Published January 20, 2011
I got back to Texas 9 days ago. Within those nine days it has been anywhere between 72 and 18 degrees outside. Today, my first day back to school, the high is supposed to be 38. In WA, January is gray, rainy and between 30 and 45 degrees. Texas, you need to work on wintertime. I don’t need snow, but I would like to NOT be able to walk outside in a t-shirt and shorts and feel warm.
I do appreciate all the sun. In Seattle November-March the sky is gray, and it is ALWAYS raining. But not always the same. If you have ever watched the weather for Seattle you would notice the many different rain verbs. Drizzle, spitting rain, light mist, down pour, plain rain etc. Hey, you work with what you have.
Published January 18, 2011
Spring Semester 2011. Its go time baby!
Second semester of grad school. This is where the separate the graduate students from the wannabees.
This is what I am calling my “in-between year”. I don’t graduate this year or get married (both happening in 2012), I won’t be moving to a new state, or starting a new job/school. So what? I will be working on graduating, planning a wedding, wondering why I chose to go to grad school and plan a wedding at the same time, I will be moving to Canyon during the summer, I will be finding a job over the summer.
I did just turn 24 however (Jan 3) which means this is my last year before I am what I would consider an adult. 25 for me is the cutoff. At 25 you are 1/4 of a decade, or the even more shocking one.. Halfway to 50. YIKES. I will be graduating at 25 and getting married. Two HUGE things. Gah. That freaks me out a little. So, 2011, you will be my enjoyment year. Be glad you aren’t actually done with school, you don’t have a real-person job, you aren’t getting married and you still can drink till 2 and sleep till noon.
Published December 3, 2010
Dear End of the Semester,
This is Allison, a female whom you have had many relations with. I would just like to note how extra horrible you are being to me this season. I have always done what you have asked on time, and without question. And because of my impeccable punctualness and non-abrasiveness, you have rewarded me with great grades. Except for this year. I am over you. I am done with your desire for me to explain why we are through with pages and pages of BS. I need a break, at least a month. Its not you, its me. I promise to try better, to work harder and to do it all with a smile on my face next semester.
I was told that the people I will be friends with forever I would meet in college. I was told I would find my husband in college, and that I would find myself. I am sure each of you have been told that by someone before, and either rolled your eyes, or let your heart bounce at the thought of something so life-changing.
All those people were right. However, they neglected to tell me that in doing all of these things, my heart would break. Now, before you become saddened by my tale, let me explain.
Religion, sex, drinking, politics, picking your major, moving on your own, turning 21 etc. All of this happens in college. You have choices. You decide when to go to bed, when to study, if you want to get up on Sunday to go to church, if you are ready to give away your virginity, if you want to try the beer you are being offered. Each of these choices defines you, they shape who you are going to become. This is not to say that if you drink once, you are going to become and alcoholic, rather, it is saying that YOU made the choice, and this choice reflects something on you.
I want you to know how crucial college is, how lucky you are to be here, and how important it is to do stupid things, to be friends with the girl who wears black all the time, to take the philosophy class even though you swear you want to be an accounting major and to stay up all night writing a paper because you were too busy last weekend playing flashlight tag on campus. I want you to know how much these 4 years will change you. How the people you be-friended will leave, will stay, will die, will change, will be part of you forever.
I met my fiance in college. I found my love of writing in college. I realized how important my freedom of speech is in college. I found out god did not exist in college. (do not argue, this is ME, not YOU) I became a better daughter in college. I became Allison in college.
Enjoy! Spend all night making out with a cute boy/girl. Move into an apartment with 3 other girls and one bathroom, change majors, forget to call home, remember to go to church. Learn who you are without your parents. Embrace feeling uncomfortable. From the bottom of my heart, college has been the best time of my life, promise to make it the same for yourself.
I love this time of year. I always have, and even though I am in Texas where there are almost no leaves, no crisp frozen smell in the air, and no crunch when I walk in the grass, I am still loving it.
This will be my first Thanksgiving without my parents or brother. I suppose this is the epitome of growing up. Spencer is in California, I in Texas and my rents back home in Washington. However, with this first without, there is a first with. Colin and I get our first Thanksgiving together. We are driving to Dallas for a few days to spend hours stuffing ourselves with my cousin, his wife and little boy, and his in-laws. (Ok, we are not stuffing ourselves WITH the people, but next to them. My antecedents in this sentence came out all wrong.) I am thrilled. Mostly because I don’t have to cook, but also because I haven’t spent much time with my cousin, and it would be weird not to be with some family on Thanksgiving.
I can’t wait to be home! This is where my words of wisdom for incoming freshman emerge. Nothing is better than being away from home for weeks (or months for me) and walking in your front door/garage door/backdoor/whatever to the smells, warmth and sounds that a home brings. I swear to you, leaving home and then returning does AMAZING things for your emotional ties with where you come from.
I want my freshly made bed, brightly lit bathroom, incredibly comfortable couch, horrible joke-filled brother and doting mother so bad I can taste it. Home-cooked meals wouldn’t be bad either 🙂
As my weekend draws to a close, and another tissue gets blown into and then thrown into my garbage bag of nose-candy, I reflect on what the weekend means to each individual on their own path towards post-high school education.
The Freshman: For those of you at WT I would think this is when you go to the gym, have dorm-dance parties, stay up late watching Netflix instant movies and even doing homework. Most of you probably attend some kind of worship ceremony on Sunday as well. I never did that as a freshman so I refer back to my previous sentence.
The Sophomore: You have learned that weekends are for catching up on the sleep you missed, going back home to have your mother do your laundry and cook you dinner, and also to stay up late going to dine at Ihop with your friends. You go to bed between 3-6am and wake up between 12-2 pm.
The Junior: You are now able to move off campus so your weekends are spent drinking, being hung-over, and curing your hang-over by drinking more. Your Sunday is spent cleaning up the mess you made over the weekend and staying up late finishing all the homework you didn’t do. Aderall becomes your Sunday drug of choice that you get from your ADD friends you met during your Saturday night party.
The Senior: There are two of you. The “I don’t give a shit about school anymore” and the “Holy shit I am graduating and need to finish my thesis/experiment/project/etc.” You spend your weekends either drinking, or spending the night in the library. Either way, you don’t get much sleep.
The Graduate Student: Your weekends are spent wondering what happened to your weekends. You thought this was catch up time, even though you spend all day Saturday catching up. You realize that in order to finish everything you need to do by the end of the semester you will either need to add 7 more hours to each day, or only sleep 3-5 hours per night. Since neither seem possible, you end up stressing yourself out to the point of making yourself sick. So instead of a catch up weekend, you have a lay in bed all day drinking juice and crunching DayQuil weekend where you slightly remember writing 1/4 of your final paper and have dreams that involve zombies and wedding cake. You wake up Sunday with a headache, a slight fever and the horrible realization that you will most likely be sick for an entire week; the same week you are supposed to present, finish your paper, and teach extra classes for other faculty.