Monday, November 30, 2009

A very long catch-up post.

First of all, I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving on the day...I've been so busy for the past several days! So, I hope you all had very happy Thanksgivings, saw family and friends, and ate lots of good food - I know I did!

And a week late (but it's never the wrong time to give thanks!), here is what I'm thankful for. I'm so thankful for the love of God for all of us; my wonderful Catholic faith and all of the beautiful mysteries it contains, especially the Holy Eucharist; the communion of the saints; my family who loves me; my wonderful friends - near and far, those I see often and those I've never met; for wonderful books, beautiful music, and amazing dancing; for the talents God has blessed me with; for freedom; for hope for a better future; for this wonderful life and the hope of heaven.

This is going to be a post in several parts, since it's been so long since I've posted anything at all! That's mostly due to the fact that I was sick for about 3 weeks (one week of which I had the swine flu) - I'm still getting over it, in fact, and we've also just been rather busy with I'm not exactly sure what. lol

Well, I've finally come to the conclusion that I should stop telling people about all my plans for the future! They all sound amazing, and then about 2 weeks later I've changed my mind. It happens with embarrassing frequency. :P So let's just say that I'm not so sure anymore that I want to get into dancing professionally. It's such a toss-up, as I really do love dancing, but looking at it from a spiritual point of view, I'm not sure it would be the best choice for me. I'm not saying that choosing a dance career would be a bad choice for anyone - certainly not! It would be terrible if their were no dancers in the world. I'm just not sure that it would be the right choice for my life. There is a part in me that wants a dance career so badly, and there's another part that is telling me that I might regret it in the end. There would probably be a very good chance that I would end up losing my dedication to God and my faith, and that's not a chance I would want to take. Making the right choice can be awfully difficult at times. Can you all please pray that, when the time comes, I'll be able to make it? Thank you so much!

Because, after all, I don't need to make a decision quite yet. I still have another year of school after this one, and then we shall see! And like my dad always tells me, if you're sure to always keep God first in your life, there's no way you can go wrong. That's what I mean to always try to do, by the grace of God!

If I don't dance, however, I know what I should do. I'll go to college (I'm thinking Christendom), get a degree in Theology, probably get married, and write beautiful things. I'm also still thinking of the religious life. You never know! But I really believe that, when you're choosing a state in life, it's very important to remember those words of Our Lord: "What profiteth a man if he should gain the whole world, but lose his own soul?"
I wanted to share these three absolutely beautiful songs with all of you. I've always thought that heaven will sound a bit like all of them.

Anima mea, mane!
Quanta qualia conventus gaudia erunt.

My soul, wait!
How great and how wonderful the joys of the meeting shall be.

Te lucis ante terminum,
Rerum Creator, poscimus,
Ut pro tua clementia,
sis praesul ad custodiam.

Procul recedant somnia,
Et noctium phantasmata:
Hostemque nostrum comprime,
Ne polluantur corpora.

Praesta, Pater omnipotens,
per Iesum Christum Dominum,
qui tecum in perpetuum
regnat cum Sancto Spiritu.


To thee before the close of day,
Creator of the world, we pray
That, with thy wonted favor, thou
Wouldst be our guard and keeper now.

From all ill dreams defend our sight,
From fears and terrors of the night;
Withhold from us our ghostly foe,
That spot of sin we may not know.

O Father, that we ask be done,
Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son,
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Doth live and reign eternally.


And this may be the best one of all.

In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem.
May angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs come to welcome you, and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem. May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, the poor man, may you have eternal rest.
I'm re-reading the Fr. Finn books, and I think you should all read them too! :) The basic premise of the stories - boys at a Jesuit boarding school in turn-of-the-century Kansas - might not sound like the most appealing, but trust me, they are wonderful books. Every time I read them, I come away strengthened in my faith by the examples of the characters. These books are touching, humorous, and filled to the brim with a love of God and mankind. Inspirational reading at its best!

