7 Quick Takes (Vol. 41) Struggs, a Rant, the End of the Semester, and Maybe I’ll Miss School

— 1 —

It’s been a while since I did a Quick Takes Post…or much blogging at all for that matter. Frankly, I’ve been lacking motivation for a lot of things lately. Including class. No, I didn’t skip. But I wanted to…oh, how I wanted to.

For an overview of my life lately see 25 Signs You’re So Over This Semester. It’s freaky accurate. No I haven’t resorted to dry shampoo or completely stopped taking notes. But microwave food? Yep. No desire to clean? Check. Massive procrastination? This blog post is evidence of that I think.

— 2 — 

This semester could end today and that would be totally ok. I’ll take my grades as is and leave for the Summer. Give me some time to recharge and I’ll be back in August. But please let it end. I’ve came to a breaking point this week. After staying up until 5am watching the double canonization on Saturday I stayed up until 2:30 on Monday night writing a paper. I managed to drag myself out of bed in time for 10:50am Spanish test yesterday. But promptly took a nap that afternoon. This has been…a struggs week. A massively struggs week. If you don’t know (i.e. aren’t from kansas or the surrounding area) struggs means struggles, struggling. It’s a word I’ve adopted since coming to school here, mostly because it perfectly summarizes the feelings of despair, frustration, and problems in one syllable. So yes, this week has been struggs. It’s also been crazy. I’m pretty sure every one of my suitemates is done with this semester, some more than me. There have been interesting conversations at 12:30 at night and more than one evening of Walmart adventure this week.

— 3 —

Moving on to Summer…after a week at home I’ll be working with the Little Sister of the Poor. I’m getting really excited and started looking up things to do in the city I’ll be in. I know it’s going to be great! And great for me. For the record, though, I’m pretty sure that life is not what I’m called to. Don’t worry, I’ve thought about it. A lot.

— 4 —

A funny thing happened today. So, to completely switch gears, I had my Spanish Oral exam today. After my professor commented on my knack for the language and said she hoped I would take more Spanish. Then, as I was leaving her office, I ran into my history professor. He randomly asked me (first thing out of his mouth) what my major was. I told him education. He went on to say “because you’re really good at history” and asked if I had considered a minor.
*sigh*
If only there were enough credits in a semester…Actually, if money was no object I would gladly stay in school an extra year, or maybe even two. I’d also study abroad. The fact is though, that I have to be realistic. (Though I might just check what would happen if I did switch my major.)

I just hope that years from now my future students will realize that I could have majored in many things but chose to serve them and educate them on not only reading and math but also on how to be proper humans beings. I hope they’ll recognize that what I chose to dedicate my life to was them and their education. I hope they see that with my gifts an abilities I tried to make our education system better for them and children throughout the country.

*end of rant*

— 5 —

My professors are also part of the reason I love this school so much. After my Spanish oral exam I stayed and chatted with my professor for a moment. She has proved to be one of my favorite teachers. In fact, Spanish class is one of the bright spots of my day. She’s great, my classmates are great, and the subject is one I like. I didn’t like this professor at first, but she has really grown on me. I find that there’s a few teachers like that. In the end, I value the lessons they taught me (and I don’t mean the subject) and come to appreciate them.

I can only hope I’m as good a teacher someday.

— 6 —

Speaking of this school…our dean wrote a blog post about her experience and how the community here has helped her as she deals with a trauma in the family. The community. That’s probably takes second place only to the faith life on my list of things I love about my school.

— 7 —

So…what started out as an “I’m so done with this semester” whine-fest turned into “I really do love this school”. Welp, that’s college for you!

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary! Go check out the other posts in the link up!

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 40) St. Benedict, Change, Silence, and Catholic Ramblings

— 1 —

Back to school…back to the old grind… It was a bit difficult the first day or so back at school. But it’s actually gotten easier. I’ve been getting up with more time to get ready in the morning. I’m trying to get back on top of classes and am trying out some new study tricks for Spanish. Philosophy is still not my thing though. And I don’t think it ever will be. But the fact that it’s difficult for me to translate what Aristotle is saying  is not something I really care about.

— 2 — 

Today is the Solemnity of the Passing of St. Benedict at least for benedictines. And since I go to a benedictine school and am benediction by extension it is for me too. Which means today was a solemnity. On a Friday. In Lent. I had chicken for dinner and sung alleluia unashamed.
I’m really starting to love benedictine spirituality as I learn more about it. The community is a huge part of it for me. We have a class on specifically benedictine spirituality here. I might take it some time.

