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Category Archives: College

I’m sitting in room 223 of Greve Hall, which should be (and is supposed to be) empty by 3 this afternoon. (God help me.) As I’m scurrying around (read: spastically freaking out and chasing my own tail), I’m thinking about how this school year was different. For the first time ever, I ended the semester taking the same classes with which I started out, not dropping one class or changing a single section. Also, I actually finished all of them. That hasn’t happened in years. And, by my estimation, I should pass all of them. I wish the grades overall could be better, and they could be, to be sure. But, that I can say that I’ll have all 5 grades and that I didn’t give up in the middle of the semester (or at the beginning, for that matter)…that is a miracle.

Outside of school, I’ve gained a wonderful girlfriend, I’ve learned some things I’ve pretty good at, I’ve learned one thing I’m not great at (being a regional representative for an organization…my brain just doesn’t work that way 🙂 ), I’ve made some new friends, and I’ve had a number of adventures. Not to mention loads of great memories.

And you can check out some of those memories by viewing the slideshow below. The music is me playing/singing part of “Dare You To Move” with my friend Bekah when we were hanging out after this year’s OCF College Conference. Last summer, my friend Laura said that it’s a good song (and a good message) for me. I couldn’t agree more.

“Maybe redemption has stories to tell.”

Maybe it does.

Maybe this is a sample of Chapter 1.

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It’s finals time. At this point, I have 3 down and 4 more to go, including two for an Incomplete from the fall semester. This song by They Might Be Giants sums up my life right now.

P.S. For more finals week goodness, check out the latest OCF Podcast and listen to an awesome conversation an OCFer at UCONN had with Dr. Al Rossi about finding peace during this crazy time.

OCF Podcast

Episode 1 of the OCF Podcast is finally ready for public consumption!  This weeks episode features part one of a talk by executive director Fr. Kevin Scherer entitled “How to Survive College as a Christian.”

Download/subscribe here.


Image: Animatic Media

Lately, I’ve been battling with maintenance over a small roach problem that is in more rooms than just mine (so don’t just blame me, mom). I’ve let them know several times that I keep finding one here or there. They keep spraying…I think…but the roaches won’t leave. Or they come back. Either way, yuck. I hate older college dorms 😦

Well, in trying to get rid of them myself, I came across a pretty nifty site that is perfect for ADHD-riddled students like me. It’s meant for kids, but with all the pretty colors and cartoon-like roach prevention tips (not to mention that it’s pretty useful), I can’t help but recommend it to all the college students out there who are suffering the same problems as I am.

Help! It’s a Roach!

From the press release:

——

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2008

OCF Reacts to Shooting Tragedy at Northern Illinois University.

Thursday at Northern Illinois University (NIU), a black clad gunman emerged from the stage of an auditorium classroom opening fire, killing six students and injuring 13 before turning the gun on himself, taking his own life.  Four students remain in critical condition. This is the fourth school shooting this week.

One of the students injured, a Greek Orthodox Christian and OCF NIU chapter student, is in stable condition and was released from the hospital Thursday evening.  OCF is deploying its Executive Director, Fr. Kevin Scherer and a team of IOCC Frontline clergy responders to this crisis.  Most of the members of this critical response team responded less than a year ago when tragedy struck Virginia Tech, where 33 students were left dead.

“This is a horrible tragedy, we must assume that this can happen on any campus at anytime; therefore, it is imperative that our ministry be prepared” said Fr. Kevin Scherer who heads the Campus Ministry organization of the Orthodox Christian Churches in North America (under SCOBA). He continued to point out that gunshot wounds are not the extent of the trauma in situations like these; that in fact, the mental and spiritual effects can be just as substantial and in need of acute therapeutic attention.

Our deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of the victims.  OCF is asking its thousands of students to reach out to their brothers and sisters at NIU and keep them in their hearts and prayers.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is the official campus ministry program of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). OCF works to keep students connected to the life-giving teaching and experience of the Orthodox Church. It supports over 260 local chapters throughout North America and involves thousands of college students through its programming, including the College Conference and Real Break. Additional information on all the OCF programs can be found on the OCF website, http://www.ocf.net, or by calling toll-free, 800-919-1623.

