Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday 1

I got this idea from a fellow blogger, Jennifer Fulwiler at Converstion Diary. This is just seven random tidbits from my life and my week.

1.What's in a Name
Names carry a lot of meaning, especially here, where, in essence, we have all started afresh, and are builiding our names and what they mean all over again. I got to thinking about this after a professor called me, in the same style he was using for everyone else "Miss Aimee". I liked that. I like being called Miss Aimee. In my head, that always has a positive connotation, and is usually used by someone I respect. Which raised the point in my head, it is often just as much how someone says your name as what they call you. A name is more than a name, it is a part of who you are, and while a rose by any other name might be as sweet, it wouldn't mean the same thing if you called a rose a yahallet, and Aimee means something different as Aimee, Miss Aimee, Aimee-izzle, Aimee Kapie or Aims.
2. Service
The rule in the Diocese of Baker used to be that you had to be 18 to be a lector at Mass, since then it has been moved back to 16, but I had already aged out when it changed. Last night, now in the Archdiocese of Portland, I read the reading and psalms for the first time in a long time. It was wonderful to be asked to do it by the Jeni, an older lady sitting in front of me. Her asking me was a sign that I belonged. You don't ask a stranger, a visitor to be lector, it is something that the community takes care of. And you don't ask newcomers to be of service, they are treated with honor and respect. But now, I am part of the community, I am a living, serving, belonging part of the community. And tomorrow I head out to Eugene to do some more commmunity service, more proof that I belong in this community.
3. Friends
It is a wonderful phenomenon to have friends. Let me clarify: good friends, my own age, who I can hang out with frequently. I have many fabulous friends, but this group is different. The freshmen, particularly the freshmen girls, who go to the St. Thomas More Newman Center are amazing, and my friends. This whole group came out of the Fall Retreat last weekend, and now we're hanging together at and outside of Newman. I'm still trying to understand all this, because it hasn't happened to me before. Mostly, I'm trusting God and the process, and I'm so thankful for the whole thing.
4. Newman
The Newman Center here at UO is amazing. We had our Fall Retreat last weekend at my favorite place in the whole wide world, St. Benedict's Lodge at McKenzie Bridge. It was fantastic, comforting, and God-filled. As Caire said "Mission Shatter the Darkness: Complete"
5. Being Me
While I was at said amazing retreat, I got a reminder of why faithfulness to God and myself is so important. Originally I was staying in the loft with all the other Freshmen girls, but ended up moving to the cabin. One of our Newmanators has a physical disability that means that she can't get up the stairs to any of the rooms, and she didn't want to stay in the cabin alone. I didn't particularly want to switch, but part of who I am is including, and she didn't want to be alone.
It turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made. We talked until 1:30 Saturday morning, about all kinds of things. We have so much in common, and it was incredible. Faithfulness to God is a gift in itself, and brings all kinds of gifts along with it.
6. Midterms
This week I had my first midterm, in Accounting. It was ok, save one problem where I could not make the numbers add up. Oh well, I did my best, and I'll be excited to get to see in class how I could have done it better. One midterm paper due next week, and then two more tests the week after. Gulp. I can do this thing
7. dadadada.... Pants!
Just pants! I was so proud of myself, I navigated the bus system all the way out to the mall and back, and acquired two more pairs of pants! yay!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dancing Queen

This term I am carrying 18 credits, and one of them is ballroom dance. It is twice a week and almost exactly a 50/50 mix of girls and guys. I love it. Currently we are learning East Coast Swing, something I've done a little bit before in high school, back when there was a six person ballroom dance club during tutorial once a week.

I thoroughly enjoy this experience. The class always goes by so fast, and I enjoy dancing, in a way that I'm actually good at. It makes me laugh, which is a sure sign that I am simply joyful, enjoying what I'm doing.

Last Friday, as part of an assignment, I went to the weekly Ballroom Dance Club here, and, for four dollars got a lesson in the waltz and admittance to the dance. This is what the order of dances was for the evening.

Out of the evening, I had two observations worth noting. The first was rather minor, which is, guys that come with their girlfriends and trade partners dance better than guys who come single. Every time, that I could tell anyway.

The second was more complex. I realized, dancing with a random partner, in some split second during our lesson, how intimate and romantic dancing can be. This sounds obvious, but let me explain. When my eyes caught his, just for a moment, I could see how much love and trust and joy can go into a dance. I felt like I had a glimpse into a world beyond what I know, and I could why dancing is a powerful experience for couples. It is intimate, in a trusting, celebrating way. The joy I feel while dancing was meant to be shared and this let me see how. It was a remarkable half a second that has left me contemplating even now, days later.

