#305: The Work Study

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Bella, my youngest sister, just texted me that she got a work study job at college. She’s a freshman and having on-campus work that early is impressive and awesome for her. I’m hopeful she can keep this job for awhile, as it can be a valuable resource throughout the rest of college. When I lost my one consistent work study job, it stung, and I had to look elsewhere. Thankfully, I found a better job that helped with my degree and made me a better teacher in the process. But having that one work study job for the time I had it really allowed me to enjoy college without worries. When it was suddenly upended from me, I worried that my senior year of college wouldn’t be as enjoyable and liberating as the previous ones.

I used to work as a resident life assistant for my freshman year. My friend Sam introduced me to the job, though we never ended up working together. It was pretty demeaning, to be honest. I made coffee and copies for people and talked to supervisors who treated me like I was a child. I didn’t much enjoy my time there, and I didn’t even end up getting an RA job like I was hoping I’d be able to. I remember walking across campus to let people into their dorms; that was pretty much my job in a nutshell, along with answering phone calls. Sometimes I would get phone calls from people who needed to be let into their dorms. Sometimes those phone calls were from friends, and so we had fun memories like that. I remember once letting Sam into his dorm, and I stayed around his room to watch him play Fortune Street for awhile before heading back to my job. It was gnarly. I was a typical college student, what can I say?

#258: The Late Late

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Sometimes, when I’m feeling mighty adventurous, I stay up exceptionally late. It’s one of those things I remember doing in college that brings me back to my college years, like looking at pictures or old keychains and feeling nostalgic about a time gone by. When I stay up super late, it’s not because I particularly want to; it’s because I just don’t want whatever is currently happening to ever have to end. I like staying in a constant state of “never knowing when this party will stop.” Sometimes that party is solo, sometimes that party involves lots of people. Either circumstance, the party should never end, and I feel obligated to keep it going because the rest of life isn’t as fun as this.

Sometimes anxiety plays a role, too. It’s not every day I feel like dropping everything and readjusting my sleep schedule to fit that of a hermit with no social skills. Sometimes it just so happens to end up that way by a matter of chance and nothing else.

Is it weird for a 24-year-old to still be experiencing these issues? Should they even be called issues at this point? I’d like to think I’m not alone, but also, does being alone really matter any more? I think I concern myself sometimes with what other people would think of my actions, to the point where I let them define who I am and what I decide to do. Being a teacher, it’s hard not to make yourself malleable, flexible, and adaptable to everything a student says; it’s part of your job to be all of those things, to answer the call of duty whenever it appears, to help those in need. That’s part of our calling. It’s what makes us teachers. Is there any wonder then why teaching became such a difficult profession for me to uphold?

#205: The Showstopper

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When it comes to TV shows, very few reach iconic status the same way Game of Thrones has. It’s become a cultural cornerstone, and it’s mentioned in tweets from the LAPD all the way to Burger King and more. With Instagram posts accruing millions of likes, the Game of Thrones’s actors’ accounts are full of people reminiscing about the seasons and their favorite memories from eight years of craziness. Game of Thrones represents, to me, something special, even though the last season wasn’t all that wonderful; it represents a family tradition and connection, a connection between freshman year roommates and acquaintances, a connection between friends during my study abroad trip. No matter where I went, Game of Thrones seemed to follow me, one way or another. I’m so glad I was introduced to it by my friend Chris during my freshman year of college, and I’m so glad to have spread it around to many other people, including my family, who I would then talk with about it for years to come. Game of Thrones is talked about on Twitter by practically everyone I follow, and those who don’t talk about it talk about not watching it whenever they can. It’s a show that everyone is aware of, for one reason or another, and the hype and cultural influence is nearly impossible to ignore. That’s why I’m paying tribute to it in this post; despite everything wrong with it, despite all the weird, last-minute decisions and haphazard pacing, despite it all, I’m still happy to have spent all this time talking about a show that’s truly captured my life. I can only hope to experience something like this again in my life, a show that becomes so deeply entrenched in our culture, that’s nerdy and fantastical, that I love and share with anyone who can hear me. It’s been a wild ride, guys.

