ru: (Default)
--My sample group for my thesis, it's powerful! I checked the reading! IT'S OVER FIVE HUNDREEEEEEEEED!

Or something to that effect. XD

--I realized today that in about a week I'll be back in school. In less than two weeks I'll be back in front of a class of students. That made my stomach drop out from under me briefly. It still has me pretty nervous. I think I'm better than I was this time last year, though, after coming off a very bad semester and uncertain if I could handle doing it again. It also helps that, barring a massive change of plans, I'll be teaching the same introductory bio class I taught last fall, so I already have notes, and have some sort of idea about what to expect. I also hope it means I can improve on things as well. One can hope.

Although there's still the scariness of getting in front of a group of students, especially the first class. First impressions and all that. Although it really helps to know that one of my fellow TAs is next door doing the same thing, and knowing that if things really go to hell in a handbasket with equipment or whatnot, I can call on the lab manager for help. Deep breath, Ru. You can do this again.

--On a completely different note, thanks to my dad's influence, I've started looking into podcasts. I was thinking they might be a nice thing to have when I don't feel like listening to music, and the radio is being uninteresting at that moment. I was thinking maybe I can find a gardening podcast, or maybe a language one. I wouldn't expect to gain fluency, but it might be fun to be exposed to at least the basics of another language. Like Swahili! <3

Do any of you guys listen to podcasts? Have any particular favorites you'd like to rec? Learning about new and different things is always fun. <3
ru: (strange)
My final exam is IN, finally. That thing has been a monkey on my back the past few days. Tomorrow I dive head first into getting my specimens prepped for a summer's worth of measuring and statistical analysis. In the meantime, I have TAGS to write!

On a different note, yoinking an idea from Eien-chan...

You ask a question, I'll provide an answer. I reserve the right to not respond (meaningfully) to questions.
ru: (sad)
Ever feel so tired you want to cry? It's actually kinda weird, because I think I've been a little better about getting to bed than I have been. Maybe it's the combination of fatigue and stress. Rough week and too much to do.

FAIL

Jan. 19th, 2009 01:20 am
ru: (EEEEK)
Fail #1: Receiving a nomination to present at the graduate symposium and not responding right away.
Fail #2: Accidentally deleting the nomination email in a flurry of trying to keep my webmail space down, because they don't give us enough (although I just figured out how I can get more, thank goodness).
Fail #3: Forgetting to respond until 1:00AM the day after the due date for responding.

This adds up to EPIC FAIL. I just sent an email to the person I hope is right, apologizing, sending what information I could remember I needed to send, and asking for a second copy of the email. I am SUCH AN IDIOT. I hope I can still present, but I doubt it, because I suspect I come off as a sketchy, irresponsible idiot now.
ru: (sad)
So, it's back to the usual routine. About the only real advantage of getting here as early as I do is that I can at least take a walk in the morning, before things get rocking and rolling. I was pretty faithful about doing that last semester, so I need to keep that up.

I gotta tell you, though, I don't think I could ever be an early bird. I'm really more of a night owl. This whole 'getting up before the sun' thing is pretty blargish. I wake up and my body goes, "WTF? It's still nighttime! Go back to bed!".

Oh, I think I forgot to mention what I was going to be teaching, too. As I suspected, I'm teaching basically the next level of what I taught last semester, which means more cellular procedures. Bio I is more macro-oriented, whereas Bio II gets down to the molecules. I was really hoping I would be teaching Bio I again, since I've taught it once now, so I would hopefully do a better job the next time around. But, it does kinda make sense. Most people passed Bio I and are going on to Bio II, and somebody has to teach their labs, so that's where most of us are ending up. I'm hoping it'll mean that the students are more competent too. I guess we'll see.

It also means that it's highly likely that I'll be teaching at least one student I taught last semester. That kinda worries me. If it's somebody that didn't like how I taught, they could tell all the other students about it and paint me in a bad light, so I'll end up with a bunch of bad impressions (and probably bad attitudes as a result), even though my teaching will likely have changed. I'd like to think I improve between semesters. I'm at least trying to, anyway.

