So yeah, school has started, and with a roar, as I’m sure many of you feel. I share your petrified sentiments. I think the phrase I’ve been throwing around n regards to school is “I want to go crawl into a hole and die,” haha. In fact, I’m thinking I may have to drop Tolkien (or Tolkeen or however Randle says it). I’m going to do the homework–okay let’s be specific–I’m going to go read the 260-page biography (grr) for Tuesday’s class, but I really don’t think I’m in a position to do well (or even decently) in a class that demands that much of me on a regular basis, atop everything else. Yes, I’ll still have to take a genre or figure with Senior Seminar, Reporting and Interviewing, a double load at the Collegian and all that stuff next semester if I drop Tolkien. But I’m not seeing any other choice. Surely there has to be a genre or figure class that doesn’t demand as much as Tolkien. Anybody have any suggestions to consider for next semester?
Well, even in the face of all the chaos of school, I have a story for you all. A story of internal conflict, determination, divine intervention, and triumph. Okay, so I’m exaggerating it a little, but it’s something that happened to me yesterday. I ended up having to put my money where my mouth is on my “senior resolutions” sooner than I expected, let’s just say. Here’s the story, as I told it to a friend of mine:
“Sometime after I got to school but before classes started, I had a lot of time to think. And believe it or not, I made resolutions for this year. I guess the weight of everything kinda just hit me; I realized that this is my last year at university; after this, life will never be the same, and I won’t get this time again. So obviously I want to make the most of it. These were my 3 resolutions for the year: 1-To not try so hard to be accepted by the English department (that was something I really thought I needed last year). 2- To spend more time with the International students here, especially since we got a lot more this year and many are Chinese. 3- To not let schoolwork take first priority over things that are truly important to me. I want to feel no problem with at any moment dropping everything to get away with God or hang out with my friends. That stuff is invaluable and you can’t get it back. It’s more likely that I would regret not doing things I loved than it is that I would regret not staying in my room and studying all the time.
I bought my tickets for Hawk Nelson Monday and realized later this week that the concert was last night, and wouldn’t you know I had night class scheduled then (Shakespeare). And it was the first class meeting, too, so I couldn’t really miss it. I didn’t know what to do; the concert seemed out of the question, even though I had the ticket. Hawk Nelson was playing first, so there was no way I could attend class and still catch their part of the show after I got out. After I got out of day class yesterday, I ended up doing something I do a lot at concerts, and it always seems to pay off: I went to MC’s coliseum super early (like 2:30 or 3ish). I thought, if I can’t see the concert, maybe I can at least watch Hawk Nelson’s soundcheck. I just went and sat on the bleachers and watched. After awhile, members of the band, starting with the bassist, came over one by one and introduced themselves and we started talking. I told them my situation and why I was there. They were cool guys; at that point, I met everybody but the singer guy. (The bassist and drummer are my buds now, haha.) After about 2 hours, some older guy (I guess with the band) came in and shooed me out, but it was almost time for me to go to class anyway. By that point, I had made my decision. Night class went from 6-8:45, and the concert started at 7. I was going to go to class for an hour and leave at 7 for the concert. My logic was this: If I compromise my resolution now, it’ll be that much easier for me to compromise it again and again this year. And this year is going to be killer, which makes that last resolution even more vitally important, for my own sake if nothing else. I knew that if I didn’t stand up for myself this time, I probably wouldn’t do it again; I’d just passively let school swallow everything.
I went to class and was so stinkin nervous because I’ve never just walked out of a class before. And of course all this time-consuming stuff happened, like we had to change rooms. He gave out the syllabus, and asked us to fill out information cards, and then went around taking his sweet time calling out every student and asking questions and making comments about stuff they’d written on their cards. This whole time I’m sitting near the back door, about to explode, thinking, “Why are you taking so long?! I know you don’t really care to know that much anyway!” I was sitting there praying that he would call my name before 7:00 so I could leave on time. I was one of the last names he called. By that time, there were only like 3 names left, so I knew if I left that close to the end it’d be even more noticable, plus rude. He finished the last 3 names….and let us go early. It was like 6:57. I high-tailed it straight over to the coliseum and took a seat just as Hawk Nelson was taking the stage. It was such a God thing. To me, it seemed almost like God’s affirmation that the resolutions I made weren’t stupid, and that He was going to help me honor them, too.
Their show was good. After the end, they were hanging out and getting pictures and stuff; I hung back so I’d be the last one, because obviously since they knew my predicament, I had to tell them the awesome story. It was funny, the bass guy saw me over the crowd and was like, “Michelle! Come say hi!” After most of the crowd had gone, I talked with him and told him the whole story (I hadn’t told him about the resolutions part before, just that I had Shakespeare night class). He thought it was cool. The drummer assumed that I had missed the show, so I had to tell him the story, too. The singer introduced himself; turns out the bassist had told him about me and my situation when I was there earlier, so I got to tell him the story, too. He and I had a good talk about Canada. God’s awesome, what can I say. Sometimes I almost wonder if I’ll eventually have some kind of Christian band ministry because it seems like (especially in the past couple of years) I always get replies to e-mails I send bands, especially asking if they have prayer requests. And every time lately I’ve gone to a concert, cool God stuff like this happens.”
So, for my Xanga friends, I present the evidence: the picture I’ve appropriately entitled “Shakespeare can stuff it”–a picture of me and 3/4 of Hawk Nelson (the other guy was helping tear down)–the drummer, the bassist (holding that blasted Shakespeare book), myself, and the singer. God cares about the small stuff, too. Not only that, but also He wants you to live every day of your life, not just endure it. Don’t be foolish, be responsible, but at the same time, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and your life–even if standing up involves something as small as a scheduling conflict. After all, you only get one life…that’s not enough to spend monotonously beating yourself senseless with work or school or whatever the case may be. Do it; I think the Lord would want you to.
I’m going to go read Tolkien now–and at good stopping places, take a break or two or three.