Thursday, April 24, 2008

False alarms

I don't think I mentioned this in my last entry, but on Monday I got a call back from The Hawk Eye. They offered me a full-time, paid internship for the summer!

Nothing else is new, really. Except there's been fire drills on campus every night this week and last night was the first one in Frances. I was just starting to fall sound asleep at around 3:15 when the head RA who lives on my floor came into my room and told me to get up because the fire alarm had been set off. I wouldn't have minded it so much if I hadn't already gotten in bed. Part of the reason I went to bed so late was because I was afraid I'd just be rudely awakened by alarms...and what do you know, it happened.

People from Claudius and EMR were running wild when their alarms went off around 1:30...I heard them screaming and running around in the rain, mud wrestling, boogey-boarding in the trench in front of Towers. Security was chasing them all over the place. Some guy slipped and fell into the landing outside Chick-Fil-A and the Internet Cafe...not down the stairs. He literally fell over the side. He spent the rest of the night in the hospital. I haven't heard much more about what happened to him.

The alarms went off in Michael as well...twice. By 3:15, when our alarms went off, it was no longer pouring down rain. But most of us stayed in the Fishbowl lobby. The Fishbowl roof was leaking big-time and there were huge puddles in the hall. Some of us slipped and almost fell, myself included. After about 10 minutes they let us come back down the hall and then stopped us around the Susie elevators and a security guard spent about 10 or 15 minutes more yelling at us. This guy is a retired firefighter and so you can imagine all the horror stories and scenarios he used to try to scare us. He barked at us to hang up and turn off our cell phones and warned us of the consequences of pulling a fire alarm...begged us to turn in whoever was responsible if we knew who's been behind all of this. He was so angry, I thought he'd never let up.

Trust me, if I knew who was behind all of this, I'd have no reservations about snitching on them. Because this is ridiculous. Rumor has it that this will continue every night until the end of the semester, and that they'll do it half an hour later each time. It's a darn good thing for me that I only have one final and a final sketch left. I feel sorry for those who still have a ton of finals and papers; this fire alarm business is really disruptive and immature. It was funny the first night, but not anymore. RAs in Claudius got word of last night's alarms, knew what time it was gonna happen and everything.

The alarms have been tripped in Susie and Wesley as well this week but they didn't get set off last night. Gabby hasn't had any issues yet, but that's not surprising.

You would think security would have been more vigilant after the first night...it happened almost simultaneously in Claudius and EMR. I doubt that whoever is doing it will ever get caught...supposedly they're not even pulling the alarms, just setting off smoke alarms in their rooms. So this could go on for awhile. Meantime, the rest of us will keep getting yelled at and treated like criminals.

I guess I'll be sleeping with one eye open tonight.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How sad. I can't even think of a title.

I've been slightly bored this evening. It's nice though, considering that I haven't had time to be bored in months.

The pile of assignments and tests has dwindled to an sketch in acting due on Monday and a comm theory final next Thursday. Also, I need to start packing. I'll be heading home a week from Saturday.

The remainder of this week and the weekend ahead should be pretty fun and relaxing. I'll be watching Juno, my new favorite movie, with Aandra and Heathyr tomorrow...visiting the Philbrook Gardens and Museum, er, sometime hopefully...going to a student publications staff barbeque on Saturday...Rachel T's birthday party on Sunday. Stump and Richard were talking about a trip to Lake Skiatook at some point.

I apologize if this entry is a bit dull, but I'm tired and will probably hit the hay in the next half hour or so.

I'll leave you with some photos I took yesterday in the midst of studying.



An energy drink that actually tastes good...Amp Overdrive. Like Code Red, but with an extra kick of caffeine.


My room was pretty tidy until I got back from spring break...


Post-it notes, postcards, movie and concert tickets. Life's little scraps.


I think I was using the aperture priority setting, with no flash of course. It was around 7:30 or so. My favorite time of day during spring...




Sweet nectar from heaven


This is why I don't have a roommate...dumb stuff like this. Just kidding, sort of.


Ugh, so nice out...and I was stuck inside.


