Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Merry Christmas from The Hillsdale Forum!

The Hillsdale Forum staff, from left to right: Nate, Julie Anna, Anna (back), Maria, Calvin (back), Catharine, Matt (back), Anna, Catherine (back) and Jim. We were missing Emilia, Kate, Sam, Catherine and Katy. We're adding in 3 new staff members next year, which is quite exciting, and we also have my friend Will takes pictures. It's a good little platoon.
My greeting to the staff at our final meeting of the year this afternoon. I gave out staff awards and discussed plans for how the paper is going to run next semester, and we ended surprisingly early for a staff meeting.

The "Joyeux Noel" was actually left on the board from my Frost exam this morning, but I think that is the prettiest way to say and write "Merry Christmas," so I left it and simply added the "Love, The Hillsdale Forum." :) The HF is coming out tomorrow, finally! I'm excited to see it around campus. I have two pieces in this issue: one on homosexual marriage and one on CCA etiquette.

Home in four days. Mom sent us an e-mail saying she got nominated for an award at The Christ Hospital (where she is the 4-West Oncology Nurse Specialist) and when I talked to Dad yesterday, he told me that Mom actually won 2009 Employee of the Year award at TCH! One of Mom's superiors called Dad and asked if he could go to the luncheon. It is happening tomorrow. He and Kato are going to be there. Mom is going to be so surprised!

Today I took my Frost exam. I wasn't very nervous at all, because I had prepared for the essays and picked out which poems I would use for each. I feel like you can't plan what you're going to write, though, you just have to write. Either you've been studying hard all semester or you've been floundering. My roommate would not wholly agree with me on this point, but a majority of my upper-level American Studies classes have midterms and exams like that--you can't think about it, you just have to write, or you're going to run out of time. She's a double Biology-English major (and Art History minor, talk about a renaissance woman!), and always knows what she is talking about, but she approaches exams differently than I do. We've never taken a class together before this semester and it has been interesting seeing the differences in our studying.

By the end of two hours, I had filled an entire blue book with two quite beautiful, coherent essays filled with parts of Frost poems and outside literary references, as well as discussions of the redemptive imagination, Emersonian self-reliance, poems lodged in the American consciousness as momentary stays against confusion, the necessity of being versed in country things (or rather, the reasons why the phoebes won't cry), the pietas found in stopping by the woods on a snowy evening and other things one can write about freely in Robert Frost English exams. It was extremely gratifying finishing the final sentence and walking to the front of the classroom to Dr. Willson, knowing I did a superb job. I love that feeling. I'm sure I was grinning like a fool.

Tonight is dedicated to finishing my last research paper of the semester, due tomorrow. When it is completed, I will be done with 3/5 of my classes for this semester. That will be a satisfying feeling indeed.

In addendum: Rachel, you will have a full thesis update...soon. Not this week. Maybe not even next week. Lots of books and articles being read, though, and I'm keeping it in this sweet plastic file folder box that Matt calls my "home-schooler debater box" because apparently they're really big in the debate circuit (as well as being an awesome place to store large amounts of research). I don't think he meant it as a compliment, but I was not home-schooled nor was I ever in debate, so that doesn't bother me as much as I'm sure it should.

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