January 30, 2004

NEW YORK! NEW YORK!

Thank you SHU for the opportunity to see a chunk of the world.

I am going on the New York trip with Student Activities. Is anyone as excited as me about only paying $130.00 to go on a trip out of this little town? However, I need roomates. 3 to be exact. Anyone interested on going?

Hotel Edison looks pretty cool.

NEW YORK!!!! You may be wondering why I am so excited. I have never been. I only know NYC from the movies. Sheltered, I know.

Hopefully by then the Statue of Liberty will be reopened. And then Broadway!! I wonder if we could see a show? The flyer did not say what we are doing, maybe that is up to us. I want to see the NY Times building and Times Square, Macy's, Central Park. I have so much I want to do and see. A weekend will never be enough.

I am going on like a Beverly Hillbilly.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 3:04 PM | Comments (5)

January 29, 2004

I miss

I miss the dew that sticks between my toes on warm evenings, the sweet, rotten smell of peaches in my backyard, the sound of dogs howling through my billowing lacy curtains. I miss smelling the grass, flowers, and even allergy-inciting dandelions that brighten the yard like small suns. I miss the feel of cool water on my overheated skin, the screaming songs echoing through the evening air as I drive my car too fast in the darkened enchantment.

I miss feeling most of all. The winter numbs me from finger to foot. I cannot feel, except for those fleeting moments I blush or fight with a worthy opponent. So much is kept inside now, I hurt with the weight of it. But knowing that my season will come once more, I do not fear. The days lengthen and I will know the light. But I miss it still.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:58 PM | Comments (8)

NOTE TO SELF

HONORS SEMINAR TOMORROW!!!!!! GO TO CLASS!!!

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 8:18 PM | Comments (1)

January 28, 2004

First Stab: Fifty-Word Fiction

I haven't done this before, so please be kind. Fifty-word fiction seems like something a journalist should be really good at...I hope I will be with a little practice. Or a lot. I have been accused of being acutely verbose :-( :-)

Black or was it blank? Is this what blind people see? Damn. Stupid bed. That's gonna hurt tomorrow. Just a little bit farther to the door...Eyes adjusted now, and then a shadow--a sink. A turn, and too many gulps. Too much water. To bed now, a chaste drunk.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 8:23 PM | Comments (9)

Another Memory

Here is Karissa and I in all of our Christmas on the Hill finery. My mom just got the pictures developed. :-D
Christmas on the Hill.jpg

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 8:03 PM | Comments (5)

January 26, 2004

Mom: the Mexican Missionary

Yes, my mom is becoming a missionary for a week. She and a large group of women and men from my church are taking a missionary aid trip to Mexico in February. They will be helping with the prison, orphanage, and rehabilitation ministries at the Bill and Fayth McConnell ranch in Arizona, near the Mexican border.

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Don't you love his tie? :-) They are such sweet people. They came to our church to speak one Sunday; their experiences were very moving.

I am so excited for her. She is taking a big suitcase full of dolls and toys for the children in the orphanage. My mom keeps giving. She is going to take time out of her life for others...I have never been so proud and felt so much admiration toward anyone in my life.

I want to go so badly, but my crutch is school. Thankfully, the group will go periodically to Mexico to help in projects similar to this one. Perhaps during vacation.

As Pentacostal Christians living in a free country, we have never experienced outright oppression for faith, but she may on her trip. The Mexican government and its people live by different standards.

I pray for her safety and hope she has a great time. What an experience! I will keep everyone posted on the progress of her endeavor.

***Downside***She doesn't know any Spanish. :-(

***Upside***Round-trip airfare less than $270 THANK YOU Travelocity. :-)

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 8:42 PM | Comments (5)

January 23, 2004

First Missed Class

So I am going crazy about missing my Honors Seminar today. I wasn't thinking about having three classes on Friday, and I missed. On Mon. and Tues. I have two classes and on Fri. I have the same two and Honors.

I NEVER miss class. I am fallible. I am imperfect. I am incredibly stupid. Does Dr. Atherton really want me in his class? It is supposed to be Honors, as in smart people, right?

Geez! And now I am behind in a class that meets one day a week!

And you know what I was doing? Eating popcorn, blogging, and reading up on the amazingness of Algebra, when RIGHT ACROSS THE STUPID HALLWAY my class was going on!!!!

I didn't even intentionally miss, and I was in the building!!!!

Diana stopped me in the parking lot and told me that I missed. Thanks girl. Now I can get caught up.

Oh gosh. Where was my head? Weekending in icebox PA. C'est lavie.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 2:52 PM | Comments (5)

January 22, 2004

For a sun dress

Without a coat.
Kiss my skin, shiny friend.

Float around my knees,
and let the seams disappear.

Smile on my open back.
The white there.

