Someone reached my blog by searching:
issues that minorities face in the floydada tx community
Honey, that'd be a whole blog and/or dissertation in and of itself. Sorry I can't help you more.
"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)
Someone reached my blog by searching:
Here's a beautiful essay on teaching poetry at West Point.
I feel a little sick.
Well, that didn't go so well.
Sigh. I've known that our team was overrated from the first quarter of the first game. But it was still pretty painful to watch our uneven-but-improving defense that seems to have some issues with actually reaching out and tackling the guys they're chasing, Colt's neverending interceptions, and the totally inexcusable inability of our special teams to prevent kickoff returns.
Here's what I think: if it was abundantly clear that Colt McCoy was sick at halftime, they shouldn't have put him back in. It was obvious by late in the 3rd that he wasn't himself. John Chiles is more than capable of doing the job - he gets us 5 yards every time on the keeper, and if McCoy can't get it together, his job should be in danger. That's just how it is. No, Chiles isn't experienced enough to do everything (yet), but this business about McCoy being better isn't playing out on the field. And if he's sick, DON'T PUT HIM OUT THERE. Duh!
Also, we should fire Greg Davis. And beg Gene Chizik to come back. There, I said it.
At least we weren't the only ones who had a bad day. We hate Auburn. But not as much as we hate Florida. Urban Meyer's last-minute sneaky time-out calling reflects the kind of class we expect from Gainesville. And ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! "#3" Oklahoma lost.
Actually, except for the football, it wasn't a bad day. We had a fantastic tailgate brunch (note: do NOT try to cook bacon directly on the grill. Lots of fire, too much for our resident pyromaniac. We moved it to the camp stove and things were much better.), Of course, we love admiring our neighbors' unique fashion choices:Vince and some of the old guard were around: And it was Alumni Band Day! For those of you Not From Austin, Alumni Band Day is hands-down the best show of the year, primarily because of the older gentleman baton twirler. He tosses it to the level of the upper deck, and the entire student section waits with baited breath to see if he'll catch or drop it. It's the highlight of our halftime year.
At halftime it rained, and as the third quarter got underway, it rained hard. Rather than bolt for cover (as did most of the crowd in the expensive seats on the alumni side), we stuck through it and got soaked, but it didn't matter. Laughing and smiling and dripping wet, I just couldn't help but think about how great it is to be young and alive.
The ensuing half of football did a lot to dampen that spirit, even as the sun peeked back through the clouds. We watched the fourth quarter mostly in silence, stayed through the final cannon and two rounds of "Texas Fight" and one of "The Eyes of Texas" and left just as the sky broke open again. This time we laughed some more and (at 23's insistence), stopped to take a picture in the rain, sorry about the sorry state of our football team, but glad to be friends and to be alive.
Maybe we won't drop out of the top 25. I mean, really, Colorado is worse than K-State, so it's worse for the Sooners to lose to CU than for us to lose to the Wildcats. Right? Right?
Via my sister. Welcome to my world:
Suzii is on the front page of the Wall Street Journal today. She's such a rock star.
I don't know who Don Carson is. Apparently some seminary professor at one of those Reformed schools Up North. But, for the past few months, someone has been writing an absolutely hilarious blog that pretends to be written from Carson's point-of-view. And it's a scream. So much of a scream, in fact, that the authors decided to quit because of the controversy/threats from the seminary's administration.
What a great way to start off your Tuesday morning.
Oh, good lord.
This is hi-larious.
The Intrepid Lobbyist (who, while still quite Intrepid, is no longer a Lobbyist, and is therefore in need of a new nickname - ideas?) and I were talking a few weeks ago about her new life in Seattle when camp came up in the conversation, as it always does, and somewhere in the memories, one of us brought up the maxim by which generations of campers and staff before us were admonished upon departure to some out-of-camp activity, be it a trip to the boys camp on the other side of I-40 (What can I say? We're Baptist. By the time you're 16, you know how to get across without getting caught.) or a hike to the ice cream parlor down the mountain:
"I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Today we begin a new, occasional series of humorous (and typically wrong) things my students write in response to quiz and exam questions. These are priceless:
I love my job.
Okay. Other than the near-total lack of political freedom, free expression, and free press, sure. Why not?
We almost missed National Punctuation Day. Aack!
...And here's what we think so far:
This is why I rarely sit around watching TV anymore.
[n.b. We are not watching much Monday Night Football tonight because we don't know for whom to cheer.]
You've probably already seen this totally appalling video elsewhere today. What I'm most amused by is Mike Huckabee's attempt to keep a straight, neutral face in the background of the soloist. Also, the dynamics of race in the choir vis-a-vis the candidates (and their voting records on civil rights issues) would make an interesting dissertation.
