Monday, June 30, 2014

Love at First Sight--Myth Busted (Maybe)

I've been thinking on and off lately about love. Okay, actually I've been thinking about it almost constantly in one form or another for the last several years, because I'm a 19-year-old girl who's pretty convinced she has a vocation to marriage. However, on and off lately I've been thinking about it from a more philosophical point of view. More specifically, I've been meditating on the question, "Is there such thing as love at first sight?"

I've read other blog posts and articles about this lately, and I've heard different ideas bounced around, but the answer most Catholics (and other Christians) give is essentially "No." The basis for this answer is this: Love and attraction are two different things. When you think you love someone the moment you see them, it's just the initial physical attraction. That's okay, but it's not a good reason to start a relationship with a person, because the relationship is going to fall apart as soon as the initial attraction wears off. Unless, of course, you're one of the really rare and lucky couples who manage to start actually loving each other before the attraction wears off, but the chances of that are so small that it's better to be safe. So, get to know people and start really loving them as a whole person before you date them, because that'll save everyone a lot of pain.

This answer is a good one, and the love vs. attraction issue is very true, but I've always found it aggravating that the word "love" in this context is always assumed to mean Eros, or romantic/marital love. Looking at love from a Christian point of view, the most necessary and perfect kind of love is actually Agape, or charity. This love can be defined as "willing the good of the other". If this kind of love is not present, no relationship can work well for very long. If two people are in a relationship or married, but no Agape is present, then even if they do "fall in love", so to speak, and form a deeper connection than just initial attraction, the relationship is ultimately selfish. This is exactly what a good relationship of any kind shouldn't be. Selfishness kills everything from friendships to familial bonds, and most definitely kills romantic relationships. However, if both parties are willing the good of the other, the relationship will thrive. Since both parties do what is best for the other, both parties end up happy and having the best thing done for them. It's the ideal situation for everyone.

Now, to answer that pressing question: Is there such thing as love at first sight? Well, let's define love. If love is willing the other's good, then the answer is definitely yes. In fact, Christ teaches us that we should all love one another in this way, so really we should love everyone at first sight. From the moment we know that someone exists, we should will their good with all our hearts, whether or not we will ever get to know them, be their friend, or marry them. It shouldn't matter whether that person is a man or a woman or a child, a good person or a bad person, your college professor or your annoying coworker or your sibling, or some stranger ahead of you in the checkout line. It's perfectly possible to look at anyone who crosses your path and simply think, "I hope he/she has a great day. I hope he/she has a happy, fruitful life and goes to heaven at the end of it." There. Bam. You just loved someone.

However, that's a pretty general way to love someone. If you want to love someone more deeply and specifically, as an individual person, you will have to get to know that person. The more you know a person, the more you can truly love them. Suppose you happen to notice that that person ahead of you in the checkout line is buying cat food; then you can think, "I hope that person doesn't go home to find that the cat has made a mess." You could also think, "I hope, for that person's sake, that the cat is in good health and will remain so for a long time, and won't die or run away." However, unless you talk to the person about their cat, you won't know for sure whether they actually like the fact that they have a cat and want it to stay alive for a long time. It could be that the best thing for that person to cease to have a cat, if they are in financial difficulties or have suddenly developed an allergy to cat hair or have accidentally ended up with an extremely vicious cat. In other words, you can will a person's good in a general way, thinking something like "I hope whatever is best for that person happens to that person," but without getting to know them, you can't will any more specific goods for that person. You also can't express your love for that person by doing anything except praying for them, giving them a smile and a greeting, or maybe picking up the cat food for them if they drop it. Those things are important to do and should be done, but they're pretty nonspecific and almost impersonal. They're things you should do for everyone, but they aren't as deep and meaningful as the things you can do for someone you know.

