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Jun. 8th, 2004 @ 02:50 pm

He articulates it pretty well [doubly funny if you actually go to AU]


Jun. 3rd, 2004 @ 02:11 pm
I just saw the preview for Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 and, although Michael Moore is ruthlessly abrasive, the documentary looks AMAZING. I am looking forward to it immensely, almost as much as Coffee and Cigarettes.

Jun. 2nd, 2004 @ 10:40 pm

The past year has been one of the most dificil because more and more I feel like I'm being made aware of my own shortcomings; like I am incompetent at Absolutely Everything; like I don't know enough about anything worthwhile that I am interested in [read: Palestine; Music; my Career Field; Politics; Theology; Literature; Linguistics]. I must have less than half of the Self-Confidence quota that I used to boast; because in High School I may have wanted to slit my wrists, but By Golly! was I ever a Genius!! Ms. Malvina Liebert [Honors Biology] used to tell me that other kids may have good SAT scores, but I had Ever-Superior People Skills, and it was going to get me far!!! My resume was completely Golden; my teacher recommendations were nothing but Amazing; I was going to go So Far; &c. &c. &c.

Yeah, it's different now. I still don't have a very amazing GPA; All my peers at school know way more than me about Everything; I feel completely, utterly incapable of accomplishing anything that I want to, because, dammit, I don't have schmoozing down to an art. I may go to AU, but dammit if my political beliefs get in the way of Everything Else. Because I am talking to a peer right now who is complaining about Everything He Has To Do ['Ay mi; I have this class, I am going to be sooooo tired for mein internship tomorrow; my liiiife']; and I don't give two shits. WTF; WHO THE HECK CARES?? I DON'T CARE WHAT YOUR RESUME LOOKS LIKE AND YOU ARE ONLY A SOPHOMORE. I gave up on AP scores [ha; looky; I never even took any APs!!] and Senators-I've-Interned-For long ago. Don't get me wrong; I still care [probably Far Too Much]; but all I can think about when I hear kids talk about how busy they are is Franny Glass and 'treasure is treasure, for heaven's sake'; because that's how I feel. Your kids ARE NOT going to care about what you did in college; they are going to be more impressed that you skipped class to go see The Greatest Band Ever In Concert; and that time that you and your college buddies stayed up all night to have a watergun fight; and the fact that you got arrested and forfeited your political career [and that Really Awesome paid internship, too] all for the Sake of Fighting For Justice.

I go to American University because I want to change the world. I study Gandhi because I want to change the world. I crave knowledge for knowledge's sake. And I know that eventually, somehow, insha'allah, I am going to change the world because I have the drive to, not because I have the College Resume to prove it. I'm not in Students for Justice in Palestine for my future career, dammit. I am in it because I really really Really care. I think the best example is Danielle Abele, one of my Better Peers. Danielle and I completely disagree, politically speaking. But the great thing about Danielle is that she is into her politics because she a] knows the importance of it and b] is completely concerned. Danielle doesn't go to Career/Internship fairs to schmooze. Instead she jokes around with old Senators online, not for her own gain, but just for the hell of it. She knows that she'll get what she wants, regardless of what her resume or GPA look like right now, because she is a capable and concerned citizen, and she focuses on what's important, like going to Committee Hearings and hanging out with her friends and Laughing, for God's Sake.

So, you wealthy little Schmoozing F-ers, get over yourselves and your earthly treasure. In the end, is it really going to be worth it?

If you read that whole thing; I commend you; it was more for my own sake than for anybody else's.


Sep. 8th, 2003 @ 06:02 pm
All the King's Men by Robert Penn WarrenCollapse )

