jennywren: (At table with computer)
( Sunday, August 30th, 2009 05:43 pm)
I've been thinking a lot about school lately, particularly math. I'm sure a big part of that is that I work at Staples, an office supply store, where the back to school season is almost like Black (Green) Friday (the day after Thanksgiving, when the holiday shopping season officially begins), except that it is nearly that busy spread out over weeks. I do not remember school supply buying being such a big deal when I was in school. I mean I always loved getting new pens and pencils and especially fresh notebooks with all those empty pages. We never spent that much on stuff, and reused what we could from year to year (or even from generation to generation -- I used some of my mom's old binders). Molly (who is working at least temporarily at Staples, too) and I have seen so many kids (well, okay, mostly their parents) shelling out the bucks for graphing calculators, the TI-84s. When I was in school (I'm already starting to feel old when I say that phrase -- I graduated high school in 1993, only 16 years ago!), we didn't need or use graphing calculators until Calculus. Back then, it was the TI-81, and the school actually provided the calculators for the students in that class. Most of us (our parents) wouldn't have had the $80-$100+ plus that the TI-81s cost back in 1992-1993, nor enjoyed having to drive at least an hour to find a place that sold them. (My family especially, since we were getting by with free school lunches and forever hand-me-downs!) I remember the 6-8 of us who braved calculus my senior year, sitting in Mrs. Scott's classroom or working out problems together on the the board. I'm not sure I could remember the calculus we learned then, but I remember studying it.

This memory brings me to the other main reason I've been thinking about school and math. I found out this week that my high school math teacher, Mrs. Rochelle Scott, died on August 24th. I've been reading over her obituary and the memories others have shared on her tribute page. It has brought back many memories of Mrs. Scott.

-- I took a lot classes from Mrs. Scott, including algebra II, pre-calculus, and calculus, basic and advanced computer programing (We only used BASIC on Apple IIes. The school got its first Macs at the end of the year I graduated. Mrs. Scott used to tell us about the first computer classes she taught with the big boxes. The students would make their punch cards and once a week drive to to a school about an hour away to run their punch cards through a computer. If there were any mistakes, it was another week before they could try again.)

-- Mrs. Scott was also the newspaper adviser. I was the editor or co-editor of the school newspaper for 3-4 years. We spent lots of time before and after school typing, cutting and pasting (literally) the newspaper together. She would even drive me to school or home later, if we needed to work on the paper. I remember riding along in her zippy, sporty red car (weren't there a few tickets for speeding/not wearing a seat belt in her history :) ?) along those 11 miles from Burt to Sentral School, a school out in the middle of a cornfield (except for the years it was in the middle of a bean field). I was incredible naive, and her careful eye kept me from printing coded innuendos the columnists tried to sneak into their articles.

-- Mrs. Scott made math class so much fun, but we learned so much. She stuck with us and helped us all get the concepts, spending so many extra hours with students. She was always lively and energetic, with a spark in her eyes. Her enthusiasm was contagious! She was also a live wire, a fire brand -- I learned a lot of colorful expressions from her. After tests, we would work on puzzles from Puzzle magazine.

-- Many people have talked about how Mrs. Scott would work with students got the concepts, spending countless hours with us. I think this is fantastic of her. We went to a school where the teachers really strove to leave no student behind. Memorably I remember spending two months studying adverbs in English class, as Mr. Hansen tried to help everyone grasp the usage of adverbs. Our small school had the opportunity to help each student learn the things they needed.

-- Mrs. Scott and her family were also members of the same church we were members of. She sang alto in the church choir.

Wow, so many memories! I'm sure so many more will continue to come to me, but I just wanted to share a bit about Rochelle Scott, who touched my life and lives of so many students over the years. I can't believe she's gone already, but she lived a full life.

(This entry was largely written in my head at work as I sat for hours removing the staples from packets, adding a page, and re-stapling the packets -- over 700 times. Don't ask!)

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jennywren: (writing)
( Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 11:34 am)
Since I haven't posted here in so long (Sorry :( -- I wish I would), I thought I'd post this list of 25 random things I wrote over on Facebook.

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

1. I’ve been reading these “Random Things” postings with interest. I’ve been both eagerly anticipating and dreading getting tagged. I can be very random :)

2. I have two middle names: Kirsten Lael. The story is that I was going to be an only child, so my parents wanted to use lots of names. I do have two younger siblings now. If I had been a boy, they would have named me James Christopher Ian and called me Jamie.

3. Names and words and language and languages are among the things that fascinate me most. I grew up playing word games and talking about words in my family. I majored in languages and linguistics in college. I have a Master’s in linguistics and a Master's from seminary where I focused on biblical languages (Hebrew and Greek). I want to go on to do a doctoral degree that focuses on language in some way :)

4. I live in a great townhouse apartment right by the Olentangy River. The windows in the bedroom and the living room look out on the river, so I have lots of opportunity to watch the wildlife and the seasons change. Across the river is a steep wooded embankment, so the view is fairly perfect. We have some bird feeders on our patio which help to bring the wildlife to us.

5. I am a double PK (preacher’s/pastor’s kid), even though my parents weren’t clergy at the same time. The fact that my parents were in the ministry is part of how I ended up in seminary, but it is also why I would have never considered ministry except for God’s calling me and pushing me.

