Wednesday, April 27, 2005

One Way of Guaranteeing an A

In twenty-three days from today, I will have officially finished my bachelor's degree. Week thirteen in a fifteen week semester is the first week of crunch time. It’s been an overwhelming week to say the least. Today I had my final presentation for my “Understanding and Creating Art in the classroom,” which consisted of a thematic unit, three lesson plans, biography and an actual art activity for the artist Marcel Duchamp (best known for his “sculpture” Fountain; a urinal flipped upside down and signed “R. Mutt”). My forty-five minute presentation was going well until the end of the slide portion as I was walking to pass out a handout to the students; I knocked my head on the hanging television in the classroom. The next thing I remembered I was seeing stars above my head. Running into stationary objects is something quite familiar to me. It’s not unusual for me to be daydreaming while walking down the street and run into stationary light poles on the sidewalk or bike into parked cars. After my presentation, I wasn’t as concerned with my the big bruise that is emerging from my head, rather….how many pity points do a I get for knocking myself out during a Final Art presentation?

Written While Listening to “On Peak Hill” by Stars

Monday, April 25, 2005

S.S. Congruent's Voyage to the Island of Tutor

SS congruent
Originally uploaded by mayshelley.
Last time I came across the super hero Captain Compass, he had jumped ship after math class and left his trusty trapezoid ship the S.S. Congruent to drift in the open waters of campus. Today I was in the Math Tutoring Lab getting some help on my Math homework and you can imagine the shock when I saw that the S.S. Congruent had beached on the walls of the "Math Ed Corner" of the Math Tutoring Lab.

Written While Listening to "Crown of Love" by The Arcade Fire

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Lean to the Left, Lean to the Right, Stand Up, Sit Down, FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!!!

I attended a private Catholic High School. My parent’s original intent in sending their Baha’i children to a Catholic School was for the renowned athletics and academics. I could only speak for my own high school experience, but from what I hear of the public high school assembly scene is that assemblies were limited to magazine drives, pep rallies, and a good opportunity to ditch school. The Santa Margarita Eagles typically put on a darn good pep ralley and our magazine drive assemblies were above mediocre, but we often had inspirational speakers at our assemblies. These were typically paid speakers that toured conferences and high schools to tell their stories to young eager high school listeners about pro-life or abstinence. Most of these assemblies provided a good opportunity to pass notes and attempt to find your friends in the bleachers across the gym.

Last night at dinner with friends, I was recalling the most memorable speaker; A man who was born with no arms and played the guitar with his feet. I explained how he played Frisbee with his neck and shoulder and demonstrated how he washed his hair without arms. Of course, my friends didn’t believe me and immediately mocked my story. So today I set myself the goal of searching for this no-armed-guitar-player. It took me a while because I wasn’t sure what exactly to search for. “no arm man” and “armless guitar” didn’t quite work. It was finally “no arm guitar” that was successful. He’s playing in Sacramento next October if anyone is down to see him.

Written While Listening to “You’re My Best Friend’ by Queen

Monday, April 18, 2005

The State of the Tater

When I was a child, every winter break we would pack all six of my family members and Chuck (my Dad’s best friend and the fifth official child of the Shelley family) in the family suburban and caravan with five other cars that belonged to the Diliberto clan to Sun Valley, Idaho for a skiing extravaganza. The scenic 995.08 miles of the great Western United States we drove through was left mostly unappreciated by my siblings and I, due to boredom and constant fighting in the back seat. The only interesting thing my siblings and I thought the state of Idaho produced was “potato guns” and a ritzy ski resort.

The Idaho House of Representatives has produced a “concurrent resolution stating legislative findings and commending” the writers and producers of Napoleon Dynamite. I am officially changing my previous statement to… The only interesting things the state of Idaho has produced are “potato guns,” a ritzy ski resort, and Napoleon Dynamite.

