Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Random library happenings...

So why is it that the weirdest things happen in a library? You would think that it would be the most quiet and boring place ever but there is always that one person that comes in talking really loudly on their cell phone or coughs up a lung then attempts to snort up, the once dormant substance in their nostril, in one tremendous action.
Well today, I wasn't bothered by the infections vagrant or the annoying cell phone user but instead was annoyed by the person who was annoyed by them. I was the witness of a random poll taking. The poll consisted of one man angrily asking how many people in the entire room of oblivious computer users hate when people talk on their phones. Well, no one responded...most just ignored him and honestly I was more distracted by him then by the girl who was actually talking quietly on her phone. Typically I am the first one to get upset by the blatant disregard phone users have for the comfort of those around them but this guy must have had some issues, in order, to be so affected by her talking. Needless to say the young lady soon got off her phone but not before she made a snide remark about the jerk to the person she was talking on the phone to. Can't we all just get a long?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Creepy eyes above the computer screen.

It is a little after noon on tuesday as I sit quietly in the MSU library where there are way more people then usual using the computers. I try my best to focus on the many important things I must do while I wait for Merrilee and Sterling to get out of class--arg! my stupid farmer keeps getting stuck behind the gigantic turkey! Anywho, I diligently plow the rest of my fields when I absent-mindedly glance up from the computer and directly lock eyes with a squatty, upper-twenties-ish guy who is seriously glaring --at me! I quickly disengage optical contact and try to resume my tasks while reassuring myself that he wasn't glaring at me but in my general direction. Time passes on and I am still waiting for Ster and Merr. I guess I must non-chalantly glance around the room a lot because as I attempted to perform that feat once again, I noticed a pair of dull eyes looking at me, over the top of a computer screen across the way. Instead of me being the one to confusedly glance away, the awkward pair of peepers ashamedly looked down at his key board. Ah ha!! Caught!! Should I feel flattered? Should I suspect some kind of scoundrely motive? Or, perhaps, I am just a victim of random acts of zoning-out?
Then I thought that I might have un-knowingly sat down at the computer he was using but had just walked away for a moment. I glance down at the toolbar and see a random document still there from the previous student. Oh, well. I guess I will never know. He took off a half-hour ago, never to return into this reality show I call life.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Group 1, My Contribution To The Symposium of Love!

Love is---un-scientific! There is no way to prove that someone is in love. There are no symptoms or physical signs, say, such as, ---a pimple, which protrudes at such a grotesque speed that you cannot help but notice it. You may ask, “But, what about those who suffer from ‘love-sickness?’ Do they not display some symptoms of love? Some people, who claim to be in love, are completely un-able to eat or sleep. Others suffer from absolute distraction; they cannot concentrate on anything but their beloved.” Folks, love-sickness is a symptom of the mind, unless, of course, you are trying to say you are --sick of love--; then that is a completely different disorder and you should be seeking the advice of a lawyer, not a doctor.
One should not make the choice to love someone, lightly. Yes. Follow your heart but do not mistake a fleeting emotional experience to be--- love. One’s emotions can be affected even by the slightest thing as food. There are some people who claim that chocolate has an aphrodisiac quality and may give one the feeling of being in love. A person’s emotions are so fickle and inconsistent that they shouldn’t be trusted, on their own; today you could think you are in love with someone but then tomorrow you find yourself falling in love with someone else; or you may just forget about people, and start making out with the chocolate bunny left over from Easter.
Love is a choice! We choose who we are going to love, how we are going to love them, and for how long. We make the conscious decision to love someone. Everyone has their personal preference when it comes to looks and temperament but ultimately they choose to make a commitment despite those things. We may be drawn towards a person through a strong emotional connection or physical attraction but we make the choice to love them and remain faithful to them. One does not contract love like it is a disease; how romantic is that? Just try to picture your lovers face when you tell them, “Honey, you are like a cancerous growth. I will love you till I die.” Basically, what I am trying to say is, we cannot prove that someone is in love because of the emotional connection people have with one another or that they find each other physically attractive.
Love---, itself, is the proof.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My term-paper!

