a day too long

March 29, 2008 at 3:52 am (Uncategorized)

Let’s see what happened today. I worked for so many hours it seems. I had to get up early to do my observations and I spent the day a school nearby, in a fifth grade class. The day was so LONG, and drawn out, that I though I would soon cry out in exhaustion and frustration. The teacher, Ms. J, was sweet and yet determined, but all she did was REPRIMAND. Please sit down, stop talking, stop talking, pay attention, listen! and on and on she went with this and that.

By the end of the day all I wanted to do was cry out and  surrender. For this is the reason that I CANNOT and WILL NOT teach any grade but older students. I can’t imagine standing up there yelling and screaming all day. How can that be satisfying? There was no learning taking place in that classroom, nothing but waiting for this and that. Waiting for class to begin and for everyone to be quiet, waiting for the bathroom and for the water fountain, and for this and that…… I left the class with an aching head and an empty stomach. Even though I was given a hot lunch, I forced it down my throat. It was pizza packaged in plastic, and it was half frozen and half cooked, and the pepperoni tasted like it had been sitting there for years. Even the chocolate milk was too warm to drink. But, the students acted as if it was Thanksgiving dinner or something! They devoured the food, and left nothing on their lunch trays.  So, that was my long and strenuous day at W Elementary School. I was tired of smiling, I’ll tell you honestly. My face muscles are exhausted and tired of the act. They really are.

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a lot to say

March 26, 2008 at 1:50 am (Uncategorized)

I had about a week off again for vacation, and tomorrow I begin the rush of school/hw/classes again, but I don’t want to go back just yet. Apart of me misses the social scene, eating lunch and dinner with my friends, and tutoring and mentoring — but the other part of me just wants to stay home and let the world pass me by. I keep forgetting that I am graduating in May. Yes, this May! 

I had an interview last week at high school nearby which I didn’t get. I was really disappointed after I found out. It was one of those interviews that you didn’t really know what to say afterward. It just felt weird. I was interviewed by two older men who looked at me skeptically from the beginning. I tried my best in the interview, and I threw in my knowledge of books and such, but still I could tell they weren’t interested in all that. They hadn’t even looked at my resume and all my accomplishments either. So…that’s that I guess. But, I have another interview next week at a middle school. AHHH!!! I might have to teach middle school!!! This thought really leaves me feeling a little upset, just because I really don’t want to teach a bunch of hormone-raging adolescents….I don’t want to teach grammar/punctuation/etc…I want to teach actual literature. I don’t know. I really don’t know. AHHHH!!!  

But, I went to the library tonight to see one of my favorite librarians and we talked as she worked for about an hour. I miss working there! But, apart of me is over it, I think. I need to get over things sometimes that I just don’t want to. I was telling my sister the other day that I had more friends in that library than I did in my entire high school. There are so many memories there. I met so many people and I miss it.  

I told S all about Ireland and I even pulled up some pictures from the computer, and she really admired the beautiful scenery…It’s just nice to feel connected to the world again. After being very reclusive the past couple of days, it feels good to get out and talk to people again, besides my family anyway. Some people just make you feel happy to be alive and S is one of those people. I could talk to her about whatever for hours. I used to love working with her at the circulation desk for this very reason. We would talk and sometimes get in trouble by our supervisor because of it. But we would only laugh it off and continue to chat. Libraries were made for conversation, weren’t they?  

For my modern novel class I have to read The Sound and the Fury, and I just began it the other day – yes on my VACATION! I never read it before but I feel as though I will really need to go back and reread soon. I am almost done with the first section, and things are very hazy in my mind. All the action seems disconnected and it is really hard to follow what exactly is going on. I think its steam of consciousness maybe? But, I have learned that as a reader, we aren’t supposed to connect every single detail that we read. So I learned to be patient and calm and just keep reading in the hope that the pieces will soon come together. But still – this story is insane! It’s insane and yet so intriguing.  

