Archive for January, 2008

I Am What I Eat (or Read)

To give you some idea of the type of writing I’ve been gorging on lately, (by way of Medieval History and Critical Reading) today I said the following aloud to myself:
Why cannot my coffee keep its heat?
And then I rolled my eyes.

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Mary Rocks

My friend Mary is awesome – smart, versatile in her talents, visionary, and creative. I’m so proud of her and what she’s done with her life, especially considering the ordeals she’s overcome to accomplish it all.

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At least then I wouldn’t have to admonish myself for the excruciating jealousy that choked me when I read this.

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You’re It!

I was tagged by Jessica. I didn’t know this was a “thing” people did until just now…
I’m late in my response to being tagged, since it happened nearly a month ago. But here I go anyway.
The rules:
Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
Share 7 random and/or weird things about yourself.
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

The 7 things:
1. I have a severe weakness for cheesy Christmas movies and romantic comedies. Despite the contrived plots, shallow characters, and insipid dialogue, there is something appealing that I can’t identify. Sitting down with a bowl of popcorn and a movie like Sweet Home Alabama is my idea of a perfectly comfortable hour and a half.
2. Price stickers on the front covers of books make me homicidal. There is nothing worse than a glaring orange 40% OFF sticker obscuring half the title. I want to slap the people who do this. Not to mention, ripping it off is always a crap shoot; you might leave behind some of that disgusting sticky crud that collects dust and fuzz and sticks to the book shelved beside it.
3.I can’t sleep if my bed is not made before I get in so that the sheets and blankets are straight and even on both sides – even if that means I make it right before I go to bed for the night.
4. I love to sort, wash, dry, and fold laundry. There are few things I find more tedious than putting the clean folded laundry it the proper drawers. For this I have no explanation.
5. I am possessed of several latent artistic talents. The immature state of these abilities provides an endless source of guilt, feelings of inadequacy, and general mopiness.
6. I am fascinated by Johnny Depp and Ellen DeGeneres.
7. I love to bake goodies and listen to other people tell me how great they are. (They are usually great, but not always.)
The 7 People:
1. Karen of Kaos
2. Rob of Obviously Rob
3.Teri of finding my niche
4. MaryBeth of Bonita Dias
5. Casey of Casey West
6. I don’t have enough friends
7. with blogs to fill in these spots.

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Don’t shop at your campus bookstore for your college books until you search and compare prices elsewhere. All of the books I would have purchased from the bookstore were only available new and the total came to $287.40. And I’m only taking three classes. I can’t imagine what it costs for a full course load.
At the risk of sounding like an advertisement: I used Campusi to search for textbooks and compare prices from loads of booksellers. Smartest time I’ve spent so far in college. You can search by ISBN, title, or author. Then it will display the results in ascending order of price including shipping costs. There are often coupons available for discounted shipping on larger orders or for new buyers from a given site. When you click your chosen item to purchase, you are then redirected to the site hosting that item – half.com, Alibris, Amazon, etc. Then, you can search that seller for the rest of your books because sometimes it’s cheaper to buy more from one seller (shipping is usually discounted) even if the initial price of the book is more. It’s not always better that way, but often combining at least a few of your books to one seller will get you better rates for shipping which of course lowers the total cost of the book.
Shipping prices are where you can really get screwed. If you’re not careful, you’ll think you’re getting a great deal, but then shipping on your $7 book costs $10. So the important thing to consider is the total price of book and shipping. It’s for this reason that I’m actually purchasing one of my books through the campus bookstore. Turns out, even if I can only buy it new, it’s still a better price than what I found online. Plus, I won’t have to wait for delivery.
So thanks to the convenience of Campusi, I’ve spent $169.53 on 11 books, and I saved $117.87. This is a great deal for me because I plan on keeping several of the books that are pertinent to my major and other interests. So it’s money I won’t be making up later.

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In All Fairness…

The University didn’t tell him he was teaching the course this term, so he didn’t know he was supposed to show up last week.
But days 2, 3, and 4 more than made up for last week’s blunderous lack of substance.
On Thursday, Intro to Critical Reading has me farther through Gulliver’s Travels alongside Reader Response Criticism, on which I am to present – with the help of my group – three or four major principles, what I like about my chosen critical approach and a quote from the text to illustrate it; then apply this critical approach to either Part two or three of Gulliver’s Travels. Next week there is an exam on Gulliver’s Travels and all five criticisms we’ve covered in the past two weeks.
Monday’s online class wants a discussion board introduction and completion of Unit One from Becoming a Master Student.
Tuesday’s Medieval History is requiring lots of reading, which is difficult without the books. I may not even get the books for this class until after next week, so I probably won’t be completing this on time.
I’m not sure what to make of any of this.

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Too Grown Up for College?

My first encounter with higher education has left something to be desired. I felt the doom of Medieval History when I learned three days prior to the first class that the professor still hadn’t assigned a book; at the same time, I discovered that book assignments were due to the book center by mid-October. Two and a half months late – indicative of a chronic problem? I rolled my eyes and figured it wasn’t a big deal for the first class.
I arrived 15 minutes early, forgetting my water bottle in the car and realizing that there was no way I had enough time to go back for it before class started and also realizing there was no way I could concentrate with the dry burning drought overcoming my throat. I made three trips to the water fountain during those 15 minutes.
The class is small which is fine. The professor was late which is not fine. The guy in the row next to me looks just like the principal from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. (Incidentally, he was the guy in Howard the Duck too. I don’t remember anything about that movie except that my parents watched it when I was young, the name stuck in my head, and so did Jeffrey Jones’ face – a.k.a. Ed Rooney.)
Class was scheduled to begin at 7 pm. At 7:10, I remembered why I was always so annoyed in Jr. High school: Correlation? Our first “class” was held in a middle school. It’s because I could never sit back in my chair to be comfortable because my hair would get wrapped around the head of that screw on the chair back that held it onto the frame. EVERY TIME. If I for a moment forgot or ignored this simple requirement for perfect posture, the second I tried to lean over my school book or scoot forward to write some notes, I received an abrupt and tear-inducing reminder. Somehow, even hairs from the front of my head, like just in front of my ears, managed to get tangled on that mean screw. Seriously, grab a pinchful of hair from your hairline just above an ear and yank them out. HOLY SHIT!
And people wondered why I never smiled back then. Pain…lots of pain.
That memory came screeching back as I ripped out about 12 hairs from the base of my skull. So I have to endure this professor’s tardiness and apparent incompetence while suffering some weird Chinese hair-pulling torture.
At 7:20 the proctor person who directed us all to our proper rooms – since we were meeting at a different building than we will henceforward – informed us that she hadn’t heard from Professor MIA and that we were free to go or we could stick around another 10 minutes if we so desired. Everyone in the room too immature to vote this year wooted, attached cell phones to ears, and ran out. The rest of us discussed the inconvenience momentarily only to discover that none of us had any more information regarding course materials or the alleged instructor. So class dismissed.
Seems I had enough time to go back for the water bottle after all. Thus concludes Day 1 of College.
Status: Confidence in institutions of higher learning is waning. Hoping tonight’s class inspires a bit more.

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