College: First and Last

Starting August 5th, a Monday, I’ll be taking my final course as a college undergrad. Almost three years ago I finished my first college course and remember feeling a sense of faint loss, subtle but persistent in its effect. I’m still thinking about it.

My first college course was called Israel & Palestine, and it was taught by Professor Johan Ahr. Professor Ahr was an exceedingly reasonable man, tall in stature and perpetually pitched in a red-tint that had the effect of him being a somewhat brittle figure in my eyes. He probably just had had a bad tan or something.

In class Professor Ahr dealt a slight but steady hand, guiding conversation as it came and instructing when needed. As the semester progressed, more of the former crept up and less of the latter was needed. The assigned readings were excellent, and I still keep them close at hand and heart.

My last college course will be with the same professor, this time in an online setting. We’ll be meeting for three weeks and have three books to digest in a class of 21 focusing on Western Civilization in which I’ve just joined. The excitement of a new history course has me slightly stunned. Reading the email he sent just today, I remembered exactly why I chose History to be my minor in college – aside from the fact that I had most of the credits covered from various AP exams.

I love history, and I love learning about lives and stories across the world. I love the approaches to the study, and I love the processes dealt through it. It’s something I’ve never lost but has significantly rusted in delay.

02/21

Have you ever taken the time to look at your keys when you’re typing?
Just look at them, look look look, it’s scary. Syntax to semantics shit. Right? These things are easy. Touche. 
Woolly mammoth python breaks circles FUCK 

Today in rewind. “right what’s do gotta you, city your in”

Listening to John Maus talk about contemporary music and the mainstream conversation around it. Roommate watching The Big Short. Going out going in deeper. Sucking out water from the sink to kill toothpaste when it was a foam when it was a paste. Wringing out my air to collect discomfort. Ah that’s the stuff. Grah.

Man, so that places me back to Slaughterhouse-Five days. Scroll up to pg. 155, flip back to chapter 7. Valencia dies at this moment, she drives to the hospital next. I don’t swallow those goddamn pills yet and I don’t listen to music that bounces off the back of my head like we’re playing wall ball.

Roommate leaves arrives, takes some water out places some in. I CALL A MAN.

wishful erudition

This is an old post.

Sitting around the dining table with the clock nearing noon, TheYP is struggling to figure out each of our individual duties, predicaments, and TBDs. Temitope is trying to find an online class to register for focusing on his degree in creative writing and poetry. Matt is just attempting to edit our copious amounts of film from yesterday’s bike/trek to Ossining. Arlinda is possessive of as much sangfroid as ever, and even if she were under distress I don’t think it would be big deal. She deals with things. Mostly right now I’m thinking she’s corresponding with a close friend/family.

Now for me, I’m clicking through the inordinate cluster of tabs I’ve accumulated over the past weeks on this defunct laptop-hoping to find a way to organize my priorities and enrich my achievements while grappling with the bull of purpose that’s charging at me nonstop. If you could, endure another terrible analogy. Indecision’s vaporous tentacles are nipping at my heels like a stealthy death that won’t let me walk freely. Another hour has passed. More achievements pop up- like a kid asked what he wants to do and revels in the “excellence fully-formed” (Grit, Duckworth). Mundanity is…mundane. There isn’t much description needed to articulate why I’m sick after the first flirtation with a new subject. Remember when you abandoned drawing because you reasoned you would never be good enough? And that time you practiced Fur Elise just as a tease into a stereotype you partly wanted to reap the benefits of? Even now, typing, the sound of typing, sees you as a wishful erudite.

Step One to collecting your pretension and throwing it off a flaming cliffside:

Stop quoting authors you’ve only partially read. <–at the same time I should feel free to express my interest in an author’s thoughts. Let’s revoke that step.

