October 31 and November 1

All Hallow’s Eve. Aka Halloween.  Even if I don’t have the time to enjoy this holiday like I used to, I still love it deep down inside, and for two reasons:

1. The candy. Because you don’t have to be six to enjoy chocolate and sugar.

2. The creativity of the costumes. I’m blessed to have a crafty momma who made our costumes when James and I were little, and now I’m the one pulling together my own creations.

Image

Last year’s costume as a Roy Lichtenstein comic book character. Only my art teacher and a couple other art history nerds understood. Also, my Gertie loves Maegan and Celeste as Cady Heron and Hurricane Sandy<3 (when are you guys coming back in my life anyway?)

This year, I didn’t really have time to think of or create a great costume, so I went as a fairy just to wear my flower halo (and a lot of my clothes work for that- is that saying something about me?) I had to work anyway, which is okay by me because the pharmacy pays $20 to wear your costume, holds a costume contest with a $100 grand prize and has a potluck (omg there are always potlucks going on there is teaching the right profession or should I switch to pre-pharm?)

I always loved St. Edward’s on Halloween as a student because of the candy/ice cream and the teacher’s dressing up. Even now, four or five years removed, I still come home and ask my momma how all the teachers and staff dressed up each day. (My personal favorite is the new middle school history teacher-who dressed up as The Man in the Yellow Hat and his two year old daughter was Curious George!!) Even at Saint Gertrude, the teachers and students dressing up was always my favorite part. I saw pictures on Facebook and missed the Halloween carnival. Music, prizes, little kids, costumes, taking photos, totally not a real day of school, and candy.

I think not having free candy in class everywhere was the worst part of school today. Yeah, it did feel like Halloween with those random people in full on suits walking by you or the kid in my UNIV 112 who came to class in a full suit and unicorn mask. But really, it’s VCU, everyone here dresses weird all the time so half the people you saw walking around were in their normal clothes. I wanted my professors to pass around bags of candy or skull lollipops. (Jordan and I actually spent half the math class complaining about that and the other half refusing to do our worksheet today). Is this what the real world is like, because if so I quit. I’m just so glad tomorrow is payday (!!!) and November 1st because Halloween candy is going on sale and guess who has a store charge account at the pharmacy?!? (And guess who has to work on the first of the month? Pray for me, please)

Omg yes November is coming tomorrow and I’m so excited. November is pretty much the only fall season I like. There are obvious reasons of birth,  but then there’s Thanksgiving, a day of celebrating obesity in America. After that, school is only in session for one week until it’s exam season. Even though it’s colder in November, I’m always finding more discounted Halloween candy and pre-birthday excitement to keep me warm.

ImageTigger and Pooh send their Halloween love

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Identity Crisis

I don’t have an identity problem, it might be other people who have the problem. Actually, it’s not really that bothersome so does it constitute as a problem? Would you like to know what all this rambling is about?

I get asked a lot if I’m an art student (no thanks a heap for reminding me let me go cry in the corner about my dead art school dreams). Art is my life, hence the art history minor, but there are so many amazingly talented art students who work at Michael’s because they can’t get real jobs which is awful and I ain’t about that life.  Plus, I barely have time for real school, I don’t want to know how insane my life would be as an VCUarts student. But, I will take your assumption as an art student as a compliment because art students are really cute, quirky people who dress nice. (Art students also tend to be hipsters and a few people called me that in high school. Then I started going to VCU with real hipsters and no one’s called me that since.)

While working one day, one of the pharmacists approached me, “I heard a nasty rumor about you, that you’re a vegan”

“Uhm no, well, there’s nothing wrong with being vegan and no I do eat meat”. A lot of people, especially at the pharmacy, assume I’m vegan/vegetarian. Maybe it coincides with my art student/hipster aura or whatever, or maybe it’s the fact that I order vegetarian dishes a lot when I eat out. I really admire vegans for such a commitment and go you vegetarian, you go~ Making such a life choice is something that I’ll always kinda consider but never have the heart to go fully after. I do love animals a lot, but damn Burger Bach cooks up a great lamb burger (excuse me while I go cry about that delicious, slaughtered, baby lamb). However, you will catch me more frequently ordering a vegetarian dishes because 1. I freaking love vegetables 2. Half of your meal should be vegetables 3. Because of that, all I eat is vegetables and fruit so I’m getting a little worried that I don’t eat enough starches and meat

Also, people think I’m a hippie. AKA Sean. Well he hasn’t said anything to me lately about it. I I just really love hippie culture and the Grateful Dead (did you notice I totally stole my blog title from “Eyes of the World”?) and long skirts with peace signs and that fun stuff. One of my coworkers said that another coworker called me a hippie. I don’t mind but WHO IS THIS COWORKER THAT IS SAYING THESE THINGS ABOUT ME?!?!

