January 2, 2014 by Laura Manzano
Hello freshman Laura,
If you’re anything like I remember, right now you’re sitting on the Brown Hall sun porch, contemplating whether or not to study for your psych test. It is this moment in which I will offer you my first piece of advice: stop right now. Don’t bother. Nezlek’s tests are hard no matter what, and you’re going to get a C in the class. It’s 3 pm on a Wednesday afternoon. Go find your best friend, take a walk down DOG street and around all of the prettiest parts of campus, because three years from now you’ll be living in the glamorous Randolph complex on the opposite end of campus, and you will wish you had done that more often.
The most important thing to learn right away about college is that it isn’t high school. No one cares about your SAT scores. It is no longer a big deal that you were the president of 49 clubs, the captain of 86 teams, volunteered for 450 organizations, all while holding a part-time job and balancing a delightfully eclectic mix of quirky hobbies that included both crocheting and playing the pan flute. Leave that stuff at your parents’ mini-van’s door.
If you feel the impulse to dress up this weekend and go out to a party – go for it. Three years from now, you’ll want nothing more on any given Saturday than to watch Avatar: The Last Airbender with your best friends while drinking a mug of cheap wine and snuggling underneath a blanket with horses on it. Live life while you still have the will to do so.
If you get home from class tomorrow, accidentally nap through dinner, and wake up fifteen minutes before the dining hall closes – stop. Don’t rush to put on your shoes and find your ID. Open your refrigerator, reach to the very back of the bottom vegetable drawer, and you will find more edible food than you will at the Caf at 7:55 on any given night.
When those late nights seem endless, stop what you’re doing and take a hot shower. Sing the National Anthem very loudly. Run up and down the Sunken Garden. Except I know you better than that, so you’re going to walk instead, because running is something you just don’t do, like physics or waking up early. Take a break from the computer screen or the book, get some oxygen in your brain (is that how it works?), and I promise you’ll feel better and do better on whatever you’re working on when you return to it. Just remember: it is one test, in one class, in one semester, in one year of your entire life.
Also: The Cheese Shop has this raspberry cheesecake brownie. Get one every time you’re there.
Take pictures of the things that seem stupid now, because come senior year, you’ll be looking through them all during a party in your apartment, drunkenly nostalgic, and the fact that your laptop case has accumulated dozens of stickers when it used to be completely bare will make you cry the whitest white girl tears you’ve ever wept, but it will be entertaining and you’ll be glad you did it. Take pictures of your friends’ faces. Take pictures of your own face. Take pictures of every room you live in – the comforter on your bed, the posters on your walls. Take a picture of Williamsburg in every season. Of the inside of your favorite academic building. Even your least favorite, so you can gawk at them years later and wonder how you ever survived (sorry, Jones). Take pictures you won’t be able to find on William & Mary’s website. Those pictures will be the crisp artifacts of your memory long after your memory has faded, and you will cherish them for as long as they exist.
You are going to meet a lot of people over the next few years. Forget the ones who jokingly remark that you hang around the Terrace too often to be a real person with actual responsibilities. To those people you’ll need to say, “please shut up,” and carry on as you were. But there will be a couple of people you’ll need to remember. And more than just remember them, you need to be loyal to them. Loyalty, as you’ll need to learn over the next four years, is just about the most important thing there is. You’ll make some pretty close friends over the next few years, and you’ll be closer to them than you could have ever imagined. But inevitably, your hilarious, passionate, and deeply intelligent best friends will be idiots every now and again, and they’ll make mistakes, make you mad, and make life difficult for themselves and for you. Listen to me very closely: you need to forgive them, and you need to stand by them. You’re going to be lucky enough that you’ll become friends with people who are decent and good to the core, whose morals and life philosophies you’ll respect even when they’re not shared. Remember that about these friends, come hell or high water, because people will always remember who sticks around when things are hard.
