One of the chefs in our dining hall loves to sing along with the radio. Today he belted out "Bad Romance" with Lady Gaga and from my own post one hundred feet away, I could not help but smile when his voice lofted past my ears.
Every time I stand up, the room starts to spin and my head pounds. I feel tired all the time and my body won't stop shaking. When it's warm in the room, I'm cold. When it's cold, I'm hot. Somehow, despite all of this, I managed to make it to both of my classes today. I barely remember French at all, beyond smiling and repeating certain phrases. I think I voluntarily spoke twice, but anything I said likely sounded ridiculously mundane given my current state of mind. My Lit class wasn't much better. We're sailing through A Midsummer Night's Dream right now, which happens to be my favorite work of Shakespeare's, and I'm sitting in class, my head bobbing up and down only enough for me, and nobody else, to notice. Professor Yu asks what we've observed and I mention something about the fluctuating strengths of the female characters and also, for good measure, throw in how much I adore Bottom, because he makes my life complete.
I took a nap this afternoon but it was more so a restless hour spent in bed, eyes closed, face to the ceiling. The cracked patterns in the tiles played like whirligigs.
Now I'm awake, but only because at a certain point, I got tired of tossing and turning.
Blame it on the ADHD. Blame it on the broken heater in my room. Blame it on the lack of light. Blame it on the view out my window, on the vibrancy that screams through the glass panes and ropes around my head, jerking me away from diligence and toward daydream. Blame it on the roommate who makes me wonder constantly where I stand. Blame it on sleep deprivation. Blame it on all of the other bullets on the piece of paper marked "TO DO" that taunt me because I have yet to catch up with them. Blame it on the stress. Blame it on transfer applications, on the need for a 3.5 or better to even bother sealing the envelope. Blame it on the ink in my pen running low. Blame it on this uncomfortable desk chair. Blame it on the act of blaming things.
Yesterday I arrived at my theatre rehearsal actually on time for the first time in practically a month. Beaming with pride, I greeted my director Thea "hello" and proceeded to take off my sneakers and socks in preparation for our daily twelve opening sun salutations. Thea looked confused. I became confused.
I was finally early to a rehearsal at which I was not needed.
So I went to the library (because it was closer than walking all the way across campus to go back to Ham) and plunked myself down at a computer. The girl to my left was freaking out and partly because I worried she was about to have a coronary, I asked if she was okay.
It turns out she was better than okay: the printer system in the library broke. So now we don't have to swipe our One Cards to print anything. Which means we can print as much as we want...for free.
So I showed up to a rehearsal I didn't have to be at.
But I also printed 300 pages' worth of sociology readings (double-sided, so I suppose only 150 pages, I do lurve trees after all) for free.
Things happen for reasons.
I am constantly reminded of this.
College does weird things to you. As different as everyone claims it to be--and certainly, to many extents, this claim is not wholly incorrect--college is still an exercise in the major processes of life. I still wake up every day, I still get dressed, I still eat and shower and tie my shoes, I still go to class, much as I would like to say otherwise, I still have grotesque amounts of homework, I still exercise, I still pull the covers up to my chin when I turn out the lights at night, and I still dream, I still dream bizarre dreams.
With so much similarity comes the expectation that "going home" will be exactly the same. Or maybe only I held this expectation. I think the answer is somewhere in the middle: anyone who comes home for the very first time, whether they realized it at the time or not, whether or not they admit it now, held this same belief that I did.
Perception Versus Reality plunked me on the head this weekend.
01. I was doubtful, for the first three days that I was home, that my dog actually recognized me as a permanent member of the family. 02. Between the time I left in early September and this past Friday, when I came home, three new houses were built on my street. Now I walk outside and feel overwhelmed and somewhat intruded upon by these looming tan boxes. 03. My house is the same, but I feel different living in it. Case in point: my parents got a new trash can while I was at school. This freaked me out. Apparently my acceptance to change cannot withstand fluctuations in waste disposal methods. 04. For the first few minutes that I drove my car on Saturday, I felt apprehensive and feared that my muscle memory would not prevail. 05. My room is foreign to me. Suitcases cover the floor. My closest is practically empty. Every time I walk into the room, I feel ancy and ungrounded. There is no permanence anymore. 06. My bed at school is far comfier and it took me until last night to "rediscover" how to fall asleep in my real bed. 07. Seeing old friends creates this mad rush to catch up and restore order in the tiniest amount of time and then to pretend that everything is exactly as it used to be. It's not that things have completely changed. It's just that everyone is changing in the slightest of ways and now the edges of our puzzle pieces are nubbed and altered and slightly unsettled in their fit. 08. I feel like I am on vacation. I know I technically am on vacation, but I never expected to feel this way.
The only thing that I expected to feel that I do feel is the ugly admittance that I don't want to go back to school.
is my gym class. "Hiking in the Pioneer Valley" was the best choice I made when picking out my fall schedule. The places where we hike are so beautiful. The mountain ranges go on forever and every Thursday my muscles itch to leave campus and explore another few miles of them. Autumn, in its stereotypical physical appearance, has been late arriving this year. On campus, most trees sport still-green leaves, save a few large maples on the front lawn, which burned off their fiery clothing weeks ago.
The mountains house their well-kept secret with intensity. Trailheads disguise themselves like every other inch of forest: monochromatic images of sage and olive, no different than any other street-lining trees. Yet sheltered within these beaten-out paths are small pockets of brilliance.
My camera, in all its consumer and digital goodness, cannot begin to capture the orange, yellow, red hues these steeps possess.