During the break, I wrote and illustrated (with the help of my sister and mom) my very own children’s book! It’s my final project for my education class and I decided to do a book on the life of Langston Hughes. All I can say about my book is that it’s very beautiful, colorful, and full of life – it screams READ ME!!! I think I will reflect on the book later though because I should get some more reading done before bed. Good night!

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the egg boy

March 25, 2008 at 2:20 am (Uncategorized)

Okay, so I am putting in a valiant effort everyday to write, even if it is just for a little while. First, I hope everyone had a nice relaxing Easter. I spent the day relaxing, talking, and eating mostly.  

Anyway, I want to share a story that the priest shared during his homely. It really struck me and I want to share it with you. Please listen if you have the time. During CCD (after school religious program) the teacher

gave each 2nd grade student a colorful plastic egg. She then instructed them to go outside and find something

 that symbolized rebirth inside – so the students did as they were told and scampered around the small pieceof land in search of the most beautiful flower or leaf. When they scuttled back into the classroom, they proudly placed their eggs into a wicker basket. As the teacher opened each egg she found many flowers, leafs, berries, petals, but she frowned when she opened one egg and found nothing inside.   

“Who’s egg is this?” The teacher asked.

“It’s mine!” The boy shouted without hesitation from the back of the classroom. This boy was always picked on. He had Down Syndrome. The other students always berated him for this reason or that and said things like “You never do anything right.”

“You didn’t do the assignment,” the teacher said.

“BUT, I did do the assignment,” he countered. The teacher and the students turned to face him. “There is nothing in the egg, because there was nothing in the tomb.”  The class remained silent and the teacher smiled. ***         

This boy died a few weeks later. He was truly a boy from another place. All I could think was the Romantics and how only the children can truly see the truth of life and meaning and purpose. During his funeral service, each student from his class brought an egg and placed it in a basket near his grave.  

Now I look at Easter in such a different way. I think of this child. This child who spoke the truth before he left this world in hopes of a better one.

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angela and d

March 22, 2008 at 6:42 pm (Uncategorized)

There are glass chemistry bottles with yellow liquids and old photographs and files encased in mahogany cabinets. Empty medicine bottles line the shelves like a marching band. Signs that say things like “smoking is very glamorous” and there are other trinkets that clutter the shelves.

There is a jar of shiny bulbs, not ordinary Christmas colors, but wonderful pastels – that shine and revel in the afternoon sunlight.  A small bar is attached on one side with white capped stools and a large dusty mirror sits behind it. In the waiting area, there are a few chairs lined up, and as I sit, I can see the stardust that seems to make everything sparkle. I can see an old framed photograph of a man that looks like D, except he looks too grim and sad to be my D.  

 The door keeps being blown open by the cool, March wind. I keep thinking that someone is trying to enter. I tell D it is a spirit but he doesn’t listen, as he paces back and forth in the office. The door is large and beautiful with an intricate cage-like covering. Grey photographs of people which I yearned to know are scattered here and there.

The old radio blares its hushed, small talk banter, daily news, people dying, people winning, people afraid… a mirror with spider-like hands stands near the doorway. Sad fake flowers in a bottle, cigar boxes in glass cases, silver capped bottles filled with straws …The room is framed by bowls, enormous green and brownish pots, and the floor is lined with tiny, checkered pieces that glisten like diamonds in the sea.  

The sound of the typewriter beckons us to enter. I laugh because I haven’t heard the sound of a typewriter since perhaps the fifth grade. D tells me that it’s his Nonno and I smile. There is a small closed, narrow door that reads PRESCRIPTIONS, and inside is where D’s Nonno sits behind a wooden desk stacked high with paperwork.

 “Angela, Come on,” so I follow him into what I perceive to be a small cramped office. But it was much more beautiful than I could have imagined – full of all the things that Nonno loved. On the right there was this magnificent bookshelf, filled and stacked high with books in all nooks and corners. I have always liked the look of untouched dusty books, and I wanted nothing more to take a photograph of this sight.          

