Saturday, 30 January 2010

At the Closing of the Third Week

Tonight I went with my friend Nora to a professor's house for dinner. Originally, they'd invited me because they have two daughters who live in Alaska, and they wanted to get to know the "Alaska girl" on campus.
It was a lovely evening. Mrs. R. made us a very delicious dinner, and we talked for several hours. Of course, most of the conversation revolved around Alaska. But it was quite the pleasant break from homework and studying that usually occupy my weekends. Today was no different, I had calculus almost all day and my brain was pretty much slush by the time 5:30 came around.
After we returned from their house, I got the rest of my stuff done and had the room to myself so I listened to Billy Joel and Simon & Garfunkel while somewhat straightening up my room.
A little while ago, a girl named Angela (a sweet music major who stops by nearly every weekend for a few minutes to say hi) came by. She informed me that every Sunday at ten, a small group of students gathered (anywheres from three of them to twelve of them, depending on the Sunday) to drive to Mount Irenaeus, which is a Franciscan retreat.
So, tomorrow, I'm off to a sanctuary in the woods, and will hopefully write to you then!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Living Simply

Late last night, I was exhausted and had again lost my voice. So I turned to blog reading. Being so busy with school meant that I'd fallen really behind on certain blogs that I love and look to for inspiration.
And I'm so glad I did. I found posts that challenged me again, and made me think about the life I want to live, both here at school, and in the future when I'm starting my adult life.
One thing that has always bothered me is how much I love to read and knit and write, and yet all my older adult friends who love the same things say they have no time whatsoever to indulge in those things. One lady I know says that though when she was my age she devoured books, she hasn't had the time to read a book all the way through in a year and a half. Another tells me that she used to write daily, and hasn't had the time to write more than a chapter or a poem in the last nine months. And again, I retaught a friend's mother how to knit back in October because it'd been eighteen years, she said, since the last time she'd picked up needles and now that her daughter's at school with me, she may have time to do it.
Then I read Rhonda's post from earlier this month, which was actually a repost from a year ago.
"I have written before about not seeing knitting and sewing as a craft, but instead as part of my housework. I love to sew, but when I do, I am producing items for our home, or mending clothes or sheets, making curtains, or sewing on buttons, applying patches or restitching a hem. All things that allow us to keep using what we already own or to create what we need from what we already have. Looking after our clothes and soft furnishings is part of my house work. And so is knitting dishcloths, rugs, tea cosies, hats, mittens and scarves. So I don't feel I'm taking time for myself when I knit or sew, even though I love doing it, it's part of my housework.

Finding joy in daily life is just one of the ways I have made this housework thing work for me. Instead of being the misery it used to be, I look for ways to enjoy my day, I smile, talk, relax and rest when I feel like it. It makes a difference, especially on the busiest of days. But you have to remind yourself to do it when you start, so make a written list, or a mental one, and list what you need to do to enjoy your day. And then, even if it puts you behind a bit, do it - look after yourself so you can look after your family. If you get sick, or if you hate what you're doing, everyone will suffer. So give yourself time to do a few things you enjoy throughout the day. Rest. Sit down with a cup of coffee and talk to the children, or who ever is in the house. If no one is there, email or phone a friend. Look for joy in your day, find happiness in the pantry, reinvent your routines so they work for you, and respect the work you do for you are making a warm and comfortable home, and that is one of the most important jobs there is."

This was what I'd been thinking for the longest time. I do want to be a stay at home mother. I want to raise my family, make my home beautiful, and live in peace and simplicity. I want that more than almost anything else. Including a high paying job which would keep me from realising that. I know this will sound incredably immature and that many will shake their heads and tell me to wait until I see what the "real" world's like, but I'd rather have to live on the tighter side of things, monetarily, if I can follow this sort of life that I love. Life isn't about money and success. It's about living, following God and the life he's called me to.
My whole struggle right now is living simply while at college. It's not exactly set up for that sort of pursuit, really. College is another form of rampant consumerism. Spend lots of money, live in created surroundings, not in a 'home and family' setting at all.
And so this post came in quite handy.
I'm going to start looking at my life here and see the places I can cut out. Cheers!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

More Purple Hair Photos

Some people thought I chose my shirt to match my hair.... or that I dyed my hair for the perfect outfit accessory. However, I'm not the sort of person who thinks like that. I just did it because 1) I lost a bet with a friend and 2) I thought it'd be fun and 3) I needed something bright.
Yes, I realise that static has greatly affected my hair.
This was taken this morning, on my way to classes.

