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:: 2014 17 February :: 9.27am
:: Mood: pensive

I'm twenty-six and probably buying a house in a few months.

don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2013 15 September :: 8.47pm
:: Music: Man on Fire-Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

PhDing and teaching. It involves lots of reading. And grading. Eventually, there will be writing. This year marks my 4th academic publication, and 2014 will hold conference presentations 7-9 at major conferences.

I really hope there will be some semblance of a good job at the end of all of this.

1 orgiastical | don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2013 31 July :: 3.18pm

We move to Indiana in five days. I start my PhD in two and a half weeks.

1 orgiastical | don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2012 14 September :: 6.49pm
:: Mood: sick
:: Music: Fun: Walking the Dog

I survived getting sick from my students/colleagues until the end of week three. I'll take it.

I'm getting back in the groove. Things seem more like a clusterfuck, but they seem easier.

I'm taking Old English this semester, for no other reason than it's a degree requirement for a linguistics credit. I'd rather take French. With that being said, apparently two hellish years of French have really beefed up my language skills, and it's going quite easily. Perhaps I'll be one of those people who knows like five (useful) languages eventually.

Thesis. Blech. I don't want to talk about it.

Teaching is going well. I get their first drafts of their first paper by Monday at midnight. We're having fun in class, and they're all really good kids. I expect at least a quarter of them will fail the first draft, but the good thing for them about English is that we offer revisions. Lots and lots of revisions.

Other things are going well, but clouding the periphery--union stuff, graduate literary journal, other groups, non-profit work, academic senate/the eboard for that, too, and now I'm enrolled in a teaching academy through the university (only about 15 people university-wide were selected in total).

PhD applications in a few months.

I guess I should go parse some Old English or grade some papers. What else is there to do while being sick on a Friday night?

don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2012 17 August :: 8.48am
:: Mood: contemplative
:: Music: Fun: Carry On

School starts again in about a week. I'm able to get in my office on Monday (hopefully). I just had a student email me about the syllabus for class. I don't have it done. Prep week doesn't even start until next week, and I don't even officially get paid for my work until the week after that.

Lots of things going on. I'm the president of the Graduate Student Union this year. I'm on staff of our creative writing publication. I'm teaching, taking classes, writing my thesis, and on the board of a non-profit. I'm also probably doing a innovative teaching academy program, and applying to PhD programs. Of course, all of these things are unpaid, and when it's all said and done, I make less than minimum wage. Oh, the joys of higher education.

1 orgiastical | don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2011 15 July :: 7.52am
:: Mood: anxious

So many things going on. I'm taking classes and super involved in a shit ton of stuff.

Good things:

-I got my first poem published in an online Canadian Zine this past week. I don't write poetry much, so it was kind of a "I'll submit just for the hell of it and see what happens." It's nice to know that at least one person likes at least one of my poems.

-I'm the newest contributor for a fledgling online commentary website. No pay, but it's definitely more legit than just my wordpress blog. I wouldn't mind spending a few years of my life writing political and social commentary as a job. It'd be kind of fun, I think, just so as long as I don't get my voice totally edited out. We'll see. Maybe something will come of this, maybe something won't. Just another thing to put on my resume at the very least.

So much more is going on, but these are the things of which I am very proud. Sometimes it's really overwhelming, but I know that opportunities like these are what are going to make the difference between getting a job and having a career I love.

don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2011 26 April :: 7.42pm
:: Mood: calm

My life is set for approximately the next two years. Hopefully, with little to no deviation. I'm almost done with my first semester of graduate school. I just have about 14 pages to complete before the end of the semester next week.

I'm slated to graduate with my Master of Arts in English Language and Literature in May 2013. I've been offered (and I accepted) a position to teach two sections of English 101: Freshman Composition as a Graduate Assistant. I even got hired by the University and all. I get a small (small) stipend, and a tuition waver for up to 20 credits per year.

I really want to teach when I graduate. I know that I will probably teach composition (hopefully at a community college) for a few years, and then I'll think about a PhD program. I'll see when I get there. I'll also be able to get a job as a grant writer for an organization, as I will be trained in that by the time I graduate.

