I've been collecting my writings from years gone by as I find them. Each time I move - now 5 times in the last 3 years - I find more scraps, loose sheets, etc. with my thoughts from various times in my life. I've decided to copy as many of them as I can here to try and keep from losing them again, and to share with the world. Please feel free to comment as thoughts occur to you. Either send them to trekker9er@yahoo.com or use the comment links here. Thanks, and Enjoy!

Saturday, August 02, 2003

 Levels of Friendship

I figured this system out many many years ago, and finally wrote it down sometime around 2000 I think.

Levels of Friendship

Descriptions of each level:
1) Someone you see most everyday during your normal routine to whom you smile, say "hi", or ask "how are you?" and who does the same or one of the others in return. You may or might not even know the person's name or anything about them beyond what you see each day.
2) Someone you've met, thought you may or may not remember the person's name, and whom you might interact with on occasion.
3) Someone you know and are friends with in only one environment (school, or work, or church, or a social group/club).
4) Someone you are friends with and consider and actually do things with beyond just in the environment you became friends with the person in.

Getting from level four to level five friendships with me is a threshold. A big threshold. A trust threshold. And depending on how much I believe, and later am shown, I can trust a person on specific things (which I have in my head and might write out at some point, though might not) determines which level a person falls into. Length of friendship also plays a part in which level a person falls into.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

 Wednesday, October 8, 1997 - Though I think it was actually the Feb. before


What should I do now? It's late, maybe I should go to bed...
    Oh. Actually it's only 11:30. That's not late, and I guess I'm not really tired. I don't want to go to bed yet. But what's there to do? No assignments are due soon. There's nothing on TV. I'm stuck in that computer game- it's too hard, I don't want to play it right now. Well, Amy gave me that chatroom software, maybe I should go online and talk to people. But I don't really want to. I'm new to the room and I hardly know anyone. I don't fell like talking to strangers right now. What else is there to do? I could go upstairs and talk to the girls. No, they're all probably working. I could go downstairs and talk to the guys. Actually, they're probably sleeping. It's 11:30 on a Monday night and they've got classes in the morning. So, what to do, what to do?
    All right, fine. I'll go into the chatroom. Who knows, maybe there'll be something interesting to talk about for a few minutes. But, I should be in bed by midnight...
    Hey! Amy's in here! Good, I haven't talked to her in a while. I should call her soon, and my other friends from high school too.
    What's this? She writes: ‘Germs, is that you?' She knows I hate it when she calls me that. Doesn't she know it's me? I'm the only one who would use this screen name. Well, since were using our nicknames I'll say: ‘Bigbird?'
    She did it again! Calling me Germs! I wonder what all those exclamation points are for, she must be really happy I'm in here.
    What's that beep? Oh, I have a private message from someone. Hey, it's Amy. I wonder what's up. I sure hope nothing's wrong. How do I get into private chat mode again? Oh yea...
    She says: ‘Jen, I need to talk to you." Uh oh. Why do I feel that this isn't good.
    ‘What's up Amy?'
    ‘I've got some bad news.' Oh, no. Please don't let it be that Jeff dumped her. Please...
    ‘Jeff broke up with me yesterday evening.' No... I don't believe it.
    ‘Oh Amy,'
    ‘I really need someone to talk to.'
    ‘O.K. Are you in the computer lab?'
    ‘Go back to your room. I'll call you in five minutes. O.K.?'
    I don't believe it. I can't believe it. How could he ever do such a thing? They were practically engaged! How can... I mean, what was... ummm... WHERE IS HER PHONE NUMBER!!!!!!
    Hold on a second, Jennifer. We need to calm down. Take a deep breath... O.K. Now, Amy's phone number is in your personal organizer, which is... which is... which is... right there! See? Things are fine when we don't get over excited. O.K. now, find the phone... and call Amy at her college phone number.
    It rang once... I wonder if she's back to the room yet. She might not
    "Hello, Jen?"
    "Yes, it's me. Are you alright?" That was a stupid question.
    "You sound like you've been crying."
    "Oh, Amy..."

