On Saturday, I woke up early to volunteer for the admissions office. This weekend was the November Open House and so there were lots of prospective students around. Maybe I saw some of you! My job description was to stand in the parking lot, wear bright orange, look warm and welcoming, and give people directions if they needed it. It was rather cold out. Luckily, there was free coffee for all the volunteers, and I kept myself entertained by reciting “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe under my breath. I memorized it for poetry class a few weeks ago. It was quite an undertaking, but I was really proud of myself and I don’t want to forget it. I know, I’m a little crazy for wanting to memorize the entirety of “The Raven” (18 stanzas!) when the assignment was to memorize something “at least 14 lines”, but that poem was the one I genuinely wanted in my head.
The rest of the weekend was mostly working on my reading and essays, with several much-needed breaks for releasing stress. Although I am capable of (and have done) study sessions that involve me not leaving my seat in the library for five or six hours, my favorite way to study – and probably the healthiest – is to work at my desk in my room and whenever I feel like I need to, I get up and:
1. Throw barefoot running shoes on and take off for a run in Tryon Creek
2. Go to the Pamplin gym for a half-hour or so and ride the elliptical or stationary bike (this is a good idea if the weather is really nasty).
3. Curl up in bed with an episode of Doctor Who.
4. Curl up in bed with a chapter or two of The Golden Compass or Harry Potter (both of which I am reading for something like the nineteenth time).
5. Stand above the heater by the window and eat a really yummy, crunchy apple as I look at the autumn leaves outside.
6. Spontaneously decide that my roommate and my friends that are also in my room studying will have an impromptu fashion show down the hallway with the outfits we’re wearing for Fall Ball this weekend.
That’s pretty much the summary of my weekend adventures. Those are all really good options for study breaks. Trust me. It’s great to just savor the little things in life when you feel overwhelmed with schoolwork. As far as the actual schoolwork is going, I am enthralled as always. My favorite project that I am undertaking right now is reading In Search of Respect by Philippe Bourgois for anthropology class. It’s an ethnographic study of crack dealers in East Harlem and how oppression and apartheid create and affect an underground economy. It’s really interesting, especially in light of the fact that the Race and Ethnic Studies Symposium is going on later this week. This year, the theme is “Police States, Prison Nations”. I am excited to go to the different presentations and discussions, which are about things like the school-to-prison pipeline and how hip-hop culture reflects racial inequality in incarceration. There will be student speakers, professors from Lewis and Clark, and ethnic studies experts from other schools and organizations. There are lots of cool events like these on campus. Recently, there was an Environmental Studies Symposium, and there is also an annual Gender Studies Symposium.
Happy two-and-a-half-weeks-until-Thanksgiving-break everyone! As always, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good luck studying/applying to colleges! Take fun breaks!