So it’s been a while since I’ve posted–first I got sidetracked when I was told my thesis was due earlier than anticipated (by a month! but don’t worry, I finished it–and passed my defense), and then I had to catch up on homework, and then I’ve been attending a YOGA for Youth teacher training and it’s been busy (forty hours? two weekends? check!).
Excuses, excuses, of course, but it’s my way of saying if I could have been here, sharing ideas and experiences with all of you, I would have been. =)
I’m still in a frenzied state, of course, attempting to stay on top of everything as graduation and Teach for America barrel toward me, but I want to take a quick moment to share something with you–call it my three-day-early throwback Thursday.
I’ve been struggling a long time to figure out what I want to do with my life. I used to joke I had my life planned through graduation this past May. It wasn’t until August and September came that I realized how much I had relied upon this plan–and how much I lacked the direction to proceed since then.
I’ve been journeying this winding path for weeks. I’ve taken personal inventories and gone to job interviews and spoken with advisors and friends about what I’m doing–and none alone has given me more help than my closest friend. She told me flatly that I’m fooling myself. That I’ve always known what I want to do. That I’m just thinking too much.
Well, maybe I have thought too much. But now my thinking is over.
Have you ever stepped outside to see everything in high definition? The leaves on the trees in glorious three dimensions? The fractures in the asphalt, the oil stains in thirty shades of grey, and the skid marks like brush strokes painted upon the road? Or the sunlight shining through every blade of grass and the diffractions of shadows cast from the heavens onto the ground?
I’m in a foul mood for sure. Suppose it’s a bad mood rising. But I guess it’s not a bad mood, just a sad mood. The day started out so beautiful, too, so cheerful and upbeat and I was so high on life. Now I feel low. Now I just feel so low I don’t know how much lower I could go.
But I must be thankful. It’s about that time of week anyways.
I’m struggling as I write this to think of an appropriate title more so than of what I’m actually about to write. My creative side says I should do something explosive, a massive pun or some catchy alliteration, but my rational side tells me to be reserved, respectful, considerate of everything that has just happened.
Perhaps, then, this is an acceptable middle ground?
Either way, I should be in class right now. Unfortunately, my class was closed today. In fact, my entire college was closed today.
Step One: Pick a stick. Any stick. Some sticks are thicker, and some sticks are lighter, and some sticks have a number. Those sticks just might be good in math, but probably, they aren’t. And if you don’t have a stick yet, pick a stick already.
Step Two: Hit ball with stick. It might help if you hit it hard. It might help if you swing real strong and try to swing it straight, too. But since the entire premise of this game is hitting balls with sticks, just pick a ball, any ball, and hit it with a stick. If at first you miss and kick up some grass, just swing again until you hit the ball.
Step Three: Watch ball fly through air and go into hole. If lucky, go in hole in one swing. If average, watch ball go in hole on par. If not good, ball never go in hole. This may seem pointless, but without trying to get the ball in the hole, there’s no point in hitting the ball with a stick, and the entire game falls apart.
I worked SOAR yesterday. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but SOAR stands for Student Orientation and Registration. It’s usually pretty fun: I get to see my ambassador friends and usually a couple SGA friends, too, and it’s always fun to hang out with my computer lab buddies. (Isn’t it odd, perhaps, to associate my friends with how I know them? I personally find it natural–after all, I mold myself to the situation, and in some regards to that, to the people I meet in each of them.)
In any case, SOAR is structured. Very structured. At 11:30 we start to set up. By 12:15 we start checking people in: At the table before mine, they’re signed in and given a name tag and their program booklet. Then they move to me. “Good afternoon,” I say, “Welcome to SOAR.” And proceed to hand them a colored folder. I’m very particular with my folders: I arrange nine at a time, in three sets of three shell-shaped structures, laid out like a perfect salesman. I’m very careful to vary my colors, and to not leave any folder on the table too long. Sometimes this means shuffling things around. Other times it means using an entire shell before restocking. It’s formulaic. It’s just like I like it.
And then, when the table before me speeds up just a little, or someone slows down long enough while writing their name, two people come at me at once. “Good afternoon, welcome to SOAR,” I say to the first, handing them a folder while I turn to the second, “Good afternoon, welcome to SOAR.”
Then I realised something: Despite my smile, I wasn’t sincere.
Yesterday (by which I still mean Thursday) was the first Thursday SOAR of the year. In case I’ve failed to mention, SOAR stands for Student Orientation and Registration, and in case I’ve failed to mention, as a Student Ambassador at Guilford Tech, I’m obligated to assist with check-in and registration. Sometimes it’s frustrating (like when I tried to explain that the line should wrap around the stairs and for some reason, they failed to understand what I thought I was communicating clearly), but usually it’s quite rewarding (such as when one woman complimented me on how organised we all were, or when I helped another register for her classes and then watched her repeat the process all on her own), but whether it’s frustrating or rewarding, it’s all the time fun. And full of people. And for an introvert like me, that equates fun in this context with exhausting.
And yesterday I was exhausted.
After I did some school work, after I ate dinner, after I did some more school work and treated myself to some time on Facebook, I curled up in bed, read for a bit, and promptly went to sleep. I was thankful for that (and forgetful that it was still Thursday).