Looking Back on Jan Term.

Hello, World.

Jan Term is officially over. As I type that, I feel so sad because Jan Term being over means that Spring semester begins in roughly nine days. That means a full schedule, tons of books, assignments and essays, and just…more work. This Jan Term was great. Although it was a lot of work, and I had way more reading than any of my friends, I thoroughly enjoyed my class topic, my classmates, and my professor. We had some really insightful discussions concerning race relations, Southern society misconceptions, gender ambiguity, social categorization, and finally, systems of power. I’ll admit I was a little hesitant to take a class solely dedicated to William Faulkner. I had never read him before other than a short story, and I was unsure I would like him, and find myself stuck in a month-long course with only him. It would be like sitting in that overheated room mentioned in the opening of Absalom, Absalom! It wouldn’t be very fun, but alas, I am so happy I decided to take the course. In the last four weeks, I read 1186 pages, wrote four 3-page responses, and a final paper that totaled 10 pages when all was said and done.

In the past four weeks, I visited the City, explored new areas, and reconnected with old friends. Though this Jan Term was completely different than last Jan Term (in terms of scheduling, who was around, and the fact that I was intensely studying a famous writer and not spending my days writing my own work), I still enjoyed it for many of the same reasons. Only having one class is simpler, and easier, and allows me to get to know my friends better, and go on new adventures. I’m content with where I am right now, but I’m hoping this coming semester will bring more adventures, and new beginnings. Jan Term is my favorite part of the academic year because it’s just simpler, and I have so much more free time. I also like Jan Term break because it gives me a week to rest again before Spring Semester. I have the tendency to sleep on a weird schedule during Jan Term because I don’t have class until noon, and then I’m usually hanging out with friends at night.

I know I usually wrap up major moments from a given month in monthly recaps, but I feel like Jan Term in itself is a major moment. When I got home yesterday, my mom commented on how this Jan Term flew by in comparison to my first January Term, and she had a great point. Last January felt like four months not four weeks, and time almost feels suspended during January. The same was partially true this year, but I definitely felt like I got to the final day, and couldn’t understand how a month had already passed! Anyway, today is my first day of Jan Term break, and I’m going house hunting with my sister and her boyfriend, then working on Resident Advisor and Orientation Leader applications. Here are some of my favorite photos from January:
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I know that I included this just a few posts ago, but I’m so glad I finally got to see the Painted Ladies in person! IMG_2312
I went to a basketball game on campus, and held a sign of one of our best players!
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I furthered my addiction to Vitality Bowls. Seriously the best meal. So healthy, yet filling.
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I spent time with friends, especially my friend, Andee, who is my wonderfully talented photographer (check out her photography blog here).
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I woke up in the morning to finish reading for class, and enjoy a cup of coffee.
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I went to this adorable independent movie theatre, and wrote a review of American Hustle for The Collegian.
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I had a junk food and movie night with my hall mates. We watched The Devil Wears Prada, which I found ironic since we were downing food that’s terrible for us while watching a movie about how it is socially unacceptable to be bigger than a size 2.
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My CAMPUS!
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City Trip number 1.
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Sushi and nail date with Andee.
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Went exploring around my beautiful campus.

Overall, Jan Term was awesome, and I’m sad to see it go, but I am excited for Spring Semester and my new classes. A lot of things are going to be happening: figuring out summer plans, figuring out which position on campus I will be holding (if I get one), and just figuring out my life plan in general.

Truly,
Callie leigh

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December Recap

Hello, World.

Happy New Year! We are now officially in 2014, but before I dive head first into a brand new year, I wanted to recap the final month of 2013. December was a rather mediocre month, but Christmas happened, and I love Christmas. I love coming home so I can spend time with my family, but I miss school after a week or so. I head back on Sunday, and I’m so excited. Last year JanTerm was my favorite part of the year, and I hope this year will be the same.
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1) Finals happened, and they went well, despite the normal lack of sleep, unhealthy intake of coffee, and unbearable stress that usually comes with them. I only had one “final exam,” but I had three huge papers in my other classes. I survived, and my grades came out strong, but I really do despise finals.
2) I visited my roommate and best friend’s family to help decorate their Christmas tree. That was a great day, even though I just about had a mental breakdown in the evening when I realized I hadn’t gotten any studying done, and I had my big exam in one days.
3) My amazing friends bought me coffee because I survived my Biblical Literature final. Gosh I love them. They know the way to my heart.
4) I came home for the holidays. My mom has the best tree around. I love being home during Christmas, and I just love Christmas in general. I feel like everyone is happier during the holidays, and I feel like everyone is gearing up for a new year.
5) My sister got a puppy! A little cocker spaniel named Molly Mae. She is the sweetest thing, and I had a blast babysitting her for a few days of break.
6) While home, I got to hangout with three of my friends from high school, Lindy, Nick, and Rossy. This picture is of Lindy and I when we had our Christmas movie night, and caught up. Not pictured is when Nick and I baked cookies, watched movies, and hung out. Rossy and I had coffee, gluten free coffee cake, talked for hours, and watched Gossip Girl, the show we loved all through high school, and would talk about in class!
7) My sister and I got our nails done together! I got pretty traditional Christmas-inspired nails, and my sister did the Stiletto Nail look in a pretty purple with glitter and black! I like having my nails done. Chipped nails are kind of a pet-peeve.
8) My mom’s best friend, and my long-time mentor and inspiration visited! She’s always encouraged me, and always assured me I wasn’t some terrible writer that would end up in a cubicle writing the business letters for a company I hated. That may be a reality someday, but she convinced me every time I see her that it probably won’t happen.
9) Christmas! This Christmas was mellow, and filled with family and cute holiday jammies. It passed too quickly, but I had a great day with my family and the new puppy.

This month was good, but I am so excited to say goodbye to 2013, welcome 2014 with open arms, and move into JanTerm. Hope you’re having a great day, and the New Year’s hangover isn’t too terrible.

Truly,
Callie leigh

November & Break Recap

Hello, World.
Somehow it is already December 1st. I’m not sure where this year went, but it sure did pass quickly. Something about December, though, just makes me really happy. I love the holiday season, and Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. I am a HUGE gift giver. I love giving gifts, and I always try to donate books young children, or do the “buy a gift for a child” at the mall because I really like idea of making a young child’s day just a little bit brighter. So, while I’m really excited for December, I thought I would recap my November. November is a great month, and this year it was even a little greater. Despite spending a majority of the month majorly stressed out, I still had a really good month with the people I love.
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First, Starbucks got their red cups back! That was definitely the first sign of the holiday season for me, and since they were doing a buy one get one free special, my best friend Steven and I went and got lattes. Second, I invested in some “holiday break” reading. December is when I get my life back, and I’m not always reading for classes, so I plan to read all the gossipy, fashiony magazines I can, along with Lean In, Cannery Row, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Just One Year. Third, I spent a Saturday at the DeYoung Museum of Art in San Francisco. That was a really beautiful day. I might overuse the word beautiful, but I like to think I’m someone who tries to see a little beauty in everything. Fourth, while in San Francisco, I visited Beanery Coffee House. I went there last year when I went to Golden Gate Park, and I fell in love. they have SUCH good chai its a little ridiculous.
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Fifth, I crossed Golden Gate Bridge for the first time! My best friends thought it was just a necessary part of life, so when we were heading back from the city, we decided to take the long way around, and hit the bridge. It was pretty cool, and I can now cross it off my bucket list! Sixth, I went home for Thanksgiving! I took this photo because I love how my mom decorates, and I love these little velvet pumpkins. Seventh, I went to my families cabin and finally got to wear my Sorel boots I got last year for Christmas. I also was a little disappointed there was no snow at the cabin, and I also find it really weird that there is no rain today and it is December 1st. Eighth, my family and I worked on a puzzle.
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Here is the finished product. Yes, my mom did buy a puzzle with a bunch of cats on it, and yes I felt incredibly accomplished when, at the end of break, I had finished this puzzle and absolutely no homework!
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Holly and I invested in this mini Christmas tree for our room. You can never be too jolly, its just not possible. Spread that Christmas cheer!
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While at the cabin, I watched too many movies, way too much Duck Dynasty (how I had never seen that show I will never understand), oh and of course I drank too much coffee and cider.
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Some photos from a walk at the cabin! The weather was way too nice, and I was so sad I didn’t get to go sledding, but my family is enough for me to always be happy.
IMG_0718 IMG_1947 Here is my lovely dog, Star, who I got to see while I was home. She is a retired supermodel, and basically just likes me to pet her, give her lots of attention, and she sleeps more than most humans. I love her, and she also helps me procrastinate when I’m trying to do work!

So, there we have November. I blinked, and this month was over, pretty crazy to think about. Anyway, I had a great month and I did a lot of fun things with my friends and family. Hope you had a great month, and I would love to hear any highlights! Enjoy today.

Truly,
Callie Leigh

October Recap

Hello, World.

Today is November 1st. How its already November I’m still trying to understand, but alas, the months are passing and its now the eleventh month of the year. November is one of my favorite months because it has Thanksgiving (food, movies, cider, etc.), my sister’s birthday, and a break from school. But before we start getting into November, I thought I would recap October. October was a big month for me in the sense that it contained midterms, a break, outings with friends, pumpkins, and Halloween. I had a truly fabulous October, and honestly, this October was one of my favorites I’ve had in a few years. So, I’ve compiled a list of my BIG moments from the tenth month of the year, and wanted to share them with all of you lovely people.

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1: My family visited, and took me out to a lovely brunch. We also made a trip to the Redwood Grove, which is this beautiful part of campus that is tucked away, but is basically a big patch of grass surrounded by Redwood trees. The weather was beautiful while they visited, and I was really happy to see them after a long time apart.
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2: Sushi date with a new friend. I went to sushi with my friend, Andee, who I became good friends with this year. She’s awesome, and its always a good time with her. Also, sushi makes me happy, so there’s that.
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3: Midterm week. I kind of despise midterms, but luckily, as an English major, I don’t usually have a lot of midterms. I usually have papers due or take-home tests, or brief in class exams. However, studying for my Biblical Literature class’s midterm was awful. There was so much material, a three-page (single-spaced) study guide, and well, (almost) the whole Bible. But alas, I did well on the exam so the hours of studying paid off. I also got an A on my English paper, so WOO. I’m definitely going to be celebrating tonight.
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4: Visiting home. Since I did a post about this, I’m sure most of you know that my trip home was wonderful and relaxing. I love my family so much, and visiting home always grounds me. I visited the rice fields with my dad, hungout with my dog, went to a Halloween party, saw my best friend, and just enjoyed life (and not doing homework). I also changed my hair color and got pedicures with my mamma. Talk about a relaxing, beautification day. Seriously, my mom is the best. And my sister is one of the best hair dressers I know. I always love what she does, and I always know I can trust her with my hair. Sleeping in my queen sized bed was also a highlight of my trip!
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5: Coffee dates to relieve some stress. I went to coffee with friends to talk, and just not do work for an hour or so. Sometimes it’s important to take breaks, and not drown myself in schoolwork, which is why coffee dates are a beautiful thing. Besides, I love talking to people about life, literature, struggles, or whatever; so coffee dates ensure that good conversation will occur.
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6: Pumpkin patch visit. I did a post about this as well, but I thought I would include it because it was definitely a highlight of my month. I love pumpkins and I love going to a pumpkin patch! Maybe this will become a tradition (although my roommate is studying abroad in London next Fall, so we’ll have to figure out how to accomplish this).
Anyway, I’m going to dinner with friends tonight, and making a pumpkin pie! Enjoy your Friday!
Truly,
Callie Leigh

September Recap

Hello, World.

Today is the first day of my favorite month of the year: October. October brings pumpkins, Halloween, horror films, candy, orange leaves, sweaters, boots, and scarves. Basically, I love everything about October. But, September treated me pretty well this year, and I thought I would share a few of my favorite moments from the past month!
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When I went to Peets at the beginning of September and realized their pumpkin chai lattes were back, I almost cried I was so happy. Pumpkin is the ultimate representation of autumn for me, and when I get to go have coffee with my favorite people, and just talk about life over a warm beverage, I am seriously one of the happiest people ever.
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I hiked to the cross on campus with a new friend, and had such a beautiful view of campus and the sunset.
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I found a really cute little reading spot for in the morning before my Bible class. I love the sound of water, and reading near this fountain is so relaxing. Not to mention I think campus is absolutely beautiful early in the morning.
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Starbucks date with two of my good friends, Ashley and Andee. I think I drink too many coffees, but what the hell, I like my chai lattes and talking to my friends. I have a lot to say, apparently.
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I got a letter from my friend, Kyle. Luckily he’s understanding of my ridiculously poor skills at responding to letters because otherwise I would never get mail. But I adored getting a handwritten letter, showing me he cared. I’m working on a response, and hopefully I can get it in the mail before October passes.
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I finally purchased Elsie and Emma’s photo idea book! I am thrilled, and cannot wait to try some of the photo challenges and whatnot. Both Elsie and Emma are so talented, and I am excited to read their first book!
Overall, September was a great month. I had so many beautiful moments, and I wish I could include all of them. September was a month of change for me, getting used to things that were different, getting used to a new class schedule, new professors, and new friends. Sometimes I wake up and can’t help but think, how the hell did I get to this point? So much changed in such a short time, but to be perfectly honest, I’m the happiest I’ve felt in a long time. I love everyone in my life with all my heart, and I love who I am at this point in my life. When September started, I felt detached, and like a part of me was missing, but luckily I located the missing piece, and even tweaked some things I didn’t like, and now I always feel content. I’m not a fan of unnecessary drama, and I’m so thankful I can trust and love everyone in my life unconditionally each and every day.
Truly,
Callie Leigh