The largest decision seems to be whether I want to go to Hofstra or not b/c that decision lies solely on my hands. On my heart. Sartre, decisions carry too much weight. I don’t want to be atlas

work/play/work

In between my bed and bed frame, there’s a really old photo of a stuffed animal I had when I was a newborn. It’s a green and red caterpillar/millipede type thing, but not as terrifying as the real life one. They (the makers) weren’t really going for realistic accuracy-it has a cute smile and stubby legs…

Anyways I really liked that stuff animal, it’s stuffed somewhere in a closet now (with at least one leg missing) so I just have a photo of it as a material representative. 2-D.

I’m hungry today, I was hungry yesterday. I will be hungry again, sometime in the future. I think I should continue this job (writing/being a student). It’ll be fun to do.

We run out of energy, we’re always running out. I think we can pause the drip for a while, but it doesn’t increase so readily. It decreases. Decreasing energy levels make it hard to work sometimes. It’s like pulling realllly hard, or pushing extra hard. It can be okay, paradoxically it can be even energizing, maybe.

For the sake of it. For the sake of A goal.



I still want to know. 5 years have passed, and I still want to know. In momentary glimpses of life I want to know. I want to know illuminated microcosmic instances like they’re sunny urban landscapes titillating macrocosms


My grandpa stares at me through partially formed cataracts. I don’t know how these medical things go. The eyes start to cloud anyways, so when I was sure he was looking he didn’t see. I was sometimes frightened of these eyes that saw sometimes-didn’t see.


Today’s over an hour ago. I run out of steam, the bell’s in the bag.

I look over slowly, closely eyeing the water on wet rocks.

I look and something glints, sturdy I see, it glints, metal, medium-sized, plastic orange form-it glints, my key.

How did you first learn about Rice University and what motivated you to apply? 

dilatoriness

I’m not sure. I think I first heard of Rice University…in middle school. I think elementary school was too much a time of suburban underwater microcosms. Middle school took me out of the world of pissed jeans, duck duck goose, Mrs. Sawyer’s Journey blasting on the radio in 5th grade science, and into one of G.T. inculcation (we were the “smart ones”), portable philosophy and a universe of magical dimension: Downtown Houston.

On the day to MFAH for a field trip-8th grade-sunny in January, I see out the right side of the white bus’s windows a building in stucco white and a stone sign in front announcing its function- “Rice Graduate Apartments.” A young adult male, Asian in black uniform walks on the sidewalk past the sign and I say, “there’s a guy” sincerely thinking the spoken phrase would ignite some imaginary filament of knowledge in my mind-a pathway between this finite figure and the infinite curiosity of this 13 year old.

Maybe he was a Rice student- Who knows? I wanted to know.

I still want to know. 5 years have passed, and I still want to know.


With the understanding that the choice of academic school you indicated is not binding, explain why you are applying to that particular school of study. (150 word limit)


The quality of Rice’s academic life and the Residential College System are heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural traditions each student brings. What personal perspective would you contribute to life at Rice? (500 word limit)

dumpster diving

On Friday January 22nd Hofstra University in partnership with an undisclosed artist revealed a new art installation in the vacant lot behind Breslin Hall and the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication.

 

The pieces are part of an attempted renaissance of Hofstra’s campus to address the university’s abysmal lack of sufficiently productive art installations.

 

Last semester students reported experiencing a mildly wet lacrimal occurrence only once every 33 steps

when passing the existing 55-odd “sculptures” across Hofstra’s campus.

 

The university’s newest addition to its otherwise insipidly barren landscape breathes fresh, sometime smelly, air into the desiccating corpse of Hofstra.

 

Mother, please stop farting. Mother you’re stinking up the whole can.

 

The provocative installation consists of two 8 x 5’ adjacent assemblies of spatial solids adorned with deviously simplistic illumines of green and grey. *

 

*Editor’s Note: They’re dumpsters.

 

By placing the two pieces next to each other, the artist throws into question the question. Like will this succeed? * Am I missing something? Will this deteriorating body attract Public Safety?

 

*As in fucking the dumpster. He is trying to fuck the dumpster.

 

Similar questions, of the necessarily erotic, of motherly affection, of motherly love, care, sickness and of bodily death, of timeless iniquity deprived infinite rage, of vindication, why the fuck won’t this trash bag open I know there’s a half-full Boosted bottle of Naked Guava smoothie in here I saw it I saw it thrown away by some bottle-necked glasses snicker-wannabe in Breslin’s second-story men’s Bathroom, of shoes, shit and of life after corporeal cessation are suggestions of critical insight by the piece’s reflection on late 1970s dialogue. *

 

*Here he is talking about reviving his mom.

 

Bananas I ate early in the quest for the right home space feng shui came in use later, but I never knew where to put those peels so I settled their uses as duplicate: for the nervous digestion and the preparation of self-destruction ready to receive. *

 

*Penetration.

 

Never quite got that banana peel pile placement right…

 

The art! The art surpasses boundaries of modern discursive thought with its remarkable handling of form… a sentient structure active and still-born in modernism’s embryonic fetus bag. No, no I’m sorry, amniotic sac. I meant amniotic sac.

 

Time has gotten away from me…

My final moments with my mother came with a rumor that she had expired now and her brain had latched onto the loveless bond of a hospital waste basket.

 

My mother’s body never meant much to me, but it provided physical comfort, however shallow, in the days after her soul’s untimely departure.

 

I mean the mortal sequins of existential refuse kept me busy for a couple days before the men in squatters’ uniforms* came in their greenish-tan-greenish tan band skin suits looked me up and locked its copy crying man tears but I’m not no man I’m a continuous reversal of excrement and its suit is only of green and grey back metal.

 

*Public Safety found former Hofstra sophomore Tommy Gretchen, a film major with a minor in philosophy, living in the dumpsters behind Breslin and Herbert after an alarming smell drew crowds of Hofstra cats, a raccoon and senior faculty from the Fine Arts Department. Upon discovery, Gretchen, like the raccoon, fled in a scurry of shrill screams and frantic movements. He left behind a collection of Naked Juice bottles semi-formed into a shape resembling a giant plastic dildo, piles of banana peels and the rotten remains of an unidentified body. Gretchen first went missing in the days following his mother’s untimely death on January 22nd, 2016.

 

@majortom That nail-rod shitter brought un-famed techno-gofers to the grape farm one day, January 22nd, and they stunk up the whole breach not much like these two fecund greyish greenish grey lollipop incubators which happened to be just the right size for charging my banana poppers… *

 

*Penis? Penises? Unclear.

 

And I did, oh yes I did, I charged those banana poppers.

 

Finally,

Warholian containers of stilted green and grey metal shouted,

 

MONTBLANK PENS ARE BETTER YOU PIECE OF SHIT

to me yesterday, January 23nd, and it stood up too, opening the wide sky to shine its glancing venereal juicer down on my poor mortal eyes. *

 

*Fucked BY the dumpster? Unclear.

 

My feeble salt and paper cracker mind split right down its meridian axis to vacant loose ghost holes now open to the entrance of my loosely plagiarized experiment- the art can of macro-seeking genesis peeled inside itself past to deposit my poor mother’s soul into me* -and I became pregnant with her eternal essence .it came like a flood into my causal statis-chamber, my I belly belly

 

*Here he is being fucked by the dumpster.

 

Now six months in I’m still on the miraculous train lavishing the Newest Hofstra Installation, but from afar it doesn’t look too good, I Can barely track the carnal doings of metal waste baskets from my telescope twenty two feet about the watchtower* it’s obligatory with all the tans skin suits runnin around, but the man is still running and I’m keeping the saint alive, oh my poor old Mother’s soul.

 

*Gretchen’s current whereabouts are unknown.

