Category Archives: College

that one time. when we almost…

If you read my last post, talking points, this is the post you’ve been waiting for. The burning question you’ve had since last Saturday will now find resolution. Welcome to the danger zone. Dun dun dunnnnnnnnn. (Pardon my rusty screenplay writing…this’ll just have to do)

Scene 1 – INTERIOR: Dark studio
FADE UP: Head to Toe – Joy on a stool
JOY: Freshman year of college at Oral Roberts University was a really fun one for me – with the exception of one moment.

(LIGHTS dim dramatically – there’s now just one spotlight above me at a 75º angle, CAMERA dramatically zooms in. Joy looks up and delivers this line:)

JOY: That one time I almost died.

(MUSIC: :05 dramatic string-driven orchestral stinger begins and ends. Transition to Light and happy MUSIC, add in bird sound effects)

Scene 2 – EXTERIOR: Fall in Oklahoma, students paddling in canoes down a river.
FADE UP: Wide shot of students paddling by.

JOY: It was a beautiful day in Oklahoma. The ORU Honors program retreat was in full swing. I was in the rear of a canoe that held two of my good friends. Amanda was at the helm, and Colleen was holding down the middle seat and the role of all powerful entertainer.

INTERIOR: Dark studio
CUT TO: Medium Close-Up – Joy on stool.

JOY: Mind you. Amanda and I were decently experienced in canoes at this point. Colleen was purely along for the ride, and we were ever so grateful for her contribution.
The rest of our group had varying levels of experience – from lifeguards who were almost pro, to groups of stereotypically brilliant but not always coordinated folk who were working to stay afloat.
That being said:

CUT TO: Wide shot,
EXTERIOR: Fall in Oklahoma, students paddling in canoes down a river.
JOY: We were having quite the jolly time. Colleen was leading us through songs with her glossy gospel-toned voice while Amanda and I threw in harmonies. It was glorious. Until that one moment.

Okay okay…this screenplay thing isn’t working. I’ma just tell the story.

So here we were. Canoeing. Minding our own business. The river was abnormally high due to heavy rains that season. We were approaching a bend in the river. Suddenly we heard panic around the bend. As we rounded the bend ourselves, we saw it. The. Giant. Log. It was thiiiiiiiiiiiis big around (probably 4-5’ in diameter), and it covered about ¾ of the river width – which was about 30’ where it had fallen. A canoe of some of the lesser experienced folk had rammed into the log and capsized. They were holding onto the log for dear life while the strong current was threatening to pull them under.

We had a decision to make. We pow-wow’d real quick and determined that we should dock against the log, help our fallen friends, and ultimately lift our canoe over. We made it over to the log. As we attempted to dock, we too got caught in the current flowing under the log, but we managed to get out of the canoe. Our compadre’s canoe was half submerged, bottom side up and was stuck under the log. I tried to pull it out, but instead got pulled in.  So there I was. Going from rescuer to victim in quicker than I could realize. By this time, our lifeguard friends had successfully docked and were helping direct traffic that was now building up on the log, grasping onto the closest concrete object. Next thing I know, the current took the now dis-lodged canoe under the log. I lost my grip and grasped to regain it. The lifeguard on the top of the log told me to let go.


This is now one of those ironic “you must let go….” ethereal moments.
…and i’m not wearing a life jacket…


So. I make the decision to let go. I am swept under the log. Not only was the letting go directive an ethereal moment, but suddenly I found myself in an even weirder moment. I’m fully submerged in the river, looking up at the water above me and the sky. I had the tangible thought, “Oh. So this is what it feels like to drown…” But yet I was at peace. Next thing I know, I’m up, taking in air. I see a small exposed piece of land in front of me, but still in the middle of the river. On top of this piece of land, was a wishbone shaped log – with the two prongs facing upriver. Suddenly, I found myself being the point person on the other side of the log and chaos upstream. Boats and people came my way. I docked boats and helped my friends find footing. The only casualty in this ordeal: One paddle.

