Archive for the ‘College’ Category

Hi! *contrite look* I’m still alive, actually

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

I don’t know why I feel bad about not posting for a while, live is crazy and we all know that, so I should really stop worrying about it. But of course I feel bad because I know you guys like reading my posts and I want to make you happy 🙂 Anyway, I guess I’ll post when I make time and the Lord will help you to endure when I don’t ;)>

I had a great spring break at home. I vegged a lot, watched a lot of movies/read a lot of books, and played with my nephew. My nephew is cute, and surprisingly low maintenance and quiet compared to my expectations (of course, I’m not around him that much, his mother might have more to say on the subject). He also likes to throw up on you at your least suspecting moment. He is only 3 months old, but is already quite big, is grinning and smiling all the time, and is trying to master the art of crawling, though he hasn’t quite figured out yet that he has to push his legs/arms against the ground, not wave them around in the air, in order to move. He’ll figure it out eventually.

While I was home, I also tested for red-black belt at my Tae-Kwon-Do school. I enjoyed doing that and going to a demonstration we put on at the local high-school. I have plenty of friends at my TKD school, and the martial art is fun, a good outlet for my violent side (I’m rather fond of attacking people ;)> and of course good self defense techniques in case someone jumps me (believe me, I’d make sure they sorely regretted it).

Also while I was home, I packed up most of my earthly belongings in boxes in preparation for my family moving form the house we’ve lived in for 23 years, to my grandparents basement. This is because we are, hopefully, selling the house (which is big, old, and needs someone who can afford to take care of it properly), and, eventually, building our own on a piece of land across the road from my grandparent’s house. I spent a lot of time helping my mom and sister un-clutter my grandparents house to make room for us and all our stuff. They are still plugging away even now, and I think they hope to make the move around the end of May/early June. Your prayer for the whole process is much appreciated.

Back at college, I am not beginning my third week of school this spring quarter. The first two weeks were pretty hectic and busy, mostly because of Bulldog prep. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to tell you all about it now, I have got to go do some Arabic homework. Hopefully I’ll find time to do “Episode II” next Sunday and you’ll get to hear all about the awesomeness of Bulldog prep (Oorah!!).

Last week of school

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Final week is here. That means crunch time with papers and finals. Surprisingly, I don’t have any presentations I’m doing. I’ve already done one, but this quarter it is mostly papers and finals. I am very excited for this quarter to be over, because next quarter I start Bulldog training, that is, a preparatory training program for going to OCS this summer. For you non-military types, everybody in a program that is training them to become an officer in the USMC (there are several programs besides ROTC), must go to and pass OCS, Officer Candidate Training. It is a period of evaluation and winnowing of the ranks, to see who’s serious and can really do this stuff and who’s jacking off and needs to be thrown out. That will be July-August for me. The bulldog prep that we do here at OSU puts us through a lot of the stuff we’ll have to do at OCS. Its every morning (of the school week) from 0600-0800. Its going to be challenging, mostly because I’ll be very tired and worn out, and I’ll have to do all my classwork in addition to this stuff.

So, I’m excited about starting that. I’m also excited about my spring break because A: I will be testing for my red-black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do, something I’ve been working toward for a long time. I’ve been taking Tae-Kwon-Do for four years now and normally I would have tested for it a while ago but I missed several testing cycles because of time conflicts when I was home on break. B: I will get to see (hopefully) my older sister and nephew, who are planning to visit if they can work it out. And then of course, the just all around wonderfulness of being home and getting to see my family.

It will, however, be strange for me and somewhat challenging this spring break because my family is preparing to move out of the house we have lived in for 22 years. Not an easy task, physically or emotionally. I suspect they’re going to make me pack up my whole room when I’m home (grrrr). I’ll live though. Anyway, please pray that all the moving goes smoothly and I can enjoy being home despite it. Also pray for my finals, and that I would be able to prepare myself, physically and mentally, to do well in Bulldog prep.

Thanks, and God bless you all.