*         *         *         *         *

    We spent nearly three hours on the phone that night. I didn't want to let her off until I was sure she would be alright, no matter how tired I was. We both had cried, but I did most of the listening and attempted consoling as she told, and retold, what had happened and had been said. I could still feel the swelling and trembling in my chest that had warned me something was wrong when Amy first sent me the private message. I think she felt a little bit better. We had even began discussing other things after awhile. But still, after we hung up I was worried. At least I knew she would be coming in the morning. That was my suggestion. She didn't have any really good friends at college yet and I didn't want her to be alone in that small single dorm room of hers, not after something like that. I e-mailed my math CA that I wouldn't be attending class in the morning because "my best friend in the entire world was coming, she was having problems and she needed me" and asked if I could turn in my assignment before class. After all, when your boyfriend of over two years, who you've fallen head over heels in love with, breaks-up with you, you have to be hurting more than anything I know I've ever felt. Then I went right to sleep. It was almost 3 am and Amy would be coming around 9:30.
    She was in the square at 8 am. Apparently she wasn't able to sleep so she caught the earliest train. Her call woke me up and I went to meet her. It was February 11th, the Tuesday morning before Valentine's Day, 1997. What a crummy time to break-up with someone.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

 Monday, June 18, 2001 - My Mother (Speech for her swearing in ceremony as a Judge)

Mom was appointed in 1998, I remember that as it was while I was in college. MA Court system says Mom's start date was March 1, 1999

My mother, Marjory Ann Collins German. What can I say about her that you don't already

You all know she raised two children by herself in a time when single mothers were not commonplace and in a place where she knew no one. She built herself a new life which has lead her to today. But when at one point she and I were reminiscing about my childhood and that time of her life, she told me how hard it really was for her. She told me how miserable she was without any friends, in a low paying-high stress job, in a cramped apartment, raising two wild children alone. And I turned to her said I didn't remember it like that. I remembered sitting down to dinner every night just the three of us and Mom being genuinely interested in how Michael's and my days were. I remembered going out every Friday night to Friendly's or McDonalds and then shopping as a weekly treat. I remember fun weekends with Mom. I remember her playing, laughing, and watching TV with us, and letting Michael and I have a good childhood. Mom looked at me amazed, and asked how was it possible that I didn't feel like she had? How did I not feel the small size of the apartment compared to our former house in Michigan, or how depressed or stressed she was at times? Then she smiled, and said she that must mean she did something right. You know what else it means? It means that she was a good mother, she was able to spare her children the miserableness she was living, and make their lives happy even though hers wasn't.

My mother has been my friend, my sounding board, my role model all my life. Without her I would not be where I am, or who I am today. She has done wondrous things, not only for me but for her clients, her staff, those lucky enough to call her "friend", and everyone she has come in contact with, and for this I thank you Mom. My dream in life is make a difference some how. Sometimes I think it's too hard, that I won't make it. But then I look at you and all you've faced and overcome to get where you are now. I look at all the good you have done in your life. You have made a difference in this world and many people have benefited. You constantly show me that all I have to do to do the same is keep trying when things seem bad and they will get better. And if I feel I can't do it alone I know I can turn to you for support. I am truly blessed to have a mother like you. Not everyone can say that. I don't think I have ever told you how much I admire you or how much I respect you. But you know how much I love you. Now I want to tell you, and everyone, that I am very proud of you, my mother, Marjory Ann Collins German.

