Wednesday, March 29, 2006


My mother is visiting right now. (Hurray!) She brought with her a DVD that traces the American Coffins (her father's family) directly back all the way to 1066 - the family estate is listed in the Domesday Book. How cool is that?

Coincidentally, to enter the estate you pass between two pineapple-topped posts. To enter my parents' house through the garage, you walk into a pineapple-decorated family room.

This is very exciting.

*Ok, and parts of the house are timbers from the wreckage of the Spanish Armada, as it washed up on the shores!

**And it has a monk's cell, for the monk who lived on the property to run the family chapel!

And the nearby church had close ties to the family, and the Coffin pew (way up front) is still there, though the family now sits with the congregation.

Monday, March 27, 2006

In the clear, more or less

18.75 %

My weblog owns 18.75 % of me.
Does your weblog own you?

I'm surprised it's that high - I suspect it has a lot to do with my membership in multiple webrings.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

And now, a musical interlude:

On the fourth Lenten Sunday, my task list showed to me:

12 dirty dishes
11 loads of laundry
10 sources to find
9 verses to translate
8 preaching chapters
7 emails to send
6 trash runs
5 foods to buy
4 history readings
3 rooms to clean
2 beds to make
and an essay to outline and write!

(N.B.: I do not actually live in the kind of filth and squalor this list implies. A visit from Mom at the beginning of spring = spring cleaning. If it was washable, it got washed today. Which is not to say I did the rest of the list - more like half. 11 loads of laundry, it turns out, takes a while, even with three washers and dryers.)

Saturday, March 25, 2006


On May 1, I am scheduled to turn in the following:

12-15 page Galatians exegesis
Annotated ordo for mock baptism
1 page Matthew reflection
Brief Cultural Spaces reflection
5-7 page Ruth/Esther paper

Therefore, I am RSVPing my regrets now for any and all non-required activities that might occur April 29-30. I'll be frantic occupied those days.

Friday, March 24, 2006


I think I've figured it out.

When I moved to St Louis, I started attending Small Service at Large Local Church, because that was the Sunday service for our campus ministry. Week one, I didn't so much like the sermon, but ok, whatever. We can disagree.

Week two, the same priest preached, and I got my first lesson in pulpit-violence. The text was Ephesians 5: - "Wives, be subject to your husbands. Husbands love your wives." The sermon, it turned out, was also "Wives, be subject to your husbands." The preacher explained that, unpopular though it might be, this was really the correct interpretation, and (as I remember it) here's why that was a good thing: Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. That's the sort of unconditional love you give a puppy dog, and so wives should be glad to receive such love. (Something like that. He wasn't the most organized preacher either.) Then he went on to explain (to a congregation of college students and single people) that married love is the highest way for us to know Christ. The sermon (as I experienced it) was sexist, heterosexist, and maritanormative (sp?).

And I sat there, and listened, knowing that I could do nothing - I couldn't respond, I couldn't leave (because I was there in a semi-official capacity), and when he was finished doing violence to my world it was time for him to preside at the table, and for me to receive Eucharist from him. I went up for Eucharist knowing that the only chance I had of being reconciled was for me to start with that, but I was deeply, deeply injured. Because I didn't know him, and I wasn't really part of the church or community, I didn't feel like there was a context for me even to respond afterward. The sermon just hung out there. It hurt my ability to develop a relationship with that priest or that parish, and it just hurt me. It was a violent sermon to a captive congregation.

Talking to Les tonight about other things entirely, it occurred to me that that sermon is a big part of my terror of preaching here. It didn't keep me from preaching in the campus ministry, because that community was set up to encourage response and relationship, and if I slipped and did violence to someone during a sermon, it would most likely become apparent and I'd have a chance to make amends.

At Seabury, that's a lot harder. While people regularly congratulate each other on good sermons, students are not supposed to criticize other students' performance in liturgical roles. That means I have a hard time responding when another student preaches a sermon that I find violent or manipulative. And that means I have a hard time trusting that if I were to miss and unintentionally hurt someone in a sermon, I might not ever know. That person might not feel free to tell me. What I'm terrified of is less preaching itself, though there's some of that, and more the vast opportunity for something to go terribly awry without my meaning for it to happen. Sure, there's a certain amount still of "what do I have that's worth saying?" and "what if I screw up in a general way, like being boring or stupid?" But I think that one violent sermon has a lot to do with it.

Something to think about, at any rate....

