Friday, December 28, 2012

More Pictures!

Finally, I'm home! (Well, I've been home for quite a few days now, but I haven't had time to write until now.) It is so wonderful to be able to just relax and spend time with my friends and family and do those little projects that I have been meaning to do for weeks.

Christmas was so wonderful! Now that I don't get to see my family as often, time spent with them is very special. Overall, I had an awesome (but busy) Christmas. I'm sad it is over, especially because my first day home was the 21st. I felt like I didn't get to experience Christmas this year for as long as normal. However, now that we are done with cleaning and cooking and shopping and present wrapping and celebrating (as fun as all that was) I have much more time to relax. The 26th was the first time that I can remember not having anything at all that I had to do. It was wonderful. In a month I will probably be ready to go back to class, but for now I am very grateful that I have so much time off!

Anyway, the main point of this post was to let you all know that I updated my pictures page. You can find the link to it on the top of this page. I added lots of new pictures, so even if you have seen it before you should definitely check it out again. And if you have any questions about any of them feel free to ask! I  always think pictures are one of the best ways to understand a place (besides going there in person) so hopefully you guys enjoy the little glimpse of Wellesley and of Boston.

Have a great break if you happen to be a student like me, and I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's Beginning to Sound a Lot Like Christmas

No more finals! Hurray! It is one of the best feelings in the world to know that I will have absolutely no homework for the next 5 weeks! (Although I will feel even better once I actually know what my final grades are...)

As usual, I've been wanting to write for a long time, I just have not had time. For the last few weeks my more responsible half has been telling me that I should be studying and writing papers instead of blogging. So, that's what I've been doing! (Well, mostly.)

Anyway, I have a great story from this weekend that I wanted to share with you guys. I'm pretty sure I mentioned in another post that I'm in the Guild of Carillonneurs here on campus, which basically means that I take lessons on how to play the carillon. (And by the way, if you don't know what a carillon is, now would be a great time to look it up! Otherwise this blog post will be rather difficult to understand.)

Well, in the Guild of Carillonneurs we also get to take field trips, and this Saturday I was able to go on my very first one. We went to this town called Norwood, where they have a bell tower in their town hall. We played a Christmas concert there (hence the title of this blog post).

They had fewer regulations at their carillon, so were actually able to go up where the bells are and look at them. While it was somewhat terrifying because we were at the top of a bell tower on a scaffolding with no railings, it was also awesome! I had my camera with me so I took pictures. Isn't it so great that I get to learn how to play this instrument? I believe this carillon has about 50 bells, the largest of which weighs nearly 4 tons. (Ours here at Wellesley is somewhat smaller).

One of the best parts about going to Norwood was that I got to play a real carillon for the first time! I am currently only an apprentice in the Guild, so I can't play the Wellesley carillon yet. (Which makes sense, because it would be really annoying of us to make the entire campus listen to inexperienced carillon playing.) However, apparently the town of Norwood doesn't care that much! I only played two really easy songs, but it was so great to be able to play an actual carillon for once (I've only ever played on practice keyboards). The first song I played was Ding Dong Merrily on High, which I thought was fittingly ironic.

Anyway, that's pretty much the whole story. Not actually all that eventful or interesting, just something unique that I get to do, so I like talking about it!

And just for good measure, here's a couple pictures I took on campus when it snowed a couple weeks ago. These last few days it has looked nothing like this, its been raining almost every time I go outside. Is it strange that I miss Minnesota winters? When it does snow here though, it is beautiful!

I will be home for the next few weeks, so hopefully I will have more time to blog (and maybe even see some of you that are back in Minnesota!)

Oh, and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things...

Here is a list, in no particular order, of a few of my favorite things about Wellesley. The list is by no means exhaustive!

