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Dec

You might want to read this article on willpower. It might get you thinking in a different direction.

Then, visit 6 changes to explore a different (and quite possibly more effective) approach.

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Nov

Our time in Slovakia could hardly have been more different from Prague. We went to work with a little mission in the village of Sus. Our hosts there are missionaries sent out by Swiss Faith Mission, so they speak German (and some English, fortunately!). The people in Sus are all farmers, so the missionaries farm too. I think our time in Sus would have been quite shocking if we hadn’t been to Guetli already. Sus is kind of like Guetli, but more primitive.

Saturday evening we sang at a church in a nearby village. I gave my camera to one of the girls from Sus, so I have lots of photos of that service (for a change). We were a little nervous about that service since it was our first time singing in Slovak, but the people were very kind (and said that they could understand us!).

Saturday was July 4th, and on the way back from our concert, we had a private celebration in our van. Amy Corey brought glow sticks, and we turned up the patriotic music. Strangely, I think it was the best July 4th celebration I’ve ever experienced. I guess being in rural Slovakia helped me see how much I should be thankful for my country.

We had our own service at the mission Sunday morning, and then Sunday afternoon we helped with the mission open house. Normally, they invite all of the village people to come over for a Bible study and have refreshments afterward. Since we were there, we sang, and then someone from the mission preached, and then we had refreshments. It was an exciting day, because lots of the village people came! Unfortunately, we didn’t get to stay to talk to people afterward because we had to be in Bratislava that evening. I think most of them probably didn’t speak English, so we couldn’t have talked much anyway.

Sunday evening we sang at a church in Bratislava, the capitol. We gave a concert after the evening service, and not everyone stayed. At first, I felt a little disappointed, but I remembered that God can work no matter what the size of the audience. We sang “It is Well” that night, and several of the audience members seemed especially moved by that song. Actually, it seemed to be a favorite all summer, in all languages.

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Nov

On Saturday (during our stay at Oranienburg), we went to Berlin! Saturday evening we gave a concert at a church on the outskirts of Berlin, but during the day, we had time to see the Pergamon Museum, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Brandenburg Gate.

Our visit to Berlin began on a disturbing note when we were accosted by a gypsy woman. (more…)

Jun

One of the that impresses me is the way our hosts take care to set a beautiful table. I confess that I usually just stick the plates and stuff on the table. I don’t do name tags or anything fancy like that. At least, I haven’t in the past. Now I have dreams about the fancy place settings in my future. I can’t wait to break out the ribbons and pretty papers when I get home!

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Apr

Earth Day is approaching, so there is lots of information floating around about what we can do to help the earth. But, this editorial about ethanol in the Wall Street Journal has me wondering. If ethanol is such a great idea, why can’t it make it without government subsidies?

Not to be paranoid, but I wonder how much of the green movement is just a sales pitch. When we read tips about helping the earth how many of those things actually help, and how many come from industries trying to get our money? How can we know if something is truly green or not?

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Mar

Sunday night Greenville got 4.5 inches of snow. That’s the most snow I remember seeing in the seven years that I’ve been here. Since snow is pretty rare for us, I enjoyed watching the flakes fall and stomping around in it a bit (even though I did have to put bags over my socks because my tennis shoes aren’t waterproof!).

The snow would have been much less enjoyable if we had lost power (like many people in the area). Snow is no fun when there’s no warm house to come back to. But we had working heat, so that wasn’t a problem.

The only downside to the snow (for me), was my daffodils. I love daffodils, and the snow crushed mine. Don’t they look tragic?

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Feb

Homelessness is one of those things that everyone cares about, but few people do anything about. So, I was pretty upset when I read this editorial about a town in California that actually is helping the homeless. What thanks do they get? A lawsuit! (more…)

Sep

I finished my master’s degree in May, then spent most of the summer traveling. As the summer ended, I started looking for a job about the time that my friends went back to their studies and teaching job. I missed the classroom, missed the fun of talking about classes with fellow students, even missed reading long assignments and writing essays. It was almost impossible to find a job that even remotely interested me.

As I contemplated this situation, I realized that my status as a student has become part of my identity. I’m a shameless academic, and even if I never go back for a Ph.D., even if I never return to the classroom, I will always be an academic.

So I’m starting this blog, partly to celebrate academics and learning for the sake of learning. I’m also documenting my transition out of life as a full-time student. For now, at least, I’m finished being a student, but I hope I never stop learning.

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