A Disaster Day – 6/9/99

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My day started out much later than it should have this morning. As usual, my alarm clock went off at 8 AM. I have the clock on my dresser that is on the wall at the end of my bed. This requires me to sit up to crawl to the end of the bed to turn off the radio when it goes off. I thought this would help me get up in the morning, but I also set my alarm to go off thirty minutes before I have to start getting ready for class. This morning I turned off the radio and went back to sleep for over an hour. I woke up to Liesl slamming her bedroom door this morning at 9:05 AM. This is the time I usually leave for class so naturally I panicked! Everything seemed to be against me getting to class on time. The first problem was Brandy had left the TV on with the Weather Channel blaring after she left for her 8 AM class. This led Liesl to believe that I was the one watching it in the common area and that is why she didn’t wake me up this morning.

The first thing I did when I woke up was jump out of bed and start changing my clothes to go to class. A million things were running through my mind, mostly yelling at myself for sleeping in, but the most prominent was a question. “Is it really worth it?” I was wondering if I should be killing myself to get to Marriage and Family or whether I should just relax and miss class. At first this sounded like a good idea so I put back on my pajamas and went back to my bed. Less than a minute later I felt like a slacker so I decided I could make it to class and only be a few minutes late, at the most. So I scrambled out the door – no breakfast, no jewelry, no primping, only time to splash my face with cold water so I wouldn’t look like I was still asleep. My legs hurt after my fifteen-minute “walk” to class that was practically a run. As soon as I walked in the classroom door I was SO glad I had gone! We had an assignment that was due today and I hadn’t remembered about it until I got there. Don’t misunderstand, I had done the assignment, but I forgot that it was due today. I am such a moron.

I had my usual bowl of rice for dinner tonight around 5:30 PM while watching “Full House” on TV. Around 6 PM Stuart called and asked if I had eaten already. Dumb Lauren told him no! (And now I am talking about myself in the third person.) I guess that rice wasn’t very memorable because I realized that I had already eaten about two seconds later. Stu laughed a lot – I guess it was pretty funny. Anyway, he was making pancakes so I went over to his apartment and ate some. They were little burned due to the fact he was cooking them in a skillet, but they still tasted good. (Stu, are you reading this? They tasted good, sweetie. I won’t deny that.) I little discoloration never hurt a pancake. I wish I had been able to walk tonight, but by the time it stopped raining (it was sort of annoying drizzle, actually) it was too late to be out by myself. Oh well.

I am supposed to be finished with a book for History of Science tomorrow, so at least I need to get some more of it read by then. There’s no way I will be able to finish it. Dr. Hatch only gave us two days to read the entire book and it isn’t that short. Does he think we have nothing else to do with our time? I may not have a very busy social calendar, but almost anything is more important that reading The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn. No offence, Tom, but I am not a complete recluse. However I do need to read some of that book, which is my reason for signing off now.

My General Insanity – 6/8/99

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I haven’t had much time lately to write anything, but also not much has been happening in my little life. We have entered the last two weeks of my summer semester and I have work piling up left and right. I am just a little stressed out. Good news, however, because I got a B+ on my History of Science midterm exam! That was quite a relief. When Dr. Hatch was talking to us yesterday before he gave back our exam booklets he told us that our essays weren’t specific enough. That made me panic because I couldn’t remember my essay being very specific. Apparently it was pretty good, though. I read it again today and realized that my vocabulary isn’t very good when I am under pressure. I used the word “thing” a lot without being too worried about what it meant and my verb choice was about equal to that of a third grader. We only had thirty minutes to write down everything that we knew so I wasn’t caught up in word choice. Maybe I should be next time.

Also in class yesterday we had our first Idiot Quiz (IQ). If anyone has seen “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (or something like that) you will recognize the form of this little quiz.

1) What is your (last) name?
2) What is your favorite color?
3) What is your quest?
4) What is the flight speed of a sparrow?

