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21 March 2008

Paper. Things. "Paper Pills"

"Paper Pills" is one of my favorite short stories. It is by Sherwood Anderson. I do not believe I am qualified to explain its brilliance. Read it. (I do almost every day.)

I have a paper to write this weekend about a poem; of my choices, I like null. Our choices are "Chemistry Experiment," "The Voice You Hear When You Read Silently," "Next, Please," and "Revolutionary Petunias." I really hate "Revolutionary Petunias" though I commend Alice Walker on the way she wrote it anyway. I think it is a good poem, but it is just not my bag!
A fellow student asked me to help her understand one of the poems ("The Voice You Hear When You Read Silently"), so I explained the general idea of the poem. Being the nice person that I am, I went so far as to explain certain points of what I said using the text, and when I finished my abbreviated synopsis (yes, it was that short), she exclaimed, "Oh that is good! Don't use that in your paper because I'm going to!" I told her she should not attempt to use an idea that is not hers, and she asked if she could pay me to write her paper. I, upholding standards of intellectual and academic integrity, refused, but I am hoping that she was not being entirely serious. Do people really do that? And do people let them? Besides that being sick, she really should not need anyone to explain the poem. Do people really not understand things like that? I have a difficult time understanding that as I think this particular poem is pretty straight-forward, and its points are made abundantly clear. She also asked me about "Revolutionary Petunias" but she disagreed with my (entirely correct) explanation. Oh well.

I feel a need to change my major, but I am unsure about what to change it to. Should I change to English or French or German or Russian literature? I do not know! I suppose I could double major, but I have a lot of problems getting my work done as it is. I do know that I cannot stay in only biology, though I do love it so. I feel so lost when I consider a change: my entire life has been preparing to culminate in a deep study of the biological sciences and genetics. My Entire Life. I feel as if I am betraying a great and loyal friend. I feel like I have outgrown it, like it no longer suits me, but I feel like I am the same person. So what has changed?
I do not know the answer to that. I do not know at all, and it breaks my heart.

As I previously mentioned, I have been writing quite a lot lately. I have quite a large collection of personal essays at this point, and everyone knows I have tons of poems. I do not know what has spurred this great burst of creativity in me, but I like it. I like writing a poem and not hating it, feeling like it is worth sharing. I missed that. These essays have come out of nowhere. I never used to spend so much time writing essays just for the sake of writing them, but I find that I really enjoy it.

I requested that the boyfriend return all of my books that I had left at his house (for when I could not sleep) and my DVDs. He also brought me a box of his books that I had planned to read. I was going to read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, but I chose Pastoralia to use as interesting procrastination material instead. I really love George Saunders' work. Saunders cracks my shit up! I finished the first story in it, "Pastoralia" very quickly today. George Saunders writes in such a way that his stories can be read very quickly. This is how I feel about my own writing, like it moves quickly, and I appreciate it very much. I like that I never feel as if I am laboring or working to read a book/story like with some others' works.
Boyfriend still has a book or two of mine, though I have asked him to return them repeatedly. He did, however, bring the book we are reading together, and I am so excited to have it near me again. I read the book about two years ago and fell head over heels in love with it. Jonathan Safran Foer, the author, is just amazing, and I love everything that he has written thus far. Anyway, when I met the boyfriend I told him all about Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and insisted that he read it, and the idea arose that I should read it to him, so that is what I am doing. It is taking quite a long time, though, because he has a super busy, super lame work schedule! Frowns.

Other news on the school front includes a persuasive speech about animal testing. I have not formulated a thesis or any ideas for one, but my thesis page is due on Tuesday. I cannot decide what sort of speech I wish to write: a question of value, fact, or policy? I will choose within the next three days, and I will write a bangin' speech! Someone in the class had planned to write a speech about abortion, but our teacher vetoed it. Thank goodness! I did not want to hear that speech.

This took me an hour.

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