“luved it! try adding some basil for an extra “punch” —- thanks christine! we had fun making it in madrid: two americans and one german. we also added some ginger for a little extra pizzaz” -Elena, Dylan, and me reviewed the Roasted Butternut Squash soup we made on January 6, 2013.
A customary tradition is to give thanks and praise to people who helped you create something delicious. For us, this was food. Food gives us life and life gives us food. This kind of reflective thinking is especially prominent at the beginning of a new year. A new year is a time where people reflect upon the last year and make new promises they intend to keep for the new year. Either the promises reflect something they wish had happened or a habit or something they want to change.
For me, 2012 was a year of music, fun, and growth. During college, some of my friends and I started a band called Dr. Nudel. Dr. Nudel was a real music venture but it lacked some of the seriousness of other bands. Rather than getting caught up on image and pride, the band was more of a band of friends for fun. The most serious thing we did was to record our music with Don Peake, Ray Charles’ first white guitarist in Los Angeles (check out nudel.bandcamp.com if you are interested). My new years’ resolution might be to play more music now that I have been reunited with my silver trumpet (prior I have been playing on my worthless pocket trumpet in a city that makes it difficult to play music indoors).
Another landmark of 2012 was the end of college and the start of a new education. I graduated from Pitzer College with a bachelors degree in American Government, an honors thesis on presidential history, and a Fulbright Fellowship to teach English in Madrid, Spain. It was also the end of Camp Pitzer, by far one of the most interesting experiences of my life. While at Pitzer, I met people from all interests and many walks of life. I was exposed to different ways of thinking. A liberal arts education gave me the skills to be a critical thinker and a social activist. Many of the things I learned at Pitzer were academic but many enriching activities were extracurricular. As a member of the Kohoutek Arts and Music Festival Committee, I gained experience in being a team player in selecting bands, operating a festival, communicating with appropriate people, and coordinating activities. As the President of the Student Senate, I learned about college governance and community organizing. As a writer for the Student Life and the Orange Peel, I kept the community informed about current events at the Colleges. I made many relationships and friendships that will last for the rest of my life. As a customary Pitzer student, I applied for a Fulbright and received a wonderful opportunity to live, work, learn, and teach in Madrid for ten months.
So far, this experience has challenged me and exceeded my expectations in many respects. I have found that teaching is incredible. I have realized that my Spanish can improve and language competency is possible. I have found out that I can live in a big city and be relaxed. It is stupendous. Today is the last day of Christmas break. Tomorrow I go back to school. All of the friendly faces of students will return and the teachers as well. This month will be the first month of the WhatsApp Times, a student newspaper I started last month at my school. The first issue should be out at the end of this month. I may also switch out of my art classes and get some geography/history classes. I will keep you all updated about my newspaper. Also to look for are possible mushroom foraging activities and a future trip to Barcelona. Here’s a new year’s promise: to spread education and to new experiences. Corny, yes but achievable as well.