Saturday, April 30, 2011


So it’s been bothering me that I had to


to read my own blog.

So I’m going with a more readable set of colors.

Less Meditative.

More comfy.

Mildly Irritated

Perhaps I’m getting too big for my intellectual britches here, but everywhere I look I see all sorts of poor habits abounding in the realm of scholarly discourse.  I mean, I know I’m not really an “anybody” as far as the study of history goes, but I’ve focused on how historians can go wrong, virtually from the beginning of the program.  We’ve looked at the pitfalls, we’ve examined the bad habits, and we’ve definitely spent lots of time discovering just how awful amateur history can really be.

So, the historian is easy prey for a whole litany of dangerous errors.  How much more so is the casual scholar (God forbid, one with an “education”) who doesn’t have a flaming clue as to how dumb they make themselves sound by utterly failing to properly contextualize their arguments.  For example, saying “The Church Killed People in the Inquisition for Religious Reasons” and “Hitler Killed People in the Holocaust for Religious Reasons” are both sloppy statements.  Both are a tiny bit true.  Both are easily misused.  And BOTH could be used properly and without error if you just took the time to drag a little bit of context out of the historical closet and use it alongside the original statement.

But alas.  This takes time.  This requires effort.  And (worst of all!) this might actually unearth information that makes your point invalid.  Dreadful.

Anyway, the latest mild irritant is all the fuss about the Royal Wedding, and (more to the point) all the fuss about the fuss about the Royal Wedding.  Myriad Catholics on the web, all a-twit at our disgusting preoccupation with (a) the Monarch of another realm, and (b) anything that doesn’t have to do with the economy, planned parenthood, vaccinations, or Ron Paul. 

“Hey, didn’t we fight a war to get rid of a King?”  “Stupid Americans.  So easily distracted by shiny things.”  Well, yes, doofus.  If it’s that simple to you, sure.  We did fight a war for that one single solitary reason.  [Cue above discourse on the need for context, and the dangers of anachronism.]  But did we fight a war to get rid of pageantry, of decorum, of tradition, of nods to heritage?  Um, no.  If we did, then it’s time to wage a fantastic war against the Papal Tiara, vestments, incense, polyphony, lingua latina, and all sorts of other traditions, ceremony, and pageantry.

For goodness’ sake, people.  Lighten up.  Let America enjoy her TV time, enjoy the inspirational spectacle of “two young people standing up at the altar” (thanks, Cait) for what it’s worth.  Stop naysaying the poor things on their wedding day!  That’s tacky!  And stop naysaying the simple Americans whose hearts are drawn to the glamorous and dignified. 

Silly Catholics.  Cranky as always.

Friday, April 29, 2011

7 Quick Takes

(Hosted by Jennifer Fulweiler at 

Ok, these will be very quick:

1. I love my husband.  Plain and simple.

2. Had a series of rockin’ awesome debates with peeps this week.  I still think some of them are slightly nutty, and I still think that others of them are amusing, and I still think that even others (it was a lot of debates) are complete loons, but I had a great time.

3. I love the beach, and all its wet, ocean-y peacefulness, but would never ever ever ever want to live right on the coast.  It wrecks your hair, your car, your home, and all the fabric in your house.  Grossness.

4. Happy birthday to my mommy!  She gave me Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals for my birthday (which, incidentally, happens to also be hers).

5. The big footlocker my husband sent home has arrived!!  The end is in sight!!  What a great feeling. :)

6. Got a thank you note from good buddy Tony, and was re-inspired to pray for him that he finds a mate.  God, send Tony a mate!  A nice girl, who can teach him to assemble furniture while he teaches her to cook.  :)  See, my husband remembers these things all the time.  I have to get letters in the mail, reminding me of the people I forget to pray for.  This is a bad thing.