Ignore the scrutiny of those who don’t know you, but accept and digest that from those who do. (Related: Mom is right. Mom will always be right.) Be grateful to those who go out of their way to tell you things that are hard to hear; chances are, those things are just as hard for the other person to say. “I’m telling you because I love you,” will never be a tired cliché.
I’ll be honest with you, Laura – I wrote this letter over a couple of weeks, small paragraphs at a time, reorganizing and rewriting sections every time I opened my computer. That is one habit of yours that has not changed, and I don’t know this for sure yet, but I’m predicting now that it might never change. Your best writing will almost always annoyingly emerge toward the very end of your wits, pompously skirting too close to its deadline, and that emergence will occur at the inconvenient hour of very, very early in the morning – like, hour three or four of the day. William & Mary will teach you how to write fantastic papers in your English classes, a proof or two in calculus that you will quickly forget, and even some stuff about rocks and the earth or whatever when you’re forced to take geology. But William & Mary will not teach you how to change yourself. You will be teased this year for always working in the common areas of your dorm and never working in your room, even though you find that it works better for you. People will stare at you in shock and concern when you tell them you haven’t started your five-page paper that’s due in twenty-four hours. Just a warning – these looks and remarks will cause you to become terribly insecure. You’ll very soon begin to wonder why you didn’t read more classic literature in high school, and regret not studying more for your SATs when you could have. You’ll feel this way for a while. Sure, go ahead – question the admission committee. What did they see in you? Why are you here? But I’ll tell you right now that your GPA means nothing. At the end of your life, your eulogy (ideally sung aloud by Michael Bublé and Beyoncé together in harmony) will not consist of scores and stats and numbers. You’re a lot smarter than your grades will try to tell you, and there’s more that you have going for you that cannot be measured by grades at all. Never confuse education with intelligence.
It will take you twenty one and a half years, a lot of tears, and a few unfortunate missteps for you to finally realize your true worth as a human being: as a friend to your friends, a sister to your siblings, a daughter to your parents. That moment will come at a time not uncommon to most other profundities – in the wake of tragedy, heartbreak, betrayal. It’ll be one of those strange feelings that hurts yet feels beautiful and liberating at the same time, like an expensive massage or chocolate with spicy peppers in it.
No matter what, don’t try to change who you are. Don’t even work around it. Work with it. Understand yourself, accept yourself. You won’t be able to move forward – or graduate – any other way. And you’re going to want to graduate eventually, I promise.
Green and gold 4evr,
P.S. Next year, your little sister will also attend William & Mary. Never lend her any of your clothes. She will live on the opposite side of campus. You will never get them back.
September 11, 2013 by Laura Manzano
- There will be a night, when you are lonely and a freshman, that you walk down the hall and find others like you, so you awkwardly rally together and talk about your favorite movies and SAT scores on the gross furniture in the lounge of your dorm on a humid Saturday night in September, and all of the sudden you forget to care about all the college parties you were so excited to attend. Three years later, approaching graduation, you may find yourself doing the same thing with the same people, but only this time you’re doing it because you want to, and because these awkward freshmen have somehow become your family. Only now there may or may not be alcohol involved.
- Being apart from your parents for the first time in your life will help you see them as real people. They are no longer the superheroes of your childhood, but they fall and they bleed and they may need your help, sometimes. This is not necessarily a change on their part, but a greater realization on yours, and it is not at all a bad thing. You’re becoming an adult, and in observing this new adult world through a more realistic lens, it seems only appropriate to begin with the most idealized aspect of the past eighteen years. Don’t be afraid of it – embracing an individual’s complexities can be the hardest part of relating with another human being. But remember that you are a part of each other. Your mom and dad will be your mom and dad for the rest of your life.
- Someone close to you will disappoint you. It will hurt more than many other things because friendship is stronger and less drastic than romance, and in theory should last until ties have gradually faded, and not because they have been decisively cut. If talking about it or thinking about it months later still makes you mad or sad, reach out to them. In life, just like in literature or in film, no significant character leaves in a dramatic fashion without coming back at some point down the road.
