Saturday, March 26, 2011

China, China, China!

Wow, it seems like China will be taking over my life in the next week and a half. I am currently taking a class called, “China and the World”, for my Engaged Citizen Area of Inquiry (A.O.I., which is pretty much a general requirement all students need to fulfill at Drake). In the next 10 days, I need to write an eight page paper stating whether or not I agree with the author of our primary text’s view on China’s agenda (or lack there of) in international relations or not (the book is Chinese Foreign Relations: Power and Policy Since the Cold War by Robert Sutter). At the moment, I am not thrilled about this assignment, however when I look back on it and the other A.O.I.s I have taken at Drake, they have really helped me develop into a well-rounded person, and have given me critical thinking and writing skills that will benefit me in my career. Both of my parents have noticed that my writing skills have improved to a great extent.

On top of this essay, I am in a group with three other students, and next Wednesday, we will be having a debate on the following question: “To what extent is China’s increasing demand for natural resources a threat to the world?” Right now, I am researching China’s dependence on oil, and the other members in my group are researching water, coal, and timber. We’re going to have to become experts on this topic, because we need to debate this topic for over half an hour to get a good grade! I better go do some more research now, because next Wednesday will be here before I know it! Time flies in college, whether you like it or not (I'll definitely like it once these assignments are over, that's for sure).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Crunch Time

Spring Break is now over, and things are starting to come down to the wire. It’s fourth quarter time, and in my opinion, it’s the best part of the year to be a student at Drake!

Starting tomorrow, there will be seven weeks of classes left and one week of final exams. The biggest adjustment for me coming to college is that many of my classes are “back loaded”, meaning the majority of a grade in a certain class will be a result of the tests, papers, and other assignments that occur in the later half of the semester. For me, my China class sticks out in my mind: As of now, only 25% of the work we will be evaluated upon has been submitted. Much of the first eight weeks of class were used to lay a solid foundation of knowledge, so we can now analyze and assess the question our class revolves upon: “Is China a Threat?” The question is meant to be very open ended and broad, and the group I am working with will be studying China’s use of natural resources and their effects on the rest of the world.

Outdoor track season is now here as well, the majority of the team will open up next weekend with our first meet. I am excited for this season because it will be my first collegiate outdoor season (I had to redshirt outdoors last year due to injury), and I’m coming off a great indoor season and had good training over spring break. Drake hosts two home meets – the Jim Duncan Invitational, and of course, the Drake Relays! It’s a great blessing to have one of the nicest tracks in the whole world to train on everyday!

The entire week of relays is a blast (I’ll blog about this more later), and there are other great events to look forward to as well.

So now that it’s crunch time, it’s time for me to get back to the books (as I did little, if any studying over spring break). I look forward to closing out the school year strong – in the classroom and on the track!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring break Is Here!

Today is the first day of Spring Break, however it feels like more like winter break for me. I arrived home to Minneapolis and two feet of snow late last night. The past few days in Des Moines were really starting to look like spring, as nearly all of the snow is now melted, and it was 63 degrees yesterday. Shorts and T-Shirt weather!

Just when I thought it was time to put away the coat, looks like it will be out for the next week here in the Twin Cities. I have nothing too excited planned for over break, just some good R&R, hanging out with some friends in high school, and watching some March Madness.

The week preceding Spring Break is usually pretty hectic, but it was pretty low key for me. I only had one test, which went pretty well. My three roommates, who are all Pre-Pharmacy majors, were really feeling the heat, as they all had numerous exams this week and survived, big props to them!

Also, please keep all those affected by the earthquake in Japan in your thoughts and prayers, God listens!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Falling into the Unknown

Earlier this week, I had a great conversation with one of my roommates about the uncertainty of the future. We were talking about what’s likely to happen once we graduate from Drake, and how the uncertainty of the future can cause so much anxiety in life. As of now, I plan to attend graduate school, and specialize in Analytical Chemistry, but that’s still two years down the road, so I could end up anywhere!

It was a nice coincidence that my roommate just finished going through the book of Ecclesiastes, so we talked about what Solomon had to say about the uncertainty of the future:

10Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny.”

-       Ecclesiastes 6:10 (NLT)

Thus when thinking about my future and destiny, I have no idea right now what will happen, but its so comforting to know that it doesn’t matter, God already had my whole life planned out from beginning to end. So when I think about what my life will be like in 10, 20, 30 years from now, the thing that makes the most sense to me is to not fret about it. I could be a chemist or who knows what. All I can do is let God control my path, as he has laid out a path specifically for me.

My favorite band is Lifehouse, and they have a song concerning this topic. The chorus for “Unknown” is:

I am falling into grace
To the unknown to where you are
And faith makes everybody scared
It's the unknown, the don't-know
That keeps me hanging on and on and on to you

I love the chorus. Everyday I am falling into Grace, and there’s a lot of it. A verse in “How He Loves” by the David Crowder Band says, “If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking”. So true. I’m amazed every single day, the way God bails me out and rescues me time and time again.

The only line I disagree with is the third one. If anything, my faith in God gives me more assurance than anything. How comforting is it to know that He already has my whole life planned out, and when I die, I will spend all of eternity with him. That’s not so uncertain.