Shake-speared, not Stirred

Oh Graduation, how do thee freak me out? Let me count the ways:

This has been an interesting seven days.  The good news is, I’m still alive after the first week of classes.  The bad news?  I had two semi-legitimate-but-mostly-just-me-being-dramatic panic attacks.  Why?  Let me start at the beginning.

Classes started on Tuesday this semester, since Monday was an extension of winter break in observance of MLK day. I went to my first class, play writing, and was extremely excited to finally see my mentor-professor in action in the classroom.  The class itself was also very enjoyable, despite only being syllabus day. To put it simply, my expectations were pretty high after that first class. However, I was still mostly in winter break mode, as I promptly went home and watched four episodes of Parks and Recreation before heading back out into the cold for my second class.

As a creative writing major, I am exempted from one of the six core classes required by KU in order to get my B.A. in English in exchange for taking a butt-load of creative writing courses.  The incessant over-achiever in me had, however, decided that taking that sixth course–in this case, Shakespeare–would be a good idea, not because I wanted the enrichment the course would give me, but because then I could say that I graduated within both the creative writing and English literature tracks of the major. Such an honest motive, such a terrible decision.

To be perfectly honest, Shakespeare at KU does not have the best reputation.  Most of the regular professors who teach the class on rotation get mild reviews from students, perhaps leaning slightly more towards the negative side of things.  Lots of “drones on and on in lectures,” “gets easily sidetracked,” and “easy grader, difficult assignments,” etc. (Let me reiterate: these are the reviews for many, but not all, of the professors who teach this class on a rotational basis).  And to be fair, Shakespeare is probably not an easy course to teach, let alone learn. Still, I knew going into the class that it was not going to be my favorite.  However, what I was not expecting was the syllabus I was handed that first day. I think the second I read the course assignments section I began to hyperventilate a wee bit.  The class required reading twelve plays (that much I knew ahead of time; all the Shakespeare courses required that intense reading schedule) but it also included a midterm exam (granted, the exam was a take-home test), a final exam, and two 2,500-3,000 word essays (which I later confirmed with my roommate is roughly 8-10 pages double-spaced).  Now, obviously none of this is insanely strenuous, and I have done all of these–taken midterms and final exams, written papers (some of them twice as long as these word requirements)–I’ve even done a combination of test-taking and paper-writing.  However, I’ve never taken on two lengthy essays in combination with two cumulative tests and this much reading, on top of three other course workloads and job searching/post-grad planning as well.

I believe my exact inner-monologue went a little something like this: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” 

Needless to say, I high-tailed it out of that class as fast as I could, spending the next 36 hours in pure anxiety, trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do before finally getting permission to switch into a nonfiction writing class, something that, in the long run, has way more writing involved, but is a bit more my style, as far was work requirements go.

But shortly thereafter, I began to panic again, wondering if maybe I needed to take that Shakespeare class. Or worse yet, what if I had somehow overlooked something, and wouldn’t be able to graduate this semester?  Clearly, my anxiety is well-rooted in the illogical.  A quality of my character that I am sure my adviser finds endearing and not at all overbearing.

These two incidents are actually related, in retrospect, but that hasn’t stopped me from feeling completely excessive about both.

I posted a Facebook status about my feelings of anxiety towards this latter half, actually. That’s how I can tell the emotions are getting the best of me.  When I publicize myself, I am usually looking for fast-assurance and comfort when I can find none for myself, usually in the most dramatically-worded way I can come up with.  In this case, I described the feeling as though I was forgetting to pack something for a very long trip, even though I had been over the list again and again and could not remember what it was I thought I had forgotten. Thankfully, I am friends with my adviser on Facebook, and as soon as she saw my status she recognized my call for help and double-checked for me, clarifying on my account which emphasis I was under, so that my course requirements will show up correctly for my transcripts and graduation.

So now I am reduced to simply being anxious. Not about anything in particular, but just in general.  Perhaps as the weeks progress and I begin to function more consistently within a schedule again this feeling will go away.  Perhaps it won’t. Perhaps entering the real world means a certain level of anxiety all of the time.  However, I’ve always been a bit anxious. You’d think after so many years, it would start to dull itself and become less of an issue, but I suppose that isn’t the way things work when it comes to worry. I feel that, in that way, life is a bit like being Winnie the Pooh–always a little concerned, but always searching for the bright side as well.

Perhaps, in life, we are all Pooh bears.

