Sunday, April 23, 2006


I'm taking a brief break from a mountain of homework to write this post. Last night I got back from Washington, D.C. Wow. That's about all I can say... the whole experience seemed surreal, from the places I went to the people I met. I loved D.C., what a beautiful city! It was also wonderful to meet the other scholars.
Thursday we had a lecture at the Canadian Embassy (beautiful), followed by a reception, at which the Canadian Ambassador introduced himself to me! I was so amazed that real-life important people wanted to talk to us, and were incredibly friendly as well.
On Friday, after a day of lectures, four of us went walking down Embassy Row. We got lost, and stumbled upon this:
The National Cathedral (Woodrow Wilson is buried inside!). It was absolutely stunning, and incredibly large.
Saturday we did the tourist thing. Unfortunately, my pictures didn't turn out well because it was pouring rain.

The Capitol

The White House

Run, Forrest, Run!

So that's my trip in a nutshell, I would love to write more, but for the sake of school I'll refrain. I loved D.C. so much that I'll be going back for another visit in two weeks' time, as a part my program's mobility initiative. My blog will be on holiday until classes are finished, so until May 6, goodbye!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Lady in Pink

It has been a while... the past week consisted of exams, papers, assingments, and a few random things like dinner out for a friend's birthday and a squash tournament (be still my heart). At one point I had a lot to say, but since various blogging attempts were thwarted by technical difficulties, I've forgotten most of it by now. It must be that time in the semester when brain parts stop functioning normally...

Last Sunday on my way to the lab I spotted this, and had to go back to take a photo:

In memory of a beautiful life is one of my favorite statues on campus, and I think someone found her corset to be a bit outdated.

This is the boathouse, where last week's kayaking took place:

Ingrid's 21st birthday was on Monday, and we went out for Thai food.

In this photo: Ludmila (Moldova), myself, Ingrid (Norway) and Becca (MA)

In this photo: Xi "Doris" (China), Katie (CT), Anastasia (Ukraine), Ludmila, and Veselina (Bulgaria - she was my roomate during international orientation).

Ludmila is my closest friend at Smith. I sat down beside her to have dinner one night during orientation, because I didn't know anyone in the room and she was wearing our group's T-shirt. After dinner we went for a walk, discovered that we were going to live in the same residence, and the rest was history. She is an incredibly strong woman - sarcastic, generous, smart, and sensitive. She has worked hard to get here, and I've learned a lot from her (sadly, I had never heard of Moldova before I met her). Getting to spend time with international students has been a great experience that I'll definitely miss next year!

String Theory

I've decided to separate knitting content from other stuff, so that non-knitters can just skip over it. The Opal fish socks are finished just in time for Easter:

I started on Nancy Bush's cable and rib socks for mom, but the colors of the Ultramerino 4 aren't quite as subtle knit up, and seem to be pooling. They also seem a little small. They will likely be ripped out when I find a replacement yarn or pattern. Since my real sister won't wear handknits, a special pseudo-sister will be getting socks (Opal ladybug) for Christmas instead. She is the owner of the first pair of socks I ever knit, and told me that she's wearing holes in them. And I haven't completely forgotten the Vogue sweater... it looks the same as last time, only a bit longer.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Beaver Spit

Warning... the following contains serious bio-nerd material.

I love Fridays, not because it means the school week is over, but because it means plant systematics lab! Yesterday in class my professor was talking about pollination mechanisms. Orchids are particularly interesting: one species has evolved such that the insect drinks its fermented liquid, becomes intoxicated, slides down the flower and picks up some pollen along the way. Another species is slightly bee-shaped and shakes in the wind on thin stems, resembling a swarm of bees. Other bees see this, get mad at it and attack, pollinating the plant in the process.

Back to today... the weather here is unbelievably warm. People have come out of the woodwork and are sprawled across campus in sunglasses and their summer skivvies. For lab we went to the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. What could be better than hiking through the woods on a sunny afternoon while botanizing? Well, maybe getting to see woodfrogs mate. They make loud duck-like sounds during the process which can be heard from hundreds of feet away..

While hiking along the trail, one of my classmates pointed out a tree that had been partially chewed by beavers. The chewed area appeared wet and sticky, and I excitedly thought "Oh cool! We're hot on the trail of beavers - the bark is still wet with their saliva!". This only to feel really stupid when my professor pointed out that it was sap flowing from the tree.

