16 September 2009

I don't have words to describe what happened to me today. . .

Let me set the scene:

Today was a beautiful early fall day; the sun was
shining, there was a light breeze, and nearly everyone on campus was playing
outside.  I left my house bright and
early, and I swear I could hear birds singing and babies laughing as I bicycled
along my merry way to work. 

So, you can imagine how devastating it was that the
Fulbright deadline was last night—18 pristine applications were waiting on my
desk as I walked in the door this morning, all of them waiting for me to make
ten copies of each, stick them in an envelope, and deliver them across
campus.  Naively, I set about my task,
looking wistfully out my window at the golden leaves fluttering in the sky.  How long could ten copies take?  Surely, surely, I would finish before
studio and have time to enjoy the fresh air. 
After all, only ten copies. . .

And so I began copying the first application, carefully
arranging the materials, stapling neatly, and organizing everything on the
floor (since we still don’t have a table in that room).  Some applicants had stapled their applications,
so I laboriously pulled the staples out so I could feed the copy machine each
leaflet of paper.  After the copies had
been made, I paper-clipped each packet with brightly-colored paper-clips and
stacked each one neatly on my desk.  I glanced
at my watch.

It had been an hour, and I had copied only three

At that rate, I would be lucky to be halfway through by the
time studio started! 

I picked up my pace.  The
next two hours are a blur to me now.  I remember
only getting into a rhythm of copying, sorting, stacking, copying, sorting,
stacking, copying, sorting. . . .

Again, I checked the time—CRAP!  I had to be at studio in 15 minutes!  And I was just finishing up my ninth
application!  As quickly as I could urge
the copy machine, I finished up the application and brought all the materials
back to my desk.  I was lucky: today in
studio we were doing workshops; an hour learning, and hour off, an hour
learning, and hour off. . . I would have time to come back.

I went to studio, which was in the Map room of the library
(quick aside, that is possibly the coolest, most interesting room on
campus).  After about an hour, I peddled
quickly back to the Honors College to resume my task.  Again, same rhythm, same timing—I completed
three more during that hour.  I returned
to class.

After another hour of studio, I went back to complete my
task.  Six applications still reared
their ugly teeth at me, daring me to complete the copies in time to enjoy the
beautiful day Muncie had produced.  I gave
up stapling the copies.  I found ways to
print faster.  I became a machine.

As I was finally wrapping up the last application, I noticed
that it—unlike ANY of the other applications—had been printed
front-and-back.  Exasperated, but happy I
had found the mistake in time, I fumbled to insert the missing pages.  Then it was back to my office to put the
applications in an envelope to be delivered to the committee members.

Half an hour later, I had completely lost hope of playing
outside, and was now in a time crunch to make it to my night class.  With 25 minutes to spare, I sealed the last
envelope and began clearing my desk. 

And then it happened.

I found a stack of applications on my desk that I had
forgotten to put into envelopes.  As quickly
as I could, I corrected my mistake.

Then I realized that EACH application needed a cover
sheet.  I bustled back to the copy room
to make 180 more pages.  Then I had to
un-stuff and re-stuff each envelope in order to add the sheets. 

Finally, after hours of labor, I completed the Fulbright
copies.  All the offices were closed, so I
had to stack the envelopes on my desk.  Delivering
these epic documents will be tomorrow’s challenge. 

Numbed, but triumphant, I mounted my gallant steed and rode
off into the sunset.

And I was only one minute late for my class. 

Stacked Copies -- The Fruit of my Labor 


jlbarnes2 |


Gyp·sy also Gip·sy (jĭp'sē) n. pl. Gyp·sies also Gip·sies : 3. "gypsy" One inclined to a nomadic, unconventional way of life.


¿Qué onda?

السلام عليكم

“I’m Jessi”, “Me llamo Jessi”, or  "انا اسمي دْجسي" 

Ok, that’s enough of
the tri-lingual thing for now. 

My name is Jessi, and I’m
a fourth year at Ball State.  I study
landscape architecture, which is a five-year program.  SO, I get to be a senior twice. . . sort of.  In addition to architecture I have two
minors, one in history and the other in Spanish. 

Since you’re reading
my blog, I assume you’re either interested in Ball State or you’re interested
in my many adventures at Ball State.  As
far as the former reason is concerned, I really don’t blame you.  Ball State is a pretty fabulous school.  As for the latter. . . I hope I don’t

As you may guess from
the title of this blog, I really enjoy traveling.  In fact, I’ve made a goal for myself to study
or travel abroad every year of my college career; so far, so good!  I’ll get into details later, but I’ve studied
abroad with the Honors College twice (I studied Italian literature and culture
in Italy and British Fantasy Literature in England), I’ve been awarded two
Critical Language Scholarships (I studied Arabic in Tunisia and Egypt), and I
studied the environment and sustainable development in Monterrey, Mexico last
spring semester.  I’m currently making plans
to study abroad in Brazil this coming spring semester.  Hopefully everything will work out and five months
from now I’ll be posting from South America!

Despite all that, I do
actually spend a lot of time at Ball State. 
While I’m in Muncie, my main occupation is being a student, but I have
some other activities lined up as well. 
I am the “assistant to the director of national and international
,” but I prefer to be called her minion.  Basically, I work to keep the website
updated, file things, and research potential scholarships for Ball State
students.  It’s pretty fun, and I get to
be called an “undergraduate fellow,” which sounds kind of fancy.  Aside from that, I try to volunteer whenever I
can, I attend Navigators, I’m a member of the Ball State chapter of the ASLA,
and I try to make it to most Natural Resources club meetings.  At the moment I’m a feeling a little
disconnected from campus since it’s been about a year since I was last here, so
we’ll see what other fun things I’ll get myself into. 

For the next few weeks
I am peer mentoring, so hopefully that will go well.  So far it’s been really good—we’ve gone to
the library, talked about the freshman reader, and talked about future
scholarship opportunities students at Ball State enjoy. 

Like most young
people, I enjoy spending time with my friends—recently we’ve been watching
football (Go Bears!).  I’m learning how
to play the guitar and how to ride a motorcycle.  When my roommate is feeling generous, I am
occasionally also learning how to drive a manual transmission, which is
something completely foreign to me.  I
enjoy growing plants, and recently I’ve enjoyed cooking with fresh herbs from
my herb garden (though cooking really isn’t my thing).  When I have the chance I like to rock climb,
though the only time in my life I did this regularly was in Mexico (aka: I’m
pretty lousy at it).  I also like biking,
and I just bought my fist pair of roller blades since I was ten—so Watch
Out!  I still don’t know how to use my
breaks!  (Word to the wise: rollerblading
is NOT like riding a bike!  If you stop
doing it for an extended period of time, it gets harder!)  I love tattoos and piercings and crazy hair,
though I currently have only a nose-ring. 

I speak English
natively (I’m from Northern Indiana, so that was easy to master), and Spanish
conversationally (I make grammatical mistakes left and right, but I am able to
understand and communicate in Spanish). 
I’ve been learning Arabic during the last two summers, but I can get by
in only basic, basic Arabic.  Now,
to prepare for Brazil, I will begin learning Portuguese this Tuesday.  Hopefully I’ll learn enough this semester to
survive in the next one. 
إن شاء الله

So that’s me.  I hope you enjoy reading my blog, and please
feel free to post and comment frequently!

Oh yeah, and I like
Crest Extreme Herbal Mint toothpaste best. (In case you were interested)


Me learning to play guitar 

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