Saturday, October 31, 2009


Got to jump in my lesson yesterday, yay! This was the first time jumping since last spring (where I only had 3 lessons in jumping). The horses were on a program all summer designed to get them in really good shape so they wouldn't all go lame when the hard work of the fall term (and new riders) started. Didn't work, most of them went lame anyway, but it was a good thought.

Anyway, I jumped Dually, a bit 16-something hand thoroughbred. Wow the power! I did 4 jumps in a row, 3 of them about 1' 9". A lot for a beginner like me! My instructor, who was a different one than what I had in the spring or summer, gave me some good tips, like arching my back more. It was so much fun!

Can't wait until next week, maybe I'll get to jump some more!

Tomorrow I will be starting nanowrimo... National Novel Writing Month. I won't be writing a "novel" so much as a collection of memoirs. My sister and mom are doing it, too. Hopefully I will be able to keep up with all my other school work while I'm doing it!

Happy Halloween everybody!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Sigma Alpha National Convention this last weekend in Indianpolis! Lots of fun! Very tiring. I got to see one of my friends from Oregon, which was really awesome! She was one of my roommate's when I lived there. Her and one of our other roommate's are Sigma Alpha sisters. The ironic thing is that I didn't rush until AFTER I moved to Maryland!

Me and my friend from Oregon.

Horse carriage in Circle Center.

Me in front of the Soldiers & Sailors monument in Circle Center.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Quick update

Just wanted to write a quick update, now that I feel like I have some time to breathe - I went on vacation for two weeks to Alaska, and I had a blast! I have been promoted to manager at the pool, but now only working 40 hours a week. I have 2 more private lessons to teach (or rather, 2 more days), and then no more lessons! So maybe I won't be so tired.

Alaska was amazing, I went from July 7th to July 21st, and barely slept. I went on a 5 day pack trip, a 3 day trip to my husband's grandparents cabin, and a 3 day trip to Fairbanks where my mom and I competed in a NATRC trail ride. Now I'm back and working at the pool. Maybe later tonight, or on Saturday (my next day off) I can give a more detailed update. Right now I'm going to catch up on Vet on the Edge...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Goddess is Great, Beer is Good, and People are Crazy

Ok, that's not exactly how the song goes, but people ARE crazy! How do some people work 10 hours a day, 5 days a week?! And not sleep through the whole weekend? I am working 40 to 45 hours a week at my lifeguarding job. 11am to 8pm on the weekdays, 10am to 8pm on the weekends and holidays! I have Wednesdays and Saturdays off, which I chose since I have riding lessons on Wednesdays and my cleaning chore on Saturdays. And I am exhausted at the end of the day. You wouldn't think sitting in a guard chair is that difficult, but I am sitting in the hot sun. (Covered in 50 spf sunscreen! my fair Irish skin burns quickly) I am happy to be getting so many hours for work, I can certainly use the money to pay for tuition! It's just tiring, and I don't know how other people do it, especially if they're sitting in an office.

Well, back to horses... In addition to the cleaning I do on Saturday mornings, I also exercise one of the horses (Junior, a big bay Thoroughbred). The Heard Health directors of the Equestrian Club are putting all the horses on a type of "rehab" schedule, since many of them are lame. This week... 20 minutes walk! ooooh, exciting! I'm supposed to ride around 8:30 am on Saturdays, and clean whenever, as long as it's before 11. Well last Saturday I had to work because someone else needed the day off (I took Friday instead). And big shame on me I forgot that I had chores to do in the morning! In addition, I was covering someone else's riding, who would normally ride the horse later in the day. Oh man. So, 8:30 rolls around, and I'm getting ready to go to work, making myself some breakfast, and the girl who I'm supposed to ride with (the club has a strict rule that someone must be present when you ride, in this case, they scheduled 2 people to exercise the horse at the same time) calls. Uh-oh. I think my face went white. 15 minutes later I'm there. I felt so terrible for being so late (normally you should be on your horse at 8:30)! You can bet I won't forget again! She had to go to a wedding, too, and I apologized profusely. She was fine with it, and didn't seem angry, but I still feel so bad! *shakes head* Well, we rode (we both had 2 horses that morning), then I cleaned... and ended up 45 minutes late to work! yikes! I didn't get in trouble at work, since it's usually so slow the first hour. I feel pretty bad about forgetting; I know how important it is for the work to be done, and I don't want to leave it to someone else to do! It did get done, so I can't beat myself up too much since there was no harm done to the horses.

Wednesday the riding lesson went well - bareback again, since it was still 20 min walk for the horses. We worked on collecting the horses, some leg yielding, and 2-point bareback! Good thing the lesson time was limited... I gotta get me in shape, too!

Speaking of getting in shape...I have actually been going to the gym regularly! I go with my friend Mallory before work. We have a routine all set up - Monday is upper body, Tuesday is lower body and cardio, Wednesday is cardio, and then we repeat, with Sunday as our day off. I know that I would not have been able to stick to this routine if I wasn't going with Mallory! I could barely get myself out of bed this morning, and especially yesterday morning when we had to go at 7 (so she could go before class). I think we can keep this up, as long as I get enough sleep. I would like to lose a little weight, but especially gain back some strength and endurance that I've lost in the past year. No wonder I'm so tired!

Something happened at work yesterday that really bothered me. To keep track of our hours, the company I work for gives us employee ID numbers, and we clock in and out by calling a 1-888 number and entering our ID (they use caller ID to check where we're calling from). Well, yesterday, my manager said he was running late and asked me to clock him in before he got there, he said he'd be about 10 minutes late. Well, I did that (definitely against the rules), but he ended up being almost an hour and a half late. It felt like I did something so wrong, because he got paid for all that time when he wasn't even there. It was rainy all day, and nobody came to swim at the pool. The guards slowly started leaving in the afternoon, and I left about 6:45. Well, my manager said that I shouldn't clock out, he would clock me out at 8. I told him, no, I'll clock myself out, it was wrong for him to do it for me. He didn't understand why I thought it was wrong, after all, I hadn't had a problem with it that morning, and "who would know?" ( We were the only two left there.) I couldn't let him do it, even though I hadn't really done work all day (since nobody was there at the pool), it would have been being paid for not working. He thought it was so strange. He is from another country (Serbia), but that shouldn't change anything. Why didn't he understand why I thought it was wrong? And am I being hypocritical in seeing a difference between 10 minutes and an hour? They are both against the rules, although that is not why I think it's wrong. Of course, I wouldn't ask him to clock me in when I'm not there (although he did it that Saturday I was late for riding, and I didn't like it). I do feel better for having stuck to my morals and clocked myself out on time, but it bothers me that he didn't understand why I thought it was wrong. I am definitely not going to let him clock me in and out early/late in the future; I can't let it go further than it has. Any thoughts?

[Author's note: the astute reader may notice that I am posting this on Friday, which is not my day off, at a time when I should be at work. The pool was closed because of the rain, and I didn't have work today. Gave me a chance to finally post another blog entry!]

