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Well, Plans seems to be down (or at least not loading for me) so I'm forced to update LJ instead! Oh, the complications of a technological lifestyle.

Some things I've done recently:

~Attended the Cherry Street Farmer's Market with Lissie
~Drank tea and a raspberry scone
~Got caught in the awesome thunderstorm yesterday morning while walking back to the car
~Took shelter at Border's, where I spent the rest of a gift on "The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper," by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift. This cookbook is AMAZING, and thought it's not strictly vegetarian, it does have a respectable vegetarian main dish section, as well as pasta, sides, salads, soups and desserts that I can't wait to make.
~Shared a lunch of Pasta e Fagioli soup and vegetarian sushi at Wild Oats with Lissie.
~Met Molly and May at the zoo for an exciting (and extremely hot) visit to our friends the animals. Ate a frozen lemonade that was so sugary it sapped my energy for the rest of the day and I could still taste in the back of my throat hours later. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
~Went home, ate vegetarian lasagna, green beans and applesauce, and spent several hours sorting through stuff and watching "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," which I experimentally "rented" from iTunes.

I'm trying to go through all my junk and get rid of a lot of it. So far I've given away five large bags of clothes to Good Will, and I should have another two to go before I finish my dresser. Seriously, there's stuff I haven't worn since 8th grade that still hangs in my closet. The goal of all of this is to become more streamlined, less burdened by possessions. I'm also trying to not buy too much stuff this summer, except things I really, really want or need and have thought about for a long time. For example, I've been dreaming about that "Splendid Table" cookbook for two or three months now... and I spent gift card money on it.
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Here's what I have to do right now:
1. Gandhi & Vegetarianism paper (10-15 pages)
2. Elizabeth Siddall & Victorian Femininity paper (10 pages)
3. Poetry Collaboration Essay (4 pages)
4. Poetry portfolio (8 poems, 2 left to write, plus edit all of them)
5. Gandhi reading/film
6. Poetry open-mic night (semi-required)
7. Grinnell Review Reading
8. Pre-Raphaelites In-Class Exam.
9. Figure out summer storage with Amanda.
10. Pack everything up!
11. Work Commencement

Here's what I want to do:
1. Read books for the Amanda, Kathryn & Allison Read in the Summer: Extreme Edition Bookclub.
2. Finish the quilt that I started over winter break.
3. Get my sewing machine fixed.
4. Make intricate botanical sketches.
5. Make a scrapbook of London photos.

One week of class and one week of finals!

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I got up super early this morning to study at Saint's Rest with Allison & Amanda! So far all I've done is read an article about Lewis Carroll's super-creepy nude photos of children. Also I've sort of figured out my schedule for next semester:

Studies in Modern Prose
Seminar: Fiction Writing
Nations & Global Environment
Anthro: Cultures of the Middle East
Art: Biology as New Medium
Dance Technique II: Ballet

What do you think? If I take all these classes I'll at least be eligible for Phi Beta Kappa, although who knows whether my grades will actually be good enough.

Also today: Poetry class! Attempting to research my creepy Pre-Raphaelites/Victorian Sexuality/Anorexia/Death imagery paper. It should be a pretty cheerful afternoon.

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Yet another virus is sweeping the Grinnell campus--if there's one thing a small school is good for, it's spreading sickness extremely quickly and efficiently. After suffering from a sore throat this weekend, I thought I was finally getting better. Then I got up this morning and nearly fainted in the shower... so... not better. I spent most of the day in bed drinking apple juice and watching movies, and managed to make it to the dining hall for dinner tonight, which is a good sign.

Anyway, I'm supremely boring. Now it's time to clean my room, go to knitting circle, and somehow summon the motivation to do about 150 pages of reading.

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It's a grey and cloudy day... it looks like twilight outside, even though it's only 2 p.m. It's raining (can't wait to walk from the library to Noyce for class in ten minutes!) and just generally gross outside. I usually like this kind of weather and find it peaceful, contemplative, etc, but at the moment I just want it to be WARM.

Last Night: Bon Iver played in Bob's, the campus coffeehouse. We staked out a table right in front and were about five feet from the musicians. The drummer was hilarious; he made violent faces. On the downside, I forgot to bring my camera but, on the bright side, I got to hang out until midnight doing something non-academic on a Wednesday!

