Thursday, April 30, 2009

Countdown is in full swiiiiiiing

Last day of April: entering going-to-DC Month!

12 days till I drive there to drop of my stuff
23 days till Mom takes me out there for the summer
26 days till I start work at the Times!

In other news, still getting over the flu and studying for exams. My first exam starts in less than 14 hours, and my last exam will be over in 7 days or so. Then turn in Kerouac paper, pack for the summer/DC, move winter stuff, etc. into Kappa, parties and seeing people, graduation, and FINALLY moving out of Mac. Then home sweet home, seeing Broms, and Mother's Day celebration before driving to DC Monday morning. It does not seem so far away, but my to-do list suggests otherwise.

The song that is getting me through studying is "Bubbly Toes" by Jack Johnson. I'm currently thinking about an article I'd like to write on a modern-day Republic of Letters, which is good and bad, because it means that Dr. Birzer and this class (as well as Dawson and company) has penetrated my thoughts and make me think about an aspect of humanity still not widely discussed, but I should be worrying and thinking more about the actual essays I am outlining and NOT possible article ideas since my American Order and Disorder final is, in fact, tomorrow.

Mom gave her presentation at the ONS Congress in San Antonio, TX today and apparently it went very well. Not that I'm surprised--Mom's brilliant, and an excellent speaker. She called me and asked me if I wanted a Texas license plate that said "JULIE" for my bike. I told her it was tempting, but I would pass. Wouldn't want to get in trouble for not registering in the right state! haha then she told me about calling home and discussing dinner options with John and Muffy. John said there was no food except for a little spaghetti and was preparing to be a martyr, when Mom told him she bought them french fries and chicken patties for Muffy to make (Dad being at work--I don't know why Jackie wouldn't be making dinner...). John was apparently all for a dinner of french fries, but Muffy apparently nixed that. Oh, the hilarities of home.

Back to essay outlines!

One of my favorite quotes from an essay by T.S. Eliot:

“We mean all sorts of things, I know, by Beauty. But the essential advantage of a poet is not to have a beautiful world with which to deal: it is being able to see beneath both beauty and ugliness; to see the boredom, and the horror, and the glory.”

Monday, April 13, 2009

And the countdown begins...

I am back at Hillsdale, taking a break from writing my Gamble paper. (Working title: "Publius and the Greco-Roman Roots of America" -- you like? I like.) It's good to be back at Hillsdale, even though I am going to go through hellish-fun for the next 2-3 weeks (i.e. finishing major research papers vs. Greek and Senior Week). I talked to my friend last night, and he was saying how he's just ready to graduate and go across the country biking (no, truly--he's going! How neat is that?!) and I feel the exact same way. I started packing for DC while I was at home (observing the end of Holy Week with the family). I just want to leave Hillsdale and go to DC; at least the weather will be warmer! Ha!

In terms of packing, I am trying to be prudent but it is hard. I had to decide what books I want to bring with me/ read outside my internship reading--I definitely want to finish Dante's Divine Comedy this summer. I started it last summer, but never got past Hell. I also planned out my calender once I get out of school. It's going to be busy! I'll get home after graduation, then Mother's Day festivities with Mom's side of the family, packpackpack, drive to DC with Julia, sight see in DC, drive back to Cincy, watch/ volunteer at Mikey's Midwest Regatta, work for Dad scanning legal documents, Dad's birthday on Thursday, fly to DC on Friday, and wham! start work on Monday.

I'll also squeeze in seeing friends from home somewhere in that time, of course. I'm going to miss them so much. It'll be weird thinking how we'll all be spread out across the Midwest (Cincinnati, St. Louis, Chicago, Lexington, etc.) and the South (namely, Charleston) and not calling each other to see whose house we're going to hang out at or a spontaneous trip to Skyline or Graeters nearly every day. No more half-living at the Besl's/ Malloy's/ Bromley's/O'Donnell's households. No more late-night jam-sessions at the twins or driving home from a party in the wee hours, windows down, music blasting, feeling Alive.

Still, there's no doubt I'm excited. I get to read and write all summer, for goodness' sake! I get to live in Old Town, which is a bit outside DC and a hike to work every morning, but I'll be with two of my favorite Kappas EVER and nearby my grand big and her husband. I'll also know lots of people in DC, from Hillsdale, home, GW, the CN, and otherwise, not to mention I'll be meeting lots more. I truly have nothing to complain about; I shall be in Paradiso. I got my contract back from the CN, signed and everything, so now it feels a little more official than perhaps when I first got whisked away to DC for training. I've been wanting to live in DC since the family visited my cousin Abby out there the summer after my sophomore year in high school. And yet--dare I say I shall miss Heidi overlicking me and shameless rolling on her back for a rub? The skittens snubbing me? Mom working on her cancer research at the dining room table when we're supposed to be eating dinner? Katie shaming me with her overly-efficient ways? Or even Dad and Mikey torturing me awake via turning on the lights and/or taking away my pillows, blankets, etc. after my umpteenth refusal to leave the bed?...

Okay, need to get back to my paper. Next time I'll discuss the drive back to Hillsdale and Sam asking me how it feels to almost be a senior in college. Can I truly be that old that people are asking me how it feels to be old?!

