Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Why You Should Get to Read the Course Syllabus Before Registering for the Course

Because then you can avoid courses with the following words:

"write a seventeen page summary"
"complete EXAMS"
"write a ten page summary/response"
"read 300 pages and write an eight page summary and response"
"there are 12 short exams"
"WRITE a twelve page paper"

All of those words showed up on page 3 and 4 of the syllabus for Apologetics. Once my heart started beating again I was able to read more carefully and relax a bit. Each exam is based on two chapters of one of the books and has one to twelve multiple choice and true/false questions, so they aren't really exams; they're more like quizzes. Also, I have six months to complete the work so it isn't that much.

I think it was the lack of due dates that threw me. Everything has to be done by May 25 and all the homeword has to be submitted together. When I have a course outline that says "by this date submit this assignment...." for each paper (with dates spread out over the six months) it looks more manageable. Now I have to manage my own time. This will be a learning experience in itself!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

What I'm Reading

I did a sweep of my apartment to gather up all the books I'm in the process of reading. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. The Mortifiction of Sin by John Owen. In the name of complete honesty: I'm actually reading the Puritan Paperback, "abridged and made easy to read by Richard Rushing" version. We're reading it for our Bible study. It's good, needs to be read carefully (and sometimes more than once) to understand, and is very convicting.
  2. I Am a Pencil by Sam Swope. This is the story of a writer who "adopted" a class for three years (grades 3-5) as their writing teacher and mentor. It's interesting, especially the students' writing.
  3. Did I Kiss Marraige Goodbye? by Carolyn McCulley. To answer the first question everyone asks (or assumes): it is not related to I Kissed Dating Goodbye, although I think Josh Harris is Carolyn's pastor (and suggested the title). It presents singleness as a gift, not a burden, that is given by God for a purpose.
  4. Evangelical Feminism by Wayne Grudem. I picked this up at Masters last summer because it looked interesting. It looks closely at what Scripture says about the role of women as well as at the problems with the arguments made by feminists.
  5. Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges. A friend and I are going through this book (and the discussion guide) together. A word of warning: if you want to be happy and content with yourself and how relatively "good" you are, don't read this book! It's tough stuff, especially when combined with the Owen book.
  6. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. One of the elders has been after me to read this, among other classics that he feels that I should have read; in fact, it's disgraceful that I could be an English major and not have read certain books (ignoring the fact that The Three Musketeers was originally written in French). I finally got it from the library so that I could say that I started it, it was too boring, and I refused to complete it. Problem: it's really, really good. It's well-written and holds my attention. Now he's going to expect me to take his advice on all books.

That's it for now: only 6 books on the go. They're all good and I recommend all of them. Happy reading!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Back to School

Well, it's been a very nice week of not reading textbooks or writing essays or studying for exams. Now I'm ready to get back to work. I got the information and sent in the registration form for the independent study courses.

Next up is Apologetics. According to the course description, I will examine evidences for the Christian faith from such fields as science, history, archaeology, and philosophy. I'm looking forward to the history and archeology parts, and maybe the science section will explain the parts of "Case for a Creator" that were over my head. Philosophy...well...we'll see.

I love being a student. A break was nice, but I'm excited about getting started again.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Bits of Stuff

Today I came home from church and thought "okay, what do I have to do today." I had a chapter to read for tomorrow evening's Bible Study (and it's a short chapter that I can read on the bus tomorrow morning or during my lunch break) and I have to do a couple loads of laundry (that I'm doing as I write this). That's all. I've caught up on everything else. Not that there aren't things I couldn't be doing, but for today I can actually stop doing and rest.

I taught the 3-6 year olds this morning in Children's Church. We're learning about Jeremiah. Because this is my class and I can't help myself we also learn phonics, so all the students know when they've found "Jeremiah" in the Bible (we only talked about the J-e-r, but it's enough). And they know that "36" is a 3 and a 6, so most of them can find that too. When we were in Kings (1 and 2) we spent so much time there that they could actually open to it and show me that they were in the right book. They may not remember the acual stories, but they will know phonics and numbers!

My apartment is full of flowers today. Last weekend some of the 8-12 year old girls were here for a sleepover and that Sunday one of the moms brought me flowers from the girls. Some of them (the dyed ones) didn't quite last the week, but there are some very bright and cheery pink and white flowers in a vase on my table. Then this morning at church I was the recipient of the Encouragement Bouquet (every week someone recieves the flowers and is prayed for specially) and so there is a beautiful bouquet of orange and red and green in the kitchen. Then there are the flowers that break off that are in a cup in my bedroom. I love getting flowers.

So far being back at Southside is going well. It has its challenges, but things are getting straightened out and organized and fixed up nicely. The staff has been great about helping out; in fact, under the former director they had simply started doing things themselves to make sure it got done properly and on time, so they're used to pitching in (and they were really good about it before as well, only now they forget that they don't have to worry so they keep doing stuff).

So there you are: an update on me. I'll try to post more regularly again now that I feel less overwhelmed by life (and now that I'm not tired of (and from) writing all the time).

Monday, 10 November 2008


The last essay is done and submitted. No more table cluttered with papers and books and pencils and sticky notes and note pads and binders and highlighters and bowls of goldfish crackers and m&m's (although that last one wasn't so bad).

32 pages
8131 words
22 sources

Right now I'm free!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Back at Southside

And so, after 6 months, I'm back at Southside in the director position. The director they hired to replace me has "moved on to other opportunities" (and I had a 12 year old in the centre last night who accurately translated that little phrase). I'm not sure how I feel about it; you may remember the countdown in the spring when I was leaving that position. It will take a lot of work to get it back in shape again too.

But there are some things to be thankful for....

1. It's a shorter bus ride. I'm saving an hour each day. That's a lot of time.

2. I finished at least the rough draft of my last major paper before making the switch. Editing and revising can be done on the bus or over lunch so that stress is gone.

3. Most of the teachers there are ones I trained myself and they're happy to have me back (so is the one new teacher and she doesn't even know me yet).

So it's not all bad. In fact, it may turn out to be very good.