Monthly Archives: November 2009

Sunday Song: You Said

You said ask and you will receive
Whatever you need
You said pray and I’ll hear from heaven
And I’ll heal your land

You said Your glory will fill the earth
Oh like water the seas
You said lift up your eyes
The harvest is here
The kingdom is near

You said ask and I’ll give the nations to you
O Lord that’s the cry of my heart
You said distant shores and the islands will see
Your light as it rises on us

O Lord, we ask for the nations
O Lord, we ask for the nations
O Lord, we are asking for the nations

Written by Reuben Morgan; my favorite cover is by Rita Springer. Special thanks to Licky for helping me find it. I strongly suspect that a passage they were thinking of when writing the song was Isaiah 60.

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-7, NKJV

We talk about the world all the time. Its brokenness, its fallenness, its wickedness and cruelty, the darkness and death that it is full of.

This song, this passage, they remind me that there is more for this world than a lament for all it is not.

There is a cry for its redemption, a cry that will be heard—and answered.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” Romans 8:8-25, NKJV

Friday the 27th

Today I sent yet another email in an attempt to clean up a disastrous customer service situation. The story is very messy, from me placing a rather large order–which possibly was a little ill-advised–and so I wasn’t too upset when the only two of the items arrived. . .only, they had charged me for the whole thing.

I thought I had the situation cleared up months ago, but in reviewing the credit card statement, we discovered it had never been credited, and it’s a rather lot of money.

What has follows has been, if you can stay in the right frame of mind, a complete comedy of errors. Either that, or it’s been the beginnings of a good reason to start looking for a lawyer. At this point, they have confusedly refunded me twice, once for the wrong thing and another time with bad math. They’re still short in the refunding. Let’s hope this last email clears things up.

Unfortunately, to make matters even messier, they are crediting the card I made the purchase with. The only problem with that is that between then and now, our credit card was compromised, and that account was shut down.

Fun times, fun times.

Monday I have Medical Terminology test; I’ve come to really despise Medical Terminology tests. It would be nice to get one 100% of the right, just out of pure spite. The stupid tests take clever glee out of having as many trick questions on them as possible; it’s clear they don’t want anyone to get them all right. I’d like to defy that, at least once, but I suspect it’s beyond me.

At any rate, I’m looking forward to winter break, and I’m hoping that I got all my goofing off/staying up till insane hours re-reading books I’ve enjoyed out of my system over Thanksgiving break. I’d like to accomplish a lot of fun, productive things between semesters. Wish me luck!

Thursday the 26th

Yesterday I peeked at a blog I keep half an eye on. (I know that traditionally I’m supposed to say something about Thanksgiving, but you know how I am about traditions.) The reason this blog I looked at is noteworthy is because it is one of the reasons why I wanted to start blogging more. . .slice-of-life like.

You see, I am 24. She is 24. I was homeschooled. She was homeschooled. And there, all similarities end. Utterly, completely, and totally end. And that is exactly why it is so fascinating. It’s like a parallel universe, or something. This is how things could have been, if they were totally different. Oh, I know you can say that about anyone, but somehow it seems more real when there is a common starting point.

I’ve read other I-was-homeschooled blogs, but not like this. She went through the whole ATI thing; in the end it seems she’s rebelled against that (though by that I mean ATI, not God in general), and she is a million miles away from conservative. She has a journalism degree, and seems now to be considering a law degree. She wants to pierce her tongue; she has, in the past, shaved her head. She’s really not too sure about that whole “having kids thing”, she just can’t see her self being too happy with staying home with kids.

It’s such a study in complete opposites. Just as I was going to start my two-year college degree, after years of uncertainty, she was just finishing her extensive time in college. . .and feeling as though she had no direction and didn’t really want to pursue journalism. She’s lived the “typical” life, drinking, partying, traveling, building her resume. I haven’t done any of those things.

I am fascinated by reading her slice-of-life posts. Even though we have technically started from the same sorts of starting spots (age, gender, basic education), she could be from a totally different world. Or, perhaps it would be better to say, it makes me realize how I am from a totally different world. It made me realize that what I consider as utterly banal is freaky-weird-different to other people.

Welcome to my freaky-weird-banal world. In the coming weeks (and perhaps months–who knows how long I can keep this thing up??), I hope to do a better and better job showing you exactly how freaky-weird-banal my world really is.

[Her site appears to be down tonight. I will try to post it tomorrow, when I can verify I am indeed linking to what I’m trying to link to.]

{Edit: here it is.}

Wednesday the 25th

Today I empowered my 10 year old brother to make pie. I’d taught him to make pie dough the night before, and now coached him through rolling it out. We pre-baked 4 shells for chocolate cream pie, leaving 1 crusts worth and a pile of scraps leftover. He got it into his head he wanted to make pumpkin pie, and proceeded to do so, with only occasional questions. He was as pleased as punch.

