Sunday, May 31, 2009

Comic Relief!

Dear Reader,

As I am in need of and currently enjoying little comic relief at this time, I thought I share some.

First, you simply must head over to Snap's place and read the history test! It's priceless.

Secondly, that Pine Cone Boy has given me permission to post quotes he took from Augustine. I stealed them from his blogses. Editorial Note: if there is a "me" in the following it signifies Zack. I must have forgotten to change it. Also, Bladerunner is Dr. Bloedow. And Metelsk is Dr. Metelski. And the funniest quotes are at the bottom so you really do have to read the entire thing!

Kyle: When I say there are seven students in my class, people ask, “You mean seventy, right?” “No, seven.”
David: “It’s kinda like seventy…”
Kyle: “…only divided by ten.”

Joel: Please tell me we have internet.
Zack: Nope.
Joel: Gah! My life is over!
Kyle: That was short.

Zack: I bet I know more Swedish than you do.
Kyle: (pointing at IKEA package) Then tell me what “Malm” means!

Zack: Fudge’d!

Joel: We have to make up a name for the frat we started five seconds ago. What rhymes with “frat”?

(On Joel’s strangely constructed closet)
Kyle: I can just imagine you sitting up there, reciting poety and thinking up rhymes for “frat”.
Joel: It’s like Narnia back here… ‘Oh, hey Aslan. Can you think of a rhyme for “frat”‘?

Me: Malm’d!

(This was a hypothetical dialogue Dr. Tingley was describing)
Torturer: Tell us who your accomplice is!
Victim: I like sardines.

Samantha: (on a fuzzy picture Tingley wanted us to indentify) It looks like a bat with a cleft lip.
Tingley: (on the same picture) Only one student has ever guessed it without any hints or prompting. He was one of the worst students that year, but he guessed it.

Tingley: People used to read Plato after supper, whereas now they read John Grisham or… Harry Potter. (looking at Zack's weird expression) I’ve probably offended some people already.
Zack: No, I just wish everyone would stop staring at me!

Kyle: Is there somewhere I can park around here without getting one of these? (holds up parking ticket)

Zack: The Basement People are on an excursion. Get all your hammering done now!

Harold: (on whether or not the Basement People would steal our stuff) I don’t think you’ll have any problems with them. (pause) I’m a little worried about your laptops.

Kyle: Also, when it’s raining, that tree tries to kill you.

Zack: (on Joel’s techno) Is that the song or are you rewinding?

([Zack]'d sat down next to Kyle with a creepy smile on [his] face)
Kyle: I thought you were trying to get me to drive you somewhere.
Zack: No. I just like being insane and enjoying every minute of it.

(later)Kyle: (on Joel) He’s insane and enjoying every minute of it!
Zack: Hey, at least I’m not smellily insane.
Joel: What?
Kyle: I think he doesn’t like your dreadlocks.
Joel: You’re a shameless antagonist!

Zack: (pointing at David’s cereal) Can I have some of that?
David: No… listen, my cereal is like your ice cream.(pause)
Zack: I’ll trade you.(Joel and David laugh)
Joel: I guess it’s not… that was really funny. (laughs some more)
Zack: OK, I guess I’ll have to write that one down…

Kyle: Huh? (opens a book cover which folded out without anything on it) I don’t get it. Why?

Dr. Patrick: Atheism explains nothing and leaves you with all the problems. At least Christians can blame God, and he doesn’t seem to mind.

Dr. Patrick: Do the hardest thing you’re capable of.
Joel: What?
Dr. Patrick: Do the hardest thing you’re capable of.
Joel: Oh. I thought you said, “Do the hardest thing and your head will blow up.”

Janice: Do you want anything to eat?
Clement: No, I’m fine.
Dr. Patrick: You don’t look it.

(Sarah was telling how she RA’d for another college once, and contrasting the guys’ disgusting residence with the girls’ lovely one)
Sarah: The girls’ house smelled really nice, with cookies and brownies…
Dr. Patrick: And not an intelligent word to be heard.

Bladerunner: In this course, you will never, never be allowed to say, “There is two”.

Kyle: (on his church) Most of the congregation is Chinese. And then you have a few token Caucasians such as myself.

Joel: Choir was mandatory, so I took that for a few years. Can’t read music. Then in high school I took band, and I was the trumpet. Still can’t read music.

Rev. Hayman: There have been a few people over the years who have gotten away with calling me “Dougie”.
Joel: Can I be one of those people?

Kyle: The rain is deceivingly wet.

Dr. Tingley: (reading Hegel) “To pit this single assertion, that ‘in the Absolute all is one,’ against the organized whole of determinate and complete knowledge, or of knowledge which at least aims at and demands complete development — to give out its Absolute as the night in which, as we say, all cows are black — that is the very naïveté of emptiness of knowledge.” (pause) Hwat?!?

(We were trying to translate the Latin idiom “Si vales, valeo” into a corresponding English expression. Various attempts included, “If you’re well, I’m well,” “If you’re fine, I’m fine,” “How are you,” and others)
Bladerunner: (clarifying) HI!!!

Dr. Tingley: Sorry I’m late today.
Joel: We’ll forgive you. Well, I will, anyway.

Dr. Tingley: If the fart, I mean, the heart… I’m really sorry these lectures are recorded.

(Emily was telling us how she abbreviated words like “tradition” and “delicious” to “tradish” and “delish”)
Zack: Gah, I HATE it when people do that!
David: Oh, it doesn’t mat to me.

Metelsk: Everyone has a book at home?
(we nod) Good. It has nice pictures.

Kyle: (on his Literature notes) I put down here on the timeline, “William the Conqueror does his thing. CONQUER’D!” And then later, here’s Christopher Marlowe. STABB’D!

Metelsk: (explaining Anaximander’s theories) That was his thinking. Well, good try.

Karen: Deer are so stupid! *sigh* We should just shoot all of them.

(I mentioned I was planning to bring an axe to the Ranch)
Janice: An axe? A hatchet maybe, or a tomahawk…
Karen: I love throwing tomahawks. (mimes doing so)
Sarah: See, this is what makes me afraid of Americans. Americans and Zack.
Zack: I like weapons.

Zack: (finishing drying pot lid) Here’s your LID.
Joel: Put it on the pot, please.
Zack: Never. I’ll die first.
Joel: That can be arranged.

Bladerunner: (coming out of a long tangent about Roman history) No, we didn’t do the verb… why am I talking about this? We’re supposed to be doing Latin…

Bladerunner: A noun in the nominative plural.
Karen: …Virorum?
Bladerunner: Oh no, no, no, don’t do that to me, Karen.

Bladerunner: First verb.
Joel: Amicos…
Bladerunner: Now Joel. Now Joel, don’t ruin my day.

Bladerunner: The verb?
Kyle: Iram… no, what am I doing…
Bladerunner: I don’t know what you’re doing. It puzzles me.

