Wow, this weekend was long. Friday night the Roommate, Fortitude, the Tower, the Juggler, and I all played Bananagrams and Dominion for about four hours before the Roommate and I pleaded exhaustion and kicked them out. It was really fun, though; more fun than watching Sherlock or Merlin together, I think, so I wonder if we're going to watch any movies at all this year.

Then, Saturday, I spent pretty much the whole day doing readings for this week. I literally read seven articles on Saturday, I think, and another four on Sunday morning; I haven't been this efficient in quite a while. It was awesome to just be finishing everything.

Saturday night we went ice skating, which we've been meaning to do for a long time. It was really fun, but also quite painful, because I fell down three times. The first two times I knocked my funny bone, once on each arm, and then the third time I got the wind knocked out of me a little and started to feel faint. At that point, I decided I'd had enough and the Roommate and I quit; everyone else stopped ten or fifteen minutes later, and since we'd already been on the rink for about two and a half hours, it was fine.

Sunday morning, the Roommate and I met with the Emperor, which was interesting. She showed up late after having "not made it" to church, and then left half an hour later to go to the lab. She told us about her life, and then asked what we'd been doing; I got a few minutes through ... something, I don't even remember, when all of a sudden she just had to up and go. She clearly didn't care about the Roommate's life at all, and only marginally about mine. I don't know why we even try, but I guess she's a friend?

Then Sunday afternoon, I spent a long time hanging out with Other Me, who was having a rough weekend, even though she seems to be doing better over all.

Sunday night, all of us except the Roommate went over to the engineering and physics building for an astronomy lab, where Fortitude and the Juggler got us into one of the astronomy lab sections for the evening. We went up to the roof and looked through telescopes and saw constellations and Jupiter and Mars, and learned how to use a star chart. It was awesome.

Phew. It was fun, but long, and now I am covered in bruises and tired. Also, I did nothing on my thesis, which I had been intending to work on; so now this week is going to be exciting.
This week was incredibly long. I cannot believe that on Tuesday, I turned in my plants final paper—now I just have to get working on those final exam questions, that class will be completely done! It's sad, I've really enjoyed it, and I have even thought about asking Erika if I could pursue my project next semester as an independent study or research (for the record, that would have me taking: thesis, intonational phonology, GIS, plant research, and geo grad seminar ... and not biogeography, so). I think I would be crushed if I tried to do my thesis and research for Erika next semester, but it was so much fun this semester that I almost want to try! If I ignore how much work next semester's classes will be (mostly, GIS and biogeography, plus my thesis) then it sounds feasible; when I start to think about GIS and biogeography and my thesis and> plants research, I start to feel a little panicky. Not good when the semester hasn't even started yet, even if it all sounds fun.

On another note, I talked to someone at the Smithsonian on Thursday about working with him for next year, and he basically said yes! There is still the issue of funding, but at least he wants me to come, so that's exciting. I have a job for next year! Now I just need to get paid!

Lastly, we (me, the Roommate, Fortitude, the Juggler, and the Tower) went to the annual gingerbread competition. Our house totally failed, but it was a lot of fun.
The Roommate and I taught at Splash yesterday that went pretty well. We obviously didn't get the 700 students that the sword-making class got, but we didn't want that, either. We had several students say that our class was their favorite, which was nice, even if it was probably because it wasn't all "class"—we drank a lot of tea, too. But it was still nice.

The first session went all right—I didn't talk very much, and the Roommate talked too much, and we had a few rowdy students who were annoying. The second session, I attempted to talk more but apparently failed and the Roommate succeeded at talking less, which meant we had a little too much time for tea-drinking. The second crowd was really quiet, too, and much younger than the first crowd. Our third session went the best, though I got a little technical when I added in a bit about the evolutionary history of the tea plant; but the kids were just the right age, around 9th grade, for what we had planned. So all in all, a success, and I definitely want to teach at Spark in the spring if I can.

