Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tell the World I'm (Coming) Home

Yes, it's true.... first semester is over, done, finis, and I am home once again!  Except this time, I'm home for a whole month!

Does life get better?  I submit that it cannot!
(And if you don't get that reference, come talk to me.  I will quickly solve that problem)

Sooo....what's been happening these past couple weeks?  Lots o' stuff.
Last week, I had five exams in six days, which meant very little sleep and lots of hilarious conversations with Evelyn :)  (In case you're dying to know, I did get my scores back, and I am happy :D )

After we were all done with our exams, we piled into a van.  What an amusing car trip!  Picture this: a driver and 6 students, an 8-seater van, 5 suitcases, 3 oversized duffel bags, 6 backpacks, and approximately  10 smaller bags.  I kid you not, we literally could not move.  And when we stopped for a stretch break, we pretty much had to unpack 5 bags before anyone could move.  :P

Oh- saddest moment of my week.... I had bought a CD to listen to after finals, so I finished my last final went back to my room and ripped open the plastic, put it into my disc drive........ and it wouldn't load.  Turns out the CD won't play on macs, but it will on PCs.  Seriously, Apple?  That's just lame.

I can't believe that Christmas is only 5 days away.  Woah.  Where did the year go?  Christmas is going to be so awesome..... Christmas Eve, we'll go to mass then to my sister's house for hors d'oeuvres.  Christmas morning, My parents, aunt and I will open presents, then get ready for all my siblings and nieces and nephews to arrive in the afternoon.  I love spending time with my entire family... we play games after dinner, and that's always tons of fun.

This has been a post full of italics..... wasn't it Anne Shirley who made some comment on italics?  Or was that Rose Brier?  It's so bad when you get book quotes mixed up.....

"And I shall memorize every line in this book and paint it in calligraphy on my living room walls.” 

That is very tempting, honestly.  How interesting would that be, to have a living room with calligraphied walls?  Better yet, to have a library with calligraphied walls!  (Before you go look it up, no- calligraphied isn't a word.  I made it up.)

Last, but not least, I will be changing my background and design once again, so don't be confused when you see my blog next time!!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

It's International...

So, this is gonna be super duper quick, but I saw that I now have readers in 10 countries!!  I knew about Canada, the UK, and Australia, but some of you are from Russia, Croatia, France (Bonjour!) New Zealand, and South Africa!  Welcome to you all!  *sigh* The wonders of media!

I'm 2 exams down and 3 to go..... soon I'll be home!  I can't wait!
I leave you with the song I've played the most..... 30 more times than the next song, in fact!  It's Defying Gravity from Wicked, sung by Idina Menzel.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Answered Question #2

This will most likely be my last post of any length until after exams.... so here you go!

I wanted to answer Super Frugalette's question: "I want to know more about how you feel as a college student.  Is it living up to your expectations?  Do you feel anything is lacking in your experience?"

Hmmm..... well, all in all, I am thoroughly enjoying college.  I am learning sooo much, both in classes and by talking to other people, I am meeting lots of new friends, and, most importantly, I'm growing in my faith!  

I should probably expand on those areas.  Firstly, learning.  Even though I'm not necessarily taking classes that I love, they have been good for me in the long run, and I've ended up liking aspects of them all.  For instance, my poetry class has really helped me appreciate Christian poetry more.  This past semester, my favorite class, by far, was Foundations of Catholicism.  It was a "required" class, but I loved it.  We learned a lot about doctrines of the faith, historical aspects of the Councils, and current-day issues.  Under the same "learning" category- even though I attend a Catholic University, there are people who are either not Catholic or who come from a different background than I.  I enjoy talking to them and learning their points of view.  In a totally less significant area, it's been interesting to learn more about different ways that people grew up.  There have been countless discussions about Christmas traditions, favorite family foods, and summer vacations, among other things.

Secondly, I've met so many wonderful friends.  You know, it's funny.... in high school, it took me a while to make strong friendships.  Since August 26th, I've formed 1 extremely strong friendship, 3 or so really good friendships, and about 15 good friendships.  It's so much faster and easier to get to know someone when you're living within walking distance of them!!  I love it.  

Finally, and definitely most importantly, my faith has become so much more prevalent in my life.  For goodness sakes, how could I NOT grow in my faith when there are 3 masses a day, perpetual Eucharistic adoration 6 minutes (walking) away, Jesus is one floor away, the main chapel is always open.... there are rosaries, worship nights, and night prayer meetings in "the bell tower".  Oh yeah, and there's confession 4 days a week and spiritual direction in my dorm 16.5 hours a week.  Seriously, I'm going to miss my early morning and late night journeys down to the chapel while I'm on Christmas break.  (Before I leave the dorm in the morning, I stop in to say "good morning" to Jesus, then I try to say night prayer each night, as well).

As far as anything that's been lacking.... I guess the only thing is that I still feel like I'm in a "bubble".  In high school I was in a very small bubble, so the bubble's gotten bigger.  But let's face it- we live on "the hill".  Everyone here acknowledges that we're in a Catholic bubble.   I can't think of anything else significant!  I wish there were more hours in the day, but doesn't everyone?!?

Hope that answers your question, super frugalette!!