Written While Listening to "He Woke Me Up Again" by Sufjan Stevens

Friday, April 15, 2005

Sorry But Hawaii Is Way Better Than Reno

Knowing my fascination for unusual cross-breeding of animals, a friend sent me an article today about the first Whale-Dolphin Mix bred in captivity!! It is one-fourth false killer whale and three-fourths Atlantic bottlenose Dolphin, so logically the mix is called “Wholphin.” With the “Liger Pilgrimage” to Reno to see Hobbes the Liger quickly approaching, I may have to re-evaluate my summer priorities and go on a Wholphin Pilgrimage to Kekaimalu, Hawaii. Alooooha!

Written While Listening to "Dance with Me" by The Sounds

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Captain Compass

Captain Compass
Originally uploaded by mayshelley.
In my "Teaching Irrational Numbers" Class today we practiced different techniques of teaching Geometry to elementary students. As my peers were frantically taking notes, I made a super hero by the name of Captain Compass. Captain Compass has a peg leg and sails on his trapezoid Ship the S.S. Congruent. (It's hard to see, but he also has a cape made out of a gum wrapper).

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Even Britney is Doing it

There must be something in the Sacramento area water because everyone in my Liberal Studies program is pregnant. The pregnant epidemic seems to be spreading even faster than typhoid. In such a female dominated major, it is understandable that the probability of classmates in my major becoming pregnant is much higher than the typically evenly distributed more common majors such as Business or Communications. A typical Monday morning for me is to walk into class and a classmate will triumphantly announce… “Everyone, I’m pregnant!” or “We were walking downtown by the river and he suddenly dropped to one knee and now I’m getting Maaaaaarried!” After the sixth declaration this semester, I believe that it is safe to say the novelty is definitely wearing off.

In my art class, which has the greatest number of preggies, my professor has appeared to have excused all pregnant women from the majority of the art activities. At the beginning of our art activity this week she said, “Will each student please spray paint their sculptures outside so that the pregnant woman don’t get affected.” Umm...last time I checked chemicals affect non-pregnant people too. Or my all time favorite, “The pregnant students don’t have to do the paper machete projects because the goop might make them nauseated.” The one time our teacher talked to me was to solely ask me what the update on a fellow student’s amniocentesis test went. I have decided that there is only one way to guarantee me my “A” in this class…I must fake a pregnancy. Does anyone own a Pregnant suit?

Written While Listening to "Cause=Time" by Broken Social Scene

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Mishk

The current trend in my studying habits, and the central hub for most of my Davis peeps, is a small coffee shop in downtown Davis called Mishka’s. Mishka’s is Davis’ attempt on a Bohemian style fair trade coffee shop. The second you step into the small coffee shop, you are greeted with a quasi smile and the watchful working eyes making sure you sit in the proper “study” or “non-study” areas and more importantly don’t sit down before you buy something. Just at the south had the “white” and “black” sides in restaurants pre-civil rights era, Mishka’s has a clear line between academic and non-academic sitting areas and if you dare cross over to the other side, Mishka in the flesh will drag you to your proper side.

My favorite part about Mishka’s is the “regulars” who are dedicated followers of the coffee cult of the Mishk. It’s comforting to have such a consistent place in my life; just as Zack Morris could walk into the Max and know that A.C. would be sitting at a booth in a backwards chair; I too can count on these regulars. Although I have not actually spoken to these mysterious regulars, I have given them names and made up stories in my head of what they are studying and what they do when leave the mystifying land of Mishka’s.
At times the Mishka’s experience can be overwhelming. The gypsy kings being played on the stereo, the frequent stench of the roasting of coffee beans, and so many people crammed so closely together often leads to claustrophobia. But just as Sam Malone and Norm had Cheers, I too have a place where everyone knows my name, or at least imagine what my name would be…maybe they think my name is Bertha or Petunia.

Happy Birthday Markiks!
Written While Listening to “Everything’s Not Lost” by Coldplay

Monday, April 04, 2005

Fine....I won't call it "Chicags" anymore

Baha'i Temple
Originally uploaded by mayshelley.
This past weekend, we ventured east to the mid-west to "Chi-town" for a Baha'i Young Adults Conference on Baha'i Scholarship. Here's a picture of Negs, Neds, Amy and I in front of the Baha'i Temple in Wilmette.