7 Quick Takes (Vol. 39) The Travel Bug, Reading, and an Unproductive Spring Break

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary!

— 1 —

Spring Break has not been productive, at least not as productive as I was hoping. I’ve done pretty much no homework. Honestly, school seems like a dream. Tonight and tomorrow though, I will have to do some work before I head back on Sunday. But I really don’t have any motivation to do so. I did however, observe in a school yesterday morning. First grade. It was great. It reminded me why I want to be a teacher. Past all the red tape, and the political correctness, and all my notions, there’s teaching. That’s why I chose this major and this career: to help children.

— 2 — 

Am I an introvert? I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I need quiet time. And by that I mean time for my mind to be quiet–no computer shining in my eyes, no worries pressing on me. Just me and something simple (prayer, doing dishes). There comes a point when I’m sick of all the noise. And I just want to get away from it and recharge. But does that make me an introvert? Or just an extrovert who like, everyone, need quiet time? Maybe I’m just somewhere in between. Regardless of how I label it though, I appreciate that I’ve done at least one thing productive this week and made this realization. It’s important for me to recharge and how I do that is in the quiet.

— 3 —

That being said, the travel bug is back. I have an adventurous streak which I’m just learning to recognize. Particularly, I want to travel. I have for years. When I realized I couldn’t study abroad I thought I’d set that dream aside for now or at least put it in the back of my mind. But then I was reminded why I want to go recently, and so yeah, it’s back, or I guess it never went away. I realize that I won’t be going abroad any time soon, but someday I hope to.

— 4 —

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The fact that I liked the King and I at age 12 should have given me a hint about a lot of things actually. The movie was one I enjoyed when I was younger. It was one of my first experiences with musicals. I found a cassette (yes a cassette) of the soundtrack first and listened to it on repeat. It maybe wasn’t my favorite, but I liked it. The themes that connect to my own life I noticed later. First, there’s the travel and adventure part of it: a proper English woman moves to a foreign country where she knows no one to start a new chapter in her life. Sound like an adventurous streak? Then there’s the fact that she’s a teacher. Because, well, I’m going to be a teacher, she was a teacher. Also, Anna loved her students. That’s why she stayed (twice!), because she loved those kids. Last, Anna, though a softy, was also a woman with determination or perhaps stubbornness. That another thing I can see in myself.

— 5 —

Lent! It’s been almost 10 days since Ash Wednesday. I’ve broken at least one of my lenten resolutions so far, maybe two. And the third is one I would have to set out to break. I have been home for most of Lent though. My days flow differently at home. We’ll see what happens when I get back to school next week.

— 6 —

Pope Francis was elected a year ago yesterday. Where was I a year ago? Check out my admittedly enthusiastic post from that day. It’s cool to have a blog to look back on my thoughts and feelings and memories. Sitting in that auditorium my whole body was filled with adrenaline. It was a definitely an exciting day. I also wrote a post the other day about my thoughts on what Pope Francis has done in just one year.

— 7 —

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Reading. I finished Insurgent yesterday. And of course, it ended on a cliffhanger. I’ve got a number of things on my reading list beside Allegiant too. I came by a copy of Four Signs of the Dynamic Catholic the other day. And I have Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey to reread. I could also borrow a copy of Tale of Two Cities from my mom’s library to reread. Still, I kind of want to read something new and exciting. I may add all these great books on Christianity and life alongside the classics on my list of books I want to read. But in the end I have a soft spot for the popular, contemporary, dystopian, fight-the-evil-government YA books. At least right now. …said the English literature minor. 😛

As always, I’ll be back next friday with more quick takes!

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

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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…

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.

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 8)

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— 1 —

I forgot to say last week…I had an interesting experience during my layover in Chicago. I got to help a foreign lady use a pay phone. Random, I know. I walked past the gate where my flight would leave a few hours later and continued down the terminal almost aimlessly. Then she pulled me aside and asked for my help. It was interesting, not least because I myself had never used a pay phone. She and I managed to communicate and I managed to understand the sign enough to place the call. Looking back, it was really cool. Not everyday you get to do a random act of kindness at the airport.

