Saturday, April 23, 2011


I'm holding out for what you ask
A simple kind of love I guess
It's commonplace but hard to see
We always think it looks like something else

We celebrate your blood poured out
Your love that breaks this curse we bear
For troubled minds and heavy hearts
When all the other cures have failed we find...

All this time
There is only
There is only You my Lord!
All this time
There is only
There is only You my Lord

And though our hearts will wander far
There is no distance to compare
How far you go to bring us back
Oh Lord Your holy arm in sight you bear

For all the earth to see and know
The salvation of Jesus Christ our Lord!

All this time
There is only
There is only You my Lord!
All this time
There is only
There is only You my Lord

Thursday, November 18, 2010

notes from my September week in Chicago

I love this wandering, nomadic lifestyle. I love Chicago. The L. My paisley coffee mug. Telling stories and sharing memories with old friends. Parks. Having time to finish books. Not knowing anyone for miles and yet never feeling alone. Dressing like a hipster in skinnies & plaid. Time in solitude then meals with friends. Riding bikes. The smoothness of road bikes. The wind in my hair. Nutella. Studying works of art. Feeling the expression of pictures. Attempting to accept modern art. Hoping people will mistake me for an artistic hipster, not a young financier. Dreaming of leaving finance. Straining and experimenting for that perfect shot. Couch surfing with old friends I haven't seen in years. Seeing people passionate and striving for something. Living out of a suitcase. Minimal stuff. Late night waiting for trains at abandoned stations in ‘bad neighborhoods’. Talking to people passionate about their careers. Talking to people idealistic and hopeful. Talking to people who haven’t bought the lie of American dreams. Books by the pound. Not understanding Bloomingdales ‘fashion’. Getting carded. Ordering an orange cane soda because I came on a bike with no ID. Workers blowing up a 2 story inflatable rat for a promo pause to fill up a biker’s low tire. A guy from Africa and I exchange cameras to take pictures of each other in front of the river. Memories float back of that cold February that Mom and I ventured to Chicago to retrieve my Chilean visa. Memories with BFFs wandering, attending concerts, dressing up, peeing on the river walk…Mere… Free wifi. Electrical outlets in open hotel bathrooms. Studying a German family with two beautiful daughters (my cousins??) enjoy their boat tour—as I vow to learn German from those CD’s I bought. Not working, not caring. Still getting paid. Eating ridiculous portions. Taking horrible pictures of myself on boat tour. Brainstorming ways I could practice my Spanish con más frequencía. Admiring details on office buildings. Undisturbed beaches with sturdy rocks for sitting. The movement of cities. Marveling at the bravery of bike riders in city traffic. Neighborhoods. Drinking a bottle of wine on a roof. Lake Shore Drive. Bakery indulgences. Mango bubble tea. Brainstorming new careers. Regretting not med schooling. Regretting not teaching. Regretting not going abroad. Regretting having to be regretful. Giving the finger to expectations and responsibilities. Projecting my own judgment on myself. Am I just coming into who I am? Porch gardens. Big old houses housing eight young people rejecting affluence. Christians heralding the end of Christiandom. Chatting with nonChristians who seem have a better grasp of what Jesus meant than many Christians I encounter. Baked Brie. Picking apples. Wine tastes. Live music. Wind farms in rural Illinois. The satisfaction that my cousin is dating the next Ira Glass of This American Life Fame. The fresh air of freedom. The freedom of fresh air.

Monday, May 31, 2010


A scary combination. We'll see where I land. Abba..

Pray for me. I'm getting too comfortable, too easily content. It's a scary prayer but please God... mess with me.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

at the end
at the end of these long roads
we will gather
with our hands in the air

I need to be writing up pages of stuff for this consulting project and pulling together my power point. This class will be over in <1.5 weeks, for better or worse. I want to just throw it together but at the same time feel guilty because this is a real life small business that we are trying to save.

I am graduating with my MBA in a couple weeks. Is this a joke? I guess not. I've spent like $30,000 and 3.5 years on it. Well, my company has paid for 45% and will pay up to 90% of it if I stick around long enough. I feel uncomfortable. Silly. Out of all there is to learn about in the MBA??? I don't feel like I've learned much and am not interested in business. Weird.

Looking back, I enjoyed researching and writing some of the papers that I did. My paper for my intro to legal & ethical business practices class, I thought, was poignant, well-researched, and top-notch (covering the Illegal Immigration divide. Maybe I'll post it here). I enjoyed researching my Global Business Environment paper, too, about the future of American economic dominance.

Last May I spent two weeks in Spain taking a European Union Business Strategy course, which. was. awesome. A great time living in community like I was an undergrad again with 20 young MBA'ers from Loyola and SLU. I got to see all of the art and monuments and people and food and culture that I had learned of in my Spanish civilization capstone class in undergrad. I got to see in the flesh Goya's paintings that had given me goosebumps when I poured over their grainy copies in my textbook. I love Spain so much. It is such an amazing country- so diverse, separated into these distinct cultural regions with such rich history (also, a historical example of where Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived in peace for centuries). I yearn to live over there for a year or two.

Marketing was one class I was dreading because of its endless promoting of consumerism and stuff. It turned out to be one of the best classes I took! Instead of a dry textbook we studied some of the best print advertising in the industry. Through the book "Hey Whipple, Squeeze This!" and creating our own advertising campaign, I loved living the depths of victory and despair that come with creative ideas. I fell in love with the challenge of combining vivid visuals with strong copy. We spent the last 15 minutes of each class watching... commercials! Some of the marketing for justice and social issues was so incredible. :Goosebumps: Plus, there were searching discussions facilitated by our fantastic professor about the real ethical questions of marketing. Thank God for some critical thinking!

