LiAnn Butterfield ’16

Hey everyone, I hope all has been well!  neil

It’s been one long stream of being busy here lately.  I finally got all of those papers out of the way, only to find more approaching (but what else could I expect?) along with some tests and other sorts of assignments.  Seniors, juniors, and sophomores have now selected next semester’s classes, and freshmen are scheduled to join us Thursday morning.  I got three out of the four classes I tried to enroll in at exactly 7am last Thursday (it’s always exactly 7am, except incoming freshmen fall semester enrollment, which I think was somewhere around 5:30pm).  So, as of now, I will be taking 19th Century British Novel, Sex and Gender in the Middle Ages, and Animal Behavior (a biology course for non-bio people).  cheer tdFor my fourth course, I tried to enroll in Microeconomics, but I was unable to get in (sometimes seats in a class are reserved, either for majors, or for a specific grade) so I ended up enrolling in a drawing course.

We recently had a special guest come to campus to lecture, the one and only, Neil deGrasse Tyson.  He talked about science, the progress we’re making (or not making), the things we could be doing that would help, how we should view science and research, etc.  It was really interesting, and understandable (coming from a non-science-major perspective).  He was also really amusing and relaxed, so it was a good time, despite it being over two hours.

Our men’s basketball team beat Harvard at the TD Garden on Sunday, in a really exciting game.  We were ahead 58-57 with one minute and Harvard had the ball, so it was down to if they made their shot or not, and they didn’t.  I don’t think I’ve ever been that excited about a basketball game before (or that tense during one, because it was close the whole time!)scooter

In horseback riding, I’ve been riding this one horse named Forest a lot.  He’s very cute, bay and kind of small, and a little bit sassy.  He’s privately owned, so he hasn’t been as easy to figure out as a regular school horse, but I think I’m starting to, and he’s very honest and well-intentioned.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of him yet (it’s been too cold to linger for selfies with the horses) so here are some photos I took a few weeks laceyago, of Lacey (left, who I haven’t gotten to ride yet this year but still like to visit regularly and is doing well) and Scooter (right), who I did ride recently.  Scooter has cancer in one eye, which they’re treating, but despite that, he’s very sweet and listens really well.  He’s also really comfortable, which is always nice.  And little.  He’s a tiny little guy (though not as tiny as Romeo).

 

I’m looking forward to going home for Thanksgiving, to see my cats (and family) and catch up on some reading, and start thinking about life next semester, and then life as a senior!

Enjoy the holiday!

 

 

Always,

L

Hey everyone,

pumpkin 2014October has turned out to be much busier than I expected, despite the week long “Fall Break”.  Over break, I spent some time in the Hudson Valley, on Matt’s turf, and the leaves were pretty impressive (as well as the pumpkins and apples and various fall paraphernalia).  We went apple picking, and drove around Vassar College’s campus (they have a community garden that we briefly stopped by, for continued inspiration and motivation for our own Holy Cross hopes), and carved a pumpkin (it’s a Cheshire Cat, in case you aren’t sure.  Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll) is my favorite book, and a tentative Halloween costume plan).

We also went to a sculpture park, Storm King Art Center.  It’s buddhaa 500-acre park full of hills, wooded areas, paths, tall grass, and huge pieces of art.  Having taken Introduction to Buddhism last semester, we found the “Three Legged Buddha” (2007) by artist Zhang Huan particularly interesting.  Some of the other pieces used rubber, stone, wood, and/or metals.  There’s often something automatically impressive about anything so huge and looming in size.  I’m really curious as to how exactly they create their art, because you certainly can’t just lift a 30 foot steel beam into place.

I’ve started to find that higher level classes do, in fact, get more difficult.  I have to pause to think and consider my work much more, which can be frustrating at times, when it feels like no matter what I won’t understand.  But that’s also, of course, what professors are for, to guide that understanding along just a bit further and to help when you get stuck in a rut.  It’s also becoming more apparent to me how important it is to have confidence in yourself and your work, and not to be afraid of being wrong.  I’m very shy about raising my hand, almost ever, because I tend to re-think what I had lucyplanned to say so many times that I can no longer remember what the thought was or how I wanted to say it.  It gets very dizzying.  It would be simpler to simply raise my hand, say my thought, and then learn from my new-found understanding or my error.  It’s something I’m working on.

I was away from the barn for a few weeks, one week because of homework and the next because we were on break, so it was good to go back today (although, as expected, also a little painful).  I rode a new pony, Lucy (pictured at right).  She’s very cute and pretty comfortable.  She can be sassy at times, as most mares and ponies sometimes are, but overall she’s very honest and easy, once figured out.

