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February 2012

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Feb. 2nd, 2012

coffee

Long reflection, beware!

Hello LJ.

It is now 11 days into the semester, and I would say that this is the best I have felt in months. Last semester I made a lot of mistakes and fell into a cycle of disappointment in almost every avenue of my life. Over break, I reflected a lot on why that may have happened, and I came to a lot of conclusions about decisions I made. Reflecting on bad (and good) decisions when I was already depressed about my grades and performance as a human overall wasn't the easiest thing I've done (I actually was pretty self-loathing for the last 2 weeks of break), but it forced me into changing some things.

For example, last semester I started with 5 classes and 2 labs. I was mentoring/co-instructing a course, running SI sessions for the first time, working on the "It Gets Better: Coming Out for Change" film with the LBTQ Women's Group and premiere. I took on a lot of extra tasks and pursued opportunities that I should have passed on, all because I was so afraid of saying no to someone and disappointing them. I wanted to be known as a person who could handle it all, and still keep her shit together.

Well guess what, LJ? I'm not that person. And you know what? I don't want to be.

I decided over break that I am okay with the fact that I come across as frayed and anxious sometimes. I am okay with the fact that I am consistently late to activities (except class). I am okay with the fact that I am emotional and cry to let my anxiety out. I do not think that I should be ashamed of any of these things about myself. I am human, and as long as I am successful in some areas of my life I feel satisfied.

What I did learn was that I need to make my own happiness a priority over all else. I love helping others, I love working with my students, and I love advocating and educating with activism, but in order to be successful at those things I need to make sure I am taken care of , too.

So I made changes this semester. I worked it out with Marisa that I would spent about 5/7 nights of the week in my own room. I need a place to think for myself and lots of time to manage my own life so that I stay in control. As much as I love spending time with her, I need balance.

I made a vow to my friends that I would get dinner with them at least once a week, and then spend one of my weekend nights hanging out with them. Last semester, I only really hung out with them 4 or 5 times and it caused a lot of problems. I felt disconnected from them, and from there I was stuck in an isolation cycle. Not good.

I swallowed my pride and dropped my 300 level writing class before my workload became a problem. Although I really wanted to take the course, and I knew I could do well in it, I knew that it would end up being the straw that breaks the camels back by the end of the semester. 

I made sure to take a course that was not science related, so that I could keep my brain functioning in society. When I get so busy studying chemical equations, biology, and calculus, I sometimes lose track of real-world issues. I don't like that, so I took Philosophy and now I am learning to open up my brain and learn new material and concepts in new ways.

I asked the Hunger Center to only schedule me up to 6 hours a week.  This one was hard. I love my job so much, and I know we are short on outreach workers, but with my 9-10 hr a week job running SI sessions for Anatomy, that's all I can manage.  

I said yes when my boss at the AEC asked me if I want to take on the 300 person Anatomy lecture SI sessions for Pharmacy/Kinesiology students. This actually has been causing my a bit of anxiety (because not only can my 300 students come to my sessions if they want, but so can the other 200 person Anatomy lecture.) However, I decided to take it on because I wanted to challenge my organization and public speaking skills. I am crazy shy in front of a crowd (sometimes), and I really hate that about myself. I want to improve myself in more ways than just academically and emotionally, and I think this will help. I already feel more comfortable. 

Above all, I am learning to be a lot more patient with myself. I am going to be more reasonable with myself, whether I am learning faster or slower than others, am organized or sloppy, on time or tardy, get the B instead of the A, or getting nervous in front of my students or not. I deserve that. With so many struggles in the world, what's the use of being my own enemy? 

So far, all of these efforts have paid off. Even in just 11 days, I feel more on task and prepared than I ever have before. I have made myself pre-read material before class and do all "recommended problems" in my courses, I have gotten A's on 3/4 quizzes I have had, successfully run my first SI, attended meetings that I needed to before it was a last minute effort, and organized myself in a way that I always wanted too. I know I will unravel at some point, I know I will get lazy at some point, and I know that not everything works out as it is planned. But I also know that I am looking into this semester with a positive attitude and I sincerely think that makes all the difference. Without positivity , where is there motivation?

Oh! I found out today that me and four other members of the LBTQ Women's Group each personally received the "URI Champlains Martin Luther King Jr. Peacemaker Award" this year! I have a framed plaque and everything!  Holly, one of the LBTQ Women's Group adviser's brought it to me from them at our meeting tonight. :] We also all had a discussion with Annie, the new GLBT Center director! I originally met her at her "interview" dinner that was held with students last semester so that we could ask questions and give our opinions on if she should get hired. I am really glad that she did because she is so firm in her beliefs, is a strong feminist, and has the clarity and wisdom to make real tangible change at the center. This makes me so so so so happy, because I have not liked the atmosphere there for quite some time...

