Saturday, April 25, 2009

Summer is Calling

Bad news first
The year is coming to a close and what should be an exciting time is not going to be. I should have graduated at the conclusion of the semester. Originally I was to be a student for 4.5 years. But last summer I jumbled classes so that I could graduate in  May this year. It looked like everything was going well until this semester when I was just overworked and could not give enough time to all of my classes. I have to go back to the plan of graduating after 4.5 years. I was rather disappointed when I realized I had to go back to that plan. I can still be happy for my friends though. My best friends are moving on to the real world and while I wish I was joining them I can still give them an encouraging send off.

Take a dip
Just below Slippery Rock Falls

Earlier today I went to Slippery Rock Falls for the first time ever. It was just to help somebody whose car would not start, but I had the opportunity to spend some time at the falls. The water was freezing cold since it is only the start of warm weather here. After 5 seconds of my feet in the water it was painful. I am told that the water levels are lower in august so that people can walk out into the middle of the creek and swim in the warmer water. I almost fell into the creek twice from (of all things) slipping on a rock. At least now I can claim that I slipped on a rock while at Slippery Rock. Anyway, we finally were able to start the car and return to campus.

This is likely my last post of the school year. Feel free to leave any questions or comments anytime though.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Back from D.C.

In D.C.

Not long after going to San Francisco I went on a trip to Washington, D.C. The trip was sponsored by the honors program. Every year they have a trip during the spring semester shortly after spring break. Last year it was to Savannah, GA. This year it was to Washington.

We left on Thursday morning taking a bus to our hotel in DC. We arrived later that day after a quick stop for lunch. Into the evening we had a trolley tour of the city stopping at some of the major sites to take pictures. We drove around the capitol building before coming to the Jefferson Memorial. That was the first location which we got off the trolley to take pictures. After that we went to the Iwo Jima Memorial. We spent a long time there and even so I was not able to check everything I wanted to. After that we went to the second most important place for me to see, the Lincoln Memorial. Abraham Lincoln is my favorite president in history. From there we saw the Washington Monument across the reflecting pool. Later we went to the White House. I got some sweet pictures of all of these places.

The following days consisted mostly of free time to do and see whatever we wanted in Washington but there were also some guided tours of the city.

Arlington National Cemetery

My favorite place which I wasn't expecting was Arlington National Cemetery. I have great respect for the military personnel. The cemetery was very moving for me. Only the Holocaust Museum was more emotional.

I enjoyed this trip as much as any other trip (except perhaps the honors trip to Savannah last year). These trips in my opinion are the best benefit to being n the honors program.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Back From California

The Presidio

Slippery Rock just doesn't compare to San Francisco. I went there for spring break to do what is known as service learning. A group of students from SRU went there all together to do community service insead of a vaction, we call it Care Break. Even though it rained on more days than it did not we all still enjoyed it. If we had stayed in Slippery Rock it probably would have rained every day anyway.

While there we stayed and worked at The Presidio, one of the Golden Gate National Parks. We stayed in one of the old army barracks in the park. The Presidio has a popular volunteer program which people participate in every Wednesday and Saturday. We worked on many projects that the volunteers work on except we did it everyday for a week. Mostly we planted native plants and pulled out a week called oxalis (aka Bermuda buttercup). While we did that we learned a lot about many of the native species. My favorite was Miner's Lettuce. It is called thus because miners in the area during the gold rush ate it. I tried some and it does actually taste like luttuce. I loved the trip more than any vacation. It actually felt like a vacation because of the atmospere among all of the people who went. I suggest to everybody to attend a trip like this. My favorite part of the trip was working oin the coastal bluffs around one of the old army batteries. From it we could see the Golden Gate Bridge and had a beautiful view of the ocean. My only regret was that I had not done a care break earlier.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Almost There

This semester is going by faster than any other.

My Trusty Gavel

A lot has happened since my last post. This semester really did take me by surprise. I had to take some time off from posting while I got things under control. Hopefully it will stay that way.

The biggest interuption was the Mathematical Contest in Modeling. It is an international contest which takes place anually. The premise is that each 3 person team has 120 hours to solve a problem and write a paper about it. Last year, I competed for the first time and my team placed in the top 13% worldwide. The problem was to come up with a way to gerate sudoku boards. This year, the problem was to come up with a system wich can determine the best traffic flow control within a traffic circle. I won't find out my place this year until after the end of the semester (and hopefully graduation). Even with all of the prestige which comes with the competition I doubt that I will ever do it again. Both times I was left stressed because I was missing out on everything else happening while I was stuck working on this math problem.

