Veni Sancte Spiritus

In keeping with my major life goal to keep you up-to-date on the mundane happenings of my life,* you should know that my TA preference form arrived a few days ago. I got to rank my top four choices for next semester. And…there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I mean really. You expected me to react normally to this? Are you new here?

I knew what my first choice was. (And I did everything but write smiley faces next to it on the form.) But after that, no clue. Like, I could have thrown darts at the page and probably come up with a fairly decent offering.

And it’s not like I didn’t know this was coming, I’ve been looking over the classes since March when I found out I was offered the TAship.

I just didn’t know. Some things had a really great schedule but required me to talk about sex to 18-year-olds for five hours a week until December (Um. Eww.), some had kind of good topics but there were tons of TAs and I’m deeply antisocial…no clue.

So I prayed about it. I don’t do that a lot. I get the point of prayer and it’s awesome and I’m totally into it…I’m just not very good at it. I get wicked distracted and end up figuring out what I have to do that day instead. I’m so totally not a meditative person. A few months ago I was listening to a woman who was a doctoral candidate and had five or six kids (I can’t remember, I was pretty busy dry-heaving in the corner because I WILL NEVER BE THAT CAPABLE.), and she said that while she rarely had time for long meditative prayer you know what with the billions of kids and three hundred page book she was writing, she did find it very helpful to say a really short prayer “veni sancte spiritus” (come, Holy Spirit) whenever she was going crazy.

(Again. Children. And a doctoral dissertation. I’d be drunk. All. The. Time.)

Anyway, I thought that was totally awesome. First of all, Latin. Big props. Second, even I could pay attention for three words.

So I’ve been doing that since September. And decided it was a pretty good idea in this situation. I mean, Pentecost and all. It’s kind of his season, right?

And…nothing happened. Monday passed. Tuesday passed. I woke up on Wednesday (the day I was going to turn in the form) and still had no idea what to write down. I may have yelled “The Holy Spirit’s not working!” at my mom, and I’m sure at that moment she was thrilled that she gave up her law practice to raise me.

So I was freaking out and sat down to fill out the form. And I knew what to write down. I don’t know how. It certainly wasn’t a huge lightening flash moment, and none of the classes sounded any different when I went over them in my head. But I knew what to write.

So I have no idea what I’m going to get, but I think it’s going to work out fine.

*Hey. You decided to be my friend.

My condolences.

I opened my e-mail this morning, and there was a message from the history department secretary giving us the sad news that *Blank*’s mom had passed away and she had a card for us to sign. It was sent to everyone associated with the department.

The normal first reaction from someone who admittedly had to Google *Blank* because she had no idea who he was* but was a fairly decent human being possessing a warm heart would be something along the lines of, “Oh, how awful. I’ll keep his family in my prayers.”

My first reaction? “HOLY &*#% I’M ON THE FACULTY MAILING LIST THAT IS SOOO COOL.”

Yeah. I’m a horrible person.**

*History professor, specializing in race relations and African-American history. Well. That explains it. If you didn’t talk about a pope or a western European king, chances are I avoided your class like the plague.
** I promise, within three seconds I responded like a normal adult. My deepest sympathies, Dr. *Blank*.

Found.

I feel that, as a functioning* member of society, I need to comment on the Lost series finale.

Lost and I had a very complicated relationship. We were hot and heavy for the first few years. It premiered my junior year of high school, and I was all about Lost. I remember joking with a friend of mine that our life goals were based primarily on whatever was on TV the night before. So the day after CSI we were going to be chemistry majors and become investigators, Mondays after Boston Legal, we were pre-law. Anyway, we were so into Lost that every Thursday morning we considered storming Concordia’s advising office to figure which classes would best prepare us to be stranded on an island with Matthew Fox.

The second season premiere? I left a funeral.

I’m not even kidding.

(Incidentally, I’m pretty sure my degrees in history and Jewish studies do just about that…)

Like many couples, things got busy. We just didn’t have time for each other. When the time slot changed, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I had already been seeing CSI:NY, and I was fairly certain that my relationship with Gary Sinise that show was going places.

