It’s Grace here, on the last real Sunday of my term. (Next weekend is exams and then we have spring break — hallelujah.) On one hand, I’ll be psyched to be done with my classes because it’s been my toughest academic semester at Washington and Lee thus far. On the other hand, I’m dreading the ticking down of the end of the year. I’m not ready to think about myself leaving or the seniors leaving, and sophomore year has only been a blink.
Whenever I know I’m about to be slammed with work, I love to update Words Like Silver with the details of what other domains of my life have been particularly dominant. Without further ado, here’s what I’ve been reading and doing lately.
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan | Buy It
Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles | Buy It
Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton | Buy It
The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaros | Buy It
You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein | Buy It
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein | Buy It
I’ve had a stellar collection of reads lately. Granted, not many I’ve gotten through. But each book I pick up is one that I’m enormously excited to read, so much so that it feels singular. Normally, I have one or two books a season like that, so having approximately five that I would punt all my work for feels good. (I unfortunately cannot punt all my work this week.)
Hero at the Fall and The Case for Jamie are two that I’ve had in my calendar for months, and drove to Charlottesville to buy. Both series are on my all-time favorites list, and masterfully written. I haven’t started either of them because I know that once I pick them up, I won’t be able to stop.
I’m partway through Tyler Johnson Was Here, which is poignant and heavy. I feel like I need to be able to sink into it. Props for intensity and twin feels. Same goes to The Astonishing Color of After, which was immediately so sensory that I had trouble extricating myself from its clutches. Also almost done with I Hate Everyone But You, which captures college life rather well.
You’ll Grow Out of It was my most recent read, because it was relatively manageable to sneak in small chunks. Afterwards, I shoved it upon everyone I know. Every once in a while (or always), I throw a book on my Instagram story and it blows up; friends send me screenshots of their receipts, or quotes from their ventures into the same read. You’ll Grow Out of It has been the most recent mini-viral (of sorts) book among the folks who read my blog, and I love how much pleasure everyone has gotten from its wittiness. Review coming this week hopefully, because it’s one of my new favorites — laugh out loud hysterical.
During photo lab, I’ve started listening to an audiobook. Code Name Verity is one of the most perfect and gutting books I’ve ever read, and the transition to audio is phenomenal. An equally impactful experience as the time I first read Code Name Verity (and threw it across the room, sobbing, at the ending.) I’ve started to associate the Scottish burr of the narrator with the chemical scent of measuring out stop bath and the sound of the enlarger printing.
I’ve had a solid time reading lately, although haven’t spent the bulk of my time doing so. Because…
End of winter term is such a time. That being said, my winter term this year has been even better than my winter term last year. Despite my classes cheerfully beating me down, I’m no longer a first year and thus much more on top of it. (Latin and Photo I are murdering me, cheerfully.)
So it’s been busy, yes, but I do thrive on busy.
Normally, in these, I like to share actual pictures of me as a human being, but I apparently have taken so few in the past few months.
During the school term, I hone in on academics and my main extracurricular, which is a fusion of student government and W&L’s version of an honor court.
Our Executive Committee terms finish after the winter, and so I’ve been trying to wrap up work on some of the action items I’ve been involved in this year! Additionally, I had to try and get re-elected, so I’ll be serving as Vice President next year. Huge commitment and a somewhat intimidating job, but I’m excited to learn how to do it. Next year will be EC-heavy in terms of my priorities.
I’ve been selling some calligraphy, which I’m looking to start as more of a side business. I’m trying to more effectively advertise that I do commissions, and I’m always producing prints of my favorite poems or snippets.
This term, I took PE 180, which is our backpacking class at W&L. (We have one of the best outing clubs in the country.) With that being said, I’ve been doing a lot of hiking, both with them and on my own. I’d forgotten how exhilarating it feels to be out of town, inhaling the wet scent of rain, wind whipping through my hair at the top of a mountain. A few weekends ago, I went with my class on a weekend overnight and it was one of my favorite experiences at W&L.
The weather lately has been hinting at spring, which is gloriously tempting. ‘Tis the season for tennis skirts and short sleeves. I spend any time with sunshine possible on this bench outside our commons with a sketchbook and some fruit-infused water. Love.
The sunshine, while stunning, has made it unbearably difficult to do work unless I’m slung over my favorite bench on campus or on a blanket in a patch of grass. Even then, motivation is scarce. I’m ready to be sipping sparkling waters and combing through beach reads. But spirits are high here on campus. (Today is overcast, which I need in order to remain functional before exams.)
Over the summer, I was supposed to be abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, but my parents and I ultimately decided that the price wasn’t worth it considering the recent water crisis. Day Zero has been pushed back, luckily, but it still looks like I’ll be home for the summer. Although I was initially worried about not having an internship that worked with skills I’m looking to learn, my recent election persuaded me that I’ll have a lot of projects to finish over the summer before my EC work begins. Translation: lots of reading and writing.
I’ll also get to go to Canada like I do every summer, which I wasn’t expecting, and spend the whole summer with my twin sister (!!!!!!!!!!) I’m also working on the possibility of hiking part of the Pacific Crest Trail in June with a friend from school, who’s doing it regardless. Realistically, I’ll probably end up doing so. Still trying to explore options in regards to my summer, but Florida will be nice.
We’ve had a few big events at W&L lately. March was chock-full of formals and whatnot. Lots of cocktail dresses, lots of weekends spent running around. We have Fancy Dress, which is like the college version of prom. Midnight breakfasts, formal gowns, a killer band. Fancy Dress was an absolute blast.
I recently decided I’m going to train for a half marathon, and so runs outside in this gorgeous weather have been putting me in the best mood.
Also trying to catch up with people before they leave for spring term — or just get swamped with finals.