Thursday, 18 September 2008

Medical Miracle

Thank goodness I was sitting in the library yesterday so that I heard this:

There was a rather rude young man making an appointment (over the phone) with the student health center. He described his symptoms as "my throat. it hurts." He then must have gotten transferred to someone else because he repeated, "yeah, i need an appointment for my throat." After a brief pause he explained to the receptionist, "well, i've been drinking ice water to soothe it, but that didn't do anything."

Duh. What an idiot. And now everyone in Ellis Library knows you are an idiot too.

So for all of you that were looking for that cure-all for a sore throat, it's not ice water. Sorry.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Why I write

In my Intermediate Writing class we were asked to explain, in one to two pages, why we write. I thought my interpretation of how I got interested in writing might be interesting to others:

On a cold February morning, my mother was rushed to Hinsdale Hospital in Illinois to deliver her third daughter. In the most dramatic of fashion, I was ready to enter the world breach with my umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. While this is ordinarily a difficult pregnancy, and definitely was in 1987, my mother’s doctor was going to attempt to deliver me naturally. A small crowd of doctors, nurses and medical students gathered in the delivery room to watch the doctor perform this difficult procedure. Needless to say my mom was not happy with the audience, but the whole situation now seems rather fitting for the most dramatic of her daughters. Always the little performer, I consider this the first of many grand entrances.
As the youngest daughter in a family of three girls, I have been looking for my own voice since birth. With my sisters being almost polar opposites, the big question when I was growing up was whom I would be more like. To everyone else’s shock and surprise I developed as an exact hybrid of the two, not without my own drama and flair.
As a kid I loved to read and was extremely articulate at a young age. That, along with my petite size, was quite the sight. I thrived on the attention I received and from there my creativity only grew. I can remember narrating my actions in my head as I went through my day, and as my vocabulary grew even self-editing the little stories I created in my head.
Once I grew older, I found that writing came fairly easy to me, which was most likely a result of all my reading and story creation as a child. At some point in my childhood, I developed a great deal of stomach and chest pain that only increased as my oldest sister left for college and my other sister’s wild streak began to emerge. I found myself retreating inward. My extremely vocal and dramatic personality dwindled, and instead I found it easier to express myself in written words as opposed to spoken. In hindsight, my newfound introspection and anxiety triggered my interest in writing.
I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome accompanied by lactose intolerance as a junior in high school. For those who are unfamiliar with IBS, it can only be controlled, never cured. Most of the treatment involves lifestyle and diet changes, including stress-management programs to control one of the major symptom triggers. At the time, my great stress release was the hours and hours of dance classes I was enrolled in. Not only did I love to perform, just as I had as a child, but I also loved the concentration and body awareness it required.
I had always danced, but developed a real passion for it as a high school sophomore. When I left for college, I not only lost my one sure-fire stress reliever, but also gained a great deal more stress. It wasn’t until I was encouraged to journal by both a doctor and a journalism professor that I finally got the hint. Although I journaled a bit in high school, I didn’t give it a fair shot until college. Most of the time it just helped me to clarify my thoughts and worries. Soon though, I realized how much I enjoyed looking back on not just particular situations, but the honest feelings that accompanied them.
Once I became comfortable with the idea that I was a decent writer, I began to let others in. I spent the last semester in London and kept a blog for family and friends to read. To my shock and amazement, I actually had quite a following. From other teachers at my mother’s school to my sisters’ friends reliving their own study abroad experiences, I got numerous emails about how much people were enjoying my writing, and if the continued praise and feedback isn’t a reason to keep writing, at this point, I don’t know what is.