Monday, August 30, 2010

The College Adventures: Day 8

     Today has been, by far, my most challenging day yet. I didn't get enough sleep thanks to 204's odd obsession with blaring Disney movies at all hours of the night. I had trouble keeping my eyes open in math, literally. However, after math things started going better. I'm finding that I like my boss, Ericka. She's a good manager and she's great for positive reenforcement. In my Intro to Lit class my instructor loved my paper. She gave me so many positive comments. It feels like a great start to my semester! We had a good choir rehearsal today. Singing Soprano is really stretching me to reach new highs in my vocal range. We have one song in which we have to hit an A above the staff, and I can almost hit it after only a week of Soprano! Anyway, as you can tell, I've thrown myself into everything I have been confronted with and college life is going well!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The College Adventures: Day 6

     Only one week in and I'm already feeling smothered. Don't get me wrong, I love Blackburn. The people are great and the campus is beautiful, but sometimes it feels too small. Like everyone knows everyone else, and it's hard to make friends with very many people. You would think the size would make it easier, but it's like when I got here everyone already had friends. I'm struggling with missing my friends from back home and the normality that I had managed to achieve, the routine monotony of Hoopeston, and knowing what to expect every day.
     Again, I like Blackburn, but I'm still having trouble adjusting. The novelty of college is starting to wear off, and the reality of "This is what I picked for my life, and this is where I'm stuck for the next 9 months." Plus, my current lack of mobility makes me feel claustrophobic. I mean, anyone who knows me knows how much I hate being stuck in one place. My world used to be so big: Hoopeston, Paxton, Rankin, Champaign, Urbana, Savoy, Arcola, Tolono, Gibson City, Roberts, Danville. I never really realized how big my world was until it was suddenly restricted to a campus that I can walk across in 7 minutes or less.
     Anyway, I'm trying to keep as busy as I can: I'm joining clubs and going to all my classes and going to work and just doing the best that I can not to let this escalate into depression. Maybe I had this unrealistic, idyllic vision of what college would be like. Maybe I'm just not trying hard enough or being friendly enough, and maybe I just need to be patient and realize that I've only been here for 6 days. Either way, I'm just trying to take a deep breath and figure it out as I go along.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The College Adventures: Day 2

Things that are new and different about college:

  • Shared showers. Not that Jones has a huge congestion problem, I mean 8 girls to 2 showers per wing isn't bad at all, but it's sort of nerve-wracking that the only thing separating me, showering, and the whole rest of my wing is a shower curtain.
  • Structured meal times. No more eating whatever I want whenever I want. This is probably a positive change, but it's another thing to adjust to.
  • Choosing my own church. It's a neat choice to be able too make! I am so blessed to attend a college with such a wide faith base and so many options!
  • My jankety air conditioner! Blarg! It decided when it deigns the time appropriate to work or not.
  • Being spoken to like an adult by faculty and staff. That's pretty nice.
  • Sharing a room. Okay, so it's not technically new, but I haven't done so since I was 10.
  • Not having wireless internet. Oh, wireless router, how I do miss thee.
  • Not. Washing. Dishes. Buahaha.... (Not entirely true. I washed my bowl and Morgan's fork after eating ramen noodles for lunch today. I am aware that I am now a college stereotype.)
To be continued....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The College Adventures: Day 0

     So, I'm in my dorm with my roommate, Morgan, who is pretty awesome. I'm kind of nervous about college and stuff, but I'm excited at the same time. It's like this whole new world of possibilities and choices. I miss my friends and family, but I'm psyched to make new friends in my classes, dorm, and job. Tomorrow we have tons of activities and crap to do like a job fair, book groups, house meetings, comedians, etc etc etc.
     Anyway, Morgan is so asleep right now and I just went upstairs to see Kallie and Ruthie so that was fun. I might sleep at some point tonight, after attempting to finagle some more of my tee shirts into my closet and/or dresser. Tomorrow I need to wash some laundry and remember to eat lots of protein (see, Mom and Dawn, I AM remembering). I'm looking forward to classes starting on Wednesday, call me a nerd, but I am. My room is still looking a little bare, but photos and posters will help with that soon. I certainly hope that sleeping habits aren't an issue for Morgan and I. She sleeps with an iPod though, and I can keep my nocturnal behavior quiet, so we should be okay.
     Well, I've got to go call my family and then get to bed eventually. Gotta look bright-eyed and lookin' spiffy for the job fair. Nighty night lovelies!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Pain Involved in Moving On