Friday, May 22, 2009


I am a big Tamora Pierce fan, and I have been looking forward to the release of Bloodhound, the second book in the Beka Cooper series. It was actually released last month, but I got a 40% off coupon at Border's and my husband bought me the book. :) It is young adult fantasy, but it is still mature enough for me to enjoy (or rather I am still immature enough to enjoy it...?). Well, Harry Potter was never restricted to only young adults!

I'm working as a lifeguard this summer, and I had my recertification class yesterday. I got burnt! I kept putting sunscreen on (I don't feel the need to have a tan, and I don't want skin cancer), but we were in and out of the water, and I didn't want to put the sunscreen on every time I got out. I thought it was a little more waterproof than it was... We were in swimsuits, too, since we were practicing water rescues. It's mostly my upper back and shoulders that got the worst of it. Fortunately we have a big bottle of a burn relief with aloe in it.

This weekend I'll be working 9am to 8pm Saturday, then 10 am to 8pm Sunday and Monday. Bring in the hours! I'm looking forward to making some money, although it is a 3-day weekend for my husband so I'll miss spending time with him. Ah, well, he'll just get to play more of his online games. ;)

We got the schedule for summer riding and cleaning for the Equestrain Club... I have Wednesday night lesson, and a Saturday morning cleaning. The club is also working hard to get the horses in shape, starting slow and working the way up, so we have "exercise riders" instead of "trainers" this summer. I will be riding on of the horses, Junior, Saturday mornings starting next week (they get a week off). Riding twice a week! I can't wait! Maybe I'll have more interesting things to write about for my blog.

Well, I'm off to get engrossed in Bloodhound. Maybe I'll get it all read tonight before I have to do all this work this weekend...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hair cut win

I got my hair cut today! Very short. Very, very short. Look for yourself:



Like I said. Short! I love it, I think it turned out pretty well. The photos don't do it justice. I'm donating all that hair to Locks of Love. I hope some girl will really enjoy it.
I finished with finals on Monday; I got a C in Calculus (yay! I was in danger of a D), an A in Biology (yay!), a B- in Physiology lecture (yay!), and I'm not sure about Physiology lab yet (probably a B+ or A-). So time to celebrate! Cut my hair! It was so HOT having all that hair, this is so freeing.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Procrastinating Perfectionist

I have been told that this is what I am. I am certainly a procastinator (big time), and I can be a perfectionist. I read an article one time about the different types of procrastinators, and there it was, the procrastination perfectionist (more than just nice alliteration). Apparently these people (of which I might be one) have a fear of not doing the job perfectly, and so they procrastinate doing the job because they only want to do it if they can do it perfectly. I don't think I'm on the extreme end of this, but it certainly fits me in many ways. I just typed it into google and got a lot more information about it, including a transcript of a talk that a professor did at Cal Tech.

I think that has been why I haven't updated my blog as often. I always feel so obligated to update everything I've been up to when I write my blog (for all 5 of my followers, yay, up from 2!). It has to be "perfect" - talking about everything that has been going on. Part of this is that I do want this to be an online record, or "resume" of the things that I'm doing, as I wrote about in my first post in the beginning of the year. Part of the problem is that this blog is replacing my journal (I have several floating around) that I have never been able to keep, but always wanted to. I think I have all those fictional books that are in journal/diary format stuck in my head and I am trying to follow that format. Which really isn't realistic. People don't really write that way. At least, not me! And that would be too much to write.

So, I am going to try and be better about being succint in my blogs, so that maybe I will write more often. I follow one of my friend's Livejournal blog, and she updates her blog with random thoughts. She doesn't write lengthy posts; sometimes her blogs are one lines. Once I start writing, I write a lot, generally, so I don't think that method would work for me. It also wouldn't follow my original plan for blogging. However, it does inspire me to write at least shorter blogs.

Friday, April 24, 2009


I saw this at Whispering Acres Blog, while I was catching up on my reading, and I thought I would write another quick post:

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To:
1. Maryland Day tomorrow!
2. The end of the semester in less than a month
3. Turning 21 in 2 months
4. Having a job this summer
5. Sunny, warm weather
6. Getting my Bachelor's in a year!
7. Being a part of Sigma Alpha
8. Moving back to Alaska (in 3 years)

8 Things I did Yesterday:
1. Donated blood!
2. Calculus discussion, Bio lab
3. Watched a new episode of Smallville
4. Slept in
5. Had Chinese food for dinner
6. Planned my schedule for Maryland Day
7. No homework!
8. Enjoyed the warm weather

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
1. Go home to Alaska all summer with my husband (well, if I'm wishing for things... move back to Alaska NOW!)
2. (Stole this one from Claire) Rescue all the animals that need rescuing!
3. Not have to take a summer class this year
4. Get a puppy
5. Get As in all my classes!
6. Go home this summer AND go to the Ag Teacher's Conference in July (here in Maryland)
7. Do well on calculus homework and tests
8. Cure Cancer

8 Shows I Watch:
1. Heroes
2. Smallville
3. Terminator: Sarah Conor Chronicles
4. Dollhouse
5. Friends
6. Sanctuary
7. Fringe
8. Supernatural
(Hmmmm... notice a sci-fi/fantasy trend? other than Friends, of course)

Maryland Day!

Tomorrow is Maryland Day at the University of Maryland! It actually started as Ag Day, as I have been informed by every Ag student, faculty, and staff. The University stole it from us! Ok "stole" might be a bit of an extreme word, but it was the Ag College's idea first. It's this big open house with lots of activities going on. The Animal Husbandry Club is putting on a livestock show, where students show dairy heifers, pigs, and sheep. The Equestrian Club is doing a horse show, from in-hand to flat classes and jumping. The Collegiate 4-H club is selling fresh cookies & milk. Sigma Alpha is doing a kiss-the-pig fundraiser. In the past couple of weeks, everyone has been putting change in one of the faculty's jars, and whoever gets the most change has to kiss a pig at Maryland Day! I'll mostly be helping Equestrian Club and Collegiate 4-H. The AGNR (Agriculture and Natural Resources) college does grilling, where students from clubs help out with grilling for an hour (say the 4-H club has grilling from 2 to 3), and the club gets a percentage of the profits from the sales. I'll be helping the 4-H club with that. I would help Equestrian Club, too, but their grilling time is while I'm showing. Tonight I'm helping 4-H club bake the cookies that we'll be selling tomorrow. They'll be nice and fresh! We'll also have a couple toaster ovens going tomorrow, to have even fresher cookies!

I'm also showing in the Equestrian Club's shin-dig, an advanced walk-trot-canter equitation class. Wish me luck! I am excited. The only equitation classes I've done were 4-H classes, and it's been years and years since I have done an equitation class. I thought it would be fun to try it out. At my lesson on Wednesday, it was raining but we all wanted to ride since we couldn't ride last week (rain!). Since I'm riding in the show tomorrow, and I won't know what horse I'm riding until tomorrow morning, I rode all 4 of the horses in our lesson to get practice. I hope I get Junior! It was the first time I rode him, and he was a dream! Apparently he was pre-Grand Prix dressage when his owner got found out for tax fraud (or something), and the owner donated him to the club! So he is top-notch, and so smooth!

