It’s been nearly a week since I last posted. Fall Break happened. I enjoyed being away from school and forgetting my responsibilities (as much as is possible during grad school, anyway) that I let the blog thing slide a bit. I’ll do my best to catch you up on things I’ve learned during days 47 (last Friday) to 53 (today).
First: I went to Hobart on Monday to see my friend Caitlin (who some of you may remember visited me while I was in Italy). The construction for the new performing arts center is underway (and in the featured image). I was surprised, upon arrival, to see that Pulteney street had been blocked off from practically the entrance to campus almost all the way to the intersection of Pulteney and St. Clair streets. To those of you who don’t know the HWS campus, that’s pretty intrusive. Not having that street accessible messes up a lot of traffic. I can’t imagine how annoying it must be to walk to class through a ton of construction. Also, there were three or four houses on Pulteney street that have now been completely leveled in order to make way for a new parking lot to replace the old one (which now has the skeleton of a new building on top of it). They’ve done a lot of work in the last few months!
I also stopped by some of my old classroom buildings, which was fun. I learned so much at HWS and I’m thankful for where that knowledge has gotten me. Caitlin took me to see her work in the art buildings, which was fun because she’s really good at what she does. I also got to see the basement of the main art building. I’ve never been down there, but Caitlin showed me that there’s a whole bunch of essentially empty rooms that have been turned into an art exhibit of their own. A first-year seminar painted nearly every wall in the unused basement with Egyptian hieroglyphs and murals. I actually know two of the people who worked on this project, and one of them pretty well because I rowed with her before she graduated (shoutout to Tess!) It was a very fun trip. I did learn, however, to never order fried bologna ever again. I thought it would be rolled up bologna slices coated in salty batter and then fried, but it was not. Instead I was served a dish full of what looked like pigs ears covered in a bitter sauce with some bread on the side. It was disgusting. Oddly, it made me really want some regular bologna. I guess I felt the need to restore its good name. Some things are unhealthy enough as they are and are not improved by being dunked in hot oil.
I also learned that I miss Home when I’m away. I have many homes. HWS was a home for four years, mostly in the sense that I really felt like I belonged there. I’ve made my house in Norfolk into a home by bonding with my housemates, setting up a cozy room, and making new friends. My first home was in Detroit and I will always miss it and enjoy returning there. My second home was in Ithaca, and I made lots of good friends there. I grew up in Ithaca, so I feel attached to it in a different way than I do to my other homes. I got to go to the Farmers market on Saturday morning and stop by the honey stand to get some honey sticks to snack on. I found this beautiful scene:
There were people lining up in front of and behind me all wanting to take the same picture. I got to see my little brother’s regatta (this was in Syracuse, however, but I still identify crew with Ithaca because I learned to row (and to love rowing) at Cascadilla Boat Club.
Jasper’s the one wearing the baseball cap. He has a strong stroke that, with some practice and a bit of modification, could be good enough to get him into the top boat. He’s already got the strength to be in that boat, so all he has to do is work his technique up to that level and he’s all set. He’s sitting in arguably the most frustrating (and challenging) seat in the boat, which is pretty awesome. Whatever boat he’s in goes faster because he’s in it!
I also got to enjoy some of the comforts of home, namely ice cream and apple pie:
I learned that Jasper and his friends have done a great job fixing up the cabin that’s at the top of our property. We took a trip up there over the weekend and walked around the stream with the dogs. Stella and Hip Hop barked at a large black fungus growing out of a tree for a long time. Stella tried to climb the tree to get the fungus, which she obviously thought was some kind of animal that needed to Come Down Right Now and Get In My Mouth.
I also realize that there’s certain things/place in Ithaca I can’t go without, such as Gimme coffee and Ithaca Bakery. I also went to Waffle Frolic for the first time and took a trip to Two Goats Brewery on the way to Hobart on Monday. I learned that with the use of just two quarters and a thumbtack one can stick lots of dollars to a ceiling:
If anyone could manage to get all those bills off the ceiling they’d make a good amount of money (not easily, however). The beer was pretty good too. I don’t mean to reduce the awesome brewery to just its interesting ceiling decor.
And I learned that I should really stop disobeying my GPS. It took me nearly thirteen hours to get back to Norfolk Home because I refused to alter my usual 79 to 26 to 81 to 64 route. I got stuck in awful traffic for hours. For someone who’s studying how humans interact with automation, I’m not very good at trusting it.
And now I’m learning how to readjust to school life after the tease that was Fall Break. I won’t get time off until Thanksgiving when I get to go to Detroit Home. Luckily nothing too huge stands between me and that break except a Social psych take-home exam and a couple data projects for stats. I have learned to both value and hate stats. I’m not going to get into it now, I’m too tired.
Oh! One more thing. I learned that I haven’t forgotten how to make fried rice. All the nights cooking at the Cellar Pub at HWS have served me well. I’d like to argue that tonight I made it better than I ever did at the Pub (probably because I used better ingredients). I’m pretty proud of myself.
Happy #100LearnedDays! (Sidenote: more than halfway through!)