Archive for September, 2010


September 30, 2010

My computer clock says 1:17am. I just finished grading the last of about 65 short papers. Students’ grades are finally posted. Everything is done online. With the option of turning it in online or in class, perhaps 7-8 students out of 30-35 turn it in, in class. The rest are online. Their grades with my comments are sent back to them online. Not e-mail, but a special program.

Something happens in the air at 1:17am. The house is totally quiet. No tv is blaring, no phone calls are coming in, no one is talking. It is almost as if a spiritual atmosphere enfolds the place. We feel like we can talk and the world will hear, but we are actually, truly alone.

I feel somewhat sad tonight. I am sad that I cannot see my grandsons 4 states away. This is the longest break yet. It will last 2 more months, for a total of 4 before I see them and hug them again. It is not really enough to maintain contact. Visits are good but they are too brief to really feel close and intimate with them. But, what can we do? We now live here and will stay here. We just have to do our best. My 9-yr-old who I chatted with on facebook tonight, told me he is “too old” to go Halloweening this year!! I said RUBBISH!! Become a pirate and go out and have some fun, get some o’ that LOOT, matey!! Ahoy! He had none of it. I said “CANDY” and he said, “BE QUIET”. So that is the state of the world.

I am sad tonight that I have a family member who will not speak to me and acts as if I am the devil from hell. I can’t say who it is because she or he will then get irritated. That makes me sad tonight. We only have a certain short number of years in this world.

I am EXTREMELY happy that tomorrow is payday.

Somehow, by some miracle of sorts, I will review tests in both Stratification and Social Theory tomorrow, as well as address Max Weber’s “class, status and party”. And I will do a children’s virtues class from 4 to 4:45, which is not yet fully planned. Should be interesting.

I really, really want to sleep in tomorrow but I can’t. So I’d best hit the sack, on which my husband is already snoring.


trip to ER

September 29, 2010

Made a trip to ER with our adult son last night. Infection, needed antibiotics, he will be okay. Went to a Baptist hospital in downtown Columbia. Some observations:

They had a parking garage for people using the ER. There were 4-5 police officers standing around the entrance and exit at all times. What the heck are they looking for? How many people are going to “sneak in” to the hospital ER parking garage at around midnight on a Tues. night??

Walking inside, first thing I see is a young man trying to sleep in a chair, with a hospital blanket thrown over him. He partially opened his eyes and look at me when I walked in. I was the only white person in there except for yet another police officer at the information desk. My son & husband were already there when I got there. I went to registration, asked about him, got sent to ER, who then directed me to ANOTHER area where I was to follow the “blue wall” to a door and open it. They were inside. He was awaiting results of a test. Another lady came and took him from THAT room in a few mins. We didn’t go along, as he is an adult. The lady said nothing to us. I felt something was wrong but my husband was determined to just sit there and wait.

During the waiting time, I observed other people in the waiting room. Each one was suffering in their own way. None of them wanted to be in ER late at night on a weekday, so I started thinking about why they were there. A father and son sat in 2 chairs, the boy with an ice pack on his wrist. He had fallen at a high school football game, had just had an x-ray. His father was very supportive and proud of this young man, & said his son had been to the hospital in the past year, more than he had in his whole life. I think he was slightly frustrated.

Another woman was alone & just sat in a chair until her name was called. Maybe she had the flu?

Another pretty young woman had evidently injured her mouth. She sat in a chair with a small towel held to her mouth. I did not see any blood. A man sat across from her until she moved to be closer to him, laying her head on his shoulder. She was hurting. She couldn’t speak.

They gradually cleared all the people out, then a woman asked us who we were with. Turns out, our son had been taken BACK to the regular ER room. We went back there & found him just about ready to leave.

Hospitals always give me the creeps. People suffering, people hurting, sick people, cold air, nurses changing shifts. Especially at night they give me the creeps.