Update on the Sigma Alpha process: I am now officially a Sigma Alpha sister! We had to take a hard test, but we got a lot of help from our Bigs (a SA sister who helps you in the Membership Candidate process, my friend Linda was my Big). I passed, and apparently they think I'm SA material, because me and the two other women who were rushing were inducted into SA on Monday!

Well I thought I'd write a quick post, since I never did get caught up on my blog. Things have been crazy! And when I did get on blogger, I would read other people's blogs before I updated mine! This time, writing first, then reading.

No promises, but I plan on giving a low-down on everything that happened at Ag Day (I keep writing Ag Day instead of Maryland Day, and I wasn't even here when it was Ag Day!). Pictures, too, if I remember my camera! It should be a fun day.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Oh man that was rough

Rough couple of weeks; I've been very busy and have had a lot of stuff going on! I'll hopefully catch up this weekend, but it will take up a few posts.

So last time I wrote I was at the end of spring break and hadn't gotten much homework done. At the last Equestrian Club meeting (March 3rd), I was voted as the new Parliamentarian and on Tuesday March 24th we had a get-together with the old directors and the new directors. It was a lot of fun! We had lasagna and rolls and salad and lots of good deserts. The old directors are staying on until the end of the term, with a transition time for the new directors. Normally the new directors aren't elected until April or May, I think. We just hung out, weren't planning on having a meeting or anything, but ended up discussing a few things. One of the horses, Chico, had swelling in his back legs. No lameness, just swelling, probably from kicking his stall. We also have Maryland Day coming up, on April 28th. It used to be Ag Day, where the Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) college had a fun day. Now the entire university does it. I only know about the things the AGNR college and clubs are doing. The Equestrian Club is having a horse show, with halter, equitation, hunter hack and jumping classes. I'll probably be doing an equitation class, and maybe a hunter hack class. They're also doing a fundraiser by taking picutres of kids on one of our horses, then printing the pictures and making frames in horse shoes. The Animal Husbandry Club is doing an animal show where students show pigs, sheep, steers, etc. That's just a long explanation about what we were talking about at the get-together.

The next day, Wednesday, I had another great riding lesson! We did some more jumping, harder jumping. Sara, our instructor, had us doing 3 jumps in a row by the end of the lesson! It was a lot of fun, and I could really feel my improvement. I was surprised that she had me doing 3 jumps in a row, since this was only my second time jumping! There were two cross rails, and a normal jump at about 18 inches. I got a nice ego boost. Sara's friend was there, and said she couldn't believe it was only my second time jumping. I'm not saying I looked perfect or anything, I was leaning too far forward and didn't keep my lower leg still enough. And I'm sure plenty of other things. But it sure felt good! I felt balanced and in control.

Next post: 4-H judging and a possible job!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Woman's best friend

I was thinking about my childhood dog last night as I was trying (unsuccessfully) to fall asleep, and I wanted to share his story with y'all.

My mom got a puppy from one of her students, whose bitch had an unexpected pregnancy. She was a registered Australian Shepherd, but the father was unknown. There had been an intact Blue Healer roaming around about the right time, but as the puppies grew up they looked more like lab crosses. I was 6, my sister 5, and the puppy was supposed to be for both of us. As those things, go, though, the puppy (Wyatt) and I really bonded. My sister is more of a cat person, turns out.

I had ridden horses since I was 1 (with lots of help, of course), and when I was 10 I really started riding a lot, being able to be more independent. Wyatt always came along on my trail rides and pack trips. Wyatt, my horse, and I spent a lot of time together. Wyatt slept in my room at night, of course, while the other dogs slept in my mom's room. My parents were divorced, but they stayed friends and split the property to be neighbors, so that it would be easier on my sister and I. Wyatt's home was at my Mom's house (supposed to be, anyway). My sister and I spent equal time at each house, and it didn't take Wyatt long to figure out when I was at my Dad's. He would often come looking for me whenever he got a chance to run off and I wasn't at Mom's. Mom said sometimes he would rub on the coats hanging in the hallway, and knock them down to lay on mine.

When my mom was building the barn for the horses, her and Rae did most of the work on it. I think I was 12 at the time, so I wasn't much help (though I tried). Wyatt, and my Mom's two dogs, were hanging out on the ground while Mom and Rae were working on the frame for the roof. The way my mom tells it, the dogs were all calm while Mom and Rae were up high in the skeleton of the barn, swaying around. I went down to check out their work, climbed up the ladder to the top. And Wyatt went nuts, apparently very worried about me. As my Mom tells it, he couldn't care less if she and Rae were in danger, but as soon as things looked iffy for me, he suddenly cared very much!

I returned his love as much as I could. Even as a child, I appreciated his devotion. Sure, I made mistakes, lost my temper, but he always forgave me and we always had that strong bond. I took him with me whenever I could, and he had a good life. When I went off to college, he was 12, and had slowed down a lot, but was still very healthy. He couldn't come with me, and I missed him very fiercely. No animals allowed in dorm rooms, you know. And I couldn't give him the freedom he was used to at home, anyway. He would have gone crazy, even after having slowed down so much. When I came home for Christmas that year, and the summer after, he sure hadn't forgotten me. Our bond wasn't as strong, but we still loved each other so much.

I was married that summer, between my freshman and sophomore years, but my husband went back to Iraq, and I lived with my mom. I tried taking him on trail rides a couple times, because he wanted to go with me so bad. But halfway through the trail ride, he always slowed down and couldn't keep up, so I gave up. He always barked like mad, though, and I felt bad leaving him behind. Our last trail ride together I remember vividly. I went out for a trail ride alone, and decided to take Wyatt with me. We had to cross a busy road to get to the trail, but Wyatt was very good at sit and wait precisely for this reason. My mom and I were very careful with that, since we couldn't exactly keep our dogs on leashes. I always brought both horse and dog treats on trail rides! Halfway through the ride (I was doing fast trotting), I couldn't see Wyatt anymore. I called and called, but he didn't come. I thought he maybe had missed one of the turns I took, and went home early (unfortunately, that sometimes happened, although rarely). I was very worried because he had to cross that busy road on the way back. I rushed back across the road, no Wyatt. I ended up beating him home, and he was fine. I had stopped to talk to a neighbor on the way home (after checking the road), and there came Wyatt 5 minutes later, while I was still there, walking very slowly. That's when I knew that I couldn't take him on rides anymore. I couldn't put him in danger like that anymore, no matter how much he wanted to come on the trail rides. Used to be that he could always keep up, and was with me when we crossed any road, so that I could control when we crossed, and do it safely.

When Wyatt was very young, still a puppy, really, he used to run off a lot. He fathered at least one litter of puppies by the time he was 6 months old! We quickly neutered him, but for a while he still ran off. He soon stayed at home for the most part, but started running off again when he was older. My mom has 40 acres, and takes the dogs with her outside when she's outside. She can't keep an eye on every dog every time, and doesn't want to keep one locked up all the time. So sometimes he ran off, and there wasn't much we could do about it. He always came home safe and sound.

