"the artist has one function--to affirm and glorify life."
- w. edward brown

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Well, I made it home.
Glad to be here.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Just a few more

Since I've now finished with most stuff for the semester,
here are a few more images of what I've been up to...

Let me know if you like!

Rose colored teabowl

White bowl

Yellow teabowl
(I had a lot of fun making
teabowls this semester)

Tenmoku Tea Set
(there are two more
bowls for this set,
but the picture was
better with just two)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

working hard

so I'm alomost finished with everything I need to be.
I'm finishing editing my last images of the semester, then I have to figure out which ones I want made into slides!
I'm lighting the last kiln firing of the semester tonight.
And I'm going to clean my room and finish my laundry so I can pack and go home!

Here's a taste of my images I've taken today...

A tea set

A tea bowl

So lots of fun all around, and I'm almost there!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


things I'm done with:
Japanese exam
Packet for senior seminar
Large paper for material Culture independent study
my secret santa gift for work (yes I made something)
my second to last semester at Calvin

Things to do yet:
clean my room
clean my fish tanks
read some good books over Christmas
Christmas shopping... :)

I leave on Saturday and can't wait to get to Orlando!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Snow Snow Snow!

Well, it is finally winter... very good for studying and getting work accomplished indoors.

Although we (my roommate Jose and I that is) spent some time out side this evening to shovel our driveway. Second time this week already. We also did both sides of our corner house sidewalks. For those of you who live in the north and have to shovel your walk, please do. As a commuter who walks to classes each day, a shoveled sidewalk is a very nice thing to walk on. Also, its your responsibility, and if I fall on your icy sidewalk, there will be serious consequences. So far no falls, but a couple nasty almosts!

Speaking of which, this is the last week of classes, and although I'm a little nervous about finishing in time, things are looking up. I started the big kiln with my last work in it for the semester and am ready for my other classes to finish up as well.

And now, for some more winter photos...

The firestation across the street

And another car going by...

OK so the pictures aren't great, but at least they kinda show the snow...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Hump day, it seems comes far too quickly.
Even though the week is speeding by, I have managed to get a bit of work done already.
My long research paper for my independent study is over 16 pages, and now ready for review.
My Application materials are coming together and just need a few more revisions.
My Food sculpture project is complete and I'm already working on the next project.
And, while I haven't been sleeping much, I'm still making it to class on time.

Now, for the rest of the week:
Japanese exam tomorrow morning.
Throwing this evening.
More work on ceramics tomorrow.
Photograph work really soon and editing the images for portfolio.

All in all, hanging in there...

Oh, and P.S. happy birthday Mom!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

New week

Well, this weekend was fun... lots of work accomplished, and yet still managed to get a decent amount of homework done. Let's just see if this week keeps up the trend!

A few things:
-I wish it would snow already... snow makes it easier to focus on staying inside doing homework
-I wish I could sleep more, I seem to be tired all the time...
-I wish there were more hours in the day... or night... just more time in general to do all I need to
-I wish life came with directions:
- allow 5 years to percolate... knowledge should be good and concentrated
- by November 15 all applications should be done, though only apply to ______
- _____ will accept you
- allow 6 to 8 weeks for confirmation, then turn and brown the other side

-I wish I knew what those directions were to, because they were one weird recipe...

I'm scared about the future.
I'm not sure I know what to do.
I'm second guessing what I think about everything now.

Oh boy... I need some chocolate....

On the plus side my paper (my big one for this semester) is already 12 pages!
On the down side, I'm not sure how long it's supposed to be... and I 've about a 1/3 to go!
Woo hoo for editing things down!

OK, back to work!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Grad Schools and other stuff

Well, today I called three different grad schools as a preliminary measure to applying. It was kinda nerve wracking and I'm not sure why.

Tonight I'm sending out emails to faculty members at the schools to which I'm applying. I want ot see what kind of respose i get and if they are willing to help out a nervous senior. I wrote up a basic letter that my boss (who went through this a few years ago) read over and he said it was a good start to getting my name out to the departments.

I just don't want to come across as needy or clingy.

Anyway, the kiln was fairly successful... I'm planning on photographing my work on Friday so maybe I'll have some images to share this weekend.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Its family weekend this weekend.
yeah, just thought I'd mention that.

I sent away for my absentee ballot today.
I take my civic duty seriously.

My friend, the ganglion cyst on my left ring knuckle, seems to have dissapeared.
I hope he's ok wherever he is.
And that he dosen't come back.
He cramped my style.

I'm knitting scarves for sculpture class.
Its very tempting to forget all other class work and just do that.
I can be like 'No I'm doing my homework!'
The other profs wouldn't like that so much.
And clicking needles interrupt lectures.

I quit

I'm going to move to Orlando, live in my parent's basement and work at Barnes and Noble's.
Oh wait, they don't have a basement, nor do I have a room in their home anymore.

And I don't want to work retail for the rest of my life.

Let's just say that if it could go wrong this week it did.
And the stress piled up and I'm way over living with it.
And I have to do a glaze firing, and I'm gonna just get worse till those pots come out of the kiln...

But first, I have to go sit in a corner and get over my stress related migrane.
And get some homework done.
and eat something at some point.
and... oh you get the picture.

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Response

This is a response to Dad's post about how he's had enough.

A Caveat: I'm liberal in my views, I'm trying to live by my faith in Christ, and I try to err on the side of love and compassion.

I heard a speaker at Calvin this last week and he discussed how very few verses in the Bible are on the 'morality' issues that this administration wants to address, issues such as gay marriage. These 'morality' issues, this speaker said, are meant to divide and divert our attention from the larger ones that face us. Issues like this draw attention away from the War in Iraq, the oil crisis, global warming occurring at an alarming rate, the issue of Darfur... (shall I go on?)

