Friday, October 27, 2006

Waiting for the Window Seat!!!

Who's off to Breckenridge, Colorado?!! I AM!

I'm off to Breckenridge, Colorado for a couple of days after I survive some tests I have next week. I'm attending the National Association of Student Personnel Administrator's IV-West Regional Conference because I'm part of the association's undergraduate fellows program. It will be fun and I am looking forward to many things, from getting the window seat in the plane to enjoying the beauty of the mountains!!! If there's some skiing going on I'll give it a try, although I haven't heard of any Salvadorans being good at such activity. I will bring back many pictures, of course.

Exams: one down, two to go.

For my flight reading I ordered "In Cuba I was a German Shepperd" by Ana Menendez from amazon for a couple of dollars. I can't wait! =D

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Picture this

I once told Jacob I write when stressed. I have 14,000 exams coming up and I'm a little nervous so I take some minutes from my studying and write either here or in my notebook.

Today we got to learn to take pictures and slides to document or work in painting. It was pretty neat.

You can see it here.

I'll go back to study for tomorrow's test.
Mmmmmm... and my nose tells me my coffee is ready!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sushi date with my hungry self

After my design class today I was very hungry, so I went to the food court on campus and got me some fresh sushi. It was very good, or at least it felt delicious to me... although it might have just been the hunger.

I got a lot done today, so I'm very proud of myself... I have to, because there are some days when I'm not very proud because I don't get much accomplished. But today was a good day. In design I got to learn the basics of Flash, a program I'll use for one of my final assignments in my class. I always like it when el profesor takes time to teach us new things, and I know it's sounds stupid because in college you should learn new things everyday, but I just really enjoy when I'm taught things. I can always learn on my own, but to me, there's something wonderful about getting knowledge from someone else. So I enjoy it. I still love learning on my own and discovering new things on my own, don't get me wrong. But the thing is that I've gotten stuck with this one professor who's a terrible educator. I feel like I never get much of anything out of his class, and it's not personal, because he's a wonderful person... he's just not very good at the whole teaching thing.

Back to business. I have to graduate, so I need to keep working hard. By the way, I only need 7 more classes and the writing requirement and I'm DONE!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Daydreaming and other actual occurrences

All the little color dots and marks in my clothes are permanent now, so next time you see me please don't try to scratch the marks off my jeans or shirts. I know I am slowly running out of good shirts to wear to school, but I can't help but get paint on me... I don't plan it, even when I wear the lab coat I got donated a couple of painting sessions ago I end up with a little paint in unexpected places-- like my shoulder. I have no idea how the paint gets there.

But all the painting is going very well despite the random shirt ruined after a late night painting session.

Next week will be wonderfully busy. It all starts this Friday with a consumer behavior exam. Then continues on Tuesday with not one, but two horribly difficult exams. I'm already preparing for it. Of course, painting never stops. Later next week I will be flying to Colorado for a conference. A promising trip full of responsibilities, learning, networking, taking in the newness of temporary home, picture taking, and some time to refresh.

I am looking forward to getting the window seat in the plane.

I have to go review what classes I need to take next semester because I have my advising tomorrow. This semester has almost evaporated in front of my very eyes. Sooner than I realize I will be sitting for 3 hours in the arena waiting for a white man to call my name and give me my precious degree.

Until then, I'll keep working hard and trying to focus. I will try not to daydream too much... like today. And I will try to spend time with my friends, like today, because soon we'll all go in different directions.

I hope to do many things after these days. I hope to travel a lot. I hope my eyes can see the beauties of Italy, and England, and Washington DC, and of my so longed for El Salvador.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Just to waste my time with you...

I can't believe I'm not done with everything I need to do. The paintings in the studio are waiting for me to go and continue creating some sort of reality in each of them, some sort of dream, some sort of secret of mine, something I can't put in words or even thoughts. I'm going to the studio tonight after dinner with my friends. I'll probably stay long, while my friends go out and party like there's no tomorrow. But I just want to get all my work done and then be at peace with myself.

I'm in a mess. Really. I have to find a way to organize my room so that it can help me be more efficient. I have a whole mess in there, and the door is blocked by a square table -which used to be our dining table- because I want to get it in my room to use it as a work station... since I don't have a drawing table, this one will have to serve that purpose. But the table is too big and won't fit through the doorway, so I have to take it apart and then piece it back together inside my room. It's easy and I could do it if I had a drill, but I don't. So I've been living with the table blocking my doorway for the past week. Tomorrow my uncle will bring his tool box and help me out with that. I mean, right now, getting into my room is a whole ritual!

