Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Past and Future

I am one day - ONE DAY - away from the end of my junior year of college.  WHOA - life comes at you fast.  I decided to take a post to contemplate my memories (good and...erm....not so good) from this year and look ahead to what fun I will have this summer!

This year I...

1. Got MSU football tickets for the first time.  GREAT idea.  I will definitely be doing this again.  The best game was vs. Wisconsin, who I watched beat us last year.  THIS year, Rex and I sat twelve rows up from the field right behind the field goal posts where Swenson kicked a field goal with seven seconds left to let MSU win by 1.  YAY!!!  I still have the ticket stub in my wallet.

2. Had a sweet fall semester schedule: classes from 10:20 to 2:30 on Monday through Thursday.  This was fab.

3. Had an AWFUL spring semester schedule.  I took FOUR math classes!! WHO DOES THAT??  This was a bad idea.  One more exam and I will have survived, though, so this is good.

4. Found out my brain tumors of last year "mysteriously" disappeared.  Praise God!

5. Took a class with Rex.  It was so fun!  Well, the class wasn't.  The class was totally boring.  Rex and I passed notes during every class, though (a la government senior year), and that was fun.  I am fully keeping my notebook from that class.  It's hilarious.  I think I 4.0-ed that class, too...we shall see...

6. Fretted about going overseas.  I spent countless hours trying to find a way to get overseas this summer.  I have a travel itch or something.  Anyway, I tried study abroad, traveling with Rex, traveling with other friends, traveling by myself...nothing worked.  Finally I said, "Okay, God.  I give up.  I'll just stay home this summer and see what you have for me there."  Shortly after, I won a sweepstakes and got a free flight to Australia. Ha ha, God, very funny.  Anyway, I'll see what happens with that.  I'm not sure I want to go to Australia by myself, but we shall see!

7.  Worked in a lab.  I had a really fun job working for the DSME (department of science and math education).  I had two bosses.  The first one is named Margaret, and she is this kooky woman (oldish....fifties?) who listens to Usher and gets french manicures and is really sure she's totally hip.  I love it.  The other one is Dave, this awesome and slightly nerdy (graduated with a Physics major) guy who is currently trying to impregnate his wife so that they can have offspring to name Xellos (boy) or Myria (girl).  Very cool. (?)

8.  Worked in the cafeteria.  Oh heavens I hated this job.  I eventually quit (see the entry about a creeper...I think it was in March?).

9. Had a fantastic roommate.  It was SO FUN to have Trissa as my roommate.  She is super cool and makes a great friend, plus it was fun to hang out with her and Josh and Rex.  It's a shame I'm not living in Williams next year...I will definitely miss her.

10. Became a rat mom/rat grandma.  See my posts about Cindy Lou if you want to read about my rat, but she had babies this fall (they were precious!).  Hopefully she'll be a mom again this summer...we shall see...

11. Joined the West Circle Bible Study and made GREAT friends with those girls.  They're super fantastic, and I can't wait to come back next year!

I think that's good for was a great year.  Only what, 104 days until the fall semester begins?  Something like that.  In the mean time, though, I have SUMMER!  Here are the things I am looking forward to for this summer:

1. Sonic - Rex and I are going to order one of everything off of the dollar menu.  I can't wait.  Sonic is so tasty...

2. Beach!  I love MSU, but mid Michigan has no nearby beaches.  I'm excited for South Haven trips with all of my friends.

3. New Hampshire - exactly 20 days until Rex and I fly out east to visit my grandma!  It should be a great time.

4. Hanging out with Cara - I don't get to see her very much during the school year, and she's pretty cool.

5. Summer classes - Don't judge me.  I'm taking creative writing, among others.  Only one math class.  It looks like a cakewalk compared to this semester.  I'm excited.

6. Cindy's babies - hopefully we'll whip up another batch of them this summer, and they will be so cute!!!  I'm so giving one to Carly...he he...

7. Carly - I don't really get to see her much during the year, so it will be nice to see her over the summer

8. Beth, Jula, and I's "girls weekend" - Our weekend at the cabin is going to be so fun.  I'm totally stoked.

9. Camping - I currently have no solid plans to go camping, but I think it should happen.  Camping is too fun to go an entire summer without.

