Friday, February 29, 2008

Spring Break!

In about three and a half hours the Cobbler and I (along with a couple others) are heading homewards for spring break!

Say a prayer that it stops snowing, okay?

P. S.: One of these days I will post something more intellectually stimulating than these quick updates. Meanwhile if you want Deep Deepness you can head over to Scott's blog (link at right--I'm too lazy to put one here). He's been putting up some great stuff this last week or so.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Spontaneity

Rebekah and I went sledding today.

It was fun.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Please pray...

...for my godfather's son, who is 4 and has cancer.

Thanks.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Historic Occasion

My roommate is asleep.

I am still awake.

I think this is the first time this has ever happened in my whole college career.

Goodnight.

Friday, February 22, 2008

On Being a Sojourner

These thoughts are only half-formed, but I want to post them before they get lost and forgotten in the muddle of my life. This is my 100th post (yay for me) but let me tell you if I'd posted every time I had an idea for a post there would be way more than 100 already.

But I digress. (Hey, I'm allowed to, it's what the blog's called.)

I am a sojourner. I was one long before I got my Google account.

I chose that name for myself partly in honor of the passage in Ephesians that goes, "So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow-citizens with the saints and members of the household of God." (I did have to look that up.)

Partly also I chose it because of what it means. I love words, I love playing with the meanings of words, I love finding that word that means exactly what you want it to mean. Sojourner is exactly what I want to call myself. According to good old Webster, "sojourn" can be used as a noun or a verb. As a noun it means a temporary stay, as a verb it means to stay temporarily.

I am a sojourner. I am not going to be here forever. That's been brought home a lot to me lately, most notably with the recent passing of Amanda Pudvah but also with little things, smaller things, Lenten things...God's way of reminding me that this world was not made to last forever.

Yet I am a sojourner and not a wanderer. Although I stay only temporarily, I stay. Right now I am here, and here is exactly where God wants me to be. That's another thing He's been trying to teach me this Lent--how to simply be here. I am one of those people who makes lists. I like to know what I'm going to be doing tomorrow, next week, next month. I write down the times of my final exams at the beginning of each semester.

Planning is good. There's nothing wrong with looking ahead--but there is something wrong, I think, with getting so caught up in where I'm going that I don't notice where I am. I believe that I was put here. If this was merely a step on the road to my "real life" I could have gone to any college in the world, but God called me here. This, right here and right now, is real life. There is something I am learning here that I could not have learned anywhere else. There are people here who are teaching me things I could not have learned from anyone else--and I'm not just talking about my professors.

It always comes back to people. God has been teaching me that for the last four years--I didn't start figuring it out until about a year and a half ago. In my high school graduation speech I said, "It's when you've figured out love that you've really learned something."

People are forever. One day when this stay of ours is done schoolwork and deadlines and alarm clocks and everything else that looms so large right now won't matter anymore. People will always matter. I dare to think that in Heaven my mother will still be my mother, my father will still be my father, my sister still my sister...I won't have my courseload or my GPA or the Dean's List but I will have the people who sat next to me in class whose lives I touched in ways I might not even know. I think we will know then; we will see how it was that God put exactly these people in our lives to help us become who He meant us to be.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Roommate is Awesome

Found on my desk in the midst of a rather stressful day:

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Servants of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus

I've mentioned once or twice before how lately I've been hanging out with the Servants of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus household, right?

It's kind of funny, the story of how I found them. You see, I spent last semester casually popping in on various and sundry households. There was one I liked particularly, but the more I tried to get into it the more my interest faded. I won't mention that household by name because it's a lovely household, it just ended up being not for me.

So at the end of last semester I went to a FOP and had a nice long chat with God about this whole household thing. Did He want me to join a household? Did He want me to just wait a while? Did He want me to start one?

This last idea never would have popped into my head but for the fact that one of my Scanlan Scholar friends and 3 other freshman had recently started a household of their own. So I followed this train of thought a little further and made a little mental list of the things I'd include if I started my own household.

