Fifth and Final Day


Wow, are my five days already up? As difficult as things seemed at the beginning, the days sure have flown by. This might just be the weekend talking, but I’m pretty sure things are looking up for me and my Integrity.

Before we conclude, it’s time for the normal business.


  1. Say what I mean and mean what I say. (Even in response to “Hi, how are you today?”)
  2. Do what I love to be who I am. (Run and practice cello daily)
  3. Be an honest Christian person. (Strive to rise above gossip and genuinely put others before myself.)

1.  Say what I mean

Today, I was excited, and I let everyone know it. ⇑ I always feel pumped on football game days, but Homecoming is the best. I got to learn what it meant here on a college campus and how that differed from my high school experience. Mainly, less dancing, more alums. Parties were also in full swing. However, after the game I turned to my friends and said “Honestly, I’m beat. Do you guys just want to hang out in the dorm?”

“Oh my gosh, yes!” they said. We had a marvelous time chatting and listening to music in their dorm room. Score for honesty!

2. Do what I love to be who I am.

Apparently I am a procrastinator first. Not a runner. Not a cellist. First on my line of characteristics on job applications should be procrastinator. Although I’m not really sure that would work too well for employment sake.

I plucked my cello a bit but with the football game, my heart just wasn’t in it to play today. Still, I made sure to at least hug my cello for a few minutes before bed. (That’s musician lingo for practice a little bit. But you can think what you want.) 

My activity today? It seems I am a professional spectator. Other than running around hooting, hollering and whooping like a madman that “We crushed the Pipers! We crushed the Pipers!” running was not on the agenda. Χ

3. Be an honest Christian person

I’m pretty sure I need to go to mass tonight more than I realized yesterday. If swearing alone merited it, I’d need to go to daily mass from now on. A form of gossip known as “smack talking” the opponent is a mandatory spectator sport.  Χ

However, I noticed I have become genuinely more interested in learning about other people in daily conversation than telling about myself.  The trick is now to remember it.  I send little texts to myself to remind me. “Jacob likes the song ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’.” “Maria likes Alice in Wonderland.” “Leah’s favorite animal is a bunny.” I hope to use these notes for further gift ideas and to foster more discussions in the future. This is all about connection.

So, today’s tally is… 2: 

So what does this all mean?

Throughout this assignment, I have been asking myself what I’m actually learning about matching my words to my actions. Some of my thoughts had me going down theological rabbit holes, so I will sum up my insights below.

  • It’s OK to be polite and lie a bit when someone casually asks you “how’s it going?” Just be sure to know if the person actually wants to talk or that they actually care before giving any other response than “Good, how about you?”
  • Being honest with others and myself has made me more mindful of what I want and what others want too. The trick has been knowing when to stand up for myself and when to let it slide.
  • Daily habituation of practicing what I claim I’m devoted to is very difficult but one of the most important lessons I need to instill. If I say I am a musician, I need to play music. If I say I am an athlete, I need to be active. It’s knowing when to maintain these practices and when life actually needs takes priority that I find out who I am.


This life is not a race, it’s a marathon with no end in sight. All I can do is be the most honest person I can and to keep striving for greatness. Not perfection. Just to be a great me.

This is Ryan, signing off.

gentle smile goodbye



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