Why Even Those Destined to be Barefoot and Pregnant Can go to College

This is my last post in the 7 post in 7 days challenge hosted by Jen at Conversion Diary.

For this post, I actually found an old draft that I think is still worth publishing.

When I read the article “6 Reasons to Not Send Your Daughter to College” I was furious. The worse part was that the author claimed to be a devout Catholic trying to plead with people to understand. As a college student, a girl, and a Catholic I knew I had to read it. And as I did, I knew I had to write something in response not just to this article but to this notion that it’s pointless for girls to go to college because they’re just going to get married. 

I should mention I found the article via Carrots for Michaelmas. If you don’t know Haley, go check her blog out. Her husband wrote a  satirical response to the article that you can find too.

Why Even Those Destined to be Barefoot and Pregnant Can Go To College | The Beginning of Wisdom

There’s so many things in the article that I could comment on. The author makes a lot of claims: that it will be impossible for a girl to stay pure, that she won’t learn skills that will help her as a wife and mother, that as a “responsible, organized, smart” woman she will attract the wrong sort of men. I wrote down about 20 quotes from the article that were especially frustrating. But let’s just take the basic premise: that women shouldn’t go to college because they’re going to get married and college doesn’t prepare them for that.

Now, let’s set aside the fact that many great Catholic couples met in college. Why should a God-fearing Catholic woman who knows God is calling her to marry, go to college?

I’m not sure where God is calling me, but for a moment let’s pretend that I know I’m going to get married, have children, and stay at home with them. (Sounds great to me. It’s a real possibility too.) So, if I know this is what I’m called to do with my life, why would I bother finishing college? I should just drop out now. Actually, maybe I should never have gone at all. Or as the article says, maybe my parents shouldn’t have “sent” me to college.

But the author fails to recognize what college is about. I am learning so much. Just look at this post from last May (after I’d finished only one year of college). I’d done so many things, received so much enrichment, made new friends, grown as a person (especially in terms of independence and assertiveness) and enjoyed every minute of it. Intellectually, I’ve challenged myself and developed even more as a thinker. I’ve read and analyzed some pertinent works in my literature classes, taken an entire class on Christian morality, read some of Aristotle’s work, been in a choir class, went two days without some technology as part of an ethnographic study, learned what the word ethnographic means, and generally been enriched.

One could argue this won’t teach me how to change a diaper or scrub the kitchen floor. But those are things I already knew how to do. Going to college means I’ll be better equipped to help my high schooler with their homework. I’ll be able to better articulate to my 4 year old the truths of morality. I’ll be able to have conversations with my husband about the merits of the 1818 text of Frankenstein over the later (highly edited) edition. I’ll know basic psychological principles (such as operant conditioning) that I could employ on my children. I’ll be a better citizen, a better wife, and a better person.

Of course, this is all supposing I willbe a stay at home wife and mother and that I’ll never have to work. But perhaps my husband can’t find a job. Perhaps he gets injured and can’t work for 18 months. Or maybe his income simply isn’t enough for our growing family and we have to do what we can until he can find a higher-paying job. It would be beneficial if I could go to work in these cases and help him and my family.

It’s ridiculous to me, especially now that my head has cleared, to think for one second that women shouldn’t go to college because it won’t benefit them as the future wives and mothers of the world. I think it will. You see I’ll be a person who must make moral, informed decisions regarding her children. I’ll be an educator for my children whether I homeschool them or not. I also won’t just be a wife a mother. I’ll be a thinker. A voter. A cultural critic. A Christian.

Knowledge is power. Don’t try and tell me otherwise. I’m not some radical feminist. I would love to stay home with my kids and take care of them. I respect all women who do that. That’s what my mom did for years and I benefitted so much from that. But a solid education can make you a more critical thinker and the college experience can shape and develop your character. I’m not saying you have to go to college to be a good mother or a good citizen or even to be a critical, intelligent thinker; but the experience of living on my own, the person I am becoming, and the opportunities I have had both inside and outside of the classroom are things I will never regret no matter what that article says.

 

7 Quick Takes Vol. 28: I’m Actually Going to Blog Again ~or~ Christmas Break

— 1 —

It’s Friday! I have been so bad about doing these quick takes lately. I think it’s nice to have something like this though: short, a way to keep blogging, and scheduled. This is something I should really work on being consistent about.

