Tuesday, August 28, 2007

First Day of School! First Day of School!

Well ok, it wasn't today, it was yesterday. It's been understandably busy around here, and I don't mean just the sudden shortage of bike rack space, for the following reasons-

1. Classes (well you were hoping that'd be #1, weren't you?). I'm doing six this semester- solid state physics, cosmology, senior project, American history, creative writing, and orchestra- but orchestra doesn't really count and senior project's off in its own little non-classroom world for the most part. The interesting thing is that I have no classes on Tuesday or Thursday because those days are typically lab days at CWRU, so while I'll be using those days for senior project work it's nice to not have to roll out of bed at a specific time.

2. Due to my inability to do anything in order, I was never told to take the mandatory introductory computer science course freshman year like I was supposed to. The result of this was that I had to take a proficiency exam to get out of the requirement last Saturday (actually taking the course wasn't an appealing option), which would've been a lot cooler except the test was in Java and I'd prepped in C++. I still passed though, either due to my awesome programing skill or because Java and C++ are pretty similar. Take your pick.

3. I'm the president of the CWRU Physics and Astronomy Club this year, and like student organizations everywhere we forever need to recruit new members. The traditional way of doing this is to whip up some liquid nitrogen ice cream at the Activity Fair to bribe the freshman into signing onto the mailing list, and that works quite well, but we had several gallons of milk/ingredients left over after the Fair. Not good. So I made an executive decision that we're going to have a liquid nitrogen ice cream party this Friday on the quad during lunchtime, as I figure that's as quick a way as any to get rid of the stuff. Heck, we're probably going to be in disastrously short supply, but when your goal is to get rid of ingredients that's slightly moot.

4. I will (hopefully) have not one but two articles appearing this weekend. Hooray! Which reminds me, I should go send that revision back to my editor once I'm done here...

5. My sister is heading off to Australia tomorrow for her field research. It's interesting enough that I will probably write a bit more on it later... But one of the consequences of doing field research in the Middle of Nowhere, Australia is there is no power and only minimal running water, so our correspondence is usually quicker via snail mail than email. Plus this way I can send her stuff. :-)

6. The freshmen never fail to fascinate me for some reason. Take their appearances for example- while I'll accept that I was at some point just as young and clueless, I refuse to believe I was ever that well-dressed or scrawny-looking. (Yeah yeah, it was only three years ago, shush!) The freshman class at CWRU is notably bigger than most years, there are 230+ people signed up for introductory physics whereas my year was closer to 150, so they're sort of everywhere.

7. I confess I am rather happy because the dining hall is open again. I'm too lazy to be a good cook, especially when important assignments or papers are due, so unlike a lot of my friends who shun the meal plan I still sign up for a limited one. (Plus after New Zealand I am never complaining about our dining hall again- the NZ "hostel food" was so terrible that I stopped eating in the residence hall altogether about halfway through.) So few 4th year students do sign up for the meal plan, though, that by this point we're all on some level of familiarity with each other and that's remarkably nice. We spend the time reveling in our role as Masters of the DH, and the freshmen consider us minor deities because we know how to reset the jukebox when some idiot decides it would be hilarious to play the Macarena.

8. My orchestra audition is on Thursday. At Case there are two orchestras, one that's uber-serious and another which is laid-back, and while I've played in both I like the laid-back one because I'm just out to have fun and prefer being 1st violin in a not-so-good orchestra to 2nd violin in a really-good-and-competitive one. (This isn't really pride or anything, just 1st violin parts are a lot more fun because they get the melody.) I hardly touched a violin for six months because I didn't take mine to New Zealand, unfortunately, but I'm pleased to announce that you lose surprisingly little skill if you don't play for such a long amount of time so I'm hoping to keep my section.

9. I'm trying to think of something else that should go on my list, but I can't, so I shall end it here. Cheers!