There are hundreds of verses calling Christians to help the needy, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, be good stewards of God's earth, and yet the current leaders focus on going to war and issues that will maintain their own gains instead of what we are called to be taking care of.

Now, regardless of what you personally believe, and this post is not intended to really go into that, God loves everyone, and I have to too. For me, I have to balance the things I am called to do, help those who need it, take care of God's world, love those who need it. As a Christian I cannot be a one issue voter, be it gay marriage, abortion, education, foreign policy... So often Christians are lumped into a single right leaning voting block, but what about caring for the environment? What about issues of stewardship? What about compassion on those around the world with so much less than us dying every day?

And it's not just the politicians!

A short anecdote since I'm in Michigan and familiar with its issues right now: Michigan is a rust belt state. Full of manufacturing jobs leftover from the heyday of the auto industry. About ten years ago, the big auto companies (Ford... GM... and who am I missing?) decided that instead of developing this new technology on the horizon of hybrid cars, they would make bigger and bigger SUV's looking at the short term profits that they saw. They made big bucks and made a lot of gas guzzling cars. Meanwhile, Toyota and Honda and some other car companies, saw the long term effects of massive oil use and made hybrid cars. Now, that their moronic greed based business decisions are biting them in the butt, the MI companies are going bankrupt. So in trying to play catch up, they finally begin to do stuff with hybrid vehicles. But what do they do? Instead of hybrid car they put out a hybrid SUV. MORONS THAT DOSEN'T HELP ANYTHING!! So now, they get gov't help and tax breaks to try and stay afloat. Meanwhile, Toyota can now legitimately say they are made in the USA! Their business is going so well, they opened plants in the US.

It comes down to greed, whether in politics or in business. Politicians want to keep their jobs and business men want more money.

We have been told we live in a world where evil people are around every corner, where other countries want our jobs, where the world is dying. This culture of fear has been created in Washington for the purpose of diving us from the rest of the world and even ourselves. It is our own politicians who use war to solve problems, creating more enemies. It is our own politicians who give tax breaks for companies that send their jobs overseas and don't control the massive corporations that do so much harm. It is our own government that refuses to enact pollution controls that actually mean anything because they don't want to lose the funding from the big business' who bankroll them.

When will there be people who finally stand up and do the right thing? When will there actually be people who say 'Forget party lines, I'm doing what's right'. When will the government stop using fear as a divisive way of manipulating people?

I was told once that "As a Christian, you can never vote for a Democrat, because they support abortion. All Christians have to vote Republican." (no joke, an actual quote)
Hmm... blind one issue voting like that leads to horrible misrepresentation of what I believe and a heinous system of government where other issues are relegated to unimportance.

Makes one weep and cry out in frustration at times.

I believe it was Screwtape writing to Woormwood who said "The goal is to have them all running around with fire extinguishers when there is a flood".

God help us all.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I'm told I tend to be antisocial...

I'm not sure if I'm really antisocial, or that I just don't like some people.

Is it bad that I'd rather spend time in the art basement, by myself, doing my work?

And when I'm working, its not that I don't like you, but don't talk to me, I'm concentrating.

Ok, maybe I am antisocial... but I have work to do.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006


First of all, lists are easy; I don't have to be all witty and creative in my prose.

Things I accomplished:
- aced another Japanese quiz, this time on 46 hiragana (one of the 4 written languages used by the Japanese)
- pugged around 100lbs of clay (that's basically reconstituting it so it can be worked with again)
- participated in a critique and had my work critiqued (both were pretty good)
- ate lunch
- worked for two hours in the gallery
- attended Japanese drills (pratice sessions with a native speaker, lots of fun!)
- threw from 3:30pm to 10:30pm, with only a half hour break for dinner at Johnny's
- threw 6 teapot bodies (we'll see which ones really work out though), 4 large bowls, 3 tall vases, a rounded jar that was too small to be considered a teapot body, and a plate... it was supposed to be a platter, but there were issues... my issues... with throwing.
- talked to my roommates for a while, and went to bed

Things to accomplish tomorrow:
- throw at least 6 spouts for the teapots
- pull 6 handles for the teapots
- trim the feet of all the things I threw today
- attend sculpture and Senior Seminar classes
- hopefully glaze some works I bisque fired last Thursday

But it's only the beginning of the week and already super busy!
But also really fun.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Cough, Cough, Sneeze, Sneeze...

A List of things I've learned this week:

The cold season has hit.

Earl Grey Tea is great for sore throats.

Days spent in pajamas, while seen by some as unproductive, can do wonders for your attitude and mental health.

The afghan I knit is really warm and keeps me comfy on the couch.

Original Chap-Stick three packs are a good buy.

Coughing is a great ab workout... although it isn't my choice of workout.

Despite being ill, my work in the studio went really well this week, including experimenting with underglazes, and firing some work already.

Saturdays are great for sleeping in.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Why Tuesday evenings are my favorite... or what I did tonight.

On Tuesdays I have a 9-10:00am class, a 1-4:00pm class and a 4-5:00pm class. It makes for a long day, and when fixing the pugmill is thrown in, along with some unsuccessful researching, it makes one heck of a day. Furthermore, my throat is starting to do that thing it does right before you get a cold, and I'm hoping and praying (and drinking my fluids to) the possibility that it might not be a doozy... but there's been one doozy spreading around campus.

So, this evening, because I have no classes on Wednesday, and because I spent a couple hours in the library between classes doing homework, I got home at 6:00pm, changed into my pajamas, and ordered pizza with my roommate, after which I proceeded to fall asleep to CSI, and woke up to another CSI (you have to love the 3 hours of CSI on channel 59 in the evenings!). After I woke from my comatose state, I flicked through the channels, and decided it was time for an 'early' bedtime. Early for me anyway.

So, goodnight, and tomorrow's another day to do stuff... and maybe get a little more accomplished in the evening!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Some things I've learned this week...

1. The painful thing on my left ring finger knuckle is a ganglion cyst.
2. Ganglion cysts are painful, especially when I have to bend my finger.
3. I have to bend my finger a lot, like when I'm typing, or when I'm throwing on the wheel.
4. The sports medicine doctor at Health Services must want me to get a bleeding ulcer.
5. The sports medicine doctor told me to 'ice the knucle, take 3 motrin at each meal, and rest your knuckle when you can'.
6. Staring blankly in disbelief at the sports medicine doctor is apparently a common reaction from his patients.
7. Dr. Do-nothing, as I like to call him, dosen't understand that I have a BFA show that I'm working towards right now and cannot 'rest my knuckle'.
8. From what I've read, a ganglion cyst is not related to swollen joints and therefore won't be helped by lots of Motrin.
9. I've also read that immobilizing the joint does nothing for the cyst.
10. The nurse the day before said it could be drained, or hit with a Bible to get rid of it.
11. My knuckle still hurts.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

One more thing...

I've learned today:
- talking with your sister for an hour goes by extremely fast, and is worth every minute
- sisters have that weird vantage of knowing you so well from growing up, and yet are distanced enough to give good advice over the phone at 11:30pm when they are a couple thousand miles away
- Denver is looking better and better for grad school...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Day 2

Since the first day of school is always overwhelming, crazy busy and stressful, I thought i'd post on day two instead.

Things I learned so far:
- 'Ohayoo gozaimasu' means 'good morning, politely' in Japanese... just don't pronounce the final 'u'
- 'Ohayoo gozaimasu' is pronounced like 'Ohio gozimas', not too tricky
- Japanese has 4 different ways of writing words out, all of which can be used in a single sentence!
- Sculpture will be interesting, as I get to learn to weld this semester
- a CUPPS mug of coffee is only 50 cents! (I'd forgotten it was so cheap)
- coffee is not a good lunch, whereas chicken salad taken from home is
- I miss my friends who graduated
- lots of my friends graduated
- throwing on the wheel is always fun, no matter if everything falls apart, or everything is great
- lots of my things fell apart today... I think I was pushing the clay pretty far, but I have a vessel shape in mind and I want to see it realized
- crocs, the really comfy shoe brand, can be cleaned in the dishwasher
- I need to clean my crocs
- the best thing about seeing friends you haven't seen all summer is the hugs
- my ring finger knuckle has been swollen for the past week and I don't know what I did to it... I don't think it's broken, but I think something is wrong
- My B.F.A. show opens in 28 weeks... that sounds like a lot, but it isn't

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Today, as I sit in the gallery office, counting people coming into the gallery and sticking more labels on mailers going out to people all over, I am also watching the freshmens and their parents coming in and getting lost on their way to their first advising appointments. Five years ago today, I was here and things were so similar, ok, so today is a little wetter; I remember it was a beautiful Michigan summer day when Mom, Dad, Em and Beth helped me move in and get adjusted to new life at Calvin.

I remember feeling so nervous about everything and fearing I'd mess up or look like a fool... and I did and I was... but it is so surreal that five years have gone so fast!!

On to the next!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Planets

Anyone else feel sorry for Pluto for being demoted... I know I do.

Mean inner planets, reducing it to a less important celestial body, just because it's orbit is a little oval, and it's a little small. It's like the little kid on the playground being picked on.

Or maybe it's just me.

Aww hecks!

Talk about stress. Everyone here is getting all worked up for numerous reasons. Let me esplain, no let me sum up.

First of all a formula:

1) Student workers + decent wage + decent treatment x recognition for our hard work = a campus that runs smoothly + happy bosses

2) Student workers + higher wage / lost working hours because of budget cuts - less actual money because of said budget cuts + less recognition of our bosses by their bosses + a corporate culture infiltrating the administration and causing SERIOUS tension = unhappy students + not enough money to live off of = me not liking what Calvin has become and never giving any more of my money to the college when I finally earn some

some statements:
- Calvin increased minimum wage for students after 10 years of having it be the same! Hooray!
- Calvin didn't increase the budget for student wages, therefore, less hours are avaliable to be worked because same money with more expenses equals not feasible. Boo!

- Bob, who has been working at Calvin for four years, diligently climbing the ladder of wage increases, now only makes 5 cents more than someone who is just starting working at Calvin. Boo!
- Professors don't want to lose their student aids and assistants, so the gallery and the woodshop are taking cuts in operating hours. Boo!
- Bob has hours in the gallery, the ceramics studio, and the slide library! Hooray!
- Those hours may get cut. Boo!

- Every other department is suffering cutbacks too. Hooray! (I mean come on, at least it's not just the Art Department)
- I'm guessing that the phone-a-thon student worker are still making bank and not losing hours, because all anyone seems to care about is bringing money into this college. Boo!
- Everyone is upset because, the staff didn't get raises this year either, and now with the cutbacks on students, they will be taking on MORE work and not getting paid. Boo!

- Calvin is building a new 'Campus Commons'. Hooray!
- It's a glorified dining hall that is a waste of money and if the same architect designs it as did the PCC and the DeVos Communications Bldg, it will be ugly as well. Boo!

- Bob has been sticking labels on Gallery calandars all day and his thumb is sore. Boo!
- Tomorrow is Friday! Hooray!!

This bitching post has been brought to you by Bob, who has worked the whole summer, with 1 vacation day and 2 sick days off in three and a half months; he's tired, sore, stressed, and underpaid.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

No words; oh wait, yeah there are some in here...

(Warning: use of Canadian terms may be offensive to some readers)

I really don't like it when professors need to be led by the hand and assisted with things that they should know they need to get done... like moving into and out of offices.

(OK, so glad the stuff I had to deal with wasn't this bad.... wait, yeah it was worse! That's right!)

My new rule for life: Simplify; you don't need that much shit anyway. Throw it away if you don't think you will use it with in the next 6 months, especially regarding things like old bird nests and plastic grocery bags. If you forgot you had it, you probably didn't miss and and should get rid of it.

The exceptions to the rule are:
-books, they last for a long time and well, I just like them, but at least organize them into some semblance of order, if there is no order, or the books hav no relevance to what you are doing, the rule still applies;
-selected (few) early artworks that can act as a window into the past and show how far you've come, this does not mean you keep every work you ever made... they're not that good anyway;
-finally, equiptment and tools that actually cost money and will be used in the near future, this can include wheels, throwing bats, slab rollers, and speciality tools, this does not include things like plastic spoons, plastic bags (I know I mentioned them already, they need repeating), or random bits of hardware one thinks could at some point be a cool 'texture tool'; I'm sorry that doesn't cut it.

Remember, if you don't take the time to clean up your own shit, someone else, most likely a minimum wagin' college student will have to in the future.

P.S. This is not a directed rant, there is no 'singular' individual in mind while I write this, but more of a archetype. Indeed there are at least three of these individuals that I have had to deal with this past summer.

And now, lest you think I'm all blood-boiling-ready-to-beat-things, here's a happy picture:

No, they are not mine, but they make a purdy picture and they shore are inspirin'! And can you say orderly!

Ahhh... I feel better.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Ok, why not...

First of all you realize there are only 8 Favorites and 8 Currents, and only when you get to Firsts does it actually correspond with the number???

Or I am not getting something... because that's possible too...

Ten Favorites
Season: Fall
Color: blue-green, but a intense one, leaning to the blue...
Time: mid morning, 10:00am ish after a good night sleep
Food: Orange chicken and other americanized Chinese
Drink: Beals Oberon, a local (Kalamazoo) brewed summer wheat beer
Ice Cream: chocloate rum gelato from Florence
Place: sitting at the potters wheel
Sport: tennis

Nine Currents
Feeling: hot and sweaty
Drink: water
Time: 11:14pm
Show on TV: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Mobile Used: Verizon
Windows open: none, the bugs will get in... but upstairs, all
Clothes: pajama shorts (my best find this summer!!), tee shirt
Thought: I wish my sister would call me back!

Eight Firsts
Nickname: Bobby
Kiss: Dawn Van Gorp... maybe
Crush: ? don't know
Best Friend: JM DeYoung
Vehicle I owned: what vehicle?
Job: real job... School Stuff
Date: Megan Landsteiner... to homecoming
Pet: I think Corny my chicken... and then Sunny...

Seven Lasts
Drink: Coke
Kiss: peck on the cheek from Lizzy on Sunday because she is going away to law school and I won't see here for months!
Meal: Ramen
Web Site Visited: a fish website... about platties
Movie Watched: Lady in the Water, the new Shamalayan- I really liked it!
Phone Call: Chris Snyder, asking if I wanted to go to his parents for Sunday dinner
TV Watched: Star Trek: the Next Generation, three episodes this evening before, during and after dinner...

Six Have You Evers
Broken the Law: Yes -- speeding
Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: No
Been in the Middle of/Close to Gunfire: No
Skinny Dipped: No
Broken Someone's Heart: ha... no

Five Things:
You Hear Right Now: fan, fish tank filter and bubbler, my roommate walking around upstairs
On Your Bed: sheets, quilt, 3 pillows
Things You Ate Today: sandwich for lunch, ramen for dinner, and a really good chocolate/coffee shake my roommate made me! Thanks Justy!
Things You Do When Bored: watch movies, watch tv, read, clean our house, sketch
Things You Do For Comfort: make myself tea, read a book I love again, nap

Four Places You Have Been Today: my house, the Art Department, the Spoelhof Cafe, the sidewalk between here and Calvin

Three Things on Your Desk Right Now: my charging phone, a legal pad, a cup with water

Two Choices:
Coffee or Tea: depends on the day, no joke, and that's not just coping out!
Spring or summer: summer

One Place You Want to Visit: Japan

Friday, July 21, 2006

This evening...

The wedding in the field is today.
It is grey and cloudy, I just hope it doesn't rain.
Or my allergies act up with all the nature around the ceremony.
Or the bugs bite.
Or it be super hot.
Yeah, it's a wedding in a field.

Should be fun!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Holy Giant Storms Batman!!

So went into the movie theater at 8:30 pm to see Pirates of the Carriabean (which was great by the way, and I can't wait for the third one) and about halfway through, noticed a constant rumbling in the background of my hearing.

Exited the movie theater at 11:20pm to a deluge and lightning storm I have not seen the equal to since living in Fort Myers. Constant lightning. Amazing... and kinda freaky.

At least we needed the rain... I just hope my power dosen't go out and I miss my alarm tomorrow morning!

Oh, and by the way, that line of bright pink was just on top of GR... yeah we got it all!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Political commentary & a little religious talk too

Just thought I'd talk a little, since I'm at work and bored, about some of the things happening in Washington DC this past week:
- oh, and forgive me those of you who disagree...

