Friday, February 13, 2009

5 weeks down!

And 12 to go! 13 if you count Spring Break.

The unexpected event of last week was Dad calling me Friday afternoon to ask me if I wanted to go elk hunting over Spring Break. So I will be going hunting for the very first time in a month, apparently. I'm excited about it. Elk is yummy and better for the environment than beef. It's a win/win situation.

My classes are all going well. I've had a few paper due and I got 100% on all of them! I had an exam last week that has yet to be graded, but I think it went well. My first biology exam is this Thursday, the 19th.

I finally finished the enormous collection of Jane Austen novels that Mama Jane gave me for Christmas last weekend and I'm just about to start a book called The Human Experiment, which is about the people who spent two years inside Biosphere 2 just outside of Tucson. I went to the Biosphere with some members of my old Envirothon team, including my boyfriend Jack, and my old coach, Mrs. Flaccus, as the "assistant coach". We toured the Biosphere and they got some practice for Envirothon. It was a fun trip and I really enjoyed spending time with Jack, Mrs. Flaccus, and the others.

My WS class is completely fascinating still. We've been discussing the healthcare system in the US and read a book called 'The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down' which is about a Hmong girl with epilepsy and the cultural confusion that complicated her treatment. I'm definitely going to declare a second major in Women's Studies. I'm also thinking about adding a history minor... I am interested in too many things!! But it's so tempting. I'm going to meet with my advisor sometime in the next couple of weeks and talk to her about how ridiculous my schedule would be if I added another minor.

My Honors biology class has the most reading associated with it. I have 277 pages about Darwin to read this week, just for that class. It's interesting, though.

Jack spent the weekend down here in Tucson with me. We had a nice, quiet Valentine's Day together and went out for Mexican food just off campus. He's doing well in his last semester at Sinagua, but I know he's excited to graduate. He finally got his acceptance letter from the UA and he's applying for housing and such, so I'm relieved to know that he'll definitely be here with me next year.

Anyways, I've got class in 20 minutes and I'd better be going. Hope everyone is doing well!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Second Semester Begins!

Hello everyone!

It's the 3rd week of my second semester here at UA and my first full week of classes. This semester I am once again taking 18 units:
French 301 (Advanced Conversation)
French 302 (Advanced Composition)
Biology 182 Lecture & Lab
Women's Studies 210 (Science, Health, Gender, and Race)
and Trad 104 (Eroticism & Love in the Middle Ages)

I LOVE my Trad and my WS classes. Both of the professors are fantastic- my Trad professor is this eccentric, animated, spry German man who is completely besotted with the idea of courtly love, and my WS professor is a tall, wordly, steely-haired woman who can rattle off dozens court cases and cultural philosophies about anything involving women's rights. She is an amazing professor.
My French teachers are good, too. One is from Gabon and the other is from the south of France. Both classes are a LOT more work than my French 202 class was last semester, but that's a good thing.
Biology is intense. I'm in the Honors section, so in addition to 2 1/2 hours of regular lecture each week I have 75 minutes of Honors lecture and a 75 minute recitation section, which is where we discuss the readings we had from the lecture session and absolutely anything that strikes our professor's fancy. He is the worst lecturer I've had, but it's getting easier to follow his convoluted trains of thought.
I like my TA for my biology lab. She's young, animated, and does a good job of explaining our activities quickly.

This semester is quite reading-heavy, but I've still found time to finish reading Jane Austen's Emma and I've started Northanger Abbey. Some days the only time I can set aside to read is when I'm riding at stationary bike at the rec center, but at least that kills two birds with one stone!

I've been doing a pretty good job of keeping my New Year's resolution to be healthier. I've been more careful about what I eat, how much sleep I get each night, how frequently I exercise, and I've been sure to floss every night and rinse with Listerine. I have a love-hate relationship with Listerine. Well... more of a battle with Listerine, really. I can't stand it, but I ended up with a HUGE bottle of it, well over a liter, and I'd feel bad if I wasted it. So I use it every night and it makes my eyes water and makes my whole mouth numb. But I'm using it! And when I run out in thirty years, I'll switch to something less bent on killing my nerve cells along with germs.

My Envirothon team won the AZ Department of Game & Fish award for Youth Environmentalist(s) of 2008, so we went to an award ceremony in Phoenix two weekends ago. It was a fun evening, and I went up to Flagstaff afterwards and spent the next two days test driving cars with Dad. My Passat got to the point where it was no longer worth repairing and needed to be replaced, so I decided on a Honda Civic. So I'll have a car for next year.