- There will be a moment, or rather, a seemingly perpetual series of moments in which you approach a realization that you don’t, in fact, know what you want to do with the rest of your life. After graduation, the proverbial path is unpaved and on an incline and it may even be hot outside. College will get you there, but you may feel it hasn’t taught you how to walk on it. Do I really want to do math for the rest of my life? Is law school the right choice for me? Here’s something no one will tell you: you’re not supposed to know how the rest of your life should unfold when you’ve barely emerged through a quarter of it. Take a deep breath. And by deep breath, I mean a year off. Give yourself time to live outside of school. Travel, meet people. For a little while, get a job just to have a job, and remember that job is not going to be your career. In college, there may be a moment when you see George Saunders speak to a room full of people just like you, and then one of the greatest and well-decorated contemporary writers will tell you that he originally got his degree in geophysical engineering, and worked for an engineering firm for seven years. Realize that no one is meant to be settled and established and have it all figured out by the time they’re twenty-four, unless they want to be completely bored for the next seventy years.
- You will trip over a brick on this campus. You will hear this everywhere, and that is because the only thing more certain in life than tripping on a brick is that by the end of it, you will be dead. You will trip on a brick not once, not twice, not seven times, but probably somewhere in the neighborhood of eighty-eight or eighty-nine times.
- There will be a lot of moments when you are rejected. By a professor, by a job, by an application, by a girl, by a boy. It’s likely that multiple rejections will happen in a short span of time, and they will make you never want to get out of bed again, even for warm Caf cookies. In these moments, you will undoubtedly feel the opposite of what you should feel, because in reality, the courage that has compelled you to put yourself out there in the first place is greater than many people can claim. College may teach you that everyone needs to be broken down to nothing before they can become something. You are not a great anything until you’ve thought to yourself at some point that you are the worst anything that has ever lived.
- If you’re lucky enough, you’ll experience love, and if it’s real, you’ll be scared to call it that just yet. You may not be anxious or excited. You won’t lose your appetite, because that seems to indicate that to remain in love with someone forever means you will never eat again. That to desire a hamburger means to have fallen out of love. The thought of him or her won’t make your heart race. By that point, if you’ve sat on it long enough, your heart will have adopted him or her as an integral cog in the regular mechanics of your circulatory system. They say that love is selfless. And you’ll have a moment when you realize that part is true. Their happiness will become your happiness – a scientific, economical, reliable correlation. And that feeling, unlike Hallmark love, will be unascribable to any one color, unless that color is black, simply because, of course, black is a combination of all the colors – those both beautiful and less beautiful, but nonetheless necessary to paint an honest world. If you find yourself feeling this way, or even at the very least think you feel this way: congratulations. It requires a brave person to put their own heart in this position, no matter how involuntary it may seem.
- Finally, you’ll visit Washington D.C. for the first time on any given weekend, and fit in as much sight-seeing one could do in about 30 short hours: the magnificence of the Capitol building, the grandeur that is the Lincoln Memorial, but most especially – the beautiful stillness of Arlington Cemetery. The sky will be cloudy and you may be tired. You’ll inexplicably cry at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as you watch the guard walk across the horizon with a reverent ferocity. You’ll say a quick prayer for anyone who has ever sacrificed anything for your sake. You’ll smear away the tears that have somehow snuck into your eyes, and turn to pan across the landscape: tens of thousands of tombstones, extending farther than you will be able to see. The names will mean nothing to you and everything to you at the same time, because those unrecognizable names and their sacrifice are the reason you’re able to stand where you’re standing. The most important and essential moment you will have, at any point in your life, is the one in which you understand that you are not in this alone – that we need to be good to each other in order to survive.
