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Title: I love being an outcast
Posted: December 09, 2009 (01:54 AM)
My roommates came home about an hour ago drunk as hell, which displeases me. But they brought some Brit with them which is the most fascinating thing ever to me. So now I'm waging a battle with myself between my frustration with party-happy roommates and my curious obsession with foreigners.
As it is now, though, I'm just going to stay here. I don't feel welcomed by them (the one that lives in my room closed the door on me after I asked what was going on... She seemed kind of snotty about it, but I suppose she could've closed the room off because they thought I was trying to sleep.).. Still, I'm shy anyway, and I'm not a fan of their activity, either, so there's no point in me socializing. I actually find it quite pointless to talk with drunk people because I find them quite incoherent.
Interestingly enough, the Limey is perfectly comprehensible. I just suspect he's not as drunk as they are. I mean, if I've learned anything from knowing EmP as long as I have, it's that Englishmen can drink twice as much as one of us and still be half as drunk. =D
Anyway, suffice to say, I can't sleep. I was wide awake before they got here since I was having fun watching Youtube videos of George Carlin with some of my friends. But I'd at least like to try and study. I have two finals in two days... and the history one needs a lot of time...
EDIT: Haha. He's staying the night here.
Title: Finals week...
Posted: December 06, 2009 (12:59 PM)
Yup, it's that time of year again. The time when every college student around the world goes insane. Hopefully I won't be one of them.
This week I have five finals, none of which I'm really truly ready for. I have a take home final in American politics due Tuesday via e-mail. The good thing about this is he's grading it the same as he would have the midterm since he felt bad about saying one thing and doing another (he had originally wanted the final to be last Friday). The bad thing is take home finals require discipline... which I'm lacking at the moment.
Tomorrow I have a stupid Spanish final, and a stupid presentation to give afterwards since that whole class was the biggest freaking cluster fuck I've ever been in. The final itself isn't something I can really study for - it's a huge reading / writing / listening exercise, so the only things I can study are some vocabulary from the articles we read in class and some grammar stuff for improving writing. As it is, I don't give a damn, so I'm not going to bother.
Tbe presentation thing I'm kind of tired of talking about and it led to enough negativity over the past few days that I just want it to be over with. I'd have liked it to have been over Friday, but noo...
Anyway, I have another final on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. for philosophy which I'm grossly unready for... I had effectively blown off the readings in that class - all my classes actually - since around midterms since I had too much other things to worry about (papers!). So now I'm not as knowledgeable as I should be. Still, I can look over the instructor's notes... since she makes really good ones. I'll probably get an A anyway - the class voted to make a multiple choice final really easy by having 30 questions at 3 points each with 10 extra, so I can afford to miss more than I usually would. Even so, her multiple choice questions are very tricky... so we'll see.
Then I have a history final on Thursday that I'm not too happy about...Dunno where I'll find the time to study for it for one thing, and it's really one of those that I need to prepare for very well in advance since his are so difficult. I've been doing rather poorly* on his previous tests, and it's been disappointing, so I'm justifiably anxious aboout this class.
* By which I mean, "for me". Grades of 78 and 80 on two tests (respectively) don't sit well with me. I like As; this performance has effectively ruined that chance. I might get an A- if he likes my paper and this last exam, but I'm really skeptical on this here.
Lastly, Friday I have a political theory final, which she decided to make like the midterm, so it should be cake. It's an easy class, anyway, and I think I have a better understanding of that material than any of my other classs just because I worked with it so much. For one, her lectures are very thorough and I took great notes, and another, I used a lot of this material to help me with my history paper, which was probably the most interesting (if challenging) thing I did all year.
Anyway, after that, I can theoretically go home that weekend. Traditionally rules have said you're supposed to leave the day after your last final anyway, but I don't think these are enforced. Whether I leave Saturday or Sunday will depend on what state the dorm is in... I think my roommates are all studying abroad next semester, so I'll probably have new ones when I get back... and I'll need to tidy this thing up so that it's presentable for them and I don't get fined.
As for right now, though, I'd like to sleep... since last week was not fun at all and now I'm just worn out. But oh well. I wonder if I can BS my way through a few of these? At least I'm really good at it.
Posted: November 23, 2009 (01:46 PM)
So I'm finally leaving today for Thanksgiving Break, which technically starts on Wednesday but because I don't have any classes on Tuesdays I can leave today. This is great for me because I've been needing a break for a while now with all this school crap.
To actually be looking forward to break to actually use it as a break instead of a few extra free days to catch up on work is great. Of course, that doesn't mean I don't have anything to do at all. Quite the contrary. I need to write my last paper of the semester over this time period or else I'll be seriously stressed during the last week of classes, which, a bit worryingly, happens during the week right after Thanksgiving.
Still, I can at least take the rest of today and tomorrow off. Over the course of the last two weeks, I've written 4 of the 5 papers I need to write, three of them last weekend (not last Friday's weekend, the one before). Somehow I managed to write one a day and that was fantastic. The fourth I finished off yesterday after spending all day on it. Despite the lack of motivation to finish, I did and sent it to my professor who said he liked it and really only suggested a few things to clean up my writing (or so he said; I actually didn't look at it, but I can safely assume the content itself is fine, thankfully).
Finishing off yesterday's paper was a great feeling because those junior colloquium history papers are some of the hardest (or at least most involving) history papers I've ever had to write. So I'm glad they're done now.
Now all I have left is this paper for my other history class - the one about pirates. While this will be a very difficult paper to pull off well, especially since my professor has such high expectations, I'm actually kind of excited to write this one, which almost never happens when writing papers. So hopefully I can at least enjoy it a bit... But... I dunno. You can only 'enjoy' writing papers so much, you know? haha.
It'll be fishing through my sources that'll be the most tedious and painful part. The way I have this week laid out should hopefully make it easier. If I take today and tomorrow off (really need it), I can spend Wednesday, Thursday and maybe part of Friday gathering the exact material from my sources that I want. Friday, Saturday and Sunday can be spent actually writing the paper, though I'd prefer to just have it done Saturday since I'll be spending Sunday traveling back up here again. Which'll likely wear me out for whatever reason. And I really can't afford to be writing this paper during that last week; I have too much going on.
