Well, this past Friday marked 99 days til graduation. Four years has come down to the double digits, and it doesn’t even seem possible. Every moment of the last four years has been memorable, but now that our time here is coming to an end, we are clinging to every last opportunity to make a memory. If I am tired or don’t feel like going to some event on campus, I remind myself that it’s my last semester to make these memories at Wes, and I am going to make the most of them. Every brunch with friends, every speaker, every concert, every walk across campus has suddenly become that much more special. That being said, here’s what I did with my week:
Monday was by far the busiest day we’ve had in the mail room in a long time. It was the day before Valentine’s Day, so we were inundated with an alarming number of care packages, all covered in glitter hearts and lips and cute notes from peoples’ parents. I am convinced that working in the mail room turns you into a grinch that hates all holidays, purely because of how much infinitely harder your job becomes. It also makes you very depressed because none of the packages (read-love), are for you. To combat my feelings of being unloved/hatred toward this holiday of commercialism, I decided to bake cookies for all my friends. It only took me about 8 hours. I was only brought out from my cookie cave for a Relay for Life committee meeting, and as soon as that was over, I went right back to cookie frosting.
Tuesday was Valentine’s Day. I did not have a real “valentine” here at Wes, but that didn’t stop me from having an amazing day. I spent my morning in the mail room and then stuffed my cookies into the mail boxes of 70 of my closest Wes friends. In the afternoon, I went to York Correctional Institution in Niantic, and taught Zumba® to women in prison. Later that night, I played Apples to Apples with the patients at CT Valley Hospital. Even though there was nothing overtly romantic about my day, I have never felt more loved or appreciated.
On Wednesday, I got my first care package ever at Wesleyan. I know this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but working in the mail room sucks because you see how many care packages everyone else gets. It was filled with a cow card, organic dark chocolate, and VEGAN GUMMY PEACH RINGS. My friend Justin gets an A+ for knowing me. The awesomeness of my day didn’t stop there, however. Next I had my baking group at CT River Valley Services, and we made some pretty amazing cinnamon banana muffins. Then I went to a talk by Susan Reverby, the Wellsley professor responsible for bringing the Guatemalan syphilis study to public attention. Not only was this a fascinating talk, but Reverby was also a very captivating and interesting speaker, which is important when you are listening to subject matter as somber as infecting prisoners with syphilis, not treating them, and then burying the fact that it ever happened.
On Thursday I had work in the mail room as usual, and then ventured off to Manchester, CT to use a Groupon I bought for myself as a graduation present. After that my friend, Benny, and I ran participants through our study that we created last semester, so we can finally crunch the data, write up our reports, and clear the incompletes we still have hanging over our heads. (We didn’t take incompletes because we were slackers, but rather had major complications with IRB approval and access to our measure online. Our professor was extremely accommodating and gave us as much time as we needed to complete the assignment- just another example of why I love Wes- the professors care so much about their students and want them to do well). Then I had my night class, a student forum on issues in international health partnerships, where we discussed the Reverby talk and the morality/ethics of conducting medical research, both at home and abroad. Normally, night class is like pulling teeth for me because I am such an old lady and am tired by 10pm. This one, however, speaks to so many important/relevant issues that the 3 hours fly by and I’m sad when it’s over.
Friday‘s events were mail room, Symptom Management module at RVS, Japanese food culture class where we discussed the history and practice of the Japanese tea ceremony, dinner with my friend, Shannon, and then the most amazing show I’ve seen in a while. My friend, Mel, is the most incredibly talented individual I have ever had the honor of knowing. All of her friends are equally as talented, so when she invited me to a semi-private show in her friends’ living room, I knew I had to be there. Mel plays a ton of instruments, but I’ve only seen her play the cello and guitar, and sing. Now, she’s excellent at those two instruments, but her voice is her gift. This girl has some serious vocal chords. I am convinced they could cure cancer. It’s as if every note enters your body through your ears, swishes around in your blood, and takes away every negative feeling and thought in your body with your exhale. Normally, I would feel silly saying that, but I know that on Friday night, everyone else in that room knew exactly what I am talking about. There was one song she did with Josh Smith ’11 and a few other Wes people, where at the end, no one said anything for a solid 60 seconds. The only sounds you could hear were sniffling (yes- she has the ability to bring people to tears) and deep breaths of reflection. Aside from my friend Ben who’d I’d brought with me, I didn’t really know anyone else in that room very well. But after that song, we all shared this collective moment of love and loss and passion and catharsis together. That living room show will go down as one of the top 5 memories of my four years at Wes. Thank you, Mel and Josh, for sharing your gifts with us.
Yesterday, Saturday, I woke up early for my cooking group at CVH. We made chicken pot pies and sugar-free cookies, and although I didn’t personally try either, I think they turned out reasonably well. When I got home I cleaned our house like a maniac before heading out for a girls’ hour at the mall with my friend, Alyssa. When we got back, we both went to the gym in our awesome new leggings. Later, I attended my friend, Aaron’s senior recital. He arranged and conducted a beautiful choral concert, and even composed his own piece. I am constantly in awe of how much talent my friends have.
Since I really didn’t do any work last week, I need to play catch up today and get down to business. I have translating to do, Zumba® to teach, emails to write, articles to read, and response papers to write. Oh yeah, I remember now; there IS more to being a college student than having amazing life changing experiences everyday and spending time with friends. We actually have WORK to do…