I can be such a testa dura sometimes

A.M.D.G.
J.M.J.
A.T.C.

Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in aeternum! Amen.

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Well, ’tis better to be a testa dura (a hard head) than a testa di merde ($#!+ head); at least that’s what my Italian famiglia tells me and who am I to question generations of Italian sapienza mondana (worldly wisdom)?

But seriously.  I can be such a hard head sometimes.  Even with God.

Especially with God.

Heh.  He knows how to deal with me.  He’s seen many of my type … I’m nothing special there.  You can’t bat your eye lashes at God to get your way.  Bah.

After much consideration and prayer, I have come to the decision to postpone the start of my graduate studies by one semester.  Mark my words, come January 2013, this child of God shall be gleefully reading hundreds of pages a week and loving being back in a classroom.  God knows the cobwebs that have formed on my neurons has interfered with the speed of their synapsing.  Sometimes, you just have to break the system in again … you can’t just rely on defrags and disk cleanups.

Trust me, this wasn’t an easy decision.  At all.  I have been fighting it for a few weeks actually.

But then reality hits.

But then God points out the platinum lining on the seemingly grey cloud of blech angst muffins.

Why am I waiting a semester?

Because I don’t think driving-wise I would be ready or confident enough to be able to drive down there by myself.  There is such a thing as trusting in the protection of God and my dear patrons.  But there is also something called being a bit … imprudent.

I don’t feel like it would be smart for me to be driving in the city with a three-week old license.  The semester will give me time to get used to driving by myself and be more defensive.

Trust me, I want MORE THAN ANYTHING to start at the beginning of September but I guess it’s just not in the holy cards.  And this deck you cannot fix.

I started to feel all crestfallen and blech.

Then God came in and pointed something out.

“Allie, if you wait this semester, you will be doing more good for yourself than you know.”

“How?”

“How long will it take you to finish your degree?”

“About 2.5 years.  Four semesters spent taking classes and one semester spent writing my thesis that totals about 60 pages of awesome-ness that makes a contribution to the field on which I concentrate.”

“Count out the semesters and see when you would graduate.”

“Winter 2013, Fall 2013 (1 year), Winter 2014, Fall 2014 (2 years), Winter 2015 (2.5 years).”

“With that when will you graduate?”

“In May 2015.”

“Didn’t you want to graduate in May instead of at the end of Fall semester?  It looks like that semester spent on your thesis may just work to your advantage and help you achieve your goal.”

*looks at calendar and compares to if I would have started in Fall 2012*

“O rly?”

“Ya rly.”

“I❤ You, Lord.”

“I❤ you, too.”

Some of you may be wondering, “why does it matter if she graduates in May or December?”

Well, when I was at AQ, December grads got shafted when it came to gradumatating.  You got a get together in a fancy room in the manor house (our campus was the estate of a Grand Rapids wealthy lumber family before the Sisters bought it) where the Pres talked and you came up and got your graduation tube sans diploma.

When you graduated in May, you got everything.  The cap (I chalked mine with a Marian insignia) and gown.  The tassels and cords.  The pomp and circumstance.  The procession.  The announcing of your degree and honors.

I want that for when I graduate with my MA.  The Master’s gown is cool.  I call it the Harry Potter gown because of the way the sleeves are.

graduate gown

Except I think the lining of my hood would be scarlet (the color for Theology) and the colors of the Seminary.

What can I say?  I’m Catholic.  We love all the fancy stuff because it’s a tangible representation (or in the case of the Blessed Sacrament, the Real Presence) of some transcendent reality.  Incense = prayers rising to heaven.  Bells = the demarcation of a most holy moment.  Latin = these very words are so sacred that they are spoken in a uncommon language.  Lace = God is beauty, not banality. Smells, bells, Latin, and lace.  For me, that would be the tangible representation of a goal that I have long had since I was kid.

That and I know it would mean a lot to my family to see me graduate with all the bells and whistles since, as far as I know, there are no other women in my family who have a degree beyond a bachelor’s.  My family values education very much in the young ones like me.  I know it will mean a lot to my parents because they have always wanted this for me and my siblings.

It’s a sacrifice to wait but really, in the end, it comes out better for me in more ways.  I may have had my schedule all planned for the semester but God will provide.  I will have the chance to take those courses again.  It ain’t the end of the world.

Besides, now I can really make sure all  my ducks are in a line about things and I don’t have to be such a “stressed out Sally.”

I just have to trust.  Trust the Lord in all things.  Put all things in His hands.  Every thing.

Maybe this will also allow me to go on retreat sooner though I do want to go to the Opus Angelorum retreat in January.  It all depends on my schedule for school.

Maybe I can find a bit of job to help me pay for books and gas.  Nothing major.  Just something so I can kinda support myself and start building up my savings a bit more (ha.).   My job from November-April of this year is still available to me as far as I know (they told me if I wanted to work for them when performances began again, they were totally open to it! YAY mah foot is in teh door!).  Can’t say I am not grateful for that.  I genuinely enjoyed working for them and I met a lot of people and learned new things.  That and I got to explore the Cathedral more than I ever have before.  The guys there showed me all the really cool stuff I had never seen before.  I was geeked for the three weeks of performances.

Also, hoping I can get one of those grants the AOD offers to seminarians and lay students.  If I get it, the AOD will pay for x amount of my tuition and I pay it off by means of service to the Archdiocese … something I have wanted to do for a while anyway.  Always wanted to do something Church-y in the AOD.  Yeah, I am such a Church lady.  Like my sidebar says, “Once a Detroit girl, always a Detroit girl.”

I have to say that when I first came to this decision, I was at first reticent to share it with my parents because they really wanted me to start in September but then I explained that it would give me time to gain confidence driving (something I really lack to be honest) and it would allow me to graduate in May of 2015 with all the fun stuff (though that is definitely not the sole reason … even a primary reason for waiting).  After they got over their initial “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!?” … they have accepted it and they understand my reasoning.  They just say, “You sure as heck better be in school come January.”  No pressure.  lol

Now, as I pray about it and such, I feel like I made the right decision.  At least I won’t be stressing about my admissions file and such.  And I will still be doing Catechism this year anyway because it will be a new experience for me.  It will be tough at times but I know it is the right thing to do at this point.  No one said that life would be easy or that all decisions would bring immediate warm fuzzies.  Sometimes the most painful decisions at first bring about the most peace and joy in the end.  I think this shall be the case here.

So now, I just have to keep my eyes on the prizes and stick to my guns.  Prayers appreciated much.

All right, I have to pray before heading to bed.  Mass in the morning and it’s almost 12:30.  Bah.

Nighty-night!

-Allie

About Ms. Allie

I am a Catholic young woman who works as a Theology teacher at a Catholic high school in the Archdiocese of the Detroit. In Spring of 2015, I graduated with an MA in Theology with a concentration in Systematic Theology. My MA thesis was titled: "Mary as Woman of the Eucharist in the Theology of Pope Saint John Paul II." I also hold a BA in Theology (with a dabbling in Philosophy) and is a member of Theta Alpha Kappa (θΑΚ), the National Theology/Religious Studies Honor Society. Prayers are appreciated.
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