28 May 2009


Matt and I headed to Europe to celebrate both me finishing my master's and the two of us managing to not kill each other lo these many (five!) years. On our way we had a layover in London, and I got to see Ana Maria and Nicole for a few hours.

As always, it was wonderful to see old Oxford friends and sad to say goodbye.

04 January 2009

East Coast Adventures

I thought I'd throw up a couple photos from Jill and Sean's wedding weekend- I'm guessing they'll post soon with the first person perspective, but I thought it was a beautiful wedding, with many meaningful details. Jill and Sean were adorable together, so excited about the day! It was so great to catch up with all who were able to make it. Later in the week some of us had dinner at Missy and Jason's place to continue the talking and catch up with Zack, who had been out of town during the wedding (top photo- Laura, Missy, Jason, Zack, Ryan, middle- Carrie & Andrea, bottom photo- Sean, Jill hugging Laura).
Ryan and I are now continuing our cross-country roadtrip (from Denver to MD/PA) ending up in Georgia as of tomorrow. We're going to be working in northeast Georgia for 6 months at a Christian commune that helps refugees resettle into the U.S. We're very excited about this adventure, and don't know exactly what we'll be doing...some teaching English, playing with refugee kids, and possibly learning to milk a cow. Who knows! After the 6 months, we're not sure where we'll be...depends on any job prospects, etc. I'll keep ya posted.

25 October 2008

I'm engaged!

So. As of May 24, 2009 (date still tentative) Josh Brackett will be the last remaining unmarried man from #10 (Canterbury Road, not Downing Street). Unless he surprises everyone and beats Sean and I to the punch...

Yes, after many weeks of trying to adopt a kitty for my girlfriend Kristina (the plan was to have a certain token of my esteem tied around its neck) I finally succeeded yesterday! Kristina knew the kitty was coming, and was so excited when she got home that she failed to notice the open bottle of rather nice wine breathing on the counter. She scooped up the little kitten and was completely smitten, but failed to notice what was tied around little "Lola's" neck. It took a minute, but I tried to be nonchalant in suggesting she investigate the little red ribbon a little more closely. She was completely surprised (mission accomplished), which is hard to do with her since she doesn't like surprises and is good at figuring them out. She is like my mother in that way (they get along famously), who always knew what all of her Christmas presents were going to be in advance, driving my Dad and brother and I to ever more elaborate methods of concealing and hiding the presents (to no avail). But I digress. After an initial bout of stunned speechlessness, Kristina eventually managed to utter the much anticipated word "Yes".

The engagement itself was highly anticipated and long-awaited by everyone involved. Many friends and relatives were perplexed by the fact that we had already made arrangements for our wedding reception, and were working on a location for the ceremony (hopefully the Quaker meeting house we have been attending). Kristina herself had been impatient for me to pop the question and to get the kitties (not realizing that the two were to go together), but my efforts were repeatedly thwarted by the zeal of the Washington Humane Society and other local shelters to make sure that adopted pets go to a stable home. Commendable, to be sure, but it made things very difficult for me. I have been trying to make this happen for nearly two months now!

I got a surprise myself when Kristina got down on one knee a few minutes later and reciprocated the question-popping, with a somewhat heftier ring she had picked up. It was all very egalitarian and suited us quite well.

Needless to say we are really excited and have been calling everyone we know. I am so glad to share my news with all y'all fine people! I hope I will get to see a few of you before I am a married man, and more of you after. Cheers!

23 August 2008

new york in October

hi all - just trying to sort out my time in new york in october. i've got a few different groups of people loosely talking about coming to the city that first weekend in october to meet up - and i want to make sure that plans don't clash - and that i'm not abandoning my friends i'm going with.

i defintely defintely defintely want to see anyone who fancies travelling up for an afternoon/evening!!!!

who's planning on coming? (last i heard it was zack, missy and andrea).
when are you planning on coming?
what would you like to do?

hope you are all well!!! Nicole x

18 July 2008

Travel update

It's been wonderful to see more "#10 Canterbury Road" messages in my inbox these days. Although I don't post much, I do love hearing how everyone is doing.

