Tens of students at a local college are suffering from varying degrees of starvation as the school dining service recently decided to cut pizza from its daily meal offerings.
“I just don’t know what else to do,” sobbed one student, his stomach growling in agreement. “I mean, what am I supposed to do? I’ve been living off of French fries and this weird greenish stuff for the past week!”
Upon further investigation, it was found that the “weird greenish stuff” was kale from the cafeteria’s salad bar.
“We are just trying to promote healthy eating,” explained the head chef. “We felt that contantly offering pizza was not encouraging a good -”
At this point, the chef was abruptly cut off as a mob of hangry (a term meaning both hungry and angry) students tackled him, chanting “Pizza! Piece of pizza! Peace for pizza!”
Tackling the chef was not exactly “peace for pizza” but it was one example of the intense activism that is cropping up throughout the student body in light of what is being called “The Great Pizza Famine of 2017.”
“I don’t know, man,” said one student. “2016 was bad enough, so we had high hopes for this year…but this…this is too awful.”
Tweets by upset students such as “Make our cafeteria great again! Bring pizza back! 😖 #ThanksTrump” and “Give us this day our daily pizza!” are becoming a norm.
Time will tell if the school dining coordinators will cave to the demands of their students. In the meantime, the number of students who have succumbed to starvation in the absence of their daily pizza is steadily rising.
In the meantime, YOU can help! One concerned and wealthy community member has started a charity to ease the pain of the crisis! Simply text 555-555-PIZZA to donate 4.5 slices of pepperoni to hungry college students.
Friend: “No, you promised yourself you wouldn’t spend any money.”
Me: “But…George Eliot!”
Me: “Treat yo self?”
Me: *buys it when she isn’t looking*
I am willing to admit I have an addiction to literature…but when it’s half price for beautiful editions of classics, I can hardly be expected to leave the bookstore empty-handed!
To the church that has welcomed me from the first day and has never ceased to show me the care of Christ,
I thank God daily for you. When I enter the doors of the sanctuary, a sigh of relief falls from my lips, for here the love of Christ is tangible. It is found in the beautiful music you all so carefully prepare, the snacks you bring for me knowing that, as a college student, I will always appreciate free food, and the hugs and smiles you greet me with every week.
Last week, our pastor charged the congregation to create an intergenerational church body and I wanted to affirm that you, church, already have made amazing strides in this. This congregation has taught me what it truly means to have a church family; I play piano for both the children’s and adult choirs here, giving me the opportunity to be involved with people outside of my generation. Living on campus at a college is a great experience, but it is so refreshing to be able to spend time with those younger and older. Hearing the laughter of the kids’ choir always lifts my spirits and, similarly, making music alongside those who are more mature provides an opportunity for wisdom and encouragement.
Our pastor also emphasized the importance of mentorship in love and truth. I could not help but smile and almost laugh; if a church has ever exceeded in this realm, this one does. You, my wonderful church family, are an example of the unity, care, and ministry that Paul charged other churches to strive for in his epistles. Personally, I have grown so much here in both faith and fellowship and wanted to commend you all in this little epistle of my own.
Thank you for all that you do; it is my great joy to work, worship, and walk alongside every one of you.
The girl at the piano
Friday, February 24, 2017: A family of four awoke to the terrible realization that what they thought was a luxury resort was actually a university.“When we did not receive a wake up call for our yoga class, we knew something was wrong,” said Açai McBirkenstock, wife of Chase McBirkenstock and mother to daughters Kale (19) and Chia (21).
Upon further investigation, the family found that what they had taken for a concierge was- in fact- the resident advisor of the dormitory they had mistaken for an inn and suites.
“How were we to know?” moaned young Chia. “After all, they had everything we wanted in a resort.”
Miss McBirkenstock and her family perhaps had reason for their mistake. The school, in attempts to live up to their mission statement of “#AmenitiesNotAnxieties,” had all but done away with potential causes of discomfort and stress.
“We wanted to create an atmosphere of ease,” said the school’s dean of admissions. “After all, that’s how it is in the real world and it is our duty as an educational institution to prepare our students for this world.”
The school has taken active steps to promote their goal, as the McBirkenstocks discovered firsthand.
“They had everything you could ever want in a resort,” sighed Açai. “Oil tastings, made-to-order food, hammock rentals, housekeeping…even our dog Princess was welcomed and treated like a queen!”
“Truly a wonderful place,” agreed Mr. McBirkenstock. “It’s really too bad it ended up being just another educational institution.”
