Below, a practical methodology is presented for creating closeness in an experimental context. Whether or not an individual is in a relationship, particular pairings of individuals in the relationship, and circumstances of relationship development should be considered manipulated variables. Over a 45-min period subject pairs will carry out self-disclosure and relationship-building tasks that gradually escalate in intensity.
This catchup is about rare, strange, and special things that come about once in a lifetime, like this catchup and oxford commas. It’s also about other rare things I know about, like beauty, love, and your weekend. I know about beauty from when I looked in the mirror for the first time. I thought, “I need a word to describe the opposite of what I am seeing.” I learned about love when I looked up the word “lope” in the dictionary while writing a diary entry about when I saw a tall, thin dog running. Life is mysterious and fun that way. I learned about your weekend by asking, “How was your weekend?”
“Mid-week weekend was great! Actual weekend was a bust.”
As you know, I am a biologist. As a result, I am all about science. That’s why, before I get into the meat of this catchup (which is chicken breast, because according to science, it is full of protein and makes us think of God’s gift to us all — human breasts), I want to address the question that’s been on the minds of biologists, philosophers, and Chris Raffa for centuries: Are women funny? I know what you’re thinking. “I can’t believe you’re buying so heavily into the gender binary, Mia. Come on.” I know that you’re also thinking about something else. “Damn. Mia is funny and ~attractive~.” Moreover, I know that you are wondering why my ex dumped me. All these questions and concerns are being addressed by scientists like me. For now my response comes in the form a question: How was your weekend?
“I prepared for doomsday.”
One time when I was five years old I found a slug next to my house moving toward the bushes. For ten minutes, I watched it, its eyestalks sensing its environment, seemingly independently of its body. I watched it secrete the mucus layer on which it travelled. A truly marvelous invertebrate, I thought, completely unlike any other organism I had ever seen. I unscrewed the cap of the saltshaker beside me and, despite having heard that I should never do so, I emptied its contents onto the slug. The slug writhed and contorted the length of its body. Its previously perfect skin began to pop and hiss as it turned crispy, from a bright yellow to a golden brown. In that slug I saw myself. As I watched it die, I felt the sting of the salt on my back, all the moisture in my body osmosing through my skin. I fell to the ground in pain, and I saw in the bushes what I could only assume was its slug family. We lay dying together on the moss for what seemed like an eternity. In retrospect I realized I learned something valuable that day. The ability to know something, to really become acquainted with it, to love and even name it, and then dispassionately let it go to become closer to death, would prove useful throughout my life. Anyway, that’s how I got into comedy writing. How was your weekend?
“Isn’t it too late for that question?”
Excerpt from “A Christmas Carrel” a play by me directed by me and starring me
NARRATOR: When Scrooge awoke, the church clock tolled a deep, dull, hollow, melancholy (BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG!). Light flashed up in the room upon the instant, and the blinds by his bed were drawn up by a strange figure.
SCROOGE: Are you the Spirit, sir, whose coming was foretold to me?
FIRST GHOST: I am!
SCROOGE: Who and what are you?
FIRST GHOST: I am the Ghost of Kenyon Past.
NARRATOR: As the words were spoken, they passed through the wall, and stood in the busy thoroughfares of a college campus. It was made plain enough by the dressing of the place that here, too, it was Christmas time. The Ghost stopped at a certain door, and asked Scrooge if he knew it.
SCROOGE: Know it! I spent countless hours here. I remember these walls, this cubic furniture, the ceiling made of windows. This must be the place … I miss it. Olin and Ch–
FIRST GHOST: Don’t say it. It will be too painful for you. Yes we are here. Smell the books. Hookup in the stacks. Talk too loud on the third floor. You loved this place and took it for granted.
SCROOGE: Spirit! remove me from this place. Haunt me no longer!
NARRATOR: As he struggled with this memory and the intense pain attached to it, Scrooge realized he was a first year who had no reason to be jaded about a place he never set foot in save for during a visit day or tour. Man who the hell do you think you are? How was your weekend?
“Saw someone eating a cheesestick the bad way. Ruined my night.”
Welcome to the month of December. This time of year means two things 1) crippling amounts of holiday-induced depression and 2) millions of high school seniors across the country are working diligently on college applications. If either of these points apply to you, I’m here to help. Below is a convenient and *personalized* fill-in-the-blank common application template that will ensure your happiness and, at the very least, acceptance into Kenyon college.
Prompt: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
________(Your Name)’s Best Ever Application: Why I Need College to Become a Pediatric [for babies] Marine Biologist
“I’m happy to let you into this party if you go to the market and buy us mixers.”
7:30 A.M. The din of library construction tickles your ear drums. “Wake up,” she whispers to you, “welcome to the morning.” For a while you thought the library was beautiful, easy, and clean. She was older and well-liked by many. For a while you didn’t mind her cracking a little and exposing those hidden parts of her. You loved it. When she finally crumbled, you walked away. You built a wall around her. You thought you could paint what you wanted to see on that wall. You knew that wouldn’t work, or maybe you were dumb enough to think it would work. Now she’s all ugly, boring — messy. Now she’s a cruel lover, and she’s only getting colder by the minute. You thought you could escape her. Now every morning you’re greated with the clangs and beeps and banging of an angry woman who has no pity for you. Now she gives you the finger instead of asking “How was your weekend ?”
“Turkey but not. Italian food instead.”