Author Archives: Matthew Woodrow

Pecans Provide Simple Pleasures

I made a resolution to walk to school every day this semester, not because I was concerned with my global footprint and reducing carbon emissions, but because I’m a cheap son-of-a-gun, who hates paying $3 a gallon for gas.

Surprisingly enough, I’ve kept my New Year’s Resolution – it actually only covers five months – except for the mornings when one of my roommates drives. But as long as I don’t, it still counts.

There were some days when I had to be at work here at KACU at 5:30 a.m., and the temperature was negative 10 degrees with wind chill, and I felt like driving. But out of sheer stubbornness, I persevered.

But now that the days are warming, that hasn’t been much of an issue, and keeping up my resolution is getting pleasanter and pleasanter. And with all the ice gone, it is easier to find free food all over the ground.

I’m, of course, talking about pecans.

My grandma has a huge pecan tree in her backyard, and I remember when I was five years old, sitting on the back porch with my uncle, stomping them open and picking out the succulent meat from the shell remnants.

Since then, I’ve always enjoyed them. Whether on top of my mom’s chocolate cake, in the sticky, syrupy pecan pie at church potlucks or as candy covered in brown sugar, they are a delicacy.

But as I mentioned earlier I’m very cheap and never bought them for myself. I merely waited for them to fall in my lap. And now they literally do.

I have gotten several dirty looks from people carrying long sticks who are collecting buckets of them to sell when they see me jumping on their potential profits. Those looks haven’t made me stop. Instead, they have taught me to wait until their backs are turned.

The walk home is pretty short, and I’m an extremely slow eater. So I only go through four or five pecans per trip, but each one is delicious – except when I bite into bits of gravel.

I believe Mother Earth is rewarding me for walking. If I had not decided to avoid the drive, I might never have gotten to eat these little treasures. And even if my motives were purely selfish, Mother Earth doesn’t know that. And who am I to reject her gifts?

Many times, rewards only come after hard work and perseverance. People say virtue is its own reward. And by keeping my resolution, I’m building character. Maybe that’s so, but I don’t see anything wrong with trying to enjoy myself while waiting for that character to come.


Winter Wonderland Brings School Slums

Many of us enjoyed the snow day we had last week as well as the snow week the week before that. Walking in the snow, watching our roommates fall in the ice and helping people get their cars unstuck from the snow were things I’m sure we all did.

Days off from school and work are nearly always welcome as well. But for the students at ACU and many other districts, four days off  in a row was a bit excessive. At the time as each police email came out canceling day after day, it felt good knowing that that was another 24 hours to put off doing homework.

But those days of wintery breaks are behind us now, and its toll is telling.

The workload that accumulated along with the ice has fallen on top of us like an avalanche and many of us are still a long way from digging ourselves out.

Tests have been pushed back, papers are due and to top it off, for many ACU students, Sing Song is looming.

The last hectic days of rehearsal combined with our normal responsibilities have been augmented by work past due.

Speaking with many of my fellow workers, church members and housemates the work now was not worth the break then.

The stress that the snow days brought, I feel, is horrendous.

Teachers, who in the past were lax about the workload during this particular week, now cannot afford to waste anymore time. All of the  extra time teachers may have scheduled into their syllabi are used up, and the workingman never had any down time to begin with.

But hopefully with the days of Sing Song ending, the weeks bring us farther and farther from the blizzard’s cold, and the cruel touch of the workload will ease.