Monthly Archives: October, 2005

On Display

Friday Five
1. If you had all the money in the world and could choose to own anything, what you would get and why? My first thought was to build a church. I mean, I’m sure there’s somewhere that could use a church or a new one, and it’d be cool to sponsor a church like that.
2. If you were to do something that scares you, what would it be? My fears are either material or abstract. Not really actions.
3. What was your first pet? We had a bird when I was very little. We kept it in my playroom, which later became Courtney’s room. It died… I think my mom buried it in her flower garden out front. I know that’s where she buried the goldfish I had after the bird died.
4. What’s the farthest you’ve traveled? From here to Japan, and there and back twice more.
5. If you were a season, which one would you be and why? I like winter best. It’s cool and mellow, but can be a lot of fun if you make it. And it smells the nicest.
Extra one: If you were a song, which one would you be and why? Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” Beautiful and classic, but quite whimsical.

And so we commence the Weekly Roundup.

I never did get around to my homework on Saturday. Maura was running behind for Mass on Sunday, so I waited and we walked together. The hymnal cart wasn’t by the side door, where we usually come in, so I went to the back to get them while Maura went to find Michelle to volunteer her EMHC (Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion) skills. I followed Maura out the front door so we could find seats. She was talking to Fr. Bill when I stuck my head out the door. “Oh, Lindsay,” he said. “I found another Harry Potter fan; I want you to meet her.” So I followed him up the aisle.

If you can, imagine me, already late and just wanting to go pray a bit before the procession starts, trailing behind Fr. Bill wearing his green chasuble, with Maura right behind me. I was mortified. Then, he passed the girl he was looking for and had to backtrack. We awkwardly introduced ourselves, and I finally got to sit down. I hate it when people are watching me. I hate it more that I was probably acknowledged solely as “that girl following Fr. Bill.” But he made up for it by making a Hogwarts reference in the announcements that was unmistakably directed at me. I love Fr. Bill.

After fighting with Greg a lot (or maybe that was Saturday), I finally managed to get to work on Sunday night. We’ve been broken up for ten months. I have almost completely moved on. I even have new guy friends (hi, Dan). I don’t think he’ll ever let me be (especially concerning my faith), which is disappointing. I knew he hated Catholicism, but I didn’t expect such a backlash when I finally made my way back to the Church. Anti-Catholicism has been called the last acceptable prejudice. I’m kind of taking it as my cross to bear, if you will. When I didn’t have answers to his angry questions, I had to go find them, and in doing that, I learned a lot.

It’s going to be impossible to move on until he does, though. That seems unfair.

I don’t remember much about Monday. We reviewed in Spanish class. The last two Comm presentations were okay. I spent the night studying and trying to fix my computer.

On Tuesday, I had two classes and two tests. It sucked. I was almost late to 301, which added to the uneasiness about my midterm. My essay came fairly easily, though I did have to restart the second paragraph because I wandered away from my organization. He (my teacher) made comments about my apparent lack of organization on my papers, so I was determined to get it right. He’d specifically suggested some formats on the instruction sheet, so I knew it was super-important. My watch stopped last week, so I couldn’t gauge the time like I usually do, but I finished within the limit. (It’s an 85-minute class, so that’s a big deal. I learned to knock out AP essays in 40 minutes.)

I spent lunch mostly alone until Nick (from my astro lab last semester) showed up. I hadn’t really had a chance to talk to him yet this semester, so that was nice. Then I took my Spanish test. I think I tried to get too fancy while doing the writing section, but I think I did well on that one, too. The next test is the one my TA wrote, and she says it’s much harder. Joy.

Tuesday night, I went to Adele’s with Andrew, Sara, Rebecca, Hana, and Megha. I had some of their yummy fries, and helped Megha eat her Ice Cream Spectacular, which was also yummy. We got there early, but I had still feared a wait, since it was a focus date today. It was only medium-full, though. I guess people didn’t realize three weeks had passed again. We got out in a very reasonably amount of time.

Wednesday’s fuzzy, too. My Comm TA talked a little about giving speeches, since that’s what we’ll be doing for the rest of the semester. He told the story of how he wound up where he is, instead of being a professional baseball player. I kind of resented it, because I plan to be a teacher by choice. He made it seem like his consolation prize. I had lunch with Adrienne and Nick again. The lunch conversation resulted in the new Facebook group Students for Campus-Wide Laser Tag. Good times.

