I’m moving!

February 16, 2011 at 11:53 AM (Uncategorized)

Hello Readers:

My blog has now moved to
http://cariontheshelf.blogspot.com

I will no longer update this site.

Thanks!

Cari

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One week down, Fourteen to go

January 20, 2011 at 9:24 PM (Uncategorized)

So let me just start out by saying Spring 2011 semester is already kicking Fall 2010 semester’s ass! There are several reasons as to why, many of them obvious, but I have to say that one of the best things to come out of Spring semester is the discovery of the Library Personnel Only Bathroom, or as I like to call it, the greatest bathroom in the world. One, it’s private. There is one toilet so when you walk out, there’s not someone immediately standing outside the stall waiting. Also, you don’t have to listen to anyone in the stall next to you while they talk on the phone to someone (happens far more than you’d think). Two, it’s so clean! There isn’t pee all over the seat, or stray hairs, or hair weaves shoved in the toilet. Three, there’s soap in the soap container that doesn’t smell like feet (it’s actually fruity). Four, there is toilet paper! And five, there is paper towel in the paper towel holder…which is not broken!

It’s amazing…I might even call it life changing.

I really hate a dirty bathroom.

Other than the great bathroom discovery, I’m getting a lot of reading and writing done. Which is good because my whole program is about reading and writing.

The writing center is pretty slow right now. But it’s just the calm before the storm…I hear the sounds of first-year writers coming up behind me. No where to run, no where to hide, lots of funding to be earned.

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Twins now strong like a bull

January 13, 2011 at 9:41 PM (Uncategorized)

So apparently there has been some shift in astrology. The earth’s aliment changed I guess. Before I was a Gemini/Cancer cusp…whatever that meant. But now my cosmic identity is even more confusing as I am now both a Gemini and a Taurus. Here’s the new list. Apparently if you are one of the end dates you have a split personality…like I now do…

Capricorn: Jan. 20 – Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 16 – March 11
Pisces: March 11- April 18
Aries: April 18- May 13
Taurus: May 13- June 21
Gemini: June 21- July 20
Cancer: July 20- Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10- Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16- Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30- Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23- Nov. 29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29- Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17- Jan. 20

See when I was a Gemini/Cancer cusp I was apparently always having relationship and money problems. I mean I’m not exactly rich but Mugsy and his gang have never knocked on my door looking for money…so I don’t really consider myself to have money problems.

To be honest, the Taurus/Gemini combo works better for me because Gemini’s love to talk and have quick clear thinking (but are sometimes indecisive) and Taurus’s are loyal and stubborn. And example of such stubbornness:

Me: Are you the one who told me you didn’t really like the wedding episode of The Office.

Heath: Yeah I didn’t really like it that much. The wedding part was not that good. Build up was funny though.

Me: It is the greatest tv wedding ever and your opinion is wrong!

Enough said…

Honestly, this isn’t a big deal as one, my horoscopes never make sense, and shocker of shocker, they are generally not correct. But I do feel bad for the Nov 29 to Dec 17 birthdays because they are that new sign…Ophiuchus…I have no idea what that is but I can only assume it has something to do with an octopus.

Regardless, I say everyone’s horoscope should predict a good year, a few crummy days, an unexpected stranger, a big decision, and trouble in the love department. Also, side-note, my horoscope today included the word “hottie” as in it’s time to tell that hottie what you think of them…really Yahoo! horoscope? hottie? is Miley Cyrus writing these horoscopes now?

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Smuggling out Christmas

January 7, 2011 at 4:55 PM (Uncategorized)

So I have this friend who has this boyfriend, and they bought this tree, a real tree, at

A Christmas Tree...hiding illegally

Lowes, and they brought it up to the boyfriend’s apartment. And about three days later the boyfriend saw this sign hanging up in the entry way that said the city they live in…let’s call it Ville, has a fire code that prohibits live trees in an apartment. I mean personally, if they really wanted people to follow that, they should have posted the sign before Thanksgiving, not in the second week of December. But anyway, now they have this tree, it’s illegal, and how are they supposed to get rid of it?

Sure, we can take it to the city, but apparently they ask for proof of residency…so they’d know it illegally came from an apartment. I have a theory…they won’t actually ask someone to prove they are a resident because really, who cares if you are? As far as I know, there’s not a tree disposal conspiracy out there so they’d have no reason to question us. Right?

