Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sarah Palin!

I have never been so excited about politics in my life. McCain's VP pick is better than I could have ever hoped. Young, accomplished mother of five who just had her last four months ago, a reformer type willing and able to make things happen, economically and socially conservative—she's absolutely unbelievable.

I've never given a lot of credit to feminists. For a long time, I thought that all the 1970s really served to do is make chivalry and common courtesy seem sexist, foisting not only the household duties but also a lot of the income-gaining onto women as well. I still think there's something to that, but I've also come to realize that feminism and Christianity are not mutually exclusive. I mean, Phillip had four daughters who prophesied and Paul was declaring that in Christ there is neither male nor female, thousands of years before we could vote. I haven't climbed far enough to hit that glass ceiling, and now that there are 18 million cracks in it, maybe I never will.

When I look at her, I see a little of myself. It finally occurred to me how much it matters, that I have never been truly represented by a leader of our country. It strikes me in that deep, internal way that a superb piece of fiction does—that this is right, this is true, this is beautiful. A smart, driven woman could be vice president of the United States.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I had originally called my mom to tell her that I became the assistant editor of the Driftwood today, but we kept talking, and by the end of our conversation I had dropped a class.

I'm so glad I talked to her. It's not something I would have ever thought to have done on my own. But after I explained how much I was dreading the work, the mountains of reading and the lengthy papers, and how I didn't really connect with the professor, I realized what a drag it was all going to be. She told me that I was going to put tons of effort into a gen ed that I could easily take at our community college and probably enjoy a lot more, and I knew she was right.

It brings me down to 14 units, which almost makes me feel like I have to redefine my identity; I had been reveling in being a 17-unit student for so long. But I know I took those online courses this summer for a reason, and this is as good a reason as any. As it is, after I got off the phone with my mom, I no longer had to write a three-page paper comparing Columbus' impression of the New World with James Cook's. Instead, I went over to my friend's dorm room and watched episodes of The Office on her laptop.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nothing like a brisk morning walk.

This morning I realized that I was feeling guilty for buying a muffin and a cup of coffee from the campus cafe two days in a row, so I walked to Fresh & Easy. My refrigerator did not fit in the car on move-in day, unfortunately, so my room has been rather foodless since I've been here. Mostly unfortunate because I normally make myself breakfast. The muffins were excellent, but I have a hard time paying a significant mark-up on something I can replicate, or even improve on, myself.

And so there I was at the door of our new grocery store. I think its name betrays the company's British origins; how something that would be pretty offensive if applied to a person is so appropriate here amuses me to no end. As it turned out, though, those doors were, for the moment, locked. With fifteen minutes to kill, I went next door and got a cup of coffee at the new coffee shop, resisting the pastries on display. Now that I've been ensconced in the land of perpetual young adulthood for a while, little kids grab my attention whenever they're around. I see them so rarely. This morning, it was a super-articulate two-year-old who caught me. Sitting in his stroller, he rang out, "Peet's Coffee! Peet's Coffee!" as soon as he saw the building. His dad pushed him past a woman with a couple of dachshunds, and the little blond, with his thin, dark wide-set eyes, declared, "Those are not my favorite type of dogs." Sooo cute.

I decided on nutella and flaxseed bread, which, I'm sure, has more fiber and protein than the stuff I've been eating lately. It also happened to be an incredibly delicious combination. I had an 8:30 class, so I had to hurry back. I managed to enjoy my new favorite breakfast afterward, before chapel, and you know, another class, and lunch, and another class, and work at the library, and a literary magazine meeting. The challenge with being busy is not in doing everything; it's doing it without breaking a sweat, which is especially hard when the humidity's high. If I could run between things without exciting attention, life would be so much easier.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Intelligent thoughts.

So the site's address is Of course I had to subscribe to it.

This week's most notable entries:

Bad taste is a good thing—Asserts that "the secret to being well-dressed, this year or any, is to be individual and courageous." I felt like it was a sartorial philosophy I could get behind.

Incidentally, the article compelled me to look up "sartorial," which I had seen all over the place but never defined. I don't usually single words out for their individual merits, but if I had a list of pleasurable words, "sartorial" would be on it, right after "ardent." I have to say "ardent" is legitimately my favorite word, for its clear, hard sound and superb meaning (anything worth doing is worth doing ardently), but mostly for the immortal, "You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."