     Tonight I said goodbye to Juanny, the last of my "group" who will be leaving before I do. Katana and Noah are already gone, Be and Brad are staying put, Aubrey isn't leaving for a while, and I don't leave until Sunday. However, saying bye to Juan was what really made it all hit. I've seen him at least once a week since I started at HAHS, and I had the sudden realization that next Wednesday I will not be getting in the van, cranking up the radio, and going to pick up my favorite Mexican from Hoopeston.
     That was the moment in which it hit me that now is when everything changes. This time next week I will be ending my first day of classes. I won't be at home, in my bed, blogging about my insecurities; and suddenly, I'm really scared. I haven't been nervous yet, I'm a generally confident person. But now, that its hitting me, it's actually scary to think that in less than 100 hours, I will be living with a person I have never met, in a place that I haven't even spent the night, in a room that I've only even set foot in once. I have nobody there, nobody who knows me inside and out and can calm me down when I start to have a panic attack. I'm trying to think about this like summer camp, but in the back of my mind, I know that this is so much bigger than Lyndie and I sharing bunk beds at 4-H camp.
     There is a part of me, the logical part, that knows that this fear is natural, but so is this transition, and that I will be totally fine; I will find my niche, get into a rhythm, make friends, and be okay. In spite of all of that, I'm scared, and praying constantly that God would give me the strength and courage to take on what is ahead of me, while also giving me the resolve and ability to hold on to the important things behind me.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Six Things Your Waitress Won't Say to Your Face.

    Trust me, as a waitress, I have a hundred plus situations during every shift where I'm biting my tongue while cleaning up the fourth soda your 6 year old has spilled, wishing, oh how I'm wishing, that I wasn't getting paid to deal with this. So, in the spirit of improving customer-wait staff relationships everywhere, I offer up these tips, because a happy waitress equals a better dining experience for everyone.

  1. Please, for the love of God, control your "little angel face." Nothing will tick me off faster than having your children using my place of employment as a jungle gym. In short: If we don't have a playplace, your kids should stay at the table or at least within arms reach of you.
  2. Tell it to the tip jar. We, as waitresses, are some of the most over-worked people on the planet, and we usually only make minimum wage. So how about, while you are raving to my superiors about the great service, you leave a few bucks on the table or in the tip jar.
  3. If you are new to the restaurant and aren't sure what you want, ask me for a recommendation. I work here, so chances are that I've had some of what we offer, or know people who have, and I can offer dishes that even the pickiest eaters will enjoy. However, if you don't ask my advice and you don't like what you end up with, please don't complain. 
  4. Of course I am listening to you argue with your spouse about what to order, you are standing two feet away from me. Frankly, waitresses listen to pretty much everything within earshot. It's how we provide good service: we listen for customer's needs and respond accordingly. I once ran a block and a half to return a guest's forgotten birthday card because I recalled him thanking a friend for the cash it contained.
  5. If you are in a hurry, please tell me! If we aren't absolutely swamped, it's probable that I can bump your order ahead a few minutes in order to send you on your way faster! This is always better than snarky comments when your food isn't getting to you "fast enough" and I had no clue that Johnny and Lizzie have orthodontist appointments in twenty minutes.
  6. Referring back to my introduction: If your toddler has not yet mastered the fine art of the straw and/or lidless cup, either ask if we have spill-proof cups or bring your own. While I do get paid to clean up your mess, it leaves me happier and you less embarrassed when your child's drink stays safely in their cup.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why does corporate America hate college students?

