summer 2012


My first second semester of college went by too quickly. I can still remember the feeling I had of sitting down in my first class of January - International Politics - and finally realizing the sensation of being a truetruetrue college student. I knew where my classrooms were, who I would eat lunch with, and my favorite places to study (or take a quick snooze).

My friends became family and new acquaintances became friends. Even old pals from back home became even closer as we struggled together to stay in touch and see each other on weekends.

Over spring break I went down to Birmingham, AL with Habitat for Humanity. Two 8 person vans spent a total of 21 hours southbound on the highway singing along to The Avett Brothers, the Fleet Foxes, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, and whatever folk/bluegrass/classic rock music we all knew the words to. I learned to fully appreciate beautiful weather and how happy seeing the sun high in a blue sky made me. I discovered how good it feels to work and sweat and throw a frisbee around for hours.

I also met Patrick, a junior from Kentucky who loved Monty Python and the Black Keys as much as I did. I don't really know when I realized that I liked him - maybe it was during one of our frisbee games, or during one of our after-dinner talks in the grass outside the church we were staying at, or maybe as we sang along to Wagon Wheel.

When we came back to school to begin the second half of our spring semester, I tried to forget how happy and free I felt in Alabama and be content with settling back into schoolwork again. Lucky for me, I still got to feel some of those things when Patrick and I started dating soon after the trip. I'm still terribly awkward about the whole thing and I'm finding it difficult to share how I feel -- but I absolutely love where we are.

He's back in Kentucky for now, but he will start studying Arabic for 8 weeks in Tunisia soon. I won't see him until late August but we're texting and we try to Skype every once in a while. Once he's abroad I'm not really sure how we'll stay in touch regularly, but I guess we'll see how it goes.

I'm only in Rochester for about a week then I'm headed to Tennessee for a few days for Bonner Congress. Then I'm either staying home for a bit again or I'm moving straight into the house I'll be living in for the rest of the summer in St. Paul. It's right on Snelling and I'm sharing it with 3 (or 4?) graduated seniors who are all working in the cities. I'm going to be a Summer Reads VISTA with Americorps from June 17 to August 10. I'm so excited to be doing something worthwhile and that will be filling up most of my time. I'm also looking forward to spending my summer in the city. None of my close friends are staying on-campus during this time, but many upperclassmen that I've gotten to know well the past year are, and it's going to be a lot of fun hanging out with them.

I guess first I just need to get over these next few days at home. At college, I'm known for the pride I have in my hometown but now that I'm here, I'm already ready to go back. I guess that's the way it's always going to be - it's hard to be content with where you're staying at the time. It's been so much fun seeing and hanging out with my high school friends again but I can't help but feel restless. It's the same exact thing that I felt at the end of J-term... sounds like it'll be a trend for the next few years.

Now that I'm back home, I've been searching for some sort of summer project to occupy my time. For now, this blog will be a part of that search. I'm actually absolutely terrible at keeping blogs up, and I think that's pretty obvious to anyone who's tried to follow me, but now that I have more time than I know what to do with, I might have a little bit to write every once in a while.

Since I've been in Rochester I've started carrying around a disposable camera with me. Last week I went to Whitewater State Park. It's one of my favorite places in the area because of the beautiful beautiful beautiful hiking.

I also recently drove to Milwaukee with a few friends to see the Black Keys (!!!!!!!) and it was one of the best nights of my life. I screamed, yelled, cried, and basically felt the full range of emotions as I watched my favorite band play from practically the front row of the general admission section. It was an absolutely beautiful show.