— 3 —

Why I like change and my roommate loves stability. My roommate and I were discussing this morning our thoughts on change. I personally love the idea of adventure, new places, and new things to do. She on the other hand loves the idea of stability. We realized that, in a way, it may be because of our childhoods. She moved around a lot while I lived in the same house my whole life. It’s incredible what effects your childhood can have on you.

— 4 —

I’ve really been thinking about silence lately. The other day I was also thinking about music.It used to be you would get dressed up and go to a concert where you did nothing but listen and appreciate and analyze the music. Nowadays, it seems we often fall into the trap (myself included) of using music as a distraction, a way to block out the silence. Because let’s face it, silence, for whatever reason is scary. We don’t want to to have to think about the difficult things. We don’t want to consider what our minds will bring to us or how God will speak to us. So we block out His voice and even our own thoughts. Because that’s the thing, as someone reminded me today, God only speaks in silence.
It’s difficult but I know that I need to find and embrace silence of mind most of all. I need to let go of all the worries, the plans, the internal, eternal to do list–and be silent and still.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
Is that we can only know He is God, if we are still?

— 5 —

Today is National Down Syndrome Day. I loved this list on Buzzfeed of reasons why people with down syndrome are pretty awesome to have in our world.
Also, this is a great video addressed to an expectant mother:

From this article.

— 6 —

The Pope and President. So, apparently President Obama will be visiting Pope Francis soon. And apparently last time Obama visited a pope that pope gave him a church document on bioethics. Just some tidbits to consider.

— 7 —

Also, this just makes me sad. And angry. But mostly sad. A group of nuns has come out in support of the HHS mandate. It makes me sad to see these women who the faithful should be able to look to as spiritual mothers aren’t living up their roles but are in fact acting completely counter to the church and her teachings. These are women I should be able to look up to as women of faith and role models in the spiritual life. But, they are only human. My only recourse right now is to pray for them and ask you to do the same. Pray for all our sisters and nuns and religious. There are so many good orders and sisters and nuns out there, and yet examples like this are unfairly casting them in a poor light. The Little Sisters of the Poor are fighting against the HHS mandate in order to avoid violating their consciences and to speak up for religious freedom. I just wish all religious and all the laity would too.

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary! Go check out the other posts in the link up!

November Goals

As always, I’m back to review this last month of goals and set my new goals for this month.

October Review

1) Keep to my bedtime

Uh…yeah, no. I did ok some nights, but honestly I’ve never been good about keeping to a consistent bedtime. Overall though I think I was better about getting enough sleep this month than previously. But, on Thursday I was up until 1:30.

2) Eat breakfast every day

Hahaha. I did a little better. If microwaving a frozen waffle and wolfing it down counts as breakfast. But I didn’t even do that every day.

3) Pray every day

No comment.

4) Use my budget

Nope.

5) Draw

No.

Wow. I failed every single goal. That’s impressive.

November Goals

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

This is to help me eat breakfast more often. Also, I need to get up with enough time to eat too.

2) Read through Part 3 of Rediscovering Catholicism

I’m working my way through it in spurts. I read some in the summer and read a bunch last week over Fall Break. Now I want to be more consistent. But I’m trying to be realistic. Part 3 is about 100 pages. So that’s an average of 3 pages per day. I also have the weekends and Thanksgiving Break to read larger chunks.

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

I’ve been thinking about what I want to do next summer: Totus Tuus? Internship with my diocese? Education internship somewhere? I need to do some thinking about this and get in contact with people.

4) Do an exercise video once a week on Saturdays

Along with Zumba classes twice a week, this will give me 3 exercises every week. The plan is to do this on Saturday with some of my suitemates. Thanksgiving weekend doesn’t count.

5) Make Spanish flashcards

I’d like to do better in that class and since I got back from break I’ve been feeing a little lost in the vocab. So, flashcards I think would be a good idea.

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

I have a tendency to start things the day they’re due. Or the night before, if it’s due in the morning. For ministry-related stuff this sometimes means I’m stressed out the day of.  Hopefully I can remedy that by planning ahead and getting a jump on things.

7) Take my temperature every morning as part of charting

So, charting hasn’t been going so good lately. I have not been on top of it at all.

