It’s been a good first week back. I’ve been doing a lot of reading; I’m 262 pages into The Life of Charlotte Bronte, and 181 pages into First, Do No Harm. These books are for my lit class on the Bronte sisters and for Bioethics, respectively. Aside from those two, I’ve had passages from Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, and Ovid for my Money in Literature class, plus a chapter or two from my Economic Development text. So far, the only class I have not been assigned reading is French, which is a relief, seeing as my French vocabulary is very much that of a one semester student.
Winter break is always a great time for snuggling and relaxing before the onset of spring semester. I spent most of my break just hanging out and getting some down time, watching Downton Abbey and reading The Hobbit. But I also signed up for the Outdoor Program’s Yurt Trip, which was held at the yurt at Bogus Basin.
I've heard a lot about the coagulative properties of the Family Dinner: families who sit down and eat dinner and talk about their day together are supposed to be better off than families who eat in front of the TV. I remember posters in middle school touting that "Famlies that Eat Together, Stay Together."
This is my second Winter Term on The College of Idaho campus, so I naively figured going into this January that I'd learned all the most important lessons about this accelerated 4-week period. Then I got back the first day and reminded myself of one very important thing: at C of I, if you're not learning something new or experencing new things every day, then you're doing something very wrong. Just because Winter Term is short doesn't mean there's nothing to be gained from it.
Coming home from school is a weird experience. It’s like flipping a switch between two separate lives. I fit back into my old life like sliding in the last piece to a puzzle. I saw almost everyone I wanted to see over Christmas break, and even though it's been months since I’ve seen them, I felt like it hadn’t been more than a week. There were a few things that had changed, and a few people too, which is mildly disappointing in a way that I can’t quite describe.
I survived my finals, but there was a moment at about 11:45 on Tuesday night of finals week when I wasn't so sure I would. I was sitting at the round table by the front door in Blatchley, studying chemistry. I was alone. Being alone was by my own design: I wanted a quiet, empty space to study. I got to Blatchley at about 9 that night, my third night in a row, but this was the first night that I had it all to myself. At least I thought I had it all to myself ... (DUN DUN DUUNNNNN).
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.
So, I just realised that it was been almost two months since I have posted on these blogs.
This is partially so because I had nothing fancy to say, no ground breaking insights, no incisive comments. It was also because I had somehow managed to bugger myself on the academic side of things. You see, I made the fundamental mistake of taking multiple classes that required intense creative thought. So let's go over it, so you can learn from My Mistakes.
I’ve mentioned before that I have one of C of I’s Heritage Scholarships. One of the stipulations for keeping this scholarship is that I do 20 hours of community involvement per month. Community involvement is a pretty loose term; it’s generally translated to mean “anything you’re not paying for or getting paid for.” So while a good portion of the Heritage hours that my fellow scholars turn in may be from volunteer hours or time logged doing research, a lot of items are just fun events that we’ve attended on campus.