Friday, September 25, 2009

Serving it up, dinner party style

15 dinner guests + 9 different kinds of food + 4 different countries represented + lots of amazing help + tons of fun and laughter = a WONDERFUL afternoon/evening!!

I love to cook and Ashley is an excellent hostess, so we combined these things with our love of the international this evening for a dinner party at my apartment. Ashley started preparing food last night, and I started cleaning, grocery shopping and cooking at 2 p.m. today. After devoting the afternoon to preparation (thanks, Anna and Becky, for the help), we were so excited when 6 p.m rolled around! Well, 6-something-ish... I've learned to never rely too heavily on a concept of time when interacting with those from more relaxed cultures. ;-)  We had a nice mixture of international students (8) and American students (8), most of whom did not previously know each other, as we began to eat. Several people brought food, so we ended up with: stuffed shells, lasagna, salad, cranberry orange cream cheese dip with crackers, coconut pie, monkey bread, strawberries, chocolate ice cream, and Korean crab chips. We had JUST enough food. We scooped up the last bit of lasagna and the last leaves of lettuce for the last two people who walked through the door. Whew! God provides. :-)  

I would just like to take this moment to describe what a poor hostess I am compared to Ashley. She is always looking out for the needs of others, and she does an amazing job of making people feel at home. And it comes naturally!  I, on the other hand, have to constantly remind myself to try and think of what people may be thinking or feeling and figure out what I can do to fill those needs. I'm not always successful with coming up with stuff OR being mindful of it in the first place. Dishes didn't even occur to me tonight, and we ended up having to scramble for a motley collection of plates and cups. I love being with people and doing things for people, but the hostess aspect of it does not come naturally at all. I guess that's what's so important about the concept of each of Christ's followers being part of the body of Christ; we complement each other and fill in the stuff they're missing!

Four countries were represented in my living room/kitchen tonight, and my apartment was full to the brim of lively discussion about everything from driving to dancing to finding similarities in everyone's languages. You know the night is successful when people offer to host it at their place next time. :-)

Thank you to everyone who helped prepare, everyone who helped clean up, and everyone who CAME (and interacted and learned and laughed)!

What did I learn most from this evening? Molla/Buzhidao/Je ne sais pas/No se/Shirimasen/I don't know. But I sure look forward to next time.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New Magazine

Each student in my Magazine Management class has to design a business plan and basically create our own magazines by the end of the semester. It's really fun so far, and I've always loved doing this type of thing. I have to come up with and plan my magazine from scratch, and I end up with a huge bound copy of design pages, story ideas, competition research, staffing plans, mailing strategy and everything else you can imagine. It will be a lot of work, but I'm excited about it.

That being said, I'm still in the conceptual stage. I came up with a mission statement and a name, but my favorite name was taken by some tiny magazine up in Chicago. My second choice name is still iffy, but we'll see. :-)  I will post my mission statement sometime and see if anyone has ideas to add. I would love second, third, and fifteenth opinions. If you want to know more about it, just ask me!


Several people, upon hearing that I'm a journalism major, immediately ask if I have a blog.
I always reply something like, "Well, um, not right now, but I really should..."
In an effort to reduce my lameness quotient, I will officially start blogging. For real.

Many of you will remember that I planned to keep a blog while in East Asia this past summer. That was the full intention, until I couldn't access
blogspot at any point during the trip. Here is my meager tribute to two months of amazingness:

I don't want to add the cliché "Well, we'll see how this blog thing goes." I mean, I kind of want to.... but I won't. Because it assumes that I'll never have anything interesting to write about. Let me assure you: as a journalism senior at the University of Texas at Austin who loves international students and adventure, I will never be at a lack for material. We'll just have to see what I have time to share. :-)