For additional information:
OCF Director of Communications
Chip Southworth
chip@ocf.net (904) 338-3346

Here’s an ad for an upcoming OCF event at UT.  Come and check it out if you get the chance.  7 pm on Thursday Feb. 21


I recently found out that my university has a full fledged multimedia studio, complete with equipment you can checkout. Before checking out the cameras, you have to go through an online certification. I did it today just prior to OCF, thinking it would be some boring “and this is where you plug the blah blah in” sort of thing.

I was wrong.

I was horribly wrong.

Take a look here. A couple of minutes is all you need.

P.S. The trip to Nickville is off this weekend…stupid biology test. 😛

 Funny Pictures

…why can’t we keep it together?

So, I sat through a lecture on the School of Information Sciences today in a communication class. The speaker was talking about how quickly information technology is changing, and, of course, he mentioned blogging. And other people have mentioned blogging to me lately, asking me to post this or that to my blog. One of those people was probably me. As a result of all this, I figured I’d post an update of sorts.

The semester is off to a good start. By “good,” I mean good. I’m at the end of the first full week of classes, and I’ve already done homework in the library twice. I’ve spent about $50 of my supplemental campus bucks (the folks around these parts call them “Dining Dollars”) on things like Starbucks, ice cream, cheese dip, and plenty of Dr. Pepper. I’ve been to two OCF meetings, one of which involved pasta with vodka sauce, some chocolates, and yummy strawberries.
OCF Student Advisory Board stuff is going well, too, though last week I didn’t feel great so my OCF Buddy (an OCF presence on AOL Instant Messenger) shift took a back seat to sleep, and this week it got overlooked because I had just gotten in after looking for a parking space for about 30-40 minutes. But, next week will be better, and the week after will be much better because I’ll be in Pittsburgh for the spring SAB meeting. Which means friends. And Sheetz. Joyous day. 🙂

Tiffany and I are going strong, as well. The beginning of the semester brings its stress, of course. But the nights bring opportunities for sleep, and that helps things on all fronts quite a bit. And with the three-day weekend coming up, I think I’ll be signing up for the concurrent three-day workshop in sleep and relaxation techniques, which will be held at my dorm. Space is limited, and the slots are full. So, better luck next time. But, at least I’ll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. (Yeah…until around Tuesday.)

To make a long story short (too late), it’s CRAZY around here. But it’s awesome, too. The OCF podcast feed is finally up on Ancient Faith Radio at ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ocf, where you can listen to some audio from the East Coast edition of the OCF College Conference. Oh…and there’s a little interview with the keynote speaker conducted by yours truly. It was my first one, and it was pretty cool to do. Maybe I’ll get to do some more for them. That’s definitely a possibility at this point, as is anything, really. There might be some more stuff that will go up, mainly from West Coast…but that’s uncertain right now. It just depends on if the stuff can get tweaked the right way and all of that. We’re really anxious to come together at the meeting in Pittsburgh before we come out with the official first episode of the podcast.  So stay tuned here and go ahead and subscribe at the address above so you can get it fresh when it hits the airwaves.
…or the Internets.

…the tubes?

Well, the above was hacked out on Friday, as you can likely tell, but it didn’t get out of editing until today.  So, let me say that the three-day workshop in sleep and relaxation techniques was fantastic.  It was fully attended and everyone was satisfied with the topics offered this year, and we hope to make it a semi-annual event in the near future.  I’ll let you know when you can get your tickets to the next one.  😉

That’s all for now.  More goodness is on the way as soon as it can get cooked up. Tiffany and I planning on going to Lexington next weekend to stay at a friend’s house and go to church in Nicholasville, so that will surely be an adventure.  Expect cute pictures of my little buddy J.P. and maybe a story or two to come out of it.   Those of you in the Nickville area should email me if you’re available Saturday or Sunday.

Oh…and I’ll post the unnamed thing(s) previously mentioned sometime this week after getting them posted to YouTube.