1) Traditions
Especially during orientation and the first couple weeks of the semester, traditions abound. It is fun to do something that you would feel ridiculous doing, except for the fact that you know every other class that has been here for the last 100 years has done the exact same thing. Take Stepsinging, for example. This is when all of the classes dress in their class colors and gather together to sing songs either written by Wellesley alums (like America the Beautiful) or about Wellesley (one of my personal favorites is entitled "The Ballad of a Bold Bad Man", detailing the story of a Harvard man who pretended to be a Wellesley senior on graduation day) and shout class cheers and try to out-cheer everybody else. We also have Flower Sunday (where each first year is paired with a "big sister"), Lake Day (they used to announce late the night before that classes for the next day were cancelled. However, professors didn't like that much so now we still have to go to class, but there are celebrations that day), Marathon Monday (our campus is the half-way point for the Boston Marathon, so classes are cancelled for the day and everybody goes out to cheer on runners and form the "scream tunnel"), and hoop rolling (where all of the seniors race down a hill rolling a hoop and the winner gets thrown into the lake). There are LOTS of others, but these are a few of the main ones.

2) Galen Tower

If you know anything about Wellesley (or have been following my blog), you have seen a picture of this tower. It is one of the stereotypically famous things about this campus. And for good reason. I love how majestic it looks, and how you can see it from pretty much anywhere you go on campus, and just how awesome it is that we have a bell tower! However, I also love it because I am an apprentice in the Guild of Carillonneurs, so once a week I get to climb the ridiculously large amount of stairs through the creepy tower to have my lesson on playing the carillon (and if you don't know what that is, you should look it up!) It's pretty great, and its just one of those opportunities I wouldn't get anywhere else.

3) Ice Cream
Enough said.

4) Random Harry Potter Jokes
I'm pretty new to the world of Harry Potter, the first time I ever read the books was this summer (and I still haven't read the last book. I'm working on it!) However, I am still able to appreciate the abundance of Harry Potter jokes on this campus. From Platform 9 and 3/4 to The Leaky Beaker (the cafe in our science center) it is very evident that Wellesley students have somewhat of an obsession.

5) My Professors
I am now convinced that learning about pretty much anything can be interesting and enjoyable as long as you have a good professor that cares about the topic. For example, my Hamlet class this semester. We spent an entire semester doing nothing but reading and watching movies and discussing Hamlet, and I genuinely enjoy going to that class. Good professors make all the difference.

6) The view out my window
I live on one of the most beautiful college campuses that I have ever seen. I love waking up in the morning and looking out my dorm room window to see a path lined with trees and flowers (well, there were flowers earlier this year) and Lake Waban in the background. This autumn was one of the most beautiful I have ever experienced, because I was able to see the flaming bright trees every morning as I woke up right outside my window. It was incredible! (And the view still is, I'm looking forward to more snow!)

7) Sports
I mean this in a couple of ways. Those of you who know me well know that I have never been very into sports (maybe with the exception of baseball, due to my family) so I enjoy that there isn't a huge culture on campus of sports and huge football games and all that. We have good sports teams, but it isn't the most important thing here. However, I have gotten involved in a couple of unique sports this semester that I have really enjoyed. The PE class that I am taking is all about rock climbing. It is so different from anything I have done before, and its a lot of fun (even though I do occasionally leave class with bloody scraped up knees...) I am also in archery club this semester, which is awesome! It is something I have always wanted to do, and now I get to spend 4 hours a week in archery practice learning how. I also like archery because it is a sport, but it is very laid back and if I am busy, I don't have to go to every practice. (Seriously, all of you Wellesley students should come at least once, it is such a great way to get out your frustrations! And every practice is open to anybody, even if you have never come before.)

Okay, I could think of so many more things, but I just don't have the time to write everything I like about this place!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Waxing Philosophical about the Weather

In these past couple weeks I have had the odd experience of having the weather make me feel both like a stranger here in Massachusetts, and also more at home than I have felt in a long time. Let me explain.

