Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ten on Leap Day!

A little late, but who's counting? :)

1. I despise my speech teacher. Have I mentioned that already, because I think I have... This lady absolutely unnerves me. Here's the thing: we are in a speech class, so it would be fair to assume that we would, I don't know, give speeches, right? No. Apparently, we live in some parallel universe where talking about politics all hour constitutes as a speech class. Furthermore, we have only given two presentations since January. I talked to a friend who is taking the same class with a different professor, and they are on their fifth speech, and they're learning about the art of public speaking. What a concept! (Note my sarcasm there.) ARGHHH!

2. One more note on the speech class, we have another speech coming up that she told us about today. Most of the work is supposed to be done by Thursday, and we actually give the speeches on Tuesday of next week. These speeches are supposed to include interviews of "anyone, about anything". However, by the end of the class, her original parameters of "anyone & anything" turned into no relatives, must be something of community concern, must be major-specific. Also, she wants us to conduct actual research to make sure that people who are professionals in this career field are "credible". Really? What kind of twisted person would blatantly lie about facts regarding their career? (Well, facts that would in no way change their position/salary/etc.) Sadly, a guy who is a business major cannot interview his dad, who owns his own business, simply to talk about business because he might spin the facts differently because they are related. I'm sure this makes perfect sense to everyone else, but it irks me. With the help of my amazing big sis, Emily, I have found an interviewee, who is one of her co-workers. The specific co-worker is a community planner, which isn't necessarily something I'm looking into, but sounds pretty interesting nonetheless.

3. I took a Calc test today that I went into feeling pretty prepared, but I left feeling pretty unsure. I wish I could say that I feel confident about my grade, but I don't. I'm not excited about getting my grade, and I'm not excited to hear our teacher's reaction to the tests. (Last time wasn't too great either...I did great, but not everyone else was so fortunate.) Here's the thing: I did the homework and I understood the concepts just fine, but when I saw some of the problems on the test, I blanked. Hopefully, I did better than I think I did; I guess I'll find out in about a week or so.

4. It is full-on calving season at home. For the past two weeks or so, our cows have started popping out their calves like crazy. One of my cows had her calf last night, but I have yet to see it. From what I have been told, it is plain black, like most of our cows. This is depressing because its mother has Longhorn blood in her and has a distinct spotted pattern, but I guess when you cross spotted with a black bull, the solid will probably win out. Besides, my dad told me that the Longhorn trait was probably losing its potency in this cow, so there wouldn't be too big of a chance that we'd get another spotted cow. Drat. My favorite thing about Ethel (yes, she randomly has a name...none of our other cows do. Her mom was a bottle calf whose name was Lucy. Surely you catch the "I Love Lucy" reference there..) is her spots because I can easily pick her out of the herd and see what she is doing or if she is okay. Ah, the joys of calving season! (Scotty & Emily aren't having much luck in that department, unfortunately. A story for another time, I suppose.)

5. Tonight I was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa. NO, I am NOT in a sorority, in case you were thinking that. I have a very distinct opinion about sororities, and I will suffice to say that I am against them. (I'll spare you my soapbox after the speech stories.) PTK is an academic honor society for two-year colleges, and most colleges offer sizeable transfer scholarships just because you are a member, so I think that that is a great bonus. It was a nice ceremony, and it was even better because I got to stand by a good friend of mine and meet a few new people, which I always love.

6. One of the people I met tonight was Emily's new babysitter. Emily had called me earlier to tell me that she would be there and to keep an eye out for her, so that I could introduce myself. I met her, and I must say that I am very glad that Emily chose her. She is a wonderful lady, who seems like one of the nicest, most even-tempered persons I have ever met. In an interesting twist of irony, my good friend from the Lit Club has been friends with this lady for many years, and she comes highly recommended from her. (Carrie doesn't mince words about these things.) I told the lady that she truly is a Godsend to Emily, because she saved Emily much more stress and worry. On a last note, she told me that Cole is a good baby and he is absolutely adorable...of course, as his aunt, I was aware of that! :) Cole's babysitter has my seal of approval, Emily!

7. I had a nice visit with my cousins tonight. I haven't seen them in quite some time, and I finally had a night free to do so, so it was just great. They are always a barrel of laughs, and I really needed that after speech and my Calc test today.

8. I also got to see Tevis today. I get so excited about seeing him at school, because it takes quite a bit of doing to be in the right place at the right time to get our schedules to sync up this semester. It was definitely easier last semester, but it isn't completely impossible this semester. Like I said before, it just takes a little bit more effort to make it happen, but it works! And tomorrow night is church, so I will get to see him then!

9. Speaking of church, a couple of interesting tidbits to offer...My mom and I went to church with Mimi in Hennessey on Sunday. This changed things up quite a bit, but it was great. She was having Mass said for Grandpa Rudy, whose 93rd birthday would have been on Monday (2/27). At the end of Mass, the final hymn that was played was "Precious Lord, Take My Hand". This is one of those rare hymns that always makes me cry, but it was even more sentimental because that song was played at Grandpa's funeral. Also, Mimi told us that she wants that song played at her funeral. (A very difficult subject for me to even think about at this point.) Needless to say, I really didn't sing along with that song. Another interesting (and happier) point is that tomorrow, at Cody and Kyle's school, Cody's class will be in charge of taking up the gifts at their school Mass. I usually make it to their weekly school Mass (it works out for me this semester), but I will definitely be there tomorrow morning to see my big boy helping out!

10. Lastly, Happy Leap Day to you all! Today is the day that is only seen every four years, and holds a definite amount of mystique. Tonisha has a cousin whose birthday falls on this day, and she told me that he gets so excited to actually have his day to celebrate it on. Some fun facts I read in the USA Weekend on Saturday: A person has a 1 in 1,461 chance of being born on Leap Day.  Also, Leap Day Babies will never see fifty actual birthdays on Leap Day...Just to turn "29" would make them 116 years old! There is even a website dedicated to the promotion of Leap Day, which you can visit here. (Check out the About Us wouldn't believe the trouble Leapsters go through with their birthdate!)

On that note, I hope you live it up on Leap Day!!! Also, have a great week!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Heaven Is for Real

Last night, I finally got my homework for the week all wrapped up, and I was ready for little bit of relaxation. For me, relaxation comes best when I'm reading a good book. Last week was my mom's birthday and Gina had happened to get her the book "Heaven Is for Real" by Todd Burpo. This book has been on my must-read list for quite some time, and it is never in the public library (like I've said before, that isn't surprising when I want to read bestsellers.). My mom started the book last Saturday and was done by Sunday night. After reading it, she told me that I should read it, too. Unfortunately, I didn't have too much spare time in the past week to read, so I finally had time last night. I will just say this, it is normal for me to stay awake to finish reading a good book, because I can't bear to put it down for the night. That was definitely the case with this book.

"Heaven Is for Real" is the account of Colton Burpo, the son of Pastor Todd Burpo (one of the book's authors) who went to heaven and came back to tell everyone about it. When he was four, Colton underwent surgery for a ruptured appendix and was really in bad shape. The outlook was pretty grim, but he pulled through with flying colors. A few months after this happened, he began telling his family about Heaven and Jesus, and it absolutely blew them away.

Colton's descriptions are very vivid, and are given in the way that only a four-year-old could. I don't want to say too much, because the book is something that you must experience on your own in order to fully appreciate it. This book will make you cry, then two seconds later, you will be laughing because of the innate honesty of a child. Through the book, Todd offers his take on it all as a pastor, which gives interesting insight. It is actually a short read, totalling about 160 pages, so it really doesn't take much time at all to read, which makes it even better.

I highly recommend this book. It just might change your life once you read it, but it will definitely change your life for the better. All I can say is that you should read it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Who Left First and Other Stories from the Past Week

I have been on a bit of a blogging hiatus for the last week or so, as can be seen, but I am finally back, and I have a few stories to show for this!

-Last Monday, there was a considerable amount of snow in the Enid area. Almost all of the schools in the greater Enid area were closed, with the exception of NOC. How does that happen? Pioneer was even out and announced it by 10 PM on Sunday night...that never happens either! What in the world? The good news about this snow is that I didn't have to drive in it, it melted quickly, and I didn't have to attend one of my Monday classes. Life goes on.

-Valentine's Day was great. On Monday, I received part of my present from Tevis (picture below), but I was surprised by the fact that he got off early on Tuesday night to be with me! The other part of my present, which he gave me on Tuesday night, was some Oreo Truffles that some people at his church sold as a fundraiser. It was a great night!

-I have somewhat taken to attending church with Tevis on Wednesday evenings. For the record, no, he isn't Catholic, but I have found that I don't mind attending their youth service on Wednesdays, seeing as none of the Catholic churches in the area do much on Wednesdays, besides Confirmation classes. I don't plan on converting, so don't worry about that! What I really enjoy is seeing the way that Tevis, who is a youth leader, interacts with his groups. It is a side of him that I don't usually see, and I love it. I also have been reminded about how small of a world it is, as two of the other youth leaders are from Pioneer, both graduating near the time of my just goes to prove that everyone is closely linked whether you know it or not.

-We have getting ready for the Homecoming basketball game (which is tonight) in all of my organizations. The campus tradition is to make a decorated banner. I had fun helping with both, although my help for the PLC banner was limited to the design process. I don't think I mentioned this earlier, but I actually came up with this year's homecoming theme, which is "Jets Save the Day" (aka Superhero themed). I am pretty proud of this accomplishment, and I'll have to share a picture of the resulting t-shirt sometime soon.

-Last weekend was my mom's birthday, so we had a lovely celebration on Friday night. The menu included hot sandwiches (a recipe that I will share soon), a type of chicken soup with Mexican flavor (the name escapes me at the moment), cherry cake, & cherry jubilee cheesecake bars. I fell in love with the cherry cake that Emily made, and I am contemplating asking her to make it/give me the recipe so that I can make it for my birthday. (Or I'll stick with my usual Italian Creme, which is just as good...decisions, decisions...)

-The past week has left me feeling a bit burnt out in my Calc class. This whole having class four days a week business is starting to drive me bonkers. Well, it's not the class so much as it is the homework from the class. I have had very little motivation to do my homework, which I know has to change. No, the homework isn't necessary for a grade, but it is necessary to do well on quizzes and tests, which is something that I REALLY want to do. I suppose I shall plug onward.

-We watched a couple of videos about the Chernobyl incident in my Biology class last week. To be honest, I had absolutely no idea about it beforehand. I suppose that it is to recent to be in history books and it was during the time of the Soviets, so there wasn't much to be said about it. The second video was hard for me to watch, because it talked about genetic mutations found in children of the people who received too much radiation exposure during that time. (We are currently discussing genetics in Biology.) The film about the children showed some footage of an open heart surgery, which was the hardest part for me, for obvious reasons.

-On Tuesday, I had come to the realization that we hadn't done a speech in quite some time in my speech class. I thought too soon. On Tuesday, we were assigned a "speech" in which we had to basically make a commercial. Notice how loosely I use the word speech in that sentence, because we had a thirty second time limit, and there really wasn't much talking involved. I have lots to say about this class, but I will say more at a later time.

-Tuesday was also the day of Tevis's banquet in Tonkawa. I got myself a new dress/shoes for the occasion, and I was looking forward to it. Unfortunately, Tevis was not as enthralled as I, for whatever reason. I think it had something to do with the fact that he woke up at six that morning and was extraordinarily tired. Regardless, we had a nice time, although there was a slight surprise in the evening. We got to Tonkawa, went in the building, and were greeted by two extremely perky ladies at the registration table. Apparently, it was a nametag event, as there was a table that was filled with nametags. When Tevis told them his name, they told him that, and I quote, "We couldn't find a name on your RSVP card, so we just made one for your wife." They handed him our nametags, and mine said, clear as day, Mrs. Lounsbury. We were both speechless. And I was his wife for the night. It was interesting, to say the least. No, he didn't plan it that way, it was a total surprise.

-Today, after giving my "speech", we moved on to our next topic. We talked about reason within speeches. Apparently, part of this entails doing a logic puzzle. (I don't see too much of a connection myself, but who asked me.) This logic puzzle is one that includes five people doing five separate things at five separate times, etc. The kind that will make you go absolutely bonkers if you can't figure it out. The kind that you do in pencil. The kind that only work out one way. I about drove myself to insanity while working on it earlier. I also think that I might need a primal shriek after working on it, to rid myself of the tension I have built up by doing it.

I hope that everyone's week continues to go well!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Tuesday :)

I'm taking my Ten on Tuesday in a different direction today, in honor of Valentine's Day, by honoring ten people/groups who are near and dear to my heart!

1. This one is parents! I love my parents so very much, they have literally been there for me since day one, and they have always given me unconditional love and support, which means more than you could imagine, because there have definitely been times when I didn't deserve that (i.e. my younger bratty days :/ ) They always look out for my best interest, and they truly want me to have a good life. They have taught me everything I need to be a productive, responsible citizen of the world. They have shown how to live, laugh, and love, and I couldn't ask for better parents!

2. My sisters! Gina and Emily were my first best friends out of everyone in the world. They are my role models, and I admire them so much. They have given me much-needed advice when I was freaking out about life, and they have blazed the trail for my life, as they have shown me what it takes to be a good daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. They put up with me when I was a pesky child who always had to be one step behind them when they were doing their thing. They were shoulders for me to cry on when nothing was right in my world. They have shown me how to have a sense of humor, and have definitely given me insight into the ways of the world. They are awesome!

3. My nephews...I have multiple posts talking about my love for my nephews. They are the best, even if they drive me bonkers at times! I have a better idea of what a parent's love for a child must be like, knowing how much I love them. They have taught me to be silly and to have fun, but they have reminded me, more than anything, how to look at the world through the eyes of a child, not with the cynicism of adulthood. They are the best!

4. Mimi. Once again, I have mentioned Mimi on multiple occasions, citing her dedication, unconditional love, brave spirit, tenacity, positive attitude, and undying faith as reasons I love her so. She is who I truly aim to emulate as I grow older, and she is definitely worth admiring. She never ceases to amaze me, and I love her so very much!

5. I don't mention them as much, but I have a lot of love and admiration for my brothers-in-law, Scotty and Jeremy. They are truly awesome in so many ways. They are good husbands to my sisters, good fathers to my nephews, and good providers for their families. They are more than just friends to me, they are like the brothers I never had growing up. They are there for me and the rest of the family when we need them. They are the best. 

6. Who else, other than my bestie, Tonisha! We have known each other since the first day of kindergarten, when she was very quiet. We became better friends in the sixth grade, when Mrs. Vanover had us next to each other in a seating arrangement for most of a semester. I realized that she was my best friend in the entire world during my Sophomore year of high school, when most of my other friends decided that they didn't need me, but she was still there. She is my confidante, my other sister, my sounding board for crazy ideas, and every other thing imaginable. We have so much in common, and she truly understands me. The biggest thing about Tonisha, she is my complement. She is demure and reserved, when I get all riled up about crazy things. I am so garrulous, but she is the best listener I know of. She is wise beyond her years, and I am confident that we will remain friends no matter the distance. LYLAS!

7. One of my new best friends is my roomie, Carissa. As far as it goes, I have been blessed in the roommate department this year. We have an understanding that amazes me. We get each other, and that's that. I wish I would've had more friends like her in high school. I have mentioned this before, but she reminds me so much of Tonisha, which is probably why I get along with her as well as I do. We look out for each other. Last night, I made supper for myself, Tonisha, and her. Later in the evening, after going to see a few friends, she brought me back an ice cream sundae from Sonic! How awesome is that! I feel free to be myself around her, and she has made my first year of college pretty great. I hope that our friendship will remain in the future.

8. My extended family. I'm talking outside of my parents & sisters. I have a HUGE extended family. I have nine aunts & uncles, and more cousins than I can count on both hands. The thing is, I am not as close with all of them, but I hold them near and dear to my heart nonetheless.

9. My extended friends...You all know who you are! Each and every one of you has made an impact on my life and has made my life better just by being in it. This includes friends I have made this year, people at church, and people who are just "there" for me in any way. All of you guys are dear to me, and I am blessed to have friends like you all!

10. Last, but definitely not least, my wonderful boyfriend Tevis! I have stated my feelings for him before, but I will go on to say that, in a word, he is amazing. Sometimes, I feel like he knows me better than I know myself. He is a great listener, and he knows how to calm me down when I'm freaking out about life. He can tell when I'm upset, even if I'm too stubborn to admit it. He knows how to make my day better in an instant. He is simply amazing, and I love him to pieces! He is the best! :)

Happy Valentine's Day to you all, and I hope that you find the love in your life! ♥

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Great Weekend!

After having a mediocre week, what with my allergy flare-up/cold, I powered through and made it to the weekend! My symptoms still persisted, but, believe it or not, had actually improved! It all began on Saturday morning, when I started getting ready for my day. I had planned on going to meet my mom at work when she got off so that we could head into town. Our plans once we got to town included going to a party that my mom's boss was having and going to Cody's pinewood derby race for his scout troop. In the midst of getting ready, I happened to glance at my phone and see that Tevis had texted me. (Honestly, I was pretty shocked because it was much earlier than I expected him to be awake.) He invited me to supper with his family that night for his mom's birthday. So, that added another thing to my day, which made me happy.

I headed into Waukomis, got my mom, and we were off to town for the afternoon. The party at my mom's boss's house was nice, and the food there was just great! I had a nice time talking with her daughters, who are close to Gina & Emily's age, and her grandkids. I think that after having been an aunt for 7.5 years, I have finally developed my "aunt's touch" with children. I can almost carry on conversations with small children easier than I can with someone my own age! During a lag in the party, I stepped out for a few minutes to run a couple of errands, as we wouldn't have time between the party and Cody's derby. Also, Charla (my mom's boss) lives fairly close to a strip mall, so it was convenient for me to do so at that point. During my venture out, I got a birthday card for Kim (Tevis's mom) and a couple of other things my mom had asked me to get for her. On a whim, I even got myself a ski cap (with the ear flaps), which was on the 75% off shelf, for a whopping price of $1.50! I was excited about that! Shortly after I got back to Charla's house, my mom was ready to go, so we bid everyone adieu and headed over to the derby.

I have never been to a pinewood derby race in my life, but I do know that it is basically a rite of passage for all Boy Scouts and their dads. I also found it interesting that they have expanded the derby to the Girl Scout troops, although they had theirs that morning in a separate event. Cody was very excited about this, as he has been for the past few weeks. He and Scotty had worked pretty hard on his car, which they actually turned into a pickup. After waiting for a little bit, they were ready to start. They had a bracket set up so that everyone would race against each other, as there were quite a few cars in his division. When it was finally Cody's turn to race, he headed to the finish line with the other racers to retrieve their cars. As luck would have it, his pickup won! We were all pretty excited for him. He was in a few more races, and he also won those. He made it all the way to the end, when he was in the final race-off with another boy in his troop. As luck had it once again, he won! So, yes, Cody won his division, and he also won the right to compete in the final race-off against the winners of the other divisions! As excited as Gina, Emily, Kyle, my mom, Scotty's family, and I were, it was a completely different story with Scotty. He was very noncommittal and stoic. He was also a nervous wreck. As excited as we were for Cody, we had to remind him to be a good sport about everything. In the final race-off, he ended up getting fourth place, which still wasn't bad for his first year competing! Congratulations, Cody!!! Here are some pictures for your enjoyment...

Here is the excited Tiger Cub before the races started! (What a big boy he is becoming!)

Notice the look of excitement on his face, as he realized that he won!

There is his pickup in the lead, with the Stars & Stripes.

Part of Cody's support team...

Kyle was definitely Cody's biggest cheerleader of the day. He was right next to the track the entire time!

Kyle also learned the stance from Cody, if you couldn't tell!

Here are all of the division winners with their cars. Although he got fourth place, he was still grinning from ear to ear!

I love this picture of Scotty & Cody...the perfect father & son moment.

Very shortly after getting home and changing my shirt & shoes, Tevis arrived to pick me up for the evening. We headed off to town to join his mom for her birthday celebration. It turned out that his stepdad had to work on Saturday, so it was just Tevis, his mom, his brother, baby sister, and me. We enjoyed a nice supper at Rib Crib, complete with dessert! Tevis and I shared a slice of mile-high cheesecake, while his mom, brother, and sister shared a brownie sundae, which left his 2.5-year-old sister on a bit of a sugar high. Thankfully, the night was fairly young at that point. After supper, we rented a few movies to go back to their house and watch. When we got to their house, we settled in for a nice evening of watching movies and eating popcorn. Shortly before Tevis took me home, his step-sister and her fiance came over to stay the night. It was nice getting to see them for a while. After enjoying a nice ride home with Tevis, I was home for the night.

Sunday wasn't too terribly exciting through the day, although it progressively improved. We had a nice lunch of steak, baked potatoes, and asparagus, which was very delicious! I decided to head back to my dorm early, because I didn't want to get caught in the impending snow. Since it was early, I stopped by the grocery store on the way into town and picked up some brownie mix so that I could make a small pan of them. I invited Tonisha over, and we had a Grammy-watching party. Honestly, it wasn't that exciting, because most of the show was tributes, or so it seemed. We still had fun, though, so that was all that really mattered!