Things are going. Things are happening. Good things.

don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2011 28 March :: 8.21pm


Graduate school is easy. I started in January. So much less crap than undergrad ever was. With that being said, it's getting to the crunch time of the semester that I haven't quite prepared for because I've been busy doing stuff such as:

1. Working at the Writing Center 15 hours/week
2. Organizing a huge fundraiser for the Theodore Roethke House in Saginaw
3. Presenting at the Eastern Central Writing Centers Association Conference
4. Presenting at the Michigan Women's Studies Association Conference
5. Founding and hosting meetings of Anarchists without Adjectives
6. Applying for Teach for America
7. Applying for a graduate assistantship position to teach English 101 next year
8. Sleeping
9. Planning
10. Blogging

Between now and April 9th, I have a presentation and a 15-20 page paper to write for one class. Between now and May 1, I have a 12 page paper, a presentation, and several smaller assignments to complete. Oh, and probably about 2,000 pages of reading. Eh.

The library is my home skillet.

1 orgiastical | don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2010 11 December :: 10.56pm

I graduated from college today.

don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2010 5 December :: 8.49am

I turned 23 years old yesterday. It's hard to imagine that I've had this journal for about a decade. Almost more than half of my life.

I didn't really do anything 'special' for my birthday. It's the weekend before finals and I'm entrenched in some tough paper and exam writing--but I know that I'll get through it. I just keep chugging along and crossing things off my list and eventually it will be Saturday.

Oh yeah. I graduate from college on Saturday. I'm going to walk across the stage and everything. I'm graduating Magna Cum Laude (I think, whatever the second best one is). I get to wear a big metal, but not as big as the highest honors people get to wear.

Last week was a week of lasts: last undergraduate classes, last Kappa Kappa Psi meeting as an active Brother, my last band concert at CMU, last week of being 22 years old. I thought I was going to be a mess, but I'm actually quite zen about it. I will miss it, but I have the feeling it's just time for me to go--to move on, to do other things.

I will be a graduate student in January and I think being a graduate student is going to be easier than the last few years of undergraduate work. I'm only taking 6 credits, and they are both literature seminars. I'm waiting to take more until I get full funding at a graduate assistant. That is, if I'm still at CMU.

I'm almost done with my application for the joint PhD program (English and Women's Studies) at the University of Michigan. I'm scared to move away, scared that this could be a real possibility, but at the same time, it feels so good that I've come this far. They only accept 3 people per year, and that would mean that I would beat out out over 100 other applicants, most probably with Masters degrees already. We'll have to see. It would mean that Rueben and I would be apart for a semester, so that would be tough, but fuck, it's a PhD program with complete funding.

Exciting, exciting things happening. I can't wait until Christmas break when I can sit around in my owl pajamas and eat bon bons (well, okay, popcorn).

don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2010 1 October :: 9.38pm

I took the GRE today. The testing center is in the basement of one of the old dormitories at Central. It was weird. And dark.

I earned a 550 on the verbal section and a 480 on the quantitative section. I'm going to take it again in a year if I don't get admitted to University of Michigan's joint PhD program in English and Women's Studies.

1 orgiastical | don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2010 21 August :: 11.10pm
:: Mood: calm

It's the end of the week, but only the beginning of the end. This is the Saturday before I start my last semester as an undergraduate college student. This was also the first week that I have been on educational leave from The Company since my freshman year of college.

I spent the entire week devoted to volunteering at CMU's band camp: meal set up, instrument sorting, wind suit dissemination, water cooler wrangling, to name a few of the tasks. Tonight, I and several of my Brothers went to see Jeff Daniels perform a concert in the streets of downtown Mt. Pleasant as volunteers for the Red Cross. They were raising money specifically for their infant pantry and I was able to collect the largest single donation: a $100 check.

Standing in the middle of the barricaded road with my Red Cross Volunteer Vest made me think about what I am doing. I intend to apply for a joint PhD program in English and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan this fall (for fall 2011 admittance). I want this degree because I think it will allow me to have a job in the eventual downfall of the University English Department; but the real reason I want it is so that I can understand. I want to KNOW. I want to examine those socio-economic hetero-patriarchal hegemonic power structures so that I KNOW how to turn them in on themselves. I want to expose them and say "AHA! I've got you now!" I want to understand why things happen the way they do so that I can make others understand. I want them to be empowered so they have a chance to make a choice for themselves; to be able to have some semblance of freedom (I know there are several hundred theorists which would, at this point, as if freedom is even possible; Janis Joplin would tell me it happens when there's nothing left to lose).

