a vestige of thought...
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Q is for Quote
Alice came to a fork in the road.
"Which road do I take?" she asked.
"Where do you want to go?", responded the Cheshire cat.
"I don't know." Alice answered.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."
Sunday, August 27, 2006
P is for...
Palestine. My greatest accomplishment in the past 48 hours was memorizing all the locations listed on my map of 1st century AD Palestine for New Testament class. I'm not good at geography and I was quite pleased with my success.
Practice. I only practiced two and a half times (one time doesn't really count) for my orchestra audition, but it went really well. I made a few mistakes, but I was really happy with how it went considering how little I'd practiced. Even the sight reading went well, which surprised me. Dr. Holz even told me that I "definitely have the talent" to major or minor in music if I wanted to. Granted, the Asbury music department is not CCM, but I thought it was nice of him to say.
Porkopolis. Yesterday I had on a shirt that said "Cincinnati" and had a picture of a flying pig on it. As a result, I got to tell half the school about Cincinnati's history with flying pigs and other local things (like goetta, Skyline Chili, and Graeter's). I appreciate Cincinnati's coolness more every time I talk to people from other places. I mean, other places are cool too, but I like Cincinnati. Heather predicted me "most likely to brag about her hometown" on Facebook.
Pretzles. Pretzles have been a staple snack for me my entire life and I don't think there is a single one on campus. I guess I have always taken them for granted because I have been craving them for the past week or so. The first chance I get I am walking over to IGA and seeing if I can find a reasonably priced bag.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
O is for Orientation
Orientation has been officially over for a couple of days now, but I'll take a few paragraphs to write about it.
Every year all Asbury freshman are split up into 20 or so TAG (Transition and Guidance) groups that are led by a couple of sophemores. My TAG group is #2, which also happens to be the best TAG group ever. ; ) During actual orientation, we met multiple times every day. Now we only meet officially once a week for dinner, but since pretty much our whole group has become friends, we've gotten together other times. Yesterday we met in the Grille for Euchre and ping-pong and ERS, among other things. It was great fun, even though my team lost.
This is Carol and Zach beating me and Jason (who is out of the picture) at Euchre. Sadly, it just wasn't our day.
Me and Sam (my awesome roommate) before our class picture (hence the t-shirts) during orientation.
Isn't that a pretty window?
Saturday, August 19, 2006
N is for New Beginnings
Moving in and orientation has kept me pretty busy, so I haven't had much time to pause for things like blogging (or journaling or even much sitting) yet. I imagine I will fall into some sort of routine once classes actually start. Right now I have about an hour break while the majority of people are taking a language placement test. Since I've only has one year of Latin and am definitely going to be in the 101 class I didn't have to take it. : )
Sam and I both felt like we had brought a ton of stuff, but we actually have a ton of space (due, at least in part, to bunking the beds). I felt better when I saw that some girls had brought even more stuff than me.
I wonder how long I will be at all organized. :P
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
M is for Music
I like music with lots of layers. Sometimes when I'm tired or sad or just want to block out the world for a bit, I like to put in my headphones and listen to the layers. First I will just listen to the whole song as it recommends itself to me, hearing the words, or the melody, or whatever else stands out the most. But in later listenings I concentrate on the harmony or the bass or the countermelody or the percussion or the celli or the trumpets and each little bit of what makes the song flesh out as a whole. I try to hear how the parts interact with each other and add to the total effect. They bring images to my mind and I often picture drifting among different layers of colors, each part rushing over me like water and carrying me with its current for a time (imagine the 'pure music' part of Fantasia)...
...I think this is why I so dislike 'easy listening' music. It is as shallow as a poorly written book character or a stereotypical teenage cheerleader. Bo-ring!
Monday, August 14, 2006
L is for Legacy and for Laura is cool because she took me to visit Miami
I want to leave a legacy,
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to you enough
To leave a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering.
A child of mercy and grace
Who blessed your name
Leave that kind of legacy.
* * * * *
Yesterday afternoon Laura drove up to Miami with her mom and Mombers (her grandma) and she invited me to come along to see the campus. It was fun to see where so many of my friends are going to spend the next four years. On the road there, Laura pointed out the ridiculous number of black and neon signs for a large variety of things. One heck of a good neon sign salesman must have traveled that road.
