Friday, December 28, 2007

Everywhere You Look

Well, I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. Midnight Mass rocked as did the party afterward. Christmas always makes reflect back on childhood memories. As I was reflecting back on a certain childhood memory a couple of days ago, I became confused and scared. The following is why.

I was thinking back to a time in elementary school. This was an awkward period for me to say the least. I wasn't completely sure I wanted to be a girl yet, and I shunned all dolls, pink things, flowers, etc. This made my mother so angry because she worked at a children's clothing store at the time and would bring home really cute clothes that I refused to wear. Sooooo....I had a unique fashion sense. Anyhow, here's the memory. One day I wore an outfit to school that I just loved. However, when I got to school all the other kids made fun of me for wearing it. I started feeling bad as I remembered how those terrible kids teased me. But the more I got to thinking about the memory, the less sure I was that the event had ever happened. In fact, I thought to myself, didn't I see an episode of Full House where the exact same thing happened? Wasn't it really DJ Tanner who was teased for her outfit and not me? This is where I got really scared. What other childhood memories had I confused with DJ Tanner's life. Maybe I never really dated a guy from the wrestling team who sounded just like Aladdin. Perhaps my best friend and I were never locked out of my car while doing a Chinese fire drill at a stop sign. Maybe I never had three slightly gay father figures.

Okay, so maybe those last examples were a bit over the top, but now I really am confused about whether I was ever made fun of in school for an outfit that I wore (to my face. I'm pretty sure I was constantly made fun of behind my back.) As I see it, there are only two possibilities. 1)I really was made fun of in school for something I wore and when I remembered it I automatically equated it with something that happened on Full House. 2) Only DJ Tanner was made fun of for something she wore and I somehow got my life mixed up with a fictitious character. Either possibility freaks me out. I do not want my memories equated with bad television shows, and I really do not want to mistake events that happened to fake people with something that happened to me in real life. I mean, If this kind of thing is happening now when I'm 26, I can only imagine how bad it will be when I'm 76. I'll probably be telling my grandchildren how I lost my one true love to a ship wreck in the arctic.

I have a friend from school who says her father never allowed her to watch Full House as a child. I can only envy her now. At least she knows her memories are safe.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ponder Nothing Earthly Minded


Let all the earth keep silence before Him. Habakkuk 2:20

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six winged seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Dulce Et Decorum Est

When we were in Ft. Wayne recently, David and I went to see No Country for Old Men and 3:10 to Yuma. This was exciting for us because we hadn't been to a movie since our wedding anniversary, May 20th. While waiting for 3:10 to start, the theater was playing a music video by 3 Doors Down. This video was interesting because it was promotional video for the national guard. The band starts out singing this song on some barren landscape and then moves to show reenactment footage from famous American battles along with the national guard's bread and butter- shots of people looking cool while jumping out of helicopters. I turned to David and told him that the band had just become the modern day Horace. Horace, or course, fought in the Roman army and then later went on to be placed firmly under the patronage(and thumb) of Augustus by way of Maecenas. He wrote some patriotic poetry in support of Augustus' moral reforms. Probably one of Horace's most famous works is his ode in which he says, "Dulce et decorum est pro partia mori", or "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country".

I thought about this line for a couple of days and it inevitably led me to re-read Wilfred Owen's "Dulce Et Decorum Est". Owen was a British soldier who fought and died in WWI. IN the poem Owen writes about the horrors of WWI:

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

I never knew much about WWI except that a lot of unstable monarchies were fighting, at least nominally, because Franz Ferdinand was shot. Well, I checked out a book on WWI last Friday and I'm almost done with it. I was aware that many men died during these battles, but it is overwhelming to me to read statistics like 250,000 people died during a single, albeit, long battle. It guess it's all the more overwhelming because it never seemed that any of the major belligerents had clear war aims. To say that thousands of men died in vain is an understatement.

I'm particularly interested in learning about the disintegration of monarchies, resulting revolutions,war tactics at the beginning of the modern age, and documented cases of the mental stresses of "The Great War".

I remember reading Sebastian Barry's A Long Long Way in grad school and thinking that I should learn more about WWI. Now that I'm out of school I actually have time to do so.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Praise God(dess) (if you want)

Thank non-gender specific, politically correct, non-judgemental, life spirit-deity being! I've finally found a church for me!! Who knew I could go to a church where God wasn't allowed in order for me to find out whether he or she or it exists? I'm glad God isn't at this church. I found that pressure to praise the all knowing, all seeing deity (or not, I haven't figured it out yet and I don't want to influence your thought) really got in the way of important church activities like potlucks, free trade coffee tastings, and ultimate frisbee tournaments.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Freegan Microwave

It's been hard to keep up on the posting lately. I teach from 9-1 on MWF this semester and I tutor on Tuesdays (and soon also Thursdays) from 9-2. This means I have to use most of my time before 9 on the computer prepping for class. It also means that I don't want to hang around after class to play around on the computer. I guess one day we'll get a laptop. I imagine once David will want one once he starts his dissertation. Anyhow, back to blogging and such. Recently, my friend, Elisabeth,suggested that I get on Facebook. I know I should because I already have an empty profile and many of my friends are on there. Yet I worry that if I keep a blog, converse on myspace, and then start monkeying around on Facebook, I'll have to quit my job to become a full-time elecrtonic social networker. I've heard it doesn't pay much.

Well, onto the title of my post. Nope, I'm not angry at our microwave. In fact, until Sunday at approximately 11:30, we didn't have a microwave. As we were walking back to our apartment after church, we happened upon a microwave sitting out on the curb across the street from our building. I wanted to pick up this microwave and take it back to our apartment, but I was paralyzed by the fear that I would look like a stupid, poor trash picker for the thirty seconds it would have taken me to walk it across the street and into our building. Luckily, David was not hindered by this fear. He picked it up and we went to our apartment to see if it worked. It actually does work to our surprise. I cleaned it thoroughly, but it still smells like a sickening combination of all the foods that have ever been prepared inside of it. Think of the microwave in the break room of your first job that no one ever cleaned. I hate the microwave smell. But our freegan microwave does work and the smell, which I think most microwaves that are not cleaned daily acquire, does not affect the taste or our food, so it's a keeper.

If we had done this five years ago, it would have been called trash picking, but today it has a much hipper, cutting edge, and socially aware name: Freeganism. Vegans, who, in my experience, are always looking for ways to make their eating routines more bizarre and are also looking for ways to whine more frequently about how hard it is to live under self-imposed dietary restrictions, have added a new element to their stringent practices. Some feel that even if they eat a vegan diet, the money they spent on that food may have gone to people who firebomb duck ponds, cut down redwoods to make a single toothpick, or majored in something besides peace studies in college. In order to insure that their money does not go to Hoggish Greedly types, freegans rummage through the dumpsters of supermarkets and other stores to provide food, clothing, and furniture for themselves.

And although I poke fun at their ideology, I have to agree with freegans in basic principle if not in practice. Our country is incredibly wasteful. We throw away things if they are not absolutely perfect. And we do this because we know that we can go to Wal-Mart and replace whatever it was with another poorly made model for $2.88. We surround ourselves with stuff and then make believe that the stuff defines who we are or makes us better people for owning it. But I'll get off my soapbox because I am equally annoyed by the people who treat me like I just killed a small business owner's baby because I went to Starbucks.

Well, our freegan microwave rocks. And kudos to the vegans and freegans for finding a way to make eating more difficult and more idealistic yet again. I am happy to have benefited from another person's trash- even if I made my husband do the fetching.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Christian Music

I'm here at work. I should be making a syllabus for my English 102 students. I'm not doing that. Instead, I want to talk about modern Christian Music... and how I pretty much hate it. I'm not talking about church music. That is a completely different subject. I'm talking about rock 'n roll the Lord's way or whatever you want to call it. I think that fewer Catholics on the whole listen to Christian pop music, and I have to say that for that reason this post goes against my general religious inclinations at the moment. Right now, in the non-blogging world, I'm feeling the call to reach out to as many non-Catholics as possible to let them know that there are really awesome and positive aspects about being Catholic. And yet, I hold a special hatred for really lame-ass music (and a special love for making outrageous claims). And so I'm writing this post. The following is an explanation of my reasons.

1. This Band Sounds Just Like Creed
For half the Christian pop bands I've ever heard of, I've been told that they sound "just like Creed." That's a huge strike one. I don't even listen to that crappy band, so why would I want to listen to a heavier handed, crappier version of a band I hate? And more importantly, why are so many Christian bands imitating such a supertard band? I guess this reason hits at a larger issue. I don't like most music that I hear on pop radio stations these days, so I guess it would follow that I wouldn't like their Christian counterparts. I can remember when this started. I was in high school and a friend was taking me to school. A Matchbox 20 song came on the radio and I thought I was going to die of a severe lame overdose by the time the song ended. I just kept thinking that there had to be better music out there somewhere and that one day I would find it. That's the only reason I didn't die that day. And I did go on to find better music on smaller labels and with original sounds.

2. If You Like 50 Cent, You'll Love Tithe 2 Him
I read an article in Touchstone a few months ago that equated Christian pop music to those Designer Impostors perfumes. You know the type: "If you like Calvin Klein's Obsession, you'll love Unstable Stalker." The article said that some Christian music stores even have conversion charts. So say you like 50 Cent's style, but you hate all his sinning, cursing, and references to criminal activity. Not a problem! Just go to your nearest Christian retailer, look up ol' fiddy, and find the Christian version of him on the chart. David asked me once why I become so angry when I talk about Christian music, and I think this kind of thing is at the heart of it. People in the Christian goods market are out to make a buck just as quickly at the next guy. And many people fall for it because, hey, as long as it is "Christian" then it is acceptable. No one will have to explain to their friends why they are listening to certain music or reading certain books as long as they have been labeled Christian. Think about it. You wouldn't buy your kid a meat cleaver. But what if it was a Veggie Tales meat cleaver? Slap a picture of a Christian tomato on that bad boy and you just might reconsider. After all, it is Christian. Had enough of your pagan tic tacs? Just go to the Christian outlet and buy yourself some "Testamints" as a Christian alternative. So, I guess my second problem with Christian music expands out to the Christian goods market and the disgusting lengths it will go to in order to make a buck. Oh, and this also includes the people willing to buy this stuff. Honestly, a lot of Christian retail stores make me want to vomit.

3. Gross Misuse of Initials,Numbers, and Zs
I think everyone knows that Christian bands try too hard to sound cool by adding numbers or initials to the names of their bands. Ever hear 4Him, DC Talk, Reliant K, 3inOne,FFH, or DJ Morphiziz? Wow. All I have to say about that last one is WTF? I can see the meeting between the agent and this guy in my head.

Agent: Say, we're gonna sign you to our label. Do you have a catchy rapper name?

DJ Morphiziz: Well, I was thinking about something to do with morphing, because God really morphed my life.

Agent: Morph, morph. I like it, but could we throw some Zs in? Kids really love Zs.

DJ Morphiziz: Well, I guess I could do DJ Morphiziz.

Agent: That's great, kid. I love it. The Zs are the kicker. In no way will this make you sound stupid.

4. Sounds Better When You Are Drunk
I generally avoid drunkenness and anything that sounds better to me when I'm drunk. Taco Bell is a great example of that. Here's another example- I remember once I rode a skateboard down New York Street hill. At night. Bare foot. With a beer in my hand. I had been on a skateboard about three times in my life before that. I know this wouldn't have sounded like a good idea except for all that Gin I imbibed about a half an hour earlier. I also remember when my friend Jack punched his hand through a window at Wabash in order to show a freshman about "drunken responsibility." I know that wouldn't have sounded like a good idea if he wasn't drunk. What's my point you ask? Well, my friend John has gotten me to listen to Christian music while I was drunk. Each time I resisted, and each time he told me that Christian music is best listened to drunk. And what happened? I had a totally awesome rock out session to "Our God is an Awesome God" and "Sister Christian," two songs I hate when I'm sober.

Actually, what's the whole point to all this? Do I think that everyone who listens to Christian music sucks? No. Do I think their taste in music sucks? Well, I can't judge too quickly. I just don't like Christian music and I think Christian retail is just as profit driven as any other market... unless I'm drunk.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


I have a great post up in my head that I want to write. It would be great. I'm sure it would be funny and I'm sure it might infuriate someone, which is the best kind of post. However, I've been a little too depressed lately to try to be funny. Well, let's not call it depressed. That conjures up too bleak a picture. Let's call it crestfallen. No one can be that sad if they say they're crestfallen.

We went to a party last night. It was cool, but I felt like was a little rusty on the whole talking to people who aren't David issue. I tried to be nice, pleasant, and not too weird. Who knows? Maybe I pulled it off. The people at the party were genuinely neat and interesting. It was a bunch of classicists and their spouses, and as someone with a classics background and a spouse, I wasn't entirely out of my element. One of the coolest parts about the party was that the hosts (a classics PhD student and her husband)live two floors below us. What is even cooler is that they play board games!! They have all the good ones like Settlers, Caylus, Powergrid, Puerto Rico and so on. I think we're going to play games with them in the future. Well, actually, David is ditching me tonight to play board games with his classmate's husband, his professor's husband, and other people.

David said I had to wait a year before applying to a PhD program. But then yesterday he said I could apply for next fall. I am at least looking into it. How's work you say? Well, I'll just say that I have never been so inspired to go back to school in all my life, and my students are the ones who have inspired me to do it. They are a very inspirational group. Oh, case in point- I'm in a computer lab right now, and an inspirational student (not mine) just came up to me as I was typing the previous sentence and asked me if I was a fast typer. I said I was and asked why. He asked me if I wanted to make three dollars by typing his English comp paper for him. I responded that I didn't think I should considering that I am an English comp teacher at this very school. There was a lot of backpedaling and mumbling before he went back to his computer. I have not seen him solicit anyone else. Ah, inspiration. It really can come from anywhere.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

All Souls' Day

Father of all, we pray to thee for those we love but see no longer. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, we pray thee to set thy passion, cross, and death, between thy judgment and our souls, now and in the hour of our death. Give mercy and grace to the living, pardon and rest to the dead, to thy holy Church peace and concord, and to us sinners everlasting life and glory; who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and ever.

Ross Arnett, Jr.
Mary Arnett
Robert Crowell
Jo Ann Crowell
Elizabeth Russell
Thomas Russell
And for all the faithful departed

Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine,
et lux perpétua lúceat eis.
Requiéscant in pace. Amen.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.

The Feast of All Saints

Sancti Omnes, orate pro nobis!

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Mary and Joseph, pray for us.
Michael and all angels, pray for us.
Anna, Joachim, Elizabeth, pray for us.
Elijah, Moses, John the Baptist, pray for us.
Isaac, Sarah, Abraham, pray for us.
Jacob, Joseph, Samuel, pray for us.
Ruth, David and Solomon, pray for us.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, pray for us.
All you holy men and women, pray for us.

Peter, Paul, Andrew, pray for us.
James, John, and all apostles, pray for us.
Mary Magdelene, Veronica, pray for us.
Barnabas, Matthias, pray for us.
Stephen, Philip, and Cornelius, pray for us.
Prisca and Aquila, pray for us.
Timothy and Titus, pray for us.
Linus, Cletus, and Clement, pray for us.
All you holy men and women, pray for us.

Lawrence and Chrysogonus, pray for us.
Innocent and Boniface, pray for us.
Hippolytus and Origen, pray for us.
Athanasius and Basil, pray for us.
Felicity, Perpetua, pray for us.
Cosmos and Damien, pray for us.
John Chrysostom and Justin, pray for us.
Lucy, Agatha, and Agnes, pray for us.
All you holy men and women, pray for us.

Jerome and Eusebius, pray for us.
Scholastica and Benedict, pray for us.
Ambrose, Monica, Augustine, pray for us.
Martin and Gregory, pray for us.
Clare, Francis, and Dominic, pray for us.
Francis Xavier, Ignatius, pray for us.
Elizabeth and Catherine, pray for us.
Louis and Wenceslaus, pray for us.
All you holy men and women, pray for us.

Lord, be merciful, save your people.
From all evil, save your people.
From every sin, save your people.
From everlasting damnation, save your people.
By your incarnation, save your people.
By your death and resurrection, save your people.
By your gift of the spirit, save your people.
Have mercy on us sinners, save your people.
Christ hear us, Lord Jesus hear our prayer.

Lord give new life, hear our prayer.
To his chosen, hear our prayer.
By the grace of baptism, hear our prayer.
Oh Jesus Son of the living God, hear our prayer.
Send your Spirit, hear our prayer.
In its fullness, hear our prayer.
On your sons and daughters, hear our prayer.
Who believe and profess you, hear our prayer.
Christ hear us, Lord Jesus hear our prayer.

AJ Update

Anthony Jr. has been home for about two weeks now. He has gotten so big. It is odd to count a 5 month old baby that weighs 6 lbs big, but it is big for him. He's doing very well. He came home with only oxygen and a feeding tube, which is really great. My mom says he is a very animated baby and even has a little bit of a temper. I'll place money that he gets that from the Arnetts. Anyway, here is a pic of him and my brother.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Post-it Note

I haven't had a lot of time to write lately. The semester (or quarter or term or whatever they call it here) is winding down and there is only a week left of classes. After this week I get a week off of work. Yay! I teach four classes next semester (two English 101s and two English 102s) and I'll be working at the writing lab for a pretty sweet hourly sum. I'm coming home from November 5th to November 10th.

I had lots of bad dreams last night. I had a dream that someone close to me died. I also had a dream that I had a baby that killed me and ate my brain. I don't even want to get into the symbolism. I'll just bury that dream in a dark place and wait for it to manifest itself through an irrational fear or another personality. Whoo!

I'll have a real post soon.

Friday, October 19, 2007

School Daze

Well, yeah... I am seriously thinking about going back to get my PhD now. Wow. That took less than six months (and less than two months on the job) for me to realize that working isn't that much fun. It's funny because when I finished in May, I was all like, "I'm never going back to school. It's no fun and almost everyone in academia is disassociated from the world of real people." You know, real people? The people who have never even heard about the Junius manuscript, and even if they did hear about it, they wouldn't care at all. I think this is at least 99.98% of the world's population, but I haven't done the math.

