Friday, December 28, 2007
"Why did I decide to write my monologue about writing?" I repeated, a bit hesitant. "Er...well, we were told to write about something meaningful to us and...I'm a..."
Say it. Just say it. Say 'I am a writer.' SAY IT!
"...and I am a writer, so..."
Why? Why the sheepish grin? Wasn't I proud of being a writer? Shouldn't it have filled me with joy to say such words? Why was I feeling out of place?
Moments later, when I learned that the woman was, indeed, Professor Hardspeech, I felt even more out of place.
But why? Why should I be embarrassed about telling people I'm a writer? It's the truth...isn't it? Why should it be so difficult for those words to come out of my mouth? I. Am. A. Writer. Three one-syllable words and one with, gasp, two syllables. So why did the words feel so foreign on my tongue?
Is it really so difficult for me to define myself? Is that what it is? I guess it might have something to do with the fact that by speaking the words I am a writer, I am effectively giving myself the title of, well, Writer, and I guess I just feel rather pretentious doing so. Because I'm not really a writer. I have nothing to show for being a writer. Its more like I fancy myself a writer. And by speaking the words out loud to another human being - and to a professor, no less - I am publicizing my very personal, inner fantasies. The secret is out. I am revealing a part of my soul.
But yet, I want to be thought of as a writer. Why does it have to be so difficult to say four simple words?
I am a writer.
Well, aren't I?
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I decided these are jokes I just have to share with all my readers. They are not mine. They come from this site and this one, so check them out on their actual sites if you want! Also, just a tip for making these extra funny - read them out loud in the voices from the movie. (and no, I did not proofread these or anything, I just copy and pasted, so any and all mistakes are theirs! Hee!)
Vizzini - He didn’t get run over? Inconceivable!
Inigo Montoya - Chicken, I do no’ mean to pry, but before you cross the road, you don’ by any chance happen to have six feathers on your right han’
Westley - This is a chicken crossing the road - do you think this happens every day?
Count Rugen - Chicken, how does crossing the road make you feel? And remember, this is for posterity, so be honest.
Prince Humperdink - Chicken tracks! I’d bet my life on it. The chicken is alive, or was an hour ago.
Yellin - Chicken? I see no chicken. (Fezzik, tear his arms off.) Oh, you mean THIS chicken.
Max and Valerie - Bye chicken! Have fun crossing the road! You think he’ll make it? It would take a miracle. B-bye!
King - The chicken’s going to cross the road? Won’t that be nice. Hee hee-she kissed me!
Albino - The road. Don’t even think about crossing. The cars are far too thick.
Fezzik - Don’t go chicken, I mean it. Will you stay and have a peaunut?
Buttercup - He will never cross again.
Westley: Death cannot prevent crossing the road, all it can do is delay it for a while. (~Andjam)
Westley: It keeps crossing the road! I do not think it should where it thinks it should.
Fezzik: My way's not very chicken-like.
Westley: You seem to be a chicken. I hate to eat you. Inigo: You seem to be a chicken. I hate to fry.
Westley: Hear this now: Chicken's will always cross roads.
Guess: Where are the chicken eggs? I have no chicken eggs. Fezzik, tear its wings off. Oh, you mean these chicken eggs.
Westley: There's a shortage of chicken breasts in this world, t'would be a pity to run over yours.
Man in black: Alright, where is the chicken? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide which side the chicken's really on and we both look... and find out if you're right, or if we feed you to the chicken. Vizzini: I am not a chicken farmer, so I can clearly not choose the other side. But it must have known I was not a chicken farmer, it would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the side in front of me.
Westley: I do not envy you of the headache you will have from eating it, but in the mean time, rest well, and dream of fried chicken.
Inigo: Why did the chicken cross the rooaaad? Fezzik: Perhaps the the other side... erode.
Inigo: What is that you're fluffing? Vizzini: It's a chicken-feather pillow slept on by an an army officer of Guilder.
Grandson: Can't you tell the chicken I'm sick? It'll bite my hand. I hate that.
Grandson: It's past that, Grandpa. It crossed it already.
Westley: Road-crossing chickens??? I don't think they exist. Chicken: BkAAGCK!!!
Vizzini: Ha ha! You fool! It wasn't a chicken. It was a penguin! I switched birds while your back was turned.
Vizzini: But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine it from its inner chicken. Now, a clever chicken would cross the road to get to the other side.
