Wednesday, May 30, 2012

While I Make Pasta

I'm cooking in the kitchen.
While I wait for my pasta to come to the correct softness and try to not burn my sauce, I decided to share some thoughts.

I did pause long enough to stir my sauce.

I have been in NYC two and a half weeks.  These weeks have been incredible.  I've learned new things about myself. 

I wouldn't mind living in a city with no one I know...too much.  Making friends would be a must.

Living in the city is fun.  Having stores everywhere, across the street from me, etc. is wonderful (and costly).  Being near numerous museums, historical places, shows, and life is amazing.

Sometimes I have paused and realized, I am in New York City...near all this awesome stuff I have seen and heard of.

I can't wait to be in a big city.  Again.  To live.

One of the strangest things about being in the city is hearing thunder. 
There doesn't seem to be enough room for it.

Till the next time...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Moments Over Lunch

It's lunchtime.  I thought for the last few minutes I could give an update.

NYC is still great, although I have not been out and about as much as last week.

I am wearing down.  But, hopefully by tonight or tomorrow I will have some more energy (because I need to make plans and get out and enjoy it all)!

Two nights ago we were invited to hear Jay Nordlinger speak on the history of the Nobel Prizes (specifically the peace prize) at the National Women's Republican Club.  It was informative and held my attention (mostly).

Yesterday morning I woke up early to visit the Today Show to get some footage for a project.  It was pretty fun, although it doesn't get exciting until around 8 (but, get there around 6:45 for good standing space.

Last night I reviewed an unreleased film.  A new experience.

Today is a good class period.  We are learning about international journalism.

It is raining today.  One of the windows in the room looks out at an older brick building.  Looking at it through the rain reminds me of old New York (or, how I would imagine it).  I can almost see factory workers, women in long dresses with aprons, and vagabond children scampering around.

Breakfast in Bryant Park

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday. 9:29 PM. Class is Done.

The city never sleeps.

I can buy a slice of pizza at 12:15AM. (yes, after leaving the Empire State Building, I did)

H&M and Forever 21 are across from each other. (and next to and across from me)

There is a park on railroad trestles. (High Line Park)

Home depot is in a building with a beautiful facade.

Needless to day, I love the city.

Also, I consistently miss London.

Today our assignment was to go to pawn shops.  My group, along with several others, was assigned to Harlem.

I got to try an pawn items.  No one wanted my 2nd generation nano iPod, they don't buy Verizon phones, and someone finally assessed my (very nice) point and shoot camera.

There are some awesome people studying with me at WJI.

It is neat to have the moments of realization that famous people, publications, and locations are in the city where I am LIVING (for three weeks)!

It is cool.

I cannot wait to live in an awesome, big city!

But, dear Columbia friends and family, I miss you all, too!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

NYC: I'm Living in Manhattan!

While I have some time, I thought it would be nice to blog and give everyone a little update.

On Saturday, May 12, 2012 I graduated with my Bachelors degree.
On Sunday, May 13, 2012 I boarded two planes and flew to NYC for an 8 week journalism program.  Only three of the weeks will be spent in NYC.

I am living in Midtown Manhattan, mere blocks from Times Square and cad corner from Macys.

It has already been an intense program.  But, I love it.  I have already learned enormous amounts of information and have been instructed by great individuals.

Last night, Rebecca, a fellow student, and I went for a little walk.  While out, I looked over and saw lights.  I thought, that looks like it might be Times Square.  Sure enough, it was.  We walked through Times Square, visited the Hershey store, and walked to Central Park (but did not go it).  I saw the Plaza from a distance and passed Trump Tower.

I cannot wait to visit the Plaza.  I need to find out if I can visit the Eloise suite.

It is psychologically easier "living" in NYC for three weeks than visiting for 2-5 days.  I am learning my way around and do not feel stressed when walking around.  I love living near everything.  Being in the city is grand!  I think I could do this for a while!

I am making tentative plans to visit Staten Island (the ferry is free) and reminisce that one episode of I Love Lucy, visit Little Italy and try to find the restaurant we went the last time I was here (best spaghetti ever!), visit The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck (saw it on food network. their ice cream style is insane), go to the MOMA, and go to the top of the Empire State Building (again...and be there at night).

I'll let you know how I do.

Early morning at the Columbia Airport

In the Nation's Capitol.  Loved Landing at JFK!