My derivatives class was very challenging. Even in the thick of it, I was only really understanding the large concepts. But you know what? Large concepts are what you remember for the rest of your life experience. (I am NOT saying that having some vague concepts are enough to go around creating and trading financial instruments, fyi!) Most of my financial and statistics classes were so concentrated in getting the right answer to these specific quantitative problems that I have no idea what the big picture idea was. This is the travesty of our multiple choice, emphasis on regurgitation for the test educational system. People get A's but have not learned a darned thing. We just cultivate a culture of "educated" ignorance.

My derivatives teacher, Tom Miller, is a genius. If only these Wall Street executives had taken a derivatives class! (ha, no really..) Derivatives allow you to hedge against any liabilities and uncertainties and should lead to a more stable economy if used responsibly. Unfortunately our government has gotten out of the business of regulation. If our government has stripped away all of its regulatory authority and is too weak and ignorant to control or understand what these companies are up to, market externalities will destroy us. They have and they will again if we don't take them seriously. Remember the 1980s savings & loan crisis? It happened again (except hundreds of times worse) because financial regulation was not tightened. How many disasters will it take? We need protection by something that cannot be bought off! Alas, I'm afraid our government has assumed a position of enabler and cronie.

Anyway, yes, derivatives are complex. Most of the problems in the world are. As Adam said yesterday, if it isn't understandable in a 10 second newsbite, America doesn't care and writes it off. I am scared of big business. Republican big interests have sold disgusting fear-mongoring tactics... and America has eaten it up in a *very* scary way.

I will not get into my fears for a country that gives any weight to anything Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck utters.

Finally, I took one class outside of the business school in the school of Public Policy! MAN, do I love those liberal arts classes, professors, and students. Talk about critical thinking! Do you think if we were better informed on how America works, maybe we would be better citizens, voters, and activists? Nah, who wants an informed populace? They are so hard to please, harder to fool, won't fall for propaganda as easily...

I had some real big flops where I learned nothing and felt cheated out of money and time... Operations Management. Nuff said.

I guess in writing this out, I have learned more than I thought. I am grateful for that. I am always thankful for an excuse to research, write, and inform. I would have loved to do a final project researching the merits of microfinancing in reducing world poverty rather than consulting for this small business. But education is ongoing. Travel, books, well-researched news ( folks), documentaries, and just an awareness of the world go so far.

As I finish up this graduate degree (now feeling a little more proud and grateful after taking the time to write it out), I hope to continue in pursuit and advocacy of meaningful education. School's out, the world awaits!

As Missourian Mark Twain says, "I have never let schooling interfere with my education."


Saturday, April 03, 2010

Psalm 13

how long
O Lord
will you forget me

how long
O Lord
will You hide Your face
from me?

how long
will you leave me to my deeds?
look on me and answer
O my God

give light to my eyes
or I will sleep in death

but i trust in Your
unfailing love
my heart rejoices
in Your salvation

and i will sing
to the Lord
for He has been
good to me

so good to me

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

another semester done

Yesterday I submitted a 19 page public policy paper finishing off my 6th semester of grad school. One more semester to go, plus an intersession class. Not bad.

Work... ugg... don't want to talk about it... I can't wait for the day that I walk out the door for good. I don't know what I would rather be doing, but I have the feeling that any change would be good. I work so hard, am stressed, but regardless it seems it's never enough.

Adam had an interview at Rosalind-Franklin in Chicago today. He loved the program. I hope they loved him, too! Dartmouth in New Hampshire or Chicago or New York... where will he be in July?? No one knows till Match Day!

I am SO HAPPY TO BE AT HOME! I spent the entire evening at home last night. How long has it been? I am so happy to be done with class and school work to enjoy the season! Christmas parties, shopping, decorating, social events, cooking...!

I'm off to the store to shop for the Neediest Families family that my work adopted. Pumped! And grab some groceries.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Saturdays (when I am in town) are my day. I revel in the freedom. In the sunshine.

Even though I have a list of chores and errands and to-do's--I like that. Even though today I spent hours preparing a 40 minute public policy presentation for Monday. Just being at home in a day without restless obligation is so... nice.

I slept in until 8... minus Josie, the kitty, banging on my door and meowing for attention...

I didn't get around to going to the store or baking cookies or washing my grimy mirror or cleaning out the abyss that is the bathroom linen closet... but I did work on power point for an hour or two, then did 2 loads of laundry, worked another hour, then swept the hallway and bathroom, got distracted by facebook, and cleaned the mildew off of the shower curtain, powerpointed again... I enjoy this.

I think I would like working part-time from home.

Around noon Adam picked me up for "breakfast" at First Watch. We walked around Clayton in the warm sunshine before he had to head to work.

Tonight I'm going to visit Rebecca's apartment before we see Charity and Luke play at a restaurant.

I couldn't believe I had an entire day with no plans until 7pm. I'm not sure this has ever happened.

I'm getting tired. Discontent. Apathetic. A week and a half ago I got really low. Completely burnt out. Tired of the obligation, the routine, craving something, anything different. I didn't begin to really feel better until I began a 2 hour cleaning mission of Adam's apartment before our V for Vendetta party.

Cleaning is so satisfying. I see immediate effects of my work and know the benefits. It is active, not just sitting in front of a computer like most work these days. It is tangible. I like it. Restoring living spaces.

Restoration. In the land of the living.