Archive for April, 1995

Del Sol

30 April 1995 at 10:25 pm
by Jonah

I had fun last night. Jobie Watson spent the night too. She’s a freak, but I
like her. Her father’s a pastor and her mom’s a school teacher. She changes
the color of her hair every so often. She wears weird clothes. She swears
and is trying to quit smoking. She just graduated with a theater degree and
is going to graduate school in Hattisburg.

First we went to the mall and ate at Ruby Tuesdays. I had this fetticinie
thing that had vegetables but it was greasy. Then they dragged me shopping.
I got this neat light over sweater jacket thing that they said I needed at the
Express. It was on sale for 6 bucks.

Next we went to B&N. I put on the jacket thing because all I was wearing was
a stained t-shirt. We perused the books and then met Matt Humphrey in the
cafe and drank coffee. The fall is probably going to be his last semester.
I’m going to miss him.

After that we all returned to the apartment and flipped through the channels. Jobie started playing her guitar but didn’t have pick so she found a hair pick lying around and played with that. After Matt left, we made our way over to Sting’s place, but no one would answer the door. We returned and played around on the modem some and even called up DS9, but only Beren and Ocean were there, and I still haven’t been validated. We went back over to Scott’s after calling them onthe phone because Jobie wanted to meet this guy who could play the guitar awesomely since she plays too.

I played on the NZ while Elizabeth talked to Sting about CD’s and he played the guitar. Then we went out and watched Army of Darkness with Ron and Jonathan. I’d heard so many lines from Eric that I could predict what Ash was going to say before he said it. “Good, Bad… I’m the guy with the gun.” Sting had to go take some girl home but told me to stay until he got back. This was because he wanted to show me his car. Very nice.
Elizabeth, Jobie, and I went back to the apartment and played on the modem some more. Jobie thinks it’s the neatest thing.

Where’s Slim

29 April 1995 at 10:19 pm
by Jonah


TVI and I were looking at B&N at the men are from mars women are from venus interactive CD rom for Macintoshes. We also saw men are from mars women are from venus In the Bedroom. We each picked up a copy commenting about how he had a new book out and stuff. Then we put them quickly down. I guess the title didn’t really strike us to begin with.

Barney was there with Parker Lewis. We were talking about Slim, and Boogie
Man suggested we each take a quadrant of the store and go around asking
people, “Are you Slim?” Somebody commented that some women would find that
offensive, when Barney piped up, “But Slim’s a guy…” Can we say blonde?

I flunked my chem lab final and made a C on my last chemistry test. Sigh.
Right now I’m trying hard to get a B in that class…

Campus Fountain

29 April 1995 at 9:51 pm
by Jonah

Well, darn. I can’t believe they drained the fountain the day we were
planning to jump in. I was looking forward to taking a running start and
doing a cannonball, but I probably would have slipped and cracked my head
open instead. Give the nursing students some practical experience. I
learned the hard way why you don’t run at the swimming pool a couple of years
ago. My brother was chasing me, and as I rounded a corner, my feet slipped
on the stone like concrete (you know, like they have everywhere at UM, those
little rock things that get really slippery on the side walk?) and I fell
down, ripping part of my thigh off and feeling a chunk off the side of my
foot get peeled off by the pavement. It was not a pleasant memory, and the
wounds took the dickens of a time to heal. And then my grandmother died, but
I got her car, so I guess there was a happy ending after all. Even though
the Braves lost the World Series for the first time.

Anyway, Nathan waited for me outside once 2 pm rolled around. I joined him
and sat forlornly waiting till Cris Hyatt and Chad Sides got out of class.
Then I made a mad dash for the edge and jumped in, my shoes making a pitiful
splash from the remains of the water. We climbed on the figure, and then
Cris got the bright idea of sticking the orange cone (that once failed to
serve the bricks from being stepped on) on top of the statue (or whatever it
is). Neither one of us was tall enough to reach that high, but Nathan came
to our rescue and tossed it up top. It fell down, so he tried repeatedly but
without success to get the cone back up. About then we heard someone honking
and yelling. “Maintenance man approaching,” I alerted Cris, who had picked
up where Nathan abruptly left off. Across the quad came a black man with the
sleeves rolled up on his uniform walking casually but purposeful
toward us. We all sat down on the edge of the fountain. I got up and put
the cone back where it was before.

