Thursday, November 09, 2006


Lest the people who don't really know me who read this think that I'm an awesome saint-like peaceful person, let me tell you what I did last night.

There are a couple lounges in the basement of my dorm, a big one and a small one. The attractiveness of these lounges comes from the fact that they're the only rooms boys are allowed in after midnight. A couple of my friends have pretty much taken over the smaller lounge during the evenings, because no one's in them until parietals. Last night Joey and I joined them for a bit. Eventually, parietals came, and they left to go get Starbucks. Joey and I stayed, working on homework.

Another couple came in the room holding snacks and a dvd case, popped in their movie (did I mention these rooms have TVs, too?) and settled down. Not exactly conducive to studying, and the room is small enough that we couldn't really escape the movie. I wouldn't have cared so much except Joey had an exam AND a paper due today.

We talked at normal conversation level; they turned up the volume to block us out. Joey brought up a concert we both would love to go to but can't make it to, and I looked it up online with the purpose of listening to music from the non-headlining bands, which we don't know that well. Joey's laptop has pretty powerful speakers, so even though the volume was only half of the way up, it was still about the same noise level as from the TV. Bwahahaha.

After about a minute of this, the guy of the annoying duo called over and asked if we wouldn't mind moving to the other room (normally much noiser and more busy) because they had to watch this movie for a project. It was Cinderella Man. They had been talking about how long they'd wanted to see this movie. We kind of looked at them, then conceeded defeat and left. Ugh.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The awesome wave of peace blogging at the same time as election day has had interesting effects on me, I think. Arguments with Friend 1 continue. I'm struggling the most with arguing for what I know is right peacefully and lovingly. It's so easy to resort to sarcasm or other such things just because "everyone else is doing it" and it's an easy way to drive home a point. But that doesn't make it right. If I can't exhibit peace, then there's no point in trying to argue for it in current affairs. Being peaceful can include being passionate, but not to the point that you focus so much on the issue at hand that you forget to love the person. Friend 1 is a very cool kid, otherwise she would not be Friend 1 but Person Whose Company I Don't Particularly Enjoy 1. But Friend 1 can get me very angry because Friend 1 challenges many beliefs that I hold that are central to my life. That doesn't mean I shouldn't love Friend 1, it just makes that love harder.

P.S. I've asked Friend 1, and Friend 1 doesn't mind me blogging about our conversations. Friend 1 has no problem with being quoted on Friend 1's beliefs.

In other news, other friends have been especially awesome to me recently, and I would like to publicly declare my love for them. One showed interest in what I want to do with my life, and everyone loves to be noticed. Another offered to make me soup, thinking I was ill, and even though I was actually just tired, it was very kind. You make me smile.

Also: I have survived swim class! Today was my last day. I can't say that I'm now skilled at swimming, per se, and should I find myself drowning, I would be far more likely to float on my back than try to swim for it, but I do a mean elementary back stroke. I'm just saying.

Now for some random pictures, because I cleared off my camera last night:

This is Zed looking out the window at the snow-covered cars with trepidation. Actually, I'm having issues with Zed. He sits on top of our window sill, which is above the radiator. The radiator apparently has two settings: off, and piping out insane amounts of heat. Whether the radiator is off or on is also apparently out of our control. Because it's not that cold out yet, our rooms don't need all of the heat put out by the radiator, and we have to open the windows to compensate. So one side of Zed is really cold, and the other is really hot. He must be feeling conflicted, or menopausal. But seriously, I have nowhere else to put him, and I'm not really sure what the temperature variance will do, but it can't be good.

I just wrote a whole paragraph about a plant. Moving on.

I went to my first ND basketball game Monday night. Good fun. I didn't get to stay till the end (yay Peace Fellowship meeting!) but it was still cool. I've decided that I like basketball the most when my brother's playing; otherwise, I have trouble concentrating.

They raced in huge plastic ball things. I think that was the most entertaining part of the night.

This was at the game last Saturday, which was a mite chilly. I don't know if I've mentioned it on here, but Joey's friend Liz came to visit us from Marian in Indianapolis last weekend (she's the 3rd person in the picture). It was cool to hang out with her and have an excuse to not think about homework. Come back any time, Liz :-)
Oh and let's just ignore how my hat makes me look like a member of the conehead family.

Are you still reading? Good grief, there has to be something better for you to do with your time. But I guess you're the smart ones because I saved the most interesting (I think) news for last- I got an email this afternoon saying that I will be the site leader for Urban Plunge in Mobile. I go to talk to the good people at the CSC later about what that entails, exactly. They had said that no one had volunteered for the position, and I emailed back and said I'd do it if they didn't mind a freshman with no mission trip experience being in charge. Apparently it was supposed to happen. Ok God, let's see where this one goes.

Finally- I switched to beta blogger and obviously messed with my template some. What do you guys think?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

somewhat less peaceful, happiness, and good citizenship

Lunch today...
Friend 1: Haha! I love these political jokes in the newspaper today about Saddam's hanging.
Me: You don't have a problem with the idea of hanging Saddam Hussein?
Friend 1: Um, no- if he had killed my family, I'd want him to die too.
Me: Seriously?
Friend 1: Yeah! If it was happening here, I'd so go watch.
Me: So basically, you're saying that killing him is going to fix all of the killing he did.
Friend 1: Well, yeah.
Me: I'm going to class now.

*sigh* Yeah, that was sad. I love my friends, but they're a bit to crazy conservative for me sometimes.

On a MUCH BRIGTHER NOTE- I went to see my advisor today about scheduling classes next semester, and the conversation went something like this:
Me: So, I don't want to take any more intro classes than I have to, and I think I've satisfied the intro requirements. I've got AP credit.
Advisor: Yep! You've got everything for your first year out of the way, except for PE. Polisci/ peace studies major? Cool, let me put you in all these awesome classes because you don't have to take any more general intro classes. And here, would you be interested in these special lit classes? You'll have to take some lit class before you graduate- I think I'm supposed to reserve these spots for English intents, but you can pick one. You can have beginning Spanish too, just go talk to this person.
Me: I love you.

Yeah, life rocks, all of that AP stuff actually paid off, and guess what Mom and Dad, it was cheaper to pay the AP fees and get credit that way than paying for the class here! Of course, I still want to be here all four years... but it means I get to take more of the classes I like and less random general huge intro classes. Swoon.

In other news, I voted my absentee ballot! I mailed it before today, but as today is the actual election day, I thought it would be better to post the picture today (I've been too lazy to take it off my camera). Wasn't as fulfilling as I thought it would be, seeing as I wasn't overly thrilled about any one candidate, but at least I'm screwing with the statistics on college voters.

Happy Tuesday everyone! I'm going to go work on homework now.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Dona Nobis Pacem

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me,
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.

With God as our Father, brothers all are we,

Let me walk with my brother, in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now,

With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow,

To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me!
by Jill Jackson and Sy Miller

This post is part of what seems to be a huge meme, started by one Queen Mimi here. If you have a blog, you should totally join in. The idea seems to be to get as many people as possible to post peace globes (see above) and talk about peace. So here we go.

I am at the beginning of my college career. I have told many people (in fact, anyone who's asked) that I intend to major in political science and peace studies. A minor part of this is that my political science classes in high school were the only ones that truly fascinated me. Of more importance is that I have been blessed to come to at least a limited understanding of the idea that the world as it currently exists is in many ways broken. I think that sometimes it seems so necessary to not love certain people. It appears that love, in the form of sharing resources or forgiveness, would mean the death of one's own community or way of life. How easy it is to come under the delusion that love causes bad things. I think that one of the few absolutes in life is that God is love, and so love is always, always good. No matter what.

I feel deeply and personally called to witness this truth, that love really is the answer. Yes, I am young and incredibly idealistic, but I went through a period of time in which I couldn't see how God could even exist when life can be so terrible. Thankfully, I have begun to realize the true implications of being a part of the body of Christ, really being His hands and feet. I believe that we are called now, at this moment, to "be the change we wish to see in the world" (Gandhi).

To be honest, it petrifies me, because I am admitting that I hold a lot more responsibility for peace in the world than I thought I had before. It's easy to look at major international issues and wish for peace; it's another thing entirely to understand that the way to peace on a large scale is establishing peace in my own life.

I have grand plans for what I want to do with my life, and hopefully, I'm right that I'm being called to them as well. I'll keep you posted. Before I started college, I told people that I wanted to take a couple of years off after school and go volunteer somewhere for a while because I'll still be young, capable, and family-less. Then I want to settle down and do non-profit work, maybe at an NGO headquartered in DC. Now, being at college and going to all of these fabulous lectures and club meetings, and more importantly seeing where other students have gone, I want to go even more. I want to be in the middle of the worst, and at the same time I'm absolutely terrified of it- I've never even been on a mission trip through church, like most people here.

Thankfully, Notre Dame has a fabulous Center for Social Concerns, and they offer all kinds of programs to help students experience service and learn through it. I'm participating this winter break in their Urban Plunge program; basically, they stick you in a charity for 48 hours and expose you to all the worst problems in American cities. I just found out that I've been placed in Mobile.

It feels wonderful to know that finally, finally, I can say that I'm doing more than just talking about peace. I have a feeling, though, that it will affect me much more than I will affect the community I'll be in, and I'll come to a greater understanding of the fact that working for peace can take place every day in my own life. We'll see how it goes.