It's cold outside. Last wednesday the temperature dropped like 30 degrees in less than one hour. No kidding, I was going to go around taking pictures and when I got out of class I had to run to my car and get a sweater I keep there because it was freezing outside and I was only wearing a t-shirt. And I don't like the indoor heaters too much. That hot hair gives me headaches. This morning I woke up because I felt hot hair in my face and I had to go lower the thermostat and even go outside for some fresh air... that, of course, woke me up in a second. So I think I'll start doing that in the mornings-- going outside for fresh air.

And last night I did something good for me: I wanted to go to a design presentation that the Northwest Arkansas Art Director's Club put together. They hosted Mike and Robynne from Modern Dog. Of course I had plans of going, but my friends couldn't go with me. That's something that really gets under my skin, most of my friends are not up to going to art stuff with me and so I only have a couple of friends who go with me to these things; I'm actually 2 friends short because they moved to Las Vegas. So I called so many people and they were either out of town, or had plans already, or just didn't answer me... I found NO ONE to go with me. And I didn't want to go by myself because that would be weird, I would feel weird... but I did it, I got dressed and went and had a great time. The lecture was awesome and even though I didn't get one of the goodie bags they had for people who asked questions -because they didn't pick me for the question, not because I didn't have anything to ask- I got a lot out of it... including inspiration, of course.

Almost time to go for dinner. Almost time to go paint...
Oh, and I saw something funny the other day... CLICK

Thursday, October 19, 2006

At a loss

The news coverage of the trial of the murderer of my friend was awful. The defense came up with a story that did nothing but taint April's image in the minds of those who did not know her. I knew it was all a lie made up just to try to save that guy from life in prison, but it was all very damaging for her family and friends. It was hard to sit throughout the trial and not get angry and sad, it was hard to sit there without tears coming right from my heart... But I had to be there. I had to be there for her family. And I had to be there for me, because ever since this whole nightmare started I've needed to know what happened. That's why I stood there and quietly dried the tears. I needed to be there to hold the hand of Bridget, to hug Mrs. Magic and hear her voice telling me that April would have been smiling... I needed to see Mr. Ira smile after it was all done. I needed to be there because I couldn't have been anywhere else.
All the terrifying details, all the evidence, the words of those who knew what had happened... it was all necessary for me.
And he got another chance, he got sentenced to only 25 years of which he might just do 17. He got to have hope that one day he will be part of society again. He got just that, when he should have gotten the life sentence. He didn't deserve a chance, because he didn't give April a change.
She's not here, and that will never be OK.
But now, as Mr. Ira said, we have to keep living like we'll see her again. Even though we miss her smile right now.
And even when it's hard for me, I will talk about the trial and her death and her life to all those who didn't know her. And I will try to fix the damage the defense and the news did to her memory. Just like she would do it for me.

From The Traveler:

Justice is served
Sanders' 25-year sentence provides first step toward healing

Traveler Editorial Board
Issue date: 10/18/06

Brandon Sanders will serve 25 years in prison for murdering UA student April Love.

His defense was a rare one. Not only was it rare - it was disgusting and disrespectful to a young lady who had, and continues to have, a touching impact on an entire community.

The claims of sexual asphyxiation were uncalled for if they were only an attempt at a defense for Sanders' sinking case. Unable to defend herself because of her untimely death, Sanders - once again - took advantage of Love during the four-day trial. And as her family was forced to stand by silently in the courtroom, hearing of "kinky" sex that their daughter may or may not have ever had with the her former high school sweetheart, Sanders victimized other innocents - the family.

And, again, the Loves were defenseless.

Luckily for the Loves, the jury did not waver in their judgment. Pre-sentencing comments from Sanders' friends and family members provided for one last grasp at normalcy for the 21-year-old murderer from Nashville.

"Do what you think is right, but give him a chance," his first cousin, Letito Williams said.

Sanders will get another chance. He will get to live, find himself and see his family members, even if it is all while in prison.

Love never had a choice. She's gone forever.

For the Loves, any sense of normalcy that will rear its presence will still be tainted in the future. No amount of time will be able to heal the wounds of losing a daughter, a sister or a friend.

The big question, really, when looking at this case from both sides and offering fair treatment is, "What was going through the mind of Sanders throughout the trial, the deliberations and the final judgment?"

What has it been like to sit with this pit in his stomach, this immeasurable weight on his shoulders. And, if he did love Love, how could he live with himself after her death - whether it was accidental or not?

The gruesome details brought forth throughout the trial made students, friends, family and casual readers of newspapers draw back. Most of it, however, was necessary to flesh out the details and bring about a judgment.

Baring the facts is not sensationalism, it's reporting and, in a courtroom, the road to truth and justice.

An outpouring of love and admiration of Love's past and meaning to the UA community has flowed freely throughout this college town. With the sentence Monday, some students and friends were outraged - some were just glad the chapter was finally over.

But a new chapter will unfold in the coming days, weeks and months. The conviction will be appealed by Q. Byrum Hurst, Sanders' laywer.

