Friday, May 26, 2006

Home Again

FavoriteBoy did arrive, and all is right with the world. He promptly took me to Panera for a quick dinner before church choir rehearsal. After waiting nearly 20 minutes for our to-go order, FavoriteBoy finally inquired after our food - his Asiago Roast Beef sandwich and my 'You Pick Two' order of half a Turkey Romesco and a cup of chicken noodle soup. Apparently, they had lost our order. The manager promptly handed us $20 worth of Panera dollars and told us to have free desserts on him. Our food was then ready in about three minutes. All in all, I consider that a win-win situation. And we even made it to choir on time.

So, it's nice to have Nathan back. He had a nice time in Italy - but I'm sure it wasn't that nice, since, after all, I wasn't there.

Ever since Meghan Cox Gurdon stopped writing regularly, I've had to attempt to fill the empty void she left in my life with Dooce. Dooce is basically a dirtier version of Meghan Cox Gurdon, a version who still tells interesting stories of being a mother, but intersperses those stories with bad words. She also writes less well, is slightly less clever, and has a child noticeably less precocious than Meghan's children. Nonetheless, she's a decent filler. Although, I'm still holding out for Meghan to return someday.

Elena is pretty good, too, and is made even more fascinating by the fact that I actually know her. I definitely recommend her blog for creative, clever posts on a myriad of topics.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Siblings, Siblings, Siblings!

Part of my summer job right now entails going through files of all the applicants from this past year and extracting the names of siblings. Part of the information I must enter in the computer, along with name, address, phone number, and year of high school graduation, is the gender. You wouldn't think this would be difficult.

Well, it is difficult. After all, I want to do this job well. I don't want to enter the wrong gender for a potential future applicant. I want to get these things right! But with the modern customs of naming being such as they are, things aren't so cut-and-dry anymore.

For example, there are certain long-established customs of naming, and one of them is this: Jessie is a girl, and Jesse is a boy. So when I come across someone named Jesse Ann, what am I supposed to assume - that his parents gave him a girl's middle name, or that her parents didn't know these basic rules of naming babies?

And what about those people who indicate names of siblings only by nicknames? "Kim" suddenly complicates my life, because gosh, should I put "Kimberly," or "Kimberlie," or "Kimberlee," or just "Kim" in the name field?

And then, of course, there's the matter of gender. Once upon a time, you could assume certain things. "John" is a boy. "Michael" is a boy. "Lauren" is a girl. "Ashley" is a girl. "Jeremy" is a boy.

My friends, this is no longer the case.

Which is worse: to leave the gender field blank in the system, or to mislabel a potential applicant?

Interestingly enough, this job is having a curious effect on me in terms of my understanding of family size. You see, I used to like big families. Then I got this job where I had to enter information about every applicant's siblings, and oh by the way, the computer system is so outdated that you must re-enter complete information like address and phone number for each entry.

These days, I exult when I see an application that says "only child." I don't pity the child. I bless them. And when I see "homeschooled" on an application, I turn the page with trepidation - yes, my fears are validated. Six siblings. Nine siblings. Eleven siblings. Worst of all, the applicant hasn't abided by the directions and entered the year of graduation -- just the age. "Lydia, 2 1/2." So I have to calculate these things, taking the matter of unknown birth date into consideration, taking a guess, and hoping I get it right.

And so, you see, if I never have any children, or maybe only one, I blame it on this job.

Meanwhile, my sister and some of her friends are all hoping to double the world's population single-handedly, and maybe even trying to beat one another to this wonderful calling, and inside my mind I am now screaming at them, "DON'T YOU REALIZE THAT IN TWENTY YEARS YOU WILL BE MAKING SOMEONE'S LIFE MORE DIFFICULT?!"

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Profundity From Dr. Roger Green

In the process of moving out of my old room and moving into my new room, I came across a little notebook with scribbled notes in it from my New Testament class during my first year at Gordon. Notes about the content, interpretation, and theology of the New Testament? Not so much - at least not in this notebook. Instead, here I had written down funny quotes my professor had said. By funny I don't mean funny-laughing-with-him, but rather funny-laughing-at-him.

Here are a few:

"The Word became flesh means God became flesh." (Profound.)

"I am convinced of the Virgin birth for two reasons. One is because otherwise the Bible would not be inerrant, and two is because it is one of the most important doctrines of the Christian faith." (Good reasons, buddy.)

In response to a student asking a question: "Some people do read the text that way. I do not read the text that way." (Brilliant answer.)

"Satan is not omnipresent, so Satan cannot be everywhere at once, so Satan can only be in one place at a time, because Satan is not omnipresent." (Well said! Haha!)

After stating that temptation always comes to us at our weakest point, a student remarked, "After 40 days fasting and spending time with His Father in the wilderness, wasn't Jesus at His strong point?" Dr. G replied, "It seems to me not, it does seem to me that He was tempted at His weakest point, because it seems to me that that is the nature of temptation."

