Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Getting a Job III

I have given up hope as far as getting a job goes. It's way too late for anyone to hire me for holiday help (Christmas is in a day!!! how exciting is that?!?!?!?!?) and I sure am not going to work on Christmas or the day after. Then I'm leaving for New Years and then I'm going back to school.
It's probably for the best because I have been able to do a lot of helpful stuff around the house in the time that I would have been doing useless work for some store in the mall or whatever... also I'm very glad to have the chance to hang out with people I don't see very often such as high school friends and my sisters who now live in different states.
This is kind of really bad though, because now I've made no money for my China trip. I can not just let the school pay for me to go. I can't. I'll feel like such a good-for-nothing mooch that I would probably just feel guilty for the entire trip.

I know what this means:
I'm going to have to get a job in Oakland and work evenings and weekends this semester.

I mean, yes, I already work in the costume shop, but they are only open from 9-4 every day, and most of that time I am in classes! And yes, I will be working more hours there next semester due to a couple night classes, but most of that extra money will go to my voice lessons (which are ridiculously expensive by the way!!)
So... that leaves me the option of working another job at a store or a restaurant or something to earn some money, since no one here in Bethel wants me.
But I will deal with this once I get back to school...
right now I'm a bit busy enjoying my holiday. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Getting A Job II

Still no job. I went into American Eagle to ask about my application and the response was, "We're still processing them; we get about 30 applications a day."
... soooo... I guess that means I'm not getting a job there anytime soon.
Yesterday, though, I was shopping at Borders and an old friend of mine happened to mention that they're hiring. It has been a dream of mine to work in a bookstore for years now, so I filled out an online application and sent it in. I'm still waiting for a reply from them, too. I almost cannot dare to hope.
I have yet to call the babysitting job... I've been on a rather strange schedule lately... Actually, I don't have a great excuse for not calling. I'm really just afraid that she'll say, "No, we don't need you" like every other stinkin' place I've applied this break. Christmas is now only 5 days away and I have made exactly $0. This sucks.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Getting a Job

Because I am a poor college student, I am not in possession of the $2,000 or so that I need for a trip to China this spring with the Heinz Chapel Choir. My solution to this problem was to apply for work in the mall as soon as I got home from college and hopefully start working two jobs so as to make enough money in time.
Silly me, I should have known that the mall is no place to get a job the week before Christmas! Not only is the mall, at this point, full of people shopping, thus making it hard to navigate at a speed faster than a saunter, but in addition, most of the shops have already hired for the holidays. Boo.
I have thus far been turned down at Bath and Body Works and aerie, which only yesterday gave me applications to fill out, which I unsuspectingly completed last night in hopes of, oh, I don't know, maybe at least getting an interview? Now, a mere 24 hours later, they are no longer hiring. Well then take the "hiring" sign down and stop handing out applications!!!
Thankfully, I still may be subbing at Just Dogs Gourmet, where I worked this past summer, and I might have a babysitting job or two lined up.
Also, I hopefully have an interview forthcoming at American Eagle. Hopefully. I will keep you posted on this.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Home Again, Home Again

This is bizarre, but I really really don't want to go home. It's bizarre because I've spent the past few weeks counting the days until I could call Dad and say "Come pick me up! I'm packed and ready to go!" and then sit back to enjoy a whole month of no school. I've been melancholy and mopey after having to come back here after all those weekend visits in November, and I was hit by a wave of homesickness when I saw my family for the Christmas Concert and couldn't go home with them. I just assumed that the cure for all this would be, well, I dunno, going home, but apparently not, because right now I'm feeling like exactly the opposite may be true. Now that classes are over and I have nothing to worry about, I wish I could just stay here and veg, but I can't. I have to go home and get a job for the holidays and help get the house ready for Christmas.
I am missing my little room quite a bit already, and I haven't even left yet! I'm just trying to clean up a bit and I keep noticing things that I am going to miss so much once I'm back in Bethel Park. I miss the lamp by my bed that I don't have to cross the room to turn off. I miss my pencil cup that always has a fresh pencil in it for my anal little self to enjoy. I miss my beautiful computer that is all mine, with no siblings bugging me to get online so they can play games or shop for who knows what. I miss Pandora, which fills my whole room with music and plays only the stuff that I like. I miss the sink and mirror that are all mine in the morning, with my makeup box and my whole wardrobe close by for optimal primping. I miss my bed with my favorite blanket and those two pillows that make sleep so delightful. This is my space and I am very, very reluctant to give it up. That is, of course, why I am blogging instead of cleaning and packing right now.

Now, that being said, there are some perks to being home.
For example, the shower is about 3 times as large, the food is free here and always available plus I am allowed to make it myself, there are cars here that I am sometimes allowed to drive, etc.
Possibly the greatest thing about being home, though, is the people here. I got to wrap my arms around some people that I love very much for the first time in a loooong time. You really can't beat that feeling. Plus it's hard to miss my dorm when I'm at home; I don't know why.

All said, I'm happy in both places and significantly less lonely here at home, so I guess both places have their perks.

Now, since I'm home and there are lots more people using the computer here and I'm not constantly logged on, it's much more incovenient for me to blog and much more convenient for me to journal. Also I have people to talk to here. So, don't be surprised if my blogs are few until I return to school from Christmas break.

Holiday Blessings to all!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Our Father

Everyone knows the Our Father, or at least some of it, I'm sure. Alright... in case you don't:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who tresspass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

There you have it. Short and sweet. Yet this one prayer that so many people pray so often is absolutely rich with meaning! I myself was unaware of this until recently, so bear with me if you already knew this stuff.
Of course Jesus Himself gave us this prayer to pray, so one would expect the very best, but the fact of the matter is that every phrase, every little segment of this prayer is positively chock full of meaning! In fact, the Our Father is pretty much a guide to how we should pray all the time.
Allow me to point out right now that I got many of these ideas out of a book that I just read, Taming the Restless Heart by Gerald Vann. I have added some of my own thoughts, but the real frame of this blog comes from the book, so thank you, Gerald Vinn, I take no credit for your work.

Our Father, who art in heaven...
Christ states right off the bat what our relationship with him is. He is the Father and we are the children. Yes, God wants us to be childlike in our prayer. Humility and respect are important here. But love is also a huge factor. We go to our dear Heavenly Papa for help because we know that He loves us and wants to help us.

hallowed be thy name...
God wants us to praise him before we go ahead listing all the things that we want from him. In fact, praise is God's favorite kind of prayer. I have a whole theory about praise, actually. (sorry if you've read the article about this already. I inserted an abbreviated version here.)
Praise is, ultimately, admitting that God is an all-powerful, all-wonderful being who is way better at running our lives than we will ever be. This leads to trust which in turn leads to peace.
Praise is also saying how much we love Him and how good He has been to us. I don't know about you, but whenever I say "I love you," even if I don't feel like I love you, it helps me to feel that love again. So praise leads to love as well.
Because praise is a favorite prayer of God's, we know that He is pleased when we praise Him, and it always makes me so joyful to know that something I've done is actually pleasing to Him. Remembering all the wonders He has worked in my life and in the world and praising him for them add to the joy, too.
Thus, lots of good fruits of praise! It's not a bad idea, really. Don't just talk to God when you need something; take some time to tell Him how awesome He is, too.

thy kingdom come...
We need to put our wants and needs in perspective sometimes. In asking for His kingdom to come, we are asking to be a part of the work that needs to be done for that kingdom. That is, ultimately, our purpose on this earth, after all: to save as many souls as possible as we do the work that He has set out for us to do. By bringing the Kingdom into this prayer, Jesus was telling us to keep in mind the work that He is doing on earth and our part in it. Our petitions must be in line with that work.

thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven...
Here we say, as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Not my will but yours be done." We ask that ultimately God's will be done because He knows best. He knows how to handle the dilemmas we face much better than we could ever hope to. Prayer must not thrust forward our wants without taking into consideration the will of God; we must always wish for our will to be bound to our Lord's so that we want the same things.

give us this day our daily bread...
Now we finally express our needs and our wants. We ask for the graces that we need to get through the struggles in our lives and for the things we need to do His work.
There is no need to list all of the things that we want and need, though; "our daily bread" is a symbol for all of that, everything we could possibly need. In His wisdom He already knows what we need, without us having to say every little thing.
It is right and good to ask Him for things; it shows our proper dependence on Him, the creation's dependence on it's Creator for sustenance. We should never be afraid to ask.

and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us...
Basically, we should treat others as we want God to treat us. We must live in the Spirit of Christ if we pray in the name of Christ. Thus our prayers commit us to a whole way of life. With this line we make our sin a condition for the granting of our requests, so we sure better strive for sinlessness! Also, in treating others in a Christ-like manner, we make our prayers into actions so that others may see the goodness of the Lord.

and lead us not unto temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Once again, we admit our dependence on our God in stating that He is the only thing that can protect us from evil and temptation. He is our Rock, our salvation, and our only hope. By fixing our eyes on Him we can perhaps further adopt His will as our own.

