Tuesday, December 27, 2011

And fired.

"Hey, sorry to do this to you again. Something's going on at the store. I'll call you back when I know something," I replied.

"Again?" he groaned. "This is the third time this week."

"Yeah, yeah. Not sure what's going on..."

I ended the call.  The local hardware store, which I didn't remember having three entrances, was surrounded by four or seven cops, I don't recall which, most with guns drawn, and one taping off the area. I asked one what was going on.

He didn't seem to hear me. He told a young boy of six or seven to stay low to the ground.

The other cops got into position, laying on the ground, as if they expected someone to walk out of the store. Why they were doing so, I had no idea. I looked around. The parking lot was eerily empty. The store itself was pitch black on the inside, as if had been abandoned for some time. All of a sudden, the cop who I tried to talk to saw me.

"Get down as low to the ground as you can," he instructed. "We've been given word that there's a man with a gun on the premises."

Confused, I followed his orders. It was then I realized that I knew the cop. He worked at the university I attend.

I gazed around. The other cops still had their weapons drawn. Other people laying down had looks of fear and worry in their eyes. It was oddly silent. Not even a crackle from the cops' radios broke the silence of the scene.

And then it happened. Like a blur to everyone except me. The six or seven year old made a sudden movement. My mind said get up, stupid; my heart said stay, idiot. He reached for a gun. My heart was in my throat.

He pointed it at the officer I knew. What in the hell is this kid doing with a gun, I wondered. I didn't have time to think more of it though.

Officer R, as I always called him, was scurrying away from the kid. He's a hard ass cop, I thought, standing up, why is he acting this way? Why is he terrified and I'm not? The kid took aim.

And fired.

Somehow, for some unknown reason, I jumped in the bullet's path that was hurdling toward Officer R.

Another cop shot the kid's hand. The gun fell. People screamed.

All I remember is blood. Screaming and lots of blood. My leg felt warm, but the rest of my body shivered.

I hit the pavement with a sickening thud. Still conscious, albeit somewhat dazed. Another officer requested paramedics on his radio.

It felt like a boulder hit my knee. I guess because that's where the bullet hit it. I have an unusually high pain tolerance... But this was unlike anything I'd ever experienced before.

The last thing I remember is Officer R riding in the ambulance with me. Calling me a hero. And there I laid, wondering if I should call my friend back...

Note Not unlike this entry, this too was another vivid dream of mine. I don't know why I have them. Or why I get injured in them.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Your mom goes to college

My room is a mess disaster zone. I have my last final due sometime tomorrow today. I've been a lazy bum all week, it seems. I have eight post-it note reminders on my desk. I feel as though I've done nothing productive. Two final grades are in so far. Eventually, I have closing duties to help with. Three last office hours. One last desk shift. Oh, and that disaster zone to attend to. Crap. I wonder what my boss from the Red Cross where I interned would say if I asked for help... She'd probably laugh at me.

Last year during finals week, I finished watching Lost. This finals week has resulted in me sleeping way more than I should, being anti-social with my residents (oops), and a general lack of giving a crap. Not good. Needless to say, I am more than ready for break to begin. I think I was ready whenever I got back from Thanksgiving break.

I've been talking to quite a few people about grad schools lately. Most recently, I talked to my former residence hall director who has since moved on to a different position at a different university. She asked me to tell her what I thought the things that either I think are good about it or what I think it'll be like. Yay Facebook chat (when it works, that is).

I said, "Well, I've realized I really like working with the students, which is why I want to focus on res life (or possibly career counseling on the higher ed level or admissions), the interactions and helping students really learn about themselves and achieving what they are really interested in just makes me happy that somehow, I've been a part of that process."  True story.  I love this stuff.  Sometimes, my job seems like a thankless environment. But then there are those days where my residents really do appreciate what I do, and it means the world to me.
Yes, Kip, my mom *does* go to college.

A few minutes ago, I was talking to a friend who is a former CA (same thing as an RA, but different title) from my school about how I want to go somewhere new for grad school. I've lived in the same county for 21 years... my whole life. I go to school half an hour from home. My mom attends the same school (she's a second year grad student this year). My mom is amazing. And, yes, I realize how biased that is.

As we were chatting, he said something that perfectly sums up how I'm feeling about grad school, moving on, dealing with change, etc.:

"I'm scared of change but get bored with the current, odd eh?"

I immediately connected with these words.  I'm looking at grad schools that range in distance from 2 hours from home to 14 to on the other side of the country.  I suppose now it's time that I focus on what's really important to me, and everything else will fall into place.  Only time will tell... And I'm excited to see what's going to happen next.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Freaking out commences in 3... 2... 1.

Just a quick post...

There has been another shooting at Virginia Tech.  My cousin was in the process of getting his Bachelor's degree there when the first one occurred, and just a few months ago, he got his Doctoral degree from VT.

He was offered a faculty position for the spring.  I don't know if he's accepted it, nor do I know if he's on campus today (as he lives quite close).  But if you could keep him in your positive thoughts, I'd really appreciate it.

I'll let you all know as soon as I hear from him.


Update:  He was working in a different city today, so he wasn't near campus.  Panic attack averted.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

10 days and counting...

Chad: shopper extraordinaire and best friend.
In 10 days, it will be December 17. Which means the celebration of two birthdays (one cousin, one friend). Graduation for some of my friends. And the start of winter break for me.

Thanksgiving break, was in a word, awesome. Even though I didn't get nearly as much work done as I had hoped. As I had mentioned, I had a friend over for Thanksgiving and apart from the three others in my immediate family, we had my grandparents, and two of my mom's siblings and their families over. In total, 13 people. Whew.

