Sunday, 6 March 2011

Rainy Days

There's something wonderful about rainy days when you don't have to drive anywhere. Most people that I know dislike them horribly and think that rainy days are gloomy. Not me. I love so many things about rainy days and I suppose that most of them are sound related. I love the sound of rain -- when it rolls down the rooftop, taps at your window, or drums on your umbrella with that thrilling rat-a-tat-tat. I love the feel of walking outside when you get to wear your wellies or galoshes (both of which are wonderful words that just roll off of your tongue with a thrill) and can slosh your way through puddles. I love the sound of puddle-sloshing, too. I also like the feel of the world when it rains, when things always look so clean and fresh, especially the roads and plants.

Add all of that to the fact that I'm a person that prefers to stay indoors at home anyways, and you have a perfect love for rainy days. Mmmm.... Now I just need some tea and nice music to make it a truly fantastic day.

-- Amy

Thursday, 1 April 2010

April Fool's and Maundy Thursdays (No, this isn't a joke).

Hello, friends. This is not a joke. This is a real, honest-to-life post.




I know that it has been quite a while since I last posted, stating my intention to post often on interesting words and life. However, as time has gone on, I have often found that that seems a bit too much like extra work. It's not that I haven't been encountering interesting words or that I haven't been looking up interesting word etymologies. In fact, I have become known by my friends around here for suddenly dashing upstairs in the middle of a conversation to look at a word's etymology in my lovely Shorter Oxford English Dictionary set. Yes. I am that much of a nerd :-).

The weather has been beautiful the past few days, and as I was walking home today, I was thinking about how interesting that today was both April Fool's and Maundy Thursday. Then I got to thinking about the words "Fool" and "Maundy" and now here I am.

Let's start with the fools.
"Fool" entered the English language Middle English, (first mentioned in print in approximately AD 1275) which, not suprisingly, came from French, which ultimately got it from the Latin follem, follis. Literally, the Latin meant "bellows" as in the things you used to fan flames of a fire. This word quickly became associated with the idea of "windbag", or a person who's head is empty and is dim-witted. It had this association even in late Latin!! So the next time you think someone's an air-head, remember that that association has been made for a long time.

Now for Maundy. For those of us who are celebrating Easter this weekend, most of us know that tonight is the night for church services which commemorate the Last Supper and Jesus' washing of his disciples feet. This word "Maundy" also has its root in Latin and entered the English language about half a century after "fool" (Maundy first appeared in texts circa AD 1325). It comes from the Latin phrase mandatum novum (a new commandment), referring to Jesus' words to his disciples in John 13:34 ("A new commandment I give to you: Love one another") at the Last Supper. With this in mind, it's easy to see the similarity to our word "mandate" or even "command". Over time, this phrase became the name for the actual ceremony at which those Latin verses were read and thus "mandatum" became the "Maundy" in Maundy Thursday.

So best wishes as we enter the Easter weekend and try to not be too foolish on Maundy Thursday.

-- Amy

Thursday, 10 December 2009

A New Leaf

Here we go again. This is the second time that I have completely revamped my blog with an incredibly different intent for its purpose. Originally it was a blog for my travels. Then it was a blog for my musings. Now it is a bit of both: I mean for it to be a blog of my musings as I travel the world of linguistics. On here I plan to post linguistic things that I think are awesome, cool, or brilliant alongside my other various thoughts.
I also feel that I have done a very poor job in the past about posting regularly. To combat this, I'm adopting my friend Emma's plan to post at least once a week. I think I'll choose Saturdays, since that tends to be my internet adventures day anyways. :-). Here's to new beginnings at the end of the year!

-- Amy

Friday, 15 May 2009

It has been a long time since I have posted on here. Here's why:

This past month was pretty much devoted to my thesis. This paper started out with the intention of being about 15 pages long (my professor's estimation). However, as time went on, we realized that more and more things needed to be commented on. Thus, my "15-page paper" became a lovely 40-page thesis in under a month, on a subject which I had no previous experience with (a linguistic analysis of Middle English through literature). On top of all of that, of course, I was also planning programs as an RA, helping to move people out, trying to keep up with my other three classes, and preparing to graduate. To say the least, it was quite busy.

So that is why a number of things which should have been done did not get done, including blogging and sending out graduation announcements. But it has been good and God has been good through it all. I did feel a bit like I would go insane at some points, but now I have a little bit of time to pause and reflect before continuing on. 

