Wednesday, October 22, 2008

literary genius

That's me! Except, not really. I just wrote this cute little piece as an see, I'm in this training class called Tutoring Writing, in which Writing Advisors like myself get to learn how to be better writers and how to help other students become better writers. We write letters to our "letter partners", and we are always given a prompt. This week I opted out of the prompt in favor of doing an exercise I found in one of our texts. The exercise was this: Write about an event in your life that had an impact on you. Do this with your computer screen turned off so that you can listen to the voice that your writing creates.

Since I didn't know how to turn off the screen of my laptop and didn't feel like figuring it out, I blindfolded myself instead and this is what I came up with:

“There are so many stories I could tell, but I am choosing to tell this. It is interesting how stories develop in our minds, and even more interesting how difficult it is to choose one. Some stories make us laugh, some make us cry, and some inspire anger, love, mercy, frustration, or hope. How can we know what a story will have to say before we try to say it? I will recount my story to you, and you can tell me what sort of story it is.

I used to live in a relatively good neighborhood of a small town in Illinois. That small town is now a suburb, and the neighborhood I was living in is now a gang hub and a place for hoodlums. But anyway, I moved away from there when I was seven years old with my parents and my little sister. We arrived in our new town full of expectation, which was inspired mostly by the promise of a great school system, lots of space for kids to play, and a generally friendly neighborhood. Plainfield was all of these things at the time, so life was going well. The only problem was that I had no friends. I was not particularly upset by this, but I knew at age seven that one could not go through life friendless, so I set out to make some new friends. My methods for this were a bit strange: I sat out on our new driveway and waited for a kid to pass by. I waited and waited, and one day this little girl about my age walked by with her mother and said, 'Hi.'

We were instant friends. I went over to her house every day, or at least every week, for about five years. One day Maura and I were sitting outside and trying to come up with a game to play and I told her in passing that I am part Cherokee. She thought this was really cool, and so I was encouraged just enough to try to embellish my story just a little bit. So, I told her that because I was Cherokee, I could just naturally tell time by the sun. For months after that day she would ask me what time it was and I would look at the sun and pretend to know. My guesses were usually correct.

Later in our friendship, though not much later, we were playing outside again and I told her that I knew how to make bowls and things out of stones. We ran around finding all of the stones that we could and indeed constructed the most useless bowl and plate you’ve ever seen. I sometimes wonder how Maura could have believed sincerely that I could do any of those things, but it seemed that she did and our friendship continued happily for years.

Maura and I never really stopped being friends. I suppose the friendship did end at some point, but I have no recollection of when that could have been. When we got to high school, we were in different classes most of the time and got involved in different after-school activities, so we grew apart a little bit. I haven’t spoken to her in years now, but I hope she’s doing well. Without that friendly little girl I may never have belonged in Plainfield.”

Thursday, October 16, 2008

exploring community

I'm so excited because my friends and I are leaving this afternoon to go to Plow Creek, a farm associated with the Mennonite community near us called Reba Place. Laurel, Holly, Alethea, Kasey and I will drive down and spend the night tonight, and in the morning we'll either bake or weed the strawberry fields. After lunch we'll spend the afternoon talking about Christian community and specifically the Plow Creek community. In the evening we will participate in their Friday night community meal, after which we'll drive home and arrive back on campus very late. This is going to be a great twenty-four hours!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

God's goodness abounds

I would just like to take a moment to thank God for his greatness and might, and for all of the people that he has placed in my life to be my support and to show his love to me. I am so grateful that he continues to be the Lord of all, despite the mess in my life and in others' lives, in our economy, and in the Church. God's goodness remains, and for that we can always praise!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

benediction of St. Francis of Assisi

I received this benediction in my email last week, and I thought I'd share it with you all as our week comes to an end...

Now, wherever we are,
and in every place,
and at every hour,
throughout each time of each day,
may all of us honestly and humbly believe,
holding in our hearts
to love, honor,
adore, serve,
praise, bless,
glorify, exalt,
magnify, and give thanks
to the Most High and Eternal God,
Trinity and Unity.
- St. Francis of Assisi

I hope this blesses you as much as it has blessed me.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

the fabulous frederica!

I just discovered Frederica Mathewes-Green's website. I've added it to the blog roll to the right--check it out!

She's one of the best writers I've read. I just recently finished her collection of essays on gender and sexuality, published by Conciliar Press (2002).


Ugh. Midterms are next week. Here's the deal--there is a rule among professors that you cannot have midterms the same week as quad finals. Somehow all of the music professors missed that rule. Here's what I have to do...

For tomorrow:
*study for a listening quiz (I failed the last one)
*read 30 pages
*prepare for a meeting

For Friday:
*listen repeatedly to a Debussy piece and analyze it a little bit
*practice a ton of music
*read 40 pages

For next week:
*3-4pg Mahler paper for Theory
*Aural Skills performed midterm
*Aural Skills written midterm
*music of the classic period final, listening and written
*two letters for tutoring writing
*...I'm sure I'm forgetting something.

And did I mention that my sister is coming to visit this weekend? I'm super excited about it, but it will mean that I have no time to do anything. At all. Which is probably really good for me. =)

I'll let y'all know if I make it!