Internship Now

Please note that I had planned on writing a post that would give more information and amusement several days ago, to allow readers to digest my fantastic authorship and love me obsessively and of course pray for my indomitable pride.

However, since my laziness and inaccurate planning measures have thoroughly bulldozed the happy, organized ideals for my life, I shall just hurriedly jot down relevant bits.

I just got back from a rushed escapade through the plains of Nebraska and under the expansive blue skies full of shapely and wondrous clouds! Let me tell you, the Clouds of the Plains are a gallant and majestic species, floating quietly above the inconsequential heads of the fragile and tiny humans, unamused by our own dramatic fits of passion and nonsense.

But enough about the undulating Nebraskan Clouds.

It was lovely to spend time with family. To see how people grow from small children into competent young adults is the most fascinating of all, and I don’t think I shall ever tire of seeing that transformation happen.

In regards to preparations and instead of attempting to plan ahead, I’ve decided to live in the moment. I think this means that when the moment arrives where I’ve discovered that I haven’t packed enough socks, I will just sit and live there for a bit. Then I will call my mother.

In the meantime I’ve been home alone, scrounging about for coffee. I have drunk copious amounts of lattes and espressos and other black, bitter fluids this week, and despite the headaches they cause my rattling skull, I have discovered that I’m vaguely in love. A rosy mist has fogged up my eyes, and my saddest disappointment is that I’ve never learned how to make coffee. This deficiency has turned me into a scavenger, pouncing upon new batches made by more competent family members, finishing ounces left in last night’s mugs,  and rushing downstairs after my family has gone to work to peer frantically into the coffeemaker to find if the Coffee gods have smiled benevolently upon my pounding head. I think it will be a short-lived fad, though.

My arms are not as excited about things as I am, and have taken to grumbling and throbbing whenever they feel like it. And there’s the obligatory health update.

I will now tell you the story of my life’s progress by way of pictures. This is my pack. He’s hiding behind the bass. I haven’t even gotten him out.

That's my pack. Still hiding. I haven't even gotten him out.

This may or may not be a pile of clothes I still don’t want to sort through:

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I put a filter on this one to impress you all. And it’s called “lived in”, not “messy”:

I put a filter on this to impress you all. And it's called "lived in", not "messy".

This is due tomorrow. However, since it’s distracting me from doing actual productive things it might not get returned…

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So as you can see, I’m moving at a sluggish pace. I expect I will leap into action Friday night as I realize the next day I will need to be prepared for this internship.

I still need to acquire a helmet, as I will be biking around Chicago, but I have no doubts that the nice, sportsy guys at The Quintessential Sports Store will direct me towards a fashion-forward purchase. I’m also terrified of being doored. But if I am I solemnly swear to write something amusing about it.

The Party Cont. in Little India

This summer I have been granted the opportunity to work once again with people from the Indian culture. This time, however, it’s a little closer to home!

I will be closer to my Beebee!

 

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With help through the South Asian Friendship Center located in Chicago, I will be working with Indian Christians in the neighborhood of Little India to help fulfill the requirements for my ethnomusicology internship. In addition to my excitement about working with Indian culture once more, I have two words: chicken biryani, baby. (“Baby” obviously doesn’t count as a real word in this situation.)

I will primarily be working on contextualizing worship and liturgy so that Indian Christians will be able to minister better in their Hindu community. From sitar learning to interviewing tabla players, transcribing Hindu chants to researching the role of the epic within the Hindu culture, I will be kept very busy and very happy! (Much like a large, fat, fuzzy bumblebee.)

Like this guy. © Claire Mowforth

However, to make any of this worthwhile I will need the support and blessing of God! I have put this up to inform you, but also because I wish that you would pray for me daily and possibly help support me.

I wish that you would also pray for those in Little India, people who follow God and people who are living in darkness.

I wish you would pray that I would learn about culture and God.

I wish that you would pray that I would be provided for this summer, including a bike I can ride here in Chicago. (Because who has the money to high-roll it on the CTA?)

I wish that you would pray that I would raise $1200. Like in one month.

I wish that you would praise God for this opportunity for me, and for how he has already begun to answer my prayers! (In an answer to prayer I have found a place to live near Little India for part of the summer, thanks to the hospitality of a family from my church!)

This also means that I will be living in Chicago for part of the time!! So if you want to party… I can’t because I’ll be too busy having fun!

Look at me frolic © Claire Mowforth

Just kidding. I would really like to see you all, meet with you all, and pray with you all! Let me know if you are in town and free to do things.

Check back here for occasional updates, get ready for spring cleaning, and soak up some vitamin D!!

