September 24

Whew! I can’t believe I’ve made it through four weeks of college! I’m already much better off thanks to more friends, more experience, and more opportunities.

Some of the longer days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) really wiped me out these past few weeks. But, I have a new strategy. I come back to the dorm for a relaxing lunch and to finish up little homework assignments. Then, after staying in Graphical Communications long enough to finish the assignment (Prof Sun instructs for the first hour, and then we can leave for the second if we wish. I stay because I get great 1-on-1 help from her. Plus, Chemistry is only an hour after that and in the same building, LB  -Engineering-.), I sit on the cushy sitting area on the third floor listening to relaxing music so my mind’s ready for Chemistry. May sound cheesy, but it’s certainly working well so far!

I tried going to Jazz Band one Wednesday, but unfortunately, every Monday and Wednesday after that, I’ve had to do homework or go to some group meeting. I just don’t know if I can really accomplish being in the band this semester. I miss playing my soprano sax very much, but school has to come first.

In recent weeks, I have finally been assigned my first papers. I finished both already to be prepared. Plus, writing comes easy for me, so I really enjoyed “cranking them out”. The first was for Engineering Physics 101. I chose the topic of the Night Witches, the women Russian fighter pilots during WWII. Their story is amazing and it had to be told! I’ve actually seen one of the planes they flew at Paul Allen’s National Heritage Collection in my home state of Washington. I really admire their piloting skills as well as extreme courage. The second paper was for my Honors Seminar class. Because of Scrooge and his negative Malthusian outlook on things, we watched “A Christmas Carol” in class and then were assigned to imagine the conversation between Ebenezer and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come should the ghost actually be Oedipus (from Oedipus Rex by Socrates), Edward Lorenz (from Chaos by James Gleick), or Thomas Hardy (writer of Convergence of the Twain). I really enjoyed writing a “what-if” kind of story about it!

I’ve also survived some quizzes and a test. Most had very good results, but one did not. For all, though, I studied to the best of my ability, and can have no regrets. It’s not wise to judge your final grade or rest of your semester by the first quiz. I’ve had to keep telling myself that! 🙂 From talking to other students who also didn’t start off the class well I have heard that they still got A’s or B’s. So, no worrying for me! One important thing to share with you: never be afraid to talk to the professor! I managed to earn 4 more points on my Calculus test by asking about the grading and explaining my answer.

Chemistry has had some ups-and-downs. As you can probably guess, I didn’t do so well on the first quiz. But, two days later, I easily could’ve taken it and gotten 100%. Sometimes I feel like I’m always a step behind. But, other days were very victorious. I loved doing the take-home group quiz. It’s what Prof Cameron fondly calls, a “booger” problem. I spent 2 ½ hours typing it up, color-coded and everything, after we solved it in record time. For putting the solution together as well as reporting on everyone’s participation, I get 4 extra credit points! I’ve learned so much already and I have been getting help from so many different people that I look forward to doing well on the first test. I will be studying hard this weekend and praying hard before, during, and after the test on Wednesday! I’ll let you know how it goes!

Some of my favorite days have been not only doing well in classes, but having fun, of course! Sundays are always wonderful. Each new week we meet more people who want to try Riverbend Community Church. I’ve also loved being in Christian Fellowship Club. I joined the worship team, so I do the female vocals now. I also go to Bible study every Thursday night. The past few Thursdays I’ve enjoyed going to the student center right after the study for Touch-N-Go’s weekly movie presentation. I saw Pirates 3 and Fantastic Four 2.  I’ve been shopping with my friends, forced to play Halo, watched a hilarious comedian DVD at a friend’s house, and made a pyramid of people on the beach in the late evening. I’ve also had tasty Italian food for the Honors picnic, went to Baskin Robbin’s for ice cream with CFC, and joined a flag football team for no other reason than fun and exercise! There’s always so much to do, but I still have plenty of time not promised to people so I can relax and do homework when I need to.

The most amazing thing to me recently has been the weather. I’ve never dealt with rain quite like this before. It’s so juicy and it comes down so hard! Very different from NW rain, that’s for sure! My mom sent me a coat from REI, so I’m doing better. I always pack the coat, shorts, and an umbrella since it comes and goes so quickly.

Just in case some of you out there are curious about meal plans, I’ll tell you what I like to do. I have 19 a week and almost always have 1-3 left-over to get cereal and drinks on Saturday. For breakfast, I eat in the buffet here in the student village. If I’m running out of time, I grab a breakfast bagel at Einstein Brother’s and eat it on the way. For lunch, if I am staying “out” (i.e. away from the student village and just waiting for my next class), I get a panini and salad in the student center. If I come back, I grab a salad or sandwich from Einstein’s. I love the Italian chicken and BLT sandwiches! 🙂 Finally, for dinner, it’s a great social time to meet friends and hang out in the buffet. Free ice cream, duh!

I have much to look forward to in the coming weeks! I will be sure to tell you all about my latest adventures in my next journal entry. For now, I’ll just give you an idea of what I’m trying to go to: Piper Aviation Company (Honors Society field trip), Halloween Horror Nights (Just for it being cheaper and going on rides, I don’t care for haunted houses and stuff; Honors Society). And, I’m counting down the days until my dad visits! He’s coming early November when we have a long weekend and Homecoming. I haven’t decided what we should do yet, but I can’t wait!

Until next time… goodbye four weeks!

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