September 23, 2008

Mom and Dad are NOT going to be happy...

I just ordered this book from Amazon:

And here's the description:

Congratulations - you've finished school. But if you're not sure you're ready to settle down into an office environment, Delaying the Real Worldis chock-full of creative ideas and practical information that will help you craft your own life-changing adventure: Teach English in Thailand; Take a road trip; Build houses in a Mexican village; Counsel at a children's art camp; Work on a cruise ship; Lead excursions in the Grand Canyon; Intern at a wildlife sanctuary; Bike (or drive) across America; Guide snorkeling groups in Australia; Hike along the Pacific Trail; Create (and fund) your own service project; Travel around the globe on one affordable plane ticket; And much more! In this one-of-a-kind guide, Colleen Kinder scouts out experiences that will not only satisfy your free spirit but also pay the bills, make the world a better place, and maybe even catapult you into a future career. Including stories from young adventurers and detailed information on making these dreams a reality, Delaying the Real World is a road map for the new graduate, inspiring and directing you toward making your twenties the most rewarding (and adventurous) decade of your life.

September 22, 2008

Proof That Beauty Really is Timeless

I really will do anything to put off school work...

Most Likely to Skip School to Steal Rave Hairspray and Stirrup Pants.

Most Likely to Join the Cast of "Saved by the Bell."

No "Most Likely" here, we just look exactly like our moms.
(Although Lauren could be the love child of Karen and John McCain...she's got his chin.)

And just because I'm that good of a friend.


If I could, I certainly would. This time last year was better than this time this year, no doubt about it. Why, you might ask? Because this time last year, I was on a beach in Capri. Or leaning against the tower in Pisa. Or eating gelato while looking out over the Florence skyline. Or maybe, just maybe, boarding a plane bound for Barcelona.

This year, Thursdays consist of class and Cru. Last year, Thursdays consisted of landing in a new city, and every weekend was a new adventure.

This year, I spend Sundays complaining that I have to go back to class. Last year, I spent Sundays complaining that I had to go back to Florence (boo-hoo, I know). 

This year, I come home from class and cook spaghetti. Last year, I'd come home from class and cook spaghetti-- but in ITALY, you see.

This year, I'll turn 22 in Bloomington. Last year, I turned 21 in Florence. It was an amazing night: a trip to the ballet, blueberry steak, chianti wine and the best chocolate cake you can imagine. Did I mention that all of this was in Italy?

Over the weekend I caught up with some of the friends that I met while abroad. It was a lot of fun, but the evening had an overtone of sadness as we all admitted that we weren't over Florence. She was a little bit of everything: beautiful, loud, smelly, disgusting, inviting, warm, cold...and we all fell in love. None of us have been able to get over her.

I don't know which I miss more about that time: the big things or the little things. I loved the independence I gained through finding my way around a strange country where I didn't speak the language, but I'll never forget the sense of accomplishment I felt when I got groceries for the first time. Sure, it was incredible to see Michelangelo's David, but it couldn't compare to some of the Tuscan sunsets I witnessed.

Don't get me wrong, I love Bloomington in the Fall. It's fantastic. It's great to be back with my friends. And I know that even if I were to go back, it just wouldn't be the same, because it's no longer a new, exciting adventure. I've been there, and I've done that. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't do it all again.

I'll add some pictures later.

September 21, 2008

School must be back in session...

...because I'm finding any reason I can to procrastinate. I have a to-do list a mile long, but not motivation to start checking things off. My room is a mess, I have a four page paper due at midnight (I'm taking the class pass/fail, so my goal's a D-) and the only things I have in my fridge are eggs and Turkey Hill Diet White Tea Peach (and yes, that was a plug, because the stuff's amazing AND on sale for 99 cents at Kroger right now). And some mayo.

The past three weeks have been crazy, but as most of you know, I'm not happy unless I'm stressed. I'm taking 18 credit hours (which will allow me to take only 12 next semester) and so far, had more homework than in the 3 previous years combined.

Student Foundation is in full swing, and I'm in charge of around 50 juniors who are doing some sort of philanthropic work. Our first meeting is Tuesday and we'll vote on a project for them to get involved in throughout this semester.

I'm also hosting a weekly podcast called "Hoosiercast." To listen, click here, or search for it on iTunes: podcasts: Hoosiercast. Part of the gig required me and Max, my co-host, to pose for marketing photos. So, as of next month, we will periodically be featured on campus busses and newspaper stands. Don't worry, I've come to terms with that fact that I'm going to be a huge celebrity, and there will be no Lindsay Lohan behavior from me-- I will continue to wear underwear and not date women. Although, if offered the chance to star in a blockbuster like "Herbie: Fully Loaded," I might have to take it.

And then, of course, is the most important aspect of school: my social life. The welcome-back-from-summer hellos are over, and it occurred to me that this was the last time I'd do that. In high school I remember anxiously awaiting the 4-H fair-- a chance for everyone to see who'd blossomed over the summer and was coming back to school a hottie-- and getting that amazing outfit for the first day of classes. It's kind of like that here, but we've given up trying to look good for class, and nobody really hits puberty anymore, so there's a lot less excitement. Nonetheless, it's always great get back to everyone.

Well, that's it for now. This paper isn't going to write itself. But then again, if I'm aiming for a D-, I don't really have to write it, either. Be sure to check out this video, and then this video, and stay tuned for more!