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Spring Quarter Gender Balance Award

It's that time again! I have an exceptional number of classes this term (6, at the moment, all for credit), so this quarter should be exceptionally exciting. Well, ok, the post will be longer. I'm going to leave out my Greek class since it's technically part of last quarter, and I'm pretty sure I've blogged about it already. As for the other five:

Liturgical Music 2: Four required books.* The two main texts are by men, as is one of the other two. The last one is co-authored by a woman, but it's not a part of any of the regular readings - it's proposed as background. (I suspect they're also all white, but can't confirm that right now.) Sadly, I'm going to have to rate this an Unacceptable.

Gospel of Matthew: Three required books. One is by a man. One is by a woman. One has essays from both male and female feminist scholars, edited by a woman. (I love me a book that has feminist scholarship by both men and women.) (I'm pretty sure they're all white scholars, though I don't know.) Rating: Excellent.

Readings from Cultural Spaces: Three required books. One is by a man. Two are anthologies edited by men. In one of those, 2 out of 11 essays are by a woman. I don't have the other yet, so I can't say what that one looks like. Ironically, this class is an Unacceptable. (It is, however, excellent on scholars of color.)

Modern Church History in the North Atlantic World: Four required books. Three are by men. One is co-authored by... wait, nope, two men. (One, however, is by a scholar of color.) Rating: Unacceptable.

Preaching C: This term, there are two new books. Both are by (white) men. Sadly, after two quarters at the top, this class rates as Unacceptable.

For all of you who skipped the above evidence - the clear winner of my Spring Quarter Gender Balance Award is Gospel of Matthew!

I'm only expecting one class over the summer, so we'll be on hiatus until fall, when we'll return for the ever-exciting Fall Quarter Gender Balance Award!

*Some classes also include readings beyond the required books - for my reasons behind not crediting those readings, check out my post from last July.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


I'm waiting to get back papers in two classes I've otherwise finished.

I'm studying for a midterm. (Ok, I was studying, but then I started making up stories about the mythical origins of words instead of parsing them. Which, when I made myself do it, I was doing correctly. So now I'm hoping that what I seem to know tonight pans out well during tomorrow's midterm.)

I'm choosing which folders will go with which new classes, since they start tomorrow. (Monday classes all get Care Bears; other classes get Strawberry Shortcake.)

I'm wondering why I'm not getting sucked into a vortex of some kind.

All in the same day.

Friday, March 17, 2006

From Badgerings

My thinking is a bit compromised... so here:

Instructions: Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING.

How does the world see you?

Emily (Michael W. Smith)

Will I have a happy life?
All You Need Is Love (Beatles)

What do my friends really think of me?
what better said (k.d. lang) (ok, I kind of like that answer)

Do people secretly lust after me?

The Last Supper (Jesus Christ Superstar: Resurrection) (ok, that's a weird answer - I don't actually see anything soon that works better though)

How can I make myself happy?
My I.Q. (Ani DiFranco) (well, that's kind of sad)

What should I do with my life?

Remember the Tinman (Tracy Chapman)

Will I ever have children?

Hope Alone (Indigo Girls) (no kidding)

What is some good advice for me?

Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own (U2)

How will I be remembered?

Angel from Montgomery (Bonnie Raitt)

What is my signature dancing song?
Joy to the World (not sure) (um, ok, if you say so)

What do I think my current theme song is?
Fighting Chance (Melissa Ferrick)

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?

A Ways to Go (Emmylou Harris) (well, yeah, ok)

What song will play at my funeral?
Formerly Known As (Kendall Payne)

What type of men/women do you like?
I'll Say I'm Sorry Now (Shawn Colvin)

What is my day going to be like?

Into the Sunlight (score to Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Tristram Coffin is rolling in his grave...

You're 45% Irish

You're probably less Irish than you think you are...
But you're still more Irish than most.

Depending on the day...

Either this:

You Are an Iced Coffee

At your best, you are: hyper, modern, and athletic

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you're out with friends

Your caffeine addiction level: medium

- which doesn't really sound like me (hyper, modern, and athletic?) -

or this:

You Are a Soy Latte

At your best, you are: free spirited, down to earth, and relaxed

At your worst, you are: dogmatic and picky

You drink coffee when: you need a pick me up, and green tea isn't cutting it

Your caffeine addiction level: medium

- which sounds better to me.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I Object (Again)

(I may have told this story/aired this complaint before on this blog. Let's just say it was formative.)