After the field trip, my classmate Allie and I decided to go kayaking on paradise pond. It was beautiful... what else can I say?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Well, I'm back from spring break, and the week is flying by. Break was relaxing - once I was home I didn't do much of anything, except go see the STU jazz concert (good job guys!). Oh how I miss STU jazz... the CD we recorded in 2004 is finally out! On the trip home, I met a PhD student from Paris who was doing a one-year teaching stint at Mount Holyoke College. She was seriously freaked out by the itty-bitty plane we were on, apparently in France they don't even consider the small ones to be planes! The poor girl got even more confused when we went through Canadian security in Montreal. She repeatedly asked the officer: "are you sure you don't want me to take my shoes off?" It was her first time in Canada, so we navigated the airport together.

I did manage to finish mom's birthday present:

It was my first attempt at knitting lace. Yep, this year is all about trying new things...

This week has been tough so far, today was the kind of day where everything I seem to touch breaks or stops working. My lab group spent two and a half hours just trying to get our preparation to work, and the problem is that we don't know enought about the equipment to troubleshoot effectively. Oh, and I think I should have done a different degree. Now I'm going to retreat to my basement cubicle in the library to see if I can make sense of life...

Friday, March 17, 2006

The View From Saturday

So why would a college student be crazy enough to get up at 5 AM on a Saturday morning?
To see this:

Rather, the view of the sunrise over the Connecticut river from atop Mt. Sugarloaf. The air was fresh and the company was excellent. Ah, life is good.

This week has been a whirlwind of schoolwork, but somewhere in there I finished Nanny's ankle socks. Toe grafiting round #2 went much, much better. I decided to do the Family Sock Challenge, which involves knitting socks for family members and a good friend or two. I was all ready to start on socks for mom, when it occured to me that perhaps I should let the wearer choose their sock pattern and yarn, thus avoiding the production of unloved socks... and Dad, I know you don't get the knitting thing, so I have special plans for you.

Meanwhile, I started Opal socks that are supposed to stripe like tropical fish (James Watson included for scale). Yes, I suppose this would be taking the fish collection to a new level...

And randomly, I got to do this super-cool lab last week:
This is an action potential recorded from the nerve cord of an earthworm. It's so cool to be able to visualize what's going on in their little brains! My prof joked that we should make printouts to mail home to mom and dad. Of course, I couldn't refuse the offer...

Spring break is finally here, and tomorrow I'll be heading home. I can't wait to see this little girl:
Rumor has it that she's been rather mischievous lately...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Exhibit A: Canadian Exchange Student

Every now and then, I meet people who are intrigued by my Canadian citizenship, or the fact that I'm a foreign exchange student. This often leads to a barrage of questions, and occasionally they will pull out the "Oh I know someone from Canada" line. When this happens, I always feel a sense of responsibility - what I tell Americans about Canada could either propagate stereotypes or debunk them. (It is sometimes tempting to play a little bit with this one:)

Today was one of those days. As the snow melts, Smith magically transforms into a space for the public to enjoy. Families with young kids and babies galore, dog-walkers, older couples, and skateboarders all take advantage of the sprawling lawns gardens, and paths. I was on my way home from the gym this afternoon when I encountered one of said older couples. This is what ensued:

Man: Excuse me miss, is Smith a coed school?
Jess: No, it's a women's college.
(Couple asks more questions about Smith)
Man: And what year are you in?
Jess: Well, I'm actually an exchange student...
Man: Oh, from where?
Jess: Canada
Man: I should have known, you talk funny. (really?)
Man: Where do you go to school?
Jess: In Newfoundland.
Man: Ooohh, Newfoundland! Wow... we were just Nova Scotia. Yes that's it. Please tell me, what is it really like? It just seems so... out there. (Wife tugs on his elbow)
Jess: (extolls the virtues of Newfoundland and it's physical beauty, and proceeds to answer questions about how to get there).
Wife: So, what do you think of the United States?
Jess: Well...

And so it goes. I actually don't mind this answering of questions. I've found that either A) people have never heard of Newfoundland, New Brunswick, or anywhere other than Toronto and Montreal, or B) people have heard of Newfoundland, but in the context of: "is that the one they always make fun of?" What I tell these people will influence how they think about their neighboring country, and I'm honored to have a chance to set the record straight. It's always interesting to find out how people perceive Canada, and I'm curious to know: how do you perceive the US? And do I really have an accent?

