Saturday, April 29, 2006


While Leland enjoyed their cookout last night, Gould dorm began what may continue as their own tradition. Living up to their name, “Ghetto Gould” tagged the sidewalk and parking lot around the dorm. What had begun with 2 or 3 girls looking for something to do became 22 girls, psyched up, on a mission, and looking for trouble. Between 11:30 and midnight, we “decorated” guy’s side, substituting the easier to clean chalk for the traditional spray paint.

When I arrived on the scene, Brittany and Chelsie were already going to town, drawing stick figure replicas of their favorite Leland residents.

Sarah adds hearts to the myriad of flowers that make up the girlie graffiti.

This was the most participation I've ever seen from a last minute planned dorm activity.

Kathiann prefers to leave her message in Greek.

When fourth grade insults still work, why replace the classics?

Undoubtedly, the most excitement security saw all night.

The grand finale was a huge GOULD written across the parking lot which the girls promptly signed with the last fragments of chalk. Definitely a night to remember.

Friday, April 28, 2006

It's 2:00 a.m.

The dorm is quiet now

A few still linger in the halls, in a state of semi-awareness. Their intentions of pulling an all-nighter starting to wear away. The food meant to keep them awake has been gone for an hour, and the books and the wrappers litter the hall around them.

The dorm is quiet now

A strange contrast to the sounds I'm usually surrounded by.
Tonight there was the laughter. Someone being chased down the hall. Some rumor started about the dorm sup and (we won't mention who). Some silly ways of memorizing references for the prophecy test.
There was the singing. I stood on first floor as the music drifted upward from the basement and floated down from second floor. Two different songs, two different keys, but the same worship.
There was the steady stream of questions. Can I have late lights? Can I use your oven? Who will my roommates be next year? What is the Great White Throne Judgment? What do I do about...? Have you ever wondered...?" Would you pray for me? I just found out...
Followed by the advice. Study hard. Don't date your freshman year. You're going to make it. Start white glove now. Encourage each other. Let's pray.

The dorm is quiet now

I've just closed my door for the night, but now on my 3rd wind, I am wide awake and my mind will race for the next half hour as has become my custom until I fall asleep. I used to love mornings, a time of quiet, a time of pondering. But as my schedule changed this year, I was forced to trade my mornings for late nights. And now--I've found that same delight in the wee hours as the hush falls over the dorm just before sleep comes.

It's 2:20 and the dorm is quiet now.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Choice to Rejoice

If joy is a choice, why do we sometimes choose pity?
If we complain of our woes, why do we tend to nurture our misery?

I was very logical as a child--foolish because I usually spoke before thinking, but logical. I believed anything could be answered by reason. I remember thinking as a five year old: Every day I'm allowed to be happy or sad. Happy is fun. Sad is not fun. I will be happy every day.

Kind of wish I could maintain that mindset today without trying to work in other factors.

Here is where I am confused. I don't understand human nature. Someone hurts us and we milk it. We feed it with the pity we draw from others, though we claim we don't want their pity. We feed it with our minds, reading between lines, creating a worse case scenario, inventing percieved motives. We feed it by shutting out the world trying to convince ourselves that we deverve to be unhappy. We even go so far as to correct ourselves should we accidently portray joy during that brief moment when we forget our pain.

Someone said to me: "Sometimes, in or misery, we don't really even want to change; as painful as it is, the place where we are is our comfort zone, the place where we feel in control and secure because it has become familiar." I think there is a lot of truth in that.

Then consider the timing, the biggest discouragements tend to follow the greatest victories. Yes, I'm sure Satan has a part in it, but I'm not usually willing to give him too much credit--especially if I'm to blame. So what is it about our sin nature that makes us most susceptible to discouragement right after a spiritual high? The examples are all through Scripture (Elijah, David, Jonah, the children of Israel). I've experienced it myself. I just don't understand it.

Monday, April 24, 2006

A look at blogdom

Everyone, it seems, feel they have a purpose different from everyone else. They each have a unique claim, a different slant. In their desire to be like everyone else and have a blog, they are determined to be different. Strange what individual replicas we have become.

