Get to Know… Rachel M!

Name: Rachel McMillan

Personality Type: ESFJ

Famous ESFJs: Don Knotts, Rachel McAdams, Hoss Cartwright, Leonard “Bones” McCoy, Molly Weasley

What do you love most about yourself? I will always win the most easily amused award. I can be thrilled by day-to-day circumstances. I also have a great travel-bug which has taken me several places across the globe; but also allows me to enjoy work trips and explore something new in cities large and small.

What would you most like to change about yourself? I am anxious and hard on myself. Anxiously hard on myself? I never feel like I live up to my own standards.

Favorite Fictional Character & why:

Sherlock Holmes: he is the opposite of me.  He is all calculation and logic and I think indubitably with my heart and so garnered by emotion. He also has an incredibly innate sense of confidence which informs every action he makes. I doubt myself too often. Sherlock’s brainy intellect and his recognition of his talent allow him to think outside the box, take the world by storm and really, really like who he is. I want this trick!  I also wish I could get away with being as blunt as he is.

Name one possession that you absolutely love:

I own a book that once belonged to L.M. Montgomery. She loved nature writing and this book is called “The Life of the Grasshopper.” It has her handwriting in the margins, and a few pictures of cats that she scribbled. In it she has pasted a few scraps of paper she found interesting.  It was the thought behind the gift, the giver and my personal devotion to LM Montgomery’s life writing and journals in particular which make this so profoundly special to me.

If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

L. M.  Montgomery. The more time I spend in her journals and read about her own anxious make-up and her self-effacing method of approaching everything make me think that we would have a lot to talk about.  Like me, she is greatly informed by romantic sensibilities which, of course, cannot be made manifest in the real world. I live too much in my own fictional landscape and I think she colored her world in the same way.  Moreover, she was the wife of a minister who had a few, how shall we say it? , less than savory experiences with a congregation in the expectations meted out on a minister’s family, and the belief that she did not fit into the mold of such a demanding structure. I am a minister’s daughter and had similarly rocky experiences with my church background. We would have a heyday together!

Tell us three of your “guilty pleasures”:

  1. Jelly Bellys
  2. The last five minutes of the BBC “North and South” (I watch this more than I care to admit. Over and over again.
  3. The BBC Merlin: I know it’s cheesy. I do. I just can’t help myself.

Name one thing (book, song, movie, item) you wish you had thought up first:

The book I most identify with is The Blue Castle by L M Montgomery (oh my goodness, is she a theme here? ). There are so many thoughts traipsing through the heroine’s mind —so many moments of self-revelation and doubt that I wish I had had the foresight to be able to shroud my insecurities in such a carefully-tightened plot.

Share several of your favorite quotes with us:

“Love is the most creative force in the world” Neil MacNeil (from Catherine Marshall’s Christy)

“I will just have to fix my thoughts on the moonlight and the romance and ignore the mosquitoes” –Emily Climbs by LM Montgomery

“ I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious” –Albert Einstein

“Trifles are the sum of life” –Charles Dickens

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” –Romans 8:1, KJV

What memory is the most special to you and why?

My entire life I wanted to travel to Vienna.  But, I wanted to do it right: not as an impoverished student staying in hostels; but a well-timed trip where I could meander about and see concerts and taste and see and indulge in the city (within reason). So, while it was my first dream destination, it wasn’t my first trip to Europe. However, when I finally stepped out of the train in Vienna two years ago, walked a slight ways and found myself in the Ringstrasse, I was overtaken.  I bought a strudel and a strong cup of coffee and watched a dream come true before my eyes.

Who is your favorite actor / actress? What was the first film you saw them in?

When I was 10 years old my aunt brought over the VHS of Roman Holiday. I fell immediately in love with Audrey Hepburn: her grace, poise and most of all her sense of class. I find her so refined. I immediately made my dad find me all of her other films to rent or buy. I still love her this day; several biographies read and films revisited.

“I would never get tired of talking about…”?

Hymns. I love hymns. I think hymns need to be reinstated in churches. STAT.  I am saddened by the decline of modern worship: replacing what I call “self help/Jesus is my Boyfriend songs for the poetical genius of the great works of old. Hymns were originally constructed to elicit the entire gospel message within a few stanzas that largely illiterate populations could inter to memory.  It’s an integral part of Christian history that I feel the Evangelical church is turning a blind eye on. I could seriously talk about this forever ( and, for those who know me, actually will)

If you could own any animal as a pet, what would it be?

