Tag Archives: Spokane

I like graduating, Alot.

If you don’t understand the title, go on, read a little Hyperbole and a Half. I had the alot on my graduation cap (I deemed it an appropriate decoration for an editorial type, such as myself), and I would post a picture, but, alas, they are in the possession of my Great Uncle and Mother, so maybe later.

What do I do now? I live in an apartment in Browne’s Additon, right next to downtown Spokane, which you, of course, know if you are connected to me at all. I will keep living here. I will be coordinating a concert series (9 whole concerts) in my neighborhood that will take place every Thursday in July and August. They are paying me a bit, but it won’t keep up with the bills. I have made some connections due to my professors, like Thom Caraway, Fred Johnson, Leonard Oakland, and others. I am pursuing those connections. One of those connections, a Spokane graphic designer, Derek Landers, introduced me to the Code Academy where I have been spending hours each day learning CSS and HTML so I can build my own website, so I can put it on a business card, so I can market myself as a freelance editor, book designer, oil painter, and writer). Yes, I am starting a business, and starting where I am most comfortable: copyediting.

I don’t know where to start, but one of our graduation speakers insisted we take things, succeed at things, slowly by slowly, brick by brick, one step at a time. Alright, I am taking those steps, and people around me are helping immensely.

May parents are the best a young woman could ask for. [And I am inserting a special shoutout to my mother, Teri Wheeler, for being my best friend and loving me and loving what I do and always being on the other end of the phone, because I graduated on mother’s day and didn’t get to honor her the way I would have liked.] It is obvious they want to give me the world, but they also want me to be the kind of woman who claims it for herself. Thus, for four years we have engaged in the tedium of taking out and making payments on student loans, loans which I was prepared to pay, loans which they paid in full as part of my graduation present. I’ve also thought on and off about when I am going to give their car back and get one of my own. Well, I am now the proud owner of the 2003 Honda CR-V that I have driven for the past two years. Thanks, Mom and Dad. I couldn’t ask for better parents.

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I Absolutely Refuse To Let College Claim The Title, “The Best Years Of My Life”

Hello, faithful followers. My school year has begun and it promises to be a rewarding one. My concerns about being a distantly off-campus senior are long gone. In fact, when I am on campus in the evening, I find it incredibly strange to think that people live here all the time. There are activities late into the night. I thought I might feel that I am missing out, but instead, I have been struck by the absurdity of college on-campus life. I can’t believe I have spent the past three years of my life in this manner.

Who dreamed up this model? Who thought, hey, here’s a thought, let’s create this phase called adolescence where students think of only themselves and improving themselves for 13 years. Actually, make that 17, or more. Then someone else thought of Whitworth. Let’s create a place that is focused on building a community completely separated from the city of Spokane, where students have five to ten options for things to do on campus every single night. And if they don’t feel like doing those things, they can do live action role-playing in the loop, or sit around and give one another backrubs. It’s fun trust me. You don’t have to make friends at Whitworth, they are given to you. In fact, you have to run away from them or you will have far too many relationships to keep up with. Who does homework? My first year here, I didn’t do much.

That life was great for me as a freshman. I was dipping my toes into a new world and I needed friends. I didn’t have what it takes to build my own community at that point, but I will not let it stop me from learning. Whitworth has been an amazing induction into the beginning of my adult life. But I refuse to stay there. I don’t want to leave Whitworth still hungry for more endless fun and mandatory “community.” Please don’t take this as dissing on Whitworth. This place has made me, but I can’t stay here. None of us can stay here.

I am intentionally becoming the kind of person that will build a Christ-centered community around myself no matter where I go—one with the boldness to meet her neighbors with whom she may have very little in common.

I spent two years in love with a college campus, a dorm community. And I choose to spend my last two years here (last year, and the present one) in love with a city. Having a car helps, but my Roomie, Emilie is carless and commutes via bus (or—when I can get up at five to take her to work—via my car).

Now, I desperately need to write a paper that is due at three, but I hope to expand upon this theme: learning to love individuals—a campus, a neighborhood, a city. How can we address every life situation with the love of Christ? How do we know when we should alter our life situation to follow a calling and force ourselves to grow into the adults we want to become? This is what I am wrestling with. Wrestle with me?

I encourage you to share your stories (comment). How are you stretching yourself to become the person you hope to grow into?


Something to Add to Your Reading List

Oh dear, I forgot to post yesterday! There goes my one-post-per-day-record since I started this page. It’s okay, I never intended to put that much pressure on myself. Today I don’t really know what to write, so I will go to my list of recent bloggish thoughts. Just kidding. I will tell you about a book that’s coming out in the near future.

I finished reading the edited manuscript of All You Can Eat, a novel by Richard Harlan Miller. Though it clearly defies easy genre categorization, Gray Dog Press categorizes it as a work of comic/literary fiction. I would highly recommend this book to just about anyone. The great thing is that there is something for everyone in it. The characters are well-developed and there is a range of different lifestyles and personalities. There is Darius, a middle-aged looking vampire (the novel never actually uses the V-word) who keeps to himself, inhabiting the skywalks of Spokane, drinking excessive amounts of wine, watching the nature channel, and making frequent visits to Seattle to date, and when he needs to, kill women. He’s my favorite. Lucio, a.k.a. Luke, despite his age (150 years), keeps with the times, blending well into hipster/hippie crowds. Susan is a no-nonsense nurse on whom Darius intends to feed, but instead he finds in her a woman for whom he cares deeply. Dimitri and his young helper Tomas make it clear that, while all vampires must kill to survive, some are certainly more evil than others.

If you’re a stickler about your vampire myths, these characters might be a little too human for you.

One of my favorite parts about the novel is the email correspondence that takes place between Darius and the women he meets on a dating site called He@rt. The dialogue is stunning. The prose style is both clever and beautiful. It is definitely a novel for someone who loves words. It comes out October 18th! You can keep checking in at the Gray Dog Press website to find out more about when you can pre-order. Also, the shape of the book is great. I love books that are of a slightly different shape and size than is typical. The design isn’t final yet, but the ARC’s look great!