Still nothing on the photo front. I had an alternative planned for today but it will have to wait until blogger fixes this. I'm writing from the Science library where I *will not* be distracted by the lovely row of books next to me. No, I will not succumb to the alluring glossy covers of "Medicinal Chemistry", "Chinese Drugs of Plant Origin", or any of the many plant books. I will not give in... (this is why it is generally not a good idea for me to study in the library). Hopefully the plant books will somehow (through osmosis)inspire me to write my lab report. Just maybe.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tree Embolisms

Yes, trees can have embolisms too! Except, unlike humans, they have neat adaptations to prevent and fix their own embolisms. Yay trees! Anyhow, I seem to be unable to add photos at the moment. The settings on my blog have mysteriously changed, and since I'm a relative neophyte at this it may take a while for me to figure it out. Not much has gone on this week, I've been doing homework at a leisurly pace, reading, and enjoying the warm weather. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Spring Splendor

Wow. I think I'm in heaven... the spring bulb show opened at Smith this morning. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview yesterday, so as to avoid the hoards of people who flock to this thing! I've never seen anything like this... Grampy, I wish you were here to experience this - you would love it! When my lab group entered the greenhouse there was a collective gasp followed by ooohhs and aahhhs. So much work must have gone into growing these flowers and putting together the display. Whoever did it is an artist; the color combinations in the displays are stunning.

On a side note, please let me rave about my plant systematics course for a moment! This course was something I begrudginly added at the last minute for extra credits. Yes, I thought learning about plant names would be boring. Perhaps at another school, but not at Smith! This is my favorite course, and it has been enough to make me reconsider my career path. My prof has been teaching us about the history of botany and plant nomenclature, starting with the ancient greeks and working up to Linnaeus. We studied authors of different herbals that were written in the middle ages, and the characters behind them. Imagine my surprise when Dr. Burke brings us to the rare book room (apparently Smith has the #2 collection of herbals in North America), where he showed us actual copies of these books from their times of publicaton! The earliest one was from the 1484, and one of my favorites was the huge english herbal from 1653, which reflected what was being grown in Elizabethan gardens at the time. I love the history behind these... some of the books had notes added in by later owners, who wrote in the proper scientific names after the publication of Species Plantarum in 1753. Maybe I should become a botanist or curator...

So yesterday, Dr. Burke took our lab to the bulb show. I spent the afternoon basking in the warm colors and fresh scents, and took over one hundred pictures. Here are a few, although they don't come close to reflecting the actual beauty of this display!

Is this not the coolest tulip ever? I think it's called a "Guinea Hen" tulip, the patterned coloration is really neat and unusual.

The little bells on this hyacinth remind me of bloomers...

Friday, March 03, 2006


Pensive, that's how I've been feeling lately. I've been thinking about where I am in life right now, and how much I'm enjoying it. At Smith I've found the rare place where I am both wholly content, confident and comfortable, something I've experienced only once before at Shad Valley. I've finally found somewhere that I fit. This post was supposed to happen on Monday, but somehow it's already Friday. Howe cup was an amazing experience (more to follow), and it took a few days to come down from that high. However, now that the season is over, I feel like I have my brain back - I no longer think about squash every moment of the day, and was able to study. I knew life had returned to normal when I woke up Tuesday morning thinking about membrane potentials and ionic gradients...