Wellington, as such... Jul. 8th, 2003 @ 11:33 pm
I am currently facing the horrific reality that I leave this country pretty soon, and I have not emotionally prepared myself to return to the USA [let's be honest now: have I EVER been emotionally prepared to return to the USA?]
Anyhow, this weekend has been packed with cold weather and New Zealand has apparently had a record snowfall. 'Snowfall' indeed; I felt guilty, but none the less I scoffed at it, because it is what we here in the Northeastern USA [blech] call a light sprinkle. Nonetheless, the three snowplows in one district were having a real snow emergency. I smiled to myself. On Friday, Neelam, Yasmin, and I took the train up to Picton [what a lovely, six hour, fun-filled trainride, may I add...] and the three and a half hour ferry from Picton to Wellington, where we were promptly picked up by Yasmin's dear friend Nicola Lowe. We stayed with the Lowes in Wellington for three nights and they were unspeakably gracious and hospitable to us. The Lowes have five kids and two homestays but by some miracle of God they were able to [comfortably] accomodate us as well. On Friday Night, Nicola showed us some of the sights of the city. Wellington is very, VERY hilly and spread out, unlike Dunedin, which is very, very hilly and squashed in. On Saturday, the weather was hailing [snowing up high] but we still decided to make the drive to Kaitoke, which is where Rivendell [i.e. Lord of the Rings!!!] was filmed. Soggy and wet, etc. but it was worth it because we had a hot lunch waiting in the car. That night, the Lowes had a family function to attend, so me and the gals blobbed around watching senseless [but most excellent] chick flicks and thoroughly enjoying the warmth. Sunday was bright and beautiful, and after church, we walked along Queen's Wharf and Lambton Quay and went on the Cable Car up to the top of Wellington, with Nicola's rambunctious eight-year-old brother, Daniel, in tow [proved to be hysterically funny, might I add]. I also took a picture on Parliament's steps [naturally] with a sign that said 'The House has risen'. That quote really does have some significance, and I will explain it, I promise. Yesterday was spent travelling back down to Christchurch, complete with Lollies [NZ speak for Candy] and knitting and a new friend named Josh and out-loud readings of Jane Austen [Persuasion, to be precise]. Overall, a wonderful journey. Today, I went with Jenny and the girls to Hanmer, which is about two or so hours north of Christchurch [think middle of the islands, in the mountains]. Hanmer has natural mineral and sulphur springs, so we had an excellent time in the steamingly wonderful hot water. eee! Tonight, I began knitting mittens, had my first experience of eating meat pies [a New Zealand staple], and watched Lagaan with some Afghan girls: all in all, very satisfactory [despite that DISGUSTING snow].
I love you all; I'm going to talk to my MUMMY now!!!

Yes Mum, I guess you should be worried... Jul. 3rd, 2003 @ 09:38 pm
Tomorrow I leave for Wellington. The girls and I are taking the train up to Picton, and then taking the Ferry across to Wellington, where we will be picked up by Yasmin's friend Nicola, whom we shall be staying with. It has been a lovely week, in short. Yesterday, the girls and I went to Christchurch's Art Gallery, which is quite modern and stunning and, to be perfectly frank, I loved it as I have loved all Art Galleries that I have ever set foot in. Today, Jenny and Yasmin and I took a picnic to Sumner Beach, visited an American [now NZ citizen] woman, and then drove along the ridge back into town. I can't even bear to describe how lovely the view is for fear that I shall weep. I am really quite deliriously happy, and as I've thought about it, I wonder if my mother Should be worried for me upon my return. Me and the girls started the BBC version of Vanity Fair last night, and it is certainly not the same caliber as Jane Austen novels, as the heroine is bright and clever but also maliciously unkind. She affirms herself a little in the end, I GUESS... Today the weather was beautiful [perfect for picnicking]. That is all for now.
I LOVE EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE!!!

Jun. 28th, 2003 @ 08:48 pm
On Thursday, Yasmin and I took the bus up from Dunedin back to Christchurch. We've basically been relaxing, and taking large hits of nostalgia as well. Yasmin's first memory of me is at our home in Zamalek and me pretending to be Cookie Monster [that's strange, I don't remember a thing]. It is incredible to reunite with childhood buddies, and I think that if we had remained in the same area for years and years, it wouldn't hold the same meaning or posterity that it does after being 'reunited' with one another when we were brought up with the TCK realism that it wouldn't ever happen. Dunedin is tons of fun, and I would love to at some point live there or stay there for an 'extended visit'... provided I don't live UP a hill. Since we returned from Christchurch, I've taken up my old habit of knitting with reckless abandon. I bought some Real New Zealand Wool [and some cheap fake British stuff as well] and knitting needles and have been knitting up a storm. I made a jaunty little hat for myself... now I'm on to another one! Being with the McGranes has inspired me to go home and cook and sew and create like never before. It's also reminded me a lot of the Good Old Egypt Days, when mum didn't have to work and she cooked and baked and created and had social functions all the time. It makes me excited that Stefanie and Jonathan might get to experience some of the Old Stuff in Phoenix. I'm not really sure what's on the 'Agenda' for the next few days, but next Friday Neelam is taking the day off [her last day before holidays] and her and Yasmin and I will be taking the train and then the ferry up to Wellington [on the North Island] and staying with Yasmin's good friend Nicola, who will show us the sights and sounds, etc. I plan to see a session of Parliament, naturally, and to see some Lord of the Rings studio sights as well: eeee! New Zealanders are in quite an uproar right now because recently prostitution was decriminalized [I'm, quite frankly, appalled]. In any case, Yasmin just called me out to watch the 'Haka', which is the New Zealand All-Blacks chant that they do before every game. It is apparently some kind of Maori war dance, and, oh, the choreography is pretty impeccable. In any case, I'm off to Rugbify myself [I know a few rugby terms already, because once on a missions trip a kid named Texas Jack tried to teach me.]
I LOVE YOU FAMILY!!!