I came back and tried to start the day’s work. The first actual part of our Keystone was due Thursday, so I seriously had to get going. I managed to put it off until fairly late. I went to Mass and dinner. A group of brothers served us; I’ve never seen so many Roman collars at the same time before. Their food was pretty good, though. The bread was really cheesy, and the spaghetti was not greasy (that that, Dining Services!), so it was worth going back for more. Michelle had described a small person-sized bucket of pasta, and I hate wasting food.

After dinner, I high-tailed it over to the Armory for a Primannum meeting. I’m beginning to see now how useless that particular Greek-lettered organization is to me. They don’t seem to do anything substantial. Come to think of it, that sounds a lot like NHS. I suppose that happens when our common interest is, like, school. It’s hard to come together and do school, the way the pumpkin-launching club comes together to make pumpkin-launchers. Dan walked in after I did, so we sat together while we badly decorated Halloween cards for hospitalized children. I saw a bunch of other people there, too. The activity was badly organized, and the meeting was terribly boring.

I had to detour on my way back to the dorm. My necklace charm had been loose all day, so it flew off during my mad dash from the CSC to the Armory. I thought I’d seen something fly past me when I passed the Commons Shop, so once I realized the charm was gone, I knew I would probably find it there. I looked around, and sure enough, I found it.

I spent the rest of the night writing a short story for Keystone. I was actually really pleased with the result. It needs editing, of course, but it’s a good foundation for revision. I don’t know if I’ve explained my project here, but I’ve been doing it a lot lately, so once more won’t hurt. I have created a fanfiction-style challenge for myself. I’ve committed to write six short stories that share common elements, but not a theme. The elements are:

  • a character named Anne.
  • an anonymous letter
  • the dialogue line “Throw it on the table and see if it bounces.”
  • the clause “It was a dark and stormy night.”
  • someone standing on a table and shouting.

I have two stories so far. I’m going to have to get really creative with that dialogue line. I’m already running out of ideas. I also have to find new reasons for people to be shouting on tables. I think I can do it, though.

ARHU was cancelled Thursday afternoon, so it was that much harder to get up for my one class (301) at 9:30am. I made it, though. Of course. I’m glad I went, because we got our midterms back. Hana has my 301 teacher for another class, so she knows he doesn’t like to give A’s. Imagine my shock and extreme happiness to get an A- on my exam! I’m still happy, because there are so few assignments in that class, I have to do well on every one of them to do well overall. We discussed Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily.” I had never read it, so I loved it. You can read it here; it’s not long, and it’s amazing.

After class, I came back to the dorm. I’d intended to start my second Keystone story before Mass, but I could tell that wasn’t going to happen, so I just left early for the Rosary. I met up with Sara, Hana, and Rebecca afterwards. Rebecca had to leave, but Hana, Sara, and I sat around talking for a long time about our Keystone projects. I’m glad I stayed, though, because my originality was spent, and Hana came up with the springboard idea for my second story. She read it after I posted, and she loved the character I built from her idea. In retrospect, I think she’s a rather Hana character.

Right after I got back upstairs, I had to go out again. They’d randomly shut off the water to our building, so I went across the street to Benjamin. I needed to make an advising appointment, anyway, so it worked out. When I came back, I started writing and kept going steady until just after 5pm. I posted a bit late, but I wasn’t done when 5 rolled around.

I went to dinner with Dan and Hana, and Annie, Maggie, and Jimmy showed up a bit later. I explained my stories to all of them. It was weird because Annie’s real name is Anne, and my second story had a Jimmy as well. I’d intended to go to Bible study after dinner, but I managed to completely miss Tim, so I just came back up and watched tv.

Yesterday morning, I packed to come home. Classes weren’t that great. We had an assignment in 280 that everyone else thought was really confusing, but I found relatively easy. I’m sensing a bad grade coming at me. Lunch with Andrew was nice, as always. Spanish class just wore on. We’re doing emotions this chapter, so there’s a ton of vocabulary to learn. We watched a West Wing special feature on speeches. I’m giving mine on the experience of Harry Potter. There’s the potential of leaning too much into fangirl territory, but I think I can manage it.

My dad picked me up right after I got back from Comm. My parents had the laundry room finished, so the appliances were only moved back in from my room a few days ago. I went to see Tops in Blue with my mom last night. The Air Force has a service-wide talent show every year, and the winners (vocalists, instrumentalists, and one time, a magician) get to take a year off from their jobs to perform at bases around the world. It’s a pretty good show. It was very cold out, but I enjoyed it. When we got home, I convinced her to watch the pilot of Joan of Arcadia with me. She liked it, but not enough to watch a second episode, boo.

