Blog Post #10: Topic of Choice—Readjustment

There’s a certain irony in the difference between who I was and where I thought I was in my life now and back when this school semester started. Just a couple of months ago, I had this awesome job learning to cook professionally. I was starting school, which was a point of ambition and stress for me for a long time. I was living with my (now ex-) girlfriend in Atlanta in a quaint little duplex apartment with a dog. I was content and growing. I was in love.

Between then and now, I lost my girlfriend, what I considered my home, my job, and felt no sense of urgency towards school anymore. I don’t get to see my ex’s sweet little dog anymore. I had anxiety all day, everyday, towards everything. It’s hard to see exactly why the break-up fucked me up so completely. We had only been together for a year and some months; Hardly that long of a relationship. It broke me down, though, and made me feel like my stomach was made out of lead or something; As though all the hurt was physically weighing me down. The weight eventually turned into just feeling really dull or really anxious. I had even started really considering if I had emotional problems that I needed to address. I was considering therapy for the first time in my life. I don’t think about therapy anymore, but I can’t help but be reminded of a study I read for my Psychology class that was basically about drinking to cope, and how much I really understand that concept now, though I think on a much more depressing level. It’s borderline alcoholism and, although I don’t binge or anything excessive, there is still a craving every so often, and a knowledge that with a few drinks in me, I’ll be happier and more honest than without it. Just typing that out and the anxiety it brings makes me feel like I need to drink to cope with drinking to cope.

What I particularly find so fucking obnoxious about this change is that the first couple of essays I wrote in this English class were about how great everything in my life was going for me, and that it was all due to my hard work, determination, and support from this girl. Of course, she would be the one to go and have an identity crisis(and by identity crisis, I mean stumbled upon someone else who was, apparently, much more interesting than I) and begin the downword spiral (downword spiral doesn’t even begin to describe, perhaps plummet? DIVE BOMB) from the happily-committed, future-building, young man that I was, into a jobless, incredibly lonely, couch-surfer.

It could be worse, I suppose. I stay at my parents house mostly, though I can stay with my bandmates whenever I want, and I spend a lot of nights with a girl I’ve been talking to recently, though there’s no foreseeable future with said girl considering she just came out of a 5-year relationship in one of the worst ways possible and is probably just as, if not more, emotionally-compromised as I am. I just got a new job and there are no complaints there. I’m trying to work hard on getting back up on my school work, but I definitely left a lot to be done. Hence the title of this post, I’m working hard on readjustment. Perhaps, not all of my work ethic and spirit has left me since those first couple of essays from what seems so long ago, but it’s hard. Trying to feel like a happy, hard-working, confident person again is really fucking hard.

I feel silly for putting this all up here now, especially because this post is pretty long-winded and I would be surprised if any of you actually take the time to read it. On the other-hand, I’ve seen some personal posts get thrown up here, so I guess I can consider this my personal rant. My one incredibly personal, moderately depressing, and entirely self-pitying blog post.

So long


Blog Post #9 PFS “Essay”

Something that I’ve really come to appreciate about Praying for Sheetrock is the characterization. Despite the fact that you never spend too much time reading about any one character, you get a real feeling for who all of these people are, and I mean really are. There are no real heroes or villains in Praying for Sheetrock. Likely, that’s because these are real people and real life is never that cut and dry. Sheriff Poppell was a crooked, conniving, manipulator, but he also is willing to lend a hand to a person in need and was beloved for it. Obviously, he’s not exactly a “good” person, but you can’t exactly call him a “bad” guy either. Take Deacon Thorpe as another example. Though he is kind and wise, when he becomes a county commissioner, all this wisdom goes out the window. Thorpe becomes a completely misguided push-over. No one is perfect, and it adds so much to the depth of the book. The largest example of all being Thurnell Alston. This intelligent, forward-thinking champion suffers a dizzying downfall. It’s as though his character in the beginning of the book and again nearer to the end of the book are two completely different people. Thurnell hits a point where he clearly can no longer be considered any kind of a hero.

Praying for Sheetrock Discussion Questions

Part I:

What are the chances or rolling an eight or a forty-eight in a game of Razzledazzle?

