April 16th, 2007

California

Finding the silver lining

This weekend homework: I have been assigned only the most depressing readings of all time. First on the list, Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking about the death of her husband and daughter (from different ailments). Then, I have been assigned to read depressing essays on death: Goodheart's "Whistling in the Dark" and Kupperman's "Relief." In my American literature class, we are reading As I Lay Dying by Faulkner, and For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway. In my power and popular culture class, I am reading Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting by in America, which is another depressing book on how impossible it is to make a minimum-wage job work.

I was barely getting through this tough material before my school president's e-mail on the tragedy at Virginia Tech. And I'm thinking, what tragedy? Because I don't read or listen or watch the news. Then I read the news, and... there are no words.

This stuff really has the power to affect me. I remember the Oklahoma City bombing -- watching the news before school (ninth grade) and just crying and crying. With September 11, I couldn't even watch the news. I couldn't even read the news about Virginia Tech without tearing up. All I want to do is be able to help people -- to somehow make this world better by being in it. This type of goal is so hard to accomplish, especially considering how easy it is to do the opposite in such a short amount of time and with less effort.

It is so hard to stay positive and have a good attitude when stuff like this happens.

Some good news:
  • Our front room got recarpeted today, and that makes my mom really, really happy. She has HATED the carpet that our house came with from day one: an ugly, forest green color that always looked dirty even after just vacuuming it. Now, our carpet is mountain path -- a lighter brownish color, but not too light or too dark. It's amazing how just a little change can make such a big difference in our house.

  • My BFF from Arizona (Kerri) is coming to visit me on this Saturday! I haven't seen her in a couple of years, and she is going to be staying for an entire week. We can definitely get some awesome partying done, which will be fun.

  • My sister, her husband and my new little nephew will be coming to stay with us in two weeks and six days. This will be excitement!

  • Good people do exist.