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Archive for April, 2010

Water

Hey, Kiddos.  Let’s have a chat about water, shall we?  Half inspired by this month’s National Geographic, half inspired by this morning’s events, I feel it’s about time.

Now, we’ve all hopefully heard the list of simple things we can do to conserve water: take shorter showers, do full loads of laundry, turn off the tap while brushing our teeth, et cetera.  The last one on there always seemed really obvious to me, and I wondered who would actually do that.  Well, this morning, while brushing my teeth in the community bathrooms of my hall, I witnessed the most terrible thing that dashed any hope that I had had for humans getting smarter:

I saw a girl leave the tap running at full for over three minutes while brushing her teeth and brushing her hair.  REALLY?  Are you fucking serious?  If I had known her better, I would have turned it off right then and told her not to leave that on when she didn’t need it.  In fact, I should have asked her to shut it off, regardless of the awkwardness that would have ensued.  And if it was earlier in the school year (you know, with more than nine days left before we all part ways), then I would put up a sign saying to turn off the water while brushing teeth.  But, seriously?  Keeping it on while brushing your hair as well?  How fucking wasteful can you get?  I had to leave to keep myself from blowing up.

I suppose that I’m a little more angsty about water waste at the moment since the current National Geographic is all about water.  There are so many examples of how a third of the world can’t get water and how wasteful people are who do have the water.  So, seeing the tap just running killed me.  That water must be cleaned again, will be lost in leakage (up to ten percent of water is lost in leaks in cities), and will take countless hours of energy to get back to that sink.  AHHH!  It drives me crazy!

So, here is what I want you to do: be smart.  Turn off the tap if you don’t need it.  Don’t use water bottles but refillable mugs/cups (I found out that a girl in my house goes to Walmart monthly to fill an entire cart of just bottled water for her family to drink when they go out.  That’s not cost effective, it’s terribly wasteful, and they don’t even recycle all of the plastic).  Don’t water your garden or wash your car if they don’t need it.

Little things can add up.  You’ll save money, there will be less waste (because, let’s face it, I’m the efficiency queen), and you shouldn’t find your day being any more trouble.

So, please!  Don’t brush your teeth while the water runs!  Or I’ll go completely crazy again and turn into Eco-Bitch!

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…I know where I’ll be this November.  Oh no…I don’t know where I’ll be in two weeks.

Dear goodness, the final weeks are upon us at university, and the realisation that I will be back home in less than two weeks slightly terrifies me.  Part of it is the looming desire to get a job that I just can’t get.  The other part is the angry rumble of finals starting this week and lasting until 7 May, which, by the way, is my birthday.

Now, I won’t say that I feel so old, because damn-it, nineteen was never meant to be old, but I won’t say that I’m particularly thrilled with getting to be another year older.  And it’s funny, too, because I used to scoff at people who feared their next birthday.  Sure, I don’t really fear the 7th.  I’m already an adult, so what can another year do aside from lower my drivers insurance?  But it’s still an odd realisation that I’m two years from drinking age, four from when I’ll have to get my own insurance, and six years from when I hit that middle bump in the twenties.  All of this is coming closer like a squall line.  You see it moving awfully slow, but before you know it, the rain comes.

Squalls have been moving in quite a lot lately, and my window gets pelted with mist and water droplets continuously.  It’s relaxing to just sit with the window open, feeling the mist pour into the room and stick to the cover of a National Geographic in hand.  Because, as we all know, I’m an addict for National Geographic magazines.  Add in some NPR, BBC News, and a cup of tea, and I’m set.  Set to be either educated or a fifty-two year old man: you decide.

Really, though, this grandmum of a girl has no clue where she’s going.  In two weeks, will I be getting calls about my volunteer job that the State said I’d get?  Or will I be listening to some Joanna Newsom and painting?  Never before have I been so fearful of what I’m doing in my future; I’ve always been a planner who knew exactly where she was going.  But the summer is a gaping hole in my vision.  Once uni starts up again, I’ll be right back in the swing of things: I know where I’m living, how my room will be set up, what classes I’ll be taking, the clubs I’ll be in…  I even know that I will be seeing Harry Potter in the theatres and Muse in concert in November.  Oh yes, MUSE!

I rant and rave about my favourite bands–Nickel Creek, Vampire Weekend, Regina Spektor, et cetera–and Muse is no exception.  I’m incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to see them and be in good seats.  The only downside is that buying tickets didn’t go according to plan, so my group will not all be sitting together.  But, such is life.  I figure that I did the best I could, so it’s time to except what it will be, get the fuck over everything, and just muse at, well, Muse.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with a poem.  It’s nothing fantastic, but I feel like I should add some of my more creative works onto this blog as well.

– – –

Invisible and present only to reflections

in glass ponds upon southern streets,

Drift the tears of ghosts once

scattered by the angels.

They miss the sun piercing the hearts;

the hearts of blossoms in mourning

of a spring that never came.