There is such great change happening in every aspect of my life. I finally feel okay in saying that I think this is going to be a great semester. 

Jan. 26th, 2012

coffee

The Intellectual Orgasm

Hello LJ!!

I doubt anyone reads this, but I am having such a good day that I really knew I needed to write and get this energy out before settling down to study for Chem. The Spring semester has started, and after the past 6 months of feeling depressed, I finally feel that things could not be going better.

The number one thing that I am happy about are my classes. I am taking General Chemistry II (CHM 112), General Chemistry Lab (CHM 114), Principles of Biology II (BIO 102), Bio lab, Applied Calculus (MTH 131), and Philosophical Topics (PHL 205).

So far, I am actually finding the time to pre-read for all of my classes, practice all of my chemistry problems, practice all of my calculus problems, and actually understand everything I am doing. I took my first Calc quiz today, and I got a 100!!!!! I cannot express what this means to me, considering Math is probably my worst subject. So, that of course made me extremely happy.

On top of that, all of my professors are kind and intelligent. I adore my Bio professor, because he is so animated and somehow makes plant bio exciting! And of course I love my Philosophy professor, Cheryl Foster. She is the chair of the Philosophy department and is the woman who helped set me up with the Dr. I shadowed over break. And as far as my Calc and Chem professors go, there are slight communication issues (English is not their first language), but you can tell that they really do care about their students doing well, and it is not too hard to understand them if you read the textbook chapter before lecture. This is such an improvement from the horrendous professors I had last semester.

Perhaps the MOST exciting thing is this recently discovered passion for Philosophy that I apparently possess. I decided to take PHL 205 this semester because for a few months now I have not been able to shake the idea of studying philosophy out of my head. This train of thought started when I realized that the reason I love studying biology and chemistry is because I love understanding how the world around me works. From that, I realized that I will never be fully satisfied with my studies by only studying what is tangible. It was after reading the first few chapters of "Sophies World" (which I randomly purchased for 1$ at the bookstore) that I realized I really needed to listen to this urge to learn more than science. I thought I was taking a risk taking what is known as the most challenging philosophy course on campus (it's nickname is Philosophy Bootcamp), but after only 2 classes I am entirely hooked. In class today, we went around the room sharing our stories for how we came to be interested in philosophy. As each person told how they always knew that they were just a little bit different, how they thought about things that other people didn't seem to care about from a young age, how they constantly questioned their reality around them that I realized: I am exactly where I need to be. I was so excited with how much I could relate to the students around me that I literally felt like I could not control the excitement bubbling in me. I could not stop smiling, and I could not stop listening to my peers for one second. I absorbed everything they had to say. I felt like they were describing my exact experiences and reflections on life. They felt like the people I wanted to spend hours talking to. The classroom environment felt like those late-night sleepovers you have when you are young, the kind where you end up staying up until 4am with your best friend, talking about those inner thoughts that you never share with the world. All of the discussion awoke something inside of me that I feel like I have been repressing for years. Thirst for actual knowledge, the desire to connect with genuine people who are not bogged down with the superficial, and pushing forward to try to find the best way to live on a day to day basis. This feeling is comparable to the one I had when I admitted to myself that I do not believe in the God that I was brought up to believe in. The feeling of pure enlightenment. It is a feeling that I cannot shake, and that I don't want to. Someone in class described how studying philosophy made them feel the magic that they felt the world possessed when they were a little kid, and I couldn't agree more. Knowing that I still have an entire semester of this class makes me feel like a child on Christmas morning.I cannot comprehend how someone could not like philosophy because "it makes their head hurt". Learning philosophy, reading about it, even just studying the logical aspects of argument make me feel amazing. It is like an intellectual orgasm.

This certainly bound to be an interesting semester.

Dec. 12th, 2011

coffee

Why doesn't anyone ever discuss the Sophomore Slump!?

Tomorrow marks the last day that classes are held for this semester, and I honestly cannot believe that it is already here. Where has my time gone? 

This semester has been hell. No matter how hard I tried I could never catch up from when I was working 30hrs a week in the beginning of the semester. I definitely let my ego convince me I could take on too much this semester, but I quickly learned my limits, and for this I am happy. Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing. Although working at the Hunger Center, being a supplemental instruction leader for Anatomy, working with the Women's LBTQ group, being a URI 101 mentor, and taking classes was hard, I wouldn't pass up any of them. I learned a lot more than just what my transcript will show, and I think at this point in my life that is more valuable than an ideal GPA. 

As far as classes... I currently have an A- in Bio, a B- to a B in Chemistry, a solid A in CSV, and god knows what in Calc. My grades for Calc and Chem are pretty up in the air, because my finals will really determine how I do. If I get a better grade on my chem final than in all my other exams combined for the semester, my professor is making that my final grade instead. And as my calc final is 30% of my grade, it can really change my current standing. I honestly am sick of thinking about these courses. I just want to move on from them. 

