Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Week Two: Bike rides, Weight Loss, and a Broken Sewer Pipe

What a week!  A good one of course.  The first week of school is enver ery fast I fear, though I have learned how very interesting it can be to navigate a crowded sidewalk on a bike.

That’s code for I hit a tree again, and then my bike crashed to the ground between two cars later on, when some kid on a skateboard knocked into me.  I was left looking rather pleased with myself.  You see, despite that the bike crashed I landed perfectly on my feet, the frame of the bike between them, and the two cars on either side of the bike not even touched.  I have discovered my true talent!  I excel at crashing without a scratch!

Unless a tree is involved, then the bike is okay, and I’m not.  Ah well.  We can’t win them all.  Speaking of winning!  Well, I don’t know the results yet, and won’t until Thursday at the absolute earliest.  However I did try out to be in two plays.  If you are in one, you can’t be in the other obviously.  I’m rather more hoping for being in The Tempest than in A Bright New Boise, however either way will be nice!

I also managed to organize my room.  That’s right. I’m organized.  It’s a miracle!  My room is nice and clean right now.  For now.  We’ll see how long that lasts!

I’m only taking four classing right now, whereas most on campus take five or six.  In fact, this campus encourages you to take between 16 and 21 credit hours a semester, though some people are taking even more, with special permission.

I think I’ll stick to my measly 13 for now.  At some point, after all, chemistry will get harder.  I hope.  Besides, we had trouble enough even finding these classes to take!  I’m in pre-calculus, Theater appreciation, German 101, Chemistry 101.  It was difficult to even find these that will go towards my degree, because of how late my registration was, and the trouble with my math credits not transferring.

UAH has a history of that.  Still, My classes are nice so far, and I’ll have plenty of fun in them!  Between German and Chemistry, I don’t really have free time anyway.  Or I won’t after a few more weeks in Chemistry.  The first four are basically all review.  It’s interesting that way.

My only hang up is that I have to go to a special math lab in order to do math homework on the computer there, and I have to spend three hours there each week.   I am thoroughly unimpressed, but I shall live.

More impressive!  How far I bike. On Mondays I bike about 5.5 miles. On Tuesdays, it’s more like three.  Wednesdays it will be around six, I think, though I don’t know for sure, but I think I’ll aim at biking at least 20 miles a week, bare minimum.  I’ve also lost three pounds since last Wednesday.  I intend on losing about that many a week, if I can, until I am back down to a healthy weight. 

All the bike riding ought to help, especially as its half a mile to the cafeteria and half a mile back.  I have to ride my bike just to eat!  Sad day indeed.  I have found a church in the area also, and while another girl is going there too and has been taking me, if she ever chooses not to, that’s fine too.  It’s within biking distance!

Oh! Before I forget.  There’s totally construction going on right next to the dorms, right?  They’re putting in a huge fountain, and landscaping the area very thoroughly, putting in paths, and all that jazz.  Well, sometime between lunch and dinner on Tuesday, they hit a sewer line.

A sewer line.  Next to a dorm, of at least fifty a floor.  They’ve decided to make up for this, we’re supposed to use as little water as possible, and not shower, if we can manage it. Because that is so very hygienic.

My college is very special.  Very, very special.

One Final Byte:  Sometimes, bravery is as simple as starting up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Week One: Let the Hijinks begin

This has been a heck of a week!  It had a very rough start.  Move in and orientation went alright, but when it came time to register for classes.  Geez Louis.  None of my math classes transferred, and my engineering courses got marked as electives.  Well.  Okay, I can handle that.  Not that big of a deal, I just take Calc right?


I had to take a placement test.  If I got a perfect, I got Calc A.  If I did not get a perfect, I got to be in Math 112.

Okay.  I can handle that.  Then came the tricky bit.

“Oh.  By the way, our math department doesn’t allow any sort of calculators to be used.”  Wait. Stop. Pause.

You mean that thing that is in pretty much every phone standard now, so is, in fact, always in your pocket, and the things I’ve been informed by several engineers that they use on a daily basis is not allowed?  That tool to my job?

The big fat expensive thing I spent money on, I can’t even use?  Are they going to buy it from me?  No?  Then why should they get to dictate this?

“Our math department is very by the book.  They decided this two years ago.  I’m sorry.”

So am I.  So am I.  Because my teachers focused on using my calculator to solve the problems for me.  So after not getting into 112 the first time, I studied this weekend and got into it this time.

However!  If I were to rate my customer service experience at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) then I would have to say that their customer services skills were lacking, as they were completely unwilling to discuss the courses that transferred, or to alter their degree plan in any way shape or form for me to take my classes.  In other words, despite a kind advisor, so far, the experience has lacked luster.  I pay an awful lot of money to attend college.  I would like my luster, and my luster doesn’t come in the form of foam parties and dubstep.  My luster comes in the experience fo good customer service, and the college not pulling hijinks.

They are fond of hijinks at this college.  For instance. 

Homework is turned in online.  In order to access the homework to turn it in, you must have online access.  In order to gain the access, you must pay full price for the distinctly overpriced textbook, and the access codes are, the cashier assures you, and the internet agrees, only available from book at the book store.  My book bill is easily twice what I had planned and budgeted for it, and between that and mysterious fees on the tuition that they would not explain when asked, I am cutting deep into the money that was to cover living expenses such as, you know, breakfast on weekends, and toilet paper, neither of which the college provides.

The toilet paper I understand.

The breakfast, I do not.  Also, food is subpar here.  Except the mashed potatoes, the meat loaf, and surprisingly the vegetarian food.  However, it may improve once the cafeteria is open on full time hours, and not the partial hours it had this weekend to the confusion of everyone.  I’m going to give it a chance, also known as a year, as I paid for the freshman meal plan.  Not that I would have been able to figure out how to not pay for the freshman meal plan, but still.  I paid for it.

As for the social life?  I’m not a social butterfly, but I’ve met some nice people.  They may even become friends.  We’ll see.  For now, I’m still trying to get my not so tidy dorm room in order.  It needs TLC and not “Oh look.  Something shiny and distracting.”

One Final Byte: Did I mention I crashed into a tree?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lookit! A logo!

Everybody stop!  Look up the page.  Just a little bit.  That’s right.  There.  Check it out.  I have a logo!  Okay, so it could totally look sharper and more professional, but I happen to like it.  I might neaten it up sometime, but I might not. 

Now quick!  Look to the left of the screen.  Check out that background.  Isn’t it a pretty background?  Yes?  Alright.  First you see flowers.  Now if you shift your focus just slightly, you see diamonds.  The flowers, by the way, are totally accidental.  How do I know that?  Because I drew that too.  Also, Tiling is really hard to figure out how to do, just so you know.

Art may not be my forte, but I do like it.  I’m willing to bet you all know what a change in background means though!  That’s right! A new season for the blog!  This one called Charger Season, because look at me, moving in today to the Home of the Chargers, University of Alabama in Huntsville!

Who are the Chargers?  That is an excellent question.  I have no clue, however, so it shall have to remain an excellent question.  Maybe I’ll answer next blog.  Probably, I won’t.  I like to ask questions here and never answer them.  Either way, their colors are blue and white, I believe.  I would claim the blue is in their honor, but let’s be honest.  I just really like the color blue.  It happens to be my favorite.

Summer ends today for me, and I’m back in school again.  Classes start next week, of course, but I do have to get settled into the dorm.  It’s been a wonderful summer, and I’m glad to have had it.  I managed to cut down on boxes I’m bringing to the dorms, and put more stuff in a smaller space than ever before.

I think I’m becoming a little too talented at packing for my own tastes.  Let’s see if I can hold still for a few months.

Psh. Nah, who am I kidding?  These feet were made for wandering, and that’s just what I’ll do.  I already know that much!  I can’t wait for school to begin again!  I’m hoping for some challenging courses so I can properly learn what I need to know.  Hopefully, I’ll find a part time job as well, which I’ve been told isn’t that hard, on or off campus.

I’m already going to be looking into joining a co-op for next year.  That’s basically work experience set up by the college.  You do get paid for it, and the college claims it will ‘pay for a substantial part of you college education.’  We shall see UAH.  We shall see.

Regardless, UAH’s co-op programs seem to be set up as a semester of full time class, then a semester of full time work.  They do have a part-time course load/part-time co-op work possibility as well, though you have to discuss that.

Either way, we’ll see how it turns out. 

One of my roommates contacted me as well!  I have been reassured that a lot of people bike in Huntsville, especially on campus, and that a lot of people don’t have cars. Phew!  What a load off my bike.  I like bike-able cities.  Either way, I can’t wait to poke around on my lovely bike (it matches my purse!) and see what Huntsville has to offer.

One Final Byte: When nervous, I cook.  I made many candies.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Nearing Summer's End

Alright! My last burst of traveling for the summer is almost over with everyone.  I arrived in Nashville save and sound, after a harrowing adventure in Orlando.  Getting there was nerve wracking, on the wee little puddle hopper I was in.  It was small enough, though I barely had leg room, and normally I find plane leg room to be quite adequate.  And everyone had to check their carry-ons, because there was just no room under the seats and no overhead compartments at all.  Itty bitty puddle hopper.

Then I got to Orlando.  Orlando is…well, it’s a confusing airport, and you’d best hope you don’t have to change terminals, because if you do you have to exit security, then go through it again, just to get to the other terminal.  Also, because my first flight was with a different airline then my second, I didn’t know my gate number…so had a horrible time getting to the gate.  I did make it though!

Then up to Nashville and to baggage claim, where I was thoroughly surprised by my boyfriend, who snuck up on me.  I had thought I bumped into someone with my back pack.  Nope.  He’s a sneaky man, he is.  Definitely a ninja.  Hm, considering my pirate nature, I worry about this.

