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Getting back in action

Like so many others, last week I caught what has come to be called the McVirus and the McPlague, so I was home from Thursday morning through Sunday evening recovering. Though students on campus coined those terms to include the name of our college, it’s important to know that gastroenteritis, the medical name of the McVirus has been widespread across the region this year and the disease definitely did not originate here. And because college students live in such close quarters, a quick and wide spread of a virus like this could have happened on any college campus, not just McDaniel.

I came back to McDaniel after my four-day weekend feeling about 90% better, but my homework and other obligations were 110% ready for me to be back. I’ve been doing a reasonably good job keeping up with things, but I still get tired pretty easily. Since it feels like I have a million things today and they were stressing me out by floating around in my head, I made a list on one of my whiteboards of assignments and when this week they need to be completed by. This way, instead of convincing myself I have to do 50 things, I’m able to prioritize and break things up into smaller tasks.

Last night was fun because at 8:00, I met up with other members of Contrast, our campus literary magazine, so we could decide which prose submissions we should include in the magazine. Contrast holds a contest at the beginning of every spring semester, and McDaniel students are allowed to submit up to three pieces in each of three categories: prose, poetry, and artwork. The authors/creators of three best entries in each category, as judged by the members of Contrast, win prizes! Going through the prose pieces ended up being a long (and even tedious at times) process, but it was worthwhile because we were able to thoroughly discuss each piece before deciding whether or not we should publish it. While one piece was everyone’s clear favorite, the most difficult part of the selection process was choosing which pieces should receive second and third place in the prose category. Eventually though, we came to a satisfying decision that we all agreed upon. I can’t wait to do it all over again for poetry next week!

Today was fun because I finally had a chance to shadow a writing tutor in the Writing Center for the first time. (I was supposed to shadow her last week, but I began experiencing symptoms of the McVirus within an hour of when that was supposed to happen.) In my Peer Tutoring class, we’ve been reading a lot about the pedagogy and philosophy of writing centers, so it was nice to finally see a lot of that in action! Once the appointment was over, I also enjoyed talking a couple of the writing tutors who didn’t have appointments. Since I was sick last week, it had been a while since I had had a nice conversation with some of my peers.

Overall, I’m doing the best that I can without overburdening myself. I know that if I try to do too much at once, I’ll stress myself out and I also won’t have enough energy to get me through the rest of the week. Tonight, I’m looking forward to a couple of meetings with Alpha Lambda Delta, our first-year honor society, and the Free Press, our student newspaper, before hitting the books and hopefully going to bed at a reasonable hour!

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