Diasaster struck our family in quick succession. We lost two dogs in a row, including Wyatt, a month and a half apart. First, my mom lost her dog, a bitch named Sasha who was very special to her. I was home for that one. I went back to school at the end of September, and a little over a month later, October 29th, I got the call from my mom as I was getting ready to go to polo practice. Wyatt was dead, hit by a car. Looked like a quick death. Just like Sasha, about the same place on the same busy road. I had said my goodbye, because he was old, albeit healthy, and I never knew when he might go. I had been especially sensitive because we had just lost Sasha. So I had said my goodbye, but I wasn't ready, it was too sudden. My childhood friend, who had been with me for everything, was gone. It's more than a year and a half later, and I still have a hard time not crying just thinking about him.

I'll probably post more stories about him in the future... most notably one involving a porcupine... but that's enough for now. Here's a picture of him about a year before he died:

Not bad for a 12-year-old, huh?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More polocrosse

Our lesson today was in the morning instead of night, since we're on spring break. No missing dinner for me! Our trainer taught us more about polocrosse - but this time, we were in the saddle! woo-hoo! Well, we also did a lot on the ground to get used to catching, throwing, picking up, and cradling the ball. Lots of fun, although my throwing will need a lot more work.... My hand and arm were tired by the end of the lesson. It was a 2 hour lesson, but we spent a lot of time on the ground learning practicing the moves. When we were in the saddle, it was mostly walking and trotting with the horses, since we're just learning this sport. I hope the club does start doing bimonthly polocrosse clinics/chukkahs (A chukkah is like the "period" of the game).

My spring break has been pretty lazy. I have gotten a start on my projects I want to get done during break, but I still have a lot more to do. I gave myself Saturday and Sunday off, Monday I did some work, and yesterday I went to my friend Linda's house to help her with gardening. She has a very small back yard, and just had a couple corners partitioned off for her garden. We planted carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, spinich, cauliflower, and radishes. Her fiance had tilled on Saturday, at least that was done! We added some top soil, planted, set up the trellices, set up the soaker hose, and set up the fence. All in all, only about 2 hours of work. The rest of the day we watched movies. And her fiance cooked us chinese for dinner, yum!

My mom has a very big garden at home (some pictures at, and I never really enjoyed helping her out with the work; the weeding was the worst! I never thought I would enjoy gardening, but working in a very small garden like that I enjoyed. Go figure. As if I wasn't already enough like my mom... Not that that's a bad thing, I love my mom. I would just like to be more unique!

Well, now that I've caught up on my blog a little bit, I should really get working on those lab reports... yay...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Time to celebrate!

All right, Spring Break is finally here! I get a week off classes, although not off school in general since I'll be doing a lot of school work. But it's so nice to get that week off! I had a test today in physiology and I know I aced it! I think they wanted to give the class an easier test because the first two had such low averages. I also decided to drop Organic Chemistry for sure because I don't need it. One less stressor!

My riding lesson on Wednesday was, again, awesome. No more jumping, but we did some dressage, working on laterals (a new termed I learned for stuff that I had already been doing). We did some stirrupless riding, two point at the walk (I'm still sore from that today!). Then we did some bending, walking and trotting around in a circle. We did some cantering, but not much. I rode this big paint draft cross, he was so big and smooth. Responsive to aids, but not as sensitive as I like (well, what can you expect from a school horse? he's pretty good considering). Then we started working on laterals - half-passing, shoulder in, etc. I got a couple of nice compliments from our instructor - first she put me on the horse that had supposedly acted like a "dick" earlier, because she figured I could handle it. He was fine, no problems, though. Then she said that she didn't know what I was doing in the lesson program, that I should be one of the trainers! That was very nice to hear. I have a lot to learn, but it's nice to know that all my riding has paid off and is obvious. It's been a long time since I've done laterals, and even longer since I've worked on bending (not as applicable on the trail). My muscles knew what to do, though, and I haven't lost the touch for being able to tell when they're legs are crossing over under neath me. Hard to explain, but I can always feel when those legs cross over like they're supposed to!

We're going to have a lesson next Wednesday during spring break, but only 2 of us plus our instructor will be there (usually 4 students). So we thought we would do some polocrosse, and have a longer lesson. Start on the ground to get used to the net (stick? whatever it's called), then get on the horses and try throwing the ball around. I'm looking forward to it! I also met someone recently that lives about an hour away who has horses and is willing to let me ride one of hers. That's too far to go every week, but I think I'll go next week and get to ride on some trails! She's really into competitive trail riding (CTR) and endurance, and CTR being my true love with riding, I'm looking forward to riding with her.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Friday, March 6, 2009

One week later...

Whew! Another week of ups and downs! It looks like I will be doing weekly posts (as opposed to more frequent), now that the school year is in full swing and I feel like I'm in over my head! Today I had a Calculus test (that I feel like I failed), and 5 references due for a Physiology paper. Since I had the Calculus test today, I didn't start looking for the references until I got home this afternoon. Fortunately, they weren't due to be uploaded until midnight tonight, and it didn't take as long as I thought. Apparently there is a lot more information out there about calcium-gated chloride channels then I thought there was. Go figure.

My husband and I were having a fight all week... we finally worked it out yesterday, so that was very stressful. And I was stressing about money (of course), and not doing well in school. I failed my organic chemistry test and my physiology test last week. Got an A on my bio test though! I wouldn't be so worried about the organic chemistry test because there will be a large curve, but I was almost 10 percent below average. Physiology I can drop a test, and pull up my grade from my last test (a 65) with extra credit. I have another Physiology test this Friday, and no other test(s) this week! So I can focus on studying for Physiology. Of course, that's what I thought I would do for calculus this week, and that didn't go so well...

Ok, onto happier things. And why I'm not as stressed out anymore. I met with an academic advisor today, and got a lot of things cleared up for what I have to do to become a teacher. The bad news: I didn't have to take Organic Chemistry and Calculus. The good news: I won't have to take Physics like I thought I did! When I got to UMD, I thought that the only option in the education department was for Biology, and that I would have to pretty much do a double major in Biology to fulfill the requirements to get into the program. But I talked to the advisor for the Ag Science and Technology major, which has the option for pre-education. He told me that the new Ag Ed track in the Education department just requires an Agriculture BS (like Animal Science, which I am). So if I can just make it through this term, next year should be a little easier and I can pull my GPA back up again! I came home so much more relieved - no more fighting with my husband, calculus test over, and school stress decreased.

Tomorrow I'll be helping with the 4-H horse bowl, on campus all day. It should be fun, but it's already almost midnight and I haven't gone to bed yet... so I'm going to be tired. But I'm looking forward to it. The Collegiate 4-H club is selling grilled cheese at lunch, but I already told the coordinator that I would help out with the horse bowl, so I can't help them with that fundraising. They'll also be selling baked goods, so I made some brownies they can sell. Actually, I made two batches. One for me and my husband, one for the 4-H club! They are tasty. And I made them out of a box!

We got all that snow Monday, and then it was 60 degrees today! So Wednesday, when I would normally have my riding lesson, the arena was a mess and we couldn't ride. Our instructor took us into the barn office and she went over some of the basic rules of polocrosse. We looked at some of her photos on Facebook (of polocrosse), and watched videos on YouTube. The club has been trying to do more polocrosse going, and I've been interested, since I had a lot of fun when I played polo. So that was really interesting. A lot of similarities, but a lot of differences. A true cross between polo and lacrosse!

