Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallows' Eve

I'm just so traditional that way, calling this post 'All Hallows' Eve' instead of the generic 'Halloween'. Hey, I don't see anything wrong with tradition. I read Orthodoxy, I know the 'democracy of the dead' spiel. I like it.

DR. STOVALL ROCKS!!!! She was wearing plastic vampire fangs in class this morning, AND she passed out candy! And it wasn't the cheapo stuff, like tiny pixie stix and plastic-tasting faux-licorice sticks. It was the good stuff, like Reese's and Hershey's and Whoppers and Kit-Kat bars. I bet half the class didn't mind the quiz near so much after she went around with the jack-o'-lantern of candy.

Dr. Christy was at it again with his German puns. He says McDonald's has a commercial in German with the slogan, "Man ist, was man isst," which is funny after you realize it means, "You are what you eat," but that the words for 'are' and 'eat' sound just the same.

Dr. Diaz experimented today in chemistry. At precisely 10:00, he stood behind his desk tapping his ruler on the top of the desk, looking out over the sea of faces. After a moment or two, he said to the guy on my left, "How long do you think I could stand here before they stop talking?" The guy guessed about ten minutes.
So, smirking a little (you can't deny it, Dr. Diaz), he proceeded to test this theory. He actually let five minutes go by, and apparently NOBODY noticed that he was standing there. Finally, someone from the back sang out, "Good morning!" which alerted about half of the class that the teacher was, in fact, in the room. Others, however, continued to talk. About what, I do not know.
Then the big guy that always asks really in-depth questions yelled, "HEY, ---- IT!" That startled us into near-silence for a few moments, before we all started laughing at the abruptness and unexpectedness of it.
There were two girls to my right, however, who kept whispering throughout all of this. It took Dr. Diaz turning to them and asking, "What are you talking about, ladies?" to make them be quiet. Then we launched into the wavelengths and frequencies of light waves and Planck's constant.

Dr. Bibbee had his glory moment of humor today as well in history. Apparently, the dude who attempted to rob Kappa Sigma was wearing white gloves, so we derived great amusement from imagining him as a mime. Hilarity ensued. I really don't know how much of Ancient Rome we discussed today, but we sure do have some interesting conversations. Oh, well, Dr. Bibbee did warn us on the first day of school that he lives his life 'on a tangental basis'- always going off on tangents.

And, no,  I didn't go trick-or-treating. I haven't in years. A much better system is going to the store, picking out a bag of candy that you like, and eating it without all the hassle. My little brother spent the hour before he went out changing his mind every thirty seconds about what he was going to be. He was going to be a vampire, Voldemort (don't ask), an army guy, and a Ringwraith (from the Lord of the Rings). He settled on Ringwraith... I think. My other brother went as a beekeeper (which he is, incidentally, so he had all the equipment).
I settled for pilfering from their candy when they got back. There's always sure to be some little chocolate tidbit that they don't want. And there was. Milk Duds. But they were stuck together so much they were more like Milk Wads.

In Pace Christi,


Friday, October 28, 2011

Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings the abundance to drive away hunger.

-- Saint Basil

(As an aside, today is the Feast of Saint Jude and Saint Simon, Apostles! Te Deum laudamus!)

In Pace Christi,


Happy Dance

I managed to get the WiFI/LionAir/whatever in the library to work today! Aren't I so clever? Of course, yeah, it was only after ten minutes of texting my friend- "What do I do next??!!" Still, me and technology do not always get along, so this is a marvelous accomplishment.

Today was also a banner day in that I had no problems staying awake in chemistry today. Yeah, I know, what is the world coming to. However, we started Chapter 6 today- Atomic Structure- which is something a bit more exciting than coffee cup calorimetry. Dr. Diaz was asking us when we thought the theory of atoms was first expounded- people were guessing the 1600's, the 1400's, even the 1900's, while I kept mouthing, "The Greeks. It was Greece." Dr. Diaz wrote "400's BC" on the board and told us it was two Greek guys. Somebody suggested Plato, another Socrates. Sorry, but they were more focused on philosophy than the natural sciences. Aristotle, however... Yep, he was one of them. As Dr. Bibbee, my history teacher, puts it, when Alexander the Great had Aristotle as his tutor, it was like having a group of Nobel Prize winners tutoring you now.

So they managed to come up with Aristotle, but they could not come up with the other name. Cue massive "Uhhhh" around the room. (I also note that there are a lot fewer people in the class than there were when we started out. For example, my row consisted of me and two other girls; empty seats surrounded me. The guy behind  me who always puts his feet up on the chair beside me was absent; perhaps he's dropped the class, like he's been talking about before the teacher walks in for weeks. (He said that if he changed his major to architecture he could get away with no chemistry. Perhaps he has. I don't know. Or maybe it's just the Friday Syndrome. Few people show up on Fridays. But I'll be there the Monday of Thanksgiving, Dr. Diaz. I'll show up, even if it's just me and that other guy who promised to show... I like atomic structure.)

I couldn't have told you that Aristotle thought of atoms, though it is reasonable since he did so many other things, but I sure as anything knew the name of the other guy! Democritus. Now, if you ask me why I know that name I shall have to respond that I don't really know. It may come from high school with four excellent courses of biology (the biology lab, on the other hand, was not excellent but nauseating...), chemistry, physics, and AP physics. (Which is probably the reason why when we did rectilinear motion the other week in calculus I was very happy. It was stuff I'd been doing for two years in physics and one year in calculus.) Anyway, one of my high school science textbooks told a story about Democritus and the seashore- how it looks to be smooth and uniform from far away, but how when you get close you can see that it is made up of many tiny particles. That was how Democritus thought the entire world was. Of course, he thought atoms were hard and perfectly spherical, but they hardly knew about electrons, protons, and neutrons then.

Not to mention croutons. :)

Yes, this is definitely the blog of a nerd. Now you know why I identify so strongly with Carter in the Kane Chronicles, and his, "Gee, history is fun!" attitude. His sister calls him Mr. Wikipedia and the same could probably be applied with some truth to myself...

