Monthly Archives: July, 2009

Friday Five: Clean Up the House

  1. How often do you clean your home? I’ve shared homes for…well, technically my whole life, but our cleaning schedule usually puts me with some daily chores and some weekly. I have never, however, needed to “clean my room” the way most people seem to. Sometimes I feel the need to declutter an area, but I tend to tidy before bed every day. Clean as you go.
  2. What domestic chore do you hate? I have never done anything involving yard work. Mowing the lawn seems easy (though hot and tiring), but I’m sure I could manage to mess that up somehow.
  3. What domestic chore do you enjoy? I actually don’t mind ironing, cleaning, or unloading the dishwasher. I’ll find shortcuts when I’m low on time, but there’s nothing particularly hateful about doing any of them.
  4. Do you own a washing machine or go to the laundrette? I’ve always called it the laundromat. The closest I came to using one of those were dorm laundry rooms freshman and sophomore years (and both ACE summers). I always did my laundry at odd times, usually early morning or midafternoon, to avoid rushes.
  5. Do you iron underpants and/or bed sheets? Weird. Neither. I have not ironed less than I did in the last year since before I started doing my own ironing: fifth grade. There’s only so much time in a day, and when it was a choice between ironing pants that didn’t strictly need to be ironed and getting ten extra minutes of sleep, I chose the sleep.


Adult Faith

Maybe the best part of breaks is that I get to catch up on my reading. As I was finishing up my latest tour through ZENIT, I stopped to read the pope’s homily at the close of the Year of St. Paul, a year which I basically ignored because work/school was eating my life.

Paul wants Christians to have a “responsible” and “adult faith”. The words “adult faith” in recent decades have formed a widespread slogan. It is often meant in the sense of the attitude of those who no longer listen to the Church and her Pastors but autonomously choose what they want to believe and not to believe hence a do-it-yourself faith. And it is presented as a “courageous” form of self-expression against the Magisterium of the Church.

In fact, however, no courage is needed for this because one may always be certain of public applause. Rather, courage is needed to adhere to the Church’s faith, even if this contradicts the “logic” of the contemporary world. This is the non-conformism of faith which Paul calls an “adult faith”. It is the faith that he desires.

I studied education in undergrad, so I’ve been reading and thinking about human development for several years. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people think of religious faith as something childish. You can’t possibly continue being religious unless you’ve been brainwashed into it for your whole life, and you’re not really an adult until you break away from that, i.e. stop going to church. That view is, of course, ridiculous. Being independent is not about getting rid of any influence anyone has ever had on you. It’s about claiming opinions for yourself. True, you might grow up in a house full of Democrats and realize that you’re actually a Republican, but it is just as valid, independent, and adult to realize that you really have been a Democrat all along. The same is true for religion.

Religion is not a crutch. Choosing the follow the religion your parents practiced and raised you in is not a sign of childishness. If it means being countercultural, like faithful Catholicism these days, it might be the most free-thinking, grown-up choice of them all.

submitted to Sunday Snippets, a Catholic Carnival

The Half-Drunk Prince

Another interesting article, this time about the amount of alcohol in HBP. I noticed this as I was happily passing my off-time re-reading the book, since I never managed to finish it soon enough before the movie. (Read them right before you see them, and it’ll ruin the movie every time.)

I don’t think the movie promotes teen drinking, but there is a lot of drinking going on. In OotP, when we met Winky, we discovered that she was able to get drunk on butterbeer because, though the alcohol content of a single butterbeer is very low, she is a very small creature. So, in the movie, when Hermione acts a little tipsy after visiting the Three Broomsticks, I was only a little surprised, and also a little amused, but not put off by it. Not the same for Slughorn’s offering Ron and Harry the poisoned mead in the first place. Did they really need to be drinking?


via The Leaky Cauldron

Friday Fives

Friday Five, July 3: Randomosity

  1. It’s the last night of the world, and you’ve only just found out. What five things will you do in these final hours? Call my mom, go to adoration, dance (I love to dance), eat some really good cheesecake, and just talk to the people closest to me.
  2. How do you feel about our American Flag’s design? Fifty stars is impossible to draw, especially white on blue, but otherwise it’s nice.
  3. What pets have you had? My mom had a parakeet when I was very little, and I had a goldfish until it died. My family has a cockatiel right now, but I don’t really consider Jazzie mine.
  4. What was the last activity you wore a wristband for? Anyone who was drinking at Community Bowling Night at the start of ACE summer had to wear a blue wristband.
  5. What song changed your life? “Only Hope,” performed by Mandy Moore, and then Mandy Moore and Jon Foreman, in A Walk to Remember, had a pretty huge impact on me, my relationships, and my love for that book and movie.

