Tag Archives: rest

And it was good

The beauty of Connecticut fall catches my breath.  The firestorm on the the tree beneath my bedroom makes me smile.  So does the quiet hope that wells up in my soul.

For every exasperated sigh I swallow in my carrel and long hour with an un-exhilarating paper are a dozen moments of sweet smiles.  Ideas excite me.  Despite the realization that most people don’t care, I am incapable of saying anything about my research without getting all bright eyed and smily.

And when the brillant professor I fumble my ideas to says that my argument sounds great, the fire burns brighter.  Likewise, I gladly give my time to the teaching that forces my thoughts deep into the recluses of my mind for reevaluation.  Ideas are like that.

In the last 72 hours, a friend and I hosted a make-your-own gourmet personal pizza night, complete with fancy cheese, fresh sausage, jalepenos, and eight of my closest-don’t-talk-to-often-enough friends.  Saturday, I drove to Providence for an ISI conference on the American University.  I’ve never wanted to read Plato so badly in my life.  I figure something like The Republic or The Odyssey ought to count as an appropriate beginning of the Western Cannon : )

Today was simply beautiful, and a few friends and I will be driving  up the Connecticut coastline in the morning as we run away with every last remaining precious bit of fall break.

This overcast night hides the moon from my bedroom window, but with a monstrously soft brown blanket draped over my shoulders and the quiet beat of my fingers, keeping time with the Bublé in the background, I just can’t help but feel at peace as the dreams and reflections that can’t quite make their way out dance on my heart.

Providence, Rhode Island

 

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Stunning, SB: Day 15

On Mount Higby.

A homemade spring break for the best of them.

In perfect shorts and tank tops weather, I’ve sat outside on my newly-cleaned screened porch.  The same room that was so gross when I moved in that I decided to pretend it wasn’t attached to my house is now a beautiful, sunlit reading room (complete with an outdoor outlet).

Professor Elphick’s book recommendation arrived yesterday, and I’ve set at properly devouring it, my mind thoroughly jumbled at its crazy claims and what it means it the author is right.

When I realized 72 cookies was a lot.

My cooking disasters have continued, but with notable shining successes.

In between not paying attention to the fact that that cookie recipe yields 6 dozen cookies (2 1/2 cups doesn’t sound like much until you realize that it’s talking about butter), the panicked phone call to my mother because my drumsticks were bleeding in the oven (it was gross), and the icing that kept sliding off the cake, my cooking has been met with shining success.

I’ve actually made an array of full, edible meals, which really is quite a major feat for me.  I’ll analyze a boring book and write a great analysis, but ask me to cook a family sized meal and disaster is more likely than not.

My beautiful porch.

Over break, I’ve learned to make a biscuits and gravy that would knock you on your feet, and the beans and cornbread casserole I made for my friends might as well have been cooked by mother.

Besides the edible food part, my room with an oven and fridge finally has enough basic utensils and pantry items to earn its title as a kitchen.

The time apart from MS Word has been good for both of us, and I’ve watched the Dead Poets Society three times in the last week.

I’ve also discovered that 80s music does have a place in the world, even if it is restricted to morning kitchen music while making pancakes, and I finally explored that wooded path by 91, the one that leads to a mountain.

Chicken noodle soup, apples and peanut butter, and grapefruit soda on the porch.

Perhaps most notable has been the never-ending developments in my quest for a summer job, more appropriately referred to as Tori finally figured out what she wants to do with her life and, dare I say it, has a decent idea of what that means in terms of a career.

As frightening as each step in this process has been and undoubtedly still will be, it has been a lot of fun (…a word I never previously dared to associate with a job search)

Opposite of a cooking disaster.

I can’t even begin to explain all that’s happening other than to say its a lot, I never could have mapped a network this big, and it is so not over.  I still am not quite sure what’s going to happen this summer, but, bit by bit, it really is all coming together.

One of the first couple weeks of the semester, we started praying about jobs at Wellspring.  I was already well on my way down this crazy, exciting path with big dreams and a direction, but up to that point it wasn’t really going anywhere specific.

It’s been unbelievable watching opportunities that seemed so great completely fall apart (and my desire for them).

Reading on the hill.

Whereas, new opportunities, ones that wouldn’t have even caught my attention a year ago but are now all I want, are coming out of nowhere.

I know people that spent the break in Florida, Jamaica, Mexico, California, Hong Kong, Europe, and the Middle East.  Bet none of them have had a break as fulfilling as mine–right here in Middletown, Connecticut.

-best spring break ever-


Quiet Again, SB Day 11

Picnic on Foss Hill.

I thought I would get bored, or perhaps more appropriately, I was afraid I would.

Normally, my mornings begin at 9 and end at 2am, meaning that besides my regular 4pm nap (a truly golden 20-45 minutes), it is unceasing.

But I made it that way–on purpose.  The create-your-schedule of the last 8 months had it’s plusses, but for all its problems, I missed this place.  Naturally, I thought once all the activity stopped, so would my love for it.

I was a bit crushed when, after some number-crunching, I decided it best to ditch my spring break DC plans and take in New England, but for all its normalcy, it has proved every bit as restful as Christmas break…even with 40 hours of work in the library.

I finally finished my imovie of my semester abroad, which is a huge accomplishment and have found total fulfillment in meaningless articles, photos, and blogs online to fill the rest of the time.  Undoubtedly, not quite as high reaching as the armload of books I planned on reading over break, but that always happens.

Almost thesis-related books.

