A few weekends ago, my friends and I decided to take advantage of the last sunny days before fall and go to my friend’s house just outside of Annapolis. She has a pool in her backyard–a novel concept for me, as in San Francisco we just have houses all boxed in on each other. There’s barely any space for trees, let alone pools. I spent most of my time in the pool just lounging around. I’ve always adored the water and there’s not enough time for swimming!
We ate crabs for dinner. I’d never had crabs before–this is a weird Maryland thing that I hadn’t yet had a chance to appreciate. I’d had imitation crab meat before, but apparently the biggest joy in eating crabs is getting to take apart the shells and getting really messy. There was a lot of butter involved for dipping. Though it was strange and vaguely disgusting, I will admit that it was also pretty tasty. I think in the future I will probably stick to prepackaged crab if crab at all, but it was fun.
It was really nice to have a day in which we forgot completely about school and simply relaxed.
As you may know, I am a member of the men’s basketball team here at McDaniel. Last week, my teammates and I had the honor of signing a new member to our team.
Our new member is Joshua Hirtle, a nine-year-old from Sykesville, Maryland. Joshua was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and has completed his chemotherapy treatment and is doing well.
Joshua has been active around our team even before signing with us. He has attended basketball camps during the summer where a couple guys and I have been able to help him work on his basketball skills. Joshua has also been to many pick-up games during our off-season, which has given him the chance to hang out with us.
The day Joshua signed was a very proud day for the McDaniel community and the men’s basketball program. We look forward to Joshua to be a part of this team and be a source of positive energy that he seems to always have.
My friend, John Henry and his violin
On Friday, I went to the McDaniel String Ensemble’s concert in Little Baker. It was really cool to see parents, faculty members, and students all gathered together in Little Baker Chapel to engage in a night of beautiful classical music.
One of my friends was in the performance. It was nice to finally get to see him perform. I knew he sang, and he would often tell me about how his violin lessons were going, but I never got to hear him play. He is really good!
Also, I do not often listen to classical music in my free time. I tend to use music to motivate me to do my homework, and classical music is much too relaxing for that. It was so nice because I got to close my eyes and let the music take me away.
It was great to just relax and not think about all the commitments I had. My favorite pieces were the sonatas they performed. For some reason, sonatas have always been my favorite pieces of classical music to listen to.
All in all, I am so glad I went to the concert. It instilled in me a sense of peace and refreshed me for all the work ahead.
This past weekend, I took Megabus down to North Carolina to visit a good friend of mine from Yellowstone. I spent a night in Virginia when I was looking at colleges; however, aside from this, DC is really as far South as I had ever been in my life. The pickle took me to Shady Grove station and I took the metro to the DC transit station, where Megabus stops.
My friend picked me up in Durham around 8:30PM on Halloween, and we drove 45 minutes back to his apartment in Clayton. He was hosting a Halloween party, so I got to meet a lot of his friends that night. He had to work on Saturday, so I had some time to do the homework I’d been avoiding in taking the trip. I got to have breakfast at a typical Southern waffle house that was really adorable. Though I didn’t have enough time to truly explore the area, it was so much fun to see him and to meet his friends.
Though the West Coast is obviously the Best Coast, I really love how the East Coast is such a conglomeration of cities, and how I can so easily travel up and down and around. Since I’ll be on campus for Thanksgiving, this was also a great chance for me to get away for a weekend and recollect myself before November really hit.
The side of the road–North Carolina has so many trees, especially coming from all the fields in Maryland.
He keeps a lot of really pretty candles.
One thing I always enjoy doing on the Hill is attending belly dance performances. McDaniel has had a belly dance club since before I came to campus, and over the past few years, they’ve held “haflas” — or “get-togethers” — once a semester so the McDaniel community can watch them perform. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of watching my friends perform in yet another hafla.
While past belly dance performances I’ve seen took place on the main stage in the theater, this semester’s hafla took place in McDaniel Lounge, which is smaller and does not have a stage. This ended up creating a unique opportunity for the belly dancers to invite the audience to perform with them during certain numbers throughout the show.
Eventually, I found the guts to go up and join in on the fun — thanks to the encouragement of one of my friends, Cari, who is a belly dancer. Cari taught us some choreography so that at a certain part of the song, we could all dance in unison. With so many people involved, it was a bit like learning a new line dance. When we weren’t doing the choreographed moves, we were free to move our hips and bellies and dance however we wanted.
Watching the rest of the show was fun too. It was a treat to get to see many of my friends perform after all the work they’d put into learning their routines. (All of the desserts they had on hand were also a treat!) One of my friends who is an alumna now also came back to perform.
Belly Dance Club meets twice a week. They have “Fun-Day Mondays,” for anyone to come and dance with them, and they also have separate weekly meetings for those who wish to perform in front of an audience. Joining Belly Dance informally is something I’ve always said that I’d like to do but haven’t actually gotten around to doing. Maybe next semester, I’ll follow through : )