Saturday, October 23, 2004

Pouring rain
Washing expectancy
In little rivulets of tears
Silent clouds shadow
Blue eyes turn gray
Questions thunder
Deep and long
Lightning screams
A prayer for peace
Expectancy is left
Alone and wistful
Pools with sadness
On the ground.
Since the weather has gotten cooler here, I have noticed that families of very strange insects have begun appearing. Enormous brown and green grasshoppers now sit in the outside window frames of our Humanities Building, making me wonder if in a couple days they will descend upon the little ant hill in the back and demand their payment of seeds.

When I walk home at night there are alarmingly large insects that crawl along the black pavement. Don't ask me what they are...I have no clue. Some are black, oval shaped beetles the size of ping-pong balls. Then there are the enormous spiders that look like bits of grass until they start moving. And then the scuttling cockroaches that sit motionless until you are about to step on them, and then flee in random incoherent circles. And then there are the little white moths that I originally thought were tree seed pods floating in the air...until a friend made me look at them closer and I saw that they were bugs. Gross.

I have never seen so many bugs in my life, with maybe the exception of the ones I saw in Uganda. But the ones here are pretty close. Why do we need bugs? I would like to know.
Four papers down...seven to go.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

We've now officially reached the half way point in the semester. Last weekend was Fall Break, and there are 4-1/2 weeks left until Thanksgiving Break. And then we come back for finals week. And then it's all over.

I thought Fall Break was going to clear my mind from everything, and I would come back to a leisurely last half of the semester. Wrong. I realized today that I have a total of eleven papers to complete in the next four weeks. And I need to attend nine concerts. And memorize my concert for entrance into upper division vocal training. And accompany six instrumentalists in their juries. And still go to work. And still sleep somewhere in it all.

Somehow in it all I've managed to pull of the image that I 'have it all together', in the words of a fellow student. How I ever managed that I'll never know. It's like I told my dad last night on the phone, "I just keep waking up every morning and doing what I have to do. I guess that looks like it's all under control."

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Last night I sloshed through a six inch river in the parking lot in my heels, hose, and concert black. Thunder and lightning was crashing, oceans of water were pouring down, and my umbrella only served as a pretense of staying dry. My black heels suddenly went from being a fashion statement to serving their basic purpose: getting me from point A to point B as quickly as possible.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Can I just skip ahead a year and a half and have a normal life?

Friday, October 08, 2004

If I wanted to become more French

I drank my Starbucks latte and perused a book about how to cultivate the inner French woman in myself. I discovered in the five minutes that I read the 200 plus page book that in order to be more French I needed to:

Ignore the TV and magazines and instead go to museums and concerts and galleries.

Stop shopping for a list of staples at the grocery and instead build my meal around on particular item that catches my eye.

Adore cocktail parties.

Have two lives: school life and family life.

Drink coffee for the enjoyment of the drink itself, not for the pick-me-up it gives.

Allow relationships to develop at will, without trying to 'define' them too soon.

Shop for signature items that speak of quality and character.

Eat plenty of sumptuously splendid food.

Avoid becoming a soccer mom at all costs.


I do not have a drop of French blood in me, but French women may be on the right track about a lot of things.
I am now officially connected once again into the outside world.

Enter cell phone.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

They think I should change my major...

"Are you a theology major?"

"No, I'm music education."

"Oh. Too bad. They could use you over there in the Theology department."


Conversation between a professor and I.
Pilgrims' Hymn

Even before we call on Your name
To ask you, O God,
When we seek for the words to glorify You
You hear our prayer;
Unceasing Love, O unceasing Love
Surpassing all we know.

Glory to the Father;
And to the Son,
And to the Holy Spirit.

Even with darkness sealing us in
We breathe Your name,
And through all the days that follow so fast
We trust in You;
Endless Your grace, O endless Your grace
Beyond all mortal dream.

Both now and for ever,
And unto ages and ages,
Amen.

---Michael Dennis Browne (from the opera The Three Hermits)

Monday, October 04, 2004

Utopia

We could all live in one big house in Minnesota, work at the same cafeteria, and eat big bowls of Jello all day long.

Musings of a co-worker.
Today I officially met one of the dishwashers who works in my kitchen. He and his friend have been recent additions to the dishwasher crew, which cycles through new dishwashers regularly. They have been some of the longest lasting dishwashers we have had. And they have been there for about three weeks now.

We had never had a conversation before today, beyond 'where does this go?' 'it goes over there' exchanges. Today I ran into him in the food court, and we both exchanged names and basic introduction information. I discovered that he is from Nepal, and when he in turn discovered that I knew where Nepal was, he was elated. Apparently students here are not educated enough on geography to know where Nepal is. I had never met someone from Nepal before, but I'm always intrigued when I meet people from different parts of the world. After our conversation was over, I started to think of all the different countries that I know people from. This is my list so far.

