Well, here we are on the last week of classes. I have a total of 4 classes left to attend before exams and summer begin. It’s CRAZY to think about! We have reading day on Thursday and then my first exam is bright and early on Friday morning. I only have one real, sit down exam this semester. I will also have one seminar and one essay that replace the final for classes and then I head home for a little bit. I am so excited for summer! I spend a week at home after my final seminar and then I am off to Rockbridge for Intervarsity’s summer camp! Ater I get back from Rockbridge, I have one day before I leave for Ireland. I am incredibly excited about both of these trip. I get back from Ireland in Mid July and my best friend who I haven’t seen since January will be picking me up! Then I will spend the rest of my summer split between Raleigh and Burlington, reading and catching up with friends. It is going to be an amazing summer! I hope you have wonderful, exciting, and restful plans as well! As this is my last real week on campus, I won’t be blogging for a little while. See you in August!
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…for the crook. Something that Meredith is known for is TRADITIONS! We have tons of them. There are traditions that are for everyone each year and there are some traditions specifically for each year. Well, one tradition for junior year is the crook hunt. Crook? like a burglar? no, not like a burglar. It’s actually a shepherd’s crook. The senior class hides it and the junior class has a week to find it. Well we are over half way through that week. No luck yet, but my class is going strong looking for it. We are sent clues each morning that are supposed to help us in our looking but we are just tearing a part the whole campus even with the clues. The clues for our hunt have all been quotes from Alice in Wonderland.
Study abroad is a really big deal here at Meredith. A high percantage of each graduating class has studied abroad. This could look just about like anything. I had a friend who went to Denmark for 6 weeks last summer, another friend who studied in Australia over fall semester, a friend who went to Germany for a year, and my roommate is currently in Bath, England. This summer, I have a friend going to China and a friend going to Argentina and I will be spending three weeks in Limerick, Ireland. I just bought my plane ticket last week and I am so excited. I will be studying at the University of Limerick as an international student and will hopefully be taking a class on creative writing. Meredith College has really prepared me to go on this wonderful adventure and has even provided me with a wonderful woman who has helped me and will continue to help me along the way. My study abroad advisor, Liz, has been incredible helpful. She helped me figure out where I wanted to go and what I wanted to study when all I knew to start out with was I wanted to go… somewhere… anywhere. Three weeks in Ireland will be an amazing adventure. It is especially cool for me because I can trace both sides of my family back to Ireland. So I will be returning to my roots in a sense. It’s the summer before my Senior year of college and I am so blessed to get to start it off with a bang.
That’s a key phrase that every Meredith freshman hears continuosly throughout her first year on campus. It can be frustrating when you just want to know what an event is all about but at the same time, it is completely true! Well, this past Saturday a hundred or so high school seniors got to do just that, at Experience Meredith. I was fortunate enough to be on both sides of this event in a way. I had the opportunity to stand at the table for my group, Intervarsity as well as spend part of the day with a friend and futue angel. It was great to get the chance to talk to people about a group that I love, see the excitement of my friend and many other girls, and remember back to when I was a senior in high school exploring my soon to be home. That’s what Meredith is, it’s more than just a college but it’s a home and a family and it was great to get a glimpse of the class of 2016 who will be joining that family in just a few months!
I headed to Burlington on Friday afternoon to spend the weekend at home. While going home just to go home is perfectly acceptable, this was not one of those times. My grandmother celebrated her 94th birthday on Sunday. I spent most of the weekend either coughing from the massive amounts of pollen I seem to be inhaling or helping my mom pull together a big family gathering to celebrate. My grandmother has 3 children, 14 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren (with several marriages added into that mix) so she has a pretty substantial family. We tried to gather everyone together but I’m sure you can imagine how difficult getting that many people together on the same day could be! We did have a really great turn out and it was a lot of crazy, chaotic fun. My wonderful grandmother told us, “I am turning 94 years old today. You can’t tell me I’m not getting old.” I hope to have that view when I’m 94, that I am just starting to get old. And I hope when I have that realization I will be surrounding by a whole ton of family who love and care about me. It was awesome to see everyone and get to spend time with my family but Sunday night came quickly and it was time to come back to Raleigh. I love my family but I missed my roommates, friends, and my beautiful, quiet campus.
Every year, Meredith Recreation Association hosts a Lil Friends Weekend. This is basically every chicld between the ages of 4 and 12′s dream. It is a fun packed event that is completely focused around giving your lil friend attention at all times. It’s absolutely crazy! This year’s theme was Mission: Outer Space. I get kind of a unique persepctive on the event because not only do I help plan and prepare for it as a part of Meredith Recreation Association, I also always bring my niece: Kaelyn. My mother got into town around 4:30 on Friday and we ran a fun errands and grabbed dinner and around 7 Kae and I were waving her off. We procceeded to the dance party to dance and eat lots of snacks. We then decided to skip the movie that they were showing because Kaelyn was not interested in Space Jam so we went back to my apartment and watched A Cinderella Story instead. Kaelyn and the other little girl staying with us, Hadley. Finally fell asleep around 10 which is good because we had a long day ahead of us. Saturday, started off with doughnuts for breakfast followed by a performance by the Aqua Angels. The age groups then rotated between swimming, arts&crafts, a secret mission to the moon, and lunch. I was not only a “big friend” but a group leader for the older kids. After the first set of rotations, we had a second set of rotations which were a bouncy obstacle course, face painting, and field games. The day concluded at 3:45 and boy was I exhausted. Kaelyn and all the other lil friends had a fabulous time and Kae was not ready to go home. We went and got some ice cream and then she left with my mom. I sure could have fallen asleep right then but who sleeps in college, right? I had a birthday dinner and babysitting to attend to after she left. What a busy fun packed weekend.
