schedule juggling…

I found an empty draft on my blog, called “up-is-down,” but I have no idea what that post was meant to be. It’s like the letter you started to write to a friend, and you stopped at “Dear Genevieve…”. But unfortunately, you don’t even remember who Genevieve was, much less what you were going to tell her. Maybe that’s an unfair description, because I remember all my friends’ names. More like finding a letter your grandmother started and then never wrote. I know that “Up is Down” is the name of a piece of music on the Pirates 3 soundtrack/score, but I don’t know if I was about to write a post about music or what. I guess we’ll never know.

Instead, I changed the title to something much less interesting, as I consider the ins and outs of planning for several weeks in advance, which I rarely do, if I can help it. Usually, during the semester, I will go about two weeks in advance, if I have a lot of papers due, along with having to study for a number of exams. This time around, I’m passing on my new work schedule for the school year, as well as a few last minute details of the summer schedule… and also processing in my brain the fact that… school starts soon.

Where did the summer go? I’m not even sure. But the fact remains that this year, I will be attempting something new. I am going to try and work and go to school at the same time, which might not sound like such a big deal to you, but I’m really not used to it. And because I do all my studying and writing in the afternoons and evenings, I will only work mornings, a few days a week. But it is still a new experiment for me, so if you think of it, pray for me.

And for those longing for me to post about books or photos or SOMETHING else besides school, I really am getting back into the swing of writing in general, and thinking about something fun to share. I still have one other unfinished Saturday books draft lying around, so I need to either go find some old pictures, or get myself to another bookstore. Let me see what I can pull together. And again, to all my regular followers, thanks for your patience.11268352_10153277500634976_608610108_o

P.S. I hope that the weather is treating you well, wherever you are! It’s been so hot and humid here that the air conditioning tends to run all night… and that’s with our family keeping the temp set fairly high by southern standards! It’s not unusual for me to get out of the car after driving home from work, and my glasses will fog up. And because of that humidity, we’re prone to the occasional thunder storm. I drove into a deluge the other day, on the way to work, and was flat out terrified by being unable to see a thing, even while driving incredibly slow. And this afternoon, while going over my schedule in the dining room, there came several cracks of thunder, completely out of the blue. I truly do mean out of the BLUE, because there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, from the angle I could see it from. Then, the sky dumped out a lake’s worth of rain (or at least, it seemed like it) for a few minutes, and then stopped. Somewhere, a rainbow must have been shimmering, but I missed it. Stay cool, wherever you are in the U.S., and I hope your summer continues to go well! (Yes, I know the Aussies are grumbling that it’s winter where they are, so please stay warm, my friends.)

the lost saturday books…

Not having written any interesting blog posts in some time (it’s alright, you can admit it to me), I was sitting here considering writing one about the Elizabeth Gaskell mini-series (serieses? for two of them?) that my parents and I just watched. But since the layout of WordPress has changed a bit recently, I became aware that several drafts were still filed away. Surely that was a mistake, or I had never written anything in them except a title.

Instead, I found two posts that I had started after trips to the bookstore, as a continuation of my Saturday books postings that I used to make while I was in Australia. Both of them were listed as having been written at least a year ago, so I probably wrote them during the summer, too.

I double-checked to make sure this wasn’t a post that I had published, but it had a previous version in the drafts. So, though I make mention of the movie, The Giver, not having been made yet, I think that other bookworms will still find it interesting. How funny that one of the books that I took a picture of, I brought a copy of it home from the library the other day! Maybe finding this will give me the writing “jog” that I needed, in order to get blogging again. I hope you enjoy my book musings from this long year past!