Last week of classes will be focused entirely on this Spanish presentation I have to do as well as studying for my American politics final which had been moved to the last day of class instead of the last Saturday of finals week. I'm actually glad for this shift even if it means I don't get as much study time because it means I can get out for winter break earlier. Besides, who wants to take finals on a Saturday?
Anyway, I'm just packing up now. I hope the rest of you enjoy your Thanksgiving as well (those who have it, I mean =D). After tomorrow, I'll be spending my time working on and writing a paper about naval impressment, which is a fascinating subject if I may so despite how evil it was.
Title: Oh, the joys of registration....
Posted: November 18, 2009 (11:26 AM)
So I registered for classes today... but three of the classes I had originally wanted to take were already filled. I managed to get one of these back by using a time slot that I had previously intended for a different class. But this obviously required me to sacrifice the other (and far more interesting) class for it... so it's still like I gave up 3 classes.
Anyway, I'm going to go through next semester's schedule in more detail to illustrate what I'd wanted.
HIST 299: Global Issues: Historical Perspectives
Tu/Th: 11:30 - 12:45
Originally I had wanted to take this class at the 1:00 - 2:15 slot, but that filled up on the second day of registration (yesterday), and my appointment time wasn't until this morning. I need this class for my International Studies major, though, so I really just want to get it out of the way as soon as possible. The class I had to sacrfice, then, was a 300 level class about the history of Mexico, which looked really interesting. It also crosslisted with International studies, though, so if I had gotten both it and this one, I would be done with that major.
HIST 300E: Topics in World History
MWF: 12:35 - 1:25
This is the "replacement" course for that Mexican history class, since both would have counted for the "30-level non-western history" requirement in the major. I really don't like these "topics" courses for two reasons: 1) I never know what the focus will be until I'm in the class, and 2) I feel like it doesn't look nearly as good on a transcript as a specific course title would. But, you know, thanks to lame ass registration policies and low availability, I can't take the more specfic courses right now...
HIST 334: The Vikings
This is a class I had wanted to take, so I'm glad I got into this at least. I'm taking it as an elective since the British history course I took last semester already filled the pre-17th century requirement. I'm also taking it with the same professor that I'd had for that course, so that's awesome.
PLSC 300C: Contemporary Issues: Comparative Politics
One of my back-up classes... since the English fiction writing class I'd wanted to take for the artistic core requirement had filled up ON THE FIRST FUCKING DAY. This was the only political science class (or any class geared towards one of my majors) that takes place on a Wednesday for 2― hours, which is what I'd planned in the oriignal schedule. This sucks because not only is it a general topics class, but there are so many political science courses that I'm interested in that I really didn't want to have to take some stupid "filler" class just to meet major and scheduling requirements.
And yes, I said major requirements for political science. I'm seriously thinking about declaring a third major.
PLSC 325: American Foreign Policy
This is one of the original ones I had wanted to take. I'm only sad here because there was another political science class (PLSC 341: Comparative Politics) that I was highly interested in but it was scheduled at the exact same time as this. I chose this one instead because it satisfies the international relations part of the poli-sci major and crosslists with international studies. The comparative politics class would have crosslisted as well, but I don't want to take too many classes in one specific field just yet. Not until requirements are done, anyway.
PLSC 343: Latin American Politics
T/Th 1:00 - 2:15
This one replaced the HIST 299 class's oriignal time slot since the former had filed up too soon. This is a class I really didn't want to take, either, because I'm not too interested in Latin American politics. I'm more interested in Latin American relations with the US and world, but not their specific politics. *Sigh* This sucks also because, like I said earlier, there are plenty of other poltiical science classes that interest me a lot more that interest me more (the EU, terrorism, Comparative politics course I mentioned earlier..., just to name a few). And I only get 4 electives for the major... and right now, it looks like this will be filling one of them... and it's not even one I want to take. Likewise, the 300C will be filling the comparative politics requirement... and it's not even one I want to take!
But, well, hopefully I can still take whatever ones I'd wanted in later semesters...
The one good thing about this new lineup is that it really minimizes the work left on both of my current majors. After next semester, I'll only need to take 2 history courses (which I'm planning with the internship - if it counts - and probably some other British history course for post-17th century European history)... I actually hope the internship doesn't count as an elective, though, because I'm still really interested in taking the Mexican history (or some other Latin American / Caribbean history class that looked interesting) as well... and I only get 3. The HIST 299 and HIST 334 both count as electives, of which I only get 3 in that major.
Also, after this, I'll only need one or two courses for international studies since I've been good at crosslisting those. For some reason, my online academic record doesn't count the Spanish content course I took over the summer as INTS despite the fact that I cleared it with the department, so I assume it's a glitch. I mean, it's weird; the major says I only need one course, but when I break down the general electives for that major, it doesn't count the Spanish course there and says I need 2... Oh, well.
I really hate the registration process... Course offerings weren't as frequent it seems... and all the good stuff gets taken very early on. I wish I could just register on the first day. I think I deserve it. I mean, just because I'm not in the honors program... I should still get in because I'm awesome and my GPA rocks.
Title: So they pulled a body out of the lake today....
Posted: November 11, 2009 (08:35 PM)
A dead body. On campus. In front a glass building where everyone can see it.
I fortunately didn't see it. But I heard about it.
I heard it was bloated and probably decomposed beyond reasonable identification. But I also heard it was "white as a sheet" and "creepy", so obviously it probably wasn't completely decomposed as to tell that it wasn't reasonably human.
I heard it was recognizable enough to determine that it was an older male, so not likely a student, which is a small relief as 3 students have died this year.
Rumors abound. Some people speculate murder, which seems likely as witnesses claim the man had been tied up when pulled out of the water. They also say he had a gash in his head.
Others speculate suicide, which is also a possibility because if he had died somewhere near campus, jumping into the lake would likely result in head gashing as it's rocky there. But... that doesn't really explain the bondage.
Theories speculate that he was killed for gang reasons or that someone had killed him somewhere ele entirely and that he just washed up on shore here... But no one really knows what happened for sure yet, and it's likely we ever will since it's not like they go around telling us these things even if they did happen on campus.
Dead body on campus. Wtf. So glad I didn't actually see it. I'd be having nightmares tonight otherwise.
Strange, too... that death has been pervasive in my dreams. A bit disturbing if you ask me, but at least none of my dreams have included axe murders or anything super creepy like that. o.o
Sometimes I wonder why I live here.
Title: Memmories of Mallorca: Palma de Mallorca
Posted: November 08, 2009 (10:20 PM)
This will likely be hte second-largest cache of photos I put in a blog post regarding my trip abroad. I've decided to alternate between day and night photos of the city in which I stayed for aesthetic appeal. I think I took some really good ones.
I think this is one of my best pictures of the whole trip
Think this was a governmental building of some sort. Or maybe it's the Cathedral from a different angle. Don't remember.
See, you get the fountain from both periods of day
Thousand year old olive tree. Seriously
A considerably different tree
For some reason, I don't remember this one... at all... I'm guessing it's Palma, though... because that's where I classified it.
On second thought, I think this is the largest of all my caches.
EmP should be jealous.
Title: News to make EmP cry
Posted: October 29, 2009 (11:02 PM)
GREEN DAY IS TWO BANDS
I suppose this would be the part where I'd cut off my ears or jump for joy or some other such extreme emotional expression if I weren't so indifferent on the matter.
My views on Green Day: I like some songs. Others are blech. Most are OK. But honestly, I really don't care.
Title: Comparative Analysis of World Religious Philosophies
Posted: October 21, 2009 (05:37 PM)
Taoism: Shit happens
Confucianism: Confucius say: Shit happens
Buddhism: If shit happens, it isn't really shit
Zen: What is the sound of shit happening?
Hinduism: This shit happened before
Islam: If shit happens, it is the will of Allah
Protestant: Let shit happen to someone else
Catholic: If shit happens, you deserve it
Judaism: Why does shit always happen to us?
Atheist: Shit happens for no apparent reason
Agnostic: Farts happen
Jehovah's Witnesses: Let us i and we'll tell you why shit happens
Hare Krishna: Shit happens shit happens shithappens shit shit happens happens shitshitshit happenshappenshappens
Pagan: Shit is a part of the goddes, too
Scientologist: Fecal matter happens
Murphyism: When the room is small and hot, farts happen
Title: The Field Museum
Posted: October 17, 2009 (04:13 PM)
So today I went to the Field Museum here in Chicago because of the totally awesome pirates exhibit they have there until the 25th. I went with a large group from the pirates-related history class I'm taking since the trip was meant to serve as an extra credit opportunity.
The exhibit itself was really neat. It reflected a lot of what we had been learning in class, especially since the main historical consultant who helped the museum put it together had written a book about the subject that we have to read for the class. His name's Marcus Rediker and the book is Villains of All Nations if anyone's interested.
The book, and to a large extent the exhibit, portrays piracy in a different light than the romanticized "Pirates of the Caribbean" or "Treasure Island" vibe that we all grow up with.
The real stories behind pirates are a lot more sobering and dramatic than what you see on TV or in film. Pirates became pirates for many reasons, but to make the history lesson short, I'll just focus on the 18th century during what was called the "Golden Age of Piracy", which lasted from around 1715-1726.
After the War of Spanish Succession, the great demilitarization of the British Royal Navy forced a lot of sailors out of work. Unable to get jobs or any sustainable income, some turned to criminality, which included piracy. Others merely shifted roles from becoming privateers to pirates, which happened easily enough since piracy was no longer sanctioned by the state after the war in an effort to maintain peace with Spain. However, the majority of pirates emerged out of naval mutinies, either with the Royal Navy or merchant marines. These mutinies occurred to crewmen dissatisfaction with the captain's abusive treatment, which ranged from beatings and torture (to try and get them to work... because who wants to put all their effort into a job when they're receiving shit pay?) or withholding provisions so the captain could sell them off to his own profit, among other misdeeds. These mutinies also occurred on slaving vessels because disciplinary measures were probably some of the strictest there.
However, the largest influx of pirates came from captured crewmen of non-piratical vessels. Many often offered to join the pirates freely because they felt that piracy made a far better living than the miserable life of a naval seamen or other maritime job.
Anyway, history lesson aside, the exhibit reflected much of this. It even started off with discussion of the slave trade, which served as a huge target - and source - of piracy. There were actual artifacts from the era such as cannon, firearms, pieces of eight, and even bits and pieces from clothing such as brass buckles and clips and the like.
All around it was pretty fascinating. And then afterwards we ate lunch at a nearby restaurant, where there were only about 6-8 of us, including the professor, because the larger group had already left to go eat somewhere else. During a discussion there I had a hilarious brain fart that should amuse many of you, especially EmP... if he's around.
A grad student in the class was discussing his two-day exploration of the British Museum when he was over there whenever ago. Towards the end of his tale, he said something like, "It was all pretty amazing until I dropped Ģ100 in the bookstore." Of course, me being me, focusing on the sheer amount of walking he must have been doing, said "You lost 100lbs just from walking?" XXXD At which point everyone just laughed at me and I had to explain that I'd just had a brain fart and probably had food on my mind more than money.
While it was very amusing to everyone involved, including myself, the incident did bother me a little if only because it made me look the stereotypical self-centered American who thinks only of her own country even when outside it. This of course cannot be further from the truth especially considering the fact that I had gone to Mallorca over the summer, and the fact that I have both British and European currency hidden in my room. I also pride myself in my international perspective and abhor the stereotype, but that aside, the incident hilarious and I'm going to assume that everyone thought it was an honest mistake (which it was).
Anyway, now that I'm done talking, I really should get some work done... *sigh*
Title: Memmories of Mallorca: Castel Bellver
Posted: October 06, 2009 (03:22 PM)
Zig had wanted me to put this togetger for a while now and I just kept forgetting. I also didn't have time. These will have to be done incrementally as I have A LOT of pictures... Some places may need to be combined, though, because I'm not putting everything on here... especially not the pictures that have me (or other people) in them. Though as far as pics with other people go, some of the ones may have random people off in the distance or something... but sometimes the pictures are just too good (for their scenery) to pass up.
