Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Begins

Freshman year of college. Done. Now what?

The end of week of finals after it was all said and done, I took a little trip with Dmitri, Maryl and Trevor to Stauton, VA for our friends' wedding. On the way, we took a day trip to D.C. and looked at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery (featuring The Art of Videogames), went to the National Archives (did NOT steal the Declaration of Independence) and went to the National Gallery of Art. It was amazing to me that I could see paintings by Raphael, Monet, Boticelli and even Leonardo da Vinci "in the flesh", especially when most of these pieces were glassless. Our last stop was Ben's Chili Bowl, since Adam Richman (Man Vs. Food) suggested it and Obama enjoys the delicious tastes found there. We then went to a lovely wedding of Nathaniel and Chlaire, simple yet enjoyable, with fresh made donuts and coffee after. My kinda wedding! After we got back, Dmitri took me to see the Avett Brothers as well at Stage AE in Pittsburgh, which was fabulous. Mind you, this was just the weekend after finals!

My online courses started last week. Biology looks manageable, but what kind of insane must I be to be taking online Calculus? :P I'm getting it, but it still is a task.

Yesterday, Dmitri, Maryl and Chrysanthemum went with me to Cedar Point, which is always a wonderful experience. The Maverick, Dragster and Millennium force were my favorites, though each had a time that I was either mildly blacking out or seeing stars. Comes with the territory, I guess.  As it was a Tuesday in May, the lines were all less than an hour long, which allowed us to ride everything we wanted to and leave early. Home by 10:30? I loved the sound of that! :)

Now it looks like my job hut will continue, with Sheetz, Eat n' Park and Dominoes Pizza being the most likely candidates.

What does your summer hold for you?

Monday, March 12, 2012

VIP... not really

The Joys of Being a Sound Monkey

Another school drama production has begun, and as a member of the fine arts department, it is no surprise that yet again I need to contribute time in this area for classes. With the luck of most freshmen, I have not obtained a spot in any performance this year. But I HAVE obtained a spot on a wonderful crew backstage.... SOUND.

Coming in, I thought I would be working the sound board or something to that effect. NOPE. Instead, I weave and pin microphones in the actor's hair and sit listening to the com system in case a battery dies so that I might replace it. Now that tech week is over and it is just dress rehearsal time, though, we use new batteries every night and no one's mics die. So my joys during the nights of this week will be much like tonight: sitting in my own little corner in my own little chair, listening to music, doing homework, eating a fiber one bar and enjoying doing basically NOTHING for my hours. Hooray! As of right now, I only have 20 hours left, which means I am half way done.

picture courtesy of

On the better side, I am getting more work done now than I usually do on a day that I have nothing planned (which shows my motivation... :P) I believe half of this is because I know I don't have much work for two weeks, so I am in effect being motivated to do work when I have none. Murphy's law, I guess. But, as time passes and I hang with my favorite four young British men (John, Paul, George and Richard) I remember the finer things in life. How an unstressed life is SO much better than that of constant movement.

I know it is surprising, but in highschool, I was the epitome of what Grove City College wanted: a kid who does too many things to count, wants to be involved in everything and at least mildly succeeds. Though this was true of me, this past year has definitely taught me the beauty in simplicity and flexibility. As my time in the Dominican Republic draws ever closer, I contemplate how this view of life will help me down there.

My only qualm about this time spent in the dark cavernous corner of the stage in PEW fine arts center is that I did not have time to make tea prior to it. :( Tomorrow my time will be even better spent here, as in addition to being able to make tea, I will also be able read Alice in Wonderland, one of my favorites (partially because of the story, and partially because Lewis Carroll was such a strange individual).

What excitement is going on in your life?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sabbatical... until the Sabbath

Well, goal number two of 2012 has already failed miserably... "be more consistent with my blog".

Luckily, most people don't care that much, so I am alright in that aspect of life.

For those of you who don't know, I am a music major at Grove City College. As a music major, there is that stereotypical amount of obsession with music that normally follows. But lately, I have realized just how true it all really is.

For my Civ Arts course, we have to write a paper either analyzing a piece of art or a song. I chose Le Secret by Gabriel Faure, my all time favorite composer (next to John Williams and Howard Shore, that is. :P)

In my researching and analysis, I have come to see the amount of joy and work composers put into their pieces. Not that I didn't already know this, but it was a reiteration as of late.

It also occurred to me that most people don't actually listen to music.

"Wait!" you say. "I have an Ipod! I listen to Coldplay and the Beatles almost everyday!"

The truth is, most people only HEAR music, they don't LISTEN to it.

Take a piece of classical music, for instance. Clair de Lune by Debussy. The song is based off of a poem. That is about the amount of analysis most people go into with it. But examine it a little more.

The first measure of the piece is written with a I chord (aka, in the common Db minor key, the primary notes used would be Db, F and Ab). Normally, in musical theory, you would double the tonic (Db) in the chord. But the first chord doesn't even HAVE Db in it! Why did Debussy do this? Was he just feeling saucy and rebellious and wanted to change from the normal and stick it to the man? Probably not. As the words of the song go, loosely translated, "love is final, yet not complete". By not putting the tonic in this measure until the last beat, Debussy reiterates with music what the words of the poem say. And when you realize there is that much composition and thought in just the first measure of the piece, you have a little heart attack when you consider the entirety of the piece.


