End of Junior Year

Here we are, in the homestretch, looking at the end of the school year. It’s here, somewhere, it really is, I swear.
It’s also the beginning of new things.
Emily and I have decided to attempt to make our apartment a home this summer and into the next year. Currently, it’s still a cluttered place, filled with random things in random places. Not at all like a house that I hope to one day come home to.
Little improvements: I bought a bright pink shower curtain with a beautiful print on it. The bathroom looks a lot brighter now, much better than the nasty dingy white we had before.
I also bought a blue and white basket for our makeup. It sits on the little white shelving unit that we have over the toilet next to the sink, and it seems to fit into the brightness of the room.
Hunter and I are discussing travel plans for the first week of June, so stay tuned for more information there. I found cheap flights on Frontier, two tickets for less than $350, so maybe we’ll take advantage of that.
I’m hoping to get a great tax refund and then turn and use that money to buy a bike, but not before I’m sure to get a better lock than the one I had before. Not that the one I was using was inferior, the thief did get through a locked gate and another locked door before cutting the lock on my bike, I’m just saying I’d like more security there.
I have done my final presentation in Ethics and am due to turn in two final papers for both Advertising and Literary Journalism on Thursday. I somehow managed to get an A- on the last piece I did for dear Connie Fletcher, so that was a very welcome relief.
I register for classes tomorrow. Nothing too exciting on my schedule, at this point, I’m just trying to fill up my requirements and such. I will most definitely be taking 18 hours, so that will be interesting. I’ll also be hoping to get an internship, which means I will be incredibly busy next fall.
I’m supposed to be editing my Anti-Olympics documentary for film class right now, but I’ve already been sitting at the computer for almost two hours and I’m getting antsy. I may go take a walk around the city before I meet Hunter when he gets out of work at 7. We’re going to see his ex-girlfriend’s play tonight. (Not so secret UGHHGGGHH)
Anyway, for the first time in a long time, I decided to do two other new things:
1. keep a small notebook to write down thoughts. any thoughts I decide to keep. things that may help me with my writing. writing itself.
2. a new journal. I waited and waited to find a notebook that I liked but finally at Target the other night, I found one. It’s got a splash of brightly colored flowers on both the front and the back, with a white background and some black swirls dominating the layout. It’s spiral, so that I can easily turn the pages and has a cute little black strap to keep it shut. Excellent find. Maybe it was at Walgreens, actually.

Well, I started writing in it today, and although I don’t normally share these sort of things, I thought perhaps I might share my first entry.

April 21, 2009

It’s always hard to begin a new journal. Blank pages, empty of all words but brimming with the anticipation of something great to come.
Interruption.
Jarring me out of a perfectly delightful first paragraph.
On the threat of death, laser-eyes from Connie Fletcher, I end this beginning of hopes of living to fill the pages of my journal.
Raised my hand. Asked a question that I needed no answer for. Redemption? Not likely. Wasn’t ever likely. I’ve been marked since class began in January.
I hope this looks like notes.
No.
Hand goes up again. Studious.
Is that spelled wrong? (note: apparently not)
I am not planning on orienting my reader at all. There is a long story due at the end of this week. It’s due Thursday. Today is Tuesday. I haven’t started.
Oops.

Rainy day. Cold here. This is only my second spring in Chicago and I seem to have completely forgotten how cold it is up until summer actually begins.
How much money have I actually spent during my almost three years of school and what have I actually learned?
I watch people in my classes, they already have internships, they already know exactly what they want to do, they’re ready.
I’m not. I know I want to write, but I don’t know how or what.
I’ve been watching Hunter and Coupe as they prepare to graduate and I’m starting to get actually terrified.
I need a stronger resume, I need to know what I want to do. I need a lot of things.
I’m settled on grad school. It’ll give me another 2 years to get all of my things figured out.
Then I’ll be ready.
Hopefully.

(end of journal entry)

I used my class time well. Literary Journalism (with the dreaded Connie Fletcher, who probably has found this blog using google and know I’m going to get a D) was spent reflecting on my life.

Advertising was spent creating something of a different sort. Fiction. Pages and pages of fiction. Deliciously, I have come up with a new plan based off an old idea. I had forgotten about it until Hunter reminded me how much he enjoyed it. And so, I began to flesh it out.
It’s a short story now, stretching to a novella if it had the courage. I’m going to let it grow and see what I can do with it.
The romance novel has been set aside this week, all thoughts of this seem to be pouring in at once and I want to take advantage of them.

Do you want some of it? My tuition was paid by your hard work, you might as well know what I do with your time.

Here it is: the tentatively (working) titled: The Women (yes, I know there’s already both a play and a movie of the same name)

Susan: a 40-something mother: has three daughters

Susan sighed. She was standing in front of five rows of disinterested students. Some pretended to be interested, other were buried in their laptops or elbows.
She was selling something and they had disengaged. Buy? Yet another book to gather dust on their shelves.
Her once blond, now graying hair just settled on her shoulder. To be honest, she was uncomfortable standing in the suit, one she rarely dug out of back of the closet. It was tight in a few too many places, clinging to her waist and hips even as she stood.
Her bright eyes scanned the room.
She was losing them, she knew it.
The clock perched behind them on the wall seemed to have stopped it’s circular dance. Was it even moving? she wondered.
“Music is still thriving in the world today,” she heard herself say.
The words came out of habit and for that she was grateful.
She talked about music, letting the words spill out in a torrent. At least that much was successful.
“Always be changing,” she said as a way of ending her speech.
There. Fifty full minutes of genius, she laughed to herself. A paycheck waiting to be cashed. Food on the table, lights on in the house.
“Any questions?” she addressed the now-shifting group.
A small girl wearing designer glasses in the front row threw up her hand.
She seemed to strain to push it higher, to make her presence known.
“How much of your music is connected to events in your life?” she asked in a tiny voice, pen poised over her notebook.
Susan dreaded the question. It was by far the most common question she was asked yet it was the most difficult to answer.
The answer evaded her.
She found herself answering it quickly, a flippant answer to an earnest question.
“Ask yourself. Is your music a reflection of your heart?”
The girl set her pen down, obviously disappointed. It wasn’t the first time.
Susan’s answer, her real answer, was yes, all of it, every note is part of the struggle, part of the smiles and part of the terrible pain. Part of her life.
She remembered the songs she’d written, the crumpled pieces of paper littering the attic room she’d once used as an office.
She’d been about to set the climax of the piece to paper when she’d heard the knock.
“Hey, Susan, do you have a minute?”
Bill sounded nervous, strained, as if something was bothering him.
She looked up and waved her pen at him, inviting him in.
“I’m about to finish it,” she announced. “Finally!”
“Honey, listen.” His voice was short, sharp.
“Is it Leni?” she looked past him, concerned, as if to find her youngest daughter standing behind him, holding her head in shame.
“No, Susan, it’s us.”
He exhaled, sharply.
“What do you mean?” Her voice was pinched now, her pen pointing accusingly at him.
“I, uh,” Bill paused, his forehead tight in an uncomfortable frown.
“You what Bill?” Susan became predatory, sensing what he was about to say.
He continued to fumble for words, stammering different beginning to his fateful proclamation. His hands were clenched in his pockets, his gaze trained on the richly carpeted floor.
“I met someone.”
The words fell on the room. Silence. Moments passed.
Susan snapped back to the room filled students and looked around. Fifty pairs of eyes stared back at her.
“Anything else?” Her tone was brisk. She began to gather up her notes.
No one moved.

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