And this is most of my friends' favourite photo of me with purple hair. What do you think?
And this marks post 400. I cannot believe how much blogging has become part of my life.
100th post: August 23, 2008
200th post: December 18, 2008
300th post: May 1, 2009


So, last night, I left work feeling oddly. I was extremely sore, my stomach was killing me and my head was pounding. I'd coughed so hard that my throat felt like sandpaper. After making some lovely spiced something or another (milk, black tea and spices were added, but it wasn't quite really chai - whatever it was, it was the concoction of my befuddled brain.) I went to sleep.
When I woke up this morning, the stomach had slightly calmed down and the soreness wasn't as bad. However, when I went to say something to a floor-mate, I realised something.
I was speechless.
Exactly. I cannot talk right now. I've been trying all morning, and all I could get at times was a whisper, and sometimes, not even that would come.
Imagine me in class, the only one with an answer to a question posed by the teacher. I had to scribble it down on paper and hand it up to her. Then she asked how I knew the answer as it wasn't in the text. More scribbling. Everyone asking me what the problem is. I don't know what's causing this. All I know to do when they ask is hold my throat and shake my head. It gets the point across. The dreadful bit?
I have a speech class in which I must give a speech tomorrow. I've emailed the professor to see if he can't move me to the following Tuesday, just so that I don't have any anxiety about whether my voice shall return from vacation. And, on top of all that, I'm supposed to work three hours tomorrow night, calling people. I don't know if that's going to happen.
And now I know that I officially wouldn't like to be mute, even though I love writing. Just because most people are really impatient and so now I feel really cut off. Anyways, I have to get ready to go to my Calculus discussion class here in a few minutes. This could get interesting.
By the way, 98 days (14 weeks, exactly) until I go home!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Favourite Things: It's Purple!

So, rather than wait till this weekend, I found myself with some free time last night. And so I pulled out my temporary dye and went to it.
Yes, I dyed a little bit of my hair purple again last night. And here are some photos to prove it.
Just as a quick note: it's a bit more purple than these pictures show, it looks a bit pinkish according to them.
Yeah, I think it looks really good with my natural gold hair...
The one concern I had with it being so close to my face is that it'd make me look paler... what do you think?
And that's about it, as far as pictures go. I'm sure I'll have more at some other point...
And to think that my speech professor said I was the quiet kid who had all the answers and would never do anything surprising. I want to hear what he thinks about my hair during class this afternoon....

Monday, 25 January 2010

Monday Already?

It's the start of the third week of school.
Where'd my weekend go? Well, let me see. I had homework: finished by 3 on Saturday. And then I spent a lot of time catching up on that funny thing called sleep. And I watched movies with two other girls. I went to church. I wrote a little bit. I listened to Celtic music. I looked through photos of home and friends.
And now it's Monday, and I've gotten through three classes, and am soon to head to work for three hours. Only eight more classes, and six more hours of work after tonight until the next weekend. Oh, and about six or so hours of homework. I didn't include in there my five and a half hours of music rehearsal I have to sit through because my hand is still getting over the sprain and Dr. Casey doesn't want me to stress it.
So I've decided to make the week exciting. I'm going to dye a bit of my hair purple again. I know, I never got around to posting photos of it the last time I did it, but this time, I will.
I love spontaneous decisions like that. We'll see what this week brings.

Sunday, 24 January 2010


Last August, before I left home, I began work on a purple blanket. It progressed slightly during the time when I was recuperating from that cough I wrote about, and the time I got to my grandparents.