— 2 —

Abby and I.  Earlier this week Abby Johnson, a great leader in the pro-life movement, shared this on her Facebook:

Abby Johnson Plane

So while she evangelized this way, I did my more subtle though arguably less impactful assistance. What I did wasn’t much, and it wasn’t the biggest thing I could have done I guess. But I think we all evangelize in different ways. We each have different talents. Abby Johnson has the talent of being a bold, courageous, no-nonsense kind of person.

— 3 —

This week was my birthday. I celebrated by going out with some lovely and hilarious ladies. My mom and godmother took me to Mass (yes we’re just that Catholic), lunch, and shopping at Hobby Lobby and Barnes and Noble. Crafts/decorating and books what could be better?

— 4 —

Today I’ve been working on calculating how much it would be to study abroad. It’s not as much as I thought I calculated earlier in the week…but that’s not including travel in Europe. Also, do I really want to go Italy and compartmentalize myself to only a few days in Ireland? But, as I was reminded this week, I have to be realistic. Money is money. And I can only afford so much. Moreover, do I really want to be by myself in Europe? Probably not for a full semester.

— 5 —

Still in need of a summer job. I honestly haven’t been working on the search this week, but tomorrow I’ll get back into it. We’ll see what comes of it… Prayers please!

— 6 —

The offensiveness of “handicapped” signs. I never would have noticed this before my intro to special education class. But today we were driving down the road and I saw a sign. The top had your typical handicapped symbol:

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on a yellow sign and beneath that were the words “deaf child”. Well, here’s the thing….deaf children aren’t in wheelchairs normally, and if they are it’s not because of their deafness. Yet, generally when someone says “handicapped” what do we think? We think of wheelchairs. Why? Many who people who would be considered “handicapped” or who have a disability are not in wheel chairs: the deaf, the blind, those with learning disabilities or autism. Some might say that this symbol is easily recognizable and so when you’re flying down that residential street at 45 mph this let’s you know something’s up. Sure, I grant you. But what does it let you know is up? If you don’t have time to read the words you can only speculate as to whether the child represented is actually in a wheelchair, or if they’re blind, or have autism. In certain situations a general broad brush symbol may be necessary, but is it necessary here? Is this sign helping to perpetuate an inaccurate stereotype?

— 7 —

I’m on Twitter! Follow me to get the latest from The Beginning of Wisdom, as well as cool pro-life articles, and whatever else I decide to tweet. You can see my latest and sign up to follow at the right (and a bit up) —–>

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 7) Home Sweet Home

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— 1 —

It’s been a long couple days. Friday was the Baccalaureate Mass that I helped out with. It was kind of crazy. There were over 1,300 people. I was on my feet for 6 hours. But the ministry team I’m part of also had some good bonding time and we pulled it off as smoothly as we could. Then, yesterday I got to see (via simulcast since not everyone could fit into the gym) a lot of Benedictine’s graduation including Paul Ryan’s commencement speech. We left before it finished, to head out to the airport. 2 planes, a 3 hour layover, and a chicken sandwich later my mom picked me up from the airport and we drove home.

— 2 —

So I’m home. My first year of college is over and done with. I’m a quarter of the way through college. Yikes. (When I get to be half way through I really won’t believe it). Now I’m here with my family and, well, pretty exhausted (see take number 1).

— 3 —

But the summer is about to start.  It will be different being home but hopefully I can get a lot done. I’ll have to look into working. I’m planning on reading and blogging more. I’ll also be preparing for some of the harder classes I’m taking this fall (such as math). And of course, spending lots of time with family and friends.

— 4 —

Goals for this summer… so obviously I have some vague plans and ideas, but let me give you and myself a list of concrete goals this summer, some of which will be taken from my 2013 goals.

  • read 5 books
  • blog often (I’d like to do 2 posts a week including a 7 quick takes, but it will depend on the rest of my schedule…)
  • figure out studying abroad (as much as possible)
  • fun times with my friends
  • quality family time

— 5 —

Speaking of goals…I never wrote my review of 2013 goals for April. I honestly forgot, and then I had a lot to do…but I’ll be writing a quick something on that shortly.