Vizzini: What happens to the chicken is not truly your concern!
Vizzini: It's obviously seen us with the chicken feed and must therefore die!
Fezzik: Road, road. I think it called to get it's car towed.
Inigo: Don't bother me with trifles. After 20 years at last the chicken's soul will be at peace.
Humperdinck: Clearly this was all planned by warriors of Guilder.
Count Rugen: Come chicken, we must get you to your coop.
Albino: It survived the road, it must be very brave. But no one crosses the machine.
Yellin: My chicken patrol has reported no such news.
Clergyman: That bwessed awangement. An egg within a jicken.
Buttercup: I've fried eggs more deeply than a chicken-killer like yourself could ever dream.
Buttercup: It'll never get to the other side. Westley: Nonsense, you're only saying that because not one ever has.
Max and Valerie: You promised me you'd never eat that bird. What chicken? Fish! Chicken? Fish! Chicken, chicken, chicken. Nobody's eating chicken! Chicken's crossing roads, and you don't have the decency to tell them why you eat fish.
Grandfather: The chicken is not run over by a car at this time.
Kid: Are you trying to trick me? Is this a chicken joke?
Kid: Hold it! It doesn't cross the road. After all Westley did for it, it wouldn't be fair. ...you're messing up the joke, now get it right!
Mother: Maybe it won't.
Monday, December 24, 2007
I've been lying awake in my bed for who knows how long trying to fall asleep but it's no use. I have too many papers looming over my head. I can't keep them all straight anymore. I keep forgetting what is due when. Too many things are happening all at once and I can't keep them straight! This is one of those times where I feel like I'm losing control over the outside world.
Okay, let's make a list:
1. Tomorrow, I'm going to finish/hand in my theatre critique and my nidda paper. I was really, really, really behind in my nidda paper until I got the smart idea to look up sources on the bar-ilan responsa project thing. Now I feel a bit more confident about finishing the paper on time. It actually really helped. I found nearly every single source I need aside from the sub-topic part.
2. I have to send in my third Dr. Peters reading response! I never did this! I also really want to revise whichever of the other two responses I'm not turning into my paper (since the paper one counts as a revision anyway). Which reminds me, I have to write my Peters paper.
3. I have to write my Development of the English Novel paper. I'm not sure when this is due. I don't think it's due yet, but I don't know! I have to check when I'm more awake. For some reason, this paper is really stressing me out. I think because I'm not as into it as my other English classes when I really know what I'm writing for all their papers, even though I haven't actually written them yet.
4. Kiddie Lit. paper, but that's really my last priority right now, seeing as it won't take me very long. It's only supposed to be four pages, anyway.
5. Email Beckman about the mock-up. Then, if I need to, do the mock-up. I'm also not stressed at all about this because doing mocks-ups is FUN.
Why does it feel like so much is going on? There are only five things on my list! Except that really a few of those numbers has more than one thing going on. And this is all separate from studying for my finals. Oh, FINALS.
I need to go adventurising and relieve myself of all this stress, but how can I go adventurising when I have SO MUCH TO DO????
Okay, after tomorrow I'll really be better. It's this nidda paper that's really stressing me out the most. I feel like I have the least handle on it. But once that's handed in, I'll be fine, I'll be happy, I'll be gleeful, and I'll be quite in the mood for ADVENTURISING. (okay, SJ?)
Monday, December 17, 2007
I understand that you want to do everything you can to enhance the experience those using Blogger have and I appreciate that effort, but I fail to see how the little Blogger symbol next to all our names when we comment enhances anything. In fact, it detracts from the overall blogging experience. It is distracting and unpleasant, glaring rudely up at us and taking our attention away from the words of the comment itself and, Blogger, you must seriously ask yourself which is more important - our words or your failed attempts at asceticism?
A Disgruntled Blogger
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Some people are lazy and they can get away with it. I can get away with it to an extent, but my GPA has suffered greatly because of it. I don't have a photographic memory. I can write a paper at the last minute and get an A, but unless it's an English test, I can't study for a test at the last minute and get the grade I want. But, of course, I study at the last minute anyway. Why? Well, there are zillions of reasons. Pure laziness, for one thing. Sometimes, like what happened with one of my midterms, I had a paper due the day before and stayed up until ungodly hours in the morning writing it, leaving me much too exhausted to even think about studying for a test. But my laziness has been getting increasingly worse the more time I spend away from home and away from people being on my back about getting up on time, getting places on time, doing my homework on time, etc. Even my papers, though I can get an A without trying, sometimes I don't and sometimes I make the stupidest mistakes that I never would have made if I'd given myself time to edit my paper even just once.
