Monday, February 27, 2012

Mercy

This evening stayed relatively mild even after dark and I went for went for the best run that I have in months. Definitely the best one yet this year.

While listening to Moby and making my second of five laps around the road that encircles campus, I had a thought and was really overwhelmed by God's mercy on my life.

I've so often chosen to live in despair instead of faith, to be sad over the people who are not in my life and bitterly push away those who still are, and generally do my best to destroy myself in ways that I can't even go into on here but could be summed up in the words of one well known artist as "following death and all of his friends."

So I'm not quite sure where my line of reasoning came in, or if there even was one, but it came to me while I was running that it is amazing that in spite of everything above I could still, on this evening, be doing something like running that I enjoy so much.

Regardless of how I feel or don't feel most of the time, God has given me so much grace.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Salsa What?

This past week was probably the craziest one yet this semester. The generally relaxed pace of most of my classes had lulled me into not keeping up with the syllabi, and I found out Monday evening as I was heading out for tacos with some friends who I usually go out with after newspaper production that we had a paper due in History and Nature of the English Language the next day. This wouldn't have been horrible if it weren't for the fact that I had just committed in newspaper production to doing a relatively long video for Triangle about SGA elections that were happening that same night. So essentially, in that moment it went from being a late night to no night at all. Possibly the craziest thing about the week though, was how it ended: salsa dancing.

Yes, you read that right. Salsa dancing.

After standing at the table for Triangle at the organizational fair for presidential scholarship day, I decided to stay on campus to eat. I ended up sitting with my friend Meagan and some of her friends, who told me they were going salsa dancing in Cleveland with some other people and that I was invited if I wanted to come. I'm really a terrible dancer, and have never done any kind of Latin dance, let alone salsa before. However, I think I felt that I had been stuck in the same old pattern of not doing anything interesting or original for the last couple weeks and said yes anyways. So around seven, I got into one of three cars full of students who were all going to this "dance studio" in Cleveland Tennessee that no one seemed to know anything about.

When google maps led us through a railroad yard surrounded by warehouses and car garages to a one story building ringed with Christmas lights and a sign that said "Luv 2 Dance," I think at least a few people in my car were wondering what they had gotten themselves into.

Despite the slightly questionable location and appearance, it ended up being a great place though. It's owned by an Hispanic family from the area and hosts all kinds of dance events ranging from salsa to ballroom. They had a dance instructor, which was good. As I said before, I had no idea how to do salsa, and that went for probably a little over half the people in our group to. So after a half hour lesson or so, they turned down the lights, fired up the disco ball, and everybody danced until about midnight.

One thing that made it interesting was that it was a pretty random group of people. Actually, it seems like whenever I do something like this it's a random group of people who don't normally do things together. But then, judging by the frequency at which I do things with people, just the fact that I'm there probably makes it a random group of people automatically. But I guess I'm okay with that.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

7 Things I May Miss About College (and 7 I won't)

While making a list of bullet points with a numerically symmetrical list of counterpoints is one of those blogger/comm professor/Baptist preacher-isms that I try to avoid, I will be posting one today, simply because I can’t think of a better way to express this.

The end of my final semester of college is drawing near. As it approaches, I have more and more often found myself thinking about different aspects of life that I have taken––or been made to take for granted if not for the past four and a half years of my college experience, then at least for the past two and a half that I have been at Bryan College. These things fall, with a few exceptions, into one of two categories: Things I think I will miss about college, and Things I think I will not miss about college.

Last night it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to actually write these down, which I have now done, if only for the sake of reference. While these are by no means comprehensive (and adding to or amending them may be the subject of future posts) I think they at least hit some of the highlights. I was also surprised to see how closely related some of the items were, even when they are on opposing lists.

Things I think I will miss:

1. Being in an environment where drinking coffee and discussing politics or theology is considered an end unto itself.

2. Getting to experience things from a myriad of fields and professions without actually having to commit to any of them.

3. The ability to influence or impress people in a highly controlled and closed environment.

4. Only needing to be anywhere specific for a few hours a day.

5. Frequently getting to meet people from all over the world.

6. Being in a place where there is pretty much always something going on.

7. Being around lots of people my own age.


Things I think I will not miss

1. Paying other people for me to do things that I don’t want to do.

2. Having to watch people––and probably myself at times––get angry and stressed or else acting self-important because of things things that have absolutely no meaning or consequence outside of the extremely controlled and closed environment that college is. 

3. Expensive textbooks that change edition roughly every 4.2 seconds. 

4. Sharing a room.

5. Abiding by the rules of an extremely strict behavioral code OR ELSE taking elaborate measures to break them without getting caught––either of which options leave me feeling like I live in Iran (no offense to my Iranian readers).

6. Doing all of my housemate’s dishes for the three-dozenth time.

7. Having to be around people all the time and having people think there is something wrong with me if I ever express or act on the fact that I don’t like being around people all the time.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rice and whatever

Since moving to the townhouses, that is, the apartments here on campus that are separate from the dorms, I've been off the meal plan. This is nice, because I save some money, (last semester almost $600, counting what I spent on food) although it does mean having to come up with other ways of getting food. So rather than taking it as an opportunity to live off of McDonald's  for six months as some people I know, I decided it would be a good time to cook for myself.

While I do end up eating quite a bit of stuff like eggs, sandwiches, and mac and cheese, I've also tried to make some more interesting things at least several times a week. This evening I decided to do stir-fry.
I had done this several times last semester, but usually just with whatever I happened to have lying around + rice. This time I tried to get some things you would more normally expect in stir-fry like water-chestnuts and soy-sauce and such. I think you are usually supposed to use peanut-oil instead of olive oil, but I don't really know what else I would use peanut oil for, so I wasn't about to by a large container of it. I think olive oil is healthier too, and I always have that around, so I stuck with it.

It turned out quite well, at least by my standards.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Spring in the City















 Today I took the LSAT. Ugh.

Actually, it was a better experience than it probably should have been, as I had somebody to do it with.

That was in Chattanooga, an hour south of here at 8:30 this morning. For reasons that I shan't mention, but that were loosely related to the fact that I took the LSAT this morning, I ended up in Spring City, 40 minute north of here this afternoon. I vaguely remembered––or imagined––that Alex Green, one of my colleagues at Triangle, had recommended that I drive around there sometime. So I did. It was interesting. You should click on the picture below to zoom in and see what it says on the side of the red shed. It's worth it.


Friday, February 03, 2012

un-chillness

I spent today recovering from yesterday. Yesterday wasn't anything unusual. Just loads and loads of the usual.

Ever since the mailroom decreed that they would not put Triangle––the campus newspaper that I work for––in student and professor mailboxes unless we deliver all 800 of them folded by 9:00am, we have had to get up at 7:30 to get them all done. Hands black with ink, I went to the library to finish editing a paper for a class later on in the day about The Dream of the Rood, an Old English poem. Then it was three consecutive classes. Since it was Thursday, each one of those was an hour and a half long.

Since it was a beautiful day, I couldn't resist going for a run. This may have not been a good idea, as I think I may be sick. But I enjoyed it. After that, I had to finish recording a video story with one of Triangle's reporters who had never done one before, which is always a little extra challenge. Then it was back to the library to one of the iMacs to spend four hours straight editing. Normally I have all weekend to do this, but because the story was time sensitive, it needed to be finished by the next morning, so I figured I had better get it done.

So that was yesterday. Today was much more chill, as honestly, most of this semester has been. Below is one of my video stories. Not the one that I did yesterday, but one that I worked on last week with Clari... who is really good at it. It required me to do math. Which is interesting, as I picked my major partly in order to avoid math.