Dream Big? If not, try it out for a change.
My favorite parts of the story being written right now are:
1. Experiencing the RollerCoaster Ride of Life down 16th Avenue.
2. Attending an evening full of five-different-decades-of-music.
3. Taking a photograph with the Statue of Liberty.
4. Witnessing the induction of three Country Music Hall of Fame members.
5. Making a difference in the lives of prospective students.
6. Saying “Hi” to an old-lady pushing a stroller with her cat safely confined.
7. Drinking a free bubble smoothie and a Cherry Coke — not at same time though.
8. Sponging-up invaluable advice, insight and wisdom from elders.
9. Enjoying the combination of Sweet Tea, McCallister’s Deli and rock-awesome Sunday afternoon conversation.
10. Cheering as if nothing-else-in-the-world-matters at another b-ball game.
11. Going to Las Palmas twice in one week.
12. Running three miles with one mission in mind.
13. Having a priceless talk with mom-and-dad.
14. Watching Grandma’s television set in 1997…and experiencing the dream 12 years later!
*This whole post is inspired by my friend, Anna (picture above).
It has been abnormally cold in Nashville lately and to keep busy the majority of us have had to come up with fun indoor activities to do while we wait for Spring to arrive!
Thankfully, Valentine’s Day provided the perfect opportunity for the Maddox/Wright dorms to have a lot of indoor bonding time!
For Valentine’s weekend, my boyfriend and I went to Hoover, Alabama to visit his family! I had never been to Alabama before (nor had I ever tried sweet tea…yes, really, I have lived in the South for almost 2 years now and just tasted sweet tea last weekend), so both of those first-time experiences were documented. I must say, it is probably a VERY good thing that I wasn’t introduced to the “liquid of the gods” (as my friend calls it) that is sweet tea until this point in my life – otherwise I would be obese. Perhaps even morbidly obese. Seriously. Yet, as unhealthy as sweet tea is, I will never go back to unsweetened tea ever again. (Thanks for that, Dan!)
It was so great to spend the weekend in Alabama, especially after having a crazy week. I had a test in, literally, every one of my classes. And, in addition to having to prepare for those, I also had to prepare to deliver a 20-minute Spanish presentation. (Not surprisingly, the Spanish presentation was the least stressful thing on my “to-do” list.) All of my hard work paid off though; my weekend at Dan’s was the perfect way for me to relax. We had a wonderful Valentine’s Day dinner – his parents prepared a delicious meal of perfectly cooked filet mignons, roasted asparagus, Texas toast, fresh pineapple, and we celebrated the occasion with chilled sparkling apple cider. It was absolutely wonderful.
Last night I got some very exciting news… I have a 101.95% in my World History since 1500 class!!! Just for the record, history has always been one of my least favorite subjects. In fact, I got a 2 on my AP European History test. I know that history should interest me, but it just doesn’t! My professor for World History is awesome though. I can’t imagine having to sit through a 4-hour Wednesday night history class without having her as a teacher. She focuses on big-picture concepts and emphasizes the importance of knowing major historical themes, not necessary every date or every fact. It’s great. When I called my parents to share the good news with them, I warned them to sit down (just so that they would remain conscious). I wasn’t sure about how tough this history class would be, so it’s a huge relief to know that I am doing well! If only I can keep it up for the next 2 weeks…at that point, it will be midterm and my 8-week World History class will be over! I can’t wait
The sky was free of clouds, the sun shining directly above us. There could not have been a more perfect Valentine’s Day. That morning, I woke up early because I was to meet my valentine at Bongo Java for a delicious breakfast. After finishing an amazing meal we headed back to my dorm, Pembroke Hall, to watch a movie with some friends. Later on in the day we had planned to go to the basketball game. Little did we know that the game we were about to attend was going to be one of the most highly anticipated and exciting games of the season.
Belmont’s Men’s Basketball team had to face one of their toughest opponents in the A-Sun Tournament, East Tennessee State University (ETSU). Although the Bruins had some difficulties at the beginning of the game, the men were able to close the deficit and head to the locker room’s in the lead with a half time score of 35-33.
