So, this past week I got to register for my classes for next semester. First of all, I am taking both of my senior seminars next semester. That is Political Science and Arabic/Middle Eastern Studies. I am also working on the Honor’s for both of my majors next semester. On top of that, I am taking National Security, an Honors class on Children’s books, and Astronomy. The Honor’s class will fulfill my final requirement for Honor’s other than the the wrap up course in the Spring. Astronomy is filling my final general education credit, and National Security is just for fun. I am not positive if anything will change yet, but most likely it will not.
Thinking about senior seminar and graduating got me thinking a lot about the future. Grad school and so much else is approaching quickly. I am definitely excited for next year, but I know next semester is going to be really busy for me. Senior Seminar sounds frightening, but a lot of the people I have talked to have assured me that it is actually not too bad. I am expecting a lot of work, but I also cannot wait to get started and to learn a lot more about a topic that I get to pick in my Senior Seminar.
My first senior seminar, for Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies, is with Carol Zaru. She is one of my favorite professors and I am looking forward to it. I have already picked my topic for my senior seminar for Carol. I am going to work on the role of women in the Arab World post Arab Spring. In regards to my honor’s in Arabic, I am working on the effect of music in the Arab World. For Political Science, Dr. Boukhars will determine the theme we will be working on, but then I will get to pick the specific topic within that them. As for my honor’s project, I am not sure where I will focus yet – do I want to branch out of my Middle Eastern bubble and focus on another part of the world or do I want to look at more of my interests within the Middle Eastern region? I do not know yet, but I do know that I am going to enjoy my semester.
So, this week is both first year appreciation week and allies week this week. For first year appreciation, they are doing a bunch of different events and also posted a bunch of different signs around campus. Today’s event was the Amazing Race. They had the option to win a bunch of prizes and just had a good time. Some of the other events are a recognition dinner, S’mores night, an open gym, an ice cream social, and pool night. They also have the amusing signs that change each day with different phrases to remind people that it first year appreciation week.
It is also Allies Week. They ask people to wear a different color each day to represent a different aspect of the LGBT community. They are also hosting a bunch of different events. Today’s event was Stomp out Homophobia. They covered Red Square in bubble wrap and literally people were able to come stomp on it, or just walk across it, during the day. It was a lot of fun and it was a good way to bring attention to allies week. Tomorrow night, they are hosting a drag show at 7:00. It should be interesting and I definitely plan on going in order to support some of my friends that are participating as cast or crew.
It should be interesting to see how the various events for the rest of the week go and I hope everyone has a lot of fun.
So, this week was fairly normal; but I still had a lot of fun. The highlight of my week was actually a field trip into Washington DC as part of my Arabic Class. We went to various different locations throughout the city and I had a lot of fun and also learned a lot about different places in the Arab World.
Our first stop was the Palestine Center which presented on the issues between Israel and Palestine, its progression over time, and also possible outcomes. The center is very interesting and displays art that relates to the Palestinian issue. The art was really pretty and I was rather sad that I didn’t have my camera on that part of the trip. Still, it was an interesting presentation and the other students asked some very good questions about the conflict between Israel and Palestine. It was also interesting because a friend of mine who is Jewish and traveled to Israel was a part of the trip and she offered a lot of insight about the Israeli side, but still acknowledged of the mistakes made by the Israeli government as well.
Our second stop was the Saudi Arabian Embassy. The embassy is absolutely beautiful and I really enjoyed seeing it. We were not allowed to take in cameras, or I would have grabbed it first. They presented on the country and also its relationship to the United States and then there was a Question and Answer session as well. After that, they did a fashion show with Saudi clothing – Alyssa, one of my friends, was one of the volunteers and her clothing was truly lovely. They had five girls and two guys model the clothing and it was very neat to see the different styles of clothing they wear.
After the Saudi Embassy, we had lunch and then went to the National Mosque. All of the girls had to put on scarves in order to cover their hair before we entered the mosque. We had a short presentation about Islam before being able to watch the afternoon prayer. The man who presented was the Imam and the prayer itself was interesting. We also got to go to their bookstore and Phil bought two sets of prayer beads, so they gave him a few books about Islam as well. I am not sure why, but it was very nice of them. We also did a few group pictures outside of the mosque before leaving.
Our final stop before heading back to campus was the Egyptian Embassy. They also did a quick lecture about Egypt before a question and answer session that focused on the post Arab Spring unrest in the country. The speaker gave some good answers and was actually fairly frank about the issues that Egpyt is having. It was an interesting session, although people were definitely getting tired, and we left soon after the session to return to campus. It was a really fun trip and spending it with Phil and Alyssa also made it more fun. On the way back, most of the people on the bus were dozing and relaxing after the trip.
So, the nicest thing about the last few days was the with the con past I was able to get a lot of sleep and rest. I enjoyed the con and con planning a lot, but I don’t think it hit me right away how tired I was. My favorite part of the convention was probably cosplay chess first thing in the morning. It was a lot of fun and I got to meet new people right at the start of my day. Plus, in chess with people as the pieces, it is always funny to see how people react to their piece being taken. For example, Phil, the other teams king, went down in a slow, painful pretend death. I had a bunch of different people taking pictures at the con, and also took a lot of pictures myself.
This is a picture of the king of the other team in cosplay chess.
I also really enjoyed shopping in the marketplace. There was a lot of different art and merchandise to see. Plus, the people who were selling their wares were definitely characters. We had some in cosplay, some who were not, but they all definitely had their own style. Plus, it was really fun to see what the McDaniel students had to offer to the marketplace as well. The cafe was probably my favorite shop, but that is mostly just because I love Ramune (Japanese soda).
The event as a whole was very successful and I cannot wait for next years continuation of this annual event.
Classes today were a lot of fun, but I was definitely tired since I was up late doing homework. Since spring break recently ended, a lot of papers and presentations are coming due and I had two of those today. I had my presentation for my International Law class and a paper in foreign policy. I got them both done with plenty of time, but I was nervous for my presentation because I know sometimes I talk to fast, especially when I am tired. However, it went well and the other students had some really good questions to ask.
So, the anime con that I have been waiting for all semester finally occurred today. I have a lot of pictures, so once I have time to gather them all; I will post some for anyone who wants to see them. The con went extremely well. The art students who were selling their work were all pleased with the opportunity and were also glad to make some extra money and to get their name a little better known. We had four different art students who sold some of their work, on top of various other vendors. It was a great chance for them to meet other vendors as well as to show their own work and what they have to offer.
The panels of the convention also went extremely well. The morning few were a little slow as a result of people trickling in late, but every panel had a decent number of guests and they all seemed to really enjoy themselves and the various giveaways that occurred throughout the panels during the day. We had panels on fanfiction, heckling, retro anime, history of anime, and more. All of the guests that I talked to had really good reviews for the panelists and for the event as a whole, so I was very happy as the event coordinator.
We also had various more active events during the day. The day started off with a game of cosplay chess in Red Square. My team won, which was lovely, and it was a lot of fun. We also had a ninja game, a cosplay contest, the anime dating game, and a lot more. All of the different people at the events were interesting and that made even the very classic con games fun. We also had four musicians perform throughout the day and all of them had decent size audiences and made okay sales of their work. The rave performer and DJ was also our on call tech person for the day, and I was very grateful for all of his help. I would definitely be interested in inviting each of the performers back next year, but I know I will have to make a choice.
Overall, the event was a wonderful success. It made the anime club more money than we expected and a lot of the guests, both on campus and off, expressed interest in attending the event next year. I loved the marketplace being near Glar because it allowed everyone to browse easily and I would definitely do it again. I am hoping next year to allow someone else to be the chair, but I don’t know yet. I love planning the event but I had such a great staff this year and I want one of them to have the wonderful experiences I had planning and running the con as well. I got to meet a lot of really interesting people and just overall had a lot of fun!
So, it was really pretty outside today; however, not with the beginnings of Spring as everyone might have expected on our first day back from Spring Break. We got a lovely snowfall throughout the day and the campus was really pretty. I went outside a few different times during the day just to enjoy the snow, especially since I know my chance for snow for a while will probably become limited soon. Nevertheless, on our first day back to classes from Spring Break, we ended up with a very nice snow day. Plus, there were a bunch of snowmen scattered around campus and lots of signs that I am not the only one who enjoyed one last chance to get a nice snowfall before we welcome spring. It is also just really pretty when the campus is covered in shiny white snow.
During the day to day, I worked on some of my homework that is due later in the week since I know how busy I am going to be with the con coming this weekend. I also have a few smaller papers coming due in the near future that I wanted to get a jump on. I did, however, also spend a large chunk of time just chilling with friends, enjoying the snow, and relaxing – what are snow days for after all. We played guild wars, watched a movie, and just chilled after dinner and normally we do not have time for that during the week.
It was a really nice day and a great chance to just enjoy being back on campus before classes will resume tomorrow morning.I will be glad to get back to classes though, I am really excited for the convention and keeping myself busy will help everything leading up to the convention go more quickly. Also, it will be nice not to worry about midterms anymore and to move into the steady flow that the second half of the semester normally takes.
So, tomorrow everyone will come back to campus to resume their Spring Semester. My Spring Break was actually a lot of fun even though I also did a lot of working. I spent a lot of time making modifications to my cosplay for next weekend, which is when Nippon Ai’s convention is being held. It is also Easter next weekend, so that should be a lot of fun as well. I made Easter Baskets for all of my apartment members over the break and will probably deliver those tomorrow when I get back to campus.
