Saga #2: Laptop Drama

I think it’s a good sign that I’ve been itching to write another post. I feel like you people are holding me accountable here. Or maybe it’s just my conscience. Whichever, I must get down on paper  here the story of my beloved Mac that was stolen.

But before I tell you that story, I must tell you this story. I have been participating in a cross-cultural education seminar through the Honors Program, and we look at issues of poverty and cultural differences in education. Bet you could have figured that one out. Anyway, we’ve visited a charter school in Gary and we also hosted a group of Navajo students from Arizona earlier this spring. So last week we went out to Pinon, AZ for four days to visit them in return.

Me and two other girls stayed at a teacher’s house very close to the school. We borrowed her house key to go relax for a few hours before the next group activity, and upon entering, we knew something was off. There was a trail of mud on the ground, and I looked directly to the wall where I had placed my backpack earlier that morning. It wasn’t there, and instead I saw it completely empty with all the zippers open and thrown into the corner. Another girl’s clothes were dumped out of her bag on the opposite end of the room. It was clear the guy ransacked the place as quick as he could, taking two laptops, two iPods (one of them mine as well) and an iHome, cell phone, and some sentimental jewelry, all belonging to the teacher.

We went outside the house and called a professor on the trip with us who was staying just up the road. What ensued was about a two-hour ordeal of missing-item lists, questions, police visits and breaking the news to the teacher, who showed up about a half hour after we did. Our stuff was replaceable (minus the jewelry), but it was our security that we were concerned for. I live comfortably. I’ve never had to worry about break-ins or safety issues because my home is cush. I was seriously shaken, and I also felt like a weenie because these kids in Pinon deal with this regularly. I felt like a weak, vulnerable Anglo.

Fortunately, that didn’t define the trip for me, as my next post in a few days will explain, and I have had my new Mac for about 24 hours now. It’s still a little naked, as I lost all my pictures, documents, and music, but she’ll be restored soon enough. As for the missing iPod…iPhone, anyone? ;)

“The Nurturer”

I took a personality test today. Personality tests are so funny because more than likely, if you’re not going through a mid-life crisis, you have an idea of who you are going into the thing, but you’re still AMAZED at how it can put your thoughts, actions, quirks and relational struggles into words on a page. My results? I’m an ISFJ.

I=Introverted. However, the results came in percentages, and I was 53% introverted to 47% extroverted.

S=Sensor. Supposedly I prefer specific answers to specific problems and use practical means to get them, as opposed to Intuitive, which appreciates abstract problems and theories.

F=Feeler. Sounds racy, but it means that I believe compassion and empathy are more important than analysis and logic (which would be the Thinker).

J=Judger, which also sounds bad, but it alludes to a person who enjoys organization, tidiness, punctuality and decisiveness…the opposite of a Perceiver.

All of these made perfect sense to me, but then I Googled a description of the ISFJ personality type, found here. It was called “The Nurturer.” I won’t go into much detail, but it did open my eyes to how much of a control freak I can be and how I let my feelings bottle up. Which is so not healthy.

You could be thinking, “This was way too much Mal for one post,” so I’m ending it here. But hey, you’re the one subscribed to read this, right? ;)

Just pretend it never happened..?

I realized the subtitle of this blog has the phrase “unveiled mishaps” in it. Meaning I’m supposed to share with you the times in which I screw things up. Though this isn’t a huge, life-altering “mishap,” I did feel pretty dumb afterwards. SO. Here we go.

On my wonderful visit to see Thomas this weekend, we ate in the dining court a few times. Always taking advantage of dessert that I don’t have to make or pay for, I wanted to have a cookie with some soft-serve vanilla ice cream. Filling up my bowl, I had to practically sit on the handle because it was so difficult to push down. Exaggeration. But I did have to push really hard and my hand was shaking a little. The ice cream was a little firm and you kind of have to “pinch” the end off if you will. But this ice cream DOES NOT STOP. It’s still coming. In a panic, I pinch it off and leave to go get my spoon. I’m turning around to go back to my seat when I see a GIANT pile of ice cream right where my bowl would have been, and a guy walking back to his seat saying to his friends, “That could have kept going forever.” Then it hit me. I actually had to lift the handle back up. We don’t do that at ISU. How was I supposed to know? Determined to remain as clueless as possible, I beelined for my seat, not making eye contact. I think I was pretty convincing.

But what’s even worse is that I have been laden with some good old “Catholic guilt,” despite the fact that I’m not Catholic at all. I felt like I had to tell someone about this ice cream incident because I felt so ridiculous for letting it leak four cups because I didn’t lift the handle. So I told Thomas, and of course, it wasn’t a big deal. I just don’t like doing silly things like that.

There you go. As much as I try not to drop salsa on my shirt or do an awkward shoe stub walking down the sidewalk, little incidents like these are unavoidable. Expectable. We can’t be in control of everything.

