Monday, December 29, 2008

One of His... One of Mine

Apparently I can write endlessly in this box, but not in the word document containing my Hebrew Scriptures paper. Maybe I should just write my paper on this blog? Each day can be a bullet point on my outline. (I have a wonderful outline, why can't I just stick to it!) Hmph.

How do I begin this story? I have a literature anthology textbook that my Dad's ex-wife used when she was at UMKC. He found it when we were finishing the basement and gave it to me. (It still has some of her old assignments and notes in it. One of which is a doodle my Dad made.) Anyway, it breaks up literature into different categories: Innocence and Experience, Conformity and Rebellion, Love and Hate, and The Presence of Death. And for some odd reason, I'm drawn to the works in the last one.

I'm half tempted to post dozens of the poems on here. However, I'll just post this one by Wilfred Owen (about WWI)

Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned out backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering chocking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old lie: Dulce et decorum est
pro patria mori.


Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori- "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country" -Horace

I keep hearing Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty, or give me death!" or Nathan Hale's "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country." How salty such quotes become weighed against that poem. (Not that I'm against patriotism, but it was a nice counterbalance to my overgrown romanticism.) So after reading dozens of morbid, wonderful poems I felt inspired to write a poem of my own. Now, let me reassure you that it is not profound or wise. It's more of a reaction: my own form of applause.


What can I say of death?

I ask with lines of dark poetry
still stuck in my eyes.

Here is positive knowledge:
People allege to taste death,
they bargain, they make careers on it, they twist
metaphors and cook proverbs
They accept it, reject it, embrace it
or proudly wear it as their personality

Yet, has anyone truly
perceived their own

Has anyone truly perceived
their own

Perhaps the latter is shallow
enough for children to swim in
However, sometimes I wonder
if the answer to the two
are very very

John Singer Sargent and the color purple

I went over to Joe's yesterday to see my new favorite marine, Owen, Daniel, Amanda, and Jesse. Matt came with and we all played poker. When Daniel left to take Amanda home the party mellowed out and we all just sat around, occasionally watching youtube videos and chewing the fat. (As Holden Caulfield would say.) Joe's house burned down and since then he's been living with his very wealthy aunt and uncle who happen to be in Mexico indefinitely. His relatives have a fantastic book collection and it made me sad to hear that they only buy them for show. I wanted to rescue a few of them, particularly this fantastic book on John Singer Sargent, an artist I admittedly know very little about. I was flipping through the pictures and found this one: A Boating Party. It's absolutely lovely. I wish I could be the woman in the white dress. I wish I could think of a good word for that pinkish purple. Burgundy seems to dark, plum to purple, and lilac to light. I feel absorbed by it when I look into those leaves. I am certain that if I had synthesthia that color would play Schubert and taste like something sweet and weightless. (I misspelled Schubert and one of the recommended words was sorbet, how perfect!)

I have another purple item of pressing importance. My new night gown! Like almost everything I own, it was my mom's. I am wearing it around the house today because it is incredibly silky and makes me feel as if I'm in a different era, perhaps the turn-of the twentieth century? I'd take a picture, but I fear that may be inappropriate. I'll have to scurry to a robe if anyone comes home! Speaking of turn-of-the-century, my historiography paper bled on that phrase because apparently one must specify which century due to the millennium. Isn't it odd to think that we are young in a new century? Think of it, in 80 years... people will be able to say turn-of-the-century again and refer to the 2000's and look back at us the way we think of those in the early 1900's! I hope they like our fashion as much as I enjoy the Edwardian Era's style. Isn't it odd to view a Toulouse-Lautrec painting, with that old fashion that reads, "La Nouvelle Mode" I don't like how quickly new things become old.

And now I must say that this is the most spell-checked post I've ever written.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Theme for English B

The instructor said,
Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you---
Then, it will be true.
I wonder if it's that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:
It's not easy to know what is true for you or me
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me---we two---you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York too.) Me---who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records---Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn't make me NOT like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?
Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white---
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That's American.
Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that's true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me---
although you're older---and white---
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.

1951-Langston Hughes

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ok, so I'm addicted to blogging.

Christmas break has provided a lot of free time, so I'm on the internet a lot. The irony is that I want to blog, but don't have much to say because I'm basically inactive! At least compared to what I'm used to with PSP and other crazy Truman things.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Down the Rabbit-Hole

I read Alice in Wonderland for the first time today. There was a Christmas poem Carroll wrote in 1897 that I want to share with you:

[From A Fairy to a Child]

Lady dear, if Fairies may
For a moment lay aside
Cunning tricks and elfish play,
'Tis at happy Christmas-tide.

We have heard the Children say-
Gentle children whom we love-
Long ago, on Christmas Day,
Came a message from above.

Still, as Christmas-tide comes round,
They remember it again-
Echo still the joyful sound
"Peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Yet the hearts must childlike be
Where such heavenly guests abide;
Until children, in their glee,
All the year is Christmas-tide!

