Saturday, November 18, 2006


I'm sitting here in the library typing up my exit memo for Southeast Ohio magazine (the winter issue is in the can and will be going to press soon) and I realized: This is my last college assignment. It could be my last school assignment, ever, if I don't get a graduate assistantship at KSU. Did that ever turn on the tears! I am going to miss being a student so much.

The truth is that I hate, hate, HATE change. When I first arrived in Athens three years and three months ago, I loathed the place. I didn't know anybody, or the city; I had to come out of my shell ever-so-slightly; I was a "baby" revert Catholic who hadn't been Confirmed and who hadn't been to Confession in years; I had to make sure to perform exceptionally well academically, if I wanted to have any prayer of getting into the Scripps School. A few years later, I've made great friends, I love Athens, and I'm even sort of getting a kick out of my journalism and academic work. I do adjust to things well. But at the beginning of every new change, I get that kicked-in-the-gut, I-just-want-to-crawl-back-in-bed feeling. That is what I've got, now. Pray for me, please :)

I do have non-angsty, non-emo news to share, ha ha. Last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a Fan into Flame retreat with some of my friends from Catholic Student Outreach. It was essentially a Catholic charismatic retreat, complete with praise & worship music, "expressive" prayer, and people being baptized in the Holy Spirit and praying in tongues, etc. I enjoyed myself very much, not to mention that I think it was very beneficial for me, spiritually. It was wonderful to see so many young people so in love with the Faith.

I have to say that the charismatic culture is definitely Not My Style. I am very much a traditionalist - bring on the Latin, the chant, the incense and contemplative prayer, please! But I now have greater respect for the charismatic movement within the Catholic Church. The majority seem very orthodox, and many are considering religious vocations. I already had my "conversion experience" years ago, and it happened in a much more conventional, traditional way; nevertheless, I can see how someone who has never had that... for lack of a better term, "born again" experience in their lives could really latch on to the charismatic movement (there is always the danger, of course, of one's religious life becoming entirely emotion-based, but
many of the people I have spoken to seem aware of such possible pitfalls). It's not for me, but if it helps other Catholics grow in their faith, then more power to them.

On Wednesday night I attended The Post's winter quarter All Staff meeting, and I received a number of awards: Best Columnist, Most Improved Copy Editor, etc. Then the editors (who know I am graduating) gave me a mock-up of a front page of the paper. The headline was "Spirituality Columnist Leaves On Top." The "news stories" were all little notes from people on staff congratulating me and telling me I did a good job. It was the sweetest thing ever. As my Copy Chief, Jeff Smith said, "This is turning into a love fest for Maggie Kostendt." I am wondering to myself if they gave me all of those awards just because they knew I was leaving and they wished to make a big show, or because I really deserved them. My roommate Jenn says it was probably a combination of both ;)

Anyway, I really appreciated it. If I ever win the lotto, I will make sure to earmark some of the cash for the betterment of The Post's news operation (not that they'll need it for a while, what with them getting a fancy new high-tech newsroom in the brand-new student center. Incidentally, the Editor in Chief announced that the members of the staff are getting raises for next quarter - I would leave just before the money train arrives.).

All of this was the "news" I mentioned in the blog post below - I finally caught a minute to write!

Oh,and my finals went all right, but I am freaking out a bit over whether I am going to keep my GPA above 3.8 - I really don't want to have to update my resume. Ora pro me St. Jude.

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