I don't do entirely geeky things, however. I waste time spectacularly looking up random things. Me and the search bar... I do some very random stuff. And then wish for brain bleach. To make a long story short, NEVER look up Sailor Moon videos. Don't even ask. They seem a lot better when you're 5 than when you're 18.

And I play Lego games online. I can blame that on my brothers. They are Lego nuts.

To complete the randomness of this post (and to complete its slide from nerdy into complete nonsense), BROTHERBAND TRILOGY 1: THE OUTCASTS COMES OUT ON TUESDAY!!!!!

I found its website. I couldn't watch the trailer because I don't want to turn on the sound in the library (and I, of course, stupidly forgot my earphones... not that they work very well, anyway. The right one doesn't work at all.), but I will when I get home! And then bug my family about it with a countdown. Though I doubt I will be as obsessed over this book as I was over the Son of Neptune. Hey, it's Percy's fate we're talking about here... And to complete my joy, I have learned that the Heroes of Olympus series will consist not of three books, but 5!!!! YAY! PERCY SHALL NEVER GO AWAY! And if he dies, well, we'll bring him back to life. Nico will help.

In Pace Christi,


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Short Day (But Not As Short As Last Thursday)

I really don't know why I like blogging so much. Perhaps because it gives me a perfect academic excuse to procrastinate another 30 minutes on doing my homework?

(Not to worry, I've already done my calculus homework, and it wasn't near so dreadful as I was fearing. Even if it is highly unlikely that I will remember any of the formulae for Monday.)

I learned something today. The Human Environmental Sciences (a name which I still think is ludicrous), which include culinary arts and interior design, is housed in Floyd Hall. And it is not called the Floyd Science Building. It is called Floyd Hall. It has its name spelled out on the building. But so many people do not know the names, or even the positions, of the buildings, they feel compelled to add a little clarification: "Floyd Science Building." The Math Building is, however, for reasons unknown, purely and simply the Math Building. Which is weird, especially considering the path leading past the GUC and all the other important buildings is called Shelby Way and there is the Harrison Entrance by the fountain...

What else is there to blog about today? I've already mentioned my football ecumenicism, haven't I (my English class today brought it to mind- don't ask), and my prospective topic for my compare-contrast essay. I should probably not post if I do not much of anything to post about.

Hmm, I know. As the shuttle I was on passed another shuttle at the Decauter Avenue/Hermitage Drive intersection, the driver of the other shuttle shot my driver with a finger gun. Yeah, I know, pointless... but as they're adults it seems so funny.

In Pace Christi,


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Survived

Three tests today. At least I wasn't very concerned about any of them. The calculus quiz was about integrals (which I've been doing for a long time), the German was... well, German, and I have no idea why I stress about the history tests. I was the one talking about Macedonian phlanaces! (Or is it phlanaxes... Sorry in any case, Brittany.) Disappointingly, there wasn't a question about the Punic Wars on the test. I was so looking forward to waxing eloquent about the wars, causes and effects.

Someone apparently shares my opinion of the Wesleyan coke machine. They had taken a marker to it and written on the white cap of the large glowing Coke bottle that's on the front of it, "STEALS MONEY."

I think I will continue my blog even if we do not have freshman forum in the spring. I like this blog! I like writing about random things. I don't think anyone actually reads what I write (well, maybe a couple do), and I can't see how very entertaining it is, but it's actually rather therapeutic. (Did I spell that right?)

The guys selling the suckers are STILL out there! Sheesh, I thought they were pushy on Monday. Today they were roaming the campus, trying to get us to buy suckers. Lollipops. Whatever. Is it a fraternity doing this or what? I still can't see why. Now that is something I would never have the guts to do- walk up to random people and ask them to buy stuff. That's just not something I could ever easily bring myself to do. I think I am rather socially awkward. No doubt partially due to my nerdiness...

In Pace Christi,


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Truth sits upon the lips of dying men, and falsehood, while I lived, was far from mine.

-- Sohrab, from the poem Sohrab and Rustum

Obligatory Honors Post, 10/25/11

Our speaker tonight was Dr. Donna Jacobs, Dean of the College of Education. She was, I have to say, possibly our most engaging and- dare I say it?- entertaining speaker so far. At least I wasn't trying not to fall asleep. (And, yes, I sit in the front row. What is it with me with sitting in the front row and falling asleep? Especially chemistry... stupid warm Floyd Hall...)

Dean Jacobs illustrated that education is more than just teaching 3rd grade math. It also includes human environmental sciences (what a silly term... it's so wishy-washy and politically correct), which include culinary (food is our environment...? Okaaaaayy), interior design, nutrition and child development, you name it. There is also something called HPR which includes sports and recreation. You can't expect me to remember or write down everything, can you? I can write fairly fast (if illegibly), but not as fast as our speakers talk, most times.

Dean Jacobs had plenty of amusing points to make. She said sarcasm can be an effective teaching tool- at the very least, it keeps the audience's attention. Also, she told us that teaching is one of the most scrutinized professions, and for good reason. She even read off a list of incriminating headlines for us. And I don't deny there are bad teachers. But you know how much the media loves hype. They've probably ruined the careers of many innocent people... wait, we KNOW they have. But with teaching, it's probably better to err on the side of caution.

She also said the teacher should be an aide, not a hindrance to the learning process. In other words, the teacher should probably not have a black and white mohawk. Yeah... I think that would be a hindrance to my learning process. It would... how does it go...? 'Project an ungroovy karma that disrupts the school's educational aura'. And if that line doesn't ring a bell, go read The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan. Yes, sigh... I'm shamelessly advertising for his books again. (On a side note, also read Heaven Is For Real. It's worth your time, and it's not over 200 pages. Short, in other words, and it's pretty easy to read- it's written more like a conversation than anything else. It might even make you cry. We were discussing it before the speaker walked in.)

