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Staying In and Getting Real: Current Events Roundup, Part One

It seems like I’m always doing “part ones” of series. But anyway, enough about me, so how are you?

I had a pretty productive day, I guess, but instead of going out tonight (it’s a Monday, so it’s par for the course, but whatevs), I decided to stay in, watch TV, and do laundry.

And of course, what is all over the news is pretty shocking. In case you’ve been off the grid for the past few hours, there was an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in England, with 19 people dead, most likely all teenagers or preteens. It’s shocking and troubling, and all over every news and social media platform out there.

But what a lot of people don’t realize is that this week was a gigantic victory elsewhere in the world that no one seems to be celebrating – 82 of the 200+ girls who were kidnapped while taking exams at their school in Nigeria have been found and returned to their parents. When I heard this news yesterday, I was truly elated. I can’t imagine what those families must have been feeling, and the relief that even though the girls endured much horror, they seemed to be happy and healthy to be back with their parents. I couldn’t stop clicking through YouTube videos of the happy reunions. I’ve always thought that if what had happened in Nigeria happened in the USA or Canada or England, the entire world would be up in arms, and not forget after a few days like they did when it happened 3 years ago. I’ve actually been thinking about it since it happened, I even remember where I was when I first found out about it, getting ready to embark on my first Summer Odyssey back in 2014. It was shocking then, and it’s stayed with me consistently ever since. Although I’m really happy that those 82 are back, in addition to the 50 or so others who’ve escaped/been rescued over the years, there are still around 100 unaccounted for, which is way too many people to just forget about.

And just like the parents of the kids who died, were injured, or are MIA in Manchester right now, the parents of the Nigerian girls haven’t forgotten, despite the world seeming to do so.

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Oh, Passover…

About 48 hours to go, and although I haven’t quite hit the signs of “too much Passover” yet, I’m getting there.

Literally, I’m thinking about food 24/7, waking up in the night hungry, and pounding down the matzah just wishing I had some hummus. And I can’t even remember the last time I ate hummus.

Anyway, I should probably go and get some reading done for fun in this brief break between writing deadlines.

Keep the faith, celebrate your freedom, and chag same’ach, y’all

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Things We Shouldn’t Care About, But We Do Anyway

  1. What random people think of us on the Internet.
  2. The Kardashians.
  3. BPAs.
  4. The word “organic”
  5. The fact that the seasons change in many parts of the world.
  6. Having useless things like a bag of 5000 plastic forks in the house, but only when you don’t need them.
  7. The existence of bugs in the world.
  8. College sports.
  9. Our sodium intake.
  10. Going back to check to see if the door to the house or car is locked, when, of course it is.
  11. Making lists and wondering whether you’ll actually have enough energy or inspiration to write something of good quality on the blog.
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Staying In and Getting Real Night, Part 6

Another Sunday night, another Golden Girls marathon. It’s the episode where Stan becomes attached to a toy monkey, so mute goes the television. Time for staying in and getting real.

So what’s new with you? I’m stressed, as usual, and there’s noise coming from the hallway which will become a real problem if I feel like going to sleep anytime soon. I had a bad week last week in terms of healthy eating, so I skipped the dance team dinner at Great Dane, yet managed to come home from Whole Foods with not only almond butter, protein, and veggies but also a container of gummy stars to reward myself for…well, nothing.

Which brings me to my next topic, or lack thereof. Dissertation. I have a meeting coming up in 2 days to talk about it, and I still have no idea what “it” is, or will be. I’m pretty much at the same place I was four years ago. I thought I’d have it all figured out by now. I feel like I’m probably going to end up googling “how to pick a dissertation topic” because yeah, I should probably start working on that idea sheet. I mean, I have a few ideas, but nothing really concrete enough to gel into a game plan. Granted, it’s still (closer to) the beginning of the semester, and I guess if all else fails I can change my topic. I do know what I don’t want to do; even though I really enjoyed researching the Romani of Central Europe and their performance practices, I feel like I’ve probably exhausted 95% of the sources available to me. Probably very few new books on the topic have come out in the last few years, if any at all. I was even surprised to find one article of interest, in a Canadian journal. Even though language barriers are tough to overcome, ethnic barriers are nearly impossible, and I honestly think that there’s a certain point that I, as a white American, cannot penetrate, either for ideological reasons or because there’s simply nothing on record.

I really want more gummy stars but at 11 PM I said to myself, no more for the night.

Dinner was a lazy salad – threw together some lettuce, onions, cucumbers, Craisins, and tomatoes in a tupperware, tossed it with oil/vinegar/lemon juice, and called it dinner. Not too satisfying, but I’ve got some sparkling water to hopefully sate myself.

I know these posts are super boring and totally against the original purpose of this blog, but what are you going to do. At least it’s real talk and not just pointless word vomit, a la LiveJournal.

Oh, and in other news, I got some reading done today, outdoors even, and I’m close to finishing two books, and I haven’t even finished a single one since February started, so that’s something.

Okay, time to zen out and meditate in order to dissertate. Ommmm….

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On Being Needed

The last 48 hours have been among the most tumultuous in my life. Probably in most people’s lives, unless they lived through World War II or the Cuban Missile Crisis or something. In less time than it takes to get a jacket shipped to you from an online retailer, the United States of America has spun out of control. Mostly in its leadership, but also in its media, who can’t make heads or tails of anything anymore, and its people, who have become more divided than ever before. The last 48 hours have basically been a giant parade of insanity and inhumanity, from many different areas but most importantly from the highest office in the nation, which has now been turned into a colossal joke. I mean, it had to happen sometime. I just didn’t think it would be this soon.

What makes a difference is being needed. All weekend, I was off duty. No work or class, so I was free to mope about, play Pong between bed and couch, hide out at Colectivo or Hubbard Avenue Diner. Days spent on social media, eyes glazed over with saturated images, videos with digitally inserted sound bites, nights awake in fear and regret. Today, I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I had to. I didn’t know how I could teach, but it happened. I barely made it to my first class on time, but once I had put my stuff down, I was ready to get my teach on for 2 sections in 2 hours. Then, riding high, I got a tuna melt and a drink at Espresso Royale, hosted office hours (no students visited, but I got some other work/writing done), and trudged through the snow to APO. I gave Cindy a packet of stuff I’d been holding onto for her for a month, and she was so happy to get it. And the chapter prez and I had a long and fruitful conversation on our walk home.

And I felt…needed.

It was a good feeling.

When you are needed, or when someone else needs you, things change. You become more acutely aware of your surroundings. You are given tasks sometimes, and the tools to complete them. Most of all, you get to make a priority out of someone that is almost unknown but just as deserving of attention as any other human, and that is you.

Just being able to feel needed came me to willpower to get through the day.

Here’s Anne Murray