Tuesday, July 25, 2006

again - the job scene

Well, I called about a job I wanted today - offered to somone else, they never even contacted me - and I was qualified.

I called about the second job I have out there and I have an informal interview TOMORROW! It's a 4-hour drive there for an hour interview around 3 and then 4 hours back, but finally something I think I can afford to accept, will enjoy and do well at!

I'll keep you posted no doubt.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

In a nutshell

This is what my thesis is all about. Since I've talked about it so much, I thought I'd give you the basics in a nutshell.

Walter Fisher’s Narrative Paradigm is used to analyze Randy Alcorn’s novel, Safely Home. The analysis demonstrates the benefit in the role of the cultural broker in crossing boundaries from culture to culture. Fisher’s paradigm shows arguments for utilizing a cultural broker in a variety of situations through narrative rationale. The analysis concludes that Alcorn’s novel provides readers with narrative rationality and validity in the role of the cultural broker.

Thesis Dedication

For my sisters who have inspired me. Their joy in others and inability to see difference as something that is wrong along with their desire to love and be loved touches my heart. Thank you for not only being my little sisters, but also my friends. I love you.
I dedicate this work to the Lord. I still do not know why He chose to bring me to Bethel University and the Frozen Tundra of Minnesota, but here I am. I am eager to see how He uses this work in my life and the lives of others to teach us to grow, to be open and learn to walk the line between cultures, deeply enjoying both sides. All glory and honor to Him.


Yup, that's right. That is the official title of my thesis. Aren't you excited? I had to give a copy to the school library so you will be able to check it out online through interlibrary loan anyday now. FUN!

Anyway, I really wanted to share one of my favorite parts of my thesis with you all. Here I will share my acknowledgements (they are about 3 pages long) and I'll post my dedication in a bit. This was a long, ardous process as you have all heard and these people made it all better and worth the while. Thanks! (read the BAM post prior to this one, it'll help a bit)

With gratitude to all those around me who listened to my various ramblings throughout this process. You are an untold treasure in my life. Words seem trivial in comparison to how you have all touched my heart over the past two years. Consider yourselves hugged. May I offer a few more sincere “ramblings” of gratitude that will hopefully show everyone the story that you have helped narrate in my life. With tears of joyous thanksgiving to the following:
· My Mom, Julia Thompson, as you let me ramble about the misery and joy of graduate school, even though you already knew because you yourself walked this road not only as an adult learner but also as a mother, a teacher and a wife.
· The rest of my family who loves me regardless of my pedigree: my dad, Kenneth Thompson who supported me with prayers, car advice and the occasional loan; my sisters, Sarah-Ruby and Angela, more about you later; Gran, Margaret Lewis and Grandad, James Thompson both of whom I tried to keep in touch with through my letters and pictures of my Frozen Tundra adventures. You all put up with my frazzled ramblings or absenteeism as I tried to focus on the task at hand. I love you more than words can begin to describe. God moved me far away, but know that my heart is always at home with you.
· My Minni Friends, who listened to non-communicative communication ramblings, what lifesavers you all were! Dawn, Chris, Jeff (the laptop was a Godsend, still trying to dig to China under the house?), Mark, Deb, Evan (thanks for the house and laundry), Brian and Bethany (the basement was a blessing). You offered diversions when desired as well as focus when needed.
· Lisa Fensterman and Julie Smith for talking out loud with me as well as listening to me ramble to my non-responsive laptop. You two encouraged me. Lisa, you kept me going (and in the library – or Market Square—or abandoned classroom) when I wanted to quit and run screaming from the whole thing, thank you for the proverbial slap in the face when needed.
· My friends across the country, who, depending on their time zone, heard from me when I most needed a study diversion or help staying awake on the drive home from the school. Sometimes you even danced a little “Y” with me to help abate the stress of the moment. Thank you Texas Laura, Andrea, Shari, Clint, Carrie and Ben Small of the Coney Island Smalls.
· One of my bosses, Ann Hagerman, who believed in me and allowed me flexibility while cheering me on and encouraging me to share my new-found knowledge with the 6 East Trauma Unit.
· My Cohort – you are the best part of this entire program, you have all impacted my life and I pray for each of you to hear the voice of God calling you to the next chapter in your story.
· The rest of the Trio who encouraged and prayed for one another, even when some finished first: Lynnae and Beth.
· Sterling College, who sent me North to the Frozen Tundra with blessings and prayers and still allows me to return as one of the family. Thank you Marge, Don, Dennis, Melanie, David and Connie. Go Warriors!