Last week was hurricane Sandy (as I'm sure most of you know.) While the main storm missed us, we still got bad enough weather that Wellesley deemed it necessary to cancel classes (for the first time in 27 years!) For me, being from the state of Minnesota (which is pretty much as far away from any ocean as you can get) the prospect of being hit by a hurricane was completely foreign. The only time I've ever heard about hurricanes I was safely in the middle of the continent with no fear of being affected whatsoever.

Hurricane Sandy made me feel really far away from home. While I like storms, a part of me wished I was hearing about it on the news instead of looking out my dorm room window seeing the trees bending improbably far towards the ground. It was a bizarre experience, and it still seems strange to me that it actually happened.

On the other hand, this Wednesday was one of the best days I have had in a long time, in large part because of the weather. What weather makes a Minnesotan feel at home, you ask?


I didn't realize how much I missed it. There was something comforting and familiar about having the snowflakes land on my eyelashes, about sticking out my tongue to catch them. As I sat inside and watched the ground and all of the trees slowly become carpeted in white, it felt like the world was transforming into home. It reminded me of wonderful white Christmases spent with my family, of watching snow fall past my window, of that first blissful feeling of warmth when you come inside after spending time out in the snow and cold.

I don't know if I can fully explain it, but I had the most pleasant two hours on Wednesday afternoon. Nothing spectacular happened (In fact, I was in my professor's office hours doing calculus. Pretty much the opposite of spectacular.) but I was filled with a feeling of quiet contentment and happiness. Something about snow outside makes me appreciate the warmth and fellowship I have inside so much more.

The snow also made me realize how everybody comes from a different place and has a different background. I was talking to a girl in one of my classes and she said that she had always wanted to make a snowman (she's from Texas). I asked if she knew how, and she said no. I started to explain how you make a snowball and then roll it along the ground to make it bigger. She interrupted and asked, "How do you make a snowball?" I was struck dumb. Isn't that something everybody should know how to do? I never thought about it being something a person had to learn. Anyway, it made me realize just how Minnesotan I am, if that makes any sense.

So, that's pretty much all of the thoughts I have at the moment... In the meantime, I hope you all have a great weekend and find lots of small things that bring you joy. Sometimes all it takes is the weather.  :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

One Thing Remains

Luke 8:41-56

These people in this story have tried everything. One woman spent the entire last 12 years of her life looking for a doctor who could help her. The other was a synagogue leader, I'm sure he was pretty well off and tried everything he could to save his little girl and make her better again.

Nothing worked.

But look at how easily Jesus healed them both, almost without effort.

Why do we try so many things to solve our small problems every day? Why do we think that anything besides Jesus will make us happy or successful or satisfied? Why is it so hard to read the Bible and pray and spend time with God?

Maybe its because we forget His love.

After all, God is love, and if we forget His love we forget Him. When we forget that each and every breath comes from the overwhelming abundance of God's love, we become lost.




We forget that His love is all we need.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Its All in the Attitude (And My New Hampshire Adventure!)

First, let me say that I am sorry it has been so long! I love writing posts for you all to read, but I just have not had the time these past couple weeks. (Midterms. Enough said...)

I've had more trouble with time management than I thought I would. I've always considered myself to be pretty organized. However, there is something very different about being completely in charge of every moment of my time. I was able to schedule my classes at any time that I wanted, and there is nobody now to actually make me go to them. I can eat anytime I want (well, when the dining halls are open), I can go to whatever activities I want, and I can sleep whenever I want. I've never had to make so many decisions about how to spend my time!

Now, I'm not saying I've done a bad job managing my time. However, one thing that I have had a problem with is trying to find a balance between having fun and getting work done. Wellesley is a very challenging and sometimes stressful (okay, often stressful) academic environment. When I'm not doing work, sometimes I feel really guilty for not getting anything productive done, and sometimes academics eclipses my life and I have no time for enjoyment (or little things like sleeping or doing my laundry or taking the time to eat good meals.) Often when I spend time doing fun things I end up feeling guilty later when I realize how much I have to do.

As you can imagine, this is incredibly frustrating! Will I never be able to do anything fun without a paper or a problem set or a midterm looming over me? There is always something that I could be studying or reviewing or catching up on.

