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There is a small and harmless ant on my computer screen. She is walking circles, but I suspect I would do more harm to her in an attempt to relocate her than I would do simply by leaving her to wander.

A Day In Four Movements

These were written in reverse order of their placement within this writeup, including this sentence; I find I prefer this order.

Prelude
It is raining outside my window. It is far too dark for me to see outdoors, but the rain creates a lovely play of water music on the roof of my house, and thunder provides a pleasant counterpoint.
If God is in the rain, then is a desert Hell?
Following that train of thought, and acknowledging that Antarctica is the world's largest desert, are Emperor Penguins some variety of feathered daemon?
I find myself imagining Morgan Freeman's voice narrating a very much altered version of Dante's Divine Comedy... so cold that Inferno... a blizzard in Italian terza rima... the poet Virgil shivering in his ancient knickers, led in chains by four-foot-tall silhouettes in tuxedos. The narrator follows this solemn march to the place where new feathered imps are hatched and concealed upon the webbed feet of their progenitors.

It is 11:41 PM, and perhaps I should have gone to bed earlier last night instead of staying up past 4 o'clock AM conversing with my father over synthetic milk and iced oatmeal cookies.

...Neh.

Overture
Today I applied for a position on my university campus as beginner/intermediate piano instructor; I would hope to hold the position in cooperation with Federal Work Study to cut down my expenses for the coming semester.
I have played classical piano for very nearly sixteen years, and much of my family urged me to go into music instead of architecture.

I say here what I said to them, each in their turn:
If I am to play music, I may do it on my own time and through my own resources; if I must pay a university to "teach" me what I have known since I could speak, then I am in a very sorry state. Let me earn a wage that is fitting to the effort I commit to learning my vocation.
No wage can possibly be fitting to the effort I committed in becoming a classical pianist.
Furthermore, music is sacred to me. To commercialize my own musical abilities, except by a fair exchange of time and currency through the instruction of others, would be to me like selling and trading in the holiest of temples upon a perpetual Sabbath. My own soul would hate me. I hold nothing against others who capitalize on music; more power to them who are successful in that area. I, however, cannot do it lest I call myself abomination. To make music mundane... the thought holds me aghast.

I do hope this application goes well.
I hope the interview goes better still.

Interlude
There is surprising difficulty in obtaining decent university scholarships by conventional ink-and-paper means; the ease of applying for scholarships online belies their nature: only the very mediocre scholarship is "easy" to earn.
In this sense, mediocrity applies to any scholarship less than five hundred USD requiring an essay of more than two hundred fifty words and fewer than ten pages.
In all honesty, I would absolutely love a scholarship that has better odds for longer writing. I've written more dekafoliate research papers than I care to remember at the moment.
OW OW OW CAT get your claws out of my thigh!

Ahem. Sorry for that; where were we? Ah, right-oh.
Anyway, it just seems like any scholarships for which I am eligible fall into one of two categories:
a) so ridiculously easy to apply that everybody on the Internet is all-but-guaranteed to apply, reducing my chances to nearly zero
b) so ridiculously high-dollar that everybody on the Internet is all-but-guaranteed to attempt, and despite the near-illiteracy of the vast majority of applicants, it is certain that there will be somebody whose application is more attractive than mine... so once again, chances = nearly zero

It is pathetic.

It is pathetic to have an Ivy League quality intellect, ACT score, extracurricular background, and GPA, but to have community college quality funding on all fronts. It is pathetic that my Expected Family Contribution on FAFSA is $0.00, and I have merit through the roof, need out the wazoo, incredible ambition and motivation to my goals in life... and absolutely no financial assistance to any degree that matters which I can obtain entirely on a basis of merit, need, ambition, and motivation.
The end result of all this is that a bachelor's degree no longer has value in this nation, and a master's degree is losing value. I shudder to imagine the day when a doctorate is required to obtain wages sufficient to put children through university, because the children themselves can no longer attend on scholarships and grants.

Please excuse me half a beat; the concertmistress is nauseated because the conductor is nauseous.

OH! Funny little sidenote on that... nauseous is the adjective used to describe what causes nausea in a person feeling nauseated. Please, my beloved reader(s), if no other part of your speech is ever influenced by what I write, at least do me the kindness of obliterating the "I feel nauseous" confusion from your speech patterns. You feel nauseous? By George, you must, because your speech is nauseating me!

Begging your pardon, that last paragraph did sound a mite tetchy. Consider it humour, and consider everything else within the interlude to be rant and vitriol.


Finale
My Library Cat is making a desperate attempt to usurp my laptop's position on my lap; she and it have held standoffs precisely like this one on countless nights past, and conclusively the laptop has won... mostly. However, the laptop failed to account for one very important factor: in the eighty degree (Fahrenheit) weather and the seventy per cent humidity of this southern Illinoisan night, the laptop experiences a tendency to overheat. At some point, the laptop must vacate its current location, and when it does, the Library Cat shall claim her formerly-usurped throne, sprawled across my knees, calico tail looped casually about my wrist.

In due time, a throaty purr shall graciously advertise the Library Cat's contentment to her loyal subjects who live on my pillow- my fiance's T-shirt, a small bamboo flute, and a mint-green stuffed rabbit.

Beware, laptop, for your hours upon my lap tonight are numbered. All too soon, eight hundred seventy-three books shall raise their silent adulation at the return of their fuzzy daytime guardian.

The Library Cat is patient.

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