Saturday, January 31, 2009
Please pardon my burst of posts. I do not apologize for the content, but it would have been better if I'd posted them here when I posted them on facebook. And now, I'm remembering things that are actually current that I could talk to you about.
(Make sure you read my thoughts on this, if you read this paragraph, because it doesn't mean a thing without reading what's next.) The other day, I overheard a conversation. Susan* was talking with Bernice* about how happy she was because she was able to finish some homework just in the nick of time, right before class, after being puzzled by it for so long. She was talking about how God must really love her right now. She said that, in response to this, a different friend had said, "Well, God always loves you!" Susan happily told Bernice, "Well, He's showing it really well right now!" They laughed.
*Names have been changed for confidentiality.
My thoughts: What a lie! "God's showing it really well right now"?!? How about, "The only time I see God's love is when He gets me out of trouble?" Or "I'm way to busy to take time to look for how God loves me, so I only notice it when it reaches my standards of love." Or "Bernice, why don't I realize how much He loves me more often?" While I really wanted to mention some of these alternatives to Susan, I wasn't given the opportunity, and, it's not really the kind of topic that welcomes intrusions, so I kept my mouth shut. So I'm telling you what I think, instead.
Last semester in Sunday School class, through Lorissa's story about God's love through blue butterflies, I was challenged (and again I was challenged by Susan) to look for how God loves me. Just like how you can't always tell when someone's showing you their love, it's really easy to miss God's expressions of His love. I think that this would be a cool project to take on. It would be a good thing to journal about. The title could be: 10 ways I saw God's expressions of love for me. Wouldn't that be something? Just think about how much that would change your perspective of things? I like the idea. I want to do it.
I'm going to give plasma soon. Next week, I have the opportunity to give the money from giving plasma to impoverished children in India. I've never done this before, given blood or anything. I've never passed out before, either. I don't want to pass out. I don't want it to hurt. IVs have freaked me out for a long time. But, I will be going with my good friend Millie and lots of homework, so I will be able to think about other things. I'm excited about this, though. :)
My semesters always end up being busier than I thought they would be. I didn't think that conducting class would require three hours of conducting practice each week.in addition to the weekly one hour+ of required supplementary reading.
I've been getting to bed around the same time during the week. I'm proud of that. I thought that it would be much harder, but because my roommate usually tries to go to bed around midnight, it's much easier for me to do it, too. (8 o' clock classes can be so awful. I've heard that the Senior seminar for Comm majors is at 8 in the morning. It sounds totally unfair. Comm majors aren't supposed to wake up early. That's for the business majors.)
I know that I had other stuff to write about...
Ah. There is the issue of turning 21 this year. 21 is another significant age because, at that time, one is of legal drinking age. I will have the legal freedom to choose to consume alcoholic beverages or not. I don't know yet what I will choose, but the choice, the research, the journaling, all that, is another thing that's exciting to me. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to make a rather grown up decision that will have significant consequences either way. (Yes, either way.) I am not looking to be pressured at all into making a certain decision, but I've glean quite a bit from conversations with my friends on this topic, and I would like to welcome your respectful, understanding thoughts on the issue.
I saw The Mummy for the first time tonight. It was all right. As could be expected, I screamed, gasped, squealed, and yelped a lot.
Senate! That's another thing I wanted to write about! Ok. So, I've been on Senate for two years. Last year, we started to pursue a change in curfew. (Currently, weeknight curfew is at 12:30, and Friday and Saturday night curfew is 2:00.) We knew that the majority of the student body was dissatisfied with it, and we wanted to explore the idea that there might be a better way. We did a lot of research including contacting many other similar colleges, reading through a huge small group comm project report about curfew, conducting two surveys passed out in the cafeteria, two town halls discussing the topic, multiple table talk sessions that focused on curfew, and plenty of one-on-one conversations and interviews with faculty, staff, RDs, RAs, and students. A LOT of research. My conclusions: I have seen nothing to persuade me to believe that the removal of curfew or even weekend curfew will make Bryan College a better place. Neither keeping nor changing curfew furthers our mission to put "Christ Above All." It is true that less restrictions would give more opportunities to the students to develop personal responsibility, time management, and self-discipline. It is true that many more temptations arise late at night and that, without curfew, it is possible that students would be more inclined to participate in rule-breaking activities, such as in the extreme case of fornication. It is true that people break those rules anyway, whether there is a curfew or not. It is my strong opinion that rules should not be changed or bent just so that they won't be broken.
I believe that the Office of Student Life should be aware of the research and student opinions that Senate has uncovered. In our past meeting, a motion was passed to present to the Student Life Council a proposal to remove weekend curfew. The purpose of the curfew change would be "to make late, off-campus excursions on the weekend more accessible. The elimination of weekend curfew would remove the process of signing out or obtaining extended curfew, and make nighttime, off-campus trips on the weekend easier, thus providing more choices to students, while retaining the benefits of weeknight curfew."
I'm excited to present this to the council because, honestly, I've been working on this thing for forever, it's been close to me and my heart almost the whole time, my own opinions on the issue have fluctuated many times, and I'm glad that we're finally finishing this! WooHoo! Congratulations, Senate! Now, when we present this to the council, it will all be out of our hands, and we will have done our part. We have done a great job, and I am proud of that.
What a positive post, no?
I can't think of much else to write about here, so I guess I'll stop for now.
'Till next time!
Lindsay in 20 random facts:
1. I finally dyed the tips of my hair red last semester. It was a desire of mine for a long time.
2. My favorite color is somewhere around cyan and cerullean.
3. I'm wearing a t-shirt advertising the 2006 World Cup in Germany with the England team logo on the front, but I got the shirt in Mexico.
4. I have my Instrumental Conducting class today.
5. I'm supposed to practice 3 hours per week for my voice lessons.
6. I am horrified by the fact that human trafficking (modern day slavery) has 27 million people around the world (yes, even in America) shackled in forced servitude today. For more information, read my note on my facebook page titled "Slavery at your back door."
7. Last night, I helped a friend of mine write a letter to two clothing distributors asking them if their merchandise was infected with slave labor.
8. Most of my clothes were made in China, Haiti, Bangladesh. More than likely, they were made by human being forces to work in awful conditions. More than likely, they were locked in the building while they were working. In Bangladesh, there are usually 2 stories each year of such factories burning to the ground with the laborers inside.
9. When I support an industry by buying their products, my dollars support what the industry supports.
10. I will check where clothes are crafted before I buy them. Fashion, trendiness, anything is not worth the price of injustice.
11. On Saturday, I signed a petition to President Barak Obama, asking him to fight this injustice. You can do this, too, here: http://www.ijm.org/justicecampaigns
12. I will not buy from Nike ever again. There are plenty other alternatives that don't have reputations of underpaid, overworked, forced labor.
13. I plan on endorsing companies that endorse justice. You can, too!
14. I'm going to purchase Rwandan Land of a Thousand Hills coffee as gifts. The sales from this Rwandan coffee (made my honestly employed workers) goes to help Rwandan widows get back on their feet.
15. I also plan on buying some really cute bags from Better way Imports. This Christian company began "in Calcutta India providing jobs for former prostitutes. "
16. I encourage you to check out the Fair Trade Store and find out what they're about.
17. I know that the trendy fad of being eco-friendly and going green is huge right now, but I know that the lives of my fellow human beings are so much more important than the ozone layer.
18. I could never be thankful enough for my good home, my loving family and friends, my safe environment, my bright future, and my one-on-one relationship with our Creator, made possible through my Savior, Jesus', death. God so loves these, the least of these, just as much as He loves you and I.
19. I want to do all that I can to give trafficking victims the same hope that I have.
20. I hope that you, too, want to give life to the lifeless.
http://www.albionmonitor.com/9606a/nikelabor.html (Nike sweatshop info)
http://www.geocities.com/athens/acropolis/5232/ (Alberta Nike boycott)
http://www.ihscslnews.org/view_article.php?id=119 (Child labor for Nike, Disney, Wal-Mart, etc. info)
http://www.ihscslnews.org/view_article.php?id=120 (Child labor for Nike, Disney, Wal-Mart, etc. info)
It's closer to home than you think.