Later that night, my friend (pictured above) texted me:  "I'm starting my shopping at midnight... :x"  Needless to say, I decided to take the plunge and go Black Friday shopping at midnight for the first time.  Normally, I go out around 11 AM.  This year, I conquered a ton of my shopping way early, and got home at 7:15 that morning.  My parents were placing bets with each other as to when I was going to get up (Dad said by 4:30 PM, Mom said not at all... I woke up around 3-ish).  I love my parents.

It's been an interesting semester, to say the very least.  Even though I have 71 residents this year, I've managed.  Better than I thought I would.  Thank goodness for self-sufficient honors kids.  Granted, I do have a resident who has told me on more than one occasion that he wants to date me (which is incredibly awkward).  I've politely told him every time that not only am I not interested in a relationship at the time, he is my resident.  And I am not about to date my residents.  I realize that in my sophomore year, I had a crush on my adoptive RA, but we decided to just be friends, and that's all I could ask for.  I'm so thankful to have maintained that friendship.  (I could also lose my job for this.  Which I am not about to risk losing... I want to work in student affairs.  That wouldn't look good.  At all.)

Anywho... Long stories short, I'm still here..  Some days are busier than others.  Some nights I don't fall asleep until 4 AM.  Surprisingly, I slept really, really well last night... Which doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's absolutely wonderful.

Fortunately, I'm just about all wrapped up with one class and have just a few more assignments in others... Then it's back  to selling over-priced office supplies for 20 hours a week, wrapping presents, and having my friends over for our annual get-together and gift exchange.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Alone tomorrow? I think not.

My parents have always been incredible in supporting me in my various ventures.  As a kid, I tried everything from gymnastics to baseball to swimming to attempting to play the clarinet (most of these things lasted a year and then I got bored of them.  Some lasted less... When you're hit in the middle of the chest with a baseball, things change).  I think the only things I never had an interest in were dance and cheerleading.
Because nobody should be without family for the holidays.

Anyhow.  They also taught me that giving is one of the most important things you can do.  Whether it's volunteering your time (hello, 152 hours of unpaid/volunteer internship last summer), helping someone sort through an issue (sometimes I feel like a psychologist, not an RA), or any number of other things.

They also taught me to treasure my friendships.  Sure, some have dissipated over the years, but most stay for a pretty long time.  Two of my best friends and I have known each other for eight years this year.  EIGHT.  That's a hell of a long time.  Or so it seems.

And I'm thankful for all of these experiences, lessons, and for the love they've given me.

However, for me, this Thanksgiving is different.  Sure, we're having my grandparents over, as well as two of my mom's siblings and their families, but we're also having one of my friends over.  She decided not to go with her mom and her partner and their two adopted children for Thanksgiving at a relative of the partner's.

I consider this friend, like many of my female friends, to be the sister I never had.  Because she's just that awesome.

She would have been home alone if I hadn't asked my mom if she could come over.  In my book, being home alone for any holiday does not fly.  Nobody should be without others.  Now let's only hope that she doesn't mind my ridiculous family.  Ridiculous as they may be sometimes... I wouldn't change it for the world.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Observations around Campus...

This entry is not to discriminate against anyone.  I'm against discrimination in all forms.  These are just some questionable things I've seen people wearing around my campus that made me take a second look and wonder why people wear the things they wear.

Additionally, I can honestly say I have no fashion sense whatsoever, nor does this bother me.  I'm most comfortable in a cotton t-shirt that's been washed so many times that it's nice and soft, zip-up hoodie, jeans, and a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors.  (Ironically enough, I'm a closet fan of Project Runway.  Although I guess the secret's out now.)

- Sweatpants + beaded moccasins... Just. No.

- Just because you can wear leggings so people can't see your undies doesn't make it okay to wear a dress so short it should be qualified as a shirt. Pants, people!

- Actually, sweatpants any time you are not lounging at home or at the gym just looks lazy. Gym shorts I can understand. Sweatpants, no. Same goes for pajamas. Not okay outside the privacy of your own room.

- Guys, wearing dress shoe moccasins (see picture for reference point) with shorts will just lead to me mocking you in my head. It looks ridiculous. I also envision a self-righteous fraternity boy/country club jerk with a cigar and an ego the side of Russia when I see people dressed this way.  Prove to me you aren't that guy.

- People who have to wear plain black shirts for work at the food service... Pretty sure that plain black tees aren't terribly expensive.  Wearing a printed black tee turned inside out just looks dumb and tacky.

- Grey leggings that look like you got mauled by a rabid cat + silver sparkly Toms + black hoodie = another no in Cary's book.

I realize that these probably sound trivial (which they are), but if past entries (here and here) are any indication of what I'm like, I love observing people... Oh, the fun of being a psychology major.

Have a great weekend, readers. I'm headed home this weekend. Off of campus. No on-call phone, no rounds, and yes to baking cookies with my mom. I can't wait.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

All You Need is Love

On their wedding day
Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love...

My dad graduated from high school in 1970 and college in 1975.  My mom graduated from high school in 1980.  They met in 1981, and were married four years later.

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

My parents have taught me so much in the last 21 years, and still do to this day.  But I think the most important thing they've ever taught me is love.  The love they share is present every time I go home for a weekend from school.
Their first Christmas as a married couple.

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

It's the big things, but it's also the little things.  My dad keeps a copy of their wedding picture in his wallet, front and center.  I keep a picture of them on my desk at school.  My dad is incredibly supportive of my mom (except for how stressed she gets... he and I share a mutual hatred for that).  She went back to school when I was in high school, and she and I will graduate hours apart in May.  She'll be getting her Master's and I'll be getting my Bachelor's.  I couldn't be more proud of her.