The fifth question consisted of an essay – in fact the same essay we had to write for the midterm! Coincidence? Somehow I don’t think so. Anyway, I was at a loss about the “flight speed of a sparrow” question because I had never seen any Monty Python movie. (I watched my first one last night.) I asked Dr. Hatch if I should know what he was talking about, but he just told me to make up something. That’s exactly what I did. It turns out that our answers weren’t important at all because the quiz was just checking to see who was in class and to see who wasn’t brain dead at the time. Except for the essay question, but I think I passed. We still have to write a five-page final paper that is due next Friday. I am glad it is an out-of-class assignment because I can make good use of my thesaurus! We are getting the essay topic this Friday so we only have a week to plan and write the paper. I know it can be done, but I am still nervous about making it a great essay.

Stuart and I have been playing a modified version of phone tag tonight. I called him sometime between 6 and 7 PM, but after a little while the parents of one of his roommates (Matt) called and we had to get off the phone. Around 8 PM Stu called me back and we talked for an even shorter period of time before another parent, Chris’s this time, called forcing us to hang up. At that point I decided to take a walk so I said that I would call him back later. After I got back from my walk it was about 9:30 PM and I called Stu’s apartment. This time one of his brothers interrupted our conversation! I got in the shower almost immediately after hanging up the phone and when I got out there was a message. Stu said that he was going to a birthday party for a friend and we would talk later. Not often do we get so many obstacles in the way of a phone conversation. The fates were not on our side tonight, apparently. Well, tomorrow is another day!

When I was walking tonight I passed the University of Florida bat house, like I do every time I walk my normal route by Lake Alice. This time, however, I went by the bat house at almost exactly 9 PM and the bats were making a mass exodus for the evening. I see people gathering to watch the event every night, but I don’t usually pass the bat house that late. It was really neat because a whole bunch of bats were flying away at the same time. I never understood why people went to watch before, but now I have seen it for myself. Too bad the university wants to build a dormitory on that land. They will have to relocate the bat house if that happens. I really enjoy walking by Lake Alice but if there is another dorm there it won’t be such a nice place.

Ouch! – 6/5/99

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For the females (and males that can relate) reading this page, how old were you when you first got your ears pierced? I was ten years old and even then I had to beg my mom to let me do it. I think the only reason I was given permission is because my good friend Abby was getting her ears pierced. The biggest reason I wanted to get my ears pierced was because Abby was doing it and my other friend, Stacey, had already done it. When the day came I was very excited.

Boy did it hurt! Most people will tell you that getting your ears pierced is a piece of cake and there is no pain involved. Don’t believe them! It hurts like holy heck. Having to turn the posts everyday after your ears are pierced, along with having to bath your lobes in rubbing alcohol, doesn’t help much. Ouch! The pain that I experienced is the reason I brought up this whole issue.

Today I was at the mall looking for earrings when I saw a mother having her infant daughter’s ears pierced. The poor child was crying like it was the end of the world and I felt so sorry for her. Does this picture seem wrong to anyone else? Getting sharp objects thrust though the sensitive skin of your ear lobes is painful enough when you WANT to have it done! I almost cried watching this mother subject her baby to that kind of pain. Why in the world would any little kid need to have pierced ears? This I cannot understand. If you wait about five to ten years then she can make a conscious decision to get it done. I wanted to give this woman a piece of my mind! All things considered that could be some form of child abuse, at least in my opinion. My mom was reluctant enough when I was ten years old.

When I was in high school I wanted to get another hole in each of my ears, but my mom had something against that. I kept my idea to myself because my mom was always saying how multiple holes would go out of style and how she hated the way it looked. Finally when I was seventeen I told my mom I wanted more holes in my ears. She went crazy. I told her that I was going to get it done as soon as I turned eighteen (that’s how old you have to be to get it done without your parent’s permission) if she wouldn’t allow it then. She decided that she would rather be there than not, so I had my second holes punched the next weekend. As soon as I got that done I wanted more holes! (I don’t have them yet, but I am seriously considering it for sometime soon. It has been almost three years since the last holes, for goodness sakes!)

I did get some silver earrings today at the mall. Why is it so hard to find plain silver hoops? Beats me, but I finally found some so I am pleased. It two trips to the mall to get it right, though. I went this morning and bought the earrings, but as soon as I got home and tried them on one of them broke. Great, another trip to the mall (which was busy tonight). I did get them exchanged, but I am wary of the craftsmanship and quality. The set I bought had three pairs of hoops so that will work well if I get the third hole soon. (Mom, if you are reading this you will be croaking by now!)

