October 23

Hello, all!

Next week is shaping up to be a tough one, but certainly manageable. I have my second Chemistry hourly exam, my second Calculus test, and I find out whether or not I am accepted into the Space Physics Research Lab program (SPRL). To explain what SPRL is I’ll catch you up on the last few weeks:

I might as well start with that tough class you always hear so much about from me: Chemistry! Many things have improved. Right after my last journal entry, a miracle happened- I finished a quiz. And it had the RIGHT ANSWER. Gasp! I was ecstatic! I drew a nice sunny scene on the paper to celebrate. Professor Cameron gave me a teasing smile as he collected the quiz. The next week, we had another quiz. I did my best to relax and when we got the paper, I easily completed the problem. But he had also added a short answer question. The problem was I hadn’t studied bond types yet, so I was just “shooting in the dark”. Then, when we turned it in, I realized I had made the stupidest mistake of my life! I answered the bond question pertaining to the problem on my quiz instead of the one written on the board. As I found out later, he was compassionate with me and gave me two points for the answer I put. Amazing. So, that quiz became an 8/10. Then, last Friday, we had our last individual quiz before the test. Somehow, I had missed hearing about it, so I didn’t have time to be concerned. I got a beautiful 10/10 again! I love heat transfer! If improvement on quizzes wasn’t “happy” enough, we also have an extra credit group quiz to do this weekend. +10 points! I will also give 100% as I study for the test. I think I can do really well!

Christian Fellowship Club has been fun and uplifting as usual! We learned about Moses one night before going bowling. Last weekend, we had the annual picture scavenger hunt. It was great fun sprinting all over the campus. My team managed to win and get some great photos out of it all, too!

Another thing that makes weekends so wonderful is the time! I have time to rest, exercise, and do laundry. I also do that on Tuesday and Thursday since the class load is much lighter. I started an exercise routine that I’ll try to do Sun, Tues, Thurs, and maybe Sat. I bike for 15 minutes at whatever speed I can take. Then, I stretch a ton (I don’t want to get tight, bulky leg muscles!) and do some crunches to get that proverbial flat stomach (might take awhile…). Finally, I do a 1-mile jog at 5.7 miles per hour. The little exercise room by the Student Village bridge is awesome. It’s usually deserted and I can leave the lights off to have a cool, peaceful environment with the iPod groovin’.

Many changes on Wood 5th have occurred since I last wrote. My room is decked out in fall/Halloween decorations from a package my parents sent. It had a cute light-up pumpkin, Snoopy with a pumpkin costume on, candy corn, and a pumpkin/cinnamon room spray. Pretty cool stuff! I also got a Halloween card from them and one from my grandma. The final, best touch was putting fabric leaves on the door and TV. I suppose the decorating got me in a cleaning mood because I decided to clean and organize my roommate’s stuff. She always talked about picking-up but is perpetually too busy. Navy ROTC is tough! So, as a gift to her during difficult times, I attacked the mounds of stuff.
She went home for the weekend, so I had plenty of time.

Before I got too far, Spree (another journal writer) knocked on the door. Her dad was visiting and he wanted to take some of our floor out for dinner. Seven from Wood 5 came along. We stopped at Chili’s, but they couldn’t adapt to the water problem so they were closed. (Just in case you didn’t hear, in Daytona, we had a water main break, so we couldn’t drink water except bottled for several days.) So, we walked over to a favorite of mine, Buca di Beppo’s. The chatter, laughter, and eating was a very special time. Spree’s dad was so nice to pick up the bill for all of us! Crazy!

When we got back, I talked to my best friend for an hour on the phone. Then, I heard the 4 people going to Alabama (One guy was taking three others to visit his home) out in the hallway, so I went out to say “Bye!” I ended up staying out there and talking until 3:30. I’ve never stayed up that late here! At least I can sleep-in to my heart’s content on Saturdays.