School pretty much ate me alive this week, I had two physiology exams and a presentation yesterday. Neurophysiology was a tough beast to tackle, but by the time early Thurday morning rolled around, I hit the sweet spot where all the complex, abstract concepts gelled, and I finally got it. That's the moment I love about tough courses - when this happens I want to explain it to everyone around me (this is when one turns to their dog, or James Watson bobble head in order to avoid strange glances from people). It was slightly comical to see my entire class flock to the campus center for hot, caffeinated beverages after Wednesday night's review session...
Monday night I went to see Sarah Harmer perform at the Iron Horse Music Hall. I'm not a close follower of her music, but one of my housemates (who loves Canada and Great Big Sea) asked me to go. Wow. Not only was the venue perfect (an old yet large and cozy resaurant/pub), but her music held me in a trance for the full two hours. Most impressive though is the fact that I conceded to going out on a Monday night during a week that I had a lot of homework - this is really an accomplishment! Those of you who know me will understand this... It also made me suddenly realize that I'm only here for 2.5 more months. That's a scary thought, I don't want to leave this place, and there is so much I haven't done yet!
And now for one final ramble about squash. Howe Cup - it's what we've been working toward since September. Physical training, mental preparation, nothing could have prepared me for the adrenaline of being there. 30 teams, 16 courts (including a really cool free-standing glass one), parents, and some of the best college players in the US made for an intense atmosphere. While I only won one of my matches, the whole experience was great. Some highlights: catching the ball from a match between the #1 from Trinity and Williams (Trinity is the #2 US women's team) - to which my teammate exclaimed "you touched greatness!", meeting a super-cool 8 year old who was the son of the Harvard coach - this kid had loads of personality and mad squash skills that put me to shame, watching a documentary on dinosaurs and the women's olympic figure skating final with a teammate and laughing the whole time, seeing my captin win one of the most prestigeous awards in women's college squash, being in Harvard square on Friday night in a sea of college students (I love Boston!), bonding with my teammates, and oh yeah - seeing a man walking around the squash courts with a Tim Horton's box!!!
When I got back on Sunday my mind was racing from the weekend. Really, who needs drugs? Just play sports and study hard - it will do the same thing to you.
I'd like to end with a little tribute to my teammates: I've never played on a team like this before, where I so fully enjoyed the friendship and company of my teammates. You made me laugh (a lot), you made me always feel welcome and wanted, you made me a better person and a stronger athlete. I learned from you; you exposed me to new ideas and different cultures. You made a good experience great, and I truly value the friendship that you've given me. I love you guys! And so without further adieu, Smith Squash 2005/2006 (photo credits go to my teammates).

One of our many post-match dinners at the campus center

Getting focused at Seven Sisters, Haverford
The infamous squash cake, made out of marzipan (that's supposed to be my coach after a tough match). Someone pointed out that this would be a good place to mention that every time we drove by the pond at Haverford, my coach would open the window and yell to the geese: "Heelllooo.. go Canada!"
Post-Smith Invitational antics - that's a Smith Tennis trophy from the early 1900's...

Getting coached up between games at Vassar invitatonal

Waiting at Vassar (above), and courts at the Murr Center at Harvard (below)

Accepting our non-trophy from the president of the College Squash Association

And a final, lighthearted goodbye to the season:)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Harvard Bound

I'm off to Harvard tomorrow night for Howe Cup - the women's collegiate national squash championship. I'm just a little bit excited... we're seeded in Division D, but I'm looking forward to seeing some of the top teams play, and just spending the weekend on campus.

One thing I love about Smith is the random holidays. Take, for instance, Mountain day - the college president chooses a nice fall day upon which to ring the college bells, cancelling class so that students can enjoy the outdoors (my house went apple picking). Today was Rally Day - a chance for seniors to wear their hats and gowns, and for the rest of us, a day off.

After finishing some homework I thought it would be a good idea to graft the toe on the first of Nanny's socks, knit using Paton's Kroy. The yarn gave me some attitude while knitting, splitting and twisting like crazy. I'm not a fan of grafting, but how could things go wrong with Sally Melville's excellent instructions and diagram? Wishful thingking. I would like to blame the yarn for the sock saga that followed...

Things were going along well until I got to the point where I had to go back and tighten stitches. Apparently the yarn had split while grafting, which resulted in a bit of a mess. Then I saw the line of instructions that read: "Be very careful not to split the stitches, or it will be IMPOSSIBLE to go back and tighten."
The next 45 minutes was spent gritting my teeth trying to follow the yarn through the grafted stitches, a process not helped by the dark colors. Then I got the bright idea that, if I cut one of the plies of yarn, I could get around the split stitch. Yeah, good one Jess. I wound up with this:

Sigh. And many frustrating moments later, this:

A cute, sturdy ankle sock for the coolest grandmother ever (seriously, this woman wears Harry Potter toe socks). Just don't mind the messy looking toe. The sweater and Branching Out scarf were temporarily cast aside, as I discovered I could knit socks and read at the same time. Hooray for multitasking! And for that reason, socks may be all I knit for the next few weeks, judging by the large pile of homework looming in the corner...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Ten Top Trivia Tips about Jessica!

