This president has got to be the coolest ever. Riding a Trek 9.8 bike with a Giro helmet, and listening to "Brown Eyed Girl" on an iPod...can't get much cooler than that. Posted by Hello


Mary, Pete, Mose, JB, Kitty, I, and Joe before the Christmas Formal Dance. Posted by Hello


Yay I'm home again!
Only now I miss all my friends at TAC. Well, I guess I can survive for three week without them, although it would be very cool is Mary and Mose visitied me.
The flight wasn't that bad, although I arrived at the airport 8 hours early, and there was alot of turbulence, and it took them hours to offload the baggage, so we had them send it hereinstead, and it still hasn't arrived. (note: that is one of the reasons I never check my laptop or anything eles really important)
So the Ryans and Suchomskis should be coming over later today, so we'll watch pictures, and I might even see if we could get some girls and I could teach them how to dance.


Well, I took my lab final today. I think my 8 hours of studying paid off, it seemed fairly easy. I think I might even have gotten an A, but perhaps that's just wishful thinking on my part. So all that's left is Philosophy tomorrow at 9. Then it's party all the way till Saturday morning.
In other news, I got an A- on my Theology Paper, which was written on the meaning of the last verse of Judges: "In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes." Judges 21:8


Well, I've survived two of my finals so far.
I had theology on Friday, which was a two hour exam.
We had to write two essays, one on a passage from Exodus, and the other on a passage from Hebrews.

"Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."" Exodus 19:5-6

"Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent which is set up not by man but by the Lord. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary; for when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, "See that you make everything according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain."" Hebrews 8:1-5

I wrote 3 pages for the first one, and 2 pages for the second. If I had to give myself a grade I'd say I got a B.

Today I had my seminar final, which was a 15 minute oral "exam." Actually it was more of a discussion about Plato's "Ion" and about the divine inspiration of human creation of poetry. It went quite well, and based on my paper grade and final, I think it's possible I might get an A in Seminar. I'm also hoping for an A in Math and Language. I'm not so sure about Theology, Lab, and Philosphy, although I hear that Mr Paietta (Theo) and Dr. Neumayr (Lab), are easy graders.
Tomorrow I have my lab final, and Friday is philosophy.
Both of them are 2-3 hour essay finals, so pray for me and my right hand, that it doesn't get really badly cramped.
And the Christmas bread is very good brain food, which I also need because I gave blood today for Mrs. Scanlon, the mother of two students here, who's been having sever medical problems after having her baby a week ago, and has needed many blood transfusion. (the baby is fine)


Finals week!
Time to go crazy studying!!!!


Mary Rose wrote this letter to her family, and since it describes life at TAC, I asked her if I could post it on my blog.

“So, the campus has been hit with the flu.
At least, it will be once I get done with it, since the flu has kindly started with me. I am currently doing my part to benevolently spread germs to the dorm computers. Anyway, having been in bed the past two days I am horribly bored and have decided to give my dear family a summary of this semester's classes, now that finals are almost here(eek!) So, beginning with the Queen of the Sciences:

THEOLOGY: 3 hours a week of unlearning everything you ever thought you know. Take 17 people who think they know the Bible and their faith and make them think about the Old Testament for a while-- all of it. Ask at least once a class, "So, why did God do that?" Watch them flounder for an explanation as they try to reconcile the nice bearded man who sits on clouds with the God who calls an entire unwitting assembly of blasphemers together, with incense, so he can blast them all at once. Bam- you've got Freshman Theology, also known as a massive headache.
I'm told by upperclassmen that it doesn't stop, especially when we get to Augustine and predestination next year...oy.
Sadly, in my section, this class is also 3 hours a week of trying to simultaneously stay awake, participate in discussion, not hit your neighbor over the head with you bible when they hold their point too stubbornly, and survive Mr. Paietta's puns. Very frustrating class, out of which I feel that I have gotten little.
Actually, that's the way it's supposed to be. It's not a real class. It's purpose is just to get you to read the Bible cover to cover, take notes, and get your history straight. That class really takes place in your independent study time, unlike the next class I'm going to summarize:

PHILOSOPHY- comparable only to aerobic exercize. Outside of class you futiley attempt to understand what Aristotle is saying, which is the equivalent of stretching most of muscle groups you will use. I say most because you always discover in class that you missed some word or letter or comma that is massively important to understanding the work. Then, you get to class, and the tutor leads you through increasingly difficult mental gyrations that leave your poor little intellect sweating and your mental heart(if I dare invent such a thing) pounding. However, after half a semester of these bi-weekly workouts, you find that you have some very nice intellectual muscles with which to bend such things as sentences(or rather, statements) and words(oops, names) into fully understood patterns. It also leaves you feeling a bit conspicuous, entering the non-liberal arts focused world as one of the few who is developing these muscles, like someone with amazingly toned toes. It's just not normal. You discover this as you sit in the airport, hearing some over-worked person announce to the entire airport that "the flight" was now boarding, and immediately begin to wonder if that flight was a particular, first substance flight, or a species of all flights in this airport(wouldn't that be nice! no more waiting!), or a genus of all flight, universally....and then realize that if you shared this musing with the person sitting next to you, they would give the weirdest look ever. Still, it's awesome to be able to have philosophical discussions with the vocabulary Aristotle provides, and even talk about Plato, that we studied at the beginning of the year, and talk about it in an entirely new way.

