I Think I’m Gonna Like it Here

Hello everyone!

It is a beautiful, yet horribly cold, morning here at Doane campus. The line at the coffee shop is stretched halfway across campus, everywhere you look you can see bags from the bookstore or packages from Amazon, and students are out and about before 10. It can all add up to only one thing: Spring Classes have officially started.

I’ve just gotten out of my first class: Advanced Writing. When I first signed up for this course, I wasn’t sure what to expect. As much as I love to write, I hate discussing the technicalities and rules involved, and I wasn’t looking forward to having to write a bunch of  formal essays or papers. I was very pleasantly surprised when I came to class today.

From what I can gather from the first day, this class is going to be awesome. Each student gets to pick a genre to focus on for the semester, be it fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, or academic writing. We will write and share and critique each others’ writing in a casual, constructive atmosphere. The theory side of things will focus less on the rules of writing and more on why an author would choose to write a certain way or about a certain topic. I think I’m gonna like it here.

Now here’s to the rest of my classes today (Modern American Literature, Intro. to Fiction, and Choir) being just as awesome. If not, well, at least I will start my day in a good mood. 🙂

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Thankful Thursday: MEGA EDITION!!!

Okay, so as you may or may not have noticed, in the last couple months I have not been keeping up with my weekly Thankful posts. Like, at all. To make up for it (at least a little) I’ve decided that this edition of Thankful Thursday will be MEGA SIZED!!!! In other words, I will list 10 things I’m grateful for instead of three.

#1. Christmas Break

Christmas break gave me much needed time away from class work, and I even got to go home for a week over Christmas and spend time with the family. It was really great to see everyone, and I even got to spend some quality time with my dog. 🙂

#2. Christmas at Grandma’s

My grandma hosts a Christmas every year about halfway through January. This year I was able to go up the night before and help her get ready. I found out that I am related to a bunch of famous people throughout history, most notably: Julius Caesar, the Rockefellers, and a handful of Popes. I also realized that this was the first time she and I were able to hang out one on one, ever.

#3. Interterm Class

Doane has done this weird thing where instead of jumping right into spring semester after Christmas break, we do a three-week interterm class. Class lasts about three hours long every day and is worth 3 credits. It’s usually a fairly interesting class that isn’t offered any other time of the year. This was the last year Doane’s having interterm, so I decided to go with the Psychology of Evil. It was a really interesting class. We tried to get into the minds of murderers, thieves, gang members, and all around ‘bad guys’. The focus was to try to determine if it would be possible for any ‘ordinary person’ to be put in a situation that would cause them to commit even the worst evil acts.

#4. The End of Interterm

As much as I loved my interterm class, it was time for it to end. It was at 9 am every day, and I had to have a paper written for just about every class. Today was the last day of class. It’s time for a change.

#5. Vending Machines

Since my class went from 9-12 every morning and we got a break halfway through, my breakfasts have been courtesy of the basement vending machine. Usually a Mountain Dew and a bag of Crunchy Cheetos. Breakfast of Champions, don’t ya think? I actually loved it. Kudos to whoever it is that keeps them fully stocked. You got me through my class. 🙂

#6. Warm Weather

I live in Nebraska, and for those of you who don’t know, this is a magical place where all four seasons can peacefully coexist in the span of a single week, sometimes, a day. This means that in addition to days with a -30 degree wind chill (not even exaggerating), we get the occasional 40-50 degree day. These are the days I am grateful for. They are a small reminder that spring is on its way, and eventually all will be right with the world once more.

#7. Jake’s Family

Jake and I have been spending a lot of time at his house and with his family. They are amazing. I am so grateful for them and their hospitality. We watch Netflix, do homework, or play cards with Jake’s little brothers. It is also so nice to get a home-cooked meal a couple of nights a week.

#8. Reese’s Cupcakes

I found a box mix for Reese’s cupcakes. They are delicious. That is all.

#9. Netflix

Ahh Netflix. Hours of entertainment, taker of souls, thief of free time…

#10. Jake

In the short time that we’ve known each other, Jake has easily become one of my best friends. We keep each other (relatively) sane, and he keeps me on task. He is the voice in my head (or on my phone) that tells me I need to do my homework, or work on my book, or write a blog post. Without him this blog wouldn’t exist and my grades would have been a lot worse.

Top 5 Reasons I Love My Job

I work at an after school program for middle-schoolers, and though I may complain about it I do really love my job. Here are just a few of the reasons why.

#5. Free food

We have this tradition, that whenever one of the clubs makes food, they make enough for the rest of the teachers. This results in anything from cookies, to pies, to pizza, which is great, even if they are sometimes questionably made. 🙂 We also occasionally do dinners for the kids, including a Thanksgiving Dinner which included turkey, stuffing, and all the trimmings for us and the kids.

#4. Good discussions

Last week I had a half hour discussion on the literary criticisms and qualifications of Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight. I was talking to three 12-year-old girls. I never prouder of them than I was when they were able to give concise, well thought out reasons that Harry Potter is a much better book series than Twilight.

#3. It’s an excuse to be creative 

I usually run a craft club, and it has given me the opportunity to try out all of the projects I have pinned on my pinterest boards. 🙂 The coolest thing though, is how creative the kids are. I can give them the basic structure of a project, and they will take it in a totally different direction than I was thinking, and the finished product is way better than I could ever have imagined.

#2. I paid to act silly

One of my favorite things about my job is that I get to act like a middle-schooler. I get to play card games and foursquare, watch spongebob and Disney movies, and sing silly songs for absolutely no reason. AND I’m getting paid!

