Category Archives: the promise of things to come

I’m not dead

Dearest Readers,

I promise I have not forgotten you. The last two weeks (and I can’t believe that two WHOLE weeks have passed since I last posted) haven’t been extremely taxing on my time, so I don’t really have an excuse for leaving y’all in the dark and neglecting your needs for excuses to procrastinate. My apologies. Because I know you all are on the edge of your seats wondering what’s happening in my oh-so exciting life, here’s the digest version of life since the last post:

Tom visited me! Much, much fun was had, rollercoasters were ridden, drinks were drank (drunk?), Texas spirit was seen, and great stories were born. It was very hard to see him leave.

I finished the first semester of Anatomy and Physiology! I am now well-versed in the ways of skin, muscle, bone and the nervous system. Now on to semester number two…

I’ve been having a lot of pain in my left hip when I run. Actually, it’s been so bad that I stopped running for nearly two weeks because I was having a hard time walking after I ran. So…I went to a doctor and we talked and took x-rays and all that stuff. And… I have bursitis. Again (well, this time it’s in my hip). Damn my old woman body. My doctor gave me some cortizone pills and this gel stuff that people with arthritis use and told me to do three weeks of physical therapy and to keep running on it. All that was nice and good, but it hasn’t helped. I haven’t gone to physical therapy yet, but running on it has just made it hurt more. So, I don’t know. I’ll let you know what happens.

Stupid parents of the kids I coach keep bringing their infected children to the gym. For some reason, they all seem to think that though their children were too ill to go to school, it is perfectly fine for them come to gym and share their germs with us and all of the other kids. And now I’ve caught something nasty. I don’t think it’s the flu (thank goodness) because I haven’t really had much of a fever, but I feel pretty awful. My chest is all tight and my voice is like ten octaves lower and I’m achy and my head hurts. Ugh.

And, finally, Bobby is home this weekend! She’s off for her fall break. It’s so good to have her back in the house. I miss her so much when she’s away.

But that’s about it. More to come, I promise.




In which I am an artist

Dear Readers,

I sincerely apologize for my few postings over the last few weeks. I have been battling the treacherous foe of midterms (and have emerged victorious!). Though I realize such circumstances should have made me more susceptible to the lure of procrastination this blog holds, I have been oddly on-track and committed to my classes. Weird, I know. I’ve been studying during all my free time (I even brought my books to work and studied while I was waiting for my kids to arrive) and I only turned on the TV once this week (it was to watch Top Chef, and no amount of stress or academic commitment will force me to abandon that weekly hour of bliss…though I feel a smidgen – but only a smidgen – less devoted to the show since my favorite competitor was eliminated on Wednesday). In any case, after three more exams next week, the first semester of Anatomy and Physiology will be finished! Woohoo!

So, since nothing really exciting has happened in my life since my last post (besides the fair! but there will be more on that later), I thought I’d share my newly-discovered budding artistic talent (haha) with you. Yesterday in lab and in preparation for our practical next week, dear Dr. Su spent the entire two hours going over the very basics of everything we’ve done in lab so far. Though I love that man, I was just about ready to shoot myself by the time we finally finished. But out of that mind-numbing boredom doodles were born! (see below) And though you probably can’t read it, the best thing Dr. Su said during that whole class is recorded at the bottom right corner – “You will be the blind man touching the tail of the elephant and thinking the elephant looks like a rope”. Enjoy.


In other news, here’s a taste of what’s been on the news in D-town lately. I laughed so hard when I heard about this. It sounds like a fairytale gone very wrong, or something along the lines of the tooth fairy or baby-delivery storks… except not cute or magical or kid-friendly. I swear the news guy who reported this last night was nearly crying from trying so hard to not laugh.

In other other news… Tom Miner is coming to visit me for four-day weekend! I AM SO EXCITED!!



My first shiner

Dear readers,

Behold: I, Haley Marshall, your loving friend, the pacifist, have been slugged by an eight-year-old. Yesterday, while at my wonderful place of employment, one of my girls gave me a knee to the face while I was spotting her. She knocked my glasses right off my face. And though it hurt like hell, it didn’t really faze me (unfortunately, it’s not the first time it’s happened) until I wiped my forehead on my sleeve and saw that I wasn’t wiping off sweat, but blood. So, after I finally stopped bleeding (about an hour later – my pre-nurse mom says that there are a lot of capillaries in your face…which seems to make sense for everywhere except your eyebrows), I came home looking like this…

Photo 21

and I woke up this morning looking like this…

Photo 31

And that’s when I’m straining to open my left eye. (Awesome). So, for the next few days, I’ll be seeing the world through one and a half eyes, sorely missing my depth perception, and trying very hard to limit how much I operate a vehicle.

That poor girl felt so badly, though. I was giving her a private lesson at the time and both her and her mom were apologizing so much, I had to ask them both to stop.