I hope you have enjoyed my little coverage of the Our Father. Hopefully it opened your eyes to the prayer, and prayer in general, as Mr. Vann opened mine. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Baking Soda Mornings

I'm sure you all know the common uses for baking soda: cooking, cleaning, and banishing yucky smells from refrigerators and shoes. Lately, however, I've come across several interesting new uses for this lovely household favorite. So of course I decided to try them this morning. Enjoy.

Use #1: Brush your teeth with a baking soda paste to whiten teeth.
Trial Run: Yes, this morning I brushed my teeth with baking soda. It hurt. Not only did it leave my gums with a slightly burning, tingling sensation, but it also tasted horrible. I'm talking seriously horrible. On the bright side, it did seem to whiten my teeth about a shade... if that. I'm not sure if the prolonged usage necessary to see real results would be worth the burning and disgusting flavor.

Use #2: Rub a paste of baking soda into skin for exfoliating benefits.
Trial Run: This worked surprisingly well. I rubbed the paste in and let it dry a bit, like a mask, then rinsed it off. It wasn't the initial application of the paste that exfoliated so much as the rinsing off. Afterwards my face felt tingly fresh and smooth, and there was a blushy pink to my cheeks that hadn't been there before. Perhaps it also helps circulation, too? Sweet!

I swear that I did not make these up, though how reputable my sources are is a mystery that shall remain unsolved for now. You may try these tips, as they are not copyrighted, but I refuse to claim any responsibility for mishaps connected to this blog. Yes, my tips come with disclaimers. What of it?

Friday, November 21, 2008


"I've jingle bells
from carousels
and I've got a friend
who'll lend me a sleigh.
All that I need is a blanket of white;
Baby and I will go riding tonight,
cuddling, huddling,
keeping the frost awaaaaay..."

The snow and the approaching holiday seasons are making me feel mushy again, so excuse me while I set aside my usually bubbly and somewhat objective approach to life and wax sentimental for awhile...

I've never had a Christmastime love. Actually, I've never been in love at all; I've merely pinned my loneliness on this person or that. You know that Rudy Valentino quote: "Women are not in love with me but with the picture of me on the screen. I am merely the canvas upon which the women paint their dreams." Well now you do. A lot of people do this with movie stars or performers; they fall for a projection of someone, an image that is based mostly on personal speculation rather than actual fact or knowledge. You know, those girls that say they are "in love" with this celebrity or that, people that they've never even seen in person, let alone talked to. The girls who buy shirts that say "Mrs. Brad Pitt" or whatever. The ones who legitimately think that they're going to marry Chris Brown someday. (sorry if you are one of these girls haha)

Yep, people pin their loneliness, their wishes for the future on celebrities all the time. I don't. I think it's silly. I pin my loneliness on people that I know, which is, unfortunately, infinitely worse. When you know the person on whom you "paint your dreams," there is so much more potential for hurt feelings, unreasonable expectations. The situation can get wildly out of hand when your perceptions and reality collide.

I don't want to marry someone that I've just created to be perfect in my mind without the facts or knowledge to back it up. I want to fall in love with the man of my dreams, the person who truly IS all of the things that I try to project on all these poor unsuspecting guys. Not a perfect guy (geez, that would suck), just someone who has everything I need. There's a difference. And I know there's someone out there who was created for me and I for him. Yes, I believe in soulmates. And I can't wait to meet mine.

When (if!) I fall in love, I want it to be more than just escaping loneliness. I don't want to just be "in a relationship" but to be a woman transformed by love. I don't want to just fill a space in my heart; I want to fill the space and then add more to it! I want my heart to grow.
I don't want to have to think about why I love this person; I just want to know. I want the answer to "Will you marry me?" to be "Duh!" (though of course I wouldn't say that! hahahahaha)

This is going to sound a little crazy, but I can't wait until my first Christmas as a married woman. I can just see us (me and whoever the heck I'm supposed to marry, it's not like I have anyone in mind) sipping red wine as we gaze upon a Christmas tree that we decorated together, laughing and enjoying each others' company. (note to future self: you better not get stressed out and have a nervous breakdown for your first married christmas!! You've been looking forward to it since you were nineteen!! Relax and enjoy, please, so there will be some poetic justice in my life, ok? thank you.) I realize, of course, that I am in no way ready to be married right now and that I have nothing to gain by idealizing married life.

In fact, the truth is that even when I'm married I'll still be lonely. There's a space in each heart that can only be filled by God. Even the beautiful gift of having someone to share the journey to heaven with could never compare to the bliss of being held close to the Lord as he gently shows you the way to His kingdom with His lovely mother there to help. I never feel lonely when I'm there in the chapel with Him for adoration. I can only hope and pray that the man I marry will be so like Christ and that his love for me will be so like His that I will be blessed with a foretaste of heaven in my marriage, and that I may provide the same kind of love for him.

Alright, well, I think I've mused enough for today... actually I think I've mused enough for a month, so I'll try to spare you the excessive musings for awhile. I really must be going; I'm visiting home this weekend, and my dad will be here any minute to pick me up!

Friday, November 14, 2008

DDE Days 3, 4, and 5

Nothing noteworthy happened in the last three days, so I thought I would end with just a few closing notes on my experience.
Overall, the experiment was a huge success. I learned that eating alone is not a big deal, and on Friday I even at breakfast in Market Central alone! (tried the waffles for the first time. they were delish, but not as good as my dad's!) I also learned that it is not a big deal to have to walk a little bit to get food. There's really no reason for me to have food in my room because there are so many places to get food on campus that are quite close-by, really. Also, the food here is, for the most part, tasty. Tastier than the stuff I've been eating in my room, that's for sure. Also, it really doesn't make sense for me to spend money on groceries when I took out huge student loans to pay for my meal plan. Really, now.
That said, I gained a bit of weight this weekend; so that's where the Freshman 15 come from... To temper this, I will of course pay closer attention to what I am eating, not just the fact that it is Dining Dollar food. Also, I think I'm going to start "training" for the Turkey Trot. I know that's in less than two weeks, but if I run every day until then I should be a little bit ready by Thanksgiving day. Heck, I ran it cold last year! So that physical activity should also help with the whole Freshman 15 thing. I'm actually a little embarrassed to admit that I've started with them, because when I first got to college I lost weight. It was this lousy experiment! hahahaha I feel like the guy in Supersize Me. Except not.


Nothing makes you feel lonely like a party does, I've decided.
I just got back to Pitt after a weekend full of family and friends, and for the first time since coming to college, I feel homesick. It's not so much that I want to be at home as I don't want to be at college anymore. The novelty has worn off and I'm ready to be done.
I know. This is awful; I'm only a first-semester freshman! I can't feel this jaded yet! But there it is: I'm sick of school and I can't wait to be done.
When I was younger and my sisters went away to college, I would always miss them more when I knew that they were coming home soon. Christmas time was the worst, because all the family traditions of choosing the tree and decorating the house had to be continued and carried out without them. I missed them like crazy then.
I didn't know that it worked both ways, that when I knew I was going home I would miss home more. I'm going to visit the high school crowd this weekend for the fall play, and the missing them is almost unbearable.
Boo, I need to snap out of this. Write it off as a moment of weakness along the bumpy road that is life, I guess. hahaha :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DDE Day 2