Before I go, let me plug fullnessofthefaith.com.  It’s an upstart modern apparel Orthodox store (if that’s coherent) that is run by my OCF Chaplain, Fr. Justin Mathews.  Tiff and I highly recommend the “hummus is the new peanut butter” shirt.  Anyway, give him some love and order something.  And tell them Jonathan at the twelve:one blog sent ya.

(I’ve always wanted to be able to say that. 😀 )

[P.S.  Fr. Justin’s CD is pretty good, too.  You can check it out on his website here.  :)]

[P.P.S.  No, he didn’t pay me for this.  But he did promise to let me play with his iPhone for five minutes.  Maybe since I also plugged his great CD, he’ll even turn it on.]

Take care, kids.  We’ll see you soon.

A few thoughts…

–Last year, I wrote about my Charlie Brown Christmas and the possible end of a 30-something-year tradition in my family. Well, I’m actually quite content in reporting that it ended this year (that is, we didn’t have it), though for reasons different from what threatened it last year. It was brought about by a certain needed movement in our family life, and for that, I’m grateful. I’m also thankful that it precisely isn’t because of the issues I discussed last year. Essentially, it was caused by someone’s personal progress and not someone else’s personal tragedies.

–The 2008 OCF College Conference is coming up in two days. Wow. It seems that just yesterday I was telling some friends that I would be seeing them in 10 days. And now it will much sooner be upon us. Last year, I was a first-time attendee and was awestruck at what I experienced, being so impressed by the love and friendship and spiritual focus and unspeakable “other goodness” (for want of a better term). (Oh…and, did I mention that’s how I was introduced to Sheetz? 😀 ) This year, I’m a member of the OCF Student Advisory Board and someone who is hoping to be involved in an upcoming object called the OCF Podcast (until something catchier develops…), something I proposed to our executive director this past summer. To my knowledge, I was the first person to seriously mention it in as much detail as I did. I assume this because I didn’t hear back, “We’re already working on it,” but “Hey…that’s a great idea. Let’s talk more about this in a few days when I get back home.” For once, I’m in a place where people listen intently to the ideas I have and are brave enough to explore, rather than putting me off and assuring they’ll “get back to me.” I can’t wait to tell this to our fellow students at the conference, because it’s what our organization is built on: listening to the students and shaping OCF to serve them and the greater community to the best of everyone’s ability. If they will listen to me, they’ll listen to anyone. I hope someone is encouraged by this, has some spark of an idea, and runs with it…and ends up blowing us all away. What a joy that would be.

At any rate, we’re going to try and record as much of the talks as humanly possible, as well as gather some photos and other randomness throughout each day and and post it all either to ancientfaithradio.com or ocf.net. If we post anything, I’ll link to it here.

–I’m grateful for super cheap airfare, enabling me to jump down to Florida shortly after my return from the conference so that I can meet Tiffany’s family. Though, the idea of it being warm enough to visit the beach in January slightly weirds me out.

–For the first time in years, the grades I’ve received so far for my semester’s work do not go below a “c”. I still have an incomplete in one class, but that will be dealt with shortly, and I’ll likely do fine. Also, there are no plans whatsoever to change majors or schools anytime soon. In fact, I’m adding a minor–in journalism. 🙂 Couple that with the news I discussed about OCF and the Podcast and so on, and you’ll have an idea of where I’d like to be heading as far as career preparation.

–In semi-related computer comments: If you’re a writer of any type who is easily distracted, and your computer of choice is Mac, I highly recommend a little app called WriteRoom. It makes your entire screen black and puts a little blinking green block-style cursor in front of you, making it easy to just write. No distractions, no menubars, no Firefox windows in the background…just the appearance of typing on an old Apple //e. It’s what I used to write this and my last post on being lost in Virginia, and I’m very pleased with it.

–Speaking of writing, I want to continue to thank the people who read twelve:one, whether regularly or just passing through. And thanks to those who have put me on their blogrolls. Honestly, I am frequently surprised and humbled by the stats that show up in my dashboard when I check it. Someone from China viewed one of my entries through Google translator the other day. How cool is that?!? Also, the fact that I average roughly 20-35 hits daily for one entry alone (“To Write Love On Her Arms“) is indicative of a) the growing amount of exposure for the organization, and b) the aching need many have in our society…and communities and workplaces and households…for signs that hope and rescue can be something they can experience. If you’re one of those people, I hope you can find such signs in the joy of this season—which, I know, isn’t joyous for everyone. If you’re not one of those people, then, please, be that sign to someone. Smile, or offer a hand or an ear or your time this Christmas and into the New Year.

