Tag Archives: college

Oberlin

23 Aug

“I feel I’m stranded in the wrong time, where love is just a lyric in a children’s rhyme.”

-“Is It Any Wonder?” by Keane

What? What is this? Caitlyn, did you really blog TWO DAYS IN A ROW? Yes, curious high-pitched voice dwelling in my head, I am writing a blog and posting it after doing the same thing the night before.

Moving on, today was day two of the Ohio trip, and day one of college visits. We went to visit Oberlin College in, wait for it… Oberlin! We went through the town first, which was honestly a tad sparse, and sort of like the college town near where I live. But this is not the problem I though it to be. Apparently the college kids make things happen all the time, so there is rarely ever a dull moment. We went into admissions and I filled out a slip for something, they gave me a bit of information that I already had, but took so my parents could be informed/ content.

The part that made me weary about the whole “let’s apply to Oberlin” was the deal about being a creative writing major. To major in creative writing you need to take the 201 writing course. The catch? It’s by application only. When you’re a second semester freshman, you can apply for the course and if you get in and get a B+ or higher in the course, you can take the 300 level classes. But the creative writing major is a competitive field, and about 1/3 of applicants get in. Hearing this, my heart sank and I cried a little inside, but I tried my best to remain composed. I made a few jokes, asked some boring questions, argued like an idiot with the program coordinator (yeah, Caitlyn is SMART) but… then something weird happened.

The program coordinator said that most students have the problem about writing something other than the one or two genres they’re used to, which is what hurts most and causes many to fail out of or not get into the program. I, being the dumb ass I am, just said: “I will write ANYTHING. I mean, I’m not afraid to write badly; that’s all I know how to do.” Which she laughed at, said that she thought I was a smart, driven and funny kid, and that I should contact her if I have any questions, and then she handed me her card. This may not seem big, but it felt that way. I almost died.

Granted, I probably have no chance of getting into the writing program because I’m so SHIT at writing, but still. It was nice. Night!

WHERETHEDUCKSGO

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the arctic hotel

22 Aug

“static silhouette somehow.”

– “Rome”- Phoenix

I am currently sitting in a room with textured white walls, boring paintings of roses in vases and outdated 90’s light fixtures. You guessed it; I’m in a hotel room. My mother has blasted the air conditioning to the “Alaska” setting, because Ohio weather does this weird thing where it stays hot at night. As this rather scatterbrained and unclear intro may have indicated, I am not home in my bedroom with the slight slant, surrounded by a wall of mountains in cold Upstate New York. I have traveled down to the flat (yes, the rumors are true. It’s flat, but then again, I live in a mountainous state) and warm, if a little stuffy, state of Ohio.

My parents and I hopped in the car and drove the seven hours to visit family and look at colleges for me. We just got back from having dinner at my father’s cousin’s house, and it was one of the most relaxing and laid back evenings I’ve ever had at a distant relative’s house. They spoiled us with yummy appetizers and sandwiches, and there were kids running around and everyone was just interesting and lively and down-to-earth. Once sufficiently full, we caught up about our respective crazy family members, i.e, my favorite uncle and favorite uncle’s crazy ex-wife. I was thrilled to see these people, and even more thrilled to hear that when they last saw me, at age 10 (blonde and blue-eyed), I was writing. I thought my writing phase began much later, and when I was told that I had been writing since then, even if it was just rhymes and stories about haunted houses… I don’t know. I feel like it renewed my faith in myself and my writing. I’m not going to keep exhausting myself with the “I’m a WRITER, I need to WRITE all the time” mantra.

Whoops, little rambly again, but you must be used to that by now. I lied on twitter, saying there was no blog today, I am working DILIGENTLY on a blog that will be well-written (in my opinion, and hopefully others’) and read through by several other people, considering the piece is rather… delicate. I am expressing an opinion I don’t think many will agree with, nor support, and I really hope that the negativity in the entry doesn’t cost me any friends. And if you would like to read it and give constructive criticism, or even your straight up opinion, say so in the comments or reply to me on twitter. I’m off to read The Hunger Games because it’s positively brilliant.

WHERETHEDUCKSGO

BONUS FEATURE

Here’s a short cheesy story.

“Something is wrong with me,” she said softly, her voice calculating and her eyes dull. Blonde hair swinging in her face as the fire crackled and cast a warm glow over her tanned skin.

“What?” I asked, trying for the life of me to figure out what could possibly be wrong with her.

“I’m hurting. It feels like my entire body hurts like it’s burning, as if fire is pulsing through my veins. I feel like I’m being electrocuted over and over, like sparks are flying everywhere. It’s as if I’m alive and the only reason I feel it is because I’m in pain.” Her shoulders were lit a hazy brown-orange, the yellow lace strap of her tank top tangled in the mess of her long locks, turned golden and shimmery in the light of the fire.

“It’s the drugs, Sara,” I said, taking a long drag from my cigarette. “You’ll feel normal once you sleep it off.”

“But I don’t want to sleep it off,” she said, standing up. Her legs were dirty from sitting on the grass and there were goosebumps scattered across her skin. “I want to feel this pain forever… because it makes me think that if I hurt this much, nothing can ever hurt me like it again.”