 

Anger

I was angry before in the dorm- with my clothes and warm sheets piled on top of the springy bed cushion. I had dreams that were dynamic, disorienting, recollections of the day placed in settings that were real but amplified. I paced in the small space, one sock on one sock off, the sound of my room mate’s Chinese action films to the right of the room. When I sat down to draft the messages I felt some boiling heat that existed around my body’s peripheral space, an outline of red. Looking in-to the screen, I felt anger, not the obfuscating logical oblivion of temperamental rage, but a clarity in anger that felt objective-pure even (?). So I rode on this strange feeling for a while, not identifying it until now, just experiencing the strangeness, and taking the time to reveal to myself some of the similar feelings I’ve had in the past during this circumstance.

So I’ve already mentioned clarity. Next, merciless direct self-criticism. Imaginary ~If I was a government~ the bureaucracy of this brain allocates continuous and copious amounts of funding to confusing the heck out of its internal structures of moderation. The effect: a painfully detracting habit of avoiding sticky things. I’ll have to end the analogy here because I don’t know the governmental equivalent of it- a self-perpetuating cycle of incompetence! That might just be Peter’s Principle then. Avoiding having to deal with weaknesses exacerbates the habit of avoidance. It’s like I have giant mental cavities and I never ever brush or floss.

And then realizing the clarity and un-withholding state of mind, I sought to capitalize and write! The main barriers to writing, for me, are the two that were just ameliorated or mollified by the angry man in my dorm chair. I wasn’t taking time to clarify, or be “OCD” about every single selection. With writing being composed of several minute decisions one after another, being indecisive is tantamount to paralysis. Not that one should launch into your writing without a moment’s thought, but that sometimes it can be more important to get the thought down with un-choice selections then not get it down at all.

wp-image-1267378222jpg.jpeg

So I’m still dealing with having to rewrite. Rewriting is against the “fragile perfect” grain I’ve been used to as a model for excellence. If you’d prepare beforehand, you wouldn’t have to do it again. I’ve got the before the scenes obsession down, and it takes me forever to put ink down, but not the rewriting part. Together they will take the worry of mistakes in the initial writing process, and strengthen research and revision. Help! *

 

*No final revision was given to this overall blog post.

keeping track

I was wondering, just a few seconds ago, if it’s worth it to simply proceed w/o the providence of productivity behind your back. Some tailwind to justify busy keys. I also wondered, a second ago, if any kind of obtusely obscure language might be justified by the voluntary cascade of muscles in creative grip. Losing distinction. Here are a few selected words from my first day of class:

wp-1471241275044.jpeg 8 is endearingly…neurotic. Or, well she’s quite communicable and obviously (?) super intelligent, but her tendency to avoid eye contact makes her seem so much more heady and removed from students. She’s a great moderator, but the room was filled with a bunch of sticky freshmans (me) with few drama majors/well-adjusted people who contributed summaries and answered basic questions. She utilized the chalkboard to outline a basic timeline of humanity from the Pleistocene to Holocene. That’ll be our extra credit question 11,700 BP (before present) is when the two periods split w/ the Last Ice Age. She dived into and tried to explain small portions of the third article- the one I struggled most with! It was nice to get some clarification on what the author meant. Altogether her questions and the thought it provoked was spot on in several instances. She’s a bicyclist and has great glasses. I saw her exiting the Lecture Hall and immediately wanted to know her- from just her dress. She had grey panniers for her bags and a pair of reading glasses she gave up on after she thought it was taking up too much time. All black attire. Graying hair. I’ve already forgotten her face. Someone who has that presence that feels like it might be more heavily pronounced in a scholarly article? By a name printed in crisp black ink. 8-8 8. Striking! In a couple ways she reminded me of Mindy from University of Toronto. Both faculty at universities of middling prestige, bicyclists, graying hair w/ neat glasses (Mindy’s were more rectangular and framed her face and hair like a heavy mantle displaying her incredible eyes and solid cheekbones). I believe they’re probably of similar age as well. She spent a greater amount of time than 7 on the actual articles. The “introductions” were brief and perfunctory in the worst ways. :/ She obviously wants to help her students, suggesting we provide reading techniques that might help the slower ones in the group (me). I need to find her office hours.