Although the McBirkenstocks had to cut their vacation short, students at the university are sure to continue to enjoying their stays and the administration promises to “never rest until their students can only rest.”
Okay real talk. I hate Fridays.
And, to be even more honest, I am not a huge fan of Saturdays either.
But I do LOVE Mondays! Fresh start, strict schedule, etc. I often possess more of a “Thank Goodness It’s Monday” (hence the title of this post) mentality than the more normal “TGIF.”
You see, I love to be constantly working; being busy holds me together. Too much down time and I become frustrated. Relaxing is not restful for me because I literally feel guilt when I am not being productive. It is a problem and I know this is not healthy.
A year or so ago I published an article titled “Rest and Laziness: They are Different!” (https://abookishcharm.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/rest-and-laziness-they-are-different/) Well I am guilty of, as they might have said a decade ago, “talking the talk” but not “walking the walk.”
I am quick to encourage others to take breaks, but I do not easily take them myself. I work so hard and constantly throughout the week that by the time the weekend comes around, I am physically unable to keep up with my pace. I still try and work, but because I am so exhausted I end up not accomplishing what I wanted to and becoming angry at myself.
This is unhealthy and I know it. This messed up workaholic mentality has been my biggest struggle for a long time and I am finally having to confront it.
My ever-wise dad, who has long fought with the same tendency as me, offered these words:
“Sis, you are me. We are the same in this. And you are learning the hard way that you need to take down time. You have to introvert. You need to say no to doing more and just schedule rest time into your day. Find Bible verses on rest and dwell on them; God rested on the seventh day as an example for people like us. Now let me pray for you.”
As always, Dad was right. My hands feel weird not practicing piano right now and my mind is fretting as I write this blog post instead of a homework assignment. But I need to follow the steps my dad suggested.
- Introvert: I realized last night as I zipped out of my dorm for an event that I have not really had any time to myself this year. I love my friends, but I finally am at the point where I know that some time to myself is going to help me recharge. So I cancelled some plans and curled up with a book.
- Say No: I overcommitted myself this weekend, as usual. But another way of “saying no” is to say no to myself and my consuming perfectionism. This morning, I woke up later than I planned and was determined to go practice extra hard to make up for it…but then I said no. Instead, I called my mom and did some quiet time and feel much better for it.
- Schedule Rest Time: One of my friends schedules an hour into her day for chill time. I need to do this. I forget that doing honors institute reading is not down time, even though I enjoy it. As weird as it sounds, I think I might need to make Netflix more of a priority!
- Dwell on Truth: I love verses that encourage hearty work. I write them down in my notes and highlight them in my Bible. However, God mandates rest as well and I need to meditate on these passages in my heart. My faith encourages physical rest and, by pondering these truths, I will also find spiritual rest! I have found Psalm 116 to be especially comforting.
- Pray: Having my dad pray for me over the phone was wonderful; I was filled with such a peace. I often forget to pray, but this is a spiritual self-harm. Prayer leads me to lean on God rather than myself, granting rest to my soul and direction to my outer life; in short, I need to stop overlooking it.
“Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” – Psalm 116:7
Before I conclude and have hot chocolate and introvert time with my amazing roommate, I am going to jot down two final thoughts:
- My favorite animal is a sloth. I could learn a few things from their chillness.
2. One of my favorite Bible stories is of Mary and Martha, but I have always sympathized more with Martha, who is always bustling about preparing her household. Jesus says to this hardworking woman:
“Martha, Martha…you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed…or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:41-42
Mary knew when to rest, taking a break to listen to truth with her whole heart. I am naturally a Martha, but I am committing now to following the steps above so that I may learn to be a Mary…
…and also a little bit of a sloth. I mean, come on, look how adorable they are!!!
Every once in a while, I have what I like to think of as a flash flood of ideas. It seems that inspiration is everywhere and I can hardly jot down one idea before another demands my attention. It’s terrible and wonderful at the same time; I love to dream and brainstorm, but am frustrated when time constraints and real life prevent me from being able to execute all of my ideas.
So, naturally, to cope with the storm of ideas, I wrote some poetry instead of working on them.
A river builds within my mind
Against the dam, too-strict time.
The tide of thought, irresistible-
Drowns me in its ebb and flow,
For it ought to carve a canyon steep
But life restrains this swirling deep,
So current’s force grows storm by storm
As raindrop muses demand form;
They rise and swirl, must soon o’er take
The crumbling barriers we make.
Oh! On the day they’ve held too long,
The gates shall give to waters strong,
And then shall finally freely pour
The ideas held in painful store;
The words will flow and music play,
All the deeper for their delay.