Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Darkness is a Harsh Term

I was recently given a copy of Mumford & Sons' album "Sigh No More." Yes, I realize I am really late on discovering this, but it's better late than never. I've been listening to it obsessively over the past week, which is saying something, because normally I am listening only to Christmas music at this point in December.
All the songs are excellent, both lyrically and musically. "Roll Away Your Stone" is the song that is currently in the forefront of my mind. I'm tempted to post the lyrics to the entire song because it has such beautiful and thought-provoking lyrics, but I'm sticking to two lines of the song instead.

"Darkness is a harsh term don't you think?
Yet it dominates the things I see"

When referring to "darkness," it could mean something completely different from one person to the other. My idea of "darkness" is any sort of struggle, emotion, issue, etc. that clouds around a person and keeps them from seeing past it. Without light, we cannot see in the darkness. Whatever this "darkness" is, it controls what I do and "dominates the things I see."

I let darkness cloud over me far too often. One negative comment towards me, one discouraging tutoring session, or one bad test/paper grade can ruin my entire week. Regardless of all the positive things that may occur right along with this darkness, I don't allow the light in. I know that I'm not alone is this; I would even dare say that this in common with most people, especially college aged. These types of darkness are things I should be able to shake off, and I do after a relatively short period of time.

My current darkness I find myself facing is a kind I don't think is possible to ever truly let go of. Tomorrow (technically today) marks one month since my Pawpaw's death. I have days of light, but the darkness always finds its way back to cloud over me. I know that this is healthy during my mourning, but Mumford has inspired me to try to fight the way it is dominating my sight at this current time.

I know that God does not want me to let the darkness dominate the things I see. I also know that darkness is an unavoidable reality of life. The way I choose to deal with it is what makes the difference.

"The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."
                        -John 1:5

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Growing Apart?

I'm sitting here in my apartment, going through the picture frames and wall of photos that I put up not 5 months ago. I took over 10 pictures out; this removed a few people as permanently from my room as they seem to be removed from my life.

When I put these pictures in my room some 5 months ago, it was after going through and selecting from pictures I put on my senior board and pictures I had recently printed out. I remember feeling this same feeling as I threw aside almost all of the pictures that were on my senior board, realizing most of those people were not a significant part of my life anymore.

This time around, I am way more saddened by the fact that I have lost some people almost completely. The people I lost as I moved to Auburn is to be expected. Growing up, moving to college, growing apart. That's what I've always been told. So how do I justify losing important people that I was friends with last year?

I believed that we were too old to "grow apart." I believed that certain friendships would never go away. I believed that, as college students, we had moved past friendships that were disposable and into friendships that are unbreakable.

I'm not perfect. I'm not saying I'm not to blame for losing some of these people.
I AM searching for real friendships, the unbreakable ones.
I know that I have a few of these and I'm forming quite a few more.

How much truth is in the phrase "growing apart" when you are in your 20's?

I feel that it's the time for us to stop making excuses and start making time for one another. It's time that we stop talking about surface level nonsense and start getting to really understand one another.

"As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend."
                   -Proverbs 27:17

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hindsight is 20/20

Yeah, I know. I used a bad cliche as my title. It just fits so well.
I should also warn that this qualifies as another self-centered post. It has a side of insightfulness though (I hope).

I am currently home for Thanksgiving. This is the first time this entire semester I have been home for a good reason. This whole semester has been one of so much change that I can't help but think back to Fall 2010 and of what/who was important to me back then. I'm watching my whole life change before my eyes, and I have to say, it's not bad. In fact, it is mostly a good thing. It's all in God's work.

This is where the hindsight comes in. Let me take you briefly along my own personal mini-journey.

Last fall, I was a freshman in college majoring in Political Science (law school was my only academic goal) who had just suffered my first major life disappointment and was estranged from the church.
I know I come back to this a lot, but it's only been recently that I have started to understand why I was cut from marching band.
[I'll keep the summary brief. I came from high school as the head-drum-major-first-chair-in-wind-ensemble-lead-alto-in-jazz-band, only to be cut from the AUMB. I let this define my entire first semester. I didn't understand why this horrible disappointment happened to me. I didn't understand why I missed out on Auburn's national championship season. I couldn't justify any of this in my mind. I still couldn't get over it when I found out that I couldn't be in band this year due to a scheduling conflict.]