Randomness!

Jan. 7th, 2009 08:43 pm
ru: (Default)
Good GRIEF what a strange day. Pressure changes so crazy they make me nauseous, high winds, random cloudbursts, and HAIL. IN JANUARY. From what I can tell, hail is a summer thing. Of course, it had to start hailing while I was trying to get home in the dark and rain, so I decided then would be a very good time to pull into a gas station and buy gas and hope that the hail would stop (it did). WTF, weather?

So, things start up for me again tomorrow. You know I'm massively excited. >_> I've already started having bad dreams about teaching (the most recent one involved me trying to give my class an exam, but the TV in the room was possessed, or something, because it would keep randomly turning on and distracting them. I couldn't get it to turn off, so I had to mute it). My schedule is really weird. I'm teaching basically all day on Mondays, now. Tuesday and Wednesday are basically free for the moment, although I still have to go to seminar on Tuesdays (*groan*). Friday is lab prep day, which just leaves Thursdays. Thursdays SUCK. In the words of the great Arthur Dent, I could never get the hang of Thursdays. I've got a 10AM class, and then a second class in the evening from 5:30-8:30. It's at a center that's not on the main campus, either, so I'm going to have to hop a bus to get out there. And because I have that early morning class, I can't just go down to school after my brother gets home. So that means I'll have to ride in with my mother like always (and get up at the crack of WTF), and have a day that basically lasts from 7 in the morning until 8:30 at night. You know I'm positively enthused.

On a better note, though, I got a nice chunk of writing done! 8 stories drafted, including a couple songfics and two giftfics. They all need to be hit repeatedly with the edit stick before they're presentable, but I'm still pretty pleased with myself. Editing them oughta keep me pretty busy during the semester.

Now, if only my pinky would stop hurting. It's protesting when I use the 'shift' key. Meh.
ru: (Default)
Fnnnnnngh.

It is a little after 7:30, the day before school starts, and I'm at school, thanks to the fact that there's a meeting/lunch/orientation thing for new grad students, and I realized that I *really* should probably go to it. I'm not entirely pleased with this turn of events, as it means I'm spending my last day before grad school stuck at school, since I won't have a ride home until this evening.

Don't mind me. I'm tired and complainy and a little lonesome.
ru: (Default)
Now that I have a few minutes to actually sit down and stuff, I can unleash the news.

In a nutshell? Unofficially, I'm in. It's still unofficial because I haven't gotten the official letter that would make it official, but I'm in.

I'M IN.

I WAS ACCEPTED.

I'M GOING TO GRAD SCHOOL.

OMG.

I'm simultaneously elated and terrified. Mostly terrified at the moment, as the elation has worn off and it's sinking in that I'm subjecting myself to this torture AGAIN, and I'm realizing I have a month to get myself ready, which includes things like signing up for classes and figuring out what the TA stuff involves and getting textbooks and meeting with advisors and AGH AGH AGH.

*falls over*
ru: (Default)
Well, I did it. I've officially put in my application for grad school.

I am simultaneously relieved and very stressed out. Relieved because, well, that's one less monkey off my back. Stressed because now I get to fret and worry and wait to see if the singular spot in the department will go to me or not, and whether or not I've made a huge mistake by applying to only one school.

I guess I'll find out in the coming weeks. Wish me luck. <3

In the meantime, I'll sit and try to relax a little. Particularly since Arnold's in my lap and is stubbornly refusing to let me get up and do something productive. He is bound and determined to have a lap tonight and lounge in comfort, damnit!
ru: (Default)
Okay, I checked with the grad secretary about what the minimum on GREs is for the department. Apparently it's all subjective, and is compared to the scores of other applicants, as well as being incorporated into things like the applicant's undergrad career and so on. So I guess I should just apply and see what happens.

Also, I've been meaning to make a post about this, but I kept forgetting. >_> I finished my cleaves! I actually managed to finish them shortly after we got home from Florida, thanks to having 24+ hours to work on the cowl part.

