Sunday, October 30, 2011

Popular

Most of the power was out throughout campus. People who live in the "new dorms" were without heat and electricity and internet. Lucky for us Westlands folk, we have our own generator so we did not have such problems. People have been flooding in to charge their phones and laptops and such.

This made my room a popular hangout for people today. At brunch when I mentioned that I lived in Westlands, ears perked up and soon I had a room full of friends. They brought gifts (hot cocoa, a pumpkin) and did homework on my floor.

For once I was able to see how other people studied. I never really studied in high school, and I am learning how to do it in college. It's really interesting. People actually sit down and read and take notes. I thought only the really annoying kids at my high school did that. But it turns out its a thing, and I am getting the hang of it.

This happened more or less throughout they day, but unfortunately I think the power just came back on, and now my room is empty. Friends = gone.

On the bright side I finished all my homework VERY early, so a night of Netflix movies and TED talks are on the horizon. And reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I am trying to get inspired for NaNoWriMo. ONE MORE DAY!!!

I ate two chocolate chip cookies and I am feeling kind of gross, so I am going to walk around campus first.

Ciao.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

On Snow

So this morning I woke up at around 10:30am and there were little flakes falling from the sky and I thought "Ok, this is snow." And then I took a shower and looked outside again and saw that more flakes were falling from the sky so I said "No wait, THIS is snow." And then I ate brunch and went outside again and there was even more snow. And then it snowed so much that the Met Van was canceled and I wasn't able to go into the city to find myself, as planned.

Instead, I had a Snow Saturday at Sarah Lawrence.

I go into snowball fights and made a snowman. I drank hot apple cider and ate pumpkin pie in the Garrison dorms. Then I went outside and got into more snowball fights until I couldn't feel my hands.

I went back to my room and did some homework for the rest of the afternoon, taking breaks to watch snow fall and to listen to tree branches breaking. It was beautiful outside.

And then the sun went down and it stopped snowing and started slushing. I walked down to Bates for dinner, taking slow steps in half-melted snow down the steepest hill on campus, then wading through an ice-cold puddle to get to the front door.

I ate corned-beef and cabbage for dinner, talked with friends, then walked up the hill back to my dorms.

I need snow boots. My socks were cold and wet.

Another fun bit about the snow was how it took out the school's power and SOMEHOW the school's internet. Thankfully, Westlands has a generator so we still had heat and light, but no internet meant no fun. I did a lot of assigned reading and writing. I think because the internet was down, I had one of the most productive days I have ever had at Sarah Lawrence.

Now it's nighttime and the internet is back, but not the power in most of the school. Administration sent out an e-mail telling the ENTIRE campus that Westlands has power, so there was a massive pilgrimage to our building and it is now full of people. There is a girl sleeping on the floor in front of me who is waiting for her iPod to charge. There is a group of seniors in my RA's room, which is probably making him feel pretty popular right now. And outside there are a bunch of girls having dinner that they ordered from a local restaurant.

So it kind of feels like that movie with Denis Quaid, "The Day After Tomorrow." And I am enjoying very moment of it.

A lot of people are cursing the snow and complaining, but since this is my first day I really don't mind all of the trouble it caused. I had fun in and out of the snow, ad it makes everything inside our building feel ten times cozier.

Now that I have internet, I can watch movies on Netflix once I finish my homework. And then maximum coziness will be achieved.

Cheers to the first snow day at Sarah Lawrence College.

Snow This Morning

California kids looking out the window at Bates. 



Westlands!

"I think I took a wrong turn on the way to the beach." - Hawaii

View from inside Westlands. 


LOOK! IT IS REALLY SNOW!

Photo credit: Redwood City 


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rippin' and Reppin

So today's going to be a short blog post because I want to sleep. NOW. I am in my pajamas, I am very comfortable, and my bed is calling out to me.

So.

Today I implemented my money-saving breakfast. I brought my box of cereal to the Pub, poured milk (intended for coffee) into one of the paper oatmeal bowls, cut up a banana that I saved from Bates the day before, and had breakfast for $0.

At lunch today I had a HUNGER ATTACK, so I went down to Bates to swipe for lunch, and I saw that I had 14 meals for the rest of the week. FOURTEEN?! MY new meal plan is in effect, and now that I have 14 meals for the rest of the week, I can have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in between. Whenever I want. However I want. VICTORY.

I am starting to log all of the food that I eat in a yellow notebook, just because I am curious why I get these intense hunger attacks. They come out of nowhere. I ate two cheeseburgers and soup for lunch today. I thought I was possibly diabetic, but I did some online research and if I was, I'd be peeing all the time. So I am also logging my urination and bowel movements just to be safe. So far, it looks like I'm fine. Just hungry. I am hoping this means I am going through a growth spurt.

I had Spanish Conference today and my Spanish Teacher is no longer upset with me because I now have an idea of what I am going to do for my conference project. I am writing a play inspired by Jose Marti. In Spanish. For my first semester final. How cool is Sarah Lawrence? Too cool.

Time to sleep.

Oh, and today I went through the entire day without noticing that I was wearing the jeans with the giant hole in the ass (it's grown since I've last taken a picture of it). I was walking after dinner and I thought my but was wet, but it turns out it was just cold because it was fully exposed to the elements. Go me for advertising my semi-hairy right butt cheek to the whole campus.

And the radio show today was a disaster. We weren't prepared, and we sort of putz-ed through it. However, we had great company ad played relatively good music, so all was not lost. It wasn't really the "Best" Day Ever, but more of a "OK Day"... ever.

