I feel so many things, at so many times of the day. I wake up, rub the sleep out of my eyes, and feel utter dread as my feet hit the cold tile. It’s like walking on ice cubes. I then have my coffee, which makes me feel like an engine being warmed up. I get dressed and feel like I’m wrapping myself in plastic wrap with my jeans fitting too tight around my already small waist. I feel angry for not buying better jeans, less stiff and more high-waisted.
With so, so many deadlines I am constantly trying to put on a smile at school, but inside I am dying. I walk around with furrowed brows and deep set wrinkles, but people think I’m too cool and insist on talking to me. I feel better when they talk to me, even though I tried so hard to avoid any type of conversation.
In lectures, my professor discusses genocide in Rwanda, war in Mozambique, witch killings in Tanzania, and all the other poisonous seeds planted in our global society. I feel so sad and sick to my stomach. I feel as if I am trapped in my thoughts, trapped by four walls and cow pastures. (There’s fields and cow pastures surrounding my school. Literally.) I feel angry when I feel these things in class and I see that my fellow classmates are on their laptops browsing social media or shopping. I take deep breathes to keep my composure, but twice, has a single tear drop escaped from the cages of my lashes.
I’ve experienced such intense moments of anger and frustration at school, that I made a mental note to pack my flask in my backpack for when people, “Want to test my patience.” I have brandy in my flask. I disappear into the bathroom stalls to take a swig and I feel fire deep in my belly, like a dragon ready to ignite the village. I feel relieved and after some moments, the alcohol sinks in and I feel fine.
I had an emotional breakdown a few days ago. I cried and blabbered nonsense to myself. I’m glad nobody saw me crying because I would have felt like a fool. So, I gave myself a minute of emotional vomit and made the decision to just pick up my feelings off the ice cube floor and just deal with it. I will deal with the deadlines and deal with social injustice…I will continue to fill my flask and allow myself to feel and reflect on these things.
I think more of myself than I really am.
I stand tall, but fall hard. Right on my FACE.
I’m not MC Hammer…too legit to quit. I’m fucking illegitimate. I’m not the fucking King of Pop. I’m the Pauper of Please, Just Stop. I present in front of the class and I’m nothing but a sputtering, stuttering fool.
This fantasy life I live inside my head, trying to live up to the rhymes and rhythms of untouchable men. I’m a big believer in ‘Go Big, or Go Home.’ But each time I’m sent packin’ down the lonely road. Still trying to distance myself from bed bugs, crack heads, and abuse. Forever reaching for white fences, green lawns, and six digit checks too. Sometimes I walk and stand tall, but without patience I will be nothing at all. It’s okay to scrape a knee, cry, and bleed. Just get back up and keep pushing. Don’t stop…’til I am MC Hammer and the King of Pop.
I’ll admit, I’m not the best student, but I am definitely not the worst. I have my exceptional moments, where an instructor will applaud me in front of the entire class, and much to my embarrassment too! Like any student, I dread heaping loads of homework, sitting too close to people, the pressure of meeting deadlines, and finding out class was cancelled last minute (and kicking myself for not checking my emails). I understand that school can conflict with already existing schedules, like work and family.
So, I was sitting in my “Women & Gender in the Early Modern World,” class today, and the carelessness just dumbfounded me. Let me remind you that I attend the University of California, Merced. This isn’t just some community college. This is a top research hub, newly centered in California.
Today was presentation day. I won’t go into details, but here’s my laundry list of the shitty material that needed to be washed:
- Power Point presentations with NOTHING BUT TEXT. I’m talking, sentence, upon sentence, upon sentence of crap that should have been put on flash cards instead.
- Students who haven’t even started their projects. We were suppose to present on what we have already researched, but most just presented what they were going to research.
- No smiles. No eye contact. Holy crap, some students didn’t even go to the front of the class to present, but actually chose to sit down instead.
Where’s the leadership? Where’s the communication skills? Where is the enthusiasm? Why was I the only one who cared about women and gender in the early modern world? I stood before the class, shaking like a wet dog (I was nervous!) I presented my slides, which were all visuals, and explained to my classmates what I had learned. My professor nearly jumped out of her seat and loudly exclaimed, “Wow, this is great!”
You’d think I’d be use to this kind of carelessness by students. I guess, I just wasn’t expecting it as much from university students.
But it’s pretty bad. It makes my eyes roll into the back of my head, grind my teeth, and makes my skin crawl. Fucking try, people!!
I feel rebellious. I’m having tea…with maple syrup, instead of my usual honey. My eyes are nearly glazed over from the foggy cloud lingering behind my eye balls. My fingers run across the laptop keyboard on autopilot. I should be in bed. I am sick…and I have class in the morning.
If I feel well enough, I’ll be sure to wear my vampire lipstick: blood red or vampy brown. I’ll probably put on my Frankenstein shoes (aka T.U.K. Creepers), and strut down the street with my eyes darting back and forth. I’ll be wrapped up in my warmest layers to ensure that the cold does not sting my delicate fingers and bones. My backpack will be lugged over my shoulders, carrying worlds of knowledge and credit cards. My car and house keys will jingle jangle at the sides of my hips, holding on to dear life by their key chain rings.
I’ll make it to class irritable from cold and sickness, but ready to learn. I’ll sit quietly and listen, taking in lectures on anthropological theory, while trying to ignore the guy sitting next to me who has a bad habit of rocking and forth in his plastic seat. Then, I’ll meet up with a classmate, have lunch, go to another class; and it’ll all be done.
I’ll go home, and prepare for torturous weekend homework. But it’s for the good of me and the good of society. After all, I’ll be contributing something to society in the future: my consumerism, taxable income, and array of knowledge I hope to obtain over my academic career. Yes. I am here for you. I will teach love, peace, and understanding.
It’s cold. I have a three hour class coming up at 1:30 pm and all I’ve had is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You know, I recently wrote a short story for children and the main character ate nothing but pb&j’s for her school lunch. PB&J’s suck, but what’s worse is not being able to afford a nice, hot meal. Oh well, I guess I deserved a sappy sandwich for this sappy, boring post.
But I’m trying to get my hands and mind moving together again. After all, I haven’t posted on here in nearly 3 years! Anyone who is a writer knows how difficult it can be to get back into the groove of things. I promise, things will get better, for me and for you. I’m sitting here at UC Merced, in a dark corner, typing this very rapidly and charging my phone. That’s why I’m in a dark corner. There’s a plug here.
Anyway, I guess I will let you go. My Doc Martens are tight on my feet, and I need to find a mirror to reapply this red, cheap lipstick. Now, to spend three hours studying Native American artifacts and composing a compelling ten page essay on what I think a pile of rocks can mean (the technical term is debitage).
It might please you to know that I’m the only one in my class with a child, a nose ring, big round spectacles, and sometimes I revert to speaking in ebonics. I’m odd, but I like it that way. I hope you do too. I hope we can be friends someday. I don’t mind if you read this and laugh at me. I’m here for your entertainment, but in the process, I hope that at some point during this journey I can help make this world a better place.