MIZ–I♥U

I've got a lot on my plate these days. Papers and projects and presentations are tugging me in too many directions. My brain won't stop thinking, and my body won't stop twitching. (Seriously. I am prone to stress-twitching.) I'm not sure how everything is going to get done on time (even though I know it all always gets done somehow). Still, though, there's not a day that I set foot on campus that I'm not grateful to be there. Today marks a year since I learned I'd been accepted to Mizzou, but my excitement over this fact hasn't waned.

Every day when I see the columns, a little giddy voice inside me says, "Oh, my gosh. I get to go to Missouri." I get to go to Missouri. That makes all those papers and projects and presentations more bearable.

A long blog that you should read anyway.

So one of the most interesting things about coming to Mizzou has been getting to see what's popular at a different school in different part of the country. The first thing that I noticed about Mizzou was the way the students dress. On the first day of class, approximately one million girls were wearing this number: neon sports bras, sorority slub tanks and Nike track shorts.

dailyduds.jpg

(Do you like the little Photoshop compilation I made for you? Legs from one model, torso from another, sports bra and shorts just stuck on in there? Thought you would.)

My initial reaction was, "OH, so this is their hazing. They make the girls wear these outfits." But no. The first day came and went. And girls were still wearing this. It's like the thing to wear.

On the one hand, I can see the logic in this wardrobe choice. For the first two weeks of classes, it was approximately one billion degrees on campus. On the other hand, I can't see the logic. Because they're going to class. With their sports bras sticking out.

So if that's how the girls look, how do the boys look? They look bearded.

boyswithbeards.jpg

I know what you're saying. You're saying, "Kate, they might look bearded, but they don't look like Jon Hamm and Brad Pitt." To which I say, "Au contraire, monsieur."

Okay, actually not au contraire. You are right. (And you're probably not a monsieur.) They don't look like Jon Hamm and Brad Pitt. But they do look bearded, and I can't miss an opportunity to remind people that Brad Pitt and Jon Hamm went to Mizzou.

And as long as we're speaking in French, want to know what else is rampant on Mizzou's campus? Amour de Apple. Seriously. I know that I posted this same Mizzou classroom picture back in February, but now I've seen this Apple love with my own eyes, and it still amazes me. Classrooms actually look like that.

apple+collage.jpg

Also, the Mizzou campus is like one big iPhone-fest. It's not just the majority of kids who have iPhones. It is the vast majority.

(I also see a surprising number of kids — undergrads, grads and non-J-School kids alike — traipsing around campus with iPads. They're all like, "No big deal. Just chillin' with my iPad.") It's like the future.

Another thing kids love at Mizzou (and my favorite spot on campus) is the completely ridiculous — nay, opulent — recreation center, which everyone calls The Rec. I always go after my classes end, so I have it to look forward to all day.

Going into The Rec is sort of like watching MTV's Cribs. It just seems like way more than anyone could ever need in the way of recreational space.

Don't like the cardio theater?

Go to quiet cardio zone.

Don't like the locker room?

Go to the fancier locker room. (Just $16 a month.)

Don't like the weight room?

Go to the other weight room.

Don't like the pool?

Go to the other pool.

Don't like the other pool?

Go to the other, other pool.

Don't like the other, other pool?

Go to the sauna, ya whiner.

Don't like your toenails?

GO GET YOUR TOENAILS DONE. IN THE REC.

That little Q&A there just began to touch on all that there is in The Rec. I found out recently that The Rec was actually rated the number one recreational center in the country by Sports Illustrated. I'm not surprised.

(My favorite thing to do in The Rec is the hip-hop spin class. Have you guys ever been spinning? It is so fun. Go try it. The class I go to is in a black-lit room, and they play loud music, and we all just spin away.)

There are also some random popular things at Mizzou or in Columbia that don't fit nicely into any categories. They include but are not limited to:

1. Tiger Stripe ice cream

I still haven't tried it, but it is made on campus, and people love it.

2. Churches

Everyone I talk to goes to a different church, and everyone I talk to loves their his or her church. I've visited three, and I liked all three of them. (First world problems, right?)