7. I have the funniest child on the planet Earth.  Just sayin.’.  You should all mourn and weep every day that whenever I get the video camera out he ceases to amuse and instead wails to be allowed to hold the camera.  Because if he’d let me video him a little, we’d be viral internet sensations.  The internet couldn’t handle the funny.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dull Blog is Dull

I should have hung out a sign or something over here, “Gone to Beach.”  ‘Cause that’s where I am, and then I’ll be heading up the interstate to visit the great white north one more time before summer arrives.  So not much blogging.  Besides, I’m getting sucked into all these other internet things, places to read and comment (great place to argue with athiests here), and places where others have kindly invited me to do an online book club (kewl!) or join a writing/opinion group (intimidating).

So there’s all that going on, plus my efforts to cut back on computer usage…it isn’t working, since being on the computer means a chance to chat with Joe for a couple minutes, but I’m trying.  At least during the daytime we’ve stayed very busy, either vacationing or back at my house doing yucky chores like steam cleaning the carpet or assembling the last of the library bookshelves.  A house is a never-ending project, even if (especially if?) it doesn’t actually belong to you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

7 Good Friday Takes

I don’t think Jennifer is doing this over at her blog today, given the Holy Silence that many are (rightly) maintaining through Passiontide.  But I haven’t blogged in almost a week, and some things have happened that are worth sharing.

1. I have turned in all my coursework!  Hurray!  This is as of Wednesday night, and of course I’ll be waiting for grades at least two weeks.  Bring a bothersome new academic meaning to “watch and pray.”

2. My awesome husband was officially selected for promotion.  :)  While I realize that this is normal, it’s still fun to see it all in writing.  I’m so proud of him!

3.  My son, when undistracted and properly prompted, will point to the Crucifix when asked, “Where’s Jesus?”  WIN!

4. I received further confirmation last night that, while capable help is better than none at all, I hate when it’s a group of mothers that have to organize and facilitate altar server training.  Our situation is unique in the number of fathers available full-time, and I understand that it’s a reasonable excuse, as was the Chaplain’s reason for not being in attendance (Mass at the brig, and then confessions).  But I do so wish for more educated and interested men to come take over the servers.  See #2, above, for a good example.

5. Will be singing the Exsultet again this Easter.  Something else I wish we had a guy to do.  Where are all the Catholic men??  I could write a whole post on that.  In fact, Father B asked me yesterday if I could send him a couple bullet points on why we needed priests on active duty.  He got about eight paragraphs…and I was just getting started.  I find myself quite eloquent on this subject.

6. Very sad story this week, about a homeschool family from Pennsylvania.  I don’t know them personally, but my husband and his family do.  Their 11-year-old daughter has been fighting a vicious staph  infection in her lungs for nearly a month.  The family’s faith and example of grace throughout the ordeal has been so inspiring—especially through this week.  With medication failing and her poor little body slowly bleeding to death, the family made the difficult decision of pulling the ventilator and other machines which were keeping her body going.  The little girl died on Wednesday afternoon.  The nearly 3,000 people that had joined a facebook prayer group about her are still members, and many have posted that they (like me) check the page every day, no longer for medical updates, but to read how the family’s trust in Jesus has inspired them.  Everyone has a message of thanks, or a prayer, or a word of admiration for this great example of suffering, acceptance, and hope in the Resurrection.  Really beautiful story , in the face of such tragedy.

7. I can’t think of a seventh thing, again!  Just that you won’t hear from me for a while, most likely, because I’m doing a little vay-cay at the beach with my peeps this week, then heading to PA to see my in-laws one more time before my husband gets home.  Yay, travel!  Oh, and I’ll get the car worked on while it’s up there.  Sad that I drive the poor thing 750 miles in order to get the oil changed.  But you know what?  The difference in cost still beats the amount I spend on gas—even at $4.07 a gallon.  How sad is that?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dinner with the E-Trade Baby







Aaaaaaand yes.  That’s my bowl. 

No dinner for mommy tonight. 

As Calvin’s mom said,

“And my friends wonder how I stay so thin!”

Semper Fidelio

For the record, I’ve got only two articles left to read for my paper, I still have 7 days before it is due, and I’m going to have the outline and introduction written before lunch.  Therefore, I have time to blog.

Once a year or so, basically every time a bunch of new people start reading the blog, I es’plain why my name is Fidelio.  When I go commenting on other blogs, lots of people think I’m a guy (unless they come look at my blog), since I have  a masculine name.  Occasionally, they’ll get the reference itself.

Beethoven wrote only one opera, and it was a bit of a comedy of errors.  He re-wrote the overture four times before he got one he liked.  During those early days, the opera was called “Leonore”—the name of the female protagonist.  Beethoven based his opera on a couple of previous operas and plays of the same name.  In the story, Leonore disguises herself as a man (“Fidelio”) and works at the prison where her husband is being kept wrongfully.  She saves him from death at the end of the opera.

I thought it was really clever to use an apparently masculine name as my online name.  Besides, I knew Beethoven, most of my friends were music people and easily got the reference, and it satisfied my mother’s concerns that my blogging (this was all several years ago) be secure and anonymous.  Fidelio spent three years blogging in concert with roommates and friends on a group blog. :)

It’s retired now, as you see, but full of good memories.  More later on how the choice of a screen name was fortuitous, and then (of course) how my current blog got its name in the first place.

Tornado watch issued | surf, advisory, high - Jacksonville Daily News

Updated at 1:44 a.m.

An unknown number of base residents sustained injuries and nearly 30 homes were damaged following a series of tornados that touched down in the vicinity of the Tarawa Terrace II housing area Saturday evening, according to base officials.

One seriously-injured child is known to have been evacuated to Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

Of the damaged homes, five have been characterized as uninhabitable.

A temporary shelter has been opened at TT2 Elementary School to provide immediate care for displaced persons if necessary, according to a press release from Camp Lejeune. The base Emergency Operations Center has been activated to provide a coordinated response throughout the night and a local incident command center has been set up at the TT2 fitness center.

Updated at 12:11 a.m.

Base officials said there are unconfirmed reports of roughly 20 injured people from the Tarawa Terrace housing area receiving treatment at Onslow Memorial Hospital, two with reportedly severe injuries.

Base spokesman Nat Fahy said it is too early to characterize the nature of the injuries of the others.

Five homes at Tarawa Terrace II are confirmed demolished by Saturday night's tornado, and many others have been damaged, officials said.

Updated at 11:38 p.m.

A long day of tracking deadly tornadoes sweeping across North Carolina did not end well in Onslow County, where a twister touched down in multiple locations in the dark of night Saturday.

There were reports of heavy damage and injuries in the Piney Green area in eastern Onslow County and the Tarawa Terrace II housing area aboard Camp Lejeune. Details were sketchy as officials limited access to both areas while emergency teams moved in to assess the damage and help out victims.

Norman Bryson, assistant director of the Onslow County Emergency Operations Center, told The Daily News that a tornado damaged Holiday City Mobile Home Park and other areas along Piney Green Road.

Bryson said multiple homes were damaged and there were “several patients,” including some with critical injuries.

Military officials said base commander Col. Daniel Lecce had gone to base housing around 10 p.m. to inspect the extent of the damage left by the tornado. At least a dozen houses aboard Tarawa Terrace II were believed affected by the event, and possibly as many as 30, officials said.

Tim Strickland, spokesman for Onslow Memorial Hospital, said about 30 trauma victims had been received at the hospital by 10:30 p.m. as a result of the storm. Strickland said that number was expected to rise as people trapped in their homes were freed.

OMH was working with Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, New Hanover Regional Medical Center and Pitt County Memorial Hospital. The hospital had received patients from Camp Lejeune and was working to transfer some to New Hanover and Pitt County so patients could receive care as soon as possible.

Brian Cullen, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Newport, said while the tornado remained unconfirmed Saturday night, it was likely that it was one tornado rather than multiple.

After a day of high winds and threatening weather, the full force of the storm swept through the Onslow County area around 8 p.m.

“More than likely … it was one tornado but until we go out and survey that we really can't say that officially but that's kind of what it looks like. A lot of times these long track tornados will have continuous paths,” Cullen said, explaining that the tornado would have touched down, lifted back up and then touched back down.

As if the winds weren’t enough, hail was also reported during the storm, some pieces of which were as large as a half-dollar, Cullen said.