Wanna know how much schoolwork I have gotten done today? Try “very little.” I am going to post this entry online and then get to work. Maybe I can find a few more things that are of higher priority that need to get done first. (Once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator. Don’t deny it.) Maybe I need to shower, or wash the dishes, or email someone, or just get some sleep. I am pretty tired already and it isn’t even 11 PM yet. Too bad I am going to die a painful academic death if I don’t read at least some of my History of Science stuff. Ok I am going now (reluctantly).

The Weekend to Live – 6/4/99

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Guess what? I have the weekend to live (hence the name of today’s entry). Dr. Hatch, my History of Science professor, hasn’t finished grading our midterm essays yet so I can relax for a few days until Monday. At that point I can get tense again, but “I’ll worry about that tomorrow.” (A little Scarlett O’Hara for you guys.) Actually I will have a lot to worry about tomorrow since I am way behind in the reading for that very class. My weekend is already turning out to be a dud, but I won’t let it end up that way. I will relate my success (or lack of it) in carrying out that statement on Sunday.

By the way, the Marriage and Family test yesterday was pretty tricky. Susan, our teacher (she insists that we call her by her first name), said that all of questions would be straightforward and conceptual rather than too specific. Well she lied! A few of the questions I remember reading about when I read the textbook, but they dealt with numbers that I was told we didn’t have to know. Other questions were ambiguous and seemed to have more than one answer. No was happy with the test, but we don’t know our scores yet. Hopefully everyone messed up so there can be a scoring curve. If I don’t get an A in this class I am going to be mighty upset. And to think I declined an offer to be with my boyfriend to study for that stupid test. I would have been better off reading all of the textbook chapters over again rather than study my homemade flashcards. I’ll remember that for our next (and last) test.

Last night I went to Steak & Shake with Stuart and his roommates, Howie and Matt. Chris, his other roommate is home for the weekend. When Stu called about going there I was excited because for some reason I had a craving for a vanilla milkshake. The reason the guys wanted to eat there was because their friend, Brittany, works there. The poor girl had these guys watching her work and they got to witness her spilling a milkshake on another customer. She did give me my milkshake for free, though, so that was really nice of her. I asked her for my check twice before she said that effectively there was never any milkshake in front of me. It pays to be nice (if that’s the reason my shake was given for free). My grandma told me that in an email the other day. Her exact words were, “Keli was our waitress and when she brought the pie announced that it was on the house because we were so nice. So it pays to be nice, but it also puts on pounds on grandmothers.” Isn’t that funny?

Tonight I had the pleasure of eating pizza, going grocery shopping, and watching my copy of “The Three Musketeers” with Stuart. It was nice. Since he has to leave at 6:30 AM in the morning to go hang gliding we didn’t go see the late movie we originally planed to go to. Watching the movie here in my dorm was easier, much cheaper, and it ended earlier.

Speaking of “earlier,” I probably should be going to bed soon. I need to get up early and go shopping for a birthday present for my brother. I have no idea what to get him. He is turning seventeen on June 19. Any suggestions? I never know what to get him for any occasion. I love my brother but all he wants his money this year, and I hate to just hand him a $20 bill. That seems so impersonal. Anyway, I am going to sleep now. Zzzz

“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” Finale – 6/3/99

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I meant to write an entry last night, but I sort of didn’t have time. “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” airs on Thursday nights at midnight here in Gainesville, and since last night was the series finale I had to watch. Too bad it was a two-hour episode and I didn’t get to sleep until sometime after 2 AM. That was brutal on my sleep cycle (which has already suffered enough). Anyway, I am not too happy with how the series turned out. If you haven’t seen the episode yet and you want to be surprised, skip this little list.

1) Where did Captain Sisko go? Yes, I know he said he was with the Prophets, but he also left his newly pregnant wife and teenage son to fend for themselves. Way to go, Ben. I thought that was a pretty dumb way to end the show for him. If the writers can think of a way to use that situation in the future I will be thrilled, but somehow I don’t see that being resolved in any way.

