Sunday, December 14, 2008

updates coming soon

I've got a brain full of thoughts and ideas and hopes and reflections... and I need to get it all out of my head! BUT, I am in the middle of finals and Christmasy things so, alas, my ramblings will have to wait until later this week when I can blog guilt-free! 2 more exams to go!
here are a few of the things I'm gonna write about:
-school- what I've learned, what I accomplished, and what fell to pieces
-the economy- what I'm feeling, fearing, and learning being a broke college student & budget-minded newlywed in the midst of an icky recession...
-men- why I am hassled about playing match maker... and why it irks me so when I'm asked if I have any "single friends who are as great" as me
-the holidays, of course, recipes, blogging and myspace and graphic design, birth control and babies and deciding between teaching at SAHMing....

Just a sampling of what's sloshing around in my head these days! :)
=)

Ps- llllllooooove this new layout!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dante and Leda

So, we've been reading Dante's Inferno in my World Lit class... I always feared reading it because I was worried I would be so opinionated about things like this... I worried that I could not appreciate some literary works like this because I was a Christian... but what's interesting is that over the past 3 years, works like Dante and writing papers about things like gay marriage and what not have made me shake in my boots... I used to hate having to engage with anything like that. Since then, I've realized that not only can I seperate myself from these topics in a way that I can appreciate some view different than my own, I can focus on the way things are written and the why aspect too... not to mention the fact that sometimes writing about or reading about things that are controversial help me flesh out my own view and get my own opinion straight.
That being said, I remember one time my friend living down the hall when I was in the dorms had me read her paper on Dante's Inferno.... She was an English major and taking this class, ENGL 208, her very first semester... I read it and was totally intimidated by the content of the paper and the meanings of the tale... it was down right creepy. So, I've spent a few years dreading this work, thinking of it as gorey, blasphemous, and spooky, but SURPRISE... I reallllllly have enjoyed it. The way Dante introduces Christianity to a pagan world is brilliant, it reads like a movie, but it's dark enough to creep people out and get them thinking about the real reality of Hell.

I like having those "I like this!" moments.
I hold onto them.
I did the same thing with Leda and the Swan when I first read it my freshman year in ENGL 208 (British Lit).... I was awestruck by how something so vile and so disturbing, could be so elegant, so beautifully written....

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.
How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?
A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?



This is the power that lies in literature... and something I hope I can explain to my students one day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

This is getting to be a problem.

Thanks to our new Canon Rebel XSi that we bought earlier this fall, I have become obsessed with photography. It's so easy when you have a nice camera! Plus, my discovery of Picnik, a free photo editing website, and Paint.NET (it's just like PSP but FREE)... so I now have hundreds of new GREAT photos and tons of cool ways to edit & play with them.


So what's the problem....

School....

I need to be hunting for my grammar book.... I need to be studying... researching... writing.

Alas.
I am in slacker mode.
Someone help!

<3
BKBW

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Currently weighing on my heart...

Okay, so I have been slightly overwhelmed with school, halloween, my best friend's wedding, and life the past few weeks so here is a crash course on what I've been pondering...
1. President Elect Obama.
No, I did not vote for him.
No, I didn't really like McCain either. Actually, not at all...
I had planned not to vote originally, because was a vote for some random libertarian guy or Ralph Nador really even worth the gas to drive to the polling place, honestly?
I believe you should not vote based purely on moral, religious, or personal values, nor do I believe you should EVER do a straight-party ticket.... it's stupid to assume everyone who is a democrat (or republican) is the most qualified candidate based only on party affiliation...
But, I also am a Christian who wants my president to reflect certain values that I hold precious. So, morally and ethically, I wanted to vote for McCain.
Based on policy, I was more incline to agree with Obama, especially in regards to the war and the fact that as a teacher, I found McCain (and Bush's) plan for education atrocious...
So there was my dilemma. Neither candidate deserved my vote. Both presented platforms that fundamentally went agains beliefs that I hold dear.
In the end, McCain won out. I saw a church sign on my way to vote (I had planned to figure it out when I got there...) that said "we are Christians first, then Americans." As an American, I wanted more of Obama's policies, but I hold the moral beliefs (particularly on gay marriage and even more so abortion) of McCain higher. So that's what I did.