When I sat down to blog last night, I debated whether to discuss my latest entanglement with Greg. He IMed me with something about Halloween. Inevitably (in the truest sense of the word), we got to arguing about religion.

Then he posted part of our conversation to his LJ.

After he’d posted it, he asked me if it was okay. By that time, he and his friend Rachael had already started making fun of me in the comments. So I responded to defend myself.

The argument went on for almost two hours, until I was absolutely spent. Rajni actually got involved, but she managed to make her point without making fun of me. I totally get what she was saying, and have absolutely no negative feelings toward her. The sheer exhaustion of fending off both Rachael and Greg, combined with my hiccuping wireless connection, sent me crawling into bed, having cried until I could barely breathe. I wasn’t sad, though I was disappointed that I hadn’t done very well in the argument. I just didn’t have the emotional strength left.

Even today, when I turned on my computer, they were still on me. For people who seem to think everyone should be allowed to do what they want, as long it doesn’t hurt themselves or others, they don’t seem keen to let me be. (At least, that’s what Greg thinks. I don’t really know Rachael.) I didn’t start the fight, but they won’t let me end it.

My mom asked me last night why I’d broken up with Greg. I told her my feelings had changed. She replied, “Well, you never know, you two might end up hooking up in the future,” which made me decide she is no longer allowed to use the term “hooking up.” But it’s incidents like these that make me more and more certain we’ll never be together again.

Lovely, Not Lonely

I forgot to blog yesterday! But I think my computer has a virus, and I was busy fixing it for hours, so I blame the bug.

Friday Five: Don’t Fall For It
1. What do you like or dislike about autumn? I like the crisp smell. I love the smell of winter, so it starts coming up in fall, and that’s nice. It’s also nice to finally have the weather cooling off, but I hate that it’s cold and rainy.
2. Have you raked leaves into a pile just to jump in them? I haven’t raked in years. I’ve always been busy “doing homework” when my family goes out to rake. We have a ton of trees at home. But if I ever raked, I would totally have to do it twice, because I’d jump in them the first time.
3. Have you ever carved a pumpkin and how did it turn out? We don’t carve, we paint. Painting is way less messy and you can make neater images (as in cooler and less messy).
4. Have you ever eaten anything made from pumpkins other than pie? I ate a really yummy pumpkin muffin once (it tasted like cinnamon), but I’ve never had pumpkin pie. I don’t like pie.
5. Where is a good spot to see the leaves change color where you live? Driving today, we were on those parts of back roads where the road was surrounded by trees on both sides for a while. I loved seeing all the different colors.

Last Saturday morning, I was a bit confused by all the old people (i.e. parents) I saw around campus, until I realized it was family weekend. It made me miss mine a lot. I haven’t been home at all this semester. I would have gone this weekend, but I had plans for today. I might go next weekend, since I don’t know anyone who’s having a Halloween party, and I don’t have a costume, anyway.

I was running a bit late getting ready for church on Sunday morning, and so was Maura. It worked out, though, because I got there early enough for my liking, and she got there early enough to volunteer as an extraordinary minister. As it turns out, we could basically have a whole Mass with just the two of us and a priest. She can minister, I can lector, we both sing, she plays oboe, and there you go. All we need are some other parishioners.

I got a 93 on my Comm midterm, so either all that frantic reviewing paid off or it was just my paranoid streak. 280 was fun. We’re doing phonetics now, so we spend a great deal of class time practicing making various vowel and consonant sounds. We sit around going “g, g, g” and “au, au, a, a,” which is much funnier when I act it out. Oh, the limitations of blogging.

In 301 on Tuesday, we discussed “visual representations of literature.” We watched a very old Edison film about a bunch of firefighters. It was so cheesy and old, but actually kind of cool. We talked about cross-cutting, too. When a scene has more than one perspective, and you see both sides (inside and outside a building, in the Edison film), you usually cut the scenes together so you see everything in sequence. In one version of the film, we saw the events from the inside, then again from the outside. In the later version, we saw them alternate, like we’d expected. It was really interesting class. I met with Pia that afternoon to set up our presentation, but we didn’t rehearse it.