Here’s to hoping “It’ll be fine,” as my dear adviser would say.

Until next Monday,

Yours truly,

tlc

This is Happening, People.

Hi there. This is my blog. Welcome.

I’ve always been terrible at transitions, so I’m just going to hop right in:

You know how you find a piece of really, REALLY good music, and it just speaks to you?  On a depth more than emotional–almost spiritual?  No? Is that just me?  Well it happens, people. It’s like finding your tunnel song (Perks of Being a Wallflower, anyone?), or hearing that swelling orchestration that just tips you over in a really emotional (spoiler if you’re not up to date on Doctor Who) theatrical scene.

Still no?  Well I’m going to make my point anyways.

See, I’ve always been a bit jealous of those dramatically orchestrated scenes in films and television–I don’t know if it’s because I can be a bit of a drama queen myself, or if it is just because I enjoy music and stories so much that I really appreciate when they come together at such perfect moments (I’m one of those that would prefer to listen to a film score over any other type of album).  I’ve always wished that I could experience the world around me and the moments in my life with as much emotional depth as I experience those moments in film and television, and frankly, I’m a little sad people don’t just have their entire lives orchestrated.

This might sound a little weird and quite random, but the idea of experiencing life in more depth has been on my mind a lot, lately. I think it’s mainly because in four months’ time I will jump off the academic diving board and enter the world of working oblivion.  Basically, I’m scared out of my mind, just like I imagine most of my friends are as well.  Honestly, how does everyone keep it together so well?  I want to tear my face off right now and just cry.

See? Just a teensy bit of drama queen.

But something I’ve also learned from emotionally-stirring orchestrated theatrical scenes is that they don’t abruptly end after the climax of the scene is over.  No, just like the falling action of a beautifully conceived piece of literary work, these songs have a resolution. And if it isn’t a completely happy one, it is at least a satisfying one.

And that’s what my graduating in four months’ time is really like. Well, here’s to hoping, at least.

But really, job searching and my future after graduation has been on my mind for quite a while now, and so I’ve been doing a bit of research, looking into the lives of people I consider to be successful and my role models, and finding out what the path of their lives has been like after college.  And you know what?  It’s helped relieve a lot of stress (though there is still plenty more to be had!) in thinking about my future.  Why? Because many-if not most-of these people started from the bottom, from scratch, nothing to loose, hardly anything to gain (at first), just like me.  Many of them didn’t have jobs waiting for them straight out of college, and lots of them still have not found a career that they have solidly settled into.  Instead, they became path-makers instead of path-takers, and have been much happier, in my opinion, for it.  Why?  Because even though they may not have a 100% steady income, or a back-up plan or job to use as a crutch, they are doing things they love.

Who are these people, you ask?  Well three that I can think of right off the top of my head are J.K. Rowling, Tina Fey, and Youtuber, Jenna Marbles.  Rowling, as is probably common knowledge at this point, was living below the poverty line while attempting to support her young daughter and herself while writing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. And it took her five years to complete the first manuscript.  But she persevered, because she loved writing, and wanted to tell her story.  According to her autobiography, Bossypants, Tina Fey spent her two years after college working at a local gym, something that had nothing to do with her interests, before earning a starter position with one of the traveling improv groups that Second City in Chicago sends out all across America and working her way up through SNL and launching her career in both writing and acting.  And Jenna Marbles, as you can watch in her draw my life video, here, just seems to have drifted into all sorts of interesting things before realizing her passion in making video blogs, and hey! it paid off, so go her.

My point is, I’m really freaking out here, but I’m consoling myself in the lives of people I aspire to be like, and I hope you do the same thing.  And if not, then you can at least follow me on this journey because I’m going to be documenting it along the way, not only to hold myself accountable, but also prove to myself and others that this frightening transition period in one’s life is completely survivable, and probably not the scariest thing you will ever deal with in you entire life (unfortunately).

So meet me back here every Monday for the next (only God knows) how many months, as I try to keep things cheerful and funny, and let you in on all the little awkward moments that happen to me as I stumble through this last semester of my college life and attempt to jump gracefully into the real world.  And please excuse the giant, imaginary friends who will probably be holding my hand along the way. I promise I don’t have schizophrenia, I just really like television, and stories in general, and like to pretend that fictional characters and celebrities are my friends.

That’s normal, right?

Well, anyways, here’s to hoping.  See you next Monday.

