Sunday, July 26, 2015


Today marked the start of our last week here. I let myself sleep more than normal today, so I woke up feeling very well rested. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but because Abigail, my roommate, lives in Chicago, she goes home on the weekends. This means I have the room to myself on the weekends, which is a little luxurious but mainly just kind of lonely. The contrast between having a roommate during the week and being alone on the weekends is evidence for me that I will want a double and not a single for dorm life in college.

I spent the morning doing various forms of exercise. First I went on a run, and then I went swimming at the gym. Then I got some stuff in order in my room before heading down to the dining hall for an early lunch. At 12, Jae-An and I met Alana in front of the dorms. Like last week, we were the only two of our cohort attending the excursion.

Pretty Paperweights
We took the Metra train downtown, and it deposited us right next to the Art Institute, which is situated between Grant Park and Millenium Park. Alana and I waited in line to get into the Art Institute while Jae-An went to explore the parks. Once I got in (for free, yay!), my first stop was the Thorne Rooms. On the way there I looked at some elaborate paperweights. Then, I visited the Thorne Rooms! They were fascinating. I really wish I could shrink down and personally explore them. I can’t decide if I like the American or the European rooms better. I liked the miniature items in the American rooms more, and they were cozy and felt more like dioramas, where as the European rooms were spacious and ornate. However, the fancy feel of the European rooms was appealing, and really made me want to travel to France. My favorite thing about the rooms was how detailed the surroundings of the rooms were, most rooms had extensions to mini rooms next to them or outside views.

After thoroughly inspecting the Thorne Rooms, I ventured up the stairs to the Impressionist area and was almost immediately greeted by George Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Grande Jatte. I then explored the rest of the Impressionist rooms and was quite impressed. It is insane how much extraordinary art is inside the Art Institute! I couldn’t get to all of it, but I managed to see all the notable pieces I’d been planning to. I was a little disappointed that Mary Cassatt’s Child’s Bath was on loan to a different museum so I wasn’t able to see that, but all the other artwork made up for it.

Masterpiece of Pointillism
Inspiration for Newman's Pretzels?
Despite being amazing, the Art Institute visit was still tiring, and I was very low on energy during the bus ride back and when we returned to campus. Luckily, playing soccer on the Midway with other members of the program perked me up. Dinner was a brief affair, since we’d be having our last study break at 9 and it sounded like it was going to be a feast. Sure enough, the RAs had prepared a vast array of sweet treats. This was a lovely end to the weekend and I probably consumed enough sugar to energize me for the next six days, until I can get home and bake my own goodies. I have really missed creating in the kitchen and that’s one of the things I’m most looking forward to doing when we return next Saturday.

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