Friday, September 30, 2011


Aren't Fridays just lovely?

No Calculus this morning, so no heavy math book in backpack. I've finally learned there's absolutely no point in lugging my chemistry book to class, so no equally heavy chemistry book in backpack. So that leaves German book and notebook (both tolerably light), my history book, and my general notebook. AWESOME!! Then, as I could foresee I wouldn't have much to do in the two-hour period between chemistry and history, I brought along a book to finish. It was the Throne of Fire, by Rick Riordan, by the way.

I know. I should get paid to advertise for Riordan, shouldn't I?


As you can tell, I can hardly contain my excitement. It doens't help that I found part of the second chapter online yesterday. I love Percy so much!!!! He's such a loveable dork. After watching him grow up through five books you really get attached to him. It doesn't hurt that he has a great sense of humor, too. (Best opening line of any book of all time: Percy Jackson and the Olympians 4: The Battle of the Labyrinth: "It was the first day of summer break, and the last thing I wanted to do was blow up another school.)
Of course, Nico is a favorite, too. I can't help it, I like the weird characters. Troubled death-boy in dark clothes? Yep, I totally like him. And I like Jason. Jason's awesome. It took Percy five books to become both awesome and totally pwnsome, but Jason COMES awesome. I mean, he wakes up on a bus with no memory of his past life, gets promptly attacked/electrocuted by three storm spirits, and THEN pulls out a gold coin that transforms into a sword and destroys two of three said storm spirits. Yeah, my money's on Jason for sure.

And the Kane Chronicles rock, too. Carter is Mr. Wikipedia!!!! I know how that feels. I'm the human wikipedia in my family, too. Sadie pretty much annoys me, but I like her better now than I did when I first read the Red Pyramid. I was determined to hate Set, but, you know, he kind of grew on me, especially after the Throne of Fire where he broke six vases over Meshikov's head (a.k.a evil ice cream man). He's hilarious. It's like when I read Runemarks (another awesome book, you should totally go and read it, even if it's really long), where I was determined to hate Loki. When I started the book, I was like, "I hate this guy!" But by the end, I was like, "I love this guy!" Same thing with Set. Or with Naesala in Fire Emblem. (I like Naesala. And Tibarn. And Reyson. And Zihark. And Joshua. And Pent...)
Did I mention Anubis? Anubis is awesome in the Kane Chronicles. It's funny how he's so much like Nico and yet so much unalike, too. I think they hang out together in a New Orleans graveyard and discuss the respective evilness of their fathers... By the way, Hades was awesome, too. Yep, I like the death guys.
Ooooh! I forgot Thoth. Thoth was hilarious in the Red Pyramid. His first line sealed his popularity with me: "I've discovered something, Khufu. This is not Memphis, Egypt." Ha! They're in Memphis, Tennessee.
And even Khonsu is cool... in a creepy sort of way.
But I don't like Walt. I like Felix. Felix has penguins. Felix can terrorize enemy magicians into submission. Felix throws a mean shoe. You should never play basketball with Felix.

OKAAAAAY, now that I've gotten my Riordan rant out of the way...

Oktoberfest is tomorrow! The tractor parade should be arriving at any moment now... the Killen Antique Tractor Club drives their tractors to the park. Tomorrow night they will have fireworks and we shall sit and watch the pretty lights...

My younger brother will probably enter the pedal tractor pull again. He's got three trophies, so you know he's pretty good at it. The trophies have gotten bigger each year. One's actually just a second place (I think the other two are first) but it's bigger than the one from the first year, which IS a 1st place trophy. Odd.

At least I don't have to monitor hordes of screaming hooligans pushing each other down in order to climb up an inflatable jungle gym this year... Inflatables are usually a bad idea. Unless you can convince some adult into going down one. Then it's funny.

In Pace Christi,


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nothing in Particular to Say

Yay for Thursdays. Again. It didn't hurt that we got out of English 30 minutes early and that we didn't do the descriptive essay today in class after all. (A glance at the syllabus would have told me it was due NEXT Thursday...)

Mrs. Howell is so wonderful. We laughed so much in her class today. I really like it that she tells us about her family and so many other things in class; it really makes what we learn so much more interesting.

I don't know about the Calculus exam this morning. I hope I did all right, but you just never know... It was kind of ominous in that I couldn't figure out the first part of the bonus question...

I have finally thought of mentioning that I went to the homecoming game last Saturday, but I didn't take any pictures or anything to prove it. Or have I mentioned the game already? I don't know. I sat on the visitors' side with the rest of the students. I couldn't find Audrey, so I sat down on a seat and actually watched the game. I wish I knew more about how football works. I know the gist of it, however- like each team has to gain ten yards in their four downs, etc., and how if they gain more than that it's another first down. And I now have the astonishing distinction of knowing the names of TWO UNA players. Aren't I wonderful? Lee Chapple and Janoris Jenkins. And I only know those two names because the announcer called them out so often.

One of them is number 1, too...

Sorry. I'm much better with Alabama and Auburn players... At least, I was, until almost all the juniors skipped their last year for the NFL earlier this year! So many of them do that and I really don't understand why. That is another reason why Greg McElroy was cool (other than the simple reason of Audrey's and Elaine's love of him is infectious). Guys who stay on for their senior year instead of trying to cash in on being a top NFL draft pick do something rather admirable.

But, anyway... I don't even know where I am going with this totally rambling post. Oh, yeah, back to the game. Watching the band members' antics was funny. For the first half of the game, the people sitting in front of me ate peanuts the whole time. Large bags of peanuts. And they evidently thought it was Logan's or something because they just chunked the shells on the floor of the stands. When they stood up to leave at halftime, they left behind them a virtual carpet of peanut shells. It was so bad that later a guy walked by, paused, stared at the peanut leavings, and then said, "Were a bunch of monkeys sitting there, or what?"

