The thoughts, ideas, findings, and fancies of a Catholic student at Our Lady's University.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Okay, so maybe my humor is a little dark

Mom, Dad, and I went to a college fair at the Minneapolis Convention Center yesterday. As we stepped off the escalator, we were greeted by a sign which read, "Welcome Conflict Resolvers!" My very first thought was of how much fun it would be to go in there and start a fistfight. Later, as we were leaving, I did something purely for my own amusement: I went to the table for St. Kate's and filled out an interest card, indicating my major academic interests as Theology and Sociology (there was no option for Women's Studies). Hopefully that will produce some amusing mail.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Side-stepping Responsibility

I was in a bad mood yesterday. Not one of those moods that makes you angry at everyone, just mad at a few people. We had a newspaper meeting yesterday - kind of a critical one, as we're doing layout and production all next week, and everyone was supposed to hand in their articles for me to start editing. I had talked to several people, all of whom told me that they would be there. No one came. Well, no one except myself, Professor B., and a new guy who found himself suddenly picking up some slack. I know for a fact that a couple people didn't show up because their articles aren't started yet (despite being assigned very near to the start of the semester), and I would guess that to be the case for everyone else. It would seem that there's just no motivation to do anything when there's no credit involved (I think I'm the only student taking it for credit this semester). However, the flip side of there being no consequences for a job poorly done, is that there are also no consequences for dropping out. If you're not planning to do anything, what's the point of burdening yourself with twice-weekly meetings (not that those seem to carry any weight anyway)? Just do everyone a favor and drop out. At least then we won't be expecting you.

Then, as if that weren't enough to put me in a bitter mood, I worked last night. That in and of itself isn't a bad thing. I like my job. But wouldn't you know it, people didn't show up. 2 people didn't show up at all. One of them had been in the day before looking for someone to cover her shift so that she could go to a football game. It would seem that she didn't find anyone, and just decided not to show up or call. In addition to the 2 people who weren't there, someone else left early (with the manager's permission) to go visit his mom in the hospital. So, being 3 people down left 4 of us to close the store and clean up. The 4 of us were a pretty motley crew, to boot (1 of us was having asthma attacks, 1 had severe abdominal pains - she thinks she has chronic appendicitis, and I had sprained my shoulder earlier in the day). Needless to say, we weren't able to get a whole lot done in the hour we had to clean things up, despite working pretty hard. So, if anyone happens to go into the Riverdale Old Navy today and notices that things aren't quite ship-shape, we really did the best we could! Again with the responsibility thing here, though. With 8-12 people scheduled at any given time and 40 total employees, it's really not that hard to find a replacement. It's even easier to call in "sick." If you know you're not going to be there, at least do the responsible thing and give the manager a chance to find an emergency substitute.

Okay, I feel better now. But seriously, (and I direct this to everyone on the newpaper and certain people at work) get a work ethic!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Absolutely Must-See Video of the Day

Interpretive Japanese A Cappella

It may take a minute to load, but it's well worth the wait.

Bonus points if you can identify every piece.

I Knew It Was Coming

The last couple days, my French prof has started making political statements. Yesterday it was about how wonderful the French government-run healthcare system is, and how if she lived in France, she wouldn't have to work full time to get health insurance and why can't the richest nation in the world just give everybody free drugs. And how dare Rick Santorum say anything critical of the French and claim to be in favor of family values, when he is forcing Americans to work harder? I became strangely deaf after that.
Today, we heard about the glory of the French military and why didn't the Americans help the French in their revolution when they had helped us with ours so recently.
I'm looking on the bright side: at least it's not an election year.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Believe it or not, spell-check isn't perfect...

We were proof-reading each others' papers in English last week, and the one I read was actually pretty well-written. Until I got to the last sentence. It was just one of those errors that makes one chortle, as I did:

"...and if the college education does not accomplish this, then all college does is prepare students for jobs. What a waist."

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Anoka County Hit By Possible Tornado on Last Day of Summer

We actually didn't get too much more than some nasty lightning and losing our power for about 40 minutes, but Andover, Anoka, and parts of Blaine (I know, references that mean nothing to more than 5 of you) got hit pretty hard. When the power came on, I reset my alarm clock. This morning (5:30, to be exact), I realized that I had set it wrong, and was up an hour early. Actually, I didn't realize my mistake until I was already dressed and ready to go (I thought it seemed a little dark outside), so I flipped on the TV only to discover that virtually every school in the county was cancelled. Every school, that is, except mine. The sheriff's department was advising people not to drive unless necessary, but I decided to brave it, only to end up turning around due to downed trees, flooding, and debris in the road. I'm just glad I didn't have to work last night (my usual shift would have put me there right in the middle of things). As it was, I could see the front coming, and managed to just outrun it the whole way home (kind of an adrenaline rush). You can read the riveting National Weather Service report here.

And you thought the NAB's Psalms were poorly translated...

From this week's Catholic Spirit:

What would the psalms sound like if they were written by a woman? Noting the masculine authorship and language of the psalms, Barbara Bonda set out to rewrite them from the perspective of a female psalmist. Even the images of God she chooses are feminine and motherly.

