University Awards!

It’s that time of the semester. No, not the time where everyone is getting married or engaged (though it is that time, too). It’s nearing the end of the semester which means Academic Awards! Yesterday I went to the College of Arts and Science’s awards celebration and got to see several of my friends receive awards ranging from research in psychology to outstanding work in a foreign language. I also received the Corinne Dale Award for Acheivement in Writing about Gender, which was really neat. I actually had Dr. Dale as a professor my both semesters of my first year at Belmont, and I always wanted to live up to the high expectations she had for students. It is really neat for me to be able to receive an award in her name. But it didn’t end yesterday (which also happened to be my birthday). On Monday, the University wide awards are being handed out, and I’m privileged and honored to be receiving the Alfred Leland Crabb award in writing along with another outstanding English Major. It’s really great to celebrate the acheivement of my friends and fellow students and this is just another cherry on top of graduation being less than a month away.

The Front Porch and Gallery F

galleryf_logo.gif
Last Friday my best friend and I were hanging out together and decided to walk over to the Front Porch at the Scarritt Bennett Center, which is a local Nashville retreat site/cultural, intellectual, and spiritual learning space. It’s really neat. Anyways, it wasn’t open when we got there, but they have these awesome brightly painted rocking chairs just chilling outside, so we hung out until it was open. Once it opened up we found out there was a really neat exhibit called “Native” going on that explored Native American history and culture in Tennessee. We walked around for a bit, and I really enjoyed it. We hung out a bit in the kitchen, too, and it was really neat. It’s really informal and everyone who works there is an artist and gets a studio to work in across the street from the gallery and cafe. I really enjoyed stumbling across such a progressive little space in the middle of Nashville.

Georgia Bound!

2375892924_be4de21e0d.jpg
This weekend I travelled with my best friend, her parents, and her boyfriend down to good old Atlanta for the weekend and her first Marathon on March 21st. The ride was completely gorgeous on the way down and we stayed in the beautiful Omni hotel. For the most part, we hung out around the hotel, but while my friends were in the pool for a bit I hiked around downtown Atlanta and visited the Underground, which was neat, but small, and honestly, I’m just not a mall kind of girl.
Finally, Sunday arrived and my friend started out the ING Georgia 2010 Marathon right in front of our hotel to cheers from hundreds of people. It was my first time seeing a marathon and it was really awesome to experience. We drove around almost the whole time trying to meet up with my friend, but we were off on her pace and so we kept missing her. Thankfully, we missed her by being too far ahead of her, so we were able to see her run through the finish line. I was so proud, and her boyfriend found her at the 23 mile mark to help her run the last three miles. Overall it was a pretty fun weekend. I was a little disappointed we didn’t get to visit my future school, Candler School of Theology at Emory University, but I’m sure I’ll go visit again.

To Make a Journal

literary_journal09.jpg
So, I am the Co-Fiction Editor this year for the 2009-10 Belmont Literary Journal and I’m so excited. Last year, I had the privilege of having 3 of my submissions in the journal (which you can view here), and this year I get to be on the other side and help decide what’s going inside the journal. It is really neat to see all that goes on with the organizational side of the journal. There’s paper and fonts to be chosen, and covers, and not to mention the poetry, prose, and artwork that will grace the inside of the journal. It’s all a pretty extensive process, and we’re about halfway done with everything. I’m really excited, there’s some great writing in this years collection. It’s just too bad that we can’t put everything awesome inside of it due to page limits.