NYC Skyline! (Amy, this is for you)

In Times Square

Not The Plaza

Times Square at Night

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Monday After Sunday Post: Mother's Day and a Birthday

And, The Monday After Sunday posts continue!

The title is deceiving.  Neither are mentioned in this post.  BUT, yesterday was Mother's Day and Andrew's 14th Birthday!

We are joined, again, by Amy who writes like Jo. (If you get that, you have read well)
She is a dear, sweet girl.  She wrote me a story from lunch yesterday that made me laugh so much!
I had to share it with my roommate because it was just so funny!
Anyway, without further ado:

Sitting around the table this past Sunday, I was reminded of several friends of mine from last summer. I spent seven weeks working on the service team of a Christian summer camp in Wisconsin, where my favorite work crew was the grounds crew. I mowed, split wood, stacked hay, and was basically one of the go-to people for tiring manual labor. I loved the work, but loved even more the guys with whom I worked. Even though I was just a service team worker, and honestly probably the least physically fit of the group, they treated me with respect and encouraged me with their perseverance and acceptance of me. I was very quiet, incredibly insecure, and quite frankly, awkward as all get out, yet these men that I had the utmost respect and admiration for seemed to believe I was someone worth having around, not realizing that they were the reason I remained motivated.
In much the same way, Sunday lunch has provided me with a family not just of blood, but of community. Sunday afternoons are enjoyable often because of the variety of people that make up our company. Each individual seems to contribute something in their own unique way. Whether it's my mother's hard work, Kevin's stories, or Baron's priceless one-liners, we all have our part. For Sunday afternoons especially, we all look to each other as family. And even amongst the men and women that crowd around our table, even in the company of these people that I admire and love so much, it seems that I still have a place, much like I did at camp. Even if most of what I do is laugh and pour coffee, I feel like a sister to them all, and adore them as if they were my own brothers and sisters. Despite the many difficulties I faced at camp, I still remember my co-workers and those weeks I spent working with them as I time where I felt, more than any other time in my life before, like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. And now, surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ, I feel that same pull in my chest, the same thankful cry that says this is where I am meant to be.
Yet in addition to this comfort, Sunday afternoons are teaching me as well. At camp, being a naive high school student working with college students far beyond me in terms of maturity and intellect, I found myself caught in an unusual bind. I'd always sought to be the friend with answers, I wanted to bear my friends' burdens, even at times when I knew it wasn't my place. But at camp, surrounded by men so much stronger than myself, I knew even when I saw them hurt and it tore me to bits, that there was nothing I could do to fix their problems. I didn't know them very well and I had no profound wisdom to offer. Amidst my frustration, however, I didn't realize that those friends I so desperately longed to help were really the ones helping me. And so it is, I have found, with these cherished Sunday afternoons. These friends that I love dearly are taking the burdens I have always refused to relinquish, and shown me a stronger kind of love than that which my pride often demonstrates. A love that is patient, accepting, and encouraging. The love of a family.
 From me to you, hello from Times Square!

Headed to the Big Apple!

I wrote this yesterday from D.C.

I am sitting in the Reagan National Airport eating an everything bagel, sipping an ice coffee, and waiting for my connecting flight to NYC.  Yes, I do feel like a chic (minus the exhaustion), traveling, young adult…who is now a GRADUATE!
My response to seeing a Dunkin Donuts and not finding a Starbucks was, “No Starbucks?!  What the heck!”  I may or may not have said this (I truly do not know).
A slight glance to my left and I have a clear view of the Washington Monument.  If I walked to the other side of the corner I think I would see the Capitol.
 Honestly, the end of my flight was practically perfect.  We flew low to the ground, allowing for a view down the Mall of the Washington Monument, the Capitol, and, slightly to the right, the Lincoln Memorial.  Then, our lovely pilot made the smoothest landing; I didn’t feel as though the plane was going to flip over its nose.
Looking around the terminal a thought popped into my head.  How neat would it be to see someone I know!
The intercom just told me I can attend a Greek Christian worship service at 11AM.  I am curious what it would be like.  But, I don’t want to risk missing my flight.
Ever since I read On Writing Well by William Zinsser, I love starting sentences (appropriately) with “But”.  I was taught in fourth grade that it was not proper to write a sentence starting with “But.”  BUT, it is allowed!
Anyway, I am heading into my next adventure.  It is exciting.  Three weeks in the Big Apple!  