2) Where did Worf go? This I can understand. Worf needs to get back to the sphere of Star Trek movies somehow, and this move to the Klingon Homeworld will get him there. This poor guy has been tossed around by the writers from the Enterprise to DS9, back to the Enterprise, back to DS9, and now to Kronos. Worf is a great character and I will be glad if he is in the new movies, and creative storylines seem to be the way to make sure he is there. We have seen Worf fall in love twice, become a father to his son, Alexander, lose many people who were important to him, and kill lots of high-ranking Klingons. I’d say that entitles us to become attached to the character.

3) Where did O’Brien go? Back to Earth. Why? That is a question I can’t seem to understand. I don’t know if there is a plot reason that Miles went back to Earth to teach at the Academy, but I hope so. He is also a good character that has lasted through two Star Trek series. O’Brien, as well as Worf, has character depth that most roles on television lack. Through the years of watching O’Brien and his family was have seen his marriage to Keiko, the birth of his daughter, Molly, his friendships with Geordi LaForge and Julian Bashir, and his personality changes that make him so interesting.

4) Where did Odo go? To tell you the truth, I was never too fond of Odo because the role wasn’t too interesting to me, but I must say that Rene Auberjonois is a great actor. I admire what he has done with the character. I certainly never expected him to fall in love with Kira! Why they sent him away I don’t know. Yes, his people needed him, but so did the woman he loved. Perhaps the writers had a reason for this move also. Only time will tell.

5) Julian and Ezri? Kassidy and her new baby? Jake? Quark and Nog? Kira? These are the people who are left on DS9. Let me first say that I HATE the idea of Julian and Ezri! I would love to tell the new Dax host where to stick it. I was extremely upset when Jadzia died because she was my favorite character. Jadzia where have you gone and why didn’t you leave a suitable replacement? The twist of sending the new host, Ezri (*shudder*), to the station was a good one but not well executed. Kassidy is stuck with this baby and no father to help her out. Jake is stuck with his father’s pregnant wife and no way to know how to take care of her. Quark is stuck with a profitable bar and very few friends to act as patrons. Nog is now a lieutenant in Starfleet with an absent but recently wealthy father, Rom. Poor Kira is left in charge of the station without the love of her life. (The second one, since Vedek Bariel died early on in the series. Anyone remember that?) I guess you can say I am happy every thing turned out OK, even though not everyone turned out happy. Actually, I can’t think of anyone who ended up happy! Wow that changes my opinion completely. What a bad show!

With all of the plot twists that occurred in last night’s show I don’t know what is going to happen in the future for these crew members. Any movies on the horizon for them? I doubt it, at least not as a full cast. Too bad, because I really loved the DS9 cast when they were together. I just read in TV Guide that the new Trek series may be an Academy-based storyline. Maybe that’s why O’Brien went back to Earth. Like I said, only time will tell. For now it is over and I can go to bed earlier on Thursday nights.

Another Turn (of the Grindstone) – 6/2/99

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I realize that my last entry had very little to do with the title I gave it. I meant to talk about how it was hard to go back to class after a really long weekend and that I have a wonderful Marriage and Family test on Thursday. I can’t say that I have been studying diligently for the test tomorrow, but there doesn’t seem to be that much material to study! Do you know what a “nuclear family” is? That’s about the most complicated thing I have to remember. Just watch the test be really complicated and I won’t be prepared. It would be my luck.

Have I mentioned that I have a wonderful boyfriend? I think so – probably many times! Anyway he is the best. I really should stop telling him when I am going to be studying in the Reitz Union food court during lunch, but I do love for him to join me. If only I didn’t get so scared when he sneaks up on me! I am very grateful to have him around this summer. I would be lost otherwise. Too bad I have to go back to Tallahassee in less than three weeks for the remaining part of the summer. I will miss him!

My mom is worried that since I have Stuart here in Gainesville I won’t want to go to Tallahassee as often. I think she was right. I used to have a boyfriend at home and that was my major motivation for driving there on the weekends. Now I would rather stay here, not because I don’t miss my family and old friends (I do quite often), but because I am more at home in Gainesville. During the regular school year I have my sisters around, people to talk to, stuff to do, and many tests to study for. Add to that the fact that Tallahassee is a pretty boring place to be! Anyone who has lived there for any length of time could tell you that. I was born and raised there so I know! Granted it is a college town, but not the glorified college town that is Gainesville.

