Sunday, December 5, 2010

Winter Wonderland

This may possibly be my last post. I have been busy in the last week finishing up everything around Harlaxton and tying all those loose ends. We had our last day of classes on Thursday and this coming Wednesday afternoon we leave Harlaxton for good. It is all extremely bittersweet, but this week has been packed with awesome activities that have kept everyone from feeling down about leaving.

Classes were pretty normal for the most part, aside from simply finishing up before finals. Monday night we had a really fun "Nerd" Party in the Bistro where we all dressed as nerdy as possible and kept up nerd persona's the entire night. Wednesday afternoon, all the RAs walked the mile drive to the Greg for a lunch together, and that night we had our choir concert in the Great Hall.. I sang a solo in one of our songs which apparently astounded everyone because they didn't know that I sang. Did anyone here get to know me at all?!? Just kidding. After Wednesday we all hung out in the Bistro again for another party (had to fit in all the last minute gatherings!) which was also fun. Thursday was our last day of classes which was quickly followed by a Valedictory Convocation, fancy-schmancy dinner, and Going-Away party in the bistro.
Hannah and I at the Lovable Nerd Party.

What I failed to mention was that throughout this week, it snowed every day. At the peak of our snow accumulation, it was at about 7 inches or so. In between classes, studying, and the parties, everyone was out in the snow taking pictures, sledding down the hills on whatever they could find to use as sleds, and building snow people and animals. The manor looked gorgeous in the winter wonderland and looked the most like Hogwarts than ever! The snow definitely made the week a little more difficult if you were trying to get anywhere, but luckily, most people had no reason to leave the manor and carriage house.
Our Winter Wonderland

We did all have to get bussed to the church in Harlaxton Village on Thursday for our Valedictory Convocation, but it all went okay. I actually played the prelude and postlude for the convocation and sang my solo again. It was a bit like the Erin Music Show. Following the convocation was our fancy dinner in the State Dinning Rooms. We enjoyed good food, wine, "smart" dress, and lots of awards to students. During the dinner, I also lead singing in "Amazing Grace" which is apparently a tradition to follow the meal at Harlaxton. It was kind of weird, but it went well. Directly after the dinner we all headed down to the bistro where the "real" awards were handed out to students. We had winners like, "Most likely to miss a school trip", "All around great person", "Person most likely to sleep in an airport to save money", etc. The awards were hilarious and a great way to wrap things up. One of the funnier moments of that night was the shift in the British Studies faculty's attitudes toward the students. Somehow, I was at the right place at the right time and was invited to tea with other students the next morning!
The RAs before the Valedictory dinner

I attended the "tea time", or tea party with a few other people and chatted with Dr. Green and Dr. Taylor for a good hour and a half, enjoying their tea. Dr. Taylor actually got his degrees in music, so we chatted a bit about music therapy. It was cool because he had studied it for a bit, even completing a case study, which he found for me to read. I was a little bummed that it wasn't until the last week that I learned there was someone around the discuss these things with! But oh well. The rest of the day was spent studying for my first final (which I think went pretty well) and simply hanging out with people.
Jessica and I with Father Christmas

Yesterday was full of Harlaxton Christmas. We spent the evening in the Great Hall with a fire in the fireplace next to the Christmas tree with our Meet-A-Families for the last time. Everyone looked extremely festive in their Christmas outfits and sang lots of Christmas carols - both the American and English versions. Afterward, a group of us trekked through the snow out to the village to carol to a few houses and were treated with amazing baked goods and mulled wine. We came back to enjoy hot chocolate in front of the fire in the Great Hall and chatted with students and professors. We ended the evening by watching Elf, of course.
My Meet-A-Family: Ashley, me, Sarah, Pat, & Ray

Now, we're all at the point where we have 3 days left and not much to do except pack and study for British Studies. I've had no motivation to do anything today simply because nothing is really pressing. It is definitely going to be extremely bittersweet to leave Harlaxton and the people that I met here. Luckily, many of the friends I made go to UE, but so many others go to different schools around the country. I can't believe that this much time has flown by and that I will be home this time next week. I'm looking forward to being home and returning to UE, but Harlaxton will always hold a special place in my heart. It truly changed my life by helping me grow and understand who I am, how I perceive the world, and how I fit in it. Watch out USA - you have a new, mature, individual headed your way!
Leaving our mark

1 comment:

  1. That was how I felt after my China trip, it helped me see me in a different position, like trying to me normal in China and see how see their culture and this made me rethink about my culture a bit.