daily snaps…

It’s been a very busy week… or maybe I should say month. Keeping me on the run from morning till night! My German classes are trying to stress me out… but you know, “He giveth more grace…” I keep praying for the mercies that are renewed every morning, and God never fails.

Just thought I’d share some snaps from the last few weeks. 🙂 I know, I know, I can do so much better, but haven’t found the time! I’ve even been wanting to write, in my spare moments… but it can also turn into an avoidance tactic. If I’m writing for any length of time, I’m probably shirking at something else.

So, now I need to get moving and read some chapters in my schoolbook before heading to class. Have a great week!

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be the Christmas tree…

It’s been an “interesting” week. I was feeling marvelous on Sunday, when I got slammed with an ocular migraine that put the “aura” into both eyes, rendering me almost blind. Well, it was very bright in there, but I couldn’t read my text book or write any notes about what I was reading. So, studying had to take a back seat for a while, until my vision cleared. The thing about this type of migraine is that it doesn’t always turn into a headache. Unfortunately, I not only got a bad headache, but I was feeling queasy as well. And when you can’t eat much, for me, being hungry will make a headache worse. 12351762_10153712583099976_309084352_oAnyway, I fought through it and kept studying, and then survived yesterday’s exam. Not without having lingering aches in my head, but at least I could eat normal food again and stop drinking ginger tea. I say all this to led up to a more cheerful outlook for the week, now that the worst exam is over, in a way, since I absolutely abominate in-class essay exams. Now, I have two take-home exams to write, and one will be long… but at least I can pace myself.12334250_10153704798709976_403542948_oAlso, I was in bed before nine o’clock last night, though I didn’t turn the light out until about 10pm. No studying, just some relaxing and then a much-needed ELEVEN hours of sleep. Yup, you heard that right. I woke up this morning, feeling amazing, and praying that this lasts for the whole week. Also, as soon as the pressure was off from my first exam, I had time to relax and goof off with my phone. Hence, the selfie that I’m posting down below. 12355785_10153713456899976_2145821784_oBut since one method of relaxing for me is still taking pictures, I thought I’d include one that I took on campus, while waiting for my brother to pick me up. That’s one thing that I absolutely love about winter, how the bare branches are outlined against the sky… and then the sky can take on so many colors and even textures. Of course, anyone who reads my posts regularly already knows that I have something of a tree addiction. Hopefully, I’ll be taking my “real” camera out during the break, and having some fun with it.12342901_10153703881964976_2099653931_o12334524_10153706594024976_1998174422_oEvery Christmas, I manage to start taking pictures of the Christmas tree, even though some of the same ornaments always end up in the shot. I love how the lights reflect on the snowmen and snowflakes… and, of course, I had nothing to do with decorating the tree this year, so I have to help remind myself that Christmas is actually coming. School keeps me so busy that it really doesn’t feel real. So, staring at my pictures does help.12334462_10153712084099976_799253162_oLast night, I was playing with selfies and trying to get some reflections of the Christmas lights on my glasses, when I came across a filter that changed my hair color in that lighting. I always wondered what my hair would look like, if it were blue or green, didn’t you? So, here you go, my attempt to be a chameleon and blend into the Christmas tree. Well, that is, if my hair is green. If it’s blue, then I really shouldn’t blend, right? I could’ve put the pic in full-size, but the lighting was quite dim… so, too grainy. Now, I have to stop goofing off and start writing my take-home exam for my South America class. If I get it finished in good order, and turn it in early, then I will have a full 24 hrs to study for my math exam, which is tomorrow night. 12355957_10153713708489976_449474971_oHave a great week, and I hope to keep coming back on here more regularly over the Christmas break. Oh, and if you are also taking exams this week or next, then I wish you luck on those, also! : )12351802_10153712586354976_775561797_o

thinking & writing hard…

It’s almost here. The end of the semester, I mean. Which means all the deadlines are coming faster and faster. But I’m on top of it. I slammed my way through two papers, over Thanksgiving break. A good thing, too, considering that our printer broke down and I haven’t been able to get a copy (yet) for my dad to edit of my BIG ten page paper. Mom’s going to print it at work tomorrow, while we wait for the new printer to arrive on Tuesday. Who knew that we couldn’t live without printers?

On the other hand, I just realized that my “other” paper, which I thought was due on Thursday… is actually due on Tuesday. So, I’m very thankful that I had just come back with my history books from the library, when I made that discovery. My momentary panic attack subsided, and I was able to throw myself headfirst into the work. Currently, I haven’t officially started writing it, but I had the scraps of my thesis starting to shape up on paper. So, I’ll be getting up at a fairly early hour, tomorrow morning, in order to get more work done before I go to my afternoon class.

Come to think of it, I have no idea what we’re doing at that afternoon class… maybe a German party. We didn’t have homework for Thanksgiving break, aside from working on our German paper. That’s due next week, and I haven’t started it yet, since I had more papers to write before then. But now that my UK paper will be done by Tuesday, that means I can start my German paper early, and get ahead on my studying for exams next week.

Studying for exams is no joke, but it never wipes me out in quite the way that writing papers does, because you can plan and worry, but you still have to make sure you d a really good job of backing up your arguments and get your quotes and references right. On an exam, there’s only so much preparation you can do ahead of time, and they can’t hold you to QUITE the same high standard of writing as is necessary for a paper.

But I’m getting there on the writing and all the lots and lots of thinking… some days you’re just exhausted, and it’s just all the mental work. It would be a lot more fun if I could help decorate the house for Christmas, but I’ve had to sit that out again, this year, and let my mom do that. Of course, my head has barely processed the fact that Thanksgiving happened (oh, my stomach did, don’t worry!), so my head really doesn’t quite get the idea that Christmas is almost here. How about you?

Anyway, this rambling bit of blogging is intended to help me wind down a little from my schoolwork, and maybe it’ll even keep me from having weird dreams about the subject matter which I write about. I assure you, dreaming about my history books and math and things is VERY strange. On the other hand, I think my brain really does process some more of what I studied during the day, because usually on the second day of writing, I have a better idea of HOW to write it. What looks impossible to write at 8pm one night is usually doable, sometime the next day.

So, keep me and the other exhausted students in your prayers, and I’ll plan on having some much more interesting things to talk about, after exams are over. Because truthfully, a few interesting new things HAVE been happening, and I’m looking forward to sharing them, once I figure out the whys and wherefores and what-I’m-allowed-to-say kind of things.

Have a great week, and see you after exams!

a break for autumn…

Fall Break begins tomorrow. But it feels like it’s already started, because my Thursdays almost always feel like Fridays. Tomorrow is just another day to be gotten through, not too much happening, and likely, most of my classes will be empty. So many people leave early, whether their classes are finished or not. But I have to have a really good reason to skip class, so I’m one of the goody-goods that shows up.

10754722_10152785906484976_780152276_oI only had one piece of homework tonight, a map to color and label. Talk about major projects, right? But honestly, I’ve had a busy week, getting through several pieces of writing for one class and beating my way through the most boring history book I’ve ever had the misfortune to read. Thankfully, it was only a little over 100 pages. I read the words, but my brain didn’t comprehend most of it, because I think the writer forgot he was human instead of a live dictionary. And you know, I happen to like words!

10746739_10152783818364976_1290058320_oWhile many students go home, my home is here, so I really don’t have any plans. Except for sleeping in and doing homework. Or studying. So, that means I really need to find something else new and different to do. Maybe I should go to the Botanical Gardens, with my camera, and actually take some pictures, for once. You know, with my real camera. Most pictures you see on here, if you weren’t aware, are from my phone. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just… if I want to take a more detailed photo, my phone camera doesn’t cooperate with me. No closeups of flower buds, you know. Just can’t do it.

10752284_10152785601829976_691994332_oWhat else? I feel like something’s probably slipping my memory. It happens when you’re trying to keep up with all your school stuff. Can’t think of anything else. Whether you’re on Fall Break or not, I hope you have a wonderful week!

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is it a weekend yet?

Time and again, this semester, I’ve found that Thursdays seem like Fridays. I think it’s because unless there’s a test in Geology on Friday, I’ve survived the three long days that sit in the middle of the week. I really do not like being in school until 4:30 or 5pm, so I look forward to signing up for classes that get me out earlier, next semester.

Packing the classes closer together, if possible, allows that early departure… and then a time to relax before beginning homework.As of this moment, it doesn’t really feel like I have homework, but that’s just because I’m taking a deep breath after finishing my first essay exam of the semester, and there’s nothing major happening tomorrow. Just go, pay attention, and head home. This I can do.

