|Me and our TA, Marjorie|
|Me and our Professor, Kate|
I'll write about my last day and my return home as one giant day, because that is really what it felt like. Friday was the last day of class. Our professor showed up with two boxes full of doughnuts, which were delicious and an incredibly sweet gesture (pun totally intended). We spent the last few hours of class time giving our presentations on our final research projects. My group went first, and spent the rest of class sitting back and listening. I realized that I didn't actually know many of the details of my classmates' studies, so it was great to listen to them explain their various findings. After the last group presented, that was it. Class was done! That was the first moment that I really started to feel the sadness setting in. I hadn't let it fully hit me yet, but this is when I first started to feel like everything was over. Luckily I wasn't the only one -- everyone else in the class was on the same page. We all exchanged plenty of hugs, and got together for group photos and individual shots with Kate and Marjorie.
|Class selfie, courtesy of Hannah|
|Angelica and I went looking for mixing bowls,|
but found a month's supply of black beans
instead. College, everyone.
After lunch I went to my room and finished up packing. The afternoon seemed to go by so slowly. Most other people were still in class, and the dorm seemed so empty. Luckily, after wandering around for a while and running into a couple different small groups of people, my friend Angelica and my roommate Michelle invited me down to the community kitchen to help them bake brownies! We had to improvise a bit (the lack of mixing bowls and baking dishes was easily remedied with a nonstick saute pan and some muffin tins), but the brownies turned out great in the end. Before they were done baking, I found out that my friend Hannah would be leaving early. I ran over to say goodbye to her and she gave me the hugest hug ever. I'll miss her so much! Once the brownies were out (and once each of us had had our fill) we ended up bringing them to the lounge where the ice cream social would be and donating them to the line up. We crumbled them up so that others could enjoy them as an ice cream topping.
The ice cream social was incredible! The RA's really went all out, with tons of different flavors of ice cream and all sorts of crazy toppings. After almost everyone had been served, they set up a karaoke sing along up on the projector. Not everyone was willing to participate, but a small group of us sang our hearts out to classics such as Reflection from Mulan and Bohemian Rhapsody. As the sing-along wound down, I ended up sharing a great moment with Ernestina when Mauricio requested "Fly Me to the Moon" as performed by Frank Sinatra. We sang while swing dancing and had a blast. As the evening went on, I made my rounds to try and visit all my friends. I ended up in one of the fifth floor lounges, where a bunch of people had gathered to watch a horror movie. It was so much fun huddling together and screaming as the suspense was built and released. A wonderful last memory with my new friends.
|California here I come, right back where|
I started from!
From their it was a full morning of relatively smooth travel. I sat next to a lovely woman and her four-year-old daughter on the airplane. She was an AP Spanish teacher from Chicago traveling to California on vacation, and we had some excellent conversations about the similarities of schools in Chicago and California, our experiences with the Spanish language, and Developmental Psychology. Her daughter also told me all about Dora the Explorer and her favorite superhero, Spider-Man (my favorite, also!). While it has and will be so great to be back home with my family, it was hard to say goodbye to everyone -- especially my fellow cohort members who went through this whole experience with me. Parting is such sweet sorrow. I will definitely hold on to all the memories of this great experience! So long, Chicago!