Monday, November 30, 2009

Fare thee well, No Shave November!

I e-mailed one of the Editorial editors at TWT last night an article I knew he'd like due to multiple conversations we had over the summer. It turns out one of his best friends wrote it, which makes the song "It's A Small World After All" come to mind. He also told me greatly enjoyed the poem I wrote for the office (I wrote the Editorial office and the Books editor letters and included the poem), which I don't believe I shared with y'all, so here it it:

“An Ode to the Books and Editorial Offices”
(a poem by Julie Robison, formerly known as “The Intern”)

This past summer I interned at The Washington Times
with the hope (and a prayer!) of a few bylines.
The office loved to tease and talk to me
while of course I was keeping busy as a bee.
I adore my editor Carol:
together, we shared stories by the barrel.
Sometimes we had lunch with Ben—
now there is a man I can listen to again and again!
In the mornings I always saw Quinn,
who could easily make me grin.
I worked by two hilarious Sigma Chis,
who share an excellent taste in ties;
and though my office was cold,
the whole experience was gold.
The guys oft forgot a girl was there,
so I laughed along with the “sailor stories” they liked to share.
I still read Times editorials sent by Jim every day,
which means even though you’re missed, I know y’all are okay.

Brett said he was glad kids these days were still putting things into verse just for kicks. He also said, in his day, "it was all wine, women and sonnets." This could be a sonnet if I took off the last four lines, but I like them too much.

Dr. Willson read to us excerpts from an e-mail he got from a former student who is currently working with 3rd world countries on modernizing while still keeping their traditions, which I think is so awesome. He tells Dr. Willson how Afghans, for instance, love poetry and how infused it is into their culture; they plan what poems they will bring to picnics (which apparently happen frequently) as carefully as they pick out what food they will bring. Robert Frost's poetry, even though it is native and Western, is well-received; he says they listen to the poems and stroke their beards, contemplating and understanding. Ahh, the importance and power of poetry--and more proof of the need to be versed in country things!

That being said, it's also the last day of November, so how can I avoid sharing Frost's "My November Guest"?

My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted gray
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise.

Hillsdale is cold. Not rainy, not snowy, not really even windy--but it is cold. I need to go read now before Founding at 3. I've been doing toady tasks that need to get done, but as I seem to have lost my extensive to-do I wrote this morning, I shall have forgo the other tasks I deemed important this morning but can no longer remember.

I continue my streak of forgetting things at home; this time, it was my wallet, which I could have sworn I put in my bag. My friend Matt asked me to grab a beer tonight since he's turning in his thesis today, but that obviously can't happen since I can't prove that I'm 21. It might have fallen out when I gave Katie money for her Adopt-A-Grandparent program. I also forgot to give Dad two checks to deposit, so they shall have to be mailed. Thanksgiving Break Fail.

I am loving reading '84, Channing Cross Road.' It's mainly a business relationship because she's buying books from him, but you can hear her voice (and his, for that matter) in the letters. The letters are so real, so unaffected. I love how differently they approach the letters. I love the language they use. I love how they discuss literature.

I always reading and finding poems, essays, excerpts, etc. I want to share with people, but I usually end up reading them to my roommate, who I am sure tunes me out half the time because I can't imagine how she is not more moved than she seems to be at the prose and poetry--the sound of the words, the rhythm, the material! She's a double Biology-English major, so I know she appreciates and understands it. I suppose I tend to get more excited about it than she does, which is likely the case. I'll keep sharing with her, even though I know one day she won't be there any more. Then I'll have to find a pen-pal whom I can outlet my literary discoveries and reads with--how exciting! Sounds like an adventure!

If it's Brown, Flush it Down

Cincinnati Bengals beat the Cleveland Browns today, 16-7. Sorry Rach, but you know the saying...

This is a picture of my dog by the front door, staring out at cars. I took the picture this afternoon. Note the pink bow; we like to think it detracts from her ferocity. She is a quite lovable dog, but her excitement at meeting new people and dedication to guarding the house can oftentimes overwhelm people. She really is the sweetest though, and I will soon miss taking her on walks and having her underfoot.

I got back from Thanksgiving break tonight only the realize that I had MeLCat books waiting for me at the library, books that will be quite helpful in the three papers I shall be finishing writing this week. I did not get nearly enough done over break, but c'est la vie. Break was great; going home is always tres bon, but this one was especially fun because a friend came in from Chicago, adding to the Robison extravaganza. The more the merrier! as Dad likes to say, and it certainly was a blast.