Twenty-five years behind bars will never match what Love's absence means to her closest friends and family.

A hole in the UA's emotional core was partially healed Monday, but with pending appeals and the continuous absence of one of the UA's greatest people, the healing has just begun.

The cut is deep. The void is still present.

And a man who caused it all has faced justice in the first step toward healing.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Free Hugs

Yo, one of these days -and I mean, one of these days!- you'll see me doing this:

I promise.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fall in Fayetteville

The air in Fayetteville is getting cool. Days are shorter now, and as the fall settles in, the haze of summer fades in memories of hot afternoons with iced drinks and play time. The days are clear this time of the year, the sun shines with a different light, the leaves on most trees are changing from green to oranges, yellows, and browns. There's a different light, there's a more vivid blue in the sky, there's people wearing sweatshirts and long-sleeve shirts, flip-flop season is gone.
People walk faster when going to class.
The windows of my car stay up in the mornings.
Nights are longer, stars are bright.
The light of the sun finds its way through the morning clouds to touch our heads.
It's nice. Very nice.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

MADDay 06 with a huge moon and all

yo, this morning when i was driving to campus to pick up my group for make a difference day i saw the moon near the horizon and it was HUGE! it was a full moon and it looked just awesome in the morning sky. i took a couple of pictures while i was driving but they didn't turn out very good. at the service project we had a bit of everything, even puppies and the Geoffrey the giraffe from toys'r'us. it was fun and i even got some oranges for the week.
what can i say... this weekend is a busy one. tonight i have the gridiron show and i have to study for my PR exam on tuesday. there's a bunch of stuff i have to do for painting class and typography, also.

friday was not a very good day. i had to work hard at not getting angry. those people are just trash and they don't deserve my energy, but it was hard keeping myself together. i made it though, so a star for me! even at night, when i thought i was just going to relax in the open figure drawing class i almost blind myself when turning the page of my drawing pad. dang, my eye was watery and it hurt for a while after i hit it.

anyway. a picture for you:

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

HBJ: monster cookies for Jen!

Today is Jen's 21st birthday, so we celebrated with monster cookies in our Design Typography class!! (We also had a close-to-killer quiz). I got Jen a caramel brownie and I asked the lady at the bakery to spell HBJ on it, but she gave me a HPJ instead. So it went from Happy Birthday Jen to Happy Partying Jen-- hehehehe.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Written on May 16, 2006

Creo que somos los mismos con el aire y con el frío,
o con el calor de los primeros rayos de luz en la mañana.
Con permiso de aquellos que quisieran ser nosotros pensamos en cada gesto,
cada palabra que nace en nuestro corazón.
Y nos preguntamos por qué no podemos ser perfectos.
Y nos preguntamos por qué nos cuesta tanto amar.
Y por qué gastamos tiempo en lo que no nos gusta.
Y por qué a veces las cosas salen mal.
Somos mejores de lo que pensamos,
pero debemos más de lo que llevamos cuenta
y a veces olvidamos decir graciasy decir adiós.
Y no mencionamos cuánto amamos a aquellos a quienes amamos,
olvidando como a veces nosotros necesitamos oírlo también.
Y a veces decidimos dejar al amor pasar frente nuestro como algo imposible,
aun sabiendo que puede ser nuestro.
A veces decidimos dejarlo ir por temor a ser heridos,
otras veces es descuido. Y todo termina en la misma conversación.
Todo nos dirige a la necesidad de amar y ser amados.
Y al ver al cielo podemos imaginar
que hay una estrellita que nos pertenece,
Y que nada nos robará este momento.


Monday, October 02, 2006

make some noise

and so starts another week...

this weekend was so much fun. i did a little bit of everything, including going to church, which i had not done wholeheartedly in about... two years. it all started friday when, after watching pirates of the caribbean 2, i headed to bikes blues and bbq with some friends. i ate bbq ribs. they were delicious. it was pretty neat because i got on picture-taking mode-- which i hadn't been in quite some time. i also got to see a lot of bikers... most of them big, bearded, and leather-wearing dudes. and they just make me smile... i went back to dickson st. on saturday, then with a different set of friends, but good friends still. we had fun. i took another bunch of pictures and ate some more ribs. i really think the even should have the name changed to bikes booze and bbq... cause i just heard some blues at the place where we bought the food, other than that, the blues were not very present in the event. it was so much fun!

and now, looking back, it seems like i spent my whole weekend on dickson st. cause on sunday i went back there for church with Anna. it was a different deal from any other church i've ever been to. it was interesting... and for the first time ever in a church, i didn't feel underdressed. the sermon was not very in-depth in my opinion, but it was ok.
after church Anna and i went around dickson taking pictures for our typography class... that was a good time! Anna cracks me up, mainly, because she laughs at everything.

oh, i have a quiz today. so help me God.