Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Sunday night when I returned to my now home from my then home, I walked in the door of my tiny freezing apartment. There on our kitchen table, lay an envelope I have been anxiously awaiting. My PhD application from Harvard. There is a reason why so few people get into this magnanimous's because NO ONE can finish the centuries long application. Seriously, I think the only thing that was not asked was my shoe size and the ice cream that tops my favorites list. So, along with the 25 page writing sample that is required of me for the other applications, I also have to write an abstract for every single course I have taken undergraduate and graduate...which is about 80 (count them, only 20 less than 100) CLASSES!! And, I'm having difficulty writing my writing sample. Now, you'd think someone who desires to get their PhD and understands that for the rest of her life a considerable amount of writing will be required of her would be able to toss of 25 pages in no time. No, it's just not happening. Everything that I think I want to write about is incredibly broad and would require a least one if not several dissertation length books to cover what I would like to cover. I need help, people, if anyone is even still reading this. Thoughts, ideas, and comments are REQUIRED!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

St. Francis and the Stone Lions...

It is a perfectly crisp chilly late fall morning. Wood smoke billows from several chimneys and saturates the air with the scent that signals winter is almost here. I am at home...homehome... familyhome...Chicagohome for a few more hours before I make the trek back to Cinci. I just finished an early morning walk/jog that is a necessity on mornings like these and am sitting in the comfy overstuffed chair that if I could fit it into my little Jeep I would sneak back to my apartment. A venti three pump soy no water chai w/cinnamon powder on top and brown sugar pop tarts put the icing on this morning. I love walking around our completely stereotypical subdivision...statues of St. Francis and Mary dot front yards and walkways and even though I'm not Catholic and these saints have religious value to me, I find them faintly comforting...a part of home. Like the stone lions at the end of one of our townhouse neighbors very short driveway, the lions that sit right next to the temporary well-worn basketball hoop. Like the elderly Indian woman with cataracts who never recognizes me, her with the sari wound tightly around her under the hoodie that she wears on her morning walks to keep out the cold Like the tiny white poodle named Gracie who for the longest time my dad thought her name was Crazy. They are little bits of home, comfort, memories, and reality...

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Let me tell you about C., one of my 10th graders....about a week ago, I gave an assignment to my completely bored sophomore Computer Class - write/type a poem. I gave them creative freedom within certain "school appropriate" parameters. C.'s poem was titled The Passion of the Christ 2: Crucify this! It was so beyond disrespectful to the one and only true deity aforementioned in the title, that I almost hesitated to take it with me for fear of impending lightning strikes. I had a chat with said sophomore to let him know that though the writing was extremely excellent and creative, the content itself was unacceptable in its tone...I was expecting anger, resentment, rebellion, or at least a little bit of hatefulness in response to my order and was pleasantly shocked to find this answer..."Okay, Miss H. I'll do it and get it to you this week." Along with this crazy response came the offer to mop up the quickly collecting rainwater on the entrance staircase which had induced, not surprising to those who know me, a painful collision between my tail end and the stairs a few minutes earlier. What kind of child is this who can be disrespectful to God Almighty Himself, yet responds to correction from me with obedience and willingness to do a job that most teenager's wouldn't be caught dead doing? Every morning since then, he's comes and sits in my classroom before school and chatters accident last summer that practically scraped half of his face off...etc etc Life really isn't even close to easy for him, divorced family, remarried parents and other elements of which I am only slightly aware that make me want to curl up in fetal position and cry for him. God has given me these kids to teach me more than just a few things and one of the lessons I keep getting over and over again, loud and clear, is I am truly blessed with a whole family and love that cradles and surrounds me even from 4 and 1/2 hours blessed FYI Just received his new poem via was quite good...and Mel Gibson's directorial endeavors didn't figure into it the slightest....

Monday, October 22, 2007

Happy Days...