As we know now, Obama won anyways, even though SC went to McCain, so needless to say, my vote didn't make much of any difference. Many Christians I know are talking about the world ending, the nation being condemmed and whatnot, but I have some problems with this, too... so what now??? I read thislamp.com often and that man said it best... we must PRAY for OBAMA as our leader. God has this whole thing under His control, and if He brings our nation to it, He'll bring our nation through it. As Christians we are called to LOVE and PRAY for all, and we are specifically told to pray for our leaders, which I plan on doing specifically. If this is part of some plan of God's that marks the end, not that I personally believe it is... then, well, nothing I can do can change that, and the only thing that matters is that I am a child of God, saved and born again , and will be taken care of.
Despite my fundamental relgious and moral differences with Obama and many of my friends and fellow Americans, I am going to be optimistic, prayerful, and patriotic. I am going to honor my Lord first, but I will not turn my back on my country or my president. And I do want change. For now, all I can do is pray that Obama's changes will be for the positive, and that God will keep our nation in his will, regardless of who is sitting in the Oval office.
________________________________

2.The next thing I've been wanting to blog about is teaching.
WOW, am I on fire right now about my future as a teacher. Never have I ever been more thankful to be a teaching fellow than now. As apart of my teaching fellows service requirement, I am working with a 7th grade ESL student from Mexico who has came to the US knowing ZERO English, that's right. ZIP... NADA. She couldn't even ask to go to the bathroom. In the few weeks, I've been working with her, she's made HUGE strides. Just yesterday she said to me, "I'm fine, thanks. How are you, Mrs. Wilson?" I was like WHOA! AMAZING! Her confidance is building and she is a really bright girl. She wants to be a scientist. :) I am so proud. I know if she gets over this language barrier she will THRIVE. And it's not just her. So many of these ESL kids have such a THIRST to learn and a desire to go far, that it astounds me how some teachers ignore and undercut these kids. Just because you don't speak Spanish doesn't mean you shouldn't work your tail off to provide accomodations and modifications so that they can learn and get past the language issue. I can't wait to get in the classroom and do it my way.


3. Also, I am more and more in love with the idea of family websites, especially those of SAHMs who post pics, journal, receipes, interesting sites, parenting, and other interesting things like that...and professors and other professionals, especially in the world of education, who post their ideas, activities, and such. I want to make my own website, devoted to the needs of a wife, mother, and teacher. I can see it now... tabs for food, house, school, family, photography (ps...my newest hobby), family, pictures, and journal. Anything like receipes and nutrition under food, home decorating and family economics under house, everything from teaching strategies to links to standards and everything a teacher would have to say under school, all about kids, family, and relationships under family, and lastly tabs to put my random blogs and pics under. The only flaw in this goal is that my knowledge of CSS/HTML/Java and all that stuff is limited to what little bit I learned by messing with myspace codes I copied and pasted. And, being an effective teacher (or in my current situation, full time student) in addition to being a good wife and mother in while managing a website as interactive, up to date, and useful as what I want mine to be would require me to be Superwoman. Just not enough time. Well... it's an idea.

Other little nuggets of knowledge about things that are on my mind:
- My husband is a phenomenal teacher and a great inspiration to me... just throwing that out there.
- I am looking more and more at getting my degree and teaching a few years, then working part time or volunteering more and being a SAHM. I want to do so many things that teaching doesn't allow the time for, but with my teaching background, I could do even more as a volunteer or something... just a current thought.

Lastly, today would have been my Granny's birthday. She would have been 83 years old today. Granny died when I was 9 years old. I held her hand when they took her off life support and rested my head on her chest as her heart made its last beat. She was my world, my hero, my support. She was the brightest woman I ever met, teaching herself how to speak Spanish, pouring through books of British literature, American history, and local geneology books, searching for our family history. She was amazing. An uneducated (formally speaking), devoted housewife and mother, but a thirst to KNOW and LEARN, and GROW as a person. She gave me my desire to laugh, love, and learn, which has kinda became my own personal motto... she's the woman who I want to be... to be a seeker of knowledge and never stop learning... and to be remembered for my dedication to my family.