8) Go to Thursday Mass

I have an adoration slot right after the 12:05 Mass, so it makes sense to go to that Mass. Also, I need to go to a Mass where I’m not an assistant sacristan so that I can appreciate and absorb it.

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

I have not been good about blogging lately and I’d like to do more.

 

Check back in next month to see how I did!

7 Quick Takes Vol. 23

— 1 —

Well the government is shut down and apparently so are priests. I haven’t read all of this article but the headline says it all. As part of the shutdown, some Catholic military priest are not allowed to say Mass. There’s so much wrong with this. First, this an obvious infringement on religious liberty and first amendment rights. There’s no sugar-coating it. When people aren’t even allowed to worship because of something the government does I call that denying freedom of religion. They’re not even trying to hide the fact anymore (except for the fact that you probably won’t find this story in most major newspapers). This can not be said to have anything to do with protecting the freedoms of others, this does nothing but deny these priests the right to minister to their flock.

— 2 —

I did something stupid this week…I decided to post on Planned Parenthood’s facebook wall. I know lots of people do this but for me at least it didn’t go terribly well. I was unprepared. I also wound up discussing how insurance works which I don’t really know. So yeah, that was interesting. In the midst of this discussion they somehow decided that I hated children which I find extremely ironic. It was frustrating not being able to refute their arguments or make them understand. But the goal should really be to have a frank, respectful conversation and present a case for your side. It would be great to help someone see the truth. But maybe all that can be done is to plant seeds.

— 3 —

But then, on Thursday, there was sidewalk counselor training. I wasn’t able to go to all of it because I had to work, but I did get to be there for some of the training. Sidewalk counseling is something I approach timidly. I’m naturally a fairly quite person (except when I’m passionate about something) so I’m a little afraid I guess.

— 4 —

I have to get up early tomorrow. A group of us are leaving campus at 5:15am to sidewalk counsel at a local abortion clinic. I’ll probably just observe this week and see what I think. The woman from Texas Coalition for Life who gave the talk will be coming with us so I’d love to watch someone who’s as experienced as she is.

— 5 —

On another note, I love Spanish. It’s not my best class right now. But it’s going fine and I like it. I do need to study more for it. I think some flashcards may be in order.

— 6 —

Hm, I should get to bed soon…so just know that in general life is good though it’s had some rough patches this last week.

— 7 —

Now enjoy this picture. I took it on the top of Pike’s Peak while I was in Colorado. Apparently the view from that mountain is what inspired this:

America the Beautiful

 

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

7 Quick Takes Vol. 22

— 1 —

Another week that flew by! It’s been another quick week. Somethings I did in the last 7 days include writing a letter in Spanish, and completing a bulletin for this Sunday (I do that every week though). And now it’s the weekend!!!

— 2 —

I also got to teach a mini lesson this week to 2 other students in my math for elementary teachers class. The others talked about the roman and egyptian number systems while I explained the Babylonian number system (pretty poorly I might add).  I’m glad though that I’m getting this experience before I go out into the real world of teaching. Now I know.

— 3 —

I’ve also been working my campus job, which involves mostly doing homework and watching people take tests. It’s a fairly chill job but the responsibility of it was pressed upon me. After all, we have to make sure no one is cheating.

— 4 —

Speaking of responsibility…yeah. I’ve been fairly irresponsible lately. I don’t care as much about keeping on top of all my reading for my classes as I did last year. I’ve been forgetful. I’ve slept in (I always do that though). It’s just not been good. I wonder if it’s because I’m on ministry and use that as an excuse. But I think I’m just lazy.

— 5 —

My prayer life is something I’ve been working on (kind of). It’s not as good as I would like and I’m having trouble making myself pray. But when I do it’s great. I do lectio divina in adoration and it’s perfect for me. God speaks to me in that time and I feel His comfort. I think that’s His way of encouraging me to pray more. Hopefully it works.

— 6 —

Benedictine’s Oktoberfest is tonight! I know when people say Oktoberfest we usually think of beer but that is not what this is about. We do pretzels and bavarian potato salad and cake and I think bratwursts, so, German food. Different dorms do different foods and you go around and eat what you like. Last year there were also games: 3-legged races and such.

— 7 —

I have a headache. Sad but true. I’ve had it all day. It’s one of those weird pressure headaches. I might be coming down with a cold. Actually, I’m pretty sure I have one. I think I’ll sleep in tomorrow and get some much needed rest.

The weekend is here! Time for fun, friends, and sleep.