As we entered deeper into the room, I saw D’s Nonno sitting behind his desk with a pen and paper in hand. “Nonno, Nonno” D said with that deep voice of his. I love the ring in his words, the way that it sounds like church music, and how I can never get enough of that sweetness. When Nonno looked up, he smiled. He had a head of white hair and large glasses that covered the half moons beneath his eyes. He had an Italian nose and his eyes looked sweet and sad. He wore a white lab coat with his name etched in the corner.

We talked and joked about D’s attire, and Nonno said that he belonged in the funeral parlor down the street. I laughed hard and immediately agreed. And how it was NORMAL that I didn’t like public displays of affection…And about Maryland and about his Nonna, and about the different portraits that hung upon the walls, and about the house down the street. Everything was new and it intrigued me deeply. 

 D asks me what I am writing on my little green notepad and I tell him to go away. I don’t want him to know that I am writing this. He gives me that grin of his and I brush him away. He makes me want to cry in happiness sometimes.  

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D and the demon

March 19, 2008 at 1:16 am (Uncategorized)

First and foremost I want to thank TheElementary for renewing my blogging spirit. I realized I haven’t written in almost a month…Thank you for inspiring me to write this next post. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For where have I gone? Why have I been away so long?  

I guess you can say that I have had a rough couple of weeks which explains why I haven’t been writing like I should. There has been too much drama in my life – more drama than I could have ever imagined and I hate, hate it….especially when your friends – yes your friends!! – think that they control your life, and order you around and tell what to do with YOUR life!!! I am not a moron, and though people may perceive me as a sweet, soft-spoken girl I stand up for myself when I need to, and I will not any guy walk all over me. But, we live in a world of perceptions and assumptions, in the words of Wharton “in a world of hieroglyphics in which the real thing is never spoken, said or understood” J 

But there is this one girl who thinks she can ambush me at 3:30 in the morning and take me away from sleep, just because she is worried and scared that I might die or something. They make me out to be some type of fool, and apart of me, a large part of me, wants to tell them to SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE AND GET OUT OF MY ROOM!!! But I would never, ever voice such thoughts to such an ignorant group of beings who judge a person upon one small conversation.  

I will never forget the night we were sitting at dinner in a warm, quaint Tai Restaurant. V had recommended the place, and I figured that I would give Tai food a try. After all, D lives nearby and I told him to meet us there, since I was dying to see him and so was my friend V. Now remember that V is the type of person who irons her jeans and hangs them up in her closet. She is the biggest neat freak/perfectionist/teacher’s pet I have ever met, to the point where it scares me. She needs to know and understand everything –except herself I course.

Let’s just say there is only so much “V—time” one can handle before they want to explode. I had a slight inkling that V and D would not get along and I was hesitant about them meeting. But V always has a way – and so – yes she always wins I guess you can say… When we walked in D was already waiting for us. He was drinking a beer, and he was wearing that long wool trench coat of his, and he eyes had tiny half moons underneath. His hair was slicked back in the way I hate it and he looked a little depressed. But when he saw me he smiled and waved. He tried to kiss me, but I turned away. He always says he’s Roman and I guess that makes me anti-Roman.  

After we sat down, V immediately launched into a conversation about his business prospects. What did he plan to do? Why was he doing it? What were his intentions? Was the software he was using authorized by the government? Was he downloading illegal software and reclaiming it as his own? Was he even authorized to be in business….? How old was he? WHY WHY WHY WHY???? 

Let’s just say I gulfed down my glass of wine too quickly. D asked for about six more glasses of beer, and each time he asked our waiter, she would nod, as though she knew too. This girl had the entire room listening to her! I wanted to runaway and never come back to the table. D did too, I saw anger color his deep dove-shaped eyes. I would look at him to say don’t worry, this isn’t you this is her…please don’t listen to her…

But it looked as though he was being bombarded by daggers in all directions ad he didn’t know what direction to turn….They fought for what seemed like hours, and my other friend and I looked like we at a pig-pong match, as our heads bounced back and forth…I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I squirmed in my seat and waited for the check to come…Check PLEASE!!! Check PLEASE!!! After the night was over and V dropped us off, D asked her if she practiced witchcraft. I laughed it off and nudged him in the stomach and gave him that look. V laughed too, but D was completely serious. I was scared, but I said goodbye and smiled as best as I could. The night was over. Finally! But then all D could talk about for the rest of the night was V and witches and demons. J Who the hell is she? Was all he kept saying over and over again.

