Monday, March 30, 2009

Mithridates VI of Pontus

Who the hell is that? I have no idea.

I have a big Ancient Roman History test tomorrow and I’m just now realizing that I really don’t care who Mr. Mithridates is. I’m suddenly grasping the fact that knowing his name is not going to ever get me a job. Knowing this little tidbit of info is only going to clog up vital space in my shrinking brain.

It’s times like this when I seriously wonder why I’m a history major. It is indeed a mostly “useless” degree. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m hoping that I’ll get a job for having a degree… not for having a history degree. I might even go to law school in a couple of years, but it will not be because of what I learned in school. It will because I actually score good on my LSAT and convince myself to go through three more years of school.

But I am now stuck here learning Roman history… That would be okay, but I just don’t want to. Last night I woke up with my left year aching. As the day went on, I lost more and more hearing in that ear. This morning I woke up and had every intention to get my butt in a doctor’s appointment, but my ear popped. It stopped hurting and I breathed a sigh of relief. I just assumed that I would eventually get my hearing back.

About 4:45 both ears, along with the space between my eyes, began to ache. I whined around, without making an appointment. About 5:01 I realized that I should have made an appointment, but it was too late. Now I’m waiting around, enjoying the ringing in my ears.

I’m guess that I probably have something going on with my sinuses. It might be an ear infection or something. Quite ridiculous that a twenty year old would be having this problem, but whatever.

I feel it is probably significant to point out that I do, usually, love history and enjoy my major. I’m just going through a stressful time and would rather study something that didn’t require quite so much studying. Perhaps underwater basketweaving?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Life

Life sucks at the moment. Seriously.

This time in the semester is always rough. Papers are due, essays need to be written, and there seems to be a never ending list of projects that need to be completed.

I’m stressed out BIG TIME. My face is all broken out. I’m really quite exhausted. Several times lately I’ve been whiny with Colby for no reason at all. (Of course, he’s a totally gem and acts like it’s his fault.)

I’m glad no one has sad anything too extreme to me, because MY EYES JUST MIGHT EXPLODE OUT OF MY HEAD. And then I would start crying like a big baby.

I’m also transferring next year and having to deal with all that jazz. I’m going at it with a blind faith, hoping they reward me with lots of scholarships. I’m not usually so daring, but I’m really ready to move closer to home. It sucks being so far away from everyone I love.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel though. I will packing my crap up and moving home in forty-three days.

That makes me smile.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Grandma


My grandma left this earth on March 14, 2009. I have been digesting the reality of the situation over the last nine days. Even after the funeral, I still feel like it is all a bad dream.

Grandma was a strong, stubborn woman who worked hard on the family farm her entire life. She was incredibly thrifty and never wasted a thing. She absolutely loved her grandchildren and would always prepare us yummy deserts when we went over for visits.

Grandma had been battling lung cancer for a year and a half. Last May, we were reassured that she was cancer free. Time passed and she seemed totally healthy. At Christmas, she came over for dinner and her personality was off. I remember telling my mother, “Grandma sure was acting weird tonight.” A couple days later she would complain of an extreme headache. In early January, they did a MRI and discovered that the cancer had moved to her brain.

We were devastated. She never smoked and ate healthy, homemade food. She once told me that she had never weighed over 130 lbs. She was a picture of health up until the time when they diagnosed her.

My brother and I, who have both been at university over six hours away since Christmas, have not been able to be there as she fought for her life. We traveled four hours on Valentine’s Day to visit her when she was in the hospital. She was skinny, pale, and looked really tired but she had the energy to talk to us and even poked fun at Grandpa, calling him “old man” when he was helping her eat. And boy did she eat. I’ve never seen someone eat their hospital food so steadily. It took her over an hour, but she finished off everything they brought her.

Looking back at the situation, I remember being optimistic and sure that she would make it through. We hugged her goodbye and promised to see her when we came home for Spring Break. Over the next month, my mother kept me updated, telling me that she was getting worse, not better. I stayed optimistic, but began to prepare myself. Every time my parents would call, I would cringe inside. I was afraid they were going to give me bad news.

They moved her to the nursing home on March 11. She no longer had an IV and wasn’t waking up to eat or drink. At that point, Clay and I realized we needed to get home. We skipped class the Friday before Spring Break. I traveled to the hospital with all five of my siblings, afraid of what I would see.

She looked so much worse. Her mouth was hanging open and her breathing was labored. She slept for the first three hours we were there. Finally, she opened her eyes for a couple seconds. We gathered around her, telling her how much we loved her. Instead of focusing on us, she looked at the door. I’m not sure she even realized that we were there.

She passed away late Saturday afternoon. I was absolutely relieved to know that she was no longer in pain, but my heart has been breaking ever since.

My grandparents were married for forty-seven years. In that time, they spent less than thirty nights apart. They worked together on the family farm and raised three amazing children. I never once witnessed them fight. I cannot imagine Grandpa without Grandma. He’s holding up, but I know that this is so much harder for him then me. I only pray that he will lean on friends and family for support in the next weeks and months.

This picture was taken at Christmas about a week before we found about the brain cancer.

Hold your loved ones close to you tonight… You never know when they might be gone.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The World’s Worst Ski Trip


Last week, while I was on Spring Break, my boyfriend and I took my baby sister skiing. My parents (and boyfriend) live close enough to the mountains that we can get up early in the morning and drive to the slopes in New Mexico. It makes for a long day, but it’s also a total blast.