10.  Abroad trip? So I have this free trip to Australia...we shall see what comes of it...

11. Carrabbas - Rex and I's favorite restaurant.  They don't have one in Lansing.  I can't wait to taste that meat sauce again...mmmm.

12. Texas Corral Dooleys

13. Wendy's - Rex and I split 2 Spicy chicken go-wraps, one small chili and one medium fry.  $6.34.  Deliciousness.

14. Cooking!  On the subject of food, I don't get to cook much (at all) on campus.  I'm excited to try out new recipes and cook old favorites.  Rex will inevitably come over and try all of my concoctions and then tell me I'm a great cook.  I'm not sure whether or not he realizes that it's in his best interest to be honest, because if he says something is good then chances are he'll see it again someday. lol.

15. Tramp and Speed - This is so random, but I actually find myself really excited to play with Rex's dogs.  They're so fun, and I never had dogs at my house.  Now if only I could convince Mr. Webb to breed one of them and have some puppies...

16. Rex's mom's cooking - do I have too many entries on food?  Oh, well.  I love food.  Mrs. Webb's is delicious.  Especially her taco salad.

17. Taking Cindy and Houdini to the park - Rex and I already decided this.  I want to see Cindy go down a slide.  Maybe Cara can bring Mojo and Checkers, and it will be a party!

18.  Speaking of parties...Cindy's first birthday is in the first week of July.  I am SO throwing her a birthday party.  Charissa already said she'd come.  I'm sure Rex and Jake can bring Houdini and Patch, and Cara can bring Mojo and Checkers.  It will be so fun.

19. Weddings - my cousin Julie is getting married August 1, so I have to be invited to that wedding because I'm her cousin.  Kelsey's getting married August 14, and she already told me I'm invited to that.  I love weddings.  I can't wait!

20. Cheddar - the poor girl must feel so neglected when I'm away at school and can't play with her.  Just because I'm a rat lover doesn't mean I forget about my little mouse.

21.  Walking to Meijer - this was super cool until we all turned sixteen and got our licenses.  Then we just drove everywhere.   I want to go back to walking.

22. KAMSC!!!!  How has it taken me this long to put this on the list?? I love KAMSC!!  As a second year teacher (fourth year working at KAMSC!), I'm not as nervous as I was last year.  Plus, Beth is teaching this year too, which is sweet.  Getting paid $17.67 an hour to do something I would volunteer for (don't tell Ms. Fisher is seriously a good thing.

23. Dorothy, Clare, and Carly - On the subject of kids, these are my cousins-who-aren't-really-my-cousins-because-they're-Rex's (but I secretly think they like me better).  Last summer we had tea parties and dress up days, and it was so fun.  Also, last summer they took one of my KAMSC classes.  Rex's Aunt Beth says that Dorothy's bugging her about going again this year, so hopefully I have them as students again!  I will TOTALLY play favorites. lol.

24.  Double dates - Rex and I double with lots of fun people.  Josh and Charissa, Dan and Jula, Beth and Chris, Lynn and Larson, Rex's grandparents (ha ha...this is surprisingly really fun), and others.  We will NOT double with my parents again.  That was a DISASTER!  Funny, but not funny enough to do it again.  Ever. lol.

25. No homework when I don't want to do homework - As I said before, I'm excited about summer classes.  I'm especially excited that they're self-paced, which I've done before so I'm used to it.  It's great - I just do homework when I have time to, and there are really no deadlines.  Plus, I only have to get a 2.0 in the classes because as long as I pass they transfer to MSU with no grade reported.  Hooray!

26. A car - after not having a car for the past nine months, it will be great to have a set of wheels again.

27. Going back to school.  I will continue my countdown from now until then, but I can't wait until fall - SENIOR YEAR!! HOORAY!!!

So yeah, this year was great, hopefully the summer will be better, and hopefully next fall will be even better than that.  Life's going well.

