Blue, like the blue of your tumblr homepage… Dark, not deep, but empty.
Mist on your head. Fog before your eyes.
Physical weight. Gravity:
B B B
dum dum dum
dumb dumb dumb
(I wonder what a psychoanalyst would see inside me. What would she find? Is there a diagnosis?)
I need you to stop me.
Gotta keep going, gotta look past.
Is there someone else?
You, God? Where are you?
Little Red Schoolhouse, they call it. It’s somewhat of a legend here on campus, and I’ve been looking forward to taking this writing class since my first year. Hands down, the biggest lesson is, IT’S ALL ABOUT READERS READERS READERS. As Prof Larry McEnerney said on day one, 90% of the answers in this class has to do with… READERS!
I’m banking on my infamously disabling writer’s block finally meeting its end this quarter. The class requires us to write every week and revise our papers based on diagnostics such as, underline each subject and ask, are they characters to your readers? I love revising. I love that writing is finally about thinking and not about producing a product for the reader to read. I mean, that’s the text to be produced after many drafts of revision.
But at this moment, I’m incredibly grateful to have the space to write to unknown readers. Most likely, my reader will be myself 3 years from now. Larry warns us against revising by rereading. He says, when writers reread their work, they are remembering. Bravo! In an ironic way, then, my writing requires no revising. If the audience is myself and my purpose is to remember, then by golly- I merely need to vomit my thoughts into words!
And boy, do I feel like vomiting… I feel like I’ve had to drag myself through this week. Every morning, I wake with an awful headache and neck cramp (excuse me for the drama). Thanks to some wonderful friends- shout to John Kimbrough and Mr. and Mrs. Nou!!!! :D !!!, I’m finally done with my paper work for grad school, but undecided decisions still linger and… yeah other stuff.
Remember that post about regrets? I think it was one of my first ones. Well, God has taught me a lot this year, and praise the LORD! I don’t have quite the same problem with regrets anymore. Alternatively, I get other things stuck in my mind though. j;aljkskjflfjk;jklafsj;fasl I guess they’re not as bad but, still…. ;akjlfdsljkljkfskljfasjklfsad
Another one in draft pile from last quarter…
"Soooo beautiful. I dunno why you so sad" - Mo Kwok
This quarter, God has blessed me with peace. Despite having to plan and prep for graduation, I think this was the happiest quarter so far. There has been nothing in particular about this quarter that has worked out. I just had the reassurance that all was in God’s great big loving hands. To be at peace regardless of what was going on around me- it seemed so foreign.
I guess it was too good to be true. In the last 5 days or so, some dark force sucked that peace and reassurance from me. Every moment has seemed so dramatic- and I hate drama. I hate being alone, alone with my awful thoughts of violence and failure.
Thank God, though, for we were not meant to be alone! He has surrounded me with love. He meets me when I’m alone. I didn’t want to cry out to him, I didn’t want to go back to him. How could I? I had screwed up, again. and again. and again. He couldn’t possibly want to have anythign with me… I sure wouldn’t if I were him. Not with someone so empty, irresponsible, undependable…
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
Look what I’ve found in my drafts! I should have really learned Bhangra :P But, I think I’m well on my way with the other ones! yay :)
4th Year Bucket List (as of Summer 2012)
- debate (no debate, but I have gotten to take more courses that involve discussion/having to develop arguments)
- travel to China, Korea, or Ethiopia (definitely will go abroad this summer)
- learn Bhangra (totally missed this. what to do?! Anyone have any suggestions?)
- camping with senior pals (YES YES YES!! so torn whether ot ask seniors for a trip over spring break or to go to cup… maybe we could do this over the weekend?)
- get to know at least 2 profs (hm… more or less? but i learned that that this happens best when it’s more natural than forced so… ill let this one just sit for awhile longer and have faith that it’ll happen)
- journal weekly (check!)
