It’s been an eventful summer thus far. That’s a good thing. Keeps me from the malaise, right? Doesn’t it???
Summer began on a fun note: being very unofficially graduated. Due to a programmer’s error (read: I screwed up), I didn’t finish my foreign language requirement for the College of Arts and Sciences of Boston College. Thanks to the generous help of Fr. James J. Conn, who bestowed upon me Collins’ Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, a few weeks of diligent study, and the utter gratuity of God, I mustered a score on the Latin SAT II in early June sufficient for the A&S requirement. I’ll let you know that I really didn’t think I was going to pass it. Safe to say I am now a happy camper. The road to my Philosophy MA at the end of next spring is much smoother, though comps still loom, far on the distant horizon. Oh, and class, but that’s the fun part, isn’t it? For the record, right now I plan on taking classes on St. Augustine, Plato’s Republic, and St. Thomas’ Summa Theologiae in the fall, funded by the memory of the great Fr. Bernard Lonergan, SJ (bow your heads).
The bulk of my time this summer is spent working – some would throw scare quotes around that word – at St. Mary’s Hall, the Jesuit residence at BC, and the BC Bookstore. In toto, I work about 55 hours per week – all day every day except Sunday. Gotta keep holy the Sabbath. I can’t say either job has been too bad to me thus far. Mornings and early afternoons during the week are spent at the Jes Res, as the kids like to call it. I work mainly in the garage, taking cars for fill-ups and oil changes, and giving them a good scrub down when the time comes. I’m blessed to be able to break the fast and sup at lunch, partaking of the generosity of the Jesuit buffet line every day. Helps the wallet, the tummy, and the watch all at the same time. Here here to Ignatian generosity! Afternoons, and all day Saturdays, are spent “babysitting” the BC Campus Apple store, doubling as cashier and low-level sales rep, though I don’t have the good grace to work for Apple itself. I am unworthy! *strikes breast* Mondays and Tuesdays are especially busy at this locale, due to the mass influx of ravenous freshmen and their worrisome parents, fresh from orientation, ready to whip out the credit cards to purchase their computers for the coming year. The rest of the week is pretty dead, except at the beginning of summer terms, when 500 business school students rush in fifteen minutes before closing time to buy their non-returnable $250 coursepacks. Yikes. All in all, both jobs are quite enjoyable, both because of the work and the people I work with, and both keep the wallet relatively full.
Not that the wallet will stay full for very long, unfortunately. Many travels are in the works, including the trip to Baltimore I am currently embarking on (I type this weblog on the magnificent, world-conquering BOLT BUS with FREE WIFI), and rent ain’t cheap. For good reason. Straight up: the pad Daniel Roemer and I inhabit is pimpin’. We inhabit a one-bedroom apartment on the fifteenth floor of the same apartment building I stowed away in during glorious sophomore year of undergrad, the impeccable 2000 Commonwealth Avenue. Location, location, location! The building is only a five minute bike ride, door to door 2000-to-St. Mary’s (four if you ride up the reverse side of Heartbreak Hill rather than taking the elevator). The interior, although whitewashed, is also appealing, especially if you snag some excellent furniture from the quite-excellent-himself Grayson Heenan. Grapey, who will never read this blog, let me tell you that I highly enjoy Joey’s old recliner. The presence of my two full bookshelves in the corner, topped by a few plants and, shortly, some BA Homeric horse-and-rider bookends, really “pulls the room together,” if I may say so myself. I will post pictures of the pad, including the wonderful balcony view of downtown we have, once I get back from Baltimore. For the record the trips I have planned include this one to Baltimore, a five day trek to Chicago mid-month, and a four-day journey to California in mid-August. You’ll hear (and see) about all of these trips right here on this weblog.
Time not spent working or sleeping in the apahtment is usually spent reading or hanging out with my dearly beloved friends. The reading list thus far this summer has included The Moviegoer by Walker Percy, The Sickness Unto Death by Soren Kierkegaard, and Hamlet by Billy Shakes himself. I’m in the process of reading King Lear by the same playwright right now. Other works in progress include some philosophical works, chief amongst them Lonergan’s Verbum articles, and some spiritual reading, including both The Soul of the Apostolate and the great post-synodal letter of the late JPII, Pastores Dabo Vobis. On the horizon: Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, and Percy’s Lost in the Cosmos.
Common hot spots for hanging out with the brethren have been Sunset Grill & Tap on Brighton Ave., where I celebrated the vigil of my dies natalis yesterday with a lovely group, and, to my great glee, John Harvard’s in Harvard Square. Both places make me a little bit giddy. Excellent food, notably at Sunset the massive set of nachos for a mere $11. These fellers could act as dinner for two people. Each has a fine atmosphere, especially John Harvard’s tavern-esque aura, adorned by faux-stained glass with the visages of famous figures replacing the heads of what could be Catholic sanctii. And, of course, both establishments are replete with fine stouts and porters to enjoy in moderation. Joy!
One of the best parts about summer is the opportunity to spend more time with our Lord. I won’t say much about that here, other than that it’s nice, and that I’m realizing more deeply how necessary it is. “Remain in me,” He says. It’s something that needs to be done all the time, not just during the summer… anyways, more on this in another post.
May the summer months continue to be as blessed as they have been thus far!