Happy Birthday, Granny. I know you are apart of me, watching over me... I know you are proud of me. I know you love me. And I know you know so much of what I do, I do it with you in my heart...I love you and miss you every single day.

ah, tears... okay . I think that's all for today.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Layouts!

I figured out how to put a layout in blogger...

and discovered that my HUBBY has a blog... go figure.

And, I'll be posting comments on President-Elect Obama when I get a change.

School is talking over my life!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pumpkin Bread.

Found this recipe online. Tried it and loved it! Thought I'd share it!!!

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)


Preheat your oven to 350. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, & baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, eggs, water, & spices. Pour into the bowl w/ dry ingredients & mix just until all are combined - don't stir too much! Stir in the nuts, if you're using them (I like it better w/o the nuts). Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3-in. loaf pan, bake 50-60 minutes until done in the middle. Remove from pan, cool on a rack.
Keep wrapped in the refrigerator. Really good w/ cream cheese, or chopped walnuts in cream cheese.


I baked it for about 30 minutes in a muffin pan and sprinkled walnuts on top right before I put them in the oven. I will say I think next time I'm putting a tad bit more sugar (Splenda at our house...) than it calls for, but wow, it made some delicious pumpkin muffins that were killer with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee. And looked like something you'd find for 3 bucks a piece at Starbucks. And probably loads better for you, too.

Ps... I did wonderfully on my World Lit exam!! :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

global population, my front porch, and cup of reheated coffee.

So, I have to write a paper in my geography class about this article from Foriegn Policy magazine written in like, 2001... and I have been trying to write it all weekend. Everytime I sat down to finish reading the article (with pen in hand to make notes) I fell asleep. This afternoon, I knew I HAD to finish it, so I laid down on the couch with pen and paper and tried again. Sleepy & bored. Hubby is outside cutting our ridiculously tall grass (alas, school makes yard-work time basically nonexistant!) and it's such a beautifully breezy autumn day, that I found myself a bit jealous. I went and found my favorite slipper socks, an old band hoodie from my days as a piccolo player in the Wildcat Band, and grabbed my laptop. Here I am. Feet propped up on a chair, breeze in my hair, and Blogger on the screen. God, I could kiss whoever invented Wireless... All that aside, I figured talking this population phenomneon out in the unformal, unrestricted form of my blog would help me flesh out what I need to for my paper. That's why I blog after all, right? So... here goes...