Picture! )

They are very green! The picture shows them in the proper folded-down position for wearing. I knitted them out of acrylic, as that was what I could get my hands on at the time that I could actually wear (I lament at my allergy to wool ;_; ) and was a pretty color. I know there are some horrible things said about acrylic, but I've knitted with some acrylic that's not been that bad. This, for instance. It's actually quite fuzzy and warm. I guess it depends on the brand you get, or something. Anyway.

I'm actually rather happy with how it turned out. I had a couple of rather royal flubups, including not realizing that to get stockinette in the round, you don't turn the needles (and having to undo a ton of work to fix it), and messing up the ribbing just as I was starting the cowl (I ended up having to leave it in and fix it as I went, but it looks like you can't really tell). And while making the cowl, I was getting the sneaky suspicion that it wouldn't fit me, but it seems to have turned out okay. It expands quite a bit once it's off the needles. It's even a little bit big, which might be good, as it makes it a bit cozier. They're very nice when you're cold, but not so much that you need a whole sweater.

Oh yeah, the pattern!
ru: (love)
Okay, a quick update on things, seeing as it's been a while.

First, and most importantly, thank you all for your words of support and encouragement. They've been reassuring, and I feel blessed to know all you lovely and wonderful people. *collective hugs* Tomorrow, I go to take the test. I don't feel quite so much in the dire straits I was in before, but I am still quite nervous. The lengthy list of regulations and procedures doesn't help matters either. I feel like I'll be thrown out if I sneeze wrong, cough too loudly, or wear a red shirt. And if I bring a mechanical pencil? They'll string me up by my toenails for such blasphemy.

But anyway. Wish me luck. <3 <3 <3

On a different note, I've started my new job in the department, which is basically the old job I had last year, when I was helping with the plant systematics class, but more. I'm essentially being considered a TA, which is both exciting and terrifying. My main job during the actual class part is to help with fielding questions during the lab. Since it's a high-level class (seniors and post-grads), I don't need to worry about answering dumb questions like, "Which are the leaves again?". On the other hand, though, when they do ask questions, they ask doozies. Methinks class time will become my biweekly brain yoga session. ^_^;;

Avobaby and Hal status will be reported after GREs.

But on the vegetable front, my singular tomato is reddening! Joy! A few more days, and I think it'll be ready for picking. I'm horribly worried that something will happen to it beforehand, though, whether it be it gets eaten by a buggy creature, it gets eaten by a furry creature, it falls off, it decides to move to Nova Scotia, or something like that. So I'm guarding it carefully, and testing its firmness each day. Hopefully I can snatch it before the creatures do. I'm also hoping that since the weather should be starting to cool off now, I'll hopefully get more tomatoes. According to my Big Book of Gardening Questions, tomato pollen becomes unuseable when it gets above 95 degrees, which may, at least in part, explain my lack of produce, when combined with the aforementioned fertilizing issues. So hopefully I'll get at least one or two more before the season ends.

On a side note, I had a dream last night that I had grown oodles upon oodles of tomatoes, which were all hanging ripe and heavy on the vine, ready for the picking. Maybe that's a sign from the ghost of growing seasons future. XD

Definitely ready to get this test behind me, in any case. I'm going into creative deprivation, as indicated by things such as the itching desire to get my hands on some yarn and knit something. Well, I can try to alleviate it a little at least by doing some cooking, which is hand-oriented, anyway. Tonight, I attempt to make a vegetable hot pot with bready things which are apparently baked right on top of the stew part. This oughta be interesting.
ru: (sad)
The GRE is a little over a week away, and I really don't think I'm going to do well on it. I've been doing practice tests, and for every section, I hover somewhere in the 60-70% range every single time. I don't really seem to be getting any better, either. Maybe it's just that a lot of the questions are things I haven't seen in, well, years, and I'm trying to remember how to do them. But if that were the case, you'd think I'd be gradually improving, right?

But I'm not. I'm flailing with the vocabulary, seeing as I don't use words like "proclivity" and "unctuous" on a regular basis (and the "use the words in everyday life" study method doesn't work for me, because I completely forget to use them in favor of words that make sense), and more often than not, it feels like I take a horribly convoluted and inefficient method for figuring out math problems (and subsequently get them wrong), which is just gonna kill me, both point and time-wise.

Throw in a mess of non-GRE things which are stressing me out and...yeah. I know, whining doesn't help and all, but right now, other than doing what I'm doing, I don't know what else to do. I feel like I'm going to be going to a train wreck.
ru: (Default)
I have a question for the grad students in the audience:

How did you decide on the subject of your thesis? Did you already have it planned when you started grad school, or did you decide on it some time after you got in? How much did you know about your subject before you started doing research on it?

I ask because I'm realizing that this is a big anxiety of mine when it comes to moving ahead with trying to get into grad school--to a certain extent, I have no idea what to focus on for my research. I mean, the botany part is obvious, but what in it should I work on? There's still a lot I could do with the research I started in undergrad, and I liked working on it, so I could continue with that. On the other hand, I'm really interested in paleobotany, despite the fact that I know both diddly and squat about it, since I couldn't take the class on it as an undergrad, thanks to bad timing (the class also caters to grad students, so I could take it later). So since I know nothing about it, really, I don't know if I'd like it or not. Or maybe there's something completely different that I could do a ton with, but don't know about it yet.

In a nutshell, I feel like I'm supposed to have a direction before I walk in the door, but I don't, so I don't know how that would affect me, and if I have to somehow one before I get in. So, any advice would be appreciated. <3

I suck

Mar. 25th, 2007 12:17 pm
ru: (strange)
I've been way way busy lately. Tons of stuff has been going on, and I've got a huge list of things to do, and it's been hectic enough that I haven't been able to say much about it. Heck, I even was a goob and didn't get around to updating Avobaby this week. I need to do that tonight or tomorrow. Anyway, since there's lots of stuff, I guess I'll just do the highlights. Bullet Time!

--IT'S SPRING! I know, old news, yes, but I mean it's really, *really* spring. All the plants in the yard are coming up, and it's making me positively euphoric. It's not just a case of "Oh yay, they survived the winter!", but it's also "Oh yay, I wonder how big they'll get this year and hey it's time to go and buy more plants to put in the yard and look lungwort and hosta and indigo and peonies and SQUEE!!".

--Probably the biggest bit of excitement on this front is that we have BLUEBELLS. I love bluebells, and when we saw some at our local garden center whilst picking out plants, I wasn't fazed by the fact that they were actually rather sad and weepy-looking, and in fact looked rather dead. My parents pointed this out to me, and that it appeared we were, in fact, buying dead plants. However, I was not to be dissuaded, because BLUEBELLS. So, we got the one that looked the least sad, and planted it. Of course, it crashed, and I figured that we had to chalk it up to the ravages of war in the garden, which made me sad. However, several days ago, I started to see life appearing in the spot where we planted it. At first I thought I was mis-remembering where we put it, and thought it was a hosta, but the leaf shape was all wrong. Then I thought it was a weed, but I decided to wait and see before pulling it up, just in case. Then a couple days ago, it's started putting out flowers. They're still in buds, but they're plentiful enough and the leaves have developed enough that I'm convinced that the bluebells have resurrected themselves. I consider this to be my biggest garden victory to date. It also means we can buy more bluebells.

--I seriously need to post an update about Avobaby and Friends. Tons of stuff is going on.

--Finally, FINALLY, after three months, my family finally had another get-together. This makes me very happy, because I miss people, and was glad to see them. My aunt brought over a box o' history to show my brother and father (the history buffs). Apparently her father was in WWII, and had made a scrapbook from his experiences. The scrapbook, however, is disintegrating, so she's going to go about having the items in it preserved. Before that, though, she wanted to show what she had to them, since they would get a kick out of it. It was pretty neat, from the two-day passes to the USO program to the pictures of her father and his buddies hamming it up for the camera to the cartoon done by one of his friends as an editorial statement on their commanding officer to the copy of the Stars and Stripes with the huge "NAZIS QUIT" headline taking up half the front page. I'm realizing I have more of my father in me than I thought, because I was pulled in by the whole thing too. Maybe that's why I'm into archival-type things, like the herbarium and the like. It is, after all, a blending of botany and history.

--Thanks to a source known as Eien-chan's Brother Who is Kind Enough to Let Me Borrow His Copy, I've started watching Firefly. All I have to say about it thus far is 'Ooooh...'. It's gotten hold of me from the plastic dinosaur battle onwards. It's also the first sci-fi series I've seen that respects the rule that there's no sound in space. That deserves a nod. Anyway, this looks like it's gonna be fun.

--I really need to get back onto studying for the GRE. I wonder if there's a good way to get in a couple GRE words or something a day.

--Lush has brought back Fairy Jasmine bath bombs. I must get some.
ru: (Default)
Apparently fall classes started today. It feels very, very weird to not be there. Even though I'm finished and all, there's still a part of me that's going "HEY! What are you doing not at school? You should be taking courses and stuff and OH MY GOD YOU'RE SKIPPING CLASS. AAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! TWENTY LASHES!" I'm dutifully ignoring that part.

On a similar note(and partially to placate the panicking student part of me), I'm going to take my GRE book up again and get back to studying for it. I don't know when I'm going to be going back to school, but I figure I could at least be ready with my scores and all, so that'll be one less thing.
ru: (Default)
First off, thank you to everyone who commented in my last post! <3 <3 <3

I decided to go to both the mass graduation ceremony and the departmental one, seeing as I figured one only really gets to graduate with a BS once. Despite the fact that the mass graduation was pretty long and involved a lot of speech-making, I think it was worth it. I amused myself part of the time by seeing how people had decorated their caps to make them stand out. Among other things I saw, there was one who had lined the edge of the cap with flower vines, one that recycled his organic chemistry model set to create some sort of molecule on top of his hat, and one that had assembled a two foot model of the Eiffel Tower on top of his cap.

I think it was the new vets that seemed to have the most fun though, probably because they were among the only ones that got their diplomas during the mass ceremony. One of them got the award for most unusual cap decoration in that she had put a cage with actual mice on top of her cap. I also noticed several of them waving arm-long latex gloves blown up like balloons when they were conferred their degree. Methinks I know what those gloves are normally used for. XD

The departmental ceremony was much more casual, and I really enjoyed it. Seeing as there were only about 20 of us getting botany degrees, it was much shorter, and there was much more room for personality. It was kinda a little bittersweet too, since it was my advisor's last graduation, seeing as he's retiring and all. He advised all of us little botany undergrads, and even though it doesn't really matter personally, since I'm outta there and all, those who come after me won't have the advantage of his guidance (and the exposure to copious amounts of puns). I think it's going to be hard for the department to find someone as awesome as he is to fill his shoes.

So now, on to finding a job. Luckily, I have a temporary part time job lined up with the uni to work in the herbarium, so that'll help to keep me busy while I look for something more permanent. It's also nice in that I'm not going to completely unplug just yet, which is nice. I do have a bit of a dilemma though in that I've caught wind of a second part time job with the uni, thanks to one of my classmates from my community ecology class. I'm having a hard time deciding if I want to take two part time jobs or not. On one hand, taking it would mean I would get more experience, but on the other, I don't know if I want to work full time for two part time jobs. Furthermore, it would kinda be nice to have some significant downtime before finding a full time job, seeing as that'll probably be the last time I get to have that amount of free time. The fact that I want to not pursue the second job because I want to have some free time before diving into the workforce makes me feel guilty though, like I'm being lazy and slacking off, or something. The result is I don't know what I want to do. I guess I'll figure out something at some point.

Merger

Apr. 29th, 2006 08:30 pm
ru: (Default)
Today was move-out day. I'm now officially permanently out of the dorm, which is a rather strange feeling. It's weird to know I'll never be back there again, after spending four years of my life there.