To all my Christian followers- Happy Advent!  I hope you're having a wonderful season of preparation for Christmas!  I will be changing my blog theme to reflect the advent season, so hopefully I'll get that up soon!

As I mentioned at the beginning, I'm going into finals, so I'd appreciate prayers, but I also won't be posting anything significant for a week.  'Til next Wednesday!!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

NOT that "old time religion"....

I love technology.

I suppose that as a young adult in the 21st century, most people would consider that a given.  But for me, it's not so much the technology itself, but what we can do with it.

Because I love my faith more than technology.

Do you realize how important technology is for the Church today?  As more and more young people buy iPhones, iPads, Kindles, mP3 players, and use google every single day, the Church needs to be there.  Some people have realized this, and are using modern methods to spread the faith and make it more accessible to the world.

Matthew Warner, founder of flockNote, developed a website where parishes can centralize registration, bulletins, notices, etc.  Opus Dei has iPhone/iTouch apps for an examination of conscience and daily prayers.  There is a Catholic calendar app, a Bible app, a prayer reminder app, and a guide to confession app.  I know of several priests who record their homilies and upload them as podcasts.  Bloggers such as Jennifer FulwilerFr. LongeneckerBrandon Vogt, and Mark Shea are engaging Catholics and non-Catholics alike in discussions concerning matters of faith.

Of course, there has to be something that I don't think is going quite right.  The Church Herself, while starting her journey towards technology, is very behind.  Who do I mean when I refer to "the Church"?  Mainly parishes and dioceses.While many have updated their websites, I think most are stuck in the last decade, and I'm not talking 2 years ago.  Many parishes make it hard to find mass and confession times, information about their church groups, or anything else!  This is super important in a world where people don't make phone calls as much ........  Searches on diocese sites don't produce the right results, and, sorry to say, the Vatican website is a bear to navigate!  (My professor recently assigned us a paper based on Vatican documents.  Instead of directing us to the website, she told us to search for document names in google.)  Have these sites gotten better?  Absolutely.  But do they still need help?  Most definitely.

As the world progresses in technology, it's important for us to accept these changes or risk being left behind.  But can't we help the Church advance?  It doesn't just take one person to revolutionize Catholic interactions online, it takes many.  Make Catholic sites visually appealing and easy to navigate.  Promote religious videos, podcasts, and apps.  Help people gain easier access to Catholic teachings, documents, mass times, and talks.

And now you know why I'm majoring in communications and theology!

What are your favorite Catholic blogs, apps, and websites?  What should the Church do to reach more people via media and technology?

Friday, November 25, 2011

a heart full of thanks

As Thanksgiving Day comes to a close, I'd like to share some of the things that I'm grateful for this year.

  • My Heavenly Father, Who has blessed me in so many wonderful ways during this past year.
  • My wonderful family: my parents who give me so much love and support, my brother and sister, brother-in-law and sister-in-law who are always there for me, my loving and energetic nieces and nephews, and my aunt who does so much for me.
  • My godson, who is technically included in the nephew category.... he brings me so much joy and I'm so happy I am a part of his life.
  • My friends: Hannah and Robyn, Ev, Stasia, Leslie and Leslie and Abby, and Hannah *.  I've known some of you since I was 5, and others for 3 months, but you all mean so much to me and I'm so glad that I know all of you.
  • My teachers at college.  I am so lucky to have such amazing instructors, and their wisdom blows my mind every single class.  
  • Everyone at Franciscan who makes it what it is.  It is a dream come true to attend school there and I'm grateful for all the work that is put into running it.
  • The little things in life that bring me happiness: books, music, laughter, scrapbooking, photography, and cooking.
  • And finally, for all of you who read my blog.  You make blogging worthwhile.... thank you for your comments and support!

What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving?


*Just so you don't think that's a typo, I really do have two friends named Leslie and two friends named Hannah :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Answered Question #1

Last week, when I asked if anyone had questions for me, Jake asked, “What are the hopes and fears for the future of a young lady like you in her first year of college?”  Here  is my answer:
Hope and fear are certainly two of the things most prevalent in the mind of a new college student.  Will I meet 10 new best friends?  Will I pass all of my classes?  Will I get a 100 on my first test?  How will my roommate and I get along?  Will it be better than high school?  There are hopes of friendships and health, and the opportunity of being on your own for the first time.  Here at Franciscan, it’s Which household will I join?  (Ok, and in the mind of young women: Will I meet my future spouse here?  Or discover a vocation to the religious life?)
I can only speak from my own experience, so that’s what I’ll do.  During this first semester, I had two main hopes: To grow in my faith and to do well in my classes.  As for fears, well, there’s the typical question of making friends.  That was probably one of my greatest fears.  Right along with sharing a room for the first time.  Thankfully, both of those fears were unfounded: I have found wonderful friends who I know I will be friends with for the rest of my life, and sharing a room has proven to be a great experience.  In fact, now I’m lonely when I go home and have a room to myself!
Jake’s question was about the FUTURE of someone like myself.  So, my hopes for the future, starting at the near future, are as follows:
I Hope: join a household that will bring me closer to Jesus, Mary, and the Saints take every realistic opportunity to travel, both in the US and abroad “make new friends and keep the old” attend talks and cultural events that will expose me to concepts and ideas I’m not familiar with gain practical life experience while in college graduate from college with a practical degree, that will help me find a job that I enjoy and that will help me help others find my vocation, be it marriage, religious, consecrated, or single life
Fears, on the other hand, are more difficult to describe.  Honestly, do people really talk about their fears all that much?  I do think it’s important, though, to talk about fears in order to overcome them.  Two friends and I wrote down a couple of our fears
We Fear:
...not being able to make friends
...not keeping up with my prayer life
...not being responsible for myself anyone going to actually hire me?
...that I won’t be ready to face the world after college
...being lonely
Then, of course, there is the fear that Otis, the dorm’s trusty yet rickety elevator, will give out halfway down, and I’ll be stuck.
(And, as my dear friend said, “Where is Prince Charming?!?!?  Why isn’t he here yet?!?!?”  But as funny as this may seem, it’s totally true.  I think most girls go into college expecting to find their spouse and are disappointed when he doesn’t reveal himself during their freshman year.  But this is a topic for another time…)
I truly think that it’s crucial to face our fears and do our best to fulfill our hopes.  By doing this, we can live out our potential and become the Children of God that we are called to be.
Jake, I hope that answers your question!  (If not, or if anyone else has a follow-up question, please let me know!)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

For Our Faith, For Christ the King

Happy Feast of Christ the King, everyone!

The next couple days will be crunch time for me as I work to finish 2 projects and study for a test and a quiz before Thanksgiving break.  I will post as soon as I'm on break!!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Happy Moment

Hello Everyone!

Last night, I did something that some would consider wild and crazy, and others would consider normal.  And about an hour ago, I received the results of my wild and crazy action.

Oh.  You want to know what I did?  First you need some background.

In Media, we're reading The Church and New Media by Brandon Vogt as supplemental material.  The book includes 11 chapters written by well-known and emerging Catholic bloggers, tweeters, and others involved in "new media".  Chapter 4 is by Mark Shea, a convert and Catholic author.  I was reading through his chapter, which is all about starting a blog and how to attract readers, and I came across this: "The very nature of the Internet is interactivity.  When planing my blog, I decided from the get-go to both exploit the connections I had and to make now ones with brashness.  So I emailed writers and bloggers I either knew or whose work I liked and said, 'Hey!  I've started a blog!  Could you tell your readers?'  There's no need to be shy about that.  The worst that can happen is that the blogger or writer will ignore you.  The best (and much more common thing) that can happen is that the blogger you contact will stick a link up (as is my custom) announcing 'New Blog!' [...] I have a number of readers  who send me links to stuff they've written and who link stuff I write [...]"

By now, you probably have an idea of what I did.  Yup, I emailed Mr. Shea and asked him if he could advertise my blog on his blog.  And just now, I received this email back from him: "Hi Allison!  Good work.  You give me hope!  I will plug your blog on Tuesday, 11/22!  Mark".

THANK YOU MR. SHEA!!!!  *pardon me.  I got excited*

Anyhow, I'm in the process of writing two new posts.... one serious and one a bit more, well, amusing.  :)  Keep an eye out!

And please go look at Mark Shea's blog!!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Holding Jesus

Last Friday, I had the privilege of distributing Jesus' Precious Body for the first time.  Because the priests always distribute Jesus' Body, the EMs most often distribute the Precious Blood.  (Lest you think I'm complaining, I most certainly not.)

Yes, I have held Jesus in my hands when I receive Communion in my hands, but because I most often receive on the tongue, I don't have the chance to hold Jesus that often.  (I prefer receiving on the tongue because there is less of a chance on dropping a particle.  Just a personal preference.)

But on Friday, there was only one priest, so I was assigned to distribute the Precious Body.


It is truly a different experience from distributing the Precious Blood.  When you have the opportunity to hold Jesus in your hands, not in a chalice or ciborium but physically in your hands, it is a whole new experience of adoration.  I never fully understood what someone meant when he said he used EMing as adoration, but now I do.

I was also assigned to purify the vessels after mass, which I had done about 4 times before.  The guy I was purifying with made a comment about what he thought about when distributing the Precious Blood.  He said that he always thinks of himself as Veronica, wiping the blood from Jesus' face, because that's essentially what we're doing.  Now I have something concrete to meditate on when I distribute under either species.

If you EM, what do you think about as you bring Jesus to the Church?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mind Expansion

This has certainly been the weekend of new and fascinating information!  Beginning Thursday and going through tonight, I have been to more readings, talks, and informational sessions than I have in 3 weeks.  There were some purely fun things, too. :D  So, I present my weekend:

Thursday I attended a Poetry reading that was extra credit for my Poetry class.  The poems that were read were quite interesting..... they "broadened our horizons", and not in an expected way.  They're the kinds of works that you need to re-read a couple times before you can even start to understand.  Nevertheless, I'm glad I went, if only for the experience.

Friday I had another opportunity for Poetry extra credit.  In all honesty, I have to admit that I wasn't all that excited to go to another reading the second night in a row.  This time, the speaker was Mark Adderley, a professor at Wyoming Catholic who writes Arthurian fiction.  He read 2 chapters from his newest book, The Hawk and the Huntress, and it was extremely interesting!  So interesting, in fact, that had I had money with me, I would have bought the entire trilogy!  He's an expert on all aspects of the Arthurian legend and loves English history..... part of that probably comes from the fact that he was born, raised, and went to college in England.  Anywho, it was definitely worth my time.

