A New Quarter Begins!

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After almost 4 months of freedom, tomorrow is my first day back in school. The weather is cooling, it’s getting dark earlier. I have had, quite honestly, the best summer of my entire life. I am happy and feeling positive, if a bit nervous, about the upcoming year.

However, if you read my blog at all you know how much I love to reflect on endings and beginnings. It is basically one of my favorite past-times. So I’ll do this in two parts.

Part 1: How My Summer Went

As previously mentioned, this was a truly amazing summer. I spent the first almost full month doing very little but laying on a couch watching shows and movies. It was a lot of down time but it was pretty desperately needed. The last quarter burned me out quite a lot and I think that I really needed the space to feel like myself again. Also, I got to watch so many shows and movies!

I got to spend so much time with people this summer. I practically lived with David and the Superhero again. They very graciously let me stay at their home… pretty much more often than not, and it was a really wonderful time for me. I have felt so loved and comfortable this summer and it is hard for me to believe it has been over two years since that relationship started. What a crazy thing. Also, I think it gets better all the time, which seems even crazier.

There’s a line in one of the early Anne of Green Gables books where she describes a summer as being perfect, and the days as “slipping by like warm pearl beads off a necklace.” I thought of that phrase often this summer. I am sure I will probably have other excellent summers but I am still very grateful for this one. I got to spend so much time with so many people I love (and meet a few new ones), I got to do fun things and watch so many things. I’ve been so very happy, which has been a strange feeling.

There are things I did not get done. Initially I had planned on learning to play the guitar. I never picked it up from my teacher, that just never worked out. But I’m not writing off the idea — it just didn’t happen this summer and that’s okay. I also had planned to walk more and do more in shape sort of things. But it was hot and I was tired and I really did not do that. I am okay with that as well. The other major thing I had planned to do was to spend the last couple of weeks working on my entrance essay for grad school. I really wish I had done that, but I got pretty overwhelmed when I looked at it and time just got away from me. It is what it is. Doing it during the school year isn’t ideal, but I’ll manage.

There were a lot of things I did do, however. Later in the summer I decided I wanted to cook pork and David and I did a lot of cooking together. That was exciting. Even though, if I’m honest, I often just drank and watched him do a lot of cooking. I think probably I could replicate it? It was fun anyway.

I am currently over 300 movies for the year. That wasn’t my initial goal (actually that had originally been my goal for the entire year) but when I realized how much I was getting through over the summer, I figured I would try to make sure I hit at least 300 by the end of summer, in the hopes that I could be to at least 365 by the end of the year. I am currently at 322, so I don’t think it’ll be a problem. A few of the best I’ve seen this year so far have included Cinema Paradiso, Departures, After Tiller, Bernie, and It Follows.

I also read a lot! I was pretty pleased about that. My goal for the year was 50 books and I am at 48. I read almost nothing during the quarter that isn’t for school but I should be able to make up 2, so that seems like time well spent. And I read some really excellent things. I particularly recommend Empress Dowager Cixi by Jung Chang, Missoula by Jon Krakauer, and Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher. I particularly do not recommend Grey by E.L. James… but probably you could have guessed that.

It’s been a very good summer. I could talk about other things but I think we’ll stick with that for now.

Part 2: Plans for Fall

So while I am not exactly chomping at the bit to get back into school, I will say that I am looking forward to my life being organized again. This has been such a wonderful few months but I feel like I have rarely been anywhere for more than a few days at a time and it has all felt very on the go. That has been good for me but I’m ready to have a set schedule again and I’m excited to get to plan it. This quarter a schedule will be incredibly important because of my 16 credits, 6 of them are Independent Study, so I will really need to be on the ball.

I have one class each day Monday through Thursday. They all start at either 12 or 1, but I think my plan will be to get to the school between 10 and 10:30 each day and do some work there. I had a spot in the lounge where I was fairly comfortable last quarter. I rarely tried to get actual school done there, but I’m going to give it a shot and see if that works. If not, I’ll have to try to find a new place. I’m still going to take Thursday afternoon/evening and Friday off because I definitely need time for my brain.

Aside from school, or sometimes in conjunction with, I have a few other plans.

One of the things I have been thinking about a lot is keeping up with the news. Right now I am actively playing with ways to do that, including a few websites apps, and an email service called Skimm’d. I am going to work on remaining more informed. Which is hard, but the best one can do is try.

A new friend has been very encouraging about me maybe trying out for some things or joining up with some things at the school this year. Which I kept thinking I would do last year and then felt too busy but perhaps I should just make the time? After all, this is probably the only chance I will get for some of these things. I’m going to try to be more open to activities is I guess what I’m saying.

I will use the cookbook that David made for me, even though he doesn’t believe me. When I have loans again I’m going to start working through it and discovering new things. I will probably never like to cook (especially not alone) but I do really like to eat food so maybe I can just grit my teeth and find things I like.

I think those are most of my big plans! Not as many as I had for the summer, since obviously my main focus will be on school. I’m also pondering study nooks and how you make such a thing, I’m trying to figure out how to make a system that ensures I’ll waste less food, I’m planning out a whole new year of television… but you know. For the most part, that’s what I’m focusing on right now.

We will see what I have to say about all of it come December.

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