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I was getting antsy to do something or go somewhere, over the last few days. So, B&N gift card only finalized my decision to head to Greenville, where I’m pretty sure I spent well over two hours in the bookstore. Just soaking it up, drooling… you know how it goes. Because there’s nothing like looking at the books, in person, as opposed to just looking at pictures, online. Eventually, I grabbed a coffee from their Starbucks, and resisted the urge to spend money on anything in their glass display case. IMG_20140809_151703760But every trip into a bookstore starts the same… even if I have to go visit the rest room, I come back to the front, and methodically make my way through the store. First, the main display books, then the sale tables in front of the bestsellers, and then I work my way back through the store. Each one is a little different, so I don’t hit the sections in order after that. This time, I reached the new Fiction, and then wandered into the teen fiction. And for once, I was surprisingly pleased with what the store stocked and how they laid it out. Maybe it’s very different, even between the Woodruff and the Haywood B&N’s. In case any G’ville people are reading, I was on Woodruff Road. IMG_20140809_151539310I quickly realized that while I’ve raged at the “Teen Paranormal Romance” section, in the past, they didn’t have one labeled that way, this time. Teen Adventure & Fantasy, Teen Romance, and general Teen Fiction. So, while all the authors that are trying to be StephenieIMG_20140809_150501261 Meyers, Suzanne Collins, Victoria Roth, and James Dashner are scattered throughout, they weren’t as visibly obvious as previous horrible book sections that I’ve seen. So, I was able to go back to picking up books that had fascinating looking covers, taking pictures, and intending to look up descriptions of some of them when I got home.

Honestly, if I could spot one of Judy Blume’s books right under the Teen Romance sign, I figured they must have been fixing aIMG_20140809_150329495 few of their past issues. And there’s a possibility that some decent books may be buried amongst the garbage, as well. And, of course, with The Giver being made into a movie, amazing authors like Lois Lowry are on full display. That can’t be a bad thing.

Among other options, I was curious about the book The Fire Wish and what the sci-fi looking cover on a new Ann Brashares book could mean. I was rather annoyed with the final Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book, and never finished it, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a good writer. So, what could an author of a few books I enjoyed me up to next? I’ve forgotten what the blurb said, by now, but that doesn’t mean I won’t go look it up later. But there is much to be said for having some amazing artwork on the cover of a new book. I’ve never been sure how they chose books in the olden day bookstores before cover designs came about.IMG_20140809_153407498_HDR

And then I made a beeline for the children’s section, to see what marvels of literature may have surfaced in there. I always find myself stepping around at least one parent and child, and given the opportunity, I’ll recommend a book to them. But I rarely get that chance, unless one of them is monologue-ing about “What do you want to read?” or “But those books never have anything exciting in them!”. I can’t imagine how any of these ideas can be possible, but I suppose if all you read is Captain Underpants, you can’t have much idea of what a good book really is, can you?

Please remember, unless I mention a book or author, particularly saying that I’ve read them, please don’t take any of these picture posts as recommendations. Do your homework, before handing a book over to your child. I’m sure you know that, but please remember I haven’t read a lot of these. But The Glass Sentence, Rooftoppers, and Marina certainly caught my eye with their covers, making me curious to know more about their stories. Can you see why?IMG_20140809_153619436

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And there it ends…. perhaps a trifle abruptly. I haven’t figured out how to find the date for when the last draft was made yet, what with the new-ish WordPress layout, as I said. I will look into the other post and see what I come up with. Perhaps it’s time for a resurrection of the Saturday books lineup. And since I’m always taking pics of interesting books, when I’m in the brick-and-mortar stores, it’s not like it would be difficult to do. If I could just make myself get in the mode again!

Here’s to new goals of writing, and hoping that you are enjoying your summer reading! Now there’s an idea… I really need to blog about what I’ve been reading, and update my book list. I hope to write again soon, and please feel free to share with me what YOU have been reading!

writing and I…

The written word and I… we have a strange and wonderful relationship. When it exists at all, I suppose. I’ve gotten so out of the habit that when I find that I want to write about something, I’m too tired or too busy or too… something. It’s like finding excuses for not going to the gym, but the difference being that I love writing and I do not love working out. Working can be satisfying, don’t get me wrong, but I have yet to find it addictive. I keep thinking that if my attempts to start running would get anywhere, then I could do it quickly. But if I start up too fast, I mess up a recurring injury in my foot.

After the end of the school year, I was so tired of writing, that I wouldn’t have dreamed of blogging about it. Besides, hadn’t my blog readers heard about my last three vacations where nothing happened at all? Or just listened to me complain about my schoolwork?