My mother is my shepherd and I lack nothing. She lays me down in green grass and carries fresh water to me. I can rest in her watchfulness while my soul is restored. She leads me along the path to wholeness...
I don't know that my description would be "refreshing and reflective," but I can think of a few other words...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

On the way home today, I heard another attempt at humor by Planned Parenthood. I didn't listen to the whole thing, as I had a set of innocent ears in the car, but what I did hear was an advertisement for "Affordable, woman-centered health care, someone to talk to, and name-brand birth control at half the price you can find it anywhere else." It ended with a slogan that, judging by the happy music and sound effects in the background, was supposed to be a hilarious punch line: "Planned Parenthood: Good for Women. Scary for Sperm." Yes, they've got another winner on their hands.

Monday, September 19, 2005

We got a postcard in the mail today announcing the kick-off event for our parish's junior high program. The big attraction this year is a visit from a "Professor of Experiential Learning." I'm just curious, where does one get such a certification, or pass on that timeless knowledge?

Sunday, September 18, 2005


I realized on Saturday that I completely neglected to mention that I would be gone this weekend, as our family went camping with several other homeschooling families from our church. It was quite fun, and we discovered last night that there was another group of Catholics there who were having a Mass. We weren't so smart as to bring our own priest, so we got up and went to 8:30 Mass this morning. The campground was 10 minutes from church, so naturally, we were late for Mass, which was celebrated by a guest priest, as Fr. Jon was at the men's retreat this weekend. Fr. Livingston (the guest priest) was quite the homilist. He had the gift of keeping a captive audience, and I myself rather enjoyed his speaking style ("...we should not dally nor tarry, lest we be found unprepared...").

The disadvantage of being gone all weekend is that I have homework left to do before tomorrow, so I'm going to go now and re-type a paper on the topic "What is a Good College Education?" Incidentally, I already typed this paper at school, and congratulating myself on my efficiency, emailed it to myself. It never came through.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been...5 seconds since my last Confession.

Our church had a Communal Penance service on Monday night, which was a little odd, as they usually only do that when there's a holiday coming up. There weren't a lot of people there, but about 7 or 8 priests, mostly retired. The priest I went to was one I've gone to before, but I've never quite had an exchange like this one:

Father: Let's begin in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. So, how long has it been since your last Confession?

Me: About a month.

Father: Alright, let's begin in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. How long has it been since your last Confession?

I told him, and we proceeded as normal. After telling me that my sins really weren't that bad (I hate that!), he told me to say 5 Our Fathers for the souls in Purgatory as my penance. Then he started off on a discourse about how we as Catholics need to focus more on ministering to those who have no faith. When he finished with that, he said, "And for your penance, if you could just say 4 Our Fathers for those who have no faith..."

So, it was a little odd, but I figure that as long as I was absolved (and as it happened, he used the full prayer of Absolution, instead of the abbreviation that some of the priests use), it turned out okay. Still, for a minute there, it was all I could do not to laugh...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

When you care enough to sing the very best...

We sang a song at Mass this morning that I've never really particularily liked, musically speaking, but then Jenny pointed out the lyrics to one of the verses, which I had never looked at closely, and I shuddered:

I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh, I'll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we've seen this journey through.

As she remarked, it sounds not unlike a Hallmark card. Even worse than that, though, was the Agnus Dei. I've just about had it with musicians taking liberties with that part of the Mass, and today's was so bad that it was all I could do to keep reciting in my head "Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi...":

Jesus, Lamb of God,
you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Bread of Peace,
you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Hope of Us,
you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Tree of Life,
you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Saving Cup,
you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Lamb of God,
you take away the sins of the world,
Grant us your peace.

Stick to the script, people!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. Between getting back into the swing of school/homework, being asked to give a talk on "Choosing to Become a Saint" to our church's 4-6 grade girls' group, and being named editor of the college newpaper, I've been a little busy. Really, though - I do plan to post more frequently in the near future.

Jenny: "I am the Queen of Humilty. Bow to me!"

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A sad day indeed

I showed up for the first day of Latin today only to find out that it was cancelled this semester due to low enrollment (he wouldn't do it for only 2 students - go figure). Eheu! Now I just have to come with something to do as an independent study. Any suggestions? (I've already done a full year each of the Vulgate and the Aeneid, as well as some Ovid)

You are Athanasius! You are willing to fight a
losing battle, just to make sure that the truth
is told. But don't get discouraged; sometimes
it takes more than one lifetime for truth to

Which Saint Are You?
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Sunday, September 04, 2005

"Our State Fair is a Great State Fair..."

Well, another year of the State Fair (a.k.a. the Great Minnesota Get-Together) has come and gone, and in honor of that, I’m posting several (okay, quite a few – I apologize to anyone on a slower connection) photos I took of Fair highlights and oddities. So, even if you couldn’t be there, you can now…

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Something amusing on an otherwise somber day

I was waiting for a friend at the Academic Support Center at school yesterday, and in between fliers about proper capitalization and comma placement, I found this gem.

Gender Bias Pronouns

Acheiving unbiased language so that readers will concentrate on what you have to say rather than how you say it. It's also, I might add, a necessity...

It may be easy to avoid gender-biased nouns by replacing sexist nouns with more neutral ones: chairman with chair, mailman with paper carrier, and congressman with senator or representative.
The document then goes on to give several suggestions of how best to eradicate those nasty pronouns from your life, including the following example:
Biased Language
"Gradually, Toddler will see the resemblence between block creations and objects in his world, and he will begin to name some structures, like "house," "choo choo," and "chimney."

"Gradually, Toddler will see the resemblence between block creations and objects in her world, and she will begin to name some structures, like "house," "choo choo," and "chimney."
So...apparently the feminine doesn't count as a gender anymore. I'm feeling more empowered already.

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