Wednesday, January 30, 2008

writing center day two

Yeah, so I know I didn't write about "day one," but that's because Melissa and I worked together and we talked the whole time. I've just been sitting here for an hour and a half reading my friend's paper (not a random student, this was a premeditated reading) and talking to Greg. Fun stuff.

I'm going to take this time to explain what a Writing Advisor is (that is my title--yay). Writing Advisors are essentially writing tutors--we work to help our "learners" to become better writers by encouraging them to develop their own style and voice through questions, suggestions, and a lot of patience. We submit a formal application including a cover sheet, letter of application, faculty letter of recommendation, and an essay that we've written for class. After we're accepted, we're supposed to participate in a Writing Advisor training class (Writing Pedagogy), but since Mel and I are new this semester, we have to wait until the fall semester to take it. All Writing Advisors are assigned to a Dialogue professor (Dialogue is our special writing class) and to a number of students with whom they conference. In addition to these students that we meet with a few times a semester, we also work little two-hour shifts once a week. Which brings us to the present...

We're only supposed to work one two-hour shift per week, but I volunteered for an extra shift on Thursday nights. Cool, now I actually make enough to survive the semester. But today I got an email from one of the other advisors--she needed her 8-10 shift covered tonight, and I jumped on it. So here I am, blogging about my job. YAY!

Actually, though I haven't really had any conferences yet, I do rather enjoy it. The office that we work in is very inviting, complete with organic animal crackers, tea, hot chocolate, and coffee. There are two computers for the advisors, and soon we will have nice armchairs to sit in! It's easy to get tons of homework done, at least this early in the semester. Since we just opened this week, we probably won't have very many visitors, but I really don't think that my shifts will be too busy normally.

I'm getting a little sleepy now, so I'll leave it at that. I'll be sure to mention any advising adventures that I have in the future!


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

coffee and rain

I have to say, coffee and rain might just be my two favorite things. I especially love when I can enjoy them at the same time, and with a good friend. Fabulously enough, I was able to have coffee with my friend this afternoon, an event which was immediately followed by a brief yet refreshing storm.

I've said this before and I will most certainly say it again: I always find God in the rain. The best stress relief for me (in the appropriate season) is just to sit outside in the rain. Literally, I put on crappy clothes and just sit. We have a very convenient place on campus that I call "the Seal"--at the crossing of the two most prominent paths through campus, there sits a medallion in the brick that is the official seal of my university. Anyway, this spot creates the deepest, most wonderful puddle I have ever had the pleasure of sitting in. Obviously I can't plan the rain, but if I am stressed and it rains...oh, it's lovely. For some reason rain just feels like God reaching down to touch me and literally wash all of my cares away. Even when I do not have the supreme pleasure of sitting and/or playing in the rain, it is a passive stress-reliever.

So anyway, it was horribly grey yesterday and I was feeling especially icky emotionally--as evidenced by the Psalms of choice--and I just could NOT get out of it. I only get stuck in these "funks" once in a great while, and since they are rare I have still not really discovered the trick to returning to my cheery self. It was grey all day, inside and out, and I tried EVERYTHING to whip myself out of my misery (which actually began Friday, but I'd rather not discuss now as I've just been released from the prison of my mind) and I couldn't. I prayed, I read, I tried talking about it, not talking about it, playing piano, sleeping, watching something funny on YouTube...nada. Zilch.

I woke up this morning in much the same state. The very last thing I wanted to do was go to class, or do homework, or even fix breakfast. My schedule was full and the to-do list was eternal...

Then it rained. Yup. Rained. In January. It's been exceptionally warm for our area in recent days, which is wondrous and evil all at the same time--now it feels like it should be Spring, but it won't be for another two months or so. As soon as the first drop hit my face I thought, "Yes, God. Refresh me, please!" I mean, okay, it's not like my life was gonna be over or someone died or I was failing a class or anything. I was just a little depressed. But it felt like it was going to go on FOREVER. And then it rained.

But the rain happened AFTER my coffee experience (sorry this is so unorganized...I'm a little cluttered in the head at the moment) which was wonderful! I met with my friend Nancy and we talked about being singers. More specifically, what I should be preparing myself for as a budding professional. She was very helpful, and now I don't feel so icky about that either.

