Hey guys, sorry I disappeared for a little while! Things have been hectic what with all the snow and ice. We actually had a few days where it was so snowy the entire college shut down (although they managed to feed us!) For almost 24 hours, we were on lockdown, around the time of the first blizzard, meaning you couldn’t leave your dorm at all. Looking out the window, I didn’t really feel much desire to go out, anyway. The wind especially has been crazy, blowing the snow around so it never stops hitting you, and making the temperature feel way too far below zero. It has, admittedly, been kind of an adventure.
On the left, you’ll see a very large My Neighbor Totoro sculpture, accompanied by a mini Totoro. They appeared outside of Loyola one night. Sadly, they have since been buried in several feet of snow (picture that big Totoro, nowhere to be found, because there’s that much snow). They did inspire me to watch the movie again, though. Always a good winter-weather activity.
On the right, you’ll see a photo of myself (thanks to Matthew for taking the picture) standing in front of the snow that has been piled in front of the chapel to clear walkways (or even just part of the walkways). If I stood right in the center, I think the snow would still be at least three feet above me, if not more. At this point, I’ve sort of gotten used to walking around campus with the “ground” being three feet higher than usual next to the pathway.
Cheerleading is coming to a close for the year, and it’s nice to look back and see how much progress we’ve made. We have so many more stunts than we did last year, and dances (one we learned just last Tuesday, and then performed it at a game on Wednesday!), and a really great group of girls. It’s been fun, too, which always helps when having to trudge through the cold and the snow to practice or games.
Horseback riding, on the other hand, is slowly returning to season. Although we do ride all winter (it’s an indoor arena), sunny, warm days are much more convenient and pleasant, and being in an enthusiastic, generally good mood is much more conductive to learning and training than being in a wanting-to-go-back-inside mood. Every year, we co-host a horse show (in case you’ve forgotten from last year, or are new to my posts). This means we organize the classes (groups to compete against one another at various levels), order the prizes, prepare the horses, and make sure everything runs smoothly. I’m really hoping for a warmer day, because there’s a significant amount of standing outside and waiting. Our show is early in March, after we return from break, and hopefully it will go as well as last year’s did! We’re bringing some of my favorite horses from lessons to the show (Lacey, Lucy, Daisey, Scooter, etc.) which is always fun.
Classes have been going even better than I hoped. In the past, I’ve found it hard to keep up with readings, especially when I have anywhere from twenty to two hundred, all due at the same time. I’m not a particularly fast reader, especially if I really want to focus and take in all the information, and that means I need large chunks of time to just commit to reading one book or chapter. But I think I scheduled my classes better this semester so that the heavy reading is split between days. For example, the most reading I have to do is for 19th Century British Lit (we’re currently reading David Copperfield (Dickens), and recently finished Wuthering Heights (Bronte)), averaging about two hundred pages per week. That class takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On the same days, I have art. And while art is a longer class (studio art and dance classes are an hour and fifty minutes, twice a week) the work is so different from other homework, and very personal, that it seems to balance out with the reading. There are also days where I don’t have art homework due, which allows all the time to go towards reading.
On the left is a picture of a drawing, mid-process, that I was working on for homework. I’ll try to get a picture of the finished product, but anyways, it was for an assignment regarding perspective.
On the right is an image that started as a lesson in negative space (drawing the space between objects instead of the objects). Our teacher then gave us free rein to finish the piece as we saw fit.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I have Sex and Gender in the Middle Ages, and Animal Behavior, neither of which have particularly long readings. Sometimes Sex and Gender’s readings are slow because of mechanics (we’re reading Wife of Bath (Chaucer) right now, which is in Middle English) but never too long. Animal Behavior we generally have about ten pages due per class (sometimes its one short chapter per class, other times its a longer one split between two classes). In Animal Behavior, we go over just about every paragraph of the text, so if I miss something in the textbook or am rushed in reading, it will most likely be explained in class. We had our first Animal Behavior test on Monday, and I’m really optimistic about it. There was only one or two questions that I wasn’t 100% sure on (and even then, I was about 75% sure). This remembering things and understanding concepts is new for me and biology, and I think it has a lot to do with course interest.
I can’t believe it’s almost senior year. I started looking at class choices for next semester, realizing what I have left to do and how little that is. It’s sort of mind-blowing. Time slips by, sometimes, despite being aware of every second.
See you guys soon!