Tuesday. A pseudo day off for me in that I only have one real class: Italian. I have ballet at 1:30 and choir at 4:00, but neither of those require much outside of class work. Somehow Tuesdays always end up being busy, though!
This morning I didn't have to go to the costume shop because there is a class in there on Tuesdays, so I got to "sleep in" until 10 or so. Unfortunately this false sense of having time in the morning usually makes me late for Italian at 11. So of course I didn't eat breakfast. Usually on Tuesdays I grab a Sweet n Salty bar for breakfast on my way to Italian, which would clearly be a violation of DDE rules. It's not like I have any of those bars anymore anyway.
I couldn't eat after Italian, either, because I went to Mass at noon, so as soon as Mass was over I hightailed it to the Pete for brunch in the food court. I discovered a lovely sitting area under the escalator by the windows, so I sat there for about 15 minutes eating my wrap (from Jazzmans) and reading more of the book that I bought at the used bookstore on Sunday. (Sorry, parents: Yes, I shopped on Sunday. But only a teeny weeny bit. :p) Eating right before ballet might have been a poor choice, by the way... I definitely wouldn't suggest it.
Anywho, after a shower and some time wasted on Facebook I was late for HCC (again! At least no one really cares if you are late; people seem to do it all the time). Afterwards I went to Market Central for the first time during this experiment! All I ate was ice cream and grilled cheese, though; kind of a waste of all the fancy foods available there. I mean, usually when I go to Market I like to get stir-fry or pizza or something from Magellan's... stuff that you can't really get anywhere else. But whatever. I wasn't about to stuff myself with food I didn't want.
I probably should have eaten a more substantial dinner, though, because today was my bible study leader's birthday!!! There was a carrot cake (made from scratch! delish) and chocolate covered pretzel sticks with peanut butter chips on top (also homemade! love it). Of course I partook in the celebration, even though these items didn't use dining dollars. Free food definitely counts!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

DDE Day 1

Today is Monday. I suppose you could say that today is technically the 2nd day of the experiment, but for the sake of ease, we'll just call Sunday the Day of Origination and today Day 1.
So. Notes on today:
(insert *Dining Dollar theme fanfare* here)

- breakfast (9:00) was a bagel and vanilla soy milk at Cathedral Coffee on the way to work (I was late again. Too bad.) Usually I don't eat breakfast, but I was SO HUNGRY from not snacking the night before that I had to stop, even though I was late for work.
- I bought a Smore flavored steamed milk there later in the day, too (in case you were thinking about trying one, DON'T. The milk does not taste like toasted marshmallows, and the "graham cracker pieces" actually just sink to the bottom and become an unpleasant mush for you to find as you're sipping the last few drops. bleh.)
- For lunch (1:00) I went to the Schenley Cafe in the basement of the WPU. I was planning on getting a sub, but the line was so long! Who knew that Schenley Cafe was such a happnin' place? I tried to temper my mild embarrasment at sitting alone by opening my book and reading a few more pages while I ate my surprisingly greasy chicken tenders. (Don't worry, I didn't get any on the pages; I HATE food stains on the inside of books!)
- I didn't get to eat again until about 6:30 tonight due to class and an hour of fasting before Mass, so right after Mass I wolfed down a Snickers bar from the Newman Center vending machine. Ok, technically not a Dining Dollar item, but not a grocery store item, either.
- For dinner, which is usually an in-the-room meal unless I'm meeting someone at Market Central, I went to the Pete Food Court, where I got a toasted sub from Sub Connection plus a muffin and a bag of gummy worms from Jazzman Cafe. I took all of this food back to my room to eat, because I couldn't stand the lameness of sitting down in the food court by myself and the Pete is very close to my dorm.
So far, all the food eaten today has been tastey and free with my mealplan. I sort of cheated by having Mom drop off several cans of fruit for my food drawer, but fruit can not be a meal so the plan will still probably work out alright. So far, all my meals have been eaten alone, which is usually the case, anyway. The key point here is that going out for all my food has increased my meetings with the girls on my floor and other people I know around campus, which is definitely a good thing. I don't want y'all thinking that I don't have any friends here, cuz I have lots, but I usually don't have eating buddies because everyone's schedules are just so different. Seriously.
Alright now, enough of my yammering.

Stay tuned until tomorrow's episode of *insert DDE theme music* The Dining Dollar Experiment!" hahahahaha

The Dining Dollar Experiment

This week I have decided to try something new.
Usually my eating habits include lots of snacks provided by the local IGA and my mother. Whole Wheat Poptarts, canned soups, popcorn, almonds, granola bars, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, peanut butter and chocolate chip sandwiches, and even PB&J are all common things for me to eat. In my room. Alone.
This week, however, will be different.
On Saturday night, I realized that I was out of food. All that remained in my food drawer was a honey container with about a tablespoon left in the bottom, 2 packs of gum, and 3 teabags. Rather than heading to the grocery store, as I would usually do, I instead decided to laze around my dorm room and do nothing about the situation.
Hence Sunday morning rolled around, and then Sunday afternoon, and I still hadn't eaten anything since the night before. My body struggled with itself: on one side, my stomach, growling and grumbling at the lack of food, and on the other, my lazy butt, objecting to the mere idea of stirring from my room, where I was cozied up still in my pajamas with a blanket and a movie. At around 2:00 in the afternoon I began to feel physically ill from lack of food, and I knew that I had to venture to the outside world in search of something to eat. An afternoon on S.Craig Street solved my problem, but the experience led me to some rather interesting contemplation:

1. I had trained myself to eat in my room.
2. I was wasting Dining Dollars and passes and spending real money (of which I have little).
3. I was missing out on social opportunities.
4. I had survived for about 16 hours straight without food.
5. My desire for food caused me to de-hermitize myself.
6. If this worked for one day, could it work for a whole week? Yes!
7. I am essentially planning to starve myself out of my room.
8. For one week I will eat nothing but food I can buy at the dining halls.
9. At the end of the week I may or may not go grocery shopping, depending on how well this experiment works.

Stay tuned, dear readers! The great Dining Dollar Experiment has begun! (insert *Dining Dollar theme music* here)

Sunday, November 2, 2008


So as you probably know, Friday night was Halloween! This was my first year of not trick-or-treating; where can you trick-or-treat in Oakland?? Ah, you cannot. So I went to a costume party instead. It was wild and crazy fun, by the way. Better than trick-or-treating, actually.
On Saturday morning (actually afternoon might be more accurate in describing the hour at which I finally climbed out of bed) I sat down at my computer to check my email and realized that the only candy I had to show for my night of crazy fun was a Dumdum pop that the security guard had given me as I checked into my dorm for the night. Pitiful!
That is why, later that day, I found myself at the Rite Aid a couple blocks away, in the candy aisle to be more specific. (hahaha that almost rhymed... but don't get too excited because I'm not a poet in the slightest) My purpose for being there was to purchase Halloween candy that was greatly reduced in price, I'm talking $1 for a package. I bought a bag of Butterfingers (my favorite!) a pack of Snickers, a pack of 3 Musketeers, a pack of Reeses cups, a pack of KitKats, and a bag of fruit flavored Tootsie Rolls.
Thus, this Halloween I experienced the best of both worlds: all the fun of dressing up that goes with a costume party (which was free because I'm a girl) and all the candy that goes with a night spent traipsing around the neighborhood (for the reasonable price of $7.18).
What a delightful weekend! :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oh, the First Snowfall of the Winter

"Oh the first snowfall of the winter
Was a day that we all waited for
When it drifted to and fro
Why you should've seen the snow
It was near seven feet or more
By the old barn door

Oh the first snowfall of the winter
What a joy for a boy to behold
In each house you'll find a sleigh
That was waiting for this day
And of course, down the road a hill
For each jack and jill

Every winter breeze that scurries
Sets the snowflakes up in flurries
It's the good old sentimental season when
Folks put runners on their surreys
And forget about their worries
When a man becomes a boy once again

Oh the first snowfall of the winter
Jingle bells bring us spells ever dear
Under wintry skies of gray
It was snowing all the day
And it showed no signs of stopping
Every kid with eyes of popping
Will soon be belly-whopping on his ear

Oh the first snowfall of the winter
Oh the first snowfall of the year
The first snow of the year
Is just about the best snow
Well I'll say any snow
Is a pretty good show"

This Carpenter's song has been stuck in my head ALL DAY! And why? Because it snowed for the first time this winter!!! :O
Though it is a bit early for snow, the first snowfall of the winter is nevertheless a major cause for excitement, especially when the flakes falling from the sky are so big and lovely as they were today.
Picture this:
I am sitting in my writing class, discussing elusive sensibilities like "bro" and "dude" and even "Jew," when suddenly outside the window there appear tiny flurries of snow. Baby snow. I try to suppress my excitement at this new development so as not to burst out in the middle of class discussion with a totally irrelevant "It's snowing!!!!"
After class I hurry to the Cathedral Cafe for a hot caramel apple cider; if I'm going to make it over to the Newman Center alive, I'm going to need something to keep my hands warm on the way and to warm my belly once I get there.
Thus I find myself pressing a steaming, fragrant cup of hot cider between my palms (with traveler lid, of course, to prevent spillage) as I make my way through increasingly picturesque snowfall toward my favorite spot on campus.
Isn't life wonderful??
The snow hasn't stuck, which is probably for the best, because now we have all reaped the benefits of a beautiful snow without having to deal with the grossness of slush. Ew! Slush is so February. So far nothing has frozen over, either, and the last time I checked it was a not-too-cold 40 degrees outside. I have a feeling that winter in the city isn't always going to be this nice, so I'm enjoying it while I can.
Now, if you'll excuse me, there is a paper that I am supposed to be writing as well as three journal entries for my Italian class. Yes, I must write it all in Italian. We're supposed to pretend that we are keeping a journal during a visit to Italy (HA I wish) highlighting our sightseeing and shopping and eating, thus encompassing all of the vocab from this unit. How convenient.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Elevator Adventure

It is a well known fact in Lothrop Hall that our elevators can get... well, a bit moody. Sometimes they'll take you where you want to go and other times... they just won't. It seems that every few weeks an elevator breaks or is out of service, making the remaining elevators run a bit slower due to the large number of people using them. There was a period of time when only ONE of the four elevators in the building was working.
Although I personally had never been stuck in an elevator, I had heard many many stories from floormates and other friends who had been stuck, missed classes, etc. I considered myself to be rather lucky in this respect... until today.
Today, as I approached the elevators with a personal pizza from the Pizza Hut in Schenley Cafe, I was not even remotely thinking about the possibility of getting stuck. I was thinking of my pizza, and how much I couldn't wait to get to my room so I could eat it. Unfortunately, Fate and the elevators had other plans.
I pushed the "up" button as usual and boarded the first elevator to open. I pushed the button for the 8th floor and the doors closed. I was alone. The smell of my pizza filled the space and I smiled at the though of my impending meal.
Beep... beep... beep... as the elevator passed floors 1, 2, and 3. Then a beep... and then a shudder. As soon as the car hit floor 4, it rumbled a few times and slid back down to the space between floors 3 and 4. The screen displaying the floor number, which just a few seconds ago had been displaying a cheery red 4 (half way there! gaaaaahhhhh!!!!) flat lined into an ominous red dash. The "8" button that had been lit so promisingly went dead and, despite my many attempts to revive it, stayed that way.
Not quite panicking yet, I pushed other buttons: ground floor, doors open, anything! No luck.
I felt myself moving gently, but in my distraction couldn't really tell if I was going up or down. I heard voices in the lobbies I passed and suppressed the urge to scream "HELP HELP I'M TRAPPED!!"
"Deep breaths. Calm yourself. You can figure this out." The inner dialogue continued as the elevator grated to a stop. Would the doors open this time??? The suspense!!!
Ding! Doors opened. I allow myself a brief sigh of relief as I scoot quickly out of the elevator. Now... where am I? What floor am I on? Ah... 14. The top floor of the building. An all-guys floor. Crap.
Praying that no one sees me wandering around this floor on which I know exactly no one, I crept to the stairwell. I pushed gently on the door for a few seconds before I realized that it was stuck shut. I pushed harder. Still no. Locked? Who locks a fire exit????? Thinking that perhaps this is one of those doors that sets off an alarm, I stopped pushing and backed away slowly. Now what??
I remembered that on my floor there's another stairwell down the hall from the elevators. If I can just make it without anyone seeing me! I tippy-toed down the hallway, hoping against hope that all those doors with boys' names on them would stay the way they were: closed.
Finally reaching the stairwell, I scurried down the 6 flights of steps to my floor and sauntered nonchalantly to my room. Success!! Yay!!!
And THEN I ate my pizza. It was delicious, by the way.

Sorry that was kind of anticlimactic. ... It was a big deal to me at the time. hahahaha

Monday, October 20, 2008

and In Health :)

I'm feeling better!!!
I know that I haven't written anything for a long time, but I've been so sick that all I've really had to talk about is how much my throat hurt/nose was stuffed/body couldn't seem to sleep at night. We've all been through the common cold, and it's not pretty. So why relive it? Exactly. Let's not.
It was about 3 days ago that I finally felt like my old self, able to get out of bed in the morning without wishing I could sleep for another few hours and able to breath out of my nose at long last. One good thing about being sick is that it makes you appreciate your health ever so much more.
Unfortunately, for two weeks I've been in survival mode with my school work, only doing what was absolutely necessary and skipping all the extra preparation before class and review of the material afterwards. The purpose of this was to make time for more sleep and general recuperation, but now that I'm better I have some catching up to do. There are whole chapters in some classes that we just flew through in class that I now have to do all the readings for. Then I need to sit down with the readings and the notes and make connections that I would have made in class if I had done the readings when I was supposed to instead of sleeping all the time.
This is a whole new kind of makeup work for me. But I think I'm up to the challenge.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In Sickness...

I should have known that this would happen. I'm at college and I'm sick. I guess that since I rarely, if ever, got sick at home, I just assumed that I would not get sick at college, either. Wrong. I am experiencing my first college sickness. Bleh.
I'm actually not really really sick. I just have a little sore throat. This does explain my extreme sleepiness yesterday, though.
Seriously, I should have seen this coming. I haven't had a single allergy shot since coming to college... and it's allergy season... and cold season... and almost everyone I know is sick or has been sick in the past week. Not good.
I really hope that this doesn't last long, because I hate not being able to keep up with my life. I just popped 2 vitamin C supplements and drank a whole bunch of water, so hopefully that will help. It probably didn't help that I just walked to Bible study in pouring rain and then home again in some pretty chilly temperatures.
Ok, story time. I really wanted something warm for my throat, so I thought, "hmm. i'll warm up some cheerios and milk for myself before bed." (don't judge! I didn't have any tea, and warm cheerios and milk is a major comfort food for me since my mom used to make it for me when I was little. I know it's kind of weird, but just bear with me, ok?) So. I pour the cheerios, drizzle them with honey (it's good for your throat! also very tasty) and then douse the whole mess with milk and pop it in the microwave. 30 seconds later as I pull the bowl out of the microwave I notice that the milk doesn't look like milk anymore: it looks like gross dirty water and gross dirty cheese mixed together. How revolting!!! I sniff the milk in the carton, and sure enough, it's sour. :'( So no warm cheerios and milk for me. I just ate a spoonful of honey instead, which was somehow not as satisfying. At least I discovered that the milk was sour before I ate/drank it! How much would it have sucked if I poured myself a huge glass of the stuff and then took a gulp before realizing the nastiness of it? Ewww I don't even want to think about that. Anyway, I had to carefully pour the rotten whey down my sink, being careful not to let any cheerios out of the bowl in the process, and then ziplock bag the cheerios/sour milk curds so I could throw them away without stinking up my garbage. Overall not the most pleasant experience.
Now I have to finish my Italian workbook pages, as the exam is tomorrow and all I want to do is sleep right now!!! Boo on sickness.
ps. sorry this whole post is just me complaining about how sick i am... that happens sometimes i guess. I'll try to be more interesting in the future. :)

Monday, September 29, 2008


The novelty is starting to wear off. Sure, college is better than high school because I love living on my own and the classes are more interesting/specific to my interests. But it's still school. Still the homework, the teachers practically pulling teeth to induce participation, the sleepiness. This all hit me today during my writing class as I struggled to make my mush of a brain work enough to participate in the conversation we were having about writing struggles. I really wanted to say something intelligent and process what other people were saying, but I couldn't. Honestly I'm still feeling a bit sluggish. There is no reason for this; I had plenty of sleep last night and I woke up at a reasonable hour this morning. I didn't wake up at all in the middle of the night. Hmmm.
Well, I have to go to piano class now. Hopefully I won't fall asleep on my keyboard. hahahahaha
Perhaps this whole disenchantment with college (and by college I mean classes) comes from increased social involvment, i.e. Heinz Chapel Choir!!! This is going to sound very very lame... but I think Choir Camp might have been my favorite weekend since coming to college. Now, yes, I've been to parties, and they're great, but the choir crowd is just so fun! and more welcoming/friendly than most college parties could ever be. I can't even describe it as I would like to, really, but I guess I can just say that this weekend I felt like part of a group for the first time since coming to Pitt. Now I know that I'm about to get emotional, so I will spare you that and just wrap this up.
Basically, I think my real problem is that I'm having trouble contenting myself with the whole classroom scene again after meeting and enjoying the company of so many awesome people. Also my sleep pattern seems intent on making me tired all the time, even when I've slept enough! Argh! I really need to figure this out to avoid a repeat of today.
I'm sure that eventually classes will seem interesting again. They are the real reason that I'm here, after all. I'm actually really excited that my schedule changes every semester instead of every year. Not only can I fit in lots more classes, but it prevents boredom, which I succumb to quickly, unfortunately. And I apologize for my clumsy sentence structure. Apparently the English classes haven't kicked in yet. But just wait...

