Looking Ahead – Week in Review: 20/7 – 27/7

It’s August this week, which means that my time in Germany is winding down dangerously quickly.  I honestly can’t believe how quickly it’s gone, it doesn’t feel like it’s only been two months since I was in France and it certainly doesn’t feel like my Senior Year is starting in only about six weeks.  But it has and it is, so this week I’ve had to start thinking about going back to the U.S. And back to school, topics that it’s very hard to get myself to pay attention to.

Because it’s what I do, the impending end of the summer has also gotten me thinking about slightly longer term plans.  The first of these is my Fall Break plans.  Fall Break is Smith’s way of giving students Colombus day off without outright celebrating Colombus day, and this year I’m going to Iceland with some friends (at least one, exact details are still hazy). I’ve actually had this planned for over a year now, and within the next few weeks it will finally be time to buy tickets!  I’m very excited both to travel with friends to an awesome country, and to swing by my first choice graduate school.  

And because I know how quickly a school year goes and because I know I’m going to be super busy this year, I’m sure that this year will go by extra quickly, I’ve also begun thinking about January and even next summer already.  This week I became a first cousin once removed for a second time, but since that’s annoying to say and unclear, I’m probably just going to go with aunt or cousin. Anyway, my Mother was the youngest by far of her siblings, and they both had children well before I was born, so on that side all of my cousins are in their late twenties and early thirties by now, which is how we’re blurring the lines between generations on my family tree.  So I now have two little cousins under a year old, and I haven’t met either of them yet. The older one lives in New York, so I will be meeting him in just one month and certainly seeing him frequently when I come home for holidays and such.  However, the other, the newborn, lives in Missouri, and I haven’t even seen his parents in at least five years.  So with the relocation of my life to Europe after college already a bygone conclusion I was concerned that it would be years before I ever met this kid.  Which is why I’m going to try and spend next J-term in Missouri, in addition to the cousins, there’s a whole clutch of extended family out there that I hardly ever see, and I really want to see them before I move 3,000 miles away again. 

And then finally next summer.  I’ve actually had this one decided on for a while, next summer I’ll be staying put on Long Island.  Since I’ll be starting graduate school that fall in a foreign country, I’ll be needing time to get everything from visa applications, to housing, to what to do with all my stuff, and that’ll be most easy to manage someplace I don’t need to completely vacate by the end of summer.  Plus I haven’t actually had a summer in the U.S. Since High School ended, and that will in all likelihood be the last time any of my High School friends will reliably near me.  And in addition to organizing my life, I’ll be able to do the two things I really want to do next summer: learn how to sail, and tutor French and German.  Learning how to sail is the most important step to sailing around the Mediterranean six years from now, and Long Island is chock full of sailing clubs, some of which I can bike to from home.  Tutoring in languages is basically my plan for how to make spending money while in Graduate school, as a foreign student, you’re often limited in how many on the book hours you can work or not allowed a real job at all, but tutoring is like babysitting in that no one is going to stop you, and that combined with the fact that speaking French and German are some of my only marketable skills means I’ll be doing quite a lot of it in the next few years and I’d like to get a head start on having some income during the summer.

And, in real life, as you may have guessed by how much I talked about the future today, nothing much happened this week.  I hung out with friends, I went to school, and I got another new teacher.  Germans are guaranteed five weeks of vacation a year plus holidays, and almost all of them take it in July, which is how I’ve had five teachers in four weeks.  Anyway, since I’m running out of time to do stuff in, I’ll probably be doing more things in the next few weeks, until then, have an excellent week!

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