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There is the lesson of “Cinderella,” which is the same as that of the Magnificat–exaltavit humiles. There is the great lesson of “Beauty and the Beast”; that a thing must be loved before it is loveable. There is the terrible allegory of the “Sleeping Beauty,” which tells how the human creature was blessed with all birthday gifts, yet cursed with death; and how death also may perhaps be softened to a sleep.

Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton

If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the center of the silent Word.
Oh my people, what have I done unto thee.
Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence

Throughout virtually the whole of the modern educational system there now exists one powerful and impressive form of super-tribal initiation ceremony, which goes under the revealing name of ‘examinations.’ These are conducted in the heavy atmosphere of high ritual, with the pupils cut off from all outside assistance. Just as in the tribal ritual, no one can help them. They must suffer on their own. At all other times in their lives they can make use of books of reference, or discussions over difficult points, when they are applying their intelligence to a problem, but not during the private rituals of the dreaded examinations.

The ordeal is further intensified by setting a strict time limit and by crowding all the different examinations together in the short space of a few days or weeks. The overall effect of these measures is to create a considerable amount of mental torment, again recalling the mood of the more primitive initiation ceremonies of simple tribes.

Desmond Morris, The Human Zoo

Some things I’ve been doing lately:
  • Dedicating myself to the zombie cause. Don’t let a zombie starve! Donate your brain to save the hungry.
  • Trying to explain zombies to international students. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video was a significant part of the curriculum.
  • Putting Ragu on everything I eat. I love it because it has no chunks!
  • Writing a paper about onomatopoeia for Senior Essay
  • Writing a paper about the Uighurs of Xinjiang for Chinese Communication
  • Writing a paper about agreement in Modern Hebrew for Morphology
  • Watching classic movies. Oldies are goodies.
  • Rereading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It puts me in a straaange mood.
  • Helping my neighbor Christine sell her stuff before she moves back to Taiwan. This is very stressful for her; she takes it personally when people try to negotiate the price and exclaims, “Are you robbery?!”
  • Wondering what time Pentecostals go to bed. For some reason this was a discussion at Kraettli the Greatly last night, and our best estimate was 9:30. Jeeves didn’t know.
  • Saying “peripatetic” quietly to myself

Last night at Kraettli the Greatly, Lin was telling us the conspiracy theories he believes.  This, of course, is one of my favorite conversation topics, so I did my best to egg him on. He explained to us how the moon landings were faked, then launched into his favorite EVER, which was something about the U.S. planning the attacks in Pearl Harbor. Rachel took great offense to this, and they debated for about ten minutes. We decided to resolve the discussion the old-fashioned way – arm wrestling. Unfortunately, Rachel lost, so apparently Lin is right and the U.S. government did have advance knowledge of the attacks. Dispute = SETTLED.

I hope next week’s smack-down can be over whether Wikipedia is run by the Illuminati! I haven’t picked what side I’ll be on yet.

This weekend looks promising. I hope to take a chunk out of my paper(s) this afternoon and tomorrow. Tomorrow evening we’re having a Princess Bride viewing party for the internationals, since none of them have seen it. On Sunday my friend Deah and I are going to try a restaurant in the Lowes parking lot that we always thought was a shed, then we will make “Free High Fives” t-shirts.

I’ve been in an e.e. cummings mood lately, which is where the title of this post comes from. I checked out a book of his poetry from the library today because it’s such a wonderful thing to read in the springtime. Don’t worry, I still respect punctuation.

Frances came to visit me last week, which was delightful! I didn’t take any pictures, so you’ll just have to trust me. She got here early Thursday afternoon, and we ate Chick-fil-A with my friend Deah and then went on a grand tour of OU’s campus. Then we drove into Norman to paint the town red, and split a kombucha. (It was terrible. ) After meeting my roommate Rachel for some scrumptious pad thai, we headed back to Kraettli and hung out with the internationals. Most of my friends are either foreign or nerdy (or both), and it was fun to watch Frances interact with them. She must have explained her major at least 900 times, and we all had an intriguing conversation about the merits and drawbacks of Times New Roman, Comic Sans, Callibri, and various other fonts. I think she was a hit. On Friday morning, she accompanied me to Nonwestern Comm, and afterwards we found out there was free ice cream by the library, so we went over and got some. Twice. Next we went to the medieval fair across the street from my apartment and watched the acrobats, camels, and various maniacs. There were some interesting booths; our favorite was the “Instant Portrait of Thyself with a Monkey” booth. Then we ate lunch and she left and I cried into my pillow.