I Live for Weekends

Carmichaels-700945.JPG
These past couple of weeks have let me know that Senioritis is in full stride. It’s not that I’m skipping class or homework (I’m doing a research paper on Black Catholics right now), it’s just that I find few of my classes interest or stimulate me in any challenging way right now. However, hanging out on weekends has been quite fun for me. This past weekend I went to Louisville with two of my housemates. We visited some really cool places, mainly the Blue Dog Artisan Bakery (recently featured in Southern Living) and got a lesson on scouring baguettes. They have amazing food and bread at Blue Dog and I’m so glad to have visited. We also stopped by Carmichaels Bookstore (Recently voted the #1 bookstore in America by Publisher’s Weekly) and I picked up a book by Thich Nhat Hanh. Finally, my friends and I started a new website imtooliberal.com, that’s kind a satire on a fictional character who is pieced together from pieces of ourselves and others we’ve come in contact with. It’s meant to be funny, so don’t take it too seriously.
This weekend is really awesome as well. I’ve been to the Scarritt Bennett Center, right down the street from Belmont, for a wonderful presentation on the Washingtons of Wessyington Plantation by John Baker. Mr. Baker began at the age of 13 researching into his family’s history and discovered how his family tree goes back to slavery and a lot of interesting information about the history of his family. A few of my friends and I also attended a party for my friend Devon who is having her senior music recital on Sunday. I love Devon’s music and voice, and she and some more of my friends are in a group, Mosaic, that is currently working on their worship album which I’m very excited about. In all, this weekend is going to be really fun, and I’m thankful that I have all this greatness to attend to in my last semester. But I still won’t forget my books!

LOST and Graduation

So, I am an unapologetic LOST fan. I started watching it this summer after being told it was the most amazing thing ever, and it turned out to actually be true. This week, the Season Premiered with a two hour long episode that rocked my face off. I went over to a friends house to watch it on their big screen which made it even more awesome. The show is filled with such great writing and so many awesome characters, not to mention that there’s so many awesome sci-fi quirks about it and great humor. I’m really looking forward to the end of the season to see how everything ties together.
In many ways, all the ups and downs and crazy characters entering and exiting the show make me feel like it’s really similar to my life as a Senior right now, knowing the end is coming, but not knowing how I’m going to get there, meeting new people and losing track of old ones, or reconnecting with folks I haven’t seen in 2 years. A lot of my time is being spent right now getting financial aid stuff in order for grad school, trying to figure out where I’m going to live next year, trying to stay connected to my friends here, Oh yeah, and did I mention my classes? I guess I expected this semester to be a lot more hectic as far as course load goes, but it seems to be pretty simple so far. Can’t get too lackadaisical, though. 98 days until graduation!

The Beginning of the End

On January 13th, I started my last first day of undergraduate. I can’t say how surreal the whole thing feels and how much I want it to both last forever and to be over as quickly as possible. In all honesty, though, I think I’m mostly ready to be finished at BU. Over the Winter Break I was informed that I was accepted into Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and so in the Fall, I will be pursuing my Masters of Theological Studies there. I’m so excited and ready to do postgraduate work. I’m realizing I’m a bit of a nerd as far as learning goes, and I can’t wait to be immersed in a new academic environment. But I also know that without the strong critical and ethical foundation I received at Belmont, I could very well be doing something else. I still want to get an MA in English, but right now, I’m really feeling led to pursue a theological education.
In addition to all this excitement about my future, the present is looking pretty fun. I’m taking 17 credit hours, and I have an 8AM biology class on Tuesdays and Thursdays that is shaping up to be a doozy, but I’m pretty excited about everything else I’m taking, especially my Christian Ethics class entitled, “Poverty and Justice.” There are several reasons why this is exciting. One: It takes place inside the Bass Correctional Facility, which is a minimum security prison, through an education program called Inside Out that seeks to create community between students inside and outside the prison walls. I had the privilege of taking a class inside BCF last spring and it was the most enjoyable class I think I’ve ever had in prison. To go from only knowing what I saw and heard about prisoners on TV and the News, to actually becoming friends with these men was a truly inspiring process. Inside of the classroom, we found we were all able to learn from each other intellectually, emotionally, and experientially. This year, I’m excited again to be able to engage with some old faces and some new faces as well. Two: This class is also partnered with American Baptist College, a predominately black college with a great history of educating leaders in the Nashville area. It’s always good to have a variety of voices that aren’t necessarily fostered inside the Belmont Bubble. Finally, I’m excited about this class because of the work we are going to be doing. Engaging issues of poverty and justice from a Christian perspective is of utmost importance to me. I’m especially enthused about the reading and discussions that we’re going to be doing. “Nickle and Dimed”, “Where we Stand: Class Matters” by bell hooks (who is my favorite author, btw), and “One Nation Underprivileged,” all seem to be great books that allow for a great systematic analysis of the situation in conjunction with the presence in a prison where many of the insiders have been affected by poverty and class issues, resulting in environments that led to imprisonment and crime.
In all, this is shaping up to be a wonderful final semester. I’m trying to get to tutoring at the Edgehill Public Library again, and I’m also Co-Fiction Editor of the Belmont Literary Journal, so I definitely have a full plate. 113 days left!!

