Monday, November 23, 2009

almost finito...

Even though this week of school is only two days long, it's one of my busiest this semester.

I had a paper due in one class today a group paper/presentation in my other one. The paper was on breaching social norms. I did this by bringing a regular mug of coffee to class instead of putting it in a travel mug. I didn't mean for this to be weird at first, but people made comments about it so I continued my experiment at work in order to write the paper on it.

The group project was on the Oneida Community of the 1800s, which became the Oneida Corporation Ltd...yes, that means all of that silverware was first manufactured by a bunch of communists. Communists who believed in complex marriage (all men married to all women) nonetheless.

I just finished the paper due tomorrow morning for art class, the one comparing The Assumption of the Virgin to Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.). Then I have a book discussion and finally I have to do a lesson plan for my tutoring session Wednesday morning.

Then I can come home!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Life Options

I've known for quite some time that I'm an internal processor, but for some reason I've forgotten that lately. My journaling--whether by blog or the old fashioned way--has gotten stale. After the conference this past weekend, though, I remembered just how much I need journaling to stay sane.

This past weekend was the Life Options conference in Minnetonka, MN. It was sponsored by Cru, so they provided a Biblical perspective for choosing our futures. I didn't go expecting to learn exactly what to do or to come away with my future all neat and orderly, but I was interested to see what they would say.

Because only juniors and seniors went, it was one of the more mature and serious conferences I've been to. Sure, we had fun--the emcee joked around, speakers showed us movie clips from October Sky and The Lord of the Rings--but they got down to business right away.

The focus speaker for the weekend was Roger Hershey, who I've heard before at Big Break. He's amazing and just a really wise guy who really emphasized keeping an eternal perspective. Other speakers and breakout sessions I went to discussed ways to not go crazy during this transition time and what the workplace can be like.

After one of our campus times where we each discussed things on our minds, I decided it was time to get all my thoughts out on paper. I had a hard time relating to the group what I was thinking, but in a jarbled fashion I pretty much told them about my contentment with where I'm at. During the quiet time I then had, I found this verse: "And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you" (Psalm 39:7). It really summed up my feelings.

I don't know where I'll be in a year, or nine months, or barely six months. I do know what I need to do tomorrow though, and the next day. So I'll start there. It's like walking through the woods with only a lighter to see where I'm going. I don't need a giant search light, the small flame will do. I'll get out of the woods eventually.

If Grace is an Ocean, We're All Sinking

Tomorrow I promise I will write something about my weekend in Minnesota.

Tonight I need to share this song with you.

We sang "How He Loves" a lot this summer. We did it during worship at our big group meetings and my five roommates and I sang it around our apartment almost daily. I have the lyrics written out on a giant sheet of paper in my room now because when I read them it reminds me of the summer and I can't help but be in a good mood.

It's an awesome song, both lyrically and musically. Ask Andrea, I've spent the past week listening to every version of it on youtube. Here is the David Crowder Band version with lyrics.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Okay, just to make some things clear. I did/do not mean my last post to offend/discredit teachers or education majors in any way. I think that the idea of me teaching is just so foreign to me, I don't know how to describe this feeling that maybe it's what I'm supposed to be doing.

It's like growing up knowing that I'm not attracted to redheads. Not because there is anything intrinsically wrong with redheads, but just because I'm just not attracted to them. So I base all my dating experiences on that knowledge and come to find out I've somehow fallen in love with a ginger. Yeah, that sums it up. Growing up I just wasn't attracted to teaching; all of my higher education choices reflect the different path(s) I've chosen and yet I somehow still arrived at destination: teaching.

I promise I'm going to stop making a big deal out of this soon (though I'm not sorry that I am making such a fuss--I'm allowed to obsess about my future a little). Tomorrow I meet with a representative from career services so he should help me figure out if I'm at all suited for educating--and if not what would work better.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I've been looking at volunteer services lately, thinking maybe that's something I'd like to do after graduation. It's all a part of my grand plan to not get a real job (ok, not exactly that, but to not get an office job or a job that requires me to wear nylons). Anyways, these volunteer organizations are very similar to the Peace Corps, except they are all faith-based so most operate out of churches or other spiritual organizations.

When I first started looking I narrowed down the nearly 200 options to about 50 and just today I got my list of options down to 28. It's hard, though, to know which ones are most suited to me and which ones will provide the best opportunities for post-service. They are all between 1-2 years long, though there is an option to renew, and they all provide things like housing, insurance, a stipend, and this really awesome thing called loan deference. The biggest differences are the locations (urban, rural, domestic, international...) and the actual placement (healthcare, education, human services, youth ministry...).

I'm not sure if I mentioned this already, but lately it seems all I do is teach, which makes me wonder if that's what I'm supposed to be doing. My entire life I've avoided association with any sort of "education" background--going so far as to take offense when people ask me if I'm going to school to be a teacher or if I'm in English Ed as opposed to "just" English. To set the record straight, I'm English, emphasis in creative writing and minor in sociology. No education classes at all. And I'm completely pleased with my decision--in fact, contrary to statistics they gave in high school (that the average student changes their major 6 times) I never once questioned my major.

Slight digression. Back to me, teaching. I do work at the Writing Center, where I consult students. I'm teaching writing to a home-schooled teen. And lately I've had several people tell me I should be a teacher. It's weird. And now that I've been looking into these volunteer programs, there are several teaching ones--some that would provide me with a grad school education upon completion of the program.

I still feel like a move into the education world would be like folding my hand, saying, yep all of you were right, I'm going to end up teaching anyways...and we all know with my stubbornness it'll take a lot to get me to do that.

Oh, how I long for the days of there anyone out there willing to pay me/provide me shelter in return for a lifetime of short stories and poems?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday again.

This past week I was feeling pretty buried in school and stressing about life. My quiet times were rushed and skimmed the surface, but then I decided to revisit Ecclesiastes. Such a good idea.

This book is written from the point of view of a great teacher who has pretty much seen/done it all and finds that most of this world is meaningless, or vanity. He does find meaning in life, though. I appreciated this verse: "A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God" (2:24).

Like this week: once I started letting go of all the things I was worrying about, things started looking up. I found a ride to Minnesota for a Project Reunion when it seemed I would be stranded in De Pere, my test on Friday did not leave me wanting to cry, I got a paper written way before it was due instead of minutes before having to turn it in...and I felt way more relaxed.

Then I got to spend the weekend with amazing friends! It was great to reconnect with my summer roommates, coworkers, and all the people I got to know so well. It was like we never left South Carolina! Eric and I even found a balloon from Ryan's (I'm still at a loss as to how it got there?) which led to shenanigan-reminiscing.

The only lament I have? Aaron Rodgers breaks my heart...