Well, we broke up too. I would occasionally run into Lost, on the odd night. But we had both changed so much that it was impossible to pick up again. I was in college and occasionally would forgo television to either study or go out with actual people,** they had moved to Tuesdays…it just wouldn’t work.

But last night. Last night I tuned in. I figured that it was pretty cool that it was ending the week after I graduated from college, because I remember so clearly being seventeen and such a different person when it premiered- I had to watch. And…wow. It was…amazing.

I’m not going to pretend that I understood it, or that it was perfect, or whatever, but I will say that when each character realized their alternate(?) realities, I cried. Like, EVERY. TIME. Aaron and Claire and the baby made me a little teary. Kate and Jack caused embarrassing Titanic-like heaving sobs.

I made the mistake of watching it with my dad. My dad is…hard to please. I think he just doesn’t like…complicated things. He was not in favor of the (awesome) ending. The show ended, my sister has tears running down her face and has completely abandoned her friends in the other room, my brother is manfully trying to comment on the implications of the ending but his voice is totally cracking, and I’m curled in the fetal position on the floor weeping.

“It was unfulfilling! I didn’t get it!”***

What. The. Frick.

I could not take it anymore.

“You know what you just don’t understand that was awesome and I don’t care that it doesn’t make sense the doggie came back and the first shot was of Jack’s eye opening and it was beautiful and you don’t even know just leave if you’re going to be insensitive and could you possibly bring me a Kleenex or maybe a Xanax?” *sniff*

Honestly. I don’t think he would have been happy if Damon Lindelof had been sitting here on the couch explaining the mythology personally.

So. It was the end of an era.

*And my “functioning,” I mean delusional and possessing of way too much free time.
** Okay. Not frequently. But it happened.
*** This is also what he said after seeing Star Trek. Or, the Best Movie of 2009 Or Maybe Any Year Ever.

Dear Your Majesty,

Hi. It’s Kathleen. Again. I know. We chit-chat a lot. I’m sorry. I really want to marry your grandson. And your relatives keep doing ridiculous things that I would never think to do, and I feel the need to share this with you, since I technically am still barred from marrying him.

(What? Like that Kate girl is going anywhere?)

ANYWAY. Today my issue is with Fergie.

I’m not terribly bright. I mean, okay, academically I do fine. But I have to drive to Sheboygan Falls this morning and I am flabbergasted by the fact that it’s THIRTY-FIVE MILES from my house. My father, incidentally, finds this hilarious. This was us last night:

Dad: *almost kills himself laughing so hard* *What? He hardly ever exercises.* Where…*chortles*…where did you think it was?

Me: I don’t know. There…*points vaguely north*…kind of? Like just past Wal-Mart?

Okay. You can’t fault me. I mean, I’m not a true Ozaukee County girl. When I was dragged here literally kicking and screaming when I was eleven I refused to learn any road names or indeed look beyond Target because I was So. Not. Staying. Here. Uh. Nonono. This was merely a stopping point before I left when I went to law school.

Um. Yeah. I don’t know how, exactly, eleven-year-old me anticipated being able to pay for law school or the fabulous apartment in the North Shore that she also had furbished in her head. Suffice to say that 22-year-old me is still living here. With student loans. And not in law school.

My point was that Wal-Mart? Was about as far north as I figured I ever needed to go. I mean, I-43 curves, y’all. I don’t need to deal with a whole lot beyond that.

Except turns out I do. And MapQuest and I are having a fight. Ever since they erroneously told my parents that Mequon Country Club had all sorts of entrances and then, shocking, it doesn’t, and I was called in the middle of the night because they couldn’t get to John at post-prom and you know what? Why do I even have a phone in my bedroom if it DOESN’T WORK???

Wait. Where was I going with that?

Oh. Right. Why I should marry William.

I would, once again, never do anything like this.

Love,

Kathleen

He’s so ashamed of me.

I have a little brother. Well, I say little. He’s 17. And bigger than me. He’s in a band. He’s ten times cooler than I ever was in high school. Or hell, now. I’ll bet next year my students are going to be all, “Dude. This chick blows. But her brother looks like a good time.”*

But in my head he’s three years old and doing tricks with his pacifier.