Everyone made their vow.

You have Josh, who said from the start that he would not be random. Is it truly random-free or has he redefined randomness? You can attribute an intentional purpose and deeper meaning to anything. Thus, I could take the same argument and claim no one is random.

Then you have Brittany who vowed that she hates writing and will continue to hate writing. My question--will she admit when she stops hating writing? In her defense—Long live exclamation points!!

Then there's Chelsie who, whether she has verbalized it or not, has decided only to write when she has something profound to say. No one can be that remarkable. So of course, that is only going to work if, like randomness, you redefine "profound."

And there are a number who claim they have nothing significant to say, but inwardly they beg for someone to see what they have said as significant.

You have bloggers that vow they will write faithfully and bloggers that vow they will write unfaithfully.

You have bloggers that vow they will change the world and bloggers that have yet to determine what needs to change about the world.

Justin comes close to contributing an original slant with his blog. Unfortunately, people seem to run with his ideas. Then they write their own posts giving their view on the same topic. And what may have been an original idea is overshadowed by the masses. Maybe if he would speak up…

So, the pressure is on. In our effort to add something new and exciting to the blog world, we have all made promises we can't keep. We will be individual! All of us! Yet, in our own way, we are all uniquely the same.

And what about me? Well, I vowed I would never write about blogs. I'm not even going to make excuses.

I would have commented on RuthAnn's blog, but I honestly don't know what to say. Her post are so diverse (not only in content, but in tone and writing style) that I could easily be convinced she has more than one person writing on hers. I leave it there. I couldn't think what to maybe there is individualism on the blogfront.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Chocolate fixes Everything

As the semester draws to a close, it's been rather fun to be on the observing end of the chaos. Was it only last year I was pulling all nighters, cutting classes, and racing the clock to get the projects in by 5? Now as I'm surrounded by glazed and panicked expressions, my job is to pass out the chocolate and say "you're going to make it." And smiling because I remember when I thought I wouldn't.

Actually my work is piling up. I'm faced with closing up the dorm, organizing and planning for checking out and summer storage, and somehow communicating end of the year announcements girls whose minds are definitely elsewhere. Oh yeah, and I do have a 10 page paper I probably should start. Certainly nothing to stress over. After all, the chocolate isn't gone yet. All is well.

Speaking of chocolate--
If I eat chocolate when stressed...

C-lasses will be canceled
H-omework will write itself
O-smosis learning will kick in
C-omputers will cooperate
O-ne hundred percents will mark all my tests
L-ate work will receive full credit
A-ll the clocks will slow down and deadlines fade away
T-eachers will sing my praises
E-verything will be okay

May your chocolate supply, as the widow’s oil, never run dry.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Behind Burckart Hall

Late at night one midnight dreary
In the practice rooms a-weary
Pondered the musician

o’er the pages of some lengthy score
With the curtain softly flapping,
As her foot continued tapping
Suddenly there came a rapping,

rapping on the crooked door
‘Tis the metronome a-tapping
In the meter of four-four
Merely this, and nothing more.

Ah distinctly I remember
It was in the late November
With recital in December and so much to do before
Frantically o’er scales bemoaning
Suddenly there came a groaning
And her practice now postponing, this new sound she did explore
‘Tis the radiator moaning
As if banging an encore
Merely this, and nothing more.

And the silken, sad uncertain
Rustling of each drab green curtain
Distracted her from fingerings that she could not ignore
All at once she heard a stomping
As if heavy tread was tromping
And she wondered at the clomping just out side the corridor
‘Tis security come stomping
Here to check for unlocked door
Merely this, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering,
Long she stood there wondering, fearing,
As she caught a glimpse of shadows she had never seen before
Then she heard a loud ker-plunk
That was followed by a thunk
And she quickly propped a music stand against the crooked door
Could it be she’d seen the monk
Said to haunt the second floor?
Ah, ‘twas nonsense, nothing more.

