September Wrap-Up

Again, pics this month taken with my phone...sorry! I NEED to get out with my camera but I haven't done so yet. *facepalm*

How did September go by HALP I am in college and there's a lot going on, and it's going so fast and so slow at once! But I'm still loving it, and it's starting to feel like fall, and a lot of good things happened (including getting to stick my hand in a cow's rumen. Yes really. Animal Science ftw) so...I'm not really complaining. :)

There are also really excellent spots to read in the rain, sooooo basically I am set.
1. So, there are really excellent libraries at UIUC? Which is SO GOOD except it's also problematic. Not only are the university libraries excellent, so are the municipal libraries! I went to the municipal library to get a library card and I came back with a library card and 11 books. I now have four library cards, five if you count the university one, and six if you count the Newman Hall one. HALP. At one point, I had twenty? books out from all the libraries combined, of which were on my reading list. It's really awesome, actually. Also it is wreaking havoc on my TBR. BUT BOOKS GUYS THERE ARE SO MANY BOOOOOKS. AND I CAN GO WALLOW IN THEM WHENEVER I WANT. (Can you tell the libraries where I'm from weren't XD)

2. So yeah, my reading this month got a taaaaad derailed because of the library, but I read a lot of awesome stuff because of the libraries, so I'm not mad. One of the books that I really wanted to read going into this month, though, was Tolkien's Modern Reading by Holly Ordway, and it did NOT disappoint! (It was actually lent to me by a young family who I am friends with and who I babysat for a couple of days before I left...when the husband learned I loved Tolkien, he said, "I read this great book about Tolkien recently, Tolkien's Modern Reading," and I told him, "I've been trying to get my hands on it for months!" and he replied, "Well, take our copy, then!" Which...get yourselves some awesome friends/babysitting clients with adorable kids and great literary taste, guys. You won't regret it.)

ANYWAY. The book itself. 



It dismantled the Tolkien-as-curmudgeonly-Old-English-only professor so very effectively, and made me love him even more, which I wasn't sure was possible. I mean. He read Swallows & Amazons! And The Borrowers! And Beatrix Potter! And Chesterton! He actually had such a wide range of reading taste, it's amazing. The thoroughness and organization of what he read was great. And there's even a list in the back of the book of what we know he read and how, which is a must for anyone who is doing research. And the analysis of the effects of the books he read upon his own work was thorough, thoughtful, and very impressive. Go Ordway! I would 100% recommend this book to any fan of Tolkien who's interested in reading a scholarly work on his reading. It's not exactly light reading, but it's SO intriguing! 

One of the things I found most intriguing was how she talked about how scholars often conflate Lewis and Tolkien. For instance, Tolkien actually was pretty forward-thinking in regards to technology, and Lewis was not. Lewis was ill-informed on current events, and Tolkien was well-informed. However, historians often stereotype Tolkien as a technology-curmudgeon who knew nothing about current events.

That was Lewis, y'all. 

Get some perspective.


But it also had the effect of making me hate Humphrey Carpenter (Tolkien's "biographer") with an all-consuming passion. He literally weaseled his way in with the intent of tarnishing Tolkien's legacy and writing a slap-stick biography, and words cannot express how much I distain him. He really, really stinks. (It's not fair. I love Lewis's biographer (Walter Hooper) SO much, and think he's the best, and Tolkien got THE WORST BIOGRAPHER EVER. Come on guys.) (Also, we have like 1/10 of Tolkien's letters, and nearly none of his correspondence of Lewis, and it is all Carpenter's fault, and it makes me SO ANGRY. I JUST WANT THE LETTERS DANGIT.)

My review on Goodreads is here, this was just some additional thoughts/recapitulation! 

3. I only watched one movie this month (as of the day I'm writing this post, which is the day before it posts, and I'm not planning on watching anything tonight, so it should be accurate. XD) and it was Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which I hadn't watched in a while, and I had been hankering to watch again. I forgot how much I Absolutely Love ship movies! They somehow just speak to my heart...and I'm not especially sure why, given that I would HATE sailing on a ship--to dangerous. And nerve-wracking. ANYWAY. I loved it. It makes my heart sing.

But also, ship movies need to be Good for me to like them, and this one most definitely Is. It's got sacrifice, good decisions, bad decisions, pride, the difficulties of leadership, and friendship most of all.

FRIENDSHIP! GAH. The part where Maturin gets injured and Aubrey stops the whole entire ship to deal with it, even though it means letting the French ship get away...<3 <3 <3 beautiful friendship right there, y'all.

Also, Callamy. I love Callamy very much. He is my boi. He's gone through so much, and he's trying to be grown up and deal with it, but he's still just a boy...<3 And his friendship with Stephen, too. Love. Oh, and he's so brave! (And he loves to read. That endears him to me.)

The movie doesn't sugarcoat the life at sea; there's a reason it's rated PG-13. People die. Stuff happens. But I actually like that about it. Life isn't easy, sailing isn't easy,'s realistic. It's real. People did that sort of thing, and they screwed themselves up to it and just Did It. Courage, that.

