Monthly Archives: March 2009

contact

There is no evaluative statement in the following. I was just struck by the realization of the diverse communication options available to the average person in developed nations.

If you wanted to get a hold of me, you could…

1. Come see me in person

2. Call me on my cell phone

3. Call me at work

4. Leave a written message

5. Mail me a letter/postcard

6. Email me at one of my two school email addresses, four personal addresses, or work email

7. Facebook me- message or wall

8. Use twitter (I conformed to Wycliffe pressure)

9. Skype me

10. Leave a comment on one of my two stellar blogs.

So if you’ve been out of touch, dying to reach me, please, take your pick.

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Filed under 'bout me, Contingency

sights in the AM

So we’ve covered that I’m a morning person.

I stopped to get coffee on the way to work (don’t worry; I’m keeping this splurge in good regulation) this morning and the chat I had with the girl behind the counter will probably be as amiable as any converstaion I’ll have today. Seriously, people can be so jovial in the morning, as long as they aren’t morning-haters. Those people are next to heathens anyway.

I noticed a girl sitting at a table with her mom. She was in the neighborhood of ten years old, was well-dressed -down to juvenile purple rubber boots- and had two plaits of brown hair. Most impressively, she was quite absorbed in a book at least two inches thick -and it wasn’t Harry Potter.

If appearances are any grounds for inferences, she looked quite grown-up and self-assured. She didn’t stir when her mom got up for the restroom and left her unattended for the space of several minutes.

As I watied in line, I snuck a peek back at her and saw her split the biggest grin -it had to have been something she read, nothing else amsuing was happening. She paused and partially closed the book, as if to reflect for a moment on whatever had made her smile. Then she took a bit of her bagel, perhaps sipped her iced coffee* when my back was toward her, and austerely continued reading.

You don’t see that happening anywhere at 7pm.

*She must be grown-up if her mom is buying her iced coffee. And in the nature/nurture debate, I’d say she acts like a grownup because she is treated like one.

[As appeared in Mythopoetic on March 5, 2009.]

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Filed under Everyday, Interpersonal Interactions, mythopoetic

kissin’

Tell me if you ever do this. Sometimes, when I want things out of my control to be a certain way, I will do something sort of related, something I have control over, knowing full well that it won’t change the outcome of situation a. For example, a friend is running late to meet you (you can’t control), so you tap your foot or go wait outside (something you can’t control). Or

When I take my friend’s four kids to church, I want them to know how much God loves them. I just want their little hearts to grasp it. Sometimes, I want to lift one of them aloft over my head like Simba from “The Lion King” and say, “God, you want this!” I’m not sure I’m strong enough to lift up even the littlest one up this way, though.

I’m not without influence in reaching my goal of them knowing God’s love. Things like telling them about it and taking them to church should be in the right direction. But they are young, and I don’t always know how much they are thinking about what they hear. I think, “I hope this soaks up into your little memories, because you won’t be hearing this stuff back in your country!”

I know that ultimately I can’t control if they come to know God, so (I realized this today) I kiss them. When it pressure of thinking about how they might miss things gets too much (or I’m just overwhelmed by their cuteness) for me, I plant a kiss on their little head or cheek. Maybe they’ll at least get how much I love them, or maybe remember someday that one time they visited a church when they were in America and just recall the feeling of how loved they felt when they were there.

As related, the church we take them to, is named Summit. Today, when I was transferring car seats, I noticed that the brandname of the youngest’s carseat is embroidered on the back of the seat. “Summit”. See, it is written in the cars.

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Filed under internationals, Interpersonal Interactions

spring equinox

Today is:
–  March 20.
–  First day of spring.
–  The spring equinox.

I feel like I’ve talked about this before, but I’m just fascinated by this stuff, so I’m writing it for my own pleasure, and it can’t hurt you to know this either.

If you lived on the equator, today would be equal night and equal day. From this point on, there is more day than night.

Part 1

Spring equinox
At the equators, it’s even day and even night. The days are getting longer (sun is up longer) and from this point on, there’s more sun than dark.

*Summer solstice (Midsummer’s Day),
Longest day of the year. The days start getting shorter.

Fall equinox
Similar to the spring equinox, the night and day are even. After this day, there is increasingly  more night than day.

*Winter solstice 
Shortest day of the year. After this day, the days start getting longer.

This is exciting stuff. Please go find a way to celebrate.

* It’s interesting to note that some cultures celebrate these. Particularly, I know of people celebrating Midsummer’s Day and also the winter solstice.

In some Scandinavian countries, I think they observe both solstices. In a place where the seasonal changes of the sun are so dramatic, I can understand why (in the summer, the sun never really sets, and it barely rises in the winter). I believe that Midsummer’s is a big deal, and then I think St. Lucia’s day is used to mark the winter solstice.

Somehow, I think this is why we celebrate Christmas on the 25 of December. Pagans used to have the Celebration of the Sun on the winter solstice. Christians decided to place the Celebration of the Son -which we call Christmas now- over that holiday (I guess as an alternative/way to try to redeem the holiday), and now modern calendars place that day on December 25.

Part 2

I have this aspiration to one day host a sweet Midsummer’s Day celebration.

This is my plan:
– Host it in Minnesota (which seems like the Scandinavian part of the US)
– Have a May pole, unless I discover there’s some pagan tradition tied to it .
– Eat out of doors (obviously).
– Have a white and navy blue color theme, consistent with that area
– There has to be a lake. With a dock. With boats.
– Get some of those sweet old lanterns to use when the sun finally goes down

Since there is little hope of this realistically ever happening, I am going to write down a detailed description of what I want, commit it to memory, hope that we will have all of our memories in heaven, and have my party up there.