Quote of the post:
"Deep in each man is the knowledge that something knows of his existence. Something knows, and cannot be fled nor hid from."
--Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing
(Does this spark any thoughts about the Logos and its relation to humanity?!)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Starting this blog from my Room with a View...

As my first entry, I'd like to do the grade-school protocol of who-what-where-why-when. As this blog will mostly cater to close family and friends, I believe there is an interest in why I am doing this, i.e. blogging. I got the idea driving back to Hillsdale after my weekend in DC for CN training fun, and decided to implement it into action before I over analyzed the pros and cons. Blogs are certainly popular nowadays, but that is certainly not why I am doing it (I think you all know me well enough for that to be a reason for me NOT to blog!). Also, this is mostly for Mom and Dad, who like to keep tabs on me, but never call me back.

And so, without further adieu!...

Your favorite Julie! Keeping y'all* updated on what I am doing during my ten-week internship in Washington, D.C. at The Washington Times.

I'll be in the Books section of The Washington Times, so I'll keep you updated on books I'm reading for work, books floating around the office, what I am reading currently (on my own), favorite sections, discussions of favorite books, and, of course, all the shenanigans I plan to get into while in our nation's capital. (To paraphrase my darling sister Katie, it was a mistake to let me to turn 21.)

I will also feel free to post articles I like, pictures, post questions in order to elicit responses (i.e. "What is your favorite poem and why?" etc.), songs I am currently listening to, creative endeavors I am working on, sights I saw, and perhaps even an inside look at the day-to-day workings of moi. This is sure to make me a blog extraordinaire! haha or as Will likes to tell me, I'll be showing off the nerdiness.

As it shall be my first summer from home, that means it will be my first summer of not talking to my family and [home] friends on a fairly high and regular basis during the warm months. While I would like to think that I am an excellent communicator, I do admit that after one or two phone calls and explaining the same things over and over again, the incentive to call anyone else dwindles and many are left out of the loop until family parties and other social gatherings around the water-hole.

There are lots of people (and if you are reading this, I most likely would like to keep you in the loop, so You Are Loved) I intend to stay in contact with, but, due to time constraints, I simply do not. We all know about the loquacious natures of Robisons/Greiwes, but I think all I would do is talk on the phone, and that seems a horrid waste of a summer in DC. Therefore, this is my overreaching attempt to stay in contact with y'all, and for you to write me back your thoughts and opinions, which y'all should do frequently. Also, this range expands beyond my home friends, so it'll be fun to have more friend spheres overlapping.

(mostly) Washington, DC. I'll be living with two favorites, Katie and Rachel, who are fellow Kappas. They were seniors when I was a sophomore, and graciously invited me to live with them over the summer even before I had an internship lined up. I am thinking there will be some Midwest action in there too, for sure, which is always fantastic.

Because I'll miss you all so, so, so much!!! I would like you all to know what I am doing, even if we cannot catch up frequently. This of course does not excuse me from writing hundreds of postcards, which I plan on doing (someone has to keep the Post Office functioning financially), but this blog should provide y'all a Julie fix when need-be.

I am starting it during the end of junior year, but as I have plenty to keep me occupied for the next few months due in the next few weeks, the posts will be more regular during my ten-week stay in DC.

What about the title of your blog, Julie? Why did you call it "The Corner With A View"?
--Ah, excellent question, friend! I would be happy to oblige you with an answer. Three reasons, all literary:
1) E.M. Forester's A Room With A View: if you have not read it, you simply must. It is about Charlotte, a repressed English girl who goes to Italy, and meets an eclectic group of people while experiencing Italy, all of which change the course of her life. I am staying vague on purpose because I do not want to spoil anything. However, if you are completely lazy, you could also watch the movie, which is also phenomenal.

2) A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner. The original Pooh books and stories are simply delightful. I got the collection (along with a stuffed Piglet) from my cousins one birthday, and have adored ever since.

3) St. Thomas a Kempis' The Imitation of Christ has a passage which reads "In omnibus requiem quaesivi et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro." Or, in translation: "I have searched for peace everywhere, but have not found it anywhere except for in a corner with a book."

To say that I am excited to have this opportunity to try my hand at reading and writing for a living is an understatement, and although I am very sad that most of the people who mean the world to me cannot experience this as well. Nonetheless, I anticipate great things to come from this summer, and I hope you want to share this with me as well as I sharing with you, my family, my friends, my friends who are practically family, and all those I am blessed to know and interact with on a personal and professional basis who grace me with their readership.

I shall leave you with a favorite line from Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall:
"To the durability of ideas!" said Paul as he got his pint.
"My word, what a mouthful!" said Grimes; "I can't say that. Cheerioh!"

*a note on the y'alls, as I have gotten wonderances about my usage of it, being from the North. No, I am not from the South, but I did spend a couple of summers with Bianca in South Carolina, if that gives me any credibility. I actually started truly using the y'alls when studying Latin, since for the 2nd person plural is technically "yous," so I often wrote "y'all" instead of "you (pl.)" to clarify my parsings better. Besides, it just seems grammatically correct to write, and I like it!