“Uh, what cone?” said Cris, laughingly rehearsing what she’d say. “Haven’t
seen a bright orange cone,” added Nathan. The man reached us. “So you’re
the ones who put soap in my fountain!” he said. “No sir, not us.” He picked
up the cone and started to leave. “Oh, come on,” pleaded Cris, “We want to
put it on top.” “I’ll just have to go up there and get it after you do,”
he pointed out. “Will you fill the fountain back up before school is out?” I
asked. “Probably,” he shrugged, “We we’re just gonna clean it out.” After
he left, Nathan amused himself by throwing coins up into the “collection

If what he says comes true and there is water in the fountain next Friday,
I’m going to jump in after my Russian History final to celebrate my
transition into upperclassmanship. My test is at one, so I don’t know how
late it will be.

April Recap

15 April 1995 at 3:13 pm
by Jonah

April, 1995

Definitely get into the camping thing. I’m convinced it’s about the most fun a person can have on this earth, with the possible exception of skiing. Then again, I haven’t experienced skydiving, hang-gliding, or, well, other things… Camping strips life down to the necessities. And you’ll be surprised at how few (or from a different perspective, many) things are actually needed.Just remember that it’s okay to get dirty, because you will.

Ah, yes. The campaign. It was fun. With the advent of challengers also throwing their hats into the ring, Cris Hyatt and I went into campaign mode. We made lots of posters and fliers, especially little ones to go on the back of stall doors in the restrooms (Now that we’ve got you sitting down, vote for Cris, Joanna, and Robyn for Junior Class officers!” and “Take the plunge! Vote…” or “Quit stalling, VOTE…”). We constructed a top ten list of reasons to vote for us (Sympathy; They look snazzy in chicken costumes; You’ll be sorry when they win Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes; It’ll make Uncle Newt very happy; They spent all this time coming up with a stupid poster to amuseyou!) and situated it in the most trafficked section of the main hallway. I made up a flier on the computer, and Dad printed out 200 copies for me. As one guy said, “I can’t go ten feet without seeing one or your signs! They’re even in the men’s bathroom!”

That was courtesy of Nathan. Our competitors put up tons of signs as well, however. There were hundreds more signs for junior class elections than for any other race for office.

The half week of voting came, a week later than scheduled, and we were in a joyous mood. We really didn’t care anymore. It had just been fun putting signs up everywhere. The results were to announced at the Spring Banquet the Saturday after elections. Cris was going, but I wasn’t. I’m not really a Spring Banquet kind of person.

One Monday I accosted Cris emerging from her 9 a.m. class. “Well?” I inquired.

“I’ve got some good news and some bad news,” she said. “What?”

“I won!”


“And… Robyn won!” That was kind of expected, since Robyn was running unopposed.


“And you didn’t win,” she added apologetically. “But Chris Rischer won!” He is probably the best hope UM has had for a executive president that will get things done in a long time. We had been informally campaigning for him as well as for ourselves.

“And he said that there are some other positions that are appointed,” Cris continued. “I’m going to see if they need someone like you to be the commuter representative.”

Ah, well. The problem is that UM is mainly a commuter school (over half of students do not live on campus) and the ones who do never come to any of the school functions. Maybe it’s just Generation X, but we saw our campaign as a way to make a difference in what happens and what gets done. The good part is that Cris wasn’t going to run until I agreed to do it with her. She will be a great junior class president. I really ‘t think of anyone better suited for the job. She knows EVERYONE, and she’s really concerned about the current SGA doing nothing. I’m sure my hard work in the campaign helped get her elected.