I still believe that last part- the part about academics being disassociated from the real world. I'm just excited about it now instead of disheartened. David had a good insight yesterday about our different motivations for wanting a PhD. He said that I want to be an academic (aka- someone who has the degree, the job, and can spout off some smart stuff) but I don't want to get involved with expert research and specialized study. He, on the other hand, wants to get involved with the research and specialized study, but he doesn't necessarily want the associations that go along with being an academic. (It sounded better and I'm sure made more sense when he said it)

It's true that we have used the term "academic" as a dirty word in our household before, but that's because many professors seem zeroed in on just one aspect of life and it gets under our skin. But on Wednesday and Thursday I got to talk to some professors and former classmates who are really cool and don't seem disconnected at all. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've found out that I can be an academic and a real person at the same time. I can tell people about the Augustinian influences in Donne's poems and still mistake Rowan Williams for Rowan Atkinson all in the same day.

So I'm going to check out UC's comparative lit. department next week and I'll go from there.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

In Lafayette

The prize winning David O'Neil has just graciously deposited his prize winning check into our (not so) prize winning joint bank account. Perhaps I should let him keep it all and spend the whole wad on Chipotle like he would probably do. What's the point of having a prize if you can't buy neat or yummy things with it? But alas, the check is going toward rent. Boo.

The awards ceremony last night was nice because I got to see the person I love recognized as a fellow who is a promising scholar and cool guy. It was also neat because it made me think about going back for my PhD.

We're in Lafayette right now, but we have to go back in about three hours. Boo again.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My Birthday Week Approacheth

I, like Caitie, absolutely love my birthday. Most people probably love their birthday even if they don't admit it or act like it. I just happen to act like it. A lot. First, I happen to be born in the best month of the entire year: October. This is the month where the weather is perfect, football is on every weekend, everybody wears their cutest clothes, and people have entire celebrations devoted to good beer. But it gets even better for me. I happen to be born on the best day of the best month, which is the 15th. I get to say I was born on the ides of October, and that would be cool enough. However, October 15th also happens to be the day the Gregorian calendar was put into effect. See, the Julian calendar had some problems with it, and in 1582 Pope Gregory XIII was told something had to be done. The vernal equinox was drifting back and the date of Easter was way off, and there were about ten days that needed to be scratched from the calender. So Gregory XIII said that everyone would go to sleep on October 4th and they would wake up on Monica's birthday...I mean October 15th. From then on, the Gregorian calendar has been in place. As if the day couldn't get any better, October 15th is also the feast day of St. Theresa of Avila. So as you can see, this day is extremely cool. I'm so glad I decided to be born on October 15th instead of my due date at the end of November.

But you might be asking yourself about the title of this post. What the hell is a Birthday Week? Well, about six years back I was a little stressed out about my approaching birthday. How was I going to visit all my family, various groups of friends, see David, and have some coveted time to myself all in one day? And then it hit me. Like a modern day calendar wizard, I decided to expand my birthday to an entire week. Pope Gregory XIII would be proud, I think. I decided that I would do some special things by myself a couple of days before my birthday, spend my real birthday with my family, and spend the rest of the week with friends. The result was a smashing success. Here's my Birthday Week itinerary for this year-

October 13th (Saturday)-Birthday Week opening ceremonies, ie, mention to David that my Birthday Week has begun. Go to the Cincinnati Art Museum, which is free, and look at all the cool exhibits.

October 14th(Sunday)- Go to mass. Then veg out on documentaries from the library and drink iced coffee all day. Oh, by the way, when you go to church on the 14th you have to keep me in your prayers and request that I become a better wife, daughter, sister, and friend. This is a Birthday Week Decree, so it can't be refused. Anyway, most of you know me, and you know I need these prayers. It'll actually be to your benefit.

October 15th, my actual birthday(Monday)- Go to mass in the morning if I can swing it. By the way, all those who go to daily mass can pray for me on this day as well. Then after work, David is taking me out to Olives, a hip little restaurant down the street from us. He says I can even get dessert. Woot.

October 16th (Tuesday)- Sleep in. Wake up whenever and take a lovely walk around our cool neighborhood. I plan to stop by all the cool little shops on our street and look at all the neat houses around the block.

October 17th (Wednesday)- Go to Lafayette for David's Outstanding Thesis award. See how gracious I am? I'm sharing my Birthday Week limelight with David. David will be presented with a $500 check and we'll get a $350 travel voucher. That means we've rented a sedan to come to Lafayette, booked a room at the Holiday Inn Select with a king sized bed, and have planned a trip to exotic Thai. I also get to see my parents who will be there for the award thing. After the award ceremony or whatever it is, we're going to Kristin's parents' house to hang out with Kristin et al.

October 18th (Thursday)- Wake up in a king sized bed. Go to breakfast on Purdue's dime. Walk from the Holiday Inn Select to the Frozen Custard in Wabash Landing. Order a Boilermaker Sundae, which is a Birthday Week tradition. Go to lunch with my parents if both of them can make it. Go back to Cincinnati.

October 19 (Friday)- Birthday Week closing ceremonies. Officially recognize that I am 26 years old.

Sounds like an awesome Birthday Week to me. If you'd like a birthday week of your own, I suggest the following. First, you need to have family, friends, and a spouse/significant other that will put up with your tyrannical egotism for a week. Luckily, I've been blessed to have such a family, spouse, and friends. Second, about five days before your birthday, start casually dropping into conversation or posting on your blog that your Birthday Week is approaching. Most people will go along with it. Finally, plan a special event every day of your Birthday Week. Start two days before your actual birthday and end four days after.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Update Shmupdate

Well, I suppose I ought to update. I don't have anything going on though. Everything is boring.

I met some of David's classmates last night. They are all very nice.

Last week our neighborhood had a Streetscapes Festival. Artists throughout the city drew famous works of art in sidewalk chalk on Telford street, which is about two streets down from us. The chalk was actually a special chalk mixed with linseed oil and soap. As a result, many of the pictures are still on the street to look at. One artist did a huge Pieta (The one by Bouguereau) right in the middle of the street. It was excellent. It's interesting to walk down Telford and see the Blessed Virgin holding Christ crucified in the middle of the street, but it works. This weekend, our neighborhood is hosting a microbrew festival. People can sample from over 60 small batch beers right in the heart of Clifton. We aren't going to that, but we are planning to go to an apple cider festival tomorrow. It's at Hidden Valley Fruit Farm. They'll have several kinds of cider, hayrides, and other apple/ fall related activities. The best part is that it's free.

Oh, tomorrow we're going to try a new curch. We've been going to this church in Northside called St. Boniface. Pretty funny considering that's the name of our parrish in Lafayette. Anyway, St. Boniface in Northside is one of the most beautiful chruches I've been to, and that includes all the churches in Rome and Florence. It doesn't have the same grandure as the Italian churches, but St. Boniface does have beautiful mosaics, stained glass, a marble canopy, and on and on. Well, the preists there are just so-so. They are the kind that don't make you say your act of contrition because they assume you were contrite before you got to confession. So tomorrow we'll go to Annunciation Catholic Church, which claims to be "the Catholic church in the heart of Clifton." It's about six blocks away from our apartment and we'll be able to walk there. I actually walked there on the feast of St. Francis to check it out. I would have passed by this building if it didn't say Annunciation Church on the front of it, and It's not because it looks like some new fangled modern church. In fact, it looks exactly like an ancient Greek temple complete with corinthian pillars. The church isn't as pretty at St. Boniface on the inside or the outside, but it still has its charms. It has a huge dome behind the altar and there is a mural of the Annunciation painted on it. Surrounding the painting of Gabriel and Mary are paintings of scores of saints. It has the tabernacle in the middle, and (be still my little heart) they have a communion rail!!!! I hope they use it. I guess we'll find out tomorrow. Most importantly, I hope the priests are solid.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Gold Tooth Guy

I came across a new saying a couple of days ago. I was walking behind two guys on Ludlow Ave, and I was shamelessly eavesdropping on their conversation. One guy was talking about how he used to be the best football player on his high school team. He was saying how he would do anything for the team and the team really counted on him to do whatever they needed. Then he said something that truly perplexed me. He said, "Man, I was the Gold Tooth Guy." What? What on earth could this possibly mean? He clearly said Gold Tooth Guy. His friend just nodded in recognition,so he must have known what it meant. Then I realized that this man meant that he was the Go To Guy on the team. Other phrases like this have changed in the past. A chest of drawers had now become Chester drawers. Some people have started calling Alzheimer's disease Old-timers disease. I'm sure we have all heard that it is a Doggy dog world instead of a dog eat dog world. But Gold Tooth Guy? This was really interesting to me and more than just a tad hilarious.

I've only had two linguistics classes in my life and I couldn't think of a term for what I had just heard. I raced home and told David, our resident linguist, the entire story. I then asked him what the term was for this kind of mispronunciation. David told me, "I don't know. That doesn't even sound like real linguistics. It sounds more like sociolinguistics." Great. A linguistics elitist. Anyhow, when I get home tonight (I'm at school right now) I'm going to look through my linguistics books to see if their is a more professional term for what I heard.

But something else came out of this discussion of Gold Tooth Guy Vs. Go To Guy. Apparently, I don't know what the term "Go To Guy" even means. I told David that it meant a person on the team who would "Go to it." He's the guy who does what the coaches ask of him no matter what. The Go To Guy is a hard worker. David found this about as hilarious as the original Good Tooth Guy discussion. He told me that, in fact, this is not what Go To Guy means. David says Go To Guy means that there is a person on the team that everyone "Goes to" in a clutch or important situation. We had a half hour long discussion about it. I'll admit that David has better evidence, but I've decided that I think it means both. What do you think? Also, if you have ever heard the expression Gold Tooth Guy or any other mispronunciation of a common phrase, leave a comment and tell me all about it.

Monday, September 24, 2007

CVS Psychic?

We live right across the street from a CVS. Most of you know my hatred for CVS. I worked at Osco for eight years. I didn't love, love, love the job, but it was really very little work. Most times I would go to work, hang out in the stock room talking to my supervisors, ignore calls for price checks, take a long break and call it a day. I'm sure most of you are getting a bad impression of my work ethic. I assure you that it is good, but only for non-corporate things. I'm not one to complain about "the man," but I'm really bad at memorising stupid corporate acronyms such as "P.R.I.D.E." and the like. I think "P.R.I.D.E" had something to do with customer service, but I can't remember. I'm also not good at smiling just because someone tells me to smile. Anyhow, after eight years, I actually formed a loyalty to Osco. I told myself that Osco was much better than Walgreen's and it was certainly better than those crappy CVS stores. I mean really, who the hell carpets a drug store? It's wrong.

Well, I quit when I got the job teaching Latin, and less than 6 months later, CVS bought out Osco. I was crushed. Any company that let me get away with so little work for eight years had my sympathy. I also felt guilt. Had I played a part in Osco's demise? Did I take one 45 minute break too many? And I was worried that CVS would try to screw over my aunt, who worked for Osco for 27 years and had loads saved up in retirement. CVS fired lots of people, including my favorite supervisor, but they did keep my aunt. But I've heard that they have awful employment practices and everyone is always in fear of being fired.

So it is hard for me to go into a CVS. But as I live in a big(ger) city now, I feel that I should walk to the places I can because I don't want to move my non-power steering truck and come back to wrestle this vehicle in between two Jettas.

Last night I needed quarters to do laundry, and I thought I would go to CVS to get them. David says there is a man who works Sunday nights there and he is really friendly. Not only that, but when David went to buy aluminum foil at CVS, this man guessed that he needed the foil for grilling. Without a word from David hinting at such. Weird. So I'm in CVS and I pick up a tube of toothpaste and take it up to this friendly guy. He rings up the toothpaste and I debit five dollars back. Without a word from me, he says, "Doing laundry? I can give that back to you in quarters." My jaw dropped. I said that that would be great. I could have wanted the five dollars for anything, but this man knew it was for laundry. It's not like he said "Oh toothpaste. You gonna brush your teeth?" Just like the foil, it was not obvious what I was going to do with this money.

So I've devised this plan to find out for sure whether this guy has some kind of extra sense. The next time I have indigestion, I'm going to go in and buy a box of baking soda. It works wonders on an upset stomach. My dad uses baking soda for any stomach ailment. If he'd ever get an ulcer he'd just drink some baking soda and water, and I half believe it would repair the ulcer. Well, there have been entire books written about the thousands of uses of baking soda. Will the man from CVS "guess" that I have indigestion, or will he kindly posit that I'm trying to clean the grout between my bathroom tile? Or will he just flat out tell me that he knows I'm running an experiment to see if he's psychic? I'll be sure to let you know.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I Came, I Saw, I Worked, I Quit

The job at the bagel place did not work out. I'm sure many of you are gearing up the parental phrase, "If you commit to something, you have to stick with it." So ground me. This job sucked in every way imaginable. I knew after two hours that I didn't want to work there, and I stuck with it for three days.

Here's what I thought working at a bagel shop would be like- Setting: A sleepy little corner bagel shop. A couple of old people would come in and ask me to make them a toasted bagel with some cream cheese. I'd smile and tell a funny anecdote while I poured a fresh cup of coffee for the both of them. Ten minutes later, another couple of people would drift in, and I would start the process over again. Well, this surely did not happen.

I was told on the day I started that this was the busiest Bruegger's Bagels in the country. I worried a little at that, but I asked myself, "How many people could possibly want to eat bagels?" A freaking lot! The "rush" at this store lasted from 9 am to 2pm. My shoe came untied at 9:30 and I did not have a chance to tie it until I clocked out to go home. Some people might be able to handle this pace, but I cannot. I don't think I'm lazy. I just can't handle the "bustle," as David calls it. And what does it mean that I can't handle the bustle? Does it mean I pout? No. Does it mean I get tired? No. Does it mean I want to yell curse words at the patrons? Well, sometimes. But mostly when I have to rush around for hours on end, it means I get panic attacks. So while I'm making some lady's $2.19 cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese, she doesn't know that I'm so hot I could pass out, my left arm is going numb, and I'm envisioning that my windpipe is closing up. So yeah, I get panic attacks from bagels. After two days of this, I started asking myself if panic attacks and constantly smelling like red onions were worth $7.25 an hour. I determined that they are not. I don't think I'm above that type of work. I don't think I'm better than anybody who does that work. I'm just not good at it. Perhaps if I was 16 and this was my first job I could stand it. But as it is, I hated it with a passion.

So on my second (and second to last day), I pulled the manager aside and told her that I hated working at the bagel place. My mom asked if I really used the work "hate" when I told the manager. Yeah, I did. Why beat around the bush? I told the manager I would finish out my schedule, which was only one more day, and then I would not be returning. She was frustrated but nice about it. I felt bad because they went through all the trouble to "train" me(i.e. show me videos from the 90's and then throw me into the fray). But I did hate it and didn't want to go back.

I'll start looking for another second job soon, but David says I don't have to if I don't want to.

Well, admonish me in a parental fashion if you must.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Grindstone

I should most definitely be preparing for class that starts in an hour right now, but instead I want to write to my pals.

I got the job at the bagel place and I start tomorrow. I am promised 15-20 hours a week with no Sundays and two or three Saturdays a month off. I told the manager that I wanted to keep every other weekend completely free so I could come home frequently if I wanted. At the interview, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that I had the job, but that didn't stop me from being nervous. I was almost as nervous about this bagel job as I was about my interview for the college. I guess I'm just an equal opportunity worrier.

I got a chance to see how lonely I am getting at the interview. I haven't talked to anyone in Cincinnati but David for more than two sentences. So while I was being interviewed, I found myself wanting to elaborate on anything and everything just to talk to someone. I tried to cap myself off, but I'm sure I rambled a couple of times. Oh well, maybe they'll just think I'm friendly. The bagel place might be a good place to meet people, too. I don't really have a chance to talk to any of my co-workers at the college and I can't just strike up a casual conversation with my students outside of class. Having no friends will definitely lend itself work, work, work, and paying off debt. I guess there's an upside.

Oh, I did meet the chair of the English department yesterday. Again, I found myself wanting to ramble to him, but I kept it short. He's a pretty cool, young-ish, punk rock kind of a guy. As I was leaving his office, I saw that he had a Guided By Voices bumper sticker on the wall. I wanted to launch into a spiel about how they were one of my favorite bands, and how we should talk about music sometime, ect, but I didn't. Instead I just said, "You like Guided By Voices? Thumbs up." Then I walked off. I am soooooo cool.

My students are having a class discussion today about the essays we read. I really hope that these guys want to talk because I'm not good at prodding responses out of people. I assigned reading questions that specific people in class are personally responsible for answering during the discussion. I hope that facilitates discussion. Does anyone out there have any other suggestions for getting people to talk in class? I might not need it, but I want to be on the safe side. I can't remember my teachers employing any special methods, but I usually had my mind made up before class whether or not I was going to talk about anything we read the day before.

Well, I really should prepare now.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Assault Rifle for Debt

Okay, so I finally have regular internet that will let me sign in on blogger again. I just finished planning my first lesson, which I will introduce tomorrow. It is on the completely boring topic of prewriting. Hey, you gotta start somewhere. Wednesday was my real first day, but I just went over the syllabus and stuff like that. I was nervous, but i wasn't nearly as nervous as I thought I would be. I'm really liking work so far. CState buildings and campus reminds me more of a small four year college than a community college, but I only have Ivy Tech to compare. Actually, I thought Ivy Tech was a nice school, but it doesn't have anything on CState. All their classrooms are smart and easily workable and they have really awesome cafeterias and cafes on campus. Oh, this is cool. All the culinary arts majors have to take a class on pastry making. They don't do anything with all the pastries they make afterward so they just haul them to the cafe. So there are gourmet pastries available to everyone. This could be good or bad for me. Anyway, it seems like a really cool place. I still have no idea who my boss is or where the English adjuncts' office is, but I figure someone will tell me when they get angry that I didn't report somewhere or do something I was supposed to.

In other news, David has decided he wants to take a machine gun approach to our debt and gun it down all in one Ramboesque blaze of glory. What sparked this proposed debt massacre? Well, there's this talk radio station down here that has The Dave Ramsey Show on. David loves this guy. I think he's kind of a jerk who just gives people common sense advise.

Example: Person in debt: Hi Dave. Love the show. Listen, I've got 50,000 dollars in credit card debt, a $1200 a month mortgage, and three new cars. How do I get out of debt?

Dave Ramsey, Debt Management Guru: Wow, stupid isn't illegal, but it should be. Sell your house, sell your cars, cut up the credit cards, and get three jobs. If you do this, you can have your debt paid off in four years.

Person in debt: Gee, why didn't I think of that? Dave you're a genius.

Anyway, all of this means that David already has himself a second job and is on the lookout for another and now it is my turn. So, I have applied and gotten an interview for the glamorous world of Bruegger's Bagels. Basically, it's Einstein Bagels with a different name. It's located just down the street and I'll be able to walk to work if I get the job. I hope I'm qualified enough. I hope the manager doesn't google my name and see this post. Oh well if she does. I really do want the job. I'm hoping there will be some cool perk like free coffee.

That's pretty much it for now.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

From Cinci

Greetings from The Queen City, The City of Seven Hills, The Blue Chip City, Cin Cin Naughty, The 'Nati, or my personal favorite, Porkopolis. We're in Cinci now and we are trying to work, move, and adjust to the city all at the same time. What I've seen of Cincinnati I like so far. Our street is even more eclectic than I first described. Everyone who lives, works, or shops on our street has multiple tattoos and looks like they belong to a band I'd listen to. I am definitely feeling uncool. Orientation at work yesterday long and unhelpful, as those things always are. I came to work today to get some unresolved issues out of the way. You know, little things like what time I teach, where I teach, who my boss is. Mostly everyone just looked at me like I was in the way and was worrying about nothing. So now I've annoyed everyone in my department. Awesome. The walk to work will be great exercise,and I'm actually happy about that. It's a little over a mile each way and it's uphill on the way back. Oh, and once I've walked my mile to work I still have 126 steps to climb before I get to the building. (Cincinnati is a very hilly town.) So I might not even have to join an exercise class. Though if I want to, there is a yoga studio connected to our apartment.

Basically everywhere I go I feel like the woman in the Visa commercial who tries to pay with cash. Everything is running like clockwork until I show up. Then I mess up the finely tuned routine everyone is in by asking for directions, getting in the wrong line for coffee, driving the wrong way down one way streets, etc. It will be nice once we are settled. We come back to Lafayette tonight in order to pack the moving truck tomorrow. We'll start packing the truck around 9:30 and leave, I hope, around 1:00. If you want to stop by during that time to say goodbye, please do. Although, I have to warn you that you might be contracted to move a box or two.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Panem et Circenses

After a couple of months of consideration, I've decided to change the name of my blog. I don't really write about anything too important on this blog, so "Panem et Circenses" seems fitting. Plus, I just like the sound of it. The quote comes from Juvenal:

nam qui dabat olim
imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se
continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat,
panem et circenses.

Basically he's saying that Romans used to value their form of government and did their duties as citizens. But now everyone cares about just two things: bread and circuses. Since it's the title of my blog, I suppose I should really put it in nominative case, but "Panis et Circenses" doesn't have the same ring. Anyway, I'm going to keep the title on a trial basis to see how I like it. If I don't like it after a couple of weeks,(or if the fact that it's in the wrong case starts to bug me)I'll change it or go back to the old title. Feel free to tell me what you think of the new title! Does it have the ring of a person lording their worthless education over other people? One can only hope.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Thanks to everyone who came out to our party last night. We had so much fun and were glad to properly say goodbye to so many of you. The party didn't officially end until 5:00 this morning when the last of the revelers pulled up a piece of floor in our living room and slept there. I, on the other hand, have not slept in 31 hours. After the party ended I had to switch over to Long Walk Matron and make breakfast for all the participants. This amounted to 5 dozen scrambled eggs (I went a little over board there), two packages of bacon, and two packages of hash browns. How is the Long Walk going? Well, I'll leave that to David, though I am planning a psychological deconstruction of the whole thing in a couple of days. Now I must prepare for my nephew's baby shower this evening.

Thanks again to everyone who came. It was a blast. Seeing all of you at once will certainly make it harder to leave, but it reminded us of how truly blessed we are to have so many wonderful friends.

Friday, August 24, 2007

On Tolerance

From the title of the post you might be thinking that I'll be lecturing people about accepting everyone as they are and cooperating to make this world a better place. You might especially assume this if you have been reading or participating in the recent debates on Anne's blog, where the topics of "craziness" and "big boy beds" have incited near riots. But I'm actually writing on something much more important. Alcohol.

When I was younger, say around 19-21, I could drink 8 beers and a couple of mixed drinks, fall asleep on somebody's kitchen floor with a sombrero on around 3:00 am, and wake up around 8:00 am and go for a jog. Perhaps it was because I was partying with a bunch of guys at an all guys school, but I felt like I had to keep up. And keep up I did. After the Wabash days, I furthered my drinking career by becoming the Irish Car Bomb drinking champ. This is a title I still hold today, and although I drink considerably less, I plan to defend it until death or pregnancy. Though it has a crude name, the concoction is quite a good if you imbibe it quickly enough. If you don't drink it quickly enough, it becomes a demon in a glass. This drink consists of a Guinness, a half shot of Irish whiskey and a half shot of Irish cream. When quaffed correctly it tastes like an alcoholic chocolate milkshake. When consumed incorrectly it tastes and looks like expired chocolate cottage cheese. Now, obviously, I've never seen myself drink one of these things, but I've heard I'm fast. I have, however, seen my biggest competition, Grant Freeman and my own cousin Matthew Arnett, drink one. I am amazed at the speed with which they drink, and if I can consistently beat them, then I must really have an amazing talent. Some people have genius IQs, some people can drink beer really fast. All talents are God-given, right? That's what I keep telling myself.

I have to insert at this point that after my college partying days, I never strove to "get drunk". This is a mortal sin and by the time I turned 22, I realized it. So if you drink and can't be drunk, how do you monitor yourself? There are many names for the point of non-drunkenness. I call it the "grey area". This is the large area between sober and drunkenness that you can rightfully stay in without shaming yourself. John Russell calls it the "point of hilarity". This is where you drink until you are in good spirits, but you stop once you are at that point.

Now I am at the ripe old age of almost 26, and I can count the times I have consumed more than one drink in a sitting on one hand, no maybe one ands a half hands, in the past year. I just don't like drinking all that much anymore. A statement like this would get my Catholic card revoked in many communities and parishes, so I have kept this a secret for a bit. I mean, what's the point of drinking? If I am only going to have one drink, then it just amounts to extra calories. If I have more then that, I risk drunkenness. Further, I say stupid things, embarrass myself, and trip over stuff daily. I don't need alcohol to help me do that anymore.

And with this revelation, my tolerance has taken a huge hit over the years. In fact, I had four drinks last night over the course of 6 or 7 hours. This morning I woke up convinced that a little man with a jackhammer had started a construction project on my skull. While trying to block out the pulse-like throbbing in my head, I reflected on my earlier days when last night's expedition would have been considered "pre-gaming" for the real party. This brought on equal parts of awe and horror.

I am so glad I don't drink like I did in college. It's funny to say it that way because I have only been out of college for three months. Perhaps I should say "early college". Alcohol has lots of empty calories, it is bad for organs(internal and musical. Don't ask.), and it usually makes me look like an even bigger idiot than I already am. And I say all of this knowing full well that I will drink, probably right up the the edge of the grey-black area, at the party tonight. See you there!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Party On. Excellent.

David and I have decided to throw a going away party.... for ourselves. Yes, we'll be the guests of honor and all of you out there reading are invited (that is if we know you).

We went to the store last night and bought burgers, chicken, steaks, soda, chips, beer, brownies, cookies, etc. There will be music and beanbag toss too. We want everyone to come, so spread the word to all who you think might like to wish us goodbye. Here's the vital information.

David and Monica's Going Away Party

Date- Friday, August 24th

Place- O'Neil Castle. Call or email if you need directions.

Time- Cookout starts at 5:00 so all you people with little ones can make it. At 8:30 we will take a couple of minutes to send off the Long Walkers. Party will resume around 8:45 or 9:00 sans Long Walkers.

We have all the main dishes, but if you'd like to bring a side that would be great.

We decided to have the going away party the same night as the Long Walk commencement because a bunch of our friends are going to be in town for that anyway. RSVP here on the blog, or call, or just come. But please do come. We want to see all of you one last time.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Well, we started packing today. All I have to say is that we have WAAAAAAAAAAY too many books. Doesn't sound possible, does it? It's true. I brought an entire truck bed full of boxes home today, and all but the very biggest boxes have been filled to the brim with books. I can't imagine what it's like when professors have to move.

Monday, August 13, 2007

What's in a Name?

Ol' Shakesy asked the above question in Romeo and Juliet, and I've been thinking about names, specifically naming children, since Laura posted last week on the name Lawrence. You see, I have scores of great names picked out for our future children. I want to name my children after early saints and classical and literary figures. But whenever I let slip a name I'm contemplating, the same trite argument rears its head. This argument is known as The Infallible Playground Doctrine set forth by the Senate of Concerned Grandparents, Nosy Friends, and Boring Aunts in 1895. The argument can be summed up as the following: "You can't name your child that!!! He'll be made fun of and be beaten up on the playground for sure." And from this argument, many great names have been shot down in favor of more normal or common names. I'm here today to write against the above doctrine and promote a new one. This new argument is called They Are My Kids and I am Going to Name Them Whatever The Hell I Want, So Shut Up. I have three basic arguments against the Playground Doctrine.

1. They are my kids and I am going to name them whatever the hell I want, so shut up.
If my husband and I agree to name our first son Xenophanes Hezekiah Milkbone BB Gun Josephus Snowglobe O'Neil, that's what we're going to name him. Why? Because it's our baby, we made him, and we're going to name him. I must say that I have no problem with common names. In fact, I like a lot of them. I love the names John, Michael, David, etc. And I am not going to purposely give my child an uncommon name just for the sake of it being uncommon. But if I find myself drawn to an uncommon name, I'm not going to be detracted by some old lady.