- Flag Burning:
The Senate defeated a Constitutional Amendment (sponsored by Republican Congressman Randy Cunningham, before he was jailed for taking $2.4 million dollars in bribes) by a slim vote... only one shy of outlawing the desecration of the flag.

Two things about this:

If the government wants to ban desecrating the flag, what about those people who wear tee-shirts and jackets and pants, indeed whole outfits made to look like the stars and stripes. Maybe its me, but isn't that just as disrespectful to what proponents of this amendment see as 'the symbol' of American freedom? If you want to protect the supposed sanctity of the flag, don't let people abuse it in other ways either... burning is not the only form of desecration.

I may hate what you say, how you say it, what you burn in protest, ect. but I will defend to the death your right to say it. It is only cloth, after all. I know people have died defending it, and I respect that, but until Americans have more respect for it in every day (ie, no more American flag outfits). I can't deny someone who understands the symbolism of the flag and uses that to protest. He who burns the flag understands its power and symbolism better than he who wears it as pants.

- Trials at Gitmo
In other news, the Supreme Court ruled that President Bush is not free from all law, but does in deed have to answer to some one. Namely the US Congress. (oh wait, that's what checks and balances means; no one is allowed to become supreme ruler of the US, they have to obey the law just like anyone else!) Mr. Bush is not a military dictator, and he cannot make up rules for prisoners of war, or rather "enemy combatants" who he is detaining at Gitmo without trial, without counsel, and without rights. They may be enemies, but they are still human beings. The Geneva conventions apply, Mr. Bush. And I don't care what you say, torture is NEVER a course of action the United States should take.

- My own thoughts on stuff...

I look at some of these things that are happening and I just sit in wonder at the abandonment of looking at other people as image bearers of God. I don't care what they have done or not done against the US; never should we lose sight of the fact that these people too, are created in the image of God. For all their use of the Bible and religious hot button issues, this Administration seems to forget about that fact often, only bringing these issues up when it suits them. I know I'm mixing religion and politics, but for me they go hand in hand. Equality as creatures in the image of God is Biblical, but seems to have been forgotten by so many people.

I know, preachy, right? But all the same, what this country, and the world in general needs is a huge dose of grace. I can't recall reading Jesus preaching about torturing your enemies and barricading yourself behind missiles and guns. I think there was more emphasis on forgiveness and understanding others in light of our being bearers of the image of God. I know, national security is important, especially against those who disregard the value of life. But in no way does that mean we are to do the same!

Ok, so that's my 2 cents... well, maybe 5 cents...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

That time of year...

Most of my friends who had dispersed after graduation are coming back in town this week, as on Saturday, the first of the weddings will take place. Kinda weird feeling, knowing your good friends are getting married, but it's good too. It should be a fun weekend with the wedding and hanging out with them all again.

Aside from that, life in the art basement goes on, as the summer flies by.

Allergies suck, but hey that's why they make Claritin, and its cheaper Target knockoff, for which I am grateful...

so much happening so fast...

Friday, June 02, 2006


I am now officially in my new house and I love it!

There is something aout having a room of your own that makes a huge difference from sharing one. Its not that I didn't like living with the guys these past two years, but having a place to arrange my way, and slum and get dirty if I want and do just about what ever with, is kinda nice. I feel much older and more in real life with my own room... if you can believe that!

Moving was stressful and painful... elbows should avoid doors in the future. and concrete is not a good mattress... but that was only for one night... and I did have blankets, but by the end of the night they felt like they were paper thin...

Anyway, so my bed is now in my room, my clothes are in my dresser, and my books are getting up on my shelves... yes, things are coming together.

The summer job is continuing... the show in the gallery is up and ready to open Monday, the studios are getting cleaner, and things are progressing as usual.

This coming week should be fun as a candidate for the position of painting professor is coming. That should bring some excitement and will be fun to meet him.

Aside from that, life progresses, and I plan on making some more headway on boxes the next few days off...

oh, as a side note, I would like to take this time to brag: for the second semester of my tenure at Calvin, I have 4 pointed... that's right, straight A's for Bob... I keep my scholarships for another semester!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Well, today I'm moving most of my stuff out of my apartment. You don't realize how much stuff you accumulate over two years, but it adds up. I won't have access to my computer for the next two weeks, as it will be in transition, but after June 1, things will be on their way to sorted out in my new house. I will still be avaliable with my cell, so give me a call if you need me.

Just one final critique today, and a lot of hauling boxes... almost done with another year of college!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Almost there...

Well, 2 classes are officially over, both my Advanced Drawing and my final core class Intro Sociology are examined and done... As for my others, Asian Art Monday afternoon, Painting Wednesday afternoon, and Ceramics sometime in between/whenever as it's an independent study.

We are moving out of our campus housing this Thursday, but seeing as our lease doesn't start till June 1, I'll be relying on the good graces of art friends for a while, bumming a floor off them.

I can't wait to move out, I can't wait to move into my new house, and I can't wait to get this year over with.

Summer work starts the 22nd, and hopefully things will be as exciting as last year!
Almost done!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Calvin Spoof

Dear Family and Friends,

I don't know if you all have heard, but the Calvin Chimes spoof 'Cliche' a send up of the Back to God Hour's 'Today' has hit hard. With the refusal to publish it under the censorship of the newly empowered 'Spoof Review Committe', the publication made its way on to the web. By now, stories have appeared in both the GR Press and WOOD TV 8 (the local NBC) and numerous postings on Calvin Matters (the faculty and staff online forum) have shown that this is not going away quietly.

The link: www.calvinspoof.com

Please don't see the cover and click off. Don't just read a few and leave. If you do decide to read, be sure to at least (after reading a few) make it to the bottom and read the entry for June 30. PLEASE don't dismiss this as unthought out fluff. This has a message that is applicable for everyone I know.

