29 May 2011

Brain Damage

Lately, it appears that my biggest run-ins with disaster have involved serious blows to my head.  The hood of my trunk slammed on me while I was loading up my car with groceries.  Someone driving by in the parking lot stopped to see if I was okay, but to be honest I couldn't make out anything they were saying.  And his/her/its face was a blur.  Then they drove off.  I guess they assumed by my blank stair that I was fine?

The other night at the salsa club, I was sitting on a bar stool, giving my show-stopping Latin moves a rest (yeaaahh....)  All of a sudden a camera tripod that someone had very wisely left standing on the bar came crashing down on my head.

I think I'm getting dumber.

27 May 2011

The Ancient Japanese Art of Zumba...

So.  I did Zumba for the first time in my life.  A Belgian guy named Alit taught us for free (probably because the entertainment of watching us try to copy his dance moves is priceless).   

Best.  Workout. Ever.  

22 May 2011

Rapture Party ON MY SKIN

Though I am still alive, I did not escape the 12 May 2011 Rapture unscathed.  This is what reading by the pool for 2 hours without sunscreen will do to you.  (As if I didn't already know....WHY do I never learn???).  
I roughly resemble the sun itself.  Yes, I'm that hot.

13 May 2011

Who Would've Thought...It Figures

My phone rang at 10:00 Tuesday night.  The caller ID looked something like this: 4479187349713001387110. So I knew it wasn't a local.

Me: "God, is that you?"
Him: "Hi Sarah, it's Dr. Kerry.  Sorry to be calling so late."
Me:  "Whoa it's like 5:00 a.m. where you are.  I don't think you need to be apologizing." [Dr. Kerry lives in England]
Him:  "Are you at a computer?"
Me:  "I can be."
Him:  "Excellent."

Dr. Kerry proceeded to guide me through the process of making dreams come true.  These are dreams that I didn't even know I had until about a week ago.  Grad school wasn't something I ever considered until January or February of this year.  It wasn't until I took Dr. Kerry's "Jews and the Holocaust" class that the thought seriously crossed my mind.  I love Dr. Kerry and I absolutely loved his class.  I've never had a professor so incredibly passionate and brilliant.  Sitting in his lectures was what I would imagine sitting in the Colosseum in 150 BC to be like: you just can't look away!  He used no notes and never so much as uttered a "um" or "where was I again?"  Just pure, brilliant expertise and intellect oozing from his lips.  He had me at "Jew."

So when I shamefully turned my research prospectus in late and he showed such genuine concern for my well being, I felt like I had personally attacked Dr. Kerry's good honor.  That I had let him down or crushed him in some way.  A couple months later, when it came time to turn in the actual research paper, I did so early, as if that would repair any damage that I had caused.  Hah.  I really put a lot into that paper.  It was on antisemitism in Romania and the lack of Holocaust education in their modern public curriculum.  After the semester ended, he emailed me his comments and my grade:  A :)  And then he said, "this would make a great  MA thesis."  Whaaaa?  Really?  It's like he unearthed this dream that I've always had but never articulated.

That fateful Tuesday night (3 days ago) Dr. Kerry discussed potential masters programs with me, all at schools in the U.K.  He studied at Oxford and is a full-time professor at Cambridge, so he's familiar with British universities.  Bonus: you can get your MA in one year in the U.K.  I'm looking most seriously at University College London, King's College London, University of Edinburgh, and University of Reading.  Anyway, why am I rambling on so?  Perhaps it is because I am still dumbfounded at how I got so lucky.  How have I merited so much attention from an obviously busy professor who spends his time publishing books and lecturing at universities across the world?  God sent him to me.  No doubt.

So are you ready for this (if you're still reading, bravo)?  Yesterday morning I got another call from that celestial 50-digit number.

Me:  "Hello again, God, do you ever sleep?"

This time Dr. Kerry had something to offer, far sweeter than anything I've ever hoped for.  He told me about a study program at the University of Cambridge that will take place this July and August.  It is reserved for Ivy League applicants, but a member of his faculty came to him the other day and asked if he knew if a student would be interested in filling a free position, since one of the students had backed out at the last minute.  So he called me?  ME?  I was bewildered and honored and flattered and shocked and elated and SO CRUSHED because I knew right away I had to turn it down.  That's, like, the top school in the solar system!

All I can think about right now is Alanis Morissette's song "Isn't it Ironic?"

An old man turned 98/He won the lottery and died the next day/It's a black fly in your chardonnay/It's a death row pardon two minutes too late/Isn't it ironic. I would add, It's turning down Cambridge when you're vying for admittance to U.K. grad schools.

I won't go into details (because I don't think I could ever explain why I feel the way that I do), but in short, I already have a backpacking trip planned with my brother in Europe and it interferes with the Cambridge program.  You may think it downright ridiculous that I don't just cancel the trip.  I know.  My brain thinks the same.  But my heart would never recover if I did.  It's an interesting situation.  Maybe eventually I'll be able to put into words my reasoning for not doing so.

Needless to say, I am sincerely grateful for a professor who genuinely cares so much about the success of one, obscure student.  As I research grad schools and MA programs, I am absolutely giddy just thinking about the future that lies in store for me. It's all still in the works.  Anything could happen.  But for now I'm moving forward.

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you/Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out.

05 May 2011

Things That Make Me Feel Scholarly

  • a pony tail
  • a button-up shirt
  • a cardigan
  • a string of pearls
  • eating an apple on the way to class
  • carrying my books in my hands and not in my backpack
  • when those books are written by Homer
  • a professor who makes classical Greek civilization absolutely thrilling
  • when that professor knows how to make a bow tie work
It's been one of those rare days when I feel like one day I will grow up to be a brain surgeon, nay, a rocket scientist...

03 May 2011

There's Something in the Pond Water...

I love just going to school during Spring Term.  The grass is greener.  The campus is cleaner.  The people are happier.  The professors are waaay chiller.  Everyone is just in a blissful, lovey mood.  Including the ducks.  Like, really lovey.  They're animals!  Well, yes, they are animals.  But in more than one sense of the word.  There is a duck pond on the south end of campus, near my apartment.  The little guys often escape to the greater campus region and bring their young.  But this year I SWEAR they have multiplied, like, 1000 times over!  Their numbers rival those of Women's Conference!  This evening, I exited the JFSB where I had a Classics class.  We had just been discussing Lycurgus' Spartan army and how the Spartan women cranked out babies like a gum ball machine to supply the army with lots of warriors.  In no time, they became the greatest, most fearsome military in Greece.  I feel this is the approach the ducks are taking.  Just a hunch.  So, don't say I didn't warn you.