I also have an apartment for next year! When Mom brought me down on January 13, we looked at some apartments and found the perfect one for me. It's a one bedroom/one bathroom with a sweet little kitchen and a living room. It has tile floors and I get a nice cream-colored leather sofa that a previous tenant left. It has decent closet space and it even has a (very small) fenced-in yard! So I will be living there starting in August with my beloved kitty Meeko and hopefully a dog. The dog situation will be figured out over the summer. My landlord wants me to have a dog since I'm going to be living alone, and I agree. Plus I love dogs! I may have to find a Newfie mix. They're huge, but they're extremely calm and quite the couch potatoes, so they make good apartment dogs. And two benefits of being huge are that they have a big bark and look a bit intimidating.

I'm going to attempt to update every other week. Wednesdays are my easiest days, only my two French classes from 11-1, so I have time to catch up on some things and work ahead on others.

I hope everyone is doing well!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Exams round 1 & Next Semester

So yeah... it turns out that I sort of fail at regularly updating my blog. English homework is one way to get me to update, though!
Recent developments (and less recent ones...):

I'm well through the first round of testing and just about to get into round two. My French class is the only class that really has a midterm- I did well, got about a 94% overall. My English class has three major essays instead of any exams. I turned in the first essay on October 2nd and the second one is due a week from tomorrow. I got a 95% on my first biology exam; the second exam is November 10. I aced my first exam in my Gender Studies class and the second exam is next Monday.
Math, on the other hand... not so good. I got a low B on the first test and I know I didn't do very well on the most recent test. I should find out about that one tomorrow, along with my first English essay. I've changed my mind about minoring in math, though. I'm planning on calling it quits after this semester.

Over the weekend, I registered for next semester's classes. I'm taking Biology 182 (5 hours a week... plus a three hour lab. Hello, science!), French 301 & 302, Women's Studies 210 (Science, Health, Gender, and Race), and a gen ed class in Traditions & Cultures called Eroticism and Love in the Middle Ages (Or as my mother said, Chastity Belts 101). It's a hugely popular class and I'm thrilled that I got it! I'm taking 18 credits next semester, same as this semester.

Last weekend was Homecoming here at UA and sadly, we lost our football game against USC (University of Spoiled Children) but the refs were terrible! The first touchdown by USC should NOT have counted.

I'm going up to Flagstaff this weekend to see my parents & boyfriend. I haven't been home in, well, it's only been a little over two weeks but it feels like longer! The weekend after I'll be going up to Tempe to spend the weekend with my mom at an agility trial.

I hope everyone is doing well!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

news!

My third week of classes is (somewhat) drawing to an end. Five classes and a bit of homework stand between me and the weekend! (The weekend, of course, will have a lot of time devoted to more homework, but it's still the weekend!)
My classes are all going well. I really like my INDV (Psych of Gender) and my calculus class as well. We learned about Freud in my INDV yesterday and his theories regarding psychosexual development and his maps of the mind. It was fascinating, and was on my mind when I was doing my reading for English last night. The characters would do something accidentally and I'd think, "Now what would Freud say about that?" I have a reflection paper due for my INDV on Monday and I suspect I will write about Freud.
I have two true pleasures in eating. One is getting a salad at Core (Current combination includes walnuts, beans, spinach, some fruit, and a raspberry vinaigrette, very delicious) and getting steak fajita quesadillas with Cori at the Cactus Grill.

Some news... I dropped out of the Blue Chip program because it didn't quite meet my expectations and was too much of a time commitment for my level of enthusiasm. I'm also thinking about applying for Alpha Epsilon Delta, which is a co-ed pre-medical fraternity/honor society. I'm going to their welcome barbeque tomorrow to learn more about it.

I've got my calculus class (and a quiz) in 16 minutes so I'd better end this now. I'll try to be better about updating regularly!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What kind of Wildcat am I?

ASUA- the student government here at UA- sent me an email with a link to a quiz to find out what kind of Wildcat I am. Here are the results:

You are most like Activist Cat

You want to make the world a better place, especially for the underdog. You crusade against injustice. Read more…

Catch a show at student prices at both UA Presents or Arizona Repertory Theater. For hot meals, head to the Cactus Grill, in the afternoons, or a great new healthy hot menu in the Cellar, and all you can eat at Redington Restaurant. Learn to live better with your on-campus roommmate, or your off-campus roommate(s). Living in Tucson and taking classes on campus creates specific commuter needs that the Off-Campus Housing Office can help you through. Meet like-minded socially conscious Wildcats through CSIL's Social Justice Programs. Take advantage of being at a Research 1 Institution while you broaden your mind with undergraduate Research Opportunities. The Eller College is a great place for you to start your path to world domination! Get started making a difference now by being a part of ASUA, your student government! Outgoing Wildcats find tons of things to do and people to meet with Fraternity & Sorority Programs - it just might be for you!


I ate at Redington on Tuesday and at the Cactus Grill tonight (excellent steak fajita quesadillas, for the record.) It was delicious!

My INVD continues to be amazing, as does French.

