Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Roomie!

I have been meaning to make a post about this since August, but you see how well that went! I have yet to tell everyone about the one person who has become a constant in my life for the moment: my roommate, Carissa. You have probably read a little bit about her already (as I mention her in the majority of my posts...because we're usually together), but here is just a little bit more about her.

Carissa is a Sophomore here at NOC, so she is older than I am. After she finishes her NOC classes in the mornings, she drives over to Vo-Tech to take some classes over there. Her NOC major is business, and her Vo-Tech area of study is computer networking, so the two majors complement each other nicely. She has lived in Fairview for all of her life, and, of course, graduated from there in 2010. The fact that she is a Sophomore is nice because she is showing me the ropes of campus life.

The most interesting fact about Carissa is that she is a Holderman Mennonite. Rather, she is a member of the Mennonite Church of God in Christ. Holderman Mennonites are probably best known as being the sect of the Mennonite church that requires its women to wear the traditional head covering and dress. So, yes, Carissa really does wear dresses and the black head covering every day. She has not always been a member of this particular sect, as she was born and raised Mennonite Brethren, which is much akin to the Baptist religion (so I've been told). During the past six months, Carissa made the decision to convert to her current sect, much to her parents' dismay. However, she felt that that was what God wanted for her life, and so she decided to convert.

Other than the fact that I am Catholic and Carissa is Mennonite, we are practically one in the same. We get along splendidly, as I have probably already mentioned. We see eye-to-eye on virtually everything, and were raised with the same morals. She also grew up on a farm, so we have that in common.

I could go on about everything we have in common, but I will spare you and suffice it to say that she is an awesome roommate, and I am beginning to think of her not just as a roommate, but also as a close friend. To have a roommate like her somewhat makes up for the fact that I have none of my best friends close by.

Although I mentioned that we have a difference in religion, we both ask questions about each other's faiths, and it has definitely been a learning experience for both of us. I have learned about the art of sewing a traditional Mennonite dress, that they don't watch TV, listen to music, or keep pictures (they can be in other people's pictures, though), and I have also learned about their wedding traditions. Carissa has learned all about rosary making, Catholic weddings, and other random Catholic trivia. It seemed quite ironic the other night, as Carissa was sewing a dress and I was making rosaries.

Overall, I have been blessed with an awesome roommate, and she has helped me to have a good Freshman year so far. I think that the best is yet to come!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Christmas in Action

As promised, I will now share my experience helping out with the Christmas in Action project this past Saturday.

My day began a little later than I am used to, as I was able to sleep in until 7:45. (Sadly, that is sleeping in for me these days..) After I got motivated, dressed, and ate breakfast, I was out the door, and headed over to the house we would be working on for the day. At this point, I was simply performing my six hours of community service so that I would only have to write a 2-3 page final paper for my Comp II class. That was my main motivation. I was interested to see how my day would unfold. I knew that what I was about to do would be a big help to the resident, but I still was mostly doing it because of my class.

I arrived at the house around 9:00 AM, when I signed in and began to size up the situation. The first thing I noticed about the house was its crumbling paint, overgrown trees, and the junked up front porch. It made me sad to see the house, because I could only imagine what it looked like in its prime. However, I kept the faith, and waited to see what would come. I recognized a few faces from my class, as well as a good friend of mine from PLC, which made the situation much better with a few familiar faces.

After our house captain, Steve, arrived, he began delegating tasks, leaving the vast majority of us to scrape paint from the sides of the house. I have never scraped paint at any point in my life; naturally, this changed on that day. I am now a paint scraping pro, as I helped to scrape the better part of this house. When everyone began scraping, I was greeted by the cacophony that accompanies the scraping, a sound that is much akin to nails on a chalkboard or plastic silverware rubbing together. However, I pulled it together and dealt with it, and eventually, it wasn't that bad. For liability purposes (I'm sure), each of us was given a dust mask, and those of us with contacts were given safety glasses, in the event that the paint we were scraping was lead-based. We were all quite the fashion statement, with our ratty clothes and shoes, and our face/eye mask get-up. Thankfully, we weren't in it for the fashion portion. As we scraped, everyone made small talk, as is usual when working alongside other people.

As some of us scraped, everyone else in our group, mostly the adult sponsors, began trimming tree branches and doing some yardwork and minor carpentry. It took about two hours, but we were finally able to begin priming the house. Our primer was dished out to us in Halloween and Easter buckets, which I found both resourceful and funny. We were told to find someone to share a bucket with and commence priming. I made company with a 13-year-old girl who was in the eighth grade and whose dad was our house captain. I had a nice chat with her, although I mostly asked questions and listened to her, which was fine by me.

After a while, one side of the house was done, and we progressed to the front porch. While there, I met two nursing students from the Stillwater campus who were there to fulfill a community service requirement. I chatted with both of them, and learned about their lives. One lady was a former English teacher and basketball coach, with all but one child out of high school. Another lady emigrated from India, and her husband is an engineering professor at OSU. She also has a two-year-old daughter. Both women were incredibly nice, and I enjoyed talking with both of them.