Julie's Thanksgiving Break, the break-down: mass with the family; story-time homilies; Thanksgiving deliciousness; whiskey sours; seeing a plethora of aunts, uncles and cousins; larding around the house; watching John Cusack play the same character he always plays, only in a more minor role; replacing the batteries in the smoke alarm to appease Andrew; drinking beer with the friends; Zip's with Besl and Haynes, followed by Graeter's ice cream (I branched out and had blueberry pie ice cream, which not only benefited the children but had blueberries and pie crust in it); Andrew putting his B.S. degree to use with John's sixth grade science paper; watching a Charlie Brown Christmas on Charles Schultz's birthday; UC Bearcats domination over Illinois and the possibility of tailgating; Cincinnati Zoo; Skyline and the Tabasco sauce filled oyster crackers incident(s); Jungle Jim's alcohol section/ wing; hanging with the familia and pets; attempting to read research.

It is important to remember that Thanksgiving break feasting is more than just turkey and stuffing, though, as good as it is-- favoritest things we ate: pumpkin pie, chocolate chip cookie bars that tasted like raw cookie dough (only baked, obviously), late-night grilled cheese.

I am extremely tired. Listening to Christmas music is not helping me stay awake, although listening to snippets of Bob Dylan croon (croak?) Christmas tunes did give me a temporary burst of energy when I laughed at how horrible he now sounds, which may sound meaner than I intend it. In my smallish opinion, if he wasn't Bob Dylan, that album never would have been produced. Then again, if I wasn't such a Bob Dylan fan, then I wouldn't care; but I am and he's hurting my Bob feelings and my ears.

I am thinking I am going to switch my honors seminar paper/ project to a different correspondence. I've been reading letters between Flannery O'Connor and the Brainard Cheneys, which are quite good, but not quite what I'd like to do, as much as I love reading O'Connor.

Instead, I think I might write on this other book of correspondence between this American woman and a British bookseller I found by chance last week. It's called '84, Channing Cross Road.' Their whole relationship was through letters over a 20 year period. It's extremely literary, lively, charming and all business. They never met (the bookseller died suddenly), but she published their correspondence and I think it's exactly the kind of off-the-beaten path correspondence I'd like to write about. Most people in the class are doing famous people like Robert E. Lee or the Russian Empress Alexandria. I think it would be much more interesting to have less significant people and how their lives were truly shaped and now somewhat defined by these letters. I'm not finished with the book yet (I only picked it up from the library tonight), but it's an easy read. My presentation is Wednesday and my paper is due the following Wednesday on the last day of class. It should be excellent.

My roommate-who-dyed-her-hair-blonde-over-break is going to bed. Seriously considering joining her, but then again may continue to read. Overall analysis: good to be back in the H-Dale, even if the weather is cold and rainy. The ride back to campus was good; I am particularly fond of both Kate and Sam, which made the trip even better. Kappas are starting to decorate their rooms for Christmas and listening to Christmas music; special props to my sisters across the hall for their wreath, mini-Christmas tree and lights. More dedication then I will show, I admit. I am thinking about making an Advent wreath out of construction paper, though--maybe little construction paper flames to accompany it? Yes?

First Sunday of Advent, lighting of the first purple candle (hope)-- veni, veni, Emmanuel!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

First Day of Thanksgiving Break!

"I don't know how I got this! And I've been sober for weeks!"
--my sister Katie to me, showing me a bruise she got

Home for Thanksgiving. Been running errands and cleaning up around the house. This seems like a pretty typical first day back home. My little sister Megan put a pink bow on our dog's collar and her ferocity is gone. It's amazing. Even when she barks, everyone just goes "aww, Heidi!"

I went downtown to Avril's to buy goetta (delicious breakfast meat specific to Cincinnati), which was a lot of fun. I like going down there occasionally. Avril Bleh & Sons Meat Market is this old German family business, so it's a neat environment. I bought a loaf, which is a little over 10 pounds, so I got cracks about being in a big family and then the guy at the register called me "Miss Goetta." The only downside is that I got hollered at by a guy in a group: "Hey cracka girl, where you goin'?!" I found it more amusing than anything else.

Davey invited me Hofbrauhaus with the guys for dinner tonight. I'm so excited to see them! Bearcats plays Friday, so I think Katie, Andrew and I will go down to UC to tailgate at the SAE house and see Bianca, who will up for the game.

