Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What fresh hell?

I usually don't like movies with subtitles. It's not that I'm an ignorant American who doesn't like foreign films- I do. (Life is Beautiful makes me cry every. single. time.) It's not that I don't like to read- I do. But trying to read and watch a screen at the same time makes me dizzy and gives me a headache.

Of movies with subtitles, I really don't like silent movies. I hate silent movies. I took a film history class once and didn't watch a movie for pleasure for months afterwards because they made us watch all sorts of silent movies and "worthwhile" movies and crappy Soviet Union lesbian incest love story movies (No, I'm so vehemently not kidding.) and IT WAS THE WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE.

(Well. Kind of. That was the semester of Stalker Boy. BUT IT WAS UP THERE.)

(Because did you hear read that? They were sisters. They were all sleeping together. In the Polish People's Republic in 1974.)


At least movies with subtitles are (usually) in a different language and the accents make me laugh. But silent movies you have nothing to stare at but the weirdly drawn-on lips that apparently were wicked sexy circa 1921.

But worse than all of those (Yes, including the hairy Polish lesbians. At least they were funny.) is a silent movie with subtitles in a different language.


Also known as the ugliest language written or spoken IN THE WORLD.

(My apologies to Katie.)

So. Imagine just how awesome my Jewish European class was this afternoon. We were read a silent movie. Yep. For seventy-five minutes. And sometimes the professor couldn't read fast enough, so I'm pretty sure she just made stuff up. Because I don't think there's a line about, "And now...we're all...wait...going to party," in the 1924 antisemitism satire City Without Jews.

I'm just guessing.

Seven more weeks.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Yesterday morning I received a text from Katie that read, "Tis the season for pogroms...oh, and we sang "Were You There?" and now it's stuck in my head." I laughed so hard I almost choked on my oatmeal.

Because those are the two things that were (are) pretty much running through my mind. Although this time I really tried to understand how anyone could listen to the Passion and want to go out and kill somebody. And I failed. Although, we only got Luke yesterday. I'll have to let you know if I'm whipped into a homicidal frenzy that I've ignored for the past twenty-one years after listening to John on Friday.

Also, Were You There? has to be my least favorite song (after Lead Me, Guide Me and anything that involves clapping) EVER and it's played CONSTANTLY this week. *sigh*

Anyway. It's Passover and Holy Week, blog kitties! And that means my little comparative religion major self hardly knows which way to turn and she's just very excited, okay? I took her to Mass and Eucharistic adoration today because I feel compelled to remind her exactly which covenant she ascribes to, but she also really wants matzoh. So.

I'm very fascinated by Passover. I kind of feel disrespectful because I'm so fascinated, but I swear, I'm not being disrespectful. Just very, very interested.

My head. It's very interesting sometimes.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up



Surely there was something...

...I washed my hair? A few times? That's exciting.

I did finish my thesis, which is massively orgasmically exciting if you're...well, me. And not so much if you're...well, anyone else.

(Note to Mom: Sorry I said "orgasmically." I'm pretty sure it's not a word, but I'm guessing it will upset you.)

Stephanie went to Mass this morning. She had a good time and made a deacon laugh really hard.

Oh! Hey! So, you know what's really stressful? When you're reading the Passion, only the most important part of gospels, and you're kind of new at this whole thing anyway and your microphone is dead. So...that happened. Yeah.

Okay. Well. That was pretty informative, right? I don't know no one except my mom reads this.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Issue in historical method and pedagogy.*

So. Internets. I'm almost finished with my thesis. Well, a rough draft. Almost. Tomorrow. Probably. I just have to tie up some loose ends and throw a paragraph about Rembert Weakland in there and we're good to go.

Except I've run into a few problems.

My major problem is that I'm at the final chapter where I'm talking about John Paul II and his apostolic visit to Poland in 1979. My thesis advisor? The guy who is going to be reading and grading this? Was there. Literally. In Poland, at his Mass, the whole shebang.

