Sunday, October 16, 2011

Preparing for the Floods-Making a Routine out of Chaos

Dear hearts!
To you I write again despite the fact that I am always writing my blogs late and off schedule! While this is pathetic, I beg a bit of sympathy because I am usually fanatically playing the piano trying to get cadences right, and once I am finished, I usually come back to a box of toffee to ease my woes and Macgamut to ignite them again….For those of you who aren’t Macgamut users, let me quickly explain what his means. Imagine, for a moment, you are playing Tetris(if you don’t know what Tetris is, you may live in a world without hope…..). Each time a block comes down, you frantically, but strategically try to arrange it. Now imagine for a moment, as you arrange blocks in order to form perfect rows that you are given pieces that, no matter how hard you try, cannot be used ot make that perfect row. You manipulate and even though you may minimize the damage by placing your unfit table block to the side, you still feel as if you can’t get your game to work entirely your way, and finally, after a series of these useless blocks, you rip out your hair as you are ranked down and realize that some twelve year old male from Texas is better than you are(on my version of Tetris, you compete against other people from all over the country in Tetris matches-see ) So it is with Macgamut. Just when things are looking up, the wrong question comes in, and you miss it. Suddenly, the seven out of ten green blocks you receive are annihilated, and a fat, ugly red x, mars the slots(to pass a level in Macgamut, you must get eight in a row right-usually I get six or seven and then miss one).

Right, eating toffee to ease woes and using Macgamut to create woes-at the same time. Now I don’t have to wonder why I’ve gained a little weight and gained a lto of stress. I suppose you could say it’s due to the wonders of having a college routine. Or perhaps, it is due to having to change from your homebody routine to a sort of chaotic routine. And what od I mean by chaotic routine, you say? Yes, my dear hearts, I am using a wonderful device we English majors like to call paradox J J Routines are supposed ot be anticlimactic, monotonous, boring, and yet….chaotic implies a sense of, “Oh Good Lawd, Hep us!!!!!!!,” or “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!,” I.e. chaos.

Yet, college seems to want ot give us the worst of both worlds. We frequently have routines, but they are always interrupted by some sort of chaos which causes us to readjust.

Take, for example, my first entry into Cudd this year. As a sophomore music student, I knew my life would be drastically different. I knew there would be fewer tea parties, anime movie nights, and nights spend reading Southern books like, Gone with the Wind. I knew there would a new room, a new roommate, and the impossibility of bringing my beautiful (stuffed) lion, Leonidus (he’s quite the lady-killer actually) to Peppermint Ball as my date. Oh yes, I knew, with sinking heart, that I was going to have to create another, harder routine to follow…….

But, Hell’s teeth, I didn’t realize it would be quite like this!!!!

I had thought the previous year was kind of stressful(for numerous reasons not worthy of this blog), but all of the sudden here I was, with music classes, only my phone as an alarm, a giant recycling bin to place God knows where in our room, and the Bastet(I will not mention what this stands for, but there is a version of Tetris where the computer automatically calculates which block will be the least helpful to you and will send you the block multiple times) musical equivalent of a music software program*(see end of blog).

And I was supposed to establish a routine?

Oh yes, I was to establish a routine, as most of you have to do, and then reestablish it when chaos struck.

And dear hearts, chaos struck early

It all began with the showers. You see, dear hearts, this has to do with the fact that when I pick a shower, it is the same way a dragon picks its Rider** Once I have picked my shower, I have picked my shower. It is done, finished, through. This is not to be selfish, but it is just that if I don’t pick one shower to start, when I go to take a shower(usually some ungodly hour of the morning), I need a consistent direction or I may crash into a wall. Therefore, I deemed that, as a part of my routine, I should always pick the shower on the right.
And so it was, every night, that I trudged to the shower, the reassuring right shower, where the water takes half an hour to heat up and usually my towel gets wet before I do. Ah, yes, the beautiful routine…..

Until , about three weeks in, chaos struck. Yes, dear hearts, at the ungodly hour of the morning, as I trudged to the shower where the water takes a half hour to heat up and my towels gets wet before I do, someone was IN THE SHOWER. Now, normally, you’d say, “Kathleen, sweetheart, it’s a shower,” but no, no I refuse ot accept that!

I had come into a routine and, when I saw my routine destroyed I immediately marched back to the room and looked blankly at my roommate until she looked up, and asked, “Is everything all right?” to which I replied,
“I don’t know what to do. Someone’s in my shower, and I can’t bring myself to use the one on the left side.”


“Who else would take a shower at one in the morning?! I specifically planned this to ensure my shower time!”


“Can I really drive myself to the left shower…..the LEFT shower?”


“Good heavens, I’ve heard it floods!! Floods!!!! Do you know what this means??!”


“My shower shoes are useless! USELESS!”

Luckily during this rant of indecision, the other girl finished using the right shower, and my routine was only pushed off by a few minutes.

Is this a useless point? Never! It is very common phenomenon that in a sense unties us as friends, families, and college students under pressure. No matter what we do in a day, we are always trying to establish some semblance of a routine to keep us grounded. What college does help teach, however, is an entirely new, slightly mind blowing concept-making a routine out of learning to manipulate your routine. We are being thrust into an environment where we must perform our work diligently and INDEPENDENTLY, but also where we are at the mercy of classes, professor’s whims(you know who you are professors!), and other people’s whims and [bathing] schedules. Our job is to sort through our own schedules as other schedules change. It’s almost, you could say, like a mommy lead me complex. Our mothers tend to make our schedules for us while changing their own to accommodate us, and now we are being proverbial parents to each other by reworking our own schedules around everyone else’s. I don’t say we always succeed and that we don’t suffer consequences(high risk of shower borne foot infections……), but we learn as we go. This is perhaps one of the three most important aspects of college(another I already discussed in blog two ,but number three……) and, dear hearts…..

Profound, isn’t it?

* First, the link you will love:

Second, the link that will make you understand why Macgamut is the equivalent of Bastet: sorry for the cursed game-

** In the book, Eragon, a dragon picks its rider. In other words, you aren’t just going to hop on the dragon and say Anda-le!  Fro those who read Eragon, you will appreciate this!

Posted by kathleen | 12:38 pm