Free Time… in College?

From yesterday afternoon through this morning I had a rare privilege of free time; and not just free time, but copious amounts of it… in college, in April?!

First, my acting class was cancelled yesterday afternoon, so I had the entire afternoon free, which was pretty exciting.  Then, my nursery job at the ARP church in town was cancelled, because in lieu of their usual Wednesday evening service, they were all going to the Kirkin’ of the Tartan service being held at the seminary, and no one came to my Supplemental Instruction session, so my entire evening was free of commitment.  Finally, my conducting class was cancelled this morning, and I decided not to go to convocation this morning, to finish celebrating my 24-hours of nothing to do!

A few of my paintbrushes were glad to be used again.

So, what on earth I did with all my free time?  I am proud to say that I did not spend it all sleeping, or playing on Facebook, or entirely wasting my time.  Instead, I found a happy medium of work and play.

A scene from the 1938 movie "Algiers" that I watched yesterday.

Yesterday afternoon I put in a movie and worked on a project, then various bits of homework until dinner time.  On a whim I decided to go on Skype, and my good friend Alex (who is in veterinary school in Scotland) happened to be on, so I skipped dinner for a good long chat with him.  I then made a light dinner in my room and continued to work on homework, getting a good bit of reading and French studying done.  I even took about an hour and a half to break out some long-unused art supplies and try a little bit of painting, which was only moderately successful, but still enjoyable and relaxing.  I went to bed just before midnight and woke up at 8:00 (yes, that is EIGHT hours of sleep!) to get ready and enjoy a leisurely breakfast in Moffatt of blueberry muffins and an omelet (breakfast is definitely the best meal in the dining hall).  For the rest of this morning I did some reading for my New Testament class, took an impromptu nap, made some tea, and decided to skip convo and write a blog about this unexpected vacation.

And that’s it.  Nothing too crazy, but what a nice surprise it has been.  Soon I’ll head off to lunch and then resume a more demanding schedule, but I feel quite refreshed and ready to go.  Thank God for the little blessings!

The Company of Books

Now that J-term is over, I spent a couple of days at school last weekend, and then headed home on Monday for an extended J-term break.  My sister and I both finished our classes early, so we are enjoying a full week at home, sitting outside in the beautiful Charleston weather and catching up on everything that seems to get neglected while at college.  First on my list: Reading.

Some of my J-term Break reading that I have been enjoying.

There is a permanent pile of books sitting on my shelf that I am dying to read or re-read (usually for the past few years), but during the semester there are always textbooks and novels to read, essays to write, projects to plan, laundry accumulating, and so many tasks that accumulate.  But in those precious days of vacation between semesters, I have hours to pick up and enjoy these dear friends that have been neglected for too long.  What can be better than a few hours sprawled out on your bed, lost in a novel?  Or savoring an anthology of your favorite poet, discovering new meanings in your old favorites?  And even delving more frequently into The Book – isn’t it comforting to be able to sit down and get a good message out of a Bible reading and study?  Ah, c’est la vie.

Another thing that I have discovered to be quite enjoyable, despite my lack of great enthusiasm about technology, is following a couple of blogs.  Although I am far from a faithful reader to any, I have a few bookmarked on my computer that are written by friends, and I enjoy catching up on then once in a while.  For example, one is a first year teacher, like my older sister, so it is fun to compare their experiences.  Another is a recently graduated friend who is very artistic and musical, so I like to see her projects and get some good suggestions for new music.  Also, as various acquaintances at Erskine go abroad, I find it especially exciting to follow their adventures in England, Spain, France, or elsewhere – especially after having such a great experience abroad, myself.

Finally, there is a wealth of news and information to read on the internet.  Catching up on current events – something I do not leave myself much time for at school – and reading articles is a great use of a few spare minutes.  My dad often sends me interesting articles to read on npr.org, my sister does the same with cnn.com, and I have a few of my own sites that I frequent, one of my favorites being earthsky.org (I always had a curiosity for science, especially astronomy).

Just a few days left!  Imagine all the quality time I can fill reading in those many, free hours