But tomorrow is Friday, and it will be the best.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Essentially Me

Bottled water costs $1.69 at the Pub. I've been partaking in this bullshit for two months, but today I went to the grocery store and bought a 24 pack of THE SAME bottled water for $6.99 ($0.30 a bottle).

That's my baby right there.
After I drink all 24 water bottles (most likely over the course of a month) I will have saved $33. That's two trips to the city. Fifteen loads of laundry. Or a pant leg.

I also bought nasal decongestant medicine, dandruff shampoo, and A&P brand cereal called "Essentially You". And since I used my A&P membership card, I saved $6 on groceries! Go me!

Oral History today was brutal. We had a discussion about George Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language".There was a lull in the conversation, and in an effort to impress the teacher (who I hold in very high regards) I tried saying something general but in a fancy way.

"I think the essay is sort of about how communication stops becoming communication when the goal is no longer to communicate."

No reaction, so I continued.

"And it sort of steers away from political correctness, which sort of reminds me about Penny Arcade from last week."

"That's why I assigned it." said the teacher, but it translated to "duh." I felt my cheeks get hot and I shut up for the rest of class.

Afterwards I had conference with him. We discussed my conference project and we both agreed that it was going nowhere.

"This is good. This is where some people choose to change their conference projects. You're not the only one in the class who has this problem. Who are you going to interview next?"

"Er... uh... well maybe um... people?"


"How about this: What are you interested in?"

"Ah... well I uh... hm."

"You know what, go into the city this weekend. Go to Times Square and poke around. You'll find something.  You need to step outside your comfort zone a little. You need to be willing to adventure. Search for yourself. And search for a story."

So it's settled. This weekend I am borrowing a recorder from AV and going into the city to find myself and my conference project theme.

***

Dinner: Bow-tie pasta and bean salad.
Dessert: Oatmeal raisin cookie crumbled over rum-raisin ice cream.
Midnight snack: Mashed potatoes, steak and broccoli.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Day of Discoveries


Cool things I learned today:

In Early Childhood Development, we learned that religion can help nervous parents raise their kids correctly. Apparently, American parents have trouble raising their kids because they are worried that they aren't doing it right. The parents don't have confidence  in themselves, and as a result the kids don't have the sense of security that they should have. The solution: faith. In God or some sort of higher power, will help parents calm down and believe that things will turn out all right.

NEXT: Children who trust their mothers are more likely to explore the world with confidence and enthusiasm. When a child goes outside and then comes back to find his/her mother exactly where she was when they left, they realize that their mother is always going to be there for them. A reliable mother breeds confidence. However, if the child does not find their mother reliable, and had experienced where the mother is inconsistently available, the child will doubt whether her parent will be there when he/she returns from exploring. This means that the child will fear venturing into new situations.

So as you can probably tell, today was a day of learning.

After tennis today, our coach told us that if we want to play on the Quidditch team, practice was going to be at 4:00pm. I couldn't go because of Spanish Tutoring, but coach told us all about it.

"We have brooms, a Quaffle... there's going to be a game this weekend. Bring a cape.You guys gotta come. It gets crazy. We have a student who actually was able to play in the World Cup."

"There's a World Cup for Quidditch?"

"I swear. Google it. This year its in New York."

Here it is: http://www.worldcupquidditch.com/program.php

It's legit.

Bates Dining Hal Highlight: Apple Pie flavored ice cream topped with shredded coconut and a crumbled ice cream cone.

After dinner I ran into with Chilmark (MA) who was doing Russian homework downstairs with Redwood City. We were talking about Redwood's fiction writing class, and then the topic turned to National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo.

"THAT SOUNDS AMAZING!" said Chilmark. "Let's do it!"

We shook hands. I signed up and I am ready to go. 50,000 words in 30 days, starting Novermber 1st. What am I going to write about? No idea.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hunger Pains

Mom and Dad, do not worry, I am getting enough food.

The problem is the intensity of my food cravings.

So I'm sitting down doing homework and everything is fine and then all of the sudden BAM I am starving. It's a screaming hunger that comes out of nowhere and I need to drop whatever I am doing to go get food. Thank god I had leftovers in the fridge for the first hunger attack. I ate and then took a nap and then when  I woke up it was there again.

Hawaii says that there is probably an alien living inside of me. Or I'm pregnant. Or both.

I don't really know what to do about this, but I am taking precautionary measures. I have a banana that I am keeping close just in case I wake up in the middle of the night and go beserk looking for food.

What I ate today:

  • Egg on a roll with bacon and tater tots 
  • Cheeseburger and salad (they balance out, right?)
  • FiberOne bar 
  • Leftover Spanish rice
  • Peanut butter jelly sandwich, sour milk, and yogurt. 
And I plan to eat more. I hope that all of this food is being put to good use. I better be six foot six by the time this is over. 

But other than that, I had a productive day at work today and I did a lot of homework. I deserve food. 

Study Highlight of the Day: I was reading a newspaper from 1966. Here's the headline:

STUDENT DENIES ATTEMPTING TO KILL SELF IN THE CAPITAL

Apparently a kid from Boston University drenched himself in gasoline in front of the White House to protest the use of napalm in Vietnam. He was arrested. 

There are pudding cups in the Pub. I will dream of these. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Work Work Work

Today I slept in until noon. I ate breakfast at about one and from two to six thirty I more or less worked with minor, but much needed interruptions. I finished my essay for Early Childhood Development, I transcribed part of the interview with my aunt, and I wrote an experience about a time I felt someone else's pain for my Oral History class.

