Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why I'm taking myself to the Christmas Banquet (and no, I'm not just a shrew)

Bluntly put, it's because on the whole, I'm not impressed with the Ambrose boys. (yes, I say "boys", not "men". Not that I have an opinion, or anything.) Also, in this community, you only attend "with someone" if you're dating, a relationship I share with no one, especially these guys I've known for less than 2 months. Why cheapen what it means to be a couple by casually going with a guy I'll probably never promote over the level of friend? It's silly. Besides, according to Brian, I'm too skinny for anyone to ever love me anyway. ;)

Why then do I still go? It's a chance to attend a masquerade and enjoy a formal social event with friends (not to mention food a step above the usual cafeteria fare)! Of course, since it's a Christian school, there is to be no dancing. (cough) We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

At least I can finish my book.

 I'm presenting in my history class on some writings of this dashing gent (Sima Qian) sometime in the next week or so. He's the Chinese version of Herodotus, and was the first to write out any history of the Chinese people. Qian was so devoted to his work, when given the choice between the death penalty and castration (for supposedly disobeying the emperor), he chose castration. He is credited for saying something along the lines of, "at least I get to finish my book that way". It's a "glass half-full" way to look at the situation. Specifically, I get to talk about the life of Meng Tian, the general responsible for building the great wall of China. Of course, this is especially interesting to me after getting to visit it. This is good, because otherwise, the motivation to do homework is not very high.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rudeness or flattery?

In my Lit. class, we're working on a lot of early English poetry, full of hopelessly romantic ideals and silly notions. So when you run across something like Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 it stands out:
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

Really, it's quite interesting ( not to mention I'm currently writing an essay about it, so I can't get it out of my mind). It does raise the question, well posed by Charlotte Brontë : Do you prefer flattery or rudeness in love? Or do you hope there's a middle ground because neither are ideal? Either way, this poem, for the period it was written in, leans dangerously to the honest side, with a touch of sarcasm. It's a personal favorite. Well said, Bard.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Recently, I've been trying to help some friends choose meaningful and clever names for their new blogs, which has begged the question: Why "Ramblings of a Reformed Romantic"? While the answer doesn't really need an explanation if you've actually read the blog, I'll try to explain it (she said without a hint of arrogance).

As becomes readily apparent when you read it, my natural writing style does not necessarily follow a logical thought progression, in fact one might call it wandering and random. By definition then, rambling is a fitting description of what I do, often or habitually roaming; wandering; lengthy and/or digressive. The analogy isn't perfect..."rambling" does seem to imply there's no point in the writing. (insert clever joke here)

Reformed is for my firmly held theological beliefs. I love God and long to know Him more. One of the most crucial kinds of knowledge is the knowledge of what God is like in salvation, which I believe John Calvin to have explained very well indeed for a fallible human. I believe God is sovereign and I can cast aside all anxiety in the knowledge that he has foreordained what is it be and it is working out for His glory (so many things I could say here...but I'll leave it there).

And last, and probably least, I am a hopeless romantic. I can be an idealist, a sentimental dreamer, imaginative and fanciful. Going through love poetry for school right now is just about a as good as it gets. ;) By definition, I am person who allows feelings of love to override common sense, though I hope that's not entirely true. A Romantic can also refer to someone who appreciates that period in history, literature and art, which I enjoy greatly.

All in all, a fitting title for my blog.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

But you can call me Kels...

Growing up, my family shortened my name to the mono-syllabic "Kels". It was totally natural, and I don't mind it at all. I never really noticed that it was a nickname until moving to Minneapolis. Then, through making new friends, I realized that it was a pretty good indicator of when people were comfortable around me. Usually, about a month or so into a relationship, people start using "Kels" when talking to/about me, even if they have no contact with my family or people who use "Kels". I usually never tell people this, because I'm still testing my theory. So far, the data has been very consistent, and as I assume the only people that would even think of reading this have known me for at least a year, I'm not too worried about spoiling the social experiment. How does this relate to the present? (I'm glad you asked.) In the last week, people in Res. have finally started calling me "Kels".

Not totally related, but somewhat interesting: I also answer/have in the past answered to "Kelso", "Ryn-Ring", "Ke-Ru-Shi", "Dawn", "Lady Rosalyn", "YOU", and "Elsie" (to name a few).