Atlanta, Orange County, CA, and Toledo were some of the places deeply hurt by human trafficking by Dr. Abraham Lee of the U.S. Department of State at Bryan College's Scourge conference last night. He brought to light a growing trend IN THESE CITIES and others: the trafficking of US citizen minors for commercial sex."No one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave." - President George W. Bush, 2005
I had a dream last night that I was a victim of human trafficking, slave labor. I was forced to work for a cottage complex called Old Mills something where oblivious tourists would relax and, when they had left, I had to clean and work the area. It's not the typical trafficking story, but, it was a dream.
In my dream, I went to school where the conditions were awful. I remember the dangerous, dark stairs that were so steep and narrow, it was nearly impossible to not get hurt on them. In other places of the complex, there was cheery light, but that did not dispel the feeling of being trapped, held against my will, and forced to do something I didn't want to do.
I remember eating some chicken taco soup in a restaurant. It was my time off, and I was with people from outside of my prison. My mother was to my left and I tried to tell her what was going on, that I was being trafficked, and that I wanted out, but then my boss walked by, and I had to stop talking about this because I knew that, if he heard me, he would beat me for trying to escape. After the boss left, I tried to tell me friend Andrew.
"Pssst! Andrew! Look at that advertisement for Old Mills..." But I didn't get far. The rest of the victims came in and we were all being herded together here in the restaurant. I figured out that most of the victims were not allowed all of the "liberties" that I had. While I could go home more often and I could have good food, the rest, the B list, could only go home for 15 minutes a week and when they came back, they were given a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That was their food. That was it. The victim closest to me was someone I recognized from school. I lifted my bowl of leftover soup to him and asked him to eat it.
The last thing I remember was telling him that the soup was a bit spicy, but that it was good. "I'm already full. Please, eat it."
It's not a very realistic dream. My trafficking experience is an incalculable bit prettier than the typical story of real slaves, but I do remember those feelings of being trapped. It was awful. I couldn't get out. I couldn't get help. There really was no hope for me anywhere.
I can't preach, but I can tell you that human trafficking is alive and well today. Last year, the quote was that there are 27 million human beings trapped in forced slavery today.
$32 billion is generated from the sex and labor slave trade, on the street, annually.
Human trafficking: "The recruitment, harboring, transportation of, provision of, or obtaining of a person for a commercial sex act or labor services via force, fraud, or coercion.
"BE A MODERN DAY ABOLITIONIST.
To sign a petition asking President Obama to seek justice:
For more information:
Human Trafficking Hotline (for information or if you suspect trafficking) 888-3737-888
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
At the retreat, Paige Gutacker came to speak with us. Throughout the whole retreat, I had been thinking about certain ideas that I finally wrote down because of what Paige was talking about. My notes were broken and organized, short and to the point, so I don't know how this post will go, but stay with me, if you wish, because this is something that has been churning in my head for a long while.
Just for amusement, here are my notes, verbatim:
What to do next year?
I am good @ it...
Just wanting to be good @ something else?
just something to add to "my already long & impressive resume?"
something to try. To see if I'd enjoy it/
Why not? Why these 2nd thoughts about wanting to try dance & theatre?
Worried I'll fail?
Wanting to stay safe in a familiar place?
-Well, maybe I should stay where I am doing a good job.
"I can do better than..."
I need to be able to let others do their job. Anticipating other's failure = wrong.
Anticipating my failure = wrong.
A fact: I will fail.
A fact: It is wrong to fear that. A fact: To be selfish is evil sin, as wicked as fornication & murder
A fact: I need to be involved.
A fact: I love SGA.
A fact: I am interested, I want to try theatre & dance.
A fact: The Bryan experiences w/ these have been good & rewarding & others have suggested I audition for shows. A fact: I have had a theatre dream.
To immediately clear up just a couple things, when I said that I will fail, I didn't mean at this certain thing, but I was recognizing that everyone fails, and often, and that it is nothing to be afraid of because then one would never take risks, they would lead an adventure-less life, they would never go forward, etcetera. (Side note: A sarcastic thank you to everyone involved in the Bryan College production of The King and I, with an especially sarcastic thank you to Nathan Schmidt. I watched the DVD over break and it's influencing my writing.)
On with the story, or, rather, let me begin.
