Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hiya

I'm still alive with two legs.

(Feel free to have a "guess which book I just referenced" contest while I'm at work.)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Missing Feasts

I really should get more liturgically with it. First, way back on the fourteenth I entirely forgot to post about dear old Bishop Sava, who is a very obscure Serbian saint that nobody in America has ever heard of. Since he's my baptism saint, I have been making some intermittent effort at spreading devotion to him. Alas, the very first year I have a blog I am busy scurrying about doing stuff and completely forget to mention him.

St. Francis de Sales is way better well-known than dear old Bishop Sava, although not as well known perhaps as the Francis whose spiritual children founded this university. Nonetheless, it took me two days to notice that it was his feast day--yes, I saw his name in the Magnificat but I didn't remember until today that he is the patron saint of writers and journalists, and therefore I must spread his devotion with a deathless passion.

So, there you have it, people. Two January saints whom I entirely forgot to mention.

Friday, January 25, 2008

We scare me sometimes

A comment Durnhelm left on my last post:
Okay, not only is it scary enough that I know what book this is from, but
before I ever read it, I picked up my nearest book and looked up my three
sentences...only to find when I continued reading your blog that they were
EXACTLY the same three sentences you just wrote!!! Tacitus, The Annals of
Imperial Rome. Penguin Classics, translated by Michael Grant. Am I correct? Lol.
We are too much alike, you know? I mean, being similar is one thing, but this
was just scary! ;D

She wins the extra-super bonus points. As well as the "You are freakishly in tune with my mind" points.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

"The accused was not sorry..."

Shakespeare's Cobbler just tagged me in a meme. No, I don't know how to say "meme", and yes I do feel like back in first grade when people asked me if I wanted to play with them. I got tagged! I am liked!

Ahem. Anyway. The rules are these:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

"Trio waived his proposal to prosecute on this charge, but obtained authority to attack Piso's previous career. The emperor was then asked to take over the inquiry. The accused was not sorry."

Extra super-bonus points if you can guess what book I quoted. (Here's a hint: The bonus question is heavily weighted in favor of Durnhelm.)

I tag:
Durnhelm
Rebekah
Christian
A. Lynch
and
Shakespeare's Cobbler
(Yes I was one of those obnoxious kids who did tagbacks. Plus I only know five people with blogs.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Where is everybody?

When I went to Mass this morning it was practically deserted.

The cafeteria was oddly empty.

I hardly passed anyone as I walked around campus attending to various things.

Where are they? Most of them are in Washington DC on the March for Life. It seems like 90% of campus is gone, but it's probably less than that. I think in previous years it's been something like 400 or 500 people, so at most it's a fourth of campus.

I feel lonely and out-of-place today, with all those people gone. Yet I realized as I sat at Mass that everybody my age, indeed everybody under the age of 34, should feel this way every single day.

A fourth of our generation is gone. People who might have sat next to you at church, in the cafeteria, at class--they aren't there. Next time you see an empty desk in the classroom, an empty chair at the table, an empty spot in the pew, maybe you can think about the fact that somebody ought to be sitting there. Maybe you can ask yourself, Where is everybody?

Maybe you can ask yourself, Why aren't they here?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pray for me

As much as I am bubbling over with potential blog posts, it's shaping up to be a busy few days so I'm going to ask you, dear readers, to pray for me and hopefully regular blogging will be able to resume before too long.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Prayers, Frustrated Expectations, and Little Old Ladies With Cell Phones

About a week ago I started on the book Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To. Despite the fact that I have to mentally edit the title to Ten Prayers to Which God Always Says Yes, I am enjoying this book.

Unlike my usual style, I am actually trying to read this book as slowly as possible, taking my time with each prayer. I did skip over the first one, God, show me that you exist, because I figured that I already know God exists, He knows that I know, and we don't need things like proof muddying up our relationship. At the moment I'm working on God, make me an instrument. So far my ministry seems to consist of loaning out my spare pencils to absentminded classmates.

God is funny, though. As C. S. Lewis would say, he's not a tame lion. He does exactly what He wants, exactly what He knows I need right at this moment.