Photo: Detail of the pattern.
Once I got to school, it kinda went under the bed and was neglected in favour of doing my homework. (Funny, these priorities I have...) And then, I worked on it during movies, or when I visited my grandmother, and the UN, and once again, I picked it up over Christmas break.
And finally finished it.
Originally, the pattern was for a baby's blanket. It turned out a little larger than that.

Photo: The finished product: a full size bed-spread!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

It Feels Like Spring!

Well, my second week of school has now drawn to a close. I'm done with my homework, and have my room fairly cleaned up. I just have a bit of laundry which is in the washer at present. And it's beautiful outside my window. Since my room-mate S. has gone home for the weekend, I have the blinds open and look out as I sit at my desk.
The sky is a clear cerulean blue. The grass (where the snow is gone) is greening slightly. There are a few buds upon the deciduous trees. My calculus homework is all gone until next week. I have peppermint tea and digestives with mint jelly. I have the High Kings singing to me from my computer. I have fresh kiwi-fruit (gift from a friend) upon my desk. I spoke with a few of my friends in London this morning, and actually slept until nine o'clock- which was simply amazing, considering I've been sleeping an average of an hour a night recently, and last night I got more like eight hours.
It feels a bit like spring here at HC, which the Alaskan in me finds funny. Spring is for April and May. But here, they still think that forty degrees Fahrenheit is winter. Tomorrow is supposed to be nearly fifty. That's spring, for me. So, they say that spring comes in March or so, when things are consistently nearly sixty degrees. Of course, it is supposedly getting colder towards the end of next week. However, still not what I would expect for home.
In celebration, I'm wearing a bright pink shirt under my green and pink butterflies. According to a girl at lunch, I was wearing spring and spreading infectious happiness to anyone who saw me.
Not a bad thing to do, if you ask me.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Classes 2.0

So, this semester, I am taking something like 15 credits. And I thought I'd share with you what those are, and my opinions on them.

Intro to Nutrition: 4 credits.
Boring as watching paint dry. As well as being at nine o'clock in the morning, with a teacher who openly says that she doesn't understand how people don't love biochemistry. Not too overly hard of homework, yet, but the text book is a slog, and the teacher rambles a lot, making the lessons rather confusing.

Intro to Calculus: 4 credits.
Not nearly as bad as I was expecting, so far. But then too, we're doing really easy stuff at present. No one else is really volunteering answers in class other than me, so I'm apparently doing quite well. The professors said as much, which is mildly entertaining, since I hate math with a passion unrivaled by the thousand burning stars in the sky........ almost as much as I hate chemistry, in fact. (Which my nutrition course is, by the way, a chem course...)

Presentational Speaking: 2 credits.
Fairly interesting, not too hard. Except for the fact that I hate speaking in front of people. But the teacher is nice, and we only have to talk in front of our class.... at present. And apparently, he's pleased because I know how to project my voice and have a stage presence, which all those years of music has developed.

Philharmonia: 1 credit.
I love being able to play music again! I'm a second violin, and the music that we are playing is fantastic. However, after every rehearsal, my hands are killing me.

Metaphysics, Morality and the Mind: 4 credits.
This class is the best. We talk about philosophy, and books, and thought... and the teacher's just awesome. He explains things quite well, and is easy going. And besides, we haven't gone a single class so far without him quoting Calvin and Hobbes. An excellent sign. Slightly more homework than the other courses at present, but far more interesting and stimulating. And I feel like I'm actually learning something worthwhile.

So there you have it. Classes, second semester of year 1.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Henna-Hands and Feet

What do I do when I have no homework, no one around to talk to and am bored?

I doodle on my arms and feet. With henna.

Yes, that's a violin "f" symbol on my hand......