That was basically my day. I wanted to go grocery shopping, but I spent all of my time working. And I still have a bunch of stuff to do.

Which makes me wonder why I am in St. Louis's dorm right now. He invited me over for study time, and I came here without any work, and even if I did come with work I am not sure if I would be able to do any work. Right now it's relatively chill. St. Louis is playing some techno on his laptop but everyone else is reading. So I take it back. This is a pretty productive work environment. It's a new thing for me, to study in groups, because my previous experience was that it simply doesn't work. But these people are sophomores, so they've probably figured out the code of socializing and getting work done at the same time.

Another problem right now is that I have bad gas. I probably shouldn't blog about this because they'll figure out later that it was me, but for dinner I had a lot of macaroni and cheese and it's causing problems. I am getting minor acid reflux and I am holding in a lot of flatulence that I let loose when I pretend to go to the bathroom, which should happen pretty soon.

Doing so now.

***

So I just went to the bathroom and tried my hardest to fart and I couldn't do it, so I came back to the study party and sat down and let a silent one loose. Of course.

So I apologize for the lack of literary merit of today's blog post. Today just wasn't very exciting because of how productive it was. I am planning to make my life interesting very soon. I am assembling my Halloween costume which should be very appropriate.

ANOTHER THING! Apparently it is Harry Potter Week at Sarah Lawrence. We have a "free expression" wall where students can paint whatever they want ,and someone today wrote in red paint "The chamber of secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir, beware!"

I definitely go to the best school ever.

So, I am going back to half-studying and holding in gas. Ciao!

Visited Aunt Sue

Today I woke up and went to brunch. I was out of meal swipes for the week, so I tried paying for brunch with my OneCard cash, but the woman behind the counter was feeling generous and she let me in for free. French toast, sausages, and two servings of fresh fruit? You betcha.

Took the Met Van to the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, then took the subway and a train to visit my Aunt Sue (pictured right). We went out to lunch and then did an interview for my Oral History homework.

Afterwards I took the subway back home and fell asleep.

I have been trying to sleep for three hours now, but I keep on running into people who want to talk or play Apples to Apples or party. If I could, I would do all of these things. But All I want to do right now is sleep.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Holden It Down

Last night I went to dinner and sat with some kids I had never met before. One of them was from Sebastopol, and he told me that e worked in the music building from 8 o'clock to 2 in the morning. "You should come visit me." And thus the adventure began.

After dinner I freestyled with some girls in front of the Pub, then I changed into my party pants and walked over to Hill House to meet up with some friends. They weren't there, so I texted them and learned that they were at the Pub, so I walked back and ran into St. Louis. We went to his dorm and he told his suite-mate and me about his girl problems. I left and went to the Pub to meet up with Massey, who were planing to "nerd out". I sat with them for a little bit but then St. Louis and his suite-mate, Virginia, walked in.I sat with then and met Orange (yes, it's a city) and Philadelphia. We went back to St. Louis's place and they changed into party clothes. We walked down to the "Sweet 16" dance at the Blue Room and danced for about 30 minutes. It ended at one o'clock, so I walked down to the Marshall Field Music Building to meet up with Sebastopol.

My night felt like it was being read from Catcher In The Rye.

So that's what went down. I checked out a microphone from the Audio/Visual Department and I am going into the city today to interview my aunt. Then it will REALLY feel like Catcher In The Rye.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Exploring Boundaries

After my Early Childhood Development class in the morning, I went to the gym. Instead of going to just play with the machines, today I went with the intent to get healthy and to gain muscle.

I asked my roommate, Sebastopol (Sebas), how to use the elliptical.

"I think you just start peddling." he said.

He was right.

I spent 15 minutes on the elliptical, trying to find a setting that felt natural. The people next to me were jogging and watching TV, but I spent the entire time holding on to the railing and staring at myself in the mirror. Apparently I traveled 1.67 miles, but it felt like I was just stomping grapes for a quarter hour.

Next I lifted weights next to a really tall kid I am kind of familiar with. I went through my usual routine and then I tried to do some pull ups, but I was so worn out that I just hung there. The tall guy watched me, waiting for me to do a pull up, but I didn't. I packed my things and left.

I was pretty weak for the rest of the day. I dropped my phone a couple times because my muscles didn't want to do anything.

After a shower and a relatively successful Spanish class (one of my classmates totally misread our homework so we all laughed at her instead of at me), DC and I did our radio show, The Best Day Ever, which you can listen to every Thursday at 5:00 EST (http://pages.slc.edu/~wslc/Home.html click this, download the .pls file and listen via iTunes). This week's theme was "Guy/Girl Problems", so we all talked about our relationship horror stories and played relevant songs. Highlight of the show: Playing "A Bitch Iz a Bitch" by NWA and realizing halfway through the song that it was WAY too offensive for Sarah Lawrence Radio. We shut it down.

Afterwards I went to dinner and saw that saw some workers inflating an enormous structure that turned out to be a "haunted house", the kind you walk through and people jump out to scare you. The last time I was in a haunted house was in fourth grade. Long story short I kicked my best friend in the face and literally ran out of my shoes. I almost cried, and I decided that being scared wasn't my thing.

I didn't want to go into the haunted house at all, but I knew it would be great to blog about, so I went with Redwood City and Salem.

When I used to go to counseling during Senior year of high school, my therapist used to say that I turn my fear in to anger as a defense mechanism.

Fact: I was very afraid.
Fact: When I am angry, I am very sarcastic and snide.

This is what I sounded like while walking through the haunted house.

"OK. THANK YOU. REALLY? WOW! OK. THANK YOU. THAT'S NICE. MHM. GREAT."

