Hey all, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a restful and blessed day with friends and family.
I must say, school has become increasingly stressful as the material builds on itself, but all my classes (with the exception of chem) I have a pretty good handle on. Much of that stress has been alleviated by the natural beauty that surrounds me! Fall has definitely set in over in IN (hence, the title “FallIN”), and I am indeed falling in love with the aesthetic of autumn here. Note how I said the aesthetic of autumn…this blasted cold is killing me.
I’ve taken to religiously checking the weather app on my phone–dreading what 5 to 10 degree drop each day will bring. I had to laugh at myself a few days ago when the weather report said it would be 34 degrees and I immediately said “Oh, what a nice day!” Never in my life would I have presumed that I would be walking around in a light sweater on a 30 degree day…alas, it has happened multiple times! The upside is, Hoosiers know how to have fun in the cold haha My friend Alex bought a bunch of rakes and invited me to rake a giant pile (probably 4ft tall) of leaves so we could jump in it one morning…and yes, I got up early to rake leaves.
I attended the Boiler Awakening Retreat at my school a few weeks ago. I loved my small group (picture below)- they’re all pretty snazzy people. I mean…of course they’re snazzy because they love Jesus and they make awesome human pyramids!
The retreat itself surprised me in its nature; it seems rather distant now in all the “good vibes” it gave me, but one very real gift it gave me was a renewed necessity of introspection and reflection which I’m afraid I had lost a great deal of in the last year or so. It’s revived my desire and need for daily mass or holy hour, which I’ve been pretty good at attending (despite the 30 minute walk in what seems like a lasting frozen tundra), and it was there that the Lord deigned to plant a new seed of humility in my heart. I have been trying to offer it fertile soil and cultivate it since, though I’m sorry to say I’ve failed a great many times. But isn’t our God so good? He has persisted in calling me, even through the thick walls of my pride that prevent me from listening. I look forward to a new period of spiritual growth in my life, despite the fact that I feel incredibly emotionally and physically drained right now.
On that note, I must say that though I have made a multitude of friends here, all of which are wonderful, kind, and fun people, I’ve yet to meet anyone I feel particularly connected to. Although I understand it is a matter of circumstance and time in many instances, it’s still tiresome to be so very lonely for so long and to not know when or if I will find a kindred spirit here. And it makes me very homesick. Here, as in all things, I have recourse to my Heavenly Father and I must admit He has admonished me for such feelings. He reminds me to be content with His presence and His presence alone. Sometimes my only hours of comfort and ease that pass on campus are those spent in front of the Blessed Sacrament. And even in all my earnest questioning and petitioning, the Lord has instructed me to wait in hopeful anticipation for some months. And so I am obliged to wait, and will do so most willingly if it is what He asks; I only wonder what it is He asked me to wait for. I am most joyful in the hope that this period of waiting (so rightfully in time with the onset of Advent) will yield a deeper love, attachment, and desire for obedience to my precious Savior. I say this all to give Him praise, for He has been so steadfast and compassionate and I love Him so.
On a lighter note, my leisure time has been greatly occupied with little excursions as of recent, most interesting of which are probably: Hickory Dickory Dead, Whistle Stop, and Indianapolis.
Hickory Dickory Dead:
A murder mystery dinner show! My friend Lobo and I dressed up (it was a formal affair) and went to an interactive dinner show where we watched a murder mystery play out. We were then able to interact with the characters and ask questions and put in our guess for the murderer before the second act resumed and the truth was revealed! It made me think of our murder mystery parties and thought it was something you all would have thoroughly enjoyed; we all got cool character nametags too!
Swing dancing palooza! People from all over the midwest came to Purdue for a weekend long swing dancing event. It included daily lessons and jams. I devoted an entire weekend to swing dancing with some of the most talented dancers I’ve ever seen. At one of our formal dances I saw a woman launched 5 feet and flipped in the air! And I met a lot of people from bordering states that I might go to in subsequent years for other swing dancing events 🙂 I learned SO much! I learned St. Louis Shag and a lot more Charleston. I just in general got better basics and more fun stylistic moves. We got bused out to this sketchy shack in the middle of nowhere at like 1 in the morning for blues dancing, which was also super fun, but we mostly did lindy and I had to leave with my friends before we got to blues…which is a shame because I wanted to see if they do drag blues here or if they have different styles in Indiana (not a particular fan of drag blues, which is popular in LA).
The following day I woke up to a text from a friend asking if I wanted to come on an impromptu trip to Indy! So, we piled into a van and drove over and…Oh. My. Gosh. I have never been so cold in my LIFE. It was probably like low 20s and the wind chill…BURRRR! Every gust impaled my soul like an icy dagger! I attached a picture and you might be able to tell how cold I am from the way I’m holding my arms into my chest. Half my friends there are from India and were in a similar boat to me with their cold tolerance…the other two were from Massachusetts and Indiana and had to rub it in our faces that we were unable to handle the cold haha
Indy itself was a pretty weak city in terms of an “urban metropolis.” The entire skyline could fit into a single photo frame and I’m pretty sure I can count the amount of skyscrapers on one hand haha It was still super fun though and I went to their mall and to some war memorials and climbed up a tower to look out over the city!
My friend Pitt (from Boston) turned to me and said “That’s one thing Indianapolis has that LA doesn’t: History.” I had to concede to that assertion…there was a definite historical significance in the monuments and landmarks in the city. And overall I thought it was charming! I saw multiple weddings on that cold, miserable day and my heart went out to the bridesmaids wearing strapless gowns and updos *shudders*
My research in the lab is going well! We should be sequencing some DNA I’ve been working with on Monday; we ran a restriction digest last week and some of our wells showed proper banding patterns (we think) so *fingers crossed* if we have it sequenced it should display all our desired genes.
It’s fun there; I really like my coworkers and my boss was so sweet she invited me to have thanksgiving with her and the rest of the lab 🙂 My supervisor, Cole, used to work with fungi and he showed me this REALLY cool fungus growing on one of the trees outside our lab (Pic to the right). It’s probably 2 feet in diameter, just for perspective.
If you made it through this far in my post, brownie points/kudos to you! That’s dedication. Haha Love you all and hope all is well.