It was fun while it lasted. I guess I’ve learned from the experience (don’t run against someone who’s popular), and now I can look forward to free Tuesday nights next semester.

It’s funny. In the past, I’ve wondered about putting campaign signs up. I’ve scoffed at candidates who spend big money saturating the area with signs that tell the average voter no more than the name of the candidate and what he’s running for. I mean, I know who’s running. What I want to know is how candidates stand on the issues. I’ve always thought that candidates must be extremely arrogant to think that voters will cast their ballots according to the greatest number of placards they count on the way to the polls. Yet, there I was, doing exactly the same thing thinking, if only we have enough signs up, maybe people will vote for us. Perhaps it is because no one normally votes in elections at school. I didn’t vote last year, but that was because I didn’t even know when the election was. I take some solace knowing that many of our signs had clever sayings on them.

Cris says, “Rah rah ree! Vote for me!”

Okay, so maybe some of them weren’t so clever.

My grandmother who had a stroke is improving, even though it doesn’t look like it most of the time. She can now walk to the end of the driveway and back (about 600 feet) with her cane. She can also maneuver around the house fairly well and use the bathroom by herself (a big plus). Her right hand continues to be totally useless, and when she’s standing, she has to balance herself with her cane. That means that we have to do pretty much everything for her. She still has a lot of trouble speaking, though she can usually get out what she’s trying to say after a while.

I was walking down the driveway with my grandmother one day. It felt good to be outside, but this duty was taking me away from other things. I didn’t say anything. She started to speak, “Do you resent the intrusion of…” Her voice trailed off. She tried again but was stuck on the next word. She tried inserting “Buster,” “corporation,” and something else that I couldn’t make out, but she was never able to finish the sentence. I’m glad that she didn’t. I know what she was probably going to say, “Do you resent the intrusion of your life by a disabled person like me?” or something to that effect. I didn’t want her to finish the question because I didn’t want to answer it. Yes, I resent her being here. I resent that she had a stroke, that Mom has had to care for her, that it has turned our world on end, that I have to do extra things for her. It’s awful to feel like that, I know. I don’t want to have such an ugly attitude. But it’s a lot harder than I ever thought it would be. I’m afraid I haven’t been very honoring to my grandparent.

Mom has not been fun to be around lately. I don’t know if it’s because of the extra burden of caring for her mother or what. We try to not be around her as much as possible. I’m looking forward to spending the summer in Colorado and getting out of this house of chaos.

School has been going great. I’ve got a 90.08 average in chemistry, just barely an A! Hopefully, I can hang on to that till the end of the semester. I got a 110 on my Russian midterm. I guess she liked the bogus names I made up for the bonus. Sociology makes me mad. My professor sees capitalism as a fungus. That’s why I’m a functionalist. I think everything in society plays a function. That’s opposed to being a conflict theorist (i.e. Marxist), which my teacher seems to be. Argh.

I’ve got my schedule for next semester filled out already. Looks like I’ll be taking History and Politics of Modern Russia (the first half of the course I’m taking now), Comparative Government (taught by the same lady from Russia who teaches the history class), Classical Political Theory (Plato’s Republic, etc…), Ethics, European and Russian Literature (taught by the most excellent professor in the whole world–Dr. Allums), and Intermediate Greek. I am so excited thinking about it all! It’s going to be too much fun, I’m sure. I’ll be taking every political science course available except for 101, which I’ve already had, for my major and Ethics, the only offering of my minor, which is leadership studies. I’ve finished up all my core requirements except foreign language (Greek) and maybe one or two electives, I’m not sure. The literature class is just for fun. Or something.