A couple of funny things happened to me today. First, Fellow Layout Editor and I had a meeting with the head of the journalism department. (It went fine, thank you for asking.) Dr. Head Honcho was 5 minutes late to said meeting. While waiting, I read the literature pinned to his corkboard. One of these was a booklet listing journalism internships in Ohio. One of said internships happens to be with the "Polis Daily News". The application deadline is February. Left to my own devices I wouldn't have thought to pester them until March at the earliest.

Item two: I was supposed to attend a talk this evening at 7 in order to write an article on it for the paper. The fact that I am blogging instead of scribbling in my little green notebook probably gives you a clue that I'm not attending said talk. You see, I was in the chapel at 7. In fact, I was in the chapel at 6:45. At about 7:02 I checked the JC to see if perhaps the talk had been moved. None of the rooms had talks going on in them. I went back to the chapel. Still nobody there. I went back to my room to see if dementia is setting in early and I merely forgot the time of the talk. Nope.

I was then faced with 2 choices. 1: Cry. 2: Go back to the chapel and make sure the talk isn't perhaps merely late. At this point it was still only 7:10 or so.

So I trot myself down to the chapel, deciding that I am an enlightened modern woman (at least in some respects) and do not burst into tears at the slightest provocation.

A couple of little old ladies, a middle-aged couple, and a girl my own age are in the lobby. They are looking for the same talk. They are equally befuddled. (I might add, though, that they are not worried about their job security.) Finally one of the little old ladies asks for a cell phone, asks someone to dial it for her, and then talks to somebody named "Father Michael." (Whether it was the Father Michael or not I don't know, but few things surprise me anymore.) Father Michael informs her that the talk has been cancelled.

So, thanks to a little old lady with a cell phone, I can sleep tonight knowing that nobody's boss expects them to write an article on a nonexistent talk. Meanwhile I am going to wonder at the workings of God--given the string of "coincidences" going on I think He's trying to answer that prayer I didn't even pray.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Looking Up

Some moments of my day:

In Anthropology, the professor was attempting to illustrate a point about heredity and asked, "How many people here come from families with more than 5 children?" About a third of the class raised their hands. Only at Franciscan...

In Communications, the professor was telling us about our group presentations and I asked, "Is there an ideal length for these?" To answer he told the following story:

There once was a philosophy professor who took a chair, put it on top of
his desk, and said to his students, "Prove to me this chair doesn't
exist."

Immediately the students begin scribbling furiously. After about a minute
one student gets up and hands in his paper to the professor. The professor is
amused to see the student's response:

"What chair?"

If you can make your point in 2 words, why go on for 5 pages?

Coming back to the dorm after Communications, I reflected on the fact that I was happy. I was not happy for any particular reason--just generally happy. There's no way to explain that except that the hand of God is carrying me.

In Honors class, the professor was outlining the condemnation of Socrates. One of the things for which he was condemned was "Thinking of things aloft."

If that's a crime, I'd rather stand condemned with Socrates than be accepted by the whole world.

Monday, January 14, 2008

How it turned out

1-14-08

6:00 AM: Woke up
6:30 AM: Stood in front of the chapel and blinked stupidly at the sign saying "Mass 10:30 in Fieldhouse--only Mass of the day".
6:35 AM: Made notes on Plato's Meno.
7:00 AM: Went to breakfast. I'm not sure how it came up, but I asked, "Does anybody happen to know how to put a memory card in a digital camera?" One of them suggested looking next to the battery slots.
7:30 AM: Went back to the dorm and discovered that there is a narrow rectangular slot next to the battery slots in my camera. Inserted memory card in said slot.
7:35 AM: The next hour was spent intermittently attempting to get an internet connection. I am insane, obviously, since I tried the same thing over and over expecting different results.
8:30 AM: The library opens at 8:30. I signed into the computer lab at 8:32. I was then able to check my email. My name is Megan, and I am an email addict.
9:00 AM: Introduction to Physical Anthropology. It was basically an overview of the syllabus.
10:00 AM: Christian Moral Principles. Padre (he was my Spanish prof last semester and I can't not call him that) basically called the roll and then let us go. It was funny to have the opening prayer in English.
10:15 AM: I arrived in the JC, bought my books, checked my mail, etc, etc.
11:00 AM: I attended the staff meeting for the student newspaper. Good news: I wasn't dreaming that I got hired as layout editor. Bad news: my fellow layout editor and I can't go on the March for Life. :( At least I'm not the only one who wanted to go and can't because he/she has to do layout. (Misery loves company.) I also got a story assignment. Just because I'm married to layout editing doesn't mean I can't continue my love affair with feature writing. :)
11:15 AM: I get to the Caf for lunch.
11:30 AM: After a leisurely meal I set off for my next class.
12:00 PM: Spanish 202. I like Doctora almost as much as I liked Padre, so that's good. I was sad about leaving Padre. The weird thing is that Spanish is in the same room as last semester, just an hour earlier. I am going to have to strive mightily to master my absent-mindedness, or I am going to show up for Padre's 1:00 class and thereby miss my next class.
1:00 PM: Media and Society. I think this is going to be a good class. Intense, but good.
2:30 PM: I called OIT and got them to fix my internet. They do. I will never make snarky comments about OIT again.
2:40 PM: Cocoa break!
3:30 PM: Honors, with a nice doctora who makes me think of what Durnhelm will be like in 15 years. Today she just explained how the course is going to work, we didn't have to do any readings--which is good because nobody ever assigned us any readings.
4:15 PM: I survived! This five classes in one day isn't too bad.
5:00 PM: Dinner with Rebekah and some other people.
After dinner: Knitting circle with Rebekah and some other people. Very fun.