Basset Hound.

One miniseries or television show everyone needs to try out at least once:

Foyle’s War.  I think it is the best-written unique (not adaptation ) television series ever made. Writer Anthony Horowitz sets deft characterization, a succinct sense of verisimilitude and unparalleled, rigorous historical accuracy under the guise of a British Tea Cozy mystery. Certainly the whip-smart detective and his band of trusty helpmates are here to investigate murder in mayhem in gorgeous seaside Hastings and the surrounding South Downs.  But, the crimes they investigate are exacerbated by the tragedies of WWII. If a bomb goes off in a neighbourhood revealing a corpse with a knife stuck in his neck, where does moral duty lie? In a society becoming acclimatized to constant violence, where does the line between wrong and right stand when blurred by the atrocity of international conflict.

11 Replies to “Get to Know… Rachel M!”

  1. Totally agree about most hymn lyrics, though there are modern worship songs that are just as as theologically deep, even if they don’t cover as much ground. I love hymns set to modern styles. Combinations like that really draw me.
    Lovely to see the mention of Foyle’s War. Truly a magnificent series.

  2. Hello Rachel, nice to read your answers!

    I think the difference between hymns and (most) modern worship songs becomes very clear when you listens to them for a few times. While you will grow to like the hymn more and more and discover something new even after singing it for 100 times, the modern worship song gets increasingly ‘blah’ upon repeated listening. Though I do think there will always be ‘modern’ classics written.

    How great that you recommended Foyle’s War. I totally agree with you description, it’s just such a great series!

  3. Hi Rachel, nice to meet you! 🙂 I totally agree with you re: the last 5 minutes of North and South, it’s just so <333 I mean, I love the book but the ending is a lot more quieter compared to the adaptation ending *makes a note to re-watch it sometime*

    I love your story about visiting Vienna! How long were you there for? Isn't it such an amazing feeling when you've stepped out into a place you've always wanted to go? Vienna's such a wonderful place, I wish I was there longer & could go back pronto! lol

  4. Hey there, Rachel! Yay, glad it finally got to your initial, “R.” 🙂

    Love that you share a personality type with Rachel McAdams – that’s neat.

    Great series recommendation also – that show is AWESOME and Anthony did a superb job with it. Cannot wait for ‘Foyle’s’ return next summer. 🙂

    Yay for ‘Merlin’ also – it is cheesy but way too much fun.

  5. yes, all! i do own a book by LM Montgomery. Given to me my the owner of a bookstore I worked at in my little hometown. several places (including the LM Montgomery Institute and the UPEI) have shown interest in purchasing it; but while its monetary value is great, its sentimental value exceeds anything money could buy. It is SUCH a prized possession. I love to think about her cracking the spine and writing little notes and drawing little cats and holding something that I can touch in my hands.

    oh hymns! MichB —you and I would have so much to talk about! I love both of the hymns you mention. At this time of year, I am obsessed with the carols and their equally powerful backstories 🙂

  6. Wow, what an amazing thing to actually own a book owned by L. M. Montgomery. I love her books, as well. I really want to reread her Anne books. My favorites that she wrote are the Emily ones, though. I can identify so well with Emily, from the magical wonder she has as a child to her darker days as an adult, and her passion for writing throughout.

    I’m in complete agreement with you on hymns. Thankfully, my church sings them and only newer songs on Sunday nights. There are some really great songs still being written, but they’re fewer and farther between, and the words and message in so many of the old songs still brings to tears. I’ve often said that I can’t think when I sing; otherwise, they’d all make me cry. Music has always been special to me, and so much of my childhood is colored by it.

    I will always love Audrey Hepburn. 🙂

  7. Hi Rachel!
    I’m so with you on the hymns! Obviously people are always going to write new worship songs – some spot on, some… less theologically accurate- but there are so many amazing hymn lyrics that have been completely forgotten about. So many have great back stories (‘It is well with my soul’), or follow a psychological journey as you go through the verses (I love the walk we go on in ‘How Great Thou Art’), or quote beautiful passages directly out of the Bible. Even if people aren’t willing to go back to a pipe organ, and to be honest I’d be a bit reticent myself, the tunes could easily be revamped to suit modern tastes leaving those awesome lyrics intact.

    And I like Merlin too 🙂

    1. “(I love the walk we go on in ‘How Great Thou Art’)”
      How absolutely true. I never noticed it before, but you do mentally wander through the woods and forest glades with the author of that hymn, don’t you? Lovely.

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