Wednesday through…oh, never mind

So I’ve obviously grown rather lax in posting every day.  I know, this has disappointed many.  I’ve been trying to figure out why I have been so unmotivated.  Is it that the weather has improved and I no longer want to sit in my little cave of an office, clicking away on the computer?  Is it that I finish everyday exhausted, thus only enabling me to write snarky posts like my last one?  (By the way, if you are a student who happens to read my blog regularly, then you are not one of the whiners.  I’d do anything for you guys.  I’m talking about the ones that drive you crazy, too.)  Is it that I can no longer find things to make me smile now that Kathie Lee Gifford has taken over and ruined the Today Show for me?

I’m going to venture a guess and say it’s none of these things.  These are all harsh realities, to be sure, but I think at last I’ve figured it out.  It hit me one day when Joel came over for dinner after work, I can’t remember when.  We were standing in the kitchen, and he wrapped his arms around me, looked me dead in the eye, and asked:

“How was your day?”

Weirdest part: I think he really wanted to know.

This happens nearly every day in some form or another.  Sometimes I jump in before he has a chance to ask, but inevitably, before the day is done, I have an actual person who wants to hear about all the things that made me smile…and made me angry, sad, giddy, grumpy, elated, etc, many of which are things that I could never blog about for the outside world. 

This has never happened before.  I’ve never felt so listened to, aside from a counselor that I payto listen to me for an hour a week.  And I recognize what a feat it is to have someone sit through what sometimes ends up being a 10-minute monologue on how wonderful it is that they’ve had chicken salad in Gwinn for three days in a row, because it means that I can make a chicken salad sandwich, which isn’t that good for me but after you’ve been eating in college cafeterias for a decade you have to cling to the small things…I know I’m a talker, and I respect what strength it takes for someone to let me chatter and act halfway interested in whatever tiny thing has taken over my brain in the moment.

But again, so strange: he’s all the way interested.

So I think that’s why I’ve cut back, and rather than let my obsessive-compulsive tendencies take over and make me feel like I must post everyday, or at least fake it with the titles, I’ve decided to go somewhat more topical.  I think that would be more fun for all of us, right?  And don’t worry, I’ve already got a list.  I just don’t want to waste them all now on one uber-post.

Plus, I have to go make a phone call.  Someone wants to know how my day was.

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Tuesday, May 20

So I haven’t posted in a few days.  Since Friday, right?  You know why?  Because I AM EXHAUSTED.  Physically, emotionally, spiritually, metaphorically exhausted. 

This is what happens every year, so I shouldn’t be surprised, but it definitely sneaked up on me this weekend. 

(Random sidenote: I just tried to use the word “snuck” insteand of “sneaked”, and the spell check told me it was wrong.  Typically when this happens I type the word into Google and see what comes up, and lo and behold, I just learned that “snuck” isn’t actually a word.  Well, it’s a word, but in very recent history was still considered some sort of slang used by the uneducated.  It now rivals “sneaked” as a common-use past tense for “sneak”.  Except for the British. who are too good for it.  End sidenote.)

I was doing all these fun things with Joel that would normally send me into a chatter-boxing mess, but instead I spent a good amount of my weekend asleep.  This includes the portion spent driving around Snoqualmie Falls in the Miada with the top down.  Picture it, won’t you?  Beautiful scenery, clear skies, 75 degrees…and me in the passenger seat, head slung back, mouth open, passed out.  Glorious.

This is the time of year when students ask me to pray that they’ll just make it to the end.  They want to finish strong, not burn out, end well, on and on.  I really, honestly, truly feel empathy for them in those moments, because I remember what it was like to be in their place.  Sometimes, though, the small, nasty part of me that I try to hide from the world wants to pop out, roll her eyes, and mutter something along the lines of, “Yeah, you think YOU have it bad.  I’ve been living in residence halls for nearly a decade, have eaten more cafeteria food during that time than you will eat in your LIFE, and spend day in and day out listening to the whining pleas 400+ children who think they’re adults.” 

Then I remember that I love my job  The year has just been long, and these students ARE adults…or at least adults-in-training.  This job – which I really do love – is to help them become people of solid character and substance.  And this is the most rewarding, frustrating, humorous, depressing, confusing, meaningful work that Christ could have given me.

Friday, May 16

Last night I had a dream about my 10-year high school reunion.  It’s happening this summer, and after stalking my old classmates’ facebook profiles during PA class it must have been on my mind.

In my dream the reunion was being held at the old Pizza Inn in Springdale, Arkansas.  (Note: this is actually where are reunion is being held.)  For some reason I had decided to go to the reunion right after working out, so I showed up in all my exercise gear, boyfriend in tow.  Except in the dream he wasn’t really my boyfriend.  I was dating him, but in my dream he was someone else, and I was making him pretend to be my boyfriend for the sake of not explaining that scenario to everyone I’d gone to high school with…I don’t even know what that means right now, but in my dream it made perfect sense.

