How do you say goodbye and hello in the same breath?

On Monday, I found myself wandering about on campus, over Leona Creek past the piled tree branches from last week’s windstorms, into the sudden warm sun by the Alumnae House, trailing my way between trees and archways of the art building.

It was only when I found myself standing next to the koi pond betwixt the first year dorms, where I spent many meditative hours and late night ramblings, when I realized–

I was saying goodbye.

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Convocation, Roses, Zines: A Quick Update

Convocation, Roses, Zines, A Birthday: A Quick Update

Whew! These past few weeks have been screamingly busy. I feel like I haven’t had a true “weekend” in weeks–if by weekend you mean that glorious mythological space of time where one can sleep in, lazily wake up and sip tea in bed while watching Netflix, go on long walks, and read books for pleasure, and never fully get dressed.

Fridays usually are the start of my weekend, but two weeks ago (Sept 26) I had to wake up incredibly early for Convocation, and despite my early rising, I missed the breakfast–just as I was about to eat my first bite, they told us to line up (I must have spent too long curling my hair). Convocation is a sort of pre-Commencement ceremony at Mills, steeped in lots of traditions. It’s a way to welcome the new semester, announce awards, and give the senior class a glimpse into what it will feel like to walk to our seats for Commencement. I rather like all the old traditions; it makes me feel like I’m going to an Ivy League school, or like I’m one of a long history of people.

Recently I’ve had a penchant for roses, especially vintage rose patterns and photographs. I adore the little rose garden in front of the Campanil bell tower on campus. There are so many colors: glowing peach, vibrant maroon, buttery pink, and that sweet sherbet mixture that looks like a dawn or sunset. I tried to show a little bit of them all in the picture. I also was able to include them in a recent project I just finished this morning.

I made a one-page zine! It’s titled “A Brief History of the Engagement Ring” and has both a general history and my personal history with engagement rings. I’ll be posting pictures, and printable PDF of it, and a how to so you can make your own. They are so simple and fun, and a low-cost DIY expression of creativity. Yay for self-publication! Be on the lookout.

Ta-ta for now,
Byrdie

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Keep Calm and Live Rowing

 

No matter how many years I’ve been away, I will always remember the sense of peace and calm that came with the perfect stroke. The stroke that made all the stress and sore muscles worth it. The irreplaceable camaraderie between crew mates because we were witnesses to our mutual pains and individual sacrifices and successes. There is something magical in that bond that slowly fades away when someone is no longer officially part of the team. That part stings. But I still remember those perfect strokes. Those moments of perfect synchronicity between nine bodies. The squaring twist of the wrist. The catch. The fierce kick of the stroke. The last pull to get maximum inches. And then those floating moments of rest, multitasking breath intake and a deep appreciating for balance. The perfect stroke.

Update

Dear journal,

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? So much has happened. I think this is an habitual pattern that I no longer feel the need to break. Long absences, silent intervals, with great bursts of poetic prose and color and action. Maybe not a true reflection of my life but an interesting persona.

I’m writing this from the Olin Library at Mills, on a Sunday, the day before my Hell Week truly begins. Well, really, these next few days might be hell and this is just the beginning. I just finished the outline for Spanish that was due last Wednesday, with the first draft due on Monday. I’ve been slipping all semester. I got an academic warning in my Tuesday class, Creative Non-Fiction Workshop. Yes, me. Miss A-student-always-because-B-is-failing, and I’m not minding except the fear my GPA is going to fall too far. So I’m scrambling to pick up the scattered pieces of my academic frame of mind and find some way to love myself through these awful, painful hours of dredging up words I don’t feel like typing. It helps that my last few projects are going to be on topics I like. Feminism, patriarchy, queer desire, embodied memory, and translation, etc. Somehow the learning is finally clicking and becoming a part of me, and thus transferring between classes. I’ve been trying to reflect back on how much I’ve actually learned here, to try to put a value on my education, and I haven’t been able to quantify it yet.

It’s easier to identify in the ephemera, in comparison and déjà vu. Like watching a movie I used love and realizing how sexist it is and at the same time running a queer analysis on it and trying to find moments of trans-ing and queer desire and colonialist objectification…oh yes, there are definitely things I’ve learned.

Also, my writing has definitely developed. I won the inaugural Annual Queer Studies Writing Contest this year. I submitted one of my papers from an American Lit class on a whim, not thinking I would be picked but mad at myself at how many contests and opportunities I’ve passed up this year because I “haven’t had the time.” And now I have a beautiful award along with a check for $100! Go me. *does a little victory dance*

But I really must get back to this epic research paper for CNF. Yes, a research paper. Somehow I didn’t think about how much research would be needed for this, and now I’m in deeper than I could possibly be. I’m hoping my result will be adequate enough for an A, an obvious improvement. At least writing about the Hunger Games and feminism and pop culture movies is entertaining. Just a lot of reading and referencing and synthesizing. Ugh.

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Graduation Countdown

The Big DayMay 25th, 2013
College is over! I have my degree!
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