Ok, it is midnight now. And I need to get up at 7am. So bedtime. Enough writing.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Another Friday, Another 2 Tests...

These past two weeks have been insane! In my last post I mentioned how I had been sick. When I went to the health center that Wednesday morning (over a week ago), I had a fever of 103 F! Tuesday night and Wednesday were the worst. I was taking tylenol, but didn't want to take too much; my husband the medic said I should only be taking the tylenol every 6 hours (they were very high strength), but they were only keeping the fever down for about 3 hours. So I was trying not to overload my liver with fever reducers, but I was desperate for relief. We didn't have a thermometer, so I don't know what my temperature was at that time, but I bet it was around the 103 it was the next morning. I didn't get a note to get out of classes, but they did run tests to confirm I had the flu, and not something else like mono (since I've never had it before). My friend from back home came in Wednesday, and I picked her up from the hotel where the conference was being held, after she checked in. We both came back to my apartment and fell asleep for like 4 hours! She was jet lagged, I was sick. Wednesday was supposed to be my riding lesson, but I was in no shape to go, no matter how much I wanted to. Thursday I was feeling better (it helped that my husband came home that night), and Friday I didn't have a fever, although I was still sick with stuffy nose and very draggy. I only went to one class Friday -Physiology - and we had a pop quiz! I hadn't done the reading, but I got full points on the quiz, from using my common sense and memory from Anatomy class.

My friend and I went into DC on Saturday, and spent all day there. We went to the International Spy Museum and the National Art Institute. The Spy Museum was very cool, although maybe not worth the $18 to get in. National Art Institute was free, of course, and very educational. I felt so sophisticated. I was still recovering from being sick, though, and was completely exhuasted by the end of the day. My friend and I were worn out and falling asleep at my husband's friend's house, where we went for dinner and watching movies. Sunday I took her to the airport (awwww, so little time), then started studying. I had a biology test Monday, which I think went well despite not having been to class all the week before (on account of being sick). I had two tests today - one in organic chemistry, one in physiology. I don't think I aced either one, but I don't think I bombed either one. Organic Chemistry was worse, of course, but there will be a curve at the end - everyone's in the same boat as me... Organic Chemistry is VERY hard! I am so relieved that those two tests are over, I was very stressed about them. I didn't have enough time to study. Wednesday I had my riding lesson (the first one where I got to ride, yay!), and so didn't get home until almost 8. Then I had to do my biology and calculus homework. Monday and Tuesday I had done some studying, but not much, so most of my studying for the two tests were last night. And that's not exactly good study habits!! It's over now, though, I'm so relieved.

So Wednesday was my first riding lesson, it was so much fun! I almost always have fun riding, but this was an extraordinary day. I jumped for the first time! I've never jumped before... except that one time in my western saddle... that was just bad. I didn't do amazing, but I didn't fall off, and my instructor said I did "good." She was just so happy that the 4 of us in the lesson know how to ride decently well. That's why we're in the B lesson! Ha ha. I'm still sore, though, two days later... I haven't done that much two-point since I was playing polo!

Well, I'm all caught up, and hopefully life won't be so crazy the next couple weeks, and I'll do a better job of keeping up with my blog.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


So I'm really enjoying these new phones that have internet on them. No, I don't have one. But my husband does. And my lab partner in Organic Chemistry does, too. Which is why I am writing this post.

So a few posts ago I complained about being sick... well guess what, I still am! Going on 9 days now. By Friday afternoon I was no longer having such a runny nose and teary eyes. Saturday and most of Sunday I felt good (Sunday was the one-week mark for the duration of my sickness). But then Sunday I started feeling really loopy and out of it, and I started getting a fever in the afternoon. I don't know if this is a continuation of the previous sickness, or I just got unlucky enough to get 2 in a row! When I woke up this morning, my fever was better (I don't know exactly how much better, we don't have a thermometer), but my eyelids were VERY puffy. Not the rest of my eyes, just my eyelids. It was very weird. I tried putting a cold wash cloth on them, but I couldn't hold it on there forever. After all, I had to go to class... and I had forgotten to finish my Organic Chemistry lap report, so I quickly did that before I went to class.

I decided I wanted to go to a doctor, the puffy eyelid thing was freaking me out a little bit, and my husband had told me that there is a clinic at Walter Reed starting at 7am. It was already 9:30, though, and those usually fill up. I called one of my husband's friends, and he said he thought they were filled up, but he wasn't sure and he would call me back. Of course he didn't! I thought I'd try stopping by the health center on campus after class, but I know that they only see people strictly with appointments, unless its a real emergency. So I was talking to my lab partner about this (yes, I'm finally getting to the point of the story), and she says, well you can make an appointment online (here I am thinking, yeah, which I can't do until I get out of lab anyway...), or call them. I don't have their number, and tell her so, and she says, I'll find it for you! She has one of those iphones with internet, so we got onto the university website and found their number. I could just click on the number and the phone gave me the option to call it. So I did! Unfortunately, they only had an opening at 2:15 today, and my lab goes until 3:30, so I couldn't go then. I made an appointment for tomorrow morning, though. Hopefully I'll be feeling better and/or they will be able to help me out.

Oh, the wonders of technology! It helped that the TA didn't care that I was on the cell phone. He didn't say anything, even when he walked right by me while I was talking on it, and I wasn't going to bring it up. I like my TA. He'll get a good review from me at the end of the class, lol.

Another wonder of technology is that my husband was able to IM me from his cell phone. He has a full keyboard on his cell, which means he can text a lot faster than I can on my cell. So when I got home and signed on to the messenger, I could IM back and forth with him, when he isn't able to be talking on his cell.

Ugh I'm getting the chills, feels like the fever is trying to make a comeback. So I'm off to get more tylenol...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Singles Awareness Day

Oh, my poor friend.

I got my friend Mallory addicted to the TV show "Heroes" last weekend. It's one of my favorite TV shows, and she came over to watch a movie last Saturday. Well, between us not being able to figure out the TV/speaker/DVD set up (as you know, my husband is gone), and the movies we DID want to watch not working... we ended up watching Heroes last weekend. Of course, I had to talk to my husband before we could get it to work... but we did. Mallory had never seen Heroes before, but had heard good things about it, and I had gotten the first two seasons on Blue Ray as a Christams present (from my husband who knows me oh-so-well). Long story short (too late), she came over again tonight to watch more Heroes. This is not why I say my poor friend. That was just a way to work in Heroes, which I like very much, but which has gone downhill in this third season.

I digress.

She came over as a girl's/movie/lonely night tonight, seeings how it's Valentine's Day, she doesn't have a boyfriend, and my husband gone. That she wanted to watch more Heroes helps as well. She's the one who called it Singles Awareness Day, and now I am finally getting to my point of why I feel sorry for my friend. I don't feel sorry for my friend because she's single, I feel sorry for her because it got rubbed in her face today!

