Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Merry Christmas and Short Update

Well, it has definitely been a while since my last post, and for that I would like to apologize. I just haven't taken the time since I came home to sit down and type out anything, so I guess it's time for me to get y'all caught up.

I left school on Thursday around 3:00 PM, after finishing my Theology exam and other necessary errands. The exam went very well, especially considering that we knew almost all of the material that was going to be on the test. There were four objective sections of the test, of which we could choose to complete three or try all four and she would take the highest scores. Then there was an essay in which we had to discuss major topics from the entire course, and we were able to bring a prepared outline with us to the exam. This final went very well, and only took about an hour and fifteen minutes out of the two-hour time frame. I felt very confident about that exam, and it was nice to be able to go home feeling good, you know?

After I left the classroom for the exam, I went over to the bookstore to sell the books I didn't need any more. I was only able to sell a few of them, since most of my classes for next semester use the same textbooks. I then got all of the books I needed for next semester, hauled all of those back to my room, and got everything ready to leave. I had already packed up my car with my suitcase and some other necessities, but there were still a few things that needed to be loaded up. So, I got all those things packed up, and made sure that the room was all in order. Since we have more than three weeks for Christmas Break, the University requires students to leave campus, unless you make prior arrangements. Also, the rooms must be in good condition, with all plugs pulled, refrigerators defrosted and opened, windows closed with blinds open, lights off, and doors locked. Since I was the last one to leave (my roommate left just a little bit before I did) I had to make sure everything was checked off and taken care of, which for the most part it was, with the exception of course of all my stuff. So, after that I headed out on the road for the drive home.

This time around the trip went very well, and I don't think I hit any real traffic the entire way. I will say though that it was pretty busy and there were a lot of cars, but no wrecks or traffic tie-ups to report. I did stop at the Kentucky welcome center and picked up a postcard for Adrienne, which by the way has a lot of information about the state of Kentucky on it. I didn't make any lunch stops or anything like that since I ate lunch before my exam, but I did stop to get a soda or something like that, and didn't really make any other significant stops. I made it home around 7:30 PM, safe and sound.

Since I have been home, I have been working most nights, but I have still had some time to spend with my family. In fact, the weekend after I got home, we went out and got a Christmas tree (they waited for me to come home, since I'm usually the only one that wants to decorate it). Other than that, there really hasn't been anything significant on the home front.

Well, there are still quite a few things that have occurred since my last post, but it is getting close to work time for me. I will be posting again sometime later this week, since I do have a couple of days off coming up. Then I can update everyone on all the other goings-on in my life. Before I go, I do want to wish all of you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope you all are able to be with friends and family during this most joyous time of the year, and I hope your Christmas is everything you expect it to be.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

First Three Finals Are Finished

Well as you can tell by the title of this post, my finals are almost finished!!! I took two of them yesterday and one today, and then I will have one more on Thursday. Yesterday morning I took Chemistry, which was probably the final I was most worried about. This class had covered quite a bit of material over the semester, and I hadn't done especially well on some of the previous tests. So, I decided that I would do more studying for this one than any of the others, and let me tell you, it really helped! My professor told us to mainly go over the tests (he had posted the answer keys online), which is exactly what I did. Most of the questions on the final covered the material I had gone over, and anything that I didn't know I was able to skip. This was because we only had to answer 5/7 or 5/6 on the short answer section and 3/4 out of the problem section. This ensured that I would answer the questions I knew the best, and that really worked to my advantage. I feel pretty confident that I did well, so I'll just leave it at that.

Later that afternoon, after lunch of course, I had my Spanish final. Now I've done very well in that class throughout the semester, so I was not too worried about the final. I just had to look over vocabulary, cultural information, and some of the new grammatical structures we learned and I would be all right. So, I did look over all of that briefly, and that's mainly what the final covered. There were a few listening comprehension questions that were a little tricky, but the rest of the exam went just beautifully. I had to conjugate verbs into the different tenses we learned and create my own sentences, which is something I've had to do all throughout high school, so that was no problem. So, I'd have to say that this final also went pretty well.

And finally, so far, I took my Biology final this afternoon. This would be a unique final, because the first part would cover the last two sections we studied, since we didn't have time to test over it individually. The final itself didn't take very much time at all, and the entire test was multiple choice, as all of her tests have been. This covered cell parts, systems of the body, the scientific method, and pretty much any other topic I've mentioned in previous blogs. This exam was tricky in points, but I think overall I did pretty well. Some of the answers helped lighten the mood a little bit, like "with a corn cob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal" and "Dasher Dancer Prancer Vixen Comet Cupid Donner Blitzen Rudolph." So, as you can see, my Biology professor has a sense of humor!

Well, tomorrow is my day away from exams, so I will probably sleep in and get everything ready for coming home on Thursday. I will probably put up a post on Thursday or Friday after I get home and tell everyone about my final final: Theology. Until then, hope you are enjoying your week!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Pictures of First Major Snow

Hello again! Well, as promised, I've taken some photos and posted them up here. Just a note though, our snow totals weren't anything like they had predicted, despite the fact that the snow was coming down like nothing else for a while. But we did get a little more than four inches, and that's good enough for me...for now. So for all of those in the South or in sunny California, maybe these will put you into a more wintry or Christmas mood.

