Sunday, January 9, 2011

School Daze

Explanation: My mom walks into my room. What is your photo of the day? she asks. I hesitate, "a picture of my desk". "Why...?" My brother had just been in here and asked the same thing. Well, today was a pretty simple day and I didn't really take any photos. On my way to Lindsey's, I watched the sun set in the most vibrant colors through my rearview mirror but I didn't have the time to turn around, park my car and set up a few shots. So, here you have it. My desk.

My room is never clean. Well, hardly clean. I mean sometimes the floor is clear of clothing and the laundry hamper isn't overflowing but that doesn't hardly mean its clean, does it?

There are a few special times that I make sure my room is clean though. From freshly washed sheets to shampoo'd carpets.

Back to school is one of those times.

Just before each semester, I organize and clean my desk. I'm a bit.. err, a lot.. of a packrat and I keep piles of things I don't need or want but can't seem to rid myself of. I stuff them in organized boxes and slide the boxes in drawers and I pretend that makes them useful and clean. I make a trip to Walmart or Target (a big thanks to my babe for accompanying me this time around - and the last time, when we bought that monster of a bookshelf) and pick up the same identical 1-inch black binders I use for every class, and have for all of eternity. I plan to use them for the rest of eternity, too. (But never, ever, do I reuse them.. I save all of my notes and tests from all my classes and cram them on that monster of a book shelf Ryan and I built - like I said, pack rat.)

So Friday, Ryan and I made my semiannual binder run and had a lunch date at McDonalds. Classy, I know. And Friday night, I made a trip to Borders to buy the only brand of yearly wall calendar I can stnad to use. And finally last night, I got college-ruled packs of paper in Harrisburg, because it was no where to be found in York and heaven knows I can't use that wide-ruled stuff. But the point is.. I got everything I needed to go back to classes. Except for, well, the books I need.

Bored and sick I used this last weekend before classes to organize not only my desk but my entire room. I threw away the things I didn't need, organized my clutter, changed my picture frames, threw away old shoes, washed my carpets, made my bed. I cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned. Two days of it. But it's done. Well, all but Delilah's cage - when I woke up this morning, it was a hot mess.. she threw her food everywhere and flipped her food dish upside down on top of her chew toy. Wild child, indeed.

But really, theres nothing I love more than the smell of just-cleaned carpets, except for maybe my desk.

Last year, my speech professor assigned each of us to do an object speech. Take an object or collection of objects and use them to describe yourself. I chose chocolate chip cookies (but that's a story for another day). He used his key-ring. Clever. If I had to redo this speech today, I would choose my desk. Even if you have never met me, you could judge my character and hobbies within a minute of examining my desk.

So, while this may be extremely random (who am I kidding? it's most definitely random) I'm going to tell you everything you need to know about me using the things on my desk.

1. Picture Frames
On top of my desk are four picture frames, each holding a photo of a little who holds a big piece of my heart. Kasey, Becca, Aiden and Ava. I'm only missing a photo of Miss Maddie but that will be there soon - I promise. Kasey, Becca, Ava and Maddie all represent my passion for not only them individually but for the fight against pediatric cancer and the Penn State IFC/Pan-hellenic Dance Marathon.

2. Books
My desk is overflowing with books - in fact, I have more than will fit. Some of the books you will find include anything by Ayn Rand, Twilight's New Moon (yeah, really), the entire Series of Unfortunate Events (which I'm saving for my children... yeah, really), Water for Elephants, lots of plays and novels from High School, and all the PostSecret books. My boyfriend just finished my PostSecret collection this Christmas and also bought me this fabulous book of love letters.

3. Movies
Any money I truly love also holds a place on my bookshelf - except for (500) Days of Summer. While it is my favorite movie of all time, I have yet to purchase it. Strange, I know. But you will find Elizabethtown, Garden State, Mona Lisa Smile, Titantic. The classics.

4. Music
While most of my music is digital and contained within my iPod, iPhone or computer, I do have a few CDs. I also have a few CD cases which I hold on to despite having lost the CDs inside. These empty cases include Steve Perry's For the Love of Strange Medicine (which was the first CD Ryan ever gave me), Plans by Death Cab for Cutie and a mixtape that my friend Marisa sent to me as I danced for 36 hours. You will also find Backstreet Boys Millenium and The Beautiful Letdown by Switchfoot.

5. Souvenirs/Memories
Like you've likely realized, I am a sentimental person (possible cause of pack-rat-dom) and hold onto souvenirs/memories like it's my job. These little momentos are never your typical choices. I have a little plastic jar which holds sawdust and momentos from New Orleans, and a wooden block upon which my NOLA friends wrote their memories of me. I also have a Red Robin glass that my friend Dom stole while using my purse - thanks Dom. I have dried red roses from my 18th birthday, a handpainted birdhouse Aiden made for me, arrowheads from Missouri, a cermaic heart box from my best friend, my first Penn State pom poms, and a little tin pail from the time Ryan, my Mom and I went to dinner at Logan's. Quite an assortment, I know.

6. Teddy Bears
My desk is home to four teddy bears. There are three little Ty bears that spell my name, bears that I've had since the eighth grade. The truth is, they were bought for me as a Valentines present from an ex-boyfriend but they're too cute to put away, and they're even in my favorite color scheme. Beneath them sits another birthday gift (this time from the current boyfriend). This is my "somebody in Millersville loves you" teddy.

7. Inspiration
My desk also features a little cubby-hole shelf where I hold all the things that inspire me. My bible. My notebook. Hope through Heartsongs by Mattie Stepanek. A collection of Jackson Pollock's work. Issues of Glamour and Cosmo. Piles of Thank You cards. My high school year book. The Tao.

8. Compassion
A recent addition to my desk is the most current letter from my Compassion child. This summer I became the sponser of a little 11 year old boy from Honduras - Arnaldo Isiais Escobar Portillo. I have the letter sitting out as a reminder to take the time to write to him this week. I can't say that I'm the best with getting letters into the mail though I always take the time to write them.

9. Above My Desk
There are three frames holding pictures from a trip to feed the geese at my favorite local lake, my President's Education Award and a black and white photograph given to me by a good friends whose father had been a photographer. In between the frames, the wall reads "In a world where you can be anything, Be Yourself." Sometimes we all need a reminder.

10. My Computer
Where the real work happens. I actually use two computers - a desktop and laptop but seeing as how I'm using this one, well, it's not pictured. This is where I edit pictures, write my blog, do online assignments, check my email, StumbleUpon and generally waste time or do work.

For a random blog post this ended up being quite a long one so thank you for bearing with me. Maybe you've learned a thing or two along the way?

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