I miss Rachel. Whoever was in her room last left the blinds up. Whenever I look outside I still find myself looking into her window--even though she's no longer there to smile back at me. I can't believe it's been about seven weeks already since she and Gloria went "home."

*Yawn* Alright...lights out now.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Of earthquakes and infidels

Early this morning an earthquake rocked the Midwest. It was measured as a 5.2 on the Richter scale. The first time my hometown has ever experienced an earthquake in my lifetime--it was the first one in the Midwest in forty years--and I was sound asleep in Oklahoma. I must admit I'm a bit jealous, although I doubt I would have even felt it. I'm a pretty sound sleeper.

I just remembered the earthquake practice drills we did in daycare when I was a kid. I think that's what we were practicing for anyway...would hiding under a table protect you from an earthquake? Hmmm. Unless someone thought we were still in the midst of the Cold War ;)

What's strange is that the famous San Francisco earthquake happened 102 years ago today. Also, I was just on the phone with Mom and she was speculating on the significance of this morning's earthquake in light of recent events in our country. Take, for example, Jimmy Carter's defiance of the U.S. and Israeli governments in meeting with the chief of the Hamas militant group. OK, let's just call them what they are. Terrorists. I think it's pretty obvious but I'm gonna say it anyway: Jimmy is 1. incompetent and 2. a traitor.

News flash: Hamas leaders and their cronies are not a peace-loving crowd. Furthermore, we will never achieve world peace. Try telling that to Jimmy "Give Peace a Chance" Carter. I think we need another earthquake to start right under Jimmy's feet. That might knock some sense into him.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Birdbrain

I'm taking a quick break from writing.

To write.

It's something I always find myself doing at the busiest times of the semester. My head is cluttered, a ball of twine unraveled and twisted in hopeless knots. Then I try to break in through the noise with obligations. With deadlines. With papers and articles that must be written.

Lately I feel a bit like a baby bird. Teetering on the edge of the nest, flapping my wings to no avail. For now they are pinned. My feathers rustle in the breeze, and I feel something new in the air. It's on its way, but there are still preparations to be made in the nest before I can make it on my own two wings. When I am free, I want to soar without a fear of falling. The winds and seasons will change, but God's direction will keep me in flight.

Meanwhile, here in the nest, conditions seem favorable for an all-nighter. I'm going to get back to work before I start picking apart what I just wrote.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

"Take time to dance alone, with one hand waving free..."

And from the ballroom floor we are in celebration
One good stretch before our hibernation
Our dreams assured, and we all will sleep well
Sleep well
-Dashboard Confessional, "Stolen"


Suits, ties, and frilly dresses...

Glitter, glamor, thumping bass...

Friday night was awesome. A bunch of my friends live on Susie 6 and Wesley 6 (Alpha Omega and Goodfellas) and Jeremy invited me.

Here's a few of my favorite pics from the evening.




Jeremy and I



Aandra and I...ow ow!!!



The 'Fellas singing a song for their sister wing


video



When the last song was played, this was pretty much all that was left of the banquet crowd


And now the roses sit across the room next to a borrowed sweater, still lovely even as they fade. The dress is hanging from the top of my closet door. Another evening captured and frozen and tucked away to be treasured...augmented by nervous compliments, awkward dancefloor encounters--face to face but he turned away, side by side but he shuffled across the floor, lost in the music.

And I smile and laugh.

Because we're cool...we know how this goes, how it ends.

It's okay.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Shut up, you're contributing to global warming.

"Well!" I think to myself. "Here we are again. Caught in the rain."

I should have kept my eyes to the sidewalk as it collects small puddles and turns a deep shade of greyish-brown. Instead I look up at you, still biting my lip, hands shoved in my pockets. And in return you give me one of your assorted odd looks. This one is perhaps a look of surprise, both brows raised, blue eyes wide. As if to say, "She looked at me. Sigh." Whatever it is that I see in your eyes, it always makes me want to run.


*ahem*

Heh. I guess from time to time I like to share a brief glimpse of my life at its most awkward.

Rain has a strange effect on me. And here in Tulsa, we've been getting plenty of it lately.

