Monthly Archives: March 2012

Stunning, SB: Day 15

On Mount Higby.

A homemade spring break for the best of them.

In perfect shorts and tank tops weather, I’ve sat outside on my newly-cleaned screened porch.  The same room that was so gross when I moved in that I decided to pretend it wasn’t attached to my house is now a beautiful, sunlit reading room (complete with an outdoor outlet).

Professor Elphick’s book recommendation arrived yesterday, and I’ve set at properly devouring it, my mind thoroughly jumbled at its crazy claims and what it means it the author is right.

When I realized 72 cookies was a lot.

My cooking disasters have continued, but with notable shining successes.

In between not paying attention to the fact that that cookie recipe yields 6 dozen cookies (2 1/2 cups doesn’t sound like much until you realize that it’s talking about butter), the panicked phone call to my mother because my drumsticks were bleeding in the oven (it was gross), and the icing that kept sliding off the cake, my cooking has been met with shining success.

I’ve actually made an array of full, edible meals, which really is quite a major feat for me.  I’ll analyze a boring book and write a great analysis, but ask me to cook a family sized meal and disaster is more likely than not.

My beautiful porch.

Over break, I’ve learned to make a biscuits and gravy that would knock you on your feet, and the beans and cornbread casserole I made for my friends might as well have been cooked by mother.

Besides the edible food part, my room with an oven and fridge finally has enough basic utensils and pantry items to earn its title as a kitchen.

The time apart from MS Word has been good for both of us, and I’ve watched the Dead Poets Society three times in the last week.

I’ve also discovered that 80s music does have a place in the world, even if it is restricted to morning kitchen music while making pancakes, and I finally explored that wooded path by 91, the one that leads to a mountain.

Chicken noodle soup, apples and peanut butter, and grapefruit soda on the porch.

Perhaps most notable has been the never-ending developments in my quest for a summer job, more appropriately referred to as Tori finally figured out what she wants to do with her life and, dare I say it, has a decent idea of what that means in terms of a career.

As frightening as each step in this process has been and undoubtedly still will be, it has been a lot of fun (…a word I never previously dared to associate with a job search)

Opposite of a cooking disaster.

I can’t even begin to explain all that’s happening other than to say its a lot, I never could have mapped a network this big, and it is so not over.  I still am not quite sure what’s going to happen this summer, but, bit by bit, it really is all coming together.

One of the first couple weeks of the semester, we started praying about jobs at Wellspring.  I was already well on my way down this crazy, exciting path with big dreams and a direction, but up to that point it wasn’t really going anywhere specific.

It’s been unbelievable watching opportunities that seemed so great completely fall apart (and my desire for them).

Reading on the hill.

Whereas, new opportunities, ones that wouldn’t have even caught my attention a year ago but are now all I want, are coming out of nowhere.

I know people that spent the break in Florida, Jamaica, Mexico, California, Hong Kong, Europe, and the Middle East.  Bet none of them have had a break as fulfilling as mine–right here in Middletown, Connecticut.

-best spring break ever-


Quiet Again, SB Day 11

Picnic on Foss Hill.

I thought I would get bored, or perhaps more appropriately, I was afraid I would.

Normally, my mornings begin at 9 and end at 2am, meaning that besides my regular 4pm nap (a truly golden 20-45 minutes), it is unceasing.

But I made it that way–on purpose.  The create-your-schedule of the last 8 months had it’s plusses, but for all its problems, I missed this place.  Naturally, I thought once all the activity stopped, so would my love for it.

I was a bit crushed when, after some number-crunching, I decided it best to ditch my spring break DC plans and take in New England, but for all its normalcy, it has proved every bit as restful as Christmas break…even with 40 hours of work in the library.

I finally finished my imovie of my semester abroad, which is a huge accomplishment and have found total fulfillment in meaningless articles, photos, and blogs online to fill the rest of the time.  Undoubtedly, not quite as high reaching as the armload of books I planned on reading over break, but that always happens.

Almost thesis-related books.

I read nice and slowly, enjoying it without rush when there’s no pressure.  But that’s probably a good thing too, although, I must say that I am direly lamenting the fact that, and I am not exaggerating, Olin Library does not have a single book related to my thesis.

Perhaps this will be enough to finally push books out of its position as my 2nd biggest living expense and into first.

Inter-library loan anybody??

Start it Right, SB: Day 1

I think it takes a lot to freak me out in church.