3. Smart people

Everybody seems smart here. [I am like not even that special anymore. (Just kidding, bahaha.)] But, seriously, it makes sense that Columbia is the 13th most educated city in the country! Or at least it was in 2006.

4. "Evangelists"

There are always people "evangelizing" in the speaker's circle at Mizzou. I keep getting this urge to throw Bibles at them and yell "Jesus doesn't motivate with guilt!" But I'm pretty sure that Jesus doesn't motivate by throwing Bibles either. (In other news, Brother Jed's home base is at Mizzou.)

5. Swearing

People love to swear at Mizzou. Profs swear at students. Students swear at profs. Profs swear in their lectures. Students swear in their homework. And it's all no big deal. No big deal, #$@% it!

6. Smoking

People also like to smoke on campus. I will never understand.

7. HyVee

People love this grocery store called HyVee. I went there, and I was all excited to experience it, but it turned out to be...a grocery store.

8. Hating kansas

People hate kansas here. They hate it so much that they don't even capitalize the k. That is the middle finger of grammar. (Prior to moving here, I'd only seen the middle finger of grammar used for satan.)

9. Asians

There are so many Asians here. (Do you like how I represented them with a picture of Russell from Up? Thought so.) I'm pretty sure there are more Asians in the grad school than non-Asians.

10. Parking garages

I pay $170 a year to park in parking garages, and I spend a lot of time in parking garages. They are taking over the city of Columbia, and there's still not enough parking.

Wow, parking garages make kind of a lame note to end on. I should have thought of that when I was arranging my collage, but it is 1:12 a.m. now, and there is no way that I am opening up Picasa to rearrange that and make a better conclusion for you guys. Has journalism school taught me nothing!?

p.s. I'm starting a new series on my blog called "Grammar with Kate." Clever, right? No, not right. If you can thing of a better name, let me know. It will be a grammar series inspired by pop culture happenings. First topic of discussion: Lady Gaga's new song "You and I." So much is wrong with that song. (Grammatically and otherwise.) Get excited.

Life in Missouri

The days since I moved to Missouri have been a bit of a whirlwind. I'd hoped to blog the whole moving and settling process, but I'm two weeks in, and I've already done so many things and met so many people that that task seems more than a little daunting now. Overall, the last couple of weeks have been amazing. Part of me can't believe I've already been here for two weeks, and part of me can't believe I've only been here for two weeks. Classes start tomorrow, but I finally feel like I'm into the groove of Missouri life, so I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that I'm about to experience another major change.

Here's a brief illustrated overview of my first two weeks in the Show-Me State:

Packed up two cars and headed west. Stopped in Louisville to say goodbye to Jack—on his 24th birthday, no less!

2011-08-21.jpg

Arrived in Missouri nearly 10 hours later. (We'll do it faster next time!) I was eager to see the J-School.

2011-08-211.jpg

Spent the first few days unpacking, shopping, assembling, visiting campus and generally dreading saying goodbye to my parents. (Check out my new washing machine! And we tried out the froyo, duh.)

Mizzou+blog1.jpg

After the horrible goodbye, I headed to my new roomie's house in Sedalia to spend the weekend. Went to the state fair and even hit up Kansas City with Alysa and Bethany. Perfect distraction.

Mizzou+blog11.jpg

Arrived back in Columbia after the weekend and found that my parents had left surprises all over the house! (I think they're trying to fatten me up.)

Recently+Updated.jpg

Spent the next several days going to orientations, meeting new people, hanging with Alysa, walking all over campus and generally being amused by Alysa's cat. She seems to like my feet a lot.

Mizzou+blog3.jpg

And, of course, there've been lots of reminders of this little lady, Lindsay, all along the way. If you don't know the story of our internet friendship, read this. The photo in the top right might need a little explaining.* See below.

Mizzou+blog2.jpg

I've been truly amazed by the warm reception I have gotten from everyone here in Missouri. Coming from a state as friendly as Kentucky and a school as tight as Asbury, I expected that I would have to adjust to interacting with people whose overall dispositions were not as warm as those I was used to. But, seriously. Everyone is so nice. Everyone. (I know this can't possibly be completely true. I'm sure that one day I will meet a mean Missourian, but it hasn't happened yet.) Midwestern politeness is legit.

One highlight of my life in Missouri so far has been finally getting to know my internet-friend Gwen and her lovely roommates in real life. (Wish I had pictures to show you all of the adventures we have already shared.) Gwen, let's take pics next time! I have felt so welcomed by them, and after a 460-mile move, welcomed is just about the best feeling I can think of.

I have to admit that before I moved, I had these visions of myself doing things alone in Columbia. Like if saw movie previews for anything that was due out in mid-August or later, I'd be like, "Oh, I can't wait to see that with...myself." But, guess what, I have been to two movies since last Friday, and I didn't see either one of them by myself.

I'm waking up just about every day now eager to find out how God is going to surprise me next. From the seemingly-chance encounter with Lindsay's friends* and my instant connection with Gwen and her roomies to the fact that the girl who just happened to sit next to me at T.A. orientation yesterday is also a Christian and wanted to check out the same church that I did, I keep getting the overwhelming sense that God is directing my every step. And that is an incredibly reassuring feeling.

I still get sad when I think about the people I love back in Kentucky, but I have not experienced the terrible homesickness and fear that I had braced myself for. I know that so many people have been praying for me here, and I am so, so appreciative of that. God has been answering those prayers in such surprising ways.

My classes start tomorrow, and I am nervous. I'm nervous about getting to all the right places, and I'm nervous about being a T.A. in a huge class (eek!), and I'm nervous about graduate level coursework and about trying to continue to develop these new friendships once the semester really gets underway. But I know that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. I know that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. And that is enough.

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8


*I was in Which Wich and wanted a sandwich, but I didn't know how to use the brown bag system, so I asked this girl in front of me in line what I was supposed to do. I started talking to her and her friend, and we went through the usual "Where are you from? What's your major?"-type questions. Anyway, the girls, Elaine and Allie, invited me to sit with them at lunch. And I was thinking, "Man, these Missouri people are nice. I just met them."

So we walked over and started talking to their other friend, Katie, while we waited for our 'wiches. Katie mentioned that she worked at YMCA of the Rockies this summer, and I was like, "Um, that sounds really familiar, but I have no idea why. Like, really familiar.  Like, I must have read about it on the internet somewhere." And then they mentioned that it was part of this program called "Leadership Training," and I was like, "Wait, is that connected to The Rock?"

And they were like, "Um, YEAH, how do you know about The Rock?" And I was like, "Funny story, actually. I started talking to this girl on the internet after I found her blog, and she went—" And they were like, "WAIT, what was her name!?" And I was like, "Lindsay Cochrum." And then there was shrieking inside of Which Wich. And they were, "WAIT, ARE YOU!? ARE YOU!?" And I was like, "The Ship?"

And then there was more shrieking inside of Which Wich. Because, yes, I was The Ship, and they were friends with Lindsay. So we ended up calling Lindsay and then just having an all-around delightful lunch during which we basked in the coincidence providential encounter. (Can you bask in an encounter? I don't know, really. But I think we did.) Seriously, though. The odds of this situation were like nil. I don't talk to people in front of me in restaurant lines all that often, and even less often do random people in restaurant lines invite me to sit with them. And 32,000 students go to Mizzou.

Black and yellow.

I GOT INTO MIZZOU.

2526966893_aa9457a6d6.jpg

via

I know, right!? I am freaking out. I have no words, and I don't really have time for words because I am leaving for Florida for SPRING BREAK in approximately two hours and have not packed a darn thing, but I needed to tell the bloggy world. Thanks for all your encouragement.

I will blog more about this soon! (FROM FLORIDA!)

p.s. I think Mizzou's colors are actually black and gold, but I will be singing that "Black and Yellow" chorus all week.

All I want for Christmas

is to get into Mizzou. Sing it, Mariah.

output-1.gif