National Splurge Day is real. Treat Yo’ Self.
National Splurge Day is real. Treat Yo’ Self.
This pretty much sums up my life
A Room with a View: My Summer Home in Morningside:
So a few of you may be interested in my living accommodations for the summer so here’s a little photo-blog about it. I reside on the East Campus on the Morningside of Columbia University.Each suite consists of four rooms (three single rooms and one double-occupancy room making for five persons per suite). The suites have a kitchen with gas stove and dishwasher, a pretty spacious living room, and a bathroom (maybe I’ll post photos another day). The bathrooms are cleaned by Columbia housing on Mondays!
I’m definitely not in Blount hall anymore (residence hall at UAB). You can actually walk around in my room and no longer do I look at some sketchy apartment building and a Subway restaurant but instead get to see some beautiful skyline. The suites are two stories with living room and kitchen upstairs with bedrooms and bathroom downstairs.
So I can’t really complain about my housing situation…except when the elevator breaks (I live on the 20th floor).
This week was a hectic one. Started my internship and GRE prep classes. No more nights out on the town during the week…just long days and lots of coffee.
To be honest, my internship is not what I expected. Basically I will be working on a paper based off of the research of my mentor. She focuses on injury prevention for elderly people, specifically in the population of the New York City Housing Authority. I was able to see a little of the groundwork of the study by watching some folks take surveys about it. But they also didn’t speak English… So that was sort of an issue. I’m kind of bummed that most of my work will be in an office and consist mostly of reading articles and attempting to analyze data (which I’ve never really done). It may not directly relate to my future interests but I know that it’s a valuable experience. My mentor is pretty nice and insanely smart and wants to help me publish what I write using her data—which would probably help me with graduate school applications. So I want to keep it positive.
And as I was reminded by a very wise person, “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). So yeah, I may not absolutely love what I’m doing at the time, but it will somehow work out in the end. I have to pray to “do all things without complaining” (Phillipians 2:14) because my hope, my contentment does not ultimately lie in my work, my schooling, etc—it lies in the work that Christ has done for me. It rests in the fact that He loves me and the world without fail. And that’s pretty encouraging to hear when everything else sucks…not that everything sucks here!
In fact, it’s great to be here and not paying rent. It’s pretty awesome to develop relationships with people from across the USA and be close to particular persons. It’s cool to go to All Souls Church and a small group that includes a woman who is going to become a midwife! Yeah midwifery! Also having unlimited subway rides and being able go to Chinatown and sip bubble tea and buy cheap stuff is pretty radical.
Speaking of the subway—today Jasmine, Melvyn, and I got terribly lost on the metro after hitting up a fly thrift store in Harlem (for real, got an Express little black dress for $7 and they have new stuff that Target, Old Navy, and other stores couldn’t sell!). We ended up being an hour late to class. Not a good way to start the weekend but we made up for it when we hit up Chinatown.
New York City is definitely an incredible city. Sometimes it’s hard to believe I’m here. It’s like a bunch of worlds wrapped up into one. There are so many innovative people here. And so much to do! But it’s also nice to have a sense of normalcy while here. Yeah, it’s a pretty famous place, but in the end, it’s just that—a place. And any place can become mundane or trite. The things that make places great are the people and sharing it with others. Sometimes going to a seniors’ luncheon, playing basketball, and running can be more fun than spending a day sight-seeing because you’re spending it with a fun person (Though I don’t want to discount having time alone and enjoying it because that is good too! ). I’m just blessed enough to have two great things this summer—a neat place and even neater people to explore it with!
So seeing as I’m in a public health program this summer, I thought I’d discuss a few things that I love about it (and am learning about it!).