I have one more observation, compiled from my class and from experience, one that I believe says a lot about me. I have a hard time following. It is an effort for me to let myself go, to turn from showing the way, to being more aware of my own body, and taking clues from the gentleman that is leading. When I can do it, and we just dance, it is wonderful. I don't have to worry about what we're doing, or what is next, I just move my body in the ways I've learned that correspond with the pressure I'm recieving. In this way, the art of dancing becomes an act of surrender, something humbling, requiring me to trust the person I'm with. It adds a new dimension, one I'm not really very good at, but one, when compiled with the rest of this experience, I enjoy enormously.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Right now I can say
that in my own small way
my life has significance
it is infused with meaning,
drawing from the past,
the beauty and love and support
the struggle, the triumph and the failures
all the colors and shades
wound in the journey of who I am

My life has purpose
was created for a purpose
and I'm using what light that I have
to light candles and bless the darkness

in the now there is hope and joy
enough to calm the questions
and balance the wondering
it is found in wonder, in suprise
and in the simple pleasure of a crips apple

so thank you,
God, the Cosmos, and all who have been a part of me
for I am enough
beautiful and efficate in my own right
and a part of something much larger than myself

Thursday, October 7, 2010


So a week ago today, I participated in a classic American collegiate experience for females, I "Rushed". I went through Greek recruitment.
Going into it, I had no clue what I was doing. I didn't know if I wanted to join a sorority, I didn't know what would happen, and the whole thing was very intimidating. But, starting last Thursday, I did it.
We were put into walking groups, about thirty girls who went from house to house together. Actually Lucky Number 7 and group 8 were together, so at each house there were around 60 of us in at one time.
At every house, we lined up in numerical order, which corresponded with our last name. We'd end up standing outside for about fifteen minutes, just talking, and our Rho Gammas (recruitment guides {girls that temporarily dissasoicate with their sororities to guide us around}) checked to make sure everyone was present and in order. We chatted, nervous about the whole experience. Then, finally, we would usually here the girls inside chanting their sororities cheer, and at last two girls would come out, usually the sorority president, and whomever was in charge of recruitment. They'd introduce themselves, and welcome us to the house. Then, the first girl would come out, and it would usually go like this:
"Hi, my name is Sara, and I'd like to welcome you to Pi Sigma Delta Episilon Omega Nu" or "Hi, my name is Amanda, and I'd like to welcome both of you to my home"
It varied slightly, but the format was almost the same every time. If she said "you" it was just you, if it was "both of you" it was you and the girl in front or behind you. Once inside you proceeded to converse for about ten minutes, usually sitting close together and shouting, because it would get so loud. The best way I heard it described was "it's basically speed dating with girls". After about ten minutes, another girl would come by the conversation, the one you were talking with would sum up the recent topic, and they would trade off. Typically there were two trade-offs, three total conversations, per house. We went to five houses a night for two nights.

This was a strugggle for me, because I felt like I wasn't getting enough information. I couldn't ind out anyting about the sorority in such a short, barely audible conversation. At the end of the second night we picked our top eight. When I was filling out the form, I realized I was more worried about being late to the Freshman Retreat at Newman than I was about which houses I was picking. Reflecting over the course of the night, I decided that that mindset reflecting how I was feeling. I just didn't care about joining a sorority that much, and I don't think I would be as into it as I would have needed to be. So, I decided to drop Rush. I just didn't want to invest all the time.

This is not to say sorority life is a bad thing. I have a whole handful of friends that have done it and love it, and I congratulate all the girls that Rushed and stuck with it. That's so cool. It just wasn't for me.
Anyway, I can now say I've been a part of the tradition, and know what it's like. I'm glad I did it, and glad I stopped. And it's all good!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


So, last Sunday the Dyment Dymentors joined the huge parade of FIGs and Halls and processed into Autzen for Convocation, where speeches were made, and faculty recognized. The highlight of the afternoon, excluding the picnic afterward, of course, was the speech given by University President Lariviere. He gave a list of eleven things to do, as freshman, at the U of O. I thoroughly enjoyed his speech, and found his suggestions worth sharing, so here it goes:
1. "Learn the wide-ranging geography of our University", look around, explore and learn
2. "Find a piece of art that means something to you", whether it makes you laugh, or makes you think, open your eyes to the professional and student art that is all around you
3. "Thank a groundskeeper" I believe he said 11 people take care of our whole campus, and they do an amazing job.
4. "Take a class that has absolutely nothing to do with your major" explore, take this time while you can to learn
5. "Talk to your professor during office hours" Honestly, I have heard this advice from everyone, so I think I will most certainly do it.
6. "See if you can find all the libraries on campus, find your own secret study space" I still like that one nook in the music building, but I really need to find somewhere because my dorm bed or the lounge doesn't work so well.
7. "Run in the footsteps of legends" Literally take a run around campus and recognize how many history makers have run in that exact spot. I haven't yet, but just imagining it is an awe-inspiring idea
8. "Get your passport" because U of O students go abroad
9. "Do a good deed" it is a long-standing tradition of U of O students to give back to others. I'm still looking for my place, but there's a volunteer fair coming up this week.
10. " Go out of your way to meet people" There are so many of us here on campus, it can be hard to reach out, but necessary

"And just because everyone told me to have ten things, hell, here is number eleven"
11. "Thank the people who helped you get here" Thank someone who made this possible for you, a parent, teacher, counselor. Tell that person the difference they made in your life, and thank them.

I was inspired, I thought it was a great speech, and maybe there'll be more posts as I accomplish the items here at the good 'ol U of O.


Okay, so much has happened in the past week-ish of my life, and I have had such a lack of time to write, that I decided to divide what I want to say up by topic, and cover it that way. In any case, my posts will be shorter and hopefully easier to read, and more centralized on one common theme. This is my grand adventure really truly beginning, and I'm sharing it with you, so enjoy!