Point of the matter is that there is nothing wrong with art students, vegans, hippies, or whatever anyone is calling you.  They are nice people. Be proud of who you, in fact, flaunt it. And if you’re not whatever, don’t let it bother you. Correct someone, laugh it off, whatever your mechanism is. BE WHO YOU ARE AND BE PROUD OF IT. 

Okay this post is getting too inspirational. This is getting weird and I don’t like. I’ll just leave before I turn into every other lame wannabe blog. 

History of History

What happens when a girl is stressed out and tired from college-exams, tests, planning for next semester? Why, she blogs of course! And as a little stress relief, let me tell you about my one true love.

It’s 2001. Saturday morning, about ten am. A six year old girl wakes up, and runs downstairs to the kitchen, hoping her parents will fix her a bowl of Oreo cereal before she watches hours of Recess and Spongebob. When she gets to the kitchen, her father is propped up at the table, Richmond Times-Dispatch spread out and a cup of coffee by his side. She greets him and they start talking. Before you know it, the dreams of cereal have dissipated and a bowl of honeydew is on the table while the aroma of sausage fills the room. The conversation has turned from what words she learned to read that week in first grade to Emperor Nero.

Of course, that young girl was me and her father is my incomparable Gary Gerloff. Being the man that he was, Daddy thought that cartoons and cereal were going to turn me into a sugary, uncultured monster. His great story-telling abilities fought (-and won!) against my cartoons, and he enchanted me with mythology and early civilization. Those early morning conversations of the Greco-Roman world is what lead me to my love of history.

Once I was reading books by myself, my mom would take me to the library-and she would always loose me. By time after time, she would catch me in the historical fiction section- American Girl series to princess diaries- and at night I would run to Daddy and tell him about Marie Antoinette, Anastasia Romanov, or any of the other princesses I was divulging in that day, and he supplemented my knowledge-probably more than a seven year old should know.

Flash forward 2013, yesterday to be exact. That same girl went to the History major course fair, where she was greeted by the undergrad adviser by name, a man who shares her passion of the ancient world, and remembers that about her. She’s looking at a double minor in Art History and Mediterranean Studies, to continue her other love of art and her favorite part of Europe, as well as getting her master’s in teaching.

I’m indebted to so many more people that just my father. I’m lucky enough to have been taught by some of the greatest teachers in Richmond who expanded my love and knowledge. These ladies have also been great role models and mentors whenever I’ve needed them, and I can say 100% they’re why I want to be a teacher. (Much love to my Gertie women- you rock Mrs. Hoggatt, Mrs. Rives and Mrs. Carrig!) (ps I love you too my non-social studies teachers)

Now at VCU, I’m an active member of History Now!, a club that visits historical sites around Richmond like the capitol, Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, and next spring-Monticello (eeep! Thomas Jefferson!!!!) This week we had a meeting in the Cabell Room at the James Cabell library-which looked like a time machine to the Victorian era (so beautiful!!), and hold James Cabell’s personal book collection.

Cabell Room

Sorry the phone quality is so bad but DO YOU SEE THIS BEAUTIFUL ROOM IT’S ON THE QUIET FLOOR SO YOU MIGHT GET WEIRD LOOKS WHEN YOU AWE IN IT’S GLORY BUT OMG

I honestly don’t know where I would be without history. What would I ever major in!?!? I briefly thought about social work as a back-up and becoming a grief counselor until one of my customers told me his horror stories as a social worker and I backed out.  But I think I’ve picked the right thing for me. I’m quite social and teaching lets me get to know my students as they get to know my passion and help them understand it all. OmgteachingisgoingtobesomuchfunplusIwanttogobacktosaintgertrudewhyisntthishappeningnowIcantwaitfiveandahalfyears

(PSST Did you know Shaka Smart has an undergrad in history?)

Everything in Moderation

I can clearly remember the first time I heard this phrase. I was about eleven or twelve, during one of the couple of summers I joined the dive team. It was after a meet, and Daddy and I decided to go out to Maldini’s for dinner. 