Now, I am sitting here, waiting to get ready for my Calc class this afternoon, since NOC only decided to start two hours late...while every other school in the greater Enid area is closed. (I'm not too excited about this, if you couldn't tell.) I hope that everyone stays safe and warm!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Things They Should Tell You About College

I have been thinking quite a bit about how different my life is now as opposed to last year. In thinking about this, I realized that although I was pretty well-prepared for college, having taken concurrent classes, there were a few things that I really didn't realize until I got here. In saying that, I will now include my list of things I wish that someone would've told me a year ago. Hopefully, some of these things will resonate among those of you who have already attended college, and perhaps provide a laugh! Enjoy!
-You know how you knew pretty much everyone in your high school classes? That’s probably not the case in college. Guess what? It won’t matter. You don’t have to know everyone, just like they don’t have to know you. If you want to get to know a person, that’s great, but on the same note, it isn’t necessarily obligatory…keep that in mind.

-High school was full of drama. Unless you are just a dramatic person, the only drama that might exist in college is when a professor says or does something controversial. On occasion, a classmate might spark something, but usually it has to do with a professor. It is actually possible to be in a drama-free environment!
-Remember your five best friends from high school? In most cases, after the first semester of college, they will change, just like you, and your “best friendship” will cease to exist. You might remain friends, but you’ll probably never be as close as you once were. You’ll probably stay close with one of them, but not all of them. Another thing, you will also realize that college is way better by fall break & will probably never want to step foot in high school again. Crazy thought, huh? Yes. It will happen.

-Another thing that’s different from high school: Dating. College dating is on a completely different plane than high school. You won’t automatically see them every day just because you’re at school. College dating takes a little bit more effort and initiative. However, if you are single, college is a great place to meet someone new! There are more opportunities to meet people who share your interests, meaning more chances of finding someone!
-Get a stapler. Remember how every classroom in high school was equipped with a stapler, tape dispenser, etc.? Not anymore. You might get lucky and find one in the library or by a printer, but don’t count on it…or the person next to you who might not be willing to share their stapler.

-Another worthwhile investment in college: a flash drive. Those will save you more times than you realize. Trust me.
-On the same note, printers are at a premium. Those, like staplers, are rare. Don’t wait until the last second to print something off, because as surely as you do, all computers on campus will be down and printing will be virtually impossible at that point. Another plausible situation is that the printer will be out of service, which happens more than you would realize. Plan ahead.

-It will rain. It is possible that you will get caught in a random downpour. It is advisable to carry an umbrella in your backpack in the event this happens. Also, you should really invest in a good raincoat.
-Always take a pen/pencil and paper to class. In some shape or form, do so. Even if the teacher says that you “won’t be doing anything that day.” Chances are that you just might get a pop quiz or random assignment. The same goes for if you are watching a film in class. Unlike in high school when you would watch “Twister” just to kill time, that doesn’t happen in college. If a teacher wanted to kill time, they would probably cancel class. You will more than likely have to take notes over the film, so deal with it.

-Pray for a good roommate. You will either get a good one or you won’t. In the event that you don’t, try to make the best of it and find common ground. Things might not be just peachy, but they don’t have to be completely unbearable.

-In the event that you live away from home, you may be faced with some life changes. It won’t matter if you can only sleep in the dark, if your roommate keeps the lights on for whatever reason. An eyemask is a peaceful solution to this problem. (By the way, thank you for the eyemask, Audra!) 
-While talking about roommates, just know that it really works better if the two of you don’t shower at the same time of day. It is much easier if one of you showers at night and the other in the morning, to lessen the risk of having no hot water, no time to get ready, etc.

-If you eat in the cafeteria, remember what has been served, because you’ll probably see it again…and again. Pizza is usually a safe bet, but don’t go crazy. Also, eat your fruits & vegetables, and not in some unhealthy way…eat fresh!
-Know your advisor & don't wait until the last second to enroll. Call/e-mail them and make an appointment as soon as humanly possible. However, if underwater basket weaving and ancient arts & cultures sounds like your idea of a good time, then it is okay to wait around.

-If at all possible, don’t take ITV classes. They are nice when everything works, but when it doesn’t? It is one of the most frustrating things you will ever experience. If you do have to do so, be patient and utilize all of your resources possible to make it easier on you.
-Don't procrastinate. It's not worth it.

