Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Day We Are Awaiting

I'm applying to graduate school. Thank God. And it'll be a miracle if I get in, because the schools I'm applying to aren't just difficult, they are impossible. I've considered renewing my faith in God just so I can pray for help.

I have to submit a 15-20 page writing sample. I managed to get through my undergraduate English degree with several 5-7 page papers, and not one (decent) long one. Thus, I'm going to expand one of my existing papers, one of my papers on James Joyce's Ulysses.

In order to do this, I had to invoke the help of not only God, but my Mother.

My Mother, or Mama, or Laura Ellen, whose Daddy was an orphan raised on a peanut farm and whose Mama was a tall, ascetic, skinny, farmer's daughter named Mattie Mozelle (say it out loud like Mademoiselle). Mozelle gave an audible puff of air wherever she walked and once pushed a 10 year old me out of her way in the kitchen when I was trying not to step on the cracks in the linoleum (they would have broken my mama's back).

My Mama's eyes are like some mystical shade of 1970s eyeshadow: creamy, opaque, and lustrous (forgive me, it's true).

My Ulysses papers were hidden in my grandpa's storage unit and I asked Mama to search through boxes and boxes of china and crumbling Christmas decorations and porcelain miniature pitchers and Baptist bible pamphlets and outdated property titles. She told me to pray, and I did, and I swear to god it was sincere.

She called me on her cell phone when she'd found a box with some of my old homework in it.

"Is this one? 'O Rocks! Passion and Sensuality in Joyce's Ulysses?'"
"Yes! That's it!"
"What about 'Guilty of Killing Quilty and Being Dirty with Gerty?'"
"Yes! That one too!"
"And what's this?. . .Oh. . .those are just Grandpa's tax returns from 1968."

I left the church primarily because my prayers were not answered. But look at that, I don't even believe anymore and he's helping me out! Thank you Lord!

1 comment:

Mac said...

Doubts may come and go. Mine do. One common thread remains, either the Church is true or there is no God. Today, I feel like there is a God, though I can't claim to feel his presence strongly at the moment. But, I have faith, not knowledge. Also, it helps that I want to believe. Though at times, logically, I cannot reconcile my faith with knowledge.

Concerning your writing samples, if I can offer a bit of advice, from someone who has written far more 15-20 pagers that he can remember.....instead of editing the body text of your old paper, write it over from scratch with a clear outline (not necessarily a written one) of where you are going and what your reader should expect. I will be happy to edit your paper for MLA style sheet faults if you want. As far as content goes, I wouldn't consider myself enough of an expert to comment on Joyce.

frater particiant semita ut deus in terminus My Latin skills are atrox