Christmas is Coming!

So, Christmas is almost here. Its after Thanksgiving. The turkey has all been eaten. The dressing is gone. This is always the best and worst part of the semester for me, I think. I feel like I click with people so well during the final few weeks of school, and I feel that with my housemates. One of them is graduating in 2 weeks, and I appreciate his presence all the more now. For the rest of us, I think we’re just getting used to living together and that’s really cool. The other night we threw on a Christmas album from my friends, Mosaic (Check them out at www.myspace.com/mosaiconline), and cut out paper snowflakes for a bake sale Brandon was doing. Then, Friday night we had a good time playing games like Sequence, and Spades, and Boggle, and Scrabble. It was a good time all around, and it’s funny that even with all I have to do for school, I still need that time to just breath and be with people I love.
I can feel myself getting all sappy. It’s almost the end of my final fall semester of undergrad, and, while I’m somewhat anxious to get out of here, I can’t pretend that I won’t miss anyone or anything, or that I won’t miss Brandon when he graduates, or that I won’t miss sharing a room with Elli, or hearing Austin’s corny jokes, or teaching Aaron how to knit, or laughing at how Justin’s always losing his keys. This semester has been so up and down in so many ways, but there’s always been a strand of goodness running through it, and I’m just trying to be thankful for where things are now.

Of Garden’s and Gratefulness

So, I’m doing a group project that’s focused on making the Belmont Community Garden a Sustainable effort. Many people actually don’t know Belmont has a community garden, and truth is, it’s just now beginning to take off after a slow start this past summer. I’m really excited. On my end, I’m doing some more logistical stuff, and drafting a 2 year plan for where the Garden hopes to be and accomplish by Spring 2012. In the meantime, we’ve had a big community service workday a couple of weekends ago and it’s shaping up to look really good.
turkey-dinner.jpg
In other news, Turkey Day is fast approaching. I always enjoy going to Arkansas and visiting my dad’s side of the family and seeing my grandparents, cousins, aunt’s, uncles, and eating lots of good food. But, I don’t know how much rest I will get. I’ve got an 8 page paper to start on, a 10 page paper to start on, a 5 page book review, a 2000 word essay, and a 1500 word essay to write by December 7th and 8th. And I still have a lot of research to do on the biggest papers. That said, I’m really excited about both of the big paper’s. One of them is going to be on Toni Morrison’s Sula, and the other is going to be on Time, Narrative, and the (Re)Construction of History in Slavery and the West using Octavia Butler’s “Kindred” and Ishmael Reed’s “Yellowback Radio Brokedown” as my primary texts. So, those two things make me very excited.

These Are the Days

slide0009_image001.jpg
These are the days when I wish I could sleep in all day. Not only am I extremely tired physically, I’m honestly just tired of school right now. I need a little breather and Thanksgiving Break is not coming soon enough. Call it senioritis or stress, but whatever it is, I’m feeling like I need to make a break from campus and from homework right now (with the exception of Toni Morrison’s “Sula,” which is quickly becoming one of my favorite books).
Good thing I’m going out of town this weekend. In preparing for my future, I’m applying to Emory University’s Candler School of Theology for their Masters of Theological Studies program. As much as I’ve enjoyed my time at Belmont, I’m really very excited to check out what could possibly be the future of my academic life and take a breather for a couple of days. I’m also going to get to spend the night with one of my best friends who I have not seen in far too long, and I can’t wait.
I’m also trying to stay on top of my school work, I’m in the process of writing two essays (in my head right now) that have to be done by the end of the semester which is rapidly approaching. Man, the days are just going so quickly, but the weather is getting so beautiful. One thing I love around Belmont is all the leaves in the quad these days. It’s so much fun to kick through them on my way to or from class (I know, I’m not supposed to be walking on the grass, but sometimes it’s just too inviting!).