Friday, September 13, 2013

It's the Little Things

This has been quite the week. I know I keep saying this but this week is the busiest I've had in a long time. For some reason my homework and other obligations this week kept piling on top of each other, to the detriment of my sleep and mental well-being.

However, looking back on this week what strikes my first is the multitude of small things that quietly brightened my days and chased away my stress for a while. A few of them follow:

I have a really great math professor. He's a really nice, friendly guy, and he occasionally stops mid-lecture to tell us funny stories about his family. On the first day of class he asked us for our birthdays, and informed us that he would bring in treats. Well, on Wednesday morning he brought in chocolate chip cookies and cake that his wife had baked for the class. It was so sweet of him! And now I get to look forward to occasional dessert in linear algebra class this semester, which is a big plus.

Wednesday afternoon was our campus org fair (where all of the student groups on campus come and students can see what they might be interested in being involved in). Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, which I'm part of, had a table, and students who stopped by filled out a contact card. On Wednesday night we followed up with the students by knocking on their room doors and bringing them goodie bags. I was both physically and mentally exhausted (this took place from 8-11:30pm) but we had so many awesome experiences. Many of the people were incredibly grateful and touched that we would take the time to seek them out and meet them face to face. We also had a plethora of interesting (and awkward) circumstances, like the time we knocked on a door and a girl's roommate told us she went down the hall to get Cheerio's, so as we were walking down the hallway we randomly accosted the girl eating Cheerio's and she had no idea who we were (but luckily it was the right person!) We just saw so much kindness and graciousness, from the random roommates who had to listen to our spiel to the people we unintentionally creepily ambushed in the hallway outside their door.

On Thursday morning in Latin class we had our first quiz of the semester (which was one of the reasons I was up late on Wednesday night). In the middle of Thursday afternoon, I received an email from my professor letting me know that I did really well on the quiz and just to say well done. I've never had a professor take the time to do something like that before, and it really made my day.

On Friday afternoon (today) the weather was beautiful, so I decided to go on a short walk into town, mostly to stock up on snacks in order to more effectively hide in my room (I was about ready to be done with the week!) On the way I encountered a path I'd never taken before, but it was going in the general direction I was headed so I went for it. On the way movement caught my eye in the underbrush a few yards away from the path, and I looked up to see a doe and her fawn standing there. I stood for at least 3-4 minutes watching them. They weren't the least bit scared, and eventually slowly meandered out of my sight. They were beautiful and magnificent and I felt privileged to have been able to watch them for those few short minutes.

And one final thing happened to me today. Last year I had two wonderful roommates, Katie and Jacqueline, but this year I'm living somewhere else. This afternoon I got a text from Jacqueline asking if I was in my room, and when I said no several minutes later I received a cryptic response that there was a surprise waiting for me. Well, when I got back to my room I found my bed nicely made and candy sitting on my pillow. It was something so small, but made me feel so loved. Amidst the craziness of this week my room has slightly descended into chaos, so it was a wonderful surprise to come back to. (Jacqueline, if you're reading this, thank you!)

Anyway. This week has been a strange amalgamation of really good and really bad. I'm choosing to remember the good. It's the little things that can brighten a person's day profoundly, and I'm grateful for all of the little things I encountered this week.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Another new semester!

Wow, sorry I've been a little MIA lately. When I was home over winter break I didn't write much because I was doing so little and didn't have anything to write about, but much of this summer I wasn't writing because I had too much to do!

I don't even know where to begin...

My last few weeks at home were wonderful, but crazy. My last week at home, among other things, I had three doctors appointments, went to the movies and walked around the mall with friends and family twice, had a sleepover with two of my best friends Ashley and Kelly (actually one of the highlights of my entire summer!), spend a day at the Minnesota state fair, hung out with my friend Alyssa (who I never get to see because she is in the Air Force stationed in South Dakota and I go to school near Boston), got together with my family to celebrate all of our birthdays, and packed every single thing I own into boxes or suitcases. (I didn't get much sleep that week.)

And now I am finally back at Wellesley. My first couple days here were actually pretty difficult, trying to figure things out and adjust to being back while trying to get all of my stuff from storage to my new room, unpack, and buy the things I wasn't able to bring with me (like shampoo). After that things quickly got better, though, as I had a couple days before classes started to relax and start seeing my friends again. I love my new room, and I think I've finally just about finished decorating it to my satisfaction.

This semester promises to be a good (and busy!) one. My classes are Linear Algebra, Computer Science (data structures), Art (2-dimensional design), and Latin 101. I think I will enjoy all of them, and art has already pushed me out of my comfort zone! I think mathematically too often, so it'll be good for me. But I really don't know what to expect, I've never taken a studio art class before!

I'm also planning on continuing to be part of the Guild of Carillonneurs, and I'm stepping up my involvement in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, I'll be co-leading the first-year small group this year. Super excited! I'll probably dabble in some other groups as well, there are so many cool things happening on this campus!

Anyway, it's probably about time to sign off and accomplish something on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. Hopefully I'll have some more thoughts and updates soon.