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Last Day

Well, today is the last full day of break.
Tomorrow, Andromanche, Krysten and I will head back to HC to start the next long semester of learning. In some ways, I cannot believe how fast the last twenty-two days have flown.
Yet I'll be happy to have school work to do again, as well as seeing a few of my friends. It's going to be hard, when I see the space left by my friends who will be in London, and I will be haunted by the memories of the hopes that I had. But I still believe that God will work good out of this.
And so, I look forward with joy to writing you all again from HC!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Unexpected Gifts

Well, last night, I checked my email and found a notification of a gift card to the Barnes and Noble bookstore had been sent to me. I was a little surprised, as I knew that Mum had sent me a gift card for Christmas, and was sure that no one else would have thought of it.
But a few moments later, there was another email. It turns out that a friend whom I've barely heard from in nearly two years decided to send me a Christmas gift, after she received a card and bookmark from me which arrived to her place just yesterday morning. She could not think of anything, and so, deciding to not wait until next year to ask me, settled on a book gift. She told me that she knew that I loved books, and thought it could not go amiss. So I was the very happy, and surprised, recipient of a gift card.
After perusing the website for what seemed like forever, I settled on getting a copy of Wuthering Heights and found a decently cheap copy, and after the shipping and handling costs, found I'd used the exact amount that was specified in the certificate.
And then I found that it was actually just in time for Christmas on the Julian calendar. So, it seems that my friend had good fortune on dates, and we just had a small Christmas gift giving, her and I.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

A Day with Miss Austen

So, I happened to find, in my suitcase, my lovely copy of Emma that my father gave me a few years ago. I read it over several times during eleventh year, and then once again last winter. On a whim, I brought it with me to HC, but haven't gotten to perusing it since the few few weeks of school. I don't recall having brought it with me for Christmas break, but lo! it was in there with my notebook when I was rummaging through it yesterday.
I decided to start it again. By last night, I was again enthralled with the beautiful language of Austen. A friend of mine who had been visiting for a few days and I went on a walk, and he said that my choice of words reflected that I was in my "poet-mood" which I must take to mean as the mood I regularly get in when I've been immersing myself in older books. I randomly selected Wuthering Heights off my Gramma's shelf of movies (having watched it a few days before as well, but that was no matter....) and watched it and went to bed, with such rich, glorious language whirling in my head.
Today has passed with a glorious succession of Emma and Sense and Sensibility. And something like five or so dishcloths.

Monday, 4 January 2010


Well, today, Gramma took me and my friend to the Indian spice store.
I am beginning to love that place. The spices are cheap and fresher than I'd find in regular grocery stores. And they have more than just spices there. I bought some tea, and lychee lassi.
And if that weren't enough, I found my copy of Kal Ho Naa Ho there earlier this break. I managed to pick up a few more things than I had originally intended on, and my Gramma found a chai masala mix there for her tea.
Now I have spices, foods, and good memories of my corner of heaven in Western New York.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

A Visitor

Well, after nearly a year, I have finally met a friend of mine whom my brother introduced me too, rather oddly, over the computer. We are going to spend the next few days together, and as such, I doubt I'll be posting very much at all.
I hope you've all had a lovely New Years!!!!!

Friday, 1 January 2010

In Pursuit of Joy

Last night, I didn't celebrate like many people. It was a quiet evening.
I wrote letters, practiced my handwriting (it's amazing what a nice nib inspires me to do....) and listened to Indian music.
Then I turned to Ann's blog. Her post about this new year being a "yes" year challenged me.
I sat back, and said to God: "Okay, God, what do you want me to look for in the new year?"
I was hoping that He'd answer with a "And here's the exact order, with a complete 365 step list for you to do...."
God seldom does that, it seems. I sat there, waiting, and nothing came clear to me. Then one of my friends called me. We talked about stories and writing and our hopes for the next year.
"You know, it's amazing, how little people actually have joy. They have excitement, they have pleasure, even happiness; but always because of something that happened. Not too many people have joy just because."
"Oh, now I could get started on C.S. Lewis and that could be a long conversation." I really can talk someone to death about C.S. Lewis.
"Well, you know what could be interesting? Resolving to be joyful... trying to find joy in little things, and give it to others."

Right about then, I knew what I needed to make my focus in following God this year.
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