I Survived the Seventh Circle part 2

What a semester! I’ve done a lot of changing and growing, making decisions about who I am and what I want. I came into college thinking that I had everything mapped out, and now I’m entering my last semester (!!!) with more questions than answers. I guess that’s life. XD I’ve got some time this semester to explore possible pathways and new opportunities. I’m nervous, but I know that this is what’s best for me, and I want to rise to the challenge instead of disengaging, of holding back like I am wont to do. I am excited for what’s ahead, and I hope to update you soon. I will have more free time to write creatively this semester, so I am going to try to post more often. I might have to borrow the monthly musical sharing format from my good friend Torrence. Today, you get a poem and a song. 🙂



Here’s a poem that I wrote during my junior year of high school. I think I’ve already posted it once before, but I couldn’t find the post to reblog it. Why, oh why did I decide to write my thesis on The Glass Menagerie!   XD I think part of why I’m having so much difficulty with it is because the subject matter hits a little too close to home. (My new user name is a reference. 🙂  )I still love it though. Tennessee Williams was *quite* the interesting person, and I have a sneaking suspicion that he would be at least a little amused, maybe even strangely proud, of the wrestling that I am doing with his work.  ***Just a note before the poem, I wrote it by slicing up and combining lines from the play; I didn’t write the original lines myself. (If you haven’t read the play yet, I highly recommend it. It’s an American classic.)


Their eyes had failed them, or they had failed their eyes,

 One crack—and it falls through,

 She lives in a world of her own—a world of little glass ornaments.

You and me, we’re not the warehouse type.

Whenever I pick up a shoe, I shudder a little thinking how short life is,

I know it doesn’t mean shoes—except as something to wear on a traveler’s feet.

 People go to the movies instead of moving!

I’m tires of the movies and I am about to move!

I had that brace on my leg—it clumped so loud,

To me it sounded like—thunder.

A little physical defect is what you have,

Hardly noticeable even,

Magnified thousands of times by imagination.

Let yourself go, now, Laura,

Just let yourself go.

They’re common as-weeds, but you, well,

You’re—Blue Roses!

But blue is wrong for—roses.

It’s right for you!

I think we may have grace—now…

A Different Take on Lent


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Last month I was able to go to an amazing gathering, the Interfaith Leadership Institute in Atlanta by the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC). IFYC is working across the nation on college campuses to help foster religious pluralism which they define as “respect for people’s diverse religious and non-religious identities, mutually inspiring relationships between people of different backgrounds, and common action for the common good” and interfaith dialogue and cooperation. In 2015, Pope Francis asked Christians to give up indifference towards others and towards God for Lent instead of the usual choice of chocolate or some other material good. (I found the article on the Interfaith Youth Core Facebook page.) Indifference and apathy lead to isolation, which leads to misunderstanding. We are all interconnected and interdependent as humans on this earth; we need to start acting like it.

In a time where hate and intolerance in all forms and fashions tears apart families, communities, and nations we need to come together to promote love and understanding. We can and should appreciate and find beauty in the differences in our belief systems and ways of life and use that mutual appreciation and our shared humans values, such as justice and compassion, to make a positive difference in the world. No matter your religious, spiritual, or nonreligious background, (because interfaith work is inclusive to people of non-faith traditions/worldviews, too) we can make a difference. Together we can #ChangeTheStory!

Here is how my faith inspires my interfaith work:

1st Corinthians 12:1-3 NIV

“If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.”


On Productivity (and my self-imposed writer’s block)


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I wish I blogged as much as I think about blogging, which is a lot. I miss creative writing, writing for myself, but I’m either too busy or make excuses when I do have the time. A friend recently asked me if I had any material to submit to our college’s literary magazine, and as I was going through old files I realized that I had nothing to send in. I haven’t written a poem, that I feel is worth posting, for years! I need to stop letting my perfectionism and my doubt keep me from writing. The best time and the best place is here and now, not some mystical moment in the future when suddenly the planets will align and everything will make perfect sense.

