Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Impressions

Don't you just love the view we have from campus? That's the Pacific Ocean in the background.

While I sit in the surprisingly noisy library unable to take the much needed nap I was hoping for, I thought it would be good to update the blog with my first impressions on attending a "liberal" Catholic college. After all, I have a 6 hour break until my next class and I have nothing due for my next class so why not blog?

First reaction after three days of classes: "What the heck did I get myself into?" If the hour and a half trip to campus (due to rush hour traffic on the infamous 405 freeway; you Southern Californians know what I'm talking about) and the 5 hours of sleep weren't bad enough, I also have to deal with being "too Catholic" for a majority of my classes. Seriously. Nearly all of my Religious Studies professors sounded like they had some issues with "traditional" Catholics, or at least with our beliefs. All have said that we're allowed to argue for our side and that, out of respect, we shouldn't attack our fellow classmates with differing opinions but I still have a bad feeling about it. So far I haven't met anyone else who has the same moral beliefs that I do. I've only seen one fellow classmate with a brown scapular and another with a shirt of St. Francis surrounded by animals but that's as far as it goes.

Every day I make it a point to stop at the chapel on campus to have a little chat with God. I sit in the darkened chapel and pray, usually to help me make it through the rest of the day because I've been sick, exhausted, and because I don't feel entirely comfortable in my Religious Studies courses. There is an alcove with a big statue of St. Therese (it's taller than my 5'7" self) that I also visit right after I go to the chapel. I like to have a little time with St. Therese as well, usually asking for her intercession while I'm there. Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati also comes up often throughout the day, especially when I bring out a book I'm reading about him (halfway done). Oh, I'm getting offtrack... anyway... I think I may be the only one that stops by the chapel during the day. I've spent quite some time either in or near the chapel and I haven't seen anyone else go in. I've seen who I assumed to be parents of a student, minus the student, to go in for a minute but that's it. They offer morning prayers but I haven't been able to get to campus on time to go. My guess is that it's pretty empty during this time too... and all of this makes me feel terribly upset. I had some hope that there was at least one or two more like minded people on campus but I haven't met anyone yet. Of course I'm new to this school and I don't know many people but, still... it's not looking good.

Now, I don't mind being "the Lone Ranger" here, at least in terms of beliefs. I don't care if they ridicule me when I pray before eating or doing anything that shows I'm Catholic to the core. I will learn to deal with these things and with the clashing beliefs between professors and myself. I will give them the benefit of the doubt about allowing me to express my beliefs without being attacked for it. I am giving them faith and a chance to prove me wrong when I say I have an uphill battle ahead of me. When it comes to myself and what will happen to me, I'm sure God will help me out if it's His will. I have enough faith and optimism. However, it makes me sad that there doesn't seem to be much reverence to Him at a self-described Catholic college. Again, it may be because I'm a "traditional" Catholic and because I'm more serious about my faith but still. I won't get into the modesty issue because there's no need for me to criticize my classmates' wardrobe choices. Makes me sad but what can I do about it (besides praying)? I see the same everywhere else I go.

Maybe I'm being too picky. I knew what I was getting myself into... a bit too late but I didn't have to show up for classes. Like I said, I am prepared to challenge them, and I am prepared to be challenged (which will in turn make me stronger in my faith) but I also have to test my professors to see how far I can push them before they kick me out of their classes.

Okay, my eyelids are slowly coming down lower so I will try to take a nap in this library. Hopefully they don't mind that I'll be take a cubicle for the next hour or so to nap. :) If some parts of the blog post reads funny, it's because I'm a typing zombie at the moment.

Say a prayer for me and I'll say one for all of you later when I go into the chapel for my quality time with God. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D


Anonymous said...

God bless you in your new school

Emmy Cecilia said...

Thank you, Christine. :D God Bless you too.

dustin (The Boston Celtics fan) said...

Emmy, that sounds like a really cool idea for a novel. The part about you stopping at the St. Therese statue and praying each day. It'd be like a college Catholic version of Dear Mr. Henshaw.

Emmy Cecilia said...

You think? Hmm... thanks for the idea, Dustin. :D