In Pace Christi,


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Further Reflection upon Ethics

I don't like the term 'ethics'. Neither do I like the term 'vaules'. Both are soft, squooshy, cuddly terms used in order to give the liberals less chance to cry, "Politically incorrect!" Bah. I prefer 'morals', even if it's not a perfect term itself. 'Virtues' sounds very nice, however...

Morals (or virtues) are not simply something ingrained in your by your family or your culture. They are also something you have chosen, whether consciously or unconsciously, and especially as proved in your actions. I am a Roman Catholic. My morals are not mine simply because the Church teaches them to me or because my parents teach them to me. They are mine also because I have chosen them for myself.

At my First Holy Communion and at my Confirmation, I along with the other kids renounced satan (deliberate decapitalization. he doesn't need the honor of a capitalized name) and all his works and empty promises. I try to take that seriously. My success others may know more than I. Heaven knows I'm not perfect. I'm no plaster saint. I'm just like everyone else. I've got a long way to go. As long as I'm not dead, there's room for improvement.

In Pace Christi,


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

...Or am I misquoting that saying? Whatever, Audrey put up on her blog, Curiosity of a Lion, something that I thought was very neat: a small post about herself. For no particular reason (and against all logicality, as I could be putting this time to much greater practical use), I will do something of the same sort here. Except mine will be much nerdier, I am sure.

Name: Elyse
Born and raised in Alabama!
School: Does preschool have to be listed? I think not. I went to a parochial school up to fourth grade and then was homeschooled through high school.
Family: I have a huge family. I am very tempted to start listing all of my numerous relatives but then this post would be inordinately wrong. So I'll keep it simple: there's Mom and Dad, me, my sister, and my two brothers.
I am blonde. I hope I don't act too much like it, though...
Like Audrey, I'm 5'3"ish. Yes, I'm short. I'm a hobbit.
Favorite color: ...Hm, hunter green or blue?
Favorite animal: Can't pick just one.
Favorite TV show? Don't watch TV. Haven't since I was small. Haven't got the time or the brain cells to spare. Don't want to start again, either. It's all stupid, anyhow. I would go insane if I was forced to watch TV. The odd movie isn't so bad, but I still feel like it's a colossal waste of time (unless it's Lord of the Rings, of course...)
Favorite Cartoon: see above rant.
Favorite Actor: I'm doing good to name even one. Ha. I can recite the cast of the Lord of the Rings, though...
Favorite Band: Does Celtic Woman count?
Favorite Song: How do you expect me to pick just one? However, if I have a 'motto' song, it'd have to be Fuer Elise... if only because I love it so and it shares my name.
Favorite food: HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO PICK JUST ONE? ...Hm. Anything with cheese. Cheese is one of the greatest substances known to man. There are five elements: earth, air, fire, water, and CHEESE! (Ha, ha. It's a Red Pyramid joke. Seriously, go read that book. It's awesome. And it's by Rick Riordan, who totally rocks! AND ONLY 7 DAYS UNTIL THE SON OF NEPTUNE COMES OUT! I CAN'T WAIT! And neither can my family because then I will stop counting down and annoying them.)
Favorite number: Um, 13? Wait, that's Taylor Swift's favorite number, too... rats. (Blame it on my sister. She told me that. I'm not a Taylor Swift fan.)
Favorite sport: This is SEC country, baby. I'm the one in the perpetual Auburn hoodie. Or Auburn shirt. Which is why I am sad about UNA moving to Division I. Before, I didn't have to worry about them playing each other... As an aside, I come from a mixed family, as my dad went to Alabama (and UNA!) and my mom went to Auburn. I am Auburn, Elaine is Alabama, and my brothers are confused. They have been known to wear Auburn shirts and Alabama caps. Simultaneously. --- However, I do support football ecumenicism and cheer for Alabama in everything except the Iron Bowl. Respect your rival. Toomer's for Tuscaloosa and Tide for Toomer's, friends.
Favorite book: This one should be obvious. THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The greatest book of the millenium.
Pet peeve: Hmm. Improper grammar, punctuation, and spelling? That's high on the list, I know.
Fears: Something falling on me. No kidding. And not being in my right mind. I'm terrified to death of something happening like it did when I had a concussion and saying things without really being able to control it. It's a good thing I can't remember what I said because I'm sure I'd be crawling away under the bed in shame...
Random facts: I am Roman Catholic. I was in the CYO. I was Audrey's seargent-at-arms in the CYO.

In Pace Christi,


First Things First

I didn't blog yesterday, and I try to do one every weekday. Oh, well, no one is perfect. And today is not the happiest of days for me, because I left my sunglasses in Keller 133 after Honors Forum! Yes, I know, me being all weird because I misplaced something... sigh... I'll have to get to campus early tomorrow morning and run over to Keller to see if they are still there and bear the brunt of the weird glances from the kids who already are in there, wondering why this strange, panic-faced girl is dashing through the classroom.

Tonight our speaker was Tammy Irons, State Senator. She spoke to us about how much ethics is involved in her work as an attorney and as a state legislator, and how many ethics reforms were put through after the big gambling trials fiasco. Now, if you ask me, however, something about there being 190-something charges and only 10 were found to have any substance sounds fishy in and of itself to me...

Anyway, the phrases (clauses- English nerd in me again) that struck me the most were how good and bad experiences shape your values and your life, and how people must live our their values consistently in their daily lives. We must set good examples for others- we have to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Senator Irons also gave a good piece of advise, "If it would embarrass your mama, don't do it!"

She gave us a list of words that meant a lot to her: honesty, courage, passion, commitment, integrity, kindness, and hard work ethic. I agree 100% with all of those. See previous rant about keeping promises in my post about Dr. Thornell's talk. (Probably 20 posts ago or so.) But I think it is important! Not only should we be able to trust others' promises, we ourselves should be worthy of trust. Keeping promises means more than telling the truth, too; it also extends to punctuality! (Which might explain my paranoia of being late, leading to me sitting in my next classroom for ten minutes before the teacher walks in... Of course, the fact that I like my seat must also factor in...)

Senator Irons also said we have to watch the negative consequences of our choices as well as the positive ones- in other words, we cannot do something bad so good may result. That is how many people explain away their wrongdoings, no matter how deeply-entrenched were or they thought their morals were. Look at Boromir... Denethor...

You can tell I love the Lord of the Rings, can't you?

In Pace Christi,


Friday, September 23, 2011

I Remembered!

The picture at the top is from De Soto state park. As I said, I didn't go that day becauase I was sick. But we have pictures.

And as for the picture at the bottom right of six of us with the guide in a big rubber-duck-yellow raft, that was a trip I went on with my church group to the Nantahala. It was awesome! The six of us shared the same condo room and we all got along, so that was great. Additionally, we were the first ones up and going in the morning, unlike some of the others (cough, cough, the boys, cough, cough). But we all got in the same raft. I had never done it before but I wasn't afraid of sitting in the front (hey, I can swim), so that's where I ended up. We had a great time, even if the guide couldn't explain whether it's Nan-ta-HAY-la or Nan-ta-HAW-la.

It will be a mystery for the ages.

The picture was taken while we were going over Nantahala Falls, which explains their expressions. In other pictures, Amy and I look like we're actually having fun. The rest just look plain terrified. :)

My sister was horrified when I told her I put that picture on my blog.

In Pace Christi,


And As For What Is Obvious...

I totally forgot to mention in my preceding post that I finally got my act together today and put pictures on my blog! However, if you are reading this post (though I can't see why anyone would want to read my electronically articulated thought processes), you have probably already noticed that.


The picture of me sitting at that lovely grand piano is from my senior recital in May. I'm too lazy to walk up two flights of stairs and get the program we typed up for it, but I played nineteen songs if I recall correctly and five or six of them were from memory. Does this help explain why I always sit down at that lovely piano in Lafayette lobby and play something every time I walk in? Twelve years of lessons does that to you. The picture below with Amy and Jodi was taken at the reception after the recital. (And playing that many songs took an hour or so. No, my hands weren't tired after it, because I had been practicing those songs for at least half a year!)

The picture of me on the glider is from our trip to the beach this summer. I had brought my notebooks with me out to the porch with the intent of working on some of my many languages I have made up for my stories (don't ask- not unless you really, really REALLY want the answer) (and I actually did work on them some) but ended up trying to take a nap. You can tell how successful I was by the expression on my face when I looked up to see mom trying to take a picture of me. I usually do have some pretty good expressions in pictures- either "You see what I have to put up with?" or "Why are you still trying to take a picture of me???"
And then there's the picture of me with my lovely horse, Molly. She's a year older than me (so, 19) and is chestnut with a blond mane and brown tail. She has a white star on her forehead and white socks on her hind feet. She's a really sweet horse that I've been privileged to have for years. (As for our other horse, the pony, Champ... well, we don't always get along. But I like him much better than our chickens. Yes, I live on a farm. And, yes, chickens are some of this most despicable creatures in this world.) I love how when I'm riding Molly people will drive by in their cars and slow down, all the kids in the back seats pressing their noses against the window: "Mommy, look! It's a real horsey!"

Yep. And those things in the field are called trees, too.

One truck actually stopped so the people could gawk. City-slickers. Rubber-neckers.

The picture at the bottom (if you scroll all the way down to look at it) is also from the beach. I think my sister took it. Hand her the camera and you get it back with twenty more random pictures on it...

I wouldn't be surprised if she took the one at the top, too. This is embarrassing, but I can't remember where that placed is called, other than it's Little River Canyon. I didn't go with my family that day; I was sick. But they went. I know it's not Cades Cove, so what is it???? Again, too lazy to get up and look it up. Meh. It'll come to me later.

In Pace Christi,



Yep. Thank goodness it's Friday.

Which is very good, because I about went totally overload this week (no, I'm not sure if that's use according to the strict rules of grammar, either) over my dual research papers. Yeesh. I spent another hour in Collier Library today and at least came up with two books about Hammurabi's Code (which I think I will do my history paper on rather than the Epic of Gilgamesh. You should have seen my parents' faces when I tried explaining Gilgamesh to them. It was particularly prize, in a painful sort of yep-that's-what-I-have-to-write-about sort of way), in addition to two books about the South that are really interesting. This in addition to the two books from a parishoner sitting on my dresser that I haven't finished.

I usually don't get this behind on books. I read really fast. Have I mentioned that I read Harry Potter 7 in one day? Or the entire three-volume set of the Lord of the Rings in a day and a half? Or all of the Narnia books in a day? Or the Poem of the Man-God by Maria Valtorta, a five-volume set of tiny-print 800-page books, in two weeks? Yep. I read fast. The worst thing I can say about a book is that I couldn't finish it. And unfortunately that has happened a few times. Usually it happens because of particularly reprehensible immorality on part of the major characters, and/or general stupidity of the whole book. There was one book I read extremely fast, just to get it over with. One word: Twilight.

Pardon me while I go throw up somewhere besides my keyboard.

....Okay, I'm back. Yeah, I hate Twilight. I never liked it. Which is nice, because now I can laugh at all the people now who are saying, "I can't see why I ever liked that series," and, "We're going to go see the last movie- just to make fun of it." Yep, I'd be one of those people screaming, "JUMP!" if I ever saw Edward or Bella at the top of a skyscraper. I hate them. But it's a rant that I need to cut short...

On an amusing note, Dr. Bibbee also made fun of Twilight in class today, which is probably what helped bring it to mind. Hmm... Other books I hate? Wings of a Falcon by... oh, I can't think of her name. But it has come to symbolize all evil books in my mind. The Inkspell series is also particularly bad. And anything by Robin McKinley... if I have her name right.

I'll stay with Ranger's Apprentice, Percy Jackson, and Carter Kane, if you don't mind. * squeals with joy * The next Ranger's Apprentice book and the next book by Rick Riordan are BOTH coming out on October 4!!!! I am totally going to go to Books-a-Million that day and get the books. THEN I will cruelly text my cousin, just to say, "Nyah, nyah, nyah, I have The Son of Neptune and you don't!"

Yeah, I'm cruel.

But, anyway... Oh, yeah, I was talking about my history paper, wasn't I? I worked on my outline yesterday. Actually I did most of the outline for the Epic of Gilgamesh, then switched primary source and had to do it all over again with Hammurabi's Code. Bleagh.

I am in a better mood now, however, which is good. You're more productive in a good mood, I think, than you are in a bad one.

In Pace Christi,


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yay for Thursdays

Thursdays are my friend. I only have two classes on Thursday- Calculus and English. However, Dr. Stovall likes to do quizzes and tests on Thursday, too. Oh, well. The quiz only had three problems on it this morning, ominous in itself, and the third seemed too easy. You know, the sort of, "Uh-oh, I must have done something wrong," sort of easy. However, I heard a couple of other girls talking about what they put for that problem after the class let out and they seemed to have come up with the same answer, so perhaps I'm safe.

I also wandered around in Collier Library today. I so merit the title of Clueless Freshman. I walked in the library and didn't know where to go. So I wandered around. Yes, I was the one staring blankly at the maps on all floors except for the basement. Why doesn't the stairway go all the way to the top floor? That's a little scary. Presumably, there's a fire escape somewhere, but still...

For all that, I didn't even find one of the books I was looking for. I found two others, though, neither of which was exactly what I was looking for but which contained a few helpful facts.

Now that panic-attack English research paper working bibliography is out of the way, it is time to assemble an outline for my HISTORY research paper and work a little on my OWL chemistry... I can confidently predict that I will hate the name of OWL by the time this is all over with. Along with ANGEL, and PORTAL, and QUIA, and TELL ME MORE, and all these other insane online things that each require passwords and user names that I can't keep straight...

In Pace Christi,


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

All Stressed-Out for Hardly Anything...

I was freaking out this morning over the fact that I had a German quiz and a history exam today, and I should have known better. I freaked out for nothing, of course. I was rational enough to realize that German was going to be no problem. That, however, did not prevent me from frantically going through my book before Dr. Christy walked in the room.

History, however, had twisted a knot in my gut all morning. Still, it's always thinking about something that is worse than actually doing the thing itself. So it was with the exam. I got out of chemistry (managed, miraculously, not to fall asleep, which would have been rather embarrassing as I sit on the front row right in front of Dr. Diaz's desk... not to mention the fact that Amy would never have let me live that down, had she caught me like that...) and looked through my history book, and pulled myself into a more optimistic state. I'm usually pretty good with history, and as I looked at the essay questions I sort of said to myself, "Get a grip! You know this stuff."

So I did five paragraphs about Ancient Egypt. I even managed to throw in a few dates, and dates aren't generally my strong point. I'm not good at estimating time, age, distance, or anything like that. Meh. I actually know more about Egypt than I thought I did. I know I've read a lot of historical fiction, but seriously, I can intelligently discuss the Hyksos (Semitic people who invaded Egypt and introduced the horse to that land) and actually knew about the Egyptian/Hittite battle at Khadesh before I saw it in the book. So I hope I did fairly well with that essay... I've picked the 'Speculate about Harappan culture' for the essay written at home and aim to have a little fun with it. My world history book in high school talked about the Harappans in fair detail (considering what we know about them or the lack thereof, rather) and their civilization shows so many signs of being a dystopia that it will be fun to speculate about them. They're practically a story waiting to be written...

Oh, wait. I promised not to blather on about my own stories in this blog. Whoops.

On a more shocking note, not only do we have a Calculus quiz tomorrow, we apparently have an exam Monday. Great way to start the week, even if I do like Calculus.

In Pace Christi,


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

STEM Careers

Tonight at our Honors Forum Dr. Thomas J. Calhoun, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, spoke to us about STEM careers- STEM being Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. He began by asking us, "How do you choose the best door for you?" and telling us never to be too proud to take advantage of all the opportunities we are given to succeed in life. He especially stressed, like our previous speaker, the great advantage of studying abroad.

He then progressed to STEM, and how the number of STEM degrees being awarded each year are shockingly low, hovering around 20%. This number was not particularly surprising to me, as it should not be to anyone who walks into Best Buy and looks around. Who is making all our electronics? The Japanese! I drive a 21-year-old Honda Accord. The Japanese cell phones and computers last longer than most American-made ones (cough, cough, Dell, cough, cough). It should be obvious that the Asians have set out to succeed in the field of science, and that they are succeeding.

We Americans, on the other hand... Dr. Calhoun seemed to think that most of the blame for our lack of science rests on poor K-12 education. He may be right, too. Goodness knows teachers in public schools DO have their hands completely tied with rules and regulations. It also doesn't help that so much focus is placed on scoring well in standardized testing that the kids learn how to do those tests and never actually learn how to learn, how to think, how to study. Let me tell you, if you can think well, if you know how to learn, you will go farther than someone who can take a test. Because if you can think well, you can solve problems. Common sense and a clear head work wonders. And knowing how to learn is the key to many doors. As long as you know how to learn, the possibilities are endless.

