Back to class

I am sure that you are all extremely curious as to what happened to the rest of the break. (Read: sarcasm) Sorry to disappoint, but the rest hasn’t been quite as exciting. It has been full and fairly productive, however; and for that, I am happy. Tuesday, after sleeping and completing my blog post, I cleaned while praying the rosary in Latin with John Paul II leading it on CD. Then a few other students and I went to Adoration and Mass and hung out in the common room for the evening. I worked on some paperwork until I got too tired, and then just talked. Wednesday I went down to by the pool with Daniel and did computer maintenance for most of the day. Then we went to Mass, went grocery shopping, and went to the common room again. Thursday I got up for morning Mass, started cleaning, went to Adoration, and then cleaned for the rest of the day. In the evening I went to a dinner hosted by the Residence Director for any of the students who were around. That was fun…

Friday was fairly uneventful. I walked to Mass, talked, cleaned, ran errands, baked some bread, and went to a barbecue hosted by one of the student’s families. Then we watched The Lion King, because I am culturally deprived; I don’t know how I survived growing up without seeing it. πŸ˜€ It was okay–I enjoyed the music and the puns, but some of the underlying messages I found disturbing. Ah, well. Saturday I again walked to Mass and took the opportunity for some more Adoration. The rest of the day was spent talking and cleaning–literally. By the end of the day, I was exhausted from talking; but I seem to have sufficiently recovered.

Sunday was pleasant. A group of us (eight, altogether) walked to Mass in the morning; I relaxed for part of the day, then went to the Divine Mercy celebration at Good Shepherd Parish. We had a Eucharistic procession, prayed the Rosary and Divine Mercy, and had Benediction. Then some of us stood around and talked until 5pm Mass…and upon return to the apartments, found my roommate back! We talked just a bit and then I went down to help prepare dinner for those who were interested. I had another one of my laughing fits, set off by a silly misunderstanding regarding hardboiled eggs and quarters. That was the slowest meal I have eaten in awhile–because everyone kept me laughing! Then we went over to the other common room and a few of us watched the first half of Pride & Prejudice. It is always enjoyable to watch the reactions of those who have never seen it before…and we had a bit of discussion about the temperaments of the characters, how the story unfolds, etc.

This morning was our first class of the quarter. Yay! Our Monday class is on negotiation; as of now, I avoid any unnecessary negotiation and hate it when I do end up doing any (with the exception of daily decisions, which are not quite as bad). It will be interesting to see how my opinion changes as the class develops. Supposedly all the students last year loved the class and now most enjoy negotiating… We are back to “normal”– we shall see how long my optimism lasts. πŸ˜€

Please pray for a few special intentions. Thank you!

God bless and Mary keep you all.

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May we suggest?

This afternoon I was searching for shoes, and one company that has fit me well before is Dansko. So, in search of a new pair of their brand, I ended up on their site. I was amused by their spoof off of usual advertising/upselling. Where most companies would have a “May we suggest?” section with other items to be sold, Dansko has one that has things like:

Baking a pie from scratch
Recycling
Heifer International (don’t know what this is supposed to mean, but it has to do with female cows…)
World Peace
Visiting a museum
A vacation

Yes, you may. I just might do some of those on occasion.

Happy times

This past week has been very nice. The Tridium and Easter, good company, open space, a lot of sun, and time for rest and reading the Bible. The “we’s” that are scattered about are usually sets of four people, but with the fourth person varying. Wednesday and Thursday it was Andrea, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday it was Steve, and Monday it was Mike or Steve. I will caution you that this post is pretty long, because there are so many good times that I have been blessed with that I want to share.

Wednesday evening we went to La Jolla and traipsed along the beach. We spent the time being goofy, eating apples and bread, letting free of stress over finals, talking, and then praying the rosary and Divine Mercy chaplet. There were some birds that looked like they floated as they ran away from the waves as the tide came in…they were very cute. I learned what a jellyfish looks like, and that I never want to step on one. (Thank goodness, I did not learn the latter from experience. πŸ˜€ ) After we got back, food was made in St. Jude’s and we ate, listened to music, and talked some more. Then I went to bed, and for the first time in a few months, I did not have to set my alarm for the morning! I was determined to let the rest begin.

Holy Thursday morning, I woke up at the bright and early hour of …10:15am. I spent the morning doing a lot of cooking; in the afternoon, we went out to Mirimar Lake. There is a nice path all the way around the lake, and so after looking at the ducks and geese for a bit, our walk began! There were a few side paths that required a little hiking, and along one of them we found another path that led up to the top of the highest hill. It was absolutely beautiful, gazing at the lake, palm trees, and all the surrounding area. Every so often, I would just stop and look from where I was; the sun was glistening, the breeze was blowing, and laughter was frequent. πŸ™‚ I was amused that there were so many rattlesnake warning signs–even on the outhouse doors! On the way back down the hill, we discovered a field of purple flowers; the three of us girls laid in them, and Daniel had a blast taking pictures. At the top of the hill, Daniel had found a rock that would not break and decided to bring it with him. He carried it down the hill and for the rest of the walk around the lake, stopping only a few times when Tasha carried it. Although it was heavy (I am guessing about 25-30 lbs) and awkward, it made it around with us and holds somewhat of a trophy status. The path around the lake is a little less than 5 miles, so it was a good distance for a walk. There was just enough time to go home, clean up, and leave for Mass. Holy Mass was extremely full–Andrea & I got there 10 minutes early and barely got a seat. It lasted two hours, longer than I remember it ever being in previous years.