(Imagine something like when Cuzco from The Emperor's New Groove goes back way too far in the story): Here is 4-year old Lindsay putting on "puppet soes" (I couldn't pronounce the "sh" sound) and dancing like a maniac in front of the camera. I don't remember these times, but I sure can laugh at them and say, "Wasn't I a charming little girl" when I watch the video that Aunt Jessi has. Fast forward, ehhh... around seven or eight years. Here, I am in church plays. I was the grandma in an Easter play (not the most glamorous of all roles. I had a goofy song to sing that I did yet another dorky dance to, just to ham it up during rehearsals.), I was Daniel in one play (there was only one other boy in our group, and he was King Nebe... he was that king), I was the little sister in a Christmas play, I was a touring middle schooler learning about Jonah in another. That one's funny. At least, what I wore was funny. I got to pick what to wear, so, oh, this is so shameful. I didn't know what was lame back then. I wore a black leotard, jeans, and a pink snap-up sweater. Gag exponentially.
In school, we had a pathetic theatre-wannabe program that never produced a thing, though it tried three or four times. This one teacher had written a Southern version of Romeo and Juliet. I was only a sophomore or freshman when it was tried the first time. I was a junior the second time, so there was a better chance that I wouldn't be stuck as a an extra with 1-2 lines that kept being giving to Julie instead. Psh. Julie. Julie was cast by this same teacher to be in a Christmas play that she had written about her own life. I was jealous. That was fifth or sixth grade. This is my junior year, this second time around with Romeo and Juliet, the teacher told me that she was looking for someone dramatic. I, as any normal high school girl auditioning for such a play, wanted the role of Juliet. I emphasize, who wouldn't. And who wouldn't be disappointed if Julie got it instead. I was cast as the Nurse. I learned all of my lines and had them memorized when everyone else was playing around and displaying everything but dedication. The play fell apart. We tried again with a different play, but that one, too, fell apart. It was a complete mess. I was selfish. I knew that I could be better than Julie, I wished that the teacher had seen this, I wished that people would care about the play, yada yada yada... Selfish and prideful. (That's sin.)
There was a Christmas play that year, as there always is at school. It was written and "directed" by the same teacher. (Really, this school could use a good theatre instructor. But, it's not the place for any of you that I'm writing to.) There were two leads. Joy Holby was cast as the teacher frustrated with God. One of her students dies and she comes back to Him. I was cast as her faithful friend who walks with her along the way and leads her back to God. I learned my lines. I tried to put feeling into them. Joy and I rehearsed by ourselves because there were only about 2 rehearsals with everybody. The program was one of those include-everyone-in-the-school-as-well-as-the-janitor-if-we-had-one kind of programs, so, what with antsy kindergartners and apathetic seniors, this was about all we could squeeze in during the busy season of December time. But, I had "my moment." I had a chance to show what I could do. That was my perception. Looking back, even after being a part of the directing scenes freshman year, it wasn't that great of a... of anything, but it was something to me and I was glad of it.
College. SGA is an option. I had someone advise me to run, just for the sake of getting to know people. So-and-so ran, and, though she wasn't elected, people walking down the sidewalk would know her name. Instant friends.
Well... I do like friends. I do like popularity. Perhaps I should run? What would I run for? Senator sounds like the best fit. Who's running besides me? Yeah, I think I could beat them. Hold up. What am I thinking? Am I wanting to run to be popular? (Shows you what I thought popularity was, eh?) This is not right. This can't be God's will. I won't run. So I didn't.
I still was interested in SGA, though. I wanted to be a part of it. It looked fun, they did events, they worked to further community. Yeah, I wanted to be a part of that. So I ran for sophomore class SGA. I wasn't sure that my heart was in the right place, not positive, but I knew that I had thought more about it and it my heart was at least in a better place. I ran against another girl that I was sure I was going to beat. I was elected and, tada!, I was an SGAer!
A month or so earlier than this, though these things had nothing to do with each other, Calista dragged me into directing class auditions. God bless her, though I wanted to kill her at the time. I wrote a long post about that day, February 7th. Here, I got my first taste of what real acting and directing was supposed to be like. I had fun, I was cast in fun roles with fun people. I learned and I, again, had a chance to act. I did well! My directors told me, the other actors told me, and Mr. B asked me if I was going to be in acting class! Wow! I really could do it! And I really wanted to! It was a blast. I began to day dream, just a little, about acting in one of Bryan's shows. How glamorous would that be? To be up on the stage in front of everybody, performing a show that I had rehearsed so much that I was comfortable and not nervous up there. To get to hang out with these cool theatre people. For people to see me. What a selfish brat. But, there is something real there. I swell again whenever someone comes up to me, remembering how I performed in those scenes, and they tell me how wonderful I was. So, I did a good job. I would like to have opportunities to do another and another good job at this. I want to be a part of this.
