Monday, November 24, 2008

Gillette Thanksgiving

Tomorrow Thanksgiving break starts. I can't wait! To see my family and pets again, to actually be home, not to have classes or homework . . . it's going to be wonderful.

Yesterday Gillette (my dorm) had Thanksgiving dinner, cooked by the RAs. It was delicious, especially after eating cafeteria food for so long! And in a few days I'll get to have another Thanksgiving dinner, this one with my family. :)

Mmm . . . I especially liked having real mashed potatoes!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


It snowed here Sunday night, our first semi-big snow. The campus is beautiful, but it's freezing out there! That hasn't kept me from having fun in the snow, though; on Sunday, after an inch of snow had accumulated, Jaela, Alexa and I went out in and threw snowballs at each other and then ran around shaking snow off the trees and onto ourselves. When we were covered we stumbled into Gillette (our dorm) and collapsed on the floor, gasping about the terrible blizzard and how we were lucky to make it back alive. Silly, but fun.

The next day after my classes were over I felt an intense longing to do something outside; the snow was making me think of my siblings and how we always went out sledding and had snowball fights. So I found a friend, and we made a snow penguin, which was originally supposed to be a snowman but ended up looking like a bird. When we finished my gloves were soaked, my hands numb, but I was happy.

Here's a link to more pictures:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The release of the Lanthorn

I really should be sleeping right now, but I'm too excited to go to bed without posting the news--one of my poems was published in the Lanthorn! It was released at a coffeehouse tonight, and during set up one of my friends noticed the books, opened one, and saw my name. Ever since I submitted I had been wondering whether anything of mine would be included or not, and finally founding out that something was made me so happy. Then, wanting to read something but not knowing what, another friend asked if she could read my poem. She did, and she did a great job. Here it is for all of you to read:

Lament for an Empty Ames
Oh, Lewisburg Ames, I remember the days
when you were full of merchandise;
when you supplied me with the things I needed.
And I remember how your parking lot was full of cars
and inside the customers shopped
never suspecting that your doors would soon be closed
and that everything you were selling would disappear.

When you announced that you were shutting down
I remember my family coming to you
and searching through the maze of your gutted innards
for roller blades.
I don’t remember if we found them or not
but I do remember the emptiness that filled you.
And at a sister store, in a different town
(she was closing too — you all were)
I remember how we looked for shoes
and all we could find was an ugly pair of leftovers.

Now, Ames, the letters of your name have been removed
leaving only their outlines;
a reminder of what you once were.
Your parking lot stretches large and empty, and you sit
your respect and dignity stripped away, like those letters
while up the road, only a mile or so
resides a Wal-Mart supercenter
well-fed and prosperous.

It's very encouraging having it published, even if it is in a very small publication. And one of the editors-in-chief told me how much she liked it; she even mentioned it in the introduction to the book. So maybe I really can write.

The focus shouldn't be on just me, though--there's lots of other great poetry and artwork included in the Lanthorn. And the coffeehouse was fun too; I enjoyed hearing people read their own work and that of others, and it was nice to just relax and hang out with my friends. :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Last month I received a packet of submissions to The Lanthorn, which I read and graded on a scale of 1-5 (except without 3--giving a neutral grade isn't helpful for deciding what's in and what's not). Then we met and discussed what grades we gave and why and tried to argue each other into changing our opinions. I missed most of that, though, because I had to leave to go to a surprise birthday party for Jaela, which another friend and I set up. That was fun, although Jaela left after cake and a few games of Dutch Blitz because she had to call her boyfriend. ;)

A few weeks later we were given a packet of faculty submissions (for a separate book) to grade, which was daunting at first. But when I stopped thinking about the people who wrote them (they didn't have the names on them, but I knew it could be one of my professor's poems I was reading) and focused on the works themselves, it was easier. On Tuesday we had a brief meeting about that. Sometime later this month The Lanthorn will be published.
Last Sunday my floor (3rd Main of Gillette Hall) went shopping for Operation Christmas Child (, which our whole dorm is doing with a goal of 100 boxes. We're having a packing party next Saturday, a week from today.
I finally made it to the climbing wall again, only my second time since I've been here. I enjoyed climbing again, and I'm going to try to go more often. Unfortunately, I still haven't worked at all . . .
This weekend Houghton is having their annual bus trip for prospective students, and two of my friends are coming up and are going to stay with Jaela and I! That's pretty exciting, since I haven't seen them/you (if you guys are reading this) for over two months.
Overall things are going well here; I've been doing plenty of fun stuff with my friends while still keeping up with schoolwork (I got over 100% on two tests, thanks to extra credit). :) I miss my family, though, and am looking forward to Thanksgiving break in less than three weeks!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Houghton Halloween

My family has never celebrated Halloween (I've never gone trick-or-treating), so I was surprised that Houghton had several Halloween events. I didn't think there was anything wrong with that, but having come from a background of not having anything to do with the holiday, I hadn't expected a Christian college to celebrate it.

There was a costume party the night before. At first Jaela and I weren't going to dress up, but then we saw that Alexa, our sinkmate (who's also on the soccer team with Jaela) had found an outfit, so we decided we would too. Jaela remembered her overalls and became a hobo, and she lent me her soccer clothes because I didn't have anything else.

They had a haunted house set up in one corner of the dining hall--black curtains hung around a maze of tables and chairs that hid people who jumped out and you and grabbed your ankles as you walked by. I thought it was funny, but Jaela got scared. ;)

On Halloween kids from the area came to the dorms to trick-or-treat. They were all really cute; I enjoyed seeing their costumes and handing out candy to them since we never get any trick-or-treaters at my house.

Anyway, it was good, innocent fun--Halloween Houghton-style.