Tomorrow the spring semester will start and everything will be familiar and different again.
These past three weeks of Intersession have been some of the most fulfilling and exhilarating times – I’d even say these weeks have made up my favorite Hopkins experience so far. It’s nice not being in the midst of the typical daily grind; I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on how the past semester went, and to also re-align my interests for the next one.
I think it has to do with being at school, but not doing school – whether it be actually taking my time to enjoy the campus (instead of having to rush to class) or having an infinite block of time to sit and enjoy dinner with friends (rather than having to leave to finish homework), Intersession gives the student body a totally different vibe.
For the sake of having a diary of my favorite Intersession experiences (and to show off all the “cool” things I did), here’s what happened:
- Recorded an album with the JHU Octopodes
Two weeks into Intersession I headed up to Rochester, NY with my favorite acapella group to record an 8-track album for a couple of days. It was (for lack of putting it a better way) pretty insane to have the experience of tracking covers and original arrangements in a professional setting (thanks SledDog Studios!). I got to see all the ins and outs of the recording process all while being in the company of some of my best friends.
- Held a dinner party for 15 people
In my dorm at Peabody, the kitchen is pretty out of the way and really isn’t used that often. With all the more time on my hands, Intersession has instilled in me the courage to cook for the first time at college. I was originally just going to cook for myself and one other, but my entire floor caught drift and I ended up cooking for everyone.
- Learned the principles of musical conducting
Because Peabody is on a different academic schedule than Hopkins, I’ve had some of my music classes already start. One of my favorites is Conducting with Prof. Adam Waller, probably because it’s such an out of the box class. We’re always on our feet, twirling our arms around in fantastic and crazy patterns.
- Took courses about Vaccines and Ion Channels
Arguably the reason why I did Intersession in the first place are the two Hopkins classes I took: Vaccines: Past, Present, and Future & Ions in Flux: From DNA to Disease. With professors teaching a very specific topic they’re knowledgeable and passionate about, taking academic classes during Intersession has been surprisingly refreshing. Of course the lack of homework might just be something that adds to the feeling…
- Discovered the brilliance of the game: Bananagram
Held in a banana-shaped sack of frustration and glory, the game Banangrams has got to be one of my greatest discoveries this Intersession. I’ve played countless games, again and again, with friends and strangers alike. (@JHU_Joanna – I’ll beat you eventually)
- Actually read 2 books from cover to cover
I can’t remember the last time I read a book for fun; I’ve always only read assigned readings for classwork and homework. I realize I’ve forgotten how relaxing it is to sit down in the cozy warmth of a coffee shop and read at whatever pace I want. I ended up doing this so often this Intersession that I blasted through two (pretty hefty) books: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer and Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle. (I strongly recommended both of them!)
- Had not 1, but 15 movie nights
I’m not even going to explain this because I’m ashamed at how much entertainment I’ve watched these past few weeks. (What I watched: Nightcrawler, Grave of the Fireflies, Silver Linings Playbook, The Cobbler, Meet the Fockers, Howl’s Moving Castle, Hot Fuzz, Snowpiercer, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Rain Man, Black Hawk Down, Bad Teacher, Kill Bill. This doesn’t include the however many hours of TV watched…)
- EXPERIENCED SNOW FOR THE FIRST TIME
I’m from California. Just look at this picture – you’ll understand.
Picture #1 – http://www.thevocalcompany.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/sds-studio-empty.jpg
#3 – http://www.allthingsstrings.com/var/ezwebin_site/storage/images/media/images/nezet_marco_borggrreve_/1860175-1-eng-US/Nezet_Marco_Borggrreve__xlarge.jpg
#4 – http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v449/n7162/images/449545a-f1.2.jpg
#5 – http://www.thetoyinsider.com/wp/wp-
#6 – http://also.kottke.org/misc/images/wolf-in-white-van.jpg
#7 – http://s4.photobucket.com/user/paradorlounge/media/foer.jpg.html
#8 – http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71qMlebtjuL._SL1280_.jpg