Well, Stephanie and Nathan (the guy we brought to Colorado with us last summer) are an item now. Nathan virtually lives at our house. That’s kind of good because, even though we annoy the heck out of each other, he and I have become really close friends. Unfortunately, that created some conflict when Stephanie started feeling jealous. It seems to be better now. I guess we’ll work it out. As far as the two of them are concerned, however, they’re getting married as soon as Stephanie graduates from college (she’ll start at the University of Mobile in the fall). We have two horses now, so they like to spend time riding around the countryside. They went fishing in our lake yesterday and caught a huge big mouth bass. All three of us, along with Jenifer Bennett (from Columbus, Cliff and Doraine’s oldest daughter), will drive up to Colorado to help out with Wings Like Eagles at the Bremer’s again. Nathan says it’s going to be interesting being in a car with three other girls for twelve hundred miles.

Jenifer’s older brother Andrew just got a couple of letters saying that he’s been accepted into the physical therapy program at the University of South Alabama here in Mobile and that the Air Force will pay for three years of his education through ROTC. He’s really excited. We’ll be seeing a lot of him around.

I guess that’s about it.

Plain and Simple

11 April 1995 at 9:50 pm
by Jonah

The Neutral Zone, the bulletin board I spend a good portion of my free time on has its own subculture with its own blend of characters. Several of us go to UM and so have unusual conversations that people around us must think quite odd. We are a Motley crew that socializes despite the odds. I don’t think I would spend much time around any of them if it were not for the common bond of the BBS. For the following conversation to make sense, you must first know something of the participants. Even though we deal with each other in real life, we still address each other by our handles. I am Jonah, of course. There’s
younger brother of the Neutral Zone sysop.
is his friend with whom I am playing a game of e-mail chess.
is a senior who just started up his own board, Ragamuffin BBS.
is in my Russian history class, is a quadriplegic, a non Christian, and an all around interesting person with whom to debate philosophy. We also play chess.

I came out of Russian history from the classroom in the library and started walking across the grass over to my car. Actually, it’s not grass it’s clover, so I bent my head down and shuffled along looking for four leaf clover. Someone called out to me. “Hey Jonah!” I looked up. Kanji, Dick, and Shocka had just pulled up in Kanji’s car. “Did you lose something?” asked Dick leaning out the front window. “Have you lost your mind?” asked Kanji. “I’m looking for four leaf clovers,” I said, abandoning my search to approach them. “Are you a dichotomist?” asked Kanji. “Clover is dicot,” I responded. “What?!” Shocka exclaimed from the back seat. He says that only 50% of what I say makes any sense. This must of been one of those times when it’s the other 50%. “There’s dicots and monocots,” I started. “Oh, a biology nerd!” cut in Dick. “The difference is in vascular bundles.” “I mean your shirt,” said Kanji, looking up from my chest. I was wearing my green shirt with all the different theologies on the front of it. “Oh,” I said realizing what I was wearing for the first time that day after putting it on, “I’m none of those. I’m what it says at the bottom, a plain simple Christian.”

I stood leaning on the car door talking to the three of them about the nonexistent Ragamuffin BBS party that had been planned while Kanji was out of town and subsequently vetoed by him since he was working the night it was scheduled. Kilroy, who was waiting in his motorized wheelchair for his grandfather to come pick him up after Russian had been let out early, was nearby. I beckoned him over and occasionally directed comments to him about the discussion going on inside the car. Kanji eventually cut the car off, ceasing Kilroy’s inhalation of exhaust fumes.