Bladerunner: “Caecilianus has a lovely dinner-guest.” (pause) A pig.

Bladerunner: Direct object.
David: Leonidas.
Bladerunner: Now David, don’t make my life miserable.

Bladerunner: The verb?
David: Salvi?
Bladerunner: What are you trying to tell me.

Sarah: The next chapter is exactly the same as the last one, except with masculine endings.
David: But that’s not exactly the same, then!

Joel: They look young and stupid. Why aren’t they in school?

Karen: (watching a beatboxing video) Can you imagine how much spit is in that microphone?

Prof. Warren: I won’t read all this; I don’t want to kill your brain cells.
Zack: You already have.
Prof. Warren: Yes, well, hopefully we’ve created a few along the way…

Kyle: I’ve decided to form a club called, “Paradise Lost: WTF?”

Joel: (on the Cyclopes) They’re irreparably nucleic.
Prof. Tucker: Now there’s a phrase.

Zack: I’m pretty sure I’m the metalhead of this residence.
Joel: Yeah. (pause) Actually, I’m not sure you are…
Zack: You’re right, I’m just a poser.
Kyle: Wow, that was a quick confession.

Rev. Hayman: (making some kind of Biblical illustration) If you hear a loud roar outside… (a bus rolls by loudly outside) …well, that’s not quite what I was thinking of…

Tingley: Something in my brain is upside-down.

Joel: Why won’t it just get cold?
Zack: Zeus is angry at us. We must make hecatombs.
Joel: We’ll pour out libations and slaughter a cow. Except I don’t have any cows. (looks out window) I hope that guy will do.

Tingley: We’ll be able to end early today. Mercifully. For once. (we didn’t, btw)

Tingley: (on a bust of a philosopher) What’s different here?
Samantha: He looks insane.

Tingley: (on a sculpture of Aphrodite and Pan) She’s got a slipper here, and she’s going to whack him. “Oh, you naughty thing!”

Emily: They’re probably in numerical order. Two coming after one, etc.

Clement: So how’s everyone tonight?
Zack: Peachy. I’m just peachy!
Sarah: I think we need to stop giving Zack sugar. And caffeine.

Note attached to plant: I’m drowning. Don’t water me, please!

David: (telling a joke) What do white children turn into when they go to heaven?
Joel: Black people?
David: No, angels.
Joel: Same thing.

Emily: (dramatically speaking of the alleged Beowulf movie) As Grendel’s arm was ripped from his body, so the plot of Beowulf was ripped from the poem!

Joel: (on Beowulf) He killed seven people before he was born.
Emily: Yeah. “I ate my twin!”

Karen: That’s not the question I was expecting…
Tingley: Deal with it.

The following bracketed quotes are from a film Dr. Tingley showed us:

[Narrator: Each man puts forth his own definition of love until finally, Socrates annihilates them all.

Teacher: Beautiful speech. Beautiful. But of course... it has to be demolished.]

Me: I have a possible solution to the subjective dilemma you find yourself in.

Karen: That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!
Joel: You don’t hear much, do you?

Kyle: I learned all this reading Tom Clancey novels.
Prof. Tucker: Yeah, they teach pretty much everything in those except character development.

Zack: Look, did you have some kind of weird drink at that party?(pause)
Joel: (in really weird voice) The weirdest.

Tingley: That’s a good question, and we should answer it — just not now.

Sarah: I’m a horrible person.
Kyle: But it’s such a nice horrible.

Bladerunner: And who do you think Ovid is speaking to?
Kyle: Umm… who’s Ovid?

Prof. Warren: Well, we’re finishing up Gregorian chant today, believe it or not.
Zack: I don’t believe it.

(the following exchange took place on MSN)
Zack: Where are you?
Joel: I’m listening to MM in hermitude.
Zack: Hermitude? I think you mean the Hermitage, my friend.
Joel: No, hermitude. It’s like solitude, but with a beard.

Rev. Hayman: What’s the word you use for a people like this? Common lineage, common language, common goals…
Joel: …communists?

Prof. Tucker: (on Buechner) His theology is not orthodox, but… y’know. Who cares.

Tingley: Plato called Aristotle “The Reader”. Which is a good thing to be called. (pause) Better than “The Gamer”.

Tingley: Please excuse the proximity in that sentence of God and a dung beetle.

Prof. Tucker: …the reign of King Elizabeth.
Zack: Umm… isn’t that Queen Elizabeth?
Prof. Tucker: No, King Elizabeth sounds right to me.

Prof. Tucker: “Interactional synchrony.” Sounds like a Police album.

Prof. Tucker: “Most drafts can be cut by 50 per cent without losing any information or losing the author’s voice.”
David: Wow. That’s a lot of per cent. That’s almost, like, half.

Sarah: Does Wolsey get his head chopped off?
Prof. Tucker: No, I think he just dies.
Kyle: I’d like to point out right now that those two things aren’t mutually exclusive.

Kyle: I think you really need to revise your definition of “feet”.

(Joel’s laptop starts making a weird beeping noise)
Tingley: Where is that noise coming from?
Joel: My laptop. And it’s never made that noise before. I didn’t think it was capable of making that noise.(pause)
Tingley We — we don’t have to flee the building?

Bladerunner: The Rape of Lucretia, that’s a nice story…

Dr. Patrick: (to Zack) Yes, your veins are fairly prominent!

Joel: Sir, if you had a knife, would you beat someone with it?
Rev. Hayman: I’d be inclined to use a hammer.

Dr. Patrick: So since you got the Templeton Prize, how has your life changed?
Dr. Heller: It has been RUINED.

Dr. Heller: Cosmology is more narrow. Cosmology is concerned with one thing only: the universe.

Joel: (on his scarf) It’s like a day-long hug from a very fluffy man.
Janice: Or an attempt to strangle you from a very weak man.

Tingley: When you hear people talk about art, what do you think of?
Zack: I think of film, actually.
Tingley: Well, you would, wouldn’t you.

Rev. Hayman: What does “amen” mean?
Zack: (remembering that we’d looked this up, but I couldn’t remember what it meant) …aw, crap.
Rev. Hayman: It does not mean “aw, crap”.

Tingley: Now, some people don’t like the word “argument”.
Zack: I like the word argument.
Tingley: We know you like it, Zack. That might be the first thing we learned about you.

Prof. Tucker: (on the Rime of the Ancient Mariner) First reactions?
Dave: I liked it.
Prof. Tucker: OK. Why?
Dave: Uhhh… it was cool…

Tingley: …the forum here was populated only by pigs, deer, and vegetables…

Bladerunner: What case is “tibi,” Kyle?
Kyle: Umm… dative?