So how the hell do I write about that? Like I have anything to offer? I'm sure he was sitting at that Mass thinking, "Hmm. I'll bet in eight years a girl is going to be born who can shed some light on this experience for me."

I mean, I know that if I ever get handed a paper by some young whippersnapper who has the gall to write an analysis of something that I was a sentient adult for? I will be unable to refrain myself from scrawling "Let me tell you something about life, kid..." across the cover page.

(Warning for my future students: 9/11 is off the list of possible topics. As are any and all Presidential elections post-2000. Because I made phone calls for W in 2004. And I wore a McCain/Palin button around campus for three months. THAT'S POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT, CHILD.)

So. That's kind of difficult.

My other problem is that I'm using a Google translation of John Paul II's address at the synagogue in Rome.

Yes, I know that's not exactly a perfect source. But it was only available in Italian and my grasp of Italian is...well, I know the Starbuck's cup sizes. But I can't exactly quote it, because while it's a good enough translation that I can understand what it's saying, most of the verbs are in entirely the wrong place. Which makes quoting kind of difficult.

Oh, whatever. This guy quotes Wikipedia. I think I can forgo footnotes for a few paragraphs.

*I'm not going to lie, a huge part of the reason I'm going to grad school is so that I can use the word "pedagogy" in everyday conversation.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I was a journalism major.

I was! Honest! For, like, a whole two months.

(Incidentally, this was after psychology and before kinesiology.)

(I'm kidding. I've never been a kinesiology major.)


(I still have two months left.)

But I totally was. I pictured myself as a much prettier Woodward or Bernstein, having all sorts of secret sources and of course several Pulitzers...and then I realized that I really didn't enjoy writing for newspapers and did not want to do it for the rest of my life in fact I didn't know of anything I liked enough to do for the rest of my life except read a lot about things no one cares about and then shoot off my mouth about those things...and that's how we ended up a history and Jewish Studies major!

(My college career. In a- poorly formed- sentence.)

Whoa, whoa, whoa there missy. What's your point? you ask.

Oh. Right. I should have one of those. My point is that I could have continued in the journalism major if I could have just been responsible for writing articles like those that fill today's Journal-Sentinal.

Honestly. It's like the Center for Jewish Studies threw up on the newspaper.

First of all, we have a rather large tribute to Joseph Zilber, who was an integral (okay, one sentence. But I ran out of time.) part of my final essay for Jewish Wisconsin last semseter. Bonus points for mentioning both his Russian Jewish roots and B'ne Jeshurun Emanu El, which I would totally join if I weren't so hung up on this whole Eucharist thing.

But that's not all! There's also a huge part of Cue (Or Food...or whatever it is they call the not-news section on Wednesdays now that the paper basically consists of a few articles about health care and a Kohl's ad.) devoted to Passover. After going to Target yesterday and seeing the Passover plates and cake servers*, I kind of want to have a Very Catholic Passover Seder with Katie on Tuesday. Also, I didn't realize that Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions differed when it came to food. See? That is something that you should be mentioning in class. I could do without the partitions of Poland for the eighth time.

Oh, and then there were a couple of articles about Israeli settlements. Which I love because I am now a Middle Eastern News Whore.**

(Yes. It is a very interesting place inside my head.)

*My mom bought a Beleek cake plate that she's planning on using for my graduation. It's very pretty and very Irish and has lots of handpainted shamrocks on it. I'm planning on filling it with cookies made with my awesome Star of David cookie cutter.

My mom, incidentally, is still really mad about not being able to visit the Beleek factory when she was in Ireland. She refuses to believe that it was not smart for two women to wander around Northern Ireland in May of 1981. I maintain that if Longkesh prison had had a gift shop, she would have been there.

**Not like Lara Logan.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Totally productive.

So...day one of spring break. I have major plans for this spring break. I'm going to read a lot of fun books, completely finish my thesis, and sleep longer than four hours at a stretch. Um...most of that will have to be accomplished in the next four days. That sleep thing is totally taken care of, though.