Now, if you are going to marry someone, there are quite a few things you should know about them, because you should be able to will that person's good and express that love for them in a wide variety of specific ways. After all, you're going to be spending your whole lives together, willing the very best for each other all the time. You should probably know as well as you can what that best is so that you can will it better and help to bring it about. This means that you should definitely get to know a person really well before deciding to marry that person. Specifially, before deciding to marry someone, you should probably try to find out if marrying you is the best thing for that person, because, depending on what kind of person you are, it might not be. (No offense.) If you are attracted to someone, it's natural to want to find out more about them. You might find out that what makes them the happiest and what is best for them is something you can't provide -- for instance, if the person you're interested in has a serious medical condition that requires expensive treatment, and you're planning to be an English major (ha ha). On the other hand, if you find out that the thing they love best is having romantic poems written to them, and they already have a successful and lucrative career, maybe your English-major skills are exactly right. (It's a silly example, but hopefully you get what I mean.) Simply put, before you can love a person deeply and individually enough to marry them, you have to get to know them pretty well. The longer you get to know them, the more perfectly you can love them and express your love by helping to bring about their good. This includes getting to know the person's faults as well, since married people are supposed to help each other reach the ultimate good, heaven.

So, the conclusion I have reached is that love at first sight is possible only to a certain extent, and only in the sense of Agape. A deeper Agape, as well as Eros, is only possible after getting to know a person. Therefore, I would put forth the theory that "love at first sight", in the way that most people mean the expression, assuming Eros-love, is not possible; but love at first conversation might be. I have met and heard of several couples who say they felt an immediate connection upon meeting each other, and sort of "knew" that the other person was going to be their spouse, but they all seem to have talked to that person at least a little bit before thinking this. It seems that exactly the right kind of conversation can happen between exactly the right people which enables them to get to know each other well enough to start to fall in love right away. It may not sound as romantic as love at first sight, but love at first conversation definitely sounds more possible. So maybe you should strike up a conversation with that cat food person. Who knows how much good you could will for them someday?

Disclaimer: no cats, cat food, or customers in checkout lines were harmed during the writing of this blog post, although there was a cat nearby overseeing the process and meowing loudly. This post is not approved by any eminent theologians or philosophers, nor has the theory contained therein been tested by the writer, as she has virtually no experience in this area, and has yet to fall in love with someone at first anything. She also apologizes to any hopeless romantics whose childhoods full of fairy tales are now ruined as a result of reading this--her own is rather ruined as well, if it's any consolation. (Darn philosophical principles...)

Friday, May 30, 2014

An Unpopular Opinion

There's always a lot of social justice talk going on on the internet. We see people blogging, tweeting, tumbling, and hashtagging away to end all sorts of inequalities and injustices that prevail in our world. But I think people, especially those who are more active in the social-justice blogosphere, are still completely ignoring one extremely unfair inequality--sexism.

I know what you're probably thinking. "But I'm a feminist! I'm completely against sexism! Equality between men and women is totally my thing! Sexist, me??" Yes, my dear feminist, that is wonderful. You want equality. Well, let me tell you a story.

There was once a career field that was entirely dominated by one of the sexes. As in, people of the other sex technically could enter that line of work, because it wasn't illegal or anything, but society completely frowned upon it. A person of this particular gender was expected to do other things instead, things that society considered "appropriate" and "proper" for that gender. There were a few people of that gender who did enter that field, but they were an extreme superminority. Meanwhile, people of the other gender were allowed to go into almost any line of work they wanted. It seemed that, shockingly, society was arbitrarily placing people of one sex in certain categories of work and lifestyle, without placing such restrictions on the other sex.

Furthermore, people of this restricted sex were not any less smart or strong than those of the not-so-restricted sex. The restricted persons were looked upon as simply being less skilled, or less naturally suited, to this job. The other gender would tease this one, generalizing them, and making fun of them for their inability to perform the tasks of this job. TV shows and movies portrayed this gender occasionally trying to do this job, and failing miserably at it, causing hilarity and disaster. People of this gender who tried to take on this certain job in real life were looked upon as odd or even as failures for not "living up" to the standards of their own "gender role".

Now, does this sound like a true story? Well, it is one. It's happening in our society today. Men and women are treated totally differently in one particular field, such that men who take this particular job are often considered failures and weaklings. This job is that of being a stay-at-home parent.

