‘tis the Season

This is my favorite time of year –I know I say that at the beginning of every season, but winter is my favorite time, could I say, of the season? Cool mornings, red Starbucks cups, fine furs, Ugg boots, busses with standing room only, evenings clear and dark; what more could a person ask for?

Last night the Union served a huge free breakfast meal at 10pm with tons of breakfast food –pancakes, waffles, eggs, fresh watermelon, pineapple, fresh cinnamon rolls, etc, etc, and of course lots of hot chocolate and coffee. There was a boisterous pajama contest, door prizes, and other fun stuff. The library is open until 2am every night for people like me who don’t study well during the day without inclement weather.

Today I sold my art books back to the bookstore since I am DONE with art appreciation class. I like art, but art books and their written concepts are almost more than I can handle at times. It seems ludicrous to try to quantify something as elusive as art on so many pages and exams. Although my creativity has not expanded, I can now expound upon the similarities and differences between Romanesque and Renaissance and Modernism and Impressionism, but I fear my audience would quickly flee. It is the doing –not the knowing- that real people seem to be interested in. So, here is something I did today:

I was biking to the bookstore with the aforementioned books in my backpack, philosophizing about red coffee cups -in short, in a pretty high mood. The sidewalk I was riding on passed beside a long retaining wall, maybe two feet tall and two hundred feet long with both ends sloping down to meet the sidewalk again. You guessed it; I decided to ride along the top of the wall. I’ve ridden similar distances on curbs only a few inches high, so -in a snap decision I would soon regret- I decided that I would be able to take this detour without incident. All went well until I was nearing the far end. I was riding fast so that I wouldn’t swerve then I’m not sure what happened –I was under the bike on the sidewalk with blood seeping through my jeans and shirt. I was beside a busy street so I quickly got up and rode off into a strip mall where I leaned against a tree and tried to keep from fainting. There was blood on my shin, knee, wrist, elbow, a long gash across my chest, and I tore my favorite jacket. But, as they say, “Nothing broke that won’t fix.”

Also, ’tis the Season for Chinese holidays, and I will celebrate them in traditional Chinese fashion by eating dumplings and drinking tea again at my professor’s apartment tomorrow. Chinese food has never been even close to the top of my unwritten list of favorite foods. I use chopsticks regularly and feel comfortable eating about anything I would tackle with fork and spoon, but when it comes down to the part of learning to enjoy different food, I get flaky. The Chinese here are the real thing –this is the first time in the US for many of them. They eat very little American food because they don’t like it. They come from cities and are generally very sophisticated and outgoing. I really enjoy the Chinese acquaintances I have made during my short time here. I try hard at the food and I surprise myself. Everybody oohs and ahhs over the dumplings –they look so nice. My teacher feeds us continuously from the time we walk in the door until we waddle out, arms laden with leftovers. She cooks much more than we could possibly eat –with food piling up on the table, people leaving, still she cooks enthusiastically. This kind of treatment causes me to wonder if Americans know what true hospitality is.

’tis the Season, enjoy!