This pictures to the right: the crowd watching the game and a impressive dunk by the Bruins
During the second half, the scores remained very close. Each of the shots that went in for Belmont created thunderous applauds from the crowd. Every time ETSU made a basket, the men’s team responded by making a basket of their own. The final minute of play, Belmont was able to get the rebound of ETSU’s missed three-point shot. ETSU quickly caused a foul and Belmont ended up getting two free throw shots, both of which went in. Belmont was able to hold off ETSU to win the game. The crowd went crazy as the final buzzer was heard. The score: 76-73. To learn more about the game or any other teams at Belmont go to http://belmontbruins.cstv.com
This past weekend I got the great pleasure of recording a couple of my songs, yay! My friend Patrick was kind enough to gt me some studio time and we had a good time as I laid down a few tracks. I’m pretty satisfied with the outcome. I’d been needing to record one song, called Many Waters, for a while now, but just hadn’t figured out an ending. I was finally able to break through through the creative block and finish the song a few nights before I went to record, placing it about 9 and 1/2 minutes long. It’s pretty intense, and definitely the longest song I’ve written, but it kind of wrote itself. The song is inspired by a Madeleine L’engle novel of the same name, so Iook at this as my way of tipping my hat to one of my favorite authors. Anyways, it’s up on my music myspace and I can’t wait to share it with friends and family.
The lamp posts are like fireflies –
on nights where the stars shine like confetti.
There’s an old-man across the street,
strumming his guitar –
no care in the world,
no worries in his heart.
Down yonder, just take a look.
The music notes come alive,
just like a piano note song book.
There’s so much to believe,
and so much here to see –
that you’ll just never want to leave.
Wait for the train, it’s coming.
Be sure to hop aboard,
with hopes and dreams,
and snapshots –
There’s just no tellling where you’ll go.
Get off and take a stroll,
and race towards the steps of freedom,
where the history of the melody lives –
and everything you’ve dreamed of.
The world keeps on spinning,
the sky keeps getting bigger,
there’s no telling what will happen next,
in a town where everything shimmers.
The cheers, the thunder, the applause.
The goodbyes, the good times,
and what you’ve learned,
is what is already gone.
Yesterday no longer matters,
because today is what you’ve waited for.
The open door is here for you,
all you have to do
is walk right through.
Last Monday Marian Wright Edelman, the president of The Children’s Defense Fund, spoke at Belmont. She was a beautiful woman with a quiet strength about her and I really appreciated and respected her advocacy on behalf of children everywhere. In her speech she talked about the pipeline that exist for many child from the crib to the prison. Being in an ethics class taht takes place in prison where inmates (whom we call insiders) are fellow classmates and learning more about the Criminal Justice system has helped me see in a clearer way the reality for many people and the lack of choices that exist for some children from the beginning. Free copies of her latest book, “The Sea is so Wide and my Boat is so Small,” were handed out after the convocation and I got one. I’m so excited to begin to read it.
Life is so crazy right now. But I love it. I am definitely learning the importance of time management, and remembering to tell myself: “It will all get done.” And you know what? Even if it doesn’t, that’s still okay.
To give you an idea of the craziness of my schedule, on a typical day…
7 am – My alarm clock goes off. I quickly roll over to hit “snooze” and then proceed to lay in bed until (at least) 7:15.
7:45 am – Head to work (in Admissions), grabbing a quick bite to eat on my way there.
8-10:30 am – Work! Honestly, I have one of the best on-campus jobs ever. I am a Belmont receptionist (also referred to as a “Welcome Desk Worker”) so, basically, I get to greet anyone who comes into Freeman Hall, serve as an operator for the Admissions department, schedule campus visits, and check-in prospective students. I absolutely love it.
11 am-1 pm – Class. On Monday/Wednesday/Friday I have Hispanic-American Literature and Spanish Conversation.
1 pm – Meet some friends in the Curb Café for a Quiznos sandwich and, of course, a cookie…
2:30 pm – Head to the Beaman to workout OR go for a walk outside, especially if the weather is as nice as it is today (it’s almost 70º here!).
3-5 pm – Shower, attempt to start on homework.
5 pm – Swing by Bongo Java on the way to my Wednesday night class (caffeine is THE ONLY possible way to make it through a night class).
