16 February 2015

February 16, 2015

This semester, I’m busier than ever before. And sometimes, after a really hard day, I like to give myself a little pat on the back and just feel a little proud of the work I’ve done. That’s what I’m going to do right now, because even though today was a challenge, I think I really pulled through. I had a Japanese exam in the morning and an English quiz on a really hefty chunk of reading afterwards. Both of them were difficult, but I feel like I did really well. I didn’t get a chance to practice for the speaking section of the Japanese exam, so I was really nervous, but the words actually came really easily. It was just me, my professor, and the language assistant, and it was over really quickly! There were no awkward pauses or terrible grammar mistakes on my part as far as I could tell.

An interview I did with my friend who speaks Japanese.

As soon as all that was over, I spent the afternoon editing my Keats paper. I really wanted this one to be perfect. I spent Saturday in the library analyzing the poem and writing a really terrible, rambling, scatterbrained draft just to get my ideas on paper.

I took a picture of my annotations because they just look impressive.

Holed up in the quiet section late at night...

I returned to the library on Sunday to spend around seven hours coalescing those ideas into an outline, writing the actual paper, and editing it as I went along. Today was just the last push to the finish. I looked it over, changed some words, clarified some vague transitions, moved some things around, made a works cited page, printed it out, dashed up to my professor’s office and turned it in just a half-hour before the deadline. But even though it’s out of my hands, it’s still weighing on my mind. I hate that. I don’t want to think about it anymore. I’m proud of what I’ve done, but I know that it’s not perfect. I understand the poem so well now, and I just wish that I could have transferred my understanding of it a little more eloquently to the paper. The really daunting part is that I’ve got to do all that again next weekend for the next paper!

Besides all that, I also managed to find time to do some non-academic things over the weekend, which was a relief. One can only be in the library so much. My friend Molly and I went out to Shigezo for Valentine’s Day, which is a Japanese Izakaya-style restaurant near the Pioneer Express bus stop downtown. Normally I get sushi there, but this time, I got the samurai udon and it was fantastic. Afterwards, we went to Tartberry, which is a frozen yogurt shop with a really cool and colorful vibe. And that night, a bunch of my friends and I went to see Once Upon a Weekend. Once Upon, as it’s often abbreviated to, is a unique event that involves creating a production from the bottom up in just a week. The playwrights get a week to submit the scripts, then, over the course of 24 hours, actors get cast and the plays are rehearsed, and performed! I had never been before, but I knew some people who were performing in it and I had heard that it was a really good event. I was not disappointed. There were live bands and crazy costumes and at the end of one of the plays, a bunch of zombies stormed the stage, and it was just great. I will definitely go again next semester. Maybe I’ll even participate!

Another fun thing that happened recently was when last week, my residence hall organized a little poetry reading. I read some things I had written for my poetry class last year, and other people just read their favorite poems or even excerpts from books they really liked. Campus Safety helped us make a fire in the common room so we could have s'mores!

Well, that’s all for now. I have another long and busy day tomorrow. Also, there are so many prospective students on campus right now – hopefully some of you are reading this blog! Good luck making your decisions.