Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sonic, the Ultimate Drink Stop

This summer, one of my mom's major goals was for us to create our own Sonic commercial. She keeps them in business with her frequent trips through the drive-up during Happy Hour. Here's our attempt at a Sonic commercial. It's a little outdated, since we made it immediately after the Beijing Olympics. Watch for the moment when we play our new favorite game, "Touch the Wall," wherein the basic object is to touch the nearest wall one hundredth of a second faster than your competitor. Enjoy, and remember, Sonic Happy Hour happens every day from 2-4.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sitting in for Paula Abdul...

Tonight one of my roommates wanted to attend an event on campus called "Italian Idol." Basically, American Idol for the Italian club at my university. When we arrived, I saw a list sitting on the table with these auspicious words at the top: "Sign here if you're interested in being the guest judge." Seeing one name already on the list, I was thinking I wouldn't get picked, so I added my name just for fun. But as time went on, I kept regretting my decision more and more. This could be embarassing. What if I needed to speak Italian? Not going to happen.

Soon, the moment came. I crossed my fingers, praying that the other name on the list was called, or that many more people had signed up. The emcee announced, "And as our guest judge, we only had one person sign up, so can we have" and of course, she asked me to come to the front. Well, I figured I might as well make it cool. So I acted like I just got called to be on The Price is Right, only not as enthusiastically as some people do. Two other judges shared duties with me. To my left, an Italian professor and former mission president. To my right, a student studying Italian and current Italian 101 teacher. I'm not really sure which was Simon and which was Randy, but I was definitely Paula. At this point, I was thinking, "At least it won't be like American Idol, where we have to make comments after everyone performs." But Paula isn't known for being the brilliant one, and just like her, I was wrong.

Of course, I shouldn't brag, but I do have experience judging talent competitions. I once judged the fourth of July talent show in the metropolis of Mackay, Idaho. Population: somewhere around 600. However, the film stylings (aka plagarism skills) of Mr. Kirby Lords would not have taken the top prize at Italian idol. These performers channeled everyone from Pavaroti to Norah Jones to Dean Martin. Naturally, the Dean Martin-esque performance won. Who could go wrong with that old Italian classic "Volare"? Of course, when it came time to make the final decision, they started conversing in Italian. I might have said "si" a few times, but really, I was in way over my head.

Anyway, this year while I'm watching American Idol I'll be a little bit easier on Paula. It's not so easy to come up with intelligent comments in thirty seconds. Sometimes it's easier just to be nice. Straight up.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dejavu, and a tornado, too

At the risk of limiting my blog to discussions of the Writing Center, I promise right now that my next post will not involve the Writing Center. That said, here we go. Since beginning work at the Writing Center, I have instances of dejavu almost every day, sometimes three and four times a day. I'll see a face on campus and KNOW I've seen it before, up close, one-on-one. Usually, those faces come from students I've helped at work, but not all of them do. Maybe it's just college starting to catch up with me. All the years I have under my belt come with faces attached, even if those faces are only vaguely familiar.

And, just to get something else about the Writing Center out there, today was a tornado! I helped a student every moment of my three hour shift, and I'm sure almost a dozen students voluntarily left. The waiting line was over an hour long. Surprisingly, and happily, this busy-ness did not tire me out. It's actually invigorating to spend so much time on those levels of thinking without being too attached to the assignment. It clears my head for when I need to write. Like right now. I'm off to analyze a book for my Juvenile literature class. I'd recommend this one: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor. I see it as To Kill a Mockingbird from the perspective of an African-American family.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Adventures in Writing

I just started a new job at my university writing center. It's strange how liberating it feels to talk one-on-one with your peers in a semi-professional atmosphere. Especially male peers. This week alone I've helped a pre-med student with some of his 31 application essays, met a member of the men's rugby team, and discussed the satirical ethics of Michael Phelps' genetically gifted body. Yes ladies, I got paid to talk about Michael Phelps with a guy. Talk about job perks. And those are just clients.

Our writing center also has one or two eligible tutors who I interact with for hours at a time. For the first time in my college career, I'm feeling seriously attractive on a daily basis. One of my co-workers (a girl) even told me today that I resemble a sexy librarian. Finally, I've been recognized for my resemblance to Marion the Librarian from River City, Iowa. But now that I'm having those tentative feelings of "should I or shouldn't I?" with co-workers, I'm starting to
discover new questions about co-ed dating. What if he's already got a girlfriend? What if I'm wrong, and I'm reading his cues wrong? What if I asked him out? Well, world, what if?