 

imma freshman

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My freshman year is over. Weird thought, huh?

As a freshman, I was required to take lots of annoying photos during finals.

Part of me only wants to post the awful pictures I have of people. It’s far more “artsy” and amusing that way. But I want those people to stay my friends.

So here are nice pictures. Pictures that make me miss that silly old school.

This is my room (the clean bit):

This is my floor:

This is how we party:

oh yeah

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All good things must come to end, they say. But what they don’t tell you is that the end is crazy.

I’m excited to move out of this room. I haven’t packed up all my things for about five months now, and that’s a record for me these days. Years. Whatever. It will be fun to play the fit-way-too-much-in-way-too-little-of-a-space game. I’m pretty good at it. Also, I’m super excited to give this room a good scrubbing. Ugh. It’s so dirty.

The other day my roommate, in a fit of wonderful abnormality, pulled out the huge vaccuum and attacked our room. After the battle, we both felt much better. …Until I discovered that the vaccuum had not picked up the brownie crumbs, but had instead smooooooshed them into little greasy dots all over the floor and rug. My hand went slowly to scratch up a spot. I lifted the tiny brownie pancake, noting the hairs hanging from it. “NNNFNAHFFFGGGAAAAAAAHH!!!” I threw my arms in the air, waving them with intense anger and slapping at my head in frustration. (Or, that’s what I think I did. I did some sort of loud, mega-anger fit.)

Our room fails, people. It fails. I don’t even want to talk about this anymore.

[Hey! Yearbooks, people! So this was the first year I was forced to squander money on a book of pages in which I appear not once. Yay! Anyone want a yearbook?]

I should probably take this time to really tell you all how I feel. Feel physically, that is. As a bit of background, I am plagued by coughs and sore throats. And yet I’ve never gotten bronchitis or strep or anything. Until now. Well, it’s either I’m dying or it’s just a post nasal drip. Or so the nurse says.

Who would think that a post-nasal drip could be so deadly?

It all began with a tickle in my throat. A tickle that would cause me to hack and cough. After a day of that, I found myself with a voice somewhere between an elderly jazz club singer and a pubescent boy. It was amusing, at first, but the cough persisted. Now we’re not talking: “*ahem hm hm*” type of coughing here. We’re talking mega-loud, hacking up gunk from the bottom of my belly button, chunky, honking type of coughing. Bouts of this. Fits that render me useless for several seconds and that make conversation impossible for those around me. (Whenever I look up from a fit everyone around me is staring intently with a mixture of disgust and concern flashing across their faces.)

After that, things weren’t so much fun. However, the excitement did pick up again when I woke up screaming quietly inside my head because my ribs hurt so badly.

One thing I will say: for some reason I enjoy muscle pain. It’s an invigorating reminder that I am alive and that I am strong! It’s not a crippling, humiliating pain such as a stomachache or a toothache. So I was sort of enjoying the dull throbbing. Of course, when I did have my coughing fits I couldn’t do anything but try to control the pain, so that wasn’t so enjoyable. As my lungs smashed into my ribs, I had to counteract the spasms by pressing my arms against my sides. In fact, I’m still doing it! Ha! Who’d’ve guessed?

I sit here, with a heating pad strapped to my side, wondering whether or not I will ever be able to survive on my own. I’m recalling the time where I had a rash and decided to put vitamin C powder straight on my skin. Baaaaad idea. I now have acid burn scars. What also comes to mind is the time I had a similar cough in India and spent the whole night chugging a bottle of cough medicine. No one told me there was a dosage, but I soon found out! There are other stories of Dr. Hattie, but they all end badly.

So I hope I’m doing the right thing by drinking water, sucking cough drops, and wrapping my ribs. I rather think I’m not, as the pain is getting worse. And to top it off I’ve had to eat spinach two days in a row. I hate spinach.

I’m starting to no longer enjoy this muscle pain. Although it is rather exciting to find out how often you really use your rib muscles. Opening doors and laying down are the two things that make me squeal a bit inside. I squeak a bit when I have to open doors. It makes me feel like a hamster.

The things you learn when Mom isn’t around to take care of you.

See? Mommy took good care of me.

I’m now turning my sights towards nasal spray, hoping that it will deliver me from my ribs of paaaaaain and tortuuuuure. *winky face*

Oh Finals

People are skipping classes and staying up late. There is an ice cream party to celebrate the last New Testament paper. Study groups are forming. The weather taunts us all. And the music rooms are always full, causing small waves of stress to break over my mind. For juries are beginning, and my strength is flagging. I wish I could sprawl romantically upon my silken couch, with fair maidens fanning my face and braiding my hair. Instead I mutter as I drag myself through poorly lit passageways, violin in hand. (Oh, I am so getting a locker next semester. I do NOT want to be known as the girl with the pink hair and the violin.) This can only mean one thing: finals week.

