I hope I'm not the only C of I student who finds it funny that we've received more snow over this post-winter term break than we actually received during winter term itself. It's been snowing off and on in the Treasure Valley for the past two days, and the ground is far more powdery than anything we saw in January. Slicker roads, too - I had to stop by Caldwell for some Delt business yesterday and almost ran into stationary objects no less than three times. Not that I'm complaining about the snow or anything, though! Spring is on the way, and the chances of frozen water falling from the skies get smaller every passing week.
Speaking of things falling from the skies, I received my books for the spring semester earlier this week! (I know they didn't actually fall from the skies, but they all used to be trees that must have been tall before being made into paper, and...yeah, this isn't a very good segue.) The books are a symbol of the coming term, which means that it's also time for my next installment of 3 Things I'm Looking Forward To, a sequel to my Fall and Winter lists. What could I possibly be looking forward to this time? You'll know in just a few short sentences!
1. Reading and writing for days!
Astute viewers will notice that the photo leading this post is a stack of books by Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner, but this photo is only telling half of the story. You see, with my lame cell phone camera, I couldn't comfortably get a good shot with all of the Hemingway and Faulkner texts I received. Out of the 14 books I need for this semester of classes, 9 of them are for this course, aptly titled "Hemingway and Faulkner." That's right - this stack is supposed to be even taller. We're talking at least 1,000 pages of material in this photograph alone, not even counting the other three I couldn't fit in the photograph. That's a lot of 20th century American literature for a 12 week period.
And my other 5 books? Yeah, those are all for literature and writing classes too, including a massive textbook of Shakespeare, a collection of critically acclaimed business writing for my journalism course, and other assorted goodies ranging from 200 to 500 pages each. All of which I'll have the opportunity to read alongside all that Hemingway and Faulkner!
Yes, this is totally something to be excited about. Of all the semesters I've had so far in college, this is the very first semester that every single one of my 3 credit classes are either English or Journalism courses. With my Human Biology minor done and my History minor mostly done (except for a final research paper), all I have left to focus on are my Creative Writing major and Interactive Journalism minor. Luckily for me, these are two of my greatest academic passions, and even though I'll probably have several major papers and portfolios all due at the exact same times, I'll probably be smiling a punch drunk smile and politely ask for more when Fall 2014 rolls around. It's going to be a ton of mentally challenging material to muddle through, but academic adversity is good for the mind.
2. Humans vs. Zombies!
A favorite tradition of mine on the C of I campus is the annual, campus wide game of tag known as Humans vs. Zombies. Sponsored and run by Delta Tau Delta, the game is as simple as it is spectacular. Out of everyone playing the game (which is usually between 30 and 50, depending on the semester it's held), one person starts out as a "zombie" whose job it is to tag, or "infect" the other players of the game, who all wear bandanas around their arms to designate their participation. When the human players are "infected," they then tie their bandanas around their heads and become a zombie themselves. The zombies must tag at least one human every 48 hours, or they "starve" and are out of the game. Humans may defend themselves, as they would in any zombie apocolypse, with Nerf guns and rolled up sock balls, taking zombies out of the game for a set amount of time before they can hunt for brains again.
The game ends when all zombies starve or no humans remain. And let me tell you that there are very few things as adrenaline pumping as finding yourself on the run from a pack of five extremely quick zombies in a chase around the entire quad before making a dramatic Last Stand on the steps of the Terteling Library at sunset (which was how I got turned last year).
Humans vs. Zombies is one of those spontaneous activities that brings the campus culture together. It wouldn't be a year at C of I without at least one game being run, and this year it falls in spring. Let the games begin!
3. Returning to the Academic Support Center!
This school year has been my first serving as a writing tutor for the Academic Support Center (ASC), and I've personally gotten a lot out of the time I spent there during the fall. It's been said that the best way to better understand something is to attempt to teach it to someone else, and I can say with certainty that the statement is a true one. I had a variety of one-on-one sessions with beginning English students, some of them learning English as a second language, that really put me in a position to master what it was I was trying to explain. Having to aid students with some of the aspects of language that they were struggling in forced me to reexamine those subjects for myself so that I may teach them in a more clear way, which hasn't just been helpful for my own understandings, but for the students I've tutored.
I was too busy during winter term to work in the Center, but I have free time once again in the spring to make my return to regular sessions. I'm sure the first few weeks of the term will be a bit on the slow side, but if nothing else, spending time in the ASC is a great time to get personal homework out of the way. With all the reading I'm bound to do over this term, I may find that the hours spent in the center save me from hours spent past my bedtime.
P.S.: Remember how I was in an Introduction to Web Design class over winter term? Well, guess what? My website is live! Check it out and let me know what you think by following this link here!
Clayton is a junior creative writing major from Meridian, Idaho.