Jamey had never been skiing before and was dying to go. Because she is the youngest of six, she often feels like she gets left out of things. Plus, she thinks she’s sixteen and has the attitude of a teenager.

Weeks ago, she convinced Colby and me to take her to the mountains. That was a great plan until we actually drove three hours and realized that there was no snow. The ski lifts were open, but it was all the fake crappy stuff. We stayed positive and rushed to get Jamey into ski school.

This is where things went bad. We rushed to rent our gear and buy our lift tickets. We searched everywhere for the ski school. When we finally found it, we we’re dismayed to learn that they had stopped taking new students ten minutes before. Ten minutes.

This is where Colby and I’s eyes popped out of our heads. We aren’t ski instructors. I’m not that great at skiing and he’s out of shape and old (Yes, I consider 28 old). Surely we wouldn’t be expected to actually teach her ourselves. It was an insane proposition!

But what else were we to do? We carefully began to explain to her the general idea of skiing. We taught her how to buckle her boots and attach her skis. We reminded her that “it was easy for little kids.” (That’s what my father repeatedly told her every single day leading up to the trip.)

That’s when hell started. Jamey could not get her balance enough to stand up on the skis. Colby and I had no idea how to teach her. We pleaded, we bribed, we held her up, but she couldn’t seem to get the way things we’re supposed to go.

Finally, my heroic boyfriend carefully placed her between his legs and held her up as they skied along. She was smiling and happy, he was hurting a little more each minute. It just wasn’t natural for him to be leaning over like that.

This went on for about an hour until Jamey had developed some kind of confidence and a tiny bit of balance. I then skied up next to her and took her hand. After several words of encouragement, she finally released my hand and began to ski alongside me. Colby and I were totally excited. We kept encouraging her: “Good job, Jamey,” and “You rock, kid.”

Because she was doing so well, we decided to take the lift to the top of the mountain and ski the three-mile trail back down the mountain. It was an easy slope and I figured it was all my idea. I only realized that my idea was completely stupid when we reached the top of the mountain and Jamey freaked out. She just couldn’t handle the “really steep part” and wouldn’t see anything my way.

My baby sister is a stubborn sucker. She refused to ski down the mountain and demanded that Colby or I hold her up. It was the longest three miles of my entire life. Jamey wasn’t enjoying it either. At one point, she glared at me and said, “I’m never never never going skiing again. I can’t believe you thought it was a good idea to take me skiing. This isn’t easy.” She actually popped her skis off and walked the last mile of the slope.

After like twelve million hours, we reached the bottom of the mountain. I’m not entirely sure that I’ll ever go skiing again. I can say for sure that I will never try to teach another child to ski. It was horrible. My amazing boyfriend did a wonderful job of being supportive and keeping his cool. I was grumpy for quite a while, but I will admit that I had quite a little bit of fun.

Friday, March 20, 2009

My sister's words...


I have been home for the last week on Spring Break. (It really hasn't been a break from anything, but I'll explain all that later.)

Months ago, my boyfriend and I promised my six year old sister that we would take her skiing over the break. On the way to the mountains, we had a very deep conversation.

"Dory, did you know one of the boys in my class is really fat?" Jamey has called me Dory since she was about a year and a half old. It's adorable.

"Now Jamey, would God want you to call someone fat?" I try to be a good influence on the kid. I don't want her turning into a total demon later.

"God would want J.R. to be healthy and strong Dory."

She had a point there. "Well, maybe you should help J.R. Exercise with him or something."

"Dory," she sounded annoyed. "There is no hope for J.R. He gives up every single time he tries to run in P.E."

Poor kid, he's only in the first grade and my baby sister has already lost all faith in him.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

All Grown Up

I often refer to myself as a “little kid.” This creeps my boyfriend out to no end. He is almost 28 (his birthday is tomorrow) and I like to remind him that I was eleven when he graduated from high school. It amuses me to no end.

Of course, he likes to remind me that just means “he has more time to train me right.” Whatever.

I think it’s more romantic to say that he’s been waiting for me to grow up.

Anyway, back to the point of this post. I’m almost 20 ½ years old and I still feel like I’m twelve. It’s like I’ve been trapped in a time-warp for the last eight years. Sometimes I look in the mirror and expect to see a pale, skinny preteen with long straggly hair. It freaks me out to see my “adult” self. I just don’t feel like a grown up. Is this normal?

I often do “adult” things. I am proud to say that I pay 100% of my tuition and living expenses all on my own. I filled for taxes this year. I cook my own food and I’m responsible for my own laundry.

My light bulb in my room burned out today. After sitting in the dark for several hours, I gathered the energy to travel to the nearest Wal-mart to purchase the needed bulb. After five minutes of walking the aisles in search for lights bulbs, I dialed my momma’s cell phone. The conversation follows:

“Hi Mom. If you we’re looking for a light bulb in Wal-Mart, where would you go?”

Long pause. “The light bulb aisle… It would probably be around the ‘man section’.” (And yes, there is such a thing as the ‘man section’ of Wal-Mart).

I continue to look until she finally tells me- “Ask someone who works there.”

Ah. That is genius. Why didn’t I just think of that myself?

Because I’m still a little kid.