Sunday, May 24, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

2 of my favorite things

2 of my favorite things, conveniently together in one package:
Darius Goes West
Robert Randolph and the Family Band

Monday, May 04, 2009

Me and the class of 2009!

This is a pic of me and a bunch of former students who will be graduating this weekend. These guys invited me to a banquet, and honored me with a wonderful award. Despite my pop quizzes and difficult class and high expectations, they voted me Most Influential Professor. Wow. I was blown away.

It may seem silly to some to be so touched by it, but oh well. I've been teaching for 5 years - mostly undergrads, some grads - and have received little extrinsic reward. Granted, there is the intrinsic stuff - the thrill of seeing the lights come on, helping someone make sense of the physics of speech and voice science, seeing others begin to share my love of the brain, etc. And I was nominated 2 years ago by my major professor to receive a university-wide Teaching award, which I received. But most of this journey has included tons of work and preparation to produce material and content that is often not well received by students. I've been called many names, suffered many insults, received incredibly rude e-mails. This, of course, is offset by the ~10% of the class that show their appreciation, that love to learn, that express that they appreciate the effort.

Well, that proverbial 10% spoke up, and loudly, and now I have a moment forever in my mind, and a certificate forever in my hands, that makes all of that hard stuff completely and 100% worth it.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Make A Way

I know I'm on a Natalie Grant kick right now, but I just can't help it. This is what I do when I buy a new album - I dive in, immerse myself, soak it up, apply it.

I wasn't very impressed with this song at first. Compared to my faves on the album (Our Hope Endures, I Will Not Be Moved, etc.), it just didn't jump out at me. Until I listened long enough to let her get to the last verse.

I think the verses also made me a bit uncomfortable. It speaks of a woman who is determined to make her own way, no matter what. And things just didn't work out the way she had planned, dreamed. She becomes increasingly discouraged, disillusioned.

I operated according to that mindset for many years. It is still my default if I am not careful. I can do this. I will do this. I will make it happen. I can. I will. I. I.

Where is God's voice in that mindset? Nowhere. No room for him.

Just a taste of the verse for you. I hope you take the time to listen.

"And so she bowed her head to pray
She cried Jesus please make a way
And she heard Him say

I'll make a way
I'll do whatever it takes even though it won't be easy
I have a plan and though you may not understand
Today I'll make a way
Hear Him say today He'll make a way"