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When I was a junior in high school, my AP English Language teacher had my class do an exercise that has stuck with me. She provided us a packet with the title “Ordeal by Cheque” by a certain Wuther Crue  which was published in Vanity Fair in 1932 (you can see the packet here). It’s four pages of bank checks, designed to illustrate that a significant amount about someone’s life can be stitched together based upon where and when people spend their money. We, in turn, had to write a creative essay on what happened.

If you know me, you know that I’m never without my Moleskine (I use the traditional hardcover Pocket Plain Notebook seen here). I like to say that it’s my brain in paper form. It is the quintessential catch-all for everything that I have going on: random thoughts, funny quotes, song lyrics, to-do lists that never get marked out, recipes to try out, grocery shopping lists, etc. The one thing about the Moleskine is that I never let anyone do is read it, primarily because it also serves as an outlet to get out all my crazy.

Well, now, I’m cracking open the Moleskine and exposing my brain in paper form to the world. Your task, if you choose to accept it, is to string together this Ordeal by Moleskine. Why should you? Because I am constantly told that I am one of the strangest people that my friends have ever met, but one of the most intriguing at the same time. (All blogs are an exercise in ego-centricism.) You can think about this like a puzzle: trying to reconstruct what will at first seem like a whirlwind.

For some background to give you a head-start , my name is Patrick and I am a first-year non-ordination seeking M.Div. student at Yale University. I did my undergraduate work in linguistics, French, and religious studies at the the University of North Carolina: the first and oldest public university in the United States, six-time NCAA Basketball National Champions, one of the three major universities in America’s smartest metropolitan area according to the Daily Beast, and I could go on. I recently completed a year-long fellowship with the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts in Boston, and there learned to call New England home. In short, I am a Southerner in affect and and Bostonian in effect.

And even if puzzles aren’t your thing, I can promise that I’ll teach you something. I spent all of my formative years competing with my father over which of us could answer the Jeopardy! clues the fastest, which is in part what led me to learn as much as humanly possible about as many things as possible. More importantly, I have a genuine love for education (not necessarily schooling) and consider it a pleasure to learn and to transmit that learning to others. Much of it will be esoteric, random, and completely useless. Unless you ever get onto Jeopardy.

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