the red apple

According to my research on Sioux Indian writer Zitkala-Sa, red apples represent the forbidden fruit and also broken promises.

There is a red apple hanging in front of my eyes: it is telling me to run away from my computer and not to finish my paper. I have 2 1/4 pages, and I need about 6 more. I want to bite the apple and put it under my pillow as I sleep.

But then my pillow would get sticky.


the weather outside is....cold

Signs that Dordt should have cancelled classes this morning....

1. I tried to go to class this morning, but I was delayed by the chunk of ice blocking the front door of building D. Fortunately, Stan-O was nearby and he used his mighty shovel to crack the ice.

2. I woke up to the sound of a beeping bulldozer clearing snow from the canyon.

3. In spite of my long underwear and the radiator blasting heat, I was chilled in my 8:00 class.

4. My classroom had 8 windows in it, but the sunlight was blocked by drifted snow covering the panes.

5. Schaap repeatedly said that he thought about cancelling our 8:00 this morning.

6. I-80 (gateway to the west) is closed.

7. My brother updated his Christmas list to include a snowblower.

8. Student Services was flooded with phone calls from students saying they were stuck in various places due to blizzard-like conditions.

Come on, people. Think.

Well, I don't really mind having class. I might have been bored without school, because in order to be motivated to do homework, I have to have some sort of forced structure on my day. And in spite of a few mishaps, all of my roommates arrived safely. Others were not so fortunate: a classmate of mine is missing four roommates, who are stranded on the other side of I-80.

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays.....


deck the halls

The Christmas tree hunt is over. We spent an appropriate amount of time out on the farm finding two trees (one for us and one for Trav and Tami and family). Landon met a horse and Dillan showed off his knowledge of the traditions, since this was his fifth time out to the tree farm. Landon is six months old today, and completely adorable and happy-go-lucky. When I have a baby, I hope he's as sweet, good-natured, and smiley as Landon.

I finished one paper today and started research on the one I'm dreading. So I thought today was successful. But all this vacation makes me not want to go back to my apartment or to my classes and homework. Eeek. I'm definitely ready for a month-long break without seeing people and dealing with homework/professors. I'm tired of jumping through hoops...I'd rather make my own.

All right, time to enjoy my newly crocheted fuzzy red scarf and sit by our beautifully lit tree. Hooray for coziness.


on the road again

Dad and I went to visit Bepa yesterday. We had tons of fun. I'm amazed at how well she is coping without Pake. We drove all around the country as usual and saw the house Bepa was born in. Off-roading in a Focus; that's what life is all about!

Today we're heading out to Pella....Dad, Mom, Trav, Tami, Dillan, Landon, and I....in one vehicle. Count 'em. It'll be an interesting ride. Gonna see the relatives and eat too much, and then come back and decorate the house for Christmas: my favorite day of the year! Hooray for traditions.

I'm gonna live in Minnesota when I grow up.


sweet victory

I finished two papers today. Ahh, sweet lemon-y victory.

And tonight's sermon involved a complete reading of the lyrics of "Sounds of Silence," and a wonderful quote: "Our translators of the NIV were sitting around a table, listening to Simon & Garfunkel."

I kid you not.


Seven and a half hours. On a Saturday. In the library. On one paper. Result? Four and a third pages. More work needed? Yes. But at least I'm very far. I hermitized myself this weekend....Friday I did homework for most of the evening, and yesterday I was in the library from 11 until 6:35. So I dragged Elaine, Phil, and Trevor to Sioux Falls so I could have some insane sanity.

We went to Fuddruckers (I was the only veteran! Unbelievable!) and then spent some wonderful time at Barnes & Noble. I read a little book called 100 Ways to Simplify and Enjoy Your Life or something like that. Of course, everything the author promoted kept me from buying the book (counterproductive for her, but not for me!) I consider my life fairly simple compared to most (I only spent $35 for my senior prom, and that was buying a dress), but I think I can definitely simplify more. And living an ascetic life (even if it's only moderately ascetic) sounds very appealing.

One month until my birthday. Start shopping, folks. (Wait a second.....)


tale as old as time

I just watched Beauty and the Beast for the first time in several years. Ahh, back to the days when Disney made worthwhile movies. Watch for Trevor's upcoming dissertation called Beauty and the Beast: The Chicken or the Egg? It's sure to be a classic.

Hooray for Cassie Lokker winning NC/DC: she did an amazing job. Did she not sound exactly like Leann Womack?

I shall rest from my labors for awhile; tomorrow will be a big day for my history paper (crossing fingers). Last night was a good night out on the town with some new legals, although I guess I get mean and giggly when I'm tipsy. I didn't think I was that mean....but I was definitely tipsy.

Ahh, cinnamon schnops...


kelly and e.e.

I hate Kelly Clarkson.

And I like (e.e. cummings).



I am extremely annoyed with my paper.

Being a perfectionist, I hate wasting time on words that won't be used in my paper. So I've been avoiding writing my paper because I don't know exactly what to write on, and how productive would that be? I am allowing myself half-hour increments at the computer, and I'm reading an assigned book in between.

If anyone has anything I can say about Pastor Herm, let me know. I'm doing a portrait on him.