THE POINT--When we feel like crap, God always pulls us through. It may take months or only a few days, and it may take rain, or friends, or a good book, or the right verse, or just someone to tell you to snap out of it, but it does end. "Trust in the Lord..."


Monday, January 28, 2008

psalm 55

1 Give ear to my prayer, O God;
And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
2 Give heed to me and answer me;
I am restless in my complain and am surely distracted,
3 Because of the voice of the enemy,
Because of the pressure of the wicked;
For they bring down trouble upon me
And in anger they bear a grudge against me.

4 My heart is in anguish within me,
And the terrors of death ahve falled upon me.
5 Fear and trembling come upon me,
And horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, "Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
7 "Behold, I would wander far away,
I would logde in the wilderness.

8 "I would hasten to my place of refuge
From the stormy wind and tempest."

16 As for me, I shall call upon God,
And the Lord will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon,
I will complain and murmur,
And He will hear my voice.
18 He will redeem my soul in peace
from the battle which is against me,
For they are many who strive with me.

22 Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
23 But You, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction;
Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days.
But I will trust in You.

psalm 6

1 O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger,
Nor chasten me in Your wrath.
2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am pining away;
Heal me, O Lord, for my bones are dismayed.
3 And my soul is greatly dismayed;
But You, O Lord--how long?
4 Return, O Lord, rescue my soul;
Save me because of your lovingkindness.
5 For there is no mention of You in death;
In Sheol who will give You thanks?

6 I am weary with my sighing;
Every night I make my bed swim,
I dissolve my couch with my tears.
7 My eye has wasted away with grief;
It has become old because of all my adversaries.

8 Depart from me, all you who do iniquity,
For the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my supplication,
The Lord receives my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be ashamed and greatly dismayed;
They shall turn back, they will suddenly be ashamed.

oh, james - the antioch incident

For a series of posts covering differing views of the Antioch Incident (and Joel's evaluation of said views), hop over to Euangelion. Cool stuff!


Friday, January 25, 2008

about that rice...

So, I haven't been doing incredibly well with the whole "let's be positive" thing. I'm feeling a little crappy about it, but I really am trying. Please pray for me.


the wild white yonder - part III

At last, the final installment of the grand narrative!

We arrived at Minnehaha Academy (I apologize to that tribe, but the name of the school just makes me giggle!) around six o'clock and changed clothes. The choir rehearsed quite a bit, and it was at this point that we all realized that we were rather tired from our travels and the services we had done that morning. My good friend Kate and I were especially worried as we were each performing solos at the concert that night--she a movement of Haydn's Missa Brevis, and I the ninth movement of Bach's Magnificat in D. I decided during the rehearsal to refrain from singing until I had performed the Bach, after which it no longer mattered how I sounded!

Despite our exhaustion, the choir performed beautifully. The classical pieces were fantastic, and the contemporary literature was fun and clean, if not incredibly beautiful (voices can only have so much energy after such a long day). Our last piece was FABULOUS! We sang Moses Hogan's "I Can Tell the World," one of his wonderful spirituals, and we even did it memorized after Rollo told us to put our music down. After the concert we schmoozed (yes, schmoozed, it's a word and it's one of my favorite parts of being a performer) with all of the alumni who were there who loved to tell us about how they met their spouses at our school. If one more alumnus tells me they met their spouse while at college I think I may just walk away!! =)

The ride home was by far the most painful portion of the trip. We departed freezing Minnesota around nine in the morning, and all was well until lunch. We stopped very quickly and got our food as soon as possible so that we could resume our travel and return to the city. Once we got back on the highway, however, we hit the thickest traffic I had yet seen in Minnesota. For six more hours we traveled in this detestable traffic, with all kinds of snow and slush and ice mucking up the roads. I would have thought that in a place with so much snow, the people would be a bit more organized about cleaning it up!! And around three o'clock I started to feel ill, a sensation which does not leave one alone until they've been sitting perfectly still for a very long time. As I was still on a bus, this feeling did not go away until I was about to go to sleep that night.

We arrived back in the city at six in the evening, and I immediately went upstairs and finished what homework I had not been able to finish on the bus, and slept like a baby all night. The next day, we returned to class.