Upon arrival we ate at the Bagel and Deli, a small hole-in-the-wall sort of place which, like most successful hole-in-the-wall business, has amazing food. You can make up any sandwich you want, or choose from the already created combinations listed on (quite creative) homemade signs around the shop. I had a "Messy Katie," which consists of cream cheese, turkey, cheddar cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and sprouts toasted on a bialy bagel (except I had mine on pumpernickel because they were out of bialy). It was excellent.
Then we drove around the campus. I have to admit, driving around campus is a bit funny to me. I've become so used to Asbury (where driving from a dorm to an academic building would be a bit silly) that Miami seems huge. But I'm happy that now I will be able to imagine the dorms where Laura and Brittany and Brandae will be living and their dining halls and classrooms and such. I like having a mental image.
* * * * *
I think I'll be a good girl and go practice violin for a little while now. My first orchestra class is Tuesday and it could be interesting. I haven't practiced in awhile...
Saturday, August 12, 2006
K is for Potassium
In chemistry, when I had to memorize a certain number of chemical symbols, potassium was always easiest for me to remember because it was so random. Though I despised chemistry at the time, I have a lot of fond memories of that class. (Physics was definitely better though, both in subject matter and in company.) My fondest memories are of experiments. Things that blow up or bubble or spark or melt or change color are much more interesting than things that may or may not roll or swing or fall correctly. I remember a particular episode (that I will never forget) where my teacher put steel wool in a plastic bag with... something (HCl, maybe?) and have it to a particular student. The concoction in the bag sparked and flamed a bit and the student leaped six feet and squealed like a girl. It was hysterical. This student was subsequently in my physics class as well, and the others who were there for the incident have never let him forget it. =D
Potassium brings a few other things to mind. The first is a sleepover I attended in third grade. We watched Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. I don't remember a whole lot of the movie, but there was one part where a kid had some illness that he needed medication for. He forgot to take it and when he passed out, some other kid stuffed a banana in his mouth because he needed potassium.
My violin teacher used to tell me to eat a banana before I performed because the potassium in it had some sort of calming effect. I'm not sure if it really worked, but I did eat a banana before I performed as often as I remembered to.
K = Potassium. I suspect there is some reason for this random association. Cybercookies to anyone who can tell me why...
Friday, August 11, 2006
J is for Jelly Beans
I really like jelly beans. A lot. They are by far my favorite candy and pretty high up on the list of my favorite foods. I like all kinds, but brands of particular note include Starburst and (of course) Jelly Belly. These two are special because they have not only a flavored candy coating, but also a flavored gel inside, giving them twice the yumminess of a regular jelly bean. See? The Candyblogger agrees with me.
Jelly Bellies have a slight edge over Starburst, mostly due to the fun factor. No matter how hard they try, the standard green apple, cherry, grape, orange, etc are no match for flavors such as buttered popcorn, juicy pear, and peanut butter. The unique flavors can be enjoyed alone or in 'recipes' (for example, two blueberry beans and one buttered popcorn equals a blueberry muffin).
The moral of the story is, if you want to be my friend, butter me up, or in any way impress me, jelly beans are the way to go. Of course, any of those things can be accomplished in other ways, but jelly beans are a good place to start.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
I is for Igloo
Though I thought living in a place where it's always snowing and completely dark for half of the year might get depressing, she informed me that this will be no problem. She has a polar bear to keep her company and spends her time knitting sweaters for the local penguins. I'm fairly sure that penguins live in southern coldness as opposed to northern coldness. When I said as much she replied that her sweaters were for puffins, not penguins. I don't know if there are puffins in Alaska, but I suppose I'll take her word for it. And the yarn for her sweaters is imported from Jamaica, by the way. It's all donated, so she doesn't need any money.
So there you have it. I is for igloo. Still, I always thought Heather would prefer Vermont...
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
H is for HP Support
Someone has a sense of humor
G is for "God on the Quad," and other last minute reading
The second book I picked up is The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within, by Erwin Raphael McManus. I reserved it at the library after hearing someone raving about it, but I had to wait for it so long that I now cannot remember who. I have a general aversion to most 'Christian living' sort of books and devotionals (one notable exception being My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers), but every now and then I find one that I like. Hopefully this will be one of them.