Last week was one of the most academically intense weeks that I've had all semester. On Monday I had a five page paper due, Wednesday I had a test, and Thursday I had both a midterm and a calculus problem set due (which usually take me at least 7-8 hours to finish.) Not to mention the other smaller assignments I was supposed to do, including watch 2 different film versions of Hamlet, write a poem in Spanish, and several other readings and worksheets. Pretty horrible, right?

Well, I sure thought it was going to be, but I was pleasantly surprised in the end. Sure, I had to stay up until 3 in the morning working on my problem set and I still didn't finish it all the way. Sure, I spent my entire weekend writing an essay about Hamlet. Sure, I had two important tests that I spent hours studying for. Sure, I had to skip archery practice because I had too much homework to do.

But I had an awesome week.

You see, I've begun to realize that the tests and papers and problem sets will always be there. I can't stake my happiness on having all of my work finished, because that will never happen. It's all about my attitude. If I determine to have a good day, more often than not I will, no matter what I do that day. So that's why last week was a good week. I took a few moments every day to be outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. I did my best on all of my work and then stopped stressing out about it.

I know that this is something that I will keep struggling with. I guess I just wanted to remind all of you that you can't always let your circumstances dictate your emotions. It's much more about your attitude and how you react to what happens around you. All of you out there should take a break from work and do something you enjoy! There is way more to life than productivity.

Also, on a completely different note, I had an amazing weekend! I had the opportunity to go on a retreat with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship to a retreat center in New Hampshire. It was absolutely beautiful! One of the best weekends I've had in a long time. I got to go canoeing, make lots of new friends, and just get away from campus and my worries for a weekend.

Oh, and did I mention that it was beautiful there?

Friday, October 5, 2012

How God Shows His Love....

Today was a somewhat stressful day. First I had to wake up early this morning because I had an 8:15 shift at work. After work I had a class, and then my first midterm of the year (multivariable calculus, yikes...) After the midterm I went back to my room and turned off my over-taxed and over-tired brain. And as a result I missed the first half of a mandatory training for my job. Oops... After the part of the training that I did make it to I had 15 minutes in which to run back to my dorm for a snack before working another 2 hour shift. And that is how I found myself finally free for the day at 4:00 in the afternoon, tired from staying up too late studying for my midterm and hungry because I never had time to eat lunch.

I was very tempted to go back to my room and sulk about my day. I did that for a while, in fact. Pretty soon, however, I decided that the weather was far too nice for sulking and decided that a walk around the lake was just what I needed. The sun went behind the trees pretty soon after I went outside, so I wasn't able to get many good pictures. But seriously, my frustrations and disappointments had no choice but to melt away surrounded by all of this.

It almost felt like God decided He needed to tell me that he loved me and that He was going to make everything okay again.

And now I am going to go watch a movie and drink hot cocoa and eat snacks and enjoy my 4 days of freedom (fall break!)

And that was how my day went today :)

(Don't forget that you can click on the pictures if you want to see them bigger.)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Just a normal day...

*I started writing this on Tuesday and ran out of time to finish it, just so you know that this is not actually describing today.

The last few days I have had a great desire to blog. However,  I have not had much time or inspiration. So, I hope you will bear with me as I simply relate what my day was like today. I actually think it was a pretty good example of what life is like here at Wellesley...

This morning I had to get up earlier than normal, which I generally don't enjoy. But the reason I had to get up early was because today was my first day of work! I got a job at the campus library. Although it was somewhat stressful because I didn't know what I was doing, I can tell that I will enjoy this job. However, after my shift I  only had 5 minutes to get to my first class of the day, Spanish. Yeah, I didn't quite make it on time... I hate getting to class really out of breath because I just had to hurry up 4 flights of stairs! It's quite a common occurrence here. Evidently whoever designed this campus really likes stairs and building things on top of hills. (Often during my 10 minute passing periods when I still barely get to class on time, I miss our little hallway at Hope Academy...)

