Monthly Archives: February, 2006

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.

It’s Sacramental

Friday Five: Big Questions
1.) Do you believe in God or a higher power? Ooh, ooh! I know this one! YES! (God, that is, not just an ambiguous higher power.)
2.) Are good and evil just concepts, or real powers in the universe? That depends on what one means by “powers.” I definitely believe good and evil exist, and we can choose to strive toward good rather than succumb to evil. I don’t imagine evil hovering over my shoulder, like the little devil versus the little angel, but I believe it’s real.
3.) What is your view on forgiveness? It’s always there if you ask for it. Being Catholic, I believe in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. God will forgive us if we but ask (and are truly penitent, of course). As for forgiving others… it’s hard. Really, really hard sometimes. But if God can sacrifice his only Son to save us, and forgive me for anything I’m capable of doing, then I can forgive other people. Remember, forgiving and forgetting are entirely different things.
4.) Do organized religions do more harm than good? I read an article (or perhaps a blog post; such are the times) about “organized religion” as a concept one can object against. The author wondered what qualifies a religion as being organized. If two nondenominational Christians believe the same things, but belong to different fellowship groups, are they organized? Anyway, governments are another body that does harm as well as good, but you find far fewer people who are against organized government than organized religion. Yes, the Medici popes did some despicable things, but Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta is on her way to canonization.
5.) If you had a day to spend playing God, what would you do? Wow. Try not to screw up the world? The Holy Father’s missionary intention for last month was to bring about the full communion of Christians, so that sounds like a good thing to do. I might also find some ex-Christians who gave up because they never quite got the answer they were looking for, so I could give it to them in some big, flashy way. I’m patient, sure, but obvious signs are nice, too. (The Resurrection, anyone?)

I had kind of a down week. I’ve got a lot on my mind lately, so not having a chance to mull that over at all put me in a worse mood, I think.

Sunday was a bit crazy. Maura left early for choir rehearsal. She’s been really into singing at Mass lately, so I’m glad she has a chance to do it on a larger scale. Something about hearing five hundred people sing the Gloria bring me great joy as well. I got there early since I was lectoring and, well, not running late. I tried to go in the side door, but there was a sign on the door leading to the sanctuary: “CAUTION! There is a red-tail hawk loose in the sanctuary. KEEP DOOR CLOSED.” A little scared and very confused, I went around to the front doors, only to find them all locked. This was only about ten minutes before noon, so I got all frustrated. The side door wasn’t actually locked, so I went in, put my stuff down and went up to check the lectionary. Michelle and Mike were standing up behind the podium, looking at the ceiling behind the altar. I looked in that direction and was absolutely floored to see a hawk perched up near the ceiling. It was so freaky! Monsignor Malloy, who was celebrating, announced the bird to the congregation before Mass. The immediate murmur meant some people managed to miss our special guest. He turned around when we all started the Gloria and shuffled over once before Mass started, but otherwise he stayed put. I was a bit terrified before I went up to read. With my luck, he would have chosen just that ten minutes in which to swoop down from his perch. It was a Mass to remember.

After heckling (a.k.a. signing people up for retreat) after Mass, I walked over with Jim and Chris. Michelle had ordered pizza for us, but she got the wrong sizes. I only figured out later that, as it was Superbowl Sunday, it probably wasn’t the best day to order pizza. I heard somewhere that that’s the biggest pizza sale day of the year. Our meeting, once again, wasn’t particularly productive. The retreat is the first weekend of March, so we’ve got some serious work to do. I still think it’ll be an awesome time.

Monday’s Shakespeare lecture, though not on an actual play, was still great. Leinwand is just that good a lecturer. And I’m convinced now that one of the washers in QA just doesn’t work right, because I think I only put one quarter in it this week. I’m not quite sure what to do about that. Lunch and dinner were lovely, as usual. Eating alone is that much more depressing since I’ve gotten used to having meals with six or seven other people. I can’t even list them anymore because group dinners happen so often and with varying people. Yay for friends. Also, 7th Heaven was really bad. Yes, Ruthie is sad about Martin, but do we really need a whole episode about that, considering how few they have left? (No. No, we do not.)

Tuesday started out a bit rough. I got up at my usual time, but since I don’t have Spanish on Tuesdays, I had some extra downtime. I always intend to use it for extra studying, and almost always spend it online. It worries me how much time I spend sitting here, typing and reading away. I do most of my non-school-related nonrequired reading from this very screen. My eyes are not thanking me. AA lit was boring beyond reason. I understand that literature has social context, but the context is only worth so much without really examining the text. 301 did its job with me, it seems. Adolescent Development was far too quiet and largely unhelpful, which made me uneasy in the face of Thursday’s exam.

Wednesday is my day of mad dashes. First, from breakfast in my room or at the Diner to Jimenez. The former has been more common than the later. I’m running out of cereal, but it’s so inefficient to go all the way to the Diner and then come all the way back. Spanish is generally dull. It’s too early in the morning for any of us to really be engaged. Sure, the activities are lame, but we’re in a better mood to deal with them midday than first thing. Then comes Jimenez to Susquehanna in ten minutes. It sucks. I’m cold, out of breath, and my Colonial Lit teacher always starts like right on time, so I feel late (another not good feeling). It’s also rough when I haven’t quite finished the reading… which is increasingly more often lately. The walk from there to Shakespeare is quite nice, since it’s on the same floor of SQH. After Shakespeare, I fastwalk back to the dorm to get my lesson plans and go teach. It was flurrying while I waited for Irene, so I put my gloves on for the first time in weeks. Stupid phony spring warmth. That was, incidentally, the last time I saw my gloves. I’ve lost them twice before, but this time, they’re gone for good. I’ll miss them. They were very good for my thin fingers.

Class was better than last time, but still not great. Irene had planned that week’s lesson on diversity, but wound up following almost none of it. I’m pretty sure now that I suck at leading discussions. It’s hard to referee between the Talkers and the Non-Talkers. After the opening discussion, we played a game. We taped a description to each student’s back and gave them a scenario: The twelve of them were on a sinking boat. The only lifeboat held eleven people. If all twelve tried to get in, it would sink, so they had to choose one person to not be allowed in, treating one another like they would treat someone with that description, among them “homosexual,” “world-renowned scientist,” and “non-English-speaking Asian.” It was interesting and horrifying to witness. The girl playing the Asian was told she liked to eat sushi, to help her guess her description. The “95-year-old woman” was dead weight. The “president” (we didn’t specify which one!) was automatically out. “Michael Jordan” was automatically in. The girl that got “ex-convict” actually told the “homosexual” girl she was going to Hell. I was shocked. I think the discussion after that activity helped them a lot, though. (For the record, I would never tell a homosexual he or she was going to Hell. As Catholic as I am, I know only God really knows who’s going where.) We read an article after that, which was entirely anticlimactic, especially since we’d talked about affirmative action already. We ended with a forced choice activity, where the students had to choose whether they agreed or disagreed with a statement and stand near the corresponding sign. Irene read sentences like, “I have nothing against interracial dating, but I prefer to date members of my own race,” they picked a side, and we talked about why they stood where they did. A few actually switched sides after hearing the others talk. It was an interesting class.

Wednesday night dinner was lovely, as usual. We started the rosary with just two people, including me. Dinner was much fancier than usual. The ladies feeding us this week brought a bunch of different types of pasta. They remembered bread, which made me happy. No one tried to give me salad, which avoided the whole vegetable thing. I also think I was eating a chicken wing. (One does not usually question free food.) I gave some CSC friends a crash course in the manual alphabet, but I never actually made it to Sign Language Club that night. I should go back at some point, but I think I’ve lost the mid-level interest and enthusiasm I had.

Thursday was an interesting day. AA lit didn’t go well. I misread the syllabus, so I was completely unprepared. That is not a good feeling, especially when you think of school like I do. I’d wondered why the reading was the same as the previous class, but hadn’t thought about it enough. I’m not fond of reading assignments. I tried halfheartedly reviewing for my Adolescent Development exam, but basically just gave up. I think I did better on the first two questions than the third. The chapter on race and socioeconomic status was odd reading. I went through the section on African-Americans thinking, “Yep… yep… not so much… no, not at all… kind of….” I chose to write about poverty.

Bible study started again Thursday night, but I didn’t go. Fr. Bill was taping Mass for EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and asked me to lector for him. Once I understood what he was asking, I’d eagerly agreed. As it turns out, he asked Tim originally, but, being one of the leaders of my Bible study, he can’t really skip it. (I’ve only skipped for Fiat Dinner and this. It’s still Church-related.) In the end, I was really glad I went. I’ve never been to the Shrine before. We were only in the crypt downstairs, but it was still beautiful. I also added some diversity to the non-choir parts of Mass. Fr. Bill is white; the deacon was white; Chris (a different Chris) and Neil, the altar servers, are white; and the other lector, Joe, is also white. I felt like the diversifying black girl once I realized that. It was a trippy experience overall. First, Fr. Bill has a really nice car. Second, I’ve never been to Mass more than once in a day, let alone more than once in under ninety minutes. On top of that, it was two half-hour Masses in the future (they tape them in advance; we did the second and fifth Sundays of Lent). Third, I’ve never read to a camera before. I told the stage manager guy that I had been on tv before, but for It’s Academic. “Ah, well, we do ‘It’s Sacramental’ here,” he replied. I got back in time for ER. It was quite a productive night.

Friday was another interesting day. We discussed Catholicism in two of my three classes — and on the day I’d chosen to wear my Catholic Terps shirt. I don’t hide my Catholicism, but it’s not usually so obvious. We’re reading Puritan literature, so we had to discuss Puritan theology, which inevitably led to a discussion of what exactly they were trying to purify. In Shakespeare discussion, we were still talking about “The Merchant of Venice” a little, which is Christian versus Jew in a time of Catholic versus Protestant. I may have offended the guy sitting next to me by briefly mentioning Messianic Jews. We were talking about how Jewish converts to Christianity were seen at the time. People were known by religion, so even if a Jew converted, he or she was still seen as a Jew. My (white) TA said, “It’s like if I said I was converting to black,” at which point I cracked up. I think I was the only black person in the room, as well as the one with her religion plastered across her shirt, so that was awkward. At lunch, Hana asked me about Confession, and we had a lovely conversation. I shared my Confession cheat card with her; she liked the Act of Contrition a lot. (I know, “Confession” and “cheat” don’t usually go together in a good way, but when I’m trying to remember what I need to confess, sometimes I lose parts of the Act of Contrition. It helps me remember.)

After lunch, I went shopping with Sara and Rebecca. We went to Target, where they left me looking at cards while they went around. They found me in the exact same place about twenty minutes later. Picking out birthday cards takes a while! Rebecca got gravel for her fish in Petsmart, then we wandered around CDepot. Not finding anything they wanted there, Sara drove down to CD Game Exchange, where we spent a good half hour looking at the super-cheap CDs. I bought Anna Nalick and Casting Crowns beautifully used for a dollar each. Sara got a bunch of random fifteen-cent CDs. And none of us got charged sales tax, which I’m not sure is completely legal. We assembled people for group dinner afterward, then I opted out of Curious George to tackle “Henry the Fourth, Part One.” I gave up after a few hours and went to bed early.

I got up pretty early this morning. Maura hadn’t even left for UMRO yet. I had breakfast by myself, but I hadn’t properly had breakfast in a while, so I was good with my Diner pancakes. I dove back into Shakespeare for about four hours until I came down (from my top bunk) to recruit for dinner. Sara and Rebecca weren’t on, so I half-wondered if Caroline was on fire, but they were just holed in together. We still had about eight people. I finished the play when I got back, but it was so dry, I couldn’t bear to keep pondering it for the short essay quiz I have to do. I am such crap at studying lately. I’m still waiting for my mental breakdown.

Here’s hoping there are no kind-of-endangered birds in the Chapel tomorrow.

Okay in General

Friday Five: A #5 with an Egg Roll
1. What is your favorite specialty restaurant (Italian, Mexican, Thai, etc.)? Does IHOP count? No? The Olive Garden, then.
2. What do you order to eat there? I really like the three-meat ravioli, and that soup with the sausage and potatoes. And their bread is so good. So, so good. I enjoy bread.
3. What is your favorite specialty food or dish to cook? I don’t cook much. Scrambled egg and cheese sandwiches are about as complicated as I get on a regular basis.
4. If you could travel to the home country of your favorite specialty food, what would you do there? Italy? Visit B16 of course… or just the Vatican, whatever.
5. What is your worst experience with a specialty food restaurant? I had shells with a lot of ricotta instead of the ravioli one time. It was rather disappointing. I can only handle so much ricotta.

Maura and I were totally on time for Mass on Sunday. I got to lector, which is always nice. After Mass, I walked with Chris over to the CSC for the retreat committee meeting. The theme is “Faith, Hope, and Love,” the theological virtues. It’s right at the beginning of Lent, so we’re thinking about working in the Stations of the Cross, which is also my new AIM buddy icon. It should be cool.