Shocka leaned forward, “We’ve been wondering something,” he enunciated each word like he always does, “Is it more polite to say, ‘May I feel your breast?’ or ‘May I feel your tit?'” I laughed, “Someone asked me once whether it was more polite to call a female a chick or a woman.” “Call ’em a babe,” Dick interjected. “So I said that it depended on who you are addressing,” I continued, “I guess it’s sort of the samething.” “What would you rather be called?” “What do you call me?” I asked. “Jonah.” “That’ll work,” I said. “I never call you by your first name,” Shocka pointed out, “All I know is thatyour middle name begins with E.” “He’s been trying to guess my middle name for the past two weeks,” I explained to the other occupants of the car, “So he’s going to start calling me ‘E’. Like in James Bond? there’s ‘Q’ and ‘M’? Well, I’m ‘E’.” “What is your middle name?” asked Kilroy. “I think I told you once,” I said, “but I can’t tell you in front of Shocka; he’s trying to guess.” “All I have to go on,” continued Shocka, “is Beethoven and ‘fur’.” “It’s a piece by Beethoven,” I explained again, “and it begins with ‘Fur’.” “Fur, fur, fur,” Dick mused. Kanji looked at me blankly. I began to whistle. “I know that!” Dick exclaimed identifying tune emanating from my lips, “Fur Elise!” I nodded. “So, Elise? That’s what it is?” Shocka wore an expression of disgust mixed with relief. “How do you spell that,” inquired Kanji. “Uh,” I had to think for a moment before telling him.

I looked up over the roof of the car to see Chris Shiver and Leo, both attendants of my last day of being a teenager party last year, standing at Chris’ truck. “Hey,” I called to them, “Vote for me. I’m running for vice president of the sophomore class!” “We’re going to be juniors next year,” Chris called back, “But, sure, I’ll vote for you for the sophomore vice president!” “Who’s running for president?” asked someone inside the car. “Cris Hyatt.” “Oh, she’ll win, she’s popular.” “We’re not running for popularity,” I insisted, “We want to change things,like getting Witness to do chapel.” Kanji nodded slightly. He’s a member of Witness, an evangelical music and drama team. “Hey, get coed dorms and I’ll votefor you,” offered Dick. He’s a freshman, so he can’t vote for me anyway.

After a while, Kilroy departed in his specially designed minivan, and the guys invited me inside the crowded car as it started raining. We sat in the middle of the library parking lot discussing body hair.

“Jonah, you always wear jeans,” commented Dick. “They’re cheap, I know, I wear them, but why don’t you ever wear a dress or something?” “Why?” I asked. “We want to see your legs,” he answered bluntly, “You need to live a little.” “I’ll wear a dress on Wednesday,” I said. “Really?” Dick perked up. “I’m a panelist for the Spring Forum,” I said, “I want to look like I know what I’m talking about.” “How long is it?” inquired Dick. “Hour, hour and a half,” I guessed. “I mean the dress,” said Dick. “Oh, it’s long.” Dick looked disappointed, “Why don’t youwear a miniskirt?” “I want to look like I know what I’m talking about,” I repeated, then offered, “I’ll come up to the computer lab with my dress on.”

Last fall Dr. Berry, my religion professor for Intro to the Old Testament called me over after class one day and handed me a sheet of paper. It began, “Theta Alpha Kappa Spring Forum Proposal: Whose Image? Christians and Government. A Panel of 2 students and 2 faculty members will discuss the Christian’s role in government. This includes such issues as Christian citizenship, civil disobedience, and church-state relations.”

“Theta Alpha Kappa, the religious honor society, is having a spring forum in March,” said Dr. Berry. “I’ve asked Dr. Mashburn and Dr. Schaefer to be on the panel. Clark Cameron is a student and has also agreed to do it. Would you be interested in being the other student on the panel?”

Dr. Mashburn is my philosophy teacher, and Dr. Schaefer is my political science instructor and personal advisor. They are two of my very favorite professors at school, and to be on the same panel with them would be a great honor. I agreed.

The weekend before the panel as I pondered what to say, I got a call from Clark Cameron, who I realized was also a member of my philosophy class. He asked me for information about the forum and what I planned to say. On the Tuesday before the forum, Clark, Dr. Mashburn, and I met and discussed what we were going to say. I said that I wanted to discuss the most recent manifestation of the church/state issue–the proposed school prayer amendment.