Things to avoid, especially if you want to be an education major, as presented by Dean Jacobs: (1) cheating (2) Facebook incidents- I am so glad I do not have a Facebook page! The more I hear about it, the less I want one. I don't have enough time as it is, anyway! I have three tests tomorrow, haven't even done my Calculus homework, and society expects me to obsessively update my status on Facebook and broadcast my thoughts to the world via Twitter? Come on, no one wants the punishment of reading my thoughts all day. I'm pretty random. And erudite. So you get a combination of nerdy and naive, with a slight dash of entertaining... hopefully. (3) hatespeech (4) inappropriate dress, hairstyle, etc. (5) disrespect towards colleagues and superiors.

I think I've already mentioned in a post (a loooong time ago) how I feel about respecting superiors. May I now mention that I hate cheating and I hate lying? I don't lie. It's like I almost physically can't, it's so repugnant to me. It's like uncreating the universe. See, I believe firmly in the power of words, that speaking is creating. Words are the houses of being. So to tell an untruth, to say that-which-is-not, is almost like blasphemy. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was in God's presence and the Word was God. To use words to do the devil's work... it's unthinkable for me. I just can't do it. Which may mean I do a creative dance to come up with nice things to say... or I just don't say anything at all.

Which brings me to a related subject. I feel very sad when I hear people cuss. I really do. It makes me very sad. In fact, I am sad right now just thinking about it. Do people know what they are saying? I hope not. Most probably don't think a thing of it, or they simply don't care. But I hear. And I am very sad. What makes me the most sad (and this will also get me a little angry, too) is when I hear thoughtless people say things like, "Oh, my God." That's so very pervasive, and so very saddening. Do people realize that the Israelites wouldn't even say God's name, whatsoever? They said Adonai instead, which means 'Lord'. They never said His name. It was blasphemy to do so. Note how the Jews tried to stone Jesus when He said, "Amen, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." They knew the power of God's name.

So, please avoid it. It makes you sound so juvenile, too. There's no good reason to do it. Please, make a little clueless freshman a little less sad and this world a little brighter and cleaner.

In Pace Christi,


Delenda Est Carthago.

I was SO disappointed that the PowerPoint presentation in history Monday about the Punic Wars did NOT include the famous Latin saying: "Delenda est Carthago." Carthage must be destroyed. I mean, that pretty much sums up the Romans' way of thinking, doesn't it? As Dr. Bibbee pointed out, they were just looking for a fight with the Carthaginians. They 'excused' themselves by helping rebels and other people that called for their aid (a bit like the United States, who had helped Columbia in the past put down rebellions in Panama, but as soon as the rebels offer to allow us to build a canal there... pfff! We help the rebels. Columbia was understandably amazed).

I don't know precisely what to think about Carthage. On the one hand, I sympathize with the Romans. What you don't hear often is that the Carthaginians were Phoenician. The Latin word for 'Phoenician' is punicus, whence we get Punic Wars. So the Carthaginians worshipped Phoenician gods... including the infamous Moloch. Yes, Moloch. And do you know HOW they worshipped Moloch? They built a fire in front of the statue of the god, and then they burned a child alive in that fire. Yes, they burned children to Moloch.


And if you don't believe it happened... go read Hittite Warrior. It's a great book, gives you great information about the Hittites, Canaanites, and Egyptians (and Phillistines!) during the time of the Judges in Israel. (Barak and Deborah make an appearance in the book.) Anyway, in the book, the main character helps rescue a child from Moloch. You talk about spine-chilling...

I've even read speculation that Moloch wasn't just an idol... but that the Canaanites/Phoenicians were worshipping an actual demon, who then moved on to Mexico. And if you don't believe that the Aztecs were horrid... you have been brainwashed, my friend. I don't care what atrocities Cortez and the Spainards performed in Mexico (and, remember, our histories of Cortez were written by the English and the Dutch... Spain's worst enemies), THE AZTECS DESERVED DESTRUCTION! Or, at least, their religion did. There is almost no way you can find anything more satanic than ripping the still-beating hearts out of the chests of millions of people every year. The Aztecs actually picked fights with neighboring tribes called 'the Flower Wars' in which the point was not to kill their enemies but to capture them alive so they could haul them back home to their temples and sacrifice them to their gods.

So, yeah... I can sympathize with the Romans' horror of the Phoenicians in one way.

But on the other hand, was it really necessary to kill 3/4 of the population, enslave the rest (the Romans even enacted legislation saying that no slaveowner could have more than a certain percentage of Carthaginian slaves, to prevent them from gathering in large enough groups to form a rebellion), and sow so much salt into the earth that you cannot even farm there today? I don't think so. In one of his letters, Tolkien (yes, my moral authority on so many things) mentions how he hated Delenda est Carthago as a child and couldn't understand why he was told it was so wonderful.

So I'm of two minds. But I do prefer that the Romans won rather than the Phoenicians. Because even Jupiter is better than Moloch.

In Pace Christi,


Thursday, October 20, 2011

It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.

--- Unknown (as far as I know of).


Okay, it was a calculus exam, but still, ONE CLASS TODAY!

English was let out so we could have our midterm professor/teacher conferences, and mine isn't until Tuesday. And calculus and English are all I normally have on Thursday, so, yeah, I was out of class at 8:50!! Big happy dance. After that I went to go see my academic advisor, however, who was very nice and lots of help, and which didn't take long. I was home by 9:40! I love it! I'm so looking forward to next semester when my schedule will be much less hectic.

Since we apparently don't have an honors forum in the spring semester, I am looking at 15 hours. My dad suggested getting a PE out of the way, but I'll have to look again at my catalogue to see if I have to have it. If so, meh... badminton? I would fail at badminton. It's a little ominous when you have to have permission to take stuff like snowboarding... HOW do they even DO snowboarding? I don't think there's a ski slope somewhere on campus, or even a snow-making machine. That I know of. I would have preferred archery for a PE class but UNA doesn't apparently offer that. That stinks. This is in addition to their COMPLETE AND UTTER MISERABLE FAILURE in not offering Latin. Even my advisor said she wished they offered Latin. I mean... I thought Latin and Greek were staples of college. Everyone's saying, "Go Greek!" after all. (I bet they don't know the whole Greek alphabet. I should ask some sorority member that sometime. "Are you required to know the entire Greek alphabet? Do you know any Greek words?" Actually, the word 'alphabet' itself comes from the first two Greek letters... alpha and beta. Alpha beta gamma delta epsilon...)