You have not truly lived until a small red-headed freckled face Opie look-alike with bushier eyebrows and a lisp five year old has screamed in your face for fifteen minutes refusing to listen to your calm yet firm voice instructing him to sit his tail end down on the chair. Nor have you truly lived until you gently pick up said child, set him carefully in a chair, all while avoiding carefully aimed yet flailing legs, and continue to instruct him that he can scream all he wants, but he is not allowed to talk to you until he can do it in a normal voice without tears. You also have not truly lived until in the same day as the psycho K-5er you have to explain to a 9th grade female who is carrying on a highly inappropriate ( on a scale of 1-10 a 57) conversation with an eleventh grade boy that not only should she not be discussing this topic with him, but that it isn't something she really should ever be thinking about and it is extremely detrimental (she doesn't know that word) to her spiritual as well as physical well-being. Then the boy asks you how you know what that phrase means anyway? What do you do? As another boy in the classroom said so eloquently, providing commentary that was not neccessary..."Dude, she was a librarian...she knows EVERYTHING!" You also have not truly lived until you have tasted my mother's homemade cheesecake, but thats a post for another day....

Friday, October 19, 2007


Today was the kind of day that makes you want to go fling yourself upon your bed, pull the covers over your deep fried brains, and never, ever, EVER come back out again. Not one of those bad hellish type days, just one of those irritating pointless "did I actually make an impact on any of these heathens" type days. There was however one very bright spot in today that came right smack dab at the end with my little book discussion group. This was our first of hopefully many meetings and we discussed The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which I upon reading again for the first time in years found ironically hilarious, however much of the humor seemed to go over their heads. I had 4 attendees besides myself in this little gathering of aspiring bibliophiles. We munched on oatmeal raisin cookies and those one amazingly thick doughy sugar cookies with the grotesque icing while discussing the Answer to the Ultimate Question regarding Life, the Universe, and Everything (the answer is of course 42) then moved on to Dinosaurs, Intelligent Life elsewhere, evolution, and the true meaning of the Babelfish. Laughter, surprisingly open discussions, and genuine enthusiasm for the topic at hand almost made up for the fact that one of my students will only write poetry or short stories about topics related to The Office or Napoleon Dynamite, and that in 42 being the answer to the Ultimate Question, I have absolutely no idea what that Ultimate question is....

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Warning: Transparency Ahead

"authentic self" ...I came across this phrase in one of my favorite science magazines, SEED, yesterday. It instantly captured my thoughts and imagination as I began to ponder what "authentic self" really means. I asked myself two things; what is "authentic self" and how do we recognize it? I then proceeded to ask the person I was in the middle of a going nowhere texting conversation with the first question. He either a.) had no idea b.) was way to crazy busy to put to much thought into it or c.) didn't really want to chat with me anyway. A rather large part of me wants to guess c, but for the sake of optimism, positive thinking, and whatever else you may want to call it I'm going to go with b. Anyway, who or what is my authentic self? Is the quiet nerdy girl with the thick glasses that wants to bury her nose in her science magazines, large philosophical tomes, and research on Creation me? Or is it the crazy silly story-telling never stops singing annoys the tar out of people extrovert that is me? The dream driven impatient at times overachieving information junkie? Confident comfortable with who I am low-maintenance fashionista? Or the chubby little girl with braces, glasses, and who is always on a diet? Or is my authentic self a culmination of these things? Do all of these seemingly unrelated parts of me make up who I really am or are each of these a different facade that hides true self? Authenticity is defined in several ways, but the explanation that really spoke to me is as follows...entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy. So, if you're still reading at this point follow me on this rapidly decelerating train of thought....Is it maybe that others can only see my authentic self? From the facts that they know about me and/or the experiences they have had in relation to me can my authentic self be seen? Or is it just an "authentic" version of me? So many questions and not even sure if they really lead to an answer or if the point is in the asking.....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

" doesn't merely provide a way of expanding knowledge of the world. It doesn't just provide answers to pressing questions; it changes the conversation itself."
Chris Mooney - SEED, October 2007, p.50

Monday, October 15, 2007

Transcending ExistentialisistismdmmWhat??