Today: In the library, researching Pre-Raphaelite art, suicide, and Victorian beauty standards for a final paper. All of this is actually quite fascinating... maybe I should try throwing myself into my academic work for the next few weeks? Actually, I would probably happier for it, and my GPA would be higher come June.

Tomorrow: My new non-fiction writing short course starts, with Stephen Kuusisto, who teaches at the University of Iowa writer's workshop. He also wrote a memoir called "Planet of the Blind," which is about his experience being blind since birth. It should be a really interesting class.

Tomorrow Night: Things I should probably attend: The Grinnell choir concert, the Dan Deacon concert. Things I will definitely attend: the fancy-shmancy girls-only wine and cheese party that Allison and I are going shopping for tomorrow morning.

Okay, I guess I have to go to class now!
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I'm experiencing an enormous sense of clarity today that I suspect is a result of all the clean living I've been doing lately--eating vegetables, exercising (outdoors, even!), sleeping for eight hours a night, not watching TV. It's really quite miraculous!

This morning my aerobics class power-walked to Ahrens Park and we had to crab-walk up a hill on all fours. It was pretty hilarious except that my hands kept getting stepped on by other crab-walkers.

Now I will be spending several hours in the library! Hooray!

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Back in Grinnell. Spring break in Tulsa was predictably uneventful and moderately pleasant... I spent most of it cooking, or eating, or going to thrift stores, or eating more (in unrelated news, my first aerobics class back in Grinnell was suspiciously difficult!).

Grinnell is cold and muddy. The snow has all finally melted, although a few flakes fell this morning. I'm finding it difficult to re-adjust to the concept of academic obligations. I love being at school for all the social stuff, but I'm really fed up with all my classes at this point in the semester. I'm so uninterested in the 30 pages of research papers I have to write soon! But maybe I will discover something hidden and amazing in the course of exploring the library tomorrow.

This coming weekend is Disco--it's an annual all-school costume/dance party. Guess what the theme is? I have a green paisley acetate shirt dress to wear along with the silver spiky/bejeweled heels that I wore to Dutchmen Weekend my senior year. (Also, looking back on it, 'Dutchmen Weekend' is the weirdest name ever for Prom)

I'm looking forward to summer with a mixture of dread and optimism. I'll likely be in Tulsa--I have a lead on a part-time unpaid internship, and a part-time job, so they may combine together to become full-time work (IF I get either one!). Also, Jessa & I are determined explore Tulsa and find everything interesting that happens. Anyone else going to be around this summer?

Okay, now back to work on the creative writing contest entries that are due TOMORROW!
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I've been home for a brief twenty-four hours, and now I'm off to Texas with my family for a few days. This spring break feels a little strange, but everything in my life has felt a little strange ever since going abroad. Not because I was transformed by spending four months in Europe, but because something shifted in my outlook and now I worry more about things. BUT. It is warm and lovely and I don't have to do school for two weeks! So that's good.

Things to think about:
improving my academic life for the last six weeks so I don't get Bs in my classes!
making new friends
making and thinking up good things to sell at the student craft fair
figuring out how to spend my summer
not wasting my time idling

Things to be happy about:
Lovely soul-mate type friends at home
So many nice and positive new friends at school
Two whole weeks to read what I want to read
spring!
hedonistic and guilt-free love for food

Okay, let's go!
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Here's some stuff that's happening!

I went to Tulsa for the weekend. It was raining, but I got to see 'Step Up 2: The Streets,' which was exciting for a dance-movie-addict like myself. Not to spoil anything, but the rain was appropriate!

Now I'm back in Grinnell with lots to write and lots to read this week. All I really want to do, however, is plan my spring wardrobe. Aaaaah I have so much to do make it stop make it stop.

Okay. I'm calm now.

I think I'm going to start volunteering at the animal shelter.

Maybe audition for a (low-stress) play?

With temperatures hovering in the 30s and low 40s this week, I'm feeling uncommonly optimistic about the chances of spring coming one day. And when spring comes I get to wear sun-dresses and sandals and bask.

Hurrah!

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Please watch this. I'm serious.


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