That "WOW!" is when a guy with a plastic chainsaw popped out from behind a false wall. There were lost of strobe lights and masks and people crawling on the floor. One woman with no legs held out a plastic baby and asked me to take it. "REALLY? WOW."

There were a bunch of life size dummies blocking the exit that you had to punch to get out. I weaved through them because, even though they were fake, I didn't want to hurt them. "EXCUSE ME. OK. THANK YOU."

Now I am riding an adrenaline rush. It was a well spent 5 minutes.

Tonight I learned that Sarah Lawrence is having a Ballroom Dance/Mixer with West Point Military Academy. This is hilarious to me, and I am signing up to attend. Ohio is helping me find a bow tie.

***

A SIDE NOTE: I have started a Twitter account for things that Ohio says. He is aware of this and has told me he's fine with it. You can see his most recent quotes in the sidebar to the right, but if you would like to follow him, here is the link (http://twitter.com/#!/ohiosays).


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Literary Masturbation

I got an e-mail from a respected friend in Buffalo who said that journal writing was essentially "literary masturbation". 


"After a while, you've satisfied your need to write, but you crave human contact for, and reaction to, your writing." He wrote. 


He wrote a long letter and made a convincing case. So for now I will continue blogging, because I would definitely prefer literary coitus over the alternative.

Today at the Early Childhood Center, it was raining outside so the kids had to stay indoors and play board games. I played a game called "My First Lotto", which was sort of like bingo but for ages 3-6. It was fun, but I noticed that no one cared who won. We just played until everyone's squares were filled, and then it was over. Also, the game has no strategy at all, which shouldn't surprise me... but it does.

And the saddest part was that I won several times, and none of the four-year-old noticed.

Afterwards I went to my Oral History class (I didn't tell my teacher about what Buffalo thought about journaling). We had a visitor today: Penny Arcade (pictured right), a performer who supposedly invented performance art. She is 60 years old and heavyset with platinum blond hair dyed black underneath. She talked to us about everything: our generation, journalism, oral history, her performances, her astrological energy, everything. Eventually the topic turned to Occupy Wall Street.

"Connor, why don't you read her the article you wrote about that?"  said my teacher. I was congested and intimidated, but I obliged.

"It's cute." said Penny once I finished. That stung. Last night my teacher said that it was borderline "facile". She launched into a discussion about how people tend to distance themselves from opinion and how the internet has changed the way young people are growing up.

"But you have a voice. And that's good. And it was funny."

There was an awkward silence.

"Do you understand me?" she asked.

I did understand her, but I felt like she was only complimenting me out of pity. I found her criticism more valuable than her seemingly empty praise. But the whole class was looking at me now, so I had to do something.

"Yes! Yes... I.. appreciate the ah... feedback."

Still, she was a genius, so I took lots of notice from her talk. I now have a lot of books and people to look up. And a lot of writing skill to develop.

More on Penny Arcade at http://www.pennyarcade.tv.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dilemma

I have $14 in meal money left on my OneCard. That's enough for two sandwiches. Or three bowls of cereal. Or seven bottles of water. I started with $275 at the beginning of the school year and because of my high metabolism and late-night snack habits, I am now in crisis mode.

To my parents and concerned friends: Do not worry, I will not starve. I am allotted 10 meals a week at the cafeteria. But I will need to make some adjustments to my food-life. I will:

  • Buy cases of water. I spend two dollars every other day on water bottles. Having a case might save me money and keep me hydrated a little more efficiently. 
  • Use tupperwares in the cafeteria (this is allowed).
  • Have a cheap breakfast, like cereal, so I can use my other meals for lunch and dinner. 
  • Buy large quantities of snack food from the grocery store to stave off midnight hunger attacks. 
  • Make lots of friends, get invited to parties with pizza. 
  • Join clubs. Attend meetings with pizza. 
  • Find a cause and go on a hunger strike (fight for justice AND save money? No way!)
  • Hibernate.
  • Hunt squirrels. 
  • Eat Ohio's leather jacket. 
I am sure my parents are reading this and FREAKING OUT. I will receive a phone call soon and they are going to ask me how to fix this problem. I will tell them that for $300 I can upgrade to a different meal plan. And then they will hang up and send me potatoes. 

Today I had a 90 minute conference with my Oral History teacher, who is amazing. He teaches at Columbia and he has written books and conducted hundreds of interviews and he gives fantastic writing advice. I showed him the article I wrote for the Buffalo Alternative Press and he gave me some pointers on how to improve it. Then I showed him my blog. And he commented on it. And then he opened a file on his computer. IT WAS HIS JOURNAL FROM WHEN HE WAS TWENTY YEARS OLD. And it was fantastic. He wrote conversations he had with people on planes, in Morocco, and just his observations and experiences. It was extremely well written. 

He read me excerpts from his journal and I was floored. I wrote down some of his journaling techniques and I plan to start a journal similar to his. A "workspace" he calls it. 

You use your workspace to experiment and to write about your day and to dig deeper and to hone your skills. You write in it every day and go as deep as you can with your writing. I already started a Word Document and titled it "Workspace".

But then this presents a problem. If I am writing in my workspace every night, what does this mean for the blog? I'd hate to be redundant and write twice every night. And I don't want to write in my workspace as if I am writing for the blog. 

So what to do? 

My Oral History teacher recommended that I write in my workspace and then to put revised, edited excerpts on the blog. Which would mean that you guys would probably get a blog post once a week. 

It pains me to do this, and it will pain my readers as well, but it is the only way to improve my writing skills. 

