Monday, October 22, 2012

Honors Post, 10/22/12

So, apparently, the buttons I see around campus ARE supposed to say, 'GO GEEK!' Yes, I asked someone about it. However, no one could give me an explanation as to why the buttons use Greek sigmas for the e's. I suppose I am just too geeky for the buttons...

On a similar note, I HAVE STARTED A PETITION FOR LATIN CLASSES HERE AT UNA. I do not know how far this project of mine shall go, but I shall make a semi-valiant effort. If any of you honors people want to sign (if any of you honors people read my blog), just catch me before forum some time. I'm usually there ten minutes in advance, because I really want to get a parking spot.

Tonight's speaker at forum was Leslie Tomlinson from the Association of Junior League Internation, Inc. I had never heard of AJLI before, so I was clueless (as I can be) for quite some time. Apparently, some people think of it as a sorority group for grown-ups, which... despite her many protests to the contrary... it seems like it was even up to very recent times. Snobby high-society ladies, it seems. Which I really don't get.

Coming from a rich religious background of the Catholic Church (of which I am not ashamed: go get your tomatoes and flaming torches and fling them at me for all I care; spam my comment box with flames and I shall gleefully delete them all), my first thought when it comes to volunteering is something to do with the Church. In the past, so many orders of sisters and laity have been formed to do stuff for the poor, and have been doing so for centuries. I can't tell you HOW many orders of nuns there are and most of them have to do with helping the helpless- education and all that good stuff. Seriously. Nearly every lady saint started a new congregation of nuns. Or reformed one. Or something like that. It gets so that it's hard to find a female saint who was not a nun, unless it was an early martyr, in which case they were the ancient Roman equivalent of a nun. St. Frances of Rome is the only exception I can think of off the bat.

Anyway, the AJLI's mission is promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women (whatever that means) and improving communities. They have also recently started to address the needs of their volunteers in an effort to attract new membership and keep what membership they have, by addressing critical community needs, meeting women where they are as it relates to volunteer opportunities (whatever that means, again), and providing networking and social opportunities.

I'll be honest. The word 'networking' doesn't sit well for me. It doesn't help that the image that comes to mind whenever I hear it is of Shelob or some other nasty spider sitting in the middle of a web, pulling this and that thread to ensnare juicy morsels to eat. (Shelob is horrifying. I can't watch those parts of The Return of the King, and I'm not afraid of spiders. I'm just like, "Oh, a spider," and squish it. I actually had a spider fall off the ceiling on me once and didn't even make a sound. I just slapped it. I've even been moving boxes with my church's youth group and a spider fell out. The guys all just stood around and looked at it. I squished it for them. Men.)

However, 'networking' is a popular term. Oh, and 'leadership'. They love the word, 'leadership'. It's a magic word. They all nod in sync whenever it's brought up. I've never gotten the obsession with leadership. What happens when there are too many leaders and not enough followers?

Mrs. Tomlinson did have a good piece of advice, though: Be suspicious of any group you cannot simply ask to join, but who must ask you.

I also have to thank her for a new adjective, 'Switzerland-esque', as a synonym for neutral. I shall have to use that sometime.

One thing I didn't get, though: we can't join until we're 24. So... why are we being talked to now about it? I really wonder how many people are going to remember AJLI four years or so in the future. Of course, I may be entirely wrong here. All the go-getters in the Honors Program may be marking their calenders since they love service opportunities and involvement and all that good stuff.

Ich bin eine Leseratte.

Oh, and, yes, PLEASE, bring an engineering school to UNA! I don't care that it would even out the 4:1 girl:guy ratio here at UNA. It would mean that I don't have to go to UAH or Auburn to get a chemical engineering degree! I rather like it here... But I'd also prefer chemical engineering over just a plain chemistry degree...

Chem engineering and Latin. Do that, UNA, and I'll be very happy. I might forgive you all your little idiosyncrasies for that.

In Pace Christi,


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