Back to cleaning and organizing. People decided to use my room to open boxes in storage. My cousin's here!! Ciao!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Coloring Like an Egyptian

School is scuttling past like the leaves blown up by the wind. I keep rotating between my fall herringbone coat and my winter Columbia jacket, with my black fleece worn in-between. I am working on my art history reproduction of Return from Abydos (Egyptian wall painting on plaster, 1410 B.C.) and am being constantly reminded why I am not an art major. It's not looking bad at all, but I feel like I would derive more pleasure from this project. Or maybe it's the four looming papers due after Thanksgiving break. Deo gratias that at least I've finished writing the accompanying paper for art history!

Tomorrow is Heather (my dear roommate)'s 22nd birthday. We were planning on going out for drinks after our chapter meeting tomorrow night, but the Chicago Water Grill burned down tonight! CWG, for those unawares, is a favorite in the college community. It was a nice restaurant and bar in Jonesville, which is right next to Hillsdale. I was just there on Friday after the Kappa Senior Date Dinner with Matt and a few friends, so it seems a bit surreal to think that it is completely demolished now.

I have been reading lots, both for school and not for school (although, if you learn for life, not for school, as my high school espoused we should, then it's all in my life's curricula!), but I found this really great poem:

"High Flight"
by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee Jr., 412 Fighter Squadron, RCAF
(killed December 11, 1941)

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew -
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

In sad news, my Flannery O'Connor book, Mystery and Manners, split absolutely in half today. I shall have to tape it back together! Although it is a little easier to read now :)

I leave Hillsdale Tuesday (two days!) to go home for break; my Tuesday class got canceled, but I have a lunch date with my good friend Sarah Willis and around 1:15, when Kate is done with her exam, off we shall drive! Homeward bound!

I may be having lunch with my cousins Tommy and Nick on Wednesday with my sister Katie; that night, I shall pick up my friend Andrew from the bus station. He's coming in from Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with my family, which should be a blast and very overwhelming. I'm sure he'll leave 10 pounds heavier because they'll just keep trying to feed him.

Friday-Saturday will be reading research, taking Andrew around Cincinnati and hanging out with friends, per is my homecoming ritual. I'm sure I'll take Heidi on a few walks too, so I can waddle off the loads of pumpkin pie, turkey, stuffing, etc. I intend to eat. Andrew, you can come too. :)

Continuing to pray about life and what it's been scooping up to me. It's not always easy trusting, but I know it's best. I mailed my first fellowship application on Friday, so that's a good feeling. The mom of two of my Kappa sisters died yesterday, so please keep her soul in your prayers. One of my fellow American Studies majors has oral comps tomorrow, so keep her in your prayers too. I took her coffee and pop-tarts tonight. She sent me my favorite line of the day too:

: you are drawing with crayons and I'm reviewing 4 years of education. hmmmmmmmph.

(except I am using colored pencils, not my preferred medium of crayola crayons, of which I need a new pack if anyone is interested in supporting the Julie Art cause; I'll draw you a pretty picture!)

I'm incredibly excited to see my family and friends. I like to think that to be home is to be.

This was part of the commentary in The Magnificant for today, the Feast of Christ the King (and St. Cecilia!). It's from Pope Benedict XVI's homily on September 8, 2001 on theFeast of Our Lady's Nativity:

"The Gospel passage we have just heard broadens our view. It presents the history of Israel from Abraham onwards as a pilgrimage, which, with its ups and downs, its paths and detours, leads us finally to Christ. The genealogy with its light and dark figures, its successes and failures, shows us that God can write straight even on the crooked lines of our history. God allows us our freedom, and yet in our failures he can always find new paths for his love. God does not fail. Hence this genealogy is a guarantee of God’s faithfulness; a guarantee that God does not allow us to fall, and an invitation to direct our lives ever anew towards him, to walk ever anew towards Jesus Christ."

Happy last Sunday in Ordinary Time!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's a good weekend for Charger football!

Hillsdale College Chargers played in their FIRST D2 play-off game today (since joining the NCAA in 1992) and WON in overtime!! Next weekend, they'll be at Grand Valley State for the second round. Grand Valley was number one in GLIAC for a really long time (I want to say 20+ years, but I could be wrong) until Hillsdale's team beat them this year, Homecoming weekend, which you can rest assure caused quite a skadoo. So, next Saturday, you can guess where I will be.

