October 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 a 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 planned 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!
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LiAnn Butterfield '16