Monday, April 30, 2012

Disorder in society is the result of disorder in the family.

-– St. Angela Merici

Happy Dance of Joy

Happy, happy, happy, joy, joy...

In Calculus I can exempt from the final if I get my test corrections all correct. At first I was literally panicking, as there were two very hard problems I had to correct, in addition to an assorted variety of stupid mistakes. (The type that make you slap your forehead with your head and say, "Stupid, stupid..." to yourself.) One of the two I actually went to Dr. Stovall's office and she gave me some good advice about it. I went home and looked at the book, and it all finally made sense.

Then I started obsessing over the other problems (and discovered that I STILL hadn't simplified on one of them), and saw that on one of them what I had down wasn't going to work. I was trying to take the derivative of the Maclaurin series for cos (x), and I couldn't take the derivative right. My dad told me a few years ago that he couldn't help me anymore with math (which is NOT an encouraging statement, let me tell you, as he is a mechanical engineer), so he took one look at what I was doing, told me basically, "Good luck," and went out to go cut hay. (It is hay-cutting season right now. Have I ever mentioned that I actually like the rhythmic sound the square baler makes as it goes on its little rounds around and around the field? It's very soothing. I haven't actually ridden in the tractor in a long time- lately I've driven the truck with the trailer behind it and the bale loader attached to it so dad can pick up the bales, or run around the field pushing the bales into line for the loader to pick up-, but I still like that sound.)

ANYWAY, back to mathematics... I thought I had taken the derivative of the Maclaurin series of cos (x) right, and kept trying to reindex it accordingly, but it wasn't yielding anything right. (I thought it was yielding 1/3 of the problem right, but as it turns out I was wrong in my thinking there.) Finally, it took me looking at the derivation of the series for y = e^2x to realize, "Hey, use the Chain Rule." Cue banging of head upon the table. Earlier in the test I had forgotten to use the Chain Rule, turned something inadvertently into an alternating series, and meandered off into an alternating proof that just didn't work. At all.

So I worked the problem with the Chain Rule. And it came out with a logical, sensical answer! I was looking for the Maclaurin series for -sin(x). It would make sense that the answer would look just like the series for sin(x), but with a negative sign on the front. And that is what I got. I was almost delirious with joy.

Still, before I got to that point I was very frustrated and a little panicked. One of my uncles had come over to say something about the hay. (Hay is a very serious business, I tell you! Grandpa, my dad, and almost all the uncles get involved, and usually the boys as well. The girls get occasionally drafted to drive trucks. It consumes all afternoons and weekends during the hay season.) My uncle noted that I was doing homework, so I seized the opportunity to ask him if he remembered Taylor series. He said he did, but upon looking at what I was doing acknowledged that he probably couldn't help me there. So I went to go ask my cousin who is in Cal 3 and makes 100's. (I am envious of her greatness.)

This is why I love having a big family. We all pretty much get along and we all help each other out, with hay and suchlike, and it is wonderful.

In a lot of stories and shows they put a lot of emphasis on being loyal to your friends and all that. Now, I'm not downing friendship, but I think something is lacking there. Where's the emphasis upon loyalty to family? The family is the building block of society, after all, and it is under serious attack nowadays. So many people come from fractured families. I feel so sorry for them. I mean, bless their hearts, they have got to have such a skewed view of everything because of that... So, in my stories, family gets a bigger emphasis. A lot of my characters have large, extended families and they run around with their cousins and do stuff and a family not getting along is seen as a tragedy. Because it is.

Earlier today, though, I was seriously PANICKING about the math test corrections. I mean, I was feeling pretty sick to my stomach- the sort of gut-clenching anxiety that's almost as bad as whatever you fear itself. Finally, I decided to go home and obsess over my math problems there. I was driving home, still thinking about my two problem questions, when, almost as if someone invisible- my guardian angel, maybe?- a line popped into my mind, a perfect quotation of one of my characters, "We shall trust in Hiru's continued grace." Hiru is a name in my world for God, and the speaker (Lunadin, incidentally- one of my favorite characters, who might best be described in simple English terms as a magical warrior monk) is pretty much saying, "God has helped us so far, so let's continue to believe that He will keep on helping us."

Somehow, that calmed me down a lot. I really don't think that I thought of that line all by myself, because I was surprised when it popped in my head all of a sudden. And I was surprised that it was a quote from my stories. Furthermore, it was a quote that, though I believed it, I hadn't considered the full power of until then. Then I realized that it was true. God had given me at least the CHANCE of getting an A and exempting from the final. It made sense to continue to trust Him that He would help me get my test corrections right and earn that exemption. So I stopped panicking. That's the first time I've really lived that quote.

Even more strangely, right then and there, still in the car, I was already thanking God for the grace He was going to give me, even though I won't find out about the exemption until tomorrow. It only makes sense from a biblical standpoint. As for right now, I'm going to say like the guys in Facing the Giants, "If we win, we praise Him. If we lose, we praise Him."

Okay, okay, I'm still human. I will be doing a very big happy dance tomorrow if (no, no, I must have faith; I must say when) I get the exemption. And I might just scream, "No, precioooouuuusss!" and collapse into a puddle of tears if I don't. But I'll know my lack of faith and lack of hard work got me there.

You know, though, I still like math. It's weird. I used to hate it, like most people apparently do. I remember lying on the floor whining in 5th grade (mind you, I was being homeschooled by that point), moaning about how I didn't want to do math. In 6th grade, I liked doing it. In 7th grade, I hated it. In 8th grade, I liked it. And I've liked it from then on. Somewhere thereabouts I took to saying my Rosary, or at least a few decades of it, while doing my math problems. I give that habit full credit for my learning to like math and to be good at it. I honestly do. It kept me from stressing out over it, and I really think it led me to learn to like it and do better at it. So, to God be the glory for the fact that I have made it all the way to Calculus 2 and liked it. Gott sei dank. Gratias Deo. Ut in omnibus glorificatur Deus. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. Whatever you like, but He's the One Who's brought me here.

Another little habit of mine is saying a prayer for the souls in Purgatory every time I sharpen my pencil. Yeah, I know, how on earth did I get in that habit? Well, you see, I do my math homework sitting at my spot at the kitchen table. To sharpen my pencil, I get up and walk over to the mudroom, where the sharpener is. Right next to it is our freezer, and one of the many things stuck on it (among assorted magnets from law firms that you get in the mail and horrible photos from preschool in hideous frames we made at said preschool) is the prayer of St. Gertrude the Great that is supposed to release 1,000 souls from Purgatory every time you say it. So I just got in the habit of looking up at it and saying the prayer every time I went to sharpen my pencil. It's not a bad habit.

Of course, I now know the prayer by heart, so I don't have to look at it anymore. I'm good at memorizing words. Math formulas... not so much. I should really go study for my chemistry final. I'm not really worried about the German or English final... In English we write an essay. It's kind of hard to study for that. Last semester, I barely studied for the German final- I pretty much glanced at the book that morning during breakfast- and made a 97. I swear, I make a 97 on every German test I take. But, hey, I'll take that, no complaints here.

