Thursday, July 29, 2004

A Love Letter

Look: someone wrote a love letter.  It's a pretty good love letter, too.  I mean, if I were a guy, that's the kind of love letter I'd want to get.  I wonder who wrote it?  Heh.

Letters to the Editor

in other news, my local newspaper hasn’t printed my article yet.  I feel like quoting Diana from Anne of Green Gables: “WHAT?!  The editor must be crazy! ... That’s ridiculous!  He must not have read it.  I’m going to cancel my subscription immediately.”

These are the wackos who write for The Union.  I'm serious... clicking these links can potentially provide full moments of pure amusement, accompanied perhaps by briefer moments of frustration.  If your time is limited or you're not particularly interested, at least click the first link.  It's too good to be missed.

Then there was this letter to the editor, which is really quite clever and funny.

And our paper's publisher has a good sense of humor about the attacks on him from subscribers.  Read this... so fantastic.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

My Mom calls me “Miss Responsibility” this summer.  I like this; it means she notices that I try hard to do better at the things that don’t come very naturally to me... things like being responsible and diligent and using my time and resources wisely.  And this summer I am doing that.  I work full-time (designing and creating icons for software and writing documentation, newsletters, help files, and website information) , I run 2-3 miles a day (I’ve been really consistent about this), I help around the house with cooking, cleaning, and outdoor work (like cutting, carrying, and stacking slash from 9 huge trees my parents had taken down), I’ve practiced my violin fairly consistently (although for about two weeks I took what I consider a needed break [translation: I slacked off like the loserly wannabe violinist I am]), I’ve sewed two skirts and a pair of pajama shorts, I’m crocheting a baby blanket, I play the piano and read when I have spare time (which is seldom), go sailing with my family about every other weekend, etc.  And now I’ve promised to assist in writing a music history curriculum, on top of everything else!  I’m busy.  And I'm a little worried about finishing all the things I have to do plus the things I want to do this summer.  Anyway, I really haven’t had any time to just lounge around wasting time.  Which is good.  I feel pleased with myself.  And my Mom is pleased, too.

My Dad, on the other hand, says he is “counting the moments” until I go back to college... this because I ate his ricecake yesterday.  Heh.  But the truth is, he loves having me home. :)  Right, Dad?

In other news, I bought my plane ticket to fly back to Gordon College for the fall semester.  My friends, do you realize how ground-breaking this is?  This is the first time in my three years of college experience that I will be returning to the same college for a second year of enrollment.  And I'm pretty much mostly kinda excited about it.  I'm excited about sharing an apartment with five great girls.  I am excited about decorating my room once I get there.  I am excited about seeing friends again.  I am really excited about my classes (I know; I'm a nerd.)  I am excited about cooking in my apartment.  I am excited about being in choir.  I am excited about the possibility of getting some violin students.

I am looking forward to lots of great music in the coming year.  Orchestra, chamber music, choir, violin lessons... it'll be fun.  Today I have the slow movement of the Brahms clarinet-cello-piano trio stuck in my head.  It’s so nice.  I’ve missed music this summer; it’s been a rather non-musicalish summer.  Well, of course there’s been my own (sporadic and sucky) practice of Mozart and my occasional practice of Schumann, and of course there’s Rode, which hardly counts as music, and um, as for Bach, what Bach?  Was I supposed to be practicing Bach?  hahahahaaa, okay, I'm going crazy.  I’m really losing it.  I am a lazy and unproductive so-called violinist and my teacher is going to KILL me.  Oh, the joy.  So yeah, I am 1/2 excited + 1/2 scared about seeing my teacher again and playing for him. 

I'm excited about a lot of things, and yet I am also restless.  I know it is a good thing that I am returning to Gordon; I need to finish up school and get my diploma, and staying in one place for at least two years in a row is the only feasible way to accomplish this.  Plus, I like Gordon, I really do.  But I think there will always be a bit of wishful reminescing... what will this next year be like at Wheaton?  What will everyone be doing there...without me?  What will this year be like at Biola?  Of course, I'll always miss those places and those people.  I have so many good memories.

But I'm glad to be going back to Gordon.  I think it will be good.

You know, I'm tired of people laughing at me for transferring so much.  "Three schools in three years, ha-ha!  Where are you going next year?  Ha-ha!"  (Everyone who says this thinks they are so clever... if they only knew that everyone, everyone, says this to me.)  What's so wrong with having uncertainties and not quite knowing what you want to do?  Why do people act like not being able to "settle down" and "stick with a decision" is such a terrible thing?  First of all, I can settle down and stick with a decision.  But there is really no necessity to do that right now, when I'm just 21 years old and my whole life is ahead of me and this is my time for preparing for the rest of my life.  If I stuck with a plan or a decision that wasn't going to prepare me for the life I wanted, I think I'd regret it later.  And whoever said that we're supposed to know exactly what we want in life when we're 21 years old?  I don't really know what I want to do.  But it's becoming more clear, I think.  And what better to do while I figure out my purpose than to take the wonderful opportunities that have been open to me?  So yeah, I've been to three schools in three years.  I've had wonderful opportunities and wonderful experiences, and in the long run, I don't think I'll regret the decisions I've made. 

And what am I going to do after I graduate?  I don't know.  I am thinking about going to England for a year.  And surprisingly, when I told my parents about this idea, they were very enthusiastic.  My parents are really the absolute best thing in my life right now.  They know me so well; they know my personality and my successes and my struggles, and they love me so much and always want to help me figure out what will be the best thing for me.  I love my parents.

So here's to another year at Gordon.  I think it'll be a good one... oh, and we're doing Elijah!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2004


Today is a very important day.

It's a birthday and an anniversary, in fact.

Heh... it's the birthday of my blog, and therefore the anniversary of my blog + me.

We're cute together, aren't we? :)

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Yesterday I drove to Berkeley with my parents to try to sell my violin (but with Ifshin taking a 25% commission, I've decided to investigate other options before giving it to them to sell) and then to Danville.  They spent some time talking to a girl who might be coming to live at our house for a year or two, and I spent some time browsing through Borders while I waited for them.  Which was fun.

In other news, I'm sure you've all heard the charming quote by Linda Ronstadt by now:

"It's a real conflict for me when I go to a concert and find out somebody in the audience is a Republican or fundamental Christian.  It can cloud my enjoyment.  I'd rather not know."

After her recent antics and statements, I would venture to say that she won't have to worry about having her enjoyment clouded by the presence of Republicans or Christians anymore.  Heh.  Let's all help Linda feel more comfortable and enjoy herself more at her concerts by never supporting her in any way.  If any of you ever did support her to begin with, that is... which I suppose is doubtful.

Friday, July 16, 2004

While I'm inclined to distrust anything from a source called Women's Wall Street (why should women need a Wall Street separate from the one the men use?  This isn't public restrooms, my friends), you might want to check out this article.  Various reliable sources reference it (check out Instapundit) and the basic facts at least seem to be true.  Scary?  I think so.  Is racial profiling a good idea?  Duh.

My Editorial

The publisher of my local newspaper wrote an article arguing against Michael Moore and his fallacious film, Fahrenheit 9/11.  He was subsequently barraged with angry letters from liberals.  Since I thought it was very important that other views be represented, I wrote what started as a letter to the editor and ended up being somewhat longer than that.  I submitted it this morning... now, we'll see if they publish it or not.
Here is what I wrote:
I am a 21-year-old college student, home for the summer, and I am concerned about the anti-war, anti-President Bush, and even anti-American views so often presented in the letters to the editor and the columns in this newspaper.

The philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote, "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.  The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.  The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

Yes, those who make and keep us free are indeed the better men.  Men like my grandfather have known war and have fought courageously; they were willing and even glad to do this for the country they loved and for the future it secured for their families.  Today, good men and women like this are keeping watch over the many lesser men and women who protest the war in Iraq, disparage President Bush, and praise Michael Moore.  

War is not its own end.  President Bush and his administration desire peace, a truer peace than those who oppose the war can envision.  They have a more realistic perspective concerning the most effective means to achieving that peace than do the Utopian pacifists who desire peace but cannot see that in the real world, lasting peace demands sacrifice.  It is easy enough to sit on the sidelines and heckle President Bush when you are not the one responsible for the lives and the future of a nation. 

Many of those who oppose the war demonstrate obvious inconsistencies with their responses to previous administrations.  They will pursue any means they can find or fabricate in an attempt to influence the results of the upcoming election, even if this means inventing bizarre and inconsistent arguments.  President Bush leads our nation in a just war against terror and is barraged with the angry responses of his critics.  Why did these same people not protest when Former President Clinton invaded Bosnia and Haiti?  Many in our nation are outraged as President Bush works for a much-needed regime change in Iraq; why didn’t they oppose Former President Clinton when he imposed regime change in Serbia?  The same people who expressed anger with President Bush’s decision to bomb terrorist camps didn’t object when Former President Clinton bombed the Chinese Embassy.  President Bush has liberated 25 million from a genocidal dictator, and the very people who initially voted for the war suddenly oppose him and our actions in Iraq.  President Bush claims that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction and that there was a tie between Saddam and al Qaeda (a claim Mr. Putin and Mr. Allawi defend).  Have the people disputing these claims already forgotten that Former President Clinton made the same claims and called for this very regime change?  Now, President Bush is taking action, and many Americans are furious.  The double standard should be apparent.