After the meeting, I had lunch (if you can call my first meal of the day at 2pm lunch) with Jim, then came back to start readingThe Merchant of Venice for 304. I couldn’t quite manage it before dinner, but it was a really interesting play. Dinner was so early I wasn’t really hungry, but who am I to pass up a meal with my awesome awesome friends? I have meals by myself so seldom, I keep forgetting who was at which meal when, so I’m just going to stop listing everyone. You all know who you are, and you know I love you.

Monday was okay, as far as I can remember. I hadn’t quite managed to get through my reading for Colonial Lit, but we didn’t get to talk about them, so I got away with it that time. It’s been a lot like a history class lately, since these first few readings are just nonfiction writings (more or less) about the New World. We did get to read the real Pocahontas story, though. Hey, Disney, who’d you pay to make up the rest of that?

I only have class in the morning Monday/Wednesday/Friday, so after lunch I came back to do my laundry. One of the machines must have been half-full of quarters (despite being completely empty of clothes), so I got a break that afternoon, which was lovely. I managed to time it just right so I didn’t have to lug my dirty clothes over to QA with half the campus walking around. I don’t mind it as much when I’ve got the clean ones. Morning laundry was easier in that respect.

Tuesday morning was nice because I didn’t have Spanish. I got up early and wasted the extra time, managing to squeeze in some Colonial Literature before African-American Lit. I wasn’t too pleased with that class, because she added another textbook, went over what’s in our anthology (without discussing any of it, mind you), and reassigned the timeline she’d already asked us to do. I totally did mine, and then I had to do even more research for the new one. Argh. Lunch was good, then I came back for a bit before EDHD. I managed to cram that reading in before I went to class. I still like Prof. Gardner a lot. He has personality, which I think makes it easier to learn. Then again, Prof. Kearney from GEOG 140 had personality, but no one will ever be able to make beach drift interesting to me.

After class, I felt this weird need to go to daily Mass, so I did. We did the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, which I hadn’t prayed in a long time. During the consecration, my heart started beating really hard, right through to the end of Mass. It was such an amazing feeling. It made the fast trek back up to the Diner to meet people a lot less cold than the wind should have made it. I watched Jeopardy! and American Idol with Sara and Guy in Sara’s room, then came back for studying.

Wednesday morning… has largely disappeared from my memory. Hmm. There’s this one guy in my Colonial Lit class that sounds kind of pretentious when he makes a comment, which he does every class. Maybe it’s just his tone of voice, but I feel like even if he were saying nice things, they would someone come out as chastising. Does that make sense? I’m supposed to be giving an oral presentation in a few weeks, possibly with a partner, but I have no idea what to do. Stupid scheduling issues.

The scheduling issue, of course, was caused by the Scholars Program. Leinwand gave another excellent Shakespeare lecture, after which I left Hana and dashed as quickly as possible back up to the dorm for my lesson plans, then over to the Union to meet Irene with our car. (At this point, I’m wishing Shakespeare had stopped writing a little sooner; carrying his complete works three times a week along with two other books is not fun.) I got there right as Irene pulled up and we headed out to the school. We got there just before 1:00, signed in, and met up with Dr. White and Alice just before the students started to arrive.

The class went okay in general, I think. Dr. White was really impressed, which is great. I just felt really disorganized, like we were mostly winging it, despite our lesson plans. For example, the icebreaker activity listed in the lesson plans was Story of a Scar/Shoe, but Liz brought M&M’s, so we tried to work out an M&M icebreaker in the car on the way to the school. Then, when Irene went over what to do with the candy, we and the students kept forgetting what they represented and what to do, so they were just like normal introductions. Liz almost forgot I was supposed to lead the opening discussion. When I tried to do that, though, it didn’t go very well. As expected, only a few students really talked, but that’s okay. I’ve never really led a discussion before, so I wasn’t quite sure how to steer the topic in the right direction without talking too much. I intentionally kept quiet a lot, but the other instructors talked more than I would have liked them to. That, I think, is part of what comes with getting a job for which you have no experience. Gotta start somewhere. Our topic was really general as well, liberal education, so it was hard to figure out what we wanted them to learn. The time went by quickly, though part of that was due to introductions. The four of us had a really cool discussion about religion on the drive back (we were listening to Christian radio). I got back to the dorm around 3:30, confirming that I wouldn’t have been able to stay in British Lit. I think I’d have liked it — and been more prepared for it, being 300-level — more than Colonial Lit, but I needed to stay with the program more than I needed to (presumably) enjoy class.