I have something to add to yesterday’s rantings and ravings. Almost as soon as I got back from my nightly walk Stuart called. Guess what he was planning to do tonight? If you guess “watch the movie he was going to watch last night,” you win! He said that I had enough time to shower before I went over there. I momentarily forgot about the test I have in the morning. About two seconds later that thought crossed my mind and I had to decline the offer. I know that this Marriage and Family test won’t take too much studying, but I need to devote some time to it. My life follows Murphy’s law, “every that can go wrong will go wrong.” Isn’t that encouraging? Well, uplifting or not, it is the honest truth.

Since I didn’t go watch the movie with Stuart tonight I should get off this computer and study for my test some more. Tomorrow morning at 9:30 AM I am going to need the knowledge on those flashcards that are, at this moment, carelessly thrown on my bed. Back to that proverbial grindstone. Do you know what “role-segregation” is?

With My Nose to the Grindstone – 6/1/99

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I had to go back to classes today for the first time since last Thursday morning. Since I had that killer midterm last Wednesday in History of Science we took Thursday and Friday off. That means we hadn’t had a lecture class for a week. It is hard to go back after that. Also I have a test in Marriage and Family this Thursday. Great, another week of studying. (Maybe not a week, but it sure feels like it.)

This weekend Stuart is going out of town on a hang gliding trip. How am I going to amuse myself? Good question. I was hoping Kathe would come to Gainesville and keep me company, but I don’t think she will. I don’t have that many friends here in Gainesville now and I get lonely easily. I really miss my sisters. There was never a dull moment around the Alpha Chi Omega house, even when there were only five of us living there (at the end of last semester’s finals week). Here’s a good story from that time…

Jennifer Andreu is one of my sisters from Marianna, FL and she has a great southern accent. She also has a fake roach! Can you guess what happened? Another sister, Allison, is deathly afraid of roaches, especially since she had a large one attack her during “Days of Our Lives” once. Jennifer got a load of laughs when she threw the fake roach at Allison. It made her scream (during “Days” once again). Later the little rubber roach was planted in a box of Oreos. I can only imagine what people thought when they saw it lying there amongst the cookies. What a crazy girl Jennifer is. She is also the one who cut my hair at the drop of a hat one evening. She is also the girl whose date for our spring formal had won a pork-eating contest at Sonny’s! I could go on and on about her, but I will stop now. One of these days I will have to make a page dedicated to my sorority sisters that I mention here.
What I was trying to say a few paragraphs ago is that I should never live alone. I am glad I got this dorm with two roommates rather than a single where I would be by myself all the time. Here in the Apartment Residence Facility (ARF) I have my own little (stress little) bedroom, a kitchen, and a common living area. When Brandy and Liesl both leave for the weekend it is very quiet around here. I guess I need someone to talk to so I won’t get lonely as much. This is why I miss my sisters! Being able to go downstairs at the sorority house and find someone to talk to is a priceless opportunity that I shall never take for granted.

Why is it that whenever you get ready to do something that you aren’t sure is going to happen it never does? I went walking early tonight, came back, took a shower, and got ready in case Stuart called about watching a movie at his apartment. Just my luck tomorrow he’ll decide to watch the movie when I have just come back from walking when I look and smell horrible. It’s that how it always happens, though? I wish I had something else to do (besides homework) so I wouldn’t be sitting around here waiting for him to call. I guess I COULD be reading for History of Science, but that might be venturing too far into the realm of boredom. I guess I will have to venture there anyway now that I am finishing today’s ramblings.

Gathering of the Gleasons – 5/30/99

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My family is in Gainesville to visit me this weekend, and that includes mom, dad, Kenneth (my almost 17-year old brother, his birthday is June 19), and my grandparents. When I think about it, all of us have the last name “Gleason.” That’s pretty funny. They all came to town yesterday afternoon and it has been my job to figure out what to do with them since then! I really love my family and it is great to see them. I still get homesick for my family even after spending almost two years in an out-of-town college. I miss shopping with my mom, talking with my dad, lounging around the house I grew up in, and driving around Tallahassee (the town where I was born and raised). Going home every once in awhile is good for me because Tallahassee is the only other home I’ve ever had and it was hard to leave at first. Now I consider Gainesville more “home” because I spend more time here than anywhere else. Anyway, back to the story at hand.