Bladerunner: Dative. Dative, David. (pause) David dative. Dative David. (chuckles)

Karen: (on how she’d been using Emily’s method of abbreviaysh) I was doing the Scriptures reading and I thought, “justificaysh”.
Zack: Heh, and sanctificaysh.
Dave: Whoa, guys. That’s not funny. It has to do with your salvaysh!
Joel: (coming over) Hey guys, I really enjoyed that talk on the Transfiguraysh.

Kyle: I like carnage, OK? Nothing wrong with that.

Kyle: What did I tell you about dreamworlds of magic? No more dreamworlds of magic!

Tingley: Does everyone agree with that? Or do we have… dissenters?

Tingley: In a syllogism, two negatives don’t make a positive, they make a big nothing.

Tingley: Is it valid?
Joel: No. Yes.
Tingley: I got a “no” and a “yes”… FROM THE SAME PERSON!

Tingley: (speaking of Zack) I just wish we could dial the irony knob down, though…
Dr. Patrick: No no, rack it up!

Dave: I dunno… is there such a thing as too much Bach?
Prof. Warren: (immediately) No.

Joel: (on the garbage) It sounds like some fruity tree gone wrong.

Emly: I need something abrasive. Can I borrow your personality?

Nova: I feel like one big frozen nose.

Tingley: (looks at Joel’s tea) Looks like Joel’s poured himself a nice scotch.

Joel: Accept my hospitality or I’ll KILL YOU!!!

Nova: Somehow proximity to the food makes me feel safer.
Emly: You clearly haven’t seen me cook.

(watching Andrei Rublev)
Cyril: It’s like Ottawa: always winter.
Nova: But never Christmas!

Zack: Some people don’t think squirrels will be in heaven.
Emly: (in silly voice) Well, the people who think that are probably not going there anyway.

Rev. Hayman: Were you saying something, Samantha?
Samantha: Oh, I was just gonna say what Dave said.
Rev. Hayman. Oh. You might want to change that… I was about to rip him to shreds.

(Tingley rings “bell” for quiet in the class)
Joel: Every time you do that it makes me think of a wedding.
Tingley: What do I have to do to shut you up.

Cyril: (to Jesse) Ah, you Eastern Orthodox weren’t REALLY worshipping God this morning because you were praying in a language you could understand!

(Cyril says something about the pope)
Jesse: Who you worship.
Cyril: We VENERATE the pope, we do not WORSHIP him…
Jesse: Yes you do.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hey Roomie!: Strategies for Living with Your Room-mates, Housemates, (and Other People) Without Outwardly Breaking the Fifth Commandment.

Stuff I've gleaned from doin' it, readin' 'bout it, thinkin' it throoo and talkin' it ovah.

· If this arrangement is going to work out, you’ve got to go into it PLANNING on MAKING IT WORK! If you don’t want it to work, then, believe me, it won’t. A healthy relationship takes effort and sacrifice– a ton of it.

Most of your relationships up till now you entered into by choice. You were attracted to something about the other person or shared a certain something (activity, quality, characteristic) in common. This is different. The only thing you are certain to share with your roomie is your room. That means you’re going to have to cultivate a relationship from the ground up, even if you’d rather not. Don’t think you can ignore this person – there’s nothing like a stranger in your private refuge. In order to be able to take any relaxation at all in your quarters, you’ve got to learn to relax with and trust your room-mate. The converse is also true. Make your roomie miserable and her miserableness will make you miserable.
Don’t start out pessimistic about the arrangement. If you do, your prophecy may very well become self-fulfilling. Go into the situation dissatisfied and things will deteriorate from there.

· Talk to your roomie! Communication is critical here. Don’t just think and look pitiful and expect her to get it. She won’t and she’ll freak out. Tell her what’s on your mind and what’s bugging you (even if you have to abbreviate it or explain it simplistically). That way, she’ll get to know how to interpret you and she’ll understand why you are acting the way you do. Explain your reasoning behind your feelings and acting so that she can understand why something bugs you. She might not think the way you do and might not understand why you are upset otherwise.

· Listen to her! This is even more important than talking. And I’m not referring to staring at the wall and grunting while she’s speaking. I mean ACTIVE LISTENING. Look at her when she’s talking to you. If you can, stop what you are doing and give her your complete attention. Don’t interrupt her. When she’s finished speaking, let her know you heard what she said by summarizing it back to her. Ask her if this is what she is saying. Ask questions to clarify and let her know you are concerned about her.

· Make your roomie your first research project. I don’t mean rooting out all the little tidbits of her life. I mean, RECOGNIZE THAT YOU KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT THIS GIRL! Honestly. The stuff you assume about her probably isn’t accurate. Don’t assume you understand how she feels, what she’s going through, what she wants, how she will act, or EVEN WHAT HER WORDS MEAN! Her whole life and background has probably been completely different from yours.
So FIND OUT ABOUT HER. Ask her about what is important to her. Be interested in what she’s interested in for the sake of understanding her. Don’t be dismissive or ridicule what she values, but try to understand why she values it. Find out what gives her pleasure and what makes her uncomfortable and afraid. And PET HER A LITTLE BIT! She’s scared, ok? Help her feel comfortable in the way that makes her comfortable if it is at all right and within your power. Usually, it takes only a very little effort to comment about her nice sports shoes or encourage her to sign up for the Intramural team she really wants to be on, or help her carry her bags up the stairs, or walk with her to the cafeteria. You’ll be amazed how far a little interest in your roomie will go.

· Talk about living arrangements from the get-go. You’ve got to have some mutual understanding about how you are going to live, what is off limits, and what you must get each other’s permission for. DEFINE THE PERAMETERS AND LEAVE NOTHING UNSAID! Don’t be afraid to discuss even the most basic and ridiculous little things. Don’t assume that, of course we’ll both do this or that. Develop a basic understanding about the fundamentals of your life together and agree upon rules that will define your relationship and guard your trust of one another. Hope College had a very nice list of things roommates had to discuss and agree upon within the first week of school. We actually had to sign it and turn it into the R.A. to be used to settle any disagreements later in the year. If you are not given such a form, seriously consider writing up one between your room-mate and you. Discuss such things as:

Ø Curfew

Ø Who is allowed in the room and when (includes parents and sibs)

Ø Locking doors (when and who gets a key? You might also want to lock up some of your own valuables.)

Ø What stuff of yours is off limits (e.g. your clothes, cell phone), what stuff can be shared (e.g. tissue box, alarm clock, fans), and what stuff you’ll lend to her when she asks (e.g. stationary, blank paper, pencil).

Ø Bathroom, Cosmetic, toiletry arrangements. (If you have one mirror, sink, toilet or shower between the two of you, who gets it when and for how long?)

