Saturday, April 30, 2011

Long and Difficult Home Stretch

Well, I'm in the home stretch now. Only three weeks till graduation!! That is both exciting and scary to think about. Exciting because I've been waiting for this moment for about 8 years - 5 years of junior college and 3 years of university - and scary because now after this I go out into the "real world," which is pretty frightening.

There is a LOT of work to do for school. In fact, I probably should be doing that instead of blogging. Sweatdrop_Icon But I feel like I need to blog because I am in a neurotic stress anxiety mode right now.

For LTWR 475 (The Writing Process), I am working on Writing Project 3 (which we turn in the packet for next week) and my Writing to be Heard project, which is due on May 13th (for me at least, since that's the presentation date I signed up for). I also have my Writing Portfolio due that day (because it's the last day of class), but fortunately that is made up of all the writing I've done throughout the semester -- which I've been saving all along -- so all I have to do is write a short paper to go with it, reflecting on how my writing has changed throughout the course of the class. Yay!

For LTWR 309B (U.S. Lit 2), we only have one book left, a post-apocalyptic novel called The Road. Since I wasn't that into Woman at Hollering Creek and Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros, I will probably write my 4th paper on The Road - though I think Dr. Keehn changed things so that we only had to write three essays. I'll have to double-check that.

For LTWR 460 (Cultural Studies), I just have my Writing Project to worry about, since I'm done with the reading blogs and I already did my Group Research Project presentation. (I know a few of my blogging weeks were late, though, so I should make sure I got credit for all of them). I wrote the first draft of it for last Tuesday's workshop, got feedback, and now have to write a Revision Reflection paper (due next Tuesday) and then revise the project and turn it in via the internet on May 17th (during finals week).

On top of these three, I have my Flash class (which I'm taking online on the side), which will probably last till the end of May since MiraCosta's on a different schedule than CSUSM. So far I'm caught up, but it's definitely a hard class to be taking along with my B.A. stuff. Oh well.  Sigh

But good things have happened. I finished the first draft of my novel (FINALLY), my group's presentation for Cultural Studies went well, I still have a job, I'm getting my homework in on time for the most part, and my "working draft" presentation for my Writing to be Heard project a couple weeks ago went well, even though I wasn't as prepared as I would've liked. I also went with Tara and some other people from Chi Alpha to a concert on April 17th, which was really fun. It was for the Christian band The Katinas. I bought one of their CDs, as well as a CD for the girl who opened for them, NOVA. Yesterday I went with Sigma Tau Delta (and some guys from the professional fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi) to the Center for Children and Families for the last reading of Sigma Tau Delta's main service project, which involves reading books to the kids at the Center. The kids liked the books (though my group had the younger kids, which meant they had very short attention spans) and we watched them play on the playground for a while after, until the other group finished. One of the books that were brought to us was Robert Munsch's Love You Forever, a book I really like and which my parents read to me when I was that age. It's about the growing relationship between a boy and his mom and is actually quite sad. (The guy from our group who read it teared up toward the end).


The other books we read were Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On, Dog and Bear: Two Friends - Three Stories, Llama Llama Misses Mama, and Go, Dog, Go!: P.D. Eastman's Book of Things That Go. They have great books there!

Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On
Dog and Bear (Neal Porter Books) (Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winner-Best Picture Book) (Awards))
Llama Llama Misses Mama

Go, Dog. Go!: P.D. Eastman's Book of Things That Go

The main thing I need right now is SLEEP. Sleep Smiley Unfortunately, I haven't been consistently taking melatonin (a vitamin my mom suggested I take because it would help calm down my mind so I could get to sleep earlier and sleep better - something she said a therapist friend of hers had successfully used with other autistic people), and that, coupled with all the work I've had to do, has caused me to not get as much sleep as I should. Yesterday was particularly weird, because I got up at 2:30 a.m. to watch the Royal Wedding live with my mom (it was at 11 a.m. London time, which is 3 a.m. in California). We watched it till 5:30 a.m. our time, after which there was nothing worth watching (since the wedding was over and the long-awaited post-wedding "balcony kiss" had already happened). All the channels with live coverage only covered it till 6 am Pacific Standard Time anyway (except for Good Morning America, which was listed as being on from 1-7 a.m. PST). Then we both went back to bed for about 45 minutes until we had to get up for real - my mom for work and me for school. So my sleep was a little wonky that day. Last night, I got a full night's sleep but felt rather tired all day today at work. So I think my body's out of whack. Not to mention I feel like I have to go to the bathroom a lot more often lately, maybe because I have been carbo-loading a bit too much.

