Six days to takeoff

Oh god it’s coming so fast! SIX DAYS!

This last week has been a blur of essay-writing and trying to remember all these little random things to do. For someone who’s only in the third week of school, I am getting more and more sleep deprived. I thought this wasn’t supposed to happen yet.

My weekend was relatively unexciting – I spent most of Saturday writing a paper. Sunday I went to Jethro’s, where I ate obscene amounts of French toast and pancakes, and then I went to a girlfriend’s birthday party. It was a “crafternoon” (adorable, I know), so we decorated our own mugs. I used mine the next morning when I made my smoothie.

This particular girlfriend is extremely inspiring: she’s such a go-getter in every area of her life and does it all with a giant smile on her face. She also has her own knitting business, where she knits mug cosies (https://www.facebook.com/OnanaKnittedAccessories), so having a birthday that involved making something was totally up her alley.

I also got my brand new iPhone 5! The top button on my old iPhone was getting really sticky, so I’ve been so glad to actually have a functional phone. I do really like it (and I love the new screen size!) though I’ve been noticing that the battery life is pretty pathetic as compared to my old phone. I’m hoping that it’s something temporary with iOS 6 and that they fix it soon, because having to charge my phone as soon as I get home is pretty annoying. It’s also a huge pain having to switch all of my charging cables, as I must have at least four of them lying around and now none of them work! Grr. This is what I get for being a techno-geek that must have all the new shiny things. Also, this phone was bloody expensive, so it better last me a while. (Ha. Ha. I’m so funny.) Other than those complaints, though, I’m completely in love. It’s a little sad, really.

I’ve been trying to distract myself, because Google is supposed to call me very soon and let me know about whether they are insane enough to give me money to work for them. It’s nerve-wracking waiting, but it would definitely be a big life milestone if it came through. It would also mean a lot of changes, which can be pretty scary to think about. Though I travel around a lot, I’ve never permanently left my beloved Vancity, and so it would be pretty huge for me to move. The start of real life and all that jazz. Yeesh. I don’t even want to think about it too much, it gives me the shivers.

Six days, and so much to do. It’s almost like I should be doing them, and not writing this blog instead…

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Two week countdown, commence!

Exactly two weeks today until I leave for Europe! People keep on asking me if I’m excited, but I don’t think I am yet – even though it’s coming up quickly, I still feel like it’s a million years away. I’ve been planning this for so long that I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that it’s almost here.

However, what IĀ can wrap my head around is the fact that I am definitely feeling a time crunch. Classes are really starting to ramp up, and I’m starting to wilt a bit underneath the huge mountain of reading that I’m supposed to be doing – which is a different experience for me because normally I welcome reading as a break from my programming. It’s a bit odd not taking any computer science courses this semester. I almost feel like I’m missing a limb or something. I have this weird voice in the back of my head that keeps on whispering “Shannon, why aren’t you coding anything?”

The falling-behind situation isn’t helped by the million things I need to accomplish before I leave, such as getting to the bank, organizing my travel, the dreaded packing (something I am notoriously horrible at…) But I did get to take a break and go to Seattle this past weekend and visit one of my really good friends. I’ve been to Seattle often, but usually for a very specific reason – we’re passing through to the airport, we’re hitting up the outlets, whatever it is. Consequently, I’ve never actually done a lot of the “touristy” things so the combination of that and good company made it a lot of fun.

Chihuly Glass Museum

Seattle Space Needle

Down by the Olympic Garden

I think my favourite was the Space Needle – there was a bit of a line to get to the top, but the view was beautiful. I could’ve sat there and stared at the ocean all day (and in fact did spend quite a bit of time doing that). We also ate at some pretty good places, including a really cool place called Poppy. Dishes were served in platters called thalis, which consisted of seven small plates of different foods, so you were able to try a bunch of things. I think the best was the duck leg with peaches – I’m drooling slightly thinking about it.

I think that was my only break between now and when I’m sitting on the plane, though – I can just feel the whirlwind of things-to-do-before-I-go coming. Time to go tackle some medieval literature. Fourteen days!

Back from the dead

Er, so I may have taken an unanticipated hiatus. Sorry about that. Life got a little insane, I went a little more insane, and before you know it – poof! A month and a half goes by.

Well, no point bemoaning the inevitable. I’m back in school now, my internship being donecompletefinito and put behind me. I never have to think about statistics. Ever again. (Now that I’ve said that, the stats gods will come down and smite me with their wrath and I will discover that I actually have to take a missing stats course or something). Looking back, my summer was a good one – perhaps busy and stressful, but also one in which I made some good friends and learned a ton. It all works out in the end. Of course, it’s much easier to say this now than when I was working away at 2 AM, cursing my choice of major. Everything is nicer in retrospect. It has definitely been refreshing, though, to not be working full-time. I took a few weeks to relax a bit, see my friends and family, and just unwind before everything started up again. I went camping, I made some food, and I let the little workers in my head rest. Temporarily.

It seems weird to contemplate, but even though I’ve only been home for a few weeks, I’m already in the midst of organizing my next trip – this time to Italy! I am actually really excited for this, as I’ve been planning this for almost two years. I’m visiting Prague and Vienna for a few days each and then spending two months studying in Prato, which is located near Florence. We learn Italian, we read amazing things like Dante’s Inferno, and in general I get to immerse myself in literary geekdom for a while. It’s going to be fantastic. I’m a little apprehensive about travelling by myself in countries that speak another language, but I think it’ll be a really good experience. Plus, apparently there’s a hugeass castle in Prague that has my name written all over it. (Not literally. Though that’d also be pretty cool). I had my first Italian class today, where I learned how to tell people what my name is and how I’m feeling. Useful things to know, right? I can’t ask directions to the best pasta place, but I can tell people who I am.

I’m going in three and a half weeks, though, so there’s lots of preparation to do before then. I’ve been a bit conflicted – simultaneously extremely excited and rather melancholy as I’ve been travelling so much this year that it’s been stopping me from seeing the people I love. But now’s the time to do it, before I get chained to a desk for the rest of my life, and I’ll be better for it. Travel does so many things, but I honestly believe it opens up your mind, heart and soul, and gives you the capacity to appreciate what you have even more. It’s one of the best things in the world. I travel because I’m passionate about it, and I just have to trust that when I come homeĀ those who love me will still be there.