I guess that's all that I have for now. Hopefully I'll be back soon with more to say.


i'm back

after a long day of flights, i am finally back on campus!

i will have plenty more to say and a plethora of photos for y'all as soon as i get the chance.


later, for now

i'm headed to new orleans with the bonner kids this afternoon and i'll be there for an entire week. i won't be bringing my laptop so i'm not sure if i will be able to post for the next 7 days.

in the case that that occurs, have a good week everyone!



bus thoughts

I'm sitting on the 84 line. it feels strangely like home. even though the seats always stick to my legs and there's usually some sort of funny smell wafting from the guy in the seat next to me, the fact that it drives right past to mac gives it that home-y feeling.

i'm headed back after a fairly successful shopping trip by myself. the rest of the ensemble left for milwaukee earlier this afternoon. this whole week, i haven't been too hung up on the fact that i can't go with the rest of them because i'm super jazzed to go to NOLA on saturday. in fact, until the two amazing performances we did today, i was looking forward to having two days of rest on campus. in the end, i was pretty bummed to not be going on tour with everyone especially because my adrenaline was still going after the electrifying shows we did today. since no one is really left at mac, i decided to give myself some retail therapy -- which helped quite a bit.

bonner people should start arriving tomorrow and that should make me feel a little better. when i don't have company to keep me occupied, i get a little melancholy.


dancing books

just wanted to share this absolutely magical video. i can't even begin to imagine how long this took the filmmakers to create.


the best day

i had a magnificent day today.

at 8:30, i headed over to the ballroom to do soundcheck with the rest of the ensemble before the concert. i realized that one of the members, joe, was wearing a hat that looked very similar to a hat that i was owning. the funny part is, my hat came with a "beard" that strongly resembled joe's actual beard!

the show for the kids went pretty well. energy was a little low, but after two full days of rehearsal, it wasn't a big surprise.

afterwards, we headed over to the nearby church to put on a little informal performance for the pre-school children there. the kids were absolutely adorable. we really enjoyed looking at some of the artwork they had created. i am dying to know what the lesson plans are like because these projects involved the dalai lama, the beatles, and fast food restaurants! this particular work really made me laugh.

after the concert, sowah finally gave us some free-time. the weather here in minnesota has been extremely strange lately. namely, the temperature has been near 40 degrees with absolutely no snow. naturally, whenever it's above freezing we minnesotans take any opportunity to be outside. if you had driven by mac today around 2, you would have seen us out on the lawn, laying on a blanket, basking in the sun. 

some friends who live nearby, but haven't moved back into the dorms yet, stopped by to say hello and hang out for a bit. it was so nice to see them after three weeks <3

afterwards i headed over to the ame spaghetti dinner where agnes and i saw this beautiful house still decked out in christmas decorations.

the dinner was delicious. a lot of the ame members are pretty health-conscious and into homemade / organic foods. i also had a great discussion about the aeneid and all of its characters with another former latin scholar. i personally did not enjoy the four years of latin i took during high school, but i guess it was all worth it to have something in common with a cute guy!

on the way back, i saw this sign hanging on a fence and decided to take it back to my dorm with me. i think i'm going to paint the letters cool colors while i watch lord of the rings tonight...

i've got another early morning tomorrow, filled with more concerts and hopefully another great day!

oh, and how could i forget?! i bought tickets today to see what is probably one of my most favorite bands, the black keys, in concert!! a few friends and i will be making a road trip to milwaukee, wisconsin to see them on may 16th. i am so excited. i honestly think i might pee my pants when i see dan auerbach play sweet, sweet music on his guitar.


back to mac

well here i am, back in the dorm. it's really strange to be on the floor, when practically no one else is. i was actually quite homesick last night, more so than when i first moved in. luckily, i found it soothing to unpack all of my stuff and organize all of my food (16 cans of chef boyardee, yogurt, pickles, turkey, vanilla pudding, granola, fruit snacks, dinosaur egg oatmeal, and saltines!).

today i had 8 total hours of african music ensemble. it didn't feel quite as long as i expected it would, but tiring nonetheless. it was good to reunite with a lot of people -- especially cute guys with the beards. hopefully i'll get a chance to take photos of some of the instruments to post on here!

afterwards, some of the girls came back to my dorm to watch a few episodes of LOST.

that's about all that happened today. this will be a pretty un-aesthetically pleasing post, i'm afraid.

tomorrow will bring more rehearsal and possibly a shopping trip to Whole Foods for some more greek yogurt - which i cannot get enough of right now.

i can still smell the pomegranate -- SO GOOD