Monday, August 30, 2010

It's become really difficult to get myself to write in here when I have so many other places I need to be writing. I'm half tempted to just start pasting in emails that I've sent to my mom and grandma so that I don't have to repeat everything I've been telling them.

I'm writing from Baltimore. The trip was fairly uneventful; even the cat traveled better than expected, without the kitty tranquilizers (I got a couple from the vet just in case). She stayed overnight in the room with us at an Econo-lodge in Ohio, too, without any trouble. The only casualty of moving has been a lamp with a glass-paned shade; two of the panes and two of the bulbs got broken (the third has since burnt out). I was able to super-glue the panes back together (though it's obvious where they cracked) and it seems to be holding just fine.

In lieu of my last post though, I am learning quickly -- mostly not from firsthand experience -- that the "good" and "bad" sections of Baltimore aren't so clearly defined as those of Saginaw. Each of the main neighborhoods seems almost to be an island of "good area" with a moat of "bad area" surrounding (though it still holds true that West Baltimore is to be avoided).

The city and my lack of acquaintances in it have both done wonders for my sense of autonomy though. I used to do things on my own fairly often in Saginaw (I hesitate to say "back home" now, because in a strange way it feels like I can't go back there, and so Baltimore is "home" now) -- I'd go to the mall, or the coffee shop, or the library, etc. But I'd never taken a city bus by myself, for example (actually, I never took a bus anywhere in Saginaw. Their public transportation system left a lot to be desired). And I've done a fair amount of exploring on my own here (though M, my roommate, has been tremendously helpful in showing me where things are). I've spent a lot more of time on my own, period. Especially the first couple weeks, before I met anyone. Being alone in a strange new place adds a whole other level to it all.

I've caught myself once or twice while reading friends' updates on facebook forgetting for just a split second that it isn't 5 or 10 minutes to get to the Saginaw mall or coffee shop now. The flight from here to there isn't especially long or expensive, but there's a lot more planning involved in a visit than before.

It's kind of hard sometimes to read updates and to know that their lives are carrying on without me -- game nights, bar nights, etc. But my life is carrying on without them, too. Sometimes I catch myself thinking that if I could just bring two or three of them with me... but I know that's unrealistic. I can only hope that despite the distance we can keep in touch, and maybe visit once in awhile.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My new friend Katie (who I met through Maureen) and I went rollerblading today; she took me to a park called Centennial Park that has a trail around a lake. It was something like 3 miles around, we figured... we went all the way around, but it was exhausting, especially since it was so hot. She has a pool though, in her back yard, and she told me to bring a suit so we could swim afterward. And we did. Very refreshing.

I had my second class tonight, a poetry workshop. We didn't do any actual writing tonight but we talked about some stuff related to poetry, and the professor gave us this assignment where we drew three "first lines" out of a cup and we have to write poems about them. My lines were "Another word for father is worry," "No matter how many times I try," and "I am going to carry my bed into New York City tonight." I don't know what I'm going to do with any of those yet.

The other night after I got out of my first class I was walking to Starbucks, and this guy (not a creeper, just a normal guy) driving down the road next to me rolled down his window and said, "This is like the fifth time I've seen you today! Are you in the MFA program?" I was like, "Yes, I am," and he said that he is too, a second year, and that he'd seen me by the building a bunch of times (I didn't recognize him, but I couldn't see him too clearly because it was getting kind of dark and he was in his car). He introduced himself, said he was sure he'd see me around and drove off. Well yesterday I got an email from him -- it turns out he runs the UB Theatrical Society (which I'd signed up to get info about at orientation) and wanted to know if I would be interested in an officer position. He said he liked to have another MFA person in the secretary position because they would have similar schedules and could meet to discuss meetings, projects, etc. more easily. He offered to buy me coffee or lunch one day so we could talk more about it. Could be a good thing to have on a resume if I decide to do it.

Tomorrow I work at the library 11-3 then I have Friday through Monday off since Monday is Labor Day. There's talk of a trip to a swimming quarry on Saturday (Katie and Maureen are going) but other than that I don't know what I'm going to do, except probably hang out with Jon a bit. And do homework and maybe a bit of grocery shopping.