    Let's be realistic here, people: college students make up one of the largest demographics in our nation. America, as a whole, had a larger college-bound graduating class in 2010 than ever before. So, if I am Big Retail Chain XYZ, wouldn't I want to make my product more accessible to this undeniably huge people group? College students are, generally, broke. At least those of us who lack a trust fund and a Lamborghini are broke, which speaks for at least 80% of America's college population. Thus, we don't really have a ton of spare cash just laying around, waiting to be spent on a $150 bed-in-a-bag. Of course I realize the cost of inflation, and the fact that labor outsourcing is destroying our economy, but can't our largest retailers use the drive and ingenuity that our nation was founded upon in order to create a comparable-to-better product, at a legitimately accessible price?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The asinine things "grown-ups" do when they aren't getting their way Pt.1

     So, once again, our village board is out for blood, and they are headed straight for the jugular of our chief of police. They have been making thinly veiled attempts to dismember our police department for some time now (and the use of "dismember" as opposed to "disband" was intentional.). Mostly, they have been engaging in more illegal on-goings than I can count on all of my fingers and toes, and several of my sister's. Activities which were only made public when our local civic organization went on a purely investigative mission in order to serve as a sort of bridge between the local government and the community it supposedly serves. Now, I don't know about you, but the fact that we have police officers who serve our communities and seek to uphold the law makes me feel a whole lot safer in my home. Add the fact that I do not live in anything close the the idyllic American small town. We have, for our size, an over-abundance of sexual offenders, teenage pregnancies, drunks, drug addicts and/or dealers, and parents who don't parent their children. All of this adds up to a need for at least basic police coverage. But, of course, the old people who run this town are so busy holing up in their houses, bridge clubs, book clubs, the Lions Club, church meetings, etc etc, that they don't even see the copious problems that plague our town; and the problems they do see, they refuse to do anything about them. Instead, they prefer to sit around yapping about the "good old days," living in the past instead of making an effort to improve the future.

Friday, August 6, 2010

About the Blogger

Hey, I'm Larra. I go to Blackburn College where I'm majoring in Art. I love to do anything artsy and I'm always singing. I'm a video game failure. Ash and Dillon are slowly getting me into anime and manga. I usually have a camera and I'm always taking pictures. I aspire to be a band photographer, and/or/possibly a photojournalist. 

I talk too much, laugh too loud, and love too deeply. I am a Christian, but I don't believe it is my place to judge. I have black friends, white friends, gay friends, straight friends, bi friends, Christian friends, and Atheist friend; I love every single one of them.

I stand up for what I believe in. I am not a fantastic driver. I love to get involved. The City Museum in St. Louis, MO is one of my favorite places in the world. I want to be Julia Nunes when I grow up.

I love local music, good food, interesting quotes, offbeat art, and learning new things. Lyndie and I argue film versus digital all the time, and I'm sure she will never understand my passionate love affair with Photoshop. 

I'm excited about college, yet terrified to leave all of my friends from childhood up through high school.

I am a fountain of useless information. I hope to change the world through art and love. I bake a mean apple pie. I have a texting addiction. I drink too much caffeine. I have seen the" Lord of the Rings" trilogy about a thousand times. "V for Vendetta" and "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" are movies the whole world should see. I know of about a thousand amusing websites.

I may not know you, I may never meet you, see your face, speak your name, or share a meal with you, but I love you.

A few favorite quotations:
"Seventeen is an inconvenient time to have fallen in love." -Gayle Forman
"When I grow up, I want to be nothing at all." -My Chemical Romance
"True love is your soul's recognition of it's counterpoint in another person." -Wedding Crashers
"A government should be afraid of its people." -V

"Jello is delicious!" -em "me too!" -me
"sex is good until marraige.....wait!" -cj smithey

"aww...i love it...its hideous." -Arielle (or REL)
"ive had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasnt it." -groucho marx
"you see, twitchy, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade....and then that lemonade goes bitter and ferments and turns into pig swill." -the wolf on hoodwinked

Check out my online portfolio at: