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.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Of Spinach and Weather

As strange as that title may seem, the topics are related.  In a way.  I guess.  Maybe.  

So there must have been a sale on spinach at the store where Sodexo shops.  Because today for lunch, there were two things that had spinach in them- the chicken parmesan and the soup.  Oh, and since when does "chicken parmesan" consist of pasta, cut-up chicken, and spinach in a cream sauce?  That's not the chicken parmesan I grew up with!  It was good, but still.... and then the spinach soup was good, too, but different.

Ok, people, this is September.  It should not be 50 degrees during the day!  For goodness sakes.  And on top of that, rain?  No way, Hosay!  (I just realized that I've never spelled that phrase out.  Is Hosay like Hosea in the Bible?  I've no idea....)  Anyway, it was freezing and I was VERY grateful for my sweater and coat.  The soup was appreciated muchly.

With cold weather comes the want (read: need) for apples.  Yummy, fresh apples, hand-picked in an orchard in the middle of nowhere.  So I'd really like to go apple picking when I'm home on break.  Will apples still be in season then?  I hope so.... Mom?  Dad?  Can we go apple picking?  

Today was the day of packages.  I got 4 of them!!  1 was a movie (Phantom!) I ordered from Borders because I had a gift card and they're going out of business, so I got it for almost nothing.  (Oh, happy day!) The second was an air freshener for our dorm room..... The third was a Vera Bradley purse and wallet that I ordered because they were on sale (I saved more than I spent!!).  And the fourth was a pretty barrette from my mom. :)  (Thanks, mom!!)

AND tonight and for the next 2 nights I have a friend staying with me.  It's going to be a good weekend.  


Monday, September 12, 2011


That was another busy (and fun!) weekend.  My morning on Saturday began at 5:10; I woke up, got ready, and went to 6 AM mass in the chapel.  I was amazed at how many people were there that early on a Saturday morning!  Afterwards, we went outside and got ready to head to the abortion clinic in Pittsburgh to pray.  There were around 130 people who wanted to go!  The Students for Life group wasn't prepared for that many people, so they were short on cars.  The leader kept saying, if God wants us all to go, He'll find a way.  If not, He'll make His plans known.  After almost everyone had left, and 6 people had volunteered to stay behind and pray in the Port, there were 10 left.  And one had a car.  A car with 5 seats. :P  I was literally starting to say that I would stay behind and pray when a random car drove up.  The driver called, "You guys need rides to the clinic?"  What a miracle!  We were all able to fit in the cars, and we showed up at the clinic only about 10 minutes behind everyone else.

2 1/2 hours of prayer in the middle of two abortion clinics is spiritually taxing.  To watch the women walk in, surrounded by "Pro-choice Escorts" on all sides, with one sidewalk counselor trying to speak with her is hard.  It was powerful to know that so many people were there praying for an end to this monstrosity.

After arriving back on campus, I ate a long-overdue lunch and settled down to do some reading....... and I awoke 1 1/2 hours later.  :D  Apparently I was tired.  Thankfully, after that I was wide awake.  My roommate, another friend, and I took a walk after dinner, and we got to see Steubenville and Weirton (across the river) from a high hill, which was really cool.  Saturday I also went to Lord's Day- I thought it was great!  Definitely a household that's on my "short list", but we'll have to see.  I've only been to one!  And THEN 4 of us watched a movie.  Thankfully, we managed to still get to bed at a good time.  

Sunday, I left my dorm 14 minutes before mass started.... I walked into the chapel only to find that every. single.  seat in the chapel was full.  I had to sit in the adoration chapel.  It was packed!!  I'm reconsidering my 10:30 mass time.  :P  A couple of us decided to walk down the hill to the flatbread place/coffeeshop, which was really yummy.  I think it's going to be our post-mass tradition, until it's super cold or it snows and we can't make it down without sliding.  :)

The only other notable thing that happened on Sunday was swing dancing.  It was a lot of fun- I'm finally getting the hang of East Coast swing after doing West Coast for a long time.  And there were actually guys there who knew what they were doing.  Thank goodness!!

This morning I had my interesting poetry class, then a 5 hour break, French, a half-hour break in which I ate a hurried dinner, and Foundations- which still doesn't feel like the 2 hours and 40 minutes that it really is.  Whew!  It's a really fascinating class and my teacher 1- knows what she's talking about 2 - is happy to answer any and all of our questions and 3 - loves what she's teaching and makes me exited to learn the material.  The only downside to the class is that it only meets once a week, so I always have a lot of homework.  I guess if I spread it our over the week instead of doing all 67 pages of reading in 2 nights, it would be more manageable.  *sigh*  Yeah, I know.

Exciting news 1- I'm having a visitor from Thursday through Sunday!  A friend from high school is coming to visit me .... it'll be lots of fun!!