I'm also reading "The Quiet Light", by Louis de Wohl. I'm really enjoying it, and when I'm done with the review I'm writing of it for "The Latin Mass" magazine's book review column on the last page, I'll post it here!
I can't believe we're already into Advent! I can't wait to start decorating the house. I have some things planned to post on here close to Christmas, so stay tuned! :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Okay...I gotta do this one! :)

Rose and Elena both did this...theirs were SO funny that I just had to try it too!

First, list twelve characters from any fandom, then answer the questions below.

1. Blanche Brier
2. Edmund Pevensie
3. Arwen
4. Jane Eyre
5. Elizabeth Bennet
6. Fitzwilliam Darcy
7. Tom Playfair
8. Horatio Hornblower
9. Rose Brier
10. Sherlock Holmes
11. Ratty from Wind in the Willows
12. James Herriot

1. Who would make a better collage prof, 6 or 11?
Hmmm...I gotta say Ratty. Mr. Darcy would find it too tempting to insult his students, and besides, all the girls would be absolutely swooning! Not much studying in that class. ;)

2. Do you think #2 is hot?
Edmund is not hot, but he's for sure a bubble! :D

3. 12 sends 8 out on a mission. What is it? Does it succeed?
James Herriot sends Horatio Hornblower on a mission...hmmm. It would probably have to do with saving some shipment of animals, and I'm sure it would succeed!

4. What is or what would be 9's favorite book?
Rose Brier loves G.K Chesterton and all good books!

5. Would it make more since for 2 to swear fealty to 6, or the other way around?
Yeah, I can't see Edmund swearing fealty to Mr. Darcy, or vice versa!

6. For some reason, 5 is looking for a roommate. Should (s)he room with 9 or 10?
Elizabeth Bennet should room with Rose Brier, fo sho! They would have an amazing time, and it would just not be right for her to room with Sherlock

7. 2, 7 and 12 are going out to dinner. Where do they go and what do they discuss?
Edmund, Tom Playfair, and James Herriot - that is a good combination! Well, they'd want to go somewhere with a LOT of good, normal food...probably some nice little local restaurant. They would talk about animals, Tom (especially!) and Mr. Herriot would be very eager to hear about Edmund's battles, and they'd have an altogether jolly time!

8. 3 challenges 10 to a duel, who wins?
Sherlock Holmes would never duel with a lady! :O

9. If 1 stole 8's most precious possession, how would (s)he get it back?
Hmmm...what would Horatio's most prized possesion be? Well, whatever it was, I'm sure Blanche only took it by accident (or it was put in her backpack to frame her...), and Horatio would ask very politely if he could have it back.

10. Suggest a story title in which 7 and 12 both attain what they desire.
Faith and Love

11. What kind of plot device would you have to use if you wanted 1 and 4 to work together?
The fact that they're both quiet, shy, but strong as steel. Kindred spirits of a sort?

12. If 7 visited you for the weekend, how would it go?
We would have a lot of fun and some very interesting conversations! And I would NOT sing to him. heehee

13. If you could command 3 to perform any service or task for you, what would it be?
Thou shalt give me all thy clothes and jewelry! :D

14. Does anyone on your friends list write or draw 11?
Ratty? Erm...not that I know of!

15. If 2 had to choose sides between 4 and 5, what side would (s)he choose?
Hum. Somehow I see Edmund siding more with Lizzy than Jane.

16. What might 10 shout out while charging into battle?
I agree with what Elena said...he would not shout, he'd stealthily sneak!

17. If you had to choose a song to best describe 8, what would it be?
Ooooh! Ummm...hmmm. I have no idea, beyond something about being very devoted to your Duty.

18. 1, 6 and 12 are having a dim sum at a Chinese Restaurant. There is only one scallion pancake left, and they all reach for it at the same time. Who gets it?
I think Mr. Darcy and Mr. Herriot would be gentlemen and give it to Blanche, who probably didn't even try to get it that hard.

19. What would be a good pickup line for 2 to say to 10?
When I hear "pick-up line", I think romantic...not gonna happen between Edmund and Sherlock Holmes! :O

20. What would 5 most likely be arrested for?
Lizzy would probably be arrested for speaking impertinently to a member of the nobility. :P

21. What is 6's secret?
He has many. *mysterious nod*

22. If 11 and 9 were racing to a destination, who would get there first?
Rose, I'll betcha...she has kind of longer legs...but if they were in boats, Ratty would win no sweat!