“Claire, I’ve learned in life that you can enjoy anything you want, as long as you take in moderation.” He said in between sips of wine then asked the server for the dessert menu. 

So maybe taking everything in moderation wasn’t the trademark of my father, who lived more like an Imperial Roman or civilized Greek, all about enjoying life’s goodness all the time, but’s it’s something that I really try to follow. 

Like in college. This picture is apparently supposed to describe the breakdown of your average college student’s life:

But, you know me (or maybe you don’t, and you’re just reading this for giggles), but I’m part superhero and the challenge is very accepted. Did you notice that working isn’t on this triangle? Well, I can do that too! Like let me tell you about my fall break: I worked everyday, did my homework, saw my friends three of the four days, and went to the Capital Cities/Fitz and the Tantrums concert Sunday before showing up to my 9 am Monday morning. Okay maybe me sleep schedule got hit a little bit, but how often do I bake bad, visit Saint Gertrude, and go to concerts? Exactly. There’s moderation, have fun but don’t overfill your schedule all the time. And do you want to know how I know got to do all this? A little skill I learned from Saint Gertrude--time management.  (All roads lead back to Gertie’s, don’t they?) And so maybe I don’t always get to hit up the latest VCU fundraiser (btw buy donuts from History Now! and come to our bake sale on 10/30) or get lunch with my friends, but I’m trying as hard as a can. Prioritizing is important. School=real people job in five years=large tuition bill=scholarships=good grades. But don’t lose your friends. Then you will end up all alone. 

Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, everything in moderation. I just left my Italian class, where the professor talked about colazione, or breakfast, which is nothing but dolci e caffè, and all I can think of is the many beautiful pastries she showed us. But I’m not going to go track one down, despite what my brain is telling me, because I already had my coffee and yogurt for breakfast. 

So yes, turn your lights off when you leave a room, eat your veggies, and do your homework. Cake is okay, just not everyday, and people are good in your free time. Alright I’m going to go to class now and hopefully get my mind off of those Italian pastries. Actually, let me get them on your mind, and show you this Italian food blog Janey sent me: 

creampuffsinvenice.ca

ARRIVEDERICI

 

Back to VCU & Commuting

Hey guys, how’d you like all those deep posts? Yay for deep thoughts on lost loved ones? Or neigh, “I-followed-your-blog-because-you-promised-posts-on-college-and-cookie-recipes?” Well, either way, I highly value your opinion, but on Facebook I promised something about boys or cake or something like that. So let’s talk about VCU.

It’s a little more than halfway through the semester, and I’m going to reassess VCU/commuting:

1. I love VCU

2. I love my classes

3. I’m trying to get my butt over to Pereguia next summer in Italy so if you need something to do with your extra money, please start a scholarship for Claire Gerloff and Claire Gerloff only so that she may complete her dreams of trying to be Italian.

4. Commuting sucks. I pretty much get to school at 8:30 and leave by 4 or 5 at the latest. Hence, I know no one

5. If I’m not at school a lot, WHY DO I KEEP RUNNING INTO THE SAME PEOPLE? Boys, girls from high school, that one kid in Brandt, and those two or three mildly attractive guys who are everywhere but I don’t know their names. 

6. However, I’m so glad that I commute when it comes to food. I don’t think I would be able to stand eating pizza hut and all those fast food places more than once a week. Plus home = oven = baked goods = boys I make food why don’t you love me yet

7. Also a lot of people think I’m an art student. But unfortunately not, that’s why I get sleep and have a social life. 

8. VCU is very quirky and fun and there are lots of fun people. Go to Monroe Park on a pretty days. There are typically slacklines and hammocks and the occasional Nutella/crepe truck. The art students from Johnson are normally there. 

9. I feel sorry for you if you go anywhere else. I’ll be honest, I toured only one other college but I love the city atmosphere here. Being trapped by the gates of other schools sounds awful. You can’t walk across the block and be in the real world like that. 

10. I have a car and the freedom that comes with that. And a job that pays money. My favorite thing in the world. Fine, maybe I do like commuting. (My bed > ones at VCU dorms) 

So at the end of the day, it is okay to commute, VCU is awesome, and baked goods are always a good thing. In fact, last week, I drove my new VCU best friend Alison over and we had a sleepover at my house and baked bad (watching Breaking Bad and baking brownies). Another perk of commuting!

 

By the way, tomorrow night I’m going to a concert with Sean and his roommates. BOYS.