April 1, 2013 by Laura Manzano
All my life I’ve been raised as part of a very Catholic family, in the best possible way. In today’s world, I suppose it’s hard for a lot of people to hear the word “Catholic” and make positive associations. But in retrospect, I can say with confidence that some of the best memories of my childhood came as a result of the faith I was raised around. I went to Catholic elementary and middle schools the years I was not home schooled, and it’s only in coming to college that I have found a community as supportive as the one I had when I was in 5th grade, during those formative years when happy songs about loving Jesus really got stuck in your head forever. In my relatively short life, I have seen my parents to be a prime example of all the good that living a life in a particular faith has to offer. They have raised me and my four siblings, I like to believe, in such a way that promotes the many positive aspects of our religious convictions – teaching us to be honest people, to treat others with the same love and generosity of family, and most importantly, I think, to be mindful and conscious of the world we live in and the people that live in it with us.
I guess it was a combination of those things (and a masochistic penchant for brutal physical activity before the sun rises) that drove my older brother Michael to join the military. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point for the same four years that hundreds of thousands of 18-22 year-old students attended “normal” college, where skipping class is totally a thing we can do, and weekends are spent drinking really bad beer from plastic cups at awkward parties like life was definitely meant to be. Almost a year after his West Point graduation, I was lucky enough to attend his graduation from Ranger School, as it conveniently coincided with this past spring break. Ranger School is one of the hardest there is – my family and I were virtually unable to communicate with my brother for 9 weeks, while he was out doing all those cool army things you see in commercials, just without sleep and food and, you know, toilet paper and stuff. Michael talked to us a lot about his experience – the good, the bad, the enlightening. He told me the second phase, in the mountains of Dahlonega, Georgia, was the hardest thing he’s ever done.
The next morning, on the pull-out sofa bed in the hotel, I had one of those existential life crises that always come at the worst times. I realized that I only really think about the men and women that serve in our military as frequently as I do because my brother is one of them. Because honestly, what reason would I ever have to otherwise? My daily life is almost completely unaffected by the war we’ve been a part of for practically half the time I’ve been alive. I’m not living in World War II era America, where things like sugar was rationed, tires and gas were often unavailable to operate cars, and women even gave up stockings and leggings. (Could you imagine? A life without leggings?!) But that’s what life was then – it was a matter of accepted sacrifice, and it was all accepted in the name of patriotism, for the good of others.
During my weekly 4:00 AM crisis, I often find myself thinking of the super constricting and inclusive bubble I’m in here at “normal” college. The life I’m living right now is for me. Everything I’m studying, every email I’m sending, every move I’m making is for my own personal gain: for my career, for the family I hope to have, for wherever I hope to live, for my future. It’s paralyzing and frustrating, coming to the realization that so many people like my brother make sacrifices and live the unique lives they do because they are living not for themselves, but for others, just as my parents stressed to me throughout my life, by both their teaching and their example.
My perspective on the Catholic faith in which I was raised has changed a bit since coming to college, as perspectives on so many other things tend to do upon entering a new phase in one’s life, filled with new people and new experiences. But I think one aspect of my religious beliefs that has remained the same, if not strengthened by my talks with my brother, is the notion of sacrifice. I made the decision to give up alcohol this lenten season, and it’s definitely been a tough one. Hanging out with the friends on the weekends generally leads to at least one polite refusal and certainly a short explanation. The whole concept behind giving up something for lent is a symbolic gesture – deriving from the forty days and forty nights Jesus spent suffering in the desert, likely without modern comforts like toilet paper and cocktails after a stressful week of tests and papers. I suppose my religious ties to this sacrificial tradition served as my initial catalyst, but if I’m being completely honest, my real motivation comes from people like my brother and people like my parents – people who sacrifice something every day, people who compromise their lives without a second thought. Because in the three years I’ve been in college, I’ve never really had to live that way, even a little bit, and that kind of makes me feel selfish, and that kind of makes me feel angry.