After we got back to camus, we had a game night with the Juggler, Fortitude, and the Tower. It was really fun, and I hope we get to do it again some time.

I slept absurdly well last night, which was great, and I woke up shortly before 9. \o/ Yay for sleeping in!

On a slightly less happy note, I am now so far behind on my NaNo that I am actually a little worried I won't finish. I want to write 4,000 words a day until Thanksgiving, and then I will feel a little better. I confess it isn't nearly as much fun to write this story as I thought it was going to be, so I want to find a way to change it. Maybe I will just ditch the first 20,000 thousand words and start over with the story line.
I'm not sure if I've ever had such a long weekend in college. Monday (yesterday, a.k.a. Halloween) didn't feel like class; it seems like the week just started today.

I went to the observatory Halloween party last night—it was fairly fun, with lots of ghosts and dead bodies and decapitated heads and things like that everywhere. Unfortunately, they didn't do liquid nitrogen ice cream this year, which they did two years ago and which was awesome; that was a bit of a disappointment. And also unfortunately, it was cloudy, so we didn't get to look at any stars or planets or things. So ... basically it was a haunted house for lots of children, which was kind of fun but not as much fun as two years ago.

The Roommate, the Juggler, and I also went to the midnight organ concert. It was AWESOME, except for the part about it being midnight. He played roughly eight different songs in the space of an hour, which was so much easier to sit through than the chorus or orchestra thirty-minute pieces; two of them I really, really liked. I forget what they were called, but I have the program so I will hopefully look them up later. He also played a Harry Potter song, which was cool, but it was more cool because he was playing it than because the song was actually nice. (Also, it wasn't awkward, which was an extra bonus!)

I talked to the Tower for a long time at dinner yesterday, which was fun. I almost convinced him to come to the observatory party and/or the midnight organ concert, but alas, I evidently failed. Also, I heard at the House meeting last night that ... er, we may or may not have done some pranking in one of his classes, so hopefully I will see him again before I forget to ask him what happened!

This morning I FINALLY got to sample one of my sediment cores, so I should be starting processing this week, and will hopefully finish processing for both cores before Thanksgiving. Yay! Except that I spilled one of the samples ... luckily, all we had to do was take another sample, but still. Care and precision are NOT my strong suits.

NaNo started today, and I successfully did NOT start last night after the organ concert. I am currently 348 words in, and I have a pretty good idea where I want to go for the next set of chapters; I'm sort of leaving the overall plot to the winds, but I know the broad outline. I just haven't picked all of the specifics yet, which is bad, because those specifics are the ones that are going to make it difficult. The broad outline is easy. But I really like where this year is going!

And on a completely unrelated note, my plants professor likes my research topic! And I do too! It's a win-win!
Tonight was the House's Halloween party, so the Roommate and I woke up really early (okay ... 8:15) to bake our magic squares and pumpkin muffins. It was fun, but took nearly two hours. I got a little work done after that, but not much.

We (i.e., me, the Roommate, the Tower, the Juggler, and Fortitude) had dinner and then watched Merlin. We went to the engineering building and watched it in their biggest lecture hall, which was really fun—it's almost like a movie theater, except we don't have to worry about talking too much. (Well, truth be told, I don't know whether the Tower minds; but no one else does, so.)

I had a brilliant idea this afternoon for my computer magic story, so I spent a while outlining the basic idea this afternoon. I definitely can't start writing it any time soon (especially not for NaNo!), because it relies heavily on MMOs, and I don't know anything about them. Well, I don't know enough about the community that plays them to write it. But, I have been trying to figure out this story for a long time, and I finally have it! It makes sense, it is internally consistent, and it has a fairly good backstory. The basic premise needs some work, obviously, but I am finally feeling like I am going to write it!

