Friday the 13th marks the last day of class for the semester before we head into finals. This weekend will be taxing, but from what I’ve already been through, it’s nothing new. I will be spending most of it writing my senior paper, at least so I have research and a complete draft done by the time I head home Thursday. My thoughts are garbled because I spent the last two nights also writing papers for different classes. Last time I wrote, I had my big seminar paper on my plate. I turned that in right after Thanksgiving. Then I had a paper for Rhetoric on the play Henry V and one for Renaissance Lit on the play The Duchess of Malfi. It was tough, but I think it all turned out okay. My seminar paper is graded and waiting for me in my professor’s office. So it’s time to hit the library some more. Within the last three weeks, I have written 32 pages of scholarly analysis and research. That’s the most I’ve ever done in my life. It truly was the semester of the paper. I must say, I believe that writing a paper to conclude a class is a better way to sum up what you have learned than taking a test. Many professors here agree with that, and I’ve appreciated that. However, many others give both a big paper and a test. Imagine how I feel about that. I admit that I’ve spoiled myself for my whole life, accomplishing more than I should have for the effort I’ve put into things. Maybe that’s because I’ve only put in the maximum effort on the things that deserved it. I mean, I never worked very hard in music theory and ear training. Those classes were a relief compared to the brutal Honors Core. But the semester of the paper is at its end, and I will move onto writing a play.
I spent this evening hanging out with a few friends, a Christmas party of sorts. We drank hot chocolate and played charades – a good way to de-stress. Tomorrow we are having a Symphony Orchestra social, and Sunday a Chips staff party at our faculty advisor’s house. Professors here have the nicest homes! It’s a perk of being a small-town college student that they invite students over so frequently. So I will certainly not be without support.
Last time I was talking about the Macklemore concert – it has already been a month and a half since that happened, after I spent the summer anticipating it. I barely remember it now, or maybe I’m just too tired to try. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain came, and our orchestra run-out in Mahtomedi went very well, as did our concert here. We also just played Christmas at Luther, the college’s biggest performance of the year. While very time-consuming, which was not appreciated for many of us, it has brought so much joy to my life over the past four years. Playing along with choirs is a transcendent experience. I’m always going to be an orchestra person first and foremost, but I have a deep love for choir. As Dr. Baldwin tells us often, Christmas at Luther would not be the wonder that it is without LCSO. I’m more than thankful for the opportunity.
This week also marked the final issue of Chips for the semester. Our staff is going to look much different in the spring – I will be working with a new co-news editor, and we’ll have two fresh faces in the office on Monday and Tuesday nights. I will be working on the magazine over January term, writing a story and editing the Current Events section. This means I won’t lose the InDesign fluency I have built up over the semester! Being the news editor is pretty fabulous. I’m ready to keep it going!
The weather has turned to winter, if you haven’t noticed. It’s been a gradual change from the beginning of September when I arrived. It wasn’t hot for very long after I got here, and the darkness has been more striking than in most years. Darkness and cold mean a greater struggle for me… Thank God spring will begin to show its face upon returning from winter break. I went home for Thanksgiving this year, which was nice, but meant I was not nearly as productive as I needed to be. No regrets, though. It was just a brief rest – at Christmas, when I have no papers to worry about, I will make my rounds of people I need to visit. That includes you, Patch!
It’s only 10 o’clock and I’m already falling asleep. I think I will just go read for awhile and watch some TV. Then in the morning… time to hit the books.
Cheers, and good luck on juries and finals.