Random thoughts

February 12, 2012

Time goes by

Filed under: Uncategorized — by laurenvw @ 6:19 am

So yes, I am terrible at blogging. Years have gone by. I am now a first year law student at Drake Law School. After the entire first semester without a single real workout, I have been going to some of the fitness classes offered through the university rec department. The thing I like about classes is that they have a regular time, so there’s not deluding yourself that “oh, I’ll do it in a little while.” You’re either there on time, or you’re not. And sometimes the not is through no fault of my own. Though usually it is me not realizing what time it is. Ah, well.

But I must make sure to press on. Why? Because though I try not to pay too much attention, sometime during the fall semester I tipped from normal into the overweight category, and at the same time moved up a size. I had been so excited a couple of years ago to go down, that it was very sad to realize that no, my dress pants hadn’t shrunk, I’d just grown.

Additionally, I have my annual 5Ks in May and June, and I would like to beat my times from last year in both of them. So this week I will try to go in a little before the workout classes start, and run about 1/4-1/2 mile at a good pace. My goal is to slowly work up to the full 5K at a much faster speed than the last couple of years. We’ll see. But back in the workout grind I will remain.


November 19, 2010

Workout 3, Week 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — by laurenvw @ 6:24 pm

I feel much better today. Today’s workout was a repeat of Day 1 workout, with a different one on Wednseday. But today instead of feeling almost immobilized by pain, I just feel the good ache of muscles that have been used. Yay! Yesterday I did the warm up when I got up, despite no workout, and I really think that helped to loosen up the muscles that had just been getting tighter and tighter. I’ve been eating MUCH healthier than I ever have before, though I do find myself getting hungry every few hours. But that’s how this is supposed to work! It means I’m burning off what I’m eating, and that I’m not grossly over eating at any particular meal.

I realized this morning that I do much prefer wandering around the gym without the workout book with me. Maybe they need to come out with “workout journals” that people can carry around the gym and look cool instead of brightly colored “Lose Weight in 2 Weeks!” covered books. Sometimes a little discretion would be very much appreciated. I am definitely hoping I can continue to remember all my exercises, though! Today I also found myself watching the form of other people as they workout. I am incurably nosy and will eavesdrop on conversations in the gym (2 guys talking about how far they got into P90X before stopping because they were satisfied with how they looked), or the girl who had a very rounded back who just seemed to be moving weights without any planned exercise. Oh, well. At least I didn’t feel intimidated about being in the weight room. Progress!

November 15, 2010

Day 1, Week 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — by laurenvw @ 3:03 pm

Wow…I’m a bit stiff already. I managed to get up out of bed at 6 AM (an accomplishment for me, though I know many others that’s a regular occurrence), after going to bed at 9:15 last night. Then my mom called at 9:45 as I was dropping into full sleep, I know not what about. Then she called again at 9:50 thinking I sounded sick. I tried to explain as well as my sleep-fogged brain could that I was in bed so I could get up and workout in the morning. Luckily, no call at 9:55 and I finally fell asleep.

Once I got up this morning, I really wished I had hard-boiled the eggs yesterday. Instead, I threw together oatmeal and stuck it in the microwave. As I was half asleep, the bowl was too small, and there was epic overflow of the oatmeal onto the turntable. Luckily, it was ALL on the turntable, so I was able to rinse it off right away instead of leaving myself a disgusting immovable mess to deal with later. Yay me! But I ate my oatmeal, got some snacks packed for work, and drove in to the gym. Oh, how I wish I had memorized all my warm-up and exercise moves before I got there. Do NOT love carrying around a book at the gym. But I did all my exercises (some with painful pauses in the middle). Yay. I can say with all honesty that step ups and push ups are not my strong suits. But all that means is that I have to push harder on those until they DO become my strong suits. Plus, the awesome thighs and back that result from those would be pretty sweet to have. Here’s hoping!