There's nothing you can know that isn't known
Nothing you can't seen that isn't shown
Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be
It's easy

Christmas last year
One of my favorite stories about them is one of the first birthdays my dad had when they were dating.  My mom was going to be working late, and so she decided to order a cake for my dad.  She phoned the bakery and said she wanted the cake to say, "Happy Birthday Baby."  The lady who took down the order asked how old the baby was... Needless to say, my mom wasn't quite sure how to respond, as the baby was my then-thirty something father.

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

They've raised me and my brother.  Nearly every single friend of mine also calls my parents Mom and Dad.  They've taught me so much about life and love.  I only hope that one day I can be as lucky as they have been.

...All you need is love

Friday, October 28, 2011

Roommates and zombies and secrets, oh my!

In my last post, I mentioned that my next bulletin board for my floor of the residence hall was going to be zombie-inspired.  I probably should have mentioned that I meant Plants vs. Zombies-inspired.  (Sorry if this disappoints you.)

Anyhow, this is my second year as an RA, so I figured I'd share some of my favorite bulletin boards that I've made.  Here goes...

Plants vs. Zombies
The Big Bang Theory

For those who don't know what PostSecret is... In a nutshell, the creator (Frank Warren) invites people to anonymously send in postcards with their secrets (funny, serious, etc.) to him.  Some get posted on his website (postsecret.com) or are published in books.  The secrets get updated every Sunday.  Once they're gone for the week, they're gone.

Fun fact:  I tweeted a picture of my bulletin board to Frank Warren's Twitter (@postsecret)... And he retweeted it (which made my day).

I always try to make somewhat entertaining, yet informational boards, and I love making them.  I'm not sure what I'm doing for the next one yet, but I've got about a month.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's been a long week...

and it's only Wednesday.

Ever have one of those series of a few days in a row where absolutely everything seems to turn to complete and utter chaos in the blink of an eye?  That's been my week since Monday.

Monday morning was okay. I got up at a somewhat decent time, and looked over my notes for a midterm I had that day.  Fast-forward a few hours and grades were already posted.  Needless to say, I did not do well, and my grade took a substantial hit.  This upset me a lot because I was already doing iffy in the class as it is.

On Tuesday, I tried to put that test behind me, and remind myself that I'm better than that test.  I can prepare for future ones more in advance and get my grade up.  Overall, Tuesday wasn't terrible, but it was more a culmination of little things that got to me.  Usually, the little things don't impact me, but as my luck would have it, they did.

Today was an "eh" kind of day to start.  I went to the class that I didn't do well on the midterm in (and learned that my grade wasn't the worst in the class... Is it awful that made me feel better?).  After that, I didn't have too much going on, so I milled around campus for a bit and then went back to my room.  (Oh, and on the way back to my room from dinner, I got hit by a wayward frisbee on my elbow and side. I was walking right in front of the kid who was about to throw it. I think he assumed I was out of the way, and I assumed [wrongly] that he would wait for me to move).

After taking a much-needed nap - and because naps always make me feel better - I made a list of everything I need to accomplish in the next two months. I organized it by classes, extra-curricular activities, etc.  Strangely enough, despite how much I do need to do in these next two months... I think I can manage.

If I can get ahead in my classes (I'm feeling really confident about a test I have next Tuesday! Yay!), finish my zombie-inspired bulletin board by next Friday, and improve my grades... Well, it'll help me for the best.

Oh, and this song always helps put me in a better mood as well. If you've seen the movie Matilda, you already know what it is.

ETA:  I didn't get accepted to the conference I applied to.  There were only 10-12 spots for 72 applicants.  Oh, well.  Win some, lose some.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

To my brother

Dear Greg,

Well, where to begin?  It seems like yesterday that Dad and Mom told me they weren't naming you what I wanted them to: Billy Bob Bunny. What can I say? I was four.

Mom told me you're getting your senior pictures taken today. I can't believe it. I know we're only four years apart, but there are days that I feel so much older and days that I feel like it's so much closer. We're both in our senior years, but high school for you and college for me.

I know you'll probably never read this, but Greg... I'm glad you're my brother. We may have had our issues in the past (and sometimes we still do), but you're the best brother a girl could ask for. Who else would text me to say we're going to get the special edition of a video game or call me just to ask when I'm coming home? To tell me that you like my Big Bang Theory bulletin board?

I miss hanging out with you when I'm at school. Really, I do.  It still hasn't fully hit me that you're starting to look at colleges. I can't believe it. I remember the day when you got stitches in your forehead and the nurse was godawful. I remember you getting your first guinea pig. Your mouse. Your cat. The Pokemon phase that turned into a Digimon phase that turned into a Yu-Gi-Oh phase.

I love coming home to see you because I know you'll always have a funny story about school or work, imitate Dad, etc.  I remember when you dressed up like a girl (from wearing a pair of Mom's jeans - how you fit into them I'll never know to shoving two juggling balls in your shirt) so we could prank Dad and he didn't realize it was you for a good ten seconds.

I'm so glad we've resolved so many of our issues. It means the world and more to me that I have an awesome relationship with my not-so-little brother.

I remember you falling into the pond when we thought it was sturdy enough to hold you. Guess the ice wasn't thick enough, huh?  That same winter when you lost a boot in the snow, and we had to walk up the hill.  That was fun to explain to Mom.