My student visa arrived this month and I officially purchased my plane ticket to London this morning. I am thrilled at how beautifully everything is coming together... I'll be arriving in England on 17 September to begin classes at UEA on the 22nd. Needless to say, I'm very excited to be taking classes again--especially in a field that I'll continue to learn and work in for the rest of my life. I recently read Umberto Eco's Experiences in Translation and was filled with a rare sense of satisfaction: Yes. This is what I want to do.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, wherever you find yourselves. :)

(Housekeeping note: With the addition of Mike's blog, I've decided to put our personal sites in a separate category. If anyone else has a blog/livejournal/zanga/myspace page, please let me know. I'd love to see this little collection grow.)

17 July 2008


So when Jamie & I got married in August of 2003 we had this great 5-year plan of wedded bliss until the family aspect of life would commence. With that in mind I would like to introduce you to our 2nd son - Andrew James Poelzer! He was born on June 2nd and weighed in at 8lbs 8oz and 21 inches long! Big brother Jack is 21 months so we have a fair amount of diapers in our house right now! I will just post a link to our family blog and those who are curious can take a peek at the two cutest little boys in the whole world, which of course is a completely objective analysis!



Mike, Jamie, Jackson & Andrew Poelzer

11 July 2008


To respond to Missy's idea, Jill & Sean's wedding could be a good time for reuniting. With some creative planning, I might be able to stick around for a bit longer than just the wedding festivities. Especially if you're willing to do the planning, Missy. =)

18 June 2008

Dinner Plans?

If anyone out there in cyber-world is still reading...

The mid-Atlantic chapter of Canterburgians is having a small dinner reunion on Saturday night. You are, of course, all invited. I've decided that reunions don't have to be a big deal, so when and where we can get together suffices. It turns out that a decent handful of us live within a tank of gas or so, so at 6:00 p.m. we're meeting downtown DC for Middle Eastern food.

I know it's a long shot, but if you're in the area--or just feel like a crazy drive--let me know and I'll add to our reservations and blow up the air mattress.

I know it's been (gasp!) eight years, but for the record, I'm completely supportive of a full-scale reunion sometime in the near future (the Sean-Jill nuptuals, anyone?). I'm even willing to coordinate, if enough people are still interested. I've just decided that until that grand day comes, the occasional mini-reunion dinner sounds nice.

19 May 2008

School's out!

Hey everyone,

I just graduated from Princeton Seminary on Saturday, and this silly picture is currently on the PTS website (http://ptsem.edu/) That isn't really my diploma.

My parents and brother flew out (Adam on a red eye) and my girlfriend Kristina came up from DC for the event. I met most of my friends' parents for the first time, and we had a last hurrah on grad night after all the parents had gone to bed. It was a fun time, needless to say. Everybody went home today, and I am hanging around until next weekend when two of my friends are getting married here in Princeton. In the meantime I am looking for job postings, writing cover letters, and packing up my apartment. On Memorial Day, Kristina and I will move my possessions down to DC in a U-Haul, and I am looking forward to getting together with Canterburians in the area (Missy, we need to have coffee, especially while I am unemployed). I am looking for non-profit jobs in social work or other direct service, but also applied for teaching positions at prep schools. I may want to do the whole PhD thing someday (or get an MSW?) but for now I am sooooo glad to be done with school and have an adult job and life.

Next month I will be going to Hawaii for the first time on family vacation with my parents, Kristina, and my brother and his wife. It should be tons of fun. Hopefully I will have a job by then, although employers may not be too jazzed about me taking a vacation my first month on the job. Hopefully I will be able to keep myself in the loop better than I have the past year or so. I didn't even know that Sean and Jill were going out (let alone engaged!) until a couple weeks ago! Hope you all are well, and everyone is welcome to visit us in DC.

14 April 2008

Oh, kind of random

This slideshow in the New York Times caught my eye. I wasn't much of a pubgoer back when we were there, but some of the sights are still familiar.

09 March 2008

Reunion Solution

Hello fellow Canterburians,

After a wonderful February mini-reunion in DC (generously hosted by Missy and Jason and representing three states and two sides of the Chesapeake Bay), we've come up with a new idea for the long-discussed and much-delayed "full" reunion. How does everyone feel about central Pennsylvania at Christmastime? Apparently, there will be a very special event that week at the Second Presbyterian Church in Carlisle. We think it would be a great time to see as many of you as possible...and a golden opportunity for you to see Sean in a tux. 7.5 years after Oxford, we'd like to invite all of you to our wedding. =) So, December 28, 2008 in Carlisle, PA....hope to see you there. P.S. - Please send current addresses!!!!