So if that doesn’t work out, we’re dropping it on some random curb. If you see a tree on your curb don’t question it. Just accept it and let the city dispose of it.

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Because the writing isn’t flowing…

January 4, 2011 at 3:13 PM (Uncategorized)

And sometimes there's a pigeon in the building...

Okay, so first off, grad school, basically takes up your whole life. It’s amazing and I’m having a blast (most days anyway) but it hasn’t left much time for entertaining whoever the one person is a day who keeps checking to see if I’ve posted anything new. To my one loyal reader I thank you!

So here was my plan…over winter break I was going to read like crazy and write a few stories. I wanted to have a couple solid stories to bring to my fiction workshop spring semester, ya know, as opposed to writing a story the week it’s due and being somewhat happy with it, but wishing I’d worked on it a bit more. So far, I have zero stories written. I’ve been trying for two days to get this story out, and it’s just not coming. Clearly I’m at my best when under some sort of definitive deadline. Next week I’ll probably be way more productive. Or I’ll spend more time staring at the screen, checking facebook, and watching whatever said marathon Bravo is showing that day. Today it’s Millionaire Matchmaker season one. Miss Patti Stanger keeps telling all these women that they need to have long straight hair to attract a man. Psh whatever…my short somewhat wavy hair is working just fine for me thank you very much. And even though this woman is offending/pissing me off with her weird advice to women trying to bag some millionaire, I’m doing more watching than writing. I kind of suck.

Anyway, being back in school has been great, especially since I am only working one 20 hour job and not one 10 hour job and one 20 hour job. Thank you extra funding. Of course the source of that funding in bittersweet. Generally, the writing center that I work at doesn’t need as many tutors. But this year, the English department decided that first-year writing students should be required to go to around an hour of individual tutoring sessions a week. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and I think it’s great that first-year writing students are getting extra help. There’s just so many of them! If you get a half-hour break when you’re working, that’s an awesome day.

There’s a lot of really appreciate people who come in for help. They really want to be better writers, so they are polite, hardworking, showered, etc. Then there’s the other half. The half that don’t quite understand what our purpose is, but were apparently told we do things such as write papers for them, edit papers on their laptops, or serve as their punching bag for the day. None of these services are available at the writing center.

I think there’s just some miscommunication going on. So, for all of you looking to come to the writing center when spring semester starts, here’s some dos and don’ts.

Do..

Make an appointment three days in advance.

Be on time.

Be polite to whoever is sitting at the desk (because they might be tutoring you so muttering under your breathe that they are acting bitchy isn’t the wisest choice).

Call if you can’t come to your appointment (we had a girl cancel when she ran out of gas once. she was stuck on the side of the highway and still called to cancel. she raised the bar).

Have a typed up, double spaced paper, printed out.

Have a paper.

Don’t…

Don’t come in to the writing center an hour before your paper is due and expect a tutor to be available. Avoid this by making an appointment.

Don’t bring in ten handwritten pages and ask someone to check your spelling. Word can do that for you.

Don’t believe for a second that your paper is curing cancer and therefore you are the most important person in the world and we should all immediately help you.

Don’t tell me you spent all night crying because you don’t know how to write a paper. Toughen up kid.

Don’t put a border around your paper and tell me that’s MLA format. It’s not. Trust me. I know.

Don’t come in and ask me to check your Works Cited page and then get an attitude when I have to go get a guide to check it. Oh you used this to make your work cited page? Yes it should be fine.

Don’t try to get more than one appointment in a day. Just don’t. I know you aren’t allowed. You know you aren’t allowed. Let’s just save a good ten minutes of our lives and accept that fact.

Don’t use wikipedia as your main source and then act shocked when you fail the paper.

Finally, don’t forget that every tutor in there is in grad school. We are all on the edge of burning your paper in front of you. Please be kind, patient, and we will do the same.

I suppose you have to have a few bad seeds to really appreciate the good students. And let’s be honest, at times it provides some good entertainment. Some of the tutors do as well, but that’s a whole other entry for a whole other day…until then, I’m going to keep enjoying break and get back to writing…or watching Bravo…

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If I were my eyes, I’d hate me

September 1, 2010 at 4:25 PM (Uncategorized)

This week I’ve read…

one short novel: 147 pages

five chapters for composition theory: 62 pages

an article for composition theory: 20 pages

and…

two short stories from Scribners: 18 pages

That’s 247 pages in three days. Give or take something I’ve probably already forgotten about. So let’s say 250 pages. I’m not really sure on where that really falls on the spectrum of how much one normally reads in three days, but even for me, that’s a lot. I’m pretty sure my reading speed has doubled in three days, or is just getting back to where it was after undergrad.

