Noisy Water Review

Yesterday, while I was having coffee with my boyfriend and his mother, I happened to spy the teacher I had last winter quarter for my very first Honors class. With suppressed disdain for her rummaging through papers and sipping of coffee, I watched her from the corner of my eye. She caught it, mumbled a displeased “Hello,” to which I responded in  kind.

As we left the coffee shop, I vented my frustration at the woman to my companions, enough to simply relive the anger I felt the day I received the email regarding my 14 page paper which read, “I haven’t read your essay yet, but you need to rewrite it.” My very first B followed soon after.

However, this morning, as I was willing myself to be pulled out from the warmth of bed, and scrolling through my Facebook page, I spied a post that my cousin tagged me in. It was an expression of excitement of the release of The Noisy Water Review, that is, the publication in which one will find my essay, “The Self Examined: Exploring Bergson’s Idea of Absolute Knowledge via Ben Jelloun’s novel The Sandchild.”

After bumping into my teacher yesterday, I felt a sense of poetic justice, though perhaps not int eh truest sense of the term, but rather in that there was as satisfaction that she can be as up herself as she wants to be. But at the end of the day, the essay she rejected is the one that got published.

Juggling juggling, always juggling

I’ve essentially been playing catch up since j got back from Salt Lake City. I’ll talk more about my time there later. For now, I’m simply updating that I got back safe and sound, met some neat people, and have been delving into massive amounts of catch-up in regards to my homework load and NaNoWriMo.

I have had to make up (are you ready for this?) FIVE take home tests and four write ups since being back to school. Thankfully I have really nice and understanding teachers this quarter, so I’m 98% certain my grade won’t suffer as a result.

NaNoWriMo has been the one that’s really been suffering. Today I made a mad-dash sprint to catch up, and wrote 7,000 words, though I’m still 2,700 behind, which will only increase by another 1,668 tomorrow. I’m determined though, and if I can keep up this level of productivity then I’ll be alright.

Wish me luck!

First Experience of NCPTW2015

It was a long journey to get here. Three planes that are all less than two hours of a ride is nothing short of exhausting. There used to be direct flights from Bellingham to Salt Lake City, but no longer. We flew from Bellingham, to Seattle, to Portland, to Salt Lake City. The last two planes were small and wobbly.

But we made it, boy howdy did we make it.

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The hotel we are staying in is the Little America Hotel, and the conference is just across the street in the Grand America Hotel. We followed some people we thought might also be a part of the conference into a small brick building, with a similarly themed tower of a building behind it.

Everything is marble here, cream and white splintered mauve marble. The ceilings are high, and if I knew about wood I could tell you with great detail the boarders of the hotel on the inside. I could venture a guess and say it’s all maple, simply because I like the alliteration of maple and marble.image

We checked in with some confusion, a miscommunication between the school and the hotel, though I think it’s been sorted. I was fairly exhausted, so I retreated fairly quickly to my room,which was in another building. Utah, as it would turn out, is quit chilly. It feels like winter, but there’s something fresh about it. Whereas I generally find myself with an allergy to the bite of threatening snow, the air seemed clean, and welcoming. This was an entirely different cold than I’ve experienced. I’ve been to Eastern Washington during the winter, I’m aware of what desert cold can be, but this is just simply something different, something pleasant.image

I took a shower before sitting down on the massive room I had all to myself, and falling asleep. I had been up since 4 in the morning, and now it was twelve hours later, and I was running on less than four hours of sleep–never mind the immense stress flying puts on me (it takes a lot of energy to have flight anxiety, and to experience that three separate times as well). It was my boss’s text that woke me and brought me to the hotel across the street, where the reception was being held for the conference.

