My folks are having trouble hiding their pride that I’ve finished my Master’s degree. Mom sent out an email to some family friends that read thusly:
As Friends who have encouraged and watched this one grow, thank you for all of your encouragement and love. Many of us have chatted about [tigerlilytoph] recently, and she just aced her thesis and had a paper accepted by the International Social Sciences Conference. Very proud of this woman, and please enjoy her glory. What a Woman!
So sweet. And of course all the people on the thread wrote back words of love and encouragement. I was so touched. Of course I had to write back:
Thank you, family of my heart.
I turned 30 in February, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to see what the next decade brings. You’ve all played pivotal roles in my development into who I am today; so much encouragement, such excellent humor and love for so many years. Luke, my gentle giant, teddy bear and jungle gym. Anthony, always a welcome companion with a ready laugh and sharp mind. Mary Kay, my literary mentor, without whom my love for writing might never have awoken. Marge and Peggie, the matriarchs of our tribe from whom I continue to draw strength. Chris, Cheryl and mom, the women who danced with me and served as the clever, hard-working, paycheck-earning, loving role models I needed. Each of you, lighting a different candle within me, even now.
I would be diminished without you. Thank you.
So much love,
I’m so lucky to have had these people in my life from such a young age. It really goes to show how important your parents decisions are, and what a huge impact (good or bad) something as seemingly personal as the kind of friends they choose they have on a child.
Tonight I turned in my final paper for my Master’s degree. I am finished with grad school.
Now I have time to look for a job and read that excellent book my parents got me for my birthday, The Modern Maya.
Actually, this is the list I have going for shit to do now that I have time:
clean room (omg it is a shit show)
learn french ratatouille song (I have to learn a French song)
memorize shinkendo language (becoming a dojo bum starts tomorrow)
buy tabi (for dojo bum status, and late bday present to myself)
buy ramen from mitsuwa (been missing that tonkotsu magic)
organize Into the West viewing (movie watching with dojo people)
ask Hiroko-sensei if she teaches private lessons (for a friend)
play ukulele (YES)
buy stationery for poem and future nonsense (so much future nonsense)
reply to Japan job (GOTTA LAND THIS ONE)
japanese homework (get ready to get fucking rocked, Hiragana)
I wrote this recently. Between spending time with friends until it’s time to go home, and Boyfriend leaving on a trip (again), a sense of separation is potent within me these days.
While you are gone
my eyes search the tree line.
You have only just gone,
yet my eyes find the tree line.
What rest have I
without the comfort of your arm?
The wind is a blade,
my feet find every small stone in the road.
The pail has grown heavy,
the needle is dull.
Your clever hands could tie this knot.
Your broad shoulders would carry the wood.
Dusk is creeping, beloved.
The birds that call from the Rowan are silent.
My hands grow still, my heart
a smoldering hearth, alight
in the rustle of our empty bed
while your silhouette slips from the path
under a small, impossibly bright moon.
I shared this with a professor recently, who wrote back that she had experienced a loss more than 12 years ago, but that she still “searches the tree line.” I read her response and wept. Grief can be so powerful, but its motivator is love, so I suppose it’s worth it, in the end.
It’s mah burfdah! Tonight I’m going to Korean BBQ with Dad, Sister, her boooooyfrieeeeeend, Boyfriend and Diminutive Roommate. Friday is dojo friendship day: we’re going to Honda-ya Izakaya for birthday dinner and drinks. I’m going to get destroyed. Then I’m getting pancakes at BLD with Boyfriend on Saturday, then gelato with my old friend from elementary school whose older brother is an instructor at my dojo. Very small world, very good people. I cannot wait.
But god, all this awesome hangout time could not have come at a worse time, lol. I have so much school work to do, it’s not even funny. Gotta finish a paper, start and finish another (plus a third, shorter one before the end of the semester), plus my teaching video, all the follow-up documentation, commenting on other students’ videos, and one more forum post. Plus, the last week of school might be filled with jury duty. Yikes.
Wow. Sister just sent me the best birthday email ever:
[My coworker's] twins are sick. She told me yesterday how one of them got up in the middle of the night and threw up, and partially on his twin brother. Which made me laugh, which was probably inappropriate. Made me think of how good [tigerlilytoph] was at being sick, just lying there and staring at one spot.
So here’s to [tigerlilytoph] the best sick kid there ever was, unless she needed to throw-up, in which case, she was the worst..no warning at all.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY [TIGERLILYTOPH]!
Why do I love this image so much? Maybe it’s the Bill Nye/Ken Ham “debate” that took place recently that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy toward science right now.
That debate could not have been more frustrating or inspiring to members of Team Nye. He demonstrated, with well-constructed arguments and a clear mind, such enthusiasm for our inherent sense of wonder and excitement at the prospect of a new discovery. I’m so pleased he’s our chosen representative. The guy is so sharp and well-spoken.
So… I got docked for not using what is essentially the two-column note-taking system most of us were taught in high school for my field notes. They’re explained in the syllabus, and when I read their description at the beginning of the semester, I thought, “You must be fucking kidding me” for a few of reasons:
1) If I need to be told how to take field notes in my last semester of grad school, I am fucked.
2) That’s not at all how this program taught us how to take field notes in the first semester.
3) Two-column notes are for high school suck-ups who don’t know how to take notes.
4) The two-column system assumes note-taking in an actual notebook… We’re supposed to take down as much dialog as possible (to make the notes accurate and useful) which can most easily be done in real time by typing 80wpm instead of writing at less than half that speed. Also, it’s fucking 2014 and we’re all in grad school. Chances are there’s a laptop or two floating around.
I am now at an impasse: do I alter my field notes to meet the absurd requirements set before us (aka. be a kissass), or take a hit on my grade and continue to take excellent field notes? I’ll have to email the professor and ask for some answers to the above questions (once I’ve taken the poison out of them).
Okok, I just had another look at the fieldwork observation guidelines, and it states we should either do two column notes, OR bracket our “analytical question or observation to think about later” amidst our field notes.
I cannot hate this more than I do at this moment. This level of micro-management (and the fact that it has already affected my grade) makes me bristle. It also makes me wonder how the previous classes fucked up their field notes so badly that this kind of hand-holding was deemed necessary. I’m inclined to misbehave just to see if I get threatened with a spanking.
My 30th birthday approaches, and with it (inevitably) Valentine’s Day will follow close on its heels. I have no plans for either at present, but I found this poem today, and decided it might be worth some memorization, it tickled me so:
To My Valentine
by Ogden Nash
More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
That’s how much I love you.
I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.
As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests unexpected guests,
That’s how much you I love.
I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch,
And more than a hangnail irks.
I swear to you by the stars above,
And below, if such there be,
As the High Court loathes perjurious oathes,
That’s how you’re loved by me.