Monday, March 31, 2008

Am I done yet?

I just submitted my draft of chapter two (the last of the three chapters I had to write) to my advisor. Usually, after I submit a draft I take about two days to focus on German and catch up on other tasks before re-entering writing mode. This time, however, I need to immediately begin revising chapters one and three and should not waste any time. Why, then, do I feel like throwing in the towel and just going to bed, and perhaps not seeing my computer again for a very long time...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Celebrating His Sacrifice

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is God’s yes to Christ and to His atoning Word.
*Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Meditations on the Cross

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy St. Patricks Day!

This Irish hymn was written to the tuneof a song about slane hill, which is where St. Patrick bravely lit the pascal fire, defying the king,and began one of the first steps in beginning the spread of christianity around Ireland.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

One of my favorite things...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Joys of Childhood

I am sitting in my room working on my thesis (what else!) and, at the same time, watching our neighbors across the street play a rousing game of tag with their friends. I was suddenly transported back into my own childhood, specifically remembering playing this game with our cousins. It was so much fun to be it, and even more challenging to insure I was *not* caught! I remember our mothers telling us to not run in the house because might hurt ourselves and the feeling of exhilaration when every sense was trained on outwitting the person who was 'it.' Childhood is such a simple time of life; if only I knew that fifteen years ago!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Reflections of a Masters' Candidate

During the past week I have been giving a lot of thought about my life as it currently it and how much will be changing in the next few months. Over the years, I have heard different people say that life is about change. In a way, this is true because there is always something else just around the corner. My tenure as a graduate student is swiftly coming to an end, and I am truly excited about my future as I imagine a life without endless reading, writing, translations, exams, and other academic pursuits. I will hold a full-time job for the first time, bring home a ‘real’ paycheck, and re-learn what it means to actually have a social life.

However, in my retrospection I have come to realize that I will miss certain aspects of my life as a graduate student. Part of me is surprised by this, while the other part of me was fully expecting this realization to hit. Last week I was sitting at my desk at work looking around at the office I have grown to love when these ideas began percolating in my mind. At first glance it is nothing spectacular, but frills are not what make the Center for Oral and Public History the wonderful place it is. Nor does our collection of interviews or the services we provide to students and community alike. Rather, it is the people, and they are who I will miss. We all have our quirks; our good days and bad days, our little office squabbles, yet I’ll miss seeing these individuals almost every day. I will miss the laughs, the crazy re-tellings of the ‘what was that student thinking’ stories, being part of our office family and feeling like I am helping to give back to the community.

The oft quoted lyrics to Joni Mitchell’s song Big Yellow Taxi seem fitting for this moment: Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Yes, as I always suspected, deep down I will miss being part of a larger than life campus, walking the quad when everyone else is in class, smelling the fresh cut grass in the mornings, and enjoying the connection to my fellow students and faculty. But, I do not want these words to become a reality in my life. I want to appreciate where I am and value every moment. One of my favorite quotes originates from Star Trek Generations, and I desire to remember this throughout my life…"Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives, but I rather believe that time is a companion that goes with us on a journey…reminds us to cherish every moment because they’ll never come again."

As I finish out my grad assistantship and complete my thesis, my goal is to pay extra attention to the little details and value the time I spend with co-workers, fellow colleagues, and academic mentors, all who have contributed to my time at Cal State Fullerton.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Have you ever noticed...

Have you ever noticed how a day of inactivity can make you just as tired as a day where you are running non-stop? I find this to be a curious fact, however, I have seen it play out in my life over and over again. Sometimes sleeping in and doing nothing but writing for hours simply do not lend themselves to feel energized, whereas I can have more energy if I'm gone all day engaging in a variety of events. For example, yesterday I spent the majority of the day doing things that involved a lot of sitting in one location and was exhausted by the end of the day. I suppose this means that just stimulating the mind does not help keep the entire body energized!

This is just something I was thinking about last night...

Monday, March 3, 2008

Work in Progress

I am currently in the process of updating the aesthetics of my blog. Please bear with me as I play around with the various options to find the 'perfect' look.