Unfortunately, the midterm rush hasn’t quite finished.  I have one midterm exam this week, and five papers due next week (yes, five, please send all the luck my way), so I will leave you with a picture I took of one of the campus’ friendly resident skunks.  I named him Arthur (he’s the one with the tiny white dot on the very tip of his tail), and he is arguably kind of cute.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the turning of seasons!

Always,

L

Hi everyone!  Sorry for the absence, we were having some technical difficulties, and I couldn’t access my account.

The ivy has begun to change to its apple red color, and the trees are turning gold.  This is one of the best parts of being in New England for the Fall.  Admittedly, the weather has been a little temperamental lately.  A few weeks ago it was suddenly very cold (or rather, it felt very cold compared to the 80 and 90 degrees it had been), but then there have been sporadic days back in the 80s, and a few days somewhere in the middle.  It’s kind of fun, in its own unpredictable way.  I’m looking forward to a steady cool, though.  I’m definitely a fan of sweatshirts and gloves, and I’m ready to break them all out.

We go home at the end of this week, on October break already.  The first month has flown by.  I still refuse to believe that I could be more than halfway done with my college career.  It feels like I just moved in yesterday, leaving home and beginning to make bigger decisions on my own.  At the same time, it feels like I’ve always been here, and high school feels very distant.

I’ve had my first few graded assignments, and they’ve all been going pretty well.  I’ve been really pleased with the things I’ve written for creative writing so far this year.  My writing style and narrative voice has changed over the last few years, and I like the way its been developing recently.  My first major writing assignment is due this Wednesday, and my Irish literature class actually influenced what I decided to write about.  One theme/motif we talk about often in Irish lit, that can be seen in most if not all of the works we’ve read, is the presence of elements of fantasy and mythology, intertwining with reality.  So for this creative writing assignment, my ideas were originally based off of one of the myths (which I will tell you all about next time, once I’ve finished the assignment!)

I’ve also been kind of excited to find that I’ve really enjoyed all of the works I’ve been assigned this year as of yet.  I don’t know if it’s me growing up and developing a broader taste and appreciation for works, or me growing into my English major and appreciating the craft, or if I’ve just been lucky and really liked all of the things I’ve been assigned.

Chinese film has continued to be interesting as well.  I’d never had any experiencing with studying film, as opposed to just viewing.  We’ve learned the elements of mise-en-scene, which refers to the various aspects of what appears on screen and how it is placed/shot/etc.  For example, in one shot we might look at what angle it was shot from (high?  low?) and how it was lit, and where the various characters were placed, in relation to one another and in relation to the camera, aka the audience.  It’s not something I had ever really thought about before, so it’s been interesting to use and develop that eye.

Cheer has a bit of downtime, since there are no home football games in October.  That means we have plenty of time to polish new routines and work out new stunts, in addition to preparing for basketball season.  Horseback riding has been going similarly well and easily.  I can see how I’ve improved from where I was last year, and freshmen year, and in high school, and it’s really rewarding to feel accomplished in that way.  We had our first Holy Cross Food Nation club meeting of the year two weeks ago, and will have a second one tonight.  We got a handful of new people to the meeting with varied food interests, and then input from even more people, which resulted in this week’s theme being Oktoberfest.  One of the German FLAs (foreign language assistants) agreed to come and speak about Oktoberfest, which should be really interesting and fun to hear.

Unfortunately, it’s a very test/paper-heavy week for a lot of people, including myself, so I’m off to go write up a storm.

I hope all continues to be well.

 

Always,

L

Hi everyone!  Welcome back!

 

Classes have begun.  It’s definitely very weird to have class only three days a week, and four days off.  I like it but at the same time, it makes the weekends seem to rush, and the days with class sort of hit like a wall.  It’s easy to put off work when you tell yourself you have four days to do it.  Then suddenly the four days are up.

