Tuesday, January 31, 2006

whew...

My advisor gave me a copy of the cover sheet attached to my proposal with options for approval as follows:

[ ] Proposal looks right. Proceed.

[ ] Proposal needs some rethinking and revision.

[ ] Proposal is not appropriate.

And a handwritten fourth category:

[ ] What the ____!

Seeing only the last option sticking out of my mailbox stopped me in my tracks... until I saw the rest. The laugh was much needed. It also sent a nice hidden message of "don't take this tooo seriously."

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Hands

I don’t remember my grandfather’s face. I remember his hands. He wasn’t a large man, but his hands were thickened by experience. His hands held weapons during times when people didn’t get along, tools when machinery choked and sputtered, fishing poles when weekends were the only moments that mattered, a wife while she was leaning over the stove, and grandchildren when they were fussy. His hands moved with self assurance, even when they started to shake. I remember busy hands, quietly busy—able to snatch a hug from across the room. He used his hands to hold mine; the skin taught, paper thin, calloused, and soft at the same time. I don’t remember the first time he held me in his hands just as I don’t remember the last time, but I recall times in between.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

wild minds

It seems ironic... after three years of graduate studies focused on rhetorical theory and composition studies, I’m compelled to write a thesis centered on the traditional joked about classroom assignment: “What I did on my summer vacation.” Essentially, that’s what I’m accomplishing. That old warm up in English class allowing students the opportunity to reflect on their swimsuit-as-underwear days, brag about their new bicycle, and put the summer months behind them. While rereading my journal entries, I’ve discovered my need to explore the days without responsibility or time and how they alter my psyche, my need to discuss my motorcycle and how its presence affects me and those around me, and the need to recognize moments are simply that, momentary, and I need to look forward. But I’m still left wondering, what did I do?
A nationwide motorcycle journey turned into a statewide trip. Three consecutive months turned into sporadic weeks. Writing as the central focus shifted into finding a place to sleep. Getting lost on back roads turned into staying on the map. Being alone with my thoughts turned into staying with friends and family. I know what I really did. I settled. I settled for something less than I wanted.

Monday, January 23, 2006

hmmm

Today I paid ten dollars to graduate. I have the receipt to prove it, but not for long. The graduate studies office wants it with my thesis proposal. Ten bucks and three years worth of culminated thought. I wonder what would happen if I just handed in the proposal, or just handed in the receipt. Which oversight would produce faster return communication?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

randomness in bed...

He’s heading to the only light source in my room: a dome shaped light, ribbed glassed curved in seventies fashion—booblike in shape. A solid brass nipple hardened to a point . An odd place to center a light, three fourths up a sixty degree wall. The light emits shadows across the ceiling giving the surface a moon quality. Crevasses, craters, and water stains are exposed through the top layer of eggshell white. The only explorer to the astronomical ceiling in my room is a ladybug on a voyage to the center of the light. He hasn’t moved for over six months now. Dead. Frozen in time. Did he lose hope on the way to the beacon? His oblong shadow doesn’t move in relationship to the sun. No natural light hits that point on the wall. A ladybug. An omen of good luck. A struggle between the natural and the nature of things. Why is he in my room? How did he get here? Where was he born? Does he have a family? Why is he so attracted to a light source that surely burned him alive—halting his journey—before attaining his goal. Was he a phoenix in a previous life? Hard to tell, he doesn’t speak to me. But his presence does. I don’t dare scrape his remains from the wall. He has become a fixture next to the light. A chandelier of challenge.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Work Haiku

making bolognese
with a strainer on my head
just a dash of fun

Monday, January 16, 2006

Orange Popsicles

Crisp autumn air drives summer’s last sunshine away as we dance, clutching each others’ sticky fingers after sharing popsicles. Collected memories of childhood crackle underfoot in the shape of a newly-formed leaf pile. Round and round we circle, greens and browns, reds and yellows, using each other as counter balance; not worrying about falling in; not caring. Giggles turn into silence once you kiss me as adults do: sweeter than a summertime treat is the taste of your wet lips and tongue complete with the orange hint of lost innocence.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

condensed packaging

Writing resumes, letters of applications, lists of references, and responses to questions is like swallowing yourself, condensing a lifetime of learning and growing into a can without bulging the sides. Nobody buys dented cans at the market. Crisp, sharp presentation of your conatiner is needed to sell the beens.

I'm left wondering... what if I do spill the beens. Be completely honest with possible opportunities, explain I'm human... frail and strong at the same time: intelligent and childlike. I've taken it upon myself to throw a twist into each new application. Some insight into how my mind works... a lead at the end of each chapter to keep them (whoever they are) reading and wondering "where could this guy be going rather than where is he coming from?"

Thursday, January 12, 2006

reconnecting

I just received an E-mail from an old friend currently living and teaching in Japan. It reminded me of how we live multiple lives within a lifetime...