March 9, 2010

better person

Filed under: Uncategorized — by laurenvw @ 6:18 pm

Can you train yourself to be a better person? I know that I have a very bad habit of gossip, not all of it nice. This goes against what I know is right, and I am going to make a concerted effort to improve my conversational skills so I no longer will gossip, and hopefully will say only good things about other people. Think it’ll work? I hope so!

March 2, 2010

“Follow me”

Filed under: Uncategorized — by laurenvw @ 10:30 pm

Matthew 18-20 : Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.

Wow. This has been boggling my mind for several days. Always before, I’ve read that passage with the thoughts of “how does that apply to me now?”  But that’s only one way to look at it. This time I started to wonder what Peter and Andrew, and just after them James and John (sons of Zebedee), saw, heard, and felt that they did follow. They walked away from their jobs, families, everything that was familiar to follow Jesus. Without miracles, prophecies, or anything like that telling them to. The strength of belief that required! And what about their families left behind? Simon Peter’s wife? Zebedee? Did they understand? Did they also wish to follow? Did they give their blessing?

“Follow Me” leaves no wiggle room. In another passage Jesus tells a man to leave his dead father’s body behind before the burial and to follow. That must have been some pretty powerful spirit infusing those words.

And so I  wonder, would I follow? I like to think I would. I’m sure all Christians would like to think they would follow. but do we? In our daily lives, do we follow the example set by Christ? Do we forsake our earthly ties in favor of our heavenly ones? I always want to know where it’s going to lead, when I follow. And really, I know that by following Jesus, He’ll lead me to everlasting life in heaven. So the question turns into, am I strong enough, faithful enough to follow when I don’t know the path? When it means forsaking those in my life? And would it mean that? And do I recognize His voice when He is telling me where we are going? So many questions, and I don’t know any of the answers.

December 15, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — by laurenvw @ 3:25 pm

Wow. It’s been 2 years since I posted a blog on here. Really, since I’ve posted much of a blog about anything anywhere. But I think it can be really useful to work through thoughts about things – to get to what you really think about something without extra outside input.

So my current debate with myself is whether to go to law school. I’ve told myself I will take the LSAT, and see what happens from there. I do feel the need to make a change in my life. And law school seems like it would be a good path for me. I don’t have dreams of being a trial attorney putting people away or defending their freedom. Nope. I feel a little cynical about both sides of trial. Right now I feel pulled towards wills and estate planning – a nod to my desire to help people, but taking into account my opinion of people who don’t take steps to help themselves. Contracts are another possibility – with my business background, it would be possible to work for a corporation. But that’s getting ahead of myself. Right now I just need to concentrated on preparing for the LSAT, to get the best score I’m capable of, and then forging a path from there.

August 28, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — by laurenvw @ 1:33 pm

Staying motivated can be one of the most difficult things about any project and/or endeavor.  In the beginning, there is usually an excitement about starting a new project and all the benefits that can come from said project can really pump you up and make you enthusiastic.  At the end, it’s a matter of having the end in sight and knowing that if you’ve worked this long, surely you can make that last sprint to the finish line.  It’s the middle that’s terrible.  When you’ve been working for a while, but the end is still far down  the path.  How to get past that?  Of course it’s different for everyone.  But remind yourself of all the reasons you were so excited at the beginning.  And the glow of accomplishment at the end of a project that gets bogged down in the middle seems so much more intense than easy-going projects.

April 14, 2007

Publish or perish

Filed under: Uncategorized — by laurenvw @ 4:44 pm

There is something very intimidating about the knowledge that you HAVE to publish scholarly articles in order to keep your job.  Knowing that I have 5 years to publish and/or present several things is very intimidating.  Yes, I have ideas for things to write about, but I tend to be very good at planning things, and not so good on the follow-through.  But I do not have a choice this time.  Aaa!  But it’ll be okay.  There will be 3 other librarians who all come up for tenure the year after me, so we’ll all just push each other.  Hopefully.  Although, I have to say that knowing the previous two catalog librarians left rather than go up for tenure makes it even more intimidating.   And knowing that when I first started job hunting, it was much more difficult because I didn’t want to apply for jobs where I would have to write for tenure.  But here I am, and except for the extremely-scared part of me that is screaming to run away in the next 4 years to not have to try.

