Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summer Bucket List

As the spring semester slowly came to an end, I made a list of things I would like to do during the summer. Free of school obligations for a whole three months (and suddenly it feels like a very long time to be out of school), I realized that I would have a lot of time on my hands and I wanted to make the most of it. Here is what I have so far:

1. Read as many books as I possibly can for both entertainment and enlightenment.

2. Work in the garden. My tomatoes usually do not get the attention they deserve. This year I will have no excuse for not having a bumper crop. B. S. (Before School) I made colorful garden charts and elaborate plans about what I wanted to plant and where, complete with seed starting charts and planting dates and companion planting guides. Nowadays, I start the seeds in March and if they survive until May, we will have fresh vegetables. If not, there is always next year.

3. Cook healthy recipes. When school rolls around, I just throw things together and call it a meal (or my husband cooks). I have a subscription to Cooking Light Magazine and this summer will be a good time to eat healthy and try new recipes.

4. Watch movies. I will watch The Lord of the Rings as many times as I want to and not worry that there is something else I should be doing.

5. Spring hiking trip. Well, it is probably too late for this to happen. March through May are the optimal months for hiking in these parts. By June, it is too hot, humid, and insect-ridden to be worth the trouble.

6. Clean house. The down-side to no summer school is that I will no longer have an excuse for not cleaning house regularly. I wonder if it is too late to sign up for a summer class?

7. Organize files, paperwork, school stuff, etc. Again, is it too late to sign up for summer school?

8. Read through the two foot stack of magazines that have been accumulating for the last two semesters. So what if it is all old news by now.

9. Write resume. No comment on this subject just yet.

10. Go to the park. We have a park with a small lake and numerous gardens. A botanical center is currently under construction. The entire park is staffed by volunteers only, and if I ever have time I would like to join the effort.

11. Have a tapas party. I have wanted to do this for a long time and if it doesn't happen this summer, it probably won't happen at all until I after I graduate.

12. Learn to speak Spanish. I know, this is a big one. I don't mean that I will be able to speak all that well by summers end, but I have to get over the fear of opening my mouth and allowing Spanish words to come forth. I just spent sixteen weeks writing in Spanish constantly. There is no reason why I shouldn't be able to speak a little, as well. I just need to get over my inhibitions, make the effort, and let it happen.

So, where should I begin? I have so much time on my hands that I don't know what to do first! I was so relieved when school ended last week, but now I'm a little overwhelmed by my freedom.

Grades were posted yesterday, and I made A's in both classes. I was so excited! Even though I only had two classes this semester, both were extremely time consuming and challenging. I learned how to write in Spanish and how to write book reviews for history, both important skills for the remainder of my classes. I've been feeling quite burnt-out for a while now, but I believe the success's of this semester have helped in keeping me motivated to continue the journey. I'm already looking forward to what the fall semester will hold, and hopefully my summer break will leave me rejuvenated and ready to jump back in and finish the race.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dead Day Party & Initiation

This is my version of Aimee Semple McPherson at the Dead Day Party last Friday for Phi Alpha Theta. It was the Friday before the party when I found out it was a costume party, so on Saturday I rushed around to costume shops only to find they were closed. Luckily, I found an old clothing store downtown that had a preacher's robe, so come Friday afternoon a asked a co-worker to put my hair up in a bun and I was all set to go.

This was the first activity of the history honor society that I had been able to attend and I was quite nervous because I knew it was likely that they would all be strangers to me. And they were. I met Amelia Earhart, Lizzie Borden, Al Capone, Annie Oakley, Amelia Bloomer, and Audrey Hepburn, to name a few. I'm not sure of most of the real names of the attendees. The party was hosted by a history professor who is also a sponsor of the club. I was a little disappointed that none of the professors that I have taken were at the party, since it would have been nice to have a few familiar faces at the party. It was not to be, but nonetheless I'm glad I finally had the time to go to an activity. I met a lot of interesting people and hopefully I will have opportunity to get to know them better. The most exciting thing for me (besides being initiated into the honor society) was meeting students older than I am!

Today I took my last final. It has been a hectic few weeks and I haven't had time to do much of anything except study. So now the verb test is over (50% improvement over the first one), all the papers and book reviews are written, and finals are over. It is such a relief, and I'm so excited to be free for the summer that I feel like doing a happy dance. And yet, somehow I feel a little down. I'll miss my Spanish professor, who has been nothing but encouraging to me all semester. I'll miss the young girl who I have now had two Spanish classes with and will probably never see again as she is off to another city to go to school in preparation for medical school. So many people pass through our lives never to be seen again.

This was meant to be a happy post about going to a party and meeting new people and successfully completing another semester, but instead it has turned a little maudlin. I will return when I recover from the post-final crash.