Work in Progress

Baseball, Seminary, Wrestling, and the Dreams and Days of one Mike Work's Angeles experience

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Brief update tonight (by my standards).

Doing really well, and have enjoyed this past week, a welcome break from school, and a chance to put hebrew in the rearviewmirror.

In the absence of required reading, i've had the chance to read books of my choosing, which are often more visibly pertinent to present life and long-term dreams.

So this week, i've read three great ones:

How to Stop Acting - Harold Guskin (acting coach who stresses the importance of responding to the script honestly and instinctively; i can't help but see parallels with bible study, among other parts of life)

The Last Word and the Word After That - Brian McLaren (third work in a trilogy of theological fiction; i've a deep resonance with the trilogy, and consider him a kindred spirit who sees the value of asking 'different questions')

Working the Angles - Eugene Peterson (a splendid work on pastoral integrity, specifically the importance of prayer, being read by scripture, and spiritual direction, or listening for god's activity in the everyday.)

I'm also in the middle of Victor Malarek's 'The Natashas,' a look at the global sex trade. This one's taking a bit longer to read, and making it through a chapter without wanting to throw something has been rare. Weighty matters.

Elsewhere in my life, tomorrow marks the beginning of a new quarter, and the transition from a courseload consisting of theology courses to courses in Fuller's school of intercultural studies. So this quarter's focused on anthropology and culture change, cross-cultural service and communication, and the biblical strands that undergird our sense of mission, and i'll be auditing courses on urban studies and children at risk. Nights will be busy. Three of my classes take place in the evening timeslots, while i work the other two weeknights, but will have saturdays off, which will be quite nice.

On the subject of Saturdays, my good friend Rafe is leaving soon for a job in Vegas, so we'll be throwing a farewell party at the Raymond House this coming Saturday, October 1st. Good times await.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Speech Patterns

I've been writing sample commercial and news copy of late, and am learning to adhere to a word count which matches a timeframe. For instance, a 60 second spot should be between 150-180 words, the common threshhold for the time alotted. When I go over that limit, I usually find myself rushing through the final fifteen seconds, or losing the vital tagline or contact information.

Writing for the SEMI, Fuller's student publication, alongside Doc Thompson's church history essays, has introduced me to print word counts, which i'd previously tended to disregard. Articles tend to carry a 500-600 word max, half a page in print, and the equivalent to three or four minutes of uninterrupted speech.

So writing involves distilling hours of musings, serious and half-joking, into a piece which, while it may look sizable in print, equates to only a few minutes conversation time. Hmmmm...