Rachel’s Thoughts: Dentists and Validation

This week was amazing. This week I discovered the Validation short, the 24-hour music video by Pharrel Williams, Sherlock 3 (and watched all three episodes-smiles, tears, and absolute shock), and had a dentist appointment that might have changed my life.


Cats are fantastic. We were privileged enough to dissect them over the pre-Christmas term, and one of them was pregnant. The kittens were amazing. Fully formed, itty bitty little toes, tiny tails, their whole bodies size of quarters.

I love dissections. I always have. And I love Bones. So one day, I thought to myself, Rachel, you should be a mortician.

I was told after a few weeks that I didn’t want to be a mortician, I wanted to be a coroner, and after looking it up, I realized my vocabulary maybe isn’t quite what I thought it was and ‘coroner’ is what I meant all along. I had to go around and fix what I had told people. So awkward, especially since morticians are even creepier than coroners, and I think that even with as few people want to work with dead bodies, even fewer want to put makeup on corpses. Seriously, who does that.

So hurrah, I had a new goal for after college. Or at least, I did until the same lovely person who corrected my terminology also mentioned the seven years of med school required to coronate. Oh, the shock. Does it really take seven years of training to be able to say with certainty, Yep, he’s dead all right?

On the other hand, I’m good at drawing, so after I decided that eleven years of college wasn’t happening I decided to move to Paris and draw, sell my drawings to Americans, then move back to America and sell my drawings to China. I haven’t looked into whether the French will purchase drawings of China, but that would be nice.

I also want to travel with fairs and circuses as a caricature artist.

Right about when I became completely psyched to be an artist and was wondering what color beret to get, I went to the dentist and all the truth and inner thoughts and hopes came flooding out of my mouth when the hygienist, Mike, asked about my post-college plans. Pretty much every childhood wish, in fact, except my thirst for piracy. Seasickness eliminated that one long ago.

“Except for the seven years of med school,” I finished as his tools slid into my gaping mouth and began poking and prodding.

“Well, actually…”

It turns out that our county coroner, according to dentist’s-office rumor, is a practicing attorney, a coroner, and a nurse all at the same time. Which means, according to the hygienist and also the dentist, who said the same thing later, she was a coroner with just a nursing degree.

The dentist was thrilled to pieces when he came in and saw the hygienist and I chatting about dead bodies. “Did you know,” he said, his eyes gleaming, “that when you get a blob of fat and squeeze it, oil comes out?”

The hygienist quickly googled pictures of fat while the dentist examined my teeth. “The sheriff was in the other day and he got a call about a suspicious looking truck, and when he went out, he found it swarming with bees, ‘cause some guy had shot himself and the bees were eating him.”

I usually have fairly nice dentist appointments, but this one beats them all. When the hygienist asked about summer plans and was told about my upcoming roadtrip to Texas, he was almost as excited as he was about my coroner plan. “Do it, girl,” he said. “Make memories. Have fun. Get into trouble along the way. Go to med school and be a coroner. And when it comes time for the election, I will vote for you.” Then, slightly embarrassed, “I’m being very motivational today.”

He was. Who needs therapy when you have a dentist appointment?


Rachel’s Thoughts: My Heart is Rejoicing Again

Much has happened since my heart last rejoiced in its own words. For the first time in a long time, this post is not a school assignment, but part of a brief catcher-upper to explain why my blog is in use again (at least for the time being).

It’s been one of those years. Over the past thirteen months I graduated from high school, began my freshman year of college, lost all my friends (twice), was given a new perspective on what it means to be “Christian,” gained a bunch of new friends and rediscovered some old ones, had a study group at 5:30 AM, learned what fennel is and what you use it in, learned how to make pizza, read some amazing books, watched  IP Man (if you haven’t seen it, go watch it right now), cried my way through some of the many, many oral finals, and learned that when I eat potato chips my tongue swells up like something from Harry Potter. It was quite a year.

My perspective on life has refocused a lot. It hasn’t changed, really, but some things are more clear now. I still see through a glass dimly, but God’s graces certainly are new every morning. For example, I accidentally stepped on a mouse at a farmer’s market and it exploded and I didn’t freak out. Much.

I moved from my bedroom into my basement. I have my own coffeepot, and I have a bright red wall and many, many lamps. The first three weeks, I also had many, many spiders, but I caught them all and put them outside and I think my cat probably ate some of them. Over the next few weeks the ants thrived (sizewise somewhere between cute little ones and carpenter ants), but they too have met their ends in the great outdoors. This week is known as the Week of the Centipede, and next week is looking like it might be the Era of the Beetle. If current livestock trends keep up down here  I might train them and sell them to the circus.

For those of you who are concerned about my little leggy roommates, I do have sticky traps. That was how I got rid of the rest of the spiders and a bunch of ants, but I’m learning that the centipedes don’t understand pain and prefer to rip a few legs off than die. Except their brains are too small to understand they’ll just get stuck again. I keep finding little legs lining the glue and a stuck, legless centipede a few inches past.

I feel kind of bad for the beetles, though. I don’t get the impression they have malicious intentions.

If you want to pray for me, pray that God pulls an Exodus 10: 19 in my basement: “And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.”

So there you go. My heart is rejoicing again. Things keep happening and I keep thinking “OH I should blog this!” and then it just doesn’t happen. But it will, because my rejoiceometer is getting full and my laptop is charged. But now, there are beetles to be caught and centipedes to outwit, so I must bid you adieu until the next time.