After the reading, I came back to the dorm just in time to begin a game of Apples to Apples with my friends.  Apparently I'm very good at persuading people that my card is the best, because in the first 7 rounds I accumulated 5 cards.  Somehow I got outwitted, and ended up losing by one.  It was still quite hilarious as we tried to convince each other that the ocean was "ingenious" and that some actor we hadn't heard of was "great".  When we finished the game, we read through all the cards and laughed at the funny comments on the bottom.  AND THEN we went and watched a movie in one of the common rooms.  Fun night!

Saturday morning I got up and went to a Myers-Briggs Personality workshop.  I had taken the test on Friday morning, so we went through the different letters to figure out what we were and then were given our results from the test.  Turns out that I share a personality with only 1.5% of the population!  It was interesting to not only learn about my own personality, but also recognize characteristics of my family members.  I was hit over the head with things about my sister and dad specifically, but could definitely see things about my mom and brother as well.

That evening my friends and I went to see the student performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream.  The costumes were from the 80s and the music was courtesy of the Beatles.  One of my friends had made some costumes and another friend played music, so it was neat to see the work they had put into it.  The production itself was very funny; we were all so glad we went!!

As if that wasn't enough for Saturday, it was also Midnight Madness night.  I was expecting a scrimmage of some sort, but after a mini-concert from Righteous B, a game of knockout, half-court shooting contest, performance from the Baronettes (our "dance team), the men's and women's teams came out, did a shooting contest, three guys did a dunking contest, and that was that.  Somewhat disappointing, but oh well.  It was still fun.

This morning I was able to EM at mass, which is always a neat experience.  There was a talk entitled "Redefining Vocations" that I attended this afternoon.  Woah-oh.  It was really good!  Sister gave a really good intro talk and then there were three testimonials.  I'm really glad I got to go to that.  I returned to the dorm and did some studying, then left again to have a hall council meeting with our brother dorm in preparation for the brother-sister Ugly Christmas Sweater party. :D  It's going to be a really fun event!

Dinner was a delicious wrap not from the caf (hehe) and the evening was in the student center for a really, really, really interesting talk by Adam Blai, who is an expert on exorcism.  He is one of a very few lay persons who have a certain title on exorcism.  He gave a 1 1/2 hour long talk about obsession, oppression, and possession, and the way the Church goes about handling all of those circumstances.

So, that's what happened this weekend.  Think I did enough?!?!
Oh, and I should mention that on Tuesday, a friend and I made cookies.... it was the first time that I had done any real cooking/baking since August, and it was really fun.  Especially since we had to have a scavenger hunt for bowls, and pans, and measuring cups, and pretty much all other baking items. :P

I'm currently working on a more serious post..... it should be up in a day or two. :)


Friday, November 11, 2011

Date a Girl who Reads

Thanks to Elizabeth for posting this on her blog!  As she says, it's quite beautiful, and most likely completely true. :D

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent.  Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
- Rosemary Urquico

Thursday, November 10, 2011

On the Road Again

My apologies for not posting recently!  Life has been very busy!!

As I mentioned two posts ago, I went home again last weekend.  This trip was..... yeah.  There was much discussion surrounding this trip.  Some members of the family (who shall remain nameless ;) ) were concerned about said bus and its safety.  Basically, it was a great trip home (the bus ride was fine!), the event that I returned for was successful, and the return trip was nice as well.  The only bothersome thing on the bus was the rather loud rap that a lady 3 rows in front of us was playing..... we could hear every word, even though the earbuds were in her ears!  Anywho, I'd recommend the Megabus for return trips home :)
In Media class this week, we've been talking about still photography and some of the influential pictures throughout history.  We took a look at some Pulitzer Prize winners and other photos that capture a moment that video couldn't.  It definitely made me want to improve my photography skills.  (Did I tell you all about the amazing deal I got on that photography book?  It was a $48 book and I got it for $3!!)
Lately, I've been really into writing poetry.  Perhaps this was spurred on by the fact that I'm in a poetry class in which we write no poetry, and my creative genius was begging to be let out.  We've also been reading quite a bit of free verse in my poetry class, so I got to thinking, Gosh, I can write free verse!  Soooo.... I have forced myself to get away from the structured-ness that I always hold myself to.  It's nice to productively write, for a change!
Because I will be receiving a grade for this blog, and because I'd like a good grade, I'm going to be expanding my "repertoire".  Instead of blogging only on daily activities and college life, I'd like to start including some more serious discussion topics (thanks to Evelyn for helping me on that wording!).

So, dear readers, I leave you with these two questions:

~Do you have a favorite photograph?  If so, I'd love to see it!  Comment below with a link to the picture.
~What are some topics that you'd be interested in me covering?  These can range from fun to serious... I'm up for anything!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Flaming Leaves

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'erbrimmed their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, - 
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing, and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

~Ode to Autumn by John Keats

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Home Sweet Home

After a long, 6-and-a-half hour long car ride, we finally made it back home!  It was a fun trip- we talked about school, temperaments, the Myers-Briggs test, books, movies, and snow.

(sidenote- I am baffled by the appearance of snow before November.  Driving home, we looked out the window and saw white fog.  Only, it wasn't fog- it was snow.  Insanity!