I love that part of being home. I love lots of the parts of being home, actually. Every chance I get, I snatch at things I really didn’t want to give up, whether it be teaching little people to cook, or getting my hands in the dirt gardening, or any number of things. Sometimes the urge to sew comes on so strong it (almost) hurts. Some days, I just want to chuck all the boring book-work, and do something with my hands.

This always causes certain people to ask, “Then why did you want to do something different? Why are you going to college?”

Because I had to.

Protestations abound. Everyone was glad to have you home; you had the perfect set-up.

The problem was that my own soul testified that I wasn’t where I should be and wasn’t doing what I should be doing. It doesn’t matter how much you enjoy where you are or what you’re doing, or what anyone else says. That knowledge in your deepest part will rapidly suck whatever enjoyment you found in it out of you, constricting you tighter and tighter until you can think of almost nothing else but.

I don’t drag myself out of bed at 6 o’clock the morning because college is the grandest thing, or that the people there are the most wonderful, or that I get some particular enjoyment out of waking at such a squinty-eyed hour. Rather, I’m doing it because now I once again know that I am where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing. That’s peace.

And I’d get up at 1:30 every morning for it.

Tuesday the 24th

Yesterday I re-read a book I first read years ago. It’s really a children’s book (adolescent, perhaps), but that was kind of the point. I was baby-sitting some pasta water for my brother’s lunch the next day, and I wanted something to read. Good caution told me not to start anything long, because it was late enough I was unlikely to have the discipline to stop. It was true, too; I couldn’t quite till I’d finished it—at 1:30 in the morning. And I’d already read this book, and all. Imagine how much later I’d have stayed up if (1) it was longer, (2) it had been my first time reading it, and (3) it was actually more at my reading level.

The book is Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones (I believe that’s the correct spelling. . .). Unfortunately, I’ve never liked any of her other books. . .just this one. I appreciated it’s quirkiness. I appreciated some of the metaphors, as simple as they were (a truly bad mood creating a potent weed killer. . .sometimes I feel like I could make a potent weed killer out of my bad moods). In some ways, it’s a parody of some Brothers Grimms tales. But even though, as all fairy tales do, it ends in the happily ever after, the characters. . .well, they’re more like people, with their irrational bad moods, with their internal thoughts, with their interactions. That is to say, it’s less of a moralizing tale of how we ought to be, and a little more like how we’d really act, should we be living in the land of seven league boots. Sometimes that kills a fairytale, and sometimes it brings it to life.

It’s a children’s book. Don’t expect great literature. But it is a pretty good way to spend a few hours on your vacation. Just don’t be like me–start reading before quarter after ten at night.

Monday the 23

Today people actually showed up for muscle study group! Due to miscommunications, school closings and impending-tests-of-doom, this is the first time some people actually showed up. It was mostly the people who had specifically asked me about a muscle study group, so we aren’t talking the whole class. But some people “conveniently” didn’t feel well on this last day before Thanksgiving break and didn’t show up, and I know at least a couple of other people had conflicts-of-classes. And one poor girl tried to come, but couldn’t remember where we were meeting. All in all, it was about 1/3 of the class–enough that I didn’t feel so awkward like it was all my idea to start a muscle study group that no one wanted to come to (which, of course, wasn’t how it went, but that’s how it felt).

One of the parts of our PTA class is students being assigned topics that they have to give a presentation on and turn in an abstract of the article they’re presenting off. Then there are students assigned to ask questions, and we’re all supposed to discuss it. In response to one presentation, the guy from Burma asked about old people in nursing homes, to wit, did people think they liked it or did they feel isolated and abandoned?

Everyone resoundingly replied that off course it was a dreadful unpleasant thing for these elderly people. Then he asked the $43,000 question:

“Then why do people do it? Why don’t they take care of the old people in their homes, if they would be happier there?”

Insert awkward silence here. (Good question, Burma Boy!)

There was quite a bit of discussion, but the main undercurrent seemed to be that peoples’ lifestyle choices had pretty much decided the issue before it was an issue; with all/any kids in school and both (assuming there was a both) parents working, there is no family left home to take care of family. (This is of course an over-simplification of the discussion, but due to constraints it will have to do.) The professor tried to hint that maybe things would go back to that way of caring in the home, and no one gave that any ground. Awkward about it or not, everyone can see that being too busy to care for old people is part of our culture, and a part that is not likely to change.