And now, I am exhausted and am going to go collapse into bed.
This week was absurdly long. I spent a lot of time in the lab learning more pollen processing, and got to look at sediment cores (!) on Wednesday. Wednesday night was the second Evolutionary Bio exam, so I spent a lot of time on Tuesday and Wednesday tutoring/TAing (or whatever it should be called). I spent at least three hours on Thursday evening working with one student who completely bombed the first exam, so hopefully she did better on the second one. She got to take it late because, on top of doing horribly the first time, she also had pneumonia for the past two weeks. Talk about a tough time!

On Thursday during Human Evolution section, we got to look at bones. BONES!!!!!!!! Okay, bones are really really cool. It's amazing how it's possible to look at a bone and figure things out about its history—not just in the evolutionary sense (is it a tetrapod? a synapsid?), but also in the forensic anthropology and taphonomic sense. I LOVE BONES. I tried to go to my professor's office hours on Thursday to ask about bones we didn't talk about in class, but he wasn't there; so, I'm going to go back on Monday.

I confess that my enthusiasm for bones makes me think that vertebrate paleontology might actually be something I'd want to study—after all, you pretty much get to spend a lot of time looking at bones. Unfortunately, you might have to spend a lot of time dissecting things too, which is not exactly something I want in my future. Alternatively, human evolution would be cool, but I do NOT want to go to grad school in an anthropology department, so I think human evolution is off the table. Finally, forensic anthropology would be SO COOL, but unfortunately I would have to 1) go to grad school in an anthropology department, and 2) probably have to dissect humans, which is even worse than other things.

Yesterday (Friday) I graded exams in the morning, then went for a meeting with Dimetrodon which she couldn't make because she was stuck in traffic, then went back to grade some more exams, then went to a TA meeting for Evolutionary Bio (whose exams I was grading), then went to class where we started to learn officially how to use Praat (which I already know how to use), then went to a meeting with someone who had worked at the Smithsonian as an intern five summers ago, then met with Dimetrodon about my thesis, then lost my keys and went traipsing around campus to find them before realizing I'd just left them in the lab, then saw a hawk outside of House and spent fifteen minutes staring at it, then went to dinner where I consumed copious amounts of ice cream, then went to the Juggler's a capella concert (she joined Disney a capella), then talked to the Tower for a little while about Merlin, then went to the Roommate's a capella concert, then went to bed.

It was a long day, as that extremely long run-on sentence demonstrates.

Anyway ... I finally this morning sent off an email to someone at the Smithsonian, so hopefully he will get back to me and I will have a job for next year! Of course, hopefully he will actually be able to pay me, but. The Roommate is going to talk to someone one Tuesday about what she would do at the Smithsonian. Hopefully everything will work out, and I will actually be able to call her my roommate without sort of kind of maybe lying.

And now, as a reward for finally finishing that email, I am going to work on my NaNo outline. I should do something important, but alas, I am not going to.
Six hours until THE LAST DOCTOR WHO EPISODE!!!!!!!! I think my brain is going to explode. I have to TA this afternoon, because the evolutionary bio students have a test on Monday ... not entirely sure how this is going to turn out. Hopefully I won't burst out with "TARDIS!" or "STETSONS!" too often.

In other news, I started two new TV shows—yeah, sounds like a lot, but both of them are very short. Switched at Birth, which Ting has been trying to get me to watch for a long time, is about two girls who were—spoilers!—switched at birth. The only twist is that one of the girls is Deaf. I've been really impressed with their portrayal of Deaf people, Deaf culture, and ASL. The main character who's Deaf (the daughter who was switched) does speak, and very well; that definitely facilitates the plot a LOT. But there are plenty of conversations entirely in ASL between her and her best friend, who is also Deaf. The plot of the show is kind of stupid, in my opinion—there's a lot of whining about how My Life Sucks More Than Yours, How Could This Happen To Us, etc. But the signing is good enough that I watched it while crocheting the Roommate's birthday present.