#1. Kids are honest 

The thing about working with kids is that they tend not to have a filter. At all. Though this can, and does, get them in trouble, I find it very refreshing. Whether it’s good (“You sing really good.”) or bad (“You were prettier before you dyed your hair. I don’t like it.”) you know what they are telling you the truth.

A Very Thankful Thursday

Happy Thankful Thursday everyone!!!! And this week I actually mean it! Today marks the end of finals week, and the end of this semester of school. Hopefully this means that I will be back to posting every day. Anyway, here are three of the things that I am thankful for.

#1. Pizza Party

For my last final of the week, my Public Speaking class, the professor decided to surprise us with Pizza Hut pizza. This was already my favorite class of the semester, and it was a perfect way to end the semester.

#2. Supernatural

I have been a Supernatural fan for many years. I have just recently got Jake hooked, and so now I have an excuse to rewatch the entire series yet again. (Not that that’s stopped me before, but still.)

#3. TFIOS

A couple weeks ago I was shopping with my grandpa at a bookstore. I was looking through the John Green books, (sometimes Nerdfighters stick awesome notes in them), when I came across a SIGNED COPY OF THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. I am not ashamed to have done a little happy dance in the store. My grandpa bought it for me as an early Christmas gift. It was just about the greatest thing anyone could have gotten me this year. The only thing that could have made it better was if it had been a Hanklerfish copy. (One in which Hank Green also drew an anglerfish next to John’s signature.)

Top 5 Best Things I’ve Seen in a College Classroom

Here at Doane I have seen a lot of weird things, both in classrooms and out. Here is a list of some of the most awesome things I have seen.

5. Snapchat

We were doing an experiment in my science class where we were measuring the acceleration of a student rolling down a ramp on a wheeled cart. The guy who was supposed to hold the cart at the top of the ramp was doing so with one hand while on his phone with the other. When asked what he was doing he replied matter-of-factly, “I’m Snapchatting.”

4. Yarn

In many classes on many occasions, I have seen multiple students crocheting and/or knitting during class. I have been one of them.

3. Facebook Stories

One day, in a particularly boring Shakespeare class, I looked around the room and saw just about every student was on Facebook, either on their laptop, tablet or smartphone. I got on Facebook after class and saw the following status/conversation, entirely from my fellow classmates:

Student 1: It’s Only Two O’Clock? A play written by [Professor’s] Shakespeare Class
  • Student 2: Memoirs of a Collectively Shared Depression.
  • Student 1: With such rousing essays as “What the Heck is a Construct” and “Can’t We Just Watch the Movies?”
  • Student 3: Along with Walking Out of the Class as a debatable topic.
  • Student 4: Don’t forget to grab a coffee during intermission! Seriously though…you’ll need it
  • Student 1: A monologue entitled “YES I REALLY DO WANT THREE SHOTS OF ESPRESSO”
  • Student 4: And the heart-wrenching scene where the heroine can’t decide whether to hide in the bathroom for the rest of the hour or be brave and return to the hell of CM 02
  • Student 1: Stick around for the stunning conclusion “I Still Don’t Know What’s Going On”
  • Student 5:  I’m just surprised there isn’t a class within a class within a class.

This wasn’t the first or last time this has happened.

2. Sing-Alongs

My freshman year I had to take a music theory class as part of a scholarship. The class was filled with mostly music majors, and the was a piano in the room. On more than one occasion, someone would start playing a song, others would start singing, and before long the entire class was harmonizing and/or drumming along. I lived in a real life musical, and it was great.

1. Machine Guns

In one Stagecraft class, the entire class was going over a test we had recently taken. I happened to look across the room and saw my friend, who was Prop Master for the upcoming play, casually painting the tip of a machine gun, with an entire arsenal at his feet.

Top 5 Reasons Not to Have Class

Today was our last day before Thanksgiving break. I think most students can agree that that last day goes just about the longest, especially those afternoon classes. Here is a list of my reasons why some of my classes just shouldn’t have happened.

#1. Half the class isn’t here anyway.

#2. The other half wishes they had skipped too.

#3. It won’t do much good to teach us something new right before a 5 day break.

#4. Some students have long drive home.

#5. Let’s face it, you don’t want to be here any more than us.

Harry Potter, Politics, and High School Speech Meets

Yay! It’s my first My Life Monday! The day where I get to tell you more about me!!

Every day I spend the lunch hour sitting in the campus coffee shop in a circle of couches, surrounded by music and theatre majors.

Theatre (and music) kids, in my opinion, are the best friends you can have. I have found that they are about the most accepting, eclectic, and crazy people (on our campus, at least). Our conversations can range from normal, to philosophical, to ranting, to humorous, to alarmingly inappropriate and back again all in a span of five minutes or less.

Most of us have competed in high school speech, and many are judges now, so today we had a 20 minute discussion on what poems, programs, and scripts work in competitive speech, and which ones should just never see the light of day again. Meanwhile, I was crocheting on one couch while someone else was knitting. Several people were on tumblr and would occasionally interrupt someone to share a particularly funny gif with everyone. People left and people joined, but the flow of conversation never ceased.

And then suddenly we were on the topic of Harry Potter.

I  love that I have the type of friends that not only know exactly which Hogwarts House they are in, but can seriously discuss the pros and cons of each, then seamlessly shift into a friendly debate over the current American political system.

I never know what I’m going to hear in conversations. We are equally likely to discuss the thematic and symbolistic meaning behind a specific character in a play or novel as we would be to have a dead baby joke competition.

I love my lunch hours with my friends, because I know whatever I say or do I will be accepted.