After Spanish I had another class, Multivariable Calculus. (Just bear with me for a moment, I know this was the boring part of my day.) I really enjoy that class, as crazy as most people think I am. We always have to take a ridiculous amount of notes (almost 7 pages today) , but my professor is really good at explaining difficult things. And of course he takes the occasional break from math to explain the Latin conjugation of a certain word, or to play hangman when we can't come up with the word he's trying to describe. I find that class very amusing.

After class was over I hurriedly ate lunch, and then I had to work another shift at a different library (we actually have 4 libraries altogether, although I only work at 2 of them). Once again I had no idea what I was doing, but I learned how to find the page counts for various printers, tricks for extending the use of a toner cartridge, and where (and what) the minifocus is. While I was on shift I also happened to see that I had gotten an email saying I had a package in at the mail center. Hurray! (Seriously you guys, mail is one of the highlights of my day.)

Of course, when I was done with my shift I immediately went to check my mail and get my package. And you know what else was in my mail box? A letter from Alyssa! (For those of you who don't know, she is one of my best friends in the whole world who is currently in boot camp for the Air Force). I was about to walk back  across campus to my dorm, but then I thought better of it and decided to find somewhere comfortable to sit in the campus center and read my letter first. Our campus center has a beautiful view of the lake, so I found a window seat overlooking Lake Waban and sat to read my letter.

Unfortunately, pretty soon after I sat down it started to thunderstorm, so the few minutes I was going to spend there turned into 2 hours instead. I decided to write back to Alyssa, so at least the time wasn't completely wasted. It ended up being a very pleasant place to sit and watch the wind and rain without actually being outside in it. Finally, after it stopped raining, I went back to my dorm for a while. It's always nice to be in my own space for a while (even if it is a rather small room I share with two other people).

Soon after I got back to my room I went to eat supper. Food is one of the highlights of my day too, they always have something good. While I have eaten plenty of things at our dining halls that I did not enjoy, usually I am pretty impressed. And the ice cream... I eat way too much ice cream here. (Have I told you guys about our ice cream endowment? Basically an alumnus donated a bunch of money and made it a requirement that every dining hall always has at least 3 types of ice cream. We also have a smores endowment, but that's another story...)

At 6:45, I headed out for class again. What class do I have at 7 in the evening, you ask? Rock climbing! That class is so much fun. (I use the term 'class' loosely. We are required to take two PE classes, but we don't get grades, they don't show up on our transcripts, and we never have any kind of homework.) That class is just so unlike anything I have ever taken before, I really enjoy it. In our first couple classes we talked about safety, learned how to put on the harnesses, and learned how to tie the knots that attach us to the rope so we don't die. Pretty important stuff... Today, however, we actually learned how to belay and climbed the wall for the first time. I successfully made it all the way to the top, and the person I belayed didn't fall and get injured, so I would call that a successful class! We also spend half of class exercising, which is fun because all of our ellipticals and treadmills have cable tv. That is pretty much the only time I get to watch tv anymore, so I always enjoy it.

Finally, my day complete, I walked back to my dorm. (Well, I may have taken a small detour to our dining hall for some more ice cream...) Overall, today was a pretty great day. And I hope you weren't too bored reading about it :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wellesley - College or Summer Camp?

Two weeks ago was orientation, which was pretty great for the most part. You meet tons of new people and  can reasonably go up to a complete stranger and start a conversation with them (because its not likely that they know anybody either). You spend lots of time outside walking around to different buildings (we have a very spread out and picturesque campus), doing activities, and exploring your unfamiliar environment. The school organizes tons of events, like a scavenger hunt, a circus themed party in the sports center, an arts and crafts night, and a James Bond/casino themed dance party.

Sound like summer camp to anybody? Yeah, me too.