Post-conciliar Judeo-Christian relations and why the hell do I care I'm a baby of the eighties? Not so much.

I read a little, though. That was exciting.

No, today I mostly wasted time. I made a Facebook album from yesterday...I wandered around Target talking myself into and out of buying various items of clothing...laughed a little at the blatant vanity sizing because I'm sorry, no way in hell am I a size 2 but thank you, Merona, for telling me that I am...I reorganized my closet...and I watched some Brothers and Sisters. That's pretty much it.

Oh, and I bought a bag from Vera Bradley. And then proceeded to sit at the end of the driveway like a four-year-old because I really really want it to come when is it going to come mommy I want it noooooow.


All in all, a good day.

I will finish that thesis, though. Tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This is why you should be friends with your mother.

Scene: Farwell Ave, 10:30 AM.

Mom: Oh, a "free beer" sign. That's lovely.

Group of Pedestrians: *stumbles out of a bar*

Big Truck: *has a green arrow and begins to turn perfectly legally*

Group of Pedestrians: *stumbles in front of bus before stopping and laughing*

Mom: This is so amateur day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Watch as I wipe out half of my friends list.

Oh, internets. Do you remember this? And this? Yeah.


(Oh right. That just happened.)

Anyway. I opened my e-mail this morning and discovered a message from the same woman with whom I have a very complicated relationship, detailed above. And here's what it said:

Hello Kathleen,

Just a gentle reminder. Please have UWM
submit your official bachelor’s degree-bearing transcript as soon as it is
available (which should be sometime in May). This document is to be
submitted to:


I hope all is going well with you Kathleen.

Oh. Goodness. So many thoughts.

Such as:

  • Are you kidding me?
  • "Gentle reminder"?
  • Am I a five-year-old?
  • Really? I'll have a bachelor's degree sometime in May? Thanks for clearing that up. I was a little bit confused.
  • Honestly. You guys suck so much.
  • You hope all is going well with me? Really? You do? You know what would have made things go better for me, Pat? BEING ACCEPTED TO MY SAFETY SCHOOL THAT'S WHAT.
  • *deep breath*
  • It's okay. I was accepted at a better school with a better package so you know what? You can keep your ridiculous application standards.
  • Seriously. I am not the first college senior to apply to graduate school.
  • I'm sure I have more to say, but I'm so mad I can't even think of them.
  • I'm going to go eat a shamrock cookie.

That was my thought process.

(The cookie was good, fyi.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dear Northwestern,

Hi. You may remember me from the return address on the obscenely large application fee I sent you when I applied to graduate school.

Yeah. Ring a bell? I thought so. Anyway, here's the thing. You are sending me e-mails. Lots and lots of emails. And I think that's kind of COMPLETELY OBNOXIOUS given than you DENIED ME ADMISSION.

Now. I've come to terms with it. You were the only school that denied me, and you know what? I'm very happy with my choice and they offered me job and whatever, my mom thinks I'm pretty.

*deep breath*

But it's very, very hard to be zen about this when I'm getting FREAKING CONSTANT EMAILS FROM YOU.

So please cease and desist before I end up curled in the corner in a fetal position hugging a UWM sweatshirt and mumbling about how no one will ever hire me as academic faculty because when you're a professor the only thing that can make up for having ovaries? Is a degree from somewhere like Northwestern.

That's all.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Authority Figure

A lot of my wardrobe comes from the junior's department. I'm not really ashamed of it, because I don't buy stuff that looks cheap, or has any sort of saying across the chest and/or derriere, and as far as I know I have never bought anything that Avril Lavigne "designed".

But...still. I'm 22. It's kind of embarrassing. This afternoon, I was trying to figure out what to wear tomorrow.* I have to lead my confirmation group tomorrow during the Masses. I chose an ensemble** and then I realized...it was all from Kohl's junior department.