-You will have to study. Even if homework isn't "required", you should probably do it anyway.
-If it is a plausible option, try to get an on-campus job. They are convenient, for one thing, and they are also a great way to earn a little bit of extra money.

-Get help if you need it…know professors’ office hours and make an appointment, if need be. Also, all campuses offer peer tutoring facilities. Those are part of the fees you pay, so you might as well take advantage of it. It doesn’t matter how you go about it, but don’t wait until finals roll around to realize that you don’t understand anything about the class.

-In most cases, avoid baseball players like the plague. This is probably an inaccurate generalization, but as far as I know, you aren’t missing much...I would almost venture to say that most frat guys fall along the same lines. Beware.

-Don’t skip class. Enough said.

-Most professors don’t really care who you are; if you skip class, don’t do homework, and don’t even try, they have absolutely no sympathy for you and will probably not be of much help in the event that you ask them for help/lenience. In bigger universities, they won’t even know who you are, so then they REALLY won’t care. Here’s the thing: You aren’t in high school anymore. You have to be responsible. You are actually paying for your education for the first time in your life (Unless you have an amazing scholarship). Grades aren’t handed out; you earn them. Remember that.

-Lastly, have fun! Take up a new hobby or sport. Join a club. Make a random trip to Walmart at midnight. Get food at any hour of day. When in the right crowd, you will probably even find a party that might be worthwhile. You need to let loose and have fun!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

It's been a goes!

1. I have now taken at least one test in each of my classes. I am proud to say that I rocked my Calc test, and, thanks to a few bonus points, did a good job on my Biology test! Yay me!!! I think that there is just something to be said about doing good on the first test of the semester to give you hope to carry on. I am feeling good about both of these subjects. My only complaint about my classes thus far is in regards to my Biology lab. I don't really like my lab partners at all. Yes, I could change tables, I know, but the sad fact is that I would probably be no better off anywhere else. I guess that means that I will have to buck up. My complaints about my lab partners are that: A) We do not work at the same pace at all. I have a feeling that it is largely due to B) A guy in the group flirts with a girl in our group incessantly. My opinion is that if they want to pursure something of that sort, that really isn't my business and they can do that outside of class, so that we can do work. (I'll step off my soapbox now.)

2. In Calculus, we are now working on differentiation. I am happy to say that I understand this concept quite well. Well, most of it, because I did have to go ask for help on a few problems. It is quite refreshing to have to do something in Math that actually challenges me; that must mean that I am learning! We have a test coming up pretty soon, so hopefully that will go alright for me again.
3. One thing about my Calc class that I don't like? Ah, yes. The fact that it is ITV. It hasn't been *that* bad in the past month, but, then again, it has also acted up a lot over the past week. Last Tuesday, I think that someone hacked into the class, as we suddenly heard two men with Indian accents talking through the line. That was quite bizarre. Furthermore, this week hasn't been so great, either (I know it's only Tuesday), because there have been numerous issues with frozen images. When that happens, we have to disconnect, reconnect, then catch up with what everyone in Tonkawa was doing while we were disconnected. Then, our teacher (who really is a nice lady) goes over it quickly, so we don't lose too much time, but in the process of doing so, everyone in Enid is totally confused and frantically scrawling down all of the mumbo jumbo on the screen. Ugh. I am over this.
4. Yesterday morning, I woke up with a stuffy nose and a sore throat, as if I slept with my mouth open. I should've known then that it wouldn't be good from there. I made it through yesterday alright, and I took some medicine before bed. However, I woke up this morning, and, at first thought, I thought I had strep (oh joy), but after examining it, I realized that it was just drainage. Now, I sound as if I am a chain smoker or like I have some serious illness, but the reality is that I just have congestion and gunk in my lungs/throat. Here's hoping that I will be on the mend through the week.

5. Enough with all of this depressing news! How about something good? Tevis recently received a scholarship from NOC, and was invited to attend a recognition banquet, to which he could only bring one guest. Guess who got invited to join him? Yes, it was me! I am so proud of him and his accomplishment and cannot wait to get all dressed up to go support him! Hooray!
6. We held Cole's meet & greet on Sunday afternoon. Thankfully, the rain was contained to Friday, and we had beautiful weather for Sunday! It was a great celebration for all, and we had quite the turnout. My aunt Pat, Aunt Marla, the Siebert girls (family friends), Debra, Emily & Gina's in-laws, my cousin Vickie, and Tevis were all in attendance, plus all of our crew (of course). Cole was all decked out in his denim pearl-snap shirt & Wranglers (my parents' Christmas/birth gift to him), and was as adorable as ever. In the madness of getting everything ready though, I forgot my camera at home and didn't get any pictures. Drat. I know that my mom, Gina, & Emily did, though, so it will be alright. (Yes, I could've gone home, but it wasn't worth it at that point.) I loved getting to see everyone, and had many great conversations. What a good day!