House council has been a very big part of my life this year. That should be expected as I am the president of the Watson Hall house council. But it wasn't until now that I felt as though I was actually getting anything accomplished. We have some big plans for house council for the remainder of the year.

Midterm recess is approaching quickly (next week). Most people call it spring break, but I don't as it is not yet spring. Normally I just take a week off, go home, and relax. This year I am going on a care break. For anyone that doesn't know, a care break is a trip to another city in order to do community service. Slippery Rock University has a long history of participating in care breaks. I am going on the care break to San Fransisco. While there we will be doing landscaping at the Presidio. This trip has been the best thing to look forward to all year so I am looking forward to it more than anything else.

Next time you hear from me I will be back from California.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Spring Semester should actually be called Winter Semester

There has been snow on the ground since the start of the semester.

Pond Hockey

It is so cold that for the first time ever I witnessed pond hockey in Slippery Rock. This weather is not condusive to learning. Classes were getting cancelled for pure fact that the wind chill was 20 below. This does make for a lot of fun outside of class though. The ski hill is getting a ton of use along with the ski lodge. Sometimes there is even free hot chocolate in the ski lodge for everyone to enjoy. The hot chocolate really hits the spot when it is this cold out.

Classes this semster really took me by surprise. They started so suddenly and with so much work. This just makes me want to graduate even more just to get it over with. Luckily there are only 3 months left.Then I won't have to worry about classes anymore. After that I'll just have to worry about the real world. Some my friends who graduated last year are still surviving out in the real world so I figure it can't be so bad.

Just as a reminder feel free to leave questions/comments here and I'll get back to you ASAP.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Between semesters

The fall semester has been over for almost three weeks now.

The bookstore just posted the list of required books for next semester which has brought me back to reality.

I have really been enjoying winter break. It is one month of not having to worry about classes or homework. My time can be spent preparing for other things, like my hobbies. Last year I attempted to complete the Project 365 and failed. For anyone that doesn't know about the various 365 groups or won't click the link, Project 365 is a photography project wherein the participant takes a picture everyday for a year. I was going strong last year when I unknowingly dropped my camera in the snow. It was not long after that when I discovered what happened but could not find my camera. A few weeks later my camera was found and returned to me but I had already missed a few days and had to start over. This year I will be starting on January 1st like many other people. Many of the photos from my first attempt involved school. The new attempt will be no different except that it may be my last semester.

Boozel Dining Hall has been closed for renovations since the end of last spring semester. It is scheduled to open on January 9th, just in time for the semester to begin.


This will make things vastly simpler concerning food. Boozel is the closest dining hall to almost all of the dorms. That is actually why it was being renovated. With the construction of the new dorms, Boozel was often reaching capacity. Now, it will be able to handle many more people dining and will be serving an improved menu.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Almost There

The end of the semester is within sight. Most of my classes have final projects and papers due next week. I wish it was all over. I wish I didn't have to do it at all.

In my last post I said that nothing went awry with regard to my scheduling. Just after that something almost did. One of the classes I signed up for was under-enrolled. When that happens the class is most often canceled. The last time this happened it was a class which included a trip to London that was canceled. This time it is the very last class I need for graduation. Luckily it is the same for everyone else in the class as well. The provost has graciously allowed the class to continue with only 5 people.

The weather here still has not made up its mind as to what season it is. One day it is closer to summer the next it is back to winter. The past few it has been snowing so I think that it might be winter to stay pretty soon.

I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving. It's my second favorite holiday, the first being St. Valentine's Day. I have not been home since fall break at the beginning of October and am looking forward to seeing my family again. This is actually the longest I've been away from home. Before, I went home monthly for various reasons. Now I simply don't need to and haven't been going. It's definitely going to be nice to go home.

Tonight is Slippery Rock's Light Up Night. It starts about an hour from now, but I'm not sure if I'm going to go. Even though it is beautiful outside, I have a ton of work to complete. Most of it due Monday. And I know I'm not going to have time this weekend to do it. On Friday night I am participating in a fund raiser for St. Jude Hospital called Up 'til 2 For St. Jude. On Saturday I will be celebrating a friend's birthday (not all day so I will have some time). Also, sometime this weekend an old friend will be visiting. Then finally on Sunday is the Gym Class Heroes concert. I just bought my ticket yesterday, and was surprised that they haven't sold out already. I also have a meeting Sunday immediately after the concert which will take up the last moments of my weekend.