I’m back at Ave! :D
Highlight of my week?
When my favorite teacher told me she was proud of me. She told me that she was pleased with my preparedness and that I will really cover a lot of ground that way. I was about to dart out of my piano test because I was on an adrenaline rush and needed to ditch even though I think I did a good job, and she stopped me just to tell me that.
It made me so happy. I love her like crazy and to have her approval just made all of my hard work worth it. No matter what grade I get. Her realization that I’m trying is all that matters to me.
I’ve been gushing about it for two days now and I needed to gush some more.
Sometimes, I forget that I picked the right major.
Music is such a stressful major. Schools forget that music takes much more time with homework than almost any other major, and modify the credits, as if practicing doesn’t really count as homework. This semester, I’m taking 18 credits, which is seven classes, six of which are over three hours a week in class alone. First semester, I took 14 credits, which was six classes, five of which were over three hours a week. For every other major (except biology), 14 credits is three 4 credit classes and one 2 credit class. When crunch time comes, I get frustrated and put my music practicing off. The stress makes me feel like I sometimes hate being a music major. Sure, I want to be good at it. I love singing and I can’t imagine life without performing, but practicing is just a pain when I have papers and tests and class to worry about. Especially when the pressures of GPA roll around, and I realize that if I want to stay above a 3.6, I have to get all A’s in my core classes to make up for the B’s I might possibly get in my music classes. It’s easy to put off practicing when the alternative is turning in a half-written essay.
Yesterday, I had a sight reading test, but she told us a section of it and had us learn it before hand. This Thursday, I have a recital. This Friday, I have a piano test. All of these things require so much practicing. The piano test, especially, I know I can’t fake my way through. I stayed up late last night doing all of my homework assignments so I could practice all weekend. I woke up this morning and started practicing piano really intensely.
And I remembered that, when I don’t have the pressures of homework, I actually love practicing. I’m reminded that, if I had the time, I could actually be a decent piano player (and that I adore the piano). I had forgotten that I don’t just like singing when I’m good at it, but I like working through hard spots and nailing them, even if it’s frustrating at first.
This all matters because once I’m done with the stress of college, practicing will be my life. Hopefully, if God wills it, I will be paid to practice. I’ll go between performing and practicing, day in and day out, and this crunch time has reminded me that I am so excited for that.
I wish everyone could find something they were passionate about. Even if it wasn’t a job, per se, but something that made a less than exciting job worth while. My boyfriend hasn’t yet decided what he wants to do with his life, and spring is his last semester in college. If I were him, I would be so panicked, I wouldn’t know how to get up in the morning. I feel so blessed that my biggest problem is what study of music I want to focus on in grad school.
Please pray for me that I don’t become discouraged in the next two and a half years! And I will pray for everyone who has yet to learn what their vocation is.
Oh, and in other news, I decided what my favorite key is. (D flat major, for anyone who’s curious.)
Message from President Towey: Last Night’s Election
Dear members of the Ave Maria University community:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?”
These words from Psalm 27 which the Church Universal proclaims in the responsorial psalm in today’s holy Mass are a reminder that God alone is sovereign over our affairs. At Ave Maria University we place our trust in God, not government. Yes, we are proudly American and we will continue to engage in the public square because the Lord invites us to bring our faith and values to bear on the issues of the day. But our first allegiance, our first duty, is to the Lord, for He is our life’s refuge.
I want to thank our students who voted in yesterday’s election. For many students this was their first time at the polls, and by all accounts, our students turned out in droves. We sent shuttle after shuttle to Immokalee, and I was edified to see so many students exercising their right to vote.
I know many of them awoke this morning with a stinging disappointment over the outcome of the presidential election. While it is natural to be disappointed when your candidate loses, it is my prayer that your disappointment does not lead to disillusionment. America – and the Church – need you to be fully engaged in the public square, even when you don’t prevail at the ballot box or in the cauldron of public policy making. So don’t be discouraged. Our country needs your continued enthusiasm and involvement.
All elections have consequences and the re-election of President Obama means that our Federal lawsuit in defense of our University’s religious freedom will proceed. As the current department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations now stand, our employer-provided health plan is in jeopardy, beginning in 2014. We have a year to prepare, and much can happen in this year. I know how important health insurance is to our faculty and staff and we will do everything we can do in good conscience to continue to support your health care needs.
Today I am appointing an ad hoc committee from among the University’s faculty and staff to make contingency plans in the event HHS does not follow through on President Obama’s pledge in February to amend the regulations in a manner that protects the right of conscience of faith-based institutions like ours. The members of the Committee on Health Insurance are Ken Ferguson, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Chairman; Jennifer Nodes, Director of Library Services; Dr. Michael Pakaluk, Chairman of the Department of Philosophy; Bill Kirk, Vice President for Student Affairs and General Counsel, and Anne Hart, Director of Financial Aid. They will meet in the near future and Vice President Ferguson will report to you on their deliberations when appropriate.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will continue its advocacy on our behalf. Next week I will be in Baltimore where the Bishops will gather for their annual general assembly and I am scheduled to visit with a number of them who will be in attendance. I also will be participating in meetings of the Cardinal Newman Society and conferring with my colleagues from other universities as we strategize in response to the current dilemma.