“She thinks she’s perfectly normal.”

I worked an event at the Children’s Museum last weekend, where I met a little girl who my mind has been wandering back to. Her name is Samantha, and she’s both deaf and visually impaired. And I was watching this girl run from exhibit to exhibit, but every once in a while, you saw her eyes wander around the room, making sure her mom was somewhere close (her mom was signing to her all evening). Samantha was so enthusiastic and the first to jump on the stage to be taught Indian-style dancing, and though her own body has the potential to limit her on a daily basis, she still has fun. She laughs loudly. She’s just a little girl.

I asked her mom if Samantha ever got frustrated that she couldn’t understand what was being said around her. She replied, “Not really. She gets more frustrated when other people can’t understand her.” And later she said, “She thinks she’s perfectly normal.”

Samantha won’t get to fully experience the chaos of family get-togethers. She won’t get to sing as loud as the person on the radio and think, “Wow, I sound pretty good,” (come on…you know you’ve done that). But she’s happy and knows no other way of living. That’s amazing to me.

There’s no guarantee that my little daughter (if I have one, the Lord willing) will have normal hearing. I can’t rely on that. And I hope that if I’m that mother that builds my home around English and sign language, that I can be as positive as Samantha and her mom. It’s always encouraging to see people overcome, yes?

Evangelists Say the Darndest Things

Evangelism (in the context of sharing the Gospel) is an interesting thing. It’s a confusing thing, and it’s very different things, according to very different people, as this video demonstrates.

I’ve had multiple conversations with people about sharing faith and the “most effective” way of doing so, and here’s where I am currently: an awesome pastor at a conference I went to called it “The Art of Coming Alongside.” Like merging lanes of traffic, we join people wherever they are on their faith journeys, and there’s never a definite destination. Some methods of evangelism can become agenda items or events and can easily become focused on me and my duties as a Christian. We don’t always see people from the other side of the glass and how they feel about being talked to. I’m not in any way saying other ways to share the Gospel are bad. But I think it’s important to keep the journey and the relationship and the “coming alongside” the main purpose.

A bride wouldn’t dip out on her groom after the gorgeous ceremony and joyous reception. That would make the whole ordeal about the wedding…not the marriage. In the same way, we shouldn’t simply focus on getting any person to the point of being “saved.” That’s in God’s realm of business. All we can do is join people on the journey.

My Most Recent Addiction

Maybe “addiction” could be a slight exaggeration, but I really really REALLY like a website called This site is SO FUN. <——Those caps express my excitement. Pinterest is a place where you can “pin,” or save, pictures that you come across online onto a “pinboard.” So instead of continually saving jpegs into a lost file on my computer, they’re all collected in one nice, clean space. There are different pinboards for different categories. For example, a few of mine are “Such the Foodie,” “Beauty in People” and “What to Wear.” It’s fabulous. And you can follow other people and see what images they have posted. It’s like one big pot of inspiration ready to be dipped out of.

I’ve been pinning pictures excessively this week. Between all the blogs I visit and how much time I spend online during after work, I see a lot of images. And saving and seeing them later makes me happy. Everything I find pretty or good in life is on my Pinterest.

Before I create the illusion that I don’t do anything school-related at school, let me just defend myself by saying that I’m actually enjoying my classes. The only one I’m not crazy about is my history, which I guess is alright, considering it’s the only course not contributing to my major or minor specifically. I’m also taking Intro to Nonprofit Management, Intro to Public Relations, Intro to Persuasion Theory, ZUMBA (for one credit hour…oh yeah!) and the history is U.S. Since 1865. Not bad.

Other than classes, I’m still working at the Office of Communications and Marketing and as the youth director at the church! I’m pumped about that one. The year is taking off, but intermingled in all that is spending both in-person and virtual time with the family and Thomas and having a social life…and pinning. Check it out sometime :)

An Evening with Friends and Dorm Update/Competitive Decorating

Friday nights in college are kind of odd for me, and maybe for other people too. It’s like there’s this expectation that you have a rad party to attend (or 3 or 4) or a big date night to get dolled up for. And half the time it’s three o’ clock in the afternoon and I have NO IDEA what I’m doing later. But all things considered, it turned out to be a wonderful low-key evening :) Let me elaborate.

Emma, Shannon and I grabbed some Chinese food from the Commons for dinner and ate it outside by the fountain, which was extremely pleasant. The weather is GORGEOUS right now. Emma and I went bowling with CSF (ok, so I didn’t stay in the whole time) and came back and made a mess of her room making paper crafts. Shannon joined us and we tore pages out of old books and maps and used stamps and watercolor to turn them into pinwheels and other fun-looking art.

And I don’t know what you call these things, but I love much.

