It’s Monday of the last week of classes in Q2, and I’m home after a great Thanksgiving break. Charlottesville is cold, 24 degrees this morning, and at my apartment we’re now using an airplane blanket as a draft-stopper by the front door, which sadly lacks weather-stripping. My roommate and I just conducted an experiment on how to redistribute the most heat in the apartment by systematically shutting and re-opening each air vent while gauging relative air flow levels. (Oh, how I love engineers!). We’re listening to Christmas music to concoct a short list of favorites to give to the DJ at the upcoming Holiday Ball, since I insist on at least 1-2 slow-dancing/holiday songs every so often throughout the night. I’m actively scheming about how to incorporate crafty “Mistletoe Stations” to inspire spontaneous smooches at the Holiday Ball instead of doing my International Corporate Finance homework. The Budweiser Clydesdales power through the snow in the gorgeous, gigantic framed Holiday 2010 portrait hanging in my living room (courtesy of my Future Employer) and it just feels festive.

All that festive-feelingness can’t disguise the fact that it’s a busy, busy week, with lots of papers and projects and studying and group work before exams next week. I made a list of every deliverable I have due between now and the end of next week and it’s not a short list! To get work done (and because it makes me feel virtuous, let’s be honest), I parked myself in the library this morning and this evening to try to tackle some of it. Between Finance, Global Leadership, Developing New Products & Services, Hot Topics in Marketing and my research elective, I feel like it’ll all come together in true Darden down-to-the-wire fashion.

But back to the festiveness – this Thursday is the last Cold Call of the year, complete with delicious holiday cookies, and then TDNC (that’s Thursday Night Drinking Club) featuring the drama-filled, shenanigan-laced Darden Mustache Competition (yes, I’m a judge again). Friday night has two parties – one that we’re throwing for my roommate’s birthday (hello, menu planning!), and another one later that evening. Saturday is the Holiday Ball, the fanciest dress-up event of the year benefitting Building Goodness in April. I’ve spent a long time planning for and worrying about and fussing over it to make it as captivating, gorgeous, glamorous and successful as humanly possible. It’s a great end to the semester, and all the more poignant for Second Years to know we’re – gasp – 75% done with our time at Darden. If that’s not inspiration to spontaneously smooch (on the cheek is fine) or at least heartily hug the extraordinary friends we’ve made here, i don’t know what is.

Mistletoe, anyone?