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on nerdcamp. on randomness. on eating veggie.

15 June 2008

I love nerd camp.
Nowhere else do I get to see 330 kids do Japanese Taiso on MU’s quad in the morning, teach a class and watch students get excited about writing / designing the MSA newspaper, hold a discussion on facebook and philanthropy (learning some cool new websites for myself in the process), see a steel drum band (did you know they originated in Trinidad and Tobago?), sit in a master class with Missouri’s Poet Laureate, all in one day.

It’s the happiest place on earth, but I’m also exhausted. You may have noticed I haven’t written in two weeks. The days here are so long, and yet the weeks fly by so fast.

 

So I’ve had a lot on my mind in the last two weeks (obviously. I’m working at a camp made of, by, and for gifted people…)

One theme that keeps popping up in my life is randomness. Mainly the complete randomness of friendship, and the random appearance of inspiration. Some examples:

1) Amanda and I went to a “The Network” event a few weeks ago, and sampled wine with other young professionals. I giggle at that term, “young professional”, though I suppose it applies. I am young. I am employed. I am trying my best to be successful and involved in the community. I own more than one pair of The Editor pants.
Anyway, we’re having a grand old time sampling wine and pretending to be grown up, and I start thinking about how strange it is that we came to be friends. We didn’t live in the same dorm freshman year, but we started to know each other because we both chose to take tap-dancing as our 1 hour activity credit. (Yes, destined to be BFFs.) We were acquaintances freshman year thanks to that, and then randomly ran into each other at the pre-class BBQ sophomore year. We sat with some friends and watched the fireworks (Drury! Nostalgia!) and then decided to meet for lunch the next day…and we met for lunch ever after.

2) I was apartment hunting in between meetings one day, walking near the square, and this cute little family stops me saying, “are you from the area?” and asks how to get to the nearest Braums. I point them in the right direction. Later that same night, I’m walking back to my car after A Midsummer Night’s Dream, feeling all warm and happy, and this car-ful of girls calls out to me, over the blasting Rihanna, “do you know how to get to Icon?” Why yes, yes I do. I’m cooler than I seem. Let me point you in the right direction.
Neither of these moments really had all that much significance, I realize, but I tend to pull significance out of the smallest corners of the day. It just made me really happy to imagine being a citizen of downtown, and knowing it’s my neighborhood. Let me show you around.

3) Finally, one night I was running to Dillon’s for some late-night grocery essentials, around 9:00, and I happened to overhear a conversation taking place near the display patio furniture. Some employees were taking their smoke break, and one of them was telling a story: “My son got the strangest voicemail the other day. Got it traced, and the number was in the Marshall Islands. All it is, is this foreign guy saying LIFE! LIFE! LIFE!”

The randomness of life is so beautiful. Every day 10,000 poems go unnoticed.

 

Ok so next. Love. Oh, if this isn’t on my mind at MSA and anyplace else… I really am working on curbing the obsession, and I’m making good progress. I didn’t read too much into the fact that the short films I liked the most at The Animation Show were the ones about awkward love. But seriously, watch this one.  (um…don’t watch it at work!)

In trying to think less about love, I’ve actually been thinking about it a lot. I’d like to think that it’s in a more healthy way. In observing how my mind works, hopefully I can figure out what isn’t working, and fix it before I get anywhere near a relationship again.
For instance, I had a little epiphany at the eye doctor last week. Will reserve any metaphors about “seeing clearly” and what not. But I’ve been thinking lately (partly thanks to Eckhart Tolle, partly thanks to various hit-and-miss boy situations, partly thanks to MSA and all the amazing people it brings my way) that I could be “in love” with everyone. Now I don’t mean that literally, of course. What I mean is the intense interest, the heart-pounding excitement at life I can feel while talking to someone, should not be reserved for those I’m “in luv” with…this is a big lesson to learn: that connections with ALL people can be valuable, because all people are valuable. And we are all connected. Knowing this also makes those near-misses easier. I don’t need just ONE person to fulfill my need for relationship. (well, some good old fashioned monogamy and all that goes with it is what I ultimately want…hear that, universe?) But there’s something about community. Something about being open to sharing life with everyone I meet. Being open to recognize the LIFE that is within them.

Hm.

 

Ok one more thing. Decided the day before I left, over a delicious turkey sandwich at the Mudhouse, that I was going to try to eat vegetarian at MSA. At least one meal each day, if not entirely. I tried it for a week at MSA 06, after watching Supersize Me and reading Fast Food Nation at the same time. I love the IDEA of being vegetarian, for the health benefits, ecological consequences, animal right issues, all of it. I also think the structure of cafeteria food, though its selection may not be the best, is at least outside my routine, and so this is a good time to attempt something new. It’s actually been going really well. I think I’ve only caved TWICE this week. One chicken sandwich, and maybe some fish here and there. I’m not letting myself become smug, and I’m trying to not make too big a spectacle of it…though I am pretty excited. I’m falling in love with tofu. I’m all about hummus. I’m digging the leafy greens.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Amanda permalink
    16 June 2008 1:28 pm

    Classes I’m glad I took: Tap

    People I love: you

  2. Heather permalink
    17 June 2008 10:13 pm

    It’s good to get a dose of you when you’re far away. And that bit about community curbing boy CRAZE-iness sounds sort of familiar to me. Although I suppose Tolle carries more weight. He is in league with the anti-Christ after all :)

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