The third book, Night, by Elie Weisel, I picked up on a whim after seeing it mentioned in several different places. When I looked at it I discovered that its sudden popularity is thanks to the help of Oprah, who named it as one of her book club books. The Holocaust has always interested me and I was particularly intrigued after reading an excerpt describing a man playing a Beethoven concerto on his violin as he died. I was going to post a link to that passage, but I can't seem to find it again.
Nine days, three books, little reading time...
Monday, August 07, 2006
F is for Fanfiction
In the wee hours of the Blogathon I made a comment to the effect of, "All fanfiction should be outlawed." This outburst came after, while doing a search for the name of a guest actor who looked familiar, I came across this Sue Thomas: FBEye fanfiction story. The others in the forum were not much better. I immediately condemned any thing of the sort. Furter reflection, however, led me to believe I may have been a bit hasty in my judgement. After all, it was this, now much subdued, fanfiction website that led me to meet my good chum Heather.
A Google search to find out of others agreed with my negative assessment of fanfiction turned up this essay, which argues just the opposite. The author, Elizabeth Marsh, states, "fanfictions are a worthy alternative to hours spent in front of the television, giving the viewer a chance to use what they learn from the media to further their writing ability." I admit that stretching one's creative muscles, even with characters and settings one did not invent themselves, is a better way to spend one's time than staring at a glowing box. Writers wonder 'what if this thing had happened instead of this other thing?' and then [sometimes] toughtfully work their way through the situation. When watching television, this work is done for them.
Still, I can't quite praise the popular phenomenon. There is a reason that screenwriters are screenwriters and others are just... fanfiction authors. Much writing from the latter is just plain bad. (That's not to say that all screenwriting is good, though certainly a higher percentage of it is.) My problem is not so much that the writing is bad, but that people celebrate it as good. If fanfiction is- as Elizabeth Marsh claims- a way to further writing ability, constructive criticism should be as much a part of the responses as praise.
I also find it frustrating that fanfiction stories are rarely consistent with the shows they were inspired by. Flirtatious glances in one TV episode often lead to steamy romance scenes in a subsequent fanfiction story. Violence and drama are often taken to disgusting or rediculously cheesy levels in an attempt to captivate readers. Many fanfiction boards now require a rating to accompany all stories. But if a show is popularized with a rating of PG or PG-13, why do fanfiction authors think that raising that rating to R+ will make their writing more attractive?
Though I could go on and on about my particular dislikes of fanfiction writing (like how writers consistently botch the personalities and morality of well-established characters), I suppose that overall it is a matter of personal preference. No one is forcing me to read any and, upon completion of this post, I don't anticipate ever doing so. If you are a fanfiction... uh... fan, then maybe you will be lucky enough to improve you writing skills and, as my fifth grade teacher used to say, earn some new wrinkles in your brain.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
E is for Eggs
Saturday, August 05, 2006
D is for Drafts
10/28/05: Life makes more sense backwards.
11/15/05: Pieces of Me
I'm a bit post-happy these days. My apologies if I bore you.
I've been reading through some of my old journals again (something I do fairly often) and thought that, since blogs are pretty egotistical anyway, I would quote myself a bit. What can I say? I amuse myself. (Random fact: people who keep journals and reread them often are at a higher risk of committing suicide than the general population. That's a bit creepy.)
Here's a sampling of my dramatic 8th grade year:
"Maybe in Heaven God will have a big writing desk for me to sit at 24/7 and write about how cool He is!"
"What a mysterious and wonderful thing joy is! Joy. What a small simple word for such a huge, beautiful feeling! If the feeling joy brings could be said in one word, it would be so long that it would wrap around the world a million times and still not be good enough."
"I have to write. Its just in my blood or something. The problem is... WRITER'S BLOCK! It's this thing that happens when you've been having really great ideas and then BANG! everything that was once in your brain has been slurped out by an imaginary vacuum, and the blank page sits there in front of you, mocking you. It's saying: "Come on, look at me, I'm so plain and blank, and want you to fill me with your thoughts and ideas, but ha! You can't think of anything! So I'll just sit here, all blank and lonely becaue YOU are dumb and can't think of anything!"