Joseph Mitchell's true facts—Subtitled "notes on a reporter-stylist," this profile explores the career of a journalist who showed how artful good journalism can be. Waist-deep in scholastic journalistic pursuits as I am, I appreciated Mitchell's "straining, like a fiction writer, for a deeper kind of fidelity."

On a somewhat related note, I came across a bolstering quotation in the margin of my intro to journalism textbook today: "The infinite volume of unfocused information flooding up from the bottomless computer spring has heightened the value of the guiding editor who is experienced enough in language and judgment to help us paddle onto the shores of meaning." Here's to aiming high.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Volume 37, Issue 1.

Here they are: the fruits of my LEAD Week toil.

I was able to finish the copy editing and get into bed by midnight. The best part, though, was when Dean, the faculty adviser, handed me the issue he was going to mark up with corrections, because all he had to say was, "Flawless." I showed him the one error that didn't get fixed, a lowercase "hall" in the first photo, but I was really happy to hear that.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's late. I can't be held responsible for being incoherent.

I can't believe school still hasn't started. It's Sunday night, and I'm in the newspaper office, and I am tired. It's been a long week. I've got one more section to proof before I can go home. Unfortunately, I don't think it's quite finished yet. But that's okay. My first class in the morning isn't until 8:30.

Sometimes I don't think I ever really learn anything new about myself; I just know things more deeply. It's been one of those weeks. Coming back to school, I have to redefine myself in relation to everyone and everything else. I've been knocking around the idea of self-narrative, how the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves really and ultimately define who we are. I catch myself saying to myself sardonically, "Well, you're just a bad person." But then other times I, half-joking, bolster myself with, "I am a good person." So which is it? Am I good or bad?

That's probably too reductionist to be an effective illustration. For one thing, if there is "none who does good," then I think it's fairly clear where I stand. But at the same time, I don't think sane people ever act according to what they sincerely think is wrong without suffering serious cognitive dissonance. What people think is right and wrong varies infinitely, but that most people operate with the mindset that what they are doing is generally right, or acceptable, can't be too far from the truth.

But it's probably too late and I'm probably too sleepy to come up with an effective illustration. I need to stay awake here, though. What else have I been thinking about? I want to get it all into one reflective post and get it over with. Why in the world do I blog? That's something that came up this weekend, talking about making actual connections with people, as opposed to just superficial conversations. Writing allows for that. By providing opportunity for revision and clarification, writing can be the foundation for more incisive and sincere interactions. When someone pours himself into his writing, I mean, he is in that writing. That's what good literature is—an intimate encounter with another person. And that is what you, the reader, are doing reading this—encountering me, in all my incoherency. Ooh, audacious, I know.

And, you know, that's what I'm going to do with some good literature tomorrow morning, bright and early in American Writers I. If I'm not still in the newspaper office.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Another parlor trick for the collection.

At dinner on the lawn beside the amphitheater I sat with another editor of the paper and a family she knew from church. The son was an incoming freshman, and his mom, it turned out, teaches grammar and usage seminars for corporations. I floated that old standby, the serial comma, during a lull in the conversation, and she wholeheartedly upheld it. Then she returned with a question of her own: How can you create a grammatically correct sentence that has five "and"s in a row?

Her answer required a little story. There was a painter commissioned to inscribe "ham and eggs" on a storefront window. The owner of the shop came out to inspect the work, and, slightly dissatisfied, declared, "You need more space between 'ham' and 'and' and 'and' and "eggs."

Friday, August 22, 2008

It just keeps getting better.

So one year ago I was one of them. Nervously watching the soccer team descend upon our car and unload my belongings, longingly watching the confident banter of the LEAD-Week-shirt-clad students, timidly choosing a side of the dorm room since my roommate was nowhere to be found, anxiously filing into Brown Chapel to take the math placement exam, frantically trying to find my parents on the gym lawn at dinner and, unsuccessfully, succumbing to the poor cell phone reception and dining with strangers.

This year I was wearing one of those shirts. I snapped pictures of the move-in crews, sympathized with new Nease residents, handed out clipboards for the math exam, and lingered at dinner with a friend. I love growing up so, so much.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's amazing how much it takes to get a few inches of text in a paper that's just going to be thrown away as soon as it's read.