Job hunting has begun. Feverishly, I spend my time thinking up fantastical opportunities to wow the world with my epic skills, snagging a whole lot of money and reaching star status. I try not to think realistically, if at all possible.

I’m also missing England quite a lot these days. It will be a year since I’ve been home, come the end of summer. I miss cream teas, I miss the greenery everywhere, the cows that live happily next to towns. I miss the accents, the sun and rain, but most of all I miss my family! Oh dear. Maybe one day I will go back.

Summer will start. The sun will shine. And I will go swimming every day! I will get a tan and I will wallow in vitamin D. It will be grand.

Well, the violin beckons to me with a twisted finger. I can never refuse but I always put up a fight.

Oh hai. Welcome to my Blog.

This is where I write about how interesting my life is.

It’s interesting.

Or enough for a blog.

I think.

Well, I just got back from Alaska, where AlmaMater’s Symphonic Band spent two weeks touring. That’s pretty interesting, isn’t it? What was interesting was coming from 9˚F weather to 60˚F. In one day. And there are flowers and grass growing. That’s weird. (In case you didn’t know, Alaska has a lot of snow. And this year they’ve had record… snowth. That should be a word. Or “snowfall”. That’s a real word.)

I had some expectations for this excursion into the great wide, white world of frozen terror, I will confess. Images such as these came to mind:

That's me running away from bears with my violin and clothes on my back. No time to do my makeup.

They want to eat my face off.

(**Yes, yes. These are pictures from the movie “The Grey”. It’s a scary movie about the scary north with easily accessible photos I could use.**)

On the plane ride there, I began planning my escape routes and my heroics for when we all fell through the ice. Let me demonstrate.

Falling? Do this. It will help.

But guess what! It was so freakin cold that all the ice was like 40 miles thick! So I was safe! Although I did do one of those classic slip-on-ice-and-have-your-feet-fly-way-up-in-the-air moves. I was also running down a mountain in the 3-foot deep snow with a backpack on, and one place I stepped went down much farther than I had planned on so I couldn’t pull my other foot in front of me in time, so I fell flat on my face in the snow, my backpack sliding forward and thunking on the back of my head, preventing me from using my head and neck to pull myself up. I couldn’t push myself up because the snow was too deep. So I just lay there with my feet in the air, head in the snow, until a girl came and hauled me out by my backpack. She said she would’ve pulled me out sooner but she couldn’t because she was laughing. That’s ok. I would’ve laughed too, if my face hadn’t been full of snow. (I got to go to the hot springs after that, though, which totally made up for all the bad weather experiences I had. I would like to live in a hot spring for the rest of my life. I am a hot springs mermaid. Or the Chena Hot Springs Naiad. That works, too.)

Also, I was SURE that I was going to slip on ice, break my collarbones, crush my hands, and be unable to do music for the rest of my life. (Tee hee, isn’t it funny how your mind convinces itself of the worst possible scenario? Oh guess what? The wooden floorboards that are creaking? That’s because there’s a huge monster of a man there with an axe, and he’s gonna try and lop some heads off. Not. Yeesh.)

It was very cold. One day I didn’t wear my snowboots, I wore my dress heels to the church. I couldn’t feel my feet for an hour afterwards. They wouldn’t thaw. They just stood there, stubborn and purple. But the fun thing is, you can wear normal clothes, go outside, freeze to death, come in, put leggings on and a thicker pair of socks, go back outside, and find yourself not as cold as you’d think! I only played that game once or twice. It’s not as fun as it sounds.

GUESS WHAT. This blog almost became famous. AlmaMater wanted to use it to help freshmen or others learn about what life is really like. But apparently I talk too much about fashion and food. Freshmen don’t like fashion and food. They only like God. Good freshmen! So I have to decide if I want to redesign the purpose of this blog… I’ll let you know how that goes.

I think my blog is too long. That’s the problem.

Stop talking.

I JUST HAVE SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT.

Antarcti-… Alaska Beckons

Hello, this blog is still here. Apparently blogs won’t die of neglect and loneliness, unlike small children and goldfish. My reason for not being as present through this blog is mainly because the coursework has been distracting me. If I didn’t receive assignments, do you know how many wonderfully pithy posts I’d have on this thing? Probably enough to make you sick. However, I’m going to hold to the theory that less is more (which is an outrageous theory, by the way, so never believe it).