We hear on the news and read in textbooks constantly about our population growth. Places like India, Pakistan, parts of Asia, and especially Africa are experiencing population explostions. Quite literally. In fact, this population growth is so sudden (in terms of world history) that the growth chart of our planet looks something like a straight line until the agricultural revolution, when the ability to sustain ourselves through the ability to farm shifted us from a nomadic lifestyle to one more stable, thus allowing enough food to be grown and enough stability to allow for more children to be born (and survive) and thus the line on our growth chart rises, like a small hill. Up until this point, our world population had spent 1200 years a a stagnant 300 million. This upward climb continues until the 1750s, when the Industrial Revolution caused our population to grow even more, due to the fact that technology and machinery allowed us to produce more food more quickly and suuport more people worldwide. The line on the chart rises a bit more. It kind of looks like the line on the treadmill when you have the incline turned on. Then, somewhere around 1950, the little "hill" becomes a mountain. The line on the chart literally looks like a vertical line, rather than a horizontal one like before. Based on this chart, our world population grew from about a billion people in 1800 to 6 billion and some change in a period of just 300 years. Talk about a growth spurt! With figures such as these and constant attention on the need to conserve and reduce our consumption levels, it seems counter-intuitive to worry about a decreasing population, right? Wrong. Actually, according to the article I'm reading for this class, the population is now "imploding," if you will. These popualtion growth brought on by advances in health and technology, have caused death rates (mortality) to decrease in modern countries. That means that if you live in Europe, Canada, the US, Japan, or other well-developed nations, you can expect to live to a ripe old age. At the same time, however, across the globe, families are becoming markedly smaller. People are having less and less children, especially in these developed nations. What this is creating is what the writer of this particular article calls "subreplacement regimes." In theory, in order to "replace" our population, each man-and-woman pair need to produce 2.1-2.5 children. The .1 part is supposed to cover infant mortality and deaths in childhood, but to make life a little easier, we will just call it 2. Naturally, this is supposed to work itself out insomuch as some people have 0-2 children and others have 3, 4 or more. What's happening though, is that world-wide, more and more people are having less and less children, causing the population have drastically less people between the ages of 0-15 and many more people between the ages of 15-65 (working age people) and 65+ (thanks to health care). This means that when these older folks eventually die, they will not be "replaced" by their children. If this trend continues, their children may have none or only one child and then, the population shrinks even more. This phenomenon shrinks our developed nations. Meanwhile, lack of heath and fertility education in places like Africa cause the population areas like these to be very young. High birth rates and high death rates mean that there are many young people, but few live very long lives. To keep countries like Japan and Italy from decreasing in population, there would have to drastically large waves of migration from places with high fertility rates. Migration on this scale would change the face of the globe. Races and cultures would change globably. The question boils down to what caused this dramatic global desire to decrease family size? I believe (totally just my semi-educated opinionm here...) it is a combination of natures way of regulating hereslf in addition to the cultural change in modern nations were women are waiting longer to bear children in order to do other things for herself. The longer a woman waits to have children (tick, tock, tick, tock.. right, ladies!?), the less children she will be able to have over the course of her life. I think this has caused the family size to shrink, and less modern nations have mimicked this lifestyle choice. Another big question this whole phenomenon poses is what this will cause in relation to consumption of natural resources. It has long been said that we are playing a dangerous game in terms of our consumption. We create so much waste and garbage, that some cities even have to ship their garbage out of town because they produce so much, I don't even have to discuss the shortages of water and gasoline we've experienced in the last thirty years and the consequences we've faced as a result. Over a long period of time subreplacement regimes could, indeed, continually decrease the population to dangerous levels... but will it get that far? I doubt it. Hopefully, lowering our populations globally will result in less consumption and level out at point where we can sustain our current lifestyles comfortably. What will actually be the case? As the writer of the article so perfectly stated figure that one out and "your nobel prize is in the mail."

If you just read all of this, I appreciate the attention, but to be honest, I just wrote about this article to get all theses ideas about subreplacement regimes, the population explosion, migration, and all the other nuts & bolts of population geography into sentences.
I'm going to try and shape what I just wrote out into a paper (ekk, it's due Monday!) before Hubby finishes mowing the yard... He's half way there, right now... then we're gonna carve our pumpkins and make dinner! I'm pretty excited.

BTW, only 3 days of class until falllllllll break!!!!!! :)

Happy Fall!

Monday, October 06, 2008

New focus.

I am definitely behind on updating my blog about my life. Here is it in a nutshell:
Summer was full of wedding madness. We did get married on June 14th! It was beautiful! We honeymooned in Mexico and I wish we could have stayed for WEEKS. :)
School has started and now Jake is teaching 4th grade math and science at an elementary school a few miles from our house. I am still commuting to Winthrop and it's about to KILL me. I am incredibly ready to graduate.
I'm thinking about selling Thirty One Gifts. It's a Christian company, they have cute stuff, and I could use the money.
I am tired a lot. If I wasn't on the Pill, I'd think I'm preggo as emotional and exhausted as I have been lately. Jake and I have been fighting the last few weeks alot. I think it's because we need a break. School is just pulling us apart. No time to talk, to love, to laugh... it's taking its toll. So we are in the midst of planning a little retreat to work on US time.

I'm hoping to shift the use of my blog as less of a journal of retelling, but more of reflection. And not just as a new wife, Christian, and young woman in a hectic world, but as a student. I want to use it to study and grow. So, that being said, here's my first attempt at using my blog for studying and learning...

