Archive for the Michigan Category

Apartment Hunting

Posted in Home Sweet Home, life experiences, Michigan with tags , , , on Friday, July 10, 2009 by dragonsvamp

In about a month, my sister will be moving in with me. This not only means that I will have to change my life around so that we can become roommates. I’ve had two years of living on my own, so you bet it’s going to be tough getting used to having another person in the house, having another person to take into consideration, having another person to compromise with, having another person to talk to, to laugh with, to go shopping and out to movies with.

It’s a great feeling and a very unwelcome one at the same time. One moment I’m thrilled to have my sister come live with me and the other moment I dread it. It’s odd being able to feel two extremes concerning the same thing. But in the end it’ll be a novel experience that will hopefully have more ups then downs.

Now for me and my sister to get comfortable, I need to decide whether we can bear living in a one bedroom apartment for a few months before moving or if I should move into a two bedroom apartment right around the time she moves in.

As everything, there are pros and cons to both points. Let’s look at the pros of staying in the one bedroom apartment for a few months before moving out:

1. Save money: I’d be able to afford the apartment without any strains on my fincances and without the need to make my sister help me out with rent just yet. This will help her get situated and get a job before having to stress about that. I had that help the first couple of months I was on my own and I’d love to provide that help to her as she gets accustomed to living on her own as well.

2. Less pressure: Since I know that I didn’t get as big a raise for this coming year as I did for last year, I’m going to have a little more pressure on myself if I move into a bigger apartment. Waiting a few months before moving, will definitely lessen the stress on me and being able to afford the things I’m used to without having to (going on to #3) cut back.

3. Not having to cut back: To be honest, I’ve gotten accustomed to a lifestyle that will probably need to see some cutbacks if I decide to move into a bigger apartment. Now this isn’t the case if my sister gets a job right away but I’m not betting on that nor am I taking it into consideration. Like I said above, I want to be able to help her out as I was helped out. It means a lot to me the amount of help and support I had when I moved out on my own and I want to do that for my sister.

Now the pros for moving into a bigger place:

1. Space: Having enough space for both of us to feel comfortable, is vital if we’re going to be able to get along. Living in a one bedroom apartment (even though my sister is willing to sleep on the couch for a little while) is just not enough for us. I’ve gotten used to having a whole apartment to myself, and I’m sure she doesn’t want to end up in a similar situation that she came from. Growing up we always had two kids a room- I know I can’t do that anymore and I’m sure she needs her own private space to call hers. A two bedroom would be perfect for us.

2. Comfort and Convenience: The area I live in right now is not a place I feel really comfortable in. It’s pretty safe but it just doesn’t feel homey or as homey as I’d like it to be. I have to make a couple of sacrifices living in my apartment. The first is not having my own washer and dryer. I don’t want to have to deal with that anymore than I have to and it’s just going to be so inconvenient having to carry twice the amount of laundry around to get it done. Moving into another apartment lets me put the criteria of having hookups for a washer and dryer and it’s easier to find in larger apartments. The second is being more comfortable in the apartment I’m living in. I only really moved into the apartment I live in right now because it was the cheapest thing out there. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a decent apartment, but it’s not anywhere near ‘home’. I moved in with the mindset that I wouldn’t be staying for long.

3. Pets: I’m the kind of person who loves animals. I need pets. I already found two cats that I want and that are on hold for me (in case I decide to move) and the place I live in right now doesn’t allow any pets. A bigger apartment will be great for having pets. I also want to get a pet snake- and that’s something I’d be able to get if I moved out.

Those are the three top pros of staying or moving and I really needed to just write it all out (and talk to a couple people) to realize that the pros of moving have a more impact on me than the pros of staying where I am for a little longer. In the end, I’ll be moving anyways so why not decide to now?

