However, my summer wasn't *all* French! I did do something I've never done before: I started a regular exercise routine using the 21 Day Fix Program from Beachbody! This is a major step for me since I've never been one of those girls who feels motivated to for a run/jog or go to the gym. So what's the difference? The program focuses on different muscle groups for each day of the week and is only 30 minutes long, including the warm-up/cool-down. I've found it works really well with what can be a frantic and stressful student schedule because it is diverse as well as not-too-time-consuming! I've also been watching what I eat and I've lost over 9 pounds this summer! *happy dance* But more importantly, I feel better AND I can wear things now that I used to have to stick at the back of my closet! *happy dance* Here's hoping that I can keep the weight off, keep eating healthy, and keep exercising this year!
I also *finally* read George Macdonald's The Princess and the Goblin, and ... it wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be, but I'm not about to give up on Macdonald as C.S. Lewis claimed Macdonald was immensely influential on his writing, so I'll take his word for it! Other books I treated myself to this summer: Jane Austen's Persuasion, C.S. Lewis' Perelandra, Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn, Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick, and Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning. Frankl's book was by far the BEST thing I read this summer. Every person needs to read this book, and millenials ESPECIALLY need to read this book! A personal account of a man's experiences in Auschwitz, Frankl describes his journey to finding meaning, dignity, and fulfillment even in the midst of the darkest suffering. Read it. If it doesn't save your life, it may help you save someone else's.
In between French and my reading sprees, I took a break from Doctor Who to try out a new period drama: Poldark, the story of an English gentleman who returns from fighting in the American Revolution to find his father dead, his true love married to his cousin and his estate in shambles. A bit of a Robin Hood character, Poldark sets out to restore his father's estate while also defending the rights and dignity of the poor and the weak both at home and abroad. There are definitely some adult themes and content which would eliminate it from the "family" category, but the show is tasteful in what it chooses to portray on screen. Featuring the dashing master of the smolder, Aidan Turner (the actor who portrayed Kili the Dwarf in the Hobbit movie franchise), it is definitely worth a try if you are a period drama fan! Watch the trailer here:
But I am now back to Doctor Who, and I just finished Season 7, which meant it was time to say goodbye to Matt Smith. Some serious ugly-crying went down -- which came as a surprise to me because I did not expect to become as attached to Eleven as I was to Ten! But ever since The Snowmen Christmas special, I've really fallen for Smith, and it has caused quite a conundrum for me as I am fiercely loyal and I was convinced that Tennant was my favorite! But my sister Rachel suggested a solution: Tennant's Doctor is the one you fall in love with, but Smith's Doctor is your best friend! I like this system, but more on that in another post!
I am currently not too keen on starting the school year, so I've been taking breaks from Doctor Who to watch Gilmore Girls to get a dose of academic motivation from Harvard-bound over-achiever Rory Gilmore. However, on the bright side, it has been refreshing to meet a few of the new incoming students who are both zealous for real sacred music and pursue an authentic, fully Catholic life! I hope I get to know them better this year, and who knows, maybe chant it up a couple times! ;-) 'Til next time!
Reading: On Fairy Stories by J.R.R. Tolkien
Listening to: Song of the Lonely Mountain, performed by Neil Finn
Watching: Doctor Who, Season 7
Quote: "My name, my real name. That is not the point. The name I chose is the Doctor. The name you choose it’s like, it’s like a promise you make." -- Doctor Who S7E13 The Name of the Doctor. (Seriously, this is going on my wall when I get my doctorate).