Saturday, April 27, 2013

the river

 "And doesn't he sometimes wonder whether he has gained most or lost most by learning his trade?" ~Mark Twain 

Please read this essay. It's just wonderful and rather thought provoking too :) 

 I can't remember the last time I just watched a person dancing and found myself in awe of their beautiful movement quality. I almost always start breaking apart their technique and noticing even subtle flaws. . . . And have a I gained or lost by learning my trade? 

Friday, April 26, 2013

bruised feet

"I have heard of the abuse that dancers feet get. It's somewhat ironic to think that under those delicate ballet slippers are battered and bruised feet."

poetic thought from a non-dancer* (and a friend of mine) 

*partially related note - It's interesting to take note of the way dancers and athletes refer to "normal" people. My ballet teacher calls non-dancers "civilians" and a friend who plays water polo says "NARPs" to refer to Non-Athletic Regular People.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

frozen yogurt

I meet with several girls on Monday nights for a girl's Bible Study. This week we decided to go to Menchie's instead of meeting on campus :)

I've really enjoyed getting to know these girls (and few more who weren't with us the night we took the picture) and Menchie's is probably my favorite off-campus place to go with friends. It was a great night :) 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

facial expressions and form

So I rarely ever raise my hand in English (American Realism), but, almost every time I make a facial expression, my teacher calls on me. (For those of you who don't know me, I make a lot of facial expressions. I've just always let whatever I'm feeling or thinking be displayed through my facial expressions. It's kind-of like my own version of just speaking my mind. Sometimes it's a problem. Anyway . . ..) I had already talked quite a bit in class, but I smiled at the end of class (if nothing else, this class will teach me to control my facial expressions . . . maybe) and so my teacher immediately asked me what I was thinking. Of course I was thinking about ballet. We were talking about Henry James' story The Beast in the Jungle and it seemed so very much like Balanchine's choreography to me. So, even though I was the only "bunhead" in the class, I spent the next few minutes talking about how Balanchine used the format of ballet, but, instead of using the steps to create a particular story, he used the beauty of the steps themselves as the subject of his choreography. In a similar way, nothing at all happens in The Beast in the Jungle, but James' beautifully crafts the English language into an intriguing tale of absences. My teacher summarized it by saying that both artists focus more on the form than the story being told. Yay for always finding a way to talk about ballet in my "academic" classes :)

I know this a major "story basket" post, but I just wanted to talk about my facial expression "issue" in English and also how Balanchine relates to Henry James  . . . so I did :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013


"If we want God to be out of this conversation – aka, 'The White House isn’t your church', or 'Don’t impose your religion on politics' – fine. But then on what basis can we assert the premise the whole movement is founded on: humans have basic, God-endowed inalienable rights? Without a common Creator, this world isn’t about equality, it’s about who wins. So if we don’t want God to be part of this conversation, fine. But in that case, let’s drop the language about equality; there’s no basis for it." ~Nicholas McDonald

*This quote was taken from an article on the gay marriage debate. However, I think it applies to a lot more than just defining marriage. 

where I am found

"Take my life 
I lay it down 
At the cross 
Where I am found . . ." 

Hillsong United, Arms Open Wide

"found" - my empty life gains eternal meaning at the cross 

"found" - I hope that others find me at the foot of the cross, I hope that in that way I can be a light to them

Friday, April 19, 2013

everything that is in between

The Kennedy Center is working on a musical about the "Little Dancer" :) :) :)

 It's always been one of my mom's favorite sculptures and I've grown to adore it as well.

When my siblings and I were much younger we used to go the Bel Air library (we called it "the one with the train") every week to get new books for homeschooling . . . and books to read after school because we all just loved books. The library had a little store right by the entrance. One day, Miriam and I noticed that they sold pins with famous pieces of artwork on them. One of the pins was the "Little Dancer". We decided we had to get it for mom. We talked to Zach and Joel and we all saved up our money. (It was very secretive. We had to go up to our room and whisper about it so that mom wouldn't find out.) A few weeks later, Zach and Joel distracted mom at the library while Miriam and I snuck over to the library store and bought the pin. We were all so excited to get something meaningful for Mama that she didn't know about. I still remember handing the pin to her on her birthday and watching as she opened it.

Anyway (enough nostalgia for one day), you can read about the musical here. I particularly liked this paragraph where the director was talking about her research and ideas on the statue.

