Clumsiness is to Lack of Sleep as Stress is to School

That’s it. I’m officially a walking disaster zone when I’m tired. And stressed. Lots of stress.

In the last 15 minutes alone I have managed to spill brownie mix all over myself (dry, thankfully), spill water on my socks, and smudge brownie mix on my sleeves (not dry).

My lack of coordination is usually straight forward and easy to deal with. You know, the typical tripping over my feet, falling up the stairs, running into people while walking backwards, dropping random objects, but all fairly predictable and spread out through the week.

But three mishaps in 15 minutes? Maybe I should rethink wearing heels to Loyola Rising tonight.

Those bricks on the bridge are not conducive to heeled boots.

Now, if you’re wondering why I’m so tired and therefore clumsy, I have three words for you:

Registration/Thanksgiving Break

Yesterday, sophomores registered for their spring semester classes and I can say without a doubt that the 30 seconds of staring at the “Loading” sign are some of the most stressful in my life.

Most courses range from 15-25 spots (a very intimate and personal classroom) and as the day goes by, section after section fills up and those who have later registration times go through three or four “back up” schedules. Like me.

I don’t handle that kind of stress well. Opening up my college acceptance/denial letters was torture. Waiting to see if I got the last spot in a Printmaking class was like sitting on tenterhooks and having my heart try to leap through my lungs.

If it’s any consolation, registration gets easier every semester. Seniors always have first pick, followed by Juniors, then Sophomores, and first years actually get help registering. Loyola often adds more sections for core courses, so that eases up the overflow, too.

Normally after registration life is a bit easier and the stress build-up dissipates within a few hours, but this year registration was right before Thanksgiving break. Which means professors try to cram in as many tests, projects, and papers as possible.

Why this crazy amount of work for what isn’t even a full week of break?

Because two weeks after Turkey Day is final exams and then FREEDOM!!!!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I love it here. I enjoy my classes, professors, friends, and free time in Baltimore. But sleeping in and not worrying about running clubs or writing papers is at the top of my Christmas  wishlist. (I take after my dad. He always asks for Peace and Quiet.)

I’m used to being busy, but there are fits and spurts of hectic craziness that make one week drag on forever and another feel surprisingly short.

In order to not wind up like me and accidentally snap at your roommates when they kindly ask what you would like to do for the weekend (or get covered in chocolate powder), here are a few pointers:

  1. Think ahead. If you know there are a lot of things coming up, then you can…
  2. Plan ahead. Having a calendar is essential to getting work done on time.
  3. Make lists! Having something to cross off makes me feel accomplished. Half the time I don’t cross it off anyway, but just knowing the order of things still helps.
  4. Be aware of others. You probably aren’t the only one freaking out, so be willing to accept and give support.
  5. Eat well. Grab some breakfast, even if it’s only a granola bar, get lots of protein (eggs are brain food!), and indulge in the occasional sweet as a reward (OK, maybe more than occasional).
  6. Take time to relax and do something that doesn’t use the analytical part of your brain. And I don’t mean watch TV. Color, knit, write stream-of-consciousness poetry, play solitaire, lie outside and look at the clouds, cook dinner.
  7. Laugh! I’m not kidding. Having one of those belly-laugh moments is great. Laughing so much that your abs hurt and your eyes are tearing up sounds ridiculous, but if feels so good afterwards.
Reading

Apparently I looked like a mermaid, tucked away reading in my room over the weekend.

Stress painting

My roommate & I paint to relieve stress; it tends to come out rather abstract.

I'm a ghost!

I'm telling you: Belly laughs. They're good for the spirit.

The Way to a Girl’s Heart? Good Food and Good Art.

I think my brain has been thought-out. It’s processed so much information and absorbed so many visuals over the past three days it just can’t take any more. A nap might be the best remedy, but before I have the luxury of doing that, I’d like to share with you the cause of my Sunday sleepiness.

Fall Break

No, I didn’t go home like most of the campus (I did last year. Homecoming through the eyes of a college student: never again). Instead, I shared an exciting weekend with my mom, as we explored the sights of Mount Vernon and two art museums.

It all began with an insanely relaxing Thursday afternoon of painting

My Thursday Afternoonand watching Miss Marple: At Bertram’s Hotel (I’m a sucker for mysteries and British accents). After my mom arrived, we had dinner (fresh from the Trenton Farmer’s Market!) and Skyped my sister, who gave us the down low her kids’ Halloween costumes: a pirate and Yoda.

Of course, you can’t spend time with your parents on campus and not go to Miss Shirley’s for breakfast. This was my second time going, and I highly recommend the Cinnamon Roll French Toast! Combine their food with 60s/70s music, and you’ve got the makings of a wonderful day.

I know I said “art museums” and “exciting” in the same sentence, and many of you are probably shaking your heads in skepticism. But let me say this: The Walter’s Art Museum is not your typical art museum. Yes, they have large rooms filled with giant portraits of Europe’s nobility, countless paintings of martyred saints, and a very nice selection of 19th century landscapes, but they also have the “Chamber of Wonders.” Here resides everything from a mounted crocodile to delicately inlayed chests. Or

So pretty!!!

or

Lovin the Iridescence

or

Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition!

Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition!

And, OK, fine, I admit it, I had to go there for my art history class, so it wasn’t out of pure intellectual curiosity that I gazed at art for four hours.

However, whether or not you go for fun, the Walter’s is a really cool museum. It’s also in the Mount Vernon neighborhood, which is home to some of the best restaurants in Baltimore and the first monument to George Washington.

Mt. Vernon MonumentFlowers at Mt. VernonSt. Paul'sOh Young Grasshopper...After discovering the not-quite-so-young-grasshopper, we walked over to Sascha’s 527 Cafe and had a refreshing dinner of crab cakes (another Maryland must have).

You’d think that I’d had enough of walking around, but no. My Italian class brought me to the Baltimore Museum of Art which is right by Johns Hopkins University, and easy to access via the Collegetown Shuttle.

Even though several of their galleries were closed for renovation, I still got to see some beautiful art.

Landscape at BMA The Kiss by Rodin

There’s a sculpture garden by the museum, but modern art isn’t really my thing, so I took pictures of the flowers instead:

So many pretty flowers! Leaves Changing

Although it was still fairly sunny, the temperature had definitely dropped by the time I got home, so I decided to make a stick-to-your-ribs Tex-Mex macaroni dinner. My sister gave me a book of pasta recipes, and I had yet to try one, so I took the advantage of the calm Saturday evening to make this:

Prep for DinnerTex-Mex macaroni!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why my eyes are so tired and my brain is so sore. It was so much fun, but *yawn* I think it’s time to heed the calls of my warm bed.