Starting Over: The First Day of School

The first day of school is always a revelation for me.
It wreaks of all things new and exciting. And it reminds me that there is always hope.

I've been done with my undergraduate work for longer than I care to admit at this point. Twelve years, in fact, if my math isn't too rusty. Although I've played around with course work since then, I've mostly observed others when it comes to the first day of school. The undergraduates look so fresh after a summer of doing as they please. Sure, some of them spent the summer working the register at Dairy Queen. But, at private universities, like this one, you'll find more students who spent the summer interning for a Fortune 500 Company or laying on lakefront piers perfecting their tans. Usually, I sit and observe. And I watch as that "first day of school" look turns into a squirrely mid-term gaze and then an end-of-semester frenzy.

Unlike other years, this time I'm actually in the frey. And I'm feeling the first day of school again in a new way. I've got the butterflies in the pit of my stomach. And the worry over whether I bought the right books. Most of all, I've got the urge to put on a sweater.

Yes, it's true. For over 25 years now, I have denied every urge I've had to wear a brand new sweater on the first day of school. It's not a particularly difficult decision, since indubitably it is far to warm to wear anything close to a sweater at the end of August. But, I have to talk myself out of it nonetheless. Sometimes it works. And sometimes it doesn't.

This year, as I don my unseasonable (and slightly scratchy) sweater, I'm truly filled with hope. Degree or non-degree, I'm back where I belong... in an English department. Smelling the smells of the dusty books. Listening to the sounds of academic prattle. And wondering what the writings of Benjamin Franklin have to do with anything at all...

It's a good thing, this new beginning.


State Fair Part 2: The Peoples

Our adventures at the fair didn't end with the animals. No, no, no.

Although the Fair was filled with some vicious varieties that we hadn't seen anywhere else...
And we were awfully amused by the offerings of this particular catfish. Take special note of the deep fried macaroni & cheese on a stick. We didn't try it out, but we wondered about it all day long.
We were also pretty stymied by the amount of JUNK available for sale.
We managed to resist the Sponge Bob Squarepants dolls, but Paul couldn't resist giving himself a milk mustache with some delicious Wisconsin icecream. If you look closely, you'll see that his nose got in there too!
Meanwhile, Lo decided that it would be a good idea to eat the lemon that came out of her beer.
We couldn't resist trying on some of the oh-so-fashionable cowboy hats we found at one vendor.
Apparently Lo couldn't control herself around the Dean's Chocolate Milk Chug dude either.
Fun, fun, fun...


Being Brave Pays Off

I am pleased to report that I have lived through the GRE, yet again.

As an added bonus, from what I can tell, my scores are quite respectable. I'm still waiting to see what my analytical writing scores look like; but, to be honest, I wasn't all that worried about the writing end of things. I was more concerned that my verbal scores were somehow going to take a nose-dive... which would have been a fair tragedy, considering I'm trying to sell myself to the English department.

I can't say I'm THRILLED by my scores. But, then, am I supposed to be?
I'm mostly just relieved to have it over with. And, I would guess that Peef would echo my thoughts. He has, after all, put up with me and all of my crazy studying for the past 4 weeks.

Life can now begin again. Yay!


State Fair Part One: The Animals

OK, it was just one day of the weekend (the rest of the time I've been studying for the GRE). But, it was a load of fun.

We made sure that we went during the day this year so that we could catch a glimpse of the animals at the fair. And what a glimpse we did catch!!

First, there were the pigs. Lots of cuties at the fair. But, this one caught our special attention with his Elvis-like smirk.
And then there was this fella, who donated his derriere to the Midway.
We saw lots of goats.
Greedy goats, who were trying to eat other goats' food...
Pretty goats with floppy ears...
And there were lots of goats who wanted nothing more than to eat Lo's fingers!
We also saw plenty of adorable bunnies, including these floppy fellas:
We saw chickens with big feathery feet...
And stripey Tim Burton-esque chickens...
And even some Tina Turner/Andy Warhol chickens...
There were ducks with toupees...
And even a lizard or two...
And then we entered the House of Moo: Where we found Award Winning steer, who had been sold down the river for their meat...
And pretty little calves sleeping peaceful as could be...
And others spending quality time with their mothers... In the end, we were very sorry to have to leave. But, alas, it got late. So, we ate.
(See exactly what we ate over at Burp!)


Me? A Bad Wife?

You Would Make a Horrible 1930's Wife

You are way too non conformist, independent, and sassy to be an ideal retro wife.

You may be so wild that you aren't even considering marriage!

Good thing we don't live in the 1930s anymore!