6. I was extremely shy and quiet in school. It has taken me a long time to be less shy with people and less inhibited. I still like to think things out before I say anything serious, but I also can be quite wacky and uninhibited with people who know me well. I can speak with strangers, esp. since it is part of my job, but I do still have a quiet voice.

7. Because my parents were in the ministry (and itinerant United Methodists), we moved around a bit while I was growing up. I was born in Washington state, but we lived on the other side of the Columbia River in Ranier, OR. We also lived in Sutherlin, OR; Webster and Black Earth, WI; Evanston, IL; Burt, Pleasantville, Rockford, and Osceola, IA. I went to college in Mt. Vernon, IA, and grad school in Iowa City, IA, before I moved to Delaware, OH, for seminary.

8. My parents divorced when I was 12 (the divorce was finalized on my 12th birthday). Growing up I never thought divorce would happen to my family, but it has been a reality for almost 22 years now.

9. My mom and I have enjoyed a very close relationship for a long time. I do wish I had a closer relationship with my dad. I don’t want to regret all these things I’m missing out on.

10. In high school I had over 100 pen pals from around the world. When I went to college, I no longer had enough time to keep up with them, so I lost contact with them all. It still makes me sad :( (If I could find my address book, I’d try to find some of them again.)

11. I’ve always wanted to grow up to be a writer, but I seem to lack the discipline to do the writing I need to do. When I was in elementary school, I received an award for being the best writer, and the principal, Mr. Plath, said he hoped he’d read one of my books someday.

12. I seem to have a good memory for some details of my past.

13. My two favorite applications on Facebook are Live Gifts and Hatchlings. And, yes, I do spend way too much time on Facebook!

14. In high school I had a teacher who said I was too idealistic. That has really stuck with me. I’ve thought that idealism is a very positive thing, and I have come to terms with what it means to be too idealistic. Thanks, Mr. Garman.

15. My high school English teacher taught us mostly grammar (as opposed to writing and literature). It may have been dull at times (esp. spending a month on adverbs one year), but it has helped me to be a better writer and has been a great foundation for learning languages other than English. Thanks, Mr. Hansen!

16. I’ve studied French, Spanish, German, Latin, classical Greek, Hebrew, biblical Greek, a smattering of other Greek dialects, and a tiny bit of Japanese. I am only fluent in English.

17. For a while, my goal was to work with endangered languages, like Native American/First Nations languages. Endangered languages are those that are in danger of being lost because fewer and fewer people use them anymore. For many of these languages a few elders might speak the language but the children aren’t learning or using the language at all. I studied linguistics with this in mind. Unfortunately I got burned out in grad school, but I am still excited by languages and linguistics.

18. I was so clueless in high school. I was an academic nerd who was into reading. I was the newspaper editor, but I didn’t really know what was going on with my classmates. I wasn’t too strongly connected with them. Part of it was probably that I was a PK and I didn’t drive or really care about going out, but mostly I was just naive. I didn’t hang out with people very much and I wasn’t invited to “those” parties, so I didn’t know what was really going on. But I had a happy, innocent childhood ;)

19. I had one boyfriend in high school, if you can call going to the Homecoming Dance together and talking some on the phone having a boyfriend. He was someone new to school who was made fun of by the other kids (he had curly hair, so they called him Cornelius). I have often tried to connect to people who are outside the action or who are quieter than me, so we started talking and getting to know each other. He moved away about two weeks after he had moved in, so that was the end of that.

20. I have synesthesia. It is a condition in which input to one sense is perceived by additional senses as well. For example, freezer burn smells green to me, while sour milk smells pink. Some sounds have taste and color to me. (See for more information on synesthesia). Some people see synesthesia as a liability, but I see it as an advantage, esp. creatively. I didn’t realize that the letters and numbers didn’t have colors and personalities for everyone. I didn’t know that time (weeks, months, years) didn’t have shapes for everyone. One of my best friends in the world Dannye was studying synesthesia as part of her doctoral program in neuroscience. She was the one who made me aware that not everyone perceived things the way I did and that there was a name for what I experienced. I think synesthesia is cool!

21. My house is filled with books. A place just doesn’t feel homelike without walls lined with overflowing shelves. My parents are both readers and instilled a love of reading in us very early on. I grew up surrounded with books, so I feel comforted by their presence. I haven’t by any stretch read all the books I have, but it is good to know that they are here when I do want to read them. When we drove to Iowa this past summer, we filled the car up with another load of books that I had been storing in Iowa City, but we haven’t found a place for them all yet in the apartment. I almost always have more books than reasonably fit in my living space :) I love having books at home, but I also love libraries!

22. I’ve been out of the United States twice, both times to Canada. When I was studying in Grand Forks, ND, one summer with the Summer Institute of Linguistics, my friend April took a few of us to her home on Lake of the Woods, Ontario for the 4th of July weekend. In October 2007, Molly and I took a camping trip around Lake Erie, through Niagara Falls, around in Ontario (with trips to the African Lion Safari, Lake Ontario, and Lake Huron), and back down through Detroit. I’d love to travel more and see so many parts of the world, but I am also a huge homebody and miss my cats terribly when I am not home.