25 January 2008

You Might be a CMRS Student If...

Hello friends! I was cleaning out my archived emails, and came across some really old ones from our Oxford days. It reminded me that I hadn't checked the blog for a shamefully long time! So, I've now read the postings of 07 and feel much more caught up. Oh, so here's text from a super old email by fellow CMRSer Philip Grace. I don't get some of them...maybe inside jokes from the non-Canterbury location, but most of them made me smile and remember the ole' days. Or make me feel like I was a heck of a lot smarter 10 years ago than I am now! Here it is:

You might be a CMRS student if:
-you've ever pulled on a door marked push--in the Bodleian.
-you've ever met a wandering minstrel and had a request--that he knows.
-you're in the way.
-you've ever seen a silhouette of the White House and confused it with the Radcliffe Camera.
-you're cenobitic on good days and anchoritic on bad ones.
-you think that Eusebius was a much better writer than Augustine, or vice-versa.
-you're qualified to drive, but not to cross the street.
-you've ever had a meal that consisted of more than half Nutella.
-you don't write poetry--very often.
-your enemies want to give you a "C".
-you spent your childhood maintaining that to be called a nerd is actually a compliment.
-you can't tour a library without checking "just one thing."
-you've ever fought with your significant other over theology.
-you've ever said, "It's only 9:30...I mean, 10:15."
-you try to study well, but instead you do it "bodley".
-someone has ever asked you if you're familiar with Nenius, and you sheepishly reply, "Well, I haven't *read* him."
-you keep the Complete Works of Shakespeare on top of your Bible, and your absentee ballot under it.
-you've ever started laundry or a paper at midnight.
-you're a steak-and-potato type of person, and everyone around you is a *potato*-and-potato type of person.
-you've ever gotten engrossed in writing footnotes for half an hour.
-you take notes in Roman numerals.
-you think the next big thing over here will be McPigeon.
-you know that the f-word is "feudalism".
An amazing semester. An amazing group. We few; we happy few...

Hope that was entertaining. I also came across an Oxford email I sent to my stateside friends claiming the loss of my sanity and futilely trying to explain the incredibly intense existence we were all living at CMRS due to the impossibly high academic standards, etc. I'm so glad to know that that aspect of the experience has blissfully faded, and I am left with (mostly) only the memories that put a happy smile on my face. Well, the other day I did find myself thinking about Greg the "houseparent" or whatever and how I should've given him a piece of my mind and tried to get him fired. And then I thought, "Wow, Carrie. It's been 7 years and you need to move on!!!" Ah well.

Thanks for indulging my trip down memory lane. Life in Denver is good. Ryan's finishing up his PhD in biochemistry (hopefully) this spring. We have no idea what comes after that. We've tossed around ideas from the Peace Corps to following a research job to CA to washing semi-trucks for a living, but nothing's stuck yet. I'm still working with HIV Care Link, which is still an awesome job but I am feeling a bit burnt out dealing with clients perpetually in crisis situations. I've gotten really involved with the Obama campaign and have stretched myself through a canvassing trip to Iowa and lots of phone calls about politics to strangers. Scary! But we'll see if it was all worth it in the next couple of weeks. Anyway, I've got a trip planned to the DC area in Feb to catch up with Jill and Missy. Woohoo! Anybody else living in the area? Zack? Hope all is well.

(Ana Maria, I figured out how to let the new blogger system acknowledge me, so you can ignore my previous comment about needed new access)

11 December 2007

Happy news

This morning I received a letter of acceptance from the literary translation MA program at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. I have hated and loved and struggled with these five years, but I have to say (as cheesy as it may sound) that "everything has its time" (Ecclesiastes 3). Looking back, it is obvious to me why I had to live through and learn to love these difficult experiences. I am 30 and feel as if my life were just beginning.

I'll be leaving Santa Marta next September and will return in August to begin planning our wedding in earnest--hopefully for fall 2009.