For those who want to read Calvin's 'Official' response it can be found here: Calvin's Response

There are multiple things being addressed, issues of the Calvin community, issues of donor money and impact at Calvin, issues of social justice, issues of gender relations, issues of purity and holiness... the list goes on.

One of the biggest issues critics raised is whether or not the use of scripture and prayer is allowable in satire. From my point of view (and from knowing many of those who worked on the spoof/satire) this use of scripture and prayer came from a true concern with how scripture and prayer are so often misused by shallow expressions of faith in our community. Bible verses are taken out of context and misused (I've heard preachers do it), and I see the spoof as showing this.

Is it funny? I laughed so hard at some of the entries, I cried.
Is it offensive? At times, yes. But we have to look at why it is we are offended, for at least in my case, the offense comes when the critique hits too close to home.
Is it blasphemy? I never think it crosses the boundary, and I truly believe this is a sincere call to reform in our consideration of our faith. Satire is meant to shock people; just think of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal"... or more applicale his "An Argument against Abolishing Christianity"... talk about Christian satire!

I also think that Calvin has stepped too far in censoring. There is the idea of Voltaire that "I hate what you're saying, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it" that I truly believe in. In this I am not talking about mean or hateful things, but rather things which I don't agree with, but are problems and issues that need to be dealt with.

In my opinion Calvin has turned its back on honest critique. If you don't believe that this is an honest call for change, read the last entry, June 30. It is in this entry, after all the poking fun of and making light of, that the Chimes staffers who participated in this, honestly brought it back to the Lord. In my opinion, those who would like to see the spoof gone, skipped over that last entry and only saw what they wanted to see. They only saw the big issues raised, the questions that must be answered, the hits too close to home, and the accurate read of the situation, not only at Calvin, but of the broader CRC community that the spoof found.

I defend the spoof in its entirety for what it represents to me, a call for serious contemplation and reflection on what it means to be a Christian in the 21st century in the Reformed tradition.
I know that this spoof will offend some of you. I know that this will hit close to home (it did for me). But please understand this in light of the sincere prayer from the June 30 meditation:

"Lord God, give our readers a spirit of understanding and humility. As we go out to reform our fallen world, remind us that we too are fallible. Amen"

So friends and family, sorry about the length, but I leave you with these things to ponder, and I pray that Calvin will not become an irrelevant institution because of its unwillingness to laugh at itself now and then and hesitation to reexamine the issues that surround it.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

New Haircut

For those of you who missed it, I got a new haircut... so here it is!

Yep, my ears are again visible...

I like it, and it's nice for spring, so hooray all around. Who knows, I can always grow it out again! :)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Today I...

-helped nervous applicants set up for their BFA applications
-finished loading and fired a bisque kiln
-found out that another student, in their drawing of a comic book (which is what he wants to get into), gave me super powers
-found out that my superpowers are controlling clay/earth... yes it's a comic of students in the art department and he assigned powers based on people's inclinations in art
-realized just how dorky art students can be
-got a haircut; I think I'm now respectable enough for grandma again
-did laundry
-delayed writing a paper by posting on my blog

Hopefully tomorrow will be as exciting!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Ok, I know...

So I haven't posted in a while...

I'm truly sorry.

The list of days is growing shorter, and sadly, the yet to do list keeps finding things to add to itself.

However, here are a list of things that made me happy today:
- Taylor survived her wisdom teeth surgery and has no brusing, and only slight (very slight) swelling.
- Taylor on pain pills is hilarious, espically at 9:00 in the morning.
- I think I know what I'm going to put in my BFA review
- I still have three weeks till my BFA review
- A good friend bought me lunch because she has extra money on her pre-paid account and dosen't want Calvin to get it at the end of the semester
- I ate lunch outside on the grass
- My outside of class drawing recieved a good crit
- My in class drawing was really good and I'm hapy to say was hung up in the hall
- My rough draft, which was originally due Tuesday was pushed to Thursday, so I'm a little ahead of the game

Sunday, March 26, 2006

On Becoming 22

It's March 26. I am officially 22.

So much has happened this past year, so much accomplished, and yet at the same time as I think about it, I still feel so lost and confused about where I'm going, what I'm going to be doing in the next years and what I have left to do.

As one of my friends put it, '22 is the first meaningless birthday'. And while I'm not quite sure its THAT bad, he's right to some extent. 21 was big, because in everything I am not legal, with all the responsibilities and rights that entails. 20 was big because it was the whole 20's thing. 19 was big because it was the last year as a teenager. 18 was big because I could vote and serve in the military. The ones before that were all looking forward to what was to come...

And now I've hit 22. So many things I've wanted to do or say, that I've left undone. So many things I've started but not finished.

I think to myself, have I done all I could to fulfill my calling in what God wants me to be doing? Am I truly where He wants me to be? Have I truly tried to change those things about myself that frustrate me, like my messiness and procrastination? Have I done what I wanted to in my art, or have I only done what I needed to to just pass?

Where will I be next year? Will I be any different, or will I be asking the same questions again?

I don't know. Sometimes I look at what I've done and I see the gaps, the faults, and the failings, and other times I see the successes and accomplishments. Would I really change things if I were to go back in time and fix mistakes or unfinished projects?

I don't know.

[OK, so I went back and read this post, and while it sounds uber depressed and sad, I'm not really that bad. I guess it was just a combination of being tired and kinda introspective on my birthday. BTW, I had a great time tonight with my friends. We had dinner at the Nobel's and they must have had some kind of contact with the parentals because they had many (ok almost all) of my favorite dishes for dinner tonight. After dinner we played games and just had a blast. Thanks Mom and Dad for the input... it was very much appreciated.]

