It's a Tuesday, meaning... *drumroll* 8:00 am class! Yay! Snore. Well, not usually. I mean, the class is interesting, usually, but it's also so early! I'm a computer scientist, I'm not meant to wake up before 9:00 at the very earliest (though I am proud of the fact that I have never ever slept in past noon in my life, aside, I'm sure, from my days as an infant, but it's not really fair to count those).
On these days of three religion classes I get a two or three hour reprieve in the middle of my day, a time I will normally spend catching up on emails, phone calls, writing, whatever. Today that time brought me an exciting surprise (exciting in the sense of somewhat frustrating). It's been almost 8 weeks since my last Remicaid infusion, which means, actually, now that I think about it, I should have really scheduled one for last week. Anyway, I've been feeling fine, but I know the time has come that I need to get that scheduled, or I'll be very unhappy in a couple days. I called to schedule, and the nurse called me back an hour later. Good thing I'm not in the desperately bad days yet, because apparently the doctor's orders that Northfield hospital has on file are out of date, and they haven't been able to get MN Gastro to send updated ones. Oh, that's fun. It's only my ability to have a normal life that's on the line, no biggie (context, for those who may be reading and didn't know, I have something called "Crohn's disease"... just go look it up on Wikipedia). Anyway, I called the doctor's office, they said they'd fax something, so hopefully that will all be resolved by tomorrow.
Theology of Creation. Oh today was a good class! Not only was I able to draw connections and contribute something I'd learned last year in 'God and Human Suffering', but we spent some significant amount of time looking closely at different translations of Genesis 1:1. Well, I thought it was fun, anyway, to see the vast difference between "When God began to create, the earth being unformed and void..." and "In the beginning when God created the heaven and the earth...". The first is from a Jewish translation, the second is from the NRSV, and the connection I drew was that the former seems to imply a form of ongoing creation / redemption of what Stansell called "preexisting stuff", or chaos, which ties directly into what we read in Rabbi Kushner's book last year about God's unfinished but continuing work in redeeming the chaos. Maybe it was more profound in my mind than when I type it out, but for me it was one of those "Oh, it all makes so much sense now!" moments.
The other wonderful surprise from TC came in the form of something much less theological: due to a glitch in emailing the study guide for our test on Thursday, we get a reprieve from it until Tuesday! That means no cramming tomorrow night, and an entire weekend to slack off before cramming Monday night! (I'm an honest person, what can I say?)
A shower and short study time in the library later and I was back to Buntrock to chauffeur our small group down to the George's for Tuesday night dinner. Today's was a special dinner for at least three reasons that come to mind:
1) It was Lara's birthday today! So there was special cake and singing (and we're St Olaf students, so of course Happy Birthday was sung with some number of harmonies);
2) The George's are leaving on Thursday for a 10-day trip to Israel, so no dinner next week (a whole extra week living without John's puns, I'm not sure how I'll survive)
3) We had special guests, and my new friend who came last week came again this week!
Perhaps the greatest surprise came somewhere in the middle, as I was originally on my way to the library: I got a text message saying that Michael had had his heart transplant! Once more I was filled with such mixed emotion–I'm so glad to know Michael will have many years ahead of him, but I'm saddened to think that someone else just died, some other family is going through the pain and sorrow of planning a likely unexpected funeral of their loved one. Still, perhaps for now it is best I focus on Michael's restoration.
Tuesday night means FCA, my newfound place-to-be every week at 9:00. The speaker was really good, very well-spoken, and I think her message was something I really needed to hear. What's more, and more in the surprise alley, at the end one of the leaders actually spoke about the "surprise me" experiment, following up from last week. "Surprisingly", she encouraged everyone to try it for the next 30 days, and each week there will be some time for people to talk about what surprises God has put into their lives. I think I'll have plenty of stories that I could share by my day 14 next week. Plus I think it's just cool that I had the same idea as they did (of actually trying the experiment), or maybe rather, that they had the same idea that I had a week ago.
At the end of FCA I took the plunge: I talked to "Koach" Nesbit for a few minutes, then we walked over so I could meet the leadership people; I had emailed Coach Nesbit last week to volunteer my time and service for running song slides for FCA if there was a need, and when the student leaders met, they decided enthusiastically to take me up on my offer. So now I'll get to start slideshowing it up for FCA as often as I want, for now every other week. What was really, rewarding, I think is the word, is how much they appreciate the offer, and it's so awesome to be able to use these gifts that God has given me for yet another something that will truly be appreciated. And admittedly there will be some bragging involved if there comes a week when I'm scheduled to run slides for FCA, Thursday Night, and Selah.
My last little "oh that's cool" surprise tonight came when adding Lara's birthday into my computer's address book: for fun I thought I'd just type the word "today" into the birthday field, and lo and behold, it just worked! The year was wrong, but it auto-entered today's date. Cool! Just another reason to love Apple: NSFormatter, which, as my roommates and I decided, may just be one of the coolest things since sliced bread. This spawned another conversation, of course, about what was the coolest thing before sliced bread, to which we answered it must have been rising bread. And on that note, goodnight!