"I hate homeschooling I hate homeschooling I hate homeschooling I hate homeschooling I hate homeschooling I hate homeschooling I hate homeschooling I hate homeschooling. .... I just remembered a passage that I found in 'The Message,' a paraphrase of the Bible. It says: "Don't be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. " Ouch. I think I've just been slapped and shoved back into my place."
~12/7/01 (8th grade was a little rough. My opinion of homeschooling has changed greatly since then)
12/3/05: The Body of Christ
Every week, and especially the first Sunday of the month when we take communion, I am always amazed at how God has drawn such a diverse and broken group of people together as His body. I love it.
Today I got to church early (7:55) because I was making an announcement at the 8:00 about a youth group fund raiser. After I was done I had a lot of time to kill, so I helped a member of the church's prison ministry set up this year's Angel Tree.
Balance of faith and reason. They are not mutually exclusive, yet both are necessary. Here's why:
I happened to catch part of Oprah today while they were talking about minimum wage. They showed sad stories about several families surviving on the national minimum wage ($5.15/hr) that were, of course, not without a political agenda. The entire show was dedicated to urging viewers to call and write their leaders, asking them to raise the minimum wage. I speak ignorantly, but as I see it this creates new problems. Money has to come from somewhere. Business with suddenly higher labor costs would have to compensate by hiring fewer workers and/or raising prices. America is stuck in a catch-22 in this respect.
It's amazing how some people can take anything in life and make it interesting. I keep running across writing about seemingly boring like waitressing or infomercials that look at those things in a light that makes them intriguing and thought provoking. I'm trying to learn that; it makes the time spent filing and alphabetizing and Microsoft Excelling much less dull.
7/5/06: You've Got Spam
I am well aware that I have a tendency to become perhaps over-excited about subjects that (to others) may seem silly. If you find this tendency to be obnoxious, please feel free to skip the following rant.
On my Gmail account I usually get 10-20 spam messages a day. Generally this doesn't bother me, as Gmail has a very effective spam filter and the one or two a month that manage to slip past that are caught by Mail when I download the messages to my computer. What does bother me is when my friends spam me with forwarded scams. Since yesterday I have received the following forward twice:
C is for Crappy Computers
Friday, August 04, 2006
"Memories will be our souviners"
Cyberhugs to the three of you. Keep in touch!
Everyone else, let's see each other for real before I leave! A week and 6 days still: plenty of time.
B is for 'Boys are Evil.'
Asbury students are required to read and sign a code of conduct before enrolling. This list may seem extreme to some (I have gotten few comments to that effect when telling people what school I am going to), but it does not forbid anything that I would have done had I been allowed (the only exception being non-coreographed dancing, and I don't see that as too much of a loss).
The purpose of rules at all Christian colleges is to create an environment where Christ can be glorified through higher learning. However, there is a difference between learning in a Christ-centered environment and signing yourself into a prison for four years. Anyone have opinions on the matter?
A is for Air Conditioning
Thursday, August 03, 2006
On why words are cooler than numb3rs
Sometimes I am disinclined to believe in prime numbers. I mean, with a number as big as 7,057, surely SOMETHING must go into it. Or 101. It's so... palendromic. It seems odd and a bit frightening to me that it has no factors besides 1 and itself. Why do I find this frightening? I don't know. Maybe because when I think of a [large] priome number, I imagine that number and one in my head [101; 1]. And then other numbers start to pass through my head as I try to disprove its... primacy [52... 10... 16... 21... 7... 3... 18...]. And soo the numbers woosh past each part of my brain and I start to hear a sort of flapping noise, like wind ripping through the pages of a book too quickly to understand. I like to see my books' pages; to lovingly move over them with my eyes and mine and to mull over each word and sentence, working out different meanings. Words can mean so many different things. For example: "I'm tired." It can mean (among other things):
~I want to sleep
~I want to go home
~my muscles are lacking oxygen
~of course I am tired, what would make you assume otherwise?
~I have been working hard all day
~I am lazy
On the other hand, numbers are so exact, so confining, yet so completely infitite and difficult to grasp. Two plus two ALWAYS equals four. No shades of meaning there.
NOTHING can be divided into 7, 057. Why not? Why are there only 10 digits? Could we understand so much if there were 12? Or only 6?
Bah. Give me words any day.
They've almost got it right...
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
I used to think...
I also used to think that 'stomach' was a bad word.
In case you were wondering.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
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