I went to Mass Wednesday night, as per tradition. I almost lost my place while I was lectoring, but I’d just done the readings about an hour beforehand, so I knew what I was supposed to be saying. I followed along with my finger anyway; it was a long reading. Nothing like a (near-)mistake to remind one of the importance of humility. Dinner was good. There was more food then usual; I suppose some of the regulars weren’t around this week. To my distress, not eating lunch made my generally yummy chocolate chunk cookie way too sweet. I enjoyed spending time at the CSC, though, as always.

Yesterday was okay. AA Lit was really tedious. My professor had us write about our timelines, as if doing the research for them couldn’t possibly have taught us anything. Quite a few people hadn’t done theirs, which I found puzzling, since they’d been originally due on Tuesday. Then she tried to divide us into groups from her class roster. She kept calling absent people, despite having taken attendance. I wound up partnered with a girl sitting near me regardless. We were assigned to read about rhythm and blues as part of AA vernacular tradition — which wasn’t part of the reading we’d been assigned for that class. It was originally just a rehash of the reading, but there was some interesting discussion toward the end of class.

After an unusual peak of twelve people at our table during lunch, I came back before EDHD. We were moved to a bigger classroom in Benjamin, which is much more comfortable and much more convenient for me. Prof. Gardner handed out index cards and asked us to write something about ourselves. I wrote about my love for books and Harry Potter. That is an essential part of Lindsay-ness.

Yesterday was the Feast of the Presentation, and my devotional reading struck a particular chord with me, so I wound up at Mass again. Dinner was good, as was the Commons Shop trip afterward. Yay for not being alone anymore. I came back to watch Jeopardy! and Smallville, during which Guy’s comic book nerd flag was a-flying, and Sara made Valentine’s Day plans. We’re going to Baltimore for the PostSecret exhibit, then out for dinner afterward. Where we’ll eat, I don’t know, but I think we’re going to gather some boys for a non-date date. I’m looking forward to it.

This morning was rough. My Spanish class also changed rooms, so we went from a normal-sized room in the basement of JMZ with a low ceiling, to one that’s far too big for our class. Our teacher’s more comfortable, though, which helps. Colonial Lit wasn’t bad. Our professor had invited us to join him for The New World in Silver Spring, but I wasn’t really interested, it wasn’t required, and — who have I become? — I already had plans for tonight. Shakespeare discussion was best toward the end, when we started to warm up to one another.

After classes, I felt so bright and upbeat. Sometimes I think I have SAD, but then I think it’s that thing where I think I have stuff to make myself feel better. Hana was all mopey and tired. She’s still made it to every single one of her classes. I’m so proud. She grumbles her way through them, but she goes, so yay for that. I tried to scan my W-2 for my mom, but I couldn’t get the scanner in the HH lounge to work, so I just read her the parts she wanted over the phone. I came back and wasted a spectacular amount of time before dinner. We wound up sitting at two round tables instead of the big long ones. Maura and Adam were at the other. He made a comment about Maura’s laughing, and when I overhead and turned to see her dying of laughter, it made me laugh, too. I swear we’re becoming the same person. We’ll be one giant music-playing, Harry-Potter-loving conglomeration in no time.

After dinner, Andrew, Rebecca, Sara, Seth, and I went back to Wicomico. Rebecca watched tv while the rest of us played Uno. It turns out that you’re supposed to play to 500 points: when you Uno out, you get points for every card the other players are holding. I won the first hand really quickly, but the others went at normal speed. We finished just in time to go meet Guy for karaoke; Andrew won two hands and beat my two hands by about sixty points. Karaoke was quite fun. There were a lot more people there than last time, including Ali and Andrew (not the same one I just mentioned), Jonah, and Adrienne and Crazy Mike. I sang “Everywhere” again, and Sara sang “From This Moment On,” which was beautiful. We are two lovely singin’ ladies. Ali did “Criminal” really well, and then the three of us sang “Bitch” together before we all left. I know, I know, I usually don’t swear, but it’s a really good song. I have this odd fondness for songs with “bitch” in (or as) the title.

So now I’m back in the dorm, all comfy in my pajama pants after a wonderful evening. I have done no homework so far, but I don’t have any other plans for the weekend, so I’ll have time. And all the time that has already passed was time well spent.

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