Monday, August 21, 2006

How the Heck. . .?

Wow, this is going to be hard. How do people do it? And I'm single! No kids! Responsible only for myself! I don't see how people go to seminary while they have families. I'm feeling overwhelmed and I don't have to come home and cook dinner for anyone, or take kids to soccer practice, or help kids with homework, or be attentive to a husband, etc. My goodness. I really admire the ones with families who do it. I admire those who are married without kids who do it, too.

Orientation started today, and I'm very excited about the people here. It feels refreshing after Greek to have some new faces around. I'm so thankful, because I was getting quite worried that I wouldn't have many friends here at all.

And it was exciting to talk about field education, cross-cultural experiences, etc. A little annoying to realize how much more money you're expected to spend on a requirment that must be met this year. . .but the possibilities are exciting. Right now, I'm thinking about either 10 days in Appalachia or 10 days in rural Wisconsin living with logging and farming families. Both of those experiences would give me something new to experience. Not sure what I'll choose yet, and of course the Latin America and Mexico opportunities always appeal to me. Though I've done that before, so I think I should try something new. We'll see.

Dad was here all day yesterday and left today. I was sad when he left--good thing I had to be back at orientation, so I didn't have a chance to sit around by myself and be sad. :(

I'm going to bed. . .I'm exhausted. Goodnight, all.

Friday, August 18, 2006

My visit to Tennessee was wonderful. Just what I needed. Now I'm back in the SC prepping for classes to start next week. I already miss Trish and Rich, but I'll be back again for Labor Day!

Trish and I found a beautiful lake and sat on a bridge for a while talking. This was one of my favorite moments of the visit. We decided to take pictures of our reflections in the water. Here's me, and--

--here's Trishy!

And here's Richie. . .um. . ."studying." :)

Dad's coming tomorrow night! I'll only get to see him for about a day (sad), but it's better than nothing. Later, friends!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Done and Done

Tetelestai! Eucharisto! / It is finished! I give thanks!

(I couldn't for the life of me find the actual Greek words for the above--ones I could easily copy and paste, that is--so the pronunciation will have to do.)

I can't believe summer Greek is over. These last few weeks flew by. I'm excited, though. It feels reallllly good to be done. I will miss our Presby friends--Ed and Clark in particular. It felt like the end of a summer at camp. . .saying goodbye to friends with whom you've spent 7 weeks working together on the same thing. Just like when I said goodbye after 7 or 8 weeks at camp four years ago. Except this time, I only said goodbye to a few people rather than 20!

This morning in chapel, we sang a bunch of our favorite hymns. It was glorious. I of course got kinda emotional, since singing with a group of people who 1) know and love hymns just as I do, and 2) can sing beautifully in harmony, is like a slice of heaven on earth. . .a piece of what is to come, I believe.

I'm spending the next couple of days getting some "chores" done that I've neglected the past few weeks. A lot of people here at seminary are going home this week (we have a 10-day break before orientation), and, while I suppose I could hop in the car and drive to Texas, I don't think it'd be worth it to stay only a few days. So it makes me sad to hear people joyfully packing their cars and talking of homecomings. . .

But instead of being sad, I've decided to hop in the car and drive to the other "T" state to visit my Trishy and her Richie! I'm so ready to see them and their new home in Sewanee! It'll be a great way to relax, I think, and we've really missed each other lately. It'll be wonderful to be with a friend who's known me for a long time. She and I are making great friends at our respective new locations, but there's always something about being with people who already really know you. . .

Have a good one, friends!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I Am So Dadgum Southern

I love sweet tea. And everywhere you go here, when you order tea, it's always sweet tea. It's not like that in TX. But here, oh yes. Sweet tea is the default. Mmmmmm.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Five Sixteen

On to other things:

Books for the fall semester, if purchased at the bookstore, will cost roughly $500. This is why I never buy from the bookstore. Sure, I know they need business and I of course want to support the Lutheran bookstore, but c'mon. . .I don't care what shape a book is in--as long as it's readable, I'll use it. So I don't need a brand new book. And I definitely don't need a $50 new book. This is why I use for all of my textbook purchases. I've already ordered half of my books for less than $100. Yessss. The only thing that sucks is paying for shipping, but it's still way cheaper than buying at the bookstore. There are so many books in this world that have been used only once or twice, and these will work perfectly for my purposes here. I think the people at the bookstore get a little peeved when I walk in and begin writing all of the textbook names and authors down on my little list. . .they know what I'm up to. But a consumer has the right to choose where she's going to buy her books, now, doesn't she?

