Friday, October 2, 2015
Week of Craziness
For those wondering how grad school orientation at JP Catholic went: it was an adventure. See, the day before the trip I decided to try the Trader Joe's chicken taquitos. I usually don't try anything new the day before a trip or an exam because of how sensitive my stomach is but I was hungry and it was the only thing that we had to eat. Big mistake! I woke up the morning of orientation at 3:30 a.m. with the worst stomachache. I thought about calling my friend Joe (who had offered to drive me down to Escondido) and tell him that the trip was off but I really wanted to go and thought my stomach ache wouldn't last too long so I said nothing. Was I able to function on 3.5 hours of sleep? Surprisingly, yes... and without aids of caffeine or anything. Whoo! All 6 hours on the road (3 hours down to the San Diego area and another 3 coming back home to L.A.) were terrible only because of the pain. My stomach had never hurt that much nor that long before. I actually had to leave orientation early because I started feeling a bit faint and just not comfortable sitting without curling up a little (that helped my stomach in the car). However, according to the itinerary, the only thing I missed was the welcome speech at the end so that was okay. I just wanted to get home. That stomachache lasted about 12 hours. Never again will I eat those taquitos. So not worth it.
Of course, the entire trip wasn't a bust. I got to meet some of my classmates, who were all great. So many friendly people. I stepped a little outside my introverted comfort zone and introduced myself without prompting from some of them. Yes, it was a big step for me since I'm usually really shy and reserved at first. I mean, I said hello, introduced myself, and then asked a question (usually if they were also in the MA program since the orientation was for both MAs and MBAs) to break the ice. Raise your hand if you're proud of me, especially those who've known me for years. lol. After that, I was okay letting the more extroverted people take control of the conversation... and was even fine when they all started talking and I was left to look over the information folders we were given. I have to admit that at one point that I was getting really drained by all the conversations but I stuck it out. :)
I also got the chance to meet some of the staff. Oh! And, bonus, I got to go to confession right before orientation began. The resident priest was there early so I got a chance to talk to him. I seriously felt like he was reading my soul just by the types of questions and comments he made. I'd never met him before but he hit the nail on the head for so many things -- from career to habits and prayer life. It was a great experience for me. I'm a little bummed I couldn't stay for Mass though. I had taken my chapel veil because I had counted on staying for it after orientation. If I hadn't had that terrible stomachache, I would've stayed through to the end but, eh, what can you do?
How's the studying going? Well, I've developed a great little study plan that's worked well thus far. I was able to get through the parts of the Summa Theologiae that were assigned as well part of the Catechism for my Theology course. In fact, except for the class lecture (which has yet to be properly uploaded), I'm already done with the first week's readings and quiz. I goofed up on the quiz and I felt incredibly dumb but, hey, that's how you learn. As long as I pass... and I did. lol. We didn't get anything early for my Philosophy course so that is what I'm going to be tackling as soon as my mental fog clears up. So far, I'm really enjoying the courses. The professors have picked excellent reading material. I got God's Word: Scripture, Tradition, Office by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI yesterday and I'm going to be starting that tonight if I feel well enough. As for the Summa, a fellow classmate was gracious enough to share his study tips with us (in a private online group) and it really made a difference. I feel a lot less intimidated by it though I am nowhere near being 100% confident with it.
I've been using the Pomodoro Technique to study, which has been excellent. I study for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break (this usually means that I get up and stretch, do some sort of quick exercise, or do a quick social media / Pinterest check) and then I repeat the cycle. After a couple of cycles, I take a 15 minute break and then back to the same. It's really helped me absorb and understand what I'm working on more than any other study method I've ever tried. No, I'm not being paid to say this. lol. If you're studying anything, I highly recommend it. I'm using the free app on my iPod touch called Flat Tomato. I will have to use it when I have time to work on my novel because it's seriously done wonders for my productivity. And... unpaid advertisement done ;)
What else? OH! I was asked by two different people if I was sure that I wasn't meant to be a nun. lol. Long story short: my new dentist and, it seems, most of her staff are Catholic and they saw me holding Rosary beads in my hand since I prayed it while I was waiting. The dentist didn't want to accept my answer that religious life wasn't my vocation and brought it up 3 times before I left. I got a kick out of the whole thing before it happened on St. Therese's feast day. Before anyone asks, yes, I'm positive it's not my vocation. I've discerned for years (since I was 22) and the more I discern the vocation of marriage (in the form of dating and getting to know fellas), the more sure I am that this is my vocation. This is coming from a gal who hates dating, too. Seriously, I wish I could just skip it. The Fella has yet to appear but the baby steps are helping me. :) I have yet to receive the specific color rose I asked St. Therese as a sign that she was praying for my vocation discernment but I have a lot of patience so no rush there. :)
Besides all of that, life's been about not letting little obstacles get me down. I'm sure most of you didn't notice but I took a mini-break from Twitter while I was dealing through some personal stuff. I've had a really rough time with a couple of things (that I haven't mentioned) lately and I needed the break. I'm in "Little Emmy That Could" mode. I could either let these things break me down or I can say "okay, this is happening... but it won't last forever, let's keep going." I've obviously chosen the latter. At this point, I've learned to trust God enough to remember that He has my back. Do I still get upset? Of course. I have feelings but I'm trying to learn to not let them overwhelm me. My trip to school showed me that I'm stronger and braver than I've thought of myself in the past. It was a miserable trip due to my stomach pain but good things happened during it. I just have to keep going. :)
That's mostly what I've been doing since the last time I blogged. Just dealing with some things, getting ready for classes, and, now that they've started, trying to stay on top of things. Not having deadlines (except for a couple of papers) is foreign to me and I don't really like it because I work best on deadlines. I'm going to have to give myself deadlines so I don't have the temptation to procrastinate. My best friend is coming back to visit next week so I have an excuse to finish studying for my first week of classes (which goes from this past Wednesday through next Tuesday) this weekend before she gets here. I'm pretty excited about that. :D
Anyway, that's it from me for now. I'm sure there are a number of typos but, like I said, I have some serious mental fog because I'm feeling unwell so please forgive me for that. I'm going to go eat something and then work on a puzzle or something relaxing. ;)
I hope y'all had a great week and have a fantastic weekend. :D
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D