 

So far I like all of my teachers.  My two new English professors are both really enthusiastic.  Professor Reynolds (Contemporary Irish Literature) is encouraging and lively, and I’m already really enjoying the materials we’ve begun, so I have a good feeling about the rest of the semester for the class.  We started off with poems by Seamus Heaney.  I’ve been a little obsessed with Ireland since seventh grade when I went for a week during the summer on an equestrian vacation, so the topics and history behind the writing are really exciting to me.  Professor Ireland (Growing Up American) is very funny and the time passes quickly in his class.  We’re reading Little Women (Louisa May Alcott).  The plot seems like it should be a boring subject (four girls growing up and becoming wives, learning their places and interests, etc) yet somehow it’s easy to keep reading for me.  It might help that I read it in sixth grade.  Although, all I remember was reading it upside down because I wanted to seem cool (I don’t think it worked).

cheer junior 1

We won our first home football game of the season!  The score was 26-23, Morgan State-Holy Cross, with about ten seconds left, and five yards.  Then there were two seconds, and one yard.  Everyone was holding his/her breath, standing wide eyed with all the anticipation in the world.  And miraculously, we made it.  We haven’t won a home game since my freshmen year (and that year, we only won one) so this was beyond just winning a game for us.  People cried and no one stopped screaming and it was amazing.  Now we just have to wait and pray for the same performance this weekend, against Central Connecticut.  I think that finally having a victory under our belt might encourage everyone, get more fans cheering, and raise the attitude of everyone involved.  How discouraging must it be to go loss after loss?  This is like the rain after a drought, a hopeful turning point, that maybe will be just what we need.

 

 

maffew mellons SIP held its annual symposium for the summer research projects.  I had a few friends that took jersey mellonspart, living on campus for nine weeks, working on per-determined projects of their own design.  Jersey (my freshmen roommate, on the right) worked with a lab group studying lung regeneration.  Matt (on left) was working on the Community Garden project that I posted about recently.  I have a friend, Abe (the Organ Scholar of our class) who got to go to Italy for his project.  Imagine being paid to tour and study in Italy.  There were rows and rows of posters and presenters, and tables with maps and booklets to direct you.  Everyone worked really hard and presented themselves nicely.

 

Equestrian Club/Team had our first meeting tonight.  There were quite a few people to show up, expressing interest in joining or finding out more, which was exciting to see.  I’m ready to get back in the saddle (and bracing myself because it’s going to be a rough start) and see Lacey and all the other horses and ponies again.

 

I can’t believe I’m halfway there.

Have a good few weeks!

 

Always,

L

Hi again guys!  This seemed like a good time to catch you up on what I did all summer, since summer is almost over, and I didn’t have work today.

I kicked off my summer applying to as many jobs as I could find.  I had applied to a few internships (specifically for publishing/writing), but a lot of the ones I applied to were geared more towards rising seniors as opposed to rising juniors.  So maybe I’ll have more luck next summer.  In high school, you spend your time and energy building up your resume for college.  Once you reach college, it’s time to start that process again, but for potential employers.  Employers especially look for (or so they tell me) past experience, so having even a part-time job that maybe isn’t what you want to be doing for the rest of your life is still a good idea.  I spent about half a week worrying that I wasn’t going to be able to find a job and that I’d have nothing at all to do all summer (and no money) and frantically sending out resumes to as many places as I could think up.  Then I was called by human resources, and after that spent 25 hours per week at AAA New York.  I answered the phone, welcomed members, gave out maps and books, and filled out ticket forms.  All of the people were very friendly, and I enjoyed my time, even if it wasn’t at all writing-based.

I did mean to write over the summer.  I keep telling myself that I will make up for it by writing thousands of words in the three day gap I have between finishing work and leaving for the Hill.  But that’s about three days, and I have to pack (which just might take all three), and I’m most definitely one of those people who brings way too much and thinks it’s totally justified.  I’m pretty sure that after graduation I’m going to need a moving truck, or all three family cars, because there’s already too much to fit in one.  Anyways, I kept getting distracted, or tired.  One thing I found I struggle with is if my schedule is too routine and repetitive.  I find myself looking for checkpoints of non-routine events (a vacation or a friend visiting, for example), and then willing away the time until that checkpoint, instead of enjoying and using that time thoroughly.  Hopefully, my classes next semester will motivate me to do just that, and use the spare time (four days a week of it, thanks to my fantastic/unfortunate schedule) to be productive in things I enjoy, like writing.  I think it will help that I’m taking so many English classes, including creative writing.  Maybe the necessity of writing and reading required by the classes in combination with the free time will be just the right push.

DSC03255In place of writing, I did take a few fun trips.  Before I had found my job, a group of college friends and a few of my home friends and I went camping in the Adirondacks, on Indian Lake.  We had to canoe all of our supplies out to a tiny island offshoot in the middle of the lake.  It was sort of an adventure.  There were mishaps and some rain (or a lot of rain), DSC03284which only added to the feeling of satisfaction coming home.  It was also kind of fun seeing school friends out of school environment.  It’s different with my home friends, because in high school you have the opportunity to see people both in and out of school.  But when you’re at college, you live with them.  And while they may be different between class and weekend downtime, I know I personally feel and act differently (even just marginally) between all time spent at college, and time I spend at home, on breaks and over the summer.