The Past Lives!
At the beginning of the year, I thought that our semester-long topic of women was going to be one drawn-out discussion, after another, of feminist-Nazi patriarchs. I was not excited to read books and plays of women who were overbearingly, strong-willed and ridiculous. Neither did I think that the books about women, written by men, would shine a very pleasant light on our, somewhat, fair sex. I imagined stories full of women who were either annoyingly opinionated or insipidly stupid and wishy-washy. Although, I had my apprehensions, I tried to look past my bias and my utter disregard for anything not written by Jane Austen and I found myself enjoying the works I read. I was right! The stories were chocked full of women who were weak-minded and sheepish like Antigone’s sister, Ismene; or strong-willed and militant such as Venus, Antigone, or Lysistrata. But the stories that I most enjoyed, were the Tales from Ovid. He wrote about so many diverse women and circumstances that one receives a balancing of the Nazi-feminist and the sappy-sentimentalist.
As I read through the many Ovid stories, I realized that the past really does possess the present. In each story, although, breeching the point of being utterly absurd, it had its moments of reality. Which made me wonder, are women today really that much different than from when Ovid lived? Women still feel love, and hate, and sometimes indifference. They can, and still do, display fits of passionate love equaling that of Thisbe for Pyramus; or unending sorrow, such as, Niobe, the weeping stone, had for the loss of her children; or unalterable revenge, like the one Minerva took towards Arachne. Every single instance of passion mentioned in Ovid’s stories has been mirrored in the lives of all women, in every nation, and in every generation; just take away the immortal, god-like beings and the random physical transformations, and there would be a story of someone you may know. Often times, I have tried to imagine myself in the situations of the Ovid heroines; wondering what I would have done if I was in their place. I still do not have a clue.
When we were assigned the one-minute synopses’ of an Ovid story, I read the story of Niobe. I really enjoyed reading about her. The story of Niobe was literarily vivid and had a straight forward moral to the story. I was particularly drawn to the story of Arachne, for the same reasons. They both were women who had boasted of their “talents” and were then punished for boasting. When reading of their complete disregard for the higher powers, I cannot help but think, “I would never do anything that stupid.” But when I took a step back and looked closer to the women today, or even looked closer at my own self, I realized that boasting is an integral part of our everyday lives. We may not realize that we are boasting or that we have not given credit, where credit is due, but we all take a certain pride in ourselves and our families.
Along with imagining myself in the heroine’s shoes, I tried to picture what the relationships would have been like between the gods and mortals. In many of the tales, lowly human beings were granted immortal status just because a god or goddess took kindly to them. I realized then, that the boastfulness of both Niobe and Arachne, although foolish, was not necessarily unthinkable. They both probably knew of instances where the god’s granted someone favor and they assumed, by boasting of themselves and building up their pride, that they too could be given a higher status. Just because they were that good! How many times have I built myself up to expect something that I really did not deserve? Because, in many of Ovid’s tales, the main characters have either displayed good attributes that grant them some form of immortal status or bad traits that bestow life altering curses, Niobe and Arachne probably thought it would be a fifty-fifty chance whether they would be rebuked by the gods.
I really do not know why, but reading about women who are taken down a few notches is very entertaining. It is those payback moments that are so satisfying. Women who think so highly of themselves and boast that they have done it all on their own, finally receive the status they deserve. Niobe boasted of her fourteen children and how fabulous she still looked, after having them all. She did not give thanks to Leto for them; she claimed it was all because of her own doing. Because of that prideful claim, Leto took all her claim to superiority. Arachne, also, boasted that her beauty and weaving abilities were all of her natural ability. She failed to recognize her folly and she was turned into a despicable spider, to forever perform the task she was “natural” at. The biggest fault that both these women had was that they were not humble. I believe that the goddess’ would have been pleased with their success, if they would have remained humble and attributed their good fortune to their respective higher powers. There is nothing more attractive than humility. I have learned a lot from the follies of Ovid’s women, mostly that I am capable of the same exact foolishness. I have really enjoyed delving into the many classics about women and men, the age and youth, the individual and the state, death and life, and between god’s and men. They are active and evident in every work of literature today. What I have learned and will take away from this wonderful class is that--every past sorrow, joys, and love possess the every day, present of my life.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Life That Was Imagined!

What a task! We are given the task of explaining why David Malouf’s book, “An Imaginary Life,” is important to our study of classical literature. After reading the book, I am completely convinced that it has everything to do with classical literature but I just cannot pin-point what exactly makes it so. The fact that it is based on the life of Ovid is kind of a dead give-away but that is almost too obvious to mention. I enjoyed reading Malouf’s book because of its originality but yet it displayed many of the subjects we discussed in class, such as, the relationship between the old and the young. Ovid as the old man is thrown into exile, forced to re-discover who he is or learn where it is he truly belongs, and the wild child is equally discovering a new world, which he also has been forced into. In the beginning, the old man takes “the Child” under his care and tries to teach him language, an important aspect of Ovid’s life before exile. Words were sustenance to him. He desired to be able to connect to someone through language. The desire to connect was so strong that even spiders speech became intriguing to him.

