Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday's Lesson of the Day!

Do NOT go to bed without washing your blue mascara off your face...
Otherwise, when you wake up in the morning you won't almost pee your pants when your really strange sleepy dirt scares you.

It's like Sulley from Monster's Inc. crept into my room in the middle of the night and I ended up using him for a pillow...

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Playlist for Today

My dear Aunt Julie put her playlist on her Blog, and I thought that would be fun to do too!!

Here are some of my favorite artists and songs… Some might be a little bit silly, and some might make me cry, but here they are!

1. Where I Belong – by Cory Asbury

The chorus says, “I finally found where I belong. I finally found where I belong – in His presence. I finally found where I belong – it’s to be with You.”, and then later says “I am my Beloved’s and He is mine, so come into Your garden and take delight in me.” These lyrics are so beautiful! I know it’s cheesy, but it “strikes the chords in my heart.”

2. Love is Little, Love is Low – it’s on old Shaker’s Hymn, and my favorite version is played by Aubrey Atwater on her Mountain Dulcimer.

3. Lost at Sea – by Jimmy Needham

This has been a favorite of mine since it first came out in 2006 (I believe that’s when it came out… I could be wrong . Really, anything that he sings I love.

4. Mystery – by Brooke Frasier

If you have ever heard of Hillsong, Brooke Frasier is a singer for them. But she also has her own Albums, that are more “secular”… but not at the same time.  I think that I will post a blog soon about the lyrics to this song soon… I really really really like this song.

5. Deathbed – by Reliant K

Ok, first of all. I don’t really like Reliant K. I used to love them, I have all of their CD’s, and sometimes when I feel goofy I’ll listen to them. But this song, as awful as it sounds, makes me cry. I want to post the lyrics on here, so I’ll include this in the blog with the song “Mystery.”

6. My Soul Longs for You – by Misty Edwards

“I believe You will come like the rain.”
*contented, delightful sigh*
Isn’t that beautiful!?

7. I Wish I Were a Punk Rocker With Flowers In My Hair – by Sandi Thom

I really don’t know anything about Sandi Thom, or even if her music is clean or worth listening to… but a friend burned this song for me… and I love it. I love it because of these reasons: 1.) It doesn’t matter what it is, if it has anything to do with flowers in your hair I love it. 2.) It’s a hippy song, and I like hippiness (minus the drugs and no bathing stuff) 3.) I love her voice.

8. Glen Miller. Anything by Glen Miller. I love the Big Band/Swing songs. <3

9. The Mama Mia soundtrack!

I love musicals, so under #9 I include all of the good stuff: Singing in the Rain, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Hairspray, Enchanted, basically anything that is a musical.
I desperately want to see Wicked.

10. Clair de Lune – by Debussy

I love instrumental music, and this by far is my favorite…
I have sat at work and done some mundane task and listened to this at least four times in a row.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cindy Cho

     Right now I am taking a class called International Social Work, taught by Dr. Chakradhar, a professor from India. The class only has two exams, one midterm and one final, so there are many papers that are assigned in the class. One that I have been working on is a paper written over an interview I had with an international student. The assignment was to learn about an international student’s culture as well as the politics and social welfare of their country.

     For two years I have been fairly good friends with a 20 year old girl from Korea. Her name is Jeongwha Cho, but she goes by the American name of Cindy. When I asked her if she would be willing to let me interview her, she gladly complied. We spent about an hour and a half discussing all sorts of things, most of which were new to me. We talked about how Koreans will eat rice at every meal, and how they use flat steel chopsticks and a spoon. She told me how the most popular thing for her friends to do is going to a local cafĂ© where there are Playstations and Wiis set up for the boys to play while the girls sit and chat. She told me her family’s tradition of eating Seaweed Soup on every birthday, since the soup is given to pregnant or breastfeeding mothers drinking it on a birthday is symbolically honoring the mother. At the end of an hour and a half we came to the last question, what are some key adjustments that you have had to make since coming to America.

     It started out with the typical list: food, public transportation, and that cars actually stop when you cross the street. After talking about all of these “key adjustments” Cindy stopped talking. She got very emotional and started to tell me of her most difficult adjustment… discrimination. She said that in the ESL department, you do not experience any discrimination. This is due to the fact that all of your classmates are from other countries, and your teachers are trained to work with foreign students who normally can’t speak English. It’s when you become a University student that the change occurs. Jeonghwa Cho sees discrimination from everyone, both faculty and students. She explains that the first two or three weeks of classes are the most stressful and depressing weeks for her. If she goes into a classroom and sits by an American, 90% of the time that American will get up and change seats. Cindy said that if she is assigned to a group for a class project, that the group she is in will be treated as if it is handicapped, and will not be required to perform at the same level as the rest of the class. Even individual assignments given by the professor do not come with the same expectation as the rest of her classmates.

     Her hardest problem is that people assume that she can’t speak or understand English. “Savannah,” Cindy said, “they think that I cannot speak English. Or understand it. But how can they think that? If I could not understand English I would not be a University student, and taking their classes with them.” She cried as she said that students sitting in the row in front of her are always talking about her, as if she couldn’t hear them. Jokes are made, insults are thrown, and no one ever cares or shows compassion. Teachers see it and don’t reprimand the insulter. Discrimination is also shown through the tone of voice that people use when talking to her. “I am not a baby, so don’t talk to me like I am little,” Cindy repeats over and over. It’s fine when someone makes an effort to talk slower, and to pronounce the words slowly and correctly, minimizing a difficult-to-interpret country accent… but when they change the tone of their voice it hurts.