Ø Dressing. What is your room-mate comfortable with? (Some of us girls are squeamish about dressing in front of others. Some are very, very not and a few can be almost in your face about it. My room-mate and I were both more on the super-modest end of the spectrum. When my room-mate was in the room, I often took my clothes to a shower stall in the [communal] bathroom to change. She often did likewise. If one of us was still in bed, we accommodated each other by turning toward the wall. If one needed to quickly change for something, one asked first before whipping into and out of clothing. It was much like privacy arrangements were when me and my sisters shared a room)

Ø Friend arrangements. What are friends allowed when it comes to your room? Can they ever be invited to sleep over? Can they walk in at any time? Is all socializing to be outside of the room? If your roomie’s friends come into the room while you are gone, will your roomie keep an eye on your stuff and vice versa? How will friends let you know that they’ve been by to see you? Do you have a message board for the door or will your roomie leave you a note?

Ø Sleeping, Studying and Late Night Hours. How much sleep do you and your roomie want to get a night? What conditions do you both need to sleep – dark, semi dark, nightlight, shades drawn, computer screen ok? What are your sleep patterns: are you a morning person or a night person? Do you sleep-walk or talk and how seriously are you to be taken if you randomly start talking at night? (I scared my room-mate the very first night by talking about a heart-attack in my sleep :D )

At some point, one of you is going to have to put in some late night hours or study or work. What are you going to do in this situation? Where will the night owl work? (Renee and I had a really nice system worked out. Whenever the first one of us wanted to go to bed, the other agreed to either put up her work and turn in also, or take the work out to the hall, study lounge, or library. We left a small flashlight in a designated place so that the late one wouldn’t have to turn on the lights when she finally went to bed. We both had our share of being the late one. In the morning, we usually got up together, but if one wanted to sleep longer, the other used the flashlight again [or just the morning light] to gather what she needed. If we went to bed at the same time, we asked each other what time each girl planned to get up so that we could plan accordingly and not be surprised in the morning.)

Ø Music, Cell Phones, TV, video games, singing, playing instruments. Talk about what’s acceptable when. Do you prefer your roommate to take long telephone calls outside of the room? Do you mind her playing music or watching television? Only at certain times? What other noisy/potentially distracting things bother each of you or would you both prefer to limit? Are there certain categories of media either of you has moral or religious objections to?

Ø Religious observance and Politics. Do either of you expect to use your room for any sort of religious activity and how does the other feel about that? (includes devotions and religious symbols/imagery.)How much of the other’s religion or political stance will the other one stomach? How much is too much? Agree to be sensitive and respectful if not totally in accord.

Ø Decorations, pictures, graphics. Do you have any strong feelings about how the room is decorated? (Do you really just loathe that Artic Cicada Boa Constrictor hanging from the ceiling above your roomie at night? Don’t make critical remarks about it that leave her wondering or feeling insulted – just gently tell her that it bothers you, why it does, and suggest an alternative arrangement for the honorable impossible snake. ) What genre of pictures is acceptable to both of you? (Make sure porn is not an option, even though this may seem obvious.)

Ø Conflict Resolution. At some point you guys are going to rub each other the wrong way. You’re human, adolescent, female, strangers, and in a tight space. C’mon, it’ll happen. And it’ll certainly be both of your fault when it does. Discuss how you both want to resolve controversy and conflict. If your room-mate needs to talk it out with someone besides you, who is alright? Obviously you don’t want your laundry spread around the dorm. Will you both trust the Resident Advisor or Resident Director to mediate? What about a mutual friend? Agree to talk to each other about problems before griping to others. Agree to take complaints, requests, and suggestions graciously. Agree to work together to solve problems. Talk about a cool-down time, if you really blow the top, so that you can have a little space from each other.

Ø Accountability, Care, and Keeping Tabs. How much do you want to keep track of each other? A campus can be a big place and there may not be many there who will stop to ask questions if you don’t show up to class. Do you want to know/tell your room-mate roughly where she/you will be that day so that you can cover each other’s safety? If one of you wants to go to a party or other place, is the other willing to come along for security? How much notice do you need of major changes in her routine/special events and vice versa? If one of you gets sick, what should the other one do? How much care can you or are you willing to give? Whom should you call? What do you do for each other in an emergency – i.e. who should be notified of what?

Ø Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco. First of all, what are the campus regulations for these things? Settle whether you and your room-mate are going to abide by the regs. Seriously! Within legality, what are your views, concerns, health needs, etc. concerning these things? What can you both not tolerate? What will one of you do if the other is acting illegally with these substances or has them in the room?

Ø Males. Are they allowed in the room? When and under what circumstances? What are they allowed to do in the room? What are they allowed to say in the room?

Side Note: Jammies probably shouldn’t be skimpy. There’ll probably be guys passing through the hall quite often if you’re in one of those dorm arrangements where guys are in one wing and girls in another separated by a stair. Running to a communal bathroom could get awkward. Bring a robe definitely if you’re not one of those who wear presentable PJs.

Ø Cleaning and Laundry. Who will clean your room and how often? Where will you put the laundry and trash? How often will each of you do your laundry? What level of tidiness is preferable? What level is barely tolerable?

Ø What will you do if one of you doesn’t abide by what you have agreed upon concerning the above?

· Be explicit. NO CONTEXT-RICH COMMUNICATION! Yes, we all love to leave things unsaid and simply understood between us. We like fun language with implicit meaning. RESIST THE URGE TO LEAVE THINGS MERELY “UNDERSTOOD” AND "UNSTATED!” It’ll just frustrate you both if you think you’ve said one thing, and your room-mate smiles and nods, thinking she’s understood you when she hasn’t or just doesn’t want to embarrass herself by asking what you mean. If your roomie uses context-rich language, SWALLOW YOUR PRIDE AND ASK HER WHAT SHE MEANS EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU UNDERSTAND HER OR IF IT MAKE S YOU LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT. It’ll save you grief later.

Say exactly what you mean in the clearest way possible (in so far as you can say exactly what you mean). At the same time, be tactful! Explain everything in the kindest way with the best possible interpretation of every scenario. If you are hurt by something your room-mate says or does, ask her about it. She probably doesn’t even realize she hurt you and likely didn’t mean you to take it in that way at all. If you hurt her, don’t be ashamed to apologize and ask her forgiveness. If she apologizes to you, don’t just mumble or look away or say, “That’s OK.” Such responses don’t bring closure to a bruised situation. Explicitly express forgiveness and bury the dead horse so neither you, she, or her friends can kick it again! (There’s my little context rich insertion into an otherwise explicit paragraph.)

· Identify communication barriers. Some people just don’t have the vocabulary you do. Words might be hard to find or might mean different things to her than they do to you. Hear with your heart and don’t pull her verbal message to shreds, even if it’s tempting. That won’t help anything. Recognize that the meaning she is trying to get across to you is probably not the exact literal meaning of her words, especially if she is worked up. Give her space and attention. Hear and try to understand before you talk. Summarize your understanding of her thoughts and let her clarify herself before you start to respond to her message.