But I’m not really short on things to do, and plan to get to work on some things for my English class, later. If I whip through the next 5-10 pages of writing for that, in the next few days, then I can breathe easy while finishing all the rest of my homework. My semester is starting to feel busier, but I’ve been able to fit everything in still… without staying up terribly late!

10718210_10152715804469976_362259217_oLet me rephrase that… I really am a night owl, but I don’t do well at staying up impossibly late doing homework, like a lot of college students do. There comes a point when my brain gets fuzzy, and nothing I read is actually comprehended, so what’s the point of attempting to study then? Also, having to get up relatively early for my classes, I can’t stay up all night and stay awake in class.

So, I keep close track of what’s due and try very hard to clear large gaps of time, when I need to write papers, whether it’s fiction or history or whatever. Often that’s on weekends, when some homework can wait. But most weeknights, I finish with my schoolwork at 10pm, study my Bible for a while, and then get ready for bed. I rarely go to sleep before 12:30am, though I do try and get settled before then.

But even with these good intentions, I know that I’m getting a lot more sleep and going to bed a lot earlier than most college students. And thankfully, it’s reflected in my grades. Some people would look at my life and think I don’t have one, because I’m not out partying every night. I look at my life and think that I’m not wasting the loan money that is allowing me to return to school, and hopefully, being on the President’s List will get me another scholarship.10720671_10152715127664976_886496010_o

Anyway, rather than ramble on about schoolwork, the only pictures I have to share are of some of the construction machines that are spending time on the Clemson campus. Not very exciting, unless you’re like some of the two year old boys I know, who love their machines. I took the picture of the crane, with a 2 year old in mind, who I still have yet to meet. But his family’s moved back east, so I hope to meet all the kids soon. There was something so fun about taking a second look at the construction machines, and to try and make a child happy by taking a picture. Especially when he knows all the names of those machines, and I don’t.

I hope that you enjoy your weekend! I plan to, once it starts, but don’t have any new and exciting plans for myself. Outside of schoolwork, of course. I’ve been reminded that there’s a football game this weekend, and tell myself that maybe I’ll go to one, someday. But who wants to go to one alone? Not me, that’s for sure.

so busy, but the end is in sight…

It is so nice to see that people are still dropping by my blog to read older posts, especially since I haven’t put up a new one in at least two weeks. My life, lately, has been full of constant literature papers and military research papers and studying for German tests and such. Tonight, my final research paper, which I spent most of my Thanksgiving break working on, will be turned in. No more papers.DSC_0140

The upside of that, in a way, is that after the paper is that I can relax a little bit and just study. Sure, studying is time-consuming, but at least I don’t have to write anymore until the day of the exams. I just have to work on cramming lots of review into my head. Oh, and brush up on the subject of my group chemistry paper, because we’re doing a presentation on that, tomorrow. I couldn’t do it on Tuesday, because I “called in” sick.DSC_0194

Well, to be exact, I e-mailed in sick, even though I didn’t need to. But I didn’t want my chemistry teacher thinking I was cutting class and abandoning my partner, and I did want my English Lit professor to know that I watched the movie we were assigned for Thanksgiving break. That assignment was to watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and I really, really liked it. I would have enjoyed being there for the class discussion about it, even if I didn’t need the extra credit from the little quiz he gave. When you’ve gotten A’s on all your English papers, and you’re exempting the exam, you don’t worry too much about extra credit.DSC_0205

DSC_0307-001If you’re wondering about me being sick, I’m finally pulling through, after going to the doctor and being diagnosed as having an upper respiratory infection and conjunctivitis (pink eye). Of course, everyone in my household caught a cold, within the last week or two, and some of them turned it into bronchitis and sinusitis, but I decided those were lame, and switched it up. But most of us have caught pink eye, by now, and we’re waiting for the last members of the household to give in and get it, too.DSC_0443

For those that are keeping up with me, in any form or fashion over the last months, I do have numerous photos of autumn leaves in the surrounding area, that I hope to share, once the Christmas break begins. I also spent a weekend at my Seabrook conference, and have beach photos, and doesn’t everyone have pictures of Thanksgiving dinner? And our Christmas trees are up, with plenty of photo opportunities for closeups of ornaments, and lights and the wonderful home-iness of it all. DSC_0479

So, I hope this will be a tasty sampler (sorry, food pics got to me) of the photos I hope to put up soon, and don’t think that I’ve abandoned you! But finishing all my papers and studying for my exams… that is definitely the priority, at the moment. : )DSC_0503

don’t take the easy way out…

If you are in a field of study or career that heavily involves math and/or science, let me drop a word of wisdom into your ear. Actually, I want it in BOTH of your ears, so it really sinks into your brain. Are you listening?