I suppose in giving up alcohol, I’m not really benefiting anyone other than myself. So in reality, maybe this process is actually achieving the opposite of what I had intended to do. But there’s a part of me, after these forty days have come and gone, that still believes that the act of simply “living without” helps to gain yet another new perspective. It has certainly helped me to see past the insular lifestyle I’m a part of now – the world that is greater and bigger than just myself and my classes and my own future. Obviously, it’s no one’s fault in particular – that’s just the way college is. But who’s to say that’s all it has to be? I’m definitely not trying to preach here, or say “hey everyone, you should be more like me,” because goodness, if everyone on this earth were like me, there’d be no way sports could exist, and government leaders would make significant decisions based on how happy or sad they were that day. But in making such a simple sacrifice, a part of me has changed in a way I definitely didn’t expect – the kind of change that I’d argue is just as important to one’s college experience as drinking those bad beers at those awkward parties. Maybe even a little bit more important. But only a little bit.
February 19, 2013 by Laura Manzano
Many are familiar with the crippling, chronic illness known as Senioritis – in which an individual at the senior level in academia endures tremendous bouts of apathy to the most extreme degree. It’s a thing, trust me. I looked it up on Web M.D. But sadly, many more are unfamiliar with a rare and equally crippling strain of Senioritis – it is one that plagues juniors, typically in their second semester, and is, more simply, the fear of becoming a senior.
I finally watched the pilot episode of HBO’s Girls, and I hate the show already. No, that’s not true. Of course I loved it – it’s funny and smart and real and everything all my twenty-something female friends (and obligatory gay male friend) told me it would be. But I want to hate it, because watching Girls is like looking in the mirror. I graduate William & Mary in about 18 months (no, I’m not counting [yes, I obviously am]) and I am already hyperventilating every hour, on the hour. I worry about getting a job that I’ll like, but at the same time one that will allow me to survive on more than tortilla chips and Dr. Pepper. I worry about being able to support myself, wherever the heck I’ll be living. Virginia? Back in Florida in my parents’ basement? (Well, I at least know the latter won’t be true, since Florida is at sea level and doesn’t have basements. AHA!) Mostly, though, more than anything else, I’m worried about making the four years that will have preceded me count for something, and not simply flopping on my face with only an expensive paper diploma to cushion me.
In watching one episode of Girls, a long-repressed thought of mine has been confirmed: I’m scared to graduate. I don’t wanna do it. Hi, my name is Laura Marina Elena Manzano, and I have Type Two Senioritis. For me, the first month of this semester has been so full of rejection and disappointment and setbacks – some of which I’m still getting over, weeks later. Junior year has taught me, more than anything else, that the more you put yourself out there, the greater chance you have of getting hurt. A big part of me can’t shake the fear that here, now, in college, where I’m supposed to be building my resumé and gaining all this experience – if so many of my attempts have been unsuccessful, what’s to say that the infamous “real world” will be any different?
I’ve decided I’m not going to watch Girls anymore, for at least right now, because it makes me think about all those things at four in the morning, when the whole point in watching is to submerge myself in that mindless, animal-cracker-crumbs-on-your-shirt kind of TV-watching experience that you take part in when you’re trying to forget about reality. I sometimes think about what all the people I know who watch the show have in common. I suppose a lot with each other, and a lot with Lena Dunham. Typically female, English/American studies/LCST majors, maybe a tattoo or two or seven, social smokers, coffee drinkers, Woody Allen lovers. Budding Lena Dunhams, essentially. The same principle applies to the question of why my mom is into Parenthood right now. She’s a parent. It’s relatable. (Pure entertainment value will explain why my thirteen-year-old sister watches Cake Boss on Netflix like it’s her summer job.)