My friend Will took pictures of the team since he's traveling with them; if you'd like to see a few pre-game pictures, here they are. I'm sure he'll upload game ones later.

In other Julie football news, Cincinnati Bearcats are still #5 in the Big east, Bengals play the Steelers tomorrow...

My day had been relatively low-key: wrote a review of the SAI concert, edited articles, took a walk with Vivy over to the graveyard (the weather continues absolutely gorgeous--I was in shorts, my fleece and sandals today), and doing various little things. The HF is going to press this weekend, so I'm keeping tabs on layout. I'm currently working on an my AQ article. I shall stop soon to type up more of my James Otis research paper. Battle of the Bands is tonight, which should be a lot of fun. I don't feel like going right now, but I know I'll need to take a break eventually.

I'm feeling rawther contemplative. This is very much a pray without ceasing, trusting in Him time of my life. I realize life should be so in general, and I like to think it is, but right now it is especially so. This was today's "commentary of the day" from the Daily Gospel (which e-mails me the first, second, psalm and Gospel readings every day). I think it's just beautiful and fits my mood as well:

Commentary of the day :

Saint José Maria Escriva de Balaguer (1902-1975), priest, founder
Sermon of 26/03/67 in 'Es Cristo que pasa'

"Pray at all times"

"Pray at all times" commands the apostle Paul (1Th 5,17). Calling to mind this precept, Clement of Alexandria writes: "We have been commanded to praise and honor the Word, which we know to be our Savior and King, and through him the Father, not on certain select days as others do, but continually our whole lives long and in every possible way."

Amidst our daily occupations, at times when we overcome our egoistical tendencies, when we experience the joy of friendship towards others: at all such times Christians must discover God. Through Christ and in the Holy Spirit, Christians gain intimacy with God the Father and run along the way as they seek that kingdom which, although it is not of this world (Jn 18,36), is prepared for in this world and begins in this world.

We need to go regularly to Christ in the Word and the Bread, in the Eucharist and prayer. And stay with him frequently as one stays with a friend, a real, living being – as Christ is, being risen... Christ, the risen Christ is our companion, our Friend. A companion who is only to be seen in the semi-darkness but whose reality fills our lives and makes us want his company permanently. "The Spirit and the Bride say: Come! Let the hearer say: Come! Let the one who thirsts come forward, and the one who wants it receive the gift of life-giving water... The one who gives this testimony says: Yes, I am coming soon! Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!" (Rv 22,17.20).

And, finally:
"A lady does not just order a salad at a restaurant when she is on a date if she really wants a hamburger. She realizes the men who would not want her because she has an appetite are not worth the trouble."
-How to be a Lady

Ha! So great. Happy Saturday!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot; I know of no reason, why the gunpowder treason, should ever be forgot!

'V for Vendetta' is one of my family's favorite films, which perhaps is not surprising for those of you who have met my father or siblings and discussed politics with them. Their libertarian-style of conservatism is not my mother's Republican cup-of-tea, but we can all agree the necessity to uphold the Constitution and will always demand the government stay out of the people's business, personally and publicly. I am a little sad not to be at home today, if only because I shall not be partaking in the watching of this film with the rest of the clan.

Favorite part: "There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission."

So happy Fifth of November! May you never listen to Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" the same way again!

"Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof." -V

a word of caution: if your roommate is an art history person like mine is, they may get minorly upset watching an historical building being blown-up :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chicken fingers for lunch? Chickens have fingers?!

I found this written on a piece of paper while cleaning up--

"Choose: grinding poverty or frequent trips to the Hampton."

--my dad's advice to me regarding my future career options

I got an e-mail today from the Editor in Chief of Academic Questions, a journal of the National Associations of Scholars, to write an article for their upcoming issue. She said the head of the CN recommended me. I'm quite excited and all ready brainstorming what I shall be writing on. I need to tell her in two weeks or so, but I think I have a rough idea. The prompt has to do with traditional values and Western Civilization in the current academic and social setting.

Only one class this morning, so the day is being spent organizing all my research, etc. I have papers everywhere in my room and it is getting a little ridiculous. Mom called me to let me know she is mailing my umbrella that I left at home over Fall Break today, along with a few more treats, like pictures of the family and jail cookies. We call them "jail cookies" because, last weekend, Dad and my sister Katie made chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies for the inmates jailed downtown. A priest at our church works with them and he asked parishioners to make cookies, so my family of course went over the top and made 24 dozen. They had a few to spare so they are sending them to me!