When we left, I got in my car alone, they got in the truck to go get his meds, I left the garage and got COMPLETELY and totally lost in downtown Columbia. This was not cool, as it was already midnight. So I drove around and gradually followed my intuition, to get headed back toward downtown and the highway home. It was a little hairy there for a few mins. There is a Bank of America about a mile high which stands out like a lighthouse. I figured I would find it eventually if I headed toward busy streets and well-lit areas. I did.

ages 12-15

September 26, 2010

Went to a training program on how to run a junior youth program this weekend. Junior youth age is 12-15.

At one point during the weekend, it suddenly flashed over me just how skewed was my own history of that age, and just after that age. Age 12, 7th grade, we were still in Indiana. I attended a regular “junior high” or middle school which in those days was 7th-9th grades. High school was 10th-12th.

Age 13, we moved to Germantown, PA. My school suddenly was 50% black and I rode a train to school. The main shock though, was the school itself. It was run like a home for juvenile delinquents. We were not allowed to talk in the hallways, had to go to our next classes in a silent file, were not allowed to talk at lunch! I was miserable. Time on the playground, where there was no equipment and nothing to do, kids spent fighting and girls walked around together. A few played hop scotch with rocks and sticks. We rode a bus to another school for “shop” and “home ec”. I sucked at home ec. A sewing machine might as well have been some object from outer space, I couldn’t figure it out. I was elected President of my class and quit when teachers expected ME to discipline MY CLASSMATES as president. Ridiculous. I never hated school so much. We moved the following summer, to put us in a different school system, thank God. Education was important to my parents, and I remember the day my dad called my teacher and told her off.

Age 14. 9th grade. Things went pretty well. 10th grade, my first date, age 15, I had a few friends. Then 2 weeks after my 16th birthday, my father died of a massive heart attack. Changed my life forever, changed all our lives. My mother became an alcoholic and things were never, ever the same.

Suffice it to say, my progression from one stage to the next as a junior youth, and then youth, was totally whacko skewed. Some of the things they talked about in our training I could not relate to. Other things, like all the forces hitting at our youth from all directions, I could understand. Each of us has our challenges, our tragedies, our hurtful things that happen to us. I think I was a particularly unprepared youth for what happened to me. I was sitting there thinking about the age of 15 being the beginning of the age of maturity. I feel like I only matured at around age . . . 45-50. And I wonder how few youth of age 18 actually made it to that age without a major tragedy in their lives.

book is being printed

September 24, 2010

I spent the entire day today formatting the book and finally uploaded it to the publisher in Germany….. it is supposedly now on its way to being printed. I am waiting for some “catch” to this deal. I can’t even think about the 5-6 years of work that went into completing this project. The story for the last few hours is I had to format the paper to 2 cm margins which meant .7 inches on all sides, then download 3 programs in order to upload the final book as a PDF; did that; was choosing a photo for the cover and their website went down. I couldn’t handle it, shut down, went home & went to bed.

Couple hours later, it all worked fine.

post-a-day sticky notes

September 22, 2010

Here is my stream of consciousness post for the day:

It is 9:30am and I just woke up. I only teach today at 1:00. I will miss campus chapel yet again on a Wed. morning. Chapel is chapel. It is nice to go and feel the communal spirit. Lift voices together to God in song and prayer. But so much of it reminds me of my childhood. Lifting a hymnal and reading the song there, really? Call and response words that someone else wrote down? Someone else’s thoughts on what the Bible means? I know the words of a few hymns and really like them, “His eyes are on the sparrow…” “Holy holy holy, Lord God almighty …” “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below, Praise Him above ye heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”

The truth is, I hardly ever get to campus at 10am on a Wed. & it is not my only chance for spirituality during the week. I pray a multitude of times, all day long. I have friends I meet together with during the week, and we often say prayers. I can read the Bible myself and see what I think it means. I have a brain. It used to be the priestly class were the only ones who could actually READ it! They also spent their lifetimes copying it for posterity. Thank you to them. But that is not where we are today.

“The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice. Turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not, that I may confide in thee. By its aid, thou shalt see with thine own eyes, and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge, and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thine heart; how it behoveth thee to be. Verily, justice is My gift to thee and a sign of my loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.”     –Baha’u’llah, the Baha’i Faith Writings. 

