Thursday, September 16, 2004

ms. crankypants

i find myself inexplicably hostile.
there are a variety of reasons for this. 1) haven't gone to church in the last 2 weeks, and it'll probably be another 3 before i get to go again. i was camping, then i had soccer, then my friends are in a triathlon so i'm going to support them, then there's the school retreat, then probably soccer again, and THEN i get to go to church again. not to merely assign some kind of homeopathic purpose to church, but it does calm me, and ground me each sunday. i grow increasingly more on edge when i don't get to go. at this rate, i'll be a nervous wreck soon. 2) the new semester has started, and it's always a frenzy of activity, getting used the the new schedule. semesters just seem long enough to get comfortable in a routine, only for it to end abruptly and you have to start all over again. most people i know are keyed up to be back here and raring to go to class. i on the other hand have been here all summer taking classes, so this is old hat to me. 3) there are too many people around, who i don't know yet and i'm still not ready for small talk. give me a few weeks, once everyone else calms down and i can have a proper conversation. 4) the people i've been used to hanging out with all summer are not around school so much, and i miss them.

thus, i am cranky.

once i settle in though, things will be okay. i'm taking two classes for credit and auditing another one. i think they're going to be pretty good. there's biblical exegesis & interpretation - which sounds heavy, it's one of the required classes here. i'll be learning how to properly exegete scripture - to understand what the text said at the time it was written, and how it was intended. good foundational skills to learn. then there's chrisitianity & literature: modern fiction - stories of doubt and faith. lots of reading, about a novel a week. the books all look really good though. the class i'm auditing is a book study of Psalms - i decided not to take it for credit so i could relax, and enjoy myself and have the space to soak in what is talked about. it's a bit of a lighter academic load, but then i'll have time to do some creative writing. getting more comfortable with pursuing this arts concentration and accepting the fact that i am a writer.

on other fronts, i've started playing soccer. i'm the goalie. i'm part of the odd breed of person that happens to really enjoy playing this position. i didn't so much when i was in high school, so i don't really know what has changed since then. i suppose i just have more of an attitude. my team is out of shape though, so i was far too busy in our first game, which we lost in the neighborhood of 9-2. i stopped counting after a while, so i'm not sure of the actual total. this other team kept getting breakaways and all i could do was charge them. i do recall the number of times i made a save in this situation, which was 3. the silver lining to this abysmal game is that i am more familiar with charging people. i'll probably have to make use of this skill more in the future if the season continues this way.

less than a month until the victoria half-marathon! i'm excited for this weekend to hang with my friends and to run. never thought i'd say that i enjoy running. 2 reasons that i would ever run in the past 1) chasing an ice cream truck, 2) being chased by bears. or are you supposed to lie on the ground and play dead if you run into a bear? hmm... regardless, this will be a cool athletic achievement for me, should i survive. i've been running with rochelle, she's training for the marathon. it's good because i can't complain about being tired because she usually runs for a hour or so longer than i do. will i ever do a marathon? we'll see. i just want to finish this 13 miles first. since i'm in canada, that's 21km.

good point of the day... why is the phrase for deliberately ignoring something "turning a blind eye" to it? my prof said that today and my friend mike pointed out, "if you were blind, you wouldn't have to turn away." what's the deal?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

school daze

it's new student orientation this week. hard to believe that it's already been a year since i moved up here. time passes strangely.

i have negative motivation to finish my last two papers. not just zero motivation, but negative. i also have little motivation to do the small talk circuit with the new people. the first 2 months are such a whirlwind of adjustments, it takes time to settle down. and thus you have the same conversation over and over again.
top five small talk questions, after "what's your name?"
1. where are you from?
2. what are you studying?
3. what did you do before you came here?
4. where are you living? which leads to,
5. do you have any roommates?

when i tell people i live alone, they seem to take this as a bad thing. or a sad thing. they pause and say, "oh. well" and kind of trail off, like "oh, poor you." or perhaps thinking i'm some kind of psycho. it's kind of irritating. i've lived alone for the past year, and it's rather grown on me. i'm continuing to live alone this year too. by choice - i did have options to live other places, but my indecisiveness led me to just stay put. why mess with a good thing? good location, nice landlords, friends in the neighborhood. i do get lonely sometimes, but have friends to a short phone call or walk away. people ought to try living alone more often - you get to know yourself better.

anyway, i know the small talk is a necessary evil. once you get past that then you can move on to getting to know someone. it's just the repetition that gets to me. and then you start to mix everyone up.

the best introductory conversation (incidentally the only one that i can remember - which i guess makes it the bestthen) i had when i got here was when i met my friend rochelle. i was up for a summer class, and we struck up a conversation at the tail end of a beach bbq. she asked me what my story was, and i said that i was going to be starting at regent in the fall. to which she responded, "oh good, then i can invest in you." i am all about investing in people, and this was the first non-rote comment i'd gotten in two weeks of school. some people may have been thrown off by this first comment, as rochelle has a way of doing that to people. then she asked me what my deepest passion was - this is what threw me. as i stammered out an abbreviated answer, i realized that i was enjoying myself because it was a real question, and she really seemed to want to know the answer. in the meantime, her friend (later to become my friend also) margo was trying to tell rochelle to back off of me. afterward, they went home and laughed, convinced that they had scared me and i'd never talk to them again - this is what they told me. i went home thinking that they were hilarious and that i wanted to meet up with them in the fall. funny things, first impressions. rochelle and i hung out almost everyday this summer, and now play on the same city league soccer team.

she is suffering from being in a transitory position in life, trying to find a job and all that grown up stuff after grad school - i've been in a similar position and there's no getting around the fact that it sucks. several of my other friends are slogging along through various tough stages, ranging from relationship stuff to personal things to academic things and i'm in the thick of things myself too. we all help each other along. that's life i suppose - lots of good things, along with lots of hard things. but the hard things are somehow good too. we try to avoid the hard stuff because we think it's bad or that we shouldn't feel the accompanying feelings like anger, sadness, frustration and so on; but it's only in going through those hard things that our feelings change, that we grow and find healing. it sure ain't easy, but i'm discovering that's there's a lot more depth and goodness to be found in the experience. kind of like after you get through the awkward small talk and on to the good stuff.