Society has developed to the extent that women are allowed to have professional jobs in practically any field, and while it is true that many fields are still male-dominated, there are many fields that are still vastly female-dominated. Women are the majority of nurses, midwives, babysitters, nannies, etc.--in short, they dominate almost everything that involves directly taking care of people. When we hear words like "nurse" we as a society generally assume "woman", even though there are plenty of male nurses. (Think of Rory Williams from Doctor Who!)
(Photo credit:
 However, the job of staying at home to raise children, take care of the house, do the grocery shopping and cooking, etc is a field which is so completely vastly woman-dominated, it's insane. Men, even in our modern age, are told "Get out of the kitchen. Stop trying to make sandwiches. You fail at this. Go be a CEO or something. You have no business here." Maybe these words aren't said to their faces, but the meaning is there. Men themselves often don't even realize that there is a whole field from which they are virtually excluded, never even considering the possibility that that could be a man's job. How many men are out there who might actually be really good at this job, which is of essential importance, but who never have had the opportunity to try? How many are there who are passionate about all the detailed, person-oriented work that goes into crafting an environment suitable for living, the resourcefulness required to create delicious meals and beautiful settings on a fixed budget, and everything else that goes into the art and task of homemaking, but who will always be too oppressed and afraid to actually go do it?

It is time to recognize this inequality as what it is, an inequality. It is time to reassess what we believe, and make a very important decision. Are we going to promote equality for everyone, in all places, in all workplaces, in every field and lifestyle? Or are we going to consider that women may actually, generally speaking, be better at certain things than men generally are? Is it fair to say that men and women may actually be (gasp) different? As in, they are intrinsically equal in dignity while being very different and balancing each other out so that there is someone perfectly suited for each necessary type of task? Is that idea utterly ridiculous, more ridiculous than the idea of a man in a frilly apron trying to cook? (because that is kind of funny, to most of us.)

(Ricky Ricardo from the 1950's show I Love Lucy, played by Desi Arnaz. Photo credit: Getty images.)

It's time to recognize the hypocrisy in the idea that women can either stay at home to cook and clean and raise children, or go out and have daily paying jobs in a wide variety of professional fields, while men can only do the wide variety of professional fields, and can't do the staying-at-home without being regarded as failures (even more than the women who stay at home are--more on this another time). It's time to end the double standards--all of them.

Note: This post is not the summit and totality of my views on sexism, feminism, gender roles, stay-at-home moms and dads, double standards in modern society, or even men in frilly aprons trying to cook. This post is simply pointing out, in semi-satirical form, a particular flaw in the logic of feminism as it stands today. I plan to write more posts in the future on the topic of feminism, and hopefully my full position will eventually be made clear. For now, suffice it to say that I am a woman, and I do not call myself a feminist, but I do truly believe that men and women are both created in the image and likeness of God and are therefore infinitely valuable and intrinsically equal in worth. However, I do not believe that this means they are exactly the same. "Equal" means equal, but it does not mean "the same". Being equal is good, but being the same is boring. Again, there will be further posts on this later. Also, no offense whatsoever is intended toward feminists of any sort, and certainly not towards women, men, stay-at-home dads, or anyone else. Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment with polite debate and questions!

Monday, May 19, 2014

What I Learned in my Second Semester of College

So, time being the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey, big ball that it is, I have somehow already finished a whole year of college?? I honestly don't know how that happened, but I do recall learning lots of important things. The list of what I learned in the first semester has already been posted, so here's the list of what I learned in the second semester. Tollete legete, mi amici!

