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.  :)