  1. South Australia was the first place to allow Jessica to stand for parliament!
  2. In Chinese, the sound 'Jessica' means 'bite the wax tadpole'!
  3. The Jessica-fighting market in the Philippines is huge - several thousand Jessica-fights take place there every day.
  4. Apples are covered with a thin layer of Jessica.
  5. Owls cannot move their eyes, because their eyeballs are shaped like Jessica.
  6. There is no lead in a lead pencil - it is simply a stick of graphite mixed with Jessica and water!
  7. Jessica can remain conscious for fifteen to twenty seconds after being decapitated!
  8. The Church of Scientology was founded in 1953, at Washington D.C., by Jessica.
  9. Plato believed that the souls of melancholy people would be reincarnated into Jessica!
  10. Grapes explode if you put them inside Jessica.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Jazz with Jess

Woo hoo! I can't believe it! I've actually managed to get my own two hour radio show on campus. I've been excited about it all week, and now that it's actually materialized I'm a bit nervous. CBC After Hours always made me want to do a show... and now I can. Yikes. And, they gave me a good time slot, Friday nights from 6-8. I guess I'll have to do a good job. Tomorrow I have to attend a four hour training session, much needed as this is all new to me. Yay! I love it when I learn stuff in University that I never expected to...
No pictures tonight, but there might be a knitting and plant update after this weekend.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Terrific Tuesday

I can't believe it's already Tuesday. Ever since classes started the days have been whipping by... school continues to be interesting. Today I gave a presentation on a paper that reveiwed whether or not exercise has effects on cognitive function. I also found out that we might get to go to Boston to observe a Women in Sport learning cluster.

We had the weekend off from squash, which kindly allowed me to catch up on school work (and knit, of course). I started reading The Penelopiad, in which Margaret Atwood gives the narrative of Homer's Odyssey to the wife of the hero and her twelve slain maids. It's been a while since I've read Atwood, and her literary genius never ceases to impress me. Go Canada!

So, here's a knitting update: on Monday I mailed this to Memaire, hopefully it will keep her warm for the rest of the winter! For the grandmother who doesn't have to endure east coast climate, I've cast on a pair of ankle socks which will be for her birthday (photos on Friday).

I managed to get guage for the Vogue sweater and started on that as well. I think it will be a long-term project, as the twisted rib stitch doesn't seem to go very fast.

Well, I hope everyone had a great Valentine's day (thanks for the cards Mom and Dad, they make me smile) and enjoy the rest of the week.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Physics You Can See

I wish they had let us play with oscilloscopes in first year physics. While I had a firm grasp on the theoretical concepts of electrical circuits, it makes so much more sense when you can see the current on the screen! Wednesday we got to play with resistors, capacitors and amplifiers in Neurophysiology lab. Totally cool. And today in Plant Systematics we read translations from the writings of the very first botanist, Theophrastus, a student of Aristotle. Not surprisingly he mixed superstition with science: if a woodpecker sees you cutting a peony, you will lose your eyesight and get prolapsus ani.

On other academic fronts, I'm really not motivated to do work right now. Maybe I shouldn't be panicked about this, because it's only two weeks into class. Maybe I feel this way because I have no immediate goals. I won't win any scholarships for what I do this year. My GPA doesn't transfer to MUN. I'm not looking for a new job or internship. Of course I have pride in my work and will always do a good job, but I've just stopped feeling obsessive about studying constantly. Any tips on how to overcome this? Will I burn in hell if I give myself some slack?

I am extremely motivated for squash however, but I could ramble on about that for days. My biggest acheivement of the week was figuring out how to fix the mistake I made while knitting this:

The "Branching Out" scarf from knittiy, in Elizabeth Lavold Silky Wool. This is my first real lace project, destined to be mom's birthday present (it's ok, she knows about it). I'm forcing myself to read from the chart as a learning experience, instead of reading the words. However, I wasn't paying attention and started to knit wrong side rows on the right side, which resuled in several rows needing to be torn out.