I really hope I'm not going to be the only person in German 201. I don't think Marcela's going on to 201 because she wants to concentrate on French. I don't know about Roberto. Sorry. Robert Thompson, SGA secretary. Apparently, he goes by Robby, but Dr. Christy has called him Roberto for so long that it's really hard for me to think of him by anything else, bless his heart.

Where does one get copies of the Snore-Ala? (Or is it going by just The Snore now?) I have a feeling I will disagree with some of its humor but still it sounds like something I should take a look at once, just to say I've had that collegiate experience... Does one have to sneak to some clandestine place and exchange a secret handshake and password to get a hold of a copy? Follow some sort of secret map and find the hidden cache of Snore copies under a random statue on campus? LOL, I'm so melodramatic.

THE SERPENT'S SHADOW AND THE INVADERS COME OUT TOMORROW!!!!! At 10:40, so long, Bibb Graves. I'll be running out to catch a shuttle, jump in my car, and race over (ahem... racing at the speed of 45 mph, that is) to Books-a-Million to grab my copies!

So you probably won't hear from me on this blog for a few days. Auf Wiedersehen!

...Wait. Does one say 'Auf Wiedersehen' when blogging? One says 'Auf Wiederhoeren' on the telephone... Okay, does 'Auf Wiederlesen' work???

Now I'm confusing myself. Time to stop.

In Pace Christi,


Friday, April 27, 2012

Poor human reason when it trusts in itself substitutes the strangest absurdities for the highest divine concepts.

– St. John Chrysostom

I Wonder What Would Happen If I Left 'Post title' In This Box...

Completely random title. Ignore it.

According to the stats page on my blog, someone from Russia has been reading my blog again. Must have been an accident, as I'm not sure what of interest they could find on here.

Today I only had one class. It is very saddening to think I only have a few more classes. I am going to miss all of my teachers so much! Most of them I have had for two semesters straight- Dr. Stovall, Dr. Christy, and Mrs. Howell. At least I think I'll be keeping Dr. Christy (he's the only one who teaches German, right?), so it won't be all new in the fall. I've only had Dr. Moeller and Dr. Gren for one semester but I really like them a lot, too. Dr. Gren is... well, Dr. Gren, and if you follow my blog you know I quote him all the time ("I always feel like I'm forgetting something, so I never know if I've actually forgotten something or not."), while Dr. Moeller is also hilarious. My Uncle Ronald said about Dr. Moeller, "He likes to say something crazy to see if you're paying attention."

We had our chemistry lab final this Tuesday, and Dr. Moeller seemed to spend most of the time at the front of the classroom- Floyd 102- smirking out at the students. That was NOT encouraging, let me tell you, but it was so in-character for Dr. Moeller I found it hilarious. Plus, one of the questions on the test went like this, "What happens at Dr. Moeller's house when he lands a fat counselling job?" I decided to answer more or less as he described it that memorable class, "Mrs. Moeller runs around the house saying, 'Le Chatelier's Principle! Le Chatelier's Principle!' and a new sofa or something appears."

To make up for not seeing Dr. Moeller next Tuesday, at least I will be comforted by two new books. 'Cause guess what comes out May 1st...? The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan and The Invaders by John Flanagan!!!!! I will be so happy. I will probably not even blog for the rest of the week, as I will be busy reading and rereading those books!

I hope my teachers in the fall are entertaining. I had Dr. Bibbee last semester and he was quite funny, especially when he went into self-described 'Southern Baptist preacher mode' when talking about, of all things, Buddhism. This semester, I've had Dr. Gren and Dr. Moeller. Oh, today there was a purple marker in Floyd 102. There has never been a purple marker in there before. There has been only blue markers in there before (Dr. Gren: "Well, today's going to be a blue day."), but never a purple one. Dr. Gren's expression when he said, "Ooh, purple," was simply priceless.

I am still fairly sure one or more of the girls in the class (me not included) have a crush on Dr. Gren...

I keep hearing about this 'Rate My Professors' site. Maybe I should check it out sometime. I could do a little research... For some reason, that reminds me of a TV show from ages ago, back when I watched Pokemon (yes, that long ago). It was a cartoon version of Jackie Chan (no kidding) and had them looking for talismans. In it, Uncle always said, "We must do research!" Now I find myself doing just that... odd.

In Pace Christi,


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.

-- Blaise Pascal

I Know I Haven't Been On Here In A While...

Oh, joy. Blogger changed its interface while I was gone and now I can't find anything. Everything is all huge and white and intimidating, and the buttons have been minimalize and 'streamlined', as they like to call it. Presumably, the designers were aiming for a 'modern' look. I suppose they achieved that. However, not everyone likes the modern look, and I certainly qualify as someone who does not necessarily like it.

That brings to mind the Chattanooga trip last weekend. If I had blogged earlier in the week, I probably would have been in the mood to write a long post about it, but I'm not really in the mood now. Nevertheless, I think it is incumbent upon me to share a few details.

All right. So we went up to Chattanooga in a very nice bus (with blue carpeted ceiling). I wish I had had the foresight to bring along Elaine's iPod, even if that meant I had to listen to Kenny Chesney. After all, I can imagine worse fates, one of which befell me. Suffice it to say that I wanted someone to Obliviate me after Anchorman was done playing. Honestly, I was doing my best to ignore that horrible movie. I was concentrating my best upon my book and even mouthing the words to myself in an effort to mentally drown out the horrifying spectacle (I even let my hair fall over my ears. It doesn't make much difference in the sound level, but, hey, every little bit helped). I don't know who in the world can consider something like Anchorman to be good entertainment, because it was seriously not funny. It was crude and vulgar and SHALLOW. It couldn't even take itself seriously. Hopefully, it was a parody, which makes its failings a little more understandable. However, that does not take away the serious and grave offense it gave me. Suffice it to say that in the hour-odd amount of time it was playing, I heard probably more cuss words than I have heard in my entire life. Call me sheltered, but I don't mind. NO ONE should have to have their brain bombarded by things like that. It insults everyone. I was very, very saddened by it (as well as irritated), and am now very disappointed in the Honors Program. We are supposed to be the HONORS PROGRAM! I'm not saying I expect everyone to be moral paragons. But a little common decency wouldn't kill anyone. LEAVE THE R-RATED MOVIES AT HOME!

That, combined with the X-Men movie (which at least had one or two genuinely funny moments and plenty of stuff blowing up to relive its mediocrity), I was ready to explode with frustration over the crudeness and the vile language. I am afraid Megan got a bit of that, poor girl. I had just heard one word too much and snapped. Of course, most people probably don't even consider what she said to be a cuss word anyways...

Anyway, we wandered around Chattanooga Friday afternoon. Heights don't bother me really, so the people bridge didn't bother me either. In our room we went to bed by 11 or so. I really don't see how some people can stay up all night, or at least try. What do they expect to get out of the next day when they are honestly dragging? I don't know. Anyway, we went to the aquarium, which was nice, although fish aren't really my thing. After all, "once you've seen one fish, you've seen them all." The sharks were more interesting, as well as the snakes and otters (I have odd tastes).

Then we went to the Hunter Museum of Art, situated strategically on top of a bluff. The center part of it was a handsome old neo-classical home with red brick, tall windows, and a two-story porch with tall white columns deliberately reminiscent of the White House (I read the sign, if no one else did). THAT part of the museum did not cause pain or confusion to look at. However, it had been inexplicably flanked by two shapeless gray buildings, the one on the left being the most flagrant offender. It looked like some ship from Star Wars, crossed with some superhero's underground hangar, and plastered over with steel and concrete. All it needed were little flags and guns or something we could have said it was a space battleship. Honestly, it was hideous, no matter if it resembled a Frank Lloyd Wright home (because my personal opinion is that his creations, no matter what he thought or people think, do NOT look like anything in nature; you just don't find straight lines like that in nature, and the end result is just... confusing. Yeah, confusing. Let's just leave it at that).

The courtyard in front of the museum was liberally strewn with 'sculptures'. One was a set of bent metal girders painted yellow. I dubbed them the French Fries and mocked them relentlessly. Another was a broze sculpture of a horse skeleton (honestly...) that was meant to and actually did look like it was made of wood. It was more tolerable. The sculptures of the people playing baseball were actually good, for once. There were several other pieces, including one of a naked person. I'd like to know why sculptures of naked people, especially sculptures of decapitated naked people, are considered great art. Besides my natural aversion, I also want to comment, "I think we all know what the human body looks like; can't you do something more original?"

Of course, people try all the time to be desperately original now, and they end up with the same-old, same-old. I think you have to forget trying to be original (because it is not a First Thing, to use C. S. Lewis's term), and just try to do something from your heart. After all, originality isn't what means the most in the end. Are not some of the greatest discoveries only possible because they are built upon the work of others? "Standing on the shoulders of giants", anyone?
Yep, that's me, going off on a philosophical tangent in response to the underlying Lebensschauung and Weltansschauung of the things I see.

Inside the museum itself, there were these twisted bronze structures hanging from the ceiling. I dubbed them the Bronze Pterodactyls, because there really wasn't anything else they looked like.

There was a travelling exhibit of photos by Dorothea Lange. I don't know. Her famous picture of the Migrant Mother just gets me irritated now, ever since I read a comment by that woman's daughter who said she didn't like that portrayal of her mother. She always remembered her mother as a happy person and didn't like seeing a negative (or at least not very flattering) portrayal of her everywhere. Then I wondered what right Dorothea Lange had to share the woman's anxiety with the whole world. Surely she asked before she took pictures. Even so, it seems kind of unethical...

There was also a traveling exhibit of movies. Somehow, you squash a few clips together and you create great art. I'm not sure how that comes about, but apparently it does... I didn't stay long on that floor.

On the ground floor was tons of modern art and more photographs. Some of the older paintings, the ones that were actually painted to resemble something, I liked. However, my relationship with modern art is antagonistic at best and I spent my time wandering through that section in a state of confused, gut-clenched, incredulous, horrified rebellion (rebellion against the rebellion against morality, in case you're wondering), with bonus iconoclastic tendencies. I think many of those 'priceless' pieces of art would make a very good bonfire.

Additionally, art has become so subjective nowadays. Everything is subjective now, you know?! The world doesn't work that way, however. Our subjectivism leads us to believe we can make our world in our own image, that reality conforms to what we think, and that we can shape our own truth. Well, let me tell you this: IT AIN'T GONNA WORK THAT WAY! The definition of truth is the conformity between what is thought and what is real. There is no way around it. Truth cannot change, because it is a person, Jesus Christ, and He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. (John Martignoni) It is evil, it is pride, it is rebellion that says it will not bow to what is truth, surrender its own misconceptions, and release the burden of trying to be its own little god. Only therein can one find true freedom.

Actually, that brings something to mind. One of the descriptions next to a photograph said something very derogatory about freedom. The picture was of a 12-year-old girl, and the caption said the photographer considered pretty much that one only gained freedom when one grew up. Work out the implications yourself; I can't bring myself to type them. Nevetheless, you can understand that I was NOT HAPPY with it. When we got back on the bus, I was compelled to write, not my own definition of freedom (since freedom has an eternal, objective definition that resides in the mind of God, so it cannot be my definition), but my own discernment of the definition of freedom- i.e., what I have learned of freedom so far. Hey, I had to do something to take my attention away from being slightly squashed by Dillon...

Anyway, back to the art. A lot of the descriptions next to the paintings said stuff like, "What are your feelings about (insert topic here)?" If there's anything I hate, it's all the feeling-sharing stuff. Honestly, I might expect questions like that in a children's museum, but in an art museum, to which only 'sophisticated' grown-ups go voluntarily (indifferent school children are merely herded there and ushered quickly through the galleries before they destroy something)...? Really. Plus, most of the descriptions indicated that whoever wrote them actually took the paintings seriously. I can't see how. A sane person stands on the sidelines, looking up at a picture of meaningless scribbles and dabbles of paint, wrinkles his nose, and says, "What is it?"

Yup, my reaction in a nutshell.

I'm sorry, but splattering paint on a large canvas and then talking about your emotions you had while doing so is not art. Modern art is the visual equivalent of rap. Rap is not music. It is noise. Music and silence are from Heaven. Noise is from the other direction. True art is subcreation, the human soul trying to manifest things in the surrounding world in childlike imitation of the Creator Father. For more information about subcreation, see Tolkien's "On Fairy-Stories". I really can't reproduce his excellent points here, but the point remains. True art is sacred. It is done in imitation of the Father. He created; we subcreate. THAT is what gives true art its beauty, its dignity, its poignancy, because it mirrors some particular aspect of God's Creation or of Himself. And that strikes a chord deep in our hearts, and we feel it, even though we might not be able to say what it is.

The same thing with music, really. Poetry is not glorified prose, and music is not glorified poetry. Poetry is spoken music, and prose is poetry made, well, prosaic. Fallen poetry, if you will. Deny the power of music all you can, but it's still there, objective, unaffected by your puny denials. Heaven is immanent in true music. In one of my Peter Kreeft books, he mentions he knew someone who was saved from being an atheist by the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Even the Bible testifies to the power of music. Do you know this line? It's from the fourth verse of "Joyful, Joyful We Adore You," which is, incidentally, one of my favorite songs: "Mortals join the mighty chorus/ Which the morning stars began..." The morning stars are the angels, FYI (to borrow a favorite expression of Dr. Gren). And how do we know the world was not created in music? Narnia was. Go look it up; it's in The Magician's Nephew. And in Tolkien's legendarium, Arda was shaped by the Ainulindale, the Music of the Ainur.

Therefore, my position is that rap and modern art aren't just poor art. They are desecrations. I know that seems a little mean, but have you LOOKED at it? Pictures of random body parts and obscenties... how can you tell me it is not demonic? Most of the artists probably don't know what they're doing. They have the best of intentions. (They always do.) But some... gah! *crosses fingers in warding-off-evil position* It's like a Black Mass.

There's no kinder way to put it. Flame me all you like, I'm not going to budge. SOMEBODY has to say it.

Okay, I should probably stop ranting. Goodness knows, I've flambed modern art enough by now.

Rock City was nice, even if we ran through it a little fast. I really like Rock City. (Elaine was envious when she learned where I had gone, I think.) It was at least my third time there. I can't believe some people haven't been there before. It would have been really cool if we could have gone to Ruby Falls as well, but I know there's only so much you can do on one of these trips. Apparently, Rock City has recently embraced the gnomes and they are being used in advertising. There were little SEC gnomes in the giftshop, complete with little pointy hats and shirts displaying various team logos.

As for the Swinging Bridge.... haha... I sympathize with those of you who hated it, I really do. However, I am human enough to brag that it didn't bother me, and that I went across most of the way without holding on.

The ride back from Chattanooga was better. One of the X-Men movies was playing. I greatly prefer explosions over petty romances, so it agreed with me more. Even if I didn't know who in the world anyone was. My reactions: "Okay... Mr. Tumnus can read minds... so THAT'S where Gandalf got the helmet... Hey, was that Wolverine? Okay, that was funny... Argh, the bad guys all look alike! Which one is which?" Etc. Then we stopped at this really neat restaurant filled with sports stuff. There would have been no problems except it was FREEZING in there.

All in all, though, it was a great trip. You may have been fooled by my ranting. However, I seem to have the habit of sounding like I'm complaining when I think I'm actually just stating something (stating something probably negative, that is), so let me make that clear. I really enjoyed hanging out with the Honors People (I actually met a couple of people. Sigh... lots more to go. I saw some people and thought, "I didn't know they were in the Honors Program..."). Like I said, it was really great to go to the aquarium and Rock City. And I can endure art museums. Hey, plenty of perfectly normal things cause me to go into philosphical rants, so it's not like this is an unusual occurrence.

(Mom reminded me that it was a free trip so I should not be too negative. I'm not being negative about the trip! The trip was great. Anchorman was not, and modern art was... mind-boggling. There's a difference. I make distinctions between trip, Honors people, and objectionables! Public opinion, however, if public opinion does in fact read my pathetic little blog, usually does not make distinctions. So, to reiterate, the trip was great, and I can live with modern art, as long as it leaves me alone. It was Anchorman I really couldn't stand. MY EARS! MY EARS! But, anyway, thanks to Dr. Brewton and all that for taking us along.)

On a much more cheerful note, Dr. Gren had a bother of a time today with his PowerPoint. It had apparently decided to make his life miserable, culminating in turning his cursor into a highlighter and creating little bright yellow circles all across the slide. The class was in hysterics while he, to quote him, 'went frantic' trying to fix it. He said his second class never gets to benefit from watching him "go frantic up here trying to fix everything", then wondered if 'benefit' was the right word. A girl behind me suggested 'entertained'. Yup, let's go with that one... I will miss Dr. Gren so much. His lectures are so very entertaining. My life will be boring in the fall semester.

On a related note, I had probably better go and actually do my chemistry homework. Gah, I can't believe we are days away from the end of the semester. I am becoming rapidly apathetic about schoolwork and really don't want to study for my math exam tomorrow. (Bad me. Bad!) I really want to have an A in calculus so I don't have to take the final, though. Not worried about German, not worried about English, not terribly worried about chemistry... just calculus, and even there I'm not worried enough. There's a reason I refused to go on to Cal 3!


In Pace Christi,


Monday, April 16, 2012

A Meaningless Monday Post... And That Sort Of Alliterates

If only there were a synonym for 'post' that begins with an 'm'...

Okay, I got a copy of the Flor-Ala Thursday and now I know why people were going barefoot. I remain clueless, however, about what Caffiene High is, other than it has something to do with the ATO guys hanging out at the end of the bridge and offering Mello-Yellos to everyone. I'd take the ATO guys any day over crazy preachers, as the former were very much less pushy! And they don't yell at you.

I'm not real sure why they had a couch with them. Perhaps they were going to raffle it off or something. Otherwise, yeah, it looked very much like something a bunch of frat boys would do.

While I'm on the subject of couches, there is a couch in a side hallway of Wesleyan, outside the girls' bathroom. A sign taped on the wall near it indicated that it was apparently going to be used in some fashion (perhaps being raffled off?) for some geography group, and the sign also asked that the couch not be destroyed. I doubt it was the same one ATO had.

I don't know. I've never felt the inclination to join a sorority, though I had invitations from three of them. I just don't really see the point of it all, and that also goes for fraternities. The only one I have some sort of respect for is ATO, due to a variety of reasons, the most important being (1) my dad was in it and (2) he said the name stands for Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega (check out the Book of Revelations if you don't get Who that stands for) and the Tau is for the Cross. That little fact boosted my opinion of ATO tremendously, I tell you. Otherwise, I would be as apathetic about it as any other campus group pretty much.

Oh, and I know two of my classmates are in ATO- Christian from the Honors Program, in Calculus, and Seth in chemistry and chemistry lab. (Seth is the one who randomly says, "Oh, yeah!" during just about every lecture. And lab. I have to admit, he makes them a lot more entertaining.)

I am a little annoyed currently. What's the point of having online homework if the page refuses to load? Honestly... I've been having problems with my chemistry online homework not loading. I just did all the homework for last chapter, and I want to get a good start on this chapter's homework (there's only nine questions!), but the page refuses to load. I have sat here and waited on it for at least five minutes and it still hasn't done anything.

Okay, time for my little friend, the refresh button!

And, YES! It works!

On an even happier note, I discovered a few hours ago that Brotherband II: The Invaders comes out May 1st, along with The Serpent's Shadow! I will be one happy camper come May 1st! The only annoying thing is that, for once, the Australian cover of BB2 is better than ours. BB1 had an okay cover in the US. But BB2 has some eastern-looking dude (presumably, one of the Hungarian pirates [okay, okay, they were Magyar or something like that... same thing] from BB1) and one of the Herons on the front. Problem is, the Australian cover looks nicer. It just does. I'm not sure who the boy with the silvery-blond hair is. I thought it was Stig (who names their child Stig? Really...) but it might not be... You think Hal would be on the cover, as he's the main character. Perhaps he was on the half of the cover I couldn't see... That might be it.

