A Quick Word

"In order to go on living one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism." -Hannah Arendt (1906-1975)

31 December 2010

So this is the new year.

I'm not writing a New Year's post this time.

I've done it-- like most people do-- every year for the past seven or eight years, but don't intend on giving my half-formulated hopes and sad middle-class disappointments the chance to rot away in the blogosphere this year. This has been a wonderful year full of new friends, experiences, and achievements, and this upcoming year looks to be even better. I'm not setting goals because I've learned that if you just keep plowing along, goals you never knew to set fulfill themselves.

And so, in this spirit, I leave this as my one hope for the next year: That I really live it. That I meet its challenges with an almost aggressive aplomb, that I love every moment and cherish it all because it's life and I only get one to cherish. I know that if I do these things, I will meet every goal and surpass every aspiration. Life will take care of itself. It's the living I have to watch out for.

I leave for England in less that a week. Let's do this.

19 December 2010


Got engaged last night! Might post the story, but right now I'm enjoying the holiday and spending time with friends, family, and my new fiance(!).

14 December 2010

Buried beneath the work.

So, you know, I'm just clawing my way through finals week, hoping that my As come out intact and my other grades... well, I just hope they're as good as I can make them. I've got a killer Chaucer exam in a few hours that determines 40% of my total grade for the class. Which, considering how well I've done in Chaucer thus far, should not pose much of a threat to my A+. However, this exam is two 4 page essays and ten paragraph-long "short answer identifications." Ha.

May hope spring eternal.

04 December 2010

A Cold Weather Man.

I realize that I must live somewhere cold, somewhere it snows. People up here tell me that I'll get tired of it, that it really is irritating, blah blah blah, and perhaps they're right, but not right now. I love snow. It transforms wherever you are into a different place.

I like to think of U of I as three campuses: warm weather, autumn, and snow. The warm weather U of I has a pretty fun atmosphere-- lots of people on the quad flying kites, sunbathing, and playing frisbee. The campus population seems to multiply, and one can't help but notice that suddenly every girl owns at least one flattering sundress. It looks like this, basically:

The autumn U of I brings with it football games, my birthday, and Halloween, but its beauty is hit-or-miss. Champaign-Urbana can have brilliant leaves for a time, but then one big storm comes flying down the prairie, and all the leaves get blasted off the trees. No-pants make an unfortunate appearance during this time, as do a proliferation of UGG boots and North Face jackets. As you can see, it is also often wet during this time:

Snow U of I comes to clothe the barren landscape, but sadly not the no-pants. The UGGs remain, as does all the North Face. Despite these clothing tragedies, snow U of I is easily my favorite version of campus. The population appears to shrink, basketball has gotten in full swing, and everything just looks so pretty (and there's Christmas!). I'll give you two shots of this one, just because I like it more:

01 December 2010

Testament to change.

I'm starting to like Melville. This development in my personal taste has come as a shock even to myself. I nearly invented an imaginary friend simply to tell him about it.

Not sure I can muster enough willpower to plow through Moby Dick, but I've really enjoyed his Piazza Tales, which are surprisingly deeper than I had expected. I can tell that he wrote intentionally, with the idea that his works should and would be subject to scrutiny and analysis. The way he constructs his narrative always seems to toy with different modes-- poetry, prose, charts, graphs, etc.-- that he weaves together like clues for the reader to follow. I like that. It appeals to the English major inside of me.

As if I needed a way of marking college's profound affect on my life, here is yet another marker. Touche, university, touche.