Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Graduate

As graduation day nears, and as I prepare to take my final exams, I have mixed emotions. Part of me can’t wait to get out of here, yet I’m also a little sad since Bloomington has been my home for the past four years and I will miss this place…a little. I’m not saying I’ll be back to visit, but I do have some fond memories here.

Yes, in spite of my constant teasing about this town, I do like it. Would I recommend it for my kids some day? Let’s see, by that time tuition for an out of state student will be somewhere up around $120,000 per year. My oh my…hubby’s going to have to be working lots of overtime on the Wall Street deals if we need to afford paying that ever increasing IU tuition bill. If I felt my child needed some good old toughening up so that they can defend themselves for being, what I like to call, a “Northeastern U.S. American” (instead of “east coast bitch”, thank you), then by all means I would highly recommend they be subjected to some hefty character building and self-awareness intimidation by attending IU. Or we could always recommend the other alternative for them…West Point.

Oh, I want to relay a recent funny story about my life and times in Bloomington. I work part time at the bank and grant it… I have a loud voice…hey, I was a theatre major and a singer…we always question whether the mics are working and need to make sure everyone in the back row can hear us. So, naturally, I’m a few decibels above the average person. Anyway, I was working at the drive-through window when one of my favorite little old lady customers drove up. So, I was making a fuss over her, ok, and speaking into the microphone with my normal 9 decibel voice (decibels range 1-10) having a wonderful conversation with the sweetest lady ever telling her how I would only be in Bloomington for a little longer and would be graduating May 6 yada yada yada. Meanwhile, inside the bank and around the wall where the regular customers come in, my friend and fellow teller, Ann, had a woman customer who said with disgust, “Who is that person that is talking so loud?” Since obviously everyone could here my friendly conversation, Ann said, “Oh that’s Tara, she’s going to be graduating in a couple weeks and going back to the East Coast.” The woman replied miserably, “Well that’s where she belongs!” Nice people here…Like I always say, too much friendliness just annoys the heck out of mid-westerners – excuse me, Mid-West Americans.

In closing, now that I am about to graduate and return to my far distant homeland in the Northeast corner of the United States, I look forward to beginning my career as a New Yorker…hailing cabs, catching subway trains, and even taking a cross-town bus, not to mention walking, walking, and more walking. This IS where I belong. Just remember, New York City and its enormous melting pot filled with the world’s people has created a place where EVERYONE is welcome. Yes, even the fine people of Indiana. Hope you’ll all someday visit.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Frankly, My Dear....

Tara…that’s my name…Proudly named after Scarlett O’Hara’s beautiful southern plantation home from the book/movie, Gone With The Wind. It is my mother’s favorite movie and has become mine as well. The name Tara is of Gaelic origin and means “Tower”. The Hill of Tara in Ireland is known as the seat of "the high kings” and is an important site to the Irish, dating back to the late Stone Age. In the early centuries after Christ, Tara was at its height as a political and religious center in Ireland.

I’ve always loved my name. But nothing bothers me more than people who mispronounce it. I have been wrongly called “Tarra” as in “Tar” –uh. And then there’s the dreaded Midwestern, “Teera” which absolutely drives me crazy!! So much so that I stopped dating someone because it was so painful to hear my name mispronounced.

Correct pronunciation: Ta-ra (“ta” as in tassle and “ra” as in the vowel sound of the word “rob”) Ta-ra….get it?

I do not understand how a four letter word can be so difficult to pronounce for some people. One of my professor’s goes back and forth with the way she says my name, both wrong ways, of course. It drives me crazy! I never ran into this name problem in Jersey, but ever since I came to Indiana people have such a difficult time with this very simple, four letter name. If I only had a quarter for every time I have had discussions and taught lessons to people I met about the correct pronunciation of my name, I’d be a very wealthy girl. In spite of it all, I have found those experiences quite amusing.

There are very few famous Tara’s today…Tara Reid, Tara Lipinski, and…that’s about it. We don’t want to wear the name out.

Growing up in New Jersey, I went to school with only one other Tara, who was three years older than me so we were never confused. It has been an easy name to carry for 21 years.

My mother walked down the aisle on her wedding day to “Tara’s Theme”, which is the Theme from Gone with the Wind. If I decide to get married someday, I want to do the same. How appropriate.