Oh, my mom told me last night she came across my blog after seeing a comment I'd left on Audrey's. A few years ago, that information would have mortified me...scratch that. It DID mortify me, and for good reason. But I'm an adult now. I write about useful, productive, and overall mother-approved topics. I have nothing to hide...which doesn't mean that "nothing is sacred," of course...

Oh. My. Goodness. The rambling needs to stop.

In a nutshell: Mom, if you're reading this, I hope you're enjoying it.

This post seemed a lot more interesting when I was coming up with it in my head, on the way back from class. That seems to happen a lot. I often don't recognize my own thoughts once they're out of my head and on paper or on my monitor.

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to figure out how to write my editorial. Among other assignments. It's hard to believe that this time next week, all I will have on my plate for the rest of the semester are two final exams.

I'm slowly learning how to multitask. Tonight I'm having dinner with the bestie, after which I will work on my editorial, another Oracle assignment, a PR assignment, and two Comm Theory papers. I'll be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow for the OCPA conference in Stillwater. With the stud pub crew in tow, it's bound to be a good time even if we don't bring home any awards.

In my newfound desire to be more aware of the world outside "the bubble," I've been reading/listening to all the buzz about plans to withdraw our troops from Iraq. I hate talking about politics and such until I'm blue in the face, so for once you can be sure that I won't ramble.

So here's where I stand: I really don't know.

On the one hand, it seems like we're wasting a lot of money and human life. I'm still uncertain as to whether or not the Iraqis want our help. I'm also not sure that if we should have gone in the first place.

I try my darndest to avoid being negative and whiney about how much it's going to cost me, how much it's going to hurt me, but how it's going to improve or impede the common good. There are an awful lot of pansies running around these days, and a lot of them have decided they're going to become leaders. It seems like the anti-war sentiment in our country comes not from the fact that we are hurting innocent people--whether or not we are is something I need to research, yes I'm ignorant--but because "waaaah, I'm tired of this war, it's taking too long. I might need to make some sacrifices, boo-freaking-hoo."

My grandparents are part of what our country calls "the greatest generation," and they earned that name because they fought and sacrificed for what they believed in and held dear.

Yet we think we have it soooo tough. We've hardly had to sacrifice anything.

They say the war is all because of oil? There are secrets, locked in laboratories, that could decrease or even do away with our dependence on foreign oil. But there are people in our government who want us to think that the environment is screwed and that the ozone layer is turning to swiss cheese, so we have to buy organic bread and organic shoes and organic everything else and then we go put in down payments on gas-guzzling SUVs.

I lied. I rambled. And now I'm not really sure how to wrap this up in a coherent manner. I got on a tangent and then I kind of lost it.

Maybe that's a good thing though...I need to conserve some energy for all the work I have yet to do.

Alright, well, I'm off to use the bathroom, not flush the toilet, walk to dinner in my biodegradable shoes with my hands dripping wet because I didn't use paper towels, then I'll stuff my face with tofu and later insist that skylights be installed as a substitute for fluorescent lighting in Saga.

'Cause green is just so hot right now.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

And (social) justice for all?

Random fact: Few things satisfy me more than the smell of rain and the sound of thunder.

This week for the Oracle (last issue of the year!) I have the rare opportunity to write an editorial. I've only written one once before and it wasn't very good; it was for Feature Writing class last year. So now I'm wondering if I've gotten in over my head on this assignment, but it's something I'm passionate about and if I have a bit of guidance I'm sure I'll be fine.

The topic of this editorial is the recent social justice movement and how organizations like TOMS Shoes and To Write Love On Her Arms are becoming a "trend," a fashion statement for college students and twentysomethings. If you think that's controversial, it gets dirtier. I've noticed this year that ORU missions teams are struggling more than usual to raise money. Part of the problem could be that ORU has lost funding from those who support Oral Roberts Ministries. But take a look around campus and it's easy to spot those cute TOMS Shoes slip-ons, Love Alliance tote bags, TWLOHA t-shirts...