At any rate, think of the beauty in music, not only in how it sounds, but what it means, both literally and emotionally.

What has inspired you lately?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Intentional :)


But it a good way.

Have you ever been overwhelmed, not by the amount of work you have to do, the problems in life and the unresolved conflicts, but by the awesome power and incredible grace of God? I have always been a person that knew my faith and strove to do my best in living it out, but just recently I have been OVERWHELMED by just how great of a faith I have.

That has been my lesson this weekend. Not just living in complacency, but constantly thinking of all the things He has done for me. And one of the things that is coolest in life? When other people are having the EXACT same thoughts as you. And you have a GREAT conversation about how amazing our God is over dinner that lasts until the cafeteria workers kick you out. These are the moments we should live for.

Though I know sleep is necessary, as well as work, I have decided to take a new perspective this semester. I am going to try to be intentional with not only my workload, but also my relationships. So far, putting the relationships first, I have realized I will ALWAYS have time to do the work I need to if I make it. But the joys of a heartfelt conversation with a sister/brother in the Spirit are only an occasional blessing.

So this week, I challenge you to be more intentional in all you do, make your priorities and enjoy your life to the fullest for the glory of God. THAT is a fulfilled life.

Also, here is a little bit of joy to enjoy on a Monday morning, with a cup of coffee and a cinnamon muffin. Or whatever you like. ;)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hasmat... another Adventure?

Adventures in Oddity... and something on top of that

This week one of the lessons I have been learning is about the perks of spontaneity and the joy of being flexible. I have found that no matter what my plan may be, there is a VERY high probability my day will not turn out that way. I think I have just been so used to a schedule and so anal about keeping it that I have almost gone off the deep end with planning (I should have known something was wrong last semester when I tried to plan my studying down to the very minute...).

An example of being flexible came one day when my mum, my sister and I pulled into our driveway a few years back. All seemed well.... until we took the dog out for a walk. Over the edge of the hill by the road, someone had tossed a large oil drum, allowing it to rest in our yard. Thanks, guys.

As we checked this new arrival out, I noticed there was no writing on it at all. Except a little yellow piece of paper, very faded that said TOXI. I thought, "Who would be dumb enough to put toxic waster in our back yard?" That itself is a dumb question as the world we live in is a LOT stranger than it seems on the outside.

The drum seemed harmless, lying in the overgrown grass under the green maple tree. It didn't bother the squirrels... so should it bother us?

Needless to say, it bothered my dad, who immediately called the police. They told us it was probably just an empty oil drum some jag was too lazy to throw away properly. Which makes sense, other than that our backyard has rarely been confused with a landfill, and it certainly does not seem to me to be the ideal place to dump garbage.

The days went by, and the oil drum became a curious topic of conversation in our lives.

A few weeks later we receive a call at home. A group was coming to pick up the drum. Great. No big deal. At least it would be easier to mow the lawn again.

Hours later the HAS MAT team arrives. Yes, the Has mat team. In their white suits, helmets with tinted front windows and moon boots. There were about six of them, barricading the road so that their truck could back up, allowing the crane on the back to carry the 'goods' up. They placed this a large white barrel, and then sealed it with their special tools. Then, they drove away. This whole process took about four hours, as they couldn't risk the chance of spilling the "toxic" waste.

What crazy things are happening to you today?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Beauty is....

First two days back at school done! All my classes this semester seem great, so no worries in life (for now).

My 8 am class, Civ Arts, was introduced today by a discussion on beauty. When asked what we saw beautiful over the break, one student answered that he saw a moonbeam. I have never heard of this prior to today.

A moonbow is like a rainbow, but around a waterfall at night (usually). Due to our rods and cones not reacting as well in the dark, we cannot see the colors in the dispersion of the white light. Who knew?

My Professor, Dr. Francis, was so excited by the news of this occurrence he almost knocked over a desk. Sweet, tea-drinking, reliable Dr. Francis was brought joy today, and so was I by this little known event.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" was broken down into its horrible lie during this class, and the true beauty of art and music was discussed. All on the first day. What a great semester this will be!!!

What was exciting in your life today?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Back to the Grind...

GCC, Look at me NOW!

Now that I am back at school and waiting for the new semester to begin tomorrow, my life is on the brink.... of a storm of work that refuses to end before May.

But it makes me happy when I see all my friends who have been parted from my side since before Christmas. Though it will make me sad to leave all my friends from home.... :( I can't win!

On the plus side, due to my missions trip coming up in 2 months and the fact that I have knee problems (physical therapy, here I come! :P) makes it much more likely to be going home on weekends this semester. Which is kinda sad, but there is a reason I am basically being forced into it.

Do you ever wonder why things happen this way? In my life, I seem to just get over a hurdle and another one pops up to trip me and leave me with my face in the mud (and whatever else is there). But then I begin to consider strange occurrences that are starting to make sense: my parents' one car being totaled, and a 'new' used car becoming available just in time for me to need to use it to drive to PT, my being off of life from mono last semester, causing me to not have a social life (so I'm not missing much now that I am once again handicapped. :P

Good things are coming of all the bad things in life, even if I don't quite understand yet. And it is reassuring to know that I'm not the one in control. If I were, I would be a WRECK right now. :P

What surprises have snuck up on you lately?