January 25, 2007

Randomness and a story

I need to start writing in this thing more regularly again. I've been starting to internalize more and more again, and that just doesn't work too well for me. I just feel a lot better when I'm writing things regularly, even if they're random. I'm writing letters pretty consistently, but I need this too I think.

This semester's going okay so far. On the down side, I'm taking eighteen hours, and my classes all seem kind of intense, and I'm also going to be working. That's the sucky part. The up side is, I actually like about 75% of my classes - they seem really interesting. I'm rediscovering my passion for English, I think, in one or two of my English classes, and I'm even liking the math class I'm taking, despite being the only English major in there. ("What's everybody's majors?" "Mechanical Engineering." "Chemistry." "Mechanical engineering." "Physics." Me: "English and secondary education." Confused looks ensue). And I'm actually starting to feel kind of, well...educated. What? You say that was the purpose of this whole crazy college thing?

Also, now I have a laptop! Which is pretty exciting. I'm really enjoying the sudden freedom I have to move around with this computer. Plus it's just generally awesome.

Anyway...that's all I really feel like writing at the moment, but I'm going to try and start writing more regularly. Not that you care - I don't even know if anyone really reads this anymore - but it helps me, so...your mom. Yeah that didn't make any sense. Well your mom doesn't make any sense either. See, that one made sense! So I get one out of two, so that means I'm half...erm...crazy. Whoops.

Maybe this is why I haven't written much lately....

I end with a story I found in my old diarlyand site that Nicole and I wrote in AP Economics senior year of high school. It made me laugh.

There was a full moon on that cold All Hallow's Eve. A chill mist enveloped the graveyard, creating shadows evocative of creatures of the night. All was still, except for at a single tombstone. At the tombstone of Mr. Dumpty, deceased two months ago from a tragic fall, the ground began to shift.

The shattered remains of an egg, having painstakingly reconstructed themselves, clawed their way out of Humpty's forgotten grave.

Humpty emerged from his grave with but one thought in his mind: revenge. The maker of that wall was going to pay.

Humpty made his slow, stumbling course (as his legs were missing shards of eggshell) towards the wall.

Unfortunately, since he was now hollow, a gust of wind easily blew him backwards. Soon, he found himself in Canada.

He groaned out and hobbled into the street where he was prompty hit by a car and shattered. Again. The end.

January 24, 2007

ASB Trip - New York City 2007

My ASB trip was pretty awesome. We went to New York City and stayed in a hostel right near Central Park. If I didn't mention, we were working with an organization called Gods Love We Deliver, that prepares and delivers meals to people too sick to shop and cook for themselves, mostly HIV/AIDs patients. We worked in the kitchen during the day, did a LOT of chopping, but also rolled burritos, and had packaging races. In the afternoon a few times we went out and delivered some meals throughout Manhattan. Some of us even got the opportunity to go with the delivery vans to different boroughs - I got to go to Queens and Brooklyn. It was definitely a good experience, and I saw some parts of the city I never would have seen otherwise, and the actions and words of the people we delivered to - and even the people within the organization itself - made me really glad we were doing what we were doing. It really felt like we were making a difference. The deliveries, though, really hit home to me WHY we were dong what we were doing. The people were from upper class neighborhoods to middle class all the way down to the projects...they were young, old, male, female, of multiple different races...AID's, cancer...they really do effect everyone and anyone. And that's really sad. On the other hand, it gives me a lot of hope to know that organizations like that, that help people who need it, do exist and that there are a lot of people out there trying to do something about it. You could tell the people in the kitchen, and the other people on this trip, really felt like they were doing something worthwhile. And that's awesome. So I guess it was sort of two sided as far as emotions throughout the week went. Certain parts of life...well they suck. But there will always be people out there trying to make them better. So there's always hope. At least that's what I got from it.

As far as our free time went though, and our group, there was nothing two sided about it; they were awesome. Everyone in the group was amazingly nice, and we all clicked so well, and we bonded over our discovered mutual nerdiness. *grin* I think we would have had fun together anywhere, although being in a big city with tons of things to do and see definitely gave us lots of options.

January 2, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

A summary of the year:

At the beginning of this year, I walked away from my parents in O'hare to take my first intercontinental flight to live in England for five months...met a lot of new, amazing friends that I hope I'll continue to stay friends with despite the existence of, well, the Atlantic Ocean...I got lost in Norwich on my first day there but somehow managed by sheer chance and luck to find the group I had come with again about an hour and a half later. I grocery shopped and cooked for myself on a regular basis for the first time; I know that may not seem like a big deal but one more step on my way to growing older, I guess... I turned 20. Went to PoNaNa's on a lot of Tuesdays, and a few random LCR nights...saw the North Sea a few times, once in the winter and a few more times in the summer, had a few barbeques, watched a LOT of Scrubs over a lot of relatively sleepless nights, helped throw Waveney's very last party ever (it was knocked down a few weeks later, after everyone moved out)...and a lot more amazing memories of England that mean I'll never, ever regret my choice to study abroad.

I backpacked around Europe with Mary and Andrew for three weeks (well Andrew for only the first week or so), going to three new countries I'd never been before - had a lot of picnics, saw a lot of places I never thought I'd ever see in my lifetime, got lost in Venice, ran into FOUR people from U of I that we knew in Italy completely randomly, took a train when we were told we couldn't to Paris, saw a few very very cool parks in Spain, and learned what it felt like to be somewhere when I didn't speak the language.

I went to Tanzania...I got eight vaccinations and took malaria medicine in order to go, I saw Wes for the first time in nine months (and picked up right where we left off). I experienced what it was like to be very, very obviously a foreigner. Had a lot of conversations with Tanzanians, met some very cool Tanzanian teachers, I practiced Swahili and saw elephants and giraffes, and travelled around Tanzania and to Zanzibar with Wes. Celebrated Wes and my two year anniversary on Zanzibar. :)

Returned home via forty or so hours of travelling...moved into an apartment with my roommates and adjusted to life at home again. Worked a LOT. Observed in a middle school and taught a lesson to seventh graders.

I started the new year with two of my best friends (Melissa and Rachel), a phone call from another one (Brittany) with some really good news, and a phone call (albeit a short one) from my best friend and boyfriend. Looking back on this past year, I am reminded how amazingly lucky I am in my life and how amazing this past year was. There is just so much that's been packed into one year and all of it has contributed to me as a person and to my life and enriched it.

This coming year...I'm going to do a service trip to New York, enter my second semester of junior year, observe in a high school...I'm going to visit Tanzania one more time, in May, with a layover, amazingly enough, in London. I'm going to (hopefully) work at camp again, then enter my last year of college. In November Wes is coming back. There are really good possibilities for this year, and hopefully I can ensure that I make the most of them.

Resolutions? Think more before I speak, I think. Don't speak just to fill the silence. Also, when I start getting stressed, or upset about things, remember what I've just written and remember how truly lucky I am.

Happy New Year.

Oh, and one more thing that I think warrants mentioning in here - congratulations, Brittany and Brian!