My goal is to stay ahead. Just keeping up is an option, but not ideal. So, while I have some free time in the writing lab (as not too many people need help in the first couple weeks since no one is really writing) I’m taking advantage of it and getting my own stuff out of the way. The plan is to get done with reading and focus on writing since, afterall, that’s why I’m here.

Today I held my first little workshop of six students. These workshops are intended to help guide students in English 101/102 through their first college writing experience. I think it went well. The thing is, our writing lab director has all the materials for the workshops ready for us to use. But, we can also use our own materials and run the class how we see fit, to an extent. The main premise is help students gain confidence in writing and get them comfortable with what it means to write.

Okay, so I loved every minute of teaching that workshop today. And when I came out, chaos had ensued in the writing lab. An english 100 professor had sent their entire class of about 30 students down the the tiny writing lab to sign up for tutor sessions. The tables outside were packed and the students had full on “whiney freshman” tones going. Only one tutor was in the lab when they all piled in. Poor girl was blinksided. And who wouldn’t be? So when I walked over, I of course wanted to help. And then I heard someone complain about how long this was taking. I took control. I quickly explained how tutoring sessions worked and asked who needed to be in and out of here at that moment. They lined up. One by one I took their names and phone numbers. The other tutor filled out the cards with their scheduled times. Within ten minutes it was over.

What the hell was that prof thinking? DO NOT let your class out 20 minutes early and send them all anywhere to get something done. SERIOUSLY! Needless to say our director wasn’t happy with this professor and is helping their communication skills.

I have to say, it felt really good to take control of a situation and feel as though I have authority to keep things balanced and organized. The surprising part was I didn’t even think. And okay, I didn’t lead folks into battle or find a cure for cancer today, but still, I’m happy with how I handled the situation and got it done. I mean, come on, some people at the bank still think I’m 12, so if I could handle that crowd of whiney, judgmental freshman, I feel like I can handle a lot more…

Well time to catch the bus. And do some more reading. And lay the smack down on some freshman when necessary.

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I’m back! I’m back!

August 30, 2010 at 9:23 AM (Uncategorized)

Okay so I don’t know what happened, but August is generally a big giant blur. I’ve been so busy working and getting ready for school that I’ve had no time to write.

First things first, my trip was amazing. The boyfriend and I did not break-up, get in a fight, or have any kind of public outbursts! Okay, I didn’t really expect us too, but I know some people were wondering…we did however make a stop in Wisconsin where we came across a gas station-convenient store-dunkin donuts-taco place combo. And yes, we bought gas, water, a cup of coffee, and a taco. Hurray for road trip food!

The trip started off strong. The taxi was clean and ready to go…and packed up like you wouldn’t believe! Yes, the third bag containing my pillow was totally necessary. We were ready for the long drive to what we would find out is the greatest city in the world, Madison, Wisconsin. I have to say that I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t take more pictures of the town itself. Mostly I just have pictures of the Wisconsin-Madison campus and the lakes.

View from our hotel room

It was a town that was big on biking and mopeds. They even had specially sized moped spots! It was a very liberal looking college town. And it being the capital of Wisconsin was very clean and safe. In fact, all the crazy people seemed to be sitting on the same bench yelling to the other crazy people who were across the streat on a very similar bench.

So, needless to say, I love it and hope to visit again soon! Maybe I’ll even take up sailing…

The next stop was Minnesota for the wedding. I didn’t get to see much of Minnesota to be honest. We stopped in Rochester, MN first to have some food. Both of us missed Rochester’s most famous landmark, the Mayo Clinic. I saw the signs for it, but missed the giant hospital. But even so, this was an amazing town since it was my first encounter with a live Minnesota accent! It really pumped me up for the two hour drive we had left to get to Lakeville.

I really expected Minnesota to be completely flat, but it was actually filled with a ton of odd rock formations, trees, and cows.

