Call me Arestelle.
I am 30. I am both indecisive and stubborn (and frequently both at once). I love photography, unless it’s me being photographed. I love ceramics but loathe college art departments for their insistence that art be not useful. I love poetry but haven’t written in years. I grew up on puzzles, computers, music and video games. I pine for a piano (upright grand, Kawai). I love to sing but know I’m mediocre, since I have always been surrounded by great singers; now, I tend to restrain my voice so people don’t hear me singing, which of course isn’t doing it any favors.
I hated school. Everyone does, right? But I’ve long believed it shouldn’t be that way—I hated school, and I hated that I hated it. I am a member of Phi Beta Kappa for good reason; I love learning and find nearly everything interesting, so school should be better fun than archery at summer camp, right? That it wasn’t suggests a thing or two: first, something’s wrong with the system or the way it’s used, and second, I was at the wrong schools (if I had known about open curricula, I might have found a school I could love before graduating from someplace else entirely).
Anyway, now I’ve gone back. I took a spot in the incoming class of 2014 for UPenn’s MCIT program, in spite of my reservations about the program, the cost, and the ‘IT’ of it. I even accepted a position as a TA during the spring semester, superlative introvert though I may be. …and still I dream of physics and the stars and so much besides.
If you ask me what my absolute favorite song is, I will probably treat you to Debussy’s Arabesque #1 or, less commonly, Bach’s (Goldberg) Variation #1. I have recently fallen in love with Chopin’s nocturnes; Vivaldi and Telemann are kind to my ears, too. But I like everything from Peter, Paul and Mary to Guster, Moxy Früvous and Carla Bruni. And if you don’t know Michael Kelsey, go look him up and have a listen right now. (That’s his cover of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.”) And if you’re still curious, I made a Spotify playlist of a bunch of songs that have been my favorites for a day, a month, a year, or forever; that’s just over here, and it is–as such things must always be–a work in progress.
I’m a lot more assertive and talkative online than in person, so if you ever met me, you probably wouldn’t realize it. And I likely wouldn’t tell you, because Arestelle is my way of making a space online where relatives and their conservative friends won’t see me. Where all I am is me.
Oh, and two of my heroes are Carl Sagan and Randall Munroe. That’s right, xkcd just made a cameo. You love it.
Now that I’ve told you far more than you need to know—which is the point, right?—peace. Comments welcome.