.

So, as you think about what you’re thankful for, I encourage you not to worry about setting that alarm clock to hit up a 4 am sale at Kohl’s, instead maybe stay up a bit later tonight and have a tea with your mom and chat it up, or laugh a little longer with your siblings. Forget the material stuff.

You can’t take it with you.

I hope all of you great readers out there had a wonderful Thanksgiving, I know I did.

So So So Close

Did I mention I’m moving? I can’t remember and I’m too lazy to look through my past posts to check. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it because it’s only been on my mind since I started grad school. I know I’ve mentioned the four-year long distance relationship.

When I started grad school I promised my boyfriend that I would do the program as fast as I could. Immediately I asked my advisor if I could do my thesis hours away. When it was confirmed that I didn’t have to live in town and could write away from my university I was set. I ploughed through my courses and well, here we are at the end of my final semester of course work.

While my program is supposed to be three years, it can definitely be completed in two. With summers and loading up on classes, it’s doable. It’s not easy, but if it was easy then everyone would do it, right? The major issue I’m having this semester isn’t my classes, or teaching, or even the long distance. It’s my thesis.

I stupidly decided I wanted to write my first novel for my thesis. I also decided it would be a good idea to move, and hunt for jobs. My rough draft is due, the latest January 1st. I’m hoping I can bang it out before then, but with everything that is going on, I’m concerned. My goal is to graduate this spring, but I would be okay with myself if I had to push it to summer. Though, I didn’t graduate from undergrad in spring, and there is something magical about graduating in the spring, I think. All my friends graduated in spring and it’s so exciting, and everything is new, the leaves, the flowers, the moon. It’s fantastic. I’d like to participate in a spring graduation. Also, my youngest sister is graduating from high school this spring, and I think it would be so fun to have two spring graduates hanging out the house.

Okay, back to moving. Come mid-December I’ll no longer be in a long distance relationship. It’s crazy.

I was talking to my boyfriend about this recently and he pointed out that he won’t be excited until I’m living there. He reminded me that a few days after I move in I have to drive back home in order to attend a wedding and be with my family for Christmas. Then he’ll be excited because I’ll be back for New Years.

Oh, and he forgot to mention that I’ll hopefully be attending the MLA convention in Philadelphia for an interview. If you want incentive to finish a thesis and graduate apply for a job as a professor that requires a masters, so you have to finish it in order to work. HA!

I have to say the moving aspect of my life has taken over. I’m obsessed. I go on the Rooms to Go website daily and Ikea and Target just to see what furniture sales and options are available. I’m so eager to move I’ve already set up my electricity and have been browsing internet and cable packages.

While decorating is exciting that is not what I’m stoked about. It’s knowing that in roughly a month I’ll be able to see my boyfriend everyday if I want to. That I won’t have to have anymore lengthy phone conversations, that I’ll actually get to cook for him and and and and! go on dates! No more movies alone EVER AGAIN! ooooh we’ll even get to do normal couple things like hang out with friends together, and watch tv together. Hell, we’re just going to be together. I can’t wait. I can’t wait.

But I must focus. Thesis first. Excited second.

This upcoming weekend my boyfriend is coming for a visit and it’s the last visit we’re going to have as a long distance couple, and after four years of being apart, and many trips of meeting up in different places, and visiting each other. It feels so good to know it’s the last one. While we’ve had some great times, it’s feels really really really good to know it’s the last visit.

I must remember to focus. Think. Thesis.

Lack of Depth

I anticipated the reading to go better. Once again I’m the Pollyanna of the crowd. Why do writers feel the need to write about such sad things?

It’s quite possible I have no depth. The lack of depth is very likely.

Oh well.

I think, I’d rather have a positive outlook than always write about being sad. LAME.

Holiday Readings

Tonight at the library of my university, the MFA program will be holding a holiday reading. Last year around this time, the honors society and literary magazine hosted the reading and it was lovely. I’m obsessed with readings. I love going to them, and I love love love reading at them.

I’m currently enrolled in a course that focuses on Emerson and Thoreau and we are always talking about how they did readings around Concord. I have to say, I would totally have loved this. Reading your writing to a crowd is awesome. It allows you to perform your piece how you know it should be heard, and it helps you find places where improvements may be necessary. Also, you’re reaching people instantly.

I love it. I have a small theatre background and I look at every reading like a performance. While some of my peers do not feel the same way I find it important to know when to pause for laughs and when to raise your voice, and read softly. I love reading a piece that gets laughs where you want it. There is also the networking opportunities as with most departments professors tend to support their students.

It’s also very possible that I love the attention.

The thing is, I don’t just love reading at readings, I love hearing writers read their work the way they intend for the reader to hear it. Their work becomes alive and there is this supportive energy in the air. I love it. I love it. I love it.  Not to mention the holiday theme gets me fired up for the upcoming break. I love the holidays, and this readings is the perfect segue.

Okay, enough. I have to practice one or two more times and I’d like to squeeze a nap in.

Have a great weekend all. I’ll keep you posted on everything (the reading, the job hunt, the thesis, moving, and Frankenmommy).