Blog Archive: Life

Home Sweet Home

After much searching, I’ve finally found a place to live when I graduate. A few friends and I will be residing in the ritzy Milwaukee-area city of Brookfield in a nice three bedroom townhome. Once we’ve moved in, I’ll consider posting a few pictures online.

I’ll be graduating on Saturday at 10 a.m. I’ve got 7 tickets, 4 for my parents, and 3 extras. If you need an extra for one of your guests, or if you want to come see me graduate, let me know and I’ll hook you up, while supplies last.

I’ve gone a single final exam left – one for Dr. Jung’s Contemporary European Societies class. This exam has two parts. The first is what Jung calls the cumulative question. This is basically a take-home handwritten essay that summarizes all the material that we’ve learned over the course of the quarter. The second is one of his standard exams, consisting of some fill in the blank vocab, two short answer questions, and one brief essay. I plan to finish up the essay in between taking apart my deck and my loft and beginning to move stuff out into our house. I’ll be taking the other part of the exam Friday morning, before the Senior Design show.

City Life

In the past, I’ve told friends and acquaintances that I would rather live in Chicago while going to school than in Milwaukee. Though often classified as a “big city,” Milwaukee feels tiny in comparison to Chicago. Thus, I’ve often felt cheated while at school, in that I’m in a middle of a town large enough to be classified as a big city, yet there is an absence of large buildings and that huge feel that Chicago has. After a visiting Chicago for the Nth time yesterday, these feelings changed.

Sure, I’ve been to Chicago many times in the past. Growing up only 30 miles west of the city, I had lots of opportunities to drive and take the convenient Metra commuter train downtown. I always found it exciting and invigorating to see the big buildings and walk around feeling as small as a mouse among men. While this feeling was no different yesterday, seeing all sorts of crazy traffic, hearing drivers blare their horns at one other, and getting cut off as a pedestrian made me appreciate the more relaxed atmosphere here in Milwaukee.

However, I still wouldn’t classify Milwaukee as small. Traffic jams still occur at rush hour, especially with all the work on the Marquette Interchange still being in progress. I’m excited to be graduating in May and am eager to move out of the downtown area. Don’t get me wrong – MSOE is in a great neighborhood that is doing nothing but improving – but the suburbs are more my style.

For those of you who I haven’t already told, I recently accepted a position for post-graduation employment as a Software Developer with Milwaukee-based Metavante, the technology subsidiary of M&I Bank and creator of all sorts of banking-related software. Since the headquarters and the main development office are both located out of the downtown area, I plan to move into a nearby suburb such as Wauwatosa or Menominee Falls after graduation. Adam and I plan to live together, at least until he and Donna get married, which is doubtlessly inevitable.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the little update on my life. I apologize for the absence of posts, I just haven’t felt much in the writing spirit lately. All the interviewing I did last quarter, in addition to my normal load of schoolwork, proved to be quite tiring.

God’s Promises

As I drove home from a trip to Border’s this evening, I was reminded of God’s covenant with the earth that Moses recorded in Genesis 9 –

Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: 9 “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. 11 Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
Genesis 9:8-17 NKJV

While I doubt the rainbow I was able to enjoy on my ride home was as impressive of God’s first one, it was unquestionably the most beautiful one I have ever had the privilege of enjoying. Not only was it a pleasure to see, but it was a good reminder of God’s faithfulness and the grace which he has freely bestowed on mankind. Not only has he held to his promise to never destroy all flesh by means of a flood, but He, “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:3-6 NKJV).

With that, enjoy these shots I selected to share with you all…

July 22, 2006 - House Backdropped by Rainbow

July 22, 2006 - Rainbow Outside Walgreens, Route 59, West Chicago, IL

Outside Walgreens

July 22, 2006 - Early Evening Sun, Easton Pond, Geneva Rd., West Chicago, IL

Early Evening Sun, Easton Pond, Geneva Rd., West Chicago, IL

July 22, 2006 - Rainbow at Easton Pond, Geneva Rd., West Chicago, IL

Easton Pond, Geneva Rd., West Chicago, IL
Look carefully and you can see a very faint second rainbow

July 22, 2006 - Rainbow

Road Trip

I got back this evening from my trip with Stan down to Seymour, IN and then out to Cabot, PA, where he will be living for the next year as his wife-to-be serves as a deaconess intern. I’ve got all sorts of stuff I’d like to write about the trip, however I’m quite constrained by time these days. I’ve got to wake up early tomorrow morning and work, after which I’ll be hanging out with Stan. Maybe I’ll find a little time to write on Thursday once I go down to Seymour for the wedding.

The Good Ol’ Days

While Stan and I were hanging out this evening, he, being in one of his goofy moods, made some random comment about the good old days … the ones in which we wrote our HTML 4.0 in all UPPERCASE and used FONT tags. If you’ve never written HTML or are new to it, that probably means nothing. But, we both found it to be pretty funny. I’ve got a recording of it I contemplated putting on here but it’s too much work to get it off my phone and into the computer.

Summer Plans

I have my last final this Thursday afternoon and will be moving out of the dorms in the evening. This summer, I’m going to be working on Project Foundry from home. It’ll be nice to get out of the “big”* city and the dorms for a while to a much more pleasant, homey environment. At the same time, though, I’m a little bummed. I realized the other day that I really don’t have that many friends at home with Stan moving out to Pennsylvania. Beyond Hans, I don’t know who I’ll hang out with. Here at school, I’ve gotten to know some cool people from church and have spent some nice relaxing Sunday afternoons hanging out with them. If you’re going to be around Chicago, let me know!

I’ll be helping Stan with his move to Pennsylania from June 8-11. standing up in his wedding on June 17, and then probably helping Andy Laib move out to California the following week. I’m excited to do all this travelling and look forward to getting to spend some quality time with these two great guys.

*Milwaukee is not big. Chicago is. I just use the term “big” because when compared with West Chicago, Milwaukee is big.

What I would do for a woman…

(17:00:09) Me: i’d dress nice for a girl any day
(17:01:14) Stan Lemon: heh, but not listen to country?
(17:01:19) Me: nope
(17:01:21) Me: well
(17:01:33) Me: i would put up with it but not obsess over it like you do
(17:02:09) Stan Lemon: Erich, what if your unwillingness to like country is stopping you from meeting the person God has divinely set aside for you?
(17:02:18) Stan Lemon: Free yourself, dear brother, from these man-made chains.
(17:02:19) Stan Lemon: Blogger Smiley

So I guess because I’m too lazy to come up with something of my own to write, I have to throw in random excerpts of conversations I have with my friends.

Adam and I were talking today about how MSOE really makes you miss out on certain aspects of life. Ryan and I have had this discussion too. For those of you who are clueless as to what I mean because you don’t go to MSOE, they keep you so busy with coursework, encourage you to get a job, and then pile on more work once you get one that you really don’t have any time to consider feelings or experience the normal things that students do. Then, when we interact with people (especially women) that don’t go to this institution, we don’t know how to relate because all we ever think about is our engineering stuff and can’t get unstuck from such topics. But really, I’m more concerned not with the inability to relate to others because I think I’m less affected than most people are by this phenomenon, but with the fact that I don’t have the time to feel … to enjoy … to relax … to be a person. I don’t mean to steer you away from MSOE if you feel this is your type of school.

Break starts for me Thursday at 12 pm. That should be good, assuming I don’t get a bunch of stuff to do dumped on to me this week.

This is MSOE

I was working on an assignment this evening and the Internet died. Because I didn’t need the internet, I didn’t really care and kept on working. A few minutes later, everyone started to congregate in the hallways of my floor because they couldn’t play their online games or do whatever it is they normally do online. I find it sad that Owen’s suggestion that the residence halls should shut off the Internet for 30 minutes a week as a community building activity is actually a very grounded suggestion.

Well, that’s MSOE for you.


Hunter Buikema, IVCF staff worker at MSOE during my freshman year, was on campus this afternoon and spoke at our large-group Oasis meeting this evening. I spent about an hour talking to him leading Bible study and my experiences with Lydia. While I don’t know that I ever thought of Hunter as a huge role-model in my life, I have come to realize this evening that I really miss having someone in my life like him that I can look up to. Sure, I’ve got lots of amazing friends and a great family, but there’s something different about having a friendship with someone older yet still relatively close in age (as opposed to, say, my parents :-)) … someone who will challenge me in ways that my friends won’t (regarding, for example, witnessing) and someone who has wisdom from years of experience beyond what my peers have. It made me think back to my involvement in West Chicago Bible Church’s Omega youth group in high school and long talks I had with Bryan Lasky. I know some of my friends, such as Andy Laib and Eric Evenson have “mentors” they meet with on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for this type of instruction and so forth. So, I now think it would be cool if I could do something like that … there’s just the issue of the other commitments that gobble up my time.