Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Genius of Foer

The leaves are falling. The wind chill is below freezing. My appendages are in a constant state of numbness. Pumpkin seeds are baking in the oven. It is autumn. And I am overjoyed.

I love reading books, especially during the chilly seasons. Tonight I should be doing school work of some sort, but as has become a regular occurence, I cracked open a book just for fun. This evening I was glancing through one of my all time favorites Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by my all-time favorite author Jonathan Safran Foer. He is brilliant. I can read his works over and over, and yet somehow I find new meanings each time. That is rare. If you have not read Everything is Illuminated or the aforementioned book, then I would highly advise it.

...together and separately, out loud and silently, we were determined to ignore whatever needed to be ignored, to build a new world from nothing if nothing in our world could be salvaged, it was one of the best days of my life, a day during which I lived my life and didn't think about my life at all.

He makes me want to be an author.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I daydream. Usually it has to do with some far off adventure that appears unattainable and distant. Yet somehow, if I dream enough, I usually get there.

I am not reading about the pre-WWII Japanese attempt at imperialism in the Pacific as required of me by my favorite professor, but I am researching organic farming internships in Oregon. I do this. I so easily get lost in a world of possibilities and potential. I develop these thoughts that take me out of my dorm room and put in places where I get to be outside, I get to cook and I get to live life with other people. Not that I don't live life with people here... I do. But I'm not outside nearly enough as I would like. And the oven in our kitchen set the fire alarm off consistently.

It is not that I am dissatisfied with my life here at Jewell. In fact, I just had an incredible fall break filled with corn mazes, backcountry driving, sushi, oversized margaritas and Mexican men who wink too much, best friends from DC, glitter glue and camping. It was perfect. And I even got to read a whole book. Really, I could not have asked for a better break. So why do I daydream so much?

Maybe it's the age- I am nearly 22 (on Friday!)... I feel like I matured more this summer, and now I am ready to move on with my life. I love college. Too much sometimes. But now I feel like it is time for the next stage. I want a life now. Oh to have a house (or a treehouse on someone's farm)! To be able to read a book that I won't be tested on. To be able to actually start working on issues that I believe in. To study more, but also to do.

I will live in Amsterdam. I will garden and live on a farm in Oregon. I will bake bread in Boston. I will work with prostitutes in San Francisco. I will do microlending in Africa. I will write a book in Montana. And I will drink tea and sit on a big, wrap-around porch on 39th Street.

But until then, I will study sustainable development in Central America. And I will continue daydreaming because it is the dreaming that inspires the action. So dream on, my virtual friends, dream on.

This is my friend Julie. Not only does she work at an art gallery in our nation's capital, but she also gave me bangs. And made me paint my fingernails.

She came to visit me. We took walks and painted. We camped outside in the cold- but I made sure we took vitamins before we braved the weather. We talked about life and love and God. Now I am refreshed.

She dreams too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog-worthy Bill

Bill leisurely walked into the bookstore at his normal time; 8:20 am. He was wearing his matching William Jewell College trucker hat and windbreaker along with his black sneakers and oversized reading glasses. I gave him the typical, "Good morning, Bill! How are you doing?" And he very intentionally walked over to give me a pat on the back while flashing his contagious grin. He asked, "Now, Molly... what were you? Director of Homecoming?" That's right- let me mention that I never told Bill this, it is simply that By the Book gossip spreads like wildfire. "Did you know that I was Homecoming Director at Jewell in.... what was the year? I think it was 1947." Verdad? How cool. Who could have guessed that Bill would walk into a coffee shop every morning to greet a barista that held the same stressful role as HC director of his own college 61 years later!

Maybe that's why I'm a history major. I love stories and connections. I love to see how things begin and how they reconnect. I love that Bill who buys his $1.50 cup of coffee every morning and I have something in common. I love his stories and I love giving him reason to share them.

Bill also always fills out the NY Times Crossword Puzzle (one of my everyday activities, as well). Today I was waiting to do it until the afternoon so Bill took that opportunity to use me. He wanted answers and he wanted them now. So he would read them off and I would try to answer them. My favorite came about three clues in. He said, "Molly, you're young. Which 'rapper' co-owns the NJ Nets? 4 letters, second letter A." I know that I am out of touch with the rap world- surprising, no?- but one rapper always stands out above the rest. My fav.
"Well, who the hell is Jay-Z? How do you spell that? Are you sure?"
"Bill, don't question my knowledge of hip hop."
"Okay, us Homecoming directors have to stick together."

Bill is blog-worthy. Just when I thought he was predictable, he gives me another story.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Homecoming Teaser

Merely 4 hours ago, I finished my duties as William Jewell College's 2008 Homecoming Director (with my now dear friend Kate). It was the most stressful and busy week of my life, hands down. Beforehand, I thought that I knew what those two words actually meant (stressful and busy); however, this week those definitions held a completely new meaning. I cannot write about it yet, though it is worthy of some major blogging. First I need to be alone for a while. I need to not hear "Molly! Molly! I have a question!" I need to have a conversation with one person at a time. I need to not have 1,200 people scrutinizing my every decision. I need to not have those 1,200 people constantly looking at me for direction. I need to debrief and to catch up on my much neglected school work.

So tonight, I put on a dress, drank a margarita and tried to enjoy my newfound freedom. Homecoming is over... now what am I going to do?

This week I...
... yelled at someone and used the word "damn" in my first bonafide argument (btw, I won)
... talked on a loudspeaker at a football game that I did not watch
... shook Joe Biden's hand (a very ironic story follows this someday soon)
... cursed a lot
... laughed a lot

Really, it's just Homecoming. Not all that interesting, I understand, but it's probably the biggest leadership position to date. In the words of Beyonce, "I'm a surivor, I'm gonna make it, I'm a survivor who keeps on survivin'." Inspirational. True.

It's 8:28 pm. I am going to sleep.