Currently, I am a sophomore (junior) in college majoring in Communication Disorders and minoring in Political Science (law school is still an option) who is happily not in the AUMB (although I love all my friends who are) and is involved not only in church, but in a campus ministry as well. I tell people this a lot because I KNOW that it is true now: God did not want me to be in marching band.

Now that I look back, God gave me a gift I wouldn't trade for anything because I'm not in the AUMB: time with Pawpaw. Last Thanksgiving, as everyone was driving back to Auburn for Iron Bowl band practice, I was sitting next to Pawpaw on the couch watching TV with him. Two Saturdays ago, while the band and football team were at UGA (getting killed on the football field, I might add), I was riding home with Daddy to see Pawpaw for the last time.
That is worth so much more than a free trip to Glendale, Arizona.

I say all this to not only help myself through this journey of mourning, but also to tell anyone reading that "it" is all in God's plan. By "it" I mean anything that may be going on in your life. It may seem like the end of the world now, but in a year, it may be a gift.

Maybe if you're lucky like me, with the help of good friends, family, and a little bit of time, you'll come out on the other side thankful for the obstacle God put in your path.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Calm After the Storm.

I thought of the name of this blog when I was trying to fall asleep last night. I feel so clever for coming up with it.

It first (and least importantly) refers to me ignoring the bad weather that came through Montgomery and Auburn on Wednesday. As I left Auburn, I heard on the radio that a tornado watch was occurring in Montgomery. I, being an incredibly stubborn person, ignored this warning and continued to drive straight into the oncoming storm. As I neared Montgomery, the reports were getting worse. I told myself that if I started to get nervous (weather doesn't generally scare me), then I would pull off. Out of absolutely no where, I hit a wall of rain and wind like I had never experienced before. Other cars were pulling off the road because we couldn't see where we were driving. I could feel my car moving from the wind. I followed the line of lights, all the while thinking I was going to die in this storm and praying to God to get me out of the storm. Luckily, I was close to an exit and hid out in a Walmart until I got the all clear.
Lesson learned. Never again will I challenge the weather.

The second purpose of the title of this post is in reference to the time my family is currently in. Pawpaw has passed on into heaven, his body has been laid to rest, and family and friends have all come to pay their respects. The storm that was cancer, hospice, and the funeral has all come and passed. Now that all of it is over, here we sit.
We had two days of a whirlwind of funeral happenings. After his military funeral (which is the most moving thing I have ever experienced), everyone was invited back to my house to eat and be together. As time passed, people began to leave. Eventually, even my mom's closest friends who had helped us all along the way through this process went home. We were left at our house, just the immediate family.

I felt this sense of emptiness at this moment. Even I, who has been around the least of all of us through the last few months, felt how quiet the house was. It was over. Pawpaw is gone and his funeral is over. All that we have left now are memories. I didn't know how to proceed at that moment, and I still am not sure what happens next. This type of loss is nothing that I've ever experienced before. We have reached the calm after the storm, but how do you move on? My mom told me before I left to come back to Auburn that the mourning process was just starting. It is one thing to mourn with the support of many friends and family members in an event that is thrown in memory of the deceased. It is entirely different to mourn as life goes on. As I've discovered over the last 24 hours, it is also extremely difficult to mourn around people who are focused on Thanksgiving food and college football and aren't in the same place as me at this moment.

I realize that there is nothing that can help make the mourning process simple or quick. I'm just learning what it feels like to experience a real and definite loss.

Regardless of all of this, I am not angry that my Pawpaw is gone. I'm thankful that he's with Jesus in paradise.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Coming to Terms.

I've been trying to write a post for over a week now. I started writing a couple of times earlier this week, only to delete all of them while I was still writing. I've been trying to get away from the personal, Dianna focused posts and write one of a less selfish focus, but that's not what I need to do right now. You can stop reading now if you would like.

I went back to Alabaster for the first time in months on Friday. I did not go home for a birthday dinner, for a "get away," or even to spend time with my parents and Leah. I went home to see Pawpaw. I did have an awesome birthday dinner with my family, including my grandparents on the other side of the family, but that's not the focus.
I left Alabaster on Saturday afternoon after spending the morning with my mom. My time spent with Pawpaw was brief; he was not feeling well at all and could barely stay awake. So I went back to Auburn and spent Saturday night trying to take my mind off of life back in Alabaster.
I woke up on Sunday, my birthday, to a picture message from Leah. Apparently, Pawpaw woke up that morning and wrote messages to most of the family. In the picture, he wrote a message on a dry-erase board to me and Leah. It was short, sweet, and exactly what I needed to hear. That's how Pawpaw always was though.

