Archive | September, 2011

Prioritizing Homework- The Numbers Game

28 Sep

If I had time I could probably figure out a formula (thank you statistics,) and run it through to determine how I should properly prioritize my homework and studying. As of now, I’m too busy hating the fact that I’m having to pick and choose which homework to do, to have much time to do anything but mandatory homework. As fun as systematizing my studying habits could be, I’m afraid extracurriculars will have to wait.

I hate the fact that it’s already come to this. We’re barely six weeks in, (five weeks, six weeks? I’m not sure,) and I’m already playing the game of which homework to do, which assignment to study for. Well, I have two quizzes and an exam today, not to mention the lab homework that is not completely finished, and the chemistry homework that I’ve already written off since it’s 80% finished. For a few moments I was actually wondering which to study for the most in the limited time I have left before each one occurs. Then came the obvious answer-

The exam! Study for the exam since it’s weighted so much more heavily than the others. The quizzes are sometimes dropped, anyway, so make sure to study for the exam, which will count regardless of how poorly I do. Exam study, hooooo! (Of course that meant I took a few minutes to come and blog about how horrific all of this is.)

Next time I should write about the fact that my best friend is getting married in TX this weekend and that’s why my schedule has suddenly become so much more hectic. Pushing assignments up early so I can not have to worry about wasting more time working on them instead of traveling. Wedding this weekend. I’ll be in a much happier mood when all of this is done!

Imperious and Bossy. You’d Better Like It.

28 Sep

There is a young man in my chemistry lab who has appointed himself my friend. It’s a little weird, and he has made it a point to share life information with me that I don’t care to know. I raise the scenario because my reaction to his sharing brings up some deeper considerations. He’s about five years younger than me, which is not important out of context, but there seems to be a considerable difference in life experience and expectation.

He felt the need to tell me as we were leaving class, what a hard life he has had up to this point, some of his hardships self-inflicted and some not. He’s lived in (four?) a few different states and has experimented with a lot of substances, and is still a smoker (smoking is a rant for a different time, and oh boy, is it a rant).

My reaction to hearing these things I hoped was properly sympathetic, but outside looking in, might have come across as condescending. Or just apathetic. It’s hard to get worked up over someone else’s standard of experience when it’s less than your own. Or maybe when they are describing hardships that don’t seem to have taken too much out of them. I’m not sure I’m explaining this properly.

I talked to Alex about it for a few hours the afternoon after. My question to him was how to convey concern without being imperious or bossy, or condescending for that matter. He gave me some comforting insight; perhaps he sugar-coated it, haha. To truncate his explanation, he basically said I remind him of Hermione. Maybe I am imperious and bossy, but I generally know what I’m talking about, and I’m always coming from a well-meaning place. Those who get me, get me, and those who don’t probably aren’t trying very hard. Or aren’t worth the effort.

It’s weird to be 26 and still second-guessing one’s self. I don’t care for it. I do like having friends who have my back.

Even if it is thousands of miles away. Alex currently lives in Chicago, but is moving to Seattle the second week of October. I’m not terribly worried since we’ve only seen each other on his visits back to Alabama, but I can’t help feel a twinge that he’s going to be even farther away. He’s moving for a job to a start up branding company. Seems like a good move since branding is the new hot thing, and this company is doing well enough to hire new employees. Plus, hey, it’s Seattle. Heidi just moved to Portland about a month ago, and if I ever go out to visit one, I’ll definitely visit the other.

Maybe when all of this schooling is done, I should just move to the NW? Votes for and against?

Being Okay with Being Sick

15 Sep

It probably should not have surprised me as much as it did that I would succumb to sickness. After all, this is a mid-sized university with thousands of students. People have been blaming the changing season for the trouble, but I’d be more inclined to moving between 70F classrooms to 85F outsides and back again, or at the very least- stress.

Being one of those annoying souls who “never gets sick,” I was a little distressed when I finally acknowledged this for what it is. Thank you, karma. It’s not as bad as it could be- not the flu or anything so dramatic. ‘Tis but a common cold, I believe. Soar throat, swollen lymph glands in my throat and lots of drainage.

