I just finished my research paper for my history course on the Irish and New York City. I learned a lot of really interesting things I didn’t know before, not just about New York or Ireland but also about my family, including some things that my family probably didn’t know about previously. It’s actually been a pretty emotional experience, as was my trip to Ireland in March, but the clearest thing I’ve learned is that I am most likely the Irish counterpart of the “Allison Porchnik” character in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall.” In some cases, I don’t think my family could have done things more by-the-book.
To graduate cum laude (to get into a decent grad school if I need to go, which I very well may), with an honors thesis (hoping I even qualify to write it), and still part of Honors Scholars, I have to get a 3.85 GPA for the rest of college. By the end of this semester, I will have three “bad” grades on my transcript, out of 16 courses I will have completed. So 80% of my grades will be above a B, and mostly As, but that’s not good enough? I’m sorry, I don’t have time to be “perfect,” I’m a human being who needs to sleep, socialize, and work 10 hours a week to contribute to her tuition. UGH.
I am 99% positive that it is impossible to be a completely happy, stable person with a fully developed personal life while also doing everything that’s expected of you in college. “The Best Four Years of Your Life” is the biggest advertising lie I’ve ever heard. SUMMER PLEASE.
Side note: New York is the best and the worst at the same time.
Can’t Help Falling In Love - Fleet Foxes
I’ll always think of us and that night when I hear this song.
It always seemed to me that college is the time when most people question their religious beliefs (or the religious beliefs they were encouraged to follow by their families). Maybe it’s because of the extraordinarily anxiety-producing circumstances that “millennials” like myself find themselves in, but I seem to be having the opposite experience, at least temporarily. I grew up in a slightly religious Catholic household; I attended Mass and religious ed classes every week until I made my Confirmation. I have an uncle who is a priest, and my parents’ house is decorated with subtle references to our religion: prayers tacked to a bulletin board, an image of the Virgin Mary (more artistic than religious) in my mother’s bedroom; a crucifix above the kitchen doorway, and another above my bed. I was always skeptical—I spent more time doodling during religious ed. classes than thinking about the Beatitudes—and (ironically) grew even more so after making my Confirmation, when my parents effectively stopped encouraging me to go to Mass. This is not to say that my parents are very religious people (in the way that some people find bizarre), although they both went to Catholic schools from 1st grade through college graduation. In fact, the only time the Church was brought up in my house was to say grace at Thanksgiving or to complain about it—its treatment of women, its child sex abuse scandals, its misguided messages to its people. I came to understand Jesus Christ as being more like a Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr of the 1st century than as being God. As a matter of fact, for an embarrassingly long time, I thought that “Christ” was the family surname of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
Lately, though, I find myself thinking that I should start going back to church, which would probably be more of an exercise in mindfulness than in religion. I find myself being pushed, as if by a strong wind (now I sound crazy) to see if Saint Joseph’s (is that the name?) on Sixth Avenue is open on a weekday afternoon as a quiet place to sit and think. I find myself recognizing short snippets of songs that find their way into my brain as the same songs I heard in church when I was young, and humming them as I wash dishes. I find myself reciting the little prayer my mother taught me when I was small (“Dear Saint Anthony, please come around, something is lost and cannot be found”) whenever I misplace something meaningful. I find myself popping into the Ash Wednesday service being celebrated by my uncle at his church downtown, happy to pay him a surprise visit, but also oddly satisfied to be “marked” as a Christian, at least for the day, as I take the subway home.
Maybe Bruce Springsteen is right: “Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.” Maybe, like the colorful British aristocrats in Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited (another thing inherited from my parents), we are all destined to spend the rest of our lives wandering away from our inherited faiths and then being unexpectedly brought back to them, over and over again, as if we are being pulled by “a twitch upon the thread” (to use Waugh’s analogy). Or maybe I am paying too much attention in my Art History classes.
I’m a 17 year old white guy living in middle class America. I’ve never exactly been a supporter of feminism because that kind of thing has never really affected me personally. I don’t notice it and I don’t care about it. But in nine minutes this video has made what is truly a serious problem extremely apparent. Those “why I need feminism” posts or those slut-shaming or rape culture campaigns never convince me of anything. But this video actually did I think.
This video kicks ass, just watch it.
- Ray Bradbury (via misswallflower)
new career plan: 1. win lottery 2. buy a bungalow on the beach (or a cottage in Ireland) 3. read books all day