Good Friends

I was in the middle of Ross trying to figure out if I liked the jet black area rug or the perky, bright blue.  One would match with everything, but the other was so cheerful it was hard to resist.  There are so many distractions and wonderful things in that store.  If only I could buy everything in that store, I would be so happy!  But I was in that store waiting for something to make me even happier.

“VICKI!!!”

I was ready to skip and dance when I heard my friend yell my name from an alarmingly high volume in the middle of a Ross store.  I hadn’t seen her in 5 months.

“BERNADETTE!!!”

I unashamedly screamed back, much to the dismay of the other shoppers that previously quiet evening.  Good friends are like that though, even if you haven’t seen them forever, they’ll be by your side no matter what when they can.

I was especially grateful for my friends when I read “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian” because Arnold’s amazing relationships with his friends made me remember how much I loved mine.

Arnold was so alone on his reservation and in his new school at the start, but soon enough he found people important to his life.  There were moments in the book that were so touching, and completely described the epitome of friendship.  It touched me so much when Penelope, the girl he had a crush on mostly for her body, came up and hugged him after the news of his sister’s death.  That moment that he realized that she cared for him as a whole human being, that he could be loved like that, and not just for outward appearances.  The moment when Roger found out the secret that Arnold was poor yet gave him an incredible amount of money anyways, made me feel Arnold’s vulnerability.  However, he also figured out that to be vulnerable was sometimes ok, because it meant opening up to another person in a special way.  Towards the end of the book, I couldn’t take my eyes off the page when I read about Gordy standing up for his little friend in Mrs. Jeremy’s class.  What gripped me even more was hat the entire class followed in his actions; everyone felt for Arnold.  He thought he would be so alone in that new school, but time and time again, his friends proved Arnold wrong.

Lastly, of course, is the story of Arnold’s deepest and longest friend.  Rowdy is the kind of friend everyone should have.  I don’t mean one that beats you up because he’s lived with abuse and doesn’t know any better.  I mean one that stands by you no matter what.  Rowdy is the one that stood up for Arnold in the reservation.  Rowdy is the one that even though he got insanely mad at his best friend, still loved him enough to care about him and forgive him in the end.  Rowdy always came back.  He didn’t always understand his friend, but he was there when Arnold needed him most.

Everyone deserves good friends, but most especially, everyone deserves a Rowdy.  I think I have a Rowdy, a lifetime, caring friend in my friend Bernadette, who makes me not ashamed to yell her name at the top of my lungs in public.  I am grateful for my friends; I am grateful for my Bernadette.

Oh, for the Love of Books

“Books. People never really stop loving books. Fifty-first century. By now you’ve got holovids, direct-to-brain downloads, fiction mist. But you need the smell. The smell of books, Donna. Deep breath” (Silence in the library, Doctor Who)

It’s true isn’t it?  That people never stop loving books.  “The Library Card” reminded me of myself a little bit of how I completely consumed books non-stop as a child.  I didn’t find non-fiction ideas as fascinating as the author did, but I found  the mystery genre absolutely thrilling.  I couldn’t find any connection with the author about his favorite type of reading or the particular struggles of the time, but when he mentions his passion for books the flood of memories of my book loving past (and present) come back to me.  I remember signing up for those library reading programs in the summer.  I could barely see over the librarian’s counter as it was, but when I put my stack of books on it to be read within the month the pile seemed mountainous.  When he talks about how he could not get enough of the reading, it really resonated with me because even today if I had all the time in the world I would love to spend hours wrapped up in a good, bloody murder mystery.

He mentions how books are an escape, an alternate reality of sorts, and I love the different worlds that books supply.  I could be mundane and unnoticed in reality, but when I open the pages to a book I start looking for clues, spying on people, and hoping that the people that I made friends with in the novel are not going to die next, or worse, be the killer.  As long as we each find what books we feel a special connection to, mysteries for me, books that posses real or political issues for Mr. Wright, then I think that books will be continued to be loved forever.  I don’t think books will ever go out of style; even in the 51st century like in “The Silence in the Library.”

Into my Heart

I could make you laugh by telling of my adventures with one of my best friends (with whom I can unashamedly sing Christmas carols across campus in May, flaunt fake British accents all day, and do things a million times worse in public that will make our other friends turn around and give the, “I don’t know you” look).  Or, I could tell you the time that I first got in an accident while driving.  I could make your heart stop, while telling how mine did when the other car impacted mine.  I could make you blush for me as I tell my most embarrassing moment in all my 20 years (no you don’t get to hear that story yet).  I could traumatize you and make you go to bed with the lights on as I tell you the story of how my entire family and I could have not been still alive today due to a seemingly innocent act on a regular Saturday morning.  But, I’m not going to do any of those things.  I decided to tell you the story that has impacted me most in my life and let you straight into my heart.

We’ve all been there; the blur of the events of George Fox University’s welcome weekend were coming to a close.  Hundreds of new faces swung past me as the caller yelled out “promenade!” and “right arm swing!” at the hoe down last year.  I was so ready when the pace slowed down to a waltz before the night came to an end.

1-2-3

1-2-3

I swayed to the beat with many partners.  Twirling and laughing, and getting to know my first friends at Fox. Little did I know one of them would become so important to me throughout last year.