I don’t really remember daytime Wednesday, to tell you the truth. Sara, Rajni, see? This is one of those times when my real memory shows, cause looking over what I wrote in my assignment book is not helping. I met Fr. Bill before evening Mass that night, then stayed for the Mass and got to lector. They may have had the wrong lectionary there, because I didn’t check it out beforehand, and when I got to it, I hadn’t seen those readings before. I do the daily readings online every day, straight from the USCCB lectionary, along with a meditation/devotion. Sometimes, though, when I do the online readings before or after I go to daily Mass, they don’t match up. It’s strange. So far, I haven’t been surprised by any weird Biblical words I can’t pronounce properly, but it’s bound to happen soon. I should start checking the lectionary beforehand, even when Michelle taps me (sometimes literally) right before Mass starts.

Anyway, I didn’t stay for free dinner because I had plans to go to Applebee’s with Sign Language Club. I hadn’t been to Silent Dinner since last fall, since I skipped the second one. I don’t know much ASL, and I still get really confused, but I hadn’t been off campus much at all this semester, so I decided to go. I got a ride with Irene there. We had to wait for a little while, since they wanted to seat us all together. We were at the high tables by the bar, but we all had chairs. I managed to get really confused, as usual. The girl whose name I can’t remember was asking if I was going to Thursday’s football game. I thought she was asking something about whether I had a roommate. It was messy. And then I incorrectly signed that I get confused, and instead said I was crazy… which I am, so I guess that kind of worked out. The food was yummy, though.

Thursday was a busy day. I went to 301, where we discussed art as literature, which was also kind of cool. After class, I went over to Cole Fieldhouse for a job interview. The Department of Education is starting a program for high schoolers in Anne Arundel County, something like Honors 100. I didn’t take Honors 100 because of HH, but I need teaching experience, so I signed up for an interview. I was disgruntled that I had to dress up, and even more so when Thursday morning was especially cold. Wednesday was hot, so I was all thrown off. 301 had let out early, so I was more on time than I’d planned. When I got to the right part of Cole, I found a receptionist-type woman and told her I had an appointment with Dr. White. She had no idea who I was talking about. It was unpleasantly reminiscent of my Comm interview. Eventually, she figured out that Dr. White was just new, and she’d stepped out. I waited (yay for my patience), then had my interview. I think it went well. It turned out that she’s a former principal at Gwynn Park, and knows Mr. Curtis from my high school. I did that whole “turn your weakness into a strength” thing, and I’d remembered to edit my résumé. I should know by tomorrow afternoon.

I came back, changed, then went to Mass. I couldn’t find Hana at lunch, and Sara had been really hungry earlier, but I ran into Rebecca, so I ate with her. I came back and wrote up my notecards for my Comm presentation. Pia came by for a rehearsal. We only got through it twice because I had to go to ARHU. I’d given up on finishing the readings, so I felt really guilty while Tanya addressed that exact problem in class. I don’t really know how to skim, so either I read all of an article, part of it but not the end, or none of it at all. I’d never thought about just reading the first and last paragraphs. That’s really helpful. I just never feel like I have time for ARHU. All that theory turns me off. Bring back the practical applications! Buffy class was awesome!

We got out of ARHU early because Tanya wanted to beat traffic and not get a ticket. I came back and killed some time until I left for Fiat Dinner at the CSC. Fr. Bill was away, and they were having the Great Room carpet cleaned, so we got to use Fr. Bill’s house, which is connected to the Center proper. This week was marriage and motherhood, with Sonia, former CSC pastoral assistant. The food was Greek, since Sonia cooks. We had something with ground turkey and feta cheese that was really yummy. I was very proud of myself for trying new foods. I’d tried some unidentifiable dip from the hors d’oeuvres, but that was a bad idea, since it tasted really gross. It was probably the strangely-named eggplant dip, but it might have been hummus; they looked the same. I just stuck with the pita chips. There was also something green… I’ve heard of it before but the name escapes me now, but I actually tried a very small amount of it. I swear that’s the first green thing I’ve eaten intentionally in years. I’m so proud of myself for that. The talk afterwards was really cool. Sonia started out thinking she would get married, but then decided she was obviously called to be a sister. She’d entered the convent and everything before she knew it wasn’t right. So she wound up coming to work at the CSC, and met her husband because he works with the USCCB doing RCIA stuff. Now they’re married and have two kids, with another coming. This whole discernment thing is so complicated. Help me out, Holy Spirit.

