Tuesday, April 27

Dictionary Life

This is a segmented essay that i wrote for my Writing Creative Non-Fiction class called Dictionary Life:

Read: look at and comprehend the meaning of (written or printed matter) by mentally interpreting the characters or symbols of which it is composed.


I read Green Eggs and Ham, all on my own, for the first time. When I finished, I jumped up, with a heart full of accomplishment, to go and tell my mother what I had done. Reading this book is the earliest moment I can remember when I felt like I had really achieved something.

Book: a written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers.

In first grade, I was bumped up to the highest reading level in that grade. Already I was reading simple chapter books. My mother tells me that I wouldn’t read anything my brothers didn’t read, and they are four and five years older than me.

Learn: gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught.

In fifth grade, I was put in the accelerated reading class called Project Idea. One of the highlights was when we acted our A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I was Hermia, one of the lead females. I loved all of the lines I got to read, and how important I felt, I couldn’t understand when the other kids, who watched our play, laughed at me when I acted out my distress at waking up alone, Dimetrius having been put under a spell to fall in love with Helena.

Comprehend: grasp mentally; understand; include, comprise, or encompass.

In Jr. High, again, I was in the accelerated English class. We had a list of spelling words that were of a high school English class; we were told that we would get extra credit if we found them in books that we were reading. One day I presented over 60 places where I found the words in different books I had read that week.

Define: state or describe exactly the nature, scope, or meaning of; give the meaning of (a word or phrase), esp. in a dictionary.

Freshman year of High school, I was in a normal English class, but when we read To Kill a Mockingbird I had radical ideas about the characters that no one, including my teacher understood. This is the same teacher who tried to teach us that when a quoted sentence begins in the middle of a preexisting sentence, the quoted sentence wasn’t capitalized.

Syntax: the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language; a set of rules for or an analysis of this; the branch of linguistics that deals with this.

By my senior year of high school, I was coaching the rest of my class on Shakespeare: how to read and understand Macbeth. When I told them I hoped to be a high school English teacher, none of them were surprised.

Teach: show or explain to (someone) how to do something.

In college I realized that my heart was for the written word, for expressing myself with words. I knew finally what I wanted to do with my life, and it wasn’t teaching. I wanted to be a famous author.

Write: mark (letters, words, or other symbols) on a surface, typically paper, with a pen, pencil, or similar implement; have the ability to mark coherent letters or words in this way.

Monday, April 19

Marriage or Career, should it be a debate?

In the February edition of the North Park Press, there was an article discussing women at North Park and their views on marriage. I wrote a response to it which appeared in the March edition. I wanted to share it with all of you, and I tried to find the article online, but i couldn't. The best i could do, short of retyping it, was to take pictures and post them here.

Although slightly difficult to read, it is much easier to post pictures than to retype the whole article. My response I will post here as well:

I was very frustrated when I read the article “Marriage or career, NP women debate”. It was frustrating because I feel, as a woman, that I shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of subjugation anymore. Why does it matter if I choose a husband or a career, and why do I even have to choose? Why is it a matter of interest as to what women look for in life after college? Why weren’t men asked what they were doing after college? I feel that if you are going to write an article about women in college, it should cover more than just that.

We live in a society where it is perfectly acceptable for women to be in the workplace, to have high-ranking jobs, to run for President. Why is it then important for us to dissect whether or not a woman is looking for a career or a husband? Shouldn’t the question be what do people want life to be after they graduate? Women don’t get engaged to themselves, men are a part of it as well, so why not ask them why they choose to get engaged before they graduate?

This article proves to me that men still see women as a lesser sex; like we are weaker and therefore it is odd when one wants to have a career instead of, or along with, getting married. This is what happened in the ‘50s and the ‘60s is what resulted from it. Women in the ‘50s were housewives, and didn’t hold careers, but after the freedom they had during the war, they realized exactly what men did to them, and they revolted. The Women’s Rights Movement in the ‘60s and ‘70s is what came of that revolt.

Women deserve the same rights and respect that is given men when it comes to choosing a career or choosing a family. I, for one, am excited to be a wife and eventually a stay at home Mom, but I don’t like feeling like I am being judged for not wanting a career. I also don’t want to be seen as just falling into my role as a ‘woman’ to be a stay at home Mom and be the housewife.
I don’t think that we should have separate spheres in society like they had in the early 1900’s and before. The world we live in is bigger than that was. Women have gone through a lot in the history of the world, and we have struggled to be seen as equal to men in so many ways. Are you going to undo all of that by relegating college to be a past time until women can find a suitable husband and get married? I don’t think that is right.

I don’t think that at a time like this, in this day and age, with so many women being CEO’s and leading successful careers and having successful families that an article like this should be printed. The fact that it was written by a man compounds my frustrations. Men have, historically, relegated women to the kitchen. The phrase “barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen” certainly didn’t come from a woman!

In the future, I think that an article that deals with this kind of a topic should look at men and women, it should poll more than a few people, and it should make clear that this isn’t the only way things can be or should be done.

I would love to hear your comments on whether you agree with my opinion or with Brian Wallin's. It is an interesting debate that I am sure will continue for many more years before any sort of agreement can be reached about women and their roles in society and in families.

One thing I will say that I have learned through discussing this issue as well as different passages in the Bible that deal with women's conduct in society and in the church is that God has a specific plan for us and that gender distinctions do not always go against that plan, in fact, they reinforce it. It is good for a woman to be a woman and for a man to be a man, anything contrary to that is contrary to God's law.

You may agree, you may not, but that is what I have come to believe is true over the course of this year.

Saturday, April 17

Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon

Last night, my small group and I went to see How to Train Your Dragon. It is an animated film about a small Viking village with a pest problem... dragons. They grow up learning how to kill dragons and protect the village, and your place in society is judged by how well you kill dragons. Hiccup is the exception. He is a scrawny boy who doesn't fit in. Thus begins the age old story about how the underdog, who isn't respected by anyone, especially his father, overcomes all of it and becomes a hero!

I don't want to give away the ending, so I will stop my narration there. In my opinion, it was a cute movie, with snappy dialogue and adorable dragons. What I was most impressed with was the moral to the story. It was a great example of how society isn't always right, and thinking for yourself gets you very far indeed.

Now, I am no critic, but I think everyone should see this movie, just maybe not in theaters. Matinee's would be great, I just wouldn't pay $8 or $10 to see it (good thing I only paid $5!). Nonetheless, go see it and then go buy a dragon. Trust me, you will want one. I mean, any movie that can turn dragons into misunderstood fire-breathing, crop-destroying, man-eating terror machines is a pretty good movie.

Sunday, April 11

My First Blog

Welcome to my first blog ever!

Actually, that's not completely true... in high school I had a Xanga... that technically was my first blog ever. All I did in that was talk about school and stuff. It was pretty lame.

This blog might turn out to be just as lame. Hopefully not, as I am older and more experienced and have more opinions about things. So, this is really my second attempt at a blog, my first one failing miserably because no one ever read it.

I am sitting in my room right now, avoiding homework by starting this blog and reading Catcher in the Rye and generally drinking in the spring air of Chicago (this is rather sarcastic, as Chicago is rather gross smelling, and certainly not refreshing). Anyway, I am sitting here, struggling to type out this post because it isn't in a Word document, so I don't have automatic capitalization. Sometimes I ignore not capitalizing sentences, on Facebook usually, but here I would like to be an intelligent human being and have correct spelling, grammar and capitalized sentences.

This brings me to what I would like to think every blogger does: set out a goal for the blog. I have been sort of stalling getting a blog because I wanted it to serve a purpose, rather than be just little ol' me writing to no one for no specific reason... that's why I have a journal. So, this won't be a place for me to bare my soul to the world and share deep secrets about life. I do hope to be real here, as I think it is important to be exactly who I am where ever I go. I will discuss different current events, or books that I am reading, because i think that's fun, and because I am an English major, it's kind of what I do all day anyway!

I might also post some poems I have written, or short story ideas, because it's always great for a writer to get feedback on their work.

I think that what finally got me to start this little blog of mine was to keep my family informed about my life. I am an adult (scary thought for some) and will be graduating college in the next year or so. Hopefully, through this blog, my family and friends who can't be with me can still be a part of my life and what I am struggling through and also my joys.

I guess, also, I owe you all an explanation as to the name of my blog. Firefly comes from two sources. The first being one of my all time favorite shows, Firefly, which only ran one season. It stars Nathan Fillian, the current star of the show Castle. If you have not seen either of these shows, stop reading my blog and go watch them. Seriously. He is amazing. Its all online now. Real easy. Go watch it now. The other source is the bug, also known as lightning bugs. They are one of the only bugs that I actually delight in, and many summer evenings of my childhood were spent in catching them and watching their butts light up.

The actual title is in reference to my being a book worm and being able to enjoy an afternoon reading about other peoples imaginary adventures while having none of my own.

I sincerely hope that you will enjoy reading my posts, and that you will keep coming back for more Literary Adventures with me!