The aspect of metamorphosis also was woven through out the book which cannot be missed in most or all of Ovid’s tales. Men were constantly morphing into beasts of the wild or birds of the air, as well as, women turning into stone or transforming into trees. In “An Imaginary Life” the child appears to be the main character who transforms but Ovid is constantly rediscovering his purpose which, in itself, is a metamorphosis. He is continually drawn nearer and nearer to nature. Ovid is also experiencing an unspoken connection with “the Child” who is drawing him closer to “the place.” Nature is drawing Ovid closer. He can imagine himself as a lake; feeling the ripple run through his body as the wildlife partakes of his life. The end of his life draws him to the brink of a lake and his transformation into the nature around him.

The past possess the present. In this tale of Ovid, he is constantly remembering his past. The day his brother died, he blames himself for because he took over his brother’s position. He was afraid that he stole the life from his brother as soon as he performed the harvest rituals of the family. He did something wrong and the gods punished him. The gods were everywhere and could be in anyone; even he could some day be a god, once he completely transformed. Everything Ovid did helped to further connect his past with his present. The wild child was a constant reminder to him of the years long ago when he was younger. Is the wild child himself? He was wild. He is wild and needs to learn to tame himself and possibly become someday a god?

“An Imaginary Life” is very important for our class in that it opens our eyes to the present mythological aspects of today’s literature. We do not have to narrow down to books that have a certain date and author, in order, to read about the five conflicts or to see a transformation of a character; those traditions can be read in literature from all ages, we just have to look for it and enjoy!

Monday, March 9, 2009

So, little did I think that I would have a day bad enough to be constituted as "a Bad Day" but I am pretty sure that today (or this week, more like) has been pretty bad. It started on Friday, I had to go to work that evening and I had a little scratchy throat but I thought it was just from all the bad karaoke singing i had been doing in my apartment. By the end of work I could barely stand, i was so sore. On Saturday, I had lost my voice completely. I was unable to talk to customers or communicate with my co-workers. Sunday came around and my voice didn't sound as bad but I began to sneeze all the time; it was at that point I was sure that I had the flu. I have no doubt now, as I lay on the couch with the look of death on my face. I have lost all control of facial functions and receive sympathetic comments from my roommates, who are standing at safe distances from me. Is it really love when they wear masks and spray me with lysol? The only good thing about being sick, actually sick, is being able to call in sick to work...although, i don't get paid for being sick. Why couldn't the flu come over spring break when my mom could have taken care of me? This is when homesickness really kicks-in.
Well, this is my reason for missing class today...I didn't think that anyone would like to sit next to my germ-oozing, sickly frame. Your welcome!
I hope to be well enough to see you all on Wednesday!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Made For Each Other?

One of the hardest terms to define is the word, Love. So many people have tried to express what they felt that it could mean but, at no time, has anyone agreed completely what the meaning is. To some, love is uncontrollable. The little fat cupid randomly chose who was going to fall in love and all they can do is follow that urge. To others, love is not just a feeling but a choice. You choose who you are going to love and there is no random chance about it. Then there is the "other-half" theory. Our whole life is devoted to seeking and finding the other half of our broken coin. This one is a mixture of both former concepts. Those people choose to love that other person whom they feel is their soul mate. In reality, I believe that love, all love, involves choice, no matter, what type of love concept you may think is correct. Each one requires you to choose to believe it is the right one, just like in the Symposium. Each of the characters described how they understood and chose to believe was the correct answer to the question of love.

"Love is in the air." Is love like a spring allergen? Can we catch it and not notice until we start to sneeze uncontrollably and our throats begin to close up from the itchy allergy effects? For some people, love is very painful and sometimes unconvenient. It does not come at the right time or even when expected...it feels like when a bum-cousin comes for a visit and you didn't invite them. You love them to death but you kind of resent them for making your live a little bit more complicated. Their love is cupid's little trick on them but they are willing to live with it because well, it is love. Then there are those sickeningly lovey-dovey types who make you want to gag. Every moment in their relationship is a testament of love even the little things; such as, they both like to sit down. "It's like we were made for each other!!! (giggle)"

We can't escape from love, either. It is in everything and everywhere. All movies from action adventure, comedy and even some kids movies have someone falling in love. Most songs are about love or the heartache of love and there are books, upon books, upon books...upon book that help us understand and deal with issues of the heart. We all have to deal with that issue, whether it is love of others, love of things, or love of self. Begin with a rock. Or should it be, begin with self? Some would say that once you learn to love yourself then you can learn to love the things and people around you; then again, some people have too much love for themselves. Where does it end? Can it ever end or are we creatures that are made to love and be loved? If you take a person away from all forms of human contact and emotions they will slowly die; even if they have plenty of food and are kept safe, they will die from want of love. Man was not made to live alone.