Tag Archives: Stories

Real Life?

19 May

(Click here for this post’s year-old predecessor)

My current moment of celebration has been brought to us by this fact: I graduated high school last Friday night. 

It follows then, that now I’ve been on the receiving end of a surplus of advice and/or inspiring comments. I’ve been told both that my life has finally begun and that nothing really changes after graduation (Don’t be a motivational speaker, friend). Mm, and yes, my college plans have been questioned seventy-nine times in the past three days.

But even that is not enough to bring me down at the moment. I had a blast graduating, I did so with some terribly cool people, and I am super stoked to no longer be asked what school I go to, or what I’m doing after graduation. (the spirit of the second question will still be present often, but I choose to at least appreciate the change of tense)

I am no longer a high schooler. 

This is joyous news.

But I have a mission in today’s post, one that I must not forget – the geek speech. I mentioned this topic last year, when I got super stoked about putting fandom references in my grad speech and wrote a post (linked above) about how I would let you in on it someday.

That day is here. I have linked every otherwise-unidentified reference for explanation purposes.

 _________________________________________________

*pats microphone*

First off, what a turnout!

How wild is this, huh?

All we did was complete twelve years of schooling. And now look at us. Dressed in glorified trash bags. How far we’ve come.

But where to begin on the list of people we couldn’t have done this without?

I do feel like it would be an injustice not to give a shout-out to my school curriculum, so as much as I’d like to ignore Abeka and Saxon, I do have to say thank you to Adventures in Odyssey and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego for being the thinly-veiled education machines that made up a good chunk of the important things I learned in my school years.

And of course, I have been immeasurably blessed by the people in my life. My friends are the best, most fantastic friends I could ask for, and my family is beyond marvelous. I can not say enough good things about them, and I could not have hoped for anyone better to be raised around. My parents, especially, have been so much better to me than I deserve. I want you all to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are loved. By so many, and so much, and by no one more than me – except maybe One. I thank the Lord for you daily, which leads to the next order of business – thanking the Creator who made every bit of this possible. Thank you for your strength, your wisdom, your unconditional love, and of course, for this moment. For all these bright young men and women who are ready to get down to business to defeat the tons of opposition that we may face.

After all, the protagonist of every story finds herself in a battle at some point.

And we’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one. Cos it is, you know? It’s the best. Remember, all of our stories have already been written by the best author our universe has ever produced – or, actually, the best author that ever produced our universe. And stories are not meant only to entertain, but to teach. There are lessons in stories. The moral of the Three Bears, for instance, is never break into someone else’s house. The moral of Snow White is never eat apples. The moral of WWI is never assassinate the Archduke Ferdinand. What will our stories tell others? That’s up to us. But we really ought to make it interesting, make it inspiring. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. And you know God does not create anything that doesn’t make some sort of glorious difference in the world. After all, no artist can resist signing his work.

The world didn’t come with any extra parts, but it didn’t come with any that were interchangeable either.

We all have something that no one else has, and that thing is exactly what the world needs, and the thing we need to give away.

In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis wrote, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” This place is not our home. But any good houseguest knows that you should leave a place in better condition than when you first arrived in it. It’s no different here – except that you don’t usually find opposition when you try to clean a guesthouse.

The world, however, will do what it does best and tell us to do what everyone else is doing, and to stick to the status quo but the status is not quo. The world is a mess, and we just need to… school it. It is our job to educate the world, to go and make disciples. Be fishermen, be fishers of men. So we’ll beat on, boats against the current. And, I don’t know, fly casual.

Madeleine L’engle once said, fittingly, “When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown up, we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability. To be alive is to be vulnerable.”

This isn’t my favorite truth to accept, but it’s definitely a pre-requisite. I don’t pretend to be grown-up now, but I know I’m on that road. I mean, all children, except one, grow up, but our pace on that journey, the way we deal with the walk, who we become along the way is all on us. And this milestone we call graduation, it means growing up far, far less than it represents it.

Regardless of age, you have always been important, you have always been something. Age just reveals the facts that always were, and experience uncovers the you that always was. Never let people look down on you because you are young. Set an example.

And if you’re ever discouraged, the world gets on your back, and you find yourself beating yourself up and saying that now would be a really good time for you to grow up – don’t ever allow yourself to be downtrodden. Growing up is an adventure, not a destination – and that’s your secret.

You’re always growing up.

Thanks for sticking with me today and for the past years.

Catch… you… later.

_______________________________________________

In closing, I just want to extend the warmest thank you to my excellent friends who used the moment after to yell out,

“No you won’t!”

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The Sneaky Cycle of the Serial Program

29 May

Having Netflix is like having all of time and space in your backyard.

Enchanting? Yes.

Irresistible?  Very nearly.

Dangerous? More than I can say.

