Wumbo. Because I couldn’t think of a cool blog title.

Blog time! So this week is homecoming week at ECU. What does that mean? I don’t know! I just got here. But I do plan to figure it out. I know there’s lots of pep rallies and food, and at some point, someone is playing football. I think. Isn’t that how this goes? Well. Anyways. I am writing this blog just because I can, I am struggling to come up with any rhyme or reason. So what is there to say? I had an idea to write a post about life, but nothing exciting is happening right now. I am just reading, writing papers, reading, hanging out with Tori, reading, and oh…did I mention I read alot? I have already read over 500 pages and written close to 40. Not even half way through the semester yet. Its been busy. And let me also say that this is not a humble brag, because let’s be honest. Who the heck brags about homework? I’m not that weird. Yet. I am just tired. I am loving life, and I feel like I am understanding my classes for the first time in a long time. If any of you would be interested in hearing about what I am learning or writing about, let me know! I have gobs of time to share it all via blog, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace (I just got it-how hipster of me! Well. No. Not really. That’s for a different post.), or any number of any methods. I am even willing to write letters. Just let me know friends! I love you all. Keep learning.

 

My Reading List So Far (Again, not a humble brag, just showing the amount I am assigned. I enjoy it.)

Beowulf : 256 pages

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: 237 pages

Pelican Shakespeare: The Sonnets: 208 pages

Mother Night: 288 pages

Randomly Assigned Readings: Over 60 pages

Three more books and a play to read!

Poems, Papers, and Peer Review. Oh my!

Hey guess what! I’m on a poetry frenzy. Today in Ethnic Literature, we did peer reviews. These are the days where other students are fully allowed to tear your paper up, and I hate the critiques on a pretty typical basis. lol. So. Here is my poem titled “Peer Review.”

 

I just wrote a darn good paper.
Lots of words, some fancy usage too.
I finished it this morning,
Now its time for peer review.
I pass it to the left,
Nerves well up inside, …
She looks at me and laughs,
I think I’m gonna die.

She handed back my paper
black and blue like Rocky after Apollo (the first time).
I slump back in my chair
“Yo Adrien! Yo Mickey!”
No luck.
I’m stuck.
Again.

Here I sit
alone
in the corner with a bashed paper
and bashed dreams.
My peer review was finally over.
I left, my “darn good paper” and me,
I knew I could recover
as my heart filled with glee,
because

Its lunch time.

Another poem-maybe I’m getting the hang of this?

I was thinking about my girlfriend the other day, as our anniversary just passed. I thought I’d write. Here is another poem I am considering sending in for publication in the ECU literary magazine, please give your feedback! I am still getting the hang of the poetry thing:

 

Her

 

I love her

I think of her all the time

The way she loves, the way she can make a moment out of a subtle

Pause-

She means the world to me but I don’t think she’ll understand the gravity

of it all.

Her red like roses lips, her diamond-shiny smile…it’s all beautiful.

The way she laughs: not loud, not too soft…just as it should be.

A cacophony of melodies singing straight from her beautiful

soul.

This girl, she’s perfect.

Perfectly passionate about those less fortunate,

About a God who provides,

One whose love she reflects like the moon does the sun.

She is also perfectly

Imperfect.

And that’s why I love her so very much.

She is wonderful, and just what I need.

And best of all

 

 

She loves me

Bolivar, the Bean, and some of my Best Buds. (Alliteration is fun!)

Well, life in Ada, Oklahoma is splendid. I am getting better grades, paying nothing for school, and loving spending time with the love of my life daily. Things are great. I will say though, there is one thing lacking from Ada. You wanna know what that is? Its in the title: The Bean. I love that coffee shop. I love the memories I made there with some of the best friends I will ever have. Here are three things that I will miss the most about The Bean 3:16 in Bolivar, MO:

1. Good coffee. Guys, I hate coffee. The Bean made me like coffee. Its weird. Their Hot Chocolate is splendid also, as you see in the picture I’ve so wonderfully uploaded for your enjoyment. The way they make it is delicious, and it is actually decently priced.

