Quick Note

I just have a few things to say, so I’ll keep it short.

First, Happy New Year! Hope you’ve got some good resolutions, and if you’re going to get trashed tonight at some party, remember that I said not to drive home. Don’t call me for a ride, though, because I’m hoping to find a party and do the same thing. On that note, if you do know of a party (in Tucson, AZ), let me know!

Second, anyone who is not watching the Armed Forces Bowl today needs to be doing so. The Air Force Academy is playing, and my brother is in the Drum and Bugle Corps. This means that there might be a chance that the camera will pan quickly across the band, and my brother will be seen playing the big bass drum. My family is watching the entire 3-hour game for the slight chance that we might get to see him for a brief second. Actually, not only are we watching the game, we are having a party and inviting a bunch of people over. We haven’t seen much of him in six months, give my mom us a break.

Finally, I really am in the process of pulling together a series on study strategies and tips. I have a lot of material, and need to think about how I want to organize it. I’m hoping to have it started within the next week, and will probably do one post a week or so. If you have any thoughts on how I could organize this, or questions/issues that you’d like to see me address, please let me know by comment, or by emailing me.

Enjoy your New Year’s Eve!

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It’s Been A While

I know, I know, I’ve been lazy lately. In my defense, I haven’t been lazy – I’ve been busy. I just finished a semester of 19 credit hours: 15 at my university and 4 more at the local community college. Why would I put myself through this agony, you ask? So I can graduate next semester. And, assuming I don’t fail anything in the spring, I will. I’ve got all the right classes added, and my advisor has checked everything out for me. I won’t get into the gory details of dealing with that one stupid class that I need and they decided not to offer next semester; we’ll just say an hour in an office with two advisors got everything taken care of.

Merry Christmas! Or Happy Whatever-Holiday-You-Celebrate! Have you started thinking of your New Year’s Resolutions yet? Just think, all the stores will have their fitness equipment on sale in the first week of January. That way you can accomplish both your resolution of saving more money and of losing weight! Two birds…

Personally, I’m in the process of learning a few things. (Clearly, I have too much time on my hands. Maybe I should have been blogging.) I realized recently that there is a list (in my head) of things I’d like to learn someday, and if I don’t start on that soon, I’m going to wind up in a real job with no free time and won’t ever get around to them. Because I have so much free time right now…but that’s a different story. My list looks like this: Read the rest of this entry »

Senior Year Landslide

I’m slowly being crushed to death under the load of Senior Year of College. Read the rest of this entry »

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Crazy Homework Week

Have you ever had one of those weeks where everything that could possibly be assigned, was?

That was this week for me. By the time Thursday night rolled around, I had reasonably important assignments due in three of my classes, and a very important paper due in the other one. I tried not to procrastinate, really I did. I started the work for the paper on Tuesday night, but unfortunately didn’t do anything else with it until eleven hours before it was due. It only took about an hour or so to write the paper, and the research and preparation process probably would have gone a lot faster had I not tried to do it only during the commercial breaks of Futurama. My two best friends were also “working” on the paper with me, even though all three of us really do wok better alone and without the TV on. Still, I was pleasantly surprised that I was only up until one o’clock in the morning.

The next day I found out that one of the assignments I had completed and printed off the computer was supposed to be 20 measures long, and mine was only 11, so I had to re-do it. That probably just means I should have found that information out before I worked on the homework.

Fortunately, it’s now the weekend. I celebrated by sleeping all afternoon after I got home from work. I do have a few things that I need to work on before next week, but before I could do that I had more pressing needs to meet.

I’m making progress on my application for the internship with the Arizona Legislature that I mentioned here. I finally contacted one person who will write me a letter of recommendation, and hopefully the other person will be calling me tomorrow or Monday. I wrote the essay before my nap this afternoon, although I will have to do some editing and come up with a good conclusion. I have to fill in the application and print it out, but that part will be easy. The scary part is the interview.

All in all, not a good week for me. I have been eating rather healthier than normal, but that’s due in part to my roommate cooking actual food for both of us last night.

Also, I introduced my friend to the concept of Dream Dinners. My mom uses this service for the family, and when I moved out, she started buying me three-serving meals to help alleviate my inability to cook. Once a month, customers go to the store front, and assemble dinners – as many as they need (and are willing to pay for). These dinners are very high-quality, and are stored in the freezer until you are ready to cook them. I brought the stuffed shells over to my friend’s house to cook them and she immediately decided to tell her mom about this. (We’re in college. Getting our parents to pay for food is considered normal.) Personally, I think this whole business concept is a great idea, and a great way to get me to eat a decent, healthy meal once in a while. Unfortunately, I’m all out of meals at the moment, so it looks like Mom and I need to stock up for another month. Or I could just raid her freezer. She has plenty of meals, and no more kids left in the house.

Well, that’s been my week. I’m enjoying spending time with friends, and am happy to be back in school, despite the unbelieveable amounts of homework that corrsepond with a 19-hour credit load. I actually really enjoyed working on the paper Thursday night. If that doesn’t make me a music geek, I don’t know what does.

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School Year Resolutions: Part 2

This is part 2 of a 2-part series. Click here for Part 1.

Resolutions related to my health, both physical and mental.

