Archive for April, 2009

Rainy Days

I have been thinking what to write this blog post on, but throughout the weeks every idea I have come up with has seemed lacking so to speak. I thought about addressing issues I have with the educational philosophy of the university, the spending and monetary allocations of the university, the 30+ pages I have to write before the semester is over, and so on and so forth. Since this is a WT student blog those seem like logical topics to write on but as I said they all seemed more or less lacking. Before I started writing this, I was sitting on my front porch awed by the beauty of the falling rain and the low moving clouds that were being accompanied by the magnificent rolling claps of thunder and flashes of lighting that illuminated the sky in almost a supernatural way. A perfect orchestra directed by the hand of God that completely eradicates anything ever composed by John Williams. While sitting there watching the rain feeling the cool breeze, I had an epiphany, one I often have but often forgot.

Continue reading ‘Rainy Days’

Rez Week

My freshman year I remember hearing the words Rez week, and wondering are people here allowed to say that?  Coming here from Montana Rez was a termed used to refer to the Indian Reservations, and not in a positive sense.  After getting used to hearing the word Rez in a positive sense, abbreviation for resurrection I am able to enjoy the week leading up to Easter (Rez Week).

                Rez weeks is one of my favorite times of the year, because we are reminded of the resurrection all during the week.  It is also nice to see different Christian organizations on campus come together to help for a common goal.  Last year Rez week ended with a rally that included worship, and the opportunity to hear from different leaders from each organization.  Every day a different organization sponsors a free lunch in the JBK.  Monday’s lunch was sponsored by Buffs for Christ, Tuesday the Wesley, and Thursday the BSM. 

                This year, WT’s own Abbey Jo Martinkus, created a mural in which students could write a note saying what they thought of God’s love.  The theme for this year was Greater Love, describing that there is no greater love than to die for someone else.  This is the whole story of Easter and the Resurrection, that Christ would give His life in order for us to live.

                I hope everyone was able to get out and be a part of the activities, and enjoy what each organization is doing on campus.  Along with that, I hope everyone had a fun and safe Easter.  I hope Rez week allowed for us to remember the Great Love, and the true meaning of Easter. 

 

 

 

 

Philly Cheesesteaks and Papers, Baby!

Only four weeks of school, seventy pages to write (including a twenty-five page beast for my honors thesis), seven books to read, at least four all-nighters, and three tests to go.

Awesome.  I feel like I might not make it.  This month is probably going to be the most intense of my undergraduate career.  Bring it on.  This is all I have before I will officially by an alumnus of this fine institution.

I find that if I take Richard Dreyfuss’s advice in What About Bob? I can actually survive and even thrive.  I try not to think about all that I have to do because it will only drive me to despair and back to my recently ditched habit of Dr. Pepper addiction.

At least, I have somewhat of a plan for my summer and next fall.  I just have to make it to May 8.

I was accepted to the two graduate institutions I had applied to, and, after a suicide trip to New England during spring break, I know where I want to go and will be moving to Philadelphia the first week of June.

This is quite terrifying and exciting all at the same time.

I have always wanted to live in the real city.  I love the energy, the diversity, the coolness, and the culture of the big city.  I also cannot wait to take classes I care a lot more about.  It is going to be awesome to live an hour and a half from New York City and three hours from Washington D.C.  As an American historian, Philadelphia is such a rich treasure house of ridiculous history, like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

However, I have lived in Canyon for the past fourteen years.  I have developed a ridiculous community and support system here at WT.  There are many people here that I love and that love me.  Also, I have a physical disability that prevents me from being fully-functioning at times.

So even though moving to the fifth largest city in America is extremely exciting and I know its what I need to do, I still have considerable reservations and fears about June.

It would be an absolute shame, though, to be ruled by fear.  Even though I am quite fearful, God has been faithful to reveal time and time again that I have what it takes through his strength and spirit.  This is one of the most important confidences a man needs to have.  The principle question a man deals with is “Do I have what it takes?”  This question is even more important when dealing with a disabled person.

About two weeks ago, I had a flat tire around 12:45 on a Sunday night.  Now, it is important for the reader to know how mechanically savvy I am not.  I actually ruined my first car because I didn’t know you were supposed to change the oil in it.  So once I realized I had a flat, the despair set in.  I immediately called a friend who I assumed was still awake.  Unfortunately she didn’t answer.

I paused and a determination set in.  I can do this.  So I got out of the car and began the tedious, for me at least, work of replacing the flat tire.  It was amusing, at one point, I had hiked the car up off the ground and was attempting to pull the tire off.  The tire just would not come up.  Then, I realized that I had to take the bolts off first.  Duh!!

Anyway, I did it.  I survived the flat tire and successfully put on the donut.  It did take me about 45 minutes but I did it.  It was if God was showing me that I didn’t need to fear anymore.  He is with me and has and will give me everything that I need.

So, even though I am terrified of leaving this haven where I know and love so many people, it is time to leave.  It is time to have my own adventure with God.  It is time to be a real man and adult.  And I am excited about this.  So I will end this blog with a challenge. . . Philadelphia, Bring it On!

Errands and Epiphanies

“The American Dream”

I could see the gray expanse of suburban Dallas stretching all the way to the smoggy horizon. The sun had just set, from what I could tell from just beyond the bent tip of the airplane wing. 
I’d been buried in my book for most of the flight, but was pleased to be distracted by an announcement of descent and a view of downtown Dallas through the port hole. 

But it wasn’t long after stepping foot into the terminal before I was in a sea of people. Computers laid open on every lap over the age of 19, and iPods were shoved in every ear younger. Children hung on the legs of their parents who were vigorously checking their blackberries, and flight attendants were sneaking a chat on their cell phones to check in with hubby two or three cities away.
Baggage claim was a breeze, and soon their after I sat upon my suitcase in the metroplex twilight looking up at the unusually smoggy sky while I waited for my ride to get there so I could be carted off to Carrollton. 

The last time I’d visited home had been for Christmas, so it was a nice suprise to not only visit but to fly in.
My house smells the same, but my nephew is taller.

The next morning my family’s life went on as usual. At eight-thirty a.m., the house had already emptied out and everyone was off to their various forms of work. I had my mother’s car at my disposal, and a list of errands to run while in the city. I lounged in the quiet for some time, and then went to the bank, to see a few old friends,to get some lunch (and a stomach ache) at a Chinese super buffet, and to the Apple store in Willowbend mall.

I parked in the first garage I saw, in between a Lexis and a H2 Hummer. 
I took to noticing all the cars and guessing how much each one cost, then trying to add the total money in my head, but once I got to the millions, I couldn’t keep up with all the zeros and gave up as I pushed the glass door into the foyer. 

Turns out I parked outside of Neiman Marcus, and I entered the store near the fine jewlry section. I took note of a headless manikin wearing a necklace worth more than my college career, and decided that to be my scarecrow to find my car later. 
Two women who smelled like over-priced perfume looked down their noses at me as I passed their counter of shiny rock rings I have no interest in. 
Three different women in the make-up section offered the prim, young girl next to me samples of their finest goop, and ignored my presence, surely, because of my outrageous choice of shoe wear, (toms). 
I shrugged at someone’s bored husband, and acknowledged his sacrifice of purse holding near on of the glass counters by the entrance to the mall, and was glad to get into the hallway. 

In the Apple store children begged their parents for the biggest iPod. 
“I don’t have enough space,” one little boy cried, “The iPod you gave me for Christmas is black, and I want a white one, that’s got more gigs.” 
Adults huddled around iPhones like newborns, ooh-ing and aw-ing and stroking the screens like little baby noses. 

There were so many people in there I never got help enough from anyone to even ask the question I’d initially shown up for, and ended up leaving just to get out of the mall. 
Something about the recirculated air, the extravagant spending, and the Chinese super buffet were making my stomach churn. 

Why. 
All.
The.
Stuff. 

Cause it’s the American Dream. 

People get an education. 
To get a job.
The job is to save money. 
To be able to live but make enough
To buy the stuff. 

But the stuff will break. 
The cool thing will no longer be cool. 
(digipets, pokemon cards, cassett tapes, polo shirts, doc martins, jnco jeans, and full house hair cuts.) 
The ipod will break, the music will get over played, old, and out of date. 
The computer will get a virus.
The phone will get dropped in the toilet….

Buying all these things for happiness….won’t work. 
(90% of people who have all the things, the cars, the bling, the house, the entertainment center, the media room, the computer stuff, the swimming pool, and the dog named Rex, are living extravagantly in extravagant debt. )

I’m not sure how much of this American Dream I buy into. 

If THINGS and our LIST of TO-DO’s replace PEOPLE and RELATIONSHIPS we’ll all be empty shells. 
The American dream feeds us materialism…consumer economy…debt….and lies about what success looks like. Is the richest man most successful? Is the man with the biggest house who we aspire to be? But life is about more than things…

What would it look like if our education was used to relate to others–
our things were used as tools to help one another–
our extravagant life styles weren’t worth more than a human relationship…
We valued each other more than stuff…. 

The American Dream just isn’t for me.