If y'all think the 3-26-10 QOTD is gross…

…be glad it wouldn’t look like this.  Things could always be worse…

(as found online)  🙂

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Signs of the Times, Part 1

British-Lit Prof: And so, let’s see.  You guys [she’s from New Orleans, that’s why she doesn’t say y’all] have no class next Friday, it’s a reading day.

Assorted Students, murmuring amongst themselves: Good Friday?  Is that Good Friday?

Prof, waving hands: No.  It’s a reading day

Students: Yeah, but isn’t that Good Friday?

Prof, still waving hands, and nodding head emphatically: No no no.  It’s a reading day.  The university is very specific about that.

Margaret: *facepalm*

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My Brother: Post-Forehead Bang :)

 

When I saw that Owen mentioned his infamous 1995 “forehead-meets-brick” incident in today’s Question of the Day, I instantly remembered this photo, which was taken the evening of the injury.   

And so, I thought y’all might like to see it. 🙂

 Our dad did a little home-doctoring and Owen was as good as new!

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This Is My Father's World

                                      …and to my listening ear

                                    All nature sings

                                    And round me rings

                                    the music of the spheres.

                                    *This is a recently compiled NASA image of the earth;

                                     it is supposedly the clearest to date. 

                                     What a mighty God we serve!

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Redeeming "Romeo & Juliet": Is it Possible?

Last night I attended a production of Romeo & Juliet here at TAMU as a requirement for my Shakespeare class.   Now, I could easily list about 300 other ways I would have rather spent those 3 hours on a Tuesday evening.   But, since there was no way around it, I’m going to make the best of the situation and analyze the things I saw.

To focus briefly on the “positives” of the evening: first of all, Romeo and Juliet is by no means my Shakespeare play of choice.  That being said, the actors of the Traveling London Stage nevertheless performed incredibly well.  There were only five of them (two women, 3 men) and so each one played multiple parts.  In addition, they chose to perform using only the simplest of props: no settings, no backgrounds, only a few chairs and some assorted hats and scarves to indicate different characters.   I liked this because it forced the audience to focus on the characters and plot without a distracting setting. 

Now for the not-so-positive part.  I know I may be treading on a few sacred cows, but here’s my opinion, plain and simple: Romeo and Juliet  is a stupid and potentially harmful play

Yes.  In terms of literature, it may be a brilliant work; I do not deny that, for I love analyzing literature’s different components and I have a great respect for those who can write such masterpieces.  But, when it comes down to the nitty-grittiness, what makes Romeo & Juliet such a pop icon—and one that has endured the test of time?  

Before I turn to moral criticisms, I want to give a brief personal-opinion rant about Romeo and Juliet‘s basic plot. There are many definitions of a “literary tragedy”, but, basically, Romeo & Juliet is considered a tragedy because—obviously— the  play ends with the death of the main protagonists.   Literary brilliance notwithstanding, I consider this utterly ridiculous. It would be different if the dead protagonists were true heroes, but that is not the case with this play.  Last night, I almost laughed out loud at the very end, when Romeo and Juliet are lying dead in the tomb and their respective fathers have just discovered them.  Instead of weeping wildly over their unfortunate children, the fathers instead shake hands over the bodies and discuss plans for a gold statue in the couple’s honor, all as calmly as if they were merely making lunch plans.  And Romeo and Juliet themselves?  The poor things had at least gotten married…why couldn’t Shakespeare have let them stay alive AND let their families be reconciled?  Again, this is only my opinion.  I like happy endings, that’s all.  🙂

Now for the moral criticisms.  An element of the play that seriously bothers me is the whole “daughter-defying-father” deal.   Granted, Juliet’s father is presented as an exaggerated “cruel & heartless father” stereotype (and he is!), so it’s not surprising that she wants to escape that.   However, the very fact that he is stereotyped is a big problem.   We often hear young lovers teasingly called “Romeo and Juliet” in modern culture, to the extent that such a love story is almost expected among unbelievers (and, indeed, even some believers) today .  How many silly love plots have you ever heard of that involve the daughter defying her father’s wishes for the sake of “true love”?   They are countless.

It calls to mind a popular song, entitled “Love Story”,  by the artist Taylor Swift—a smash hit among young women, in particular.  I first heard this at my cousin’s wedding last year and was appalled by the lyrics: 

We were both young when I first saw you
I close my eyes
And the flashback starts
I’m standing there
On a balcony in summer air…

That you were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles
And my daddy said stay away from Juliet
And I was crying on the staircase
Begging you please don’t go, and I said

Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone
I’ll be waiting all there’s left to do is run
You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess
It’s a love story baby just say yes

So I sneak out to the garden to see you
We keep quiet ’cause we’re dead if they knew
So close your eyes
Escape this town for a little while…

Some young ladies on JibeNow may like this song; I do not condemn you.  But this song only serves as a powerful example of the way Romeo & Juliet has impacted our culture.