And people are trusting me with their children's spiritual growth.

So. That's kind of funny. I don't know if I can talk about the Holy Spirit while wearing a jacket that Hilary Duff championed. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I think you really want to know.

I was going to do a list post about things I did today (which would end up being mostly Facebook-related) and things I didn't do today (which would be end up being mostly thesis-related), but then I realized I didn't have anything to even facetiously puti n the "did" category. Like, I censored some stuff on my Facebook page. And I "bartended" at a fish fry that ended up being more talking-and-eating-pretzels than actual bartending. Whatever, it was fun.

Although Annie said something about it being kind of sad that she considered hanging around church on a Friday night fun, and I realized that I was way more sad than her because it wasn't even really my parish. Hey. It's not my fault there's no one under 80 at St. Eugene.

The "not" list would definitely be thesis-related though. But that's not even funny anymore. I need to write that last chapter, like, pronto now that all the warm fuzzy National-History-Day related feelings that my advisor had about me are probably fading.

Oh, I got a National History Day t-shirt in the mail the other day, I think because the coordinator felt badly for me because I had (have) to deal with some rather crazy judges. And contestants. And both of them together. And the shirt? Is rather adorable. It engenders warm fuzzy feelings in me.

Maybe I'll wear it to my next advising appointment. See? Remember when you loved me? Think about that and not the fact that I raced through John Paul II's influence on Judeo-Christian relations because I really, really want to graduate already.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Today my mom met my favorite professor in the world. And I'm pretty sure a star exploded somewhere because I'm sure that that violated some sort of law of physics.

(I don't know which one. Jewish Studies major, remember?)

ANYWAY. I'm also pretty sure that he is now her favorite person in the world. Because my mother enjoys two qualities that my mother enjoys above all else in other people. (Not kindness. That's probably a- distant-third.) They are a.) an ability to consider her babies the most amazing people in the world and b.) Irishness.

So when that leprechaun drooled over me? She was, like, this close to jumping him.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Locked down.

My Facebook profile has always been pretty open. I keep my e-mail and that stuff set to only friends, and my notes. Because I say a lot of things that...well, you should probably be my friend in order to read them. Because otherwise you could really get the wrong idea.

But other than that- open. I've never had a stalker, and other than some random guy from Turkey who keeps friending me (Um. Ignore.), I haven't had any problems. There's really nothing so special about my life that I feel the need to block my wall or anything. I mean, it's mostly my mom. And I don't care that you see that. I also have a built-in security measure in my last name- no one can find me because they can't spell my name.

But now. Now you may notice (although you wouldn't, because you're already my friend if you're reading this, but bear with me) that things are different. I am locked down. Seriously. Other than my birthday and a thumbnail of my profile picture, if we don't share mitochondrial DNA, you have no information on me.

Why, you ask? Do you have something very important and exciting going on?

Ha. Hahaha. No.

I did, however, receive an email from my Holocaust Theology professor announcing that there was now a Facebook page. For our class. That we could all join.

Oh. Joy.

Well. I do not want everyone in that class to know all of my business, even if it is just that my mom is proud of me for getting a TA position.

I also don't want the professor to know that I think she'd be a lot prettier if she combed her hair.

I can see this whole damn experiment going poorly.

Monday, March 08, 2010

What my papal bull would look like:

Dear Martin Luther,

Dude. Chill out.

Love, Leo X.

Martin Luther and I have a complicated relationship.

Not enough that I went to a Lutheran school for three years where they painted over the Blessed Mother in the chapel and called me a papist and that one really angry seminarian told me that he would never deign to pray with a Catholic. (What? I promise not to get my incense on you.)

Nope. Not enough. Now I'm writing an essay on him. I was going to do just a general 95 Theses thing, but meh, boring. So! I'm writing about Exsurge Domine (the bull that ended up excommunicating him) instead and contrasting it with the points in the 95 Theses. I know, right? Brilliant. I fully expect a fantastic grade. And not just because I usually get papers for that class back with drool on them.