This poem is dedicated to all my music friends, to the few who fully understand this poem beacuse they've spent the countless hours in the little cubicle practice rooms.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Thankful--For the Ugly and the Beautiful

I'm thankful for the nails,
Hideous nails that pierced my precious Savior's hands, the nails that I don't like to think about because my mind wants to hold this gruesome reality at a distance, the nails that are pretty when woven into song, but in fact were cold and ugly. And then wondering--if He was thankful for the nails, if as they tore his flesh He could be thankful knowing the salvation He purchased with His death. Then wondering why I struggle to thankful for the little pinpricks of inconvenience that I think are too much to bare.

I'm thankful for the thorns,
Thorns that crowned His sacred head. He should have had gold. But gold was not precious enough. The throne He left behind, the heavenly crown He set aside. Leaving perfection, He traded paradise for pain, heaven for humility. And the Rose of Sharon embraced the thorns, accepting the mockery.

I'm thankful for the betrayal.
While my heart wrenches at the thought of my Dearest Friend betrayed by a kiss, while my eyes read the account and beg the outcome be somehow different. I cannot hear the story without my ears pleading to block out the truth, finding in the description my own betrayal.

I’m thankful for the resurrection.
His victory over death secures my hope. By His life, I have eternal life. When death was defeated, so was my sin. In the resurection, I find my purpose. I serve a risen Savior!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Remembering when...

This is for Tim and Vin, them being the best brother and sister in the world.

  • Tim, remember the rock quarry and arguing over whether or not we should tell Mom we had seen a cobra?
  • Remember the trips we made through the cemetery just because we thought we weren't allowed?
  • Remember when we would go to the park and not speak English because we thought it was fun when people started talking about us thinking we couldn't understand?
  • Remember the chicken that mom kicked during the invitation that started squawking got the deacons glaring at us?
  • Tim, remember all the clubs I started and dragged you into joining?
  • Remember the language we invented?
  • Remember the tortured scorpions?
  • Remember the fruit bat that got loose?
  • Remember Mom's screaming?
  • Remember when Valinda wanted to see Niagara Falls up close?
  • Remember Mom's screaming?
  • Remember the hotdogs Dad made that the dog wouldn't eat?
  • Valinda, remember the year I thought we should keep Christmas lights up in our room all year long?
  • Remember the night the three of us stayed up all night reading ghost stories by flashlight?
  • Remember going to MacDonald’s and ordering french-fry foam and a chocolate marlamo?
  • Remember the lady that swallowed her brains?
  • Remember eating lunch under the piano?
  • Remember the day we turned all the pictures in the house upside down and Mom didn't notice?
  • Tim, remember when I used to sneak into your room to watch scary movies after Mom and Dad went to bed?
  • Remember the day Mom decided to roast mini marshmallows?
  • Remember the red wagon?
  • Remember the lemonade stand--except we used our own nickels, thinking we had to buy our own product, and drank more than we sold?
  • Remember when Valinda scribbled all over my face with a magic marker and it wouldn't come off before school?
  • Remember the Little Black Kitty song that Dad would sing just to torment Vin?
  • Remember the log slide?
  • Remember riding our bikes pass the kitchen window and Mom giving us lunch "Drive-thru" style?
  • Remember when Mom and Dad didn't realize we understood Sango and we found out all our Christmas presents early that year?
  • Remember the more "creative" ways of eating spaghetti?
  • Remember the hours in the back of the truck singing at the top of our lungs?
  • Remember how much fun automatic doors were after living in Africa?
  • Remember going up all the down escalators?
  • Remember all the shop keepers that had no sense of humor?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Gould 104

First of all, my thanks to Keelin for providing me with this story. Not only did she give me something to post on my blog, she also supplied me with some great material to include in the article I'm writing for Journalism on dorm life.

A few things you not-in-the-dorm people need to understand:

1) Second semester incoming freshman are bottom of the totem-pole. Nothing against them personally. It's just the way it is. It's the way it will always be.

2) PC's are all-powerful. They cast the deciding vote whether they are right or wrong.