I'm not sure I can write 8 more papers before the end of the semester. I think I might cry. Last semester, I had 13 papers due in the last 3 weeks, and I made it. But my motivation is dried up. After this semester, I will have about 127 credits....and I have three more semesters left. This is getting ridiculous.

Happy birthday, Becca.


i'm dreaming of a white christmas

The sky is precipitating today.....that's right....the fluffy white stuff. Or in this case, the wet slushy stuff (but it's white!) And the spirit of Christmas was evident in the colorful hats and scarves of my fellow writers in my 8:00 Schaapian class. Micah Schuurman, always in shorts, sandals, and a Hawaiian-print shirt, was bellowing "O Holy Night" through the halls. We shut the door on him (I don't think he'd qualify as a lead tenor in a production of Handel's Messiah).

Now, I wonder what the fluffy stuff will do to my already waning motivation...


People suck.


the simple things

What a day. After 5 hours of sleep, I dragged myself out of bed to do some much-needed last-minute studying for history. The tension from last night's room meeting accompanied me to class, where Schelhaas once again treated us like imbecilic children. I then sat around in ASK 060, feeling like I was doing nothing to help, and proceeded to run into the other Schelhaas in the hallway. Jeri grilled me about theatre classes and made me feel guilty for not doing exactly what she wanted me to do. I went to Mom's office and freaked out; I was sick, tired, unprepared for my test, and I felt like nothing I could do would make anyone happy ever again.

And then I met with one of my tutees.

He was my problem student at the start, and I dreaded meeting with him every week. He had no motivation, barely spoke a word, and skipped meetings and papers for me. He's been getting better this semester because I've realized that establishing a relationship is sometimes more important than proofreading. Usually, he's reserved and stoic. Today, he couldn't keep the smile off his face.

I remember why I want to teach.


cheesy eggs and american history

Shannon and I did the dishes tonight and we were very giggly. Ahhh, a clean kitchen after yummy pancakes and scrambled eggs with cheese (hooray for Berky). Why do I avoid studying just when I need to study the most? I have an American history test tomorrow and only 36 pages of notes to swallow (ouch)....and a choir bonfire to attend and a room meeting to get through.

Did you hear about the guy who was lynched in Kansas?

All my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday

Yea for the Beatles. Music is so [insert positive non-obsolete adjective].


a happy and a brain freeze occurring while on medication

So there, Al.

I have officially forgiven the Schaapster: I got a straight A on my interview paper. Never mind that I had a wonderful subject who does not talk himself in circles. Ahhh, justice. Take that, editors of America and the larger Dordt English department metropolis!

So I am sick. I took amazing drugs last night given to me by my generous, fun-loving, and newly engaged roommate, Shannon, and I slept. And I skipped class and it was AWESOME! I have done it! I have skipped! Well, with a really good excuse. So I'm not as cool as I think I am.

Who was I talking with the other night?....we were talking about the word "cool" and how it is becoming obsolete. So now we need a new word to replace the obsoleted "cool." Any suggestions? How about.....I got nothin'. Why is it when I try to think, my brain gives me a hint of an idea, but then shuts off before I can retrieve it? It's like looking forward to a wonderful piece of leftover pepperoni pizza, only to find that your brother ate it. Traitor.



Ahh, Catherland. The trip was full of walking, observing, listening, and imagining. The fourteen of us left at 5 am and reached Red Cloud, Nebraska around 11. We started out by wandering around the downtown area and also the giftshop. I ended up buying a copy of O, Pioneers! I haven't read it before; I've only read My Antonia. Our tour guide was great; she showed us the old bank and train depot, plus Willa Cather's amazing childhood home, and several other homes belonging to people that Cather wrote about. We ate lunch out on the prairie and did some exploring. Considering we were one mile north of Kansas, the scenery was beautiful. Gotcha, Trevor.

Most of the day was cloudy, but by the time we reached the Burden homestead, the sun began peeking out. Just in time to get several beautiful pictures of the golden farmland basking in the sun.

The day at Catherland is now taking its toll on me. I'm tired and I'm going to sleep now.


sunshine, verbal abuse, and fistfighting

Wow for the weather! Today is the second day of November and it's 75 degrees and sunny. There goes Iowa, being predictably unpredictable again. But I'm not complaining this time. I've enjoyed basking in the warm sunshine as I walk between classes and the library and my apartment.

Schaap and I had a little confrontation over email (is that an oxymoron?). After receiving yet another B on my Advanced Expos paper, I bitterly harangued him for sending an email containing sentence fragments and awarded him a B for his 'effort.' He called me a sourpuss and told me to get over it, adding that he would be greatly surprised if I did not get an A in the class (even if he had to kick it out of me). Seriously, why isn't everyone an English major? Can you get this kind of camaraderie anywhere else? (Can I get a witness, Al and Rosie?)

Today, a Terrell, a Jason, and an Andrea have to come up with a 50-minute lesson for teaching The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven to 5 other Ethnic Lit-ers. Perhaps I should finish the book before 3. Yes, Al, I like it, and strangely, I'm reminded of Smoke Signals. Imagine that.