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The sun is setting now, lazy afternoon light sliding through the wide-open windows of my house in Vermont. The sky is dotted with puffy clouds in the east, but a clear azul is spreading across the rest, contrasting against the beautiful rolling green mountains which surround me. With my cat on my lap and my dog at my side, begging for my zucchini fritters, I couldn’t feel any further away from Paris, where I returned from almost a week ago. I’ve transitioned back smoothly after a not-so-simple trip home, and now all I can do is reflect on my summer, soak up the last of my time in Vermont, and look forward to the oncoming academic year.

 

I have been enjoying some good food…here, at a local barn-raising

My time in Paris didn’t turn out to be how I’d expected it; not worse, per se, just different. It quickly became clear that my french wasn’t going to improve by as great a margin as I’d hoped, but in lieu of improved grammar, my conversational skills and linguistic confidence increased substantially. I also became fast friends with the city itself which, as far as urban spaces go, is spectacular. In addition, I made some incredible friends from all over the world and all over Harvard, whilst eating baguettes in a cloud of second-hand cigarette smoke. (Ech. Not going to miss that.) Now I’m not sure what I’ll be up to next summer, and where I’ll be spending my time. Perhaps Paris again? Or perhaps the countryside? Or Italia? Good thing I’ve got a few months to decide ūüôā

 

In Vermont, I’ve managed to keep myself busy, despite the relaxed feeling that’s permeated my bones. Yesterday was very exciting; I went on my first riding lesson in seven years! The horse farm is in Milton, way up north, so I decided to stop by Burlington (our ‘big’ city) on the way there to do some shopping. But back to the lesson. I’m seriously considering playing polo for Harvard’s team, and I had to see whether or not I was over-romanticizing my sentiments towards the sport. So I budgeted a bit for the lessons, called up the stable, and arranged a lesson for the next day. It went very smoothly; I rode a lovely buckskin for more than an hour in the arena, cantering on my first day, as well as accidentally jumping a small hurdle. (Whoops. Don’t tell my mom.) I felt so comfortable, and I have two more lessons waiting for me before I head back to Cambridge, where I’ll be setting up my single (!) in Currier. As a former resident of Canaday, I am fully aware of the lack of architectural beauty that plagues the newer dorms, and Currier is no exception. Thus, I have decided to decorate my room fantastically (I mean it) and so all of yesterday’s shopping was geared towards the housing department. I went to two fabric stores, a craft store, some standard decorating stores, a few cheap-o stores, and returned home with all of my goodies: a bathmat, two square leopard-print/camouflage¬†throw pillows, another smaller throw pillow, yarn, frames, and a bunch of fabric. Do not worry. The fabric will be covering those hideous throw pillows, making them absolutely gorgeous. Ah, my domestic life is flourishing. I move from stovetop to sewing machine to clothesline just like a little housewife. Except I’m designing my room. Which will win prizes and be featured in the New York Times Style Magazine, if we’re lucky.

 

This might be part of my bedroom. Yet to be decided.

As far as the less-important aspects of school go, I suppose I have to choose classes. (Please note that I am joking, as I have chosen my classes as of two months ago.) I have a few conflicts…okay, waaay more than a few, and this semester is the last one that I have before I must declare my concentration…which is still up in the air. Romance Languages and Anthropology? Visual and Environmental Studies and Anthropology? …Architecture concentration that has yet to be created? I DON’T KNOW. And the clock is ticking, so I’d better decide quickly. I am so excited to return to school, although I am totally afraid that I’ll be overwhelmed and have a rerun of my freshman fall, which was not so nice. Wish me luck, anyhow!

-Reid

 

No, that is not me.

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Hello!

It’s been two weeks since my last blog post, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be posting every other week from now on. Lots of awesome things have happened. I went to NYC, came back to campus, had a celebratory finish to my freshman year at the College, and moved out of Canaday the next day and into Lev a few hours later. It was a crazy trip (I completely overpacked, underestimating the enormous pile of clothes that hid within my dresser drawers), but my new residency was worth the wait, because I have a super cozy single in Old Leverett. Check out some pics!

 

 

My room went from this…

 

…to this ):

 

My New Room in Lev!

 

NYC, World Trade Center

 

 

Funny StarWars Kids in NYC

 

 

 

It was awesome to have a little break in NYC before starting my difficult week. I was assigned to DeWolfe, which probably isn’t talked about a lot on the Harvard Website; it’s the overflow housing for Dunster, Leverett, Lowell, Kirkland, and Winthrop (five of the upperclassmen houses), and is a great alternative to sophomore housing, which can frequently be a downgrade from freshman housing in the Yard. DeWolfe is set up in pretty big suites, commonly with two large bedrooms that are doubles, a kitchen, bathroom, and a common room. With all of those different types of rooms, it was very difficult to clean throughout the week. It’s pretty exhausting work, but I came out of it with quite a bit of dough (almost 500 dollars) and slept very well each night! Here’s a picture of one of the rooms during final cleaning, when we had to go around and redo all of the work we’d done throughout the week in order to ensure that these suites were immaculate.

 

 

Empty, Clean Room.