I haven’t spoken to V since this happened, and I just don’t have any desire to do so. She violated me in a way that I can’t express. She thought I was helpless victim who would do something stupid and end up on the street pregnant and penniless or something. I had been perceived like a fool. No there is nothing worse than that.  There is more to this story, but I won’t go into here, but V hurt me. She has no right to treat people like that. Especially D. Who is eccentric, the most eccentric man I have ever met, but still, she never bothered to ask him about art, poetry, or books – all the stuff he loves too.

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my friend the fish

March 17, 2008 at 7:25 pm (Uncategorized)

          After I dropped my friend at the train station, which I have been doing quite frequently now — K, asked me if I wanted to go to the beach. After I made sure that I had heard her correctly, for K is not the spontaneous type, she lives by planners and order and all that stuff. I smiled immediately and turned the car around and sped my way to the end of the town. I too wanted nothing more than to feel free. To see the ocean and the sand and the seagulls and the everlasting expanse of whatever it was that was too far to even touch or reach.         

When our feet touched the sand and we began to walk, we spoke of things that I had been bothering us. All that was wrong and all that was right. K has seizures at least once month, and she was telling me about her last trip to the hospital. I never really say much when she speaks of this type of thing, simply because I don’t know what would be the right thing to say. I just hum and ummmmm and ohhh…and that usually works. I was with her when she convulsed and passed out that one afternoon in the library. I had nightmares for days afterward. I remember her sitting in that white hospital gown too short for her long legs. I will never forget that feeling of utter helplessness and the need to accept this feeling. I thought these thoughts as I listened to her speak of the conditions of her seizures and how the doctors have been unable to really out find what’s wrong.          

As we walked deeper and deeper upon the shore, we saw a dead fish! It was sitting there, not moving, but it had a strange smirk on its face, as though it was about to jump out and say something vulgar. It was about 16 inches and it looked like a bass fish – it was silver with a blackish fin. At first we weren’t sure if it was alive or dead, but K, the biology major took the initiative to touch his fin. She told me it was his dorsal fin, and she seemed to be happy. Yep, he’s dead, she confirmed. K, wanted to take it home with us in a paper bag so she could experiment on this creature. I continually insisted that it smelled horribly and I was not taking it back in my car. Hiding the fact that I would never,e ever, take a dead fish – dead!! — with me…The poor thing looked so sad and it would be a sin to take it home with me.          

 So I insisted that we throw it back in the ocean. K agreed. We should give a proper burial I said, and she nodded. I was scared to touch the fish at first—anything dead, I realize, I am afraid to touch. So, K and I agreed that we would each take a side and toss it back into the ocean. I watched it for a few moments and then worked up enough courage to pick it up, the tail side by the way, because I was completely creeped out by the beady eyes and the bleeding, open mouth. As we carried it over, I tried to hold on tight because it was slipping through my fingers. But we managed to reach the end of the ocean where our toes almost touched the shore. On the count of three, I said, let it go!“ONE — TWO — THREE!!!” And off the poor fish went into the low tide of the ocean. I thought the ocean would have immediately scooped the fish it and held it within its embrace, but instead the ocean didn’t welcome the fish. The fish floated motionlessly near low tide and for the first time that day I felt saddened. All I could see was that strip of shining, flickering silver in the midst of passionless grey. It looked like a star that had fallen from the sky and landed in the ocean. Then I said a prayer for the fish, hoping that he would find his way home.  On the way back to my car, I spotted a beautiful ivory spotted conch shell along the shore. I was so excited that I was jumping up and down.

“What is that Angela?”

“A conch. Have you ever read The Lord of the Flies?”

“No, but I’ve always wanted to.”

“You should read it. Read it.”

“I’ve been meaning to.”

I told K all about The Lord of the Flies, and Piggy and the conch shell and the end of reason. She only she smiled as we made our way back to my car.

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