Valentine’s day

Monday, February 15th, 2010

So, one of my room-mates declares that Valentine’s Day is silly; just a big excuse to sell and buy a bunch of stuff. At the same time, she very happily received Valentine’s Day cards and goodies from her family and a few…admirers. I even gave her a little something, which she very much liked. Still she maintains that Valentine’s Day is silly. We all tease her that she feels that way because she doesn’t have a guy.

Of course, none of us “have a guy,” though all my room-mates have admirers, some more welcome than others. (more…)

Snow and Penthouses

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

I’m sitting on the top (11th) floor of the new Thompson library of OSU campus.  The very top floor is a nice, penthouse-like study room, with lots of windows and window seats, nice leather couches, and an old oriental rug.  It has a nice kind of attic feeling to it.  Looking out the window, all is white.  Its snowing polar bears and arctic foxes out there.  I’m holed up here to do homework until the library closes at 10pm.  Its about 5:20 now.  Hopefully I’ll get something done ;)>.  I’ve got a group presentation to work on and a midterm paper to write, and I know that I’ve got to do them now or I’ll never get them done over the weekend, I’ll be too un-motivated.  Anyway, I just had the impulse to post something, since I missed last week.  Oh, and I’m also delaying getting started on my homework as long as possible ;)>.

Quarterdeck Ball

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Ok, before we get started I’m going to lay down one ground-rule: you are not allowed to read this post and not comment (in some fashion or another, you can comment on my blog or you can e-mail me, either way is fine). You have been duly warned. If I hear you gush about these pictures next time I see you, but you never actually commented on them, grrrrrr. Ok, I’ll make an exception for anyone over 70 years old. People that old shouldn’t have to be forced to use *adopts creaky old-person voice* “these here new-fangled thingy-ma-watsits that young people these days spend so much time in front of. Hmph, these dern youngins, don’t know how to hand-write a decent letter every once-in-a-while. They’ve gone hog-wild about all this new tech-ni-ol-ogy. Now when I was a youngin, tech-ni-ol-ogy was puttin a penny in the candy machine and then out comes this here piece of candy!”

Ahem….sorry, that was fun to write, hopefully you found it slightly amusing and not at all insulting 😉 Gotta love the old days. The point is that my grandparents are exempt, but I’m pretty sure all the rest of you need to comment on my pictures :}.

So….drumroll please….Quaterdeck was a BLAST!!!! I had tons of fun, mostly because this year I knew everyone there and so I was surrounded by friends. We had a great location, at the Columbus Athenaeum (built in 1896 no less) and the ceremonies went off without a hitch. I was actually part of the ceremonies, I carried the Coast Guard cover for the POW/MIA table. Fortunately I managed to not mess up. The food was pretty good, not as good as the MC ball back in Nov., but nothing to turn your nose up at. And, they had cheesecake :0!!!!

Of course, the other reason it was so much fun was that this year, I did something totally unexpected (to myself as well as my family), and definitely breaking from my past image of aloof disinterest in all things girly and feminin. Sigh, I might as well fess up….I bought an evening gown…..and wore it….to the ball. And you know what I found out? Acting like a girl is a lot more fun than I thought it would be *lol, sheepish look* I guess I’m finally growing out of my younger, rebellious, teenage stage when all teenagers have to have something to rebel against or else they’re not teenagers ;)> To be more serious, I believe that God has worked in my heart and mind the past few years to help me mature and grow into the godly woman he wants me to be instead of staying the rebellious girl that I wanted to be.

So, the point is that last night was a big deal for me, a kind of “coming out and admitting that, yes, I actually am a woman and, dare I say it, aspire to be a lady.” A Butt-Kicking-Devildog-USMC lady, but a lady none-the-less. (and if you thing those things a mutually exclusive, think again). So here’s the point where you are allowed to say “I told you so!” and snicker over my abrupt about-face (are women fickle or what?)…………………………………………………………………….alright, moment over, now be quite and stop teasing me, or I won’t post pictures *gleefully dangles pictures of me in an evening gown over a large crowd of begging fans….ok maybe not*

So, I had a great time, danced with some guys, some girls, and a lot with myself, took some pictures, talked to people, and did not drink anything since I’m obviously not over 21 (though a couple guys tried to convince me that it doesn’t really apply to military functions, which I believe was true in past years, but they’ve become more strict now-a-days. In any case, I don’t like alcohol). After about an hour of dancing, hanging out, and taking pictures, most of the older mishipmen and all the MECEPs with their wives/dates (for those of you who’ve forgotten, the MECEPs are the older, prior enlisted Marines who are now getting their degree and an officer billet), left to go hit the bars. I stayed (of course), danced some more with my friends, and then caught a ride home with a couple other car-less midshipmen.

Upon arriving at my dorm, my room-mates jumped me (well, sort of) and demanded a retelling of the night and pictures. Did I mention that I have a new room-mate? Her name is Sydney, and she’s pretty amazing. We all get along tremendously well, and I’ve never had such fun before with any of my past or current room-mates. So we got to bed around….1:30 am. Being the disgusting person that I am, I woke up all on my own about 8:30 and got up, because sleeping late is obviously such a waste of time ;)> Oh yeah, and because I had this really long post that I was basically commanded to make (with pictures) and I want to get at least SOME homework done today.

What? What is that I hear? Oh, you want to hear about the dress do you? Yes, I suppose I did forget to tell you about it, how silly of me >:). You’ve already heard the first part of the story, where Kirsten, the girlfriend of another midshipman, heard that I had not yet bought a dress and determined to find one for me. We went to a thrift store and I tried on a few. There was one really pretty black and white one that I wanted, but there was the little problem of it being about six sizes too small. Among the six or seven I tried on, there were about three that fit me or could be altered to fit me and that I might actually consider wearing. Two were red, and nothing really exciting to look at, and the third was an olive drab green (not the best color for me, says my mom) dress of a simple, but elegant style. For anyone who cares, its a Daniel’s bridal dress, which new online costs 155$. I bought it for 25$ *smiles smugly*.

It was about two sizes too big, so Kirsten very graciously offered the use of her apartment and sewing machine so I could alter it. It took me about five hours, but with help from Kirsten and her mom (who makes costumes for some kind of drama club), I took it in, replaced the zipper with a lace-up back, and hemmed it. It worked! (yeah, I was so worried I would mess it up horribly).

It was quite a hit, mostly because I have a reputation of being decidedly un-feminin and this is the first time I’ve worn a dress to any NROTC function (so its the first time any of those people had EVER seen me in a dress, period). It also might have something to do with me looking good in it, which everybody said I did. I’ve always had this mental block against the idea that I was, or could be, pretty (don’t ask me why, I don’t really know), so I’ll just leave it to you all to decide. I am who I am and I don’t really care to think of myself as pretty or not pretty, because then I’ll get all stressed out about it and that’s a waste of time.

So now I will finally post the pictures, and I >:)> eagerly await you’re comments. (more…)

Another week

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Whatdoyaknow! I’m writing again. Don’t get spoiled. I am actually half watching a documentary on Chinese wildlife. Wow. Its pretty amazing. I don’t suppose I even need to say “Waaaa, want to go and see it!!!” And my Chinese wouldn’t even do me any good talking with the animals ;)>

Ok, so nothing particularly exciting happened this week, except perhaps for my excursion on Friday night. (more…)

Wow, I’m lame, but now I’m finally posting

Monday, January 11th, 2010

How’s that for a title?

I have no excuse for leaving my poor, huge mass of fans out in the dark and I just know you’ve all been pulling your hair out and threatening to go on strike if I don’t post more updates! Kidding. Mostly I have been busy, and the times when I could have posted I was busy doing other non-essential things like reading 😉

I’ve thought about posting often, and I’ve just never gotten around to it. Well, now I am. Hopefully this year I can keep up with at least a short post every couple weeks. We’ll see.

Lets see, brief summary of the Fall. (more…)

Azem Palace

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

This week was pretty grueling.  We had our “midterm” on thursday.  I felt like I totally failed it.  It was soo hard.  And what was annoying was that there wasn’t anything I could really do about it.  The reason it was hard was because of of the reading and listening.  The reading was hard because I didn’t know the vocabulary.  Not that I didn’t know the vocab we had to learn for class, its just that it used a lot of words I’ve never even seen before.  And the listening was hard because I’m just not good at listening, I’m more a visual person.  However, I feel like all the tests are super hard and looking at the grades of last class, no one got above an 85 and the average was a 70.  I guess they just have much higher standards here.  Which is ok, since I’m going to get K-credit for this at OSU (no letter grade, just a pass/fail).  Anyway, that was painful, and annoying, but at least it gave me a better idea of what the final exam will be like.

Today I went and visited the Azem palace, build by the Shah of Damascus in the 1700s.  It was very beautiful and fascinating.  They had good english translations of most of the major arabic explanations of things, and I got to learn a lot about Arabic architecture and bout the different parts of houses and what they were for.  They had exhibitions of Arab instruments and the history of Arab music, and a room on the Janissaries of the Ottoman empire (they were the Ottoman elite guard).  The palace had its own bath, built similar to the Roman baths.  Maybe they liked it back then, but personally, I wouldn’t want to take a bath in there.  I’m not a big fan of “bath” and “public” going together, even if it is only women or only men.  I especially liked the room on Damascene weapons.  They talked about Damascus steel, and the evolution of weapons and the weapon building trade that Damascus is famous for.

My favorite room, though, was Prince Faisal’s audience room, where he received petitions during the short time when he was in control of Damascus after the Arab revolt.  That was really cool, since I wrote this whole long paper about him and the revolt at the end of spring quarter.  It was absolutely amazing to be standing in a room where I knew he had stood, and probably T.E. Lawrence as well.  I wonder if there are still any monuments or history left in Iraq about Faisal and his family’s rule there.  I wonder if any of it has survived the turmoil and wars.  If there is, I’d love to go see it someday.

I was also going to visit the Umayyid mosque today, but it was 11 by the time I left the Azem palace and I felt like, since It is a saturday, the mosque was too crowded for my taste.  So I’ll go back and visit earlier in the morning some other weekend.  Instead, I ended up wandering the streets of the old city, munching on a bag of pistachios I’d bought.  Drat, I wish I could live in Damascus for longer than two months, like, two years.  Grumble.

Sorry for the short post, but, homework calls, and all that.  I’m trying to work on getting my presentation ready, on “American art: its development and its influence on American society”  Arg, what a huge topic.  Anyway, I have that to work on.  Oh, and I started colloquial lessons on Thursday, so I have homework for that too.  My tutor seems very good at what he does, and I’ve learned a lot from just one lesson.  Its only an hour a day, but he packs a lot into one hour.  The best part though, is that he has an air-conditioned room that he teaches in.  Yeah!!

First week of school in Syria

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Well my first week of school in Syria has come and gone, and I’m looking forward to next week!  The classes themselves are very interesting.  They involve learning new vocab, reading and discussing passages about Syria and the ME, learning and practicing new grammar, working on listening skills and dictating, and doing conversation.  We will also each be giving 20 min presentations at some point in the month.  Mine’s not till the end of July and I was assigned the topic of “the arts in America” *makes face*.  Not my favorite topic, but as I’ve said in the past, everything interests me, and just thinking about doing research on this (despite my automatic reaction of disinterest in art) is getting me excited.  I really know nothing at all about the arts in America, except for a very few famous names and some very recent stuff.  I actually know a lot more about the arts of the rest of the world than about the arts in America.  So anyway, we’ll see how that works out.

I’m making good friends with my fellow classmates.  It is absolutely fascinating to be around so many diverse people from different parts of the world.  And I am constantly amazed at what I see every day, echoing what I grew more aware of in China: (more…)

Pictures from White Sulfur Springs

Monday, March 9th, 2009

So here are a select few of the 87 pictures I decided to keep (I actually took around 150) from my trip to White Sulfur Springs. I’d love to know what you think of them, I’m trying to emulate my photographer older Sister and take cool perspective pictures and stuff instead of just boring old landscapes.