1. There is a single sentence that can sum up all of history: "A great many things keep happening, some of them good and some of them bad." (Gregory of Tours, A History of the Franks)
2. Lists are awesome.
3. Some people disagree with the above statement, rage against lists, and write poems to that effect upon St Valentine's Day. Completely anonymous poems, of course...
4. "Luke" rhymes with many things, almost none of which are favorable, except perhaps "duke" and "Baruch". At least, this is the case at 11:30 p.m. during midterms.
5. "Jesus is my fortune cookie." -- me. Don't ask, because I really don't know.
6. Pennsylvania does not touch the ocean, and that is final.
7. (Assuming it exists, of course.)
8. One should never underestimate one's abilities to write under pressure. Blog post in less than an hour? Yep. Magazine article in two hours? Of course. Sonnet in twenty minutes? Sure thing. Paper in a night and a half? Check. Parody of "Jabberwocky" to be used as the narration for a zombie film? No problem at all. Inspirational Sherlock-themed speech for a competition the next day, being written for someone who has never seen Sherlock before? Yes, this too has been done, and even won second place. With God and tea all things are possible...
9. St Athanasius was the King of Sass.
10. So was St Peter Damian when he first saw someone using a fork.
11. Tangoing to Phantom of the Opera music is like no other pleasure on this earth.
12. When it snows, there will absolutely, positively, 100% definitely, be people randomly singing "Let it Go" on the way to class. Actually, scratch the part about "When it snows" and replace that with "Every single day".
13. Bringing a baby to campus is the surest way to get attention.
14. Rag mops are not mops, they are just things that smear the mud around.
15. A magic 8-ball is an evil, diabolical thing, but you can buy it at Kmart.
16. Twenty-five percent of Americans still believe in the geocentric theory of the universe.
17. An Aeneid/Tangled mashup needs to happen, or at least just this line: "I don't know what made Troy fall--fate, destiny..." "A horse?"
18. There is a singing group called the Suspicious Cheese Lords.
19. There is another one called the Grey Havens. (And they are AWESOME.)
20. The Catholic Church is totally sexist. Case in point: There's a rule that if a woman is kidnapped by a man with the intention of marrying her, that marriage is invalid. However, there is no rule that says a woman can't kidnap a man with the intent to marry him...
21. By the way, Sadie Hawkins was fun.
22. The World of Forms is up and to the left.
23. Cicero is awesome.
24. St Augustine is awesome.
 25. Everything is awesome. Everything is cool when you're part of a team. Everything is awesome when-- STOP!!!
26. But the LEGO movie was actually really really good.
27. At Disney World they apparently sell "Olaf noses" just to get people to buy carrots. Advertising ftw...
28. Intellection is impossible without returning to the phantasms because the agent intellect must turn to the phantasm and abstract the nature, leaving behind the individuating aspects, and form the intelligible species, which then proceeds to the possible intellect, which speaks an internal word to itself and this word is called the concept. Pretty cool, huh?
29. Philosophical pickup lines are the best things ever.
30. But actually the best pickup line ever is to be found in the Koran. ("Come here, O you!" -- Potiphar's wife, in the Surah Yusuf)
31. Transfer students are always either really smart or really crazy.
32. Regina Doman is amazing. And her books are too. Oh, and I got to hold her three-week-old baby, nbd.
33. Some people do not know how to use microwaves.
34. When left microwave-less, the best way to deal with the grief is to write a Les Mis parody song about the situation.
35. Muffins ought not to be microwaved. (Oh wait, I knew that already. But rumor has it someone else didn't. Bless her heart.)
36. "Bless her heart" is the southern belle's way of despairing of a person's long-term well-being.
37. Two out of three theology professors will quote The Princess Bride when they get to the part about marriage. (I mean mawwiage.)
38. There is such thing as a Pope Innocent III action figure. ("With real excommunicating action!" according to the package.)
39. The best way to begin reciting a poem is to shout "HWAET!"
40. And then you proceed to "unlock your word-hoard".
42. The Fourth Doctor's theme is the best way to herald the arrival of pizza.
43. However the library is NOT a good place to have a pizza party...
44. The Fourth Crusade was, like, totally hilarious.
45. If everyone in the world took Philosophy of Human Nature, said world would be a much better place.
46. Liberal-arts students can take three months to notice that a certain numbered List of What is Awesome goes from 14 straight to twenty.
47. Beware of random gym adventures, and people who drive cars down the dip at night.
48. (The dip's official name once upon a time was "St Catherine's Walk", apparently.)
49. There is at least one man who watches, and has strong opinions about, Say Yes to the Dress.

50. Pigs tails straighten out when they die.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Quick Update on the Awesomeness

So, God is amazingly fabulously awesome. And on top of that He just answered all my prayers and landed me a job with the news website I am now officially a Nashville Dance Examiner, and if you want to read my first article (on where to find cheap or free swing dancing in Nashville), or if you just want to support a struggling college student a bit, click the link below!

