Ok, so impending doom is a little over-dramatic. But Comprehensive exams start Monday and go until Wednesday. I hate taking tests, and tests that cover four years of accumulated knowledge are even worse.
Also, I'm sick. Yesterday I threw up at work, and today I am staying home from work and resting. I don't plan to change out of my pajamas or get out of bed more than necessary. I don't feel super bad, but I need to get better quickly. (See comps, above.)
To go along with comps, it looks like there is another storm coming. At last check of the Capital Weather Gang, it's still not clear whether we will have rain, sleet, or snow. Of course, I'm worried that it will be snow and that school will shut and comprehensive exams will be delayed.
Also, for the less liturgically aware, or who just haven't put two and two together, the last day of tests is on Ash Wednesday. ASH WEDNESDAY! I hate fast and abstinence days enough as it is, and now I have to deal with a test as well?
Ok, so things look very bad. Comps, in the snow, while starving and throwing up. Luckily, I have some good things to look forward to after comps are over. Besides the obvious, I mean, namely that comps will be over.
I have almost no class next week, because on any day that there is comps, you are excused from all philosophy classes. Also senior seminar is canceled that week. So I have one seminar Monday night, and one humanities class Thursday morning. I intend to spend Thursday afternoon tidying my room and preparing it for Teresa to come home for Spring break.
Then, spring break! I will be visiting Kevin's family and helping his mother sew costumes for his little sister's cheerleading team. I am really looking forward to it. So not everything's bad...but I do have to get through comps.
I have never participated in What I Wore Sunday before, but today I am going to, because I got a new dress. Until last week, I basically had one church dress. The problem is that I have tough standards, a tight budget, and a strangely-shaped body. For church, I like my dresses to cover my shoulders and come down to my knees. But my hips are two sizes bigger than my shoulders!
Enter eShakti. My mother emailed me a link to them. You can buy a dress there and customize the sleeve length, the neckline, and the skirt length. You can also input your custom measurements and they will make the dress to your measurements. I picked one of their cheaper dresses to try it out. I'm sold.
First of all, the dress is cute, and the fit is good. It's not perfect, of course, but I know from eighteen years of sewing that a really perfect fit is impossible without an in-person fitting. The dress fits well enough that I don't have to wear a jacket over it to disguise the fit, and given that the material is a sturdy cotton non-stretchy weave, that is pretty impressive! I am usually left wearing stretchy dresses in a attempt to mask fit problems.
Moreover, the finishing details are very nice. French seams on the pocket! (Every eShakti dress has pockets.)
A custom tag.
There are even bra strap keepers.
Inside the bodice, all the seams are neatly finished. Is this high couture? No, definitely not. But it looks solid and dependable and there are some very nice touches. I tend to shop at places like Kohl's and Target, and eShakti is definitely a step up the food chain without a huge jump in price (wait for a sale!).
I really recommend eShakti to people who are oddly shaped or who want dresses that are a little more modest. I don't want to spam people, especially not in a post about encouraging each other in church clothes, but I am an affiliate. So if you click through using the link in my sidebar, I get a percentage of each order.
Since I am usually cold, I also left my pink coat on all through Mass. My chapel veil didn't make it into the picture either, but it's your standard black triangle.
Wow. The federal goverment is opening, albeit late, and we are closed. I can't remember the last time anything in DC was open and we were shut. Our people in charge like to keep classes running! And now we have two days off in a row. My theory is that we shut because Metro isn't running the metrobuses on anything close to a normal schedule.
I love the four-day weekend. I am going to get so much done, and catch up on everything I fell behind in last week (not sure what happened there). I realize it's not so good for other people, though. The show at CUA which was supposed to run Thursday-Sunday was canceled last night and will probably now be canceled tonight. And missing out of two whole days of work in the costume shop is going to cripple the next show.
I have to admit that I haven't ventured out into the snow yet. I realize I am not that old, but I find temperature changes harder and harder to deal with the older I get. At some point today I will probably brave it outdoors, if only to take some pictures.
Of course, while he like spending time with my family, and they like spending time with him, that meant that he had to miss the Dominican Rite Mass at the D-House because the roads were not looking good and we didn't want to risk it. Had he stayed on campus, he could have just walked.
This semester, I am taking three philosophy classes, one honors humanities class, and the capstone honors class, which is basically a seminar about memory. Needless to say, I have a lot of reading to do. This takes up most of my time.