Now I am going to bed. Goodnight, all.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Blogging may be light

Schedule for 1-14-08:

6:00 AM: Wake up
6:30 AM: Mass
7:00 AM: Breakfast
7:30 AM: Free time
8:30 AM: Load backpack
8:45 AM: Leave for class
9:00 AM: Introduction to Physical Anthropology
10:00 AM: Christian Moral Principles
11:00 AM: Newspaper meeting (buy books before if time)
11:30 AM: Buy books
11:35? AM: Load backpack. If late, get granola bar and cashews.
11:40? AM: Eat lunch
12:00 PM: Spanish 202
1:00 PM: Media and Society
2:30 PM: Free time
3:15 PM: Load backpack
3:30 PM: Honors 102 (Greeks and Romans)
5:45 PM: Dinner
6:30 PM: Fall over dead

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Megan's Weekly Digest

This is going to be totally stream-of-consciousness, so hold on to your hats.

On Sunday we bid farewell to the Dad, who is spending the week in Mexico. Instead of enjoying the 80-degree weather, he is spending the majority of his time growing pale and wan in front of a computer screen. Computer programmers have it rough.

On Monday we took down all the Christmas decorations. I took down the artificial tree, which was pretty fun except that I had to do it twice. You see, I tried putting the little branches in first and then things weren't fitting properly. Mom said, "You have to put the big branches in first--like with the rocks." To which I replied, "Stupid Covey principles." Those Covey principles work, though.

Then we put everything back in the attic. Getting a whole artificial tree up a narrow little ladder is not a task for the faint of heart, let me tell you. This is somewhat complicated by the fact that I get vertigo whenever I go more than 2 feet off the ground, so Mom had to climb the ladder while the Sister and I shoved from below. At one point I whined that we needed a man (call me a sissy, but hauling trees up narrow little ladders is men's work), but in the end girl power triumphed and the tree is now safely in the attic for another year.

I don't remember what we did Tuesday. Maybe the tree was Tuesday. I lost a day somewhere in there.

Yesterday, that is Wednesday, I spent the morning in my pajamas and then Mom told me, "You have to clean your room before you can have your playdate," so I dug out the Bear Pit and then Durnhelm came over and we yakked for three solid hours. A good half-hour of that was spent on A Short Biography of Scipio the Elder, as given by Durnhelm. For the past few years, Durnhelm has been in the throes of unrequited love. I have tried to break to her gently that Scipio is a) too old for her b) married to somebody else and c) dead, but she persists in her hopeless infatuation. :) Interestingly enough, we also dipped into the topic of Dating Older Men, discussing the point at which older becomes older and the point at which older becomes creepy.

Probably the funniest part of the afternoon went like this:

Sister [while playing a computer game]: I built this house that I wanted to show you, but now I can't find it.

Durnhelm: Well, it has to be in there somewhere. Houses don't just get up and walk away.

[pause]

Durnhelm: Unless they have chicken legs.

Me [simultaneously]: Unless it's Baba Yaga's.

[long pause]

Me: We are now officially weird.