At the beginning of this semester, I got a list describing all the girl's households on campus. The name "Servants of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus" jumped out at me. I love the Eucharist. In my hypothetical household, the Eucharist would have been one of the big things.

To add icing to the cake, the Servants' common room is just around the corner from my room. I don't even have to put shoes on if I don't want to--I can just pad down there in my stocking feet and hang out with them. So I've been doing that off and on for the last month.

And now? Well, now I think I'm in love. It's a bit early to tell but I think this might develop into a long-term relationship. As one of the members of Tantum Ergo Sacramentum said at dinner yesterday, "The Servants are the most awesomest girl's household on campus."

Of course, Scott duly warned the members of Tantum Ergo that their sister household's new groupie is a grammarian and will not tolerate such abominations as "most awesomest".

(P. S.: I started checking out the Servants before I learned about Scott's interest in Tantum Ergo, and certainly before I found out that Tantum Ergo is the Servant's brother household. In this case correlation does not equal causation, but merely equals a very interesting coincidence.)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

What's Up

The sole purpose of this blog post is to buy me a few more minutes before I tackle Aristotle.

I am tired. You see, the past two days was the 2008 Father Michael Scanlan Scholarship Competition. Since I was a participant in the 2007 FMSSC, I spent last night nominally hanging out with the new little Scholars but really I spent almost the whole time talking to Scott. God only knows what all we talked about, but we were sitting around in the dorm lobby yaddering on for a good two or three hours. He was still talking when I left at midnight (there were a few other people still left for him to talk to).

When I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep at 6:30 this morning, I sat down at my computer and my little IM box popped up with, "The Caf isn't open this early on Saturday mornings." After some coversation I ordered him off to bed. You see, the only way Scott is up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning is if he stayed up all night. I do realize that not everybody is quite so strictly diurnal as I, but a person does have to sleep sometime.

By the way, send a few prayers along if you could. There's a reason Scott wasn't in the mood for sleeping last night.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Something Deep

A couple hours ago I took down my journal (I journal somewhat sporadically, I hadn't written anything for 2 weeks) and it randomly opened to an entry from November 11, 2007 that I thought I'd share with you. (Note: this entry is slightly edited for clarity and brevity)

Dear God,

"Happy the people who know you, Lord, who walk in the radiance of your face."
Dear one, you are the light of the world. The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light--a light for us in dark places, when all other lights go out.
Darkness is such a weak thing--a single candle can chase it from a whole room. Grant that I may be a little candle, kindled for you, dispelling the darkness of the world.
I am a weak vessel to carry your love. How could I forget you so often, my beloved? Yet I do, and continually you must lead me, gently but firmly, back to the foot of the Cross which is the center of all things.
Thank you for the reminder to give my heart utterly to you.
Dear Lord, I do surrender it to you. I hold no part back. I still wait and long for the BMW* but I could not have given him part of my heart anyway. If I am to love him he must have the whole of my heart. This is a great mystery. How can I love you with my whole heart and yet love these dear ones? Perhaps we trade hearts--I give my heart to you, and then I love them with your heart.
I pray for the BMW, that he and I may both go so deeply into your heart that we find there the perfect love you have planned for us.

Love,
Megan


So, there you have it. Deep thoughts on love, courtesy of my 17-year-old self.

*Note: This stands for "Best Man in the World", and is my nickname for my yet-unknown future husband.

Happy St. Valentine's Day!



Today is the day we honor a tough old Roman cleric with flowers and pink tissue paper. Go figure. If I were in a deep mood, I would talk about how love is really more like martyrdom and less like sitting around eating chocolate, but since I am declaring this an exception from Lent I'd rather sit around eating my chocolate than have deep thoughts.

(The bear was a gift from my sister)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One of those moments of near-perfect happiness

Having just finished a meeting of the Scanlan Scholar Society, walking back towards the dorms with a couple of friends, watching the snow fall in the light of the streetlamps, the sidewalks like golden glitter, laughing aloud for the pure joy of it.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Year Ago Today...

...I bought my blue Franciscan hoodie.