And I will be red,
Once more.

Ouch.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 6:15 PM | Comments (7)

January 21, 2004

Rent-ing

Student activities is going to see Rent. Does anyone else want to go? In high school chorus we did a few songs from the show, but I have no idea about the plot...it would be a great experience for a bunch of us to go.

I want to go, but I also want to spend my money (I think it is $22 for SHU students) on something good. Has anyone seen it?

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 8:03 PM | Comments (7)

A Rant and Realization

Just to let everyone know, I hate the Reeves Library website. EBSCO is down and I can't look up illustrious peer-reviewed articles for my Seminar in Thinking and Writing class.

To the library I will go...To the library I will go hi-ho-the-derry-o.

What is she complaining about? you ask. The librarians scare me now. After a certain person warned me of the librarians' dragonishness, I am loathe to enter the building. Maybe I will just look it all up at work.

Anyway, does anyone know of another place, besides the Google mess, where I could find an EBSCO-like inlet to peer-reviewed writings.

Just when you begin implementing the tools that you have been harped on to use, they go down. Ironic isn't it?

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:43 PM | Comments (3)

January 20, 2004

The Wedding Singer

I am the wedding singer for my cousin's soiree in April, or is it May. Anyway, I am thinking about doing Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up" in a slightly higher key. Any thoughts on this song? Is the text right for a wedding?

Any other suggestions? I am an alto, if that helps.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:16 PM | Comments (12)

Mikerowesoft goes down

No, not the big site, the little one run by 17-year old student, Mike Rowe.

It turns out the student/web designer named his site, well, after himself, and was shut down due to lost traffic and threatened legal action by the big guys. This is quite a story.

One thing sticks out in my mind, though, the motivation behind Microsoft's threatened action--

"The [legal] letter said customers of Microsoft could also be confused by his domain name..."

I can understand if Google makes a mistake and takes one to Rowe's site, but if an individual gets Microsoft mixed up with Mikerowesoft, I must say that that person shouldn't be near a computer...

And the best part is, when I looked up Mikerowesoft on Google, the little autocorrect tool came up and said, "Did you mean to search for Microsoft?"

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 8:50 PM | Comments (2)

The great convergence

Rusty Coats, director of new media at MORI Research, says the fact that so many different paths are being tried by organizations producing the same product shows that "this is definitely an industry in transition."

OJR reports that more news staffs are allowing online reporters into the main newsroom. Though we covered convergence in my fall class, "The Practice of Journalism", I did not know that online journalists have been sent to other buildings and even basements to report news. Somehow, I though that reporters worked side-by-side--print and online--to come up with the best stories, working cooperatively.

Thankfully that is all changing...

I suppose years ago an online staff must have seemed like a fad, but there really isn't an excuse now. CONVERGE! CONVERGE!

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:41 AM | Comments (1)

January 19, 2004

Taste the Rainbow

Though I have struggled with the impossibility and vowed against the implementation of colors in the past few months, today, with the incredible aid of a best pal, I found the colorific hues in Java/HTML madness. I must say I do like it, and it doesn't hurt the eyes, does it?

I refused to change the background, however, just a momento from the drabiness of the past, and I want to maintain the readibility of my blog. I hope all will enjoy the changes.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:13 PM | Comments (17)

January 17, 2004

A Yellowed Paper

Television, reading, sipping a hot brew, and even sleeping, get old. The only thing left is to obsess about the crumb on the floor, the chipped paint, and the wallpaper. The number of pink stripes. The blue flowers in my wallpaper. Thank God it is not ugly. I have spent too much time in bed. "The Yellow Wallpaper" woman's situation is one that I have discovered in my own sicknesses (I am not sick now, nor have I ever been for long...how much worse her condition must have been).

Though I have not reached the depths of depression as post-partum mommy in the short story, I can commiserate with her state. Sometimes my mind wanders and I don't really know if it is I or someone else speaking. I know this probably isn't a kosher thing to talk about on my blog, but I truly understand the woman's progress. Something happens, however, that enables most people to let it go.


She did not. She grabbed at IT with her teeth and hands--and ripped. Was "IT" the paper or sanity? I cannot differentiate the two. Neither could she.

Though many interpretations of the ending exist, I take the story at face value. I do not want to say it is the only answer, because, as most of us freshmen learned at the reading discussion of The Secret Life of Bees, picking one answer is not the best way to promote thought (Thank you Puff, was that you--for that wonderful lesson).

She was tearing down the paper, and her husband, awestruck and revolted, faints. No one dies, though a hanging is implied through metaphors, such as, " But I am securely fastened now by my well hidden rope" (15). Then I think, she may die. As Karissa said, however, "Short stories are to have life before and after the story ends." But then I thought, couldn't she die and the story go on with her husband and other minor characters as survivors?