The weevil joke. *dies*

And it's fun to have Javert and Vision and Pippin in it, too! :)

A meme that George sent me. SO accurate. XD
4. More hilarious quotes from this month! (As always, names changed to protect the innocent and the guilty, but the code names are consistent across posts, except that I'm changing James to George, because I already have two James's in writing projects, and I CANNOT DEAL WITH ANOTHER ONE. XD)

Alphonsus: "Yeah, good thing I'm not your spiritual director. It would be better for a millstone to be tied around my neck and me thrown into the sea."

George: "He was George-Catholic, not Samantha-Catholic."
Me: "Are you calling me schismatic?"
George: ""
[This was apropos of a moral issue on which I turned out to be right and he was wrong, so... XD]

Lewis: *sends this picture to the group chat*

(Nativity of the Virgin by Giotto, if you're wondering.)
Lana: "Why is Mary's twin getting her nose pinched?"
George: "Sorry to be boring, but I think it's just two events in her life shown side by side. They did that in medieval paintings."
Me: "And this is which two events, hmm?"
Thomas: "Her nativity and her nose getting pinched."
Sarah: "That's what I was thinking, but I wasn't sure."

[George and I went to the ACES (Agriculture, Consumer, and Economic Sciences, I believe) library, and I found the Animal Science & Landscape Architecture sections, and was SQUEALING unabashedly over the books. Quietly. Because it was a library, y'know.]
George: "You're...totally fangirling."
George: "I've never seen you like this before."
George: "Usually I'm the one who is freaking out and hyperactive over things?"
Me: "I'm literally paying no attention to you right now, please hold my book." *aggressively hands him my current book so I have two hands to stroke the spines*

Elias: "My phone has a night mode to take pictures of stars."
Someone else: "Take a picture of the moon."
Elias: "That's a fake star."

[My Natural Disasters prof was showing us a video of an earthquake. A geologist comes on the video to talk about it.]
My prof: "That's just a boring geologist." *shuts off the video* "I can be just as boring as him."

Me: *spouts Chesterton for the 57th time that day*
George: "You quote Chesterton more than the Bible."
Me: "Um...your point?"

5. In the PNW at the beginning of September, it was nectarine season, and nectarines are one of my Very Favorite summer fruits (secondo only to raspberries and apricots), and my mom was like, "Yeah, our CSA is sending us a bunch of free-stone yellow nectarines right now," and I said, "Dang, I'm jealous! Can you send me some?" completely in jest, of course, because who ships nectarines across the country?


Then. My mom actually legit sent me a box of nectarines, and it made me SO HAPPY. I got the notification that I had a package, picked it up from the front office, figured out what it was, and went RUNNING into the caf, SO excited that Mom had sent me nectarines! And how excited *I* was about it made everyone else really excited. In fact, one of my friends said, "I think your mom just made *my* day!"

And yes, they were delicious. They lasted four days, and then were GONE. And no, I didn't share any. I think we've discussed this--I don't share my fruit.

And THEN. And then. She sent me a whole entire gorgeous care package (which is what the picture is of, because I love seeing pics of peoples' care packages, and I thought you might, too) with Everything I Could Ask For in it, AND a whole box of Asian pears. (Literally, she sent me health stuff, and food, and mad libs, and something for my roommate, and TEA and BEE SOCKS and STAMPS.) I legit have the best mom, y'all. Legit.

Feeling like a college student, taking aesthetic pics of my drink. XD
6. Top 5 Ways To Start Arguments In College (specifically at a Catholic Newman Center):

Ask for a definition of "biscuit" or "scone" (bonus points if you're an international student who Really Needs to Know)

Suggest that maybe people shouldn't got to Mass at an SSPX parish? Because they technically don't have all their faculties, and you aren't supposed to go to fulfill a Sunday obligation?

Correct a fellow student (and by extension your Animal Science guest lecturer) on certain things about factory farming. (It was perhaps not an argument...more of a disagreement.)

Say that the West Coast is the best coast. (If at a college not on the West Coast. Or even probably at a college on the West Coast.)

Opine that receiving the Eucharist in the hand is Not The Worst Thing Ever.

(Note: not all these fights were started by me, for the record.)

So aesthetic, tho, too! And geese were flying felt very *fall*.
7. I got to go to my first college football game this month! Two college football games, actually! Unfortunately, we lost both (one to UTSA, one to Maryland), but it was still fun to be there with friends. I was surprised at how much I actually got into the game--cheering, goofing off, whatever--it's not my usual MO, but it was extraordinarily enjoyable. The second one was ultimately more fun (mostly b/c no one was vaping right next to me and trying to talk to me...long story, but it was not one of my friends) but it was also more amusing, because someone thought it would be a good idea to give all the students Styrofoam light-up sticks? Reader, it was not a good idea. People were throwing them, taking out the lighting elements and throwing those all the way onto the field, throwing them into the band, tearing them into strips...ultimately, the students made a big snake out of them that stretched across the students section several times. It was amusing, but...I don't imagine the administration was amused. XD 

Do you like ship movies? Do you watch college football? Which quote was your favorite? Have you read anything especially good this month?