2. Christian values. The place’s name is The Bean 3:16 for gosh sake. Its a great café owned by wonderful people who really are seeking to run an ethical and successful business. They make a habit of bringing in local performers (and some darn talented ones) just about every weekend, and everything just feels so homey there any time I go.

3. Great memories with great friends. I miss The Bean the most because of the times I spent there with some amazing people. Whether it was a well-written stand up routine by Sarah VandaVeer or a tightly woven melody plucked on Jared Pollard’s guitar, a night at The Bean was always a good one. I remember singing high harmonies to an Adele song just because I could and no one judged me for my ability (or lack thereof). The Bean is just a good place full of good people, and it should be the top coffee stop in Bolivar for a long time.

This all seems so random, but its okay. Its my blog and you can’t do anything about it. lol. But seriously, if you are ever in Southern Missouri and hankering for coffee and a family atmosphere, check it out. I don’t regret the hours spent there.

Here’s a link to their website: http://thebean316.com/index.html

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For your enjoyment, a picture of a big mountain.

This is the picture of a mountain I got to climb. Well. The valley in between the two mountains was the place I hiked to. I am not crazy adventurous, but that was fun, and this is one of the best pictures I’ve ever taken. I hope you guys like it. The mountain is called the Shark tooth, and it is in Estes Park, Colorado. Nice little place. I may post pictures and other things sometimes to alleviate the stress of reading one of my long, rambling posts. So yeah. Mountains. Majesty. The whole nine yards. Image

The Koala I found in my default pictures file liked this poem. You might too.

So…I really am probably not very good at this, but what the hey! I told you I was going to write a poem for my next post. We’ll see how this goes. I call it “Memoirs of a dead Jedi.” Hopefully you all like it

 

There I was

laying half dead on the Mustafarian lava-beach

hacked to pieces by a man I thought the world of

my life was a lie from the start

the dark side totally occupies my heart

so what? yeah my Midichlorian count was high

I will forever regret becoming a Jedi

because now I am stuck in this stupid suit.

victim of high expectations

trapped in a cage of what could have been

and what will never be.

Padme is dead,

and so are my dreams of a hope and a future.

All I have is this suit. this big, painfully awkward suit.

Black and imposing,

both an ugly outfit and a vital part of me

keeping me alive

but killing me all at the same time

well, its safe to say I’m dead.

The part of me that loved and cared

the part of me that would have spared

a life

its all gone now.

the only realities I face are the what I’ve become and what I can still be.

I need to find hope somewhere,

maybe a light in a far off galaxy.

I hate him for what he did to me,

but because of him, now I see

the future, my power in full.

The dark side is where its at.

no if’s and’s or big hairy Wookie butts.

I hope for a future where I can find some sort of peace,

but for now I am a dead Jedi, roaming the universe

in search of something

A New Hope

Jesus, Tori, School, and Stark Naked Poetry. Sounds interesting enough.

Today marks the day I write about the day I should have written about already. Got that? Yeah. I am a little behind on blogging, and here’s why: college. A new one, in a new state, presenting all sorts of new challenges. The last few weeks have been crazy great, and I fully intend on telling you AAAALLLLLLLLLL about them. Alright. Starting now. I’ve already posted in my blog about my transfer process and how I ended up at a school in podunk-ville, Oklahoma. If you didn’t know I was here, read the other posts. I would love that:) But anyways, yeah. I ended up in the small town of Ada, Oklahoma, where the sun shines bright and the people are…well…interesting. Being a city boy and moving out here to what in my eyes is southern life was interesting. There is a learning curve living here and being from St. Louis, but I love a good challenge. Just as an aside, let me give you a few things I’ve learned thus far:

1. Oklahoma residents have a line-dance for every song. Ever. If you don’t think so, just come down here and watch. This place is like High School Musical. I once watched a DJ put on a country song, and about a hundred people came out of the woodwork with an intricate, fully choreographed line-dance. Wow is all I have to say, it was actually kind of impressive/creepy.