Another reason why I am proud to be a product of homeschooling! I went to a private school through 4th grade before being homeschooled, and I never looked back.

Back to public education, however, it also certainly does not help that students are growing up in dysfunctional families, they are hyped up on cokes, candy, and all sorts of genetically-modified food (but that's a rant for another day), and often doped on Ritalin and other things that are not particularly necessary, and cannot thus sit still long enough to listen to the teacher. It does not help that there is a general lack of respect for anyone and anything now. If the children do not respect the teacher, there will be no success. Respect is not confined to saying, "Please," and, "Thank you," either. Respect means a great deal more. Even if the person in authority is a complete moron, respect should be shown to his position. And the children- college kids included- should show respect to their teachers. This includes paying attention, showing up, not texting under their desks, doing their homework, not whispering to other classmates while the professor is talking, and more.

I regret to say that I do not plan to major in a STEM field. However, I do feel gratified that I am taking Calculus 1 and that I like it very well. (Dr. Stovall is a good teacher, too.) Moreover, I come from a family of engineers! My dad is a mechanical engineer, as are two of his brothers; the other is a chemical engineer, and so is one of their sisters. I have a cousin-in-law who is a civil engineer, another cousin who is I believe a mechanical engineer, and another who is the family computer expert. (Even if he does like Macs. I abhor Macs. * adopts sarcastic tone of voice * "They're user-friendly," said friendly users.)

Sorry. I grew up on a PC, now own a PC, and love PC's. Even if Windows 7 is a headache in comparison to the logically laid out Windows XP (I took Logic 1, Logic 2, and Material Logic in high school; I appreciate well-laid out things) and I despise Internet Explorer 9 (which Windows foisted on me without my knowledge. However, I shall not resort to Google Chrome or Mozila Firefox, either, so pity me), I can still play around on my parents' Mac and gawk at the complete incomprehensibility of it. Even down to the red x button being in the top left corner. So weird. Of course, I also do not own an iPad, iPhone, or iPod (GASP! I DON'T OWN AN IPOD! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO? ...It's called a piano, people.) so I have little experience with Apple to begin with. Meh.

In Pace Christi,


Monday, September 19, 2011


A really awesome site that everyone should check out is this:

It's worth a look if you are Christian and realize that the quality of current priestly/pastorly vestments has gone sickeningly downhill. Here is our chance to give them the ridicule they so richly deserve! I like to check it every day.

The one I hate the most is BV Overload. Man in Crayola yellow poncho. YIKES!!

Of course, Target Practice- "You know, father, it might be just me, but giving them something to aim at might not be such a good idea..."- comes second. Or ties with it. One of the two.

I think of Bad Vestments every time I go to Mass and think to myself about halfway through the Introit, "Father's wearing his Lego chasuble again..." I can understand putting the symbols of loaves and fishes on a chasuble. What I can't understand is why on earth anyone would make the fish look like a Lego fish. And in case you think Lego doesn't make fish pieces, I have two younger brothers who are Lego-obsessed and one has a pirate set complete with tiny plastic campfire and fish to be roasted over the flames. Lego fish. And Father has a Lego fish on his chasuble.

Sorry, I've been wanting to rant about that Lego fish for a long time. It just bothers me...

In Pace Christi,


Well, This is Annoying...

I actually looked at everyone else's blogs today. Call it morbid curiosity or not. (Okay, okay, it was prompted by... Hailey, I think [I am so sorry if I mispelled that; I don't have it in front of me right now] following my blog. Thank you, Hailey! I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but guess what? IT WON'T LET ME!!! We saw you at the ice cream place. For our part, we went bowling! I fail at bowling. Or, at least, I fail without the bumpers to keep my ball out of the gutters. Double four-gutter streaks. I've never yet beaten my personal best of eight gutter balls in a row, though...)

Someone else had a blog post I wanted to comment on, but now I can't find it... Something about speaking out for the truth. Somewhere out there, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! That post rocked. In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, erat Deus erat Verbum. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was in God's presence, and the Word was God.

Yeah, I'm a nerd. And I love Latin. Rident stolidi verba Latina!

And if anyone can tell me what that means I will probably squeal for joy. UNA should offer Latin. I would be the first person to sign up if they did. I love Latin so much. I took German because UNA doesn't offer Latin. Yes, I'm going hyper thinking about that lovely language.

And, if you haven't noticed, I sign off in Latin. In Pace Christi means 'In the Peace of Christ'. So Pax Vobiscum! 'Peace be unto you all!'

Oh, yeah! I wanted to comment on Marcela's blog too. Don't worry. Audrey makes me think of Harry Potter all the time, too.

I am currently listening to the soundtrack for Prince Caspian. Amy is right, Narnia does have some awesome soundtracks. Hmm, perhaps I should go add that to my Christmas wish list...

I don't even know why I am posting this incredibly random post... I guess it's just another sliver of my really irrational thought processes that I am serving up to the unfortunate soul who chances across this extremely odd blog of mine...

In Pace Christi,


Okay, Overload is Beginning to Set In Now...

I'm taking 19 hours of classes.

Yep, I get that reaction from everyone. Even grown-ups. It's not encouraging.

Overload may be beginning to sink in.

It's history that's the breaking point. Doing a research paper for history as well as English stinks. The more so as I know what I would like to do for English but not for history other than "The Epic of Gilgamesh proves that a long time ago in the Middle East they were beating each other up and picking leaders based on apparent strength, much like they do today". GAAAAAAH. I actually have a Calculus test tomorrow and I'm not worried in the least about it. It's derivatives and I like derivatives. Calculus homework, however, decided not to agree with me today...