More than just awkwardness, I think it is something to be ashamed about. The professor was spinning it that one of the reasons why people weren’t caring for them at home was tied up with advances in medicine–causing them to live longer than they used to, and in some cases requiring skilled (e.g. medical) care as they continued to age. She was trying to spin it as a side shoot of something we should be proud of. But Burma Boy is right. Why don’t people care? Why does there seem to be so little respect for the elderly? If this is the result modern medicine. . .do we really want modern medicine? Which way is more preferable to die. . .at home with your family of “old age” (or “unknown causes”), or being cared for lonely and isolated in an institution?

He still looked disturbed. I think he felt like all he heard was excuses in response to his most basic question. If they don’t like it, if it’s not good for them. . .why are we doing it?

Sunday: Song

The Love of Christ Is Rich and Free

The love of Christ is rich and free;
Fixed on His own eternally;
Nor earth, nor hell, can it remove;
Long as He lives, His own He’ll love.

His loving heart engaged to be
Their everlasting Surety;
’Twas love that took their cause in hand,
And love maintains it to the end.

Chorus: Love cannot from its post withdraw;
Nor death, nor hell, nor sin, nor law,
Can turn the Surety’s heart away;
He’ll love His own to endless day.

Love has redeemed His sheep with blood;
And love will bring them safe to God;
Love calls them all from death to life;
And love will finish all their strife.

He loves through every changing scene,
Nor aught from Him can Zion wean;
Not all the wanderings of her heart
Can make His love for her depart.

Chorus: Love cannot from its post withdraw;
Nor death, nor hell, nor sin, nor law,
Can turn the Surety’s heart away;
He’ll love His own to endless day.

At death, beyond the grave, He’ll love;
In endless bliss, His own shall prove
The blazing glory of that love
Which never could from them remove.

Which never could from them remove.

Words by William Gadsby
Music by Sandra McCracken

Available off the album The Builder And The Architect, by Sandra McCracken.

Friday the 20th

Today I had another dream, this one all together too real and too annoying: I dreamed my alarm o’clock was going off. Loudly and persistently. And I was going to be late.

So I snapped up awake and grabbed for the alarm.

Only to discover that the alarm was not going off, and it was about 4:30 in the morning.

That was Not Nice.

Not Nice At All.

Especially considering I’m either nursing a sleep deficit or else am fighting something off, or something. Probably the part about not getting myself to bed quite as early as I ought.

Yesterday at work I finally broke down and whined, mid-morning, that I was hungry, tired, had a headache and didn’t want to go to school. I was saved by a very nice therapist who shared her secret candy stash with me, which help with the hungry, tired and headache, but didn’t get rid of the school. (Must be I didn’t eat enough.) At any rate, it kept me vaguely human until 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

At three o’clock, my headache came back with a vengeance; it began to pulse. Throughout physics lab, my eyes became increasingly glassy and crossed. Finally, it was five o’clock and I could go home.

It wasn’t until I was in the car, on the road, that I realized exactly how tired I was. My eyes were closing. I was attempting to keep them open, but no matter how high I raised my eyebrows, my eyelids persisted in squinting. I reached for the radio. Oh. Yes. It was nonfunctional. I opened all the windows. The outdoors was a very comfortable temperature, and did little to wake me up.

Not Nice. Not Nice At All.

I did make it home, and technically I don’t think my eyes actually closed. But I’m not sure that I really “saw” much of anything. It certainly made me contemplate the benefits of caffeine. I made myself a new rule:

“Next time you whine that you are tired, hungry, have a headache, and don’t want to go to school—go find caffeine and ingest it. NO EXCUSES!!”

For some reason I never really want to take in caffeine, but when one is doing things like driving, one must do the proper thing.

Thursday the 19th

Yesterday in PTA class, we had a mock-trial. We (the class) really weren’t interested in this. It was abundantly obvious that it was something the PTA professors had fun doing. But we made the most of it—which is to say, it’s probably the most involved and excited our class has ever been. This is what happened:

PTA prof. 1: Over-dramatized accusations that PT in question, Polly {ed. actually, they made a muscley male student play the role of the PT. But they still called him Polly}, poorly treated the patient in question, and ruined her life, because she was a dancer before and now she can’t. Argument mostly revolves around nit-picky complaints about how he/she wrote the notes.

Interject PTA prof 1 with denials and explanations from “Polly”.

PTA prof. 2 Much calmer statement that the PT in question treated his/her patient properly, and that all nit-picky notes problems did not show evidence against that.

Interject PTA prof 2 with affirmations from “Polly” that he really did do a good job.

Concluding nasty closing statement from Prof 1.

Concluding statement from Prof 2.

Prof 1 and 2, and “Polly” exit while we deliberate.

