Last week was the perfect storm of tests, papers, presentations, etc. But it’s over now. I’m off to Colorado tomorrow to visit my friend Morgan, and I’m excited. I’ve heard a lot about Colorado and about the “Garden of the Gods” so I hope we get to see that and check out the surrounding area. It’s supposed to be a rainy 46 degrees tomorrow, which is different from the sunny 80 degrees here, so we’ll see how this goes. I think that’ll be the only time it rains while I’m there, so there’s that.
Today I hung out with my pastor Dee, and that was a pleasant time, as I’ve come to expect from him. That guy is like the Muhammed Ali of listening. The best. We talked about how we’ll have to play croquet (his favorite pastime) and go on a hike in La Jolla (my favorite pastime).
This evening I went to Art’s apartment and heard a marvelous couple talk about their life’s work. Bob Wheeler and his wife Flo have spent decades researching the life of Jim Thorpe, a Native American Gold medalist Olympic athlete who had his medals taken away from him on the suspicion that he was paid as a professional athlete.
After copious interviews and hundreds of hours of research, they found the rule book of the 1912 Olympics and proved Thorpe’s right to his medals.
Now, Bob is gathering signatures on a petition to move Thorpe’s remains from Pennsylvania (where he was buried and built a memorial at the request of his wife) to the Sac & Fox tribe burial ground in Oklahoma. It was Thorpe’s wish to be buried in Oklahoma on the land of his tribe and it is his sons’ wish as well.
Read about it here and sign the petition if you feel compelled:
The Writer’s Symposium by the Sea is an annual event that takes place in February on PLNU’s campus. The head of the Journalism department and my Sunday school teacher, Dean Nelson, brings in good writers to talk about their craft.
On Wednesday night I sat beside Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle, at dinner in the President’s Dining Room before she spoke that night in Brown Chapel. As a building manager, I’ve set up many a meeting in PDR, so it was kinda cool being on a guest there with the literature department. She was lively, she could give a 10 minute explanation for a one sentence question. She almost hit me a few times when she was waving her arms in the middle of telling a story.
She grew up in the midst of extreme poverty with parents whose character defy any single label. During the interview with Dean Nelson, Walls talked about how she never doubted she was loved by her father even though he was an alcoholic who lacked certain basic parental skills. Her mother is passive and complex, and Walls has come to a point of acceptance toward her.
When she and her siblings were growing up there was a time where they went hungry because her mother withheld food from them. Walls said that she doesn’t need to forgive her mother, because her mother is damaged. Instead, she accepts her.
Walls talked about how she chooses to see the positivity of experiencing extreme poverty, because now she knows she can survive anything. She said that she used to run from her past, and it hounded her. When she confronted her fear of it, and wrote her memoir, The Glass Castle, it purged her of that fear. Writing The Glass Castle was her therapy.
Walls is incredibly humble. I enjoyed talking with her and listening to her share her unique perspective. My life was enriched by the way she spoke about her pain.
Nico Vega aiming for wider reach
Los Angeles-based trio set to open for Imagine Dragons on Saturday
Here’s my second piece for U-T San Diego. Aja Volkman, the woman I interviewed, was a kind person who made me feel like I was checking in with a friend to see how her road trip was going. Instead, I was talking to someone who will play for thousands of people on Saturday. Near the end of our conversation she talked about how most people in the world have somebody who loves them, so we also can find that lovable trait in them. I was encouraged by this thought.