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Old 07-11-2011, 04:47 PM   #16
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I managed 25...



1) When our grad students impersonate faculty for end-of-year events, "my" skit always has the same signature features: the feverish pacing up and down the aisles, the tipping precariously far over the lectern, the wildly waving arms, the rocketing unnervingly out of chairs, all comically juxtaposed with the fact that I actually speak quite slo-ah-ly and am easily spun off on tangents by student questions, so that I'm often puzzledly asking them, "Now--how'd I get onto this...?" In the classroom at least, it would seem I'm all too easily imitated.

2) A day without a run, or at least a good long walk, is misery to me; the fastest and most reliable way to get me relaxed and focused is to take me for a walk in the woods.

3) An embarrassing chink in my Cultured Person armor is that I generally have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to the movies. But then after the film is over, I'll be the most enthused one present about discussing it, can't stop thinking about it, and am kept up all night by images and music from it spontaneously replaying themselves in my head. It's like the medium is innately overstimulating to me somehow.

4) I'm a sucker for most any short-muzzled dog: bulldogs, boxers, mastiffs, pugs, the whole lot. Not just their looks, it's that stubborn independent-minded streak those breeds all seem to share. Alter ego thing.

5) Losing both my parents before I hit middle age has increased my sense of urgency about what I want to do with the rest of my life.

6) International travel is very high on the list of my greatest joys. I don't really have a "favorite place," and frankly 30 minutes' reading about most anywhere is often all it takes to convince me I must get there soon, but to date at least, I think I can say that South Asia and Mediterranean Europe are my favorite regions to explore in depth, that the Hautes-Pyrenees and Kaua'i are the most movingly beautiful places I've ever hiked, and that London is one city I don't think I'd ever tire of visiting.

7) Books are the only thing I enjoy shopping for.

8) Though I read a lot, I seldom read fiction anymore or feel the urge to, sadly. It seems this is fairly common, I wonder why?

9) Going on a mood stabilizer has been so beneficial to me; I only wish I'd done it years sooner, rather than viewing any medication as an admission of "defeat."

10) I love cooking and sharing food with people; it is, by far, my greatest creative outlet. Except for a handful of childhood favorites I wouldn't dream of changing, I seldom make the same dish twice. I never met a cuisine I didn't immediately like, and find learning about foodways fascinating.

11) Actually, maybe my only full-fledged creative outlet...I play a few instruments passably and am a decent singer (orchestra and choir through part of high school), but don't really have any creative talent in those areas. As for visual arts, forget it, even my kids snicker at my pitiful occasional attempts to embellish a message with a sketch. I'm capable of worthy personal essays, if that counts as creative.

12) I played basketball through eighth grade and was pretty good I guess, but by high school cross country and track were more important. Made it to state finals (hurdles) sophomore year; unfortunately after that I never had time for organized sports again.

13) I am slowly losing my hearing and it scares the hell out of me if I think too long about it.

14) I'm a smalltown/country person at heart; love visiting cities, can live happily in them for brief periods, but before too long the noise, the remove from nature, and the always being surrounded by complete strangers oblivious to each other's lives and worlds, that wears me down. Smalltown life certainly has its disadvantages, it's more a question of what sort of living environment I can realistically tolerate in exchange for the cultural resources I'd ideally like to have.

15) I am close to all four of my siblings, and count my two older brothers among my closest friends.

16) As a young person (particularly in the college years), I was amazed how many of my peers freely and frequently professed to hate their parents. I don't mean people from clearly abusive, deeply neglectful families, that I of course understand. I was never close to my own mother, but I always held both my parents in very high regard, and can't imagine ever feeling that way towards them. I find the distance so many people seem to feel from their families, in terms of both attachment and regard, rather perplexing and sad.

17) If there were a college that was to the Deep South what Berea is to Appalachia--a liberal arts, work-study school with a particular mission to serve the region's rural poor and honor its culture while rejecting its historic divides in race and creed--I would SO be there.

18) My students motivate me much more than scholarship, perhaps a bit too much more.

19) That said, my primary research interests (in India) are education policy, language policy, caste politics, and the intersection of caste and religious identities. I also have both administrative and teaching experience in general humanities education, in the US and abroad (India, China, France).

20) I have a strong sense of professional propriety, which sometimes makes for a difficult fit with the generally democratic character of academic culture.

21) I wish my parents had shared their first language at home with us rather than seeing it as a dead end to be left behind, though I understand why they felt that way.

22) I tend to be maddeningly indecisive about almost everything (as the way I just worded that shows).

23) It's hard not to get more excited than you probably should be when one of your kids starts showing signs of sharing one of your passions.

24) I find that almost all people are truly fascinating, once you take the time to get to know them.

25) I work with several community organizations in my leisure time; environmental task force, homeless shelter, community garden, we volunteer at a nearby summer camp for kids with cancer. It's been such a great way to meet and make friends with some really wonderful people who are always doing interesting things.
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:35 PM   #17
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8) Though I read a lot, I seldom read fiction anymore or feel the urge to, sadly. It seems this is fairly common, I wonder why?
I have noticed that, too. Among my reading friends, nonfiction is popular. I go back and forth between nonfiction and fiction. Once I finish one, I go to the other.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:15 PM   #18
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37. i really like living in the mainland United States, but i don't want to stay here for the rest of my life, though i wouldn't mind if i could live in Hawaii.
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41. I find the exurban strip mall landscapes incredibly depressing. We have such an amazing piece of land, and this is what we’ve done with it?
One of the things I love most about Hawai'i is the relative lack of strip-mall-style "development"--all the mom'n'pop stores, the charmingly odd specialty shops. That, and the hybrid Western/East Asian culture is hugely appealing to me. (Naturally, the weather and the landscapes don't hurt either.) Now if only there were jobs there for people like us...
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88. In high school, four friends and I created a secret identity called the Joker, and through a series of pranks succeeded in terrifying and mystifying our school for most of the school year. To pull off the deception I lied to several people who I considered very close to me, and when they found out they were deeply hurt (see #71). I know I should regret this but I do not. I do regret that we revealed our identity. I would love it if today people were still wondering who the Joker was.
That's awesome! In fact that sounds like a great basis for a novel or part of one right there.
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1. I injured myself when I was a child by trying to fly after watching Peter Pan. The magic dust did not work.
12. Last year a crow swooped down and stole my eyeglasses. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with my loner crow and the rival family of three crows and I make them large breakfasts every weekend—they like scrambled eggs and chicken livers and cheese puffs. I also walked in on a pair mating this year. No baby crow as a result, so I may have messed that up.
1. Did you conclude that you must not believe enough in magic, or was that Intro to Skepticism 101?
12. Crows really are uncanny--they seem way smarter than any bird has any right to be, and I often get this eerie sense that they're mocking me.
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16) I believe in attending church as a way to thank God for everything, though I am not sure what kind of church I should attend.
Please take me with a grain of salt on this, but over the years several Christian friends of ours who were raised Catholic or mainline Protestant, but found church a hard fit as adults, seem to have really come to feel at home in Friends (Quakers) churches. I know pretty much nothing about Quakers beyond laughably out-of-date colonial-history stereotypes; it's just striking to me that several people I've known who shared the same general sort of "religious community" predicament settled in there.
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32. I have a lot of friends for somebody who is an introvert.
33. I still find that I need my private time, and after socializing with large groups of people, I tend to retreat and crave some quiet time.
This sounds a lot like me...socializing is ultimately draining rather than recharging, and I do need my solitude, but at the same time I crave contact, being part of a group or team, and I really do like (most) people.
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21. Some people ask, “salt or sweet?” I can’t decide between the two. Both, please?
68. The best trip I ever took was a week in Morocco almost 10 years ago.
81. I worry about my sister.
82. I worry about my mother.
83. I do not worry about my brother.
21. The older I get, the more that's becoming true for me too. I used to be an emphatic "Salt, please (preferably with hot sauce on the side)" type but, I think partly because having a family has made me feel like I "should" be a pretty decent baker as well (I was largely competent-but-indifferent towards that before), I've come to appreciate and enjoy working with sweet flavors a lot more. Um, we are talking about food here, right?
68. Sell me on it. What did you like so much about it? I've never been to North Africa and could do with some motivations to go.
81-83. It's funny how this works with siblings. I worry a lot about my next oldest brother, but no one else, really. Which is funny, because so far as I can tell he's the one who regularly worries about me, too. Also because we were constantly at each other's throats as kids.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:01 PM   #19
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1. Did you conclude that you must not believe enough in magic, or was that Intro to Skepticism 101?
12. Crows really are uncanny--they seem way smarter than any bird has any right to be, and I often get this eerie sense that they're mocking me.
.

Some skepticism, I never tried flying again. But I found safer ways to suspend my disbelief. And I regularly engage in suspending my disbelief.

Crows have become my favorite birds. Intricate little social circle. It's amazing to watch them engage in a little airplay with other species of birds. I wouldn't be surprised if they were mocking us a little.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:14 PM   #20
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I managed 25...



