Sunday, April 27, 2008

Finite

I was reminded again tonight how heartbreaking it can be to not have the capacity to enjoy an infinite number of friendships and acquaintances that give a great and marvelous depth of meaning and importance. I spent the weekend with the lovely women of Navigators, being shown how (once again) I have the memory of a goldfish when it comes to God's inexhaustable love and significance poured out on me. It was amazing and I am so grateful for it. Tonight I spent time with my lovely youth group girls and caught up on their lives and had a great time laughing and planning. Then I stopped by the Senior Sendoff and realized that people I had just gotten to know and love were leaving. Forever.

Katie Fisher invited me to go with some of them to T.G.I Fridays so I went and hung out with part of the core group of my Leadership Advance team of all those months ago. Katie, Becca, Jeff, Sam, Ashley, Tarun, and Dez... I haven't seen them in forever since they are rooted deep in Doulos and I only come in and out when I can manage. I've been putting down roots in Navs and our paths simply don't cross. But I was reminded of how much I had come to love them in our little time together and how short time is, how I'm going to miss those who are leaving and yet how excited I am for them, the planning and the fears, the opportunity, the perfect state of having never really failed at anything. I can hardly believe that I am mere days away from being done with the first year of college much less with starting to cope (again) with the parting of friends at the end of their college time. It is crazy and I'll be honest, I don't like it very much.

I feel as if there is a great movie line that should go right here. "Life is but meetings and partings" but I can't remember how it actually goes or where it is from.

What is life but learning to love and learning how to say goodbye?

We'll let that stand as my own unoriginal originality.

So to those I know who are leaving Penn State for good: Kate Blanas, Jeff Clippenger, Deziree Hipple, Ashley, Becca Borough, Emily Mathas, Lynnae and Elliot, I have loved knowing you for these few months, so much that I can hardly believe that it has only been a few months. Thank you for what you have taught me and I hope that all goes well in whatever happens next.

Friday, April 25, 2008

News!

I am an RA in the Honors College! Simmons Hall, Room 323.

YES!


(PARTY!)



I'm so excited! Aahh!

And I'm going camping. This weekend is good already.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Too Fast

"I'm so thankful/ that I'm incapable/ of doing any good on my own!"

These days have been fast, whirlwind, overwhelming. I haven't had a chance to sit and consider what the past week means to me or what I should be doing with it. Some immediate thoughts emerge amidst the frantic change of everything as we come to terms with going home for the summer in just a few weeks.

Craziness.

Bible study last night was... well, we didn't get to the Bible study part but shared about how we're doing. Everyone had huge things going on and we all needed to be there and listen, to celebrate with and comfort. Kendall became a Christian yesterday! We all started yelling and I ran and popped popcorn. One girl decided that she is going to GMS this summer and we all started yelling. Then Paige shared about the disease she was just diagnosed with so we prayed for her. There was just so much emotion in the room but it was a wonderful time.

French is a mad language.

I am torn over this weekend. Jen, I want to see you in Go Go Jonah so badly!

One question I faced this past week as denominational jokes were flying left and right... what denomination am I? I have no idea. Someone described it as "generic Christian" but that almost seems an insult in the wrong hands. Someone was talking about growing up on the catechism and then someone asked "well what if you didn't?" and there was an outburst of horror from some of the people. I just shook my head and they all asked what denomination I was from that could possibly not require being taught a catechism. I was like... ummm.... I don't know? My brain didn't work fast enough to assure them that I had been taught Scripture to memorize since long before I could even read. It's a rather confusing thing to think about.

18 Credits is a lot.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Festival (almost) Day 3

I've decided that I like:

Rob Bell
Caramel frapps (but I already knew that)
People who know how to read aloud
People who are passionate about kids books and kids reading (since basically, I'm a kid)
Naps
Spring time
Sandals
My notebook
Non-awkward moments
Lieing on my belling to get an eye level of the toad that was crossing my path

People I've decided that are coming with me in two years time:

Anyone with the last name of Eagleson
The Kearns. All of them.
Caitlyn Peck
Katie Fisher
Ken Anderson
Katie Nelson
Maggie Cox
Jorrie Marie
My mom
My sister Hannah
My sister Gretchen
My aunt Cherie (sp?)
Elia Barlough


If you want to be added, let me know. Because you should all come. The first reason is selfish, because I would love to have people to debrief with all the time. Erica tries but she's really here on retreat mode and listening to me rant in debriefing doesn't fall into that category. The second is that regardless of background or understanding of literature, there is a reason to understand where the Christian world is at currently, the struggles and the successes. And literally, you find all kinds of people here.

You probably would be more than welcome. :-)

Day 2

Oh my, things got much better after I finished the last post. There were some very friendly looking students and I went over and invited myself to help get last minute details organized for the festival the next day.

I'm tired! Things are good. The people I am staying with are weird and not welcoming but as they are the only ones who are even remotely like that, life is good. The festival is the oddest gathering of people I have ever encountered. Readers, writers, publishers, old, young, experienced, infants (like me), mothers, fathers, kids, profs, it's crazy. Not to mention the musicians like Caedmon's Call and Derek Webb that I got to see last night for... three hours. They just didn't want to stop playing so I was there from 9 until midnight.

Mom asked me what I've been learning last night.

