It is the second semester of my sophomore year, and I am just a little overwhelmed. I’m agonizing in the way that gives you nonsensical nightmares about fighting with a choir group of priests and waiting an eternity for space in a changing room at the gym. The way that leaves you slumped across the couch, watching House with your friend, and moaning your complaints while she silently wishes you’d shut up and just embrace the glory of Hugh Laurie. The way that stems from new classes, not making much progress with internship applications, and knowing that Chocolates and Choosing is tomorrow.
Chocolates and Choosing is an annual ritual in which the administration feeds chocolate to sophomores, hoping that it might ease the pain and angst induced by listening to lectures about choosing and fulfilling our majors and/or minors. It would be fair to ask why I would be concerned about this. After all, as I wrote here: http://jsmall2.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/panicking/, I pretty much figured out my major and minor, and they’re definitely doable. Now, maybe you’re the kind of placid person who could accept something like that, but as for a person whose rationalism is often overwhelmed by neurotic-ism, just having to formalize my decision is really stressful. It’s not a matter of being scared the Soc/Anth and Linguistics departments will reject me–– my grades in those departments are pretty good–– it’s just that making a commitment, even one that can be changed time and time again, is scary. Don’t expect me to be getting married any time soon, for that matter.
Unrelatedly, if you’re like my parents–– if you, in fact, are my parents (hi Mom and Dad!)–– you may be very curious about how my classes are going. Internet strangers, I can’t promise you the long phone conversations I have with my family, so here’s the best I can give you.
Hebrew is coming back to me quickly, and while I miss a lot of the people didn’t re-enroll in it this semester, the smaller class size will make it cozier and easier/more imperative to pay attention. I have the same professor as last time, which is great since she was amazing. Spanish is coming back only slowly, and I’m as vexed by conjugating verbs as I was before break. Practicing speaking with my mom would have been more helpful if she hadn’t let me say everything in the present tense.
My other two classes, Latin American Society Through its Novel, and the creative writing Fiction Writers Workshop, are each three hours long, which are double the length of the longest regular classes. But both of these are only held once a week, which is lucky since they both assign a lot of work. But I can’t complain, since Latin American Society is going to give me an excuse to read a bunch of novels that I’ve wanted to read forever, like 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (which I’m disappointed to discover is not actually about someone forsaking society for 100 years).
The creative writing workshop, though, is both exciting and terrifying. I’m thrilled to be in the class, since it’s one of very few classes that you have to apply to be allowed to register, and I’m glad that Miriam and our friend Liz are in it with me. But, for a person who has an admissions blog, spent three semesters on the newspaper, and writes short stories in class like other people doodle, I have major hang-ups about my writing, especially about other people reading what I’ve written. Add to that the fact that I don’t really think of myself as a “writer,” just as a girl who finds writing kind of entertaining, and maybe you can understand why taking a class with really talented writers is so nerve-wracking for me.
As of today, I also have a job for this semester, working at the Friends Historical Library again. I love working there, and my job should be largely at my own pace. Since I’m no longer on The Phoenix, I should have time for it. But it is another obligation, and keeping all these balls in the air won’t be easy.
But it’s all going to be okay, as Miriam and I tell each other a hundred times a day. This week is making it clear that we don’t have to be scared of professors, at least. People say small liberal arts colleges are for bonding with your professors, and when they’re handing out candy while advising you about your future, or setting up forums online for discussions about short stories, I’m inclined to think they’re right. As for how this whole planning my life adventure is going to work, I’ll have to keep you updated. And while I won’t be burdening you with the constant updates on my classes that my parents get to experience, I have a feeling that my courses this semester are going to be interesting enough, unique enough, and intense enough to make it onto the blog more than once. Wish me luck.