If I Get an A

If I get an A, I'll slice it in half, scoop out the center and add brown sugar. I'll put it in the oven and watch the juice bubble and caramelize, smiling all the while, whistling in the kitchen. It'll come out hot and I'll have to let it cool for a time, so I'll buckle it into the passenger seat while I drive home fast, I'd like for the steam to still be rising when she first sees it. I'll weave between cars like I weave between people on my longboard. I'll apply the breaks when and only when I see the driveway and round the corner to this house that was built for the blue mountain sunrise. I'll wake you with my loud knocking, you thunder back, you'll let me in like I've a mortal thing in my arms, we'll rush it to the table. Your eyes delight at the steam, just as I'd hoped they would. As we slice this into equal portions, lift it to our mouths and thank God for being so good to us, together we'll learn just HOW sweet is the flavor of an A in Calculus.

Is it irrelavent?

I dance, draw, paint, sing, write, design
I PLAY: guitar, flute, piano
THINGS I LIKE: port cities, jazz clubs, avenues, street lamps, historic districts, antique stores, floral design, tea, exploring abandoned buildings, block parties, travel, science, business, stamps, smooth-writing pens, stationery, the big moon, sunrise
classical guitar, flamenco, jazz, funk, fusion
FAVORITE PLACES I'VE BEEN (in no particular order):
Tampa, Florida
Oil City, PA
Saugerties, NY
Saratoga, NY
Washington, DC
Buffalo, NY
Lake Las Vegas
Cartagena, Colombia
Santa Marta, Colombia
Tayrona, Colombia
Philadelphia, PA
Barbados, British Virgin Islands
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Diego, California


I've been having a lot of self-defeating thoughts about school, especially Calculus. I won't write about those here. What I'm here to say is that I created this little mantra-photo collage piece to put on the front of my calculus binder and post on my wall. I want to see it every time I go to study because I want to be reminded that I CAN do well in all my classes.
We have such incredible minds that are so intricate. I can't keep limiting myself like I have, saying I can't do well- when I'm perfectly capable of it.  I may not necessarily EXCEL or stand out in class as a calculus student, but I'm certainly able to internalize this information. I have to. And I will. But not without this handy attitude/reality check, a constant reminder that my mind is perhaps more powerful than I need OR want for it to be. Whyyyy must I study calculus. Wwwwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.....

AS A SIDE NOTE: This inspiration comes to me as an answered prayer, as I've prayed for God's guidance to get focused and stay motivated in school. <3

Can a Hot Drink Soothe The Soul Back into Submission to This Inhuman Reality?

What do you think it means to be human
When I consider this question,

I think immediately of the things I enjoy most. My family, being number one. Laughing. A little adventure. A BOATLOAD of adventure. Running, leaping, handclap games, skipping down the hall, singing LOUDLY, whistling, ropeswings, making love, stirring hot soup, breathing deeply, shadow puppets, collecting fallen moonleaves...Tranquil moments spent with smiling eyes reflecting inwardly at still water, the soul at peace.

So last weekend I sat across from good friend Kyle and pounding my fist on the table asked evenly, with desperate, frustrated clenched hand, "Kyle, what is the meaning of life?!" He half smiled, still looking down at his laptop. We both chuckled slightly. It was funny.

Can this be it? This book, this EMPTY book?" I lifted my binder of Accounting/Econ notes between two fingers to give the illusion of lightness, then let it fall, like a dead bug, down back to the table. Me not wanting to make a scene, disturbing only HIS concentration, because after all, I'm only half crazy.This one last thud did NOT echo, God didn't pick it up and repeat it, it was in fact deserted, only a single moment between me, Kyle, and the eyes and ears of our unsipped coffee and uneaten sandwiches. "This is life right now, Laura, and you just have to accept it for what it is. We are college students, and this is what college students do."
"So we do this, because everyone else says that's the way, and we just want to be like them and be 'successful' and have no life, and not think for ourselves and live life the way we want to? What if I died tomorrow, Kyle. What then? This day would have been wasted. I guarantee you, no matter how you look at it, this constant studying which is driving me insane, is a waste of time."
"You can't live like you're going to die tomorrow. That would be irresponsible."
"I'm sorry Kyle. I'll just suck it up because I want a degree I guess because that's what smart people do. They get degrees and then they get jobs to make money. And I guess that's all I really want out of life.
"Sigh- Yeah, I guess Laura. I guess."

I went to the cashier and ordered a bigger, fancier hot beverage. I sipped this one more casually. I thought no more of my true interests and things my soul longs for, and with a mind once again wrung dry, and a certain special lightness that leaving only lint in your pockets brings, started my studying anew. I considered my mental breakdown complete.

Some things I've learned about myself quite recently.

When I write, paint, draw, take photos, or sing (even when no one hears or sees or compliments me) I feel better about myself. I feel like an artist. I think that if more people took time to make something with their own hands they would also get a taste of that sweet joy.

One of the things that sets me apart from the vast majority of human beings is my distaste for television and movies. Viewing a television screen is something I rarely do and seldom enjoy. Afterwards I feel lethargic, like the screen has been draining my creativity and lifeforce in general. This is not a new thing for me, it developed when I first went without T.V. for an extended period of time- College. Up till then, T.V. was a regular, seemingly essential part of my daily life.

What IS new is that I'm starting to realize how unusual this aversion to T.V. is. I will continue to cling stubbornly to the theory that "unusual" is not always "bad".  Still, the time I DON'T spend watching T.V. seems to have been reallocated to use of the internet. I'm not sure yet whether I will regret that. At least this is interactive. More of an outlet than a drain.

I handwrite at least twice as many letters as I recieve. I think maybe if I got more back, I would write less. I learned in microeconomics that the more valuable something seems, the more someone will do or pay to get it. The less available something seems, the more valuable it becomes. Like diamonds. Your letters are diamonds to me. :) And judging from that description, I'm afraid I've become more of a dork than I'm comfortable with. ;)

Ever since I got my hair cut very short (crazy idea, Freshman year of college) I've never been able to grow it back past the sides of my chin. I become unhappy with it, self concious thinking that my hair is too "big" for my small frame, then the scissors come out again. snip snip, back to square one. I think this reveals an issue with my self image that originated back around that time. If I'd ever like to have hair that passes my shoulders again then I'm gonna have to get over it, and I'm not sure how!!

Content by Laura Gabriele