I've been home for over a month now, and I've put off writing a winter term post for a bit. Essentially, my project is me refreshing myself on my French language skills. I took it all throughout high school and my first year of college, but I didn't have room in my schedule to take it this semester. As I hope to study abroad next year, and I hope one day to be fluent in the language, I thought winter term would be a good chunk of time to brush up on what I've learned. I'll say this - trying to teach (or re-teach) yourself a language is harder than I thought. So far, it hasn't been anything too notable for the blogs, just a lot of rereading my old textbooks and watching movies and listening to people speak the language. I'm glad I'm doing a low-key project, though. Next semester, to make up for dropping an economics class, I'm taking an extra half-course PLUS I have to fulfill that dreaded QFR. Ugh. I don't hate a lot of things in life, but the list goes something like this: broccoli, lateness, certain politicians, and math. I got a 58 on the last math test I ever took in my life (which was a final!). So, needless to say, I can already tell that I'm going have to spend even more time than usual on my academics, and to have a free chunk of time right now is a luxury that I don't know when I'll have again.
Being back home has been really nice. If you've kept up with my blogs, you'll remember that 2015 was not exactly the Year of Emma, so I needed my time here more than ever. It's been a pretty chill visit. I hung out with some friends. I saw the new Star Wars, which was pretty good. Look, y'all, I didn't see a Star Wars until 2015 and I will freely admit that here. I mainly went to see this one because my Oscar Isaac obsession is getting out of hand. I bought nine things on vinyl (examples - The Raincoats, Lou Reed, currently listening to T.Rex), NINE THINGS Y'ALL! That's what happens when you give me a gift card to Cactus Music. I haven't done as much reading as I would have liked (I go through phases when I'm into it and then not), but I just started Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend, and I am v into it so far, so I think I'm on the upswing with reading now. I've had a lot of fun watching The Bachelor with my mom. The one downside to the trip was that I forgot how capricious a Houston winter can be. Last year, it was incredibly warm, but the year before it iced over. This winter hasn't been bad, but I came here expecting that every day would be a return to my usual warm weather uniform of crop tops and high waisted shorts. That has not been the case. Sweaters are nice, but I am bracing myself for the arctic tundra that Oberlin will be for the next couple of months.
Being home hasn't been all fun and games. David Bowie passed away, which really affected me. I'm always amazed at how much I feel impacted by the death of certain celebrities. David Bowie was definitely one of my heroes, no pun intended. I've long admired him and his art, his ability to change personas, his all-around demeanor. David Bowie made it okay for the outsiders and weirdos to have their time in the spotlight, and speaking as someone who felt like an outsider and weirdo during much of my middle/high school years, I thank him for doing that.
Another big event during winter term - I am turning 20 in a few days! It's weird to be close to saying goodbye to my teen years. I collected together all of the journals from these past seven years, and they are something else. What do they contain? A LOT OF ANGST. A Kony 2012 sticker. Some really bad poetry. Some pretty good poetry. Discourses on the brilliance of Nirvana and early Weezer. Crushes. Enemies? Things that are embarrassing for me to read, but also some happy memories that I had forgotten about. I attempted to keep a journal when I was little, but it never really took off (I think one entry went along the lines of "Today I went swimming and made candy with grandma"). Something about hitting my teen years made it imperative for me to start writing things down. And I'm really glad I did. I haven't always been the most faithful journaler, and usually I only write an entry every few weeks, but there's no better person to chronicle your life than yourself. I know my mom hates this phrase, but the journals reflect on how I've grown as a person. I looked at some things I wrote years ago and say "YIKES!" Which is why I'm so glad that I'm at Oberlin, because it has forced me to challenge my thinking, both academically and in terms of activism.
I'm feeling confident about turning 20. I'm excited for it. Something about being a physically different number has made me mentally feel different. As my adolescence comes to a close, I guess now is as good a time as any to impart any sage wisdom I've gained thus far: it's okay to let yourself feel your feelings because they are valid, don't mess around with your eyebrows, never underestimate the power of a good night's sleep, and work really hard in high school so you can slack off your last few months of senior year and not have to worry about your GPA.