In response to a question about the definition of deism: "Deism is the opposite of theism."

"In Judaism the law is good. So the law is not inherently bad. The law is inherently good." (Thank you for being so concise!)

Student: "You just said that faith is not quantitative. So what does Paul mean when he talks about a person's measure of faith?" Dr. G: "Does that sound quantitative to you? I don't think he means that, myself." (Such a helpful answer.)

"Salvation has not changed at all from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Both are by faith, so there is no difference." (Um, right.)

"Sometimes the word nomos is used to mean the Torah. So sometimes when you see the word law it refers to the Torah. So the context will tell you, and sometimes law means Torah." (Again, so concise. Always mincing words!)

In response to a student question: "'Lead us not into temptation' does not mean that God tempts anybody. It means that we're asking God to deliver us from evil." (Yes, please, avoid any complexity or confusion by giving completely unhelpful, ridiculous answers!)

"The Sanhedrin told the Christians they could not preach. So, they told the Christians not to preach. So, they said to them, 'Look, you can't preach.'" (Need I say it again? The man never uses two words where one could suffice! Oh wait.)

"God-fearers weren't Jews. They were Gentiles. Um, so, they weren't Jews." (I hope he never needs to send a telegram. Brevity may not be his strong point.)

"Antioch was a primarily Gentile community. So, it was not primarily Jewish. It was primarily Gentile."

"So the name Paul means little, and little means Paul, and that's what the name means, and that's the name his family gave to him, and it means little." (Whoah, this is the best one yet!)

"I know that it is difficult to focus on theology, but unfortunately, it's kind of need-to-know stuff." (Careful; your blatant enthusiasm for the topic might be contagious.)

"Holy. H-O-L-Y." (O-H M-Y G-O-S-H.)

"Compared with other schools, this place is liberal - you don't know how well-off you are! We take a nice, moderate stance. You've got it easy - this place is a cinch - a really great place!" (Right. Thanks for that opinion, pal.)

My friends, aren't those amazing? And no exaggerations - I promise. I wrote everything down word for word.

And yeah, I bet I was a real pill to have in class.

No, seriously, I was never rude to him, never laughed out loud, and... never read the assigned readings in the textbook. Er, scratch that last bit. I was a model student. Yeah.

Monday, May 22, 2006

"Sarah Palmer, Magna Cum Laude"

Okay, so a lot of things have been happening. First of all, I stood in the Bennett Center as a candidate for a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance, was declared to have met the requirements, and moved my tassel from the right side to the left side. I walked across a make-shift stage set up in the gym, heard Professor Brooks announce "Sarah Palmer, Magna Cum Laude," shook President Jud Carlberg's hand, received an empty diploma holder, and returned to my seat as a real live college grad. So that was kind of momentous. I'll post some pictures sooner or later.

On graduation day, it was raining about 2 inches per hour. By the following day, which just so happened to be moving day from my residence hall into the dorm that is open for summer housing, I trudged and waded through puddles and pouring rain to transport all my things to my summer room. The campus lakes broke their boundaries and flooded across our roads here, and the whole parking lot behind the library was practically a lake. I thought it was all very exciting. The weather was warm enough to just roll up my jeans and put on flip flops and walk back and forth during the moving process, so I really can't complain. I enjoyed it.

I started my summer job last Monday.

Summer Roommate (Irene!) and I are having fun watching episodes of Gilmore Girls every night. I must say... after five years of college, and twelve years of school preceding that, adjusting to NOT being in school is a little weird! On evenings and weekends I find myself feeling vaguely stressed and worried, because in the back of my mind I'm so accustomed to having homework or practicing that must be accomplished by certain deadlines that I can't quite get used to having a work day end at 4:30 - and yes, that's really the end of the work for the day! It's nice, really. I've been running almost every day after work, which is also good.

Also, I made over a hundred dollars babysitting this past weekend.

And in other news, FavoriteBoy left for Italy last Monday.

Then, FavoriteBoy called me from Italy!

FavoriteBoy returns from Italy this Thursday!

Aaaand, for a graduation gift, FavoriteBoy bought me a plane ticket to SoCal to visit my sister/brother-in-law/nephew! He is coming as well; his grandfather passed away recently and the memorial service is being held near where my sister lives. So, the weekend of June 3, we will both be in SoCal together. I'm looking forward to it! The rest of my family was hoping to drive down from Northern CA that weekend as well, but unfortunately my grandmother in Texas is in very poor health, and is going in for surgery tomorrow. Mom will be going out to stay with her the following week to help out. It's a high-risk surgery, so we're all praying a lot at this point.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Not Again

Moving furniture and packing...

...all I want for graduation is to stay in one place for more than nine months at a time. Anyone want to buy me a house? Or, an apartment would more than suffice. Just no more moving for a very long time, please!