23. We currently have three cats, Sparky, Michela, and Zephyr. We had a gerbil, Rosie, up until a few days before Christmas. I almost always had cats growing up, though we also had one dog, a lhasa apso named Olie, as well as a few hamsters and gerbils and fish. Some of the cats we had (as well as some influential neighborhood cats) include Nicky and Tasha (Nicholi and Natasha), Orange Julius, Pooky, Mariah, Jenny Baldren, Annie Katrina, Lady Sassafras (Sassy), Fridley, Avagadro Phogg, Ghengis Khat (my brother’s Scottish Fold), Maya Sarahcat (my sister’s first cat), Sara Lee (her second cat), Emma, Lady Jane Grey and her kittens, Madd Maxx (and I’m sure I’ve forgotten some). When I lived in Iowa City, my apartment didn’t allow pets, but my neighbor had a cat named Scout, who would come visit from time to time.

24. I also love tigers and other big cats. One of the nicknames my parents gave me as a child was Lael Lion.

25. I can be terribly longwinded in writing (and I do talk a lot to some people). This surprises the people who know me as a quiet and not very talkative person. However, this list has shown me rambling on and on about random things :)

Also, it was really hard to choose just 25 of you that I want to know more about, so feel free to try it out, even if I didn't tag you :) And you don't have to go on and on like I did either, unless you want to :)
jennywren: (oak tree)
( Thursday, August 28th, 2008 01:30 pm)
I know it has been forever since I posted. Since graduation I've been trying to find a job, and I haven't yet. As the bank account sinks, I get more and more depressed. It is hard to be motivated.

Other than needing a job and income, our summer has gone fairly well. We went to Iowa for the 4th of July, because my family was having a family reunion and an early 80th birthday open house for my grandma. It was good to see so much of the family and to introduce Molly (also nerve wracking in anticipation). I have pictures, which I will post one of these days. We stopped in Iowa City and had time to visit with a few friends (Dannye & family, Kris & John, etc.) and pick up the books I'd been storing there. Some of those are now at my mom's house, but the rest are piled in our living/dining room while we try to figure out where to put them. I am also slowly adding them to LibraryThing. Iowa City (as well as much of Iowa) was just beginning clean up after the flood waters had gone down. It was hard to see the damage. We also drove through my old neighborhood, which is recovering from a tornado a few years ago. That was hard, too. I took Molly up to Mt. Vernon and showed her Cornell College, my alma mater. I still haven't been able to show her the University of Iowa library where I worked, because this visit it was still closed from the flooding. It was a good trip, despite high gas prices.

I am spending most of my online time on facebook these days. I know, I know. . .
I spend most of that time on one application, Live Gifts. It is a simple one: adopt a picture of an animal, feed and care for it so it doesn't die. You can mingle your pets with other peoples and adopt the starving pets of others, etc. Apparently it is addictive :p I've met some neat people thought. Plus facebook has a bunch of word games I like playing.

I'm doing some reading for fun, too. That is nice. And supposedly looking at PhD programs, but it is hard to be motivated about that when I don't have a job right now. I've been trying for a library job. I have applications in all over the place, and I've had a couple of interviews. This week I interviewed for a library job at a fancy downtown Columbus law firm. Very nice. I hope to hear soon.

I'll try to update here more often, but I offer no guarantees :) I hope you all are hanging in there, too.

jennywren: (At table with computer)
( Thursday, May 8th, 2008 11:55 pm)
Dear Friends,

I am sorry I haven't been in touch lately, but I'd like to share an update with you now.

We've kept busy this year. Our schedule has been very different, since Molly has been doing her field education at an inner-city church in Cleveland, commuting 2-hours one way, at least twice a week, since June. We've both also been continuing our work-study jobs at the MTSO library. This year I've been studying Biblical Greek. In the fall I took classes on the book of Genesis and on women in the New Testament world. This spring I've had an independent study looking at some themes in some of the earliest Gospel writings (Q, Thomas, and Mark).

The big new is that we are graduating on May 17th! I'm finishing my Master's of Theological Studies (MTS), while Molly is finishing her Master's of Divinity (MDiv). We will be staying here for another year while Molly finishes her second degree, a Master's of Counseling Ministries (MACM). She will be doing clinical pastoral education (CPE) as a chaplain in a hospital setting, followed by a practicum in the same setting. I am hoping to find a good job here (full time, with insurance, please!) while I check out PhD programs. I hope to be able to begin doctoral studies in the Fall of 2009. With this degree I would like to be able to teach biblical languages (among other things), perhaps in a seminary setting.

I hope to be able to keep you updated. Please feel free to pass my update on to other friends who are interested. I hope to hear how you are doing as well :)

Thank you for your prayers and support during my seminary journey.

jennywren: (spinning earth)
( Sunday, April 27th, 2008 08:19 pm)
I'm trying to finish my last semester of seminary. I graduate on May 17th. I just haven't been on much and probably won't be until after I finish my work. We'll see. I hope to post an update. I miss reading about all of you.

jennywren: (cat with pencils)
( Thursday, March 13th, 2008 01:37 pm)
Haiku2 for jennywren129
always trying to
find one nice tree y somewhat
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Created by Grahame

Haiku2 for jennywren129
me into a room
and which i need to see the
fish this morning i
Created by Grahame

Haiku2 for jennywren129
the semester the
end of the semester and
the human spirit
Created by Grahame

Haiku2 for jennywren129
idiots who run our
apartment complex cut down
this tree the worst part
Created by Grahame
A word after a word after a word is power. -Margaret Atwood, poet and novelist (b. 1939)

