Wednesday, May 25, 2011

160+ Kids

I got an email from a good friend today regarding mission work in Malawi:

We've had a recent grad there, Stephanie, since August who has jumped into teaching at the local school and working with the school feeding program. Because we recently started serving a meal to all the children who come to school, attendance has more than doubled! There are now over 800 students who come to school and only 9 teachers. Stephanie is teaching the 160+ kindergarten kids! Can you imagine?!?

I could easily see me doing something like that and never coming back.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A little confused

I have a problem with being extremely intuitive about people.
I notice tiny, subtle details that normally go unnoticed; the pensive pause after a particular sentence, the sudden glance down, the unusually sparkling eyes, the fiddling with a pencil, the quiet insecurity that comes off to others as arrogance. Somehow, I see dozens of minute details and assemble them into a coherent portrait of a person and their needs.

It can be a problem though. Take tonight, for instance. A small group of friends and I went out to eat and as we talked and laughed, I couldn't help but watch them. One in particular, I noticed, was quiet. Pensive. We'd laugh and he'd just smile. The others didn't notice, but he chewed slowly and his eyes were fleetingly sad. We talked on of school and old, lost loves, but deep within me, I felt the small weight of his unnamed despondency. Minutes later he was back to his usual self and the night progressed excellently - it was great fun and we all had a wonderful time.

I later made the mistake of asking him about it...and that's where my problem comes in. I notice something's not right, or uneasy, and I say something. My friends don't need me making sure they're emotionally okay. People want friends, not mothers. How do you find that balance between being a good friend and caring too much? How do you care and yet not be too-attentive? Mothering? Fussy?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday morning

The toaster is ticking away and the eggs are crackling on the stovetop. Jesse Cook is serenading me with a South American, rhumba version of Simon and Garfunkle's "Cecilia" and it makes me want to dance. I'm making eggs benedict for the fourth morning in a row. I feel like Remy when I muse about the delicious way the smoked gouda, toasted english muffin, and the eggs I collected this morning combine to create a delectable breakfast.

School is out and this Friday morning is perfect. In every way.
The house is silent; empty except for my quiet, barefoot pattering. The sunshine is warm and beckons me outside...what a treat after days of grey skies and cold rain. My book came in from the library, "Ways of War and Peace: Realism, Liberalism, and Socialism" and I can't wait to dive into its pages. I've decided this summer will be an experiment in voracious reading - there's so much I wish I knew. I'm trying not to feel incredibly intimidated by the level of academic thought and intellectualism at UCSD...I want to catch myself up on a variety of issues before I go in September. And besides, this kind of reading is *fascinating*, so it's really an exciting "assignment" for myself.

And to top everything off, my new longboard is scheduled to arrive today! I'm on pins and needles waiting for that beautiful, brown and gold UPS truck to pull up to my door and deliver my package. Any moment now!

Yes. Today is so very beautiful.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Intriguing Humanity

If you take the time, you'll notice the dark circles under his eyes. He stayed up all night studying for finals.
If you take the time, you'll sense how she glows. Every sparkle in her eye betrays her secret love.
If you take the time, you'll notice the old man's limp. Since the war, he's never walked the same.
If you take the time, you'll notice the bruises beneath her sleeve. She's too scared to ask for help.
If you take the time, you'll notice his too-frequent laugh. He craves affirmation and acceptance.
If you take the time, you'll notice his nails. He's a desperate addict who knows nothing else.
If you take the time, you'll see how she beams. Her graduation ceremony is just hours away.

I was on register again today at work and suddenly I was face to face with dozens of strangers. As I scanned in their books, I watched them. Quietly. Without them noticing. People are so fascinating and beautiful - their eyes, their smiles, the way they sign their name. I love talking with them, learning a little about them, lending an ear to their frustrations or excitement. For a brief five minutes or so, our lives have intersected and that's something marvelous.

What shall we use to fill the empty spaces where we used to talk? How shall I fill the final places? How should I complete the wall? -Pink Floyd

People are beautiful, even in their weaknesses and faults. That's what makes us human.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Birthday Hail

Ever since I was little, I've adored thunderstorms. I love kneeling on the couch, nose pressed to the window, watching the rain pound on the driveway and lightening rip across the sky. When I was younger, my sister and I would stay up late into the night counting the seconds between the lightening and clap of thunder, and we'd shiver with excitement when we thought it was just a couple miles away.

2011 hadn't had an official thunderstorm....until today. Today I woke up to the sound of pouring rain and thunder! On my birthday! And then, to add to the sheer awesomeness of the thunderstorm, it hailed like there was no tomorrow!

It looked like it had snowed for a brief 10 minutes or so before the rain melted the hail away, and it was *beautiful*. Since when are there thunderstorms in May? And since when does it hail in May? And since when does it lightening and thunder and hail on your birthday??

Mmhm. That was so awesome.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One more week

If I can make it through one more week, I will have made it through the toughest semester of my entire academic life. And that's no exaggeration.

I've gotten three hours of sleep in the past two days. I'm so incredibly haggard.

One more week, and then I can sleep. And sleep.

And Risa can come back. She's been gone for months now.

Monday, May 2, 2011


I am officially a Triton.

Can I just explode with happiness??

Come Fall, I'll be here:

The UCSD Campus

My library!