It is awesome and somewhat confusing to be home.  The bathroom sink is lower than at college, the bed is wider, my room is darker, and my desk chair is significantly more comfortable. :D  It's a familiar environment, but at the same time, things look different.  Part of that comes from the fact that we redid the kitchen (and put new flooring in the entryway and the living room) right before I left, so while I saw all the changes, I didn't really have time to get used to it all.  And then my room is different too, because most of my things are at college!!  Nevertheless, it's wonderful to be home.  *happy sigh*

Today was a very productive day.  I got my hair cut (by my sister's amazing hair stylist who understands curly hair!!).  Then Mom and I went to the Running Store for some sneakers for me.  The Running Store is mind-blowing.  In a previous post, I recounted my horrible experience of looking for sneakers near college, and how they had no shoes that fit me.  Well, after the lady at the Running Store watched me walk, watched me run, and measured my feet, I had good fitting shoes 15 minutes later!  Wow.  We then had lunch, and headed to the mall for some cold weather clothes..... thank goodness I found what I needed!  It's getting chilly soooo much earlier than normal this year!

So today it was snowing here at home, too.  I mean, it's ok for West Virginia to have snow, but not us!  It's wayyyy too early.  And it didn't even stick!  I just looked at the weather website, and we have a "Freeze Warning" in effect until tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow..... It's definitely going to be a very good day. :)  After mass in the morning, my brother and sister-in-law, sister and brother-in-law, and all the kiddos are coming over for brunch.  I haven't seen any of them except my brother in 2 months!  (Not counting Skype....)  And then in the evening I'm going to get together with one of my very good friends who I also haven't seen in 2 months.

I also realized that I didn't post the pictures from the flash mob.  Here are a couple:
Evelyn and I wrote up dozens of post-it notes and put them on people's doorknobs in our dorm, telling them about the flash mob the next morning

The guy on the left is Peter, who came in from Chicago to lead the flash mob.  We were all gathered in really close together, so the balloons formed a sort of tent. :)

We marched up the stairs in a parking garage on our walk through the city!

I'm hoping to possibly get a video I took up soon....... 

Well, I'm off to continue memorizing "La Cigale et la Fourmi" (The Cicada and the Ant) for French.  I never realized how hard it is to memorize something in another language!!

Stay warm, everybody!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Change is such hard work"

^Billy Crystal said that.  Smart guy! :D I've been working hard (although, I must admit, it's been enjoyable!) changing my blog all around.  In the next couple days I'm hoping to have some tabs up at the top and pictures.... maybe even a video!

Please comment below and let me know what you'd like to see on my blog!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Change is in the air!

Over the past 2 weeks or so, my Mass Media teacher has been telling us about a project that he would be assigning.  I know I've been anxiously awaiting the announcement..... wondering what I would get to do!

Weelllll..... today he gave us the assignment!

We were asked to do something with new media- a blog, tumblr, photo essay, youtube videos.... we were also told that we could use something that we already have.  Sooooo...... that means that this blog will be undergoing some major changes!  I'll be adding some different elements to it and changing the backgrounds, pictures, and, um, I don't know what else.  Something exciting. :)

Which brings me to the next thing.  Part of my grade will be viewer involvement.  Please comment on my blog!  Tell your friends!  Tell your neighbors!  Tell the lady at the store!  Ok, maybe not.  That would be a little odd.  In fact, please don't tell the lady at the store.  But do tell everyone else!  

I'm off to make some changes!  I'm going to start with the background and header.  Just don't think you're in the wrong place when you visit next time!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

One, we are pro-life

Two, a little bit louder
Three, I still can't hear you
Four, more more more! 


Maybe you've seen the videos online of the pro-life flash mobs.  At about 1:25, you can see a man in front of the pro-life group wearing a bright green jacket- his name is Peter and he organizes these flash mobs around the country.  Franciscan was blessed enough to have him come here to Steubenville to organize a flash mob in Pittsburgh.