United States
Canada
Uganda
Bahamas
Caymen Islands
South Korea
South Africa
Guam
Germany
Nepal
Dominican Republic
Peru
Brazil
Australia
Haiti
Finland
Mexico
Thailand
Puerto Rico

Knowing people from all of these countries is fascinating to me. The only downfall is that no matter where I am, I am always going to be halfway across the world from someone. But then again, I can go to any continent in the world and have my own personal tour guide.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Men

Most of the time I like the male race in general. I grew up with three brothers and their friends, and though sometimes I believe male persons to be strange, I normally like them. In fact, they often make much more sense to me than girls. I often find myself apologizing to guys for females, telling them I don't understand girls anymore than they do, even though I am one. Guys are for the most part simple, clear, if there is something wrong they will tell you, if you have a problem they want to know, they say it like it is, and they don't over-hypothesize things.

However, today I am tired of men.

I am tired of them looking. (especially when 'them' falls between the ages of 16 and 50.)
I am tired of them whistling. (is that supposed to make me feel special?)
I am tired of them driving their trucks past me when I'm on my bike and saying "hello girl!" (like I really want to talk to you as you blow down the road)
I am tired of them waving.
I am tired of them trying to impress me with antics.
I am tired of them wanting to have their cake and eat it too. (just decide something!)
I am tired of them knowing I am available. (would they all go away if I pretended I was engaged?)

I am tired of men.

But I am only tired of them in the plural sense. I am not a feminist who thinks all men are out to put me down or take advantage of me, but I am tired of what they think they can do in general. And I'm tired of the fact that it is foolish girls who have made them believe that their actions can get them something. At the same time, I look forward to seeing the men and guys I really know. Today I am just tired of the ones I don't know. Tomorrow could be entirely different.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Is it really intellect?

Before going to college, I never considered myself to be above average in intellect. Since coming to college, I still don't consider myself brilliant in any sense of the word. I suppose that is why it amuses me when people tell me I'm 'smart'. And ask me to tutor them and explain every subject under the sun to them.

It started here at Lee last semester in music theory and biology. A couple of students in each class would always come to me and ask if their answers were right, or if I would study with them for an exam (never mind that my studying with them was really only helpful to them). But I of course always said 'yes'. If I can understand something and someone else cannot, why shouldn't I assist them?

This semester, however, every other subject has been added. It began when I stopped to talk to a friend while they were doing Algebra. And they asked me a question (to which I knew the answer), and then they asked if I would tutor them. For some reason I said yes. The sad part is that I could be getting paid to tutor them if I had only taken a math course last semester. But no matter.

Two weeks ago, music theory was again added. A fellow student asked me what I made on the last exam, and when he found out, he immediately said, "you're my new study partner!". Now every time I walk into class he and his friends ask me if their homework is correct.

Last week, Greek mythology joined the crowd. That was the most surprising one to me, though it was the most natural. A friend is taking a Western Civ. class, and happened to mention that their assignment was to read a portion of the Iliad and answer some questions. My eyes lit up (because I love Greek mythology) and I asked her what she thought about it. The problem was, she didn't understand what the story was talking about. I could not sit by and let her not understand the fascinations of Greek mythology, so I started explaining it to her, paraphrasing the story and supplementing it with quotes from the book. Perhaps it was my enthusiasm for the story, or maybe it was my storytelling style, but by the end the lights had gone on. She understood the story and what it meant. And then she said I was going to be a great mom who always told her kids stories. (As a side note, that is all due to my father and all the stories he told us and books he read when we were kids. I can't read or tell a story to someone without getting dramatic and excited.) A couple of days later, she brought another friend to me who was in the same class so I could tell her the story. When I was done, she said, "You make it so much more interesting. I didn't get all that out of the book at all."

The most recent addition is Christian Ethics. As I semi-crammed for my exam this afternoon, two girls in the class happened to walk by, and seeing that I was studying, plopped themselves down and started asking me questions about the ethics of the Old Testament, the Lex Talionis, and Calvinism.

I wonder if all this is due to the fact I am a natural teacher, and I like to help people understand things. I'd like to think that. Or maybe it's just because my fellow students know I study and they don't, so they utilize my knowledge. Or maybe it's because I really am brilliant. I don't know. But I do know that I probably teach just as much as the professors do. I just can't get paid for it yet.
There are times (like now), in which I dislike school very much for one reason. I dislike it because even though we are here to become educated about our world and humanity, we inadvertently end up withdrawing from the very things we study. I am here to learn new ideas and learn about the world around me, and yet I find no time in which to keep up with what is going on in the outside world. For instance, as much as I wanted to watch the Presidential debate last night, I had to miss the entire debate because of a study session. As much as I want to watch the news, I find myself buried in a book or the practice rooms, learning and practicing history. It is not until the news is old that I catch up with it. And then I'm still learning history. As much as I want to know what is going on in the current music world, I find myself too busy practicing and analyzing theory to find out.

I wonder what that will mean when I graduate? I will burst forth from the Lee University cocoon, knowing everything inside but nothing outside. I am resolved to make an effort not become mummified in the world of Lee, even though I am a music major. It must be possible.
Ironic occurance of the day:

I had to have a hearing test done today, not because I'm a music major (in which hearing is imperative), but because I'm a music education major. And why would someone's hearing not be tested for music but instead for education? I don't know.

And in case anyone is wondering, I did pass the test.
Hello October...nice to see you again.