diary.laurensweb.net – 03.13.03

March 13th, 2003

My new webpage is located at laurensweb.net. And if you are looking for more recent diary entries they can be found at laurensweb.net/diary.

Alma Mater – 05.04.02

May 4th, 2002

Quote of the Day:
“We’ve got more hits than Lake Alice has gators.”
KISS 105.3 (Gainesville) advertisement

University of Florida Alma Mater
Florida, our Alma Mater,
thy glorious name we praise.
All thy loyal sons and daughters,
a joyous song shall raise.
There palm and pine are blowing,
where southern seas are flowing,
Shine forth thy noble gothic walls,
thy lovely vine clad halls.
Neath the orange and blue victorious,
our love shall never fail.
There’s no other name so glorious,
all hail, Florida, hail!

My Senior Will – 04.16.02

April 16th, 2002

This is the written version of my Alpha Chi Omega senior will that I presented at dinner tonight. Of course I didn’t read it word for word, but you can get the basic idea this way.

When I thought about presenting my senior will I realized that a lot of people would be listening. Probably the only other time I have addressed the entire chapter was when I was the warden last spring. And then it was mostly just yelling. But that comes with the territory. To make sure that that isn’t the only thing I am remembered for, I have a few gifts for my sisters who have meant so much to me.

About three years I ago I bought a cake at Publix for my little sister Katherine’s birthday table. A plastic cake cutter accompanied it. This was after I got an ice cream cake for Liz Lebruto, another family member, and broke the cake cutter I had trying to cut it while it was still frozen. So the cake cutter was brand new for Katherine’s birthday table that year and it has served our family well ever since. The last thing I want to do is diminish the importance of this cake cutter throughout the years, but we can’t expect it to last forever. So I am leaving a new, and somewhat sturdier, cake cutter to my remaining family members (Melissa, Catherine, and Tonya) for use at birthday tables in the future.

A couple of weeks into the spring semester my roommate Amy discovered “Little Women.” I would come home to find her, curled up in a blanket, watching it very intently. She has probably seen the movie ten times during the semester and is always asking to borrow my video for another viewing. Just after her birthday I realized that the perfect gift for her would have been “Little Women” on DVD. I realized that senior wills were coming up soon so I saved the present for this occasion. We won’t be roommates for much longer so I don’t want her to be without “Little Women” when my video collection is no longer at her disposal. Actually, I already gave her the DVD because I didn’t think she would be here tonight but the sentiment is still the same – something to remember me by.

When I was considering my senior will I thought of a gift that more than one sister would appreciate. This morning I put a brand new bath mat in the Suite 5 bathroom as a parting gift from me. I wrote “Suite 5” on the bottom in permanent to make sure everyone knows where it was intended to stay. A clean, dry bathmat is nice under your feet after a shower. Remember girls, it’s machine washable so do your part in keeping it clean and dry by putting it in the wash when you get a chance.

So after five years I only have three tangible gifts that I wanted to pass on. My intention was to leave a small legacy so that my presence here won’t be totally forgotten, but I want to keep everything else for myself.

Top Ten Reasons I Chose UCLA – 04.11.02

April 11th, 2002

Quote of the Day:
“Look’s like Heaven’s easier to get into than Arizona State!”
Ned Flanders, “The Simpsons”

Top ten reasons I chose UCLA for graduate school:
10) I’m already used to the LA traffic
9) Beverly Hills is where I was destined to live anyway
8 ) I already know that I look good in blue
7) LA will have many aerospace job possibilities when I graduate
6) I was accepted there
5) It is highly ranked by US News and World Report
4) The tuition is less than at Stanford
3) There’s a possibility I will get some financial aid
2) I liked the people I met when I visited there in October
1) To find out what a Bruin is

Thoughts on a Sunday – 04.07.02

April 7th, 2002

Quote of the Day:
“I love X-Files too. I hope we get to see it again.”
“Independence Day” (after the aliens are spotted)

While I was at Best Buy yesterday looking for a present, I wandered through the small selection of videos and found “Independence Day” for $6.99. Although it wasn’t the widescreen version, which I have on my amazon.com wish list, I knew I would never be able to find the movie that cheap again so I bought it. Last night was probably the first time I had seen “Independence Day” since it was released in 1996 and I had forgotten how great it was. At times I was actually so spellbound by the fight against alien invaders that I found my mouth was hanging open. I got chills from Bill Pullman’s “today we declare our independence” speech just like when I saw it in the theater. Not that “Independence Day” was a gleaming example of movie brilliance, but it captivated me. That’s not too impressive considering that I am one of the gullible moviegoers that the industry loves. I have discovered that my thought processes are very shallow during a movie and I am easily taken in by a good show.