5:25 am: the alarm went off.... We got ready and ran (literally) to the chapel.
6:00 am: food for the journey, aka mass. :)  It was a wonderful way to start and it gave us the energy we needed for the entire day.
6:50 am: gathering behind the chapel, and moving us all toward cars.  It was quite an experience trying to get everyone into vehicles..... as far as I know, God provided and we had (cramped) room for everyone!
7:10 am: We leave the campus behind and get on the road towards Pittsburgh!  I was lucky enough to ride in a car with Peter- he taught us some chants and songs that we'd be singing.  It was a really fun car ride.
8:00 am: We arrived at the Home Depot parking lot and walked over to the abortion clinic.  There were already some people there, so we joined their circles.  All together, there were about 6 circles of 15-30 people each.  Each circle prayed separately- my circle prayed 2 rosaries, a chaplet, a litany, a couple other prayers, and sang lots of songs.  Our counselors were able to talk to a few of the women going into the clinic, and each time another woman approached the door, we knelt down and prayed the next decade on our knees.  Powerful, to say the least.
10:50 am: We were getting towards the end of our time at the clinic, so our group decided to pray one last chaplet, but we wanted to sing it.  We began on our own, then by the second decade the group next to us joined in.  As each group ended their own prayers, they joined our group, so by the third decade we had about 150 students singing the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  Wow.  What an amazing experience.  The really neat thing was, we were standing right in front of the clinic, so I'm positive that they could hear us singing inside.  :)
11:20 am: procession back to the parking lot, singing Immaculate Mary the whole way. :)
11:30 am: (hot) pizza arrives for hungry, tired, and cold pro-life students!  We were able to talk and have a good time (still in the parking lot) while eating..... good times.
12:30 pm: (ish) we finished filling balloons with helium and headed down the road.  We made a stop at the abortion clinic, sang a song, got some bright yellow Life balloons stuck in the tree right outside, and continued on our march.  We came across lots of support- honking and thumbs up from other pedestrians.  And there was adventure- we took about 3 wrong turns and ended up by a Whole Foods where there was a Radio Disney broadcast going on... we kind of interrupted it.  Ok, ok, kind of is an understatement.  We completely messed up their event.  We were polite, yet excited, but one man in particular was rather mad at us.  Oh well.  Hopefully we gave him something to think about!  We finished our march through the streets and ended up at the top of a hill by an apartment building, that happened to have a handy little "lookout" thing over the street.  We packed onto it and sang an Ave Maria, then went back down the hill towards the center we had gone through.  There was a small protest going on concerning Iraq, so we let most of the balloons go there.  It was awesome to see them flying away.
1:30 pm: back in the parking lot after going back by the abortion clinic.... we also gave a bunch of balloons to little kids on the way.  One last song, one last prayer, and we were on the way back home.  The ride back was significantly more comfortable!
2:40 pm: arrival back on campus, where we stumbled out of the van and back to the dorm, promptly fell into bed, and took a nice long, much-needed nap.

This evening we spent doing odds and ends around.  I played a board game with two other girls- Quelf.  Oh. my. goodness.  Most hilarious game, like, ever.  We're definitely playing again.

Well, I'm off to bed...... 10:30 mass tomorrow (or, i guess, today!) and then some homework.  Joy!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Don't Panic....

I know, I know, right now Mom's thinking "Ah!  She's still up at 1 am!", David's thinking "Ha!  I told her she'd be up at 1 am", and Robyn's like "Hehe, I should Skype her right now."  Yeah.  I bet you all want an explanation as to why I'm writing a blog post at one in the morning.

The simple explanation, dear friends, is this: when one sleeps until 11:30 in the morning, one does not feel very tired at midnight.  So one watches short Pixar clips online with one's friends, and then writes a blog post.  Yes, it's true.

So...... this was quite a week, to say the least.

The excitement started last Friday, when my parents got here.  We went to the sporting goods store in hopes of finding sneakers.  (This is the same sporting goods store that my brother had kindly taken me to, two weeks prior.  the same one that didn't carry my size.)  But my brother had also informed me that "you're supposed to get sneakers one size bigger than normal".  So, in we went to look for size 11 shoes.

Whadaya know, they didn't have any that fit.  The arch was too high, the back was too loose, the top was too tight, the arch was too low, there wasn't an arch at all, the laces weren't right, or, worst of all, they were pink.  *run in fear!!!!*  After a half hour of trying on just about every pair, I did something that I never thought I would do.
I tried on men's sneakers.

I may be crazy, but I did it.  And they weren't half bad.  They just weren't..... right.  So we left.  And as we walked towards the exit, the lady asked, very nicely, "Did you find anything you were looking for?"  "No.  But that's ok."  :)  Poor lady.

I had some nice dinners with my parents, a lovely trip to Walmart which ended with us trotting up and down the aisles in hopes of finding dried mango.  (we did find it, eventually.  thank goodness!!)

And then on Saturday, I got to do something that I will probably never forget.  I got to (Irish) dance with Scythian!!!!  In case you don't know who they are, they're a Celtic "rock" band.  Rock gives the wrong impression. (here's a link to some of their music, if you're interested!  (disclaimer: I was not paid to advertise.. :P )  Four of us choreographed a dance to Drums of Belfast and got to perform in front of a whole bunch of people.  There was so much energy and it was awesome to be able to dance again after a five month hiatus.

After Mom and Dad left on Sunday, I brushed up on my French and Catholicism information, as I had 2 midterms on Monday afternoon.  Basically my entire week was spent studying.  I was one of the *cough* lucky *cough* people who had all five midterms last week- two Monday, two Thursday, and one on Friday.  Friday's was the only really painful one- I concentrated on the wrong info.  But I wasn't the only one- my friend and I commiserated over lunch and realized we both had made the exact same studying mistakes.  *big sigh*  At least they're behind me and I don't have to worry about any more tests or quizzes until.... Monday.  Oh well.

Friday after the poetry test was really really good.  I went to the vocation fair, which, by the way, is the largest in the country.  There were something like 40 religious groups there.  And I got more papers, flyers, holy cards, and free gifts than I could ever want.  Voila:

Nothing, I repeat, nothing is in two pictures.  Everything is only pictured once.  Is that not insane, or what??  
(sidenote- no, David, there was no convent there of cloistered sisters with 10 foot high walls.  Sorry)
(sidenote 2- there were a couple cloistered sisters there, though.  Am I the only one who sees something strange about this?  I mean, doesn't "cloister" mean you don't leave?  Maybe I'm imagining things.)