I have a few weeks before the fall semester starts and about a month until I plan to start working (location TBD). I've never worked off-campus while going to school. In college, I was an RA, which was a wonderful job because I never left campus for 'work.' And don't get me wrong--it was definitely work. But fun work. And work that didn't really mess with my schedule all that much. Now I'm sending my resume off for part-time positions in the area, and I'm not sure how working while going to grad school full-time will fly. But I honestly have no choice if I'm going to have any spending money whatsoever. We'll see. . .

All I can say is, I really miss regular paychecks. Life is so different when you have to think carefully about whether or not you can afford to make a run to Wendy's for dinner. . . :)

It's raining and I plan to sit at the dining room table and translate Bible passages all afternoon. And the crazy thing is, this sounds like fun to me! What a nerd. :) I went out last night with some peeps from seminary and had a blast. I'm glad I decided to do that--I'm usually one who prefers quiet nights at home to going out, but I needed to get out last night.

Okay, enough. Have a good evenin', friends!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Listen Up, Boys

I have a beautiful, funny, smart, friendly, outgoing, beautiful, flirty, fun, exciting, and (for the third time) beautiful friend who has been on my mind and heart lately in regards to her recent personal life situations. And I'm sure she won't mind me blogging about it. ;) You see, several guys in the past year have flirted with her, told her they liked her, even hinted at starting a relationship with her. But they never follow through. They're too scared to tell her the truth--which is, sadly and for reasons unbeknownst maybe even to them, that they don't want to be in a relationship with her. . .at least, not now. Ouch.

One of my favorite books, He's Just Not That Into You, helped me finally make some sense out of weird male behavior that I had experienced, and also has helped me look past the stupid excuses that most guys make to girls. I have a few things I'd like to share with you guys out there, and please make note of them so you won't break a girl's heart.
(By the way, I know that most of you guys don't mean to hurt girls--you're not intentional about it--but regardless, a girl's emotions often get involved way more than you would ever imagine. . .so even if you don't mean to hurt her, you still probably are doing so. In order to avoid this as best you can, please read on):

* If you have a crush on a girl, it's fine to tell her. It's sweet, really. But know that if you tell her this, she's already beginning to think that something will follow that admission (e.g., a date, the beginning of a relationship). If you don't know for a fact--if you're not 100% sure-- that a relationship with her is what you want, then don't mention anything romantic to her. Just don't. Leave her be. There's someone better for her out there. . .someone who IS 100% sure that he wants to date her and can't wait to do so once you get out of the way.

* If you tell a girl you're going to call her, do it. If you know you're not going to call her, don't tell her you will call her. That way, she can avoid wasting time and tears on you and move on to find the man of her dreams who will call her. . .and better yet, can't wait to talk to her. It's so simple, guys. And yet you still fail to learn this simple rule.

* If you're currently in a relationship in which you're just "passing time until something better comes along," get the hell out of it. Let the girl go so she can find someone better for her. . .someone who would never use her as a substitute until something better comes along. If you're unsure about a girl for a long period of time, then you're probably not into her. Don't wait until you're sure about it--if there's one thought of uncertainty, then you're probably not sure.* Let her be happy with someone who's confident about how he feels for her.

* It pretty much all boils down to this: Cut the crap, guys. It's fun for us to flirt and attract your attention and all. . .but for most of us girls, we always want something more. There's a need deep down inside of us that craves what can only happen in a relationship--connection, consistency, etc. Even if we say that we don't want a relationship, I personally believe that all girls (and guys, too, for that matter) wouldn't pass up the opportunity for one if they found someone whom they really wanted to be with. So unless you really want to be with us, don't play games. Don't send us mixed signals. Don't be flirty, but then tell us that your job is really demanding, thus leaving you no time for a relationship, blah blah blah. You will avoid some uncomfortable talks with girls if you just let them be. Because eventually they're going to ask, "So. . .what's up with us?" and you will hang your head and think, "Crap. What the hell have I gotten myself into?" It can all be avoided if you follow my simple guidelines.