“Things will always hurt you, Sara. No matter how much pain you’ve felt, things will always end up hurting you.” She came over to me and sat down close, and we were almost touching.

“You see, it’s not painful, really. It’s just a nagging ache that feels good. Like… like I’m stretching in the morning after the perfect sleep. You know?” She said, her eyelids were dropping down, the high was obviously setting in. I laughed.

“You’re so baked.”

“Mhm. But… this is the best feeling ever! Michael, I… I want to feel this way forever.”

“You’re going to go broke buying that much weed, babe.”

“Michael!” she said, but she whined my name in that way of hers.

“What?! I’m just saying, this is nothing but a high. No good feeling is free my dear. A fact of life, a fact I want you to learn.”
She looked at me, I knew because I saw her hair fall off her shoulder and I could smell her perfume and shampoo hit me with the faint smell of smoke from the fire and cigarettes. I looked at her, her brown eyes were glossy and had spider-web like crimson lines, the faint freckles across her nose were a little more obvious and her small, young face looked at me with an expression I had never seen before. She was serious, in her own Sara-way, but she looked older, and I realized now she’d caught up to me. We were on the same page, and staring down the same road. The fire popped and smoke came at us. I put my cigarette out, any excuse to look away, and I felt her hand rest on my leg. 
Her hand crept up to my own, and she slowly and gently laced her fingers through mine. Her hand was lightly there, not pressing into me, not squeezing my hand. I squeezed her hand tighter, letting my warmth flow through her and then she leaned her head on my shoulder. She shifted over closer to me, pressing into me, our body heat flowing through each other and I felt the pain, the ache, the burning fire that she felt. It seemed as if hours, days, weeks had passed since I spoke, but it was only seconds. Sara sighed and looked at me, then she smiled slightly. Her dark pink lips parted slightly, as flames dancing around, their silhouettes shimmying across her cheeks.

“Michael,” she whispered, and my name had never sounded so good. “you’ve taught me a lot, but this feeling is freer than anything.”

“How so?”

“This ache… I love it. My heart seems like it beats a hundred times faster, my mind won’t stop turning… you know what that feeling is? I can’t quite put my finger on it.”

“It’s love.” I said, without even thinking, and I knew I couldn’t take it back. I squeezed her hand tighter, hoping she wouldn’t let go. She smiled again, and turned to look at me.

“Why are you always right?”

“Because I am.” And then she kissed me.

Fernando the invisible wombat goes to college

16 Feb

“I like this idea of bunnies gone bad.”
girl that worked in Starbucks

So, I have been vaguely tweeting and mentioning on dailybooth about a road trip I was taking. Unfortunately, only one person took the bait and asked me where I was going, so, Mandi, this blog is dedicated to you.

Anyway, I drove up to Burlington, Vermont to see Champlain College. I liked the school online and loved the professional writing program. This was really all I knew about the school, other than the claims about Burlington being one of the best college towns in America. I was pretty much just looking for something to do over break and prior to the trip, Kenyon College had replaced Champlain in my number one slot.

My, how things have changed.

So, driving into Burlington was already an exciting part of the trip. The hill we drove up had a sign which had  COLLEGE DISTRICT printed upon the top and dangling down from it was the names of the colleges in the district. Driving through the college district, we passed University of Vermont, which was beautiful. The campus had grassy areas that would be green and vibrant in the summer, the trees over them the perfect shade for studying. The buildings at UVM were the perfect blend of separate modern and antiquated buildings. We drove past UVM and through a relatively residential area, to get to the Champlain Campus. When we rounded the corner, the stone sign reading CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE just  made me giddy and jumpy. The campus looked very little like the pictures on the website, which was definitely no disappointment.
The modern student center with its dark red brick and forest green roof and trim was beautiful. Walking through the student center was just incredible because I actually felt like I could be there. Hiking up the stairs, passed the fitness center, I could actually picture myself there. The yellow light from outside twisted in through the blue-green windows and over the chairs in the dining hall. Although I knew I looked like some idiotic high school sophomore, walking around with my mommy and having an expression that can easily be described as a cross between high and I’m-just-about-ready-to-pee-myself-nervous, I still felt comfortable.
I met with an advisor on a walk in, and she explained some things to me that made the school even better. The teachers were dedicated and there was almost no chance grad students would start to teach courses. The school had an upside-down curriculum, meaning you start with your major your first day. Also, the student body at Champlain was around 2,000 undergraduates, but since the town was so small and full of college students, it was really the best of both worlds: small classes with the feel of a big university once you step off campus.
And stepping off the campus may have been the best part. The town of Burlington was part car accessible, put part foot traffic. Since everything is in walking distance from everything else, this was obviously no problem. College students roamed the brick streets lined with shops and  trees dressed in white twinkle lights, music wafting through the cold breeze. I was in heaven. There was a shopping center, a bunch of my favorite stores, a Starbucks and a bunch of other amazing little things I would have loved to explore more.
I quite simply cannot wait to go back again, and I hope that it might before I go to college there. (Yeah, I am DETERMINED to go to college there.)

WHERETHEDUCKSGO

Books finished this year: 2
Blog soundtrack: Matt Nathanson, Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz.