Shwooooooo....okay, midterms are over and Spring break is here and all is happy. I actually got the highest grade in the class on my Methods of Research midterm! It's absolutely pathetic, but it's so nice to feel smart again. Grad school is an excellent equalizer. Tomorrow I fly to Salt Lake (woo hoo! Spring Break hot spot!;-) to meet my mom and Nuri, then we'll drive down to Tuscon to see the springtime flowering desert. I will get a tan, and I'll get actually see a locale that does not resemble the psych building. Hoorah! On the way down we're stopping at Arches, the Grand Canyon, and Sedona. Too bad I seem to have pulled a muscle in my foot during aerobics on Wednesday- hiking around could be a problem. I'll think of something.
I had one of the 5 new recruits to our program (to attend next year) stay with me last week Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Why did they arrange recruitment weekend to be the weekend before midterms, you might ask? Good question. Nothing like having a complete stranger invade your home for 72 hours when you have 3 midterms to study for. I liked some things about her, but there was no mistaking that this girl thought she was the shit because she goes to Purdue (not impressed) and she's the secretary for the honor society there. She would direct the conversation in non-sequiter directions so she could bring up awards she has or expects to have. Arrgggh! Tres annoyeux!
I must go pack and look forward to escaping the city limits of Fort Collins. Updates on the vacation (and possibly pictures) are to come.
Hmmm...my life is very boring. Not much to write about. 4 weeks until Spring break! Yay! Um...I'm doing a fair amount of homework. Hmm...I'm getting ready to run participants on my first year project in a couple weeks. I'll have a bunch of undergrad psych students trying to give me examples of creative behavior in the school or workplace. I expect it to be a disaster. I think working with Psych 100 students for my TA position has irrevocably jaded me. If these are the kids that they let in to this school, I'd hate to see the ones they rejected!
On the happy side, I had a good Valentine's Day. I got lovely roses (Ender thinks they taste very good!) and a yoga video. And dinner at Chili's, complete with chocolate lava cake. Mmm...chocolate lava cake. Life is good, but not particularly interesting to the outside observer. I'll have to write again after I drum up some drama!
So one of the aerobics classes I'm going to this semester is called 'Hip Hop.' It basically consists of this absolutely gorgeous black girl (she looks exactly like the head black cheerleader from Bring it On but with some asian heritage as well) teaching street hip hop dance routines to all us white girls, and me making a complete ass of myself. I like it! I took my friend Rachel today, thinking having someone else to look stupid with would be more fun- then I found out that she took dance classes for 13 years! Sigh. Now I must go read Middlemist's classic study on men's behavior in the lavatory and write an opinion paper about it. Yes, that's right- even in grad school we're apparently not beyond the occasional busy-work pseudo-assignment. Summer- if you want someone to bounce ideas off/review your honors project outline, just let me know. I probably won't be the speediest feedback buddy, but I'm really interested in your topic and would love to help if I can.
I'm only taking 3 classes this semester, AND I'm planning lots of cool stuff into my schedule. I'm going to sign up for a Vinayasa yoga class on Thursday evenings, and I signed up for a 1 credit intro to Aerobics class. Last week I built a scrapbooking desk in my closet so I can take a scrapbooking break whenever I darn please. Lots of fun stress-relieving things planned. On the down side, my job this semester is going to redefine dull- I'll be coding data for 10 hours a week, and spending obscene amounts of time on Mapquest. Oh, well. As the Aussies would say, no worries.
Nuri sent me a birthday package with Cowboy Bebop playing cards (cool!) and a stocking full of cat toys for Ender. Ender immediately kicked the ever loving crap out of the catnip mouse the instant I took it out of the packaging. This morning I woke to a carpet strewn with fluffy catnip mouse innards. Ah, males of any species are so predictable (perhaps I should blame Dan's love of video games for our cat's violence)
Sorry for the delay in posting again. My aunt invited me to drive to Montana to visit my grandmas for a week. Very fun trip. My Grandma Terry (my mom's mom) doesn't have alzheimer's per se, but she has very little memory. She had no idea who my aunt and I were (not suprising considering that for my wedding that entire summer she was living in Boise she refered to me as her adopted niece) but was very happy to see us once I explained. She forgot who we were twice more during our 45 minute visit. I've since commanded my mother to never let herself get this way. She responded that she had no intention of living into old age with any sort of debilitation- her living will explicitly forbids resuscitation or life support, and she has no intention of telling anyone if she feels the signs of a heart attack coming on because she'd rather die than be less than herself. Ok. Don't I have a zany female heritage to live up to?
My birthday was one of the best ever, though- for all my fear of the big 25 I'm suprisingly happy. Dan and I had a Buffy and Angel-a-thon, watching the last 3 episodes of Buffy season 5 and the last 4 episodes of Angel season 2. Yay for the introduction of Fred! I ate lucky charms and italian food. Dan got me very cool gifts: the new Robert Jordan novel, the new Buffy calendar, a Cowboy Bebop wall scroll, and...prepare yourselves...a facial! Before your head explodes at the thought of a man thinking of such a gift, I'll tell you that I seriously hinted this is what I'd want for stress relief during the semester. But it had been a good 6 weeks since I dropped that hint, so I'm pretty impressed that he remembered the name of the salon and ventured into it for a gift certificate. Now that my birthday has passed it's time to get serious about getting healthy again, since I don't have my ankle injury as a crutch. It still hurts with the cold weather (I feel like one of those old men in the far side cartoon, whose knee swells to 3 times its size when a storm is approaching) but not enough that I get a get out of exercise for free card.
Sorry I didn't post last night- we got in after midnight and I've never been so exhausted in my life. The trip was mostly good, excepting a few close calls. On the Idaho/Utah border we hit a patch of ice going 55 mph and spun out. I'm not an exceedingly spiritual person, but SOME sort of force must have been watching over us because it certainly wasn't my expert steering skills that got us safely to the side of the road. We turned 360 degrees, then neatly and gently ended up in the emergency parking lane, facing the right way. That was enough excitement to replace the need for caffeine for several hours. Poor Aaron was on the phone with Dan at the time, and Dan's screaming "Oh my god, Aaron! We're going to die. We're dying. We're going to die." :) But now we're home safely, my cat is appropriately neurotic due to our absence, and I'm going to go be lazy and watch some Buffy season 5. Miss you girls!
I want to pack all my special people in my suitcase and bring you all back to Colorado. The prospect of going back to Colorado and not getting to see everyone again for several months makes me want to cry. Sigh. But, at the same time I think I'm stronger and more prepared to tackle next semester having spent 10 days basking in the presence of those I care about. That said, there are lots of happy things to focus on. The last 2 days included: a turkey dinner, Cheshire cat lanyard (Yay!), From Justin to Kelly, chocolate chip cookies, slaying vampires, buttery pancakes, kisses from Khera's babies, shopping for stickers, lingerie browsing with the girls, goey-filled Churros, cooking Mac 'n Cheese with my brother, the gift of a rice bag from Nuri's girlfriend, and hugs from my father. I'm a very lucky girl.
Yay, I'm done! I finished my last final yesterday at 1, then spent the following 6 hours calculating and reporting final grades for the two classes that I T.A. for. There were honestly points when I did not think that I would last the semester, but I did! Yay! I'm having a weird listless feeling right now, like I can't adjust to the fact that there isn't some homework lurking over my shoulder that I should be doing. I actually cleaned my apartment today, and enjoyed every minute of it! (something's wrong with that) If I were smart, I would spend this time getting ready for next semester. Guess I'm not smart, because that has no appeal to me. I'm going to be the laziest person ever until we leave for Boise on Tuesday.
The one good thing about interviews is that you get to talk about yourself a little bit, right? Hmmm...that sounds conceited. I mean- most people enjoy being asked questions about themselves. It's flattering. Well, I had an interview today where nothing about myself was asked. It was for an assistantship with this big overhaul project for Jefferson County Child Welfare services. The lady basically told me that all she'd have me doing for 10 hours every week is coding data. (BORING!) And yet she wanted a copy of my vita, and wants 2 letters of recommendation sent to her within the next few days so she can get back to me. Lord! It's basically the equivalent of me asking someone I'm hiring to mow my lawn if I can see his/her college diploma. Lady, you certainly aren't required to like me enough to hire me, but please don't make me bug 2 people for recommendation letters during the last 2 days of FINALS WEEK just so you can have an excuse to not hire me! Grrr...arrrgh. I'm kind of steamed right now. Breathe deeply, April. Think zen. In a week's time I'll be in Boise and stress free, so I can forbear.
I feel like posting a poem that I re-discovered while working on my creativity seminar collage. I want to read poetry and write stories instead of study for Measurement. Since that isn't an option, I can at least share these beautiful stanzas (you know any poem by Whitman is longer than this) with my friends before switching over to the quantitative side of my brain:
"The impalpable sustenance of me from all things at all hours of the day,
the simple, compact, well-join'd scheme, myself disintegrated, every
one disintegrated yet part of the scheme.
The similitudes of the past and those of the future,
The glories strung like beads on my smallest sights and hearings, on the
walk in the street and the passage over the river.
The current rushing so swiflty and swimming with me far away,
The others that are to follow me, the ties between me and them,
The certainty of others, the life, love, sight hearing of others.
Others will enter the gates of the ferry and cross from shore to shore,
Others will watch the run of the flood-tide
Others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west, and the heights of
Brooklyn to the south and east,
Others will see the islands large and small;
Fifty years hence, others will see them as they cross, the sun half an hour high,
A hundred years hence, or ever so many hundred years hense,
others will see them,
Will enjoy the sunset, the pouring-in of the flood-tide, the falling back
to the sea of the ebb-tide."
-Walt Whitman, from "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry"
This poem makes me wonder why I stress about anything- to think that in 60 years I will be dead, and others will be experiencing my same turmoils, driving the same routes I do, perhaps taking the same classes in the same buildings. They'll be living my life, and stressing about it, too. The things that I find beautiful will be theirs to find beautiful then. I guess it should be depressing, but because Whitman found it comforting I can't help but feel that way, too.