RESIST THE URGE TO DEFEND / JUSTIFY YOURSELF! That’s the last thing you need when someone’s been intentionally or unintentionally hurt if you want to resolve the situation. Even if your intentions were good, somebody got hurt and you were part of the act that did it. Admit you blew it. It won’t hurt you to apologize. You won’t lose anything but your pride, and you’ve got more where that came from. :D (Too bad we can’t lose it all.) Not saying you can’t explain your good motivations – doing so will help your roomie understand why you did what you did – but make that PART of the apology, not preamble or modifier to it.

· Decide beforehand how you will deal with your little aggravations with your room-mate’s harmless quirks. Try your best not to show unnecessary irritation, especially with little qualities that are part of your room-mates personality. If they get too annoying, nicely ask her to cut down on them. She probably hasn’t a clue that they bug you.

· Please, acknowledge and be genial to your roomie’s friends. The last thing she needs is for you to ignore or belittle her friends – especially since she’s probably a little insecure in herself and in her new found friendships. You’re the only “family substitute” she’s got and she wants you to like and be nice to the people she’s trying to be friendly with. She wants them to like you. Don’t add to her stress, because you’ll be living with it. :D

· Remember that your roomie is NOT “out to get you.” She’s probably just as nervous and stressed as you are about living with another person. If you have to have a room-mate in the first place, it’s likely because there wasn’t enough room for everybody who wanted one to have a private room. That means that if she has to move out, she’ll probably end up rooming with the other person nobody wants to live with. She’s got a vested interest in making the room situation work.

My Mother always told me, “Never attribute to malice what can be accounted for by stupidity.” It’s good advice. The stupidity may even be your own and not hers.
Try to see problems and situations from her perspective. To do this, you have to ask about her perspective. When finding solutions to situations, make sure the solution will fix the problem from her perspective as well as your own.

· At the same time, don’t let her walk all over you either. Be firm when you need to be firm and KEEP YOUR WORD! If you said you would do something – do it, even if it’s something she’s not going to like. If you get into a situation where you are afraid of damage to yourself or your stuff from your room-mate, DON’T STAY IN THE SITUATION. Get help. Talk to your friends. Talk to your R.A and R.D. Talk to your parents.

· Remember that you both are females and have a lot of chemicals kicking around in your system. Eventually, both of you will probably start cycling in sync with each other. That means that if you are having a bad day, it’s likely that your roomie is too. Learn to recognize when you are being influenced by your physiology and not reality. Take a break and ride it out. Just try not to stress out about anything for a day or so. Things will likely look a lot brighter then and you’ll have a clearer perception of what’s going on. Your room-mate will too. Learn to recognize when your roomie is under stress as well. Learn to recognize when she just needs some space. Don’t take anything she says during these times personally. It’ll save you a lot of trouble.
I’d venture to bet that all my serious tension with my room-mate happened when one of us was either under extraordinary pressure, under hormonal influence, or didn’t look at things from the other person’s perspective. Most of the times, two or more of these things were combined.

· Your room-mate is either your most valuable ally or your most dangerous enemy in day to day life. Mundane living and nightly rest makes or breaks your academic life. This means that even if your roomie isn’t important to you as a person (because you’re a self-centered semi-truck ready to run everybody else off the road, or something like that) you still have a vested interest in her success, comfort, relaxation, and welfare. She’s not disposable. Invest time and concern in getting to know her, going out of your way to help and listen to her, and work at understanding her world. Her way of seeing the world might not make sense to you – but don’t ridicule it if it doesn’t. Yours probably looks just as silly to her. Finally, don’t give up if she has a bad day, or hide yourself away if you blow it. Keep praying for her, forgive, be forgiven, and make her concerns your own.

Yes, and I know I've forgotten something, but if you've gotten to the end of this post, you probably don't want to hear me repeat myself again!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A New Blog

Good Morning.

I should have gone to bed. Too late now. I wanted to get this done and once I get a project into my head, if I don't do it right then and there, I'll never get around to it. Hence I am awake with a splitting headache at 1:08am. Blah. (Unfortunately, the internet went out without telling me and I lost the majority of this post. Double Blah. Rewrite. Triple Blah.)

But, I put together a new blog. No, I'm not getting tired of this one. I love this little adiaphoron where I can scribble away at adiaphora and that which concerns it. But I needed a place for serious, heavy academic work not suited to my free and informal little blog.

You see, I put so much work into some of my academic papers that it seems unjust for them to be only read once and that by my professors. In hopes that someone will get some use out of them, I began a blog christened ΓΡΑΦΩ - I WRITE. Unlike The Adiaphoron, which I have purposely left open to all viewers, ΓΡΑΦΩ is viewable by invitation only both to protect the integrity of my academic work and to limit my audience.

Not everything I write will go up there. So far, only one paper from Hope College and five of my Augustine College papers struck me as suitable. But in this way, I can share what may be shared in hopes that it may be useful apart from the academic sphere alone.

So, if you've any bit of interest, just comment or drop me an email and I'll send you an invitation. It's not very exciting, so please, don't feel compelled or anything like that. It's just schoolwork.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Liturgy is Like Maccaroni and Cheese?

Every family makes Maccaroni and Cheese a little bit differently. And each member of the family fixes the family recipe a bit differently.

Some cook it out-of-the-box and some cook it "out of the box." Some make it from scratch. Some use oddly shaped noodles. Some put in veggies and some put in meat. Some put in extra cheese. A few put in hot sauce. Some sprinkle on parsley or offer it as an optional side. Some eat it as is.

Among the veggie adders, one may encounter the advocates of brocculi, carrots, peas, tomatoes, and stranger animals. Among the meat includers one might meet mixers-in of hot dogs, sausage, ham, or weirder substances. And the advocates of cheese besprinkle the mac with breeds as various as the possibilities of that fungal growth.

Those are more of the purist cooks. Then you get the ones who like to experiment and mix. The ones who throw in all the leftovers from the fridge and hope no one notices the incompatible tastes. Or the ones who change the recipe every week, startling the tastebuds into a sort of annoyance.

But even this is still Maccaroni and Cheese.

There are still the noodles and there is still the cheese. Other little practices more or less compatible with the noodles and cheese may be added, but the basis of the Maccaroni and Cheese remains the same.

It's when the cooks start forget about the noodles and the cheese that the eater of Maccaroni and Cheese should get nervous. When the dish becomes more about how many colors of veggies can be fit into it, or how many leftovers can be used up in the process, or how different it can taste from Mrs. X's maccaroni and cheese, the eater fights an urge to panic and go back to plain noodles and cheese - no embellishments.

I like fried perch - but please don't put it in my Maccaroni and Cheese. Hot dog chunks, in the right proportion and right context, can serve and bring out the flavor of the cheese and texture of the noodles, but not always. Sometimes the hot dogs can distract from the dish itself. Even brocculi in the wrong amount, or cooked incorrectly, can simply deter a child from eating and enjoying his Maccaroni and Cheese. Something about the stringy green against the yellow disgusts him - he just can't bring himself to put a spoonful in his mouth. Brocculi, most often a wonderful addition to any dish of Maccaroni and Cheese, has become a stumbling block keeping the child from eating his dinner, or enjoying it if he does taste it.