I got up early Friday morning to do laundry. I’ve basically switched my laundry day, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it Thursday anyway, because of my project. Strangely, though, it’s been raining the past few Friday mornings. Yesterday, it was flat-out pouring at first. My clothes got wet in my hamper as I waddled over to QA. It let up, though, so I didn’t have as much trouble getting the dry clothes back in my giant IKEA tarp bag — best impulse purchase ever! I had just enough time to change into dressy clothes (again!) and get to class. I had lunch with Andrew, which was lovely as always. Spanish was fine, but we ran over slightly, so I was in a more massive rush than usual to get to Comm on time. Pia was there when I rushed in out of breath, but she was obviously glad to see me since we had to present. The other group went first, though, so I had time to catch my breath and try to calm down. I always get nervous before I have to stand in front of a group, even when I lector — and all I do there is read. I knew what I was going to say, though, since we’d practiced, and I’d grown to care about the subject (special education), so I think we did well. I know I purposely caught my teacher’s eye as I was making eye contact while I spoke. On the way out of Plant Sciences (your guess as to why my Comm class is there is as good as mine), Melanie said Pia and I had been “engaging speakers”, which made me feel great. All the other groups had done skits or shown clips, but we had less time and there were only two of us, so we decided to just talk. I’m glad it worked out.

When I got back, Cary was here with Maura. Scott came over to help Maura with redesigning the SAI website, so Cary and I played with my Klutz board game book while they worked. The lawn chair my parents left me finally came in handy, and we set a record for most people in our room at one time: four. It was fun; I liked the energy and liveliness of our room for that hour or so. I had another lovely big group dinner, then came back to try to solve my computer problems. I scanned my hard drive, then started my computer in safe mode multiple times to run Spybot, Ad-Aware, and another hard drive scan. The second scan took an hour and a half, and it still didn’t find anything. I checked with McAfee, and tried to follow the removal instructions for an email worm that surfaced right around when my computer got fussy, but I couldn’t find any of the infection-generating files. I don’t know what to do now. I might just wait until Monday morning to see if OIT can help.

I went to bed super-early last night (around 11:30), since I had to get up early for the Maryland Renaissance Festival today. Sara drove, and Rebecca went, too. We stopped by the ATM and got McDonald’s for breakfast, then headed up there. It was drizzly all day, so the crowd was diminished and Shakespeare’s Skum cut back their shows, but I still had a good time. We wandered around to the shops a little, then saw a very funny German juggler in one of the taverns before the joust. He was a good juggler, but I liked his jokes best. “Is anybody here German? (sees about ten hands) Okay, that’s enough, let’s take over the festival!” “I need a helper. You, what’s your name? (Dustin) That’s correct. Can I call you Hans? Okay, Dustin-Hans (starts juggling), throw me the ball (Dustin-Hans throws the ball at him)… when I say ‘now’.” The joust was lovely; our team won the Ruby of Revel Grove. Rebecca took some pictures of the joust for her Keystone; I didn’t see, but Sara said she got in trouble for climbing up on the fence. We wandered some more and got some food before going over to see the Squire on the Wire. I had one of those enormous pretzels, still warm despite the drizzle, and a piece of Sara’s Belgian waffle since she couldn’t finish it. The Squire was still good, especially since did his tricks on a wet stage and walked the tightrope in the rain. That took guts. As it turned out, the proposal to the bar wench is indeed a show gag, but I didn’t mind. Wandering resumed after the show. I had promised myself not to buy anything, but I saw this super-cute crystal snowflake necklace that was only $5, so I bought it. I also saw a very pretty crystal-studded cross, but I resisted the temptation. We saw the end of one of the royal shows, then Skum’s “Macbeth in 20 Minutes or Less.” We stayed for the Bloody Improv. I actually got one of my suggestions in, which was cool, but the guy who had to guess all the crazy situations got them a bit too easily. Sure, he could have been a good enough improvver (?) to figure out that he was chasing sheep on a pogo stick on the Titanic with a tuba playing in the background while wearing a cowbell on his head, but I doubt it. Sara got a custom-minted coin, and we left to come back to campus.

We got back in time for dinner. It started to pour, so I was glad we’d left RennFest when we did. I met up with Rebecca and Sara again, and Scott and Andrew, and Hana, Monica, and Seth showed up later. I adore group dinners. I hate being lonely, so even if we’re all focused on eating instead of talking, it’s nice to have the company.

I have done absolutely no homework this weekend, and I spent way too much money this week, and I am very tired, but I am not depressed at all. It’s a drowsy, mild-panic good feeling.

Crappeth!

Today, we have the last two Friday Fives, because last week’s questions were really good. I like answering random questions, because I like to pretend my readers actually care about my answers. (And no, that was not fishing for comments.)