(On the left is my friend Maura, myself, and Kelsey; on the right are college friends Abe, Matt, Angelo, and Jeff).

I later took a brief trip down to Long Beach Island, NJ, where Matt’s family rents a house annually.  I’d never been to that part of the Jersey shore, and it was beautiful.  Throughout the summer, I also made a few trips up to school, to visit my friends that were partaking in the Mellon Summer Research.  They got to live in senior housing, which was fun to get a glimpse of.  Campus was very empty, almost surprisingly so, and because the Mellon students are equipped with kitchens, the dining hall is not frequented, and so I didn’t encounter all the people I normally would have.  It made me view Hogan and Kimball a little differently.  I hadn’t realized how much of a community center part they played.  Of course, I was only up to school on weekends, so weekdays may have been different.

DSC03841Lastly, I went to Martha’s Vineyard, with my Mom, Matt, and my friend Maura (from the picture above of camping).  I used to go every summer when I was a child, but we stopped when my grandma got older.  I decided it was time to resurrect that tradition, or at least revisit the memories.  It was cool to see how much (or how little) I remembered, and see familiar sights that I couldn’t tell if I recognized from memory or photos.

(On left: Acquinnah Cliffs and Gay Head Lighthouse, on Martha’s Vineyard)

I probably won’t post again until I arrive at school (it’s only a week after all) so enjoy the rest of your summers, and I’ll check back in soon!  Wish me luck with the miles of unpacking.

Always,

L

Hi again everyone!  I hope all your summers have been going well. It’s almost time to check back into Holy Cross.

 

Summer went by really fast. I can’t believe we go back in just a few weeks.  I will be going back a few days early for cheer, to have a mini “pre-season” of sorts.  We’ll try to whip back into shape to perform our best at all the fall games, which will be coming up fast once school starts.  That means lots of practice, and of course bonding.  One of the nice things about moving in early for cheer is that it means we don’t have to compete with 50 other people trying to lug car loads of clothes, rugs, tvs, and books, onto the dorm floor. And we have a few extra days to settle in (and procrastinate at unpacking).

I will also be continuing with the Equestrian Team.  Admittedly, I didn’t ride over the summer, so those first few lessons are going to be rough, but I’ll be glad to be back in the saddle.

 

I’m looking forward to classes. I somehow managed to put myself in a really odd scheduling situation.  I will only have class on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  At first glance that seems like an overload, but then I remember that I took three classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays last semester too, and it wasn’t so bad, and now I have just one on Wednesdays instead of two on Mondays and Wednesdays and one on Fridays (which was my schedule then.) I have one of my favorite professors again this semester which I’m pretty excited about. And of course I’m excited to meet and learn from more of the English department, that I hadn’t yet.

One last thing to mention.  Matt, along with another student Cindy, started a club on campus, called Holy Cross Food Nation. I’m not sure if I mentioned it already, but as a refresher, it’s a group to promote dialogue about the social issues surrounding food, and encourage conversation, since often times people don’t pause to think about what they’re eating.  Matt is interested in why certain cultures eat certain ways, and the history behind it, for one example. I personally am a vegetarian and interested in the aesthetics of food more so.  Matt and Cindy also worked over the summer as a part of the Mellon research program towards establishing an on campus community garden.  Matt’s blog (www.eatingcompanion.com) tracks their progress and findings, so if you have a minute, why not check it out?

 

Maybe I’ll be seeing some of you on campus soon? To everyone just beginning to explore colleges and Holy Cross among their options, welcome and good luck!

 

Always,

L

Hey everyone, happy almost-Easter!  I’m home on break, finally.  We’re spoiled with breaks at Holy Cross, and the stretch from Spring break to Easter break is the longest period we stay at school during the year, so the work builds a bit, and it’s a relief to finally have a break.

It was warm, almost hot, for a few days.  Everyone was outside.  Some people were lying out on blankets and towels in the sun, a lot of other people were throwing around balls or frisbees.  Last weekend was also accepted students weekend (I hope some of you made it to campus for the weekend!) so there were quite a few incomers, especially recruits for sports.  For cheer, three of our girls hosted four girls who will be coming to Holy Cross in the fall, and are considering joining cheer (we’re hoping so at least!)  They were all really nice and we had a good time as a team getting to know them and introduce them to us.

