Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
"What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin:
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."
This was parents' weekend at Hillsdale College and even though my dear parents didn't come, it was a lovely weekend. It was UC's homecoming as well this weekend, and Mom called me on Saturday so that I could hear the sounds of the parade. I saw lots of friends' parents, including my "little brother" on campus Sammy's parents. Sam's also from Cincinnati and his twin sisters are good friends with my sister Marianne, so our families are well-connected. That was just wonderful.
I invited my friend Matt over to Kappa for brunch because I was a "parent-less" senior, so that was neat being able to share a meal with a fellow "parent-less" friend on campus as well as showing him around the house, since boys are not technically allowed upstairs, but this was one time they were allowed. When I first asked him, he thought I had said "pant-less" and not "parent-less," which I can assure you led to much hilarity.
Today at mass, I sat behind one of the girls I used to coach in soccer and when it was time for the Sign of Peace, she called me "Coach Julie." It made me really happy, especially since this is the first season in a little over two years I have not coached that group of girls. One of those, I'm-still-their-coach moments.
I'm really getting into my research paper on James Otis. He's fantastic and I'll have to expound more on him later; he is so fascinating when studying the origins of early American political thought. I'll also be working on my thesis today and helping spread the word about Kappa's 5k next Saturday/ getting people to sign up. I'll be writing cover letters for fellowships, studying with my friend Sarah, there's a candlelight at 6, articles are starting to pour in and yeah...it's going to be a great Sunday!
Song of the day is "Westfalls" by Okkervil River. I'm sure there are better recordings, but the song is still phenom.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
"...and the Grinch's heart grew three sizes that day
it burst forth upon the ground besides
his kidneys and spleen. His soul flew
away like a flying fish. Zeus in his
wisdom hit it with a shovel."
More reasons why I love going to Hillsdale: there's humor in antiquity (or an application of it, at least) and a respect for the past! Robert Frost was all about the continuity the modern world holds with the classical world, which is why I enjoy his poetry so much. (I'm also a former Classics minor, so that might play into it as well.) I think it is presumptuous (and pompous, for that matter) to think our age is the Golden one, the one which provide all the answers. But to worship at the alter of Modernity, the bearer of all things good of this world, is to not acknowledge the design of a greater Being who laid the foundation for all. This is the greatest loss for our society.
Not counting my own trivial whines about all the work I have to do at school, it is comforting to know there is an Almighty, all-Knowing, all-Merciful and Loving God supporting humanity in our triumphs and trials. Especially in this past, short week, I've been praying a great deal: there was a tragic death two nights ago in Cincinnati, which is greatly affecting many of my cousins; friends have come to me in distress; even my own soul has been groaning from exhaustion. I do not know what I would do without God, the source of all good and all grace, especially dark grace. In the good, I am blessed; in the bad, I am blessed. I am blessed especially in friends, whose friendship and fellowship plays its role in my life, affecting me every day, in mostly smallish but significant ways. Life is so beautiful.
I have three midterms Friday (Art History, Robert Frost and Founding of the American Republic), so I am steadily studying each day, with the help of coffee, note cards and notes. Thank goodness for being organized and looking ahead! Lots of memorizing-- significant stack of AH slides, three Frost poems, and a plethora of dates, events and people up to the First Continental Congress in Philly. Thank goodness for the Coldplay station on Pandora.
Robert Frost class was great again today, especially since Dr. Sundahl kept having me preface a few of his remarks with phrases like "old paper twitchy mustache," which of course refers to him while at the same time, to me, since at my group's presentation last week we donned white paper mustaches, which he nearly died laughing at (turned a lovely shade of red, which is impressive for a man from Norwegian descent). He tells me that I'll "never live that down." More reason to love the class! If you can't poke fun at yourself (0r the professor, for that matter), you're too serious about life, which is silly. Even God has a sense of humor.
On a happy note, we had a Hillsdale alum who's an editor now for the Associated Press come into our journalism class yesterday who was simply a delight to listen and talk to. He's been scheduling meetings with kids in the journalism program, but I didn't schedule one because
A) I didn't even know he was coming and
B) I'm not really in the program, even if I am sort of (I started the Books section in the paper and get a scholarship for it, so I'm more of an honorary).
Anyways, I got an e-mail from one of the department heads saying he greatly enjoyed how engaged I was in class and was hoping to meet with me. So we have a meeting today at 5. I'm sure it'll go splendidly, and it will be nice to talk to someone in the field to better figure out which direction I can better go since I'm not into reporting as a profession (writing yes, editing yes, grunt reporting work no--not my preference). I don't really have time for it, but I'm still excited.
