Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that all of you reading this are currently 5 pounds heavier than you were yesterday. I write from Lake Ontario in Rochester, NY, where I’ve managed to spend a couple of days with my family.
Hanging out with the rents on Turkey Day. Some Tribe Pride to keep you warm.
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s been nice to not check email, do work, or worry about assignments for a couple of days! I miss W&M, of course, but it’s been great to reconnect with extended family I haven’t seen in awhile. I feel like I haven’t stopped laughing since I got here; it’s been great for the soul. It’s also given me the time to catch up on some much-needed holiday shopping for friends and family. Before the Thanksgiving break, many of my closest senior friends got together for a senior Thanksgiving potluck that was a huge success. In that regard, I’ve been blessed with a lot of delicious food and company over the past week.
Friends in the Class of 2011 gather for a pre-Thanksgiving potluck
Tomorrow morning sees me on my way back to Washington, DC, and early Monday morning headed back to Williamsburg. There’s a lot to do, as next week I have my Geology Lab final, a geology problem set due, and a quiz in Japanese Society. Next week is also the week I’ve set aside to apply to my eleven graduate programs, and I’ve scheduled to pick up my letters of recommendation from faculty on Monday. Nothing makes you appreciate being a senior more than application processes.
It’s hard to believe that a week from today is the last day of classes, and that starting this Monday finals will be in full force. Finals tend to stress a lot of people out, and while I’m certainly stressed, there are a number of reasons to be very excited for what my next four or five weeks have in store. Here are some highlights:
- The Senior Class Gift Committee will finalize our plans for the spring, envisioning ways to bring the Class of 2011 together in a movement that will set records at William and Mary.
- My family will visit as Williamsburg swells to the brim in preparation for The First Weekend of the Holiday Season and Grand Illumination. This has to be one of my favorite times of year in Williamsburg – the Colonial city is always beautiful during the winter.
- White Elephant Gift Exchanges are some of my favorite things. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll get to participate in two of them: one is a yearly tradition with the President’s Aides and President Reveley in his decorated house; the other is with my closest senior friends throughout my entire time here at the College.
- Ugly sweater parties. ‘Nuff said.
- William and Mary during the winter would not be complete without the Yule Log Ceremony. This year, as Vice President of Omicron Delta Kappa and as a member of the Mortar Board, I have the privilege of being one of two students in charge of the Yule Log ceremony. The ceremony, which brings students, faculty, and staff together year after year in the warm firelight of the Wren building, is one of the most cherished and community-building traditions we have at the ancient College. It is my huge privilege this year to be in charge of leading such a well-loved rite.
- During the second week of finals I will be traveling to Scotland to visit the linguistics faculty I wish to study under at the University of Edinburgh, and to discuss research proposals. It will be a quick, whirlwind of a trip but the opportunity has presented itself to visit the program and I jumped on it in a days notice! I’m tremendously excited about meeting the faculty at such a prestigious department and university, and hopefully good things will come from the visit! I’m sure Edinburgh (which I’ve never visited) in the days leading up to Christmas will be awesome.
- Every year leading up to the holidays my parents throw their annual Christmas Party, which is a huge hit and draws 100+ friends. I love the event because some of my closest William and Mary friends routinely get the opportunity to visit us for the evening in Northern Virginia, and share in the festivities.
- It goes without saying I’m truly excited for Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Years.
- Then, the day after New Years, on January 2nd, I will be leading an alternative break trip to Port au Prince, Haiti for two weeks, and am super amped for the excellent things we will learn and experience during our time there.
This year, I have the pleasure of presiding over the College's most-cherished winter rite, which will be held December 11th at 6 p.m.
As you can see, finals aside, there are many reasons for me to be excited for the upcoming five weeks as we move into the holiday season.
Here’s to wishing you a joyous December!