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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Psychosis

Here’s the definition for it; it’s not just taking up space as the title of this blog entry. Psychosis (pl. psychoses): a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.

It has nothing to do with what I’m about to talk about, except that the core of the word “psych” is also the core of the word psychic. “Psych” comes from the Greek psychikos, meaning “of the mind” or “mental.”

I’m going to see a psychic today.

I feel like both a skeptic and a wimp. Cool, man, cool (not)

I tried to think of other ways to phrase that, but the truth is? I’m feeling a little weird about it and don’t know what to expect. I’ve always had a tendency to research the paranormal, and in doing so have compiled the following facts that seem to be making me nervous.

01. My grandma is a pretty avid Christian and has mentioned to me before that seeking spiritual guidance of that nature is highly ill-advised. She basically conveyed the idea that reaching into the beyond without God was dangerous. Anything from tarot to Ouija to psychics– ex-nay.

02. My mother went with my aunt to see a psychic in Lilydale a few years ago. I remember them returning and detailing the visit for my grandma, cousin and I. Some pretty weird stuff was discussed: everything from the child Kathy must have miscarried to the possible future of Caitlin, to contact with my dead grandfather. Weird shit.

03. The Bible says that seeking mediums are not the way to go. The advice of a centuries-old book shouldn’t be discounted, should it? Granted it was mentioned in the Old Testament where there were hundreds of rules, but still. (Along with psychoanalysis and paranormal research, I’ve been interested in religion as well.)

04. Maybe I’m just a cynical skeptic when it comes to the whole “here let me tell you something about your life that I shouldn’t know at all, but I do” thing. That makes me feel vulnerable. Also, not in control.

05. Plus, I am pretty solidly in the “spirit world is real” camp. I realize that we’re blind to the actions of the ether, normally, but I think they’re there. Thankfully I’ve been blissfully unaware, mostly, thus far… can you imagine neurotic me, trying to live alongside ghosts and knowing it?

06. Also, to be brutally honest, I’m nervous. I’m nervous because even though I’m going with Sarah and her mother and they’ve done this before, who knows what I might learn. Apparently it’s this thing called “circles” where you pay ten dollars or so to sit in a circle with four or five other people. This psychic gives you (and here I’m quoting Sarah) “a mini reading.” I’ve never been to Lilydale and don’t know what to expect.

And here’s the kicker for me, I guess. I’ve never– never— been afraid of learning something. I’ve been afraid of many other things: death, sharks, deep water, slashers, stalkers, cannibals, fire, baby-killers and sadists. But never new knowledge.

I guess I’m just unnerved. What if I’m told I’ll suffer unspeakable tragedy soon? Or that my greatest worries will become reality? Or that on the way home some normal guy will suffer a psychotic break and steal Sarah and I for a fun couple years in his basement lined with human skin?

I just don’t know what I’ll be told, and I won’t have any control over it. I don’t like to be unaware of what I’ll face. So maybe I should be happy that whoever gives my “mini reading” might give me a heads-up… or maybe that five minutes will be the most terrifying five minutes of my life.