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I wish

I wish I was here:

But not here:

Notice the grey sky and bare trees?

Spring Break- the halfway point

So here I am, already halfway through another spring break. Since I haven't gone anywhere, I thought I'd make this spring break a productive one... let's recount and see if I've done that so far.

So far I have:

-Spackled, primed and painted two colors of paint in my roommate's new house with his fiance and other friends (the roommate is off singing around the midwest with Capella- oh does he ever owe us!)
-Cut a woodblock and printed 250 invitations for a friend's wedding, by hand with no press.
-Thrown and finished 6 mugs and 2 jars (had a day where nothing I threw I liked/was good therefore the number does not reflect my time spent in the studio)
-Primed and painted the gallery wall for the new show going up (I get paid for that painting at least)
-Started catching up on some homework I let slide (I know, slap on the wrist)

So Here's what I still have to do this spring Break:
-Find paper and print out the information parts of the invitations for the Postema-VanderKooy wedding
-Work on my one research paper for this semester (maybe get it mostly written??)
-Finish the homework I've been stalling on.
-Hem a painting, maybe two. OK, don't ask on this one... it's too hard to explain right now.
-Glaze my ceramics that have been already bisque fired.
-Reflect on turning 22 this coming Sunday... (ahem...cough cough)

Yep, that's about it. Not too bad, and I've alread accomplished a lot, and even if some of these things don't get done it won't be the end of the world. So... for those of you in Sunny anywhere, I wish I was there... Did I mention that the temp was in the 20's... and grey.... woot for a West Michigan Spring Break...

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Oscars

So it was an entertaining evening with the friends, watching the Oscars and chatting about who and what won, and which we agreed with and which we didn't. Overall, it was a consensus that indeed, 'Crash' was the best movie of the year and so deserving of its award. I saw it last week for the first time, and while I know Em talked about it once, I'll say it again: this movie will change your life. So powerful, so well done, and such an amazing cast.

As for the other categories, it was a good mix, with no one film monopolizing everything, which made for a fun time watching.

Hope your weeks go well.
Can't wait to see mom and dad on Thursday!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

it snowed again today

i've been in class for four weeks now, this is the fifth
i don't feel like i've done much work, but i know that i have

spring break is in two weeks

mom and dad are coming up next week
i can't wait

i've submitted my art department scholarship applications
hopefully i'll get a renewal or at least something

justin jonker and i are looking at a duplex for next year
we go to look at it at 1 on saturday afternoon
we still need a third roommate
it's a white on the corner of burton and edgewood

i got two of my drawings from class hung up in the hall
that's big praise from prof. speyers
he scares me sometimes, by being very harsh and critical
but when he gives you praise, you know you've earned it
and my drawing is getting better

i'm not sure what i want to do for spring break
i would love to go home to orlando
plane tickets are expensive and i can't drive down
time in the studio will be good as well though

i have at least three weddings already for this summer
at least that i know i'm getting invited to

i don't believe in giving up things for lent
it's not part of our tradition and kinda meaningless when not heartfelt
my roommate is giving up meat
i decided to add more time of prayer instead

my sociology class is cancled today
it has been raining and freezing all night
i like it that my prof lives in muskegon

mom and dad are coming up next week

spring break is in two weeks

i miss the sun

i'm proposing a show for the downtown gallery
my friend taylor and i want to do it together
keep next october open, at least part of it
it will be unconvential portraits
hopefully our proposal will be accepted
taylor will be doing paintings
i will have ceramic sculptures

it's thursday
i don't have class tomorrow
hooray for the weekend starting early

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The first...

Ok, after a long enough delay, I finally figured out how to get a program that works that will easily hold my photos... the ones I have loaded already are ones Justin Jonker (my roommate on the trip and friend) took with his digital camera, though 'my' photos look very similar and should be coming soon... anyway, with no further ado, here are a few images of Italy to (hopefully) sustain you all for a while longer while I try to organize my trip into a narrative...

The coffered ceiling of the Pantheon... very cool to actually see in person...

Taylor and myself looking at an obelisk... there are numerous of these stolen from Egypt scattered throughout Rome... one of the biggest is in St. Peter's Square.

A Mosaic that was in the Vatican Museum of an early Christian (a very weathly one at that to have the mosaic made of her). There was a matching one of a gentleman who I assume was her husband since they wer done in the same size, style and bakcground... kinda cool to see all the tessera (the little tiles- some with real gold imbedded in them!) make up the larger portrait

"The Scraper" - considered to be 'the' ideal male form, perfect in all proportion... I believe that this is a Roman marble copy of a Greek bronze original. Not much of the oldest bronze statues survive, they were either melted down and turned into other statues, trinkets, or such, or turned into massive sculptures that are now in St. Peters (such as Bernini's canopy over the high altar)

The Fake David- after years in the plaza, the original David was moved to the Academy in Florence, inside away from things like pigeons and stupid tourists... cooincidently, now you have to purchase photos of the 'real' David as no photography is allowed in the Academy. Ironically, there are about a dozen other sculptures in this plaza, and the David is the only one that has been moved indoors; all the others are original and still outside!

Well, I hope this gives you a little bit of relief, knowing that I did indeed go to Italy and these things were actually seen by me and my group.
More to come!

Friday, February 17, 2006

I'm a Porsche!!

Woot woot!!

I'm a Porsche 911!

You have a classic style, but you're up-to-date with the latest technology. You're ambitious, competitive, and you love to win. Performance, precision, and prestige - you're one of the elite,and you know it.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Just a note...