I wised up and brought a coat with me to the meat locker (a.k.a. language lab) today. You can watch Turkish TV in there. No kidding. At least according to the paper taped to the wall. I am also officially angry at the Coke machine in Wesleyan. It took my quarters and it didn't give me my Coke. However, I had Elaine's chocolate chip cookies with me so shortly after I was again happy with the world. (She baked 60 yesterday. We ate approximately 48 of them before they could even cool. She makes wonderful cookies. We got the recipe from a cousin, who also makes wonderful cookies. Cookies solve all your problems except for weight loss.)

To the lobby fixtures/people who hang out in the lobby of Lafayette and talk, if my piano playing disrupts you, just come right out and tell me! I am magnetically attracted to pianos and if there is one in the room I will immediately go over and begin touching it. After 12 years of lessons, it's instinct. At the very least I hope my music selections are pleasant. Someone seems to like 'Linus and Lucy' and I KNOW everyone likes Fuer Elise... It's quite the crowd-pleaser. Heh, heh. No one looks up when I play 'The Prayer', but you will be FORCED to look up when I play 'The Imperial March' (a.k.a. Darth Vader's Theme). Pun intended.

Right now I should really be doing homework... No one else seems compelled to update their blog as frequently as I do. But, then, I don't check out other people's blogs that much, so what do I know...

I promise, I really do intend to get pictures up on my blog sometime in the relatively near future! It just hasn't happened yet. Ich habe keine Zeit!!!!

In Pace Christi,


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Better Day

Thursday is my light day, with only Calculus and Composition, so I was home a little after eleven. Yay! I was amazed at how light my backpack was. Usually I almost tip over when I stand up while wearing it.
I like Calculus. I'm weird that way. And I like English, too. Mrs. Howell is so nice. Her classes are really fun. I hope that my first research paper topic, McCarthy, gets approved, because it sounds like a fascinating topic to pursue. The added fact that I already have three sources in mind doesn't hurt.

On an unrelated note, I need to study for a Chemistry exam tomorrow... It's multiple choice, so maybe it won't be a total killer... I hope I find where I'm supposed to go in Stevens tomorrow, though. I've only been in there once and I have just the ten minutes between classes to run from Wesleyan over there and find where I'm supposed to go. Is the main part of Stevens auditorium meant? One would think it would be in use, but maybe so... there's a lot of students in CH-111.

In Pace Christi,


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Honors Forum Mishap

Last night we didn't have much of an honors forum, as our guest speaker didn't show. I don't blame you, Dr. Brewton; mistakes can happen to anyone. I wasn't much put out, anyway.

Anyway, our guest speaker was supposed to be Dean Jacobs of the College of Education, if I wrote that down right...

On an almost completely unrelated topic (other than the fact that I heard it last night also), interior design is now called HES- human environmental science? This is beyond ridiculous... *bangs head repeatedly against nearby wall*

On a totally unrelated topic, I did go to convocation today and not just for the free food. The guest speaker was very good, although I am too lazy at the moment to walk up two flights of stairs and hunt for the booklet/brochure/whatever that had her name on it. I do remember that she was an obstetrician/gynecologist (and I probably spell that horrendously wrong) and graduated from UAB. I think. Which might explain the green on her robe as UAB is the Blazers, and a Blazer is a green dragon. If it has a name, you can tell me it; I don't know it, although I have a cousin at UAB. Hey, my mom didn't even know what a Blazer was....

In Pace Christi,


Small Clarification

Lest anyone interpret my post about the art museum wrongly, I should rush to add that I love art. I draw all the time (well, at least I did before I started at UNA; I'm good if I draw something on Sunday now). I love stuff by the likes of Caravaggio and Albert Duehrer. I can take impressionism, I suppose, but I prefer something that looks pretty much like it does in real life. Cubism? Neo-realism? What's the point of drawing something if every person that passes by it in the museum pauses, wrinkles their nose, and goes, "Huh?" (Which is pretty much my reaction with modern art... but then I like the baldachino in St. Peter's which people seem to hate now, so, yeah... my tastes are decidedly conservative.)

To me it seems that modern artists have sought so much to reduce everything to symbolism, to pure meaning, that the meaning itself has been lost somewhere along the way. The pursuit of one thing and one thing only usually ends in destroying that thing. The single-minded pursuit of health can end in doing unhealthy things. (Read G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. Wonderful book.) Only the Ultimate can be pursued ultimately and not destroyed along the way. It's a matter of First and Second Things, as C. S. Lewis put it.

Yep, only I could turn an art museum into a subject for philosophical debate. But I'm open to opinions. Does anyone else think the supposed reduction to pure meaning of modern art has eliminated all true meaning?
In Pace Christi,


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Art Museum (Belatedly)

Apparently we were supposed to blog about the art museum we went to when we were on the Honors trip to Memphis.

Do you really want my honest opinion of it? Hmm... How about a selectively honest opinion? I don't really like modern art... and a pile of shredded tires on a pedestal is not art. No matter if you slap a fancy title on it (that one was called 'Untitled', if I remember correctly...), it's still a pile of shredded tires. And the Tele-o-belisk (or whatever it was) in the lobby was sort of... blinding. But I agree with Audrey over at Curiosity of a Lion- the work of Carl Gutherz was very good, especially the two titled 'Arcessitu Ab Angelis' and what I think was called 'Light of the Incarnation'. The medieval art section was superb. Of course, most of it was religious art, but I definitely don't mind that. I like it! There was also a long painting depicting Apollo and Artemis slaughtering the children of Niobe that was good in a sort of morbid way.