Authorities were asking that motorists stay away from N.C. 24 and Corbin Street, across from the base areas impacted by the storm. Severe damage was done to the Coastal Dry Cleaners at that location, with clothes blown about and cars in the parking lot damaged.

After the storm passed, Piney Green Road was closed from Old 30 Road to Shefield Road, with multiple emergency-service vehicles exiting to transport storms victims from the area. Sheriff’s Department and Highway Patrol personnel were controlling the scene.

An eyewitness said he observed extensive damage to at least eight, and possibly up to 15, houses in the Piney Green area. He described the homes as “leveled.”

People at the scene confirmed multiple injuries, but there was no word on any possible fatalities.

The area was described as a “debris field,” with uprooted trees, a transformer and power lines in the road, and branches and pieces of shattered homes scattered about.

Patrick McCoy was playing video games with his uncle at grandparents’ Montclair home when the power went out, he said. He said his uncle recognized the sound of an approaching tornado.

McCoy said he then jumped to his feet and started yelling for everyone to get in the bathroom.

“I actually felt the pressure building up in my ears,” he said.

After the tornado passed, McCoy and his uncle went into the room where they were previously playing video games and there was a tree branch on top of the chair his uncle was sitting in.

“If he’d been sitting there, he’d have been hit,” McCoy said.

A large oak tree crashed in the front yard, hitting the roof, but the only part that entered the house was the branch.

McCoy said another Montclair home was destroyed and the roof was torn off another.

Nearly 5,000 Jones-Onslow Electric Membership Cooperation customers were without power as of 10 p.m. Saturday, officials said.

Brynn Marr Road and Piney Green Road had more than 2,000 customers without power, said Jones-Onslow spokesman Steve Goodson. Other outages were reported on U.S. 17, N.C. 24 and on N.C. 172.

Goodson asked that customers report outages to 910-353-7117 or 800-681-4146.

While Progress Energy reported more than 175,000 customers without power in the Carolinas late Saturday night, the company did not report a specific number for Onslow County. The utility services Tarawa Terrace II.

The high winds have resulted in many downed power lines, a Progress Energy release said. Numerous transmission structures and lines are down, as well as power lines within communities across the utility’s service area. Crews were assessing damage across the system and assigning resources to the hardest hit locations.

Due to damage that has occurred to several large transmission structures, some areas hardest hit by the tornadoes and severe weather may require multiple days to restore.

For one Jacksonville man, the damage began early in the day when a tree crashed into his home.

Jose Rodriguez was watching television around 2:30 p.m. Saturday when he heard a big crash and his Northwoods-area home shook.

A large tree crashed into the roof of the laundry area and garage of his house, he said.

Rodriguez said he’d heard the wind earlier and knew it was strong.

After spending hours trying to reach someone to remove the tree from his roof, Rodriguez went to an area hardware store around 6 p.m. to get a tarp to cover the hole in roof.

Carteret impact

Despite multiple damage reports in Onslow County, Carteret saw little more than scattered power outages, officials said.

“I haven’t heard any reports of major damage in Carteret County; just of damage in the surrounding counties. For us I’ve mainly heard of power outages,” Carteret County Emergency Services Director Jo Ann Smith.

Smith said the outages have been scattered, with reports from Newport, Morehead City and as far east as Cedar Island.

She said Western Carteret Fire Department had been called to assist with incidents in Onslow County.

Correspondent Raeford Brown provided reports for this story.

Friday, April 15, 2011

7 Quick Takes

Ok, here I go again.  This will be the first time I ever did a link party more than one week in a row.  In fact, let’s just make that fact #1 on the list and keep moving.

2. V went to bed at 6pm last night, and woke up….I’m not sure when.  It was definitely still dark, and it was definitely more than an hour ago.  It’s going to be an awfully long day.  I’m really interesting in finding out how to go back to Sunday, when he slept from 4pm until 8am.

3. Prayer requests about this week!  For a friend and college professor who has been diagnosed with bone cancer; for my brother as he leaves college and discerns the next step in his life; for a little girl who is life-or-death struggling with lung infections as a bizarre result of pneumonia; for peace in the heart of a friend whose newfound Catholicism is putting her to the test, as old friends and old ways still seem to look so appealing.

