Tag Archives: reading

Just when you think you got it

you don’t.

Commence the early Thursday CSS panic.  I’m behind on my reading, I’ve got too much on my mind to think about what I’m reading, and it indeed feels as though the whole world is about to collapse on itself.

But hey, that’s what Thursday mornings/afternoons are for, right?

my fridge


Wikipedia xoxo

My dearest wiki,

I would like to credit you for all the childhood injuries you stopped when I was 11 and those that you are still lovingly preventing at 21.

Instead of reaching up high shelves for the most recent edition of the Children’s World Book that our elementary schools saw fit to purchase, we turned to yahoo (back in those pregoogle days).

Our first hits always turned up a wealth of information on our research topics, written by our middle school peers and their teachers.  Nothing quite cleared up what exactly the estates-general were like a 7th grader’s analysis of the French Revolution.  We grew to love geocities.

But our fascination would fade.  Once we learned what bibliographies were, our teacher’s taught us the difference between credible and non-credible sources, meaning no more personal websites.

But that quiet 6th grade year, something else happened.  You walked into our lives, keeping us from returning to dusty shelves where those heavy, outdated encyclopedias lie.   With all your subjects and embedded links to topics within the article, we looked to the future with newfound hope.

Sure enough, one day, our teachers told us that you too weren’t credible, but we knew not to believe them this time.   As high school masters of the MLA bibliography, we were smart enough to figure out to use the websites at the bottom of each page to find the “so-called” credible sources we were taught to use.

And our relationship grew and prospered.  I thought we could get no closer after you became a primary text in my college sophomore government tutorial, but then, wiki, I came to Spain.

And here, I wiki all subjects discussed in every one of my classes– in English and Spanish.  Here, it’s just you and me, spending long nights chasing new links, trying to figure out how the Habsburgs fell from power and when the Korean War started.

So wiki, as I preceed to finals, stick close by.  We still have many a-hour to get through together.

 

Yours truly,

Tori

 

PS

In the spirit of full disclosure, wiki, just so you don’t get the wrong idea, please know I’m not ready to get serious.  See, I graduate in a year in a half, and then I’ll be free to choose whatever books I want to read without repercussions of not having learned whatever prescribed texts my professors saw fit to throw my way.

It will be a lot less “When did the Spanish-American War start?” and a lot more ” What was the long term economic effect of foreign policy at the turn of the twentieth century in relation to President McKinley?” So let’s just make the most of the time we have left, ok?


I am going to law school.

Last night, I took the Indiana team to the Getz’s for pizza and ice cream on the rooftop. They do this with every team.  It’s a way for his family to spend a little time with every group that comes and for them to hear about missional living in the city.  While they talked, I listened and stared out Jeff’s window at the Queensboro Bridge.  I didn’t mean to start praying, but it was just like I was quiet and God started talking, not like with words, but with peace, order, and sense.

Queensboro Bridge at sunset

For a long time law school has been a short answer to the question “what do you want to do with your life?”  It takes a enough time to explain to someone what the College of Social Studies is (my major).  If they listen to that, they usually don’t have the attention span for a 4 minute well-if-I-move-back-to-DC-I-might-do-this or I-know-what-I’m-skilled-and-passionate-about-but-not-sure-how-I’ll-be-using-them-yet speech.  So law school works, but it was more of a default then anything.

I know a few important things about law school.

1) It’s mighty pricey with little to no financial aid.

2) It requires a significant time commitment (before to study for the LSAT, during to graduate, after to pass the bar, and after to pay debt)

4) It will compromise time that I could spend building important business contacts that I could get if I just went for my Masters in Public Policy instead.

5) It will affect my relationships.  I will not have the time to build as many strong friendships, limit when I can see my family, and very likely delay when I will get married and have a family of my own.

But I know several other things too, more important than anything on the above list. My decision to go to law school has nothing to do with how many checks I have on a pros and cons list.  I only want to go if I can get in a top tier law school, but this has nothing to do with pride either.  I am fully capable of spending my whole life taking out the trash and cleaning restrooms in public schools.  To be honest, I think I would make a wonderful custodian.  I would do a good job and use it as a place to live out my faith missionally.  I don’t feel like going to fancy law school makes me any better or gives me the ability to influence any more people than a custodian or a bus driver has.  I just feel like law school is place where I will better be applying the specific talents and interests God’s given me.

It’s like this.  I have certain skill set.  I love reading old books on history, government, and political theory.  I love the CSS (College of Social Studies) set up- making my own arguments, defending them, and writing about them.  This year I am fellow in the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s undergraduate Honors Program, and I just received my first shipment of books.  It’s amazing.  It’s like doing CSS, but only with books that I love.