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone!  I have one awesome Mama who has done so much for me (yesterday, alone, she sacrificed getting home at a decent time to let me get everything I needed for NYC).

Washington Monument from Airport Window!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Monday After Sunday: Southern Style

The time has come for the Monday After Sunday post.  However, due to it being finals week and having to roast our favorite professor last night, we are going to pretend today is Monday all over again...or at least while you read.

This Sunday was a particularly busy day for me.  However, Sunday lunch and chat time at the Crutchfield's was a large part of that busyness! (that's a good thing)  There were thirteen of us, which made for a full, but wonderful, table.

*The continuation of this weekly post may or may not continue during the summer.*

Now, writing about his Sunday experience, I give you Baron O'Neal (well-known Pilgrim's Protest writer):
Growing up in the south meant one of two things: either you were at church on Sunday morning or someone was dead. Those were the only two options. My Sundays were just that. Go to church, go to my grandparents for dinner, (“lunch for you non-southerners”) and eat. As I got older I realized that the dinner took a more ominous feeling. It went from eating to fighting most of the time and you never knew who was going to get offended and the fighting start all over again. This led to some negative anticipation going into the meals. Dread and angst over the arrival of Sundays were normal. I played the part of a good boy in church, but as soon as I was old enough to not have to go to church, I swore I wouldn’t go back. And that is what I did. When I turned 18 I drank heavily and began working full time.  My mother couldn’t force me to go to church anymore because I was self-sufficient. If the truth were known, she probably didn’t want me to go because the people around me would have become high off of the alcohol fumes I was giving off from the night before. Anyway, I quit going to church and essentially turned off all signs that I was anything that would resemble a follower of Christ. Through many difficulties and 15 years elapsing, I came back to Christ. That decision led me to CIU. My freshman year my life was turned upside down. I was forced into a divorce. I had to make a choice, to stay in school, go through an ugly divorce, and struggle or quit school, go through an ugly divorce, and still struggle. With guidance and wisdom from two men I honor, I chose to stay in school. In the end I lost my wife, church, friends, and family members. I was asked to come to a church that I had heard about around CIU called Church of the Apostles. This church is a night and day contrast to my southern Baptist heritage. I went with the encouragement from the two men I honor. I have never looked back. I was welcomed with open arms for the first time among believers that are scarred from the past or just want to be left alone and worship Christ. I was invited to the Crutchfield’s house one Sunday after church. I am not intelligent enough to come up with the words that describe the experience that happens in that home. The moment you walk in, the smell of warm bread and cookies soothes the wounds from your hard week. The inviting call to come into the kitchen drowns out the memories of arguments and fights of the past week. To sit at a table with a family that truly loves each other and isn’t afraid to say it or show it breaks down barriers and childhood memories that I dare not repeat. We start dinner, and the laughter begins. We don’t stop laughing until the last bite is gone and the dessert has been gladly devoured. We give thanks to God by sharing our thoughts with those around the table. It is a chance for others to hear a bit of our souls. We leave the table and go into different areas of the house. Some watch or play sports, while others talk for hours about deep troubles, thoughts they are having, or just simply the weather. It isn’t really about the sports or the talks, it’s about being a part of normal family. It is something that is so foreign to many of us, yet, the Crutchfield’s seem to be the bastion of hope that there really is hope for families today. In my broken home I am able to show my daughter that there is a true family unit working together for the good of the whole. She is able to see people get along and play, laugh, incorporate discipline as needed, and do it in love. I cherish every moment I am in that house. It is an honor to be able to sit at the table of one of the men I admire most and see how God has used him and his family to live the true, authentic, Christian life. Thank you Crutchfields for allowing the outsiders to become insiders in your home. Kaylee and I love you all very much.
 Now, for any of you guys hoping to ask that special girl out...I've heard The Avengers is a good first date.
(But, I would recommend using your own discretion based on the girl ; ) )

Found: Here

Wednesday, May 2, 2012



-Bought my tassel.  "Class of 2012"!
-Attended my final advisor/advisee chapel.  We had lunch at the Layman's home.  It was a wonderful time.
  (I will reflect in another post another time)
-Last hall meeting last night.
-Final hall cleaning (also last night).

I don't know how you all respond to sorrowful news that a friend is dealing with, but it saddens me to think of them suffering.

Posting will be sparse as I finish my semester (undergraduate career).


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