 Ah, the conflicts within myself.  And everyday, different factions are winning.  I suppose eventually I’ll come through it and laugh at how scared I was, but for now, I’ll just keep feeling petrified every time I think about it.

February 14, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — by laurenvw @ 3:41 pm

The idea of discrimination is becoming a generational challenge.  My grandparents have definite opinions that they associate with different races.  Living in small-town Iowa, not a whole lot could happen to shake them out of these opinions.  They are good people, but they were raised in a completely different world than I.  They see differences between themselves and “Mexicans” and “negroes” that nothing has really broken them of.  Despite this, they try to judge each by their own merits when they come across them.  Unfortunately, 30+ winters spent in the border region has not improved their opinions.

My parents came of age during the civil rights movement.  It had different effects on them.  My mother grew up in a city (small one, but still a city) and took the precepts of the CRM to heart.  She works hard to not discriminate, and she really seems to want a more racially interesting family than we have.  Is it overcompensation, or just wanting us to be color blind?  I don’t know, and I’m not sure even she knows.  My dad is the opposite.  I’m told he was very open when they were younger (i.e. the 70’s), but as he ages, my father’s small-town background begins to show.  Hearing him say things that are discriminatory is much harder than when my grandparents say them.  Because he should know better.  To be fair, there is not a lot of opportunity to be open in the small town they still live in.  But I worry if he ever ended up in a more diverse area.

Then there is my generation.  I really don’t care about color.  What I am affected by is economic disparities.  I grew up as middle-middle class in an upper-middle class town.  When I go to cities for conferences, or as a tourist, I am scared equally by all colors and genders in slightly rougher areas of town. (I say slightly rougher because I ame petrified of the truly bad parts of town.)  I also scorn the upper class with a truly bourgeois attitude.  And if you talk the way I expect my peers to talk, I could really care less what tint your skin color is.

This attitude is becoming more prevalent as we civil rights and post-civil rights individuals come to the fore.  The people who are scorning other races, often do so because they perceive that race to be lower socially than they.  There is enought “poor trash” out there to be applied equally to all races.

And yes, people can get out of the trap they are in – if speech therapy were funded in poor area schools, the children going through them will have an increased chance for success in our country.  And the world.

 Enough soapboxing.  If you somehow ended up at this page, I hope it made you think a little bit.

October 27, 2006

Sense of direction

Filed under: Uncategorized — by laurenvw @ 1:17 pm

I’ve never quite understood how birds are supposed to be able to have enough sense of direction to go south every fall, and north in the spring. I say this because most people have no sense of direction (no matter what they might say), so I can’t understand how the teeny bird brains would have such a function. Which makes me wonder, are birds aware that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west? do they use the sun to navigate north/south? And is that why I just watched a flock of birds fly north on an oh-so-overcast day?

I considered segueing here into a discussion on the current lack of direction that the world, this country, my generation, and I all seem to be suffering from. Nothing quite manages to penetrate the shell most of us live behind. Yes, that shell might suffer some damage – the country’s shell was damaged 9/11. Mine was hurt when Kristi died. But I’ve noticed that both shells have managed to heal themselves, and in some ways become even thicker than they were. But that’s as far as I want to take that discussion today. No sense at poking at my shell without a purpose, after all.

But thinking about it, it’s also possible that the birds just know more than I do (a rather depressing thought).  I’m sure there is some scientific reason why and how the birds fly in the direction that they do.  I don’t need to know that reason, as long as somebody does.  and that in itself is sad.  where did my child-like curiosity about the world go?  Instead of questioning why and how, I just accept, even when I shouldn’t.

Well, I’ve copied this to my more public journal, and hopefully will get some responses there that may prompt another entry.  Until then.

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