Tuesday, October 27, 2009

i wish you fit in my pocket

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

6:20 am: I can smell you on my pillow, but when I reach across the bed to find you you are not there. I felt the warmth of you next to me and heard the in and out of your steady breath but I know it is just a dream when my alarm pierces the air. I am alone and it is still dark outside. Of course you aren't here: it's Tuesday morning.

7:27 am: By some act of God, I have made it to class on time.

7:45 am: My lips are chapped, my throat is throbbing, and my feet feel like ice cubes against my legs through my jeans. A cold front is making its way to Phoenix, something I could feel walking from building to building making my way to the light rail. I am being warmed by the computer lab in which my 7:30 am statistics lab takes place. My feet are still cold. I wish you were here to hold my hand.

8:50 am: Campus is more alive now than it was an hour ago, this is evidenced by students and faculty bustling by in newly dusted off and aired out sweatshirts/jackets/coats. I'm headed to Starbucks to use the last of my gift card until after Christmas. I silently note to myself that I need to inform Santa that I much prefer Fair Trade Cafe. The coffee shop is busy but I don't mind, I hum along to a background melody I have never heard but I immediately like because it sounds like winter and reminds me of Christmas. After scanning the pastry counter I decide on a croissant and order it with an Earl Grey tea. The atmosphere around me is exciting and cheery. Winter makes me happy. I am glad it is finally arriving.

9:15 am: I have decided that there are people who must like hard crusty croissants. Why would Starbucks make or serve them if everyone liked soft ones?

9:27 am: I've just been caught doodling by Dr. Barry and I am now explaining to the class something about my survey. I cannot recall the question so I will continue to babble until she seems satisfied.

9:35 am: My mind is wandering again. I cannot seem to make myself focus for more than a minute. Concentration comes slow when I can feel my classmates questioning eyes on my face. Instead I dream about far away things. I imagine it is Christmas time and it is snowing outside. Twinkle lights are everywhere and nothing but pure love and joy overwhelms me. We ice skate in the park and marvel at the Christmas decorations found all over the city. I wonder if Dr. Barry would consider playing Jewel's version of Silent Night quietly in the background during class for the remainder of the semester.

10:15 am: Relief washes over me. We have been dismissed for another week.

Monday, October 26, 2009

my my mondays

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

The best part of Monday night is staying up late so I sleep through statistics tomorrow morning (Don't worry Dr. Barry I'm just kidding). Normally I have a Monday night ritual it goes like this:

1. Get off the light rail around 5:20ish and book it to Adelphi
2. Powder my nose, pull my hair back, and grab the GIANT book of Chi Omega rules and rush to meeting.
3. Sit through Chapter meeting until 8:00 or so.
4. Walk home with Sara my suite mate and have dinner!

(#4 is always the best part)

but today Sara had to go work on a group project in the library (she's super scholarly) so I'm hanging around in my super cute Target panties with the paper crown on my head listening to my most favorite songs at the moment. It's taking me about an hour longer than it should to write this blog because I am often inspired to jump up and dance around my room.

The lock flipped! Sara's back and that means that it is time to eat left overs from momma's house (ranch hand beef on bratwurst buns!).

This calls for a pirouette!

let's normalize spinal cord injuries

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

This week in my PRM 364 class we are discussing neuromuscular disorders. One topic that has come up is spinal cord injury. Did you know that the average age of a person with a spinal cord injury (SCI) is 28? Seventy-eight percent of these individuals are male and only 25%-32% of all individuals with a spinal cord injury ever return to work. What can we do to change these statistics and integrate individuals with SCI?

First and foremost adaptive recreation information should be given to these individuals upon diagnosis of SCI. We should take into consideration what their interests are and what they did for recreation before their injury to help pursue some adaptive recreation opportunities. Not only should be educate the individual with the disability, but we should educate mainstream society. This can be done by integrating individuals with SCI into leagues or on teams that are not specifically designed for disabled individuals but open to everyone.

Recreation is not the only thing we should take into consideration. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires wheel chair ramps, elevators, and accessible parking (just to name a few) be present in buildings. Consideration for individuals in wheelchairs should not stop there. We should think about the width of walkways and how truly accessible things are. Teaching our youth through example and integration will help them to be more understanding and accepting of individuals with disabilities.

As far as integration into the work force goes, individuals should be required to go through a program that assists with the acceptance of their SCI and helps them locate opportunities for work. Whether or not the individual needs to return to the workforce for monetary reasons, they should still attempt to work a part time job to surround themselves with others. I feel this will help in the healing process and adjustment.

While these are just a few suggestions, acceptance can start now with each and every one of us. I challenge you imagine yourself with a spinal cord injury. What would you change?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

only 7 more weeks...

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

It is difficult to create a series when my professor knows about it. This week in my stats class I was fighting unconsciousness (even accompanied by a croissant and my favorite cup of breakfast tea) while reviewing the midterm. Unfortunately, I had nothing to contribute to the discussion. I know what I got right, I know what I got wrong and I know why. I was overly exhausted from a late night chat session with my suite mate. Lately we've been pondering serious things in life. Like what to do with relationships upon graduation. And less important things like formal dresses.

I found that I have had a difficult time in accomplishing what I intend to. For instance, while formal dress shopping I was channeling Jackie Kennedy but I ended up walking out of the dressing room in enough polyester and sequins to be confused with Cher Bono. Great. Of course my mom insisted I have it. While I have spent the greater part of my week trying to locate accesories for this ensemble, I have yet to find anything Jackie Kennedy would be caught dead in.

