November 2, 2005 § Leave a comment

Finally – it’s about time I find a few minutes to update this thing!

I have to talk about the Phi Eta Sigma ceremony last Friday night, because it was really fun. First of all, Kenny went to classes with me all day, and afterwards we went on a tour of the Shrine (something I have been meaning to do!) Around 5PM Mommy, Daddy, Celeste, and Elizabeth showed up on campus and I took them over to meet Mrs. Dr. Brewer. She was absolutely wonderful, and proudly gave the family a tour of the Chemistry Dept., including showing them my research desk in her lab where I will be next semester. Other teachers I have had have not been very nice to my family all the time, partly because we were all homeschooled, but this went really well.

Later, after the ceremony (an hour-and-a-half long affair which could have been pared down to twenty minutes), I introduced Mommy and Daddy to Dr. De Groot (Assoc. Dean of Phil.) and the man who was a huge surprise guest, Dr. Schneck. He was very genial and we all chatted for a while. Meanwhile, Dr. Schneck showered praises on my head, as I fought to keep it at a normal size and my face from turning too deep a shade of red. I wish he wouldn’t do that. But he always thought it was funny for some reason to make me blush.

Today was a loooooooong chem lab. Though the distillation procedure itself was really fast, it took about three hours to get our samples through the (sole!) gas chromotography apparatus. *sigh* At least everyone turned out well, and Matt didn’t have too much to bug me about. Now I have a headache on account of the fumes from the stuff we were distillating samples of – a mixture of 85% phosporic acid and 2-methylcyclohexene. Potent stuff, believe me! The fume hood didn’t help much this time.

We got our chem tests back this morning, too. It was one of those things that could have either (a) ruined the rest of the week or (b) made my day. Thankfully it was the latter this time, and I once again have lived up to the rather brutal expectations of the Brewers. It’s really strange – I never did much science before I went to college, but I find that I just come to life in the chemistry building.

Physics was okay as usual; I have finally dragged that grade up to an A by working my tail off. Philosophy was a joy – we spent an hour talking about the relationship of passion to reason, and how a good moral action entails that reason have a political rule over the passions. Fascinating stuff, really, and I can’t do it justice on here. There are no greater joys in my life than (1) grasping the meaning of a difficult passage in a work of philosophy and perhaps even asking a question about it, and (2) having a reaction go the way it should. :::laughs::: It’s the simple things, you know.

I was a little late today for chem lab because the Mass at the Shrine took far longer than I expected. Silly me, I forgot that today is All Souls and they had a big Mass with music, etc. But it didn’t take too much effort to enjoy it. It would be hard not to – the beautiful choir, the rich purple and gold vestments, Msgr. Rossi’s deep tones, and all the pomp and circumstance that the Church has to offer. Sublime moments like this remind me of the intricate tapestry of tradition in the Catholic Church, and I feel contented in the knowledge that it will go on until the end of time. Why would anyone want to be anywhere else? Mind boggling. At every Mass, my heart overflows with gratitude for God – I can feel every sub-atomic particle in my body straining to show praise. I am His.

Enough of this. Symbolic Logic is screaming for attention from my backpack, and James Herriot is calling my name as well. One chapter per night…48 chapters…hmmmm….

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