Oct 25, 2013

Life tastes sweeter when it's wrapped in debauchery.

Yes. Yes, Rocky Reads. Tonight, after the dance. I even have the review partially done and saved as a draft right now! This is totally happening.

But first!

Last night I remembered that the schedule for classes next semester came out this week, so I spent a couple hours looking through that, deciding what to take. I was planning on doing calc, analytical chem, arson and explosives, and field testing of drugs. Turns out, for no apparent reason and even though it's kinda like the lab for arson and explosives, they aren't offering field testing of drugs this spring. Which is kinda unfortunate, but doesn't throw me off too much, and I'll take it next spring instead (it's only offered in the spring).

So I was looking at what times all the classes and such are offered, and who teaches what, and checking out ratemyprofessors and all that jazz, and the schedule I'm going to try to end up with is not the most ideal. I was hoping to have Farmer for analytical both lecture and lab, but the time he teaches lecture is super late on TR, which completely messes with my work schedule now. I suppose I can change my work schedule; ask to work Mondays instead of Tues/Thurs, but I really don't want to do that, actually. I probably won't be working Tuesdays anyway next year (probably not come December, even), but I would really like to keep working Thursdays if possible. We'll see; if the lecture I'm currently hoping for fills up, then I'll go with Farmer. He's awesome.

Moving past analytical, there's only one arson and explosives class offered, and I'm excited for it, but it is so inconveniently offered at the same time as any of the calc classes being offered by professors I'm willing to take. Fortunately, I don't actually need to take calc right now. I've already taken it, and I got a D, which is not good enough to graduate on, but it is good enough to use as a prereq, so I can put off taking that until it lines up nicer with my schedule.

Unfortunately, not taking calc or field testing of drugs puts me down under 12 credits, and I'm kinda hoping to be a FT student. I mean, I only work part time. If I also only go to school part time, what will I do with all the rest of the time I have. :) Too overwhelming of a possibility.

So I started looking through some other classes, and assuming nothing fills up before I register for classes, I'll take analytical chem with Hill (who is also the criminalistics department chair) on MW, analytical lab with Farmer on W, arson and explosives on T, and then a couple random for-the-fun-of-it classes: drugs in the criminal justice system with London (who was also my intro criminal justice professor, and he's awesome) on TR and a rock climbing training class for the first half of the semester on T with a few additional Saturday classes/climbing outings.

This makes my schedule incredibly odd. Haha. But I kinda like that, just a little. I'll have class on:
    6:30-9:15 (for the first 8 weeks)
    8:00-5:00 (but there's only 4 of those, also during the first 8 weeks)

I'm a little concerned about how sparse everything is. Only one class on Monday and Thursday? Such a long break between several of my classes? In the past, this has not been a good indication of attendance. But I think knowing that going in will help. There's nothing like being caught off guard about something, and I know that it might be a little bit of a struggle to get there, but I'm going to try to be a better student (something that I've been working on this semester, too). Plus it's helpful that I live so close to the bus stop. There's a ton of stuff to do on campus, I can study for any of my classes, do my homework, etc etc. If I don't really feel like being productive, I can run to the 16th Street Mall for a couple hours, or go hang out in the Boiler Room like I did my first semester and watch TV in there. I know a bunch of people on campus, so I can meet up with them. Another nice bonus is that the classes where I've got particularly big gaps, I'm kinda really excited for.

I might have a 3 hour gap between drugs in CJ system and rock climbing, but I know I'll be willing to stick around for rock climbing. It also helps that that class goes for 3 hours, so we'll be doing a lot of stuff in that one and if I miss it, I'll miss out on a ton of information/practice.
I might have an hour and 45 min break between analytical chem and lab, but that will be time well spent doing my write ups and pre lab and post lab.
I might only be coming in for analytical on Monday, but I need that class and it's not ridiculously early, and it's not ridiculously late.
I might only be coming in for drugs in CJ system on Thursday, but I love that professor and I still think drugs are super interesting, and I love the CJC field.

There might be a lot of things going against me, but I've also got a lot going for me, so I think I can make the semester work out well.

Ooh, and this is what I think is coolest. Analytical+lab is 5 credits. Arson and explosives is 3. Drugs in CJ is 3. All of that is 11 credits, and I was kinda hoping to only have to take 12 credits, but adding another class meant likely having to take 14, maybe only 13 credits if I took a dance class (which I still might do if my one lecture fills up and I have to rearrange things, therefore making it so I can't do the rock climbing class). But, this rock climbing training is a 1-3 credit class, so if I get there and I only want the 1 credit, I don't want to do extra outside-of-class work or whatever, I can only have 12 credits. If I love it though and want to dedicate more time it, I can totally take 14 credits total. It will be nice, because rock climbing is one of my hobbies, and now I'm going to get college credit to do it. And another nice thing is that it's only for the first half of the semester, so about the time I start to get burned out on classes and I want to drop one, I'll be done with it and my schedule gets lighter.

