Archive for December, 2010

Taking Care of Business

December 14th, 2010

Life is easy these days. Let me repeat that: life is easy. It still feels like my vacation has already begun. In my last post, I summed up what I still need to do.

I have taken care of some of the things on my last.

  • I took my Astronomy exam. It did not go as well as the first two exams, but that is not too surprising if you consider that I only lost 1 point on those two exams combined. It felt like a failure, but I am a bit of a perfectionist.
  • I turned in our Astronomy project.  You can listen to the25-minute radio show that we produced here. Again, I am a perfectionist. I wish I could have made the sound quality better, added in some jingles, and put some nice music under one of the songs. Just in general, I’d like to make it better. However, it still turned out good and I think my professor liked it.
  • I got my hair cut today. It forgot how good it feels to get a nice professional haircut. It had been a year since I got my hair cut at Ms. Jody’s downtown. I have been coming to her since my first year, but now I hadn’t seen her in a year. Last year, I grew my hair out and over summer I got a buzz cut (yes, dad, I like your hair cuts too).
  • I put in three loads of laundry today. That means it was about time to do laundry, but it mostly means that I’ll have lots of clean clothes and a clean bed to sleep in. That always feels great.
  • I talked to my younger brother who is in Australia right now. It was great to see him on the web cam and hear his stories about Thailand and his plans for the coming months down under.

So, what is left is two papers for African Religions and my third chapter for IS. As I said, this week is challenging because I have so much time that it seems that I don’t have to do work. Tonight I am going out for dinner and then hopefully tomorrow will be a very productive day.

Bastiaan

PS the cold is crazy these days. The wind chill gets down to negative 10 fahrenheit. It took me half an hour to get my car clean today and to manage to open its doors. However, the snow and sun combination is still very beautiful. As long as you cover every inch of skin, this brutal cold won’t kill you.

It Wasn’t That Bad

December 12th, 2010

As I predicted in my last post, this week was easier than I thought.

Right now it feels like I am on vacation already, but that is not completely true yet. However, the lack of meetings and classes make it seem like I have all the time in the world.

There are still some things that I need to take care off:

  • Astronomy Project: we can write on anything that we want and put it in any format. Together with a classmate, I am working on a comedy piece with several songs.
  • Third African Religions Paper.
  • Final African Religions Paper.
  • Astronomy Exam. Tomorrow starting at 2:00 p.m.

Then, since I feel like I have so much time, there is a list of things I’d like to do this week:

  • Going out for dinner at Broken Rocks. I got a nice gift certificate for being one of the three best speakers during the Communication Studies I.S. speeches.
  • Getting a hair cut. My hair has been growing the entire semester and has not met scissors in months. I think it is time to clean it up a little.
  • Laundry. I have plenty of clothes that need to be washed and it would be nice to wash my bedlinen too before I leave.
  • Pack my belongings for winter break.
  • Write most of my third chapter for I.S.

It seems like an easy week, but I think the week ahead will be a little more challenging than last week. I always perform best under pressure. I have quite some time this week, so I will probably have a hard time getting myself to work.

One thing I am hoping for is that we will get a little blizzard this week. I love snow, but so far we have not had enough. Up to half a foot is predicted for this week, but I hope it will turn out to be more. Of course, but the time I am flying out the snow should be cleared because I don’t want to get stuck in Cleveland.

It is time for me to put in some hours for my astronomy project. I’ll give you an update later this week on how finals are going.
Bastiaan

Extracurriculars Dominate

December 5th, 2010

Everyone is swamped in schoolwork these days. No surprise, we are at the dawn of the last week of classes. All term papers, final projects, Independent Study chapters are due these days. However, it feels like I have just been working on Residence Life and Campus Council duties this past week.

I almost spent the entire first day back from break on writing Residence Life evaluations. I had to evaluate my own performance, that of my supervisor, and the performances of the three Resident Assistants that work in my building. It took me over an hour to write each evaluation, so the day went by very quickly.

Tuesday, I was on duty for ResLife. Being on call is usually not horrible, but if you run into one or two incidents it tends to take the entirety of your night. Of course, Tuesday night I did not get much done other than doing rounds, calling security, and writing some reports on it. Also, Tuesday night is the night that I set the agenda for Campus Council’s meeting that week. The little free time I had, I spent creating the agenda.

Wednesday was free of ResLife duties, but the day after being on duty is always a little more challenging because of a shorter night of sleep. In the evening, I had a Campus Council forum. We asked students for input on several issues that Council has discussed including Technology, determining the status of lounges on campus (wet or dry), and refurbishing our campus pub, the Underground.

Thursday night, there was an in-service for all Resident Assistants. Usually these sessions involve some sort of training, but this session was mostly meant to reward the RAs for their hard work this semester. We had some pizza and played some card games. After this session, I had an hour and a half to complete my Astronomy homework before I had to start setting up for an all-hall program. My staff, my supervisor, and I had organized a midnight breakfast for all residents of Andrews hall. This involved making pancakes, bacon, and sausages in the main lounge. The event was a major success, but of course took away the possibility to work on schoolwork and the possibility to go to bed early.

Both Friday and Saturday night, I was on duty for Residence Life again., the only duty weekend I had this semester. That meant doing rounds and spending the time between rounds in a lounge that has a higher risk of getting rowdy. In other words, no time for winding down and no time for homework. Friday night was probably the most interesting on duty night of my life, it finally ended at 4:00 a.m. (it is probably wiser to omit the details in this post). Saturday I was a little exhausted of course, but I usually give myself this day off in the week. Instead of doing some schoolwork myself, I drove my girlfriend Keri to a Japanese restaurant so that she could do some interviews for her Independent Study. This took most of my waking day. After some dinner, it was almost time to be on duty again. Saturday night was not as interesting as Friday night, but still, I was busy all night and all I got done was sending a few emails.

Today was Sunday. I spent most of the day doing edits for my Independent Study. Man, doing edits takes forever. I did get a good night of sleep, because instead of setting my alarm for 10 a.m., I had set it for 10 p.m. Yes, I am still a proponent for using 24-hour clocks (or “military time”). Now, I am facing a week in which I need to complete a final project for Arts & Entrepreneurship, a final project for Astronomy of Stars and Galaxies, and in which I need to turn in solid versions of my first two chapters of Independent Study (about 40 pages). Professors always say:”you can work ahead, it just takes careful planning.” Well, in my life, it seems like there is no time during which I should be working ahead. It will be a challenging week; however, I know that when I will look back on Friday afternoon, I’ll say: “that wasn’t so bad.”

Bastiaan