I will not be returning home during spring break, so it is now a straight run to the summer. I was quite ready for a break in order to regenerate. I hope this placement year isn’t a pyrrhic victory; in which I have completed something successfully but have exhausted my brain and physically aged by ten years in doing so; which is how I currently feel.
A useful mechanism for keeping mentally sharp is a varied course enrolment. The course balance I had during the first term I have continued in the second; two degree related to extend and reinforce my specialisation; and two that are either of personal interest or something completely new in order to take on a fresh discipline and / or plug gaps in knowledge.
Towards the end of January Philadelphia experienced its fourth largest snowstorm in recorded history. Over approximately 48 hours up to 2 feet of snow descended relentlessly on Pennsylvania, New York and the surrounding north east and mid-Atlantic states. The snow itself moved back and forth between gentle picturesque falling and an almost horizontally inclined blizzard. The result was an almost complete shutdown of the city- no transport, no people and no business; but provided abundant out of window entertainment. A US snowstorm is far more dramatic and grand than a UK equivalent. It was even more exciting for some of my fellow friends from Brazil, for whom it was their first ever experience of snow. The amount of snow that fell was demonstrated even more once ploughed out of the roads and piled into the gutter reaching above head height, creating little walkways. Much of this snowy architecture still remains, long after it fell.