MaxTheApe & CosetteCIE

I’ve been anxious because I’m sitting with a lot of unknowns at the moment. To distract myself, it’s time for a project. This blog has been aimless for a while now. It’s time for a serial project for the blog.

Jared and I met online, most of the folks we know realize that. What you may or may not know is that for that first Christmas we were dating, in 2003, I printed and bound every single one of our conversations and emails to that date. We still have those binders, decorated in my handwriting with lyrics from the songs we’d been listening to together.

This is a personal project, but it’s one I love and can throw myself wholeheartedly into. I am going to publish the contents of those binders. I am going to transcribe those binders into this blog. I am doing this with Jared’s permission.

One more note of background: My screen name on the site we met on was “Cosettecie,” and his was “MaxtheApe.”

So with no further ado, here goes.

(Sent on July 30, no official time stamp because it was copy-pasted directly from that dating site.)

“Cosette,”

Thank you, ever so kindly, for the smile. It is a rare pleasure to stumble across someone with whom I share so many interests, and such a common background.

Ah, where have my manners gone? My name is Jared.

I must confess an immense curiosity in regards to your experience as a Religious Studies major. I have a Philosophy/Religion major, and I also find that the narrow view of my youth no longer suits the person I am today, or the person I aspire to be. If you ever feel inclined toward sharing your thoughts, I would be honored.

I did have to laugh a bit (with, not at) about your list of “loves.” Cheese simply isn’t something that often appears first on a person’s list. I quite agree with the choice, though. 🙂 My cat also finds his way into my heart, though often times it seems more through his attempt to claw his way through it, rather than the standard affection. I’d not give him up willingly, though. And should spaghetti (or pasta in almost any form) not be found near the top of my favorites list, rest assured that it is only the result of a terrible oversight on my part.

I am left to wonder if perhaps one of those thick books on your shelf might, perchance, be Les Miserables? It is one of my favorites, and it was with no small measure of delight that I finally managed to make it to a live performance of the musical version just this past year. If not Les Miserables, may I ask what are some of those unread books?

For the time being, I must bring this letter to a close. Work clutters my desk, and diving headlong into it seems the only solution. I hope this finds you well, and enjoying a beautiful summer day.

Best Wishes,

Jared (MaxThe Ape)

(Sent on July 1, on the same dating site which I will not name here because it is embarrassing…its focus has changed so that it is not so family-friendly.)

Jared,

I have to admit that yes, Les Mis is one of those books on the shelf I haven’t gotten around to finishing. I’m absolutely nuts about the musical, and I’ll see it for the third time this next September. Glad you’re acquainted with it– not too many people tend to pick up on the reason for the nickname! My name is Caroline.

I chose Religious Studies as a major completely on a whim; I had no clue as to what I wanted to do with my life, so I decided it would be best to study something that at least sounded interesting. The downside is that I’ve constantly had to answer the question, “And what exactly can you do with that sort of degree?” I think I’ve found my calling in non-profits. But it’s not too often that I’ve found someone else out there with a similar educational experience, so I couldn’t resist contacting you! I’d be happy to discuss anything you wish on the subject.

I don’t know that I’d describe our current weather just south of Atlanta as a “beautiful summer day;” we’re dealing with the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill. Got five and a half inches of rain yesterday! But for now it’s just overcast– at least it’s not terribly hot. Hope your weather’s a bit better.

If you’d like to continue our discussion, please feel free to email me at [email now defunct]. I hope to hear from you soon!

Sincerely,
Caroline

Date: Wednesday, 2 Jul 2003 11:42:09
From: “Jared Price” <email probably still functional but it’s J’s so I am not publishing>
Subject: Fury of Mother Nature
To: <email now defunct>

Caroline,

Thank you for the speedy reply, permission to use your normal email address, and sharing your name. It is always much easier to share a conversation with someone when you have a name to associate it with the words.

Like you, I developed a love of the Les Miserables musical. That later transitioned into enough curiosity to get me through the book. It’s such a wonderfully done show. Just incredible.

I somewhat accidentally stumbled into my Philosophy/Religion major as well. I was fortunate enough to have a couple of exceptional professors in the field, and that can make all the difference in the world. Did you have any favorite courses, or areas of interest?

I would image that work ing in non-profits has some wonderfully rewarding aspects. I’m seemingly on a continuing adventure toward discovering where I want to be. The last six years have seen me working in education, helping teachers at various levels with how to use computers in their classrooms. The down side of that is that my positions have been grant funded, and yet another end of grant deadline looms ominously at the end of August.

No, I don’t imagine that the remnants of “Bill” are making for wonderful summer weather, at all. I’m afraid I had somewhat forgotten about that. We’ve had a bit of poor weather up here lately as well. A small town that five of my friends are from was hit with somewhere between 4-8 tornadoes just a couple of weeks ago, and nearby they reported hailstones as large as 16-19 inches in diameter. I’m not sure what is irritating mother nature at the moment, but a brief break from severe weather would be quite nice about now.

Curiosity may be getting the better of my manners in asking, but what sort of non-profit organization do you work with? (Of course you may feel free to not answer that, if you’d prefer.)

