Tuesday, January 12, 2010

academia slapped me in the FACE

You know that friend you never see?

The one you used to see several times a week, or even several times a day, but somehow now their days are filled with things you didn't even know they did? And when you finally get ahold of them, it's like, "Oh, well-- this week I'm available on...oh, wait, no. I could do Thursday between 7:30-8:00 in the morning. Coffee?"

I'm very reluctantly going to predict that this might be me this semester.

I have never been a particularly busy person. And never, ever, ever before has school required me putting forth actual effort. I blogged about this when I first began writing on here before... (http://emilyfluck.blogspot.com/2009/10/philosophy-of-apathy.html)

(And no, sorry to disappoint-- I don't know how to do fancy links yet. Someday i'll be a sophisticated blogger. But it is not this day! This day we...*cough*)

But yeah. I'm not used to feeling consumed by schoolwork. And here we are on day two of Spring Semester 2010, and I already want to cry at how much work I have to do tonight. All of my current classes are structured in a way that my usual study habits (or lack thereof) just won't cut it. I'll probably total about 2 hours of reading per day for various classes. I'll have assignments due on a daily basis. Basically, every day, I'll be spending more time doing schoolwork than I would in a week last semester. Or ever, for that matter. Seriously you guys, I don't know who I AM after yesterday and today! I really think I have to be diligent, and studious, and disciplined, and all of those qualities good students have that I never cared to attain for myself.

For real, academia gave me a good slap in the face today. My schedule was CRAMMED. I worked a shift early this morning, went to class for 4 hours, took a few hours to babysit, had dinner, and am now sitting down, finally, to do my work. I even have a big-girl, real-world planner now, into which I have already copied all of my work times, class times, exams, syllabus dates, etc. And it is FULL. And there's nothing I can drop.

I totally recognize that this could be a huge growing experience for me. This sort of coercion towards improvement is something I've seen God do in my life before. I think it's possible that humans- at least I- can thrive in this sort of situation, being between a rock and a hard place and really going through times of sacrifice and humility while working towards something you didn't even want or realize you needed. I would never be driven towards academic discipline unless it was absolutely necessary. Like now.

So I guess that's the joy I've found in this situation so far! I mean, God certainly promised to draw his people towards completion, to constantly transform them. Which is wonderful, and I'm grateful and full of praise for my constant, unchanging, perfect God who wants me to be like him. But I'm not exactly all smiles about how this semester is looking, and so if you're so inclined, prayers for a peaceful heart and perseverance in discipline this semester would be awesome.

And if it's mid-February and I haven't seen you since December and you want to get coffee at 7:30 am on a Thursday, let me know. :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

[insert color here]

I don't know about the rest of you-- but I already knew that breast cancer existed. And that, it seems to me, is the only thing it's possible for Facebook's post-your-bra-color-in-your-status phenomenon to "raise awareness" about. I'm not learning anything new about breast cancer: no interesting statistics, no prevention tips, nothing about donating to non-profits.

The only thing I am learning is what color your bra is. Which likely provokes a mental image of you, whoever you are, in your bra. And while the majority of facebook users wouldn't care at all, I have at least a few good guy friends who work hard at keeping their minds pure, and probably don't appreciate fighting off all of these mental images of girls they are friends with.

Just an opinion. Feel free to debate me on this one. And please, if you're reading this and participated, please don't think I am condemning you, or think less of you. At ALLLL. I'm absolutely not. I guess I'm just encouraging putting thought into what you do with your facebook page: Where did this phenomenon come from? Is it really helping anything?

My friend Mike Nichols said this in a recent Facebook status conversation: "A cure for breast cancer is a wonderful cause and I think we should raise money for it, but there's got to be a better way. What organization is putting it on? How do we know that they're legit? What if some teenage guy or dirty old man thought that it would be a good idea to find a way to get girls to post their bra colors? I mean, what legit organization would risk their reputation on such a ploy? I would believe it if it's a company that makes bras. That would be a clever way to gain product information. But honestly...if breast cancer is the only motivation for this idea, I would be very surprised. It would be pragmatism at its best/worst."