 

 

 

I also worked at The Crimson during commencement, which was very fun! I set up the Year in Sports newspaper with a few other editors, which was great fun. Also, I socialized with a lot of other boards, not just Photo, and made a lot of new friends while eating FREE food! Hollah! Friday night, on a whim, I decided to go home for the weekend! Work started yesterday for Reunion jobs (babysitting), and so I had four full days to go home and relax with my family. I jumped on the Greyhound early Saturday morning and rode to Montpelier, which is close to my house, and drove home to spend time with the fam in the hot, hot sun. We went swimming in the river (my, my, it was cold), I saw my little sister’s baseball game, I made a pie, casserole, and sushi (on different occasions), slept, saw my best friends from home, and generally enjoyed myself profusely. It was incredible to be home, and I missed it this year! I’ll be going back soon (two weeks) to spend time until I’m off to Paris.

 

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

 

Baseball

Baseball!

 

My Kitty Emily on the Right

 

After my awesome mini-vacations, I’ve started working for the Harvard Alumni Association as a babysitter, with 16.5 hour days, as a day and night sitter for little kids. The Reunions have totally transformed the Yard, and it’s teeming with people of all ages, which brings a new level of excitement to campus. It’s nice having this influx of alumni after the regular floods of students have cleared out, because Harvard is completely different.

If I last through these upcoming weeks, you’ll hear from me soon!

-Reid

 

 

 

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Ciao a tutti!

Shopping week for second semester is almost over, with Study Cards (an official list of the courses you’re taking) being due tomorrow. Luckily, I’ve figured out my semester. I’ll be taking Intensive Italian (Italian Acd), Advanced French Grammar II (French 50), Expository Writing 20 (Expos), and a Freshman Seminar called “Pressing the Page: Making Art With Letters, Paper & Ink.” I’m very excited about this semester, especially for my seminar and Italian. They’ve been amazing so far, with Italian flying by every day and my printmaking seminar seeming too short, though it’s two hours on M/W! So far I’ve made calling cards and monogrammed notecards. Check out my first creation thus far!

 

I <3 Art

Anyways, get ready for a lot more artsy stuff this semester, to add to my arts list from a previous post. Seriously, this is a Liberal Arts college and my goal is to find out why.

Though all Freshmen do not have to take seminars and two languages (well, there is a language requirement, but I definitely loaded up on Romance Languages), everybody who graduates from Harvard College must take Expository Writing. Shaun talks about it from the other side of the bridge, having taken it already, but I have yet to experience this wonderful essay course. Actually, most people don’t like it, but I really love writing, and all the courses I’ve signed up for have high Q ratings (which means they’re good) and are in very close proximity to my dorm! Sweet graphic here:

Wow, Check it out! Canaday has the best location for all things Freshmen.

 

Anyways, these are the Expos courses I’ve sectioned for. A lot of them haven’t been offered yet, and are brand new, so I thought I’d give them a chance, even though it is risky. Imagining Animals does sound pretty interesting, though.

Location, Location, Location. (Okay, and time/subject.)

If I get sectioned into a M/W 11:00-12:00 time slot, I’ll be having bagged lunch twice a week for the next semester! Good thing Harvard offers them for all students, all the time. Also, our dining services have become quite interesting, with HUDS reintroducing the Korean Barbecue night. Let me tell you, that Kimchi was spicy! After I enjoyed my Korean dinner today with my roommate, I met a few of my bandmates and headed up to the SOCH for our first practice of the second semester. We’re playing a few songs and a lot of transition material at Harvard Thinks Big, which is a very popular set of mini-lectures hosted in Sanders Theater. Last year’s information can be found here. It was awesome seeing everyone again, even though the rehearsal was short and the walk to the quad was a bit chilly. If you’ve forgotten about my band, check out this link! Being part of my amazing mini-community was definitely the best part of my first semester, because it helped me to transition into college life much more smoothly.

Whee!!! Random Picture of Cambridge!

 

Another super awesome thing in my life right now continues to be The Crimson! I realized that last semester was a ton of fun, and I had the best time taking photos of sports and arts, specifically for the Fifteen Minutes magazine. Over break, I took a lot of photos, and they have definitely improved, to the point where I am proud of my photography skills. Soon I will be monitoring compers as a Junior Editor, chillin’ with them as they experience that which I’ve just done. Tomorrow, I’m covering the Harvard-Yale hockey game, and my family is coming up to watch with me. I am also “schmoozing” with some peeps (editors/my superiors/great people) in order to be (hopefully) elected Arts Photo Exec. That basically means a lot of mini meetings in order to hold a higher position than my current status. I’ll update you when I hear back, but for now, cross your fingers for me!

Arts and Sports mixed together!

The weather has been uncannily warm as of late, which definitely freaks me out a little bit; climate change is upon us, and it’s been pretty evident here in Cambridge. Hopefully it cools down, so I can use the really great skating rink on the Science Center lawn. (What? Harvard has a free skating rink? Why yes, we do.) Most of the time though, I’m inside, doing my homework so that I don’t get behind. I definitely don’t want to make that mistake again, because it creates a lot of unnecessary stress. ¬†I’ve been doing a bit of walking recently, because I’m auditioning through¬† Common Casting¬†¬†for Legally Blonde and Hair (the musical), and I have to hike up to the Aggassiz Theater (also home of the visitor center), Loeb Theater, and Farkas Theater. I really missed auditioning, so this process has been a blast! But I should get back to the pile of work on my desk….

Busy busy

 

Okay! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my post, and for those applying to Harvard, these next few months might be a little worrisome, but try to keep the admissions process in the back of your head and enjoy your last part of high school. You’ll end up wherever you need to be.

 

Signing off

-Reid

 

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