Post-Finals Health

We’ll categorize this post under “taking care of yourself after finals week” or “restoring sanity”. Both, I think, are terribly appropriate. The fact that currently working at two internships for the summer, and am enjoying the break/relaxing gives you some indication of how insane this past semester was.

For the record, I know now not to take 19 credits, have 2-3 major leadership positions, and present at 4 conferences all in one semester. My advisor has been warning me of overloading myself for the past three years (I am a chronic overbooker/overachiever), but it was this semester when this habit caught up with me. For the record, it did not catch up with my grades, and for that, I am forever grateful.

DSC_0230

To top it all off, I managed to dislocate a rib during finals week while I was simultaneously studying and moving. So after finals, my first stop was at the chiropractor (mine is basically a miracle-worker). Now, I’m housesitting in a gorgeous local home – with a kitchen all to myself. At some point during finals, when I’d gotten so sick of sugar/not eating well that I couldn’t actually enjoy eating anymore, I decided to do something about it post-semester.

DSC_0048

As I remarked to someone last week, going back to healthy food as a detox is a bit reminiscent of my roots as a farmgirl (see the title of this blog), where health was a way of life. I don’t miss some parts of living on a farm, but I definitely miss the ability to eat well all the time. It’s easy to make the choice to eat well when you have the resources to do so, but for those of us whose access to clean food/kitchens/more than 15 minutes for meals is limited, choosing healthy food is often impossible.

DSC_0007

So this week has been for detoxing, and getting over a sugar addiction. With the exception of a meeting at the local bakery (cannot stay away from raspberry croissants, ever), I went sugar-free and pescetarian. It’s been incredibly successful, and I feel far more energized (*also because I’m getting more than 5 hours of sleep per night). I’ll probably go back on some other meats throughout the summer, but I wanted to start by getting myself used to eating mostly-vegetables again.

DSC_0005

Finally, I’m trying to use my free time doing things that are both productive and mentally healthy. That means trying to stay away from Lord of the Rings Online (my guilty gaming pleasure) and wandering aimlessly around Facebook for hours. I’ve pulled out my camera again, and am trying to put aside time for devotionals or quiet contemplation every few days. Every few days because I have a really bad habit of starting something “daily” for a few days, and then getting off track (and guilting myself into not restarting it). So every few days to get back into the mode of spending time peacefully with God, and outside of my own head. I also picked up a copy of the Common English Bible this semester, which is helping immensely. (Reading Ezekiel is actually really interesting when it’s in simple English.)

So here’s to self-care and rejuvenation.

Done with the Semester + Iced Coffee

Happy May! I’m back to the blog with another semester under my belt. As a told a professor via email yesterday, I’m pretty sure this spring was when I discovered the limit of responsibilities + classes (+ boyfriends + drama) that I can handle in one 16 week period. It was a good growing experience, and luckily, my GPA made it out unscathed. As did my sanity, surprisingly.

Now I’m doing two marketing internships – one continuing from last semester, and one beginning this week for a new company. I’m so excited to concentrate on this without homework and 143980713587 other tasks pulling for my mental energy.

If you’re a fellow college student (or once were), I’m sure you know exactly how this feels.

To celebrate, I’ve been drinking a lot of iced coffee. The house I’m staying in has a ginormous coffee maker, and I generally make way too much in the mornings, which means that I have cold coffee to ice in the afternoons! If you’ve never made it, you’re missing out on an easy treat (that you don’t have to pay $4 for!).

coffeegraphic

Enjoy!

Reflections on the Fall Semester

The last post that I published on this blog was a devotional/reflection on “busyness”. This is certainly ironic, since I’m about to plead the fifth (*coughbusynesscough*) and apologize for my absence. I have quite a few excuses – don’t we all? But I’m posting here this evening to reflect a bit on the last couple of months in my life, so if you’d like to know what I’ve been up to, do read on!

It is 10:30pm here, and I’m running on just four hours of sleep. Exhausted, but happy. I turned in my English senior seminar thesis today, and presented on it in class. I think I was one of the presenters who used their full 10 minutes of time, because by the last slide, my professor was motioning for me to finish up. Regardless of my occasionally-rushed, incoherent speech, I’d like to think that people still walked away with an interest in my topic.

