Monday, April 30, 2007

Decisions Rock!


Thumbs up
Thumbs up for decisions!

Mike and I decided where we're living next year. (Hint: It's here!)

How exciting!!!
anth screamin

Now we just need to find him a job, pray he gets an assistantship next January, find a place to live and finish planning our wedding!!

Oh yeah, aand...I have to survive exam week. T-minus 6 days until graduation. Too much excitement, I can't handle it!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Study Days = Another Post!


But instead, I am writing on this thing. Study days at the my school are a few days when studying doesn't really happen. What happens is people drink and procrastinate and sleep in and eat breakfast with their roommates and watch too much TLC and eat too much cereal. Or maybe that's just me. :) I have an exam on every day but Monday next week. And three papers to finish. And then? I'm an effin' college GRADUATE.

Sometimes I hate being a woman. See? Stupid cute shoes! Why must you tempt me? I should know better.

Next. SUNDAY. I GRADUATE NEXT SUNDAY. Last night I was volunteering at a soup kitchen and was talk to another volunteer - a businessman in his 40's who graduated from my college 22 years ago. We were discussing how expensive the school is, and he said, "Well it's all worth it...if you can get gainfully employed, of course!" and gave me a hearty laugh.

I stopped drying the industrial size metal pan I was holding and wanted stay say, "Dude, I just told you, I'm working with inner city youth at an education center next year. Do you think I will be "gainfully employed" EVER?? Don't you think the ways I grew and changed because of what I studied is valuable or is it only getting a well-paying job?" Now, granted, this man was volunteering his Tuesday evening at a soup kitchen, so he's not an evil-spirited, money mongering man (unless it's, like, his way of making up for a DUI? yep, probably a DUI, he did go to UD after all :) Gosh, how much of tangent am I going on here? Speaking of Tangent, I have one. Our school makes us buy them. They SUCK. But at least we get free computer care while we're here. And that has meant a new hard drive, with backed up files!, and a new CD-Rom drive. It's been a rough four years for Lappy. I'm really going wild with these links. Sorry! You just know it's because I'm procrastinating.)

Do you still remember what I was talking about? The guy at the soup kitchen? Gainful employment? Anyway, I, for one, am pretty darn happy to be making next-to-nothing but working towards a more just future in whatever little ways I can. (Check back in a year to see if my youthful idealism has faded. But am marrying an even bigger idealist, so I'd guess not)

How's this for youthful idealism?

Tara (right) and I, circa 1987. (I was actually a little bigger than her at this point! Didn't last long)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Why I Love to Run

The first few steps out of my house and onto the sidewalk fill me with a sense of freedom. I'm leaving my house behind, with all its worries and responsibilities. I am doing something for myself, something besides the endless barrage of schoolwork that hangs over my head. My feet pound methodically on the pavement and my breathing falls into rhythm with my stride. The darkness surrounds me, so as to give me privacy and time free of distractions. This time is truly a mental break from the world. The nighttime is my absolute favorite time to run. It's just me, the road, and the darkness. The cool darkness means I have the streets to myself. A handful of cars might pass me, but they can't see me. I am alone.

Since I've been running for a while now, I'm able to run a few miles without being distracted by the pain of it. I don't usually count down the minutes until I'm done, because I don't even think about the fact that I'm running. It's almost like my body is running so my mind is free. At the end of the day, I can process what happened, what I need to do tomorrow, and what I want to do five years from now. I have resolved arguments, planned out my day, written a paper in my head, and prayed while running. I have learned to face myself more and to take the critical action of really thinking about myself and my day. Instead of plodding through day after day without pausing to take it all in, I am able to withdraw from it all and ponder.

I feel good about myself when I run. I feel healthy and strong and able. Able to push myself and do something. And sometimes, I'll admit, I feel smug. I do. Not that I'm the world's greatest runner or even that I have talent as a runner. But that I am committed to something. I am committed to trying to be healthy - and running is the best way for me to do that, both physically and mentally. :) Running gives me this inexplicable surge of hope and euphoria. I just feel so in control of my life, so in tune with God, and just really at peace. Even if I go on a run because I am totally pissed and I need to get my frustration out, I end up feeling better. It's amazing.

Running isn't about competition or goals for me. I run when I want to and don't when I don't. I might improve a little now and then, but overall, I'm not a fast runner, I don't run everyday, and I can't run forever. But no one knows, no one judges me, it's MY thing. And that's what I love. I hope I'll be able to do it forever.

Monday, April 23, 2007

13 Days Till Graduation!

With the warm weather, I've been cranking up my Jack Johnson lately. It's been a difficult time lately with problems in personal life and more schoolwork than is sanely possible to complete in the next 9 days (SEVEN papers then FOUR exams. insert desperate whine here). However, I wanted to post this hilariously awesome video because I think the world should see it! (Spoiler: If you can't stand Ben Stiller, don't watch ;-))

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Stop This Train

Honestly, won't someone stop this train? - John Mayer

So many thoughts running through my mind.

So, I was going to post a bunch of hilarious stories from this wonderful weekend at home, but heart is really hurting right now and I'm just not up for it.

