Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Scholarship News!

I am not a proud receipiant of the Maclellan scholarship at Covenant College. I am however the alternate to the six girls if one of them should decide not to accept it. Even if I did get it, I still don't know if I would go there. But... I'm excited. I'm flattered that I was even considered... that close... it was a great experience if nothing else comes of it! Thank you all for the prayers while I was there. I still need prayers during the decision making season... a few schools need to know in the next month... and if you know me, you know I hate closing open doors. I hate scrap booking and putting stickers on or writing in pen because it never comes off.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord."

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Art and Audience

I am right. Luke is wrong. The End

(please keep reading despite the "the end")

How long (or short) should posts be to gain audience? What should they be about? Should they talk about things that entertain an audience (that I don't have) or things which they should read anyway?

For the record, I like long posts and so does Mim and we read each others long posts. Everyone else should do the same.

My emotions at present are summed up in this conversation:

Perchik: Money is the world's curse.

Tevye: May the Lord smite me with it! AND MAY I NEVER RECOVER!

(ie College costs too much. We should abolish money or be overwhelmed with enough to pay tuition.)

questions... decisions... confusion...

what to do with my summer: and beyond.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ethics and Our Government

Ameria is a place where you have the freedom to screw up your life (and the following one) if you so choose. Should it be this way? Where does the "choice" end and the population's welfare begin? Where does "free speech" tie into all of this? How much crap should a person put up with until the foot goes down? Because... it is a "free country"... and I can't think they're wrong wrong wrong and argue but can I make them stop speaking and saying (or burning flags) as they wish?

Some questions I'm not sure on after a heated discussion in speech class.

(For your information, this is where you comment!)


Saturday, January 20, 2007

en review

My time at Covenant is now concluded. Dad and I are at the hotel in Knoxville, having left Lookout Mt. a bit after 1pm. Matt ate lunch with us and so we were able to see him before we left. The information and impressions I have of my time at the school these past few days are so varied and powerful that I need to sort through them a bit. I'll start at the beginning.

Covenant College is a PCA affiliated school at Lookout Mt, Georgia. As you can see by the picture, it is indeed on top of a mountain and a beautiful one at that. We could not see that however as we drove up the hill to the school in the thickest, iciest fog I have ever encountered. It was difficult to even see the entrance to the school which is rather large and prominent. Each building was hidden from the others in the fog. This is incredible considering how close the campus is set together. The trees and roads had begun to freeze over. We both took naps at J's and Kendra's house and took my things up to the school. A girl named Susanna directed me up to the fifth floor of Carter (that was the castle looking building, formerly a hotel in the olden days of the 1920's). I was greeted by Katie Klukow, my hostess, and one of her three roomates Aislynn (aze-lin). Katie was a mac scholar herself and it was good to get her perspective on it. Aislynn though... she was a girl after my heart. She sat and chatted with me for at least an hour after I arrived, serving me african tea and getting to know me. She is an english major too. Annie, a friend of hers, came in and I got to know her a bit too.

A few hours later, the welcoming banquet began. We were joined by a professor. Arg... oh it was bad. This guy we later learned was in charge of the scholarship I was interviewing for. He was dominated by the other folks at the table and when he did speak to me I froze and gave the lamest possible answers. It was embarrassing and had a good cry about it later. I was so angry, so angry. It made the rest of the evening miserable. Except. I got quite ept at talking to people I didnt know and those I barely knew were a welcome sight! One chap who sings in Third Lobby walked into the lobby and it was such a relief that I went up and talked to him. He called Matt for me who came down and hung out. That was a highlight.

Later we had "get to know you time" which consisted, madly enough, of ballroom dancing. It most thorouhly awkward because there wasn't a guy there who had ever done it before and they were more in the line of "I'm a homeschooler! I can't touch girls!" It was alright as they were frightfully outnumbered and I attempted to learn some new guy steps. This one girl and I were having a grand time except that I was having quite a difficult time learning how to do it. Katie Kluckow saved me and we swing danced to rhumba. I called Hannah afterwards and ranted properly. What am I supposed to do without her to complain to...

It was almost midnight by the time I got back to the dorm room. Had some good chatting time with the girls and the other scholarship girls in the room. I started to have an interest in the girls lives and they talked about what they liked to do, stories about their friends, everything. It was good. The floor I slept on was another matter but that was okay.