What did you write it on, Amanda? In normal circumstances, I’d be happy to tell you more than the title, but currently, I’m under self-imposed silence about everything having to do with Sherlock Holmes & politics. (That is, however, my thesis topic, and one day, I’ll tell you all about my Holmesian academic pursuits…)

There’s still a lot to do before school ends next week – enough that it’s slightly overwhelming, but it’s a lovely feeling to have such a big project off of my to-do list. It’s also a lovely feeling to know that after next week, I can refocus on Woolf, and take a bit of time to relax sans-academia and deadlines.

This semester (in bullet points!):

  • Wrote a thesis on Sherlock Holmes
  • Completed an 8 month marketing & communications internship in DC (best internship ever)
  • Had the opportunity to teach/assist on Woolf with part of an adaptations class
  • Was accepted into next year’s PCA conference (New Orleans, baby!)
  • Turned 20 years old (eekk! two decades already?)
  • Attempted and didn’t miserably fail having a social and extracurricular schedule.

On a personal note, this semester brought a few dear friends into my life, and I’m so thankful for them. They keep me sane (so do books, but books don’t drink coffee with you).

I’ve been published… several places, in fact. In Bedlam. In Grafted. I’ve severely neglected my camera, but I’ve had the chance to shoot some incredibly gorgeous friends of mind.

DSC_0024

DSC_0239

Friends. This semester has been insanity, and sometimes, I didn’t think I’d make it. But it has also been incredibly fantastic, and I’ve grown so much this year.

I’m so excited to be around for a while, and I can’t wait to get into blogging again! Feel free to leave a bit of love in the comments section!

Fall Classes or “Academic Adventures of an English Major”

Let’s talk academics for a little while. It’s just before the semester starts, which means I’m currently trying to shorten my answer to “What classes are you taking?” into a 1 minute tagline instead of a 5 minute explanation. It’s harder than you’d think!

books-0117

So, what am I taking this semester? Well, the class currently on my mind is senior seminar, which I’m taking a year early because of my thesis. The theme this year is literature and politics, and I’m incredibly excited because my advisor is teaching it this time around. I’m thinking about it already because I’ve started to reread Uncle Tom’s Cabin in preparation for the first few weeks. I’ve read it (in high school, I think), but between then and now, I’ve taken an entire course called “Atlantic World Slavery”, and I’m already reading the novel with new insights. Thank goodness we’re starting with that Stowe, not 1984. Otherwise, I’d be lost already. Orwell and I haven’t had the best experiences together thus far.

books-0118

I’m taking a Principles of Language class – a basic requirement for my major.books-0119I’m also taking a second-level French class. Honestly, if you had asked me last January if I’d enroll in another French class, I would have definitely said no, but here I am with another one! We start off by reading Asterix, which I’m pretty excited about. I’m sure my summer of *cough*not actually keeping up with my French*cough* will do wonders for the first few weeks in class, but I’ll survive.


 

The other three courses I don’t have textbooks for yet because none of them are traditional classes!

  • I’m enrolled in my official internship this fall. My school requires one to graduate, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have an internship with Washington Performing Arts over the summer that I’ve extended through the fall. I’m ecstatic to get into performance season as we kick off the fall with Fall Arts Fair, and VelocityDC!
  • Have I explained an Honors tutorial on here before? I can’t remember, so I’ll just repeat myself, or something. A tutorial is similar to an independent study, but it’s based off the Oxford tutorial tradition. I’m technically done with my honors credits till le thesis, but I’m taking another (because I’m addicted to them, perhaps?). We’re doing an entire semester in Creative Nonfiction, and I’m so excited.
  • The last one was just added this past week (ek!). I’m doing an independent study where I’ll sit in on/work on projects related to/assist with the adaptations class this fall. I’m looking forward to reviewing adaptations – I’ve been knee-deep in Woolf for so long that my adaptations knowledge has suffered, a bit, and I’ll need both Woolf and adaptations knowledge for my thesis proposal this spring.

It probably takes me 5 minutes to explain my classes because I’m definitely a class junkie. More than one *cough* professor here knows that it’s very easy to talk me into enrolling for a class that sounds interesting (even if it doesn’t fit my course requirements). This semester, my only course that doesn’t fill a requirement or “purpose” related to my thesis is French, but I find that “unnecessary” language or humanities courses are refreshing, and allow me to focus better on other classes if I take them simultaneously.

Fall semester, here I come. College folks – what are you taking this semester? I want to hear about your courses!