2. These people love, and I mean LOVE their sweet tea and jacked up trucks. Not everyone in Oklahoma is like this, but a great population of students on campus appreciate a good sweet tea, some sort of fried food, and a drive in their jacked and stacked Ford 750 (being facetious).

3. Oklahoma has some very interesting town names. Just to name a few: Miami (pronounced Miamuh…I know right?), Wetumpka, Eufala, Tishonmingo, and many others. There’s also a Pottawatomie county near my school. Lol. Definitely different from Arnold or Bolivar.

4. If you come to Oklahoma, know your football. Do I have to explain myself? Its almost the deep south here. They like football alot. Well. So do I. So that’s not bad.

5. Oklahomans, for the most part, are pretty kind people. In my time here, I’ve come across some great new friends and I am feeling hospitality to spare. I really like these people alot.

So far, Oklahoma is a pretty cool place. I’ve made alot of new friends, found a great church, and Tori and I are getting along wonderfully! Guys,
its pretty awesome. I also am really enjoying my classes. I really think that I am falling in love with literature, and I find that to be a wonderful thing! In the first two weeks of school, I’ve already polished off over 500 pages of reading, but the work is worthwhile. I’m learning alot, and I feel like concepts are clicking. There’s nothing like sitting down with a good book or collection of poetry and just digging in, amirite? Oh! And by the wayI just love it. Everything feels right here. I’m proud to be an ECU Tiger, and I really think the future is beautiful here. God has been very good!

Thanks for reading if you did, if not, thanks for thinking about it. I really love you guys.

I close with an incredibly profound, tiger-themed poem:

Roar

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
Cause I am the champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

Yeah, I know. Katy Perry. Catchy song. Lol. Note the sarcasm in my intro. I’ll write an original poem for my next post.

image

She’s the reason I’m here. Isn’t she pretty?? I think so:)

My Summer Reading

Today is a day I would like to call “Jesse’s stream of consciousness day.” I have had a busy week, and today is the day that I am typing to organize my thoughts. lol. I hope that this post will hold some sense of continuity, but we will see.

So I have been reading alot this summer. I figure if I am going to be an English major, then I need to really dig in and read alot, just to get used to chomping up alot of pages and writing alot as well. Shockingly enough, the reading I’ve done has been remarkably beneficial to me so far! I’ve been challenged by the study I’ve completed.

One of the books I have been working through is Read the Bible for Life. The basic idea of this book is that there is an issue of poor Biblical literacy in the world today. The author of this book wanted to use it as a resource to help people understand how to read the Bible better, and how to better apply it to their lives. So far, this book is fascinating! Sometimes in my life, I really struggle with the issue of staying consistent in my Bble reading. I may lose track of time, but for the most part, I think the issue lies with me not being ready to read or understand the scripture in the book. It’s complicated, I understand, and I have to say this book has definitely given me a new perspective on the Bible and Biblical interpretation. I am looking at things in the Bible through new eyes, and already I am seeing the benefits of taking on this book. 

I want to share a portion of it with you in order to give you a taste of what I’ve read: in this chapter, the author is conversing with Professor Bruce Waltke on how to take in the Old Testament. This portion really hit me, and I hope it will be meaningful to you too: “…tension is absolutely essential to life. We grow and develop through tension. Our character is shaped by it. If God answered  our prayers immediately, relieving all of our tension in life, it would destroy us because we would see God as a tool to be used, like a genie in Aladdin’s lamp. We would become more selfish than we already are. By not rewarding virtue immediately, or punishing vice immediately, God develops our character. So tensions–living in a story in which there is a struggle between good and evil–are really necessary to our own development. In the same way,,, the tension we find in the Old Testament stories tells us something about how to live with tension in our own relationships with God.”

Fascinating stuff right? I agree. This book has challenged me endlessly. I’ve learned alot about reading the Bible, but as you can see from the quote above, there are several life lessons present in the book as well. I feel challenged and refreshed by this book, and i hope that some time you as readers will consider taking it on as well! It is very much worthwhile for religious or academic purposes in regards to studying the Bible. Read the Bible for Life is a wonderfully refreshing and very straight-forward set of methods for understanding scripture, and I hope it will prove to be worthwhile for any of you that take it up!