I’ve had ideas and inklings for blogs and poems, (so many wonderful and new things have happened over the past year that I want to share), but I kept squashing them down. I’m trying to invest in myself and my creativity so that I have the energy and inspiration to do what I need to in everyday life. Here’s to trying! 🙂

View from the Chapel window

Here’s a random photo of a sunset from a window in the chapel. The photo is saved right-side-up on my computer, but I can’t figure out how to rotate it in WordPress. You’ll have to forgive me. *facepalm*


On that note, a friend gave me a neat 5-year journal recently for my birthday that has a question to answer every day. I definitely won’t post all of my responses, (that would be ridiculous), but I think the questions will help post more consistently. Today’s question is: “What is your resolution for tomorrow?”

Tomorrow I need to set up a few meetings that I’ve been putting off, and I want to plan a time to meet with a friend on campus whom I adore but is extremely hard to get ahold of. 🙂

(Please feel free to add your own resolution in the comments.)


Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming | Books | The Guardian

Reading is such an important activity, especially the reading of fiction. Neil Gaiman makes a strong case for both in his lecture which this English major fully endorses. My youngest brother is currently borrowing my copy of The Lord of the Rings series and I am really enjoying our conversations about it and other works of fantasy. It has been fun to see him get so excited about reading. 🙂

small blue thing

My mom posted this the other day, and I thought it was important to share, so here it is:

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming | Books | The Guardian.

Reading and using our imaginations opens our minds and inspires us to change the world around us.  Don’t forget to read.

~Torrence Nightingale

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The Dog Hair

This short poem hit the nail right on the head. It has been a while since we lost Coby, but the loss never truly leaves you. Thankfully, it does get a little easier, though. It’s always nice to find a Coby hair every once in a while.


Creative Commons license. Creative Commons license.

The Dog Hair

The dog is gone. We miss him. When the doorbell rings, no one barks. When we come home late, there is no one waiting for us. We still find his white hairs here and there around the house and on our clothes. We pick them up. We should throw them away. But they are all we have left of him. We don’t throw them away. We have a wild hope—if only we collect enough of them, we will be able to put the dog back together again.

— Lydia Davis, from her recent collection Can’t and Won’t

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Modest Is Not Hottest

While I am not a Mormon myself, I believe that this post has a sensible approach to the often heated debate about modesty and rape culture. Bottom line: We all should treat each other with respect, no matter what someone is wearing. Thank you Torrence for bringing this post to my attention.

The Life and Times of an Exceptionally Tall Mormon

So for those of you who aren’t familiar with how Mormons dress, we have modesty standards, similar to other faiths. We wear clothes that have some sort of sleeve, shorts/skirts to the knee, and nothing too low in the front or back. This is an outward expression of an inward commitment. This essay is in no way intended to imply I am unhappy with dressing modestly. This is actually something I have chosen to do, and love to do.

o-rosea-lake-570 (1)

Modesty is a lot of things, and it is primarily a way in which we show respect for our bodies and Heavenly Father. However, over the years, as I’ve attended Firesides, Girls Camp, Youth Activities, Sunday School, etc., I occasionally heard a different message. Modesty was my responsibility to make sure the boys around me were not tempted toward immoral thoughts or actions. Now that I’m older, I’ve started hearing it…

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I know that I haven’t posted in forever; sorry.  I swore to myself that I would try to keep up blogging, but obviously that never happened.  Now that I’m on break and have a minute, I will try to catch you back up.

Having just finished my first semester of college, I am currently relaxing at home until I have to go back on the 6th.  I’m attending a small women’s college about half an hour from my house, not including traffic.  Dorm life is interesting.  My roommate and suite-mates are wonderful, but the floor above us is full of drama.  We’re lucky that we got into the dorm with the best storage, even though it’s the oldest (which means unreliable water temperatures).  My classes went well and I survived the gauntlet that is exam week. (In the process I learned that I am definitely not cut out for a job in IT; computer codes give me a massive headache.)  I have a good schedule, but I’m not looking forward to Statistics and the honors Bio lab.  I’ll make it, though.