4th Year Bucket List (as of Winter 2013)
- go visit more jazz clubs
- learn 3 new recipes
- learn a computer programming language?? (maybe too ambitious :P)
- learn 2 piano pieces
- see Second City
- learn basic photography and editing
- take Little Red Schoolhouse writing class
- take more psychology and philosophy courses
I had the most wonderful day on Friday. I had prayed in the morning that God would just use the day to teach me something new. I realized a lot and was reminded of a lot- such as God can inspire and reveal such beauty through music! and the amazing drive of philosophers to find truth, which ultimately (ideally?) should lead us to God! but something I’m just realizing now as I journal about yesterday is that perhaps a really important reminder that I’ve overlooked is something I had seen as a ‘low’ point of my day.
So, I went to Prof. Brudney’s office hours terribly scared. I didn’t feel at all prepared. I literally walked in and reworded the prompt and gave a brief sketch of my thesis. He asked at the beginning what I studied. When I replied bio, he assumed, ‘Oh, so this is your first phil class right?” Which was true to some extent, but I explained that I have read some similar texts in HBC and Classics. If you remember day 1, I think he somewhat was skeptical (or rather doubtful??) of bio students taking it just for med apps. I mean, like he made it clear he wasn’t going to dumb it down for us or anything and that this was a philosophy course essentially.
Anyway, we began to talk , and talk, and talk! It was great :D And, as I was leaving, he asked what year I was. When I replied 4th, he said that it was a shame because there were a lot of other good philosophy courses he thought I should look into. I don’t know about you, but professors don’t usually seem to express seeing potential in me. I’ve only had that happen to me a couple times- once with my sosc professor who recommended i go into political science because the field needed people like me who liked to analyze and synthesize theories, once with my hum professor who in his aims of edu address to our class said that every year, a student taught him something new and while reading genesis, he brought up his comment again and referred to me as that student, once with the stat prof (which seems less of a testament to gifts and more to test scores so i dont’ know if that counts), and now this. It means so much to me when people see something in me, because I guess I don’t see it myself very much. I think it was especially important to me earlier in my college career because I really felt like I was so ‘ordinary’ and didn’t see myself being gifted in anyway, or at least academically. haha And to add to that, you must know how torn I’ve been almost my entire college career about callings/ majors/ passions.
So, given how rare this is for me, how much I needed confirmation of my gifts (in part to feel value and in part so that I could identify them), how torn i was about what major to choose, you can imagine how much it means to me for people I respect to be able to see something in me. As a non-academic example, I think talking to Barney at the beginning of this school year about what to do after graduation and him calling out this heart I have to ‘fight for what is right. it’s not good enough to be right’ and reminding me that God has created me like this for a reason, was so important to getting me to think seriously since then about how God has created me and accepting that as being good.
Oi, now I’ve gone on a tangent. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, I think I realized something really important while explaining to my professor how, as much as I did and do love thinking critically about truth, I feel compelled by my faith to pursue a separate path (this is right after we shared our faith- him being Jewish and me being Protestant). I recounted this conversation to my mom later that day, and I started sobbing. Especially 3rd year, I would weep a lot about feeling forced to choose a path that wasn’t meant for me, and being forced not by parents but more like an obligation to make a real and direct in people’s lives. But this time, I only wept for a brief moment before I was like- wait, why am I so sad? why regret? I chose this. No one forced this. I chose to pursue what I think God’s telling me to do. The world might tell me to do what I love or what I’m good at. Let that lead me to a career, and trust that God can do something in it. But, i think God’s given me something even greater than that- I’m not led by ‘talent’ and my interests but a divine will.
I think of Moses, for instance. Or, David. Samuel, Mary, Peter. I don’t think God called these people because of their interests or skills, but even if he did, I think the Bible makes it clear that the fruits had less to do with any ‘inherent’ talents and interests and more to do with obedience, humility, and dependence.
So, what of my present journey to let God lead me through a rediscovery of how He’s created me for a specific purpose? I think the process is definitely important and as for these questions, I know that they are good because they’ve brought me so much more peace and confidence in Him. (this relates to HC’s message about ignorance about our identity and insecurity to being major road blocks to leading a radical life). I think the fine line is between letting God lead you through that and willing to accept that how’s he’s created you involves more than just traits and gifts admired by the world (like other spiritual gifts or even relationships and experiences- things that really aren’t ‘inherent’ or entitled to as it seems is the present popular thought but are really gifts from God) versus looking for ways to … mm glorify yourself? mmm not sure if that’s the distinction actually. will have to give that more thought, but as for now, I really have that med ethics paper to write :P To be continued!!