But first I have to write the damn thing. I don't want to. So I'm thinking of offering it up for the souls in purgatory just to piss off Martin Luther. Who died four hundred and fifty years ago.

Vengeance is mine.

Oh, also. Did you guys know he was a freak? Like, "in the biblical sense"? Well, okay, not exactly weird per se, just...really...wow, inside thought Martin.

Okay, I've embarrassed my Dad for tonight. I'm going to bed.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Hey! Your wife think I'm a godsend.

Yesterday morning I staggering into the Union at 6:55 after dragging my suitcase three blocks. Yes. I looked like a hobo. A very well dressed hobo who stops at Starbucks because like hell I'm dealing with 370 students and their parents without a skinny caramel macchiato, but a hobo nonetheless.

My boss arrived shortly afterwards, and she brought her husband! Who was going to help me put up the exhibit and room signs! Great! Except...kind of not. Because he was one of those weird old men who think it's okay to insult you constantly as long as there's a twinkle in their eye?

Because honestly, sir. I know I'm not spatially-oriented. I'm a history and Jewish studies major for a reason. And I really don't need your snarkiness because my suggestion for the table arrangement would have worked just as well.

Also, it's really not okay to a.) ask me why I didn't bring my boyfriend to help, b.) inquire as to why when I replied that I was single just now, thanks very much are you sure the Gasthaus isn't open yet? and c.) tell me the reason I'm single is that I walk too fast. Honestly. It's 7:30 and I have a million more things to do and OF COURSE I'M WALKING QUICKLY I'M TRYING TO GET AWAY FROM YOU.


Whatever. I got thanked in the program, my thesis advisor pronounced my name the cool Polish way when he was introducing me (although I'd expect nothing less from a guy whose wife has a random "w" pronounced as a "v" in the middle of her name), and I got a ton of gossip about the department. Oh, and Hot Office Mat was there too.

It was a lovely day.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Not prayerful.

Long story, but tonight my mom suggested keeping a journal as a form of prayer. I responded that I kept a journal. It just isn't very prayerful.

I think that in order for this blog to become a form of prayer I'd probably have to cut down on the part where I'm really sad I don't have a reason to hang out around Adorable Professor's office after tomorrow...and the part(s) where I say I'd turn to prostitution to pay for graduate school...and cut down on the swearing...and...you know what? I'll just pray on my own, okay?


Thursday, March 04, 2010


So. It's all over. I've heard from every school I've applied to,* and I know what I'm doing. And frankly I'm surprised that I have any Facebook friends left after my months of incoherent ranting. But I have some previously unpublished stories.

Two weeks ago, on Monday morning, I found out that I didn't get into Northwestern. I am not just saying this so you don't pity me- I did not expect to get into Northwestern. It was a PhD program, required full funding, they only take about 15 people a year, and they're obviously pulling from a prestigious pool.

However. This was, at the time, the only decision of which I'd been notified. So even though it was my long shot, I was rather upset. It was, to put it nicely, a not very nice morning for me. I didn't tell anybody for a few hours, and then I told my mom.

She did the following (in order):
  • offered to drive to Evanston and attack them
  • told me they were ridiculous for not accepting me because I would have been an asset to their program
  • told me they were ridiculous for not accepting me because I am so pretty that they could have put me on the brochure
  • told me that she fully anticipated my publishing a definitive book on some subject
  • she wasn't sure which one, but dammit, it would be published!
  • bought me a dress

It was a very appropriate response and I loved her for it.

A few hours later, on Monday afternoon, I received an email saying that I had been admitted to UWM. Incidentally, my mom cried and screamed and laughed with me but stuck by her earlier assertions that Northwestern would have been blessed to have me. And I loved her for it.

Tuesday, I was walking from class and was idly checking my email on my phone. And there was an email from the History Department. And the subject line said, "Funding for your MA."