So what do you do when you're trying to get an interview but, even though you've visited the office, left a voicemail message, and sent an email, you've heard nothing in 48 hours? Go back to the office and try to get more from the secretary than a business card, that's what you do. Or, what I'll be doing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And so I hit the ground running. Or walking as quickly as possible back and forth across campus without exciting attention.

These days have seemed so long that, sitting and reflecting on them, I can't believe there have been only two of them. Today's interminability might have been determined by my early morning foray into the caf for breakfast. I'd heard that they'd be closing up shop at 8, and while I didn't think it likely, I wasn't going to chance missing my omelette and coffee. Eight am came and went without the dining room doors rolling shut, so I remained, making small talk for another hour. Oh 9 am, golden time possessing all the promise of a dawning business day. That's my main problem with journalism and trying to work it into my schedule—I can't make phone calls or appointments outside of narrow, weekday hours. I was born in 1989. In my world, everyone is available, all the time.

Back in the real world, I made those calls and then trekked down to physical plant to get an interview for the construction update brief I'm working on. I also met with the prof I'm TAing for, got some preliminary assignments, and went back to my dorm to finish them. After lunch (which is apparently another restraint on workday communication—I was chided by someone yesterday for calling at lunchtime when I tried for an interview at 11:30 am), I found myself sitting barefoot in the new Nease RD's apartment. She was nice enough to pause in the flurry of pre-NSO projects and talk for the story I'm writing about her. I then found her partner RD, who let me follow her on room inspections and get her input.

So that's what I did. I didn't really realize it until I thought it out and wrote it down. Life is so ephemeral; if I don't capture it in words, it dissipates into mere shadows of vague experience.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First day of school (trial run).

No classes yet, but my first day back was busy enough without them. In the morning, I declared my writing minor, and since '08-'09 will be its debut appearance, I had to switch catalogues. I also filled out an authorization form that officially recommences my TA position. Having originally dressed for the newspaper staff's afternoon team-building activity, I ran back to the dorm midmorning to change into interview-casual after making an appointment with the secretary of the Wesleyan Center and realizing that my cargo shorts and hiking boots weren't going to cut it. They were looking for a temporary receptionist, and while I couldn't help them in that area because of my library hours, they expressed interest in contacting me to assist with their publications, which come out through the Point Loma Press. I'd love to be able to work with them in the future, so we'll see.

I made some phone calls for the newspaper articles I'm writing this week, but mostly got answering machines. I killed some time before lunch by finding a blog tutorial and crocheting a flower to adorn my lamp. The rest of the day involved a bus ride to UCSD, challenging comfort zones, learning about ourselves, fostering community-building, and climbing a giant Alpine Tower. The last part was great—I almost made it to the top, but was foiled by the very elementary school gym class knotted rope at the end. I'm kind of lacking in upper-body strength, but I was okay with it. Halfway up I started to get that panicky I'm-really-high-off-the-ground feeling; I don't know if standing on top of a super-high wooden platform would have done anything to assuage that.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nesting in Finch.

I don't know if this picture does it justice, but my new room is so, so wonderfully big. I've been dreaming about moving in here since we found out last semester where we were going to live. I'm in Finch Hall this year, a predominantly sophomore dorm, and it's a significant improvement over my freshman housing. I'm at school early for newspaper training, so it'll be less bare and empty once my roommate returns this weekend. To think that, should we desire to, we'll both be able to stretch our arms out as far as we can and not touch anything! And besides that, we have an unbelievable array of closets and cupboards. I didn't know shelving could make me so happy.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mountains o'things.

And so just like that I reassume my transitory, nomad life, parceling out my possessions in packing triage: urgent; secondary, but possibly necessary; not pressing at all. Diving under my little sister’s bed in the room that becomes less mine the more I sleep in it, rummaging through the hall closet, tentatively drawing out boxes and bedding stuffed on my parents’ shelves, I’ve slowly amassed my things.

I’m almost helpless when it comes to deciding what to take, what to keep and somehow find a place for at home, and what to throw out. Every item that I own has some intrinsic value apart from its nostalgic cachet, no little factor in itself. Like the archaeologist who fingers a knockoff watch in Raiders of the Lost Ark, musing that if one would “bury it in the sand for a thousand years, it becomes priceless,” so I find meaning in the smallest scrap of paper I might have scribbled a note on, in the ugliest pair of socks I might have had since fifth grade, in the scruffiest pair of shoes that ever moldered under my bed.

