November 5

Hello again everyone and a Happy November to you!

I have to admit that I have pleasantly surprised with many things this past two weeks. The first thing being that fall feels like fall. What in the world can I mean by that? Well, let me explain:

Thanks to hurricane Noel being close enough to send gusty weather our way, I get to see leaves swirling and feel the cool wind on my face. I finally believe it’s actually fall. Sunny skies and palm trees don’t exactly match what I’m used to back home, so this new weather pattern is a nice change. Also, the stores around town are very festive. And my room has followed suit thanks to another care package, this one from my grandma. It had delicious shortbread and lemon cookies, chocolate, a cute ghost, and a nice shoebox-size Halloween teddy bear box.

I even got to go to Starbucks for the first time in weeks. For a Seattle-area girl, that’s just torture to get nice frappuchinos so rarely. And I don’t even like coffee. (Blended cream frapps, tazo tea, and caramel apple cider are my favs.) It’s great to see stores with leaves and such in the windows, but I can’t believe how many retail clothing places in the mall have heavy jackets and sweaters. I certainly don’t need them here! Although, someone did recently tell me that we had an abnormally warm October. Go figure.

Having the Omega Pi/Wood 5 Halloween party also greatly helped. It was pretty hilarious. Most of it was eating, talking, laughing, and taking pictures. Also included was walking on different floors and around Tallman Commons to see how many strange looks we could get (Because it was the Friday BEFORE Halloween and a whole lot of people were downstairs for the DDR and Guitar Hero competitions.) I even gave in to watching Van Helsing, the closest thing to a scary movie I’ve seen. It was more action than anything else with a touch of the Mummy’s grossness. When you combine werewolves, Dracula, Dracula’s wives, Dr. Jeckell/Hyde, Igor, and Frankenstein, what do you expect?

Another pleasant surprise I’ve had recently is my scores in Chemistry.

We had a take-home group quiz that we solved in minutes. The entire assignment was extra credit, so 10 pts for me! Then when I got the dreaded test scores back, I saw a beautiful 88 on the top! But, even better, he said to add 6 points to that number. I got a 94!!!!! I went from a 69 last time to a 94! How cool is that? I was so tired, I couldn’t even get that excited, but I was very happy inside. This third and final section will be tough, but my grade may actually turn out to be pretty good. And speaking of tests, I’ll just throw in that I got 104/105 on my math test- hooray! Studying works wonders!

Yet another positive was going to see the STS-120 Discovery launch!

Three friends and I had a fun ride down and finally managed to find a nice spot by the water in Titusville. Three of us climbed past some grass and found a nice rock and wood to sit on. No one was in front of us and we were low so people standing behind wouldn’t get mad. Right when we heard heated arguments a few rows back, it all of a sudden took off. It was tiny, but definitely easy to catch on video. Very exciting to see my first shuttle launch, especially when they’ll be retired in the coming years. Plus, we all got free souvenir coins from the Walgreen’s across the street. They’re cheesy, but I’ll keep it for memory’s sake. One side has the mission info and patch; the other’s about their 1-hour photo. 🙂 Before heading back to campus, we had a nice picnic lunch under some trees. Great experience!

I also had another great opportunity when the women’s program on campus sponsored an “Evening with Jo” event. It was free and very enlightening. The dinner was very nice- Olive Garden catered. I really enjoyed hearing from Jo Ames. She is a mechanical engineer – basically, but she does all kinds of interesting jobs on the defense side of things. She was even in charge of painting the inside of the air lock that astronauts use on the ISS for space walks. She works for Boeing right now so she’s not that far from me back home. I got some good tips about internships from her too. I’ve been sending my resume’ to different Boeing internships online for this summer. It would be so nice to work for them and they’re only 15-30 minutes from home!

One weird fettish I have to tell everyone about is getting mail. Yes, I have gone to great lengths to purchase (Good deals, mind you! I always get things on sale and “shop around”!) DVDs and Christmas gifts online mostly so I can have the joy of getting packages from the campus post office. Plus, my parents sent me a care package, two grandparent sets sent me a letter or card, and a good friend in Germany sent a letter, too. But, don’t worry, I was faithful to pass on the fun excitement by sending several “thank yous”, a couple of “happy birthdays” and even one “congratulations” to friends and family. I love writing and sending cards!

On a final, very positive note, I will give you the results of my SPRL (If you didn’t read my last blog, it’s the Space Physics Research Lab student assistant job) aspirations. As I worked hard to finish the homework assignment, I kept having problems because I’m used to C++ and not IDL. But, I finally found a very helpful worker and I finished it up. I called the hirer to come see my work and he asked a few questions then shook my hand, “Welcome to SPRL!” So, yes, my good friend and I both got the job and started our graph analysis. For the first semester or so, it’s just “grunt work”. But I’ve found it can be very relaxing and the entire experience will open several doors even if it just looks nice on a resume’. Plus, if I do well enough and stick with the program, I might even get to go to the South Pole some summer. Wouldn’t that be an experience?

As evidenced by all of my happy paragraphs, God has been very gracious to me! I’ve really enjoyed fellowship with His people every Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday. After church one day, my small group went out to Cracker Barrel for lunch. It was so much fun and I even found great Christmas gifts in their Country Store. My leader then took me to Target and JCPenny’s so we had a great time just talking and shopping.

Apart from chatting, I have also been learning from church, Christian Fellowship Club, and my Bible study. From watching Facing the Giants at CFC, I discovered that I have to be faithful to “prepare the field”. Then, God will send the rain. In other words, I can’t just do what I want or sit around and expect Him to bless me all the time. I need to prepare my heart and mind to be a great servant of His and if I am open, humble, and willing, He can use me. I want to greatly impact those around me.

Well, believe it or not, I do have homework I need to tackle, so I’ll say goodbye for now. I’ll tell you all about my fun weekend with Dad next time!

Natalie Ann

Comments are closed.