Also started Sherlock—doesn't really count as a TV show, I suppose, but close enough. It's pretty funny, but I can't understand Sherlock half the time when he talks. It's like he talks at chipmunk speed when he's just talking, except that his voice is really deep. But it's funny, and I loved the conversation between Watson and Sherlock where Watson is asking whether Sherlock has a partner, and Sherlock (in his eternally egotistical way) thinks that Watson is showing some interest in him. I haven't watched the last two parts, so I'm definitely going to do that soon!

And today is theoretically going to be the Day of the TARDIS, in which I give the Roommate her birthday present / scavenger hunt thing.


Sep. 23rd, 2011 12:21 pm
This week was pretty long, it's hard to believe it's only Friday. Classes are going well, but mostly I've been looking up grad schools and scholarships for next year. Also, I have to go to the career center soon to find out more about international internships in natural history museums. UGH!! So many applications! But luckily my thesis still hasn't started, really, and I'm ahead on my classes; hopefully I will get many applications done before the end of September (or at least seriously started) so that I won't be overwhelmed.

I started going to the MATLAB section this week, too—it was pretty lame. Basically, I understood nothing that happened in class, so I spent the time going through their lab on my own time, and that was fine. I'm not sure it's really worth it to go back to the class, since I don't think I'm going to learn anything there.

I'm starting to feel the first glimmerings of AHHHHHH!, which isn't good. But if I get a lot done this weekend, I'll feel a lot better—and to be honest, I've been reading articles for my thesis (yay!), looking up grad schools and scholarships, and organizing and reading for evolutionary bio. So I haven't been wasting time, but I've been going to a lot of events (field trip for Plant Evolution on Tuesday; House crafting circle on Tuesday; archaeology movie night on Wednesday, where we watched The Eagle; Career Fair on Wednesday, where I got four free T-shirts, a personal record; Science Café last night).

The Roommate and I tried to watch NCIS last night, but it was a lost cause. The Doctor must think we're betraying him or something, but it just would not play successfully; and then when we got it to play, the player quit on us halfway through. (We tried to watch it legally, but it blipped every second, which was really annoying.)

Basically ... I am tired, and looking forward to a quiet weekend. Except Sunday, where I'm volunteering at the Arts Festival.
The Roommate and I went to watch the pirate a capella group last night do an archsing. It was pretty spectacular, but they were passing around whiskey—which everyone was just sharing left, right, and center. It was a little gross. :P But the singing was awesome, even if the songs can only really be described as raunchy. In other words, if I didn't listen too closely, I loved it; when I listened closely, it was kind of odd.

We also watched The God Complex.Spoilers, obviously. But overall I liked it. )

At any rate, we have to go back and watch The Girl Who Waited and the The God Complex together. I think they'll go together a lot better than I currently think they do. Both of them are kind of maze-like, tricks of the mind. According to the Roommate, The God Complex was supposed to be in Series 5, but wasn't because Steven Moffat thought there were too many mazes in Series 5. To be honest, Series 6 seems full of mazes, especially Night Terrors, The Girl Who Waited, and The God Complex together. They are actually an interesting set.

Anyway, enough blabbering! Off to do homework. I've finally talked to my thesis advisors, and one of them isn't going to be back on campus until the end of September. So that gives me the next week or two to get ahead on my other classes, in time for October!
MUCH NEWS!!!!!!!

Thursday, I went to choir with the Roommate and sang.  Yes, sang.  Hard to believe, because not only can I not sing, but also we were singing religious songs.  God is great, huh?  But it was fun, if more than a little awkward because most of the people there had the mass songs, at least, memorized.  I might go back, I might not.

Also on Thursday, Other Me and I saw Nate from my language processing class last spring, and he was really obnoxious, as usual.  He's one of those weird people who is not a jerk but is still obnoxious—he always corrects you if you say something that he doesn't think is 100% accurate, and puts in his own opinion.  He isn't mean, precisely, but he's very patronizing—he always sounds like he's going to teach you the right way to whatever it is that you're talking about.  Perhaps I will steal him and put him in a book.