— 2 —

Finals are over! We didn’t get out until late this year. So many other colleges had finished before us that it was kind of depressing to still be taking finals. But I made it through! And I only lost my mind three times. 😉 Also, one of my teachers gave us candy during our final (yeah, we learned about classical  conditioning in his class).
I also got my grades back. Keeping them up I’m glad to say. Spanish was my low grade this semester and I wasn’t sure how the final was going to go. A matter of mere points  would decide between letter grades. But I pulled it off. Overall in that class, I wish I’d been a bit more diligent. We had homework due 4 nights a week and I missed some of them just because I forgot and wasn’t able to turn them in late. Next semester I need to be better about that.

— 3 —

I’m home! Back with my family. Honestly, it’s not all warm smiles and watching Christmas movies. But it is home. The day after I got back, some of my family and I went to the city. We did some shopping and spent most of the day at the big department store downtown. We went out to dinner too.

— 4 —

Christmas time! It’s sort of weird. Back at school everyone was clinging to Advent hard. People protested how early the Christmas decorations started going up on campus (mid-November) and some people weren’t playing Christmas music. But here at home things are a bit different. Christmas music is certainly not taboo, the outdoor nativity set glows in our front yard, and the tree will be going up later today. But at this point, Gaudete Sunday has passed, the O antiphons have begun, and  Christmas is only 5 days away!

— 5 —

Five days!!! Ah! I haven’t finished shopping! I’ve bought one gift. I have a sibling to buy for still and oh yeah, my dad. Are your parents as hard to shop for as mine are sometimes?

— 6 —

Also, with break I have much more time for blogging. And I have a few ideas floating around so I’ll hopefully be posting more over the next few weeks.
After reading Jen’s Post I find this kind of ironic. She advocates for shutting down the internet from Thanksgiving to New Year’s because no one has time to write anyways. Haha sorry but I’d have to protest that! Christmas is one of the few times I can actually post with any sort of frequency. That and the summer. Basically any time I’m not drowning in responsibilities.

— 7 —

I have a few other things to do over break too. I’ve got some essays to write, books to read, a prayer life to improve, goals to finish, new goals to write, a driving test to take (finally), and time to spend with my family.

Merry  (early) Christmas!

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary and check out the link-up!

December Goals

Though this is a little late, I’m here to review my goals for last month and set new goals for this month.

November Goals

1) Pick a breakfast food that’s quick, easy, and which I will enjoy

Nope. This really wasn’t a good goal I realize now. It’s kind of vague and I just really had no where to go with this.

2) Read through Part 3 of Rediscovering Catholicism

Oh, I really wanted to do this. I guess I’ll just have to continue this into December.

3) Work on Summer Internships–email archdiocese, pick 3-5 solid possibilities 

No. I really need to do this. Another to repeat.

4) Do an exercise video once a week on Saturdays

Big fail.

5) Make Spanish flashcards

I made one set. So yeah…

6) Start ministry-related tasks before the day they’re due

I did this many times (not counting when I was sick), so I’m going to call this accomplished.

7) Take my temperature every morning

Nope. Once. But no.

8) Go to Thursday Mass

I went one week. But I was sick one week. One week it was Thanksgiving. Overall…fail.

9) Write my 7 Quick Takes every week and 3 other blog posts throughout the month

I wrote one other post, so it was something but not not 3.

 

December Goals

1) Survive finals

Yep. I have my Spanish final a week from Thursday. Please pray for me.

2) Finish Rediscovering Catholicism

I’ve been working on it, off and on (but mostly off) since the summer. It’s time to finish it, so I can move on to 4 Signs of teh Dynamic Catholic soon.

3)Work on Summer Internships–email archdiocese, pick 3-5 solid possibilities 

I really need to get on this and contact people about possible opportunities. I want to be sure to look into the Chicago schools (public and Catholic). It would be great to find something in education. And if it’s in Chicago I can take the train in easy enough.

4) Write a letter to my future self before Christmas

This is a goal from my original 2013 year-long goals. It will probably take what? an hour? I just need to do this. And it will be cool to look back on.

5) Write at least one of the five essays I need to write over break.

And with my mom there to discuss and bounce ideas off of.

6) Before I get home, make a list of things to do over break

The list should include productive things like my essays but also things to do with my family.

 

Check back in next month to see how I did!

7 Quick Takes Vol. 27: What I Should Be Thankful For

I’m going to something a little different this week in honor of Thanksgiving. But no, I decide against the obvious list of things I’m thankful for. Usually we give thanks for things like food, clothes, family. These are all good things. But what about the hard things? The things which we take for granted or which are sometimes not so pleasant. So here’s 7 things I should be thankful for.