I got to spend a half handful of days with him and they were some of my happiest days this summer.  We got to see a movie together, and I got to try on all of his helmets.  He wears a large hat size, so of course they looked ridiculous on me.  The movie was Total Recall which is an absolutely wonderful movie I wouldn’t mind seeing again and highly suggest.  We even went to a history museum, combining my love of museums and his love of history.  It was about Shakers.  Apparently it was both the farthest west and south colony of Shakers that had ever existed.  In the early 1900s though, it ended up closed.

The things you learn.

All around, it was a great visit (that I could say much more on, but I suspect you don’t want to hear, as once started, I don’t shut up about him), and then I was off to my aunt and uncle’s for the rest of the summer.  Boy, this place has changed!

I love their new home.  It’s got an amazing view, and the windows make me happy just to see them.  My stuff was all here, and they’re letting me keep some nonessential stuff with them.  I even got most of my school supplies! I just need some organizing bins now, so keep everything tidy.  Well, that and my textbooks, but I need a class list before I find those out!

I also got a bike for on campus and around town, as cars are expensive things that cost way too much when a bike and a bus pass out to do me.  Amusingly, and quite by accident, the bike matches my purse.  I find I approve!

I’m winding down summer to get everything ready to go for school now.  The year will start soon, and I have a wonderful surprise for the blog when it does.   I can’t wait to unveil it!

One Final Byte:  Shopping for a college dorm? Remember cleaning supplies!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On the road again!

I can say with all certainty that I love visiting my sister’s family.  Even the first day there we had a lot of fun.  I’ve officially seen the new Spiderman movie and I absolutely loved it.  Peter Parker was perfect.  He was a nerd who suddenly had to deal with a mutation…one that thoroughly freaked him out. In his search for answers, he-  Well.  I won’t spoil it, but this movie was more than just good vs bad.  This movie was about both inner and outer conflicts, an in the end, owning up for what you have done and created.

I loved it.  It was deep, and still packed full of terrific moments.  Definitely worth the cash to see it and I wouldn’t mind seeing the movie again.

We ate at Buffalo Wild Wings as well, which is always a treat, as far as I’m concerned.

The next day, we wound up on the beach.  The water was so clear you could see the sand, and where we were you could walk out what felt like forever and still not hit deep water.

Not to say there weren’t some deep points, but not a lot.  And we discovered an island!  Mind you, probably a thousand or so others have also discovered it, but so have we, and it was a lot of fun.  The water was so shallow at that point it came up to our ankles, with a ‘steep’ drop off of about four feet.  Not quite, but it was still entertaining if you got to close to the edge.

Someone might decide, after all, to bump into you, and then, well, splash!  Getting back onto the small island from that side was hard work too.  It was very much a climb to get onto it, it seemed, if only because it was so steep.

Oh.  I also got very sunburned.  A lovely shade of red that matched my pink tank top well, I think.  It was excellent.  And since that was just the first two days, you can imagine how much fun the rest were.

We went to a different beach, the pool, did a little bit of shopping, and I got to go to a robot spa.  Or, well, mechanical one.  It was incredibly weird.  The facial consisted of me washing my face, and then them shining lights on it, while I sat in the massage chair 5000.  This chair was incredibly odd.  It was all hydralics, and I could hear those working, and the air beign pushed in and out of the massage balls in the chair.  Not very comfortable.

Then I got to lay down on a massage bed.  This consisted of laying on a think canvas that covered rubber, that kept jets of water with 45 lb of pressure hitting me.  Instead, they pressed against me, going up and down my body.  It felt odd, and tickled my calves horribly.  I kept giggling.  Then I was in a hydration station, which reminded my of superman's space crib and was, essentially, a individual spa.  The papers on the wall promised you would sweat out fluids, toxins and fats.

I disbelieve.  Still, the entire trip was exciting, and I can now say I've been to a machine masseuse.  I think I prefer a person though! 

I had such an amazing time on my trip.  But now, well...

On the road again!  Bright and early on the road again!  I guess I couldn't wait to be on the road again, this time sometime between 5 and 6 in the morning as I have an 8 am flight.  I get to be on a Beechcraft 1900 turbocraft airplane.  This means I have propellers, not jet engines, on my airplane.  Once again, of course, I get to go south before I go north.

Am I the only one a wee bit confused by the logic of that?

My luggage held up admirably.  The wheel that was fixed still works fine, and I'm very happy.  The big one with the owl served well too, though her side handle sheds like nothing else if you pick it up.  Yuck.

I bet you're wondering where I am going this time.  Up north to Kentucky!  Westernish Kentucky to be exact, though no details of course.  What were you expecting an exact location?  Silly thought that.  I gave you a state and a vague direction.  That's enough, right?

Either way, I'm on my way to spend a few days with another favorite person of mine and his family.   It will be nice getting to know them all, and from there, I'll head over to my uncle's!

Farm living.  For like a week and a half.  It'll be fun, perhaps maybe.  If I squint. Well, I'll be glad to see my family again nonetheless.  I'm really eager to see what's changed since I was last there!  This has been a great week so far, and I'm looking forward to the next week of being with some people who really rock.

One Final Byte:  This is a busy time period, I think.