Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Third Time's the Charm

I am currently on the cusp of round 3 of the "Hodge Plague". By my estimations, the plague begin in our dorm somewhere in November. I was immune for several weeks, looking at those infected with pity and also with a sense of "thank god that's not me".

For those of you unfamiliar with said HP, it begins with a day or two of a scratchy throat and a moderate headache. In phase 2, the disease moves into the sinus cavity causing congested and/or runny nose. Phase 2 lasts for anywhere between 1 and 3 weeks before the final, and possibly worst, phase sets in. In phase 3, the disease creeps into the lungs lingering like the smell of leftovers sitting in a car too long. It makes its presence known in fits of coughing and lots of phlegm.

As I said, I avoided the HP as long as possible until it caught up with me about two weeks before the end of the semester. Fine, I thought, I'll get it over with in time for the holidays. Sure enough, it was over for Christmas, only to return for final exams after the holidays. Now, as I am poised for the new semester, I am feeling the symptoms again.

Many cures have been attempted: sleeping for weeks at a time, intense amounts of exercise to sweat it out, swallowing dayquil capsules like candy, and alcohol. Yet nothing but the slow march of time seems to work, which is why I am dreading my third fight with the HP.

The thing about me is, I don't enjoy being sick and yet, the 3 bouts of HP combined with one serious stomach virus have made this time at Seminary the sickest I have ever been. This phenomenon has forced me to retrace my steps and see where I could have gone wrong.

1. The dorm is a cesspool of germs. This is certainly true, and yet I am no stranger to dorms and close living quarters (you will recall I lived with 5 roommates in a trailer last year). This cannot be the option.

2. I work with kids who are carriers of all kinds of things. Also a good option, but if true why wouldn't the symptoms have set in sooner, say in September when the work began? Plus, I pretty much beat anything they can offer in the famous "Student Teaching Hospital Visit" of 2005. Clearly, I can take the kids.

3.The stress of moving and settling in here is getting to my body. Definitely not a possibility. If you know me, you know this is one of my longest stints anywhere.

4. This building is old, with old heat, old dust and old air. Lots of people have weird aversions to that kind of thing. Maybe I do too. However, I did live in a disaster zone last year where the air was full of spackle and dust, in old buildings in a polluted city 4 years before that, and NJ (need I say more?) 18 years before that.


Is my body rejecting all the theology, faith and church history? Is the HP the demons' way of escaping my body?

I think not.

Perhaps in regards to number 4, the air here is actually TOO clean, TOO pure, and TOO wholesome. Could my sickened self be craving some action, something gritty to make it well again? Do I need to breathe air that is more diverse, more complicated, more in your face?

Then again, maybe I just need some OJ and a nap.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

From Mike Huckabee's Website (Theatre Ed. people don't want to miss this one)

Firstly, if you're wondering where I've been the past few weeks, let me remind you that we take our finals after Christmas, so mostly I've been elbow deep in books and laptops. Combine that with the holidays, traveling, and family illness, I haven't looked at my blog in a while.

Now though, as I sit listening to CNN's coverage of the Iowa Caucus, I begin to be intrigued by Mike Huckabee. If you know me, you know there's no way I would vote for him, but like a lot of people I met in the South, he seems like a nice gentleman that I could have coffee with and get some good stories from, despite some big political differences.

So I went on his website. I was drawn immediately to a section on "Education and the Arts". Finally, I thought, a Republican making sense. Many of us who are or have been arts educators know the No Child Left Behind Act is stifling creativity and imagination in favor of memorization and drilling via standardized tests. Apparently, Huckabee also wants the arts available to all children. But then he said this:

Music and the arts are not extraneous, extra-curricular, or expendable - I believe they are essential. I want to provide every child these "Weapons of Mass Instruction"

Seriously? Is the culture of war and violence so pervasive that he cannot communicate his thoughts about the arts (which by the way often serve to be anti-violent) without using a pun about WMDs?

Mr. Huckabee, I retract my coffee invitation.