Wednesday is my long day. Starting at 10 am with a lecture in German and ending at 6 pm with a literature seminar, I have back to back classes. They weren’t bad today. Didn’t understand much of the first one, but I’m pleased to report that I’m getting pretty efficient at taking notes in German off the overhead. This is tricky, you know, because I have to look at almost every word to learn how to spell it, and also write fast enough to get a whole slide copied down before he moves the next one, and all this while trying to listen enough to catch the drift of the lectures. Fortunately his sentences and his slides are peppered with country names, English quotes and phrases, and UN resolutions. These help me keep up with the topic sequence, if not the argument itself. But I am understanding full sentences and a paragraph here and there! When I don’t understand much of what I hear in a day, every paragraph I can follow feels like a first class accomplishment.
On a more serious subject, I’ll tell you what’s been on my mind all day:
Last night when I was poking around online I read on the George Fox website that Ben Hawkins, an acquaintance from school, was killed Sunday in an accident near Newberg. He and his wife hit some ice after a hail storm and slid off the road (but were ok). Another car came and slid on the same ice and hit Ben (the people in that car were also Fox alumni who attended while I was there). I didn’t know Ben very well, but he was a delightful person to chat with and good friends with many people I know. Last time I talked to him I had stopped by Chapters bookstore in Newberg, where he was working. He was getting married soon (or maybe just had) and was so cheerful telling me about her and their plans as he made my coffee. I’ve been sad today thinking about the people who will miss Ben for the rest of their lives. His wife, Rachel. His parents. His best friends. Sad for the couple in the other car, who will have a double burden of grief and guilt on their hearts. Please pray for them this week.