The time has come when my nose must be put back to the grindstone. In the absence of wonderful weather, I hope you are able to surround yourself with wonderful people. 🙂

Sincerely,
Jared

Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2003 14:08:52
From: “Caroline Ellison” <email now defunct> 
Subject: Re: Fury of Mother Nature
To: “Jared Price” <J’s email>

Jared,

Most of the religious studies classes I took were of a comparative nature; I didn’t focus on a particular concentration. Our program is still in a fledgling stage, and attached to the philosophy department. At a school with over twenty thousand students, there were only about eighty of us RELS majors! When I graduated this past semester, we had the largest class ever from the program, at something like twenty graduates. Luckily, I too had fabulous professors committed to trying to expand the program and also give us individualized attention.

Among the more interesting courses I took were Modern Judaism, Consciousness and the Paranormal, and Death and the Afterlife. Modern Judaism traced the development from Orthodoxy into the various denominations, and touched on the development of the state of Israel. Consciousness and the Paranormal focused mainly on mysticism in a variety of religions, but the class itself was not quite as interesting as the professor was.

Death and the Afterlife explored the mourning traditions of Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism. As part of that course, we visited the chaplaincy office athlete major trauma office here in Atlanta, and that visit was so inspirational that I’ve been thinking of pursuing the career. However, that requires seminary, and I just don’t think I have the patience for school right now. Besides the work would be so emotionally intensive that I think it would be a better second career.

I definitely don’t mind talking about work– I am the volunteer assistant for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. At any given time we can have up to 12 houses going at the same time, and only one person on site is usually actually staff– the rest are volunteers. It’s my job on Saturday mornings to meet and send volunteers out to sites based on where we need help that particular morning, and I also do some office work during the week.

So tell me more about yourself and your passions. Are you originally from Lincoln? And do you mind if I ask how a “violin playing goat” is any better than a regular goat? 🙂

Sincerely,
Caroline

Date: Wed 2 Jul 2003 20:50:27
From: “Jared Price” <J’s email>
Subject: A more lengthy response.
To: “Caroline Ellison” <email now defunct>

Caroline,

My experience in my Phil./Rel. program had certain similarities to yours. The college I attended was quite a bit smaller, with only a little over one thousand total students. If memory serves, there were three of us graduating with degrees in the field the year I graduated. I was fortunate enough to have quite a number of classes that numbered twelve, or fewer students. My religion professor had just come to the college the year before I started after spending about seven years teaching at a graduate school in Jerusalem. During the summer after my sophomore year, he took a group of about twenty of us to Israel for the better part of three weeks. It was an amazing trip. As my senior year approached, I realized that I would e able to virtually take a semester off, and still finish both of my majors in four years. With his recommendation, the school that he had taught at accepted me as a part of its fall class of 42 clergy and teachers of religion (an me.) 🙂 It was a wonderful experience, being surrounded by people from all over the world and from a wide variety of religious backgrounds. I stuck around for an extra month and a half, working as a volunteer with a group that leads camel treks through the Negev Desert. One of these days, I would very much like to get back to visit some people.

Wow! That list of courses sounds like it would have been terrific. I imagine that you’re quite right about how emotionally intense a position like hospital chaplain would be. Perhaps one of these days, as you said, it will seem the thing to do. It sounds, in the meantime, like you have found a position you feel quite passionate about.

Ah, tell you about myself and my passions… this could prove a rather time consuming literary adventure. 🙂 I’ll opt for a shorter, condensed version for the time being. I am not originally from Lincoln, and have only called it home for the past three and a half years. I’ve lived in Iowa, several towns/ cities in Nebraska, and Colorado. I actually count myself fortunate for having had the opportunity to move about a fair bit while growing up. I must confess that my travels have never managed to take me to your “neck of the woods.” As for my passions, I must count among them reading, music, theater, and travel. I also quite enjoy my work. As for specifics in any of those, it’s difficult for me. My literary tastes range from the classics, to best-sellers, to Tolkien and the like. Musically, I can enjoy virtually anything that has intelligible lyrics. A star as theater goes, I can enjoy either live shows, or a good movie. My general taste in movies shows through in the reference to the “violin playing goat,” as quoted from Notting Hill. I tend to enjoy movies that fall under what many people would term “chick flicks.” Yes, I am man enough to admit that. 🙂 My opportunities for travel have been relatively limited, but I have enjoyed the opportunities that have come my way. I also look forward to doing more. There are many places, both in the U.S. and abroad that I would love to visit.

Are you originally from Georgia, or do you find yourself something of a transplant? Have you any favorite places that you’ve been? And favorite books to recommend, shows to see, little known musicians to listen to? Where would you most love to go? What, or who are you most inspired by?

Alright, perhaps that is enough questions for the time being. 🙂

Take care,
Jared

P.S. If you’d like to chat sometime, I do have Yahoo Messenger. I’m not on often, but would be delighted to share in a more interactive conversation, if the opportunity presented itself.

 

That’s enough for today.

About Caroline

I'm Caroline... a creative-type human being, a wife, and a mama. I love people, music, warm sand between my toes, a blank journal and pen, and photography.