Thursday, November 29, 2007

Humility vs. Self confidence

Hi Blogger.

Someday I'm going to compose, edit, and publish a post well before midnight instead of rushing to get a post written because must! post! every! day!

I want to write a coherent post about this, probably tomorrow while sitting in an airport, so until then, consider this an abstract.

Tonight I ambushed enthusiastically greeted my almost-roommate-turned-Dominican-nun at the Center for Ethics and Culture's annual conference. She and a few other sisters came down from Michigan for tonight and tomorrow. It's incredible how much she has changed in the six months since I saw her last. She used to be loud, joyful, and exuberant, with many adorable expressions like "keep it real, yo." Now, she's just as joyful, but it's contained within a disciplined and obedient exterior. She speaks with a soft voice and with the utmost politeness. In short, she's a nun. It's like she's aged ten years and gained maturity and humility overnight. She's still her- but she's also so different.

This experience, while wonderful, got me thinking. I have been raised under the ideology that the best women- the women who should be idolized- are spectacular. They are famous, brilliant, and altogether amazing. They stand out. We are taught to fight anyone who tells you to obey (as an adult) or take a backseat to an authority figure. Young women (especially those in college) are encouraged to be the very best- screw what men expect of you. It's pretty much opposed to humility, because your entire life you're taught to be proud of the incredible person you are. So which is right? Is the ideal woman Marian, humble, obedient, subservient? Or is she proud, fabulous, and influential?

These questions were thrown in stark contrast by my meeting with Sr. Kristin, whose changed demeanor naturally made me cringe. Tonight I'll just leave you with the questions- I'll try to post my thoughts tomorrow (from Birmingham!).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Oh, shopping.

Tonight I ventured out to the mall with the purpose of buying lovely and practical brown dress shoes, seeing as how black shoes do not match brown pants, and I intend to wear brown pants to my cousin's wedding reception Friday night.

This shopping experience was a dream, dear reader! I swooped into Payless Shoes, found a gorgeous, cheap, and comfortable pair of pumps, purchased matching stockings at half off, and merrily strolled to Chickfila for dinner. Never has a shopping experience been so smooth and delightful!

Dinner having been consumed, I waited patiently for the bus to arrive to bear me back to my campus abode. Soon a bus appeared, and I climbed aboard gratefully. As the bus journeyed forth, however, it was discovered that the bus was not the number 7, but number 15, bearing us in the opposite direction of home. Alas! An hour of jolting, nauseating, painstaking bus riding commenced before our mistake could be amended and campus regained. I survived with shoes intact, but with humbled dignity.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It is late.

I'm writing a paper. It's about the wealth of the Church and whether it's managed properly. Like why we spend so much on lilies for Easter every year when people are still starving in the world. I don't really agree with this position- I personally think that the Church does a decent job of helping the poor, even if it could be more transparent about its assets- but I'm trying to create a topic worth discussing for a 75 minute class. I figure, people get offended by me implying the Church is greedy, then they talk for the whole class about it. Yeah, good plan.

Also, I've taken a lot of naps this week. By this week I mean today and yesterday. Naps to begin with are unusual for me, but long naps (an hour or more) are even rarer. And I'm still tired while trying to write this paper, which incidentally is due tomorrow morning.

I'm considering skipping my first class and sleeping in, with time for a nice long shower. It's nice to dream.

It's time for Christmas break. Oh wait, we have finals first. Argh.

Monday, November 26, 2007

the power of positive

An amazing thing happened today. In my grad school class, my professor handed back our term papers at the beginning of the class. I was totally unprepared for this, since I just turned this paper in last Friday, and most of our papers topped 20 pages. That's a lot for one weekend. But there it was, graded, commented on, and ready for me. I've been pretty worried about this paper; I hated writing it, and I knew it could have been better. I've been coming up with things I should have researched more all weekend. It's 40 percent of my grade. He's a historically harsh grader, and I've got stiff competition as the youngest one in the class. Criticism was scrawled on every page. I couldn't take it any more and flipped from page 5 to page 14, where he had written my grade before the endnotes and works cited. A. He loved it.

This experience proves my theory that I am more motivated by praise than anything else. I was on my game in this class today. Seriously, spot on. I asked the best questions and made the best points. Even the grad students had nothing on me. It was glorious. Call me smart and I will be, just to prove I've earned the praise.

Which means... maybe I was all along.

Appropriately stuck in my head

But look around, leaves are brown now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter
Look around, leaves are brown
There's a patch of snow on the ground...

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Heard at my all-female dorm mass tonight:

"There might be future presidents in this room tonight. If Hillary can do it, you can too!"

The homilist was a Haitian priest, so I'm going to hope he didn't know the cultural implications of that statement beyond the fact that a woman is running for president, but did you ever think you'd hear a priest support Hillary during a [Notre Dame] Mass?

Coffee etiquette

Even though I'm thoroughly addicted to Starbucks, I tend to pride myself on not being *too* bitchy about my coffee preferences. My favorite drink is an iced grande light ice caramel macchiato- not that complicated. The "light ice" part is the only special request. They make these things a million times a day, and I love how Starbucks drinks have the same awesome quality in every store.

Once in a while, though, someone messes up, and it's crappy. I'm not experienced enough to know what's not right, but when my drink tastes bad (not just different or unusual, but bad) I'm not a fan. Those drinks are freaking expensive, and when I get one I've generally been looking forward to it for quite a while. It's often a little pleasure that I promise myself all day, as a reward or incentive. So when it's no good- it's like discovering that the sleeves of your favorite long sleeve tshirt don't cover your wrists any more.

But then comes the great dilemma: do you go back and ask them to remake it?

Sometimes I decide that this drink just absolutely sucks, I can't drink it without feeling sick, I need a new one. Keep in mind, this is a generally rare phenomenon. I approach the barista counter timidly, and ask for my drink to be remade apologetically. Nearly always, especially if it isn't a student worker but one of the adult managers, I get a glare and curt response. They remake my drink, all right, but with deep dislike and disapproval. They've even guilt-tripped me into leaving an over-generous tip at times, to make up for having impugned their coffee-making skills.

Such experiences make me pretty afraid of baristawrath. How should bad coffee situations be handled? I paid for something, and I expect to receive what I paid for. You would send back food at a restaurant if it was underdone or burnt. Politeness doesn't work. Waiting for them not to be busy doesn't work.

I wish that Moose and Kaituer Coffeehouse were here.


I can't sleep. Google tells me that the word of the day is:

Somniferous: causing or inducing sleep

Haha, it's so obscure that my spell checker says it's not a word. Just like how my text messaging word-guesser thing on my phone couldn't understand what I was trying to type during the game today when I was saying things like "bullshit." Lovely little innocent cell phone.