What's on the menu:
Geography: I have a test on Wednesday. I'll be making notecards after I finish my post. I am also working on a paper.
Here is the premise...
This assignment will have you read the journal article titled “The Population Implosion” (Foreign Policy,
March/April 2001 ‐ www.foreignpolicy.com/Ning/archive/archive/123/thepopulationimp.pdf) and in
conjunction with the class lecture on population answer the following series of questions:
1. What are the “three tendencies” that are identified in the paper? Provide a brief description of each.

2. The article suggests that many of the “most developed” nations have sub‐replacement fertility regimes, yet many of these nations continue to exhibit overall population growth. What accounts for this continued increase and what impact does this have on the country as a whole?

3. What reasons can be suggested that might explain a declining birth rate? What has changed in society that has prompted or encouraged a declining birth rate?

4. Despite advances in medical technology and gains made post WWII many countries are
experiencing an increase in death rates – what factors or reasons might account for this, explain?

5. What impacts does an ever aging population have on society? Explain your answer.

6. What impacts does a rapidly growing population as a result of natural increase have on countries that are experiencing it? How does carrying capacity relate to these impacts?

Okay, so that needs to be done.

Nutrition-
OMG, I love this class! It's fun, it's interesting, and it's soooo applicable. I am doing a paper in here on my diet based off an anaylsis of my own diet. As it turns out, I am only consuming an average of 1375 calories a day, WAYYY under what a woman who's active and planning a pregnacy in years to come. And I learned what vitamins and minerals I am super low on. I gotta write a paper on this. Easy enough. and Fun.

Those where my classes I had today. I need to go shower and get started on note cards. I think I am currently blogged out for now.

OH, BTW. I am IN LOVE with the fall season. We went to the fair last week and got the traditional roast turkey leg, ear of corn, vinegar fries, and homemade lemonade. May just say, those foods are a once-a-year gift from above! I love fall!
Cleveland Co. Fair 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I got a peaceful, easy feeling...

I wrote this back in Sept. of 2007, & even though i'm not living on campus anymore and lots of stuff has changed, I still feel this way today...

so i am sitting up in my bed, directly in the window, looking down on the traffic of cherry road and the busy patrons of mcdonalds... snuggled in between my pillows with my lap top on my lap, thinking about where i am in my life right now.
in about eight months i will be married to my best friend, living in our own place, and getting ready to begin my junior year at winthrop. when did i blink? yesterday, i was a junior in high school, dancing down the hall, full of the happiness falling in love brings. Now, that hall is in a residence hall, and i'm full of the excitement of becoming Jake's wife. I feel so fortunate. I have so many things to do right now, between teaching fellows, the honors program, my ambassador duties, my classes, joining alpha omega, planning the wedding, trying to make time to be a good friend, keep in touch with my family, and attempting to keep my relationship with Christ front and center. But, despite the crazy length of my to do list, I am so complacent right now. I am looking out past Mcdonalds, beyond the buildings, and through the trees towards my house. I know my old dog is asleep on the porch, my dad's probably just now getting in from work, and mama will be shortly. In that house I have two amazing people there praying for me, cheering me on, ready to take me in their arms, and tell me i'll always be their little baby. I see these cars driving by towards 77, and just up the highway is UNCC, where the man i'm gonna lay down beside and kiss goodnite for the rest of my life is working on his lesson plans, thinking of me.
Looking out my window, i am so incredibly filled with joy and love. even though the world is so big, I'm not scared. I may be busy, sleepless, and stressed, but I am at peace.
I have so much in my life that I do not deserve. My friends (the real, true ones, who know me oh so well PLUS those others that may not be so close, but still offer me encouragement and smiles), my loving, caring, precious family, Jake, my husband, friend, confidant, lover, and partner...and most importantly, I have the love of Christ, who whispers in His still, small voice, love songs, encoragement, and promises into my heart. He reminds me daily of my shortcomings, but chooses not to hold them against me. He knows my worries, my fears, holds my hand, and stays by my side. I want to please Him so much and I want to try even harder. He has blessed me so much.
Life has become so hectic right now, holding on to the love of Christ and the blessings He has given me keeps me calm and peaceful. I don't really know what made me write this blog, but I'm glad I did. I want to tell the world how amazing life can be when its filled with His love and blessings, and that even when you feel like life is flying out of control, He keeps you sheltered from the storm with the armor of love.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I'm proud to say that I have kept my promise to myself. For most of my life, whenever I journal about my life (or in this case, blog... same thing...) I always make myself keep it up to date. But, the beauty of this little bloggy of mine is that I told myself it wasn't a priority, more of an outlet for my thoughts and such, there for whenever I wanted to unload. I obviously have not went back on that promise because I haven't blogged in months...SO, with that being said... Somewhere between Thanksgiving and now, my life got like WHOA complicated-er. Sometime during the rush of the holiday season, Jake and I signed the papers on our house. I moved in and now it's home. It's ours and it is the scariest, most adult thing I've ever done. It's alot of work but I love it. You'd be surprised how many times a day I sweep that kitchen. Christmas was nice. Simple...Jake & I were flat broke, but it was enough just to have our tree in our own home and to have each other and our family.
Heath wise, Mama got the good news that she has neither breast cancer nor colon cancer, but they still can't find a cause for her severe anemia. I've gotten to be hypoglycemic but I'll never tell my doctor that. I've had a few kidney stones but I swallowed the pain and delt with it.