The publisher awaits my final copy of my book. Just checked thru the references last night and cut out about another 6-7 that were no longer contained within the text. Now I need to FORMAT IT by CENTIMETER MARGINS!! I haven’t figured that one out yet.

family history

September 21, 2010

In 1900, the parents of Cena, Martin and Trena (Trenje) Brink, were living on a farm they rented in Wayne Township, Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Martin was born in 1857 in Holland, Trena in 1858. They were both 42 at the time of the 1900 census. They had 3 daughters living with them, Martha, Clara and the baby, “Sennie” (Cena). They also had 2 servants living w/ them, Dick Brink  (a relative) and Charley Seatson. Two older daughters, Fannie and ______ (I forget her name) had already moved out, and they had 2 OTHER children who did not survive. (I wonder if any were boys.)
 They had been married 21 years and in the States for 18. Martin was a “farmer”. (My relatives never say anything else.) They could read, write, and speak English. Cena was 8 years old. She was born 9-21-1892. (Actually this census says 1891, but her legal records say 1892. Either one could be correct.)
— just taken from 1900 census.

pond after a month without rain

September 20, 2010

It is sinking lower and lower. There is a foot or two of mud, after the grass and before the water. Down by the bridge, where the water never moves much anyway, it is beginning to smell. Along the edges, you can now see some of the plant life below the surface, as it is not deep there. There are still some toads at night, hopping toward the water, still some dragonflies, but the loud singing at night has stopped. There are still sounds but they are less rowdy and joyful, more muddled. Summer is gradually leaving, though we still have highs in the 90s in late September! Nights are getting down to the low 60s. There is one gray, large or medium bird (depending on what other bird you compare it to) who still flies across the pond away from any human being when you go walking. Compared to a large white heron, it is small. Compared to any sort of robin or mocking bird, it is very large. I don’t know what it is.

And we really need RAIN. A lot of it, and more than once please.

heart to heart

September 19, 2010

I went reluctantly to a music night tonight w/ my husband and then of course enjoyed myself thoroughly.

I don’t like going to things where I don’t know people. Moving down here to the south, we are always outsiders and we didn’t know anyone. The friends we have now are mostly from our faith community. I have a hard time going to parties or gatherings where I don’t know anyone. It is not pleasant for me to make “small talk” and try to get to know people. If they talk to me, I’m fine. It’s just hard for me to adventure out and be the instigator. So I come off looking very stuck up I suppose. I am just shy, and it seems to get worse as I get older.

We were treated to an accomplished song writer, guitar player and poet, as well as one who sang before this main person came on, just sitting in someone’s LIVING ROOM. Everyone who attended paid $15. to the poet and he also sold CDs. We didn’t have the extra money but pd the $30. and did not  buy a CD. It was a very enjoyable evening.

He had one new poem which was about writing poems and reading them to others. The main point was, the poet knows what his words mean. The listener has to guess. They may or may not “get it”. Usually, the poem is read, everyone claps and that is where it stops. There is no sharing heart to heart, no real back and forth understandings shared. The audience people would be embarassed to admit they didn’t “get it” even if they didn’t, and everyone just claps politely. So his poem ended with the words, “Why don’t we just talk?”

It occurs to me that what we all really desire and need, is someone to care what the words mean, and talk it out. Actually what we need is to share heart to heart what’s going on within us, with someone else. I wonder with technology, if we are moving away from this heart to heart sharing, and we are just twittering. Or texting. Little quips and jokes are all we get, are all we share. Can 2 people sit face to face and share what is really going on inside them? Do we know how to do this anymore? Or do we just write it on a blog and post it to the world.

Traveling (a poem)

September 15, 2010

To travel
is more important than to arrive,
To live
is more important than to survive,
To work
is more important than to retire,
We need to appreciate
every hour,
To think
means more than to pass the test,
To strive
means more than to be the best,
To climb
means more than to reach the summit,
While walking the path,
see the flowers on it,
To act
Is more important than to fear a fall,
And to Love
Is the most important of all.

book to publisher

September 14, 2010

It is sent now to a German publisher. Today I re-read chapters 1-2. I really like my book. I worked like hell on it. What will they say?