“Home is behind, the world ahead, and there are many paths to tread.” –J.R.R. Tolkien

Disclaimer: This post was written during a whirlwind weekend trip home to Derby City. I was home for 42 hours and without my laptop for 56. Yes it was difficult. Yes, I lived. Here goes nothing.

January 23, 2009

First of all, I’d like to say that I am once again sitting in the Memphis airport. Second of all, I would like to say that Backyard Burger’s Hawaiian Chicken sandwich is surprisingly good. (I think the Hawaiian part comes for the fact that the tomato is replaced by a slice of pineapple.) Thirdly, I would like to comment on the indecency of the woman sitting across from me. She is reading New Moon and she hasn’t read Twilight yet. Oh, the humanity.

I’m becoming familiar with the Memphis airport. I recognize the many, many Elvis tribute stores, the equally numerous barbeque restaurants, the Blue Star Lounge, the $10 Boutique, and the really, really long walk from Concourse A to Concourse B. I don’t know if I should be worried or comforted by the Memphis airport. It did, after all, almost send me to Topeka once. However, I’m leaning towards comfort because Memphis represents the pretty much halfway point between school and home.

Since I’ve last visited the Memphis airport, my second semester of college on the hill has begun. So far, nothing much has happened. I got my ears pierced, celebrated Liz Fudge’s birthday, cleaned my room, watched a Presidential Inauguration and acquired a whole drawerful of 80s-style tights. Needless to say, life is good. I like most of my classes and even though I have a math test on my birthday, I think this semester will be just as good as the last.

Tomorrow, I’m going to be judging a speech tournament at AHS. I am so excited. And just a little nervous. I don’t know why. I guess because I haven’t been back to school since the day before graduation. Then, it belonged to me. Now I feel like I’m just an ordinary shareholder. However, I do get to see my little sister Cricket, Strawberry Shortcake, Mr. Otter and Mr. Bear, as a well as a whole host of other people. And I also get to see my family. Always good.

January 25, 2009

I’m sitting in the airport in Louisville and it’s snowing. Just a little bit, on and off. This weekend was wonderful, and I hate to leave home so soon. I probably won’t be back until May, which seems so far away. I just know I’m going to be overwhelmingly homesick tomorrow.

On Friday, someone asked me if I was going to be paid for judging at the tournament. She couldn’t understand why I would spend so much money on a plane ticket without getting paid. But I did. I got paid in memories. I got to reconnect and laugh with my speech family and it was great.

It was also great to remember how much I love speech. I lived it and breathed it in high school, but I’ve been away from it for so long. Speech was my crack. At the end of the season, I went into withdrawals where I would recite my pieces and rock back and forth while wearing my suit. My lovely black suit, which I haven’t worn since March. Wow. That’s a really long time not to wear something I wore every Saturday for three years straight.

So, anyway, yesterday was amazing. I really enjoyed judging. I felt very old and very official. It was really cool to be on the other side. Major power trip. Nah, I’m just kidding. I was actually really nervous first round. But it was improv, which is my thing, so I felt qualified and excited to see what these teams would come up with. Unfortunately, none of them were even close to spectacular. Most were forgettable or boring. In fact, my friend Princess Mia, still a student, walked past the room while I was judging and said I looked like I was in pain. I know exactly which team was performing. And they were very painful.

Bur right after that round, I saw Strawberry Shortcake and after the quietest wild hug of all time, in which she lost a shoe, my day got exponentially better. I learned how to time impromptu, ate a delicious bowl of taco soup, saw familiar forensics faces, hung out with Mr. Otter and Mr. Bear and Ms. Holmes and Cricket and Strawberry and enjoyed not feeling stressed at a speech tournament.

By the time I went to judge Duo, I felt so much better. Much more relaxed, because the drug that is speech had taken a hold on my brain. I had some really good Duos in my room, and it was a lot of fun to judge. Seeing postings and not feeling nervous was an interesting sensation and when I got to DI finals, I didn’t want the day to be over. And there were, of course, some excellent DIs in finals.

After the tourney, Strawberry, Cricket, Princess Mia, Mr. Otter, Mr. Koko and I all went to dinner. So much fun. AAAHHHH. All of them really made speech for me, especially senior year. I love all of them-they are so amazing, funny, talented, caring people and I hadn’t realized how much I had missed them.

Today, I just spent time with my family. I miss them so much sometimes at school and I’m really glad I got to see them this weekend. I hope they’ll come visit me sometimes before May. HINT HINT HINT. Now my plane is getting ready to board, so good-bye Kentucky! I’ll miss you and see you in the spring!

Lucky to be from Kentucky,

S.

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” -Charlie Chaplin

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