Yours truly,

tlc

Tina Fey: A Response to “5 Reasons Why Amy Poehler Should be Everyone’s Role Model”

Yesterday I happened to read a great post by Thought Catalog’s Jessie Garber on why Amy Poehler should be everyone’s role model (if that wasn’t clear in the title).  I think it’s great, I really do.  Being a funny (well, hey, I try) girl myself, I love that people love strong women with strong senses humor and big hearts and minds.  The simple fact that a woman like Amy Poehler can have a huge fan base, mad respect and success in her craft–which, as far as success in comedy goes, is still largely a male-dominated talent–is incredible. High-five humanity.

However, being an avid Tina Fey fan, I think this opens up the perfect opportunity to point out why TINA should be everyone’s role model, because, let’s face it, she is the type of awesome that everyone NEEDS to strive for. So with that, I give you:

5 Reasons Why Tina Fey Should be Everyone’s Role Model

BOOM.  Let’s start this off right with #1:

Amy Poehler may be hilarious, but Tina Fey is HYSTERICAL. Also a fellow Saturday Night Live alum, Tina Fey wrote AND starred in Mean Girls and also starred in Baby Mama, but more importantly, has starred in films like Date Night along such comedy greats like Steve Carell. She wrote and starred in her hit show, 30 Rock, in which she played the strong, though relate-ably awkward, female head writer for a semi-successful comedy show.  The characters Tina plays, like Liz Lemon, are strong, successful women who are down-to-earth and keep a strong head on their shoulders.  Tina shows us all that you can–and should–laugh through all the ups and downs, and you should never stop working hard, and never stop pushing for your goals.

“I want to go to there” -Liz Lemon, aka Tina Fey

#2: Tina is a jack-of-all-trades, and her humor is transparent. She’s also three steps ahead. In 2011, she published her super-hilarious autobiography, Bossypants, a book which details a incredibly inspirational and uplifting story about a woman navigating her way through a male-dominated business, learning and loving along the way, dealing with her body and her body image, and balancing work, marriage, and motherhood in only a way Tina Fey could achieve.  Not to mention, she then did the recorded version for the audiobook edition herself, and it was even more hilarious.

#3: This awards speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vLFYs2n9Go

Need I say more?

#4: She is an inspiration for all young women. A self-proclaimed “supernerd,” Fey fearlessly admits to spending her adolescence indoors, enjoying game nights with her friends, instead of falling into the endless drama and woe that is teenage dating, or getting caught up at parties or in drug use. She realizes that most teenagers are self-conscious about their social lives, and to that she says, hey, it’s okay.  Be safe, have fun, be happy. You don’t have to party to have fun or friends.

#5: Along with several charities and causes that she supports, as well as her endless resume of comedy, acting, theater, show-hosting, and writing, Tina Fey is also a wife and mother to two daughters.  Like Amy Poehler, Tina is outspoken about body image and women’s rights.  Her talent, success, and ability to navigate the waters of business and home life should be an inspiration and role model to us all.  Move over, Amy, your best friend would like to share the spotlight.

And that’s my two-cents.

-tlc

New Year, New Blog!

I gave myself one goal today: post this blog.  It is now five minutes to 10 p.m. (though the save history on this draft says 4 a.m.–don’t know what that’s about) and I am just now starting to type this up.  Great start to a new year? …Yeah…

In all honesty, though, I actually have a pretty good feeling about this year.  In about four months I will be headed into a future of the unknown–my last semester of school and I still don’t know what I’m doing–and possibly moving to some un-foretold city to wreck my awkward havoc upon its unsuspecting citizens, but yes; I feel pretty good about this year.

Actually, the thing I like most about New Years is the feeling of ambition it gives.  Eleven months out of the year, I get an idea and then put it off, because I think, “Well, I’m in the middle of life right now, and I don’t want to start something new until I know I have time for it,” so I wait for something that feels like a starting point.  Usually something silly, like a holiday, or a long weekend, or 12:30 a.m.   But if there is something I’ve learned in my whole philosophical experience in 2014 so far, it’s that you have to just jump in and go for it.  To be a bit cliche and invent my own saying, ‘In the race of life, there is no starting lines.’

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m jumping in, and I’m going to document my time along the way, so I hope you’ll join me.  And I hope you jump in, too.  Because, what is life without a few shared experiences, some laughs, and a whole ‘lotta awkward?

-tlc