Other than that, life continues as usual. I’m chipping away at various papers, which sucks away most of my free time. And that’s all I have to say about that. The weather has been getting more and more beauteous, and most of the trees seem to have acquired leaves since I left for class this morning. I’m toying with the idea of going for a run this evening. Later, you should ask me if I went, and when I say no, make me feel really bad about myself!

Last week I finished reading Les Misérables, which I had been working on since September I think. Such a magnificent book! I posit that it is the best novel ever written! I read it once before in eighth grade, but it was even better this time. I’ll stop talking about it now, but if anyone out there ever wants to have a conversation about this book, you know where to find me.

We had a birthday party for my friend Lydia on Saturday. I think it was a success, because she is now a year older! We had a blast, but it suddenly hit me that all these foreign friends of mine are leaving when school ends in six weeks. Six weeks! Aaaghhh! That’s too soon. I want them to stay here forever.

I re-repotted a plant today,  which was more fun than I expected. Mmm dirt! There have been many desperate attempts to save this plant in the last few weeks, and yet it keeps looking deader and deader. It’s a schefflera, and I found out today that another name for schefflera is “dwarf umbrella,” which creates a much more interesting mental image.

Speaking of questionable past-tense forms of words, can anyone think of a word to describe the past tense of covering something once again with tar? My first instinct would be to say “re-tarred,” but say that out loud and you will understand why it’s probably incorrect. I used that word at dinner the other day and completely embarrassed myself.

Sigh. So much homework! Today my senior essay professor told us, “You must work. Tote that barge, lift that bale.” I’m not sure if she was trying to inspire us or get “Old Man River” stuck in our heads. But anyway, I must indeed work.

Happy Thursday! I know I just wrote a thing about how much I love Sundays, but Thursdays are pretty great too. Some reasons why: my week is winding down, I have a large bag of lentils in my fridge, and tonight is Kraettli the Greatly. I’m making brownies.

Yesterday was Gordon’s birthday! He’s 23 now, can you believe that? Here’s a fun fact: He used to be the youngest baby in the world.  (It runs in the family.) I have many fond memories of my dear brother, but here’s one that popped into my head yesterday. Gordon, remember that time you had them play “Walk Down This Mountain” at True Life because you knew I liked it? You’re a great big brother, and you managed to retain your sanity even with three little sisters.  I hope your birthday was lovely! Good grief, you are so old.

I saw a German shepherd puppy yesterday and it made my day.

The library and I have been good friends lately. I’m in research mode for my senior essay, so I’ve been going on grand book hunts looking for particular language philosophy books (which I then have to read = significantly less fun). I’m always impressed at our library; they can get a hold of any book you can think of, even the obscure ones written by crackpot linguists with snarky anti-establishment undertones.

I am hoping that if I talk enough about how great OU is, it will encourage Anne to come here. Anne, come! Think of all the literary resources that would be available to you!

Time to get back to reading all about Socrates and the naming of things.

I like its shoes.

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did.
Women and men (both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain
children guessed (but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more
when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her
someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream
stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)
one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was
all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.
Women and men (both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain
–e.e. cummings

The torches on the walls went out, the two clocks stopped, and the room grew colder. There was a smell of old, unopened rooms and the sound of rabbits screaming. “Come on, you blob of glup,” the cold Duke roared. “You may frighten octopi to death, you gibbous spawn of hate and thunder, but not the Duke of Coffin Castle!” He sneered. “Now that my precious gems have turned to thlup, living on, alone and cold, is not my fondest wish! On guard, you musty sofa!” The Todal gleeped. There was a stifled shriek and silence.

(Name that book.)

The brambles and the thorns grew thick and thicker in a ticking thicket of bickering crickets. Farther along and stronger, bonged the gongs of a throng of frogs, green and vivid on their lily pads. From the sky came the crying of flies, and the pilgrims leaped over a bleating sheep creeping knee-deep in a sleepy stream, in which swift and slippery snakes slid and slithered silkily, whispering sinful secrets.

From The 13 Clocks by James Thurber

Ok, stop reading out loud. STOP, I said.