Exciting news 2- I just attended training for being an EM (Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion), so (hopefully) in a week or so, I'll be officially "trained and commission by the Diocese of Steubenville", and then I'll be able to distribute Communion at Mass!!  *does the happy dance*


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Random Thoughts and Musings

Well,  I made it through my first weekend at college.... homework, homework, mass, homework, and swing dancing.  Oh, and a movie. :D  Even though I had tons of reading to do for Media, Poetry, and Foundations of Catholicism, (most) was interesting reading, so it wasn't all that bad.

After being here for a week and a half:

     Isn't this sewing kit awesome?  The best part is *whispers* it was only $4!!

     Yes, I was excited about trail mix.  The sad part about the trail mix is that it's almost gone.  :(  PS- that's dried mango in there, in case you're wondering.  It's quite yummy!)
     Some may call me crazy for being excited about laundry detergent, but I have honestly never used scented detergent before.  I must have looked ridiculous, going down the detergent aisle in the store, smelling every one...... and I found something out- many detergents smell funny.  Not this one, though!
      *repeat everything I said about detergent, except substituting dryer sheets*  (side note- these smell AMAZING!!)
I have had bad luck with lamps lately.  So, I brought a lamp for my desk with me.  The very first weekend, we put a lightbulb in, plugged it in, but it didn't work.  I turned and turned the switch, but it just wouldn't go on.  So my parents went to Walmart and bought me a new lamp (Thanks, Mom and Dad!).  The next day, I put a light bulb in, plugged it in, but it didn't work.  What on earth....??  I noticed the light bulb was a bit loose, so I took it out and put it back in- this is what happened: 
Yes, the silly lightbulb broke right off, leaving the part pictured above inside socket.  It took me a day or two to get the silly remainder of the light bulb out, and another day to be brave enough to put a new bulb in.  And it better not happen again, because I only have one 40 watt light bulb left! (Yes, Mom and Dad, you did buy me 4 bulbs, and yes, I can count- I gave one to someone else. :) )  So now, I have a lovely working light.  Two, actually.  One on my desk and one attached to my bed for reading.  Yay!
I have realized that as I go on in college, silly things get more and more exciting.  Case in point: I love getting quarters, because I need quarters for the washer and dryer.  Laugh if you want, I did!
Today was a very exciting day.  I not only got 2 envelopes but a huge box from home!!  Dad sent my voter registration card so now I can submit my absentee form thingymabobber.  AND I got letters and pictures from some of my nieces and nephews.  And then in my box, I got the blanket my grandma knitted for me, a bulletin board (which is now on my wall with pictures of my family and friends from home), gluten free snicker doodles, gingersnaps, and (surprise) chocolate chip cookies, crackers, hard shoes, poodle socks, and computer paper.  It made me very happy.

I'm off to bed...... 8 am classes come early!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Oh, Dear Hills

To Which Hills It May Concern:

I am going to be blunt: I don't like you.  Hills, you are cruel.  You exist where you do not need to exist.  You cause people's calves and thighs to ache.  Badly.  For goodness sake, our gorgeous campus is situated on two hills and the area between those two hills.  You make the phrase "uphill both ways" true!  This phrase should always be false!  It's not right to have to walk uphill both ways.

Hills, you must be made aware of something: walking up and down you in the rain is no fun.  Let me tell you what happened to me yesterday.  As class was ending, we all heard rain.  No, it was more like a light sprinkle.  Perfect, I thought.  I'll have time to run back down the stairs and up the stairs and then up the hill before the rain really starts.  Ha.  Not so.  I walked out the door to find steady rain coming down.  I zipped up my backpack and started off at a fast pace down the hill.  It started raining harder.  It's impossible to run down a hill in the rain whilst wearing flip flops.  I ducked into the JC, water literally streaming down my face, dripping off the hem of my skirt, flip flops squishing as I walked through the door.  I perched on a chair and waited for the rain to let up..... which it did 10 minutes later.  At which point I squished up the next set of stairs and up the hill, slowly, because you can't go quickly up a hill in the rain!!  *deep sigh*

I finally dried out, but the truth is, hills, that you made me be outside far longer than needed.  I could have been to my dorm in 4 minutes if it hadn't been for you.  In conclusion, I would greatly appreciate it if you would straighten up and flatten out before the snow comes, because I have a funny feeling that walking up and down and all around in the snow is going to be far worse than in the rain.


PS- While we're on the subject, could you speak to the weather for me?  3 days ago, it was 65, and today it's 93.  I'm sure we'd all appreciate a little consistency.  Thanks.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Confusion Reigns: The Beginning of Classes!

If you couldn't tell by the title (*ahem, ahem*), classes have officially started!!  It has been fun/interesting/amusing/tiring getting to know a little more about the classes and the professors who teach them.  Now, I haven't had all 5 classes-one of them only meets on Monday evenings-but as for the other four, I think I have a pretty good feel for what the rest of the semester is going to be like.