When I give people food, they call me a saint. When I ask why there is no food, they call me a communist. Dom Helder Câmara, archbishop of Recife, Brazil

If I am hungry, that is a physical problem; if my neighbor is hungry, that is a spiritual problem. Nicolai Berdyaev

"I made a peculiar prayer. It's a prayer that sometimes I say, one that is perhaps self-serving, but because I believe that God is not limited by time and space as we are, I believe perhaps he can influence the past even though it has already happened. So sometimes when I'm alone, especially at night, in the dark, and I begin to dwell on the suffering that people have probably experienced before their deaths, I ask God to retroactively relieve their pain, to be with them in body and mind, to numb their senses, to cool whatever flame licked at their eyes in their final moments." James Lee Burke

"Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt." Paul Tillich

"Here is my advice to Christians who want to influence people like me: be open to reaching out to people who disagree with you, instead of forcing us to adopt your beliefs in order to win your approval." - Hemant Mehta, atheist author of `I Sold My Soul on eBay'

"When I was a delegate at the 1975 Assembly of the World Council of Churches I found over and over again that it was when we said what we really meant, expressing ourselves and our viewpoints most clearly, that real fellowship and trust came about — not when we hid the light of truth under a bushel of tolerance. - Anglican theologian N.T. Wright.

"When faith simplifies things that need to remain complex instead of giving us strength to live with complexity, when it gives answers where none exist, instead of helping us appreciate the sacredness of living with questions, when it offers certainty when there needs to be doubt, and when it tells us that we have arrived when we should still be searching - then there is a problem with that faith." - Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, author of the new book "You Don't Have to be Be Wrong for Me to Be Right."

"One of the most sublime experiences we can ever have is to wake up feeling healthy after we have been sick." - Rabbi Harold Kushner

"You cannot avoid paradise. You can only avoid seeing it." - Charlotte Joko Beck, Zen teacher and author.

"If you ever expect to get a reservation in heaven, you will have to have a letter of recommendation from the poor.” - James Forbes, former pastor of Riverside Church in New York City.

"This is the most beautiful place on earth. There are many such places. Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary. A houseboat in Kashmir, a view down Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, a gray gothic farmhouse two stories high at the end of a red dog road in the Allegheny Mountains, a cabin on the shore of a blue lake in spruce and fir country, a greasy alley near the Hoboken waterfront, or even, possibly, for those of a less demanding sensibility, the world to be seen from a comfortable apartment high in the tender, velvety smog of Manhattan, Chicago, Paris, Tokyo, Rio or Rome — there's no limit to the human capacity for the homing sentiment." - From the beginning of Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

"Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -- Anton Chekov

"I’ve always been a bit more comfortable with my subconscious and not so comfortable when I think about things too much. It’s like when I doodle. That’s when I know it means something to me on some weird level, as opposed to sitting down with the idea of drawing a skeleton. Say I’m on the phone, just sitting around, doodling. I’ll look at what I’ve done and think, Oh, that’s a strange character. Then I’ll notice myself doing it over and over. Those are the ones that have the most power for me, because they’re coming from within." -- Tim Burton, from What I've Learned (Esquire, Jan. 2008).

A book is a gift. No matter how poorly written it is, or if we don’t like it—we think it’s simplistic or if we find it to be odious—someone did spend time working on this. Someone did take a part of their lives to make this happen. Even in the most kind of nonsense, banal books there is a note of grace in it…As a kid, I was just reading. And I never lost that sense that sometimes there are terrible books which for me produce really pleasing results in my mind and in my heart. And sometimes there are incredibly brilliant books that don’t do any of that. And I think I had to have a much more generous sense of what reading means and what it can do. Junot Díaz

"Humanity's always been uncomfortable with zero and the void. The ancient Greeks declared them unnatural and unreal. Theologians argued that God's first act was to banish the void by the act of creating the universe ex nihilo, and Middle-Ages thinkers tried to ban zero and the other Arabic 'ciphers.' But the emptiness is all around us — most of the universe is void. Even as we huddle around our hearths and invent stories to convince ourselves that the cosmos is warm and full and inviting, nothingness stares back at us with empty eye sockets." --Charles Seife, author of Zero: The Biography Of A Dangerous Idea

"An original writer is not one who imitates no one, but whom no one can imitate." --Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand

“There are very few ideas worth talking about. Those ideas are good for all times, but unless a poet has a new way of dealing with those ideas, they become commonplace. And new insights, new connections, are inseparable from their language, which is why a paraphrase of a poem always sounds banal.” - Lisel Mueller

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy? Mahatma Gandhi

Society is composed of two great classes: those who have more dinners than
appetite, and those who have more appetite than dinners. Sebastien-Roch-Nicolas de Chamfort, writer (1741-1794)

"Believe that the Universe holds a whole lot for you, and it will. Believe it holds very little, and disappointment will be your constant companion." - Barbara Berg

In the common words we use every day, souls of past races, the thoughts and feelings of individual men stand around us, not dead, but frozen into their attitudes like the couriers in the garden of the Sleeping Beauty. Owen Barfield, author (1898-1997)
jennywren: (At table with computer)
( Sunday, March 9th, 2008 08:48 pm)
Someday, I will finish uploading the photos from our October trip to Canada -- I promise! Today I posted a few more snow pictures of the snow and Henrietta, our snow woman.

One of my pictures of Niagara Falls was chosen to be in the Schmap Niagara Falls Guide! I hope you'll check it out.