So if I know my laziness is hurting me, why don't I stop? You may well wonder, but it's like any bad habit. It needs to be broken and boy, is it hard to break! I am not just analyzing myself here, I'm asking for advice. If anyone knows a way to cure me of this awful habit of laziness, please, please, please let me know! I've had enough of letting it be the boss over me!
This idea dates back to my heroism post. I just feel like there's got to be a bigger purpose for me and for everyone else out there aside from "be nice and kind and good because you never know who you'll effect." That just doesn't work for me. I don't feel like I'm doing anything productive. I mean, it's good advice as a way to conduct yourself, but it doesn't work for me in terms of a purpose. Do you see what I mean? A few hundred years from now, I don't want to look back on my life and smile and say, "Gee, what a nice girl I was."
Nice. It's such a condescending word to use for someone, if you think about it. It means you don't know any better way of describing that person. It means you don't understand a person's subtleties and intricacies. It means you don't actually know the person. It is my belief that everyone is more than just nice or sweet or cute. And I guess I'm just struggling to find my place and purpose in this world where I'll be known as more than just nice and a good girl. And where I'll have actually done something of value.
For example, today in one of my classes, I decided to raise my hand instead of call out. I usually do call out, just like everyone else, but yes, I admit I have, on occasion, raised my hand (this is cue for you all to gasp). This has gotten me the reputation of good student.
I am sick and tired of being a good student! I want to be bad! I want to be rebellious! And no matter how bad of a student I am, no matter how many times I miss class or don't do the reading or am late handing in an assignment, I am always, always, always the good girl of the class!
That is IT. I have HAD IT. From here on in, I, bli neder, will NEVER raise my hand AGAIN in that class!
(Don't ask me how this was all connected. I'm going to pull a Virginia Woolf and just call it stream of consciousness. And I know it isn't really but this is me being a bad student and misusing a term. Hoorah!)
P.S. On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
To blog or not to blog
That is the question
Whether ‘tis nobler in the ‘sphere
To suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous comments
Or to take arms against a sea of issues and by not blogging, face them!
To blog, to sleep no more, and by a sleep to say we end
The gchat and the thousand statii messages
That gmail’s heir to,
‘tis a deprivation
that’s never to be wished.
To blog, to read;
To read, perchance reply.
Ay, there’s the rub,
For in that lack of sleep
What posts may come
When we have shuffled off this writer’s block?
Must give us comments.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
In the article "YC Men Inconvenience SCW Women" in the October 22, 2007 edition of The Observer, a disgruntled Stern student explains the frustrations of Stern women who make their way uptown to an event where the attendants are mostly female. Many events which take place uptown on the Wilf campus are situated there in order to make it easier for the Yeshiva College men to attend the events, especially seeing as they have night seder and classes which run late and may not have time to both end class and come to the Beren campus in midtown. However, it came to the author of the article's attention (as well as to the attention of many other inconvenienced young women) that even when the events are held uptown, very few YC men actually make an appearance. Therefore, she decided on an ultimatum: either the guys start showing up or these events should be held at Stern. Now, this is not a threat. It is not a punishment. It is not a, "you'd better come or else." No. It is merely a logical resolution to a pressing problem. It is not necessarily a bad thing if the YC guys choose to stay in the Beit Midrash instead of attending events. It is not a problem if they are too tired after a long day to go anywhere other than their dorm rooms. No one is criticizing that. But if that is the case, then why are we trying to convenience a population which has no intention of taking advantage of being convenienced? If, for whatever reason, YC guys don't show up to events, then why should Stern young women trek all the way uptown at night when they could just as well have the events on the Beren campus and that'll be that? It isn't like many guys are showing up anyway and the ones who feel passionate about going will be able to find the time to make their way down to Stern. This is a logical argument, a logical resolution, and done in a mature but convincing way.
Here is an example of just plain whining:
In the most recent issue of The Observer which came out only a few days ago, a letter to the Editor read as follows:
To the Editors,
RE: "YC Men Inconvenience Stern Women." While I take issue with many aspects of [author's name]'s extreme opinion as to how to handle the low attendance of men at co-ed YU events, I have two fairly objective arguments to make regarding her strong "ultimatum," as she so eloquently puts it.