That is the rather tragic story of our tour to Minnesota. The End.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

the wild white yonder - part II

After sleeping in a toasty house for roughly six hours, Sunday morning greeted me rather rudely. I normally sleep at least 7 and 1/2 hours, which doesn't sound like much of a difference, but for me, even the tiniest bit of sleep can make the difference between a nightmarish day and one in which I skip around like a happy little bunny rabbit in the springtime. We did have a fantastic breakfast, however, and our host was very sweet in making coffee and providing delicious orange juice and giving us water for the day.

Upon arriving at the church, we unloaded ourselves in the choir room and immediately the room was full of noise. Lots and lots and lots of noise. After a bit of practicing (which, because of the really cool acoustics in the room, was awesome!) we sang the first service. Our prepared pieces went well, but I was rather embarrassed by everyone's apparent ignorance of the general flow of a church service. Granted, my first traditional service in the choir was frighteningly complicated, but I just pulled up my bootstraps and plowed on. There is a lot of book/paper shuffling involved in singing a service, and I was amazed by how many people didn't even pay attention to what was coming up---we were in the front!! Everyone can see you when you're in the choir loft, so it is imperative that you are on the ball!

The combination of lack of sleep, a noisy choir room, and the embarassment of that service was enough to send me into Crankyville. Disclaimer: I do not like to be cranky. It is no fun for anyone around me and I just seem like a total bitch (which I am not). When I'm irritable, or anyone else is, the irritable person spreads their irritability around a room very quickly, and even I don't want to be around myself when I'm like that. So, I left the choir room for a little while and just sat in the hallway, breathing and praying. I knew I would need some alone time later.

The second and third services went relatively well, and we were soon eating lunch and packing up the bus to go to the MOA (Mall of America), where I hoped to sit and have coffee for just one minute by myself. However, I ended up hanging out with my friend Amanda, but she doesn't annoy me in the slightest so everything was fine after that. I bought a shirt for five dollars and NO SALES TAX. It was great, coming from an area with an almost 9% sales tax. I also had coffee with another friend before we left, and though all of the sights and sounds of the mall were fun, they were a little overstimulating for me in my present state, so I was grateful to leave.

More tomorrow about the rest of the evening and the trip home...


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

the wild white yonder - part I

I have decided to tell this story through a small series of posts as a three-day weekend with a mass of maniacal choristers could take a very long time. Here is the first...

Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there was a university at which a peculiar group of students gathered and formed a choir. Said choir was designed to be the "premier" group on campus (though I would beg to differ) and as such was charged with the task of raising money for the university by touring in the far-off land of Minnesota. One student tells her story...

So, I was sick for two days before I even got on the bus, and of course the second day of my illness it decided to be below zero with windchill. The third day, we boarded a rather lovely although bright blue coach bus for Minneapolis. The first couple of hours were fun. We watched a movie (I honestly don't remember what it was, but it was one of the only movies I actually watched on the bus) and drank coffee and waited to get off the darn thing and stretch our legs. I did some homework, listened to music, talked with the people around me. Not a bad morning.

Lunch was great. I went to Burger King with a good friend of mine and we were the only people on the bus to eat lunch there. It was fantastic! We got back on the bus and enjoyed some more movie-watching (Rush Hour this time, and I didn't really watch it), reading, munching, and dozing. Then, around five o'clock, we arrived in Minneapolis--right on time. My director and two friends of mine and I went to Applebee's for dinner--SO GREAT. It was quite funny to watch the rest of the choir trickle in in pods after us. We ended up filling about half of the restaurant, but we didn't even try to sit all together. Anyway, we had some very good discussion and wonderful food. Turns out my director eats much more than any of us could have guessed, but I'm not allowed to say how's a lot, trust me.

After dinner we went to the church where our host families would pick us up and where we would sing the next day. It was beautiful even at night, but I will give a detailed description in the next post. My host family picked my roommate and I up at the church and we rode home in toasty splendor, had hot apple cider in toasty splendor, and slept in a splendorifically toasty bed. I emphasize the toasty splendor only because the bus was a rolling freezer. Like, an actual freezer (and I was still blowing my nose into light-headed oblivion). Like, you could have stuck my toes in a microwave and cooked 'em like mini corndogs. And the back of the bus was apparently worse, however, after hearing of its extreme cold I decided to forego that particular experience.