Niagara Parks Commission

I also found this link full of photos of beautiful libraries at Curious Expeditions. From the post:

"Everyone has some kind of place that makes them feel transported to a magical realm. For some people it’s castles with their noble history and crumbling towers. For others it’s abandoned factories, ivy choked, a sense of foreboding around every corner. For us here at Curious Expeditions, there has always been something about libraries. Row after row, shelf after shelf, there is nothing more magical than a beautiful old library."
jennywren: (spinning earth)
( Saturday, March 8th, 2008 05:47 pm)

Our snow dragon
Originally uploaded by JennyWren129
Since we are having a blizzard and 15+ inches of snow, Molly decided we should build a snow person, which ended up being this snow dragon. For a while it looked like Zephyr, but it morphed into this lovely dragon.

It has nostrils of sunflower seeds, wings of dried tomato fronds, and eyes and horns of dried tomato leaves. (Its secret heart is a bird feather.)

We went out to feed the many birds who have been around this winter. Of course the feeders were not full when the blizzard hit, and the seed we bought this week is still in the trunk of Molly's car (under all that snow!).

We are enjoying our snow day, especially since we didn't have to go anywhere today (Level 3 snow emergency). Molly isn't going to Cleveland tomorrow either. They will have at least this much snow.

As I am writing this, it is 5:45, and the snow has finally stopped and it looks like the sun is coming out. This was the blizzard of 2008.

(oh, and click the picture to see the rest of the pictures I took today.)
"Writing fiction has developed in me an abiding respect for the unknown in a human lifetime and a sense of where to look for the threads, how to follow, how to connect, find in the thick of the tangle what clear line persists." --Eudora Welty

"A first sentence must deliver everything, always at once. The writing must satisfy, must be like spoonfuls of the most delicious soup. Every scoop has the full taste of the whole and the bowl is full and you want your way to the bottom." --Robert Olmstead

Every man feels instinctively that all the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action. -James Russell Lowell, poet, editor, and diplomat (1819-1891)

"I have never written a book that was not born out of a question I needed to answer for myself." --May Sarton

"Convince yourself that a rejection of your work is not a rejection of you. If they reject something, I bounce something right back. If I'd used similar methods in college, I'd have had a lot more dates." --Ron Goulart

"For several days after my first book was published, I carried it about in my pocket and took surreptitious peeps at it to make sure the ink had not faded." --Sir James M. Barrie

"You've got to love libraries. You've got to love books. You've got to love poetry. You've got to love everything about literature. Then, you can pick the one thing you love most and write about it." --Ray Bradbury

"Horror fiction is not merely creating unease or suspense, nor is it simply letting emotions both light and dark bleed all over the page. It should convey the genuine sense of tragedy that hangs over all our lives; it should scare the reader, yes, of course, no arguments, but there has to be a sense and threat of genuine loss connected to that fear. True horror should leave you wrung out, physically and emotionally. The best of it can even change you, if you'll let it. It's the only form of storytelling that allows you to reach in and affect the reader on a private, primal level -- the only one that ultimately counts." --Gary Braunbeck

"Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand." --George Orwell

"It is important to tell a good story, but it's critical to have memorable characters." --Janet Evanovich

Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Language is the apparel in which your thoughts parade in public. Never clothe them in vulgar and shoddy attire. -George W. Crane

A belief which leaves no place for doubt is not a belief; it is a superstition. -Jose Bergamin, author (1895-1983)

A good listener helps us overhear ourselves. - Yahia Lababidi, author (b. 1973)

If you wish to be loved, show more of your faults than your virtues. Edward Bulwer-Lytton, author (1803-1873)

I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way. -Edgar Guest, poet (1881-1959)

Evil is like a shadow - it has no real substance of its own, it is simply a lack of light. You cannot cause a shadow to disappear by trying to fight it, stamp on it, by railing against it, or any other form of emotional or physical resistance. In order to cause a shadow to disappear, you must shine light on it. -Shakti Gawain, teacher and author (b. 1948)

One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper patterns at the right moment. -Hart Crane, poet (1899-1932)

Crown: A headgear that makes the head superfluous. -Gabriel Laub, author (1928-1998)

The living language is like a cow-path: it is the creation of the cows themselves, who, having created it, follow it or depart from it according to their whims or their needs. From daily use, the path undergoes change. A cow is under no obligation to stay. -E.B. White, writer (1899-1985)

It is not life and wealth and power that enslave men, but the cleaving to life and wealth and power. -Buddha (c. 563-483 BCE)

If your morals make you dreary, depend on it, they are wrong. -Robert Louis Stevenson, novelist, essayist, and poet (1850-1894)

Life consists in what a man is thinking of all day. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

I need someone to protect me from all the measures they take in order to protect me. -Banksy, street artist (b. 1974)

What the mind doesn't understand, it worships or fears. -Alice Walker, author (b. 1944)

Often the accurate answer to a usage question begins, "It depends." And what it depends on most often is where you are, who you are, who your listeners or readers are, and what your purpose in speaking or writing is. -Kenneth G. Wilson, usage writer (b. 1923)

"Some words are standard, but with a twist; some are liberated from patriarchal prejudice and restored to archaic meanings; some are new and sharp as an ungrateful crone, and a feast for (Mary) Daly familiars.
A sample:
'Abominable snowmen of androcratic academia: freezers and packagers
of learning; chilling throng of frigid fellows, specialists in
verbigeration and refrigeration of knowledge.'"
Audrey DeLaMartre; Bible Speaks to Fill Readers With 'Holy Chutzpah', The Star Tribune (Minneapolis); Nov 1, 1987.

