The View From Here
 
Here are some pitchers which I did draw. 
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It's about a girl who wants to see the world.  When I put it in that way, it sounds to me as if the story is about me.  It's not really: I don't live in a castle on top of a very pointy mountain.  I have, however, fallen into the archetype of a story teller who bases characters on them self. 
 
 
This is a cup of coffee Little Tiger got for Dad.  (She had to have a sip, of course.)
Coffee from Suniti's beautiful and tragically broken mug.
Even more coffee.
Awww, thanks Little Tiger. 

Coffee on an airplane.
Little Tiger likes coffee Everywhere.
 
 
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Little Tiger is getting ready to make the trek to Muntz.
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It's raining outside.
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On the way to Muntz.


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


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


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

Little Tiger likes books.
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Look, it's Dean Cady!
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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. 
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There's a jungle in the courtyard!  Little Tiger has to visit it!


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

and at Harlaxton Manor. 
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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. 
 
 
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Little Tiger goes to visit the faculty. 


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


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


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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.
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Little Tiger comes to visit.


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


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

But not today. 
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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). 
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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.

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


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

Little Tiger is thirsty after climbing up three flights of stairs. 
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And now what she came for: visiting Prof. Otten. 
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Oh look, Fight Club.  I didn't know Prof. Otten had Fight Club in his office. 
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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. 
***

 
 
(Hey kids, this is me trying to do fictitious slam poetry about a relationship gone a muck seen through the lens of mathematics.   It's meant to be read aloud, so go ahead and read this outloud with some rhythm [so long as you're not in a public place and you won't embarrass yourself.])

You and I are a negative association,
(Where I'm X and you're Y)
and I don't just mean that when we associate it's a negative experience,
I'm talking mathematics. 
Because no matter how much positive input I give you,
you just keep giving me more and more negative output. 

But actually, that suggests too strong a relationship,
when in reality,
we have no line of best fit. 
If someone tried to graph our data,
our correlation would be zero. 

 

Snow

01/20/2011

1 Comment

 
Snow makes everything soft.  The earth looks like a body laying under a blanket; sharp elbow and knees are smoothed into bell curves.  The headlights of an oncoming car are gently diffused out amongst the falling snowflakes and the fallen snowflakes. 
***
The colder it gets, the closer the smokers creep towards the building, as if it were a dragon whose heat would reach them only if they were closer to the doors. 
***
Snow turns the ground into the endless pages of a new notebook,
waiting to be written upon. 
First, the snow plows and the salt trucks trace out the big lines: the roads. 
Then people shovel their driveways and sidewalks, saying "This is where I walk." 
And everywhere we go footprints tell the tale of where we have been. 
So we've written across the pages of the world, before the white paper disappears with the gaze of the sun. 
 
 
When I walked into the college library at eight o clock one morning last week, I was practically the only one there because college students don't like to get up early.  This was probably a good thing because there weren't as many people to stare at me when the gray clad sentinels that guard the door drew their swords and charged at me. 

OK, so they didn't come to life, or try to impale me on outdated weapons of war.  But they did beep at me, which is something that's never happened to me in my life.  I stopped and looked over at the desk where one of the librarians was standing.  I think I gave her a terrified look. 
"Do you have any library books in your bag?"
"No." 
"Do you have any new textbooks?"
"Yes." 
"That's probably what set it off."
That was it?  "Do you want to check my bag?" 
"No," she said.  "But thank you for stopping." 
I then realized that she probably wouldn't need to check to see if I was smuggling books into the library. 

A few minutes later I remembered that I did have library books in my backpack (Dracula by Bram Stoker and Deerskin by Robin McKinley)- books from the public library. 
So in the interest of being completely honest, I went back to the librarian and told her about the books from the other library.  "Yes, that could set it off."  She said.  "Just tell whoever is at the desk that you have public library books in your backpack and be patient with us until we learn who you are and that you beep." 

The rest of the day I was very conscious about my comings and goings through the doors of the library.  Every time I came in I had to explain myself to the desk staff, and every time I went out I had to warn a librarian that I would set off the alarms. 

But this turned out to have an advantage. 
Later that day, when  I attempted to check out History of Modern Europe vol. I, the librarian hailed me as "The Girl Who Always Beeps."
"I'm Hannah," I said. 
She shook my hand "Tami."
The book was out.  So I went off to the little colony of desks gathered beneath the sign proclaiming "Quiet Area," resigned to doing my math homework. 

I had just settled down to Andrew Peterson and histograms when Tami walked by.  "Hannah, somebody just checked that textbook back in if you want it." 
"That would be lovely." 
And so I got my textbook because I set off the alarm. 

I think the moral of the story is that when "bad" things happen, I meet people.  When unusual occurrences occur, they force me out of my usual way of doing things, and I get to try new ways of doing things. 

Oh, and I'm so keeping, "The Girl Who Always Beeps."  I will hereafter be know as Hannah, The Girl Who Always Beeps.  Maybe I should get a business card with my new title.  I wonder if the talent of beeping is good for anything...