3) Dorm Sup's have the freedom to take whichever side they choose based on what seems most convenient or most fun at the time. (For the record, Dorm Sup is no relation to anyone in Stone Soup. Any similarities are purely coincidental).

It started when Keelin, innocently enough, asked to open a window.

4) Upper classmen control not only window openage and closage, they are the sole regulators of the thermostat, the designers of room arrangements, the dividers of closet space, and anything else that will give them a control boost.

Her request was vetoed. Not only by the PC, but 2 freshman roommates who qualify as upperclassmen roommates, being the only other roommates in the room. Further requests were not only denied, but got her banned from the room and locked out.

5) The property of a banned roommate is then divided among the remaining roommates at the discretion of the PC.

In this case, her roommates were generous allowing her to keep her green blanket. Her request for her pillow however, was denied.

Monday, April 10, 2006

She's a nothing...

I was insulted today.

Oh not just your typical snide remark--this was a full-fledged, jaw-dropping, I-can't-believe-you-just-said-that insult. The comment went something like his:

Unnamed individual: She needs to be more like Heather. She needs to be a nothing.

It might have been an honor if she were referring to my demeanor of humility which I so obviously personify... (Yeah right) But no, this had nothing to do with humility. I might not have minded if she had been referring to my servant's heart, of being willing to be in the background and not receive recognition. No, that wasn't it.

She was simply referring to the fact that during my college years I had been a nobody, a nothing, unassuming, unknown, no position, no recognition.

But the insult wasn't intentional. It was actually funny because she didn't realize what she had said till it was already said.

She's nothing but a zero with the ring rubbed out. A nothing.

So of course, I got to thinking...
And if you think about this wrong, it turns to misery. I am nothing, I am worthless, O wretched worm that I am. I’m not a promoter of building self-esteem, but watch out for the other extreme. Though I must realize that I am nothing, the joy comes when I linger, not on my weakness, but on His strength.

If I am nothing, consider the joy. He is everything.
If I am nothing, consider the responsibility. God has chosen to use this marred vessel.
If I am nothing, consider the privilege. I am redeemed.

If I am nothing, consider the hope. I am being changed into His likeness.
If I am nothing, consider the comfort. In my weakness, He is strong.
If I am nothing, consider the magnitude of the gift. Look what Christ came to save.

I was complimented today.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Storm

I watched the firework display of God's storm last night. It was amazing--the flash of lightning, the smell of rain, the magestic roll of thunder...just to consider the hand of God. And yes, it resulted in the flooding of a few of the houses and the new dorm, but it was still phonomenal. Reminded me of another storm...

The lonely moon dominated the heavens as the primary source of light, granting recognition with its gentle touch of pale luminosity, and splashing its image against the black ink of the sea. The only sound was the smooth motion of the oars churning the surface of the water, interrupted by an occasional ringing as the rain joined the sea in the light drizzle. This backdrop seemed routine, setting the mood for the experienced fishermen; yet tonight was different. Tonight the Messiah shared their boat. He slept peacefully, rocked by the placid waves.
Without warning, the serene night betrayed them, forcing the calm from each man’s heart. A fist of clouds slammed against the tranquil sky, striking it into a blackened mass. The waves responded to the wind’s aggression with angry claws that tore through the sea, scratching against the tiny boat. The vessel was caught in the grip of the waters, torn back and forth between the wind and sea. A mighty wave pounded the waters, sending a gush of saltwater spraying into the sky. It mingled with the rain before whipping against the face of each fisherman, yet still their Lord slept. Lightning signed the sky like a death warrant, its finality declared by a thundering voice. Panic possessed the minds of even the bravest fisherman as the mighty forces battled on. A desperate cry sounded from one man’s throat. Frantically, another sought to arouse the sleeping Master. Christ calmly stood to His feet. Eyes of terror were directed towards Him as He gazed out over the rolling clouds, the slicing waves, and the trembling men.
Then He spoke. “Peace.”

How's that for reviving an old Comp. 1 paper?