Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm positive! Again! Except not like last time...

So I realize I was whinging a lot the last post. But it turns out I have mono. So at least it was partially justified. Strep and mono? What kind of luck do I have? None at all it seems... that, or God is mocking me again. Mockery is one of my love languages, so I wouldn't mind if He was, after all, I certainly see the humour in the situation - I just wish it didn't interfere quite so much with my studying ability. That's really a bummer.

So, if you remember, do lift up a prayer or two. I'd certainly appreciate it! Otherwise, keep on rocking in the free world!

In other news, Walter Bruggeman of biblical theology fame is coming to Regent in about a week. I am unbelievably excited. He's talking about the Exodus and joyous celebration or something. At any rate, it should be more understandable than last year's on love by Nicholas Wolterstorff. Not that W. was bad, just incomprehensibly philosophical, with all that that entails.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Doctor! Doctor!

Well, faithful reader, I've been sick. I don't think I mentioned this before, because it is kinda boring to hear people whinge about health. But today was rather exciting.

I went for a check up because since the last time I went to the Dr. here in Van in my first week, I haven't gotten better. That time, I was diagnosed with Strep C, which they don't treat, so I was sent home. Fair enough, right? But the main problem - the fevers - have not gone away, and I've added quite a nice cough to it. You know the type - you start coughing, double up in a ball, and emerge 20 seconds later with your eyes watering like crazy and everybody in the room inching away from you.

Well this morning, I had an appointment. I though 8:15am would be a good time because the clinic would not be busy - nor would any of the labs. Good thing. If you count every test I've ever had in my whole life, I think I've doubled them today. Chest X-Ray, ECG, urine, blood... I just kept running around the hospital to different units. And even more fun is that the things that came back right away - x-ray, ECG, and white blood count - were perfectly normal. So, now I get to talk to the infectious disease specialist. Woohoo mystery disease!

So, if you think of me, please send up a little prayer.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Regent Retreat!

Hey fine folks!

Well, I just got back from the Regent Retreat, which was super duper, but pretty crazy too. I've had very little sleep and lots of long talks, so this may not be coherent.

We went to Warm Beach Camp, which is neither warm nor a beach. We also had to cross the border, which meant that 200 km took over 4 hours (and that was quick, since we went to an out-of-the-way border crossing... some waited 4 hours just in line). And then it poured rain all weekend until the drive home. Despite these drawbacks, it was a great weekend.

Especially fun were the talent show and the ceilidh dancing (taught by real Scots!). The talent show had everything from a professor dance-off to poetry recitals, from men in tights (literally) to a michael jackson's "Beat It!", but my favorite was the U2 cover band. One professor, one staff, and two students got together. Now, that sounds just "OK" until you realize that one of the students is OBSESSED with U2 and has pretty much all the same gear as them, including guitars, pedals, amps, etc... and knew every song off by heart. And the lead singer was absolutely hilarious - played Bono perfectly. Here is a video of the guitarist, Patrick.

Other than that, we came up with a couple new phrases. Instead of the usual "Ring by Spring, or your money back" Bible College guarantee, the new Regent phrase is "Consummate by reading break!" or, because of the wave of pregnancies, we are renaming ourselves from the "unseminary" to the "inseminary". Har har! (Also, Friday, the first day of the retreat was International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Huzzah! Grog all around!)

This morning we had my top highlight of the retreat. They have a communion service where they take time (sometimes 5 minutes or more) to pray over each person individually as they recieve communion. With over 400 people at the retreat, and about 20 stations, this can take quite a while but it is really worth it. I ended up at Polly and Phil Long's station (also known as my Greek and Hebrew teachers from Tennessee!). It was really a neat time. If you have a church where you can do something like that, I'd certainly suggest trying it.

Otherwise, I had a whole bunch of really great talks. And I finally met Rick Watts properly - I'm pretty sure he'll remember me. I think we ended up at 3 meals sitting beside each other. And the last conversation we had was great, covering my absolute favorite topic of the moment - evolution! Lots of fun.

Well, take care folks! Until next time!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Reflections on Gardens

As I sit looking down on my japanese garden, I'm studying about the cosmic fall and the garden of Eden. I've been trying to convince some people at the American Scientific Affiliation that the Garden of Eden really was a paradise. Of course, the Septuagint uses the word paradieson to describe the garden, so the case is an easy one to make.