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

2013 Goals: June Review/July Goals

Well, another month has come and gone and the year is half over. (Doesn’t it feel like it just started??) Anyways now it’s time to take a look back at the past month, the goals I had, and how I did and to look forward and plan 5 new goals for July.

My 5 goals for June:

1)Say at least one decade of the rosary every day
Um, I guess I really didn’t do too good at this. I got maybe 10 days out of the month. But overall, I think my prayer life is improving.

2)Finish “How to Find Your Soulmate” and at least one other book–and write reviews for both
Yes and no. I finished Soulmate and you can read my review/reflection here. Bus I haven’t finished my second book. I did start “Rediscovering Catholicism” by Matthew Kelly but I haven’t gotten very far yet.

3)Make a decision about Spanish next semester
This took a back burner as the month went on. I think I am going to take Spanish though. It will be good for me, if I become a teacher and I’ve always wanted to learn.

4)Apply to more jobs, and get at least one interview (hopefully)
I did one better. I found a job and have been working at the cafe for over 2 weeks. You can read more about how I got the job here and about the awkward intersection between faith and my coworkers here.

5)Refresh my math skills (or lack thereof) in prep for my math for teachers class in the Fall
This one is a big no. I haven’t even cracked the book this month. Although, come to think of it, I have been doing math at work…so does that count?

BONUS) Write that letter to my future self
Yeah, no.

Okay, so in all seriousness I didn’t do too good this month. Hopefully I can apply myself more in the weeks ahead. There’s still a number of things that I meant to do this summer that I haven’t gotten around to. And for me, summer ends in just over 6 weeks. So July, it’s you and me and we are going to do this. 🙂

July goals:

1)Work on the following for school: Spanish and math

2)Write essays for application to education department 

3)Get my driving permit

4)Finish “Rediscovering Catholicism” and one other book. Write reviews for both.

5)Write that letter!!

So there we have it. Hopefully I can do better this month than last. It looks like a few of these will require diligence and consistency. Some scheduling is probably in order to help keep me on top of the school-related assignments and possible the reading. Only, I know I don’t stick to schedules without consequences looming over me or rewards being held out like a proverbial carrot. So, this month, I’m going to add a reward or consequence to each goal.

1)Work on the following for school: Spanish and math
If I do…
and get far enough, I get to spend a lazy day wearing comfy clothes, enjoying myself, and relaxing

2)Write essays for application to education department
If I don’t…I can’t go on Twitter for a week or until I’m done writing the essays (whichever comes first)

3)Get my driving permit
If I don’t…(through my own fault) I must tell the whole long blog post on why I can’t drive yet (I’m pretty sure I’m going to get it though).

4)Finish “Rediscovering Catholicism” and one other book (probably the book on St. Kateri). Write reviews for both.
If I do…I get to read the “Freedom Writers Diary” (which I’m looking forward to) next in my Summer Reading.

5)Write that letter!
If I don’t…I can’t eat  chocolate for a week (ouch!)

So there we are. 5 goals. 2 rewards. 3 consequences. 1 month.

Assessment of 2013 Goals: May. And New June Goals

Here I am again! It’s that time again: time to take a look back on the last month and see what progress (if any) I’ve made on my goals for this year. As always, I’m here to look back, evaluate, keep myself accountable, and spur myself on.

But first…

Life changes. And our goals for life change too. Sometimes you need to re-evaluate.

I’ve noticed several bloggers do monthly goals: picking new things every month and reviewing themselves at the end of the month. I think that format may be something for me to try. It would be a way to keep things fresh, add new goals when I need to, and break down denser goals into more manageable bits.

I did, however, tell myself I would stick to the 13 goals I made at New Year’s, so I have a rule regarding this new goal system format thing.

All of the original 13 goals still stand and will stand unless they are now or in the future become obsolete

 

So here are the original 13, and the progress I’ve made on them this month.

1) donate blood.  Did this in April! And I recently got my donor card, so I actually know what bloodtype I am.

2) get my license.  Nope. That’s a bit more complicated than I thought it would be. It’s contingent on things that I don’t get to decide. But it should still happen by the end of the summer.

3) write a letter to myself to open in the future. Haven’t done this either. And why not? I really should just do this. This is probably a good time to do it. I’m done with my freshman year of college, I just had a birthday… I should do this.

