Further Musings

Beauty smote his heart, he looked up from the forsaken land & hope returned to him

Archive for May 2004

Palabrer Part III

with 42 comments

As tonight was the last Saturday of the month our local L’Abri discussion group, Palabrer, met tonight. Our general topic was personality. Can personality be hashed out into 16 distinctive types? Is it valid to create categories of any sort? If we could what fifth personality trait would we add to the Myers-Briggs? How is personality influenced by culture? By families?

We had a sociologist (Tim), a political scientist (me), an undergrad (Katie), an architect (Brett), and a musician (Jamie) which made for a nice mix. We talked for two hours on topic before meandering around to a range of topics such as why rooms are cooled to 68 in the summer and heated to 72 in the winter.

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Written by furthermusings

May 30, 2004 at 12:03 am

Posted in At the House

Late at Night

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Tonight I’m really thankful for a long talk with an old friend. It’s good to have friends that you can open your mind and heart with and bat around the ideas that have been floating through your head.

It makes me glad to know that I can still be that kind of person who can have a conversation like that because sometimes I doubt that I can. Tonight I feel more like fizzy sprite freshly poured over ice cubes and less like warm, flat coke sitting on the counter.

Written by furthermusings

May 27, 2004 at 12:48 am

Posted in At the House

Working Again

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For the last seven weekdays I have been surveying high school principles and teachers about a bonus program. I�m calling to find out if the program has been effective in keeping teachers at difficult schools. I�ve learned a lot about the size and locational variety of schools around the state. It�s been strange to be transported back into the world of high school which I can dimly hear in the background of my calls and clearly hear in the voices of the teachers and principles.

My favorite quote so far has come from a secretary. When I asked if I could speak to a certain teacher I was told to call back at 3:40pm because the teacher would be in the building. Where was she now you might ask? The answer: �She teaches in hut and doesn�t have a phone.�

That’s sad but it made me laugh. I wonder if they have ever thought of calling it a hovel instead?

Written by furthermusings

May 25, 2004 at 11:14 pm

Posted in Laughter, On the Job

Saturday Night

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At the moment there is a thundering storm blowing outside 128. There is something about a storm that compels me to stop and intake it. I think this is one of my impractical passions.

I love watching the rain come down in great white sheets and to listen to the white noise of millions of droplets splashing off the surfaces out my front door. I love the way the lightning lights up the sky and flashes out sharp details of everything in view. I love the smell of the rain and although the crack of lighting shakes me, I love the rumble that comes afterwards.

Written by furthermusings

May 23, 2004 at 12:02 am

Posted in At the House

A Soldier of the Great War

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On Sunday I finished my first novel of the summer: A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin. It is the story of an elderly Italian professor of aesthetics who recounts his journey through WWI to an illiterate factory work over the course of several days. The majority of the story is told in flashback.

It is a strange book with some of the absurdity of Catch-22, some of the horror of All Quiet on the Western Front, some of the impassioned language of Love in the Time of Cholera and a lot of beautiful, descriptive language. There is a faith in it that I cant quite put my finger on: a faith in beauty and God that is stirring and yet ghastly at the same time. Ill need to think on it some more.

Part of what unnerved me about it is that he touched on ideas that I have thought before but have never heard anyone else explicitly say. The book is almost a manifesto, but a manifesto for what? Any help from those who have read it?

Written by furthermusings

May 20, 2004 at 5:30 pm

Posted in Reviews

Some Reflections

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I’ve been thinking about it this post a good bit over the last few days. I have wanted to post a piece of an email I wrote to Elizabeth recently. Elizabeth, my middle sister, lives in Bosnia and was also friends with my friend, Robin, who died two weeks and four days ago.

Since Elizabeth was unable to attend the service for Robin, I wrote her a long description of it. Robin’s funeral is the first funeral I’ve ever attended. I’ve posted a selection from the email I wrote last week below. It describes what has part of what grieves me so about Robin’s death and a part of what I have been thinking about lately as I’ve been reading a book about WWI; about the desire and inability to honor the dead as much as they deserve. I’ve been thinking about remembering.

I don’t know if this post violates the level of distance that is appropriate for blogs. I apologize if it does.

* * * * * *
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by furthermusings

May 18, 2004 at 11:31 pm

Posted in Reflections

To Sound a Less Serious Note

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Getting my plane tickets in the mail has gotten me more excited about my trip to Bosnia. It has also made me think about some of the adventures I had when I was there last summer. As a result I’m going to post a few of them over the next few weeks.

The one below is actually written by my roommate last summer, Andy B., in his monthly email update to his supporters. What an introduction to his supporters!

* * * * * * *

The biggest news recently is that I have a roommate. His name is Andy P. and he has come for two months to teach English. It’s been great for me, not having a TV or stereo for three months, to have an extrovert around. I’m not sure how he feels though, living with an introvert without a TV or stereo.

After one week together, I would say Andy’s most notable trait has been innovation. Normally, this could be an asset cross-culturally, but not so with Andy, yet.

Apparently, there are two types of men in the world: those who rinse their razor with running water and those who rinse with a sink full of water. I am one of the former (environmental note: I don’t leave the water running between rinses) and Andy P. is one of the latter. Not having a bathroom sink, I have always used the tub. Andy’s solution was to fill a bucket with water. Reasonable.

But learning this after the fact, I asked, “Did you know I use that bucket to wash the balcony?” He responded with his exploits camping, yadda yadda yadda. And I thought, That’s great, but you just shaved your face with pigeon poo. You could have saved yourself the trouble and used the toilet. Bless his heart.

Written by furthermusings

May 15, 2004 at 2:00 pm

Posted in General