Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Day 11

The day started with the usual routine of dealing with emails, much of which is spam, some of which are actually newsletters worth reading, and very few of the friend variety. This morning, though, somewhere between the newsletters and friend categories, came a note across the techies email list at MA regarding an upcoming concert rumored to be held in the chapel sometime on Sunday: someone didn't think they'd be able to help with the concert because it might conflict with church that morning. Okay, makes sense enough, but what was so striking to me was that this came from someone, who, not that many months ago, identified themselves as a very non-Christian Wiccan. I think their significant other has had a very positive effect there...

I printed off some chord sheets on my way out for my prayer time in Mellby chapel today (I'm bringing my guitar with this time), and of course there's a paper jam. Not a huge deal, I fixed it soon enough and the printer gave me my printouts, but just another one of those tiny things (perhaps we can call them surprises?) that I wasn't at all expecting.

So prayer time today served three purposes: one, simply, prayer and contemplation about God, St Olaf, the 47-hours-of-prayer itself, etc. Two, guitar practice; I justify that because they're all worshipful Selah songs, so even if I'm not good I think God can accept the effort anyway. And three, read Hebrews... for one of my classes; okay, so maybe it's "homework", but it's still reading from the Bible, that's got to count for something.

Maybe it's just because I happened to read Hebrews today, but it seems afterward I kept seeing references to it everywhere: in my textbook for a completely other class, on the prayer chapel walls themselves, I don't know, it just struck me as odd coincidence.

On my way back to Rand I ran into one of the theatre majors who graduated last year, back for a visit to see a show. Nothing too surprising during our brief talk, other than the initial surprise of seeing her again.

I happened to check one of my stocks this afternoon and discovered it's continuing to do really well, but the special realization I came to today is that, if I wanted to, I could sell it all and completely pay off my credit card debt. Wow, way cool.

I then proceeded to spend the entire rest of my afternoon fighting Internet Explorer (running on Windows) to try to get a website I've been working on to display and behave correctly. Every other browser does things the right way, even Firefox on Windows, but IE has to be different. Lots of research and a couple CSS and javascript tweaks later, it worked again. Just very frustrating. Grrr. Another reason to hate Windows.

Tonight I think I learned a lesson about how to "be the surprise" (Terry's next book). For the first night in a while, I didn't have any dinner plans already, until a friend called and we went. She'd had a really rough day and just needed someone to listen; I'm glad I could be there for her. I like asking questions; I feel like I'm good at it, good at prodding people toward figuring out their own thoughts; it's something I can actually do to help, which is a good feeling.

After a bout of homework in the library (which surprisingly closed much earlier than I'd expected!), I was around Buntrock for a while. As I was preparing to head back to Rand, I called a friend to ask about church in the morning, and had no sooner finished leaving a message on her cell phone than I bumped into her in person, all because I chose to take the longer route out of Buntrock. Surprises like that make my day like no other.

Back in the room, Ben and Todd and I spent a short bit of time trying to find the live video feed of St Olaf's construction webcam. They have the normal link on their home page, but this only gives the user a still image, set to refresh every 5 seconds; not nearly as cool as a live motion video feed would be. The best part, after finding the web interface with streaming MPEG-4 video, we could save the file reference onto our computers, open it in Quicktime, and stream live in full screen. Beautiful.

Almost time for bed, but first, a round of laundry (I really need towels). After drying, I had one last surprise: the dryer didn't completely dry everything. Turns out someone forgot to empty the lint trap, as did about the last 50 people before him. Alas, live and learn (and yes, I emptied it afterward so that the next person wouldn't have the same surprise I got :)

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