"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."
-- The Dalai Lama
Monday, August 30, 2004
I say down with unnatural time systems - let's revert to a calendar and clock system that follows natural cycles. Maybe it would do us all some good :)
Sunday, August 29, 2004
Other than the tired thing this first week back at school has gone really well. I made it to the gym four out of the five mornings, and my knee is doing much better than it was a week ago, thank goodness. If I had to get another cast or brace - especially if it meant having to give up my gym classes again - I wouldn't have been a very happy blogger.
I also had regular school classes, of course. I mentioned that I am taking an Engineering course - well, guess who's in it? My econ teacher from over the summer! Fortunately I had gotten an A in his class, otherwise it could have been awkward. He's a nice, laid back guy. Once during the econ class nitrous oxide came up and he giggled for a full minute about whipped cream.
I actually like every one of my classes this semester. I'm feeling both relieved and anxious that these are the last grades admissions people will (most likely) see. In addition to the econ and the engineering classes I've mentioned I'm also taking a class from the Italian department entitled 'The Age of Dante' (My professor introduced the class by saying, "Welcome to hell, boys and girls!") and a physics class about energy and the environment. My professor for this class is from New Zealand (I love NZ accents!) and was a part of the team than helped to win this. For the first time (excluding my semester at Biosphere) every one of my professors is a PhD. I'm actually liking my school some again. I think it's going to be a great semester.
Some news on law school planning: My boyfriend is currently enrolled in a Master's program. Our plan has been to have me go to law school while he finishes up and joins me. We had estimated him moving at the end of my 2L year. He now thinks that he will not be finishing up with his Master's until the Fall after I graduate. Today he's going to start looking at schools in the city of my law school of choice to see if there is possibly an appropriate program for him. While I want him to be in the best program for him I am elated at the possibility of not having to be apart at all.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
My state is also flirting with the idea of breaking up our electoral votes and allocating them as the votes dictate. Our Republican governor is opposed to the idea, saying that we would just be ignored by both sides. I guess this means that we won't be driving down to La Junta again in four years. Seriously, we're virtually ignored now and breaking up the electoral votes would seem to bring us closer to this "one person, one vote" idea we hear bandied about every so often.
The election is just two months away and it seems that the intensity is waning. Maybe it's the Olympics or school starting up and I'm just not paying enough attention. I'm guessing it will pick up again during the RNC. I'll try and keep an eye out for the hype until then.
Monday, August 23, 2004
The high point of my trip was definitely Vermont. It was a very satisfying feeling to be in towns that did not have Walmarts and McDonald's. I absolutely loved the law school, but it is still not my #1 choice. I still have some thinking to do on the matter, but I still think I'm going to end up in the Northwest.
Some good news: My second and final letter of recommendation has been processed by good old LSAC so now my file is only waiting on me and my more-or-less personal statement.
A busy day is ahead of me, classes start today including the ones at the gym. I'm looking forward to starting these classes early and getting into a good workout routine. My school classes today are Natural Resources Economics and a graduate level Engineering class (eek!) called Energy and Environmental Policy.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Last year I had been riding my bike constantly all summer by this point. Aside from being tired because midnight is so way past my bedtime I had no problems with this little ride. This year I have mostly been sitting right here since the whole ankle extravaganza and I am ashamed to admit the Moonlight Classic pretty much beat me. I mean I rode the whole thing but I was more than tired by the end.
After retrieving our complimentary breakfast of Naked juice for me, breakfast burrito and yogurt for mom (a much better spread than the Krispy Kremes of last year. Sick.) we got back on our bikes to ride the 20 or so blocks home to my mom's loft. Unfortunately we forgot that we were wearing these cutesy purple florescent light things sticking out of our helmets, and that it was 2am so the bars were just letting out. We caught not a little bit of harassment from the drunken kiddy crowd.
I got to sleep at about 4am, woke up at about 7 and my mom was nice enough to drive me all the way home. Plans for today mostly include just packing and hanging out with the boyfriend. I've been thinking about how much I'm going to miss him during our two years apart a lot this morning. I considered for the millionth time just going to my school's law school and making it so much easier on everyone involved. I pretty much know I'm not going to do it, but it is awfully tempting sometimes.
Friday, August 13, 2004
Yesterday was a great example of a "tourist at home" day. We drove down to Manitou Springs and rode the train up to the top of Pikes Peak. Right now is pretty much the end of the high country wildflower season and we saw plenty right from the train's windows. We also saw a herd of Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep and a flock of Arctic ravens. Although I am a native Coloradan I have some issues with altitude above 13,000 feet so I got a little loopy up on the 14,110 foot peak. High altitude sickness is actually a little fun once you get past the nauseous part. I usually feel like I'm stoned for awhile and then euphoric. Yeah, it's a good time.
Next we visited the Cave of the Winds, a tourist attraction in Colorado Springs. My mom tells me I used to love going here when I was little. Apparently I would attach myself to the guide and ask endless questions. When I declared geology as my major she would tell this story - a lot. Anyway, the caves aren't nearly so cool as I remember them but it was still a nice little tour. Stalagmites, stalactites - you know, the usual.
I use the phrases "trying to go" and "supposed to be" because things are going wrong. Well, one thing but it is a pretty important thing. You see, a few months ago I arranged to stay at my friend's new apartment. This was very, very nice of my friend as hotels are expensive and free is so much better than expensive. She took possession of the apartment August 1st and then went home to New York to spend time with her family. She put the key in the mail on Saturday the 7th. As of yesterday, the key has yet to arrive.
I still have today and tomorrow for it to get here. But it's been four business days now and I'm getting worried. Hopefully it just arrives today and I can laugh and realize that once again I freaked out too early. Hopefully.
Update: The key did arrive today. It took so long because with the metal key in the envelope it had to be hand processed instead of just going through the machine. So - if you ever mail a key here is my advice: a) Don't mail the key, use FedEx and b) if you do mail the key expect it to take longer than normal.
Boston here I come! If anyone has any suggestions for fun things to see and do in Boston (and Vermont) let me know...
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Anyway, we've watched The Manchurian Candidate (both the original and the new one - we both agreed the original was far and away the superior of the two), and The Village. We've also watched lots of episodes of Six Feet Under and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There's also been quite a bit of hanging out and doing nothing which is just a priceless way to spend a day, if you ask me.
Tomorrow we hit the museum of natural history, IMAX and the planetarium. We are of the "learning is fun" variety.
Also, a decision has been made: Even though we totally can't afford it we've decided life is just too short and we're going to sign up for the kung fu class we've been wanting to take for way too long. I'm so going to get my ass kicked!
Sunday, August 08, 2004
Yesterday morning my boyfriend and I drove and drove and drove down to La Junta, a small town in Southern Colorado. Once there we stood in line, went through a few metal detectors and then waited. For a very, very long time. The speeches were well worth the borderline heatstroke, however.
First a few interesting details:
- Handmade signs were not allowed. At first we thought this was just an odd security precaution, but we later found out that the Kerry campaign wanted all signs to be positive so they provided pre-made signs. There were the normal "America Can Do Better" and "Help Is On The Way" and "Believe In America", but there were also handmade signs that were apparently made by children. I guess the campaign wants the general public to believe that the people who go to Kerry rallies a) make signs, b) make only positive signs and c) either make signs like little kids or have little kids make their signs.
- There were two areas. One for white tickets and one for blue tickets. We just printed out a ticket from the Colorado for Kerry website so ours, obviously, was white. The blue ticket people were able to be near the stage while the white ticket people were herded behind these event fences. The blue ticket people didn't look like big-time donors or anything, and the website didn't mention any ticket class tiers. It remains a mystery. Anyway, once it got closer to the time when Kerry et al. would arrive they announced that anyone could come into the blue ticket area. We decided that since we hadn't been good enough for their special area before, why would we want to go into their special blue ticket area at all? Seriously, though, once everyone rushed into the blue area like they had just received a miracle at a Grateful Dead concert we were able to stand behind the event fencing and stand on the bottom rungs so I could actually see the stage. It was helpful.
So, the people of interest were Elizabeth and John Edwards and their older daughter, Teresa Heinz-Kerry, John Kerry, Teresa's son Andre and John's daughter Alex. The broad theme of the whole event was health care, and to a lesser extent education. Both Elizabeth and Teresa talked primarily about health care for children and seniors. John Edwards mostly concentrated on his "I'm the son of a mill worker" motif but also mixed in some "Help is on the way" lines.
Obviously the highlight was John Kerry who got surprisingly (not because it was Kerry, but because it was a rally) specific about his plans for health care and education. He also mentioned that yes, they do know how they plan to pay for everything he was proposing. He proposed that under his administration :
- every single child would automatically have health care.
- every graduate level student would receive a $4000 tuition credit (hopfully this would include law school!)
- every high school student would have the opportunity to have all four years of instate college tuition paid for if they volunteered as a mentor or senior citizen helper for two years.
He also hit on a lot of points from the plan including alternative energy, bringing down the deficit and new job creation.
After it was all over we were trying to get out of La Junta but we had to wait for the motorcade to get back to the train. While we were stuck in the traffic we had a great show of a security guy in a suit running after any car that pulled into the train yard to turn around. He would whistle and point and yell while trying to keep his earpiece in his ear. There were lots of people trying to get out of the traffic jam and he took every single Geo Metro and SUV U-turning as a personal insult. This was non-stop fun.
Finally we were able to leave La Junta and even though it was 7 hours of driving and very hot heat it was a good day.
Friday, August 06, 2004
...summer classes have come and gone.
...fall classes don't start for another two weeks.
...during those two weeks I'm taking not one but two vacations!
...I've been able to sit here and read my blogs without homework guilt.
...I got $50 for my summer books!
...I tried boba tea today (not spectacular, but I'm not giving up on it yet)
...I have the cutest dog in all the land.
...I get to see John Kerry live and in person tomorrow.
...my ankle is better and I can go back to the classes I like at the gym.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Speaking of summer classes - Just one more day and three more exams. One of them is a take home essay that I'm
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
In other news, I just found out that the speaker I really want to include in my speaker series for the student group I'm running this year will probably have time for us in November! I saw him at the Conference on World Affairs last semester and I must say he is one of the most engaging speakers I have ever had the pleasure of seeing live. He was part of my inspiration for putting together this series in the first place, so actually booking him will be incredible - if it all works out.
Sunday, August 01, 2004
Now there are only two items left until my LSAC file is complete. The other letter of recommendation (which has been promised to be written before September 1) and the dreaded personal statement. I'm currently walking the fine line with my statement between illustrating how I've overcome adversity and sounding "whiney." I definitely want to steer far clear from the whining. I really don't want to be one of those people.
So, to sum up: One letter down, one to go. Yay!
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