Eventually, we progressed to the third side of the house, and I chatted more extensively with the lady from India. We compared notes on our lives, and just had a nice talk, in general. We saw that most of the work had already been done on that side, and we headed back to the original side to take a water break, and wait for our lunch to arrive. After sitting for so long, we were told that we needed to work for a little while longer or else we wouldn't finish in time. Also, it would be a little while until our lunch was delivered. I was already getting tired by this point, and my feet were beginning to ache a little bit, but I plugged on, and began painting the underside of the eave, a task which had to be done atop a ladder. The best word I can think of to describe my ladder was rickety, but I don't think that word quite does it justice. Needless to say, I found a friend from my Astronomy class who was willing to hold the ladder for me as I continually climbed up and down the ladder and painted overhead. During this process, we both managed to get quite a bit of paint on ourselves, and I think I still have a little bit of paint in my hair from this time. Shortly after we got started, our lunch arrived! There was a longer line to get some pizza, so I decided to finish painting my little area before I got down and ate some lunch.

After the lunch break, I felt a little bit invigorated, although I was steadily fatiguing. I got back up on the ladder and painted once more. I basically painted the entire eave of the south side of the house, which isn't saying much, but most definitely isn't saying nothing. Lucky for me, there was someone else doing the same thing as me on the opposite side of the house, so I was pretty well done with my job when I finished that side. I did a few other things, but it wasn't long after that my Comp professor, Dr. Bowers, came up to me and another guy from my class, and declared that we had completely earned the right to write our 2-3 page paper, and that we were free to go at any point. (This was at 3:00 PM, by the way.)

I considered staying for a few more minutes, but eventually decided to go ahead and leave, as there really wasn't much left to do, and what was left to do was already being done by someone else, so I decided to go ahead and come home.

When I finally got home, (and I mean home on the farm-home) I was beat. I chatted with my mom for a short while and ate a small snack, and then I took a much-needed nap. I didn't sleep too terribly long, but I felt refreshed after my nap.

In hindsight, I feel really good about what I did at the house. The residents were obviously unable to do all of the maintenence work, and we were able to pitch in and spruce up the house. The house now looks 100% better, and it is all thanks to the work we did. It was a fulfilling project, and I am fairly certain that I will participate in it next year, just because I can. I learned that I myself am capable of doing more than I thought I was, and that sometimes, you don't necessarily have to take on a huge role to make a difference in the community. Sometimes, changing the community is as simple as standing on a ladder with a bucket of paint, painting the eaves of a run-down house. Everyone is capable of contributing to a small change in their communities, you don't have to have a famous name or lots of money; you just have to want to do it. This project also taught me a little bit of humility, realizing that a run-down house is more than just that, and I am glad that I participated!

Tuesday Thoughts (aka Ten on Tuesday)

- Yesterday, I took my first test in Algebra and my second test in Trig. Yes, both tests were on the same day, and were back-to-back. Not exactly how I wanted my Monday to start, but it's how it had to be. Also, I looked ahead in my schedule for both classes, and it turns out that it will be pretty much the same way from here on out, which should be interesting. Overall, I didn't as well on my Algebra test as I think I did on my Trig test. I completely understand Algebra, and it is WAY easier than Trig, but it all boiled down to a bunch of silly mistakes that I NEVER make. It was pretty frustrating to see that, but hopefully, I can just improve myself as the semester progress.

- This past Saturday, I participated in the annual Christmas in Action day here in Enid. It was quite the time, and I truly earned my six hours of community service for my Comp class, and the right to only have to write a 2-3 page final paper! I do think that I will dedicate a post to this endeavor later, because what I have to say can't be limited to this post!

- In a bit of good news, I have finally gotten to tutor people at work, and I now feel like I have earned my pay! The girl I tutored last night was very appreciative of my help, and I hope that I did some good for her! Also, I am beginning to feel like I just might have what it takes to be a math teacher at some point in my life...just maybe!

- I am beginning work on my new paper in my Comp class. I have to write about a current issue in education, and I believe that I will be writing my paper over the disparity between the US & foreign countries in math and science education, which is obviously a subject that I deeply care about. Hopefully, I can get some work done on it in the coming week. Also, our first paper STILL hasn't been graded...two weeks later. Maybe I'll know my grade by Fall Break.

- During my Astronomy lab yesterday, I had the opportunity to look at the Sun through the telescope. Carissa pointed out that it sounded an awful lot like what everyone's parents told them NOT to do as children. Thankfully, the Astronomy department has a sun filter that we were able to put on the lens of the telescope, so we could view the sun safely. It didn't appear to be anything too spectacular, as it just looked like a large yellow-orange orb with a few black specks on it. Those black specks, by the way, are sunspots. Needless to say, it was pretty interesting to see.

- This Thursday, all of us PLC members get the privilege of attending the investiture of our new president, Dr. Cheryl Evans. The investiture will be held at the main campus in Tonkawa, and we will also eat lunch there at their cafeteria, which means one thing...I had better get to see Tonisha while I am there!!! We shall see how that will work out, but I am fairly excited about our trip!

- This weekend, Cody participated in his first Tiger Scout event at the Boy Scout camp that is literally down the road from their house. Scotty went with him, and the two had a great time. They had a fishing derby, which Kyle was able to join in on! Cody had his first experience shooting a bow and arrow and a BB gun, and, from what he told me, he had a pretty good aim with the bow and arrow. Cody and Kyle both received patches for attending and participating in the fishing derby. I hope that they both keep their enthusiasm for this endeavor!!