23. If you had to walk home through a bad neighborhood late at night, who would you feel more comfortable walking with, 7 or 8?
Oh my goodness, if I could have both Tom and Horatio, I would have no fears whatsoever!

24. 1 and 9 reluctantly team up to save the world from the threat posed by 4's sinister secret organization. 11 volunteers to help them,but it is later discovered that s/he is actually a spy for 4. Meanwhile, 4 has kidnapped 12 in an attempt to force their surrender. Following the wise advice of 5, they seek out 3, who gives them what they need to complete their quest. What title would you give this fic?

Blanche and Rose are the couple of saviors of the world from Jane Eyre's sinister plot...oh come now, they wouldn't be reluctant to team up, they're the closest of sisters, they'd be happy! Ratty turns out to be a turncoat, and Jane has kidnapped Mr. Herriot. However, Blanche and Rose follow Lizzy's wise advice and they seek out Arwen, who gives them what they need to save the world. And that, my friends, would be titled The Girls Save the World. ;)

Like Rose said, what, that's it??? I want more! :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

FOCA - The Worst Choice We Could Make

This is the essay I wrote for this year's Knights of Columbus Respect Life essay contest. So far, it's won 1st place in my grade level at the regional level! Now it will go to be judged at the diocesan level, and if it does well there, it will continue on to State.


In the early part of 2009, a lot of media coverage was given to the Freedom of Choice Act (commonly known by the acronym FOCA). There hasn’t been much media coverage of it in recent months, but it seems to have reappeared in objectionable proposed legislation in the National Health Care Reform. It’s important that the pro-life community knows what dire effects this legislation would have for unborn children, and how we should go about fighting it.

Like the national Health Care Reform, FOCA has a very disturbing agenda that would have many terrible consequences for the unborn. One of the worst things would be the reversal of the Health and Human Services Federal Refusal Rule, which protects physicians who object on moral grounds to providing abortions or birth control. With this rule gone, doctors would be faced with a terrible choice: give up their hard-won practices, or go against their Hippocratic Oath and kill unborn children.

The bill also suggests making contraceptives cheaper and more easily obtainable on college campuses, and eliminating funding for abstinence-only programs in schools. This would cause so many young lives to be ruined – both the unborn babies, who would not even have a chance at life, and their mothers and fathers, who in later years may very well be haunted by remorse at the thought that they had killed their own children.

FOCA also proposes cutting down the laws requiring minors to have parental consent for an abortion, and suggests increased funding for Planned Parenthood, federal funding for abortions in all 50 states, and federal funding of abortions in other countries. These propositions would make procuring an abortion so much easier and spread more death to children in the womb, and in the end the parents would suffer, particularly the mothers. The pro-abortion agenda never speaks of the terrible guilt and mental anguish, usually leading to depression, that many women eventually suffer at some point after an abortion. There are also numerous health risks involved for the mother, as an abortion is a very invasive surgery.

What can we do to stop FOCA from taking effect and making such monstrosities possible? There are many ways to take action! Writing letters to statesmen and the newspapers is one powerful means of educating the public on the truth of the matter. The Internet is becoming a very important tool. You can do a lot of good through forwarding pro-life emails, and if you have a Facebook or blog, they are very good places to fight for the unborn.

Finally, we must never forget or underestimate the power of prayer. If we pray and trust that the side of the True and Good will win in the end, there can only be certainty in our hearts that the pro-life cause will triumph. There are many ways of using this subtle but powerful weapon to counteract the enemy: participation in the Forty Days for Life program, spiritually adopting an unborn child, or offering Masses, rosaries, and Holy Hours for this intention.

When the valiant efforts of those actively fighting this terrible agenda are united with the prayers of thousands, we can have hope that a great change will come. Our country, and one day our world, will come to realize that every human life is a treasure from God that’s not to be wasted; that immaturity and irresponsibility are things to be fought, not encouraged; and that America must return to her promise of giving all her citizens life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If we stand strong and fight against FOCA and whatever other anti-life bills are put out there, we will see this day soon.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Today my sister and I were doing lots of reminiscing about the summer intensive *insert dreamy smile*. I realized that a lot of really cool things of various natures happened that I haven't mentioned yet (see my other post here). I'm just going to write them down as I think of them.
There were so many things that happened that made us feel like we were in a dance flick! When we were sitting outside the theater waiting for our parents to get us after one of the dress rehearsals, it felt like we were in a movie, the way we were surrounded by nicely-dressed dancers, all talking and laughing and texting their friends! And the really cool part was that we were part of that group!

Another funny, movie-like thing that happened was at the performance, when my sister and I went out into the lobby to go and watch the second half (the dance we were in started the performance, so after the first half our level went into the theater and watched the second half). We were waiting around outside, looking at the things for sale from the ballet school, when I noticed the two guys working the drinks counter watching us.

Guy 1: Oooh!
Guy 2: I like the makeup!

We of course had heavy stage makeup on. It was so funny!

Oh, the picture above is me with my hair done for the performance! I kept the flower.
Sitting in the dark theater, watching the beautiful dances of Tech 4 and 5 with the other lower-level students, is something I will never forget. After the last performance, I overheard another girl say to one of her friends, "Oh man, I cried during the entire thing - it was so beautiful! When I see a dance like that, I wish that all the people who think I'm weird to be so into ballet could see it. That's why I do it!"

This is awesome, I thought. It was such a nice feeling to be surrounded by people who share this same passion. The beauty of the last two dances had moved my sister and myself to tears as well, and it was wonderful to think that the other students were feeling its beauty just as we were!

I very much wish that you could see the recording of the dances, or that I could post pictures, but the pictures all have the name of the school on them in a watermark and for safety reasons I'd rather not say where we were. However, I am thrilled to have found all the music for the Tech 5 dance! I LOVE this music. I've never heard anything quite like it, and the choreography fit it perfectly! Below, I present for your listening pleasure three selections from the album Steppe by Rene Aubry!

Sagitaire (this song opened the dance)
Magda (this tango section was my favorite part - I love the music and the dancing that accompanied it!)
Steppe (the last part of the favorite music! Go to 1:25 - that's where it started in the dance.)

So beautiful.
We had to leave pretty early every morning, and I didn't always have time to make my bed before we left. One day I went into the bedroom after returning to the hotel, and I saw my rosary carefully arranged on the blanket.

"I didn't do that," said Mum. "The lady who came to clean did!"

I thought that was pretty cool, and the cleaning lady probably did too - I'm sure she doesn't often find a rosary in someone's bed.
The second night we were there, we went swimming (as we did almost every night). We decided to walk around the whole atrium in the 5th floor hallway. Since this would be really confusing to try and explain, I posted a picture of the hotel! I love that hotel so's beautiful, the workers are all very friendly, there's always gorgeous piano music playing, they offer a complimentary cooked breakfast every morning, and it has glass elevators! In fact, that picture was taken when I was in the glass elevator.

So we were standing in the 5th floor hallway, overlooking the breakfast area (the tables you can sort of see at the top of the page). The only sounds to be heard were the peaceful piano music and the water fountain, and since it was a Monday night, no one was around. No one, that is, except one hotel worker, sweeping around the tables. The scene was like something out of a movie - the peaceful piano music and the aerial view of a man sweeping the floor between the symmetrically placed tables. I wished I had a video camera!
I'm probably going to think of other things and need to add another post, but here's a few pictures!

Me in first arabesque. (I'm not sure how to get rid of the underline...?)

My sister doing the splits.

My class in our awesome pointe shoe picture! My feet are right in the middle on the lower edge.
I miss the intensive - I can't wait for the auditions in January! :)

Also, just a side note: I'm now thinking that, after high school, I will try out for the secondary company of the ballet company whose intensive I attended (man, that was confusing! lol). I think I'd always regret it if I never tried to have a career in ballet, and there's NO way I'd be ready to give it up in just 2 or 3 years!