Let's do a little informal poll. How many of you were ever made fun of on the playground? I'm guessing 100%. Now, how many of you were made fun of on the playground for something other than your name? I'm guessing close to 100%. From this we can deduce that giving your child a common name will not prevent him or her from being made fun of on the playground. My children are going to have red hair, pale skin, little knowledge of pop culture, and possibly 700 food allergies. If they are made fun of for their name only, it would be a massive blessing. I mean, children are made fun of for coming to school with dried up snot rivers mixed with dirt running down their faces, and yet parents still send them to school that way. Kids are made fun of for weighing 300 pounds in the 2nd grade, and yet parents still send them to school that way. So what, in God's name, is wrong with sending your kid to school with a name like Aloysius? And yet the parents of the 300 pound 2nd grader with snot rivers are the people telling me that I just can't name my kid Augustine Leonidas O'Neil. Well, I can and I will.

3. An odd name with personal meaning and importance is preferable to a common or popular one without.
Go to the mall and yell out the name Dakota. See how many children turn their heads. If it's less than 4,000 I'd be surprised. Now yell out the name Augustine. If one kid turns his head I would be equally surprised. Perhaps all 4,000 children were named Dakota because their parents were inspired by that part of the country. That's fine, but I am not inspired by that part of the country. At least, not enough to name my kid that. Maybe my cat. Nah, I wouldn't even name my cat that. The point is that the name should mean something to the parents and they should pass that meaning on to their child.

Finally, I've known lots of people with odd names, and as far as I know none of them died of shame one the playground. These names include Leaf, Patience, Song, Glade, Prentice, and so on. When contemplating the names of your children, disregard the playground argument, and whatever you do, don't regurgitate it.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

It Turned on Hot

My mother has this weird saying whenever the weather cools down quickly. She'll say, "It turned off cold". I would just attribute this to a regional saying, but I've never heard anyone but my mother and her twin sister say it. And now David and I say it because we think it's funny and it reminds me of my mom. It's not a mean spirited funny. We just think it's a neat saying. Well, it has not turned off cold in about a week here, so David and I have taken the saying one step further. We've started saying that "it turned on hot". Obviously it doesn't have quite the same ring, but it works just the same. Anyway, it has turned on hot, and as Laura says, there isn't much to do when it's this hot besides stay in and watch movies.

Movies I have watched in the past week include Diary of a Country Priest, The Cutting Edge, Rob Roy, a documentary on the Green Berets, and a documentary on Angola prison in Louisiana, a prison where 85% of the inmates will die there. On Friday, while David is walking in honor of the BVM on the pilgrimage, I'll be hosting a deconstruction of the movie 300. Perhaps a better word for what we are doing would be, in the words of Clayton Lein, an excavation. Yes, I know that this movie is based more on a graphic novel and less on the actual battle of Thermopylae, but dammit, I was a classics major and I have got to use my degree somehow. We'll be pointing out the inconsistencies in the movie compared to the historical account. A little snarky and misguided perhaps, but like I said, what the hell else am I supposed to do with this degree? On Saturday I have committed myself to walking the last eight miles of the pilgrimage for the BVM and OLSJC. On Sunday, I'll be heading down to Indy to watch Harry Potter in the IMAX theater. Also slated for this week is a documentary on the salt farmers of Tibet and another documentary on an anthropological hoax in Brittan. Documentaries are quickly becoming my favorite genre of movie. Many of my friends already giggle when I start a conversations by saying "I was just watching a documentary on...." Well, this is as good a place to end the post as any. Pray it turns off cold soon.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Survey says...

I guess I'm trying to avoid writing a real post. This was originally a list of 70 questions, but I picked out the ones I felt like answering. So here.


Do you believe in God:
I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father. Through Him all things were made. For us men and our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary , and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures: He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son, He is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Ever lived outside of the US:
I wouldn't say lived. More like extended visits.

What is your dad's name:
Joseph Anthony Matthew Arnett

What are your siblings' names:
Anthony Ross Ignatius Arnett
Alexander Nicholas Joseph Arnett

What is your dream car:
Dictator Mercedes. You know the type. All the cool despots have one.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Patagonia, New Zealand, Chipotle.

Favorite type of Food?
Sugar. Refined and granulated.

Song you are listening to right now:
"I Am a Scientist" -Guided by Voices version, not the Dandy Warhols version.

What are your current fav songs?:
"I Am a Scientist" I've had it in my head for weeks now. "Cemetery Gates"- The Smiths, "Silent Fortress"- Pinback.

What was the last movie you watched?:
Diary of a Country Priest. Tonight I'm watching The Cutting Edge with some girlfriends. Toe Pick!!

What are you afraid of?
Terminal illness, germs, having children.

How many pets do you have:
I have an imaginary orange kitten named Graham after Graham Greene. I hope to make him real once we move to Cincinnati.

Have you ever loved someone:
Yes, and I happen to be married to him.

What do you usually order from Starbucks:
Iced Mocha

Are you missing someone?
I'm already missing all my family and friends and I haven't even moved yet. I think my friend Buffy could relate.

Whats your mom's name?
Rebecca Carlene Crowell Arnett

What books are you reading:
How Right You Are, Jeeves- PG Wodehouse. Mrs. Schafer loaned it to me and I have to read it and give it back before I leave.

Favorite basketball team:
Actually, I am a really big fan of Purdue Women's basketball team.

Favorite cereal:
I don't eat cereal anymore. David convinced me that cereal is loaded with too much sugar (even the kinds that are supposed to be good for you). So now I just drink iced coffees for breakfast.

Do you drive:
Yes. I kind of like driving as long as it isn't on 26, 52, or any major highway where people drive way too fast. I drive a 1991 Ford Ranger with a chrome cobra head for a shifter and a "Papist" bumper sticker.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The End

I'm subbing for David at work today. Our last day at Ivy Tech and David decided to visit a friend in South Bend and bestow the honors of turning out the lights one last time in the LRC to me. Well, I didn't have any coffee this morning, and I feel like I'm dying. So I decided to take a quiz to see what my obituary will say.

'What will your obituary say?' at

I think that's pretty much correct, but I haven't explored what the full implications of "their lover" means.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I just dropped the F-bomb in front of Keeney. Again. This time it was at work. I don't even think I use the F--- word that often. Why do I have to say it in front of a person who has probably only ever heard that word when it is coming from my mouth? We weren't even playing Scrabble this time. Sheesh.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Job Found

Well, I didn't get the job at Brown Mackie College. They finally called back yesterday and told me they didn't want me. Instead, I got a better job at a better community college this morning. You are looking at the newest English Comp. teacher for Cincinnati State Community College. I couldn't be happier. This is the school I originally wanted to work for and I had some misgivings about Brown Mackie. Brown Mackie is in a dumpy location in a bad neighborhood and all the teachers talk about their students like these kids just escaped from prison. Cincinnati State, on the other hand, is on the same street that we live on about a mile down the road. The funniest part is when I was fretting, stewing, and waiting around for Brown Mackie to call back yesterday, Cincinnati State called to say they wanted an interview. I did a phone interview this morning and they hired me on the spot. I guess it was meant to be. CSCC is a really nice facility with a great library, gym, pool, athletic teams, and clean classrooms. It definitely seems like the place I want to be. They said that in addition to teaching two English courses this fall I could also pick up some extra hours in the writing lab. Best of all, the people who interviewed me seemed genuinely nice and happy to talk to me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

So Good I Can't Pick It Up

I've owned the new Harry Potter book since Saturday. I'm on page 34. I do think the book is pretty good so far, but I'm a little scared to see if my worst fears about Snape will be confirmed. My book 6 is damaged from when I threw the it across the room. That's when I found out Dumbledore was "dead". Also, and I'm going to go out on a limb here and criticise Rowling, I think ever since book 4 all of the books have started out a tad slow. *wince* Comment if you must. I'm sure the fault actually falls on my 1st grade level reading comprehension or my lack of imagination and not on the writing skills of the author.

I did buy the book on Saturday, but I didn't start reading it until yesterday because I had to prepare for my second job interview, which did not turn out perfectly by any means. At the end of the interview yesterday, I was told that I would hear back by the end of the day either way it turned out. I'm still waiting on a phone call. Oh well, I'm not going to die if I don't get this job. I'm just going to keep applying and get a better one. Failure is not fatal. Like that saying? I heard it yesterday on the ride back from Cincinnati when we were listening to conservative talk radio. I hate conservative talk radio, and I almost hate myself for listening to it. Those guys are such terrible jerks and I always want to turn the station, but I keep listening because I want to see what awful or absurd statement they say next. Anyway, one guy said, "failure is not fatal" in the context of a bad job interview, bad grade, broken heart, that kind of thing. It was the only statement I happened to agree with the entire time I listened to that station. So, we'll see what happens. I'll be sure to let you know when I find out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Apartment Found

David and I went to Cincinnati yesterday for my job interview and to look for an apartment. The apartment we found is so cool and I can't wait to move in. First, our building is in Cincinnati's Gaslight district. This district is the artistic, bohemian center of the city. We will live three buildings down from an independent movie theater, across the street from a branch of the library, and a short walk from a beautiful park. Our street is lined with ethnic restaurants, interesting boutiques, and cool coffee houses. We are also just a couple of buildings away from a grocery store. And we live very close to UC's campus. Our apartment has wood floors, a beautiful fireplace, large closets, and a huge balcony. If you are interested in looking at pictures of our apartment, click here. The only drawback is that the kitchen is smaller than the one we have now! But it's just such a neat place.