Anyway, I believe I remember talking about the trip to the castle when I was blogging about the trip back in May / June, but it was still a great adventure that day. Well, until the food poisoning or whatever it was that made me miserable for a few days after. And this time you get to see pics!
This castle, from what I understood, is the only (or one of the only) completely round castles in Europe. This can be told from the circular courtyard (seen later) as well as the fact that once at the top, you can literally walk around 360 degrees and view the island from every direction.
The castle, once used to hold political prisoners, POWs and the like, is now a museum that houses artwork of many types.
These last three, with the exception of the middle, are just pics from the very top of the castle. The middle one is more artwork from inside.
See that, EmP? You could've gone here, you bum.
Title: ATTN: EmP
Posted: September 08, 2009 (01:13 PM)
Enjoy your shrine. May all the people of the world bow down before your over-egotistical glory and pray! =D
Title: Ugh. Kill me now.
Posted: August 23, 2009 (09:22 PM)
I just looked at my course load, and... while it has its advantages, they may not matter because of Wednesdays alone.
This is my schedule for Wednesday:
9:20 - 10:15 American Politics
I can't remmber why I'm taking this. This may be the class that crosses with philosophy, but I don't think it is. Interest, I suppose. And a strange desire to see just how ignorant about our own political system I really am.
10:25 - 11:15 Composition & Conversation II
Yay - let's hear it for rounding out my Spanish minor! God Bless that Mallorca program.
12:35 - 1:25 Political Theory
Yes, I decided to try and pull a minor in poli-sci. Plus one of these counts as a philosophy course, so I'll be done with philosophy after this, unless I decide to minor in that too. Because I can.
2:00 - 4:30 Junior Colloquium
Where I learn how to write advanced history papers. It's a course I could've used before taking the English history class last semester but ouldn't because only juniors and higher are allowed to take it. But, well, hopefully it'll help now, anyway. I'll need the knowledge for my other history class this semester, I'm sure. Still, it's writing intensive.....
7:00 - 9:30: Social & Political Philosophy
That's 7 in the evening, thanks. I'm not even sure I'll like the class... Some of the coursework looked interesting, but others didn't. I may be too reminded of that anthropology class I took, which was interesting but... just a little beyond me, I think. Who knows.
Good God. I'm insane. The one good thing about this schedule is that I have Tuesday open, and only one class on Thursday, which is another (2― hour) history class about pirates that's being taught by like my favorite prof here. But still, those first three classes I have Monday and Friday as well as Wednesday... so that's not too comforting. But at least they get out in the early afternoon, I guess.
....Five classes in one day... Six in total... Three that only occur once a week for 2― hours which means a lot of stupid reading and whatever else. Oh boy.
Well, guess we'll see how this goes. Pray for my soul. Or better yet, my sanity. I'll surely need it.
Title: You know what I hate?
Posted: August 15, 2009 (11:13 AM)
When TV shows feel the need to caption English accents, even when they're perfectly comprehensible.
Seriously. They're speaking the same language. They aren't that hard to understand. Grow some ears, people. What the hell.
I don't know. Maybe people in this country are just stupid or something. I mean really. Unless they're speaking some British dialectical equivalent to ghetto-speak, there's seriously no reason for subtitles.
But who knows. I suppose it's possible that some people have spent their entire lives here without ever hearing an English accent before, but in this day and age, I don't see how that's really possible unless you live under a rock.
What's wrong with this country? Good lord.
Title: Clerks II
Posted: August 03, 2009 (09:18 AM)
Apparently I'm writing this under the impression that this was actually a movie that a lot of people have seen. I'm going to assume it's not, but I'm going to rant about it anyway. DISCLAIMER: This post will contain spoilers.
So the other night, I saw Clerks II on Comedy Central. I was happy because after seeing the sheer brilliance that is the cartoon, I thought the movies would be just as good.
I was wrong.
What followed was a series of degenerate, never ending sex jokes with references to the most disgusting things people can do to one another. And animals. While things like that can be funny in moderation, it's really not good if the whole film seems to revolve around it. That any one character can barely speak more than one sentence without saying some variation of "Fuck" or "shit" doesn't help, either.
Well, this isn't entirely true. The whole plot revolved around co-protagonist Dante Hicks leaving New Jersey to start a new life with his too-sexy-for-him blonde fiancé. Of course, it wouldn't be Clerks if the rest of the film didn't involve Randall and others effectively ruining that goal. Which is where the comedy comes in. The film does have its moments, most of which don't involve utterly disgusting behavior or innuendo. And it's these that are appreciated. The nerd obsessed with LotR and all the jabs that come as a result is almost priceless, for example.
That said, due to the nature and execution of the movie, it completely lacks the utter wittiness and genius that created the cartoon, even though both were probably created by many of the same people, and both certainly featured the same actors. I suppose I chalk this up to the film industry's notion of comedy which for whatever reason assumes that everyone thinks masturbation jokes, exotic sexual acts, toilet humor, and gutter mouths make for great laughs. Well, they don't. At least not when beaten to the point where even the flies won't touch it. I suppose this kind kind of comedy used in excess appeals to some people - I'm thinking stoners and morons, mainly - but to me, it's just... meh.
I'm quite glad I saw this on TV, because whether they say "uncut and uncensored" or not, they still cut and sensor things. And according to my brother, who saw the real thing, I'm not really missing much.
That said, this experience won't make me think less of the cartoon. I still find that to be one of the most brilliant animated series ever created, and it's a shame it tanked the way it did. And I'd still probably see the first Clerks film, in the hopes that it has a bit more substance than this one. And by substance, I mean better comedic value because "substance" by its usual definitiion doesn't really apply to comedy.
Title: Ugh. Finally!
Posted: July 28, 2009 (02:17 PM)
I finally wrote something. After ages and ages of no motivation, writer's block and anything else, I finally wrote a review. It's for Psychonauts.
