Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy Lent


Happy Lent everybody! I know, well then...holy Lent. The weather is participating in Ash Wednesday; it is gray and gloomy with low clouds looming overhead. It is warm enough that if precipitation decides to fall it would be a cold spring rain. Such a contrast to yesterday's bright sunshine bouncing off the snow.

Truly, I don't have any news or interesting tidbits from Milwaukee. I do have homework, reading and more reading. A professor asked our opinion about a text he is using in our course. Well, he asked...I shared that each chapter was so compressed that I never knew what information was key. There were at least ten lists with each list having ten lists with the chapters; so much naming and so little explanation grew confusing. It was then that I noticed he was listening and nodding with a slightly surpized look on his face. So I asked if that had been a rhetorical question (I'm not good with those); oh no, he was just surpized that someone spoke up. He'd been using the book for years without complaint. Hmmm...maybe I should just go back to reading.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Strange Days


Today has been one of those strange days. The day added up in its stranges over the course of a morning...and it will probably continue into the evening.

The weather began the strangeness of my day; it is about 35 degrees, but it is supposed to rain or snow tonight and tomorrow night...but melt each day. The sisters keep reminding me that this is perfectly normal Milwaukee weather, but it is strange if you ask me.

The gas man cometh :) Well, Chad from WE energies came to check the lines and meter and whatnot. The handsome, chatty, Chad with a trace of gray at his temples checked the whole house and found a small leak that he recommended we fix ASAP. After he left, Sr. Marcia and I had a chuckle about mister tall, dark, handsome, fix-it-man; and then there was a knock at the door. Chad returned to fix the leak himself...what a guy. This wasn't strange, except how many cute guys work for the gas company? Seriously!

I made it to Joan of Arc for noon Mass and had a bit of quiet. Suzanne (one of the campus ministry liturgical folk) asked if I would read...I agreed if she couldn't find a student-student to do so. Father Jesuit of the Day started Mass and when everyone sat down--Suzanne looked at me with the big eye that translates into "its you!". Not a problem...a long Genesis with Noah and the pairs of clean and unclean animals.

The stranger part was after Mass. A well dressed graduate student (maybe PhD) had been watching me during Mass and made a point to greet me at the sign of peace. When I stepped outside the chapel, she was waiting for me. She said that today was her birthday and that she decided to come to Mass only after her class had been canceled. Today, she had been terribly missing her sister who is serving as a missionary in Papua New Guinea. Apparently, I reminded her a great deal of her sister and it made her smile. The strange part...the student is a beautiful willowy ASIAN woman. Um...I was in one my cardigan's and a skirt with my hair twisted back on the sides...but who is to argue with God's sense of conicidence? So I offered to pray for her on her birthday and we parted ways.

This strangeness will continue into my evening class which is focusing on various aspects of the null hypothosis theory. The concepts of probability verses chi-square and what makes numbers or study outcomes significant...I called Kara last week to ask questions...strange days...


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Wrong Alumni


Education has dedicated graduates, but the wrong alumni for fundrasing. My educational research class was trying to figure out where we'd be learning if the following news story had been about the Education building. The best guesses were: basements across campus, FIMA trailers, and Red Cross tents. Ah well, it was a good thing the fire was small and during the beginning phase of construction.


News delivered via e-mail at school...
The Milwaukee Fire Department responded to a fire at the construction site for Eckstein Hall at approximately 4 p.m. Tuesday. No injuries occurred; the six workers on site at the time were safely evacuated. Marquette’s Department of Public Safety worked to evacuate or partially evacuate nearby campus buildings as a precaution. The fire was contained quickly and extinguished approximately two hours later. While the fire was related to a propane tank used during construction, the exact cause is under investigation.
Normal construction at the site is expected to resume by the end of the week, with no delay expected in the scheduled opening of Eckstein Hall in fall 2010.
The 200,000-square-foot Eckstein Hall will house the Marquette University Law School. It is named in honor of alumni Ray and Kay Eckstein, who donated $51 million to the Law School. The building will also feature the Zilber Atrium, recognizing a $30 million gift from Milwaukee real estate developer and law school alumnus Joseph Zilber.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Feast of Saint Scholastica


Happy Feast Sisters, Friends, and Family! All of Wisconsin celebrated with me was clear, blue, and over 50 degrees! It was a beautiful day for strolling about campus. All the snow has melted from the sidewalks, benches, and the greens. Many of the kids were in shorts and flip-flops, some were stretched out catching rays or playing frisbee.