Which brings me to another thought.  I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but our society has missed the mark BIG time when it comes to “true love”.  Romeo and Juliet glorifies the idea of “love at first sight”…something that I believe is completely untrue.  There is no way you can immediately “fall in love” with another person upon seeing him/her for the first time, without knowing anything about that person’s personality or character.  True, you may think you are in love.  But emotions based purely on outward appearances are dangerous things, and must be handled with gloved hands. 

So, is it possible to redeem Romeo and Juliet?  The church mocked, parents defied, and suicide embraced…these are certainly not things worthy of emulation.  I do realize that most Christian homeschoolers will be reading this play for its literary aspects and not for its moral standards.  However, the question of redemption is food for thought because  this play’s “values”  have infiltrated our culture.   Romeo and Juliet needs a serious makeover.  I would love to see Christian filmmakers/playwriters rise to the occasion and produce a love story that reflects God’s truth.   Our culture is closely embracing a skewed view of “love”.  It’s time to break up that bear- hug.

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Brain-Waves {a re-posting}

{DISCLAIMER: This is a re-posting of a blog entry from my regular Blogspot blog.  I’m posting it here on JibeNow because it explains, in part, why I was so happy today.  Because I knew that Certain People jumped to conclusions. 😀 And so, I want to clear up all confusion.}

AND NOW FOR OUR FEATURED PRESENTATION.

I have about a billion scrambled thoughts shooting through my head right now…or at least I did earlier. During my Shakespeare class, I kept scribbling notes on the back of my hand in black ink, so as to organize the randomness of my little mind.

Brain-wave #1: So, I got to spend this weekend with Owen and my dad at the National Open speech/debate tournament in Houston. I came there under the pretense of judging some events. Item: I only judged one event. So, I don’t think I truly earned my keep. But I still had a fairly good time. I got to meet many of Owen’s assorted speech chums.  It was amusing, to say the least. And, at said tournament, I was also able to hear the infamous “jam sessions” performed by Owen and his friends. Wow! So cool to hear them all together!

 

{Owen is amazing} 🙂
Brain-wave #2: During class this morning, I spent a great deal of time picking splinters out of the back of my hand. Why, you may well ask.

Well, yesterday morning we drove back to College Station and attended church at Westminster, followed by lunch at Rudy’s BBQ. And after that, we decided to take a leisurely Sunday drive in the College Station area. It wasn’t long before we headed out to the little town of Snook, which is apparently an old Czech community. When I spotted the quiet little Snook Cemetery, I (of course) wanted to stop and browse through the graves.

As we walked around, observing the Czech family names that dotted the cemetery, we noticed a long trail of giant red ants, the kind that cut leaves and carry them into their burrows. My dad and I were instantly fascinated and paused to watch them. I had my camera with me, and knelt down next to the Trail of Ants to photograph them.

A few seconds later, I noticed that a Something-Or-Other was stuck to the back of my right hand. Now, I instantly thought it was a giant ant about to sink his giant jaws into my skin.

Me: AAA! AAA! It’s an ant! Get off, get off, get off, oooooo!!!

{followed by violently slamming my hand into the ground and rubbing it around}

Me: Aack! It’s still there! GET OFF!

{more rubbing and screeching}

Me: WHAT? It’s still there…oh, wait. It’s a sticky-burr!

Yes, my friends, that lovely scene was all for the sake of a stupid sticky-burr that I had mistaken for an ant. When I looked at my hand, I instantly realized my folly. I had been slamming my hand into more of the sticky-burrs that surrounded the ground around me. And now, I had little bloody dots and scratches all over the back of my hand. And splinters too. And that is why my hand now resembles a bad case of poison ivy.

And, during the sticky-burr scene, my dad was about ten feet away, videotaping the ants. Of course, my crazed screeching now graces the background audio track of that video. Joy. I can’t wait to hear it. 😀

Brain-wave #3: After tears, stress and anxiety…last night I finally found out that next semester, I will get to live with 4 other RUF gals…in a house…in the country!!!

I AM SO EXCITED, I COULD SCREAM!

In fact, I did scream. On the landing of the dorm stairs last night. And I heard somebody say. “What was that?”, whereupon I casually kept going up the stairs as if I hadn’t heard a thing.

Now, I haven’t actually been out to the house yet but, according to rumors, it has 4 bedrooms and a huge yard, and is about 15 minutes away from campus. Which fact, of course, brings up another idea: I Will Need a Car, and Oh Yeah, I Will Also Need a Driver’s License.

Brain-wave #4: It is supposed to snow 1-3 inches here tomorrow. I repeat, I am excited.

Brain-wave #5: I also can hardly wait to start working on my “Landscape Project” for TX Geography. We have to go to our hometown areas and do a photo-documentary of the places that are near and dear to us. That, my friends, is right up my alley.

And now, this monster post is done.

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yum!

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