On Sunday, November 14, InterVarsity went to a Susan Ashton concert at Elmbrook Church.
At the concert, a wonderful one with just Susan sitting on a chair with a guitar, she said she’d just married a preacher. She talked about what it was like to be married to one. I thought of my friend Mike, who wanted to be a preacher–and on whom I had a crush.
At the end of the concert, she wasn’t used to doing encores, but got clapped into doing one, apparently a common thing at Elmbrook concerts.
She said she didn’t know why she chose to do “Beyond Justice to Mercy” for her encore.
She wrote it because of a rift in a friendship–she was devoted but deceived–that still wasn’t repaired. She said, you should keep trying.
I wanted to tell her that was me–Shawn and me at present, maybe Peter and me in the past. But the timing was perfect and made me think God moved her to choose it for me.
It had been so long since she sang it–too painful, I wonder?–that she had to put the lyrics in front of her.
After the concert and in the foyer, I bought a tape of her debut album from 1991, Wakened by the Wind. I loved this one, and it was good for mellow moods. It had some of my favorite songs from 1991, such as “Benediction” and “Down On My Knees.”
Copy of part of a letter to Shawn, started 11/18/93, but not finished or sent:
How are you doing these days? I don’t know if anyone’s heard from you lately, so we don’t know. Are you feeling better, we hope?
Pearl lent us her space heater because this place is so cold. It’s great, except when it turns on it’s so loud it drowns out whatever you’re listening to.
This dorm is like a prison these days–double-locked side doors sometimes, front door always locked, alarms soon to be put on the side doors so no one can go in or out past only 8PM!
The alarm occasionally got set off, scaring us all half to death.
I hate it here. If somebody’s sleeping with somebody, which is often, you can hear it through the walls. Our neighbors blast their stereos and yell and scream at the oddest hours, and keep me awake. I feel no less isolated here than in the suites.
He’d always tell me to move to Krueger so I wouldn’t be so isolated. But I liked having time to myself, and I could always go visit my friends.
Catherine’s leaving in the spring (or whenever) to live with her fiancé (husband by then), and Pearl and Sharon live in the new Phi-Delt suite. I want to try for a cultural suite next year, and maybe even my own room.
I want to go back ‘home,’ and my best living arrangement was the German suite freshman year. Sophomore year and this year are just not as good as that was. Nothing else has seemed like a ‘family,’ and nothing else has introduced so many interesting people to me.
Living in the apartments was not yet an option. But when I decided to live there, I discovered it was just as good as living in a suite, if not better.
Did I tell you they changed the name of Jubilee to Krueger (Kree-ger)? The freshmen are confused and we old-timers are in revolt…
And everyone who came here since fall of ’92 has to go to a certain number of convocations and fine arts events before they can graduate. Most of the upperclassmen are exempt, thank goodness.
The other people have to fill out these little green cards so the school can keep track for them. The commuters and older adults really seem to hate it more than the others.
Everybody here seems to be getting wisdom teeth in–Pearl, Sharon, Jennifer’s boyfriend, and now me. We can all feel the pain together.
Rachel’s boyfriend Ralph, too. I’d been getting frequent headaches and jaw pains. Somebody mentioned wisdom teeth and these symptoms, so I decided that was the cause of my pains.
My parents scheduled an appointment with our dentist for me to find out for sure, and discovered that I was right. I would have them pulled by an oral surgeon in the summer of 1994.
On the way home for Thanksgiving Break, probably on Friday the 19th, Dad drove me down past Milwaukee in the night, probably to stop in Racine and sleep.
I don’t remember if I was talkative, as I usually was at night when somebody drove me home or to Racine, or if I sat there thinking about Phil and Mike, whom I now had a crush on. (Usually I wasn’t pensive and dreamy about the scenery until the next morning, when I was driven from Racine to South Bend.)
It was amazing to think that there were two guys at Roanoke whom I could probably go out with soon–and that neither one was Shawn or Peter.
There had never been a time when I felt so certain while on the way home that there was a guy at RC who liked me and whom I liked, and who may be waiting for me to return just as I was waiting to see him again.
I don’t think I was sure about Mike, but there were definite signs from Phil. I must have forgotten about James, from lack of encouragement.
I spent my free time Thanksgiving Break playing Battle Chess on our computer. I probably did the same during Christmas Break.
Copy of part of a letter written to a penpal on 11/23/93:
So far I’ve kept on schedule with my homework. I’m also trying to read …And Ladies of the Club by Helen Santmyer.