I really like that Uchicago is a liberal arts college. I really really like that the Core requires you to take classes in other departments. I really really really like that you can appreciate God and His world through different academic disciplines, and studying them through any just one is never good enough. I like that.
Given a failed midterm, perpetual sleepiness and dried contacts, today wasn’t the best day, but I got to know God better so —> :D that’s what my face looks like now. :D :D :D
My conscious proceeded to haunt me in my nap after a rough final. But, my spirit won’t have any of that nonsense. I still have 3 more finals to conquer and I won’t let a silly one already in the past do me over.
On another note, don’t these mountains just leave you speechless?? So crazy… I browsed through so many pictures trying to find one that could capture the mountains I saw this summer in Canada. I saw this and immediately knew it was perfect. AND GUESS WHERE THIS PIC WAS TAKEN?? CANADA :D !!
This past weekend, I made a rather rushed decision to register for Urbana 12. I hadn’t wanted to go because 1) cost, 2) MCAT and 3) hesitation about feeling called into full-time ministry. I was told not to worry about the cost though, and I decided to postpone medical school apps at least for another year meaning number 1 and 2 weren’t very big hurdles to jump over. But I still had a problem with number 3…
I thought about Ketty, a senior friend from my first year. She had gone to Urbana 09. She had also decided that her calling was in missions, though she is not in full time ministry at the moment. I also spoke with Liz Chao today, another senior friend from first year who went to Urbana 06 and 09. She too has a heart for global missions- she spent a year after graduation in Africa. Hm…. suspicious...-or so I thought. When I asked about whether it was tied to Urbana, she explained that it was difficult to say since she had that sort of interest even before Urbana.
I don’t know that there was anything she said that directly made me think this, but I realized while talking with her that I was thinking about Urbana all wrong. I was hesitant about going to Urbana out of a fear of change. transformation. challenge. a calling. what? but isn’t this also what I wanted out of Urbana? If not, why go? I mean, I must clarify- I do think some of my hesitation was legitimate: I was afraid that I’d be confused with what was not from Him rather than being at peace by finding out more about my calling. But, now I think I’m willing to risk that because I believe God will bless my desire for clarification and desire to be obedient.
Fundraising has also taught me something about where my heart is- that I’ve been rather selfish. When I requested scholarship in the past, often I did it out of a sense of entitlement. I confess that I somehow felt like I deserved these funds because of the x-many hours I’ve devoted to IV and because other people have been blessed with monetary wealth in ways that my family has not been. But while reading Philippians today, I realized how much I have to confess and repent of… How blessed I am! Everything I need and want, God has provided for. But I’ve insulted him with my ungratefulness. I’ve been ungrateful not jsut in my attitude but also in my recent lifestyle (I’ve been very much a bum lately…).
Instead, I need to ask for support out of confidence in God’s provision for whatever my need is, and not out of entitlement or greed or anxiety. Whether I am hungry or full, rich or poor (though I’m rather much more full and rich than I sometimes tell myself I am), I know that God has provided for all my needs. I must learn to be content in this aspect. I am so so so glad that Barney and Lauren decided to make this a group fundraiser. It reminds me that I’m not merely raising funds but that I’m also learning what it means to provide and bless other people with the people and resources that God has given me.
So, if you’ve reached the end of this post- hurrah for getting through it! - I have several prayer requests for you:
1. That God would cleanse my heart of greed for my own ambitions or plans, anxiety about the future and general distrust about large conferences
2. That in exchange for being open, God would protect me from thoughts and emotions that do not come from him
3. That He would prompt me to think about questions that I can bring to Urbana and that He would make it clear to me why I am there
4. That He would provide for the students in our chapter that are going together (we have a team of 30ish)
Thanks everyone! Please keep our team and me in your prayers.
Makes me home sick for a home that never was really mine ~ This is awesome Gene!
A compilation of clips from my stay in Korea. Teehee!