It remains, though, that because I really don’t get sick very often, it was mildly distressing. I won’t go as far as to say I panicked, but I did a lot of mental cataloging as to what could have led to the pain I faced laying in bed Wednesday morning at 3:30, wondering when the fire in my throat would be quenched. Had I eaten something bad, or a series of bad somethings? Did I fail to properly wash my hands after lab sometime last week? Then as I briefly met with a professor, who enlightened me to the fact that he too was sick, I realized it was probably just circumstances.

We’re in a setting where, it’s probably fair to say, students don’t always practice the greatest hygiene, and certainly don’t consider their overall health (if the number of sodas I see guzzled each day is any indication.)

So, no need to search for retribution. No one to blame in this case, not even myself. It’s just a cold. A common one, not the first and probably not the last, but definitely part of the education experience.

Three Weeks In. Keep Stuffing Your Face

12 Sep

We’re all into the third full week of classes here at UNA, and my only regret thus far is that I haven’t written down every observation that has come to me. I keep having epiphany-like moments, and most of they time they are simple, yet profound thoughts (hello, redundancy) but also tend to occur in the middle of class.

Things that I have noticed so far? Maybe it’s shallow but I tend to notice the clothing of other students a lot. Things that were important to me in my first four years of college are not so important now. I notice a lot of other girls wearing these UA or Nike shorts that are trendy casual (, and some sartorialist somewhere is setting his pocket squares on fire in protest of such a category). I think four years ago, or five or six years ago I would have been worried about going out and having a pair of those shorts. As shallow and trite as that sounds, it’s honest. Now, I’m content with my 10-year-old soffes that I refuse to wear anyway except inside out. I never liked the fact that they had a logo on the rump, but the logo’ed version was cheaper than the regular ones. There you go.

I’m not so concerned with clothing or the I’m-cooler-than-you apathetic stares that happen even at a university of this magnitude (and by magnitude, I mean insignificance). As far as personal possessions go, I do find it extremely amusing that many third and fourth year male students seem to be wearing sunglasses that have these day-glo green and yellow legs/stems. This is amusing because I think they are doing it in the ironic way. I can’t wait to tell my mom, who has been wearing them wholly unironically for…. over a decade? My mom the trendsetter. Who knew?

Another money-related idea that waxes and wanes in my thoughts is pride in making my own lunch. In a BIG way, it’s helping me keep my expenses down. I’m making a lot of onigiri since the cost of materials is EXTREMELY cheap relative to yield. You can also make a lot in a short amount of time, they keep for a few days, they travel really well, and they are probably a 7/10 on the health scale. Maybe 6.5, depending on the filling picked. On the whole, I highly recommend them as a snack/lunch source. Actually, I could really go for one right now, and I’m glad that you can’t hear my stomach rumbling.

I still don’t have a job. Of any kind. And I haven’t begun to tackle my volunteer hours needed for grad school. Heidi, who you might remember worked at UI-Champaign until a few months ago, advised me to speak to the VP of student services, plead my case, and see if they might be able to help me directly. I do already have a four-year degree after all. It shouldn’t be that hard to hire someone PT on campus for… anything, really. I’m adaptable. And to the point of begging. Tears, if necessary. Get ready.

The fact that I don’t have a job at least means that my grades are solid. My first major exam was in maths and I got a 99. I feel that’s a triumphant smiting. The second major exam (my first for A&P) was today. I feel like it was a solid B. I’ll be happily surprised/satisfied with a low A, but I’m pretty sure right now that it was a high B. If I made a C, I’ll be very surprised and disappointed.

As of right now, I’m looking to drop my psychology course. I’m at 14 credit hours, and in the days of my bad-assery, I might have been able to work 14 or 15, but as it stands now, I’m going to be doing well to maintain a high GPA at 12. Dropping PY, however, means I need to pick up another one-hour course for the sake of maintaining full time status. Why does that matter, you might wonder? According to US Federal law, you do not qualify for student loans unless at FT status. So… Now I’m trying to work against the resistance I’m feeling from professors about picking up another hour course. Hopefully it’s not too late in the semester already for some of them. Hopefully. Please pray, friends.

Ironically, the main problem facing me right now is the same problem that faced me the first time around. For all of my life experience and the wisdom I’ve gained in the past four years, my main challenge is time-management. Can I get an amen? I pretty much detailed everything in the paragraph above as far as workload goes, but then there’s making sure that I get all of my HW done, labs preparation, quiz studying, not to mention just general studying to actually learn the material.

So, onward and upward, fellow students. Here’s to the end of the semester!