:: 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)

donderdag 24 augustus 2006

No, I'm not dead; here I am. I am going to try, try, try to be succinct, but somehow I don't think it's going to work.

Anyway. So I started classes yesterday. Phonetics, Syntax, Persian, and Mayan Languages (which, based on the homework I just finished, is so far turning out to be History of Everything that Ever Happened in the General Vicinity of Central and South America). Based on first impressions - since I've been to each class exactly once - Syntax and Persian seem like they're going to be good, while Mayan Languages and Phonetics seems like they're going to be dull.

Phonetics: No surprise I wasn't that into it; I've never really liked that discipline, mostly due (I think) to the ridiculously awful Chinese TA I had as my group leader in that class as an undergrad. To make matters worse, the first day felt more like a physics class than a linguistics one - all about sound waves and the mathematical formulas to predict the period, amplitude, et cetera. But the linguistic department head is the teacher, and he's nice, and is constantly asking questions to keep us involved - which I sometimes like in an instructor and sometimes don't, but in this case it works for him, since I do not want to get lost the way I did as a junior. Although, considering this guy seems to speak English fluently, maybe I won't have to worry.

Mayan Languages: The class is nice and small, but the professor talked like he was reading a script. From reading the syllabus, it sounds like the class should be pretty interesting, but I didn't get that impression at all from the first day. Granted, I just finished wading through (and writing up reading questions about) 44 pages of history-book PDF file about, as I said, pretty much everything that ever happened in South or Central America - so I might be a little biased at this particular moment. But that's my elective course (which I'm only in because silly old Persian doesn't count for graduate credit - every other new grad student only has three courses, but I have four), so I could change it, but the class times would be absolutely horrible if I did, so I think I'll stay where I am. According to the syllabus, we should get into the language stuff after a week or two, and I do appreciate the necessity of having a historical background before plunging into linguistic data of this type - but that mammoth first reading/assignment didn't do anything to raise my first opinion.

Persian: It's a big class, 26 students, and the teacher is a woman, Zari (my only female teacher). I think it's going to be good; she seems friendly and competent. She apparently works in the science library as her 'real' job, but UNC found out she was a native speaker and taught her how to teach Persian in 1999, and she's been doing it ever since. The only stumbling block is that quite a few of the students in the class already speak the language, and just don't know how to read or write it. That's a little intimidating - quite honestly: because I'm used to being the best at languages and in this class I certainly won't be. But she assured us multiple times that "if you have absolutely no experience, this is the right place for you!" so I think I'm OK.

Syntax: My only Tuesday-Thursday class - only about ten people - taught by a professor who looks like Rick Moranis from Honey I Shrunk the Kids. But he's my favorite teacher so far - very conversational and excited about his topic. I've always liked syntax, so that plus my prior experience (general ling, intro to syntax, English syntax, and that other class I had in the Netherlands that I've forgotten the name of) should work in my favor. Not that I actually remember a whole heck of a lot, but at least I can probably use that old thesis-that-never-was as my final paper. ;)

Did I mention that I love being able to take all my class notes on my laptop? (Well, not Persian, but everything else.) It rocks. Even if the battery has just been recalled and the website form to get a new one is acting funny so I have to call Apple tomorrow. I don't care. I love my Powerbook. (And two of my three laptop-using professors have Macs. Ha. So much for non-compatibility.)

Okay, other stuff: I babysat that nine-month-old for the first time today, and that went very well. He's a really happy baby, not like silly old Eloise (yes, that was her name!) in Gainesville. He was sleeping when I got there, so I thought he might have a mini-freakout when he woke up and realized it was me and not his mom coming to get him - but he was fine. Looked confused for a second, then within thirty seconds was smiling like he'd known me all his life. When his mom came back, after a few minutes of sitting with her, she picked him up and he actually reached back to me, wanting me to hold him instead. Isn't it weird how flattering that is, even though it's just a baby?

Oh, and I went to the gym for the first time today, too - which was good timing, since they happened to be holding their Taste of Fitness event, which involved free dinner, LOL.

And I love all my roommates, I'm fully stocked on groceries, I've got a (new) bike, and I finally got my student ID yesterday (much prettier than UF's, I must admit)... So things are, by and large, falling into place. I don't feel completely at home here yet, but I'm going through the motions pretty much flawlessly. All those college-student skills and routines - riding the bus, organizing class materials, walking around campus, making small talk and becoming instant friends with people, signing up for a slot on the gym machines, buying and preparing my own food - I can still do all that; I just have to get used to it all in this other place with these other people.

Three things that are nagging at my mind:

(1) I really need to get started with this whole applying-for-jobs-with-the-government thing, since the processing times are so long. Which means I'm going to really have to start watching what I say on this blog - maybe even delete it altogether (*sob*) - and that I have to get someone to look at my resume and make it, well, professional.

(2) The first weekend in October, there's an Olympic-distance triathlon in a town about 90 minutes from here. I can't decide if I want to do it or not. A one-mile swim is a joke, and I could probably do a six-mile run (though I'd have to walk portions of it), but a 25-mile bike is pretty darn long, especially if I don't have MY bike (my road bike) from home. This mountain bike has thicker tires and so is less likely to find me walking it home, but it's heavy and weird and hard to go up hills on, and I want my lightweight baby back.

(3) Money, money, money. Why do groceries cost so much?! I used all the babysitting money I earned today and then some... and I haven't even deposited the check yet. And I have to pay rent next Friday (plus wait for the prorated rent from this month to finally come out of my account), and buy a microphone (for phonetics) and other small things, plus pay for that triathlon if I decide to do it. Oh, well, at least my cupboards are full and my car is gassed.

I'll close with a big Hooray - today, the FDA finally approved the morning-after pill for over-the-counter use!

2 Comments:

Blogger DrJDG said...

You can input Persian on your Mac by going to Apple Menu > System Preferences > International pane. Click on the "Input Menu" tab, scroll down, and click to activate the Persian keyboard of your choice (they're both Unicode, so you should be cool either way). Just remember to check the "Show input menu in menu bar" option, and you can switch languages at will.

Regarding the FDA ... I agree. Now if they'd only approve a "morning after" pill that works retroactively ... say about 20 years or so .... :-)

25/8/06 02:49  
Blogger Robin said...

My highest expense is my grocery bill since I have to eat healthy foods. Isn't it ridiculous???
I'd be wealthy if I didn't have to eat.

As for the morning after pill....that just pisses me off. Why can't people just have protected sex? We get so many damn calls at work for that pill. It's the newest choice of birth control for lazy sexually active people. I don't believe every condom is breaking.....I really don't.
I think people are drunk and stupid.

29/8/06 22:26  

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