Thanks a million jillion!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

On that Strange and Intriguing Web of Magick Better Known as the Internet

I've lately realized that novelizing isn't the only form of writing I like, and may actually be a form of writing I'm less good at than other forms. I've done blogging of various types and enjoyed it immensely, and I've found that my sense of humor seems to fit well with the sense of humor of a significant part of the internet, so I'm thinking social media is sort of my career niche. There's a part of me that thinks, "Wow, that's, like, really shallow and not nearly as awesome as being a novelist," but there's a big part of me that disagrees. The way I see it, we all will pretty much inevitably find ourselves using the internet for more and more things as time goes on, and therefore we all have a Choice. I capitalize Choice in order to emphasize how very epic and poetic this is. A Choice we have, my friends, between Good and Evil. We can choose to use the internet as an end in itself, a means of gratifying our own vanity, until it becomes a selfish, horrible addiction -- or we can choose to use it for enlightenment, education, and promotion of the true, the good, and the beautiful.

This is the story of how the internet went. Once upon a time, a few men decided to see if their computers could talk to each other, and it worked. Pretty soon everybody's computers were talking to each other, and things like chatspeak and memes and social networking were born. Dark things crept in, and brilliant things were invented, and mediocre in-between things happened to start existing, just as if humans were running the thing. Which they were, and still are. I think we all tend to think of the internet as this sort of substance that we pipe into our homes and disperse through the air so we can all be saturated in it because that lets our computers and phones do fun stuff. In reality, it's still just a big conversation between pretty much everyone in the world. Just because companies like Google and Amazon and CNN and mysterious government officials do a lot of the talking doesn't mean that we aren't all involved.

 I am amazed by this thing that has grown so huge we can't contain it, and sometimes I'm even frightened by it. However, I think it's a little bit like a gift from a wise old fairy, and needs a wise-old-fairy admonition to go with it: Use it well, and it will be your greatest help; use it ill, and it will be your downfall. If you saw a thing on my "An FAQ... Sort of" page saying I don't really go on Tumblr anymore and I might explain why later, this is sort of my explanation: I found that Tumblr tends to be a really difficult part of the internet which has it's own amazingly fabulously creative culture, one that I love and that has really influenced and embodied my sense of humor, but also has a huge amount of people preaching acceptance of all beliefs and Down with Bullying, and then refusing to accept Christian and particularly Catholic, conservative beliefs and essentially bullying those who do. I don't want to whine and complain, but while there were times I had legitimate discussions with people about my beliefs on abortion, for example, there were times I felt as if I was just being attacked and accused of attacking others because of some silly thing having to do with Star Trek that suddenly became a so-called social justice issue. Tumblrites are amazing people: agree with them and they are your passionate friends forever and ever, but disagree with them and they will hate you and ostracize you, even though that's exactly what they claim they don't believe in doing. Of course, not everyone on Tumblr is like that, but it seems to me that an overwhelming majority are raging liberals who will tolerate anything and anyone except a white conservative Christian male. Being female might have given me a little bit of a break, but it didn't really help much because I don't happen to want to dismantle the patriarchy or even petition Marvel to make a movie with a strong female lead. I used to tell myself that if I stayed on Tumblr and kept arguing my points as politely as possible, maybe it would be a good thing, and I could get people thinking about my point view, and open up intelligent dialogue. Being a witness for Christ in the most difficult places is generally the right thing to do. However, Tumblr also has it's corrupting influences, no matter what kind of person you are. I did my best to only follow clean blogs, never reblogged anything inappropriate or used foul language, etc, but no matter what I did the people I followed would end up posting junk I really wished I hadn't read or seen. Even the people I followed because they had posted pro-life stuff and mentioned that they were Christian in their bios or whatever would turn out to be sort of... Laxer about living out their faith than I would prefer to see. I knew it was bad for me, and knew I should probably get away, but there's also so much great, funny, creative stuff on there that isn't bad at all that was making me want to stick around. In other words, it was becoming an addiction. I probably wouldn't have ever stopped going on that infinite blue website if I hadn't gone to the college I did and met a certain girl who happened to mention that she hadn't eaten chocolate in over two years because she was giving it up until abortion is made illegal in the U.S. I heard that and promptly thought, "If she can give up something as difficult to resist as chocolate, then I can give up a dumb website." Bam. Done. I never went on Tumblr after that, not even to say goodbye to my loyal followers. Sometimes I laugh because even though it might look like I left because Tumblr is such a culture of death and feminism and I was defeated and run out of town, I actually left so I could use Tumblr as a tool against that culture. Once abortion is illegalized, as I am hopeful it will be within a few years, maybe I'll go back to my old Tumblog and sing for joy about it, after unfollowing all the blogs that ever post anything bad... Which is basically everybody.

