"It'll all be over soon," I keep telling my friends.
At this point, I only have a final on Tuesday left before I'm completely done with schoolwork for the spring. It's for my Electronics and Circuit Theory class, where we've spent the semester working with different electrical circuits and analyzing how they work.
While that's my only final left, it isn't all I've been preparing for. Tomorrow is the day of the Country Music Marathon, and as I've said before, I'm running in it. I have been calling it the "big kid" marathon, since I've already run in two half marathons in the last couple of years. After spending months training for the race, today I'm thinking, "have I done enough?" Only time will tell, but I'm sure I'll do well. It might not be pretty, but I'll finish.
Once I get through the race and through the final, I'll be on to my summer plans. I'm staying in Nashville for most of the summer again this year, and I'm moving into a new apartment even closer to campus, which will be really nice. I've been about a 10 minute walk from campus, but my new apartment is literally just across the street--I can't wait to move in at the end of May!
This year has brought a lot of changes and challenges but with them have come some incredible opportunities. It's crazy to think that I'm two thirds of the way through my time at Belmont (I'm graduating in 3 years after transferring credit from elsewhere). As much as I'm excited to be this much closer to graduation--in a year and a week!--I don't think I'll be ready to leave.
My friends keep telling me that we have a week and a half of classes left this semester, but I don't believe them. "There has got to be another 6 weeks in the semester," I protest.
It doesn't seem possible, but (contrary to what my personal calendar has been telling me for months) we're completely done with finals on May 1st. Do the math, and that means I have 11 classes left in the semester, plus finals.
It's not that I'm not ready for summer. It's not that I'm really stressed out with coursework and don't think there's enough time to get it all done. I can't tell you why, but I'm just not sure I want this semester to be over.
On another, unrelated note: my 20th birthday is this week, so I'm finally leaving teen-hood behind. My parents are coming to Nashville to celebrate, and we're going out to dinner. My choice (I think...Dad? Is that okay?). Then we're going to the Best of the Best Showcase which is Saturday night. It's going to be a great show. Check it out:
If you didn't know this already, my major is Audio Engineering Technology. Yesterday, I was reminded of why I'm really glad I came to Belmont, so I'm going to take this opportunity to brag a little about how awesome Belmont's audio program is. Be warned.
Yesterday, I went to my favorite class this semester, Recording Techniques, which meets in Ocean Way Studios. We spent the day talking about recording drum sets. Naturally, that means my professor hired a professional studio drummer to come play drums for the class. We set up a grand total of 27 microphones on the set and let him play.
I've been at Belmont for a while, so I've recorded a fair share of drum sets. I've learned a thing or two along the way. But yesterday made all the recordings I've done thus far sound like they were recorded through an old tin can. Okay, okay... maybe not that bad. But I've definitely never done anything like what we did yesterday. The great thing about all this is that we learned how to do it. I could go back into the studio and reproduce it. (That's what note taking is for, by the way.) Not only that, but we listened to several combinations of fewer than all 27 microphones, which is really nice, because now I know how to pick 5 of those 27 to get a very good sound in only a fraction of the time.
Suffice it to say, yesterday was really great. I learned a lot, and I know my drum sounds will never be the same. I took you a picture, so you can see what we did. That's my professor, Bil VornDick, moving a microphone a quarter of an inch. You might be surprised the difference it makes...
So, after four years running, the Cherry Blossom Festival here in Nashville is probably one of the coolest things I've done yet! Cherry blossoms, or "sakura," have been the symbol of U.S.-Japan friendship since the Mayor of Tokyo donated 3,000 cherry trees to Washington, D.C. in 1912. This festival, however, isn't just some history lesson where we all stand around and listen to people talk, but play games, learn Japanese traditions, and become more one with our Japanese brethren. I, being the symbol of selflessness (and for a few bonus points in my Japanese class...), volunteered from 7am until 12pm at the festival, helping the various vendors set up their places.
One thing that you would not be without at the festival is something to do. Not only did you have authentic Japanese food every step you took, but games, kimonos, music, and even a walk, dedicated to help raise money to plant more of these beautiful trees in Nashville and even send money out to those still suffering from the tsunami aftermath that devastated Japan a little over a year ago. I was definitely overwhelmed most of the day with work, but between times where I was hauling heavy boxes, I was truly realizing what it meant to be part of a community of people, all of whom share differences but still come together as one and celebrate each other's love for the beauty of a simple tree.
It's been an interesting couple of weeks. Spring break wasn't too long ago, and I spent the break in Colorado enjoying the last of the snow. We had a few days that made it to a hot 45˚, and I came home with a sunburn. In March.
Back in Nashville after the break, any hope of cold weather has completely disappeared: we've had highs in the 80's for the past week. All the plants are trying to catch up to what they think is Summer by producing as much pollen as they can muster--our pollen count today is 307. That's high, in case you didn't know. But thankfully, my body has decided not to be allergic to all the green falling from the sky like it usually is. I can even breathe!
While the temperatures are rising and the pollen is falling, the students have been enjoying their time outdoors. I don't think I have been outside in the past week without seeing several people out on the soccer field. I even had one class that met outside: physics of all things. It was a little challenging, but definitely worth it. I took you a picture:
There. Now, don't you feel like you were there? Learning about NPN junctions and transistor amplifiers? Enjoying the sunshine and bewilderment of all the onlookers? Okay. I'll stop.
