Sunday, December 11, 2005

Return to the East Coast

I have finished my first quarter of seminary! It's hard to believe that just over 3 months ago, I flew out to CA to begin my 3 years at Fuller. On the way to the airport to fly back to Richmond I was struck with disbelief that it was my turn to go home for a bit... I had taken and picked up countless numbers of people at the airport and now I was flying away. The quarter ended well... Papers have been turned in, and finals have been taken. For some reason I feel like I'll remember my first quarter of seminary not because of the classes I took, but for all of the lessons that came with the incredible transition. Dude, growing up is tough and the real world is hard--and I really think I've only just begun!
Ok enough for JMo pondering life...
I flew in last night at 10:30pm and today I was welcomed by many at church and then later on campus. While I do love LA, it is wonderful to be around people I have known longer than 3 months and drive around a place that I know I won't get lost in (um, okay, maybe I still will)...
Anyways, I am absolutely exhausted--I think jet lag is setting in now. If you're around Richmond, I'll be here till the 31st, give me a call :)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

finals week

Well I can't believe it's here-but I've reached the last week of the quarter! It's hard to believe I've been in CA for 11 weeks...and that I head back to Richmond in a week. I wonder what going back there will be like? I feel like so much in my life has changed in a short 11 weeks, it will be interesting to go back after all that change...
But before I fly out, there is MUCH to be done. Right now I'm taking a study break from my intense youth ministry project (Design a year-long youth ministry curriculum with 12 different components...yikes!) That is due Monday, along with part 2 of my Youth Ministry Final. My Greek Final is on Wednesday and my New Testament 2 Finals is on Thursday. Finally, I have some smaller papers due for my Foundations of Ministry class Friday. I miss the two week final schedule of UR--that made finals much more relaxing! After actually writing it all down I should get to work--to all of you in the stress of finals--good luck and Christmas will soon be here.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A California Thanksgiving

I wasn't sure how to feel about spending Thanksgiving in CA. I have spent every Thanksgiving with my immediate family in Richmond, VA before today. I was assured that I would be home in a few weeks anyways in time to celebrate Christmas, but there still was a part of me that wanted to be in Richmond.
I had three Thanksgiving celebrations at Fuller. The first was at my neighbor's apartment--an incredibly random group of students from Fuller. The neighbors hadn't ever made Thanksgiving before so it was fun to test out their food--very yummy!
The second Thanksgiving feast was at my work. I orginally wasn't going to make it because of class, but I got out early just in time to hear the "I am Thanksful for..." Cheesy as the game may be, it was really cool to hear what people said and think about what I was thankful for.
Finally today--on Thanksgiving I had feast #3. And it was a feast. The Presbyterian Student Group on campus had 25 people over to have Thanksgiving lunch together. At 5:30pm last night I went over to the professor's house we were eating at to help cook. My tasks were cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. a full Thanksgiving meal for 25 people is A LOT. And for 5 people who haven't ever cooked that extravagant of a meal for that large of a number of people-we were in for a surprise. At 3am, after cooking 36 regular potatoes, 2 apple pies, 3 batches of cranberry sauce, and many more dishes--we were all spent. The lesson of the night: when cooking sweet potatoes, know they can bubble over and explode in an oven... hehe oops. After cooking till 3am, I came home, woke back up at 8:20am and cooked until 1pm. The feast was ready and everyone came and was hungry. And it was so much fun!! We sat around and talked, ate, watched football, shared stories...good times. And now at 9:30pm I am totally exhausted...major props to all of you who cook big meals--I appreciate you in a whole new way!
Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

The mess in the oven...oops.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


group picture of the presbys bowling
becca, reese, sophie, denise, me
Bowling!! This weekend the Presbyterian Student Group at Fuller went bowling and then out for appetizers and drinks. It was so much fun. I love the Presbys, it's a very random group of people--ranging in age from 22 to 70! It's cool to get to know a smaller pocket of people on campus, especially people who are dealing with the same craziness from the Presbyterys in the ordination process.