This weekend has been pretty nice though. Marisa's housemate is a Theatre 100 TA, and so on Saturday morning we watched her students perform in a play. It was pretty cute. Unfortunately, later that afternoon I got in my first argument with Tiffany. She had been really hurting me lately, and after something that happened Friday night I really needed to say something. It got a little bit ugly over text messages but we ended up meeting before dinner to discuss everything in person. We both apologized, hugged, admitted we were both right and wrong about a few things, and got over it in about 30 seconds. I am not happy we fought, but I am really happy that now I know that she is not the kind of "friend" to give up on a friendship as soon as a fight happens. I have had some friends like that before, and after a year and a half of being close with Tiff, I was wondering when I would find out if she was one of them. I am so glad she isn't! 

As for the rest of the weekend: Saturday night I went to Club Gallery with Marisa, Kim, Jen, Breanne, Maddy, and Christina. They are all girls from the Women's LBTQ group and it was really nice to spend some time with them outside of group. I spent all Summer working on the It Gets Better documentary with Jen and Kim, but I had really never done anything like go to a club with them before. It was crazy, of course, but I think the night brought us all closer together as a group. I wish that Kim and Jen weren't in their last year of grad school. The group will feel weird without them there next year. 

Anyways, I should probably get going. I have a lot of homework to do, and a lot of gifts to wrap. Marisa and I are going all out this Christmas, and so far it has been a lot of fun. We got a little fake tree, decorated it, and decorated stockings to hang by the fireplace in her house. We also decided that we are doing the 12 days of Christmas and giving each-other a little gift starting December 13th. We may be just a little bit ridiculous. Oh, well. It's a nice distraction from the hell that is my academic career right now. 

I hope everyone's finals are going okay, and that everyone is getting excited for Christmas! 

Dec. 1st, 2011

thinking

Home stretch.

3 exams, a final portfolio (worth 25% of my grade), and 3 quizzes all this week. I am going insane. And my computer died this week and won't turn on. 

I finished my portfolio, one of my exams, and 2 quizzes so far. Just my last 2 exams. My calc one is tonight, and my Bio one is tomorrow. Ugh. Not looking forward to any of this. BUT! After this week, I only have 1 more bio lab report, a chemistry exam, and then I am totally done until finals. I am fortunate enough to have all of my finals spaced out nicely (with at least 2 days in between each). I am just ready for this all to be over with. I have no idea how I am going to handle Chem 112, Chem 114, Philosophy 205, Writing 333, Bio 102 (with a lab), and Physics 111 and Physics 185 next semester. I think I am going to have to do a lot of work for them over winter break. Oh well, it's worth it. 

After my mental breakdown on Tuesday evening, I have a much better outlook on life. I may not be happy with how this semester has gone, but I have really learned a lot and that is what matters. I had challenging professors who might have killed my self confidence, but they made me feel ready for the more advanced material next semester. If that means a lower GPA then I really do not care. I no longer care if I will end up going to a Caribbean medical school due to a poor GPA, because at the end of the day this will all be worth it if it gets me to a position where I am diagnosing and caring for patients. 

I just need this to be over, though. I need to relax and have time to shadow and volunteer, to cook with my girlfriend, and go to the movies with my friends. I need time to read for pleasure, not for an exam. 

2 more Chemistry classes, 4 more Bio classes, 1 more Bio lab, 4 more Calculus classes, 3 finals... and then I am free! 

Nov. 27th, 2011

coffee

Sentiment

"So your story is a few pages longer than the rest of the library. You're just a more interesting story as far as I'm concerned."
~ Andrew Figgins

I was looking over past journal entries when I came across this quote from February 2009. Made me smile. Miss you, Andrew <3 

Nov. 17th, 2011

coffee

(no subject)

Among the worlds most frustrating things in the world:
Having your roommates come in and start talking/watching TV when you an exam at 6:30am (less than 6 hours away), a lab report due, a quiz due, and are in study/work mode....

THCYTHRVCTVH I get so sick of this!

Nov. 5th, 2011

coffee

Friends

I am having a sentimental day. After my dentist appointment and work, Ali and I went to Newport and walked in the cliff walk for 2 and a half hours, talking about everything. Afterwords, we went to this adorable little Italian restaurant and talked more. I enjoyed myself so much just being around one of the best friends that I know I will ever have. We got ice cream, and drove home being silly. It was such a simple day and night but it warmed my heart because for once in a very long time, I actually felt like myself again. I get so involved in doing well in school, working till I drop, and keeping myself "well rounded" that I honestly think I lose myself sometimes. Tonight made me realize that I am still me, I still have the same wonderful best friends that I did 7 years ago, and I honestly wouldn't change a thing about how I ended up exactly where I am. I am a very lucky person, and I am grateful for that. 