7. I will eat better.

When you set goals, you’re supposed to make them specific. This one is about as vague as they come, so I have some specific aspects to highlight.

I’m going to try to pack a lunch a few times a week to take to school. This will cut back both on meal plan costs, and on the amount of junk food entering my body. PB&J is my best friend. I’m going to keep fruit and nuts on hand for snacks at all times. If I run out, I will go to the store and buy more. I will learn to cook, so I don’t rely on processed food for every meal.

Finally, my big breakthrough in food: I will find some way to make some vegetable taste good. (Actually I already like corn and potatoes, so I’ll start there.) In learning to cook, I am determined to find some way of cooking at least one form of vegetable so that I will actually eat it. I’m 21 years old, it’s time to stop eating like a first-grader. I’m going to try different spices and herbs, and see what works.

8. I will exercise every day.

Last year, I rode my bike to class every day. (Most days, anyway.) This year, because of my class at the community college, I will be driving to my classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have decided that those days, I will do something in the morning (see number 4) to get my heart beating. I can go for a bike ride, I can run, or I can even just go for a walk. Of these, the only activity that I enjoy is walking, but I’m considering trying my hand at running to see if I can get in the habit.

9. I will write something every day.

I’m going to make more of an effort to keep this blog up. I’m not promising to post every day, because I just don’t see myself with the ability to crank out a full post that often, but I am going to write something, even if that just means scribbling down my thoughts on why I’m frustrated with some assignment. I’m considering setting a word limit, so I have to write a certain amount every day. I’m going to wait until I get into my classes to see what is really possible for me.

10. I will carry a book with me.

I enjoy reading. I don’t often have time to read, but would like to have the opportunity if I’m sitting around waiting for something. (Think standing in line, or waiting for a dentist appointment.) I’m going to get a new library card, since I don’t have any clue where my card from almost ten years ago is now, and I’m going to check out books. Books are expensive. There’s no point in spending money I don’t have when I could borrow it just as easily. If I find a book worth buying, I can check out Bookman’s. The bookstore could be a reward for reaching a goal, though. I love shopping in bookstores.

If I have a reading assignment for class, I will carry a textbook with me. I will make exceptions for this if the textbook is particularly huge. (I haven’t seen any of my books yet, so I don’t know.)

I will also compile all the listening assignments for my music classes into a playlist on my iPod and listen to it regularly. This is the only reliable way I have to get the music into my head, and I’ve discovered how much I enjoy listening to my iPod everywhere I go as I’ve been walking around Berlin. I have a radio transmitter so I can listen in my car, and will bring headphones so I can listen as I walk between classes.

11. I will carry my camera with me.

Before I left for my trip to Berlin, Germany earlier this summer, I was given a wonderful camera to document my trip. In doing so, I have discovered a love for taking pictures. I’m still very clearly a beginner, and since the best way to learn is to practice, I hope to start carrying my camera with me a lot, and give myself the ability to practice whenever I see an opportunity.

This doesn’t seem like something that really applies to my health, does it. (Well the first post was about academics, and it certainly doesn’t fit there…) Actually, I think it does. Taking pictures has become something I love to do, and I expect it will be a welcome escape from my homework.

I just have to remember to not let my photography, or reading, writing, exercising, and cooking for that matter, become an excuse to procrastinate on something more urgent.

School Year Resolutions: Part 1

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this next school year. Due to a combination of not choosing a major til my second year of college, not taking as many credit hours each semester as I should have, and key courses not being available, my next two semesters are going to be the busiest ones of my life. In the fall, I will be taking 15 credit hours at the university, as well as 4 at the local community college, because I just need one more semester of Spanish to have all my Gen-Eds done. In the spring, I am expecting to be enrolled for another 15, not including the internship that I need. One of the classes each semester is notorious among music students for being the hardest in the entire major. I will be responsible for massive amounts of homework, as well as knowing long, involved classical pieces inside and out. Also, I still have a part-time job teaching. So like I said, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how I’m going to prevent myself from losing my mind this year.

Better yet, I made a list.

11 resolutions for surviving my school year

Part 1 – The academic resolutions. Read the rest of this entry »

Coming Soon…

…my last year of undergraduate education. (Hopefully.) I always qualify that, because I know that with the way things tend to work at the University of Arizona, something could very well go wrong that requires me to take one or two more classes just when I thought I should be done. I’ve spent a lot of time agonizing over reviewing the requirements for graduation in my major, and a little bit of time getting my advisor to check and make sure I’m right, so hopefully, everything will be fine, and I will obtain my BA in Music in May 2009.

I’ll stop with the self-congratulating now.

Unfortunately, before I get to graduate, I will have to endure what should be the two hardest semesters of my life so far. (Note that I’m leaving room for grad school in there.) Since my typical method of organization could be accurately described as non-existent a month into the semester, I’ve been brainstorming ideas for how I’m going to survive this school year.

Over the next few days, I will post these plans as a two-part series. The first part is going to be related to the academic aspect – keeping my life organized – and the second part is going to deal with my health, both physical and mental.

I’m also going to be blogging about my success, or lack thereof, as incentive to keep up the good work. I will post something once a week, indicating my progress with my stated goals. Public exposure is an excellent motivating factor, after all.

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