Those High School Things

1. Staying up way too late skyping with friends...like 4 a.m. late.
2. Waiting till the 11:55 pm to tun in an assignment due at 12:00 a.m. EST.
3. Crying.
4. Sitting with your friend on Skype, while she cries.
5. Having six assignments all due on one weekend.
6. Saying "no" to social stuff because of school.
7. Complaining about not having a social life.
8. Being really really really pale.
9. Watching a Bollywood drama about escaping, at 2 a.m.
10. Being tired.
11. Drinking endless amounts of coffee.
12. Shopping online, because I don't get out much.
13. Leaving the house only once a week.
14. The study session that turns into an interrogation about love interests.
15. An odd obsession with camels.
16. Getting mail from friends.
17. Trying to remember what time zone your friend lives in. 
18. Yearning for the day when you can actually hug your friends. 
19. Counting down the days till the end.
20. But then realizing you're going to miss it, because it was all so worth it.

Veronica A.


The Hollow Men By T.S. Elliot

Mistah Kurtz - he dead.
A penny for the Old Guy 


We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when 
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour, 
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other kingdom 
Remember us - if at all - not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men 
The stuffed men. 


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear: 
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column 
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are 
In the wind's singing 
More distant and more solemn 
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom 
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer - 

Not that final meeting 
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom 
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone. 


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places 
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of this tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men. 


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning. 

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion 
And the act
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom 

Between the conception
And the creation 
Between the emotion 
And the response
Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm 
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom 

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but with a whimper. 


The Power of Chopping

      Chopping vegetables, or fruit in my case, can be very inspirational. This past Saturday I found myself with a disconcerting amount of spare time. I turned to food (preparation) to stave off boredom.  In a moment of brilliance I realized I could slice up the small, older apples that no one was eating and create apple crisps by dehydrating them. Why my mom has a dehydrator is a tale for another day.  
      Consequently, for an hour or two I stood at the counter top drinking coffee and slowly slicing apples to the humming fan of the dehydrator. As I arranged the pieces on various racks, my mind silently churned. Earlier that day I hit a writing block while applying to scholarships. Yet, here I was,enveloped in chopping apples and composing the winning opening to my essay. Suddenly, I seemed to get a rush of inspiration and wanted to photograph everything in sight. Of course, the problem was, my hands were sticky and wet. So for the rest of my chopping time, I alternated between being absorbed in thought and washing my hands so that I could write something down.

If you are having trouble with an insolvable problem, I would recommend food preparation. 

Veronica A.


So There's This College...

     I think college searching is a bit like online dating. You're not always sure what you want or what you're getting. But nevertheless you take all the necessary precautions. You try not to get your hopes up too early, but you check off on non-negotiables. Then you go on a date and test out the waters.
     Last month I visited Gordon College in Wenham, MA. I admit, I went with low expectations and didn't think my mind would be easily swayed by seeing the campus. A small, Christian,  liberal arts college on the borders of Boston, Gordon was so different from where I envisioned myself going (a big, secular university). But as I sat listening to the welcome address for the Accepted Student's Day, I found my feelings turning in a very different direction. The professors seemed eager to help the students accomplish their goals and send the out into the world. It seemed like a place where I could marry my mission as a Christian and my vocational direction as a journalist. As the weekend progressed, I found myself wishing I wouldn't have to decide between Gordon and another school. Essentially, I was in love. 
      In the end, God graciously and providentially made Gordon my clear destination. But I'm beyond thrilled for this new adventure and this past week, I made it official! You could say I tied the knot. 

Veronica A.


Old School

     Back in the day, when my family drove an unfashionable Ford Aerostar mini-van and when we all lived under the same roof, those were the golden days when my siblings and I didn't have adult-y appointments to interfere with the regularly scheduled, family, beach vacation. Those were also the days when we listened to my dad's extensive cassette tape collection. A tradition, which I insisted upon, was to play the Beach Boys on our way to the beach. My dad would extrapolate on the history of the Beatles as "Hey Jude" blared out from the tape player which was always propped up in the middle seat.
I was going through a tom-boy phase--I was also, apparently, against the use of sunblock.
     I've started to return to some of those old-school, classics. My renewed interest may be in part due to my fascination with swing dancing, but I think it is also due to the nostalgia creeping up on me as packing off to college becomes more and more a reality.
     Here are some of my favorites:
  • "Under The Boardwalk" by The Drifters

  • "Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra

  • "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles

  • "Lean on Me" Bill Withers

  • "Son of a Preacher Man" Dusty Springfield

Veronica A.


Being a Single, Independent, New York Woman

     When I was six and riding on the subway with my family, I insisted on sitting a little ways off. It wasn't out of spite or annoyance with anyone, instead it was in an effort to assert that I was a single, independent, New York woman. Although I often roamed the streets of NYC alone over the years of growing up there, it wasn't until this past weekend that I experienced what it was like to be truly independent. Most of my friends were out of town or busy and I wasn't staying with anyone. My brother and his wife had plans at her parents so they left me their studio to crash in. From Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening I was on my own. Here is what I did:

     Exactly what it says. I trekked out to Brooklyn bookstore and relished the feeling of being intellectual and booky. And then I bought a romance, fiction novel. (Me before You by JoJo Moyes, who brutally betrayed me with the ending of the book)

     I bought coffee and further lived out my dreams of being a hipster. The cappuccino was delicious, although the barista looked as if she saw someone throw a bottle in the trash instead of recycling it. 

     After returning to my brother's ridiculously cool flat and eating all his chips, I played Mass Effect 2 on his Xbox. The night was going well as I had discovered that Thaddaeus and Daphne also had some ice cream. But after laboring over level after level of the space set video game, I inexplicably lost all my progress. I took that as a sign that it was time to go to bed. 

     Sunday morning I relished the late hour at which my brother's church began. 10:30 a.m. meant that I had time to get ready and rush out for some breakfast. It has been ages since I've had a proper New York bagel. The experience was glorious. 

     I then set off for Sunday worship. Unfortunately, I was attending sans brother and sister-in-law, but I didn't mind. Everyone who greeted me beamed when I mentioned Tad and Daphne. I ran into some old acquaintances and talked for a while after church. 
     Being independent and on my own time was extremely refreshing, but I don't think I will always want to be alone.

Veronica A.


Thoughts on Turning 19

     Although this picture makes me look old and sophisticated, I've reached 19 feeling less sure of who I am than when I turned 18. This past year was filled with very high highs and some quite low lows. Now, I'm faced with my last 365 days as a teenager with college on the horizon and new responsibilities creeping into picture.
     I may not understand who I am, but that doesn't mean I haven't learned about how to navigate steadily growing relationships or about what it means to actually trust in my Creator.
     I'm ok with not quite understanding myself yet. While I'm confident that it will come with time, my real security lies in the reality that my life is not about me. God has established his will already, and I am only asked to love and obey him, not necessarily know everything. So that's what I'm going to do.

Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him. (Heidelbeg Catechism, Q. 1)

Veronica A.