- Since 10:00 last night, Carissa has found two extremely large spiders in our room. When I say large, I mean that they were frighteningly HUGE, and has led to me being semi-paranoid over the matter. I believe that I will have to put in a call to our dorm mom to see about getting our room sprayed for spiders. I can't deal with another spider bite, and I definitely don't wish that upon Carissa!

- On an exciting side note, I believe that my mom might start blogging at some point! I am so excited to have another family member join me on this venture! In my year of blogging, I believe that it has helped me to grow on a personal level. It has been cathartic for me on many occasions, and I hope that it will be the same for my mom! Of course, when she gets one up and running, I will post a link! :)

- After much contemplation, I finally came up with my fun fact for my Quiz Bowl taping. I sought the help of my mom, who was quite the trooper in helping me reach my decision. My fun fact is that I attended a live performance of the Boston Pops Orchestra, and I slept through most of it. Yes, I really did. I was eight years old, and we were on the 2001 band trip, which meant that we had done quite a bit of touring that day, and it was one of the first opportunities I had to sit down all day, and I was exhausted! I stayed awake for about twenty minutes, and the next thing I know, my mom was waking me up so that I could walk out to our bus. Leave it to me to sleep through an interesting cultural experience!

Have a great week everyone!!! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ten on Wednesday

1. This past weekend went pretty well, in my opinion. I came home on Friday afternoon and got my laundry virtually finished in one night, so I had the rest of the weekend to not worry about that! Saturday morning, I went to see Emily, Gina, and their families before they went on with their plans for the day, and I loved getting to catch up with my sisters and nephews! After my dad got home from work, my parents, Tevis, and I all headed down to Moore to my aunt & uncle's house for my cousin Angela's wedding reception. It was a nice celebration, with an AMAZING cake! I enjoyed getting to catch up with some of my relatives, and they all enjoyed meeting Tevis.

2. Sunday was also a great day that I spent with my family. After church, my parents and I joined Scotty, Emily, and their boys for breakfast at the cafe in Hennessey. It was a boatload of fun, as I got to chat with Cody and Kyle for quite a while. Cody dazzled me with his knowledge of the Boy Scout creed, motto, etc. that he has been working on. (Kyle is right there with him, and knows them by heart's hoping that the next two years go quickly for him..) I spent the afternoon helping Gina get a few things ready, as she is in Mobile, AL, this week for a conference. I so loved getting to soak up just a little bit more time with all of my family!

3. The worst part about going home on the weekends is the fact that I think I gain more weight on the weekends than I do all week at school! There is nothing like my parents' cooking, and I have grown to truly appreciate a home-cooked meal! I came home to eat lunch on Friday, and I was greeted with some leftover gumbo, and coconut cream pie...That is good eating, in my opinion! Friday night, my dad and I cooked supper, which I had seconds on. Yikes! Thankfully, I don't eat quite that lavishly during the school week, or else I would gain a Freshman 50! :)

4. My tutoring job is still going well, although it is still uneventful. I have yet to help anyone, but I am still earning money. I guess that makes it worthwhile, although I feel more like a paperweight than anything.. I'm sure it will pick up soon.

5. In some good news, I happened to be one of eight winners from a Constitution Day contest I entered in last week!! The contest consisted of answering about ten questions regarding the Constitution and other laws of the country. I entered on a whim, deciding that I had nothing to lose by entering. As I was heating up my lunch on Monday afternoon, my phone rang, and I found out that I won! My prize was a $10 gift certificate to the NOC Bookstore, which I used to buy a few things that I had actually been considering getting anyway! Hooray for winning contests!

6. This Friday will mark my second test in Astronomy, and this coming Monday will mark my first test in Algebra, and my second test in Trig. I still haven't found out how I did on my Comp II paper, but hopefully I will know soon!

7. I have been working to brush up on a few topics for our Mind Games competition. I haven't been studying extensively, because that really isn't my style, but I have been working on it nonetheless!

8. I just finished another Nicholas Sparks book...surprise, surprise. It was "3 Weeks with My Brother", and it was Sparks's memoir, which is interlaced with the true story of his journey around the world with his beloved older brother. Regardless of if you are a fan of his or not, I highly recommend this book, and give it two thumbs up!!

9. I do believe that I might go to the Chermack's house this evening for supper, as I feeli like I need to get out of my dorm before I rot away from lack of socialization. They are so gracious as to open their home to me, and I am very grateful to have family like them, so I can't wait!!!

10. Literally in a few minutes, I have a PLC meeting, which I am actually looking forward to. I like the company of my fellow members, and I am looking forward to even more socialization! Hooray!

Have a great week!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Life is Relatively Average

At our Mind Games practice last Thursday, Dr. Vineyard, the VP for the Enid campus/our coach, told us as we were leaving that we needed to come up with a fun fact about ourselves that could be included as part of our game. It would be incorporated just like the portion of Jeopardy that happens right after the first commercial break, when you find out that each of the three contestants has completed some amazing task in addition to being a contestant on Jeopardy. Yes, this is highly similar to that situation.