I would be remiss if I did not make one final rambling…BAM!

Where IS the bam?

You may have noticed that whilst (I love that word) my blog is titled, There's No Place Like Home, my blog addy is whereisthebam.

This, my friends, is the story of the bam.

I was in my second year of grad school. My favorite part of the program was the cohort system, so I went through the two-year program with mostly the same classmates. We were sitting in a class with one prof, whom I just loved, such a dry sense of humor, and he was talking about how we didn't need to worry and we had plenty of time to come up with our thesis topic, or some such thing.

That's when I sorta, well, lost it. My remark to his remark went something like this. . .

"See now, that's what you all keep telling us. All the professors keep telling us 'don't worry, you have plenty of time, no need to focus on that now,' and the all of sudden - BAM! (insert lound slapping on the desk) we have to know and we have to know RIGHT NOW. I need more parameters than, 'don't worry, we'll let you know.'"

The whole class jumped and it was what I will now be remembered for amonst my classmates. Great. So, I ran with it. The final presentation for grad school included several comments on my part about 'the BAM.' I refer to the BAM as that moment when you finally get it. The light goes on and you finally know something. You know what you are doing, where you are going, how you are going to get there, any number of things. The BAM is a glorious thing. I had a most glorious BAM just two days ago. Tuesday evening I picked up the final, signed, bound copies of my thesis. I'm done. Completely done. What an amazing feeling. It was the best BAM moment of my grad career, well, that and commencement.

Commencement. AMAZING! As we walked into the hall before entering the auditorium, we heard thunderous applause. It was all the professors in their academic regalia applauding US. It was breathtaking, really. Then, as I walked across the stage to the sound of my name and had my Master's hood bestowed upon me, my classmates hollared, "BAM!" Then, finally, as I walked down the steps, heading back to my seat, my friends and sisters in the front row, held up the backs of their programs where they had written out "B-A-M-!" It was glorious! I couldn't stop smiling, as you can see. One of my sisters even had that photo made into US postage stamps for my birthday. It was great!

So, now you know where the BAM is in my life these days. I was beginning to wonder, but it's all over and life is good. Now if I can find the BAM of a new job that will not squelch my gifts, talents and passions. hmmm, suggestions?

Have I mentioned . . .

that I hate looking for a job. Just had another lovely rejection, really, it was quite nice. They knew that the salary would be an issue and felt that my gifts and talents would be squelched in this position, but they had a lot of fun interviewing me. Yea, just what I'm looking for - fun interviews that lead to no jobs! Hooray!

ARgh. I still have two in the hopper currently, we shall see.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

we've all already seen it . . .

but I can't stand it. I have to link to this.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


This is unbelievable! Now that someone's already done it, I doubt that I could make it work, but THIS is crazy insane fun, kinda like Alice Cooper.

Job front

Well, I have an interview here in the Cities Thursday morning. I've applied for one in NW Iowa and that process will begin next week they tell me. I found out today that I did not get the job in Australia. I'm a bit bummed by that one, really, but life moves along . . .

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Amy's posting another picture! Make it all stop!

No worries, I'm heading for Iowa in a matter of hours so you'll be free of all photo posts, at least until Monday.


Here a few sites from downtown. The Stone Arch Bridge was one of the options for the new Monopoly game (more info here, I admit that I kinda want this version). The other shot is just fun!

God Bless America!

Well, I have written this a time or two and hopefully it will post this time. ARGH! I celebrated the holiday here in the ol' US of A on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday - full of food and fireworks. Jeff's family and one of Karissa's sister came up for the weekend, hence the people you have probably not seen here before. The gold star fireworks are from Minneapolis and the other two shots are from St. Paul.

Japanese Gardens

There are two Japanese Gardens that I am aware of here in the Cities. I've now been to both -- hooray! Here are some photos of the one down south that Andrew & I went to on Tuesday.

Square Thingy

Yup, I had a square thingy on the right side of my face. It didn't hurt, it didn't itch, it was pretty much just skin colored. But it was SQUARE, which I found to be terribly odd. I saw a dermatologist whose nurse used the "B" word - "biopsy." Made me a bit nervous, I was really expecting something like, "Oh, that's just a such-n-such, no worries!" Ya.