But we shall compromise: I will still try to post every day, whether it is a sentence or a picture or a quote, just so that you are still entertained, and you know that I am alive. The blog will still be active daily. It just won't be as extensive. But expect gold on Sunday. 

So that's that. We'll see how that goes, and hopefully writing in my "workspace" will yield some valuable stuff. 

[A side note. He said that that I had a voice in my writing, which is good. He wants me, however, to put myself in situations that I can write about. He wants me to find what Jack Kerouac would call "the mad ones", the interesting people that would make for good reading. And he also wants me to go deeper when I am writing, because right now my writing is superficial and lacks exploration of opinion. Development.]

So goodbye to the extensive blog posts. Hello to the "at a glance" version, with depth on Sundays. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Packages

I went to work at College Events this morning. After chilling in the office for about an hour, my supervisor had me direct human traffic outside of Heimbold, the Visual Arts building. I was supposed to point people in the direction of the Rotary lunch.

"Basically, look for adults, ask them if they're looking for the Rotary lunch, then tell them to go in through that door and downstairs." She told me.

Not to hard.

A woman walked towards me. I cleared my throat

"Hello... ma'am. Are you looking for... something?"

She gave me a weird look, said "No," and walked away quickly.

After my shift ended I went to the post office and picked up TWO packages from the West Coast.

Received items.

From the Gwenna:

  • Artwork
  • Purple t-shirt that she wore (so it smells pretty fantastic).
  • Chapstick
  • 2 Three Musketeers candy bars
From the Fam:
  • PEANUTS (I ate a quarter of the bag already).
  • 4 oatmeal packets
  • Zines from the SF Zine Fest (thank you Erin!)
  • Trader Joes Oatmeal Soap (in plastic soap container)
  • The Book of Questions (to stimulate conversation among potential friends)
  • Garment bag
  • Envelopes & stamps
  • Four chocolate squares
  • AUTOGRAPHED BOOK BY DAVID SEDARIS!!! WHAAAT!!!
Apparently my mom knew a guy who jumped through some hoops to get this book signed for me. Inside it says: "To Connor, I hopy  hope you are happy at Sarah lawrence and that you don't drop out pregnant. Sincerely, David Sedaris." 

I screamed.

And tonight I watched "The Iron Giant" with Redwood City, which was a fantastic trip down memory lane. I am going to be quoting the movie all week. 

Other than some drama (one of my friends was sent home today, but hopefully she'll be back soon) today was a good day. 

Tomorrow I hope to do some homework and to adventure. Moratorium, right?

P.S.

Ohio: "Your jeans have seen better days, haven't they Connor?"
Connor: "Why? Is there mud on them?"
Ohio: "No. There is a hole in the ass of your jeans."
Connor: "Oh. You mean my pocket?"
Ohio: "No. I can see your boxers."




Bro Time

I was invited to hang out with St. Louis for "pizza, Starcraft, beer, and bro time" in his dorm common room with a couple other people. The concept of "bro time" intrigued me the most, so I went to his dorm to figure out what that was.

Apparently bro time is where intelligent people have very intelligent conversations in a casual context while watching competitive Starcraft and drinking beer. No one ate the pizza while I was there. They talked about Occupy Wall Street and women and Kelly Rowland. They watched videos of The Rock on YouTube and texted their parents while using the restroom. I ended up staying there for about three hours. "You'll come back." they told me. "It's addicting."

Before that I adventured into Yonkers. I followed Kimball Avenue (notorious for public lewdness) the entire time, looking for a public park to sit and eat and read Derrick Brown poems. Instead I found a strip mall with tables in front of a Hagen Daz. Not bad.

Before that I did homework. I did a lot of reading about adolescence, which apparently is what I am going through right now in my life. Some characteristics of the adolescent according to Jean Piaget, Anna Freud, and Erik Erikson:

  • Running away from home - Whether it be at night to go party or away to college, they all qualify. Adolescents typically try to escape their parents as much as possible.  
  • Need of moratorium - Erikson says that adolescents need a moratorium, or a period to "go find themselves". An excuse to adventure? Yes. 
  • Strong doubt of identity - Can lead to "psychotic episodes". 
  • Over-identification with heroes - Caused by doubt of identity. (My heroes: Lil Wayne, Derrick Brown, Keri Smith, John Cage. What kind of person does that make me? Yes). 
There's a lot more they talk about, which scares me. Apparently being an adolescent is pretty traumatizing. I look forward to growing into an adult so that this madness hopefully ends (it doesn't according to Erikson. Adults struggle with generativity versus self-absorption/stagnation, which means making babies versus becoming a loner).

Before this I ate brunch in Bates and discussed tattoos.

And now I am going to sleep. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Intensity Level Six

Guess who got paid yesterday? This guy. I got a letter in my mailbox that told me to go to the Payroll Office. I signed some forms, and I got my first paycheck for my desk job at College Events. Today I walked into Yonkers to go to the bank to deposit it into my account. The woman behind the counter looked bored and she had no patience for me when I handed her my check.

"I don't need all this paper. I just need the check." She told me.

Still, now I have some dollars in my account. I have $44 in Meal Plan Money left on my OneCard, so I may have to use my paycheck to buy food. I am thinking about writing out a budget for myself so I can make my money stretch. My initial "Bon Voyage" funds are dwindling, so it's time to get real.

Yesterday I stepped in my friend's puke. We were at a gathering in Hill House and at one point the evening crossed a line and things got intense. It ended with Security taking my friend to the hospital.

