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TIP term two may not be very different in my daily routine, or my interactions with the staff and kids, but you better believe it has still been serving a purpose for my life.  I didn’t realize it would, but I should have known better! Mainly it’s served to open my mind up to new things. Of course I did the study abroad thing two years ago, and that aided the open-mindedness, but not quite the same way as Duke TIP is.  For starters, there is a good amount of time towards the end of a TIP session where the kids begin to work on their projects.  This means there is time where I can’t exactly work on whatever I want, but I can do something that I can easily stop and pick back up with as the kids need my attention.  That being said, I’ve gotten to read a lot of TIME magazine and The Economist.  Finally feeling like I am no longer living under a rock when it comes to world news.  What did I retain the most of from my reading? Haha, here’s a snapshot:

From The Economist

The last sentence is my personal favorite, especially since it is from a British magazine. They are known for their dry humor, so I guess this is no exception – poking fun at their own lack of sunshine and other things…

Second, I’ve come to have a love/hate relationship with these hills.  It used to be all hate, but now there is a tad bit of love mixed in.  As for my knees and other joints, they haven’t quite joined the love bandwagon yet.  I really enjoy having elevation to break up a run, and provide an additional challenge (mentally and physically), BUT I also cannot wait to have a flat, fast, long run around the lakes once I am back.

Third, FOOOOD. In addition to trying all of Durham’s frozen yogurt places, and I mean ALL, Durham has broadened my palate, too.  The Duke East Campus dining hall has, well, opened my taste buds up to a variety of things.  It never ceases to amaze me what  dining halls can concoct with their resources.  They’ve done some traditional things in the sense of cafeterias, such as making rice krispie treats with fruit loops, but it is in the picture below where they really stepped up their game.  Ladies and gents, I present you with glop.  Glop is still a neologism…Merriam-Webster hasn’t picked up on it yet…but as soon as I saw and tasted its wonder, I had no other words but, ‘glop,’ and so it was named.

I apologize that glop is not photogenic…let me proceed to attempt and describe it before you judge its ability to taste delicious based on the visual.  Glop is any type of pudding mixed with layers of another, equally delicious dessert usually eaten in solid form.  For example, you see pictured above: chocolate pudding with bits of sugar cookies and vanilla pudding with bits of sugar cookies. Sometimes it’s banana pudding with bananas and Nilla wafers, or banana pudding with sugar cookie bits.  We even have had pudding mixed with cake pieces.  Whatever is mixed with the pudding has been softened overnight due to soaking in the pudding…  Ohhh the options, all equally tastey.

Fourth, my mind has been opened to the various ways one can celebrate a birthday.  Duncan, an RC (Residential Counselor) at TIP, had a birthday last week.  His parents, naturally, wanted to send him a gift. Well, in typical TIP fashion, they sent….something unique, different, unprecedented.  A bagpipe player came to dinner.

Fourth, I really appreciate how hard it’s been being up here, because it’s caused me to reflect a lot and learn to truly get my strength from the ultimate source. I love the church I’ve found, The Summit, and thank Seth Reich for suggesting it!  Also, check out the article on Ryan Hall, the fastest distance runner in America.  When asked for his coach on some Olympic forms, he put God.  Not surprisingly, a lot of commentary followed from the media and the public.

Starting the trek home this weekend….then moving again to a new apartment! Living the nomadic lifestyle can be exciting, but I am ready to settle in.  Currently taking offers for couches, large pillows, coffee tables…and the like. I must say, I can’t wait to make my own peanut butter again! And of course, I miss LSU. The years have only gotten better and better since the start, and this year will be no exception.


There’s a difference between happiness and joy.