So I've spent this week trying to come to terms with whatever it is that I'm feeling. On one hand, I'm thankful to be in Auburn, surrounded by amazing friends who love on me everyday. My family has assured me that it's fine that I'm here, that there's nothing to feel guilty about. But I do feel guilty. I've missed the last few months of Pawpaw's life worrying about tests, papers, work, and my social life. I know that that is exactly what he would want for me, but I can't shake this feeling.

I am, however, completely at peace knowing where Pawpaw will be when his life does end. I don't want him to hurt anymore. It is the best thing for him to leave this world and go into the arms of Jesus. Cancer never wins when someone goes to meet Jesus. It won't win with Pawpaw, just like it didn't win when Carson died.

I've come to terms with the idea that I'm completely okay with it if Jesus decides to take him right now. As much as I would like for him to still be here come Thanksgiving break so I can steal a few more days with him, I want him to not hurt anymore even more than I selfishly want him here.

So that's where I am. My family is currently in a stage of waiting. Hospice has set no time frame, but we don't predict him to be with us much longer.

God will take him when it's time. I have no doubt about this.

"For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we lie or whether we die, we are the Lord's."
                                                -Romans 14:8

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Covenant Friendships

Second blog post in 2 days! Be impressed. You could say I'm procrastinating, but in my defense, my big scary test of death was moved to next week.

I've had several conversations over the past few weeks that have just pumped me up in life. A lot of them have focused on what makes a good, solid, life relationship (meaning marriage relationship). One was centered around the meaning of family. The most recurring conversation has been discussing this question: what is a TRUE friendship?


Highlands is in the middle of a sermon series called "Covenant" (let me just say, even if you don't go to COTH, come for this series..it is blowing my mind). Last week, John Maxwell was the guest preacher. He preached on Covenant friendships.

According to Maxwell, there are 3 types of friendships:

1) Surface Friendships
-"Hey! How're you doing? Well great! I'll see you soon!"
*so basically, everyone I run into on campus

2) Structured Friendships
-people you see on a daily basis because you have to
*people in classes, at work, even at church

3) Solid and Secure Friendships
-built on unconditional love
*these friends are few and far between

Maxwell went on to say that few friends are true friends. He talked about how much time and energy goes into being a true friend to another person. He also made sure to make the audience understood that the ONLY person who can make you happy is yourself.
(if you want a copy of my sermon notes, please ask...this sermon was too good not to share)


This got me thinking: what kind of friendships do I have?
I can confidently say that I have at least 1 "Solid and Secure" (not including my family), possibly even 2 or 3. I also know that I'm currently forming friendships that could one day be "S and S." I do have quite a few people in my life that I know would do anything for me and I return the favor.
I realize that I have entirely too many "Structured" and "Surface" friendships. It's sad really. I talk to some people every single day and there is absolutely no depth to the friendship. I also have no desire to work towards any depth in the friendship.

So I am striving to work on forming better friendships, and I first have to start by being a better friend. I want to branch out and form more "S and S" friendships, meaning I have to be willing to devote the time and energy on this person.

The hardest part of this sermon to me was realizing how one sided some of my friendships are. I have moments of frustration quite frequently when I feel like even my best friend isn't putting enough time and energy into our friendship. But I've also learned that with people, you have to learn to deal with their personalities and work around things in order to have a strong friendship.

I feel like I'm getting to the point of rambling, so I'll leave this post with a verse that gave me a lot of encouragement.
Thanks to all my friends and the people who shared in the conversations that led to this post.

God bless.

"...A sweet friendship refreshes the soul."
                      -Proverbs 27:9

Monday, October 17, 2011

Midterm Already?

Well, I guess we're more past midterms now. I had my own personal "hell week" 2 weeks ago. It featured a test and every class and a virus that got progressively worse as the week went on. I would say, "thank goodness that's over, now I can relax," but that's completely untrue. As I look Thanksgiving break in the face, I see my work load piling up even more.
It's all okay though. I'm still in shock that this semester is halfway over. It has FLOWN by.