What was the controversial event surrounding Darien New Publisher Charles Williamson and County Commissioner Danny Thorpe? What was the resolution and the consequences thereof?

Part II:

In what ways had the city reversed all the efforts of the black community following the shooting of Ed Finch?

What three members of the black community did the community come to refer to as the “Three Musketeers,” or “Three Wise Men?”

Part III:

How did Thurnell Alston’s son, Keith, die? How was Thurnell effected/changed by it?

How was Thurnell Alston’s family affected by his arrest? How was McIntosh county affected?


Blog Post #8

Fanny Palmer had one of the longer stories in Praying for Sheetrock, but such a revealing story about post-slavery mentality. It’s as though slavery had instilled this work ethic that got passed down along with the history. There’s an excerpt from pg. 107 where someone basically tries to call Fanny’s grandmother out on treating her grandkids the way she was treated as a kid by her own mother during slavery times. Fanny’s grandmother responds by saying that she’s just teaching them to be able to fend for themselves and to work for what they have. I thought it was a cool insight into how these people who haven’t seen slavery for at least a generation, but still carry these mindsets and lifestyles. If I had to compare that to anything else in peoples histories and stories, my first thought would be people who lived through Word War II. Living through this time of dire economic straits certainly created penny-pinching and hoarding habits that carried onward.

Reflection on Essay 3

I felt good about this essay. I mean…REALLY good about it. I’m surprised that I would be so confident about an essay that I wrote in 5 hours the night before peer review, fueled by coffee, whiskey, and constructive desperation. I had my research and most of my bibliography done, but I still had to do the hard part. It turns out that the hard part wasn’t really all that hard. I came up with the points I would argue based on my resources, organized the points to respective paragraphs and the flow of ideas, and let the thoughts fly. I think I set a personal record. I don’t condone this flagrant level of procrastination. After all, I had all of Spring Break to get some work done, and instead….well, to be completely honest, I don’t even really recall what I did over Spring Break. I certainly didn’t go to any beaches or parties, but the past month has been particularly shitty for me and getting drunk has certainly become a regular occasion, hence the whiskey, but I digress. It came down to the wire, I put myself into essay-mode, and I ended up feeling pretty proud about what I had ended up with.

Blog Post #7 Praying For Sheetrock

I’m not really all that far into Praying For Sheetrock yet, but I think I’m going to enjoy reading it. I particularly liked the prologue. Being that the book is about true events, the prologue has all these accounts and descriptions of the sheriff and just what living in this county during this time was like. Pretty interesting stuff. I can see how it might be a little hard to get into and I have caught myself reading and  realizing that I’m not taking in anything I’m reading and have to re-read the past sentence or two. The imagery is rich, though, and Greene has a style about her writing that I’m enjoying. So, since I still have a ways to go in the book, this is about all I have to share about it for right now.

Blog Post #6

I didn’t have anything I felt like writing about, so I thought I would do a little bit of creative writing.

My chest funneling in, collapsing upon itself. How does it maintain it’s shape? Surely, if not for these bones, I’d float away. Ivory cockroaches forever up-keeping this human form and all the obligations that trail behind. They are always trailing behind. Calamity is but a distraction to the world waiting in the wings. Gravity pulls your head out of the clouds back to the reality of your surroundings. Were I to escape, to become a stranger, how long before home would hunt me down? How far would I have to go for my life to lose my trail?

That was all I got. I guess I’ve been in a transitional period and feeling down. Just anxious all the time, and constantly in need of distraction. I’ve been thinking a lot about road-tripping somewhere lately. I don’t really care where, so long as it’s somewhere unfamiliar. It would be a lame excuse of a getaway, but I feel like I could use it. I was thinking about Chattanooga. Not too far, but I’ve never been there, and I’m sure there would be plenty to explore. I have to wait until I can afford the gas and what not before I can commit, though. That makes me really anxious about when I’ll actually be able to go. I hate that I have things to make sure I take care of before I can go, instead of succumbing to spontaneity and just disappearing for 2-3 days.

Running Away by Arnoooo