Saturday, June 16, 2012

How to spend a summer

We will take off for New York early Monday morning. I've spent the last week getting ready, basing my schedule around when it was most convenient to get  different supplies (new clothes, new luggage, etc.). Tonight, I start packing.

As I'm writing this, it's starting to cool off, but for most of today, we've had a heat wave bordering 100 degrees. That's the one thing that I'm dreading about New York; I can't stand hot weather. I could live my entire life in 70 degrees or less, and be completely comfortable. Besides that though, I'm ecstatic to be going on this trip. After building up to this point for the last few months, I no longer have that nervous energy that I usually get before going some place new, but I know that as soon as I land, it will return.

I plan to really take in the sites back East. We will be attending 8 formal lunches/dinners, each at an excellent restaurant. I want to be prepared for these occasions. The dress clothes that I own are mostly black, which won't do well for hot summer afternoons and evenings, so yesterday, my mom took me shopping for some light colored shirts and ties. Aside from these group events, our resident advisers will offer to take us on daily outings to fun locations around the city. I hope to visit the Guggenheim, as well as other major museums. If it's not too hot, I might spend an afternoon wandering through Central Park.

When I'm not feeling quite so adventurous, I might just find a quiet spot to read. Over this summer, I hope to finish 4 books: Jailbird (Kurt Vonnegut), Catch 22 (Joseph Heller), The Island (Aldous Huxley)  and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (Haruki Murakami). All except Catch 22 are by authors I am familiar with. I enjoy Murakami for his ability to invoke emotions, Vonnegut for his irony and sense of humor, and Huxley for his glaring social commentary. Along with these, I must also read two books for my AP Lang class next year: The Elements of Style (William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White) and Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad). I would have probably read these at some point, even if they weren't assigned. If by some miracle I find the time to complete all of these before my vacation is through, than I'll most likely dig into The Radetzky March (Joseph Roth). I don't know why I'm reading so many books by guys named Joseph. I guess my taste in literature focuses on 20th century classics. I find that most writers before then (besides Alexander Dumas) bore me, and although there are plenty of excellent modern authors, I'd rather spend my time reading what has already obtained critical acclaim.

I think between classes, site-seeing, reading and hanging out with friends, I'll be more than occupied this summer. That's all I can really say. I'm sure I'll have much more to blog about after Monday, when I can talk about what I've done, rather than what I think I might do. A few days from now, I'll be in the beginning of the greatest adventure of my life (thus far). Until then, I'll just have to keep packing.

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