I have been constantly thinking of what to include, and my thought process has been highly unproductive. My initial thought was to include the fact that I was an All-State Quiz Bowler, but I suddenly realized that I don't want to mention that out of fear that I will do horribly and that merely mentioning the fact will jinx me, thus making it seem highly unlikely that I could've possibly been an All-Stater.

I have never been anywhere too terribly exciting, unless you count Disney World, Washington, D.C., Gettysburg, or Niagara Falls...but, then again, so have many other people. None of those things make me unique.

I enjoy running, but I am not an accomplished runner. Nor have I run in any organized races outside of track meets. I have never ran a marathon...or even a 5K. I just kind of run when I feel motivated enough to do so for no specific distance. So, that option is out.

I am a math major who plans to become a high school math teacher. That isn't mindblowing, and would only make me look bad if I happen to miss a few math questions. Yikes..

I could say that I have read all but three of Nicholas Sparks's books, but that makes me sound a bit obsessive, and like I have no life. (I really don't, but even so.)

My high school was located in the middle of a cow pasture and a wheat field, but that is a fact more about my school than about me.

I could mention that I grew up on a farm, but, for some reason, it doesn't quite seem to fit as a fun fact about me, although it is a huge part of who I am.

I have never met a celebrity, nor have I traveled extensively outside of the US.

Needless to say, I am at a loss. I have no idea of anything remotely interesting about myself that I am willing to disclose on public television, that most people would find interesting, or at the least, thought-provoking. I have never ran a marathon, won the Nobel Prize, climbed Mount Everest, or discovered the cure for cancer.

Don't get me wrong, I am not lamenting my life or feeling horribly sorry for myself. I am perfectly content with my life at the moment, all that I have done, and who I have become. I have a family that I would be lost without, an amazing boyfriend, and some truly wonderful friends who all make my life better than I could imagine. I enjoy living a somewhat solitary life, and my idea of a pleasant evening is sitting in my dorm either surfing the Internet, blogging, listening to music, or reading a book. I enjoy nothing more than the company of my loved ones, and I enjoy the occasional shopping trip. Cooking is something else I enjoy, along with Nicholas Sparks novels, and any music by Train and The Fray. I attend church most every Sunday, and read the Bible fairly often. I grew up on a small farm in northwestern Oklahoma, and my graduating class had 43 people.

My life has not been particularly exciting, and I am perfectly fine with this. My life is pretty average.

Needless to say, I have yet to think of anything of interest to include on the TV show. Hopefully, I will think of something, but we shall see!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My First Day of Work and Other Things

Yes, today was my first day working as a math tutor here at NOC, although I use the word work loosely, as the tutoring center was dead this afternoon. For the time being, I have decided to work only five hours per week, only so I don't become too overwhelmed by anything, just yet. Much to my boss's delight, I am also able to tutor Basic Comp & Comp I students (one perk of having taken Comp I last semester!). I have been told that my work will pick up as the semester progresses, so we shall see how it goes!

Tonight is my first practice for the campus Quiz Bowl team, and I am excited to see how well that will go, as I am REALLY missing Quiz Bowl right now! (It is nearing the thick of the HS QB season.) I think I am the only girl on the team. Again. And I've come to accept the fact that many girls just must not want to participate in Quiz Bowl at all. I think I can manage it, though (being the only girl).

Yesterday, I received some fantastic news...I got a 100 on my first Trig test!!!!!!!!!! :) Technically, I got a 97, but I also set the curve, which, in turn, gave me a 100. My only mistake on the test was mistaking a greater than sign for a less than sign, which put the triangle in a completely different quadrant, giving me a completely different answer. Oh well, such is life. My friends weren't too excited about the fact that they only received a three-point curve, but I think that that is merely a personal problem and that they shouldn't have to worry about needing a curve to get a better grade! (Says the girl who consistently sat the curve in my Algebra II & Trig classes...)

When I woke up today, I stepped outside to see how I should dress for the day, and I was greeted by quite chilly conditions. I am welcoming this fall weather completely, although I wish I had a little bit more of my fall wardrobe. Thankfully, I had my brand-new casual pea coat that kept me warm and toasty on my walk to class! I also got good use of my umbrella today on my walk to work, when it started raining.

For quite some time, I have been toying with the notion of buying a pair of Toms. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with Toms, the premise is that with each pair of Toms shoes that are bought, one pair is given to a child without shoes. (You can read their story here.) They come in all styles, colors, and designs, and are eco-friendly, as they are made from recycled materials. At first look, I despised the shoes. I thought they were incredibly weird-looking, and had no sudden desire to spend my money on shoes like that. However, as time has passed, they have grown on me, and I am now in love with them! They are feather-light, and are incredibly comfortable! I ended up getting a pair of black canvas classics, although I think that this style would be incredibly appropriate for me, the math nerd!

On a final note, next weekend, I plan to be involved with various campus groups in the annual Christmas in Action day in Enid. Christmas in Action (CIA) is a city-wide project that accepts applications from low-income senior citizens who are unable to complete certain tasks around their homes, such as painting or trimming trees. Each CIA crew is assigned a house, and tasks that are to be done. All of the supplies are provided, as is lunch and a free t-shirt, and no experience is necessary! I am excited to be a part of this, and hope that it will be a great learning experience for me.