Oct. 2nd, 2011

coffee

Reflective thoughts.

I have been so stressed lately. School is a little bit overwhelming, but I know that I will get used to it. It's so much pressure to know that to make myself the best candidate for the most competitive medical schools, I need to have a perfect GPA of 3.7 or higher, amazing extracurricular's, medical experience, a great MCAT score, and great connections with people who will write my letters of recommendations. The best schools require that you excel in everything, and not just extracurricular's and medical experience. It is stressful, but I really don't want to end up going to a bad medical school, because that will affect the residencies that I get into, as well as my future job prospects.  It definitely seems daunting now, but I just have to keep taking it day by day. 

So far I am confident in my GPA, my extracurricular's, and the networking that I have done at URI, but as I am completely independent of all adult financial support, I have to work more than I like to, which cuts into the time that I will be able to shadow doctors. It is really stressful. Plus, I have a relationship and friendships that take time to maintain, and I never feel like I get to see them enough. All me and Marisa do together is study, and then we are so exhausted that all we do for fun is watch movies or TV. Weekends are usually different, and we get to go out on double dates and such,  but typically we really want to sleep.  

I am slowly getting used to the rhythm of this semester though. I'm sure that I will do fine after this transition period of adding on more than it seems like I can take. My grades are my first priority, so I will do everything in my power to make sure that I get all A's again.  

One good thing that I have been doing is making sure that my nutrition is up to par. I figured that as I never have enough time to study as I would like, I don't want a nutrient deficiency to affect the amount I can actually learn in that time. I was talking to a 5th year Pharmacy major that I live with, and she recommended a few vitamins that I can take as supplements to make sure I stay healthy and don't get sick. So, now I am taking fish oil, calcium/magnesium/zinc supplement, biotin, and an iron supplement. I also have been having a salad every day complete with 5 different types of vegetables, and more fruit. I actually am starting to feel more energetic and clear headed already! 

I am also thinking of adding a Philosophy major instead of a Women's Studies major... I have to do more research but the classes offered by URI seem so interesting, and a lot of the research I have been doing says that people who have an education in critical thinking, philosophy, and ethics perform better as doctors. We will see! I should really just create a binder for all of the research on becoming a Doctor that I have done over the past year. I have probably spent more than 300 hours reading, researching, taking notes, and planning these types of things, seeing multiple advisor's for different health fields, and assessing if Medicine is right for me. It really does affect the decisions that I am making. It is why I chose Microbiology instead of just regular biology (It offers more information on where Medicine really is today, I don't have to take unnecessary plant classes, it will help me have a better background for my 1st year of med school, and it sets me apart on my med school app). It influenced my decision to take on leadership roles on issues that I actually care about. It is part of the reason why I decided to apply for a job where I work one-on-one with people in need to help them in any way I can, and it is why I stress myself out over constantly improving myself. I am devoted to this.  These activities consistently prove to me why I want to become a Doctor, because every time I help a client at the Hunger Center, help a student learn something, or am able to offer sound advice as a mentor, I am filled with an incredible joy that only comes from helping another human. I know it sounds cliche and scripted, but it honestly is the truth and it is why I refuse to give up these activities even though they can be stressful at times, or prohibit me from studying.

Okay, I have to go continue studying for Chemistry so that I can start my lesson plans for URI 101 and my Anatomy sessions. I am so excited that my students are starting to become more responsive to the resources. It's rewarding to be able to help them out as they go through their first semester! It's also been helping me learn more about how students learn, which in turn allows me to perform better in class. I love tutoring and being a URI 101 mentor!!! 

Hope you are all doing well this semester. It was nice to hear from you a few days ago, Kerstin! Miss you and your silliness!


Sep. 30th, 2011

coffee

(no subject)

Spanish exam and a calculus quiz tomorrow, and then I get to spend my weekend writing my lab reports for next Thursday. I have so much class work that I would like to get done early so that next week runs smoothly. 

Next week: 

  • Prepare worksheets and plan session for Anatomy students
  • Prepare activities and lesson plans for URI 101
  • AEC Staff meeting Tuesday night
  • Anthony Atala (incredible surgeon, amazing doctor) is coming to URI to speak on Tuesday night!! SO excited
  • THE PREMIERE OF THE IT GETS BETTER AT URI: COMING OUT FOR CHANGE VIDEO  ON WEDNESDAY!!!!
  • Lab report, 2 quizzes, and Calculus exam on Thursday. Great. 

Sep. 28th, 2011

coffee

I love Jack Johnson.