I also have a Delta Pi Nu (AS honorary) dinner at 6:30, where I shall be doing a mini-presentation on my thesis with the other senior American Studies majors. There's only four of us, which is one of my favorite parts of the major. Then I've got Kappa stuff and then more homework! Good, solid day.

Peace be with you all today and may the sun shine down on your face, even if from behind clouds.

"If the world is against truth, then I am against the world." -St. Athanasius

Welcome to I-Week!

My apologies for being super-lax on the postings (Rachel, I'm sure you're the only one who's noticed, so that is for you), but I had three midterms last Friday and this past week--which I thought was going to be laid back, was a big game of catch-up. My major week accomplishments were writing an article on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and same-sex marriage for the November issue of the Forum and a presentation on Robert Frost presentation on Friday. The article turned out well (I'll post it when we go to press next week) and presentation was hilarious. I'll start at the beginning:

It all started when one group took four people when the groups were only supposed to have three. Then Dr. S said "no rules" so Heather and I simply did the logical thing--we e-mailed his wife and asked her if she would come to class and be in our presentation. She was sworn to secrecy and, as she was out of town and did not get back into town until Thursday, it made the surprise so much the better. She had a few minor lines, but it was enough to include her while Heather and I ran the show, which was hilarious and very well-received. The presentation was on Robert Frost's time in England, which we paralleled with Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court."

Here's the opening Heather wrote. Yes, it is based off Puck's opening in a "Midsummer's Night Dream":

If this project has offended,
Think but this, a notion splendid,
That you have but slumber’d here,
As you usually do, my dear.
And if you would attempt to glean
What Julie’s doing in your dream,
Feel no need to comprehend,
In 15 minutes it will end.
But in that while, let us truck
To England, where, with some luck,
We’ll bring a bit of Twain along
And approach Frost’s trip from a different prong.
Though with this Prologue we may stall,
And really start to bore you all,
We’ll attempt to win back friends
And have Sundahl’s own Ellen to make amends!

We had to resist making a snide comment during our presentation to a certain member of our class regarding high maintenance because that would be uncouth. During her presentation, she had to hold a fishing pole and was holding it backwards. Dr. S of course called her high maintenance and she retorted by saying, "I'm not high maintenance. I'm not a sorority girl." Heather and I are sitting in the front row, to which I exclaim "Hey now!" and Heather says, "Have you met Julie?" at the same time. Not to mention two of the girls in her group were in sororities, as well as two additional members of the class. I found it very un-called for, but she was wearing socks with her sperrys, so that is Heather and mine criteria for whether or not a person is high maintenance: the wearing of socks with one's sperrys. :)

I was also on a panel on Thursday for Fairfield Society regarding "The Future of the Republican Party," which went really well. I got a couple raps on the table from my fellow panelists during my opening remarks and sizeable clapping afterwards, as if that means anything. It was a lot of fun to publicly talk and debate on said subjects, especially since there were a few hard-core Republicans on the panel, something I am certainly not. That type of oration begs preparation and helps one center what one really believes. I e-mailed Rach my opening remarks for her enjoyment, so if anyone else is interested, I'd be happy to pass them along.

Anyways, as the title of this blog post suggests, it is the start of Inspiration Week, so I shall be busy doing things for my Little, Danielle. She is to my left in the picture, in the black jacket. My Big, April, is in the red toggle coat. The picture was taken at Homecoming and is one of my favoritest pictures now. I love my Kappa family (and if you're reading this, you too G., my beloved Grand Big)! I had to make Danielle a poster and used many mediums, including crayons. Being me, I broke one. Also being me, I wrote a haiku in its honor:

"Ode to the crayon I broke whilst coloring a sign for my Little"
a haiku by Julie Robison

my poor crayon hast broke;
cracked in the line of duty
lavender--I salute!

I'll also be writing papers. I think I have 5 or 6, but I'll be focusing on 3: James Otis (Founding of the American Republic), Alistair Cooke (Major Figures in Journalism) and Flanney O'Connor (The Lost Art of Epistolary Communication). Oh, and my thesis. I just love it all so much. Even the thought of everything I'm going to be reading excites me. I was reading Otis and his take on the English common law last night and wishing everyone in America could learn about this as well. It is so fascinating.

My favorite verse of the week: "If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

Happy Monday, friends!