Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Classes, Group Projects, and Other Fun Stuff

It's been a while since I've updated my blog. What can I say? My life is fifty kinds of crazy right now, as it has more or less been since I last posted. If you're wondering what life is like for a senior in college, it is ridiculously crazy and sometimes I feel like I'm perpetually running from place to place, obligation to obligation. It's a crazy life, but it's mine, and I wouldn't trade it for the world! Let's see what adventures I've been on since last time...

I'll start by telling you ALL about my classes, because that has been consuming the bulk of my time this semester! First off, for anyone who thinks that taking 17 hours during their last (technical) semester of college is a great idea, let me give you some advice: don't be a hero! (Unless Wine Tasting class is an option...then you should go for it!) I've officially gone through my first round of tests, and made it out relatively unscathed...Number Theory was a little bit rough, but I'll take what I can get in there! My SPED class is pretty good, although I feel like I'm constantly doing lots of tedious assignments that consume more time than they should. I'm almost done with my service learning project, which will be a huge relief, if only for the fact that I'll be getting a little bit more time back to do other things! Number Theory is a struggle. I hate writing math proofs. I'm not good at them, and I'm ready to just be done with this class! I feel the same way about Geometry, but to a lesser extent. Math Modeling isn't too bad, and we've moved on to a much easier new project. So far, I've enjoyed working with both groups that I've been a part of...even better, this time around, I think I'll actually be able to contribute something useful to this project! Hallelujah! My Methods class is just fine, as usual, although we're starting to get pretty busy assignment-wise. In order to prepare us for next semester, Dr. J is having us do a mock version of our huge student teaching project so we won't feel totally blindsided next semester! It's a little stressful now, but I know I'll thank her in a few months! As always, Wine Tasting is perfect :) We've now tried Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Gewurztraminer varietals. Out of those, I preferred the Riesling and Gewurztraminer the most...what can I say, I'm a sucker for sweet white wines! We're moving to red varietals this week, so I'm pleasantly awaiting those!

Fun fact: in all of these classes EXCEPT Geometry, I have group projects to coordinate. It is utterly exhausting and incredibly difficult to coordinate. The only good thing in this sore spot is that I have wonderful group members all around! Another thing that has consumed the majority of my energy as of late is my Education Portfolio submission II, which is due in about 2 weeks. It's not hard, but it basically requires me to go through all of my assignments from the past year or so and find ones that align with both our program's core values and Oklahoma's general competencies for educators. It's an arduous process that caused me to spend most of this past Saturday in exile. By the grace of God, I only have 2 more artifacts left to fill in, and I'll be done! After submitting this and hopefully getting it approved the first time around, I'll be ready to receive student teaching placements!!!!! We had official interviews with the placement coordinator a few weeks ago, when we gave our preferences for where we'd theoretically like to go. I'm afraid that I'll have to be fairly vague about all of this, but I feel like I made some good selections. We'll see how it ends up! I also had my last appointment with my academic advisor who I have grown to love! She's been with me through my entire OSU journey and has been a total rockstar at dealing with any questions I threw her way! I hope that everyone can have an advisor as wonderful as mine was!

Tutoring has been pretty good lately, as I've been getting much more business due to midterms and people stressing about failing them. It's been wonderful for me to be back in the practice of explaining algebra instead of writing proofs on the Well-Ordering Principle or divisibility of prime powers of numbers and their prime factorizations. (If you're especially curious, look up number theory proofs...That should make you grateful that you never studied math!) I love tutoring immensely, and cannot wait to actually be in the classroom doing what I've studied to do for the past four years!!! Also, after two months of working here, I FINALLY got my name tag! Everyone else's name tag was a rinky-dink laminated paper number, so I really wasn't sure what the hold-up was until I actually received mine...needless to say, it is NOT a rinky-dink laminated name tag. It is a beautifully engraved, straight-up legit name tag. It may or may not be on the same plane as their faculty name tags. It also may or may not be the third name tag of this sort that I've received from the wonderful folks at NOC...I'm not complaining :) It's the little things in life, I tell you!

So, obviously those things have kept me on my toes for the majority of the time, but have no fear...I've made sure to make time for fun stuff, too!

Instead of going on and on about every little thing I've done, I'll give you more of a bulleted list of highlights!
-I attended 2 more games, both of which were total wins and lots of fun all around...Homecoming is next week, btw!!! I'm so excited!!!!! (Brace yourselves for the inevitable orange fountain & walkaround pics!)
-I attended another Matt Maher concert last weekend with Rebecca, Rebecca's little sister Abi, and Maria! It was an amazing time, and the concert tickets were inexpensive, so it was a wonderful time!
Maria, Rebecca, Abi, and me! I'm so blessed to have friends like these beautiful women of God!

My fantastic freshman friend, Maria!

Abi and I ended up with matching t-shirts...I love it so much :)

Also, last night, Rebecca and Andrea invited me to join them at a campus concert last night featuring Scottish-Gaelic artist, Julie Fowlis. I've never heard of her and never really listened much to that kind of music, but I had a wonderful time! I also attended the gubernatorial debate two weeks ago between Gov. Fallin and her opposer, Joe Dorman. It was really cool to attend, but it did nothing much in the means of guiding my decision, because it was still a stereotypical debate in which both candidates talked circles around each other. Also, if you've seen the pictures of Mary Fallin with that OU student who was wearing the Mary Failin shirt, (look it up if you haven't) I happened to sit right behind that guy during the debate. I'm not sure why that's important, but I figure it's worth mentioning. I love that OSU so often plays host to cool events like both of these things, so that I can have opportunities to experience them! Just another of the reasons it's totally worth it to go here, even if I transferred in! I'm perpetually thankful that I took the chance to do it!

I'm also officially obsessed with Parks and Recreation! I'm now on Season 4 and loving it! It is finally getting to the point where it is not so much like The Office and is getting its own feel! Rebecca is mostly joining me in this new TV obsession :) Good times!

In the midst of all of this combined craziness, I've also managed to steal away some time to go home and be with my awesome family! I loved getting to spend quiet evenings with my family and see my adorable nephews who are growing up before my eyes! Fun fact: baby Jakub is not much of a baby anymore as he is walking and VERY mobile...AND he turns one next Saturday!!!!! The four older boys are more or less enjoying their various combinations of school and Boy Scouts. I, of course, was more than happy to contribute to their popcorn sales the last time I was home :) This week, my parents are enjoying a well-deserved getaway to Santa Fe, so I can't wait to hear stories about their adventures!

On a final note, I'm REALLY excited to share what is easily the best news I've received in a long time...my beloved cousin, Evan, who's chugging through his senior year of high school, just received word that he has been accepted to OSU and will be joining me here next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Yes, Grad School here will most likely be a thing for me next year, in case you're wondering) He called to tell me yesterday, and I'm so excited for him to have all kinds of wonderful experiences here! I'm excited for him to come visit so that I can show him around and help him get acquainted with campus :) I'm even more excited to have another cousin who will proudly wear America's brightest orange with me!! Go Pokes!!!!!