Also, I’ve already seen a two bedroom condo that is owned by my hair dresser and oh my God. It’s perfect for what I want. It’s 15 minutes away from work and from the University. It’s got two floors and a great amount of space that would be perfect for me and my sister and our pets. I love the condo, the location, and the person who owns it. And writing all this out has helped me realize that in the end it’s a really good deal. Last month while I was getting my hair cut, we talked about my sister moving in with me and having my hair dresser’s tenants leaving. She told me how much she’d be asking for her place and when I got to see the apartment she offered it for a little cheaper, I would hope because she feels really comfortable with me moving in.

I know for a fact it’s not because she won’t find tenants for her asking price (which is relatively low for a place like that) because there’s always people who want to rent and I doubt she’d have a hard time finding someone to pay the price she’s asking for it.

I need to let her know my decision tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll be making the right choice after sleeping on it.

Wish me luck!

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Let it snow!

Posted in Michigan, Photos with tags , , on Friday, December 19, 2008 by dragonsvamp

So the last day of school for 2008 turns out to be a snow day. It started snowing at 1 am on the 19th and hasn’t stopped yet. One extra day off for winter break- that makes 17 whole days! It’s a break I know the whole school needed- most of all the teachers. It’s gotten super hectic and tiring and so winter break couldn’t come at a better time. 

Being holed up in my apartment isn’t too bad actually. First. I know I have over two weeks of free time to go out and do as I please without the constraints of work and college. Second, I’m extremely sick and barely have any voice left in me. So i needed the rest and relaxation. For the first time in months, I got to sleep in. Averaging about six hours a night of sleep, has taken its toll on me and the result? Never getting better.

About a month ago, I got sick and lost my voice and finally started getting better before I was thrown back into sick realm. But that’s not something I’m bothered by. Yes, its annoying to be sick but it’s not going to stop me from getting stuff done.

 

The view from outside my living room window

The view from outside my living room window

 

 

Other than watching all the snow falling outside and seeing how beautiful all the whiteness is, I am making a huge dent in my reading. Almost done with Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox, already finished reading The Child Called It, and doing all kinds of stuff with my facebook account and my blog. 

Ahh the loveliness of winter break!

Finally an A+

Posted in Michigan, University in America with tags , , , on Sunday, December 7, 2008 by dragonsvamp

When I walk out of my calculus class I sometimes feel incompetent and unintelligent. Yes everything the professor explains in class makes sense but when I try to apply it afterwards I can’t seem to get it right.  It’s an odd feeling coming from a straight A student when I was in high school. And in college my grade averaged from B+ to A.  So it is difficult to accept that I’m doing really bad in this class.

As I was saying, I leave the class feeling pretty much like a stupid student. But then I go to my Survey of African American Literature class and feel like I’m the smartest one there. I can actively engage in all the discussions and ace all of my papers and exams.  So, consequently, I walk out of this class feeling very intelligent.

It’s a very weird when you get those two conflicting feelings at the same same semester more or less the same day and time. 

I’ve been feeling very bad lately over how terrible I’m doing in calculus and really needed a confidence booster.  I got that last Tuesday. It was my last AFA class and I was going to find out how I did in the course over all. The professor was leaving the country the next day and so had planned out our course so that we’d find out our final grade (and complete our final paper) before the last class meeting.

For the first twenty minutes of the class he talked about how he enjoyed giving the course and how impressed he was at our input and etc etc etc.  Finally, he told us that our class averaged about an A- with a handful of A and only one A+.

I had turned in my final paper the week before, after rushing through writing it and so felt that it wouldn’t live up to my previous papers and course work.  Therefore, I was hoping I at least got an A but was expecting an A-.

Finally, he gave out our final papers so that we may see our grade on that and then collected them because he couldn’t give them back (something about having to keep it for records) and he hadn’t had time to make copies of all of them so if we wanted a copy we’d have to get that after class was over.

I got my paper and it had , in large red ink, 23/25. I flipped over the 7 pages of writing and on the 6th he made a very nice comment of how he really liked my writing and my in class discussions etc. The 7th page contained my extra credit paper, which I did just on a whim because I thought my main paper wasn’t as good as it could be. On that last paper was, again in red ink, written EXTRA CREDIT 5/5. So in total I got 28/25 on my final.

