Michelangelo sibyl from the Sistine Chapel


academic flashbacks

I gave some more thought to what Ann had said to me about her connection to Louisiana and I've come to the conclusion that there really isn't an equivalent of that kind of feeling for me here in Wisconsin. Despite the fact that I have lived here all of my life, the land and I are not one at all. Oh, I can appreciate the beauty of the state, but I think that I could just as easily live somewhere else if something caused me to move away. Nor can I think of anything running through the state that would rally the people together. I could name a few stereotypes, but that wouldn't be the same as what she was describing.

Personally I find this regional division a little odd. Then again science fiction authors like to talk about the country fragmenting in the near future. In fact this was one of the main themes in the book Snow Crash, which I never could bring myself to finish. Somehow I don't think that this dividing of the country will happen during my lifetime.


Yesterday before I fell asleep I spent an hour or so talking with my sister Hope. It had been a few weeks since we last talked so it was good to do some catching up with one another. Her biggest piece of news was that she bought a new car. For the past four years she had been driving the 1989 Pontiac Grand Am that I sold back to my parents after I bought my Sunfire. Now she is behind the wheel of her vey own silver 2000 Pontiac Sunfire complete with sunroof. She was determined to have a silver one and had to wait a little longer until the dealership found her one.

She bought it last week and she already has six hundred miles on it, because where my parents live is at least thirty miles from any real metropolitan area. All of these miles bother her, but she knows that there isn't anything she can do to change it short of moving out on her own which I don't think that she wants to do just yet.

Now both her and my brother own newer cars than me. At least I think that his is newer than mine. I could be wrong.

I also found out that I am the last in the family to go back to school this fall. My brother started grad school last week and she continues with her undergrad studies this week. I don't start until next week after the holiday.


It was odd being on a college campus late this morning and I can't exactly say why either. The last time that I was a student in the University of Wisconsin system was seven years ago. At that time I had had enough of the system and just wanted out. Each and every day I had to explain myself to the professors and it was getting old. They wanted to know why I chose the color that I did in a painting. They wanted to know why I chose the size canvas that I did. Almost everything that I did supposedly had some kind of hidden meaning to it and I didn't have the answers that they wanted to hear.

Of course I had no idea what I was going to do with my life once I got out of their sheltered environment, but it seemed better than being trapped within the academic system.


There had been an orientation session last Saturday, but the time didn't work out that well for me so I didn't attend. Besides if I can make my way through Europe with a minimal amount of help, I am sure that I can handle an urban college campus. My two primary goals were to get my books and a student ID. Thankfully the bookstore worked just like the one in Stevens Point so it wasn't much of a problem.

This time I'm the older student although I probably don't look it. On the other hand some of the female students that I saw made me feel like an old man. Quite of few of them look as though they just came out of high school and I have to keep telling myself that they probably did. For me high school is twelve years into the past.

Even though they may be very tempting, I have an unwritten rule not to date women more than two years younger than myself. Something about a large age gap really bothers me. I might be able to stretch that limit to five years, but ten would be too weird for me.


Looking at the books that we will be reading this semester, I think that I made a good choice for my class. Some of them I've already read, so I am looking forward to what other people have to say about them.


Tuesdays and Thursdays are when I'll be on campus, so I'm not sure how much of an impact college will have on my social life. On Tuesdays I'll be able to linger after the rush hour traffic if I want, but on Thursdays I'll have to head back home right after class so that I can get some sleep before I go to work. With my schedule I sincerely doubt that I'll fall into the party circuit any time soon. Nor do I think that the people in my class will be that young. The class may be a split level between undergrad and grad students, but the undergrads have to have a junior standing.


In the world of music, I've returned to my folk roots with the ever lovable Juliana Hatfield. Something about her really appeals to me and if I ever met someone like that in life I would be lost. It's funny I've never dated someone that would fall into that granola girl category. Instead I get involved with women who were pom pom girls in high school.

My last girlfriend was on the completely other end of the spectrum from the hip urban girl. She was Miss Business who took pride in the fact that she hadn't had more than three days off in a row for the past two years. I found that to be very sad.

Here I had gone to Hawaii with my family for a week the previous year and then when I was with her we didn't go anywhere. Sigh. On the bright side, since we split I've been to California, Nova Scotia and Europe none of which would have happened if I chosen to stay with her. It was one of the better decisions that I've made in my life.


Beautiful Creature by Juliana Hatfield has to be the best album that I have bought in a long time. It arrived this afternoon in the mail from Amazon along with Victoria Williams' new cd Water to Drink, the Alan Warner book, The Sopranos and my vhs copy of The Unbearable Lightness of Being.


The Road from Coorain is really starting to grow on me and I hope to finish it sometime tomorrow. Jill did not have a carefree childhood.

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