“'One of the interesting things for me is that the sculpture captures everything that is in between,' she said. 'Between girlhood and adulthood; between ballet positions; a piece of art that exists between classical and modern.' Degas, of course, is an important character, too, and as Ahrens observed, Marie interested him purely as a subject. 'He was a monk in art,' she said. 'He had no romantic relationships with women that were ever written about. He’s obsessed with her in that he finds some spirit in her.'" (Marks, "Kennedy Center Plans . . .") 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

bug :)

My sister is so sweet :) Could Erie be a little closer to Kingsville? 

forgotten ideas

"Every composer knows the anguish and despair occasioned by forgetting ideas which one had no time to write down." 
~Hector Berlioz 

That moment when you come up with a brilliant sentence, but, by the time you find a pen and paper, you can't remember it at all. You go back through your thoughts again and again, but you just can't find the sentence anywhere. Yeah, that happens in choreography too. Insert "choreographer" into the quote above and you get a glimpse of my life over the past year. Okay, that may be a bit dramatic, but I can say that I have frequently met with this experience. I just start dancing to music and then, at some point, I create some movement that I really like. I stop and try to repeat it and can't seem to quite replicate it. Sometimes I do manage to replicate it, but then I try to do again a few days later and it doesn't feel right anymore. I'm beginning to think that improvisation would actually be a lot less exasperating than choreography . . . 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

the danger in using limiting descriptors to define beauty

So I had some thoughts about the newest Dove video circulating facebook, but I didn't really think them through or even try to write them out because I needed to move on to my obligations for the day. However, this evening a friend shared this article on facebook which touched on some of my thoughts and added a lot more. Basically, if you have a few minutes, it's worth reading.

a letter without postmark

Dear Grand Allegro, 

I'm beginning to think that the prospects of me meeting you again soon are almost non-existent. I know I need to focus more on the rest of my ballet technique, but I desperately miss flying across the room with giant, soaring jumps. Each term, I keep hoping the next teacher will focus on you or least consistently give one of your combinations at the end of class; and, each term, it doesn't happen. Perhaps, this summer will be filled with jumps? 

Until then, know that you have not been forgotten and are greatly missed, 


Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Goodbye little polka-dotted bag. You have been quite useful over the past five years, but your ever-increasing rip and large ink stain have finally rendered you unusable so we must part ways. 

Don't worry, you'll be replaced by another tote bag that will also be stuffed with too many books on a frequent basis. The new tote bag will eventually break under stress too and I doubt it will last as long as you have lasted.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Monster University

Please spend a few minutes appreciating this website :)

I know that Disney is looking to make money from the merchandise (the t-shirts are adorable) and I'm usually the first one to rant about Disney and the morals (or lack there-of) presented in their films. However, I think this site is rather creative and I think it would have a been a lot of fun to be one of the site designers. I may have spent half an hour looking at all of the pages on the site :P

Also, MU is Monster University AND Mercyhurst University and Monster University has front gates that look very similar to the Mercyhurst front gates . . . okay, I'm done now.

in order that God may be glorified

"The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."  
~1 Peter 4:7-11, ESV

Saturday, April 13, 2013

April Rain Song

Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain. 
-Langston Hughes

Easter 2013

finding eggs

counting eggs

and lots of puppy love 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

thank you for today

Thank you Lord for the smell of the air after a spring rain.

Thank you Lord for the wind blowing through my hair.

Thank you Lord for having time to talk about life with friends.

Thank you Lord for the last homemade chocolate peanut butter egg.

Thank you Lord for the first quiet afternoon I've had in quite a long time.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013

social media

Something to read . . .

I'm not saying I totally agree with getting rid of Facebook or Instagram (and I don't know that the author does either). Facebook is one of the primary ways that I keep up with many dear friends and family members from home and sometimes I really love looking through their pictures and seeing the highlights of their lives. However, I do think this an important article to read and reflect upon because sometimes I also find myself scrolling aimlessly through Facebook when I could be taking a few minutes to encourage a friend.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

a letter without postmark

Dear Dove chocolates,

Thank you for your deliciousness, but pleeeaaase stop telling me that "daydreaming is free" on the inside of your wrappers.

Honestly, daydreaming isn't free at all. It's enslaving.

It teaches me to create my own plans for my future instead of trusting the Lord's plan for my future.
It teaches me to look to myself for fulfillment instead filling myself in the glory of my Savior.
It teaches me to create a "new", comfortable reality for myself instead of looking for ways to be a light in the reality Christ has given to me.
It allows me to entertain the thought that something could be more beautiful that the gospel at work in my heart and the world right now --- and that will NEVER be true.

thanks for making chocolate though,

Rachel :)