In all honesty, I was surprised. I didn’t expect to get such a good grade on this last paper.  The professor then collected all our papers and gave us our final grade envelopes that contained a detailed account of the semester’s assignments and their scores. I open mine and see a nice healthy looking A+ as my final grade.

You can’t imagine how much of a confidence booster that was.  But it didn’t stop there. 

I followed the professor back to his office after class was over to get a copy of my paper. He asked me what I was planning on doing after I graduated and suggested that I go into communication. He was very impressed by my writing and discussion skills and said my presentations were really good.

My was that a REAL confidence booster and yet that wasn’t the end of it.

He then suggested that I go study in Europe for a semester and said he would personally help me find scholarships and fellowships that would pay for it. I have been planning on taking a summer off and going to Europe, but if I can get a free ride as well as learn more then why not?

This is what apparently happens when you end up making a good impression on your professor besides the fact he ends up being the Chair(person) of the department.

Well at least I know I’m doing extremely well on two of my four courses. Lets hope I pull through on the other two.

Fingers crossed.

(To all out there who celebrate: Eid Mubarak!)

Never Gonna Win

Posted in life experiences, Michigan, University in America with tags , , , , on Sunday, November 23, 2008 by dragonsvamp

Apparently, I must be the only exception when it comes to good grades, studying and the relationship they have.  It’s common knowledge that the more you study for a cours the more likely you are to do well- right?

So why am I freaking doing worse?

Two examples:

1. Calculus: Exam one came and went, I didn’t study much for it. Crammed like hell about ten minutes before the exam began and I passed the test.  Exam two came up and I took half a day off of work to study for it. I went straight to the library and studied for about four hours before the test and felt very good about it. I failed said exam. And not just failed, I got 20 points less on it than I did on the first exam. So it wasn’t a barely fail. It was a major fail.

2. Biology: Ok so I “bomb” the first exam and quiz. I get better on my quizzes because I’m able to study a little bit more for them. Don’t do well on my second exam but the time I had planned to study for it got majorly screwed up so I only had about twenty minutes before the exam to cram. Still passed both exams. Of course I didn’t do wonderfully on them, but I did enough to pass and have a C average in the class.  Last Friday I had the third exam, I literally had all day to prepare for the exam and I did. I felt very good going into the exam and even left feeling like I’d done so much better than I had on the first two exams. I wasn’t rushed and I felt I’d retained enough of the information this time to do well. I just checked on my grades today and found out that I barely, just barely, passed the third exam. In other words out of the three exams this is my worst grade. Additionally, the past two quiz grades were horrible.

Of course I’m sailing through my two other classes with a most definite A in both but those come so naturally to me that I don’t even need to study much for them. And whatever studying I do have to do comes easily to me.

So am I just weird and an exception to the general rule? Or am I doing something wrong here? Anything wrong with the equation? 

*shrugs* I should ask my calculus professor.

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.

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.

MI ::Hibernation::

Posted in Michigan on Friday, March 14, 2008 by dragonsvamp

It feels as though I just woke up from a long long hibernation. The winter was beautiful but I rarely ever saw it in daylight. I would always leave the house right before sunrise and wouldn’t get out of college until after sunset.

The only times I saw the sunlight (or daytime since sometimes there wasn’t much sunlight) was when I looked out the window or when I drove straight from work to college.

I don’t care too much for sunlight but I must say today was a very very nice day even though I only got to be out in the sunlight for a little bit (since a little is pretty much all I can handle).

Spring is finally beginning to peek out of her hiding place.

I just hope spring sticks around for a while before letting summer take over. Either way I plan on enjoying the cool warmth of spring.

It just feels like forever since I could walk out the door and not feel cold. It was cold outside but the sun was so warm and comforting that the coolness of the weather was perfect.

*Sigh* I just hope it doesn’t snow again until next winter. It would really be depressing for this to be a one time thing and then have some snow type weather for the next two weeks.

*fingers crossed*