It's kind of forced, so I'm not really expecting too much. However, I did write it how I wanted to - that is, I talked about things that I'd wanted to talk about. Mainly a kind of psychologic comparison thing, since that seemed appropriate. I also thought it might be unique. Granted, due to its nature, I'm not going to expect people to like it. But that's OK because I'm at least happy that I was able to get it out there and relatively how I wanted (though I do wish the quality of the writing itself would've felt smoother as I was working...).
That being said, I'm aware of some of its flaws. It's style is pretty standard. It's also unedited, so I expect a few typos. I mostly just wanted to get it done. I'm aware that some sentences are probably awkward and some ideas are probably confusing, but I tried to explain them as best I could. I'm also aware of word repetition - there are at least three words I can think of that I use quite frequently. I didn't feel like looking through a thesaurus to find a semi-appropriate match for them, though. I still have a day to do nitty-gritty editing things anyway. It's the main conceptual flaws that probably exist as well that I'm more concerned with.
I'll probably use this for TT, even if it isn't that great, since I don't feel like using some old review this round. I actually want to save some of the reviews I didn't use for next year, anyway. Maybe things will go better then.
I'm just glad to get one written after... months... or... however long it's been.
Title: My new member title
Posted: July 14, 2009 (09:59 AM)
Yes, I'm making fun of myself. I'll probably change it to something happier in a few weeks or when I go back to school. I dunno.
Somehow I think I get more depressed in summer. Haha. That's hilarious.
Title: You know the ONE thing that sucks about the 4th of July...
Posted: July 05, 2009 (12:35 PM)
is the day after.
I feel like shit. And I didn't even drink anything. I just stayed out till 2:00 in the morning at a friend's house because it coincidentally happened to be his birthday and blew things up for six hours.
Which was awesome except that it was raining almost all day and damp when it wasn't. And it was cold enough to wear autumn clothing. Seriously that's not cool - wearing pants in July. Honestly. Fortunately the weather didn't really affect any of the explosions, but it did affect my joints which hurt all day/night. And now I feel like I'm going to catch a cold or something and that's not much fun at all. But oh, well; it was fun anyway and considering it's like the only time of year I see those people, I'd do it again.
Title: Back home... finally
Posted: June 14, 2009 (01:46 PM)
I should note that the exasperated "finally" deals more with the 18 hour trip back than wanting to leave Mallorca itself. That place was cool; I'm going to miss it.
On that note, the trip back sucked. I'm tired as hell and EmP's a liar.
The airport was NOT open that night, thank you. Instead they only kept Terminal 1 open where any late arrivals could go and sleep on these sort of reclining chairs, or the rows of regular chairs, which which were probably more comfortable because you could actually lay down however you wanted. Nothing was open, not even food places. The only thing to eat was crap purchased at a row of vending machines. I'm just glad my host mom had given me stuff to eat before leaving.
Because they'd decided to confine us to a single terminal, and a single gate port at that (36-56, I think), I grew incredibly bored and restless, and sometime around 2:00 in the morning I'd decided to wander around the rest of the place and got yelled at by a security
I could only sleep for 1 to 1― hours at a time, which I did between the hours of 11:30 - 1:00 and 2:30 - 4:00, roughly. Inbetween that time I woke up not only because I was uncomfortable, but because I was freezing since I guess they like to keep the airconditioning on even when it's only like 65F outside. Whatever. This contributed to my want to wander around because at least then I was warm.
Woke up at around 4:00 and noticed that things were picking up again, so I decided to relocate and to my relief discovered they weren't holding me back this time, though everything was still closed and remained so until about 5:30 - 6:30 in the morning. It was there that I discovered sunrise in England occurs at around 4:00 in the morning because it had already progressed enough when I wandered by a window at 4:30. This amused me greatly. I laughed really hard. I think part of it was me being tired, but still. 4:00 in the morning? Really? XD
Anyway, none of this would have been that bad if there were actually people. I guess that's because I like watching people and find it entertaining. I also like to wander around and look at stuff especially when in places I've never been before. And while I'd been in the same place coming to Mallorca, I hadn't grown bored of it that quickly. I remember feeling quite alone and awkward when I passed through security the first time at like 10:30 only to find absolutely NO ONE there. It wasn't a very fun feeling. lol Interestingly, I find that things should shut down that early in the evening... but... I dunno how air travel works.
That said, when things finally started picking up, getting checked through was fairly easy even though it meant effectively going through security twice because United has stricter security policies than bmi or something because I don't remember having to go through security a second time (after the usual initial security check that all airports have) before boarding the plane to Mallorca.
All of this makes me extremely grateful I'd managed to finish that substandard review for the competition as I never would have been able to upload it at the airport. I figure some sort of review is better than no review, anyway, so hopefully we can all be happy.
As for the 8 hour flight afterwards, that was OK, I guess, if boring as hell. I had stuff to read in both places, but didn't really end up reading that much as I was too busy trying to sleep or... something. I have no idea. Either way, I was too tired to read for any substantial length of time.
They fed me breakfast on the plane, which actually didn't suck too much, and I really needed the food as I hadn't eaten properly in like a day at that point.
Though the thing I hate about those really long flights the most is that it... just... hurts after a while. Sitting too long is painful, especially after 2-3 hours. And after everal more, joints start going if I don't move around enough (especially knees). But usually walking around a bit helps that. But of course, with planes being so narrow, it's really hard to walk around.
But anyway, I'm here now, intact and suffering from nothing but exhaustion. Though I am a bit worried about my luggage... It hadn't turned up in Chicago, and so I ended up filling out a form and talking intensively with a United representative who, after a long while, told me that it never arrived in London. Or that if it had, it didn't arrive on that flight. So who knows!
Hopefully it'll turn up somewhere...
Title: Last Day
Posted: June 12, 2009 (12:52 PM)
Well, today's the last day here, in Spain before I make the agonizing 18hour journey home. I'll say that I've had a great time here, and probably learned more Spanish here than all my years of schooling combined, but that's cool.