So anyway, that was a week ago and I called for my results today and it's nothing. Hooray! First the dr. made a remark about it being something most adults over 40 get. She then must have noted my age (NOT close to 40) and modified her statement to include late 30's (STILL not my age). Whatever, who cares. I'm good, besides the bandaids I've been wearing on the side of my face for a week.

Insert sigh of relief here.

What shall I say today?

I haven't done a real blog entry of any substance in what seems like ages. It's time, I'm just not sure what to say. I've had much to say but am aware that not everyone wants or needs to hear what I might blather on about and really, do we need more blathering out on the web? I think not (and yet continue to blather away right here). Ignore.

I google me and get nothing. My name is too common. That's sorta sad, but also not at all. I understand that employers and prospective employers look up people on myspace and blogs, etc. I guess they just can't find me and I like that thought. While I know the internet isn't personal, it's different in a personal sort of way. It gives me some measure of annonimitiy, however, if I really wanted it that way, I'd start a new one and tell no one about it and write deep probing dark and dreary secrets there so no one knew they came from me.

I've thought about it though.


I'm sitting at work looking at two plain clothes officers downt he hall that for some reason make me laugh. Sometimes at work I experience or witness things that previously were only a part of my TV/movie watching life and to see it in reality makes me giggle. Some days it just makes me terribly sad. Right now, I choose to hold back my giggling.

I'm done for now. I am trying to write and there's too much going on at work.

I'm going to Iowa for a long weekend to meet my parents. Should be fun. I mean, as fun as Iowa gets, right? Maybe I should be careful? I just applied for a job in Iowa.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A little singin' and a little preachin'

Well, bless Willie's heart.

Church is a part of many people's formative years and sticks in our hearts and minds in many ways. I bet it was a great service, too.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Hugs for all!

It's so cheesy, but true, "Friends are Friends Forever." This is me, Beth and Lynnae after the party.

A night out -- hooray!

Fun in the limo and with Don the limo driver. Did you know that if a car is registered as a limo the license plate starts with "LM?"

Formal fun

Fun pictures from the formal affair. The restaurant we ate at is called the Carousel, hence the horse in the background. It also has a rotating portion but our group was too big to sit there.

Formal Farewell

My friend, Beth, moved to Kansas this past weekend so we got all gussied up and hit the town. We even rented a limo to surprise her. It was so much fun! We picked up Karissa on the way so she didn't make the early group photos. But wasn't it fun! Don't you wish you could've been there?!

My town

This is a shot of the St. Paul Cathedral in St Paul, MN. That's the Minneapolis skyline in the haze behind. What a grand view, don't you think? (This is a replica of the St. Paul Cathedral in London.)

Bocce fun for all!

I bought a bocce set on Thursday and had friends over to try it out on Friday. We don't necessarily follow correct rules, but we had a grand time. This is our measuring technique in action and Mark guarding the neighbor's window so it doesn't get broken with any wild bocce tosses. The next shots include some fun action and team shots. The first time I played bocce was when I moved here about three years ago. Some guy I'd never met was among the players and his dog ran in front of me just as I let go of the ball and the ball hit it in the head causing it's jaw to get momentarily stuck in it's coller and we all thought it was having a seziure. It was awful! BTW: The dog is a Brittney Spaniel and so the guy thought he'd name it something French and went with Ami since dogs are man's best friend. Serious, he named his dog Amy.

More bocce fun

Raspberry Pickin'

More photos for you enjoyment (because I'm sure that you love them all). I'm learning more and more about my camera and that's exciting. So anyway. . .

I went to a friend's home for lunch after church yesterday and he has a raspberry patch for which he is well known in our circle of friends. His job is to always bring some delicious and delectable berry dessert. YUMMY! I'm really grown to appreciate raspberries, let me tell you. LOVE 'EM!

So, as I invited a couple of friends to join us, Joy exclaimed, "Mark with the raspberries!?" She was almost in the car before I could say yes. (just kidding, well sorta)

So here's the fun that we had before we started lunch. We ate the berries for appetizers, with the meal and then had a raspberry sorbet for dessert. Have I mentioned, YUMMY!

Now while strawberries are probably my favorite berry, I don't know anyone with a strawberry patch, so I thrououghly enjoy the raspberries I'm able to get. What's your favorite berry?