5:30-9 pm (only on Wednedays) – Night class: World History since 1500. Not exactly the most exciting part of my day, but the teacher is phenomenal and…guess what…it’s only an 8-week class, so I will be done by spring break!
9 pm – Relax. Then, work on homework and/or find ways to thoroughly procrastinate starting on it.
10ish – Catch up with friends, head to Sonic for a junior ice cream candy sundae (they are the best!).
11:30 pm – Crawl into bed and read (for fun, of course) until my eyelids will no longer stay open. (That typically consists of 5-10 minutes.) Like I said, it’s crazy. There are very few days that I find myself with absolutely nothing to do…but I am, surprisingly, okay with that. My daily exhaustion is a good kind of exhaustion – it’s the I-was-so-productive-today kind of exhaustion. Life is so good right now. Crazy as it is, I wouldn’t change a thing.
(1) My best friend, Raychel, and I on the way to church.
(2) Beautiful Valentine’s Day tulips from my daddy! (Thanks, Dadzo! I love you!!!)
One of the great things about Belmont is the number of opportunities the school offers to its musicians. Not only does the school have the usual recitals and concerts, but it also holds showcases for the local bands and performers in the Belmont community. Some of the most recent concerts that I attended were the Rock Showcase and the Commercial Showcase.
Both concerts were very impressive. The Rock Showcase featured four local bands: Sons of People We Know, Kristen Jauden, The Strangers, and The Delta Saints. Each group performed about three songs, one of the songs being a cover of a popular song. The show, which was held in the Curb Event Center, was very impressive. Because the entire show is organized and run by students there is a lot of time and energy put into it to make it perfect.
The Commercial Showcase was equally as impressive. The performers of the commercial showcase were backed up by a full band consisting of a horn section, backup singers, percussion, and many other instruments. Some of the featured artist of the showcase were Ricky Braddy, Lindsey Jones, Alvin Love, Sarah Silva, and Jack Young. Each musician brought a lot of energy to the stage, making a very enjoyable concert.
Overall, Belmont’s Showcases are definitely worth seeing. The combination of amazing musicians and impressive stage work, complete with flashing lights and a phenomenal sounds, makes it an worthwhile experience.
The morning started out just like any other ordinary one.
I woke up — brushed the teeth and grabbed a bowl of Fruit Loops.
(I tell you, you can’t go wrong with those — the teeth and the cereal.)
Shortly after, I trampled out of the door and walked briskly to the Beaman
student life center.
I did about 30 minutes — no cardio this time.
But for some reason, my heart was still beating fast.
Must have been for the Lord.
At only 9:30a.m. — I left and accelerated into an even faster pace.
With my iPod, I’m was jamnin’ to something that must have
came out of one of those remarkable Nashville studios.
With the music, I felt as if nothing was going to slow me down.
Not the wind, not the tune, the melody nor anyone who might come along
in my path.
All of a sudden — I come to an abrupt halt and ran into a girl with long blonde
hair trying to catch my attention.
We almost collided.
Then comes the hug and a “can-you-give-me-a-ride-to-class?”
I respond with another one of those of-course-I will-do-that-for-you
looks swiped across my face.
After all, I knew she was running late — like usual.
As we hopped into my 1997 old-fashioned, Oldsmobile Cutlass,
Rascal Flatt’s “Every Day” blasted from the stereo speakers.
And she says to me, “I needed to see you this morning.”
As I grip the steering wheel and push down on the gas pedal,
she says, “Look who it is!”
Immediately, I drive faster — with an excitement — promising myself
that I wouldn’t run him over.
Let me clarify, excitement for the music — the girl in the passenger seat –
and the kiddo walking towards us.
I wondered to myself, “Man, the Lord is awesome.”
It’s not Every Day that a girl captures your attention at just the right moment –
and for the 25-year-old — well, that’s another story.
Note: The pictures above are the “characters” featured in this real-life story. Cheryl is a rock-awesome friend and Chris (my Resident Director) is the 25-year-old. I have gotten to know both of them by being a Resident Assistant (RA) at Belmont. The Lord placed these two people in my life to help me grow, learn, and become a better person!