Saturday, March 3, 2012

Finals Week...Fun!?

Needless to say...I have been grossly lacking in the blogging department.

my bad :)

But no worries, everything has continued being fantastic
 and I continue to love and appreciate every day I have here.

This week, in particular has been especially exciting
 (though probably not for the reasons you would guess
seeing as it was FINALS week). 

The way the program is set up 
we have a lot of classes and stuff the first two months
and then we finish 4 of our classes and we just
PARTY IT UP the rest of the time! 
(by going on "fieldtrips" to Turkey and the Galilee)

 But I'm getting ahead of myself,
first let me tell you about this week. 

Sunday (as i've mentioned before) is our "free day" 
where we don't have class or really any responsibilities. 
(or at least that's what I tell myself :)) 
My roommates and I decided to spend the day together in the Old City! 

It was so much fun! 
It was the first time the four of us went out with just the four us.
 It was great :)

...and of course involved eating a lot of food :)

(PS...I got bangs a few weeks ago...Did you notice?) 

On Monday we went to Old Testament class
and then we all went to the Forum for Israel/Judaism. 
After waiting for 15 minutes for our teacher to show up
Dr. Jackson (the program director) came in and told us
he forgot to tell us that class had been rescheduled for the following day. 


With the rest of the day free
I was easily talked into going out to the city
and sitting in front of the YMCA 
to just hang out. 
...and study? 
hahaha. sure. . . 

It was a BEAUTIFUL day! 
(which has been a rarity recently because the weather has been quite cold.)

Thanks to Vladi 
(Valdimir Nicolai Falk...everyone's favorite russian :))
we ended up having an "impromptu" model session. 

It was hilarious. 
(and slightly embarrassing.) 

Vladi's look at Kyle says it all...

(Disclaimer....Vladi gave full direction on poses and facial expressions.
 I never would have come up with this on my own. hahaha.)

By the end of the day
 Kyle may-or-may-not have convinced Vladi and I
 that he was a professional model.
(a falsehood that he willingly let me believe for over 24 hours.) 

(but seriously...wouldn't you believe him too?)

This is pathetic but I honestly can't remember what i did on Tuesday. ahhaha.
 i even wrote in my journal that day, but i wrote nothing about what I did.
 Go figure.
OH! I just remembered that we had Activity Days
(my calling in the ward here is simply the best:
I hang out with the 8-12 year old girls in the ward for a few hours every other week.
it just doesn't get much better than that.)

Most of Tuesday was spent working on my essay for Old Testament.

(sorry no exciting pictures to show for tuesday.)

In addition to all of the "school-ish" type things 
that we seem to be doing ALL the time here
we find time to have fun. 

In honor of it being "leap day" 
some girls at the JC organized an "ipod dance party"
It. Was. Great.

Typically, I'm not a huge fan of dance parties
but this one...UNLIKE any thing I had ever done before
and about a million times better.
 Life changing?
Yes. I would say so.

Here's how it works:
Ashley made a sweet playlist of songs and put them on some website.
Then she sent the link to everyone to download on to their ipod. 

Everyone came to the designated spot (in costume-dressed as someone else from the center)
and then we counted:
 "one, two, three, GO."
we all pressed "play" at the same time
so that we would all be listening to the same songs at the same time
(but individually in our own headphones).

Usually I don't really get into dances. 
The music is too loud,
it's hard too talk to people,
I don't dance, 
and...I don't know... 
I just don't typically enjoy them.

BUT, something about listening to your own ipod
just made you feel like you were in your own world
and it was just so much easier to get into it.
That sounds so silly, 
but it was easily one of the the most fun dance parties 
I've ever been too.
I can't wait til the next one. 
(Which, there WILL be a next one. No question.)

The other awesome thing was that wherever we went, the music came with us.
 we went to the hallway.
And then to the forum. 
and the library.
aaand...pretty much all over the center.
It was great for other people too
because we were just this mob of dancing people
running throughout the building
who looked absolutely ridiculous because only WE could hear the music :)

(pictures to be added later.)