So of course the boys gave me have this week to plan the tailgate...
Don't miss this year's benefit for the Political Asylum Project of Austin, next Sunday night at Jovita's. The Attorney is a board member of this wonderful local nonprofit that provides legal services to immigrants and persons seeking political asylum who live in our area. Here's what he has to say about this always-fun, very dancable event:
This gives new meaning to the phrase "kiss of death."
At the moment I am learning that Travelocity has the worst hold noise ever. You have to listen to these horrible conversations between two overly perky adults about travel dilemmas, and trying to change your flight information.
A couple of weeks ago I attended the inaugural dinner and discussion of the Texas Baptist Young Professional Network. TBYPN is an initiative of the BGCT's Christian Life Commission, and the evening was a great time of meeting other young Baptists in the central Texas area to talk about how we might collaborate with one another and with other Baptists to support the agenda of the New Baptist Covenant. Part of that means that we will be sending a delegation to the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant in Atlanta in January. Big Daddy Weave has more on that here.
So I totally failed to post yesterday.
I hate contemporary Christian music.
Luminous is the only word to describe Regina Spektor's Monday night taping of Austin City Limits. Don't miss this one when it airs later this year.
Sunday afternoon as the sun went down over the ACL Festival, the Ex-Roommate and I (who are realizing that we have been friends for (gulp!) twelve years) pushed our way up to the front of the AMD stage, sat down with everyone else who was trying to sit for an hour, and got ready to enjoy Wilco's set.
Also, the marriage proposal, though cheesy, was kindof sweet.
Don't tick off Lucinda Williams. She will write a song like "Honey Bee" about you. And she will have her revenge. Regina Spektor. Right. We were more concerned with securing our awesome Wilco spot, and as the crowd pressed in, our ability to hear Spektor diminished proportionally. But I'll see her tonight, so no worries.
Wilco was so fantastic I'm going to write a separate review later today. They played "Casino Queen!"
We only saw a little bit of Ghostland Observatory, but they continue to grow on me. You can't not dance to it.
Bob Dylan was just so bad I can't believe it.
Look, I've never seen him before, and I think he's a genius. The music, despite his gravely voice early in the set, was good. Starting with "Rainy Day Woman #12 and #35" is a sign that he knew his audience. But there is NO EXCUSE for playing to 65,000 people and not allowing cameras close enough to get your face, or closeups of the soloists. Because no one could see his face (jokes abounded in our section as to whether it was him, or whether he's been dead for years and we were being put on), Dylan never connected with the crowd. It was seriously disappointing.
Wilco's show was fantastic. Dylan's was terrible. I have to lecture in the morning. More tomorrow...
"Today, we are in a relatively calm situation, as there is a suspension of hostilities between the two parties, the dissidents and the FARDC. One has the impression of being in the eye of the storm, which is to say we are in a calm period, but we don’t know what what will happen next.
By the numbers:
"'The entire world is preoccupied with Darfur, understandably,' Lewis said. 'But it must be said that between ten and twenty times of the number of people have died in the eastern Congo as have died in Darfur. There are more displaced persons in the eastern Congo than in Darfur. Darfur has been going on for four years, the eastern Congo has been ravaged for ten. And nowhere on this planet is there such a holocaust of horror visited on women and girls.'"
It's always the women who shoulder the burden of flight in the eastern Congo. Look closely at this woman. She's carrying a mattress, a jerry can for water, blankets, and a baby. She's also most certainly carrying her cooking pot and anything else of value that her family has. Her clothes are clean and her baby has shoes. She's not so thin and emaciated that she is completely malnourished, which means that her children are probably not malnourished either, since mothers usually let their children eat first. Her life is not easy, and she shouldn't have to live this way, but until this, she was probably doing okay.
We here at Texas in Africa have very little patience for two things:
Because we feel this way, whenever we have negative customer service experiences in either respect, we choose to post the numbers we had to search for in hopes that others won't have to waste precious minutes of their lives vainly searching for what should be readily available informatoin. Companies should understand that frustrated customers don't want to wait for an email reply that will never come - they want to talk to a human being. Who can fix problems. Immediately. Posting your phone number may not be as cost-effective as routing it all through email, but it's certainly better than annoying customers so much that they become former customers.
Here are customer service phone numbers I've had to seek out for two companies this week. I recommend the first and strongly discourage you from patronizing the second:
Zazzle was very responsive; apparently my original email didn't get through, but they dealt with the problem immediately. And to be fair, my actual customer service experience with Symantec wasn't bad this time. The employees I talked to were responsive and helpful. I didn't have to wait on the phone for nearly 3 hours as was the case in January. I'm just furious with the company for what caused the problem in the first place.