I had the same type of terrible confusion as I was at Fair Trade ordering my morning tea and butter breakfast bite. A vision of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly standing in front of Tiffany's with a coffee and croissant flashed in my mind. It was seconds before I was envisioning my own self as eloquent as Holly. My black cardigan made for a sorry replica of her sleek black formal gown and my hair piled on my head was more of a rats nest (as my mother would say) than an up do. In place of her jeweled tiara, I had a jeweled bobby pin. Despite the vast differences I felt uplifted at the thought of ever-so-slightly resembling Audrey Hepburn. I danced up the stairs into Civic Space Park and waited at the light to cross to the Cronkite building. As I was waiting the lightrail zoomed past flashing my reflection back at me and I became all too aware of my appearance. Nothing close to Audrey Hepburn. At all.

Irritated with myself about my ever greasy/unkempt/rats nest appearance is stalked across the street avoiding eye contact with everyone and plunked down in my chair in class. Third row from the back on the right side up against the wall. To punish me for dozing in class Dr. Barry called on me at the most inopportune moments (if it wasn't for her, I may have been snoring in class- embarassing!) but thankfully I pulled it together and only after a few moments of silence I was able to answer the question(s) correctly.

Whew. Another week of statistics down.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

i came, i studied, i applied myself

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

I was unable to doodle in statistics this morning, since we had our midterm. It was a double whammy of sorts, as we had both a lab midterm and a lecture midterm. To my surprise I buzzed through both exams without a doubt in any answer. This is either a great thing, or an absolutely terrible thing. I suppose we will find out later in the week.

I feel as if I have had a fifty pound weight lifted off my shoulders. I completed my last midterm exam this afternoon. Five exams in 26 hours nearly killed me, but thanks to a great lab partner (Derrick, you're awesome!) and Dutch Bros. I pulled through. Now that my shoulders feel lighter my stomach is turning in anticipation of my grades.

I keep thinking about how this is my last year as an undergraduate student at Arizona State University. This is my last fall semester to walk Palm Walk and watch the leaves change. The Fall 2009 Panhellenic recruitment was my last as a Chi Omega in the Psi Epsilon Chapter. I will participate in Homecoming just one more time as a member and president of the Parks and Recreation Student Association. I am influencing the some of the last groups of prospective students as a Devils' Advocate. It doesn't feel like I imagined it would. Perhaps that comes later in the spring. For now I feel overwhelmed and tired. I do not feel ready to embrace the world, and I don't know that the world is quite ready for someone like me.

I try to remember what I was doing last year at this time. It feels as if my outward appearance is still recognizable, but that the girl inside is completely different. I'm not sure which way is up. My unfaltering (and somewhat fickle) faith in all that is good and pure allows me to give my heart away, but my insecurities keep me from wearing it on my sleeve. It is often that I wake up and think "what am I doing"?! Maybe I should go back to junior year.

On the upside, midterms create a lack of homework. I shall spend the week catching up on PRSA/Chi Omega/Blog stuff. And reading The Time Traveler's Wife. And if I get ambitious enough I'll lay in the grass in the Civic Space park and watch the clouds float by.

If you're celebrating the end of midterms or just need a study break we can cloud gaze together.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

i'm 0 for 5

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

1. irrational women should not drive pick-up trucks

2. date passionate men, not boys who pretend to care

3. study before the weekend before the exam

4. give your soul to a cause that will give back

5. count your blessings while everyone else is counting their troubles

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

mermaids and daydreams

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

I am sitting in class sipping my Tazo Tea from Starbucks feeling like a sellout. I gave into the man instead of supporting my local economy. Damn gift cards. The venti cup reminds me of Burger King, as it proclaimes, "We Don't Just Want To Make Your Drink. We Want To Make Your Day. It's Not Just Coffee. It's Starbucks."

Of course, the gorgeous mermaid on the cup wins me over. Her thick curly hair and (what I imagine to be) sparkly star crown line her simple angular face that looks out with a welcoming curiosity. Her wide hips flow perfectly into her scaled mermaid fin looking voluptuous and womanly giving me (and every wide-hipped woman) hope that one day I too can be perceived as graceful and feminine. While Dr. Barry flits excitedly around the classroom buzzing about research projects I can feel my mind start to drift.

Today I am past exhaustion and have no chance of accidentally falling asleep, so I am able to intently focus on my energetic professor while daydreaming. I decide my tea is too strong, a result of Starbucks using two tea bags instead of just one, like Fair Trade does. I also come to the conclusion that statistics brings out my creative side which explains my daydreaming, doodling, and blogging (at least the rough draft on paper). Maybe it's the stimulation of caffeine. Either way I cannot bring myself to look at the left half of the room, for fear my entire strong front will be demolished in one sweeping glance. My goodness I need to get a hold of my emotions.

I start to think about last night, standing in line at an ATM with my vivacious best friend when the cute boy behind us starts mindless chatter in my direction. The tall blond haired boy had a t-shirt and shorts on, making me feel silly for wearing a cardigan. His smile was generous and his eyes kind. The thick blond hair on his face formed a short beard around his lovely features. Just as quickly as he had said hello we were done and on our way to the parking garage. Immediately after bursting through the doors I whispered how cute he was. "He reminds me of that boy you used to see," my confidant quipped. I kept rolling the words over in my head. And it is precisely reasons like these why I cannot look across the walk way.

Without anymore time to elaborate on the subject I am sucked back into the lecture when I feel thirty sets of eyes on my blushing complexion and Dr. Barry looking encouragingly my direction. I continue to write for just a moment more while scrounging for an answer to the question I just tuned out. Qualitative....correlational....ordinal variables.... I know we're discussing our research projects but what was the question?

I want to point to the other half of the room looking for an answer, but I'll just stare back at my professor confused about everything-as normal.