— 1 —

My room. I live in an old dorm. There’s lead paint somewhere deep down on the walls. The water is gross. The air and heat are funny. There’s no sound proofing at all. And yet, I have shelter, which is a lot more than some others can say and so I should be grateful.

— 2 —

My friends. Do we get on each other’s nerves? Yes. Could I have faired a lot worse? You better believe it. My friends are good people and I should be thankful to have them in my life.

— 3 —

College. I have the opportunity to attend a great Catholic college, despite the cost. I’m going into plenty of debt doing so and sometimes I’m overwhelmed by meeting requirements and planning my class schedules. But hey, I’m able to go to college and I should be thankful for that amazing blessing rather than focused on the burdens of it.

— 4 —

My work with campus ministry. Sometimes it’s difficult. But I try to remember that it’s worth it. I have a great opportunity to reach people and for that I should be thankful.

— 5 —

My Classes. I have both a very easy class and a not-doing-so-hot-in kind of class this semester. I tend to complain that the easy one is too easy: he grades extremely leniently and I almost never have to do the reading before class. And the other one: well, yeah I ain’t too fond of my grade in that either though it’s largely my fault for forgetting homework. Still, I have these opportunities to learn. No matter the stress, I should be at least a little thankful.  (On reflection this may be similar to #3 “College” but they focus on different points.)

— 6 —

My health. I admit it’s kind of a standard thing, but it’s something I often overlook. Overall, I’m a healthy person. I don’t have much to deal with in that area. So that’s something to be thankful for too.

— 7 —

Living away from home. Most of the time I’m probably pretty content to be living on my own. But it is sometimes hard to be away from my family. I know living away from home has helped me to grow in many ways and continues to challenge me. It’s got positives too. Overall, I think I should be thankful for both the opportunity to live away from home and for being able to visit home fairly often.

 

Happy belated Thanksgiving!

 

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary and check out the link-up!

7 Quick Takes Vol. 24

— 1 —

Well, I forgot to do my Quick Takes last Friday…and that was actually a pretty full week. For one, it was the one year anniversary of this blog. And, Saturday night, I got to babysit and even rock their 5 month old to sleep. He was a sweet baby! there other kids were great, though they were asleep almost the whole time.

— 2 —

I have so many blogging ideas in my head! I had a lovely realization about vocations this week after a conversation with a sister who was visiting campus, I also want to write about halloween, and my favorite posts from the last year. Hopefully I’ll get to one of those, at least, this weekend.

— 3 —

Next weekend is Fall Break! I’ve been looking forward to it for a while now. It’ll be great to just relax and have some down time. I’m going with a friend of mien from Iowa. We’re going to go shopping, she’s going to show me Costco (I’ve never been to one because they aren’t by my house), and just enjoy the mini vacation.

— 4 —

This weekend is Homecoming! We had the parade and dorm decoration judging today. Tomorrow is the traditional bed races, the football game, Saturday Vigil Mass, and the homecoming dance. I didn’t care for last year’s dance very much but this year it’s a 50’s themed sock hop. There’s going to be swing dancing and our swing club helped pick the music. So that should be fun.

— 5 —

What does the fox say? Is anyone else mildly disturbed by this music video? At first I was weirded out, then I was concerned (it just wouldn’t sit right with me), now I’m not entirely sure. Maybe it’s just a silly video? Thoughts??

— 6 —

We have wi-fi! The wi-fi in our suite has been terrible. I mentioned this to my dad and being the wonderful and technologically literate person that he is (he’s a computer programmer he kinda knows his stuff) he offered to send an access point. When it arrived, I on the other hand, was pretty clueless. I tend to think of myself as fairly tech savvy. But maybe I’m not. But that’s why I’ve got my dad and my brothers to call up and say “help! I don’t know what I’m doing!”
Anyways, it’s great to have full-functioning wi-fi. We can even get netflix on the wii. And yeah, we may have overdone it on the TV watching tonight. But hey! We are in college after all!

— 7 —

A friend mentioned Totus Tuus to me today. We were talking about summer internships and I mentioned wanting something in my diocese that was related to education. Totus Tuus was something she had done and enjoyed. She described the program to me: working with kids, teaching them about the faith, traveling around the diocese, being part of a team, praying constantly, discerning your vocation. So yeah…I’m going to have to look into that. 🙂 One thing that does concern me is the salary. It’s not a whole lot and I do need to be saving up. We’ll see what happens. Anyone out there ever been on a Totus Tuus team???

 

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary and check out the link-up!

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 10)

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— 1 —

It’s my 10th quick takes post! This would be a lot more exciting if I hadn’t taken those several weeks off…. Ok, over that.