Weeks passed, and soon I was dressing up as Amy Pond (my favorite character from Doctor Who) and getting ready for Halloween night festivities.   Everyone else was busy, so I messaged my friend who I met and danced with during welcome weekend to see if he wanted to hang out before the night came alive.  Usually, I found it hard to ask people to hang out with me when I’m new to a place.  Instead, I might be found reading a piece of classic British literature in the lobby, or on one of the benches on the trails.  Don’t get me wrong, I love people, and am actually quite an extrovert (not outgoing, but I do love people); I’ve just plagued with shyness my entire life.  I’m always scared of opening up to people.  Scared of what they might think of me.  Books don’t judge, books understand.  Anyways, somehow I found him approachable that night, and we spent most of our time just talking about our pasts.  I’ve only been able to open up to a few people and they became my very good friends, and after that night I counted him among the few.

Flash forward to December, he had become my best friend at Fox.  He came with my gal friends and I to the winter formal.  There I was again, dancing with many different partners and having a grand time.  Somewhere amidst the twirling and swinging he told me over Skype over break that he knew he was in love.  What?  In love with me?  It couldn’t be so! I quickly shut him down and put him safely in the friendzone. That would be the end of that!

At least, I thought I was safer that way.  In actuality, it certainly wouldn’t be the end.  He didn’t want to give up quite that easily, but also wanted to give me what I wanted.  After many discussions, I was convinced I didn’t want anything more than a friend, and he was giving up.  Everything started to go on as if December never happened.  We went to a study group together, but I couldn’t focus as much as I would have liked to.  He started giving his attentions to somebody else and only five words came to my mind.

“Why am I so jealous?”

During the next few days the flood of realization came through my mind.  How could I not know my own heart?  I was scared.  I didn’t know myself anymore.  The only things I ever truly trusted were the fictional characters safely tucked away on the pages in my books.  People only ever saw the mask that I wanted them to see.  Here I was, at the most vulnerable point in my life.  I was in love.

Now, here I am today.  My first boyfriend and I have been together for over six months.  I have learned to trust other people; to open up and to share more deeply.  Fear might seem “safe”, but as we wrote about before with Steven King’s article, fear is also crippling, and you can miss out on great writing and great experiences.  I thought I was strong in my tower of fear, building it up so no one could ever get inside and hurt me.  I was wrong, dark towers are no place to live.  Once it was torn down I found the vulnerability of the world outside my tower is filled with better, more beautiful things like the trust and love I found in my waltz partner from welcome weekend.

Stephen King and the Fear of Magic

After reading Stephen King’s “On Writing”, I tried to imagine a world without words; no way of communicating to our friends and family how we think and feel and the stories that go on in our own minds.  We could never share the beautiful place in each of our minds if we had no words to express ourselves.  As he said, the written word can truly be magical.  There are many times, however, when pen and paper (or finger and keyboard) have not touched, though we are blessed with the ability to create magic from our fingertips.  Why is this so?  Why would we pass up the ability to create magic?  The answer is fear.  King says, “I am convinced fear is at the root of all bad writing.”

 

King is right, before creating neat scratches on lined paper or making uniform keystrokes in front of a lit screen there is a certain amount of fear that has to be overcome. Questions will come to mind.  What if I am not doing this correctly?  What if people hate what I have to say?  To the first question, Stephen talked a lot about using the rules of writing as tools to create something great, instead of looking at them like parameters that you absolutely must follow to the letter in order to be a good writer. If we forget the true reason we should be writing – to communicate our unique ideas to others – and just focus on the mechanics of grammar, why should we even write?

 

The second question, in my opinion, plagues our world today abundantly.  We seem so caught up in not trying to upset anyone and avoiding conflict that sometimes I wonder where original thought in this world went off to.  We generally like to agree with the masses and try not to be the odd man out.  I know some pride themselves in being accepting of all persons, beliefs, etc. but I still see discrimination.  I wonder what more could have been written if people were not afraid to stand out and say what they truly feel; tell the story they truly want to tell.

 

I know I’ve fallen victim to both.  Feeling restricted by trying merely to follow the rules of writing.  Basically thinking doomsday itself would unleash if a period or apostrophe was placed incorrectly.  If I had just relaxed and let my words speak, keeping in mind grammar and vocabulary and all of those lovely things, but not keeping them from making my work great, I think I might have written a few papers a bit better.  Also, I distinctly remember times where I had to be mindful of not upsetting my audience and censored and cut down my work until it was basically a pretty piece of writing that meant absolutely nothing of substance.  My previous school was a community college.  Many different persons got together and they were all “accepting” of each other (so long as we didn’t write or talk about our clashing opinions).  It felt so much more freeing when I threw away my fear for one assignment and  wrote about the detriments of abortion (a subject no one is supposed to touch) for one of my health classes.  It received an A.  Ever since I have had a little more courage while writing and it has helped write what I truly want to write, not just cookie cutter copies of what is politically correct.

 

Stephen King brought an interesting and beautiful perspective with his, “On Writing.”  With his insight and my own personal experiences I can see how fear can hinder the magic that is in the written word.  Fear has certainly hindered my work, but I also learned (and am still learning) to overcome it in order to become better.  Hopefully this class and you, my blog readers, can assist me even further in helping me turn my words into magic.

-Vicki Guiher

About Me

Hi everyone, my name is Victoria Guiher, but just call me Vicki.

I am a CMCO major, Marketing minor. I have a passion for movie making, and marketing will hopefully make me more marketable in the world beyond GFU.

I am also quite an anglophile which pretty much means I’m just obsessed with all things British. I must have at least 20 different types of tea in my cupboard, I know more British actors’ names than American actors, and the sound of a wailing Tardis makes my heart leap with joy.

I am also the oldest of 9 children, yes 9. Before you ask, no, none of us are adopted, none of us are twins, we have our ups and downs as a normal family and in the end we all love each other. What were my parents thinking? They wanted to be open to helping bring into the world as many children as God wanted them to.

And that’s just a little about me!  Looking forward to learning about all of you in this upcoming semester.

-Vicki