Archive for May, 2008

Global Warming Gone Wrong

Posted in Michigan with tags , , , on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 by dragonsvamp

I went out to my car this morning at around 7 to find it completely covered in a thin sheet of ice.  It’s almost June and yet it was 36* outside! I actually had to turn the heat on in my car and found that my fingers were starting to freeze from the cold.

The days, however, are nice and breezy with no hint of humidity (except for that one evening a few days ago when it was 72 degrees outside at midnight and the air was pretty sticky- but that was one night).  Anyways, if the whole summer stays like this- in the upper 50s and lower 60s with the sun out and lots of clouds (the way I like it) I’d be very happy to spend the summer here and not wish to go to California where, though it gets hot, it is not humid and so is much nicer.

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a million and one

Posted in Michigan, RandomVille with tags , , , , , , , , on Monday, May 26, 2008 by dragonsvamp

I spent Memorial weekend at a resort.  There was a conference that I was a committee member in organizing and so obviously attended as well.  I was the head of the committee (of one person-me) for setting up activities for 7-11 year olds while their parents and older siblings were attending the workshop and lectures set up for those three days.

I had four one and half sessions.  The first one was chaotic, the second one less so and it just kept getting better until the fourth one went by very smoothly and before I knew it- it was over.  I’m waiting to check out as I write this. 

I arrived with my friend and her four kids on Friday at around 9 pm.  We attended the welcome reception where the attendees were told of what to expect and what will be provided and expected of them.  On Saturday, my first activities session was at 10:30-12 (right after breakfast).  After that I had to go to my room and work on my homework.  I had a few assignments (for my online class) I needed to turn in before midnight.  By the time I was done it was time for dinner (5:30) and right after that would be my second session which would end at 9pm. 

After that would be women’s entertainment- which would be a whole bunch of stuff that the girls group and youth group in my community had put together and wanted to present. Of course I couldn’t attend that because I needed to take a one and half hour test that I would be locked out of by 11:55pm. I was done by 11 and so was walking towards where they’d have the entertainment going on. A whole bunch of people were passing me going the other way and I asked one of the people I knew if it was done. Of course it was.

Once I got there I saw my friend and asked her what had happened and if it had been nice.  Apparently they did the live skits and poetry reading but the videos they had made didn’t work and so they were going to figure it out and show them the next evening. So apparently I didn’t miss out on much.

The next morning I had the same schedule, but instead of homework in the afternoon I went with a bunch of people canoeing.  It was so much fun. The canoe I was in (with three kids and one other adult) capsized within five minutes (the first part of the river was pretty wild and the current was strong.  The kids freaked out and it was all I could do to stop myself from being swept with the current taking the kids with me.  I planted my legs (which are now all bruised and scratched up) in between a whole bunch of logs and drift wood that was under water and held on with all my might. I got the kids up onto the side of the river and helped the lady with me.  She didn’t want to go on and the kids freaked out.

I didn’t want to leave though. Behind us was my friend’s husband with his two kids.  The kids saw what had happened to my canoe and decided they wanted to go back with the other kids leaving my friend’s hubby alone in his canoe.  I joined him and we completed the way toghether way behind of everyone else.

We capsized another time. The water was 40 degrees cold and boy was it fun.  This time I had folded my legs underneath me two seconds before seeing a low hanging tree branch. The kind too thick to just move away with your hand and so i tried to lean back (since leaning forward was too late) my my crisscrossed legs wouldn’t allow it and since I was sitting on the floor of the canoe I didn’t have anywhere to lean back to. Somehow I tipped the boat over.

I sprained my ankle but I didn’t realize that until after I got back to my hotel. I was having the time of my life and really really enjoyed my first canoeing experience. I would never have it any other way.

Moving on to what I did before coming to the Shanty Creek Resort- I found an apartment! Yes I did. The search is officially over. The place I found seems to have been a large house converted to 8 apartments.  It’s an old house but perfect for what I need right now and only up the street from where I’m living at the moment. I passed that place every single day almost- sometimes three or four times a day- and I never noticed it until my friend told me about it.  

I called and they had a one bedroom apartment available. I checked it out and decided it was my best option at the present.  I put down a deposit on Friday and will be moving in Friday June 13.  At least that’s the plan. I might not be able to wait that long and move in the weekend before. 

School will be over in two weeks and we have the week after to pack up the classroom. So 9 days of teaching left and then four days of packing and I’ll be done with work until August. Now on to finding a different job for the summer. I’m relieved this school is almost over. It didn’t start dragging until a few weeks ago when the kids just couldn’t focus anymore and the tantalizing thoughts of summer started to burrow underneath their skin.  It’s time to be freeeeeeee of school- and about time that is! (Though I do still have college which won’t end until end of June. But that’s ok I’m not planning on taking any summer courses).

So all’s well in Kloude land for the present time. I’m exhausted, got so much work and homework to do, and completely battered at the moment thanks to the canoeing trip but things are looking up for me. As a dear friend of mine always says- Look on the bright side. I try- sometimes.

And just a note: I totally knew that David Cook was going to win. Me and my friend sent about 300 votes and though my friend was positive the other David would win, we kept our fingers crossed. This was the first time I ever followed an American Idol season and the first time I voted- first time my friend voted as well even though she’s been following the show since it’s first year. Now on to the next favorite show- So You Think You Can Dance.

Call

Posted in RandomVille with tags , , , , , , on Monday, May 19, 2008 by dragonsvamp

A friend of mine called me a few hours ago.  I haven’t talked to this friend in ages and mainly it was through emails since we live thousands of miles away. I met this friend of mine in Jordan and we became very close friends so naturally was so happy to hear such a familiar voice. 