I am off to study more. My day looks like this: wake-up, class, study, eat, study, class, study, meeting, eat, study, KKG meeting, HF meeting, study, a beer with the guys, more studying until nighttime prayer/bed.
Happy Wednesday! Weather in Hillsdale today is lovely. It looks and feels like Fall in the Midwest. Leaves are changing colors and falling to the ground. There's a nice breeze and it's supposed to get up to 68 degrees. People are studying outside and teachers are lingering on the quad to talk, opposed to hurrying off to their offices. I love Indian Summers.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Today I am at Dad's office. I shall be attempting to complete the following:
--copies of my James Otis books/ pamphlets
--art history notecards
--Founding list of dates/ people/ events to know
--read George Orwell essays
--read more famous letters
--fellowship/ job applications
Dad and I went to Chinese for lunch. My fortune read, "Write injuries in dust, benefits in marble." I learned the Chinese word for "Inside" and my lucky numbers are 12, 23, 21, 33, 37, 16, which was neat to read only because my favorite number is, in fact, 37. We then had a conversation about what I should make for dinner on Sturday when the Hillsdale people come over (all thoughts on that should be directed at the comment box). Then he wanted to know when I became so opinionated and jokingly urged me to be more docile. I replied, Dubious.
In the happiest of news, my little sister Marianne asked me to be her Confirmation sponsor! I am so excited! I don't know how I'll get home for that yet, and I'll have to miss school, but this is definitely more important.
I am also happy to report that my computer shall be ready for my actual use when I get back to school! After a month at ITS, it was no more than a glorified picture frame. Then I uploaded Microsoft back to it, so it was slightly more useful, but not enough. My friend said he would work on it over break and not only is it working wonderfully now (I only gave it to him yesterday), he played MGMT's "Kids" to celebrate. Excellent choice! and taste, I might add.
I'm hanging with my cousin Sarah and familia tonight. I get to see massive amounts of friends tomorrow. Blessings abound!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Now those are obviously my nicknames for my siblings, not their real names, but for anyone who knows me well enough, they know I love re-naming people, whether it be obtuse nicknames created from some variation on their name or simply calling them by their last name (a personal favorite).
Home is going to be busy:
Wednesday- class, drive to Cincinnati, enveloped by family lovin', sleeeep.
Thursday- work with Dad (homework, research, fellowship apps, etc.) and then most likely Chipotle dinner in Ault park with Besl and then all my friends who go to St. Louis University will be piling back into the city, so I shall be making the rounds to see them, which will be uber-exciting. I'm especially excited to see the twins, who I have not seen since spring break since they were doing research in St. Louis all summer and I was obviously in D.C.
Friday- Betsy's asked me to join her and a few of our Hillsdale friends who are coming down to Cincy for break to the library downtown in the morning and then whatever else we'll do. Maybe walk around downtown, maybe the Art Museum and lunch at Eden park, etc. I know this side of town pretty well, so I'm happy and excited to do it. I love sharing Cincinnati with people. After that, I'll most likely try to hang out with my cousin Sarah and see my family and home friends until I trek north to the French's, where they will be having a bonfire gathering with all the Hillsdale-Cincinnati people. That should be awesome fun!
Saturday- up in the air, but most likely more family time :) I'm having Hillsdale people over for dinner; I think Kate and Heather might come over to help me prepare the meal. I'm excited to have more Hillsdale friends meet my family. Both are such a huge and important part of my life. I think it is so important to meet people's families. You know them so much better as people when you know the people they had been surrounded by for most of their life. At the very least, you understand why they act and say the things they do a little better. My family can be quite the hoot, too, so I enjoy sharing them with my favorite people. I have no clue what I'll do with them after dinner, but I'm thinking about having a few desserts and beers, so that will always be a winner. I prefer talking the night away anyways; good conversation does more for the soul than a rousing game of cards ever did.
Sunday-mass at 10, brunch with the grandparents and hit the road back to Hillsdale with Kate and Heather! That should be a really fun car ride. For those who do not know who Kate or Heather are, Kate and I went to high school together and were friends there. We've become much better friends in college, which is great considering Kate has become one of Heather's best friends and I am Heather's other best friend/ roommate. We always have ridiculously good times together, sometimes involving cheese.
