And this bird you cannot chain

By the

May 3, 2001

I am not a religious person, but I do believe that I receive signs from God. (Warning: If you are bothered by my faulty logic that I get signs from a God that I don’t think exists, it is only going to get worse.) I follow Matt Groening’s belief in God: “If there is a God, all evidence points to the fact that he hates me.”

A solid sign from God came last week. I had a finance exam, and the morning of, I woke up and groggily stepped inside the shower. As I turned up the volume on my roommate’s tropical fish shower radio, I heard the strains of the beginning of Lynyrd Skynrd’s “Freebird.” This was clearly a sign from God. Not only was one of the greatest rock songs playing, it was playing when I stepped into the shower, and I even got to hear the beginning. Plus, due to the lengthy duration of “Freebird,” I could take my entire shower during the song. I began to think of my hometown, where, if “Freebird” comes on the radio while you are driving your car, you pull over, roll down the windows and enjoy the song’s magnificence. (Yes, there are a lot of mullets in my hometown.)

My next thought was about those bumper stickers that say, “American by birth, Southern by the grace of God.” Even though I was a carpetbagger, surely this grace still applied to me. My next jump in logic was obvious: God wanted me to do well on this finance exam. I got a 92. Clearly, that had been a message from God.

Sitting in church every Sunday while I was growing up, I eventually learned the message that God works in mysterious ways. One of these ways started in the first grade when I met this kid Ryan McCallum. He decided then that I was the girl for him. I thought he was obnoxious. During music class in the second grade, he would stare at me while singing “You Are My Sunshine.” In the third grade he stood up and declared, “Do you see that girl sitting in aisle three? I love her.” He would follow me around the school track, he would sit across from me at lunch, he would even walk around class reciting my phone number. He was a weird kid. I couldn’t understand why he had to torment me. God, though, had a plan. In the fourth grade, we were in a class that was going to be the first to use the closed-circuit television lab. Ryan wrote out a script for a news show, so he got to pick who the other anchor was. All those years of being creeped out by Ryan suddenly came to fruition?I got to be the anchor girl. I had found my calling: Journalism.

Recently, I have been questioning this calling. God doesn’t really seem to agree with my life plan anymore. God does not want me to be a journalist. Or at least John Q. Pierce does not want me to be a journalist. I was not able to preregister for Intermediate Journalism for the second time in a row. This is pathetic. Granted, the registrar’s computer does not know that I am the editor-in-chief of a campus newspaper. But a single 20-person class is not sufficient to service even the three main campus newspapers, let alone other students that would be interested in taking the class. Also granted, I am in the SFS and only a rising junior?these things don’t bode well for me getting into a sought after upper-level English course. Honestly though, a position at a campus newspaper doesn’t exactly bring wealth and fame. I feel as though I should get a few perks, such as being able to take a class that would help me be able to do my job.

Now, I could tell myself that the fact that I have said position at the Voice means that God is giving me a sign. Actually, I think it just means that God thinks I’m a masochist. One thing is for sure: If these signs mean anything at all, the rest of the Voice staff better start hoping “Freebird” comes on the radio.

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