When I'm not doing my homework (or, let's face it, playing on the internet) I am doing one of either two things. One is participating in study sessions for comprehensive exams, which are at the beginning of March and can cover anything and everything we've learned.
The other is job hunting. Kevin and I are probably both going to get jobs for next year, although he may get an MA in theology first, depending on funding. We are very much hoping to stay in the area, and I have a good solid lead on a job. (Prayers or fingers crossed or well wishes or whatever your expression of choice would be greatly appreciated.)
I can't find it in my heart to stress out about any of these things. For a long time now, I've been an untrusting person. When I started to pray for trust, I was handed all these opportunities to develop my trust: about to enter the workaday world without a job, engaged to someone else without a job, preparing for comps without the greatest foundation due to having taken some courses out of order, and so on. In any previous semester, I would be a basket case.
A few months ago, though, I was talking to a friend, and I said, "Well, I guess this is God teaching me to trust Him." It was out of my mouth before I even knew I was going to say it. As my friend said, "Wow, that's a good way to look at it," I was thinking Wow, yeah, that is a good way to look at it!
So far, this seems to be working. When I am calm, I am better able to study for comps. I have a good lead on a job that works very well with my long-term plans, which basically fell into my lap. (I'm not announcing it publicly in case things fall through last minute.) Many people were concerned that being so trusting would mean nothing got done, but so far this hasn't happened. A priest I know said in his homily on Wednesday that there's a fine line between Pelagianism and quietism, and I think this is equally true here.
I have found where I want to be on that continuum. Much as Descartes embarked on a project of radical doubt, I'm embarking on a semester of radical trust. We'll see where the road takes me this year, but I have no doubt that it's in God's hands and that He will provide.
This year, I marched with the Dominicans instead of with CUA, as their schedule worked better for me. I traveled to the Mall with the friars and priests, but wound up marching with the Nashville sisters, in order to march alongside my dear friend who joined last year.
We were closer to the stage than I have ever been before. Knowing OPs has its perks, let me tell you.
Crowds, crowds, crowds. Apparently the crowd was quite small this year, which is hardly surprising. I honestly don't know if I've ever been as cold as I was today.
Many buses got canceled because of snowy conditions. The roads around DC were a total mess Tuesday night.
Some people, of course, see in the low turnout a sign that the pro-life movement is waning. I do not think that is the case. The crowd is younger every year, and our spirits were high despite the cold.
There was singing, dancing, chanting, and praying as we marched along.
The counter protesters were not willing to brave the weather. My sister said she saw only two. I didn't see any.
Fulton Sheen in Dutch! There were a lot of groups from other countries, including the Netherlands, Italy, Canada, Scotland, and Argentina.
The crowd coming up the hill.
His flag says, "Appeal to Heaven!"
A CUA sign! The worst part of not marching with CUA was not getting to carry one of their signs.
This March made me feel more hopeful about our chances of ending abortion than any March yet. We were happy and cheerful despite the cold. We are determined. We will not give up!
As I posted on Twitter this morning: Pain is a constant reminder you're still alive, but 1/3 of my generation isn't. #whywemarch
We moved. Mostly. We have more stuff than we thought we did, and so some of it has been left in the old house for the time being. We also had some repairs we didn't realize existed, such as no working phone jacks.
We're sort of in control of life again, but school has restarted, so we're also very busy. Posts may be light for a while.
The wedding planning is only sort of progressing, but that's ok. We're trying to keep things low-key and not stress about them.
I have not been feeling well lately. My energy levels have been low, and I haven't been sleeping very restfully. Hopefully it will pass soon, as tackling this (last, and very challenging) semester feeling this way doesn't sound fun. However, I did start out the semester in class rather than in the ER, so that's already a leg up on last semester!
"It is the pride of humankind--and the hope of Jewish and Christian faith--that though the race be often to the swift and the battle to the strong, this is said of the dash and the skirmish. The longer course is completed and the campaign won by those who rescue the oppressed, shelter the homeless, redeem the cheated, carry the crippled--not by those whose care is for themselves. We do not take our lesson from a nature that fevers, drowns, and devours. We defy and transfigure nature by finding in her victims our most treasured opportunities." From p. 309 of Rachel Weeping by James T. Burtchaell, CSC