I had to wait 25 minutes on a bus yesterday. This is very annoying in cold weather. At one point I almost offered to the other students, "Why don't we go demonstrate in the president's lawn?" but that might not go over well with the faculty. At any rate, make sure there are enough buses to go around when one of the drivers randomly decides to take a walk in Wilson Park (and don't tell me they don't because I heard one of them talking on her cell phone to another and she mentioned it).

Men with leaf blowers have invaded campus. They will not leave. They are here to stay. They are loud. Bring earplugs.

I have now been in Willingham Hall! It has a basement and two floors and apparently an attic. The stairs to the third floor were blocked off with an impressive and motley array of desks and chairs so they obviously don't want you going up there. Is the floor bad or something? Hmm. Is it haunted? My cousin who goes to South Carolina told me that one of their dorms was a hospital in the Civil War and after the Yankees took it over a Confederate nurse poisoned some of their soldiers. They say sometimes students from the North wake up to find her standing there... Creepy!

I don't know how I would react if I saw a ghost. Perhaps I would think it was a living person. Perhaps I would scream and freak out. I really don't know. I've never encountered a ghost.

Wow. An appropriate October topic. I didn't even realize that.

Anyway, what IS a ghost? I think the term is used rather loosely. I do believe that souls of departed people can come back to try to tell us something- the good people, that is. Maybe they have something left to do. Maybe they haven't left Purgatory yet. We don't know. No one has ever come back from death and told us about it. It isn't for us to know. But perhaps there are evil people that have died and come back to torment the living. And perhaps there are demons that do the same and pretend to be good people so they will distract the living away from God. You just don't know.

It's very sad, though. If I saw a ghost (and figured out it was a ghost), I might just very well pray for them.

This is a very long post. I am very hyper. This is what a short day of class and relatively little homework does to you. (And Dr. Bibbee assigns strange homework when he doesn't have us doing papers. This week so far we have had to Google ourselves, introduce ourselves to somebody new, and look at ourselves in a mirror held in front of our nose so we could see what we look like if our faces were perfectly symmetrical. Don't ask why. It's a very long story. I don't know how we get onto these discussions in history. But I did tell Dr. Bibbee the other day that the projector was Hellenistic because the company name was Panasonic- 'all sound', more or less, in Greek.)

In Pace Christi,


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

There is no such thing as bad weather. All weather is good because it is God's.

-- Saint Theresa of Avila.

....And that is something we should all remember out in the cold and in the rain.

In Pace Christi,


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

- Lord Acton

This quote is much mis-quoted.

MORE Pointless Things I Have Learned

1. The doors of the bathroom stalls in the basement of Collier Library are in serious need of WD-40. You can shove your weight against them and they will not budge, even if they are unlatched. One is permanently out of quarters, appanrently... A handwritten sign on the door says, "Out of Order Quarters."

2. I found the stairs in the back of Bibb Graves. Or, apparently, the stairs from the basement to the first floor, so, congratulations me, I added another flight to my climb up the building. The stairs were narrower. As I am becoming accustomed to going up the stairs two at a time (per my custom) in most of the buildings, I will stick with the normal stairs and smile at those who huff and puff. -- I also walk fast, apparently. And I accelerate when going up hills. Go figure.

3. They sell cookies in the Guillot. I bought one today. I was 2/3 finished with it when I realized that the sprinkles on it were in the shape of tombstones. Audrey and I had a good laugh over that.

4. PLEASE don't tell me psychology and speech are PREREQUISITE courses! I will absolutely croak if they are. Neither is my thing. I am not good at speaking in public (I tend to start rambling, if you can believe that) and I am not good with subjective sciences. If I must take psychology, I insist that UNA offer Latin classes! I can bargain for a trade-off, can't I?

5. They have now turned on the heat in the math building. It is now one of the warmest, if not the warmest building on campus. Or at least it was this morning.

FOURTEEN DAYS UNTIL BROTHERBAND 1: THE OUTCASTS COMES OUT!!! (It's by John Flanagan who does Ranger's Apprentice and it's set in the same world as RA and some of the same characters- cough, cough, Erak, cough, cough- may appear in it, so you may understand why I am excited about this.)

In Pace Christi,


I Am A Distributist. That Is Both A Political And Economic Philosophy.

...And now you are asking yourself, what is a distributist? A distributist is one who adheres to the school of thought of distributism, which is, in a nutshell, the idea that the less government, the better. Perhaps it can be more clearly put by saying that problems should be taken care of on the lowest level of government possible. In other words, local problems should be handled by local government and state problems by state government, with the least amount of interference by the federal government as possible.

As Ronald Reagan so wonderfully put it, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from government and I'm here to help."

Our forum speaker tonight was Philip Marks from the Small Business Development Center, who spoke to us about government contracting. I regret to say it is a field I am not very interested in. I was, however, fascinated to learn exactly how important Huntsville is to the nation and the local economy (primarily because I am fascinated with rockets and other things that go boom).

...By the way, has anyone heard of the show 'Rocket City Rednecks'? It's totally worth checking out. A bunch of rednecks with Ph.D.'s who blow stuff up. Awesome.

I did write down a bunch of statistics that Mr. Marks gave us, such as that 23% of all government contracts must go to small businesses. And that 68-82% of people work for small businesses (and small businesses are defined both by the number of people that work for them and by their amount of revenue). Employes must be less than 500 for a business to be considered small.

