The View From Here
 
Picture
Little Tiger is getting ready to make the trek to Muntz.
Picture
It's raining outside.
Picture
On the way to Muntz.


Picture
Plastic Tigers don't get hungry, but their photographers do.
Picture
The microwave that the students are allowed to use. 


Picture
Going into the correct restroom.  (That's very important.  Remember to always go into the correct restroom.)
Picture
Look, another Tiger!


This is one of Little Tiger's favorite places; the library.
Picture
First Little Tiger has to look up a word. 
Picture
And there's a picture. 

Little Tiger likes books.
Picture
Picture



Picture
Picture
Look, it's Dean Cady!
Picture
This lady (the fuzzy one in the background.  On the left.  She's waving her arms) wanted to photo-bomb Little Tiger.  So she did. 


Little Tiger went upstairs to look at the third floor hallway that floats in midair. 
Picture
Picture
There's a jungle in the courtyard!  Little Tiger has to visit it!


Picture
Picture
Picture
Just like a real tiger.
 
 
Little Tiger is Dreaming about Study Abroad.
Picture
Picture
She's imagining being in Great Britain,

and at Harlaxton Manor. 
Picture
The Packing Guru and Plastic Animal Menagerie Curator; Prof.  Benander has given her blessing for Little Tiger to go on the Study Abroad Trip to Great Britain.  Little Tiger is very excited. 
 
 
Picture
Little Tiger goes to visit the faculty. 


Picture
Picture
But first she has to get past the Wizard.  And nobody gets in to see the Wizard.  Not nobody, not nohow. 
Picture
Picture
Fortunately, Little Tiger is friends with the Elephant who guards the Wizard's office. 


Picture
This Hippo really likes poetry.  That's why she oversees the Poetry Pest (a.k.a. Prof. Pettit) and the Blue Ash Review.
Picture
The Hippo has a lot to say. 
Picture
Little Tiger likes poetry too.
Picture
Especially this poem.  She left it here for the Hippo.
Picture
Peace.


Picture
This mysterious deer-like creature lives outside of Prof. Benander's office.  She's mysterious because nobody knows what species she is, or from what country she originates.  And that's the way Prof. Benander likes it.
Picture
Little Tiger comes to visit.


Picture
The Chimpanzee likes to stay outside Prof. Roos' office; in the company of Darwin himself.  (And the Beatles.)
Picture
Little Tiger has a LOT of questions for the Chipanzee. 


Picture
Little Tiger finally made it to her Daddy's office. 
Picture
Sometimes she has to check the schedule to figure out Where He Is.

But not today. 
Picture
This is Little Tiger's Daddy.  He is a Hippopotamus.  Don't ask me how that works, because I don't know.  He is The Other Hippopotamus (the one outside Prof. Pettit's office being the first Hippo). 
Picture
This is the Lion who shares an office with the other Hippopotamus

...and now Little Tiger too.  (I'm sorry about that, Prof. Stringfield.)  He is very good-natured about all the interruptions.

Picture
Prof. Kutcher working at the Great and Holy Macintosh. 
Picture
Prof. Kutcher, Prof. Kutcher, and Little Tiger.


Picture
At the top of the world... er, steps. 

Little Tiger is thirsty after climbing up three flights of stairs. 
Picture
Picture
Picture


And now what she came for: visiting Prof. Otten. 
Picture
Picture
Oh look, Fight Club.  I didn't know Prof. Otten had Fight Club in his office. 
Picture
Ahhhhh!  Fight Club!
 
 
My life is filled with books that need to be put away, movies to be reshelved, CDS to be interfiled, but mostly books. 
Adult: fiction and nonfiction. 
Juvenile: biography and easy books.
At least the unshelved books stay at the library; they don't follow me home like school does.  I always have pending homework: math problems due Tuesday, memorize this new sign language vocabulary, and papers.  A flood of essays inhabit my waking life. 
My words have dried up. 
They no longer pour onto the page as they did this summer, but bounce around in my brain.  I'm thinking in poems; I see crumbles of beautiful wherever I go, but I cannot muster the energy to reach for even this tiny Moleskin notebook;
the only one my words fill up now. 
***
When I die,
do not lay me in a mausoleum so that the living are troubled by the grimness of death and must always be reminded of that first awful wrench of a best friend's suicide
or a young brother's funeral. 
Instead, plant me in the ground like you would a seed,
in the hopes that it will sprout and grow again. 

And don't erect an imposing monument so that the sun is blocked out
and people only wonder
what sort of person would want to be glorified amongst tomb stones. 
No, please give me a very small headstone, so it does not obscure too much of the grass, and lay it out flat like the common dead,
all those graves that are walked past.  Allow the weather to set the mood, sometimes gray and cloudy like the despair in death, but sometimes blue and sun-salty,
like the hope behind it. 
***
The music is a room and I am safe inside of the notes and letters you have built into something greater than the sum of it's parts.  I am here; in between the piano and the bass line, with the lyrics spread out before me.  The paper that is due tomorrow and the budget I need balance are knocking at the door, but the music pulls closer and they stay outside.
***
I am in the second half of my life, yet I am living as if I were in the first half, belonging solely to myself, doing as I please.  I cannot even remember the date of my rebirth, which makes me feel sad.  I want to be able to celebrate both of my birthdays.  I was, in my defense, only four at the time.  Or was I five?  I cannot even remember the year.  All I remember is the scene.  I was still wearing my pajamas and my parents were sitting beside me on my bed.  I don't remember the words that passed between us: I suspect I had a Big Question.  I do remember that I did not fully understand what I was committing to, Who I was committing to; that I could not understand.  I am too small to understand, I will never understand, and I still live as if I were only two years old: selfishly. 
***
Now I feel like Harriet the Spy, with my  ear pressed to the outside of the emergency exit doors, listening to the diners' chatting.  I'm glad my parents don't see my profusion of notebooks as evidence of the need for a shrink.
***
I reach for my pen and notebook, because this moment feels like poetry, like it shouldn't be wasted, like I should be pressing it in between the pages as one would a flower head.  I reach for the notebook more for the feeling of writing than because I have something that needs to be written. 
***