The Shadow Proves the Sunshine

So, that whole “update at least once a week” plan didn’t go very well this weekend. I’m still behind on my reading and note-copying, though. I should be doing that now, but I can’t deprive Hana of her Lindsay-tinged Newsweek any longer or she’ll hurt me. (Kidding. But only about that last bit.)

The Friday Five: Chasing Her Through History
1. If you could go back and relive one moment or day from your life, without changing anything, what would you re-experience? That’s a tough one. Considering what’s on my mind lately, I’d say the ride back from First Timer’s Retreat. I talked about Harry Potter with Tim, and I read through all the sweet notes in my bag. That was a great hour or so.
2. If you could witness a moment in history, again without changing anything, what would you want to see? Also considering what’s on my mind lately, I’d want to be at or be watching Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech live.
3. If you could talk to a younger version of yourself, what age would you visit and what message would you give? I’d go back to myself when I was at Flowers. That was a really rough, lonely year. I’d tell Younger Lindsay not to get so wrapped up in trying to fit in and all that, because things would get so much better even just at the next school.
4. If you could choose one moment that would be guaranteed to happen in your future, what would it be and when would it happen? Getting to heaven after I die, and knowing with absolute, unchallenged certainty that my life wasn’t wasted.
5. Pretend you left a time capsule for yourself 5, 10, 15, 20 or more years ago. You just opened it. What three (oops) things from your past are you now holding and what age were you when you buried them? Hmm. Five years ago, I was fourteen and still in Germany. I imagine I’d find (1) a napkin from Peter’s, a Greek restaurant on base that had amazing chicken gyros, (2) a pen from Trier, where we used to go shopping, (3) a band concert program, because I used to play the flute, (4) a church bulletin from the base chapel, and (5) a letter to myself. That last one is basically a requirement for time capsules. Who knows what it’d say, though.

Up for a laugh (but probably more than one)? Happy Catholic posted some hilarious metaphors allegedly from college students’ papers. If I ever come up with something that bad, you have my permission to destroy all my writing. (Read: Don’t destroy my writing.)

In the interest of time, I’ll try to summarize the last seven days or so. I really do have a lot of work to do. For those of you who prefer the short version: I got up, went to class, came back, didn’t study enough, and went to bed. Repeat five times.

Sticking around for the long version? Last Sunday was pretty ordinary. There were, in fact, no endangered birds in the Chapel. I got there a bit early, as usual. Fr. Bill asked me if I’d like to lector, noting how I’ve become the professional standby lector for Sunday noon Mass. I replied, “Oh, no. See, I have to stay amateur so I can be in the Lectoring Olympics.” He caught on right away, suggesting that the events would be, like, the genealogies. Bring on those Biblical names! There were cookies at retreat committee meeting, which made me happy. We read through the first draft of our skit script. I won’t go into detail yet, since some people who are going on the retreat allegedly read this blog. (Comments are nice every now and then, guys. I have a counter; I know you’re reading.)

Monday’s 7th Heaven wasn’t as terrible as last week. Simon’s finally starting to see how horrible Rose is, though. I really, really hope he doesn’t marry her. The Camden kids don’t need another failed marriage. Look at their parents; they should be doing much better than they have so far.

I think my CD player might be haunted. Sometimes, the voice part of the track gets super quiet, and sometimes I can’t hear it at all. If I walk closer to it, it gets louder again. The alarm has been working fine. All I’ve been playing is Wow 2006. Make of that what you will.

Tuesday was actually a really good day. Call it V-Day, Single Awareness Day, or Minor Saint Day, it was great. My awful AA lit class was cancelled, so I went to the CSC to make calls for Spring Retreat RSVP’s. I walked over to the Chapel with Mrs. R for noon Mass, then went to lunch with everyone. After Adolescent Development, Sara and Rebecca picked me up and we drove out to Baltimore for the PostSecret exhibit. If you don’t know PostSecret, go look. It says a lot about our society when we’ll share our secrets with the world, literally. Frank, who runs the project, brought 100 original PostSecrets with him to display on the wall of the Visionary Art Museum. It took about two hours for us to get through, but it was amazing. I saw so many that made me smile, gasp in shock, and sympathize with the creators. I also saw some that aren’t secrets for me.

