Monday, March 21, 2011

Lizzie shares what Spring Break in Florence is like!


I’m back from spring break in Florence and I can’t believe my semester is half-way over! Eek. I wanted to keep everyone updated on what I did, because I have a lot of fun stories.

So I started my week in Venice with two of my friends Catherine and Taylor. We stayed in a cute hotel and shared one big room. After taking a train, vapporetto (water taxi), and cab we were exhausted. But we woke up the next morning to find ourselves in the midst of Carnevale, an annual celebration where everyone dresses up. We wore fun and colorful masks for three days straight and saw many intricate costumes that made people look like they were from the 17th century! We took an overpriced gondola ride throughout the city and hit all the major tourist traps for museums and churches. The most exciting thing were the outdoor parties. Literally, a dj station would be set up in the middle of the street and people would just start dancing outside. It felt very extravagant and crazy, but I felt so lucky to have been a part of it.

Then, we went to Madrid and stayed there for the rest of the week. We stayed with a friend who lives there and got to see the city through his eyes. We went to the major museum – El Prado – as well as a really fun zoo/aquarium! My favorite part was the Flamenco performance where we stayed for 4 hours watching, listening, and feeling the music and dance. I missed speaking Spanish, so it was nice to get the rust off and be able to communicate in another country. As much as I loved Spain, Italy is much more relaxed and laid back; it’s such an old, antique-like place and it feels good to be home. ☺

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kristen Checks in from campus!

Hello everybody!

So far, this semester has been going great. My schedule is awesome, I’m loving my classes, and I’m making sure that I stay on top of all my school work so that I don’t get stressed out. I try to keep my days busy so that I can have evenings and weekends to unwind and relax a little bit. So, here’s what a typical week in my life looks like: Every morning I’ll wake up at 8:00AM and get my day started. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I have a 9:00 AM class so I don’t really have time to drag around, but on Tuesdays and Thursdays, my first class isn’t until 11:00, so I’ll spend a little more time getting ready, and then go grab breakfast with a friend. One class that I’m really enjoying is a Sociology class called Social Problems. As the course title says, we discuss the social problems affecting American society today, and explore the causes of them and think of probable solutions for them. This is a topic that I’ve started to become really interested in, and I’m finding that I feel strongly about a lot of the issues we discuss. It makes me want to be a part of the solution to those problems in the future.

After I’m done with classes for the day, I’ll head to the gym to get in a work out, shower, and then head back to my dorm, where I will do homework or catch up on reading until dinner time. Since I try to do most of my homework during the day, my evenings are mostly spent pretending to do work while really just messing around on facebook or stumbleupon, hanging out with friends, watching movies, or catching up on TV shows.

On Wednesday nights, I release all of my stresses from the week by going to the ‘Sco with some friends. There’s usually good music, and there’s ALWAYS lots of dancing. I don’t even mind staying out late and having to wake up early the next morning because dancing never fails to put me in a great mood that will carry me through the rest of the week.

This semester, I decided to take the Rhythm Tap 101 ExCo. It meets on Sunday afternoons for two hours. I have never done any kind of organized dance but have always wanted to. When I found out that one of my hall mates was going to be teaching the class, I signed up immediately. I love it already. The first couple of weeks were frustrating because I was learning something totally new and I wasn’t good at it instantly. But, I’m learning quickly and I’ve gone from just making noise with my shoes to actually making music. A couple weeks ago, the class learned a new routine, and the rhythm has been echoing in my head ever since. I think that the amazing thing about ExCos is how passionate the instructors can be about what they’re teaching. It’s clear that my instructors genuinely love tap dance and want to spread it to others. If I ever want to practice outside of class, all I have to do is call them, and they’re ready to tap nearly any time of day.

Living in my own little Oberlin world, it’s easy to forget that there’s a world outside of this one. Last semester, I found that I was completely unaware of any major news, mostly because I never opened a newspaper or turned to a news channel. This semester, though, I promised myself I would try to stay updated on what was going on in the world, and Oberlin offers so many opportunities for doing that. There are always all kinds of speakers on campus who talk about major world events, historical events, and societal issues. Whenever I hear of one that I’m interested in, I try to make time to go listen to them. It’s a great way to learn about what’s going on without having to read the newspaper or something. This week, I listened to a talk about the 1960s, and how that decade has influenced social movements of today. And there are so many others! I’m going to try to go to as many as I can this semester because I find many of them fascinating.

So that’s my life so far. I’m excited to see what else Oberlin has to offer me. But more than anything, I’m excited for the warm weather that they promise me is coming, but I’m not sure when…

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wong checks in!

Hey there bloggers!
I cannot believe I’m already a second semester junior. Things have been sort of crazy since I returned from winter term. I thought I would walk you through a typical day in the life of me.
On Mondays, I wake up at 7:30am and head to the gym to do a combination of Insanity and p90x workouts with one of my friends. We workout ‘til about 9:00, then I head home and get ready for class. I have Gender, Sexuality, and the Law at 10:00am. This class is amazing! If you are into politics or the legal system, this is the class for you. It may be my favorite class thus far in my academic career here at Oberlin. From there, I head to my Philosophy of Mind class at 11:00. At noon, I run to DeCafe or Dascomb for some food (this is crucial for the rest of my day to work). As I eat lunch, I attempt to read for one of my classes but end up socializing with whomever wanders through the dining space. Once I’m done refueling, I head home to drop off my books and grab my psychology work. At 2:30pm, I’m ready for my psychology seminar. This is also a wonderfully engaging class. Psychology of Law is a very relaxing class and the material is fascinating. At 4:30, I head back to south studios for dance rehearsal. I’m rehearsing a new routine and have two weeks to get it down so those studios are my second home. I’ll leave South around 6:30pm to grab dinner and head home. By 7:00pm, I’m sitting at my laptop in my living room ready for my LSAT prep class on-line. Class ends around 10:15pm, so I grab a snack and then do any last minute reading I need to do before Tuesday.
…my Mondays are kind of crazy, huh?
I love being busy though and feeling accomplished. I love Oberlin and everything it has to offer me. With such a busy schedule, I really make it a point to take my time when getting from place to place…except when it’s cold haha. I can’t wait for spring season to start. I miss setting, playing, and being with my teammates. We have such a great group and even though we’re constantly busy, we still manage to remain a close-knit team.