Wednesday, May 28, 2008
By the time we left London, I was more than ready to go. It was exciting at first, but then it got overwhelming and just drained my energy. The city is so big, so busy, and so stressful! It was fun to see all the sights, but I was ready for something a little calmer by the end of the week. Our Friday day-trip to Oxford provided a bit of a rest, although it was cold and rainy so not as nice as we had hoped. I really enjoyed seeing the town though, and hearing about all the history of the place. We had a lot of free time to poke around and see what we wanted to.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
London is everything I had expected and more. I was lucky enough to sleep straight through our flight from Detroit to London Gatwick (thank you, Dramamine!), so when we got here I was not even tired. We took a couple of trains to get to our hotel, which is in Paddington, so not near the center of the city at all, but right on a very useful Underground line. Julia and I have also been putting our public transportation experience to use, getting accustomed to London’s bus and tube routes remarkably quickly. We can already look at the street where we are and say, “Oh, we just need to grab the 14 bus from here to take us where we want to go.” So that’s been an easy transition.
Monday, May 19, 2008
I honestly thought when I returned from Hungary a year and a half ago that I would not travel again until I was a well-established professional who could afford such luxuries. I am neither well-established nor able to afford more traveling, and yet, this evening at 5:15 I will be heading back across the Atlantic for a little more acculturation. Since I switched my major sort of at the last minute last spring, it is going to be difficult for me to get all the necessary classes in and still graduate on time (which is a goal I definitely hold). I need a speech pathology elective, and wouldn’t you know it, they don’t offer those during interim if you stay on campus! So this past January I took it easy academically and studied the great sport of gymnastics for a couple hours per week instead of taking an actual interim course. Now Calvin will still let me take three more interim credits, and the only speech pathology interim happens to be going to the UK and Ireland, leaving today. I’m starting my day off with some Lucky Charms cereal, getting me in the right spirit to go along.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Ok, so it wasn’t actually ME that was making history, but I felt like a part of history-in-the-making last night when I went to a rally for Barack Obama. I’ve never been to a big political rally before, and it was so exciting! Being from Iowa, the nation’s first caucus every election year, I’ve been to hear my fair share of politicians speak. The biggest name I’ve seen before is probably Al Gore, and this past Christmas break I was able to see both Bill Richardson and Mike Huckabee. Opposite ends of the political spectrum, I know, but at this point in my life I just want to be educated about where everyone stands and who they are. I’m not so much a straight ticket voter as I am someone who tries to figure out just who best aligns with my views on the issues.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The Big Race
I am not, nor have I ever been a runner. Somehow, almost all of my friends here at Calvin are. My housemates run, some more regularly than others, my boyfriend and his housemates run; it seems like everyone I’m friends with runs! One of the highlights of their running year is the Grand Rapids Riverbank Run the first weekend of each May. I went along my freshman year, but I wasn’t able to go last spring so I didn’t want to miss it this year. I love being the one there for my friends to hold their sweatshirts while they run and cheer them on when they finish.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Hoping to Help
This semester I was involved in two different volunteering capacities: working with the literacy program at an elementary school and tutoring/mentoring an 8th grade girl through a program at Eastern Avenue Church. Sadly, they both came to an end last week, probably forever. I just won’t have time in my schedule next year to fit those two activities in. I’m actually really disappointed that I won’t be able to tutor anymore, because I thoroughly enjoyed my girl, Ciara. She was a joy to see every week, and we’re still going to work something out to see each other every so often. Maybe some Jersey Junction ice cream, maybe some games of Scrabble…we’ll think of good stuff to do.
Monday, May 12, 2008
The other option
I told you last night that Nehemiah and I are starting a garden. We are both, however, novices in this endeavor, and have no guarantee that we will actually get anything edible out of it. We’re hoping and praying to get a bounty of delicious vegetables, of course, but we are also realistic. Besides that, there are certain things that you just cannot grow in one season. Take, for example, one of my personal favorites: asparagus. It takes a long time to establish an asparagus bed, so instead of planting our own, I’m taking a different route to obtain my tasty green treat. The Farmer’s Market.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I regret to say that I am a bit behind in my blogging. A lot has been going on, but with finals also just around the corner (or rather, on top of me at this moment!) I have struggled to find time to write. So I’m going to call this my study break and commit to doing a blog every night this week (or at least through Wednesday because my last final is on Thursday, and then I don’t need study breaks anymore!). I’ve been trying to decide whether I’ll go forward chronologically or just start with the most recent happenings, and I think I will just start from the beginning so things don’t get out of order. Perhaps your brain could handle that, but this week, I’m afraid mine cannot! Finals are a crazy time for your brain, and mine is (sadly) no exception.
One of my other study break excuses recently has taken place in the great outdoors. My friend (and co-blogger) Nehemiah and I are starting a garden!
Friday, May 02, 2008
We have crazy wild squirrels living in our backyard. In the past few weeks the antics we have witnessed have been memorable and the cause of much laughter. For instance, this afternoon Lindsey and I saw a bold squirrel attempting to eat corn pops out of a soggy box on our back porch. Let me explain: we’ve had something of an ant infestation this spring. There is an entire colony of ants, complete with an underground labyrinthine home, and they prefer our food over anything else. We’ve been doing battle for a month or two now, and recently a hoard of them was discovered in Laura’s corn pops box. Rather than allow the little nuisances have their way with our sustenance, we put the box outside on our back porch. Then it rained today, so the box was falling apart, and this squirrel was pulling it into shreds to get at the cereal, but every time he’d rip another piece of the box away, it would startle him and he’d jump back.