The Art of Sitting Still

Write a few paragraphs about what you’ve got going on, or what you are waiting to get enough time to do, or what you are looking forward to doing this spring and summer that isn’t school related.

Is it bad that I haven’t thought that far ahead? I can honestly say that I’ve made hardly any plans. On days like today, when I have relatively little homework and no obligations (to work, band, GSA, Scouts, or any of the other crap I’m involved in), I don’t know what to do with my spare time. Over the years I’ve developed this weird thing where I can’t simply sit still and do nothing. I have to be working on something — an admissions or scholarship essay, some upcoming audition, or something else hanging over my head. And on a beautiful Saturday like today, when I’ve got nothing but time on my hands, I don’t know what to do with myself. My life is sort of in limbo right now: I’m awaiting six more college decision letters that aren’t going to arrive for another month, and there is nothing I can do right now to help clarify my future path. As someone so accustomed to drowning in homework and commitments, I’m uncomfortable just relaxing.

I resent that.

I resent that I can’t take a day off without feeling guilty and lazy. I hate that the path I’ve taken through high school has transformed me into a stress-filled busybody. I despise my inability to let go, to actually f***ing commit to this senioritis thing.

I wasn’t this way during the summer, and I know I will shift out of this mindset again in the coming months, temporarily quitting the rat race. But now, to answer the prompt, here’s some things I’d like to do differently moving forward:

  1. Continue exercising more and eating better. I started running again a few months ago, just for fitness’ sake, and decided recently to start looking into 5/10Ks and other races as a means of motivation. Hopefully once school begins winding down, and after I ask for fewer hours at work, I will have time to run and lift more frequently.
  2. Go to more concerts. I’m a huge music lover, but I haven’t gone to many performances in the last few months (excluding Austin City Limits). I already made plans to see an alt-rock band I really like with my girlfriend in May, and there’s an electro group coming to Houston in April that I might try to see with a coworker/friend. Maybe I’ll try to go to Free Press Summer Fest in Houston in June?
  3. Spend way more time with my girlfriend. Since our time together is inevitably limited due to our diverging college paths, I want to make the most out of it. She’s busy too, but I hope we can find more time to hang out in the coming months.
  4. Broaden my social circle. I tend to keep only a few close friends, but I want to change that — not that having a small circle is necessarily bad. As I begin to transition toward college life, I hope to grow my field of acquaintances and spend more time with groups of people. Again, once I have less homework and fewer commitments, I’ll be able to spend more time hanging out Thursday-Sunday.

All in all, I can’t wait to recapture that carefree attitude I had last summer. I’m sure that once I figure out where I’m going to school next year, everything else will sort itself out. But for now, I just need to keep my head above water.

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Hamlet Q1

Well for starters, Polonius’ and Reynoldo’s names were changed to “Corambis” and “Montano”. This obviously reflects the fact that, at the time of the first Quarto’s publication, William Shakespeare had yet to sign his endorsement with Polo Ralph Lauren, and therefore had not changed the name of Corambis to Polonius to reflect this financial agreement. Furthermore, since Shakespeare and rapper French Montana had yet to begin their famous decade-long feud, Montano’s name had not yet been changed to Reynoldo.

Furthermore, whoever wrote this copy of Hamlet inexplicably stuck the famous “To be, or not to be” soliloquy in the middle of Act II. I don’t really know how much of a difference this makes in the meaning of the play, since it’s pretty tough to tell what’s going on anyways.

How much money these people made slinging bootleg copies of Hamlet back in the day? “[T]hat is the question” (III.i.56).

Allusion and Hamartia

Coincidentally, I stumbled across a memorable allusion while reading a book for my thesis project last week. The narrator, a poor teenage son of Mexican immigrants, described his boss at a restaurant he briefly worked at as “such a f*****g Scrooge,” in reference to his manager’s stingy overtime compensation habits. He complained that the manager ripped off the undocumented workers since he knew they could not complain to the authorities without triggering their own deportation.

Hamartia is a hero’s tragic flaw. In Othello, Othello’s hamartia is his poor judgement. He fails to recognize that he is being manipulated by Iago, setting aside his analytical military mind out of jealousy. Furthermore, he has difficulty discerning who to trust: Othello never considers that Iago might be lying to him, that he is angry about being passed over for a promotion; likewise, he refuses to accept that Desdemona as been true to him.