Prison Break

February 9th, 2011

I am still locked away for most of the day. The room that I do my study in is about the half the size of a pool table. The ceiling is so low that I cannot stand up straight in the room. There is no window letting in natural light. It is a very isolated space. You need to walk through a narrow hallway and at the end you take a left. The walls of the room are sound absorbing, so there is no echo. It is a strange place to spend hours and hours of the week. This is called research.

Since my last post, I have learned to get less frustrated. Instead of being irritated if someone does not show up for my study, I use the time to transcribe my interviews. For the transcribing, I use a Wave Pedal which is a pretty cool machine. I put my foot down on the gas pedal if I want the audio recording to play. If I release my foot from the pedal, the recording stops playing and jumps back one second. If one second is not enough, I can press a different pedal (the break) and the audio recording rewinds. It makes transcribing a breeze. It is almost a mediation. I do not have to think. I just have to listen and type the words that I hearing. Very soothing.

Yesterday, after spending an our in my prison cell, I had dinner at the president’s house. The president of our college, Grant Cornwell, has regular dinners with different parts of the student population. This way he stays connected with the student body. For this occasion, he had invited all the senior international students to his house. He always makes sure there is good food and he always brings some interesting topics to the table. First, we discussed the president’s recent trip to India and Morocco. Then, we discussed the current situation in Egypt in depth. Adel and Bassel – an Egyptian student an a student who has lived in Egypt for a long time – shared their perspectives on the ongoing protests. After this discussion, the president brought up the topic of Independent Study. Most of the students preferred talking about Egypt because these weeks are crunch time for seniors. Lastly, the president asked if there were some things that could be improved on campus. Students shared that although they love the college, they believe that aspects including transportation, summer storage, and career services could be improved.

That’s all I have for now. It is time for me to look at some graduate school application stuff.

Bastiaan

PS I’d like to share a new poem I am working on. Any feedback is welcome, but if you have some, post it now, because I am turning this in tomorrow. The assignment was to compare part of an animals body to something outside the natural world.

The Shredder

The dog does not want to let go
of the stick she found in the woods.

Our eyes meet while
drool and pieces of wood
infiltrate the thick wool carpet.

I tug, her tail wiggles in the air.

More stick and carpet mix,
As dog and man fight a battle
that can only be won if one surrenders;
man, dog, or stick will have to give.

My dog’s jaws are like a shredder
grinding up a stick into my great carpet.
My arms are facilitating a process
by trying to prevent it.

A man’s best friend knows how to illustrate
that love and hate are never more than a stick apart.

2 Responses to “Prison Break”

  1. Pepson 10 Feb 2011 at 2:05 am

    Suspense! Your first paragraph is like a prose poem.

    And you evoke three completely different atmospheres: a lonely desk in a dark, secluded dungeon – a richly decorated dinner table in a tasteful dining room where well dressed intelligent young people are chatting – a playful fight in the woods of a man and his dog.

    Such richness!

  2. opa reyeron 10 Feb 2011 at 9:56 am

    De studeercel lijkt me niet geschikt voor lieden die last hebben van claustrofobie! Ik krijg het benauwd als ik je beschrijving op me in laat werken… Is er ventilatie, verwarming, goede verlichting? Je beschrijving is zo suggestief dat het vertrekje bijna als martelkamer op me overkomt. Jammer dat de poëzieopdracht niet luidde: ‘Maak een gedicht over je studeerkamer’.
    Wat je gedicht betreft: Veel dichters zeggen ronduit dat dichten een kwestie is van ‘invallen’ en ‘invullen’. Je hebt een bepaalde inval en die vul je op. Dus: streef niet naar en geloof niet in ‘inspiratie’ van de eerste tot de laatste regel. Een bemoedigend idee? In elk geval had je voor je gedicht een leuke inval! opa Reyer

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