Man. I hope this works out. If it doesn't, I'm sure I'll enjoy whatever classes I end up with, but this would just be the coolest ever.

Oct 17, 2013

You Shall Pass!

I had two midterms this week (both yesterday, conveniently) and they actually went pretty well, I think.

So I was always under the impression that I'm an introvert. For my entire life, I've always believed that. Until like 6 months ago, when I was reading a couple buzzfeed things that people had posted on facebook. One of them was something like "20 feelings that only introverts will understand" and the other was "20 feelings that only extroverts will understand." I read the introvert one first, and understood most of the feelings. Then I was curious so I read the extrovert one, and you know what? I understood most of those, too.

And that was when I decided people are probably not always one or the other, but have episodes of both characteristics.

That was also when I decided that I'm actually way more of a social creature than I realized. It's not necessarily that I'm an extrovert, though. It's not like I desire to go out and talk to random strangers on the street and make friends with people I just met at concerts or whatever. And I do know people like that. It's kinda amazing, a little. But I do like to spend quality time with my friends, both one on one and as a group, and I also like getting to know people who I'm around frequently. Like during class.

Which is what's been cool about school this semester! In previous semesters, I always had multiple classes with the same people because my science classes have a lab with them, and there's always at least a little bit of overlap with the people there. Plus, being in lab with people (especially chem labs, in my limited experience) is a lot of waiting around for reactions to happen. So also a lot of chatting with the people around you and getting to know them. With not having any science classes this semester, I didn't think I'd have that.

But oh, was I wrong. I have two linguistic classes this semester, and there's quite a handful of people who are in both of them. That's been really helpful with getting to know these people, because we have more things to talk about. Which has been good for class, because all these people are like, "Hey, we should do a study session for the midterm in semantics." And then I actually study for my tests (a first for me) and before they happen (another first haha).

On top of that I've got this one random kid, Dante, who I sat by the first day of semantics, and he was like, "Wanna be my sign in buddy?" and ever since, we've been study buddies and I even went over to his house to do my homework, which I then had finished well before it was due (another first!) and it made for a nice relaxing weekend with no homework obligations or procrastination. I was amazed. I might pick up that habit more often. Maybe.

Anyway, after semantics, I usually walk over to health with Dante and we talk, which then helps me get engaged in talking to the rest of the kids in that class. And in ASL, there's a bunch of kids who were in my ASL 1 class last semester, so we're all friends and we talk to each other. In fact on of them, I've noticed, will sign to me and we have like real conversations in sign language, but the other girls he sits by, he specifically doesn't sign to them. He talks to them and is super friendly and all, but if I try talking to him, he signs back to me because he knows I'll understand and we both like the practice. It's cool.

And all of that is how I end up studying and actually being prepared for my midterms and tests this semester. It's fantastic. I'm pretty sure (as I usually am, really) that I will pass all my classes, and that I did well on my midterms, and I'm excited.

PS, I hope you guys like how I came back full circle, there, to tie in my tests again at the end. Yes. :)

Oh also. Since I'm done with tests and such, I had time to read The Blade Itself, so I'll have a Rocky Reads up for that tomorrow, probably. :) yay! I'm a terrible person for ever writing such promises. Haha.

Oct 7, 2013

Let's Start Over

Well. Happy October! This is my favorite month, I think. I love the cooling weather, I love Halloween (easily my favorite holiday), I feel like this is the point in the school year where everyone's getting a handle on classes, so there's more opportunities to hang out with my friends. October is just a good month. Plus, on Halloween night, I'm going to go to the Ender's Game midnight premier! I am so excited for that. I hope it's beautiful. I don't expect it to be as amazing as the book (which, as I've mentioned several times before is my favorite book I've read to possibly obsessive degrees). I do expect it to be entertaining and well done. And I hope it captures some of the beauty of the themes in the book. I really really hope it's more true to Ender's Game than it is to Ender's Shadow. That's really, probably, my deepest desire there.

Can I just say that I really dislike that google reader doesn't exist anymore? It was such a convenient way to keep up with blogs, and without it, I almost forget that I have a blog. As evidenced by my lack of any update for the past couple months. But I've also been pretty busy.

Late August, I moved out of the house. I'm now living with my friends Alli and Trey, who are married, and it's been nice. We live in a town home that's pretty close to my bus stop, and not terribly farther away from work than I was at home. So that's nice. It's a ton of fun living with someone who I've been friends with since 3rd grade. We cook fancy meals together on the weekends when we're both home, and every pay day we buy pico ingredients and make that. It's a lovely tradition.

The only thing is that Alli and Trey are married and only have been for a year and a half, now. This is their first house together (they were previously living in Trey's parent's basement) and they only moved in here like a month and a half, two months before I joined them. So I feel like they should still be living together, just the two of them, enjoying that. But instead, here I am like, "I need a place to live, please!" Meh, I just wish I made enough money at my job to have been able to afford an apartment by myself. And really, if my job were full time, I would be making enough. But with such few hours, I don't have that luxury. Plus I'm also going to school, so. Eventually I'll move out and be out of their hair, and until then, I'm very grateful to them for putting up with me being here.

Speaking of school. I know, I know, I know. I've changed my mind countless times. Why believe me now? I know I decided I wanted to be a linguist. I said I was changing my major and going to be a writer or interpreter or book editor or anything, really. And I'm taking both semantics and intro to linguistics this semester at school, and they're really interesting classes and I'm good at both of them, and I love them both. But I just can't do it. About a month ago, I had a friend over and I was helping him with his chemistry homework, and it was so much fun, sitting there trying to help him understand, working out different problems with him. He absolutely hated it, he says that chemistry is of the devil, but I loved it. Working through these problems was truly fun for me. I want to go into forensics. I want to be a crime scene investigator. I just don't want all the millions of classes that come with the chemistry major and criminalistics concentration. Biology, physics, math math math math, and not a lot of the CSI classes.

I was looking at a bunch of different majors that are offered at Metro, just considering my options. How long until I graduate if I do this? How long if I do that? What if I major in ling. with a double minor in psych and criminalistics? What if I only have one minor? What if I major in chem with concentration in crim, and a double minor in psych and ling? What about blah blah blahblahblah. Basically, I was just looking at how many different ways could I go about combining chemistry, psychology (since I'm almost done with that minor), linguistics, and criminalistics. Not necessarily having all of those together, but combining any of them and seeing what it looks like. If I have the criminalistics concentration, I'm looking at lots of classes every semester until spring 2016, no matter how I pair it. But that's not actually the worst (despite me stressing how much I liked the thought of graduating in a year). It's not the best, either, but I like taking classes and learning and all, so why not?

Actually, I'm sitting here looking at my options, and I found that I can drop all the biology and extra physics classes and extra math and everything if I drop criminalistics as a concentration. If I take it as a minor, then I don't have to do the strictly conceptual aspects; I can actually take an arson/gun/explosives class next semester and a "drug testing in the field" class. I went and talked to my adviser (actually I don't think he's my adviser, but he was gen chem teacher and he's an adviser, so I talk to him) and he was helping me out with all that. I was asking about doing a BA in chem, then maybe having a triple minor in psych, ling, and criminalistics. He thought it was endlessly entertaining that I wanted to take so many classes, but as it turns out, Metro doesn't recognize multiple minors. They do multiple majors; you can have 2 majors, each with a concentration, and then a minor. So you can theoretically have 5 areas of study, but you can't do a double minor.

This means that I would want to major in chem, officially minor in criminalistics (since it would be the most helpful for the career I want) and then unofficially minor in the other two. Just take the classes because I like them and want to learn about it all. Which is a kinda cool deal, and a little bit what I'll do.

I'll do my BA in chem, minor in crim, and then I'll fill in whatever classes I really want from ling/psych/whatever else until I'm taking however many credits I want per semester. So I can still take Latin and I can take psychology of addiction and even do a ceramics class. I do have to take calc again (which I'm also planning on doing next semester) but I'll just actually be disciplined and go to class and pay attention while I'm in class. As a bonus with that, it won't be condensed into a summer semester, and I actually won't ever have to take any more summer classes. My classes will all be nice and chill until I graduate. Almost 100% classes I want to take and am looking forward to (calc is the only exception) and if I want to, I can get away with only 12 credits each semester. It'll be beautiful. But I won't blame any of you for taking bets as to how long until I change my mind again haha.

Just a couple other things to wrap up:
I think Sara and I are done with our Burger Rating Adventures. We've kinda decided that Five Guys is the best (my mistake when I first went there was not ordering enough toppings, but you really can't go wrong if you get your burger "all the way"). We'll definitely still have to hit up the rest of the restaurants on our list, but as for how official it will be? We'll take pictures, we won't give it an official rating, but we'll let all ya'll know how it was. This will just be a "when we get around to it" kind of thing, though. But until further notice, consider 5 Guys to be the best burger in the Denver/Thorntonish area. :)

Rocky Reads will continue, I promise. I'm trying to balance school and homework right now, but I have a ridiculous amount of free time where I'm actually just watching New Girl with Alli or on the computer. So I'll stop being lazy, and I'll go back and reread whatever chapter I'm on in The Blade Itself, and I'll get on that again. As a side note, though, I did go back and I started reading Game of Thrones again! I'm almost caught up to where I first left off with it like a year and a half ago. Which is exciting, imo. Books are so beautiful. Alas, I don't have a time line for when I'll get back to Rocky Reads. Maybe next week, but I've got a couple tests/midterms coming up this week and next, so no guarantee there. Before October ends.