I found it while shelving paperback novels in a section of the main reading room. I’d read about it in a book about writing bestsellers, and wanted to finally read it for myself.
Santmyer read Main Street when it came out and thought it wasn’t at all an accurate depiction of small town life. So she started writing her own book–and didn’t finish it until she was an old lady, many, many years later. Then she sold it to a publisher and it became a bestseller.
According to my day planner, I tried to read ten pages a day from November 29 until December 17. I may have finished it over Christmas Break.
That thing’s over 1400 pages long! It’s a library book, so I’m trying to read fifty pages a day this week. Then I want to do some heavy reading of it over Christmas Break, which is a whole two weeks without homework.
I want to get this thing read so I don’t have to renew it too many times, and so I can get to Pamela by Samuel Richardson.
Oh, here comes my wisdom-headache again. I’m getting my wisdom teeth in, which means pain, which means crankiness whenever the pain gets bad. I suppose you could call it our last remaining rite into adulthood, unless you count getting drunk on one’s twenty-first birthday (which I don’t intend to do anyway).
I’d read an article lamenting modern society’s lack of rites into adulthood, and the social problems it seems to cause.
I hope they don’t have to be pulled. I keep wondering what people did before they had dentists to pull wisdom teeth out.
This year’s got a better pick of guys at school. I’ve actually had trouble choosing. There’s one that likes me and keeps talking to me [in the library], but he seems so opposite to me.
He plays football, can’t read well, can’t write (his own admissions). I hate football, love to read, love to write! He seems real nice, but I don’t know if it would work.
At least I know somebody wants to date me. Now if only I could be that sure about some other guys.
Copy of part of a letter written to a penpal on 11/25/93:
Illinois is just to the left of us, a state that’s about the same size, and on its left border is the Mississippi River. The flooding went pretty far over, but didn’t reach Indiana.
A lot of people did help out that weren’t affected by the flood, including people from our area.
It’s hard for us in South Bend to imagine flooding like that, too, but some of my friends at college got a little of it. The college even put up announcements for people affected by the flood that would have trouble paying tuition.
I’d like to go to Europe, which makes me pretty jealous when my friends get to go there for class or for Band. One of my friends is in the German-speaking part of Europe with her fiancé over Thanksgiving. [That, of course, would be Catherine and Glen.]
I’m working in the school library now, which I love. It’s laid-back, a big contrast to my job last year in Food Service. That one was too fast and menial for me.
Copy of part of a letter written to another penpal (I had many) on 11/25/93, Thanksgiving Day:
Yes, I am finding plenty to keep me busy! I’m on Thanksgiving Break now, and I have homework as well as a book to read. It’s not as much homework as last year, so it’s been a pretty relaxed break. And today I get to eat the traditional turkey dinner! Yum! And stuffing and pumpkin pie topped with Cool Whip…
I love this holiday. I just wish they’d play more Thanksgiving movies about Pilgrims, and not Christmas movies like Home Alone. I love seeing movies about the Pilgrims that have John and Priscilla Alden in them.
Have you read about them in Longfellow’s ‘The Courtship of Miles Standish’? My ancestry has been traced back to them, so I love the notice they get. Longfellow traced his ancestry to them, too, so he’s my cousin, in that sense of the word.
I haven’t copied any more of my diaries since summer. I just have too much else going on. I dread to think where mine will end up, too. I don’t want my parents to see them. Maybe I’ll leave them to my grandchildren.
Sharon said she’d rather leave her diaries to her grandchildren than to her children, and I thought she had a good reason, which I forget now.
Maybe it was because her children would be too close to her and possibly mad at her for how she raised them, and her grandchildren wouldn’t be afraid to sympathize with her.
I don’t think it was just because her grandchildren would be more interested in her life back in a time which to them would be quaint and fascinating, but to her children would just be out-of-date.
When would your mom be going to Milwaukee? It’s just south of S–, maybe an hour away. And a tip: The locals drop the ‘l’ in Milwaukee. That’s how they tell who’s an outsider.
Of course, with the British accent I suppose that doesn’t matter so much; they’d tell no matter what that you’re not from around there.
I love my library job. It’s easy and I can get my homework done. I might do library work after college, unless I marry some rich guy and don’t need to work. Then I’d just write.
I wanted to find library work, but never could find anything close by for library clerks. Junior year seemed too late to take on a double major, Writing and Library Science, and become a librarian, so I would have to be a library clerk, if anything. And well, Roanoke didn’t offer Library Science, anyway.
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)
Table of Contents
December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?
April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign
October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:
Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams
June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:
July & August 1994: