Tag Archives: family

Surgery in Paradise

Caroline wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 4 March 2016

“I’m so jealous!” the flight attendant said as she checked my bag for Phoenix, Arizona.

“Don’t be.” I frowned. “I’m going to get my wisdom teeth out.”

It was a spring break of opposites. On the one hand, I got to spend over a week in sunny Paradise Valley with my mom. On the other hand, less than twelve hours after I landed I headed to an oral surgeon who I had never met and had four wisdom teeth surgically extracted from my jaw.

I’ve never had any kind of surgery before, so when my dentist told me over winter break this year that I would need to have my wisdom teeth out, I prayed that he meant some time far in the future. No such luck. For the first few days of my break, my beach body diet consisted of apple sauce, mashed potatoes, and oxycodone.

Paradise Valley

All in all, it was actually a pretty great trip. I thought I’d spend my recovery studying for the GRE and writing papers. Honestly, I spent a lot more time watching Survivor reruns with my mom than I’d care to admit, but it was a much needed break from the stresses of school.

Once I had fully recovered from the nausea onset by my pain pills I was able to spend time at the poolside and explore local restaurants. My favorite place was called the Salty Sow, a gastropub which featured incredible small plates and craft beers. Recovering the use of my jaw turned out to be pretty crucial when it came to fully enjoying everything the Phoenix area had to offer.

Paradise Valley

Even though my GRE test date is still looming on the Thursday after I return to Athens, I’m glad that I used spring break to give myself an actual break. After weeks of exams, papers, and cold weather, I was truly grateful for the opportunity to relax with my mom in the sunshine.

Heading to DC for Spring Break

Mira Cooper

Mira Cooper,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 21 February 2016

I come from a family of workaholics. I’m pretty sure it’s genetic. My dad didn’t take a vacation day for seven years, my mom was retired for exactly one month before she got bored and got another job. Which makes it very exciting that this year, for what I think is the first time, we’re going on a family vacation for spring break.

Growing up, our idea of a vacation was taking a weekend to visit family in a little rafting town in the mountains of West Virginia. Notice, I said weekend. We were rarely gone for more than three days–my dad was convinced that the entire town of Athens would descend into chaos without him there to hold it together. So we didn’t really travel much. Needless to say, I’m really excited for spring break!

We’re going to go to Huntington, West Virginia (where my sister did her undergrad) on Thursday night to see my dad’s cousin, then Friday morning, we’re going to take the train down to Washington D.C.

First of all, I haven’t been to D.C. since my eighth grade class went, and we had to wear those hideous school shirts so that teachers could tell who was with whom. This is extremely embarrassing for a small town fashionista like me. So, I will be taking every single opportunity on this trip to dress up because HELLO IT’S A BIG CITY AND I DON’T GET TO GO TO THOSE VERY OFTEN.

I guess I should be super sappy and mention that my mom grew up in D.C. and I’ve always wanted to see the setting of all of my favorite stories of her childhood. The story about wearing five-inch platform heels in the park and stepping on a rock, causing her to fall flat on her face in front of all the lunching legislators. The story about her brother skipping school every day for an entire semester to break into their neighbor’s house and play dodgeball with their china plates. (They don’t sound so implausible when you remember that this was the seventies.)

ALSO DID I MENTION THAT WE’RE GOING BY TRAIN?!?! Because I love trains. So much. (I guess that’s the civil engineering side of me.) When I studied abroad in Scotland, I took the train whenever I could. There’s something so beautiful about being able to sit and read a book while travelling 135 mph across gorgeous countryside. Not to mention the sheer aesthetic of the whole situation. I might have to dress like a pre-WWII British schoolboy just to get the full effect of it all.

There’s really no good way to conclude this post, because I would say “There will be pictures!” but I have to submit this by midnight and we haven’t gone on the trip yet…so just imagine in your head a purple-haired girl with pink glasses dressed in Oxford style stepping onto a train with a handheld suitcase, waving goodbye to the Midwest.

Sibs Weekend 2016

Nicole Sova

Nicole Sova,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 11 February 2016

Every year OU holds family weekends: Parents, Moms, Dads, and&emdash;most recently&emdash;Sibs Weekend. As an out-of-state student, these weekends bring one of two things. They are either an exciting family reunion packed with as many of my favorite Athens activities as I can fit into one short weekend, or they are a chance to get to know my friends’ families while trying to push aside thoughts of missing my own family.

Sibs weekend this year was a combination of the two. My sister, Alexis, is now a freshman at OU, so even though my other sisters were not able to come down I was still able to enjoy the weekend with family.

Sibs Weekend

With all of the scheduled Sibs Weekend activities, we started out the weekend by lounging around in my apartment trying to figure out which events we wanted to attend. We decided to check out a lot of the events (like the Sibs carnival and Sibs bash), but didn’t spend much time at any Sibs weekend event. Instead, we spent the weekend together doing normal things and taking tons of pictures, treating the time together like a novelty.

Sibs Weekend

We spent Saturday afternoon goofing off at Ping Recreation Center. Because there was a Sibs weekend Zumbathon, the normally scheduled Zumba class was canceled and we were able to take over the group fitness room. We held our own Zumba session and then tried to see who could handstand the longest (Alexis won).

Sibs Weekend

After Ping, we ran some errands and stopped for a coffee at Tim Horton’s. Tim Horton’s coffee dates used to be our favorite at home, so it just seemed appropriate to spend a bit of Sibs Weekend chatting over coffee.

To end the perfect Sibs Weekend Saturday we decided to go see the Bobcats Senior night hockey game. Watching the fans run around the arena after every goal I began to get nostalgic: knowing that that was the last game I’d see as an undergrad and that many of the players I had watched since freshman year were now graduating.

Then Lex made me pose for a snapchat and I remembered what a great day we had just had.

Sibs Weekend

However, the day was far from over. After Ohio beat Illinois (by a landslide) we stayed to take our turn on the ice for an open skate.

Sibs Weekend

We skated for hours, despite not being especially good at it, because Adam, my friend (and fellow engineering ambassador) promised to give Alexis a ride on the Zamboni as he cleaned up the ice at the end of the night.

Sibs Weekend

Sibs Weekend

As Adam and Alexis drove around the ice, I slipped back into slight nostalgia. I have loved all of my experiences at OU. I’ve been incredibly lucky to be able to share these experiences and friends with my sister not only on special weekends, but all the time.

Ready for Winter Break

Alyson Meister

Alyson Meister,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 13 December 2015

The end of fall semester comes with great anticipation for the holidays and time with family. My family has a tradition of driving around my hometown of Springfield, Ohio, to look at the Christmas lights. It began my senior year of high school and has continued to my senior year of college. The tradition started with my immediate family and some of my second cousins, and I was the youngest participant. Who says adults can’t have fun looking at Christmas lights?

Springfield Christmas Lights

Over the years, our group has expanded to include spouses, finances and babies, but we never fail to make a trip to the Christmas tree downtown to take a picture, see the lights at the Clifton Mill or stop for hot chocolate.

Springfield Christmas Lights

There is never a dull moment with my family and after the stress of finals it was just the refresher that I needed. I am looking forward to the rest of our holiday traditions, including a themed Christmas party with my mom’s family, a huge Christmas Eve get together and pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s.

In between all of that I will be heading to an interview in Wisconsin, working on completing graduate school applications, and working on my own projects.

I’m excited for this time off of school to spend time with my family and to prepare myself for my last semester of college and whatever is coming next.

Away from Home for the Holidays

Caroline wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 30 November 2015

Being an out-of-state student usually doesn’t have much of an influence on my daily life, especially now that as a junior, Athens really feels like my home away from home. That being said, the holidays are a time to be with family. As the fall semester progresses I typically find myself longing more and more for the comfort of home and support of my family. Seeing my classmates head back to their homes for the weekend makes me long for mine even more because it’s a luxury which I will never have.

Lucky for me, coming to OU has also meant that I’ve become a part of the Bobcat family, which is there for me even when my blood relatives are thousands of miles away.

Surprisingly, my biggest issue each year for Thanksgiving has never been deciding what to do by myself on campus, but which person I am going to take up on their offer to spend Thanksgiving with their family. This year, as well as freshman year, I decided to spend the long weekend with my friend Jenn, a fellow Cutler Scholar from Meigs County.

We left on Tuesday to stay with her parents, and then after dinner on Thanksgiving, headed up to Columbus to visit her grandparents. Jenn’s grandmother had recently broken her foot, so we helped set up her Christmas tree for her and played with her four-year-old nephew who was also there for the weekend.

While in Columbus, we went Black Friday shopping at Easton, saw Mockingjay Part 2, and finally headed back to Athens on Saturday.

Not having had enough of Jenn yet, I went over to her apartment on Saturday night for dinner and Christmas cookies and we decorated her apartment for the holidays.

The weekend was a wonderful break before getting back to the grind of the last couple of weeks of school. I am incredibly grateful to Jenn, and to every one of my friends here at OU for making up my “family” thousands of miles away from home.

Enjoying a Day Off

Mira Cooper

Mira Cooper,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 13 November 2015

It’s a rare occasion that students have a day off in the middle of the week. It’s even more rare that a day off will be adjacent to the day of a big exam. But I was lucky this semester, Veteran’s Day happened to fall on the Wednesday before my second Structural Theory exam. As a result, I woke up even earlier than I usually do for classes (no sleeping in for me!) and went to Donkey Coffee to spend the day studying.

As usual, my plans didn’t exactly…go to plan.

From 8:30 to 12, I was on fire, flying through problem after problem. Beams, trusses, and influence line diagrams flying past my head as I delved deeper and deeper into my studies.

Then, a fateful text message. “What are you doing right now? –Mom”.

I actually grew up in Athens, so whenever I receive a message like this, 99% of the time it means that I’m going to be dragged into doing something that destroys my productive flow. This time, it was lunch with my mom and sister on our days off. Free food? How could I refuse!

Long story short…A one-hour lunch turned in to a four-hour excursion, including going on a trip to Kroger, going to Petland to play with puppies, and five laps around the endless aisles of the Athens Staples. Come about 8 pm, and I hadn’t been studying for a while, but was too exhausted to continue.

Surprisingly enough, I’m not too worried about how the exam went. I guess those four hours at the beginning of the day helped a lot more than I imagined!

Family Ties

Erin Tracy

Erin Tracy,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 16 November 2014

It’s my favorite time of year again: time for the holidays and family gatherings. Every year after the first week of November, my mom’s siblings and their families get together at my Aunt Kim’s house in Parkersburg, WV for Thanksgiving. Since my Papa, my mom’s dad, passed away thirteen years ago in early November, we have made it a priority each year to get together and re-strengthen the family ties. I have been looking forward to this weekend since the end of summer, especially because this year was at our house in central Ohio.


I was able to spend time with some of my favorite people during this reunion, and it was a much needed break from the chaos of senior year. I talked to my aunts Becki and Sherii about my future plans of mission work in South Asia and coddled my four month old cousin for as long as her mom could stand to give her up. We also celebrated my older brother Josh’s recent engagement!


Family is super important to me, and this time of Thanksgiving giving way into Christmas and New Year’s is all about family. I can’t wait to be home for Thanksgiving break and hopefully have my brothers who live in southern Ohio and North Dakota home as well. Then the day after Thanksgiving, it will finally be socially acceptable to put up Christmas decorations and listen to Christmas music non-stop. The time is so near, friends!