The day... well, faced breakfast by myself and found a very nice person to sit with. Chapel and walking around and such until lunch with Matt, J, and Kendra. Nothing exciting happened until 2pm when I went to my interview. This was vastly superior to my pathetic work the evening before. I was so grateful that it turned out okay. Somehow, God has collected my scattered confidence and pulled it back together. The gentlemen I spoke too was very easy and seemed genuinely interested in my experiences. Shortly after this was a "fishbowl." This involved receiving a topic or question to answer, an hour spent collecting thoughts, and twenty or so minutes discussing it with seven others while six proffs and mac students moniter and grade your every move. Stressful to say the least! It did feel like being in a fishbowl. Everyone was quite jittery but it was fine, I guess. After all of this, we had dinner in the Great Hall. This room is stunning in its design, and is meant to recall those great feasting halls of the medevial times. The windows face the west and the setting sun over the smokey mountains. We were able to watch this as the fog of the previous night had disappeared. The view was quiet and comforting. I then spent some time in the room with the scholarship ladies discussing their day before we headed out to our final event.

This involved a panel discussion of teachers in the public school system. This also ussered the best time I had the entire weekend. In this setting, a group of eleven students argued, fought, debated, our way through two hours of guided panel time by a prof and graded by a student. It was here that everyone really put on their stuff and we had a grand time. We covered a whole slew of topics in that time, ranging from unteachable students, to (jokingly) concluding that baseball bats were the only was to effectively get points across, to "penning"(since stoning was illegal) me when I made a disagreeable point, to laughing together, to teaching sexual orientation in a classroom, to the debate over whether or not christians should attend public colleges.

Everyone really enjoyed themselves, I think, and we even spent some time together as a group afterwards on our way up to the Great Hall for the movie. John and Katie in particular were lovely, and I enjoyed their company very much. I lost them, however, in the crowd that was pushing its way into the great hall. Thankfully, I found Aislynn and her boy, Ross, (who spent a good deal of his time making jokes about mac scholars. He was quite enjoyable) who let me sit with them against the wall. We were shown The Prestige, starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and Andy Serkis of all people. The movie was followable until right up until the last two seconds and then I totally lost the train of the plot. So confused, so messed up, and... well it needs a second viewing. Ross said that if I didn't understand the movie I wouldn't get the scholarship. (laugh)

We then stayed up quite late (on my clock) and talked about the day and the girls views on what it is like to live there. Anna and Katie kept whispering and giggling like sixth grade girls and I couldn't sleep... sigh...

This morning was simple and quiet. A q&a with the president, lunch in the great hall with matt, and simple farewells with those I had met and begun to appreciate. According to my limited intelligence, I didn't get anyone's addresses. I didnt even run into my new aquaintances from the panel at all today. With almost two hundred visiting students floating around, that isn't really hard but disappointing. Oh well.

sigh... I'm tired. Dad and I are going to go find a Pizza Hut soon and hopefully the Starbucks for tea! I wish we were home tonight but... tomorrow... if all goes as we hope... I should be at church for second service. Thats right before I jump into the substantial bit of homework that needs to be done before Monday and Tuesday!

au revoir, covenant.

Edit: I just remembered some classic memories that I should share. They are crazy.

Story 1: Jeff Baldwin is a member of the faculty at World View Academy and produces a podcast I listen to regularly. He also used to teach at a classical christian school outside of Houston before moving to Colorado. A scholarship finalist in the room I was staying in was from the Houston area and said she went to a private school there. I asked if it was a classical school and she said yes. I then asked if she knew Jeff Baldwin, and she said yes. Small world, eh?

Story 2: Another small world story. Gretch told me that a chess friend of hers had an older sister going to Covenant this weekend. I didn't think I had met her until Gretchen said when I got home that this friends last name was Brown. I gasped as I put pieces together. Matt Brown is a friend of my cousin's (sings in Third Lobby) and I did see him and meet his sister Anna while I was there and they ARE from Quarryville and would possibly go to chess! Small world, eh?

Story 3: A guy came up to me and asked if he knew me. I said I didn't think so. "Oh, well never mind then." He then gasped and apologized profusely for saying that I didn't matter and even if he never saw me ever again, he shouldn't have said that. I laughed.