  1. I have that Tolkien book on my TBR, I need to read it along with my Tolkien reread/read (I found a website that has a calculator so you can hop back and forth reading all his stories actually chronologically. Because the Silmarillion at least I guess isn't chronological). Holly Ordway was a guest on the Speaking with Joy podcast which is how I found out about it. I actually enjoyed the Carpenter bio, despite the author's nefarious intent.

    I had access to three library systems in college (our tiny local wasn't enough for me), and I think I had books out from three. I also accidently returned a college library book to the city library, but they sent it back, it wasn't an unusual mistake.

    1. It's definitely worth reading! Ooh, a chronological Tolkien calculator sounds intriguing. Ooh, what's the Speaking with Joy podcast? It sounds intriguing, especially if Holly Ordway was on it. (Well, the thing is, even if it was enjoyable, it was inaccurate, so..........yeah. XD)

      Oh, NICE! Multiple library systems are the best! (Ooh, good warning. I'll need to make sure to return the right things to the right place.)

  2. I'm so glad your college experience is so...nice. So Daddy-long-legs and Anne-of-the-Island. It sounds glorious.
    Your Animal Science class sounds AMAZING, as well?? I must needs ask my mom for stories; she majored in Animal Science but never really talks about it.

    I have my doubts about how "forward-thinking" Tolkien was in regards to technology, but I suppose it depends what you mean by the term...

    haha, your college football experience! I've never been to a college football game in my life and I'm proud of it. XD You...should've seen campus the day of the Alabama game, my freshman year. I mean, we take football seriously here in the Midwest, but this was in Mississippi, and they take football SO. SERIOUSLY. People EVERYWHERE. Intoxicated boys in the Chick-Fil-A line who clearly thought they were whispering (they were not whispering). Color-coded clothing. It was awful. I couldn't have cared less. Of course Alabama won and everyone was grouchy afterward. Alabama always wins, though, so idk what they expected.

    The conversation about the Mary picture was definitely my favorite. I kind of died. XD XD

    1. I'm glad of that, too! I was not quite expecting how like the books I've read about college many parts of it would be.
      Animal Science class is THE BOMB! We literally get to handle animals in lab nearly every week. And it's fantastic.

      What I mean was, he used a type-writer. And a voice recorder. And had a car. Lewis didn't that sort of thing, *from what I've heard*. I could be mistaken about some of those items. :)

      Yeah, the Midwest takes football way more seriously than I expected! But the experience is quite fun, especially the color-coded clothing. I don't care all that much about the outcome, generally speaking--it's just fun to go with friends. :)

      I kind of died at the time, too! XD XD XD

  3. It's so weird that people got Tolkien and Lewis mixed up. Love when you find out a favorite author read a book you really loved or something. It makes them seem more human.

    That's a lot of library cards. XD

    1. I know, it's hilarious! It was the best feeling! I love feeling like I have another way to connect with Tolkien. :)

      It really is. XD

  4. *comes up for air long enough to read a post or two on one of my favorite blogs*

    Oh it sounds like you're having a blast at college!!! I'm jealous. I want to go back to college. (Not really... college was stressful... and I didn't get nearly enough sleep... but it was fun times). :)

    Okay, but the quote about the moon being a fake star made me snort-laugh for real!

    Those tidbits about Tolkien are INTERESTING! I've never gotten the idea that he was a curmudgeonly old guy who hated technology (that was Treebeard) but then, I don't read biographies much, even about people I like. LOL

    MASTER AND COMMANDER IS SOOOOO GOOD! Now I have to go rewatch it, because I've only seen it once or twice and ahhhh, you reminded me of how much I love it. I like ship movies, as well. Another favorite is Captain's Courageous, an old one and in black and white, but oh, so good.

    Sounds like you've got some awesome libraries! How do you keep them all straight? That sounds like a recipe for disaster (or hefty overdue fines, in my case... which I tend to have even with only ONE library card!) You're lucky! The library at my college was great for research... not so great for books for fun. And the town library would have fit in half my current basement. The library in the next town over was decent, but still small.

    1. (Good to see you!)

      I am really having a blast, although there are definitely some days that are better than others, as is to be expected I suppose.

      Oh, I'm so glad I could make you laugh. XD

      I found them fascinating, too! I don't read biographies much either, only about the people I like, haha. I find them a waste of time otherwise--why would I spend that long with someone I don't like?

      ACK ISN'T IT??? Oh, another ship movie fan! Twins! Ooh, I've never heard of Captain's Courageous!

      Well, each library pretty much has its own catalogue system, so the books from each library *look* different, which helps...for instance, the UIUC ones have stamps on the pages on the outside, plus return date stamps on the inside, and the Newman ones only have Dewey Decimal stickers. It does help that I only have 3 libraries *here*--the other three are at home--...if I had to deal with all six at once it would be a nightmare!! I am so blessed with all these excellent libraries, though. :)


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