Day 110

Feeling: cayenne pepper burn my throat, a chilly wind
Smelling: a fresh macchiato
Seeing: sun streaming through windows into my face
Tasting: Boston creme pistachio donut, raw walnut
Hearing: the barista’s friendly voice, Depeche Mode, Julia’s friends speaking Spanish

And I am back, my friends! While my schoolwork isn’t completely over, I’ve taken both of my exams and I’ve completed the word count for my English paper. Now I just have to edit and submit it, but I am still in a celebratory kick-back mood. So let me catch you up on my life for this past week.

On Saturday I and some other American friends went out to celebrate Malama’s twenty-second birthday. I got to go on the ferris wheel that they have for the Christmas market. The plan was to watch Harry Potter or The Hobbit after, but all of us were on the same wavelength and were feeling too tired.

The rest of the week was me studying, with a little bit of English essay-writing. I made the initial mistake of spending essentially an entire day at my desk the first day of studying, and felt wretched by the end of it. So I worked in some movement to the subsequent days.

The anxiety gradually built as I got closer to finals, so it was probably a good thing that there was a USAC dinner on Thursday the night before it. I ate way too much simply because I’m a “finisher,” and I couldn’t let Laura’s mashed potatoes go uneaten. Also, there was torrential rain as we went back to the apartment and everything besides my torso got soaked to the skin. At least I know my raincoat can stand up to that kind of beating.

My exams went pretty well. Both of them took so much less time than I thought they would; I answered every question on the practice exams but on the actual test we only needed to answer two-thirds of the actual questions. I finished the first exam in an hour with thirty minutes to spare, and the second in about fifty minutes. I tend to get kind of paranoid when I finish so early, but Brian has inspired me to put that paranoia aside. He always sounds proud and relieved when he finishes assignments earlier than his classmates.

Since this room was for people whose tests were double-booked, we had an hour supervised break in between. That was filled with my snacking, drawing a Jersey cow that was looking at my desk, and looking over my notes.

Erin and I went out with a USAC cohort, Sara, to a small restaurant/café called Ali’s Kitchen. I’ll be sure to give it a proper CaffiNative review sometime. It’s distinctive in that they make just about everything in-house, and I’ve noticed a Mediterranean theme in the menu. I got a three-cheese toastie on sourdough with feta, Irish cheddar, and mascarpone. So a really broad range on the cheese spectrum. It had some kind of chutney that tasted like cherry and looked like onion. And because they had fresh donuts and I was craving one, Erin and I each got one and split them.

Also last night I started Borderlands, first by myself and then with Brian, and baked a Bramley apple cake (story to follow at a later date) and stayed up a little too late. It was a good evening.

Today I slept in rather late (good decision), went to the gym and worked out the lower body (difficult to navigate because they were using the sport halls for exams), and finished my word count in Café Depeche. Now I’m chilling and am about to go see Rogue One by myself! I’m excited, to be quite honest.

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