The Omniscient Fortune Cookies

Loyola administrators are smart. At least, whoever decides when to have breaks and special weekends is. It’s like they’ve figured out a formula to keep students at a tug of war with their parents over college’s newfound freedom.

Think about it this way:
Week of Fun Without Major Homework + Week of Intro Activities + Week of First Club Meetings & More Homework + Week of First Papers & Exams = Perfect Build Up to Family Weekend.

By the time 4 weeks has gone by, most students want a little bit of “home” back in their lives.

And then by Sunday they want their Loyola back.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents, but I also love my independence. This school is so much like a home to me I don’t always need the reassurance of my parental units to know there’s someone who cares about my existence. But it was still nice to spend the weekend with them, even if it was a short visit.

*Insert cheesy but heartfelt call out to Mom and Dad here*

For those of you who are wondering what this whole Family Weekend thing is about, I’ll give you the low down:

It begins on Friday with the Honors Convocation, during which all the students who received academic achievement awards, summer programs, or are in an honor society, are recognized. The first years who are in the Honors Program or received academic scholarships are also recognized. Of course, before the awards are given out, there are speeches and one of the faculty is honored for “outstanding achievement in scholarship or creative work,” (The Nachbahr Award).

The rest of the weekend passes in a blur of sports games, food (provided by the university and your parents’ ability to drive you to the Inner Harbor), a “big” event on Saturday night, and mass on Sunday (always packed).

The school keeps everyone busy, even if families don’t attend every event.
For example, I spent my Saturday morning drawing

and enjoying the quad with my parents

before working on homework while they chilled out in my common room.

We also went out to the Towson Mall; I needed some more “mature” clothing.
(I’m really more of a t-shirt & jeans girl, and have recently found myself lacking in the
“job interview” and “nice occasions” clothes department)

After asking my dad if there was an equation to determine the yield of clothes purchased from clothes chosen (in vain), we decided it was time to eat dinner.

Little did we know of the fates that awaited us at P. F. Chang’s.

It sounds crazy, but I’m pretty sure the fortune cookie writers have had workshops and focus groups to determine which phrases resonate most with customers, because my own and my parents’ fortunes were eerily relevant or accurate to our lifestyles.

Mine: Keep your feet on the ground even though friends flatter you.
My mom’s: Learning is a treasure which accompanies us everywhere.
My dad’s: Patience is a key to joy.

How could I apply these indispensable pieces of wisdom to my life?

Patience is truly the key to completing homework, as I try to reassure myself that my History paper is a treasure, and in the end a joyful experience when my professor will (hopefully) flatter me with a good grade.

Maybe fortune cookies and parents teach you more than you expect after all.

Philofoodlibrology

What’s your idea of the perfect day?

(A partial answer will be revealed shortly)

This is a slight alteration to the question my Philosophy professor asked in class last week: What criteria do we require for a perfect class?

You’d be surprised how many things we came up with, and how many of them we’d take as a given. For instance, you’d think it’d be easy to get perfect attendance or be in a good environment, but in a class of 28 someone is bound to get sick and the basement of Beatty Hall is overheated. Some of the more interesting answers ran along the intellectual line: participation, open minds, enthusiasm (both of the teacher and students), and incentive. However, the final requirement my professor listed kind of stuck with me this weekend: When class is over, you want it to continue.

How many students can say they’ve been in a class they wished wouldn’t end?

Well, I have, but only twice.

But that isn’t the point of this little story, we can discuss the American education system at another time (haha).

What I’m trying to get at is this: We all value our weekends: the time to kick back and procrastinate about papers while we hang out with friends and laugh so hard our stomachs hurt. But how often have we had a weekend that we want to continue, to extend for just a few hours longer not because we want to avoid the week ahead, but because we love the moment in which we are living?

This is why I decided to take a little escapade to Barnes & Nobles.

I powered through my homework on Friday night (still life for art) and Saturday (readings readings and more readings) so that on Sunday I could sleep in and hit the fun books.

By fun books I mean A Clash of Kings by George R R Martin (who, incidentally, was on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! last week). I really like fantasy books, especially ones that pull you into a completely different world and you can lose yourself in for hours.

While I was reading, I met a volunteer for Barack Obama’s campaign here in Baltimore. She was really nice and we had a brief chat about the election (she got to meet Michelle and hear her speech at Morgan State!). Of course, at some point I had to catch the Collegetown Shuttle back home, so here I sit writing and watching the Emmys (I believe in Sherlock!) as my roommate makes baked ziti for dinner.

I really wish I had a bit more time to chill out this weekend. Another day to enjoy the crisp autumn weather, a few more hours to read for fun, a few more moments to meet new people.

Maybe the James Taylor and Allman Brothers Band CDs I bought can brighten my walks across campus. My new soundtrack for the fall!