The automobile has not merely taken over the street, it has dissolved the living tissue of the city. Its appetite for space is absolutely insatiable; moving and parked, it devours urban land, leaving the buildings as mere islands of habitable space in a sea of dangerous and ugly traffic. -James Marston Fitch, historic preservationist (1909-2000)

Our country, right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right. -Carl Schurz, revolutionary, statesman and reformer (1829-1906)

Imagine a world in which generations of human beings come to believe that certain films were made by God or that specific software was coded by him. Imagine a future in which millions of our descendants murder each other over rival interpretations of Star Wars or Windows 98. Could anything -- anything -- be more ridiculous? And yet, this would be no more ridiculous than the world we are living in. -Sam Harris, author (1967- )

A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity. -Eleanor Roosevelt, diplomat and writer (1884-1962)

Knowledge is soon changed, then lost in the mist, an echo half-heard. Gene Wolfe

love builds up the broken wall
and straigtens the crooked path.
love keeps the stars in the firmament
and imposes rhythm on the ocean tides
each of us is created of it
and i suspect
each of us was created for it
-- Maya Angelou

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. Rabindranath Tagore

We are shaped and fashioned by what we love. Goethe

In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they're still beautiful. Alice Walker

The Utah deserts and plateaus and canyons are not a country of big returns, but a country of spiritual healing, incomparable for contemplation, meditation, solitude, quiet, awe, peace of mind and body. We were born of wilderness, and we respond to it more than we sometimes realize. We depend upon it increasingly for relief from the termite life we have created. Factories, power plants, resorts, we can make anywhere. Wilderness, once we have given it up, is beyond our reconstruction. Wallace Stegner, Wilderness at the Edge, 1990

Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got. Janis Joplin

The wilderness and the idea of wilderness is one of the permanent homes of the human spirit. Joseph Wood Krutch
. . .

Here are some more quotes. (The good news is that my left shift key is working again, but the space bar is playing up now. Sigh. I don't know if it is too much cat hair in the keyboard or what. I just want the laptop to work correctly.)

"I agree with Gide, that most of what is created is beyond us, is from that source of utter creation, the Creator, or God. We are technicians here on Earth, but also co-creators. I'm still amazed. And I still say, after writing poetry for all this time, and now music, that ultimately humans have a small hand in it. We serve it. We have to put ourselves in the way of it, and get out of the way of ourselves. And we have to hone our craft so that the form in which we hold our poems, our songs in attracts the best." Joy Harjo

I find it difficult to feel responsible for the suffering of others. That's why I find war so hard to bear. It's the same with animals: I feel the less harm I do, the lighter my heart. I love a light heart. And when I know I'm causing suffering, I feel the heaviness of it. It's a physical pain. So it's self-interest that I don't want to cause harm. -Alice Walker, author (b. 1944)

"I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves". ~Anna Quindlen, "Enough Bookshelves," New York Times, 7 August 1991

Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Books are delightful society. If you go into a room and find it full of books - even without taking them from the shelves they seem to speak to you, to bid you welcome. ~William Ewart Gladstone.

A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition. Like money, books must be kept in constant circulation. Lend and borrow to the maximum -- of both books and money! But especially books, for books represent infinitely more than money. A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold. ~Henry Miller

How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days. -- John Burroughs

Free the child's potential, and you will transform him into the world. Maria Montessori

High is our calling, Friend!--Creative Art / (Whether the instrument of words she use, Or pencil pregnant with ethereal hues,) / Demands the service of a mind and heart. -William Wordsworth, poet (1770-1850)

Our heads are round so that thoughts can change direction. -Francis Picabia, painter and poet (1879-1953)

“Don’t be ‘a writer’. Be writing.” William Faulkner

"Unity, not uniformity, must be our aim. We attain unity only through variety. Differences must be integrated, not annihilated, not absorbed." Mary Parker Follett

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!""
A loose 1835 translation of Faust]" Scottish mountaineer William Hutchinson Murray

Compassion is characterized as promoting the aspect of allaying suffering. Its function resides in not [enduring] others' suffering. It is manifested as non-cruelty. Its proximate cause is to see helplessness in those overwhelmed by suffering. It succeeds when it makes cruelty subside, and it fails when it produces sorrow. -Buddhaghosa, "Visuddhimagga"

Like cars in amusement parks, our direction is often determined through collisions. -Yahia Lababidi, writer (b. 1973)
jennywren: (Default)
( Tuesday, February 12th, 2008 11:29 am)
it is snowing here today 9and my left shift key isn't working0 but we are supposed to get sleet and ice on top of several inches. They canceled the heavy snow warning we had. Fortunately, neither molly nor i had anywhere we had to be today too desperately. molly has an appointment, but we don't have class or work and she isn't trekking up to Cleveland.