Hmm. As one can notice from my changed position four times in the last paragraph, I have not made up my mind yet.

Whether she dies really does not matter. At least that is what I keep telling myself (maybe this is a test of our own sanity as readers--the question of character mortality in a story that could go either way is enough to spark a flame of debate and inner conflict, comparable to a fungal paper).

The IMPORTANT thing to remember is that this story not only documents a slow slip into madness, but that in some measure, we all have the possiblility of reaching her level--but something stops us from scratching down the wallpaper. Is it activity that stops us from imploding? Is it us or our surroundings that make us sick...or something else?

I will stop the pshycoanalytical babble now, because I am generalizing about the psychosis of man instead of the literature itself. The literature, though, does ask many questions about our minds--and that is what is portrayed.

Gilman's short and over-punctuated paragraphs indicate a slipping sanity, which is progressively lost as much with the reader as in the woman herself.

I now stop myself when I count the threads in my sheets. A very fine line exists between being passionate and obsessive. Something writers are prone to do.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:23 PM | Comments (10)

January 16, 2004

Samson

Samson, the cat,
sits in the sink--
sipping.

Why, oh why--
did we start this?

Lift the bulk,
assuage the mews.

Lapping.
A gulp.
Jump down.
With a thud.
Fat puss.

Samson,
Are you too full?

Don't go in my room--
Please, no more messes in my life.

wrong_mouse.jpg Funny cat pics @ Cat Mine
Samson looks a little like this...but fatter and with a broken down ear--he had a broken blood vessel that was stitched in surgery with hot pink thread. So manly. I guess he isn't even a "he" anymore...poor thing. Maybe next time I won't get mad when he wants a drink from the people sink.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:58 PM | Comments (1)

January 15, 2004

Bush gone spacey

Bush has planned to go to Mars--some of us wish HE would. In any case, a 2015 trip (for NASA) is planned with a $12 billion price tag.

Though space exploration is the "final frontier", do we have to forget the little people on the big blue and green ball? What about the human piece of the pie? Just a little more for the people that we already know exist...

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 6:35 PM | Comments (4)

Bloggy Groggy Memories

Now that Julie has given a presentation citing all of my blogging past with supposed rival, Paul Crossman, I am committed to upholding my reputation in the SHU blogosphere. And since Mr. Crossman will have to begin blogging once more for his English class, I am confident that we will have new and combative things to say about each other this semester.

Aside from the combat review, thank you, Julie for that presentation; it brought back many happy and hilarious memories.

I especially enjoyed the "hasty generalizations" comment, but then I thought, "Where the generalizations mine or Paul's?" I think I have a good idea about who :-)

The presentation brought back many lessons of blog indiscretion that I am happy to have learned. And maybe Julie is right, maybe I shouldn't talk about my love life, should attribute pictures, and not focus on one rival--but hey, everyone makes mistakes, and that was just the trial run. Heck, I now have half the SHU campus and Paige up my sleeve telling me when I am over-the-top.

New memories are waiting to be made.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 3:05 PM | Comments (3)

January 14, 2004

Do we need to research this?

To all those education majors out there--read this little diddy about pay.

WASHINGTON -- A new report from a commission headed by former IBM Chairman Louis Gerstner Jr. offers a dim view of the nation's teaching force and calls for dramatic changes, including linking teacher pay to student test scores.

I love research that correlates things like the amount of beans one eats corresponds to how much **** one does. The connection has always been there, and yet they pay someone thousands of dollars to prove what they already know. Teachers, well anyone, goes where they will be paid better. The better qualified get paid more. Easy right? Right.

The entire article is sadly hilarious.

The most comical being at the bottom of the page:
*Pay teachers more. The panel said schools should increase salaries for all teachers and pay good teachers even more. Commission members said schools should link educators' pay to students' yearly academic growth, as demonstrated on test scores.

Duh. But does this money even exist? An interesting little site about government spending indicates a 34% of the budget going toward human resources, but many things are involved in that little bracket: Education, Health/Human Services, HUD, Food/Nutrition programs, Labor Department, Soc. Sec. Admin., whereas other areas do not cover as many areas. Though I do not hold the views of the site indicated, I do find the budget lacking in this area.

pieFY04.jpg

I am tackling a great big issue, a real get-your-panties-in-a-twist subject, but I think that going back to school has me ready to face life again. So, please, share your wedgie feelings.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:33 AM | Comments (5)

January 12, 2004

Desktop beauty

Have you ever had the most beautiful desktop and you never want to replace it? I have just adorned my desktop background with E.T. in a dress. I never want to take it down.

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What a beauty!!

Ahhh. The little things in life.

But then, if Orlando Bloom pics start surfacing that would look great as a background--I may want to change it.

