A rainy fall Thursday

In life, we are taught to fear death as a trespasser on our right to survive rather than an experience that is critical to our human expression. Because of this we tend to forget our deep ties with nature and the universe, and the oneness of all life. But we have a responsibility – to be kind and compassionate to every one and every thing, to cherish every moment of our fleeting time on earth and to love without constraint.

It’s important to contemplate the vast mysteries of life. But there is no answer during our time on this planet. Beliefs maybe, answers no. What’s important is that each soul lives to his or her full potential by radiating sunshine wherever and whenever the opportunity exists. And that is always and all ways.

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Giving Thanks

I can’t believe my last post was back in June. Somehow, it’s already the end of November and the end of 2012 is slowly coming to a close. Looking back at my previous posts, I can’t believe how different I am as a person today. This summer, this semester, this past week…so much has happened that the overwhelming amount of transformation, emotions, events are too much to recount. It’s a shame that what’s past is gone but now that I’m back home for Thanksgiving, I’ll revive this little blog, starting where I left off!

I think C.S. Lewis put it best when he said, “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different?” Somehow, I went from London to Laos to Amherst and I am different today. I guess this is one of the main reasons why I write – to remember, to reflect, to share.

Well, I’m back home and there’s no better place to feel like yourself. Here’s a little snapshot of my ride back to the city. I’m really glad to be back home. You certainly are beautiful, NYC:

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Summertime and it’s easygoing

Amherst, how I’d forgotten how beautiful you are. As I emerged from the sweaty gym, the sun radiated off the green lawn and I was magnetically drawn towards Memorial Hill. There’s a reason why summer is my favorite season! The smell of freshly cut grass, the coolness of the shade, the quiet chirps…it makes me want to never leave this place. Alas, senior year quickly approaches.

I’m starting to get settled into Clotfelter’s lab and I’ve been reading up on published papers and previous theses. I’m searching for an intellectual spark to inspire my own project, something to combine my interests in environmental research and health. Clotfelter’s lab has already done work on phytoestrogens and fish systems so it might be more difficult than expected. One of the numerous perks of attending a private liberal arts school: apparently every honors student has a pretty decent price tag that comes along with us to help fund an experiment of our own. My own money to do whatever experiments I want on these little cichlid fish? Yes please! Nerd mode on. I’ll be on the lookout during my trip to Southeast Asia for something to switch on the thesis lightbulb.

Being back at Amherst in the summer is strange – it’s quite empty and work is so much more relaxed. I feel like I can enjoy this campus for once! Seeing all these graduated seniors is a little unnerving though. So many of their lives are up in the air, so much transition. It makes me cherish the little time I have left here before I need to make real decisions. Eek!

Amidst all the future worry, I’m going to lay back and enjoy where I am for now. God has his plans and things will happen in due time. It’s summertime and it’s easygoing.

S

It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

This is my last night in London.

Currently, I am functioning on around 6 hours of sleep the past 48 hours (thanks to two exams) and I’m contemplating pulling an all-nighter for this final exam tomorrow morning. Clearly I must be delirious; they say that being awake for more than 12 hours is equivalent to being drunk.

I have my most difficult exam tomorrow (Genes, Development, and Evolution of Vertebrates) but I can’t even bring myself to focus! I’m so overwhelmed by the fact that I’m going back home tomorrow. My priorities can be summed up with this: before my Climate Variability exam today, I went to Camden Town to get last-minute gifts for people back in the States. Of course, I had to go back to that leather journal bookstore. I made it to my exam on time after a slight Oyster card top-up problem and came back to pack. I’m pretty certain all my luggage bags are overweight…

My flat just had Indian for dinner and we got ice cream and cookies from Sainsbury’s to eat while watching Pride and Prejudice and 24 Hours A&E (I had no idea that show was based in King’s Hospital!) How Bri’ish, eh? They surprised me with a bracelet from Accessories, an adorable Tube pen, and a sweet card with the Union Jack on it. I was so touched! I feel like I was just starting to get close to these gals and the year’s already over.

I’m really sad to be leaving this. This exact view was my walk to class and rehearsals, my path north of River Thames, my backyard, my home. Thank you London for an amazing five months of new experiences, personal growth, and new goals. The next time I post, I’ll be in New York or Amherst.

Forever xx,

S