It is with some relief that I find my to-do list getting smaller. Two presentations and a paper are done and finished! Unfortunately though, I haven’t gotten any less busy than before since I now have to do all the things that I didn’t do before because I was doing other things. (Did you follow that?) In fact, I feel busier than ever.
I haven’t had as much time for fun this as I managed to find last week, but tonight, I took an hour out of my evening to go to Jazz Night, a jazz concert performed by all of our jazz ensembles on campus. One of my suite mates was performing tonight, so a couple of my other suite mates and I went to go support her and have a nice time. We even dressed up because we were feeling fancy : )
Tonight’s performances did not disappoint! Every song had me foot-tapping and grinning and subtly moving to the beat in my front row seat. All of the performers were absolutely phenomenal, and the second ensemble blew me away! (And if they had played any louder, they probably would have literally blown me away.) I was really impressed with the choices of songs and several of the soloists, including my first year seminar peer mentor Jon, who gave an incredible vocal performance of “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).”
McDaniel’s music department puts on tons of concerts each semester featuring students and outside performers. If you come to McDaniel, I highly recommend going to at least a couple of these concerts each semester. (There’s no excuse for you not to–you’ll get a flyer in your mailbox letting you know when all the concerts are, so you’ll never be able to say that you didn’t know about them.) The concerts are a great chance to unwind and listen to some fantastic music as you experience culture on the Hill!
I am taking a Communication course this semester called Intercultural Communication. In this class, we have discussed everything from worldviews, paradigms, and identity, to culture shock and third cultures. To supplement our readings and class discussions we also have film viewings on different documentaries or movies that show culture consciousness (My Big Fat Greek wedding was one of the more fun selections.)
As we prepare for our own cultural case study on someone from a different background, my professor brought in a guest speaker for us to talk to and ask questions. Dr. Qin Feng is a professor here at McDaniel and is originally from China. It was fascinating to hear all about her experiences and first impressions here in the States, as well as things that still confuse her about our culture.
At a smaller school, like McDaniel, guest speakers have even more power because of the opportunities for discussions and questions. Generally, speakers will be in very intimate settings, like how mine was in my classroom. There is no doubt that you will have your question answered and have the chance to talk to speaker after the lecture as well. I learned a lot from Dr. Feng and am excited to work on my own case study.
Tonight I have a meeting for the Jan Term I will be taking during the weeks between fall and spring semesters. I will be taking a photography in northern Italy trip and I am beyond excited!
We will be visiting Florence, Siena, Assisi, Rome, Venice, and Milan, among other cities. This will be my first time traveling out of the country, with the exception of Canada. And definitely my longest plane ride to date.
Jan Terms on campus make it really easy to study abroad because the trips are discounted for students and the price is all inclusive. On my trip we even have a 24/7 tour guide.
The trip will be with a group of 30 students and adults, both from McDaniel and local schools. Among those going are my two roommates, Laura and Nicole, Nicole’s twin sister, and her best friend. Laura’s sorority sister will also be on the trip.
I haven’t been wanting to wish fall semester away by counting down for Italy, but I can’t help but get really excited when I think about it. I’m already putting in extra time at the gym in preparation for all the pasta, pizza, wine, and dessert that I will be consuming.
I can’t wait!