When you are conversing with a slightly worried history major (or any major that does NOT heavily involve math/science), do NOT spend any amount of time telling them that “it’ll be easy”. In fact, delete the word “easy” from your vocabulary, as long as you are speaking to them. Because, you know what? They WILL NOT BELIEVE YOU.

In the larger scheme of things, let’s suppose that it IS easy. Don’t ask me how you measure this, because “easy-ness” isn’t really a field you can measure. Something can be true, and you still can’t convince the hearer. Have you ever run into that before?

You know for a fact that gravity exists, but that 5 year old of yours still thinks they should be able to jump off the roof, and fly away. Do they really believe you when you say it can’t be done? No, THEY probably think you’re a spoilsport.

Let’s try looking at it from the history major’s point of view. Maybe it won’t be as hard as they think, once they get started. Maybe things will actually start to make sense. Maybe. But that’s not the point. Especially if your history major is a girl, all she’s going to hear, when you begin to speak (and say the word “easy”) is “I’m really smart and I AM GOOD AT THIS, so everyone else should be, too.”. Or she’s going to think you’re bragging.  You may not be doing it on purpose, but she might still think it sounds like you are.

Then again, if you’re really good at science/math, you might not even be able to see my point. You’re too good at these subjects to make it even possible that anyone else couldn’t handle such a simple subject.

Remember, delete the word “easy” from your vocabulary. Instead, encourage the slightly worried history major with things like, “Maybe it won’t be as bad as you think.”, “Take it a day at a time, and I’ll help you if you need a hand.”, or “Take a deep breath. It IS hard, but you can do this. When you study hard, it WILL get better.”

Yours truly wants to know that it CAN BE DONE, but not that it’s easy. Tell me it’s difficult, because I already know that, and now I know you aren’t lying to me to make me feel better.

For example, I know of one… maybe two people that have told me that chemistry will be hard. That didn’t make me feel better, either, but at least I knew they were being honest with me. And now, I just need to survive my first Chem Lab, before I can face the rest of the semester.

So, please… take that advice, put it in your pipe, and smoke it for a long, long while.

and thus it begins…

Just thought I’d drop a quick note, before going back to my reading. Please note that I will not have this much time on my hands, as soon as the semester really gets into gear. Thankfully, the first two days have been overviews, assignments of reading, and a short essay or two.

I knew, coming into this, that the dread of starting was probably going to be worse than the actual classes. I’m doing my very best to not panic over all the work I will have to do, projects I’ll have to complete, and papers I will have to write. I’m trying to take it a day at a time, stay on top of things, and study ahead.

My five classes (and two labs) include German, Chemistry in Context (Chem105), English Lit (20th-21st Century), and two History classes (West & the World II and Modern Military History). Today, I went to what will probably be my hardest class, subject-wise, but the intro to the Chemistry class wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be. It will get harder, but again, I’m trying to not look far enough ahead that I freak out.  : )

When I say hardest, subject-wise, I don’t mean that my other classes will be easy. As fascinating as I find the history, language, and literature, these classes will call for plenty of writing and research to go with it. I love to write, especially when I get to write about anything I want to, with no rules… that’s why blogging is so fun for me. But having to follow the guidelines, do the research, cite the references, and possibly come up with an argument for something… I’m not really looking forward to that part.

Thus far, I really like all of my teachers, who are quite an interesting group of characters, and very different from one another. After sitting in the classes, listening to each of them, for the most part, I thought to myself “Hey, I can do this…”. Well, I’m still a little iffy on the Chemistry, but again, I plan to pay attention, work hard, and try to ask for help from those that are available.

Now, since I’m going to be away for most of the weekend, I need to get back to my reading, and make sure I’ve done almost everything that I can, in advance. I’ll try to get back on here with some updates, after things have settled down.