She came over to my apartment tonight already saying that she was very aware of her single status today; two of her roommates have boyfriends. Well, the plan was we weren't going to talk about it much. But then I was so excited to show her my beautiful new necklace (if you don't know what I'm talking about, you can read my gushing in the previous post), and I told her the story about that. She didn't seem as excited, and then I realized I might be being a teensy bit insensitve about this... gah! I rubbed her singleness in her face. Oops.

I have been all whiney about my husband being gone, and not even being able to talk to him today, since he was on a field mission and couldn't have his cell phone on him. He called. Right in the middle of Heroes. Very good for me... but Mallory... My poor friend. Of course I was all excited to talk to him, and went to my room so she didn't have to hear me. But I'm pretty sure I was glowing for being able to talk to him. I have been dreaming about him the past couple nights (good and bad), which makes me miss him even more. Then he called back. Twice. The third time he said he called just to say he loves me again. Awww (*puppy dog eyes*). Insensitive me I tell her this after I get back from talking to him. Well, she didn't say anything, but I think that the girl's/movie/lonely night didn't quite work out the way it planned.

I did make her tacos. She'll get over it. I blame Halmark for the overmarketing of the holiday.

Meanwhile... I got to talk to my husband! hooray!

Friday, February 13, 2009


I wanted to write another "TGIF" post, but since I already used that title I thought it might be boring... but nonetheless... TGIF!! Today was a two-test day. I was looking through my schedule (where I have all my tests and paper due dates written down), and I will have a few more of those yet to come. I survived this one, now I just have to make it through the rest of the term.

Today I had a Calculus II exam, and an Animal Physiology exam. I tried to focus on the Calculus exam, because that is the subject I struggle more with, but I was much more interested in studing for Physiology. Even if it was mostly at the cellular level, and like biology. I like biology a whole lot more than calculus! I think I managed to do allright in both of them. Surprise, surprise. I didn't feel prepared for either one (that's what happens when your studying gets split), but when I sat down to do the calculus test the equation just flowed out of my pencil on some of them... Of course, on other questions I stared blankly and wasn't sure what I was supposed to do. But there was more of the former than the latter, so I'll call it a good test.

I skipped the class I had between Calculus and Physiology (Organic Chemistry), so that I could get in the Physiology mindframe. It seemed to work, because I knew most of the information, at least basically, on the test. I was upset about the matching section, though. The professor decided that we were supposed to know the dates associated with different important people in physiology. I don't remember what years Galen did his work! seriously! I thought this was a physiology class, not a history one... but I attempted answers based on process of elimination, so hopefully I got some of those right.

That was my last class of the day, so now I'm home winding down. And missing my husband. I can't even talk to him, because he left for a field exercise yesterday morning, and won't be back until sometime Sunday. So not only do I not get to be with my honey on Valentine's day, I don't even get to talk to him. I was at least able to talk to him on Valentine's day when he was in Iraq. Oh, well. There is good news, however...

Yesterday when I checked the mail I saw there was a UPS slip on our mailbox. I thought that was strange since I wasn't expecting any mail from UPS (just the general post). So I picked it up from the front office at our apartment complex, and saw that it was addressed to my husband. Well, ok. I opened it up, since he won't be home for another week, and I wanted to make sure it wasn't important. It was! He bought me a DIAMOND heart pendant necklace!! 3 little DIAMONDS nestled in there. Oh WOW!! I have never owned anything with diamonds before! It is so beautiful. So thoughtful. He bought it for me before he left so that I would have it by Valentine's day, completely as a surprise to me. Oh I love my husband (and not just because he bought me expensive jewelry, of course). Sorry ladies, he's taken. I can't stop looking at it, and touching it. Quite the treat for me. Now I'm afraid to wear it all the time, since I have the habit of losing and breaking things. But I will have to find an excuse to wear it soon. Maybe tomorrow, get all dressed up and try it on, to see how it looks. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

6 months cancer free!!!

Nope, not me, my husand, or one of my animals...but my dad! He had surgery 6 months ago to remove bladder cancer. And yesterday he got the most recent test results back... no more cancer!! He just called me and I had to share the great news.

Back to the books...

Tears of joy? pain? no... just plain sickness!

Ugh I have that nasty cold again. It seems like it must be the exact same one I had over Thanksgiving, but I'm supposed to have antibodies to that one, right? I got sick Sunday and it's still hanging on. First it was sore throat and general fuzziness... now it's congestion and fuziness (thank goodness the sore throat was gone yesterday). After I got back from classes today, my eyes started running like I just had my heart broken. This might even be worse than what I had over Thankgsiving... I don't remember my eyes tearing up this bad! At least it waited until after I was away from the crowds of school, and I didn't have people asking if I was ok.

I have my first riding lesson tomorrow (yay!), so I hope that I'll be feeling better. Although the first week is only ground lessons, so maybe a little less tiring. I ended up getting placed in the B level, and there are only 3 other girls in the lesson with me. Nice and small! Most of the lessons are 3 or 4 people, since the club only has 7 horses and want to keep them sound. Last term most of the horses went lame! I hope this doesn't happen this term, poor babies.

I finally got a profile picture up! My lap top died while I was home on Christmas break, and it had to wait until I was back in DC to get it fixed. Well, I (my husband) got it fixed. It's still under warranty so we took it to a shop. I got it back last Friday, and this weekend I backed up the files and restored it to factory settings. It had been running very slow even before it crashed. Well, that all went well, but now I can't get the interent to work on it! I keep forgetting to ask my husband about it during our daily phone calls, too. Maybe I'll remember tonight... Fortunately, my husband has a very nice PC I've been using. Since I backed up my files I can put a picture of my horse up. This is the horse I got for my 12th birthday, that my mom is taking care of back home in Alaska while I'm at school.

Can you tell we were having fun in the mud? This was when I was home for 10 days in Alaska last summer. I went on a trip with my mom to Ninilchick and a group ride they were doing there. This picture is courtesy of my mom. Check out her website:

It hasn't been updated in a while, but it still has some interesting things on there.

In this one my horse is actually being good and not trying to eat grass while we pose for a picture...but I look like I'm about to scratch my nose or sneeze or something. I wish I were good at photoshop, because then I could just combine the two and get one amazing picture! The view was very beautiful.
Enough procrastinating on reading for physiology... back to the books!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

That went well

No, really, it did! No sarcasm intended. I am talking about my riding evaluation, of course. I was all worried about picking up the correct lead, but I managed to do that alright. I also demonstrated my two-point (at trot and canter) and rounding at the walk. That would put me at the B level (A is the highest, E lowest), except I've never jumped before. The woman who did my evaluation said that B-level riders know how to do small cross rails. So she'll put me in B or C depending on where it would fit better into the schedule. I'm happy with that!

The Sigma Alpha rush lunch went well yesterday, too. There were only 2 of us rushes, and 16 or so other girls, who are already part of SA. My friend L (who is already in SA) calmed my fears about SA putting another big time commitment on me. It would mostly be meetings once a week, on Mondays. So I'm thinking more seriously about doing it. There are two more rush events that I could go to: one Monay at 5, a greenhouse tour; and one Wednesday at 5:30, Valentine's Crafts. I would like the one Wednesday better, so I could make my husband a Valentine's day card, but I also have a meeting at 5 that same day (for collegiate 4-H) that I don't think I'll be out of by then. We'll see.