I also wanted to knit a swatch for the Yoke Sweater from Vogue, until I realized that first I had to wind the 475yd hank of Cascade Eco Wool. By hand. I picked up the wool from Webs; it is environmentally friendly, and student budget friendly. Gee, it even smells natural. Well, it's almost Friday again, have a great weekend!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Getting Settled

Having just returned from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, I am very thankful that Smith is located in Northampton. The tournament was good; although we lost, I probably had my best match of the season. Saturday night we went bowling at "HoeBowl" (the name obviously prompted many wisecracks, especially upon witnessing the local culture) with the men's team from Penn State. Unfortunatlely, I missed a match on Sunday because of injury and sickness. Ironically, I quit playing rugby because I was afraid of getting injured, and now I seem to have a chronic use type thing going on in my wrist. Then I had a scary thought - the month of Januray consisted of nothing but knitting and squash - what if I knit my way into a squash injury? Guilt....

This week was a snap back to reality. I forgot how hard it is to balance squash with school. I finally got my courses all settled away, so this is what I'm left with: Neurophysiology, Plant Physiology, Plant Systematics and Youth Sports. They all seem super interesting, and If on occasion I ramble about class content it's only because I find it exciting, and lack someone to share my nerdy enthusiasm.

The best part about starting a new semester is a trip to the bookstore, resulting in shiny new (or used) textbooks and two brand new yellow highliters:

And for some knitting content, I cast on a scarf upon completion of my socks. This is the third lacy scarf I've knit from Plymouth Yarn's Baby Alpaca Brush. I like this project because it's easy to pick up for a few minutes here and there, knits up quickly, and the yarn is incredibly soft. The scarf won't be for me (I'm not a pink person), so if there are any interested takers just let me know. Happy Monday!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Tea Parties and Great Big Sea

Today was the second day of classes; it went alright for the most part. However, I dropped Health Psychology as fast as the instructor could say: "This course will be hellish if you don't like group work". Yes, those were her exact words. Sorry folks, but I work hard for my GPA and come close to having an anyeurism anytime a fellow student takes a crack at it. So, I have yet to finalize my courses. Luckily, my feet were happy while the rest of me suffered through Health Psych, because last night I finished these:

Socks knit using my standard sock pattern and Sheepjes Invicta Coloris yarn, which was a gift from Mom last Christmas. This is my favorite sock yarn, I love the colours and the way it knits up. And thanks to Marie, I now have two more balls waiting in line to be knit up.

One thing about Smith that has amused me is the prevalence of the tea party on campus. Houses have formal teas every Friday afternoon, to which faculty are sometimes invited. In addition, tea is something that is frequently used as a social get together among Smith women. Last Saturday, it was the girl across the hall's birthday, and I found myself in her room with six other girls drinking tea and eating chocolate, which she had brought back from her Christmas travels to Switzerland. Not your usual Saturday night dorm-room party...

I also talked to a girl who lives on my floor, and it turns out that her absolute favorite band is Great Big Sea. She is from New Jersey, and was quite enthralled that I go to school in Newfoundland (to Alan Doyle's alma mater no less), and have seen them in concert. It also turns out that Great Big Sea is coming to Northampton in April. She has tickets but can't go, so guess who gets to be the lucky beneficiary! Well, I have many course syllabi to go through tonight, so that I can decide what my future will entail...

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Last night was awesome. Did I mention before how much I love my team? This weekend, we're hosting our invitational tournament, and our first match was last night against Middlebury College. While we lost, a great time was had by all - the match was followed by Thai food and good team fun. Sometimes I like to think of the random events that brought me here. It was luck that I wound up on the squash team, that I didn't know my way around the gym and accidentally walked in on the varsity team meeting. It was lucky that the team captain worked as a door checker at the music building, where she encouraged me to go out for the team every time I went to go practice.

Now, I'm hooked on a sport that I enjoy more than anything else I've tried. Maybe it's because squash is so new to me that I see progress every day, and it's gratifying. Maybe it's because I get to think and strategize while I play, or because it's a team sport with a strong individual componenet. I alone am responsible for what goes on in my match, yet get to have the support of a team. Mentally and physically gratifying, it also has a social aspect that I was never able to experience while in highschool.

Enough about squash. My five weeks of total brain vegetation will be coming to an end on Monday, when classes start. I'm more than ready, although this break was nice as it was the first I've really had since summer before last. I still have to finalize my course load, although it will include a Health Psychology course, as well as a few plant courses. I'm looking forward to those, because we get to work in the amazing plant conservatory here at Smith. Well, it's beautiful and warm outside, so I'm off to enjoy the weather before heading to a squash match. Have a great weekend!

Lyman Plant Conservatory, Smith College