I talked to Dad tonight, which was fun. He's flying to Mexico in early September, so I'll get to see him when he stops in Tucson! Yay!

I've got homework, so this entry needs to end here. I'll try to update again on Friday after my labs and baking cookies with Cori.

Night!

The First Four Days of College

Well, it's the end of my fourth day on campus and so far, I love it here!
There have been a few rough patches, but overall it's much more positive than negative. Here are a few highlights from the last few days:

Saturday- I moved into my dorm and fit everything in my room (and under the bed... Just like I said it all would!) My roommate, Mari, is amazing. We get along incredibly well so far and have very similar taste in room decor, movies and late night snack needs. Saturday night was lots of unpacking. I hung out with my friend Karen (who went to SHS with me) for a while, though, which was nice.

Sunday- I had my first Blue Chip meeting and met my team, the amazing Team 5! Our team leader's name is Brett and he seems pretty funny so far. I'm looking forward to getting to know my team and all the activities we have planned for this fall. I definitely had some problems with feeling homesick, but talking to Jack and Mom and hanging out with Karen & Mari helped me get over that. We had our first wing meeting and met our RA, Deepa. She's really friendly and sweet and I'm excited for

Monday- First day of classes! I'm taking 18 credits this semester. On Monday I started at 1:00 PM with my INDV class, which is a gen ed class. My class is called "Current Issues in the Psychology of Gender" and I'm totally stoked for it. It meets for lecture on Mondays and Wednesdays with a smaller lab section on Fridays. I love the professor already and especially enjoy her lecture style. This was originally the class I could drop if necessary but I highly doubt I will because I love it!
After my INDV, I had French 202, which is fourth semester French. Again, I like my professor a ton and I'm excited for the class. I think my French is a little rusty right now, but hopefully it'll all start coming back to me soon, especially since I have French Monday-Thursday of each and every week.
My final class of the day was my biology lecture. I have lecture on Mondays and Wednesdays and an Honors section on Thursdays. There is a discussion section for the main lecture on Tuesdays. The lecture is pretty big and the material was basic and rather simple. I really like the professor's speaking style and his personality. I just hope that the Honors part of the course makes it more challenging.
After class, I went to dinner with Karen and Cori (another SHS alumna). We ate at a salad bar called Core. It was excellent although it's somewhat of an adventure- You combine any ingredients you want with any kind of dressing, so your salad might come out tasting pretty strange! Mine was actually very good, although I need to remember next time to get more blue cheese crumbles and less feta. Monday night was spent attempting to read, remembering French grammar, and preparing for today.

Tuesday- I had my other two classes today plus French again. I started off the day with English 109H, which is a one semester composition course for students who got a 4 or a 5 on an AP English test. Normally two semesters are required, but 109H condenses it all into one semester. I do need two semesters for medical school, so I'm planning on taking a technical writing course later on. I LOVE my English professor. We're reading a lot of short stories, including one by Kate Chopin (one of my favorite authors) and another by Flannery O'Connor that I read in AP Lit last year. I think we'll be doing a lot of writing, but that's to be expected.
After English, I went to the Bookstore with a guy named Jay from class to get our books. We ate lunch together and bonded over Orson Scott Card, The Princess Bride, and steak fajitas. He's from Texas and also in a long distance relationship (like half of the freshmen here, I think). We had a lot of fun and hopefully we'll hang out again.
So you know how earlier I said I was a bit rusty in French? Multiply that rustiness by about 1000 and that's where I am in math. I'm taking Math 129, which is Calculus 2. Fortunately it has already started coming back to me, although I imagine it will take some intense work to get an A in that class. Another stroke of luck is that Mari is amazing at math and has offered to help me as needed. This class could prove interesting.
French was amazing again today, although my class is really uninvolved. Only two or three of us (myself included) ever volunteered to read or answer questions. Hopefully that changes as we get further along into the semester and people get more comfortable with the language. I think that this class and Calculus are going to keep me busy, but the homework for French isn't too hard. There's just a lot of it.
I went to the Biology discussion section today. I think it will be good if I ever have questions, but today it was boringly basic. I feel like I had a lot more science in high school than most people in that lecture and that I've retained that information better. The good news is that I approached Dr. Ted about working in his lab (he's doing some kind of genetics research) and he said it was very possible and he likes having undergrads and to ask him about it again at the end of September when things have settled down a bit.

I found out today that auditions for the Honors Play will be next Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm going to audition for it! I don't know what play it is yet or when the performances are more specifically than sometime towards the end of October.

I've still got a little bit of reading to do and I suppose it would be good to get some sleep even if I don't have to be anywhere before noon, so I guess this is it (not that I didn't write a lot haha) for tonight.

(Mom has my mailing address if anyone wants to send me mail! This is only mostly a shameless hint that mail makes college kids happy, I promise.)

I'll do my best to update again soon.