Since last I posted, I.... wow. Having that memory issue again... maybe it's from the sun. lol
I know I did a lot of school related stuff. I know I also had been winding down my adventuring these past couple of weeks, so maybe I didn't do a whole lot. I know I went to the beach a few more times, including today. I also know I haven't seen very many tourists since Formentor, which was odd. It's like they all vanished. Or maybe it's just because I haven't gone to as many exotic places. There were some tourists at the place we went to today, though.
I also remember going to a concert last Friday. It was Argentinian tango or something, haha, which I suppose is a bit odd since you'd think I'd see something Spanish, but not really. My host mom's Argentinian anyway. And that Sunday we had friends over... Had them over a lot, which was nice, especially since one of them was my previous host mother who's really cool.
Ah. Somewhere in there, I'd gone to the pool at the university... which was strange considering there's a beach. Anyway, the pool was constructed like one of those Olympic swimming pools only not as large or deep, though it was still deep enough in all sections except for the kids' section and classes area that I couldn't touch the bottom, which kind of sucked because I can't swim very well and I get tired easily. Also, because of its structure, all I could really do was swim laps, which was kind of boring but good exercise, so it was alright.
Don't really remember what I did between the first of June and the 4th of June, though. Odd.
Anyway, things I still need to do:
WRite a review for MOTO because I only have less than a day now. Since I really don't feel like working on it during the ten hours I'll be in London. I'll probably be too tired, anyway. I plan on just sleeping on a bench or something with my Spanish phone as an alarm clock. Let's hear it for looking like a bum, yayayayayayay!!! Hahaha. Of course, I may just choose to do what I did last time and wander around aimlessly looking at stuff, sleeping sporadically for half an hour, and reading.
Also not sure about wireless access. I know when I was there last time I saw I had to pay for internet, so... why'd they put free wireless in would be beyond me. So if I don't finish the review tomorrow before I leave, we're royaly boned. lol This'll be the closest deadline I've ever made since that time I wrote Bad Dudes for drella's contest, but this time it has a consequence!
The other thing I need to do is pack. That'll take a while and cut into my review time. Goody.
Also a note for when I go home, my activity will fall off sharply. I've been surprisingly active here despite all the things I've been doing, so even if I've been less here than I am at school, it'll decrease noticeably at home. I've explained this before, but with TT underway, I want to make this clear again. This is thanks to the useless dial up connection at my house which makes me afraid to be on more than an hour or so each day because it blocks the phone line. Also, my parents' atttude about me being on the internet doesn't help my desire to be there, either. I'll still try for frequent trips to the library like I did last year, but then I'll only be on two hours at a time, but at least I'll have AIM. I'm also going to try and find a job at home. That might make my parents care less about internet activity. I also need money because now I'm broke thanks to this trip. (It was totally worth it, though)
Anyway, we'll see how things go, I guess. Might post something in a few days after I recover from not sleeping (much) for 24 hours and jet lag (if I get it going home).
P.S: I still wonder where EmP stayed when he was here. Fascinating that all he could find to do was play golf and drink. =P
P.P.S: I have an AWESOME tan.
Title: Mallorca: Week 2 (3...?)
Posted: June 01, 2009 (03:26 PM)
Like I said; I'm losing track of time.
Anyway, the only really awesome things that are worth noting from the past... whenever it was since I posted about this trip are these:
I went to a castle on the Friday I got sick. It was awesome. Apparently it's supposed to be the only "round" castle in the world, or at least in Spain. Don't remember which. And it was used to house prisoners. There were a lot of stairs and I managed to twist my ankle on the way up because I'm awesome, but it was fun. There were people on horses - I assume they were security or police or just general authority figures. I took some pics of them.
The next day after that we went to a farm that had some cool animals, including horses. And peacocks! You never see peacocks anywhere except at the zoo, I swear. It had a nice garden. Wish I could've taken more pics, but my camera's batteries decided to be gay that day. Managed to get quite a few of the farm, though. It was the monastery we went to afterwards that I didn't get a lot of anything with. Kind of disappointing. The place had great architecture and stuff. The monastery was also supposedly where Chopin and George Sand lived for a while.
After that I.... ....don't remember.
I think I went to the beach somewhere...
...but all of last week is pretty much blank except until Friday. It's entirely possible that I didn't do much of anything except wander around the city or something. I do remember going out with some of our classes. One was a medieval tour of the city, similar to the tour we had during the first week. The other class took us to lunch (but we still had to pay for ourselves) one day, and then to a market the next.
Oh, yeah; and somewhere in that last week - maybe that Sunday... I went to these caves in the north of the island that I guess are known for their length and depth, and also holding one of the largest underground lakes in the world. There were a lot of stalactytes and things. They wouldn't let us take pictures, though.
Anyway, Friday I went to a place called Formentor or some such, which was up a huge-ass mountain that I thought we'd fall off riding up there on the bus. We were supposed to see the lighthouse among other things, but just ended up wandering around the beach because we couldn't figure out how to get to the lighthouse or anywhere else.
There were tourists everywhere. I can't tell if there were more Brits than Germans, but there were definitely more of those two than Spaniards.
The beach itself was nice, though, and the kids there had built numerous sandcastles and things which I took pictures of because I'm strange.
And Saturday I went to a hotel in a different city with my former host family. We stayed for a night but didn't really do much but talk and walk around the city. Still, though, it was something to keep my mind off this paper I'm supposed to be working on for some class or another... I really need to do that.
Still debating on whether I should go to Barcelona this weekend... It'll really be my only chance at this point, but I don't like to decide these things until last minute when I'm absolutely sure I can go, and I can't do that when it comes to booking a plane or whatever. At this point, though, the cost is starting to affect my decision (it seems to get more expensive as it gets closer), as well as my workload. We'll see how things go, though, and what other people are wanting to do, I suppose.
Title: So.... did I get ripped off or...?
Posted: May 27, 2009 (05:43 PM)
...does the Dollar : Euro ratio fluctuate drastically from week to week, perhaps because of the stupid worldwide economic situation?
Because I swear, when I exchanged currencies in London two weeks ago, I got 93 Euros for $155, which was an exchange rate of about 1.65%, and a commission of 3%, which amounted to about 3 Euros which they deducted automatically and which I didn't count in my total.