Yesterday at about 11 AM Amy got a phone call and we found out some horrible news. Carolina Madiedo, one of our sorority sisters, was killed in a car accident on Friday night. Another sister was also in the car and she is still in the hospital in Orlando. The news came suddenly and the house wasn’t a very comfortable place to be yesterday. Being around my sisters who had known Carolina well was difficult for me since I didn’t think I had even met her. I looked at the composite in the foyer that displays a picture of each sister but I didn’t recognize the face with Carolina’s name printed underneath. With almost 150 sisters in our house, and my poor retention of names and faces, I never manage to get to know everyone in a pledge class before the next one arrives. Anyway, the prevalent mood here was somber yesterday. Whether or not I had ever met Carolina I felt depressed because everyone else was.

I’m sure that was one reason I had a nightmare. I went to sleep feeling cranky and still depressed but I woke up this morning feeling worse. Have you ever thought about how you would react to a horrible situation? At times I think about how I would handle something if it happened, but I never knew exactly how I would feel until I had a particular dream last night. I hope I never have to go through that experience in reality because it made me crazy. Although it was just going on in my head, my body was reacting as if the events were real. I opened my eyes as the emotions took effect but I wasn’t ready for the nightmare to be over. Wanting to know how the situation would be resolved made me close my eyes again and try to continue the vision. But it was gone. And without the ending that I craved. After I resolved that the dream was completely over my first thought was, “Now I know how I would react if that happened.” I consider that knowledge to be priceless but it was not easy to come by. Even after most of the nightmare has faded from my memory I am still haunted by the way it made me feel.

Less than one month until graduation. While I was at home last weekend I prepared all of my graduation announcements and my parents dropped them in the mail a few days ago. I can pick up my cap and gown at the bookstore starting April 22 and my last week of final exams at the University of Florida ends May 3. My parents are coming to Gainesville three out of the next four weekends. One is because Gainesville is on the way home from a tennis tournament (April 13), one is for a Women’s Chorale performance (April 19), and one is for graduation (May 4). With all of the packing I have to do before I leave for California (May 15) I wish I could spend one of those weekends in Tallahassee instead of here. In four weeks I will be a college graduate. Too bad I won’t get my degree in the mail until six weeks later.

Goofing Off – 04.04.02

April 4th, 2002

Quote of the Day:
“It can giggle all it wants, but the galaxy’s not getting any of our Bourbon.”
Commander Tucker, “Enterprise”

At least something good is happening on “Days of Our Lives” today. Sammy and Austin’s second wedding turned out pretty much the same as the first one several years ago. Namely, the marriage never took place. It’s good to know that some things never change. Thursday is the only day of the week that I don’t have class during “Days” so I appreciate an exciting plotline when I am actually around to watch.

After spending most of yesterday, when I wasn’t in class, studying for my third biology test of the semester I made myself go to bed at 3:30 AM. My alarm went off at 7 AM, but I probably would have slept through the exam if Amy hadn’t come home at 7:45 AM and woken me up. The first thing that ran through my mind when I realized I had a test in forty-five minutes was, “Maybe if I stay in bed this whole thing will just go away.” Fortunately I was able to counter the urge to drift back into dreamland. The second thing that ran through my mind was,” What’s the difference between substrate-level phosphorylation and oxidative phosphorylation?” Then I panicked because I couldn’t answer that question and I knew it would be on the test. In the end the exam wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be and I can stop thinking about biology for a while.

I have devoted today to goofing off. Starting at 9:30 AM when I got back from my test, at least. The first thing I did was finish reading “Princess in Love,” the third book in the Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot. If you haven’t read any of these books (and you are female) I would highly recommend them for their witty and amusing writing. Of course these stories are fictional, but I wish I could keep a diary as detailed as Mia’s. Considering you are reading my diary right now you realize that this is just not happening in my case. I’m also not the princess of a small European country and that might have something to do with it.