Sorry for that tangent, but that's something I've been wanting to explain for a while, somewhere on the internet. It's also a good example of what I'm kind of trying to say with this long rambling post. The internet has its problems, but it can be used for good. Maybe some of us (pointing at myself here) need to just stay away from parts of it that are hurting our souls, because we aren't strong enough yet to fight the darkness and make our own little circles of beautiful radiant light, but maybe in places that aren't so dark we can spread the light around and make it stronger. That's why I have a movie-theology blog, I guess. I want to try in some tiny way to participate in the New Evangelization, by joining in the big world-wide conversation. Now, I don't really believe that all the internet should ever be talking about is God. I'm not saying we should all read only Christian apologetics blogs, like all the "I love Jesus" Facebook pages, and constantly tweet back at all the evil people who tweet mean things at @Pontifex on Twitter. What I do believe is that we should only support things that are morally good or neutral, and that we shouldn't pollute our minds with stuff that could hurt our souls. The internet is great, but there's nothing out there that's worth giving up heaven.

The other main thought I have is that I consider myself somewhat of an intellectual. Probably anyone who has read this far in this stupid post considers themselves something of that sort as well, since we are the kind of people who mostly think if you start reading something you have to finish it, no matter how stupid. Here's my thought: we intellectuals like to be snobs. We sometimes like to think of people on the internet as always sounding something like "lol das stupid imma explain you a thign" and then creating what they think is a gorgeously logical one-liner in under 140 characters. (We particularly like to make fun of the 140 characters thing, as if the rules of Twitter apply to the entire internet.) This, however, we tend to do on the internet. I never cease to be amazed by our own stupidity in making fun of people on Twitter ON TWITTER, complaining about Facebook ON FACEBOOK, trying to convince people on YouTube that we're never going to convince anyone of anything via the internet. It's hilarious, really, how human nature and our intellectual pride makes us almost compulsively do this. I'm as guilty as the rest. Therefore, I'm not going to tell anyone to stop. In fact, I'm going to tell people to keep at it, in a qualified sense, because I think underneath this hypocrisy lies a truth: if we could only spread the light, if we could only get people at least thinking about the truth, if we could only steer the giant conversation in a little bit more of the right direction, we could change the world. I think the internet has a bad reputation at times for a reason, because it sure can be and is used as a brainwashing, mind-melting, or stupidity-mongering machine. Lots of people, myself often included, turn to the internet for entertainment, for a means of communicating without too much real contact, for stupid stuff. But lots of people, myself occasionally included, turn to the internet as a means of gaining knowledge and then using that knowledge to try to debate maturely, discuss thoughtfully, and inform politely. We can learn valuable truths and skills on the internet, and we can encourage others to notice and think and learn. We can find and create wholesome entertainment, and we can support the things that are good, true, and beautiful. This is my challenge, to myself and to anyone who wants to join me. Let's set the world ablaze through fiber optic cables. Let's send sparks through the all-knowing WiFi. Let's spread the truth about life through this magic Web, and see if we can wake people up to the huge amount of power humanity really has. Let's use this gift wisely. Because if we don't, it'll be everybody's downfall.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What I Learned in my First Semester of College

'Ello, mates! So, I had a list of Things I Learned in my First Semester of College all written out, numbered one through fifty-one, and then I accidentally left it at college and right now I'm at home. So, this post is my attempt to reconstruct that list from my memory as well as possible. Enjoy!