July 10: Favorite Foods

  1. What is your favorite vegetable? I love broccoli, but only cooked or in broccoli salad, and carrots, but only raw.
  2. What is your favorite salad dressing, sauce, gravy, or condiment? Caesar dressing is pretty great, especially on fresh spinach. Can you tell I miss the ND dining hall?
  3. What is your favorite culture’s food (American, Chinese, Creole, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Soul Food, Southern U.S., etc.)? I discovered that I like Lebanese food, but Mexican and Italian are still my favorites.
  4. What is your favorite beverage? Water is so awesome, but my friend Greg recently turned me on to what he calls a Michelle Wie. It’s a girly Arnold Palmer: raspberry iced tea and pink lemonade.
  5. What is your favorite food? I have loved French fries pretty much as long as I’ve been eating them.

July 24: Writing Five

  1. Do you like your handwriting? Absolutely.
  2. Do you prefer to print or write in cursive? I print most of the time (when I’m not typing), but I like my cursive handwriting best for my spiritual journal and letters to parents.
  3. Do you think handwriting should be graded in school? Grading is a much touchier subject for me since I’m a teacher now. I think it’s important to teach handwriting in school, though. You have to learn it somewhere.
  4. Do you prefer writing in pencil or pen? Pen, always.
  5. When you write in ink, do you prefer a neutral color such as black or blue, or a fun color like purple or green? I hate writing in any color other than black, but I always grade in purple. It makes me feel better, to say nothing for my students.
The Friday Five

Dress Code Violation?

This article makes me wonder. It’s about a sixth-grader who was forced to turn her pro-life t-shirt inside out when she wore it to school. Would the same be true for someone who wore a pro-choice shirt, or a religiously-themed one? For example, if my sister borrowed my MoE t-shirt (which I wouldn’t let her do) and wore it to her (public) school, could she get in trouble for “proclaiming the beauty of the Catholic faith” (which it says on the back)?

Those aren’t the most fully developed thoughts, but that’s all I have right now.

via, a site on which I always feared my former school might appear

No More, No Less

Peter at The Ark and the Dove was disgusted by a recent Newsweek article anticipating President Obama’s meeting with the pope. I read it, and though I did not respond with the same revulsion, I was distressed.

I am very proud to be from Maryland (I brought my flag up from Alabama specifically to decorate my dorm room for the summer), but things like that article make me ashamed. Not only is Kathleen Kennedy Townsend a vocally pro-choice Catholic Democrat, but she was the lieutenant governor of Maryland. Back before I really started learning and caring about my faith, I’m pretty sure I campaigned for her outside the primary polls to earn community service hours. Oops.

Townsend’s political and religious conflicts aside, this article is an excellent reminder that the Catholic Church in the United States does not control the world. Catholicism sustained itself just fine long before there was a single Protestant colony, let alone this country. (And Maryland was the Catholic colony!) It may be true that 54% of American Catholics voted for Obama, but Obama is not in charge of the Church, and neither are the people that voted for him. Similarly, American Catholics’ thinking that something is right does not make it so.

Townsend writes that, in Humanae Vitae (which, incidentally, I just printed the other day), “authority—not truth, not love—prevailed.” Does she think you can’t be authoritative, truthful, and loving at the same time? I think I know a guy who did that. His name was Jesus, and to any Catholic worth her salt, Jesus left the pope in charge. If Townsend really believes that Obama wants nothing more than “polite disagreement”—that is, that he doesn’t want the pope to change his views—then why bother making this statement? However, if she doesn’t think Obama wants a change from the Vatican, then this article simply proves that, no matter what changes Americans want, Rome will do what is right.

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