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the travel bug is biting again

the LC women’s basketball team was undefeated this season until tonight’s game against George Foxit’s already starting to act like spring on campus and it’s FREAKING ME OUTjust in case there was any confusion, I’m the one who lives behind this doormy brother just sent me this shirt as a late Christmas present, I love it!close-up of the dinosaurs in their natural habitat - this is upside downI devoted part of this week to adhering a herd of dinosaurs to my ceilingincluding upside-down flying pterodactyls

Junior year is disorienting. A good handful of my friends and classmates just returned from study abroad trips (East Africa and India especially), and another handful just embarked on theirs. Since I can’t hang out with them in person, I’m tagging along on their overseas adventures vicariously via the internet. I’m following blogs from friends and classmates in Vietnam, Senegal, London, Australia, the Dominican Republic, and Russia. It’s madness. Lovely, lovely madness.

With a bunch of my friends abroad, the travel bug is biting again, and I’ve stumbled upon a great way to appease it: Alternative Spring Break trip! Yeah! I just rocketed my paperwork and 400 bucks to the Infinite Forest organisation, which LC has partnered with this year for a volunteer trip to Costa Rica. The itinerary looks absolutely phenomenal: whitewater rafting, ziplining, dolphin-watching, fruit-tasting – oh, and building things for an orphanage and helping out with local recycling and rainforest conservation efforts. Baller, amiright?! And all for only $400 per student! (Thanks, grants and alumni donations!) I am about sixteen miles beyond excited.

So, this was the first week of classes. I am crazy psyched for all my classes this semester! I encountered some turbulence in my quest to fulfill the first barrage of assignments, mainly due to my unfortunate lack of the correct textbooks, but it all worked out eventually. I was disappointed to find out that my Women in American Religious History class investigates only Judeo-Christian faiths, but I think I may try to compensate for that by doing my final research paper on women in Islam. Unless I get sucked into researching matriarchal Catholic mysticism – I do have a history of nerding out over saints and deification. one of our collection “jars”Nicola keeps this giant jar around for exactly this type of fundraising initiativeOne thing that I’m seriously enjoying about my classes this semester is how easy it is to “put them in dialogue with one another,” as it is said here in Acadamialand. There’s a lot of cross-pollination from one class to another, and it’s a lot of fun to mix, match, and dismantle what I’m learning transacademically. (Also fun: inventing adverbs.)

my cat Crystal died last weekend, so I visited home to say goodbyeThis is me when I was about 7 in classic 90s fashion, shortly after we got Crystal.photo courtesy the Great All-Knowing Google ImagesWhen my butt has been somewhere other than a desk this week, it’s mostly been in a chair behind a table, harassing – er, I mean, encouraging people to relinquish their dolla dolla bills to assist aid operations in Haiti. You probably know by now that Haiti was recently struck with an earthquake so devastating that it’s now being rated somewhere in the top ten worst natural disasters of all time. Anyway, on our first day back on campus after winter break, several friends and I congregated to form LCHaiti, a (hopefully) transient organisation that focuses on raising money to be donated to grassroots organisations that are on the ground in Haiti providing disaster relief to the people there. This week, we have been hosting a simple Penny Drive, and after only two days of collecting, we bank in at almost $800 for the What If? Foundation. LC, you rock! We’re planning on hosting more elaborate fundraising events in the coming semester, including a benefit dinner, a rummage sale, and an awareness-through-artwork programme, and we will likely try to donate to other worthy organisations such as Partners in Health. If you wanna help us out, you can use the powers of the internet to make a paypal donation at our LCHaiti website.

Favourite food discoveries of the week:
1. crunchy, delicious almondbutter made in-house at the Bon – it’s great on apples!
2. vanilla coconut “ice cream” (soy- and dairy-free frozen dessert in a pint-sized tub) conveniently sold at Maggie’s.
I will probably never tire of lolcats

Prospective students slash everyone: you haz questions, I haz answers. maisha@lclark.edu kthxbai

23 January 2010