Orientation week was fun, but I felt like I was always being herded to various mandatory meetings, academic advising sessions, and random (mostly fun) activities. This week, however, I felt like I was really in college. I actually like it much better. While it means that now I have responsibility, and homework, and classes I have to go to, it also means that I have more control over what I do with my time, and that I can start making friends that I will actually see on a regular basis (instead of people that I just sit next to once and then never see again).

Another thing that makes me like my second week of college better than  my first? I got a real job! This was a huge answer to prayer, because I have heard that it can be very hard for first years to get on-campus jobs. I am very excited :) I get to work for the library and technology services, so I think I will actually get some practical and helpful knowledge. I am very excited to start training and find out when I will be working, because it will be very nice to finalize my schedule pretty soon.

One more thing that I am very excited about, and then I should probably go start on my homework. (Yay, homework... :P ) Tomorrow, I get to start my PE class. And why is that so exciting, you ask? Because I get to take rock climbing! I cannot wait to start, it sounds like so much fun! I suppose, even though classes have started, there is still some small feeling of being at summer camp here. But I'm okay with that :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Whale Watching, Class Registration, and Pictures

Yesterday we went on orientation trips. There were four choices: kayaking on the Charles River, Whale Watching, a walking tour of Boston, or going to the beach. You can probably guess which I did... (and if you can't look at the title of the blog)

This is me and one of my roommates, Katie (my other roommate
Jacqueline went kayaking instead).

It was an incredible experience. I had a great time, but not everybody enjoyed it as much as I did. It was windy yesterday and the sea was very rough, so a lot of people got seasick. Thankfully I was not one of them. It was also quite cold out at sea, and some people were not adequately prepared so they froze. Thankfully I was not one of those people either. (I am a Minnesota girl after all.)

After about an hour (and the boat going up and down and up and down a lot) we reached the area where there were a lot of whales. To me it looked exactly like the rest of the ocean, but we were informed that we were in fact in a wildlife sanctuary that had a particularly large amount of nutrients in the water for some reason, so whales came there to feed a lot. It wasn't long before we saw our first spout in the distance, and then another. We all stood at the railing of the boat scanning the horizon, holding our breaths for any sign of a whale under the water. We heard a gasp from another part of the boat and we all looked, but it was just because the boat went up and down a particularly large wave. Finally, a splash! A mammoth tail came out of the water and the slapped the surface. Again the tail came into view, and slipped back under the water. For two or three minutes this continued, a gasp of admiration as the tail came out of the water, and then a great splash as it disappeared again. Over the loud-speaker somebody explained that they don't know why whales do this, it might be part of their feeding ritual, it might be for communication, or it might just be that they enjoy it.

We also saw some other signs of whales, but every time I saw more than the tail I was so in awe that I forgot to take a picture, so this is the best picture I have. All too soon it was time to head back to harbor. The trip back was much smoother, because we were going with the waves instead of against them. I would go again in a heartbeat! There was something exhilarating about seeing the sky meet the sea and feeling the motion of the boat and scanning the horizon for gigantic creatures under the water.

Whale watching was amazing, but not everything we do is all fun and games. On Friday morning we had class registration. It was my first taste of how stressful some parts of this semester will probably be. It was all done online, so every student on the campus was sitting on their computer, refreshing the page every few seconds so they could do it as fast as possible and get the classes they wanted. Registration opened at 9:00, and within about 30 seconds most of the classes were full. Normally I don't get stressed out about things like this, but everybody else was very worried so it made me worry too... However, after about 10 seconds it was all over, and I got all of my first choice classes. Of course, I also wasn't trying to get into many classes that were very popular. Here is my schedule for the semester - Spanish 201, Multivariable Calculus, Hamlet (which is a first-year writing class), and History of West Africa. Random, I know, but it sounded really interesting! Plus my mom grew up in West Africa, and I have always wanted to learn more about it. Apparently it wasn't a very popular class, because as far as I can tell there are only 9 of us in the class, and there are still 16 open spots.