A few hours later, Bon and I were just about to go to sleep
when we looked at the clock.
11:58 p.m.
Two minutes until the "steamroller party".
(A few days previously everyone had gotten mysterious messages in our mailboxes
inviting us to the "steamroller party" to take place in the long hallway near the classrooms.)

Bon and I looked at each other.
"Wanna go?"
We RAN up the stairs just in time for the midnight-steam-roller-party of the century :)

Thursday started out GREAT. 
For once we didn't have class at 9. a matter of fact,
 we didn't have ANYTHING until 7 p.m!!
It was faaaaantastic. 
I forgot how great sleeping in is. haha.
I also forgot how unproductive you feel when you sleep in.
But it was worth it. 

Thursday night we all received an email from one of our fellow JC students (Sterling)...
It informed us that due to some situations at home
he needed to leave to go home and be with his family.
The email said he would be leaving to go back to the states the following day.

The news was pretty devastating.
It was also very unexpected.
A few girls had the idea to make a little video for him. 
They started the filming around midnight
and finished around 2:30 a.m.
(They walked around the center trying to find as many people awake as they could
to film saying a little message to Sterling). 

I volunteered to do the editing
so as soon as they were done I got to work! 
At about 6:30 a.m. I finished the editing :)
Luckily I had a few friends with me to keep me awake.

It was my first official all-nighter! 
haha. I feel like all-nighters are a right (rite?) of passage or something.
(I'm not really sure what they are a passage from or to, but that's beside the point.)
I've had a few times in college that I slept for an hour or less
but this time I LITERALLY didn't sleep at all. 
and the best part is..
(for the first time this week. haha. It's kind of a big deal.)

Friday we also had our first day of New Testament.
I'll be honest...I don't remember much (sorry Brother Harper!)
but..during the break we all went outside.

Well, I'll tell you why.
(or rather I'll show you...)

Yes that's right. 
 in Jerusalem. 
(I did not pack expecting this kind of weather. ...woops!)

All in all, the day went surprisingly well for not having had a wink of sleep. 
(though i would like to put a disclaimer on everything I said that day...hahaha.)

....and even if i did fall asleep briefly during my OT final. haha.
(I am making these lines extra small so maybe my mom won't be able to read them.. HAHAHA just kidding mama :))

After dinner we all had to say goodbye to Sterling.
I speak for everyone when I say it was depressing to see him go.
He will undoubtedly be missed.

(pictures of us presenting the DVD to Sterling. It was a tender moment.)

What a great example of a guy who is willing to put aside his will and rely completely on what he needs to do for his family and for the Lord. 


Today was the Sabbath.
I love the Sabbath.
Today was ESPECIALLY exciting because
there was a tour full of 

They were actually all from Switzerland
(but they spoke German)!!!! 

Finally, (after an intense internal struggle) I mustered up the courage
to start a conversation in german.
I forgot how much I love german
and how much I love being able to speak it with people!
Obviously the conversation was rough,
and I was reminded how much german I've forgotten,
(in particular the words:
 Zukunft--I should have known that one!
Vergangenheit-there again. I remember it being on the same vocab quiz as the word before!
and Erwachsen. Frau Bailey would be so disappointed! She taught me all of those words!)
but I absolutely loved our 15 minute conversation :)

(picture to be added later of the awesome Swiss lady that I met and who offered to have me stay with her family if I ever make the trip to Switzerland.) 

...Did i mention she complemented my german accent?
I thought my soul would burst with joy. 
(It was almost as good as the time Kyle complemented my hair...)

Just when I thought the day couldn't get any better, 
I went with other Primary 'teachers'
to the Primary President's house for dinner.
I forgot how great it is to have a home cooked meal, 
not mass produced, 
but made with love

....Not to mention homemade rice krispie treats
 and brownies that actually taste like brownies!

Overall, it has been an unforgettable, amazing, wonderful, stressful, fantastic week! 
Definitely the most fun I've ever had during a finals week. haha
I guess that's what happens when you live under the same roof as 82 other college students :)
But don't worry...although it wouldn't appear it with all of the fun I had,
I also found time to study for my finals :)

Well, I'm off to Turkey tomorrow! 
My goal for March? 

I'll keep ya posted! 


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