Addressing issues of “tone”

I hate this class. Look familiar? That’s because I’m here again and really really hate it. Surprise!

We’re working on essay structure. You know, if I didn’t detest this course, I would be perfectly cool with writing and editing and re-editing my essay, even with a peer critique involved. Instead, we’re treated as incompetents. It might seem that way, honestly, because no one talks when she asks a question, except occasionally Pat or Paulina. Sorry if my brain’s shriveled from lack of coffee inhalation. Sorry if you’re standing there, “teaching,” with your arms crossed and voice dry, critically mentally labeling us all as dumb music students. We can see it.

She just mentioned a “funnel introduction.” Now the “dawn of time” introductions. GOD I need caffeine.

“Generally you don’t want readers to be skeptical. You want them to accept what you’re saying.” Actually, for me, I’d want to pique their interest. I’d want to twist them around my finger but entice them to think. From their contorted new mental state I’d want them to wonder about what they’ve read.

So no, I don’t simply want them to accept what I say.

I think I’ve shed all over my cardigan. My phone just vibrated reaaaally loudly in my pocket. I would give anything to be in Italian. And that alone should proclaim with obviousity my fiery desire to LEAVE this ROOM and never return.

Since she just was staring at me as she talked about addressing issues of tone, I wrote a few things down.

What kind of tone do you want to have in your papers? No feelings behind it. It’s a moral judgment to have an opinion. NO opinions. Well, I mean, you can have an opinion. But you have to be as bland and dry as this class. Oh wait, I need to offer a solution. Moral condemnation, and then no solution. To fix, ask why that contradiction is there? Better question: WHY DO I HAVE TO BE HERE?

F MY LIFE. “We’re going to do paragraphs for the next two classes.”

Excuse me? I beg your pardon. The NEXT TWO CLASSES?! Who needs to spend a week on learning to write a paragraph? Oh God. Oh dear sweet God.

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I’ll give you a statement

I hate this class.

I’m sitting here with my head spinning from lack of caffeine and wondering why anyone would want to read an academic paper in the first place, especially when the action is supported by an FML-laden, “I’m going to read your essays whether they’re brilliant… or total pieces of garbage, because I’m paid to do that.” Thanks, Professor. Now go get a job you actually want to do so I don’t have to sit here listening to you. Every word chafes, acidic little scrapes that say to me, “Just because you’re musicians, you’re not above manipulating the English language… but because you are musicians, I’m going to assume you don’t know anything about language, as well.”

Clearly we’re just stupid music geeks with superiority complexes. And obviously the reason I hate this class is my predilection to assume I’m too good to write, especially because I think I know everything but REALLY lack all knowledge whatsoever about essay composition and/or snagging myself an audience that actively reads.

Maybe I’m just a bitch this morning, maybe… maybe… shit, I don’t know. This is just so pointless. “You need to make your reader interested.” Check. Readers usually engage because in anything I write, I usually make sure I know what the hell I’m talking about first.

“Your thesis is your point.” Okay. We all know this. If anyone was not aware, they can take this hellish course instead.  I’m sick of this. I’m sick of sitting here having the theses of each classmate ripped apart in front of me. I’d rather not destroy others’ writing. I like writing. I don’t like critiquing my classmates’. It makes me uncomfortable. And According to Azzara, a classroom setting should not be threatening or intimidating. My thesis was just up on the screen, and although it’s anonymous, it’s like, come on. My tone was addressed, and apparently theses need a great deal of specificity. Whatever. It obviously doesn’t matter what I think or how I write, because I’m not educated and need the topic of thesis statements plowed into the ground until it’s just a slimy pathetic puddle whimpering on the pavement.

“You need to set up and explain the problem and then provide a resolution.” Here’s a resolution, then, or we might call it a revelation. Perhaps one should be able to notice when the majority of one’s class is b0red to tears (this ten person class is 40% Asian,  50% female, and the other boys are clever, despite always being late). One should also be able to engage the class in a pleasant manner. Also, it’s freakin’ critical that one have the ability to note and somehow proactively address significant lack of interest. Here’s a headline: NO ONE CARES, Because Everyone in this Class Already Knows About and/or Can Do What is Being Discussed.

“How does this help you with your paper?”

Well, it doesn’t. I’m not writing a paper right now. I’m blogging, and I’m pissed that an hour of my day is glommed away by this utterly pointless course. If we’re required to take a mandatory writing course, can’t we at least be offered courses that aren’t booby-trapped? Like, you should pick this one, it looks vaguely interesting, but you’ll really spend your first semester wanting to beat your head against the desk in front of you in the fruitless hope that you’ll forget the hours of torture incurred three times a week at 8:30 in the morning.

So, yeah. Just in case it wasn’t clearly outlined, I’ll reiterate: I freakin’ hate this class.

Yeah. No thanks.

Thoughts on academia

I don’t know what I think of college yet.

Today is my first “official” day here, and I don’t know what I think.

On one hand, I am excited for classes to begin. I try to relish the independence when I can. Sometimes I get light-headed. No exaggeration.

But on the other, I’d seriously love to be sitting on the couch right now with a giant bowl of popcorn and Lord of the Rings or Criminal Minds in front of me. It’s lame, but (a) they are the only two things on TV I really adore and (b) although I told Lucy I’d introduce her to Criminal Minds (she doesn’t have cable at home), it just won’t be the same.