Guster and Norah Jones soothe the soul.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Answering Questions...the future and shopping

This morning I took a mini-retreat and skipped two classes. I went to the house where I'm house sitting, took a bath, journaled, did the laundry, took a nap in a wonderful bed, made coffee, and watched The View. It was an amazing morning, and it was nice to have some much needed space and time to myself.

...and continuing with the questions.

2. What is one thing in the coming months to which you are looking forward?

Oh wow. Well, I will be graduating in TWENTY FOUR days, and getting married in 4 months -- so it's safe to say the next few months will be a time of total change. I will be moving out of this house where I have lived for 2 years, leaving the school where I have attended the longest (previous record was three years), getting a real full time (?) job, and moving in with a boy! Having a wedding where 250 people watch me walk down the aisle!! Oh crap, this is making me all anxious.

Most of all, I am looking forward to knowing what happens next. At this point, the future is quite unclear - we're not sure where we'll be and grad schools haven't gotten back to us. So certainty and beginning a bit more stable life will be wonderful. :)

3. What is your most hated thing for which to shop?

Anything at the mall. Honestly, I have really come to dislike the mall because it is overflowing with young teens who are decked out in Abercrombie and are desperately attempting to draw the attractions of the opposite sex. It's all a little depressing and disturbingly shallow - consumerism and capitalism as a whole are really present in my consciousness lately as troublesome institutions. So I guess I don't much like to shop for anything, especially when my money supply is unquestionably scant. :) Groceries are pretty much my weakness. Trader Joe's makes me weak in the knees. Social responsibility AND healthy choices, gotta love it. I feel like that was an incredibly cynical and pessimistic answer. Sorry! :)

Well, that's all I've got for tonight. The other two questions should be coming soon. I'm heading up to Akron for a few days -- so peace out!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Banana Pancakes is On Repeat in My Head

Back. Totally not ready to be in class. But 11 more days. Yeehaw! :)

Thanks to the lovely Teacher Jane, I have a reason to write. :) (Easter break in Denver will be another reason!) Amidst a week with three papers, house-sitting, and a full-day conference in Columbus - I'm answering questions! Yay!

1. What is one of your favorite holiday traditions?

As a member of a large, extremely close knit family - my mom is the oldest of 8, my dad number 11 out of 14, and I am the oldest of 5 - there are so many traditions for every holiday. If weddings were a holiday, they would be my choice by far. Weddings in my family are full of children, dancing, and laughter. A photographer at my aunt's wedding in 2004 said it was the most fun he had ever seen at a wedding reception, if that convinces you. :) Holidays are such a wonderful thing, and I am convinced I have the best family ever. Not in a cocky way, it's just that I seriously have the greatest family I've ever heard of. My mom had 6 younger sisters, all of whom are in their 20s and 30s and a brother who is the same age as my fiance. So these women are like sisters and mothers to me, and their many children are the cutest kids I've met. I am the oldest of 22 grandchildren, with 8 of them less than 5 years old! :)

It makes for some very fun holidays- full of Chuck E Cheese's visits, sharing the same twin bed as my little sister, babysitting, thrift store shopping sprees, and hours of talking. Being in a female-dominated family is wonderful in so many ways, mostly because I think females are so much more interested in discussion, sharing, and expressing love. :) Corny, but I honestly don't know who I would have been without these women in my life. My Aunt Mel, who when I was crying over a fight with a friend in high school told me I was more mature and would really thrive in college. My Aunt Natalie, who called me her favorite when I was little and taught me the words to "Ice Ice Baby." My Aunt Julie, who was a living example of faith, who made being Catholic so freaking awesome I wanted to learn more and more. My Uncle Nick, whom my friends were in love with and who was a leader on my 8th grade retreat, an amazing example of love. My other aunts, who are wonderful mothers and sisters, they all strive to live healthy and holy lives. :) I apologize for totally going off on a tangent, but I just realized how lucky I am!

But, I imagine that a generic answer like "the loudness, many babies, and general amazing family members I have" is not good enough for somebody. So, I will give a boring answer to that person -- my favorite holiday tradition is that every year my dad HAS to wear the Santa hat while he passes out presents. No one else can pass out presents or even LOOK AT THE TAGS GOD FORBID. My dad, however, is an extremely slow, ahem, conscientious person - so this process takes for. ev. er. It's really cute though, because I think it makes him happy. Oh! And I also love that my siblings and I get each other presents for Christmas, and we exchange them on the morning of Christmas Eve. I have a sister in middle school, high school, and college - and a ridiculously dorky, adorable 6th grade brother, so buying gifts for them is so much fun. And none of us have much money, so we don't have to worry about that. Seriously, Anthony shops at the dollar store. And it's fun to see what my siblings chose for me. (This Christmas? Noxema from little brother, a shirt that says "Be Kind, Feed the Birds" because it's 'humanitarian' from sister 2, hair gel and mousse that I always steal from sister 3, and an awesome picture collage of my little cousins and me from sister 1.)

Okay, wow. I did not expect to answer this one so long! So, I think I will do the other questions later, these are such thought-provoking questions. :) Good night, loves.