So, Greg, thanks. Thanks for being an awesome brother. I'm going to miss this when you go off to college and I'm either in grad school or back at home with Dad and Mom.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Another Day, Another Walk

Around 6-ish today (well, technically now tomorrow), a friend stopped by my room and we chatted for a bit.  I mentioned I hadn't had dinner yet, and the school cafeteria didn't sound particularly appetizing (no real surprise there).  So, we walked into town, saw a mutual friend while doing so, and I got something to eat and we chatted for a bit.

We decided to take a walk with no predetermined destination instead of going back to campus right away. For what it's worth, those are always the best walks there are.  It was a fairly quiet evening.  Hardly any cars were out and the crickets were chirping, and the conversation was varied.  We walked along the river, passed a long-forgotten bar, and followed side streets and sidewalks until we were in the next town (a little under a mile away).

We walked along the highway for a stretch on the way back as well.  (Okay, clarification:  we weren't actually on the highway, we were on the other side of the guardrail)  Despite the fact I was definitely not wearing the right footwear for this venture, I enjoyed getting off of campus for a bit.  I don't get to do it often, but I'm definitely looking forward to the next of these walks.  It helped me de-stress and focus on the week ahead.

These are the things that I love about college... Walks through parts of town not discovered, having amazing friends, and making new memories all the time.  But now, bed awaits.  Week seven is upon me and that marks the halfway point of the semester.  This is where it gets real.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane...

Earlier today, I decided to take a walk around the small town where I currently live, eat, sleep, work, and go to college. After finding Quizno's to be closed for the day and giving someone directions to the football stadium, I found my way back to my room... But not before my mom called me, asking for help with a crossword.  I love when she calls (or anyone in my family for that matter); even if we do go to the same school, I only see her a few times a week, sometimes less.

Anyhow... I didn't know the answer to her crossword, but told her I'd try to look it up.  I decided to look on Amazon, just out of the curiosity that the answer may be there (it was about a book).  I haven't been able to find it (and she hasn't called either), but I came across a book series that enthralled me as a third or fourth grader:  The Royal Diaries.  They're a series of books about, well, royalty.  The ones that I remember most are Anastasia (I've always had a fascination with her story... I once had a pet duck. I don't know if it was a male or female duck, but it was named Anastasia.), Cleopatra (I also had a year where I was obsessed with anything and everything Egypt related. Probably because my aunt lived there for 4 years.), and Catherine.

The rabbit hole of my childhood goes deeper and deeper every time I read something new, watch something on TV, have a conversation with a friend, etc. (and, yes, I love Alice in Wonderland. I was even in the play in 8th grade. I had one line.)

The Popsnorkles
Other things that always stick out in my mind about my childhood are various, ranging from setting up the remote controlled car track I got for Christmas one year to watching Reading Rainbow. To this day, the one episode of that show I remember most is the one where the book "The Toothgnasher Superflash" is read. In a sentence, the book is about the Popsnorkle family and their desire to find a new car for their family, and they get the Toothgnasher Superflash. I even remember the animation of the little Popsnorkle kids in the backseat. It's funny what you can remember.

Nearly every time I go onto Amazon, I always check what daily recommendations it has... Sometimes, they're speech pathology related (I buy my mom's textbooks for her... and today, the first two pages were nothing but SLP books, and Big Bang Theory, seasons 1-5), but often, there are some pretty funny ones. Some of the ones that stick out most are Sailor Moon (which I've never watched), Cougar Town (which I have also never watched), and a Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock t-shirt.

I suspect that I was suggested a lot of 'older' TV shows because I wish-listed the 90s show Ghost Writer. Not gonna lie, that show was awesome. So, with that, I leave you with the video of the title flash of that show. (And please tell me that at least one of you remembers this show.)

Sheldon Turnipseed = Bad ass name.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Conference-Attending Cruciverbalist?

3 years ago... Some things
don't change.
Yesterday began the sixth week of fifteen in my last fall semester as an undergraduate college student.  It seems like just a few days ago that my parents and I loaded the car and drove down the highway to move me in my freshman year.  Ironically, while we were waiting at the toll road, we saw my roommate and her parents in the lane next to us.  We still laugh about it to this day.

I also applied to a conference yesterday... Though I have recommendations written for me on LinkedIn, I needed to have a letter of recommendation in order to possibly attain a scholarship to attend the conference, free of charge (except transportation). My supervisor sent it to me in the morning, and by noon, I'd sent in my application online. To be honest, I was floored by the letter. I couldn't believe some of things that were written. I had to read it over to make sure it was mine.
Her commitment to building collaborative relationships meets the standard that we set for our professional staff, and far exceeds what we expect from our undergraduate students.
Needless to say, I was honored to receive such a letter. I'll know by next Monday if I get to go, so in the meantime, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

We'll see what happens... (Now to do that homework that's been mocking me for the past few days.)

Edited to add on Thursday:  I got an email from the conference people. I got really excited until I read that they're pushing the notification day back by two days. Grr. (I'm normally a patient person, but come on! I really want to attend!)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Eaten alive

As I've mentioned in previous entries, I love my job working as an RA. Sure, there are nights that I have a few too many locked out students or the person watching the desk is late for the umpteenth time, but that's all part of the job.

I've also recently mentioned that I'm in the process of researching and applying to various grad schools for a degree in Student Affairs. Which leads me to a conundrum of sorts. My supervisor and I talked yesterday about how I want to study SA, where are the really good programs/schools, etc. He emailed me information about a conference that's taking place next month and sounds really awesome.

But that's where the trouble begins... The city that the conference is in on the other side of the state, four and a half hours away. If I take a Greyhound bus, it would be between $161 and $180. That doesn't bother me...