"Upside Down"

Who's to say
What's impossible
Well they forgot
This world keeps spinning
And with each new day
I can feel a change in everything
And as the surface breaks reflections fade
But in some ways they remain the same
And as my mind begins to spread its wings
There's no stopping curiosity

I want to turn the whole thing upside down
I'll find the things they say just can't be found
I'll share this love I find with everyone
We'll sing and dance to Mother Nature's songs
I don't want this feeling to go away

Who's to say
I can't do everything
Well I can try
And as I roll along I begin to find
Things aren't always just what they seem

I want to turn the whole thing upside down
I'll find the things they say just can't be found
I'll share this love I find with everyone
We'll sing and dance to Mother Nature's songs
This world keeps spinning and there's no time to waste
Well it all keeps spinning spinning round and round and

Upside down
Who's to say what's impossible and can't be found
I don't want this feeling to go away

Please don't go away
Please don't go away
Please don't go away
Is this how it's supposed to be
Is this how it's supposed to be 

Sep. 27th, 2011

coffee

Update. Crazy. Fun. Happy. Nervous. Life.

Life has been so crazy!!!


The start of the semester literally exhausted me. This semester I am taking Fundamentals of Biology (with lab), General chemistry I (with lab), Spanish 102, Applied Calculus, and CSV 302, which is a community service class that corresponds with being a URI 101 mentor. Luckily, (with the exception of my Spanish professor) I have amazing professors that actually teach in depth. They are all fairly difficult courses, mainly because they are so broad and require a lot of memorization. At least BIO 101 is a slow review of Human Physiology! I've been spending the small amount of free time that I have studying, and then seeing Marisa and doing things with Sean, Tiffany, and Spooner. We went to the Rustic Drive in last Friday!

During the second week of school I was contacted by the Academic Enhancement Center and offered a position tutoring Anatomy to the second generation of Pathways students. So far I have met with them twice, and they all seem to really be getting a lot out of our sessions. I am so happy to be tutoring, because constant (paid) review of Anatomy will help reinforce it and help me when it comes time to take the MCAT in a few years. Plus, I am a huge dork and actually enjoy it. Finding the time to prep for my students, attend the Anatomy lectures, and meeting with my supervisors is a little overwhelming though. Working at the Hunger Center has only improved since the start of the school year. It is really comforting to know that all three of my supervisors have alot of faith in my character and my ability to empathize with our clients, even in spite of accusations from others. I actually feel much more comfortable at the Hunger Center now, which is ironic.

Whats more is that Leah is being super understanding of my second job, my crazy class schedule, and my need to study alot. I was working 30 hrs a week for the first 2.5 weeks of the semester and that was WAY to much. I was not able to study enough for my classes, or sleep enough. Now I am at a comfortable 12-15 hours a week.

I also FINALLY (offically) changed my major to Microbiology. I met with the department chair of the Cell and Molecular Biology program today, and it went so well. Somehow I managed to make him laugh alot, which was a good sign, as I will be taking many classes with him over the next few years. Next year the Microbiology and Medical Lab Science majors are probably going to be renamed "Cell and Molecular Biology" with concentrations/tracks in Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Medical Lab Science.  I am excited for that!  He also told me about how URI is an amazing place to get lab experience because as we are a state school, we get a lot of funding to constantly have different research projects going. I can't wait for that.

As for everything else:

  • Being a URI 101 Mentor is so much work, so much fun, and so exhausting.
  • The documentary that I have been working on with the Womens LBTQ group is premiering next Wednesday during Diversity Week!!! I am so excited. We have been working on this since April, and spent all Summer preparing it. 
  • Living with Tiffany in the Womens Center is a lot of fun. I get to see my friends more often, which I love, and everyone at the WC is so sweet and friendly. I love that everything is immaculate, that there are so many and beautiful and cozy places to study, as well as the AMAZING food that the chef prepares.
  • My car insurance went down $100. Such a relief.
  • Marisa and I had our 1 year anniversary, and she gave me a beautiful necklace with a shell that she brought back with her from the beaches in Spain. I love it, and I love her.
  • One of my scholarships went from $1998, to $5312!!!! SO happy. That means that I will not have any debt from both last year and this year!!!
  • I am applying to Columbia Med's SMDEP program in just over a month..and I am so nervous/excited.
  • I miss my family.
  • I am nervous for my Chem exam coming up.
  • I am nervous about being completely broke after I pay my car insurance and car payments in November. I guess I will deal with it.
  • I am in the process of finding a Doctor to shadow. Hopefully after Saturday I will have found one!
  • Attempting to keep myself organized with everything that I have to do, but I am 100% certain that all I am is a huge mess. Oh well :]

Sep. 1st, 2011

coffee

General frustration.

With the hurricane, there has been a lot of lost electricity. This means that a lot of refrigerators and freezers thawed out and a lot of food spoiled. This includes the refrigerators and freezers of SNAP recipients.