People talk to me. On a bus, on the metra, on 3 hour flight, on the street, or like this evening in the middle of T.J. Maxx - people, I should say CRAZY people, look at me and for some reason feel the need to chat me up. So we're waiting for dinner this evening at Buca's in Indy, the one place in the mid-west where the pope and a picture of a partially nude woman are placed at the same level of reverence - eye level, and so we head over to T.J. Maxx for a few minutes. While wandering through the slightly dirty store that somehow I missed ever entering in my entire four years of residence in Indianapolis, I come upon a fedora. An extremely newsworthy slightly bendy, cute in the way that Kevin Federline never was...fedora. I immediately felt the urge to place this Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday style....wait wait let me interrupt and say...the crazies keep coming. I'm in the lobby of our hotel and this random male just came up to me...scared the living daylights out of me and said..."This is the second night in a row that you've been down here on the computer...who you talking too?" Well, first of all, not you scary Drew Carey man without the warm fuzziness that makes him beloved by women everywhere. And, second of all, don't you think its just a little to creepalicious accosting single females who are obviously engaged in an activity that does not require the pleasure of your company. Is it the hair or the looking like a twelve year old or the whole freckle thing? I don't know, but the point is psychopaths and issue-filled people are for some reason drawn to me... so anyway, back to the fedora. Real cute and I'm wondering if I should purchase it...I pick my way through the early fur coats and tragic pantsuits that fill the aisles and make my way over to Laurel and Hardy (two dear silly male teachers who I attended ibc with) to get their input. As I walk up, this woman in full out Erykah Badu attire, complete with dreads and scary nose ring, reaches out from the aisle to me..." Are you an artist," she asks doing this swaying to the rhythm of the universe thing as she checks the color of my aura. No. I'm not an artist. I don't tell her that I paint, but can only do feather, geometric shapes, and trees and can't even do more than one in a painting. "You must be a musician then." Sure, but not a very good one. "I can see it, you are in your ....transformation...I can feel it you are experimenting," all the while she's doing this floaty hand gesture and left right hip movement that makes me dizzy and causes me to ask myself if I'm getting my first contact high. I tell her that I sing but only for Jesus. That I'm in my process, my journey and God is helping me find my way. She doesn't get it. "So like uh I'm totally performing this transcendental existentialism flow thing at 312 MediaClub and you should like toooooooooooootally come and feel the vibe, feel my flow...there'll be food and wine." Wow, what do you say...all I wanted was an opinion on perfectly unnecessary hat instead I found out that I am an open book, my "transformation" is on display for all too see...and seriously again another man feels it is an absolute necessity to comment upon me and my computer...what the world???!? anyway, my point is that I can't remember the point, and maybe its because I've been up for 18 hours, or maybe the amazing emotional roller coaster ride that has been this weekend, maybe its just because I've eaten way to much Italian food smothered in garlic, came face to face with my past and smiled at it, fulfilled, till it looked way, and arrived at the conclusion that transcendental existentialism is one thing I don't care to ever learn about in my current quest for knowledge. Give me a bed, pillow, and a door that locks the rest of humanity out for awhile, I'm going to feel the sleeping flow and dreaming vibe....