Motto for the summer:  Beautiful day, great to be alive!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Why Edward Cullen Cannot Exist


I feel as though vampire mania is sweeping the nation. The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer has been called "the new Harry Potter" by many, and the books have sold millions of copies. There were midnight parties last fall celebrating the release of the movie Twilight, and there promises to be even more hysteria this fall with the release of the movie New Moon.

So I ask myself: why all of this hype?

I first wondered about the movie's male lead: Robert Pattinson. Girls everywhere are going nuts over him. A girl in my Bible study has a life-sized cardboard cutout of him in her apartment. I've noticed girls surfing fansites of him on their laptops during my math classes. There have been books written about him, and he's on the cover of multiple celebrity magazines every month. Why? Honestly, he's not that incredibly attractive. That's what started my quest to solve this Twilight hysteria mystery. He's not ugly, but based on looks alone I see no reason why he would cause this much of an uproar. I first thought perhaps this was a situation like the one I had in high school, where all of the girls in my class thought Eric was soooo sexy but I just wasn't seeing it. Upon further investigation, though, I realized that this is not the case. As a general trend from those I asked, those who had read the Twilight books found Robert Pattinson attractive, and those who had not read the books wondered, like me, what all of the fuss is about.

From this I came to the conclusion that girls are not in love with Robert Pattinson the actor, but rather are in love with Edward Cullen the character. I read the books myself to further investigate this theory, and it is one that I now believe is completely true. Edward Cullen is pretty irresistable. I've had girls from Jr. High obsessing over him and divorced single mothers telling me how they secretly pine for Edward Cullen as well. He appeals to all ages - why? I have come to the conclusion that it is because Edward Cullen is an ideal character and makes a great boyfriend/husband in the stories, but he is an unrealistic character due to circumstances in society today.

For girls to wish they could find their own version of Edward is kind of silly. While he is a work of literary genius, his character could not realistically exist in our world today. The first reason is because Edward is constantly doing heroic things to save Bella's life. In the books this is seen as great and Bella is seen as a practically helpless girl relying on Edward every step of the way. Even with overlooking the fact that real guys can't run at the speed of light and pick up vans, guys who are constantly rescuing girls are seen as white knights. The existence of a white knight is still longed for, but the existence of damsels in distress is becoming more and more frowned upon. If a girl is constantly needing rescuing and is fully dependent on a man, she is seen as forsaking her independence and as a "sellout" to her feminist peers. Girls are supposed to be strong and self-sustaining, and for a guy to constantly be saving them would be looked on with disdain rather than with admiration as they are in these books.

Another reason Edward cannot exist is because of his constant pressure on Bella to marry him. He convinces her to marry him at age eighteen and gets her pregnant on their honeymoon. In the books this is seen as soooo romantic and great that they're young and in love. In reality, if someone gets married and has a baby at age eighteen, this is seen as incredibly weird. Parents would not be as supportive as Edward and Bella's parents are. Society would put such a social stigma on them that it would undoubtably have an effect on their relationships with their families and friends and, in turn, on their relationship with each other. Also, raising a baby and keeping up a house at age eighteen would be financially pretty difficult if not impossible. Luckily, Edward has an unlimited supply of money at age seventeen. No seventeen year old in the world has an unlimited supply of money. Real people have to have jobs and have to struggle for a while before they can stand on their own feet. This is less romantic, though, so it's not in the story.

Edward can also not exist because his ending cannot exist. At the end of the Twilight books, Edward, Bella, and Renesme live happily ever after in their perpetually young and beautiful states with unlimited money, fancy cars, and beautiful house. Eternity is not seen as a progression of time that all of the characters will live through but rather a frozen state in which the moment of their extreme happiness will never end. This cannot happen. No one can be happy all the time. People are all going to have struggles in life, and the ups and downs of life are all part of reality. Edward never has to lose - he always wins and lives happily ever after in the end of any situation.

So, while many girls are looking for their "Edwards," they're going to be looking for a long time. He is a great ideal and makes a fantastic addition to the stories, but I fear that girls who constantly find themselves measuring the guys they meet against Mr. Cullen will find themselved perpetually disappointed. He's a fictional character, and no one quite like him will ever be able to exist. The fact of the matter is that reality keeps this from happening.