Monday, December 22, 2008


Here I am, back at home. I've eaten good food, done silly things with my family, gotten together with friends, gone to my old church, petted my animals, taken a walk in my woods . . . basically, things almost feel back to normal--normal meaning the way it was before I left. Something doesn't feel quite right, though, and that's because I have a new normal now: Houghton. I miss it, and I miss my friends there. Now I have two places and sets of people that I'm attached to, and being at/with one means I'm not at/with the other. In a way it's sad that I'm growing to love a place other than home, but it's good in a way too, as it shows I'm really comfortable at Houghton. Anyway, overall I am definitely glad to be back, and I know I'll miss home and my family when I leave. For now I'm going to enjoy the time I have here with them.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas party

Last Saturday Jaela, Alexa, Liz and I organized a cookie-baking/Nativity Story watching party. We made and decorated sugar cookies, which was a lot of fun since I've been missing making cookies with my family. Then everyone assembled in the fireside lounge (which is a big room in the basement of Gillette with lots of comfy couches and a fireplace) and we watched The Nativity Story, which is a great movie. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It makes the Christmas story so real.

Doing fun things like this makes me sad that I'll be leaving Houghton tomorrow. I don't feel ready for the semester to be over! Well, I'm glad that I'll be done with classes and the school aspect, but I'm not ready to leave campus and my friends, especially the ones I won't see for a long time because I'll be in London next semester. This time, going home is going to be bittersweet.


It's finals week here at Houghton. I had one on Saturday and two today. One tomorrow and I'm done! They haven't been bad at all; none were cumulative, and the major portion of Bib lit (on Saturday) was a take-home exam. At the actual exam time we were supposed to have to write all the books of the Bible in order with correct spelling and then write an essay on different Biblical genres, for which we could bring in a page of notes. I got there and wrote the books of the Bible, and was prepared to write the essay next when Dr. Friebel made an announcement. "The essay is optional. If you want to write it and try to boost your grade, you can, but you don't have to. And if you have a 94 or above I'm not going to let you write it, because you can't improve your grade any more." How wonderful that was--a professor telling me not to write the exam essay! That was definitely my easiest class, and the one I did the best in.

This morning I had my American Lit final. I'd been a little worried about it, because on the last test I didn't do that well. But this time the questions were a lot easier, and I think my essay was pretty solid. This afternoon I had Psych, which wasn't bad, although I couldn't remember what the Premack principle was. Other than that it was fine. Tomorrow there's Lifetime Wellness, which we're allowed to use our notes for. So that one should be no problem. I feel so fortunate compared to the people who have actual finals or a lot of finals or papers and projects. My "finals" have treated me very well.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A vist to the Spanish church? Not quite . . .

Jaela had convinced me to go to the Spanish church in Rochester (about an hour away) with her and Alexa and the Spanish club this morning. When I got up at 7:30, I was surprised to see that several inches of snow had fallen overnight. Outside it was very pretty, but freezing. We met the Spanish club people at the campus center and then dispersed into the three cars that were going. Jaela, Alexa and I were in the lead car. We were driving down a back road about fifteen minutes away from Houghton, getting close to the highway, when suddenly the car started to fishtail, and the girl driving lost control. We ended up spun completely around on the opposite side of the road, stopped by the deeper snow there.

It wasn't even scary while it was happening; Jaela and Alexa also felt no panic, just a realization--"Oh, we're spinning." And it was over so fast I never had time to get scared. But then we saw the next car coming, and it was way scarier watching them; they were sliding too, just like us, and it was obvious the driver had no control over the car. They hit a guardrail on the left side, swerved back onto the road, and ended up crashing into a mailbox. Everyone was okay, but the front bumper of the car was messed up.

Fortunately the people in the third car saw us and stopped before they hit the slippery area. Someone went to tell the people in the house about their mailbox, and they came out to make sure we were okay and give us some advice--don't drive to Rochester today. The third car went back to Houghton, and pretty soon my car did too. But the other car was stuck and was going to have to be towed. That situation ended up being kind of complicated, because the girl who had been driving that car wasn't the owner, and she had to call the owner and tried to get everything sorted out. The owner wasn't sure if she had insurance for other drivers or not, and then they were having phone trouble . . . I don't know how all that got resolved, because we left before there was any conclusion to it.

Anyway, no one was hurt, but that certainly wasn't how I expected to spend my Sunday morning.


I finally got to work at the climbing wall last week--but it was a rather disappointing experience. Only two people came and climbed, and both just bouldered (which is when you climb without ropes and don't go very high), so there wasn't much for me to do. Basically, I got paid to sit and do my homework. Hopefully next year I can get a real job there!

Thanksgiving break . . .

. . . was wonderful! It was great to go home after three months' absence and see my family, pets, and friends. I enjoyed living in a house again and eating good food, and not having to do schoolwork.

I played lots of games with my family, went shopping with my sisters, went climbing at the Milton Rock Gym with friends, and went to my old church. I didn't want to leave! But soon I'll be back again; I can't believe I've only got a week of classes left, then finals, and then . . . my first semester of college will be over! It's gone by so fast . . .