Thursday, September 25, 2008


You know those days (or weeks!) when you can't seem to be happy? When all the stress in your life piles up on you and you feel like you don't even have the energy to smile? That pretty much describes this past week or so for me. There was so so much for me to worry about; I will spare you from listening to me list them all.
But you know those times when you're feeling like just living life has gotten you down, and then God does something (or several things!) to lift you up again? When you can almost feel him picking you up, brushing you off, and placing you squarely on your feet again? That pretty much describes the past couple days for me. Allow me to explain.
Looking back, I guess it would be best to say that my series of blessings began on Tuesday night, though I didn't know it at the time. Tuesday nights are Bible study nights for me, and it's been a rather unique experience for me since I've never been in a Bible study before. So anyway, I was thinking about skipping out because of my first big college test in Communications the next morning. Not that skipping would have been a big deal; the people at the Newman Center are really great about school coming first and not pressuring or guilt-tripping us into coming to stuff, and people miss things all the time (just usually not Mass :). But in the end I decided to go just for the sake of human interaction, which I don't necessarily find throughout the course of my days at Pitt. (Of course this may and probably will change, but for now, it gets kind of lonely sometimes.) And boy, am I glad I went. First of all, the story we "studied" was that of the prodigal son, which struck a chord with me because of my feelings of being far from God and stressed out this past week. Secondly, I met a girl there who lives on my floor!!! We clicked right away and walked back to the dorm together afterwards, talking all the way. We found that we think the same about a lot of things regarding living our faith, and we were both glad to find someone to discuss our struggles with. There is something so comforting in that!
After a frenzied night of studying, I again woke myself up earlier than usual to review the material. I felt like I knew the stuff pretty well, but was it enough? I had heard so many stories about people who came to college expecting it to be like high school and failed their first exams because they didn't realize the depth of understanding required. I sure as heck didn't want that to happen to me.
Well, after struggling sleepily through work-study (I altered a shirt and cleaned out a paint bin) and Italian class, the moment of truth arrived as I sat down in the lecture hall to take the test. The Scantron sheets were different from the ones in high school, blue ink with small circles instead of green ink with tiny rectangles. Also I had to fill in my name in little boxes and then fill in the corresponding bubbles, just like the SATs!!! O no!! Not the SATs!!! I felt like my brain had been sucked out after that test, and I certainly was not looking for a repeat of that. The instructor passed out the test booklets and we began. Question 1. Oh, I know this one. Question 2. Wow, I know this one too. Question 3, 4, 5, the next 4 pages of questions... O my Lord, I know all of these!!! I know what I'm doing!! I'm not going to fail!!! Hallelujah! And so blessing number 2 came to pass. I actually enjoyed taking that test, as strange as it sounds, and I finished before most of my classmates with plenty of time to check my answers and still leave the class earlier than the usual 50 minutes. Sweeet.
Later that day, I met up with a priest friend on the lawn of the Cathedral (of Learning: there are 2 Cathedrals here! the other is St. Paul's. I love both of them, but Learning doesn't hold a candle to Mass! :) It was lovely to get advice and guidance from him. He basically ordered me to go have some fun now that most of my causes for stress were over with (i.e. paper due, first big test). So I did. After 5:15 Mass I caught a bus with a new found Newman Center friend from my Bible study (not the one I met on Tuesday night: different friend) to ... well, actually I don't remember what the town itself was called, but our destination was a bakery called Dozen, where Wednesday was $1 Cupcake Day! This is a big deal because their cupcakes are gourmet and they have lots of fancy flavors like pancakes and syrup (with a small piece of bacon on top), root beer float, vegan vanilla, chocolate strawberry (made with real strawberries!), and more. Plus $1 Cupcake Day only comes once a year, during Cupcake Week. So I tried the root beer float cupcake (it tasted exactly like a root beer float!! shocking!) and also ordered some ridiculously expensive fruit/yogurt/granola mixture for a light dinner. We met with another guy that my friend knew at the bakery, and the three of us enjoyed some lively and refreshing conversation.
When we returned to the Newman Center we headed straight for the student center in the basement, because it was Ladies' Night! Now, some of you may think this to be a cliched topic, but the theme was Genuine Beauty. I know that when I first heard that, I was thinking, "O, please, I could give this talk myself, I've heard it so many times." But it wasn't like that at all. This gathering of young women was much more interactive, personal, and all around inspiring to me than it had ever been before. We took a look at what society expects us to be as women, which gave some magnificent perspective to the whole idea, and then turned our attention to what God expects us to be as daughters of Christ. The great thing about this discussion was that we decided that when someone has a truly beautiful personality, it shines through their physical, superficial features and just radiates Christ's love. On the other hand, someone could be the most beautiful person in the world but have a rotten personality, and that would also show through their mere physical beauty.
Now, again, this may not seem groundbreaking to you, but at the time I had been struggling with how much to eat here at college and the image that I was projecting to all the new people I'm meeting, so these realizations truly struck a chord with me. After the gathering ended with a prayer, I slipped away to the chapel (where there is perpetual adoration) for some alone time with God. Words can not describe what happened to my heart during the half-hour or so I spent kneeling there, but when I left I was filled with a joy and peace that I had not felt for weeks.
As a result of these blessed occurences, I feel renewed in spirit and, surprisingly, in body. I feel on top of all the work that my classes are throwing at me and ready for anything. It's fantastic, really. This is such a perfect example of the way God places certain people and situations in my life because He knows exactly what I need. "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation. O my soul praise Him, for He is thy help and salvation."
May the Lord bless you with even more grace as you carry out your mission on this earth. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Last 24 Hours

