Perpetually Unfinished
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
 
So when plans change, and you suddenly find yourself alone in Evanston for Thanksgiving, the decision becomes:

Food or people?

That is, do I want to pay the $3 to go to the ASG Thanksgiving dinner and be surrounded by crowds of strangers? Or do I want to do a big shopping trip for ingredients and then spend Thanksgiving making all the traditional foods that I associate with the day?

I'm leaning towards the latter. My mom dictated several recipes to me over the phone this evening, and since I've had salmon instead of turkey at Thanksgiving for the last 10 years, this makes the endeavor significantly more feasible. Salmon, mashed potatoes, my mom's special crescent rolls, spinach casserole, chocolate truffles-- I can totally make those things. They may not be everyone's idea of Thanksgiving (well, I'm pretty sure the mashed potatoes are a standard!), but it's what my family has. And since this is going to be my first Thanksgiving ever without my family, I kind of like the idea of having that culinary connection, eating the familiar things at the same time as they are. Sure, my mom can say, "You shouldn't be alone on Thanksgiving!" But honestly, in that crowd at the ASG dinner, I'd just be alone in a sea of people.

It's odd what impact food can have on your emotions, isn't it?
 
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Saturday, November 15, 2003
 
I haven't written in a while, have I?

I'm pretty busy. I've taken five classes in a quarter numerous times, but just the four from this quarter add up to the biggest workload of my time at Northwestern. (And it's really only three of them, in fact, since although sitting in lecture for Poli Sci Methods makes me want to gnaw my ankles off for the sake of distraction, it's actually quite an easy class.)

The TA of my Southeast Asian Politics class laughed at me today. We were talking about our 15-page papers, and since I'm up to my elbows in primary sources for my history research paper, I inquired about whether he wanted us to use primary sources. He laughed out loud in front of the whole section. "No, you don't need to fly to Southeast Asia and interview anyone," he said. "That should save you a lot of money. You can stick to secondary sources." Yeah, because personal interviews are the only primary sources out there. As much as this class feels a lot like a history course sometimes, I guess there are some differences, huh?

I ate at SAGA last night. It actually isn't that bad, when you're not forced to eat it day after day after day. I had a coupon for a free meal (I certainly wouldn't pay for it!), so I stopped by Sargent for dinner after class. There's something nice about having a wide variety of food, as much as you want, without having to make any of it yourself. (No, I don't eat out often, how did you guess?) I had salad, which I don't often have at home because it requires having a variety of produce on hand which has not yet gone bad, which is rare for me, so I usually just heat up frozen veggies. I had french fries, which I never buy because it seems redundant alongside the sack of potatoes that's always in my cabinet. I had a fish sandwich. I had blueberry pie. I had two yummy coconut cookies, and nabbed four more in a napkin. And, I had coffee (which I have finally developed a taste for)... and they had Kahlua and Irish Cream flavored creamers! So cool. All in all, I was rather pleased with my meal, which is vaguely disturbing.

I have finally acquired a space heater for my it's-really-a-porch-not-a-bedroom-so-the-insulation-sucks room. I rearranged the entire place in order to have somewhere to put it that's 3 feet away from anything flammable as recommended, which was a challenge in a room the size of mine. However, I have not yet used it. This is because turning it on would be quite dangeous, considering the piles of quite flammable clothes, papers, and books that have somehow accumulated around it, not even three inches away, let alone three feet. This will soon present us with a fun experiment: would Britt rather get frostbite, or clean her room? Tune in next week.
 
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Saturday, November 01, 2003
 
I've been so very spaced out lately. It's really hard to keep my focus, especially in terms of schoolwork. I keep being reminded that there's so much of life that's more important and significant than classes and grades, and so it's difficult to pay attention to those things right now. So I end up unmotivated to study for exams, and while I'm putting in time at the microfilm machine for one of my papers, I keep putting off any attempt to start writing it, or to do any research on the other two. My mind is constantly wandering.

I need to find some way to get over this before I need to write 45 pages of papers and study for 3 finals. I have a feeling it's going to get worse instead of better, though. Well, does it really matter? I'm sure things will get done; I'm just not sure if they'll get done well.
 
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Nature attains perfection, but man never does. There is a perfect ant, a perfect bee, but man is perpetually unfinished. He is both an unfinished animal and an unfinished man. It is this incurable unfinishedness which sets man apart from other living things. For, in the attempt to finish himself, man becomes a creator. Moreover, the incurable unfinishedness keeps man perpetually immature, perpetually capable of learning and growing.
--Eric Hoffer





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