When this happens because of a natural disaster, they are allowed to get emergency food stamps so that they can afford to eat the food that originally got with their benefits.

The Department of Human Services gave them the Hunger Centers hotline # and in the past 3 days, we literally have received over 2,000 calls and have been overrun at our office. I have been called in every day and everyday is a mad house of people scrambling to call back as many people as possible.

In other words, I am exhausted. I also had a meeting with the LBTQ Womens Group last night, which was great, but also exhausting.

I should be packing right now.
I should be watching the rest of the documentary right now, and coming up with interview orders and themes.
I should be sleeping right now.

But I'm not.

I also got fucked over from that Honors job. The woman essentially led me to believe I had the job, and then handed it to someone else without so much as sending me an email. I am really upset, but I am on the lookout for a new (second) job. In the meantime Leah has continued to give me a lot of hours. It's too bad that I needed work study for the Womens Studies job. Grrr.

Better day tomorrow, I hope.

Aug. 29th, 2011

coffee

Irene.

To start, I have been unable to get the song "Come on Eileen" out of my head since this whole hurricane Irene business started up. It is annoying.

So as Marisa had to evacuate out of her house in Narragansett 2 days before her lease was up, we packed her stuff into my families shed and headed on up to Professor Rojas's apartment in Providence. Marisa is dog sitting, and I have been helping her for the weekend.

I suppose Irene was a bit anti-climatic, but I am really glad that it wasn't any worse for safety reasons. We also didn't lose power for more than a few seconds and the house we are staying in (which is absolutely gorgeous) didn't flood at all. We actually have been having a great time. In between fixing all the things one of the dogs (Cosmo) messes up, we have been watching tons of Desperate Housewives (an addiction I acquired this Summer), making food, doing face masks and nails, and playing with the dogs. We also had lunch with the person who lives downstairs, who is really nice. I am in love with Professor Rojas's dog Spark. We bonded instantly, and although I normally think small long haired white fluffy dogs are extremely ugly and annoying, this one has totally won my heart over.

I don't know yet if my house has lost power =/ I will hope not. I have a lot of cleaning and
packing to do for school!

I'm still waiting to hear back from the Honors Department. The woman I spoke to should be emailing me back in 2 days, and I am nervous.

I've also been realizing that I need to start doing some research on the presidential candidates that are running for office in 2012. Although I am partial to Obama, I really need to understand each of the people running so that I don't regret my first vote!

Moving in in 6 days! Can't wait to get settled and enjoy the Women's Center, my courses, my routine, working out, and of course, my wonderful friends :]

Aug. 24th, 2011

coffee

Columbia

I think I may be obsessed with Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. They have such a different approach to medical education, are thrilled about diversity, and are actually reasonable when it comes to understanding students personally. AND they are located in New York, New York which is the absolute BEST place to have your medical education. I absolutely am applying to their Summer Medical Dental Education Program (SMDEP) for next Summer. I really, really hope I get in. Applications open November 1st... we will see!

They are super competitive, obviously. Their mean GPA of 3.78 and MCAT score of 35.8 will DEFINITELY be some serious motivation for me to try my best during the next 4 years.

Aug. 23rd, 2011

coffee

10 days until school!

So I am on phones today at work, but it is not ringuiSchool cannot start soon enough.


This morning I got coffee with Nick at Bagelz and walked around campus for a while before I had work at 11:00. Walking around, seeing all of the beautiful trees, buildings, and walkways made me so much more excited than I already was. I love Summer so much, but I am really ready to go back. I move in on the 3rd, which is 4 days before the first day of class. I am so glad that the Womens Center moves in early, because I really want to make sure that my room is settled and exactly the way I want it before the stress of the semester begins.


So a few days ago I was getting a routine oil change and as it turns out, I needed about 750 dollars worth of repairs done to my car, because there were a few things that were extremely unsafe. I needed new tires, a new tire axle rod, a new slider caliber brake thing, and an alignment. I ended up using a coupon to bring it down to about $687, but that is still money that I had saved up to go towards my car insurance ($1600) that is due in November.  It's really frustrating to me, because although I still have a couple big checks coming to me from work, now I know that I am going to be stressing out during the semester trying to save that additional money...


The good news is that I know that I will have a second job in Septemer. I was offered a job with the Womens Studies department, but unfortunatly I cannot take it because they can only hire work study students, and I am not eligable for work study because of all my grants. But, I am about 90% certain that I will have a job with the Honors Department. The person who is in charge of hiring there asked for my schedule within half an hour of me telling her I was interested and acted like I had the job, so I am just waiting to hear back from her on what days she would need me to work. I am really hoping that this job goes through, because she told me that if I got it, they would want to keep me on until I graduate. Plus, they don't require work study which is  rare for an on campus job.


I am really crossing my fingers that she hires me, and is not just acting like she will!