When I think about education and knowledge, I always think about that parable in Matthew 25.  It’s the one where the three servants receive a certain number of talents from a man.  The servants do different things with the talents, but the man who only received one buried it in the ground.  When the master came back, he was the only one that did not return more talents to his master than what he had originally been given.  His explanation?  “I was afraid.” (vs. 25).

This morning, I joined the team on the prayer walk around New York City. We go to various locations, discuss their significances and what they symbolize, and use that symbol to pray for the city.  The New York Public Library symbolizes knowledge.  There are a lot of intelligent people here, but very little wisdom.  I have the interest and ability to acquire the knowledge and bring Godly wisdom to places that would otherwise be inaccessible.

At the South Asian Community Center, they breach language barriers to reach people who otherwise would never come in contact with the Gospel.  I’m going to do that at law school.  I don’t imagine language will be an obstacle there, but there are mighty high barriers to entry.  I know I can cross those barriers, and once I’m there, I will let my approach to my studies glorify God.  I didn’t understand how to do that for a long time, but I think I figured it out this year.  I was stressed, very stressed, but I learned the difference between stress and fear and fear and worry.

I pray that this explanation doesn’t come across as a mere Christian platitude.  If you’ve heard me talk about law school, it might not even seem like a big deal, but it was, because now law school isn’t just something I’m thinking about.  It’s something I’m going to do, because it’s the place I’ve been called.

amen.


Table for 1?

I think I’ve figured something out.  I’ve been operating on a seriously messed up sleep schedule.  At first, I couldn’t sleep because I was using different pillows, which I realize sounds a little strange, but to me it’s no different then other people saying they need to get used to sleeping in a new bed.  Now, three weeks here, I’m drop-dead tired, and I can’t sleep.  I went to bed at nine, almost too tired to walk, and woke up at midnight.  Anyways, I think I finally resolved that the reason I’m not sleeping is because I’m thinking too much about the past day.  I can count on one hand the number of people I speak to on a daily basis, and that’s something that I’m not quite used to or fully comfortable with.  Since I usually don’t fall asleep without having detailed the events of my day to someone, I figure that’s why I drift off each night drafting some kind of letter (or in tonight’s case, a blog post).  Anyways, I figured I might actually rest better if I just turned the light on and wrote it.

I know the work I’m doing here in New York is for the kingdom and will have long-term implications, but like I said, the short-term solitude is getting to me a little bit (important side note: quietness to end shortly because of certain activities this week).  This morning I woke up a little late, but not unreasonable.  It was slightly awkward though, because a bunch of people were at the church (again, speaking Portuguese, which is why I don’t go to the church I live in).  I ducked out of my room when the hallway sounded quiet, because I hoped to avoid running into anyone on my way upstairs to the shower.  I slept late because of my crazy exhaustion and because I was going to an evening service, which kinda throws off your Sunday morning routine, but I was okay with that.

I spent most of the day reading at Union Square, which I discovered earlier in the week.  I have to say, so far at least, it’s my favorite spot.  Can’t totally articulate why, but it’s a comfortable place.  I sat outside and read Little Women until it got cold.  Afterward, I spent a good three or four hours researching law schools at Barnes and Noble’s.  That was certainly an experience in and of itself.  If I am going to go to law school, I want to start studying for the LSAT now, while I have some time.  However, I really don’t want to put that investment in unless I know I want to go, and right now, it sort of just seems like a good path to pursue.  I’ll do some more focused research this week, but I can say at this point that it looks like I’ll be investing some resources in some LSAT study materials.

view from Filene's Basement at Union Square

It really was all fun though.   When I woke up this morning, I resolved that I was going to go on a date with Jesus like how my dad took me out on dates when I was a little girl.  That feels a little funny and cheesy when I write it out, but it made the day fun.  It also made the awkwardness of eating alone in public less embarrassing, which is something else that has been challenging.  I’m here in the city and I know that I should be trying more restaurants in different parts of the city, just to experience it, but to be honest, I’m a little intimidated by the whole process.  Think about like the first time you walked into a Chipotle or a Starbucks and you didn’t know how to order.  It kind of feels like that.  Today though, today was better, because of my whole today-I’m-going-on-a-date-with-Jesus deal.  We hung out, read classic literature, researched law schools, and ended the day by going to (a new) church– a whole great and totally new experience unto itself.  Unfortunately, not a story for 2:09am, but I have a lot of thoughts on it, so I’ll definitely write again soon.

Central Park, another good reading spot