And God said, ‘There shall be a break,’ and it was good. Then God said, ‘There shall be Christmas at Luther,’ and it was also pretty good. And then Noah said, ‘Dear Lord, this is exhausting,’ and God said, ‘Too bad. Suck it up and quite whining.’ And Noah did so, and it was good.
Break was fine. It was short, felt even shorter than fall break—and I think that was because there were two days of transit involved—and ot capped off with the epic, six-hour Christmas at Luther rehearsal that kicks off the whole deal-io. And to be entirely honest, that rehearsal is really the worst of it. It’s long, arduous, exhausting and not entirely rewarding—I’m going to be honest. The rehearsal on Monday isn’t that much better. It isn’t until everything starts picking up steam that the entire Christmas at Luther experience really becomes worth it. Performing tonight for my parents—worth it. Worth twelve hours of rehearsals this week—not sure. It put a little more stress over the week’s proceedings than I’m usually able to handle, and I was forced to compensate by downing vast quantities of strong—not like Orwell-strong, but still pretty strong—black tea.
Speaking of Orwell, we had a fantastic conversation in Creative Writing about his essay Politics and the English Language, which I happened to have written a paper about for one of my other English classes. Orwell was really more of a touchstone than the center of the conversation, but it turned into a pretty gnarly brawl over the relevance of literary fiction and good prose vs. bad fiction written by hack writers. There were definitely names named, and possibly some feelings hurt. But the premise of the conversation—bad, sloppy, imprecise writing leads to bad, sloppy and imprecise thoughts, which eventually destroys our ability to think entirely. Which I think is true, and it’s something I’m constantly terrified about while writing seriously. It’s almost put me in a state of paralysis, to be entirely honest. I’ve tried to take his advice to heart—not to use long words when short ones will do and never to use turns of phrase that one is used to seeing in print—but it’s extraordinarily difficult to do that well and consistently.
So what’s been happening, in addition to that?
Not that much. Like A Little has reasserted its icy blue grip on the Luther College student body, which is a profoundly mixed blessing. It’s a great source of gossip and get-your-mind-off-it-all silliness, but there are times when I realize that being mentioned or not has grown far more interesting to me than is reasonable, or perhaps healthy.
Finals are only a couple weeks away, so the last battery of papers before tests and things has been unleashed unto me. I have yet to finish any of them. But that’s really a time thing. Tomorrow is sunk, but Saturday and Sunday I should have a fair amount of time to draft and edit and finish papers. And my short story, which I’m still pretty unhappy with. But that isn’t anything new.
My work at Chips, on the other hand, has been somewhat rewarding, if a lot more time-consuming than my paycheck would indicate. I’ve been doing ads for various local businesses, and those have turned out really well. I usually end up cutting out a photograph or three, and doing little graphic ditties, but it’s something I enjoy, which is so good. because if it wasn’t, then I would be a really grumpy panda.