looking away

Last Sunday I was sitting in a Starbucks in San Marino working on some homework.
San Marino is a small suburb south of Pasadena with wealth comparable to Beverly Hills...aka very rich. In my comfortable chair with the soothing music playing and my laptop I looked out to the window to see a homeless man sitting on the curb of the parking lot. Dirty, skinny, dragging a large blanket behind him, he began animatedly talking and gesturing. There was no else around. Over and over he put his head in his hands and yelling. My first instinct was to look away. Easily I could turn around in my chair and not look, I could go back to the inner world of Starbucks and sip my Chai peacefully.
In CA I have seen so many homeless people that I have become much more desensitized to them. It is warm in CA all the time, if you had to be homeless, Southern CA is a good climate to be in. For some reason passing a homeless person on the street near Fuller doesn't bother me-it's the city, there are tons of homeless people. But in San Marino, a squeaky clean suburban area--it just didn't fit. After watching the homeless man for awhile in Starbucks I did look away. Why is that our first instinct--to ignore and look away?

Friday, November 11, 2005

real world 101

Oh boy...i think my life has been filled with transitions lately--same with the rest of you '05 grads. A transition to CA, a transition to grad school, and what I'm realizing even more, a transition to the real world. I swear they should have a class in college about things like budgets, cooking, how to choose health insurance, how to change a Brita filter (haha ok maybe that one is just me)... One of my biggest adventures here has been learning to cook. Because I lived in a dorm for four years I was able to rely on dhall, but now it's me, a kitchen, a grocery store, and some pots and pans. I've been getting 1 new recipe each week from my mom, cooking it on the weekend and then eating off of it all week long. I have successfully cooked chili and beef stronganoff...last week's attempt was meat loaf. NOTE: do not use eggs that have been expired for 3 weeks and make sure ground beef is not pink when you eat it. Oops...yeah I didn't eat that meatloaf anymore after that fun time with my stomach. I'm not sure of what this weekend's attempt will be...anyone know of any yummy and EASY recipes?

Oh the lessons I've learned in the last 3 months. But, as crazy as it is--I will be in Richmond in less than a month. That is both terrifying (I have sooo much work to do in the next couple weeks) and very exciting! I'll be in Richmond from Dec. 10-31, so if you're there or nearby let's hang out! Ok time to do some homework. Have a good one!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

the happiest place on earth

On Friday I went to Disneyland! My first Disney experience since I had never been to Disneyworld! My awesome downstairs neighbors--Sarah and Alicia invited me to go with them because Alicia had 3 free tickets! We got to CA Adventure park first and grabbed some lunch. Alicia and I rode Tower of Terror and then we headed over to Disneyland. Never have I seen an amusement park with that amount of detail on every ride. From the beautiful costumes the characters wore to the jazz band playing on the river in New Orleans Square to the tiny details on the walls of the rollercoasters...I was in awe. Sarah and Alicia went to ride a rollercoaster and I took a break and watched the Parade of Dreams. When they came back, it took them 10 minutes for them to get my attention...I had been transported (along all the 3 year olds) into the magical world of Disney. The fireworks show and Fantasmic (a lights show) were also amazing. I think I want to be Tinkerbell one day--how cool would it be to fly over the castle through the fireworks? At any rate--I loved Disneyland and cannot wait to see Disneyworld since it's suposed to be so much bigger. Saturday we all decided we had "Disney hangover"--we were all exhausted and I had no voice (hey, those rollercoaster aren't that tame:) ). Miss everyone lots--hope my Spiders had a fabulous Homecoming weekend-wish I could have been there with y'all!

