16 January 2011

How to Train your Dragon

The movie. Yes, I watched a movie.

*allows time to breathe*

This semester I am trying to make sure my life has at least a little balance, and I may or may not be good at it. However, I am trying to stay reasonable - you know, about things like "hey, you don't have any homework you have to do", "you know what, most people have fun sometimes" "it's healthy to take time off sometimes" "you have awesome friends and it would be a good idea to spend some time with them". So, I am trying to make sure I am not only a responsible, conscientious, and hardworking student, but also take time to do fun things as well.

Tonight, that meant that I watched a movie. I've been seeing more movies than usual lately, since I am taking a class that requires movies. However, this one was just for fun. I came in about halfway through, since I had been on a skype call when they started the movie, but I came in at a fine time and caught the second half.

Interestingly enough, I enjoyed it!

I am not overly easy to impress when it comes to movies; a great deal of the time I am so analytical about it I can't just enjoy it. However, for some reason, I was able to get into this movie. It didn't seem so fake, or at least it didn't seem like it was trying to get me to believe it. Besides, the dragon Toothless was cute, especially his ears, so that made me enjoy the movie in a cute little way. I'm not sure what to think about the interpersonal relationships shown, but for some reason I have decided to not analyze this movie and just enjoy it. So it was fun :)

So ... if you wanted to have a little movie review, here it is. Hopefully it was helpful. I had a fun, relaxing, evening watching the movie. After the movie we played a game called "Bang", which was also fun. It was my first time playing, and I was the Sheriff. I enjoyed being on the good side, (not really a surprise there). That was another fun thing I did this evening. It really has been a good weekend! (I suppose I kind of made up for it by a meeting and homework earlier today.)

Okay, signing off for now. Goodnight, world!

13 January 2011


This is a wonderful painting. The wanderer is looking out over the engaging vista of what might happen and the unknown areas to be explored. However, there is also the realization that the wanderer is not facing the viewer. We don't know if his eyes are closed, or if he is hesitating in fear on the brink of the precipice instead of feeling exhilaration at the challenge ahead. For all we know, he is looking at the past and we are standing in the future; he may be turning away from us, trying to make sense of his history, and having no interest in the future at all!

I chose this picture because that is how I am feeling right now. I am starting a new semester full of promise of classes I expect to love and an engaging, exciting time of learning in a community of friends. On the other hand, I am looking back with just a bit of bittersweet, because a year ago I was packing my suitcases to move to London for a semester. That was one of the most fantastic experiences of my life, and I cannot help but wish that I could be going back this year.

The following lyrics are from "The Wanderers" by Lacy J. Dalton. I cannot help but feel right now that this picture, these lyrics, and the way my life seems right now somehow coincide. Where, exactly, I'm not sure yet.

Across the trackless wastes of space and time
Down through the eons we have come
The living river that our spirits ride
A shining bridge from sun to sun

Beyond the broad expanses of the galaxies
The ancient heavens brightly burn
And spanning light years we have crossed the cosmic seas
Through countless lifetimes we’ve returned

We are The Wanderers
Traveling from star to distant star
Purposely forgetting
What we were and who we are
Becoming one of you – As we were destined to
To bring the light to you
We are The Wanderers

Traveling the endless universe
Awakening your magic with our music and our verse
We are The Wanderers

Down through unnumbered ages
Through currents vast and deep
First a whisper then a roaring
We come to wake you
From your sleep

From far beyond the reaches of the brightest stars
The sacred circle was begun
The living words we sing are part of what we are
In everything and everyone

We are The Wanderers
Traveling from star to distant star
Purposely forgetting
What we were and who we are
Becoming one of you – As we were destined to
To bring the light to you
We are The Wanderers

Traveling the endless universe
Awakening your magic with our music and our verse

We are The Wanderers

Sometimes I think that wandering is viewed as a bad thing - something that proves a lack of purpose, or something being wrong. That reminds me of one of my favourite 'wandering' quotes, by JRR Tolkien:

“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.”

While the wandering is being done the end and/or the path cannot always be seen - like the wanderer looking out over a fog filled valley, or Sam and Frodo knowing that they must eventually come to Mount Doom but never having left the Shire before, much less traveled to Mordor. In the same way, I must go through life one step at a time: trusting God that I am making the right decisions, and that what I am doing is worthwhile and good. I can't always see the end - in fact, I rarely can. What I must do is trust God for my direction, then just go - and remember that wandering does not mean I am off the path. As the poet Robert Frost put it in his poem "The Road Not Taken",

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better claim
because it was grassy and wanted wear;
though as for that, the passing there
had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
in leaves no feet had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference

This is a reminder to me that there is no reason to believe that the path God has laid out for me will be neatly blazed and easy to find, much less convenient to travel. One of my favorite wandering quotes is from the Bible, Hebrews 11:8-16:

"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God...

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."

Wander with confidence - while the path may not be worn and the destination shrouded with fog, we are not lost. We are on the way to our city.

We are wanderers.

11 January 2011

Semester IV

Well, here I am back at Houghton! The last semester was very crazy, but now Greek I, Early Modern Philosophy, Astronomy (with lab), and Intro to Christianity are all done. As are philharmonia and organ lessons. As is my independent study on Libertarian philosophy and economics. One of these days I need to find out why I do this to myself! :)

This semester might not be much less brutal when it comes to workload, but I am looking forward to all my classes! I cut it down to 16 credits - Greek II, Late Modern and Contemporary Philosophy, Logic and Critical Thinking, and Historiography through Film. I am also taking voice lessons, but that's not graded (they're from another student who needs to teach for senior sem) and part time philharmonia. I am also part of the student senate and secretary for the prelaw society, but those are also non-graded, non-reading-and-writing-papers kinds of activities. (That is not, of course, to say that they are not time-requiring. They are. It's just a different kind.)As far as enjoyable, I expect to find all of my classes engaging, and they are all directly related to things I am interested in. So that should be good. Also, since I have been at Houghton for awhile, I know a lot of the people in my classes, so the atmosphere is already good and the professors are awesome. I truly am looking forward to this semester!

Over break I went to Ukraine to work at an evangelistic camp. That was a wonderful experience, and although before the trip I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to be doing (and even during the trip at times I wasn't sure what I was doing, either,) in the end I knew that regardless of my imperfection, God had accomplished exactly what He wanted through me. It is a wonder how He is able to use humans such as myself for this task, but I am grateful that He does. The camp leaders did an incredible job of organization and planning, and it was an inspiration for me to do my work excellently. I don't know how to describe the camp, but I do know that it was what God wanted me to do over break.

And now - my crazy amazing life continues! :)