But Mason jars brushed with dust

lie in the arms of the angels

who wait beneath the spektors’ cry.

Sweet circles echo upon the mirrors;

rubbish from the point-of-view

of those so desperate to touch God.

And so, invisible be the mourning,

never viewed by the humans

who pass by the blossoms,

still lit in cold,

but in the pools of glass on southern streets.

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I’d been mulling over the idea for a while about starting a blog about the shit that my professors say, and I ended up finalising the idea the other day.  If you would like to check out the new blog, here is the link:

Shit My Professor Says

If you can’t hit the link, then go to http://www.smpsays.wordpress.com

Anyway, if you would like to add any quotes or stories from your professors, you can comment here or send an email to smpsays@gmail.com.  Since I’m launching the site right now, I will take just about anything you have to give me.

Thanks, and hopefully you guys will have some quotes to add.  Just give me the name of your college/university and the department (i.e. math, physics, history…).

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Song Worth

During physics, I decided to completely not pay attention and start working out formulas to describe song worth.  Yes, I did maths for fun.  Don’t judge.

Any way, I came up with a few equations for “song worth”.  AKA: How much are you willing to pay for a song?  Basically, when you buy a new CD, you want to listen to it enough so that you don’t feel like you overpaid.  Each time you listen to it, you are paying less for each song (you can think of it like that).  It’s kind of like wearing a new pair of shoes.  If you only wear that pair once, then you maybe paid thirty dollars just for that day.  But if you wear them over one hundred times before retiring them, then maybe you only paid a few cents per use.  It’s getting your money’s worth.

So, let’s figure out some maths, shall we?  Here’s what you’ll need first:

A/n=S

I’ve decided to use my favourite Nickel Creek album (Why Should the Fire Die?) as an example.  The album cost me about ten dollars, so we’ll say that A (album price) is 10.  Meanwhile, n would equal the number of songs on the album (in my case, 14 songs).  Now, divide A by n to get how much each song is worth at the beginning (S).  Example: 10/14 = .71

Now, our next equation is:

S/x=P

Our S (original song price) is still .71 dollars.  P is how much you think each song is worth after six months.  In my case, I’d like to think that I listened to a song enough if it costs me only 3 cents for each play after six months.  Most people will want to make their song worth at six months somewhere between 2 cent and 6 cents.  We’ll go along with my P of .03.  Now, if you enter in the S and P, you will find x–AKA: the number of times that you must listen to a song so that it will equal your price.  Let’s see if I’ve listened to this album enough for it to be worth it.

.71/x=.03

x=24

So, that means I would have had to listen to each song 24 times for it to really be worth it to me.  And what do I average according to my iTunes?  Around 37 plays for each song in six months.  So that means that I’ve paid a good price–the CD was worth it.  You can also use the equation to show how much a particular song is worth with the current number of listens by filling in the x of how many times you’ve played it to find the P (current price).

Here is another equation if you want it all in the same place:

A/n=Px

A= album price

n= number of songs on the album

P= price of song after so many listenings

x= the price you are willing to pay for each listen after six months (usually around 2 to 6 cents)

Now, none of this is anything other than musings while bored, but it may come in handy if you’re thinking about whether or not to buy an album.  Look at similar music in your iTunes or Zune, see how much you have listened to that similar band, and then figure out how much things equal up to.  Maybe you’ll find that it will tell you the worth of what you pay for.  Enjoy.

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As part of a “Why I Love Truman” series, here are some beautiful photos of campus that I took this noon.  I’m so blessed to live on the most gorgeous campus in all of Missouri.

I hope that you enjoyed some of the pictures of campus.  My camera is complete crap; maybe I’ll get a new one over the summer that does not inform me that it is “processing” for a full minute between each photo.

Oh, and while I was taking pictures, I SAW A GRIM!

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…Midway through April, actually, and yet I have not posted more than, what, one thing?  Ridiculous.  Yeah, yeah.  Ridiculous; I’ll fill you in.

Humans v Zombies continued on last week, and I spent an afternoon reading in the quad, watching a mission take place.  A gaggle of humans stalked by and then a horde of zombies, with me on a blanket sitting in between.  For more than an hour, I watched the ensuing battle, which was highly entertaining.  I’d show you the photos that I took, but my internet access at university is so poor that it will have to wait until I am back at home in three weeks.

(Note, I ended up getting a different picture to work:)

I’ve been spending the past weeks more and more outdoors reading or spending time with friends.  We’ve gone out on blankets to hang out, do homework, and even have a picnic.  It’s wonderful to not have to wear a coat and even better to wear only a t-shirt, which the weather has permitted over the past two weeks.  I’ve been able to be more active with this weather, too, which is nice since I now have a new goal for getting in shape.  I’m usually all about health and just making sure that my body is healthy, but now I want to shape it up so that I can join belly dancing next semester.  Granted, I could join as I am now, but I think I’d be more comfortable and have an easier time if I worked on getting a trimmer middle over the summer.  So I’m going to try swimming every morning, get back into running a few miles each day, and I’ll now try some preliminary dancing to tone up.  Belly dancing, here I come!

