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fall break

The other day, in a midst of yet another “What crime have I committed to receive this unjust punishment of so much homework?” breakdown, my spirits were slightly raised when my father pointed out  (in a whiny phone call home) that this semester is halfway finished. Yes, we have reached the halfway mark. But just like the fifteen-mile bike ride that I do every Tuesday and Thursday morning after Organic lecture (bike time = me time), things only seem to get rougher from that point on. You’re dehydrated, the same songs on your iPod are boring you instead of making you push harder, and the lactic acid building up in your liver is making your muscles scream, “Get off the bike already so I can synthesize some ATP!”

No matter how tempted you may be at this point to completely give up on striving for a perfect GPA this semester because you’re too tired to finish out this semester as strongly as you started: don’t! When I feel the urge to get off the bike and do an easy ride “just this once”, I cut back on the resistance level instead so I can catch my breath for a minute before coming back. This weekend is your chance to cut back on your intensity level, too: take full advantage of the “Academic Study Day” (a weird title for a fall break, if you ask me) to get yourself together. Then, next week, come back stronger and ready to hit the books once again. After all, soon enough we’ll be cooling down and stretching out, which is pretty much the best feeling ever after you’ve pushed yourself to the limit.

Anyway…have a great week and I hope I didn’t totally alienate you with my lame analogy here.


P.S. Oh my goodness. Beirut was amazing at The Pageant last night. I never knew brass instruments could rock out like that!

“Scenic World” by Beirut


Thanksgiving break is so close I can almost smell the turkey wafting under my nose! I think that everyone, myself included, is ready for this break. Why Fontbonne only gets one day of “Fall Break” I’ll never know. By the time we get to Thanksgiving, most students are cranky, overworked, and ready to be done. I know that coming back to school on Sunday night is going to be hard for me and probably everyone else as well.

Thanksgiving is such an interesting holiday, which I have discovered after writing an article for the Fontbanner about several students’ Thanksgiving traditions. You can read about that in the November issue when it comes out. My own family is pretty sporadic when it comes to traditions. My mother’s family is Italian. One year we had ravioli for Thanksgiving instead of turkey. I’m not a big pasta fan, but it was interesting skipping the turkey for a year. When you do that, the whole dynamic of Thanksgiving changes. You can’t serve stuffing with ravioli, it’s just a strange combination of flavors. You probably wouldn’t serve pumpkin pie with ravioli either, as it seems to go better with the “traditional” Thanksgiving meal.

I think this year my family is actually going to continue a tradition! Last year we went to a turkey dinner at a local parish. It was all the food of Thanksgiving, without the work. I think that’s what we’re going to do again this year. There are a few problems with going out on Thanksgiving though. The first being that when you are drowsy and stuffed from all the food, you still have to drive back to your house to take a nap. Another issue is the lack of leftovers. Every year that we have had Thanksgiving dinner at my house, I have practically lived off of leftovers for the days following. The problem I see as the worst is the loss of the atmosphere of warmth that preparing for Thanksgiving has always inevitably brought. My favorite part of Thanksgiving is making the food before all my relatives come over. I can just envision walking downstairs to see my mom either really happy or really frustrated, with a cinnamon scented candle burning in the middle of the kitchen, and this feeling of absolute warmth enveloping me as I enter the kitchen. That’s what I will miss most this Thanksgiving.

The one thing my family has always made sure of, and the pattern I noticed when interviewing people for the Fontbanner, is that families are always together. It’s one of the few times in the year that everyone can pretty much drop what they’re doing and just have a meal together. It’s really nice, and it’s what I’m thankful for this year.

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.