Suffice it to say, I like the springtime at Belmont.
Finally, a break! I have been working so hard this semester it is nice to finally have a week off! I spent my spring break with family and friends in Orange Beach, Alabama. I spent the week laying in the sweet sunshine and catching up on reading for my classes. It was so nice to spend time with my friends and not worry about deadlines, projects, or papers. Julie, a friend of the family lives in Orange Beach and works at a veterinary office. We got to spend time with cats, dogs, birds, and even pigs, yes pigs. Julie has two pigs; one huge potbelly pig names Pricilla and one miniature pig named Oliver. We had so much fun feeding them carrots and watching them do tricks, they were very smart! Unfortunately, the week came to an end very quickly and it was time to go home. As sad as this was it was so comforting to pull back onto campus and get into my bed in my room. I am feeling refreshed and ready to get on with the rest of the semester!
So, I'm pretty sure every other person in the world who is off for Spring Break this week is off partying with friends. Sure, I love to party and have a good time with people at the beach or wherever; however, this Spring Break I needed something different - this Spring Break I needed to see my Mimi.
I love going home and doing random stuff - all my friends and family are nearby, it's just relaxing. So far this semester, I've had a good bit of things to do. Doing group projects, writing endless papers, and learning Japanese (which is about as confusing as it sounds) can really take a toll on one.
This break, I'm going to lay down on the couch, eat my Mimi's cinnamon muffins, and thank God for another beautiful day on this Earth!
One of my dearest friends recently had her 2oth birthday so we had to go out and celebrate! There is a string of great places to eat right next to campus so we decided to check them out. We decided on PM. If you have never been to PM then you are seriously missing out on some fantastic food! It is a really fun place to eat and it is very different. They have sushi, Tai food, and vegetarian options! You have to get there early or else you will be waiting a while because the place is very popular once the sun goes down. It is the perfect place to go out with the girls or take a date. The prices aren’t too bad the food is so worth it! The best part is you don’t have to use any gas to get there! We had a blast and sweet Kelley had a great 20th birthday. When we were done we went down to good ole’ Bongo Java for some yummy coffee and cake! If you have never had any of their desserts please to do yourself a favor and try everything they have…you wont regret it!
It doesn't really seem to be possible, but Spring Break is next week, and the semester is already half over. This semester, that's especially noticeable in my schedule, since I have four different 8 week long classes: 2 each half. So this week I finished two classes and I have two more just starting.
It's a little weird. I had never taken any 8-week classes until this semester, but I think I'm going to end up liking it a lot. The classes I had for the first half were called TV Studio Production, as part of my Video Production minor, and Critical Listening, as part of my Audio Engineering Technology major. I enjoyed them both, but it's pretty cool to be completely done with two classes before the end of February. Today was actually the first day that I met with my Audio Spectral Processing class which meets the second 8-weeks. It looks like it'll be a really fun class, but I have to admit it was a little odd getting a new syllabus this morning.
The other 8-week class I have yet to meet with, but we start just after Spring Break (which is next week, by the way). It's called Recording Techniques and meets in Ocean Way Studios on Music Row. Pretty cool. From what I hear, it is one of the best classes in my major, so I'm excited to be taking it. Plus, I have several friends in the class with me.
Did I mention that Spring Break is next week? So you'd expect I'd be headed to the beach, right? Wrong. I'm going snowboarding all week in Colorado. Because who really needs a tan? This is where I'm going:
(Can you tell I'm excited?)
The last 24 hours have been pretty fun, so I thought I'd share what all has happened. Yesterday afternoon, I finalized the mixes to two songs that I've been working on for a couple months. I recorded them for a songwriting major I know, and yesterday the mixing was finally done. The feeling at the end makes the whole process worth it.
After we finished, I went to Belmont's homecoming basketball game. After a long week, it was good to be able to watch a game with some friends, especially since we won the game 80-58. Our team definitely showed up to play: we were leading by 16 at the half, and during the second half that lead never got smaller. And, the Bruins were hitting 3-pointers left and right. We even got coupons for free taco bell! (That happens whenever they hit 10 3-pointers in a game...) Suffice it to say, the game was fun to watch if you enjoy cheering for a team that's up by 20. You can read more about the game here.
Afterwards, my friends and I made the trek to Antioch to visit the nearest Steak 'n Shake. I haven't been every time, but I think last night was the third weekend in a row some of my friends have been there. We know the waitresses at this point. We enjoyed our victory milkshakes and a greasy burger--what else do you order when you're there!?--and talked about everything from life goals to the [lack of a plot in the] Twilight series. Sorry if you're a fan, but I don't really see the point.
And then this morning I woke up and took the short drive (by way of Starbucks, of course) to my church. I've actually been working there part-time since August, but I was at home there long before. It's only a few years old--I'm thinking about 2.5 at this point--so we're still relatively small. But I love it. We have 15-20 Belmont students that come regularly, so it's really cool to see my friends on campus and at church. The point is: this morning was special and I love that I got to spend it with my family there.
It's been a really good weekend. And now I'm going to spend the afternoon getting some homework done before the week starts. It's a good thing I enjoy what I'm studying, because that means it's going to be a good afternoon.