(For those of you who are not nerds like me, the Greek myth went that Niobe, a mortal woman, bragged that she was better than Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemis, because she had more children. So Apollo and Artemis went and killed all of Niobe's children. Niobe then cried ceaselessly until Zeus turned her into a rock. And the rock still shed tears. And scientists named an element after her. Seriously. Look it up on the Periodic Table. Niobium. There's tantalum, too- after Tantalus, the dude in the Underworld who was always hungry and thirsty but though he stood in the middle of a lake and under a fruit-laden tree he was cursed to never be able to eat or drink. Where do you think we got the verb 'to tantalize'? Yeah... I'm a nerd.)

In Pace Christi,


Meesa Sorry

I had a nice, new, huge, lovely post, but I left the computer for a few hours and Blogger logged out on me. To top it off, it didn't even save a draft of it. That stinks.

Well, it began by recounting how my day did not start off very well, primarily due to the fact that staying up to 12:41 did not help with preparation for my Calculus test. However, after the test my mood improved. English was nice as usual. I was frustrated because I could not think of any topics for my mini-research paper, but while I was sitting there in class, four topics came to me! "Was McCarthy closer to the truth than those who ridiculed him?" "Is our low-fat/additive-laced/artificially-sugared diet leading to our diseases?" "Did the United States prolong the War in the Pacific by refusing to accept the Japanese terms of surrender because they insisted on unconditional surrender?" and "Are our thinking skills declining because of a decay in grammar?"

Yeah. Sum approximation of my thought processes.

On a happier note, in chemistry we got to set salt on fire in the lab today.

In Pace Christi,


Monday, September 12, 2011

Whoops. It's

In Pace Christi.

My bad. I still say Harry Potter ruined my Latin.

Brain Drain

Gah, I knew I spoke too soon when I complained about finding a topic for my narrative essay! The essay actually turned out to be easy. I started typing about my family's camp out and easily got 6 pages out of it.
However, I have a math test tomorrow and chemistry lab, more primary source analysis in history for Wednesday, and a chemistry exam Friday. Woohoo. If I can memorize the different charges on sulfate, phosphate, and nitrate I'll be doing good...
Spent another two hours in the meat locker. Maybe they keep it cold in there to preserve the computers. I don't know. I know they mean the risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome, but it's still funny to look down at the keyboards in there and read, "Caution! To prevent the risk of serious injury, refer to the owner's manual." Seriously... keyboards...

In Pax Christi,


Friday, September 9, 2011


Rejoice and be glad, it's Friday. That also means no Calculus today (although I do have a test Tuesday so I'd better study). So German, Chemistry, and History. Chemistry and History rhyme. Okay, that was random...

I like German, if only because I've had German before so I at least understand half of Dr. Christy when he starts talking in German as if English didn't exist (to the obvious dismay of the rest of the students). As for Chemistry, well, it's Chemistry.

After that I went to the meat locker... I mean, the foreign languages lab. I'd like to know one thing: WHY, oh WHY is it 60 degrees in there??? My fingers went numb yesterday, and today was little better.

History was entertaining, as usual. You wouldn't think so but it is. I don't know how much I missed (I wasn't there Wednesday) but it doesn't seem to be much, thankfully. I had better go type my notes in some sort of semi-coherent order and print out what I am supposed to so I will be less than completely and utterly clueless come Monday...

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Gah, I have to write a narrative essay by Tuesday. Writing stuff is usually my strong point, but I absolutely canNOT think of anything particularly interesting or detailed enough to write 2 pages on. And then I have to think of a topic for a mini research paper as well. Not that I'm complaining or anything. I'll survive. I just wish a lot of my inspiration did not come from last minute panic.

On a happier note, Calculus was fun today. Yes, I like Calculus. I'm just weird that way.

And I also learned how to do the German lab, so that was good, too. Spent two hours in a room that was, I swear, 60 degrees. I was wearing two shirts and I wished I had my jacket with me. I went outside and was like, "I CAN FEEL MY FINGERS!!!" Seriously...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

And yet ANOTHER post!

I'm on a roll. But then, I had a lot of catching up to do. This is the post actually for the Honors Forum we had tonight! It may be a little messy because it is currently 9:19 and I would rather like to go to bed before midnight, but, hey, it will get done.

The Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Dr. John Thornell, spoke to us tonight. I'm still not entirely sure what a provost is but it's obviously someone important. He detailed something called experiential learning, which, I'm sorry, every time I heard it I thought 'exponential learning'. Yep, you know when Calculus 1 is getting to you. He grazed a wide variety of topics, ranging from What do you want out of life? to Is it possible for transformative experience to occur? to All living creatures have a purpose.
He said three things made a difference in transformative experiences- traveling, the ability to make a difference in someone's life, and volunteerism. And while this may not be called for, I cannot resist adding that I have both seen the Mississippi and been to Shiloh. Ha! I have also been to Europe. Three countries- Germany, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. And I think I actually spelled that right. Wonders never cease.

Thoughts on Required Reading...

 Now you can see how imaginative I am at coming up with titles for posts. However, this is better than my first post.... I had already clicked 'Publish Post' before I realized there even WAS a place to enter a title. Silly me.

Anyway, so for the Honors Forum we had to read the Stanford 2005 Commencement Address by Steve Jobs. At least, I think I read the right thing. It was really quite fascinating how he could look back on his life and 'connect the dots', seeing how things that seemed bad at the time led him to where he was now. Fate to some, not to others. The Golden Thread, to some... (Yes, there's a book I have by that name, authored by Louis de Wahl. Divine Providence, in other words.)

Belated Honors Forum Post

Okay, okay, by 'belated' I mean 'behind by exactly one week'. So this is the post I should have done between last Tuesday and today. I don't have much of a defense, so I won't even try to make one. Sorry, Dr. Brewton! I'll try harder.

Now, for my thoughts about his talk last Tuesday, such as they are...

He went through the five values of the Honors Program, which are (1) creativity (2) integrity (3) curiosity (4) achievement (5) service.