...Ah, it helps to go to the website and look at the captions! That way, you get the whole picture AND the names. Bingo. It's Stig, Thorn, and Hal, from left to right. Niiiiice. Not sure why Hal has a dumb look on his face. Thorn looks suitably intimidating. As for Stig, he wasn't my favorite character or anything (I liked the twins and the big guy... sigh... I need to reread BB1 so I can recall the names), but... hey... he's apparently not bad-looking.

*ducks and hides while everyone stares at me in shock*

So what? It's a fictional character!!!!!

On the subject of drawings of fictional characters, some of the art for the people from the Kane Chronicles is being released in the days leading up to The Serpent's Shadow coming out. They've released Thoth, Setne, and Ra. I actually liked Thoth's picture... weirdly enough. He was one of my favorite characters, if only because he's so bizarre, and also for his first line in the series: "I've discovered something, Khufu. This is not Memphis, Egypt."

(It was Memphis, Tennessee, for those of you who don't get the joke.)

BONUS: A quote from BB2 that's been pre-released that I think is funny: "We can change our breeches. We can change our minds. But we can't change the weather." -- Svengal's Aunt Bessie. LOL, I don't know why, but Svengal seems to get some of the best lines in BB. For those of you who read BB1, you know how he threatened to dress up as a little old lady to spy on the pirates.

Ah, yes, we all love John Flanagan so much. After all, he gave us Halt and Gilan ("Jump off the cliff. It'll be less messy that way.") and Horace ("Can you see me now?") and Selethen and Svengal and Erak... What would we do without him? Or without Rick Riordan, for that matter?

In Pace Christi,


Friday, April 13, 2012

A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring.

-– Alexander Pope

A Belated Thursday Post

Yeah, yeah, I know today is Friday. (Unlike Dr. Gren, who at the end of today's lecture said, "What day is it today...? Friday...?" He's said stuff like that before, the poor guy.) However, today is the post that should have been done yesterday: the infamous Let's Mock the Flor-Ala Tweets weekly post!

Hurrah and all that.

I didn't get the post done yesterday because I was working on my research paper and then went to the ghost tour on campus. I finished my research paper today. It was only supposed to be 6-8 pages and it is actually, including the works cited page, 16 pages. I have emailed Mrs. Howell to ask if this is okay. If I must cut portions of it, I will be frantic come Monday looking for a few more sources in Collier.

It was a very easy topic for me, okay?! And I got really into the cosmic ray theory of cloud formation and corresponding climate fluctuation. It made sense, and I had to detail what the opposition said to it and write a rebuttal. And that took space. Also I had to explain how the ozone layer worked. I am afraid at that point I went a little chemistry-happy and started rambling happily about diatomic nitrogen and oxygen and molecular bonds. But, hey, it's important to understanding how it works!!!

All right, I am a nerd. So what?

The ghost tour wasn't very scary. I used to be petrified of Halloween stuff, but now I'm like, "Meh, your fake-blood-y mask is so totally fake. I can see the little plastic tubes, etc." So I was good! The only time I began to become a little creeped out was when Mrs. Glass was telling us how a chest of drawers was pushed across a locked bedroom from the inside upstairs in the O'Neal house, leaving tracks in the half-inch of dust on the floor, but no footprints. Or how footsteps would come down the stairs each night, always stopping on the last step before reaching the ground floor, and go back upstairs.

I will, however, now think of Molly in the Off-Campus Bookstore and Jeremiah in Wesleyan (and his poor dad) every time now. I did look for Mrs. O'Neal today. No luck. Didn't really expect to see her, but you never know... :) Apparently, Sherman stayed in Wesleyan and threatened to reduce Florence to ashes. *grumbles about the Union's scorched earth policy* Even Sherman admitted that, according to what he had been taught at West Point, he deserved to be tried for war crimes.

Now ROBERT E. LEE kept the South's side of the war as civil as he could...

However, lest I go into a War for Southern Independence rant, I had better continue. Apparently, Mr. Hentz's piano playing can be heard in Willingham Hall sometimes. I want to know what is in the attic at Willingham that they have to barricade the stairs up to it off with desks and chairs. Is it a mundane reason like bad flooring, or something else entirely? LOL, I'm so melodramatic. We also heard about Priscilla, who apparently still haunts the Guillot even though O'Neal Hall isn't there anymore, and R. C. Fuller (I do hope I have his initials right), who jumped off the roof of Bibb Graves in the 60's after learning he had cancer and whose whistling can apparently be heard sometimes.

Now, for the tweets of the week!

"I just LOVE being told that I'm going to hell for wearing shorts, playing sports, and having a tattoo on my way to class!" Haha. Now, I didn't see this Brother Micah for myself, but I have no doubt that he is charming individual and meant all of this with the deepest and most sincere Christian charity. *coughs suspiciously* I think I would have liked to have seen that whole affair.

Someone removed ESPN form the com building? Bwahaha. Apparently some people can't live without sports. Getting rid of CNN probably wouldn't hurt, either. Gah, the spread of politics. As I have heard somewhere, "Soldiers and diplomats are both essential for a war. Soldiers are necessary to end the war and diplomats are necessary to start it." Of course, sometimes you also have nutty presidents who hurl their countries headlong into bloody wars. I'm looking at YOU, Wilson and FDR. FDR did his level best to get us into WWII- he GAVE Britain airplanes and warships, for crying out loud; an American soldier helped spot the Bismarck for Britain to sink it; and FDR gave orders for us to gun down the Bismarck if it entered our waters!-, and as for Woodrow Wilson.... sigh... when Sigmund Freud says you're a nutcase, you're a nutcase.

"We need a crazy Christian preacher alert system at Una so we know when to watch/avoid the amphitheater." I so totally agree! It should be standard Lion Alert programming.

"I should be working right now but I'm too busy watching two girls have a brutal argument outside Bibb Graves." LOL. I am really wondering now what the argument was about...

"Just saw a guy sagging so bad his pants were literally around his knees. You stay classy." Yup, there's few things worse than getting trapped in a mass of people behind some huge dude you can't get around, his britches around his knees and his boxers billowing in the breeze behind him.... Ew. Just ew.

"Just saw a squirrel walking so close to a person I thought it was their dog. They are too comfortable with us." Let's just deed the campus over to the squirrels right now, shall we? They act like they own the place, anyway.

Speaking of squirrels... I once heard a squirrel described in baby talk as a 'squiggle'. I now cannot see a squirrel without thinking 'squiggle' to myself. Or 'rat with a fuzzy tail', courtesy of Dr. Bibbee the first day of last semester.

Yep... my life at UNA so far would have been a lot more boring without Dr. Bibbee and Dr. Gren. Thank heavens for the funny professors and the absent-minded/funny professors.

In Pace Christi,


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Today there seems to be a conspiracy against the noble faculty of memory.

The memory has the peculiar trick of never asking our permission for anything it shoots up into consciousness; sometimes the more displeasing the ideas are, and the harder we try to forget them, the quicker and the more often they flash before our eyes. It is a psychological fact that the more the mind fears a thing, the more that fearful thing comes like a ghost out of the past to torture it.

-- Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Yet Another Bored Post

Okay, what was with the people wearing no shoes yesterday??? I saw several people wearing no shoes whatsoever. Now, I'm a fan of wearing no shoes at home, even outside (just not outside in the barnlot or cow pastures, because, well... you know... that's sort of a biological hazard). But in public places? Uhhh... I'd prefer to be shod, thank you very much. And THEN it started raining. Now some people may be the romantic type who go dancing barefoot in the rain like in the movies (possibly singing some sort of romantic song they made up on the spot), but... not me. That's just not me.

Yesterday in chemistry lab was basically Fun With Chemicals Day. Take a solution and do a whole bunch of stuff to it to ascertain the presence or absensce thereof of certain metal cations (Ni2+, Fe3+, Al3+, and Zn2+). We played around with centrifuges, some of which, according to Dr. Moeller, are older than we are. Yay for ancient machinery. He gave us a lecture on not sticking our fingers in the centrifuges while they were running as he wanted everyone to still have ten fingers at the end of next week. As a matter of fact, as I was leaving, he asked me if I still had 10 fingers. Haha. He taught my uncle, you see (I think I have some brownie points with him for that fact), and said uncle told me Dr. Moeller likes to say something crazy every now and then just to see if you're paying attention. Based on the paper-towels-inducing-flood-of-biology-department comment, I'd say that evaluation of Dr. Moeller is spot-on.

Next week, of course, we get to do the same thing all over again, but that time we won't know if the cations are in there or not.

After lab, I had to wait for thirty minutes on a shuttle. Does anybody actually like the new schedule? The Flor-Ala approved of it, which I couldn't believe, but which may be explained by the fact that, as Amy pointed out, it is a school newspaper and that was a school decision. They HAVE to approve of it. Blah, blah, blah. I'm thinking of sending another email to the UNA police and making this one all innocent and pleading (my last one was ironic), and possibly alluding to the need for an awning or something for the people who have to wait in the rain. Waiting in the rain isn't fun, even if you've brought an umbrella, since sometimes the wind blows it at an angle and keeping dry becomes mission impossible.

Waiting for the shuttle isn't usually too bad. I bring a book and ignore the world until the shuttle pulls up. Or stare off into space and think random thoughts- which accounts for my habit of randomly smiling as I think of funny things. I guess I just amuse myself. However, waiting for the shuttle gets annoying, particularly on Tuesday afternoon, as for some reason the people I end up waiting with seem to have a little problem with cussing. As in, they do it. A lot. Yesterday, every other word out of one of the dude's mouth was offensive. Perhaps the first time I should have gasped really dramatically and said something like, "MY EARS! MY EARS!" but, considering the attitude of modern youth towards swear words, he probably wouldn't have figured out the correlation (or causation, rather). What would have worked better would probably have been to say, "Could you please not say stuff like that until we get to Darby? Thirty minutes tops, dude." It's really, really sad when someone can't keep their speech clean for half an hour. It makes me very worried about the fate of the world. And the condition of the speaker's soul.

Another, even more melodramatic solution that just occurred to me: bring a bottle of holy water and flick it (the water, not the bottle) at the offensive speaker. Haha, I'd never actually do that, but still... Hmm, not actually a bad idea.

I SWEAR, I've listened to the German radio for forty minutes today, and there hasn't been ONE German song on Bayern 3. There was a particularly annoying English song on Bayern 3, so I switched to Bayern 1, and guess what was on there??? "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd! Not that I'm complaining about THAT, mind you... Okay, the song after that was German. "Sternenhimmel", I belive. But now that I've switched back to Bayern 3, no luck. I should switch back. Actually, when I first sat down listening to Bayern 3, "The Fire" by Sons of Midnight had just gone off. I know absolutely zilch about them, so they may be the author of hundreds of horrible songs and have a bad reputation (or they may not), but that song is kinda cool. It also shows up on Bayern 3 a lot, particularly when Sebastian Winkler is the DJ. Weird.

Oh, and I have no idea who Gotye is, either, but his (I think it's a guy, at any rate) song, "Somebody I Used to Know" is HAUNTING ME!!! I heard it on Bayern 3 Monday. I was thinking of it when I was in the language lab, and it promptly came on (now THAT was creepy). And on Tuesday morning my bus driver had the radio on, and it came on there!

It could always be worse, though. It could be Lady Gaga. I'm sorry, but I cannot take anyone who deliberately chooses a stage name like that seriously. Nor does her behavior and songs warrant anyone taking her seriously.

Which really makes me wonder when the magazine about religious vocations Fr. Markley sent me (he is convinced I should be a nun, and I disagree!)- oh, and he also sent one to my siblings-, quoted Lady Gaga as being proud of going to a Catholic school run by nuns. *groans and bangs head repeatedly on table* Great. All we need is another famous flagrantly Catholic-in-name-only running around in the public spotlight. Honestly, those people give us such a bad reputation. Not all of us are like that! Some Catholics actually honor the Pope and believe what the Magisterium teaches and go to Mass every Sunday and say their prayers daily and don't give non-Catholics scandal. Really, it's worse to be a Catholic and so blatantly sinful than an honest atheist. Or has anyone noticed that the Israelites were punished much worse in the Bible because they KNEW better than the pagans? It's gonna be the same with us. We were given so much more, so much more will be expected out of us.

In Pace Christi,


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I always feel like I'm forgetting something, so I never know if I've forgotten something or not.

-- Dr. Gren

I think I am going to adopt this one as my personal life motto. Because I don't know how many times I've quoted this since he said it the first day of this semester.

In Pace Christi,


A Tuesday Post

I seem to be making a habit out of Tuesday posts. Perhaps that is because I tend to write them while I am stuck in the language lab, listening to ENGLISH songs on German radio. (That makes no sense whatsoever. Hoenstly, Lady Gaga has NO business being on it. If Taylor Swift ever appears on it, I think I shall have to switch to Bayern 1 and listen to all the oldies my mom would know.) Anyway, I have only 3 hours left of language lab, so yay for that.

Also, I have only two more chemistry labs and the final to go, so yay! This means I won't have to rush back to campus on May 1st after running out and getting a copy of The Serpent's Shadow, by Rick Riordan! Happy, happy, happy dance! I can go get my book, go home, and read it over lunch! YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!

Today in English we gave our oral presentations. I have a sneaking sensation I went over 5 minutes. If I did, well... so did just about everyone else. Everyone else is technologically-savvy and had pretty PowerPoints to entertain their classmates with while they talked about sensible subjects. As for me.... I am fairly technologically-challenged (I am STILL not clear on what an mp3 player is), do not have a smartphone, and loathe anything called iWhatever. Naturally, I just got up and talked through the major points on my outline. I even had a poster I meant to bring, but I left it at home!!! :( Sad face. Very sad face. I wanted to use that poster! It would have partially redeemed my lack of a pretty PowerPoint. But it got left at home... I KNEW I was forgetting something, but I didn't think of it!

Argh. All right now, everyone, let's repeat after Dr. Gren: "I always feel like I'm forgetting something, so I never know if I've actually forgotten something or not."

Well, to look on the positive side, I was not a nervous wreck like I was last semester, attempting to persuade my classmates that the myogenic theory of heart disease, not the much-maligned cholesterol and saturated fat, are responsible for heart problems. I think I am much better about getting up in front of people now. Piano recitals really don't bother me anymore. Sometimes I'm actually excited about it! I really liked doing my senior piano recital last May, and I think it showed, even if I can get pretty dorky when I don't know what to say. I introduced each song, you see (and nearly forgot two of them... I brought the list up there to look at, and it STILL skipped my mind!), and hadn't really thought of what I wanted to say before hand, so it was all very impromptu. Thus I ended up mentionting that Fuer Elise is properly titled Bagatelle in A Minor, bringing in botany when I explained that edelweiss is actually an Alpine flower (it means, by the way, 'noble white' in German... the edel part is related to the Old English word aethel meaning 'noble'- the 'th' apparently became 'd' in German-, which word formed the first part of such names as Ethelred and Athalbert. Not that you ever see people named that anymore...), and rambling pointlessly when I came to songs I didn't have much to say about.

I had fun introducing the last song, though, because it was 'La Regatta Venetiana' by Liszt- a very fun song to play, only six pages (yes, I know, ONLY six pages), but also very hard. Anyway, so I explained to the audience that Liszt songs are very hard to play and also tend to be a bit weird. Some are pretty-sounding, like 'By the Lake of Wallenstadt', others are sad, like 'Abschied' ('Farewell', for those unacquainted with German), others are creepy, like 'Dance of the Gnomes', and some are just downright terrifying... 'The Erl-King'. Just those two words: 'The Erl-King'. I actually did research on the Erl-King and found out that it was based on a Germanic legend about this fairy king (the 'erl' part is apparently an amalgamation of the words for 'elf' and 'elder', as in an elder tree... And, yes, now I can hear all you Harry Potter fans out there going, "Aha!" Yes... *sigh*... just like the Elder Wand) who went out and killed people. His daughter also went out and killed young men. Not your cute grandmotherly fairies like from Disney's Sleeping Beauty! Anyway, the poem was by Goethe, who was basically a German Shakespeare, and it was about a father riding home one stormy night with his child. The boy keeps telling his dad that he can see ghosts, and that they are trying to drag him away. The dad tells him it's just his imagination, but hurries onward anyway. Anyway, the most famous music set to the poem is that by Liszt, and it REALLY carries the heart-wrenching terror and tragedy of the poem when played properly... go look it up... I'll wait...

You did? Good for you. Okay, I can't play it like that, although I know of someone who can. Cough, cough, Gregory Brown from the 5 Browns, cough, cough. Yeah, I was pretty much all hero worship after that. The 5 Browns are five siblings that can play the piano. I mean, they can play the piano! And simultaneously at that. Anyway, they had a concert in Norton Auditorium last year and me, my mom, Elaine, and my piano teacher went to see them. They were amazing! They were signing things afterwards so Elaine got her CD's signed. Elaine and mom actually managed to carry on a bit of a conversation with them. As for me... I said like one word, probably turned as crimson as Elaine's Alabama stuff, and wanted to go crawl away under the table.

ANYWAY. 'The Erl-King' by Liszt builds up to a thunderous climax at the point where in the poem the child cries, more or less, "He's got me!" The music drops off abruptly to a few tragic notes, sounding the last line of the poem, "In his arms the child was dead."

Yep. Real happy stuff, I know. But I had fun introducting it because, for typically insane reasons, I actually LIKE this song. Why? Because I have inextricably linked it in my mind as just the PERFECT theme song for one of my characters in my stories- the Summoner, who is the Angel of Death in my world. I really want to use the title 'Erl-King' for him on that account. The Summoner is, for some reason, my favorite character. I think it's his bizarre personality. Most of my favorite characters are a little wacko, just like me. Anyway, the Summoner is the most powerful created being in my world (duh, he controls life and death) but also one of the most amusing (to me) because of just the things he does. I mean, he's the one who goes unscathed from an attack by Maulis (Maulis pretty much = satan), the attack rebounds on Maulis, knocking him over, and the Summoner is just like, "Do that again. It was funny." Yep, that's why I love the Summoner.

Anyway, so I had fun introducing that Liszt song.

As I was saying originally, I've gotten better about getting up in front of people. Doing the readings at Friday morning Mass probably helps. I did the third reading for the Easter Vigil Mass... it was a long reading about Egyptians' stupidity vs. God's awesomeness, culminating in, "Hey, let's follow these random people through a mysterious part in this sea! Yup, nothing could possibly go wrong with this!" Cue Red Sea slamming together again. Anyway, the reading is a tad difficult (the words "chariots and charioteers" are repeated MANY times) but I think I did okay.

So anyway, I wasn't too nervous about my oral presentation today. I just wish I had remembered my poster! But people know what global warming and the hole in the ozone layer are, whereas they've usually never heard of the myogenic theory of heart disease, so my presentation was probably more of a success in that regard. Also, I know this topic a lot better and can explain a lot of it even on my worse days. I didn't get to go into half of what I wanted to, such as talking about Dobson units, which are used to measure ozone concentration, and how the atmosphere shields us from high-energy light. I did explain how ozone works, though, in terms hopefully any layman can understand. Ozone is three oxygen molecules connected by one double bond and one single bond. Ultraviolet light, the least energetic form of light above visible light, breaks the single bond and and both the bond and the ultraviolet light are destroyed in the process. The ozone reforms, and that's how the ozone layer works. I also wanted to explain how X-rays and gamma rays are blocked, but decided not to. I was already taking too much time, it was a little off-topic (I find it fascinating, though. Chemistry is definitely getting to me), and I remembered the glazed-over eyes and blank looks from last semester. So I didn't! You may all thank me now.

Well... this has become a very long, very rambly, very random post. I didn't really intend for it to turn out this way. Then again, I didn't really intend anything.

Russel had a nice presentation. I liked his topic. I also liked his take on it. Poor guy, he's the only dude in our class. That has to be so awkward for him.

Jensen also had a nice presentation. She has a really pretty name. I mean, I just like it. Sorry, Jensen, maybe I should have asked you first or something (or maybe that would have been kinda weird...) but I liked the name so much I used it for a character in one of my stories. The Jensen in my story is a very nice and heroic (heroinic?) lady, so please don't be offended.

In fact, everyone had nice presentations. Some had handouts. All had pretty PowerPoints.

Maybe I should consider doing a PowerPoint in the future. And making it pretty. With pretty pictures.