Despite my obvious trouble finding things to write about in these past few days, I realized today that a recap of the events of the previous 24 hours or so could indeed be considered interesting.
Exactly 24 hours ago (from the time I'm writing this) at this very minute I was walking home from Mass at St. Paul's Cathedral. I was feeling a bit worried and very determined, because I had been trying ALL DAY to write a paper for my writing class, but the words just would not come. I had gone home early Saturday night to work on it and hermited myself all day leading up to Mass, allowing myself ample time for the creative juices to flow. I had researched and arranged my ideas in several different ways, but when it came to actually writing anything down I couldn't do it. I was discouraged with my procrastination and seeming inability to get anything down on paper, and angry with myself that I couldn't write. Writing is what I want to do with my life! I should be able to sit and write about anything, especially a topic so important to me as the one I was writing about yesterday. But no. Almost in a panic, I sank onto my knees after Mass and begged God to allow the Holy Spirit to flow through my mind and onto the paper. Perceiving no response, I turned to the Blessed Mother. "Please, dear Mother," I pleaded, "ask your Son to help me!" I knelt there for I don't even know how long, but eventually I heard or rather felt the words, "Go, do your work, little one, and I will do Mine."
So it was with this command and an incredible sense of relief and determination that I returned to my dorm room to write. I sat down at my computer and just wrote and wrote. Anytime I felt at a loss for words, I simply remembered the phrase, "you do your work, little one, and I'll do Mine," and knew that as long as I kept writing, He would take care of the rest. I wrote for 6 hours solid last night, finally crawling into bed sometime after 1 am.
For some reason, last night my sleep was somewhat disturbed by a very vivid, confusing, and upsetting dream. I dreamt that my dear father was walking me down the aisle at my wedding. I was beaming, so happy to be there with my closest friends and family and wearing such a lovely wedding dress! But as I stepped up onto the altar, I realized that I didn't know the guy I was marrying! I mean, he looked familiar, and I knew he was the one I was supposed to marry, but suddenly I didn't want to marry him. I froze, head whirling with the situation that faced me. On one hand there was the dress, the lavish reception that was planned, and the presence of all my friends and family. On the other was a life lived as the result of a mistake, and what a mistake! What would it mean for me if I backed out now? What would it mean for me if I stayed and married him? Unable to cope with the trapped, panickey feeling, I fled the church by the side door and sought refuge in one of the large white tents set up for the reception. It wasn't until I saw my mother headed towards me with a look of gentle compassion on her face that I burst into tears.
I know, this is bizarre, and very Runaway Bride -esque. Imagine the way I felt when I woke up this morning as my cell phone alarm went off beside my head. I'm having nightmares about my wedding???? ALREADY?? Geez. It doesn't help that at this point I have only had about 6 hours of sleep, a good 2 hours less than usual. So of course I hit snooze. Twice. I even got out of bed to hit snooze on the second alarm I had set at a convenient distance across the room and then proceeded to get back in bed.
By the time I got out the door of my dorm this morning I knew I was going to be late. I had only 5 minutes to get to work at 9:00 and it usually took me at least 10 to 15 minutes to get there. Luckily the clock in the costume shop is broken, so I hoped that they won't notice my tardiness.
My first job when I get to the shop? Install the new clock. Hmm. So much for that. I put batteries in the clock and polished it off before hanging it in a prominent spot on the wall where our old clock, may it rest in peace, used to hang.
My next job, though perhaps a bit more interesting, was not so simple. The head of the costume shop has recently been working on an Elvis costume for some show; I don't even know the details, really. By Elvis costume I mean white spandex jumpsuit with flared legs and sleeves and lots and lots of gold trim. And today, I studded it. Now. The costume shop does own a Bedazzler, but the studs and the machine are too weak to work with such a difficult material as spandex. So I placed by hand, 68 gold and silver studs, pushing the little metal prongs through the fabric and bending all 5 of those little prongs down on the other side with only my thumbnail as a tool. The costume looked amazing, though, and she was so grateful that I couldn't complain or really even be grumpy about it. So I headed to Italian class with a smile on my face and two very sore thumbs.
Italian class today was mildly interesting, as we were in the language lab learning how to use the recording equipment for our oral exams. The microphones were very sensitive to background noise, but not so sensitive to the person who was actually supposed to be speaking into it, so it made for an interesting 50 minutes. Bonus: hearing the guy across the table from my group speaking in an incredibly fake and cheesy Italian accent. ahahahaha gotta love it.
At noon was Communication Processes, in which we hurried through the last lecture before our test on Wednesday! It'll be my first test in this class, so I'm a little concerned about it even though I seemed to be grasping everything very well at the review session on Thursday morning of last week.
From 1 to 2 I had an hour to kill before my writing class, so I claimed a nook on the third floor of the Cathedral of Learning and settled down with Unita due of my Italian book. Unfortunately, I almost fell asleep conjugating -ere verbs and don't really know how much of the material actually stuck in my sleep-deprived brain.
In writing class we discussed why people come to college and whether it's truly necessary. I mean, what's wrong with learning a trade? Why has our culture shifted in such a way that you literally need a bachelors degree to get anywhere? An interesting topic, to be sure.
After a quick stop back to my room to change books I was on my way to piano class at 4. We are learning about intervals, which is somewhat easy for me but still something I'm glad to be delving into a little bit. At the end of class the professor assigned a song to the class to learn for Friday, then turned to me and said "Jane, I want you to learn the secondo part," referring to the teacher's part on the next page! Cool.
As I always do on Monday/Wednesday/Friday when I have piano, I hurried over to the Newman Center to catch Benediction at 5:00 and mass at 5:15. Sweet! God, I love daily mass!
On my way home around 6 I made a stop at my favorite place to be: IGA! Hahaha is it weird that I love grocery shopping? Cuz I do. This time I bought bread (I had just eaten my last piece with jam for breakfast this morning), honey, and Orbit Mint Mojito gum (they didn't have spearmint or sweetmint!! shameful).
So now, here I sit, munching on a peanut butter and honey sandwich on fresh wheat bread. Yummy! Is there anything so delicious? I think not. Or maybe I was just really hungry... either way, honey + peanut butter = :)
Now if you will excuse me I'd best be studying for my communications "quiz." Ha.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Today, I found a grocery store. :) Yay me!!!
My quest began with my desire for peanut butter. I have long since run out of the jar I initially brought to school.
I knew that there was some food at Rite Aid, so I headed in that direction. No dice there, though there were plenty of overpriced snack packages and cookies.
I left the store determined to wander along Forbes Avenue until I found this grocery store that everyone kept telling me about. I crossed Atwood and eureka! there before me like a beacon in the night was an IBG, smiling down at me from the second floor of Super Cuts. Crossing the street again I found my way up the stairs and oh, what a sight greeted my hungry eyes!
An entire aisle of fresh produce! A deli! A bakery! Aisle upon aisle of snack foods and REAL foods! Yes! But way in the back corner I found what I had come for: peanut butter and jam. The jam selection was delightful; I could barely choose between peach, pineapple, apple, grape, black raspberry and the traditional strawberry. And the peanut butters! Creamy AND crunchy! O my! On top of all this they had apple butter, a personal favorite of mine, so of course I bought a jar. In the end I checked out with a jar of creamy peanut butter, a jar of strawberry jam, a jar of apple butter, and the intent to return to IBG quite often.
In Rite Aid's defense, they are still the only place that gives cash back, so I continue to make small purchases there when I need a few dollars.
This adventure has left me with a renewed sense of self-sufficiencey, which has suffered recently due to an increase in school work. :p So although grocery shopping may not seem like a huge deal to you, I assure you that it is quite monumental to me and thus worth blogging about.
Stay tuned to hear me talk about laundry!!! hahahahahahaha I bet you can't wait...

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I am currently trying to stay awake long enough to go to choir at 4:00. I want so very badly to flop onto my bed and sleep until tomorrow. My last few days have been rather sleepless.
Two nights ago two of my friends called me, one after another, and I stayed up until almost 2am talking to them!!! This is really really late for me; usually if I know that I have to wake up early, which I did, I'm at least in bed by 11 (whether I get to sleep that quickly is sometimes another issue). Then I had to wake up at 7:30, which is early for me (especially after getting to bed so late!), to go to my work study job. <3 Yes, I love work, but that doesn't make it much easier to pull myself out of bed after only 5 or so hours of sleep. Oh, just wait. It gets worse.
Last night I was thinking, "Yes, tonight I will make up for my lack of sleep. Tonight I will go to bed on time!" But unfortunately there was something else in my future. You see, I was finishing an Italian project for the next morning when I looked up at my calender and realized that the project wasn't the only thing that was due this morning; I had a paper to write for communications that I totally totally forgot about!!!! How does this happen to me??? At this point I was seriously longing to be in my bed and I knew that I wouldn't be able to write a paper in such a ridiculously sleepy state of mind, so I went to bed as soon as the Italian project was done, about 11:30, leaving not one word of my communications paper done.
SO... I woke myself up at 6 this morning (SIX!!!!!) to write the stinkin' thing. Clearly not my best work. And now I really need sleeeeeep....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Why Do You Hate Me, Red Rug?

So today I am trying to tape down my lovely red and white rug which has been bubbling up in several places lately, possibly due to pressure on the edges when I open my bottom drawer or roll over the rug in my desk chair. Unfortunately, the rug doesn't want to be taped down. There is a whole edge that is puckering right now even though the whole rest of the rug is taped down straight. Why???? It's seriously as though one edge is longer than the other!!!! I can't decide if it's worth it to grapple further with the thing at this point, because I am using up all of my dad's rug tape and not really improving the situation much. Grrr.
Curse you, dratted rug. I will conquer you yet.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Work Study <3