Just a quick note to let you know that I got my pictures back and that I'm in the process of getting them on my computer so I can post them... don't worry, they are coming soon!
Happy Friday!

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Gallery

So I'm sitting at my desk, counting people going in the gallery to see the show "Picturing Faith: religious America in government Photography, 1935-1943" and who should walk in but Aunt Cindy!

She was in GR because Uncle Jack had Oratorio and she was buying a baby present for their new grandbaby, Caleb Jack. She decided to come down and see the show since it has some really cool works (like Dorthea Lange's 'Migrant Mother' and other works by Walker Evans among others) and she read about it in the paper... How fun to see her and catch up.

Just thought I'd let you know that my job is not all boring as I make sure the works of art don't escape (I think my title here is gallery Guard... ).

So hello from her, and now I have to do more reading...


In the effort to put my two cents in, I have one thing to say: "Buy Legos. Lots and lots of Legos."

Support free speech and the freedom to publish about issues that are in need of attention.

Buy Danish.

Ironic that the response to the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammad as violent was the rioting in numerous countries and burning of embassies in Syria and Tehran...

If they are free to depict Jews and Christians as evil, why the double standard?
And don't tell me its because of the representation of Mohammad... he's been depicted throughout history in art. This is an issue of criticism and not being able to handle it...

I'm not racist, prejudiced, angry, or upset at Muslims, I just wish that if they are going to insult other religions, they be able to take criticism of their own...

And "Buy Legos. Lots and lots of Legos"

My two cents... please tell me I can still post this and not get sanctioned...

Monday, January 30, 2006


A new day of a new semester, and oh how time flies. It seems like only yesterday iwas in Italy. I will post on that soon I promise... its amazing how fast things move. Have a good day all...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I found out today that one of my friends from high school, Phil Kinney, passed away in a car accident this past October. It's not that we were best friends, but he was in many of my classes and I knew him fairly well, as well as one can know a fellow student in highschool where your interaction is mainly in class. But at the same time, it really shook me. He was only 21, my age, and yet, now he's gone. I think he was the first from our class to pass away since graduation, and it's just kind of sobering and sad.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Dear Emily,

Hey sis, I know what you mean and I will pray for you if you will do the same for me. At times I get the whole 'I want to do it all, because it interests me and I want to experience more of God's world' and then the ineviatible 'oh shoot, I'm overloaded and I'm slipping' comes in, but then at the same time it's like 'but all of this is great and why can't I just have a few more hours in the day to fit it all in!'

I don't know; for me, there is so much I want to express in my artwork, so many things I want to say, but at the same time, if I don't focus on a single idea (or media) will I just become a 'Jack of all trades, Master of none'? And not just art; writing, sciences, music... would I do an art major if I had to start over? I'm not sure... I still think of all the enjoyment I got from my biology classes, and I often think about what if I had done a Botany major instead?

The worst thing, and like you said not meaning to boast, is that I feel I could have done well in whatever I had chosen because of the gifts God has given to me. We're not limited to a single option, we have been given an embarressment of gifts.

I'm not sure if it will help, but there is a verse in Isiah 41, verse 10 that says:
"So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

I don't think that just means when we are in trouble, I think it means that God is there for us always, and we often tend to only go looking when the times are rough, but we need to remember that he ALWAYS gives us strength when we are working for his glory, even when we are confused.

One more thing, remember the parable of the talents (the metal money ones)? I seem to remember hearing once that it was not a money issue. It was not that they made the money double, but they did something with what they were given (and had consequences for when they did nothing). For us then, as I see it, even if we don't always succeed, if we are trying to do our best with what God has given us, if we are trying to grapple with what we are supposed to be doing, then we are doing what we are called to do.

Not exactly as comforting as it sounds, but just remember, the question of what it means to live a Christian life in service of God is not a new one. After being in Rome and at St. Peters Cathedral, I have a new appreciation for the lives of the Apostles. Now, just look at them, talk about a group of people who failed; I mean, former fishermen and tax collectors, most of whom died in doing what God called them to, spreading the gospel to the world. Think about how they felt, right before they died. They probably thought, 'Man, I goofed up! I was supposed to be bringing people to Christ, and living out my life for God and now my ministry ends because I'm going to die.' But God has bigger plans, and we can't see them. The Apostles died for the Lord, and due to that, people were converted, lives were changed and God was glorified.

Remember Em, that God's eyes are so much bigger than ours, God's plan is perfect for his glorification, and God is so much bigger than we often think. Take hope in that; that what you are doing, whatever it is be it writing, teaching, building houses, sewing up wounds, typing on a computer, even throwing a pot (or anything else in life, even eating, brusing your teeth, or whatever), gives glory to God and is so much a part of his bigger picture because we are being. You are where He wants you because you are being. You bring him Glory every day you wake up and take a breath, not necessarily because of what you do, but because you go and do it, fulfilling your calling as a living, working, created being, made in the image of God.

So I'm not sure how comforting that all is, but remember, God loves you not for what you do or accomplish, but because Em, you are his created child who gives glory to him in your very being.

I love you Em, and I pray you find God's peace in your decisions,
Your Brother

I always wondered...

So I was a little bored this morning and decided to take one of those blog quiz things... huh... Iron Man?

Your results:
You are Iron Man
Iron Man
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
The Flash
Inventor. Businessman. Genius.
Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Ok, so I am home safe adn sound after almost three weeks in Italy, and I have a lot of stories to tell and experiences to share. Right now I'm kinda waiting on getting my pictures developed this week so I can post some pictures with my posts, so for now, just understand that it was amazing, but I'm so glad to be home!

More to be said and related in the days to come!