In other news, because (as you know) one job is never enough for me, I had a job interview today! Seeing as I look like I got into a bar fight last night, I was pretty terrified going into it, but I felt like it went well, so hopefully there’s something good in that. If I get it, I’d be serving and bartending at special events on some weekends (and be paid really well for it). So, cross your fingers for that.


The Battered One

Community College

Dear Readers,

I know it’s been way too long since my last post. I promise I have not forgotten you. I have simply been preoccupied with the two newest undertakings in my life. Ladies and gentlemen, I have started community college. And I have a new job! Allow me to introduce you to them:

1) Anatomy and Physiology
Here we have Professor Kelly Sexton. First observation made about Sexton: Kelly is a man. Second: Kelly very much resents the fact that he has to spend 9 hours every day with adolescents who fall asleep in his lectures and nursing students who ask too many questions. Kelly also has a thick North Texas accent. He likes to add very dark background colors to the powerpoints he uploads online to discourage students from printing them. And above all else, Kelly prefers to be called DOCTOR Sexton.

Other characters worthy of note: Harley Davidson. She is a current nurse returning to school to receive her bachelor’s degree and sits across from me in lab. She’s to-the-point, all-business and no-nonsense. Harley Davidson does not like to smile (though I’m crossing my fingers for tomorrow…I’m feeling the funny coming on). She walks through the classroom door like she’s on the warpath. And, oh yes, she likes to wear Harley Davidson jumpsuits.

Mrs. Criswell/Griffin. A WONDERFUL, wonderful woman. She is the mother of one of Bobby’s good friends (back then she was Criswell, but has since remarried and is now Griffin… I keep accidentally calling her Ms. Criswell and because I still feel weird calling her Nancy, it has made for some awkward moments in conversation). Like my mom, she is going back to school to become a nurse. We carpool. And she sits beside me in lab and lecture and we make funny comments to each other.

The Returner. Took the class over the summer and made a “B” and is back because she wants an “A”. She’s very aware of how attractive she is. I’m pretty sure she’s bored out of her mind.

Scrubs. Sits in front of me in lecture. Laughs at everything Kelly says. She purses her lips after she speaks and nods her head as if she’s trying to stretch her neck when you’re talking to her. She wears scrubs to class and when I asked her if she  had a job in the medical field, she replied, “oh no, my daughters are medical assistants and when I go to buy their scrubs, I always pick some out for myself. I like wearing them because they’re just so darn comfortable.” I’ll let you make of that what you will. So far, she’s worn Felix the cat and Snoopy scrubs to class. I’m keeping notes; hopefully we’ll have the full collection by the end of the semester.

TMI. Asked Kelly some bizarre question about adipose tissue that, for some reason, required her to tell the entire class that she had had injections into her head to treat her dead hair follicles and that the injections had left small craters in her scalp. She sits far behind me, so I didn’t know what she looked like until Ms. Criswell/Griffin pointed her out at the end of class and whispered, “I’m never going to be able to stop looking at her head now.”

2) Microbiology
Taught by the incredible Dr. Henry Su. I love him. He smiles all the time and is passionate about what he teaches and laughs at himself. He makes hilarious analogies for the concepts we’re learning. I absolutely adore him. Favorite quote from last class: “Sometimes you need to zip up your pants and sometimes you need to unzip your pants.”

North Lake Guru. The go-to person for any question about the resources that North Lake (the community college I’m attending) has for Science classes. I think she used to be head of the Science study lab – or something impressive like that. She’s an excellent student. She sits beside me in lecture and is really on top of her stuff. I’m hoping we can be friends. And I’ve never seen so many freckles on one body.

The Pharmacists. Don’t know much about these guys, other than that I eavesdropped in on their conversation on the first day of lab. They sit in the two chairs across from me and both want to go to Pharmacy school. Pharmacist 1 is just starting his prerequisites. Pharmacist 2 is in the middle of his application process. He is hoping to get into UT Austin. I feel like such a creeper telling you this.

He Who Sleeps. He’s blonde. And no matter how hard he tries (and he tries really, really hard), can’t seem to keep his eyes open during the lab introduction.

3) Spanish 1
On Saturday mornings. I’ve only been to one class and next Saturday’s is cancelled because the school wants to pre-funk Labor day. I’ll fill you in on this once I get a better feel for it.

I am coaching gymnastics at Dallas School of Gymnastics, the gym where I used to train. I’m teaching preschool and beginner classes and am helping coach the team. It’s been downscaled a bit (they no longer have a team for levels 7+) since I was there, but I am having a great time. Basically, I am getting paid to play around (and by that I mean teach them important gymnastics skills in a calm and structured manner…) with kids on trampolines and gymnastics equipment. It’s a blast. I hope you’re jealous.

K, well I hope this extra-long post makes up for the week of nothing.
Keep it real,

oh! P.S. Some wonderfully generous anonymous person donated $50 to my LLS campaign. If you’re out there (and you know who you are), Thank you so much. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your generosity. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Embarassing Moments 1 & 2

#1: It was the last day of our week of perfect days on the beach. Grace and Graham had just had a long scuffle over who got to sit in which chair (I have a video of this, it’s really entertaining, but Grace has forbidden me to post it on the internet).

Now, to understand the next (and completely inconsequential) part of this story, it is pertinent for you to know just how my family operates. As you certainly know, I have three younger siblings. And as so often happens in families, there is always something that everyone wants, but which can only be had by one or two. In life we call this the basics of economics. But as it happens in my family, the most sought-after commodity (and this can take the form of the most comfortable chair in the family room, the best blanket, the last ice cream cone…) is given to the child that either gets to it first or to the child that gives the child that does get to it first a big enough incentive (usually the freedom from some sort of physical pain or annoyance) to give it up. However, there are two sacred rites which no one will ever dare violate. Should one choose to leave their coveted seat, calling “seat check” protects it against any who hope to claim it in your absence. The second are the traditional rules of shotgun, of which I am sure you are all very well aware. Calling “seat check” and “shotgun, no blitz!” are as much of our daily routine as being given another child’s newly-washed clothes back from the laundry and eating food off each others’ plates (I know this makes us seem a little barbaric but, unfortunately, that is sometimes not too far from the truth).

So, on this particular day at the beach, Graham had stolen the beach chair Grace had been sitting in and refused to give it back to her because she hadn’t called “seat check”. After much throwing of sand, name-calling and yelling, Grace stormed off to go walk with our mom along the beach and Graham stormed off in the other direction, our dad running to catch up with him soon after. This leaves me and Bobby alone with the six chairs. Naturally, in my mom’s absence, I move to her chair (the superior of the whole group) which is right next to Bob’s. We chat, laugh about what has just happened and taste my mom’s margarita. Eventually my mom comes back and (because you don’t mess with the mom) I start to stand up to give her back her chair. But as the muscles in my legs begin to contract to bring me out of that lovely chair, a loud ripping sound erupts from the seat and I fall back into the chair. My mom no longer wants to take her seat back and Bobby is crying from laughing so hard. And I refuse to leave the chair in an attempt to maintain some tiny bit of dignity and keep them from having a chance to survey the damage and further fuel their laughter. About fifteen minutes later though, my mom found a critter in the sand and because I just couldn’t pass that up, I leave and Bob snaps this picture for whatever future evil plans she has against me:IMG_1815

#2: We have an automatic gate (and by automatic I mean it operates much like a garage door, in regards to the button device that people clip to their cars’ visors) that opens up to the alley behind our house. Because Grace has finally gotten her license, I have been driving the oh-so-large suburban, which we park behind the house. On this not-so-special day, I was taking Bob and Graham to get a haircut. We all climb into the car, I turn on the ignition and press the gate button. And I start to back out thinking, “I’m such a pro at this. I’ve been driving this thing for 4 weeks. I’ve got this down. I could probably do this with my eyes closed. Yeah, I’m sooo slick.” And then there’s a big crunch and Bobby screaming at me to stop. And then I’m out of the car and my mom is yelling at me, “Haley Marshall! How many times have I told you to look behind you while you’re backing up?!” (you know it’s really bad when she uses both of your names) and I feel more like an idiot than I ever felt slick.

So, I knocked the gate off its track and completely un-welded the chain that the motor uses to pull it back and forth and bent the gate’s frame just enough that it no longer opens and closes smoothly. And I now owe my mom $180.

Stay tuned. I’m sure there will be plenty more of these posts in the future.

Hello World!

I have entered the blog-o-sphere! From hence forth, I shall chronicle the goings-on of this, my semester away from Whitman, on the webpage you now see before you. Here, you may find exciting stories of anything variant from my mundane life, harrowing tales in which I triumph in the face of adversity, the occasional punny attempt at being clever and, when I take the time to upload them, pictures!

At the present, my family is not-so-frantically packing for our annual trip to St. George Island, FL. Scheduled departure time is 7:00 am. Estimated departure time is 4:00 pm. I’ll let you know how that goes. Regardless of when we actually take off from our house (and have passed the forgivable distance during which we can turn around and return to the house when we realize we’ve forgotten something), we have about a 16 hour drive to survive together. That’s 16 hours with my three younger siblings, and my separated mom and dad in a suburban that, despite its tank-like appearance, never seems to be large enough.

Wish me luck.

And while I have your attention, let me direct you to my fundraising page! Over the next 5 months, I will be training for a marathon that I am running to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. And I need your help in raising that money. As many of you know, my youngest sister, Grace, is a survivor of Leukemia. This disease has impacted my family in profound ways, both good and bad. I am running in honor of Grace’s struggle and my family’s experience as we supported her through treatment.

Please tell your friends! Converse with your parents! Email your distant relatives! Blood cancers are responsible for over 53,000 deaths in the United States each year. We need all the help we can get to find a cure. And every penny counts. Please donate.