Saturday, October 30, 2004

Interesting Blogs...

People intrigue me! I love people (you probably already knew that). Something draws me to people and I love meeting new folks! That’s another opportunity for making another friend!

So, not keeping myself occupied very intellectually last night (AKA “bored”) I took advantage of the “next blog” button that is located in the upper right hand corner of this screen. When you click that it takes you to another random person’s blog. I’ll have to admit, I enjoy good pieces of journaling from other folks, even if I don’t know them. Usually you can read just a few sentences or even just the titles of some of their blogs and tell if they will be something of interest to you. Well, I found two blogs right off the bat that totally kept my interest. The first is a gentlemen who proclaims to be gay. His blogs include great humor, fun(ny) pictures, some “not for kids” pictures, and some interesting books he is reading. I must admit, I am interested in this one book he talks about called “Magical Thinking.” Anyways, his blog is one I’ve bookmarked for future reading and I just find it to be all-around fun. It is located at

My second find is more of a “well worth the read” kind of blog. This blog belongs to a 17 year old girl who is what I would call an intellectual AND quite a trip! This girl literally had me laughing out loud, which is funny to think because I’ve never even met/seen the chick, nor do I really even know anything about her. What first drew me into her blog was the opening post which was so touching and hit at home for me because I’ve just recently blogged as a sense of “relief” about a death that meant a lot to me too. This young girl’s blog spoke about a woman who just died from cancer and left behind her family. This young girl was apparently close to this woman and through her blog she expressed the sorrow she was feeling. I couldn’t help but comment to this young girl because I felt her pain. I won’t say “I know what she’s going through” because we never can know that, but I too understand the sense of relief bloggin’ about something like that brings to an individual. But after I read on through her blogs following that entry I couldn’t stop! This girl is literally a TRIP! She has these one blogs she calls, “100 Things You May or May Not Know About Me” and she breaks them up into lists of 10 statements and blogs them every so often in “volumes.” I find these to be SOOO clever (and HILAROUS usually). I’ve convinced myself I HAVE to copy this idea (yeah, so it didn’t take much “convincing!” HA!) She is also quite the poet (even though I’ve never really had much of an interest for poetry). I totally recommend this “random” blog to you and it can be found at

So, random blog reading has been a source of fun for me recently. I’d recommend it for a rather “boring” night! It’s funny too because you NEVER know what you’ll come across. Many times you get blogs in undecipherable languages, or ones that play random music, or my favorite, pictures of the folks (some rather cute and you’re thinking to yourself, “why am I ewing and awing at these random people’s babies?!” HA HA!)

So, check out the blogs I recommend and feel free to send me some interesting ones you find!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

My Sister's Speech

My sister is currently a freshman at ACU, but this past June she graduated 2nd in her class at the Christian Academy of Greater St. Louis. Here is her salutatorian speech. Read it and see how similar our writing styles are, as well as some values in life that we share (I think you'll know what I mean); of course, there are a few differences too! ;)

Jayme Smith's Graduation Speech:
Even though I’ve only attended Christian Academy for two years, it’s felt like a lifetime. I remember the summer before my junior year when my dad was telling me about a school called Christian Academy. As soon as he told me that it was a private school, I automatically asked if they had to wear uniforms, because there was no way I was getting into one of those plaid skirts. But must to my relief my dad said they didn’t. I had gone to public school my entire life and this would be the biggest decision I would have to make. For some reason, I decided to go for it, not knowing that this choice would affect my life in the greatest way.

If any of you can remember what I was like my first semester at CA, you would know that I am exactly the opposite now. I didn’t talk. I recently had a discussion with one my good friends, Lindsey Stopke, and she told me that she was even shocked to have met a girl who talked less than her! I have to admit that I didn’t like CA very much when I first came. Everything was completely different from my public school. But soon, that all began to change.

I got up enough courage to try out for basketball and am I glad I did! I believe that’s when I started realizing what Christian Academy was all about. I haven’t missed the opportunity to play a single sport since then. I knew that I would be able to keep my grades up and that’s what school was always about for me. But when I came to CA, it became so much more.

Christian Academy is about people. Up until I came to CA, I called people my “friends” and “best friends” because they were people I had known since kindergarten. Now, I’m a little shocked to have called them my friends at all. I didn’t know the true definition of a friend until I met the people at CA. A friend is someone who loves you no matter how many times you drive them up a wall. A friend is someone who will stay with you on the phone, listening to your problems until you promise them that you’re okay. A friend is someone who would stick by your side no matter what and puts their faith in you always.

The definition of a teacher was also brought to my attention while attending CA. I had only known teachers that would help me with a math problem or an error in grammar. That wasn’t the true definition of a teacher. A teacher is an extraordinary being who not only seeks each individual student’s needs and sees that they’ve been accomplished within the specific subject, but who also cares about the student’s life. A teacher listens to a student, even when the student’s not speaking. The definition of a teacher goes hand-in-hand with the definition of love.

To be totally honest, the most amazing aspect of Christian Academy is how you’re affected spiritually. I have attended the Church of Christ my entire life and when I came to CA, I went a whole year with people assuming that I was a Christian because I was already “walking the path.” Only a few of my close friends had found out that I wasn’t a Christian and they were concerned.

By the beginning of my senior year, the topic of baptism was brought to my attention everyday by that little voice inside my head called a conscience. I didn’t know if I was ready to become a Christian of if I was just scared to change my life. And if you know me, I tend to push important things to the back of my mind when I don’t know how to handle them. I’m ashamed to say that’s what I did, but God wasn’t going to have it. Out of the blue, one of my closest friends brought the topic up. She was very courageous in this process because she knew, but didn’t care, that I didn’t want to talk about it. And am I glad that she told me that she wasn’t going to leave me alone because she loved me. She stuck with me and answered every question I had. She sat next to me as I talked with adults about becoming a Christian. There was no doubt in my mind that God was working through her so she could help me.

This is what God does with the people at CA, if you let Him, He will do awesome things through you. What left me in awe was that this friend was three years younger than myself and she was helping me out more than those who were older than me. Standing only a few feet away, on the stairs of the baptistery, she watched me become a Christian. If I wouldn’t have come to CA, I wouldn’t have my good friends and I probably wouldn’t have become a Christian.

I have grown tremendously close to the people at CA since I first began. Sometimes I ask God why He only gave me two years at CA, but then I realized that it’s just that, God gave me two years at the Christian Academy. These two years have been the two most memorable of my 18 years of life. When I first walked into CA, I didn’t know what to expect and to tell you the truth, I didn’t even know who I was. Now that I can reflect, I want to thank you CA, for helping me find myself, Jayme, and for helping me grow mentally, emotionally and most importantly, spiritually.

As I come to a conclusion, I ask you to keep touching the lives of students as you’ve touched mine. I love each and every one of you and Christian Academy will forever own a special place in my heart.


Seeking an older, wise, experienced (in the sense of life in general), storytelling gentleman. Some helpful characteristics include having a warm smile, an always ready word of encouragement, and always willing to share in a good laugh. Bonus characteristics include a passion and true joy for people and life in general.

In need of advice and reassurance. Searching for an individual with greater wisdom who is willing to help interpret the painting which we call life.

[There's some situations that are strong reminders of events of the past. My Tuesday night class is one of them, so the 20 minute drive there is hard to not think about some things. Also, with my paper coming up that I was going to write over Chuck, that is yet another strong reminder....]

Will You Be There by: Michael Jackson
In my darkest hour;
In my deepest despair;
Will you still care?
Will you be there?
In my trials;
And my tribulations;
Through all doubts;
And frustrations;
In my violence;
In my turbulence;
Through my fear;
And my confessions;
In my anguish;
And my pain;
Through my joy;
And my sorrow;
In the premise of another tomorrow;
I’ll never let you part;
For you’re always in my heart.

Monday, October 25, 2004

My Highlights from Homecoming Weekend in Abilene!

Going back to Abilene for my first chance to return for a Homecoming Weekend was GREAT! Here is a list of some of my highlights from the weekend:
  • Showing up for Chapel on Friday and seeing all my great GATA pals! And gettin' hugs from some folks that really surprised me! HA!
  • Singing around the fountain on Friday after chapel only to have several people honestly think I was the one that put the soap in the fountain that morning! HA! Plus, I got to stand by my buddy Becca on the fountain (even though she decided to take it upon herself to push me into the soap at the end!)
  • GATA lunch at Rick and Carolyns! I LOVE that place! They have the BEST greasy burgers! YUM! But beware of the chicken, because we all know what chicken can do to you! ;)
  • Going out to float to meet more of the cool flames! I have been SOO honored to meet so many of the Flames, they are great kids! And yes, I have some favorites! ;)
  • Getting to chill with Kendall and JWalk at Ellison's house on Friday night. Those ladies are fun folks and I don't get to chill with them that often.
  • Not being all that tired at GATA Breakfast. This actually surprised me! I had a great time and really enjoyed seeing everyone again!
  • Going to the Homecoming Parade! This was one of my FAVORITE things! I've never got to watch the parade, so I "ate this up"! I have never lost my voice so quickly in my life, but it was SOOOO worth it! GATAs float and Flames were GREAT (congrats on the second place win!), and then having two great ladies I admire as Queen Nominees was wonderful too! Then of course I was so honored to watch the parade in a huge group of my GATA friends! We had a BLAST watching it, especially with the air-horn!
  • Sitting in Homecoming Chapel and being Text Messaged on my phone SEVERAL times from GATAs sitting two rows behind me. And getting to watch Laura play Nazi GATA to the Flames! ;)
  • Going to the ACU football game was GREAT! I got to chill with some of my favorite GATAs once again and bond some more with some GREAT Flames! Not to mention getting to reunite with my old roommates from 825 Alive too! I might have got sunburnt from this event, but it was WELL worth it!
  • Getting to watch the World Series game at Buffalo Wild Wings with some of my favorite folks! There is nothing better than sittin' back, STUFFIN' your face (man, me and Slagle pigged out!), shootin' the breeze with good pals, and watching sports!
  • Randomly driving around with Slagle after Buffalo Wild Wings because we were SOOO hyper (I don't know why since we were going on like only a few hours of sleep). We drove by so many folks houses, but it looked like more folks were already in bed (yes, we probably drove by your house around midnight on Sat. night...HA!)
  • Sleeping SOOOOO hard Sat. night that I didn't hear Slagle's cell phone ring right next to me at 2:30 AM OR did I hear Ellison leave out the front door for that is some GOOD sleep!!!
  • Ordering pizza with Slagle for breakfast/lunch when we woke up and us each sitting in front of the tv with a medium pizza in our laps!
  • Going to Misty and Jenni's house and having hard-core chat time till almost Flag Football time!
  • Then finally ending my time in Abilene with some much-needed flag football practice! It was great to be back on the field, even if it was all muddy and I got burned by Flame Kelsey a good number of times!

I couldn't have asked for a better time in Abilene! I'm always so blessed by the friendships I have and couldn't ask for better people in my life!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Joel Daniel Rodriquez (1982-2004)

“I was going to call you, but I figured you’ve probably already heard from 10 other people by now about the bad news.” [an IM message from Cheryl]

“Nope, I have no clue what you’re talking about. Are you just joking with me, or is there really more bad news?”

It was then that I took it upon myself to visit the ACU homepage, which I’ve visited WAY too often the last week if you ask me. It was then that I saw the news release announcing the death of a fellow 2004 psychology graduate, Joel Rodriquez.

I had had the pleasure of meeting Joel through several psychology classes we had together, but I’d have to say I got to know him the best when I sat behind him in the late Charles Trevathan’s Ethics class. It was because of the friendship that we formed through that class that I decided to ask Joel if he would be my date to the GATA winter social in late January this year. Joel might have never known that he wasn’t the first, second, or even fifth guy I considered asking to this social, but that isn’t what matters. Joel was ecstatic that I asked him to go with me! In his email reply to my asking him he said,

“Do you know that I have never been invited to a social before? Never! I was extremely surprised by you. Well, I would really like to go. I just have to see if I can get off of work and class. I've really only been to Dallas a few times. I just usually go through the airport. Tell me what I should wear and everything else I need to know. I don't want to feel underdressed or over dressed.”

I’ll admit, maybe Joel wasn’t who I would have liked to take the most to that social, but I’ll never forget how happy he was that I asked him and invited him to his first ever social club social.

Joel might have been a little different from the “norm.” Yeah, he brought his photo albums along on the bus ride to Dallas for us to look at pictures of him from the past. And yes, he pulled into the certain lane in the middle of Judge Ely and just sat in his car waiting for me to catch up with him when he saw me walking around the perimeter of campus during Springbreak this past March just so he could say “Hi.” And yes, maybe he started calling me every few nights and talking for like 45 minutes to an hour about TOTALLY random stuff once I gave him my phone number because we were going to go to winter social together. But even with these “differences,” Joel had a servant heart. As it has been said in his obituary and on the ACU news release about his death, Joel loved children and took many hours out of his own week to volunteer with them, especially under-privileged kids.

So, the week of October 12, 2004, has taken the lives of two individuals from my spring 2004 Ethics course at ACU: Dr. Charles Trevathan and Joel D. Rodriquez. While I wish I had access to the email addresses of everyone else from that class just to say, “Be careful!” I have definitely taken a new view on life and realized how surprising life can be and it is important to always live it to it’s fullest! Don’t let things get you down! Find the joy in life and live for it!

R.I.P -- Joel

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Home From Abilene Once Again...

So my trips to Abilene luckily are more frequent than not. I say this because I don’t know what I’d do without getting to see some of my favorite people in the world. While the main purpose of my trip this weekend was not specifically to hangout with my friends, it inevitably happened anyways!

As most of my blogs about “just returning from Abilene” tend to go, this weekend I once again had the pleasure of hanging out with many different friends. On some of my trips to town I find myself spending longer periods of time with fewer friends and then on some trips I find myself spending smaller portions of time with many friends. I would have to say this trip followed suit of the latter case.

It began by getting to see a number of GATAs at the GATA vs. Siggie flag football game that I was fortunate enough to get into town in time to catch the second half of. Following the game I got to spend some time with my buddy Aracely as we ran across town to run an errand for my buddy Jennifer Ellison. Then it was on to seeing my buddy Becca at the library. This gave me an opportunity to watch the Cards kick the Astros butt via the internet with her! ;) When I left there I went over to her house to see her roommates, and my buds, Cheryl, Liz, and Leah. Then it was late and time to get to Ellison’s for night of rest before Friday.

Friday—I got to go to Chapel and see MANY great GATAs as well as the Flames. I was even “made” to sing around the fountain with them all afterwards. Then it was GATA lunch time! Fazoli’s, not necessarily my favorite place, but it was good for reminiscing with my pals! It turned out afterwards that Janaye, Stacia, and Becky needed rides back to ACU, so they deciding they would “risk” riding with me, rather than having to walk. I say risk because if you ask them, they were questioning whether I even had a driver’s license, but if you have ever ridden with me before, I’m sure you’re aware that I’m a good driver.

So, what else was included in Friday’s fun? Janaye and I went and signed the book for the Trevathan family that was in the sociology office; Brandi Woodard and I took a random trip out to Lake Fort Phantom so I could finally see it; Janaye and I went to the visitation for Charles Trevathan and got to talk with Dubie Ray and Senator Bob Hunter while we were there; Liz, Chris, Stacia and I went to the showing of Spiderman 2 in Cullen, but I’ll have to admit, Liz and I paid no attention to the movie, we just caught up on life in general by whispering VERY quietly through the entire movie!; then I got to spend some much needed catch-up time with my good friend Misty at her house later that night! It was good to spend quality time with her and her roomie Jenni. Then it was off to Ellison’s house at 1 AM for another night of sleep!

Sat.—I went and got Sonic and had lunch with Reiff and Laura at their house. Then it was time for the funeral. I got to sit at the funeral with Laura, Reiff, Liz and Chris. The funeral was 2-hours, but I didn’t once have to look at my watch because it was nothing short of amazing to hear the life of such an inspirational man. Then it was on to get some real food in me. I didn’t eat much of my lunch, so I went and enjoyed some good ol’ Rick and Carolyns! Then it was GATA flag football practice time and Janaye convinced me to change clothes in my car and play with them since their numbers were a little limited! Man, it was good to throw a football again!