The First Five
1. How long have you had your LiveJournal/blog? Three years. I’ve kept a journal continuously since the sixth grade, but I moved online for ease of writing and ease of sharing with my long-distance friends.
2. What do you consider to be the main purpose of your LiveJournal/blog? It used to be all about me. I’d just keep track of what happened in my own life. I have such a bad memory, it’s good to know that I can write down what I’m feeling and thinking, for when I can’t remember. Think The Notebook without the Alzheimer’s. (Uh, I hope I didn’t ruin that for anyone… but you should see it anyway if you haven’t already! So romantic.) Now, it’s both for myself and for my friends that read it. It also gets me to write at least once a week.
3. If you could change something about your personal blogging style, what would it be? I’d blog more often with shorter entries. I know it must get tedious for you all to sit through my marathon entries, but sometimes it takes a few days before I have anything worth writing down.
4. What are your criteria for adding someone to your friends list/blog roll? Interesting entries or a personal relationship with me. I only read a few blogs of people I haven’t personally met. I don’t display my links openly because I don’t want people to feel left out, but I do have a links page. (Now that I think about it, that page seriously needs an update.)
5. Name one thing that you’ve never before written about in your LJ/blog. Hmm. I write about almost everything. I’ll say prayer, but I’m going to get to that later, so even that’s out.

The Second Five
1. Who is your favorite superhero? I loved loved loved The Incredibles; does that count?
2. If you could have any superpower what would it be? Teleportation. Or even really fast running, like Superman (Smallville was on last night — Clark died!). So many times, I’ve forgotten things, but could describe their exact location. Even if I could only bring objects to me (or send them away), that could be cool.
3. What would your super outfit look like? I don’t know. Definitely something with pants. Who fights crime or whatever in a dress, really?
4. What would your super villain/nemesis be like? Erm. Probably someone with psychic powers. Messing with my head would pretty much do me in. Man, I’m a really bad superhero.
5. What would your catch phrase/calling card be? Well, you didn’t ask what my mission is, so how am I supposed to know? Bleargh.

The retreat was so awesome. I was in a rush leaving, so I packed in a hurry and left a bunch of stuff lying around. Maura must have found it interesting that I managed to leave the closest thing I’ve ever gotten to a mess only while I wasn’t here to obsessively clean it up. I’ve never understood packing light, so I just tried to get everything. I still managed to forget pajamas, but I’d randomly packed my track pants, so I slept in those.

The best part of the weekend was meeting so many cool people — and not just cool people, but cool religious Catholic college students. I had no idea there were so many, and those were just the ones who’d never been on a CSC retreat before! It was so refreshing to meet people who can jump around playing Cranium and go for random rainy walks into the mountains, yet still understand that awesome post-Confession high.

Highlights of the weekend:
– Getting there (Blue Ridge Summit, PA) in total darkness after about two hours. “We’re here!” “Yeah, wherever here is, it’s where we are,” I said.
– The icebreaker activity at the CSC before we left, wherein I tried to figure out that I was Ricky (Ricardo) and track down Lucy after convincing Defensive Dan that he was The Beast (as in Beauty and the).
– The icebreaker once we got there, wherein we gave ourselves adjectives to learn names. I was Lovely Lindsay, which I think I only got because there were no L’s before me. Lacey went with Like Totally Cool. (So, you see, I wasn’t calling Catholic Dan defensive because he is.) Fr. Bill went last, and we’d passed along our message, so everyone got up and ran before he could start. He did very well, of course.
– Adoration, which we did twice. I’ve never done adoration (of the Holy Eucharist) before, so it was really cool. I said a rosary during the first one, even though I’d accidentally left mine back in the house. I’ve done rosaries on my fingers before, though, so I managed.
– Saturday afternoon’s Cranium game. I did surprisingly badly in Word Worm, actually.
– Fancy dinner Saturday night. Everyone got dressed up, and the priests served us. They sat us at tables shaped like a cross, boy-girl alternated, with candles and everything.
– Skits after dinner and confession. They gave us two random props, a theme, and Bible story and left us to it. My group had a bunch of fake flowers, a Christmas tree-shaped tray, the Parable of the Sower, and Western. I was a cowgirl. It was great. The group leaders did the Parable of the Ten Virgins with Shakespeare, which was too hilarious to describe. I’d have to tell you in person — ask me, and I totally will. “Crappeth!” has had me laughing all week.
– Apparently, the guys came up to the girls’ house late Saturday night to serenade us. I’d already gone to bed, so I missed it. I’m still upset over that, because it sounds like it was amazing and so sweet. Yay for Catholic guys (not that other guys can’t be great as well).
– Reading at Mass on Sunday morning. I’m not scheduled to lector again until November, unless I go at 10:30am. And we had Psalm 23, which was cool to read/lead.
– Talking with Energetic Emma (a.k.a. Lucy, my traveling buddy) on the way up and Talented Tim (one of my small group leaders) on the way back.
– My bag. We decorated paper bags and hung them up to leave notes in. I think of it as my Brown Paper Bag of Love.

