Thursday, April 30, 2009


Okay, this is going to make me sound stupid and uneducated but I promise I'm least not nearly as much as this blog post is going to make me sound...

Last night Alyssa and I were watching the Colbert Report, something I've heard of but never actually watched. I didn't realize he dropped the "t" on both his name and the word "report," making it sound like "rappor." I remarked to Alyssa how dumb this seemed to me, since obviously, I told her, that's not how you spell rapport.

And I went on, with the conviction of someone who's on fire and knows what she's talking about, to tell her that rapport was obviously spelled "r-e-p-o-i-r-e." You'd think I was spelling the word for the National Spelling Bee. Alyssa just looked at me and was like: No, that's not how you spell it.

I challenged her, saying that I was clearly right. She retorted: "Rapport is spelled R-A-P-P-O-R-T, here I'll google it." And she did. In fact, she googled (don't get me started on how "google" isn't a verb) the word I was spelling.

Urban Dictionary (the source of all knowledge, OBVIOUSLY) defines "repoire" as: the way stupid people spell "R-A-P-P-O-R-T."


Granted, I have never used the word repoire in my writing, but I have seen it written in internships and in things I've read online and otherwise, so I'd like to think that the ignorance and stupidity of others has clouded my ability to know the truth. But alas, I admit that I simply didn't know the proper spelling for the word.

Sigh. (This is why when I tutor kids in reading and spelling, I can't explain to them the English language. I mean really? "Wicked" and "licked" don't rhyme, but they should. And rapport should NOT be spelled like that. Oh well.)

Monday, April 20, 2009


Ten years ago, tragedy and evil struck at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. I was 11 years old that April and in fifth grade. Although I remember the sadness of the adults around me after the Oklahoma City bombing, I do not remember the tragedy or news coverage of the event specifically. But I do remember Columbine.

I remember the news footage of students running from the building. I remember tearful parents clinging to their children. I remember ghastly images of things that should never have happened at that high school. I remember nation-wide revelation that "our kids" might not be safe, even at the sanctuary that is the schoolhouse. The point is, I remember.

It was the first time in my life that I understood danger and evil as something other than "bad guys." There were pictures and a specific event that marked my new understanding. I remember lectures from the principal about telling an adult if someone is threatening violence. I remember "safety drills," where we had to hide from view of the classroom door. Maybe most terrifying of my memories is when we had to actually use the drill for real at my elementary school one day.

Ten years is a long time. My understanding of safety and evil has very much grown, matured and changed from what is was as a fifth grader behind a desk. But Columbine shaped how I saw evil and a huge part of that view still remains with me.

A lot of times, I am overcome by the fear that comes with the realization that malls, schools, colleges, workplaces, nursing homes, gas stations, private homes, and modes of transportation are far from safe. But like everyone else, if I allow that fear to cripple me I will never live. In the wake of every tragedy the survivors and the public at large find strength to go on, to live. We have to. There isn't another option, really.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lives of Quiet Desperation

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation." -Henry David Thoreau, Walden

As a college student, I am living under the assumption that once I graduate I can make my life mean something. Make an impact. Affect change. You know, the naiive belief that I am more than just a vapor.

But if that is true, if my life is just a fleeting mist, then how am I supposed to not lead a life of quiet desperation? If I resign myself to the fact that I can have no lasting impact, then what keeps me from living the kind of life Thoreau observed and wrote about?

I'm not saying that nothing matters; I'm just wondering what the balance is between the humility of knowing that I am just a fragile piece of the great human race, one miniscule drop in an infinite ocean, one second of eternity, and living a life of purpose.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

More to learn

Apparently I have more to learn to be a true Tar Heel fan:

1. Duke is spelled Dook.
2. Tar heel is two words.
3. ACC = Another Carolina Championship
4. (yes, as asked in the last post) UNC = University of National Champions (as demonstrated last week.)

I know the song, but that comes from six years in youth group at was pretty much Tar Heel-owned. :)

Thursday, April 09, 2009


About two months ago, I saw the "error of my ways" and stopped pulling for Duke in the basketball world. I became a die-hard, paint-my-toenails-the-day-of-the-game, t-shirt-wearing Carolina fan. And so, Monday's game was a big deal in a couple of ways. :-)

Alyssa, her mom and I made predictions about the final score for the NCAA Championship game. Here they are:

Alyssa: Carolina 91 --- Michigan State 79
Her mom: Carolina 85 --- Michigan State 68
Me: Carolina 87 --- Michigan State 71

Carolina 89 --- Michigan State 72

There'll be pictures later.

Okay, but one thing: Is it really necessary to call UNC the University of National Champions? I'm all for being happy, ecstatic and celebratory at a second NCAA Championship in five years and it's kind of cute but...really?

Monday, April 06, 2009

To This End


-verb, used with object

1. To go before or with to show the way;
2. To guide in direction, course, action, opinion, etc.

And so, as I think about the definiton of the word "lead," (the root of the word "leadership), I realize why I feel so confused about leadership with Intervarsity. I was recently asked to become the President of UNCG's Intervarsity Chapter for the 2009-2010 school year. I'm excited but until I looked up the definition of leadership and looked at Colossians, I didn't understand what was missing.

In Colossians 1:29, Paul writes: "To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me."

The phrase "to this end," and the definitions of "to lead," seem to indicate that when you're leading, you ought to have a direction and/or a destination in mind. And so, as members of leadership with Intervarsity, we should be leading people somewhere. But where?

The obvious answer is closer to God. But I think the true answer is so much more detailed and in-depth than just that.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Apple Not-So Strange

This makes Gwyneth Paltrow giving her daughter the name "Apple" seem almost normal.

Seriously. Check out this kid's name.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Read this.

It's cute and all that he wanted to proprose on the Brooklyn Bridge, but shouldn't there have been safety precautions taken? Like...I don't know, a string attached to the ring or something.

It makes me even more fearful that when I have the wedding bands for Laura Jo's wedding, I might accidently drop them in the infinite abyss that is the ocean shore. Oh horror!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Voiceless Break Into Song

I came across this passage (Isaiah 35) and I decided to post The Message version, because I like the use of "redress," with its double meaning. I also like the title of this section: "The Voiceless Break Into Song."

Tell fearful souls, "Courage! Take heart!
God is here. Right here,
On His way to put things right
And redress all wrongs.
He is on His way. He'll save you!

Often times the hurt and brokeness in our lives causes shame, much like the shame that Adam and Even experienced in the Garden when they realized they were naked. And how comforting it is to think that part of God's redemption process is to "re-dress" us, to clothe us and to bring about closure and healing that removes our shame and fear. And of course, the dictionary definition of redress is "to explain." And for anyone who's experienced hurt or pain, there's a longing for explanation-- why it happened, and what the future will look like in light of it.

A New Attitude

I was stopped at a stoplight the other day when the left turn light turned green, and the lane to my left should have started moving through the intersection. But the first car didn't go. The driver wasn't paying attention.

So when the car behind her honked, it didn't surprise me. He had waited a fair amount of time before urging her on. But the lady who got honked at surprised me. She raised her hand to wave at the man who honked at her-- the way we expect people to wave when they thank us for letting them out or something.

And it shocked me and I sat there for a moment thinking how much more pleasant life would be if everyone's attitude toward gentle correction or advice was to thank them, not get frustrated or angry.