— 2 —

Last week I mentioned I was going to be in a choir, for my friend’s high school graduation Mass. We had the Mass on Wednesday night and I think it went fairly well. It’s been a year since my own graduation Mass. A whole year. And overall, I’ve loved this year.

— 3 —

This week begins my family’s big re-roofing project…it’s going to be quite a project. I most likely won’t go up on the roof (and that’s fine with me), my dad and brothers will be doing most of the hard work.

— 4 —

A couple days ago I got to babysit. It was great to watch those little ones, play with them–and get paid for it! I would love for that to be my work for the summer, but we’ll see what God has in store…

— 5 —

I’ve also been making bread–yum! Homemade bread is yummy but it’s torturous smelling it while it cooks! We use a bread machine which takes almost all the work out of it. And all that goes into it is what we put in, there’s no need to add preservatives or artificial anything. My mom says it’s cheaper too. I don’t know about that, but I love eating it.

— 6 —

It’s been over 3 weeks since I got home…my summer is almost a quarter gone. It went by fast and I don’t think I’ve done much. It’s time I set myself to it and really got done those things I planned to do while I’m on break.

— 7 —

I miss college, I admit it. The schedule, not sharing my room with three people, being able to make decisions (even little ones) for myself, having stuff to do, having my friends around, being in such a downright Catholic place–it’s great! But I should be thankful that I’m home and with my family and look for the upsides in that. Still, I’ll be glad to get back.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

A Little Bit of Perspective…

So, I’ve been thinking about studying abroad a lot lately. The financial details are enough to make a person lose all hope. Especially, since I know I need that money for other things.

Then today I came across this on Facebook: Image

(In case you don’t know Britt Nicole is a Christian recording wrist. But that’s not important right now.)

When I see this, what do you think comes to mind? My dream of going to Europe!

Then I read some of the comments and what other people said was their biggest dream…

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Okay that last one’s just not fair…it’s too beautiful. (And FYI this was a guy talking.) These people all have beautiful dreams, many of them selfless in some way. They want to help others, they want to do God’s will…and me? I want to go to Ireland…because…I want to? I mean I think I could grow as a person and everything, but my dream is nothing like these people’s.

Then there’s this comment:

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Shouldn’t that be my dream too? To be a teacher and help kids? That’s why I’m in college right? Well, at least that’s what I’m studying.

Maybe it’s fine for me to dream of Ireland and hope it works. But I also need to be practical. And, really, an European adventure shouldn’t be the biggest goal of my life. God, family, service to others, love–these things are more important. And God of course needs to be #1. In my quest for a memorable and life-changing trip I must not lose sight of what matters most.

After One Year of College: What I’ve Learned, What I’ve Done

A lot of the time we think that college is almost a waste of money, that all it’s really good for is giving us a piece of paper that hypothetically helps us get a job. I don’t argue that college is expensive. And I certainly don’t argue that it can help you get a job. But there are a few things that college has done for me after just one year that go beyond a piece of paper. Here are some of them…

Things I’ve learned and/or realized in my first year of college:

  • Your friends make all the difference
  • Home is not perfect
  • I like to be in control of my own schedule and know what’s coming, also
  • My planner is my best friend
  • Some professors really care
  • There’s so much I should have done differently in high school
  • I like to have my mom to talk to
  • The city of Kansas City actually spans 2 states
  • What an ectopic pregnancy actually is
  • The 4 temperaments and my temperament as a high-functioning phlegmatic/melancholic
  • You can open your textbook once and still get an A in some classes (certainly doesn’t work in most classes)
  • I need to control my emotions more and grow in temperance, fortitude, and charity
  • I can ace an interview
  • I have the spirit of an English major
  • I don’t have to write fiction, I can live without it
  • I have a tendency to let my friends distract me when I should be studying
  • Gummy bears can be motivation for studying
  • 5 hours really isn’t enough sleep
  • I love Nanny 911
  • English majors can be kinda eccentric or pretty quiet
  • Follow your dream
  • Certain things are worth getting up at 7am on a Saturday
  • I need to investigate vaccines more
  • You can get to know people pretty well pretty fast (like you’ll understand the meaning of an eyebrow raise after 8 mos.)
  • I rely on my phone, a lot
  • I’m actually a good student
  • The “Catholic bubble” can be dangerous
  • Just how stupid and non-loving most movie romances are
  • I don’t want TV to be the center of my house
  • Nutella is yummy
  • Kids need structure
  • People-first language
  • Get down to your student’s eye level
  • PTSD symptoms can be found in urban youth
  • “Disability is a natural part of the human experience”
  • A little bit about ABA therapy for children with autism
  • I’ve learned to let go a little bit
  • Special education really interests me
  • When it comes to the grounds for a solid friendship the deeper issues like family and morals matter much more than the shallow ones like what type of movies you enjoy
  • I go to a pretty amazing college 🙂
  • BC is where God meant me to be

