english class lyric essay
Thesis: I don’t think mirrors are enough.
Period 1 (8:24 AM) a thought process
get the hell into history. run up the stairs (am I really that out of shape?). run into class.
avoid eye contact with someone
tune the teacher out and work on the next class? open up vscode–oh shoot–my python server is down. text partner? (she’s a senior and couldn’t care less, I suppose)
Winter term was a term in which I felt a weird amount of love from people.
I found people in the communited I somehow found myself in. Communities define us, which is probably why there are so many clubs on campus. At first they seem like an annoying obligation, but they’re actually a gift in disguise. And maybe I am drawn to certain types of clubs more than others: I’ve found myself in clubs that make me feel better about my abilities. Pavlovian? Maybe. (Yes, Pavlovian isn’t even the right term here.)
Question: This sense’s namesake brainstem implant can be used if the eighth cranial nerve is damaged. Both a BAHA and a stapedectomy can treat conductive loss of this sense. Meningitis can cause ossification leading to loss of this sense. That loss can be halted by the rapid insertion of a neuro-prosthetic implant into the () temporal bone, causing a feeling of buzzing. Meniere’s [“men-ee-AIR’s”] disease causes fluctuations in this sense, which can also be impaired if the organ of Corti’s hair cells is damaged by ototoxic drugs. For 10 points, name this sense perceived when the cochlea turns mechanical sound waves into signals to the auditory nerve*.
Answer: hearing (accept word forms; accept audition or auditory sense before mention) (Murton Biology, QuizDB).
On cold, snowy nights, I trudge up to Gelb for Quiz Bowl practice with the most eclectic board of people on campus: the campus conservatives club president, a former Brace scholar, a pole vaulter, and the whitest person I know for someone better than me at Chinese. Oh, and me! (I’ve never trained for quiz bowl, so I am not quite sure how I’ve gotten to where I am.)
Sidenote: I never thought I’d unironically talk about the weather before coming to New England.
It seems I keep changing what I want this lyric essay to talk about. Still, I’m sure there’s point and poise in here somewhere… I just need to find it. Unfortunately, it’s like the Lisa: the Joyful game song 666 Kill Chop Deluxe (Marina Hova & Widdly 2 Diddly, 2015): with no coherence.
Winter Term was a term in which I felt a weird amount of love from people.
People tell me I’m kind? cool? Likable–my college counselor (adult I seek approval of?) told me I was many peoples’ favorite person. What?
In my years at public school, I never felt a part of the group of popular girls. The new kid who spent all her time reading and very much not paying attention in class? I had budget solipsism: I thought everyone was a paid actor whilst here I was, all too aware of my thoughts and inability.
“All my friends are happy and healthy and well-adjusted… I just eat my breakfast” (Max Bennett Kelly, 2021).
It made sense at the time.
“We’re actors — we’re the opposite of people!” (Stoppard, 170).
Sidenote: I think I use parenthetical statements too much. (Is that okay?)
It still makes sense now. I probably still have budget solipsism. Except now, I imagine myself as a paid actor too. After all, if you don’t take much of anything too seriously, no one can judge you, right? I think it’s working; I loved the people I got to know this Winter Term.
As I’m writing this lyric essay, I have comments in the margins: “possibly delete?” because I worry it might be too honest and too disjointed. (Too “edgy”?)
Time also feels disjointed? The past few months of winter just felt like a compilation of memories. “The amygdala complex, a mass of gray matter located in the medial part of the temporal lobe, is a critical structure in the generation of emotion and memory. There is abundant evidence implicating the amygdala in affect and memory formation, stress responsivity, epilepsy, senile dementia, schizophrenia, pathologic aggression, and even stomach ulceration…” (Goldstein, 1). Has there been character development in the movie of this term?
“We are all migrants through time” (Hamid, 209).
I admit I was jealous of Nadia and Saeed for finding someone. No, I’m not deathly in love with the idea of romance, but I’m deathly in love with individuals. people. For all their traveling and searching, there was never a need for a search of the self.
Saeed had his prayers. Nadia had her robes. (Yes, there were struggles but I’m making a salient point here.) Elora had her mission to travel to California, even if it was born from trauma.
“Just cuz you can’t see something, don’t make it less real” (“Come and Get Your Love”). Maybe not seeing my mission is the point.“The colours red, blue and green are real. The colour yellow is a mystical experience shared by everybody.” (Stoppard, 33). Nelson hated the color yellow. Maybe it’s fine to not have a singular goal in life and to stop worrying about so much. Maybe she has a point?
“One image of the intellectual: a man who loses his eyesight not out of shame (Oedipus) but in order to think more clearly (Milton)” (Nelson, 21). Might I add, “Odin”? The makerspace is one of my favorite spots on campus. I was there all fall term, but I’ve been avoiding it since it earned that designation in my head. Maybe I don’t want it to lose its magic.
“139. ‘Memory is blue in the head? Heads are easily taken off’ (Lorine Niedecker)” (Nelson, 53).
Nelson’s simultaneous fear and romanticization of being dead resonates with me, weirdly (?). Some of her descriptions of tortured artists remind me of William Styron’s memoir Darkness Visible. Like her beloved field correspondents, the field reports of those who attempt suicide seem to be her way of convincing herself it’s not worth it–that her experiences aren’t unique and so she can pull through.
Maybe that’s not the best way to deal with emotion, but it’s poetic nonetheless. And if Nelson is merely toying with us, maybe this entire lyric essay is similarly angsty for the sake of it. “Life in a box is better than no life at all, I expect. You’d have a chance at least. You could lie there thinking: Well, at least I’m not dead” (Stoppard, 194).
“Drinking when you are depressed is like throwing kerosene on a fire” (Nelson, 52).
We all suffer a bit of misperception, I think. We spend so much of our lives wondering how we are perceived that we don’t take the time to perceive others. We are like the prisoner in Franz Kafka’s In the Penal Colony: “‘Does he know his sentence?’ ‘No,’ said the Officer” (Kafka, 3). I may not be afraid of paper and people but I am also unaware of how any of my decisions affect my future. Do I know what sentence I’ve put myself into?
Period 7 (2:05 pm): I sure do enjoy biology. I wonder what’s the physiological basis for passion?
Goldstein, Lee. “The Amygdala: Neurobiological Aspects of Emotion, Memory, and Mental Dysfunction.” The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine vol. 65,5 (1992): 540–542.
Mohsin Hamid. Exit West. Penguin Random House, 2017.
Nelson, Maggie. Bluets. Jonathan Cape, 2017.
Stoppard, Tom. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, 2017.
Kelley, Max Bennett. Happy, Healthy, and Well-Adjusted. Max Bennett Kelley and Reckless, 2021.