In the near future, I need to dedicate a post to my roomie, Carissa, as I have not mentioned much about her since I have moved to town, but that will be in the future...

I hope that everyone has a good Friday, and a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

10 on Tuesday

1.  The good news is that I am steadily recovering from my recent spider bite! I have been on my medication for about four days now, and most of the swelling and redness has decreased. The most irritating part of my recovery is having to apply my ointment three times a day, which requires washing, drying, applying the ointment, and bandaging it. It isn't difficult or anything, but it is annoying to remember to do this three times a day. However, this does beat the alternative of sustaining further injuries, and this is the cleanest my feet have ever been!

2. Carissa and I had a good time working the NOC booth at the fair this weekend. I was not really impressed with the fair this year, I have to admit. It was very dull, and there wasn't even a carnival (which I feel is necessary for any fair). It was sad to see the fair in this condition. Our booth happened to be located next to the cinnamon roasted almond booth, which meant that we got to smell the heavenly aroma of cinnamon almonds for two hours. We tried to be strong, and resist buying any until our shift was almost over, but, lucky for us, the owner was kind enough to give us a free half-bag! Other highlights from the fair were getting to see all of my family (they wanted to come see me at my booth!), and seeing Cody & Kyle's artwork from school. Kyle even happened to win a 2nd Place ribbon in his division! Naturally, though, Cody was pretty bummed that he didn't win a ribbon besides the standard participation ribbon. My parents and I also happened to run into our Chermack cousins, and we had a great chat, mostly regarding my spider bite from the night before.

3. As of last week, Cody became a Tiger Cub Scout! He has been looking forward to joining for the past year, especially after hearing stories from Scotty, who was an Eagle Scout. I think that Scotty might even be one of Cody's adult leaders, but I'm not sure. Saturday night, Cody showed off his uniform and his handbook, which is much more detailed than I ever thought it would be. Nonetheless, I am so excited for my little Cub Scout, and everything that he will learn!

4. Sunday afternoon, I watched Wyatt and Andy for a few hours. My parents were in OKC for the afternoon, so it was just me and the boys. After eating lunch, we watched "Up", which is one of my favorite movies, although I never really realized that it is a little bit sad. (Wyatt pointed that out to me towards the end.) By the end of the movie, Andy fell asleep, and Wyatt and I dozed on the couch. I had to catch up on some laundry, so I motivated myself to get up. After getting my laundry going again, I decided to bake some cookies for a snack for all of us (and we had some frozen cookie dough that needs to be used soon). Wyatt helped me get the first pan ready, but then decided that he was "a little bit tired" and that he was going to take a nap on the couch. During their nap, I was pretty productive, thank goodness! Emily & her boys dropped in for a little bit, just as Andy woke up from his nap. Cody and Kyle munched on some warm cookies and played with the farm set while they were there. After they left, Andy became my shadow as I flittered through the house switching out pans of cookies and rotating laundry. He was oddly fascinated with my spider bite, and would even point to my toe, saying "bite". We even had a little bit of time to snuggle on the couch with an alphabet book. I loved my afternoon, getting to see all of my boys!

5. My astronomy lab yesterday afternoon left me feeling pretty depressed. We watched a History Channel special about the sun, and it included a large section on solar flares. It was the most that I have ever learned about solar flares in one sitting. I am now slightly afraid of the risk that the entire human population will fall to a huge solar flare that is forecasted within the next few years. Well, after saying that, it seems a bit extreme to think that, but the reality is that it is a possibility and life as we know it could change completely. The flares are definitely something that people need to be aware of.

6. I felt pretty accomplished yesterday afternoon, as I managed to hang a wall mirror all by myself!!! When my parents were in OKC on Sunday, my mom happened to stop in at Garden Ridge and she found a wall mirror that can be hung using Command strips (which are perfect for dorm rooms, btw). Carissa and I have been on the market for a nice mirror for quite some time now, so it was perfect! Thank goodness Carissa had a few tools, specifically a tape measure, that she was gracious enough to let me borrow. It took about thirty minutes by the time it was all said and done, but I was pretty pleased with my accomplishment!

7.  I can now add a few things to my list of firsts for this semester. I have completed my first test in Trig, which I know I only missed one problem on, and I also submitted my first paper for Comp II. I feel good being past the firsts in those classes, and can now proceed as normal. I will have grades for both within the week, so here's hoping that I received good grades on both!

8. For whatever reason, I did not sleep well last night. I was very tired when I went to bed, and I was even laying in bed with the lights off by 11:00, and I'm fairly certain that I didn't fall asleep until about midnight. After I fell asleep, I slept fitfully. I also had bizarre dreams about getting robbed or held up that woke me up constantly. I never really got comfortable in bed, either, as I tossed and turned all night. I think there was something in the water, because Carissa had the same issues I did. Furthermore, today has been a blah day, as nothing has been terribly horrific, but nothing fantastic has happened, either. Maybe it will turn around, but I am beginning to doubt it at this point. We'll see.

