Last night I got to see people from home! My church’s middle schoolers were on a Gatlinburg trip for fall break, and my best friend is the youth assistant. So I drove out to Gatlinburg and got to have dinner with her and some of the girls I taught last year in Sunday School. They were so cute–they kept saying how much they missed me and wanted to know about my love life (about which I remained annoyingly cryptic), and they talked about all the trials of seventh grade. (“My chemistry teacher is EVIL.” or “My parents make me do chores every week but only pay me every other week.”) Oh, to be young again. It made me feel special knowing that I was missed, and it was good to see Laura in person instead of just reading about her life through email.

So I’ve decided I’m more scared of this Old English midterm than I originally confessed. I’ve been trying to study for it, and aside from memorizing every verb there is, I have no idea how to prepare for this test. And I really need to do well since this accounts for about 1/3 of my grade. Ugh. I’m seriously considering becoming a modernist just so I don’t have to deal with this anymore. (Only not really. It just wouldn’t be the same.)

And I miss people. And playgrounds. And laughing so hard my stomach hurts. And spinning around and around until I’m so dizzy I collapse onto the grass. And gazing up at the starts. And hoping. I need to hope more and dream more. I don’t want grad school to be the death of what little faith and optimism I have left. Lord, have mercy.

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