I also still really want to go to Six Flags and New York. Maybe it is still possible. I know that I will have enough if I cut back on buying things I don't need, like coffee at Coffee Connection and going out to dinner. It would be worth it!


Hope all is well <3 



Aug. 16th, 2011

coffee

Montreal.

 Montreal was AMAZING. 

Highlights:
~ Visited many gorgeous, historic cathedrals. 
~ Watched thousands of people cheer to the pride parade.
~ Ordered my first "legal" drink (a strawberry daquiri). And my second. And my third. And my fourth. 
~ Had T-shirts made with Marisa at a tiny shop in Old Montreal, and ended up doing out to the club with the lesbian couple who made them for us.
~ Hung around the gay village a lot, and went to club UNITY every night. (The absolute best club I have been too.)
~ Was surrounded by the French language the entire weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. 
~ Realized just how desperately I need to learn a second language. It us so humiliating that most of the US only speaks 1 language, while so many other countries are raised speaking 2, 3, or 4.

~ Fell in love with Montreal.

 

More to come. I am tired! :]

Aug. 8th, 2011

coffee

Good news/ Bad news

 Got back from Sandy Island, where I had an amazing time hanging out with 9 guys for a week. I missed the all-night conversations on the beach about philosophy, and I miss them again now that I am not there. It's amazing how much my experiences at Sandy Island have shaped who I am today. I spent the last 4 nights of Sandy on the beach with everyone, counting dozens of shooting stars. I woke up everyday to a gorgeous sun rise over the lake, and to a family of ducks walking by. Paradise? I think so. 

Bad news: School doesn't start for another 3.5 weeks. Going nuts here.

Bad news: I think I need a new tire on my car.

Bad news: I definitely need new brakes before the winter.

Bad news: Still not entirely cured of my respiratory infection.

Bad news: Extremely frustrated with some people that I will HAVE to deal with when I go back to school.

Bad news: I still need to find a second job for the Fall semester. 4ish hours a week from the SNAP Outreach Project just won't be enough. The academic office where I want to apply still doesn't know if they will have the funds to hire a new student worker after the budget cut...

Bad news: Really not excited to dish out another $250 for a parking pass for this year. 

Good news: I have new running sneakers that won't kill my knees when I actually work out. (I've been avoiding it for this reason)

Good news: Tony and I worked things out, had many conversations, and spent a lot of time together during Sandy. As a result, we are now good friends in spite of the messy situation last year. He is coming to visit once the school year starts! 

Good news: When I got back I had a letter from YPI in the mail informing me that I won the Lipsky/Whittaker scholarship that I applied for a few months ago. It is a $1250 scholarship that I will automatically receive every year for the next 4 years! I am so happy and relieved. 

Good news: I was given another "College Access" scholarship that covered all of my remaining loans from last year. Now the only loans I will have for Freshman and Sophomore year will be about $3000 total, and they won't collect interest at all. Such a HUGE stress relief. 

Good news: I have saved enough for my car insurance payments for the next 6 months, and enough to cover 2 or 3 car payments during the school year. Also a huge stress relief. 

Good news: Going to Montreal in 3 days! 

Good news: Saw "Twelfth Night" at Trinity Rep the other night. I love that play so much. 

Good news: Purchased 7 of Shakespeare's plays for $15 today. Major win. 

Good news: Had a lazy day with Marisa yesterday, and going to see Sean and Tiffany tonight to have a fire :] 

I really hope that all is well with everyone else. Summer is almost over! Yay!

coffee

Writer's Block: Growing pains

What was the biggest lesson learned from your adolescence?

The most important thing in life is to find out what YOU believe in, stand by it, and let go of the people that do not like you for it. 

Jul. 28th, 2011

sookieyay

Financial Aid finally comes trough.

Today I had great luck. 

About a week ago I received a bill for $727 for my Pre-Calculus class that I took this Summer. After having been told it was already covered  by the Pell Grant, I was really nervous because I definitely do not have that much money to pay out of my pocket. So, I went into enrollment services to talk to a financial aid officer, and was given the name of a women that I should talk to. I expected to walk in and just be given advice on what to do, but as soon as I walked in an explained the situation, the woman offered to pay for my Summer bill AND my unsubsidized loans from last year! I was in and out of Green Hall in 20 minutes, and received a total grant of $1,592. 

I am SO happy about this. I just hope my good luck sticks around until later! 

It feels really good to know that not only do I have a very very very small amount in loans, but the loans that I do have do not build any interest at all! I am so excited :] 

 

Jul. 18th, 2011

coffee

July 18th

 Work, deposit check, pick up camera charger, do laundry, email 342 professors, find an additional Fall job, get permission code for Calculus and my mentor class, pack pack pack, organize room, make doctors appointments, get ready for date with Marisa, vacuum car, send car payment, send in my clients' applications, send in toll check,  print boarding pass, breathe, and sleep? 