I'm sick today, so my brain is very fuzzy. I still have lots of homework to do that I didn't get to yesterday... So enough (fun) writing for now... back to the books!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I have a confession to make: I don't know how to ask a horse for the correct lead! I think I know, but I'm not sure... I've grown up riding, but don't know how to ask for the correct lead. Some horse person I am, right? Well, I can explain.

My family always did trail riding and packing, which does not involve a lot of cantering, let alone caring about the correct lead. All the horses I rode, until I went to OSU and played polo, did not know the cue for the correct lead, just the cue for "canter." When I got to OSU and played polo on the club horses, we didn't care about the correct lead too much, either, as long as they had stop and go down pretty well (some of them didn't).

I got a green horse for my 12th birthday, right around when I would have been learning more of the finer aspects of riding. So my horse and I learned together. However, she is three quarters Arabian, and very high strung. So in lessons and clinics, we did most of our work at the walk and trot. I got very good at rouding and half-halting at the walk and trot! When we did do canter work, it was focused on her being calm and more rounded, not even caring about the lead. At one clinic, when my horse and I demonstrated our canter, the clinician asked if I knew how to do flying lead changes. When I indicated that I didn't, he commented, "Well your horse was doing them back and forth!" I guess that means she's athletic. But, I already knew that. I kept her in shape to do competitive trail riding, the open division, which meant 20 to 30 miles a day in competition. Yeah, she didn't have a problem with flying lead changes... doing them on cue, however? We were (are) both clueless.

The reason I bring this up is because I am being evaluated on my riding tomorrow, for the Equestrian Club. They want to know where to put me for lessons, at what level. I am a very advanced horse person in some ways; I can do ground training, I have helped raise and train a couple foals; I have given beginner lessons before; half-passing, side-passing, turn on the haunches, half-halts, etc, all this I can do, and train a horse to do. Which would put me at a higher level, of course. Ask a horse for the correct lead? Puts me down with the people who don't know how to sit a canter or post. *sigh* I think that I'm supposed to bring my inside leg forward and my outside leg back, and give the cue to speed up... or is it the other way around? I don't know. In the past, I just rounded the horse going in the right direction, and they usually picked it up alright. If they didn't, I'd slow them to a trot and try again... but how much was my fault, and how much their lack of training? Guess we'll see tomorrow!

Friday, February 6, 2009


My friend L asked me how my organic chemistry quiz went (I had class with her afterwards), and I said, "Well you could've done just as well as I did!" And she hasn't taken Organic Chemistry. 'Nuff said.

Last night I was studying for Orgo, and doing my calculus homework. So after I made dinner, I didn't do the dishes! :-o There is an upside to living by myself! I didn't have to feel guilty; there was nobody to care if I did them or not, except myself. I've never lived by myself before, and have never had this experience. When I left home, I was going to school and of course had roommates. Now I'm married and live with my husband, who is quite the neat freak (and a bit OCD about it!), so I was bad and a bit messy. Of course, I did the dishes first thing in the morning. I'm not a slob! It was nice to see a little positive about being here all by my lonesome in a strange city. Ha ha I really don't feel that sorry for myself. I just miss my honey.

Tomorrow I'm going to get a free lunch! It's a rush event for Sigma Alpha, the professional agriculture sorority. I've thought about joining, but I don't think I will this term, it would be that much more responsibility to worry about! I'm just using them for the food. :) Sigma Alpha is a good sorority, not your typical social sorority. I have quite a few good friends who are in the sorority, including my friend L I mentioned in the beginning of this post. But I'm already in the Equestrian Club and Collegiate 4-H, so I don't need another association to make time commitments to. hmm... do I sound like I'm trying to convice myself? We'll see. Free food tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ups & Downs

Well, it's been a few days since my last blog post, so I'd better catch those of you up who will eventually (I hope) read this...

Exciting news first: I got my English 101 exemption!! I turned it in Friday (the 30th) morning, around 9:30, and they sent me an email 12:30 telling me I got the exemption! hooray! I was at home when I got the email, so my poor husband got to see me jumping around for joy. It's just such a relief, since I put so much work into the portfolio, and that I won't have to put all that work into the class this term, and it saves me money in the long run; one less class I will have to take. This term will be hard for me; I am taking 16 credits: Organic Chemistry II (lecture and lab), Applied Animal Physiology, Calculus II, and Biology I (I added that after I dropped English), so it will be nice not to have to write all those time-consuming papers. Biology won't be too bad, I feel like I have a good handle on most of what they'll teach. At OSU, they accepted my IB scores so that I wouldn't have to take introductory biology, but here at UMD they aren't accepting them, I would have had to score one level higher (I got a 5 {out of 7}, they wanted a 6).

But I digress. As for dinner last Wednesday night, which I mentioned in my last blog post, my husband and I went to a Moroccan restaurant, which was very nice! There weren't many people there, it being a weeknight and all, and the food was good. I had lamb (not as good as my mom's cooking, of course) as the main course, and the baklava desert was excellent. Apparently my husband got a coupon for the dinner, from, for He bought a $50 certificate for $3!! Very cool. So that's why we went out for dinner.

My husband also bought a $50 coupon, that we were going to use to go out to dinner with a couple of his friends. We had to spend $100 to get $50 off, so he planned with 2 of his good friends (who are also in the army) to go out Saturday night, the four of us (a double date! I joked, they are both men). Well, they let us down. They went out and got completely wasted long before we were going out (reservations for 7 o'clock), and were in no shape to be doing anything. At 7 they were still at a bar somewhere, so reservations got changed to 7:30. Then they were trying to drive to our apartment (yes, completely drunk, unfortunately nothing I could do about it) using one of those navagators, but couldn't get the address in right. We gave up and canceled the reservations, and the guys went back to their drunken reveilries. It was so disappointing because we had been planning this all week, and my husband left today for 16 days, so they won't see him for a while (not that it affects them like it affects me, but still!). They were so irresponsible, and the ironic thing is that they are both around 30, almost 10 years older than my husband and I, go figure.

So that night my husband and I went to Circuit City, to check out the good deals since they are going out of business, then we went to dinner. We ended up just going to Fudruckers (spelling?), which is of course very tasty, if not exactly the steak dinner we were planning on. I could tell my husband was angry, but he didn't say anything about it, other than that we probably weren't going to hang out with them the next day for the Super Bowl like we'd planned. I'm not a big football fan anyway, I could barely name who was playing. I spent most of my weekend, definitely all of Sunday, reading my Animal Physiology textbook. As dry and difficult as it was to get through, it's a much better use of my time than the super bowl. Gee, can you tell I'm a nerd. "lol"

Like I said, my husband left today, so I'm feeling kind of sorry for myself. He won't be back until the 19th or 20th, so I'm alone in the apartment by myself. I've made a couple friends, but not really close ones, so I won't have a really good girlfriend to hang out with, like I did in Oregon when I felt sorry for myself being away from my husband (he was in Iraq).

I am going to go to my Equestrian club meeting now, hopefully that will cheer me up... it is about horses, after all!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And the saga continues...