Today I am off campus for my Dad’s wedding. We had a really good time and it was nice to get a day to relax after working all break as well as to see some of the relatives that I do not get to see often. It was a lot of driving though, 6 hours each way, so I will definitely be glad to sleep at about 2am when I return to campus. The wedding was held at a small church in Ohio and it was really pretty, but I like my dorm room and my bed so I am not gonna stay in Ohio over night.
During the week, I did a lot of work for admissions. I sent out postcards to accepted students and there are definitely some that I cannot wait to meet if they do decide to attend McDaniel. I love working in admissions because I get to meet a lot of the potential students who come through and I like seeing what kind of schools they are looking for, hearing about where they are from, and more. I am also doing my mock tour sometime this week. Hopefully I will do well because I would love to be able to meet even more people. I really enjoyed working in admissions over the week, so it would definitely be nice to have work there more often.
So, we are officially on Spring Break although I am already back on campus for work at admissions. We finished a little early today so I had a lot of free time to get a jump on my homework and also to relax with friends. I also got my cosplay in the mail and made some of the alterations that I needed to get finished. I will probably do the rest of the alterations tomorrow before I do my homework. My cosplay looks really nice and I cannot wait to wear it for the convention!
Work was fun today, we were just doing basic office work but I like the people I am working with a lot and actually found out that one of them was an anime fan. I am looking forward to getting to know her better tomorrow and during the rest of the week. We talked a lot about the different shows that we like and I am definitely hoping she comes to club at some point in the future. Apparently, she had not previously because she thought it met on Wednesday when it actually meets on Thursday. We also talked about music and a bunch of other stuff and it made an otherwise monotonous job a lot more fun.
During the rest of the week, I work from 9-4 in admissions. If the weather is nice, I plan to walk each day after work just for fun and to enjoy the weather as Spring moves in. I am planning on taking some of my homework out to Harveystone to work on if the weather is nice tomorrow. Harveystone is a large pavillion out on the golf course part of the campus, but I love it out there. I really hope the weather keeps getting nicer and that Spring moves firmly in as Spring Break goes on.
So, yesterday began Spring Break and for a lot of people that meant cleaning and packing for a nice, relaxing 10 days at home. I am actually staying on campus for the break because I have some work to do for the Admission’s office, but I am still going to get a lot of time to relax as well. I went home for the weekend today, however, which was quite an adventure. My boyfriend had all kinds of car trouble as we were preparing to leave and another friend ended up driving us to my house in PA after Phil’s car had to be towed to a shop. I spent the evening catching up with my mom and step dad and getting some stuff together to take back to school.
I really enjoy Spring Break because it is a good chance to de-stress after midterms and even with work and homework I should have a lot of free time over the next few days. One of my best friends is also going to be on campus, as Maine is a little far to drive for a week off. He and I already plan to watch lots of movies when he is done his work in the Art Studio each day and just catch up some since this semester has been very busy for us both. He is selling his work at the convention on the 30th, however, so he does have an awful lot of work to do before he’ll have time to relax each day.
Phil is going to be heading to his house tomorrow and my friend Lisa is driving me back to campus. I start work on Monday morning and will work Monday to Friday in the Admission’s office. I am looking forward to it because I enjoy working there and the extra cash will be greatly appreciated. I also can’t wait to see what I can get up to each day after I get off work at Admission’s at 4pm. Most of the campus is closed, but it will be a chance to catch up on shows, read, and just relax for the first time in a while.
So, I am hoping to go abroad this summer if finances allow for it. However, there are a lot of steps to going abroad. You have to pick a program, a location, and more. I applied for an SIT Program in Jordan for the summer. I am really looking forward to it and I recently found out that I was accepted. I am definitely excited and can’t wait to get the process going. There is still a lot that I need to do, however, and I will have a lot to do in the next few weeks to get ready.
Today was a lot of errands though as I prepare to go abroad this summer. I had to get my passport picture first thing in the morning and later in the day I also put in the formal application for my passport at the post office. It was slightly scary since I have never been abroad in the past, but it definitely brought the excitement back to the surface about the travel plans. I will be in Jordan for about 7 weeks and will travel to a few historic areas within the country as well as the formal schooling in Amman.
Rose is the Study Abroad Director here at McDaniel and she has been a great help. She helped me figure out how credits would work and also to finalize what program I wanted to take part in. Plus, she made sure I knew exactly paperwork needed to be done for the college and also for the study abroad program. She also recommended a few sites I could look for scholarships to study abroad on. But anyway, I cannot wait to go to Jordan this summer!