So when I was in tenth grade, we read a lot for English class, mostly in themed units of three. We started with three "boy stories" - A Separate Peace, Lord of the Flies, and that other book that's like Separate Peace that everyone reads in high school but I can't think of. Then we went to three "girl stories" - Antigone, The Merchant of Venice, and The Pearl. Which, it turns out, are still mostly about men.

Now, I (and my classmates) objected then. We asked why, especially in a class that was 80% girls, we weren't reading books that were actually about girls/women. Our teacher told us if he assigned things that were actually about women or girls, the boys wouldn't read them, whereas we'd read anything.

I bring this up (again) because I've just watched a PBS special on Willa Cather, and I'm angry that NEVER in my school career did we read anything by her. Boo! I must now go and find her books at the public library. And, um, find time to read them, because it will be term-time again when I get back to Evanston.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Why, exactly, do we need 27 kinds of genitives?


Good: I'm in Michigan, visiting Susie and Luke.

Bad: My phone charger is not. It's still in Evanston.

So, if you're looking for me in the next few days, you're most likely to find me via email. I may also be on iChat/IM, but I will almost definitely not be on the phone.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Also, I'm a beer snob

You Are Guinness

You know beer well, and you'll only drink the best beers in the world.
Watered down beers disgust you, as do the people who drink them.
When you drink, you tend to become a bit of a know it all - especially about subjects you don't know well.
But your friends tolerate your drunken ways, because you introduce them to the best beers around.


Myself, I've done 12 hours of anti-racism training in the last 36 hours, and have another 10 hours tomorrow. Therefore, I offer you this post instead of anything of my own.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Evening prayers

Look with pity, O heavenly Father, upon the people in this land who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as their constant companions. Have mercy upon us. Strengthen those who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this land; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Paper-writing thoughts.

~Knowing that a paper is bad does not help me to make it better. In fact, it tends to distract me with its badness.

~I dislike looking at a bad paper and wondering if I could turn it in anyway, just to be done with it. I really, really dislike that.

~I'm not much better at the big picture than I was in elementary school. I've always been much better at "what's this paragraph about" than "what's this paper about." Somehow, everything is always about everything to me. This makes for bad writing.

~When one editor says "this part is right on" and another says "this part is way off" about the same part, it's hard to know who's right.

~I will not declare the experts' claims to be "patent nonsense." (I will, however, find another way to say "patent nonsense," or die trying.)


Today, Seabury's rota for spring quarter preachers, presiders, and deacons came out.

I am on it.

This terrifies me.

Now, I should confess here that I did voluntarily submit the form that says "yes, sure, I'm willing to preach next quarter." So it's not a total shock. I turned the form in knowing that I'm terrified to preach at Seabury, and somewhat doubtful of whether now was the right time. But after consulting with various friends and mentors, it does seem like the terror will only grow by putting it off.

Also, the terror is somewhat mitigated by the fact that I'm assigned to preach at a Thursday night Eucharist, which is less formal and not in the chapel, and which has significantly lower faculty attendance than most masses here, with our chaplain (an extraordinarily gentle man) presiding and a good friend as deacon. Also I'm fairly sure I can be seen from behind the lectern in Seabury Lounge. (Somehow the fact that I read from the chapel pulpit all the time doesn't reassure me that I can be seen preaching from it.) And it's not until the beginning of May, and it's for the feast of a fairly minor saint, not for Annunciation or something. This all helps.

It does not, however, mean I'm not still terrified.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


So, when this term is over, do I get to stop being tired? For a while, I mean. Because I feel like I've been tired since Christmas. There's really no reason why I should be this useless at 10 pm.

Still, even though it's probably futile, I'm going to bed, in the hopes that just maybe, tomorrow morning I'll be a little less exhausted and a little more able to work.

Monday, March 06, 2006


So, today in New Testament we talked about Revelation, finishing with a brief discussion of whether the devil's number is 666 or 616.

Then I picked up my mail and went home, and opened a bill.

The number on the bill?


Sunday, March 05, 2006

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bin sicher angekommen

Arrived safely.

Must do homework now.

Still hate my parents' computer. (They should get wireless so I can use my own.)


I'm off to Ohio, as soon as I can get my stuff together and into the car. I'm pretty sure our diocesan camp doesn't have wireless, so I'll probably be offline while I'm out at my candidacy interviews.

If anyone's seen my watch recently, please inform. I can't seem to find it anywhere, although I guess it's better than losing my license or something. I don't actually need my watch to drive.