1. Chocolate is the only constant in life.
2. 99% of the disco balls made in America are made in Kentucky.
3. You can't bring a horse to an elephant fight.
4. Plastic box lids make excellent sleds. And excellent phalanx shields.
5. Absolutely everyone's personality can be distilled down to seven letters, seven numbers, and a color.
6. The eggs in the cafeteria aren't eggs, they're prime matter.
7. One should never ever ever assume that bow-tie-wearers are necessarily Whovians.
8. One should also be very very careful when arm wrestling. Actually, just don't do it.
9. Heaven is not like Delaware.
10. It can be metaphysically proven that Brussels sprouts do not exist.
11. The phrase "sore distressed", accent on the "ed", is very useful in certain situations, particularly those involving history professors.
12. Some people insist upon watching Gladiator at the most inconvenient times.
13. Libraries are precious things, and should be open at all times, especially Friday nights.
14. The terms "skin the cat", "backstabber", "death drop", "suicide dip", and "can opener" all refer to moves in swing dancing.
15. The terms "Minotaur", "Trench Warfare", and "Suicide Square" are all names of contra dances.
16. Where there is tea, there is hope. Where there is coffee, there is a happy philosophy professor.
17. Scarves are impeccably, ineffably, scrumptiously awesome.
18. Pennsylvania may or may not touch the Atlantic Ocean. It also may or may not exist.
19. "D'Artagnan" is not pronounced how it's spelled.
20. Apparently crayons are the same thing as crowns.
21. Sometimes a gym simply ceases to be a gym and becomes Bedford Falls. Those times are the best of times.
22. 10-cent books are always a good idea.
23. So are 1-cent books, and if someone else buys them first, you are allowed to challenge him/her to a duel.
24. Marshmallow guns may be brought to said duel, but it is not socially acceptable to bring cookies to a duel.
25. Said duel must take place at ten o'clock behind the Luxembourg.
26. Whiffleball is a thing. I'm still not sure what kind of thing it is, but it's a thing.
27. Most people haven't read nearly enough Dickens.
28. Most people haven't read any Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
29. Some people haven't even read The Lord of the Rings, or seen It's a Wonderful Life, or in other words lived at all.
30. It is perfectly acceptable to stand on the debate floor at the Chester-Belloc Debate Society in a tuxedo and very politely call the previous speaker's argument "utter bunk". And/or make a Star Wars reference.
31. Watching Inception messes with your brain. So does spending too much time in the World of Forms.
32. The Commons is called the St Lawrence Commons. St Lawrence was the patron saint of cooks because he was roasted to death. And we eat mystery meat...
33. There used to be a lot of cats and now there are fewer cats. Again, mystery meat...
34. The Christendom bubble is an actual thing that is difficult, but not impossible, to pop.
35. The gym parking lot is a very bad place.
36. So is the basement of the student center.
37. When a professor says your test will be graded by tomorrow, he means next week. Maybe.
38.All is vanity and striving after wind. Maybe.
39.  Lycurgus lived. True.
40. Aristides sang the cup song on his way out into ostracism land.
41. Empedocles dressed like a male Lady Gaga and threw himself into a volcano.
42. Alcibiades was basically a cross between Flynn Rider, Captain Jack Sparrow, and Hitler.
43. Statistics exams will not be rescheduled unless there's a natural disaster.
44. Theology tests are, unfortunately, supernatural disasters.
45. If you don't know what a person's name is, yell "Mary", "Joe", or "Peter", and it will most likely be close enough.
46. Haircuts are an accidental change. Unless your last name is Kuplack.
47. Michigan has its own state song, except it's really just O Christmas Tree with different words.
48. The saying "when Hell freezes" is illogical, as Hell, Michigan freezes every year.
49. If you live in Michigan, your hand is all the map you ever need.
50. Even if Brussels sprouts don't exist, they taste amazing when fried in bacon.
51. It is possible for the same snow to stay on the ground for over a week.
52. Also, snow plows exist in real life.
53. Contrary to popular belief, it IS possible for five girls to go shopping and find formal dresses in less than two hours.
54. It is also possible, when necessary, for one girl to go to a thrift store and find homecoming dresses for herself and two other girls when the dance starts in three hours.
55. Sleep is a precious thing that can only be found by those not faint of heart.
56. And sometimes those not faint of heart decline it when they find it, resulting in difficulties and dismay.
57. When a priest mentions the TARDIS in Mass, you know you've found your niche in the world.
58. Those moments when you know you've found your niche in the world are the absolute best moments.
59. The absolute worst moments are remembering that you have to graduate in three and a half years.
60. Crying at the end of the semester is perfectly okay. You've just fought an epic battle and won.