The other awesome thing about Friday was that I got to EM for the first time!!!!  It was a really cool experience, and I get to tomorrow, as well!  *happy dance*

Third awesome thing- we watched Phantom!!  I love that movie....... I hadn't seen it in a couple years, so it was great to re-watch after seeing it on broadway.  

After midterm week, both Evelyn and I were exhausted, so we slept in this morning and did random homework and pick up stuff today... and then tonight we saw the Incredibles.  I had never seen it.  Apparently one of the characters is like Ev's teacher, so it was hilarious to finally see this character. :D

Tomorrow is just another bumming around day... actually, it's technically today.  I should probably get to bed.  So, goodnight!  


Wednesday, October 12, 2011


This week has been consumed with midterms- I have all 5 of my midterms this week.  Figures, right?  So I'm done with two of them, but I have two tomorrow and one on Friday.  As a result, you will have to wait to find out about Homecoming weekend until Saturday.......

Wait in suspense. :D

Prayers would be appreciated for my tests!  (especially Civ.  ugh.)  Thanks!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Adventures of a College Student

There are times when the only explanation for something is, "I'm in college".  I mean, when else would you think of lowering a bracelet tied onto a set of headphones behind a bookshelf?

"What?" you ask.  Let me explain.

A week ago, my glasses went missing.  I couldn't find them anywhere, yet I knew for a positive fact that they were in my room.  I also knew that they were around my bookshelf, because the night before they disappeared, I had been reading in bed, leaned down from my bed (which is lofted) and set the glasses on the bookshelf underneath.  20 minutes later, as I drifted off to sleep, I heard a "clunk", looked down, and saw a book on the floor.  Hmm, I thought, my glasses must have fallen off the shelf into a box that's on the shelf.  Nope, not there.  I looked every day this week.  Just now, I literally took my bookshelf apart looking for my glasses, to no avail.

Let it be noted here that without glasses or contacts, I am virtually blind.  In fact, 3 days ago, I went into the hallway and couldn't tell who I was talking to.  Embarrassing, to say the very least.

So I took my tiny book light and shined (shone? did shine? shoneded?  humph.  I'm not an English major) it behind the bookshelf.  Sure enough, there were the glasses, stuck right above the floor, between the shelf and the wall.

I told Evelyn and she said, "All you need is a string and hook!", in a tone that said, "I don't think that will actually work.  And where will you find those, anyway?" :D  Ha, I thought.  I will get a string and hook.  Sure enough, once I had a string and hook, I eased it behind the shelf and caught the glasses.  If it had been a carnival game, I'd have won a giant stuffed animal with the speed, agility, and adeptness I exhibited in retrieving the glasses.  (Like the tiger my nephew won at Hershey park.  Lets just say that the children were displaced from the double stroller for the day.)

Wait, what?  You want to see my amazing string and hook?  Well, here you go:

And I took the picture without contacts or glasses.

Beat that.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I am tea?

OK, so some mornings when I don't make it to breakfast in the caf before breakfast, I use a meal exchange at the coffee shop in the JC.  That's what I did this morning.  I chose Ginger Peach tea for the second time. When I got it back to my room, I looked at the tag.  This is what it says:

The leaves take the water and the tea takes me.  I put up no resistance, surrendering myself to what has entered.  Soon I am the tea and the tea is me.
In case you're concerned for my wellbeing, I just want to let you know that I have not turned into tea.  I am still.... human.  :P

What is this world coming to???

Monday, October 3, 2011


Check it out!  I'm an Extraordinary Minster!!!!!!

*deep sigh*  Now I've gotta practice before the Fieldhouse masses next weekend so I don't completely fail on my first go.

So, after last Monday happened, the week went uphill quite a bit.  I mean, how could it go worse after Monday??

Tuesday after classes, my brother came to see me.  He had a meeting close to campus and came by after his meeting.  He took me to Walmart (which doesn't sound that exciting but it really was), then to dinner at this really yummy Mexican restaurant, and then to a sports store to look for shoes.  Would you believe that they did not have one single pair of sneakers in my size?  No, not "no shoes in my size that I liked".  Literally not any at all.  Ridiculous.  So I'm stuck with running in shoes that give me blisters, for at least a little while.  It was great to see my brother again.  :)

The rest of the week was fairly uneventful.... except for the massive amounts of rain that we're getting.  And then the cold has come in.  And then it's gonna get warmish later on in the week (as in, low 70s!!  This is exciting!)  Yesterday it was 42 here, and then I spoke with my friend who's at college in TX, and she said it was 75 there.  #jealousy  

Hold up.  Did I just use a hashtag?  The world must be ending.  

I also just realized that I can make my type purple.  #happiness

Next weekend is homecoming, so my parents and brother and sister-in-law and some nieces and nephews are coming up!!  I can't wait to see everyone!

Finally, you may have noticed that I changed my name on here from Chevonne to Allison.  And now you're wondering what's going on.  Well, when I first started this blog, I decided to use Chevonne as a pen name (Chevonne is the Irish female version of my confirmation name- John.)  And lately, people have been slightly confused as to who wrote this blog, since my "real name" isn't on it.  (one of those people was my brother..... hehe).  So I figured now was as good a time as any to change to my real name, Allison.  = )


Monday, September 26, 2011

It was not today.

