Sunday, September 22, 2013

One month later..

Holy moly me oh my! My plan to update the blogosphere about my first week of classes failed miserably didn't it? I guess that's what graduate school does to someone - it takes over everything! [Okay, that's not entirely true. Sure, I'm busy. Ok, really busy, but I do still make time to breathe!]

First off, hello/hola! I hope that you are having a really great day and that you have had many reasons to smile today.
I have completed my first month of graduate school! I honestly can't believe how fast it went by. Summer creeped at turtle pace, and now I feel like I can't keep up with this semester! Before I know it, it will be May and I'll be headed off somewhere else. School is going well. I am challenged every single day and I can easily see how someone would get stressed out, but I am trying my absolute hardest to not stress about school. There are certain degree programs at MIIS that would definitely make me stress [for example: translation and interpretation -- my roommate is in this program and I swear that poor girl barely has time to think.] IEM has yet to stress me out, so life is good. I never did tell you what the rest of my classes are so I'll write a little blurb about the other 5 now...
My Tuesday's start off with Latin America & Its People (which is fancy for Spanish.) Yep, still truckin' along with the language. I about lost it for the first few weeks because it was ca-raaaayzay difficult, but I think I'm finally getting the hang of it and my language skills are improving. I spent 3 solid weeks walking into that class in utter fear and I swear I had panic attacks every time I had to "try to speak." HA. Me speak Spanish? So difficult. SO DIFFICULT. This is all so difficult because I spent the summer NOT learning how to speak it. Huh? Sadly, most of my SILP class is also having the same problem. We have had many discussions about it and have come to the conclusion that our teacher never had us talk - ever. Now we're all suffering and panicking. Fun stuff! But, I am feeling much more confident now and I can't really talk, but I think I will get there!
My second class on Tuesday is Campus Internationalization. This is a research class (which I had no idea when I signed up for it) and I have never really done any in-depth research before, so I am interested in seeing how it all turns out. We have yet to do any research, and instead have been reading about 5 gazillion articles, but learning how to internationalize a college/university is something I need to know, and I look forward to being able to use all of this information when I am actually working.
My last class on Tuesday is Budgeting in Higher Education. Umm. Umm. I don't really know how to describe this class. It would not be the first class I would choose when setting up a schedule, but I have to take it. I am only saying the umms because when I hear the word budgeting, I automatically think about math, and math STRESSES ME THE HECK OUT. Whew. This class doesn't really involve much math, and the math that it does involve can be solved via a calculator. Whew! I never really thought about how important a budget is for, well, anything. That makes me sound like I don't think about anything important, but I never realized how detailed, planned, and discussed a budget must be for something to work. It makes sense. [Don't judge - remember I spent my undergraduate reading books and writing papers!]
My Wednesday's start off with Marketing & Recruiting (the class is two days a week) and I still really, really enjoy it. I am constantly learning something new and the content interests me! Hooray.
My second class on Wednesday is Multiculturalism & Biculturalism. Turns out this class only lasts until the middle of October because it's only 1 credit. I also did not realize that when I signed up. I really enjoy this class! It is very similar to the Intro to Intercultural Communication class I took in college, but this class is more focused and engaging. We are reading a lot of stories, theory, and research about how people who are born into a family with more than one culture go about life being multi/bicultural. Culture fascinates me and I feel that I would enjoy working in a study abroad office at a bigger university so I could be introduced to more cultures and people from all over the world.
My last class on Wednesday is Principles & Practices of International Education. This is an introduction class to the field. It has been really helpful to learn about programs, organizations, and providers that exist in international education. The class has some fun projects coming up - I will make sure to keep you updated!
Thursdays and Fridays are pretty basic. I have Spanish class on both days, and then spend the rest of the days working! I got hired to be a Graduate Assistant in the Career Advising and Career Services office. I'll go into this more once I have been given projects. Right now I've just been adding jobs to our website (which is a plus because I can see what kinds of jobs are out there before anyone else...muahaha!)
Aside from school, I was able to have some fun over the past month. Here is my fun in pictures:
Drew and I dressed the exact same on the first day of school. This was not planned. Ha. This picture will always make me laugh.
MIIS hosts "social hours" once a month on a Friday. They give us free beer and wine. I do not complain.

Some friends and I went to the Monterey County Fair. It was "eh." Overpriced in my opinion, but I got to see farm animals and that made me happy.

$1 friendship bracelets were also purchased.

The person who took this has a very shaky hand, but here's the fair crew!
I also shared some chili at the fair. Who eats chili at a fair? Is that weird to anyone else? It was also not very good. Mom - your chili is the best!

One night I was sitting at my desk, being studious [actually I was probably watching Friday Night Lights] and I just happened to look up and I about peed my pants. WHAT THE WHAT. The sky looked like it was on fire. I couldn't believe that Monterey was having a sunset. I'd been here for 2.5 months and had never seen a sunset due to the insanely thick layer of fog that smothers everything. I literally did almost pee my pants. [Not literally, but I did squeal a lot.]

My roommate and I ran outside and we just stood there with our jaws dropped. It was absolutely incredible. I can't even imagine what it looked like on the other side of the mountains - probably the kinda sunset that makes you cry. Do those exist? I feel like a sunset could make me cry.

So, so beautiful.
I consumed this [okay, inhaled it] and I was full (ha) of pure joy.

I made my own granola! Sweet mercy does your kitchen smell amazing during the bake. Whew.

I went for an 8 mile hike in Big Sur in the full moon glow! It was pretty epic. And I was also very sore for two days after.

I used my sweet sugar camera. I don't know why I just called it sweet sugar [well, I do. I think it's the cutest thing ever.] Jerrod surprised me with it before we left Sycamore and I just love it.
I watched the sunset off of Highway One last night. I understand that this is terrible quality on the blog. I apologize for that. Know that it was beautiful and if you're ever around me and want to watch it on my phone, it's much better. Or, if you have instagram, ask me for my username and you can watch it there.
It was perfect, crisp, fall weather. A hot apple cider would have been nice to have as I stood there!

This is Caroline. She is the sweetest. Sadly, she's leaving Monterey for my favorite city - Austin. Lucky girl! I will miss her so much!
Well, was that a good enough of a catching up for you? I honestly cannot say when I will be able to write again, but know that I will continue being studious, I will continue taking pictures,  and I will definitely keep eating and baking delicious treats. Adios!

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