Apparently…I’m known for being dramatic in storytelling. So when I verbalized this adventure to the professors downstream and we talked about the missing paddle, the paddle was of more concern than our ordeal. But this actually happened. And we all survived. And in retrospect, it was rather dramatic. But we made it!

From that day on, every time I saw my friend Gretchen, one of us would begin conversations with, “Remember that one time?” The other would answer, “When we almost died?” We’d then hug and carry on like normal.

throwback: the missing bed.

This is another gem from my freshman year at Oral Roberts University. Things to know:
1. ORU – Oral Roberts University. 2. Hannah and Clarissa – my neighbors. 3. WD-40 – the almighty spray oil of de-squeakerness. 4. Jess – my neighbor two doors down. The one I got into trouble with often. 5. Alcove – a common area on the opposite side of the elevators on our circular dorm floor.

October 28, 2007. The Adventures of College Life XI
4) The Missing Bed
Here at ORU, there are a lot of squeaks. By squeaks, I mean old rusty joints that haven’t been oiled in probably a decade or so. In response to this squeaky trend, I asked my papa bear (dad) to get me a bottle of all-powerful WD-40. Since returning from KC with this powerful substance, I have been going around reversing the trend of squeakyness. A majority of this reversing has happened in Hannah and Clarissa’s room. Their door was so squeaky that I knew whenever they were entering or leaving their room because I could hear the squeak through the wall. One of the first tasks on my agenda once I returned to ORU was to un-squeak their door. After completing that task, Clarissa asked me to fix one of her dresser drawers that had a nasty squeak at the end of its range of motion. I did some searching on it, greased the bearings, tightened the screws, and the drawer was like new.
So, Hannah asked to borrow my WD-40 to fix her bed on Tuesday night. She didn’t get around to fixing her squeaky bed frame that night, because she fell asleep…which is not a surprise, given that we found her asleep in one of the stairwells once…
Anyway, so Wednesday comes around. After classes, I was hanging around in Hannah’s room until she left for a practicum about a half-hour later. Hannah looked at me when she left and told me:

“Joy Bork, you will NOT de-squeak my bed!”
“Why not?”
“Because you’ve already done too much for me!”

Of course, someone telling me not to do something makes me want to do it more. After Hannah left, Jess and I decided to be ornery again. We knew that Clarissa was coming back soon, so we hid in her room. I was in the closet, and Jess was at the end of Clarissa’s bed. Clarissa came in just as Jess was going through the screen door to get marshmallow guns out of my room. Clarissa was freaked out just by seeing Jess out of the corner of her eye. Being the smart person that she is, Clarissa deducted that I was hiding in the room somewhere too. After a short and not thorugh search, Clarissa got distracted and gave up looking for me. Jess, being the great friend that she is, put Clarissa back on track by asking for PopTarts, which were in Clarissa’s closet. Clarissa came over to the closet, opened it, got the pop tarts out, then closed the door again…not even noticing that I was crouching in the bottom of it. Eventually, Jess started laughing. This made Clarissa realize that I was in the closet…

Anyway, back to the missing bed.

So, I asked Jess to help me take Hannah’s matress off of the bedframe. I then started WD-40’ing the joints on the bed (If you didn’t know, our beds here on Susie 7 are awesome. They push in to be a “couch” and pull out to reveal the whole matress for sleeping…). Jess got the idea that it would be awesome if we just left the matress in the middle of the floor, since Hannah is so anal sometimes about item placement. We all agreed that it would be hilarious to see Hannah’s reaction…then the idea escalated into moving Hannah’s bed into the alcove…
Yes. The alcove.
We picked up the bed and moved it to the alcove, then remade it so that it looked just like it did when it was on the bedframe, except it was on the floor in the alcove. I proceeded to pull out my video camera to document the event. Dani got a hold of the camera and started filming a documentary of the previous events. Clarissa, Jess, and I explained why the bed was in the alcove. In order to find out when Hannah will be back, I used the excuse of wanting to study for a midterm for Charismatic Life class the next day to see when Hannah will return. We got an estimate of her return at about 7:30.
I then started teaching Dani and Jess how to iron certain articles of clothing. I had asked several of the girls on the path to Hannah’s room to get her talking so that we could know when to get the camera out to film her reaction. I got the camera out just in time and got a perfect reaction…until the battery died…
but anyway, I edited it all into a video. (see below)

throwback: the gnome saga.

It’s time for another college throwback! This is how I began the journey of writing weekly college updates. In my quirky innocence, this story happened to me and is still one of my favorite college memories. Things to know:
1. Kaley and I enjoyed being floor mates my freshman year at ORU. She jumped on the gnome train with me early.
2. Melissa, Starla, and Melissa were floor mates. They were gracious to join the search party.
3. I still like gnomes.

The Adventures of College Life I – August 20, 2007


Kaley and her gnome.

It was a warm, musky Friday night when Kaley Herndon and I, Joy Bork decided to go to Wal-Mart and buy lawn gnomes. But alas, this was not the real beginning of the adventure. That started when I asked Kaley what she thought about the dwindling population of Lawn Gnomes in our society today. Kaley didn’t have a complete answer, but I filled in with my amazing improv speech skills…
And I quote:

“Assets of Lawn Gnomes in our society:
1) They keep our gardens safe from bunnies and other small rodents.
2) They help enhance the air because of their protection of green plant life.
3) They make our homes and dorms look warm and inviting.”


Kaley with gnome signs.

Upon this convincing speech, Kaley and I were moved to help the dwindling population. We made an exodus to our local Wal-Mart. As we entered the garden department, we noticed how small the lawn gnome population really was, because of the small selection thereof. Upon arriving in the garden glamor section, we found our two gnomes. We lovingly named them Harry and Fred. It was a lovely evening afterward. They trekked all over the store with us finding lint rollers, boxes, white boards and many other college life necessities. Upon arriving back at the dorm, we gave our gnomes a woman’s touch, since their wardrobe was clearly in need of it. Then we placed them in their places of glory…on the left side of each of our doorways. We were then moved to run around the circular halls of our dorm with PVC blowguns that shoot amazing ammo: Marshmallows. While I was being chased, I was looking for Harry, my gnome, as a reference point as to the location of my residence. After missing my room two or so times, I realized that HARRY WAS GONE!


Melissa making signs.

So, as the good protector that I am, I went after Harry. Kaley and I recruited several others to aid in our search: Melissa, Starla, and another Melissa. We scoured our floor, Janine’s floor, and a few other places. When our search turned up no leads, we came back to my room (Search HQ) to regroup and come up with a new plan. One of my comrades suggested making lost notes. So, all four of us began creating art in the effort of having Harry returned to us. Kaley then posted the notes all over the floor and put a petition in the elevator. We then decided to rest and let God do the work.

After some time, all evidence pointed towards my next door neighbor, Hannah, as the thief of my lawn gnome. The evidence was mounting…a comment made before the crime (“Joy?!?! What is this evil troll lady thing doing outside your door??!?!?), an observation after the crime (“So, you guys are making lost signs?”), and evidence later on from two separate conversations:
My roommate, Mattie: “I heard Harry was in the bathroom!”
Me: “Who told you that?”
Mattie: “Hannah.”
Evidence also came from a conversation on the way back from an evening chapel service with a connection to the thief (I don’t remember his name…)
Him:” Joy! Do you know who stole your gnome?”
Me: “I have my suspicions.”
Him: “Who?”
Me: “My next door neighbor, Hannah.”
Him: “You’re probably right…and I think you should get her back.”
Both of us: *Evil laugh*


Oh Hannah. From gnome thief to wonderful friend.

The evidence is all pointing in Hannah’s direction, and only God can convict her to confess the truth before God and us.

So ends your first glimpse into my college life.



The Adventures of College Life II – August 29, 2007
Since my last update, there have been numerous other abductions of Harry, my innocent lawn gnome. One day as I woke up, I had the familiar sensation of needing to relieve myself at the latrine. On my way back, I noticed that HARRY WAS MISSING! Given the turn of events at the last abduction, I assumed that Harry would show up soon enough and that his abductors just wanted a reaction. Being the ornery person that I am, I decided to not give them the reaction they wanted and go back to bed. Later in the day, one of the girls on my floor came up to me and told me that Harry freaked her out really bad when she took a shower that morning.  Apparently, Harry’s abductors thought he needed to take a shower, so they set him outside the shower stalls in the east bathroom complex. My friend was still in that after sleep groggy state, and the sight of a man in the bathroom apparently startled her into a scream.



But this was only the first abduction of Harry. Another day, I awoke to find Harry missing once more. I found out from a source later in the day that Harry was visiting the west bathroom complex. On Sunday, I was on my way to lunch when I entered the elevator and found my dear Harry guarding the corner. I exited the elevator on the fifth floor and placed Harry in a temporary holding location until he can get over the shock of being abducted three or four times in a week.



Community’s Many Faces

Over the past three days, I have experienced the joy of community in so many ways: One-on-one, large group gathering, small groups, volunteer circles and threesome’s. It is so cool to look back and realize how many people I interact with in community that I love dearly. Let’s head back to Saturday for a great example.

Rachel and I after a great day of adventures :)

Rachel and I after a great day of adventures 🙂

On Saturday, I was able to hang out with Rachel, who later discovered that we have known each other for nine years.  She started out as my sister’s roommate back in college, and over the years, we have developed a lovely friendship.  Since Rachel was in town and had an open day, we quickly set out to have some grand adventures.  The most noteworthy adventure was stopping at a small church in Dundee that was advertising a “Luncheon and Bake Sale.”  When we went inside, we learned that not only was there a luncheon and bake sale, but there was also a Christmas gift Bazaar…which turned out to be more bizarre than anything.  But on a bright note, if we wouldn’t have stopped, we would have never found the most creative chair covers ever.  (See Photo)

Limited time offer: Bunny ears and a tail to cover your unsightly chair during the easter season!

Limited time offer: Bunny ears and a tail to cover your unsightly chair during the easter season!

Sunday brought about a whole different face to community: The volunteer group.  I was privileged with filling in as Tech Director (TD) for Student Impact at Willow Creek South Barrington for the morning.  It was so fun to work together with the different groups that make the service run – from audio to lighting, video to bands, pastoral to everything else – we are all part of a community.

I was introduced to an entirely different face of volunteer community on Sunday night, as Willow Creek Huntley had its annual volunteer celebration.  Last year, we had around 90 volunteers at our celebration.  This year, there were around 250 in attendance!  What a thing to celebrate!  There were so many different faces of volunteer areas in the room that are all part of making the church function.  It was a beautiful picture of how the community of Christ is supposed to function.

This evening, I was immersed in small group community, as the Wiser Together group that I joined all came over for our last official gathering of the Wiser Together curriculum.  I am certain that any time there is food, there will be community.  I absolutely love sitting around a table with friends while we eat and share stories of life.

No matter who you are, community is key to thriving through life….and is always a great excuse for eating good food 🙂

Flashback Friday: Lawn Gnomes?

During my freshman year of college, an assignment was given in my fundamentals of media class to create an advertisement.  It could advertise anything…so naturally, in the face of my recent saga with lawn gnomes, I created an ad for “The Lawn Gnome Society.”  It only makes sense, right?

So now, here is that ad, resurrected from the depths of the archives, the Lawn Gnome ad.

Don’t you want to join?


A Good Walk.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to take a walk with my friend Donna.  It has been a while since I have simply taken the time to slow down and just walk.  I have forgotten what quality conversation comes when two people go for a walk.

Back when I was at ORU, my first year as an RA, I had “individuals” with my hall director.  It was a little awkward at first, but I quickly found out that talking and walking made things go significantly smoother.  There is something soothing about going out and walking.  Even if silence happens on a walk, I am still doing something – I am moving forward.

Walking with Donna was a true delight.  There are very few people around that are capable of not only sharing a fantastic story, but also of listening well and making others feel truly heard.  Donna is one of those.

Even in the midst of this difficult season of unemployment, I looked back yesterday and noticed how good God has been.  When I have needed support, God sends the right people.  On the flip side of that, being unemployed has enabled me to be the support that other people need – at just the time they need it.

God is so good.

Flashback Friday: The Adventures of College Life V

When I posted this back in September of 2007, I got in some trouble with mom.  Apparently, I decided to write about the near-death experience that I had just had before calling mom…so she found out about the whole ordeal through my writing.  As is customary, I didn’t provide the details she needed to know – like if my new camera was with me, if I was hurt, etc.  Grandma even got in on the whole thing and called mom to make sure I was okay.

Man.  Freshman year was entertaining!
Brace yourself for this one!


The main happenings of my life since last Sunday – Band Auditions, Touring the Tulsa World newspaper facility, and the Honors Program retreat.

My bass at auditions

So, last Wednesday was auditions for the chapel worship band. Was I nervous?  A little…but I don’t get nervous very easy…But anyway…
Auditions started at 5, so naturally, I got there around 4:45 to be on the safe side. I met up with Sharon and Kaley (Sharon was auditioning for keys, Kaley was moral support) and the fun began. I was the only girl bass auditionee out of a group of maybe 15 guys. I was #11 on the list. They had us group with our judge for the instrument we were auditioning for. The guys oddly enough made a circle around the guy and happened to leave me out. Don’t worry, it all worked out, b/c I knew most of the information my judge was communicating to the group. So, finally they tell us that we can go sit in the audience and listen/watch while the main band played the two songs for us so that we could know the order. The Lord was very good to me, because He had helped me figure out how to practice bass to music without an amp…I just put my ear flush on my bass and I can hear it! yay! So, while the other bass guys are watching, i’m practicing. I know that I got several weird looks, because it just looks weird to see someone playing bass with their head layed on the top… So we waited for a long time while they got to bass player #11. I get up there and play. Sharon tells me that the bass judge was mezmorized, which slightly fascinates me to some degree. He tells me later that he wants me to stick around and play again. So, I did. I didn’t feel totally confident in what I played, because it is really hard to play confident when other band members are unsure of themselves. But the good Lord gave me the strength to press on to win the prize. In summary (cause this is getting really long and I have a lot more to write about) I made callbacks…which meant that I played again the following night at 5. As I looked at the callback list, I noticed that my name was #1 on the list. I shrugged and moved on. Later on, Becca Rose (Chapel band acoustic player) informed me that the placement of my name under #1 wasn’t due to alphabetic sorting…hmmmm…
So I got to callbacks, played, was decently confuzzled about how I felt I did, and moved on with life.

This is the point where the stories merge like a car on the highway.

So Friday rolls around, which means that it was time to 1) get ready to go on HP retreat and 2) go on a tour of the Tulsa World newspaper.

Friday morning I spent sleeping/packing/thinking. I went to chapel, loved Jesus and the speaker, then quickly went back to my room to grab a granola and goldfish (Thanks Starla!) and move my little rear down to the fishbowl (the area between the dorms) to meet two friends from class. Since I was driving, I got down to the fishbowl early. My two passengers arrived pretty swiftly (cough), and we began our adventure to downtown Tulsa. Once we got to the Tulsa World location at 6th and Boulder, we found a parking spot 3 blocks away, and trekked towards our group. The previous tour started late, due to conflicts with chapel. Our tour was about 15 minutes late starting, but we made it up.

Let me just say that the newspaper plant was just like it looks on the TV shows. The plant is just as complicated as they say.

Okay so let’s fast forward to 4:00, when all of the honors students met outside of security. So here we are, all gaggled up in a confusing mess waiting for further direction. Eventually, we all piled into cars and started on our journey. The conversations in the car I was riding in were very interesting…I just love listening to analysis of midevil literature and Tolkien’s works for about two hours….Honors students….*sigh*

So, we get to the campsite, claim our stakes for sleeping quarters, and commence the funness. Let’s fast forward again to the most suspenseful part of the whole trip: the canoeing adventure.