Today was just one of those days.

It started fine.  I got up on time, got ready for class, packed my bag, and left for the caf.  And then things just started to go wrong.

Today would be the day they decide to pack up the hot breakfast food early.  5 minutes too early.  Meaning that I had to just have cereal for breakfast.  I went for the granola that I knew had protein in it, but it was stuck in the cereal dispenser, so I had to settle for rice crispies.  Fine, but not very substantial.

Poetry was .... poetry.  That's the only way to describe it.  While leaving class I dug in my bag to find my wallet/cell phone case, turned on my phone, and happened to notice that my key wasn't on my keychain.  I remembered then that I had taken it off the keychain that morning when I went to brush my teeth.  No big deal, I thought, Evelyn (my roommate) would be out of class in 2 hours, and then I could use her key to get into the room.  In the meantime, I would read the next chapter of Poetry to get ahead, go to mass, and meet her after lunch.  Wonderful.  Things were looking up.

Fast-forward 2 hours- I read poetry and attended mass, headed to the caf to eat Evelyn for lunch.  I called her on the way to let her know where I was.  She didn't answer her phone, but usually it's on vibrate, so I left a message.  20 minutes later, I still hadn't seen her.  30 minutes.  40 minutes.  A friend comes by and tells me Ev misplaced her phone.  Aha.  No wonder.  She'll be in the caf in a little while and we can go back to the room to look for the phone.

We finish lunch.  Still no Ev.  We leave the caf.  She's sitting outside on a bench.

Turns out she left her key in the room.  With her ID.  So she not only couldn't come into the caf, but also couldn't go back to the room.  And she was waiting for me, so she could use my key.

Perfect.  Just perfect.

So we head back to the dorm, get in using our friend's key, and head up to our floor to find an RA.  And things just went downhill from there.

The office was closed.  One RA was sleeping.  Another RA was at lunch.  We had seen another leaving the building as we walked in.  2 others weren't in their rooms.  Finally, we decided to interrupt one who was studying.  She was very willing to open the door for us (thankfully!).

The rest of the afternoon was fairly normal.  Until I headed to French class.  As I walked away from the dorm, I realized I had forgotten my Foundations of Catholicism notebook.  Which meant that in the half-hour between French and Foundations, I had to walk to get dinner, buy dinner, eat dinner, walk to my dorm, get the notebook, and walk back to class.  I spent the "down moments" of French class strategizing how to best go about doing this.

French.  Run and buy dinner.  I was trotting up the (cement) stairs near the student center and completely fell flat on my face, whilst holding a cup of iced tea.  Thankfully, there was a lid, but in the process of saving the tea I killed my leg.  I made it into the dorm, ran up 4 flights of stairs, quickly consumed a grilled chicken wrap, threw my notebook in my bag, ran down 4 flights of stairs, got outside and saw that it was pouring, ran back up 4 flights of stairs to get an umbrella, back down those same 4 flights of stairs, and back across campus.  Whewph.  Talk about exercise!

I think that's where the excitement for the day ends.  At least, I hope so.  Because it's 10:35.  Not that the time really has anything to do with it.  Oh well.

Well, this is exciting, but it's happening tomorrow:  my brother's coming!!  Yippee!!  He has offered to take me sneaker shopping..... little does he know what he's getting himself into.  hehe  (Don't worry, I'll go quick like a bunny.)

I'm off to do homework- I don't want to have to do any tomorrow night!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Yes, we are (Catholic) college students ... and other musings on college life

It is awesome to have Jesus living in your dorm.
I mean, to live in Jesus' dorm.

I love seeing friars when I'm walking to class.

There is safety in numbers, especially when you get a discount on your dance ticket.

The book club is going to be discussing "How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul".

We may not have a football team, but we have frisbees.  Lots of them.

There must be a sale on turkey; we've had it 3 times in a week.

Lights out is always characterized by the sound of girls chanting the Salve Regina.

Movie night is ended with the comment, "Wasn't that a great scene of redemption at the end?"

The appropriateness of movies at said movie night is determined by the USCCB standards.

One of the best feelings in the world is opening your mailbox and seeing one or more pieces of mail.

A better feeling is seeing a card with a yellow sticker in your mailbox.  Indicating the reception of a *gasp* package!!

It's great to open one of those boxes and find scented dryer sheets.

My "mysterious nephew" simply made my day last week.  

There is nothing worse than looking at your watch and finding that your class begins in 4 minutes, and you're still in your dorm room.  

After looking at your watch and bolting across campus, it's sooooo relieving to walk into that classroom precisely at 2:15.

And it's frustrating when the professor doesn't begin teaching until 2:18.  I could have saved my breath!!

The campus internet is so protected that I can't unsubscribe from the wig emails I've been getting.  (Yes, you read that right.  The last one read "Be who you want to be in a wig".  I'm who I want to be without a wig, thank you very much.)

The chapel has at least 10 girls in it every night at midnight.

12:05 mass is always full.

10:30 mass on Sundays is wall-to-wall packed.  Every. Single. Week.

There are too many households to visit.  I want to go to them all.  

Praise and Worship night is almost as well-attended as weekday mass.  Almost.

Did I mention that I love it here?
Yeah, I figured that you got that message.