I am told every time I go to work that I have snagged "the best work-study position at the University of Pittsburgh," and I couldn't agree more. You see, I am an assistant seamstress in the Theatre Department's costume shop. There are many reasons that this job RULES!!!
First of all, I'm only working 6 hours a week, which fits in very nicely with my schedule. Also, since I'm only a first year student, I will have many opportunities for a raise from the $7.65/h that I'm making now. I've landed this position for 4 years if I so choose, and my pay is only going to go up! Yippee!
Secondly, I don't really have to do any work, unless you consider sewing to be work, which I don't. So far at my job I have done the following: cut and ironed 7x7 squares of muslin for practice squares for the sewing 1 classes, sorted a huge pile of fabric, played with all the different stitch settings on "my" sewing machine (more on this later), and learned 3 kinds of hand stitches. Basically it's like being paid to take a sewing 1 class. Ha! But my boss did tell me what my first project was going to be: corsets! Corsets for the 17th and 18th century acting class! How cool is this?!?!
In addition to all this wonderousness, I, being in a work-study position, am technically above all the sewing/costume production students who work in the shop for lab hours for their classes! My boss has even suggested that I, a lowly freshman, may be giving them jobs to do and "keeping them busy," as she puts it. I'm not even taking any classes in the theatre department right now! Yet I have power over all these theatre/artsy majors! Does this get any better? Why, yes, actually, it does...
On Wednesday, when it came time for me to be assigned to a sewing machine, the head of the costume shop led me over to the newest, best machine in the shop and said to familiarize myself with the way this machine works, because it was going to be my machine every time I was working in the shop. It is quite fancy and at first I was intimidated, but after I sewed a few lines of stitching, I realized that it was quite top-of-the-line. It's fantastic, really. And since I'm going to be in the shop for 4 years, probably, I'll definitely be really familiar with the machine after a while, and very comfortable with it's quirks and settings.
On top of all this my boss (the head of the costume shop) is the sweetest, most easygoing lady. She is so friendly and helpful. She treats me as though I personally am of importance to the success of the shop, and she has been very patient with the whole training process.
Also, she apparently has quite an "in" with the theatre crowd, and said she would be happy to help me get into a show or some kind of production at Pitt. This is really awesome, because it has been my wish to keep up with a little bit of theatre during my time here, but at the theatre presentation at the beginning of the year it seemed that the directors may prefer to cast theatre majors, though the auditions are open to everyone. But now, I have found myself a way to get involved without having to switch my major or even "put my time in" so to speak.
I am so, so blessed to have found this position. I can't wait to go to work this afternoon! :)
How many people can say that about their work-study positions? ... Not a lot, I think. So thank you, my dear Lord, for bringing this opportunity into my life; I am sure that many good fruits will come of it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Workin' Out...

So today after ballet class I was feeling really energized for some reason, so I decided it would be an excellent idea to change from leotard to workout clothes and hit the gym. Not the smartest. I did manage to have an excellent workout for the first 25 minutes, though the last 5 minutes were rather painful. Really, it's what happened as a result of my decision that put me in a bit of a fix.
Ok, let me explain.
I have ballet from 1:30 - 2:25. At 4:00 I have choir rehearsal. When I returned to my dorm room around 3, I figured that I had time for a quick workout and shower before I headed out for rehearsal. I did not, however, look at a clock at that time. This could be trouble, yes?
When I got to the gym and looked at the clock, I swear it said 2:00. This could be due to my inability to tell time properly or the clock being slow an hour. I will not comment on which I believe it to be. Either way I should have REALIZED that at 2:00 my ballet class is still in session. But I did not.
For whatever reason, I thought I had an extra HOUR to prepare for choir practice after working out, and it wasn't until I was back in my room sitting at my computer eating cheese and crackers that I realized it was 3:47.
WHAT??? Where did the time go??? Really, though, it was as though I had lost a whole hour! I ended up throwing a shirt and skirt on without even having a chance to shower (ew!) and power walking all the way to rehearsal, and even still I ended up being about 15 minutes late. Why does Lothrop have to be so far away from everything??? Why???
In the end it wasn't really a problem aside from being extremely embarrassing showing up to rehearsal late and sweaty. No one asked me any questions and I volunteered no answers. That's just how things work around here, I guess. I think I kind of like it this way. True, I had no chance to explain my almost legitimate reason for being late, but at least now I have the benefit of the doubt, right? Would people have thought better of me, or worse, if they knew the truth? Well, I guess we'll never know. Unless the people who saw me come in late read this and leave comments... then we might know. But that is unlikely, yes?
I do wish, after all, that the people sitting around me had an explanation for my post-workout stench, though. For all they know now, I might just smell like that all the time. Hmmm. I'll have to work on dispelling this belief...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Best Dorm Idea Ever!

K. So i'm supposed to be working on my notebook assignment but I just realized the most exciting thing! My dry-erase markers work on my mirrors! AWESOME!!! So I just decorated my huge wall sized mirror... and the one over my sink. Also my mini-fridge. Hahahahahaha yay!!! I love my room.

Where Is Home?

Some people have issues with calling their dorm rooms "home." They hold on to their concept of home as their parents' house. They feel homesick and hate living in a dorm. I thought I was going to be one of these people.
Imagine my surprise, then, when after 2 days away from my dorm room, sleeping in my own bed in my parents' house I found myself missing my dorm room. I love it here. I love the way it smells faintly of paint and my blankets and my air freshener. I love the blue paper in the windows and the way the lamp lights the corner when it's dark outside. Never mind that there is no air conditioning or that it's smaller than my other room. To me, this is home. Just walking in the door makes me smile. Perhaps what I love most about it is that it's mine and only mine: schedule, calender, grocery list, radio station, pillows, books, plants.
As my dad drove me back to campus last night, I was so happy to see the lit top of the Cathedral again and to know that I was back where I belonged. I was going home.
Don't get me wrong; I love my family and would hate to be cut off from them. I'm so grateful for all the years of formation that have made me ready to take this step and have allowed me to be so comfortable in my new situation. Love you, Mom and Dad! :)
In fact, I still refer to Mom and Dad's house as "home." I just have another home now, too. A home to which I am so so happy to return.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Learning to Love Again

I was in the bookstore when I first felt that fluttering in my stomach, that flush of delight spreading across my face. I knew I had learned love again, despite more than a few previous sentiments to the contrary and an attitude that had been less than conducive to this new feeling. Yet there it was, filling my heart with joy and quickening my breath.
Who or what is this mysterious being for whom I have fallen?
Why, the University of Pittsburgh, of course.
That afternoon in the bookstore I had just purchased the last of my textbooks for the year and I proceeded to saunter through the upstairs of the store, enjoying the various Pitt memorabilia. Upon discovering the jewelry section I was pleased to find a round pendant on a thin gold chain (which is by far my favorite style of jewelry) with the crest of the University on it. It was then that I realized how much I really truly love being here. I will be proud on graduation day in 2012 to accept my diploma from this university and to accept the crest as a sign of my undergrad experience for years and years to come. I will take delight in telling my grandchildren, or grandnieces and -nephews, that I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh.
Now, for those of you who don't know the story behind this whole situation, it may seem... well kind of lame. "So what?" you may say, "everyone loves their college." Allow me to assure you that this is not the case here. I had my heart positively set on attending the University of Maryland, but some financial aid issues prevented that dream from coming true, and I was forced to fall back on my acceptance to Pitt, which I had only applied to as a backup school. It was too close to home, I thought, and too full of kids from my high school. I was skeptical about my ever really being truly happy here, even after almost a week on campus.
Pitt is still very close to home and there are still a lot of kids from my high school here, but that doesn't really matter anymore, because it's so much more than that, too. The faculty cares so much about their students; the opportunities seem positively boundless. There are many many different kinds of people, each bringing something unique to the college scene. The classes I am taking are brilliantly engaging and even enjoyable thus far, furthering my conviction that this university is the place to be for me. Even the campus, which I originally thought would never compare to the beautifully rolling quads and red brick buildings of UM, has surprised me with its striking beauty and close relationship with the city itself. There is no set campus, rather, gorgeous University buildings scattered throughout a section of Pittsburgh. The Cathedral of Learning, once my sole consolation for attending this school, has become, for me, a symbolic and central building to the entire Pitt experience. I love going to class in such an intricately pleasing building, so large and yet so welcoming with its many nooks and crannies and the floors and floors of offices full of people who are more than happy to be approached with a question or a problem.
Bottom line: I'm so happy to be attending the University of Pittsburgh!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


You know what's great about living near the hospital?
NOT the helicopters landing on the roof every 20 minutes!!!!!!!
Seriously it is so loud you can't even hear anything else for those few minutes while the thing is landing. It blocks out noise from the hall, sound from the computer speakers, people I'm on the phone with, etc. Pretty darn obnoxious if you ask me. >:(

Lothrop Street

As I was hiking up Lothrop Street today on my way to my ballet class in Trees Hall, something struck me as rather ironic: the doctors and nurses on break were smoking. Yes, you read correctly. Smoking! For shame! I could understand the guards or the janitors or even the receptionist/secretaries smoking, but the doctors and nurses??? I mean, really, even I know that smoking is one of the worst things you can possibly do to your body, and I didn't go through years and years of schooling on the topic.
You know what makes this situation even more interesting? Being checked out by every male nurse you pass by in your favorite jeans and black tank top, all of whom are clearly way older than you. Talk about awkward...