A few weekends ago, I went to Boston with Matt, and our friends Jeff and Abe.  (Jeff is a TA/research assistant in the bio labs [but also a student, in case that’s confusing] and Abe is the organ scholar).  We went to Cafe Vittoria, and I got chocolate mousse cake, which was delicious.  The cafe was tiny and packed and really cute, and everything looked so good.  After that we went to the Commons and met up with one of Matt’s high school friends to play frisbee and walk around.  We walked along the river and found a tiny really awesome playground (it has a rope zipline).  Then we grabbed burritos at a small place and took the T out to Cambridge and went to an improv comedy show, at Improv Boston, which was really funny and entertaining.  I’d never been to an improv show before.

I’ve been sick for a little while, so hopefully this break will help that.  I caught up on Game of Thrones last night, so now I just have to finish the books (I’m in the middle of the red one) and watch Frozen.

Summer is on its way!

Always,
L

Hey everyone!

There has been a ridiculous amount of snow this year considering we didn’t even make it to first place on the list of snowiest places in the country this year (we did last year).  The weather is very temperamental.  It will be warm for a day or two, and then suddenly snow the next day.  It seems Spring is trying very hard to take a year off.

The horse show was a lot of fun.  I continue to be lucky in my horse draws (they randomly pick who will ride what horse) and had two great ponies, Eddie for my jumping class, and Kat for my sixth and fourth (green and white, very appropriately colored for St. Patrick’s day weekend).  We brought my favorite pony, Lacey, from Frank’s barn (Woodgate) so I got to help get her all ready, and then ready to go home, which was nice.  There were a lot of really good riders, and everyone seemed to be in a good mood, and liked all of the horses.

This past weekend (yesterday, Saturday, actually) was Holy Cross Cares Day.  On HC Cares Day, students sign up in groups to do some form of community service for a few hours.  The groups are often sports teams, and dorm floors/hallways.  I was on a team with all the cheerleaders.  We went to a local high school to help with their clothing pantry.  It’s called “Andy’s Attic” (https://www.facebook.com/AndysAtticOrganization).  It was founded by a woman who lost her son, Andy, in a car crash.  In his honor, she started collecting clothing and then putting together bags and opening a clothing pantry for families in need.  It grew over time and eventually was moved to the high school.  They now have quite a lot of clothing, in all sizes and colors and styles.  They take orders from families who then come and pick up a large bag that includes pants, shirts, underwear, socks, jackets, etc.  We were helping to organize, unload new donations, and fold things (there was an especially huge amount of onesies for infants.)

With cheer, we’re out of season, which means no more games, but we still have a lot of practice.  We’ve been spending more time just exercising, doing things that will help with cheering and stunting come Fall.  It’s a lot of push ups and squats and practicing jumps.  But everyone’s been really enthusiastic about wanting to learn new things and keep improving for next season, which has made it a lot of fun.  We’ve gained a bunch of new girls, who (from volunteering with them yesterday and the few practice’s we’ve had so far) seem really nice, and happy to be part of the team.  Just doing little things to prepare for the fall, like fixing motions (positions where your arms go) and working in flexibility should really add up over the next few months.

Riding was a little bit more difficult for the last few weeks because I got my hand caught in a closing door and bruised a few fingers pretty badly.  I was riding with about one and a half hands for a few lessons, but the main-problem-finger is a lot better now.  Not perfect, but I can at least take it out of the splint I made and kept it in for the last two weeks.

School has felt really busy lately.  It’s probably because this is the longest stretch we go without a break.  It’s time to start picking classes for next semester already.  I don’t know if I’m going to be here or abroad, and I probably won’t know until late May, because it depends on my grades this semester, and I don’t know 100% if I want to spent a whole year away.

College results come out soon, right?  Or around this time?  Good luck to everyone waiting on admission, and congrats to everyone who’s already heard back from some schools!

 

Always,

L

Sorry, sorry!  I know I’m bad at posting at regular intervals, I’ll set ten reminders on my phone for two weeks from now.

romeoIt’s our first week back from Winter break (which was pretty good.  I went to a Demi Lovato concert!)  Some people had all of their mid-terms before break, but mine were all saved (or pushed back) until after.  I had two today (Renaissance and Buddhism).  I was pretty anxious about them beforehand but I think they went fairly well, better than I had expected, so that was nice.  I have another tomorrow in Medieval readings, which will be similar format to the Renaissance one and which I’m not really worried about.  I’ve enjoyed the texts we’ve been reading for Medieval most of all my classes right now, and I tend to retain things better when I like them.  It is strange having tests in an English class (I think the last time I had an English test was sophomore year of high school), but it’s a requirement for the Readings courses, and the readings courses are required for the English major.