It's the fact that I have so much to do and I'm slowly cracking under the pressure in the meantime. Okay, more like it's eating me alive with no mercy. These allergy attacks aren't helping either. All I want to do is sleep. And my sleep schedule is screwed as it is. I'm attempting to fix it though.

How I've felt for most of the week...
Once these next seven to ten days are over, though, it will be a lot better. Right now, I'm in the process of figuring out everything I need to do, and when it needs to get done. Oddly, it's this push that forces me to get my assignments done. Yes, I know this isn't the best way to do things, but it's what needs done.

So, for now, my goal is to have put a dent in the dent that's been eating me alive... Here goes nothing.

Here's how I'm hoping to be feeling
after everything is done...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My First Award!

The lovely Kathy, who blogs at Life as I Know It, recently honored me with the Versatile Blogger award! She's an awesome blogger and always has a sweet comment.

Her entries are always thought-provoking, and the ones about she (her?) and her husband are just adorable. Oh, and I recently snagged a "Read it First" button from the site that I saw mentioned on her blog. Definitely check it out if you're a fan of reading.

So, now for the seven facts about me...
  1. I'm a picky eater in a strange sense: I love food that most people dislike, and vice-versa. For example, I refuse to eat hamburgers, hot dogs, chili, and any form of beans. However, I love vegetarian sushi, spinach (I don't mind cooked if it's in lasagna, but I prefer it raw), broccoli (raw and cooked) and pretty much any other vegetable (yes, even brussels sprouts), and random other food. And I didn't have my first peanut butter and jelly sandwich until the summer before my freshman year of high school (I was raised on fluffernutters).
  2. I love traveling. I flew by myself for the first time this past summer from home to Dallas and Dallas to Los Angeles, and I loved every minute of it (except for trying to figure my way around DFW airport in twenty minutes, of course). Flying is my preferred mode of travel, as any car ride longer than 6-7 hours should be considered torture; and I'm not a huge fan of boats. Trains are fun, though.
  3. I've seen every episode of The Big Bang Theory, Lost, Numb3rs, and Raising Hope. If you haven't seen these shows, you are missing out big time. My favorite movies are mostly comedies, including Addams Family Values, Bridesmaids, Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, Juno, Little Miss Sunshine, and The Road to El Dorado (yes, the animated one); but I also love Forrest Gump, The King's Speech, Up.
  4. I love reading. A list of my favorite books would take forever and a day to list, but my favorite authors are Malcolm Gladwell, Stieg Larsson, Dan Brown, Frank Warren, and Stephen King. Some of the books I love that aren't by these guys are The Firm, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, and Eats, Shoots and Leaves.
  5. I'm not a big fan of Scrabble, but I love pretty much any other word game (Bananagrams, Pairs in Pears, Scattegories, etc.) Crosswords are my weakness. I love doing them (hence the name of my blog!) I can do a New York Times Monday puzzle in 10-25 minutes, and I'm slowly getting better as the week goes on for puzzles (they get harder as the week progresses).
  6. I've finally decided, after much consideration, to apply for grad school. And I'm excited to start applying. I want to study Student Affairs Administration in Higher Ed (you can read about that in previous entries...)
  7. I also love discovering new words. I'm a geek and I'm proud to admit that. I took 3 years of Latin in high school, and love picking apart words.
Wow. That took longer than I expected... Anyhow, here are the awesome people I'm passing the award along to:

Cherie | Refractions
ClaytonDad to Libbs [PS: He's got a giveaway going on, be sure to check it out!]
Michael | Badass Geek

PS: Happy Lost-versary to all of you Losties!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

6, 8, 13, 15, 72

>4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 ...
It really excites me that I can use a GIF on my blog. Probably more than it should...

Anyhow. Since my last post, a day has passed, and I've calmed down a little from freaking out about my future (even though it still scares me).

I've had office hours, am currently on-call, have gone to classes, etc. I went to student convocation earlier, and it was a beacon of light that I needed. Granted, I could have done without the dinosaur metaphor from the university president, but that's beside the point. Something he said stuck with me, though. He said, "You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails."

I had heard the quote before and always shrugged it off. Something about it though, this time, spoke to me. It's sort of a funny thing how experiences can shape us without us realizing it, usually when we least expect it. Before this school year started (as both a student and RA), I was terrified to learn that I had 70 residents, +/-5, more office hours, and an increase in responsibility. Something changed, though. I stepped up to that challenge... And I'm happy about it.

I also scheduled to meet with a professor about a grad check, to confirm what classes I still need before I graduate. I think this is where it suddenly hit me that while I'm still sort of scared of what my future holds... I'm really also excited about it.

Maybe that's why I, the girl who has lived in the same house for 21 years and who goes to school in the same county, want to escape the small town and go somewhere completely new. Granted, the grad school I'm looking at isn't much bigger... but it's change. (When my parents started redoing the house in March, I was okay with it. Then they got rid of some furniture that we've had either since I was born or since I was 10-ish. I looked at them and said, "I might have voted for Barack Obama, but that doesn't mean I do well with all change.")

It's because of this that some little voices inside my head and heart (two things that tend to disagree more than anything) are saying it's okay. It's okay to be afraid, to wonder what's beyond the extremes, and to know there's something out there for everyone. My extremes scare even me. Perhaps that's why I've always had a love for reading. It takes me to new places. Right now, I'm in a small town and simultaneously a psych ward (in the books, that is, not real life. I'm simultaneously reading Under the Dome and Girl, Interrupted; both of which I highly recommend).

