It’s that time again–the time where I sum up the greatest moments of a semester. This spring was my last semester at Berry College, so it’s fitting that some of these greatest hits were the best of all four years.
- Senior road trip and Harry Potter World with a good friend.
- The many, many lunches and dinners on the English Department’s tab, talking with witty students and hanging out with cool professors.
- Getting a call in the office from The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.
- Acceptance letters and emails from all my graduate schools.
- Dinner at a sketchy but delicious Mexican restaurant with the SOUP team.
- Joining my roommate and dear friend, Kyley, on her first flight.
- 11:00 PM on a Thursday night when the Indiegogo campaign passed our goal of $6000 in 10 days.
- Boston in the snow over Spring Break.
- Adventuring into tall towers with daring friends.
- Getting nominated as one of a handful of the best female student workers at the college.
- My Ramifications staff presenting me with a small chest full of treasure.
- Lunches with my coworkers–at Harvest Moon, and later at Outback.
- Interviewing Kirsten Gates and having her story come together almost effortlessly. Seeing the story on the cover of the magazine.
- Hanging out with Marcella and Casey after my senior reading, surrounded by English nerds.
- The woman telling me she never understood how Rheumatoid Arthritis felt until I read my poem.
- Wednesday nights with Michelle, Molly and Julie. Praying, laughing and crying together.
- Receiving an award for my writing after working over five months on that portfolio.
- Prep talks, Star Wars debates, and Star Trek discussions with Rick and Casey.
- Fiction final with classmates wearing fake mustaches as they read from their portfolios.
- Dr. Watkins’s hug as I walked down the street lined with professors after graduation.
- Shaking President Briggs’s hand and walking away with my diploma.
There are a lot of things I need to write about.
I need to finish up the Boston trip. I need to write about how on Saturday (or Friday–it’s a blur) two weeks ago today I got the call that my grandma was dying. I need to write about the funeral. I need to write about coming back to school. I need to write about the graduate school I chose.
But every time I open a blog entry to write, I feel overwhelmed. I am tired. I have too many things that need saying, and I’d rather do homework.
Once I write about it, it’ll be true. It’s stupid, because I’m not in Boston anymore, and I’ve made my decision, and she is dead, and the words won’t change any of that. But they will change a little of me.
It’s so strange being back in Georgia where it’s warm and sunny and people are stressing about the last six weeks of school and everything’s falling together in an avalanche of stuff and I can count on a few fingers the number of people who have asked me about the funeral or how I am but for the most part everything keeps turning and I am tired.
I will be upping my arthritis medication today and I am tired.
I haven’t touched my manuscript in weeks and I am tired.
I need to post those entries and I am tired.
My grandma is dead and I am tired.
That’s all for now.
My roommate, Kyley, had never been on an airplane in her life. I was determined that before the end of our undergrad time together, she would go somewhere with me, if only so she’d be comfortable flying when she had to visit me in the future! We originally were planning to go to my house in VA, but when I found out the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference was in Boston this year… we made a slight change of plans.
Kyley dubbed the trip “Busting into Boston,” and on Tuesday we set out on our adventures
Around sophomore year, Erika brought up going to the Magical World of Harry Potter in Orlando, FL. At long last, the two of us made it work out. I am here to present the full account of the adventures. But first: Introductions. Everyone, Erika. Erika, everyone. Erika is a senior English major (lit concentration), which means she is awesome.
- Morning walks with Kyley, spying for the deer and saluting the Revolutionary soldier’s grave whenever we passed it.
- Postcards from my study abroad friends.
- Getting my Throne of Glass book signed by Sarah Maas.
- Sitting on the dock by myself during the Gate retreat and watching the stars.
- The Great Gatsby Gala–particularly when Donovan taught me how to swing dance.
- The last Mountain Day march, holding hands with a boy (gasp!) and successfully making it up and down the mountain five times.
- Giving Erika her Perry the Platypus hat.
- Reading Pride and Prejudice in a hammock on a fall day.
- Spending an evening doing an analysis on Percy Jackson.
- Italian wedding soup and pirate accents with Erika.
- Wrestling sheep.
- Oak Hill in the Lights and the golf cart guy leaving Anna and Kyley behind.
- A Christmas Carol with Anna at the Shakespeare’s Tavern.
- The [SOUP] retreat: found a creepy Confederate graveyard, sat on a cliff to watch the sunset, accidentally joined a parade in Chattanooga, ate delicious Mexican food, stopped at a donut store that had OREO DONUTS, ran out to the bridge to catch fireworks, and I was named “most like a wizard.”
- Evenings with Greenbaum discussing Blessings.
- Seeing the crazy turn out at the Ramifications Launch Party, and being supported by so many of my friends.
- Singing Jingle Bells approximately 25 times with small children during College Connect.
(Hopefully I’ll get around to blogging about a couple of these specific events…)
I’m thankful for:
Family and Adopted Family. Like my brother who’s man enough to leave his videogames, put on an apron and make some killer homemade rolls. And like Michelle with the best hugs ever and Brad who’s willing to talk with me for lengths of time about foreign countries.
Friends. Especially ones who go on adventures to Barcelona or Cornwall, read my manuscript to me in a pirate accent, get me hooked on Canadian shows or go over lists to plan out our days.
A Great Semester. I have loved all my classes, and I can tell this is going to be one of those times the last day of class is a sad affair.
Blessings. Even the heartbreakingly hard ones. I’ve found those are often the ones that change my life.
William Jenkyn Thomas, who taught in Wales, realized that the Welsh oral tradition was dying away and no one was writing down the stories. So he set about to write a children’s book, The Welsh Fairy Book. When I was about fourteen, I found the book in my local library and snatched it off the walls. If I hadn’t, I’d probably be a boring person writing about things like “real life” or the “modern era.” Thank you, Will.
The other night, I asked fellow English major Erika for some help with a comma. This conversation devolved in a unique and amusing direction, presented below for your pleasure:
Alyssa: I love punctuation.
Erika: I very much perscribe to the idea of logical punctuation, unless I’m writing poetry… then I might make exceptions.
Alyssa: Poetry is a fun rule breaker, like fiction’s younger sibling always getting into the drugs. Except… I think poetry might be older than fiction.
Erika: Yes, perhaps.
Alyssa: I guess it depends on if legends=fiction? But even then I’m not sure.
Erika: Who knows?
Alyssa: Dr. Tenger.
Erika: It’s probably a chicken/egg thing–haahaha. Oral traditions, yessshhh! But couldn’t epic poetry also be considered fiction though?
Alyssa: Yeah… I’m not sure. Maybe? It’s a very blurry line. Now I want to know the answer to this…
Erika: They were conjoined twins and then literacy came along and KNIFED THEM UP.
Alyssa: Oh literacy and its butchering tendencies. … Then fiction became regulated and proper and drove people to drink and poetry became rebellious and out there and sometimes they get along but normally they sort of just eye each other from opposite corners of the room
Erika: That is exactly what happened.
Alyssa: Oh, definitely.