February 3

Well, the weeks of no homework and continual Starbucks runs have come to an abrupt end. No more sleeping in all the time, going to bed whenever, and watching movies at any point. Probably a good thing to be back on a schedule, though. I need to be disciplined enough, especially for the first round of tests. Every day, I try to read my Bible and pray, eat right, and exercise. Also included is SPRL work as well as homework and studying, not to mention club meetings and such. School is back in full swing and I’m slowly relaxing into the demanding timeline.

A big topic of conversation on campus, especially for the freshman, has been housing for next year. The whole process starts really early, so it’s just bizarre to be trying to figure out what you want to promise to do for the next year already. All kinds of things can change before then! For now, I’m looking at rooming with three girls from Christian Fellowship Club. They’re in Meteorology and ATC majors, so I never get to see them except for a few hours on Saturdays. Hopefully, all my suitemates from this year and I will get great rooms in Apollo so we can still be close buddies too. When we find out our lottery numbers on March 11th, I’ll be sure to let you all know the results. All we need is one of us four to get a lower number, even just low enough to secure the last Apollo room. If that doesn’t work… well, we don’t have a back-up plan yet, but there’s plenty of time! 🙂

As for my suitemates and I this semester, we have great plans for decorating our part of the floor. The theme is going to be Hollywood. Now if we only have enough time to put up the supplies and decorations we bought!! I’ll put up pictures if we ever get around to it!

Two weekends ago, Alex’s dad came down for a few days. The first night he took Spree, Alex, my roommate, and I out to a really good Thai restaurant. Saturday night we went to Cancun Lagoon (it’s a very tasty Mexican restaurant right by school). Spree and I thought it was a seafood restaurant, but we were a little off! As we finished the meal, fireworks went off at the racetrack. The Rolex 24 race was loud and exciting in the distance.

Last Tuesday, I really enjoyed the Honors Distinguished Speaker Series guy, Edward Tenner. He had some great points and examples about how our determination to make everything safe can have unintended consequences. I’m tempted to go out and buy his book. As an engineer, I have to learn to do my best to foresee the outcome of my choices and designs.

Last Friday we had our first Computing for Engineers test. From now on I’ll call it programming or MATLAB class. Anyway, it was pretty nice. I’m not gonna be overconfident or anything, so I’m desperately hoping it’s a high A. I’ve always enjoyed going to that class. Computers just make sense to me. Maybe I should’ve been a computer engineer instead… 🙂

That same night, I had my first outing with the Society of Women Engineers, SWE. We went ice-skating of all things. I have to admit that it’s just awesome to be able to claim such a thing in Florida!! Weird. At the rink there was a disgusting amount of junior high kids all screaming and flirting like mad. It felt nice to glide along the cool surface. After, I decided to stay for the ice hockey game against FIT. It was amazing! We won 12-0. I got some great video of a goal or two, the crowd, and the band. One is the entire last six minutes of the game. I have to say I wasn’t so fond of the cheers (rather JEERS) going out, so I was pretty quiet until we made goals. It was an exciting night!

This weekend I have two tests to study for, one in calculus, the other in physics, as well as two papers to write for Honors. One is a big ten-pager about a scientist in our Atomic Bomb book and the other one-pager is on our feelings about the making of religious states (The book talks often of the Jewish people.) I managed to finish my formal lab report from last Tuesday and the smaller math and physics assignments. It was a busy week with a busy weekend finishing it off!

But, the good news is I have lots of fun stuff too. CFC is meeting then going out for dinner and bowling. On Sunday, I’m helping Campus Outreach and TFO with the Super Bowl party on campus.

On the spring break front, my mom had some great news for me! We were able to get a Wyndham hotel for all six or seven nights and it’s right in Alexandria. It’s so perfect because its location is a half block from the metro station. Mom and I aren’t  too   terribly confident about driving around D.C. and finding parking, so it’s a beautiful situation. I bet the hotel is ridiculously nice, too. What a fun break that will be! Now, we get to daydream about all the places we can visit!

Lately  I’ve been trying to figure out what to do about Sundays because Riverbend changed its “second service” classes to other times during the week. The college ministry meets Sunday nights but my ride can’t make it to that. Last Sunday, I had a great time visiting Sovereign Grace (I had promised a friend of mine last semester I’d go at some point. Ironically, he’s the one with a NASA internship in Virginia now…) before going to visit Campus Outreach at Christ Community for a college luncheon. If you’re confused, don’t worry, I am too! 🙂 I will certainly be in prayer about finding the right fellowship and also having solid Biblical teaching at least once a week. I have to admit it was very fun going to church with CFC friends. I’ve been able to hang with them a lot more this semester already.

SPRL has been going along just fine. My latest project involves recording the dates and times when a radar signal interferes with our MI data. I had a great time fixing up the program to allow me to start and stop the cycling through the graphs. Another SPRL guy has no idea why it works, but we’re not complaining! One day, Dr. Azeem brought in his attire for visiting the South Pole and left it for us to play with. Naturally, we college students couldn’t resist. I have some pretty funny pictures I put up of myself and Mike and Chris from that day. Enjoy!

Well, like I said, I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me! I bet by the next journal entry things will be pretty normal again (Wishful thinking?). At least I’ll have a better hang of things and will have completed several tests and papers. I’m also going with the Honors Student Association to Gulfstream in Savannah, GA on Tuesday. Alex is coming, too, and we both have a physics test to study for, so it’ll be a nice getaway and informative trip too. I really enjoyed going to Piper last semester and I’m sure this will be no different.

Until next time,

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Natalie Ann



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