*begin light, happy music*

So, me, Colleen (you made it to the blog!), and Amanda all pile into a car with Gretchen and our lovely taxi driver whose name I cannot remember. We helped unload the canoes from Dr. Seaman’s canoe rack.


Colleen, Amanda and I piled into a canoe with Amanda at the helm, Colleen at the navigator’s position (middle), and me at the stern. We commenced our journey. Please bear with me as we fast forward once more (*happy music gets faster*)

So, we come around this bend, and boom. there’s a log. A big log. A huge log that was blocking the whole river. The boat ahead of us had slowed down, so we did too. A canoe behind us ended up capsizing, leaving its occupants clinging for dear life on the log.

**Please note that none of these descriptions are exaggerated. I’m seriously not kidding in the least.

Meanwhile, I get out of my canoe and step onto the log to help people, and get my canoe over the log. I somehow slipped, and ended up in the water fighting the current. Thankfully, I still had a hold on my boat.

**Please note that tons of things were all happening at once. Bear with me as I attempt to explain.

The boat that capsized was upside down, and caught on something under the log. Colleen and I were trying to free the boat, to no avail. Meanwhile, Tyler (one of our heroes) was helping also. All of the sudden the canoe went right under the log, taking me with it as far as the log, where I stayed. As I clinged to the log thinking about my next move, Amanda, the amazing woman, was over on the bank knee-deep in mud holding on to two boats. Suddenly, I was pulled under the log into the water. Amanda screamed, but I didn’t hear. Jesus pulled me up, right by the canoe that went under. Right away, my Civil Air Patrol, “let’s get things done now” mentality kicked in, and I began looking for a place to lodge the sinking canoe. Jesus was very gracious and gave me a log in the middle of the river. His timing is so perfect! Not long after I lodged the canoe, Tyler had helped two girls go under the log and out to the other side. They came floating right towards me. Once they got to the boat, I decided to look for our lost paddle, so I waded to shore and ran downstream and back up. I didn’t find the paddle. Shucks.

As i’m coming back up I see Colleen at the lodged boat, along with a green canoe moving fast towards them. I yelled to watch for the canoe. Colleen’s interpretation goes as follows:

“Who’s that blue blob yelling at us?”
“That’s Joy…”
“Joy! YAY!”

They caught the canoe, and safely lodged it. By the time I got back to the “dock” area, we had two capsized canoes, with one upright one lodged ahead. My big lake canoe training from Brookhill Ranch summer camp kicked in, and I instructed the group in the process of flipping over a waterlogged canoe. Jesus gave us amazing strength, and we got both canoes flipped over. Not long after, our two lifeguard heroes,Moselle and Tyler, came downstream, and we deducted that one of them should stay behind to warn the next group. Tyler stayed.

Thankfully, God kept us all alive, leaving the site with only scratches and bruises. 😀

Once we got back to the cabin, we told our story. The group that was about to embark didn’t really believe our story, because it had so many crazy details. In reality, we weren’t exaggerating at all. Thanks to Tyler and Mo’s amazing skills, all of us from that first trip are alive! yayyy!

Later that night, we played two rounds of Picture Telephone (Pictophone) with 18-21 people in the rounds. It took like two hours to do the rounds! It rocked.

This morning, we got up, packed, and came back to campus.

So goes my exciting update.
I am now worn out from writing this.
It definately took me like a half hour or more with a break for lunch and laundry in the middle.

I hope you enjoyed it!

And as a side note, I definately burned a little part of my lip with a marshmallow skewer.



So, i’m on the phone with my grandma, and she informed me that I forgot to include the results of auditions.


I am primary for Worship Tours (international tours over the summer)
and I am alternate for Chapels!



So was the life of Joy in 2007.  Not only did I make the worship team, but I ended up heading overseas to Slovenia and Romania on worship tours that summer for three weeks.  I played bass for ORU during my freshman and sophomore years, and transitioned out during my junior year, as I moved into a more media-focused mindset.

Since the story of the log is written out, it is lacking in the sound effect department, which is usually in play during the retelling.  If you’d like to hear the sound effects, let me know, and I’ll do a dramatic recreation, just for you. 🙂