However, I think this change will be good (you know, that is, if I get into the school). I've been incredibly lucky in the last few years to meet some absolutely amazing people at school. They've changed my perspective on life, love, loss, and more. And for that, I'm grateful. More than they could ever know.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Future Freaks Me Out

Scared. Terrified. Panicked. Shaken.

All of those words have described me in the past few days and weeks. And it's all because of two little words: grad school.

In the last few weeks, I've been giving a lot of thought to my future. In the words of Motion City Soundtrack, the future freaks me out. A lot. I've been researching different schools, programs, etc., and it's all led me back to one:  a Master of Science in Education: Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education. (I know, it's a really long title)

Being an RA has taught me so much about people, myself, and how much I truly love college. In the words of a former professor, "From the sounds of it, you just never want to leave college. I wouldn't know anything about that." I love my professor's wit, and she's absolutely right.

I've looked at different colleges. Some close, some far (the program that appeals to me most right now is just under 13 hours from my house). The fact that I've gone to a school that has about 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students has definitely made an impact on me. I know my professors, and they know me by a name, not a number. I like the fact that I can walk across campus and know quite a few people, from residents past and present to professors and beyond. I've had conversations with professors, Public Safety officers, and even the president of the university.

It would be nerve-wracking for me to attend a school with seven times the amount of students that my current college does. I don't want to be a number. (That, and the fact that tuition costs are also quite a bit higher. Considering the fact that my dad would again be paying both undergraduate and graduate tuition bills simultaneously, I'm factoring that in. I would also be applying for graduate assistantships to alleviate as much of the cost as possible).

For now, I need to revamp and edit my resume, decide what writing sample to use, and who to ask for letters of recommendation...

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's all Greek to me

I was recently (read: within the past week) invited to join an honors fraternity at school. The requirements were having at least 2 semesters of school left and an overall GPA of at least 3.0. Up until last semester (the latter half of my junior year), I never even saw a 3.0 GPA overall. I was close, but still far. (I even made the Dean's List for the first time last semester!)

Those of you who've read past entries in my blog (specifically, this one) know that my first year of college, and parts of my second, were absolutely awful. I won't rehash what I've already written there, because that time in my life is over... And for that, I am thankful. It's taken me until now to realize how unhappy I was in school. Now, though, it's getting better.

I've decided against accepting the invitation to join the group. Though a few of my friends are in the group, I don't think it's for me. I love being with and around people, but I have that every day in my job at school... And I love it. I just don't have time to balance something else among the various other groups I'm involved with.

As I've told a few friends, the closest I'll go to "going Greek" is joining Psi Chi (the psychology honors group). Ironically enough, I don't think I'll have the overall GPA necessary (3.25) to get in. However, I do meet the eligibility requirements to be inducted into Pi Gamma Mu, which is an honors group for the social sciences. Woo hoo!

After being *this* close to almost getting into the Latin honors group in high school, I've always wanted honors cords... Does that make me a bad person?

I'm not trying to make this a debate of why one should or shouldn't pledge to a fraternity/sorority/NPHC group, but just why I'm not. Though, I'll never forget my psychology teacher in high school saying that joining a sorority is like paying for friends.

I was going to end the entry with the above paragraph, but then I saw this online and had to add it. I don't care who you are, if you're in a sorority, fraternity, etc. or not, but this is simply unhuman. How someone could do this to another person is beyond me. The video is disturbing... how could you not help a fellow person? (And people wonder why my faith in humanity is seriously lacking.)

Link to video:  http://www.twitvid.com/WNFW5

Friday, September 9, 2011

How skinny is too skinny?

Recently on Facebook, I came across the status of someone who I keep on my friends list for the sheer entertainment value that their page provides. (Admit it, you do it too.) Anyhow, I came across this particular gem the other day...

Back into 4's! Soon 2's and hopefully 0's again, crossin' fingers.
That's me in the car, maybe at 3?
For those not following, this "friend" (a term I'm using quite loosely here) is discussing jean sizes. Of course, I had to formulate some sort of comment. Those of you who know me in real life know that I've always been pretty small for my age. What you may not know is that for a while, being small was also a downfall of sorts. I think my comment explains it best.
After spending grades 6-11 in size 00 and 0 jeans due to being small for my age, I can say I'm actually happy to be in jeans between the sizes of 5 and 9. Why? Because it means that my (former) doctor won't falsely accuse my parents of not feeding me, nor will I be falsely accused of starving myself. Just be who you are, forget society's standards of so-called perfection.
Oh, yes, readers. I went there. And yes, you read that correctly. The first time I ever went to my endocrinologist (growth doctor), she said there were two reasons that I'm small...the first of which, in her "expert" opinion, was probably why:

  1. I'm malnourished. [I love food, by the way. My mom and I scoffed at this guess.]
  2. I'm just small and she has no idea why.

On my 21st in NYC.
As it turns out (after bone density scan after scan, blood test after test, and a slue of other random hospital visits for more tests), I'm just short! And they have no idea why. She wanted to put me on growth hormones. I said no.

My genes are all sorts of crazy. I'm 5'2", but my brother's 6'2" (and four years younger). My grandma's my height, but my grandpa's 6'4". And I have cousins who are short and some who are tall. In fact, my great-grandmas on both sides were tall ladies, but my Aunt Margie was my height when she passed away. Go figure that one out.

For those curious how small I was (now that I'm actually a "normal" height)... I was 60 pounds and 4'11" in my freshman year of high school. I was 100 pounds and 5'1" my freshman year of college. And the friend whose status I commented on? Deleted me off of Facebook. Admittedly, I'll miss the entertainment...

