30 September 2011

Friday {Football} Flashback

Tomorrow, I go to my first Big 10 football game! I'm excited to see the Hoosiers take on Penn State at Memorial Stadium! It will also be the first time that I won't be in the marching band. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I kinda miss it. I met some of my best friends from undergrad during that first week of band camp.
Freshman year.
Sophomore year @ the playoff game!
Homecoming Senior Year!

28 September 2011

"Are you being existential crisis-y?"

A friend asked me this question today. And the answer was yes. It usually is. I swear I think more about random things than most people.

Take this example -- last spring my computer charger stopped working and thus, my computer died and I was unable to use my laptop. I know, heaven forbid I actually had to walk to computer lab to check my email and such! But anyway, I was very distraught by not having my Macbook. And then late one night, my computerless brain got to thinking. Thinking about how distraught I was. And then I became upset about the fact that I was so upset. I was concerned by my apparent need to be connected to the Internet at all times. So that's one example.

I often wonder why I'm here. What I'm doing with my life. How much power I truly have over this one life I've been given. So in my existential crisis-y state, here's what I've found helps. I try to think of things that I can work on. Self-improvement if you will. Here's what I'm thinking about today:

1. Talk more. (This generally applies to my classes, but could probably benefit my life in general as well).
2. Stop pushing people away. Or stop keeping them at an arms length.
3. Let go of that perfectionism that eats away at me. Easier said than done, but I'm getting there.
4. Take more reading breaks. It's okay to watch horribly awful TV shows on Hulu and Netflix to give my brain a rest.
5. Pray more/spend more time in Scripture. That one's pretty self explanatory, but it helps tremendously in so many ways.
6. Eat outside more. I work in a library with no windows. I need fresh air or I will have Seasonal Affective Disorder before winter.

Six is a weird number to stop on, but that's all I've got.

17 September 2011

Expatriate 2012

Let’s vote with our feet. Or our frequent flyer miles. Who am I kidding? I don’t have frequent flyer miles. I’d have to find a great deal from Expedia and fly coach. With the 2012 election season getting underway, I have my own hat to throw into the ring. My slogan: Expatriate 2012.

Obama needs to step it up. Or Mitt Romney (bad enough), Rick Perry (even worse), or Michelle Bachmann (I couldn't move far enough away) will be our next president. Let's get out of here while we still can!

All the cool kids of the 1920s did it. Ernest Hemingway. Gertrude Stein. T.S. Eliot. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Ezra Pound. Let's form our own Lost Generation. Sure, we didn't come of age during the disillusionment that followed World War I, but we've seen enough disappointment in our short lives. Let's get the heck out of Dodge. Let's blow this popsicle stand. Let's write our own version of The Sun Also Rises. Our own This Side of Paradise.

We could follow in their footsteps and jet off to France. Lord knows I've been watching enough French New Wave lately. I absolutely love French films. Breathtakingly beautiful cinematography. Or pull a T.S. Eliot and head to England. Just not Greece. Unfortunately. Maybe Denmark. They speak English there. Or maybe somewhere in Latin America. I've been watching telenovelas to brush up on my Spanish before my language proficiency exam in January. Or an island in the Caribbean, perhaps? I've seriously been considering this option more and more with each passing day. I want to work in their archives and libraries to make their rich history available to the people.

But where ever we go, I must stop to pick up this book before I leave! I love me some Arthur Schlessinger, Jr!

11 September 2011

Talkin' About My Generation

Cue The Who.

Ok, now that we that song playing and you're probably utterly confused, let's get down to business. This past week I've been reading Joyce Appleby's book Inheriting the Revolution. It's a study of the post-Revolution generation Americans and how they molded a brand new set of ideals for a brand new nation. Interesting stuff. In the book, you see the rise of the autonomous individual, American exceptionalism, the Second Great Awakening and racism to name a few.

But reading the words of the first generation of Americans got me thinking. How will historians write about my generation. The generation that saw Google become a verb. The generation of smart phones and Kindles. The generation that watched the World Trade Center towers fall during our most formative years. The generation that played such a crucial role in the election of our first African American president. The generation that is coming of age during an economic repression. How will they interpret our blogs and Facebook accounts? What ideologies will they attribute to us?

10 September 2011

An All Girls School, History Movies, and Ray Lamontagne

Random ramblings on a sleepy Saturday (that feels like Sunday)...

Indiana University is the closest thing to an all-girls school I have ever seen. Well, at least the history and library science departments are. How am I supposed to find a love interest when I'm surrounded by women? All the time. You'd think after moving from an undergraduate institution of 1300 I'd be fishing in deeper waters. Not the case. I think there are only four men in my cohort. Don't get me wrong, I love my group of friends and I'm all for more women going on to advanced degrees, but I'm not just looking for a homosocial circle. I need a man who will talk history to me...

Which brings me to my next rambling. Movies based on history. Are they good? Or not? I'm on the fence. Usually they are either wildly entertaining, but grossly inaccurate...or completely accurate but oh so boring. But last night I watched Robert Redford's The Conspirator. I think The American Film Company is on to something. I would love to work for them someday. And I was excited to hear some music from one of my favorite artists...

Ray Lamontagne. His stuff is genius. Here's his song from The Conspirator. He was just in Indianapolis this summer and I'm kicking myself for not moving to IN sooner!

08 September 2011

Grad School. Week 3.

I've been in my master's program at Indiana University in Bloomington for three weeks now (if you count orientation). Part of me still feels like I'm a visitor, sleeping in someone else's apartment, sitting in on someone else's classes, shadowing at someone else's job. And as I walked past the Showalter Fountain on my way from the library to the IMU today, I felt like I was at home. Not Monmouth College home quite yet, but I'm getting there. Three short weeks and I've already learned so much...like,

1. I can find my way at a school that is 56 times the size of my hometown. Try that one on for size.

2. Taking the bus to campus everyday isn't so bad. It kind of reminds me of elementary school and Bus 29.

3. Three hour classes should be outlawed.

4. I should enjoy the little sleep that I do get. Even if I'm dreaming about history.

5. NPR makes the work day go faster.

6. Pack your lunch the night before.

7. Rent is evil.

8. It's okay to go back to Illinois.

9. Everyone feels like the dumbest kid in class. Most of the time.

10. I have a great group of friends (at IU and at home).

Stick around and see how I fare with writing my first paper this weekend!

03 September 2011

Hope's Quote of the Day

I realized today that I seriously fail at keeping up with this blog. Apparently I've wandered off the face of the earth since July. Actually, I moved home from Monmouth, moved to Indiana, and started grad school, but yeah, I fail. It's past almost 1 am, and so I leave you with this quote by yours truly from an evening spent with my sister:

"I hate the sound of my watch -- it reminds me of my own mortality."
-- Hope E. Grebner, sitting in the movie theater after viewing the depressing film One Day.