9. For my Orientation class, we were required to take this online quiz to determine what type of a procrastinator each of us is. As if it was a surprise, I learned that I am a perfectionist procrastinator, which means that I might put something off if I have the slightest feeling that it will turn out to be less than satisfactory. Having mild OCD, I can definitely see this, and it gave some good advice for overcoming my issues. Just an interesting tidbit...

10. The biggest downfall of not being at home 100% of the time is that I miss out on all of the cute things my nephews say/do on a daily basis. Thankfully, everyone gives me the highlight reel when they see or talk to me. One such moment happened last week. My mom was out in her garden, weeding and doing a general clean-up of the area. Cody happened to be sitting with her, as he enjoys being in the garden. My mom found a grasshopper on one of her plants, and she pointed it out to Cody. It was already mildly injured, and I'm not completely sure what my mom's plans were next, but you have to appreciate the innocence of a child...
She happened to mention to Cody that she didn't like seeing grasshoppers in the garden, because they often ate her plants. Cody asked her what she was going to do with the grasshopper next, and before my mom could answer, Cody told her that he didn't want her to squish it, because it is one of God's creatures, and that she should gently set it back in the grass so it could go on with its life. Naturally, my mom obliged, and Cody then told her that he was proud of her for respecting the grasshopper's life, and that the grasshopper was happy that he didn't get squished. Kids sure say the darndest things! :)

I hope that everyone has a great week!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Just a Week in the Life of This Crazy College Kid!

This week has been quite the interesting week, as I have had many adventures. Where shall I start?

I should begin by mentioning that I had a good Labor Day weekend. It began with Cody's bowling party, which was organized chaos at its best! (There were six 7-year old boys, one 7-year-old girl, & 4.5-year-old Kyle) Really, though, it wasn't bad! All of the kids had a blast, and Cody & Kyle even rolled their first strikes!!! (It was their first time bowling, btw) Here are a few snapshots of the fun!
(Note the look of excitement on Cody's face as he realized that he got his first strike!)
I ended up spending quite a bit of the remainder of the weekend with Tevis, and we had a great time! We even went on a double date with Tonisha and her beau, Michael, by going bowling. Even though I stunk it up on the bowling games, that was also quite a great time! On Monday, I went to lunch at Tevis's grandparents house, and I enjoyed myself. His family is lots of fun! 

I finally got back into the grind on Tuesday morning, as I reluctantly climbed out of my cozy bed. Classes went well, and I had an added delight in my Comp II class. For lack of a better idea, I am writing my first essay about common misconceptions about Catholicism. I was afraid of how my professor would receive my topic, but I soon learned, after reading his comments on my rough draft, that he, too is Catholic, and was behind my topic 100%! How does that even happen??! The biggest highlight of Tuesday was that I decided to make the most of the glorious weather, and I went for a run. It was refreshing, and I now remember why I ran track, as I felt so alive afterwards. Carissa had a couple of friends over that evening, and I enjoyed talking with them. Just as they were leaving, Alex & Caleb happened to drop in. Apparently, they were waiting to see Shane, but he wasn't off work yet. What ensued was a 1-1/2 hour discussion about everything from religion to evolution, to love, to a heated debate (between Alex & Caleb) over whether or not immunity is hereditary. It was a great chat, and I loved the fact that three 18-year-olds were able to have an educated philosophical discussion as we did.

Wednesday was probably my most adventurous day. It was a day of quizzes in all three of my classes (I rocked all of them, btw!!!!) My favorite part of the day was the fact that I had some visitors! My mom and Mimi dropped in for a while, as they had been to the Grandparents' Mass at Cody & Kyle's school. I enjoyed their company, and I especially enjoyed getting to spend some time with Mimi. After they left, I remembered hearing my math professor/advisor tell our Trig class about a tutoring opportunity, and I decided to check into it. It turned out that I wasn't eligible for the position, as I am still taking College Algebra, but she recommended that I went to the tutoring center in the library to inquire about a tutoring position there. Right now it is looking like I am going to take that job. It pays minimum wage ($7.25/hour), but that is better than nothing. Also, the perks are pretty awesome! I get to make my own hours, I don't have to drive, and I was told that it is usually pretty slow, which means that I might get paid to sit and study for a few hours! I can do that! I really wanted to do this, as I think it would be a good gauge of my interest in becoming a math teacher. We shall see!

After inquiring about the job, I talked to one of my PLC sponsors, and I decided that I am going to join the Lit Club/Student Education Association! She said that it isn't a time-consuming group, and it is lots of fun! Our first meeting is in two weeks, so I can't wait to see what will happen with that! After taking care of some other things, I decided to venture out to Hobby Lobby to find myself a crochet set/instructional manual. I happened to find a great set that even came with all of the needles I would need! I also happened to drop into Ross, just to look around, and I ended up coming out with a new jacket. It looks like a shorter version of a pea coat (yes, I know I already have one), but this coat is cotton, instead of wool, which needs to be dry cleaned. Also, this coat has a hood (my nice one doesn't), and most importantly, I want my nice coat to hold up for a LONG time, and this coat will save wear and tear on that coat!