I registered for Spring 2012 on Friday. I'm only taking 3 CMDS classes, 2 of which with professors I currently have. I feel like this will be a break from the 4 CMDS classes I'm currently taking, plus without the stress of football season, the spring should be considerably more relaxing.

Oh, I'm turning 20 in less than 3 weeks. I'm excited, even though 20 means absolutely nothing.  Presents are welcome.

I could go on and on about how awesome all the people in my life are, but that would take forever. I am so very thankful for all of my friendships, old and new. I feel myself growing in myself and in my walk with God through all the wonderful people I'm surrounded by everyday.

That's pretty much all that's on my mind tonight. Just a quick update since it's been a month since my last entry. I promise my next one will be more thoughtful insight and less Dianna.

"He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be moved."
-Psalm 62:6 (AMP)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Win Some, Lose Some

Well y'all, we lost. The win streak is over. No more National Championship season.

Yeah, not the best feeling. But here's the thing: I'm actually glad it finally happened. Because we are Auburn and we are not delusional people who honestly believe "we will never lose another game" (YES, someone from a certain unnamed team actually said this to my mom at the beginning of the 2010 season...wonder which team that is), we knew that this game would come. Based off how we played the first two games of this season, it's not so surprising that it happened so soon in the season.

For me, I feel like I have my classic Auburn Tigers back. I grew up watching my mom scream at the TV and my dad rolling his eyes in frustration as Auburn struggled to win games. Last year was a complete surprise to me. Ask anyone I was around, I did not believe for one second we would win the NC. It wasn't until we beat Bama that I actually knew it would happen. Not that it wasn't great and awesome, but still.

I say all this to say, I love my Auburn Tigers. I didn't come to school to watch a winning football team (because I frankly don't expect us to win constantly). I came to Auburn for a family atmosphere and a great academic school. I got these two things, PLUS a National Championship my freshman year.

Go ahead and say whatever you want to me and the Auburn family. All of us, especially current students and alumni, will defend our school. Because it's just that: our school.

"And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


...I cannot for the life of me think of a good title for this blog post. I'm experiencing a bit of writer's block this week, which is perfect timing since I have a paper due in a week. Also good news for me as a writing tutor.

But, anyways.

I'm getting into the flow of things. I'm pretty busy all the time, ALL THE TIME, but it's good. It definitely makes falling asleep easier each night.

I realized last night how pumped I am for Auburn football. This is in sharp contrast to the start of last year's football season where the thought of going to a game made me sick and caused me to hysterically cry. So, Saturday is going to be a great day. I can't wait to be back in Jordan-Hare with my Auburn family. I don't care that our season won't be as good this year, I just have so much love for Auburn University right now that I would do anything to be a part of an 87,000 person "War Eagle."

On a slightly related note, I'm beyond tired of reading statuses about how Alabama is going to win their "14th" national championship this year. First off, dream on. Second off, the fact that they're even saying that kind of thing shows how ridiculous their fan base is. Seriously, SERIOUSLY. The season has not even started.

Rant over. Moving on.

School stress is intense, but I think I'm keeping my head above water fairly well. I did well on my first test and next week is the first week of multiple tests (and a paper). Sure, I have a long weekend to study, but let's be honest, I probably won't study much (at all).

I'm loving work. The other tutors, desk people, and our employers are really cool and I feel like part of a team working to actually make a difference, even if it is just assisting students in writing.

BCM gets better to me every day. I went on the fall retreat this past weekend and had a great time and met even more really awesome people with a strong love for Christ. I also signed up to go to Passion 2012 in Atlanta with BCM, which is a dream of mine. I've wanted to go since I started high school, and when I finally got old enough, I fell out a church. So now, I'm churched and ready to go. I'm looking forward to January already.

Highlands, especially ONE, is great as usual. It's amazing to see that many college students come together to worship every week.

Writer's block is hitting. I'm done talking about myself (for now).

My final words for tonight are: war eagle. W.D.E.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sophomore Stressing?

Well, sophomore year is well underway for me already. Since the day I moved in, I have been constantly busy. The only reason I'm even finding time to write this post is because my internet is down (Dianna vs. Charter is a long and drawn out story I won't get into because I'll probably just get angry). Anyone who follows me on twitter has heard the abbreviated version of this frustrating issue. It's probably teaching me some sort of life lesson, but I'm too angry by it all that I've missed the lesson.