Tomorrow is Alaska. I have had a lot of people praying for me and thank you for supporting me, those that did! Because I’m a music major, I have to perform preludes and offertories here and there on tour, which has led to me running about frantically trying to think of quick-to-learn pieces that don’t sound like trash. By the way, did you know that apparently there are no good hymn arrangements for two violins out there for grabs? If you want something good, you have to arrange it yourself. Psht, yeah right, Hattie.

Alsaka. Wow. I’m really looking forward to the plane ride, actually. I love airports. I don’t really like flying because the air is stale and the food is torturous, but being in an airport is just so thrilling! And then it was announced that we will be getting baggies of trail mix to devour whilst on the plane. Now, if there’s one thing I love more than cupcakes and airports, it’s trail mix. (Just kidding, I love you all the same amount, ok guys?) I don’t know why but trail mix fills me with joy and gusto. I start looking forward to the future, and the rest of the bag of trail mix. I begin to smell the outdoors, to soak in the rustic nature of the mix, and to enjoy the closeness to raw nature. (And my roommate wonders why I don’t share my trail mix with her. Pshaw! Mere mortals, trail mix isn’t for the likes of you, with your lowly tastes and boorish ways! Give me trail mix over chocolate any day! I need a battle cry.)

NEWSFLASH: When the world says “trail mix”, I’ve just discovered that they mean Quaker Oat cereal bars. Which I can’t have. Which is devastating.

Last night I tried to be calm and submit myself to the Father and to rest peacefully… and then I realized I felt like a bushbaby on caffeine, my little heart beating electrically, my eyes bugging out of my head. That’s how excited I am. My tiny furry arms are clenched so tightly around God’s finger and all my problems, so that I can’t let go of anything. Which is ok, I guess. I think I’ll hit a wall in the next 24 hours and probably drop everything in exhaustion. I find myself lauging giddily at every thought: I’m going to Alaska. HAHAHA! I want to play ping pong. HAHAHA! What should I wear today? HAHAHA! I have 14 clementines stashed in my carry on. HAHAHAHAHA! I have no idea what this assignment means. HAHAHAHAHA! I’m so excited. HAHAHAHAHA!!!

Well, I am loving school, just like I thought I would. I do do occasional really, really stupid things, and I’m consistently late to all my morning classes, which start at 9. I don’t understand why I’m always rushing about. I used to be incredibly on top of everything, responsible, and super worried about getting the highest grades possible. The other day I totally forgot about a test. I studied for it, I just forgot to take it. Everything is online these days, which is making me counter-cultural. The backwoods of Russia are starting to look appealing. No, not really. I love Chicago. I want to hold and squeeze it and rub it on my cheek. That’s how much I love it. At 7am I took my books back to the Harold Washington Public Library, a wonderful experience, and one that makes me wish I had to do a morning commute every day. Maybe I will live off campus in a couple semesters. I think that would be lovely.

Super Interesting New Development in my Life, Everybody!!

Recently I’ve been more and more interested in men’s fashion. I think that women’s fashion has grown beyond my control, and makes me too covetous. Women can wear anything now; we’re losing boundaries! I know that sounds like a good thing, and it might be, but we’ve started into the Land of the Ridiculous. Tights as trousers? Uggs? (Why haven’t they died yet??) There are now too many options for women. Too many options for me. Everyone’s a self-proclaimed fashion critic. Everyone’s a hipster. So let’s regroup, folks, and it’s back to the classics.

Here are a couple pictures that begin to define my position on men’s fashion. Enjoy.

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See, look at those layers!

Those glasses. That hair.

Ok ok ok. Unconventional, I know. BUT THEY'RE ICE CREAM CONES. ON HIS SHIRT!

I included examples of “fun” fashion and “boring” fashion to appeal, trying to appeal to all types. Both styles are acceptable and highly encouraged.

And that’s all I have to say. I’ve lost my dramatic flair here at AlmaMater. The practice rooms have stolen my sense of identity and independence. I now am one of the pack, although I know significantly less than the others. Also, my sense of humor is drying up like a rotting carcass in the sands of that Big Sandy Place.

All pleasure in life is derived from watching video clips of small, chubby animals snoring in their sleep. (NO WORDS FOR HOW CUTE THAT IS.) I crawl through life, dodging giant diamonds waving wildly on young, excited hands, waiting in line for food, hoping I’ll get three pieces of bacon, and lugging around my violin, making life difficult for everyone around me. And this is how I function, people. Enjoy.