For my five housemates and me, it all starts with a 10 o’clock class. Four of us have class in the library, and three of us are in Pre-modern Chinese Literature in translation. A Chinese lit class is required for the Chinese minor, and we all missed Modern Chinese Lit when it was offered in our sophomore year, so here we are reading traditional Chinese texts – Confucius, Mencius, Xunzi, etc – all in English. It’s cast a new light on my reflections on China and, frankly, made me excited to go back. One of the most exciting class activities that we’ve done was divided into three groups where the “Daoists” and the “Buddhists” had to convince the “commoners” to convert to their sect. After a long and hilarious discussion with entirely blown-out-of proportion comments about why their side was best, most of the commoners switched to Daoism… only to find out that their claims to “immortality through sex” were complete hyperbole.
After class, I get a two-hour break where I typically eat lunch at home and do reading for my 2:40 class. At 1:30, I go to yoga with a different two housemates. My only prior experience with yoga was at two classes last summer in Pittsburgh. We did really basic yoga on Schenley Quad on Saturday mornings, and I really enjoyed it, which led me to sign up for this class. Now I’ve been introduced to Karen Berthel – a theatre professor – and Sivananda yoga. I like it so much that I’m looking into yoga retreats in India for this summer.
At the end of yoga, we lie back in corpse pose for six minutes to relax. We wake up suddenly when Dr. Berthel begins to “ohm,” and then I rush off to my 2:40 class in Dow. Biogeography is a small, upper-level “topic in biology” seminar. Students lead the class with small-group presentations on the history and fundamentals of biogeography and individual Journal Clubs. Our textbook is a brick of a book called Foundations in Biogeography filled with classic papers from all over the world and all across the discipline. We pair these papers with newly-published articles and discuss changes in methodology and the importance of the extensive discipline of Biogeography.
From 3:55 until nearly 9 pm, I generally prepare for my senior seminar, which only meets on Tuesday evenings, and any other homework. Or sometimes I procrastinate and experiment with new recipes for dinner. At 9, I have StuComm. The commission meets in Hicks, and we go through budget proposals and funding for different events around campus. Occasionally a guest speaker – such as the provost – will give a presentation. Sometimes StuComm meetings are ripe with debates and voting (we operate under Robert’s Rules), but other times they are very straightforward. Either way, they are productive and help me feel like an integral part of the college community.
I usually have a half-hour to hour break after StuComm where I visit people on the first floor of the library. At 11, I head back to the dance studio where yoga is held to rehearse for Frelon. I’ll be in two dances in the spring, this one and the senior dance. Junior and senior dances are traditional parts of Frelon; there are usually more than 50 students from the class that participate, so their rehearsals begin later. They are so much fun, and generally make me really nostalgic.
Rehearsal ends at midnight, and I usually find a few people to sneak into the sauna with until we’re kicked out because the athletic center is closing. When I get home, everyone is there and we end our evenings with loud discussions around the kitchen table or by snuggling on the couch and watching an episode of Modern Family. Mondays are long and sometimes grueling, but they start the week off right.