I’ve been having a very depressing spell recently. It’s been so difficult balancing life with school and work and a ton of other stuff I’m active in- like the end of the year program for the school i work at, and the yearbook committee that meets after school, and right now the most important thing- the Shanty Creek Retreat.  I was asked to be in charge of the elementary aged kids. They’re about 7 to 11 years old and I agreed. In return they’d pay for my accommodations and all.

This is a annual thing the community here does and so I heard a lot about the previous years.  I agreed to volunteer but didn’t realize how difficult it would turn out to be. I had been told it was nothing to sweat over. I hope not.

I went shopping today with $100 of the $400 dollars given us(elementary and pre-k groups) as a budget and bought books with $50 for the kids to read. I did get some markers and go fish cards as well. That’s a start I guess. Now I need to plan for what I need to buy before Friday rolls around.

I’ll be having about 70 kids for an hour and a half twice a day for two days. Six hours in total. I think I can handle them. I’ll be armed with a movie for each sitting, some paint, markers, crayons, beads, books, and I don’t know what else. Hopefully it’ll be enough for everyone to find something interesting to do to pass the time while their older siblings and parents are going though some lectures and workshops.

Then I’m free for the rest of the day to do whatever I wish. That should be really nice. I hope.

How did I start talking about the Shanty Creek trip when I had mainly wanted to write about how happy I was to receive said phone call?

Oh yes- my depressed spell.  Well add to all that stress is my inability to decide where to move to.  I need to find an apartment sometime this summer but am too lazy to get my ass moving and start calling. I finally got myself to tour two apartment places that are amazing but at the top end of my budget (that is pretty much non-existent) and drove around to check out a few other apartment complexes. Out of all the ones I just drove around I am only willing to call and make an appointment to look at two more. 

Hopefully something good turns out or somehow I get a really good job and become rich over the summer- then I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

Either way stress is really depressing and it really eats away at you.  I had a better than average day (average= how I’ve been doing the past month, which isn’t in too good a standing in itself) and receiving that phone call just made my day.

AlhamduliAllah.

I guess we should be thankful for all the little things in life that make life bearable. 

If I could Sing…

Posted in My University Life with tags , , , , on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 by dragonsvamp

…I would sing right now.  My grades are out! I’ve already known how I did in two of the three classes I was taking last semester but had no idea how I’d do in my hardest course- American Poetry.

Now let me tell ye about this course. I was the only undergraduate in there.  The freaking professor’s daughter was graduating from Harvard and all the students in this class were passionate about the course and about their lives (most were teachers who knew half of the stuff to begin with).  In my first class meeting of the semester I seriously considered dropping the course. Everyone there was so learned and educated and most definitely had more practice writing papers. I mean seriously five papers for this class- four of them over three pages at least and the last, the monster, which was 40% of your grade, had to be over 18 pages ( and that’s 18 pages of text not including the citation nor the cover page or any of that stuff- 18 pages of pure utter black and white.

I left that first class meeting ready to go to the registrar and drop the class.  Too bad they closed at 5 and my class let out at quarter to 7- they were already closed.  But am I glad I stuck around. I learned so much invaluable stuff in that class and though sometimes it tended to feel drawn out since we only met one day for three hours a week.  But I came to be known as the girl that is always there early and always has something to say (even if it isn’t very educational or correct or intelligent- and sometimes I read into some things too deeply).  

I was once late for my class (I had to take a math placement test since I was adding that major) and when I walked in 20 minutes after 4 they all stopped and said ‘There you are! Now we can really start’ (or something along those lines). 

The professor was very vague as to what she wanted in the papers that we were supposed to write and provided no rubric or guidelines.  I was on my own.  It took me to the fourth paper to get a B+/A- (the other three were Bs) and I wrote my last paper twice before feeling good about it and even then I decided it was horrible and only edited it once because I couldn’t stand looking at it again (haven’t even opened the file since I printed it out to give to the teacher).

Then I had this dream about a week ago about how I got an A in psychology and an A+ in creative writing (which I did in real life) and then I saw on my report card a big fat C.  C for my American Poetry Class. NO WAY!

I flipped, in my dream that is.  That would mean getting like 10 out of 40 on my last paper.  I was completely distraught and was wildly running around campus trying to figure out how the hell I blundered so badly. Everyone I met and asked told me once you got a grade you can’t go back and change it no matter what.

I woke up.  Then I realized, during my last meeting, that the professor hadn’t graded my last paper.  That meant having to wait a long long time (ten days) to find out my grade.  I had already figured out my grade for the other two classes because the professors used blackboard but this one didn’t.

The university just posted my grade and yes I had an A and an A+ (since I could tell you hands down those came super easy- the classes didn’t need much effort-exertion) but the grade that means the most to me is that B+ standing so proudly next to my American Poetry row. I mean seriously WHOA. B+ means I got at least an A- in my last paper- meaning I figured out what the professor was looking for FINALLY!

I’m absolutely ecstatic! I have a 3.76 gpa! I need to celebrate- but I’ve got work tomorrow and that won’t finish until like 9pm at the earliest because I babysit right afterwards. Besides I don’t have anyone to party with. *Sigh* I guess I’ll just be super happy for the next week or so and jump around at odd times and clap my hands in the middle of doing something that completely has nothing to do with my grades. That should be fun and freak/weird a few people out.

They’ll look at me all weird and be like ‘what’s wrong with her?’

WOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO! *goes away to party- ehm sleep* (or at least try- *cough*)