Embelishments are supposed to enhance the eating of the Maccaroni and Cheese. Where they don't, oughtn't they be left out or introduced gradually, so that the eater's tongue may come to find them palatable?

On the other hand, noodles and cheese cannot be disposed of and ought to be of the finest quality if they can be had. If one were to make Maccaroni and Cheese without noodles or cheese, it would cease to be the dish it was meant to be. Elbow maccaroni is good, but bowties set off the dish as a work of genuine art-cookery. Processed Cheese-Food is satisfactory and suitable for simple lunches, but genuine Cheddar suggests an entree of special quality and excellence for an occasion of the same.

Am I going crazy? If not, what have I forgotten in this nice little comparison?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Childhood trends discovered midst my day

Life has been pretty busy lately. One wouldn't think it so, but I find home life much more demanding than college life. At college, one only has to take care of one's self, and maybe go out of the way for a few fellow students and friends. At home, the continually renewed mess, the cooking, the weeding, the chores all belong to everybody - if you're looking at them, that means you! At college, I was able to actually list out the things I wanted to accomplish and actually, on very, very rare occasions, get them done. At home, one perpetually puts off ones duties for other duties (and, yes, diversions like blogging. But doesn't Pascal say diversions are good?).

Today I got up, ate breakfast, was cold, snuggled in a blanket and my Augustine hoodie for about 10 minutes (hiding from the world), spent the rest of the morning weeding carrot bed (yes, singular: it's a looong carrot bed), and ate last night's leftovers for lunch. While I was munching dixie pie, the phone rang. Apparently, Dad had bought wood trim at an auction and wanted me to drive over the truck to pick it up. So I did. Apparently, he had also bought a truck with a broken brake-line for $250. :) That'a Dad.

Upon my return, I set myself against waste. I snuck through the house, pouncing on garbage with used grocery bags, trapping the squirming (well, maybe not squirming, but it's such a lovely descriptive word!) trash within tied up plastic and hurling it into the green plastic roadside abyss on wheels. Then I turned to the third chore Mom had particularly requested today and which inspired this trivial post.

It seems that I was to discover all workbooks, assignments, notebooks, etc, that I had ever completed (or, well, started, if not completed) in my homeschool career from all corners of the house and organize them into an organized chronological sequence in cardboard boxes so that they might eventually be put on the shelves Dad is soon to build.

The task was long, but immensely diverting. I found it a bit painful but very amusing to reread stuff I had written only a few years ago as well as stuff as old as 4th grade. But the best find of all turned out to be a red binder I had never laid eyes on before, curiously labeled "Sarah's Report Cards"

It turned out to be all my report cards, teacher-parent correspondence, and standardized test results from my years at Christian school. Very, very fascinating. I read them all.

And reading my ancient history, I discovered that, over all, I am not so different a person now as I was then. The trademarks of Sarah are still the same: not the things I notice about me, but what other people notice.

Every teacher commented on my big smile. Yeah, and I know exactly which one they mean. It's that great, big, involuntary, ear-splitting grin that makes my face feel like stretched rubber band - the one that Pasto' told me reminded him of the Cheshire Cat. It's the "post-FOR YOU post-Holy Communion" grin, or the one that happens when the little people do or say something sweet, or one of my Pasto's say something brilliant or comical, or when Daddy and Mommy hold hands or kiss, or when my mind wraps itself round an ingenious metaphor, or when I feel forgiven and free. I guess they're all wrapped up together in some mysterious un-named reality.
Back then (in elementary school) it was the "I love my teachers and competition" grin.

Every report card noted that "controls talking" was only "Satisfactory." :P No difference there.

Every report card commented on some limitation in the area of time management. Yes, I remember. I could barely get all my work done. I tried hard. But my homework and class time was cut short by Speech-Therapy sessions. (In retrospect, I wonder if that's what pulled me down in math - I was taken out of Math time and morning recess for Speech Therapy.) In third grade, I began voluntarily opting to forego afternoon recess in order to work on homework.

Oh, man! It's all coming back. Yes, I had attention problems. Probably about half of that voluntarily relinquished recess was spent staring at the wall trying desperately to get rid of that absent, wandering state of mind that couldn't remember what four plus six equaled. "Attentiveness" was another area marked "Satisfactory" on my report cards.

I read through all my speech therapy notes. Amazingly, I even recall having one of the conversations the therapist mentioned. I was terribly embarrassed to lead the Pledge of Allegiance with my slurred voice. I loved leading anything - I loved talking, I loved reading aloud - but though I couldn't keep silent, I couldn't speak correctly either.
I remember the day of triumph when I could finally pronounce all of the sounds satisfactorily. Just in time for the celebrated district "Speech Meet." I had practiced and practiced a poem (I think it was "Mommy Sleeps Late and Daddy Makes Breakfast"). To my surprise, I had won first place in my class and qualified for the speech meet. I worked painstakingly with my therapist to pronounce each word with clear phonetic sound and diction. Astoundingly, when the speech meet drew to a close and awards were announced, two students had achieved a perfect score: I and an adopted-Russian friend of mine who had also struggled with English.

With little surprise, I discovered that I had always been a tad behind in math. I wasn't horrible, just barely, or a little less than, satisfactory. Looking at the percentile bar graphs on my standardized test reports, I saw my math scores slide farther and farther to the left, until they reached "below average" just before Mom pulled me from school. My "problem-solving" scores followed a similiar retrogression as did something else that slips my mind right now. Interestingly, Mathematics has always pulled down my score on standardized tests.

My teachers also mentioned that I was zealous to give to missions (and mentioned what a selfless thing that was :P). I don't quite remember that distinctly, but I remember the spiritual state such giving grew out of. I was zealous because I was uncertain. I gave, not from total selflessness, but from a sort of struggle to be "good enough." The missions offerings went hand in hand with the fevered nightly prayers that God would have mercy and forgive my sins, as well as the bi-monthly "rededication" or "giving my heart to Jesus." I was thoroughly works-righteousness-ized to the point where I had turned singing "Rock of Ages" into a blend between desperate plea and brownie-point labour. Boy, am I glad that's over! (Yes, that was as early as 2nd and 3rd grade for certain, if not Kindergarten and 1st: Children d0 recognise sinfulness.)

