Becoming Fred

It started with a story. Actually, many stories. But they all had something in common: one of the characters does something wonderful that requires courage and love and self-sacrifice. They made me want to laugh and cry and see the story over and over again, but most importantly, they made me admire that character to the extent that I wanted to become that character.

The problem arose when, motivated by these emotions, I tried to duplicate the situation of the character to some degree. Was the character (we'll call him Fred for now) a biologist? Then I wanted to become a biologist. Was Fred a viking living in the jungle? Then I wanted to be a viking living in the jungle. Did the Fred go on an adventure in Antarctica with a battered jeep? Then I wanted a battered jeep, and somehow, I would hitch a ride to Antarctica, too. Was Fred a girl who excelled in gymnastics? Then I would take up gymnastics also. (These examples may be a little exaggerated.)

Eventually, I realized that this stupid. It was not Fred's situation I admired at all; it was his/her character. And again and again, the thing that made me love his character was his self-sacrifice which was motivated by love and achieved through courage. Fred gave up his dreams so he could work to provide for his impoverished family. Fred died saving a spaceship full of passengers. Fred took a bullet to save his friend. 

Then came my next error. If I wanted to be like Fred, then I would go out of my way to be self-sacrificing. If I wanted to read webcomics, I would do the ironing for Mom, and think all the while of what a wonderful person I was becoming. See? I put aside my own desires just to make Mom happy; wasn't that admirable of me? 

I had entirely missed the point - again. Fred's self-sacrifice had been motivated by his love for his family. Mine had been motivated by the desire to be someone like Fred, in order to gain admiration from others, and to feel good about myself. My so-called self-sacrifice was selfish. 

The more I thought about my motives, the more I realized that nothing I will ever do will have a perfectly good and pure motive. No matter how noble the action, no matter how much self-sacrifice it took for me to do it, there will always be some secret, selfish reason why I did it. But even if this is the case, it doesn't mean I should stop doing good, noble things. The ironing blessed my mom, even if I got a significant amount of selfish self-satisfaction out of it. What it does mean, though, is that I need to stop ironing because I'm trying to be like Fred, and instead, iron because I love my mom. 

And thus I come to the ironic conclusion. I must start living my own life - the life God has given to me - and not Fred's, for that is the only way I will truly become like Fred. 


The Amazing Adventures of College Girl #2

Some stories end with a moral. This story begins with one: never leave leftover lunch in your bedroom. If you must leave leftover lunch in your bedroom, be sure that it does not become covered by a sweatshirt and forgotten for a week. Perhaps you can guess the outcome.

I was putting my clothes away. It was nighttime, and the room was dimly lit but cozy. My room is small, but it was designed in such a way that everything echos. I could drop a pencil on the carpeted floor and it would sound like a 50lb boulder had fallen. 

Anyways, I was putting my clothes into the dresser when suddenly, a loud POP! bounded and rebounded off the walls of my room. It was as sudden and loud as a gunshot and quite unexpected, so I did the expected. I ran out of the room. 

We turned on every electrical gadget in my room, but no light bulbs, fuses, or batteries had exploded. I searched under the bed to see if someone had accidentally left a balloon there to keep the dust company. There was none. I could have let it go and forgotten it. But it was already night, and I would have to sleep in this room. What if more mysterious pops came along while I was sleeping?

Then something stirred in the back of my mind. I remembered that day that a salad had been packed in an airtight container and stuck into my lunch. I also remembered that I had forgotten a fork that day, so the salad was never eaten. And I think it was on my desk. 

Because my room is so small, I made it a rule that everything had to be neat and tidy except for the top of my desk. Thus, if anything happens to get left on the floor, it is instantly added to the pile on my desktop. Probably not a good idea. But I diverge. 

After digging through textbooks, socks, hair products, candy bar wrappers, and old receipts, I found the salad - the decayed salad. The container it had been in was open, and the lid was sagged outward, evidence of high pressure for a couple days. Funny fact about salad; it releases gases as it decays, and gases have enough pressure to pop off lids. 

This is where I would express the moral of the story, but I already did that. Now excuse me as I dig out the other leftovers lurking on my desk....


Cyclomen Haiku

Pink petals in bloom
Butter-fly delicacy


The Amazing Adventures of College Girl

Background: My calculus class starts at 2:00 pm and is two hours long. Most classes are only one hour long, so at 3:00, halfway through class, the hallway outside is full of chatter and footsteps. And one more thing you need to know: my watch is is broken.

I had my first calculus test of the semester, and naturally, my instructor decided to make it two hours long. The test was 10 problems long, and I was working at a nice even pace. Suddenly, a loud chatter filled the hall, and I knew it was 3:00. An hour had sped by extremely fast, and I only had an hour to finish. My hand took off like a rocket, and my pencil rushed over the pages of the test, hoping to finish in time. 

Finally, I sighed with relief, convinced I had finished just a couple minutes early. I turned in my test, and walked out into the hall, where a large clock was fixed to the wall. It was 2:45. I had taken a 2-hr test in 45 minutes because I thought I was running out of time.

Moral of story: always fix your watch.