Amanda Allen tagged me to post 8 things about myself that you didn't know, and though I'm not sure I'll be able to comfortably provide that list, I'm definitely going to try.
Submitted for your reading pleasure, 8 things you didn't know about me (or my further elaborations on some things you may have already suspected.)
1. I secretly wish I was a vegetarian. I like the whole cultural mystique that goes along with vegetarianism, the concern for animal rights and dietary health, though I'm really not so concerned with either of those, at least not enough to give up meat forever. I do, however, go days, even weeks at the time without eating meat simply because I really like vegetables. I was out to lunch with some of the students from my grad program last week, and I ordered a veggie burger. Everyone immediately began asking me how long I'd been a vegetarian, and I was flattered that they assumed I am and kind of disappointed to inform them I'm not. I don't think I could ever give up chicken.
2. I'm an ink junkie. Well, okay, not so much so that I have tattoos on my forehead or all down my arm, but I really like tattoos, and I have two: a crescent moon and three stars on my right ankle and an owl named Conway on my left shoulder. I think body art is beautiful and expressive, and I like the permanence of it. I'm such a stalwart to change, I crave familiarity, and I hate things that don't last forever (so I'm forced to ask myself why I moved away for grad school...), so tattoos are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they are also comforting to me.
3. I love the South. I feel like that statement needs much qualification coming from me, given my political and religious beliefs, lifestyle, and career choice. Here we go. While I concede that the Southeastern United States has closed mined conservative politics, much poverty, and disparate social stratification, I think there are so many good things about being a Southerner and living in the South. I'm a firm believer in Southern hospitality. I love how communities gather around their own in times of need, say for instance when a Baptist church in a small Mississippi town sends out casseroles and helping hands to rebuild an old woman's house after it burned down. I love sitting on a front porch and having driversby wave to me as I rock and visit with family and friends. I love the sense of filial piety and social propriety I have inherited as a result of my Southern upbringing. I think I can make a big impact on the lives of teenagers as a public school teacher, providing for them as safe an environment as I can to express themselves openly. Honestly, I think the South needs more people like me. (And you.)
4. Teaching writing makes me giddy. That may not be something you didn't know about me, but I must say, as an instructor of composition who has been a writing tutor for years, I love helping students express themselves through writing. Nothing pleases me more than guiding a student to a point where she figures out the best way to make her claim, prove her thesis, take ownership of her ideas and really accomplish a great feat in this sordid game of maturation. It's something I'm very passionate about.
5. I have planned out my wedding ceremony. Though I have no prospects whatsoever, I know that I want an outdoor wedding in the fall, probably mid to late October. In lieu of traditional vows, I want various poems from Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the Brownings read throughout the ceremony. These poems will address all the different manifestations of love, from romantic affection to love for a child, and even the daunting task of keeping love alive in a relationship. I don't want a wedding party. Instead, those who are important enough to me to play a role in my wedding ceremony will be readers, serving a more vital role in the union that just holding a bouquet. I want a three tier lemon cake with raspberry filling and butter cream frosting decorated with champagne grapes dusted with super fine sugar. My wedding song (depending on my significant other's taste) will be "Nothing Fails" by Madonna.
6. I like to read chick lit novels. This is a tough one for me to admit to since I'm a graduate student in English and I consider myself a person with critical taste in literature. And I am. I am moderately well read and I love the classics as well as critical commentary and poetic language. Still, sometimes it's just plain fun to spend a day reading _The Nanny Diaries_ and giving yourself a break from Foucault and John Milton. I, therefore, am not ashamed to be excited to read the _Gossip Girl_ series.
7. I was Wiccan once. It was only for two weeks and I was 15, but I think this foray into Neo-paganism provides an important dimension to my identity. In those crucial and awful teenage years, I was unsatisfied with the religious identity proscribed on me by my culture and took the initiative to seek out answers to my own questions about the cosmos instead of accepting what I was taught. I didn't stick with my newfound religion because around that time I came to the silent realization that religion, at least in its traditional and organized forms, really doesn't work for me--it just isn't that important in my life--though I wasn't comfortable enough to admit that realization to myself until years later. Still, I think this experience shows if not intelligence at least curiosity on my part, and it makes for an interesting story at cocktail parties. (I even set up an alter with candles and rocks I had "blessed" in my bedroom!)
8. I love reality TV. It's such a curse! I'll watch any reality show that comes on: America's Next Top Model, Big Brother, The Real World, Survivor. I get attached to the characters, involved in the asinine plot lines, wish I was beautiful enough to walk around half naked in a beach environment performing stunts to maintain my place in the game. It's pathological, really.
I don't think I have 8 readers to tag, but I will tag 3 (if they want to play. No pressure).