4) figure out how I can study/travel abroad. I’ve actually been working on this one. But the “how” has turned more to “if”. The cost is particularly not helpful. I’ve made a spreadsheet to compare different abroad programs with what I would pay at BC. There’s one in Northern Ireland that’s looking promising, just not so sure about going it alone.

5) work on learning Spanish (unless I’ve chosen Italian). This depends on where and whether I study abroad. Of course, I could still start on Spanish. But I haven’t.

6) create melted crayon art. Nope. Fall project with my suitmates when we get back to campus??

7) go on a shopping adventure. This month I actually did have a fun shopping trip with a friend. But I also want to do something more, like take my sister into the city for the day, just us girls. But we’ll see.

8) get a summer job. Working on it….

9) take a summer class or 2. I actually decided I didn’t need to take any classes this summer. So this goal is obsolete.

10) read 5 new books. I’ve started one. Look for a review of “How to Find Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul” by Jason and Crystalina Evert soon. And look at other books I’m hoping to read over on my summer reading list.

11) visit a religious community/ go on a retreat with one.  Nope.

12) write more. I’ve actually been blogging a lot more since being home. As for fiction writing…well, I was having some writer’s block. It’s hard to get back into it and actually, I’m not sure I really want to.

13) be a better person.

a) pray more. For this one, I think it will be a bit of hard work and diligence before I’m in a good habit. I really should put in the effort, especially since I have so much free time right now.

b) be more diligent but don’t take things so seriously. This is one I’ll have to work on for a while, maybe always to maintain the balance. But using my rose-colored glasses as I look at the past, I think maybe I have gotten better at this.

c) laugh more, worry less. I worry. Always.

 

Now here are my 5 goals for June:

1)Say at least one decade of the rosary every day

2)Finish “How to Find Your Soulmate” and at least one other book–and write reviews for both

3)Make a decision about Spanish next semester

4)Apply to more jobs, and get at least one interview (hopefully)

5)Refresh my math skills (or lack thereof) in prep for my math for teachers class in the Fall

BONUS) Write that letter to my future self

As you might be able to tell, most of these goals are taken from the 13 goals–some are just more manageable pieces of the larger goal.

I think I’ll like this. Instead of the same old 13 big goals I’ve had all year I now have 5 or 6 more manageable goals in a fresh, new format. I’m going to put these on a electronic sticky note on my laptop so they’ll be there all month as a reminder.

We’ll see how I do at the end of the month…

Assessment of 2013 Goals: March

Another month has come and gone and it’s time for me to see how I did regarding my goals for this year. March saw both Spring and Easter breaks, a warming up in the weather, and the beginning of spring stircrazy-ness.

On to the goals. I figure I’ll go through them one by one and see what my thoughts are and/or if I’ve gotten anything done towards the goal.

1) donate blood.

Hasn’t happened. Probably won’t until next semester.

2) get my license.

Hopefully over the summer.

3) write a letter to myself to open in the future.

Haven’t done this yet. Though it would probably take all of half an hour.

4) figure out how I can study/travel abroad.

This is an interesting one. Over spring break I did a 4 year plan (well, 3 actually since that’s all I have left). I thought it would be possible (so long as I just did an elementary ed major and didn’t add special ed). But with my school’s Honors Program that I’m part of I’m not sure how it will work out. A friend also has an aunt in Italy who could possibly hook me up with an family in need of au pair (something to consider).

5) work on learning Spanish (unless I’ve chosen Italian).

I am officially enrolled in Beginning Spanish for the Fall 2013 semester. Also, I might work with the Rosetta Stone Spanish program my family has over the summer.

6) create melted crayon art.

Haven’t done this yet.

7) go on a shopping adventure.

Hm…maybe with my good friend form back home over the summer (again).

8) get a summer job.

Looking at a few options. Any suggestions?

9) take a summer class or 2.

I’m also officially enrolled in World Regional Geography for the Summer 2013 semester-thing.

10) read 5 new books.

Nope.

11) visit a religious community/ go on a retreat with one.

Haven’t really. I did go to the vocations fair on campus earlier this month though.

12) write more.

Yeah…

13) be a better person.

a) pray more.

no comment.

b) be more diligent but don’t take things so seriously.

Maybe…yeah, maybe making some progress.

c) laugh more, worry less.

I still worry. But maybe a teeny smidgen less, a little, maybe.

Well, there you have it. Looks like I’m going to have a pretty goal-driven summer. The year is a quarter over, but that means there’s still three quarters to go.