Monday, July 28, 2003

 Monday, April 07, 1997 - I completely forgot I wrote this

    I hate being a young adult. I want to go back to being a teenager. I feel like I'm walking along the very edge of a cliff and that I might loose my balance at some point and fall into madness. The worst part is that I know I won't fall, but I want to- I want to SO BAD. But I can't, there's too much to do. If I were to even just take one week off from school I'd fall behind in my work. And that just means that there's more pressure when I get back because there would be more to do in less time than before. And God knows that I probably wouldn't get done what I'd want to do if I did take a week off, which is to finish my story and write the new one that's in my head. I hardly ever get anything I plan done over a vacation. And what about work? People expect me to be there. I mean, I just got a new job because I am temporarily in debt. Plus, I really enjoy my regular job. I think if I took a week off of school I'd still keep working, just because I want to.
    So here I am. I can't seem to write anything but this, but I just keep re-reading it over and over. I finally sat down to write my paper that's due tomorrow (don't worry too much about that, I usually don't write a paper until the night before), and instead of writing it I find a picture of myself as a little baby smiling at my grandmother. At first it pleased me, but then I thought of how Nana's been having medical problems, how her parents both died of strokes in their 50's and she's in her 70's and having heart problems, and how she expects that's she's going to die soon. She talks about it occasionally, jokingly at times, but I'm sure she's just trying to prepare us for the inevitable, and that's fine. But I still don't like the idea of it. Well, that thought led to one of growing older, which led to growing up, which led to something I've been thinking about a lot recently- I HATE BEING GROWN UP!!!!!!! Which led to the beginning of this composition. What a nice, nasty, little circle, huh? Anyways...
    I don't remember where I was going with this. Something having to do with writing my essay for tomorrow and the second essay I have due Tuesday (which I don't like the topic of, but that's a different subject). I just noticed a cool thing that this processing program does, it will capitalize the first letter of any of the days of the week if I don't, and it will separate the word "a lot" for me which I usually spell "alot." Oh yea, I remember now. I was going to say:
    I've been so unmotivated this past week since vacation ended, and especially once the storm came and my, Maura's and Chris's high schools got two days off while we here at Harvard got- let's count them now- NONE. Well, what I mean by unmotivated is that I procrastinate longer than usual, but I still get the work done eventually. Take today for example: I've known that I've had the two papers, and a midterm on Tues. too, for the last few days but I really didn't start seriously thinking about them until today. Actually, that's not unusual. What is unusual is that once I had a topic for the paper due tomorrow I wasted two hours instead of writing it (about 45 minutes has been spent on this). Speaking of today, I have been in such a foul, no not foul, pessimistic, no not that either... depressed? No. I've been a mood that is a combination of the three today. My room mate knows that because I told her three hours ago. My other room mate knows something's wrong, beyond my mood, but she doesn't know what. In fact I don't even know what's wrong. Moods like this happen to me occasionally, and they've been becoming more frequent since I came to college. My third room mate was witness to the aftermath of a recent one. Oh, I haven't said that I've been sporadically crying throughout this composition (crying always accompanies these moods I get into).
    Anyways, back to the one my room mate saw: I got into a crying fit one evening on my way back to my dorm. Sometimes a feeling that I need to break something accompanies these moods, and this was one of those instances. So this time I acted on that feeling (for the first time ever) and I went and punched the wooden, three-sided bulletin board in front of the science center, because I really didn't want to do any damage, I only felt like it. Those things have to be at least 3-inches thick! I hurt my hand pretty bad, which made me even madder. So I get to my dorm and kick the wall on my way up the stairs to vent my anger. By the time I got to my room I was crying again. I dropped everything as soon as I was in the door and went into my bedroom and flopped down on the bed and cried into my pillow. My room mate came out of her bedroom to see what was wrong- she said that I came in "with a force." She found me crying and hurting, the anger had passed as it always does. That was the one of only four of my moods ever witnessed, three of which were here at Harvard. I guess it's because there's more people around here for me to be found by. Plus, I always want to be left alone during the moods, but I also want to be held and rocked, but I can't seem to open up to anyone because I don't feel that I'm close enough to anyone here for that, therefore I want to be left alone. This is the third mood I've ever written during (in case you haven't noticed, this mood's been over now for a while, but I still feel like writing).