I clicked on it, because I figured it was some dumb thing about applying for a grant that I wouldn't get because I'm a little white girl from the North Shore. But it wasn't. It began by saying, "We're pleased to offer you a 50% TA position in the Fall of 2010."

Um. I don't know if you've ever received life-changing news via iPhone, but it's massively unsettling. Because the screen is really tiny and small and FREAKING TINY and I don't know what that whole 50% thing means but holy shit I DO know what TA means and oh, my God, I have to call my mommy!

So I did. And then I figured out that the 50% thing is the best I could get (yes) and it's full tuition (oh my God, yes!) and I can, like, buy a car and stuff like a real. live. adult. And then we cried together over the phone because of the whole real live adult thing and I was supposed to be severely developmentally disabled and I'm not and I can move into Grandpa's at least conceivably and OH I CAN QUIT MY JOB AND NOT WORK WEEKENDS ANYMORE.**

Internets. Do you know what this means? I can have Saturdays. And Sundays. Off. Like an adult. *is dead with the happiness*

I did, however, still have to wait to hear from Marquette. I was really torn, because I figured that they wouldn't give me a better deal (they'd have to offer me full tuition and a larger living stipend, which was unlikely), but I felt like I'd invested too much energy in praying to get into Marquette to just turn them down before I even knew if I got accepted.

So, I was kind of exhausted and drained and I really didn't want to go to class, but I figured the day I was offered an academic position was a really bad day to start skipping classes. So I went. About ten minutes in, I got a text from my mom- "Are you in class? If you are, call when you get out. "

I texted back that I was, but she could text me whatever she needed. I didn't get a text, and I figured it was because my mother really hates texting and constantly whines about the teeny numbers like she was 84 and she's really not, look, I know that we have babies ridiculously late in our family, but she's a perfectly normal age to figure out cell phones.

An hour later I called her from my boss' my office. She kind of paused and said, "A situation has arisen that we never talked about."

I thought someone had died.

She continued, "There's an envelope from Marquette here."

Oh. Good. Lord. Seriously? After THREE AND A HALF MONTHS you have to come today? When I won't be home until ten?

"Is it a big envelope or a little envelope?" I asked.

"Little." She sounded really apologetic. Okay. Okay. I couldn't not find out. I still had a bunch of things to do that day, and I wasn't going to be home for hours. I couldn't wait until ten o'clock at night knowing that my last school, the school I really wanted to go to, had made a decision that was sitting on my counter and I was just going to ignore it. And despite the fact that we hadn't talked about it, I had thought about this. I just...hadn't figured out what I wanted her to do.

"Open it. The whole TA thing was so amazing this morning, I think I'll be able to handle it." I really didn't think that. I didn't know how much it would suck to hear bad news like that over the phone.


I'm pretty sure I blacked out for a second there.

So we screamed and cried and laughed a little bit more, but this time it was kind of bittersweet because ugh, I had a decision to make and I really, really hate decisions. Which is why I hadn't been able to figure out if I wanted to know that a decision came when I wasn't at home.

I hung up and vowed to think about it. The finances were significantly better from UWM, but Marquette was...Marquette. I turned them down for undergrad because there was no way to make it work. And as much as I love UWM and as happy as I am here, I've always kind of regretted that a little bit.

Then my nose started to bleed.

That has nothing to do with anything except to illustrate how poorly my body handles stress. NOSE BLEED. I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING.

I went to Mass, because I felt like that day above all others I needed to thank God for everything He had done for me. Because for all the the screamy cryiness on the phone with my mom, this was remarkable. I wasn't supposed to be able to do this. And the fact that I did? Was a miracle.

Anyway, after the nose bleed it gets pretty boring. I had to come to terms with the fact that I was going to turn down Marquette- again. That was really hard. But my mom (are you sensing a theme? It's a damn good thing you lived, woman, or I wouldn't have made it through high school yet!) and I talked about it (in an eerily similar tableau as we talked about my decisions about Grafton High and Concordia seven and eight years ago), and yes, this is the best thing for.