Jun. 25th, 2003 @ 07:23 pm
I am in Dunedin at Yasmin's flat and I LOVE THIS CITY TO PIECES. It has been freezing, but well worth it and I have gotten soooo much exercise walking up and down these blasted hills. Yasmin got her nose pierced yesterday [yay!] so when we return to Christchurch she will shock the world. I also got a third hole in my right ear because I was feeling giddy and spontaneous [what: me, spontaneous? NO!] So that will be the last hole I put in myself, ever. I've just been window-shopping and seeing the sights, mostly [aside from the third hole and a few new nose rings, I have been a very prudent and cynical shopper, mum and dad, don't worry] and tonight we will go out for coffee. Today I saw Baldwin Street, the world's steepest, but declined to actually walk up it, achhh.
Tomorrow we head back home [Christchurch].
I am thinking of transferring to Uni in New Zealand. Talk me out of it, please?

Jun. 22nd, 2003 @ 09:49 pm
It has been a deliciously full weekend. On Friday night I went to a farewell party for one of Neelam's friends who is a German exchange student. It had a pretty international flavor to it, with all the Kiwis and Germans and Austrians and Japanese and Americans [I wasn't the only Yankee there! Strange!] In any case, it was a whole load of fun and there was a live jazz band and Latin dancing and everything.
Saturday morning, Neelam and I loaded up the car and drove the three hours across the South Island to Greymouth on the West Coast. Greymouth is notorious for being rainy, but both days were sunny and it only began to cloud up today after we had left. We stayed with Neelam's Granny, who was wonderful, and first we went to Punakaiki, which is forty minutes north of Greymouth. They have these fabulous limestone formations with blowholes: the waves crash and make these crazy and stunning sprays, like geysers. It was pretty overwhelming. We also went to Neelam's aunt's little bach, which has a private beach. It wasn't sandy, it was covered with millions of tiny, perfectly round pebbles, and there were huge massive rocks sticking out of the sea [Everywhere you look in Greymouth, you see ocean or mountains. Beautiful.] We went on a bushwalk today after church and lunch, and even though it is supposed to be winter, everything is lush and green and jungly looking and so pure and beautiful that you forget for a few moments that civilization actually exists. I heartily recommend it.
Tomorrow morning I arise early and take a bus down to Dunedin to stay with Yasmin in her flat for a few days. Exciting!
Did I mention that I absolutely love it here?
I'm feeling rather: bold

Here, Daddy, just for you: Jun. 20th, 2003 @ 07:33 pm
It's been a wonderfully relaxing week and I partially don't know what to do with myself after all the stress and whatnot of ending school.
It is now Friday, hip hip hooray! I have gone to the shops in downtown Christchurch a bit, trying to hunt down souvenirs and gifts, etc. I sent out some letters and postcards today, being a good correspondent, and have talked on the phone to the Fam and to Ian. Today I experienced a real Kiwi high school with Neelam. It is nice and large and has a big open campus and a phenomenal auditorium [Jake deGroot would weep]. NZ high schools run five years instead of four, so third-formers [our eighth grade equivalent] are in the school as well. Everyone but seniors has to wear uniforms and they are really wholesome and equalizing and I am starting to go pro-uniform simply because they look so darn cute! [especially little third-formers in shorts and knee-socks: I am having all these great visions of Joel and JT and Jordan jaunting around in uniforms, being rebellious]. It was fun to go to school, and it was also a gorgeous day [the warmest we have], and apparently is quite similar to the weather that Massachusetts is experiencing right now, according to my mummy. We've had dinner already: fish and chips [how classic!!] Tonight, I am going to a farewell party with Neelam, and then in the morning we are waking early and driving through the mountains to Greymouth, on the West Coast. I should see some great scenery there. On Monday morning, I am taking a bus down [all by myself!!] to Dunedin to stay with Yasmin in her flat until Thursday, when I come back to Christchurch. It is all terrifically exciting and I am enjoying every minute of it.
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