Many other arguments against the war are fallacious and unfounded.  These arguments rest on false claims about oil, assumptions concerning President Bush's underlying motives, or even far-fetched conspiracy theories.  However, Saddam's regime of terror, his known support of terrorist organizations, and the resulting threat to the United States render these weak arguments utterly inconsequential. The kind of evil that dehumanizes and delights in torture and terror had to be stopped.  Saddam and his sons have now been removed from power, and it is in the best interest of the United States to continue to ensure that terrorist activities cease and a stable democracy succeeds in Iraq.

War is an ugly thing, but it cannot be considered uglier than the mass murder of innocent Iraqis.  It cannot be considered uglier than the attack on America which reduced the Twin Towers to rubble and claimed the lives of more than 3,000.  Those who oppose the war in Iraq on the basis of inconsistent arguments or specious sophistry are no friends of America, and they are no friends of truth, justice, and freedom.  It is crucial that we stay the course, continuing our efforts to fight against terrorism, so that we may win a real and lasting peace. 

Mr. Ackerman, thank you for your opinion piece on Michael Moore and for your courage against the onslaught of critical letters you receive.  There are many in Nevada County who appreciate your work at The Union and in this county.
(That's it.  Comment!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Grammar Fun

Hey, Readers! As many of you know, I have what you might call a little grammar fetish. I just think that people should use good grammar. Is that too much to ask? I frequently come across blogs, papers, and other forms of writing that commit irritating and obvious grammatical sins. Well, in pondering the pathetic state of spelling and grammar today, I came up with the following all by myself.

(I am so cool.)

There are few grammatical errors more annoying than the comma splice, please don’t use it.

Possibly more annoying is the run-on sentence which joins two or more independent clauses and uses no punctuation and will really drive your reader crazy don't use these either.

Ending sentences with prepositions is an extremely annoying habit, and a problem you should surely deal with.

Please, kids... their really coming down on incorrect spellings of homophones these days. They’re is indeed a difference between these sorts of words, even though you’ll find that there always sounding the same. So pay attention! They’re is no excuse for making these kind of errors, is their?

And considering sentence fragments. So this is important. When writing sentences. Many sentences are fragments. Written sentences. When a prepositional phrase isn’t connected to an independent clause. And how anyone can possibly employ them is beyond my comprehension.

Jane told Joan that they would take her away and lock her up if she obfuscated her sentences with unclear pronoun references. Each person should work to the best of their ability to avoid confusion of pronouns, and also to make pronouns agree in number with their antecedent.

Faulty parallelism makes me want grammatical justice and to catch the perpetrator. In lists or comparisons, don’t mix nouns with infinitive verbs. Also, I’m begging you, when making parallelisms, make sure your verb tenses match. Joe seems to be having difficulty with the concept of parallelism, but John was the real culprit. In making mistakes like this, he not only broke many rules of the English language, but also was making himself look stupid.

The misplaced modifier is a grammatical error that breaks the rules which I find annoying.

Genuine errors in subject-verb agreement is hard for me to comprehend. The people that make these kinds of mistakes must uses their brain very little, if at all.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

college memories

I just remembered something odd. At Biola they have this annual event where all the guys drink as much milk as they can... gallons and gallons... until they are all puking all over the place. And then you can smell it for a while on the grass where they have the milk-drinking contest. These kinds of school traditions can be so weird.

I don't know what made me think of that.

Anyway, despite these strange rituals, Biola is cool.

There are other things I remember besides boys drinking milk.

One time Dr. Reynolds stepped out of the elevator in Sutherland and said to me, "Every time these elevator doors open, I think that maybe this time I'll be in Narnia."

And Libby and I used to take Lucky Charms from the caf and eat them on her futon. I liked to steal her marshmellow bits.

And Dr. Sanders said, "It's weird to see Moothart and Palmer walking around, and they're both girls!"

Sometimes I'd babysit for the Reynolds. Let me tell you, Dr. Reynolds' kids are wicked smart.

Justin used to make origami things during Torrey sessions. At the end of the year he gave me a box of things he had made. I have 200 paper cranes hanging from the ceiling in my bedroom now, and 79 of them are ones that he made.

