Tuesday, October 28, 2008

my favorite sub

7305 days.

A lot--most, in fact--of these days that I have lived have blurred together into one big mass of memory. Lessons, friends, weather, vacations, exams, meals, lectures, relatives, school years. They come and go, some with but a whisper of an impact on you. So fleeting. But some things are different. Some people are different.

One February day during my junior year of high school I walked into Physiology. Mrs. Abbott, probably off on some HOSA conference or something, was gone and had left us to a sub. Great. Every student in the public school system knows what a joke substitute teachers are. Their main job is just to hold down the fort and make sure no one gets killed until the real teacher can get back and restore order and learning to the classroom. It also didn't help much that it was 4th period and we all just wanted to go to lunch. I hoped we'd just watch some science movie reviewing the action potential or something like that, so then we wouldn't get confused with all this new material from someone who hadn't taken science for at least a couple decades, let alone taught it. Like that old guy we had as a sub the two times before that Mrs. Abbott was gone. From my seat in the back of the classroom, I scrutinized our sub, my opinion already formed.

Oh how I was mistaken.

She was youngish (for sure less than 10 years older than us), looked pretty spunky, and had short (and I mean short) spiky hair. We were learning about cancer that day, and she was going to give the lecture. (I sighed. No animated action potential movie today.) I'm sure she welcomed us to class and introduced herself, but I don't remember her name, where she was from, what she was doing with her life, why she was a substitute teacher at age 23 (or however old she was), or how Mrs. Abbott knew her. But, I do remember two things about her.

1. She was a breast cancer survivor.
2. She was one of the happiest people I have ever met in my life.

I will never forget her attitude. It sounds cliche, I know. "Attitude is everything" blah blah blah. But all I know is that I left class that day reeling inside. How could she be that happy? She had been diagnosed with breast cancer at age 19, experienced tremendous amounts of pain, survived chemotherapy, lost her hair, and all those other baggage items that go with cancer. And on top of that, she was only a couple years older than me. Only 5% of all cases of breast cancer occur in women under 40 years old. She didn't deserve this. She didn't ask for it. But, in spite of it all, she seriously emanated happiness, contentness, and joy. She was so dang happy! It caught us all by surprise; it accused me in my own personal "woes." Or at least...what I had previously considered as woes. Suddenly having to lead sectionals where it seemed like no one cared about becoming a better musician, Mom making me clean the bathroom on Saturday nights when I was about to walk out the door, and that looming research paper for English didn't seem quite so...pertinent. Or important. I will forever be grateful for her example of hope. I'm sorry I don't remember her name. She never knew she inspired me, and she probably never will. One thing her memory has taught me, though, is that if people have influenced me for good, I want them to know about it. And I want you, my faithful readers :), to know about it. Thank you. Apart from making my site counter look impressively high and leaving comment after comment on my lists-turned-blogs, you are my family and friends, and each of you really has shaped me, has touched my life in a way, big or small, that you may or may not realize. Thanks! I love who I am, and I love the people I am around and have opportunities to associate with! You are all such great examples to me. Thanks for letting me mooch off your greatness.


He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Monday, October 27, 2008


G. Bogin

On the first day of Philosophy 148, a small girl walked in,
freckled, solemn, cute, whom I liked right off.

Next time, our eyes met and she smiled a little.
I was already in love.

I always tried to arrive before she did so I could watch her
coming through the doorway, each time loving her more.

She began to look at me, too, hoping for a word, I suppose,
but when our eyes met mine would drop.

Once I heard her ask someone for a pencil.
I passed mine back without turning or speaking.

Spring came and we saw each other on campus
open-throated, wordless, everywhere.

On the last day of exam week I was reading at the far end
of the Philosophy Library. Not a soul there but the librarian.
Dust in the sunbeams. End of college.

The door opened. It was my girl. I looked down.

In all that empty library she came to my side,
to the very next chair. Sweet springtime love.
Lovely last chance first love.

I could have taken her by the hand and walked the whole 60 blocks
to the piers right onto a steamer to France or somewhere,
but I said nothing and after a while got up and walked out into middle age.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

service: it does the body good

One of my best friends shared this quote with me when I was having a rough day a couple of weeks ago.

"The sure way to peace and happiness in this life and life hereafter is to serve the Lord today and everyday."

--Marion G Romney

Why is it so hard to remember. It is so simple. But still, sometimes I forget. I think about the studying I need to do, ingredients I need to buy for dinner group, my messy room I need to clean, and a myriad of other things.

When I'm caught up in my own insignificant woes and troubles, I need to read this.

And this.

And, finally, this.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

death by midterms

I have 3 midterms in the next 24 hours!!!!!!!

Who wants to speak at my funeral?

Monday, October 20, 2008

getting reacquainted

I slept for 10 hours last night. 9:30 pm - 7:30 am.

It was marvelous.

And, from the way things are looking, it won't happen again this semester, unfortunately.

Oh well, it was simply divine while it lasted.

And it was nice to get reacquainted with my bed.

Friday, October 17, 2008

some things that made me smile today

-an American pronouncing Spanish with a French accent
-walking home and then realizing I rode my bike to campus today...
-a vase of flowers on the doorstep
-talking to Carolyn
-coming home and discovering Kristen and Suzanne in the same bed watching some cheerleading TV show that hasn't been on the air since the 80's
-reaffirming that cleaning checks aren't until next weekend
-playing the usual game of phone tag with Krista Is Hot
-raspberry and cheesecake ice cream
-adorning my apartment with Halloween decorations
-threatening Robb Hays for insulting my Linford girls
-acquisition of a new brownie recipe
-hearing how Mom and Dad are doing from my boss
-an unexpected blogging friend
-finding a burnt bag of popcorn on my doorstep
-hearing awful grammar mistakes in gospel Spanish by kids my age who are trying so hard
-a friend who can text with his eyes closed (this friend is really cute and has stains on his pants; furthermore, he's taking me out tomorrow evening :)

Monday, October 06, 2008

by request

(Last Tuesday) ComD 334 Basic Hearing Science: 81% + 6% curve = 87%. Okay but I should have done better.
(Last Friday) ComD 230 Language Science: 94%. I totally rocked this one. Determiner, intensifier, particle, prepositional phrase anyone?
(this morning) Spanish 206: TBA. Just finished it, probably a B. I don't deserve higher, though, so I won't complain I guess. Good thing I studied with Kim.
(tomorrow) PDBio 220 aka Anatomy: hopefully a passing score...? This will be the hardest of all my midterms, by far. And I'm just about to start studying for it. Yeesh.
(Wednesday) D&C: take-home, open scripture, but it'll possibly be a long beast.
(Thursday) Homecoming Spectacular: Celebration of me surviving 5 midterms in all 5 of my classes!