25 November 2014

Almost Break!

I’ve only got one more class, and then it’s Thanksgiving Break! I’m flying out tonight to Sacramento, where my mom’s going to pick me up and take me home. I am really excited to see my family. I'm not as excited as I was at this time last year, since that was my first year in college and I was moderately homesick by mid-November. This year I am more settled in and more used to the whole living-in-another-state thing, so going home doesn't feel as necessary. Regardless, I am still pretty stoked to be heading back to California.

Although I am going home for Thanksgiving, I’d say about half the people I know are staying here. There are a couple different on-campus activities that people attend to celebrate the holiday without having to buy an expensive plane ticket home. For instance, I've heard the sports teams are holding a Turkey Trot fun run on campus that is also a canned food drive. There are also at least two Thanksgiving potlucks I've heard about. One of them is sort of designed for international students so they get the chance to celebrate an American holiday and because most of them do not have the chance to fly all the way home for such a short break, but anyone can come. The other is a student-run thing that's vegan-friendly. Also, some of the students who live near Portland will sometimes invite their friends over for Thanksgiving. Last year, my roommate and a bunch of other people went to my friend India’s house because her parents live in Portland. I didn't go, but I heard it was a lot of fun to hang out with her pets, meet her parents, and do “home” things that people sort of forget about while living on campus – like sitting in a quiet dining room for dinner, or using squishy towels in the bathroom instead of paper towels. So, I guess what I'm getting at is that there are plenty of options for you over the breaks. I just tend to choose to go home because I like to do that at least once per semester. Hopefully, I can not only see my family, but some of my friends from home as well. 

However, I will only have so much time to do all that. I'll have a lot of work to do. For my education class, my professor asked everyone who’s going home for the holiday to find a recent article about educational reform in their hometown and also get some local opinions from family or friends. Then, when we get back from break, my class is going to discuss any differences or similarities in schools and school reform from different states and cities in America. Education is so relevant, so important, and so controversial, and I am really excited to do that assignment, as I am with basically all of my work in that class.

I’ll also be starting my final English paper, which is going to be on Milton’s Paradise Lost. I’m not entirely sure yet, but I think it’s going to deal with the recurring word “wanton” as used to describe both Eve and the Garden of Eden, and how that is indicative of the inherent deviance of Creation. I think a lot of ideas I’ve gotten from my philosophy class will play into my writing, like how omniscience/foreknowledge can indicate lack of free will, and things like that. It’s really cool to see overlap between my classes like that. Making connections across disciplines is my favorite thing about college. Speaking of philosophy, I'll also be starting my final philosophy paper on the separation of church and state. I'm less excited for that one because I like English papers more than philosophy papers, but it should still be really interesting.

And of course, there’ll be plenty of Japanese studying going on. I’m going to be reviewing all of the vocabulary and all of the kanji characters we’ve learned. Plus, when I get back, I am filming a skit with four other people from class, which I am super excited for. We wrote the script last night and it's going to be hilarious. The premise is a trip to Hawaii gone very wrong. 


Anyway, hope all of you have great Thanksgiving breaks! If you have questions, just email me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu.