Friday, October 27, 2006

Nothing Much Is New, But Thank God It's Friday

It has been a long week, as you can probably tell from my title. The fact that it's been cold and rainy for much of this week probably put me in this dumpy mood, but thankfully it's Friday... I don't have anything planned for the weekend (except catching up on some homework and studying), but I will definitely take advantage of the extra hour of sleep Saturday night. Remember the old mantra for Daylight Savings Time? "Spring forward, Fall back." I will enjoy that extra hour.

One of the few interesting things that I did this week was go on a Field Trip with my Botany Lab class. We went to a local park and walked through the woods during our scheduled class time. We looked at the levels of forest organization (overstory trees, understory trees, shrubs, and herbaceous layer) and also identified the different kinds of plants we saw. This particular forest is made up primarily of maple and beech trees, but also contained oak trees and buckeye trees, among others. The understory was made up of pawpaw trees (does anyone know the song about the Pawpaw Patch?), and we could see that there were many young trees growing in patches (hence the song). Shrubs included the invasive honeysuckle bush and herbaceous plants included small grasses and other wild plants.

Along the way, we also got to see mosses, lichen, and fungi, which were found mostly on tree trunks (dead and living) and in very moist areas. We also saw limited animal life (it is cold after all), which consisted mainly of insects, a few birds, and a baby salamander. We witnessed what happens when an overstory tree dies and falls over (can anyone guess?) and also what happens to the dead log (another guess?). We also got to see a lot of colorful leaves right near the end of the leaf changing season. Here's a good question: why is it that leaves change colors in fall? What causes these colors to be expressed instead of the typical green?

After about two and a half hours of walking in the cold, I was very ready to get warm. I jumped in the car (we had to drive to the park) and blasted the heat until I was nice and toasty. My professor had suggested going to a Graeter's for ice cream, but it was much too cold. (Graeter's is quite popular around here as it is a local company, but apparently it is world-famous ice cream. I have been there on two occasions, and it was excellent. Look it up online for more information.)

Since that field trip, the only other event that I would like to mention was another activity in my Botany Lab. We are practicing the art of plant propagation, where we take parts of plants to grow a new plant. We practiced about six different techniques, including using different parts of leaves and the stems. We will have to see what the results are later in the semester, and ultimately we will get to take home our new plants.

Other than these few things, my life is fairly uneventful as usual. I am already looking forward to Thanksgiving break, since there have been lots of tests lately. AHHH!!! Anyways, I hope everyone else is having a good weekend. Don't forget to set your clocks back one hour on Saturday night, and enjoy the extra sleep!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Back to School

Well, I am back from my Fall Break. Let me just say right now that it was not nearly long enough! I got back really late last night (around 11:30) and it took a three-hour nap to catch up on the lost sleep. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day sleep-wise...

As for the break itself, I had a really good time. However, not all of it was spent resting, since I had ulterior motives for this trip. It was again time for my elementary/middle school's Fall Festival, and I once again was in charge of the Alumni Booth. I don't want to get into all the details of the day, but suffice it to say I spent quite a few hours setting up, running the booth, and taking it down. I will try to go into more details later this week, when I have more time.

As I said, I arrived back here at around 11:30 last night. Today I finally got my Sociology project back, and I got an A!!! Thanks again to everyone that helped me with the study. I really appreciate it, and you helped me to do well. Oh, and I also got my first Sociology test back, and I got a B+! It was kind of disappointing, since it was only 2 measly points away from an A; with the test and the project, I should have an A for the class so far.

Well, I've got a little bit of homework to do tonight in preparation for class tomorrow. I have a Chemistry Lab to look over, as well as a Botany Lab test to study for. Thanks again for your participation, and also thank you for all of your comments to my last post. I really found them amusing, and I learned something, too! Until later...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Accents and Colloquialisms

Before I start into the topic at hand, I just wanted to thank everyone again for helping me with my Sociology project. I turned it in Friday, so we shall see how well I did. All the information you gave me was very helpful, but ultimately it will be my analysis that will get me a grade.

Now to the discussion at hand: accents and colloquialisms. We have been studying culture and societies in Sociology, and one of the topics we discussed was language. Everyone who speaks English in the United States speaks it a different way. Most people have some hint of an accent, or even a full on noticeable one. Then there are some people that don't have an accent at all! In particular, we watched a movie in class that went around to different regions to compare the accents. They visited some of the typical "accent headquarters," such as New York, Boston, Texas, and Louisiana. I think most of us would be familiar with these accents, and would be able to pick them out of a crowd. (The most prominent one to me was the Boston accent since it's so distinguished. "Pahk the cah in the yahd. I sar it! Dachesta." In case you didn't get any of that, "Park the car in the yard. I saw it! Dorchester.")

So, I thought it would be fun to see what kind of accents everybody thinks (or knows) they have. And if you are one of those people that doesn't really have a distinguishing accent, you probably still use the language of a certain part of the country (colloquialisms). I will use myself as an example, since this is, of course, my blog. I am from the South, born and raised. I don't have the Southern drawl that is commonly stereotyped, but I do use some of the language and mannerisms. One of my favorite "words" to say is "y'all." In case you don't know what that is, that is simply a contraction of the words "you" and "all," when referring to a group of people.

Does anyone want to share their accents and colloquialisms? Or, would anyone like to comment on the stereotypes of certain people of certain regions? My comment on stereotypes would be that they are merely exaggerations and are not always true. Take the South for example, since I know a great deal about it. If you only watched programs like "Hee Haw" and "The Beverly Hillbillies," you would assume that all Southerners talk really slow with that recognizable accent, and would be relatively simple and uneducated. Of course, that stereotype is clearly untrue, since I am defeating it as we speak...

Well, that's really all I wanted to comment on for today. As you may have noticed on the top of my page, I have a Fall Break coming up this week, and I will be going home for a long weekend. I will probably be away from my blog during that time, so please forgive me. Be assured that I will be back to blogging once I get back to school. Thanks again for you help, and have a great week!