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mature college kids being sillysacred wall of lego piecesthe lego store! The days are getting shorter and darker, and fall break’s already started! Unfortunately, I don’t have any exciting plans. However, I would love to pilgrimage to the nearest mountain peak to witness a storm, and take a much-needed break from my insane 21-credit semester! Yes, you read right, 21 credits. Why am I torturing myself during my final year of college you ask? Well, I kind of “relaxed” a bit too much these past three years; from taking 12-credit semesters to easily withdrawing from classes without considering the consequences.

Alas, here I am, taking five classes and reading more about development in third-world countries and media saturation than ever before. The lesson? Take your studies seriously. That way, when you’re a senior, you won’t be the one stuck at home with 100+ pages of reading every night, while all your friends are out at bars having fun.

Back to the subject, I’m just glad that the readings are fascinating. I’m also taking Beginning Spanish, and so far it’s been a bit of a challenge. I took French in high school, so I have to try very hard to resist not pronouncing certain words, or blurting out in class “qu’est-ce que c’est?” But I’m liking this language, as well as the tidbits of Latin American culture in the textbook.

Another class in particular that I’m enjoying is Western Art History, taught by the wonderful Ben David. It amazes me that not only does he know so much about art, he also talks about it with such poise, and eloquence…so much that his words are like poetry. Added to the dim lighting of the classroom, it’s hard to not relax too much and fall asleep. I’ve been guilty of this several times already.

To further prove that this hasn’t been the semester from hell (yet), I managed to squeeze some time in on Tuesday to volunteer at a homeless feeding center in Southeast Portland. And no, I didn’t take pictures. I’ve always had this thing where I think that by taking pictures of, and by extension, studying homeless people (especially when it’s for school projects), I’m objectifying them. And the thought of that is unsettling, since they are in enough misfortune as it is… I know this probably doesn’t make much sense; it’s just one of those things that I haven’t really thought through just yet.  

But anyway, it had been a while since I’d helped with the homeless, and like each previous time, I was reminded of just how privileged I am. I’m not going to go into the stories people shared with me. They’re too depressing. Instead, I’m going to leave you with some pictures I took today at the mall, because really, there is no better way to end a blog post than by juxtaposing homelessness with vapid commercialism. (Although I have to admit the Lego store is really cool.)

7 October 2009