#203: The Editor

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When I was in college, I spent some time as an editor of a literary magazine, called Montage. Quinnipiac isn’t exactly known for having a robust liberal arts program, but the professors and students work together to make the most with what they have, producing great content regardless. I had some amazing, incredible English professors in my college years, professors whose knowledge of various subjects inspired me to achieve more. Looking back, my desire to eventually get my PhD in English comes from having had such a fulfilling experience with the professors I had at Quinnipiac.

Being a Quinnipiac student afforded me the opportunity to be the poetry editor of the literary magazine, though, and I’m grateful for that. From this experience, I was able to grow as a leader and as a thinker of other people’s writing. I learned to give feedback in a constructive way, and I had fun having conversations with my peers about other people’s writing, particularly some of the stories and poems that were sent in over time.

Being an editor means looking with a critical eye. It means reading for content, reading for quality, and reading for enjoyment at the same time, or separately over multiple readings of the same stories and poems.

The work that the editor-in-chief put in far outweighed whatever I was able to muster, though. She had to construct the magazine from scratch in a program on her Mac, and I went back afterwards and offered feedback on everything. I looked to make sure the margins were correct, the paragraphs were spaced evenly and equally, and no words or grammatical mistakes made it into the final copy of the magazine. Sometimes, people’s writing towed the line between grammatically correct and artistically interesting. You have to make do with what you have, though.

#184: The Other Streak

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Awhile ago, approximately 72 blogs and 72 days ago, I wrote a blog post titled “The Streak.” It was about my then-long Duolingo streak, which I’ve since taken a leave of absence in doing. I haven’t been on Duolingo in ages since then, and I really wish I would motivate myself to get back into it, but alas the time hasn’t come for that yet.

Instead of discussing Duolingo, this blog is about the “other” streak of note. Today, sitting at a 123-day streak, is my streak of blog posts on this here website. I’m not sure what happened 123 days ago, because I’ve been writing blogs for longer than that (believe it or not) but that’s the number for now. By the time this blog goes live, it’ll be around 134 days. To think when this first started that I’d be penning blogs for this long is a bit surreal. I can’t say for certain that I’ve become a better writer in my time since starting these blogs, but I’ve definitely become a more consistent writer, something that feels valuable to me in and of itself. In my years of grad school learning about the benefits of reading, writing, and literacy, I never had the inclination to take those lessons and apply them to myself.

One of my friends from college told me about her plan to write 300 words a day as part of her goal to get herself writing more. This friend was the editor-in-chief of Montage, the literary magazine at Quinnipiac, while I was the poetry editor, so we had a pretty good friendship. That’s mostly what inspired myself to write all these blogs; I wanted to bring writing back into my life, and I wanted to use this blog in a productive, meaningful capacity. I’ve had this blog for years now, literally, and to have it sit around without any meaningful use is a bit of a shame.

Montage Lit Reading

Hello, great people!

I’ve just returned from what was one of the more interesting events of my life, to say the least. For the second time, I’ve been asked to read some of my poetry in front of a crowd. Although both events happened on a small, almost personal scale, never in my life did I expect something like this to happen.

Allow me to clarify.

Never in my life did I ever think that I would be reading something so personal and emotional for me, to a group of people.  It’s surreal, and amazing every time.

I also applaud anyone and everyone who continues to read and write poetry and/or prose in a society that doesn’t appreciate it all as much as they should. But, I digress. That’s a topic for another day.

When people laugh with the funny stuff, and seem moved by the depressing stuff, I know I’ve taken at least some of them on a journey, and that’s ultimately what art is all about. To move people.

Until next time,

Anthony

Eleven

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Eleven 29 o’clock in the evening and the room is still a mess.

Basketball shoes, running shoes, Gatorade bottles and 

Torn-up papers from last semester probably strewn across 

The floor like deserted strangers, unnecessarily flung into abyssal

Apocalyptic wastelands of trash heaps and garbage disposals. 

Eleven at night and there’s nothing to drink up but the Gatorade,

And the sounds of drunken relentless birthday sex ringing 

Across the room  from yesterday at eleven 29 o’clock.

Finals Week

Finals week, finals week oh

How I love finals week!

Presentations, projects galore

Essays and exams more!

Oh finals, finals, everywhere

Stress and anxiety in the air!

I enjoy this finals week of course,

Now, what could ever be worse?