By guest blogger Courtney Gareau ’17
I have a love hate relationship with Lent. I think that is great way to work on temperance and my relationship with God, but it is also difficult because nobody really enjoys giving things up for Lent. You at least have to enjoy whatever it is that you are giving up, hence the difficulty of giving up something for Lent. I once had to explain this to one of my first grade CCD students in a conversation that went like this:
Me: “So, have any of you decided what you are giving up for Lent?”
Boy [raises hand]: “Yes! I am giving up chocolate cake!”
Me: “Ok great! Do you really like chocolate cake?”
Boy: “Oh no! I hate chocolate cake! I only eat vanilla!”
Me: “Oh that’s not quite how Lent is supposed to work.”
I then went on to explain how you are supposed to give up something that you actually like and enjoy, which is far from what my student had been planning on doing.
We all associate Lent with something that we have to give up, and then the joy of getting to go back to eating that chocolate or scrolling on Facebook once Easter comes. This year, I am challenging myself to grow in other ways during Lent. I know that just giving up a food will mean that I start eating it again after Lent. While that forces discipline, I know that it won’t have long lasting effects for me. Instead, I am working on eating healthy to work on overall health. Additionally, as a way to bridge health and the discipline of sacrificing, I am giving up the thing that we all know to well – scrolling through all of our social media accounts to see what we have missed in the past hour. My Lenten goal to work on this is that I am not allowed to go on social media when I am laying in bed because by giving this up, I am cutting back on my screen time as well as giving myself those few extra minutes for an earlier bedtime as well as nightly prayer. This leads me to the last part of what I am working on for Lent – my prayer life. This cannot be boiled down to one specific thing because I am working on this in a few different areas including Mass, Adoration, and reflection. These are all things that happen in my life already, but this Lent, I am working on increasing the frequency in a hope to deepen my prayer life and relationship with God.
This year, I am really working on having my Lenten goals be things that can continue after Easter and not just end after the 40 days. When giving things up for Lent as a kid, my dad used to always tell me, “You can do anything for 40 days.” This is very true because even difficult sacrifices can be made for 40 days. My goal this year though is to challenge myself to make my goals ones that last much longer than the 40 days. I think that this is something that we can all work on because Lent should be a time to reflect on ourselves and our own lives and make the changes that are necessary to prepare ourselves for Christ’s death as well as the redemption that comes with His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Jesus was in the desert for 40 days, but the Israelites were in the desert for 40 years. Can we challenge ourselves to make our Lent something that affects us for not just 40 days but for 40 years?
By guest blogger Courtney Gareau ’17 I have a love hate relationship with Lent. I think that is great way... MORE
Leah Grandy, of the Loyalist Collection at the University of New Brunswick Libraries, has a few recent(-ish) posts on paleography, or deciphering historical handwriting. Grandy notes here that paleography training—previously thought to be necessary only for people studying medieval and early modern texts, which may be written in styles such as blackletter or secretary hand that they don’t necessarily encounter much in their modern lives—may also need to be extended to students and researchers of later centuries as well. Cursive, previously a staple of early education, is no longer taught in many schools, and as a result, undergrads are arriving at college who have trouble reading 18th-20th century handwritten primary sources. As someone who has deciphered written annotations for the Women Writers Project and sometimes transcribes documents on Shakespeare’s World for fun, I’m used to people recoiling in fear and/or disgust at the idea of facing down secretary hand, but it’s strange for me to think about people having a similar reaction to cursive!
In this post, Grandy offers a really helpful set of tips for reading or transcribing handwritten documents—whatever style they’re written in. Among them: comparing unclear letters/words to identifiable ones; looking up people and places; transcribing what you can identify and leaving blanks before coming back; guessing and going with your gut! If you’re a student or researcher dealing with handwritten primary sources, check it out.
Leah Grandy, of the Loyalist Collection at the University of New Brunswick Libraries, has a few recent(-ish) posts on paleography,... MORE
Hi everyone back in Providence! It is such an awesome opportunity to be able to write a little blog entry that may help some of you fellow EDU students make the decision to come explore Florence. It is a crazy feeling that two weeks from today, I will be on a plane traveling back to my real home. Just like it was hard saying goodbye to my home back in the United States, I feel like it is going to be just as hard to leave Florence. It’s the time that I have to start saying goodbye to a place that will always have a special part of my heart. Florence has become my home. When traveling home from weekends away in other countries or just walking home from classes throughout the week, I notice myself calling my apartment home. I have become so comfortable here in the past three months that it has similar feelings as when I am at my real home. Yes, you will miss your families, but I mean there’s nothing a good FaceTiming session with your loved ones can’t fix. Last week on Thanksgiving, I FaceTimed my whole family (all 47 of them) for about an hour, being passed down the line to talk to each of them. And when you do feel like you’re really missing your family, you will find that the women/men from the PC Elementary and Special Education Program become your family here.
Florence symbol at Piazza Michelangelo.
With the thought of these next two weeks being my last in my Study Abroad experience, I am going to focus on not thinking about the future, but to live in the moment for these next two weeks. Friends and I have already started planning days around our class schedules for our last specific experiences in Florence. Planning our last Gusta Pizza, our last walk to Piazza Michelangelo, last De Neri Gelato, and even our last practicum experiences here in Florence. It will be hard to say goodbye, but I know I will always find my way back to this beautiful city. See you in two weeks America!
Hi everyone back in Providence! It is such an awesome opportunity to be able to write a little blog entry that... MORE