On the 3rd of February, my sister had a fairly major car accident in iowa, but Thank God! she is okay! There had been ice, and it was snowing quite heavily on top of that. She was heading up the interstate from osceola to indianola, when she slid into the median and rolled her car. Fortunately she didn't slide into oncoming traffic or off the steep incline on the right side of the road! i guess her car is totaled, but Christy on had sore muscles, a few tiny cuts, and a bump on her head from hours in a neck brace at the ER, where they checked her over pretty thoroughly. it was a nerve wracking afternoon here, while i waited to hear any updates. The accident could have been so much worse. Christy knows her guardian angel was watching her!

here in ohio, we are back in school. it is the last semester for molly and i!!!! Because of some financial aid mumbo jumbo snaffus 9maybe i'll write about that sometime0, neither of us have the federal loans we use for living expenses while we are in school. We can only get federal aid for class that are degree requirements. Since i technically finished my degree requirements in December, finishing up my year of Greek isn't covered. Grants are covering tuition, but the rest is somewhat up in the air. i am taking the second semester of Greek and an independent study on Jesus and nonviolence in the New Testament. All molly has left for her mDiv is her field ed., so all she has this semester is that class every other week, 10 hours in Cleveland a week, and whatever pittance of hours she can get at the library. i am at least getting a few more hours at the library, but hoping 9as always0 to find something else. my independent study is really interesting.
So far i am really reading a lot about the social and historical setting of Jesus and the nt. The book i read this week was Richard Horsley's Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements in the Time of Jesus -- very interesting and helpful in terms of giving me a lot of background on what was going on, its roots, and why it was happening. Now to place Jesus, his teachings, and his actions in that context.

molly only has cpe and a practicum left for her macm degree. She plans to work on that next year. After graduation, i hope to find gainful employment 9ideally library work9 for about a year, while i apply to phd programs in biblical languages. i would like to teach eventually. And if i can find gainful employment before graduation, that would be great to help with the financial situation. i've got a few applications in the works.

Well, that's a bit of an update from here. i've just had lj writer's block, which is really sad. Added to spotting wireless at home, and you just don't get me posting as often. now i am off to see if i can fix the shift key 9i hope this hasn't been too annoying for you. i'm not sure how annoyed i would be reading this.0

here are a few more quotes from the collection. enjoy! )
jennywren: (Default)
( Thursday, February 7th, 2008 10:08 am)

"The strictest law often causes the most serious wrong." Cicero, Roman statesman and philosopher (106 BC - 43 BC)

Defiled by passion, the mind is not released. Defiled by ignorance, discernment does not develop. Thus from the fading of passion is there release of awareness. From the fading of ignorance is there release of discernment. Anguttara Nikaya

"Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long." --Leonard Bernstein

If we go down into ourselves we find that we possess exactly what we desire. -Simone Weil

It is not how old you are, but how you are old. -Jules Renard, writer (1864-1910)

“In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘you know, that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they actually change their minds and then you never hear that old view from them again. It happens every day, but I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.” –Carl Sagan 1934-1996

Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people. --Carl Sagan (1934-1996)

"Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little." —Tom Stoppard

The wilderness holds answers to questions man has not yet learned to ask. Nancy Newhall

Thank everyone who calls out your faults, your anger, your impatience, your egotism; do this consciously, voluntarily. -Jean Toomer, poet and novelist(1894-1967)

"Translation is always a treason, and as a Ming author observes, can at its best be only the reverse side of a brocade,—all the threads are there, but not the colour or design." Okakura Kakuzo, The Book of Tea, (Japanese intellectual fluent in English, who helped introduce Eastern culture and art to the US in the late nineteenth century)

Who dares to teach must never cease to learn. John Cotton Dana

To be able to be caught up into the world of thought -- that is to be educated. Edith Hamilton

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think . . . all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. John Burroughs

However great [one]'s natural talent may be, the art of writing cannot be learned all at once. Rousseau

There is no great writing, only great rewriting. Justice Brandeis

When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this -- you haven't. Thomas Edison

Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility. -St. Augustine (354-430)

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead. Louisa May Alcott

"Dangerous consequences will follow when politicians and rulers forget moral principles. Whether we believe in God or karma, ethics is the foundation of every religion." His Holiness the Dalai Lama

A preacher named Gaskin once said, "Between ego and entropy, there is no need for a Devil." Spider Robinson in Time Pressure

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. - Mother Teresa

Shalom is the flower that blooms only on the tree of justice, planted near the waters of abundance, warmed by the light of truth and faithfulness. -- Anthony Prete

Prayer expresses out hope and intention to enter into an awe-filled relationship with the Divine. -- Patricia McBee

Walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one. George Fox

If our testimonies are cut off from our direct experience of God's presence, they lose their power and authority. Gene Hillman

When we have been seasoned by the Light, our lives will witness to the Divine Life that motivates us all. Marty Grundy

To begin to reach out to others with honesty requires the unearthing of our true selves. Priscilla Berggren-Thomas

Truth and consolation are two facets of the same Divine Grace. It takes both to heal us. Esther Greenleaf Murer

Love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. -- Franklin P. Jones

The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human. -Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963)

As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world. - Virginia Woolf
jennywren: (oak tree)
( Wednesday, January 30th, 2008 11:21 pm)
For money you can have everything it is said. No that is not true. You can buy food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; soft beds, but not sleep; knowledge but not intelligence; glitter, but not comfort; fun, but not pleasure; acquaintances, but not friendship; servants, but not faithfulness; grey hair, but not honor; quiet days, but not peace. The shell of all things you can get for money. But not the kernel. That cannot be had for money. -Arne Garborg, writer (1851-1924)