:Out on the Residential Mall

:Across the way from my dorm room window

:The Gallagher Student Center, the most prominent building in the center of campus

:More from the Residential Mall, with a view of our giant Christmas tree

:Another from outside my dorm room window

Well, that's it for now, so I hope you enjoy them! Until later, I guess I'll try to get studying for those big exams next week. I'll give y'all a full report later.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

First Major Snow of the Season!!!

As you can probably tell by the number of exclamation points in that title, I'm very excited about our first major snowfall this winter! We have been expecting this for several days, and it actually seems like it is living up to the hype the forecasters were giving us. At times, this snow has been coming down at around and inch to and inch and a half every hour, and everything just looks so beautiful. We are expecting anywhere between three and six inches, but from what I can tell, we have already hit four inches, and it is only 8:00 PM. This is supposed to continue into Friday morning, so I wouldn't be surprised if we see six or even seven inches by the time all is said and done.

I have been out walking in it a little bit (not too much...Don't want to freeze!) and it really puts me into a festive mood. Being from Knoxville, seeing a big snow like this (and for all of those from Michigan or other northern areas, yes, six inches is big for me) is very rare, and something I haven't seen in many, many years. But why do you love it so much you ask? Well, it is just so beautiful and is so much fun, especially for people my age! Oh, and not to mention the fact that I personally don't have to go out driving in it! All those miserly people (I'm sorry to offend you if you are one of those) are complaining about having to go out in the weather. Well, here's what I have to say to that: why are you going out anyways?! Already there have been several wrecks and backups on the Interstate, and I do understand that people are trying to get home, but that's not why everyone is out and about. If people would just be more careful and not go out into this kind of weather, we wouldn't have anything to complain about, now would we? That's enough preaching for now.

Well, I'd love to put some pictures up here from around campus, but since it has been so dark I haven't had the chance. Sometime tomorrow morning I'll make sure to take some, and I'll post them then. Until then, I will be enjoying this, and I hope you all are having a good week (it's almost over!!!).

Monday, December 05, 2005

Hard Week Ahead and Singing Reindeer

As you can tell by the first part of the title (I'll explain the second part later on...), this week is going to be very stressful for me. Since this is the last full week of classes this semester (finals are next week, and they don't count as actual classes), most of the instructors are testing or quizzing us before the finals. Most in my case means four out of my six classes, and the other two have the final quiz/test and the final exam on the same day. My Theology and Biology classes are the latter case, with my Biology test and exam on Tuesday the 13th, and my Theology test and exam on Thursday the 15th.

As for tests and quizzes this week, I actually had one of those this morning. This was a Chemistry test, which covered one of the largest sections of the entire course! (I'll let you know more about how it went later this week.) Tuesday I don't have any tests or quizzes, but I do get the Biology test back that I took on Friday, which I feel fairly confident about right now. Also, right after my Biology class, I have an oral interview with my Spanish teacher, in Spanish of course. In that we will discuss any random issues that she can think up, meanwhile using new vocabulary and grammar structures. On Wednesday I have a quiz in Spanish, which is really just a minor deal and only covers one or two sections that we just learned. Later that day I have my final Biology Lab test (there are no finals in Lab classes), which covers development, the nervous system, sensory organs and perception, and the skeletal system. Finally, as far as assessments go, I have a final Chemistry Lab quiz/test on Thursday afternoon (again, no final Lab exams) that covers pretty much the second half of the course. Then on Friday, all my non-lab classes will go over a review for the final exams next week. Busy, busy, busy...

Apart from tests, nothing has really gone on in school, apart from one special event in Spanish class. Everyone in my class was assigned a particular Spanish-speaking country, and at random I drew Venezuela, which was a country I knew nothing about at all! Luckily for me, I had almost three weeks to find something interesting about it, which was the assignment, and I looked up some of the recreational areas and points of interest in that country. The deal was that each student would grade each other student on a scale from 1-9 (nine being the best), the teacher would average those together, and then average in her personal grade with the student grade. This worked very well, since as one can imagine, the students tend to be a little too generous, so the instructor made sure to have her say in the whole thing. I, of course, am a very strict grader, so no generosity from me, unless they deserved it! After I did my presentation on Friday, which by the way I was very nervous about, everyone told me I did very well and spoke well too. So, today I got back my grade, and I was very surprised that I earned a 93%! Boy, was that a confidence booster! I guess I'm more fluent than I thought I was...

Ok, now to the question I'm sure you're all asking: "What's with the singing reindeer?" Well something I didn't mention about when I came home from Thanksgiving Break was that I brought a little bit of Christmas with me. A few years ago, my family visited Greg and Janie (I mentioned them in my last post), and Greg showed us this great new "toy" he had just bought. It was a moving, singing reindeer that sang "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," with a hysterical "Murry Christmas" ending! (That's right, I said "Murry!!") Well, I just thought the thing was the greatest invention ever, and made it a point to ask about "Reinie," as he called it, every time we saw them. Much to my surprise, when we got together for Christmas that year, that was the gift Greg and Janie gave me! So, I decided to name mine "Deerie" to go along with his reindeer's name. Now, since I didn't have anything remotely Christmas in my dorm room, my mom suggested I bring it with me, and now it sits atop my desk. Below is a picture of it in it's current location.

:Here it is, my hysterically funny little stuffed singing reindeer! Maybe sometime I can upload a sound bite, so all can join in the hilarity.

Well, that's really all I have to report for today. As usual, I will have to report to everyone how all those tests and quizzes go, as soon as I have some results. Until then, have a great week, and for all of those students out there, just hold on; Christmas Break is almost here!!