I finally got back to the dorm, and decided to go get my workout knocked out for the evening, as the weather was perfect for it. I sweated my way through, but I survived! Carissa was home by that point, and we decided to head to the cafeteria to grab a bite to eat. Not long after we got back from eating, I got a call from Gina, telling me that she would be over soon with her boys. Once they got here, Wyatt & Andy loved it! (It was their first time seeing it), and Gina, too, came to the conclusion that stairs & a loft were not things that they needed in their home anytime soon! The boys also enjoyed frolicking on my bed, and I wished I could've gotten a picture of them, because they pretended to sleep with the cutest expressions on their faces. After a while, they left, and the rest of my evening was fairly uneventful, minus the fact that I looked through my crochet guide. After about twenty minutes of finagling, I finally managed to learn how to chain stitch. There may be hope for me after all!

Due to circumstances beyond our control, Carissa and I switched our time working at the fair from Thursday night to Saturday afternoon, which I think will be better, anyway. My biggest accomplishment of Thursday was finishing my Comp paper in about two hours! I decided to skip out on a workout that day, due to the fact that my paper took a definite precedence. I ended my night by picking up a few things from Walmart, and stopping in to see Tevis at work (A Cookies & Cream ice cream cone sounded really good at that point!)

Today was probably the most eventful day this week. I woke up this morning with a strange ache in my toe, which I found odd, as I knew that I didn't stub it or bump it or anything else. It was inflamed, and it kind of hurt to walk on it, but I didn't think much of it, figuring that it would be fine later. I noticed a slight ache in my back, but, again, I attributed it to sleeping in an odd position. I got my things together and hobbled across the street to class. My time in my classes was alright, but by the time my noon Trig class came along, I didn't feel so hot. Rather, I felt very warm, almost feverish. A friend of mine told me that I looked pale (even more so than usual...), and commented that I looked drained. I made it through Trig, although it was pretty apparent that I wasn't at 100%, as I wasn't shouting out answers to problems we worked out. Also, two more people asked if I felt alright. (Sheesh, it was that obvious..) I stumbled back to the dorm, and I decided to get a small bite to eat, take a Tylenol, and lounge on my recliner with my book. I dozed for a little bit, and when I woke up, I didn't feel so feverish, but my toe was throbbing profusely. It definitely felt funny. Later, Carissa made it home, and we went to eat an early supper. When we got back, I decided to look at it a little closer. I took my sock off to see that my toe was swollen much more than it was earlier. I began to get nervous, and I had Carissa look at it. She was about to leave for the evening, but she recommended that I got it checked out, as it almost looked like a spider bite. It was around this point that it began to bleed and ooze. I looked on WebMD and Google Images (Never look at spider bites on Google images; it is very graphic and unappetizing. I don't recommend it.) I decided to call my nurse sister, but she didn't answer, so I called Scotty, who happens to be an EMT. After describing my symptoms, he recommended that I call my parents to see about getting it checked out ASAP. My mom told me that I could go get it checked out at the Minor Emergency Clinic. She also told me that she would feel better if I took someone with me. Carissa, having just left, was out of the picture, as was Tevis, who was at work. I was between my Aunt Pat and the Chermack cousins. I opted to call my cousins, and I was very glad I did, as Vickie was so kind as to take me to seek treatment. All in all, it was a pleasant experience, with a short waiting time! The nurse practitioner who treated me wasn't certain that it was a spider bite, but decided to treat it as such. I ended up with a prescription for an antibiotic, steroids to reduce swelling, and an antibacterial topical ointment. Vickie let me hang out at their house for the remainder of the evening, as I enjoyed some iced tea and freshly baked cookies, along with the new X-Men movie! I am so blessed to have family like I do, and I am fortunate that they are so willing to help me out when I need it! I only hope that I can repay them in the future!

Though the picture doesn't quite do it justice, it is a pretty gnarly looking bite! Perhaps my Spidey senses will kick in soon!

Here's to an eventful week...(and I thought that I would wither away!)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Boredom Busters

I am finally at the end of my week, and at the beginning of a three-day weekend! I made it! (And I didn't even wither away from boredom!) I'll give a few updates from the last half of this week...

Shortly after I posted my last Ten on Tuesday talking about how extremely bored Carissa and I were, Carissa got the idea to take a short trip to Hobby Lobby. I decided to join her, mostly so I could look for a beginner's guide to crocheting. (Yes, I really do want to learn how to crochet...see #2) We hopped in her car and headed across town. Wouldn't you know that as soon as we got pulled in, the store closed for the night. Neither of us was ready to come home just yet, so we decided to go over to Cherry Berry. Once again, if you haven't been to one, you should go! (Enid's is located in Sunset Plaza. It is also the same thing as Orange Leaf in Stillwater, so I have been told.) After enjoying some fro-yo, we walked down to Ross, which is a few doors down. We only window shopped, but we had an awesome time hanging out. We enjoyed some much-needed roommate bonding time. After perusing the entire store, (minus the men's and children's departments), we decided that it was time to go home. Such a great end to our Tuesday!

Wednesday, as you might remember, was Cody's birthday. I began my day by giving him a call on his way to school. He was uber-excited to talk to me, and I was glad I called him. Later that morning, I happened to run into my cousin Liz, who also attends NOC, and I received an invitation to supper at her house. Her mom, Vickie, told me a long time ago that I was always welcome to come over to their house for supper or just to hang out. I decided to take Liz up on her offer for three reasons: 1) Carissa had plans to visit some friends in Fairview that night, leaving me alone. 2) I didn't feel like eating in the cafeteria by myself, and a home-cooked meal sounded nice. 3) Liz's house is always a fun place to be, and I needed some "picking up".