Last night, the Roommate and I had a whole list of social engagements.  A list!  I am never doing that many social things in one night again.

First I went to a talk on the healthcare bill and whether it was constitutional or not, for our Constitution Day.  (Apparently, there's some type of federal funding for universities that mandates that universities that receive that funding hold a Constitution Day, where they talk about the Constitution.  Who knew?  Pretty cool.  They gave me a pocket Constitution, too.)  It was interesting, but mostly because the lawyers who were discussing the bill had been teacher-student in law school, so they kept arguing back and forth.

Then, the Roommate and I had dinner with the Magician, Fortitude, and one of their friends.  He was pretty nice, but really quiet, so there were some awkward moments at the dinner table. :P

Then, the Roommate and I went to BOP (opera productions), which was actually a lot better than I thought it would be.  Other Me was helping to organize it, and there were some pretty cool songs—not only Stars from Les Misérables and Think of Me from Phantom (though that one wasn't very good), but also some interesting foreign-language songs.  (Papageno/Papagena or something like that was hilarious.)  On the other hand, nearly all of the songs involved women pining after their lost men, which was annoying; and even Papagena/Papageno started off with (guy) "Are you really mine?"  (girl)  "Yes I'm really yours".  Honestly, haven't we progressed a bit past that by now?  If it were "Are you really mine?"/"Yes, you're really mine" that wouldn't be problematic (though it does sound a bit funny).

After that, the Roommate and I went back to our dorm and played Dominion with several people down the hall (E and Ke).  The Roommate didn't play, obviously, but she seemed minorly interested in learning, which was a first step. (I WILL CONVERT THE WORLD!!!!!!)

And then, finally, the Roommate, the Magician, Fortitude, their friend, and I all went to watch Twister.  None of us have big rooms this year, so we went adventuring to the engineering building, where we got a lecture hall and watched the movie.  Unfortunately, the bulb in the projector needs to be replaced or fixed or something, because it had this giant green spot in the middle of the bulb; but, for Twister, that mostly managed to make the tornadoes look even more menacing, like the whole movie was occurring at twilight or something.  It was pretty awesome, though next time we're going to bring blankets because it was cold.

Edit:  And this morning, I made the huge mistake of talking to Fortitude about the genetics class, which I now kind of want to take.  But I think I will not—I want to stay sane this term, and I don't want the course to convince me I should go in to genetics, because I really hate that kind of lab work.
The rest of transfer orientation went well—no major hiccups, though I forgot to pay my portion of the alcohol fee. :P  Which, to be honest, makes me feel bad that other people (presumably the coordinators) paid instead, but is not exactly the worst thing for me to forget to pay for.  They didn't even tell me that I would have to before hand, or give me much of an option to opt out.  Alas.

Blabberings about classes. )

And in other news, we had dinner with the Juggler, Fortitude, Temperance, and the Roommate.  We also invited the Emperor, but she couldn't come.  I'm not sure how much longer I am going to actually invite the Emperor to things, because she never says yes, and never offers her own suggestions as to what to do.  It mostly bugs me because I think the reason she's basically stopped talking to us is because she thinks we don't work hard enough—probably because at the end of last semester, for one, both the Roommate and I had "goals" to finish our papers by a certain date, so when that date arrived and the Emperor saw us in the dining hall, she said "You must be glad to be done!" and we said, "Uh ... no, we haven't finished yet."  She had the most precious Oh-my-God-seriously? expression on her face, like she couldn't possibly believe that anyone she was friends with would fail to accomplish their goals.  And since she tells me I have ADD nearly every other time I see her, I find it a little obnoxious that she's surprised I didn't finish when I thought I would.

But that's okay!  Now I don't have to worry about talking about fun things in front of her. :)  Though it is a bit depressing after everything we went through together, or mostly that we watched her go through and tried to be supportive about.



July 2012

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