— 6 —

Speaking of Paul Ryan…It’s funny that I was in Kansas when I stood just a few yards from my district’s representative. While many were thrilled to have him speak others claimed his budget didn’t line up with catholic social teaching. He gave a good speech explaining his views on the matter and how certain things are non-negotiable while others require prudential judgment. I won’t comment on his recent announcement regarding gay adoption except to say that I don’t believe that is the best environment for children to live in because God designed families to have a mother and a father and in that situation children thrive.

— 7 —

Happy Mother’s Day! You women do more than many people realize. To all the young moms, older moms, single moms, working moms, stay at home moms, grand moms, those who long to be moms, those who were once moms…thank you. You impact your children in so many ways and so deeply. They are your legacy. And a thank you especially to my mom for all she’s done for me and my siblings as the heart of our family.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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.

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 4) St. Patrick’s Day

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— 1 —

I love being Irish!!! And I love that we have day where we all celebrate the legendary St. Patrick and Ireland, the country of which he is the patron saint. We dress in green, we listen to Celtic Woman, we pretend we like corned beef and cabbage. It’s all a bunch of fun. I won’t say it’s accurate but it is an opportunity for those of us who actually are Irish to celebrate our heritage and for Catholics to celebrate a legendary saint. That being said…sometimes people move away from celebrating a saint or a a culture and wind up secularizing the whole thing. St. Patrick’s Day is not about getting drunk or seeing how much green you can wear at one time (though that last could be rather fun).

— 2 —

St. Patrick is credited with converting the people of Ireland to Catholicism. He is said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland as well. For his bio check out this link.

— 3 —

Ah, Ireland. If I ever travel abroad, I want to make sure I see it. I think this vintage travel poster I found on Pinterest pretty much sums it up:

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— 4 —

How Google is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day:

google St. Patrick's Day 2013

— 5 —

Now, something non-St. Patrick’s Day related. I nearly died. Stupid me. I was crossing the road and cars were coming from the left. It was just after Mass and there was plenty of people leaving. There was a small break in traffic so I ran across the road. However, unbeknownst to me, a car was coming from the right. I heard it honk and stopped short whipping my head around to see blue. I was inches away from a bright blue sedan. I survived. Thank you guardian angel!

— 6 —

I know last week I promised a post on chivalry. Obviously that didn’t happen. I’d like to say for certain I’ll get it up this week but honestly I’m not making any promises. It will take a bit to write this one.

— 7 —

Lastly, let me leave you with a slightly more religious St. Patrick’s Day take:

~The Irish Blessing~

May the road rise to meet you

May the wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

May the rains fall soft upon your fields

And until we meet again

May the Lord hold you in the palm of His Hand

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Assessment of 2013 Goals: February

Goals February 2013To start, you may have noticed I’ve created a new graphic. The plum-on-sea-green was bothering me.

Now, February…it may be that it’s only 28 days, but really it seems this month has flown by fast. It’s already March. With all this snow it doesn’t quite feel like it. But it is.

And it’s time to look back and see how many and how well I’ve accomplished my 2013 goals.

Thing is, I don’t think I’ve accomplished many of these goals. I can go through numbers 1-12 without much more than a “nope”. But I’d like to think I’ve made some progress on goal 13) b) be more diligent but don’t take things so seriously, in that I’ve been using my planner a lot more. But I do still procrastinate.

There are a few things I’ve worked towards but not many. Today I was actually figuring out what classes I’d need to take if I was to do a special ed major in addition to my elementary ed. In a way this involves considering goals 4) figure out how I can study/travel abroad, 5)work on learning Spanish, and 9) take a summer classor 2.

So far, I’m really not doing a very good job at these goals. I imagine myself somehow accomplishing everything all at once. And maybe that’s a silly dream. But maybe I’m getting down on myself too early. After all, it’s only February… I guess we’ll see.

Assessment of 2013 Goals: January

Goals January 2013Ok. So it’s been a month since New Year’s and its time to look at my goals for the year and see which ones I’ve accomplished, if any. I said i would post to this blog at the end of every month (in this case, shortly there after) and assess my progress. It was a way of keeping me accountable. Because I have 13 goals I should be accomplishing about one a month. So let’s see how I did….

I figured I would have to admit I really haven’t done much of anything yet, but actually there are a couple things I’m doing to work towards goals.

Goal 4 was figure out how I can study/travel abroad. While I haven’t entirely figured this out, it’s looking more possible every day…aside form one thing: my major. I’m seriously considering adding special education to my elementary education degree. This is something I’m passionate about and something I think I would enjoy doing in my life. However, it’s more work and thus gives me less of an opportunity to study abroad. So I need to go in to see the education department and ask them what they think. I’ve heard that here at Benedictine College they try to give all majors the opportunity to go abroad. Maybe that means I go in the summer or maybe it means I take some summer classes before I go. But that would be doable.

Another I’m making progress with is goal 13) b) be more diligent but don’t take things so seriously. Mainly, I’m working at the be more diligent part. Earlier this week I went to a leadership seminar that is required training for anyone applying for a leadership position such as RA or campus ministry leader. One of our talks was about time management and spoke of how we should sit down Sunday night and plan our week (in pencil). And that’s what I plan to do this evening.

Honestly, I guess I haven’t made a whole lot of progress but I feel like I’m getting better, that I’m striving after things and that certain things are being worked towards. I’m not as set or determined about accomplishing these goals as I was when I originally had the idea to keep myself accountable via this blog. I’m more loose about it (which maybe also is part of 13) b) about not taking things so seriously).

But that aside, I think my progress is ok, but it could certainly be better. I think in this next month, actually in these next couple weeks, I may actually accomplish a few of those 13 goals. Stay tuned to find out!

13 Things I Hope to do in 2013

New Year's Goals graphic

This year, instead of just coming up with a few vague ideas of what I’d like to accomplish and forgetting what they are within a month and a half, I’m actually setting goals. And I’m think I’ll use this blog to keep me accountable. See, I’m not a very diligent person. But I want to accomplish some things. And maybe keeping to these goals will help me to be a more diligent person and thereby help me in more important areas of my life.

I’ve decided I’m going to write a post at the end of each month and see if I’ve accomplished any of these things and maybe I’ll even add to the list. I’ll also probably write a post every time I accomplish one of these things.

So, without further ado my 2013 new year’s goals:

1) donate blood. Never done this. But I’d like to.

2) get my license. I won’t go into why I don’t have one yet, just know it’s a goal.

3) write a letter to myself to open in the future. Not sure when in the future yet, probably either the end of the year or 3 or more years in the future.

4) figure out how I can study/travel abroad. This is something I really want to do, just not sure how yet…. Aside from the money, my major makes things difficult.

5) work on learning Spanish (unless I’ve chosen Italian). Another thing I want to do. If I’m going to be a teacher Spanish could serve me well. It’s also, something I kind of just want to do. Though taking Italian may make studying abroad easier.

6) create melted crayon art. Just because.

7) go on a shopping adventure. This might be something I do over the summer. I’d love to grab a couple of girls, maybe one of them will be my sister, and have a blast! Possibly in the city, but here would work too.

8) get a summer job. A college girl’s got to make money.

9) take a summer class or 2. This may help to accomplish goal 4.

10) read 5 new books. For me, this is kind of a low number, but I’ve got homework to do as well, and obviously I’m not going to count coursework books.

11) visit a religious community/ go on a retreat with one. As a discerning woman, I figure I should.

12) write more. I’m thinking of doing my own writing challenge this summer, similar to National Novel Writing Month, although I might do something a little less full-blown. While I enjoy blogging, I have something of a passion for fiction writing but I didn’t get to do much of it this semester.

13) be a better person. Okay, so this may sound like one of those vague resolutions I started off this post by shunning, but actually it has some more concrete goals as its components. a) pray more. Diligence! b) be more diligent but don’t take things so seriously. This may seem like a contradiction. But so am I. I procrastinate and yet have a habit of getting very stressed about my future. This leads to c) laugh more, worry less.

So, not including goal 13, I’ve got 12 goals, 12 measurable things to accomplish this year. That equals an average of one a month. Now, I might add to the list, but I’m not taking any off of here (except maybe crayon art, but only if I add a different fun and creative activity). This is my list, and if I fail, I fail. But hopefully this will be a great year. I’ve just got to put in my best and let God take control (but you know what they say about telling Him your plans).If you want to make God laugh ribon

Happy New Year!

And Merry 7th Day of Christmas!