Today is my sister Katie's 20th birthday! She got picked up by Kappa Alpha Theta last night, so she shall be spending it at her first chapter meeting. She goes to UC and is joining the same Theta chapter my grandmother and a few of my aunts were in--the whole family is very excited for her!
Today is also Founder's Day for Kappa Kappa Gamma! Happy 139th anniversary! We're having a formal dinner to commemorate the day, which is great since I am starving in the library right now.
Delta Pi Nu, the American Studies honorary, had our tray lunch today with Professor Knecht, who talked about Constitutional art history. It was fascinating and I had another opportunity to spend time with my favorite people on campus, i.e. my fellow majors.
Fun stories of the day include
A) Matt telling me that I am a fantastic human being after saying I said I was feeling domestic and would therefore make him brownies,
B) Zach suggesting I write a song called "all along the library,"
C) wearing the shirt I bought at the Bob Dylan concert a few summers ago and am even listening to the "No Direction Home" soundtrack on my ipod. I am feeling thoroughly Bob-fied.
Here's a video of Hillsdale College students rushing the field after we beat the #1 ranked Grand Valley State University after the Homecoming game:
Pure awesome :) I have to get back to the ridiculous amount of work I need to complete before fall break so that I may still have a productive-yet-laid back time at home. We were assigned a group presentation for this Wednesday (tomorrow) in my Robert Frost class this past Monday (yesterday), so that's one more thing to add to my plate. The fun thing is that we're all going to dress up like my teacher when we give it--including putting a white moustache above our noses and twitching it in a distinctly Norwegian way. We're going to meet up at the Hunt Club tonight and discuss it over beer, which makes me happy to be 21 and in college.
Readings of the day quite good, especially the first (Romans 1:16-25).
Happy October the 13th! May none of your superstitions come true!
Monday, October 12, 2009
(Pictured, left to right: Betsy, Amanda, Vivian, me and Margo has the KKG flag)
Homecoming 2009 at Hillsdale was fantastic! Even though KKG didn't win Homecoming Queen, Sarah still looked amazing and Kappa's cheers for her and our sorority rang out loud and proud. Hillsdale's football team also beat the #1 ranked Grand Valley State University, so festivities Saturday were more than celebratory. Hillsdale invited Mikey from The Monkees to sing and entertain the alumni and students, so the tent party was hopping, so say the least. My big April came in town, so it was great to see her and have her meet my little Danielle. I also saw 'Our Town' on Friday with friends and then hit up a couple parties, so that combined with seeing favorite alumni, I'd say this was one of my favorite weekends of the school year.
Also, if you want a great song to jam to, I recommend Kayne West's "Homecoming."
I'm at the library, getting more books for my thesis and printing articles off JSTOR. The printer, however, ran out of toner, so now my printing job is on pause. Slightly annoying since I'd like to get back to Matt's room to keep working on it. I went back to Kappa before the library though to grab my ipod and head phones. There are a number of people in there now, and I need to keep working. I went over there around 8 to work (after my lovely walk with Vivy) and I met a freshman named Henry who is also from Cincinnati! he was making Skyline and sharing it :) There were a few other guys in there as well and one of them asked me what my thesis was on, which of course catalyzed a huge discussion, which was fantastic. I love those type of intellectual discussions, especially when people are coming from different angles.
Okay, toner problem fixed, gots to get back to work. The Bengals won against the Baltimore Ravens today 17-14, so we're #1 in the AFC!! Who Dey!!!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
This is one of my best friends, Julia. She just posted this picture and I wanted to share it with the class. She and I became best friends after Birzer's Civil War class junior year.
It's funny how you can just meet someone and just click so instantaneously. That's how it was/ is with all my close friends on campus. We just complement each other's personalities, bouncing off each other's strengths and weaknesses, always wanting the best for the other.
I'm constantly reminded how good God is by the people He puts in my life. I remember one of my best friends at home, Sarah, was talking to her mom and Mrs. Bromley was remarking how she can't believe we didn't meet sooner in high school. I wonder, though, if Sar and I would be as close if we had met earlier. We were in different parts of our lives then; perhaps we would not have meshed as well.
I've always been blessed with easily making and, moreover, keeping friends. I like going home and having a solid group of people who want to see me as much as I want to see them. I've noticed that the ones I've stayed closest with thoughout college are the ones I made (or got closer to) our junior/ senior year of high school.
It's the same way with college: I've kept many of my friends from freshman/ sophomore year (Heather, my roommate since freshman year, is the perfect example of that, especially as we are still rooming together), but I'm closest with people I've gotten to know my junior year. Senior year has only provided us ample opportunities to continue growing closer, which has been such a blessing in my life. I know I'm better becoming the person I'm meant to be because of them.