Last night we all went to dinner at this great Italian restaurant in the mall called Rigatelli’s. They have the best food. I invited Stuart to come and meet my family for the first time. Let me just say that I met his whole family (mom, dad, older sister, and two younger brothers) awhile ago. I think I got the seal of approval from them, so that makes me happy. Now it was time for Stuart to be scrutinized by my family. I have talked about Stuart so much to my mom that she calls him “Mr. Wonderful,” which is a pretty good description. I knew everyone was going to like him, and I was right. Both of my parents and my grandparents commented on what a “nice young man” he was. You didn’t have to tell me!

Stuart left to go home for the weekend as soon as dinner was over. I’m not exactly sure of his schedule, but I know that he was planning to go to a big party tonight. Crazy boy. He won’t be back until Monday evening and I already miss him! Am I pitiful or what?

I just got back from a trip to the mall with my mom and grandmother. We spent a lot of time there, but we didn’t buy much. I actually bought a toering at Afterthoughts, but as soon as I tried it on it was too big for my toe! I felt kinda dumb taking it back as soon as I bought it, but the salesgirl said that wasn’t strange at all. In the process of trying on my new toering, my old one broke!! You don’t know how angry that made me. I bought it on Wednesday at Old Navy and I have only worn it twice. I can only hope that I will get my money back for that piece of junk. I am on a little jewelry kick right now. I looked at earcuffs at Afterthoughts too, but I didn’t buy one. Something to think about. And another thing: where can you buy silver hoop earrings in this town? Sorry, just thought I’d get everything out.

Dinner plans are probably on the horizon. I eat way too much with my family around. Having to buy and prepare your own meals significantly reduces them to plain, cheap, and simple dishes. I am used to cereal for breakfast, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and either pasta or rice for dinner. I don’t deviate from that pattern too often. This weekend I am getting delicious meals that happen to be huge and quite filling. Doughnuts for breakfast is a nice change, but I do love cereal – I crave it. Food is a lot of fun when you think about it. I’ll just leave you with that thought.

What a Busy Day – 5/26/99

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Let me tell you about the great day I’ve been having. It all started at 8:00 AM when my alarm clock went off. No way I was going to get up that early in the morning! So let’s skip ahead to 8:20 AM when I actually did get out of bed. I remembered that my History of Science (HS) midterm was today and I freaked out. I had been studying for about three days straight for this test and I still didn’t feel the least bit prepared. I had my Marriage and Family (MF) class at 9:30 AM this morning so I had to delay my HS studying for at least the hour and fifteen minutes I spent there. Of course there was a fire drill during class too! Why in the heck would the university have a fire drill during a class period? It beats the heck out of me. Anyway, after class was over I headed to the J. Wayne Reitz Student Union to study.

I got there and got settled around 11 AM. I sat in the food court where there are several restaurants. When I started there were only a few people there eating or studying. Around 11:30 AM the slow influx of people turned into a massive tidal wave! The University of Florida is holding Preview sessions for incoming freshman now and I think they got out of a seminar around 11:30 AM. Anyway, the place was packed. The ambient noise seemed to help me concentrate. I worked straight from 11 AM until 12:30 PM when I got a little surprise.

I was in the middle of writing down some information I could use for a possible essay question when suddenly a pair of hands covers me eyes. “I wonder who it could be?” Of course it is my wonderful boyfriend Stuart coming to see how I was doing. I don’t know if he knew I would be there or whether he just came for lunch. Either way I was very happy to see him. Earlier I had been thinking how nice it would be if he showed up. My wish came true! It was nice to have someone to eat lunch with, but my studying pattern was interrupted and I didn’t get back into the grove at all, even after Stuart left.