It seems funny to me that these pictures were only taken around a week ago, yet the entire campus has blossomed since then.  It’s absolutely gorgeous.

Three weeks until summer, though…  What an odd realisation.  Over my extended break, I plan to go to Florida to visit my dad, maybe get a volunteer job on Main Street (if they should ever need the extra help; they can call me at a moment’s notice, I think), sew at least two dresses and a skirt, and paint at least four paintings.  I promised my friend Heather that I would enter a painting into the Missouri Hall Art Gallery next year, so if I make that over the summer, it will free my time up over the semester to work on it.  I’m thinking of painting a scene from the quad or somewhere on Truman’s campus, and it will be big.  Bigger than any other painting that I’ve yet done (I’m thinking one of those canvases that’s nearly three feet tall).  I’m also painting pictures for both my current room mate Jess for her room next year and my friend Abby for her room next year.  It shouldn’t be so odd that I’m looking forward to making these paintings so much, but I am.  That’s why I became an art minor, I guess.

Speaking of art, I finalised my schedule for next semester, and it’s a beast.  I have statistics, intermediate German, British literature from Romantic to Modern, a six hour long drawing 1 course, and a 400-level Intro to Clinical Psychology class.  The last one is rather intimidating.  It isn’t just a difficult class but a class meant for older psych majors, so I may be kicking myself next semester.  But, maybe it will teach me good work ethic, and it will put me ahead.  I just wish that I could have gotten into social psychology like I had originally planned for, but upon entering in the code during registration, I accidentally put in the code for psychopharmacology, which in no way interests me or goes toward what I will be doing with a psychology degree.  By the time I could try and fix my mistake, it was too late–the class was full.  So, I ended up finding this 400-level gem that fit into my schedule.  We’ll see how it turns out.

Meanwhile, what an awesome group of friends I have: they helped me create a Quidditch team for my university’s Quidditch match last week.  It was a great time with six teams vying for the top spot.  Now, we aren’t the sportiest bunch, so we definitely had more losses than wins, but it was incredibly fun.  The hosts of the events even gave out legit Harry Potter snacks (fudge flies, chocolate frogs, Berty Bots beans, pumpkin juice, butter beer, et cetera).  What an awesome time.  Here are some pictures that my internet finally allowed me to upload:

Our team name was Albus and the Dumbledores, and we even made legit tie-dye shirts for the event.

We played with beach balls, a volley ball, and these tall hoops.  It was actually quite challenging.  The snitch ended up being a track runner with a sock hanging out of his shorts that you had to pull out.  I was seeker, and it was definitely hard work; I was feeling muscles the next day that I didn’t even know I had.  Ouch!

And, of course, we ran with brooms in between our legs, which was more fun than challenging.  Awkwardness, after all, can be one of the best things ever to laugh at.

That’s about it for now.  Hopefully this filled you in a little about what has been going on in my life.  Thank God for spring and summer holidays!  Hope you’re all doing well.

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As some of you know, I blogged quite frequently last semester during Humans vs Zombies, a giant game of tag where the risks include death (by zombie hordes).  If you would like more information about the game, I recommend you check my intro post about it here.

Unfortunately, I have to tell you that I am not participating this semester, even though I’d like to.  My stress level is through the roof because of exams, getting my Quidditch team together (shit you not), and general university things.  So I ended up deciding to bow out.

Trust me, I wish I was playing (even though I’d be kicking myself).  Every time I see a human running around, I feel a surge of hope for them.  Of course, it’s dashed when I see a zombie running behind him, but nonetheless.  I ended up walking to the student union building (SUB) today, and a group of three guys were walking across the campus.  One had the arm band of a human, and I quietly walked beside his group to shelter him from the eyes of a nearby zombie.  We ended up talking afterwards, and it made me feel like I was playing a little bit.  Truthfully, I always feel like I’m playing; I get nervous when I see girls with big headbands, thinking they’ll be zombies, and every time I see my friend Blaine (who wears a bandana each day to keep back his hair), I inform him that he is a zombie.  It’s honestly something I’ll probably do for the rest of my life.

This game has made me overly paranoid and stressed at the sight of cloth.  Erg…

Speaking of some of the stressors that kept me from playing, I had a physics exam today that I spent the entire morning studying for (I even missed my sensation and perception class so that I could study physics and German).  When my physics teacher gave out the exam, he said two things:

“If you don’t put your name on the paper, I’ll take three points away instead of two.  INFLATION!”

Then he walked across the room to start handing out each exam, and before giving it to the first person, he said:

“RELEASE THE KRACKEN!”

Okay, okay, fine.  Maybe I don’t regret taking this class, if only for that.  But I will regret the B grade that I will get, which will lower my GPA.  Oh well, such is life.

– – –

The following selection from this post has been deleted.  Sorry.

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