There are no words...so I turn to Rilke:

"It is breathtaking simply to be here. Girls, even you
knew, who seemed so deprived, so reduced, who became
sewers yourselves, festering in the awful alleys of the city.
For each of you had an hour, perhaps a bit less,
at worst a scarcely measurable span between while and while,
when you wholly were. Had all. Were bursting with Being.
But we easily forget what our laughing neighbor
neither confirms nor envies. We want to show it off,
yet the most apparent joy reveals itself only after
it has been transformed, when it rises within us.
    My love, the world exists nowhere but within us.
Withinwarding is everything. The outer world
dwindles, and day fades from day. Where once
a solid house was, soon some invented structure
perversely suggests itself, as at ease among ideas
as if it still stood in the brain."

~ from "The Seventh Elegy" in Rainer Maria Rilke's Duino Elegies, translated by William Gass

18 October 2007


Hmmm... it looks like all of this reunion talk fizzled before I was aware that it had started up again. I remain up for anything on the Eastern Seaboard, which could include western New York if that conversation is rejuvinated.

So, although the "big reunion" that has been threatened since approximately the time we all left Oxford still isn't happening (okay, it did once upon a time, not that I'm at all bitter that I couldn't make it), the little mini-reunions still manage to happen for me a couple times a year. Here are some pics from when I visited Nicole on the way back from South Africa. You can guess where we are by the whimsical brick pattern on the building behind us. I managed to chip out a blue brick while no one was looking, which I will present to the society of reactionary architectural saboteurs at Exeter College upon my next visit. Nicole is generally opposed to having her picture taken, so I was lucky to get this. While I'm at it, here's me in front of the building I spent perhaps the most time in while in Oxford (it might even beat out #10, since I only slept about 4-5 hours a night back in those days). We didn't even bother to walk down Canterbury Road, but we certainly visited all the old pubs, and some new ones, with Nicole's friend Rosie. Sadly, Mr. Hussein's cart had not pulled up before we left, so we had to get our chips at the other kebab stand.

London was good times as well. I helped out with a football tournament for the young people Nicole works with, and as usual we walked all over the place. I am always impressed by how well Nicole knows her way around London on foot, and how often I encounter places I have never seen. I guess living there for just one year didn't get me around as much as I thought. One very welcome addition to this visit was watching an entire season of "The Office" - the American version! I once thought it was blasphemous, since I think the British original is genius, but I have seen the light, and am glad that Steve Carrel and company have two more seasons on DVD that I can watch. Ryan Rich, you were right and I was wrong.

I then visited Missy when I was in DC the following week, just a wee coffee date on Pennsylvania Avenue. My girlfriend Kristina lives there, so I have a feeling that Missy and I will be seeing a lot more of each other over the next year (by the way Missy, since this is as quick and convenient a way to contact you as any, I'll be down all next week). Once again, evidence that squishing together and holding the camera directly in front of your faces usually does not result in the finest photography, at least of me.

In other news, my final year of Princeton Seminary is underway, and I am again asking the "what am I going to be when I grow up" questions. My current plan is to do a year-long residency as a hospital chaplain in the DC area next year, which would put me close to Kristina, and keep our options open when her two-year job commitment terminates at the end of that same year. I have different ideas about what I want to do after graduation every six months or so, and while I may or may not stick with chaplaincy long term, it would allow me to develop the skill set I would need to be a therapist or counselor or something like that further down the road. Not a pastor, however, as I just can't see myself as a minister of word and sacrament even if other aspects of the pastoral role appeal to me. While it would be great to just know what I want to do with my life already, I will probably keep trying new things for the foreseeable future, and probably trying them in a variety of interesting locations.

Hope the reunion planners can work something out. I am certainly game.

13 September 2007

Let's talk about a reunion

I am intrigued by this reunion idea, much in the way I'm intrigued by spending the holidays with neither my in-laws nor my family. Matt and I are thinking of spending Christmas somewhere warm and sunny...unless we're in New England seeing y'all.

So: what, when, where? Betsy, is your mom's B&B still an option? Should we look at other options? Is it too complicated for us to try to do this over New Year's? I'm just throwin' stuff out there. Discuss.