Last fall in my film class, we read an essay by Laura Mulvey which said that for a long time, women faced some difficulty identifying with the characters present on screen. The protagonist was almost always male, and the female character was almost always used primarily for visual, sexual appeal. Women watching movies were rendered immobile. They couldn’t relate to the main dude, of course, and Lauren Bacall was just too sexy and mysterious for the average American woman to think, “she’s just like me!” I’m certainly not claiming she’s the first to do so, but Lena Dunham is a great example of recent success in re-energizing that young female demographic which has been slowly defrosting since the days of which Mulvey writes. My collegiate friends watch with an excited intrigue (or in my case – an equal mix of intrigue and terror), as they see themselves in Dunham and her friends in cleverly written 30-minute episodes. For me, Girls is everything I don’t want to watch right now, because it’s also everything I don’t want to confront right now. Granted, I’ve only watched one episode. I had a friend tell me that as the series progresses, you find yourself feeling proud about the quality of your life, because it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, anything is better than doing cocaine in a nightclub bathroom while wearing a mesh tank top. Or something like that.
At William & Mary – or any college, really – it can be hard sometimes to look up. To look outside of the bubble we’re in: of classes and problem sets and tests and essays and readings and internships and resumés, resumés, resumés. It’s natural, I think, or at least has become second nature at this point in our lives, considering the entirety of them thus far has been a series of schools – first pre-school, elementary school, then middle school, then high school, and finally college. Sometimes even grad school. Academia is like climbing a set of stairs. You walk confidently, knowing exactly where your foot will land next until you reach the top, and you’ve exited the bubble, at which point you find that open ground is ahead, and your options are seemingly limitless. It’s the freedom that scares me so much, I believe. It’s that terrifying moment when your professor says, “write a paper on anything we’ve covered so far,” and you sit at your laptop for forty-five minutes, forgetting how to use the joints in your fingers. I’ve never really thought of myself as a particularly structured person, but right now, in the (distant) face of graduation, I realize that structure is what has been holding me together all these years.
I have a very clear memory of when I was in fifth grade, during winter break. I was sitting beneath the Christmas tree, crying to my mom because I was nervous about starting 6th grade – it was a whole different building in my school, the teachers were intimidating and had large mustaches, and changing classes was going to be way too much to handle, for sure. She said to me, very matter of factly, as I’ve always loved my mom to be: “Laura, fifth grade isn’t even over yet. Relax. When you get there, you’ll be ready.” Who’s to say I won’t fall on my face when I get to the top of this proverbial staircase I just made up? I guess the lesson in all of this is that I just have to believe that by the time I finally get there, I’ll be ready. Or something like that.
The Fall of Breaks Began with this One a.k.a Title Laura Thinks of in a Desperate Attempt to Be Clever
October 22, 2012 by Laura Manzano
Because today marks the one week anniversary of Fall Break 2012, I thought no better way to celebrate than to write a commemorative entry highlighting the dramatic ups and downs of my experience. Seeing as I’m from Florida, it is sadly not feasible to spend $300+ on a plane ticket to essentially be home for 2.3 days. So, unfortunately, as much as I miss my dog, my duck, my family, and steady water pressure in the shower, I typically remain here in good ol’ Williamsburg. Also unfortunate was the fact that my sister was away on tour with her a capella group (visiting and performing at prestigious college campuses across the northeast, an experience of which I am not jealous or bitter over whatsoever). But luckily, I consistently have a friend or two that finds themselves in the same situation I am, so we text each other and arrange to be lonely together.
And because I’m confident my impassioned readership is silently begging for details, I have provided you all (assuming there’s more than one person that reads my blog) the day-by-day:
- Woke up around noon-thirty, eased my way over to the Caf to get breakfast (would that still qualify as breakfast?), and cheerfully discovered the pleasant revelation that they closed at 1.
- Went promptly back to my room, Googled the dining hall hours schedule with great voracity, branded it into my memory.
- Laid on the Sunken Garden for several hours with my friend [Chis]Yake, after (customarily) arguing for 45 minutes about what to do that day (stay inside and watch movies vs. be outside and not feel horrible about ourselves for staying inside).
- Watched Dial M for Murder later that night.
- Paused every 10 minutes or so to share with Yake all the thoughts that crossed my mind as they came about (and to also make him explain the confusing parts I missed when I wasn’t paying attention).
- Yake grew increasingly annoyed with me.
- I gave him some pretzels to make him less mad.
