Hello again, dear readers!
I hope you all had a great holiday. I will be blogging about my shenanigans throughout spring semester, so tune in here for that! Shall we begin?
Two days down of the “semester of death” (named so by previous generations of Engineering Physics students), although most of the classes sound less intimidating than their reputations. This semester I’m taking 15 credits, consisting of the following… My first course Monday morning is called Electro-optical Engineering, which is basically just a whole semester of optics (i.e. designing telescopes and such so that we can look at neat things in space, or really really small things.) After a three hour break, which I’ll probably spend working in my lab doing SCIENCE, my last course of the MWF day is Classical Mechanics, which I call “physics I for grown-ups.” Essentially you take all the mechanics from physics I and do the problem in the real-world rather than making assumptions, such as that a falling box is not just a single point with no air resistance, or calculating the air speed velocity of a swallow without assuming a spherical swallow in a vacuum.
Tuesday/Thursday is my longer day, starting bright and early at 9:45 am (early for me) with Spacecraft Systems Engineering. This course is about every single different system of a spacecraft, such as the cooling system, power system, optics system, etc. The professor told us that we will basically be learning a new system every week, resulting in net learning of like a bajillion things – in fact I already have four pages of notes just from the first day! (Disclaimer: In college, you usually don’t get a free “get the syllabus and learn everybody’s name” day.) Next up is my junior design class, which preps us for working on our final senior design projects that will take all of next year. Those tend to be like developing a numerical model or building a small satellite or something super cool along those lines – looking forward to it! Last, but almost definitely not least, I have Microcomputers and Electronic Instrumentation, which is more circuits and electrical engineering. Most of the class is a lab where we will be building some crazy electronics.
The coolest thing about this semester is that the new building is up and running… mostly. I know my lab currently lacks a desk, and a few of my classrooms got temporarily moved because the room is missing a wall… but I’m sure everything will be sorted out soon! I spent a good chunk of time yesterday wheeling a cart of very expensive computers over from the Lehman Building – good news is I didn’t break any of them! Once all of the moving and settling in is done, I will pretty much be spending all of my time on campus in that building – every single one of my classes plus my job. I wish they’d put a cafeteria in the first floor so I wouldn’t have to leave. The building is pretty fancy schmancy though; I should’ve taken some pictures but I didn’t get around to it – sorry!
My winter break was pretty great. I spent about 10 days back home in good ol’ Minnesota – and managed to avoid the worst of the winter weather! It got down to about -50 wind-chilll on Monday; the entire state was pretty much shut down due to the fact that you will get frostbite in 5 minutes at that temperature. Uffda. And here in Florida it was actually below zero at night, and in the high-30s/low-40s the next day – I was sitting at the mall and I heard a woman say “it’s so cold out there, it’s unbelievable.” And I’m sitting there in a t-shirt because I had just spent almost two weeks in single-degree daytime temperatures. I guess it’s all relative. Nonetheless those single-degree temperatures didn’t agree with my new-found Floridian-ism, and I arrived back home with a 102 degree fever and a nasty cough. Probably not the greatest moment of my winter break.
Highlights of my winter break include seeing The Phantom of the Opera live in downtown Minneapolis, which was amazing! Live theater is always so great, it’s too bad it’s not a big part of our society anymore. We also got a new fur baby! She is a three-year-old rescue doggie named Helen, and is thought to be a mix of hound and terrier. She’s the sweetest doggie ever, loves to be around people and is super well-behaved. Everybody in the family has fallen in love. I’m definitely her favorite – my mom says she was whining and kept wanting to go in my room after I left. Awww.
Other winter break events included sleeping 20 hours a day, playing some Pokemon and Zelda on my 3DS, and basically just doing nothing and loving it. School is hard – it’s nice to have some time to chill and do literally nothing for a whole day. One thing I did do was attempt to make some Indian food from scratch – like actually start from spices, veggies, and water, not just cut up some chicken and add it to a jar of sauce. It actually turned out pretty good, although the spices were a bit off. I’m going to try again this weekend. That is like my crowning culinary achievement though, because usually my idea of cooking is Shake ‘n’ Bake. This took three hours, which included bawling my eyes out chopping onions, measuring a ton of different spices (and forgetting the difference between TSP and TBSP), and blending everything together into a curry in my fancy new blender. It was 11:30 PM by the time we ate – just in time for the new year!
That’s about it for my Spring semester update. This should be an eventful semester, so check back every couple weeks to read all about it! Also, my birthday is in less than a month, and I expect a present from each and every one of you.
And as always – my metaphorical email door is always open! firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. More new doggie pictures…