But, at this point in time, an academic has just so much hold. There is so much to do and not every woman (or man that cares about these power structures-yes, men can be feminists, too) is going to be going through a university class which others like me will teach. What to do? Why aren't there more of us helping organizations like the infant's pantry? Why didn't I know that the Women's Shelter probably needed volunteers? That's how I can start to make a difference.

I was thinking this as I stood there under the street light as the sun began to go down and about one hundred people crowded around the small stage to meet Jeff Daniels. I stood there, holding my donation bucket, smiling as everyone walked past me, guiltily looking away because they did not want or could not afford a donation. I didn't donate any money simply because I don't have any to give; but I have my time. I gave my time and my thoughts and stood there, smiling, hoping that at least each person walking by thought about what it might be like to be a woman or a man going into that pantry, how he or she got there, and why.


don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2010 16 July :: 12.33am

I went to the Roethke House tonight in Saginaw with my graduate literary criticism class. I was so sad to see the state that one of Michigan's best poet's house is in. The Friends of Theordore Roethke (a non-profit) have tried to refurbish and renovate it, but he's not as well known as he should be and the money just isn't there...yet. I'm trying to get some of my Kappa Kappa Psi Brothers together to do a day renovation. It looks like it's a favorable idea. I hope that it helps!

don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2010 1 July :: 3.19pm

Today is the second day of my graduate class. I really like this class and I am one of four undergraduates, the others are teachers and a graduate students in creative writing.

I'm role playing Longinus tonight and I am prepared and ready to go! He is all about the sublimity of poetry and literature.

Working out is going great and I feel like a totally different person!

don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2010 25 June :: 9.24am
:: Mood: mellow

Summer Session one is done! I earned an A in biology 240 and it put my gpa up .01 to 3.77. Whateve. I start English 535 in a week and a half, but the prof already has us started with stuff. I have three days off next week and I'm sure that I'll be in the library for a while.

It's so weird to think that one year from now I could possibly be somewhere other than Michigan training for Teach for America, or I could be entering my second semester as a graduate student. Weird. Weird.

It's nice having some semblence of a day off. I don't work until six tonight, so I'm going to get up, eat, do some tae bo, bake some cookies, and just hang out with Rueben until I have to leave.

I think it might be summer now.

don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2010 15 June :: 9.37am
:: Mood: calm
:: Music: Train- "If It's Love"

I finally finished the first draft of my writing sample for graduate school. It's titled _Sister, Where Art Thou?_ and is a combination of feminist criticism, feminist theory, and historical christian texts. Basically, it investigates the question of why there are so few women writers and why, when women writers do first prominently appear in literary circles in the nineteenth century, they were faced with the fracturing of their "womanly" personality and their "authorial" personality. The great thing about it is that I'm sure I can expand on it and perhaps it might be a direction for my eventual thesis.

I purchased a tae-bo dvd yesterday with the intention of attempting it this morning. I've managed to stay at the same weight since my surgery and even bought a new bathing suit yesterday-a size 12. It's definitely odd to eat, be full, and not feel like I'm going to puke. I find myself being a lot less crazy about food and it's definitely a MUCH healthier relationship. I eat what I want, when I want-but I don't eat if I'm not hungry, and I still can't eat that much because of my stomach size. I'm okay with that, though. I can eat a hotdog (with bun) or almost all of fajita size taco in one sitting. It's wonderful!

I'm editing a novel for pay this week. It's going well, and is probably something I would consider doing freelance during graduate school if I can find the work.

A Year Passes

Beyond the porcelain fence of the pleasure garden,
I hear the frogs in the blue-green ricefields;
But the sword-shaped moon
Has cut my heart in two.
-Amy Lowell, March 1917

don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2010 24 May :: 10.46pm

I am two and a half weeks post surgery and I am doing very well. I've been eating solid foods for about a week and haven't had many problems with my reflux. I climbed a flight of stairs today without feeling like I was going to throw up.

This evening I had dinner with some Brothers and ate asparagus, stuffed chicken breast, stuffed zucchini, and creamy pesto pasta. I still can't eat much because they used part of my stomach for the wrap, but it was so wonderful to eat until I was full without feeling sick!

Summer classes are in full swing and I am enjoying my summer. Back to work tomorrow, unfortunately.

1 orgiastical | don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2010 28 April :: 10.10am
:: Mood: indifferent

The end of the semester is nearing and I am ready for it. These next few weeks are going to be a flurry of activity.

