Jim Huggins (jkhuggins) wrote,
Jim Huggins

Wednesday Hodgepodge: 21-22 October 2015

The Wednesday Hodgepodge is courtesy of From This Side of The Pond.

1. October 21, 2015 is Back to the Future Day. Did you see the movie? The sequels? In the second film, Doc takes Marty into the future to prevent Marty's future son from making a mistake. They leave 1985 and land on a 'skyway' on October 21st, 2015. So tell us, what were you doing in the fall of 1985?

I saw all three movies ... though I'm not sure whether in the theaters or via other means.

In the Fall of 1985 ... I was beginning my academic career at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.   (More on that later.)

2.  If time travel were possible, would you want to go to the future? The past?

Between the two ... I think I'd rather go to the past, and understand how we got here.   The future ... well, it might not be possible to understand how we got there.

3. We're not flying cars, but some of the technology imagined in the 80's film has indeed come to pass in real life 2015-flat screen TVs on the wall, tablets, fingerprint recognition, video conferencing, online banking, 3-D movies, motion controlled video games, drone cameras, and smart glasses (Google glass).  Do you worry technology is growing at a rate so fast we'll soon be unable to keep up with it's demands? Do you think the Internet does more harm than good?

I teach a course here at Kettering that discusses these ideas at length.   I subscribe more to a theory of "technological co-shaping": society shapes technology, which in turn shapes society.   No, I don't think we'll be unable to keep up with technology; cultures are self-correcting in that sense.   If we build something that overwhelms us, we'll either back off, or we'll build a way to cope.   As to the Internet ... no, I don't believe it does more harm than good.   The harm it does is substantial, but so is the good.

4. Your favorite dish prepared in a slow-cooker? Your favorite fast food?

I can't really say I've got a favorite slow-cooked dish.   As for fast food ... "favorite" is an odd word, I guess.   Lately, just about any sort of wrap (breakfast, lunch, dinner) is a go-to pick for me.

5. No time like the present, down time, face time, pressed for time, in the nick of time, make time, mark time, or just in time...which timely saying most relates to your life right now?

Pressed for time.   Too many things that need doing, too little time or motivation to get them done.

6. Tell us about a place you went as a child or younger person that's no longer there or is now something else. How does that make you feel?

My high school, Livonia Bentley, is now closed.   In fact, I was a part of the last graduating class from Bentley.   Years of declining enrollments in a baby-boomer bedroom community led to the need to close one of the four high schools on the district, and Bentley was the oldest facility.   Part of the building was razed ... some of the remaining parts are still around as a community center.   I haven't been back anytime recently ... but it feels a little odd that "I can't go home again".

7. Describe your comfort zone.

Knowing what's coming, and being prepared to handle it.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

As an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan, I had the privilege of being a part of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship movement.   I learned so much from other Godly men and women about how to serve others for Kingdom purposes, as we struggled along together to hear what God had in store for us.

I was also an awkward young man, socially.  (I still am, to a certain extent.)   Especially when it came to romantic relationships.

During my sophomore year, I finally realized that there was a young woman in InterVarsity to whom I was attracted.   Donna was a dear friend who was in my circle of friends that hung out together frequently.    Probably the only two people in our circle who didn't know that I had a crush on her were me and her.   But I eventually figured it out ... and then had to figure out what to do about it.

So I was thinking about all of this at some social event, being a little pensive, and Donna comes over and asks me "so, you seem distracted, what's going on?".   GULP.

Looking around at the large group of people making a huge amount of noise, I managed to blurt out "well, it's not something I feel comfortable talking about here".   So she invited me to come over to her dorm in a day or two and have breakfast and talk about it.

When I did show up for breakfast ... she was kind, she was supportive, and she was so sweet ... it almost made it harder to tell her, as it was clear she had no idea.   After coming right up to saying it and freezing up for a minute, I finally blurted out "I'm attracted to you", and the conversation moved on.   As I suspected, she wasn't expecting it, but she was extraordinarily gracious, and I had enough good sense to say "hey, no need to say anything right now".

About a month later, we had a follow-up conversation, where I got the "let's be friends" response --- which I'd kinda figured out by then.   But it was all good; I was afraid that professing my affection for her would screw up that friendship, and I was grateful that we could continue as good friends.

Unbenownst to me, somewhere in that time frame, Donna started dating a Godly gentleman who would eventually become her husband.   There was never any awkwardness or resentment there; I knew Paul, and was glad for the two of them.   We lost track of each other as the years passed; I was glad to reconnect with both them on Facebook a few years ago.

Yesterday, I got word that Donna passed away.  I still don't know the details; I hadn't heard of any illness, but not everyone broadcasts that sort of thing.

Today I'm grateful for a loving Christian woman who found a way to deal with a young man's awkward affections in a God-honoring way.   And I'm grateful for the knowledge that she's now in the presence of the Lord she served so faithfully.

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