2008 started off with a bang. I had a week to prepare for my trip to the DR (which was the single most (insert adjective here that doesn't exist that means amazing times a bizillon) thing I've ever experienced. I'll post a new blog about that soon, by the way. Then, I had a mere day to prepare for classes to start.
Which, brings me to now, Spring 2008. I have a few conclusions about this semester. It's the first of a new era. I realized recently that the vast majority of my close friends at Winthrop transferred or for some reason or another are no longer a big part of my day to day life.
I don't hang out with Jeremy and Ben or Chad or Courtney. Palmer, Adam, Nate, Whitney, Elizabeth, John... they all transferred. Our TF group isn't as close as I had hoped we were. My friends from Wofford and ACAD all went different ways. I almost feel angry at Winthrop. It's like the explosion of friendship that you experience your first semester or two is a planned strategy to make you think college is soooo wonderful. Well, it's better than high school, but still. It's a false sense of security. Even so, I've realized that true, meaningful friendship isn't the kind you have to force. Luckily, I am still just as close to Whitney. I don't have to remind myself to call her, I just instinctively do. Because it's deeper, and it's that kind that matters. And I've found peace and support within Alpha Omega, and for that I am very thankful...Furthermore, I've realized that life as a commuter is what I was meant for. Even though I hate driving so much because I almost fall asleep driving at least twice a week, catching myself swerve or nodd, and I hate pumping so much liquid gold (I mean gas) into my car, I still enjoy singing to myself, talking aloud to God, and just the quite time I have in peaceful solitude while I cruise along 161. And I love feeling like everyday is an effort on my part. I get up at the buttcrack of dawn, eat breakfast with Jake, walk Bella and play with her and feed her, pack up my books, get ready, and leave with a tall mug of joe each day. I make the effort to get to Winthrop and learn and go to class... It's my inititive to go and study, and it makes a huge difference in my attitude. I don't feel forced or trapped, I find comfort in the fact that each night I end up in my own bed, my own office, and start and end each day in one place, without a suitcase in my car. It's niceee.

Academically, this semester is rough. To be frank, it's positively kicking my ass. I am taking 4 writing intensive courses, which is one of the reasons I've had little blogging time===I mean, Jeez, your hands can only type so much in one night===== but anyways, it's difficult to say the least, not to mention the added stress from Jake's student teaching and our poverty. But, again, I'm enjoying it.

It's almost like I can see a future older me, a blue haired granny who spends too much time in her kitchen, telling me 'girl, these are some of the best times... you may be poor, but you got passion and heart and love and the Lord...you're richer than you even know... enjoy these days and hide them in your heart.' I fully plan on it, too. I will hide these days, these memories and stuggles away in my heart, holding them near as times that shaped me into the woman I will become.