from such great heights

verdant

Posted in life by chapwoman on February 27, 2010

There is a two-month window in San Luis Obispo when everything is green. When I wake up and look at the window, the greenness of Bishop’s Peak contrasts a town full of gray.  The hills behind Cal Poly start bleeding green into the sky. The once-yellow grasses on the side of the road are so fresh and so full of life. It is absolutely beautiful.

I must do a Poly Canyon hike before it fades again.

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Posted in life by chapwoman on February 16, 2010


freshly-washed face, eye drops, coffee

three things that make you look more awake than you actually are.

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Posted in life by chapwoman on February 14, 2010

at the cross You beckon me
draw me gently to my knees,
and I am lost for words
so lost in love,
I am sweetly broken,
wholly surrendered.

my indian drum

Posted in life by chapwoman on February 11, 2010

When I was in Mrs. Walker’s fourth grade class, we made Native American drums using crinkled butcher paper.  We crinkled the paper and crinkled the paper until all the wood fibers had broken apart, making a soft sort-of fabric in the end.  Then we drew on the tight surface of the drums held together by quilting rings, our own interpretation of a tribal design after reading Island of the Blue Dolphins.

I don’t know why I woke up this morning with this random memory in my head. But I remember it vividly, as my ten-year-old self, coloring my drum, sitting at my desk, next to Brent Van Maanan.

As I intently colored inside the lines, Brent said to me, “You always try to make things look perfect.”
“No, I don’t. I can color quickly…See?”

I colored more carelessly with my marker strokes, ignoring the black outlines of my design.

“Yeah, but you’ll just go back and fix it later.”
“No I won’t.”

I left the drum at my desk and started talking with Elise and Kelsey.

But after Brent scribbled over his drum and ran outside for recess, I stayed behind, and finished coloring in the lines so that no marker stroke was left astray.

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midterm review

Posted in life by chapwoman on February 10, 2010


An invitational is to basketball players
And dress rehearsal is to broadway stars
And performance appraisals are to business executives
As midterm reviews are to architecture students.

I have been attached to my studio project for the last week, pumping out computer images of my design and gluing pieces of chipboard together and bonding with my classmates. My ideas get lost in the process. They get lost in a to-do list. But thankfully, God has provided me a social life while still managing this ridiculous architecture lifestyle. Like having guests over for dinner, and going to tea parties on the weekend, and sitting with friends on the lawn of Engineering North talking about everything BUT school.

In the last week I have realized why I enjoy architecture, how to-do lists can be dangerous, and how intense the headaches feel when you stare at a computer for longer than 8 hours in the same day. Lord, I pray I don’t look at a computer for longer than 8 hours a day when I start working. That would really make me feel out of whack.

What I love most about reviews, however, are the relationships strengthened in the process. The frenzy of preparation and delirium after midnight bring us closer than most family members.  I value the late night giggle sessions and spiritual conversations with my dear friend Anna. I value youtube-watching sessions and Facebook gawking with Christian and Lindsey. I even value the insults and whines thrown across the room from Zach’s corner.

I’m presenting my design for the Neurobiological Research Center in one hour.
Fingers crossed that my work paid off.