Big Doings on Campus

Imagine my surprise to come into work this morning and discover parking and driving restrictions near the building, tight security, police everywhere, and signs in English and Arabic.  Not your every day event, even at YLS.  The moot court room was transformed into a little hospitality area with trucked in comfortable chairs, little tables with gorgeous orchids, a display of little snack and beverage items, and a fancy metal floor stand holding fresh fruit.

It seems we were playing host to part of the Loving God and Neighbor in Word and Deed (aka “Common Word”) conference, the first of several international gatherings of Muslim-Christian leaders seeking to find common ground between their faiths and redefine Christian-Muslim relations in the 21st century.  What a novel idea, to find common ground instead of fighting wars.

I don’t know all that much about Islam but I do know that what we see on the news and read about in our media isn’t a complete and true picture of the faith as outlined in the Koran.  It cuts both ways:  there are millions of Christians in the world, sharing the common book of the Bible, but it’s hard to tell that we practice the same faith much of the time.  The extremists get the press and make enemies – and can take a society in a repressive direction.

Can we say, fundamental right-wing conservative Republicans?  I thought so.  See?  it’s not necessarily only Islamic extremists that are a problem.

Tomorrow I’m bringing my camera along with my ID card and see if I can capture something around YLS.  Probably not the Jordanian prince, but maybe the signs, at least.  The big things start with small steps.  Maybe the conference will be part of starting a dialogue between cultures.

Sticks and Stones

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Uh, no.  Not really.  Words hurt a lot, and there are plenty of times I’d rather deal with physical pain from a broken bone than the internal pain and hurt that sometimes comes from words, no matter how well intentioned they are.  In fact, those can hurt more than ones that are obviously vicious.

It’s been suggested that I get counseling to help me with my weight situation.  One person phrased it as “have you considered seeing a counsellor to figure out why you can’t commit to losing weight?”  It wasn’t said to cause me hurt but I haven’t been able to shake the words off all week.  They did hurt, partly because there is truth to it but also because of the judgment that filled the words.

I know that the words were well intentioned, but I haven’t been able to shake them off.  They haven’t motivated, they just stung and burrowed deep.  And my reaction to hurt is not to go eat salad.

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday and instead of being able to relax and do something fun, I will spend the morning in a workshop on sustainability.  It’s not mandatory but it’s one of those strongly recommended things, so we’re all dutifully trooping off.   Word is that there will be a sustainable breakfast and I’m interested to see what that turns out to be – and if they use plastic silverware for it.

After the workshop there is a librarians’ lunch to fill each other in on assorted conferences learning.  Rats, I said to myself; I wanted pad thai.  But instead of just grousing to myself about it, I said, “sure, I”ll be there. It’s my birthday – maybe there will be cake.” Which I’m pretty sure will mean that there is cake.  Yay for asking for what I want.

Changing a Light Bulb by the Zodiac

How many of you does it take to change a light bulb?

Just one. You want to make something of it?

One, but just *try* to convince them that the burned-out one is useless and should be thrown away.

Two, but the job never gets done — they just keep arguing about who is supposed to do it and how it’s supposed to be done!

Just one. But it takes a therapist three years to help them through the grief process.

Leo’s don’t change light bulbs, although sometimes their agent will get a
Virgo in to do the job for them while they’re out.

Approximately 1.000000 with an error of +/- 1 millionth.

Umm, two. Or maybe one. No — on second thought, make that two. Is that OK with you?

That secret information can only be shared only with the Enlightened Ones in the Star Chamber of the Ancient Hierarchical Order.

The sun is shining, the day is young, we’ve got our whole lives ahead of us, and you’re inside worrying about a stupid burned-out light bulb?

I don’t waste my time with these childish jokes.

Well, you have to remember that everything is energy, so…..

Light bulb? What light bulb?