I had forgotten how comfortable my bed at home was. After 10 hours of traveling I had reached the wooded Andreades domain and Thanksgiving break had arrived.
The following mornings were like awkward, new acquaintances. I wandered listlessly into the kitchen at 7 a.m. and started doing the dishes, because there was no test at 11:25 a.m. to study for. I pondered my existence as I tidied up my room. My mom and dad were away at the doctor’s trying to sort out what was in my dad’s eye. And Enoch had secluded himself in his room to wade through his Calculus homework–how I remember those days.
It was an odd first 48 hours back in Quarryville. But then everyone came.
Thaddaeus and Daphne journeyed in, bringing their New York swag and their thoughtful and wise words. My uncle and aunt drove in, hauling all the excitement and energy for the weekend with them. Guy, my younger cousin, strode along and contributed what he called games, but were really math, geography and spelling tests. And Grandma was there too. She complete the festivities with her kind presence.
With long walks we discussed life and learning. Between green bean chopping and table dressing we reckoned with literature. And every once and a while, after a second piece of peanut butter pie, we laughed.
Two and a half weeks of back-to-back assignments awaited me at Gordon. So, I was reluctant to catch my train back. But here I am now, sitting in the library, half-way through the first week and procrastinating on my story due at 5 p.m..
Life, up here in Mass, has been a little more cheerful of recent. The air is chillier, however the community is warmer. I’ve gotten to know some of the girls from my floor and now I no longer return to an empty, lonely dorm. Occasionally, a friend will stride into my corner room and ask what I am up to, or I’ll wander into my RA’s room and eat her roommate’s popcorn.
The work load continues to be non-oppressive, which is a bewildering surprise in comparison to high school. My classes range from: “I don’t really care” to “I love this class so much, I’m going to die.” Same with the professors.
Today I’m looking forward to my one evening class, creative writing. Partly because we get to eat dinner during it, which is a combination of two very special things: writing and food. But also I just love talking about literature composition.
And because everyone asks about it, my roommate and I have not strangled each other yet.
This past weekend marked the halfway point in the semester, which my college celebrated with an extra two days off. I took advantage of the free time and organized a day escapade into Boston with some friends. We started off with the Museum of Fine Arts, which Around noon, we found our way to Greek and Mexican food. Gyro meat was delight after weeks of dry, overcooked, questionable looking beef.
The afternoon was ushered in with exploring the Boston Public Library. It has the cutest reading nooks in the map room. Our wandering then took us to Boston’s Little Italy, where we partook of cannolis and gelato in the presence of Paul Revere. The day was a perfect way to bond with friends while becoming familiar with the local big city.
Boston was great, but New York City is still better.
Maybe she’d shave half my head. I really had no way of knowing what would happen. There I was, sitting facing a mirror, decapitated by a black sheet. I had never had my hair professionally cut. Which sounds so posh, but it really only means that my mom is the only one who has set scissors to my locks since I entered this world. That is, of course, besides those few times I foolishly took things into my own hands.
I decided to pay a little extra for the shampoo and blowout, which I have no regrets about. After a week of being sick and straining my brain over questions like: “What is consciousness?” Having someone rub my scalp and rinse my hair in water was extremely soothing.
The next step was to try to convey my hair aspirations to my attentive stylist. As the lady snipped away, I tried to think positive thoughts. It seemed like a lot of hair was dropping to the floor around me. But after I endured twenty minutes of intense upward brushing and hot air blowing, I felt very girly and happy. I knew I’d have to get to know my new cut, but dang, I looked good.
I left Mastercuts that day with some more layers and a new hair product, ready to tackle the mound of homework waiting for me in my dorm.
I was basking in the glorious relief of a cool shower. I had checked “Gym time” off my to do list, and was mentally preparing for my evening of homework. And then I heard it. A strange, loud, whining sound emanating from the hallways. I sincerely hoped that was not what I thought it was. Slightly bewildered, I interrupted my shower and poked my head out. The obnoxious sound continued. Then my RA swung the bathroom door open and confirmed my fears; the fire alarm. In that moment I joined the percentage of girls who get caught in the shower when the fire drill happens.
Furiously repeating: “You got to be kidding me!” I strode back to my room and hastily considered my options: I could leave now in a towel, or don my dorky Dr. Who robe, or throw on a dress. I had to leave or I was going to get fined. I grabbed the dress. The said garb was a blue mini dress. Now it was a conservative mini dress, not something one might wear at a nightclub. But I’m sure I looked comical, dripping wet in uncommon wear for a Thursday evening on a college campus.
Luckily I had floor mates to gravitate towards, so I wasn’t just standing alone in this silly state. But this event was one of the more entertaining parts of my week. Eventually they let us back in the building and I finished my shower.
The quality of the Saturday was not the sum of its parts. I had several encouraging and fulfilling conversations over the course of the day. One of which, although perfectly civil and thoughtful, left me feeling spiritually a drift. I am reminded of a high school professor’s words concerning how trans-formative the first couple months of college are. Suddenly I am mixing with new ideas and more profound questions. The immediate statements of inquiry are not foreign to me; I’ve encountered them before. However, now the questions are heavier. All this to say, Saturday evening I found myself grappling with God. Yet, I had a Target trip ahead of me.
My roommate and I had planned to visit the mall, later in the evening to pick up some items from Target. Thirty minutes before the shuttle left, my roommate texted me that she wasn’t coming. I could have given up on the idea of restocking my granola bar stash. However, I really just felt like getting away from my homework. Especially as the content of my reading was fueling my spiritual struggle.
So, at 8:20 p.m. I departed for some shopping therapy. I intended on wandering around Target pick out some dark chocolate and small command hooks, among other things. Then I thought I’d just take a jaunt about the rest of the mall. However, I was unaware that the rest of the mall closed at 9:00 p.m.. We had arrived at the shopping center twenty minutes before nine, so there wasn’t much else I could do besides my scouring of Target.
When it came time for the shuttle to leave I was in the middle of making a very important decision. It had to do with which Aztec print dress I bought. Because I wanted to use my $20 wisely, I decided I could wait for the next shuttle, which would come back at 10:40 p.m.. Unfortunately, I soon realized that I had exhausted my options of things to do with the rest of the mall closed. And I was worried about staying in Target, lest I empty my bank account.
At this point, I was emotionally worn from my previous internal struggling and I was only vaguely feeling better after purchasing some new mascara. Without any other options, I added a pint of Chocolate Cookie Dough Chunk ice cream. I self-consciously stole a plastic spoon from the very closed, Starbucks/Pizza Hut corner in the store and fled into the night. Or more like into the parking lot. For the next forty-five minutes I sat on the side walk of a deserted mall and ate ice cream.
I guess this is what you call an existential crisis. Sunday was a much better day though.