More later.


i am writing this from my computer

Hooray!! FINALLY! I am sitting at my desk, in my office, in front of my computer, typing this very message. It's been about two weeks and I had no idea that I was so dependent on my laptop. If you've been keeping up with posts, you'll know that after some trouble in November, my hard drive finally died three days before I came back to school. We ordered a new hard drive, I had it installed last Tuesday, and just when everything was looking up, I hit another roadblock. My little computer wasn't recognizing ANYTHING--my sound card, my wireless card, my ethernet name it.

I took the little baby back to computer services today (no less than one week from the diagnosis of the problem, yay me and my imaginary free time) and they said, "Oh, no problem. We'll just download the drivers from the internet." Hmmm. So I told them I didn't have the internet, which led to paper-signing, sad good-byes, and my laptop was left in the care of computer services for an indefinite amount of time.

Two hours later I received and email alerting me to the resolution of my problems. And here I sit. On the internet, on my computer, at my desk, in my office, writing. It's a beautiful day.


Monday, January 21, 2008

it is so warm

in Chicago today. Of course, you would think I was crazy unless I told you that I spent the coldest weekend of the year in Minnesota. Yes, friends, Minnesota. University Choir went on "tour" to Minneapolis (we sang three church services and a concert on Sunday), and I just returned to my beloved city after sitting on a bus for no less than nine hours...however, this story is for another time, one in which I can sit still without feeling like I'm moving.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

"a grain of rice may tip the scale... man may be the difference between victory and defeat." (from Disney's 'Mulan')

I made a very small, yet very effective decision today. I decided to be positive. Here's my story...

In high school I was always involved in activities that sucked up all of my time. School was very easy for me, and I was able to do all of my homework during the class period before it was due. Always. With that minor annoyance taken care of, I was able to spend the remainder of my time participating in every imaginable music/theatre-related activity (and work, junior and senior year). I was in Madrigal Singers, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Belles, Bel Canto, fall plays and spring musicals, and I worked about twenty hours a week. I woke up at 5:30am every weekday, spent the day (and often the entire evening) at school, or the day at school and the evening at work, or what have you. Life was good. I wasn't stressed. I could easily get away with B minuses in my honors classes because they counted as a 5.1 on our 5.0 scale (essentially, my very easily-earned B was worth more than some students' hard-earned A's). Great times.

There have been a few changes to my life since then, but the essence is the same. I get up, go to class, have a few breaks here and there in which I finish as much homework as possible. I'm in class all day, and I've just started working as a Writing Advisor which, thankfully, is a very flexible position. I have rehearsals every day, voice lessons twice a week, and I attend as many Chapel and College Life services that I can. I will not enumerate here my various committments because I think that it might frighten some people away...let's just say that I work hard, study hard, and play hard. Life is good.

But it is frequently daunting. Today, I went to class, registered myself for payroll in HR (money is good), ordered yet ANOTHER textbook for way too much money, went to more class, grabbed a very small snack, went to rehearsal, had a meeting, went to class, did laundry, had a voice lesson, and here I sit. Before me lies an evening of food (soon, I hope), rehearsal, homework, and much-needed sleep. If you think today is bad, Wednesdays are much worse. This is a relatively slow day, and that's what scares me. This is the first week of class and already I am overwhelmed by the looming mass of responsibilities that lies before me, and it is this feeling that I wished to discuss.

I decided today that I was going to think more positively about my life. Not "try," just do. It either happens or it doesn't. This thought came to me when I was talking to my friend Cindy this afternoon--she's waiting to see if she has mono, and she said, "But if I do have mono, it's really just going to be funny. There's no use being upset about it, because if I'm upset AND tired, then I just feel horrible." LIGHTBULB! I responded, "Yeah, if I have things to worry about, what's the use of wasting energy on worry when I should be using that energy to take care of the things that I'm worried about." Thus, the resolutiont to be positive.

I am generally cheerful, as many well know, but even I, the inhumanly joyous one, have bad days. Or weeks. Therefore, I ask for your prayers. Pray for me that I continue to look to God as the source of my joy, and that I would rely on His comfort not just in times of distress, but always.


PS--To explain the title, I was thinking that the decision to be positive was really not very earth-shattering, but something that small makes a HUGE difference in the way one lives. I just forgot to work that in...maybe later.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

hard drive status update

My new (refurbished) hard drive arrived yesterday! Hooray! Because Dell assumed that I would be brilliant enough and properly equipped for hard drive installation, they didn't bother with providing installation instructions. I took my little laptop to computer services and, God bless them, they installed the little beauty for me. I returned to the room and successfully re-installed Windows XP and Microsoft Word, after which I transferred my music, photos, and documents from my backup CDs to the new hard drive.