Most of April, though, has been school and work. Not much to mention there.

As I mentioned, I watched the Royal Wedding live. It was a pretty cool experience getting up early with my mom to do that. I wasn't sure about doing that, but when my mom said she'd do it with me, I was much more into it. I'd asked for the day off for school and the Sigma Tau Delta reading, and when I got that off, I agreed to watch the wedding since I wouldn't have work that day.

I got up at 2:30 a.m. PST, and for the half hour between then and the actual start of the wedding there wasn't much to watch except watching people arrive. My mom got up a bit earlier than I did, so she actually saw the groom (Prince William) and the best man (Prince Harry) arrive, which I did not see. I saw the bride's mother, Carole Middleton, arrive, as well as other members of the Royal Family (including Princess Beatrice, daughter of the Duke of York, who will perhaps live in infamy due to her rather outrageous hat - that's her on the right below, with her sister Eugenie and father), and, of course, the bride and her father Michael.

This was the first time anyone had seen Kate's wedding dress, and I thought it was very nice. It was elegant and simple, unlike Princess Diana's dress, and made by Sarah Burton, a British designer:

Kate wears dress by McQueen designer

It's not visible in this picture, but with the veil Kate wore the Cartier Scroll Tiara made in 1936 and purchased by King George VI (the king that The King's Speech is about) for his wife Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and was given to his daughter, the current Queen, on her 18th birthday. The Queen lent it to Kate for the occasion, making it Kate's "something borrowed." She also had new diamond earrings given to her by her parents (her "something new"), had tradtional Carrickmacross lace appointments on the gown ("something old"), and a blue ribbon sown into the bodice ("something blue").

The wedding took place in Westminster Abbey, one of the oldest churches in England (and probably the oldest in London) and the site of every British coronation since 1066. Prior to the wedding yesterday, it had also been the setting for 15 royal weddings since 1100 (although there is a 537-year gap between #6 and #7 on that list). It has also served as a site for many burials and memorials, including Princess Diana's funeral in 1997. So there's a lot of history going on there.

The wedding ceremony was rather brief, only lasting about an hour, and was conducted by the Dean of Westminster (although William and Kate were actually married by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England). The actual marriage part only took about 20 minutes and was conducted using the marriage service from the Book of Common Prayer, the liturgical text for the Church of England. The rest of the time was filled with lovely music from the choir, a scripture reading by Kate's brother James, a great sermon by the Bishop of London, and a brief moment where the couple disappeared into the nearby Chapel of King Edward the Confessor to sign a wedding registry, which I guess is for civil records.

After the actual wedding, the wedding party left the abbey and traveled by carriage or bus back to Buckingham Palace. They appeared briefly on the balcony, where it had been announced that Will and Kate would kiss (they don't do the "you may kiss the bride" thing in Church of England weddings). The kiss was ridiculously brief - so brief that you would've missed it if you'd been looking away from the screen at that moment. Fortunately, they kissed a second time just before the traditional military flyover, which somewhat made up for it. Then the wedding party left for a small lunch reception hosted by (and paid for by) the Queen. Shortly after this is when my mom and I stopped watching and went back to bed.

After this, I guess, the bride and groom went and got changed for the evening party hosted by Prince Charles. Here was Kate's dress for that, also made by Sarah Burton:


Well it's pretty late. I better end here. Good night!

Oh, by the way, the smileys you see in this post are from this site: I love the sweatdrop one!