I don't know


A phrase that took up residence in my head was "reveal to me the dream of the king." It is sort of out of Daniel but not really. I don't know why it decided to hang out in my head but it did and I'm still learning what it means. It has been true that the time here has been a slow revealing, a challenge, for me to figure out what I actually want out of life, out of this whole "lets go to college and get a degree in English" thing. People are so passionate and they know what they want. I have no idea what I want. I know that certain things excite me beyond excitement and that the details of getting published bore and depress me. I don't know what I want.

But I do know that I am glad to be here and I am glad for the small aquaintances and conversations that I have had. I am glad to know that I will never read all the books I should and that I won't own even half of what would make a solid library.

So life is good. And my boxed lunch is gross.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Festivalizing

Finding real internet on the campus of Calvin College is a challenge but I have overcome.

The day is beautiful and gorgeous. And I flew by myself and I made it and hurrah! I'm here! I gave myself a tour of this circular campus (in shape and layout and not in thinking), got vaguely lost, found a coffee shop and a duck pond, and count myself lucky. I slept on the grass by the pond for an hour, an unheard of ammount for me. Outside that is. I rarely sleep outside. I feel that I have successfully pulled a "Jamie Zachavitch" which is quite a boast.

My apartment hostesses really had very little welcoming humor and basically hinted me out of the room while they made dinner and I fended for myself. The kind boy who helped me find dinner made up for the odd slight partially. Why can't I get internet in that apartment?

Someone saw me reading Brennan Manning today and spoke to me about it on the plane. She was on her way to the Festival as well so we chatted for a little. And then in the shuttle I was able to chat with a prof from some small school in North Carolina about how the English major is set up at Penn State. I enjoyed both very much and I wish I could find more of these conversations. I'll be honest, I am quite lonely right now and I wish someone would just come and sit down and speak to me. If they just had no notion of being a bother, they wouldn't feel awkward at all, and I could use a friend. I've been by myself all day so to speak.

All these people walk by in suits and smile politely. Who are all these people and what are they doing? Are they important? I had to go online to see what the authors I want to hear speak actually look like. That made me laugh. I think I expected Kathleen Norris to look something like Madeline L'Engle. She doesn't. At all. Katherine Patterson is quite old which I was not expecting. Where do I get these stereotypes in my head? I was so angry at C.S. Lewis the first time I saw a picture of him. It just couldn't be him, I was sure of it.

I've run out of things to say.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Interpretive Rain Dance

This involved mostly sleeping deeply for over two hours this afternoon. I can't think of a better dance more full of praise for rainy days.

This week I had a number of surprises: Mad Cow becoming well known, Mim coming for a visit, and Dad coming for a visit. The week isn't over yet so I'm hoping for more surprises. All visits were very welcome and quite enjoyable. Mim and I hit up Websters for some good conversations and books. I came away with Swan Lake by Mark Helpurn and she found a book of the Rescuers (remember those mice in the Disney movies?).

But oh the nap was glorious!

Now I am waiting for the spell to break so I can register for classes. Who knows what that is going to look like... madness will ensue on all fronts I am sure. I kind of hate this part of college because so much hangs on having good classes to instate saneness into one's life.

I played Broom Ball for the first time tonight and I found it a remarkable game. I loved it personally. Why did we never do this in highschool? Had a number of magnificent collisions and saw a series of "hockey fights" being played out in slow motion. I think those fights have to be more funny in our case which meant that no blood was spilt but we yelled a whole lot more.

This is really the end because it is almost midnight. Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

"Flashback!"

This weekend I did a number of things that I have not done in ages.

One is that I spent an hour with friends coloring. With crayons. It was brilliant and I should really do it more often.

The other is that I am in love with the sky. I hadn't seen it in years. The daffodils finally bloomed and everything feels really and truely like spring. Why on earth didn't I think to bring my Cummings book back with me after Easter?

Another thing is that I called Sarah and talked for a long time. We didn't say anything really significant except that we both like naming girls more than naming boys. She's pregnant and I'm getting used to hearing about it. I also called Greer instead of watching a French movie and it was so worth it. We dreamed about this coming summer and shared about the past semester and I simply cannot wait for Staff training in just a month and a half. It is hard to believe that I'll actually be staff this time, and not just an intern. When I got the message Wednesday in Orlando, I was on clouds for a few hours. Four weeks...

I must come up with a way to bring my water heater with me so we can have tea everyday.

"Pour new seas into mine eyes"

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

"Buttercup, Baby"

The Navs are a special group of people, and that's a fact. This past weekend found us running around getting ready for and going to a semi-formal that turned out to be a really grand event. My Bible study girls all went together (Maryn picked us up) and had some good laughs being squished in the back seat of the car and finding a table with random guys and trying not to spill on ourselves. It was also wonderful to spend another evening with those from the spring break trip. Adam dj-ed for us and we danced for at least four straight hours and were near collapsing from fatigue at the end. It was so worth it!



Most of the Nav freshmen ladies. I'm toward the right.



This is my Bible study. We meet every Tuesday.



Justin Hester (our commander and chief) with his wife, Janna



Me and my roommate, Sarah Saltzburg



Pretty feet!



They were being "British."



me and Kadi!



It seemed like a good idea...



It was a bit cramped, to say the least. But a good time was had by all!




And as you can see, we ended the night in laughter and too many people in the back seat. That was totally Nate's fault. Yes, I blame him entirely.

In short, I am again impressed (and a tad overwhelmed) by gratitude that I have the privilege of counting these people amongst my friends. We have several years left (though the first is almost over far too soon) and I look forward to every moment.