:: eye of the storm ::

About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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current mood

Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

donderdag 10 maart 2005

This week has not treated me very kindly up to this point. The weather has been far too cold for my (admittedly, spoiled) Floridian taste, all of my bathing suits are stretching, shredding, and otherwise disintegrating, the TA in my math class has even less of a clue than usual, I'm physically dragged out from some brutal swimming (we've been doing some of the varsity team's sets), I have an essay test tomorrow for which I had to buy yet another textbook (bringing the semester's total to 13), and, to top it all off, my favorite watch - the triathlon-designed one that I practically never take off - went belly-up yesterday. Water-resistant, my foot.

Ah, well, at least it's Thursday afternoon. Only one more day to go. Although the weekend isn't going to bring too much rest, either - we have a swim meet on Saturday and (assuming I'm not dead afterwards) I'm also planning to do the TriGators sprint triathlon on Sunday. It's insanely short (250m swim, 4mi bike, 1.5mi run) so I should be fine. It'll be a physically hard weekend, though, so I'm going to start my carbo-loading in earnest tonight with a great big bowl of pasta. My poor body deserves it - it's been working hard these past couple weeks. And tomorrow I'm purposely skipping practice, for the first time since I can remember. We're not really tapering much for this meet because everybody else apparently took spring break off. But I didn't - during that one week, I ran a total of 10 miles and swam about 5. I was working all break and felt like a slug - I had to move! But I'll be worthless on Saturday if I don't get at least one day's rest beforehand.

Oh, and anybody want to take a stab at what I'm swimming? (No, not the 200 fly - shut up, R, we don't even have 200 fly at club meets, and if we did, the lifeguards would have their work cut out for them.) ... The 200 IM. For you non-swimming folk, that's the individual medley, where each swimmer does 50 yards of each stroke. Fly, back, breast, free. Yes, that's right, 50 yards of butterfly. In a race. With 150 more yards to swim after it. OUCH. See why I want Friday off? I did three or four 200 IMs last night at practice, because I started freaking out when A told me what I was swimming and wanted to reassure myself that I could actually finish a 50 fly. Well, I can, it's just slow (and the last 10-15 yards aren't too pretty). I've already made it clear to everyone that I completely expect to come in dead last (I'd be happy with a 3:25), and that I'm only swimming this event for the experience, because it's something different and something I always love doing in practice. But it's twice as long as the IMs we usually do. And today I had MAJOR trouble finishing the 50 fly when I tried it. I know we were at the godforsaken Florida Pool (hot water, wide lanes, and lots of current), and I know I overdid it with the butterfly last night, and I know I'm pretty dragged out in general (I've swum 8 times already this week), but it still makes me a bit panicky. Listen up, muscles - you work when I tell you to, got it?!

Anyway, so there's my reasoning. Friday marks Jess's official Laziness Day as well as Feeding Frenzy. Bring it on!

Okay, enough swimming talk. Sorry about that. It's just kind of taking over, because the only other thing looming large in my mind at the moment is my Language and Dialect essay test tomorrow morning. We had the option of taking it Monday, which all but 4 people are doing, but I have an English and its Relatives test on Tuesday, a paper due Wednesday, and a math test on Thursday. So I'm doing the responsible thing and not procrastinating - but oh, how I want to. We've been given 4 essay prompts. 3 will appear on the test, of which we pick 2. This is not a bad deal - we know exactly what will be asked, so it should be a no-brainer, right? Well, no, because this is the (admittedly, brilliant) red-haired Teacher Who Loves Minutiae and thinks we should be able to write all four of these essays in excruciating detail (including material from her own essays, contained in the textbook I just bought, so we cannot screw that info up!) and then memorize them. My question is, why bother memorizing? Why can't we just pick two, type them at home at our leisure, and turn them in? Bah. Oh, well - those of you who are mathematically inclined (or who went through IB in high school and have mastered every possible manner in which to slack off) may already have noticed that if the test will contain 3 questions of which we only have to respond to 2, then we should in theory be able to ignore the most evil of the four entirely and only prepare 3 answers. Which I fully intend to do. Ergative/absolutive languages do not thrill me. (Neither do noun classes, pidgins and creoles, or polysynthetic languages, but they are all slightly less excruciating.)

(Actually, I lie. Pidgins and creoles are actually pretty interesting, not at all excruciating. It just sounded better to write it that way.)

And as the final blow to my already-suckified week: the fall course catalog is out. (General reminder: Jess will not be at UF in the fall; the pull of the Netherlands knows no bounds.) But the classes, if I may say so, are wonderful. Intro to Syntax (which I was dying to take this semester), Old English, Brain and Language (with that Dutch professor I like so much)... and, of course, all the first courses in Arabic, Swahili, and any other new language I might have thought about taking. Plus that precursor to the EMT course is offered at a normal time, and there's even, random as it sounds, a fencing class.

But I won't be here. Bah. Bah. Bah.

Random thought: you know, what I'd really like to learn is Xhosa (an African click language). Wonder if that's one of the ones I could learn if I go to work for the NSA? *checks* ... Nope, it says "Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Farsi, Hindi, Korean, Pashto, or Urdu." Out of those, Arabic appeals to me the most, but Chinese or Hindi might be okay too. The others don't really appeal to me at all. Wonder if they'd be more likely to put me into an Arabic or Chinese class if I took a class here prior to entering the program?...

Okay, well, I have nothing happy to say right now, and I'm starving, so I think I'll go start that pot of pasta. (Notice that in the space of this post it has grown from a bowl to a pot. Brace yourselves.)

Pasta, detailed linguistics essays, and a squashed chocolate-chip muffin. What more could a girl want?

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