Monday, August 19, 2013

On Home, Travel, and Writing

Lots of things to talk about today, yes?
This past week, my mother and I were out shopping for school supplies. She's a teacher, and so we are constantly making pilgrimages to the dollar section of Target in search of goodies for her students. Whilst we were there, I picked up a planner for the coming year, and my mother mentioned to me that Coe had become my new "norm".
Yes, I thought. Yes, it rather has. I am more used to being in Iowa, throwing myself into my studies, than I am to being at home now. My concept of "home" has shifted. Now, I have two homes, 800 miles apart.
One of my friends, on a similar note, has decided to emigrate to England. She's been wandering around for some time, in search of something nameless, and thinks she has found it in England. I will miss her dearly, but she is doing what she wants.
“I know I am planning to visit a 'land' that is not entirely foreign, only foreign to me. As an adventurer, I am on a journey that I believe will last me my whole life. A new relationship, discovery, or awareness excites me" writes Marilyn Barnicke, and in a way she is write. A new place is only "foreign" to the traveler, because they've never been there before. The more we travel, the more we are able to learn and grow and make the world as a whole our home. I cannot say that I won't miss my family; I will miss them a lot. But this time next week, I will be in Iowa and surrounded by friends, books, and the promise of a new year. And I must admit, I'm looking forward to it. 

As Always, Yours,

Monday, August 12, 2013

On Packing

So given that in two weeks Coe students will be heading back to campus, I have begun the process of packing. Needless to say, I do not enjoy packing. I don't mind putting things in boxes; its more the inevitable understanding that, once they are in the boxes and in the car, I will have to take them out again eventually. So, this year, I've tried to streamline the process a little bit. Without further ado, then, here are my Packing Do's and Don't's:

DO pack some lounge-wear. When you're hanging out in your dorm, you will want to be comfortable
DON'T pack all of your clothes. This makes moving difficult, and somehow you always end up with more clothes at the end of the year.

DO pack one or two nice outfits.
DON'T pack more than one evening gown. Trust me on this one.

DO bring some decorations
DON'T bring your entire room.

DO buy a planner before you come, so you'll be prepared on the first day.
DON'T buy all your notebooks/binders/pencils/and so on beforehand. Each class is different and will require a different set of materials.

DO buy rain boots. Also buy snow boots. Iowa is very damp.

So there you have it. I pass the wisdom I have gleaned on to you, first-year students, as you prepare for college.

As Always, Your,

Sunday, August 4, 2013

On Enjoyment

I've been reading a book recently called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. The book is essentially one woman's journey to become happier over the course of a year. She doesn't start off the book unhappy or depressed; she just believes that she could, given the opportunity, be happier. Its an interesting read, and one of my favorite chapters discusses her journey to enjoy the things she enjoys more fully and without shame.
This struck a particular chord with me, as I have gone through my life feeling a bit inadequate in my hobbies and activities. Truth be told, I like a lot of very boring things. I like reading. I like watching movies. I enjoy knitting and making tea.
Comparatively, the things I think I would like are very exciting; ice skating, rock climbing, horseback riding. However, after having tried many of these things, I can firmly say that I don't derive much pleasure from them at all. The problem is that I feel like I should. I have friends who do all of these things and enjoy them immensely. Yet, when I try them, I just feel disappointed and annoyed that I talked myself into doing them.
What the book suggests is to enjoy things, partake of hobbies, and not feel bad about liking the things you like. I appreciated that message; it was okay, finally, to not enjoy ice skating, horseback riding, or rock climbing . It was acceptable to enjoy the little, boring things, and not feel ashamed about it.
Now, at the beginning of August, I encourage you, dear reader, to enjoy what you enjoy and not feel bad about it.

As Always, Yours,