Kiss me, I'm Catholic.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Medieval Fest

Here are the promised pictures from Christendom College's 2005 Medieval Fest.

The library was decorated with the banners which my roommate Stephanie made.

Many students and families attended.

Stephanie in front of the result of her hard work.

My "stained glass windows" in the commons.

St. Joan of Arc. In hobbit proportions. (Argh!)

Luthien rose window.

We watched a morality play written by my friend Sheila, titled Piers Freshman (after Piers Plowman, the poem that the sophmore class loves to hate). Piers Freshman, on a quest for GPA, is accosted by various figures such as Student Activities Council,

Work Study,


and Sleep.

After seeking guidance from the Dean,

he learns to make friends with Legion [of Mary] and Shield [of Roses].

These lead him to Dame Study,

and her elusive friend, GPA, who gives him a diploma. Hurrah!

Other attractions were the Disputed Question (hilarious!), madrigal singing, and the pig roast:

More pictures:

Cider stand

Some Students with their English Professor. I'm standing next to the Saracen Maiden.

My friend Sarah. She was a different kind of medieval. Watch out for that katana!

Friends Megan (left), Stephanie (right), and Sheila (sitting).

My other friend Sarah, and myself.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Trid Love Song

Boeciana of Laodicia sings a romantic trad hit:

You're the top,
You're the Roman Canon;
You're the top,
You're the Creed in Latin;
In illo tempore
starts every story
you tell;
You're a chanted Ave,
a solemn Salve,
a Sanctus bell....


What Obsolete Skill Are You?

Regularly Metric Verse

You are 'regularly metric verse'. This can take many forms, including heroic couplets, blank verse, and other iambic pentameters, for example. It has not been used much since the nineteenth century; modern poets tend to prefer rhyme without meter, or even poetry with neither rhyme nor meter. You appreciate the beautiful things in life--the joy of music, the color of leaves falling, the rhythm of a heartbeat. You see life itself as a series of little poems. The result (or is it the cause?) is that you are pensive and often melancholy. You enjoy the company of other people, but they find you unexcitable and depressing. Your problem is that regularly metric verse has been obsolete for a long time.

What Obsolete Skill Are You?

Yessss! I thought I was going to get "Latin," but this is even better. The little blurb is mostly bosh, though. "Not been used much since the nineteenth century" - do the names Yeats, Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, or Dylan Thomas ring a bell? And there is iambic pentameter in The Waste Land, so ha! Ezra Pound was mad on dactyls. And Seamus Heaney (who has the distinction of not being dead) has written sonnets. I think that most "free verse" is full of meter, even though the time signature keeps changing, so to speak. But regularly metric verse thrives today in the form of song lyrics, which is really as it should be, when you think about it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Any friend of Hopkins is a friend of mine.

Now this looks fun: Dappled Things - a "Catholic Literary Magazine for Young Scholars." I've just got to send them something! The introduction on their site is neat:

Letter from the Editor

"Glory be to God for dappled things," writes the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins in the poem "Pied Beauty," first naming things literally colored with contrasting speckles and patches: streaked skies, spotted trout, great fields sectioned and ploughed and planted. He then extends his definition of "dappled" to mean

"…[a]ll things counter, original, spare, strange; Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim…"

According to Hopkins, dappled things are those things we find irregular and surprising that are in fact lovelier and more lovable for their being irregular and surprising. We can think of an infinite number of such strangely beautiful things: the patches on an overripe fruit, a sudden slow and sad passage in a song, even the inexplicable peace that comes of suffering. These "dappled things," things at once "swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim," confound our human love for safety, thwart our wish to see unblemished fruit, to listen to music that does not carry us away, to live a life without challenge. How can it be that we grow to love things that once made us uncomfortable, that we rejoice in things we once found imperfect? How is it that the things, the events, and the men that the world finds weakest and worst often give rise to the greatest joy? It is a mystery, in the fullest sense of the term, and "Pied Beauty" delights in it.

We at Dappled Things delight, too: in that mystery, and in the genius of Gerard Manley Hopkins, that he can muse in a poem on "skies of couple-color as a brinded cow" and yet through that poem hint at the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For surely that is the most dappled thing in all human history, the strangest and the most beautiful, at once "swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim."

The Psalmist invites us, "Come, let us sing to the Lord, and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us!" We the editors of Dappled Things invite you, our Catholic brothers and sisters, to sing and shout in our pages about our dappled world. Write about spotted trout and brinded cows, or write about the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We ask only that your work be inspired by your love for Him and His Church in the fullness of her Scripture and Tradition, her sacraments, and her communion of saints.

Mary Angelita Ruiz


It's very new - the first edition will be published this December. I'm always on the prowl for good modern poetry, and this looks promising. Thanks for the link, Matthew!


I return at last. No, I wasn't eaten by a bear, kidnapped by Mexican bandits, or crushed by a giant Latin dictionary falling from the sky... well, almost. The Latin midterm was postponed, thank God, but I still had three others in English, theology and philosophy - as well as a history paper. Many people tried to convince our theology professor to move his exam - but to no avail. We did manage to wring a promise out of him: if the Mother of God and the three Archangels appeared to him and told him to move the exam, he would obey. Some students began praying feverishly. But as Cardinal Wolsey said in A Man for All Seasons, "there is prayer - but there is also action!" Several enterprising students surprised the professor before class on the day of the test, presenting him a scroll with impressive Gothic lettering all over it. His response was rather deflating.

"I can tell the difference between the Mother of God and Olivia R. with a pillowcase on her head. They teach you these things in graduate school."

Alas, the test was on.

Many other students were bitten by the mysterious Midterm Moose (don't ask me why a moose), contracting flu, hacking coughs and migraines at the optimally inopportune time of the night spent studying for next day's test.

I pulled through - barely. On Saturday, euphoric at having finished my hellish week, I went home with my roommate and began what should have been a glorious week-long break. But it was not to be. I had foolishly volunteered to make decorations for Medieval Fest (which will be this Saturday), and I promptly converted my room into a one-woman sweatshop. How hard could it be to make three "stained glass windows" out of posterboard and tissue paper with a persnickety glue bottle and a dull Exacto knife? Never mind...

The last window isn't quite finished, but will be soon. Two of them are large rose window-looking things, featuring (and this is my private joke) the heraldic symbol designed by Tolkien for Luthien of Doriath! The other window shows St. Joan of Arc, looking suspiciously anime-ish. I'll have some fantastic pictures up this Saturday.

Odd and Whimsical Christendom Quotes.

"Our God is not like the other gods, a nuclear reactor god, on whom we can push ritualistic buttons!" - Mr. J.

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