This block was quite difficult at first, since I had just taken an intense, higher level Latin class my previous block. Also, the last time I had heard and put effort into speaking Spanish was July 9th, my last day in Spain – so I was a bit rusty.
Week 1: during the first week of this block, I woke up at 7am everyday. Aside from Honor Council meetings and class projects, Campus Tour Guides meet every first Wednesday to sign up for shifts each new block. It was cold and Cutler Hall was still locked so we waited outside until Campus Safety came to let us in after 8:10am. Luckily the bagels kept and we managed to sign up with a small amount of waiting in between signups. One thing I was happy about was receiving my official Tour Guide name tag – I was hoping for the white one with our class year and hometown listed, but the black one is pretty cool!
Wednesday was a very busy day for me. I signed up for my first group presentation in order to gain some leeway and ease of grading as the first group to present in front of class, but that meant having only 1 afternoon to prepare. Wednesday morning was the tour guide breakfast meeting, and Wednesday after class is the weekly Honor Council meeting. I had a tour at 1pm, so at 2:10pm I finished my tour and started the readings. Luckily we moved our meeting time from 4 to 5pm, but I still was not able to finish all the readings. We managed to finish putting together a presentation by 8pm so I went back to my room to go over my topic once again. I also decided to start my first class essay (which was due Friday).
Our presentation went pretty well, considering the short amount of prep time we were given. Thursday afternoon was quite a busy afternoon since I had a tour at 1pm. After my tour, I immediately went back to my room to continue reading the article I planned on using for my paper. I managed to finish it and highlight the important quotes by 3:30, and rushed to Armstrong Hall to meet with Andrea (my professor) before her 2:30-4pm office hours ended. When I entered her room I was quite happy to meet Charlie, her 6 year old cockapoo (cocker spaniel + poodle mix). He was incredibly friendly and immediately jumped onto my lap when I sat down to show Andrea my rough draft!
Thursday night was a good night because Zak (the Loomis RLC) hosted a hall dinner for 1 North. Melissa (my roommate) and I crashed the party since we will be abroad for our own hall party next semester. Zak made his delicious pasta and meatballs, garlic bread, and salad before showing us a few of his favorite magic tricks using a deck of cards.
Friday was supposed to be a relaxing start to the weekend but I had a breakfast debrief session with some of the Honor Council at Wooglin’s at 8am. I had another tour at 3pm, but due to it being Parents’ Weekend our 5:30pm Honor Council Ad Hoc meeting was postponed to another date. Friday was also the start of chilly weather, and it definitely was in the single digits by early afternoon! I ended Friday with a dinner meeting at Wooglin’s for another Honor Council Ad Hoc – it was a fun and productive meeting, and I can’t wait for our next one!
On Saturday I had an early lunch with Beril. We originally planned on watching the movie The Internship (starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson) after our meal, but we were both too tired so we decided to postpone the movie date.
I had my last tour of the block scheduled for 3pm, and spent the rest of the afternoon watching Prince of Tennis episodes for free on the website kissanime.com. At 5pm I had macaroni and cheese with bacon bits for dinner as usual, since The Preserve has a regular Macaroni and Cheese bar on Saturday nights, but I was a bit hungry at around midnight so I cooked up some spam to go with my (microwaved) rice.
Week 2: this week was quite a busy week for me, outside of class at least. I thankfully did not have any class presentations to prepare for, so for the rest of the week all I did was read the assigned texts. We did not have class on Thursday and I was originally planning on going to the Social Security office in order to apply for my SS number. However, due to the government shutdown the Social Security office was not releasing new cards or replacement cards. I used Thursday to write my 2nd paper for class instead.
Some of the highlights for this week were the beautiful weather, the Honor Council Ad Hoc meetings, and receiving stuff in the mail. The weather this week was a bit chilly, but still quite beautiful and sunny.
Since the application period for new Honor Council members is coming up (3rd block, how time flies!) we council members have been working hard to refine and better the application process. We met up for another Friday meal meeting at Wooglin’s (this time a lunch), and I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with fries. The burger was cooked to perfection!
My last surprise for this week was receiving this wonderful package in the mail! I had originally ordered the Canon stainless steel camera lens coffee/tea mug on mobstub.com, and the expected arrival date was next week. Unfortunately the lens does not twist like its Nikon counterpart, but it does have a sippy cup top, and it keeps my tea hot for quite a long time!
