The Best Year?

Salvete Amici,

Being a freshman was fun.  And just like all other good things, I don’t want it to come to an end.  But it must.  We all move on to new and greater things at some point.  I mean, if I think back on it, there are so many times when I did not want to change, and then the change turned out to be fun:

  • I never wanted to move houses, but I have had wonderful memories in each new house to which I’ve moved.
  • I rarely want to watch the old movies my dad insists on showing us, but they always turn out to be really good!  (Well, that’s not really a change…)
  • I was really frightened of learning to drive, and now I’m starting to enjoy it.

And now, here I am, reluctant to let go of the title “freshman.”  Why is that?  I should excited to be growing older, (and hopefully wiser).

The truth is, every time something changes, it actually stays very much the same.  I thought  my life would change drastically when I turned 18.  But I’m still the same silly, excited, muddled girl that I was when I was 12.  However, I became more confident, and I met new people, and I became more independent, and I had new experiences.

It can only get better.

I just have to embrace it.

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Expanding Horizons Part 2

Once I figured out that learning doesn’t necessarily require immediate understanding, I got really excited!

This was a whole new way of looking at things for me!

During one of our classes, our teacher showed us this short video:

Even though this dance has no explicit meaning, it leaves you with an aftertaste.  You’re not sure what just happened, but it’s intense, it’s jarring, it’s sad, it’s bittersweet…  I feel appreciation, even though I feel no understanding (in the traditional sense of understanding).

At the end of the second week, we went to the college museum.  We went to see an exhibit by Haim Steinbach.  When I read the description, I almost laughed out loud.  Okay, I was at peace with confusion and not understanding now.  But this?  How could I appreciate this?

It's just seemingly unrelated things…

It’s just seemingly unrelated things…

…place next to each other on shelves.

…placed next to each other on shelves.

Really?  But when I read his explanation for it, I wanted to like it immediately.  He said that when we look at things in everyday life, we define them by their context.  When you see something in a kitchen, then you usually assume it’s used for cooking.  But what he’s doing is experimenting with our perception.  What if you take something out of it’s context?  What is its definition now?  He wants us to ask “Why is the the dog toy next to the woman?  What do they have to do with eachother?”  Because maybe then, we’ll think of those objects differently.  That was my take on it anyway.

So that’s my new perspective on art now.  Thanks to L&T, I am way more open to new things.  Obviously, these two posts aren’t going to convince you––you may be thinking, “I still don’t see what the big deal is,” or “Okay, college has gotten to her, she’s nuts!”

But you really need to immerse yourself in an environment like L&T to free your inhibitions.  Even if that doesn’t change your view on art, it will show you that there are so many new paths for you to explore, and you didn’t see them before because they don’t look like paths; some go up, some go down, and some bend around sideways in a möbius strip to more questions.

Peace,

~Pindari

Expanding Horizons Part 1

So.  The Deets.

Today, I’d like to tell you about my perspective on art.

The big thing that I learned during my time at L&T was that there are two ways of ‘understanding’ things.  One way is that you read something, and you know what it means.  The second way is that you feel utter confusion.  You read a work and don’t even try to understand it, instead you just let it wash over you.

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The first week of L&T

Now, this may not make a lot of sense (and it didn’t to me at first either) but hear me out.  When L&T began, I thought it was going to be like a literature analysis class.  I had read the assigned readings, and I was expecting to have a class discussion when I came in on the second day.  The reading had been confusing, and I was hoping to ask some questions and get some answers.

Instead, my teacher read a quote from the text and told us to “write to it.”  I was baffled.  How can I write to it, if I don’t know what it means?  What does that even mean?  Doesn’t she mean write about it?

But, hey, I’m willing to try new things.  I began to write to it.  I wrote to it as if it was a stranger, dissecting the sentence physically (e.g. “I notice that you are capitalized strangely–I wonder why the author wrote you that way.  When I read the word meek I cant help thinking of a baby deer…”)  And Lo and behold, meaning began to unfold.

By ‘talking’ to this quote I had teased out my own meaning for it!  And even more amazing, when we took turns reading what we had written, everyone else had done similar things.  It was like an unconscious understanding.

To be Continued…

Guess What?

It was fine.  In fact, the night that I wrote that last post, I went to an orientation panel where all the PC’s (Peer Counselors) basically told us that they had the same feelings as me.  Some of them didn’t even meet their friends until after freshman orientation.

As you can tell, I’m feeling better.  I have met a really special friend, and some other really great friends who make me feel happy every day!

There isn’t much time for me to write, but I can’t wait to tell you about my ‘college experience.’

One tip:

-Get a bike.  Your legs will thank you!

 

Alright, I really have to go and finish my essay.