    So, what could be my problem? I'm not sure. Maybe it's that I don't want to grow up anymore. I did before because I wanted adults to treat me like an adult, but now that I'm almost an adult I can safely say that IT SUCKS! Maybe the problem is that I'm afraid of growing older because I know that I'll die that much sooner. I hate the thought of death, not just mine, anyone's. (Oh, that means you don't need to worry about my committing suicide. I could never do that, no matter what happens, I'm too afraid to die.) Maybe it's a combination of things- my Nana's and Great-grandmother's approaching deaths; my best-friend's two recent suicide attempts; my father's fallen in love with a woman who has major problems of her own right now and therefore cannot start a relationship with him now and he's already been waiting for her for a year; the fact that I can't get a boyfriend even though many people (female and male) have told me that I'm very pretty, and friendly, and am basically the perfect female because my wardrobe does not even fill one closet, I only have about six pairs of shoes, I will turn a shirt tag under for someone if it's sticking out, I don't like shopping, I'm intelligent, I'm caring.... (I don't mean to sound self-centered, this is just what I've been told.); the fact that I'm losing touch with most of my high school friends and that while I have friends here at Harvard, I don't have any really good friends; and add plenty of other things to this list. Maybe I just don't want to be alone. Sometimes I think that a relationship might help me, but then I talk with my friends who've had them and they tell me that men just aren't worth it. But I still want to try a relationship, even if it's only short term.
    What's up with songs today? (I've been listening to my CD's this whole time.) Almost all of them are about love, and more than half of them tell sad stories if you go past the music and just listen to the words. There's a lot I wish I could do. Become a popular singer, become an actress, become a writer, meet an extra-terrestrial (o.k., so that last one is a little far fetched, so what?).
    Well, I guess it's back to being optimistic for me. I've got a paper to write. Oh, one last thing I meant to say that I haven't yet. There's another conflict inside me besides the cliff. It's the fight between Good and Bad. I'm such a good girl, I know it and try to be that way. But sometimes I don't want to be honest, or responsible. Sometimes I want to cheat, or steal, or slack off. But I don't. Sure, I'll skip an assignment once in a blue moon if I know it won't hurt my grade, or I'll tell a little lie that doesn't hurt anyone, but I don't do anything worse than that on purpose. And if I do something worse unintentionally, then I make it right somehow. Sometimes I want to break something or hurt someone, but I never do. I keep those emotions carefully in check. The most damage I ever do is to punch someone in the arm or step on their foot- nothing big. The problem is that occasionally I want to give into those wants, I really really do, but some how Good always wins out over Bad. I guess that's a good thing, but sometimes the Bad want is so strong I feel like I'm being torn in two by not giving into it. When I finally get some money and a house I'm going to have a room I can go into that's full of things I can break without hurting anyone else. That way I can vent my feelings, my moods, without breaking down mentally or hurting anyone (myself included). Have you ever felt like getting hit by a car just for the experience? Or sitting in the middle of a busy intersection just to see what people will do? I have, but I've never acted on those feelings, and I probably never will. I'm just too responsible, or good, or afraid, or whatever you want to call it. Mom and all her friends and colleagues at work say that I'm the perfect daughter. One of the women even said once that for her next child she deserved "a Jennifer."
    I once asked my friends what they thought my biggest fault was. One of them said that I set goals that are too hard and then beat myself up if I don't achieve them. Everyone else there promptly agreed with the statement. Maybe I do, maybe I don't, I don't know if she's right. Dad once said to me that I could be a pure optimist if I just let myself be one. I think I agree with that. Except for these moods of mine, I am an optimist by nature.
    Well, it's 1:30 am so it's been over two hours now. I'm feeling much better, like my regular self. Still have to write that paper though. And to think, this whole composition came about because of a picture of me, as a little baby, smiling at my Grandmother.

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