Friday, August 27, 2010

RevGalFridayFive....Back to College!

I haven't played FF in a gagillion weeks...but here I am today!
Martha writes over at RevGals,

Yesterday I returned my middle child for his second year of college. He's an experienced dorm resident, having spent two years at a boarding high school. In the lounge at the end of his floor I found a suite of This End Up furniture that took me back to my years in the Theta house at William and Mary. I remember polishing that furniture with my sorority sisters every spring, just before we headed off for Beach Week at Nags Head.

Mindful that many others are heading off to further schooling or delivering their loved ones to the institutions that provide it, here are five questions about dorm life.

1) What was the hardest thing to leave behind when you went away to school for the first time? Well, I had a car wreck a couple weeks before I was to leave for school, so I had to leave my car behind.  Other than that, I think I had everything I wanted or needed!

2) We live in the era of helicopter parents. How much fuss did your parents make when you first left home? The year, 1981.   My dad was busy with harvest, my step-dad busy with harvest, my mom wasn't all that empowered yet,  and so my youth director offered to take me. Basically, no fuss whatsoever.  I was the first in my family also to leave the state for school, but as I remember, I was pretty independent, too.

3) Share a favorite memory of living with schoolmates, whether in a dorm or other shared housing. Wow. So many.  My first year, I shared a "townhouse" with one bathroom and seven first year women.  It was crowded, but really fun.  Then, the second  year we finagled renting a house from a professor on sabbatical.  I remember many a night we would pop in Olivia Newton John's "Let's Get Physical" work out tape, complete in our leotards and legwarmers.  Oh, and boxes of wine in the fridge!  I then transferred to another school, and made friends with an amazing woman, who would be my roomie,  who taught me all about social justice, sojourners, keeping neat, and we shared a love of deep dish chicago pizza and fast scrabble.

4) What absolute necessity of college life in your day would seem hilariously out-of-date now?  An electric typewriter.

5) What innovation of today do you wish had been part of your life in college? Laptop computers, first year transition experience/classes, the internet, and netflix.

Bonus question for those whose college days feel like a long time ago: Share a rule or regulation that will seem funny now. Did you really follow it then? Both schools I attended were evangelical and conservative.  One had a no playing cards rule, both had a no dancing rule, and of course, no one allowed alcohol on or off campus.   I think they have both host dances now.  Ummm. Did I follow the no drinking rule?  Please. Just not on campus. ;-)  

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 13, 2010


A few weeks ago I started suffering from excruciating pain in my lower back--nothing like I have experienced before.  In fact, I even went to the doctor.  According to her, my disc is smooshed, and the best thing to do for it was gentle stretching, advil (although she gave me something for pain, and a muscle relaxer if I needed) and short walks during the day.  All of that helped, although I didn't think it would.

It's still...a little achey sometimes, so I decided that since the stretches worked, and they were yoga stretches, that I should go to yoga classes.

It just happened that this month, a former colleague of my beloved opened her own yoga studio, Floga Yoga.  So, went this week, on Tuesday, for the first time.

I was a little anxious.  I asked Tiffany, the owner, "this will be a beginner class, right? "   She assured me all the classes were beginner, with some challenges.

Tiffany is a great teacher. She has her own style, and oh, did I mention, that during the class, during certain poses, she comes and massages your shoulder or your neck with a cooling oil?  Pretty darn cool. 

Well, that day, I was already the fat girl in the class, with three thirty something mommies that obviously were in fabulous shape.  Plus, when have done yoga in the past, I slip all over the mat, so I wear these socks  plus biking gloves on my hands (I am an extra sweaty person) so I can hold poses.  So, now not only was I the fat girl in class, I was the nerdy fat girl with weird accessories who sweat all over the mat.  I was drippin' while everyone looked lithe and limber.

So, one of the things that Tiffany likes to work on is balance.  HAH! I can't stand on one foot to save my life...and I kept falling over.  I just kept cracking myself up, and then I was hoping I didn't distract anyone.

In spite of being self conscious, I had fun.  The mommies were not judgemental (just me on my ownself).

I went back yesterday. Falling all over the place, sweating like a...I don't know what sweats more than me.  I was still the fat nerdy girl with black socks on.  Tiffany did some crazy poses...and one I just thought I couldn't do, but everyone else was trying, so I tried, three times...and the final time, I sort of managed.  Everybody clapped.

Now I am the class mascot, too. OY!

But seriously, I have been thinking about balance, alot.  I know that balance is about core strength, physically.  As a metaphor, I am thinking about my inner core strength, and balance, in my inner life.  In my outer life, I think there is pretty good balance, but I think I have been ignoring the inner life somewhat. 

So, balance is going to be something that I am going to work on....strength...
so I can stand on one foot, and be aware of the strength and balance within...
I offer this as my prayer today.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I'm working on "noticing" more, just for the noticing of it.
I've spent the past few days in a lot of traffic, going to and from work and to meetings and beyond....
Since the radio doesn't work in the car I typically drive, there is only time for my thoughts to wander to the outside world, outside my car door.
This is what I have noticed, in no particular order:

1. It feels better to just give in to Boston Drivers.  Instead of letting their bad habits fuel my competitiveness, I have just decided to slow down (o.k., I am already going slow. Many people complain of my granny driving skills) and let who ever wants to cut in front me, do so.  It feels good to wave people by.  Many are surprised.
Especially the car behind me who honks impatiently ;-)

2.  In Medford Square, I noticed two bikers cross each others path and share a smile of understanding and comradeship. I couldn't see the thought bubble above their heads, but I imagined it saying something like, "Yeah, look at us, the cool dudes, saving gas, getting exercise, and getting to work faster than the rest of these traffic losers"  Well, they looked too nice to say losers, but you never can tell.

3.  In Porter Square, I watched a pregnant woman cross the street with two children clinging to her hands.  Each child, about five or so--they could have been twins, or friends, her kids or not,-- but each had a balloon tied to their wrist.  The woman looked so happy, with a look that said, "all is right with the world."  The children were adorable, proudly walking with their beautiful balloons, flapping in the wind.
Don't you remember the glory of a helium balloon when you were a kid?

4. I noticed a lot of faces in cars.  Some looked so worn down; others were animated while talking on their cells.  Some faces were creased with hard work or years, others sported shiny lipgloss and eyeshadow.  All those people going places, going somewhere, with lives as full and generous and painful and important and loving and empty and vulnerable as the next person's.
So much life.
So fragile and precious.
It's no wonder it is God's good pleasure to give to us the kin-dom.
Look at how much we all need it, in spite of ourselves.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

walk of shame.... the pharmacy, yesterday.
I am now officially labeled "high cholesterol" and must take a pill for it.

oh, I know it was inevitable. In spite of quitting pizza three months ago, and eating healthy and stuff.

it's in my genes,
both sides of my family.

but still...sigh. don't like it much!