A Day in the Life - August 8, 2016
Hey y'all!It's Grace here, nursing a cold back in Tampa. I just got home from a weekend in Atlanta with my sister and her husband - soon moving back Clemson (Go Tigers!) - after working two weeks at the all-girls camp in North Carolina that I've gone to since I was little. It's been busy.Because of said illness and said children, I haven't been super active on the blog lately. As I like to do whenever I'm away for stretches of time, I decided to do a Day in the Life post explaining why.
The Selection by Kiera Cass | GoodreadsThe Elite by Kiera Cass | GoodreadsThe One by Kiera Cass | GoodreadsThe Heir by Kiera Cass | GoodreadsThe Hidden Reality by Brian Greene | GoodreadsNo Mud, No Lotus by Thich Nhat Hanh | GoodreadsThe Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee | GoodreadsSpindle by E.K. Johnston | GoodreadsAs you may have read, I did a book-a-day challenge in July. I managed to beat it (31 books in 31 days!) which is great because August has already been slower reading-wise. (Being a counselor majorly restricted my book time.)I did end up going to Barnes & Noble on my day off, which was a lovely treat. I picked up a few books, and have been switching between them mainly. Before camp, I read Spindle and reread No Mud, No Lotus. Loved them both wholeheartedly. During camp, I read The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee and started working my way back through the Selection series by Kiera Cass. I ended up binge-reading a few books in that series last night (stayed up until 3 A.M. out of pure stubbornness.)Right now, I'm enjoying my foray into The Hidden Reality. I read The Fabric of the Cosmos and although I'm not great at math and I've never taken physics, I was really blown away by a lot of the explanations and insights into space, time, and reality. It definitely changed how I view the world. I decided to attempt another one of Brian Greene's books because I do want to read more about science and existence. He makes it accessible, and I'm grateful.I am planning on reading quite a bit over the next week, between dorm shopping and whatnot. I don't even want to think about deciding which books to bring to college.
I reviewed the touching portrait of conjoined twins as they come of age in a small town in California. I talked about being nervous about getting time to read in college - and how much I plan on reading the summer beforehand. Finally, I reviewed the dark, eerie, deliciously creepy The Graces, which definitely made the favorites list this year.
The last time I caught up with y'all, I was at our family cottage in Canada - an annual trip. Being at the lake normally involves a lot of family time, reading, wakeboarding, card games, and sunbathing. I never quite got the time to wakeboard (plus, I'm still a little nervous about it since getting a concussion a year or two back) but I did manage to read quite a bit.My brother's interning for a campaign in Tampa; my older sister and her husband have been tying up loose ends before their move back to Clemson; Hannah and I have been preparing for college. Although my mother's gotten a tad bit weepy about the empty nest, it's been our last summer to really all be together for a while. (Next year, Hannah and I are decidedly working at our summer camp and I assume after that, I'll be pursuing internships in publishing and literature.)So Canada was a great break from all the future-planning.When we got back, Hannah and I did a lot of dorm shopping. I detest shopping as a whole - although my family has reminded me repeatedly that Hannah owns all our clothes and I will essentially be screwed for college considering all I own are books and mugs - but I sucked it up and got all the plastic drawers and bedrisers and rugs and new sneakers and whatnot. Admittedly, parts of it were rather fun. I'm a pretty design-oriented person, so I loved curating what I would put on my walls and shelves and all. Plus, I persuaded my mother to let me buy a baby bookshelf from Target, so it looks like I'll actually get to bring a few books with me as a security blanket.I'm still not entirely finished with figuring out what I need for college (read: I'm overwhelmed. I had no idea certain items were necessary to live on my own.) But I'm in a lot better shape and I'm starting to get excited.We had about a week in Tampa before we headed to Camp Illahee, a summer camp in Brevard. I can't truthfully articulate all that Illahee has meant to me over the years but I can say that it's one of the places that brings me back to myself every year. It strengthens me, both because I love taking care of the kiddos and because I experience unconditional love and acceptance. It's a truly heavenly place.And despite how sappy I can get about the more spiritual, reflective aspects of Illahee's atmosphere - and the girls there! - it's also a really fun session. This year, I wasn't as great at keeping up with my other blog with tales of the evening programs. I did manage to craft a few lists of funny things that campers said. August is known as the "session of questions" so inevitably there's always a camper or two who asks how long rest hour is or wakes me up to ask if it'll rain later in the afternoon.I soon got into the rhythm of the days.We have two activity days, Pine and Tree, although counselors largely have the same schedule every day. Every morning, we'd wake up at 7:45, do cabin chores, get ready for breakfast. After breakfast, we'd have Rise and Shine - a combination of a devotional, morning assembly, and singing period - then activities would begin. We'd have periods 1-3 before lunch, then some free time. After lunch came rest hour, then activities 4-5, then free choice. Dinner. Evening program. Cabin time and Taps. Repeat.The days were pretty crammed. Hannah and I have been on staff for the past three years - although this year was our first time as "senior" counselors - so we've gotten used to finding time for ourselves in between working. I'd stay up late with my flashlight, writing letters in bed. Or I'd get up in the mornings to walk by myself in the fog.My only real focus at camp is our founding tenant/slogan - Be a Great Girl (or BAGG.) It's a phrase that's largely applicable to personality and helpfulness and just trying to make Illahee and the world a better place for everyone, not just yourself. Over the years, I've gotten more and more out of my shell at camp and just feel so comfortable making a fool out of myself. It's a pretty great habit to be in, honestly, and I always hope it follows me for awhile.Last year, I taught dance and archery. This year, I did ceramics and archery. Ceramics wasn't exactly my choice - I think I maybe took it once as a camper and made a really lumpy, terrible pointe shoe out of clay. I wasn't exactly thrilled at first to be in it since I had no idea what I was doing, but soon grew to love it - especially since I got to spend time with some of my favorite people at camp.I learned how to center clay on the wheel (!!!) and would get quite a lot of peace from working it before class periods started. The quiet hum of it as it spun, the satisfaction of getting it perfectly symmetrical. I was pretty proud of it.Archery has always been my activity of choice though, and I loved taking on more leadership in the range. Plus, it's a lovely activity to run because you really get to know all of the girls in your periods. I befriended a lot of them and got to shoot enough, and it was just enough of a break in between the respective insanities of the day - although it could get stressful sometimes too.I had a solid cabin. I've been paired with the same age for awhile - entering sixth grade is the name of the game - and I love eleven-year-olds. They're young and sweet but also relatively independent and hilarious. I love that they'd ask me to braid their hair or I could console them when they were homesick, but they were startlingly perceptive and rewarding to be around, with a pretty firm grasp on how camp worked.I was bummed for camp to end, but I'm glad I had time to recover. One of my campers had a cold and gave it to me, so I was pretty dead by the end of the session. Between that and the black eye I got from the swim show (which thankfully only looked like I was wearing purple eyeshadow/not sleeping for a couple of days), the session beat me up a little.We drove down to Atlanta the weekend after it ended and mostly spent it eating Chinese food and watching Olympics on the couch with my sister and her husband. Also, shopping for winter coats because I'm très Floridian. Now, I'm back and procrastinating packing for college.This week, I'm planning on hunkering down with my laptop and catching up on reviews I'd like to schedule for the next month or so. I'm moving my twin sister into her dorm at UNC in a little over a week and I'm supposed to spend the next week or so at UVA - although my parents keep changing their minds on that so we might end up back in Tampa for a few days. Not totally sure. In any case, I'd rather be out of town. I love summers where I'm all over the place, and I could dig some some Charlottesville time. A sandwich from Take It Away and the Lawn? Yes please.After that, I move in! My roomie, Laney, will already be there because she's playing soccer for W&L (go Gens!) but I move in on the 28th. Then, I have a pre-orientation trip in which I hike part of the Appalachian Trail - can't wait - and then orientation and then I'm in school. Good times.As you can tell, the next few weeks (and months) are going to be an absolute whirlwind for me, and for the blog. In preparation, I've been posting a lot on my Instagram and Vsco and Twitter - so those will really be the best ways to keep up with what I'm reading if the blog isn't updated. I'm going to try my hardest to make the transition quickly though. Watch the blog for reviews, news, and a giveaway!