Why does that matter? Well, it was the first thing I ever bought myself that had "Franciscan" on it. Maybe it's just a weird hangup of mine, but I don't wear clothing that advertises other colleges. The only exception would be if anybody ever got me an Ohio State hoodie--I'm a Buckeyes fan, you see, because...um, because I'm from Ohio. So when they do that thing with the pointy brown ball (what's that called again?) I get all passionate about Ohio State winning. I have to have somebody explain to me how the points work and who actually won, but once I've got that figured out I like it when Ohio State wins.

But I digress. A year ago today was the day of the Father Michael Scanlan Scholarship Competition. Don't ask me to narrate exactly the events of the day, I don't remember. What I do remember is buying my Franciscan hoodie and wearing it home even though it was about negative five degrees out.

I didn't figure anybody else would know the significance of me buying the hoodie, but I was talking to my dad a few months later and he said that he knew the minute I walked in the door that I had decided.

It's funny the way God had been closing doors during the few weeks before that. By the end of February it had come down to two schools: A state school with one of the best journalism programs in the country at which I could have gotten a full-ride scholarship simply by being a National Merit Finalist, and Franciscan.

If you don't know which one I chose, read the "About Me" on the sidebar.

I'm smart, but I never said I could do math. :) Yeah, I'm paying the equivalent of a couple of nice cars or the down payment on a house to come here, when I could have been at that state school happily hoarding my money. I can't explain why that is except to say that sometimes you just know. I had told myself, going in, that I would know after the sholarship competition. What I meant was that if I won I could go to Franciscan, if I didn't I couldn't.

I didn't win. Here I am just the same. I knew. I knew the moment I went into the bookstore and bought that blue hoodie, so that every day for weeks afterwards (I took the hoodie off pretty much to sleep and go to church) I was advertising in my own quiet way that I had already decided, and nothing else mattered but that God had called me here.

Oddly enough, in the end it was the people who decided me. People like the Cobbler and Rebekah. I could give a dozen other examples but let's stick to those two.

If memory serves (and I make no guarantees about anything that happened during my senior year) I met the Cobbler the night before. To be quite honest, I think my mental monologue went something like this:

"Oh, look, another strange guy in a suit. Okay, Megan, you know the drill. Shake his hand, say hello, make small talk...great, now that's over."

It's not that I'm antisocial or anything, it's just that my poor little brain goes into stack overflow if it has to process more than 4 or 5 new people in a day, and there were about 80 new people there (40 scholars, with an average of 1 parent accompanying).

Fortunately my mental dialogue was wrong, and a year later I'm still in the midst of the sometimes crazy but always interesting adventure that is knowing the Cobbler. The reason I probably remembered him afterwards happened the next day. He and I happened to be in the same small group, and while we were waiting to be interviewed he entertained the rest of us by reciting the "Brutus is an honorable man, yes precious," passage. So he actually has his creative younger brother to blame (or credit?) for the fact that I now consider him one of my friends. (If you've never heard of "Brutus is an honorable man, yes precious," go nag Scott and he can make it his first post post-Lent.)

I also met Rebekah at that competition, and I remember her even less (sorry, Rebekah). The only conversation we had was actually initiated by my mother, who asked how to pronounce Rebekah's last name. From there it quickly became a conversation between me and Rebekah about the stupid things people do to mangle other people's names. Then we got to the end of the line. The end. Or not...Rebekah remembered me more than I remembered her and a few weeks later, after my brain has had a chance to reset itself, sends me a "Hi, remember me?" email.

I'm not sure where this rambling post is going, except perhaps to give you a glimpse of why I came here. As I've said before, it didn't feel like I was in a competition. It felt like I got to meet the people who were going to be my best friends. Now they are (not just Scott and Rebekah, but half a dozen other people too). They're the kind of people I want to stay friends with long after this insane thing called college is over. They're the kind of people I want to be sitting next to in Heaven, saying, "Hey, you remember when God brought us together?" Having people like when I get out of college is way better than being able to buy a house when I get out of college.