Oops. I promised myself that I wouldn't start rambling about my stories on this blog, and I have done so in this post. Twice. Oops. Well, I'm quite unrepentant about the Summoner part because, as I said, I just love the Summoner and so I will excuse him any time he intrudes into my blog. (And yes I said excuse him and not myself because I like Tolkien sometimes have the feeling that I'm discovering something that already exists rather than making it up when I write. It's a creepy, uplifting, making-you-feel-small, good feeling, though. In fact, it's a feeling that can't be described with words. It's like finding there's something out there that's VERY big. It's running up into Divine Providence. It's realizing that you ARE a part of something greater. "You are in a very big story." I also think of one of Peter Kreeft's favorite quotes: "There are more things in Heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophies.")

As for the Jensen part... hmm. Well, I've been working on that story lately (yes, I have more than one story. In fact, I have about 50), so that's probably my excuse. Meh. It's my blog. Should I really be nitpicking over this? It's not like anyone really cares if I do or not... Anyone who actually reads this blog probably knows me, and therefore knows that I tend to go off on weird tangents and talk about stuff the average person doesn't know or care about. The myogenic theory of heart disease, for example. I seem to bring that up a lot. That's weird.

....Random rant. "A lot" is TWO WORDS!!!!! NOT ONE!!!! *bangs head repeatedly on desk* People who can't spell really get on my nerves. So it's no wonder I will make fun of it. Honestly, I read the paper and go, "Ha!" and point whenever I find a spelling or grammatical error. Contractions are also frequently messed up.

I think I had better end this post before I get any more random.

In Pace Christi,


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosphies.

-- Hamlet.

A Post Written Entirely Because I'm Bored

It's a sad reason to write a post, but it's a reason, right?

Maybe I should clarify something. I do not despise or loathe the Hunger Games in any way, shape or form. The fans seem much less obnoxious than those of, say, Harry Potter, and infinitely less obnoxious than those of, say, Twilight, because I really cannot think of anything worse than Twilight. Be that as it may, however, it's usually the fans that turn me off a particular series that I have not seen/read. I would have been a lot more okay with Hannah Montana, High School Musical, and Cars (and Cars 2) had we not seen the stupid merchandise everywhere! I swear, Wal-Mart was inundated. Let's hope the Hunger Games doesn't go that way, or it WILL get on my nerves and I may begin to dislike it.

I have, however, done a little research on the Hunger Games, and have decided that it's not my kind of thing, and I don't plan to read it. There let it rest. I much prefer to rip apart pathetic series that I HAVE read... like Harry Potter... which series is a glorification of the lack of common sense and logic. *facepalms* Apparently, the more magic you have, the less wisdom you have. And wisdom is a very distinct think from knowledge! Anyone can be smart and know lots of things, but wisdom is the practical and good application of those smarts and knowledge to good ends. And a liberal dash of common sense! Logical training doesn't hurt, either.

There's a lot of people in this world who would FAIL it, but it might not be a bad idea to have a requisite logic course in school. Logic is, as one person put it, "the art of thinking correctly". It is the pursuit of truth. And before you go all Pontius Pilate and say, "What is truth?" I would like to state: "Truth is the conformity between what is thought and what is real." In other words, when we bow to truth, we conform what we believe to what is real, rather than the other way around. Conforming the world around us to what we believe... Trying to do that mentally leads to madness. Trying to do it with technology... well, our science is letting our culture do precisely that. It's the mentality of a spoiled child. MY WAY! I WANT MY WAY! Etc., etc., etc. Grow up and learn that the world is a far better place than you might have been led to believe.

While I'm thinking of it, the Supreme Court stated in what I think was their Roe vs. Wade decision that everyone had a fundamental right to "define the meaning of existence" or something like that. Think about that one for a moment, long and hard. They insisted that everyone had the right to decide for themselves what was real or not, regardless if it IS real or not. That sounds like a definition of insanity to me, if you ask me...

Which is why I have fun mocking that quote every chance I get!

In Pace Christi,


Monday, April 2, 2012

I'm Baaaaaack

Over spring break I pretty much took a break from the internet as well. But now I'm back. You can't get rid of me that easily.

I maintain a conspicuous silence regarding the Hunger Games.

ANYWAY, I am in a little disbelief concerning how glad I was to see my professors today. That was a little weird, considering I had one of those infamous 'school dreams' the other night. (Among other weird dreams... one involved Boromir and ping-pong, another had Severus Snape as my art/history/not sure teacher [yes, I know, it can't get any weirder than that], and another involved a dragon that turned into a goat. Welcome to my subconscious. I extend my apologies to anyone who needs brain bleach now.)

Anyway, I would just like to mention that WE LOVE YOU, DR. CHRISTY! Even if UNA apparently can't offer Latin unless the prospective teacher has 18 hours of graduate-level courses in that field, we still love you! Hey, when your teacher goes to Germany over spring break and brings back coloring books and chocolate for you, yeah... I liked him beforehand anyway, so it's not like today changed my mind or anything. He just became even more awesome.


Okay, now that that's out of my system...

The rant for today concerns a shirt I saw a guy wearing. It was black and read in large white letters: "Stop clinging to the corpse of tradition." My first reaction was a mixture of indignation and incredulity. My next reaction was Socratic and I wanted to ask him a few questions: How do you define Tradition? Do you mean all traditions (including the common American tradition of having Christmas trees and exchanging gifts on Dec. 25, for example) or merely some? If so, then what? What do you propose that society offer in lieu of tradition? Are you a chronological snob? (Thank you, G. K. Chesterton!!!)

As the wonderful, estimable Mr. Chesterton pointed out in Orthodoxy, democracy tells us to regard the opinions of all, no matter what station they have. Tradition is merely democracy extended backwards into time. It states that we should regard the opinions of all, no matter if they are our parents. (However uncool you may consider them.) If you do not, you are a chronological snob. Bwahaha. Wonderful logic.

Since I (obviously) did not interview the dude with the offending shirt, I cannot answer the questions I would have had for him. I think he would have said, however, that he was rejecting traditional societal values, and proposing radical change (possibly even anarchic? Who knows) as a new goal for society. However, the problem with working towards change is that it is an impossible goal. Change does not abstract well as a goal. If you set change as your goal, it doesn't work. A goal must be concrete in some fashion, so if you have change for a goal, your goal will consequently be perpetually changing, and thus you will never achieve it. Thus saith Chesterton.

Anyway, good luck, nameless dude with offending t-shirt, on ever achieving your goal. Have fun imagining you are the first person rebelling against tradition and doing something completely novel. In fact, you are conforming to the idea that all youth must be rebellious and non-conforming. I, however, delight in not conforming to non-conformity, and instead... gasp... conforming to conformity, or, to put it plainly, I embrace tradition and all of its logic. It's wonderfully refreshing. It also makes people in my parish think I want to be a nun (*grumbles*), but whatever.

In Pace Christi,