The report cards commented that I seemed to through myself into my work with a sort of relish - at least after a certain age. This struck me almost as much as something that I said to Pasto' Stuckwisch about a year ago without realising how true was my statement. He and Anan and I had been discussing friends from early childhood and school. Somehow or other, he (or Anan) mentioned grades and how undriven or unconcerned children could be with them. I couldn't remember ever not being concerned about grades. (Goodness! I was concerned about my grades before I even started school! My nanny and I would practice math by counting stuffed animals so that when I entered Kindergarten I would "do well".) "My grades were my friends," I told Pastor, then the impact of the words struck me. It was, in a strange, almost twisted way, true. I loved my classmates in a conditional sort of way. I gave myself to my work and to my teachers, even if it wasn't apparent on the surface.

Perhaps that's why I can't get away from working, or if I do, I'm plain miserable. From Kindergarten, I loved achieving with all the competitiveness of the firstborn misfit. Sure, a good deal of the sense of being a misfit was probably false, but it was real to my mind; I experienced estrangement even if no estrangement actually took place.

But I learned something else from my report cards. I was reminded that my teachers loved me. It was their love that fueled my desire to learn from them, fueled my own love for them. They were beings like my parents and pastors - beings the very beholding of whom inspired me with an unsurpressable impulse to hug, which I frequently made no attempt to surpress anyway. But I had never realized before that I had given them joy. They gave me so much, but I did not know until this afternoon that perhaps, perhaps my joy in them fueled their love of teaching. If my early education had had no purpose but to give joy to teachers, it would have been worth it.

Anyway, I'm going to end here. I've got no great ending to ramblings, except to say that the lumber man delivered - guess what - in the middle of my organising. :D All that hard dried cellulose - wonder what Dad has up his sleeve for this batch? Tonight the family will enjoy some time together, and, if I know my brothers, we'll end up reading at least three more chapters of "The Man Who Was Thursday" as well.

Good night everyone!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nursing School, here I come!

I just had my interview with the Dean of Nursing this afternoon. It went wonderfully! She basically said that I am in (and part of the top cut) and she looks forward to seeing me this fall. I'm pretty elated.

Thanks to everyone who's been praying for me through this process. I think I can breathe again. Now at least I have some idea of where I'll be for the next two years - God willing. God has willed to shake up my plans a good bit the past couple years, so I'm fully aware that the coming years may not be as placid as they appear from this vantage point. But, heh, ready or not, here I come!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Headkerchiefs and Sarates are Back!

So...Very Inane Post comin' right up.

Headkerchiefs are back! I'd taken up the practice of regularly wearing a bandana or handkerchief on my head the past year and a half, but had been obliged to give it up on the occasion of Mommy accidentally taking all my kerchiefs back to MI with her when she dropped me off at Augustine. I was a bit perturbed, but lived well without them.

Now I have found them again! And will wear often as I can. (One can't really wear them properly when one puts one's hair up)

I first began wearing the kerchiefs and bandanas for fun. Then I noticed that they were cooler and kept the sun and bugs off of me and the hair out of my face. Then I noticed that some of them looked really nice (and would dress up a plainer shirt if worn around the neck). And they became a mini-personal-Sarah-fad. (I go through cycles of hair styles and I figured this was another one of them.) I was aware of the whole Biblical head-covering thing, but I wasn't wearing the dewrags (as a dear friend calls them) for religious reasons at all (though I was mistaken for doing so several times.)

Then, last Higher Things Conference, I struck up several conversations with a nicely accented pastor (in the course of my usual tradition of "pastor stalking" with questions). And in the course of the conversation, he inquired about my head gear. I answered that.... (wow - I just can't get away from Thomistic phrasing, can I? :P ).... I wore the kerchief for fun. He proceeded to commend me for theological implications thereof, which I silently accepted with mirth at the bestowal. Anyway, it stuck with me and I'm onto a renewed sporadic donning of the simple hat for fun, beauty and theology.

I've also re-awakened "Sarates" - or rather, Dr. Tingley (Philosophy and Art Prof at Augustine) re-awakened her. I got the name by Socratic questioning of my carpooling buddies while commuting to community college. I more or less gave up the Socratic questioning over the last summer and through my experience at Hope. Now, "Sarates" is reinitiated and has begun her reign of terror over the universe (well, not quite, and slightly more benevolently). She may ask you a random string of questions without giving any indication of where she is going with this. If so, rest assured she's not trying to convince you of something: she's trying to see how you think and follow your assumptions to their logical end.

Anyway, if she asks you why you tie your shoes, be prepared for more questions to follow. (And please don't tell me it's because your parents trained you to do so, even if it's true. :P You are old enough now to not tie your shoes if you don't want to. You must want to because you're doing it. You have a will that is not totally constrained by any amount of parental conditioning.)

So, now to bed. It's nice to post a rambling, not very disturbing, deep, or significant post again. Tata!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Why I Deleted My Last Post, Why I Was Wrong to Do So, And Why I Am Reposting It.

Hello Dear Reader!

If you've followed this blog the past week, you might have been puzzled by the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a blog post of a rather melancholy and disorderly nature. As you shall observe below, it has been reposted along with all the kind comments commented upon it before its deletion.

In considering my actions upon this poor piece of writing, I felt (and thought - for Dr. Patrick admirers) that I ought to repost, apologize, and explain myself, if not for your benefit, dear reader, then for my own.

Why I wrote this post:
The initial set of actions (writing, posting, and deleting) were all done under the influence of PMS. I'm sure you're all well aware of this delightful cognitive phenomenon, having either suffered directly its effects or having suffered by virtue of the actions of another sufferer.

I wrote this post because, well, I did feel just as I described: split between two identities, unwilling to give up the new, yet not finding any place for her within the framework of the old. I felt out of place here, like a sore thumb, always wanting to talk about Augustine College to people who weren't really that interested, always quoting (Dr.) Tingley, or Joel, or Zack, or Emily and then suddenly realizing that the jokes just weren't funny without the context. I wanted to go home, but where was home? I had to spill some of this, just had to, but I couldn't do it to anyone in particular among my family. I was already feeling terribly afraid that I had hurt them by talking so much about Augustine even though I hadn't seen them in four months. So I spilled it to blog. At least on blog my parents weren't likely to read my groanings and some potential Augustinian sympathizers might. At any rate, I needed to explain myself to someone.

It was late at night when I began, tears falling on my keys, amid piles of boxes and junk from preparations to move my room. Late night blogging seems to be the norm of late, but I must somehow reverse this trend as it does not make for posts of exceeding joviality. I finished, blew my nose and wiped my eyes, then threw myself in bed.

Why I deleted this post:
The next morning I drove out to the community college and dropped off my application to Nursing School. Then I came back and started cleaning. (psst: Cleaning Warpath seems to also come with PMS for me.) I washed the dishes, cleared the counters, swept the main living spaces, mopped, oiled the wood floor... and then collapsed in an arm chair for a few minutes (ok, maybe more than a few minutes) of checking for pictures of Graduation on Facebook. I was already feeling ashamed of being blunt with my emotions on blog, as I certainly wasn't trying to attract pity or induce anyone to think that I was unhappy to be home or unhappy with my lot in life, but I thought I might as well let what I had written stay written.