- It worked.
- Ate a sweet potato with chili and bacon (choosing a sweet potato over a savory potato [I’m going to start calling them that] was originally an accident, but by the end of it I assure you I felt no regret).
- Later I was thrown a thing-that-you-throw-to-save-someone’s-life-when-they-fall-off-a-boat by my friend Carly, who picked me up and brought me to Target with her, where I bought mascara and she bought ingredients for peach cobbler. (Carly wins.)
- Went back to Carly’s apartment, where I reclined on the couch and texted, which I promise you is an ENTIRELY different and radical experience from reclining and texting in my room.
- Got back to campus, got dinner with Yake, sat duty in Yates, talked to my little brother about his awesome camping trip (an experience of which I am not jealous or bitter over whatsoever), went to bed.
Monday and Tuesday
- These two days are being condensed into one, because I did similar things on both days, and also because I am losing patience with myself.
- I don’t remember what I had for lunch, because all I know is that more friends were slowly trickling back and the elation of not being alone (or alone with Yake) anymore was blinding (plus I doubt you care about what I had for lunch).
- Naps were fit in there somewhere , that much I can guarantee.
- Watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi and The September Issue, two fantastic documentaries I highly recommend (that have put me in a position where I now need to decide if I’m going to be a sushi chef or a magazine editor when I grow up).
- On Monday night, I saw Pitch Perfect at the Movie Tavern with Carly and our friends Blaise and Bryan. The fun part was the movie itself, and also Carly giving me sips of her milkshake.
- I ate dinner both days… I also remember that.
- Finally, on Tuesday night, I sat at my computer and made a list of everything I needed to get done over break, but as you have just read, and as I have recently discovered, did none of it.
- However, similar to my sweet potato debacle, I have no regrets.
October 4, 2012 by Laura Manzano
That I’m dropping my water bottle approximately nineteen times a day
It needs to stop.
That I’m reading Hemingway’s “Big Two-Hearted River” for my American Lit class, in which good ol’ Ernest talks for fifteen pages about a dude camping, making canned spaghetti, some stuff about grasshoppers, and catching trout.
That my MIXED fruit snack pack that I ate last night contained ALL strawberry, save for two peach
Seriously, Target, I want a refund.
That my mom emails me daily with pictures of our pet duck, named Duck, who is steadily approaching adolescence:
I’m just glad I’m not around to have to deal with those raging hormones, amirite?
That Busch Gardens Day, the second-coming of Christmas, is tomorrow
Did you hear me? CHRISTMAS.
That it is 84 degrees and muggy. In October.
Seriously, Williamsburg, I want a refund.
That the iPhone’s recent update gives you about a billion new Emojis
[picture of lifelike ram]
That its been announced that $8 million is going into Sadler’s expansion:
Fantastic. Just don’t touch the terrace.
That 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” is stuck in my head right now
That I found Orson Welles notably attractive in Citizen Kane
This is not something I will share with my film class.
That a Beyoncé music video made me tear up last week
That leaves will be changing colors soon
[high-pitched, manic squeals]
That this blog post, like most others, has been in list format
I’ll work on it, okay?
July 26, 2012 by Laura Manzano
For frisbee and sleep
What kind of garden is this?
I see no flowers
Tyler Family Echo Circle Thing
You stand there and talk
looking like an idiot
impressed the first time
YES close to coffee
chairs, tables, chairs, tables, chairs
I want to live there
Like an old lady
when wearing lots of makeup:
pretty from distance
TJ’s former watch
“Caf for lunch? Meet at dial!”
These haikus were hard
July 18, 2012 by Laura Manzano
Things I Do During the Summer:
- I wait tables at a busy seafood restaurant
- I promise it’s much more glamorous than it sounds
- (Oh wait, its not)
- What I’m reading:
- Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
- All I can say is… WOW.
- (I’m sorry, I had to)
3. Drive around in my crappy, radio-less car
- Do you know what it feels like to have to sing One Direction alone?