My HS midterm was scheduled for 3:30 PM that afternoon. Even when I showed up to take the test I didn’t feel prepared for it. I estimate that I studied for two days straight with only a little slack time. Was I prepared? More than I thought I was. We had to write four identifications (five minutes each) and then a thirty-minute essay. We had been given a list of 39 possible identifications and 6 possible essay questions beforehand, but it wasn’t as helpful as it seemed. When it was all over my hand and elbow were killing me! I think it went pretty well considering how unprepared I felt before the test. When I find out how I did I will put it in a later entry.

I promised Stuart that I would make dinner after my test. This required a trip to the grocery store because we were having tacos and I needed the necessary ingredients. Dinner was delicious, if I do say so myself, and nothing got burned or burned down in the cooking process. “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” says my mother. At least that’s been her experience. I hope she is right! Brandy, Stuart, and I watched “Dawson’s Creek” at 9 PM, probably much to Stuart’s dismay. It speaks well for him that he sat through such a sappy show. It was wonderful to have him around this evening to talk to. I was glad that the test and my dinner creation had gone so well. After the stress of preparing for my exam I relaxed eagerly and I anticipate a sound sleep tonight.

Studying – 5/24/99

[Copied from it’s original home at http://lyra23.tripod.com/news/5-24-99.html]

When you are a high school student, your teachers will tell you that you are being prepared for the rigors of college through their methods. Perhaps they do not know how wrong they are, but when I came to the University of Florida I found myself in quite a bind. To set the groundwork for my argument I will say that I graduated from high school in 1997 with a 4.55 weighted (3.95 unweighted) GPA which made me Summa Cum Laude and placed my twelfth in my class of 470. I thought I knew what I was doing. I thought college was going to be like taking more high school classes. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake. Boy was I in for a surprise.

Now that I have completed four college semesters and working on the fifth, I can safely say that I now know what college is all about. Surviving isn’t as hard as it may seem to some of you but it isn’t as easy as it looks to others. I have a History of Science (HIS 3463) midterm on Wednesday afternoon and I am terrified. Before I had the experience with tests that I accumulated over the last four semesters I would not have know how to study for a test like the one I will be facing in less than two days. Also I didn’t have any older friends at UF that could have given me vital advice. For those of you who are going to college soon, or those of you who still don’t have the first clue how to study for a test, I will humbly give you my advice. Studying is a process that must be tackled carefully through these steps:

1) First of all make sure you attend EVERY lecture and discussion session. This is the most valuable activity you can engage in while in college. Take careful notes for later reference and ask questions if you don’t understand something.
2) Review your class notes paying attention to what has been emphasized by the instructor. Take notes on your notes so you will have a more concise and shorter version of them at hand for reference. This establishes a sound foundation for your knowledge on the subject at hand.
3) Read (or reread) sections of the text book if applicable. Take notes on your reading. Make sure to write down everything important even if it overlaps with your class notes. In general, writing something down helps you to remember it better than if you only read it.
4) If this is a math or science class that requires problem solving, practice practice practice! That is the best advice. I have had my share of these kinds of courses. The best way to know how to work any problem the professor throws at you is to know how to do the examples. Never underestimate the power of repetition!
5) If this a history class or any other class that requires essay answers you need to know how to write a good essay. I recommend the 5-paragraph method, but that is because I am a very structured person. If you are given potential topics or questions ahead of time make detailed outlines of how you would respond to them. Make lists of the information you know about each topic and make sure to memorize them if necessary. That was always necessary for me.
6) By this time you should be prepared for the exam, but you may not feel that way. Take a deep breath and remember how much you studied. You won’t do as badly as you think. I have a hard time following my own advice, which is why I am freeking out about this midterm on Wednesday.

Well, now you know my personal method I follow to prepare for a test. My system hasn’t let me down too many times yet. The field that I am in sometimes doesn’t let you get away with the kind of studying I do. People think it is crazy to study very hard for a test and still do badly. Of course it’s not crazy – I do it all the time! Sometimes no amount of studying will fully prepare you for what lies ahead. Sometime a professor will give you a test over stuff you have never seen before and you studying method will fail. Don’t give up! Realize that it wasn’t you that failed to meet criteria, but it was the professor that failed to teach. Sometimes it isn’t your fault and it is important to recognize those times. Don’t despair (as I often have) because there is always a way to redeem yourself. Now get off the Internet and start studying!! (I am going to join you.)