3) An embarrassing chink in my Cultured Person armor is that I generally have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to the movies. But then after the film is over, I'll be the most enthused one present about discussing it, can't stop thinking about it, and am kept up all night by images and music from it spontaneously replaying themselves in my head. It's like the medium is innately overstimulating to me somehow.



14) I'm a smalltown/country person at heart; love visiting cities, can live happily in them for brief periods, but before too long the noise, the remove from nature, and the always being surrounded by complete strangers oblivious to each other's lives and worlds, that wears me down. Smalltown life certainly has its disadvantages, it's more a question of what sort of living environment I can realistically tolerate in exchange for the cultural resources I'd ideally like to have.




22) I tend to be maddeningly indecisive about almost everything (as the way I just worded that shows).

.

These three sound like me.

I rarely go to movies and I never understand why because I have the same reaction you do.

PS. It took me about an hour to consider your Peter Pan question and whether my experience made me a skeptic.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:17 AM   #21
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68. Sell me on it. What did you like so much about it? I've never been to North Africa and could do with some motivations to go.


part of it was one of those perfect trip/perfect time situations.

it was the first time i had traveled outside of the very comfortable north america/european context, and i saw what real rural poverty in a developing nation looks like. i also had a friend from college who was living in Rabat and she had a Moroccan boyfriend so we got a glimpse of a more "authentic" Morocco than do most people.

i also think we did it right. we flew into Rabat. day tripped to Fez with my friend and her BF and had possibly the single best day of travel i've ever had. we rented a car (with a driver) and drove over the Atlas Mountains to Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, and Zagora (where you see the famous "36 Days to Timbuktu" sign). would definitely recommend *not* taking the ferry over from Spain and doing a day in Tangiers. many people do that and are turned off by the aggressive selling to tourists. everyone who does that seems to have a bad story. i recommend committing to the country for a week and skipping Algiers altogether.

also, i love desert landscapes, the food was amazing, and i spoke more French in a week in Morocco than i would in a month in Belgium (where i was living at the time).

i found people friendly and helpful, but also clearly from a very different culture, which was new to me at the time.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:57 AM   #22
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I think I have 25-for now or forever



I still have my Beanie Baby collection

The best birthday I’ve ever had was seeing a no hitter in person

The worst one I’ve had was knowing that my dog was going to be put down the next day

I still miss my dog every day, after three years. I think about her constantly.

If I could I would eat chocolate ice cream (and potato chips) every day of my life

Right now I think Adrian Gonzalez is the sexiest man alive (and I thought that long before the Home Run Derby)

I think the most sensual experience in the world is having someone else wash your hair

More often than not I feel invisible

I love trashy celebrity magazines

I usually go to the movies once a week, usually by myself. Most times I also sneak into a second one without paying

I feel like I’ve wasted most of my life and I wonder where all the time has gone

I know that money doesn’t buy happiness but I also know I’d be much happier if I had some

I didn’t even own an iPod until two or three years ago, and it was a gift

I hate talking on the telephone, especially to strangers

I hate my speaking voice

Public speaking is probably my biggest fear. I am also pretty terrified of heights. And those pedestrian bridges with spaces in between the steps. All give me panic attacks.

I hate how much my mother drinks and how she refuses to acknowledge that she has an addiction. I don’t think she ever will.

When my father dies I will be mourning what I didn’t have

I don’t like my name, but at least it’s not all that typical

I do kind of like what it means

I’m addicted to body products

I wish I could sing, or play piano

My grandfather was such a bigot and I think that was the biggest factor in shaping so many of my views, even though he died when I was quite young

I refuse to use porta potties, so I won’t go anywhere that requires that

I enjoy a good cry
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:00 AM   #23
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I think the most sensual experience in the world is having someone else wash your hair
If you've really had this experience, I want to go to your salon. Everytime I get my hair washed by someone, they tear at my hair and scalp.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:04 AM   #24
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If you've really had this experience, I want to go to your salon. Everytime I get my hair washed by someone, they tear at my hair and scalp.
The salon I used to go to had the person doing the scalp massage-the new one my stylist is at just uses the massage chairs. But when someone at the old one knew what they were doing and did it correctly it was awesome. Sometimes I almost fell asleep.

Of course I think a really attractive guy who did it correctly would be even better. We can just skip all the other stuff and get right to that-or do that first and well.. Like Out of Africa.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:47 PM   #25
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Public speaking is probably my biggest fear. I am also pretty terrified of heights. And those pedestrian bridges with spaces in between the steps. All give me panic attacks.
Me too.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:48 PM   #26
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I'm so bored. And I feel like such an a hole talking about myself so much.



