“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived” – Henry David Thoreau
“Our bodies are not distinct from Earth, sun, moon, and other heavenly bodies.”- Wendell Berry
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my sense put in order.”- John Burroughs
“Nature often holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal, and transformation in our own lives.”- Mary Ann Brussat
Monthly Archives: April 2013
I feel like that is an odd title to call this blog post but that is what it’s about. I am in the middle of working on two papers, the other night as I was working through some ideas and doing some free writing. I started to become frustrated because I was so close to having evidence to the point I was making but I felt like I was going in circles.
Yesterday, when I went to see my English professor over the frustrations that I was having over the my paper. I ended up talking to my old professor, the one that I had for three semesters, since my professor was out of the office. I was wondering where he was so that he could look at my paper. I was secretly glad that he was not there because I still want work out a few other thoughts before I gave him, my paper to look at. Last night, I was looking through the travel awards because the professor that I am the lab assistant for had posted which Graduate Assistants had been given awards to go to conferences. I naturally was looking through the English department and saw my old professor’s name and that he was going to a conference sometime in May. Then I started poke around in previous years and saw his name again. The title of the presentation that he was given was listed and the names of his papers just sound so profession and put together. Sure, that is his job.
I was starting to beat myself up a little because I was questioning someday would I ever be like that. Since I have ambitions to be a professor ( I don’t think I could trade reading books, listening to lectures, learning, and writing papers for an office job), would I ever write papers and share with the world my life’s passion for Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O’Connor, Wendell Berry, or some other author that I yet to discover.
I found this quote on Pinterest:
This quote is telling me that even though I still have a long road ahead of me that it is all going to be worth it in the end, that I should not compare my professor work with my work because I am only beginning on this long journey called life.
The other week in class when my professor was handing out our final paper prompts, he included a reading list. As most of my friends know, I am a sucker for a good reading list. I collect them like some people collected baseball cards, rocks, or rare books. I collect reading list, I have a whole collection of about four and this one makes five. It is about five or six books long. I decided to try one out and bought The Art of Commonplace, by Wendell Berry.
The Art of Commonplace is a collection of agrarian essays about the environment and presents the arguement on how argiculture society would cure with stress, anxiety, ill-health, and destructiveness of contemporary American culture.
Writing it, we shape it with our hands. Reading aloud what we have written- as we must do, if we are writing carefully- our language passes in at the eyes, out at the mouth, in at the ears, the words are immersed and steeped in the sense of the body before they make sense in the mind. They cannot make sense in the mind until they have made sense in the body. Does shaping one’s words with one’s own hand impart character and quality to them, as does speaking them with one’s own tongue to the satisfaction of one’s own ear? There is no way to prove that it does. On the other hand, there is no way to prove that it does not, I believe that it does (76).
The difference between a path and a road is not only the obvious one. A path is little more than a habit that comes with knowledge of a place. It is a sort of ritual of familiarity (12).
We are working well when we use ourselves as the fellow creatures of plants, animals, materials, and other people we are working with. Such work is unifying healing. It brings us home from pride and from despair, and places us responsibly within the human estate. It defines us as we are; not too good to work with our bodies, but too good to work poor or joylessly or selfishly or along (134).
Our bodies are involved in the world. Their needs and desires and pleasures are physical. Our bodies hunger and thirst, yearn toward other bodies, grow tired and seek rest, rise up rested, eager to exert themselves. All these desires may be satisfied with honor to the body and its maker, but only if much else besides the individual body is brought into consideration (147).
I have not finished reading yet but Berry wants us to turn back to the land because we are losing ourself in a society where we can isolate ourself and rely heavily on technology in order for our needs to be met.
I was trying to think of a good title for this post but this is all that I could came up with. I am done with work early, like a whole good three hours early. I have no idea what to do with my time. Usually, I make plates (NGM and RNAi), apparently we are completely overstocked on plates so there was no need for me to make any. I ended up gathering the trash, washing dishes, and cleaning the chemical room. Life of a lab assistant.
I also had my first advising as an English major. I am in love with my schedule for next semester already. Three English courses (two Lit. and one writing), life could not be any better. There is still a ton of work that needs to be done with terms of grammar and fragments (making complete sentences), I was doing so well in till this semester. Usually, I had gotten done to almost none in my final American LIt. paper and had about 4 in my first British Lit. paper. Umm…. where did all my hard work go? I am taking Modern English Grammar, English Literature of the Seventh and Eighteenth Century ( going to be a difficult class, the professor demands a lot out of his students) , and American Lit. from Whitman. I am also taking French, Yoga, and Student/ Peer Leadership.
The reason that I am taking Student/ Peer Leadership is because I got into a peer/ mentor leadership program along with teaching a U1000 class (which is a transition class for freshmen). I am hoping to have a FAS (Freshmen Academic Seminar) class, so I am with a group for the whole semester and not just six weeks.
Also, in about 17 days, I am going to be running with a friend in my first 5 K. I am completely not ready for it. It’s a Color Run, so I am not really sure if I should be training for it or just go the day of and have a good time.
My sister is about to graduate with her associate degree in about a week and a half. I am super proud of her and all that she has accomplished at the CIA (not the real CIA). She is then getting ready to move back to Virginia for 15 weeks and then back to New York to finish her Bachelor degree. Over break, I had to explain to her how advising worked and how to prepare for one when she returns to school.
That’s life in a nutshell.