While I was waiting to go over to Liz's house, Emily called and told me that she and the boys would be coming over. It turned out that Emily, Scotty, Scotty's parents, and the boys were going to go out to eat for Cody's birthday, and Emily didn't want to go all the way home, just to turn around and come back. Naturally, I was happy to see them. The boys were, of course excited to come over, mostly because they are in love with my stairs and the loft...and throwing things from the loft. During their time here, Cody finished his homework, and Kyle got to play Purble Place games on my laptop. (Mostly so that he wouldn't pester Cody during homework time.) Purble Place is an awesome game for kids that can be found on most Microsoft operating systems, and it teaches shapes, colors, matching, and lots of other skills!

After they left, I headed over to the Chermack house for supper. Vickie made an amazing roast with roasted carrots and potatoes and peas. We also had some pie and ice cream for dessert. All of it was delicious! I found out in my time there that Evan (a Freshman, who is the youngest) recently won a Charlie award at the Gaslight Theater, Jakub (a Senior, who is in the middle) is the first-chair trumpet at Enid High and is on the band court (the coronation is tonight), and Liz (she's my age, and is the oldest) coaches 7th & 9th grade (I think) volleyball teams for Enid, and her teams are pretty successful. I am so proud of all of my cousins!

During our supper conversation, I happened to mention that I wanted to take up crocheting. As it turns out, Evan knows how to crochet, and told me that he would be more than happy to teach me how to crochet! He wanted to teach me that night, but Vickie reminded him that I would (hopefully) be there plenty more times this year, and we could crochet then. The rest of our night was filled with lively conversation, and lots of laughter, as could only be expected with their family. I had a great time at their house, and plan to return soon. (I hope they don't get sick of me!)

Last night, Carissa had plans to meet a friend for supper here in town, so I was left alone again. Thankfully, I planned to go to the observatory to complete one of my night labs. I was going to see if Tevis wanted to join me, but he happened to be with his friends last night, so I bucked up and went by myself. When I arrived, there weren't many people there, but, it was only dusk, and the night was young! I began by getting to see the moon through the telescope. The observatory telescope is AWESOME! I was able to see the moon in such great detail that I could even see the craters on its surface. A short while later, Bob Killam, one of the head honchos of the observatory, pointed out the Summer Triangle constellation, one that I know I have seen, but never realized that I saw.

Bob was going to show me a few more constellations, but we had to wait a while, as it wasn't quite dark enough for his laser pointer to show. While we waited, he and his student assistant, Jackie, moved the telescope, and we were able to see M57, the Ring Nebula. It had a grayish-green color to it, and was a sight unlike any other that I have seen. Shortly thereafter, one of my friends from my Astronomy class arrived, as did two other classmates of mine. When everyone had a chance to look at M57, we walked out to the parking lot, so that we could see a few constellations. We were able to see the Big Dipper, Polaris (and, of course, the Little Dipper), and Cassiopeia, which is actually shaped like a W.

After talking a while, Bob moved the telescope again, and we were able to see M13, a globular cluster that is located in the constellation Hercules. It is an old cluster that is held together solely by gravity. It is also located many light years away. It was nothing extremely spectacular, but was still beautiful nonetheless. It reminded me of glitter. As we sat there, I became curious as to why these comets were named with M's, so I asked Bob. I then learned that all of the M Objects are named after a French astronomer by the name of Charles Messier. He discovered a total of 110 comets (hence the numbers). The last thing we had a chance to see through the telescope was a double star, which actually just looks like two extremely bright stars, but, once again, it was still interesting to see.

If you are in the greater Enid area, and have the desire to do so, I would highly recommend going to the NOC Observatory. We have one of the best observatories in the state! It is open to the public each Wednesday and Thursday, and admission is free; however, they accept (and would appreciate) a small donation for the Horn of Plenty (i.e. canned food or other nonperishable items).

After the telescope was technically closed, I stayed and talked with my classmates. I hadn't ever talked to two of my three classmates who were there, until last night. I made two more friends, and we had a great conversation about life, the stars, and everything in between, with lots of laughs in between. Although I was pretty bummed that Tevis wasn't able to come with me last night, I realized that had he been there, I might not have made those friends and had the great conversation that we had. Sometimes things work out like that for a reason, I think.

Now, I am finally finished with all of my homework for the weekend (I walked over to the computer lab just before writing this to print off my lab report.), and now I am waiting for 6:30 to get here so that I can join Cody for his bowling party with all of his friends from school! I still need to pack my things up for the weekend, but I know I have time to do that! In other news, Carissa and I will be working the NOC booth at the Garfield County fair next week, as one of our PLC duties. Soon enough, Quiz Bowl will start, and I'll have other things to do. I surely won't be that bored constantly. Of course, I could always go work out in the fitness center across the street (I don't want that Freshman 15 to sneak up on me!), or maybe not... Needless to say, it is only the tip of the iceberg, and the best is yet to come!

I will quit rambling, and end it here. I hope that everyone has a safe and pleasant Labor Day weekend!