I was able to sleep in again on Friday, this time waking up shortly after 9am. The morning was spent in prayer, conversation, and moving my desk. My roommate left for home, so I have the room to myself for a week! At noon, a group of about 10 students met to watch The Passion. The service at church was at 3pm, and took about two hours. Then we had meatless chili and pancakes for dinner; strange combination, but good. πŸ™‚ North and South was viewed, and I enjoyed watching everyone’s reactions as the storyline developed. I was up really late (after 1am) and so…

Saturday I slept in. Surprise! It was a nice, warm day and so we went out by the pool. I moved around a lot, but still managed to burn my neck and back pretty bad. After I realized that I was burning, we departed from the pool. Daniel was kind enough to chauffeur me around to find shoes–an activity that I detest. I found a pair for Easter, but am still searching out an everyday pair of sandals… Oh, well. Originally we were planning on going to the Vigil at St. Michael’s Abbey, but after learning that it takes 1.5 hours to drive there and went from 9pm-midnight, our plans were changed. Instead, we went to St. Joseph’s Cathedral. It was nice, and we came out very happy to be able to say “Alleluia!!!” again! We sang and laughed and talked the whole way home. Tasha & Daniel were hungry, and so we made a short stop to In-N-Out so they could eat. While we were getting ready to leave, a guy started a conversation and said, “you guys look like happy people!” We are, indeed.

Daniel invited Steve & I to his family celebration for Easter, and drove Tasha so that she could spend part of the day with her parents. We left at 8:30am, went to 11am Mass at his home parish, dropped off Tasha, got a tour of his house and the park across the street…and then went to the party. It was so much fun! His Mom is one of 11 children, and so there were many people there. I had an extremely enjoyable time, from playing with the little kids, playing cards with the older ones, playing a nice piano, and talking with a few of his aunts and uncles. In case Daniel reads this, I better say that the food was good, too. πŸ˜€ Steve and I both agreed that it was nice to be in a family environment again. Because Daniel had a final to finish and e-mail, we ended up staying and talking with his family until 1:30am. We got back to the apartments at about 3:30am, all extremely exhausted.

Yesterday started bright and early. Some of the students were asked to do a short film clip for the Diocese of San Diego, and they were doing some filming at the Pala and San Luis Rey missions. I was invited to go along, and jumped at the opportunity to see another place in California. I appointed myself navigator so that I would feel useful. πŸ™‚ It was fun and it was awesome to see the hills and rocks and groves. Before we left the Mission Church at Pala, we sang “Magnificat” and “Salve Regina”. I didn’t walk around much at San Luis Rey because I was getting too tired; instead, we got food and I attempted to make sandwiches without any utensils. The tree that I was sitting under had a very pretty view! After turning around several times, we got back to the apartments. I took a nap for two hours and then got ready for Mass. It was decided earlier that we would have dinner out by the pool…Steve had made rice and lemon butter chicken and a short trip to the store brought fresh bread and sparkling cider. Tasha & I went upstairs to get a few things, and when we got down to the pool we were met by a candlelit dinner! There was even mood music. After dinner, the candles were moved over by the hot tub, and we stuck our feet in, gazed at the stars, and talked over there. Then Daniel and I took a walk. I have learned that walking and talking can be quite therapeutic. Together, they are even more so.

If the rest of the week is as good as it has been up to now, I think I will be ready to take on the grind of another quarter. Now, I am off to clean for a few hours. God bless and Mary keep you all!

Easter Break

It has not hit me yet that finals are over. How can it be? No more philosophy–how sweet the sound! But it still seems to be in the future for some reason. The only thing left before I am totally free is turning in our business plan. Then we might go to the beach…or watch movies…or go to the barbecue…or the Tenebrae service…or a couple of those. Hopefully one of the days before break is over, I will realize that this is not only a weekend that still has homework looming– but a real break in which I don’t have to worry about school! My brain is dead right now. Perhaps it will be better after I get a couple of good nights sleep.

So, this break I have several things to do. I am determined that by the end, I will be rested, organized, and prepared for next quarter. Everything that has been put off for the past ten weeks will now get addressed. There is also an attempt by a few other students to remove a bit of my cultural deprivation: a.k.a. I will probably be watching at least a few movies that are newer than the ’50s, in particular Disney movies and LOTR. We shall see. πŸ˜€

I am tense and relieved all at the same time. I feel as though I am not very coherent, so I will stop torturing you with my ramblings. If you pray for me, I might write a reflective post or two in the coming 10 days. God bless and Mary keep you all.