I had thought that the first hotel was fancy, but this one was posh on posh. There were people in expensive boarder-line ball gowns, freshly pressed tuxes and live piano playing as well. It was beautiful, and I was widely aware of how I smelled, despite my shower, and that I was wearing the clothes I wore the previous day. I was certain I would be kicked out simply for looking offensive in comparison to these done-up biddies.

imageHowever, I relaxed quite a bit when we found those that belonged to the conference. Schools from all over the country had representatives form their writing centers, and all of these students were just as under-prepared as I was. I began to relax. There were wait staff holding silver treys, offering groups of people hors d’oeuvres–little goat cheese and mushroom tartlettes, espresso cups with grilled cheese sandwiches and a swig of tomato soup, and other cute, posh, little nibbles. The chandelier sparkled overhead, and people mingled. I even paid $4.50 for a glass of water. During my journey a student approached me and introduced himself. People do this? I’m more than friendly, of course, but the idea of approaching strangers to engage in conversation with them is terrifying to me (unless I’m on a plane, during which case I’m already terrified and conversation with a stranger helps me). Another student joined. We were all presenting on Saturday, though during different times. We talked for a long time before I needed to excuse myself and just go to bed. It was only 7:30 or so, but I was still suffering from the day.image

I made it to my room. My large, silent, empty room. I realized that this was the first time I’d ever had a hotel room to myself. I didn’t really know what to do with the luxury. So naturally, I put on cartoons and ordered room service.

My boss assures me that not all conferences are this fancy, but this is still something that I feel out of depth with, yet oddly at home. There’s something intriguing about this whole experience. As I got ready this morning, shouldered the laptop bag and crossed the frosty parking lot to the lobby of the hotel where there is a cafe, with intent to write (well, blog and write, but let’s face it, NaNoWriMo might be getting a little bit burned on that back burner there), I thought that I could get used to this. Not the poshness, mind you, but the traveling, the being on a business trip that involves writing.

I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m pretty certain I’m on the right track for it.

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On My Way to NCPTW 2015

The first part of my journey is done, though it didn’t take me very far. I got up at 4 after a fantastic gin-filled evening to be at the Bellingham airport at 5 this morning to catch a 6am flight. Unfortunately, it was just going to Seattle, and there is a two hour layover here before we head onward to Portland, and then to Salt Lake City. But thus is the nature of the travel.

While my boss (in the Writing Center) and I waited for our plane, we ran into another teacher in the English department at Whatcom–the one who has been extremely supportive as well as gave a verbal recommendation for me to all my UK schools. She was off to a conference as well to present her paper on women in Edgar Allen Poe’s literature (I would LOVE to read this paper), and also onward to Portland, though (smartly) via direct flight.

The flight wasn’t too bad. I have severe flight anxiety, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned in travel posts previously, but I was lucky enough to be between the kindness of my boss and the kindness of a stranger, who kept conversation going the whole flight. I made a friend. It was good.

So now I find myself in the food court waiting for the next flight in an hour. My boss has gone to do some wandering, and I am sitting here scolding myself for not writing my NaNoWriMo story (I should be writing!). She gave me some herbal calm-down stuff, and I have some homeopathic calm-down chews. So between that and the 16 ounce coffee I chugged, my brain isn’t really certain what it should be doing (fantastic time to write!). Thus, I am blogging.

More to come, when I arrive in Salt Lake City. I’ve never been. The majority of what I know is from what I saw on that movie, SLC Punks. I”m sure that it’ll be an interesting, and vastly different experience.

Everything Happens….NOW

I’m kind of blurry-eyed right now. everything is happening right now. Just right now.

of course, with the mark of November begins NaNoWriMo. I’m participating, yet I am so far behind on my word count. I should be reaching somewhere in the mid 6k as far as my word count goes, and I’m about 3k short. Not to worry. Tomorrow morning I leave to head to Salt Lake City to the National Conference of Peer Tutors in Writing to give my presentation. There will be evenings on my own, which will give me ample time to write and catch up. I present on Saturday afternoon, about which I’ll post more, later.

Yesterday I got an email say that the University of Nottingham had accepted me. That makes two out of my five applied for that have accepted me. Granted, New Castle and Nottingham are my bottom choices, but the fact that I have choices made me pretty happy.

But then today happened. Due to some silly social drama and a few other things, I wasn’t having the best of mornings. Then I got another email, this one was from Durham University – which is accepting me as well! I was so happy that I started crying! I couldn’t help it–my top choice university accepted me into their English with Philosophy program. I’m elated with joy.

So, that’s my last 36 hours. How was yours?