But I have no excuse now that school has been out for some time, and summer is halfway over. I’ve recovered from the swampedness that comes with taking a history class, a literature class, a fiction writing class, and a theatre class that requires one long paper at the end of the semester. This next semester, I’ll have three history classes to get through, if nothing changes, and hopefully I will have adjusted to the new keyboard on my new laptop by then. My brother swore I’d like it, but after a month, I still miss my HP keyboard. How does a bigger keyboard not space the keys out any further? I feel cramped.

The one thing that occasionally makes me want to begin writing and jabbering again is when I read a favorite book, and feel like stating some marvelously individual opinion about it. I missed my opportunity during exam week, because I was rereading Little Women, but really did NOT have any time to write about my opinion of the Professor Bhaer versus Laurie question. In case you’re wondering, I’m pro-Professor Bhaer, and do not quote Christian Bale at me, because Laurie in the book is nothing like Laurie in the movie, and as much as I love the movie, it’s wrong.

However, that is another rabbit trail that I shall avoid. My thoughts are running along with the books of L.M. Montgomery and I’m almost finished reading Emily’s Quest, the third of the Emily trilogy. But even that, I wonder if I should write about it or not. Any reader of Montgomery (yes, as in Anne of Green Gables) will have their favorites of her books. And I wouldn’t want any critique of the Emily books to be seen as a dislike of Emily herself, because I have friends who named their daughters after her.

What am I trying to say? Reading the books about Montgomery’s authoress heroine makes me think about her need to write, rather than feeling like complaining about why the Pat books are my favorite (sorry, I love Hilary Gordon more than Teddy Kent, if you must know). I have always empathized with Emily’s writing struggles, but as I grew up, I realized that my need to write isn’t quite as… visceral as hers. Is that the right word? Seems appropriate. I fully understand the need to write something out, but I can be much lazier about it than Emily ever was, probably because I have e-mail and other things to use to communicate with people. Who knows?

Anyone who loves to write can empathize with Emily Byrd Starr, but we’re not all cut from the exact same jib. My need or interest in writing comes in spurts. Or I just haven’t found the story that I want to tell again. It’s been a long time since I’ve had any story to tell that could be remotely like the ones I told about Australia.

This is probably a very confusing post. Maybe I’ll eventually figure myself out. And my writing, too. But don’t I just long to find the story that has to be told, once more. You know, the one that I have to tell, no matter what.

spring is coming… in the south, at least…

In reviewing my most “recent” blog posts, I can see that they all seem to revolve around breaks… fall break, Christmas break, etc…  In keeping with that, I have just officially begun Spring Break. At least I’ve tried to come up with a different title, though. If you recall back to when I started back to Clemson, I wasn’t so busy that I couldn’t write (or think) yet.

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Crocuses were coming up in the yard before I drove north.

It’s possible that it didn’t have to be this busy for me, but I made a last minute change to my spring schedule, and ended up with three classes that involved a lot of writing. So, when I’m not writing, I’m reading for class. Or thinking about doing either. Or trying NOT to think about it, because my head needs a break. Know the feeling?

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Ice-coated trees on the way north, made the mountains sparkle.

While spring is arriving here, it hasn’t arrived where my friends are, up in PA. I just got back from a weekend conference there, last weekend, so obviously I won’t actually be going anywhere during my “official” break. Too much reading to do. And sleeping. That’s the big difference, this time. I will be allowed to goof off, but in the back of my head, I do remember that I need to go start finding sources for my Theatre History paper. And reading for several classes, even when I have no official homework.

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My dear camp was covered in a few feet of snow…

The trees are starting to bud, though, so maybe I’ll take my camera out to see the pear trees in bloom next week. I don’t think I took my camera out for anything, last year, because I’ve been using my camera phone for most things. Hey, whatever works, and whatever you have time for.

Spring Break will also be a time for applying to jobs, so that I actually get one for the summer. I waited too late, last year, and never could find one. I shall be on top of that, this year, if nothing else.

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But the sun came out last Saturday, and made it safer to walk around outside.

Advising appointments begin soon, so I will have to think some more about what classes I want to take in the fall, so I can get the seal of approval from my advisor. I’ll be done with my German requirements, but I will probably take another German class, a history class (World War II, anyone?), and Music Appreciation (humanities requirements…). Beyond that, I haven’t thought too much, because I haven’t passed my math placement test yet, so I can’t even sign up for a math class.

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And more signs of springtime greeted me when I returned to the south.

Someday, I will have interesting things to tell you again, and time to do it in. A long trip of some kind would be great… wouldn’t I just love to go spend a few months in Australia? But that’s a few years in the future, still. So, I hope you enjoy the arrival of spring and my few pictures. :)

Christmas break has broken…

My Christmas vacation began on Thursday night, as soon as I finished my last geography “report”, which was really just a longer homework assignment. Before that, I had three exams, one each on Mon, Tues, and Wed… and then fiction portfolio was due on Thursday! My two final drafts (for this semester) for that portfolio were so crisp and clean and beautiful. And then it was over!10834714_10152866313979976_743309326_o10844515_10152866185429976_61046275_oI only just realized that my last post on here was before Fall Break. So sorry about that, I haven’t been swamped, but I do manage to stay busy. At the end, I didn’t have any big papers due for any history or literature classes, but I did have to finish my stories and read one last book for history. That kept me busy during some of my Thanksgiving break, which I spent in Florida. Even though we were in my brother’s place, I still manage to find time to work on a few school things, which was good.10825049_10152866180794976_124053857_oLet’s see, what has happened since I posted last? Aside from probably achieving all A’s in my classes again, I mean. We’re taking care of my brother’s dog while he’s away, so Bullet’s getting used to living with us and having four people to be entertained by.10844591_10152860790974976_569860123_o

We’ve decorated for Christmas, so all the trees are up and looking cheerful. Oh, at school, they’ve finally gone up “above the fence” while they’re rebuilding Freeman Hall, so I’m sure it’ll look almost complete when we get back from our break. No, we haven’t started any Christmas baking yet.10821814_10152855592604976_1118922527_oI feel like there’s probably something else I’ve forgotten, but oh well. I’m going to go empty my school notebooks so that they’re ready for next semester and so they’ll stop cluttering the furniture in my office area. I’m assuming that I’ll be back on here before then, but if I get busy, I hope you and your families will have a splendidly wonderful Christmas!10834475_10152866184189976_177036601_o10840097_10152866973814976_109514920_o

a break for autumn…

Fall Break begins tomorrow. But it feels like it’s already started, because my Thursdays almost always feel like Fridays. Tomorrow is just another day to be gotten through, not too much happening, and likely, most of my classes will be empty. So many people leave early, whether their classes are finished or not. But I have to have a really good reason to skip class, so I’m one of the goody-goods that shows up.

10754722_10152785906484976_780152276_oI only had one piece of homework tonight, a map to color and label. Talk about major projects, right? But honestly, I’ve had a busy week, getting through several pieces of writing for one class and beating my way through the most boring history book I’ve ever had the misfortune to read. Thankfully, it was only a little over 100 pages. I read the words, but my brain didn’t comprehend most of it, because I think the writer forgot he was human instead of a live dictionary. And you know, I happen to like words!

10746739_10152783818364976_1290058320_oWhile many students go home, my home is here, so I really don’t have any plans. Except for sleeping in and doing homework. Or studying. So, that means I really need to find something else new and different to do. Maybe I should go to the Botanical Gardens, with my camera, and actually take some pictures, for once. You know, with my real camera. Most pictures you see on here, if you weren’t aware, are from my phone. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just… if I want to take a more detailed photo, my phone camera doesn’t cooperate with me. No closeups of flower buds, you know. Just can’t do it.

10752284_10152785601829976_691994332_oWhat else? I feel like something’s probably slipping my memory. It happens when you’re trying to keep up with all your school stuff. Can’t think of anything else. Whether you’re on Fall Break or not, I hope you have a wonderful week!

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ain’t no time in the present…

It’s that time of the semester, again. When I can no longer read non-fiction for fun. Though to be honest, I was able to read my own history-for-fun books for longer than usual, because I’m only taking one history class. When your only history studies are in early Western Civ, digging into the “excitement” of Mesopotamia, then you can keep reading your books by Larry Schweikart on the history of America and American exceptionalism. But eventually, the amount of study and writing catches up with you. And now, I read well-worn fiction that I’ve read a million times, to pass the time when I’m eating at home. If I’m eating my lunch at school (and I usually am), I’m trying to work my way through C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, when I have time.

So, obviously, my German studies, reading my Geology book, and now my History books are starting to keep me busier. Which is almost too bad, when you’ve discovered some writers in one of your classes that you’d happily discuss books with, for hours on end. And share them. But they’re no more able to read fiction off my bookshelves than I am. Oh, wait, I did manage to fit in the latest books by Rick Riordan, The Blood of Olympus, and the “picture book”, Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods. But those are light reading, easily polished off on a Saturday. DSC_1218Some of my conversations with classmates have set off the “have you read this? have you read this?” default setting that every major bookworm knows and loves. And maybe their friends hate. If they aren’t bookworms, they might just, but then that means something’s wrong with them, right?

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L.M. Montgomery, as well as Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Bronte, & Jane Austen.

For example, thinking about fantasy fiction for a certain class has me thinking about my favorite writers that specialize in creating their own fantasy worlds, or they even retell classic fairytales. My favorite of these is probably Robin McKinley, who both writes a killer fantasy tale in worlds that boggle my mind, or she just rewrites the old favorites in an absolutely brilliant fashion. Take Spindle’s End or Rose Daughter, for example. The former is such a detailed tale of Sleeping Beauty that it still takes my breath away, every time I’ve read it (you know, about 150 times). And Rose Daughter is her second Beauty and the Beast story, the earlier one having been aimed at children, and she still manages to make both of them original and magical. And this is still the author that won the Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown, and the Newbery Honor mention for The Blue Sword (which is actually my favorite of the two). And along with the rest of the fantasy loving world, we’re all waiting for the second book in her Pegasus series, because if that book didn’t have the world’s most “horrible” cliffhanger, followed by three years of waiting… excuse me while I go sob in a corner for a while.DSC_1219Ok, now that I’ve pulled back from the Cliffs of Insanity, which is starting to talk about my favorite fantasy fiction, I’ll hit another type of book. Or two. Because when I realized that one of my classmates was minoring in Creative Writing, specifically in Poetry (myself, I’m considering minoring in Creative Writing, in Fiction), I had to start wondering two things. Have they ever read L.M. Montgomery’s Emily books and do they like Emily Dickinson?Quite the contrast, isn’t it? Stay with me for a second. As any reader of my book posts knows already, I’m an avid fan of L.M. Montgomery, but not just because of the Anne series. While not my least favorite of Montgomery’s books, Anne of Green Gable is not my favorite even of that particular series. That is, of course, Rilla of Ingleside. You should probably look up another post on the subject, because if I get started on Walter and Dog Monday, I’ll probably cry. But you really need to read the entire series to reach the crowning achievement which is Rilla.

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Did I mention I love Larry Schweikart? Beowulf AND Tolkien, for the win. And Emily Dickinson.

Ok, I’m getting sidetracked again. Sorry. Emily of New Moon, and the rest of that trilogy, follow a young girl who’s been orphaned and sent to live with family members that don’t particularly want her. No, no, she isn’t Anne, by any stretch, even if she is an orphan and has an amazing imagination. From the very start, she has more determination than her father, and she wants to become a writer. Starting with letters written to her beloved father, she eventually meets a teacher who appreciates her skill and desire to write and the scenes where he critiques her writing and verbally slaughters everything she writes, in order to make her better… they’re priceless. Considering how much I enjoy writing, can you understand that I not only feel a sense of awe over Montgomery’s way with words, but wish that I had a bit of Emily’s skill, too? Because she attempts poetry, as well as fiction, and every writer understands the desire to want to write even better (and more).Back to Dickinson. I rediscovered this author while in my British Literature class, last semester. That may sound odd, since she wasn’t British, but one author that we did read (and I disliked the book, by the way) was fascinated with Emily Dickinson. Some of her lines were in the chapter titles and there was one poem at the beginning of the book, which we concentrated on, as well as the title of the book, Opposite House. It made me curious, because I vaguely remembered Dickinson from when I was in elementary school. I just remembered that she was rather dreary.

But when I looked her up again, all these years later, I was hooked! And despite having a number of poetry collections, and occasionally scraping out a few of my own, I’m not a big poetry reader. But I had to buy a complete collection of Emily Dickinson’s work, and though I still haven’t finished it, I’m fascinated by how she strung her words together. Of course they were supposed to go that way in the poem… but how did she know it?

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Pssst… three of Wrede’s books are on the left side of the shelf. Awesomeness.

A few days ago, I discovered there was a one-woman play that had been written about her, called The Belle of Amherst, by William Luce. Apparently, it’s playing in New York City right now, starring Joely Richardson, and if I could afford to go to NYC for the weekend, I’d go right now. Unfortunately, I have to get back to my schoolwork soon and do tons of writing over the weekend. Oh, and I can’t afford a plane ticket. But I’m going to read that play soon, just to see what another author thought of Dickinson’s words.In the meantime, I’m looking forward to when Charlie N. Holmberg’s sequel to The Paper Magician comes out, though I’m not sure when that is. It’s called The Glass Magician, and I pre-ordered it. Another fictional tale that places magic in Regency or Victorian times. But if I tell you all about how much I love Patricia C. Wrede’s stories set in that type of setting, I’ll never shut up. Some of you have heard it before. Better search for her name in my previous posts.

Now, I need to go read some Geology or do something else constructive. Tomorrow, after school, I’ll really get down to the business of catching up on a few items of homework, just so I can spend the rest of the weekend writing. Because ENGL 345 has my name on it for Thursday, especially, and I have some more drafts to spin out. Auf wiedersehen, good night. :)

a not-hiatus…

I’ve been writing on my blog so little, that I’ve wondered whether I should actually declare (like some do) that they’re taking a certain period of time off from writing. But in the end, I don’t want to do that, because when something interesting which I do actually want to write about comes along… I need somewhere to write it!

But if I’m being honest with myself and my readers, I have reached a different stage in my life from when I started this blog. No adventures in Australia await me, until I can graduate and save up more money, even though I might see some Aussie friends in the next month (possibly in DC). I’m not stuck in a job that doesn’t require much thought, so I don’t have tons of spare time to go take photographs, either on campus or around the local botanical garden.

Instead, I’m continuing on a different “adventure” that occupies most of my time, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I made the Dean’s List in my first semester back in school, and then reached the President’s List on my second. I hope and plan to stay on the President’s List for as long as possible, hanging onto all those A’s. Admittedly, it still annoys me that I couldn’t quite make that A in Military History, during that first semester. My ability to remember and explain military strategy for essay exams “did me in”, just slightly.

I try and remind myself of all these things, when I feel like I’m neglecting my blog. But when you spend a lot of time writing for school, and editing and re-editing everything, you don’t always feel like writing anything else! This semester, while I feel a bit like it’s a slower collection of classes, the differences in what I’m required to write fills in the gaps enough to keep me running full tilt.

For example, my Geology and Western Civ classes never have any written homework, only reading, and it’s just a matter of keeping up and being prepared for tests. Other classes have homework, but no exams, and the homework is fairly easy in Geography. The writing for my other class… well, let’s say that it’s a different type of writing than I usually do for my history or literature classes. I have to work hard during the week, sometimes, to give myself swathes of time to write on the weekend. Or at least, empty my head enough of other things, in order to be able to write.

And certainly not least of all, I’ve been getting back into my Bible studies, on my own, and realized the need for my daily times spent in the Word of God. I always make time for that after I’ve finished my homework, which means that I have to stay on top of everything, so that I will be finished.

Perhaps I’m only reiterating what I’ve written about, on and off, in the last few months. But sometimes, I need to write it out to convince myself. I am a writer, which means I always need an outlet to write on. If not on a blog, then in e-mailed letters to friends. But now, I have other outlets that allow me to blow off some of that writing steam that builds up inside.

So, busy as I get, I never plan to go on hiatus from this blog… if I did take a vacation of any sort, I would probably spend more time blogging, especially if I went somewhere interesting. But it may be a long, long time before I come back to blogging as a very regular thing. Because I need the time and brain power for other things right now. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

If you read through all that, thanks for staying with me. Have a marvelous week, and I promise I’ll come back eventually, ok?

is it a weekend yet?

Time and again, this semester, I’ve found that Thursdays seem like Fridays. I think it’s because unless there’s a test in Geology on Friday, I’ve survived the three long days that sit in the middle of the week. I really do not like being in school until 4:30 or 5pm, so I look forward to signing up for classes that get me out earlier, next semester.

