Claire, Daria, and I have been meeting once a week to drink coffee and discuss the news in Spanish. This is our attempt to replicate the class “Spanish Coffee and News”. Seems like we got the basic gist (but this way we don’t have to write papers). It’s amazing how much of a difference an hour a week makes. If we really want to return to the level of fluency we had in Spain, this would definitely not be enough, but even having to think in Spanish for a bit, struggle through conjugations, and learn a few new words really brings it a lot of it back. Plus, it must be entertaining to the people sitting around us in Blue Monday.
There was a vigil in the Chapel on Thursday for the explosion in Texas. There was one for the Boston bombing too, but I didn’t go to that one. It was partially because of time and how busy Wednesday was, but it was more because the explosion hit closer to home (literally and figuratively). The more I thought about it, I realized that was a terrible reason. There have been countless candlelight vigils at the Chapel, but this is the first one I’ve gone to and even though it’s reasonable for certain tragedies to mean more to someone, it is not a good reason why some tragedies merit that I take the time out of my day to think of those in need and others don’t. When I was little I would try to pray every night, but the list of people I wanted to pray for would always be so long and I would feel terrible if I forgot someone. I encountered this same dilemma freshman year when I took a religion class and tried to start meditating. The book on Buddhism instructed me to clear my mind and then envision the faces of the people that I loved and the people that I harbored anger towards until the negative emotions dissipated and I was able to project good will towards everyone. I feel like I could have meditated for hours and still not gotten through all the people I don’t like. Just kidding. I had trouble because there are so many wonderful people in my life and a lot of people that I am not as close to, but still want to keep in my thoughts. I tried picturing people in clusters, like full size portraits of my family (yes, all 60+ Smogards) and of my friends (which was tricky as freshman year had suddenly brought so many new amazing people into my life). I eventually gave up on meditation (I tried it again sophomore year, but realized it’s just not for me) and it has been a LONG time since I have prayed before bed. I have gone to church a few times (mostly when I’m home, but a few times in Northfield), but religion has played a relatively small part in my life after sophomore year in high school except for the occasional spiritual moment spurred by a moving church service, a tragedy, a very fortunate coincidence, or an awe-inspiring/thought provoking moment of self-reflection and awareness. I guess the balance I’ve kind of found is trying to direct my thoughts/prayers/positive energy/good will/etc. towards specific people when they are in need, but generally try to always be aware that everyone (the people I love, like, don’t like, don’t know, and will never know) deserves loving thoughts. I don’t even remember how I got here. The Texas vigil? Right. The point is: I am going to try to go to more vigils because no tragedy is too small or less deserving of my attention. As the news about the tragedies this week continue to unfold (both at home and the ones abroad that we quickly become desensitized to), my thoughts are with everyone.
Sweet Lillian and her Las Vegas flask. Girl didn’t have her grills this time.
I’ve been following the blog Undressed Skeleton for a while now and she frequently uses this one product called PB2. As a lover of peanut butter, I was super skeptical of a peanut butter powder (still made from slow roasted peanuts). But, after looking at the nutritional information and day dreaming of what fun things I could do with powdered peanut butter (it becomes a cream when you mix it with a little water), I decided to try it. Plus I was hooked when I saw that there was a product that included chocolate. It came yesterday and I tried some this morning before running with Claire (we did 7 miles! It felt so good to be outside in the sun again). I’m hooked. It tastes so good and there is something really satisfying about eating something that is both mouth-watering and a healthy alternative. Pictured below: whole wheat waffle with 1 packet PB2 and chia seeds.
More good news? Only a few more days of depressing weather until it’s sunny and 50. SPRING IS FINALLY HERE. This post covered a lot of ground, partially because I had some pictures and moments that were unrelated, but I wanted to share and because I haven’t had enough water since my run and I went to bed at 2 after watching Django with a good friend. I’ll hydrate a bit and then finish writing about the conference I went to last weekend.