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The end (of sophomore year) is near

After an extremely busy winter quarter and a less-than-relaxing spring break, spring quarter is finally here.  I’ll admit, I’ve been dreading the year passing so quickly, but spring quarter is a great time on campus. The snow melts from the quad, pulling picnic blankets and textbooks out into the sunlight for the first time since October; many members of the junior class return from their time abroad, bringing new stories and flavors to campus; the promise of summer is closer than ever.

This spring, I’m knocking out two of my requirements for my English major:  a course in minoritarian literature and a course in literature from before 1800.  I am beyond excited for my minoritarian lit course, U.S. Ethnic Literature, because not only is it taught by one of my favorite English professors, Dr. Shanna Salinas, but it’s unlike any course I’ve ever taken before.  We’re examining the social construction of race and how racial identities are presented in literature, film, and even pop culture.  We’re discussing these articles about white guilt, unpacking Miley Cyrus, and even watching films like “Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle,” while intertwining them with critical race theory and multiple mediums of literature.  So far, I’m very excited for the class and the discussions it will foster.

The pre-1800 course is a study of the author John Milton, which, I’ll admit, I know nothing about and am far less interested in than my other English course.  The harsh, embellished Old English writing style is quite a contrast to what I’m used to.  I’m expecting this class to be a struggle for me, but I’m up for the challenge.   I’m also taking Spanish 202, because I’m thinking about adding a Spanish minor to my English major and Media Studies concentration.  

However, the end of spring quarter also means that lots of decisions need to be made.  While winter quarter forced me to think about the future as well, spring quarter means a lot of practical decisions.  Since I’m not studying abroad, I have to decide where I’m going to live next year.  Traditionally, juniors live on-campus until spring quarter, when they’re allowed to move off-campus, but since this year’s incoming class was so large compared to ours, I may be able to live off-campus.  Most of my friends are going abroad, so I’m left with the decision to either live off-campus to save money and potentially miss out on making new friends through the residence hall system, or room with one of my friends that’s staying here.  I still haven’t decided.

More pressing, however, are the decisions about what to do this summer.  As a low-income student, I don’t really have the luxury of spending the summer walking to the library and reading all day as I’d like to.  I have to find a job, but I regret not finding an internship as well.  Since my friends are spread across the country, however, I’m planning a few summer road trips (hello, free lodging and free tour guide!).  The stack of books to read–for pleasure, not for class–is growing taller as well.  And of course, I’m hoping to plan as many trips to see my roommates before they scatter to distant locales in the fall.  

While it seems like summer is close since I have to make all of these decisions right now, I keep forgetting that I have to make it through spring quarter first!

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