Within 10 minutes, as a result of a conversation and email, I was convinced that I had been totally misunderstood, had hurt and perhaps even angered one who was dear to me. I was angry and frustrated - mostly with myself. Petulantly, I unreasonably thought that if I deleted the post, all source of any bad feelings would be destroyed. In that impulse, I clicked "delete" and over an hour of typing vanished. (Per my usual custom not to completely destroy my writing, I first emailed the post to myself.)

Why I was wrong to delete the post:
First, I acted in anger and frustration without deliberation. Even if the post should have been deleted, this was not the manner in which the act ought to have been performed.

Second, I acted with the intent to destroy the source of my problems, as if I of myself could by one act dispell my fear and preserve my loves. Silly as it might sound (C'mon, it's just a little blog post), by looking to myself for my life I made a god of myself for myself. (Luther: An idol is anything one fears, loves, and trusts in)

Third, by deleting the post, I was attempting to deny history. The past exists by virtue of having occured. Because it is not in the present, it cannot be altered. I did post this post, and to pretend not to have done so would simply be to deny my own communication. It would be one thing if the post were harmful in some way or if no person had read it before I deleted it. As the matter stood, however, the post was merely an honest appraisal of myself (granted, the appraisal was performed at an hour when I was not fully myself) and perhaps helpful to someone in understanding me and maybe even their own experience. Also, several of you readers left very gracious, comforting comments for which it were incivility and ingratitude to erase as though you had never extended your kindness to me.

Fourth, if the content of this post were truly of the noxious sort which ought never to have been published in the first place, the wrong was done when I first posted it. Perhaps it exposes a need for longer deliberation before posting a post in the first place. Certainly, the deletion demonstrated an even greater disregard for deliberation and consideration that the initial posting. If the post were hurtful, more would be required of me than a simple deletion to repair the damage.

For all these reasons, and maybe more, I was wrong to delete the previous post.

Why I am reposting this post:
First, because the writing of this post was an important part of the history of this blog and belongs in it.

Second, because this post may perhaps be helpful for anyone (possibly myself some years in the future) seeking to understand me, my life, my mind, and my development.

Third, because of the kind comments posted before I deleted the piece. It seems a travesty to belittle such courtesy to food for the garbage bin.

Fourth, because I am now seeking to come clean with myself, to hold myself accountable for my actions, and to not simply pass over what I have done wrong when I could do something to right it; to build up a character which deliberates and chooses wisely. (Though I know my salvation and forgiveness is not dependant upon these things, the quality of help I would proffer my neighbor is affected by the state of my character.)

To this end, I hope to soon draw up a set of guidelines for my future blogging expeditions with tips for the reader who may choose to accompany me upon such exploration.

My apologies and gratefulness for your patience with my human frailties and humourous mood swings. Thanks to all who initially commented on the last post.

Pathetically Out of Context: Reposted

It's been a long 3 days. The family is family, but Nova must squish back into Sarah. I'm not Sarah Antigua anymore, try as I might to return. Sarah Nova thinks differently; thinking differently, she must act differently, but how?

So far, Sarah Nova has been trying with all her might to move her body and mouth in accordance with Sarah Antigua's vaguely-retrieved will. But the Thought of the New will not fit the Old, nor does the Old dance to the new tune. A new patch on an old garment, new wine into old wineskins: tears become worse, skins spit from fermentation.

Tonight I couldn't help myself; I looked up the Augustine College website and skimmed the info, dwelling on the professors' mini-bios. I looked up St. F. X. University on whim, just to see if they had a Nursing Program. I shouldn't have: they do. (Shoots self in foot) I should really head to bed, but instead I introspected a tad. All I could think of was the word "pathetic." Sarah, thought I, that part of you neither Antigua nor Nova, you are pathetic.

Then I stopped short (as I have frequently done in the recent past concerning things of this sort). What had I said? What does "Pathetic" really mean? Ought I not be pathetic and if not, in what sense not? I called upon

causing or evoking pity, sympathetic sadness, sorrow, etc.; pitiful; pitiable: a pathetic letter; a pathetic sight.
affecting or moving the feelings.
pertaining to or caused by the feelings.
miserably or contemptibly inadequate: In return for our investment we get a pathetic three percent interest.

Hmm. In my present state, I surely ought not be 1. I've no reason to evoke pity or sorrow on anyone's part, except perhaps by my ignorance and presumption. I've certainly been blessed in every way possible. What is left in my condition that I should be pitiable, except that I do not appreciate my riches?Number 2. is irreduceably vague. Number 3. is an impossibility.

Number 4. however, strikes me as woefully accurate. Miserably or contemptibly inadequate. Yep. Not that I'm feeling miserable - nothing of the sort, just tired and a trifle confused, wearily trying to search out among my acquaintances a confidante for things my soul would say just now. But I am inadequate: miserably and contemptibly so. I, who once thought myself capable, skilled in communication, able to build and repair comfortable (or at least supportable) interpersonal relationships, adept to adapt, find a portion of myself isolated from the rest of myself. I have split my life between two poles which do not yet understand each other and who have either no time (even if interest) or opportunity to attempt to understand each other. I find myself unable to communicate between myselves.

I find myself unsure. Unsure not of who I am, but of what the shell of me should do, act, comport itself. People see the shell and think they recognize it, that they know it internally. Sarah Nova wears the crust of Sarah Antigua. It is exhausting enough to become aquainted with one person; once aquainted we humans tend to forget that change is imminent and unavoidable. What shall we then do but attempt to recognize that the person who spoke to me yesterday is the same, but different. What we shared we may not still share except in memory. If we don't face this fact, if we attempt to employ the past in the present, we will fail to share the present; for the past cannot bridge a gap unless one lives in the past. If we would live in the present, we may summon the past to memory and learn from it, cherishing it, and building from it in the present, but the present must be carved with its own tools.

In memory, one does not have a person, but what a person was. It is in the present that a person is. Memory is beautiful because it treasures up a present in the past which still operates upon things which are. But memory cannot join two people in the present except by both persons gazing into the past. The past "present" is not present in the present, but informs the present.

And I dig the hole deeper. Someone push me in. :D I'm not sure if I'm making any sense to anyone but me.

I guess I'm trying to say something like this:We change. Instead of denying change in practice (even while we affirm in theoretically), let's try to understand the people that are now, even if that glimpse may be altered in a year.

And this:I'm not sure how I am able to act currently. If I'm a bit awkward or unintentionally rude, please, please be patient with me and chalk it up to reverse culture shock. All the same, do chide me and direct me how I ought to relate to you. I'm not very good at contextual hints anymore since I've been totally thrown out of my context, aclimated to a new one, and have been thrown back into an altered one.

I'm like a quote out of context right now. Please put me back into the right context. Treat me critically. I'll try to figure out your context too.