Well, today wraps up my birthday, and it's hard to believe that I'm actually twenty-two years old. I mean, seriously. That's really old. I've been telling everyone that, and everyone sort of smiles and nods, but I don't think they believe me. But anyway.
Dad was the first person to wish me a happy birthday: he called from somewhere in Nevada or Arizona where he had stopped on his way to California sometime close to the actual time of my birth (7:12 am eastern time, or 6:12 central -- I don't want to know what that is in pacific time). He joked about it being in the middle of nowhere. He shared with me his memories of my birth, and it was funny and moving at the same time. Please remember to keep Dad in your prayers (his first name is Larry) as he travels around the country.
I decided to take a personal holiday today, and so I called in to Diane Scott, my boss-lady down at McGugin Center, and she agreed that I could have the day off since it was my birthday. She is probably the best boss ever.
After checking in with Diane, I decided to sleep in and not go to my first class -- I'm doing fairly well in my art history class, and I think I did well on my paper, so it was sort of a birthday present to myself.
I did have to roll myself out to get ready for my Religious Studies class, though, because I had to make a presentation today.
There's actually a funny story there: while I was getting ready for class, my suitemate and Pledge Brother Mark Roberts (Beta Class) decided that I needed to be welcomed into my birth day with the traditional "birthday spankings", and so he proceeded to administer twenty-three punches to my butt. Actually, it was more like my quarter-flank (for the horse-lovers out there), but he's from Texas and so I'm sure he didn't mind.
Anyway, so I'm really enjoying that class so far -- the religious studies one. It's called "Global Interpretations of Christian Scripture" and our study is basically one of comparing and contrasting our own interpretation of Christian scripture with those of theologians and scholars from around the world while maintaining an awareness of our own context as people.
Yesterday, it was my turn to present, and I compared my interpreation of the Gospel of John with that of Petros Vissiliadis, a professor at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. Petros is an Eastern Orthodox Christian, and so it was especially interesting to me to learn more about that faith-tradition's beliefs and practice.
After class (which got out at 5:30), I walked over to the Vanderbilt Women's Center to pick up Kat from a meeting of Vanderbilt Feminists. Though she is the president, she agreed to leave her meeting early so that she and I could go to the Ash Wednesday service down at Christ Church Cathedral downtown (across from the Federal Courthouse).
It was a very moving service, and the Very Reverend Kenneth Swanson, the dean and rector of the Cathedral, and the Reverend Anne B. Stevenson, Canon Precentor, presided at the service (this is a correction: earlier I had said that the Bishop of Tennessee, the Right Reverend Bertram Nelson Herlong had presided this was a mistake on my part based upon the assumption that the Bishop would preside at the Cathedral and that the robes worn by the dean/rector were the bishop's robes). Canon Stevenson gave the sermon (it was a great one) and Dean Swanson celebrated communion.
After the service (where ashes from last year's Palm Sunday fronds were put on our foreheads in the sign of the cross), Kat and I had my birthday dinner at Las Palams Mexican Restaurant in Nashville. After that, we saw Ocean's Twelve at One Hundred Oaks shopping center in Nashville.