Sunday, July 28, 2013

Almost There, Almost Done

Now Playing:
  • Soda Stereo - En La Ciudad de la Furia, Lo que sangra (La cúpula), and En el borde
  • Gustavo Cerati - Cosas Impossible
  • Héroes del Silencio - Avalancha
Figures I'd be in the final chapters of Ataraxia when finals week is about to hit me full on.

As far as first semesters go, this was an interesting experience. I'm deeply thankful that I was silly enough to pick summer term for FSU rather than fall. It was kind of a pain coming here all alone, totally lost, and fearing everything about the world. But you know what? It helped. A lot.

For one thing, I got a jobbbbb. At a sushi place. They were hiring for fall term only and the owner, Lawrence, was super nice. I could have picked the cashier position, but that means dealing with costumers, which is scary. So instead, I'm going to learn to make sushi. AWW YEAH. I'll have to wake up at 6 in the morning for it, and it's on the other side of campus, but I don't really mind since I'll only be working 16 hours a week. And it'll hopefully stop the guilt that hits me whenever I get a latte at Starbucks.

Another awesome thing that came from this term: I got settled into the dorm life smoothly. My roommate is an extremely sweet girl who's obviously enjoying the crazy college life more than I am (though it can be a bit worrying--our mutual friend and neighbor, Anya, has had to keep an eye on her a couple of times). Plus she's usually out super late on weekends, which means I have the room to myself to blast crazy music and write till one in the morning.

I'm happy that in terms of living situations, we were suppose to be three girls in a triple, but the second roommate ended up having to wait a year before attending, so we got a huge room, extra bed, extra drawers, extra closet, and an extra desk just for us two. I love the fact that the college bookstore has contemporary adult and YA novels (and that I got to purchase Cinder and Dune there). I love that the library closest to my residence hall is huge and has a Starbucks right inside, and I love that on Mondays through Thursdays, it's opened till two in the morning. The fact that it's opened so late meant I got to write a six page essay at the computer lab, print 25 copies at midnight, wait patiently for the 150 pages to slide out of the printer for twenty minutes, and walk out without even getting one odd stare. I'm guessing English majors are easy to spot.

Last night, bored of the dozen frat parties taking place and clubs raging downtown, Anya decided to pay me a visit and drag me out of my room at eleven p.m to do something different. We went to a sweet shop, wondered about the benefits between Milkshakes and Smoothies, went to the school's fountain, and then set out to walk to downtown. We did the stupid thing of breaking into an abandoned frat house that was being rebuilt. Then we walked all the way to a government building and ran around the grass when the sprinklers came on. I think our screaming woke up a kitten because we heard meowing. Anya got the bright idea to find the cat in between the flowers and bushes, so we walked around the silent, empty garden of said government building, shinning our phones' lights to vegetation, meowing like maniacs at one in the morning. We never found Biscuit--but we named him either way. Then on the walk back, we almost got kidnapped, but Anya's protective skills kicked in and she shoved some creepy drunk guys away from us and we charged down the street screaming and laughing like intoxicated oddballs. (But no, we weren't drunk. No fake IDs here, and either way, I look about twelve so that would have never worked).

But that's about as crazy a thing I've done in my time here. True to my nature as a boring Creative Writing major and aspiring novelist, I've spent 70% of my time at the library. I've been here either reading, writing papers, or finishing Ataraxia.

And as far as my classes go, I'm glad I didn't chicken out and drop one of them like I planned to that first week. Global Literature makes me happy because it forced me to read Jane Eyre, a book I didn't imagine would have such a badass leading lady. I'm glad I got to read Mansfield Park, even if Fanny was the farthest thing from Elizabeth Bennet but still a brave little girl. Granted, I'm not so happy that I had to read Wide Sargasso Sea. Stupid book and what it did to the Jane Eyre cannon @_@ but...meh....the writing wasn't half bad.

My Techniques in Essay and Article Writing class was nice as well. I was surprised by how young my professor and his friend (and substitute teacher) turned out to be. They were hosting this thing called Warehouse Reading Series at a local bar, and whenever they presented, I couldn't help but shake off the thought that those two could be in an indie, coming-of-age movie. Even their names sound too perfect: Vincent and Nora.

Turning in my first essay for that class was a disaster. It was the terrible letter to 47-year-old me. There was way too much abstract language and rambling, repetitive bits. I needed to implement more imagery and have more of a focus. It didn't exactly do much in terms of showcasing what little writing talent I have.

It bummed me out, but I decided to make up for it on my next essay. I wasn't exactly planning to make something incredible, just a little above mediocre. I wanted to add as much imagery as I could, and it ended up being terribly long. Nonetheless, it was perfectly nostalgic, and the concept and unique organization really entertained my professor and classmates. It made me remember the time I turned in The Magic Trick to my creative writing class at Miami Dade College. When a group of people say they've found my writing interesting, moving, or even perfect (I ACTUALLY GOT THIS COMMENT LAST WEEK--FROM THE BEST WRITER IN THE CLASS, DUDE NAMED CARSON) then I explode into a little ball of happiness and the joy doesn't leave me for days.

There were still problems with the second essay, but it made my professor laugh and almost cry (no idea why on that last one) so I call that a job well done. Plus, I'm fixing it up now. I fixed the letter to 47-year-old me as well, since part of our final project for the class is to turn in a portfolio. I'll probably post them here when I'm done, especially because the second essay tells a story that's always been important to me.

Overall, I'm terribly happy and also kind of sad that the first semester is ending. I'm eager to get back to Miami, but I'm glad I've still got time left here at FSU. Next semester I'm taking Russian Folklore and Fairy Tales, German cinema, a Creative Writing advanced workshop class, introduction to Modern British Literature, and possibly a multicultural cinema class (we'll see if it doesn't conflict with my work schedule).

And I should be done with Ataraxia before the fall semester starts. I've been taking forever with it, but I'm not very far from the ending. I'll write more about my time with that book when I finish it up to the last bit. Scary thing is, though, I've been seeing what happens for a while now. I always picture it up to the battle at Earth, then I draw a blank. It's scary not to know what's going to happen to Katya and Sonya, who dies or who's separated, but I guess that's part of the fun.
~Becky

P.S: So I wrote a little while back that I liked to pretend Nine Inch Nail's The Four of Us Are Dying was Ataraxia's unofficial theme song. I liked to wonder what "four" characters of mine were the ones the song (metaphorically) connected to. Since I'm fairly certain Caesar and Haider don't die (just a feeling), I'm thinking the four at risk right now are Katya, Sonya, Maria and Xuan. Hopefully they don't all die. Hopefully.

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