Continuing difficulties--I still cannot access the internet. My computer is not recognizing any of the existing hardware--it thinks that I have no sound card, no ethernet cable, and no wireless card. I must go to computer services again soon (can't today, no time) so that I can be online, in my room, listening to music once again. Despite these roadblocks I remain positive and determined to smooth over every rough spot. To perseverence!!


Tuesday, January 15, 2008


A very nice post by Joel Willitts over at Euangelion about his love for teaching. I am daily amazed by all of the wonderful friends, professors, and colleagues that surround me, all of them finding joy in their work. It just makes me so happy!! =)


so far, so good

I've been to five of my ten classes so far, and it seems to be going well. Obviously, this is a very early assessment, but it doesn't take terribly long to ascertain whether new professors are satisfactory and class dynamics generally positive. Last semester I had three professors who had either never taught before or were teaching the class for the first time, and the brand new professors were not the greatest. I don't want to say that it was a bad experience, necessarily, just less than I would have expected from my university.

My Baroque music history class is a little bit quiet, but I think it's going to be fantastic. It's a new group of music students, a mixed class, so we were all feeling each other out a little bit. I foresee much more participation and jocularity in the near future. The professor of that class is another of those brand-new guys, but he was very well-prepared and knowledgable, with just the right amount of humor. It should be a wonderful semester in that class!

I was slightly worried about my Dialogue class (like writing, but with more discussion than your average writing class). I have not had any female professors in discussion-based classes yet, and I've found myself to be a little sexist on that point, to my great surprise! I couldn't help feeling that a male professor might be better-suited for this class, but I have been proved wrong. My professor creatively and subtly engendered a discussion on the ethics of same-sex marriage and somehow prevented the usual grappling that ensues when such a topic is presented to highly opinionated college students. I am so impressed!

As for Music Theory, I have not much to say. We got our old professor back!! She is so intelligent and compassionate and just plain good at teaching. I learn something new every day in her class (which is difficult in music theory at times). My favorite thing about her is her knack for remembering even the tiny little things you say. You might mention in class one day that you've been feeling a bit overwhelmed, and six weeks later she's asking you about it with no prompting whatsoever. And our Theory class has been together for three semesters now, making us a pretty tight crew. Yay! (it turns out that I had a lot to say about that one after all...whoops!)

This morning we had Aural Skills. Aural Skills is probably my least favorite class. Of all time. And this morning, I was thinking to myself, "I sure hope that this new guy is better than the last new professor we had." I honestly do not feel that I learned what I should have learned last semester. However, our new professor is wonderful. He is friendly, articulate, creative, and a great musician. And of course the class is great--it's basically the same as our Theory class.

I was a little nervous about the new profs, but I think everything is going to be fine. Yay!


Sunday, January 13, 2008

three down, five to go

Tomorrow begins one of five remaining semesters. To my fellow students--keep the faith my friends, for soon we shall reap our reward! To my beloved professors--please please please encourage us to think for ourselves, but remember that this is still a relatively new idea and be merciful! With that I say, "Onward and upward!"


Thursday, January 10, 2008

the great return

Wow! 'Tis the week for blogging! Don't get used to it--classes start on Monday and it's going to be another doozy of a semester. Ten classes again! There is hope, however--next semester it may tone down a bit...maybe.

Anywho, here I am, back on campus, happy as a kitten on a window sill. Mom and I were up earlier this morning than I have been this past month and we stopped at my sister's school to drop off her mouthpiece (she plays the euphonium), and then Meijer for some groceries so I wouldn't go hungry. The ride was quite fun, actually, though I did most of the talking. Mom always gets a little quiet when we're driving back to school, especially in the mornings.

We arrived on campus around 10:30 and dragged all of my stuff up the stairs (I actually only brought back one more bag than I had taken!), after which Mom left. I unpacked in record time.

