Monday, June 27, 2011

What I did on my summer vacation.

Within 20 minutes of my arrival, I was covered head to toe in creamy peanut butter. The stuff caked my pigtails and was smeared on my shirt. It was a voluntary ambush; a salty-sweet welcome to my late arrival as a counselor at summer camp. I showed up right in the middle of Yuck Night - a free for all cabin-bonding activity where peanut butter, oatmeal, jello and other foodstuffs are thrown about in various relay races.


This past week I spent 6 days and 5 nights in northern Indiana. It was mostly cold, rainy, and filled with 5th and 6th graders. There was a beach, but I didn't get much sun. It may not be many people's idea of a fabulous getaway, but I couldn't have asked for anything more.

I. love. camp.

Summer camp, at Tippecanoe Baptist Camp in North Webster, Indiana, was a tradition I participated from 1997-2007. From age 9 to 19, I trekked the three hours north from my home town to spend anywhere from a week as a camper or counselor to a whole summer as a lifeguard immersed at this modest summer retreat. The American Baptist Association of Indiana and Kentucky has rallied around this little camp for years - despite the distance, I chose to go here because my father and his family attended years ago.

From singing the camp song (Eye-I-kee-I-kus, nobody like us, we are the kids from the baptist camp!) to gathering around the campfire in the evenings, yelling at reminding campers to walk, not run down, the hill, and everything in between, so much of what I remember and cherish about this place is the same. Having counseled and even worked for several summers, it really warmed my heart to see that despite not having been there for several years, my presence and influence still lingered - in the music left on the chapel laptop, and even an old photograph from the camp I counseled in 2007 pinned to the bulletin board in the dining hall.

I know it sounds cheesy, but this place changed my life. I made friends, experienced leadership opportunities, and grew in my faith. Due to circumstances with school, I've missed out on camp for the last four years, but after a friend reached out needing female counselors, I grabbed my three vacation days and headed out. It was definitely a wake up call, as kids I watched over years ago were now employed at camp as lifeguards, or even volunteering alongside me as a fellow cabin leader. I felt so old!

Some elements have changed, but most are the same. There's something comforting about the cinderblock cabins, the seaweedy lake, and the quiet chapel, surrounded by woods, dappled with sunlight, inhabited with kids singing at the top of their lungs.

Enjoy the pictures from this week :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

an ode to typography.

I love words. since the time I started "reading" (memorizing) Doctor Seuss books, up to now with my incessant habit of analyzing and collecting fonts for my personal use, typography - the shape and influence and sheer art of letters - has been an influence in my life and style.

Every piece of artwork I own is typographic in nature. my senior thesis project revolved around the positive and negative and in between space of language and letters. I can't get over the power of letters, combined into the perfect words, to communicate exactly what I mean.

The weight and context of the written language - the ability to exactly convey emotions, and thoughts- is the most precious gift.

It is art.

I am innately drawn towards art through words. the shapes and forms the letters in their different styles take - an f is an f is an f is an f - so many ways to make it depending on its font.

So many ways to paint a word depending on its size, slants, curves, negative and positive space.


Words! We are so lucky to have language with which to communicate! EXCLAMATION POINT! and so many of them.

Words are so important. They carry weight. emotion.

I love you.

you're fired.

I'm sorry.

Writing them down fixes them in space. Makes them important and memorable. Keeps them forever.

Even typing on this screen seems less permanent.

Typography takes the beauty of language and makes it visual art.


They say a picture's worth a thousand words.

I say the perfect word paints a thousand pictures.