Perhaps it's a maturity thing, that whole growing up aspect--getting to a place in your life where the things that matter start to sharpen in one's line of vision: people who are also seeking to deepen their relationship with God, have a focus on their academics and an openness to God's will, keep perspective and always having a sense of humor. Life would hardly be tolerable if you didn't laugh at its absurdities.
Anyways, I love her :) She is a wonderful and I hope to introduce you to her if I ever get the chance. It'll be a riot, for sure. Oh, and our favorite "Julie and Julia" movie quote? The one that sums up our love/friendship? I'm so glad you asked:
--"What do you really like to do?"
--"And you're so good at it!"
In other news, Joey and I made cookies yesterday and they were so, so good. So good, in fact, that Matt said he would do anything for me. Must now think how to use this to my advantage haha. As Julia Childs would say, Bon appetit!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Greater than being shore to ocean-
Holding the curve of one position,
Counting an endless repetition.
That being said, I need to get back to my studies! (But first I'll update :) for "devoted" readers like Rach.) Today I'm analyzing and writing a paper on Frost's "Accidentally on Purpose," which is due Friday. I'm focusing on showing how the world has become a diminished thing and the redemption of man.
I picked "Accidentally on Purpose" over "Bereft," which I also really like. I was tempted to start two papers and then decide which one I like better, but I
A) do not have time for that (I'm also writing a paper for Birzer for Friday) and
B) the former is longer than the latter; therefore more to write on/ a longer paper is more plausible.
On the topic of devotion, I'm going to avoid being quaint, but I think it is a virtue undermined in today's culture. Even the word devotion seems to rankle; it admits a commitment to another besides yourself, and can be percieved as having a subservient attitude in which one's slavish actions in the name of another undermines that person's free will and true intentions. Blindly following anything suggests one does not think and if one does not think, one cannot have knowledge, which leads to a true (not contorted by popular opinion) understanding of the world, humanity and, ultimately, God.
On the other hand, devotion can be a very beautiful thing. A devotion to one's family and friends for instance; being willing to do everything within your power to keep them joyful in existence. A devotion to God, of course, is not blind adoration but another opportunity to serve and glorify Him. Husbands and wives must be devoted to themselves in their sacramental bonds of marriage. Without devotion, people fall into their self-serving and self-pleasing attitude where they put themselves first, which is not necessarily a bad thing, unless they are the only person they are serving.
Independence and being your own person (virtues in America) is completely complementary to remaining devoted to things that truly matter (usually within the realms of family, church and community). This, of course, brings up the Gospels and Jesus' message of denying thyself and taking up one's cross to follow Him. This is also plausible and can exist , but it gives people a different kind of freedom--a freedom from one's passions and instincts and a heart for Christ alone. This, of course, is a topic for another day.
I got my Mencken paper back. My teacher wrote "A--Well done; I suspected this would be strong after hearing your comments in class. As usual, keep doing your best to tighten and simplify where you can." He mostly check marked different paragraphs that he liked (but surprisingly not at my favorite sentence, which I thought he would like as well). There were two sentences on the second page he specifically marked out as needing further simplification and adjustment.
It was a strong paper, but I like getting slightly-negative feedback. I like knowing I'm doing well but am still on the cusp of my true writing potential. Will I ever get there? Who knows. Nevertheless, I am still seeking and striving in my prose (and will continue to, until I am no longer, my hand clutching a final draft! ha!), finding the good word and not yielding to writing lethargy (to paraphrase Tennyson). I'm devoted (to use the buzz word of the post) to my writing, improve with every article and paper, so I think I might just be a writer yet!
In other news, please pray for a classmate of mine who lost her father last week and another classmate who just proposed to him girlfriend a few days ago. Both are major life events that need the Lord's guidance and grace. Also for Emilia and me; the Forum's going to press TONIGHT. (We'll release on Friday so as to not steal the Collegian's thunder.) It's busy, to say the least, and it's my baby. The amount of work that goes into these issues is phenomenal and I like seeing the fruits of the staff's labor (and mine) well-recieved; even if people do not agree with the content, they can't deny we've got great style.