Second quarter

Finals week is here again! Three down, two to go. Our presentation for the business plan got moved up to Tuesday, so I have that this afternoon and philosophy tomorrow morning. It is amazing how much as gotten done in the past week, even with all the time that I have not spent on schoolwork. Our presentation is coming together (the past two times I have presented, I managed to not say “umm” more than once or twice!) and although I see a lot of holes in it, it will have to do. I keep reminding myself that this is still new and the first time that we have ever done a business plan, so I can’t expect it to be perfect. My poor group…

It is common knowledge that stress runs high during finals week. That stress, probably combined with the giddiness that we get a break afterwards, causes great silliness in our room. Andrea and I have the most ridiculous conversations interspersed with laughter, as well as reading each other our notes and quizzing each other for our own finals. Imagine two [relatively] calm people spazzing out for three days…and you get a bit of the picture.

It is hard to believe how much has changed in a year. One year ago this time, I did not even know that JP Catholic existed. Now I can say that I have lived in California for six months and am 2/3 done with my freshman year. This lent seems like it was almost non-existent, and here comes Easter! Once again, I am feeling like time is going too fast.

And now, back to studying!

Pre-final distractions

Yesterday was a good day. As most days recently, it was not as productive as I would have liked–but somehow I will get through everything and come out alive. Last night was particularly enjoyable; a group of us were going to walk to a nearby bridge to watch the sunset, but when we returned from Holy Mass we were informed that there were new chairs for our apartment. While waiting for the others to get back after carrying the new chairs to another apartment, one my roommates and I hid in two of the large, empty cardboard boxes. ‘Twas fun, but we all missed the sunset. So instead we decided to go to the barbecue by the pool, where there was good food and conversation.

A few of us decided to take a walk, and ended up at a park down the road. We talked about dreams and goals; about their necessity and a bit about how hard it was to know what goals to pursue. (I guess my thoughts tended in that direction more than we talked of it, but it was there…) We laid on the grass, looking at the clear sky–except for when Steve and Daniel were jumping each other and causing yells (them) and laughter (us). After awhile we went into a gazebo and did more talking and singing. The evening was topped off with night prayer before bed. πŸ˜€

This week is chock-full of homework. Yet there seem to be an abundance of ways to avoid it! Every day I have told myself that I am going to be productive, and every day has gone by with disappointingly little done. But…today I am determined. So I will say farewell for now, and go finish my last philosophy homework assignment. Then spend my energies on our business plan and presentation. And praying that myself and everyone around here keeps the little bit of sanity that they have left…

God bless and Mary keep you all.

Whew

So, this morning started off as it normally does; rising at 6:00am, down to St. Jude’s by 6:35am to make pancakes for the Lenten breakfast crew. After chatting a bit, we prayed the Breastplate of St. Patrick; a little more conversation, breakfast, morning prayer from the Divine Office, and clean up. Then back up to our room to get ready for the day.

At 8:10am, we left for abortion outreach. This morning there were two security guards who were watching us, and tried to distinguish the vehicles of those us who came to pray to have them towed. After moving the vehicles to public parking on the road we continued with our prayers, and finished without much incident. On the way to school, my roommate (Andrea) asked how you knew where your vehicle was if it got towed. I suggested the probability of them finding the person’s information through the license plate number; and then casually remarked that actually, they left an envelope in the parking space where the car/truck was. Andrea took me seriously and said, “really?!?” Of course, the rest of the trip to the school was filled with laughter and talk of gullibility.

We arrived at the school, and I went to spend time in the Blessed Sacrament chapel. I was praying, and all of a sudden it hit me–I had forgotten my homework. With no time to return to the apartments, all I could do was bemoan the fact that although I had completed it earlier than I normally did…there was no way to turn it it on time. Fortunately, I was able to come home to get it and turn it in later this afternoon. After philosophy class, we had our all school Mass and a student life meeting. The meeting was followed by some talking, laughing, and an amusing ride home.

It was my youngest brother’s 5th birthday today, so I called to talk to him–and ended up talking with pretty much everyone in my family. It was nice, especially since I haven’t talked to most of them since I came back from break (in January).Β  Then I met with my business group, did a bit of homework, and had a nice conversation about the movie we watched during class today.Β  The last bit of entertainment was helping on set for one of the films in progress here. It was most amusing to try to create rain with a hose and sink faucet…it ultimately failed, and a water gun was resorted to. And then watching Daniel be a make-up dummy so that Elizabeth would know how to make the actor look dead–ah, the joys of attending a media school.

After such a whirlwind of a day, I am off to bed. I will get a whole 7.5 hours of sleep! Wohoo! I…am…so…tired…