Sitting on my parents’ bed, surrounded by scads of stuff, I try my best to be productive. Neat piles of papers go into the Shoebox of Important Things. Cherished notebooks filled with my professors’ thoughts, textbooks that I have yet to sell, newspaper clippings carefully archived in plastic sleeves, all join the hall cupboard menagerie that, fittingly, contains some of my parents’ own college detritus.

There’s just so much. How much of this do I need, did I so easily do without the entire summer, will I ever look at or use again? What kind of insecure person am I, that I require such an enormous entourage? And how in the world can I constantly not have anything to wear?

Friday, August 15, 2008

More than just 1984.

The people in charge of George Orwell's personal writing began publishing his journal entries as a blog this week. Beginning with August 1938, the installments will appear on their corresponding 2008 dates. I've found split reactions; some find the whole thing fascinating ("The diaries ... expose his tremendous, hungry empiricism, revealing the keen, alert, ever noting, ever observing facts writer he was," said the director of the project in Time). However, others contend that not all of Orwell's writing is worth the time spent reading it.

I'm not crazy about Orwell, but I love the idea. I've often wondered whether literary authors would have become bloggers had they had the opportunity. Instantaneous, worldwide publishing at the touch of a button—who wouldn't?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I always wanted to be grown up when I grew up.

A little kid called me “lady” the other day when I was at a store. Browsing through some racks of plastic packaged goods, I absentmindedly knocked one to the ground. As I bent to pick it up, I heard a mother next to me admonish her son: “Did you knock that down?”

“No,” he replied. “The lady did it, the lady did it.” My first thought involved how unfortunate it was that she should be so quick to assume her kid was the one making a mess, but my second was, when did I become a “lady”?

I’ve been reading through The Associated Press Stylebook this week since I’m going to be responsible for, oh, just about all of it when I assume my duties as copy editor this Saturday. The cover of the 2007 version, incidentally, is much more attractive than previous incarnations, which makes it a little easier for me to get through, incurable aesthete that I am. Note, however, the absence of the Oxford comma in the cover’s caption. Just one of the many stylistic preferences I will have to suspend in my position. It’s enough to make an incurable aesthete shudder.

The entries on the proper terminology for males and females state that “boy” and “girl” are acceptable until the people in question reach the age of 18; after this point, “man” and “woman” should be used, occasionally with a “young” attached if appropriate.

How abruptly we seem to enter adulthood. Though we’ve extended childhood well into what was once considered legitimately adult territory and fashioned an unprecedented stage of life out of these extra years, we still lack an adequate transition. To say that the day we turn 18 is the day we become adults is surely folly. I don’t know how many people would consider themselves adults at that age, but I ultimately did not. I wanted to, I tried to, but I just couldn’t feel it. I was still far too dependent, and probably still am.

I certainly don’t know a better way to make the distinction, though. I’m still just surprised that I’m a “lady.”

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's been like, a year and a half. You know, ages ago.

I don’t know if it’s been long enough to reminisce about this, but I hope it has, because I want to be able to view it with amused detachment, the kind that we can assume about our younger selves. This article suggested that one of the best ways to evaluate a search engine is by using one’s name as a search term, and when I did, I found this video clip of me. Back when I was writing for the Press-Enterprise Sunday Opinion feature, “Young and Sharp,” my section editor asked me to come in and tape a short summary of the piece I had written that week. It was a perfunctory position, and not one of my best, I don’t think, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Regardless, I felt pretty special doing it, driving all the way to that shiny, echoey newspaper building in downtown Riverside and making small talk with the reporters. Oh, precious, precocious me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Campy, but all in good taste.

This is what the moon looked like the night that Josh presented "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," this year's summer movie, in the boys' staff house.

This is what we looked like the night we snuck out of camp and drank Frappuccinos on the porch of the Fort in town. Lisa made a more thorough post of it.

Rachel and Lucy at the Tates' for the girls' staff sleepover.

And here's Shannon and Jack. When we got back from sneaking out, we spread blankets on the Tates' living room floor. We didn't get into those blankets until after 2 am, but there was sleep involved at our sleepover. When we woke up in the morning, Sarah made us crepes and Swiss omelettes baked in the oven.

This is part of the trail extension that Rachel, Shannon, and Angelica all helped to work on this summer.

This is one of the stellar viewpoints along the new trail. The bright blue of our swimming pool, like a piece of the sky in the forest, is just visible to the right.