So, my first night in my apartment, I put on a brave face and went to Auburn's BCM alone. This is the best decision I've made in a while. In just over a week I've met so many great people and found a place on campus where I feel that I belong. I'm really excited about getting more involved there and finally getting back into having a church of some sort to call home. If any BCM people are reading this, y'all rock. 

Aside from BCM, I also started my Communication Disorders classes. I'm taking four CMDS classes and Brit Lit II (core requirement). I have four classes on Tuesday and Thursday, which is really horrible scheduling. I don't eat lunch until 2, which is the worst part. I'm quickly realizing that being in my major and taking on a junior level course load a year early is going to be harder than I expected. I'm already feeling the pressure, 3 days into classes. But that's what happens when core classes are almost over, I guess. 

I started my job today. It turns out that very few people need writing help 4 days into classes, so my fellow tutors and I did a whole lot of relaxing today. I'm still waiting to actually tutor for the first time and get a feel of what that entails exactly. 

In addition to this, I'm still visiting churches and pretty regularly attending Church of the Highlands Auburn, as well as fulfilling my duties as a sister of TBS. I also eat and sleep sometimes.

I'm saying all this to say, I'm stressed, but very happy and excited about my sophomore (junior) year. I may be spreading myself a little thin, but I'm going to see if I can handle it all. College is about learning time management, after all.
I'll have a lot more spare time when I stop spending it on the phone with Charter begging them to fix my internet.

So, now I'll just sit here and wait until my internet comes back up so I can post this blog entry....

God bless everyone :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Doors Open.

Well, I'm moving back to Auburn tomorrow. I won't actually move into my apartment until Saturday, but thanks to a few awesome friends with apartment complexes that let them in at the beginning of the month, I have couches to sleep on.

I was down in Auburn last Wednesday-Saturday to do my duties as a sister of TBS as well as interview for a job (Here's where I'm going to give another big THANK YOU to Shelby Mixson and Kaitlyn Burnside for letting me stay with them and going out of the way for me as I was homeless). So, despite the fact the my whole coming to terms with not doing marching band is still really fresh, I was in the middle of it all last week as I worked registrations, one of them being RAT registration.

Working RAT registration with the knowledge that I would have been one of those people if circumstances hadn't changed was weird. On one hand, I was thankful to not be going through that all again. It was extremely hard last year as I only had one other RAT from Thompson there and a few acquaintances from Pelham. This time around, I saw several familiar faces and some people I knew personally come through registration as they tried out again for the AUMB. I really feel for the people I saw that won't make the final cut. My heart breaks for them, and I just hope they handle it better than I did. Anyways, on the other hand, I wished to be in marching band. I wished to be in their positions for the excitement that is the AUMB and the excitement of living on their own, without parents.

Not that I would ever want to go through being a freshman in college again. EVER.

I say all this to say, a month ago, I expected to be in Auburn last Friday and stay down for band camp. I expected to be a part of it this year. I expected this to be a huge part of my remaining time at Auburn. This wasn't in the cards for me, but instead new opportunities are popping up for me. The day after I got my schedule for CMDS figured out, I went to work getting my application to work in the Miller Writing Center together and sent it off. Two days later, I was emailed and asked to come in for an interview. I now have job training on Thursday and Friday, which would not have happened if I was in band.
I'm going down tomorrow for job training as well as for TBS activities. Originally, I told myself I would go inactive from TBS if I wasn't in marching band this year. I'm now finding that in a lot of ways, I feel that I'm serving my sorority more by not being in the AUMB.

I feel like this post was not organized well, and I apologize for that. My mind is full of things I have to do before I leave tomorrow. I just wanted to update, as this is my last night in Alabaster and might be the last time this city is my primary place of residence. Besides, if I'm going to be working in the Writing Center, I should probably be doing some sort of writing myself.

To wrap this all up, I'm moving into an apartment, making me more independent than I've ever been. I have my first real job that I'm pretty excited about. I'm determined to get back to being active in a church for the first time since my youth group feel apart. AND I'm one week away from starting a major I am very eager to be a part of. I didn't think this is how I would start off this year, but I'm SO excited about it.

God provides. Just look what he's done for me in the past month.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Tonight, I decided to leave my spot on the couch and go to my parent's small group. I love this group of people, I just don't normally go on Sunday nights because it is technically an adult small group. They were gracious enough to let me join in on their study tonight.

