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laura
31 December 2008 @ 12:53 pm
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. Mine was quite good. On Christmas Eve, I met the boyfriend's family (well part of it - his dad, stepmom, brother and sister). We went out to dinner and then to his parents' house, where the family opened Christmas presents. To my surprise they had presents for me! They gave me a book about Queen Elizabeth (the boy told them I like historical fiction) and a beautiful red scarf. They were amazingly nice and quirky and funny, and while I was afraid that they wouldn't like me, all nervousness was quickly dispelled.

Then I had Christmas Day with just my parents as usual. Woke up and opened presents - I got a lot of clothes, which was wonderful, books, and some other nice things. My dad made omelets for breakfast then we just hung out the rest of the day. I spent a lot of Christmas reading my new books. From my parents I got On the Road, Woolf's Orlando, and Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino. I've mostly finished On the Road by now - slightly mixed reaction. In some places Kerouac's writing is brilliant (fabulous roman candles, and all), but in others lackluster. And Dean annoys me to no end. I'm trying to decide what to read next.

Yesterday I went to the mall with my mom to spend some Christmas gift cards. I got a couple of sweaters, and a winter coat from Forever21 that I'm becoming obsessed with. It's kind of military-style with two rows of antique-looking silver buttons up the front, with a high pointy collar, and awesome dramatic cuffs on the sleeves. I love clothes too much...

In other news, last semester's grades finally came in. I went crazy when I registered for last semester and took six classes instead of five, which I shall hopefully never do again. But I managed to emerge unharmed. I got five A's and one B+. Disappointed about the B+ - it was in a British Literature class with a professor who loved to give fiendishly difficult quizzes. My GPA remains the same as last semester - 3.87. I'm longing to get it back up past 3.9 - it was 3.95 for the longest time, before I got a B in a cruel philosophy class.

For New Year's Eve I'm going to a party with the boy and a bunch of friends - very low-key, the most intoxicating substance being sugar. ^^ I'm pretty excited because I've never actually gone out on New Year's Eve before.
 
 
laura
19 December 2008 @ 02:46 pm
Snow snow snow. Currently the first somewhat heavy snow of the season. I love snow but today I am a bit frustrated because I was supposed to go over the boy's, but am instead stuck at home because I am terrible at driving in inclement weather. (Last winter I crashed my car in a snowstorm. It was quite bad.)

School is officially over. Classes ended two weeks ago, and yesterday I turned in my last final paper. I'm glad that this semester ended. I went crazy by taking six classes when I usually only take five. Four out of the six I either disliked or was indifferent toward, but I had two classes that I loved. Both creative writing classes, poetry and nonfiction. I would be sad about those classes having ended, but next semester I have continuations of them. Advanced poetry and fiction, with the same awesome professors.

Winter break lasts gloriously until January 21. I am not going to think about school or almost-looming things like internships (maybe I'll get one) and grad school applications (maybe maybe I'll apply). I'm going to spend a lot of time with the boy of course, and friends. Probably take a couple of day trips - Cambridge, Walden Pond, maybe Amherst, etc. I've also been compiling in my head a winter break reading list of things I've been meaning to read for a while, but haven't because of school. I've had it in the back of my mind to finally finish Ulysses, but I don't know if that will happen. Also, the four or five Virginia Woolf novels I haven't read. But, I might very well just read fantasy books instead. Right now I'm immersed in Neil Gaiman's American Gods. Also, build snow animals and an igloo. And hopefully they'll give me extra hours at work because Christmas ate a good portion of my bank account.
 
 
laura
06 November 2008 @ 03:39 pm
OBAMA WON! OBAMA WON! OBAMA WON!!!!!!!!!!

I'M SO HAPPY!!!!!

Oh and PS. I'm going to get back to writing in here again... soon.
 
 
laura
26 September 2008 @ 08:23 am
Yesterday I had one of my best-ever moments of thrift store serendipity. On my way home I was about to drive by a Savers and decided to go in. Around five years ago I bought some nice slouchy tan boots from there, and while I love them they're getting quite worn out now, so I wanted to search for new thrifted boots. I headed to the shoe section and then I saw them, on the top shelf - a pair of knee-high boots in a lovely chestnut color. I pulled them down and then nearly gasped aloud when I saw the logo: they were Frye!! I checked the size, praying that it would be mine... and, oh my goodness, the label said 9.5 - PERFECT - right next to the price label - twenty dollars. I pulled them down and was nearly overcome by urge to grab the nearest person and exclaim, "Do you know what these are?! They would sell for at least $100 on ebay, $300 if they were new! And - $20!!!!" As it was, I just clutched them possessively and declared them mine.
 
 
laura
23 September 2008 @ 04:30 pm
I am still loving school. What is it with me this year? I've disliked school for most of my life, other than when I had rare interesting classes. I guess now that I'm pretty far along in college, the classes get better! Which makes me absolutely thrilled to be in school. I'm especially in love with my writing classes. I have one fiction, and one poetry. I find that I really need writing classes to keep me motivated to write - and autumn helps too, I basically only feel creative in cold weather (isn't that odd?).