  • He’s not your real father. I don’t know who your real father is. I’m so sorry.
  • I can eat a dozen donuts in one sitting.
  • I love you through every moment of absurdity.
  • I fear I have an undiagnosed mental disorder.
  • I can’t remember what it’s like to fall asleep sober.
  • I wish I was white.
  • I wish I was anything but white.
  • I’m a minister’s wife, but no one knows I don’t believe in God.
  • I know she’s not mine (with a picture of an ultrasound), but I love her anyway.
  • I don’t really care about politics.
  • I no longer think it gets any better than this.

Just before we got to the cards, a man with a studio video camera with a “Bravo” sticker on the side asked Sara to drop a (blank) card into the special mailbox made out of tape. He filmed her doing it, then said she’d be on tv. This is very cool. We finally got out of there and started calling to collect people for dinner. In celebration of the fact that we’re all single but happy, we decided to go out for dinner. Rebecca’s mom recommended Don Pablo’s, so we piled nine of us into two cars and drove out to Laurel. It was a nice change to have a sane number of people in Sara’s car. I was stuck with Guy and Nick cracking jokes the whole way, though. We had to wait a while for a table, but the wait went pretty fast since there were so many of us to talk and take random pictures. The food was good; I had my first ever chicken enchilada. The conversation and company were, of course, fabulous. On the ride back, I was sitting between Nick and Seth, and Nick made me buckle in his seatbelt, asking, “Can you put this in so I don’t violate you?” I didn’t get back until around 10:30pm, but it was a great night.

Wednesday was a long day, like the ones before it. I’d emailed my bosses about the materials I needed last Wednesday, but Alice must have skimmed over that part of the email, so she replied Tuesday afternoon to say she couldn’t get them “on such short notice.” Argh. Panicking and frustrated, I emailed Irene to help, since she doesn’t have class on Wednesdays. She went to Target to get crafty things to make cards for hospitalized children via Project Sunshine. I don’t think the discussions held them as much as I thought they might. I can’t say I blame them, though. We do a ton of discussion. I broke up the monotony by giving them an article to read and write a response to, though. Irene made brownies for the kids, which helped with my accidental fast. The cards they made were so sweet. I still have them, since I’m waiting for a few more this week, but I’ll email the campus rep for Project Sunshine eventually. I love my kids.

I went to the CSC for the Rosary, Mass, and dinner. Maura was supposed to show up, but she didn’t, so I sat with Lyzii, Peppy Pat, and Cheryl. I’m not sure what the religious priests were serving, but it was pretty good. Fr. Bill said it was arroz con pollo, but I’ve never had that before, so I still don’t know. The bread was really cheesy, though. Only at the CSC will I eat food when I’m not sure what it is. I mingled after dinner until Holy Hour. I’ve only done Adoration on First Timer’s Retreat and in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, so I was pretty lost for most of it. I managed to keep up during the Liturgy of the Hours, but I gave up on all the songs before and after Benediction. My Latin is basically nonexistent, especially when sung, especially when I don’t know the tune and it’s not scored for me to sight-read. It was good to have that time to pray, though.

As usual, I was praying about discernment. I may have gotten my answer, or it might just be a distraction. So now I’m praying not to get distracted. I’m putting this one in God’s hands. It’s hard, because I want to just go for it, but I can’t let my own desires get in the way of God’s. (If you know me, you probably know what I’m alluding to here. I love you, but I will edit your comment if you mention it at all. The combox is not PostSecret.)

After dinner, I stuck around for a focus group with the General Editor (I think) of the Catholic Standard. I got my opinions in there, and served as the sole black person for their stats. They had giant chocolate-chip cookies and I got a free mug, so I think it was worth my time. I also found out that I know Thomas A of Catholicae Testudines, the guys’ Catholic Terps blog. I knew that voice was unique, but I didn’t connect it until someone brought it up in the focus group. I was so tired when I got back to the dorm, and I still had work to do. It was a long day, but a good one.