LABORATORY: For my section, 3 hours a week of training oneself to fall asleep with one's eyes open. My tutor, an absolute genius and the nicest man ever, is gifted with a very soothing voice--which must have been wonderful for calming down his many charming children, years ago before his youngest became the inspirational Head Prefect who will someday be Governor of California--that has the trick of shutting your eyes even as your mind works at double speed to comprehend the amazing things he's just said. We could get so far in that class if only we could stay awake! I'm told that once, when his entire section had fallen asleep, he stuck two pencils up his nose and waited calmly for someone to wake up and start laughing. He's acheived enough (like founding TAC!) in his long life that he apparently doesn't mind if we fall asleep, as long as we do well on the final.
As far as subject material goes...I have no clue. We've talked at length about instinct versus intellect, about the interwoven nature of ecosystems, and a good deal about evolution, but I haven't been able to pick up the overall theme of the class. I sure hope it's revealed sometime before the final in two weeks.

SEMINAR: Way too much fun. We read the greatest Ancient Greek literature ever and get to have hugely heated discussions about what the heck they meant. Analyzing literature is my favorite academic pursuit, so Seminar is one of my favorite classes. It's also the most torturous outside of class, though, because the readings are really, really, really long sometimes. We were told that at TAC we would be spending as much time preparing for each class as we spend in it. That's not true. We spend less time on some subjects, like Philosophy and Lab, and make up for by our 6-hour seminar readings.

MATHEMATICS: Again, way too much fun. Instead of having dry, pre-worked out formulas fed us to be regurgitated on tests, we are forced to discover the theorems for ourselves. I've already told you about how the props work, I think. A really fun way to learn props, that my friend Nick and I employ if we're silly enough to study together, is to look at what Euclid is going to prove and completely ignore how he did it, finding your own way. Once you've studied Euclid(or Pukey Euky, as we fondly call him) long enough, you can usually figure out what he's going to do. If you don't come up with the same method he did, you can research it and discover why his way is immensely superior, and marvel at your on comparative stupidity.

LANGUAGE: a union of fantastic grammatical/philosophical inquiry into the English language, and an absolute hell of trying to remember which darn ending is 3rd person plural indicative active in the stinking fourth conjugation. Fortunately, Daddy's genetic generosity (and Mommy's careful tutoring a really long time ago in the exact text book we'reusing!) gave me the ability to ace Latin if I study enough, and to scrape by with a D if I don't. Even more fortunately, I love my Language tutor dearly and wouldn't dissapoint him for the world, so I work hard. After all, if I dissapoint him, whose adorable children can I steal away from their equally wonderful mother?

Oy, okay, that's enough, I should go back to bed and stop infecting casual passersby with my evil flu germs. I should also find some Lysol(what I would give for Basic G!) to spray down everything I've touched.

~Mary Rose”


We had the Christmas Dance last Saturday, and my muscles are still sore.
But it was alot of fun. Everyone was all dressed up, and the cafeteria was decorated very well by the seniors. However, the real reason I'm still exhausted was the dance-off.
It's been KK season here for the past week, with all sorts of pranks going on (I'll tell more about those later)and an hour before the dance began, I got a note from my KK in my box, stating:
"You must challenge other at the dance to a "dance-off" (think Starsky and Hutch) before midnight in order to get back your timecard and other rewards."

Well, I talked to the prefects, and they didn't much like the idea of a "Starsky and Hutch" (apparently freestyling) dance-off, but they were all cool with a swing-dance-off, so I quickly organized it with some people. I got David Hong (the DJ) to let me have a mike and play “Jump, Jive, and Wail.” Then I asked Dominic Hayden and James Berquist to compete with me, to which they agreed, and went off to choose their partners (Mary Teichert and Colleen McAlister, respectively). Next I found Clay Brockman, John Heilmann, and Mike Grimm (all dance gods) to be judges, set a time, and went off to find my partner, Mary Rose. We practiced for a few dances, and at 10:30 we went up and announced the competition. Dr. Big Bad John Almeida turned the lights on the stage, Dom and James brought Colleen and Mary up, and we began. The song is a fairly fast song already, and Dom and I were double-timing it the whole way. I started off with a few basic moves, basic spin, he goes she goes, around the back spin, and then started doing some fun combos, like princess dip into double spin into pretzel into death drop into he goes she goes knee variation and finally into a double Sockey twist, or pretzel into piano rolls into complete flip. I had just done the flip and then a princess carry when John Heilmann came over and said that we still weren’t allowed to do arials till after midnight. ( I guess Dom had done one as well). After that it was a lot trickier, beause I couldn’t just do anything which came to mind (most of my favorite moves are arials, because they look really cool), so I couldn’t do the float, backflip, lamppost, hip, cherrybomb, or backroll. However, I could, and did, perform the crossover, inverse twist, Nicholai dip, Clay spin, washing machine, tabletop, spin kick, and several others. Then it was over and Mary Rose collapsed. It was quite fun though, and we all enjoyed it. The judges finally decided that it came down to Dom and me, because while I had more moves and more consistency, he was more on the beat, but they decided to give it to me because they wanted me to get my timecard back. :D
Which I did.
Afterwards my KK came up to me, and it turned out to be Ariel White. We talked about it for awhile, and I thanked her for all the fun she had provided (in addition to the candy and Santa Claus hat which she gave me afterwards).
The dance went till about 3, and Mary Rose, Kitty, and I stayed the whole time, dancing the night away.