I hate to be plunging new depths of banality with my blog posts, but I will nonetheless recap for all of you what went down during my summer and my first week of classes. A few weeks ago, I said goodbye to summer, which blended seamlessly into my RA training.
Another year has passed which means that there has been another summer that I’ve spent at my parents’ house. I kicked off my summer by sitting poolside the entire time. The days were searing hot and there was little more to do so why do anything else?
I watched The Big Chill with my parents and listened to them introduce each individual actor as they appeared on screen, like they knew them personally. “Glenn Close, phenomenal actress…Kevin Kline, great in this film…William Hurt…” In the end, it ended up being one of my favorite movies.
Then there was my birthday, my three jobs, and my mom’s cooking. Those were my months. I indulged, I relaxed, I worked hard. Now, I am back to school where there will be very little indulging and relaxing but no shortage of hard work.
It is a shame that I left when I did. I think that my cat was starting to like me. Those days, she sat in my lap even when I was not eating food.
You may recall that my hall theme is “Sexy Shakespeare,” although it is only a little bit sexy and only a little bit Shakespeare. I spent my last day of RA training working on a drawing of Romeo and Juliet for my hallway and listening to “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” on audiobook, while it rained outside. It has always been my favorite Harry Potter book, even though no one ever agrees with me. I was sketching out an anime styled version of Romeo and Juliet’s first meeting while listening to Harry talk about how excited he is to be going back to school. I started thinking about how excited I am to go back to school, being amongst my friends, where I am studying short stories as creative writing, the psychology of the creative process, and modern Jewish literature. The future job market will be thrilled with my course selection of literature, writing, and psychology.
On the first day of class, in which I attended the modern Jewish literature class, I wore an outfit that was a nod to a private school girl uniform, while still being appropriate. It was a black sweater tucked into a black and white striped mini skirt, paired with my grey wool thigh-high socks and school marm pumps. I tested out the outfit the day before the first day of classes, making it, quite literally, the dress rehearsal. Despite testing out the outfit, I couldn’t feel my toes and perhaps did not think through the thigh-high wool socks in 80 degree weather, but damn did I look good.
So much was right about that outfit: the cohesion, the elevated high-chic fashion, the way that the clothes were form-fitting, creating a soft silhouette, the way that the shirt was always tucked in and the socks were always pulled up. Now if I just bring a fraction of that level of attention to detail, commitment, and camp to my studies, my schoolwork will be flawless.
On my way out of class, I stumbled upon a clothing sale on the lawn in front of the Barbara Walters Student Center. About 15% of the proceeds were going to victims of Hurricane Ida, which was all of the justification that I needed to buy everything my heart desired. There was a black and yellow plaid blazer, which invoked Cher from Clueless and since she’d been the inspiration behind the school girl outfit I was wearing at the time, I took it as a sign that I was meant to spend $25 on it. I receive many “signs” that I need to buy clothes.
Whilst dressed to the nines and prancing around campus, I hung out with my friends Valentina and Emma and offered to do their nails in my dorm room, since I had feminine style on my mind. Emma is one of those people who derives immense pleasure from cleaning and organizing and I’m one of those friends whose room could always use cleaning up, so that’s how she voluntarily ended up cleaning up my room. I graciously accepted her help, while I worked on Valentina’s nails. It wasn’t until after she left that I checked how she rearranged my medicine cabinet and decided that if there’s a heaven, she is going to it.
The next day, I traipsed around campus in search of a shaded spot to read, and feeling uncomfortable everywhere, I decided to walk into town to “Slave to the Grind,” where the tea is excellent and the music is incredible. I ordered a hot chai latte, despite the heat outside, then sat at the window reading the Agatha Christie book I’d bought a few doors down at Wormwrath bookstore. I’d tried reading Agatha Christie back in middle school, but I already knew who did it, and it’s pretty hard to read a whodunnit when you already know who done it. I’ll give you a hint: whoever Agatha focuses the most attention on in the story is the one who did it, especially if it seems impossible.
Wednesday, I went to my psychology seminar and participated throughout. My creative writing short stories lecture is in the lecture hall of a building named Titsworth (no, it never stops being funny). I sat in the very first row, directly in front of the professor, so he couldn’t ignore my hand. This class only further proved what I’d already known: that despite all odds, I’d really lucked out with my choice of classes and professors.
I attended my school’s annual showing of “The Princess Bride.” Cary Elwes who plays Wesley, and also happens to be my first ever celebrity crush, is a Sarah Lawrence alumna, so this is our way of honoring him. The audience loses their mind every time a character says, “as you wish” or “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.” Our collective favorite had to be when his character says, “It’s just that masks are terribly comfortable– I think that everyone will be wearing them in the future.” Usually, the class reacts strongly to the film, bringing Rocky-Horror-like energy to it. Since we’d all been in quarantine and this lot doesn’t know about tradition, the task fell upon me to yell out obnoxious things. When Inigo Montoya shows off his facial scars, I yell out “contour!,” when Wesley is hooked up to the life-sucking device by his nipples, I shouted that it looked like he’d been lactating and using a breast pump, and finally at the end when the old man is talking about how Wesley and Buttercup’s kiss far outweighed the five other best kisses in the world, I shouted out the question that everyone was asking, “What were the other five?”
Friday, I had a barbecue at my professor’s house. My writing professor from last year, Mary, throws an annual barbecue in the spring for her class, and since we were deprived of that last year, we had one at the start of term this year with some of her other former students. Having had a similar experience at Cristle’s house a few weeks prior, I wouldn’t miss a picnic at Mary’s house for the world.
Before that, there was a poster sale on the front lawn of the Barb, where I snagged a “Starry Night” poster and discovered Chiara, Petra, and Tyler flipping through the posters as well. From there, I went swimming with Valentina in the Campbell Sports Center pool at 1:00.
We swam together for about half an hour, our heads throbbing from our swim caps while we chatted and treaded water in the same lane. Afterwards, I sat across campus at the Bates gate to meet up with Emma, who promised to walk with me to Mary’s house for the BBQ.
Not to give away too much about my professor’s life, but Mary lives in a chic-as-shit house that looked like it was straight out of Architectural Digest, with its flawlessly, well-stocked bookshelves. We were put right to work dumping ice into coolers with sodas and seltzers, arranging the seat cushions into cute patterns, labeling her house with neat signs indicating where the bathroom is, moving the bench, and making a fresh and wholesome playlist that screams “outdoor BBQ.” The party had all of the food we could need: chili, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, guac, chips, cupcakes, brownies, cake, and lemonade punch. Emma made the guacamole and I made the punch. She mashed an avocado and squeezed in a lime. I swirled around lemon wedges, ice, seltzer, and lemon concentrate. We’re regular Martha Stewarts.
The party was my first opportunity to meet with many of the people I had class with online last year. No one is the height that I expected them to be. I gossiped with my fellow RA, as a group we discussed each other’s written works, and at one point when we were making the playlist and adding in some Beatles songs, Emma told me about how her grandmother properly knew all of The Beatles and Mick Jagger back in the day and how her grandmother and her sister were questioned by the FBI for the Manson murders. Iconic. At the start of the playlist I had the song “Along Comes Mary” by the Association, as an ode to Mary.
Topping off the night, I walked over to Anahat’s dorm from Mary’s to celebrate her 20th birthday. Anahat looked gorgeous and we had a great time, thus concluding my first week of school.
The Tragic Queen,