Week 3: this week was pretty busy in terms of class workload and extracurricular activities. I had a class presentation on Thursday, so I was quite happy to find out that our final paper was not due on Friday, but next Wednesday. The topic we presented on was the carnivalesque theme in the movie Xica da Silva, an interesting film about a black slave woman and her rise (and eventual fall) from power in 18th century Brazil. It was a bit confusing since the two article readings were commentaries on the film, and we had yet to see the film itself, but we managed to present our topic just fine. Reading the articles beforehand actually helped me understand the film (which we watched on Friday).
Aside from class work, the past weekend was CC’s Homecoming Weekend. More than 400 families had signed up for campus tours, so instead of signing up for tour slots it was mandatory for tour guides to lead tours during all three tour schedules: 2pm and 4pm on Sunday, and 3:15pm on Monday. It was a bit of a problem for me because at 4pm on Monday we had plans for a guest lecturer to give a speech on his research, but I worked it out with Andreea (my professor) and she gave me permissions to come in a bit late.
Scheduling the tours was a bit of a nightmare because each student had at least one parent with them, so even when we divided students and parents there were still at least twice as many parents. I believe my smallest tour was around 25 people, simply because people who hadn’t signed up for the tours just joined a group. On Monday tour guides were required to come to Bemis Hall at 8am and act as class escorts. They provided a yummy burrito breakfast so I had bacon bits and beef in my burrito, as well as tomato cubes, cheese and sour cream. I also had several slices of sweet cantaloupe, and a couple of glasses of apple juice!
After leading several homecoming tours and acting as a class escort, I was pretty tired and in need of caffeine. I really don’t like the taste of coffee but my friend Isaac recommended a chai. After having a sip of the chai at CC coffee, it has now become my drink of choice when I am in need of a pick-me-up. However, when I tried the dirty chai (chai with a shot of expresso) I decided that a simple chai was enough for me – I did not enjoy the taste of that expresso shot!
Friday was a fun day because one of CC’s student bands, YouJazz, held a mini-concert performance by Worner. I managed to take a quick video to upload on Instagram, but otherwise I just enjoyed the music and the lovely weather while eating my lunch.
The week ended on a good note for me, since Criminal Minds Season 9 had finally been released online. I was able to catch up to the newest couple of episodes, with a new pack of Chips Ahoy as a movie night snack!
To end the week on a high note, on Saturday we had a small version of Puppy Therapy in Loomis. There were 3 puppies (a corgi, a mutt, and a bernese mountain dog) a and a large bowl of popcorn waiting in the Loomis lounge at 8pm. After having a wonderful moment with the puppies, Beril and I had a nice girls night watching The Internship and eating Boulder Canyon original chips while sitting on the couches in the basement.
Week 4: Finals week was hectic as usual. Aside from double the number of pages for our final paper (6-8 instead of the usual 3-4), I only came upon a topic Monday morning. We were expected to bring in a complete draft for peer review on Tuesday, so I was a bit stressed. Luckily I managed to write a paper before 2am so I went to sleep feeling productive. I came to class with my paper ready, only to find out that some people had a paragraph and the rest of their paper was still in bullet points. This made me feel a lot better, although it also made me feel as if I stressed for nothing. Tuesday was crunch time though, and I managed to finish writing the last couple of paragraphs and my conclusion for my final paper by dinner. This left me the rest of the night to edit my two previous papers, so it was a very grumpy Andie that came to class at 10am. Andreea brought yummy muffins and croissants for us, so I had a croissant and a glass of orange juice for breakfast!
Two notable things that happened this week were 1) the sermons of Christians gathered outside Worner, and 2) the availability of Nutella to-go packs in Benji’s. I was walking from class to Worner when I heard the woman and man giving a speech, so I didn’t really pay attention because this sight isn’t that uncommon. One funny moment was when the man was listing out all the groups under the “Warning To All” sign: when the man asked if there were any lesbians on campus, several men walking by yelled “here!” and raised there hands. According to one of my friends who was there live-tweeting quotes, the man called Barbara Walters a whore, and the woman said that women were lesbians because men were pussies and refused to man up. And this is a regular christian sermon, folks…
On a better note, Nutella has always been one of my favorite spreads, so when I found the to-go packs being sold at Benji’s I immediately grabbed one (let’s be honest, I bought three). They came with several small pretzel sticks, so I was reminded of Yan-Yan from the Philippines…although Nutella is 100x better!
This block has been eventful, from 40 pages of reading in Spanish, to puppy therapy in Loomis. Next block will be the last Spanish class I need to take at CC before finishing my Spanish language minor, and I’m glad to be taking The Three Faces of Latin America with some of my Summer in Spain classmates (Trina, Lily, and Nico). I’m also glad that Sal Bizzarro is teaching, since he made the Spanish 306 class in Spain really fun!