I have probably posted this story before, but I’m too lazy to find out. In my first job out of college, at our new staff orientation, the HR trainer had us go around the room and tell everyone else from whence we hailed. Loads of the newbies were from Massachusetts (where I was working), and others, like yours truly, were from other places. One young woman seemingly felt the need to set everyone straight should they have considered that she may have come from Massachusetts (or some other assumed location), as she said, “Actually, I’m from Delaware.”

Whoo, well, you set me straight! I thought you were from Rhode Island at least.

To this day, I still don’t know why she started that phrase with “actually.” Now, instead of trying to figure it out, I just laugh about it and share the memory of it with you. Don’t you feel actually enlightened?

What makes the story better is my learning that she had no choice in using that phrase, because she is from Delaware. Not to begrudge Delaware, of course (or actually), but that phrase really didn’t make sense. Fortunately for Delaware Girl, I also made such crazy out-of-my-homeland comments all year long.

One day, a new hire asked me if I was going to lunch soon. I said, “Yeah, I’m fixin’ to.” She shot me a look that told me I had said something crazy-like, and repeated the phrase back to me.

“What on earth does that mean?” she asked me, visibly shaking with laughter.

I explained myself in plainer English that I was GETTING READY to go to lunch, apologized that I had confused her, and she said she thought it was so cute and Southern of me.

Later, I was at the grocery store with my roommate and her brother. We entered the store, and I announced I would go get the buggy for us.

“The what?” they asked.

“Buggy,” I replied, indicating the SHOPPING CART.

They nearly fell over laughing at me.

I don’t blame them, really. To this day, even as I live in Atlanta, that’s still a cart to me.

But I still say “fixin’ to.” It’s just too hard to NOT say. 🙂


So, Saturday night, we were ACTUALLY (hee hee) preparing for an Octave performance. This nice man hired us to come sing at his church, and wanted us to sing some of our “off-color” (i.e., maybe not-so-church-appropriate) songs, which we changed our words for in an effort to both sing the songs he requested and to keep our consciences clear from offending anyone (we say “why the hell” in one song and “still pissed off” in another, which aren’t the worst things you can say, but we scrubbed them up anyway).

We were warming up prior to our performance, and one member, N, who sings the solo on our song, “Baby, I’m Yours,” jokingly said “I should sing, ‘Jesus, I’m Yours.'” We all started laughing about it, and while we were laughing, A, another Octave member, asked if she should step up to the mic on her solo on another song.

I said, “Yes, you should.”

Our director, B, thought I was replying N’s suggestion of singing, “Jesus, I’m Yours,” and she didn’t think that was the best idea. She said, “I know you’re all into Jesus and all,” and even though I explained that my “yes, you should” was directed elsewhere, it still was said again by another member, C, that “actually, she (meaning me) is [into Jesus].”

Wow. It’s not like something I tried to hide, and certainly not something I’d deny, but it was still an interesting experience to hear that they identify me in this way, when that wasn’t my intention to say anything about my personal beliefs in the context of this performance. I’m happy that others tend to identify me as Christian, “into Jesus,” etc. I’m also into tolerance, peace, welcoming others, being accepting of differences, celebrating intersections between everyone’s beliefs and values. I hope folks know these things about me, too.


Cheerleading is over for the season. Just as it seemed like we were finally getting started, it’s all over! This year was full of challenges, mostly in the natural disasters arena. Our campus partially flooded back in September when Atlanta received a heavy concentration of rain across several days. The result was the loss of the use of our field for this season.

Fortunately, there are ways around these situations, and through the graciousness of other schools who could host our football games while they played away games, we were able to have our season. Which in turn meant I got to drive the bus to all these games! Wow, is it a scary thought of driving a bunch of children around (even if they are old enough or almost old enough to drive). It all went well, and the girls did a great job this season, but man, was it a tiring experience this year. It didn’t help that I’ve had the blues and had bronchitis for a few weeks. I didn’t think about it in these terms until today, but because we traveled, our games turned into a larger time commitment. That’s a long time to be “on” as a coach.

What’s funny is no matter what obstacles JV cheer has to overcome, we always hit our stride right at the end of the season. Our stunts are almost 100% solid, it’s easy to learn new dances and incorporate the next progression in stunting, and it’s just time to stop. I can’t help but wonder what we could accomplish if the season lasted longer. I’m proud of them all the same, of course!

As I wrote above, I’m now going to have my afternoons free. I’m motivated more than ever to study German (it’s been a while!), research grad school and study for the GRE, as well as turn my focus back to Octave as I have wanted to do but haven’t had time to do because of coaching.

I also want to get some yard work done that I haven’t had time to do (poor pansies have been frowning at me from their flats – they need room for their roots, please!).

I’m anticipating the births of several friends’ babies, too. Seems like there have been a lot of baby showers lately and the actual birth days have been arriving one by one. So exciting!

It’s been a busy, bustling fall!


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