My very first class was History of Civilization I.  My professor, who I had previously heard amazing things about, is just as good as I had heard.  Since the class is at 8 am, almost anything is funny, which is good because his jokes are rather silly.  But I think that's his point.  He encouraged us to bring in coffee, tea, or any other beverage that would help us stay awake, because, as he said, he needed help to stay awake during class as well.  He had brought coffee, and he joked that he "put the intravenous thing on in the morning to get him going".... sound familiar to any members of my family?? ;)  He also uses the best voices when he's quoting people.  I have mixed reactions about the class itself- it sounds very similar to World History I that I took in junior year..... complete with "identify and give the importance on every single person, place, or event on the test!"  Nevertheless, it should be an entertaining class.

Count of books I had to buy after class: 1

I have 5 hours between the end of Civ and the beginning of Mass Media...... this one's gonna be interesting.  The book that we're using sounds absolutely fascinating - it's something that I would read on my own!!  The course is all about Media and the Church today, how we can use journalism, internet, phone, TV, and radio communications to spread the Truth.  The one thing I learned in my first class is that turning the lights off and showing a powerpoint in a very dark room is difficult.  I think everyone came very close to dozing off at one point or another.  I managed to start awake, but the brightness, or lack thereof, was not helping me in that effort.

Count of books I had to buy after class: 2
Total Number of Extra Books Needed, Not Listed Online: 3

That was the end of my classes on Tuesday.  I spent my "free time" copying all my assignments, including exam dates, into my calendar.  It was a tedious process, but I'm glad I got it done now when I actually have that kind of time.

This morning I had Poetry.  All I can say about the professor is that he was interesting.  (Related Side note: I have a Sister in my Poetry class!  I thought that was rather neat.  Anywho.....) Said Sister commented before the Professor came in, "I was looking through this book [a book of poems that the professor wrote] and found this one..." and she proceeded to read it to us.  Here is the poem, for your enjoyment:

Who is this Holy Spirit?
And what is He doing in the eggplant?

Yes, that is the poem.  No, I didn't leave something out.  That's Pentecost in its entirety.  I am so confused..... I really hope we go over this one in class, because I want to know why this professor even asked why the Holy Spirit is in the eggplant.  I mean, why would the Holy Spirit be there?  Did the professor have some deep insight about the Holy Spirit and eggplant?  I am very curious about this particular poem.  And other than the fact that the course material is pretty much the same as all the poetry we read in senior English, including the different literary time periods and authors, it should be an interesting class.

Count of books I had to buy after this class: None, thank goodness!!

I had another 5 hour break in between Poetry and French.  Now, as I mentioned before, I tested into Intermediate French I, or French 201.  I was excited- I not only am able to take other classes instead of Elementary French, but I can also learn some higher lever French things.

Oh, boy.  I had no idea what I was in for.

My teacher is French.  Like, he not only speaks French, but he's from France.  He spoke literally 6 words in English the entire hour and fifteen minutes.  Do you know how mentally exhausting it is to listen to fluent French for 1.25 hours??  And he wasn't speaking slowly so we could translate, either.  It was full-on conversation speed French.  As I walked out of class, no-about 20 minutes into class- I had a pounding headache.  Thankfully, because of my amazing high school French teacher, I was able to understand all but 2 sentences of what he said.  Not thankfully, those two sentences were our homework.  So, as we were dismissed, we all ran into the hallway and consulted with each other.  "He said we had how many pages to read?"  "3 pages to read."  "No, 3 pages for a quiz."  "He definitely said it was a test." "A 10-question test?  Naw, it was a quiz."  We finally figured it out (there's a 10 question multiple-choice "test" on Monday.... it's a quiz, though.).  The fact that our heads were all aching didn't help.  *le sigh*  Shoot!  I'm even adding French articles to my English!!  This isn't a good sign....

So, basically, after that silly French class, I couldn't do anything for a while.  In other words, I wanted ice cream.  But in order to eat ice cream, one must eat one's dinner.  So I ate my dinner, went to get ice cream, only to find out that it was all gone.  Sadness ensued.  Shortly, the ice cream was replenished, and I was able to have my little bowl of ice cream with a sprinkle of heath bar on top.  *happiness*  (or should that be #happiness ... I am totally not used to hashtags.)

Count of books I had to buy after class: 1-3. I'm not really sure- I couldn't quite make out what he was saying....
Total Number of Extra Books Needed, Not Listed Online: At least 4, possibly 5 or 6

OH!!  And probably the highlight of my day was getting to Skype with my brother and 6 nieces and nephews.  :)  And to speak with my sister on the phone (and brother-on-law, but that was even more brief.  Like, 32 seconds brief).

Well, I'm off to bed.  I've got my 8 am class tomorrow...... time to break out the tea!!