I don't know. I really am not a fan of big government because it's pretty apparent anything the government gets its hands on messes up. Need I say more? I may also add it's because I am a Southerner. Don't get me wrong. I love my country. The government, however... is not the country.

And now, after using the word 'government' excessively in this post, I am thinking of one of Tolkien's letters in which he went on one of his delightful rants about WWII-era Britain. He disliked the use of the word 'government' in reference to anything other than the abstract concept of governing, and joked about giving anyone who used it in any other way a chance to recant before hanging. He said a much better name for the British government would have been to call it "Winston and his gang". (And if you do not know who Winston Churchill is, you are in a sad condition, my friend.) That, he said, would "go a long way toward clearing thought, and reduce the frightful slide into Theyocracy".

Distributism was a system of thought much advocated by G. K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc. I am a big fan of Chesterton's Orthodoxy and have read a couple of works by Belloc, as well. Has anyone else heard of the Ballad of the White Horse? It's awesome. I know a couple of lines in it... And I had best not quote them here and now...

What sort of reflection upon our speakers qualifies as enough? I believe we could have a debate on this topic. Some people write profound posts about the speakers' talks, others write a paragraph and are done, and I'm not sure how to classify mine. Pointless rambling again, probably.

In Pace Christi,


Monday, October 17, 2011

You can tell I'm distracted when I forget to sign off properly.

In Pace Christi,


And I Thought I Was Doing Good

There is a reason why you look at your syllabus for your class the next morning BEFORE the night before the class. I have an outline for my English paper due and I haven't even started. I fail. AND I have a 'Reading Closely' assignment on some passage that I haven't looked at, either.

I thought I was doing good. I had done about half of the practice test for math, I had done my German homework, and an hour of language lab (in that frozen meat locker of a place), and I thought I was doing okay. Not so. Cancel any thoughts of doing chemistry tonight; I've got to do an outline. And I'll probably do a complete sentence version anyway, because I just feel more comfortable doing that. It helps me write the actual paper better.

But, for the good news, after tomorrow's English class we have two classes that are just conferences and mine is next week so on this Thursday I will have only one class. I will be home by 9:30. I will not be able to understand why. It will all be so weird. No, no, I'm supposed to get home around 2:30... Something is very strange here... What am I forgetting?

Tomorrow we have forum, too. I notice many people are behind on blogging. I can't even remember what I blogged about for the last forum! Hey, it was a week ago. Oh, now I remember. I believe I said something about relativism and gun control... I should go back and look at it. No, I should not. I should go do my outline.


Friday, October 14, 2011


Lovely, lovely, lovely Fridays.

And do you know why they are lovely? Saturdays follow them!!

My chemistry test this morning was much less hard than anticipated. And Dr. Bibbee let us out of history twenty minutes early "because you can't cover Aristotle in just twenty minutes". Hoory and all that. Although I was rather disappointed because I find philosophy fascinating. Yes, I read philosophy books for fun, mainly those by Peter Kreeft. He's an awesome writer. Of course, he wrote The Philosophy of Tolkien which begins with, "Oh, no! Not another book about Tolkien! Why should we read this one?" so you know it's good.

Do I have a math quiz Monday? I can't remember. Hopefully it's written down somewhere if it is. I know we do have a third exam next Thursday.

I'm supposed to meet with my advisor and have no idea how. Why is this necessary? To make sure we do all the things we're supposed to and take all the right classes?

I went to the game last night. Does that count as an honors event, Dr. Brewton? We stayed until the field goal that tied Delta State with UNA, but didn't bother to stay for overtime. It was sad not seeing the victory torch lit today. I kept it company anyways. It and the silly lion probably needed some comforting...

In Pace Christi,

The world is redeemed by the patience of God. It is destroyed by the impatience of man.

- Pope Benedict XVI

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why Am I Posting When I Have Little To Say?

When Dr. Brewton told us to personalize our blogs, I don't think he meant this. I don't just ramble meaningfully about our guest speakers, or even meaningfully about campus and schoolwork, but I also ramble meaningLESSly about nothing in general. Like now, for instance. I am rambling about rambling about rambling about rambling about rambling...

Ha ha. Anyway. We may or may not be going to the game tonight! When I say 'we', I mean my family and I. I would like to go, certainly, and so does my mom and my sister. The boys, however, have declared that football is 'boring' (anathema!) and so will probably be threatened with dire consequences in order to secure their good behavior if we do come (thus requiring them to come along, as well).

I already have an idea for the compare/contrast essay that is not due for about a month! I will compare and contrast Edmund from The Chronicles of Narnia and Boromir from the Lord of the Rings. I initially thought of simply comparing and contrasting the two series, but decided to narrow the scope to just two characters. However, I have thought up of three points apiece for comparing and contrasting, and could have thought of more, so that proves how much I like these two series (despite my recent near-incoherency about Percy Jackson and Ranger's Apprentice). I am more knowledgeable about the Lord of the Rings however and will be delighted to debate it with anyone who fancies a go at someone who has actually (gasp!) read the Simarillion. Even if the last time I read it was more than a year or two ago. I would read it again now but I am on overload. I have two books sitting on my dresser that have been sitting there untouched for weeks. In my defense I didn't bargain on one of them (they are on loan from a fellow parishioner) and the other proved to be dry if well-researched.

At least all I have to do for the Athens/Sparta history paper is print it out again. As for the analysis of Hammurabi's Code, I have yet to figure out how to make Word let me put my last name as well as the page number at the top of each page. My name, yes. The page number, yes. Both, no. It wants to put my name and one uniform number at the top of every page. Which is not good. I like Word 2010, even if it was a huge shock coming from complete mastery of Word 2000, but its still computer-like insistence on trivialities like this is annoying. Which is also good, in a sense too, because if computers/droids could think, we probably wouldn't be here. (As I think Obi-Wan said in the Attack of the Clones...)

I am such a nerd, aren't I?

If I go to the game, I have to wear a black shirt, right? I have only two black non-church shirts, and one features a picture of Pope John Paul II on it and the other... well, I could still wear the other, even if it has a big red cross on it. I'll probably be wearing a coat over it, anyway...

We still get in free if we're students, right? Even if this is against Delta State and it's televized? And what's this about getting a free concession item? UNA seriously needs to improve its communication. Or maybe it just doesn't want to advertise its free giveaways. Meh.

In Pace Christi,


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Again, Not Much to Say

...Other than it's official that the coke machines in Wesleyan hate me. Snack machines, whatever. The coke machine one time took my quarters and gave me nothing in return. Today, the snack machine used a Jedi mind-trick on me to make me accidentally hit the E button instead of the C button, thereby giving me crackers when I wanted the Rice Krispies. At least it gave me two quarters back. I can try again Friday.

Although which of the two is less healthy for me, I don't know.

I am being stalked via email. FIRST by Collier Library and then by Tell Me More. I have a couple of books due in over a week, mind you, and they're already sending me emails every day wanting me to renew them or return them. I renewed. And then Tell Me More, one of the many supplements to the German course, sent me an email today that went along the lines of, "We haven't heard from you in 8 days! Learning a language takes lots of practice! We hope to hear from you again soon. Sincerely, your friends on the Tell Me More team."

That's actually rather creepy. I want to send them back an email saying, "Ich habe keine Zeit!" but as it was an automated email no one would probably receive it. Sadly. I would so love to rant at them in a foreign language.

I should really be doing something productive instead of sitting here blogging, like working on my notecards for my English paper or doing chemistry homework or something...

In Pace Christi,


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Obligatory Honors Post

I am apparently the Blog Queen. Everyone else I talk to says they are usually one or two posts behind, or they've only got two or three posts, etc. Some do manage to keep up. And here I am, with 33 posts or so...


Anyway, our speaker tonight was Dr. Santanu Borah, a professor from the Department of Management and Marketing. He was asked to speak on globalization and a 'New World Order'. I don't know, but those last three words sounded awfully ominous to me. Sinister, even. Does it suggest to anyone else dystopias, the evil plans of evil criminal masterminds/politicians/tyrants, and science fiction end-of-the-world blockbusters?

Dr. Borah began by attempting to define values, saying it was an abstract term encompassing beliefs (tied to emotions, not objective, cold ideas), that it is motivational (setting us goals), that it transcends actions and situations, guides our selection or evaluation of actions, others, scenarios, etc. I can't really argue with anyone of that, except for the first part. I am not a moral relativist. I am a moral absolutist. But the thing is, moral absolutists are only relatively absolute, whil moral relativists are absolutely relative. (Ha!) See, we only hold some things as absolute. But moral relativists, to soothe their consciences, insist everything is relative. That way they can live in a gooshy, feel-good world and insist on blaming everyone but themselves for the consequences of their own stupidity/sins/accidents/etc.

Dr. Borah then launched into a series of highly-controversial topics, ranging from abortion to gun control to the death penalty- you name it. He favored presenting both sides and making us think, rather than offering definite answers- which, I suppose, had a point. But I do believe there is a moderate position between the two extremes on just about every topic that is neither wishy-washy nor diluted in New Age weakness. Gun control, for example. No, I don't think just anybody should be able to have a gun. Obviously, there are idiots out there. But I certainly think we have the right to keep and BEAR arms. In Europe, many people do not have that right. The citizens are helpless if their government wants to oppress them (sound familiar, anyone?). In Britain, you can't practically carry a knife across your kitchen. We should be thankful for our rights here- and fight to hold on to them!

Of course, my experience with guns comes from living on a farm. Out here, there are coyotes that hunt and kill our animals. We want to protect our animals against predators- coyotes, raccoons, hawks, and so forth. My uncle even saw a mountain lion one night... You may think, "Oh, they're harmless. They'd never go after people." Oh, yes, they do. Have you seen no article in the paper talking about desperate coyotes attacking people- even killing them? It does happen. They are not scared of people anymore. They waltz through our backyard every night.

And of course I see that, if a person has a gun, they might be able to stop some nut who is shooting up the place. Whether they would do so or not, I don't know, as Dr. Borah pointed out: the person might fear that others will think he is in league with the nutcase instead of trying to stop him. I don't know. But I think the right to self-defense is extremely important in as crazy a world as ours is right now.

As for the rest? Meh. I'm chatty enough on my blog without dragging up every single topic Dr. Borah mentioned and lengthening this post out to novel-length. Everyone else does a paragraph or two and signs off... But I'll add this. A state's claim on a citizen is not as great as the claim of the citizen's conscience. The commandment to honor our father and mother implicitly includes honoring- and thus obeying- all our lawful superiors, including our government. But only in all things that are not sinful. Would you rather be found striving with men, or with the Almighty? 2000 years ago, Gamaliel spoke rightly.

The moment the government of any state acts in violation of the natural order and oppresses their citizens, it is forfeited its right to their allegiance and loyalty.

And on that profoundly secessionist note, I shall sign off.

In Pace Christi,


Useless Things I Have Learned

A small number of completely pointless facts that I have learned about UNA in the half of a semester I have spent there, presented in no sort of coherent order whatsoever...

1. The faucet handles in the bathroom in the basement of Collier Library do NOT operate on the principles of 'righty tighty, lefty loosey'. In fact, they work COMPLETELY BACKWARDS and if you are not quick to grasp this fact you will end up with the front of your shirt absolutely soaked.

2. Most bathroom doors do not have adequately-working latches. Some don't have latches at all. This is why UNA (as well as most other colleges) have decided that it is good and well for students to carry around overloaded backpacks. These backpacks serve as nifty doorstoppers in the (gasp!) event of a bathroom door not latching.

3. There is a universal consensus that the stature of the lion sitting up with a book in its paw next to the victory flame is about the stupidest thing on campus. I sit in that general vicinity quite a lot and have heard numerous people mock the statue as they walk by. Today, someone had taped a flyer for the Snore-Ala on it. And, no, I had absolutely nothing to do with that and I haven't even looked at one of those papers, so it wasn't me behind that, either.

