Sunday, January 13, 2019

A Tale of Two Climates

What a week this has been!

I submitted the hardest paper of my life in December, and I've waited almost every day since then for feedback from my professor. He was so helpful all semester, and I fully anticipated feedback within a few days of submission. Time passed--and so did Christmas, then New Year's--and I still hadn't heard anything. Final grades were being issued on January 8, so I knew I'd find out at least my grade on that day, and I hoped grades would update at midnight Boston time--which they did. Brad snapped this picture as I was getting ready for bed at 10:01 pm on January 7.
I worked harder for that grade than any other in my life. I knew I'd left everything on the table and that I couldn't have done any better.

I got an A.

And I couldn't stop smiling and squealing for almost an hour.

But I'm glad it's over.

(A few days later I got feedback on my work. I will be forever grateful for Dr. Shoemaker and what he taught me about critical thinking and writing. That class was a life changer, and that can't even express how I feel about the experience."

It's been a big week for my Hyrum as well.
 He was ordained a deacon on January 2, and the next Saturday, Brad and I took the boys to the Gilbert temple to perform baptisms.
There's nothing like the excitement of these young kids and their first time in the temple and passing the sacrament in church. I'm really proud of him and his attitude about life. Can you believe how tall Micah's getting? This picture makes him look taller than Brad, which he isn't yet, but he's close!

This girl left us to head back to college.
Lily had a rough time last semester. School was hard. Life was hard. The cold was hard. Everything was hard. But she went back up to Rexburg with a new attitude and firm resolve. She's FaceTimed me a few times, and I love the difference in her attitude and commitment to school. I just know this semester will be her fresh start and the time when the real Lily Jane will come bounding out to take the world by the horns. Love her and her desire to succeed and work hard.

And this girl.
This girl told me, "Mom, you're my comfort human. And Cleo is my comfort animal." I was flattered, especially when she told me (through tears) that the reason she can't stand to be away from me is because "You're the best human in the whole wide world." She has a hard time going to bed anywhere but home or if I'm gone, but she's doing so much better lately. I know she's working hard so she can spend a week at Grandma Tucker's house this summer. If she keeps this up, she will be ready! She made this cute bag at Activity Days out of bandannas and insisted Brad send me a picture of her wearing it. I'm proud of her and how hard she's working to go to sleep at night and learn some independence.

Why would she be calling me and sending me pictures?
 Sunset over Cape Cod

. . . because I'm finishing up five days in Boston for my latest class--Boston before the Revolution.
I've spent hours in lecture and writing two papers. The best/worst was walking ALL DAY yesterday around Boston, going to museums, historical societies and historical sites. It. Was. COLD. And not just cold to the AZ visitor. It was 20 degrees with a breeze. Even the native Bostonians were complaining of the cold once the sun went down. Miserable but awesome. Is that possible?

We had lunch in a Charles Bulfinch house on Beacon Hill that is owned by the Colonial Historical Society. Charles Bulfinch!
We casually ate hoagie sandwiches and clementines among the 17th-18th century paintings and antique furniture with "Please do not touch" signs pushed aside. When asked why we were allowed to eat in the room (I felt like a little kid in the good room of the house with a glass of grape juice), Dr. Allison offhandedly commented, "Well, I'm the vice president and I have a key." Wow. Just wow. That is a moment I'll never forget.

Our professor knows his stuff. I can't believe how much he knows and how he seems to have an answer for any question.

I also learned to ride the T like a pro--way easier than NY's or Paris's subway system, that's for sure. See me in my coat, scarf, and ear warmer?
Notable moments from this Boston trip besides lunch in the Bulfinch house:

Seeing Copley's paintings in person at the Museum of Fine Arts. So much better than a copy. Samuel Adams is my hero.

Meeting a History teacher from Chandler who shares my passions and shared some of his teaching insights for when I return to the classroom one day.

Using my Harvard ID to study in Widener Library.
This was the moment of the trip for me.

I swiped my ID and walked into the library as a Harvard student. I sat in this room for almost five hours writing a paper.

It was such a surreal moment. I wrote a paper while at Harvard. What??

Every time I come to Boston, I have at least one moment where I cackle under my breath and send up a silent prayer of gratitude that I get to live this dream. I love every second of every experience and every class. I realized during this trip that I only have 18 months left in this adventure before I finish my degree, and then these moments walking the streets of Cambridge with a backpack and academic purpose will end.

I'm going to savor every moment.

And I have five classes and one more trip to Boston this semester, so that will be a lot of savoring.

I love my life.

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