My job interview went really well. I interviewed at 1:00 and by 6:00 they had called me back for a second interview. So next Monday I'll go back to Cincinnati and give a 15-20 minute mock lesson to the English faculty of the college. I'll be teaching on the "critical elements of personal narrative". After that, I'll know whether or not I have the job. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

No News is Good News

I don't watch the news that often. We don't have cable, so that keeps me blissfully unaware most of the time. I read the newspaper semi-regularly, but it's not the same as the non-stop news blitz on the TV. Well today David and I went over to my parents' house to check our email. Actually, I usually drop him off at the McAllister center and he works out while I go to my parents' house one block away, and he meets me there after his workouts.

Anyway, while he was checking his email I decided to turn on my parents' TV and it was on CNN. The first story I see is an uplifting little ditty about a seven year old boy who is getting a face transplant. He has silicone implants in his cheeks so his skin will stretch out over other parts of his face. The skin around his eyes is so tight that I don't think the poor thing can blink. Why is this boy getting a face transplant? Oh, because a flesh eating bacteria ate his face off. It ate his whole face off. How did this boy come to be infected with a flesh eating bacteria? Was he slashing his way through the rainforest? Nope. Was he playing around at a hazardous waste site? No. He bumped his lip while playing basketball with his friends. And he got his face eaten off. I called to David in the other room and told him all about it. He replied, "See, that just goes to show you that you shouldn't worry about such things because no one knows when or how they will happen". I'm a hypochondriac by the way. To me, this story meant just the opposite: I should live in a bubble and bathe in Purell because you never know when or how these things will happen.

Next story up- A huge toothpaste recall. Anyone who has any toothpaste made in China (this includes all the major American brands) should throw it out because it could have poison in it. Specifically, it has an ingredient in it that is usually reserved for non-mouth cleansing items like antifreeze. So now I'm freaking out because I don't know if our ghetto Pepsodent toothpaste has poison in it or if I'll even have a mouth to use it on because of some crazy flesh eating bacteria.

At this point David told me that I should not under any circumstances watch the news. And I know this is pretty much true. I am a sucker for sensationalism. A couple of years ago he said I shouldn't watch Dateline or 20/20 because every time I did I became convinced that I would die under mysterious circumstances or be stricken with a rare but fatal form of cancer or both. So I guess I'll just stick to reading the newspaper for now. Did I mention that just yesterday I was reading that the parents of a 15 year old Indian boy were arrested because they let their child perform a C-section on one of their patients?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Just Another Day at Work

I'm pretty much convinced that I work on the set of a sitcom and I haven't been made aware of it yet. The following is what happened the last time I went to take notes in a COM class at the community college where I work. First, I need to say that I love the girl who I take notes for and her sister is also really cool. I don't have any problems with them. I even think we could be friends. It's just some of the other students... well, you'll see.

Last Com class, the teacher wanted to show students how to make an outline for an informative speech. He decided to pick the topic of travel and vacation destinations, and then asked the kids what locations they would want to go for vacation. Remember, I'm just there to take notes. So the first person raises their hand and yells out, "The Superbowl"! The Superbowl? I had no idea the Superbowl was a place that had its own zip code and everything. Neither did the teacher because he didn't write it down. The second person yells out, "Mardi Gras". Again, I didn't know Mardi Gras was a place where you could live. This one was a little more forgivable because Mardi Gras and New Orleans are almost synonymous, but still. After a couple of legitimate locations, another person yelled out, "Costa Rica". One second later the girl behind me starts yelling "why would you want to go there!! That's where they cut off people's legs and sell them for diamonds"! Perhaps I should have expected it from this girl because in the last class she asked the teacher how to talk to black people without offending them because, "sometimes I try to give them a compliment and they just get mad". Anyway, she keeps yelling, "Costa Rica is where they cut off people's legs for diamonds"! At this point I am biting my tongue to keep from laughing, and she's getting more and more indignant because someone wants to take a vacation where they chop people's legs off for diamonds. The teacher is avoiding her all together and moving on to other people's suggestions while she is still raving. At this point I turned around and said, "That's not Costa Rica, It's Sierra Leone". After saying this I felt really stupid because as far as I know Sierra Leone does not have a diamonds for legs trade. They have a diamonds for arms trade, but that is something entirely different. I wanted to tell her that people do chop off other people's limbs, but it is used as a way to make others submit, not as a means of currency. She seemed to shut up though, so I didn't go on. Other students keep calling out destinations and one older lady said she would like to go to Rome. Upon this, the girl behind me said that she thinks Rome is totally overrated. I don't know how she knows this, but I'm willing to be that she's never been there. What was her suggestion for a vacation? Las Vegas. That's right, Rome is totally overrated when there are slots to play.

After about 15 destinations, the teacher had the class take a vote, and the top three destinations would become the three main points of the speech. Vote number 1: The Bahamas. Vote number 2: Hawaii. Vote number 3: Australia. Now I love the beach as much as any other girl with blond hair, blue eyes, pale skin and a frighteningly high number of relatives with skin cancer, but this was a little ridiculous. That became even more apparent when the class had to give reasons for wanting to visit each place. It sounded a little something like this: beaches, swimming, fishing, shopping, beaches, swimming, fishing, shopping, beaches, swimming, fishing, shopping. So essentially all three locations were boiled down to beach activities without a mention of any cultural offerings, museums, art, etc that each place might have. I don't get it. I like the beach but not enough to it make my top three vacation destinations.

From this little glimpse, I hope you can see how fun and funny is it at my job. I'm gonna miss it when I have to move.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Jr. Update

The doctor's say that our little Anthony is starting to recover from his intestine surgery and things look pretty good. Talk about a miracle. His breathing hasn't been doing to well lately as they have bumped him up to 38-45 percent oxygen. The doctors say it's a little higher than they would like (he's usually at 25% oxygen) but that his lungs only show signs of immaturity and not signs of serious lung complications. My brother and sister-in-law just got the bill for Anthony Jr's two week stay at Home hospital:124,000 dollars!!! Luckily the bill is taken care of and they don't have to pay for it. I'm interested to see what the bill for a three month stay at St. Vincent's NICU will be. The baby also "opened his eyes" a couple of days ago. I put the opened his eyes in quotations because his eyes have been open for a couple of weeks now. However, his eyes used to be all black, and then over night his eyes changed to blue and look like regular eyes. Of course, his eye color could change, but it's nice to see them whatever color they are.

Now for other baby related news. Today right after Mass I was hanging out in the church with my dad because it's Father's Day and I wanted to see him. While beside him, a very nice parishioner, who we've known for years and will remain nameless, passed by, and my father flagged her down. He wanted to show her the newest pictures of Anthony Jr. Well, after ooohing and ahhing over the pictures, she turns to me and says, "how many months early did you have the baby"? After picking my jaw up from off the floor, I remarked that I don't have any children and that the pictures were of my nephew. I then suffered through the most awkward couple of minutes of small talk in my life while my dad was speaking to this woman's husband. Sigh. It's depressing to know that I look postpartum. No offense to any stunning and dazzling postpartum women out there reading this post. I think I'll hit the pilates tomorrow. At least Father Vath hasn't started to bless my gut when I go up for communion.

Friday, June 15, 2007

celebrity look-alikes

I thought this was a pretty neat little thing.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Babies, Babies, Babies, and Bees

This was a baby filled weekend.

On Saturday I went to visit Anne and Charles in the hospital. Charles is one cute baby. Notice I didn't say cute and "little". That's because Anne gave birth to a giant baby. I won't post the weight because Anne might want to tell you all about it herself, and I don't want to get in trouble with a new mama. However, if you do want to see the weight, go to Christine's blog. Oh, and if you want to see pictures of this darling baby, go to Laura's blog. Anne and Charles are both doing fine.

Later that night David and I went to see Knocked Up. As you might have guessed from the title, this movie is about a woman who has an unexpected pregnancy. The movie uses crude humor, drug humor, nudity, and a constant stream of the f-bomb, and yet I loved it. The reason is that despite all the vulgarity, the movie has an overwhelming pro-life message. At every turn it reinforces that even in the most undesirable circumstances, an unborn child still deserves to live. That, and I did think the movie was pretty funny. I don't think all that pro-life stuff was just wishful thinking or reading too much in to it on my part. If any of you see it, you'll have to tell me what you thought. Don't say I didn't warn you about all the cusses though.