I read nice and slowly, enjoying it without rush when there’s no pressure.  But that’s probably a good thing too, although, I must say that I am direly lamenting the fact that, and I am not exaggerating, Olin Library does not have a single book related to my thesis.

Perhaps this will be enough to finally push books out of its position as my 2nd biggest living expense and into first.

Inter-library loan anybody??


The Gilmore Affect

I’ve been spending a lot of contemplating the daunting mass of darkness that pretty much begins in May and appears to never goes away again.

Spain was incredible, so don’t even in the slightest read this to say that I didn’t treasure everything about my big European adventure and all the lovely people I met.  However, I can’t help but feel that I wasn’t, at least in some capacity, cheated out of the middle of what is my college experience.  See, I left a neck-deep-in-the-thick-of-it sophomore and I’m coming back an almost senior.  It all feels so over.

Comps essay idea wall

A few weeks ago, I was watching Gilmore Girls.  I started season two last July and finally, right after Christmas, I made it the final season, where Rory graduates from Yale.

For those unfamiliar with the show, Rory, the daughter of a single mother who ran away flying from her old money debutant lifestyle, has an intelligent, albeit incredibly quirky and socially-awkward friend, Paris.  Typically, Paris fills the foil of big personality sidekick that would be too much in the protagonist, but in a supporting role adds just enough comedy to the situation.  Point being, Paris is not the character you would model your life around.

When Rory and Paris return to Yale to wrap up their final year, there is a scene in there living room.  Paris has something like 8 gigantic whiteboards with everything they have to do before they graduate, broken up by categories (like job applications, fellowships, networking, final college experiences, etc) and color-coded (of course).  Beside each item in the lists there is a checkbox.

books, pdfs, and notes

The terrible part of all of this is when I watched this scene I didn’t just think this was a good idea, I found the scene strikingly similar to my room during comps last year.

The thoughts that ensue….”yes, that’s a great idea.  I just have to get organized again”……”I’m already organized”…”This is nuts”……….”Holy cow, seeing myself in Paris is probably an indication that I need to clear my mind”

I’ve been taking the latter part of that final statement to heart.  This is the longest break I get…ever.  From a couple days before Christmas to January 23, I’m free.  It is about as long as it could possibly get without making it practical to find a job.

And with a little space to think (and stockpiling a few hours of sleep for the upcoming semester,) it is truly amazing what all you can accomplish and just plain figure out.

 

 


Productive ease

Confession: I really have no idea what day of the week it is, and I love that.

There really was no particular reason that I needed to know today either.  Oftentimes, schedule-less days quickly descend to couch potato restlessness that eats away at nearly all my interest in the books in my kindle queue.  But not this week.

A perfect mix of basis tasks (errands, bills, tearing down the Christmas tree) and family has maintained enough order, and it has been perfect.  I’d criticize myself for not tearing through job research, networking emails, and most other real-life related tasks, but I can’t help but think that this continued non-mind numbing rest is actually productive.   I’ve come to think, just maybe, that the the what-am-I-going-to-do-next-summer-and-how-am-I-going-to-get-there-exactly feeling might clear up a little bit if I just take a couple days.

So that’s what I’m going to give it, and in the meantime, categorize, label, and subdivide every photo and video in my iphoto library.  Spain already feels so far away, and I need to keep it real.  I’ll finish an imovie project on the trip by the start of the spring semester.


Bookends

It’s a good thing I never ended up booking that trip to Barcelona, because I’ve spent the last two days more or less locked up in the house fighting off sickness.

But, then again, after the last two weeks, maybe slowing down isn’t such a bad idea regardless.

Despite not being able to go out this evening and look at the Christmas lights like I had originally planned, the night turned out rather nicely.

I dug up a few old episodes of Gilmore Girls and started packing, just like I did in my stuffy bedroom four months ago in New York.  Except this time, instead of dreaming of foreign lands and actually being able to speak Spanish, I was just thinking about home.

 

 


Some might call it a closet, I call it an office

I made a near immediate discovery when I moved into the Brazilian Church. No wi-fi.

Perhaps I am showing my youthfulness here, but this was new to me.  Granted, I can remember the day my older brother finally convinced my father to to get high speed internet, and I didn’t discover pandora.com until I was a senior in high school.  However, since I neither buy nor steal music, but still listen to it all the time, I live on pandora.  I am used to enjoying leisurely cross-campus walks with my ipod streaming the online radio station.  Now, I can’t even get internet in my room (at least I couldn’t until Jeff bought a 50 ethernet cable).

Please don’t take my comments for complaining, because I’m not.  Just pointing out differences and explaining how my personal closet  office came about.  There are two places in the church that I can connect an ethernet cable.  One is on the floor above me in the treasurer’s office, an inaccessible locked room.  The other is two doors down from my bedroom in storage room.

After about a week of shoving birthday decorations to the side, I finally organized and rearranged the setup (I should have thought to taken a photo of the room, before I rearranged everything).  Anyways, this large storage closet has now become what I have affectionately termed my office, which if I’m not mistaking must mean I’m moving up in the world.  😉  After all, I’m not even old enough to drink.

 

Maybe it’s sad, but it’s unlikely that I would have taken the time to create my own little office space if it hadn’t been the only place I was able to access the internet the first two weeks I was here.  But it is rather nice now.  It gives me a separate place to work and rest, which I think is fairly important.

Also, just as an fyi, I promise the post about my experience at church last Sunday is coming.  It just requires far more time and thought then I have the ability to spare right now.   Check back to this blog for updates though.