7 on the other hand spent the majority of his time on the introductions, asking each of us for a weird story or bad food experience. I offered my last night anxiety-motivated 4 am stay at the Lab. Some crazy stories from my peers include: some kind of health emergency outbreak in the house last night at 10 pm. I guess I was drowsily sleeping? I left a little after midnight. The last few minutes sparked moderately lively conversation on the articles interjected by some insights from the Professor himself.
*8 and 7 as their names

on the night sky

Here I was again, 4 am in the empty school lab of my egregiously expensive university. What came of this night? I skipped into like a bright-eyed doe innocent and open to the unexpected. The night tore my mind to shreds, no rust, no mercy.

So I spent the second night of my first week on campus back in the chilly walls of the computer lab, where slick MacBook desktops mixed half in half with older lenovo desktops would stand superior by appearance if not for the mess of pollock finger prints smeared in ubiquitous patterns over most of their faces. I shopped books, I sat and watched videos, I took walks back and forth on the Unispan’s whale tail-listening to scotty and staring at my night time reflection from the dull white lights lining the top of the whale’s back. I left the upper levels and went into the Student Center belly where empty club spaces pronounced their memory with scratchy cafeteria wood carvings and Sharpie signatures. I contemplated buying a 1.50 bag of chips. All this was a part of some kind of quest to feel life without life present. I slipped unknowingly into the back of the dining area and stared at the frozen containers of hash browns through small industrial windows and stared more at strips of seasoned meat left in open fridges left only slightly ajar. I promptly slipped out under the push of a childish guilt. Silly?

No longer ready to take the world by storm, I’m ready to retire to the outdoor heat before seeking some shut eye myself. So I sleep with the night sky.

was this the easy part?

A couple days back I laid down on my sister’s bed and showed a cheesy life-organizing tip I’d seen on Youtube. You can see the same video here. It’s just a silly map of the areas in your life you prioritize and want to improve on. They start off very basic and general (e.g. health) so it’s unequivocally agreed upon as an area in need of improvement- incredibly helpful for the indecisive/unsure of life passions person. Then the process is simply breaking down the area into smaller areas and then those areas into even smaller areas, until the action is suitable enough for a step-by-step to-do. So the point of the method is to transform complex, nebulous life goals into a singular and (hopefully) simplistic action. So I showed this to Susan with sheer jubilance- I had been on a motivational binge. Tangential info: I say I like self-help without the part where I actually help myself. Half goofy statement?  wp-1471241254228.jpegUnder the bubble labeled “Art” I had broken it down to a list of areas I wanted expertise in: painting, drawing, writing. With the first action under the general “Art” I wrote about spending 30 minutes a day blogging. After considering the other steps/areas in the sphere of art I noted to the side of this first step: “EASY!!” and wrote “difficult :(” next to improving my painting skills.

A lot of the times spending time thinking and planning a task ends up misplacing proper attention towards the accoutrements that might accompany the task. Instead of being optional aids to the task itself, they become surrogates for the initial purpose. It’s kind of like Instagram creating Stories, a secondary medium screwing over the first. I’ve realized these are some kind of comfort for me, a bracing mechanism for the torrent that is simple action-since my nature state seems to lodge itself in the murky realm of passivity in uncertainty. In a way I must create these barriers myself, brick walls that could otherwise just be open blue. And a breeze shakes through the cracks! That’s me right now, at 2:31 am in my university’s 24/7 computer lab. It’s a way to stave off my discomfort at being in another strange place in another week.

So I’m moving the stone. There are enough of me’s in this weird brain to me myself out of me enough to maybe me me into this-another me. And then the wind stops to open space still-on the edge of simple eruption. *

 

 

 

*I love dashes.