Saturday, June 13, 2009

is seven too many?

i was looking at my stack of books this morning, and what i saw struck me as rather eclectic. books are wonderful. i read something in a book every day. it's not just something to do, but is .. part of the way i understand the world. part of how i learn about myself. part of what gives me joy. at the moment, i'm working on a number of books. all of them have such different flavors that when i sit down, i think about my mood, how much i can focus, how thoughtful i'm feeling, which ones need to get read soon .. all sorts of factors go into which one i actually read on a particular day. at any rate, here are the books that i'm currently reading ..

harry potter and the half-blood prince .. j.k. rowling

a short history of nearly everything
.. bill bryson

interior castle
.. teresa of avila

celebration of discipline
.. richard foster

the dangerous act of worship
.. mark labberton

well connected: releasing power, restoring hope through kingdom partnerships
.. phill butler

power under: trauma and non-violent social change
.. steven wineman

Friday, June 12, 2009

a graduation ceremony

yesterday i had the privilege of attending a friend's graduation from college. she studied at the horticulture college, in the landscaping school. i'd never been to this kind of ceremony in romania before, and i'm glad i was invited.

the funniest part was one of the speeches. one of the professors, for some rather unclear reason, decided to 'give a tour' of the world's flowers. it's something that could have been very interesting, but i tend to be of the opinion that often, interesting means concise. particularly at a graduation ceremony where it's rather warm. say important things .. just don't say them three times. not that this woman repeated herself, but instead of doing a few countries, she decided to cover a number of countries. her speech was somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes, i think. talking about the various flowers for countries, where they come from, if they are specific to that region, what they symbolize. somewhat interesting, but a bit too long. so .. the funny part..

she started with america. and the first powerpoint said 'alabama'. i thought to myself 'if i were going to choose a state to represent america, i'm not sure it would be alabama. (okay. that sounds mean, but there are other states that are much more well known around the world. anyway..) the next slide said 'arkansas'. and i started to groan. was she planning to talk about all 50 states?! my disbelief and laughter was quite entertaining to my friends (good thing we were at the back of the balcony!). the professor did a pretty good job of pronouncing states, (harder than you think, since english isn't so much a language you can read letter by letter..) although a few made me chuckle. she started getting to the "m's" and a friend told me that when she got to 'utah' i'd need to wave my flag. we laughed and i mimed my prepared flag .. but the professor skipped right over utah! :( which .. of course .. means that my friends teased me about the fact that there aren't actually any flowers in utah. not true! but kinda funny.. the professor then proceeded to cover parts of canada, south america, africa, asia, and then europe, ending with romania. nice to have something to smile about, even though there was so much that was said i didn't quite understand. (fast talking and microphones make a foreign language just that much harder to grasp..)

the best part was when our friend actually got her diploma. there were four groups of students who graduated, and her group was the last group. because her last name is toward the end of the alphabet, she ended up being the last name to be called. throughout the giving out of diplomas, our group clapped and cheered, even though not many others were doing so. when her name was called .. we whooped and hollered and cheered. and she got a big grin on her face. big enough to be seen even from the back of the balcony! nice to encourage her and to celebrate her accomplishments. the long ceremony was worth it to see that grin on her face!