Sunday, October 14, 2007


exhausted, emotionally drained, and overwhelmed with epiphanies - my feelings at this exact moment. Today was the first day of our teacher's retreat in Indy. Coming back to this place has brought memories, joys and sorrows of days past back in a real and slightly poignant way. So many dreams that were born in this city have since vanished completely to be replaced by other futures or have been so dramatically modified that I, their possessor, have difficulty in recognizing their original outline. I'm a planner, I plan, it's what I do, what I've always done. It's how I make it through the boring stretches and the uncontrollably tough bits. Those best laid plans of mice and melissa, however, have turned out to not be enough. I'm finally learning that planning is grand fine thing, but consulting God on those plans is beyond a courtesy, it is necessary. I am so full of worry about getting from "here" to "there" with the resources that I myself embody that I forget that He sees the End. He already knows the best path for my future because He SEES the End and if I would just take the minute to ask Him which way and how and then release my "there" to Him - all the stress, fretting, and worry will jump out the window - out the 16th story window of this high-rise of worry and self-doubt I have built beneath myself. He knows what I don't. He sees what I can't. Why would i ever try to put more trust in myself than i do in Him?

When I rise...

I love cool dark mornings when no one else is awake. I curl up with a cup of steaming fall flavored chai and let my mind wonder, praying and pondering life as i know it. Mornings like these are rare in the V in the City girls' apartment. Our early part of the day is usually filled with closet raids, outfit checks, increasingly colder showers, and discussions of who is bringing lunch and who is stopping to pick up the much needed and completely addictive Sbux and whether furry boots are appropriate the week after 90 degree weather. (Also serious prayers for J's 3rd grade class - with all their powers combined they are akin to anti-christ Power Rangers) This morning is different is one of those perfect mornings that provide the deliciously peaceful foundation for one those perfect days that are just as rare. I sit quietly contemplating the deep's search for wisdom, the true meaning of logos, and the appropriateness of me wearing my favorite Jefferson Airplane t-shirt and a cut-off jean skirt to our teacher's retreat in Indy. This hellish week has finally ended and I have lived to fight another day. In the words of my favorite modern day philosopher, John Mayer - But this morning, there's a calm I can't explain, rock candy's melted, only diamonds now remain.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Welcome to my world....

Family, friends, and random readers,

I love you all equally, however the time I have available to spend on the phone has of recent become seriously limited so I decided to do what every nextgen does...write a blog about my life so those who I haven't had the opportunity to talk to in awhile will have a chance to catch up on my increasingly hilarious life, if they so desire. I have of late moved away from my dear city to a little suburban town in Ohio where the only "ethnic" food available to me is from an extremely unsanitary little joint so originally named Wok and Roll. I live in tiny bitty apartment with two other girls B & J, a colony of ants that reside in the bathroom next to the toilet that is possessed, and a garbage disposal that displaces the sink when it is turned on. My career has veered sharply off it's path and taken a pit stop in a growing private school. Though being a teacher is that LAST thing I ever wanted to do, I am finding it strangely rewarding, challenging, and at times fall down funny. I have several students, ranging in age from 4-17. Those who I believe will be featured most prominently in this blog include a fifth grader who loves to hug me and place his head upon my chest (AAAAHH), a 4 year old who claims that in the garden "the snake ate Adam", a 17 year old boy who repeatedly makes marriage proposals to me during computer class, a cadre of high school girls who are the inspiration for the movie Mean Girls, and my dear little high school book discussion group that is made up of approximately 12 junior and senior boys. I am also in the process of applying to six different schools for a doctoral program. This process is incredibly grueling, time consuming, and very scary when the imminent possibility that I may not be accepted into any of them looms directly overhead.

For my dear aunts that are reading this, I have to slip in the fact that there is still not a man in my life (unless you count the fifth grader or the 17 year old). Though there are several guys near my age in our college and career group, I don't believe any of them read anything more challenging than Sports Illustrated and when I asked one of them what the last good book he had read was, he proudly proclaimed, " 'The Cat in the Hat' but it's been awhile." I know, I know, to picky, right, but right now I'm more than willing to wait for that beautiful man with curly hair, a truck, a relationship with God, and in possession of the intellect neccessary to hold forth a discussion on everything from stem cell research to Dickens to Friends to whether or not other intelligent life is somewhere in this vast universe. Pipe dream? No, he exists.

Explanation of the title of this blog will only be given via email. Paypal is the only accepted form of payment to be in on the joke.