Happy Thinking Out Loud Thursday! What? There’s a real holiday today? Oh, right.
Happy Thanksgiving! Assuming you’re in the US, I hope you read this Friday and go celebrate today. Or read it really fast in the morning and then go celebrate. It’s been a while since I’ve done a real TOL post, though, so I thought I’d clue you into what’s going on in my life and mind lately, aside from skydiving. Shall we?
1.) Technically, we are celebrating Thanksgiving by not having our French discussion this afternoon (we still have morning class) and getting a Thanksgiving lunch at the center. However, based on our past experiences with promised food, we don’t have high hopes. But hey, it’s the thought that counts. And I think we all have plenty to be thankful for without a gourmet feast, am I right?
2.) The structure of my civ class (on the 19th and 20th centuries in Europe) is basically such that two students teach every day and try to get a discussion going and our professor occasionally jumps in. This is my least favorite kind of class because if my professor is smart and knows what he’s talking about, I would much rather learn a ton from him than to listen to a bunch of people as clueless, if intelligent, as me grapple with problems in slightly different words until finally the professor says, “Yeah, I think that’s kind of close…”
3.) I had quite the crash landing into reality on Monday when said teacher told us we had the most difficult reading of the quarter Monday night. And I was the lucky person (with one of my classmates) who got to try to decipher it enough to present to the class on Tuesday.
We both read it separately after classes (for roughly 3 hours) and then met up at around 8pm to write a précis, build a PowerPoint, and figure out our discussion points, at which point we both fully admitted we hadn’t really understood any of it. Or any of the online summaries of it. So, we spent another 3 hours working through it as much as we could. It still didn’t make a ton of sense. We went into Tuesday feeling meh and hoping more than two other people had actually read it enough to discuss.
4.) Apparently, it went really well! It didn’t feel great, and there were a lot of silences – he really doesn’t jump in that much, and it’s not like he had much of a plan for the day – but we made a lot of progress toward understanding Hegel and picked out the important points. Also, we were originally told it was a 20-minute presentation, but we kinda had to lead the class for 150 minutes. It was a lot.
And that’s how 40% of my grade was determined on day 2 of class.
5.) Speaking of, I don’t know what that grade is. Still, I would just like all teachers to know that even after 16 years of school, just hearing you did a great job is so nice. I’m certainly not complaining about “just” getting a good grade or even seeing some criticisms/ideas for improvement, but when we asked him if there was anything else he needed from us, he just said, “No, no, that was a really nice outline and discussion. Great job.” So simple, but even though we’re both fourth years, we were pretty excited. It’s the little things, y’all.
6.) If you’re ever planning to come to France and you think you’ll want American snacks, bring them. I knew this, but I didn’t have space. So, around three weeks ago, I placed an order through iHerb because I love them and I wanted better nut butter. And RXBARs and Simple Mills. And canned salmon. Also, iHerb has a French website, so I thought it would be no problem.
Fun fact: that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to get your food. Food goes through a seriously intense customs process that takes a ridiculously long time, which means I just got my food yesterday. But I have it, and I’m happy… and I don’t have that long to use it up. I’ll probably end up taking some home.
7.) After our Thanksgiving lunch, I’m packing up to head to Athens for the weekend! I have a late flight tonight, then I’m packing in as much sightseeing as I can on Friday before I sail to Hydra for the afternoon on Saturday. Why Hydra? I want stereotypical pretty Greek island pictures and that seems like my best shot, being a pretty short, cheap boat ride from Athens and also being very pretty. Then, I’ll spend Saturday evening and Sunday morning back in Athens before heading back to Paris.
It’s my last trip before my parents come and we cruise. After this, there’s only one more weekend, four days, and then the quarter is over. Then college is over. CRAZY.
8.) Speaking of, I’ve already started writing my college recap post. And, well, it’s going to be posts. Because I have a whole lot to say on college. It’s been an experience. I’m thinking I’ll break them up and try to release them over the course of a week, so I don’t write 10,000 words in one post. I’m hoping to have them up the week we’re on the cruise, but we’ll see if I finish before then. If there’s anything you want to see included there, lemme know!
9.) I am so very excited to be done. It’s surreal. I’m also, of course, sad because the traveling has been incredible, but being done with school puts almost as big a smile on my face as skydiving.
10.) And now I want to leave you with some of my favorite recipes + reads from the week:
- Upgrading my fave prosciutto-wrapped tilapia! –> Prosciutto-Wrapped Cod with Blistered Tomatoes
- HOW GORGEOUS ARE THESE? –> Honey-Roasted Pear Sparkling Cocktails and Mocktails
- If it has caramelized onions, I want it. –> Arugula Breakfast Sandwich with Caramelized Onions
- If the happiest time of year isn’t so happy… –> A Holiday Survival Guide for Sad People
- …And even if it is happy, remember to take care of you. –> How to Deal with Holiday Stress
How are you celebrating/did you celebrate Thanksgiving?
What’s going on in your life this week?
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