Back to school has been fraught with free BBQs. This was the best one I've had so far - pulled pork sandwich, salad, and a huge chocolate chip bar that I could only finish half of.
So I'm a horribly indecisive person when I have a variety of (amazing) options and before yesterday I had ~10 classes in my ICE (Integrated Course Engine, a tool that we Princeton students use to arrange classes on a calendar interface to see if they clash. In my opinion one of the best apps developed by a Princeton student!!!). For perspective, most people at Princeton pursuing an A.B. (Bachelor of Arts, reversed cuz the name's in Latin) take either 4 or 5 classes each semester. People usually "shop" maybe 6 classes in the first two weeks of school, and drop those they aren't interested in. So 10 is a ridiculous number and I was getting more and more frustrated because I couldn't decide which classes to go for on the first day and which books to buy and what reading to do (a seasoned student will tell you "none before the first day, even if there's 100pgs listed on the syllabus"). Anyway, yesterday I went for 4 classes and decided a pretty clear no to two of them. Then I went back to my room and wrestled for a bit with all the different possibilities and combinations of other classes and decided to take a leap of faith and kick out a bunch of other classes from my schedule.
SO, this is what I'm left with, more or less:
SPA107: Intermediate/Advanced Spanish
HIS348: The Hispanic World, 1400-1800
ANT304: Political Anthropology
ECO101: Introduction to Macroeconomics
COM238: Contemporary Latin American Literature
I'm pretty excited for all of them - bought all my books already, burning a huge hole in my pocket, and am hoping to get on track for everything. Went to Labyrinth Books and managed to get the LAST used copy of the Macroecons textbook (which, like all other textbooks, is obscenely expensive) - the guy initially said that it was on hold for someone, but after I gave him my best puppy-dog eyes he went to check with his manager and then gave it to me. YEY) Anyhow, looks like this will be another semester filled with paper-writing for me. I should get used to it though.
Some of the books I'm using this year. Yey~
Slowly getting into the groove of everything. It's great to see so many familiar faces again. Went for one of the welcome-back barbecues with some of the Manna class of 2016 and had my first dining hall shift of the year yesterday, and it was so nice to see everyone and ask about their summers! People are so precious :)
The weather has been sweltering these days, even worse than Singapore, it seems, because my room is in an ancient 1960s building with no air-conditioning and I don't want to buy a fan since it'll be off for most of the year during the winter months. But the temp is supposed to drop tomorrow and hopefully the real fall weather will take over soon.
Zeke and I have settled into a comfortable regular rhythm of talking and loving, much quicker than last year. I suppose the ease is supposed to be expected but it still surprises me a little bit how much we are willing to give and take this year - not that we didn't last year but that this year it's a lot easier to tell each other, it's ok to go do your own thing. I'll be here. I can only thank God for getting us through freshman year and working in us to build humbler hearts, servant hearts for each other. I really hope that we can keep these attitudes through the rest of the year.
Here's hoping that all of you readers facing transitions in life like me now are getting through them smoothly enough. There's bound to be teething and adjustment problems but trust that it will all work out in the end and don't be afraid to lean on community to help you through. (I only got to this point with the help of my Singaporean friends, Manna friends, Zeke and family back home.) Know that God is always watching out for you and will make your paths straight. How often we disobey Him and act in our own pride and strength, yet how He loves us.
Bro sent our family Whatsapp this pic a couple of days ago. How familiar it is, and yet quickly unfamiliar. But home is always home.