Let me know if you want an invite, and I’ll commit that to memory also.

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Filed under Contingency, Explaining things, holidays

.the skirt.

I have this skirt. It’s red and white and flowery. I got it from one of my friends from the Middle East. She gave it to me right before she left the US to go back to the Middle East, saying she wouldn’t have much of an occassion to wear it over there. It’s a really pretty skirt, full and cut right above the kness. It’s very modest.

In the strictest sense, I am a feminist. Let me explain. The denotative defintion for “feminist” is someone who thinks that men and women should have equal rights and treatment, especially in the political and social realm. I think that. I am hesitant, however, to volunteer to put myself in that category. You know why. The connotation of a feminist is very different from the dictionary definition.

When I call someone a feminist, I am usually referring to someone that seems to embrace the ideology of radical feminism. This movement of feminists was athe most radical, and it appears that they are the people who come off as men-haters and want women to basically run around pretending like they don’t need men.

For most of the people I know and me, “feminists” are annoying women, always paranoid that man somehow is looking to keep her down. I don’t think that is generall an aim that men in America hold dear, especially today, when they’d suffer harm for expressing such an ideology. So that’s why I don’t call myself a feminist.

I don’t want to talk about the inequalities, on either side of the sexes, because it makes me nauseated. Sufficient to say, there are some discrepancies, inequalities, prejudices that remain, toward both men and women, and the US seems to be the top of the pile politically and socially for trying to right injustices as they crop up.

I’ve been learning about a certain Middle Eastern country though, and as my fried pointed out, comparaitively, finding a gender inequalities to combat here is like searching for two fleas on a single monkey.

Let me tell you a little bit of what I’ve learned about this country’s gender inequalities. I’m not trying to pick on them, but I’m pointing out things you might not know.

One of my friends from this country has a couple kids. Once, I was taking her kids somewhere and the girl piped up from the backseat, “I wish I were a boy.”
“Why?” I asked her.
“So I could drive a car.”
In her country, women aren’t allowed to drive.

The woman that gave me the skirt can only wear beautiful and colorful clothes inside the privacy of a friend’s home or her own. Anytime she goes outside, any other garb must be completely covered by a head-to-toe black robe; her face is covered except for her eyes.

Women are not allowed to go anywhere in public, unless they are escorted by a male relative. I have been told they are not even allowed to be seen speaking to a man in public.

Once, my friend flew back to her country with her newborn to visit her family. Her husband remained here since he was studying at the university. When it was time for her to leave, her brother dropped her off at the airport. The official at teh airport almost didn’t let her board the plane. “Where is your father? Where is your husband/” She explained that her husband wasn’t traveling with her, she was flying back to him, and that her brother had dropped her off. Finally, she was allowed to board the plane and fly back here. Women can’t leave the country unless they are accompanied by a male relative or have written permission.

A man may divorce his wife but women are not allowed to divorce their husbands. Men may have more than one wife, but women certainly may not do the reverse.

It is interesting to note, though, that women retain their family’s surname when they marry, instead of adopting her husband’s last name. Any children they have, though, get the father’s name. My friends told me also that when a woman has her first son, she is no longer called by her first name but is referred to as “the mother of ______.”

I am told that it is not the wish of the general population for things to remain thus, and it is not even likely the wish of the monarchy there to keep things so strictly controlled, but there is a radical minority that is succeeding in preventing any changes to current policies.

So any change would necessitate a huge divergence from hundreds of years of tradition, not to mention somehow overthrowing or wooing the radicals who are able to keep such tight control in the country.

My friend was sad to go back to her country and lose the freedoms she had here. I got a skirt out of her shoddy deal and lots of perspective on gender inequality in this globe.

My parting thought: Instead of whining about how statistically in the US women make 98.999 cents on every dollar men make, maybe any men or women looking for a gender-equality cause to pick up could move to the Middle East.

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Filed under Explaining things, Opinions

st. patrick

I’ll post this now so you may be adequately prepared to observe tomorrow.

St. Patrick was not Irish. I know, bummer. Fold up the four-leaved clovers wall decorations and save the money you’d have spent on beer. Just kidding. About the beer.

I’ll put some links below, so you can get the scintillating details. But here’s the skinny:

He grew up in Britain and was kinapped from his village by Irishmen when he was in his teens (this was all towards the end of the fourth century). He had grown up with a strong Christian family, but by his admissions, was a rather wild kid. It was while he was in Ireland working as a slave that he grew to know God.

Years later, he escaped from Ireland. One night, he had a dream wherein the Irish were calling out to him to come and work among them again. Some of what happened in the time between his escape from Ireland and his return to it seem disputed by scholars. But he did return.

Patrick and his monks are largely attributed the credit for lessening the influence of the pagan worshippers and also for spreading Christianity over the island.

These give you some more of the meat: Good, better, best. Seriously, Patrick was one cool dude.

I posted on of his prayers here last May. It’s really good.

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Filed under Explaining things, holidays

organizations

If I end up actually getting to learn linguistics, I want to work for Wycliffe Bible Translators as a translator.

If I end up being single for a while yet, I want to join Campus Crusade -their young people are really cool and have lots of fun.

If I end up getting married relatively soon, I want to go overseas with the Christian Missionary Alliance. It’d be awesome to raise kids in another country.

If I end up never getting married, I want to work in the slums or in an orphanage in Asia.

If I can’t raise any support, I want to join the International Mission Board (they cover you).

If the US economy really gets in a bad way, I want to go to the jungle with Pioneers. They know how to live with little there.

When I retire, I want to work for Wycliffe Associates.

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Filed under Explaining things, Opinions, spiritual, Wycliffe