Happy Tuesday, y'all!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Today needs to be productive, so I shall be brief. Art History was marvelous. I'm really enjoying learning about the Greek art and architecture right now. It's fascinating to learn the frieze of the Parthenon, for example, was actually painted garishly and brightly colored, which has since the paint has since been worn away by the elements, leaving only the placid white of the marble. I'm printing off the slides right now to start studying. The first test crept up on me unexpectedly and I shan't be pulling another all-nighter to study for it. No bueno.Robert Frost class continues to be my favorite. Dr. Sundahl was teasing me again today, but I served it back to him, which made him laugh and give me a "touche." Frost was very influenced by the classics and transcendentalists. It's fascinating reading about his life outside class, being immersed in what influenced him/ what was happening around him in the world that he felt the need to "take the road not taken" in class and then his actual poetry and prose. I feel like I could write a book, the thoughts are whooshing through me, my pen not able to keep up with my hand's motions and intent.
In other news, I have Joey tomorrow for an entire day of being my helper and I have nothing to do with him. I'm tempted to have him make photocopies for my research paper. We're also baking cookies and I'll have him deliver those. My only other plan is to have him paint the square at the end of the walk to the house blue because he said he can paint things solid colors well and that needs to be done.
The background is that I bought Joey during Derby Days at the Servant for a Day auction, which I know sounds completely degrading, but he really is the sweetest kid and the only EX I would have even considered bidding on, ever. I think it takes nerves to get up there and offer yourself up to the public, and that type of bravado should be rewarded. At least in Joey; I don't wholly believe so in a few of his brothers. Anyways, ideas of what to do with him would be readily welcomed. He can't write my two papers for me, so I think we're at a bypass.
Off to prayer in the fishbowl, then the library till Founding to read and write. This week is all ora et labora (prayer and work). Lots of prayer, lots of work!
"The dogma is the drama—not beautiful phrases, nor comforting sentiments, nor vague aspirations to loving kindness and uplift, nor the promise of something nice after death — but the terrifying assertion that the same God who made the world lived in the world and passed through the grave and gate of death. Show that to a heathen, and they may not believe it; but at least they may realize that here is something that a man might be glad to believe."
--Dorothy L. Sayers, from "Creed or Chaos"
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
In baller news, KAPPA KAPPA GAMMA WON THE SCHOLARSHIP CUP!! I am incredibly excited by this, as one may tell. This is the third time we've won it, I believe, while I've been in the house, so I am absolutely heartened by this.
In the happiest of news, I got my computer back yesterday!! It's been a month since I dropped it off at ITS. Appropriately, when I put in my ipod before carrying it back across campus back to Kappa, I pressed play and Coldplay's "Fix You" started playing. My ipod has a funny sense of humor.
I wanted to take a nap after lugging Ned (I've decided to name my computer that right now; congrats, first people to know!) home, but I played tennis with Joy instead. It was a rusty game, but really fun. We also discussed things that matter while playing, like if the government should pay for abortions under its public health option and the Supreme Court debating gun laws. I'm sore now in my right forearm and left hand.
After tennis was dinner, and then, to finally make myself even more useless studying-wise, I went to the Hillsdale County Fair with Marisa, Heather and Kate. I've never gone before (minus going to the Demolition Derby with Brian and Colin freshman year) and I feel like it's something one should do before graduating college. It is, after all, "The Most Popular Fair on Earth." (Yes, my friends, Earth.) I had so much fun. I especially loved seeing all the animals; it reminded me of two summers ago when I covered Jr. Fair for the News Journal (my two favorite fair pieces I wrote for WNJ that summer were "Gobbling Tales of Showmanship" and "Confessions of a City Slicker"). I saw lots of college kids there, including my friend Will, who was taking pictures. Here's a sweet one from the swings.
Today is good. Tomorrow is Friday, which is even better. I am no longer going home this weekend, which is disappointing on one hand (I really miss my family) but good on the other (write papers/ write and edit articles/ research thesis/ socialize/sleep). I am determined to finish up Pauline Maier's "American Scripture" book today for Birzer's Founding by tomorrow.
Dr. Freeh is giving a talk on "The Resurrection of the Body-- Judgement, Heaven, Hell and Purgatory" at 8 in Lane tonight. It should be excellent. The reading is Luke 10: 27-38 and CCC 988-1060 (starts at 988, may have to push "next" to proceed on a few). Considering the topic, however, I feel like we should be reading Dante too! I'm missing Victor Davis Hanson's talk because of it, but he agreed to a little Q&A with the Forum for this up and coming issue, so I am stoked about that. This really is going to be a great next issue.
In other news, my glasses are missing. I think this might cause problems in the future.