A year ago today I bought a blue hoodie. Life hasn't been the same since.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Dean's List is out...

...and I would like to congratulate Rebekah and Shakespeare's Cobbler on their academic accomplishments. I have smart friends. 8)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Random Observation

You know you've been spending too much time on the computer when you finish writing out a Spanish exercise and then spend a few seconds trying to find the "save" icon on your piece of notebook paper.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My Lenten Resolution

Disturb us, Lord, when
we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life!

Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity;
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storm will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
and to push us in the future,
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
This we ask in the name of our
Captain, who is Jesus Christ.
Amen.

--Sir Francis Drake

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Things I don't want to forget

-3:30 PM Sunday, I am sitting at my computer and the Roommate is lying on her bed staring at the ceiling.

Roommate: Are you going to the Superbowl party tonight?

Me: No.

Roommate: Me neither. What are you going to do?

Me: I dunno. Homework.

Roommate: We should do something.

Me: Like what?

Roommate: Do you like movies?

Me: [clickety-clack] The Cinema Six is showing Juno tonight.

So we went. It was so utterly Not On The Schedule and so utterly enjoyable. I think I'm going to try this spontaneous thing more often.

-The Roommate was having a down day yesterday so in my break between classes I let a couple of her friends in and while I was at Honors they decorated Roommate's side of the room with--let me count--7 helium balloons, 11 pieces of paper, and 8 index cards on which they wrote such sentiments as "Texas is missing their most beautiful citizen...She's in Ohio!" Although the grammarian in me wonders how to parse that (Shouldn't it be "Texas is missing its..."?) the rest of me gets all gushy whenever I think about it. The Roommate almost cried.

-The fact that the Cobbler never starts his IMs with "Hi" like a normal person. Instead he just pops up with things like "Your bunny looks zombified" and then I have to respond. He is a great homework distraction, that Cobbler.

-How happy, excited, friendly, and welcoming the Servants were when I went to their household Rosary last night.

-The contiued hilarity of the AMDG intents. Today they had brown paper "ponchos", sombreros, and maracas to accompany their rendition of "Father Abraham".

-The fact that the Roommate has gotten up and gone to Mass with me the last 2 days--gotten up at six o'clock. That's roommate love right there.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Weekend!

*Exhales* I've made it to another Friday afternoon more or less intact, although I think my pride took a bit of a beating on the Anthropology quiz this morning. As in, I might actually get a B and have to fall into the pit of despair. (kidding)

I am going to celebrate this weekend by FINALLY getting around to posting about the weekend before last weekend. That was a long time ago. I'll see what I can remember.

Saturday afternoon I went to a Lord's Day for the Servants of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, which is a very long name for a rather small household. I think they're worth a second visit--I didn't go last week because that Saturday I was in the throes of the bleckiness that has been invading campus of late. I wasn't nearly as sick as some people have been but I still wasn't a) going to leave my nice cozy room or b) going to get germs all over people.

But I digress. After the Servant's Lord's Day I did some mundane stuff and then trotted off to an event called the 300 Women Intercession. I rarely get super-enthusiastic about things (when I'm happy it tends to be in a very placid way) but for some reason this really caught my attention. You see, the same evening there was a men's retreat called the 300 Men Challenge (in reference to Thermopylae) and somebody got the idea to have the women praying for the men while they were off doing their thing. Is this not awesome? I'm trying to explain what enraptured me and I can't quite do it. Maybe just because it's a way of saying, "Hey, guys are awesome and we really care about them." Just for the record, guys are awesome and we really care about them. At least, most of the girls at Franciscan do. The Gallery was packed. A rough head count came up with something like 250 women. I honestly think that more would have come if we'd been in a bigger room.

The next morning I woke up at 6:30 and couldn't go back to sleep (darn my dairy farmer ancestors for passing on their sleep habits) so I read the Phaedo all in one sitting. If you haven't read that group of Platonic dialogues commonly referred to as The Last Days of Socrates you really ought. They're awesome.

