I didn’t do my usual weekly updates in April because I was trying to do the A to Z Challenge and Camp NaNoWriMo. April ended up being my busiest month yet (hence the coffee beans in the header, as I’m sure I’ve consumed gargantuan quantities) and of course, since I bit off more than I could chew, all of those things suffered. I only got to J in the A to Z Challenge (although that’s better than not hitting A) and I had to halve my Camp NaNo goal after a long stretch of not being able to get a single word in. But I still hit my 365k Club goal for the month, I added more than 20k onto my WIP, and I submitted some stuff to literary journals (and got some stuff accepted!). This post might end up longer and more reflective than usual.
There were so, so many highlights this month.
April 1st kicked off with the first ever poetry slam I’ve attended, hosted by my friend and Atlantis coworker Caroline Orth, and it was incredibly fun. I followed it up by attending the release party for Celestial Kitty Danny-Chan, the debut indie release from my talented friend Tess Duck.
I registered for summer and fall classes and have a schedule that I’m ridiculously excited about, which includes a one-month, for-credit study abroad program in nothern Germany in July.
I spent two days hanging out with Cathy Day, who came to campus as a speaker on her lovely book of under-the-big-tent short stories, The Circus in Winter. I had the chance to eat dinner with her twice, talking about some of my favorite books, NaNoWriMo, and writing in higher ed; listen to her give lectures on the book, the history of social media, and novel-writing; get my copy of the book signed (my first-ever author-signed book); and more. Probably the highlight of my month.
I spent my roommate’s birthday weekend with her in her home, hosted by her lovely family. This weekend included cake, my first-ever pedicure, and learning how to play Settlers of Catan.
I attended numerous celebrations, including the Residence Hall Association Banquet, the library’s Art Invitational & Flash Fiction Contest celebration, the Atlantis Release Party, the Cornerstone Awards, the Student Media Awards, and a lovely Seder meal with my church family.
I hosted or helped host two events that have been in the works for weeks or months–the Atlantis Scrabble Night at the dining hall (otherwise known as my baby since February) and the “Tri-pical Landing Luau,” a huge end-of-year celebration for my residence hall (otherwise known as the biggest event-planning nightmare/success I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of). This tops off a year of learning about programming and coordinating that I had no idea I’d embark on last August.
At the end-of-year auction hosted by RHA, I won an 18-piece cookware set for the apartment next year that I’m way too excited about.
And on Friday I and other members of one of my organizations got to meet with the Chancellor and Provost to discuss the future of my university and academic department, followed by a photo session where I climbed a tree for the first time in years and a smoothie date. Followed by a cookout/party with friends I don’t get to spend enough time with, which was a wonderful end to the year.
Now I’m finishing up my finals and preparing to leave my dorm for the last time. As of this afternoon, I will be totally finished with my freshman year. I could not have imagined a better way to spend it.