It’s a lot harder to update when you don’t remember what to write. Now I have to catch up on the past few weeks if I can remember what was significant.
Thanksgiving Week – obviously seeing family was very life giving. The travel was definitely exhausting (driving from Pennsylvania to Florida, and back), but having the whole family together was great. It was especially great seeing my 4-year-old nephew who says the cutest things these days. We took him to the park, which he insists is everyone’s, and tried to get him to ride down the tunnel slide. He said he was scared because it was dark, then sighed, “I wish I had my light-up shoes.” The most life-taking aspect of break, other than all the work that waited for me when I got back, was hearing of the death of my friend’s dad late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning. It was difficult not knowing what to do or how to respond and feeling like I wasn’t close enough of a friend to be able to comfort her. Continue to pray for that family as this transition is a very difficult one.
The next couple weeks were particularly difficult because of all the work. Some of the biggest projects and papers were due at this time, all at once. And though I have known about these assignments all semester long, I found a way to postpone starting them until the week/weekend before they were due. But I was able to finish everything on time, and I think that feeling of relief was probably the most life-giving aspect. Connecting with friends was another significant part of last week. One friendship in particular has been on the decline, in my opinion, which was terribly frustrating since it is one of the most important friendships to me. After several postponements, I was finally able to meet with that friend to discuss the state of our friendship. I’m feeling hopeful for improvements, though I also feel like it’s a wait-and-see kind of situation. I also got to have dinner with another good friend who I just haven’t seen as often, but still feel particularly close to. It was wonderful catching up and talking about what lies ahead – including a class together next semester!
This past weekend was interesting, but in a good way, I think. Friday was the last day of classes – the end of a VERY long semester for almost everyone. I normally don’t have my advanced graphics class on Fridays, but our deadline was pushed back and we had our crit at our professor’s house. Pretty much a semester’s worth of work building up to this one crit – presenting our final projects and our portfolio. All semester long, I have been waiting for Dave (my prof) to call my work “killer”, which is basically the ultimate compliment. After going through my portfolio, Dave said there was only one thing that needed to be changed – my name label – and once that was fixed, it would be killer. Big smiles. It was a lot of fun, too, to sit around and socialize after the crit. We have begun referring to ourselves as “The Family,” which is what it feels like now. I wouldn’t have imagined feeling this connection with the other graphics students before, but I really appreciate the camaraderie we have. After the crit, I went to Christmas Tradition, which is the winter formal at the Hershey Lodge. Though changing clothes in the bathroom and waiting by myself was a bit awkward, the night was a lot of fun. Having fun and enjoying the company of friends is so much more enjoyable than tracking down dangerously intoxicated students.
Saturday was such a long, but good, day. After 10 hours in the textiles studio, I went to a Christmas party with some friends. Good times and good food had by all. And I got to talk with another party guest, who works for Messiah College, and set up a job for J-term/Spring semester doing some work for the Agape Center website. After we got back to campus, I went back to the textiles studio and worked until 2:30 am finishing my quilt – which isn’t due until tomorrow. I think I have officially crossed over into crazy art major territory.
This week is finals week, though it is surprisingly easy. I only have one exam this semester, which was this morning. I’m fairly confident I did not get an A, but I’m okay with that. I’m really enjoying this free time, though I’m beginning to get a little antsy. I have started to get excited for next semester, too. I spent some time with friends I have had since freshman year, and we are planning all sorts of things to enjoy our final semester – mostly in ways that will remind us of our first year at Messiah. We are planning to reprise our read-aloud of The Suitor, a book we discovered in the library book sale. J-term will also bring knitting circles and read-alouds of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. And we just may repeat our finals week dictator bowling outing, too. Though I’m still a little hesitant to leave this place I have called home for the past four years, I am finding acceptance a little easier with these plans my friends and I have made.