Tree Mountain

The wedding was fun, but to be honest, I was excited to get out of Minnesota since the next stop was Chicago. I basically have a giant play by play of photos as we approached the skyline. It was pretty amazing. And the traffic was insane. At least they have these awesome signs that tell you how long you’ll be sitting in traffic. Thanks Chicago traffic guys!

The main event in Chicago was going to Willis Tower and the Skydeck boxes. Yes I almost chickened out, but my boyfriend wouldn’t let me. So I can proudly say that yes, I did stand in the box and look out to the skyline of Chicago and the street below. It went something like this:

It was pretty scary, but also pretty amazing. Also I’d like to note that while I was scared, some little kid was laying on the floor of the skydeck looking straight down at the ground and screaming that the people looked like ants. Fearless.

The trip was good overall, but I was ready to come back home to Ohio.

Now I’m back and the moment you’ve all watched me stress over is here: grad school. Today is my first official day of classes. I am now a grad student, a writing tutor, and a teller girl. Yup, it’s gonna get interesting.

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I’m goin’ to Lakeville!

July 26, 2010 at 10:20 AM (Uncategorized)

How did it happen that it’s already July 26th? Seriously! There’s been a lot going on. Where do I start…July kicked off with my grandpa getting hit by a semi. Yes. A semi. Luckily, he was hit the best possible way that someone could be hit by a semi. He was in the grocery story parking lot and had just parked his car. While he was making sure all his windows were closed and turning his radio off, a semi, parked at a slight incline, started slowly moving towards his car. As he went to turn to open the door all he saw was a giant radiator coming towards him. It hit and slid his car about five feet into the next spot (and someone else’s car). Apparently, the driver didn’t have his parking break on. Okay, not apparently. He didn’t have his parking break on. And so my grandpa’s car was totaled. I don’t know what it is with my family, but we get hit by weird things in parking lots. I was hit by a cop in my high school parking lot. I think my grandpa wins though for the strangest accident in the family. Hands down.

Meanwhile, I’ve been busy being teller-girl. And I continue to see that people are just really interesting. I know I work in what’s considered more of a “country” area, but I’m sorry, shirts are not optional at the bank. Please do not come in to get your boat deed notarized without a shirt on. There’s just no reason for it. You aren’t that country. There’s not even cows in your town.

But the shirtless man isn’t my favorite customer. No, that award is going to the female smokers in town that come through the driveway. They gracefully say hello with a puff of cigarette smoke. It’s very classy. Sometimes they are friendly. Other times they look you up and down through the window like “well, aren’t you all fancy…” I’m sure if they worked at a bank they too would be a bit fancy. It’s really hard to be completely expressionless at work, but I do my best. Mostly I just try to turn any look of “what the heck?” into a customer service smile. You know the smile. The one that you get paid to have on your face. We’ve all done it. And if you haven’t done it, then you have not experienced a true workday.

I’ve also come to notice that no one teaches teenagers how to bank. They come to my window with stacks of graduation checks that they haven’t even attempted to add up. Then they cross their arms while you sit there adding them up like “why’s this taking so long. God, I’m missing the re-run of Jersey Shore!” And cue customer service smile.

To be honest, I am lucky to be at the branch I’m at. Most people are very friendly and patient. They only get grumpy when the heat tops 90 degrees. I don’t even blame them for it. A lot of them do have jobs that require them to be outside for 8 hours a day. Or in a store without air conditioning. But no one wants to open a savings account…which makes selling anything kind of tough.

And in three days, I’ll have a nice break from my teller world. ROAD TRIP!!! I’ve already got an extensive packing list made up and right now I’m soaking my toes to give them a nice bright pink pedicure to match the bright pink clutch I bought for the wedding in Minnesota, the main purpose for this whole trip.

First stop is Madison, WI. The plan is to try a couple breweries and meet the mayor. Yes, “meet the mayor” was actually on the list of things to do in Madison, WI. I hope they were just trying to be funny. It really does look like a nice city. One of those small, big cities. After Madison, it’s on to Lakeville, MN for the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, and the Mall of America. (Thanks Linda for the parking tip!) After that, it’s back on the road for two nights in Chicago. I really want to go to the Skydeck at the top of the Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower…sigh). Generally, I’m terrified of heights, but they say that on a clear day you can see four states. So, terrifying but cool sounds like a plan.

