:: 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:
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)

vrijdag 16 december 2005

Well, the wind is whipping a cold rain around outside, and I'm in my last 24 hours of having unlimited computer access. See, Martin is coming to Utrecht tomorrow so I can give him Jolanda's pre-paid phone back - which she so kindly lent me for the duration of my stay here - and he has offered to take custody of the large, heavy, annoying converter, which I seem to be unable to sell, either in person or on Marktplaats. Therefore, I will have only the battery power of my laptop - which is none too good - to sustain me over Saturday night, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Which means no movies or Jaguars games on internet radio. I think the rule is going to be: power up once per evening for no longer than 20 minutes. Of course, I can use the academic computers, but (a) I don't have my movies, documents, or Favorites list on those computers, and (b) my UCU webmail, for some inexplicable reason, works only via Outlook, not via the web. Oh, well, my London cybercafe training will come in handy, I suppose.

In other news, I just finished my last exam - Spanish. It consisted of two essays and a 15-question 'pick the right verb tense' thingie. I think it went okay, but you gotta love how we were not asked to write ONCE all semester long (that is, until I submitted my course evaluation which said, 'why haven't we done any writing?') and then we get a final exam which is almost entirely essay. I won't say I minded or anything, because I circumlocute well and frankly, I'd rather be graded on my foreign language writing than anything else, but I think some other people might have been mentally tearing their hair out. Don't know when we get the grades. I'm expecting an A in that class, though, as well as an A-plus in Creative Writing and an A for my thesis.

I think I have to resign myself to a B in linguistics, though, unless a miracle happened on that exam yesterday, which I doubt. I had a B-minus on the midterm (25%), an A-plus on my presentation (20%), and (I assume) an A for class participation (10%). I obviously still have no idea about the final exam (25%), but it shouldn't be lower than last time, so I was hoping that the paper (20%) would push me into A range. I also thought I might be looked upon more favorably since I actually did the assignment as told rather than take the last-ditch possibility of doing it orally.

(Here comes a rant.) See, this is a 300-level course, the highest that they have here, and our only written requirement is a 3000-word paper. That's nothing compared to what some courses require. But Sergey offered an alternative last week - that if we wanted to do all the research and then defend our proposed experiment orally, in a private conversation with him, rather than taking the time to write it all up, then we could do that. Now, I would rather write than talk, everyone knows that, and since the original assignment was a paper, I figured I'd go ahead and do it that way. However, everyone I've talked to who did orals got As, and all Sergey had to say about my paper when I asked was, "I haven't graded it yet, but I did read your paper. It was... okay. I don't think it will be an A." That makes me really angry. In an oral, he asks questions and we answer them - meaning he can ask exactly what he's curious about in the order and amount of detail that he considers appropriate or important. Even if it isn't something you researched specifically, you can say, "Well, I read this and this, so I guess I'd think it would happen like that" and just ad-lib. But when you write a paper, you have to structure it the way you want to and include the information that you think is relevant - you can't read the teacher's mind and follow his thought patterns on the subject. I thought my paper was good, if a tiny bit short, and it included all the things he'd asked for (hypothesis, procedure, etc.). So now I'm angry at myself for not doing the oral, but I'm also angry at him for relaxing the requirements for once in his life and having it still be something where I get the short end of the stick. Grrr.

Anyway, that's still a 3.75 semester GPA, which still gets me on the dean's list, but it's maddening.

Off to a meeting with Jocelyn now.

P.S. Anybody know how to pry the keys off a laptop without killing the thing? There is all kinds of dust, hair, and other crap under my keys and the E, R, and Y aren't doing so well because of it.

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