Thus,forgetting tricks and play
For a moment, Lady dear,
We would wish you, if we may,
Merry Christmas, glad New Year!


What else is new you ask?

Well my next literary goal is Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I've been meaning to read the book sense we potentially were going to Georgia. It's one of Mrs. Ledlow's favorites. (Miss Rusnak) Sarah gave it to me for Christmas a few years back. I like to read books that friends recommend because I respect their taste in books. Although, there are always exceptions. Emily and David love Twilight and I never could get into the series. Emily and I definitely agree in our love for Harry Potter. I think I need to reread the seventh book this break. Perhaps that can be next?

Well, it is nearly 2:15 in the morning and I meant to go to bed an hour ago. (Mathew, I am not on Skype!)


Monday, December 22, 2008

No B Stings!

I got an A in Calculus!! I can't even believe it. Dr. Belanger is my hero... what an awesome teacher!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Darling Readers

I miss you, how are you doing? How is your break?

Today was loverly. I met up with Tyler in B&N and we walked around aimlessly throwing ideas off each other and bragging about our respective universities. Afterward, we went for coffee at this cute place in the middle of Zona Rosa and admitted to each other that we used to have intellect wars, a sign of our immaturity. As is said in Emma: "Misdirected cleverness leads to all forms of mischief." --or something like that?-- Anyway, we established that neither of us were second generation Sophists and resolved to respect the others opinion or argument, as opposed to attacking it with a hammer. (Nietzsche: Philosophy with a Hammer/Tyler and Lauren: Discussion with a Pic Ax" Well, no more. We've both grown up a lot and it was wonderful to sit and chat with an old friend/rival and hash out important issues without ego or pretense. I hope that those days are behind me. It's rather embarrassing to think of.

Rosie also came and joined us after awhile and the three of us chatted away till Tyler had to leave, queuing Rosie and myself to leave for Bolings (DELICIOUS!) We ladies chatted about more girly topics like boyfriends and skimmed over old memories. Sometimes I feel like I'm to young to be nostalgic, but I can't help it!

It's 1:00 in the morning. I should probably leave it at that. I have a big day with the Berger's tomorrow.

All my love!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Feel the Burn

This semester, I stopped all forms of exercise. (I always forget that there is not a z in exercise and thus always spell it wrong!) Anyway, over break I returned to Pilates and it is KILLING me. However, after only a few days I'm starting to feel like I'm getting back in my summer shape. And yes, I am definitely blogging to brag. Haha. Not in a "look at my hot body" (I don't kid myself) sort of way... no.. more like, I am finally the type of person that sets goals and sticks to them. I never used to be like that. Other goals I am working towards over break include: finishing my Appold paper, organizing a PSP KC get-together, practicing French every day, and not be on the STUPID INTERNET ALL THE TIME. I fail miserably at the last one.

I finished Emma, such a good book. My next goal: move away from 19th Century British Literature. I think Annotated Alice will be a nice start or Kurt V. Any recommendations? Shoot, Carol wrote in the 1800's! Well, it's a different genre.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I saw my cat Belle sleeping on my parents bed today and thought it would be fun to grab my book and join her. That was noon, it's 5:00.

I definitely have had a cat day: i.e. not productive at all... although I did bite off a good portion of my book and also avoided the internet (my addiction) for five hours.

Friday, December 12, 2008

five hours of sleep, four hours of essays, three hours of driving and now...

I'm home!

I feel like my title should end with... "and a partridge in a pear tree!"

Five things from each class I learned this semester that you may want to know as well:

1. Pierre De Fermat allegedly proved the Pythagorean triple, but the margin of the book in which he was writing was to small to contain it.
2. Newton's "On the shoulders of giants" quote was a direct stab at Robert Hooke,president of the British Royal Society, an uncommonly short man.
3. If you'd like to know the slope of the tangent line f(x)=3x+sin(x) take the derivative! f'(x) =3+cos(x)
4. To solve undefined integrals, you must always end with: +c
5. Tangent Approximation may be solved by the following formula: f(x) (is approximately) f(a)+f'(a)(x-a)

Chamber Choir
1. Nix on the vibrato in a choir setting - straight tone sounds best
2. RIGHT OR WRONG SING IT STRONG! (in reference to site reading, not performances)
3. Sulfage is not the worst thing in the world.
4. Lower ribcage should expand if one is singing properly
5. The value of listening... its wonderful to sing with such a talented group!

Francais Credit: Emily Fassi et M. Farley!
1. Je comprend francais un peu! J'aime le langue, c'est vraiment jolie!
2. Le passe compose est tres difficile! Avoir? Etre? Je ne comprend pas!!!!
3. Emily Fassi est superb! Elle est moi faison du piano ensemble souvent.
4. How to speak in the future with aller. Je vais au restaurant avec mes parents!
5. Le saison: l'ete, l'hiver, le printemps, et l'automne

1. The definition of historiography: compare the writings of hisotirans
2. History is not a circle, rather a spiral
3. History is a conversation amongst historians
4. Stalin and Hitler were filthy bâtards (je m'excuse mon francais!) -- even more then I thought!
5. How to write in Turabian. Kate Turabian, you make my life difficult.