4. I have the second garden box together now, which gives me a total of five containers (two large, three very small) housing the future Bounty From The Yard.  I have to buy one more bag of dirt today, and then everything will be in the ground.  Peppers (3 kinds), tomatoes, peas, lettuce, spinach, and herbs.  Yay!  And there’s room for something else, I just haven’t decided what.

5. Only one assignment of any sort left for school.  Yes, it’s the awful terrible paper for Dr. Crankypants, but it’s only ONE assignment.  I did everything else last night, including the extra responses on the last message board.  Growing up, summer wasn’t so radically different from the school year that we looked forward to it rabidly—but now, I’m so excited for summer I can’t see straight.  Cannot.  Wait.

6. My college loan is paid off!  That happened last week, actually, but I forgot to put it on the list.

7. Once again, finding seven things is impossible!  I’ve already blogged about so much of what happened around here this week….

Visit and link up!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Epic Calendar Fail

I could blame it on my professor, since he fails to make use of the calendar that the school trained us all on back in January.  I could also blame it on my life.  Still, if the six other adults in the class could figure it out, I suppose there’s not really a good excuse for why I (an adult) missed the deadline.

But I did.  By five days.  Five days is five letter grades, which (at least in theory) means an F on the paper.  Given the way its weighted, it would make my final grade in the class….a 90.  By far the lowest grade I’ve gotten in the program so far.

So that sucketh a little bit.  (‘Scuse the Francais.)

But oh well.  I turned it in, did the course evaluation while the adrenaline was still pumping, and now just have to write the Evil Dr. Crankypants essay for my other class.  Which, now that I’ve had a little perspective session, is not going to be that bad.  After all, if I get an F on that paper, I’ll still get like a 90 in the course.  These are the blessings of doing well on the forums.  You can slack at the end and still not look like a total nimrod on transcripts.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pro-Life! Pro-Baby!

Met Abby Johnson tonight, the wave-making young woman who left a successful career at Planned Parenthood a little over a year ago after witnessing an ultrasound-guided abortion.  Great speech, and of course a powerful message about the reality of abortion as the killing of a child—a living being that feels pain, that has an identity, that was created by God for a purpose.


All this, of course, for the fantastically good cause of supporting the Onslow County Pregnancy Center.  I was so excited to find out that they’re always interested in donations of diapers, wipes, baby clothes, and all those other things that mommies with little babies need.  Yay!  Somewhere to take all this stuff we aren’t using any more (and the surplus that enthusiastic neighbors keep bringing to me—no WAY we’ll ever need this many clothes), somewhere that actually needs it.  Abby was right.  We need to own the fight for life, we need to make it personal and make our time and our treasure work for the unborn.

Properly Labeled


To no avail.

Drank a Dr. Pepper and ate dinner at 9:30 last night, thinking it was a good chance to work late on the paper.  I can’t go anywhere this morning because I have to wait for the furniture to be delivered.  Brilliant plan, right?

So I did all that.  I got the book all typed.  I finished the other two books.  Aaaaaand went to bed at 10:30, completely as usual.  No caffeine buzz, no sugar rush.

But I woke up at 0600.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Like Butter Over Too Much Bread

I had wondered, fairly recently, at someone I know who appeared to have a mild nervous breakdown as the end of deployment approached.  Really?  I thought. That close, you would think she’d be happy and coming out of the dark, endless days of “the middle.”  This should be a get-busy-and-become-joyful period.


Here we are, seven weeks to go, and I appear to be having a mild nervous breakdown.  I mean, not anything debilitating.  It more like I’m just spoiling for a fight at any moment.  Ready to spit at the drop of a hat.  Honk at non-sentient objects in the road.  Yell back at my toddler instead of telling him to speak softly.  Swear at [non-present] professors who have their heads in their behinds when it comes to grading standards and assignment-expectations communication.  Buy furniture.  Regret furniture.  Be happy about furniture again.  Stuff like that.