Speaking of... HAPPY AUTUMN!!!!! It is officially here and there is no possible way I could be more excited than I am. AHHHH. I love autumn, and winter too. Cold weather! Crisp air, PUMPKINS, apple cider, apple bags, FALL CLOTHES (YES! I've been wearing boots and scarves constantly and I'm longing for the temperature to drop more so I can wear jackets too). And ghosts in the air, in the woodsmoke. Beautiful red-orange-yellow leaves. New England autumn, I love you.

I am mostly quite happy lately, but every so often I do have a panic. I'm a junior in college and I really do not know what to do with my life! Basically, I just want to stay in school... I'm pretty sure that I now want to go to graduate school for an MFA in creative writing (fiction). After all, I DO want to write and without writing classes, I lose inspiration and drive. A few years of intense writing classes would be good for me. But the only way I can go to graduate school is if I get full funding. And also, there's a nagging thought in my mind that all I've ever done is go to school, and might it be time to try something different and adventurous? Maybe time off before graduate school? But what would I do?! And would graduate school just be a method of buying time, of prolonging the dreaded inevitable search for employment? Do I just want to stay in school because it's safe and less scary than the working world, or because I really want an MFA? Hm...
 
 
 
laura
12 September 2008 @ 11:35 pm
Today is my birthday! I'm twenty. Yayyy!!! :D

It has been a wonderful birthday. This morning my mom and I went out for second breakfast - I had a cherry vanilla bagel and a chai. Then I went to school. All day it was most thrillingly cold out and cloudy, which I consider excellent weather. Sometimes my birthday is a fall day and sometimes a summer day, and I was very happy that this year it was a fall day. Throughout the day friends kept calling me or sending text messages for the occasion, which made me very happy! After my last class today, I was taken by surprise to find... my best friend Nikki sitting on a bench behind a bush, waiting to intercept me! She took me to the little grocery store on campus and we bought microwave lunches, which we ate in Nikki's dorm room as a random birthday celebration.

After that I came home and my parents gave me my birthday presents. I got an amazing faux-leather motorcycle jacket that I'd wanted from Urban Outfitters, along with gift cards to Barnes & Noble and Starbucks, some hair products from Lush... My parents and I have a history of creative packaging when it comes to presents, so for the B&N gift card my dad stuffed a bunch of coins into the box so it would feel heavy, and overflow when I tried to open it!

Tonight I actually went to someone else's birthday party. It was a surprise party for my aunt (whose birthday was last week), that my uncle inadvertently scheduled on my birthday. But lots of people there knew it was my birthday too. It was a lot of fun though, my aunt was very surprised, especially because a lot of people came from far away to celebrate.

Sunday is my big annual birthday adventure, which is when my mom, my four best friends and I go on an adventure somewhere interesting for the day, have crazy antics, eat the giant birthday cookie that one friend bakes for the occasion each year... I can't wait!

When I was little, I thought twenty was a respectable old age... Haha! It's a bit strange not being a teenager anymore, but I also like the endless possibilities of being a new age. Yay, birthday. :D
 
 
laura
05 September 2008 @ 05:34 pm
On Wednesday I started my junior year of college. YAY!!! I don't think I have ever been this overjoyed to go back to school. Something about this summer just dragged and left me longing for school... now it has come and I am ECSTATIC. I even went overboard in my enthusiasm and signed up for six classes instead of the usual five, figuring I would dislike one and drop, but... nope, I like them all.