"My doctor was this German guy." said Anonymous. "And he pointed to my arm where I had been keeping tally of how many shots I had. He pointed to this crooked one, the sixteenth one, and said 'That's the one.' They basically babysat me though. They had me on saline or something but they didn't need to pump my stomach or anything. The bad part is that they notify your don when they send you to the hospital. I don't know what he's gonna say."

He accidentally recorded the audio of the whole ordeal on his iPhone. We are wondering if we should listen to it or not, sort of like the tapes of Grizzly Man getting eaten by bears.

Today I also went to the gym. I went to one of the stationary bicycle things and looked for the "On" button. I couldn't find one. I looked everywhere and I pushed and turned every knob on the dashboard, but it wouldn't turn on. I figured it was broken, so I went to the next machine but I couldn't find an "On" button on that one either.

The woman working the desk was watching me curiously.

"Um... so, do you know how to turn this thing on?"

"I think you just start peddling."

She was right. I peddled for fifteen minutes. I set the "Intensity" level at six.

Afterwards I did some laundry. The dryers were broken so I had to carry all of my clothes to another building to dry them. They are currently drying. They will be done in nine minutes.

I ate a quesadilla today.

I ate brunch too. I had pancakes and sausages with fake syrup that turned solid when it cooled.

I ate some yogurt.

I ate a chicken salad sandwich.

I went to the library and watched "Babies" with Gwenna (simultaneous Netflix viewing? Yes, we're that cool). It's a documentary that focuses (and I mean FOCUSES) on four babies: one in Africa, another in Japan, one in Mongolia, and one in San Francisco. It was a fantastic movie, which really kills me to say because it's French. And the French would make a movie only about babies with no dialogue at all. They did a good job though.

My laundry is almost done. Here's a meme Salem made from that picture from an earlier post.

"Don't tell anyone I told you to put this on the blog. I don't want to seem like a bitch." - Salem

Friday, October 14, 2011

Blog

It's getting frustrating blogging every night because I have a lot of stuff to write about that probably isn't fit for public usage. I am considering writing in my journal again to have a nice, personal writing relationship with myself. I don't know if I have the time though. My current writing regimen takes about an hour each night, and I end up going to sleep WAY later than I want to. I need to start making some decisions.

Today I studied Erikson in Early Childhood Development, which seemed to really explain a lot about my life, but I feel stupid when I try explaining how I relate to his work. He talks about the "eight stages of life" and the different inner struggles people have throughout their lifespans. And as far as my life goes, he's been spot on.

Today was the first day of The Best Day Ever, the radio show I do with DC. It was a near disaster. We weren't sure how to use the equipment and we weren't sure if anyone could hear us, so we just laughed and talked and played music and freaked out while the music played and tried to act calm when we were actually on air.

After the show I went to Bates to eat, and I ran into several people who heard the show. I now know that we have an audience, and hopefully we will do a smoother job next week.

I look forward to the weekend, which is a five-day vacation for this guy because of October Study Days. Adventures? Yes.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Checkers

Played checkers with some four-year-olds today. They were horrible. But I let them win.

After working at the Early Childhood Center, I ate lunch, did homework, ate lunch, did more homework, did laundry, went to a Poetry Slam, picked up my laundry, and here I am.

My life is becoming a routine, and I find it harder and harder to find things to blog about, especially when I have headaches like this one.

However, I still love it here. I told Ohio today that there is nowhere on Earth I would rather go to school. I love college, I love New York City, I love Westlands, and I love my twin size bed and my freshly cleaned sheets.

I love chicken salad sandwiches from the Pub. I love my Early Childhood Development class and I love my Oral History class. I love Spanish tutoring. Spanish class is cool too.

I love being able to say "Yes!" when people invite me to go out late at night. I love studying during the day without having to worry about anyone else's schedule.

I love going grocery shopping. I love doing my own laundry.

I love the bean bag chairs in the library's Pillow Room.

I love going to Stitch n Bitch, the school's knitting club. I made a scarf.

From my own hands. 

I love my roommates. I love when they share laundry detergent with me. 

I love having people visit my dorm room. 

I love raisins in my morning oatmeal. 

I love eating meals with friends in Bates. 

I love the train into New York City. I love all the stuff there is is New York City. 

I love writing articles for Buffalo Alternative Press. 

I love cups. I need plastic ones that I can reuse, because I have been using paper ones they give out for free at the Pub. 

And I love sleep. Which is where I am off to next. I'll add to this list as things come to me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tell It On Tuesday

So today in Early Childhood Development, my teacher read us one of her children's books aloud. I highly recommend it. It explores the ideas of Walter Mischel and his studies on the reality principle in children. It is titled "Freddie's Spaghetti," and it is pictured below.

Apparently you can buy it for $0.01 on Amazon

"What I didn't realize when I was writing the book was that 'spaghetti' is such a delicious word." says Charlotte Doyle. "And after I introduce it in the first pages, you don't see the word until the very end, like a treat."

I am afraid to quote the book, because quoting a sentence would be like quoting a third of the book. Here's the ending:
"And Freddie ate spaghetti. And Freddie ate spaghetti. And Freddie ate spaghetti... [turn page] Until it was all gone!"
It's haunting, really. I highly recommend having someone read this book to you. Especially if you're three-years-old.

After lunch, tennis, and a journalism pow-wow in the library, I went to a Sarah Lawrence StorySLAM.It was structured exactly like a Moth StorySLAM, so I wrote my name down and put it in the hat. The theme of the night was "Fear."

For those of you who don't know, a StorySLAM is a gathering where people tell true stories about their lives. They have to pertain to the theme of the night, and they cannot be longer than five minutes.

I told the story of how I was suspended for five days in high school (ask me about it sometime, it's great). I had been preparing to tell this story at The Moth in New York City, where the theme ("Jokers") was more appropriate, but I was able to twist it a little so it had to do with "Fear". It was a success, and I think I am more prepared to go to The Moth someday soon.

Right now eating peanut butter and mini-wheats. Bon appetit.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Published Again!

I'm on two websites now! Check 'em out!
A big thanks to Michael Calleri for making this possible!

http://www.buffalo.indymedia.org/content/occupying-wall-street
http://server1.altpressonline.com:88/content/view/576/1/


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Monday, 10 October 2011
A college student’s first protest takes him directly into the big leagues
By Connor Miller
The Occupy Wall Street movement and subsequent protests that are continuing across the United States have drawn world-wide attention. Our correspondent, a college freshman, participates in the first demonstration of his life. Here is his point-of-view of Occupy Wall Street.
Before I went to Occupy Wall Street, I did some research to see what I was protesting. I went to Occupywallst.org which told me the time and location of the occupation, but not much more. “The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%,” claimed the site. I felt like I could buy into this cause, so I got a couple of people from my college dorm just outside New York City to come with me to Manhattan to be stereotypical protesting college students. We were going to go down in history, just like the kids from the UC Berkeley Free Speech Movement, the Paris spring of 1968, and Tiananmen Square. Hopefully not just like Tiananmen Square.
I was a little apprehensive about going at first. A couple weeks ago, two girls from my school were sprayed in the face with mace. Someone caught it on video and put it on the unofficial Sarah Lawrence blog. I watched it several times to try and gauge how painful it would be to have mace in your eyes. 
“Soak a cloth handkerchief in vinegar and keep it in a plastic baggie. That’ll help with tear gas,” said a friend. “And with the cops, it’s just ‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir.’ Unless it’s a woman. And if you want to yell at them, go ahead, but don’t be surprised if they conk you on the head with a club.”
On the subway from campus to downtown New York City, my friends were really excited about the protest. “Where do we get off? My phone says to get off at Fulton Street, but wouldn’t it make more sense to get off at Wall Street? What’s it going to be like? There’s supposed to be a poetry reading at nine. That should be cool. So how do we exactly ‘occupy’ Wall Street? Do we just stand there?” 
A man looked up from his iPad when he heard “occupy Wall Street” and gave us a dirty look. He was probably part of the 1%.       
We got off at Fulton and saw a huge crowd of people with picket signs coming towards us. They were chanting and playing drums. “Is this it?” my friends asked. The crowd overtook us. “ALL DAY, ALL WEEK, LET’S OCCUPY WALL STREET!” 
“I think this is it.” I said. 
We slipped into the march and started walking with everyone else. People were yelling and blowing whistles and clapping. Most people had signs protesting their own cause. There were signs for Haiti Relief, for job creation, and for “fighting the system.” My friends joined in on the chanting “ALL DAY, ALL WEEK.” I did not. I didn’t have any cause to fight for, and I thought it would strange yelling for no reason. Also, I did not want to draw attention to myself, just in case the cops decided to start clubbing people.         
The cops were in the street, some standing, some following on motorcycles, others in cars. Strangely, they looked like they were not even aware of what was happening in front of them. It was like they cared so little about the protest that they didn’t even see it anymore. They told jokes to one another, laughed and stood around pleasantly. They didn’t look angry or disapproving. It was like they were all on break. I was no longer afraid of being pepper sprayed in the face. To the cops, I wasn’t worth it.
The march ended at Liberty Square. The park was crowded with people and tables and mattresses. It was dark so it was hard to tell exactly how many people there were but you were always bumping into someone with a beard. There was a table with large plastic containers of free clothing, a food station serving pizza and vegetables, and boxes labeled “compost” everywhere. The whole area was set up like a city, with grids of living spaces where people slept, smoked, and played guitars.
My favorite person I encountered was a small, greasy-haired man who was handing out yellow pamphlets and talking to anyone who would listen: “We live in the matrix! And the matrix is comfortable because they give you your food, your driver’s license, and your home, which is why no one wants to break free!  But we need to break free! As Americans!”         
We heard drums, so we walked to the other end of the park to a drum circle. There were tambourines, conga drums, and tom-toms. A woman with pink hair and pierced lips started the beat and everyone else joined in. A tall lanky white guy danced enthusiastically in the center of the circle . Other people rocked back and forth, smiling and clapping. A black man with his hair wrapped in a cloth stood next to me and started vocalizing. Someone with a trumpet started playing “America the Beautiful” and some people sang along. The drums got louder and faster. More people danced. Someone had a light-up hula-hoop that they fist-pumped with. It was like a giant dance party.
“STOP STOP STOP! HEY!” Everyone went quiet. I looked over the crowd expecting to see a cop, but it was a random white guy, young, with a knitted hat and a shallow beard. He didn’t have a megaphone, so everyone in the circle repeated what he said so that he could be heard.           
            “There is someone with a broken drumstick.”
            There is someone with a broken drumstick.” Chanted the group.
            “Who is going around poking people.”
            Who is going around poking people.”
            “And it really hurts.”
            And it really hurts.
It felt like we were saying a prayer.           
            “If you’re the one doing it,”
            If you’re the one doing it,”
            “Stop. You’re being an asshole.”
            Stop. You’re being an asshole.
Light applause. The woman with the pink hair clicked her sticks together, and the beat started again.          
We left early because we weren’t exactly sure when and where the poetry reading was going to take place, and I’m sure if we asked anyone they wouldn’t have known either. The whole protest was really disorganized. As one of my friends put it, “it’s just a bunch of people hoping for a ‘60s revival.” 
Everyone seemed to be protesting something different. Some people were protesting about the recession, others were protesting about war, and I saw a sign that didn’t seem to protest anything; it simply said: “XO”.
On Occupywallst.org, the vague mission as stated is to “raise awareness,” and I think everyone is succeeding. Anyone who has something to say now has a chance to say it in this collection of opinions in Liberty Square. For me, the point of the protest is to give people a chance to express their discontent with anything that is bothering them. It’s an outlet for people who are pissed off and want change.           
I left the protest unenlightened, but I was pleased to have been a part of something bigger than myself. If it is still going on a week from now, I’ll make a sign and protest for my own cause: lower college tuition.
Until then, I have work to do. I’m a little occupied.
Connor Miller’s column will be appearing regularly on AltPressOnline. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a career in writing.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Every Day I'm Studyin' (feat. Ohio's Adventure)