(1) Creativity is a good one, no matter how it is interpreted. I suppose you could say I am good at creativity. I will try not to bore you with details of my mad hobbies, but I do draw and write extensively. I suppose that counts as creativity. How creative I will be in my approach to schoolwork remains to be seen, however. I still haven't come up with a topic for my narrative essay that is due next Tuesday, and that's terrible for me. The only thing I can come up with was how our pony dumped my sister into a water puddle years ago...

(2) Integrity is a much-talked-about but nevertheless much-valued value. (Yes, I know that was redundant.) Dr. Brewton mentioned how integrity meant keeping promises, how it meant being a person of character, how it meant having a mission every day to be that person of character. Now here was where I began to think of a number of things, and here on this blog is where I get to wax lyrical about the quotes from books it made me think of... Please pardon a bibliophile her selection in authors...
   First, for the promises part. It made me think immediately of a line in the Prologue of the Lord of the Rings (best book of the millenium, by the way) that runs thusly: "The Authorities, it is ture, differ whether this last question was a mere 'question' and not a 'riddle' according to the strict rules of the Game; but all agree that, after accepting it and trying to guess the answer, Gollum was bound by his promise. And Bilbo pressed him to keep his word; for the thought came to him that this slimy creature might prove false, even though such promises were held sacred, and of old all but the wickedest things feared to break them." That line just sticks with me. 'Promises were held sacred.' That pretty much sums up for me how I feel about promises.
    Okay. Now for being a person of character. I once read a book entitled 'George Washington and Benedict Arnold - A Tale of Two Patriots' by Dave R. Palmer, which followed the two throughout their life, from their similar origins to their dissimilar fates. It was quite an eye-opener actually... a sort of 'There but for the grace of God go I...' moment. The book ended by asking why they took such dissimilar paths: "The easy answer is to say that one had strength of character while the other did not. But what exactly does that mean? What is character? And how did it shape so extraordinary an outcome?" The book mentions that Major General Joshua Chamberlain called character 'a firm and seasoned substance of the soul', and that the Greeks reduced it to the sum of four virtues: fortitude, temperance, prudence, and justice. That investigation into the essence of character is always what I think of when I hear the words 'a person of character'.
    As for having a mission every day (leave it to me to seize on the tiniest little phrases), that prompted my mind to spring immediately to a line from G. K. Chesterton's 'Orthodoxy': "But all conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change. If you leave a white post alone it will soon be a black post. If you particularly want it to be white you must be always painting it again; that is, you must always be having a revolution. Briefly, if you want the old white post you must have a new white post. But this which is true even of inanimate things is in a quite special and terrible sense true of all human beings."
    I really can't say it any better than that. If we want to have integrity, if we want to be people of character, we have to consciously choose and prove by our actions each and every day that we want to be people of character. That's all there is to it.

(3) Curiosity. My friend Audrey has called her blog 'Curiosity of a Lion', which is, I have to say, a far more creative name than Clueless Freshman, no matter how amusing the latter may be. I'm curious about weird sorts of things. I'm willing to talk tractors and car parts with my dad and regret that I can't remember it all. And talk about farming. I wish I could remember it all. I like looking up the meanings of words and the etymology of those words. I like finding out what names mean and why- what language they come from, that sort of thing. I have a linguistic curiosity. I hope that suffices. Which is why I love Latin!!! One of the greatest languages of all time. I love it.

Rident stolidi verba Latina!

(4) Achievement and (5) service. I don't have as much to say about these as I did about integrity. (Man, this is a long post!) At least I can say some things about service. Dr. Brewton made the comment about the Honors Program only being good or bad as we made it. That made me think of... no, I'm not going to drag another quotation in here. :) I'll spare you that. But I will mention that to sanctify a society, its members have to be saints. So in order for us to have a good Honors Program, we've got to be great Honors students! Nice, lovely challenge. And I have something else to say about service, and it's quite simple: Of those who have been given much, much shall be expected. We've got a long way to go.

Now For a Sensible Post...

Okay. This post, I promise, will be coherent. As a matter of fact, I DID make it to Chemistry Lab, and I didn't make anything explode, so it was probably a success.
College makes life complicated.

All right, so I had better get a few things out of the way before I attempt any serious articles.

Firstly, I have never kept a blog before! So I naturally do not know how to write blogs. This will probably end up something along the lines of a demented, rambling monologue, and I shall be very much surprised if anyone really wants to read it. Especially other freshmen who are not clueless. (I am clueless! I'm the girl who walks into Lafayette Hall, turns right, realizes I've gone the wrong way, does an about-face, and goes down the left corridor, only to walk right past what I was looking for.)

Secondly, I am eccentric. And erudite. That means well-read. I think. (Go look it up in the dictionary and prove me wrong, if you are so inclined.) I am told I use a lot of big words, although I may not always think that I am. Must come from having read everything in the library worth reading, and a lot of what isn't...

Thirdly, I am a freshman enrolled at the University of North Alabama, and their Honors Program, to be precise. The Honors Forum insists that I keep a blog. This is that blog. Everyone else will probably have pretty blogs with pictures and thoughtful articles... Anyway, so that is where the 'freshman' part of 'Clueless Freshman' comes from. As for 'clueless', well... I tend to stay that way. I'm the last one in my family to know anything.

Well, hopefully this has been a sensible post. I leave now to do a little homework, settle a squabble among my siblings that promises to get a tad violent, and then return to publish another post on this blog that hopefully will address what was spoken about at the last Honors Forum.
I just started this blog in a panic because I didn't know what website to use. And now I have to run so I won't miss Chemistry Lab! Oh, the joys of being a clueless freshman. (And I promise I will misspell 'freshman' as 'freshmen' more than once.)
And I promise I will update later!