First of all, to the best of my understanding, for the most part, classes in SCW and SSSB rarely go past 4 p.m., if that far at all. To finish classes any earlier than 6:30 p.m. on the Wilf campus, however, is an extreme rarity. Even my own schedule, which allows me to finish at 4:15 p.m. on Tuesdays has me going to 7:45 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. The point is, to complain about "vast oceans of homework and a pounding headache," whilc you have a tremendous amount of free time in which to do your work and unwind and do whatever it is you do to reach your work/play equilibrium, the men do not. The only time to actually do work at all is starting at 8 p.m., and that is only if you don't go to night seder, which brings me to my second point.
While knocking night seder seems to have become the latest fad at YU, it is still something integral to the Yeshiva part of Yeshiva University. Now, the balance of Yeshiva and University is in and of itself a very hot topic, which would not be very objective of me to discuss. However, the only time an event was pushed off until after night seder was for Torah Tours, which: a) featured a large male population, majority or not; b) needed to accomodate the men, who play a central role in helping communities on Yom Tov. Unfortunately, women cannot read from the Torah, daven for the amud, or count towards a minyan, three essential Torah Tours objectives. So by default, the men are catered to.
I am not trying to criticize the fact that the programs are planned during night seder, rather, that there may be a fairly reasonable basis as to the lack of male attendance at such programs. The attendance issue isn't a fact that should be embraced by transferring all programs downtown, but rather a product of causality.
I think that [author's name] is very quick to indict the men without thinking of the other point of view, and is especially quick to offer a solution that clearly does not solve the issue.
Oh, and last but not least, I have never seen a YU guy look as nerdy as the one in that comic. Come on, that is real Stern propaganda.
Indicting the men, was she? Since when did the author of the article ever say that men learning in night seder was bad? She merely said that since they have night seder, they cannot make it to events, which makes it rather pointless to inconvenience Stern women on their behalf. In addition, she was responding to the attitude of some YC guys at the Torah Tours event which was specifically scheduled after night seder who thumbed their noses at the fact that many Stern women showed up to the event, assuming they had come to meet guys. Do the men at YC really think this is the motivation for Stern women being involved in their school and in outreach and chessed events? Is their opinion of us so low?
And, by the way, many Stern classes most certainly do go past 4:00 p.m. There are classes available to be taken in Stern starting from 9 in the morning (or maybe even earlier) until 7:30 at night. And yes, there is a lot of work and a lot of pounding headaches going around. We'll all play our violins for the YC guys and their rigorous schedules, but we have rigorous schedules, as well. And many Stern women also have jobs and internships on the side. Just like YC men are busy, so are Stern women.
The intention of the Observer article was not to knock night seder, like the letter suggests. It was to come to a resolution concerning the fact that the reality is that way more girls than guys show up to events held uptown and it is pointless to inconvenience the majority of attendants at an event when it can just be moved to Beren campus. The author of the article's solution does, in fact, solve the issue - or, at least, the issue that the article is raising. The writer of the letter raises another issue, which is why are there so few YC men attending YU events and can this be changed? That issue is for a different article and is a different discussion. This article is merely about the events themselves and how to make them most accessible and convenient to the people actually attending them.
So this is my bone to pick: stop whining. It only makes you seem really immature. And if the whining didn't do it, the last line of the letter most certainly did.
Monday, December 3, 2007
The rules are something like link the person who tagged you, write seven facts about yourself, and tag seven people. Something like that.
In any case,
1. I am afraid of the dark. Or rather, I am afraid of being alone in the dark. If there is someone else in the room, I'm excited by it rather than afraid. You see, it excites me to be afraid. Wait, that's another fact. Back to the dark. I guess it really stems from a fear (and excitement) of the unknown, if you're going to be psychological about it, but yes, I do still need some sort of night light when I'm alone in the dark. And, oh, heck, I'll add it into this fact, being afraid excites me. It's like that line Little Red Riding Hood says in Into the Woods, "And it made me feel excited! Well, excited and scared" and then later, "and though scary is exciting..." Yes, that is me in a nutshell. I've always wanted adventure, I've always secretly liked dark and scary stories, because even though I get anxious about them, I find them exciting. Now, this is not to be confused with horror. I detest horror. But there's a difference between adventure scary and horror scary. Horror scary is usually grotesque, gory, disgusting, bloody, ghosty, and just generally ugh-y. Adventure scary creates feelings of apprehension, nervousness, determination, excitement, what's-going-to-happen-next-ness, etc. So basically, I don't like Tim Burton, I do like Steven Spielberg. I'm also sticking in here that I dislike sleeping with my back to the room, especially if I'm alone. I think I'm afraid of something creeping up on me while I'm not looking. If someone is sleeping in my room, I don't mind it as much, especially if that person is closer to the door, because I figure if anything is going to creep in, it'll reach that person first and I'll have enough time to wake up and run away. So caring I am! :P But really, it does make no sense because once I fall asleep, it doesn't matter at all which way I'm facing. But hey, when I'm asleep, I'm also not thinking about people or things creeping into my room so...yeah.
