Tuesday, August 30, 2011

College, Again

Today is my second day of actual classes!
After yesterday, when upperclassmen dressed as the Greek gods and goddesses welcomed the freshmen outside of the Humanities lecture (Hum 110 is the one class that everyone at Reed takes) and we learned to sing the first lines of the Iliad and the Odyssey, after I met the French Language Scholars and almost cried for Paris in French and after a short bio lecture, I am so happy to be here.  I love going to a school where the gods and goddesses welcome you to humanities, where at certain parties the entire school chants "Homer, Homer, Homer," where my friends can come and sit in my room and talk about everything - gossip and coffee and Penelope's shroud.
As you guys knew (to some extent), I was pretty worried about going off to college - worried and excited, but still.  Pretty damn scared.  However, my darling Kuzu said something about it - that she was worried before she left but she can't remember it.  Her group of friends at her college are lovely and accepting and she's super-happy.  I remember thinking "well, yes, but that's you - they're going to laugh at me and think I'm silly and not get my jokes."  To those of you about to start college, I don't think that's true.  My friends laugh at my jokes and, yes, they laugh at me sometimes, but we also talk about serious things and light things and that's how it should be.  So if you're starting sometime soon (like the lovely Alexandra), don't worry.  Thus far, it all works out fine.

Monday, August 29, 2011

First Day

Today is my first day of classes as a college student.  I got up early here in Portland, and now there is mist on the canyon and at nine sharp the entire freshman class will be sitting in the lecture hall, ready to start Humanities 110.
I am finally going to be a grownup.  LIke in high school, I will be held accountable for my work and my actions by those around me, but now I have the Honor Principle (look it up but I might talk about it sometime soon) making sure that I do what is right and kind and honorable, and my friends (new friends, but still, quite close, the same kind of geeky people) to talk it through with.  Today I will sit in my first lecture class of the year to talk about the Greeks (hopefully Drew will have saved me a seat) and something - I don't know what - will happen.
I'm not entirely sure what I'm even expecting.  But I'm a college student now - hello, world!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dorm Room Extravaganza

Exactly a week ago (plus a couple hours), I moved into my dorm room.  That night, since none of my sheets had arrived and my sleeping bag was with the rest of the backpacking stuff, I slept under an alpaca poncho that my mother had brought me back from Peru, a giant suitcase standing in the middle of the floor.  I returned on Tuesday, and my parents saw it for the first time.  We had different opinions.
I remembered the Cross-Canyon dorms at Reed from my first visit as a high school senior - full of light and brick walls, and Chittick (my dorm) nestled into the hillside above the lake.  My parents saw the room at night, with ugly artificial light and no furnishings.  I believe my mother really thought that I was moving into a prison cell.
Since then, my parents went into overdrive.  Plants, curtains, a bookshelf, a rug.... I still need more pictures on the wall (the poster is one I pulled off of a wall in Paris after the gallery show was over and they no longer needed the advertisements).
Since I am an idiot and forgot the cord that connects my digital camera to my computer, please accept these awful cell phone pictures of my bedroom.  Given that I've spent less than a week in here, I'm quite happy with it (one of my dormies described it as "walking into a forest of cool."
When you were in college (or if you are), how did you decorate your dorm room?

(Are two of those of the same space?  Kind of.  Dorm rooms are small.  Pictures by me.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hello Hello!

Hi guys - sorry for all the silence!  I've been backpacking on Mount Adams with my orientation group for Reed College - it was super-exciting and at some point I'll show you all pictures.
O-week is in full swing now, and so I'm typing this from my dorm room (I have a dorm room!) where I can look out my windows onto the gorgeous Reed campus.  I'm so excited to be here, but things are going to be a little hectic this week, so please be patient with me!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Figuring It All Out

It's hard to make sure that you see everyone important in the last couple days at home.  I want so badly to see the friends I haven't seen in ages, to spend hours talking and engaging in the kind of intellectual banter that makes me smile, but I also want to lie on the couch in our dark living room where it always smells slightly of woodsmoke and read 'The Perilous Gard' for like the fiftieth time.  I want to go running by my river and spend hours on the phone and in person with Kuzu and pack my suitcases with all the things I'll need for college, but I want to sleep in beneath my skylight knowing that these next two nights are the last nights I'll sleep here for quite some time.
So to those of you who haven't seen me at all or enough, to my father who has had to deal with my clothes strewn around the front hall, I'm sorry.  I'm still figuring it out.
(Photo from Apartment Therapy)

Monday, August 15, 2011


I'm so sorry I haven't been around lately!  This week is kind of hectic - I leave for college on Friday!  I'm excited - very very excited - but I'm also scared.  I love my family and we're very close, and the idea of being away - of not having dinner with them every night or dancing with my sister to Earth Wind and Fire in the living room - makes me get a cold feeling in the pit of my stomach.  One of the great things about being in Paris was that I was in Paris with them, that together we sampled croissants from different bakeries and visited museums and took pictures of lions.  And now I'm going off to college - a whole new and exciting world - alone.
That said, I don't have that much time to worry.  I have to pack and visit my friends and tomorrow the lovely Alexandra and I are going shopping - what do you think a new freshman needs?
Thanks again for your incredible patience!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nantucket Essentials

I'm on my yearly holiday - our pilgrimage to Nantucket for a week, where we play in the sea and bike up and down the island and watch the sunset over the cranberry bogs.  I've been coming here for my whole life, so I figured I would share some of the important things to have and do here, in no particular order...
1) A bike.  Bikes are genius and wonderful inventions - especially for us, as we don't take a car to the island.  Bikes get us to and from the grocery store, all the way into town for ice-cream at the Juice Bar, and up the cliff road to Madaket for the sunset or to Ram's Head for a lovely walk in the conservation land.
2) Sunscreen.  Sunscreen is always important for very fair-skinned people like my brother and me, but it is especially important on the beach with the sun reflecting off the waves!  That said, a little bit of sun isn't too bad for you - yay, vitamin D!  I personally like Neutrogena sunscreen (I have really sensitive skin), but make sure that it's waterproof if you're going in the water!
3) Swimsuit.  This is kind of obvious... I actually have two (is that bad?)  I once read somewhere that you probably want two swimsuits - one to look nice in and one to actually do sporty water things.  I personally think that you should only buy a swimsuit if you like the way it looks on you, but it definitely helps to have a reasonably resilient one in you're like me and spend your mornings jumping in and out of the surf.  One is a Pain de Sucre bikini that I bought in Paris and one is a tankini (which means less sunscreen).  It also helps to have two if one is wet and still drying and you want to go swimming...
These make sense for the beach in general....
Tomorrow I will write about my favourite Nantucket things to do!
Thank you so much...
(photo from here)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer Mornings

Waking up in Nantucket is always incredible.  We've been coming to the same spot way down at the end of Surfside since I was born, and from the windows of our house you can see the shimmering dune grass and beyond it, the ocean, bluer than anything.  That was one of the things I missed about living in Paris - the ocean.  Today, waking up early, still a little jet-lagged, it was so lovely to stand on the balcony with a cup of tea, watching the grass turn to sand turn to lovely long dune grass and wild roses, and finally, just beyond the crest of the dune (about a thirty-second walk), the ocean.  This place always screams summer to me, nights of playing card games and days of reading on the beach, running into the cold ocean yelling, quiet moments of contemplation in one of the most beautiful places I've been to.
Have you been to Nantucket?  What did you think?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Vacation

Today we have settled into Cleaning Up The House (which means bringing up the china and the bikes from the basement, figuring out what belongs where, etc) and my god, there's so much to do!  Especially in the garden, where the anemones have taken over.  It's so strange to be back home, but I'm also very glad to be here, to sleep in my bed and talk to my friends and cook dinner in my own kitchen.
On another note, tomorrow my family will be leaving for a week in Nantucket.  I will try to post, but it might be a bit lighter this week!
Thank you so much for your patience!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Back Again

Sorry for the silence yesterday - I was on an airplane headed back for Boston!
Now I am home, safely in my familiar house, where I slept last night under the skylight and the Cambridge sky.  Here summer has truly come, and even inside the old house (weirdly, older than the building back at Denfert-Rochereau) it is muggy and humid and my legs stick to the armchair in the kitchen.  But I am home!  Yesterday the ever-lovely and incredible Alexandra came to get me at the airport and gave me an incredible scrapbook of pictures from our Europe trip, and then Mike (one of the boys, if you remember) showed up, which was absolutely lovely - two of my best friends on the first day!  Now I am waiting eagerly to see Kuzu!  Thank you for your incredible patience with me and I'm sorry about the hectic not-posting!