So... graduation. Graduation was definitely interesting. I was happy the week leading up to graduation because my sister Sarah came down the Wednesday before (after my last final) and spent some time with me getting to know my campus and my friends. Didn't really do much other than going out to eat and working on packing up. And shopping. A little bit of shopping. 
The rest of the family came down the night before (the rest meaning those expected, one aunt and uncle on my mom's side and the rest of my immediate family). They arrived and we played a card game at the hotel before calling it a night. I freaked out at a little after midnight because I was considering my graduation outfit when I realized that I didn't have a stoll (the little drape-y thing that goes around your neck). I thought for a frantic few minutes that I had forgotten to buy an important part of the graduation ensemble and called my friend Sarah and ran over to her room in my graduation robe. But we didn't have stolls for our graduation. Whew. Graduation morning was beautiful -- great skies, no rain. We had had lots of rain the week before, so our graduation ended up being indoors, in the WAC. Not cool, in my opinion, but understandable. My family got there early and had their seats well-planned, which was nice. We grads lined up in front of Ellis and paraded across campus to get to the WAC. Once we got there, we went into the gym through a line-up of our professors to our seats. The ceremony was nice, though I think the main speaker and our Provost were the only ones who spoke well at all. And, ta-da!, I graduated cum laude. 

This Fall, I am hoping to be attending a certain fabulous school (those who know me should know the identity of it).  I have been accepted, of course, but now I need to figure out how to pay for the first year (no funding for my studies 'til the second year). So we'll see how it goes. I'm now visiting my sister Sarah, who is trying desperately to keep me from getting into a "Graduated Undergrad Funk". To tell the truth, right now I'm just exhausted and want to lie around on a couch for a few days doing nothing. But, it is good to have people to do stuff with, so I'm thankful to her for her efforts. Will write more later. 

-- Amy

Friday, 3 April 2009

R.I.P., 28-squared.
I don't know how well you can see the picture, but this was 28-squared. In the brick pit on campus, there was a set of bricks in the southwest corner (exactly twenty-eight squares from the south and 28 squares from the west) which were just a bit loose. You couldn't pick them up, but they wobbled, and you could stand on them and just wobble back and forth. I liked this very much and it was my happy place on campus. Whenever I felt unhappy or unlucky, I would go and either step on them in passing or even just stand on them and wobble to and fro. I know this is weird, but it's what I do. I took this picture last year before I went to England so that I would have my happy spot to look at while I was away. Anyways, I particularly needed some cheering up the other day, so I decided to go to 28-squared. What I saw was very sad. Apparently, the college finally decided to fix 28-squared. They reset it in new cement. It stood out with obvious new cement and it didn't wiggle. It didn't budge. It just was there, sad and unmoving in the rain. It's so ridiculous, but I realized something: I really like to appreciate the little things and it's little things which make me happy. But this also means that it doesn't take much to make me sad. So Rest in Peace, 28-squared. I will miss you.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

What a wonderful day!

First of all, all should note that yesterday, for the first time ever, I beat my friend Sarah at a chess game!!!! Granted, it was her birthday, but I had warned her earlier that I wasn't going to just let her win. So it was fair. I was very happy about that.

Secondly, today's just a wonderful day. Got up, had a good Quiet Time, and am feeling optimistic.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

As the frost of Winter begins to melt at the warm breath of Spring, I feel that the frost on my heart has begun to melt as well. I don't remember when that frost came, but it's been slowly creeping around my soul for some time now. The Prince of Winter tried once to ambush me suddenly with the frost, hoping to sometime turn it to stone, but he realized that my heart couldn't be conquered by such an outright show of force. So he came at me sideways. Little doubts, little whispers.
Now I hear the Lord of Growth and Spring call me back again. But how to react? I've been slowly taking my heart from Him. He whispers answers to my questions, yet I ignore and run away from them, afraid of what they entail. Then I realize how much of my life has been dominated just by that: Fear. It is my impediment which ensnares my feet from moving, ensnares my heart from caring.
Heard an excellent sermon last Sunday. The pastor spoke about the difference between commitment and conversion. Commitment is just words, but conversion is true transformation. I look at my life recently and I see fear. I don't follow my Lord with the love of a daughter to a father -- I don't do things for Him because I want to please Him. I follow Him through fear. I do things because I fear His wrath and anger.
Alot needs to be revamped. This house needs to be torn down and a new foundation built. I have seen my idols and have tried to get rid of them on my own. However, as my sister Sarah told me, I see that I need to stop treating the symptoms and start treating the disease. I need to pursue the Cure. Will this surgery be enough? Will it remove enough of my disease to get to the heart of the matter? This story needs to stop being dedicated to the Master and instead needs to be written by Him.