Story 4: God knew what he was doing when I walked down into that crowded, stranger filled lobby. I wanted to find Matt Tingle to say hello and all of that but had no idea what building he was in or a phone number or anything. First crazy thing is that Matt Brown walked by. The second crazy thing is that I remembered his name. The third crazy thing is that I went up and talked to him. The fourth crazy thing is that he remembered who I was and called Matt (my cousin) to come find and rescue me. What a relief...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Soarin'... Flyin'

Tomorrow I shall be here:

after I fly in a plane.

IE: PRAY that we arrive safely and with our souls composed and calm. And ready to tackle a whole crowd of stranger.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

We have this treasure...

... in jars of clay...

Hannah and I were discussing how Jars of Clay is very comforting music when we're depressed.

Dana- "I don't know why, because they don't make me feel any happier."
Hannah-"They make me more poetically depressed. And that makes all the difference."

...i swear there's artsy spirit in her somewhere...

Sunday, January 14, 2007


I am "Mama" no longer.

People said I would make a good mother after what they saw in this play.

I told them that it was called "acting".

I think it must be dreadfully hard to be a professional at all of this. To have your entire existence defined by trying to please other people through your performance. It is no wonder that most of them become praise vacuums.

It was a good time. I am glad we did it even if the process of constructing this mad and simple illusion was long, painful, exhausting, and exasperating. I can only say that I am glad that it is done. And gone with.

And that life can go back to normal.

His grace is sufficient for me

on to summer planning and praying

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Retreats and Madness

I should have posted before now. I know and I'm not really sorry. (grins)

Last weekend was a very pleasant surprise. We packed in 20min and left for the Women's retreat. I had never been on one before and didn't know what to expect. To be honest, it was rather intimidating for a while. It was simply bizarre to be one of four teenage girls there. The first session the speaker asked everyone to just shout out what they were worried about leaving at home. One mother declared she was quite worried about the "girl teenagers" at home. She didn't realize we were there at that point. We put that on our name tags for the remaining of the weekend.

The weekend was so refreshing. It contrasted strongly with a youth retreat of loud voices, yelling, running, trying to be heard, and getting everything fun possible into as little time as possible. Everything here wasn't really planned. We just took it as it came. Saturday afternoon was particularly refreshing. I had a quiet time on a porch swing but was pleasantly interrupted by a group heading out for a walk. This work turned into a precarious climb down a cliffish path to a beautiful corner of the world. This corner included a lovely creek and a huge boulder to sit on. The tree above that had a rope swing into a swimming hole below, but of course the water was too cold for anything more than wading and even that made our feet ache. It was quite warm out and the sun hit right on the rock where we were sitting. The moms chattered and we listened to them talk about everything.

After this we headed out to Amish country (about a mile away) and went for a run. Now, I'm not much of a runner but this trip was worth it. We parked at a little corner store and ran down this road where there wasn't a single car in sight or sound, with fields and farms spreading as far as one could see. There were houses dotting the landscape, which we would occassionally pass and greet the occupants who were invariably raking their gravel. (?) The sun was heading into setting and it turned everything an ethereal gold. Not only was it lovely, but it felt splendid to exercise for once.

Then of course, were the small group times with Courtney, Christy, Hannah, and myself. Having them there made all the difference. And where would we have been without Christy to lead us in worship? I had to laugh at our haphazard way of having a discussion. We could go from spiritual to ridiculous to the hard in a few moments. But it was much needed.

The speaker was generally okay. She had some good things to say but most of it wasn't what suck out to me. Things like "don't let my youth be wasted on me" and "pray constantly" are what came home with me. For various reasons but so it was.

And now. This week has been extremely long and hard. It culminated with the play last night (and again tonight) and (thank heaven!) it turned out quite well I think. To be honest, the play isn't as "cool" as some of our others have been, but for some reason I can't comprehend, it really got to all the adults. Well, regardless of how people actually thought of the story line, our performance felt pretty good aside from some serious scares and mishaps. We'll do better tonight... hopefully... and after tonight and the massive deconstruction process on the stage, my focus can turn fully toward my trip to Covenant next weekend.

Elia, Sarah, Keilah, Kelly, Amy? Are you coming tonight?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Rainy Tired Day

Yesterday was a forshadowing of the coming week. How I will survive is beyond me.

