Saturday, 16 May 2009

I see the light

At long last, I spy the distant shore...

These last three weeks have been insane. I'm sorry if I bore you with my horror stories of finals, but I have nothing else to talk about. Really, I wish there was something more interesting to tell you, but you'll have to make do.

Summer is getting close. I am drowning in homework, and the only thing that keeps me afloat is the thought that there must be an end to this misery. For about a week now, the Facebook statuses constantly read something like this:

SOOO close to being done!
Stats, psych, and then home for the summer.
Study study study! Sheer determination for all As!
Boring updating, two more exam left + one paper!
Two down, two to go + packing + a broken computer
Advice of the day: Never drink 3 amps, 2 Starbucks frapps in 3 hours.
1 down 3 to go
One final down, two to go.
One more left. And then...
One final down, four more to go. waiting for Monday to be over and done with
Almost there.
Sanna is hoping it will go away if she closes her eyes.

Finals have taught me many things. It is possible to write a six-page poem in one night. It is also possible to write fully-formed and perfectly legible sentences, even when your brain has stopped working. For example, I stayed up all night working on the poem, and I wrote my analysis of it at 7 in the morning, since I was already awake. Somehow, it was perfectly written. I am all for mind/body connectedness, but I think there may be something to the Greeks' mind/body dualism.

It is very strange to look out the window and realize that the sun is rising.

Haven't slept very much this last week. I pulled three all-nighters. It does strange things to you. You start to see things that aren't really there. You're constantly cold. You feel as if someone wrapped your head up in cotton. There is a disconnect between what you see and what you experience as reality. It's hard to explain. You'll have to try it for yourself. I have never pulled even one all-nighter before I came here. Well, I did for the High-school lock-in, but that isn't the same thing. I worked through the night to finish work, but not because I was procrastinating. I started out in good time, but it was still necessary. There was just so much to do. I wonder what happened to those poor souls that didn't start in good time.

I really do think I'm going insane. Everyone does, so close to the end of the year. You have conversations about nothing and laugh at things that are only remotely funny.

Oh, my poor roommates. I usually study in the living room, and I have left my things everywhere! A positive explosion of notes and papers from all walks and classes of life.

I have so many things to do. Tomorrow I am going out with my mentor. We will eat dinner somewhere. I also need to finish up my Japanese homework (Rarii-sensei was kind enough to allow me until Monday), write a short essay on The Syringa Tree for my philosophy class, finish my final essay for the same class, pack my things and put them away for the summer, study for my final exam on Tuesday, and go the hair salon.

I'm so excited about summer! I have not felt this way since I was a little kid. Nothing like the fear of death and a low grade to get your nostalgia working. I want to see my family. I want to eat good bread with good cheese, and drink a tall, cold glass of milk. I want to hug my brother and his wife. I want to talk to my little, itsy-bitsy sister. (All right, so she's not itsy-bitsy. But she is to me.) I want to read a book for fun. I want to write something without anyone compelling me to do so. (As my father would say, "It's the principle of Law vs Grace. "For we are not under the Law, but under grace." You said it, Daddio.)

Before I got to Sweden, I will go see Tim and Sarah in New York. I am so excited. I haven't seen Sarah in ages (not seeing friends is the job-hazard of being international). Tim is the only person I know that uses lack-a-day as an expression.

Well, I must be off to bed now. It is late, late, late.

Your hallucinating sister,

(P.S. I GOT AN A! Professor Rienstra really liked my poem. She asked me for part two. That just made my day.)

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Epic Poems

Hello my fellow friends and family.

This week I have an epic poem and 500 word page paper due on Tuesday, a four page philosophy paper due Thursday, and a six page paper on Singlish due Friday. This ought to be a very interesting week with little sleep. I am quite enjoying writing my poem, especially because I gave myself quite strict parameters. I am attempting to explore the theme of a modern day hero, but in the style of Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene. However, I will be using blank verse instead of the Spenserian rhyme scheme, coupled with a liberal dose of kennings. I could not give up on Old English altogether, you grim ground-dwellers. Here is my invocation.

You sought once to tell the tale alone

And failed and fell. You slipped upon the words,

And cut yourself, but you, tongue-proud small child,

Persisted, tried again—And then the words,

Angered by such sudden, reckless treatment

Lashed out, ripping at the hand that writes them.

Their poison, black as ink, now dulls your wits,

Wracks you, stiffens fingers, forces silence;

Blood-marked, your swollen hands lies still, listless—

And you must call upon the Orator,

The word-wielder, to suck the poison from

Your purpled hands. Now bow your head and wait

Upon the Word to stir the waters of

Your crippled mind. Sing, O Deep Spirit! Speak!

Your servant waits with pen at hand to write

A story soft, finely fit for telling.

The only problem, of course, is that it takes a tremendous amount of time.

A very tired Poet