Things I’ve done in my first year of college

  • Been about 3 yards away from Paul Ryan
  • Aced an interview
  • Went to my first March for Life, which means I also
  • Survived a 26 hour bus ride to the March, and
  • Visited D.C. for the first time, and
  • Saw the Library of Congress
  • I Saw Rick Santorum speak
  • Got onto Pinterest
  • Heard Immaculee Ilibagiza speak
  • Stayed in a hotel with some great girl friends
  • Went on a trip to Kansas City’s Plaza shopping district
  • Went to the Nelson-Atkins art museum
  • Went to the National World War I Memorial
  • Successfully wore a beanie for a week
  • Lived independently
  • Donated blood for the first time
  • Went 48 hours without my cell phone, Pinterest, or Facebook
  • Persevered in my dream to go to Europe (so far…)
  • Used nail stickers
  • Calculated expenses
  • Declared my major in Elementary Education with concentrations in English and Special Ed
  • Nurtured my faith-life
  • Saw Matt Maher in concert
  • Saw Audrey Assad in concert
  • Prayed outside of an abortion clinic
  • Saw Archbishop Naumann of KCK at least 3 times, probably more
  • Got on the Dean’s List first semester
  • Got on the President’s List second semester
  • Made it to daily Mass a lot
  • Went to a emotional panel of post-abortive women
  • Was signed up for an hour of Adoration each week of second semester
  • Was offered a position with campus ministry and the scholarship to go with it
  • Successfully helped out at Baccalaureate Mass; our work got a resounding approval from our chaplain/boss
  • Heard Leah Darrow speak
  • Had my first real job
  • Went swing dancing
  • Learned the nightclub two step dance
  • Voted for President
  • Stayed up to watch part of the St. Kateri canonization Mass
  • Was a tutor/teacher’s aid as part of my Intro to Ed class
  • Completed a 10 page paper
  • Hosted a prospie (prospective student)
  • Started a blog 😉
  • Was part of a chorale group
  • Rested in the peace of knowing BC is where I was meant to be

I always knew college would be about a lot more than just book-learning for me. But I don’t think I realized how much I would accomplish and learn and do. And this is only after one year!

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 5) I’m Back!

7quicktakes1

— 1 —

I’m back!! The last month or so I’ve neglected these 7 quick takes posts as well as this blog generally speaking. But now I’m back. And as the school year end and summer begins I’ll hopefully have more time to blog away. On to my life.

— 2 —

I gave blood this week! On Thursday my college was hosting a blood drive so I went in and gave blood. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. It wasn’t very hard at all. I did feel some side effects afterwards, but I also skipped breakfast the next day.

— 3 —

 I love my college. This week at Benedictine we saw the biannual Jam for Lamb musical talent show (some acts of which were hilarious) as well as the first annual Color Run and the 30th year of Springfest. A Color Run, if you don’t know (which is ok because I didn’t at first), is a 5k during which people throw colorful powder all over you. A couple of my friends did it and enjoyed it. At Jam for the Lamb we had an awesome performance by the 4 guys who will be joining seminaries this fall. It was their send-off. So proud that my school has *4* future-seminarians.

— 4 —

Finals are coming! *cue scary music*  I actually have my first this Tuesday. It’s a biology lab practical, and well, we’ll see how that goes. After that I’ve got 3 tests, a take home project (in addition to the test for that class), and 3 papers (one of which is in addition to a traditional test). There will be lots of popcorn and chocolate these next 10 days.

— 5 —

Summer is coming! *cue fun music* In two weeks I’ll be home with my family. I’ll hopefully find a job and spend my summer working, hanging out with friends, and doing lots of reading. (I actually have a potential nannying job, so please keep that in your prayers.)

— 6 —

College Ministry. This fall I’ll be working with my college’s ministry team as the editor of the Sunday bulletin. I’m really excited! I’ve been shadowing the person who has it now and getting to know the position. As part of it I also write the petitions and help out at Sunday Mass, as well as schedule people who volunteer for Eucharistic Adoration slots.

— 7 —

Time for the Catholic meme of the day from catholicmemes.com

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For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!