Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Didn't Summer Just Begin?

In an attempt to create an organized plan of attack for the independent study which will be replacing the eeeeviiiil! course, I decided to map out the rest of my summer. It was a good idea because it helped me figure out how much I could reasonably hope to accomplish and it reminded me that I need to start working hard quickly, but it was also sad to realize how little of summer is left! Between now and mid-August when my summer officially ends, I need to read twelve books, write two weeks of lesson plans, go to twelve doctor appointments, proctor tests, and be good and do my PT exercise three times a week.

That's the "required" stuff. There will also be fun stuff, though. This weekend, Sonia and I are going to the Twin Cities for 4th of July weekend. I'm very excited. We're going to a Twins game, and I'm hoping for a Lake Calhoun/Wild Rumpus Bookstore/Great Harvest adventure, since that general area is one of my favorite places in the Twin Cities and--hey!--bookstores with cats and birds and rats and chickens! Plus, the Twin Cities is home of The Wedge coop, which happens to be the only place I've found anywhere (and I've checked three cities) that has baked goods I can enjoy.

Next weekend, I'm having the youth group girls over to my apartment for a sleepover! I'm pretty excited, and I hope it turns out as fabulously as I think it will be. I'm generally just excited for a good old-fashion sleepover with pizza and movies and games, etc. Being a grown up is so less fun.

The week after that, my parents are coming down because I'm having one of those can't-eat-the-day-before, get-hopped-up-on-loopy-drugs tests which will mean I really shouldn't drive for two days and may be feeling kinda "meh" afterwards. I figured that I could just drive super carefully the day before and find someone at church or elsewhere to drive the day of/get over being embarrassed by loopiness, but then my parents decided to be awesome and come down and take care of me. I love my family.

At the end of the month, I'm headed on the grandest roadtrip ever! Or, at least, the grandest roadtrip I have ever endeavored to do on my own. Two years ago, Shari and I did a pretty epic roadtrip that included 80 hours of driving in 10 days and covered 12 states. This summer, though, I'm headed out on my own and doing 37 hours of driving in 17 days and covering 9 states. I'm going to get to see many of my favorite people from college (and favorite people not-from-college) and also hopefully go into Washington DC for the first time ever!

So, the summer is flying away quickly, but I still have lots of good to look forward to. And even though I'm nervous about the busy fall I'm going to have, I know that it will be good, too. I'll probably even enjoy it when it gets here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

How I Discovered I'm Not an Analytic Philosopher:

I'm totally failing at blogging this summer. I don't understand why. I have lots of thoughts, and I want to share them, but then at the end of the day, I come home and my brain just says, "No. I don't want to work right now."

Happy news, though, I got out of my philosophy class (The Nature of Evil) that I was going to take this summer. I really didn't know how uncomfortable I'd be with analytic philosophy until after the first couple of days (English peeps tend to be more continental, what with the Marxism and postmodernism). We also spent the first hour of class on the first day watching an emotional movie about the BTK killer that really upset me, and I was even surprised when I was so bothered because I like to think that I'm tough and I can handle stuff like that. (My mom made the wise observation that I can handle it when it's on my terms--I like to decide what I want to read or watch and when I want to do it--I don't like it to pop up on me by surprise and then have to watch it. She's so insightful.)

The other thing that frustrated me about the class is how we started with a lot of assumptions about what "evil" meant. We talked about "what makes people evil" and "what makes people bad" with the assumption that badness and evil were abnormal. That was the first day. Then, on the second day, we read an article arguing that "faith" was not a valid motive for moral action, and we seemed to take the author's definition of "faith" for granted. I actually did try to point out some weaknesses in his definition, but I made the mistake of trying to do it at the sentence/logical level in a sort of deconstructive move. Deconstruction=French, which± Analytic philosophy. And then the professor took my attempts to be subversive and somehow launched into a discussion of scripture which basically ended with the conclusion that the Bible is not logical and therefore also not a good basis for moral action.

