Posted by mountainmelody On 11/29/2009 11:48:00 AM 1 comments
Lord God, we are waiting and watching. We wait, not knowing when you will come. We watch, not knowing where you will come. But you will come, just as you have promised.

You have spoken to us in an angel's song. You have come to us as a newborn child. We see your face in those who hunger and thirst, in the frail, the lonely, the sick, those who live in fear, those who suffer, those who mourn, those behind prison walls, and those without adequate clothing and shelter on these cold nights.

As we watch and wait for you, we are filled with hope. May we be found whenever and wherever you come. Stir up your power, O Lord, and come.
Posted by mountainmelody On 11/26/2009 07:55:00 AM 1 comments
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Posted by mountainmelody On 11/23/2009 09:10:00 AM 2 comments
I've been feeling more of the yucky mono feelings again lately. :(

Without an alarm, I've been sleeping 10-11 hours every night. I've also been getting tired and needing to rest during the day.

Seriously? I thought I was done with all this.

Oh well. I know it could be worse!

stick man in peril

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/21/2009 11:15:00 AM 0 comments
sign in the Vatican Museums

GA prayers

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/19/2009 08:40:00 PM 2 comments
Girl 1: Please help my grandfather, who is sick.

Girl 2: I pray for the missionary kid with a birthday today.

Girl 3: I pray that my cat will not go to my grandmother's house and get fleas.
Posted by mountainmelody On 11/17/2009 07:28:00 PM 2 comments
so. tired.


Posted by mountainmelody On 11/16/2009 05:01:00 PM 0 comments
I've been reviewing my research today. I don't think I've posted this excerpt before. It's from 1965:

A forward-looking church in Tennessee has outlined goals in preparation for the year 2006, when the church will celebrate its centennial. Plans for new buildings include a double-deck parking lot with landing deck on the roof for air cars and helicopters.

A vast Uniworld University is predicted by 2000 with microfilmed libraries instead of books and television substituting for classrooms. One has only to punch a translation button and hear world-renowned lecturers in any language.

It is estimated that by the year 2000 the average American family income will rise to $15,000 yearly, or higher.

It's interesting that some of the predictions seem way off base, but others have more or less become reality. Who knows what the future holds?

random pic

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/14/2009 11:26:00 AM 1 comments
Here's a random picture of one of two cute kids who were wandering around the Colosseum, dressed in togas. They seemed perfectly happy with these outfits. This reminded me a little of the time my friends and I went to the mall dressed in togas--but I digress!
Posted by mountainmelody On 11/13/2009 09:36:00 AM 0 comments

one of the Raphael rooms in the Vatican Museums


Posted by mountainmelody On 11/12/2009 07:53:00 AM 0 comments
I came back! Now for a few relaxing days without a dissertation to work on... :)

You can check out my trip photos on Facebook. Email me if you need the link.

all roads lead to Rome

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/10/2009 12:08:00 PM 0 comments

I had an enjoyable day today exploring the Colosseum, forum (forgive the shaky video), and Palatine Hill. Very impressive!

I'm heading home tomorrow, as long as I take the right bus and train to the airport! :)


Posted by mountainmelody On 11/09/2009 03:03:00 PM 0 comments
I went here today, among other places. About all I can say is wow!

I've had a pretty good balance of striking out on my own and hanging out with girls from the hostel. It's been really great staying in an all-women hostel. I recommend it!

I promise more updates later, when I have time.

Miss you all!

when in Rome...

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/08/2009 03:13:00 PM 0 comments
Don't wear clothes like this to church, apparently!

Don't worry--it's a bit too chilly for me to be dressed like that this week. ;)

Anyway, I had a great birthday in Rome today. Thanks for all the positive energy!

I was lucky enough to meet up with two musicologists studying 16th century Italian music. Perhaps you think that musicologists are required to be boring--but they were quite fun people!
I got a whirlwind tour of around 15-20 churches (and other sites) in Rome, along with lots of interesting tidbits related to music history. It was a great day!

Here's hoping my next two days are also good. I'll post more pictures here--and lots of Facebook--later.


Posted by mountainmelody On 11/07/2009 02:08:00 PM 1 comments
I made it to Rome, and have already gotten a great tour of the city from a new friend. Fun! My hostel is also nice and very safe. It's for women only. It's a great place to relax and celebrate finishing my dissertation!

I have to admit that traveling alone can be a little nerve-wracking, though. I've gone several places by myself, but for some reason have been especially jumpy and unsettled today. I think it may be because I'm still a little tired from being sick.

Anyway, it really helped me to find a travel companion to see the sites the afternoon. You can pray or wish or send positive energy my way, in hopes that this might happen again the other days I'm here. :)

Wish you were here too!

next stop: Rome!

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/07/2009 01:20:00 AM 0 comments
I'm either crazy or adventurous--or most likely a mix of both!

I'm heading to Rome now for a few days. Here's hoping everything goes okay.

My next post should be from Rome!
Posted by mountainmelody On 11/06/2009 02:28:00 AM 0 comments
There's a wonderful sense of community here that's hard to put into words. It's a remarkable experience to study, eat, talk, pray, and sing with people from many different countries around the world.

Maybe later I'll be able to better articulate how refreshing it is to be here. For now, here are some words from a hymn we sang this morning in chapel:
Teach us, good Lord, to serve the needs of others;
Help us to give and not to count the cost.
Unite us all to live as sisters, brothers;
Defeat our Babel with your Pentecost!

-Fred Kaan


Posted by mountainmelody On 11/05/2009 10:55:00 AM 4 comments
After more hours of work than I'd ever like to count, I just submitted my dissertation!!

400 pages
1,202 footnotes
1,335 paragraphs
85,357 words (without footnotes)
118,551 words (with footnotes)

WHEW! I'm exhausted--but very excited to get my life back!

Now I just wait until January or February, when I'll come back to Prague and defend it.


one down, one to go!

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/03/2009 07:38:00 AM 9 comments
I just completed my mock viva (practice defense). Basically you go into a room, and three people sit at desks staring at you. They grill you on your topic, and anything else they might want to ask, for an hour or two.


I have to say that I'm glad that it's over. Too bad it wasn't the real one--I have to do this all again in about three months!

I felt like things went very well, though. I answered all their questions--even responded intelligently on most of them! ;)

And they didn't recommend major changes to my dissertation. That means that I should be able to proofread it one last time and submit it by Friday. Yeah!!

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers!

made it!

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/02/2009 07:15:00 AM 1 comments
Here's the view out my window on this rainy Prague afternoon. After far too many tiring hours of travel, I made it! Yeah!

I've discovered that my practice defense is tomorrow from 1-3:30 (6-7:30 AM Alabama time). Wish me luck!

(Post edited to show a new time. If nothing else, you can dream about me this morning at 6!)

I'm off!

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/01/2009 11:41:00 AM 1 comments
I'm heading for a week of studies in Prague, plus a few days of fun after that. Yay!

I have a practice defense of my dissertation on Tuesday. I'm not sure the exact time, but I'm guessing it will be in the afternoon.

I'll spend the rest of the week making final revisions on my dissertation. I need to submit it by Friday. (!!)

After that, I can relax a bit!

I'm still having more moments of "mono feeling" than I'd like (yuck), but I can usually function. Here's hoping this week will be a good one!