The University also will work with the lawyers of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and press ahead with our lawsuit. Now that the President has been re-elected, it is my sense that a judge will be assigned to our case and the pace of the proceedings will accelerate. I remain confident in the merits of our lawsuit and believe fervently that the HHS contraception mandate is unconstitutional and also a violation of Federal law. The University of Notre Dame, Catholic University of America, and dozens of other institutions also are in court and I expect that these lawsuits will gather more attention in the months ahead.
My friends, the electoral wave that unexpectedly swept the country last evening reminds each one of us why Ave Maria University exists and why the need for an institution with our values and mission has never been greater. And I am not simply referring to the national election. A large majority of Floridians rejected constitutional amendments that would have protected religious liberty and banned the public funding of abortion. Several states embraced so-called “same sex marriage” in ballot measures, bringing to ten the number of states where such unions are now legal. One state, Massachusetts, has a dead heat on their initiative to legalize assisted-suicide, which would bring to four the number of states where this dangerous practice is permitted.
It might be easy to become discouraged by these troubling trends. However, Psalm 27 ends with the beautiful words, “Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.”
What all of us must do, in this year designated by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as a year of faith, is deepen our dependence upon Divine Providence and be courageous like our Patroness. At the end of this month the Church will begin a new liturgical year, and soon thereafter we will be focusing our gaze on her, the Virgin with child who will give birth to a son, “and they shall call him Emmanuel, which means, ‘God is with us.’” (Matthew 1:23)
Indeed God is with us. As discouraging as last night’s results were for so many of us, there is nothing to fear. God is with us at Ave Maria University. He is our light and our salvation.
I’m so glad I picked Ave Maria.
So as you all know by now, Tropical Storm Isaac is heading my way and expected to be bad enough (which isn’t very bad) that we won’t have class on Monday. All events for today have also been cancelled or postponed (such as a music major meeting I was supposed to have tonight and my choir audition), and because of Isaac’s ETA, the 7pm Mass was cancelled. That meant that only the 7am and the 10am Masses were left.
Despite the fact that almost everyone moved in yesterday and it was storming already and we’re college students who don’t like to wake up early, the Oratory was literally to the brim with faithful Catholics. I knew that all of the pews were full, as I was toward the back and couldn’t hardly see anything because there were so many bodies in front of me. On the weekends, we tend to have Eucharistic Ministers at the front of the Oratory, in the middle, and in the back. My roommates and I were far enough back that we had to receive in the back of the Oratory, which was the first time I’d turned around since I walked in five minutes early.
There was not a single spot left available. People were standing around the sites, and the entry way was overflowing with worshippers.
I was so incredibly moved, I was almost in tears as I received the Eucharist. It was one of those moments that made me so proud to be Catholic.
Classes cancelled for Hurricane Isaac? Snow days are for squares.
Sick to my stomach. Haven’t been able to eat all day. Today is awful.
Gonna be back on campus tomorrow.
Such a mix of feelings.
Super excited to get moved back in.
Super excited to see my lovely roomies again.
(Dunno if I’ll see the bf tomorrow or Sunday, otherwise he’d be included in this list. Happy 11 months as of today to us!)
But I’m very scared that this year will be as stressful if not more stressful than last year.
And that I won’t do as well in my music classes since they’ll be getting harder.
And I’m afraid of my parents leaving and being on my own again.
And I’m scared that I won’t like our new roomie.
Can I just ugh fast forward to a point where life is figured out?
I just accepted an offer to participate in the Honors Music Program.
Oh gosh. I hope I don’t die.
I don’t mean to brag, but…
I kind of have the greatest roommate ever.
About a week ago she asked me my address (seeing as I live in Wisconsin and she lives in Maryland) and told me she had something to send me. Yesterday I got this letter in the mail from her, and she had sent me a third class relic of St. Helena, my patron saint. It’s a prayer card of Our Lady of Lourdes that she personally pressed against her relic, and a relic of the True Cross at this thing she was at with some 165 first class relics. She explained all of this in my letter, and how she used this prayer card because she went in the line by herself at first and it was all she had in her purse, and then proceeded to apologize that she hadn’t used something “cooler” like a rosary or something.
Just now I got off the phone with her after talking non-stop for 40 minutes. The only reason the conversation stopped was because she had to go to Mass. She talked to me on the whole ride to the church and everything. She said she’s probably going to call again next week to keep in touch.
I wish everyone could be as blessed as I am with their roommates. Even though I’m nervous about classes and my new job, I’m super excited to see my friends again and live down there.
Another Ave Maria student died in a car accident this morning.
Please pray for the repose of his soul. And please pray for all of his family and loved ones.
Please stop restricting the pictures that show up on Tumblr!
I can accept some of them, but when it’s a picture of Jesus or Mary or the saints or the Eucharist, I find it terribly annoying.
Second attempt: the internet went down when I tried to post this the first time.
They’re watching me.