DONE!

IT IS FINISHED.  I AM DONE.  THE SEMESTER IS OVER.

It’s been a fantastic day.  This morning, I spent some time with my friend, Neala, who is going on the Amazing Race (a missions trip where they visit eleven countries in eleven months) in January.  I also got $32 from returning textbooks, which is the most money my school has ever given back to me.  During my library shift, I got chewed out by the new librarian for not watching the color printer closely (which was stupid), but on the plus side one of my classmates brought me a mocha from the campus coffee shop!  (I never buy coffee there ’cause it’s expensive, so it was a real treat.)  I also packed up my bags, which was exciting, and took my last final.

I feel like I should be more sentimental about being halfway through my final year of college… but really, all I want to do is read books for fun, play video games, hang out with my cat, and sleep forever.

Excuse me while I celebrate by packing my car and leaving this tiny town.  Maybe I’ll get Chipotle on the way home.  Life is suddenly full of beautiful possibilities.

I feel like this photo encapsulates all the joy in my heart right now.

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Photo from my friends’ holiday party this past weekend. We did Secret Santa and my friend Kassandra gave me the most beautiful socks in the world.

For those of you still pushing through finals, best of luck!  You can do it!  The end is in sight!

 

Finals have arrived

Last night, I had a dream I met Barack Obama.  I’m taking this as a sign that finals will go well.

After a wonderful weekend of hanging out with friends, studying, and praising Jesus, it’s time to tackle those tests.  The next couple days are going to be busy.  With extra library shifts, study sessions, exams, packing for break, and saying goodbye to friends who won’t be here next semester, I’m expecting the time to pass quickly.

What have I got in terms of tests?

Today I take my Visual Journalism final.  It shouldn’t be too bad.  It’s open book, open note because the professor never talked about any of the assigned readings in class.  Half the test will be on these readings and the other half will be activity-based.  We will be given a story prompt and will have to describe how we go out and capture it.  Studying for this involves organizing all the information available and knowing where to find things.

Tomorrow is the Grammar & Language final.  This is probably the hardest test I’ve had thus far in college.  We’ll be tested on the complete history of the English language, tracing the phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon from Old, Middle, Early Modern, Modern, to present day English.  It’s a LOT of information.  I started studying last Thursday and have been nosing my way into various study groups with classmates.  It’ll be challenging, but I think it will go well.

That’s it!  Two exams stand between me and a month off.  Let’s do this.

If you’re in the midst of finals right now, best of luck!  What are some of your coping mechanisms?

The music of wanderlust

As winter progresses in Minnesota, the days grow more and more bleak.  I look outside and can’t even see the wind turbines due to the wintry haze.  All I can see is a slushy parking lot and a snow-covered volleyball court.  With a great deal of my time dedicated to writing essays and studying for next week’s final exams, daydreaming has become a constant practice.  Last night, I had a dream I was back in Austria, exploring in the mountains with my friends.

Days like today bring out the travel bug in me.  I was raised on cross-country road trips and fifteen hour drives.  Packing a bag, getting in my car, and driving somewhere far away just for the sake of adventure is incredibly appealing.

However, since taking such a spontaneous trip is impossible at the moment, I thought I’d share some songs that bring out my wanderlust.

“Down In the Valley” The Head and the Heart

“Transistor Radio” Cloud Cult

“Wagon Wheel: Old Crow Medicine Show

Happy Friday!

And so it begins…

Yesterday evening, I learned that one of my dearest friends was in town.  She graduated last year and I’ve only seen her a couple of times since then.

In light of a long, antisocial Saturday, her visit was an enormous blessing.  Sometimes when I’m alone for too long, I get stuck in my head and need someone to pull me back out.  Allison was exactly what I needed.  She popped in my apartment around six thirty, half an hour before I had to work.  A few minutes of rushed conversation was not enough, so against my usual habits, I ventured forth into the social sphere after my library shift ended at ten.  It was a fantastic night.  Talking with her, someone who knows me deeply and has been there since freshman year, was exactly what I needed.

The problem, though, is that I was out until one in the morning the night before Hell Week.  Oops.

Surprisingly, the repercussions have not been too severe.  I made it through class, work, and working out without feeling overly exhausted.  That hasn’t changed the fact that, whenever I enter my apartment I change from real pants to my p.j. bottoms.  But I’m coping quite well.

To add to my happy thoughts, my Victorian Lit professor cancelled the nearly thirty page article we were supposed to read this week.  And, as a bonus, this was his address in the email: “Dear ever-widening circle of semi-demons who batten on the helpless…“)  How can that not brighten your day?

Also, my paper on verbal hashtags has been submitted and I will be finishing up my Visual Journalism portfolio is nearly complete.  After today, I will be free to devote the entire week to writing my ten-page Dracula essay.

So far, so good.  As long as I stay on top of things, I should make it out alive.

Hell Week is coming

It’s the last week of classes.  Or, as my friends and I affectionately call it, Hell Week.

You see, finals are easy.  You have nowhere to go and nothing to do but study as hard as you possibly can all day, take the test, and move on to more studying.  You have one job: pass your tests.

Hell Week, though… it’s a doozy.  You have to balance all the end-of-semester tests, projects, and essays on top of classes and normal responsibilities.  It’s as if academia is pushing its acceleration pedal all the way down and its breaking the speed limit.  There’s no way you can keep up.  Days are spent rushing from one thing to the next and nights pass by in the library guzzling coffee trying to cope.

I’m currently sitting at the Circulation Desk.  I went to the library to print an essay, saw the librarians manning the desk, and asked if they needed someone to work.  Extra hours for Amelia!  Score!  Anyways… the library is an absolute beehive!  This is normal for right before finals, but we are still a week away.  Clearly, Hell Week is going to be painful for pretty much everyone.

What do I have in store for me this week?

Ten page essay due tomorrow.  Final portfolio due Wednesday.  Senior Banquet on Friday.  A plethora of Christmas parties, plus the Yule Ball (the best dance of the year) on Saturday.  Another ten page essay due next Monday.  And two final exams.

My goals this week: get the portfolio done, write the essay, try to stay sane.

It’s the final push.  Let’s do this.