I brought Scholastica to the Franciscans today! I started with Dove cards on their doors with our antiphon from the Song of Songs "Come my beloved..." I wrote out Scholastica's story and tucked it in individual bags of "dove" chocolate in heart shapes to help reinforce her dove and love. Finally, I created a centerpiece of my Scholastica wall hanging for the dinning room table. I was surprised at Mass, the Franiscan Friar celebrated Scholastica and asked me to tell her story for the students and staff at Cardnial Stritch...okay, there were only about 15 people there, but it was wonderful that he remembered. Tonight after class, we'll go out for custard to celebrate!

I've done some work today as well...I can hear Bernice in my ear, "So what are you doing with a that book reading?"


Monday, February 9, 2009

Memories of Sr. Bernice from the Novitiate Baker


I loved working with Sr. Bernice in the bakery during the Novitiate. Working with the dough was often a lesson in following her lead, if you could follow the language. I learned that checking the horizon was to check the loaves of bread rising in the proofing room. I also needed to check the heavens, the clock high up on the wall, to know when the farm was arriving aka the Land O’Lakes milk truck. Later, when rolling out the dough I was often reminded to squinch the larger bubbles out of the dough. I knew all was right with the work when she would just simply nod and keep going; if she stepped over to poke the dough with her crooked finger and look up at me, then I had work to do. Near the end of the Novitiate, I knew I had made a fast friend…I was now answering to the phrase “Ah, My very good friend.”

Coming home from school for breaks or for the summer included lunch or baking with Bernice and Sr. Kathy. As two of her favorites from Bakery, she would treat us to a little fresh pizza made from her own dough crust or dumplings that were part steamed part browned in oleo. More recently, it was Kathy and I taking Bernice out for pizza. All during the lunch, Bernice discussed the affairs of the world both monastic and secular, and she had a fair few opinions on each.

Sr. Bernice loved kids including all my nieces. The night before my final vows celebration, Bernice was at my family celebration in the Cyber Café. Grace had climbed up on her lap to ‘visit’ and Bernice tried to take off for a ride with her on the cart. Virginia was there to suggest that Grace wasn’t quite ready for cart rides and Bernice settled for visiting with Lisa and her girls.

This year I was praying for Sr. Bernice. I reminded her when giving her the card that while I was praying for her, she had better be praying for me. “Oh, ya, ya”, and a chuckle was her only response. I know she’ll keep up her end of the deal.


February Rain?


I was unusually aware of the weather as I prepared for school today. Normally, I don't change my weather-dress pattern from late December through mid March...layers of cozy clothes to create optimum warmth, add a coat, hat, gloves, and scarf for outdoor wear. Today, one of my layers is short-sleeved and my outdoor wear includes my O'G water repellant jacket and an UMBRELLA! Yup, it has been in the mid 40's for the last couple days and they are predicting possible 50's and RAIN for today and tomorrow.

The Franciscans assure me that this is completely normal Wisconsin weather. There is almost always warming trend that arrives in late January or early February. This yearly warm spell could last for over a week before returning to the 20's and 30's. Ya know, I think I could get to like Wisconsin.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Feast of the Presentation


The presider at Joan of Arc was the smallest Jesuit. He was right about 5 feet tall with a voice to match. So short that he took the lectionary from the ambo to proclaim the word. His message was simple but great. Today we celebrate Christ's being one of us. Today we celebrate our brother. That was all, but it was more than enough.