- That’s right
- No one should have to
- My last three tweets:
- “I LOVE READING”
- “When you think about it, illiteracy is very sad”
- ["Moon River" lyrics]
- (Practice makes perfect)
- World = New York, Texas
- a Hello Kitty key cover
- like 16 used books from this Goodwill Bookstore by my house
- like 12 bajillion new dresses
- this heavenly mango smoothie because I just felt like it
- I don’t even like mango
- but it was good
- He tries to tell me that Bulbasaur is clearly the best starter and I’m just like
May 1, 2012 by Laura Manzano
Ah, finals week. I suppose it’s counter-intuitive to be posting now of all times, but it makes sense to me for a couple of reasons:
- Why study when you can write about fun stuff?
- I’m about to begin work on a 5-page paper. Whereas “7” in a Biblical context is considered to be the best number ever (thanks, Christian Origins) “5” has become the number I love to hate, as an English major. Professors throw around five page paper assignments like a scantily clad, feathered woman with heavy eye makeup throws beads on Mardi Gras. Well, where I’m getting at with #2, is that writing this post will get my creative juices flowing, right? Either that or have me on Google images looking at Mardi Gras floats in the form of an androgynous Poseidon.
But either way, for a new blogger, I shamefully haven’t written since my first post over a month ago, and I figure this is as good a time as ever to get my impassioned readership (hey there, Carl) up to speed with my William and Mary life. I’m often hesitant to commit myself to a long narrative in writing for the sake of my absentee attention span, and my tendency to ramble about nothing that is relevant (see, majority of above paragraph). So here is where I transition to a list of transition-less random snippets that highlight the highs and lows of my past month.
- I walked into my Contemporary Literature class last Wednesday about 23 seconds late, and on the projector was a black and white, silent clip playing of a woman taking a shower in super slow motion. I was thoroughly confused for a full minute until I remembered this movie, 24-hour Psycho, was referenced in the novel we were presently studying – Point Omega by Don DeLillo. But anyways, lesson learned: never be late to class, unless you want to be thoroughly confused. Or … just retain the reading you did the night before.
- This past Friday was the last day of classes, equivalent to Christmas in April here at the College. AMP always hosts a really great celebration for most of the afternoon on the Sunken Garden, this year consisting of multiple bouncy structures, a live band, a rock wall, free food, a smoothie bar, and soft grass. A good time was had by all, and I discovered I look good in straw fedoras! Win-win.
- So now that I’m officially inducted into Phi Sigma Pi, the co-ed honors fraternity here on campus, my life has been mostly sunshine and rainbows. Seriously, one of the best decisions I’ve made in my time at this school was rushing PSP. I told my Dad on the phone during the fact, and he reacts: “fraternity?!” I think he was thinking I was some Greek life trailblazer, forging new paths of women being admitted into frats, and perhaps imagining me on the roof of a house in a neon tank top drinking a Natty and flicking roof chips at innocent bystander squirrels. But no, no, Father. This connotation is not one to be upheld by either PSP, or most people and organizations at W&M, really. My freshman year I met a blonde cheerleader who earned a 5 in BC Calc in high school, and at the time loved reading her Comp Sci textbook as much as People magazine. One of my best friends plays the guitar and obsesses over baseball as much as the next bro, but can narrate the entire rise and fall of the Roman empire with his eyes closed. (I guess you don’t really need your eyes to do that, but you know what I’m trying to say.) So, PSP is a fraternity, yes. But I assure you, we don’t call ourselves a “nerd frat” for nothing. And just a general word about stereotypes in the context of William and Mary – I’ve found that they only exist to be broken.
- Finally, I found a Twitter account attributed to President Reveley a bit ago, and I grew excited to have the opportunity to solidify my commitment to Reveley’s army (via Twitter following), but then I was disappointed to find out it was a fake account, but then I was happy again because it’s actually pretty funny. It was an emotional five minutes.
- And speaking of five…