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I brought three tangerines from California. Settled in my dorm room, I peeled one and the fragrance hit me like a flash of home. I should've saved the other two for sad times but no, I was overjoyed and impatient. I peeled them all and gobbled them up. But why not? I live for the moment - let tomorrow take care of itself. I shouldn't have to rebuke myself for choosing joy. Because the first day is always the hardest.

I knew today was going to be rough when I woke up.

See, I had a portfolio due for my creative writing class. No big deal, I just had to print out a copy of everything we've done so far in the semester and cobble it together in a folder.

Of course, my printer is completely bereft of all ink. Still! No biggie! I get to go pay 15 cents a page and print it out in the library. I would just wake up early (at six instead of seven) and leave early so I could have it all done by nine.

Of course, I wind up waking up at seven thirty, running to catch up with the bus and barely make it in time to print everything out and buy a folder for the pages.

All in all, normal stuff.

Then the whole class gets into little groups (because he gave up the whole 'everyone sits in one big circle like kindergarten' thing after the second month. We were all in little groups, supposed to be talking about our tankas and haikus, but instead talking about childhood cartoons. Everyone was in mid-laugh when I saw Andre (who was sitting right across from me) stop and say,

"Oh, shit."

He got up. We all looked to see what he was talking about.

My teacher was hunched over his desk, cheek resting on the table top, his frame jerking back and forth. There was stuff coming out of his mouth.

Everyone got up. Andre and some big guy whose name I haven’t learned yet (NOTE! I have found out his name is Ian.) go and get him onto the ground before he falls and hits his head. A girl kept shouting for someone to put a pencil in his mouth so he didn't bite off his tongue. Three people ran to get a nurse. Me and some other girl both brought out our cell phones and dialed 911. I didn't do a good job of it.

Zeph: My teacher is having a seizure. We're at College Name!

911 Guy: We are sending a medical dispatcher right away.

Zeph: Okay! *hangs up*

She, however, was much more sensible and told them the classroom number, directions, how old the teacher was, what was going on, etc. All the useful stuff. I was just hovering around with the other people, waiting for the teacher to wake up.

He did, eventually. He kept trying to stand up, and Andre and Big Guy kept having to hold him up. They eventually got him into a chair and we were all trying to ask him if he was okay, if he knew what was going on, etc.

The people who went to the nurse came back empty handed. There was only one nurse assigned for today, and she was out sick.

I'll give the 911 guy's credit. Normally it takes them about twenty minutes to get to the school. This time it took them fifteen. The cop arrived first. He went in and tried to talk to the teacher, talk to Andre, talk to Big Guy, then had us all get out. Except for Big Guy

About seven of us have Warner for the very next class. We set a girl over to tell them that class was canceled, and then we waited outside the room. There wasn't any real reason for us to wait, but none of us wanted to leave until we made sure the teacher was okay.

Apparently, he was being stubborn. He couldn’t remember his phone number or address, but he kept shouting,

“Dammit! I need to get to my next class! We’ve got poetry to look over!”

Eventually his brother came, and with the help of Big Guy and the cop, they managed to get him to agree to go home. He refused to take the ambulance and instead the cop drove him to the brother’s car. We all waved as they passed, and he waved back.

We all said things to each other like “Well, that’s Teacher’s name for you. Hard working son of a bitch. Gotta love him.” And then scattered.

So that sucked.

Then I had a history presentation. Not nearly as nerve wrecking, but still.

I’m typing this from Tom’s house. His parents are off to see Fiddler on the Roof. They had a big fight before I got here because apparently Tom’s dad messed up the Taco Bell order, and Tom totally spazzed out. He does that, sometimes. There are words you just can’t say around him because he’ll freak the hell out. And may God help you if you mess up his order.

On a lighter note, our lovebirds’ eggs have hatched and the two chicks are doing well. One is yellow, one is green, which is basically tradition by now for that family. Both are starting to look less like shriveled up monsters and are looking more like birds.

Yesterday, my OTHER English teacher wrote “see me” on my midterm essays. I thought I had utterly failed and would have to do them over again. Turns out, she was just really really impressed and berated me for not writing like that for her before in the last class. I had her other class almost two years ago: I didn’t write back then. She then went on to say that I shouldn’t transfer to the state college because it was “meh”, but should try to get scholarships and go to a private college she knew of. I didn’t tell her that I would probably be going to state anyways. I couldn’t get over the fact that she liked my essays so much. She’s one of THOSE teachers, you know? The ones who are nice in a strict sort of way, don’t usually impress (or show they’re impressed), and never give out anything higher than a 90 to keep you humble.

So, yeah. Highs and lows this past day and a half. I wonder whatever will next week bring?

Woke up to sunlight with a fresh sense of my road trip. There's nothing like ten hours of sleep to reset your perspective on life.

I've noticed that my writing got a lot happier and less disjointed as the day logs went on. If I recall correctly, at this point, my caffeine withdrawal had gotten to the point where a massive latte would deal with the hangover-like headache and nausea.

My definition of hard drugs now includes caffeine in sufficient quantities. Learn from me, people: don't get beyond 2-3 cups a day. The heart palpitations, sweats, and incessant craving for stimulants are really not worth it.

I woke up in Louisville well rested and content with life. After packing my things back into the truck, I meandered down to a coffee shop spotted the night before, and whiled away an hour with a latte and my laptop. Eventually, however, DanseMacabre escaped class, and we wandered down to the local metaphysical shop for some herbs (for him) and some atmosphere (for me).

The shop was one of these bright, clean airy stores. It was skinny, with a short leg of an L in the far back and the front portion lined with shelves filled with herbs and spices. God and goddess statuary vied for space with chamomile and myrrh, soaps and moisturizers rested on counters below. It was an herb-witch's dream, and for me, simply someplace with a nice atmosphere and some pretty trinkets if I were so inclined.

I wasn't. I meandered through as DanceMacabre made his purchases, soaked up the smell of herbs and incense, hugged him, and drove off to the north towards West Lafayette.

There's not much to say about Southern Indiana, other than there being a lot of small towns and rolling, flat plains. I reached Indianapolis and jaunted through towards West Lafayette, arriving half an hour to an hour later with the instructions to let myself into alex's place, as he was out and the kids were in. A short time later, he made an appearance, and I inflicted massive amounts of hardware (accumulated over four years in DC) on him.

Six servers, three switches, a box of hard drives, a box of RAM, a multitude of cables and other goodies. The last of my lab ended up there.

The teenager made me uncomfortable in a way I don't think I can fully articulate. It's amazing watching people who remind you so very much of yourself in all the wrong ways. I'm not sure what leads some teenage girls to fixating on a distant boyfriend (in my case, Iowa, in her case, Vermont), in order to move themselves forwards through life.

It took me a get to figure out why I had this particular emotional tic. Having a distant, seemingly unobtainable goal keeps one moving forwards. Actually getting what you think you want is a terrible, terrible thing.

Dinner was had at Applebees: teenagers were baited and horrified. Some time later, I nuked someone's writeup while sitting less than five feet from them. I only realized my mistake when alex started snickering.

Two bottles of wine later, I passed out on the couch and slept for ten hours, drunk but happy.

And woke up hungover. I always wake up hungover at that house.

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