I just finished my last French Oral Exam about forty minutes ago. I am actually sad that I'm not continuing on in French, but I don't have the time. It seems like a waste that I'm just stopping after all the work I've put in over the past two years, but I need to keep going. If I just stopped to work on whatever tickled my fancy, I'd never leave college.

I have to meet with my academic advisor in a few hours to have him sign a modification of my major. I just need him to okay a few switch arounds so that I can graduate. When you sign your major they make you pick what electives you want which is dumb because when you're a sophomore you don't even know what you like and what classes will be offered that fit into your schedule.

I have class at two and three-thirty and get to present a paper on The Role of First Lady shaping policies and attitudes in the United States. After that, I have a review for Ancient Literature and a close reading paper to turn in.

I have a review session for Social, Liberalism, and Fascism at 8pm to finish up a study guide.

Tomorrow, I get to go to the Office of Student Life at 9am to find out if I am in the top ten for CMU Homecoming Ambassador for next fall. Then, it's off to the final Kappa Kappa Psi meeting of the year to finish up elections and install new officers. Finally, I have an interview at the Writing Center at 5:30pm.

Next week I have four exams and the my surgery on Thursday for my acid reflux. I guess I feel a bit indifferent toward the surgery. I've been living like this for so long that I don't really want to get my hopes up. The surgery does work in most cases, but there is a chance it won't. At least it will be a chance for me to relax during my 23 hour hold and get some intravenous pain medication.

Then, in just three weeks, my summer classes start. It's hard to feel excited about the end of the semester when I'm not really going to have a chance to relax; BUT, I would rather be taking summer classes than working at Meijer forty hours a week killing my soul.

Whatever may come, may come.
Whatever will be, will be.
I will keep going, I will survive,
Because all I have is me.


don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2010 5 April :: 12.09pm

I applied for a position as a summer programming intern today at the Chippewa River District Library. I need to get away from Meijer as soon as possible, and December is not soon enough.

don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2010 26 March :: 10.53pm

I will probably cut some bitches in the next few hours.

1 orgiastical | don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2010 9 March :: 9.40pm
:: Mood: accomplished

Spring Break is going well thus far, but seeing how I have to work the next 5 days, I'm not sure it's going to get any better. I had my endoscope on Friday morning (I love starting spring break by getting a camera shoved down my throat). They implanted a device called a Bravo Capsule in my esophagus three inches above my stomach. I carried a companion computer around with me until Sunday morning that gave real time readings of the pH level of my esophagus. I got to record every time I ate and laid down, and they will overlay that with my readings to judge if my reflux is bad enough to warrant surgery. The pH of the stomach is suppose to be fairly acidic (around 3) and the pH of the esophagus is suppose to be fairly neutral (around 7). I had a reflux incident on Saturday afternoon that read at a 1.9 and most of Saturday night I was below a pH of 4. Although the test is done, the capsule will hang around for a couple of weeks until it comes out au naturel. They also did a biopsy of my stomach during the scope because I have gastritis. The leading cause of which is a bacteria which can cause ulcers and ultimately stomach cancer if left untreated.

Before I went on Spring Break I applied and got accepted to present at the Women's Studies Interdisciplinary Round Table on March 15th. I am one of three presenters-of the other two, one is my former Shakespeare Professor (he has a Doctorate in English Literature) and the other is a faculty member at the Clarke Historical Library on campus. It's in the library auditorium which seats about 400 people and is the same place that they had Jennifer Granholm speak the last time she came to campus. My presentation is a Feminist Literary Criticism of Amy Lowell's poem "Patterns" and then an exploration of fashion in 2010. It posits that we need to create a dialogue about current fashion and asks if fashion is either an instrument of repression for women or a tool of freedom of expression and individuality. There will be pictures of Lady Gaga.

I am graduating in December and then on to Graduate School. I got excited today and looked at the Teach for America website. It's something that I really want to do, plus I need some kind of teaching experience if I'm ever going to get a job as a professor at any kind of college, even a community college, which is where I want to be, at least to begin with. I can't wait to get out of Michigan for a while. I want to come back, but I just need to get out and meet other people. I'm looking at a school district in South Dakota that is on a reservation, but it really just depends where I get placed if I get accepted. Things are starting to move, and it's getting exciting!

On a side note, all of my classmates and friends are getting engaged, married, and having babies, and it's scaring the crap out of me. I'm not old enough for this stuff yet!

