Someone informed me yesterday that the semester was already half over. It took me about five minutes and looking at several calendars to finally realize that this semester really was pushing into its second half.
I can’t believe it.
Part of the reason its moving so fast for me is that I’ve been maintaining a very busy schedule since I returned to Azusa. It didn’t take long for me to get back in the swing of things here at main campus. Right away I started working at both of my new jobs: one as a representative for the High Sierra Program in the Study Abroad Office, and the other as the Photo Editor for the school’s newspaper, The Clause.
As a representative for the High Sierra Program, myself and another alumni work together promoting the program through class visits and presentations, informational meetings, advertising around campus, and also working closely with the students interested in the semester by helping them line up their class schedules and securing everything for them to be able to make it up to Bass Lake. I’ve had such a great time working this job so far and its allowed me not only the opportunity to stay in touch with everyone from the program, but also the privilege to just talk to students and share about my experience and get them excited about it.
My other new employer, The Clause, keeps me busy with taking photos at big events here on campus such as basketball games, concerts, and conferences. Every monday we have a staff meeting where the editors and supervisors get together and discuss the last weeks publication, what the next week’s publication will look like, and what stories will be written. After the meeting we head over to the office where we continue the week’s work on the current issue, which is released every Wednesday after chapel. My job requires me to look at all of the photos taken during the week by myself and the writers, decide which ones will make it in the paper, and then edit them using Photoshop. This job has been great as well in that it has kept me shooting photos this semester on a regular basis and allowed me to continue doing something that I love.
Like I said, these jobs have been great, but they’ve definitely made life much busier than I was used to last semester. It’s been an adjustment getting used to the pace of life again down here in Southern California. Every day I’m forced to be on top of my game. I have a planner that helps me know where I need to be when and what I need to be doing.
Life here and life at Bass Lake are pretty radically different, but I don’t know if I could say that one is better than the other. I loved having the solitude, the quiet, and the time to spend solely on studies and relationships. But on the other hand, maintaining a busy schedule and working jobs that help influence the entire campus is something that I’ve found to be really fulfilling.
What I’ve found to be most helpful, though, in maintaining a sense of clarity and calm have been my bike rides. I’ve managed to fit in three or four great rides a week that take me up Glendora Mountain Road (what most Southern Californian’s claim to be one of the best climbs in the area).
Four miles up the road in Glendora, a beautifully paved road cuts into the foothills. Curving and switching back, it crawls gently, and sometimes not-so-gently, toward Mt. Baldy in the Angeles National Forest. The road is maintained on a regular basis by the City Works department, keeping rockslide and obstructions off the road and making it safe for cyclists. After climbing for about ten miles, the road forks, one direction taking you further up to Mt. Baldy, and the other back down to Azusa.
With all the rain we’ve had down at lower elevations recently, the snow has been incredible in the mountains. My last several rides have been magnificent. As I reach the summit of the climb, the canyon opens up into the backcountry of the Angeles National Forest and the snow-covered mountains dominate the view. I took a few pictures to show you guys what I’ve had the privilege to see lately:
Besides my amazing bike rides, I’ve got some very exciting times on the horizon: Next weekend my sister and some of her friends are flying out to visit me for their spring break. That same weekend my girlfriend and I will be attending our second concert at the incredible Walt Disney concert hall in downtown Los Angeles. The weekend following that I get to head up to High Sierra for Preview Weekend and visit campus and some old friends. And finally, at the beginning of April, my good friend Brett will be flying out to visit me for our spring break, on which we will be taking a road trip up and down California.
I’ll have much to be writing about in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!