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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I want school to be over...

Maybe it's because I'm sick (I spent all Sunday night/Monday morning vomiting and writhing in agony - worst night of my life so far, I'm not kidding). Or maybe it's because Thanksgiving is next week. Or maybe it's because the rest of the semester looks a little bit daunting. Regardless of why, I want to come home.

I have a history of homesickness. I hated sleepovers at friends' houses. I never liked summer camps. I was even homesick during my study abroad in London. Well, not super homesick. It only lasted a day and was then wiped away by the sheer awesomeness that is London. I generally prefer my own bed, my own room, and my own comfy circle with people who know me and have for years. I miss that. I miss having history with people.

I am so excited to spend Thanksgiving with Mike, Alexis, Ryder, and Liv in NYC. I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to next week. That sort of makes everything else a little bit harder to deal with, though. I will have an evil school cloud hanging over my head the entire time I am there. I hate evil school clouds. I miss having a full time job that had paid holidays and no homework.

I have to put things in perspective.

I have really enjoyed Boston. The more involved I get in the ward the more I love being here. I have friends now! I may have bought them by providing them with transportation, but I have them! I'm not above a little bribery for friendship. I am so glad I brought my car.

And that ugly school cloud? Be gone! The things I have left to do this semester are not that important. It's just school. Yes, school is important, but there are more important things, like my sanity and my happiness. For those of you who know me, this acknowledgement is a big step for me. School has been my everything. I will work hard - of course I will, I'm obsessive compulsive Jenny - but I need to remember that this too shall pass. In 20 years I'm not (I hope) going to look back and wish I had spent more time on my TV Theory paper or watching movies, even if my professors think I should have. It's the classic "what will you really regret?" scenario. I have always loved school, so I never thought I would come to the point where I realized it wasn't the end-all. But here I am, realizing it! And I like that it's not the end-all, because guess what?! Real life is more fun than school! Way more fun. I know my mom is probably reading this and crying tears of joy at my revelation. In fact, so am I. Before the vomiting part of this weekend I had a marvelous time - I hung out with my daddy on Friday night and with ward friends on Saturday night. I went to a party and I danced and socialized. Next came Sunday, which is ALWAYS the best day of the week (unless it ends in vomiting...). I talked to people and actually knew their names and stuff! I'm not a floating anonymous person anymore. Well, not entirely...People are more fun than books, turns out. Who knew? :)

I will not get straight As this semester - if I do, I will be supremely surprised. I have, in the past, held myself to that standard. However, since I received my first non-A in my last semester at BYU I have gained some perspective. And now I can celebrate not being freakishly perfectionistic. I'm only moderately perfectionistic. Maybe still a bit more than moderate, but I'm on my way to a healthier place, methinks. As long as I do well enough to keep my scholarship I am okay with that.

Isn't it silly that while I'm worrying about keeping my scholarship there are people out there who don't have a place to sleep tonight? There's some perspective for ya.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Daddy Is In Town!

Look who I found wandering around Boston! MY DADDY! He signed up for work training just so he could come and visit me. Man, I love this guy! It's so nice to have someone around who has known me forever. And he's so nice to just listen to me talk and talk and talk.

Dad arrived on Wednesday night and did not bring a GPS with him (he doesn't know how to use the one in his Blackberry - silly man). He tried to find my school but ended up in Wellesley, which is half an hour outside of he turned around and this time headed for my apartment. With the help of my handy dandy iPhone I found him directions and helped him get there. That reunion was THE BEST. I showed him my apartment and introduced him to my roommates, and then we went out in search of some grub. I was feeling like a hamburger and fries would hit the spot (I haven't had one since I have been here). We found this awesome diner and I had the yummiest burger I have possibly ever had. I think it helped that I had wonderful company. 

On Friday night I took Dad out for dinner to Sunset Cantina (one of my TA friends told me there was a 50% off Groupon happening there, so we took advantage of that). Sunset is famous for its nachos and margaritas. We only partook of the nachos, of course. They were HUGE! Seriously, with both me and my dad eating them, we only made it through half of the nachos. I guess I know what I'll be eating for the next three days. Dad is the best listener - he just let me talk his ear off. 

Dad and I met up again Saturday morning for a trip down the Freedom Trail - I finally get to walk to whole thing! I think the Cheers bar should be added to the trail, but that's just me. Seeing historical Boston is wonderful - I love living in a place with this much history. I think it's safe to say Dad's favorite part was the USS Constitution. This man loves ships, and he was so happy to see this one. We also climbed to the top of the Bunker Hill monument, and for some reason we thought it would be good to climb it as fast as possible....ouch...I definitely felt the burn there. When we got back down to the ground my legs were shaking uncontrollably - that's what I get for not working out for the past couple of weeks. I get all weak and stuff. We then had Italian for dinner in the North End and stopped by famous Mike's Pastry for cannoli. YUM. And then we headed home.

That night I went to a dance party and strained a tendon in my foot from all the walking and dancing I did that day...oops... But totally worth it!

On Sunday, Dad came to church with me! After Sacrament Meeting they always ask new or visiting people to introduce themselves, and I asked Dad if he wanted me to introduce him. He said, "Please no." Man after my own heart. I hate doing stuff like that, and I guess I know why - my Dad doesn't like to do it either. We're happy to sit in the back and quietly participate. I told my Mom and she laughed and said, "You two!" We are peas in a pod, me and my dad. 

The following Friday night, Dad was still in town and I was free, so we met up again! Yay! This time we met in Quincy because he was coming from Plymouth and I was coming from school. We got dinner - I finally got to have real Boston Clam Chowder! Woo! Check that off my list. Then we saw Wreck-It Ralph, which was totally made for video game nerds like me. It was cute, not fantastic, but definitely fun and worth a watch. Then Dad and I bid farewell. Seriously, he is so awesome. I LOVE MY DADDY!

I thought seeing him would make me feel homesick, but it actually gave me the boost I need to make it to Thanksgiving when I'll see Mike and his family. My family rocks. They get more awesome as I get older. I don't know if it's because I appreciate them more, or if we are all on this exponential awesomeness growth pattern. I think it's both.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mormon Girl Problems

Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the best thing EVER, but sometimes it comes with less-than-common problems that I have lately been thinking about. These are kind of similar to first world problems that aren't really problems when all things are taken into perspective, but in the moment seem rather inconvenient.

Problem #1 - the "no coffee" thing. As I sit here, trying to read my rather dry TV Theory articles, I find that I am very sleepy. I look around the room and notice that many of the other students look alert and productive - what is their secret? They have a shiny thermos or happy Starbucks cup filled with some caffeinated beverage on their tables or in their hands. I don't drink coffee, therefore I must struggle through the day without that added boost the other students receive.

Problem #2 - I don't do homework on Sunday. This is a personal choice - some Mormons do homework on Sunday. It's all about how you feel best about observing the Sabbath. Some people don't watch TV or movies on Sunday, but I do (within reason). Anyway, though the day of rest from work is nice, other students get that extra day to work on their homework, which alternatively also means more playtime too because the work can be spread out and paced more efficiently (in theory).

Problem #3 - the "no drinking" thing. I have discovered since moving to Boston that you miss out on a great deal of social life if you don't drink. Sure, I could go hang out in bars with people and watch them drink, but does that really sound like fun? No. Why does everything out here have to happen in a bar?

Like I said, none of these things really are problems. I'm glad I don't drink or do homework on Sunday, and I don't think I'd even like coffee if I could drink it. I feel like its actually a privilege to not have to worry about these "problems." I save a lot of money and health problems too. These practical benefits pale in comparison to the spiritual benefits, which are worth any so-called sacrifice. I may not get to get by on less sleep with the aid of coffee, but at least I know where I'm going and what I'm doing in an eternal sense.