Author Archives: holtfan

Trivia Team

I usually do trivia Wednesday nights. It started casually this summer. I joked that they called me when they couldn’t find anyone else to join the team. For a while there around the holidays when I heard nothing from them, I thought they’d dropped me entirely. (‘Voted off the trivia team’ is not a badge I wore proudly.) 

But turns out, they just weren’t doing trivia. Life commitments cropped up. And over the last few months, I’ve become as much a regular as anyone. An Ole Fashion Part of the Team.

Due to schedule conflicts, we went to a “different” trivia tonight. And the place was so packed, we actually didn’t get a spot so we didn’t go to trivia at all. We all trooped over to a nearby restaurant.

And I feel really grateful for it.  

I’m grateful for a lot of things. I’m grateful for the friends who’ve reached out over the past week. So grateful. I’m grateful for the friends who’ve stood by me as I’ve processed my initial waves of grief. I’m grateful for my family. 

But I was struck tonight with gratitude for little things like tonight. Time to pass around the latest political gossip. Time to shake heads at the recent season of The Bachelor. Time to compare beers and sandwiches and talk about job interviews and opportunities. All those little moments of friendship that I’ve missed living in Madison. And I’m grateful for it. 

And all of you! 


Older Sister Mode

Despite being the oldest of five kids, I do not have a particularly motherly personality. No one would call me the “mom” of my friend groups. But I am very much an older sister. And sometimes that comes out with other people. 

For example, I saw one of my students at a bar the other day. He was there with a girl. I could not resist embarrassing him a tiny bit–complete with a wide grin and obvious waving to get his attention. He turned beat red. Sometimes, you’ve got to tease your people. 

But being an older sister means more than embarrassing your younger siblings. Sometimes it means demanding information from them to gauge how they’re doing. Tonight I accidentally entered older sister mode with someone I carpooled with to Bible study . Logically I knew it wasn’t Bethany in the car with me as we left, but habits die hard. 

“So, did you have good conversations tonight?”

“Who did you talk with?”

“What did you talk about?”

“What was your biggest takeaway?”

“Do you want to go back next week?”

The person took my interrogation in stride, but I’m pretty sure they’ll think twice before going anywhere with me again. Because I will ask you about your day, and you will like it!


Some More Thoughts on Sanditon

Well, PBS Masterpiece officially aired the last episode of Sanditon tonight. What a journey it has been. If you’ve kept watching, you’ve probably found a way to divorce the story from your beloved Jane Austen’s works. Or perhaps you think she’d like this adaption. 

I am not sure how I feel about it. 

I knew going in how it ended so I was braced for the less than Austen-like ending. I was pleasantly surprised with how it worked out for a few side characters. And no spoilers but…Bethany in particular was invested in the Lord Babington story line. (She says he ranks just below Mr. Tilney for best Austen guy. Mr. Tilney!) 

I will say the Babington story line did redeem a lot of the more unlikable characters. I’m still not sold on Sidney Parker–the supposed hero. He is still something of an ass. 

I’m curious enough that I would watch another season if they made it. But much to Bethany’s chagrin, I’m still refusing to sign the petition for one. 


Family Grading

I don’t know who decided that college students should hand-write their exams, but I’m not a fan of that person. As the TA for an undergrad class, I spent 90% of my grading time trying to read illegible handwriting. 

Thankfully, my Mom and siblings are better at deciphering messy handwriting than I am. And also thankfully, I’m home this weekend, so I get the benefit of their hand-writing interpretations. And opinions. They are very opinionated about which students deserve what grade. 

It brings lots of welcome laughter. 

“I think he means ‘talk’ but that word looks like ‘fulk’ which is uncomfortably close to another four letter f word.” 

“Is there any reason this essay should be about…spiders? Am I reading that right?” 

“That is not the definition of a republic. Geesh, I’m not even in this class and I know that.”

“Give that kid a B+.” “No, dock points for how illegible that handwriting was! B-!” “It was FINE. We were able to piece it together. But actually, this other essay is way better so give him a B- anyway.”

“She was doing SO WELL and then she just abruptly ended. What happened?!” 

If only these students knew. 


Grief, Life, and Interviews

I’ve been blessed. I’m 26 and this is the first time I have lost someone close to me. Not everyone is that fortunate. But I’m still facing the learning curve. 

I’m struggling to find the contours of grief while getting things done. Because I had to get through that Law Review election. And then I had to proctor my student’s exam. And today I had a job interview. And a part of realizes that I could have begged off of all those things, but they needed to get done. 

People have been very kind and supportive. 

But I still feel responsible. 

The interview went well today. And more to the point, I got to interview for my replacement. That was fun. But now I get to go home and I am looking forward to that even more. 


Verses of Comfort

Psalm 34:18: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 119:114: You are my hiding place and my shield. I hope in your word.

Matthew 5:4: Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Revelation 21:4: He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

 


Grandma Bea

We lost my Grandma Bea today. I don’t think I have anything more to say right now about it. She will be greatly missed. Prayers for the whole family appreciated.