Dispatches from Georgetown, September 2013
Hope you’re all enjoying the change in season. The first month is done. I am going to cover my routine, revelations, sketchy stuff and notable things that happened this month.
Routine: I am most productive in the mornings. I wake at 6am and do some reading. I watch the sun rise at around 6:45 at the observatory. If I don’t wear my contacts the rays of the sun create illusions. The buildings begin to pulse and heave as if they had anxiety or rather as if they were embodying the collective anxiety of all the kids they cradle. At 7am I swim. For breakfast I eat grapefruit, cottage cheese, yogurt, oranges and a banana- everyday. Oranges are nostalgic, yo! They take me across time and space to wonderful springs in Orange County; jumping the neighbor’s fence to get some oranges or sneaking into the orange groves at the museum after school for a pre-swim treat. I can’t recreate my mom’s food but oranges can take me to places mole and posole can’t. Moving on, after some changes in my schedule, I now have classes Monday through Thursday. I have Rock and Roll history on M/W, German on M/W/Th, and Linguistics and Writing T/Th. On Mondays, I have meetings with the Georgetown University Mexican Student Association. I spontaneously decided to run for chair of social responsibility and I gave an improvised speech which showcased my honesty and vulnerability. I got it. I box on M/W nights. I like the feeling of rebounding and socking it right back, the taste of salty beads of sweat rolling from my upper lip into my mouth, the burning in my calves, etc. On Tuesday and Thursday nights I tutor Jonathon, an English second language learner, through a program called DC Schools project. He’s an adorable and competitive 10 year old little man. On most days I am back in my room by 9pm. I don’t always eat dinner but when I do I have a cup of chocolate milk. I don’t know what kind of ‘stuff’ is in that milk but it is beyond heavenly. On my three day weekends I do homework and tour the city. At night I like to go to the observatory and star gaze. I like to make wishes and dream and just be. Sometimes, you just gotta let the universe kiss you, you know? This star gazing time is so critical to me, it’s where I have developed a lot of my goals and new philosophy.
Philosophy: What is truth and does it exist? Many religions claim to have the truth. I think there is something to be learned from all religions; like Wade Davis says, “The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you; they are unique manifestations of the human spirit.” However, most religions seem to come down to a similar moral code that emphasizes love for one another. I don’t want a religion anymore. But if I had one, love would be my religion. The conventional way in which I grew up thinking of God has been too limiting. When I was a child I hated men because he sexually abused me. Still, I prayed to Him. I don’t reject the incredible experiences I had in church: watching my friends prophesize, witnessing miracles and feeling the presence of goodness and evil. That happened. But I want to know how else the Spirit has manifested itself. People call it different things like the force or the universe. Stephen Mitchell, author of tao te ching, translates Lao-tzu’s teachings: before there was God, there was the Tao (the mother of the universe). I want to approach the truth in a more organic way. I want to find this truth in nature, in people, in me. I feel more aware than ever. I still pray, but not like I use to. I feel that every time I stop to appreciate the changing colors of the seasons or just sit and feel the breeze that is prayer. Everything is beginning to look like prayer. The word prayer doesn’t seem fitting. My words don’t seem fitting. I still welcome prayer and I ask for guidance and discernment.
Parties/alcohol/drugs/sex/illegal activity: I have been getting hammered with sex and drug education. Students had to complete an intense online tutorial on how to be smarter drinkers and stuff. Even though most of the students aren’t of age, the school recognizes that students drink anyways. I haven’t had beer since I was a kid. It doesn’t appeal to me because I associate it with a lot of pain and abuse. Interestingly, I associate wine and moderate tequila with good times. Yesterday, I had some delicious Jesus wine at the National Cathedral. A few weeks back my neighbor gave me a sip of London gin. It felt like swallowing rubbing alcohol. I wouldn’t do it again anytime soon. For the most part, I stick to drinking water, orange juice and milk. Soda burns. I still haven’t been to one of those ‘college parties’ and I am in no hurry. I can’t hang that late. My night routine starts at 10pm and I am asleep by 11 pm. One night, some friends managed to take me out past my curfew and we went to a gay bar. Three weeks ago the Popo busted a dude on my floor for possession of marijuana. Other than that, I haven’t seen a prevalent drug culture. Hookah is popular and there is a club devoted to sponsoring social events with Hookah. My friend gave me some and taught me how to make smoke rings. I thought of my man, Gandalf the Grey, making crazy smoke patterns with Bilbo Baggins. Anyways, I am a retired smoker. I am high on life half the time and people assume I do drugs. I don’t do drugs, I am just real happy and at peace with where I am and who I am. I can’t be sure who Gilda is, but I hope I can always love her. I like to sing in the rain, walk barefoot on the grass, watch the sun rise, give free hugs on Friday, and laugh until the tears start rolling. As for sex, no thanks. I have an abstinence ring but I think it would be real cool to be a nun. Then again, the thirst is so, so real. I have never had a boyfriend but whenever I go star gazing I save one of those wishes on him. I am still scared of men. I should be more fearful of the Popo. Two days ago I read about how veterans stormed the WWII memorial even though it was closed due to government shutdown… I decided to go stargazing at the memorial. My roommate later told me that I could have been arrested. Oops.
Notable Events: 1) My brother got a ticket while driving so my parents have him in a tight grip. Dude can’t go anywhere without my mom driving him there. 2) I went back to California! KidWorks Non-profit flew me out to make an appearance in their 20th anniversary video. I didn’t tell my parents I was coming and nearly gave them a heart attack when I showed up at 1:30am. I went to their window and made animal noises. When I finally spoke, I was greeted with a long machete. Nobody was seriously hurt this time (except my mom hurt her toe as she was trying to hide) 3) Every time my mom calls me she says “no meeshtake” (mistakes). Karen (little sister) saw this as opportunity to make trouble for me. She had been telling my dad that ‘meeshtake’ is the boyfriend and inventing scandal. My dad is a jealous man and he was not happy at all. I got another sex talk. 4) Had dinner at the dean’s house 5) found my adventure group and we are planning monthly events 6) My friends and I hosted a Mexican night of food. It wasn’t as successful as we would have hoped. We’re going to give it another shot 7) A peer from my linguistics class refused to meet me for a study session because it is legitimately against his religion to meet alone with a woman who is not a relative 8) Participated in a color run 9) Attended a Latino dinner 10) Attended a celebration for the (deceased) first president of the Czech Republic, Mr. Vaclav Havel 11) Deleted my Facebook. I was determined to be more present than ever by smiling at people on my way to class but I was crushed when people didn’t even see me because they were so focused on their phones. There was something very special that was happening between us and it was the present. Maybe I’m just too sensitive, but I felt insulted at the same time. I am not going to meet everybody in this world and I am determined to love those whom the universe brings to me. After class I wept for the world, its youth and myself. I was deeply depressed for three days. 12) Had dinner with Mr. Rich Battista (Founder, CEO, VP and President of various sports media such as FOX). He imparted his wisdom and made me realize that I can really appreciate someone who can cuss effectively.