The next method of relaxation that I tried this morning was shopping therapy. (Sadly, I heard this phrase on a Pier One commercial with Kirstie Alley.) I ordered a bunch of t-shirts from delias.com since I have had such a hard time finding any that I like in the stores. When I clicked the “check out” button I was quite surprised at the total price that showed up. It was more than I expected, but the chance that everything will fit is very small. More than likely I will have to return something and that will lower the eventual charge on my credit card. And if all of the shirts do fit I will be so happy that the cost won’t matter anymore. So one way or another it’s no big deal.

The crossword puzzle is hard today. Usually I spend some time working on the “Alligator” (UF student newspaper) crossword to relax between classes. Sometimes I can finish the whole thing in ten minutes but today is not one of those times.

So now I am sitting on the floor of my room, watching the end of “Days of Our Lives,” and thinking of the things I need to do. Today is Amy’s twenty-third birthday so there are flowers, balloons, and gifts everywhere. I volunteered to arrange a birthday table for her at dinner tomorrow so I have to go pick up the cake and decorations tonight. Let’s just hope I can find a parking space close to the house when I get back. Walking too far with the cake could have disastrous results. Other things on the “to do” list are studying for a computational linear algebra quiz tomorrow and taping the newest episode of “Enterprise” tonight.

I have really enjoyed “Enterprise” since it started last fall. Just like books, TV shows are appealing to me when the characters have personality and history that give them more depth than a face on the screen. I have learned to love some characters on “Enterprise” and appreciate the ones that I wasn’t crazy about to begin with. That’s a sign of good writing.

So now that I have employed writing as yet another form of relaxation I think it has done its job. I managed to write about several things that have been on my mind lately while avoiding the biggest issue. It won’t be long before I have to decide where I am going to graduate school, but I would like to avoid thinking about it at the moment. Since I have devoted today to goofing off I am going to try and find another relaxing pastime before I have to go and get the birthday stuff for Amy. Maybe a nap is the way to go.

Spring Break – Avoid Chicago – 03.10.02

March 10th, 2002

Quote of the Day:
“I honestly wish there was something between us – a continent.”
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”

If I need to fly somewhere in the winter I am going to make sure that Chicago is not involved. I suppose I should have explored the weather possibilities in the “windy city” before booking my flights to and from Los Angeles. Next time I’ll make sure to consider it because I don’t want to have another experience like the one I went through yesterday.

Saturday, 03.09.02
9 AM PST – Dan drops me off at Los Angeles International Airport and I pick up my boarding passes at the United counter
9:30 AM PST – At the gate I discover that my flight, which is supposed to leave at 11:10 AM, is delayed until 12:30 PM due to the weather conditions in Chicago
12:30 PM PST – I board the plane in anticipation of a 1:10 PM takeoff
1 PM PST – The pilot informs the passengers that all planes in Chicago have been grounded and that our next possible takeoff time will be at 3 PM, I get off the plane and call the United 800-number
1:30 PM PST – My choices are either to spend the night in Chicago and wait for the 6:45 AM flight to Chicago the next morning or switch both flights to later
2:15 PM PST – I tell the United employee on the phone to switch my flight to Jacksonville to 6:45 AM the next morning
2:30 PM PST – I board the plane to Chicago for the second time
3 PM PST – The flight to Chicago finally takes off
8:30 PM CST – I arrive at O’Hare and discover that my flight to Jacksonville, which was supposed to leave at 6:51 PM, hasn’t left yet and is scheduled to leave at 11 PM
9 PM CST – After walking about a half mile to the gate an attendant tells me, without checking on the computer, that the flight to Jacksonville is completely booked and I do not have a seat on it
9:15 PM CST – After walking that half mile again the United customer relations representative, who actually checks the computer reservations, tells me that I do have a seat on the flight
9:30 PM CST – After walking that half mile again I get back to the gate where the flight to Jacksonville is scheduled for an 11 PM takeoff
11:30 PM CST – I board the plane

Sunday, 03.10.02
12 AM CST – The flight to Jacksonville finally takes off
12:15 AM CST – We seem to be taking an aerial tour of Chicago and I notice that the plane isn’t gaining enough speed or altitude
12:30 AM CST – Flying over Lake Michigan, the pilot tells us that the cargo door is not closed completely and we will land in Chicago again to correct this problem
12:45 AM CST – It seems that we don’t have to land after all and the flight can continue to Jacksonville
3 AM EST – I arrive at Jacksonville International Airport

Although this isn’t the part of spring break that I want to remember, I thought the schedule was wacky enough to share. I’ll post more about the fun parts of spring break when they are ready.