Crazy Crazy Pittsburgh Weather

Up until today the main problem with my dorm room is that it's hot. Really hot. So hot that sometimes the fan that I so strategically placed in my window blows hot air on me. There have been mornings when all I can do when I wake up is lay there and pray that it will cool down soon as the sun beats its morning way across my red and white carpet.
Last night I went so far as to tape paper in my windows so that I can have always have the blinds open for the window fan without providing my neighbors across the courtyard with "a show," in the words of my band trip chaperone. I figured it was pretty much the only way to possibly cool the room off, because I had tried virtually every other arrangement there is known to mankind. OK, that was a hyperbole, but you get what I'm saying, yes?
Alrighty, well get this: this morning, when I woke up... I was COLD. What gives, Pittsburgh? Why do you have to be so weird? I turned off the fan, but there was still a cold breeze, so I had to close the window, too, for the first time since I've moved here. I am now sitting here with just my hands protruding from a blanket cocoon so I can share this experience with you, my dear readers. hahahahaha
You know what else, though? I'm putting jeans on so I can go to Mass this morning, and chances are that when I get back to my room....
it's gonna be really hot.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


This is war. Hummus and I have had it.
For those of you who don't know what hummus is, it's basically mashed chickpeas mixed with some kind of spice or flavoring. There are lots of different kinds and the taste experience when paired with a crunchy cracker or soft pita bread is positively matchless. I loved it ...until today.
For brunch today I stopped in the Cathedral Cafe before my 11:00 Italian class. Not being in the mood for anything too heavy, as I had just run about 2 miles, I opted for the veggie and hummus wrap and some iced tea. I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the wrap, but didn't have time to eat the rest. 'No prob' says I, 'I'll just save the other half for another time. It would be a shame to waste this excellent wrap, possibly one of the best I've ever eaten.' Seriously, though, the blend of spices and roasted veggies was truly delectable, despite the fact that it made my breathe smell. Oh, just wait. That's not all that will be smelling before my tale is done...
Now. Clearly, the Styrofoam plate with a plastic cover was not made to be stored on its side. Clearly it was not air- or water-tight. Clearly I shouldn't have dumped it into my tote bag with all my papers and makeup!!! But that is exactly what I did.
Now, in my defense, it didn't bust open right away. No no, it waited until I was about half-way through my first Italian class ever (first college class ever, for that matter) to pop open and slide down the side of my bright yellow folder as I shuffled through my tote for a pencil. Disaster.
I tried to shove the rebellious hummus wrap back in its container and close it, but instead more hummus squelched out of the wrap and oozed to the bottom of my bag. Not good. When I finally pulled my hand out of my tote bag, instead of grasping the desired pencil it was instead covered in hummus. I had no choice but to lick my fingers clean, not being in possession of paper towels, napkins, tissues, not even hand sanitizer, and not wishing to interrupt the intro lecture with my dilemma. So, there I was, first day of class, sitting in the back of the classroom and licking hummus off my fingers. Talk about weird.
Luckily, class let out early, so I had time to survey the damage before my next class. I high-tailed it to the bathroom, knowing there would be paper towels/sinks and planning to do a thorough, bag-emptying cleaning. What I didn't count on was there being other people in the bathroom. Thus, I was faced with the rather awkward situation of wiping what vaguely resembled vomit off my makeup bag and pencils in the 2nd floor bathroom of the Cathedral of Learning while others use the sinks around me in a normal fashion. Again, weird.
Not wishing to prolong this awkward situation, I only cleaned off the things I absolutely needed for my next class and sort of divided my bag into contaminated and non-contaminated sections with my folder. A reasonable solution, I thought, until I realized that my bag, being rather thin, not only smelled of spicy hummus very strongly inside, but also radiated the scent. Where does this unfortunate circumstance end??? No time soon, I can tell ya that.
Seeing as I had no time to go back to my room to switch bags, I was instead force to carry my smelly bag to the rest of my classes until now, the first free moment I've had in my room today. And I'm not cleaning it out right now. I'm blogging. I guess that bag will have to smell a little bit longer, because I am not touching it. So there, hummus.


Ok, I just realized that some of my yammerings about faith and God wouldn't mean a whole lot to someone who doesn't believe in God or is of a different faith than I am.
But seriously, it applies to everyone. Let me just say that again 'cause it's important: it applies to everyone.
Whether you believe in God or in some other form of a higher power, the basic principles are the same, and even if you don't believe in God... I know this sounds cheezy, but He still loves you even if you don't believe He exists. No matter how much time you give or don't give to God, he will always love you with more love than you could ever ever imagine. So don't think that because you don't go to church or don't pray or don't really "know" God that you can't enjoy some insights about Him. Basically, bear with my occasional religious interludes and you might find something about the faith that you like. :) Obviously if you have any questions about faith or God I would be positively tickled to answer them or talk to you sometime about it.

Meeting People

I don't know about you, but it is my personal opinion that the first few days/weeks of any new experience are crucial for establishing connections with the right people. Now, of course some would say, "Just be yourself and you'll naturally gravitate toward the people who will be your best friends." I don't know if I buy that. See, I want to meet all kinds of different people, not just the ones I would usually hang with. This is college; I don't want it to be like high school! But now I have a new dilemma: which crowd to mix with?
I suppose it would be fitting at this time to define the crowds I'm debating. So. First of all there are those people that you immediately know are super sweet and trustworthy and would probably be great friends. We'll call them the Nice Kids. Then there're the people who are always looking for the next big party and usually know where the good ones are. We'll call them the Fun Kids. Granted, the lines between these groups are sometimes muddled and I don't mean to judge people or stereotype them, but for the sake of ease, here they are.
Now. Perhaps it's true that the Nice Kids would be the best friends to have around through all the twists and changes and troubles of college life... but do they know how to have fun? Usually not. What I mean by this is that they have their own brand of fun which I don't actually find very enjoyable. So do I stick with the Fun Kids? Not necessarily.
The Fun Kids may know how to have a rockin' good time, but in the long run they don't really care about me any more than I care about them. Despite all the awesome times we may have together, chances are that there will be no real person-to-person, heart-to-heart connection with any of them when the day is done. And that's important to me. So do I stick with the Nice Kids? Not necessarily.
See, this is really where the heart of the dilemma comes into play. Ultimately I want friends who can fit into both categories. But where to meet them? Do I hang with the Nice Kids in hopes that one of them loves to party? Or scope out all the parties for someone who might actually want to establish a real friendship? Either way the whole friend search is shaping up to be a wickedly long and possibly fruitless process.
But apparently writing things out is an excellent way to think things through, because as I sit here a solution comes to me. I don't have to worry about what kind of people I pursue, because ultimately God will place the people I need in my life no matter what I do. And if I feel comfortable with the party scene and actually rather drawn to it, there's a reason for that, too. He sends His servants to all sorts of places to shine his light. We were created for the mission that He set out for us to do, and if something strikes a chord in me or brings me happiness, I need to follow that, listening all the while to see where He wants me to go with it.
Wow. College is going to be a breeze. Thanks, God. :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Adventures in Oakland

Mission: Find a place that sells fresh fruit and aquire some
Time: 2:40
- After doing indepth online search to locate grocers in the area, decide upon Salem Halal Meats and Groceries at 338 Bouquet Street due to it's comparative closeness and likeliness to carry fruit.
- Step out onto the street feeling self-sufficient and grown-up. Got a map, got money on the debit card; life is good.
- Make it to Bouquet Street with ease.
- Meet old high school friend on the way. Following conversation ensues:
"Hey, where are you headed?"
"O, just some deli to buy fresh fruit."
"The one by the beer distributer?"
"... yes."
"You know, the Giant Eagle on Murray accepts Panther Funds and everything."
"O, really?"
- Feel stupid.
- Being prideful, can't bear to be seen turning around. Go around the block and end up at a Rite Aid.
- Not being able to find fresh fruit, purchase cuticle scissors and a kabuki brush at sister's earlier recommendation in order to get cash back for laundry money.
- Return home the long way due to sidwalk being closed in front of Lothrop Street.
Mission Status: Failed :(
Time: 3:30
Thoughts: Although the original goal of the mission was not, in fact, fulfilled, this mission can not be declared completely bust. Walking around Oakland was an eye-opening experience and an important one. It can be said that time was better spent running this errand than it would have been staying in my room. Overall a worthy undertaking. Besides, there is always fruit to be had in the dining halls until an alternate plan can be established.

First Blog Ever!

So... though I've never blogged before I think this is going to be fun. I've always been big on keeping a journal, and this is kind of similar, right?

My dream is to be a writer, and a truly excellent one at that, so I suppose this will be good experience for me. I want to master an educated but conversational tone so as to make big ideas available to the general public. I have a few ideas of my own that I would like to get across as well.