Showing posts from 2017

"You look like you walked off of a Christmas card!" and Other Things People Tell Me in December

I was diagnosed with OCD (Obsessive Christmas Disorder) when I was a junior in high school, but I guess it started sooner than that. 

I remember going shopping with my mom not because I particularly liked buying things, but because December always offered beautiful Christmas displays and let's not forget the magic holiday patterns that fabric stores flaunted. I made my little brother sleep under the Christmas tree with me weeks before Christmas day just because the lights were oh-so-lovely. Making gifts for friends and family filled most of my spare time outside of homework and school.
And then came the skirts
I think I sewed my first Christmas skirt when I was a freshman in high school. It was black with candy canes and I wore it on Black Friday and maybe two others times throughout the month. I was thrilled to discover that sewing A-line skirts was about as easy as sewing pillowcases. 
Then two years later, I sewed four more in a frenzied fit of Christmas spirit and there was no g…

Guess I'll just have to wait and see....JK not my style

I am a very diligent journal keeper.
Journaling and running usually keep me from bouncing around like a crazy cat lady who actually owns no cats.

My past self always seems wiser than my present self--even though I'm pretty sure that I was an even dumber 23-year-old than I am a 25-year-old.
But that doesn't mean 23-year-old, 21-year-old, and even selfish 17-year-old me couldn't write some profound things.

This week's wisdom comes from April 2016 Claire.
This Claire had red and blonde hair and was still working on getting over a hard breakup and only had a semester left of school but was doing pretty well all things considered (read: about to burst into unprovoked tears of sentiment/nostalgia/healing/hurt at any moment but not as neurotic as Claire from March 2016 so we're on the up and up).

In the midst of this healing, this Claire wrote about some concerns/worries/anxieties about the future. Because the future was a dark, scary place where she didn't know if she woul…

Creative To a Fault

I have come to the realization that I can be creative to a fault. 
In regard to human interactions that is.  Okay and pretty much every other kind of interaction (which interacting with kitchen appliances? Thought TBC)

My expressions of love, empathy, interest, and care often show themselves a bit eccentrically, but they are essentially representations of my feelings and thus of me. 
I've never been a fan of "normal" (because what does that even mean anyways?) and I end up adoring people for their quirks and oddities because if we can't love others ourselves for those things, how individual can our love be?
So this is me embracing my creativity--that talent that simultaneously confuses and amuses people (at least in theory).

Let's look at some examples of "gifts" and and other "things" I have oh-so-creatively thought would make people smile in the past:

Carrots wrapped in tin foil.  Granted, giving someone carrots is already kind of a we…

When I grow up...

This scene from The Simpsons has come to my mind multiple times since I started grad school a month ago. Fortunately I have funding and lack the man-ponytail/bun (due to the fact that I'm not a man) but most of my cohort came in with one, so I guess that has some degree of accuracy. I have been thinking about the journey of my life (and sporadically regretting every choice I've ever made but ultimately being okay with them) and how being in my mid 20s in different than, well, not being in my mid 20s.

I used to think a lot about what I wanted to do when I grew up. But being "grown-up" has had a lot of different meanings to me over the years.

When I was eight, I remember writing short and (retrospectively speaking) shallow stories about eleven-year-old girls who going on adventures, because being eleven definitely sounded like being "grown-up." Probably due to my obsessions with the series The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes.

And then suddenly I was eleven and I …


We have a general sense of rules concerning cordiality.

Like not peeing in a public pool if you're over the age of 5. Or covering your mouth when you cough. Or not cutting in line. Or not spitting into peoples' soup.
And then there is one rule that everyone should know.  Seriously, everyone. 
IF YOU BORROW SOMEONE ELSE'S PEN, DON'T PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH. And if you somehow forgot this golden rule,
Due to recent events, I felt the need to make a public service announcement to remind everyone this is not okay. Ever. Just don't do it.
Here is your background:
I'm taking a beginning Yiddish class this semester (because duh) and there are three other grad students enrolled as well as one undergrad. And this poor undergrad, whom we shall call Millard for the sake of anonymity, is what some people might call a "sweet spirit" but they really mean vexing in every sense. And part of that isn't his fault because he's a…

You're doing what for the next seven years?

So many of my conversations with people these days end with me leaving my conversation partner in a stunned silence as I awkwardly excuse myself to find a drink or talk with someone else or maybe even go smell that tree over there.

What causes all of my conversations to go downhill so quickly? No, it's not the usual taboo topics of sex ed in schools, frog dissection, or the proportions of spinach to oreos I've eaten in the past week. 
It's actually about career choices and the amount of schooling such choices require. #beingaprofessor

Here's a sample conversation with every adult ever who's asked about my future plans in the past few weeks:

Real Adult: "Oh hi Claire, nice to see you again. What are you up to these days?" Fake Adult (a.k.a. me): "Yeah, it's good to see you too! Well I graduated from BYU and am moving to Indiana in August to start a PhD program for German Studies." Real Adult: "Wow, that's great. How long is that program…

Why God Gave Us Swear Words and Other Titles for Yesterday

If we were to write a children's book about my yesterday, we would call it something like Claire and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Except that we would probably run into some copyright infringement problems, so here are some other potential titles:
The Long Journey HomeAll Tired OutLife Changes Part 6Why God Gave Us Swear Words
I was dreading yesterday before it happened because yesterday was the day I left Provo. Forever. Well, forever meaning the foreseeable future. Because grad school in Indiana. Every time I've left Provo since August 2011, I knew I was coming back. I've always had a a handful boxes waiting for me in someone's house during my short absences and week by week, Provo became my home. *insert nostalgic music*

Admittedly, that took a while.  And if not for this past year, I don't know if I would have felt this sense of home as strongly. But as I drove home yesterday and replayed an eight-hour long montage of the past six years, I wept…

Coming to Jesus Day with Kindergarteners

Things people never say about me:
1. Claire definitely knows her stuff when it comes to computer programming. She basically built the internet.  2. Claire is a really good dancer. She should do Zumba in front of people more often.  3. Claire is an awesome teacher for young kids--she can connect and manage little people so well.

And thus we shall focus on this last point, for I've spent January through right now trying out teaching German at a K-9 charter school in the afternoons before heading off to pursue a PhD in German Studies (so I can teach at a university in the far distant future). 
If we backtrack a little, we can remember that I taught German at BYU and loved it.  I am, of course, wildly entertaining in my passion for German and relatively insightful as a teacher; generally, I seemed to convince my university students of this as well. Or perhaps they merely convinced me of this but regardless we all had fun together.
And then if we go back just a few months, we remember…