Peace,

~Pindari

Fasting Tips

Salvete Amici,

And if any of you are Muslim, Eid Mubarak!  If not, you’re probably wondering what that means!?  The past 30 days, from June 8-August 7, Muslims all over the world have been fasting to celebrate Ramadan.  The fast is pretty harsh: no food or drink from 3am-8:30pm every day.  It’s supposed to be a time to humble you, show you what it is like for people who don’t have food, and pray.  However, it’s aso a time to celebrate and visit friends.  In fact, your blessings increase if you invite others over for a break-fast feast.  Anyway, the last day of Ramadan is called Eid al-Fitr, which is a huge feast, and a great day of celebration, and ‘eid mubarak’ means ‘happy eid!’

Now I’m not Muslim, but I told my best friend (who is) that I would try fasting for one day.  I love dares, so this was like the ultimate challenge!

Here are some things I learnt that might be helpful to anyone else who’s thinking of fasting (for health or religious purposes):

1.  It’s a really good idea to eat right before you begin fasting.  The night before, I ate a late dinner, and then set up a little snack on my bedside table (milk, a power bar, and water).  I also set my alarm for 2:45am.  Even thought I was half asleep when it went off, and not really hungry, I forced myself to eat anyway, and I drank the water LAST.

2.  Hunger comes and goes.  I wasn’t actually hungry all the time, but there where some moments when I really want to have a look in the fridge, or drink a glass of water.  Give yourself little tasks throughout the day.  Once you begin to distract yourself, you’ll forget about the hunger until it passes.  But don’t do anything too strenuous, or requiring too much focus.  Take a small walk, take a nap, watch a movie, etc.,.

3.  Relaxing helps you fast.  Don’t fast on a day when you have to meet people or go places.  Those things require a lot of energy that you won’t be renewing.

4.  Food aromas help!  Yes, I was really surprised by this.  Smelling my dad make lunch actually relieved the hunger I was feeling then.

Towards the end of my fast, around 7pm, was when I started to feel really hungry.  My stomach was growling, and I couldn’t pay attention to the movie I was watching, but that was probably because I knew I was going to eat soon.  My stomach was anticipating this coming reward!

But when I finally ate, I actually was satisfied really quickly.  One serving, and I was full.  This actually continue for the next couple days.  I had no urges to eat between meals, or take extra servings, and I felt really good!

So in closing, I definitely recommend fasting.  If you aren’t religious or doing a dare, you should definitely drink water every now and then.  But just try it, and see how you feel afterwards.

I’m so gad I did 🙂

Peace,

~Pindari

I Got My Permit!

And now that I’ve been through that experience, I want to share some tips with other future test-takers:

1.  Study lightly, but well.  You don’t have to read the whole DMV manual.  The most important chapter is the one on road signs.  Then, take practice tests a few days before,  and the day of the test.  I highly recommend this site.

2.  Dress nicely!  They will be taking a picture of you, so make sure you look presentable.

3.  Bring money.  The permit test doesn’t cost anything, but the picture, your future license, and the forms they’ll give you will cost  around $80.

4.  Relax.  It’s only 20 questions, don’t go crazy, you’ll do fine.  If you don’t, just study some more and take it again.

Hope that helps!

Peace,

~Pindari

Adventures in Bugland

I went to register, and now, I am officially a Bardian!!  That means I’ll be a college student next fall.  It’s hard to believe…

Actually, yesterday, I was feeling quite overwhelmed about it all; graduating, having to learn to drive this summer, finding a job, taking 4 classes next semester…  What if all this work of applying was for naught?  What if I turned out to be a horrible college student?

And as I sat there wallowing in my hopelessness, I saw a little ant.  It was dragging along the carcass of another insect easily five times its size.  There was no anthill in site, so I assumed that that ant was going to have to keep dragging that other bug a looooong way.

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But he didn’t seem tired, and he didn’t seem to be thing This is just too hard for me!  He kept at it.

So I decided that I should take after this ant, and follow his example.  I continued watching him, my admiration growing every minute, as he struggling but persevered, dragging his load over, under, and around many obstacles.

And then, he began to approach a grate.

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As he did, I wondered if he knew that it was behind him.  But I had faith that he would have some strange insect intuition and figure how to overcome this next obstacle.  Unfortunately it was then that he dragged the corpse a little too close to one of the holes and it fell in.

At first it seemed like he would save it!  He was still holding on to it, but it was dangling down, and the weight was too much, so he dropped it.

He wandered away, sans cargo, looking very confused.

Sometimes you work really hard for something and you still don’t reach your goal.  Well, it was a metaphor, but not the one I was looking for!  Somehow it reassured me though.

Some people (me) just worry and worry.  But in the end, nothing is certain.

You just have to push forward into the unknown and hope for the best.