After the annual Spring Outreach event, which is coming up this Saturday, there will be a "Style Your Sole" after-party. I'm not sure how many students actually forked over the money, but for $43, outreach participants have been given the opportunity to buy a pair of TOMS Shoes to decorate at the after-party.

All the while, missions teams face the prospect of staying home because they didn't raise enough money to reach "the ends of the earth." TOMS Shoes, TWLOHA and other social justice organizations that sell products to raise money are great causes, no doubt about it. But what about that mandate on ORU that the deans and chapel speakers are always drilling into our heads? Doesn't it start with us? Shouldn't we be supporting our own student body as they go out on the mission field?

Am I just a bit radical and a bit poor, or is there something wrong with this picture?

That, in a nutshell, is what I will address in my editorial.

Heads may roll. Ah well, it's another notch in my journalist belt.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Startin' out for God knows where...

I chose to start a new blog today in celebration of completing my senior paper.

The topic of my senior paper?

*clears throat and continues in dramatic tone*

The Blogosphere and its Role in the News Media.

All 46 glorious pages are printed, bound, and laying on Freudenrich's desk, just waiting to be devoured.

I guess I've never been consistent in blog updating, because frankly I never thought I had much to say that was of any importance. I'm still not sure that I do. But I have to start somewhere, so here it is. I, Megan the budding journalist, the super-senior who just submitted her senior paper, do solemnly swear to nurture and feed this blog.

Heck, I even tried really hard this time to come up with a cool URL and blog name. The name is a bit long, but it's borrowed from one of my favorite songs ("Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" by Simon & Garfunkel) and it perfectly describes my current situation in life.

I'll explain my URL as well. Hwy61revisited should be recognizable though to just about anyone who likes Bob Dylan. It's also the title of this really cool book that I got last fall at Border's.

For those of you who don't know, I have fallen in love with my native soil now that I'm no longer confined to the smelly, dilapidated town where I spent the first 19 and a half years of my life. I plan on going back to Iowa...just not back "home."

I blame it first of all on the movie "Elizabethtown." If you don't know what I'm talking about, just...watch it. There are no words that can sufficiently describe how much that film inspired me.

The beauty of eastern Iowa really took hold of my spirit during summer vacation last year. I was a news intern at
The Hawk Eye and I had an hour-long commute from my house to the newsroom. It was always a treat to get an assignment that required extra travel--although I got lost a few times. Note to self: Mapquest lies. My dad apparently slipped from the womb fully equipped with a built-in GPS system. I, on the other hand, cannot find my way out of a paper bag.

Again, I digress.

I have a lot of those moments when the beauty of the world around me leaves me speechless. The things I find beautiful are often homely on the surface. Last summer, I observed and interacted with a world I took for granted most of my life. I went to a kennel, run by a Christian family, and talked with them about what it was like to lose several of their dogs in a horrible fire. It was out in the sticks, I was sweltering in nearly 100-degree weather. The dogs were laying in the shade, ears twitching as they dozed in front of fans. Inside the birthing house, an expectant mother pug gazed at me from sleepy eyes, her tongue drooping from her mouth.

I sat on a screened-in front porch, enveloped in cigarette smoke, with a gangly teenage boy named Dusty Trail. (Yes, Dusty Trail.) He mumbled in a deep country accent about his love for go-kart racing, spurred on by his proud mother who sat nearby and did most of the talking.

I followed a group of girls around the Des Moines County fairgrounds, scribbling down my observations on a soggy notepad as they engaged in hydro-warfare. The faintly sweet scent of hay and the pungent stench of manure returns every time I remember those county fair assignments.

I used to think I was too good for all of that. I wanted the big city life. Quirky coffee shops...a concert every weekend...metal monstrosities that stretched beyond the clouds.

Then I went home last summer, and I rediscovered what made me hate to move to the city limits of my hometown. Tall rows of corn glistening in the afternoon sun...trails of dust rising from gravel roads...acre upon acre of untamed wilderness.

Somewhere in Iowa there's a job and a little house waiting for me...hopefully not far from the banks of the Mississippi River, in some po-dunk town off Highway 61.
 

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