The staff meeting was great! I'm working with five other girls and our brilliant coordinator, Laurie. My co-leader is awesome, and I think this weekend is going to be a blast. I love working with new students, but I think that this orientation will be even more fun than Fall Threshold because there are fewer students, thus, more personal interaction. YAY! We ate together (automatic bonding--Jesus knew what he was doing with that table fellowship business, no?) and talked for about two hours--tons of planning, gabbing, laughing, and volunteering for the myriad of jobs available during the weekend. I'm apparently responsible for presenting "things the computer services people don't tell you during the computer orientation session" tomorrow, and I have no idea how that's gonna go down. I have a nice list of things to talk about, though, so it shouldn't be a problem.

I am so psyched to be back, but I still miss my friends! I have a good friend of mine on staff with me, but she's leaving for a leadership retreat Saturday morning!! AHH! And because my computer's broken, I have to use the ones in my dorm...oh, wait! Those won't let me log on. Which means I'm in the library right now, typing away on the loudest keyboard I've ever used. I can't wait to see everyone! And go to class! But it will be much better tomorrow when we have bodies on campus!! =)


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

home again, home again, jiggity-jig

Hurray! Tomorrow morning I am packing up the truck and returning to my beloved city and my beloved campus! Unfortunately, the trees in this picture are currently devoid of leaves, and the grass is dead. And the sky is grey. But isn't she lovely? I cannot wait to go home, and I especially cannot wait until my friends return. I'm going back early because I am the student director of Threshold, our orientation program, and everyone else will be arriving on Sunday. YES!


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

readin' for winter break--not so rockin'

Yeah. Ummm...I said something before about reading all sorts of books over winter break. That didn't exactly happen. Here's what I did read:
*A Dark Oval Stone by Marsena Konkle
*The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz (this is the one I mentioned)
*The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A sad list for a month of free time, if you ask me. However, the reading was enjoyable and I am especially glad that I read those two novels. I do not customarily read novels but I desperately needed something less weighty after this last semester. Whew! I guess I'll keep trying to read those others...


Monday, January 7, 2008

requiem for a hard drive hard drive finally bit the dust. 'Twas truly a melancholy event. Here is a poem that I wrote to mourn the loss of so many great files...

How long did he live?
Just under two years.
And how did he die?
He dissolved into tears.
The tears were mine
As I sat there and wept
And realized I'd lost
All those files I'd kept.
He fought so valiantly
To the bitter end!
Ne'er before have I had
Such a tried-and-true friend!
But then all was lost
And I saved what I could
From my dear old friend
Now as useless as...wood.
Could not save my coursework
No, too much to ask!
But I saved all my music--
What a daunting task!
From my old hard drive
I also save pics
But no more alive
He gave no more...kicks...

Yeah, so I'm not a poet, but you get the idea. Basically, it's only eighteen months old, which is not old for a hard drive, and it's been fading out over the past two months. Today, it stopped working altogether, was revived by my ever-so-diligent father long enough for me to rescue my music and photos (no Word files, those were long gone), and now it's useless. I can't open any programs. We ordered a new hard drive, but since my computer is SO OLD (sarcasm light) they don't carry the one I need anymore, so they had to find it in some warehouse a million miles away. It'll be shipped on Friday, probably to my parents' house, so I'll probably be installing it in February. Despite the distressing nature of this adventure, I am incredibly grateful that I was able to rescue my music--there are some things on my computer that I simply don't have anywhere else anymore, and it would have been quite painful to have to buy all of those CDs again.

Thanks to all those involved in helping me through the swift decline of my loyal hard drive. I couldn't have made it without you!


Sunday, January 6, 2008

spring in January

So, yesterday it was about fifteen degrees, but today it got warmer than fifty (I'm not sure how much). I know that global warming is ruining many lives and if we continue at this rate, my grandchildren will never see a polar bear, not to mention the million other problems that come from global warming. And global warming is merely one tiny shred of evidence pointing to humankind's blatant disregard for Creation...

but today I love it. A little.


Friday, January 4, 2008

the tiniest rehearsal

I just got out of an interesting "rehearsal." I'm singing in a group with some friends from high school that I used to sing with every single day (tear), and we got together today...except there were only three of us. Still, it was very fun and we sounded really great together.

Over Thanksgiving break a very large group of us met for dinner, then went to someone's house for snacks/chatting, then to Steak & Shake because it's always open. It was one of the best times I've had with those people! We just picked up right where we left off and talked with each other about our new lives at college, or where we're applying for college, or what we're doing after college (college basically dominates any and all reunion conversation). Today was no different.

