Ode to An Expiring Frog

Is it Wednesday again already? Oh, I suppose it is in the earth’s nature to keep orbiting the sun even when I’m not paying attention.

Here I am, Creeter Readers, and on time to boot. Let’s see where this vaguely planned out entry ends up by the time I push Publish, shall we?

This has been a good week for me. A very much needed good week, might I add. After last week (and the week before, and so on), I needed something to refresh my soul.

Let me explain why these past three days have been some of the best I’ve had perhaps since the semester began.

1. Several assignments that were supposed to be due this week have been pushed back, so I caught a lot of breaks that way. Of course, that means I’m just going to hate the assignments even more when the new deadlines attack, but I needed a breath of fresh air to keep me from going AWOL and being resigned to selling knitted scarves on the street corner for the rest of my life.

2. 2008 National Book Award finalist Salvatore Scibona visited my campus yesterday. I read his debut novel, The End, for my American Novel class (the same course I get to read Lolita for, by the by and huzzah). He came to our class and answered questions both about the novel itself and his writing process.
Later that afternoon he participated in a lively game of Trivial Pursuit in the Starbucks on campus. (We had planned the game for his visit, because somehow the rumor spread—by someone who shall remain nameless but happens to be my American Novel professor—that Scibona was a self-proclaimed champion.) As it turns out, he lives up to his rumored title. His team (of which I was a crucial member, if I say so myself) won, and there were high-fives all around. In case anyone asks, a mashie-niblick is an obsolete golf club. That is the one answer no one on my very illustrious team knew except me. All I can say is thank God for I Love Lucy.
That night Salvatore Scibona read an excerpt of his novel and afterward had a book signing. I love hearing authors read their own work. It illuminates nuances of the characters that might have gone unnoticed otherwise. And his book was already beautiful enough, even when it was just heard in my mind.
After the book signing, I told him that I was going to apply for an internship at Graywolf Press, who published his book. He gave me his card and said to contact him so he could put in a good word for me. He also offered to discuss grad schools with me, since I mentioned I wanted to pursue an MFA in creative writing. So I got that going for me, which is nice. (That’s a Caddyshack quote, by the way; I didn’t want it to go unnoticed.)

3. I need to preface this last point with a backstory. Last semester I took a Charles Dickens class and it changed my life. That is to say, I fell in love with Dickens and the world he created with his characters. Not only that, but our class reflected this world and the love for it. This is the class which inspired the title of this very blog. You can read the passage it was taken from in the top right column, under ABOUT: The Rum Creeters. There were only seven of us in the class, and that’s including Dr. Johnny Wink, our beloved professor. One day good ol’ Johnny Wink announced that The Rum Creeters would be an excellent name for an all-girl punk band, and since all the students in the class were female and in love with Dickens, it only made sense that we should become said band. Unfortunately the band has yet to materialize, but I named this blog in honor of it, and those of us who took the class still refer to ourselves as The Rum Creeters. So that’s the background information.
After several months of planning around our busy schedules, The Rum Creeters finally threw a reunion party. We had band shirts made, with “Johnny and The Rum Creeters Fall Tour 2008” on the front and all of our nicknames on the back. The shirts were a surprise for Miss Peecher (Dr. Johnny Wink’s nickname, after a character in Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend).
This reunion was exactly what I needed. All of us were longing for the Rum Creeter days again and—for a little while, at least—we had them back.
I suppose no one quite understands the significance of this class or this reunion without actually having been a part of it. All I can say to that is, I hope you can find your equivalent to The Rum Creeters someday.

Puella Fontanarum Calidarum

P.S. “Ode to An Expiring Frog” is a poem by one of the many wonderful characters in Pickwick Papers, my favorite Dickens novel. Seriously, that book is hilarious from beginning to end.


5 thoughts on “Ode to An Expiring Frog

  1. I love you. You’re just…sigh…the best.

    Glad to hear things are going better for you. It was pretty rough for a while there.

  2. I thank God for I Love Lucy constantly. It seems silly, but I do believe she taught me some of my most important life lessons… the least of which is how to properly pronounce mashie-niblick.

  3. …and how to not get your head stuck in a trophy
    …and how to hide candy from a candy-conveyor-belt-nazi
    …and how to say “the table” in French. Le Taableeeeeh.
    …and how to set your nose on fire

    Oh that Lucy. She IS amazing.

  4. Well, phooey. Saw the title and thought, “Yea! A place to use my frog story!” But it’s not, and I don’t have a Dicken’s story, so I’ll just enjoy the Rum Creeters backstory and cary on.

    Hope your next week’s good, too!

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