So I have always had mixed feelings about winter term here at The College of Idaho. On one end, we concentrate on one class, which is really, really nice, but on the other, we blaze through the term in four weeks. This gets a bit hectic.
Two years ago, I had no idea what an academic conference was. I assumed that professors and researchers just kind of hid in their labs and wrote things that only their obscure peers would read. Two years ago, I didn’t know anything about the active research process across any science, and I couldn’t have imagined that I’d be willing to buy a plane-ticket and drop a massive fee to hang out in a convention center with a bunch of psychologists.
It’s day seven for the London group, and today is our last in London for a bit. We’re all headed separate ways for side trips—there are some people Paris-bound, others heading for Bath, and a few for Scotland. I’m in the Paris group, and tomorrow, my three Paris-bound companions and I will be getting up around 5 am to catch the Tube up to St. Pancras station, where we will get on a Eurostar train to France. Two hours later, and we’ll be in the heart of Paris. But even with an early start tomorrow, we’re making the most of our London time.
Only three days into the London trip, and I’m exhausted. London is jam-packed with things to do, places to go, sights to see. At the end of the day, London leaves me visually overwhelmed and with one tired pair of feet. It’s a very good type of tired though, a type that comes with having not wasted a minute of the day.
I do work study in the art gallery, which means it is primarily my duty to man the gallery desk and try really hard to look important, but I've also been given the opportunity to hang a show and to help get ready for an exhibition by preparing the gallery and painting pedestals, as well as other assorted tasks. I was surprised at what goes into hanging peices; I hadn't thought about the need to measure so much to get the art properly distributed at eye level. It's really interesting!
Winter term at The College of Idaho is a wonderful and terrible thing. Wonderful because the classes are fun and the load is light. Terrible because winter is my arch nemesis. So, I cope by indulging in warm cups of goodness, slippers, and fuzzy throw blankets to ward off the coldness that I call "January"...thus far, an effective strategy until I need to walk to class or leave the apartment to forage for food. I have a theory that bears are more evolutionarily advanced than humans because we still have not adapted the ability to hibernate.
Tonight is my last in Caldwell for a few weeks—I’m off to London and Paris starting tomorrow. The suitcase is all packed up; I’ve stocked up on Ziploc bags, band-aids, and granola bars and have spent much of the last night writing out directions to and from different London and Paris metro stations.
I’ve had a lot of conversations about winter with my friends over the last few days. Monday was the first day of the winter session, and as I’m writing this, snow continues to fall. One of the things that I’ve grown to appreciate the most about our campus is how much it reflects the seasons. Granted, I’m from Boise and I’ve dealt with snow since infancy, but I don’t think I’d be able to deal with the perpetual summer that some colleges enjoy. Caldwell (and The College) is firmly bound to the mountainous climate of Idaho.
So the break has been a relief. After plowing through more then a hundred books in three months, on topics ranging from rascism in ethnographic imagery to the role of the metropolis as a tool for crosscultural alienation, I was starved for simpler pleasures.
So I had a few projects I had set up for the break.
I took care of the chickens and took down the greenhouse I had constructed. As with most DIY things, the greenhouse worked, but was a eyesore. But, you learn with each passing movement.
It's been a while since my last post, hasn't it? What with the stress of finals, preparing for and performing in the Feast of Carols, and the zaniness of Christmas shopping and present wrapping, updating the blog took sort of a low priority. But now that Christmas is finally here and Winter Term is looking a lot closer this side of the holidays, I figured it would be a perfect time to gather my thoughts and reflect on the semester I just completed.