But here I cashed some travelers checks, $150 and received 103 Euros, minus the commission (4 Euros), and an exchange rate of 1.4 dollars to the Euro.
So did I get ripped off in London or is that really how the currency fluctuations are going from week to week?
I suppose it's not THAT much of a difference, but in a way it is, because this trip has broken me.
P.S. I can tell from the noise outside earlier that Barcelona won the match. I could also tell how the match was going all night from the noise of the fans here. It was kind of funny.
Title: 5 Days in Mallorca
Posted: May 21, 2009 (04:34 AM)
Or maybe itīs six. I seriously have no concept of what the date is anymore since coming here, though somehow I manage to know what day and time it is...
Anyway, on Sunday I went to a different part of the island. I think the town was called Alcudia or something. Itīs a really old Roman city with old stone walls and old everything, but itīs really pretty. There was a sort of "museum" there where we could tour this park and garden. There were many statues from a sculptor who had lived in the area, I believe. I really canīt remember everything. There was also a garden which was nice. And it grew opium: haha.
On Monday I went to class and had orientation as well as a regular class. I donīt remember anything else from that day. Iīve done way too much since Iīve gotten here. I think I might have walked around the city with my host mother, though. I think we went to a museum of contemporary art or something.
Tuesday was classes again, including the incredibly difficult Spanish culture class. Which is only difficult because all my classes are in Spanish and understanding whatīs being said is difficult, especially with things that require a lot of conceptual things and... yeah. The language class isnīt that bad, though; a lot of itīs review, which would make sense since I technically learned everything I was supposed to about the language structure last semester, minus the detail things. But itīs also a lower level language class that Iīm taking because it equates to 250 back at school, which I havenīt taken yet.
We also had several tours that day. One was to the cathedral in the city, which was fascinating because it was very historical. The other was a tour of the city (the old parts), which I understood little of because at that point my feet hurt so much that I could think of nothing else let alone pay attention to someone explaining comoplicated histories in Spanish. The fun part of that day, though, was when I lost the group on the way to the tour of the city becauase I was trying to get this picture of a horse. I guess they thought I was with them, because when I finally finished, they were gone. So first I waited around a bit, then I thought to ask someone for a phone, but I didnīt want to ask passersby because that would be weird. So I saw a policeman/authority figure of some sort and asked him. This conversation was entirely in Spanish. It went something like this:
Me: "Do you have a cell phone I can use? I lost the group I was with and I want to call them... so they can find me."
Him: "No, but Iīll try to flag down a police car so you can." (Note: I thought he was directing me to the police station, not trying to find a police car)
Itīs also important to note that there were many, many stutters and re-explanations on both our ends because I had to say a lot more about my situation than is listed there. I also had a bit difficulty explaining some things, but for the most part I think we understood each other and it was really cool. But after that last point, the director of the program had found me and the two men exchanged a dialog detailing my situation and thanking the guy Iīd asked graciously.
We also got our bus passes that day. Took two hours because I swear the processing was slower than the DMV.
Yesterday was class again. Had to turn in some homework things which werenīt a big deal because theyīre just for the teacher to check our (not) skills. Then I had to move to a new house with a new family because the old place I was living at had a lot of stairs and no elevator, and since my vision is bad, the stairs were kind of problematic. Especially since itīs an old kind of city and they all sort of wend around and blend together. Itīs kind of a shame because I really liked the lady I was with; she was a really cool person. But I can still talk to her if I want, which is good. She was a vegetarian anyway, though, which might have gotten a bit... old for me, but Iīm not here to complain, really. Though I will say I think we were talking in English a bit too much, which was really my fault because when Iīm tired, I canīt erally think in or understand Spanish very well. But the woman Iīm with is nice, too, and Iīm also living with another student in my program, so the companyīs kind of nice. She also has this really goofy cat that I took pictures of and a video of earlier today/yesterday. The thingīs hilarious. XD Iīll have to upload those when I go home because I donīt have the cord for my digital camera here.
Iīve got homework to do over the weekend. Itīs kind of lame, but not a big deal. Itīll also give me a chance to play with my computer at the house Iīm staying at. I hope she has Internet. I think she does... but Iīm not sure.
Anyway, the point of this post is to say, I donīt know where EmP was when he came here, but I have plenty to do. LOL He shouldīve gone out more or something because I think I was busier in one day than he was his whole stay.
God damn this post is really long. Jesus. Meant to do daily updates or something but was too busy. Iīm only at school practically all day... Haha.
But yeah. Iīm having fun here, despite not getting much "me" time - most of my free time is spent doing other things like visiting places and such - but thatīs alright. At least the workloadīs not too bad, though I am a bit worried about that culture class... thereīs some paper I need to write thatīll be longer than any paper Iīve ever had to write in Spanish, but thatīs not due until the end of the... program, so... I guess itīs OK. I should ask about starting it next week, though, because the days go by quickly with 2― hour classes, and if I wait too long Iīll be rushing and thatīll be bad.
The food here is also great. It really is. So that makes me happy.
Title: Good news and bad news
Posted: May 17, 2009 (09:33 AM)
First the good news because otherwise the bad news wonīt make sense.
The good news is that I made it to Mallorca without dying or getting lost, surprisingly. Most of the trip was spent sleeping and eating and walking and waiting.
There was a lot of walking in London just because I had nothing better to do at the airport than to wander around aimlessly and look at various shops. Which is fine becaue the plane ride was agonizing. 8 hours is not a fun way to spend sitting all the time. It also made me really tired, so I spent between half an hour to an hour and a half napping periodically, both on the plane and at the airport.
I have three different currencies, but wonīt be able to exchange most of them when I go home because most are coins, but thatīs cool because it might get spent anyway, and the rest I can keep as a souvenir.
Anyway, Iīm here now and still getting settled. My host mom speaks Spanish, English, and the local Catalan, which is both good and bad for me because my Spanish speaking is still really bad. But itīs bad in a way because if we use English too much I wonīt learn anything. So Iīm trying but itīs hard.