Packing the classes closer together, if possible, allows that early departure… and then a time to relax before beginning homework.As of this moment, it doesn’t really feel like I have homework, but that’s just because I’m taking a deep breath after finishing my first essay exam of the semester, and there’s nothing major happening tomorrow. Just go, pay attention, and head home. This I can do.

But I’m not really short on things to do, and plan to get to work on some things for my English class, later. If I whip through the next 5-10 pages of writing for that, in the next few days, then I can breathe easy while finishing all the rest of my homework. My semester is starting to feel busier, but I’ve been able to fit everything in still… without staying up terribly late!

10718210_10152715804469976_362259217_oLet me rephrase that… I really am a night owl, but I don’t do well at staying up impossibly late doing homework, like a lot of college students do. There comes a point when my brain gets fuzzy, and nothing I read is actually comprehended, so what’s the point of attempting to study then? Also, having to get up relatively early for my classes, I can’t stay up all night and stay awake in class.

So, I keep close track of what’s due and try very hard to clear large gaps of time, when I need to write papers, whether it’s fiction or history or whatever. Often that’s on weekends, when some homework can wait. But most weeknights, I finish with my schoolwork at 10pm, study my Bible for a while, and then get ready for bed. I rarely go to sleep before 12:30am, though I do try and get settled before then.

But even with these good intentions, I know that I’m getting a lot more sleep and going to bed a lot earlier than most college students. And thankfully, it’s reflected in my grades. Some people would look at my life and think I don’t have one, because I’m not out partying every night. I look at my life and think that I’m not wasting the loan money that is allowing me to return to school, and hopefully, being on the President’s List will get me another scholarship.10720671_10152715127664976_886496010_o

Anyway, rather than ramble on about schoolwork, the only pictures I have to share are of some of the construction machines that are spending time on the Clemson campus. Not very exciting, unless you’re like some of the two year old boys I know, who love their machines. I took the picture of the crane, with a 2 year old in mind, who I still have yet to meet. But his family’s moved back east, so I hope to meet all the kids soon. There was something so fun about taking a second look at the construction machines, and to try and make a child happy by taking a picture. Especially when he knows all the names of those machines, and I don’t.

I hope that you enjoy your weekend! I plan to, once it starts, but don’t have any new and exciting plans for myself. Outside of schoolwork, of course. I’ve been reminded that there’s a football game this weekend, and tell myself that maybe I’ll go to one, someday. But who wants to go to one alone? Not me, that’s for sure.

falling saturdays…

For the last week or more, we’ve been keeping our windows open to let in the (mostly) cool breezes at night. I’ve had to get used to hearing the crickets, because during the summer, you can’t hear them over the air conditioning. But fall is on its way in, and the leaves are starting to fly by the windows. Wasn’t it just a little while ago, when I was actually remembering to take photos of the leaves changing, last autumn? Hard to believe I used to get my camera out more often, too.10712227_10152705560894976_2100707239_oSaturday was a little lazy, sleeping in and goofing off a bit before starting schoolwork. It was quiet, because some people were away and not everyone was up. But I remembered to go outside with my phone, and check out the last bunch of blooms that we’re likely to have this year, lit up by sun at noon.

If you’re wondering what I’ve been working on in school, then you’ll be thrilled to know that I spend some of my time coloring maps for my geography class. Yes, it’s right back to elementary school for me. But I doubt that our unit homework would be handle-able by an elementary student, so there’s that. Not that it’s difficult homework, just questions about different countries and videos that we’ve watched, with the intent to make us think. If you use your brain just a little bit, and show up for class, there’s no difficulty in acting the course. 1503014_10152706350404976_648931595_o

All my other classes are going well and keeping me busy, and with my first “official” German test and early Western Civ test, I’ll be spending a good chunk of the next few days studying. When that’s done, I’ll be studying sedimentary and metamorphic rocks for my geology lab quiz and my next geology class test. You get the idea. It’s a lighter semester, in some ways, and busier in other ways. My ENGL 345 class keeps my brain occupied on the weekends in a way that writing my history papers never did.

I hope you’re enjoying the fall colors, or the beginnings of cooler temps, wherever you are! Grab a cup of coffee, and just soak it up.10685953_10152703854974976_762651423_o