On Saturday, I had even more fun with floormates. We shared vacuums, coffee, and even flying Styrofoam airplanes. Another project began when I decided to clean the bathroom. It took a bit of time, but it looks great now.

Finally, the moment of truth arrived. I was so nervous about my roommate’s reaction that I went into the study room. Suddenly, she came in and gave me a big hug. She was very excited. I’m so glad I could be an encouragement to her. If only we can keep it looking this clean! The rest of the night we heard the stories of the four that went to Alabama, ate some southern banana pudding, looked through magazines, and chatted away. Wood 5 Rocks!

We also made our own fraternity several weeks ago. No one told me about it because I was somewhat of a hermit in my room. But, now I officially “joined” and am in Omega Pi. It’s hilarious. The slogan?
“Honor. Brotherhood. Baked Goods.” We have random meetings and give people bizarre titles. They include Supreme Baker, Founding Father, Iron Chef, and Schnitzel. I want to be the Crust Coordinator or perhaps Director of Flavors and Fillings. Hmm…

Our very own Schnitzel took things a bit further and set up his own psychiatry office. Dr. Schnitzel is very professional. He has the glasses, crackling fireplace (A life-like animation on his computer!), secretary, comfy “chair”, appointment sheet, door sign, and credential list! Many Wood Fifthians (as we like to call ourselves) have benefited from this wise Doctor. Yes, we’re weird like that, but it’s fun!

Speaking of having fun, my lab partner invited me to “hang” with her friends and her. We went to Moe’s for dinner (tasty Mexican) and Ritter’s (best ice cream ever) for dessert. Finally, it was time to shop! They all needed nice dresses for a sorority event. Ironically, I was the only one who found stuff! Always fun to get new clothes and good deals!

Back to school updates, I can tell you all about the Spring 08 Registration. The perfect phrase to describe my pursuit has been “running around like a chicken with its head cut off”. Why? First, I talked with my 1st Year Advisor, Jenny, and she helped me know which classes to take. Then, she called my EP advisor, Prof Wanliss, to make sure he was available. So, I set off to get signature #2 (Jenny signed my schedule first). Wanliss was very nice and listened well. He approved of the classes I chose and signed. Next, I sat down at a very wobbly table and planned out my schedule. I had to go down to the first floor of the Engineering building (where I currently was on the third floor) to log onto ratemyprofessor.com to pick my physics and honors professor.

It’s foolish to take every word seriously, but I like getting a general feel for the teacher as well as seeing what type of student I need to be (i.e. study a ton, take notes, ask questions, go to his office…). I decided on everything, filled in the paper, and showed it to Dr. Olivero. Finally, I ran it by Jenny one last time and went to have lunch before Chemistry. The last two steps are getting Dr. Kain to sign on Monday and then running it over to records and registration! It’s only this complicated for first-year honors students. Normally, you only need one person in your major to look at it.

And now, to my last description, I will share what SPRL is! The Space Physics Research Lab is all about compiling and organizing data that students and faculty collected while at the SPRL research station in the South Pole. I’m not the best at explaining it, but from what I can gather, they analyze spacial and solar particles that enter the earth’s atmosphere at the magnetic south pole. If I botched that explanation, I’m sorry! I will be glad to amend it if I do get the job. It requires going through a 1-week training session and then if hired, working eight hours a week in the lab. It mostly deals with programming, but you may get to be part of the trip to the Pole the next summer. I will do my best at the training, and if God wants me to be in the program, I will be in the program. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t at least try to be in such an exciting and valuable experience. Plus, I manage my time well, so I do have several hours available to devote to such an endeavor. And for next semester, it looks like I will be taking 14 credits since the only other class would make it 17 and I can’t go over 16. Now would be the best time to get involved in this before my classes get harder!

As usual- write me with any questions! Hope to hear from someone soon!

My e-mail:spencern@erau.edu

That’s all for now! Time to study chemistry!
Natalie Ann

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