Last week was Spring Break at Meredith College so what a better way to spend it than teaching in Belize! The Chaplain, Stacy, took a group of ten (including herself) to Cahal Pech, Belize for a week. We left very early Saturday morning, I was at the airport by 5:30, and we arrived in Belize around 1pm local time. It was an amazing experience. Sunday, we started off our trip with a little hike through the rain forest and some cave tubing (oh you know, no big deal!). It was BEAUTIFUL!!! and so much fun! We also went to a church service that night done by a local pastor and his family. It was done in Spanish but was translated by the pastor’s oldest daughter. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday were spent working at Faith Nazarene School. I worked with Standard Five. They were ages 11-15, but mostly 13 years old. I worked with them on multiplication facts, writing, grammar, and reading comprehension. It was really cool to see how a classroom in a different country works. I definitely experienced culture shock inside of the classroom. I was able to teach a lesson, grade a bunch of papers, work one on one with some students, and help host a writing workshop. So cool! It was hard to leave on Friday! What about Wednesday? you might be wondering, Well, Wednesday was the presidential election in Belize which means it was a holiday and no school or work. (I most definitely think election day should be a holiday in the states!) So, we traveled to Guatemala and toured Tikal, an ancient Mayan ruin site. SO COOL! The temples were terrifying to be on but the view was gorgeous! We spent our nights debriefing, relaxing, planning, hanging out, or at the church. It was such a great trip and opportunity. I could have spent my break relaxing on my couch but getting to go serve in another country will be much more memorable. It was unBELIZEable.
One of the great things about Meredith is that there are constantly events on campus. You can go watch a movie in the courtyard with friends, or listen to a lecture by a popular author, or view a student art gallery, or hear a famous pianist play their most popular concerto. This past week, the big event on campus was The Sound of Music put on by the Meredith Ensemble Theater. Now, I know you are probably thinking: there are pretty important male roles in that performance, how does that work at an all women college. Well, that is something really cool about these kinds of performances. It’s not just Meredith students. You have current students, alumna, faculty, and staff performing along with NC State students and local students. Dr. Roten performed the lead of Captain Von Trapp and his precious daughter played the youngest Von Trapp, Gretel. There were other children from local elementary and high schools playing the other Von Trapp children. One of my friends from NC State played Rolf, Liesel’s love interest. It was so cool to see this performance. They all did such a great job. It was funny and engaging and had a little bit of audience participation. It was also really cool seeing classmates and friends on stage doing something that they love. It was awesome to hear about the long, late night practices for so long and then to finally see the final product. If you love to perform, act, sing, or just really like watching a good play; then Meredith definitely has a place for you.
Valentine’s Day! Some people find it to be a really big deal while others think that it is completely pointless. I rest somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. I kind of like celebrating Valentine’s Day but I just like celebrating holidays in general. My boyfriend is in Roanoke Rapids which is an hour and a half away from Raleigh. SO we did not spend Valentine’s day together. I instead got invited on the singles outing within my group of friends, which is awesome because I never get invited on “singles night” even if I don’t have other plans. I worked Tuesday night so when I got off at 8, we started calling restaurants to see who might have an opening. No surprise, a lot of places were booked solid but Friday’s had no wait! Spectacular! We had a great time and the food was amazing! It was really quiet there, I guess it’s not quite fancy enough to be a hot spot for Valentine’s Day. We ended up going back to my apartment and watching a movie (I admittedly worked on homework during the movie) which was a great end to a wonderful night with friends. Ben will come up this weekend and we have plans to go to The Melting Pot, which is so exciting because I have never been! I hope you had an excellent night as well and got to spend some time with your loved ones!
I am a complete trend follower especially when it concerns the internet. I had my Myspace in late middle and early high school and then I moved on to Facebook. I’m on Pinterest and obviously I have a blog. I have a Hulu account and I tried out Netflix for a while. And of course I am an avid promoter of Google. I avoided Twitter for the longest time because I didn’t understand it and I didn’t really see the point to it but I have finally waived and I am now on Twitter, or as my father likes to call it the tweeter. Now, I am still new to it and I still don’t really understand it but I have been told it is incredible and with my smart phone there is no reason not to Twitter. So I am giving it a shot. I almost feel overloaded with social media outlets and the internet tends to bog me down sometimes. However; they are so incredibly useful! I can connect with friends who live in Guatemala or are studying abroad in England. I will be able to keep everyone updated on what is happening while I am studying abroad this summer! I can catch up on recipes and cute crafts. I can watch my shows that I love when it is convenient for me. I can look up anything I have a question about instantly. And now I can “follow” the news, my favorite teams, and even my college on a regular basis. So while the internet can drag me down, have negative effects on my use of time, and hurt my eyes (from looking at a screen for too long) it is definitely heavily weighted on the pro- side of my pro- con- list and I am so glad to live in and go to college in an era where information is literally at my fingertips any time I want to just flip open my lap top or whip out my iPhone.