Monthly Archives: March 2008

Be Thou My Vision

post of the night part deux

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower;
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou my inheritance now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joy, O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

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euphemism

In one of my classes this week, we got into small groups to discuss the assigned reading for that particular class period. The word “euphemism” came up in mine. I was horribly embarrassed because, try as I did, I could not remember what this word meant. I couldn’t even think of an example of one, though I have used the word before.

It didn’t help that I was in a group with two of the smartest, well-informed people in the entire class. For that particular strain of conversation, I was absolutely useless at contributing except to chime in with backchanneling (ex. “uh huh”, “mmm”) or a word of agreement or disagreement, things that I wouldn’t have to back up or explain.

Needless to say, I ran right home and consulting webster.com.

euphemism: the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant.

Now I’m armed and looking for opportunities to use it. Beware.

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Piles, Heaps, Loads

I’m under one. Short on sleep. Mounting piles of unwashed dishes, vacuuming, and laundry. Taxes to file. Projects and papers looming in front of me, my intentions for my gpa, taunting me. Obligations to fulfill.

I’m headed to bed shortly. I should be there now. I was up at 5:30 because I hadn’t finished a project last night. Lately, I’ve been getting my assignments done just just in time. I get to sleep in until seven tomorrow, though, because work got pushed back, though, which is superb. That is why I am allowing myself to unwind like this. Bethany’s already asleep.

I keep waiting for myself to pull it together and perform up to my expectations. Somehow, I don’t think that there’s much hope.

Please read this as frank but sanguine. By Christ, I shall endure, and, I dare to hope, prosper.

R.

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Gentility

Isn’t this great?

13856133.jpg
source: barnesandnoble.com

This book appeared on our coffee table two weeks or so ago. My roommate, Anna, owns it.

I’ve been perusing it. First, I think it’s a great idea. Second, it’s a contemporary guide; it was published in 2001. It smacks of those old etiquette books and books for “young ladies”, concerning their conduct. Yet, if you crack open the pages, it escapes being archaic and ridiculous.

Predecessors this book seem to be treated with humor, ambivalence, contempt or some mixture of the three. “Ha, a lady!” Speaking for my own sex, “lady” is such twisted term. The association that I have with the word is it being used as part of a reprimand. “Come back here, young lady!” or the like. The other association I have with it is hearing it used by creepy guys or in poor attempts at gallantry from young men: “Ladies first.” or “After you ladies.”

“Lady”. It can be a title, e.g. “Lord and Lady Such-and-Such”. It can be descriptive, “She’s such a lady.” A lot of women probably view it as an oppressive label of yore, perhaps centering around the rules of what one ought to be at around the turn of the century. This is probably furthered by what I described earlier as being able to personally attest to, “lady” being used as a type of reprove.

One might hear the redress: “That wasn’t very ladylike.” But how often does one hear it being used in praise: “That was so ladylike?” It doesn’t matter terribly to me, as I imagine I can take what is intended from the title and cast of unintended baggage, as far as the title of this book goes.

Further, the subtitle is, “A Contemporary Guide to Common Courtesy.” In this case, is it possible that the term “lady” need only be extended to “a woman who practices common courtesies”? As far as contemporary definitions go, that is good enough for me.

Now to the real aim of me writing all of this. The book itself. It is written as a series of rules, or suggestions, if you will, categorized under several chapter headings.

For example, here are some of my favorites under “A Lady Says the Right Thing”.

  • “A lady consults the dictionary for correct spelling and definitions of words she uses in her conversations and correspondence (Simpson-Giles 59).”
  • “A lady does not correct another person’s grammar (Simpson-Giles 59).”
  • “A lady knows how to accept a compliment by saying, “Thank you” (Simpson-Giles 60).”

There are also some good ones under “A Lady Goes to a Party”

  • “A lady does not turn down invitations. She never waits for something better (Simpson-Giles 85).”
    • “A lady is never the last to leave a party. Neither, if she can avoid it, is she the first to arrive (Simpson-Giles 85).”
    • “A lady does not dispose of her feminine hygiene products at another person’s home (Simpson-Giles 86).”

    Simpson-Giles. Candance. How to be a Lady. Rutledge Hill Press. 2001.

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    Mission to Japan

    This is how I spent my spring break junior (this) year. With the Mission to Japan homestay program in Daytona Beach.
    jetti_rocks_gils_pic.jpg
    So this is the group, more or less. I’m the girl in the orangish tank.

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    An Assortment of Items of Interest

    1. I shan’t apologize and I won’t bother to be demure about it. It is worthy to note, or do a did-you-know, rather, today that St. Patrick was indeed not an Irishman. This is worth mentioning on several fronts, and chief among them is that that fact is tied to the story about who he was then. The story of his life is one of my favorite, which is perhaps why I will unashamedly draw attention to it.

    Honestly, I think that first and best account I heard of his life was from Focus on the Family’s child tape series “Adventures in Odyssey”. They do a good job. But I am sure you can google or wikipedia it also and get a good sketch of his life.

    2. One of the first cds that I have owned was the original cast recording of “The Phantom of the Opera”, starring Sarah Brightman (many of you will know how I am obsessed with her music) and Michael Crawford. I used to listen to that cd every day. I had every word as well as the sequence of the songs memorized.
    Well I have to confess that I am getting rusty. I know also own the soundtrack from the movie that came out a few years ago. Today, I felt like listening to some phantom, preferring to listen to the Broadway version. I went to my itunes and selected what I thought was the broadway soundtrack. I listened to the first few songs, trying to determine if it was the movie or play version playing.
    Finally, I convinced myself that it must be the play and that I had just not listened to it in so long that I couldn’t remember the differences. Finally, I heard a part that I knew was only in the movie. I felt dumb and duped. I ran and found the broadway soundtrack. Ahhh.
    I must have lost my ear. I couldn’t distinguish between the sublime performance of Crawford and Brightman from the great performance of Butler and Rossum. I am ashamed of myself frankly. I think there must be some great spiritual application that I could draw from this. Something like we live with mediocre things and then grow used to them and satisfying. Only when we experience the truly great things do we realize how we were satisfied with so little.
    disclaimer: I am not derriding or impuning the quality of the singing on the movie version. It’s good too. It’s just not comparable to the template.

    3. I was writing a little earlier for something else and I managed to whip out a few good words. I was probably inspired by Ravi Zecharias using “mirth” in a podcast I was listening to. That happens sometimes. Someone says something great, somewhere your mind is jolted into a higher level. At least for me. It’s as if it thinks, “Hey, I can do that too,” even if I don’t consciously do it. So anyways, I pulled the word “kafuffle” out from somewhere in my brain. I am pretty sure that I have never used that word in prose before. I also drug out and used the word “druthers”. I can’t claim this to my own merit. I know the last time I heard it and I have thought of it on occasion since. So I guess it just laid in wait for the perfect time to spring forth and be used.

    4. If you haven’t checked out the GeoBee lately, it’s been good. The questions have been really hard.

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    spring break ’08

    So this is actually a blog, meant for writing. I intend to write, primarily. I want to write. Hopefully, the pictures have been nice also. I just learned how to put them up, though, so I’ve been doing that also.

    Now let me answer the question of what I did for spring break. I went to Daytona Beach. I hung out with friends. We got a hotel right on the beach and stayed the week. We stayed up late, walked on the beach, played games, talked a lot and had fun all-around.

    That’s true. I went to Daytona with Mission to Japan. A bunch of Americans came to hangout with a bunch of Japanese students, who are here for a month. The Americans outnumbered the Japanese about 3 to 1, which, I understand, is unusual for these retreats. But I think that they were fully engaged.

    I’d never done anything with Mission to Japan before but several friends of mine have worked with them for quite a while. I shared a room all week with one American girl and two Japanese girls.

    It was a good week. It was a fun week. It was a stretching week. It was a week where God whispered to me. I’m afraid I prevented him from speaking louder to me. It was a week where I gained some good perspectives on life and the world.

    There were nine Japanese girls, six of which were officially with the homestay program. I had only heard one or two of the names before, and it took me a few days to remember them correctly, because they were so different from names I encounter day to day. If I were forth-thinking enough, I should have written all the names down, so I could remember them better. Also, if I remembered my IPA symbols better, I should have written down how to pronounce them correctly.

    In any case, the girls were: Takae (my roommate), Junko (my roommate2), Kotoha, Miki, Maki, Miyuki, Emiko, Fukiko, and Ai. I am very glad that I met each of them.
    [Pronunciation: TA-Ky-A, June-ko, Ko-tow-ha, Miki, MA-key, Miyuki, Emiko, Who-kiko, and I].

    I think that best thing that was impressed upon we was that God is working all over the world. How exciting! I also thought a lot about language. The same God that speaks to me in English is speaking also in Japanese to a Japanese girl. Japanese seems like a pretty sweet language. It’d be kind of cool to have an occasion to learn it.

    A little something extra: 1-10 in Japanese

    1 ichi (itchy)
    2 ni (knee)
    3 san (san)
    4 si (she)
    5 go (go)
    6 toku (lok)
    7 nana (nahna)
    8 hachi (hachi)
    9 kyu (Q)
    10 ju (jew)

    I learned this during the week and am still struggling to retain it.

    -R

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