Weird.  Too bad V was a FLAMING ATTITUDE BALL on Thursday night and I wasn’t able to leave him with the sitter so I could go to the return & reunion brief.  They might have explained some of this to me.  But they do the brief once a month and I’ll miss the next one.  Besides, at that point it’ll probably be too late.  I’ll have figured out how to cope on my own by then, and the entire brief will feel like a waste of my brain cells like most of the briefs that I attend.  Ah well.  Better luck next deployment.

Friday, April 08, 2011

7 Quick Takes

1.  Up at 0500 this morning because someone I loved needed IT support from several thousand miles away.  On the upshot, we had a nice uninterrupted conversation because no one else was awake to be clogging the server!

2. On the down side, our conversation was primarily about our stupid government and how military servicemen won’t get paid unless something is done, etc, etc, etc, etc.  There’s a lot to this, and I realize that it’s much less simple than just “pass a budget!” but it’s still really irritating and annoying to know exactly what the future holds with regards to back pay, incorrect amounts, DFAS, and what an unholy mess it’s all going to be.

3. My mom is coming to visit!  Smile Smile

4. Still on the Great Furniture Search.  I found the perfect items, in the Pottery Barn catalog, of course.  I added up all the things I picked out, for the bedroom and for an office, and the grand total was $11, 799.  So.  Yeah.  Back to the resale store I go.

5. To the great joy of someone, I’ve started locking the cats out of the bedroom at night.  I’m tired of listening to them play at night, especially when it involves crossing the bed at high speeds, or jumping up and clinging to the end of the pillow with a wild eye, before dashing off again in the opposite direction.  I had intended to do this about a month before he got back anyway, but started early because they were driving me nuts.  Now, of course, I get up and have a mental battle every time I open the door at night—is something out there that I can’t see?  What was that noise?  Should I take the pistol, or the big metal flashlight with me?

6. It’s still on my mind, so here’s more of why I’m really ticked off.  Actually, this makes me madder than all the rest.  Flagrant disrespect for the country he’s supposed to be serving.

7. Coming up with seven things is harder than it looks, especially at 0611 in the morning.  Final thing, I guess, would be that I’ll have gone to the gym a record 4 times this week!  I enjoy it, except for how we seem to bring home some kind of sickness from the playroom about every fifth visit.  Once my punchcard for childcare runs out, I think I’ll quit going and just bike or run outside instead.

Wanna join?  Visit and link up!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

A Song for Betsy

I'm a little





Here is my


Here is my


When I get all



Hear me



Me over and

Poor Vs Broke The Real Reason You Have No Money



3am Radio

It’s getting to where I can almost guarantee being awake sometime before 2 and 4.  It’s either me, V, a dream, the phone, the weather, a cat, or just “something.”  I think this one was a dream, but now I’m stuck awake listening to him breathe the breath of the Congested.  Not good.  At first I thought it was the dreaded Barf coming to see us again, but it sounds like just sinus stuff.

I’m coming to hate the Barf.  I know its coming, when he wakes up at midnight, is either very chipper or very difficult, stays awake at least a half hour, then going to sleep suddenly, only to (without warning) throw up in the bed almost immediately.

Tonight he never woke up, so I think I’m safe there.  However, I am not feeling all 100% myself, and wondering whether one of the two of us is going to be sick is keeping me awake.

Did you really want to know all that?  Why are you still reading this?

So naturally, I get on the internet to see if anything interesting is going on.  Of course there isn’t, so I’m stuck wanting to be sleeping, wanting to be sleepy, and getting neither.  Boo.  Cry for me, Argentina.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Latest assignment (don’t be bored)

As a manager, the second you have to counsel someone, you should realize you hired the wrong man. As a leader, the second you don't counsel someone, you should realize you probably aren't a good leader. When dealing with military life, I think dealing with personnel should almost always been on a leadership, and not a management level. According to MCDP 6-11, Leading Marines, Leadership is a “combination of the intangible elements of our ethos and the more tangible elements of our leadership philosophy.”[1]

