Friday, October 26, 2012

Ahem, so today I was doing my bi-monthly check of my friends' blogs (cuz I'm just supportive like that) and I felt inspired to write up a post.  This inspiration is likely due to the fact that it is 1:30 in the morning and I have a ginormous Chemistry test tomorrow that I probably should be studying for, or at least getting rested up for.  Instead, however, I will update the cyber-verse on the happenings of my life recently.

A few days ago I enrolled for classes next semester.  I'm right on track for a BS in History and a minor in Biology.  I had planned on majoring in Biology as well, but Gen Chem so thoroughly drains the life out of me that I figure that science is probably not for me.  So, I am just going to go with the awesome, albeit arcane, history major and do a complete trust fall into God.  I feel completely confident that History is where God wants me to be so I figure he'll set me up with something worthwhile once I'm done.

Aside from major and minor oriented courses, I am also currently taking/will continue to be taking Latin and Piano, both of which I enjoy immensely.  I took piano for 4 years back in grade school and then quit after I got burnt out.  I am very happy to be playing again and I am progressing much faster than I had dared to hope.  I am also in Latin I, which for me is about as much fun as it is work.  I don't know if it's the history-loving streak, but for some reason reading Latin and understanding it is just fascinating to me.  A perfectly boring English passage suddenly takes on great meaning when read in Latin.  I also find taking Latin very fulfilling because it has helped me recognized patterns in the structure of the English syntax that I hadn't noticed before.

I am also now working in Campus Ministry, which is a good job.  I love the people I work with and the work I do is fulfilling.  Even though the work can be boring at times, I always feel that I am directly working ad maiorem Dei gloriam.  I also became president of our university's newly resurrected pro-life club today (er, yesterday).  While I am quite nervous about what this might entail, I am happy to actually be doing something to promote the pro-life cause.

Oh, I am also taking a history and religion role playing games class.  Last month, I got to play the role of the great St. Athanasius in the Council of Nicea.  Although I do not think the game was written entirely accurately as compared to the actual event (the writers of the game were heavily skeptical of Christianity--they felt the need to justify every action of every character with a selfish secular purpose), I was strangely rewarding to fight the Arians for myself.  I feel as if I have some small stake in the actual achievement of St. Athanasius, because I had to do all of what he did myself.  And in the end, the Arians were defeated and the Church did not fall into heresy.  Right now, in that class, I am playing a game in which the bishops and nobles of Europe are deciding whether to and how exactly they should embark on a second Crusade.  I am a French noble of great wealth and consequence.  I do not like this game as much, mostly because I do not understand it as well and my chances of winning are far more slim.

Hmmm, what other shenanigans have I been up to?  Well, of late I have read some pretty amazing books.  Right before school started I read Looking for the King by David Downing.  It is a fictional book set in the 1940's about an American researcher who goes to England to research King Arthur and ends up befriending with the Inklings at Oxford (Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams) and finding the spear that pierced the side of Christ.  Good solid stuff, and it's a fanfic on Lewis and Tolkien, which I really appreciate.  Then I read this book called Catholic Philosopher Chick by Regina Doman and Rebecca Bratten Weiss.  Um, need I explain more than just the name?  This book was at once both deeply philosophical and incredibly funny, all while being incredibly relatable.  I would recommend it to any Catholic college women, especially those in the liberal arts.  And, just a few weeks ago, I finally bought Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love by Dr. Edward Sri and read it.  It's basically a summary of John Paul II's work Love and Responsibility.  I don't care who you are...if you are married, if you are engaged, or if you're a single lady like me, read it.  It is tailored towards those in romantic relationships, but the lessons it teaches can be applied to any human relationships.  It will radically change the way you view the meaning of friendship.  Yep, JPII was a real winner.

Aaand, when I'm not buried under a pile of books or papers bed covers (because, let's face it, college students love their sleep), sometimes I manage to find my way to the kitchen at my house or the cafeteria to eat some food.  If I get really bold, I'll go out to a restaurant with some friends.  A few weeks ago, in an act of unspeakable adventurousness, I made it to a movie and out two-stepping all in one night.  Save your gasps of awe, for I will attempt to make bold of the time available to me again this weekend.

Well, I think it's about time a shut this down and get some shut eye.  Until next time (whenever the heck that may be), keep whistling (and if you're like me, you'll be whistling some One Direction music).

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Disney Pixar's Cars and Eugenics

I just had the most scathingly brilliant idea, and I just had to blog about it!

My sister and I were wondering what things that are cold and spicy must taste like and she brought up the wasabi "ice cream" that Mater eats in Cars 2.  Of course, I got a mental image of Mater licking up the wasabi, going crazy, and proceeding to make a scene.  I remembered with pride how Lightning McQueen had invited Mater to the party, even though he was a rusty old tow truck.  I remembered with horror how McQueen proceeded to shun him after he made a scene.