New York. The city that never sleeps. A muse to countless musicians, artists, and poets. Last year I fell in love with it while I was in Queens and now I’m blessed to be back (albeit in a very different borough, Manhattan, on the Upper West Side). This past week I’ve gotten oriented to the public health program at Columbia University. It’s been the 9-5 grind and now I understand a bit more about the whole “never sleeps” part because that department has definitely been lacking. Here’s a few high-lights from the week:
Sunday: Midtown with Jasmine, Song, Geanna, and Christie. The Strand (amazinggg used bookstore). Stumbled upon a CitiBike promotion and got my photo with the Mets mascot. Drank some bubble tea and ate some delicious pizza. Got some house-ware at Goodwill and carried all of our stuff back on the Metro.
Monday: Got a surprise visit. Celebrated Melvin’s 21st birthday at Sylvia’s soul-food in Harlem. This place had some amazing cornbread and the waitress told us that we were sitting at the table that President Barack Obama had once dined at. Holla,
Tuesday: Went to Brooklyn to get cheaper groceries because the prices in Manhattan are out of control. Exhausted. So so exhausted.
Wednesday: Finally found a vase for my flowers after two days of searching. Saw the amazing Lauren Bouchard for dinner at The Smith and ate an amazing salad. Thought I walked into the men’s restroom but it was just an awkward set up.
Thursday: Went to Madison Square Garden with Jake and ate a burger and fries. Saw some really precious squirrels and thought it’d be a good idea to see if the pigeons would eat food out of my hand. Well they actually tried but I freaked out and then they somewhat attacked us. Did a lot of walking and talking & had a great time but still exhausted after so many days of little sleep.
Friday (today!): We were supposed to take a walking tour of Washington Heights but it was pouring out so I got to go back to sleep for a few hours. Picked up my check and had stats class. It’s still pouring which makes me really sad and cold but also made me write this. Gotta keep it positive.
Overall the program has been pretty swell. I’ve met some great people like Jasmine and Symone and have been pushed to think a lot about issues of health disparity, my future, public health, etc. It’s been a little overwhelming at times. I feel so, so blessed to be here in the city, learning about public health, and learning from other peoples’ stories and why they’re passionate about public health.
*The Bible is filled with messed up, broken people. Just read a few chapters in Genesis and this will be pretty evident. But that’s one thing I love about it. These are real people and real people are broken, make mistakes, and sin andreal people are loved by God.
One of those people is Moses. You know, the guy who parted the Red Sea, helped deliver the Israelites from Egypt, and brought down the Ten Commandments from Mt. Sinai. Moses also killed a man, had a speech impediment, and was generally kind of scared. First, he was a bit concerned about the fact that the Israelites wouldn’t believe God had sent him. I’d say that’s pretty valid seeing that he was raised by pharaoh’s daughter and, again, killed a man. But here’s the thing—God sends people who are people and people have a past but that doesn’t necessarily discredit His calling on their present and future.
Another thing Moses wasn’t too pumped about—his speech impediment. “Oh my Lord,” he said, “I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and tongue. ” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him ute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” (Exodus 4:10-11). The Lord wanted Moses. He knew that he had speech problems because He created Moses. And He created us, too. And pursues us. And wants us. And wants us here and now with our problems and our fears because He works through those and redeems us.
I’m afraid of a lot of things—open heights, falling down stairs, people thinking my voice is weird. I’m afraid that I’m not good enough or of what other people will think. I get anxious that I’m not following Christ wholeheartedly or that I’m just not doing it right. Not to say that we shouldn’t strive to be more through Christ and earnestly seek a relationship with Him because we should but because of that we should know that He loves us. That it is not how “good” we are but because of how good He is. He loves us where we are. He loves us despite our mistakes and our limitations because in our weakness we rely on His strength and He is glorified. That’s why I like Moses— It wasn’t about him or what he could do. It was about what God wanted to do through Him. How the Lord still loved him and used him.
*I would like to mention that that phrase “here’s the thing” did not originate with me. An amazing person, friend, missionary, blogger, Suzanne Seidell did and writes a lot about great and sometimes controversial things (with refreshing grace and perspective). Check it out at http://1timothy112.tumblr.com/