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. -Rumi

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. Benjamin Franklin

Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves. Pema Chodron

"Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity." --Christopher Morley

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. -Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)

Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up you get a lot of scum on the top. -Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

"There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you... In spring, summer and fall, people sort of have an open season on each other; only in winter can you hve longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself." Ruth Stout

"Books to the ceiling
Books to the sky
My piles of books are a mile high.
How I love them!
How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them!"
--Arnold Lobel

"It's always the old to lead us to the war
Always the young to fall" -- Phil Ochs

Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny. -Carl Schurz

If you are at the edge of an abyss, the only progressive step is backwards. William Sloane Coffin

"If your idea is good, then you should write it. If you're not a good enough writer to do it justice, then get better. Write other things until you're good enough." --Neil Gaiman

Faith which does not doubt is dead faith. -Miguel de Unamuno, philosopher and writer (1864-1936)

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. -Anne Bradstreet

Knowing what / Thou knowest not / Is in a sense / Omniscience. -Piet Hein, poet and scientist (1905-1996)

"In mathematics you don’t understand things. You just get used to them." John von Neumann, mathematician (1903 - 1957)

"I hope that history will present me with maybe two words. One is peace. The other is human rights." - Jimmy Carter
"Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve." J.K. Rowling

"You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you've got something to say." F. Scott Fitzgerald

"Little by little the time flies by - Short if we laugh...long if we sigh." - Laura Ingalls Wilder

"There are three infallible ways of pleasing an author... 1, to tell him you have read one of his books; 2, to tell him you have read all of his books; 3, to ask him to let you read the manuscript of his forthcoming book. No. 1 admits you to his respect; No. 2 admits you to his admiration; No. 3 carries you clear into his heart." Mark Twain

"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." Ray Bradbury

"Where there is great love there are always miracles."- Willa Cather

"Poems come out of wonder, not out of knowing." Lucille Clifton

“I need to put up with two or three caterpillars if I want to get to know the butterflies.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery, from his book, The Little Prince

"The Wastebasket is a writer's best friend." - Isaac Bashevis Singer, 1978 Nobel Prize in Literature

"Though War speaks
Every language
It never knows
What to say
To frogs."
-- Alice Walker, in War is Never a Good Idea

"From a certain point onward, there is no turning back. That is the point that must be reached." Franz Kafka

"If it takes two hands, it's probably not worth doing." Lynn Baker

"I'm extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end." Margaret Thatcher

"I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference." Abraham Lincoln

"When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight." Kahlil Gibran

"Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for." Ray Bradbury

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth. - Charles Kingsley

It is better to be a pleasant surprise than a bitter disappointment. -- Armey's Axiom #29, Dick Armey

"When I awaken, I spend about ten minutes thinking about all of the good in my life. I then program my day, affirming that everything will go well and that I will enjoy it." Louise Hay

Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit's clever."
"And he has Brain."
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit has Brain."
"I suppose," said Pooh, "that that's why he never understands anything."
-- The Tao of Pooh
jennywren: (cat with pencils)
( Sunday, January 27th, 2008 02:47 pm)
Sorry I haven't been posting anything real lately.
Today is the last day of my break before my last semester here. I found out mid-January that last semester was almost my last semester (but I don't want to go into that right now). I'll be taking Greek and my independent study. Molly has her field ed.
We've had some snow and some cold weather. It is nice to have real winter-type days. Of course, the forecast is for rain on my birthday. I would settle for snow or sunshine :) Fortunately this year, neither Molly nor I have work or class on my birthday. I don't know what our plans are, but it should be good.

I'm looking for another library job. (related to that thing I'm not talking about right now). I'm still working at the MTSO library, but I am looking for something else, too.

Maybe I'll feel less vague and more like talking about everything later. I've been writing lj posts in my head before I go to bed at night, but not writing when I'm here.

And I'll have LOTS of quotes to share with you!
jennywren: (Default)
( Monday, January 21st, 2008 06:20 pm)
You paid attention during 100% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

What's your theological worldview?
created with
You scored as Emergent/Postmodern

You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.



Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Roman Catholic


Neo orthodox




Reformed Evangelical



jennywren: (spinning earth)
( Saturday, January 5th, 2008 11:51 am)
95% Mike Gravel
92% Dennis Kucinich
83% John Edwards
79% Barack Obama
77% Joe Biden
76% Chris Dodd
75% Hillary Clinton
67% Bill Richardson
35% Rudy Giuliani
27% Ron Paul
26% John McCain
20% Mike Huckabee
20% Mitt Romney
18% Tom Tancredo
9% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Surprise, surprise . . . not a Republican!

What is your political ideology?
Your Result: Social Democrat

This quiz has defined you as a Social Democrat (you may or may not be a Democratic Socialist as well). In general you are in the Liberal mindset, but wish to take it a step further. You favour the brodening of various social programs and a progressive income tax system to help alleviate social inequality. You wish to change the current social paradigm, but through gradual means.

Communist/Radical Left
Fascist/Radical Right
What is your political ideology?
Make Your Own Quiz
Watching the pair of herons in the river.

Watching the fluffy snow flakes come down.

Enjoying the warmth of being inside.

Watching a "candy movie" just for fun.

Enjoying a special meal with Molly.

Give Money
Give Education
Give Food
Give Water


jennywren: (Default)


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