Then Durnhelm's mom called wanting to know if she was ever going to get her daughter back, so Durnhelm had to leave. We stood chatting in the foyer for another half-hour before she actually left, though. Then we ate dinner. I was hungry. Talking is hard work.

Today we went out and I got a passport form and my picture taken (not a terribly horribly bad picture, either) and I registered to be an absentee voter in the primaries. On the absentee form I had to declare my party. I asked if I could be a Federalist and the county worker said, "Well, you could, but I don't think they're running any candidates this year." So I'm a Republican--there are Republicans I only mildly dislike.

Pretty soon I'm going to be cleaning up the kitchen and then making mashed potatoes--this is probably my last chance before returning to the Caf, where they serve white Play-doh and call it mashed potatoes.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Journey of the Magi

by T. S. Eliot

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The snow was deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires gong out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty, and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This: were we lead all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I have seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Of Campus Bookstores and Meat Hens

Me: Classes start Monday at 8 AM...and the campus bookstore doesn't even open until 9. I don't know when we're supposed to buy our books.

Durnhelm: I'm probably going to buy mine Sunday.

Me: Our bookstore isn't open Sundays.

Durnhelm: Ours is.

Me: Pagans.

...

Durnhelm: All they do is sit there by the food dish, and they're really ugly. They're really fat, and they have these plain white feathers, and they never wash, so they have these plain dirty feathers. They make the other chickens look smart.

Me: You have to be really stupid to make a chicken look smart.

Durnhelm: And you have to kill them by the time they're 12 weeks old because they get so fat that when they stand up they break their legs.

Me: That doesn't sound very nice. I don't think I'd want to be a meat hen. If there was such a thing as reincarnation...

Durnhelm: That would be the really bad guys.

Me: Exactly. The really bad sinners would reincarnate as meat hens.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Waiting

Scott's latest put me in mind of a post I've been wanting to write for a while. I could do worse for a first-post-of-2008 so I'll jump on the discernment story bandwagon. I'm not going to do my whole "how I decided to go to Steubenville" story because that would take several thousand words and I would most certainly not get it posted today.

There is one thing I wanted to say on the topic of discernment, though, and it's on the relation between your own desires and God's desires for you. One of the major problems I've had with discerning anything is making the disctinction between the two--or rather, finding out if there is a distinction between the two. There was one point a few months back where I rather crankily told God, "Why don't you just write me an email and tell me what you want me to do with my life?!"

Some time later, I was at daily Mass and during the homily (given by the same priest as in this post, incidentally) Father says, "God is not going to tell you His will in complete, grammatically correct sentences arranged into paragraphs with the proper structure. He is going to change your heart to conform to His will."

God listens. If anyone ever tells you that God is subtle, they didn't hear it from me. Moments like these I call the Holy Two-by-Four. I don't know why, but it takes hearing it from someone else to make me realize something I've known for a while. In the past few years, there was a particular prayer request that I had been pestering God with pretty much constantly. Yet there didn't seem to be any answer and after two years a person gets discouraged. So one day I snapped at God, "If you don't want this, then make me stop wanting it!" I didn't stop. A few months later, shortly before I went to college, the prayer request began working itself out. So, you see, that was God's will for me all along.

Can you bear with me through another story? Okay, then. Another area that I've always had a lot of trouble with is vocation discernment. You know, the whole "Ought I to get married?" thing. I know what I want, but I've been struggling for five or six years now wondering what God wants for me. Does He really want me to personally fill a 15-passenger van, or does He want me to go be a nun and spend my life praying for this crazy world of ours? Back in October of 2005 (Was that more than 2 years ago? Man, I'm getting old.) I basically surrendered to Him my whole "12 kids and a some barn cats and a few dogs and maybe a horse or two" dream. I emptied myself and waited to be filled. And guess what? I still want 12 kids and some barn cats and a few dogs and maybe a horse or two. But I'm willing to wait for God to work it out in His own time, the way He's working out the other thing I asked for. So, I'm not currently obsessing over Step 1, namely "Get a husband". (From what I learned in freshman biology I'm pretty sure that's a necessary prerequisite to the 12 kids.) It's really funny, but since I turned 18 and thereby became dateable, for the first time in a long while I'm at peace with my singleness. I'm not really worried about where I'm going to be in 10 years. All I'm doing is praying for God to mold my heart to conform to His will, and figuring He'll take care of the rest.