It's not that I mind someone claiming that evil and bad are abnormal occurrences or that faith and the Bible are not valid guides for moral decision making. But I do mind starting with assumptions that I think should be conclusions.

So, between all those things and the fact that the class wasn't really going to help me that much toward comps, I decided not to take it. And the good part is that now I'll take a 20th c. British history class next fall instead, which will be very helpful! Plus, now that I'm finally in a summer schedule, I should have the ability to think smart thoughts and put them into blog :-)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Excuses, Excuses

Okay. So I kind of totally and completely failed at my multiple post goal last week. But wait. I can explain. I was exhausted from the (very awesome) weekend of Mumford and Sons, Cake, and extended family, I jumped back into work, and I had a sleep study. They stuck little suction cups all over my body with glue and tape and put a breathing monitor under my nose and then, when I was surrounded by wires, watched me sleep. It was actually fascinating and cool--as far as medical tests and procedures go. Yes, I have a weird relationship to medical tests and procedures. Probably because I've had so many. But I occasionally find it interesting to watch the nurses take blood or dermatologists sew up biopsy punctures or look at monitor screens or . . . yeah. Definitely weird. But it's like science, and Mrs. Frizzle and Bill Nye both taught me that science rules. Anyway, all that goes to say that a medical test that involves watching TV for an hour, having glue in your hair, and getting to wear new pajamas (yeah. I totally got them) is one of the "cooler" ones. (I also have a theory that if you have to do this kind of thing, you should try to make it as much "fun" as possible. Sometimes this is difficult, but I try :-D)

This weekend, Tiffany stayed over. She was coming into town for a friend's 21st birthday party which lasted two days. However, because she's an RUF intern and can't be out with students doing the drinking thing, she was a good intern and hung out with me both nights after dinner. So . . . I win. Hehe. We had lots of fun watching the eHarmony video profile youtube video and quoting The Office (I said that I needed to give a fashion show for opinions on my new clothes and we both started clapping our hands and saying "Fashion Show! Fashion Show! Fashion Show at Lunch!" It was great). We also made some homemade onion rings. I had discovered them earlier that week, and deep frying is one of my new favorite activities. Last night, after Tiffany left, I made pineapple fritters with the leftover batter ingredients. Imagine a pineapple ring dipped in a light beer batter, fried, and then covered in cinnamon sugar. Yep. It's awesome.

Anyway, I'm sorry for only posting once when I'm sure you were all checking this site daily to see if I had fulfilled my promise of posting multiple times a week. Please forgive me. And enjoy this comic I have saved to my desktop. I look at it every few months and it makes everything better :-) (Click on the image to see an enlarged version)

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Few Thoughts . . .

I have so much I want to write about, but I am so tired that my full posts will have to happen later. I'll probably make up for a dry few weeks with multiple posts this week. Until then, though, here are a few of my thoughts, and a preview of the things to come . . .

1. Mumford and Sons is awesome. You already knew that? Well, did you know that they are even more awesome in concert than on CD? Yeah, I know. I didn't think that was possible either.

2. I just went to a worship night at Eliza's church. She's in the choir at the Vineyard Church and invited me. I had an amazing time. We sang a lot of songs that I grew up singing at Bethlehem and a bunch that the worship pastor wrote, too. And there was clapping and hand raising and even a little bit of dancing and tambourines by the end. I re-realized how conservative the worship at my current church is. I love our hymns, etc., but sometimes I wish I wasn't the only one that ever raised my hands when I'm talking to God.

3. This point is about missions and sacrifice and calling. And how sometimes it's confusing when God gives us desires and yet calls us to sacrifice and . . . if I tried to keep explaining this now at almost-midnight, it would sound confusing. So, stay tuned for a future post.

4. Finally, I'm trying to decide on something. When I was little (well, through high school), when I went to the doctor because I was sick, we'd frequently stop at a bakery nearby for a treat afterwards. When I had my braces adjusted (which happened at least once a month for almost four years), I'd get a milkshake. On Thursday, I'm having a sleep study. Does this mean I should get new pajamas???