Wednesday, December 30, 2009

He drove twenty miles every day to the university where he taught and twenty miles back every night, but he said he hated the twenty-mile drive and he hated the second-rate university and he hated the morons who attended it. He hated the country and he hated the life he lived; he hated living with his mother and his idiot brother and he hated hearing about the damn dairy and the damn help and the damn broken machinery. But in spite of all he said, he never made any move to leave. He talked about Paris and Rome, but he never went even to Atlanta.
-Flannery O'Connor, "Greenleaf"

I feel like I've met this person who is never happy with his situation but does nothing to change it, and I don't ever want this to be me. Life is too short to only talk about what I think would make me happy while suffering through what is making me unhappy. I want to make the best of every situation and know that if things are bad I can work to change them, while knowing change requires action.

It's fiction, but if ever a paragraph is written about my life I hope the author won't be able to use the word hate so frequently. That's something to strive for: cutting out the hate in my biography.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Five Semesters Down, Three to Go

This has been the weirdest end to a semester ever. I don't like telling people goodbye and knowing that it's a really big farewell. I am looking so forward to going to Spain, but I wish I could have the best of both worlds and just take my American life with me. Immersion, I know.

I was thinking today about the fact that I often feel like my semesters are heavily weighted toward my English major and neglect Spanish. That's because up to this point I've mainly been taking Spanish classes with prerequisites so that I can only take one per semester. Next semester I'm worried I'll forget everything I know about English literature and come back with much-improved Spanish and no ability to write a critical analysis of a text whatsoever. I might even forget how to read books in English (highly doubtful I realize, but these things need to be considered).

The best thing about this exact moment though is how well I slept last night. I wasn't thinking about what assignment I needed to do today and I slept deeper than I have in months. I remembered what I was dreaming about, which for me is the sign of good sleep. I'm knitting and reading the things I want to read (which I was doing before, but now it doesn't stress me out). And so far I am 2 for 2 on A-'s. I hate those minuses, but I realize it could be worse.

I'm currently in limbo, moving out of my apartment to drift for a few weeks and become a squatter in Heather's wonderful new apartment. For almost a month I won't be living anywhere for a full week, but I guess it's all part of the big adventure to come. And I'll be blogging about this adventure here.

Stability is elusive, pero estoy emocionada.

Monday, December 14, 2009

¿Cómo se dice “uh oh”?

I leave for Spain in something like 26 days, and I'm freaking out about the Spanish final I have in just over an hour. It shouldn't be difficult, but reviewing has me thinking I'm going to bomb this test. What good have all my Spanish classes been if I still suck at Spanish? Oh well, at least if I fail I should have all the time in the world to make up for the things I didn't learn in this class when I get to Spain.

This time of the year is becoming very sad thanks to Spain. I'm so excited about going, but this week I've said goodbye to so many people and had to follow it up with, "See you in August." I'm not a fan. Other than the people who will graduate in May, though, I know I'll see everybody when I get back. And at least then I'll have less test anxiety for Spanish classes.

If anyone knows anybody at the Spanish consulate in Houston and can make my visa magically ready that would be awesome. That's one small (or HUGE) thing standing in the way of this trip, but it should all be worked out soon. January 9th is the big day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Keeping it Light with the Duke Family

My brother apparently has MRSA, a.k.a. a really scary staph infection. He told me this via text message, and the conversation that followed was too representative of the Duke family not to archive here. Enjoy.

Paul: Do you know what MRSA is?
Kindall: Yes.
P: That's what's wrong with my leg.
K: Oh dear. I'm assuming you went to the doctor?
P: Yeah
K: How long should it take to get better?
P: 1-2 weeks. I'm on a lot of antibiotics.
K: Well, don't lose your leg. Although, if you do we could get you a peg and you can be a pirate!
P: Wow. Thanks.
K: I love pirates! And you know I was kidding.
(Dad, who was at home with Paul, jumps in at this point.)
D: I can't believe you want your brother to lose his leg.
K: I didn't say I wanted him to lose it! I just said if he did he would be like a pirate.
D: I'm telling your mom.
P: It hurts bad and looks like a football and I cant walk. It sucks.
K: Can you even go to school?
P: Yeah I guess.
K: Is it your driving leg? I can't remember.
P: Yeah
K: Well at least you'll get to spend time on the couch watching tv. Watch some for me.
P: Ok I'm not looking forward to that but I will
K: You could read.
P: Haha your funny
K: You could even write a book! Paul Duke is a really cool name for an author.
P: Are you high?
K: I just believe in you.
P: Ok then
K: That's what sisters are for!
P: To wish for a peg leg?
K: To believe in you.