Sunday, November 26

Should I be sickened or flattered?

Check out this email I got last week from the president of my new school. I guess it's nice that he sends a greeting out to everybody. But on the flip side, what the heck is up with this first paragraph? Um...does he realize we're not prospective students, but we already are ENROLLED here? Or is he trying to tell us to be thankful for our "many opportunities"?? Not to put down the president or the university, but I think this letter is a gross endorsement of the school. (Side Note: I can't exactly agree with his statement about the teachers giving "the absolute best education possible.")

Students: As we approach the Thanksgiving break, it is my hope that each of you will take time to ponder the many opportunities you have as a result of your education at St. Cloud State University. You have a caring and dedicated faculty and staff who are here to help you get the absolute best education possible. You have a thoughtful and encouraging environment in which to pursue your education and a beautiful and well maintained campus that includes high-tech classrooms and outstanding library and technology resources.

We are a true caring community at St. Cloud State, and each of us wishes you a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. May you return to class refreshed and ready to embrace your final weeks of the fall semester. Drive carefully and watch out for each other.

Roy H. Saigo, President

Saturday, November 25

I've got two knots in my throat (one is literal and one is figurative)

So, yesterday I embarked upon two grossly American traditions. We'll start with the actually disgusting one. Yes, I went post-thanksgiving shopping. I think I've done this before, but never earlier than 7:00 a.m.

Yesterday I got up at 4:30 a.m.

I've been wanting a CD player for my car. There was a nice one on sale at Circuit City, and I'd figure I'd just go in and see if there were any left. It wasn't a big deal if I got this specifically advertised one because I was planning to buy one anyway and there were a lot of good deals. But just for kicks I thought I'd get there when the store opened at five. Okay, I know that Black Friday is supposed to be crazy. But a line of 200+ people at 5:00 a.m.??! I decided to hang out in the parking lot until the massive line had subsided. There were a couple dozen people I was standing with who had also just arrived and I figured they had the same plan. But when the doors were opened the stampede begun. I just stood outside the building in shock as I watched those standing beside me run toward the doors and squeeze into the front of the line (not without hurling insults from the ones who waited, mind you). But what could anybody do? The employees were all in the building making sure their precious merchandise didn't get trampled upon. So I stayed outside with wide eyes as everyone flew by me, kind of slow-motion like in a movie. I imagined this scene occurring at millions of stores nationwide, suddenly disgusted at the greediness of human nature. I mean I've heard of this, but never really experienced it. I was almost too ashamed to go inside the store myself. But once most everybody had packed themselves inside I casually sneaked in and headed toward the car audio section, where I inquired a lonely salesperson about the special. First I asked him where the line was. But the area was fairly empty (evidently everybody wanted those plasma TV's and digital cameras) and he brought me the CD player and another guy standing by a computer rang it up. It felt like I cheated or something. I guess I made my purchase just in time though, because it was while he was swiping my card that everyone else realized they didn't have to go to the register in front of the store so they started a line behind me. I thanked him and wished him luck, mentioning that I was going back to bed and I wished that he could do the same. He chuckled and I took my bags. I walked around the store for about 15 more minutes just to observe this phenomenon. Then I walked out, got into my little metro, and drove home to sleep until 10:00.

The second post-turkey day tradition was the decorating of the house that evening. I blared some Handel's Messiah and Grandma and I got up the tree and all the rest of the Christmas decor. This took a little longer than expected (Grandma's got a LOT of stuff) but it was really fun and a much more comforting experience than the one earlier that day. After everything was up we turned on the tree, turned off the lights, and each sat down with a glass of sparkling grape juice. These are the traditions I hope I remember.

Monday, November 20


I believe that I am allergic to Arm and Hammer deodorant.

Tuesday, November 7


I know that it's been awhile, and I could entertain you many of Grandma's quirks or stories of the state school. But today I have something different in mind. If you are familiar with my blog you know that I like to put songs up by various artists that can more eloquently explain my feelings. Well, I heard this on the radio last night and was amazed at these truthful words that explain how a lot of people can feel sometimes. I know I have before. It's the stark contrast of despair and hope that really gets to me, especially knowing that hope is what ultimately perseveres. And as long as you hold on to that truth in Jesus, even by the smallest bit, you will find peace. This is what I know.

I know
Seventh Day Slumber

Wonder what can be so bad
That it makes you want to die
I wonder what could be so tragic
Makes you want to take your life
You have your Savior on the cross
While you sit on the throne
Put yourself up on that cross
Put your Savior on the throne

And I know it's hard to take what's happening
And I know life is tough sometimes
And I know it seems like there's no hope for you
And I know your life is worth more than you can see

It's hard to see beyond your pain
When you feel so dead inside
It's hard to see what you've been given
It's hard to find the hope in life

And I know it's hard to take what's happening
And I know life is tough sometimes
And I know it seems like there's no hope for you
And I know your life is worth more than you can see

And I say look at Jesus' hands
Those scars are there for you
You know He understands
What you're going through