Monday, October 31, 2005

scary larry

This is "Scary Larry!" Emily and I had a Halloween party here Saturday complete with pumpkin carving, roasted pumpkin seeds, decorating sugar cookies, candy and of course costumes--the bumblebee suit made it's first debut! The party was lots fun with a good, very random, group of people hanging out. It felt like fall for the first time to me, we had the apartment decorated for halloween and was cold that night. Of course it was 90 degrees today on Halloween so never mind that thought... Isn't Scary Larry amazing? I owe it all to my sculpture class last year! My roommate is such a wonderful hostess, all I do is invite people, it's great:)
This week is going to be crazy--I had two papers due yesterday for Youth Ministry and a midterm Wednesday in Greek--yikes! I actually felt good about the papers I wrote for Youth Ministry, it was the first time I've felt on top of academics here. And--my class was so cool today--we talked about Leadership and Youth Ministry--things like training and encouraging a staff...hmm can we say Head Resident and TiP? I'm loving learning all this theoretical stuff about things that I've experienced. Anyways off to study Greek--DISNEYLAND is Friday! YAY! And people-please leave comments and tell me if you have a blog, thanks!:)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

the adventures of...paper writing?

*Grad school is hard and a lot of work!
*I saw the best movie ever this week: I am Sam. If y'all haven't seen it--rent it. It creates a beautiful picture of parenting and love.
*My job here right now is a telemarketer for Fuller. I called 103 numbers today and no one gave any money--most weren't home, but still! However Monday I raised $200--it was an exciting moment.
*I'm going to Disneyland next Friday for free! I'm so excited, I've never been to Disney anything, to me Chuck E. Cheese is the happiest place on earth.
*I meet with my academic advisor tomorrow. How are we already choosing classes already? I feel like I just got here...
*It's almost November here and I still wear flip flops and the leaves are still green. I love the warm weather, but I do miss the changing leaves and briskness of fall that happens in the East Coast.
And now it's sleepy time--good night--miss you all!

Friday, October 21, 2005

pictures of the adventures

two of my favorite people at fuller--sarah (who lives below me) and sophie (a fellow spider--wahoo!)

Hollywood--me, kristen, tp, and johnny depp look-a-likes
laguna beach--the "real" CA
hiking in san gabriel's peak!! sooo beautiful!

me at the beautiful campus of Fuller Theological Seminary--this is the place on campus called "the elbow" at the main entrance of fuller

emily-my roommate! we're at a dodger's game

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

breaking away

i resisted this fad for so long but gave in when i finally saw it is kind of a cool way to share my adventures on the left coast with friends and family that are so far here you go!!

i've been in pasadena, california for almost 5 weeks now--on my 4th week of class. so far the transition has been much smoother than i anticipated--there definitely have been rough days but there have been a lot of happy days too. my classes are interesting--harder than undergrad! i'm taking new testament 2 with a little man who has such an intense German/Korean/British accent that i struggle to understand most of what he says, Beginning Greek--i now know enough vocabulary to understand 43% of the new testament!, foundations of ministry--a 1 credit small group, and foundations of youth ministry--a class that i love--i almost cried multiple times during the first class--nothing like being excited about what you're learning right? hehe i'm such a nerd:) next week first big grad school paper is due- yikes~

everyone asks how people are in ca--and from my time at fuller so far i'd say super nice. however i am kind of in a fuller bubble so i don't know if i can accurately speak on people in cali just yet. i live in a cute apartment complex--it's pet friendly so it's a mix of young families with kids and dogs running around and young singles who just finished college. and my roommate, emily, has a cat--so i live with a cat now--craziness!

i've gotten the chance start exploring southern ca--there's so much!! i went hiking one morning--lesson: the altitude in ca mountains is higher than the altitude in va mountains so it's harder to breath climbing up a mountain..haha yeah that was fun.

i also went to laguna beach--the REAL OC. it is one of the most beautiful beaches i've ever seen--so gorgeous!!

this weekend i had my first visitors--big shoutout to tiffany perry and kristen mitchell for coming to visit! we had fun exploring santa monica, hollywood (not as glamourous as you'd think), beverly hills, old pasadena, and the inner city of LA for a mega church called the Dream Center. we also experienced a bit too much of the LA freeway--with the highlight of a 3 hour drive roundtrip to LAX b/c it was raining...people in LA don't understand the rain--the radio DJ had to remind people to use their windshield wipers.

anways that's it till next time!