Thursday morning was grr. I hadn’t finished my reading for AA lit, so I tried to get some of it in before class, but of course I didn’t finish. Then, my professor assigned group presentation dates, except that she can’t read her own stupid syllabus and scheduled four hour-long (!!!) presentations in one ninety-minute class period. Now I don’t feel bad for misunderstanding that monster of a reading assignment. The course title is African-American Literature, 1910-1945. Explain to my why, exactly, we are reading “The Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano” and Phyllis Wheatley. There’s a whole other class on the literature before that time period, and yet another on everything after it. I don’t care what digit the course number starts with, there’s far too much reading for any professor to expect the students to do it all. This is 202 all over again. This is part of why I have so many issues with race. I knew I should have held out to study a minority I’m not a member of.

I hadn’t done my reading for Adolescent Development, but that didn’t matter, since class was as pointless as it usually is. Just about everything I’ve learned has been from my reading — and there’s a ton of it in that class, too. I went to dinner with a total of fifteen people — a new record! At one point, we had thirteen. I caught the cue exactly; “the first to rise is the first to die.” It was Maura. Meeble. After dinner, Maura and I joined Ali for an all-girls Bible study, since the boys were having dinner with Cardinal McCarrick. Yes, I understand that girls aren’t allowed in the Vianney Society (discernment for priesthood and brotherhood), but still. I commented at last week’s retreat meeting, “Despite my inability to become a cardinal, I still want to meet him.” Brendan replied that you don’t have to be a priest to be a cardinal, which I find intriguing. I’ve also read that you only have to be a Catholic man to be the Pope; he’s just always elected from the College of Cardinals. They may both be Catholic urban legends, but then again, the president of the United States doesn’t have to be a white man.

Maura and I both had late Thursday nights. I had to finish the online work and an essay for Spanish. I realized Friday morning that I still have no idea what to give my presentation about for Spanish class. I shudder at having to speak Spanish for such a long time. I like reading and writing it, and my oral comprehension is increasing steadily, but I hate speaking it. I think I just love English too much. Friday afternoon and evening are basically blanks for me. I must have just done homework… but I should remember that. Hmm.

I spent Saturday studying like mad. I hate being behind. After dinner, Sara, Nick, Andrea, Guy, Robert (who was new) and I played Cranium, then Andrea left and Andrew joined us for Simpsons Uno. I liked how the Simpsons version has a Wild Draw Three card with Blinky, the three-eyed fish. I love Blinky. I was sad that they cooked him at the end of the episode.

Sunday’s scheduled lector either didn’t show up or didn’t announce himself to Michelle, so I read again. Once I’d caught my breath, I was good to go. My clock is running a few minutes fast, but I keep forgetting that and thinking I’m later than my usual late, so I wind up rushing regardless. Anyway, I was having a good hair day and I’d dressed warmly, and I wound up in Maura’s line for Communion, so all was good. I walked over to the CSC with Chris and Brendan. We had pizza, which was lovely, because not eating all day does not make Lindsay a happy retreat planner. We did blocking for the revised/extended skit. It’s going to be so cool. For the first time, Fr. Bill has been cast. Sure, he’s playing himself, but what good is a skit about the theological virtues without something about a priest. Deacon Drew stood in for Jim. I’d forgotten he was a theater major as an undergrad, so he was snapping in and out of his Irish-accented character like magic. I had so much fun. We are going to be so awesome. Yay Spring Retreat!

Today paled in comparison. I rushed to Spanish class, late as usual, but thinking I was later than I actually was. We had a test this morning, for which I’d studied like mad. It was, therefore, not hard at all. I got out a few minutes early, so I skimmed the reading for Colonial Lit. I ran into Adrienne in the hall before I left for my mad dash, and then Sarah mid-mad dash, which was lovely since I hadn’t seen them in so long. Shakespeare lecture was, once again, excellent. Lunch with Hana and Andrew was great fun, because Andrew never says anything and Hana and I are ridiculous together. Oh! That reminds me. I AM GOING TO SEE SWITCHFOOT! Squee! They’re playing in Baltimore in April. It’s a school night, and I have to teach the next day, but it’s Switchfoot! I went out for *NSync (my only real concert so far), and GoF, so Switchfoot is just next on the list. Squee! And I shall end on that note.

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