Midterm weeks are upon us here at Illinois. I can tell by how many friends I’ve had respond to my dinner invitations with a “No, I have a midterm to study for.” Now I, myself, have been subjected to the bombardment of exams, papers, and a myriad of other work that I expected but so desperately tried to wish away. Because I know that the end of this busy schedule is not to come for another 10 weeks. And while I may not have been able to make my exams disappear, I was able to escape it for a little last weekend.
My family came down a late celebration for my birthday. Since I would not be going back home until fall break (when is that again?) it was nice to be able to spend time with them, showing them the town I call home for 10 out of 12 months. For many of them, it was their first time down in Urbana-Champaign, and really their first time in a campus town so it was exciting to show them campus buildings (beautiful BIF), great places to study (the couches in Illini Union), and all the squirrels on the quad (especially the fat ones). The last thing I showed my family was Japan House, where I am interning for the semester. My family has a love for nature so when I showed them the picturesque scene of the Japan House, they absolutely loved it. One can imagine just how pretty it is. The sky was blue, with not one cloud in the sky. The water was calm, with only the fishes causing little ripples. There was a perfect breeze in the air that kept us cool, it was fitting for the beginning of autumn. I could tell this one of my family’s favorite place on campus. The serenity that encompasses the Japan House helped them relax, to get them away from the daily stresses of life. It gave me one more reason to love the Japan House.
If you have never been to the Japan House, Saturday’s Open House is the perfect opportunity to. This year Japan House’s open house will include garden tours given by interns, tea ceremonies where you can experience the beauty of tea making, and two special sessions about sashiko - the Japanese art of Quilting. There will be an expert coming to talk about it and you will get the rare opportunity to see some elaborate quilts! The open house will also be the first time raffle tickets for the Nick Offerman Prize Drawings will be on sale! Get your raffle tickets before they sell out - it’s the best way to get your Ron Swanson Memorabilia!