I had such a good time, then after we got back I had to unpack and study all evening for my 280 midterm.

I object to the word midterm. I had two this week, 280 and Comm, but I have another in two weeks. Who gets to decide when it’s the middle of the term? Why can’t we just call them exams? At least finals are actually final.

My 280 midterm wasn’t bad. I got it back today; I got an 83. Later on Monday, I also had a Spanish test. I didn’t study very much for that one, so I may have botched my indirect object pronouns, but I think I did well. Comm was hard to study for. It’s an unconventional class, so I wasn’t sure exactly what I should know, but I didn’t totally panic, so that’s a good sign. I did wind up writing my essay right until the end, though. I’m long-winded; it happens. I don’t have any tests next week, though, just a Comm presentation.

I got back the 301 analysis I thought I’d screwed up; I got a B-. It’s been a B semester for me in my English classes. That worries me somewhat, because I don’t want my GPA to keep declining. I’m cool with B’s, but I work hard, and I think my work shows that. That’s the cincher. Hard work alone doesn’t equal an A. You have to be able to learn by working hard and to prove it through tests and assignments. I’ve filed that lesson for my teaching career. (Gah. I’m going to be in school for the rest of my life.)

On Wednesday night, I went to the CSC for Mass and free dinner. I’ve never been, but I heard it was a good time, so I wanted to try it out. I met so many people on retreat, I knew I’d see familiar faces. I got to lector again, and dinner was cool. The Knights of Columbus and some women (their wives?) served us. I’m not exactly sure, but I think it was pork we were eating. I did see some people from the retreat, which was great. I didn’t stay long, though, since I wanted to get some more reading in before Sign Language Club. I’ll be at Silent Dinner next week, but I might have to keep going to Wednesday Dinner this semester.

Thursday’s 301 was kind of cool; we talked about description and analyzing visual media. Noon Mass was in the West Chapel, the smaller one, since they had Yom Kippur services in the Main Chapel. I kind of liked being back there. It was all wood and brick, and it felt more intimate. I decided to put off my laundry until this morning, so I’d have more time for ARHU reading. Of course, that didn’t work out. I’d bought some song downloads (I still had some paying it forward to do, and it was for disaster relief through LifeTeen), but after I downloaded them, my computer wouldn’t recognize the file types. I can play them fine in WMP, but MM won’t have it. I know I made it work once, but I get an error message when I try now. On top of that, my computer has been fussy lately. It’s crashed about six times in the last week. Twice, it crashed when I was ripping a CD, but I was trying to do too much, so when I asked it to do less work, it was fine. Now, though… I’m not sure what’s wrong. I’ll get it eventually, I think.

ARHU was such a trial yesterday. I barely got my abstract posted before class. It’s just occurring to me that I have to produce actual stories this semester. Setting goals for myself is a bit daunting. I hadn’t finished the reading, but I had already read the Kant, and I was alert through the Kuhn, so I thought I’d do okay in discussion. Yeah, not so much. When we (or rather, they) were discussing the Foucault, I could barely keep my eyes open. Andrew was sitting next to me, and he said he saw me about to fall asleep. But after class, I was totally awake for a great dinner with Scott, Andrew, and some other people. It’s weird how I wind up so often eating with a table full of white guys. Then it was tv night. The ER writers owe me more Shane. What happened with redeeming Ray at the end of last season? Where’s that Ray? They can throw away Doc Rock; bring back Landon-esque Ray.

Laundry this morning wasn’t great. I did snag the three washers I needed, but I forgot to bleach my whites, so it was moot. I was running a bit late, but I got to class on time. It was a hum-drum day. I had a good dinner earlier, even though I ate too much. I had good company. Maura’s friend Adam had us both dying with laughter on the way back. Good times. Good times.

Lolly, Lolly, Lolly

I’m going on retreat this weekend with the Catholic Student Center. We leave after dinner tomorrow night, so I’m going to blog tonight.