Now, from football practice on, the rest of the day was a SOOO much fun! I can’t go into a lot of the details, but I’ll list what all was included: pranking, playing old school Nintendo, pranking, watching BRAVE souls go into “the crack house,” sharing the “dead baby house story,” hanging with “a prostitute,” having nine of us RANDOMLY show up at Becca, Cheryl, Liz, and Leah’s, and then a fun time at IHOP! Yeah, so maybe I didn’t get to bed till 2:45 AM, but it was GREAT fun! I want to thank Lindsey Miller, Angela Rawlings, Janaye Batiste, Stacia Barton, Echo, Erin Clardy, Flame Courtney, Flame Heather, and Jennifer Ellison for the loads of fun we had at some point during the night together. [Disclaimer: all those listed above were not with me all night, so this does not incriminate ANY of them in pranking. No where have I said who I pranked with.]

Sunday I slept in late and got to shoot the breeze with Ellison for a short while before I went and hit Rick and Carolyn’s for a final “Not-so-big burger” to take on the road with me for the trip back to Irving at around 2:45 PM.

What a weekend and what a blast getting to hang and chat with SOO many fun folks!
I love y’all!

The Aftermath…

While the night of Tuesday, October 12, 2004, was a tough one for me, I was lifted up by the love I have from so many wonderful people in my life. On that night I was planning to sit through another night of my Foundations of the Profession of Social Work class, but boy how different that night turned out to be!

That night, I spoke on the phone to eleven different individuals, and only three of which did I call. In this order, I spoke with the following people: Becca Osborn, Laura Singleton, Holly Herr, Misty Willcox, Janaye Batiste, Hollie Inwood, Val Jolly, Cheryl Leland, Jennifer Ellison, Jayme Smith, and Jeremy Smith. If that wasn’t enough support from friends and family, I spoke on AIM that night with thirteen different folks, most of who IMed me: Brandi Jo Magee, Jennifer Walker, Melody Forest, Holly Herr, Meg Shareon, Becca Osborn, Laura Singleton, Aracely Velasquez, Misty Willcox, Jennifer Reiff, Liz Wood, Amanda Harris, and Chris Cummings. And by the next day the list continued. I can’t tell you how many people said to me the words, “you were the first person I thought of when I heard the news,” or “people were asking about you when they heard about it.” Can I just say I have AMAZING friends!

So, as the blessing of true friend’s continues, I’ve had many of you ask how am I doing in the days following the news, so I’ll tell you that now…

I’ll admit, I cried myself into a migraine that Tuesday night, but was able to relief it with Nyquil upon going to bed a little after midnight. With it being a school night, I had hopes of waking up the following morning at 7:45 AM free from the migraine, but that occurrence actually took place at 2:45 AM. HA! I found myself awake, headache free, and feeling very rested. Now, lying in bed, not being tired, only led to thinking, which led to me getting up to write the article I later submitted to the Optimist for publication; I finally went back to bed around 4:45 AM.

As for that article, it got published in Friday’s Optimist and I think it brought me a strong sense of closure in my typing and submitting it. I found myself rereading it in the paper on Friday feeling at ease. Some people say the funeral is a sense of closure, but for me, saying what I said in that article and in my signing of the tribute guestbook online worked the best for me.
The rest of the weekend in Abilene seems more like a time to honor Chucky instead of mourn his death, to me. I found myself sharing favorite moments and stories about Chucky with SEVERAL people all weekend. Those times of laughter are GREAT medicine!

Yeah, maybe my eating habits were greatly influenced this past week by this news, but let me tell you, it wasn’t but about an hour after the funeral that I found myself enjoying what has come to be one of my new FAVORITE places to eat when I go back to Abilene to visit, Rick and Carolyns! The lack of appetite could be contributed to basic nerves I suppose. I can’t tell you how worried I was about going to the visitation, which turned out to be NOTHING to worry about (he wasn’t even there), and then the funeral was more of a time of honor, rather than grieving, so it was not as rough as expected either. I had envisioned myself breaking down at the funeral, almost as I had done Tuesday night, but those who sat around me, can justify my claim that not once did I shed a tear, only had watery eyes on a few occasions. I might say I have nerves of steal, or maybe I just don’t like crying in front of people...HA, one obviously influenced me there! If anything, I found myself cracking up more often than having watery eyes while I was there. That man truly was a nut!

