April 17, 2015

Excellent Somehow

Tonight was the Academic Excellence Dinner for my school's Communications and Creative Media Division. People with a GPA above 3.6 were invited and given certificates and then after dinner we sat through hours of specific awards within each major.

I'm a freshman, and freshmen probably don't get awards at this kind of thing very often, and while I'm pretty involved with writing related things I'm not one of those people starting my own magazine or anything. Anyway, my friends and I got in a little late (getting ready for formal events takes time...) and barely found seats. We ended up sitting next to that favorite professor, which made me pretty happy. Also at the table was the head of the language department and I had a blast talking in Spanish again, even if she spoke South American Spanish instead of Mexican.

As we're sitting there my Professor looks over and asks if I'll help him pass out papers. I laugh and say sure and then realize he's serious and wants me to join him on stage and hand out the awards. Of course at that point it's too late, and pretty soon we're standing up to cross the room and get on stage. I stand up, take three wobbly steps in high heels that I really shouldn't be wearing since I can't walk in heels, and then all the envelopes with the awards slide out of the folder onto the floor.

Luckily, my professor didn't notice and just laughed that I took so long to get to the stage with him. I hand out the certificates and envelopes to everyone he calls up (managed not to give the wrong one, not to drop anything else, and not to trip) and of course then he says my name last and talks about how I came from Mexico to chilly Vermont but brought all the flavor and spiciness with me.

So now I have a twenty-five dollar gift card to Amazon, a certificate with my first AND last name spelled incorrectly, and a crazy amount of pride and excitement and reassurance that I probably am in the right place after all, even if winter lasts too long and food isn't spicy.

I know this is probably more than enough writing for today, but it didn't end there. I left the event a little early and as I was waiting for my friends to come out one of the editors of the Literary Magazine, Willard and Maple, came up and said they've been talking about getting me more involved in Willard and Maple. Nothing formal at this point, but he wants me to drop in the office hours and help him and next semester's editors plan out the next edition of the magazine and sort of carry the torch for future classes of Willard and Maple.

It's so crazy, because my favorite professor had mentioned to me the idea of being the Lit Mag editor and since then the idea had seemed really great. But now I've kind of been officially invited to go down that path. You have no idea how excited I am and how much I feel like a writer tonight but also how crazy and surprising this all is at the same time.

A poem (one of those Japanese Tanka's I talked about yesterday).

Excellent Somehow

Sometimes excellence
comes after dropping papers,
trembling hands on stage
while you read off the winners,
and then I see my own name. 

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