The bad news: Halfway through midterms, I already know that this semester will be an upward academic battle. Also, Hurricane Joaquin is pretty spooky.
The good news: Spoiler alert, there’s a lot of good news.
In a way, it all boils down to this: there are more opportunities at William & Mary than ever. Or maybe there’s the same number of opportunities, but I’m better equipped to take them, or more aware that they exist. Regardless, as I’m polishing my resume, compiling internship options, drafting proposals for a history honors project, writing and editing as much as possible, getting to know the new members in my social sorority, getting exponentially better at making espresso drinks, and generally just doing about 10,000 things at once, life is good. On my geology lab test today, I mistook potassium feldspar for plagioclase feldspar (or galena for muscovite mica or something), and we may be underwater in a few days because Joaquin is (like I said) pretty spooky, but life has been good this second half of September.
In all seriousness and with all apologies, my brain isn’t at 100% right now. The past two weeks have been a productive and humbling grind—I feel like I’m on the go from 6:55 to midnight or 1 and I’m so lucky to say that—but nothing is standing out as a coherent blog topic. Still, I’m determined to write at least two posts per month. In less than four hours, it’ll be October, so I’m just going to cut a corner with this post and go back to basics:
A is for Aromas Abridged, my study-space-turned-job I wrote about last time. This past week I learned how to make all of the fancy drinks and even named our specialty drink of the week (the Sweater Weather, a butter pecan and toffee latte), so I’m still so happy with how my time there is going. In addition, also like I said last time, I’m interested in writing and learning more about other students who are employed part-time, and found a great outlet for relevant articles and interviews: Her Campus! If that name is unfamiliar, I highly recommend checking out their website and W&M’s chapter website to see what the organization is all about.
B is for Big, as in big and little sister (“little,” more commonly) in a social sorority. It can sound cheesy, but I have two older biological sisters and a big in my sorority, and I’m excited to be the responsible, supportive big sister for once. Our new members don’t have that kind of support system yet, but they will soon: over the past few weeks, the new members have gotten to know potential bigs through a process we call Owl Pals. And in about a week, I’ll know who my little is—but she has to wait until the end of October to find out who I am. Over four days at the end of the upcoming month, she gets four themed baskets; the night of the fourth day is Revelation. I’ve been lucky that my big sisters—all three of them—have been role models and mentors in their own way, and honestly can’t wait to be one myself.
C is for Cartomancy, or divination that uses deck of cards. Last semester, through a course called The Historian’s Craft, I had the chance to write a paper analyzing any historical, primary source, through any lens. The first topic that jumped into my mind was (duh) tarot, and its origins, uses, and forms in the political and religious culture early modern continental Europe. Given my timeline and language skills, or lack thereof, I had to switch my topic, but have been on the lookout for a reason to write about the history of the supernatural since. In the past two weeks, I’ve been thinking about completing an honors project, and have been trying to combine all of my interests, including (but not limited to) the history of science and medicine, gender, public health, and the supernatural into one superproject. Any advisor will hopefully tell me to calm down a little, though, so I’ll be sure keep you posted on if/how that project takes off!
1: The number of times I’ve been to Richmond this semester. Last weekend, my boyfriend and I ate dinner at a place called Lunch (…and I ordered a side of cheese grits, aka breakfast food). No offense to Williamsburg, but Richmond was a great change of pace; the drive and dinner felt more like a vacation than a date night.
2: The number of English classes I’m taking this semester…as a History major. Less than a day after Add/Drop ended (which meant my schedule for the semester finalized), I decided that I shouldn’t be a double major. Why not? I made the mistake/smart move of looking at the next semester on Open Course List, and saw way too many tempting classes—mostly the likes of Magic, Religion, and Science—that I wouldn’t be able to take if I crammed the English major into two years. So now I’m taking two classes that I don’t technically need to be taking, but that still contribute to my cultural literacy and overall liberal arts experience. For example, one of the classes is called Literature and the Bible, which actually started with several interdisciplinary lectures analyzing the Bible as a document and continued with the historical and legal books in the early Old Testament. Now we’re further into the Old Testament and discussing the Bible’s literary features and qualities. The other English class, Modern Fiction, has overlapped in really interesting ways with sociology and history classes I’ve taken; the themes that appear in modernist novels echo the cultural trends of the early 20th century. The point is, even though classes at W&M technically fit into one or two departments, no course is entirely one-sided.
3: The number of houses I’ve considered (so far) as I look to move to an off-campus house or apartment next year! My non-negotiables: a washing machine and dryer; parking; no roommate. Feel free to send me any interior design, decorating, or money saving tips—I’d love to compile your advice into a post for when I snag a home sweet home!
Anyways, minute by minute we’re creeping closer to midnight (and October, my favorite month!), so I’m going to get back to studying for my Ottoman Empire midterm. Keep an eye on the W&M Her Campus site for the upcoming articles on employment, if that sounds interesting to you, and other articles from yours truly. And I promise that, next time on this platform, I won’t be quite so simplistic! Thanks as always for reading!