Thursday, September 30, 2004

My friend, Kathy, died today, and I don’t know how to mourn.
She lived a long enough life,
but I wish she’d lived a bit longer.
I guess one always does.

I heard a symphony on the radio, two days ago,
that I thought she’d much enjoy.
She couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk, couldn’t smile.
Never had.
But she knew how to enjoy music.
It soothed her.

Her eyes were wise with understanding.
Her heart yearning to be touched.
Her body limiting.

Now she lives in a place where her body could not go.
No taut muscles hold her back
Her voice makes music.
Her soul runs free.
Her thoughts are heard.

And I mourn?
I bet she looked forward to this day.
She was always capable of more than her body would let on.

But I hurt. I can’t put words to why, but I hurt.
I wish I’d done more for her here, made her life more full.
Found a way to help her smile, connect more with her soul.
I wonder if I’ll recognize her
When we again meet.
I hope she’ll have a smile for me.
I bet it’s beautiful.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Signs That I am Beyond Hope
Number 1: Algebraic Manipulation On the Bus

Last night I experienced a moment of triumph, which upon reflection was a milestone in my journey into eccentricity:

After working for a couple of hours on a particularly nasty econometrics excersize which had most of our class baffled, I decided I needed to head home at 7:40pm or so and headed for the bus with means, standard deviations and normal distributions dancing in my head. After turning the problem over in my head for about 20 minutes, I got a flash of brilliance. This is how I found myself tearing paper out of my portfolio in my backpack, and scribbling sigma's mu's and other random symbols madley onto paper in public.

Fortunately the other passengers did not seem to care, they are probably used to such behavior in this town, but alas, for me it was a first. I recognize that it will most likely not be an isolated incident, given the concentration this work seems to require. You all may some day be saying "I knew him when he was an ordinary nerd, not a 'head in the clouds academic' like he is now."

On the plus side, I got the problem correct. Completely correct. The only correct response to which is: Boo Yah!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Reason to Get Offended?

So I have been thinking lately about the way I have observed christians respond to the comments others make about God. It seems that a good evangelical will not get upset (visibly at least) when the christian God is slighted, using the excuse that "unbelievers don't know any better." Which is perhaps true. Nevertheless, I have started to become less forgiving, feeling almost cranky, as I watch the world verbally stomp on the creator of the universe. And since I could not come up with a real good reason not to be mad, I have reacted differently. Recently in conversation a friend of mine compared God to magic. I immediately and forcefully objected, declaring that even God's miracles were not magic, that magic was man controlling nature, miracles were God interveneing in his Creation. One is unnatural and selfish, the other is natural, ordered, and benevolent. (Here I use "natural" not to mean naturalistic but "within the established order.")

Even when I am forceful, I am not that threatening, nevertheless my friends noticed that I had taken offense and backtracked. I may have come accross as an easily offended, closed minded bigot, or I may have come across as a sincere person who had real (and reasonable) attachments to his beliefs. I hope it was the latter, but I can not be sure.

So here is the question. Does God need defending? Or, better stated, should christians defend God in dialogues with non-believers, or should we simply ignore slights to our God. Is it our place to set the record straight? Let me know what you think, and how you respond in similar situations.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Sorry for the lack of posts! My ("our" now) parents have been visiting us for the last week or so, which has greatly cut down on the amout of free time I've had to blog.

Short update:
We can watch TV!! Dad and Steve went out and bought us an antenna (I prodded them with "it'll be a bonding experience," which neither of them bought) Now we have TWO STATIONS! PBS, and one other. PBS comes in clearly, so Steve gets his news hour, and the other station comes in slightly fuzzy, but it does in a pinch when I want cheap entertainment that requires no brain cells.
Liz, mom, and I had more important things to do that day: hitting the near by mall (they're VERY cool down here, because they're half in-doors, and half out-doors, and really pretty. Not something you'd get in MN). We bought us a mantle for our fire place and a couple of other necessities (like DISHES!!! Thanks mom and dad! Now we can throw out our plastic plates!)

Sylvan is treating me well. Funny work story of the blog:
Several days ago, one of my 4th grade students looked at me mid session, and asked me about my midwestern accent. "Are you from England?" she asked. "No, I talk different because I'm from Minnesota. Do you know where Minnesota is?" [shook her head] "Do you know where Canada is?" (thinking LARGE geographical references) "No, I haven't been to any foriegn countries."

Hm... geography... a good thing to know.
That's life.

Question o' the blog:
Do you remember a time when you did not know where Canada was? "discuss amongst yourselves"

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