Guys, we really do like flirting with (most of) you and we really don't think that (most of) you are jerks. . .but we do think you could use some help relating to us. I am fully aware that girls are guilty of committing the same atrocities that I warn you not to, so I maintain that I am not "guy-bashing" here. However, since I am a girl, and have had many a conversation with girlfriends about guys (and have experienced my share of lameness from guys), I write from a girls' perspective. Forgive me. :)

Oh, and to my single friends (namely, my dear B): There are amazing guys out there who will stop at nothing to be with you. My skepticism and bitterness from failed dates and relationships in the past has been slowly chipped away by someone who has given me the things that I'd practically given up on. Though I think us girls might always carry some of the pain of broken relationships from our past, I have come to believe that one's faith in love can be renewed. You will be loved. (cue: "She Will be Loved" by Maroon 5 )

Ladies, if you think of anything to add to the "guidelines," feel free to contribute!

Lots of love to ALL my readers, male and female. . .

*I don't think a relationship is doomed if one or both parties are unsure about it at some point. In fact, I think it's bound to happen--and maybe even should happen. It's healthy to be critical about what you have versus what you want, etc. But when the nagging feeling of uncertainty lasts longer than it needs to (and only you can be the judge of how long that is for you), then it's time to move on.

Friday, July 28, 2006

"Unless the languages remain, the Gospel must finally perish."

Two more weeks of Greek left. . .well, of this class, that is. I'll be using my Greek for a long time after this (or at least, that's the plan--whether it actually happens or not will be revealed at a later date). And I'm actually looking forward to our Pauline Studies and Greek Readings courses, etc. because that's where the real interpretation and debate will happen!

The New Testament is full of things that could be disputed. For instance, when we translate from Greek to English the phrase "the love of God," it could mean two things: 1) God's love for us, or 2) our love for God. Well, which is it? When something is stated like, "the love of God will save us," which meaning does it take? I tend to think more of #1 than #2, but perhaps it's a combination of both? Very interesting, and this leads to much theological discussion and even debate among translators. I like Martin Luther's words regarding the importance of learning the original languages of the Bible:

"In proportion then as we value the gospel, let us zealously hold to the languages. For it was not without purpose that God caused his Scriptures to be set down in these two languages alone--the Old Testament in Hebrew, the new in Greek. Now if God did not despise them but chose them above all others for his word, then we too ought to honor them above all the others. . .And let us be sure of this: we will not long preserve the gospel without the languages. The languages are the sheath in which this sword of the Spirit is contained; they are the casket in which this jewel is enshrined; they are the vessel in which this wine is held. . ."
(from "To the Councilmen of all Cities in Germany that they Establish and Maintain Christian Schools")

Cool thoughts. I highly doubt that I would ever study Greek if I were not required to in seminary, but now I'm encouraging all of my friends to take it at some point in life. It opens up the doors to an ancient language written by ancient church fathers--I like to imagine Paul (or another author, depending on which book I'm reading) writing what I'm reading and it just feels cool. And, as many probably know, Paul was one fiery personality, so his writings have an entirely fresh feel when read in Greek. For example, in Philippians 3:8, Paul talks about how he considers everything in his life a loss because he gains Christ. He refers to all other things that do not represent Christ in his life as "rubbish." I learned today (from a friend, not the prof, so maybe I'm mistaken. . .) that the word Paul used that has been translated into English as "rubbish" was actually the Greek word that is pronounced "scuba," which literally means "shit." Strong words! He considers everything shit so that he may gain Christ! Reminds me of Luther, another strong-worded theologian, who once said that we humans are shit covered with snow. Em and I used to playfully argue about that; I love it because it's very true, and it emphasizes grace rather than our worthiness.

Anyway. Tonight should be a somewhat quiet evening, which will be nice. Then tomorrow I'm going to see Robby Rob. :) Can't wait. Hope all is well with you, my friends!