My roommates Sheri and Rebecca were cool people. I remember walking arm-in-arm with Sheri to the grocery store late one night and having the best sort of talk with her. And I remember lying on Becka's bed and just talking. Becka was always such a generous and kind person. Having roommates can be such a nice thing. Later Becka dated Isaac, who was another cool person at Biola. He's smart and funny. He and I used to have this inside joke about Annie Sullivan, only now I can't remember it at all. I don't remember how it got started, or why it was funny, or even what it was exactly - I just remember we'd be hanging out, and somehow everything led to Annie Sullivan somehow, and we'd laugh.

Courtney was my wonderful friend with a squishy nose. I'd go hang out in Alpha with Courtney and her roommate Amy, and we listened to Disney songs and stuff. And all of us girls used to watch The Princess Diaries a lot that year. Fun times. "Here is YOUR friendship charm; I'm taking it off, and it's going in the dirt!" "Princess! You're the most popular girl in school! Everyone wants to take your picture! Everyone wants to be your best friend!"

We were in a play that year. A musical, actually. Kinda embarassing in some ways to think about it now... I sang and danced. I always forgot which lines were mine and which were Libby's. I liked being in Theater. I liked my friends at Biola. Yeah, that was fun.

Katie and Bethany were good friends too. Katie made me a beautiful blanket. And she writes wonderful letters. Bethany seems mild-mannered at first, but she's actually one of the wittiest, funniest people I know.

We went and saw The Fellowship of the Ring, a whole bunch of us together, and at the moment when Bilbo gets all nasty and lunges for the ring on Frodo's neck, Lem screamed like a girl and threw a whole bucket of popcorn over his head, showering everyone behind him in the theater. On purpose, of course. It was so funny. Also, I tried to superglue Libby's ears that day, but it didn't really work out. I have a picture of her, with her ear all red and sore, and she's looking at me so reproachfully. I like Libby and I miss her, and it makes me sad that we're never together anymore.

All the Torrey tutors were so funny.

And first semester I was in the Sayers group, before I changed to Tolkien second semester. Everybody was so super. I wish now that I knew some of them better. Sayers and Tolkien people both, I guess. I wish I knew Laurel from Sayers better. We emailed a lot in that summer after freshman year, but then I transferred to Wheaton. And Becca... she's smart and funny. We had a Sayers girls party one night. That was fun.

I liked reading Athanasius a lot. And Augustine. Really, I liked basically everything we read except maybe Ovid. Once we were reading a play aloud and Brian stood up on the stair railing in that building where we were reading (I forget what it's called now) and towered over Dustin and we were laughing and Dustin didn't see him. Heh. And we read Homer's Odyssey aloud under the tree in the Reynolds' front yard.

And I think that through that year I learned some things... I learned a lot of facts, but then over it all and through it all and in the midst of it all, I learned to love God more.

People talked about changing the world for Christ and winning the culture back and totally changing the world, and I wanted to do that. Now, I sometimes think it's more than a little unlikely. I guess I'm a little bit cynical now; or maybe just a little bit more realistic. That year I was so romantic about it... not romantic like mushy boy-girl love, but romantic in the breathing in deeply of salt air and flinging out your arms and dancing in the sand on the beach sort of way, or singing hymns and feeling your heart swell, or reading C. S. Lewis and feeling your soul positively thrill. That kind of romantic... that's the kind of romantic I am.

So this started out with a sudden, random memory of milk-guzzling Biola boys, and turned into a lengthy memoir-sharing-session.

I liked Biola. But I'm glad I don't go there anymore. Growing up is different for everybody, you know? And maybe harder for some than for others. Figuring things out. Learning who you are and then learning to be a better person and grow in the ways God wants you to grow. We all have to live and learn. And if I had stayed at Biola, people might have made it hard for me to be able to live with my mistakes and keep becoming who God wanted me to be. I guess you could say I didn't feel like I had room to grow and change.

So I'm glad I don't go there now... but sometimes I miss the way things were and the way things could have been. Of course there are the what-ifs... what if I had stayed.

As each little chapter of my life draws to a close and a new one begins... I have to start over in a lot of ways. Biola-friends know nothing of my life at Wheaton and Gordon. Wheaton-friends know nothing of my life at Biola and Gordon. Gordon-friends know nothing of my life at Biola and Wheaton. But all of this has been a part of me, you know? And important to me. I miss so many things sometimes, but I can't explain it to anyone or tell anyone what I am feeling. In some ways, my life is a bit fragmented on a year-by-year basis, and that is difficult.

But it is okay.

My life is a journey that is ever-exciting. Biola, Wheaton, Gordon... it's all just part of a much larger story. And I think to myself...

What will tomorrow bring?