Monthly Archives: June 2009

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.

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?