(I won't even get into how many times people have thought I was younger than I am and how much it irritated me to be treated like a child, from dress shopping to having a cashier count out my change and tell me that two five dollar bills equals one ten dollar bill)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Inspired by insomnia

Generally speaking, I'm not much of a fiction writer (even if my aunt is a published children's author)... But as it tends to do, insomnia knocked on my door tonight and let itself in. So, as I sat at my window, watching, listening, and thinking, this idea came with it.

Early Morning Observations

The pitter patter of rain.
A cricket or two chirping.
The rustling of the leaves in the tree.
The lights in the parking lot brighten the dark morning.
Neighbors are conversing, but their conversations are muddled.
The soft glow of a church light brightens the sky around it.
Others are awake, but I don't see them.
I hear rolling, like wheels on a suitcase, but don't see it.
My phone emits a soft glow with the notification of a message.
Two people walk down the hill near the building.
I fight a slight shiver, and continue to watch.
My open blinds wave back and forth in the slight breeze.
Some birds chirp in the distance.
A few cars pass in silence.
What sounds like machinery digging permeates the silent night.
I hear the clacking of keys and keychains as someone walks to their car.
I wonder where they're going as they leave...
Hoping they remember to turn on their lights.
I realize the machinery is just the garbage truck.
It's then I realize that this small town has done so much for me...
And I grasp the notion I'm slowly becoming something.
I don't know what that something is... But I think I'm liking it.
I guess only time will tell. It's nights like these that my mind wanders.
And for now, I'm going to let it do just that, and see where I wind up.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I couldn't say no

The sun was just at the perfect angle.

The location beckoned me closer.

The quiet, though near deafening, was a welcome reprieve.

My glasses and cell phone, though in arm's reach, were just far enough away...

The moment my head hit the pillow, it was all over. Sleep consumed me. Naps are my kryptonite. Give me the chance to sleep some more when I need it? Yes, please.

Superman.jpgGlorious doesn't even begin to describe it. Though I only remember snippets of my dreams (riding a bike through town, star-watching with one of my closest friends), the half hour that my nap lasted was ... perfect.

As I mentioned last week, I have the overnight shift of desk coverage; needless to say, it takes me a while to recover from having that shift almost right after a night class (scheduled for 8-10:30, but the professor lets us out earlier since we don't take breaks) and teaching another CA (same thing as an RA) a few things about the job.

It's 5:52 PM. I probably shouldn't have taken that nap so late in the day, but it's the weekend...finally. This has been the longest first week of classes that I can remember.

I'm only taking 15 credits (5 classes), but between classes, office hours, being on-call, covering the desk, and everything in between, it's been nice to have a break. As with nearly every weekend on campus, a mass exodus of students left. Admittedly, there isn't a lot to do in town on the weekends, so I did go home a lot as a freshman.

(The biggest mass exodus that ever occurred on campus was probably for Snowmaggedon, but that's an entirely different story. Perhaps for a different entry.)

But for now, I'm enjoying the quiet. It'll be a simple weekend. Cleaning, homework, and maybe even seeing a friend or two. Have a great weekend and Labor Day, readers.

Friday, August 26, 2011

8 hours is a long time when you're hungry

The overnight shift... why did I do this to myself? I have to sit at the front desk of my residence hall from 12 AM to 8 AM. Every Thursday. This is already boring me to death. I still don't know what possessed me to decide to take the overnight shift. Thankfully, the internet connection this year is much better than years past.

So far, this is/was my shift... And yes, I'm giving/gave you a play by play because I'm/was that bored.

[11:52 PM]
I arrive downstairs to the desk early... A fellow RA lets me know of a situation that occurred earlier in the night. Seriously. An incident already? Geez.

[12:01 AM]
A friend who I've known since my own freshman year (or was it sophomore?) decides to come visit me and chat for a bit. We decide to watch season 1 of The Big Bang Theory because he's never seen it, and I love the show.

[12:23 AM]
A resident comes down to the desk area and says her toilet is clogged. I call the RA on-call, he lets maintenance know, they'll be here in the morning...when I'm still at the desk.

[2:16 AM]
Said friend leaves. I check my email accounts, Facebook, and begin writing this. I'm highly considering putting a movie in. I suspect that a Public Safety officer will eventually begin making his rounds and stopping at each building.

[2:26 AM]
I'm chatting with a friend on Facebook. Maybe I'll read the book I brought down. I have thirty cents on my shop dollars account on my campus ID. Exactly enough to buy... nothing.

[2:39 AM]
As was expected, Public Safety paid me a visit. The officer and I only chatted for a few minutes, just commenting on how quiet it is tonight. (Thank goodness!)

[2:44 AM]
I'm still hungry.

[3:13 AM]
I discover why Chris Gardner is wearing two watches on the cover of the book I'm reading.

[4:13 AM]
Played Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader on Facebook. Still hungry. Someone is in the breezeway and I don't know who, nor do I really care to find out. Making a list of snacks to get at the store for next time (and in general).

[4:40 AM]
Watching Little Miss Sunshine for the millionth time. Talking to a friend on Facebook. Only 3 hours and 20 more minutes to go!

[6:12 AM]
Little Miss Sunshine just ended... Now onto (500) Days of Summer. I buzz in a food vendor for the vending machines. I hope he's putting fresh Reese's cups in the machine. Last time I got some, they were gross and I threw them away. Wonder what he'd say if I asked him for a candy bar... He'd probably laugh at me.

