I'm on the pink team. At least, I'm wearing a pink t-shirt and several other girls my age are wearing pink t-shirts and we're all cheering for each other. So it must be some kind of game. There are several other teams with different-colored shirts. We're lining up in the sunshine of an Iowa summer day, in a big vacant field. I can't find my group because there is a younger age group wearing pink shirts, also, and I thought I was with them until I realized they were ten-year-olds. I find my group and we start some sort of scavenger hunt. I have no idea what's going on, so I'm not helping the team out very well. They get irritated with me. Fast forward: in a cabin by a lake. My parents are hosting the pink team. Apparently the other pink girls are total snots, because they kept criticising stuff in my parents' house and my mom got upset.


written by Ruthie @ 6:53 PM   0 comments
I have been rejected by three of the four graduate schools I applied for. I have an interview with the fourth school tomorrow morning. I am terrified that during the interview I will seem desperate for them to accept me and they'll get weirded out. The truth is, though: I am desperate. This interview is the last chance for my plans to work out the way I want them to work out. I don't know what I'll do with myself if I don't go to grad school next fall.

I was talking to Simba (or are you Nala? I can't remember) about this on chat this morning. Teachers and professors and guidance counselors and parents push us to make a solid future plan. Everything has to be planned out far in advance, and if we don't have a plan, we're seen as irresponsible or unfocused. Well, what if we're not irresponsible-- what if life decided to dump on us and we're left with no choice but to drift for awhile? I'm worried that, if my fourth school says they don't want me, I will be a drifter . I like having my life planned out. I like knowing I will have a place and a purpose for a few years. I want that security. Not having it is giving me an ulcer. All I know now is that my future is in the hands of the people who will listen to me butcher a piano sight reading excerpt tomorrow.


written by Ruthie @ 7:02 PM   7 comments
Not Here
Things that are hard to find in Japan:
  • solid deoderant
  • tampons
  • turkey of any kind
  • refried beans
  • insulation
  • dill weed
  • tortilla chips
  • cranberries
  • robustly-flavored cheese
  • big cars (like SUVs or vans)
  • decent Mexican food


written by Ruthie @ 9:14 PM   5 comments
Women of God
Proverbs 31:25-31
Why are you in school? It true that you are here to learn about history, math, and Japanese. But more importantly, you are in school to learn how to be an adult. You should learn how to work well with other people, how to meet deadlines, how to handle many tasks, etc. Your mother and father and grandparents and teachers all began to become adults in high school and college. I also started to “grow up” into an adult in high school. Even now I am still growing into a woman. You are now girls, but you will soon become women. Becoming an adult—and becoming a woman—is a long process that continues your whole life. You are now beginning the process of changing from girl to woman.
As an adult—as a woman—you must be many things. You must be wise with money, you must be strong enough to get through hard times, and you must work hard to live a comfortable life. Are you ready to do all of these things now? Probably not yet. But you are beginning to learn about these things in school and at home. What kind of woman do you want to be? Have you thought about your character as a woman? Have you thought about how you should behave as an adult and as a woman? What is a woman of God like? The Bible gives us an idea of what God thinks is a good woman. Let’s look at that today:
  • v. 25 A godly woman is strong: not just physically, but mentally and spiritually. She can handle any problem because she relies on God.
  • v. 26 A godly woman is wise: she knows when to speak and when to be silent. She knows to choose her words carefully.
  • v. 27 A godly woman is responsible: she knows what is needed and she does it. She cares for those she is responsible for.
  • v. 30 A godly woman fears the Lord. She knows and follows God’s laws. She wants to serve God.
Are you a godly woman? Are you the kind of person that is described in this passage? Are you strong? Are you wise? Are you caring? Do you fear the Lord? If you are not like this now, think about how you should change your behavior. Let’s all try to become women of God.

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written by Ruthie @ 9:50 PM   3 comments
I just had the most amazing breakfast: French toast made with thick bread and cinnamon, a bunch of bite-size, really sweet strawberries (Japanese strawberries are much sweeter than the American variety), and a really good powder-cappuccino mix. I think the best part of the breakfast was that I ate it at 10:30AM. I guess that makes it more of a brunch. Anywho, it was a nice feeling to be starting my day AFTER the sun had risen.
written by Ruthie @ 9:20 PM   2 comments
"You're so tall," they say. "Tall, like bamboo," they say.
And like bamboo
(hunched over, bent by the wind, leaves quivering)
I wait for the typhoon to pass.
But I forget
(as I am pulled and stretched by the gale)
bamboo bends, but does not often break
(like flimsy cherry blossoms
floating and fluttering and leaving the tree
at a breath).
Bamboo bends, then returns to
its full and upright position,
tall and strong and green,
growing toward the sky.


written by Ruthie @ 11:50 PM   0 comments
Santa's throne, now vacant:

Since when did Americans serve onion rings on a pole??? At Red Robin. They were delicious.

The snow at my grandparents' farm. They've lived here for forty years.


written by Ruthie @ 6:47 PM   1 comments
Now that I'm a teacher, I find myself wanting to apologize to all my former teachers for being a brat at times.
  • To Mrs. Avant: I'm sorry I got so annoying that you had to send me to the principal's office. I never again tickled Patrick after that, I was so scared of being sent back to the principal.
  • To that music teacher in second grade, I'm sorry I made such a fuss about the color of my dress. I sincerely thought of it as red, and I didn't yet know the word for magenta, and you didn't call magenta anyway, so I'm chalking it up as one big misunderstanding.
  • Mr. Schmidt: I'm sorry I threw a paper airplane in your class. And generally disrespected you. Even though you were a really weird dude, I should've been more polite.
  • Monsieur Vreeland: everyone in that class made fun of you under your breath. We knew you were a pushover and we took advantage of that. I am so sorry. Even when you were irritated at us for talking or cutting up, we snickered when you tried to sound angry. I know now, as a teacher, how frustrating it is to be laughed at when trying to be serious and in control.
  • Mr. Sweeny-- yes, Mr. Sweeny-- even though you were a HUGE jerk and probably a pedophile, I still shouldn't have given you so much attitude. I thought I was better than sliced bread and that you were cramping my style by making me an alto. I should've just done what you told me to do. But you were a huge jerk in many other regards, so I consider us even.
  • DMG, Dr. Woolie and Dr. Holm: I was a HUGE jerk. Man, I look back at how big a brat I was and cringe. I should have been more respectful to you. I should have listened more. I should have held my tongue so many times. So. Many. Times.
To all my former teachers who ever had a behavior problem with me: I am sorry.


written by Ruthie @ 9:44 PM   0 comments
Back in Japan
A few days before my day-long journey across the International Date-Line began, I was sort of dreading coming back to Japan. I wanted to stay in the comfort of vacation time, family, friends, greasy food, and TV. But once I was back here, I felt totally comfortable, familiar, even a little relieved. I so appreciate the Japanese hospitality and grace when it comes to serving the public. I know I have said this before several times, but I feel like that is what impresses me most about Japan. I also think the Japanese sense of manners and politeness is something Americans could really learn from.

Things I'm Enjoying About Being Back:
Having my own space.
Feeling like I'm "home," weirdly enough.
Walking more.
40 degree weather.
Healthy food.

Things I'm Already Missing:
Not working.
Parents time.
Dog time.
Aubrey and Becky time.
Grandma time.
Mexican food.

Pictures of Christmas break coming soon.
written by Ruthie @ 12:57 AM   2 comments
2007 Highlights
January 2: Happy New Year.
January 24: How many spiders am I swallowing in my sleep?
February 27: I wrote haiku in Japanese.
March 11: I still hate flourescent lights.
April 6: HOME!
April 28: Even in a very flattering picture, I look like Jack Osbourne.
May 14: Birthday.
June 9: Went to Tokyo.
June 29: I absolutely hate rainy season.
July : I can now understand when people around me are talking about me.
August 29: I blogged about my trip to China.
September 12: I took the GRE.
September 26: I became a millionaire.
October 9: I had a gastro-endoscopy. In Japan. Wide awake.
November 6: I went to Hiroshima.
December 3: SUMO!
written by Ruthie @ 10:48 PM   0 comments

Name: Ruthie
Home: Japan
About Me: I want to know who God is and what his truth is. I love getting lost in beautiful music and cloudless star-filled skies, especially in the fall. I hate being bored. I like big cities. I want to travel the world.
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