Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Food for Thought

As I was driving to work today, I was listening to XM's Baseball This Morning show. The guest on the show was a Double A pitcher from San Diego's farm system named Dirk Hayhurst. Dirk writes a column for Baseball America about life in the minors. He was on the show to talk about all of his columns but especially his most recent one. Here's the link:
http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/features/264668.html
In the interview with Buck and Mark, Dirk talked about his lack of understanding for why people consider him to be great just because he plays a game. To begin with, he plays AA ball...he's not even a star baseball player. He compared himself to doctors and teachers and explained that he and his job are not the types that should be idolized. As you can read in the column, in many ways his mind has changed about that. The interview, and the article after I read it, made me think a lot. I'm a 28 year old grad student who teaches freshman composition. It's a job that has taken a lot of hard work to get to, but it's no glorious job. I don't feel I'm changing the world by helping my students avoid comma splices and work on organization. But the column made me realize that world changing things aren't the point; life changing moments are way more important. I found myself asking whether or not I drown out the voices of those wanting my attention? Do I look at the faces that are not wanting more from me than a smile or a hello when something that simple would change their day? How about you? Do you intentionally avoid people? Maybe this article will help you stop (as it did me) and ask yourself why you do it. I have a feeling that once you stop and think about it, you will find your reasons are hollow. It doesn't have to be a terminally ill kid, although it may be; it could be the woman checking you out at the grocery store, the person in the cubicle next to you, or that student with serious comma splicing problems.

Also, at the bottom of the column, you will find Dirk's email address. I encourage you to write him if you feel so led.

Monday, August 20, 2007

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

No, I'm not talking about the first week of school (those that's great too). I came home today from spending the afternoon at the office finishing my syllabi, looking up appropriate readings for my students, and making tons of copies. I was in the copy room so long that people kept coming by saying, "You're still here?!" On top of my syllabi, I probably made 500 copies of other things. By the time I finally finished, it was rush hour. When I finally got home I was pretty much exhausted. I stopped to check my mail before coming to into my apartment to crash. I opened my mailbox and my mood changed immediately. I heard a voice in my head begin singing "Oh Holy Night." There sitting, in all it's glory, was a box containing my 2007 Southern Living Christmas book! I immediately tore the box open and spent an hour looking through every page. This book is a culmination of two things I love most: Christmas and Southern Living! So, I know there are exactly four months and five days until Christmas, but the spirit just descended on my apartment! And for those of you who have come to expect tasty treats around the holidays...get ready. There are lots of great recipes I'm dying to try out!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Celebrity Look Alike

So, it's 12:15 at night and I'm bored. So, I started playing around on myspace. I finally decided to do the celebrity look alike thing. Basically, you scan your picture and it tells you which celebrities you look most like. I guess there isn't anything like an online myspace thing to humble you. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't thinking I would show up as Katherine Heigel or anything, but I was definitely not prepared for the result I got. Apparently, the celebrity I look most like (coming in at a whopping 78%) was...Bill Murray! What exactly is a person supposed to do with that information? So, now I'm going to bed resigned to the fact that I look like the face of Caddyshack and What About Bob?. Great.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

High School Reunion Planning

Unlike most of my college friends, I did not hate high school. In fact, I loved it. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't go back to it if I had to...but I enjoyed it while it lasted. I graduated with about 150 people -- most of whom I had attended school with since we were five. A select few of those began school with me when I was three. I can't say I've done as well as I hoped I would in keeping up with high school friends, but they are still very dear to me. All of this is to say that I wanted our reunion to be amazing! A select few of us got together and gave the power of reunion to a guy who still lives in my hometown, New Albany. This same select few also added our bats to the lineup by offerring to assist in any way possible. So basically what that boils down to is one main chief who doesn't necessarily want to be chief and several mini-chiefs who want it to be done right.

Today I began to work on my part of the reunion planning. I had a few hours and decided I would get started on the write up for the newspapers. This task which I thought would take about 30 minutes took up the vast majority of my day. It required calling one person who told me one fifth of the answer then calling another who gave me another part. I talked to more friends from high school today than I have in the past three months combined. I love the fact that I am getting to talk to these friends with whom I've lost touch. I love the fact that our reunion is going to be awesome. And I especially love the fact that there are so many of us passionate about it being an awesome reunion. I just think it would be easier if next time we choose a head chief with a type A wife. As it stands now we have a single chief, two single girls (one who lives out of state...me of course), a married guy (who lives in Virginia) and various other fringe helpers who live all over the place. It's a bit chaotic. However, nothing had been done to plan the reunion in May, and we all thought it would be in the summer. So the fact that we are having a reunion at all is a good thing. :) We never were the most responsible of classes. I'm talking about a class that passed this as the class motto: Beer is great, sex is heaven, we're the class of 97. In fact, that very well may be on a banner somewhere during the reunion.

My official task is as one of three in charge of the Saturday afternoon picnic. We are serving lunch and hanging out. People are bringing the kids. If you have any ideas about a fun mixer type game or something, feel free to let me know. We've thought about s guess the occupation type of game, but we really want something more fun and involving. Seriously, any advice or input would be greatly appreciated! We're expecting around 60 at the picnic, and we want it to be lots of fun!