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looking back, looking forward

January 4, 2010

I’m sitting in a basement gate at Newark, and feeling a bit behind. Time seems to slow down during break–that is, until it’s over, and then it will feel like it was two minutes long.

I left you in Edinburgh, where I had (pretty much) the time of my life. I took a four-hour long walking tour of the city, where I learned about JK Rowling, Burke and Hare, the Stone of Scone and lots of other fun stuff. Edinburgh is beautiful and intriguing and I hope to go back soon if things work out. Then I met a friend in Blackpool, which is deserted and frankly bizarre in the winter because it is a seaside town that empties during the colder months. After Blackpool we flew to Dublin, which is a close second to Edinburgh (for me) for interesting history and beautiful sights. I met a student from Kansas at the hostel where we stayed and we did the Guinness storehouse tour, live music at a pub, another walking tour and Kilmainham Gaol, which is one of the most moving places I’ve ever been. I’d been to Ireland before but missed Dublin, so it was great to be there for a couple days. I couldn’t find the girl on facebook, so Jennifer Ashley, if you’re out there, I had a great time! After Dublin I had a couple nights of stopovers–back to Oxford to collect my luggage, and a night at Heathrow before my flight. At Oxford they put me in a room usually given to guests of the college, which was so cute and outfitted with tea and a kettle and soap and an adorable en suite bath–it was so nice after traveling around!

Coming back to VT was a bit of a shock to the system. Traveling after the end of term was a great (if brief) adventure that filled in the void left by the lack of schoolwork, one that I felt keenly without anything to do. I used to be grateful for lazy days, but I think I’ve changed–now I really need to be doing something or it just feels wrong. So it was really great the following week to go down to Northampton for a few days to visit one of my best friends in the whole world. It was weird to be back at Smith; it felt so familiar, but also like it had no claim on me, which really isn’t the case so I hope I get over that for senior year.

Going down to GA for the holidays was much the same as it always is–unseasonably warm, with crazy little cousins, conservative grandparents and not much to do. But don’t get me wrong, it was actually really great to spend time with family, eat myself stupid, watch lots of movies and look at the palm trees out the window. The oldest of the cousins is 11 and it’s kind of amazing to see how much she’s growing up considering I was a flower girl in her parents’ wedding. For Christmas I got mostly clothes (that I picked out on ModCloth), so I plan on being extra fashionable next term!

Speaking of next term, I have Shakespeare to read, a movie to outline, a play to count on and travelling to plan. But for now, it is a new year and still break so I’m going to spend it wisely: seeing people stateside and having fun!

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