Yes, dear readers, I am still alive! It is amazing how quickly the time has flown by since my last post. Everything is still going well. Amy and I have indeed got along “swimmingly” and we have already renewed our lease for an additional year. Our landlord is still as delightful as ever, and I am very glad to know that HE is glad that we have decided to stay. You see, his original intent was to sell the house, but an opportunistic realtor and 400+ days on the market has induced him to consider renting it out in the meantime. His intent to eventually sell remains the same. However, Amy and I are so delighted with the house and the situation that we immediately set out to “win him over,” so to speak. Each month, we usually include (with our rent checks) a little card or note with brief updates about our life– ie. how school is going, plans for the garden, etc. Yes, I kid you not, we write letters to our landlord. All that is lacking is a heartwarming picture of us eating ramen on the porch and perhaps he and his wife just might adopt us for just 40 cents a day. Are you retching yet? Say what you’d like, but I think it is working.

Despite this lovely portrait I’ve drawn of two girls in a house writing letters all day, we’ve pretty much been overwhelmed by school. I’d just like to confirm that it is very true what that say, about how busy first year is. Do I still look the same? I certainly don’t feel the same. Looking back, I’ve realized just how much I’ve learned in one year and it astounds me. There were times when I was delirious from studying and all I wanted to do was just lay my head down and let my brains ooze out of my ears– as if all that newly acquired information was causing the pressure inside my head to increase. I don’t know what I’d do if my friends weren’t there to prod me along and encourage me. It is so nice to know you’re not alone and that all your classmates feel the same. But no matter how incredible it seems at the time, we get through it all in the end. But it’s not the pressure of keeping up with assignments, tests, and responsibilities that gets you down. No, it’s never that. Everyone of us has learned how to make list and get things done. No matter how many items were on there, if it had to be done, it was done. It’s all the things you can’t do. All the things that didn’t make it on the list. The people you wanted to spend time with, the groups you wanted to help, the projects you wanted to work on (*cough, blog)– all that gets pushed aside. That no matter how understanding everyone is, it still makes me sad. You always wonder, if you had managed yourself better, whether you could have got around to those things after all?

However I can’t be too hard on myself and I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t enjoying my time here. I don’t regret it for a minute, and if it wasn’t worth the sacrifices, I wouldn’t still be here. This has easily been one of the best years of my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone who’s been understanding and supportive. School starts again in a week. They say 2nd year leaves you with a little more free time, now that you’ve gotten into the groove of things. Here’s to that list of things I didn’t get around to the first year!