Then, on Sunday I finally got to meet my nephew. David and I went down to St. Vincent's with my parents and we met my brother and sister-in-law there. Leah and I went in first because only two people are allowed to see him at a time and one of those people has to be the parent. Well, I was just overwhelmed with emotion when I saw Anthony Jr. He is even smaller than I imagined and he is so precious. You can tell that he doesn't like visitors a lot because when you look in his incubator he covers his face with his little hands and starts to squirm. If you visit him for too long his heart rate will drop and that's pretty much how he lets you know that he's had enough of you. The only bad part about it is that when it happens the doctors have to come over and breath for him until his heart rate comes back up. I would love to see Anthony Jr. again and I think about him all the time, but I would hate to cause his heart rate to drop like that again. It's just that my mother wanted us to meet the baby once in case the unthinkable happens. We had to wait about an hour for the baby's heart rate to stabilize before David could go in with my brother. It's funny, but when David came back he said that the baby was bigger than he imagined, which was the exact opposite of my reaction. I describe the baby this way: Imagine a 20 fl oz water bottle with thick pens for arms and legs. That's how small he is. When we were leaving the NICU David noticed a "lactation booth", which is a room that women, well you know what it's for. Anyway, when the room is open, it has a little sign in English and in Spanish saying so. When we passed this room it in fact was open so the sign said, "Lactation Booth: Open Abra". Well, David noticed this, pointed it out and said, "lactation booth: open a bra, hahahahahahaha". My mom thought it was hilarious and even my dad cracked a smile.

After all the babies this weekend, it's not surprising that David has come down with a pretty bad case of Baby Fever. Because of my own experience, graduate school, and Leah and Anthony's experience with Anthony Jr., until recently my baby temperature has been at about 32 degrees. But since I've graduated from school, my temperature has risen to about 98.6, so I'm at normal right now. Normal. We'll see what happens, but I'll predict trying for a baby before year's end. So I know that will make some people happy.

Oh, and now for the bees. Well, most of you know how we had a bat fly in though an open window in our bedroom a couple of weeks back. If you don't, scroll down through a couple of posts and you can get the whole story. We made sure to close that window so that a bat wouldn't fly through again. But there is still a problem with the window where the screen doesn't meet the glass correctly. Normally that wouldn't be a problem because even if something flew in though the gap, it wouldn't make it through the glass when the window is closed. Or so we thought. The window was closed, but we have those old fashioned locks where when you turn the window lock it leaves a little hole. So here's what happened. A swarm of bees, a swarm, not two or three but fifty bees, flew through the gap between the outside screen and the glass, and then flew up to the little hole by the window lock, evidently waited in line and came in three at a time (because the hole is not that big) and then started swarming around the room. Luckily I was at work because if I had been home I would have done something stupid like call 911 or scream incoherently or both. But David was home. Not only was he home, he was in the bedroom reading a book! He heard a buzzing sound by the window and looked to see these bees flying in. He dropped his book, ran to the kitchen to get some ant spray because it was either that or Windex, and started spraying it at the bees. In his running shorts. That is all the clothing he had on. Running shorts. Just imagine that for a second. My husband in his running shorts spraying ant spray wildly at an obviously homicidal swarm of bees. But it worked! He killed all the bees and wasn't stung even once. I was telling my friends Kristin and Jocelyn about this, and Jocelyn said that if anything else weird happens in our apartment, don't even bother calling the landlord, just call an exorcist. I'm beginning to think she's got the right idea.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Summertime Routine

Everything has been pretty mundane lately. I'm beginning to think that funny things only happen to me at school. I usually wait to update until something funny has happened to me. Well, nothing has lately. I don't have any antics to relate, so I guess I'll just give a boring life update.

I've been sleeping in until about 10:30 every morning.

David and I are on a new diet/ health plan called "The Schwarzbein Principal". An Endocrinologist who is evidently obsessed with her name came up with it. She's written about four books and they all have "Schwarzbein" in the title. In all seriousness, she pretty much advocates the things your grandmother tells you to do. You can't skip meals, you have to eat a balance of protein, carbs, veggies, and healthy fats, and you need to keep your blood sugar balanced. You do this by eating five times a day instead of three. Her theory is that most people have a damaged metabolism. If you repair your metabolism, you will automatically burn enough calories to attain or stay at an ideal body weight in addition to becoming super healthy. You cannot have sugar, fake sugar, alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine while on this diet. So, I automatically hated it from the start. I pretty much thought I was going to die. But eating five meals a day full of healthy stuff really does keep down my cravings for bad stuff. The only drawback is that I feel like half our life is devoted to cooking and shopping. Ol' Schwarzy, as I call the doctor who wrote this plan, says people with fairly healthy metabolisms can heal in about 1-3 months, so I'm hoping I'm in that category. I don't know why though. Ol' Schwarzy says that you can 't go back to your old ways after you are healed or you'll just ruin your metabolism again. So it looks like I'm on the straight and narrow. Sigh. I've never really liked the straight and narrow.

David and I are also in the middle of watching the top 50 movies of all time. We receive this travel magazine that we don't subscribe to called the Conde Nast. I think anyone who leaves the country for a trip automatically receives it. David and I like to call it the Conde Nasty or just The Nasty. I know, we're geniuses. Anyhow, I was looking through it one day to see what the top 100 snorkeling destinations are or something equally stupid. As I was looking, I came across this advertisement for Kettle One Vodka. The ad started, "Dear Kettle One Vodka Drinker". My eyes lit up at this because this was a couple of weeks ago before I cleaned myself up, got saved, and went on the Schwarzbein Principal. The rest of the ad read, "Are these the top 50 films of all time?" So, I ripped the list out and we've been watching the movies ever since. Granted, the list does ask whether the movies are top 50, and I'm not sure what sources compiled the list, so there are some crap movies on the list. However, most of them seem good. Our favorites so far are Chinatown and Deer Hunter. Our least favorite is 2001: A Space Odyssey. By the way, if I had said that title instead of written it, I would have called it a Space Oddity because I love David Bowie and always get the titles mixed up. Now, I don't care what you say about this movie. It was crap. I've heard a lot of people say that 2001 was an "important" movie. What this usually means is that some pretentious bastard made a piece of shit movie and people are too afraid of being called philistines to say so. Other people have said that I didn't get the point of the movie. No, I got the point. I understand. It's just that the point is stupid, the script is terrible, the acting is worse, and Stanley Kubric is a pretentious bastard. We're having fun watching the movies anyway. The best part is that all the older movies at Family Video are either two for a dollar or a dollar.

Let's see, hmmm. Besides sleeping a lot, being on a diet, and watching our movies, there's not much more.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Baby Update

I just want to give all of you an update on baby Anthony.

On Wednesday Anthony Jr. was rushed to St. Vincent's in Indianapolis because his intestine ruptured and he was dying. The doctors did surgery and told my brother and his wife it would take nothing short of a miracle for Anthony Jr. to even make it through the night. Well, the first miracle was achieved, many thanks in part to your prayers, because Anthony Jr. is alive but in critical condition. The doctors say that his intestine has to show signs of healing before they can upgrade his condition. If his intestine does not start to heal the doctors say he will die. To make matters worse, the little hole the baby has in his heart is impeding the healing process and his recovery from the surgery. Therefore, Anthony Jr. will undergo another surgery next week to repair the hole in his heart. This is extremely serious because the doctors must do the surgery even though they aren't sure how much more stress the baby's body can take.

Please, I beg you to keep Anthony Jr. and my family in your prayers. The situation is quite dire.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

First, Outside, Inside, Last?

I'm working at Ivy Tech this summer as a writing tutor and a monitor at the Learning Resource Center. Because it's the summer semester, there is hardly anyone around to ask for writing assistance. This means that my main responsibility is to monitor the LRC. I have to do things like receive faxes from a machine I don't know how to work, give students directions to classrooms I've never seen, replace toner on a copier I've never been trained to use, and handle phone calls on subjects which I know nothing about. So really, as you might have guessed, my job boils down to the following phrase: "Um.. could you come back tomorrow between the hours of 8-5? Someone will be able to answer your question then." The rest of the time I watch youtube and write blogs and get paid pretty damn well to do it. I'm doing that right now as a matter of fact. Now, I'm a really good English tutor and I like doing it, but I suck at all this other stuff. I would feel bad about my inability to "monitor" the LRC except for the fact that no one has ever trained me how to do it. So, I just wing it. And because I do such exceptional work, I've been asked to take on more responsibilities.

Starting Thursday I'll be taking notes for a deaf woman here at the school. Her sister sits in on the class and signs to her while I write down the things that the teacher says. So basically she has a team of people working with her. And I think that's great. Opportunities for handicapped people have come such a long way. My only concern is why I have been chosen to do this job. I've never worked with disabled people in my life. I don't know all the PC things I have to do when I talk to her, I'm not sure if I say deaf or hearing impaired, I don't know anything. And I'm willing to bet there won't be any training. Now, I'm not one of those people who can't do anything without being told exactly how to do it, but I do need a little info sometimes. Oh, and here's the kicker. Guess what class I'm taking notes for? Math 131-Algebra and Trigonometry. If you know me at all, you'll be on the floor gaging with laughter. I am terrible at math. The only class I failed in college was math, and I think the math I took was easier than the stuff I'll be taking notes for. So I'm a little nervous. I keep telling myself, "Monica, it's okay. You're smart enough to recognize the important parts and write it down, even if you don't understand it." And that's true. I just have to write stuff down. It's not like I have to tutor her in the subject. I just which I had known what class I had signed on for before I said I would be a note taker. I haven't had a math class in three years, and I'm firmly convinced that the only reason why I passed that class was because I said a memorare right before the final. (Thank you, BVM!) All I remember from that class is FOIL. First, outside, inside, last! First, outside, inside, last! My plan is to just write FOIL down in the notes if I miss something. Actually, I'm going to try very hard to take the most comprehensive notes possible because I really do want to help this person, but I sure am nervous. Oh well, I guess I can add another line to my resume now. Sheesh. I'll let all of you know how it goes.