Rachel’s Thoughts: Part of a Paper: Exhordium: On the Subject of Scarves

In my Rhetoric class, we’ve been writing one section of a paper at a time and presenting it orally for the past several weeks. My topic is that girls should be allowed to wear scarves to school—here is my Exhordium (aka Conclusion). Pardon the references to Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband –our school just performed the play (yes, I was in it) and the script is embedded in my mind.

Let the grace abound. Let the scarves flow like juicy adjectives from Miss Dow’s pen, and shoes from Mrs. Merkle’s closet.

Let teachers make no more ‘examples’ of cold students. Let them not crush them beneath the claw of cold, by the steel hand beneath the snowy glove! No more, I say, shall the thumb of icy injustice press down upon the brow of hardworking students. Never again shall plagues and diseases destroy the school teams, demolish the state-win records, or send innocent elementary students to utter destruction; and never again will the common cold clutch a single student in its icy grasp and hold on longer than memory of the Peloponnesian War. Never again will the memory of the brave men who fought at Gettysburg be erased by pneumonia. Disease has, for the last time, vanquished history’s defeated and victorious; for warmth, warmth which we will so wildly love, will conquer cold.

Rachel’s Thoughts: Sonnet: How to Train Your Dragon

Another sonnet, this one slightly more ludicrous than the last.


The dragon lays so still, a crumpled heap

Of scales and flame, a smoldering wreck of glory.

His eyes are shut; he rests now; snores, asleep.

So great his tale, unparalleled his story.


Once great he soared, the monarch of the skies,

Then caught by stealth, the trap of one young boy.

In fear he fled, in pain and turmoil cries;

His tail a hole had grown, the kid’s smart ploy.


He crashed to earth and hid within a vale,

He rescued him, on brink of death and saved

The frightful beast, although with cheeks so pale

And friendship grew; companionship they craved.


So thus came Toothless, joining Hiccup gladly.

He sleeps there now till Death will claim him sadly.

Rachel’s Thoughts: Sonnet: Guy Fawkes

Here is another of my sonnets for my Brit Lit class. We were supposed to evoke an emotion in our sonnet, and in typical sonnet form, have a turn at the end.


His mangled form lay twisted, torn and wrecked,

By fire burned, his corpse all singed and black;

His eyes as blank as if they had been pecked.

He crumbled; fell, to ashes in a sack.


His flaming life departed slowly, fled

The binding cord that held his soul to earth.

Impassive face from which emotion sped

Did calmly die, and wait the years’ rebirth.


The spark of life now gone, this heap of ash

There lies, unmourned by kith or kin, alone,

Abandoned, small, deserted. Gone the flashed

Concern of passers-by, the care once shown.


The ashes lay there now, the lingering sign

Of Guy, the phoenix Fawkes, a man of pine.

Rachel’s Thoughts: The Poetic Math Problem

For Rhetoric last week, one of our assignments was to describe a math problem in a poetic fashion. 🙂

“The 17 sat there, creased at his corner like my grandmother’s eye, arms crossed and leaning against the parenthesis beside him. The parenthesis wrapped its arms around the function within, hugging the Cosine-and Sine-of-X in a tight grasp. The Cosine-of-X and her husband, the Sine-of-X, huddled close together, trying to evade the parentheses’ cold hands. The Tangent-of-X giggled beside the parentheses, beaming at her brother, t, and their little nephew 2, who sat perched on t’s shoulder.

The family of functions sat atop a line like children on a curb, and their pet 9 sat beneath them. The 9 sat, smugly aloof but interested despite her own better judgement. Brackets enclosed the complex family, but various functional family members stood nearby. On the left of the bracket were Secant X and Cosecant X, Cosine-of-X’s twin sisters. They had both been born upside down, and it was still a touchy subject.

The family’s skeleton-in-the-closet, Great-Uncle Z, stood with his girlfriend, 3, on the other side of The Barrier; Z looked frightfully knobby beside his curvy friend. The proper side of the family, the functions of X and the basic numbers, had been trying to get Z and 3 out of the equation for a while, and subtraction had been the farthest away they could get them without making Great-Uncle Z undefined. However, despite the family’s attempts, Z and 3 still managed to turn up every time they tried to solve the family problems, and frequently made the hired solver pound his head into the desk in mental agony.”

Rachel’s Thoughts: Old English Poem

For my Brit Lit class. Old English poetry has a split in the middle of each line, with two accented syllables on either side of it. The first of the second pair of syllables has to start with the same sound as one of the ones on the first half of the line…it doesn’t have to rhyme, but I liked it better when it did.


When darkness reigned                    and dimmed the sky,

The stars knew not                           their seats on high.

The Sun had yet                               to spill her grace

On Earth’s broad span,                    the shadowed-place.

Then one light flashed                     and filled the gap,

And Darkness fled                           to dens unmap’d.

The Fauns and Satyrs                       found their way

From holes deep hid’,                      and hailed the day.

The winged-ones came                    from winds-retreat,

They sang delight                             at Dark’s defeat.

The gods ascended                           to great Mount Ida;

And sphinxes dwelt                          in south Al Minya.

The Kings arose                         and reigned with might;

The people passed                            the period of Night.

Mankind grew strong,                      and cared for life;

When Time decreed,                        they captured Strife

And did not let                                 him loose again,

Till man-kind lost                            what might have been.