I just stopped by Career Counseling for the fist time, and it was really helpful and relaxed.  Honestly, I’d just assumed last year that my GPA wasn’t high enough for them to be able to help me much, or want to.  But I did a lot better last semester, and aside from that, the counselor I met with was extremely friendly and encouraging.  She looked over my resume and made a few edits that I’ll type up later, and showed me the Holy Cross search database for internships/jobs, as well as an inter-college one.  It’ll be really helpful, having that resource, over the next few weeks while I try to find something to occupy my summer!  I’m hoping to intern in publishing, but there’s a lot of possibilities that stem from an English major that I’m only just figuring out.

This weekend is Saint Patrick’s Day Weekend, and it is the Holy Cross weekend.  There are a lot of events planned, some fun green food, and tons of excitement.  Supposedly, we have a pretty sizable Irish population on campus (which I personally am rather oblivious to), so it’s sort of like the Holy Cross Holiday.  This is also the weekend of our home horse show, where our team hosts (along with Clark and Assumption, I believe).  This means we run everything, from which horses go to what the courses are to who rides when.  I’m riding for novice over fences, and novice on the flat.  I’ll also be helping out all day.  It’s a pretty busy, long day (or at least it was last year, though it was freezing then, too) and I’m hoping for good weather.  The pony pictured above is named Romeo.  He’s tiny tiny tiny!  I rode him at my lesson on Tuesday (Matt took some pictures and videos so I could critique myself and see what I need to fix in my position).  The smaller the horse, the faster they tend to feel, in general to me anyway, because they have such short strides they go twice as fast to cover the same distance.  It feels really fast, even though watching the video it doesn’t even look a little bit speedy.

Cheer season is over, though we’ll be having Friday practices, starting with try-outs next week (anyone who wants to try out should!)  I recently joined the Figure Skating Club (we have one of those), which means I can skate at certain times during the week with a few other people and maybe learn a few things and then practice what I learn.  I lot of the girls in the club were competitive skaters so they’re willing to teach us a few things, which is pretty cool.

 

Time to go study for midterm number 3, wish me luck!

 

Always,

L

 

li with dolphin

Hi everyone, sorry it’s been a while!

Florida was great!  It wasn’t quite as warm as I was hoping, but still warmer than I’ll get here for at least another month, probably two or three.  I went to Discovery Cove (dolphin on the left is Latoya!) on my first day.  Then we went to Universal and I finally saw the Harry Potter exhibit, as well as the Marvel section, and the Dr. Seuss section (those three were my favorites, anyway).  On day three I went to Magic Kingdom with Matt (my mom happily went off to a garden).  I got to see a lot of the Disney Princesses, as

li at disney 2

well as Winnie the Pooh, Stitch, Minnie and Mickey (Minnie liked my ears), and the White Rabbit!  (Alice

in Wonderland is my favorite book).  Finally on day five we went on an air-boat tour, and saw a few alligators, goats, zebras, and birds.  The air boat was kind of fascinating, because there’s nothing on the bottom to steer or power the boat, allowing it to

go over reeds (and birds, without hurting them, don’t worry!).  It felt a little like floating, because it was never bumpy.

li at disneyNow that school is back in swing, it’s time to settle down.  Classes this semester are definitely more difficult than last, but not exactly as difficult as I expected.  French has been going surprisingly well-I can understand 98% of the things my teacher says, or what she’s trying to communicate.  It’s trying to form cohesive answers that I’m slower to act on.  My readings classes, as well as Buddhism, all assign a lot of reading.  The Buddhism readings might be the most so far, actually.  They’ve been interesting for the most part, but a little confusing.  Readings courses offer a lot of room for independent thought, so you really have to read thoroughly and carefully.

 

It’s hard to believe that Spring break is at the end of the month.  It doesn’t feel anywhere close to Spring yet, considering how much snow is piled up outside.  I’m not sure if I’m going to try to do anything exciting or just sleep the whole week, but I guess I’ll figure that out as the month plays out.

 

Study abroad results have been beginning to come out.  I applied to study in Ireland (University of Cork) as my first choice, and Australia (University of Melbourne) as my second.  I think I’d like to go to Ireland (it’s my favorite country);  I’m not as sure about Australia, but I’ll only have to consider that if I get in, of course.

 

I hope your month’s been well!

 

Always,

L