SO. I'm going to UWM. I'm going to be a TA. And I may even get some Facebook stalkers. That's pretty exciting.

*Except Cardinal Stritch. And they're dumb and I hate them. *sticks out tongue*

**I counted. 18 more weekends. YES.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

News You Can Use

Copying and collating 350 copies of a six-page program? Takes a really long time. So...if you wanted coffee, you should definitely get it first. Because otherwise you will be forced to hit cancel at 10:10 even though you've been there since 8:45 and done all your homework and caught up on Twitter and downloaded a bunch of useless apps because you seriously need that latte and what? There's milk in it so it's totally healthy. And then you'll feel like a bad employee and have to try to figure out when to come back and do the final sixty copies. Thankfully, the number I had was enough.

Ooh. I ran into (quite literally, I couldn't really see over the stack of 20,000 pages I was holding) my thesis advisor in the hallway. And we had an actual conversation. That did not involve him looking past my head or at the ground or anything. Complete sentences, y'all. I'm almost sad I have to leave.

Big Daddy also came into the office but he didn't see me and I would have had to go flying out of the copy room screaming, "Joe! Hey! Remember me!? You accepted me into grad school! Yeah. Thanks for that! Have you heard anything about the TA positions yet???"

And that would have just been weird.

Okay. So that's the story of my morning. Very exciting.

Not so exciting- I'm watching The Longest Hatred in class for the third time. We're about to get to the Nostra Aetate shout-out.

This is clearly my favorite part. Obviously.

Monday, March 01, 2010


So. Thanks to the good people who gave the history department a grant to hire me, this semester I'm in charge of all the menial work connected to National History Day. Like...I get to make room signs. A lot of room signs. But I get to write down "Research Assistant" on my grad school applications. Not "Girl Who Prints Off Room Signs." Which is slightly less impressive.

ANYWAY. It's a secondary school competition, which I kind of figured was going to end up being mostly high school. Because, um, academic competition. Like, these kids have to write major papers or make documentaries or something. And then talk about them.

But it turns out that most of the students are in MIDDLE SCHOOL. Like, seventh and eighth grade. Like, babies.

Honestly. There's a girl from a middle school who created an exhibit on MRI innovations.


Her mom probably still makes her dinner.

So I feel like a complete loser because I'm 22 and ten weeks away from a degree and my main contribution to this project is unevenly cut room signs (fine motor skills- I do not possess them) and oh, I've spent the last three weeks following this one professor around because hello, perfectly good 3.9 GPA womb RIGHT HERE and we could have adorable babies who probably wouldn't have any friends but they would be SMART DAMMIT and yeah, I'm going to stop talking right now.

(What? He smiles at me. It's cute.)

(Okay. I'll be normal now.)

Anyway. I'm very familiar with this feeling. I'm not an idiot. I've always done quite well in school, I went to college for high school, I've always had friends, I've never killed anyone, blah blah blah.

But. I was homeschooled.

And if you ever want to feel badly about yourself? Hang out with other homeschoolers. Because they are, without a doubt, the most obsessively brilliant overachieving people you will ever meet and while yes, a good 45% of them are just plain crazy, there are some genuinely nauseatingly perfect people who homeschool.

And of course we were friends with all of them.

(They would be able to ell you that that last sentence should have been about three sentences if someone who was worthy wrote it.)

(Or they could tell you that the Jesus is coming back and the only way to get on the comet to heaven is to become Wife #85 of Prophet John over there.)

(Like I said, it goes both ways.)

So. I guess I am qualified for this job. Because I have, in fact, been in a conversation with someone who told me that her two-grades-advanced daughter was writing a book in her spare time and doing stained glass work to relax. While all I really wanted to do was go home and watch Star Trek because maybe by the 23rd century the brilliant people would have stopped mating and died out and my measly advanced science course would look halfway impressive.