Today I got to meet one of my favorite Texas writers.
My sister (who is now the nanny for Roseanne's spiritual advisor. It's a long story.) reminds me that today is the 4th anniversary of Johnny Cash's passing. In memory of a great man, here's my favorite version of one of my favorite songs of all time. It's a beautiful duet:
E wrote today with this news and requests for prayer from Goma. Things are really bad in the internally displaced persons camps.
Today I learned that the most statistically normal town in America is ....
Well, in the level of preparation I have come to expect from the Austin City Limits Music Festival, last night when I pulled up to the Zilker box office to trade in my ticket for a wristband, I was greeted in my car by a smiling woman who simply proclaimed, "We're out."
Student: Did you see R. Kelly's song [about Senator Larry Craig] on Jon Stewart?
"Ninja return ends in Congo chaos"
Calm is the morn without a sound,
"How can evil ever prevail when there is such courage in the world?" - A Wrinkle in Time
You know, when it comes to weekends in September, I'm a pretty simple girl. All I want to do is hang out with friends on Friday night, sleep until 10:45 on Saturday morning, watch Herbstreit's picks on Game Day Live, and watch twelve hours of football (on tv, at our tailgate, and at DKR). Nothing complicated.
A heads-up for Austin-area/central Texas friends and readers: I'll be speaking about my experiences and the situation in the Eastern DR Congo on Wednesday, September 19 at 6pm at First Baptist, Austin. I'll focus on explainng the situation there and suggest practical ways we can help support community-based ministries and development in the eastern Congo.
This is priceless:
'Cause, you know, the world's been needing some of these.
I am trying to imagine what these plains west of Goma look like right now. I'm trying to envision them when they are not empty and green, but rather occupied by tens of thousands of people just like you and me who have done what any of us would do if war broke out in our town: they've run from their homes carrying everything that is precious to their families. I'm trying to conceive of what the presence of so many people does to a landscape. I'm trying to think what thousands of little grass huts like these must look like.
And I'm wondering what this is doing to my friends, both Congolese and expat. My aid worker friends are no doubt living under a lot of stress. It's hard to be the person in charge of distributing food to 20,000 people who have nothing. I haven't heard from many of my Congolese friends lately. No doubt most people aren't venturing out unless it's necessary. Tasks like visiting the internet cafe tend to be less important than ensuring the security of one's family.
My phone rang at 4:18am today. It was a text message from Mama Rene in Bukavu. She wanted to know why I have been silent. In the eastern Congo, one is expected to keep up with one's friends on a more-or-less weekly basis. You need to inquire about their health, safety, and family. Apparently, I'd been too long in writing.
I could say I can't imagine what things are like in the eastern Congo right now, but that's not true. My friends there have lived these horrors and told me all about their experiences in the war. I've seen drunken soldiers roaming the streets, looking for someone to harass. I've seen weapons in the hands of child soldiers. It's terrifying. And all we can do from here is watch, and hope, and pray that this too shall be made right.
Well, the fight is getting closer and closer to Goma, and the United Nations has finally said what everyone in the region has known for years: the government of Rwanda is supplying rebel general Laurent Nkunda with equipment and manpower.
From Radio Okapi:
Given my new employment status at UT, I just had to complete four somewhat ridiculous complicance training modules, one of which was entirely dedicated to explaining what compliance training is. Never underestimate a bureaucracy.
This is from a friend in Goma. I've taken out some of what he wrote for security and streamlining. They ask for prayer for peace, and to spread this news:
North Kivu is descending into war. This is more than the usual low-level violence.
Welcome readers from The Secret Life of Kat. Here's a link to the original post on Olivier.
Amen to this!
I'd love for you all to go listen to Fred's recording of Sunday morning worship in a Congolese church. This is exactly what it's like.
Gunshots are reported in Goma last night; apparently rebels tried to take out some of the communication towers on Mount Goma. They have also cut off electricity and communications in Rutshuru.
Ah, the first Saturday in September. It's my favorite day of the year - waking up to the picks on GameDay Live, tailgating for several hours before kickoff, and figuring out where our seats are this year before taking in a game. Oh, yeah, and watching teams like Michigan get what they deserve!
We left after the game ended to watch the end of Tennessee-Cal (sorry I jinxed it, Emily) and Auburn-K-State (sigh). All in all it was a great day of football, even if the best plays didn't come from the Horns. It's September, and therefore we're happy.
*The last photo credit goes to 23, who wasn't happy with the Tower-at-sunset pictures I took. Hope he's happy.