2. I don't like sitting near very heavy breathers either in class or in shul. I can't concentrate when all I can hear is breathe in...breathe out...huff...puff... I don't know why this is. No one else seems to have a problem with it, but I do. I just can't concentrate. It makes me jittery.
3. I really don't like the color yellow, especially pale yellow. It reminds me of banana laffy taffy which I think is nauseating (sorry to all those banana laffy taffy lovers!).
4. I have never read The Lord of the Rings. I used to pretend I had because I was embarrassed about not having ever read it, especially being a fan of fantasy, so I would participate in discussions with my friends about it (I have this amazingly useful ability to participate in a discussion about books I've never read). I have read The Hobbit and I loved it, but I was just never able to get through Lord of the Rings. Of course, now I'm moving away from adult epic fantasy anyway. I still love Young Adult fantasy, though!
5. I hate making salads. Other kinds of cooking is alright, but for some reason salads are just not my thing. I think it's because the vegetables are always so cold, especially after they were just washed.
6. I absolutely love snow. I don't like being cold, but I love snow. I especially love it when it snows in the night and you don't know and then you wake up in the morning, open your window shade, and - behold! A white world! This is what happened yesterday and it made me so very happy. Along with snow goes ice skating, which I love, as well.
7. I am anal about making my bed in the morning. The rest of my room can be untidy (though I always prefer it when it's neat, but I'm very bad at actually making it neat) but it makes me feel dirty if my bed is not made. I guess it comes from me feeling dirty when I wake up in the morning. I always need to rigorously brush my teeth and wash my face before I feel ready to do anything or even talk to people. This is why days like Yom Kippur and Tish'a B'av are so hard. It's not the fasting, it's not the long davening, it's the not being able to brush my teeth and wash my face! If I could just do that... But anyway, right after I'm done washing up in the morning, before I get dressed even, I must make my bed. I'm also anal about dirty things in general. I don't like it when anything is dirty, including cars with things all over the place, utensils that aren't properly clean, etc. etc. etc. I'm not obnoxious about this, but I'm very anal about it, all the same.
8. (okay, okay, it's really supposed to only be seven facts, but rules were made to be broken, weren't they? Besides, who created this meme anyway? If I want to stick an extra fact in here, I will! So there! Humph.) I have a problem with people who are sweet all the time. It's like when there's too much sugar in something and it just ends up tasting sour, you know? I don't value the opinion of someone who is constantly praising everything and never recognizes the bad. I mean, I know someone who was trying to prove that Iago was not the villain of Othello because she was so determined to see the good in everyone and every character ever. It really, really bothered me. I don't know why. I guess because it just doesn't seem genuine. I'm not going to trust someone who always praises me because that just isn't healthy. People need criticism as much as they need praise, perhaps even more. I'm not saying I like people who aren't nice. I'm just saying I like people who are genuine. It truly bothers me to the core when people put on an act. I guess this is more my own immaturity because some people truly are that sweet and really do believe in the good of everyone but it frustrates me when they can't see that there are things about me that aren't good, that there are things about other people that aren't good, that there are things about the world that aren't all sunshine and roses. I'm not a cynic and I'm not even a realist. I'm very much an idealist when it comes to other things, and I even do believe in the inherent good in people, but what I don't believe is that people are all good, that there are no flaws, and I know a particular girl in general who in high school used to turn everything into herself being generous and good and kind and...and you know when you get frustrated at old Disney princesses like Snow White or Cinderella that they're too good and too kind and too obedient? Yeah, that. Sorry, this number 8 was more of a rant than a fact, but I think it just needed to come out. Besides, it's still a fact about me. :P