But the way Lightning treated him was not what caught my memory.  It was the way the other cars treated him.  The entire scene was obviously made to mimic one of those high class, who's who parties.  The entire time Mater was there, the other cars looked at him with disgust.  Even though half of that disgust was probably at his childish antics, I think even if Mater had perfect manners and no rust, he still would have been looked down upon.

Why? Because he's a tow truck.  He's a working class car.  He's part of the proletariat simply by the way he was born...made...come into being...whatever happens in Cars world.  Even if he had a spiffy paint job and a hoity toity French accent, he would at best be able to pass himself off as a maintenance worker at that party.

As all of this passed through my mind, I thought back to my Bioethics class and our discussions on eugenics and selective genetic engineering.  In case you don't know, I am referring to parents engineering embryos for a wide variety of characteristics and implanting a few in the woman's womb, hoping one will take, and aborting any extras that are conceived.  Genetic engineering leads to the abortion of great numbers of embryos, which is really the most horrifying aspect of it.  Another terrifying consequence, however, is that genetic engineering would almost certainly divide us into "genetic" classes.

My Bioethics teacher likes to talk often about the threat of the world splitting into "genetic" classes.  If genetic engineering were made available on the market, it would be very expensive to begin with.  Who would be able to genetically engineer their kids?  The rich, the powerful, the elite.  These people would theoretically start having really-really-ridiculously-goood-looooking, physically resilient, whiz kids.  How would poor people compete?  One would expect they couldn't.  Eventually the world would be split into those who are enhanced and those who aren't.  Would those who aren't engineered eventually be considered subhuman?  Possibly. Who knows?

My point is, the poorer people and quite possibly middle class people may eventually end up like Mater, seen as workers but nothing more.  They will be seen as ugly and stupid.  They won't have a chance right from the start.  The "naturals" would look just as ridiculous as Mater did at that party.

So that's my two cents.  Hope you like it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

As Promised: KCCSC

Well, I think I've had about enough time to digest what happened at KCCSC, so I guess it's about time I wrote about it.  I've actually already written extensively about it in a letter to my brother (who is a monk, for those of you who don't know).  That turned out being 11 pages long.  Let's hope I can be more concise here.

KCCSC was a blessing and a blast! It turned out better than I expected in a quirky way.  You see, I registered with a college I don't go to because I thought that nobody from my college was going.  Well, a few weeks before KCCSC, I found out that there actually were some people going. Oops.  At first I felt horrible and thought it would be super awkward, but after I got used to being called traitor by people from both groups, it was great.  It just meant I had extra friends to hang out with.

Anyway, I went up Friday night in a little Honda full of hyper girls listening to Taylor Swift.  We got there kinda late, just in time to hear the first keynote, which was given by Dr. Ted Sri.  It was about JPII's Love and Responsibility.  He talked on the different aspects of true love and the way that JPII meant for us to see it. EPICNESS! I keep meaning to get his book Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love.

After his talk had an hour of adoration, which was of course awesome.  And then I went out with some people from my college for one of the guys' 21st birthday.  For being a college town, it was awfully hard to find someplace that wasn't a bar.  I mean, come on, it was only 11 o'clock.  And then when I got back to the hotel I stayed up late talking.

On Saturday, I got to hear Dr. Sri again giving a talk on the new translation of the Mass.  Then I heard Andrew Swafford, who is a professor at Benedictine College, give a 45 minute talk about salvation history.  Man, that guy has charisma.  Imagine a big football kind of guy getting all fired up about types covenants.  That's what this was.  And then we had Mass with a homily by Fr. Bernie Gorges, which was of course also epic.  (Are you sensing the pattern here? Yep, it's epicness).

After lunch, which consisted of awesome friends and delicious turkey sandwiches (no, I was not eating my friends, they were just there), I went to a vocations panel for a bit.  After that I went and saw Sarah Swafford talk on Emotional Chastity.  Now, I think it incumbent upon me to relay to you how excited I was to hear Sarah give this talk in person.  I have heard other people give talks based on hers before and I am a huge fan of the concept of Emotional Virtue.  Let's just say I may or may not have been in seventh heaven while listening to that talk.  If you are not familiar with Sarah or Emotional Virtue, you MUST visit her website, right now. Go.  Forget reading this post.  Really.  Her website will do you a world more good.