4. The perfect time to go get lunch in the GUC is at precisely 10:50. The people who have classes at 11 are vacating their seats; those who just got out haven't made it to the building yet. The lines are minimal and there are actually such things as empy tables.

5. Someone must have a weird sense of humor. As I was leaving the bathroom on the main floor of the GUC (thank goodness for overloaded backpacks, again...), there was a bright orange sign taped to the inside of the door: "CAUTION. OUT OF ORDER." Soooooo.... the door was out of order?

6. The stairs in the back of Bibb Graves are much less strenuous than those in the front. At least, so I am told. I have yet to try them out. It would be embarrassing to be late for class halfway through the semester because I got lost. And I'm getting used to the stairs.

7. Dr. Bibbee called the squirrels "rats with fuzzy tails" the first day of class. He may be right. If you are eating outside, the squirrels will stalk you. They will circle you, standing on their hind legs and sniffing, looking cute and hoping you will toss them something. And they won't go away, either. They'll stare at you for fifteen minutes in hopes of a crumb. Persistent little things. I tried to get a picture of one, but he wouldn't stay still.

8. The temperature is exactly 60 degrees in the language lab on the top floor of Wesleyan. Bring a parka. You'll want it. You know it's cold when people start debating in French on the wipe boards about how cold it is...

9. Floyd Science Building is, by contrast, the warmest building I have been in on campus, especially in the basement. I will fall asleep in it one day.

10. No one knows what any of the buildings are called, except for the GUC. I usually call it the Guillot. And my dad still calls it the Student Union Building...

11. What does the Latin on the university seal mean? "Lux Veritas Orbis Terrarum." Who translated that? I'm guessing it's supposed to mean, "Light and Truth across the Face of the Earth," but that would be properly rendered differently... As it is, everything appears to be in the nominative case.

12. You can get suspended or expelled for taking a swim in the Harrison Fountain! I have yet to see anyone try this. Perhaps they too have seen the camera mounted on the front of Keller Hall.

13. I have yet to see anyone demonstrate against the enforced busing in the president's yard, although I suspect this may be tried as it gets colder and the students less tolerant of long waits.

That's all I can think of a the moment. I'm sure I'll learn more. Ha!
In Pace Christi,


Monday, October 10, 2011

Slightly Less Insane

I am marginally less unhappy than I was last week.

Turns out that the infamous Athens/Spart paper Dr. Bibbee assigned us last week will be counted as the out-of-class essay for our second test and not as an entirely separate grade. I am much more inclined to doing it now. The only weird part was that we peer-reviewed it today in class (translate: we let other kids read it and then tell us how bad it was). Ooookay. I am wondering just how much time we will spend on Athens/Sparta. And Dr. Bibbee told us we will not spend much time on it.

He must have a different definition of 'not much time' than I do.

Well, we were assigned the paper last Monday and dismissed to go do research. Last Wednesday we were given the outline of the paper and today we reviewed it. Wednesday, thank goodness, we will be looking over Thucydides's account of the invasion of Melos by Athens in the Pelopennesian War. And, no, I don't think I spelled that right, either. I don't think I could have taken another straight class of this stupid Athens/Sparta paper.

I really think Athens was more in the right, but I'm getting really tired of everything being focused on those two cities. Which is why I felt a sort of vindictive pleasure when the account by Thucydides portrayed the Athenians as the unjust aggressors. Ha!

Yep, I'm weird.

I have decided that Floyd is the warmest building. In contrast, Wesleyan (the castle, to those of you who never bother learning the buildings' names) is the coldest. Coming from the top floor of Wesleyan down to the basement of Floyd is quite a temperature shock. The warmth is probably another reason why I keep almost falling asleep in chemistry each day. One of these days, I will simply lean forward and sleep on the desk. I know I will. Please, someone wake me up before the next class stampedes in, though. I don't want to get trampled.

In Pace Christi,


Friday, October 7, 2011

Forum Post

Last Tuesday night our guest speaker was Dr. Wesley Desselle (I honestly have no idea how that's spelled, so, if I'm wrong, please inform me), who now works as a general surgeon. He said he used to be a trauma surgeon, so I can understand why he decided to just be a general surgeon instead.

He said that he had been inspired to become a doctor after he had seven surgeries to repair his leg so it would not be amputated after he was hit by a car. He wanted to do for someone else what had been done for him.

Dr. Wesley mentioned several things necessary in a practioner of medicine: experience (through which one learns), diligence, creativity, mentorship, and trust. I can certainly see how trust is the most important quality there needs to be between the patient and the doctor. The patient must trust that the doctor will fix him. For his part, the doctor must not betray that trust. I can see how immense of a responsibility that would be: I don't think I could do that myself. Which is why I am glad that there are people who can do that.

I would mention here that I am grateful to the hospital workers from the time when I went to the emergency room with a concussion, but as I (understandably) don't remember much of anything of that night, I will not.

Dr. Wesley also stressed the value of mentorship. (By the way, the word mentor comes from an old guy, Mentor, in Greek mythology who advised Telemmachus, Odysseus's son, as he set out looking for his father. At one point, Athena disguised herself as Mentor to give advice to Telemmachus. Yes, I'm a nerd. I do believe some of the wallpaper in Andrew Jackson's Hermitage depicts Telemmachus's search for Odysseus... Don't ask me why. I think it was Mrs. Jackson's idea...)

Anyway, Dr. Wesley described an ideal mentor as a friend, a helper, a teacher, someone who is there for the student every step of the way. He also pointed out that there are mentors not even in the medical field- saying that Nick Saban had been the mentor of Jimbo Fisher (Florida State), Derek Dooley (Tennessee), and Will Muschamp (Florida). (And if I've got any of that wrong, you SEC nuts correct me.) He also pointed out Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, which was a creative way to keep a bunch of college kids' attention, I thought. (By the way, did anyone see the article in the paper several days back calling Saban and Muschamp Master and Padawan? That was rather amusing.)

