Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New School. New Semester. New Challenges.

I officially have two and a half weeks of vacation left before I return to school, only it'll be a new school. It'll be my first semester at one of the four Catholic colleges/universities within the L.A. Archdiocese. On one hand I am terribly excited as I have wanted to study at a Catholic school for ages. I used to beg my parents to enroll me in one when I was a little girl, before I knew just how expensive they can be. As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, I am lucky and blessed enough to have received a huge scholarships and grants that will pay for my tuition so all I have to worry about is textbooks. I said it once and I'll say it again: it literally pays to be an academic nerd. lol. I am also excited about the classes I will get to take as well. I am only taking 5 but the five are:

- Intro to the New Testament
- Intro to Catholicism
- Intro to Christian Ethics
- Western Literary Heritage
- Intermediate Algebra *gag, shudder*

Can you tell that I am not looking forward to math? Math is my Achilles heel and I have to re-take the algebra class because my math professor last Fall decided to fail almost everyone in the class. Well, technically I didn't fail. I got a D but I should've received a B if not an A because I was acing everything and I firmly believe I passed the final. I won't go into a rant about this but I will say I smell a rat and it's coming from my former math professor's direction. I have people as witnesses to the fact that I understood the material. Anyway, except for math, I am exceedingly giddy about my course schedule. Since I am a double major (Religious Studies and English) I get to focus on my major requirements now that I am done with my general ed requirements.

One of the upsides of going to a Catholic college is that the reading list for my Lit class includes Dante's Divine Comedy, the Bible, Virgil's Aeneid, Homer's The Iliad, and Ovid's Metamorphosis. Since I had 6 and a half hours (yes, hours!) between two of my classes a couple of times a week, I will be able to read as well as spend some time praying in the chapel on campus. They also have a Campus Ministry which, as a Religious Studies major, I will be involved in. I would've gone to daily Mass, too, if it didn't start at the same time as my first course of the day. While all of this, and the fact that I get to keep my promises to both St. Jude Thaddeus and Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, is making me very happy there are a couple of things that will be challenging for me.

The first seems like a minor challenge to me: sleeping schedule. I am used to going to bed after midnight and as late as 2:30 a.m. I will no longer be able to do that since my first class is at 8 in the morning. It would be no big deal if I did not have to deal with the traffic on both the freeway as well as the street. Since I will probably spend about an hour to an hour and a half trying to get to campus (even though it should only take me 10-15 minutes to get there), I will have to get up at 6 in the morning in order to have breakfast and get ready very quickly. I know how to shave some time off my morning routine (opting to wear my glasses instead of the contact lenses, nixing make-up - which is what I do now anyway, etc.) but I still have to get up early. Again, this will be no big deal - just minor sleeping time adjustments - but I have bigger challenges.

I knew what I was getting myself into when I accepted my place at this college. I knew that I was going to step into a more liberal college experience than I would've loved. While they have improved on some of the more cringe worthy things I would've spoken up against (such as the cancellation of the V-Monologues performances), I know there are some things I will not agree with. It's a Catholic college, shouldn't it actual act like one? What I didn't know, but was recently warned about, was just how much of the "cafeteria Catholic" ideology was going to be pushed onto me. As I don't know a single soul that attends the school, I didn't know just how bad it is supposed to be. Take a second to imagine someone who wins a brand new car and then finds out that there are many broken parts that they can't replace or fixed so they must do with what they have. That's the best way I can describe how I feel about the whole thing. While I hate conflict (I run away from drama), I may just have to speak up. The thing is that I don't know just how much I can speak up against without getting kicked out.

I have a thing about speaking up against elders or people in authority - I can't do it without feeling guilty. I will stand up to professors once in a while but I always feel guilty at the end. I feel like I'm being disrespectful but I do it because I would feel even worse if I didn't say anything. I have immense respect for those whose vocation is the religious life... so what do I do if I encounter a Sister who supports the ordination of women or anything that I feel strongly about? Where am I going to draw the line? I think I was naive to think I would mainly deal with apathetic classmates. Having faculty that would try to ingrain in me things I, as a faithful Roman Catholic, do not agree with will be a huge challenge for me. I keep reading the new book of the letters Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati wrote in which we can read just how brave he was speaking up against something that was against the Church's teachings because it's so inspiring. I am going to use it as a source of courage and encouragement because I am definitely going to need it. By the way, any prayers you guys might want to send my way would be greatly appreciated. :D

Okay, I think that's enough over-analyzed for today. lol. :D I hope to write an entry dedicated to patron saints of students as well as prayers and novenas to them before the semester starts so all my fellow students are prepared to tackle school. :D

Hope everyone reading is having a great week thus far.

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.


Angel said...

It looks like a terrific schedule. Best of luck to you! I also went to a Catholic University that had a few professors that were on the very liberal side, however, I was blessed in that they were faculty that could be reasoned with and spoken to easily. They listened and questioned and allowed me to do the same. I always stood my ground in what I believed. It wasn't always easy, but, by the grace of God, I didn't stray. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason...that the University I attended was where God wanted me to be and that MSMC is where God needs you to be right now. Stand strong in your faith and in what you believe and allow God and our blessed Mother to guide you in each step you take. I wish you the best and you will continually be in my prayers. If you ever want some college advice, etc. feel free to contact me.


Roger said...

I'm going to guess you're enrolled at/making reference to LMU. Almost went there myself many moons ago. I like to joke that if I had, I probably would never have become Catholic.

Good luck! ;^)

Emmy Cecilia said...

Angel - I hope my experience is better than I have been warned. And thanks :D

Roger - Close but no cigar. :D I almost went to LMU straight out of high school but they were stingy with financial aid.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Well, math tutor is 3 hours ahead of you, but he'll answer your e-mails :)...