I also have a stuffed E.T. that sits next to my flat-screen. He has brought me much luck in writing nasty term projects. I look into those blue eyes and I can't help thinking of something.

And my craziness starts once more. Today was my first day back. And though I am afraid of French and Math...the first day went well. Tomorrow, though the madness ensues--literature, communication.

Wish me luck.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:50 PM | Comments (6)

January 7, 2004

The winner has been named

Dr. Jerz has won the cookie. If you don't know what I am talking about, go to the entry below. Yes, the "Now that's what ya call ironic" quote was from Pirates of the Caribbean, and now I will present the Google-searching prof. a chocolate chip cookie, though as he has reportedly told Girl Meets World, that an M&M cookie "will do." I have made arrangements to present the cookie in class on Tuesday (chocolate chip or otherwise).

Sorry everyone--especially Diana. Four minutes, that's pretty good.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:36 AM | Comments (2)

January 6, 2004

Atrophe brings atrophe...so philosophical, huh?

My brain has turned to goo...atrophe...

Karissa has the right idea.

I have watched a total of three movies in the theater: Mona Lisa Smile, The Return of the King, and Cold Mountain--why did I spend so much on theater tickets? Now I am poor :-)

I have read my fair share of romance. Nora Roberts. Candace Camp. Classics--how I have forgotten you--even when I made goals to read more of you. Sometimes you just need a deadline to finish one, even if it is a great work--the label "CLASSIC" just makes it feel like work. And in this time of desperately trying to avoid work at all costs, I find that finishing one is against my purpose of the season.

Ugh. I am sick of this waiting...why can't I spread out this work so that I won't feel incredibly behind when I go back to school? And I will. Setonian assignments really creep up, don't they?

And I truly miss everyone. Karissa, I miss lunch. Julie, your laugh when I go crazy in class. Dr. Jerz, I miss the classes that go crazy (Gina, do ya miss her ranting? :-)). Paul--rhetorical internet barbs. (Didn't think I was going to mention him, but I did). I miss you all.

I am ready for a second round, and this time I am prepared--$100 textbooks and rejuvenated, though sleeping brain. I have gotten so bad that I have memorized the previews in the theaters; I can now say word-for-word the entire Win a Date with Tad Hamilton trailer. It has gotten that bad.

I have loved this break, don't get me wrong, but I cannot stay still this long. I tend to get depressed and really, really philosophical. What has my life come to? Where am I going? And reading The Hours hasn't helped my situation at all. I still have to rent that. Heck I have a few more days to kill before my life comes back. Isn't it funny how my "madness" of school has turned to my life? "Now that's what ya call ironic."

A Challenge: Does anyone know where that quote came from? I'll give the first person who can guess the movie a cookie--well, if an out of state person knows it, I'll send them a nice picture of a cookie ;-). A great big cookie--

Has anyone noticed my complete lack of punctuation etiquette over break? I certainly have.

The movie isn't that hard...

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 6:25 PM | Comments (8)

January 5, 2004

Poor day

Nothing made me happier than to see my bank account swell in the last two months.

Today was "Poor Day". I paid my tuition and bought half of my books. ARGH!! It is all too painful for me to speak of right now. :-(

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 5:39 PM | Comments (3)

January 3, 2004

Corn Carnage

Last night, while creating my microwaeable a-plenty of ravioli and salisbury steak and CORN (I can't cook), many things went wrong.

It all started with the electricity. In my house, problems usually occur when the washer, dryer, and microwave are on, but last night only the washing machine was on and the breaker blew. So--I made the trek through my nasty, mildewy, hideously gross basement to flip the switch--in the dark.

Finally, up the stairs I went (my socks now bottomed with the uglies of the lower level), and began "cooking" once more.

Ding! It's done. Time to get it out. Okay. I have never liked waiting, especially when I am starving, so I pulled out the plastic confection. It was hot. The top cover of the corn came off and the steam broiled me. Corn was everywhere. It spread from one corner of my kitchen table to the other and all over the floor. CORN CARNAGE. I felt terrible, especially because the pretty yellow stuff was all over the dirty floor, and I couldn't even eat it, which is, after all the purpose of food. I ruined its chances of fulfilling its destiny!!

Sometimes I just stop and laugh at what a psycho I really am.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:39 AM | Comments (4)

January 1, 2004

Spinning into space

Could it be that the stressed-out world is having an effect on the planet's rotation speed? Research offers a definitive no to my theory, but it is something to ponder :-)

Is it possible that future parents will have to attach harnesses not only to their children in the mall, but also to themselves, so that they will not whirl into space? Probably not.

But it would make an excellent sci-fi novel, wouldn't it?

"Eek! You left the dog loose again, Tommy!!!!! That's the fifth one, and you know they NEVER come home."

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:19 PM | Comments (3)