These studies have been good to me this summer. I am going to set my goal at finishing ten books in the next two months, and I hope you all will hold me to that! I also want to say thanks for reading. You are awesome.

Remember: No story is worth reading if it never has any tension. Hold on tight, when things get hard, the resolution becomes even more special.

(Insert Semi-interesting, semi-awesome blog title here)

Summer into autumn
Summer into autumn (Photo credit: blmiers2)

Well, it has been an interesting few weeks here in the ‘Lou. I graduated college, and then came home to begin what will go down as the most unsuccessful job hunt in the history of the universe ever. Ever. No lie. No luck whatsoever. Luckily, my parents love me and they are willing for me to mooch for a few more summers. I am jobless, and have no prospects. Let me tell you though, there are some reasons as to why this is okay.

1. Being gainfully employed would have taken all the time that I’ve had to play ping pong, walk with my mom, or read. See? Not all that great. Lol.

2. When I mentioned reading earlier, I meant that I have done ALOT of it. I sit down at the beginning of the day and read until I decide I’m done. I mean sure, I could be off making money, but I tell ya what: I have learned alot. I am going to be way ahead of the game next year going into my new major (English), and I think having some wicked awesome book knowledge will be meaningful somewhere down the road.

3. I have time to go do mission work this summer. With a job, I would have to stay in town and work alot, but because I’m a bum, I actually have been afforded an even greater opportunity to serve on three weeks of mission trips this summer. I am looking forward to it too!

4. I know that I shouldn’t have any reasons as to why I’m okay with being unemployed. I know. But I really think that this summer, I haven’t attained employment because I had some traits in my life that needed reworking before I went off to school next year. I think God is opening up my schedule in order for me to give Him more time and more of my focus. I have already reformed alot of my ideas and motivations, and I think that I am headed in the right direction.

Just as a disclaimer for potential future employers: I would love a job. I’m not saying I don’t want one. I am just saying that I am not employed this summer, and I think there is a great reason for that. So. Anyways. Hire me. Please. I don’t want to sit in my computer chair all summer. (Unless you’ll pay me for that…)

So. Those are my thoughts on this summer so far. It’s been kind of a weird experience, but honestly I don’t regret it. I pray that God works in my life and in yours to give this same kind of refreshed perspective.

So. What does this mean to you? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I just thought I’d let you know how my summer was going. Its great. Even though I am broke. I feel loved, and I feel at peace. Hopefully your summer is going as well as mine.

You guys are great. Thanks for reading my posts, I hope you will continue on! I am really excited for the blogging potential, and I really hope you all don’t hate me or my writing by the end of the process.

So. Love y’all.

Keep blogging.

15 Things you need to know if you are a future SBU student

Hey friends! I know that I am posting twice in a day, but I still haven’t put together a routine for this yet. I had an idea: since I am a graduate of SBU now, I thought I would impart some of my “infinite” knowledge about college and my experiences on you. I hope that even if this doesn’t seem relevant, hopefully you might catch a laugh or two from these tidbits.

Here we go!