First, a student tries to circumvent the whole “10 minute” process by suggesting we just declare a vote of him being guilty.

Someone else says “Wait, what? I don’t even understand what just happened!”

I say, “Well, I can do a quick fast-forward re-cap, but you’ll all have to listen fast!”

Blond girl on the other side of the room says, “YES! Ready? On your mark, get set, go!”

As fast as I can and in hopefully one (very long run on sentence), I re-cap the scenario.

Loud discussion ensues.

Basic issue? We know that he’s guilty of sloppy note-writing. But does that mean he’s guilty of sloppy care? Having concisely discovered the issue, we think we agree, so we call a vote.

“Guilty?” Only his bestest friend and a the guy from the Bronx raise their hands.

“Wait, what? Am I the only one who thinks he’s guilty?” askes the best friend.

“Innocent?” The remaining 18 or so people.

“Does this have to be unanimous?”

More, lounder, discussion. They guy from the Bronx is adamant the PT is guilty. Yes, yes, we all know he was a lousy note taker (you don’t ever use white-out, for Pete’s sake!!). But that doesn’t mean he didn’t treat her properly.

“But,” the Bronx guy says, “you can’t prove he didn’t treat her wrong. He’s guilty!!”

The class “President” interjects that you’re supposed to assume innocent until proven guilty.

He says he’s going above and beyond that, and he’s assuming guilty until proven innocent.

We managed to convince the bestest friend that there isn’t enough documentation to convict his buddy of wrong doing. He wants the case thrown out on lack of evidence. A couple other people think this might be the best course of action.

A student who was afraid we’d get stuck with a hung jury slips out into the hall. She comes back and says we don’t have to be unanimous.

Somebody finds the exact definition of what negligence is (which is what he’s being accused of). Those of us who can read it can see the case obviously does not fulfill all qualifications.

I read it, VERY LOUDLY over the loud discussion.

Most people hear me.

There is general agreement that the case presented does not fulfill the requirements of negligence.

We call a second vote. Most people say innocent, with a clear mind. The bestest friend will still only grant that the case should be thrown out. The guy from the Bronx still vehemently insists he’s guilty, Guilty, GUILTY!!!!

The PTA professors and the accused come back in.

The guy from the Bronx says, “Because of you, that poor girl lost her LIFE.”

They ask for the verdict. The class president smirks at “Polly” and give a thumbs down.

Then she delivers the verdict of innocence. “Polly” looks relieved.

PTA professor says “Great job, you guys!” with a faintly marveling expression on her face. I think that means, “Normally I don’t get to hear the discussion, but this time I could catch most of it from out in the hall! Nice to know you actually considered the case before calling a verdict.”

{For the record, that was the Bronx guy’s version of fun. He’s shown his sense of humor before; he refuses to let a scenario go by without making it all it can be, whether it be in what physics data he chooses for sample questions or “communications” skits forced upon us in PTA class.

And I’m pretty sure the “Bestest friend” guy was just annoyed because he’d been, as they say, “punk’d” by “Polly” at the start of the class. Actually, “Polly” enlisted the help of PTA prof. 1 in “punk” ing (how do you say that, grammatically?) the bestest friend. And actually, that’s why she chose “Polly” as “Polly”. She said since he made trouble he got to be the “Polly”. }

But most of the time PTA class is very hard not to fall asleep during.

Wednesday, the, um, the, um 18th

Tomorrow is Thursday. That may not mean much to you, but is about the only amount of time I can keep track of. Today is Wednesday; tomorrow is Thursday. What date is it? Ur. . .I can guess?

I do not know what happens on the 19th.

But I know that “tomorrow” I was asked to work in the morning, and “Thursday” I always have an English consult at 1:30 and a Physics lab at 3:00. I know what homework I could work on tomorrow–though less of it, now that I’m working in the morning.

I know that “next Monday” is my last day of classes before Thanksgiving break, but I don’t know “date” that is. I know I’ve been invited somewhere “this Saturday”, “Monday evening”, and “Tuesday at 1:30” of next week. But I do not know the dates.

I know we have a Medical Terminology exam the Monday after Thanksgiving, and that our “Cultural Competencies” need to be done by that Wednesday. But I do not know the dates. Will we be into December by then? I don’t know.

I had thought–hoped–that by making myself include the date in every post, I would gradually learn to keep track of it. It’s not happening. I still haven’t got a clue. I can only tell you–generally–that we’re somewhere around halfway through the month.

I can tell you that a volt is a coulom per second, that the muscle that pops out of your neck is your sternocleidomastoid, that there is 3 tsp. in a tablespoon, that I wear a size 7 1/2 shoe, and how to make your own witch hazel. . .but I really, really cannot tell you the date.