Anyway, I was looking all scruffy, but I figured it would be ok because the reunion was at a pizza place, for heavens sake, so surely no one else would be dressed up.  How wrong I was, because as I walked in I saw everyone sitting at tables in formal-wear with their husbands and wives and children, eating pizza on fine china with antique silverwear.  Instead of being embarassed about my attire or misperception of what the evening would be, I instead rolled my eyes and tried to find a table with anyone from my class who I could still classify as “normal”.  We ended up in a small booth with the three other people in the class who were there without spouses or children, and ate our meal while looking around the room at this group of people that could only be described as “old”.

The weirdest part was, though, that when I woke up I thought I’d actually just returned from my reunion.  It took me awhile to realize it was a dream, and I had not, in fact, shown up in athletic gear to a formal dinner at Pizza Inn.  Bizarre. 

I should probably start planning my outfit right now.

Thursday, May 15

Smiles:

Having coffee with Dana at the Grinder before staff meeting.

Having a wonderful staff meeting which consisted of scriptural reflection on this passage:

Psalm 23 (The Message) 
1-3 God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.
   You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
      you find me quiet pools to drink from.
   True to your word,
      you let me catch my breath
      and send me in the right direction.

 4 Even when the way goes through
      Death Valley,
   I’m not afraid
      when you walk at my side.
   Your trusty shepherd’s crook
      makes me feel secure.

 5 You serve me a six-course dinner
      right in front of my enemies.
   You revive my drooping head;
      my cup brims with blessing.

 6 Your beauty and love chase after me
      every day of my life.
   I’m back home in the house of God
      for the rest of my life.

Visiting with Kate while she cut Sharon’s hair.

Teaching PA class, and keeping everyone’s attention despite the sunny, 68 degree weather outside.

Ashton PAs’ interpretive dance based on the five stages of community development.

Walking to Trader Joe’s.

Eating leftover chicken casserole with my boyfriend and watching the season finale of The Office.

Oatmeal cinnamon apple cookies.

Tuesday and Wednesday, May 13 and 14

This morning I woke up at 4:15am.

(That sound you just heard was the collective thump of everyone who has known me longer than 2 months falling out of their chair.)

This morning we inducted our new Ashton PAs into the Res Life family, and in order to do so we (apparently) had to be up with the sun.  Correction: up before the sun.  We actually got to watch it rise from the rooftop of Ashton.  Here are some pictures:

     

I wish I had better pictures of the skyline, but edges of 6 story buildings make me nervous.

Oh, there was also this duck:

I don’t know what he was doing up there, nor why it amused me so much, but I possibly have as many pictures of the duck as I do my new staff.  And then, weirdest thing, I feel like I saw ducks all over campus today.  Like they’re planning an attack and need to stake out the joint for awhile…which obviously answers the question of what the duck was doing on the roof!

Did I mention I woke up at 4:15am? 

Monday, May 12

At Monday night PA staff meeting this week we had Bingo Night.  Everyone dressed up as their favorite elderly person, brought a prize to be given away, and we spent the last half of staff time playing what ended up being about ten games of Bingo.  Because of my well-established reputation for HATING to dress in costume, I only donned an old apron that my grandmother made years ago and called it good.  I was the caller, so we eventually decided that I was the young volunteer who had to do community service hours as part of her sanctions for an alcohol violation.

Levi won THREE TIMES, which I want to say means that he cheated somehow, but I know in my heart it isn’t true.  I think Tim won twice, Charlie once, Amy once…I can’t remember who else. I know we had a couple of erroneous “Bingo” calls.  It’s all those old folks with their bad ears.  I think in real Bingo they kick you out of the building for that.  Anyway, here are some pictures from last night:

        

Sunday, May 11

So I love the news.  And lately, because news is depressing, I’ve been getting my updates from The Colbert Report and The Daily Show.  It’s nice, because often I feel like people are ridiculous, and Jon and Stephen affirm what I know to be true.  I’ve been sitting here trying to decide which videos to imbed here for your viewing pleasure, and it’s nearly impossible.  Plus, I apparently don’t know how to imbed things that aren’t convieniently uploaded to YouTube for me.  Here are some links to highlight reels; I encourage you to go check out their pages for yourself.

http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/videos.jhtml?videoId=166452

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=168321&title=recap-week-of-5/5/08

John McCain is almost cute and lovable, isn’t he? Like someone’s darling old grandpa.

In other news, I had a really nice day.  After church, Joel and I had leftovers for lunch, used our REI Anniversary Sale coupons on camping gear, and then he made me fajitas for dinner.  Good things all around.

On a sidenote, we don’t recommend the Backpacker’s Pantry freeze-dried tiramisu.  Gnarly aftertaste.