Christmas Break has been such a blessing, literally.  I have, sort of, caught up on sleep.  (Being a night owl does not bode well for a future teacher, unlike my perky roommate.)  It has been wonderful to visit with family and grandparents.  Even though I’m just up the highway from my house, I try not to come home except for breaks and the occasional weekend.  My youngest brother, who occupies my room when I’m at school, is temporarily back sharing a room with my other brother.  He’s been a good sport about it.  There wasn’t any snow this year, but I’m hoping maybe it will in January or February.

Speaking of January, it and New Years is just within reach.  It just hit me the other day how much change 2013 brought into my life.  I went through my senior project and presentation, graduated, my first semester in college, the death of my grandfather, and multiple grandparent health scares.  (Every one is doing fine, now.)  In addition, I have moved out of the house, become more independent, and have settled into a new routine, determining my own path.  I’m a little older, hopefully wiser and more prepared for the future.  But right now I’m going to go back to mindless web surfing while I still can.  See you all in 2014!

I survived the seven circles


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vikingI’ve been fortunate enough to have one of those summers where I feel accomplished if I’ve cleaned out my e-mail inbox.  This summer has been a nice, relaxing hiatus between high school and college, but I was in for a surprise when I opened up my mailbox…my AP Euro. exam refund came today!

Those of you who are newer to my blog won’t recall that I unwittingly took what would have to be the hardest history course you can take in high school last semester.  Luckily I had a wonderful but demanding teacher and came out of the class with a 5 on the exam.  (Yes, I had to brag a little.)

European history plays out much like a daytime soap, lots of duels, divorces (and or beheadings), remarriages, territory squabbles, inbreeding (accidental or otherwise), blood feuds,  dynastic upheavals, black sheep, and many ruffled feathers/wigs.  In short, one big multi-cultural mess.  Every third king is Charles or Alexander or George or James or Philip.  Occasionally you’ll have a Catherine or Maria Theresa on the throne.  Needless to say, it was a fun and Enlightening experience, but I’m more than relieved to be done.

I put a link at the bottom to a PowerPoint project my friends and I did for the class: Europe’s Top Ten Femme Fatales.

TOP 10 FEMME Fatales revised

(Random fact, my great great…great grandfather on my father’s side survived Napoleon’s march back from Moscow.  He was living in one of the German states, I can’t remember which, a baker’s son forcibly recruited by the French.  After the march great great…great Grandpa Scheiber decided he’d had enough of war and moved to the U.S.)

They’re coming!


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It’s going to be like Twilight all over again.  (Okay, maybe not quite that bad.)  The City of Bones makes it’s debut in theaters this August, and it’s not going to be pretty.

As an avid reader who’s interest varies from top-of-the-charts YA classics to The Odyssey, I’m really happy that other young people are taking a greater interest in reading.  But…when the movie comes out that means hordes of rabid fangirls rush to the store and clear the shelves, desperate to become the most knowledgeable, cramming random facts about this or that “hottie” into their feverish little brains.  (Maybe that was a tad bit cynical.)  Nevertheless, it gets to be aggravating when they claim to be loyal readers.  Give me a break.

Now, I’m not one of those people who think exclusivity is only indecator of quality; great things can still be enjoyed en masse.  But when I read I dedicate part of myself to the book, if that makes any sense.  You can learn more about me by what’s on my bookshelf than types of apps in my nonexistent smartphone.  (I’ll save the “selfie” rant for later.)  So while the sparkly, pink-clad crowd of raging hormones debates the merits of Jace vs. Simon, I’ll be observing from a safe distance away, catching up on Downton Abbey.


It’s a condensed life


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I got my official transcript today.  I can’t believe four years of my life can be summed up on three pieces of paper.  To me it’s still amazing how much we can encapsulate, years, decades, centuries, eras, eons, using mere scratches and splashes of ink on paper.

Words are so powerful. They create pictures, feelings, embody impossible, intangible ideas.  It’s almost as if they are a world, a dimension all their own.  These great tapestries of sound and syllable.  (Sorry for the metaphysical musing. I’m reading a book called The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma.)

But instead of pondering this eternal mystery, I really need to get back to my thank you cards. XD  I may run out of stamps.

(I was working on this when that huge storm rolled in last night.  We’re fine here, but I hope everyone else is okay and their power turns back on soon.)