Showing posts from November, 2013

Opinion: Where You're Coming From

Stop whining and count your blessings!  My favorite line to shove down my own throat in the midst of
 self-pitying parties. To others, I try to be more gentle. The other part of the ritual is to remember where I am coming from. On taking this pill recently, I realized that where one is coming from is not always as bad as where one is.

People come from loads of happiness to loads of unhappiness. I know people who always go on about high school as though it was their glory days. I disliked high school.

So the question is what does one do when one's past was better than one's present? When life had not prepared one for what they now face? In some ways my life has always been a little rough, but I have always known love and laughter, and I feel that has prepared me enough for my present.  When I look back, the now feels somewhat feasible because of the lessons I took from my yesterdays. How does one cope when it is the opposite? How does one look to the future with faith?


Grad School Diary: Looking to the Past

In my junior year of college I went wild and took six classes, with two jobs on the side. I worked at Pinkberry serving yogurt to my fellow yogurt fanatics, and also worked in my school's computer lab. It was my craziest semester, but the most fun. I got four A's and two A-'s (I was very upset about the minus attached to the other two A's). How did I do it? I don't know. The only thing I know is that I loved all my classes. They were great classes and it would have sucked to not do well in them. Also, they all changed my life. On the job front, I enjoyed the free yogurts, and did most of my homework as I monitored the computer labs.

I love this memory, and I try to boast about it every chance I get, or I bring it up even when there is no reason to do so. As you can see, I am blowing my own horn here. One thing this experience gave me is the belief that I can do a lot of things at the same time if I really enjoyed them, and managed my time accordingly. I am around …

Poetry: The Day Lady Died by Frank O'Hara

"The Day Lady Died" is the sole reason why I love Frank O'Hara. For a few months after I had read some of his poems, I tried to imitate the formulae for his Lunch Poems. It was something. When I recently discovered Flarf poetry -- forgive me for mentioning both O'Hara and Flarf poetry in the same paragraph. Urgh -- I hated it immediately because of  O'Hara's Lunch Poems.

The Day Lady Died by Frank O'Hara
It is 12:20 in New York a Friday three days after Bastille day, yes it is 1959 and I go get a shoeshine because I will get off the 4:19 in Easthampton    at 7:15 and then go straight to dinner and I don’t know the people who will feed me
I walk up the muggy street beginning to sun    and have a hamburger and a malted and buy an ugly NEW WORLD WRITING to see what the poets    in Ghana are doing these days                                            I go on to the bank and Miss Stillwagon (first name Linda I once heard)    doesn’t even look up my balance for once in her li…

Grad School Diary: Bauhaus

In one of the best classes that I have yet taken -- my history of photography class in college -- I encountered László Maholy-Nagy's work for the first time and felt something that was beyond awe: the drama here is to emphasis how impressed I am by his work. I don't know much about him, though I feel certain that there is time enough to rectify that. I have since found Maholy-Nagy's work at MoMA and the Met and it has always brought me an immense feeling of satisfaction and inspiration.

So imagine my intensified interest in the Bauhaus movement when I found it linked to Maholy-Nagy. I have in the past admired the Bauhaus School's permanent exhibition in the architecture and design section of MoMA, but had not read on them. That their main goal was creating art through craft, by combining art mediums such as architecture, sculpture, and painting into functional and aesthetically advanced objects, is to me rather exciting. Especially now that I am of the mind that differ…

Poetry: Western Wind

Western Wind -Anonymous

Western Wind, when will thou blow, The small rain down can rain? Christ! if my love were in my arms, And I in my bed again!

Listen to my reading of "Western Wind" below:

Perhaps because I have a serious something for the rain, perhaps because I love internal rhymes. Like the alliteration in this poem. These are some of my assumed reasons for why I can never get enough of "Western Wind." It reminds me a little of Pound's "In a Station of the Metro," however the feeling here is the exact opposite. I love the wildness, rawness, loneliness that "Western Wind" exudes. Reading it always leaves me feeling breathless. -- Jane

Opinion: Analysis of Thoughts

I wrote an opinion yesterday then decided not to post it at the last minute. I'm saving it as a draft for now. The post is being held back on the condition that certain things ought to be shared and some not…until one knows enough to have the right to blast it out. 
After I had written that opinion, I realized that though I feel strongly about it, my experience on the matter is very limited hence my belief is based on what I have largely observed from a distance; a matter that I had not actually thoroughly experienced. Since it is a a sensitive subject that I am always cautious in discussing, I felt it best to keep my opinion to myself for now.
It seems necessary to be in one's own head, to be able to analyze one's thoughts. To be as truthful to oneself as one could and hence to ask oneself every now and then something like; "Hey! are you sure you know enough about that to be making so much noise about it?"These are things that I am working on. Thinking about not…

Grad School Diary: isms

Discussing Mrs Dalloway  in my 20th century fiction class, I caught myself saying, "Septimus could possibly be playing a surrealistic role through his madness and hence his unawareness." And also that, "the celebration of industrialization––from when Mrs Dalloway walks out of her home into the streets, to Peter's thoughts on the ambulance that was rushing Septimus to the hospital––could be an indication of futurism." And that, "Woolf's repeated mockery of proportion, especially in describing the doctor's thoughts and categorizing what is sane and mad, suggests a tongue poking at neoclassicism." And, "of course, there is plenty of romanticism pertaining to the celebration of the individualistic mind."

The coolest thing is that I didn't know nada about all these 'isms' except romanticism and neoclassicism. I am so happy to have enrolled in my Manifesto class! The one thing I knew going in is that I would learn something. P…

Poetry: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

When I discovered The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot, my idea of poetry not only changed but the poem made me feel so much. Reading Mrs. Dalloway recently brought again those feelings. I memorized the first verse of this poem once, but I've forgotten it all now…I should try again as it reads like music.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
by T.S. Eliot

S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats

Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….

Oh, do not ask, “What is i…

Opinion: Predicting Good

Is it not something that a significant number of us are surprised by the good and least shocked by the bad? Perhaps, it is because some of us often envision bad things for ourselves. My shoes are sooo going to break; then they do. I'm sooo going to miss the train; then I do. What if I miss the train because I anticipated I would?

Every time I've foretold something bad, beneath it is a silent prayer that my bad prediction would not materialize; that I won't really miss the train. Yet I predict the bad all the same because I'm afraid if I believed otherwise and it did not materialize I'll be doubly disappointed.

After I saw The Secret about two months ago I became more conscious of my thoughts and I've been working more on predicting what I want rather than what I don't want. There are times when I do miss the train, but I make it on time all the same. Perhaps because I believed I would? I don't know. Most of my friends agree with the theory that we'…