7. Some of you may notice that Mimi wasn't mentioned in any of this weekend's celebrations. I'll fill you in. About a week ago, she took a tumble while she was in Hennessey walking along a sidewalk. As far as we know, nothing was broken, but she is very bruised and swollen still. For that reason, she decided that it would be in her best interest to stay home from church & Cole's party. After everything settled down after the party, Mom, Gina, Emily, Andrew, Cole, and I all went over to pay her a visit, while also taking her some food. I was glad that I went over there because I could tell that it really brightened her day by getting to see us. She got to love on Andy and Cole, and chat with all of us. Andrew was never more than a step away from Cole, it seemed, as he was always giving him kisses/hugs/pats. He was definitely in rare form that night, as he became increasingly ornery as the night progressed, although he was pretty funny!

8. I really didn't watch the Super Bowl. I watched most of it up until half time, until I started dozing off, then left to see Mimi. I figured that I will more than likely live to see plenty more Super Bowls, but Mimi is 94, so I should take advantage of any opportunity I have to be with her. Besides, I'm really not into football, or any other professional sport, for that matter. I might watch a game on occasion, but I don't follow any of these sports by any stretch. I liked quite a few of the commercials, as usual, but I really wasn't impressed by Madonna's halftime show...maybe it's a generational thing. All I know is that I didn't feel the magic and easily could've lived without seeing it. While watching the Super Bowl, I did realize one thing: 2012 is a Summer Olympics year! Now that, that is a sporting event that I will watch extensively. I love the Summer Olympics! Oh goody! :)

9. With all of this talk about sports, here's a sporting update that is relevant to me. Tonisha's & my racquetball experience is going quite well. I have noticed a definite upswing in our abilities, and I have also stopped getting so sore after playing. I must say that my coordination is gradually improving, although I still have quite a way to go. We have gotten to the point that we can return each other's hits, although we spend an inordinate amount of time chasing the ball around the floor (I'm pretty sure that professional players frown upon this.). I have also realized how racket angle has a lot of play as to how the ball will bounce. Wouldn't you know that the math major would recognize this! Hopefully, we can keep up with our hobby!

10. On a last, random note, Andy has finally gotten to the point where he can say my name much better. It has been quite the phenomenon, as none of my nephews thus far have been able to properly pronounce my name before they were 2.5. Andy, having recently hit the 2.5 mark, has progressed from calling me "Na" or "Da" to "Manna". I know it isn't "Amanda", but it is progress! Yay Andy!

Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chicken & Stuffing Casserole

Yesterday, at Cole's get-together (more on that later), I had a lovely conversation with Emily's mother-in-law, Carol. She told me that, apparently, I make the best stuffing in the world, according to Cody. Here's the thing: Cody doesn't like stuffing, but, for whatever reason, LOVES this recipe. I got this recipe from Gina, who got it from a friend at the hospital. It is extremely easy, which is one of the reasons I am so in love with this recipe. More than that, though, it is delicious! Enjoy!
1 box Chicken Stove Top Stuffing
Shredded cheese (lots)
2 cans of cream soup *See end notes*
1/2 C. sour cream
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked & cut up

Prepare stuffing according to box directions & set aside. Microwave soup & sour cream in a microwavable bowl for a couple of minutes. Put the stuffing in a greased casserole dish, reserving 1/2 C. for the top. Layer chicken on top of stuffing, pour soup mixture on chicken, sprinkle cheese on soup; sprinkle reserved stuffing on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until warm & bubbly.

Recipe Notes:
-As for the cream soup, it doesn't matter which type, although Cream of Chicken obviously would make sense. However, I have found that two cans can be a bit much, and it works just as well with one can. I'm sure that it would be just fine to use low-fat, etc. versions of soup/sour cream.

-Any kind of shredded cheese works well. I usually just use whatever I have on hand, although I would think that Cheddar or Colby Jack might have a more complementary flavor with the dish.