Now, the one thing I am discovering about my garden here is the inordinate amount of spiders. There are hundreds of massively large spiders, all sitting in the middle of their geometrically perfect sails of silk. The sway back and forth in the breeze, glistening in the sunlight. I hate spiders. They keep making these small wonders of engineering right across my walking path, and especially at night, it creeps me out to get a full web in the face. This garden is a mini paradise - a centre of calm and serenity in the midst of a busy city. But if gardens mean spiders, I'll have to rethink my estimation of Eden.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm positive!

... positive with Strep Throat that is...

I just got my test results back today. And even better, they are not going to treat me! Why? I'm not bad enough. Of course, the fact that I live with a 95 year old lady, whose mother actually died of Strep throat, doesn't seem to matter. Nope, no penicillin for you!

I'm a little annoyed. Even more annoyed because they had the results in yesterday and didn't bother to look at them until I harassed them today - even though they came back positive. I could be dying dammit! (ok, well, not really. Not yet. But it is annoying all the same.) (And, while the bracketal voice of reason is speaking, I should also add that strep C is not very severe, and the side effects of antibiotics are more risky, and they never treat non-severe strep C). But still!

In other news, school is great. I love Regent just as much as ever, and Hebrew is maybe not quite as much of a suicide-thought-invoking course as I thought it would be. Of course, talk to my friend Diana and you might get a different perspective.

But either way, being back and having lots of interesting discussions is everything it should be. Except that I'm contagious with strep throat.

Thanks for reading. Here is another picture from my room. It looks better in real life, I promise. The mac cam just doens't do it justice.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Some pictures...

Ok, I know these pictures are bad, but I had to take them from my computer because my real camera broke. This first one is part of the Japanese garden outside my study.

The second and third ones are from my bedroom. You can see the furniture made by Margaret's late husband Mack. And the last one is the view from my bedroom, although you can't see the mountains well, and that blue strip is the ocean.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Well, I'm back.

No, unlike Sam from Lord of the Rings, "I'm back" means my adventure is starting, not finishing.

I've moved in with a remarkable 95 year old woman. She is bright as a button and very witty. She also walks up the massive hill beside our house and carries her own groceries down, reads voraciously, listens to The Vinyl Cafe on CBC radio, and rarely turns on the TV. She's lived in this house since 1941.

Speaking of the house, it is incredible. As I sit now, I'm looking down into a Japanese garden (perfectly maintained, and complete with pond), and to my right I can see cruise ships gliding past in the ocean, and watch the sun setting on the top of Sycamore mountain. Fantastic. From my bedroom, I look back onto downtown. I'd post pictures, but my camera died in England and I didn't bother bringing it here, because it's not worth repairing (being the 4-5th time it has needed costly repairs). So either I'll get a camera, or use the bad one of my computer to get pictures.

The house itself is remarkable. It was built by Margaret's family, mostly by her father. It has been modified by Margaret's late husband into a bit of a Japanese style - hence the garden. He was also a furniture maker and clock enthusiast, so most of the furniture is hand made by him, and there are several remarkable clocks around, including the "guts" of one from the 17th century, sitting beside me here in the study.

The drive out here, with my friend Diana, was wonderful. She drove the whole way (even though I offered!) and we stayed with some friends of hers from eMI in Kamloops. They were wonderfully hospitable, and I ended up staying up far later than I intended to talking to our hostess Joan.

Today, I helped Diana move, and then we went for dim sum with her parents who had also driven out with some of her stuff. The night we arrived, Di and I went for sushi with two Edmonton friends who were in town for a couple of days, and then had some bubble tea afterwards. The next day we walked in the ocean and through a forest.

So, ocean, forest, sushi, dim sum, and bubble tea. Now I'm ready for term to start. Well, perhaps I still need to visit Wolf and Hound for a pint, but I'm pretty much ready for term to start. Freshman orientation is tomorrow, so I don't need to be there, but I think I'll show up for a bit - even though I should be working on my paper for the geology/paleontology course I took with Denis this summer. That can wait. Orientation only happens once a year.

Well, that's all for now. Do check back for further updates as time progresses! I'll try and do one a week or so, but who knows?