And this is Angelica presenting her movie at last Saturday's progressive dinner. She premiered "Pilgrim's Progress, Chapter 3" at the dessert house. As soon as her cinematographer puts it on YouTube, I will be posting it here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mmm, not gonna lie. I really enjoyed these.

First, a news broadcast from the Onion:

Rules Grammar Change

Second, a NY Times column by David Brooks that begins like this:

All my life I’ve been a successful pseudo-intellectual, sprinkling quotations from Kafka, Epictetus and Derrida into my conversations, impressing dates and making my friends feel mentally inferior. But over the last few years, it’s stopped working. People just look at me blankly. My artificially inflated self-esteem is on the wane. What happened?

Existential in Exeter

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Strangers in a strange land.

Our camp staff theme this year was "Travelers and Sojourners," so, appropriately, we dressed up like travelers and sojourners.

Angelica and I attempted gypsies, trying to evoke our central-European heritage (Croatian, Slovenian, Lithuanian, anyone?). We're Scottish-Irish, too, so Angelica did some research and was happy to find that gypsies wandered there as well.

Rachel and Shannon went for intergalactic time travelers, trying to evoke their alien origins, obviously.

The theme was inspired by the book Josh selected for this year's weekly staff Bible studies—Pilgrim's Progress. I read it six or seven years ago because I heard two guys talking about it at church one Sunday and wanted to be part of the conversation, so I checked it out on Monday and had it finished by youth group Wednesday night. Rereading the work this time, I came across a passage that had resonated with me on my three-day Bunyan spree, one that actually became quite a comfort and eventually a catalyst for some pivotal early-adolescent spiritual growth. Here it is, in the original:

I took notice that now poor Christian was so confounded, that he did not know his voice; and thus I perceived it. Just when he was come over against the mouth of the burning pit, one of the wicked ones got behind him, and stepped up softly to him, and whisperingly suggested many grievous blasphemies to him, which he verily thought had proceeded from his own mind. This put Christian more to it than anything he had met with before, even to think that he should now blaspheme Him that he so much loved before. Yet, if he could have helped it, he would not have done it; but he had not the discretion either to stop his ears, or to know from whence those blasphemies came. When Christian had travelled in this disconsolate condition some considerable time, he thought he heard the voice of a man, as going before him, saying, Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Remembrance of things past. (But no longer in search of lost time?)

The other day, I saw a boy I’d gone to middle school with. He asked me if I remembered him, and I didn’t feel like wasting time with playing the how-quickly-should-I-admit-I-know-exactly-who-you-are game, so I quickly assured him that I did. I joked that middle school had been the worst years of my life. “We didn’t talk much, did we?” he asked. We hadn’t, but we had had some classes together. And then he apologized. “I was such a jerk then,” he said.

And then I remembered how alone I felt in those seventh grade classrooms. And then I remembered the snickering comments I tried not to hear. And then I remembered the friend who abandoned me and the girls who would never be my friends in the first place. And so even though he had probably never said anything to me (though who knows what he could have said behind my back), his apology spread to encompass all the injuries of my entire middle school career. And the bland way in which I was able to shrug off his recollections, as something that didn’t matter anymore, made me realize that it really didn’t matter anymore. I was, I am, no longer my thirteen-year-old self.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


That's what I spent for two books and a lamp at a thrift shop last week. Idyllwild, artsy, eclectic, relatively affluent mountain community that it is, produces some excellent secondhand goods. It also has some of the cheapest stuff I've ever found. I told my roommate I'd get us a few lamps to adorn our dorm room this semester, lessening our need to use the overhead beam. Fluorescent lighting bathes the world in artificial harshness; I'll take incandescent light any day.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"[H]e . . . smiled with the singularly beautiful irradiation which is seen to spread on young faces at the inception of some glorious idea"

Of all the tragic elements that frame the story of Jude the Obscure, the most poignant for me involved Jude's noble attempts to gain a footing in the hallowed halls of higher education. As an orphaned, poor, and, you know, obscure village boy, Jude burned with a desire to learn. For years he snatches at what crumbs of knowledge he can, stumbling blindly but so sincerely through whatever books he manages to get his hands on, pursuing the best course of education he can devise in his circumstances.

