Thursday, December 29, 2011



During these slightly slower days of Christmas break and in light of this Advent season, I'm reflective and thankful. These are a few of my favorite things, or at least my favorite things that happen to be caught in photos (and in no particular order).

Szabadság híd (Liberty Bridge) makes a great impromptu cafe

with no cover charge and a fantastic view

Visiting friends from the U.S. (more dear ones not pictured)

Kate and Seth Yaiko, both of whom I've met before their respective births, are my little darlings.
Here, they are making "cheese" faces.
My students hard at work and having fun. I have few joys greater than when they make important
 connections between the Creator God who loves them and our literary discussions.
Time and space to commune with my Heavenly Father in glorious nature (and with coffee)
Not eternally significant, but a really cute car on my street, nonetheless!

To me, Starbucks' Gingerbread lattes harken back to my university term abroad in London: a time when so much of that to which God has since called me first became understood.
The square near my flat: Kosztolányi Dezső tér is beautiful year round and especially at Christmas

These people are pretty great.

Happy New Year to one and all!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Parody and Prayer

In watching my seniors lives this semester, I've had a few specific prayers for them. As they came from Calculus or Discrete math and sat for their British literature exam, I penned a poem: half parody, half prayer. Though the poem is a rough draft filled with inside jokes, it might prove applicable to you as well as to me and my students.

'Twas the Night Before Finals

Twas the night before finals, and all through Bp
All the students were studying—from ICSB.
Notes and study guides lined on the desks with great care
In hopes that the teachers’ exams would be fair.

We students were reading, so close to our beds
While visions of Christmas Break danced in our heads.
With coffee fresh-brewing, I’d turned down my jam
And just settled in for a long, drawn out cram

When all of a sudden, there arose such a thought
That I slipped from my seat, “Brit Lit ‘scholar’ I’m not!”
Easing out of my bedroom, down the stairs I did slink,
Grabbed a cold can of Red Bull, threw my mug in the sink.

How I needed some energy, chugged the last drop,
Then wandered around and stared at my laptop.
What could bring to my watering eyes motivation?
But a message, a red tag, a notification!

People chatted ‘bout “Timeline” and tagged my new pics.
It’s just what I needed: a quick Facebook fix.
But my eyes got so blurry; caffeine makes me berserk.
I knew that I needed to get back to work.

Now vectors! Now limits! Now Chaucer and Caedmon!
On truth tables, integrals, dramatic conventions!
My brain started throbbing; brought my hands to my head.
“Shakespeare, leave me alone! ‘Something’s rotten,’” I said.

We’ve had so much to do: tests and projects galore.
Building lots, calling businesses—I still need two more.
College apps, obligations, the rushing around.
As we’re students and seniors, the tasks, they abound.

Where’s the peace and the joy and the hope for the world?
As I pleaded, the Spirit’s clear answer unfurled:
“Come away, come to me, sit and ponder the manger.
I have come. I’m true life; stop and enjoy me, your Savior!

You have done a good job; I’ve been pleased with your worship.
Now be still; stand and wait. I am faithful; I’ll do it.”
So I mused to myself as my heart came awake,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good break!”