So, in the end, I’ll admit. I’ll still think of Chucky T and want to go visit him in his office for some encouraging words and advice every time I come to Abilene to visit. I also quite often find myself wishing I had taken advantage of the endless offers he gave me to come stay at his house with him and his wife whenever I was in the Abilene area. And don’t think I won’t be thinking of him when I write my paper for my graduate class that I was SOOO close to emailing him to ask him if I could write it on him only minutes before he apparently had his heart attack on Tuesday.

[If I haven’t already shared this with you, I’ll tell you now. Talk about weird, I have a paper I have to write for one of my classes and I had planned to interview and write it about him. So around about 3:45 PM that Tuesday I was reviewing the requirements for the paper and I only put off emailing him to ask if I could interview him this weekend or next for it, because Oprah was about to come on and I didn’t want to miss the show. How weird to think I was thinking of him only within the hour of his death and didn’t know it.]

I want to end by saying thanks to all of you who gave me support when I so greatly needed it! And I’ll end now with the lyrics to a song that I listened too on the trip back from Abilene today. I think they kind of fit with the events of the past week.

Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)
By: Green Day

Another turning point a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist directs you where to go
So make the best of this test and don't ask why
It's not a question but a lesson learned in time

It's something unpredictable
But in the end is right
I hope you had the time of your life

So take the photographs and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while

It's something unpredictable
But in the end is right
I hope you had the time of your life

It's something unpredictable
But in the end is right
I hope you had the time of your life

It's something unpredictable
But in the end is right
I hope you had the time of your life

Charles Trevathan, J.D. (1936-2004)

Charles Trevathan had some unfinished business to take care of following his heart attack on March 21, 2004, but having already lived a life full of good-will towards his fellow man, Chuck needed less than seven more months to be able to say, “Mission Complete.”

On October 12, 2004, a second heart attack took the life of Charles Trevathan while he spent the evening hours of the day in a place that he loved so dearly, his ACU office. In an Optimist article that was so appropriately entitled “For the Love of Teaching” which was a superb piece of prose written about Charles less than three weeks prior to his passing. In this piece, Charles’ good friend Rae Adams told how Charles once told her “that if he died in the classroom, he’d be happy.” Personally, I think his office was what Chuck meant by “the classroom,” because I think he wouldn’t have wanted to die amidst a class lecture, because he would be determined to get it finished before he would allow himself to take a final breath.

If you had the opportunity to talk to Charles in the time following his first heart attack, he most likely expressed to you on more than one occasion his hope to teach seven more years in order to have a life of three 25-year periods of careers: a student, a lawyer, and a teacher. Unfortunately, Chuck’s teaching career fell a little short, but in the 18 years of teaching that he did have, I think he reached more people than most teachers reach in a 30 or 35 year career!

Charles Trevathan had a gift for reaching people. He had a yearning to help and befriend individuals and it didn’t matter who they were. His Father and his family came first, but after that, it was open to anyone and everyone that he could come in contact with. The best part was how he would “get to you” without you really realizing it was happening until it was too late (I believe this talent matured from his career as a lawyer). I think Shiloh (Webb) Jones put it best in her tribute to Charles that she signed to his guestbook online (; “He let us into his life just as much as he asked us to let him into ours.” You wouldn’t know it, but by the way he would tell us about his life, he was slowing drawing himself into our life. This truly was a gift of his!

At the funeral on Sat. one of the speakers so perfectly described Charles as the true meaning of altruism; I could not agree more! Never once can I think of a time where he thought of himself before those around him. His students were his number one priority when he was in the classroom or in his office. It didn’t matter how much paper work he had building up on his desk that was going to keep him up later and later, night after night. With Charles, if a student wanted to talk, all grading was pushed aside.

A husband, father, grandpa, teacher, colleague, friend, mentor, role model, servant, preacher…and the list goes on. While that list only begins to describe the many roles that Charles fulfilled in his time on earth, the list of characteristics to describe him is just as endless…altruistic, humble, loving, caring, funny, wise, inspirational, motivation, stubborn, determined, gentle…(now if only the answers to his tests had had this many correct responses).

So, if Charles wasn’t an angel in disguise, I don’t know who would be! While this angel has moved on to share his stories with some of the other angels, we who have been left behind will continue his gentle spirit through our memories and the good-will he instilled in each person he so innocently touched.

Long live the Trevathan spirit!