The bad news: apparently the power adaptor I bought in Chicago is completely useless to me becauae it requires the charger have a USB port in order to plug into it. Or something. I have no idea. Iīm going to have to show someone who actually knows how to use it... hopefully soon... But... if I canīt plug my charger into the adaptor, then Iīm royally fucked. It would make bringing my laptop completely pointless and work extremely difficult. It also means Iīll have to pull out of the contest, but thatīs the least of my worries (if a very disappointing one), so Iīm going ot hope that the thing is useful and I just donīt know what Iīm doing... *sigh*
My phone also likely wonīt work here, so thatīs going to take some figuring out but thatīs what emailīs for. I guess.
I also need to remember that Iīm 7 hours ahead from home now and that no one is really around when I am. lol Itīs so weird.
Surprisingly jetlag didnīt affect me like I thought it would, but then I was so tired when I got here that it was fairly easy to go to bed at 1 in the morning. So I think Iīm alright with that...
Classes start tomorrow... which will prove difficult since I still need to figure out exactly how to get there (the place is a maze I swear), and it will also be difficult if I canīt use my laptop... itīs just kind of a mess.
Weīll see how things go later, I guess.. hopefully everything will turn out alright.
Title: My itinerary
Posted: May 11, 2009 (10:10 AM)
I leave Friday which is much too soon if you ask me, but there's nothing I can do about it.
This'll be fun.....
Friday, May 15, 2009
United Airlines # 938
Chicago O'Hare International (ORD) to London Heathrow (LHR)
Departure (ORD): May 15, 9:05 PM CDT (evening)
Yeah. In the evening. That's not going to make Mom happy since we'll basically have to be there by 7:00 in the evening in order to get through security and all that crap on time. Which means leaving here around 5. On that note, though, I'm considerably worried about finding my gate. I've done research and it tells me that all international flights go through gates M1-M21 or something odd like that yet I have no indication whatsoever which one of these gates my flight is. Is that not something I find out until I actually get there?
Arrival (LHR): May 16, 11:15 AM BST (morning)
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Bmi # 165
London Heathrow (LHR) to Palma Mallorca Palma Mallorca (PMI)
Departure (LHR): May 16, 4:05 PM BST (afternoon)
Awesome. I have 5 hours to get lost in. Like really. I imagine a significant portion of this will be me wandering around aimlessly looking for my next flight because I'll have to change terminals and going through security. Again. Not to mention I'll be half dead because I just spent 8 hours on a plane not all of which could be sleeping and when I land, it'll technically be 5 in the morning where I'm at now.
Arrival (PMI): May 16, 7:30 PM CEST (evening)
This is about 2 hours. Which isn't bad. Though I wonder how the people in charge of this thing'll find me. I won't be the only person there after all.
The return trip will be even more fun!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Bmi # 166
Palma Mallorca Palma Mallorca (PMI) to London Heathrow (LHR)
Departure (PMI): June 13, 8:20 PM CEST (evening)
Arrival (LHR): June 13, 9:50 PM BST (evening)
Sunday, June 14, 2009
United Airlines # 929
London Heathrow (LHR) to Chicago O'Hare International (ORD)
Departure (LHR): June 14, 7:45 AM BST (morning)
What... am I going to do for 10 hours? lol Can I sleep at the airport and not have my stuff stolen?
Arrival (ORD): June 14, 10:28 AM CDT (morning)
I like how the timezone shift only really makes it 3 hours that passed between when I leave and come home. Even though I would've been on the plane for like 8 hours. Isn't that hilarious? XD
God help me. While I've been made to feel significantly better about this whole thing last time I was talking about it, the fact is, I'll still be doing it alone with no prior experience whatsoever. And internationally at that.
Right now I'm concerned with packing, though... And it's the whole "what can I take on the plane" thing that's getting me right now. Granted, I don't think I'll have much of an issue there, but the whole 3oz liquids/gels thing might be my only problem. Like how much is 3 ounces? Lol
I dunno. And I have five days left to get everything ready. Awesome.
Title: Last Semester: an Evaluation
Posted: May 08, 2009 (09:09 PM)
I. Am. Awesome.
Got (most of) my grades back last night and they're all As again. Except for stats which is an incomplete because the teacher was sick when I took the final so he couldn't grade mine before he had to put grades in. I'm 90% certain I'll get a B of some nature in that class, though, which is better than I expected from a stupid math class I never wanted (or really needed except for general core requirements) to take. And even if it is a C, I don't care because I never cared about that class. Just as long as it's nothing lower.
My history paper must have been good enough after all. Or maybe she just looked at it and considered the time frame in which I did it and everything. I dunno. But my grade in the class is an A, and it wouldn't be an A if the paper were a B or lower, I don't think. I still don't like the paper, but if this result means anything, I guess I don't need to be ashamed of it anymore. lol
The other paper I almsot killed myself with, though, - the philosophy one - is awesome and I'm super happy and proud of it. Especially since I got full points on it. I think that was my pride achievement this semester, which is kind of a shame because I'd like the history paper to be, considering that you know, history's my major. But heh. I'm still happy. And I'm glad it's all done.
I do wish that I didn't have to almost kill myself that last week, though. But I think next semester I'll be better prepared and know what to do better, so hopefully I won't be so overwhelmed next time.
But yes. Now I am happy. I'll gladly show anyone either of my papers if they want to read them. =D LOL
I will say that this was the hardest semester I've had yet, so I'm glad I did so well. Especially considering the history course was a 300 level course, and I've yet to take the course that teaches me to write good history papers. lol I'll be taking that next semester... as a junior, since only juniors or higher can take it. The lessons learned this semester will help me get through the next one because next semester I'm taking 6 courses... and two really difficult history ones. Another 300-level on top of the writing course. But at least I get to learn about pirates! =D
I'm not sure what my favorite course was. Probably the history one just because of the content and challange, despite the fact that I wanted to strangle myself towards the end of it. I need to elarn to manage 2― hour once-a-week classes better... because I have 3 next semester. ._. I will say that my least favorite course was that stats one, though. Blech. Not my field at all.