His unsuccessful bid for a place in the university classrooms put me in mind of what unprecedented access we have to everything Jude wished for so dearly. How vast and cheap is knowledge now! For all the detriments a wired, information-glutted society has, things are so much better. We can't desire to go back. Nostalgia for a simpler, slower-paced time is misplaced and ungrateful. Poor Jude; the picture of the bright young boy eager to learn and so piquantly frustrated in his quest will continue to prick me.
Jude had quite unexpectedly found good employment at his old trade almost directly he arrived, the summer weather suiting his fragile constitution; and outwardly his days went on with that monotonous uniformity which is in itself so grateful after vicissitude. People seemed to have forgotten that he had ever shown any awkward aberrancies: and he daily mounted to the parapets and copings of colleges he could never enter, and renewed the crumbling freestones of mullioned windows he would never look from, as if he had known no wish to do otherwise.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world."

When I heard that Alexander Solzhenitsyn had died Sunday, I immediately thought of the professor I took for World Lit I last semester. The last work that we studied was Solzhenitsyn's short story, "Matryona's House." Dr. McKinney described the tragic circumstances that Solzhenitsyn surmounted, how he was unjustly sentenced and imprisoned under Soviet rule, how he was exiled from his country, how he affirmed Christianity throughout and despite all. Our professor gave us the profound, essential goodness of Matryona and a tearful benediction to end our course. I loved that class, and Solzhenitsyn's story completed it in the most deeply appropriate way. Yesterday, I watched this piece on the life of Solzhenitsyn, and was glad that such a person had lived.

Monday, August 4, 2008

It's alive . . . not really. If it were, it wouldn't stink so much.

Angelica's final project for her online biology class was the classic biology assignment: dissecting a frog. As it was an online class, though, our living room became her lab. Decompressing on the couch with a book after a day of prepping three meals for more than 200, I wasn't too crazy about smelling her dead science experiment. But then the video I got of her Frankenstein routine made it all worthwhile.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My parents came up Wednesday night to celebrate our mom's birthday. We went to Cafe Aroma for coffee, presents, and conversation.

Mom and Dad spent the night camping near Lake Hemet, and though they had only planned on joining us for breakfast, they ended up staying through lunch. Dad accompanied the twins out to the trail they've been working on this week, and Mom jumped into the kitchen with Angelica and me. I think this summer has been really good for everyone; being apart has allowed us to appreciate each other a lot more, and I'm glad we'll have a few days together before I go off to school again. The day after they left, I was browsing the walk-in for something to eat, and came across the remnants of the tuna from the campers' lunch. It tasted like my mom had made it, and in fact she had.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

This week, the camp we've been hosting is using a theme that recalled to me a metaphor that's been knocking around in my head for years. I think it finds its origin in the Animorphs books I adored when I was younger, which featured six kids who, from some good aliens, receive the ability to change into animals, constantly using their newfound powers to save the world from some bad aliens in each installment. My best friend Grace loaned the series to me in third grade, and, fancying ourselves as the two girl characters during recess that year, we found some boys who could complete the group. We maintained our Animorphs club for the next two years, which made an excellent excuse to hang out with boys our age.

The whole becoming animals thing appealed to me, but more than that, I was struck in my nine-year-old way at the parallels I found between Christianity and the view of the universe that the books purported. At one point, a wise godlike figure gives one character an elevated glimpse of time, telling her that all lives are like charged, intertwining cables streaking through a vast expanse. When they intersect, we find ourselves in the same place and time as others. The picture stuck with me. The idea that everyone's life is its own endless string winding its way through the world enchanted me.

And so the theme of this week's camp is "Storyline." By focusing on the story that our lives ultimately are, the directors hope to give their campers a sense of the omnipresent authorial hand God has in the plot that our lives follow. To symbolize this concept, they suspended a concrete version of that metaphor that delighted me as a child: multicolored strings spanning the length of the tabernacle, caught together in a clear tube that is this week together, before stretching out in all directions, towards the future.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I love it when economists wax philosophical.

I finally finished my online classes this week, and so in honor of my favorite, Macroeconomics, I'd like to present an excerpt from my textbook:

People tend to believe that what they see with their own eyes or experience in their daily lives causes the effects they notice. Witness, in our last example, employers' mistaken belief that the stimulus for the rise in the price level was a rise in wage rates (which they had experienced firsthand) and not an increase in the money supply (which they probably did not know had occurred). But the economist knows that the cause of a phenomenon may be far removed from our personal orbit. This awareness is part of the economic way of thinking.