The Fellowship of the Ring – 02.01.02

February 1st, 2002

Quote of the Day:
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.”
“Moulin Rouge”

On December 19, 2001 “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” was released to sold-out showings in theaters across the United States. On December 19, 2001 I was in Houston, TX. After my dad and I got into town that afternoon we planned to go see the movie. However a variety of factors kept us from doing so, including an idiotic hotel employee, a closed theater, and inaccurate phone book listings. Instead we got Blizzards at Dairy Queen.

On December 20, 2001 I was in Biloxi, MS. The best thing I can say about our hotel was that it was across the street from a beautiful stretch of beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Besides that, the wallpaper in the bathroom was moldy and peeling off the walls and the sheets were too short for the mattresses. When my dad confronted the front desk staff about these problems the next morning all he got was excuses. Apparently they were in the middle of remodeling but that shouldn’t excuse such blatantly unhealthy and annoying conditions. The prospect of seeing “The Fellowship of the Ring” in Biloxi was better than in Houston, however. At 5 PM my dad and I found a theater that was showing the movie and we bought tickets for the 8 PM showing. That left us with three hours to kill at the Biloxi Mall. Not an easy thing to do. Anyway, we eventually got to see the movie.

I hate to say it since I am such a huge fan of the works of JRR Tolkien, but I was disappointed by the movie adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring. During filming of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” fans were constantly reassured that the director was staying true to the wildly popular book. No such reassurance accompanied the production of the movie I saw in Biloxi. There were so many little discrepancies between the film and the book that I was distracted trying to remind myself how things “really happened.” For example, I remembered that Gandalf had figured out the “speak friend and enter” riddle but somehow that role was transferred to Frodo in the movie. Also, Boromir didn’t actually hold the ring at any point. The proximity alone was enough to make him power hungry. Then there was the Arwen thing.

I often call Jar Jar Binks the worst mistake George Lucas ever made because the character ruined the carefully crafted world where Star Wars takes place and also alienated many fans. I feel the same way about the portrayal of Arwen in the movie adaptation of “The Fellowship of the Ring.” In the trilogy she was nothing more than a pretty face and didn’t utter a word until the story resolution, near the end of The Return of the King. She was certainly not Arwen: Warrior Princess according to Tolkien. If I were Peter Jackson, the director of “The Lord of the Rings,” I would have cast a gorgeous model as the non-speaking Arwen, rather than Liv Tyler, and kept the plot as it was originally written. I did notice one funny discrepancy between the book and the movie involving Arwen. When she and Aragorn are talking in Rivendell she reminds him that when they first met she vowed to give up her immortality to be with him. Actually, in the story, she kind of blows him off at their first meeting. It takes her quite a while to decide that Aragorn is good enough for her. I was quite amused that this fact was ignored in the movie adaptation. Moviegoers who haven’t read the trilogy don’t realize that this couple wasn’t always so happy together.

When my dad and I were walking out to my car after the movie was over I realized what was really bothering me. There wasn’t enough character development. Even though we had sat through a three-hour production I wasn’t as drawn to the onscreen characters as I was to their literary counterparts. In a diary entry dated April 28, 2001 I wrote:

“It’s not usually the story that entrances me but the characters in the story. I don’t care if they appear in a book, in a movie, or on TV a great character makes all the difference in any form of entertainment. Even if the story isn’t as interesting or exciting as it could be, if the characters involved have been developed carefully they become more important than what they are doing.”

I suppose it can be argued that the events that transpire in The Lord of the Rings are more important than the characters but that doesn’t change my perception of the movie. Tolkien spent a good deal of time creating traits and backgrounds for each character and those details add a significant amount of depth to the good vs. evil storyline. There just wasn’t time in the movie production to do justice to the complex characters without numbing the backsides of audiences past recovery. One of the most significant aspects of the books is the relationship between Frodo and Sam but I didn’t even get a hint of that in the movie. In the end I just didn’t feel close to the characters I had watched for three hours. In a diary entry dated April 14, 2001 I wrote:

“Sometimes I form such emotional attachments to fictional characters that I worry about how they lived when the written story ended. I can see myself in their nature. I can sympathize with their feelings. I can wish I was there beside them to offer my help. Sometimes the world that we live in isn’t the most exciting one you can find and you need to go searching for one that will make you feel like no matter what happens you will always have a friend to turn to – even if he or she only exists on paper.”

