Spring Fever

Remember how I had major issues writing my first post? I sat staring at my screen for half an hour not knowing how to introduce myself and worried that people wouldn’t even read this. Since then it’s gotten increasingly easier, but this week I hit a roadblock.

It was like all the creative parts of my brain had taken a permanent holiday. All the negative, doubtful thoughts swarmed in and made it difficult to trust myself and my abilities.

After a very long time of chasing around possible topics in my head, I decided to make a list, and finally experienced enough confidence to start writing. So here I sit, or lie, rather, on my bed, surrounded by pillows, snuggled up in my hoodie, and listening to movie scores, telling myself I will dazzle you all with my …

Top 15 Reasons to Look Forward to Spring Semester at Loyola

New Classes
A fresh start, a clean slate, call it what you will, but it’s so nice to come back to school with limitless possibilities. Personally, I’m looking forward most to my Printmaking class and Major Writers Lit class.

Roommates’ Birthdays
Two of my roommates are celebrating their birthdays this semester! Everyone loves the opportunity to go out for dinner, relax for a bit, and enjoy each others’ company.

Winter Formal
Ok, so I didn’t go last year, and I don’t know if I’ll go this year, but the Winter Formal sponsored by the RHA is pretty cool. Every year Loyola students line up for tickets to go to the Aquarium to dance the night away.

Poetry Club’s Valentine’s Day Celebrations
I think one of my favorite memories from freshman year was experiencing the chaos of Valentine’s Week in Poetry Club. There’s an Erotic Poetry Night, in which students read poetry geared towards the day of love (laughter guaranteed). The club also makes, sells, and delivers Valentine candy-grams as a fundraiser (I promise I will go into detail closer to the date! No spoilers!).

Waking Up to the Sun
No more stumbling around in the dark when you get up for class! Now I’ll actually get up when my alarm goes off!

Titus Andronicus
This year’s symposium play is Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, made up of an all female cast (including my roommate!) and is scheduled for February 21-24.

Flowers Blooming
You can’t deny it. Spring flowers smell fantastic. Despite the allergies that come along with it.

Picnics on the Quad
I don’t care if it’s a cliche. You have to. It’s so much fun, just sitting with friends, chatting, eating a packed lunch, and later lying on the quad watching the clouds go by.

Knitting Club’s Trip to Lovely Yarns
I am determined to get the Knifty Knitters over to the local knitting shop in Hampden. I’ve never been there, but Lovely Yarns seems to be a beautiful and interesting place.

Finger/Splatter Painting Outside
My roommates and I have decided to get a large roll of paper, spread it out on the lawn, and finger or splatter paint it. Just for kicks. Having fun with paint isn’t just for kindergarten!

Soaking Up the Sun on Humanities Porch
By far one of the student body’s favorite activities. As soon as it gets warm everyone vies for a coveted rocking chair on the sunlit porch of Humanities. It’s perfect for people watching, doing homework, and, in my case, starting to sunburn early.

Spring Movie Releases
I don’t know which I should be more excited for: Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness or Wait…Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

Barbecues
Or at least the smell of them! One of the few times I get homesick is when I smell charcoal cooking something delicious out on the quad or by the dorms. Always reminds me of the street fairs back home!

Strolling Around Sherwood Gardens
There’s a public block by Loyola that has wonderful gardens and is full of families and wedding parties in the spring. It’s a good way to get off campus and experience multitudes of tulips.

Loyolapalooza
If you don’t go to this music/food/friend fest, you are missing out on a LOT. Every year Loyola students pack the quad to listen to good music, eat great food, and share a few more memories with friends before the semester ends. Last year Jack’s Mannequin and The Palace at 4 AM rocked the stage, but I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this year!

As you can see, springtime at Loyola is pretty sweet and goes by surprisingly fast! Even if I don’t get to do everything on this list, I’m still looking froward to a spectacular semester.

Presenting: A Crafty Christmas

I sit here, sipping my Chai tea
letting smooth tones
of Christmas jazz
wash over me.
The foggy gray sky offers little hope
of wint’ry snow
or distraction
from final’s mope.
But in a bag I have a small yarn stash,
which will be used
to make presents
worth more than cash.

With finals drawing near, so too does Christmas. This means many things for college students:

  1. Shopping for gifts is a perfectly good procrastination excuse.
  2. More reasons to bake and eat cookies!
    Lemon Pomegranate CookiesPre baking - I think they look like jewels! Mocha Brownie Chocolate Chip Cookies
  3. It’s socially acceptable to wear dorky Christmas sweaters.
  4. (Free) Department dinners.
  5. Knitting comes in handy for whipping up last minute presents.

Ok, so the last one is kind of tailored to my own Christmas plans, but it’s more common than you think.

I grew up in a crafty household, and quickly learned that hand-made presents were cherished more than those I bought at the store. It sounds horribly cliche, and maybe I over do it when I paint my own “gift wrap” (paper bags, since I’m too lazy/broke to buy holiday paper), but I promise you those hand made gifts are worth all the hours you put into them.

I remember when I first learned counted cross-stitch and I spent several years churning out kitchy samplers and ornaments for my family. Shortly after that came knitting and crocheting which launched my brief career in scarves. There were also short stints of beading and I’m pretty sure everyone remembers those woven potholders!

Sooner or later everyone in my family received (or is receiving) something I made, and I don’t mean that in a pompous “I’m better than you are” way at all. It just kind of happened. And those hand made presents, no matter how young and inexperienced I was at the time, still hang on walls, get put on the Christmas tree, or are worn when the weather gets chilly.

You may not be the best artist (I know I’m not) or craftsman, but you don’t have to be. The only thing that matters is that you put care and (this is so cheesy) love into the production of the gift. I like to joke with my friends at knitting club that if I’m working on a project and I keep on messing up or the pattern is frustrating, I’ll put it down and let it rest so it doesn’t get bad karma. It sounds silly, but it’s true. You can really tell when knitters had a hard time with a project (tight stitches) and/or if they put a lot of effort into it (resilience despite a few mistakes).

Sometimes the process of making something means more than the end result, which I think a few of my fellow knitters are discovering!

Knitting ClubA Knifty Knitter!

No matter what you choose to make or buy, it’s the thought behind the gift that makes people smile.

Another Knifty Knitter!A Final Knifty Knitter!Teaching how to knit Socks