It is a strong habit among historians, especially popular historians, to place emphasis on operational history—minimizing the significance of peacetime years. This is a serious mistake, since those peacetime years are the ones during which critical organizational decisions that will influence the prosecution of the next conflict are made. In the years of peace, “services recruit troops and develop new weapons systems, units conduct training exercises, enlisted men and officers receive education and training, and organizations write the doctrinal manuals and publications that will guide the conduct of future operations.”[2] Returning to 6-11, we read: “If Marines do not have the moral courage in peacetime to meet consistently the high standards and expectations of the Marine Corps, then they are not likely to have the moral courage to make the difficult decisions that may determine the outcome of a battle or campaign.”[3]

General Vandegrift I believe exhibited both traits, and would not have been overly offended by a reference to himself as a “manager.” The time he spent both during the interwar and postwar years in Washington were very much years of management—managing property, money, and the kind of organizational changes mentioned in the paragraph above. I think it is fair to say that one manages materiel, and leads men. Vandegrift certainly did both over the 33 years he spent on active duty with the Corps.

However, he is of course best remembered for being a leader, not a manager, and that’s how I think all Marines feel. According to MCDP 6-11, “The primary goal of Marine Corps leadership is to instill in all Marines the fact that we are warriors first. The only reason the United States of America needs a Marine Corps is to fight and win wars.”[4] Besides the fact that this line is almost a verbatim quote from what General Vandegrift himself said to Congress in 1946, it is an attitude easily seen throughout Vandegrift’s career. Spending 14 hours in the saddle every day, traveling from outpost to outpost in Haiti, just so he could speak to his men—that is leadership. Living in a tent, in the mud, and eating the same fare as one’s men while training (and the nearest comfortable city a mere 32 miles away, an easy distance) is not management, but a demonstration of the willingness to LEAD the men into battle, not merely tell them where to go. According to his aide, General Vandegrift was ever-present with his Division once they began preparations for deployment to the Pacific: “Responding to General Vandegrift’s constant scrutiny and supervision, the division advanced rapidly toward a state of readiness.”[5]

Finally, of course, General Vandegrift did not win the Medal of Honor of Guadalcanal for his management skills. To the Australians and British in Wellington, before the battle, General Vandegrift’s aide “tried, without saying so, to convey the impression that Archer Vandegrift was not a man who would bring a Marine division halfway around the world to surrender it to the Japanese without a fight.”[6] They were convinced—as were the Japanese and then the rest of the world soon after. This was a man who endured the hardships, took the brunt of the political heat and drama from the Navy, made the tough decisions, and was known and admired by everyone that served under him. No one follows a manager into battle.

1.Headquarters United States Marine Corps, MCWP 6-11, Leading Marines (January 1995, 30.
2. Damian Fidelion,THE ROAD TO FMFM 1: THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS AND MANEUVER WARFARE DOCTRINE, 1979-1989 (Unpublished Thesis submitted to the History Department of the University of Kansas, 2008), 21.
3. MCWP 6-11, 61.
4. Ibid., 93.
5. William Twining, No Bended Knee (Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1996), 10.
6. Ibid, 19.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Monday, April 04, 2011

Moi, moi, moi

New look for the blog.  Much more…me.  We’ll see how long it lasts.


So, I spent the weekend with the cast and crew of Consoling His Heart, “helping” out with the big moving project. We took pictures, but they’re on Allison’s camera, so sorry about how I’m unable to just wantonly share photographic imagery of someone else’s private life. If you’re Nina, be patient. You’ll get an email. Just be patient.

This week and next will be mad-dash school weeks, as both of my major assignments to finish the semester are due on Easter, and Holy Week is going to be a total lost cause as far as academic productivity is concerned. So, basically, I have two weeks from today to get all this work done, and then I’ll be




Ugh. Seems like it’s taking a lot longer to get this degree than the first one took, even though I’ve actually only been at this for, um, 10 months. So whatever. Grueling, challenging, and all that rot. Maybe it’s going so long without breaks in between that does it. Either way, I’m looking forward to summer like I never have before. The break from school, the relaxed teaching schedule, the total lack of RCIA classes (woot woot woot woot woot!!)…all those things.

Also Joseph will be back. Which, of course, means more work, but I think I like it that way. Workin’.