Dr. Wesley also said that medicine is a actually a social science, not just a scientific practice. English, philosophy, and ethics mean just as much in the medical field as they do elsewhere. He said that if he had not become a surgeon, he would have wanted to be an English teacher. That, I think, shows an ideal balance. All knowledge is connected. Neither is it ever wasted. Even if someone gets his degree and goes on to work in a completely different field, that knowledge is never wasted. One simply never knows if and when one will need that knowledge. It's all part of the Grand Design... Divine Providence. (Yes... and now I'm going to have that song 'Through Heaven's Eyes' in my head for the rest of the day...)

In Pace Christi,


Actually, I'm Still Alive.

I know I haven't updated my blog since Monday. Yes, a horrible failure on my part. In my defense, I have been sick since Tuesday with NBS (New Book Syndrome). Symptoms of NBS include: staying up way too late reading new book, disregarding homework in favor of reading new book, talking about new book to anybody and everybody (whether or not they want to hear about it), and general lack of attention in classes, specifically if new book is in backpack.

I had a two-hour break in between English and Chem Lab on Tuesday, so I ran into town and got The Son of Neptune and Ranger's Apprentice 11 The Lost Tales. Squirrel on caffeine, anyone?

THE SON OF NEPTUNE WAS AWESOME! Unfortunately, I can't talk too much about it lest I spoil it for other people who want to read it (not that there's probably many of them out there), but I can say that the two new characters, Hazel and Frank, are pretty cool, too? And Percy has grown up so much. In The Last Olympian, he really became the leader of Camp Half-Blood. In The Son of Neptune, even if he's not the main character so much anymore (which is sad), he's like an all-powerful older brother. He explodes many things. :) He's smarter than he looks (and, hilariously enough, he's apparently not bad-looking... as Hazel's first thought when she sees him is that he might be a Roman god in disguise [ha, ha!] and the Amazon Kinzie tries flirting with him at the end...). Unfortunately, the book ended with a massive cliffhanger.

RA 11 was equally awesome. To my delight, it had two Gilan stories! Okay, one was mostly Jenny-centric, but whatever. It's nice to know Halt was sarcastic even when he was younger.
Hmm, best line in RA 11: "You know, Ranger, this couldn't be a better wedding. A beautiful bride. A handsome groom. Good food, good ale. And to top it all off, a fight. It's just like being back at home." -- Nils Ropehander.

I should really go work on my homework now...

In Pace Christi,


Monday, October 3, 2011


NO! I'm not supposed to get another paper assigned the day before the Son of Neptune comes out! That's just wrong, so wrong.

And you were one of my favorite teachers, Dr. Bibbee! Why, oh, why???


Well, I had better start at the beginning. Last Friday was quite nice. For once, we had a totally random start to Chemistry (it is NEVER random in Chemistry), in which several students tried 'bargaining' over OWL problems. Needless to say, that didn't work. One girl asked if Dr. Diaz would give us more extra-credit problems on OWL.
"When you're not even doing the assigned problems?" he asked. He then made the mistake of asking if there were any other questions.
Some guy immediately fired off: "Are you going for Alabama or Florida?"
Dr. Diaz was not hesitant to reply with: "Neither. If there was a way for both of them to lose, I would pick that."
Someone groaned, "Can I change classes?" while another asked him, "Did you go to Auburn?"
"No. I went to North Carolina," Dr. Diaz told them.
"I feel sorry for you," someone commented.

Yep, randomest opening to Chemistry ever.

I spent Saturday down at the park/picnic grounds for Oktoberfest. I was there for a long time on Saturday. We went down around 10 because my little brother was having an absolute duckfit to go down there so he wouldn't miss the pedal tractor pull. Telling him that it started at 12:30 had no effect whatsoever. He can be pretty single-minded sometimes, to put it mildly. And he doesn't mind driving the rest of us nuts, either. So we went down there and then looked around (he changed his mind about what he wanted to see every five minutes and then my other brother wanted to go off by himself and then refused to do so when encouraged). Gah. Boys. I never look at the old cars. It's not my thing. But they did have a wooden, horse-drawn hearse from the late 1700's. It was in AWESOME condition to be that old.

I also went up to the Buffler house and looked around there for a while... My uncle (well, one of my uncles) was in there swapping stories with some others about the trouble the kids got into at St. Michael's School when it was still around (Riverhill's there now), including one about a boy's foot going through the ceiling... :)

My little brother got third place in his pedal tractor age division, by the way. One of my cousins also placed, but I can't remember if he got second or first place in the 11-12 years division.

On Sunday I helped Amy work the drink stand in the Meat Stand (nobody knows what those two buildings are. It's the Meat Stand and the Bingo Stand. See? Not that hard.). It was all right for the first hour or so but after one it got busy. We learned firsthand that when the coke dispeners run out of coke they tend to spew everywhere. Ask Amy. She got hit by the Coke... and then by the Sprite. No, Amy was not happy at all about that...

I'm on the verge of a second minor meltdown. I can't figure out how to get critical numbers in my math homework, I hate Quia (and Tell Me More), I hate OWL and have to do a bunch of it, I have to finish the rough draft for my original history paper and then schedule a second visit to the writing center so I can get it out of the way so I can work on my English paper (which I have done approximately zero on) AND now on top of that Dr. Bibbee has told us to research either Athens or Sparta and then presumably write a paper on which one we think is best and why for Monday. GAAAAAAH!

By the way, did you know Sparta had a dual monarchy? No, I didn't either. The Agiads and the Eurypontids.

I hope I don't have to do anything for English tomorrow. I'll have two new books and won't be in the mood for doing much homework. If I'm sitting there in Forum tomorrow before the speaker gets there with a thick book open on the desk before me and reading it with an odd mixture of glee and desperation probably amounting to insanity on my face... yeah. That's normal. I'm going to be like a squirrel on caffeine when I get my hands on the Son of Neptune...

In Pace Christi,