Monday, October 19, 2009

After losing blood flow to three of my fingers for about 20 minutes yesterday, I decided to do some research on Raynaud's syndrome to see if there was anything I could do to help prevent the symptoms. It was actually quite interesting. I already knew it had to do with poor circulation, but I was unaware it was related to overstimulated blood vessels; basically, being exposed to cold or stress causes them to constantly constrict, causing the blood to drain from those areas. Naturally then, habits like smoking or caffeine dependencies (here's where it hurts...) aggravate these conditions. So kicking that coffee habit might not be such a bad idea after all.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

3 days after I started, I finished my first blog post for work. Apparently having my writing represent the English department means I'm very meticulous. We'll see if it pays off.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wooten & Writer's block

I'm finding that the vaguer my outline is, the easier it is for me to write. ("Vaguer"? Sure, why not...) So when I'm given a topic and train of thought to follow, it's exceedingly difficult to make my mind cooperate and not just sit around having something remind me of something else, etc...
So I decided to listen to some sweet bass and read some Spurgeon. He spoke a great deal of obeying and valuing the Word and the restfulness of humility, far sweeter than the recklessness of pride. It's best summed up in his closing lines: "The ungodly may ridicule our deep reverence for the Word of God; but what of that? The prize of our high calling is a sufficient consolation for us. The rewards of obedience make us scorn the scorning of the scorner."

I appreciate these lines particularly because a few days ago I was involved in a heated discussion about "relevance" and the Word that seemed to end with my friend thinking that all translations of the Bible are valid; clearly the only reason that I had to protest for staying as close to the original Hebrew and Greek as possible was because I was an English major who would choose that for all original documents. For everyone else, an "easier Bible" (i.e. TNIV, NRSV, The Message, etc.) was perfectly acceptable and recommended; "the other translations are too hard to read and understand". It's an argument from laziness, not to mention illogical! It's saying, "My vocabulary isn't up to 3rd grade standards, and I'm not willing to make an effort to read the inerrant word of God on my own or recognize it as the blessing it is. I'd rather be spoonfed a paraphrased version with a shiny cover." Besides that, unlike any other primary document that's been handed down, this book was inspired by God. Yes, it needs to be translated to be intelligible to those of us who can't read ancient languages. No, there is not one magical formula for presenting the Gospel to all nations and peoples through all history. But it's very dangerous to attempt to "reinterpret" truth, and I fear we don't err on the side of caution as often as we should (not that I have an opinion or anything).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Desiring wisdom and discernment? Walk the Way.

"Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them;
for the ways of the Lord are right,
and the upright walk in them,
but transgressors stumble in them." -Hosea 14:9

What a great passage to end your devotions with! In a major where I do significant amounts of reading, reading the Bible never ceases to amaze me. The writing is clearly as inspired as it is varied in style; from love poems to historical records and laws to letters of admonishment it flows with the common thread of the Gospel. So many authors, so much time spanned in its writing, yet such unity of mind! Not to mention the role of the Holy often in reading is there a word in season. How many times have you seemed to just turn to a particularly convicting passage at the very time you needed it? (I highly doubt I'm the only person that happens to.)
To relate the passage above to my numerous midterms this week/next week...a common prayer theme this week has been asking God for wisdom and understanding. We need to remember that the knowledge we're trying to cram into our minds is meaningless compared to the greatness of knowing God and walking in His ways. Thank God for study groups who pray together and admonish one another in truth!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

For my friends farther south, this is going to seem ludicrously early. But winter has arrived in Calgary, as evidenced by the snow and hail we've gotten this last week; there are icicles on the trees. Especially with Thanksgiving is this weekend (gotta admit, that's still odd to me), the school has erupted in bizarre mix of midterm stress and festive cheer. Everyone talks of what they're planning on eating when they go home. For the vegetarians, and those of us who generally try to eat much healthier than our cafeteria fare, the prospect is especially exciting. I think the most exciting part will be just getting out of Residence for the weekend. I really do enjoy living in Res, but when you have little mode of transport (or places to go off campus) you tend to just stay in the Ambrose circle for weeks on end. Going anywhere off-campus becomes an event. In the words of Sherlock Homes, " It is, of course, a trifle, but there is nothing so important as trifles." I'm quickly finding as a student, being able to find little joys in life is especially helpful.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

An Interview, Bad Recordings of Beautiful Music and Cold Feet (but not in that order)

Frostbite is an experience which will always remind me of Canada. Until moving here last year, I had managed never to get it, despite Minnesota's notorious winters. Honestly, I still haven't gotten it ( the nasty black, necrotic flesh sort) merely its precursor, the aptly named "frost nip". Curiously enough, it's something that once you've gotten it, seems to happen quite frequently and get progressively worse. Last night, I not only frost-nipped (?) my phalanges, but it moved up to the base of the metatarsals. Perhaps someday, I can aspire to this. (WARNING: these pictures are quite gross. Hence why I posted them...)

For those of you who will not be able to come to my choir concert, I will try to at least share the beauty of some of the pieces we're doing. Some of the sound quality is bad, but it's hard to find these pieces period, let alone a good recording of them...
For the Beauty of the Earth
Soon-Ah Will Be Done
Precious Lord
O Lux Beatissima (sound is particularly bad, but the choir isn't)
A Clare Benediction
O Magnum Mysterium
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent (Sorry, the solos great)

And to finally get to the first part of my title, I hopefully have an interview on Monday regarding possible work on campus; pray for me. We'll see how she goes...