Webs in the Making isn't forgotten, either. I know I haven't written chapter two yet, but that's because I'm not sure what I'm doing in chapter two? I used to talk all this through with my friend Ally, but our schedules are fairly opposite of each other currently, so we haven't gotten together to talk about that yet. I know what the overall story is doing, it's just figuring out whereish I want to take it right now and thinking about pacing and when to bring in other story lines (if I even do, because this is the novel I wanted to write, and if I put all of it on a blog, would it really be worth it to try to get it published? That's a real question, please feel free to answer it with what you think :) ) and all, so. I'll get together with Ally this Friday, though, so maybe I can get that up on Saturday or Sunday!

I feel good, though. I'm going to do all my homework Wed, then I'll have Thursday free to go grocery shopping and work, and Friday night we're going to play True American (which is a game from New Girl) and then work again on Saturday, and that's it for my plans. I have plenty of time to read TBI and work on my story blog and read more GoT. Life is good.

Oh, except when it's not. Feel free to skip this last part of my blog, I'm just going to sit here and complain about things that have not been terribly awesome, recently. My life is going well, and I'm happy for the most part, but things have been a little rough.

It's not that anything all that bad has happened recently, but. The other week, we had to put Maggie (the family dog that we've had since I was in 6th grade) down. It was really sad. She deteriorated really quickly, but I'm going to call that a blessing, actually. She was happy for her entire life, right until the very very end. I remember when we had to put Lacey down, and that was a lot harder. But only because I wasn't living at home anymore with Maggie, so she wasn't as prominent a part of my life. But she was still a good dog, and I miss her.

I also miss mom and dad. And Jack. They all moved to the other side of the country, and though this isn't the first time I've lived far away from them (ah, China. How wonderful you were), this is the first time that it's permanent. And it's not bad, this was not a bad thing to happen. It's just different, and something to get used to, you know? Getting used to phone calls to catch up instead of going over to the house and also bumming some food while I'm there.

But it's kinda a little more lonely. And there's people I can talk to about it; I have friends. Haha. All of my close friends I feel like I can talk to and it's fine, but I only really have 3 maybe 4 people I would want to talk to about this. Because I'm looking for a specific reaction. I just want a, "Yeah, that sucks," and then to move on and maybe go get some frozen yogurt or something. And that's not the reaction I'll get from most people if I tell them, because generally I'm friends with people who are more sympathetic than that.

At church last week, someone was just talking to me and he's like, "How are you? Did you have a good week?" and I was actually in a good mood-- I had just given a fantastic lesson-- so I replied cheerily, but still, "Yeah. Actually no, not really." (I did have to think for half a second. You know, just giving the standard reply, then realizing the standard reply wasn't true) and I could tell by the look on his face, that if I went on to tell him what all happened, it would end with his pity. Oh, I'm so sorry, here let me give you hug and feel bad with you and do you want to talk? Do you want to cry? And I'm ok. Really. It's kinda rough, but I'm adapting and it's just not the kind of attention I want. So instead of elaborating or telling people what's wrong, I just don't tell them. Haha. Eliminate the possibility for their pity. But that's a little bit of a lonely path.

What sucks most is that I've told most of my people that I want to. But the person who I haven't really been able to talk to about it a whole lot is the person who I wanted to tell most. He's just busy with his life, and that's not wrong of him, I'm certainly not mad at him, but it's hard. He has school to focus on, and he has a relatively new girlfriend that he wants to hang out with all the time, and he's kinda looking for a job, and he has other friends he wants to hang out with and all. And all of those are good things to have. He's really not doing anything wrong, and I don't fault him.

But he and I were really close once, not too long ago. We used to hang out all the time-- that was it. We were never anything more than that, but it was nice to have a friend who was so easy to get along with and for who the relationship was so natural. I've had 1 other friend that I had such a natural relationship with, and it was nice to get another. Plus, he served as a link to help me build friendships (which were almost starting to stand on their own without him being around) with other people at church as well. But he's just busy, and having this girlfriend, he doesn't need my company so much anymore. Which isn't wrong-- he still likes me as a friend, we still talk on the phone occasionally. But not for very long. I want to tell him about all this, but we haven't hung out at all since it's become a problem. The dynamic changed, and maybe someday it will go back, but it also might not ever, and that sucks, because he was a good friend.

The end. That's the good and bad going on in my life. But I feel good. I feel like things are going my way.