I feel guilty killing bugs

I went to a Keith Urban concert last week and I loved it. He is very hot.

Sometimes I’m just so lazy and lacking in motivation and I hate myself for it

I don’t want to be or get married but I want to pick out and wear a wedding dress before I die. I fantasize about it.

I didn’t go to my high school prom because no one asked. Then I found out that my best guy friend wanted to ask me, he had a friend of ours do it and I got mad because he didn’t just ask me himself so I said no. I still feel guilty about that.

I love to laugh

I love to just veg out on my bed and watch baseball games-or football or basketball or hockey

I want to get my picture with the Stanley Cup. I want to kiss it too, but um..the germs

I once had a dream that I worked for Anderson Cooper. And well, you know.

I hate hot and humid weather. Give me cold weather any day-just no snow

Most days I don’t like the way I look, sometimes hate it.. and I wish I could change so many things about it

I own way too much makeup

I own way too much clothing, and way too many t-shirts

I find it hard to believe that 100 % unconditional love exists. Maybe that’s only because I don’t have kids..but I have never felt that from my parents. Or anyone else.

I bite my nails and I always have. I’ve only been able to stop a few times in my life.

The last time I cried was watching the Diane Sawyer special about Jaycee Dugard

I love the sound of the ocean and just sitting near the ocean for hours. I dream of hitting the lottery and having a big beautiful house on the ocean. But I’d have to start playing the lottery first.

I have ugly feet and I think most people do.

I love to walk barefoot (even though my feet are so ugly) and I hate shoes

I have been stung by a jellyfish-and no I didn’t pee on it or have someone pee on it. I’d much rather deal with the pain.

I have never had a broken bone or surgery

I hate having my picture taken so much that I keep putting off renewing my passport. And it’s not as if I’m taking a trip anyway.

I am a procrastinator

I loved Princess Diana and I have a small Diana collection of plates, books, magazines, etc

I wish I could go to a World Series or an All Star Game..or the NBA Finals or a Super Bowl, before I die.
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:37 PM   #27
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I have been stung by a jellyfish-and no I didn’t pee on it or have someone pee on it. I’d much rather deal with the pain.
But sympathy for the pain.

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I wish I could go to a World Series or an All Star Game..or the NBA Finals or a Super Bowl, before I die.
I went to a World Series game when the Phillies were in it. It was nice to be there. But I'd rather watch the World Series from home. Of course I was in the last row at the Vet so maybe that affected my experience.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:54 PM   #28
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18. I love, love to scuba dive. Diving on the Great Barrier Reef was one of the great joys of my life, and I hope to make it back every 10 years or so.
You have got to go to Palau. It is world-reknowned as one of the premier dive spots in the world. And I can attest that this true having been diving there myself

(The one exception would be if there is a typhoon in the area. The last time I was in Palau we went diving, but basically were forced to stay not too far from the marina because the water was too rough out where the real beauty is. The dives were pretty lackluster compared to what I'd experienced before).

Check out this account: Here in America: "Paradise Found"

At the time I wasn't certified yet, so all I did was snorkel and it was still mindblowing.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:15 PM   #29
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Public speaking is probably my biggest fear.
I love public speaking. I know that makes me unusual.

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I'm so bored. And I feel like such an a hole talking about myself so much.
I feel like an a hole for not feeling like an a hole for talking about myself so much. Your are truly humble, Mrs. S and as such will surely inherit the earth.




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I bite my nails and I always have. I’ve only been able to stop a few times in my life.
I chewed my nails for years and it was only right this moment as I was reading your post that I realized that I stopped. . .years ago. I can't remember when I stopped and I don't know why. I do still have the nervous habit of chewing pens. I often handle them like cigarettes. I think I was a smoker if a former life (If I believed in former lives).

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The last time I cried was watching the Diane Sawyer special about Jaycee Dugard
Wow, I have been so gripped by that story. I missed the 20/20 special but saw clips on the ABC website. I actually went out and bought a People magazine tonight so I could find out what happened next. I'm amazed that she survived such a horror and yet seems so normal.


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I have never had a broken bone or surgery
Me neither!
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:16 PM   #30
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You have got to go to Palau. It is world-reknowned as one of the premier dive spots in the world. And I can attest that this true having been diving there myself



it is high on the list. i have a friend who raves about it -- he said the clarity of the water and the quality of the coral was even better than the Great Barrier Reef. and, apparently you can scuba into Japanese submarines that were sunk during WW2.
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