Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Laugh to Close Out the Year

In case my little fit of epileptic joy has you in need of something both worth seeing and stationary, I link you to Dave Barry's year in review. The whole thing had me in stitches -- stitch-es. Here's a teaser for you:
JULY . . .

Barack Obama, having secured North and South America, flies to Germany without using an airplane and gives a major speech -- speaking English and German simultaneously -- to 200,000 mesmerized Germans, who immediately elect him chancellor, prompting France to surrender.

Happy New Year, everyone! Blessings and laughter to you in barrels.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Look Back, a Little Early

Just like last year, here's a photographic, slightly epileptic, look back at this year for me. Highlights:
  • My 2nd VIDES formation camp, this time having a clue
  • My 2nd semester teaching, still without a clue
  • The St. Vitus Fools, our drama club, and our production of "Looking Glass Land, which was a sucess largely because no one could tell none of us had a clue.
  • More nuns, all indescribably wonderful.
  • Leaving the nuns, with a full heart and some tears...
  • ...and arriving at Notre Dame to start ACE...
  • ...where I met some of the most incredible people ever, and certainly the heaviest concentration of awesome I've encountered yet
  • My second convent full of community mates, this time unconsecrated my own age
  • My second year of teaching, with a little bit of a clue
  • And meanwhile, my family continued to be awesome and weird

Please note: There are two people who were as important in my life this year as anyone else, and more important than most, even though I only saw them once in April for a few hours each (hence the painful dearth of pictures and sinful under representation). You know who you are. This year would not have been nearly as wonderful without your constant long-distance support, laughter, and presence. Thank you. I love you more than I know how to say.

All the pictures in the movie are available here, should you be inclined to take a more leisurely look.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I Hear the Truth; It Liveth!

This song has been in my head all week. They sing it pretty often at the basilica at Notre Dame, which is where I first heard it. There's one line where the choir director always stomps his foot so loud it sounds through the whole church. That's my favorite part, and I confess I miss it sometimes.

Merry Christmas, Dear Readers!

My life flows on in endless song
above earth's lamentation.
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.

No storm can shake my inmost calm
while to that rock I'm clinging.
Since Love is Lord of heaven and earth,
how can I keep from singing?

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear that music ringing.
It sounds an echo in my soul!
How can I keep from singing?

What though the tempest loudly roars,
I hear the truth; it liveth.
What though the darkness round me close,
songs in the night it giveth

While tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
and hear their death knells ringing;
When friends rejoice both far and near,
how can I keep from singing?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Two Reasons to Watch This

1. It's a delightful rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas.
2. It was sent by a friend to me and several common friends with this note:
"Makes me think of Andie. Every time. (Get to 1:56 and I think you'll understand)"

I can't deny it, I do get pretty excited when I hear this song.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My dear friend Mark says...

"Check this out and tell me it doesnt make you want to go run a marathon or something athletic."

I does, in fact, and it's finally cool enough here that I just might.


I related news, for reasons unknown to me, YouTube has decided to make it impossible for me to copy the code to embed videos. What did I do to invite your scorn, YouTube?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Missed Merton

I missed this, what with my floundering attempts to be responsible, but evidently yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the passing of Thomas Merton.

His most well-knwon prayer, and a favorite of mine:

My Lord God,I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear,for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

ACE Founder and Big-Wig Receives Presidential Award

We (ACErs) were let in on this event while in Austin for our retreat this past weekend. Later, some of us delighted in seeing Fr. Scully breakin' it down on the dance floor, and one of my good friends commented, "Give this man a presidential award!"

I love ACE.

The rest of the article is here. it has a pretty good summary of the ACE program, in case you're curious exactly what I'm up to, and short (very short) list of some of ACE's associated programs and initiatives.

At retreat, Fr. Scully emphasized that he was getting this award on behalf of all the people who do and have ever done work with the Alliance for Catholic Education. When I signed up for this thing, I thought, "Hey, grad school AND service!". I am realizing more and more that ACE is a lot bigger than that. It is, in fact, a movement unto itself, and I'm profoundly excited that I'm part of it.

Father Scully receives Presidential Citizens Medal
By: Julie Hail Flory
Date: December 10, 2008

Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., professor of political science and director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI) at the University of Notre Dame, received a 2008 Presidential Citizens Medal in an Oval Office ceremony held Wednesday (Dec. 10).

One of the highest honors the president can confer upon a civilian – second only to the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the Presidential Citizens Medal recognizes U.S. citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for the nation. Since its establishment by executive order in 1969, some 100 people have received the award.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Houston (and everywhere else), we have a problem

Here's the deal, Dear Readers: our house's internet is down. Because of our location, we have to have satellite internet, and satellite puts a cap on our bandwidth in any consecutive thirty days. We have seven adults in our house who use the internet on a regular basis. That means, basically, that we WILL go over our quota. When that happens, we're penalized with a serious squeeze on available bandwidth (or something like that).

What that means is that while our internet is still technically there, it's useless for anything other than basic HTML e-mail checking. I can only do most internet activities from school.

While this is a good thing for the amount of work I will get done at home, it is a bad thing for the amount of blogging I am able to do. I'm sorry. This is just how it has to be. It's not you, it's me.