Tonight was Baccalaureate.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Graduating, Moving, and Reflecting

Tomorrow is Baccalaureate. Saturday is Graduation. Monday, I start my summer job in the admissions office. Meanwhile, I busy myself with packing up all my things. The trouble with packing while being contained in a small room is that you can only empty so many drawers and boxes at once. Once I've emptied a number of things and packed them afresh into boxes in the most organized way I can, I open the next box to re-pack, and find that half of its contents should have been packed into the box I packed 10 minutes ago, in order to achieve the utmost in orderliness. Oh well. Moving to Ferrin for on-campus summer housing isn't as big a move as whatever comes next will be -- yes, I still need to find an apartment for the coming year.

Last night Roommate and I listened to the recording from the chamber music concert last week, where we played the Mendelssohn Op. 13 quartet. It really wasn't half bad. I'm usually a pretty harsh critic of myself, but overall I was pleased. Sometimes we sounded like a "real" quartet! Some very nice things. Then, this morning, I finally got up the courage to listen to a bit of my recital. Roommate came out of the shower, and when I said, "I'm listening to my recital," she replied, "oh, wow, this sounds like a professional recording." So, I'm happy for the most part. I worked harder than I ever thought I could work in the past few years, and the results are... well, more progress than I would have thought I could make. I credit my teacher and his wife with being awesome, and if I think about it too much, I want to cry because I'm going to miss them so much.

In other news, FavoriteBoy fixed my car air conditioning. That's right - I don't date wussies. You might think a pianist/organist/music geek wouldn't be able to do handyman things, but he continually surprises me with being able to fix, create, organize, and explain a myriad of things in a variety of areas of life. For example, I'd like to know who elses' boyfriend has ever saved the day by changing a car tire ... all while wearing a suit, following a performance in a formal concert in which he performed on a harpsichord... which he repaired from non-working to working condition all by himself. Mmm hmm.

Having sung FavoriteBoy's praises, I must add his fatal flaw - he is leaving this coming Monday to travel to Italy with the College Choir. He'll be gone for ten days. I'm in the College Choir as well, but I can't afford to go. So, he's a big jerk. (Okay, so that's not really a flaw. And fine, it has everything to do with circumstances and nothing to do with character. Still, I'm jealous! Hehe.)

Finally, you must all see this.

Friday, May 5, 2006

It Is Finished


I'm done with college.

Also, practice cards are done and turned in, and I practiced 300 hours this semester.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Graduating and Growing Up

Well, I'm almost done. Tomorrow morning at 8 am I take my final exam in Latin, and that's that. Done with the undergraduate degree, except for the walk, shake hands, and smile bit that comes on May 13th.

I've played my senior recital, played the Haydn Creation with orchestra and combined choirs here (my last orchestra concert ever as an undergraduate), taken my organ final test with Dr. B, played Mendelssohn Quartet in a minor Op. 13 (ah-MAZ-ing piece) in the chamber music recital, and passed piano proficiency (I never bothered to take the test until today, so it's a good thing I passed on the first try!). A lot of 'lasts' have been taking place for me. It's weird. Kind of sad, actually. It's about time to start packing things up. Not that I'm going very far; I'm moving into another on-campus dorm for summer housing. I'm living with Irene, which I'm excited about.

I accepted a job as a summer intern with the Admissions department. It doesn't pay a lot, but I decided it was a better option than my other option. And once I decided, my parents said they thought I had made the right decision, which helped me feel better about taking the job, even though it pays half of what my other option would have paid. It should be mostly enjoyable, except that... I met the other girl who's working in the same position this summer, and she's basically that kid. "Oh, I'm a super-duper student, with tons of honors, and did I mention that I'm going to Duke for grad school in the fall? What are your plans for after this summer?"

I like to pretend to people that I'm taking time off from school and hanging around in the area doing nothing of value or worth for a while because that's what I want, instead of because I'm an insecure fool with either a) no talent or b) no direction or c) not enough confidence to believe that I might have talent and to actually take a step in some direction.

Anyway, really, I think that once school really finishes up and I get settled into my new groove, things won't be so bad. It'll be nice to have a break from school, after five years of college. It'll be nice to be in the area. I'm looking forward to the summer here on campus (most people gone = parking spaces!). And in the fall, hopefully I'll find an awesome job to replace my summer job. Maybe I'll work part-time at Starbucks to take advantage of their dental, health, and vision benefits while leaving myself enough free time to practice, teach, and gig. A few of my friends are applying at Starbucks. And okay, sure, I bet a lot of parents feel peeved: "I didn't pay all that money for my kid to end up working at Starbucks!" But I also hope that parents whose kids are crazy about music, theater, or philosophy can realize that those majors don't exactly lead directly into a high-paying job opportunity. What's so bad about Starbucks? These things are temporary... this is a season in my life. And it might turn out to be okay.