[6:29 AM]
Opened the door again for vendor guy. He has Cheez-Its. Not shitty, awful Cheese Nips. Cheez-Its. Now I'm really hungry. And the sun is rising. It's pretty, but probably cold outside. It's chilly in the desk area. I need to wear sweatpants (or maybe PJ pants) and a hoodie next time. Not a t-shirt and gym shorts.

[6:40 AM]
Food vendor's in again. I'm still hungry. It's a good thing my friend owes me a ride to Walmart. Foggy morning outside. Back to the movie...

[6:46 AM]
Emailed a maintenance request.

[7:00 AM]
One more hour.

[7:37 AM]
23 more minutes...

[7:39 AM]
I explain yet again that the first floor wings are opened by the key slot on the wall, not the door itself.

[8:00 AM]
My shift is over and I realize a few things...
- I'm still hungry
- I need to get a life if I keep live-blogging 8 hour shifts
- I need another nap

Sunday, August 21, 2011

They say it's your birthday...

Today is the 1 year anniversary of when I started my blog.  [Pardon the creepy animated Beatles, it's the best video I could find...And I only searched for a few minutes because I'm being lazy]

Ironically enough, that entry is pretty similar to what I need to be doing right now, except that I now have 4 bulletin boards to make and 73 door tags to cut out. I still feel the same way. I never imagined myself in this job, but now that I have it, I can't imagine not doing it.

In short, this entry is really just a thank you:  A thank you to my 7 (yay!) followers, to those anonymous readers, and to you, for reading! I appreciate your comments, feedback, and suggestions more than you know.

Hopefully I'll have some more intriguing/interesting posts soon... Considering it's my senior year of college, I suspect there will be.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

For Good

It's been almost a year since I started this blog. Some things in my life have changed, others have not. I've been fortunate that I still have most of the same friends I did a year ago.

Speaking of... Facebook just reminded me that on this day, I became friends with someone on it.

Amber is one of the most genuinely nice, amazing
people I have ever met. She rocks my socks. 

New experiences have shaped me in ways I never would (or could) have imagined. Some of the things I dealt with in my first year as a CA (same thing as an RA) were terrifying. Others were humorous. Looking back, I wouldn't change any of that for the world. These experiences, couple with having an incredible internship this past summer, have shaped me into a person who I like...and am excited to be becoming (that was awkwardly worded, I know...).

As my senior year approaches (okay, it's here, yes, but accepting that fact still scares me), I look back on who I was as a freshman and who I am now as a senior. At the risk of sounding like previous entries, I'll stop.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that one of my dreams in life is to make a difference (which I've also mentioned before) in someone's life. I have met so many people in college, from so many different walks of life, religions, ethnic backgrounds, etc., and even learning about some of the things my fellow residence life staff members have gone through, has changed me into being more accepting.

So, in close, to quote the musical Wicked (which is amazing, by the way)...

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you

I would say watch it here, but this is just the song. Give a listen, anyway.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lost (and found) in Pittsburgh

During the last few weeks of my internship, I've been fighting the urge to take a day to explore what I can of Pittsburgh, within reason (and, of course, getting back to make sure I make the bus on time). With a little nudging from a friend, I decided today, August 2, was going to be that day. As I sipped on my coffee, I Googled directions to various places that seemed to be within walking distance: the science center, an art museum, and a few other locations.

I originally settled on just walking around, taking pictures, and having an awesome time.  It's also a good thing I was wearing the comfier of my two pairs of shoes that I packed this week. So, after mapping out some directions, I set out to find my way to the Andy Warhol museum. Now... anybody who knows just a little about me knows that I am, for the most part, hopelessly directionally challenged. However, I scribbled down some directions from Starbucks to an ATM and then onward to the museum. I figured, why not? I've wanted to do this for a while, and I can make up hours over the next two days.

Not surprisingly, I got distracted... by a toy store of all things. When I was somewhere between the ages of seven and nine, my parents took me to this toy store. Of course, when you're seven year old me, standing at around 4 feet tall (or so), this place is pure magic. (When you're twenty one year old, five foot two me... it doesn't change a thing).

Anyhow, I meandered around the toy store. A gentleman approached me, who I assume is the manager, and told me I was a day late. This confused me, and I suppose the expression on my face said it all. "You're late," he explained, "because Christopher Nolan and his family were in yesterday." How cool is that?! Not only is the new Batman movie being filmed here, but Christopher Nolan himself is frequenting Pittsburgh places. So, I continued to walk around the store. As it turns out, one of the ladies who rides my bus into Pittsburgh every day works there. It's a small world, dear readers.

After buying a new game at the toy store, I decided to go next door to the library. I'm easily swayed into going everywhere and anywhere with books. So, I decided I'd go in, edit the directions I'd found, and then head to the museum. As it turns out, you need a library card with the county library system to use the wireless. I walked back up the stairs to the circulation desk, and asked to apply for a library card. Little did I realize, you have to pay $30 for a library card. $30?! What do I look like, a college kid who has money? I think not, sir.

So, not one to be turned down, I asked if they could look up my mom's library card. As my luck would have it, they said no. However, my friend (who is the one who prodded me into this journey) has a library card, and she texted me her card number. And for that, I am eternally grateful. (Side note: if I had had one of the four library cards I already have ... yes, I have four ... the $30 fee would have been waived).

But anyhow, I changed my directions, did a little internet searching, email checking, and discussion board writing, and then was on my way. So, as always, I got lost on the way to the Andy Warhol museum (surprise, surprise). However, it's a pretty cool museum. I'm glad I went. So, after walking around the museum and making my way back to Starbucks where I'm typing this from, I probably looked like a hot mess. Oh, well.

What's life without adventure?