At the beginning, it is all innocent enough. First you think, “I can watch that one TV show that I don’t have the channel for!” but then it turns into, “I heard good things about that show! Also this show. And that one. Probably.” until it finally devolves into, “That film exists. Might as well partake!”

Even more sinister is the amount of shows on Netflix. You could never really run out of them, and if you did, well, welcome to your first interaction (albeit over the internet) with another human being! We have support groups for people like you. (They’re also on the internet. Imagine that!)

And TV shows are sneakier than movies. With movies, you can have closure. When the credits roll after something like Megamind, you think, That was a lovely movie. I might watch it again someday.

After the end sequence of an episode of Lost, you think, I’m going to watch this show until it literally kills me, aren’t I? 

Because TV shows keep going! You have more each week! (Or, if you have Netflix, all the time) And with a weekly dose, you begin to form a habit. I got to the point that every Sunday night, I was sitting down to watch Once Upon a Time and thinking, I hope this episode isn’t as bad as it was last week. (It invariably was) My dad heard about my system and informed me that this habit was just as bad as continuing to date someone who never lived up to my expectations. I replied by telling him that I was sure that if I just stayed with the show a little longer, I could change it for the better.

This is what normal people refer to as “a problem.” However, I’m glad to say that Once Upon a Time and I are now taking time away from each other, and we’re both acting very mature about it.

I’ve noticed that television shows that you don’t end up disliking tend to stick to the following steps:

     1. Introduction. Maybe you know someone who watches the show, and you watch it out of courtesy/curiosity. Or maybe you’ve just been wondering about the show for a while and you decide to give it a try.

     2. Interest. This is when you realize the show is pretty okay. Maybe you’ll watch the next episode, possibly even the rest of the season. You know, if you get around to it.

     3. Intrigue. Now you like the show. Why hadn’t you heard about if before? Maybe you’ll attend a marathon showing of this program. You might even tell a couple other people about how good it is.

     4. Insanity. This is when you’re watching episodes you’ve already seen three times. This is when you start buying merchandise related to the show. This is when you start making references to people who don’t even know who you are, much less what the show is. And of course, this is when you turn to the internet for help with your now out-of-control feelings. And you start a blog.

Some people stop with the first three steps, and that is fine, not to mention socially acceptable. I even know a couple people who only went to step #2 and #3 with Doctor Who, and that’s downright impressive to me.

Book series are just as perilous, and often follow the same steps. The only difference there is that instead of Netflix, the place to go to entirely lose your wits is called a “library.” (And it’s the most glorious place on earth)

The main thing we have to watch is where enjoying something turns into wasting far too much time on something. Hey, if a story is going to keep going on, we want to be there to witness it. And there’s no shame in that!

Just be warned. It’s dangerous out there, and it’s infinitely more dangerous to go alone.

Take a fangirl with you.

A Very Whovian Post

17 May

I have quite the Saturday planned.

My schedule for Saturday

  • wake up with a strange sense of foreboding
  • proceed with daily rituals anxiously
  • avoid internet for fear of spoilers
  • give in and use the internet in small doses
  • see a spoiler and get angry at myself
  • see The Name of the Doctor
  • mourn
  • see Star Trek: Into Darkness
  • lose the ability to form a cohesive sentence

For those of you who are unaware, the Doctor Who season finale, entitled The Name of the Doctor, is this Saturday. If you’ve had any contact whatsoever with people who enjoy Doctor Who (that includes reading this far into this post), you probably have an inkling that, for us, a season ending feels quite a bit like [insert supremely terrifying, if melodramatic, metaphor here]. If you see a Whovian today, comfort them to the best of your ability. Prepare to give out a lot of hugs, for there are a lot of us.

A lot.

Isn’t the power of story-telling beautiful? The way a writer can access your emotions and touch the real parts of your life? It’s easy to simplify a story by saying it’s just a story. Just a made-up tale about made-up people going on made-up adventures. But everyone who’s ever enjoyed a story knows that you cannot water down the definition that far without sacrificing the important fact that stories matter. You can reach people from all walks of life with a story. And those people from all those different walks, they will be able to bond over that story, when they might not have otherwise.

Because of stories, hundreds of thousands of people can love the same thing and be driven to each other as a result of that love. And Doctor Who in particular, well, we all know its influence through space and time is a broad one, nearly fifty years in the making.

So good on you, makers of Doctor Who.

I dread look forward to the season finale.

It is said that in this coming episode we will not only find out who Clara Oswald really is, but also what the Doctor’s name is. Obviously, this has led to some very entertaining speculations. Can’t think of any yourself? Here are my favorites from tumblr.

The Doctor’s Name

  • The 
  • John Smith
  • Sweetie
  • Slim Shady
  • Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gombigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andri Charton-Haymoss Ivanovici Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III
  • Kenneth

I’m banking on number 3, myself.

That’s all for now, folks.

Go hug a Whovian.