Today I woke up early to get Bates Brunch, which is when Bates Dining Hall serves breakfast items at 11 o'clock. I skipped a meal swipe this week just so that I would have one for the weekend for this occasion. I had seven triangles of French Toast, three servings of hash browns, three servings of fresh fruit, and applesauce.

The perfect kickoff to a day of studying.

Empowered by my don's 45 hour work-challenge, I sat down and did as much work as I could. I read about Cuba, I wrote out my life history on a timeline, I typed a paper for Early Childhood Development, I followed up on a phone call to schedule an interview, and I still had time to crank out an article about Occupy Wall Street.

Who knows how to wait for his marshmallows? This guy.

To top off the day, I check out a movie from the library. It was a documentary that my Oral History teacher recommended called "Grey Gardens". I popped it into my computer and watched about twenty minutes of it before getting creeped out and turning it off. It was about a mother and her daughter living alone in a dilapidated building. The two women are odd but in a very disturbing way, probably because they don't really interact with anyone else. I realized that I wasn't interacting with anyone either, so I packed up the DVD and looked around desperately for someone to talk to so that I will never be the star of "Grey Gardens II".

I ended up playing cards with Redwood City. We played Egyptian war and Speed and I lost both times.

But the real crown jewel of today was hearing about Ohio's adventure last night.

OHIO'S ADVENTURE


Ohio went to go visit his friend in Boston this weekend, and Saturday night he took a three hour bus ride back to New York City. The bus stopped at 33rd and 7th where his Lincoln town car was supposed to pick him up. He called for the car, and when it arrived he opened the back door. "It smelled like vomit. I slammed the car door, told the driver 'No' and took the subway instead to Grand Central."

Ohio arrived at Grand Central at 4:00am, but it was closed until 5:30am. "Because they need to clean and all that other stuff. A side note, I had not slept in 24 hours. I was tired. So I slept on the sidewalk for an hour will the hundreds of other people waiting for Grand Central open. Look," he showed me his suit jacket, "I had to sleep on this. Do you see the wrinkles? I can't wear this ever again."

"So I slept next to all these people. I slept on top of my iPad so no one would steal it. And when Grand Central finally opened I took a 6 o'clock train back to Bronxville with all the drunks. And when I got to Bronxville, guess what? No Sarah Lawrence Shuttle. You know why? Because the shuttle only runs at night. And now it was morning.

"I see a blue cab, and so does this 75-year old woman. We stare each other down, and I get to the cab first and slam the door on her. I got a ride back to Sarah Lawrence for $4 (pretty reasonable) and that's that."

"And by the way, you left the breadbox right in front of the door. I tripped on it when I came in, which was that crashing sound that woke you up. It was your fault you know."

***

Ohio plans to get the stitching on his suit jacket repaired, along with removal of "mystery stains" from the sidewalk. "I hope they can fix it, or else I am going to have to throw it away. Which really upsets me. It's a nice jacket."

"The lack of pictures on your blog disorients me. Can you upload one of his jacket? Thanks." - Salem, Oregon. 

Studious Saturday

I woke up at one o'clock today. ONE O'CLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON.

I got up immediately and started doing homework. My don says that I should be spending 15 hours a week on work for every class, which totals up to a whopping 45 hours a week. This week, I am going to try to reach that goal.

I asked around, and no one really does that much work. However, it is a standard to strive for, and if I time myself this week and find out I only work about four hours total, we have a problem.

I studied in my room and in the library, with breaks for chicken salad sandwiches in the pub. I got five assignments done today. I have seven more to go.

Microsoft Outlook is incredibly useful, and makes everything manageable. A screenshot of my to-do list:

GO CONNOR GO!

I met up with my radio partner, DC, and we planned out our show. We decided that it's going to have a weekly theme, so today we chose a theme and picked out music that fit under the theme, along with things we could possibly talk about. The radio show is going to be VERY exciting and once we get the link I will put it on the blog so that you can listen to it live. 

Today I went to see a production at Downstage, a small underground (literally) theater. It was a 24-hour theater fest, where a team of ten people had to write five ten minute plays and perform them in 24 hours. Exciting? Yes. I was entertained. 

I have a nice balance of work and play, even though I am trying to increase the amount of work I do.

Something I learned today: Children who wait for their marshmallows are more likely to succeed in life. I had to read this article for my Early Childhood Development class. It's fun. If you are the reading type, go for it. If you're not, just make sure your kids can wait for marshmallows if you want them to get a college education. 

Tomorrow I learn more about Cuba. But until then, another chicken salad sandwich.