I will do my best to take pictures. I’m trying to make a rule for myself to take at least 20 pictures each day. That’s probably a good goal for someone who always forgets to bust out the camera.

I'll soon be one of those people!

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If I had taken the buy-out

June 17, 2010 at 9:29 AM (Uncategorized)

Lately I’ve been thinking about how different things would be right now had I taken the buy-out from my previous corporate job. I mean let’s face it, when I was unexpectedly laid-off in January, everyone (including myself) kept saying, “you should have taken the buy-out. You would have been able to stay ’til june!”

I remember getting all the info about the buy-out back in, well, whenever that was. I looked over all of it. Thought long and hard about taking it. And then finally, something in my gut said not to take it. At the end of it all, I’m glad I was part of the first to go in January, and not part of the large group leaving now.

For starters, I got my COBRA at one hell of a discounted rate. We all know how I love a good discount. Now I’m working part-time as teller girl and I actually really like it. A lot. And it’s something I can keep doing as I start grad school.

But still, life would be so different had I taken the buy-out. Right now I’d be sitting in my cubicle counting down the hours until it was time to go home. I’d be deleting the emails that I let pile up for the past month and organizing my desk. I’d be wandering over to see if they restocked the tea selection by the coffee table. I’d be leaning over someone’s cube to have random conversations about New Zealand or engaging in office gossip…and we had some gooooood office gossip. Maybe I’d be in a meeting or our editorial system would be giving me a headache. I’d probably be working on the admin code or getting a pamphlet ready to be outsourced. Everyone would be walking around half excited/half afraid about the fact that this is their last week, or thinking about when their last week will be.

I hope those that are leaving this week are having a good time. I bet there’s a lot of good donuts or cake going around. We had some really good pastry in that office. At one point, one woman would bring in samples from the baking business her husband was trying to get off the ground. I will never forget the carmel apple spice cake that was brought in one time. It was the moistest cake I’d ever had! (is moistest a word?) But for real, I could have probably eaten a full cake. It was so freaking good!

If I had taken the buy-out I probably would be exhausted right now. I remember my last week in January as being very draining. It was so surreal. And no one was allowed to cry because then I’d get all misty. But when I walked out for the last time, I felt really calm. I took a surprisingly slow, steady ride home on 480 and when I got home the first thought I had was “Thank god I don’t have to battle that stupid 77 ramp anymore!” And yes, I’m still thankful for that. I mean really whoever invented that highway had to be drunk when they were doing it. Yes let’s have two lanes of heavy traffic merge into four lanes, where inevitably everyone on the left will need to get to the right and everyone on the right will have to go to the left. Aw the cluster-crap of cars.

To my first corporate family leaving this round, good luck with everything! Trust me, it works out in the end somehow. And if you were wondering, I’m thrilled I didn’t take the buy-out. It was meant to be.

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Road Trippin’

June 14, 2010 at 2:19 PM (Uncategorized)

Today my boyfriend and I made a basic outline of the road trip we are taking at the end of July. Here’s what I learned: Minnesota is really far! If we drove non-stop it would take 12 hours. Okay, so there’s farther places that people have driven, but the farthest I ever remember driving was last spring to Pennsylvania. That was only four hours, well, eight hours of driving in one day because we turned around and went back home only after a couple of hours. That was a long day. Luckily we are making stops along the way in order to see some sights and rest up. I only have one goal, not turn into a tired old crank who is unbearable to live with. Oh, and to take lots of pictures.

This Friday the boyfriend and I went to Put-In-Bay for the day. I took a whole two pictures. One of them is blurry beyond imagination. I’m terrible at just busting out the camera! The only defense I have is that I’ve been there quite a few times and no longer feel the need to capture anything on the island. But that’s just me trying to justify my crummy camera ready skills. Hopefully since I’ve never been west of Michigan, I will be more aware of the fact that I want to take pictures.

Also, we’re planning on going to the Mall of America. It’s four floors. Yes, four floors of shopping. They have a DSW in the mall. Can you imagine? It’s actually inside of the mall. That’s how big it is! They also have a Betsey Johnson boutique. Yes, leave it to me to be most excited to see a giant shoe store in a mall and a designer boutique. Never mind the fact that this mall has it’s own amusement park and an aquarium…I wanna see shoes and pretty dresses.

Similar picture soon to be taken by me

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