Update: Three Weeks into the Academic Quarter… What the Hell Am I Doing?

My eyes feel like they’ve been run over by a Mack truck carrying a trailer full of elephants covered in wet laundry. But god, life is good.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s sprinkling – not that I can really see it from my window at 1:30 in the morning. If I focus hard enough, the streetlamp in the courtyard becomes blurred behind the sheer veneer of rain. The sliding door across the room is ajar, letting the cold in just the way I like it. The summer was too hot for this Portlander. Now, we’re in the season oft symbolic for change.

The last time I posted was toward the end of June – shortly after my final exams and shortly before I flitted into the woods to rejoin a surrogate family. Since then, I’ve traveled across state lines, grappled with the usual “what the Hell am I doing” angst, moved into a new apartment, started working again, started school again… and have returned to grappling the “what the Hell am I doing angst.” Isn’t it lovely when it comes full circle?

As I said in this interview with A.A. Forringer (thanks again, A.A.), there’s only so many ways I can talk about how fun/stressful/delightful/terrible college is. Adding in a Monty Python post or reference can only last for so long *nudge nudge wink wink*. This is one of the reasons I’ve been devoting a little more effort into my other blog, The Big Blog of All the S#!t I Knowunder the name BBK with my partner Moose. It’s a different sort of outlet, where I’ve been ranting about different aspects of my worldview pertaining to subjects such as sustainability (not just recycling, but true paradigmatic attitude shift), feminism and gender, and a bit deeper emotional ruminations. So it’s the same sense of humor… just smeared with s#!t.

And as much as I have shifted my energies into that blog, I can’t bring myself to drop Stressing Out College completely. It is my first baby and as long as I’m actually still in college, I still have plenty to write about. Heck, I don’t even write about college most of the time anyway. You know I’m flat out awful with resolutions and I’m terrible with pinky swears, so there will be none of those. I’ll simply end with this:

I have missed you, Lovely Readers. And I hope to read more of y’all’s blogs as I get back into writing.

Cheers,
SOS

Seattle Center International Fountain  | Stressing Out College

Midterm Music Madness! (Now That’s What I Call Music)

It’s week 6 for those of us on the funky quarter/trimester university schedule. Midterms have been and still are in full swing. Here’s a list of 5 songs and artists that have been keeping me sane(ish).

1. “Warpath” by Ingrid Michaelson

I could create a whole list composed of just Ingrid Michaelson. (Got to see her live for the first time last week. I’m in love.) She has the three essential moods of music (for me): pensive, chipper, and opening can of whoopass. “Warpath” falls under the whoop-ass category. [“You and I” makes me so happy and her “Can’t Help Falling in Love” is my favorite cover of that song].

 

2. “En T’attendant” by Melanie Laurent

Shosanna Dreyfus/Emmanuelle Mimieux/that beautiful, maniacal, laughing face of the Jew from Inglourious Basterds (still my favorite movie) – Melanie Laurent doesn’t have much of a voice, but she’s very nice to listen to and this song is so soothing, yet motivating at the same time with that driving beat in the background. And she’s nice to look at, as well. She’s got a natural beauty that’s refreshing in the midst of our airbrush madness.

 

3. “The Big Bang” by Katy Tiz

I’m a sucker for modern songs integrating older styles of music or throwing in a sweet classical instrument or two, like “Ottoman” by Vampire Weekend and Parov Stelar’s “Chambermaid Swing”. This Katy Tiz song isn’t quite Stelar [see what I did there] but it’s new and I’ve found myself listening to it a lot recently.

 

4. “Follow Me” by Uncle Kracker

Throwback! My sister and I learned every word to this song when it came out many moons ago. Almost needless to say, it was before we knew what the song was about… No matter, still catchy and we still know all the words. (Although I do find myself constantly misremembering whether the line is “swim through your bangs like a fish in the sea” or “swim through your veins”…)

 

5. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Cover)” by Band from TV

Band from TV is, well, a band composed of TV actors and actresses. Band members from TV include Hugh Laurie (“House,” duh), Teri Hatcher (“Desperate Housewives”), Greg Grunberg (“Heroes,” the actual founder of the band), and Jesse Spencer (“House”), among several others. The proceeds of their performances go to charity and they all look like they’re having an awesome time showcasing talents most of us didn’t know they had. (And bonus: the song is set to clips of “House” – god, I miss that show).

 

 Stay [mostly] sane, folks. And if you have any good song recommendations, leave them in the comments. Make ’em good!

Final Examinations: The Intermissionary Position

Well, we have arrived at the middle of finals week. Here’s some intermission music for you while you read this post:

 


Yes, yes, you get it, I like Monty Python. Now let’s get on with it.

So you’re smack dab in the middle of finals week and you’re feeling down in the academic dumps. You feel your life force trickling away from your haggard body and emaciated mind. Maybe you’ve already completed a final or two and have one final paper to write until you’re free to frolic into the wide open arms of the winter holidays. In any case, hump day feels like slump day, you’re as mad as Hell and you’re not going to take it anymore.

I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take it anymore

We’re running out of f*cks to give!

Peace, my fellow students, peace. Your friend Stressed Out Student is here to help. Take an off day. So what, you have a final early tomorrow morning. Is an A+ really worth the sacrifice of that last sliver of insanity you have tucked away in that dwindling island of a happy place you have? No, of course not. What use is a college degree if you’re locked away in a madhouse muttering the periodic table of elements in between electroshock sessions? Right, no use whatsoever.

So take a breather, my friend. Do a little Christmas shopping (H&M was having a huge sale!), take a leisurely stroll around town (even if it is the coldest December on record), drop by your friendly neighborhood Church of Scientology, and make yourself a gargantuan kettle of tea.

Do something you’ve been meaning to do forever. Go see a movie or a play. Call up your friends. If you have no friends (like me), never fear, the Internet is your friend. Watch “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” clips with a container of your favorite finger snack. To hell with early morning finals. Cram the whole first season of Breaking Bad into your late evening/early morning before your test. Drink a couple Red Bulls and you’ll be good to go.

I am your best friend on the Internet. Would I ever steer you wrong?

Happy Finals Week, my friends. Stay sane(ish).

Scrap Paper Poetry #5: Boredom, Lecture, Oh- It’s Halloween

Is it Halloween?
The calendar says it’s so –
October 31st, let’s give a poem a go:
No, I think I’d rather not;
Validity and logic forms have turned my brain to rot.
If you’re looking for effort here,
I’m sorry to disappoint.
So go outside and fool around or fire up a joint.
What I really wanted to say, I guess, in a way not too obscene,
Is go fudge yourself
And have a Happy Halloween

Scrap Paper Poetry #3: One in the Hand, Too Bored

Scrap Paper Poetry - Hand

Why, oh why did I think it was a good idea to take a Critical Thinking class that runs from 5:30 to 9:00 at night? [Edit: That’s a lot of empty space down there. Hrm. Too lazy to fix it.]

Boredom boredom everywhere

and not a drop of sleep.

Reason out that argument,

a conclusion two premises deep.

Pay attention,

Make sure you understand.

Oh, look-

I drew a hand.


Scrap Paper Poetry - Hand 2

Oh yes, because it was originally going to be taught by a professor I’d previously had, who rocks my philosophical socks. But there was a last-minute professor change… *sigh* More poems to come.