Yesterday, I was up rather early and involved with theatre rehersals until four pm. We were all wipped. Exhausted. Wrung out and limp. Etc. We then realised that we had to clean the Eckert's house before today when someone was coming in to change the carpets. Not what we wanted to hear. Dinner had to be done however so we put it back to after youth group that evening. The car place then rang up and we had to go fetch my newly radiated van from its place in Harrisburg. Annoying. Then an amazing dinner put on by Mom and Hannah. That was a good part. Fried rice with scrambled egg and stir fried chicken. Soon after we headed out to youth group again. This was a good time among other human beings not associated with I Remember Mama. And praise God! My small group came over and helped us clean the house during small group time! There was no way we could have done it without them as the house was quite a mess. There were ten girls working hard for 45min, accomplishing in that time what it would have taken us hours to do. We were so grateful...though... I do wish we could have had small group time. It has been a while since we've had time together.

All this happened and we were home and in bed by 10:30. Asleep by 11pm.

Up by 8am for another crazy day. And its raining so all I want is to go back to sleep.

Two things. Hannah and I are going to the women's retreat this weekend. If it was just us we wouldn't go but the great and wondrous Christy Lear is coming with us! We shall NOT be alone in a sea of mothers! And I think we will enjoy the time.

Our play "I Remember Mama" is next Friday and Saturday Night at 7pm each time. Be there or be... er...

And. Pray for me in the next few weeks as I'll be heading down to Covenant College for a weekend. This will be fun. I know that. But I also want it to be beneficial in helping me prepare for other interviews and such. It could be really important or it couldn't be. I just want my time down there to be used effectively. I'm looking forward to seeing my cousisn Matt and J (and his wife Kendra) more than anything though!

Monday, January 01, 2007

2006 In Review

1. What did you do in 2006 that you've never done before? Gone to Michigan. But that isn’t exciting. Explore colleges. Shared my testimony to a group of people. Told someone about Christ.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolution and will you make one for next year? No. And… no. Wishes and hopes but no resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Jizala (that’s how you say it, not how you spell it), Mrs. Joseph. Emily Kulp.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Aunt Catherine.

5. What countries did you visit? Lebanon, PA’s Northside.

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? A challenge to my faith. Something that deepens my relationship with God in a profound way.

7. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Saturday Night, Lebanon. Beyond words. Only tears.

8. What's your biggest achievement of the year? Conquering guitar sheets on the piano. I still have a lot to learn though.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not talking to new people enough at school. Wondering if I stood out. Not finding a group of Christians to get involved with. Being tongue-tied at simple questions. Finding it impossible to talk to the “odd” people like dear Amber and Emily always do. Finding ways to relate to each person alive like Mr. Burlew does.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Not really. Oh, there was that pulled calf muscle in Lebanon. I iced it during quiet times with frozen hotdogs.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Starbursts for WVA. Okay, so that was Dad’s purchase at my request. It was a good deal though.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Emily Davidson’s

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Oh boy…

14. Where did most of your money go? To trivial things that I didn’t need and can’t remember.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Summit Lake, The end of this semester, the Mac’s party, World View Academy,

16. What song will always remind you of 2006? “Stake out a piece of shorline/ I’ve got a perfect spot in mind…”, “Muahee!,” “Jambo.” “This Time Next Year”

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier or sadder? Happier in a more content, consistently enjoying life kind of way. Sadder that this year is over than I was last year.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Writing.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Eating. Judging. Fearing.

20. What was your favorite TV program? LOST.

21. What was the best book you read? Searching for God Knows What.

22. What was your greatest musical discovery? That I can play lead sheets.

23. What did you want and got? An amazing summer. A red umbrella. Finding Neverland. Inky black pens.

24. What movies did you see in the cinema this year? Dreamer (Jan 1!), Pirates 2 (the ultimate disappointment), The Nativity Story

25. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? I turned seventeen. I cried.

26. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? A’s in chemistry and math. Really studying Latin. I was ashamed of my work.

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? Whatever was in the closet. I avoided clothes shopping.

28. What kept you sane? Being able to drive.

29. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Hugh Jackman.

30. What political issue stirred you the most? Well, the homeschool doing stuff with the public school made a big stir in my family. I’m beginning to understand the LD parking lot now.

31. Who/what did you miss? Jr. Camp. Elia. The old co-op’s set of boys. Seth. My older friends all gone away.

32. Who was the best new person you met? WVA staff. Iglesia El Faro (particularly Christian)

33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006: Come to every relationship as if they could be your dear friend for life and treat them that way. Regardless. Better to love first and be hurt second than to hurt them first and love them second.