An Odd One: Week in Review 9/11-15/11

This week was mostly good I swear, it’s just harder from this side to remember why.
I can’t really believe it, but it was only on Monday that I registered for classes.  That’s ridiculous firstly because it feels like that was so long ago, secondly because it means this semester is mostly over, and thirdly because it means my senior year is almost halfway through!  Anyway, I’ll be taking Indigenous Cultures of Mesoamerica, and Performance Anthropology, which are my last two classes for the Anthropology major.  Then I’ll be taking a seminar on Advanced Old Norse Translation and a Special Studies with my advisor on the Art and Material Culture of Viking Burials.  Those two classes round out my Medieval Studies minor.  Looking at my schedule makes me feel really lucky to have Smith’s open curriculum, since I’ll be graduating with an entire semester’s worth of surplus credits but I will only be finishing my major and minor at the very last minute.

Wednesday was Veteran’s Day, and while Smith didn’t have off, UMass did since it’s a public school, and that meant that I didn’t have my Physical Anthro class this week which freed up about 5 hours of my day.  So obviously I decided to spend it in a cafe!  Sip is a relatively new cafe in Northampton, I guess it opened sometime last year, but anyway this was my first time visiting.  I of course got a cappuccino and the had pumpkin scones which I got as well.  They also serve full meals for lunch and have fancy prix fixe dinners sometimes if that’s more your thing.  It’s also a really nice space for working, and I got my UMass exercise for next week done and had some time for writing and reading.  I’ll definitely be back once I have some more of that transient free time.

Every Fall, the Botanic Gardens have a Mums show.  Two rooms of the conservatory are completely filled with crysanthemums, and it is always very lovely.  I got to visit that this week, but it’s still going on next week so if you like flowers and are nearby don’t miss it!


This weekend though was disorienting to say the least, it brought me back to January  7th last year.  That was the day of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and I woke up to the news all over the television in Portland, Oregon.  And I flew back to Paris that day.  It felt so odd to be so connected to an event but not present.  And I had the same feeling this weekend, I found out that *something* had happened literally during tea, as we were going around the circle saying our highs and lows of the week, and as details became more clear and there was a veritable flood of support and sentiments across social media, it felt bizarre to watch.  Seemingly within an hour my entire newsfeed had the French flag superimposed on their profile picture and by today they’ve mostly disappeared.  And it felt so odd because for most of them Paris is just a city, and they were just expressing Internet solidarity because Facebook gave them the option.  But for me Paris is still a home and I feel like I should be there, even though there’s nothing I could do to improve the situation, I could be there living my life normally , since that’s the only act of solidarity that feels right to me.  But I’m here, and I’m ok, and Paris is going to be ok, so let’s start next week.


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