Finally, I wanted to share with you all a little bit more about this beautiful place I get to call home now, so I made an entire page on my blog devoted to pictures I've taken around campus and on my forays into Boston. You can find the link to it at the top of the page, its pretty obvious. I will try to update it as I take more pictures too! Also, feel free to ask me any questions you might have, whether on this blog or personally! I would love to answer them :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My First Day of College

Sorry about the exceedingly lame blog post titles. I can't ever think of anything creative...

Anyway. I have so much I want to tell you guys, theses last few days have been crazy. But, since I have been so busy, I haven't had much time to write about all the stuff I've been busy doing! Weird how that works, huh? So I've decided to restrain myself to one of my most unique experiences thus far, my first day here at Wellesley.

The morning started with moving into my dorm. It wasn't nearly as hectic as I anticipated, we waited for about an hour after the dorms opened so we wouldn't have to deal with the rush. Plus I'm on the ground floor (I mean, really ground floor, the first floor is above me) so I didn't have to wait for any elevators. Our room was bigger than expected, but of course that was before there were three people and all of their stuff in it (I'm in a triple). It doesn't seem that big anymore... One entire wall is windows, which we all love.

Most of the rest of my day was spent wandering the campus with my mom. I went and got my ID card, I went to the greenhouse and got a free plant, and I attended random seminars, none of which really provided any important information that I didn't know already. It reminded me of the first day of middle or high school when in every class you go over mostly pointless information about the class and learn the same rules 10 different times (sorry teachers, but its true).

Finally, the time came for my mom and I to say our final goodbyes. In the back of my mind I had been dreading this moment all day. However, in the end it was surprisingly (and blessedly) not dramatic. I had another event I needed to go to in a few minutes, so it was pretty hurried. In a way this informal goodbye was reassuring to me. It made me realize that she is still my mom, she will still be there for me, and there is really no reason for a big goodbye when I can talk to her on the phone any time.

We still had a lot we had to do later that night. (Our theory is that the school is trying to keep us so busy our first week that we forget to be homesick.) Once we were walking back to our dorms after a presentation somewhere and it was dark outside. Our campus is beautiful, so walking through it, even in the dark, is a wonderful experience. As we were walking, suddenly I heard an exclamation and I looked up. Across the street from us, slowly meandering down the road, was a deer. The moonlight was shining brightly through the trees, and behind the deer was the beautiful chapel we have here on campus. It was an incredible moment, and it made me very happy that I get to live in this place for the next four years!

Once we were back at our dorms, we had a meeting for our residence hall staff to explain to us what to do if we're on fire and that sort of thing. (We also had a small dance party, learned our dorm cheers, and all of our RA's sang a spoof on Call Me Maybe. This is college after all, boring meetings just aren't their style.) They made sure we knew what to do in the case of a fire alarm, and told us that whenever we evacuated the building for a fire alarm, we had to grab our towels. The towel would allow us to keep the smoke out of our faces, open hot door knobs, that sort of thing. (When I think about it now it sounds really stupid, I should have figured out what was going on...)

After that we were finally able to go back to our rooms. It felt very nice after a long day to relax a little bit. My roommates and I were standing in our room talking when it happened. What happened, you ask? The fire alarm went off. Our RA came down the hallway making sure we all got out of our rooms and making sure we had our towels. Everyone in the building filed outside to the place where we had been told to wait during a fire alarm,  but we were urged to keep going. It wasn't until we were halfway across campus that I realized this was no normal fire drill. We marched across campus shouting our residence hall cheers at the top of our lungs and, sure enough, soon we arrived at the lake. The moon provided just enough light for me to see that there were already several girls in the water. My roommates and I looked at each other, found a place to put our towels and cell phones, and joined in the fun (fully clothed, just in case you were worried.) While totally not something I would normally do, it was the perfect way to end my first day of college. You have not experienced crazy until you have been in the middle of 600 screaming girls all wading into a dark, sea-weed filled lake. The water was warm, and the moon peeking through the clouds provided the perfect lighting for the occasion. I don't think I will ever forget what it felt like there in that water, with my new roommates by my side, surrounded by darkness and unfamiliar faces. It was surreal and, surprisingly, wonderful.

