M.A. graduation

These are (applicable) pictures from my January M.A. graduation from Wilkes University (PDF format because they’re ginormous files, apparently, or something)… They’ve been on the Wilkes message boards since early April, but I never check those things (one internet-related thing I’ve just never gotten the hang of), so I didn’t find them until now.

Not exactly like being there, haha, but they’re nice for viewing anyway. The group picture is my 525 class (the graduating M.A. students). [I’m using nicknames here, as will become apparent…] From left to right: (back row) Angie, Viannah, Jimboni, unknown*, Matt, Rick, Rob Rogers, (Jon) Rocks; (front row) Lori Myers, Papa (Michael) Suppa, Tara Ciami, Lori Mills, Sarah, Cory, Donna, Carol, Justice, Shirl, Scotty, Bev, Anna, Michael Workstel; (not shown) Laura Baudo, Nick.

* (don’t know that guy because he took an extra semester and wasn’t technically part of our cohort but was still graduating)

Then there’s me and my mentor, Dr. Mike Lennon. He’s been my mentor from the beginning of my writing my manuscript and still is. And the last one is me looking at my (fake, of course) diploma. Shortly after this picture was taken, I burst into tears and Laura Baudo had to comfort me. haha I’m a sucker for important occasions, I guess. Plus, I was just plain exhausted by that time.

Irregular Roundup #6

Wow, this is beyond stupid. My Life is Average: “a place to share your everyday mediocrity. It is a place to post the mundane things in your boring, normal life, and read about other people’s average lives.”

WTF. I freakin’ hate the Catholic Church. To all my Catholic friends: I’m sorry, but how can you be a part of something that allows the abuse of children and then covers it up to protect its own reputation? I just don’t get it.

Twitter profile pics: my Twitter pic is #5, “The People Who Love The Close Up,” ‘cept mine is really close up, lol.

The break-down of California’s Prop.8 court decision. I am, to say the least, displeased with the result, but at least they didn’t null and void all the marriages that have already take place.

ANIME! High Art and Pop Culture at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Anyone been to this exhibition and want to tell me about it?

[Probably not safe for work, just fyi:] Now this is the kind of domination I can condone. ^___________^

Also, I was watching this and thinking the entire time, “You know, that looks like Robert Downey, Jr.” …and then I realized it was him. Sheesh. Took me longer than the whole freakin’ song to figure it out. I’m way slow.

No matter how many times I’m told that “writing is not therapy”—I just can’t believe it. Good to know that someone agrees with me. Speaking of (creative) writing, can you teach it? I mean, generally, do you think it can be taught? (My being in a creative writing program doesn’t stop me from thinking not sometimes, but that’s just me.) It’s that kind of article, however, that drives me crazy. People (including me) are already enough on the fence; we don’t need decent writers not getting instruction just because they think it can’t be any better.

In case you don’t know the anatomy of a “child” pornographer. Seriously, can anyone give me a good reason why we’re all gasping and clutching our pearls on this one? I mean, they’re teenagers. Heeeellllooo. (Although, I do tend like like Reason Magazine for most things. I just hate the “omgz, but think of the children” argument.)

If you just want something to irritate you, have an article about female Marines and “lax” sex practices. And alcohol. And STDs. Of course it’s about the women. It always is.

Epiphany

I just had an epiphany. No joke; like, a real “oh my God, I was completely blindsided just now” epiphany. I’m going to sound like a moron talking about it here, but I have to write it down because it was literally a 3 AM epiphany. I thought that was just a turn of phrase, but I guess not. Jesus. It’s just… whoa.

I was reading Shitty Misconceptions, a GW fanfic from Duo‘s point of view, in which quid pro quo is mentioned. In the second chapter/part, Duo says,

I use to have this really quid pro quo way of thinking, like, whenever someone would do something nice for me, I felt sorta obligated to repay them some how.

And I was effectively blindsided… at three o’clock in the morning… on a random Thursday. Literally, I said aloud, “Whoa. Jesus. That’s exactly like… Whoa.” I was talking to a friend online, and he wanted to know why I was having a Neo moment all of a sudden, so I had to explain.

ME: I just had an epiphany.

HIM: What is it?

ME: I believe in quid pro quo. I believe in it. Like, I live it. Jesus. I feel half impressed and half like a moron. I believe it so strongly that I’ve not accepted things on the pretense that I’ll owe someone something in return.

HIM: Yeah, I’ve noticed that.

And it’s not just like I haven’t taken things because I’m rich and don’t need them, or because I think someone else would use them better, or because I don’t want them. I’ve refused things offered to me in good faith because I didn’t want to feel obligated to someone. Food, money, a place to stay… things I’ve needed to survive; I’ve gone without when I shouldn’t have (and didn’t need to) just so I wouldn’t have to owe someone something, or, at least, feel like I owed them.

What does this mean? I have no idea. I believe in quid pro quo so deeply, so powerfully, that it’s right up there with my belief in a Higher Being. And I didn’t even realize it before now. It was so strong that it was like breathing. Automatic, unthinking, reactive.

I believe it because I don’t want to feel obligated to do something I don’t want to do. That is, I don’t want to owe anyone any favors that they may someday call in. I want to be the one who’s owed the favors; I don’t want to owe them to someone else. And Life is nothing if not all about favors. I don’t keep tabs on people owing me, and I don’t want to give anyone else a reason to keep tabs on my owing them.

The maxim is: Do unto to others as you would have others do unto you. No shit, Sherlock. It means, I guess, that my figuring it out moves it from “things I don’t know I don’t know” to “things I know I don’t know”… so, now that I know I don’t know, I can work on figuring out what the hell I do from this point on. (That is, I can work on making it one of the “things I know I know”…)

Finally, in just once of a handful of times in my life, I grok.

Ten Commandments, Texted

Graciously stolen from McSweeney’s.

God Texts the Ten Commandments
by Jamie Quatro

1. no1 b4 me. srsly.
2. dnt wrshp pix/idols
3. no omg’s
4. no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
5. pos ok – ur m&d r cool
6. dnt kill ppl
7. :-X only w/ m8
8. dnt steal
9. dnt lie re: bf
10. dnt ogle ur bf’s m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.

M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl.
ttyl, JHWH.
ps. wwjd?