I couldn’t form emotional attachments with the movie characters, as I had with the ones I only read about. I saw no place where I could fit into the story, as I had when I held the book in my hands. I didn’t see the characters as friends, as I had when I knew them before. Something was lost in the translation, a sense of intimacy that I felt with written words that didn’t make it to the visual medium. I am sure I am not alone in mourning that loss.

So that pretty much sums up the reasons I was disappointed in “The Fellowship of the Ring” as I saw it on a movie screen in Biloxi, MS. If I went into the aspects of the movie that I did like this entry would twice as long as it is now. Since I know that no one wants to read any more of my amateur critiques now I will stop here. Maybe at a later date I will expand on what I liked about the movie.

Gainesville Weekend – 01.26.02

January 26th, 2002

Quote of the Day:
“I hope you get a lot of work, holidays included, and dance yourselves into beautiful nervous breakdowns.”
Bing Crosby, “Holiday Inn”

I had forgotten what weekends in Gainesville were like. During the week I compile a list of things to do on the weekend while looking forward to a couple of days away from class. I revel in the thought of no set schedule and complete relaxation. Then, when the weekend comes, I remember how boring all of that really is. I spent the better part of today sitting in front of either my computer or the television. It’s not that I don’t have homework due next week but the assignments are not yet urgent enough to capture my attention. At 5 PM I ran some errands, which got me out of the house, but that still means all I have to show for today is some groceries and webpage updates. I suppose the day isn’t over so I can still get some work done but I don’t think that’s very likely.

One of the memos on my Handspring Visor Neo (my favorite Christmas present) is a list called “Diary topics” and it has four items right now. I have been meaning to write about these subjects separately but a combination of being busy and lazy has kept this from happening. Since I regret not keeping up with my diary entries over the summer and fall, when so many interesting things were happening in my life, I am going to try and discuss just about everything on my “Diary topics” list now before I forget why I wanted to write about them in the first place.

1) ”Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” – This requires its own diary entry for a full explanation so be on the lookout for it in the future.

2) Graduate school applications
I thought this was a hassle when I was trying to write my statement of purpose at the beginning of the month, but there was no way I could have known what a mess this process was going to become. I finished submitting all of my applications on January 17 when I dropped off the Georgia Tech package at the post office. In my innocence I believed that I was finished with all of my obligations concerning these applications because I had completed everything that was my responsibility. I was wrong. Around the same time I dropped by a professor’s office to say hello and discovered that he hadn’t written my letters of recommendation yet. His question was, “Is this a problem?” My answer was, “Well, yeah considering that three of the due dates have already passed.” If I hadn’t been so shocked my reply might have been a bit more profane. I got his assurance that he would write the letters and mail them that day.

After learning that my professor had not met the application deadline I emailed the universities for which the deadlines had. I was in for more disappointment. UCLA and Stanford, the two schools I heard back from, had not received letters of recommendation from either of the professors I had requested them from. Now I was totally panicked. These schools were not going to process my application for admission without all of the necessary paperwork but the lack of it wasn’t because of me. That was the most frustrating part of my dilemma. Immediately I contacted my professors. The one I had talked with the previous week had still not written the letters and the other thought he had written them but was mistaken. I was in California when I called these guys and asked if they would be kind enough to write letters of recommendation for graduate school. Both had agreed and I mailed them the forms on Thursday, December 14. My professors had willingly accepted the task of writing these letters for me and they were grown men would could handle this responsibility, right? Wrong.

On Friday, February 1, all of the deadlines for the universities I applied to will have passed. At this point one of my professors has sent the letters of recommendation but I haven’t heard from the other. I have had quite a bit of email and phone contact with the graduate advisors at UCLA and Stanford in the past couple of days. They will have several emails from me in their inboxes on Monday as well. I haven’t had any luck contacting Cal Tech by email or phone. I just want to have this mess cleared up by the end of the week. If this keeps me from getting into graduate school I don’t know what I’m going to do. Until I hear from the universities either accepting or rejecting me I’ll just have to hope for the best.