Also, you should see Alice in Wonderland. It's quite a good film.


don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2010 28 January :: 10.33am

I am sitting in bed under the covers because it is quite cold outside. John Mayer is on Vh1 singing about heartbreak and warfare.

Had the Brinner pajama party last night-it went quite well. I still have about 8 dozen eggs, though, so I might be making some deviled eggs this afternoon to take to closed rush.

We are bidding for next years convention and I'm in charge of it. Planning a convention for 600+ people is not an easy thing to do.

I am afraid that the garbage truck outside is going to hit my car right now.

Nope, it didn't.

I need to do my reading on Socialism and Communism-ideologies that happen to fulfill my psychic needs (or as Fromm would say).

This is my last spring semester as an undergraduate. I need to do my taxes. I need to fight with my insurance company about paying for my Nexium. I am having a surgical consultation in a few weeks. I need a nap.

1 orgiastical | don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2010 5 January :: 9.07am
:: Mood: awake

I love the sound of your breathing as you lay next to me dreaming.

I went and purchased my books for the start of my second-to-last semester here as an undergraduate (I'm not counting the two classes I'm taking this summer).

It really wasn't bad as far as cost goes, but Ancient Literature has 11 books.

This semester I'm taking:

FRN 202: Intermediate French II
ENG 261: Ancient Literature
PSC 375: Socialism, Liberalism, and Fascism
PSC 321: The American Chief Executive

I'm pretty excited. It's the first semester that I've only taken 12 credits. I'm trying to go light after last semester's 17. I figure French will take up its fair share of time, and although the other three classes are two and three hundred levels, I feel like I might get a lot out of them without doing much homework other than reading. We'll see.

After this semester I will have 112 credits. I need 124 to graduate, but I'm going to end up with something like 128. This summer will be my two biology classes to finish up my area requirements for my Bachelor of Arts degree which will take me to 118, and then I'm looking into taking nine credits next fall with one graduate level class that will count as graduate credit as to make me a full-time student.

A year from now I will be starting graduate school, and then hopefully getting a post in Teach for America. By the end of all this the plan is to have a Master of Arts in English and one in Education.

Or, I could just give up, get pregnant, work at Meijer for my entire life, and waste away as an intellectual person. I think I'll choose the first.

don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2009 23 December :: 7.45pm

"I have a life that did not become,
that turned aside and stopped,
I hold it in me like a pregnancy or
as on my lap a child
not to grow old but dwell on

it is to his grave I most
frequently return and return
to ask what is wrong, what was
wrong, to see it all by
the light of a different necessity
but the grave will not heal
and the child,
stirring, must share my grave
with me, an old man having
gotten by on what was left"

-A.R. Ammons, "Easter Morning"

don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2009 20 December :: 5.54am

I think I might regret going to work today. Two people have not been showing up and we have Santa bucks today. I think I'm going to be alone at the Service Desk all morning. FML.

1 orgiastical | don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2009 11 December :: 9.14pm

So, I guess I'm getting a C+ or B- in my linguistics class depending on how she decides to "reward" an increase in an exam grade I got in the middle of the semester.

This is not good. It technically counts toward my English Major GPA, but Linguistics is not really English and this teacher was HUGE on phonology.

Well, I guess I'm never going to be a linguist. Not like that shattered any dreams of mine or anything.

The only thing I hate is that I didn't see this coming. I thought all the exams were easy but I got low B's a now a C- on this last one. We were only graded on four exams for this whole semester. I was going to go and talk to the prof, but I was sure that I would do really well. Guess not.

It just frustrates me that I know my way around literary theory and I can synthesize a theory in a matter of hours and have an A essay written in the next few after that, but I can't seem to reconstruct proto-languages or explain the grammatical rules of Ebonic thoroughly (these things may sound hard, but trust me, they're pretty easy).

Good-bye 3.79, it was nice knowing you...

don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2009 8 December :: 4.05pm

So, if it's snowing right now and the the radar shows no snow anywhere near here, what's going to happen when the radar DOES show snow here?

I don't want exams to be cancelled because then I'll have to have them on Friday. Dumb.

don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2009 7 December :: 10.58pm

It's exam week.

Two of Five are done.

Then Meijer for five weeks. FML.

1 orgiastical | don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2009 4 December :: 7.25am

It's my birthday!

1 orgiastical | don't question bruce dickenson


:: 2009 1 December :: 9.20pm

La musique a fini.

don't question bruce dickenson

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