Anyway, throughout our lives, I have served mainly only to embarrass him. When we were little I was fond of dressing him in old bridesmaid dresses. There was that period where I made him to my errands for me.** When he hit puberty, I became very fond of talking about all stages of the menstrual cycle because it’s fun to watch his entire face turn green.

Lately, I’ve taken to yelling “Seminary!” at him at random intervals. Because so help me God, that kid will end up at St. Francis de Sales if I have to hog tie him.***

(YES, I said hog tie. I live in Grafton.)

ANYWAY. Yesterday he had a not-senior-picture photo shoot, because it was free. And he had a tux. Because he’s going to prom. See? Again with the much-more-popular than I ever was thing.

So he’s doing his thing, looking adorable, and I’m totally turning into my sister. Seriously. He looks awesome. And I mean that in the least narcissistic way possible, because I’ve been told we all look alike even though I don’t see it. So I’m basically squeeing like a fangirl and my mom is crying because her baby! Is grown up! And standing with one hand in his pocket casually! With his jacket slung over his shoulder!****

And then I leaned down to my mom and whispered, “He’s going to be such a Father What-a-Waste.”

She laughed really hard. John, upon learning of this a little bit later? Not so much.

Whatever. That’s my boy!

*No, I don’t know why my students would know my brother. Except that it works in that paragraph.
**That ended sometime last week, I think
***I’m all in favor of legitimate vocations. Unless you’re my brother and will marry someone I don’t like who may want to take jewelry that’s going to my daughters. Then I’m going all medieval on you.
****Okay. That pose annoyed me a little. It was a little bit too suave. Clearly this guy had never seen John go down on a plate of lasagna.

Life skills.

So my family is taking a vacation relatively soon.* Like, alarmingly soon. My mom is the one who plans family trips. She’s just…does. She always has, and I’m guessing I could be married with three kids and she’ll still call and be all, “We’re leaving on the 14th, do you guys need a microwave for the bottles?”

Well, this spring has been kind of hectic. John’s confirmation, my graduation, and the whole general-life-being-difficult thing kind of took up a lot of time. And so we kind of maybe don’t totally have places to stay in most of the cities we’re going to be in. So. This week my sister and I decided to help. She was going to figure out the things that we were going to do in the cities, and I was going to find hotels.

Because Civil War history doesn’t make her want to kill herself, and I really don’t want to come home from this trip a size larger and reeking, so I can find places with a treadmill and laundry services.

It was a good plan.

I mean, really. I’m 22, I’m technically a graduate student,** I could probably find a few hotels.

Except it turns out that there’s a reason my mother plans trips. She’s really good at it.

I found one hotel, in Washington, D.C. Based solely on the criteria that they had a Starbucks in the lobby. And I think they were located kinda sorta close to the Mall, maybe. I think. Except they were completely booked. Then I got bored. And went to have lunch. And…my mom found the rest of them.

But I did hover over her shoulder and whine like a five-year-old, so I’m pretty sure they all have laundry services.

I know, this is very interesting. Aren’t you glad I’m the only person left in the world with a blog?

*I’m being nonspecific so you don’t come and steal my 13-inch tube television. I know. It’s temping. Although if you wanted to do so, and enjoy some wicked cool non-HD programming on me, you could just head over to my sister’s Facebook page, where she has occasionally stops foaming at the mouth with excitement to update her status with the number of days left.
**I’m not trying to be obnoxious. I JUST LOVE SAYING THAT.

Class of 2010

Oh, internets. Are you bored? Do you want to eat up a few days? I have an awesome plan for you- graduate, have a rather large gathering, and then post eleven thousand pictures of it on Facebook. And before you know it, it’s Tuesday. And you still can’t look at a cookie without wanting to throw up.

It was awesome. It really was. I know graduations are supposed to be all anticlimactic and whatever, people, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Except for the fact that I looked like a troll in my cap and gown, I frickin’ loved it. I’ve never had one, and this totally made up for it.

Also, there was a lot of food and quite a few presents, and I am also secretly a six-year-old and I love presents so this was quite awesome.

I can’t wait for May of 2012.