     I was completely shocked at how much discrimination is shown towards international students. Maybe that is in part due to the fact that I am in Christ Ambassadors (filled with wonderful, compassionate people) and we have an amazing International Ministry, so I am blind to how others treat foreign exchange students. Maybe it’s because several of my close friends are ESL students, and I feel that I am constantly aware of my tone and speech and attitude towards foreign exchange students that I meet. But as I listened to Cindy talk, I was ashamed. I was ashamed of my blindness. I was ashamed of the people around me, and to be honest, even in my country. We call ourselves the “melting pot” of the world… yet how are we to blend together if we hate each other, and openly show that disdain? Think of how of much God loves that 20 year old girl who is shunned in class. Think of how much pain Jesus feels when someone openly makes a joke about the girl sitting in front of them. It pains me so much to think that there are so many students on my campus who feel this way. The interview opened my eyes completely. It strengthened my determination to be kind and show as much compassion as I can to Internationals I meet. And to tell them about the love of my beautiful Savior, where there is never discrimination, prejudice, mock, or hatred.

Friday, September 11, 2009

" Steps to Make a Perfect Fool Out of Yourself at College"

I feel the need to give you dear readers a step-by-step guideline to show you how to make a "perfect and complete fool of yourself."
Whether or not this is from my own experience *coughtodaycough*, I will leave that up to you.

1. Begin the day by wearing flip flops. Preferably ones that have no tread on the bottom. If you have a pair of Old Navy flip flops that have been your best friend for at least two years, that would be perfect! 
2. Meeting a professor in a hallway somewhere on campus, you should walk with him/her to his/her office. It would be best if you are wanting to make a good impression on the professor you so happen to be walking with.
3. Wearing your no-tread flipflops, and walking to an important meeting with an important professor, look for a small, pool of water in the middle of the hallway.
4. Allow your foot to land straight in the middle of the pool of water, and fall. Yes, that's right. Fall. Fall flat on your butt, in the middle of the hallway. Your 4' 6'' professor will then try to help you up. Assuming that you are 200+ pounds (like I am) make the situation as awkward as possible.
5. I forgot to mention that you should have had your keys in your back pocket as well. That way when your teensy-weensy professor is trying to haul you up off your back, you can be immobile due to agony since something just hacked open your cheek. Or at least it felt that way.
6. To top everything off, the teensy-weensy-needs-to-be-impressed professor should then go and get the Chair of the entire Health and Human Services College (that would the Social Work Department, as well as Criminal Justice and Gerontology Departments) to come and clean up the small pool of water. 
7. The pool of water, which should be no more then a couple drops of water, should be made up to be a GINORMOUS deal. The student worker in the Social Work department should be called to "mop" up the water, and the janitor should then be called to fix the drip from the sprinkler.
8. To complete making a fool of yourself, please make sure that everyone in the office that you just walked into, along with the three people who were trying to help you, knows all about you falling flat on your back.

There. My job is done.

What a perfect day

I close my eyes and inhale deeply. The breeze outside, where I have been reading and eating lunch, rustles the pages in my new Ted Dekker book. The freshly cut grass, damp cool earth, and the musty-new-book smells fill my nose. Going to the garden, I pick several of Chrissy's wildflowers. I choose two dark burgundy cosmos, and bright pink daisys, several orange summer flowers, and a bunch of white flowers that have so many small bright-white faces clustered together that I would never be able to count them. Taking my bouquet, I walk to the house amidst a whistling chorus of birds.

Walking in the front door I decide to leave the door open, so that the breeze can tempt the hot stuffy air inside the house to come out and play. Going to the windows in the kitchen and living room, I open them and watch as the curtains settle back down, with the occasional dance with the breeze. It is now the perfect time to clean. I spend an hour, tidying up, vacuuming, sweeping, moping, and dusting. Standing in the middle of the living room I once again take a deep breath. The smells from the cool day outside and the smells of furniture polish and soap suds combine to make a pleasant, perfectly clean perfume. Beside the laundry detergent aisle at the store, this is the best smell in the world, I think to myself.

Going to my room I put on my happy yellow apron and bring out my laptop. In the freshly scrubbed kitchen arrayed with perky and colorful flowers, I sit with my laptop and create a playlist -- filled with Glen Miller, Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, Rose Mary Clooney, and Dean Martin. Next I bring out my family recipe book and pick several things to make for dinner. Barefoot, apron clad, and swaying to the music I spend the rest of the afternoon cooking and baking. Occasionally I wipe bits of flour off of my face, unknowingly putting on more than I had attempted to remove. Time flies by until, all of a sudden, I am done and I am surrounded by dishes and the succulent aromas of baked chicken, cheese tortellini’s with a pumpkin sage sauce, and white chocolate raspberry cheesecake.

Faraway, a voice calls my name and I look up to see Dr. Munke calling roll for Social Work 301. Realization hits me as I remember that instead of a perfect day spent at home cooking and cleaning, I have two more classes and three hours of work; followed by meetings and appointments.

So much for my perfect day.