Saturday night was actually fun. I invited Dan over to join Sarah and Laura, my floormates, in watching PoA. We talked until about midnight. I enjoyed myself. I like being happy.

I read again at Mass on Sunday. I hadn’t had a chance to look over the readings beforehand, but I managed to wing it well enough. I met Maura’s dad; he thought I did a good job reading, so that was lovely. I spent the rest of the day studying, but I did finally get to watch another episode of Joan, “Bringeth It On.”

On Monday morning, the Commons Shop didn’t have any Honey Nut Cheerios, so I had to get a bagel and orange juice to bring back instead. It was a disproportionately long trip for something so simple. I do love bagels, though. I felt this odd urge to go to church that afternoon. I think the readings made me want to hear a homily. Fr. Bill wasn’t celebrating; I don’t think I’ve ever met the guy who was. And I didn’t get to hear the sort of homily I’d wanted, but I got Jesus, so that made it worthwhile. Also, I got to the South Campus Diner at just the right time to get my quesadilla, eat it, and get to Spanish class on time. We watched an episode of Sports Night in Comm — does anyone else remember that show? I could vaguely remember it, but I knew I liked it.

Tuesday was a day. It was cloudy, so I didn’t want to sit in front of Taliaferro to read for ARHU like usual. I decided instead to walk farther with Anne M. on my way to the study carrels in McKeldin. On my way, this guy brushed past me, and when I turned to apologize for my wild gesturing, who should I see but Greg. He was moving pretty fast, so at first I didn’t think he’d noticed me. Then he turned around and said hi. I said hi back, he went on his way, and I went on mine. It was awkward, but well-handled, I think. (His LJ post, predictably, was only half-true, and he called me “her.”) I’d intended to go to church again after my study hour, but the Chapel was all quiet with the signs for Rosh Hashanah services. I didn’t want to bother any celebrating Jews who might have been there, so I just went on to lunch.

Yesterday, when I went to the Commons Shop, they finally had Honey Nut Cheerios, yay. I got some other things, but managed to forget my snack for the retreat, so I’ll have to go back tomorrow. We discussed syntax in 280. Why didn’t anyone ever go over this stuff in high school? One of the guys in my class started singing “Conjunction Junction,” which made me very happy, though that does seem to be the only Grammar Rock song anyone ever knows. A little “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly (Get Your Adverbs Here)” never hurt anyone. In Comm, we listened to Liz Phair. We were discussing feminism, though I don’t know why. (Our reading for the day was on interpersonal communication.) My Comm TA, as I’ve mentioned before, likes to make his class fun. Therefore, we listened to not only “Why Can’t I?” (which was revealed to us, though I already knew it, as a song about cheating), “Extraordinary,” “Rock Me,” and her new song, but also “H.W.C.” Liz Phair has some… very explicit lyrics. It was an odd class.

I was up late last night working on another analysis paper for 301. This time, we had two articles on the problem of defining literature. I wrote the essay and turned it in this morning, but I think it was bad. I can summarize well, but I have trouble getting enough analysis in there. Years and years of being given things to read and told they were the final authority have conditioned me. How am I supposed to rip apart someone’s argument? How do I find the flaws? It takes enough time to understand the readings and summarize them without commenting on them. They got published; obviously someone thought they had good stuff to say.

After class, I went to Mass, then came back to gather up my stuff before I caught the shuttle. I’d scheduled the interview for my Comm project today, since I have the gap on Thursdays. I nearly missed the shuttle at Art/Soc, then I only got off at the right stop because someone was getting off there. When I got to the school, I was a little bit late, and then no one in the office could understand who I was there to see. She got married recently, so she just changed her name. Anyway, she found me after I signed in, and we did the interview in the library. It went really well. I knew I wouldn’t get through all the questions, but I asked the ones I thought were most important. I took notes instead of taping it, but I think I got some good stuff for our presentation in two weeks.

ARHU was okay. I didn’t feel as hopelessly lost as I used to, though I wasn’t totally with it either. I went to dinner with Maura, Andy, Dan, Anne P., Emily, and Tom afterward. I fasted for Darfur today, so it was a nice way to break the fast. (Sarah, if you see this, I didn’t make it to the STAND table, so I registered online.)

Tonight’s TV night, so I’m watching Smallville now. I’ll try to squeeze in some real work tonight and tomorrow morning, since we’re not allowed to take homework on retreat. Sunday will have lots of studying for my two tests on Monday.

It’s nice to not be depressed.

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