Anyway, back to the writing…:) Thanks for reading and for your comments made both on and off the record. It is through your encouragement that I’ve decided to look into media production for OCF and to minor in journalism. Basically, you’ve helped this writer get a slightly better handle on his future than he would have had otherwise. Thank you.

–It’s Christmas. It’s the celebration of when love and grace and redemption broke into our chaotic world. By the Incarnation—and the Resurrection—we are moved to freely love, serve, and forgive. Even if you’re not Christian, I ask that you consider allowing these things to break into your life. Let go of bitterness and malice and rage and slander and vengeance…and let go of yourself. Embrace the unspeakable wonder that is selfless love. For those who want to lengthen their days, it’s an imperative. (Research actually shows this time and again.) In fact, some say you can live forever if you desire that your life be transformed by Love. But, even if you’ve no interest in true Christianity, give love a shot. It’s amazing how much your existing world, with all its bitterness and cares and worries and vendettas, can crumble, while a new one is built up in the place of the old one. Yeah, you’ll likely still have some of those things for a while, maybe as long as you live. But you’ll be a million times better the more you can let go and forgive in love. Try to be a humble example of redemption to someone you know.

–Ill leave you with this hymn, one that we Orthodox will hear plenty over the next week:

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God,

Has shown to the world the light of wisdom.

For by it those who worshipped the stars,

Were taught by a star to adore Thee,

The Sun of Righteousness.

And to know Thee the Orient from on high,

O Lord, Glory to Thee!

Troparion for Christmas Day

Merry Christmas. Christ is born! Glorify him!

Being broke as I am, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting an actual job instead of pandering around for work studies that don’t materialize. I will likely not get one due to school requirements, but the idea’s been fluttering around in my head anyway. So, I figured…why not check with the local Apple Store? After all, I love Apple, and it’d be awesome to earn money for loving them. 🙂

So, I go to the Apple website and look through their employment section. I pull up the job descriptions
and…well, if I was to get a job at the Apple Store, I’d definitely want to work under the title of Apple Concierge. I mean, forget the description—just the title alone is worth giving it top consideration.

“So, what do you do apart from school?…do you work anywhere?”

“Yeah. I work in the Apple Store.”

“Oh, cool…so, do you sell iPods or what?”

“Oh, no. Sales isn’t my thing. They chose to put me in the Concierge department.”

“Concierge? Wow……..*starry eyes*”

And, this is me just speaking as a college student, but…anything that I can tell people that would add any amount of prestige to my existence—which usually consists of surviving on Ritz Bits and Yoo-hoo while trying to get my homework done before I reach the point of screaming out of rage and jumping out of my window—that’s a wonderful thing.

Well, as if the title isn’t enough, I read the job description, and I was floored. It’s either the cheesiest position write-up ever done, or it’s the most beautiful. Decide for yourself:

Job title : Concierge
Business Group : United States-Retail
Job description : Apple builds the coolest products on earth. And Apple builds the most beautiful stores. But the real secret behind the success of the fastest-growing retail chain in history is our commitment to the customer. Apple is already known for legendary service and now we are extending that experience with the Apple Store Concierge.

Meet the Apple Store Concierge

Perfect customer service:

• Verbally embraces the customer with a five-star welcome and a fond farewell
• Can orchestrate the store adventure in the best possible way
• Understands customer needs and connects them to the right person at the right time
• Provides every customer with a superior customer experiencePerfect fit:

• You exude warmth, energy and charisma
• You love meeting new people, you inspire them
• You thrive on the unexpected
• You get people, and people get you
• You have a passion for customer service
• You have a passion for Apple products
• You nurture all budding technology crushes and lifelong Apple love affairs

(link)

Reading it almost gets me teary-eyed…

You know, if only class descriptions sounded this good. I could probably be talked into taking a class on the history of the toothpick. 😀