Why is it that when we get together with folks that we haven't seen in a while, even if we didn't get along incredibly well before, we are suddenly bosom buddies? Is it really that "absence makes the heart grow fonder"--just the existence of that block of time not spent in each other's prescence? Why is reunion so sweet?

Perhaps it is that time often allows less favorable memories to fall away, leaving only the shiny, sparkling, joyous time. Or maybe we're just scared of how different our lives are and we're grateful for any link to the past to remind us of how far we've come. Whatever it is, reunions are GREAT! and I hope to have many more.


Thursday, January 3, 2008

my pearly whites

Or not so pearly. For some reason, I was able to go my entire life without any dental problems. This is a miracle, seeing as I did NOT brush my teeth as often as I should have, and I've never been too good with flossing. Not to mention that my father actually has a disease and my mother has had more done to her mouth than I can remember. So, for eighteen years I was a blessed child. However, the moment I became an "adult" (whatever that means), literally a week after my eighteenth birthday, BEHOLD! my first cavity.

Great. So I cried. I cried out of complete shock that I would have a cavity after doing so well for so long. I cried because I felt dirty, and because the dentist and hygienist seemed to be so incredibly casual about something that would change the course of my life as I knew it. Many tears. Many minutes laying in that stupid chair while my hygienist tried to get me to calm down (which, by the way, only makes it worse, so if you find yourself in my company while I'm crying, either hold me or leave).

About two weeks later, I returned for my filling. The dentist told me very patiently that I would not be needing any anesthetic. This time I cried for joy. He drilled, I sat, he filled, and I left. Piece of cake.

So here we are in the present day. Almost two years later, I've been doing great. I brush my teeth rather obsessively, I'm making an effort to floss more frequently, and I have not exhibited any signs of my father's lovely dental disease. Hooray! I arrive at the dentist, I have my cleaning (with my favorite hygienist!) and we're having a great time. I mean that literally because everyone in my dentist's office is a sweetheart, including Dr. Schubert. Anywho, in walks Dr. Schubert and he looks at my films and says, "Okay, you'll need to come back very soon so we can fix this up."


Once again, complete shock, utter nonchalance from the two other people in the exam room, once again tears. I'm quite embarassed by the tears, to be honest, because I really wasn't that upset. For some reason I still lack control of adverse bodily reactions to situations despite the fact that my emotional reactions are considerably toned-down.

I made the appointment. It looked like this time I would need some local anesthetic, which threw me unwillingly into another fit of tears. Everyone was very sweet and said, "Oh, sweetie, it's nothing to worry about." They told me we might be able to try it without any of that poking business, to which I responded with a huge sigh of relief. (Okay, I know I sound like a crazy person, but I HATE not knowing what's going on, and having people play around in my mouth with sharp objects and not being able to see it is the epitome of "not knowing what's going on.")

This afternoon I drove myself to my appointment feeling okay. I wasn't freaking out yet, so I thought that maybe I'd be able to make it through this without crying. I was wrong. The moment I walked in, the lady behind the desk said, "Hello sweetheart. You'll be fine, there's nothing to worry about." "Mmhmm," I replied. I sat in the waiting room for ten whole minutes, stewing in my thoughts, listening to "Beautiful Day" over and over, and trying not to cry.

They took me back. My heart was pounding, Vicky was trying to calm me down (I later found out that my carotid artery had been dancing around on my neck and she was trying to do anything she could to keep me from passing out from fear), and Dr. Schubert walked in. He probed around by the culprit for a moment before saying, "Hmmm. Let's try air abrasion--this doesn't look as bad as I thought."


Boy, did God take care of me today. No poking, no shots, no drills, just a blessed tube shooting aluminum oxide at my tooth for about three minutes. I had some minor pain towards the end, but then it was over and I breathed a great big sigh of relief all over their faces!! I don't know why I get so freaked out because I know that very few things in this world are actually worth the time and effort, but I do. Needless to say, I will only pursue my dedicated regimen more aggressively from now on, and I am now including a ban on sticky things. I do NOT need to be on the far side of the dental office ANY MORE. EVER. Though I do love those folks...

**Side note--Dr. Schubert and a small team of his associates go to Haiti a few times a year to provide free dental care to folks in need. Their next trip begins January 29th, so please keep them in your prayers.