They're going through the book of Matthew, and tonight the primary topic of study was compassion. My mom, being an English teacher, brought up the question of what the true definition of compassion is. This also started a discussion on compassion versus sympathy and empathy. I like words, so I looked into these definitions and concepts a little more in detail.


Noun: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another. 


Noun: Feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune.


Noun: Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others

So basically, empathy is understanding someone's situation. If you have a grandparent with cancer, I can empathize with you because my Pawpaw has cancer. 
Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone. If your parents are going through a divorce, I can feel sympathy 
for your situation, but I can't truly understand because that's never happened to me.
Compassion seems way harder to pinpoint to me. The definition is also identical to that of sympathy. I feel like compassion is a feeling that is much harder to feel and therefore grasp. God feels compassion for   us, but it is not sympathy, it is empathy. God understand completely everything that life throws at us. The bible uses the word compassion specifically.

When searching compassion, I was often redirected to the idea of Jesus as our shepherd.  He has compassion on all of His sheep, including those that are lost and ran astray. 
I can conclude biblically from this that God is compassionate to all, regardless of any outside factors. As the children's song says, "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world."

Jesus is compassionate, therefore we should be compassionate. Exactly what this means, I'm not exactly sure, but I do know I need to work on compassion towards others. We all do.

"When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things." -Mark 6:34

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Three Way Comparison: Why the Harry Potter Series is Superior

SPOILER ALERT: This post will contain spoilers for the following 3 books series: Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight (not that there's much to spoil there). If you read something the spoils any of these books, I don't want to hear it. I warned you.

First off, the is all completely my opinion. I'm open to thoughts, comments, and other people's opinions if you so desire.

Okay, I'm a HUGE Harry Potter fan. Yes, I'm a little biased. But I do read a lot, so I feel like I have a little room to make some comparisons here. I'm choosing to compare these 3 books series because I recently read The Hunger Games series (which I highly recommend and would urge people who haven't read the books yet to not read any further) and as I read, I found aspects of those books that seemed as blatantly similar to things is Harry Potter and Twilight that it bothered me. So, there comparisons came about.

Dianna's Required Elements for a Good Book:
-excellent character development
-a clear protagonist and antagonist
-detailed and clear plot
-a unique and interesting main character

-decent character development, get to know the Cullens, Bella, Charlie, Jacob, and select other character pretty well
-protagonist: Bella, antagonist: Mean vampires? Edward because he was mean and left Bella? Jake because he tries to break up Edward and Bella? The Volturi? Any other non vegetarian vampires? Werewolves? Everyone who's not a Cullen?
-Bella Swan could literally be any teenage girl her age. She is pretty plain and boring. The only thing that makes her interesting is Edward.
1 out of 4 elements

The Hunger Games
-great character development for a good number of characters, including main characters, District 12 occupants, other tributes, Capitol citizen involved in the main plot; this book gets the reader feeling much closer to many characters in 3 books than even Harry Potter did in it's first 3 books
-protagonist: Katniss, antagonist: the Capitol, mainly President Snow
-very clear cut plot, the end of nearly every chapter has the reader dying to keep reading and find out what happens next; constant action and events occurring
-Katniss Everdeen is unique to any other character I've ever encountered. She is fierce, powerful, intense, harsh, yet loving and compassionate. She is extremely unlikeable, but this doesn't hurt the books in any way. She uses people so that she can keep her family and close friends safe. She doesn't want to start a revolution but she hates the way she lives under Capitol. I call her the "anti-Bella" because the last thing she's worried about from day to day is which guy she's going to end up with.
4 out of 4 elements

Harry Potter
-absolutely amazing character development, get to know so many characters in so many different ways, know Harry extremely well despite the fact this book isn't written in first person (like Twilight and THG); two words: Severus Snape
-protagonist: Harry, antagonist: Lord Voldemort and his posse
-plot is so detailed I can't even begin to describe, everytime I reread the books I pick up on something new that connects
-Harry Potter is a unique and interesting character. He is selfless to the point that I don't believe anyone is actually like that, but it's a results of the circumstances of his life. When it comes right down to it, he would have died from day one if it could have saved everyone else, even people he's not close to. He is as loyal as a person can be. His history makes him interesting when he's introduced, but as the books progress, his personality development is a huge reason why he had the ability to kill Lord Voldemort.
4 out of 4 elements

I know I hate on Twilight a lot, but the writing is actually pretty good. Stephanie Meyer is a gifted writer, but let's be honest, these books were basically a dragged out love story, a love triangle, an oops baby, and a lot of building up to a battle that NEVER EVEN HAPPENED.