3) Birthday table
On January 9 I turned twenty-three. Besides the flowers I got from Dan it was a miserable day. But that’s not what this topic is meant to discuss. The next week my little sister Katherine orchestrated my sorority birthday table at dinner. This is one of the rare times when my sorority “family” all sits together around one table at dinner. Besides Katherine, I got to see her little sister (my grand-little) Catherine, my other little sister Melissa and her little sister (my grand-little) Tonya, and my other friends in the house. The birthday table tradition is having the whole house sing “Happy Birthday” to you as your cake is carried out to your table. Then you are asked your age. My reply was, “I turned twenty-three last Wednesday.” For a moment after that we sat in stunned silence. The pause lasted long enough to be noticeable before everyone started clapping, completing the tradition. Apparently I am ancient to most of my sisters. It took me a long time to come to terms with my role in Alpha Chi Omega. I’m not a typical sorority girl nor am I a typical sister my own house but I am content being the only one who knows the song we sing at the end of chapter. Having the president look to you for a cue is embarrassing. Anyway, I was amused by the shock I caused at dinner that night. It’s not the first time I have caused a stir among the sisters (initiation, fall 1997), but probably just the second.

4) Summer internship
I went to Tallahassee last weekend to celebrate my mom’s birthday. When I got into town on Friday night my dad and I went to Steak ‘N Shake for dinner and then to Wal-Mart to stock up on Slim-Fast. As we were walking through the Tupperware section my cell phone rang. It was Boeing offering me a summer internship. At first I was confused because I had only mailed my application a few days earlier but the lady on the phone told me she had received it. After listening to the obligatory explanation of my salary ($19 per hour because I will have a degree by then), my start and end date (May 28 and August, respectively), and my benefits I accepted immediately. The lady on the phone must not have realized that I had already been an intern with Boeing twice because she asked, “Would you like to take some time to think about it?” Of course not. So it’s only January and I already have my summer job lined up. Now all that’s left is to plan my trip out there in May and wait for the graduate school offers to come in. Will the cross-country trek out to California in May be one way or round trip?

It is now 11:45 PM and my usual bedtime is midnight. At this point it doesn’t look like I will be getting any homework done tonight. I got all of my shopping done today, however, so that leaves all of tomorrow to slave over the engineering paper. At least I can cross “write diary entry” off my to do list for the weekend. Since I didn’t get to the Lord of the Rings topic, and since I have several other that were not yet on the “diary topics” Handspring memo, be on the lookout for more entries in the near future. That is, as long as being busy and lazy don’t get in the way.

First Day Back – 01.08.02

January 8th, 2002

Quote of the Day:
“I guess school is just a pain in the butt and that’s the end of it (no pun intended).”
Shrew’s News, 11.16.99

The people in Gainesville, FL who don’t own ice scrapers, and I’m guessing that’s just about everyone, probably wished they did this morning. I got out of bed at 7:15 AM this morning and turned on the Weather Channel to see what it was like outside. My current room can get deceptively warm when the sun is shining through the windows, no matter how cold it is outside, so I wasn’t going to rely wholly on my clock thermometer. The last thing I expected, however, was to be informed that it was 26 degrees! There are no sweaters in my wardrobe so a long-sleeve shirt, fleece jacket, and Wal-Mart mittens (two pair for a $1.50) had to suffice. While most of my body was toasty walking to class in this attire my ears were hurting from the cold. The temperature got to about 55 degrees later in the day – colder than average for Gainesville, but not too bad considering the frigid start.

Going back to class at UF is strange after being gone since last May. The first thing I remembered was to be mindful of protected turns when I am crossing the street. The next thing I remembered was how annoying it is when you just miss your chance to cross 13th Street and you have to wait through another cycle of the traffic light. Besides the position of head coach of the football team, not much has changed on campus in the past nine months. The Reitz Union is still under construction, the bookstores overcharge for textbooks, and parking is atrocious. However, besides all of the face I don’t recognize, our sorority house has a new look. After finding some extra money in the budget last year (2001) our dining room has been redecorated, some of the bedrooms have been fixed up, and Ethernet has been installed. When I walked into the dining room to eat my breakfast this morning it was like being in an entirely different house. I am starting to feel this way about all aspects of the house. After five years here it’s definitely time for me to move on. The Gamma Iota chapter of Alpha Chi Omega isn’t the same as when I first joined and I feel like it’s time for me to leave it to the new sisters. Until then I am going to have to remember that I don’t live in the same room as before (I keep trying to go there instead of to my new room) and that the back hall shower floods ever time you use it!

I only had two hours of class today – biology (the only class I need to graduate) and the “hard” linear algebra class. As far as I can tell the “hard” linear algebra is not for me. The professor told us that we will be “thinking about linear algebra all the time” and that doesn’t exactly appeal to me. Tomorrow I will be going to the “easy” linear algebra class and I’ll see if that fare will be more palatable. Too bad I have six hours of class tomorrow when it’s my birthday.