But instead, I ran for election again. How could I help myself? I love SGA! We had so much fun designing and putting on the Homecoming banquet, Senate is just awesome, I love the people, and I wanted to do it again! So I am. I am now going into the craziness of Jr/Sr planning. We have contracts with our buses, we know where dinner will be, we know so many more of the details, but we have no idea where we will have one of our most important locations! We'll figure it out! It will be great! Our meetings are a blast! We have so many jokes and so much fun! Senate is still awesome! Kim Woody is my hero! I'm doing things that I love and I'm doing them well! I'm adding to the brainstorming, I'm adding to the discussions, I'm taking care of problems, I'm managing my tasks, I'm doing something that I love!
I've had 3 or so people ask me if I'm going to run for VP of the student body, the head of Senate, Kim Woody's job. Kim Woody's job??? Could I even do that? Wow, what a stretching thing that would be! What an exciting adventure of learning! How I would learn to lean on others because I would have no idea what I was doing! But I would do my best to do well. I would be a big leader in SGA and on campus. I could do it, I really could, with God's help and with plenty of phone calls to Kim Woody for help. I could do it. But...
This Fall, I realized (again) how much time SGA takes and how it takes away from other things I could be doing. Like theatre. Like advanced stage movement. Like leading a CLF. I want to do those things. I want to do them so badly, especially dance, that I promised myself that I will be in stage movement next year and I will audition for the shows next year. I enjoy SGA, but I want to try this stuff out, too, very much. I started to have second guesses, smallish ones that I knew I could argue away, about whether I wanted to leave SGA for something new. At the SGA retreat, I thought, "Is this going to be the last retreat I go to?" Would I really be good at this other stuff? (Encouragement from one of my directing friends last night could be taken as a sign that, yes, Lindsay, you should go for it.) Should I risk leaving my SGA position open for someone else or no one at all? (Lindsay, you know that God will raise up the right people to fill that position. Don't let your lack of faith in God keep you from moving away from SGA.) What if I find out that I hate last night rehearsals? (Well, that's what you're trying to find out, isn't it? Besides, how different would that be from staying up late working on a banquet. That was a lame argument.) What if I'm not cast and I would have thrown away my position for nothing? (First of all, cut the drama. It's impossible for you to "throw your position away" for nothing. You know that God will use whoever comes into it, no matter what you do instead. Second of all, so what if you don't get cast? If you really want to try out theatre, get involved in another way! Offer to help with the shows somehow. It would be a great way to learn about it.)
One of my main reasons, if not my main reason... Here, it all boils down to this: I've only got these four years of college. There are so many opportunities here and this is the only chance I'll have to try most of them. Go for it! Try all that you want to! You'll have a great learning and fun experience whatever you decide! You stopped volleyball after two years for the sake of different involvement, and it worked our great! You can do the same here. Who to say that it won't work out great? To fear failure is foolish. Absolutely foolish. Don't let fear hold you back. Go for it!
And so, I am going to find someone to raise up to the position of senior female representative and I am going to be in the advanced stage movement club (hopefully there will be an instructor), and I will audition for shows. I will. Just watch me.
Monday, January 5, 2009
I've been reminded of the importance of knowing the truth inside and out. When I was younger, I found an interest in other religions. I didn't believe what they taught, but it was interesting to see what they believed. Hindu, Buddhism, Free Masonry, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. We even had a set of Sunday School lessons on them for a couple of months. I find these things fascinating, but Mom would worry about me. When I told her about how I was reading The Golden Compass with Nathan, my parents worried again.
I don't think that Saruman ever was purely good. When he began to study the dark arts, instead of remembering what was true, he let the evil infiltrate his mind. It's a lesson in being grounded in what you believe.
As disjointed as all of this is, those are some of my thoughts. That's all.