A lot has happened since that night which has been equally as strange and wonderful. That will have to be a story for another time I am afraid, because I have to register for classes in the morning and it is getting very late! But things are going well so far :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Last Time

As I prepare to leave for Wellesley in 2 days (2 days? What?!) there are more and more things each day that I am doing for the last time, at least for a few months. Today was the last time I got to babysit my little cousins, and probably the last time I get to see one of my best friends in the whole world, Kelly Klos. Tonight was the last time I will eat dinner with my parents. Tonight is the last time I will sleep with my cat, and tomorrow morning will be the last time I wake up to the sound of my cockatiel singing. Tomorrow night will be the last time I get to sleep in my bed. Tomorrow will be the last time I get to eat home cooked food, or not have to use a communal bathroom, or have a bedroom to myself. Tomorrow will be the last full day I spend in Minnesota!

There is only one thing that makes me feel better. Soon, rather than doing everything for the last time, everything I do will be for the first time! And I just have to remind myself, that is precisely why I am  moving somewhere new for college.

But why does leaving have to be so bittersweet?

Monday, August 20, 2012

God's Sense of Humor (Plus Some Blog Updates)

If anybody ever tells you that God doesn't have a sense of humor, don't believe them...

Let me start from the beginning. Last Saturday I lost something very important. I looked EVERYWHERE in the house for it. I actually had trouble sleeping because I was so annoyed with myself for losing it, and I was trying to think of anywhere else it could have gone. I distinctly remembered placing it in a specific place on my dresser, and it was no longer there. (I'm sure you all know how that goes.)

The next day at church I kept praying about it. The sermon was about how God backed the Israelites into a corner at the Red Sea, and they thought they were going to die because they had nowhere to run to. And we all know what God did in that situation, he kindly moved the Sea out of the way for them so they could escape their seemingly hopeless situation. I thought, perhaps He is talking to me and He will provide a solution to my problem too! (The item I lost was not a big deal, but at the time it seemed very dramatic to me.)

Well, God did answer my prayers. About an hour after I got home I found what I was looking for. Well, you're asking, what does this have to do with God's sense of humor? I found the item in my Bible case (where I would have found it if I had thought to open my Bible the night before instead of just frantically searching the house). I think He was trying to tell me something...

Also I just wanted to point out a couple of things to you guys that you may not have noticed about my blog. If you don't want to worry about having to check for new blog posts, there is a place on the right side of the page where you can subscribe to receive all new posts in your email. Just follow the instructions, you will have to click on a link in an email they send you to confirm the subscription. I tried it myself so it should work fine, just let me know if you have any problems with it. I also added a tab at the top of the page with my contact information in case you want my email address or my new address at school. (I did not want to publicize my phone number, if you want it you can ask me personally and I will give it to you.)

Only 5 more days until I go to Boston! (I don't know why I am still working on this blog post, I should be packing...)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Beginning

As most of you probably know, I am moving very soon to Massachusetts to attend Wellesley College. In fact, I leave one week from today. I am so excited to start this new adventure, but there are also many things that make leaving hard. Probably the most difficult thing for me is leaving behind all of the people here that I love so much.

I am bad at keeping in contact with people that I don't see every day. I know that I won't often remember to email or call or send a letter to most of you. So, I came up with an idea - if I started a blog to talk about the experiences I am having, that would allow all of you to find out what is going on in my life (even if I do forget to personally tell you about it).

That being said, I named this blog 'correspondence' for a reason. It means an exchange of letters, not just one-way communication. So my hope is that this would inspire you all to keep in contact with me, too. I want to know what is going on in your lives. I want to hear how you are doing. I would love it if you would take the time to write me a letter, give me a call, send me an email or a text, or even just comment on this post. 

The hardest part is not leaving behind a place. It's leaving behind the people that are there. So if all of you would make an effort to keep in touch with me, I'll have a piece of home with me, no matter where I go.