The Hunger Games book have a very interesting concept and a lot of unique characters, but Suzanne Collins has obviously read and stolen ideas from HP and Twilight. She compares President Snow to a snake so often that I feel like Voldemort is back again. The Katniss, Peeta, Gale love triangle has such a Bella, Edward, Jacob feel that I'm afraid one of them is going to turn into a werewolf. There's even a scene when Katniss is half asleep and hears Gale and Peeta discussing her, just like that scene in the tent when Jacob and Edward talk about Bella as she drifts off. Don't get me wrong, I really really liked these books. I just have my issues with them.

Harry Potter. The books with characters and plot and details that fit together is such an intricate way that I'm simply amazed the JK Rowling planned it all out so accurately. Not only that, she created this magical world from nothing. There are not enough words to describe how much I love these books. I'm truly blown away at how detailed the plot is. Let's not forget these are children's books. The writing level is less than that of THG and Twilight, but they're supposed to be that way. I don't feel like the HP phenomenon will go away anytime soon. I'm not saying there are no flaws in the books, but the good far outshines the bad.

But once again, I'm biased.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Fresh Start

Well, I've decided to start a blog. The amount of social networking sites I have running is getting to be pretty ridiculous, but this one will be different. This will be about me, about my experiences, about my life.

It's been a different kind of 2 weeks. I heard news on Saturday the 9th that Carson wasn't doing well and they recommended hospice arrangements be made. I went to the beach with Andrew's family that Monday with every intention of going to see Carson when I got home on Thursday afternoon. What I thought would be weeks turned into days. Carson passed that Tuesday morning into a much better place. I came home on Thursday to his celebration of life. Carson lived a much older person's life. I am so happy that he's in a better place and no longer hurts, but I can't pretend that this hasn't been hard. This is the first death that I've truly been affected by. I know that I'll see him again one day, so it's not goodbye, it's see you later.

I'll insert a paragraph about Harry Potter, because I did go straight to Tuscaloosa to the midnight premiere of the last Harry Potter movie right after Carson's celebration. This is something I had been looking forward to for months (me being an obsessive HP fan). The end of Harry Potter was like the end of a chapter in my life. I recommend the movie, by the way.

Anyways, moving on.

Tuesday at 8am was the official time that all upperclassmen at Auburn could get in to AU Access to change their schedules. I was online at 7:55, waiting. After much anger at the internet, wifi connection, and Auburn's website, I discovered my major hadn't been changed over and I couldn't register for my required communication disorders classes for my first semester in the major. To shorten this story, I made phone calls, sent a lot of emails, and soon discovered I had to take a class from 3:30-4:45 on Tuesday/Thursday, which is the exact time the Auburn Marching Band practices.

I know this seems like a no-brainer decision. It also seems like not a big deal. But I want to be in the AUMB so so much. I was cut last year and in turn didn't get to go the the iron bowl, national championship game, etc. This was the first major disappointment I've ever been through in my life. I was so ready to try out for band again and be a part of this great organization. Needless to say, finding out that there is no possible way for me to be in band and this amazing major I worked so hard to get into was devastating.

My freshman year of college was not an easy one. I had all these plans that didn't happen and it really hit me hard. I wanted to start over and do everything I meant to this past year, starting with marching band.

Obviously, I haven't been asking God what I need to do. Band does not seem to be in His plan for me. Making the decision between my major (my entire future, basically) and the extra curricular I've loved for the past 8 years of my life was one that was not easy to face. I did know almost instantly what I would choose if I couldn't find a way to make both work.

I chose my major. I chose the program I was accepted into earlier this summer, the one I had worked all last year researching and getting good grades so I could get into. I will miss band and still long to be out on the field as I sit once again in the student section at football games. But I know I've made the right decision.

I believe God is forcing me to put my trust in him. I need a fresh start, and I believe God is giving me one. These last 2 weeks have been God's way of opening my eyes and seeing that I can't do everything on my own. I'm not Him. I'm just me, powerless perfectionist Dianna who tries to control everything. Well, it's time to give control back to where it belongs.

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." -1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)