23 January 2011

It's ridiculous to leave all the conversation to the pudding

When the weather turns nippy, it makes me think of Jordan, my freshman year roommate and best friend (hi Jordan!).

Jordan grew up in Los Angeles and had never lived in a place with snow before coming to Wililams. She used to worry me, shivering in her bed next to the heater with all our extra blankets piled on her, and layered up in her skiing gear.

She's come a long way since then, and now really embraces the cold. She's come a long way in other ways, too, surprising herself. She studied in New Zealand for a year, wrote a thesis in oceanography, sailed for weeks offshore aboard a research vessel, and is now in grad school, studying climate change.

I am so proud of her, and of being her friend.

This is the girl who knows exactly how I'm feeling and what I'm thinking, even when I can't find the words. She was my first real introduction to non-classical music, and the extra nudge I needed to apply for a semester at Williams-Mystic despite my parents' skepticism. She shares my love of running and cooking. She takes care of me when I'm tired and discouraged and grumpy. And I take care of her when she hurts herself cutting up watermelon or running in the woods. We have had a lot of adventures together, and there are still so many more to come.

Maybe that's why the cold weather still makes me think of Jordan. When the wind is rattling around and seeping in through the cracks -- seriously, what good are the windowless cement walls of our library, if they can't even keep out the wind? -- I would love nothing better than to ditch my lecture notes and cuddle under a blanket with a good book or two (textbooks don't count). Alas, that is not to be, and the next best thing I could think of was a bowl of warm rice pudding topped with cinnamon, to sweeten the study time.

It, uh, helps me think about how the GI tract works.


01 January 2011

I'll be home tonight

Inquiring minds want to know: is DC part of "The South"?

I mean, it is south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but a lot of people insist that I do not live in the South, so I'm wondering. It's definitely the furthest south that I've ever lived, and the lateness of autumn and winter has been confusing as all get out. Halloween, for instance, totally sneaked up on me, because there hadn't been even a hint of frost on the ground yet.

Call me crazy (really, do; everyone else does), but I love winter, and I love the cold. Going home to Wisconsin -- to a real, invigorating winter with brisk air and piles of snow -- for winter break was simply lovely.

Sure, my fingers and toes were cold, and my nose rivaled that of Rudolph when I came back inside from shoveling snow, but "truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold." * Besides, after you've been outside, a bowl of hot, spicy, Korean ramen tastes... unbelievable. :)

* A box of cookies for the first person who can identify the source of the quote without an Internet search!

At the same time, I love that on most days in Madison (and in New England, where I also spent a good number of years) I can get away with not wearing gloves or a hat, since it's not, say, the Arctic.

While I was home, I made like a champion and relaxed with all my might, feasting on my mom's cooking and catching up on sleep. Of course I baked and cooked a lot, too, mostly to enable my little brother in his foraging habits (he's twenty, he needs the calories), but I also spent a lot of my time reading.

Ten books in eight days. Oh yes, it was bliss.

I also had a chance to meet up with a few friends, some of whom I hadn't seen in years. ♥

Well, break is nearly over now, and I'm back in DC, with Internet access again. I am recharged and bracing myself to face another semester!

Borrowing from the brilliance of Christoph Niemann, I wish you all the best:

Happy 2011, everyone!