Now, don’t take me as cocky.  I believe in an all-powerful God that moves.  But somewhere between John Wimber’s Power Healing in the 10th grade, high church liturgies, charismatics services to Catholic mass, praying scripture, foot-washing services, and purple kool-aid (cause there was no grape juice or wine), it is not that often that I am made physically uncomfortable by instruction given in the church (note the important difference between this and movements of the Spirit).

But tonight was the night.

Not that I don’t have a ton to learn, but I usually bust down the door with a charge and a smile.  I’ve dealt with the awkward moments when you are suppose to pray with the people sitting around you… when it happens to be a big group of guys.

And yeah, I’ve learned how to explain what’s happening to people who know nothing about what it really means to be in a relationship with a living God when something unexpected starts happening.

I’ve navigated awkward group prayers when nobody knows when to end, and have tried to train younger friends how to respond to unanticipated circumstances that make you throw your plan out the window (cause there are times when the Spirit moves and that’s what you gotta do).

But a prayer fire tunnel?  (think that’s what it was called).  I’d never seen that before or read about it, much less participated.  I was a little nervous.

But it was so cool.  A big group of leaders formed two lines and reached out to lay hands on people as  they walked through the middle.  So it was personal prayer, but it really had a cooperate flow.

In the end, prayer is prayer, which is just talking to God, but there is something incredibly cool about praying in different ways.  I love how we always do something different for our prayer weeks at WesCF.  There are countless ways to come before the Father and exploring them as a group is always meaningful.

The way home was amazing too.  Abe and I were dreaming up stories and laughing most of the way back.

FYI: This is how you start spring break 🙂

Reactions to Scalia

I don’t know if I can fully express the depth of my appreciation for tonight’s lecture.

It is so unfamiliar to sit in a crowd, listen to someone articulate a controversial position, and actually agree with everything they say.

I sat without that cringing feeling in my gut that comes every time someone really intelligent says something that I violently disagree with.   My mind wasn’t racing, trying to come up with the best way to express my criticism.

I just sat and smiled, thinking to myself, “Yeah, that absolutely makes sense.”

There is something truly powerful in actually having something I think affirmed.  

His lecture explored the criticisms of originalism, and he framed his argument in a way that Wesleyan students could follow.  He understood exactly who his audience was.  And in the Q & A, he took the questions head-on.

Justice Scalia was unfazed by the banner drop, condoms raining from the balcony with stickers that say “practice safe sodomy,” and students dressed in orange jumpsuits and black hoods.  Though he did stop to briefly comment on the spectacle, calling it “very impressive.”

As far as the protest goes, I was fairly unimpressed with the group outside before the event.  Most of them were standing near me in line, and it looked like about a third of them weren’t even students.  There’s something about a transplanted protest that just feel inauthentic, that and the signs about how the GOP hates women.

I genuinely felt for the poor woman yelling something about money by the door, and unfortunately right by my ear.  Her voice was noticeably more intense and louder than others, like she was expressing real, bitter rage– to college kids waiting to enter the chapel and listen to a Supreme Court Justice.

I was also disappointed by the number of people at the event who weren’t students.  I’ve expressed this frustration before, but I have a huge issue with the fact that only 175 of 500 tickets were available to students.  I can appreciate that community members, press, prominent alums, donors, parents, etc., want to be there, but so do students.   If anything, the student movement that didn’t even want to hear what Scalia had to say speaks to our need for his presence.

Anyways, kudos to the people that were responsible for getting Scalia here tonight.  It truly meant a lot to me.


An Avalanche

On the water. Valencia, Spain.

Midterms aren’t suppose to hit CSS students.  I do papers every week in place of the chaos of exams and huge papers, essentially trading the stress of the middle/end semester projects for a weekly snowball to the face.  And I like it that way.

Except, this time, the snowballs culminated to a massive showdown, blizzard of ’78 style.

Four papers in five days, plus sudden pangs of exhaustion that are hitting my body like a gust a wind on the open seas.  As I sit and work, my mind jumps, and I can’t remember what I just did anymore.  Despite my genuine excitement for what I’m writing about, all I can think of is the tired radiating from my brain to my every muscle.

I’ve tried sleeping.  It doesn’t go away, neither does my aching throat and stomach pains.  Clearly, I’m sick with something, but today I tested negative for strep and mono.  Complaining feels pointless and selfish, because everybody else is stressed right now too.

Friday feels like a world away, which at this point is a good thing, because I have far too much work to do before then.

-Here’s to hanging on.