Then I went to a gathering with my diocese, which was presided over by the eternally legit Fr. Jarrod Lies in the absence of our bishop.  He talked about the bishop's vision for the young people of our diocese. That kind of flowed into a passionate speech about us being the salt of the earth.  Yeah, that guy is awesome.  Basically, by the time this talk was done my mind was about to explode from all of the holiness and awesomeness of the day.  When I went back to my room, I had been intending to take a nap but instead I ended up talking with one of my roommates who I had just met for the first time the day before.  We leisurely did our hair and makeup for the dinner and dance and talked about all sorts of girly things.  I had a lovely time.

Then we went down to the banquet.  Um, that afternoon I had made the mistake of drinking Pibb Xtra on an empty stomach.  The girl I sat next to during the banquet had just chugged a Monster for the first time in her life.  All things said and done, basically nobody at our table heard much of the keynote.  Me and the girl next to me kinda giggled through the whole thing.  The food was delicious though.

We had about a half hour before the dance started, so I went to the adoration chapel.  I needed time to digest everything that I had heard and experienced that day. And then the dance started.  I kinda had mixed feelings about it.  On the one hand, it was really crazy how many friends I had at KCCSC and kinda mingling around with all of them was awesome.  I also swing danced with some random guy, which is always entertaining.  On the other hand, I was really tired and some of the songs they played were obscure, so I had a hard time getting into it.

Afterwards, the group from my school followed tradition and went to IHOP.  Of course, like 10 minutes after we got there a big group from the college I came with showed up, but I didn't care because I was well on my way to having chocolate chip pancakes.

On the way home, all I know is that I was far too tired to talk, much less talk in an accent like everybody else was.  About all I had energy to do was giggle at everybody else's antics.  Despite the fact that I was exhausted, when I got back to my room I still managed to stay up until 1:30 talking.

Sunday morning, I went to breakfast early because I couldn't sleep.  Our first talk was by a Benedictine monk and I think it was about vocations but I honestly can't remember.  At Mass, the homily was given by a bishop from a different diocese.  He gave an excellent homily, but I don't remember what it was about either.  After Mass the conference was over and we left.  Halfway home we stopped at this pizza buffet.  Apparently everybody was really hyper from sleep deprivation, because a bunch of guys were putting on (sometimes multiple) pairs of sunglasses from the girls.  Pictures of them=priceless.  Then I got home and crashed.  The end.

So, that's about as short of a summary of KCCSC as I can muster.  Just reading back through it, I feel like I did not adequately convey the amazing things I experienced.  I think what made it so awesome was that I not only spent a lot of time praying and hearing awesome talks, but also hanging out with friends from two different groups that I frequently hang out with.  Talk about the best of both worlds!

So, KCCSC may have ended almost 2 weeks ago, but I am still feeling the effects.  I guess you could say I'm still on a God-high.  And also, as a result of lots of prayer and talking to friends that weekend, I have applied for Totus Tuus and I have an interview on Saturday.  So pray for me!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It is Alive!!

I finally found a defibrillator that would work for my blog, and it would seem that I have been able to resurrect it, as least for the moment.  Well, I hope you have all been whistling as you've waited for me to post again.  And wait you have.  It has been *counts on fingers* almost 8 months since I have posted. Gaaah, I never meant to let this thing fall by the wayside, but alas it has.

So, what's new with me, you may ask? Well, I would be lying to say not much.  I finally declared History and Biology as majors, so I've been taking a lot of those sorts of classes.  I love being a history major more and more everyday.  I am currently relishing my Medieval Europe class, looking forward to each new chapter.  Biology isn't as fun.  I spend all of my lab on Tuesday drawing cross-sections of plants :P. Ah well, so goes life.

What else have I been up to? Well, I got taken off the regular schedule at work so I have much more time to do many different things.  I went on a service trip to Denver last month which was mucho divertido.  And now I have more time to go see Jesus.  I even got an adoration hour.  Yessssss!  It's so much easier to be a good Catholic when you actually spend time with Jesus.  I also joined a retreat team with some other students from my college.  I feel so honored and blessed to be a part of that and it has been great so far.

"But dearie, what do you do for fun?" you may ask.  Well, some of my friends have gotten me into two-stepping and some swing, so I have been going clubbing on weekends! Yep, never thought I'd end up doing that but, well, here I am.  I'm trying to do as much fun stuff as I can on campus but sometimes I'm a little out of the loop since I live at home.  But, all in all, I have been very active and very entertained lately.  I am blessed!

But enough about my life! Let's talk about the fun in the future, shall we? This weekend I'm going to KCCSC, which the state convention for Catholic college students.  I'm going with a whole load of friends from assorted colleges and it is going to be a blast! There's even going to be a dance *does a preparatory happy dance*.  So, if I can get myself motivated, you all will be hearing about that.

Until then, keep waiting...