Saturday, January 29, 2011

January 19th, 2011

Has anyone ever seen the old-fashioned TV series called Bonanza?

When I first arrived in Oklahoma, I thought I had arrived on the Ponderosa Ranch and would soon be bumping into the famous, long-lost Western Cartwright characters such as Ben, Adam, Little Joe or Hoss! Coming from the bustling, modern, culturally-accelerated Chicago area, my new residence in the quiet, flat ranges of the Southwest ranching lands was such a change that I felt transported to another time and country. Although I have become a bit more situated, the change from what I have been used to is still huge and continues to deeply infiltrate every part of my life.


Coming from one girl's dorm to a campus with five girl's dorms, the residence I'm calling "home" was the second change I had to face soon after I drove into Oklahoma City. My dormitory is called "Mercy." It is a low brick structure positioned at the front of the campus beside a wide, barren lawn of grass asleep for the winter. At one end of the parking lot is a lush, heavily-branched magnolia tree; at the other, is the security tower where the guards keep endless vigil at the gates.

I live on the second floor, second door to the left, room number 404. My roommates are Melissa (a junior) and Meghan (a freshman). We live in suites; the room attached to our suite is room 402 where my suitemates are Jessica (a junior) and my sister Katrina. Each dorm is run by a Resident Advisor (RA) and two assistant RA's. I have not decided if it is blessing or not, but all three RA's for my dorm are in the rooms directly across the hall from mine. Hence, we are the first room to be inspected for chores, lights out, etc. But it does mean that we do not have to worry about too much noise - everyone is on tiptoe when they come to this side of the dorm, hoping to steal past the RA's unnoticed! My room is very close to the stairwell and emergency exit. It is also right next to the dorm lounge, where the pet fish Pedro keeps residence in a fishbowl.

For those who have experienced my previous college, it is difficult for me to correctly capture the difference between the two dormitories - but the difference is vast. While the former was quiet, carpeted, trimmed in oiled wood and boasted a high-arching, windowed lobby, it was kept bare and free from any visible evidence of residents. Heartland's dormitory is grey and white with florescent lamps and no gorgeous lofts or lobbeys. But the long white halls and the lounge are excitedly interrupted with colorful banners, slogans, bulletin boards, and other fraternity highlights. Pictures of the girls hang on the room doors and are tacked around the lounge walls. In replacement of hush and precision; bouyancy and vigor is the atmosphere.

Which do I prefer?

I am by nature quiet and withdrawn and simple. But the energy and charisma of the new dorm (and its residents!) is not a bad change. Just a very abrupt one.

God has blessed me with a wonderful RA, Bree. I have full confidence in her watchcare and she has demonstrated a personal care and interest that has been a huge encouragement. One of the assistant RA's is my "prayer sister" for the weekly prayer nights. Her name is Jaimie and her down-to-earth, sensible kindness to me has been a blessing, too!


I am taking 19 credit hours this semester. I had wanted a slightly-lighter load for the first semester, to ease up the transitions and while I began working a job, but God handed me a 19-hour-load, so I know he will have to be helping me to get through them all!

My classes are:
-Teaching Math (grrrrrr....)
-Teaching Science & Social Studies (I have to demonstrate an experiment in class soon!)
-Audio/Visual Methods of Teaching (what other ways can you teach besides just lecture?)
-Tests & Measurements (I have to learn how to make tests and evaluate student progress)
-Genesis (the beginning of all history)
-The Poetical Books of the Bible (Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon)
-Encounters with Christ (how did he change the lives he encountered?)
-Personal Evangelism (fun!)
-Choir (some 180 of us, maybe? it's a big choir)

The Bible classes are the same as my other college. Just different professors and thier individual approaches - but the Bible content is still the same. (Obviously.)
The teaching classes are... eh. I'm not that thrilled. This college's method of training to teach is a completely different concept with a very different focus. While I formerly was trained to gain as much experience in my teaching field (English and business) as possible, with a smaller emphasis put on general teaching knowledge (such as philosophy, methodology, testing and curriculum history); this college practices the complete opposite! Get as much general knowledge as possible, and even take classes about subjects that are not in your teachign fields (such as the teaching Math and Science & Social Studies classes!) and focus in a more minimal way on your exact field. I'm not sure I understand this approach or training. I am just glad that I went above and beyond in my previous years and took an excessive number of English and business classes. In fact, with 2 more years still to go, I have already exceeded the number of total English classes I would need to graduate from this college with my bachelor's degree for that field! Now I just have to get caught up in thier program by taking many, many broad and widescale teaching theory classes.


I have been assigned to a pre-teen Junior Church! I am really looking forward to the experience of working with the older groups, the young teenagers. I have wide experience with children, but very little direct training with teens and preteens. Accordingly, I am quite happy about this and look forward to training and serving with the greatest zeal!

I have also been assigned to an outreach soul-winning group on Tuesday nights called "Operation Saturation." There are enough of us to fill up 3 busloads. We go out into the city and knock on doors, invite folks to church, and present the gospel. I have really enjoyed the spirit and approach of my fellow soul-winners from what I have experienced so far. There is no staff "push" to be a soul-winner. The busses are lead by upperclassmen students and the attitude of excitement and prayer kept by the students themselves. This has been a big impression on me, and I have been thoroughly encouraged.

I also sing in the choir on Wednesday nights!

*Note: the college body sits in the balcony for church services. There is a great deal of space to cross when making my way from the balcony, down the stairs, across the length of the auditorium, up into the choir loft, and back the exact same route. I am awaiting the day for something terrible to happen - for a heel to catch, or to run into a pew, or to fall down the stairs, etc. Am I the only one who views the huge church as a potentially hazardous course?

In closing,

I want to thank my readers for thier kind and thoughtful comments - and especially for the suggestions on what direction to take my first post. God has blessed me with almost immediate employment, but there is so much to share - that will have to be the next post! =)

Feel free to drop a line! I love to hear from my readers.

If I could ask for a personal prayer request, it would be prayer for grace. Grace to acclimate. To adjust to the changes. To adjust to working a 30-hour job. To adjust to being a new school. For this adjustment to be graceful, and not such hectic, head-of-heels tumble into oblivion!

The verse I'm going to link to this post is John 14:27

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:

not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."


  1. fantastic updating. sooooooo loved reading it. praying for you. will send e-mail. love you. Germa

  2. Fantastic post! I very much enjoy hearing about the details of your world today and I sure love how to write it all.
    What a great picture to paint in my mind, the Ponderosa, of your new location. Made my heart warm immediately for such a place.
    About your security office you wrote: "keep endless vigil at the gates" reminded me of Ezek. 33:3. What a picture!
    I love your honest accounting of what you are experiencing and yet you do it with grace and tack and without murmuring which is a hard thing to do. Well done!
    Really enjoyed this post. Keep them coming!

  3. Great blog sis!!!