This whole moving thing has left me with a problem, though. I've essentially been living in two places for four years, and now I've found myself needing to merge the two, because the clutter has reached critical mass. This isn't going to be easy, particularly since it's probably going to require copious amounts of thinning things out, getting rid of stuff, donating old clothes, that sort of thing.

See, I'm a horrible, horrible packrat. I have issues getting rid of, well, just about anything. Pretty much everything I keep I have memories associated with, like who gave it to me, why I kept it, things like that. In some cases, it's that I feel that the thing I'm saving will be useful sometime in the future, so I'm reluctant to get rid of it, in case I find out I needed it later. In the case of things that were past presents, I feel really guilty getting rid of it, somehow. I'm not quite sure I can completely explain it in words. Maybe it's something like the feeling that I don't care about them because I got rid of something they gave to me once. I know. I'm horribly neurotic.

But in any case, this results in me accumulating a lot of clutter that I'm reluctant to part with. At the same time, though, I'd like to be able to move around significantly in my room. So, do any of you folks have any advice for someone who needs to get into the mindset to get rid of clutter, but either feels that anything that's being thrown away will be useful someday or simply feels guilty doing so? I'd love some pointers for this. <3
ru: (Default)
Nothing quite says "Holy crap, graduation really is upon me" quite like going to the bookstore and getting your cap and gown. I did such a thing today, and I'm still kinda in a state of GLEE. Yes! Graduation is coming! I'll be getting my BS soon enough! <3 <3 <3 <3

I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that the color of the gown is not red, like I thought it was going to be, but black. I'm rather glad it's black, but it's also a little confusing. At my high school graduation, I wore my school color (maroon). I know at the college across the way, they wear light blue, and I know at the high school some of my friends attended, they wore white. My mother wore black when she graduated, but that was graduate school, and thus I kinda always assumed that you don't get to wear the awesome blackness unless you're getting a master's or higher. Still, I'm glad to be wearing black. It looks pretty nice.

On top of that, I qualified to get the gold Summa Cum Laude sash (hopefully nothing horrible will happen between now and graduation that will cause my GPA to drop), so I got that as well, and it all comes with a gold tassel (I think that signifies graduating with honors, but I'm not sure. They had a lot of different colored tassels at the pickup place, which I thought referred to what college you're coming from). So I'm going to be decked out all in gold and black. I think I'm gonna look pretty bitchin'. XD
ru: (luna-weirdness)
Vocal Detatchment
A condition wherein the patient is so strained to find new ways of writing things and explaining concepts that the speech center of the patient's brain, in an attempt to protect itself, creates redundant neural pathways, resulting in a speech pattern that largely consists of repeated phrases and patterns, causing the patient to sound like a broken record. An example:

"So there was this nursery that my family I used to go to when I was little, and it was a nice nursery, with nursery-like plants and we would go there for nursery things when I was little, because it was a nearby nursery and it was a good nursery too, and so this nursery..."

Suggested treatment: Embarassment, compounded with a swift kick to the head could rattle the speech center, destroy the redundant pathways, and return the patient's speech pattern to normal.
ru: (luna-weirdness)
Cerebral Grouchopathy
A condition wherein the patient experiences severe stress on the intelligence portions of the brain, resulting in pressure being placed on the grouch gland. This disease is most severe during the final weeks of the last semester before graduation, due to elevated anxiety levels and increased levels of cynicism, compounded with a very low WRE (well-rested enzyme) count. Symptoms include:

--Sullenness
--A plodding carriage
--Increased tendency to bite the heads off of irritants
--High sensitivity to even the most stupid irritations and inconveniences, such as not finding the right kind of rice at the grocery store, dealing with tempremental copiers, and taking tons of detours to get around school construction.

Suggested treatment: A hot shower, a decent meal, and copious amounts of chocolate can relieve the symptoms of cerebral grouchopathy. The most effective cure, however, is removing the patient from the collegiate environment as quickly as possible, as cerebral grouchopathy can lead to serious complications such as "Snapping".

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