List highlights 4 favorite things about semester

I really like to make lists. Grocery lists of food that will not fit in my tiny fridge, shopping lists of things I could never afford, to-do lists of things I will never accomplish…you know. The usual.

I make these lists during class, on the train, during church services, on the couch, with a mouse?. But today I?ve decided to make a list of favorites. I?m eating Sour Patch Kids (a favorite), and would like to tell you my four favorite things about this semester.

4. I have ?Chicago-ized? my wardrobe.

I?ve always been content wearing a T-shirt and jeans, but since being constantly surrounded by trendy hipster types, I?ve been transformed. Leggings, tights, hats, scarves, mittens, dresses, boots, cardigans, skirts, peacoats?you name it, I now own it.

I have spent far too much money and time on this endeavor, but I say it?s worth it. I also have two facial piercings now?my nose and eyebrow. I love them, but my parents just might feel differently?. Oops.

Kendra has also become quite the knitter. She makes these amazing floppy hat things that I wear all the time. This is exponentially cheaper than buying hats, plus I win roommate points for wearing her creations.

3. My classes are awesome.

I?m double-majoring in Spanish and communications, and I?m taking two Spanish classes and two communications classes. It?s perfect.

Intercultural communication is probably my most interesting class. The entire course is one big group project?the class is split into six groups of five students, and each group is assigned a culture to study.

Group members are expected to immerse themselves in their particular cultures?join a campus group, attend events, listen to the music, attend a church service, eat the food, learn a little of the language and make personal friends with members of the culture.

My group has Middle Eastern culture, and I can?t believe how much there is to learn. It?s fascinating. I?ve learned culture affects everything about the lives of its people?what they like to eat, what they believe, what they think is funny, what they like, what they don?t like, who they don?t like, what they wear, how they talk?everything. There?s so much to think about.

The other day, we had an assignment to write the story of our family. Each person took it differently, but when we all shared with the rest of the class it was amazing to hear how we were from different countries and religions and backgrounds, but were in the same classroom, at the same university. Beautiful.

2. I have a job.

I am an independent contractor for KGrace Childcare Inc., a baby-sitting service that places sitters with clients. I heard about this job because I met the owner/founder/president randomly in the Chicago airport on my way back from fall break.

I sit regularly for two families right now. The kids are so much fun, the parents are great, and the pay is also?quite nice.

The kids and I have gone to Shedd Aquarium, built forts, gone to Lincoln Park Zoo, watched ?Up,? reenacted nearly the entire ?Star Wars? story, attempted math homework that I couldn?t even figure out, and are going to Pocket Puppies (a pet store) sometime this week. Best job ever.

1. Becky Steketee is here.

It?s true! She?s here for a whole semester. I seriously could not be happier about this. All last semester, I wanted nothing more than one friend from home to be near me. Now one is.

Becky?s apartment is about an hour away, but we are trying to see each other once a week. We do lots of shenanigans?last weekend, we went grocery shopping! Magical, I know. Except we borrowed/stole a shopping cart from the grocery store and pushed it a mile back to my school. Yogurt and various frozen items are much heavier than one might expect.

So this is my life these days. Not a lot is going on, but between school, work and friends, I?m still loving Chicago. Clearly, I?m also still loving these random, cheesy column-endings. Cute, I know.