THINGS I NEED TO DO SOON:
- Set up appointment with English department advisor to find out if I am doing things right, talk about preparing to maybe apply for graduate school etc.
- Set up appointment with French advisor to talk about spending part of next summer in Quebec for the Laval French Immersion program
- Go to an informational meeting about internships
- Uh my homework

Now without further ado, my classes!Collapse )

AHHH SCHOOOOOL. I'm so excited. I had this moment of euphoria on Wednesday when it sunk in that it will not have to be summer for NINE MONTHS and that for all of those months I can take fabulous English classes, walk around on campus, see friends, get coffees, read things, write things... Really, as I said, I've never been this happy to be in school. I've finished all my (ridiculous) gen-eds so now I am only taking things in my major, and electives. And, YAY.
 
 
laura
07 August 2008 @ 01:25 pm
As you may have guessed from recent entries - I'm rather determined to spend a considerable time outside of the US sometime in the next year... In high school I always wanted to study abroad in college and had visions of spending junior year in London or Paris. When I got to college, though, I realized that it's fearfully expensive (especially England - stupid weak dollar). Also my overprotective parents freak out a bit at the thought of me spending a huge chunk of time across the pond. While I will definitely spend a lot of time in Europe in the future (I've longed to go since elementary school for goodness' sake), might it be best to save it for when I am out on my own?

As of right now it looks like I have approximately three options of studying abroad in 2009:

1. Summer in England: This one is scandalously expensive - $5000 just for tuition, room and board, and that doesn't even include the plane ticket! The program is six weeks in summer at the University of Bath, taking two English literature courses there. It would give me credit toward my English degree, and also a good friend of mine is desperate to go, so bashing round England with him, instead of alone, would be very fun. But ye gods, that price! (My parents aren't paying for it - it's basically all me.)

2. A semester in Quebec: Spring 2009 at l'Université Laval in Quebec City through a direct exchange program. So tuition would be the same as a normal semester at my school and I think I would only have to pay room and board (and buying clothes at Simons... hehe just kidding). Going only to Canada instead of Europe and the fact of Quebec being a mere nine hour drive from Rhode Island would considerably ease the worries of my parents, and would be a good compromise since I love Quebec City. The main problem with this one is that, although I could easily finish my French minor in Quebec, I don't know how well a semester at a French university would work out for my English literature degree. Since I didn't start off as an English major in college, I don't think I can afford to fall behind on taking required English classes. Also, I don't know if my French is good enough to survive four months at a French-speaking university, in classes targeted toward students with French as a first language. There is also the matter of how I cannot afford to be unemployed for a semester...

3. Summer in Quebec: Just last night while researching this matter I found out that Laval also has a five-week "French immersion" summer program for international students! Apparently I would be taking a number of intensive French courses while living in Quebec City, either in a university residence hall or with a host family. At approximately $3000 for tuition, room and board, it is considerably cheaper than the summer in England program and that price might actually be manageable. It seems much more exciting to spend a whole semester in another country, but a summer program might have to be a compromise.
 
 
laura
06 August 2008 @ 10:56 am
A cold and rainy day. A day for listening to the Decemberists, drinking chai and reading fashion blogs. Oh and going to work for a little while, but that's beside the point. I think there's been a hint of autumn in the air lately. But that might just be wishful thinking - autumn is my favorite season, so I always try to start it too soon. I'm longing for it.
 
 
laura
05 August 2008 @ 11:56 pm
Less than one month until school starts again! Yay. I'm excited but also nervous... I'm going to be a junior in college. That is quite scary. I feel worried because it seems like I have not made the most of the first two years of college. I haven't done anything!

It's like this... I went to a competitive private high school - nothing too fancy or intense, but there were always a fair few students going on to the Ivy League each year, and there was this kind of ever-present pressure to Succeed, which mostly meant getting into a good college. All throughout high school, everyone was stressed about gathering extracurricular activities, leadership positions, and perfect grades, to put on college applications. Every time a student received an acceptance letter from a famous college, the jealousy, worry, feelings of inadequacy, etc., would brew.

So, I did a lot of extracurricular activities that I didn't care about and actually quite disliked, just to make my applications look good. And I got accepted to the fancy liberal arts schools that I had dreamed about. But then I did the "unthinkable" - I went to my safety school. I turned down the semi-impressive names and enrolled in the huge state university. I did it mostly because of financial issues - I didn't want to graduate in debt with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, and I also didn't want to ask my parents to make huge sacrifices to send me to a fancy school. But the smaller, nagging reason why I made that choice was: I was just tired. I was so sick of the competition and the race to get ahead and Succeed.

I guess that's why, in the past two years of college, I haven't really done much. I've worked in my classes and gotten A's, won a prize in the department's writing contest, but other than that... eh. After high school I kind of just felt so worn-out that I didn't take on anything extra in college, anything interesting to put on a resume. I've just gone to school, written some things, studied, and worked a lot at my little job that has no relevance to anything academic.

Now the time's coming to start looking for internships, and I have a pathetic, boring resume! And I don't really know what to do now. I don't even know what activities and things are out there, and how one goes about participating in them. I'm afraid that a high GPA won't be enough and I am very worried that I am just too far behind.