Earlier this week we also added a “clothesline” of pictures (remember that twine reference?) which we secured with clothespins along our main wall; love. And we also strung up two strands of lights criss-crossing our ceiling in the middle. Florescent lights kill the room’s comfy factor, and one floor lamp wasn’t enough, so the extra lighting is perfect for a more mellow mood.

So here’s where the competition comes in. ISU’s Facebook page has a contest where you enter a picture of your dorm. People vote, and there are ten winners, but the top two get a fifty dollar gift card. To where, we don’t know, but I was always taught in tennis that a win’s a win. So surely the same theory applies. We’re getting a late start in the competition; however, we’ve recruited our friends to vote for us. We’re in it to win it. And we’ll keep you posted.

Here’s the submitted entry photo.

Mmm…DIY and Christmas lights. A magical combination.

Moving: Part 2

All settled in! What a day. We got my stuff moved in a little after ten this morning, and I kept busy putting things away and finding a place for every last picture and razor. The organizing was interrupted by lunch (but who can complain about that?) and the Honors Fall Welcome session, which I attended because I’m an Honors Peer Advisor. My job is to help about 20 new Honors students get acquainted with the program. Kind of like Link Crew…college style! Then Shannon and I went to Walmart, where we were charged with a bill that was momentarily deflating, right before we found rubber door stoppers at Dollar Tree. Fabulous. And THEN we went back to Wal-Mart to get twine for an upcoming project. I guess you’ll just have to check back to hear more about that one :) We finished with Sonic for dinner and then I was able to sit. And relax.

Want to see my room now? I put it into a mosaic just for kicks.

I kept my bedding from last year, which is so warm and cheerful, I think. We’re also hooked up with a private bathroom, which we eagerly decorated with a damask shower curtain and teal bathmats (they look more blue in the picture). And a walk-in closet? We’re two happy girls! Makes me look like less of a clothes hoarder because there’s so much space. Not pictured is our bookshelf with the tv and our triple stacker right next to it (Bessie the printer sitting on the microwave sitting on the fridge).

It’s really a very nice room and building, and I’d be silly to complain about it. But it’s still an adjustment. I’m looking forward to classes starting so I can start my routine. Does that make me sound like a boring person? Hm. I’m feeling a good sleep coming on.

One last thought. With details like this one atop my desk, how could I NOT enjoy this place?


Moving: Part 1

It’s about that time again. That time where laundry baskets are filled with miscellaneous combinations of sweatshirts, purses, hand mirriors and shampoo. Where all three drawers of the plastic storage unit are stuffed with plates and notebooks and power strips. It’s college time, people! I’m moving in tomorrow morning. And my room is a wreck.

I was able to help my guy pack up and get (kind of) settled in at Purdue on Saturday. Here he is bagging up some shirts the night before.

I get asked a lot how the long-distance thing works out for us, so I’ll just state publicly that most of the time it works pretty well. Both of us definitely learned some major communication lessons last year, and we saw each other 1 or maybe 2 weekends a month. But being at separate schools, we’re able to make our own friendships and get involved in our own things. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s frustrating. But those weekends when we do see each other are greatly anticipated, and we know it’s probably making us a better couple, even if it doesn’t seem like it sometimes. Now. Back to the mess. Here is my over-crowded-I-am-bringing-way-too-much-to-school pile that is dominating my floorspace…

It’s all going. My goodness, I hope it all finds a place somewhere.

Tonight I’m a little anxious. I love my bed. I love how my dog, Buck, waits up for me and sleeps on my white dog-hair-laden rug beside my bed. I love having the space in my house to wander and how the streets are quiet. But I know I’ll adjust when I lay my head tomorrow night in Pickerl 209. And know that it’s another year, another handful of experiences waiting to happen. Stay tuned, will ya?

The Present’s Past

One of my Facebook friends posted this website called Dear Photograph that encourages people to “take a picture of a picture from the past in the present.” Look at these beauties…

So neat. I’m not sure if this is normal or not, but many times I’ve looked at a tree, for example, and thought, “I wonder how many people before me looked at this tree or walked by this tree.” Driving down Wabash, I wonder how the scene has changed since “cruisin’ the ‘Bash” was the cool thing to do. Nearly everywhere we go, someone was there or something took place before we arrived. Buildings and rivers and sidewalks have a history before us. That amazes me. To think I sit in the same church pew as someone who had bad 80’s hair did. To realize that the same campus I will be navigating in just a few days has hosted students since 1865. When life as I know it didn’t exist.

But how often do we at the beach try to walk in the wet sand where there are no footprints? Where it appears no one has stepped before. What does this say about us?

The picture of the two girls walking the dogs–it’s the same girl. She grew up. She has a history with that road, and, most likely, other people do too. I wonder where my own history will lie. Hmm…