I still haven't turned in my English portfolio yet. This time the main reason isn't my procrastination! I had it all ready to turn in, then went to check the website to find the building, and saw this note that said, "Call first before turning in your portfolio." I dialed the number I saw, and discovered that I had done my cover letter all wrong, and needed to include more papers. I called before campus was closed yesterday (as you might recall, at 12:30), and the lady that I talked to said that she would send an email with more information. I didn't get the email, so when I called this afternoon (campus closed until 11 am today... lovely freezing rain), he sent it to me again. Apparently they had the wrong email address (didn't hear the last letter I said *sigh*). I won't get much done on it today since I had classes all afternoon, and my husband and I are going out for dinner tonight. I only have one class tomorrow, though, so I'll have all afternoon to work on it. And really all I have to do is re-write the cover letter (2 - 2 1/2 pages single spaced). The good thing is, I found out that if I turn it in this week, they will work to have a decision on it before the drop date, which was what I was worried about. Yay!

I'm not sure why we're going out for dinner tonight, but I'm not going to complain. We rarely go out, even on the weekends. When he called I was in class (fortunately I remembered to have my phone on vibrate), and when I called him back he asked if I was busy (ie club meetings), then said he was thinking about going out for dinner. He sounded rushed so I didn't ask why. I'll find out when he gets home. Tres excitement!

My husband is leaving on Monday for a 16-day (give or take a couple days for travel) training exercise in South Carolina. He didn't get a choice about when he was leaving, and they only gave him about a week's notice. Usually people know about a month in advance, he told me. This means we'll miss Valentine's Day together. And while I'm not a big fan of Valentine's day because it seems to me to be mostly made-up and too commercialized (like most "Christian" holidays), it's still a nice excuse to do something nice with my honey. We'll do something the weekend after he gets back, maybe. Then the restaurants won't be so crowded! One more reason to be looking forward to dinner tonight. :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let it snow

I was surprised when I got up this morning to see almost an inch of snow on the ground. I like snow. I grew up in Alaska, and I enjoy the winters (mostly). I was on the cross-country ski team in high school, and love fresh snow on the ground; snowfights, sledding, skiing, snow angels... all are advantages of snow!

However, I am now living in Maryland. And people don't know how to drive in snow! This is a worn-out line, and I've used it before, when I was living in Oregon. I thought Maryland got more snow than Oregon, though, and that people might be better about driving it! Well, in my 2-mile drive to the University this morning, I certainly didn't see it. Some people were going too slow, and other people were getting impatient with them, and going to fast, or making stupid moves (trying to pass on slick roads). I had class at 9:30, and I left the apartment at 9, trying to give myself plenty of time. I made it, only a minute late. It should not have taken that long! Traffic was jammed. Not quite as bad as rush hour, but pretty damn close. Usually at 9 am traffic is light. Rush hour is over with, at least by where I live, and there aren't any problems. Not this morning! Some snow on the ground and people don't use common sense. Ah, well, I stayed out of trouble.

One thing that was very annoying was caused by this woman who had gone into the ditch. A tow truck was there right as I was driving by. Well, its a narrow 2-lane road and he had to take up both lanes to pull this idiot out. Which meant me and everybody else behind me had to wait while he pulled her out (yes those are the genders of the people involved). It wasn't too bad, just annoying. I was able to do a risky move and pull around the tow truck, far to the right (the car was in the ditch on the other side of the road), almost into the ditch myself, to get around. I made it (barely), but I don't think anybody else behind me tried the move!

Classes were canceled after 12:30, as well. It didn't affect me, since my last class today was done at 12:20. Normally on Tuesdays I will have an Organic Chemistry lab, but since its the first week of classes there are no labs. I was going to do some things on campus this afternoon, but the entire campus was closing down, so I just left to come home. Slow traffic, but I didn't see any more luckless drivers in the ditch. Enough of my raving... I have organic chemistry reading to do.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Freshman English?

My advice to anybody who is thinking about transferring universities - DON'T DO IT! I transferred last term, from Oregon State University (OSU) to University of Maryland (UMD). My husband, who is in the army, was transferred to DC, so I transferred universities. I want to finish my education, after all.

In high school, I did the IB diploma (IB is similar to AP for those of you who don't know), and OSU accepted my English and Biology scores, so that I didn't have to take the introductory English or Biology. But now UMD won't accept those scores (they aren't high enough), and I have to take these classes to get my diploma.

Today was the first day of classes, and my first class was freshman english. You see, last term they wouldn't let me register unless I registered for English 101, since I am already a junior. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however. I can submit a portfolio for review, to get out of English 101. Nothing I can do about Biology, though. That will just be an extra 10 credits I have to take this summer or next year. I turn in my portfolio for freshman english tomorrow, I just hope that it will be approved for equivalency, and approved in time for me to drop the course!

Now, why didn't I do my portfolio review last term, if I knew about it then, and then avoid having to sign up for English this term, you ask. Well, partly it was procrastination. (I am a very bad procrastinator). There is another reason, however. A major part of English 101 is a research paper they do at the end of the term. Now I had done a major research paper, the extended essay, as part of my IB diploma, that would get me out of English 101 (most likely). However, I had lost all copies of it. The school didn't have it anymore, since that was almost 4 years ago. So, I did my portfolio without it, citing IB publications about the extended essay, and my IB transcript on file with the university. I also included other writing I had done at OSU, but it wasn't a large research paper. Well, because of my procrastination, I didn't finish this portfolio until right before finals, and I was about to leave to go back home to Alaska. I hoped that I could find a hard copy at home in my files somewhere (my mom couldn't find an electronic copy on our computer), so I put it off until I got back, thinking that I could send my portfolio back to Maryland with Lloyd, either way, and get it in before school started.

Well, I did find my extended essay! A hard copy, one of my final drafts right before I turned it in back in October 2005. But then my procrastination kicked in, and my lap top died, so I didn't start retyping it up (I couldn't just scan it, it had a lot of notes on it) until a week before class started, on my mom's computer. So here I am, finally finishing it up and turning it in tomorrow, hoping that my procrastination won't get me stuck in English 101. My friend LP gave me the name of a guy who helped speed up her portfolio process, so maybe that will help, too. I'll know more tomorrow!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My first blog

Ok, so it may not be my first blog. I think I vaguely remember attempting blogging a few years back, when blogs were first getting very popular. But this time I mean to stick with it! I was inspired by this article, recommended by one of my animal science professors:
One of his points is that you should keep a blog as part of your "online identity" so that potential employers, professors, etc, will be able to see some of your thoughts, growth, and achievements by going online. No resume necessary! Perhaps in the future resumes will be moot, the author argues, because everything will be documented fully and (hopefully) accurately, online. Here's my start.

School at University of Maryland starts Monday. I am hopeful that I will be a better student this time, and keep up with my reading, therefore doing better in my classes. Last term was a reality check for me. I got a 3.1, where at Oregon State I had a 3.8. I want to try and pull my GPA at least back up to 3.5. That will be tough this term with Organic Chemistry II (plus lab), Calculus II, and Applied Animal Physiology. But I think I'm up for the challenge!