Then I got myself pretty and as I was going back and forth Rebekah comes down the hall and says something along the lines of "I was ready first!" Yeah, well I read the whole Phaedo so you had a head start. :)

A little after 10 we met Scott in the Piazza and all went down to the circle together, discussing the grammatical error that is "continuous shuttle". The shuttle, despite not being literally continuous, was fairly prompt. The driver asked us if we were going to St. Peter's and we said yes, at which point he used some button or another to electronically open the side door. Scott was quite disappointed and lamented the fact that automatic doors take all the chivalry out of cars. For the record, Scott opened every other door that whole day.

St. Peter's is gorgeous. That's the only word for it. Just sitting in the church is a religious experience, which I guess is the whole point of stained glass, statues, etc. You don't have to be lettered to get that.

I am going to be honest here, even if all Traditionalists subsequently hate me. The gorgeousness of the church was the single most striking thing of the whole day. I've heard of people being completely bowled over by the Forma Extraordinaria (am I spelling that right?) but I wasn't. I enjoyed it, for all that I only understood every tenth word and tried to pray the Our Father in Spanish. (I do not have a Latin switch and a Spanish switch in my brain, only an all-purpose non-English switch. I'm never sure if it's going to give me Latin or Spanish or a bit of German.) However, it wasn't this revolutionary experience of reverence. Maybe I'm "immunized" by having been to reverent Novus Ordo masses--in English, facing the people (there's a Latin term for this but I told you I don't know Latin), but in a gorgeous church with an altar rail and the whole deal and altar boys and no EMs. Maybe I've been "immunized" by being to Masses here at Steubenville in the Fieldhouse (some modern churches look like gyms, this is a gym), with female altar servers and EMs, which do rub me the wrong way a bit, and other things that don't bother me but bother a lot of Traditionalists who have seen them on YouTube, and yet they still have that air of reverence. I was talking about this with Scott the other day and he got it exactly right: "There should be a moratorium on FUS YouTube vids till somebody films the silence that falls immediately after the end of the closing song when pretty much every student in the Chapel pulls out the kneeler and gets on it for the next half minute or so." Really I don't know why I bother with this blog thing. I should just link to Scott. :)

After the Mass we waited for the shuttle to come back.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Somebody with a cell phone called switchboard and got something to the effect of "Oh! Right! Shuttle!" Apparently the shuttle did come eventually, but Rebekah and I were able to hitch a ride with a student who had a car. It was a very messy car. There was (clean) cat litter spilled all over the backseat. I include that detail because as I sat in the back of the car I said, "I am so blogging this." It's how I deal with what might otherwise be frustrating happenings. Another thing that should be included: the guys there (including Scott) didn't go with us in the cars. They let all the girls have spots first. Do we not have the awesomest guys at Franciscan?

We finally arrived back at Franciscan long after the Caf closed. Rebekah and I ordered a pizza. By the time the pizza got there Scott had also returned so we invited him over and the three of us sat in Rebekah's room eating pizza and talking about Armageddon. I don't know how exactly we got on that topic but that's what we were talking about. According to Scott the entire Yellowstone Valley is the crater of an active supervolcano that's a few thousand years overdue for an eruption. I sleep so much better at night knowing that.

Rebekah's roommate came in partway through this process and we got to know her a little bit. She was somewhat surprised to find a strange guy hanging out in her room (she's not surprised by me, I'm over there all the time). We attempted to reassure her of our normalcy by making small talk. Scott told her his majors, I told her mine (Communications and Theology). Scott's comment on that was "That's almost the perfect combination of a grammarian and a talebearer. Almost, but not quite." (It's nice to know I almost manage it.) Rebekah's roommate, for some reason, was not terribly reassured of our normalcy and said something to the effect of "Where did you find these people?" Rebekah explained that we were her Scanlan Scholar friends. Being a Scanlan Scholar gives a person a lot of leeway to be eccentric.

Eventually Open Hours ended so Rebekah and I escorted Scott out of the dorm and then I did some mundane things before reuniting with the two of them to watch Bella in the Fieldhouse that night. I would like to say more about Bella but this post is far too long already and I have things to do.