I miss having my own space. I miss having someone there physically all the time for me to rely on. Although I’ve waited and waited and yearned for this time of my life, now that it’s here I am still pumped but there’s a streak of sad in it. A swath of strong blue that’s sensitive to the touch. I think it’s my childhood. Yeah, that fits.

Because to be honest it feels like, without me knowing it, even though I prepared for it to happen… my childhood, my whole past at home? It’s gone, it’s done. Yeah, I was aware it would happen, but perhaps I just didn’t see it as something so emotional. Something so deeply rending it just kind of sits there on your heart, shaking a little and whimpering softly to itself.

Earlier today I talked to a sophomore transfer student named Narissa (I think that was it. If not, my bad and I’m sorry). She was extremely friendly and is dual majoring here and at the River Campus (for some brain science insane major I didn’t entirely catch because it was noisy and I was still digesting caffeine). She was enthusiastic about everything, we share a taste in books, and observations regarding awkward situations. She told me one of the most reassuring things I’ve heard: “I love school.”

I’m counting on that obsessive, nerdy academic in me to grab that, too. I’m treating this right now as an extended vacation where I’m learning a shitload. That’s my outlook right now. I don’t want to dwell on the theory that I don’t belong at my house anymore. I don’t want to think stupid things, like, “that’s no longer my home.”

Where the heck else would I go? I don’t live here permanently, despite the chaotically organized debris scattered tastefully around me. For God’s sake, I only have two books here!

I could have made this prettier, but it is what it is

Anxiousitis

I’ve been distracting myself lately.

If I don’t, that deep cold clutch of fear in the belly gives a yank and tugs me under.

It woke me at five this morning, nauseating me. Rippled, acidly, through my nerves until I couldn’t breathe. Dizzy, I stumbled upstairs to drown in coffee. Necessary, but the caffeine just jittered an already faltering system.

I need distraction. Otherwise I just make myself sick.

I’m excited, right? I keep telling myself that. I need this change. It’s a vital step, a crucial part of my life.

But oh God, I’m so scared, so freaking SICK of waiting. The anxiety is wrecking my nerves. Just get me to school and living, already.

Always free

Here is what I think college will be like. I think it is going to be a lot of work. I’m going to get migraines again (I already had one the other day for the first time since I think yearbook ended). I am going to stress endlessly and probably overdose on caffeine and most likely will stop blogging for a while because I’ll be so insanely busy.

But I am going to enjoy every second of it. The long hours, constantly pushing myself. The eventual improvement that will hopefully follow.

Heather said outright, “They’re going to take you down a few pegs.” She means emotionally, musically, and mentally. Not ego-wise, I don’t have a problem that way. But everything I’ve ever been taught or thought I was doing correctly or well enough? No, they’ll fix me. And that was my reply: “As long as they’re planning on bringing me back up and higher, I’m totally fine with that.”

I am ready for this massive change. Not too eager: I love life, simple as it is right now. But I’m prepared for something bigger, something on a more serious and intense scale. Something I’ve been waiting for all my life.

At five years old I wanted to be a country star with a hundred horses and side jobs as a firefighter and ballerina. But even then I knew that my existence couldn’t be a simple marriage, children, and steady nine-to-five job. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I almost envy it now that I know I probably won’t have it. The simplicity and basic motions that lead to a challenging and extraordinarily life-filled time here.

But I have come to realize that those probably aren’t going to be mine. Marriage wouldn’t be so bad: I like the tradition of it. The family that comes from it and the life two people can build together. I’m too much of my own person to share it with someone like that, though, I think. I like to be in charge; I want to have control over what I’m doing, with my body, heart, and career. A husband would really screw with that. Besides, the only guys that would be willing to stand up to me (or stand with me) on a romantic plane are the toughy-toughs: but the guy who believes he has a chance at leading me around anywhere is smoking the good stuff. Or delusional. Wimpy boys aren’t any fun, and the regular guy (if there is such a thing) seems to find me intimidating. But maybe, who knows, if there was someone who didn’t mind my lifestyle and let me do what I want, without being a complete pushover… oh well. It bears thinking about when I’m older. As does the thought of kids: but seriously? With what I hope is my career during the kid-bearing ages? Yeah, right. I’ll let Meeshie have the children, and I’ll be the best damn aunt anyone could contemplate.

Speaking of careers, if all goes as planned I’ll be singing. Singing then teaching, or singing and teaching. But either way I’ll probably be traveling. Maybe I’ll take classical music to third world countries or something cool. Who knows? But from a very young age I was aware that there would be different things in store for me. Whenever I thought about staying in a small town and having kids, maybe running a little business (pizza-making? a bookstore? cafe?), it just felt awkward. Like something was telling me, good try bud, but not in this lifetime… at least, not until you’re very, very old.

All the same, I want it and I don’t want it. I see the beautiful home my parents have, I know of the happiness my mother found in the early years of her marriage (up until my sister and I entered the picture, anyway. ha ha) and I know that the job security and a pleasant home can be a wonderful thing. I just don’t know if they will be mine. Anyway, all this rambling comes to one conclusion: college will be the start of something big, something magnificent and bright and wonderful. A vibrant beginning to an adult life that will make me who and what I was meant to be. Sempre libera.