:: 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)

woensdag 26 april 2006

Drumroll, please.

I have finished my five oral exams ... paid my $191 infirmary debt ... taken my last Latin quiz ... picked up my cap and gown ... gotten my weight training test score (good enough to be exempt from the final) ... and I am now finished with all classes at the University of Florida, forever!

Okay, so I have two written finals, French (Wednesday) and Latin (Thursday), but frankly, I'd still pass the classes even if I didn't show up for those finals - and I have 155 credits even without them. (My degree requires 120.) So can I put my Florida Gators Alumni license plate frame on my car now?

I still have to pick up my honor cords - one for graduating cum laude (3.7 GPA, which will be even higher after my grades for this semester are in) and one for Golden Key. There might be another one I don't know about; I'm not sure yet.

Anyway, my good deed for the day was taking a box of Merci chocolate (and a card) to my academic advisor. Okay, so he wasn't exactly my assigned advisor, but I got referred to him during freshman year, when I was heading to Utrecht the first time, and just kept going back to him for everything I needed from that point on. He has a lot of clout at this university - he's not only a political science professor, but the director of the Academic Advising Center and even the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - so he's been a good person to have in my corner. Despite the various roles he plays here, he always manages to solve my problems within hours and make me feel as if they're the only important issues in the whole world. So, yeah, he deserved some chocolate and a nice card. The only problem was, I went to his office three different times today and just couldn't seem to catch him in. I finally just scribbled a 'sorry' note on the back of the envelope and just left it on his chair. Hope he has a sweet tooth.

As for the swimming, I've gotten a lot of responses from the online Channel community encouraging me not to let one bad swim make me give up the solo attempt, so I think I'll stick with it, at least for now. After all, when my shoulder became a problem, I found a way to get around that (weight lifting); now I have a new problem to deal with (nausea) and have to find a trick for that. There are a lot of solutions out there - ginger tablets, Dramamine, more water, more carbs, and more time in the ocean being just a few of the suggestions - so I'm sure I'll find something that works. Like I said, I'm going to get some Maxim to use during the Key West swim, and take Dramamine beforehand, and see if that combination does the trick. If not, I'll try something else for the next swim (possibly the Boston Light, assuming they still have space - that swim is just six days after I get out of camp, so I could stick around in the area for a few days and do it if I wanted to).

Speaking of the summer, I'm trying to figure out a way to continue my weight training while I'm not at school with free gym access. I might be able to get a one-month student membership to the YMCA (and since I'm not planning to work during May, I might actually have time to use it). There's reportedly a weight room at camp which counselors can use during their free time, so it shouldn't be a problem while I'm there, but Key West is on June 10th, so I need to continue lifting up until then too. But I'll be able to swim with the Jacksonville masters team, which will be three days a week in the pool and Sunday mornings in the ocean, so I should be okay on the swimming front, too. It'll be weird swimming only three pool practices a week instead of five, but kind of nice, too. I was getting a little burned out (though I think school and the general lack of enthusiasm on the team these days was contributing to that as well). And I don't have to train as much for Key West as I did for Tampa since it's only half the distance. The Masters schedule should be fine as long as I keep lifting and running and doing stuff outside of the pool, too.

And speaking of running, I ran last night for the first (okay, second) time since the River Run (March 11th), with my new broken-in Asics and my new orthotics, and WOW. What a difference. I mean, I could tell I hadn't run in a while - my quads are a little sore today - but wow. I had an actual rhythmic stride, none of that hop-skip stuff I've been doing, and I was able to run for the entire 38 minutes it took to run my new route (down 20th, up 34th, a loop onto campus, and back the way I came). I'm estimating it at slightly over 5k, but maybe I'll do it with the car tonight on the way to swimming. Anyway, that was really encouraging, since Monique and I want to run the Disney half marathon in January. We've decided that if we can do the River Run (9.3 miles) on essentially NO run-specific training, that we can do 13.1 miles if we DO put in some training time. A full marathon won't be in the cards for me for a few years, at least, but a half marathon I think I can handle. And jogging through the Cinderella castle - that's gonna be awesome.

Quick blurb on the laptop front: these days, I'm actually leaning toward the Mac. Apple has just come out with its 15" MacBook and, this past weekend, a 17" model, so now they've discontinued the 15" Powerbook and have left last year's 12" Powerbook model sitting all by itself on the website. That's practically a giveaway that the next thing is a 12" MacBook. There are several cool things about the MacBooks (check out the site), but one of the neatest, to me, is that since they're using Intel Core Duo chips, they can run Windows. Meaning one can have the stability of a Mac and the compatibility of Windows. I like that. :) Now all they have to do is come out with a 12" model that (a) is lighter than the Powerbook, and (b) has better battery life than the Powerbook.

Anyway, I'm going to go do a little more packing and then head off to what is most likely my very last swim practice with Club Alligator (*sniff*). We're taking a team trip to the Ichetucknee tomorrow, even having breakfast at Panera and all that jazz, which will be really nice, and then I'll be heading home right after we get back. I'll be back in Gainesville Wednesday morning for my French exam that night and the Latin one the next morning, and then it's just a waiting game until I can walk across the stage on Saturday and say goodbye to this university - and city - forever.


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