On Wednesday I arranged for someone else to turn in my chemistry homework since I was skipping because my psychotic professor doesn’t believe in ending class at ten till. That wouldn’t leave me enough time to get over to where the forum was taking place, so I spent that hour practicing my speech and playing the piano in one of the practice rooms in an attempt to calm my nerves.

Finally, it was time to start. I went over to the auditorium where the forum was beingheld. There were several people there already, mostly religion majors. I took a seat in the back near them. Thenwhen it was time, Dr. Berry directed us to the front. Dr. Mashburn, Dr. Schaefer, Clark Cameron, and I took our seats at a table up on stage along with Dr. Berry and the student president of Theta Alpha Kappa, who introduced us. As he was, Mom walked in and took a seat.
I went first. I had worked out what I wanted to say on the computer and then transfered it to note cards like I learned to do in speech class. I probably should have just read what I’d written. I was really nervous. My face was hot, and my hands shook. But I managed to get through without sounding too stupid. I lost track of what I was saying a couple of times. Here’s what I prepared and roughly what I said:

A federal court recently ruled that a picture of Jesus cannot hang in the hallway of a Michigan high school. Just last week the Mobile Press Register reported that prayer still cannot be allowed in public schools. Even student initiated prayers are, as one attorney put it, illegal. All across the nation religion is being censored by the government. What happened to the country which at its birth acknowledged a creator who endowed men with certain unalienable rights? Our motto is “In God We Trust.” The United States was founded by men who knew the importance of religion in government. Benjamin Franklin said, “The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth–that God governs in the affairs of men.”

In the three decades since the Supreme Court ruled that prayer in schools was unconstitutional,the rates of crime, illegitimate births, reported cases of child abuse, and suicide have skyrocketed. It seems that morality has been suppressed along with religion.

The Supreme Court has ruled that prayer, the Ten Commandments, and even God are unconstitutional. Why? Because of the First Amendment’s stipulation that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” This supposedly erected a wall of separation between church and state. The founders intendedthat the first amendment protect religion from the government by prohibiting it from establishing a state church. Yet the court turned it around and instead attempted to use it to protect government from religion. The Court used the first amendment as an excuse to remove religion fromthe government.

Now that Republicans control Congress, many people feel that Americans want to return to traditional values to replace the values our culture seems to have forgotten. A great step in this direction would be a Constitutional amendment to once again allow prayer in schools.
There is no good reason why prayer shouldn’t be allowed in schools other than the court fearing religion’s influence on students. And who knows? Prayer in schools might even bring about a reversal downwardtrend of morality in this country.

Yet I don’t think a prayer in schools amendment is a good idea. I don’ think it goes far enough. It doesn’t address the problem of our courts
view on religion in government. Instead, I suggest an amendment that would clarify the issue of religion and the state, returning the Court
s idea to that which the founding fathers held. It should be government’s job to protect the free practice of religion, not to protect itself from religion. The stateshould allow religion to exist, not stifle it.

George Washington said, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

After my little shpeel, Clark spoke, then Dr. Mashburn, and finally Dr. Schaefer, who advocated requiring students to take four philosophy classes while in college. It was then opened up for questions. My mom asked one of the first ones. Most of the people who spoke up were professors. It was great to argue with them from up high on the stage while they were down below. Our roles had been reversed. We also discussed things amongst ourselves. During a little spat about authority, Clark unwisely asked, “Would you support your pastor if you disagreed with him?” It’s funny because our church doesn’t even have a pastor. Clark didn’t know that I’m not a Baptist. I didn’t want to get into that since it was off the subject, so I just replied that it would depend.

We laughed about it later when I revealed the truth about my denominational preference in philosophy class one day. Dr. Mashburn was talking about people who prefer to be called simply “Christian,” and I said, “That’s me. I’m not a Baptist.” The room got very quiet. Then from across the room, one of the guys said, “Burn her!” Everyone laughed. I guess I’m the only person in there who’s not a member of the Southern Baptist Convention.