No time to sleep…

… as Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson frequently says. Of course, it’s break, so there’s plenty of time to sleep, but not for the Seahawks, who are playing in the SUPER BOWL on Sunday! :DDDDD I haven’t written on here since the NFL playoffs began… clearly, it went well for them. They beat their biggest rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, in the NFC Championship game almost 2 weeks ago and will play for the title. It’s so exciting for all of us Washingtonians – everywhere you look, there’s a number 12 hung up or painted somewhere. In Washington, that is. Not here in Decorah. :/ Hopefully within the next couple days, I can change that…

But enough about sports. J-term ended yesterday, if you can believe it. The month was solid all the way around. I got a lot of work done on my senior paper, which has taken longer than I’d hoped it would, but I had good reasons for that. I intend to wrap it up in the first couple weeks of spring semester and pour all my focus into the play I’m going to write about Sir Winston Churchill. I’m doing some research on him over break as well because I can’t wait any longer to get started! I’m so excited! I chose Churchill because I believe he resembles Henry V more closely than any other British figure in the 20th century in terms of personality and reputation among the people. They still love Hal over there, and of course Sir Winston too. He was Queen Elizabeth II’s first prime minister – not a bad situation, to learn from someone who carried your nation through the Second World War! I watched the movie The Queen today (Helen Mirren plays Her Majesty) as inspiration for how I might go about writing this. The movie depicts the royal family’s reaction to Princess Diana’s death in 1997 and provides some insight into their relationship with her and how that forced them to “modernize” and relate to their people better. From the popularity of Will and Kate and Harry today, I would say they did well at that. So, we’ll see what Sir Winston teaches me beyond what Henry V already has.

You may have heard about this “polar vortex” that has been gripping most of the country for the last month or so. It has incited temperatures in the -20s (Farenheit), with windchills around -50, fresh snowfalls a couple times per week, and winds that blow the snow around so you can’t walk outside without getting blinded. I am NOT acclimatized to this. My friends in Seattle have escaped this nonsense, fortunately. I get mad when I check the weather and see that it’s 50 degrees there, but then I remember how bad people there are at dealing with those sorts of things. So I’m grateful they don’t have to. Plus, now I’m acclimatized enough that 20 degrees feels warm to me, which is the coldest it ever gets in the Northwest.

While trying to avoid this cold over J-term, I spent my time taking a class in Africana Women Writers, in which I read books and short stories by African-American, Caribbean, and African women. It was quite the experience in the best way. I chose to take it because I knew it would help me become a more well-rounded feminist, something I have to work on every day. This class introduced me to some voices that I think everyone needs to hear to become a better human being. We don’t realize the privileges that we each have and how those privileges often hurt others. I’m very glad I took it, and I encourage all of you to seek out opportunities to learn about people you don’t think you can relate to. You’d probably be proven wrong.

I also spent an hour and a half a day rehearsing with Symphony Orchestra, learning Brahms’ 1st Symphony in C minor, Mussorgsky’s “The Fair at Sorochinski,” Khatchaturian’s “Masquerade Suite,” and Stravinsky’s “Suite No. 2 for Small Orchestra.” It was great fun – we’re headed in the right direction for tour. I’m way excited for tour over spring break – we are going to Chicago, which I’ve never been to minus the airport! I am hoping to meet up with some friends there on our free day, as well as seeing a concert from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. We have a whole month and a half before we go, but it’s what keeps us working hard.

Another significant thing I did this month was work on the Chipspecial J-term magazine. I edited the Current Events section and wrote a story about a speaker coming to campus in a week! The speaker is Nicholas Carr, who analyzes the effect of heavy Internet usage on the human brain. It’s a little terrifying… learning about him made me look at myself differently. We’ll see what others think of him on campus when he comes.

Lastly, I worked on the Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia for Violin and Cello with my old roommate Melissa, led Write On! meetings, hung out with my friends, and learned the 1st movement of the Dvorak Cello Concerto. It was a full month for sure, but it was my last J-term, and I wasn’t about to let it fall flat. It was no London or Vienna trip, but it was the best kind of month I could have asked for. Life is treating me way too well, so I cannot let this trend end. I live life to the fullest, man.

Wish I could be at home (or in New York) to support my Hawks, but they need fans in the Midwest too. Let’s get LOUD!!!!

Cheers,

Brita

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