Good Friday everyone! First off, orders of business- I'm glad to hear that everything's okay Casey! I hope your exams are going well and good luck with the rest of your work. :)
How do I feel about kids? I really like them! The Psychology lab I work in studies early language learning in young children, so if I didn't like them I'd be a bit miserable at my job. We usually have at least one infant come in every day, so we get to see lots of cute little kids at my job. I had some regular babysitting jobs back in high school and, if I may say so, the kids I babysat were pretty fond of me as I was of them. One girl I used to babysit was in first grade when I started and now she's in eighth... I still can't wrap my head around that. And the boy who I used to help get ready for bed and read to is now in high school.... what? For the past 9 years or so I've also helped out at vacation bible school in the summer, so lots of working with kids for me. So yes, I like kids! That doesn't mean I want my own anytime soon though. I don't want my own for ten years or so, thank you very much. That is just too much responsibility. I'll happily play with others' kids, but also happily hand them back over to their parents at the end of the day. All in due time.
As for my favorite culture aside from my own, I feel like this is a bit of a cop out as I'm moving there in 3 (wow... only three now?) months, but I have to say French culture. I really enjoyed living there for 1.5 months back when I did study abroad two summers ago and I'm excited to live there in a more longterm situation. One of the best, but also most annoying parts of French culture is, I think, that practically everything is closed on Sundays. Businesses (not all, if I remember correctly, but most) are actually fined if they are open on Sunday. Large businesses like big chain supermarkets can afford to be open on Sundays because their profits outweigh the fines, but smaller businesses can't and are therefore closed. This is annoying when you need to buy something or want to go out to eat, but very nice because it also gives you forced time off. The French are big fans of having time to relax, simply being at home and just sitting, doing nothing, relaxing. Another thing I love about French culture is the acceptance of, like I mentioned, being able to enjoy doing nothing. Parks are a big part of culture in France. A difference between parks here and in France, though, is that French parks are full of people sitting on benches and doing nothing except enjoying their surroundings. They don't feel the need to always be doing something, be it reading a book, talking on the phone, listening to music. Sometimes it's nice to just sit and watch.
And now onto this week's topic! This topic actually comes during a very opportune week- I'm leaving on a roadtrip down to Texas with my friend Kyle on Monday and I'm very excited. So what am I looking forward to this summer? In a word, travel. From June 20-30 I'll be on this upcoming roadtrip and July 23- August 9 I'll be out in Connecticut spending time at my favorite place in the world, camp (with a day spent in New York seeing How to Succeed and the Discovery store Harry Potter exhibit!). On the upcoming roadtrip, Kyle and I will be stopping in Indianapolis, Memphis, Little Rock, Dallas, Austin on the way down to Corpus Christi, Texas to visit our friend Alex who now goes to grad school there. And on the way back up we're spending a day in New Orleans (so excited to finally visit) and then stopping in Nashville. We're also going to stop and visit any interesting places we see on the way or any city names we see on exit signs that catch our eye. This will be my first real roadtrip, so I can't wait. We're calling it "Time and Relative Dimension in America." We are huge Doctor Who geeks, so we are of course going to be turning his car into our own personal TARDIS for the trip (putting the "pull to open" sign in one of the windows, putting the police box sign in the back window, etc.). I've also asked some friends to make roadtrip playlists for me, which they have done, so I'm looking forward to discovering some new music during our six 9-hours-of-driving days (3 there and 3 back).
Naturally I am also COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY EXCITED for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2!!!! Nothing can express how much excitement I am feeling about this, excitement and many other emotions. I was going to watch the final trailer last night, but I just couldn't bring myself to. I kept thinking that this was the last time I would ever be seeing an HP trailer for the first time and I couldn't do it. It's the last time too, and I want to be as surprised as possible when I see the movie. With the past movies I've often already known most of the scenes due to the trailers and prereleased clips. I'm trying something new with this one and going in mostly naive to the movie (well, except for basically the whole plot of the book, but you know).
This is pushing it when talking about what I'm looking forward to this summer, but I'm also, of course, looking forward to moving to France in September! I'm planning on leaving around September 20, so that's technically still summer (technically!). It's scary and exciting and just crazy and I still can't really believe I'm doing it. I think it won't feel completely real until I receive my school assignment and know what town I will actually be in (I know I'll be in the Lille area, but the actual town is still a mystery). Once I receive that information I can start looking into housing and I'll have to start the charming process of obtaining my visa.
Basically, what this summer boils down to is: Travel and HARRY POTTER!