  1. Go to Welcome Week! SBU has an orientation week that is spectacular. The committee in charge does a fantastic job in planning (I should know, I was on it for a while), and friendships you make at your Welcome Week or Orientation Week will be some of the best connections in your college career.
  2. Please, PLEASE do not wear your lanyard around your neck after your first month at any college. We understand the usefulness of having a lanyard and all of your keys and ID handy, but after a while, when your turn your head and hit me with a lanyard, it becomes a tad annoying. It may or may not be a little goofy looking as well. No offense.
  3. Don’t be afraid of your academic advisor. These people are great. Their job is to help you succeed as a college student, and they really are helpful if you ask them to be. 
  4. Get involved! The best way to make friends and learn alot is by getting involved in any of the infinite amount of activities offered at a university. I know personally at SBU that UAC and SA are doing great things for campus life, and there seems to be a crop of new clubs popping up every year. Involvement is great, but be careful to remember that you are a student first, and if you get over-involved, you could hurt your grades alot. So just get involved within reason. 
  5. Find a church family! Religion may not be your thing. I understand. But let me say this: there is no group of people more loving and more accepting than a church family. Its their job to love you and welcome you. Being at a church will also keep you on the straight and narrow. I know for me, I was held accountable alot, and it really helped me to stay on the straight road and to really become a respectable person.
  6. Don’t freak out if the people behind the desk in the cafeteria know your name not a week into school. For me as an SBU student specifically, it was a little odd that a little old lady knew my name by the end of Welcome Week. It is okay though. Its great, in fact. I became very close to Miss Kay this year especially, and it became a really nice connection to have, especially when I lost my ID and she let me eat without it for the last week of school. That connection means alot.
  7. To SBU students: look at the sidewalk when you walk. And don’t be mad if someone else doesn’t notice you because they are doing the same. They aren’t looking down to ignore you, for the most part, they are trying to keep their footing. Here and there, the sidewalks on campus get a little weird, and you need to be ready. 
  8. Enjoy the student-led events on campus! Usually every University has some very talented people who are in charge of event planning, and the events that come out of those meetings are really fun. Some examples that occur on the reg at SBU are the Zombie Run, the Amazing Race, and Mini Golf in the Library. These events draw alot of people, but they are always worth the wait. I’ve never gone to an event I didn’t enjoy. 
  9. Do your best to hear your teachers out. It is hard sometimes, I’ve had some professors that I really didn’t agree with. The concept that you as a student will have to realize is that if you don’t do the assignment to your professor’s liking, then you may not get a good grade. I will say that even in my worst classes, listening to my professors has proven to be worthwhile when I least expected it. 
  10. Safety and Security will be your best friend, or your worst nightmare. Be respectable, and follow University policies. That’s how you avoid the ire of the security crew. Its really not that hard guys. If you decide that doing something questionable is something you want to try, just be careful. I understand the need for fun too. Just remember, if you get caught, they have tasers. 
  11. Get to know the people on your hall! These are usually a collection of people from all sorts of walks of life, and it will benefit you to have a diverse friend group. For SBU especially, getting to know your dorm and your hallmates will help you when it comes to homecoming week. Spend time with the guys or girls that live with you, it will prove to be valuable to you during your college career. 
  12. Don’t quit when it gets hard. College has moments where it is extremely difficult. Don’t worry, its going to happen. I can think of a Physics test I took this past Spring that nearly killed me, and I studied pretty well. Don’t be afraid, you will get through it. College takes alot of effort and perseverance, and it is a really sweet moment to shake C. Pat’s hand and take your diploma on stage in front of several thousand people. Just keep pushing. 
  13. You will find anything you want to find if you spend time looking for it. People do alot of things on and off campus, and there is a different group of people and events for every taste. Be careful, however, that you don’t look for things you don’t want to find. I don’t mean to be foreboding, but here and there, some not so great things occur. Just don’t get into that. 
  14. KNOW YOUR MISSION STATEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you go to SBU, know it. Say it in front of a mirror. Lord forbid, you will be caught on your heels by the president and asked to recite it (it will happen). Just know it guys. “Southwest Baptist University is a Christ-centered caring academic community preparing students to be servant leaders in a global society.” Its not that hard, and you’ll need it to pass your first Seminar test anyways. Just know it. You will live and die by that mission statement for as long as you attend there. 
  15. If there is anything you do at SBU, you need to do this: have fun! It is vitally important to spend time with friends and enjoy your college experience. These are the last few years of total freedom, so get out of your dorm every day and do something! Enjoy people, and make moments and memories. When you walk across the graduation stage, you want to be able to say that you milked SBU for all it was worth. Graduating with regrets is not a good feeling. 

As I typed this, I came up with a few more, but I will roll with this for now. Feel free to add your thoughts as well! I would love to know of other current students’ opinions and experiences. I hope that you will read these and see both the humor and importance of some of these ideas. Get excited! I hope you will come to SBU and love your experience. Do your best to have an amazing time in college, and I hope you learn alot while attending. 

Go Bearcats!