Hebrew Scriptures
(this one will be difficult, I learned so much!)
1. Foreign Conquests against Israel (chronologically): Assyria, Neo-Babylonia, Persia, Alexander the Great
2. D. Hypothesis: J, E, P, and D traditions
3. Isaiah was probably written by three different people
4. TNK: Torah, Nev'him, Kethubim (sp?)
5. The Hebrew Bible was not mean to be a factual account of historical events, rather interpretive history. God works in and among it.

Ancient Greece

1. Dogs would be wiser than people if pistis (realm of sights and sounds) was the highest form of knowledge
2. Smiles are ontologically dependent on mouths
3. Plato is worth the hype... there is a doorprize for all readers
4. I know many second generation Sophists! (Lovers of argument, not wisdom)
5. It is a struggle to go up the cave... but it's absolutely worth it. (Dr. Burton is the perfect guide up the divided line)

Ok... hope that wasn't to obnoxious! My semester was so interesting!!! All my semesters are interesting... COLLEGE is interesting. I am never leaving it, literally. :)

Next Semester:
Hebrew - Appold
French - Seiwert
Age of Jackson 1820-1840 - Hanley
Medieval Philosophy - Burton :)
Logic - Burton
Chamber Choir - Robertson

Ok, that's that. I don't have the energy to proof read, so I apologize for grammar/spelling errors!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


"Un conseil d'être heureux semble sortir des choses
Et monter vers le coeur troublé." -Bourget

I attempted Claude Debussy at my vocal recital tonight and the feedback has been remarkably positive. The piano, which plays in four, is in sharp contrast to the vocal arrangement, written in three. It's a challenging song for the best of singers and I feel like I did decently well. I definitely wasn't perfect, but I wasn't awful either. I'd say it was one of my best performances ever, actually. Nicole has taught me so much, I hope that she goes far with her vocal career, it is such an honor working with her.

Also, today at church Amy and I sang Silent Night in English and German. After church Dr. and Mrs. Appold took us (including mathew) to lunch at Mainstreet Cafe, my favorite place to eat in NE Missouri. We also took the long way home and stopped at old churches and a school yard. It was a unique Kirksville afternoon and I treasure taking the road not taken with a mentor and friends.

This has been an incredible semester... my life is so full of glorious cliches and I totally do not care.

Welp, must go sleep in order to (hopefully) ace all the finals!

Friday, December 5, 2008


I am eating a delicious turkey sandwich with a tangerine! I put buffalo sauce on it, which sounds gross but it's very yummy. The orange also is aesthetically pleasing with the fresh green and purple lettuce. (It probably upped the caloric value a bit, though!) Oh well, it's culinary genius.

My weekend plans include:
Christmas Party Un - Dr. Haggerty's
Christmas Part Deux - LSF w/ Dr. Appold
Adventure to La Plata to buy honey from the Amish General store (with Amy)
Study group for Philosophy
Duet w/ Amy at Saint Pauls
Vocal Recital w/ Mathew

I'm excited.

Oh and here is a poem I wrote two years ago.

What should a poet think
of a bird who keeps flying into her

My kitchen claims the scene for
this queer flight of failure.
The bird, aiming to reach the room
will fly without inhibition and soon thereafter
meet the icy sting of window
and shortcoming.

Strange bird, it repeats this same method
like a ritual or religion;
over and over without deterrence,
without affect.

Leaning on my palm, I watch
wondering if I should extol this bird
for persistence or
laugh at its stupidity.

Such instances stick in writers thoughts
and philosophers seek for lessons
as poets hunt for metaphor.
Yet, nothing comes.

However, this queer scene
still seems oddly poetic,
regardless of how irrelevant
or small.
And with such a long absence from the pen,
this dryed up writer thanks the bird
for its metaphor:

even if she hasn’t quite figured it out.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I've been blogging habitually, as of late. So I apologize if I don't have much to say.

I'm on my way out the door, but I have ten minutes.

I really love my French class. I'm starting to hear the language better as well as understand much of the required vocabulary. Dr. Farley is an excellent professor and if you ever have the chance to take a French course, I highly recommend him.

Here is my attempt at a blog post in French:

Salut mes amis!

Il y a vraiment froid en plain air alors je dois mets un blouson et un e'sharpe. Ma copine Emily parle Francais tres bien et elle aides moi. Merci, Emily! J'adore Francais parce que il y a belle. Je dois aller du classe et suivre on cours de francais, l'histoire et le calcul. Je ne peut pas aller du classe. Zut!

A bientot!