03 January 2014

From Break

Hello readers!

I'm writing from a very comfortable chair in my house in Minnesota. It's currently 18 degrees outside, but it's expected to get about 20 below 0 in a couple of days, with a windchill of -50. So, I hope you are all in warm, sunny places right now, in the hope that I can live warmly through you.

My break has been excellent so far, though it's going to end really soon- I go back to Portland on Wednesday, so I can take a WFR (Wilderness First Responder) class. I'm really excited about it- it's a 10 day long class held on the LC campus where we learn about wilderness first aid. I get a PE credit from it, and get to hang out with a bunch of really cool people from College Outdoors. I'll admit, I'm not entirely ready to go back yet- homemade food, my own bed, a cat almost always on my lap, and yes, the cold, are all really nice. I don't think I'm going to be back home until the summer, so I'm enjoying it while I can. But classes don't start until after MLK day, so even though I'm going back early I'll have a while until I'm overwhelmed with work again.

I went into break hoping to be productive, and I have been, at least a bit. I worked on some Symposium related stuff at the beginning of break, and am hoping to do more before I go back. I am almost done applying to go abroad- I emailed my references, did the initial application and the essays, and sent my transcript to the overseas office. I just have a couple more forms to fill out, some passport photos to take, and maybe an interview before I'm done with that. I'm still hoping to apply for some scholarships while I'm home, but mostly I'm just enjoying relaxing and binging on Netflix.

My family has a lot of traditions, so the week around Christmas was very full of family and food. Now that most of my family is gone, I'm spending more time with friends from home. I'll be honest, friendships from before college change while you're away. I don't really talk anymore to a number of people I was friends with in high school, not because we don't like each other but because you just lose contact. But I'm always amazed when I come back how easy it is to talk to the people I have stayed in contact with, and how different everyone is from high school. I've spent hours since I've come home just talking with old friends and sharing college stories, and it's impressive how different everyone's experience in college is. The more I talk about it, the happier I realize I am at LC, and the more I realize that I couldn't have made a better decision for where to go to college.

Highlights of break include:

cutting down a tree in the dark (I felt like a horrible ENVS major because I was excited to cut down a tree)
decorating said tree (it turned out to have kind of a curvy, crooked trunk- makes sense, because we cut it down in the dark)
sledding
eating lots of cookies (including ones my friends made shaped like Minnesota)
So, overall, a good break so far. I look forward to what this next semester will bring!