Jul. 11th, 2011

coffee

Summer

Hello journal. I really need to write. 

At this particular moment I am supposed to be watching the 10 hours of "It Gets Better" interviews that the Women's LBTQ Group had professionally taped. The group is meeting tomorrow for four hours and I was supposed to have gone over every video and rated it, marked down quotes and time frames in seven different categories so that we can all collaborate our notes and turn the 10 hours into 60 minutes. Honestly, I don't know why I didn't start this sooner. Marisa already fell asleep on my bed half and hour ago, but I will probably pull an all-nighter and fail tomorrow at work. Whatever. 

It's emotionally exhausting to watch all of these personal interviews, though. People really got in deep and many begin crying. I almost feel like I am invading their privacy by viewing this, when I haven't even met most of them! 
 
I'm really upset with myself, though, for not going to all of the filming sessions. I went to the first 3, but then I literally had my finals during the last sessions. The faculty group leaders, one in particular, keep talking about how proud they are of us for all of our hard work, and my guilt complex always begins to tell me that I didn't do enough. I really, truly wish that I did not have that quality. 

A huge part of me has been contemplating leaving my position as secretary/treasurer of the Gay Straight Alliance and devoting my time and energies into the Women's LBTQ Group. The kind of change that I want to see, and the kind of change that the GSA wants to see can sometimes be two very different things. I identify and feel more comfortable with how the Women's LBTQ Group manages their time and energies. 

I don't know. 

I am supposed to be going to Tennessee in 8 days for this Campus Pride Leadership Camp that I won a scholarship for... It is on the basis that I will return to URI and share my knowledge with both the Women's Group as well as the GSA., so I sort of feel like a jerk, but I guess my decision isn't quite made. 

I am so excited for the new school year, but I am also having many insecurities and concerns about my course load. I honestly do not think that I can handle 7 intense classes, mentoring the pre-med URI 101 students, working, having a relationship, applying for Summer 2012 pre-entry medical school programs, having a social life, being treasurer of the GSA, and actively participating in the Women's LBTQ Group. I will go insane, and I need to prioritize.  

I think that GSA and one of my classes need to go.... But honestly that would be my Leadership for Activism and Social Change class and I really don't want to drop it.. Uggh. 


So many thoughts, concerns...

As far as updates go...I have had an upper respiratory infection for about a month. I am finally almost finished with my antibiotics, and hopefully that will make these migraines go away too. I have been spending a lot of time with Marisa, and I probably spend most nights there. We keep joking about how we essentially live together, and you know... go food shopping, cook, clean, go to events... It is all very interesting. It's nice to go on so many double dates, though. We have gone to Waterfire, Mirabar, the beach at the Graduate School of Oceanography, a political potluck picnik with state representatives, and so many other things. I am enjoying my summer immensely. I am particularly sad that Sean, Tiff and I have opposite schedules. I miss them SO much, and I am going crazy without being able to unwind and be myself around them. There truly is nothing like good friends. Between work (which I fall more in love with every day), appointments, financial responsibilities, Marisa, and friends I always feel like I have, and do, multiple things every day. Plus, I simply have not seen enough of the beach even though I have gone a few times now. Marisa has recently borrowed "Rosetta Stone" from a friend, so now we can attempt to learn Spanish before our class in the Fall!

Joset told me I need to unwind and be more "carefree" this Summer. I suppose I don't mind. :] 
 
I still feel like everything in my life is constantly changing, evolving, and surprising me. I want this to be a Summer of discovery. 

Hope all is well. 
 

Jun. 21st, 2011

coffee

Here we go again.

Quick update:
  • Work is great, but my boss hired two additional people that we really didn't need. This pisses me off, because I already told her that I would like more hours, and she said there weren't that many to go around. WTF. I'm only working 24 or 25 hours this week, which is great because I have 2 exams, but other than that I was kind of told I would be getting 32+. I need the money, people! (Excuse the ungrateful rant) Marisa being back is absolutely wonderful. We worked out out issues and things are better than they ever have been. It's nice that she lives right in Bonnet, because I can stay over there a few times a week and see her a lot :] We have been doing a lot of fun things together, and I can't wait for Montreal in August! I got my passport the other week, so it is all set now :]
  • Classes are okay. I dropped my WMS class because the professor kept changing the software and any time I uploaded an assignment, it never posted. Also, taking 2 summer courses is the equivalent of a full course load in a normal semester, and between work and my social life I didn't have much time. I didn't need the course anyway, it was just for fun. I expect that my pre-calc class will go well. I have an exam tonight, and then my final on Thursday and then I am FREE!
  • I need to go to the beach. Badly.
  • Olivia (my car) had a spa day yesterday. She now has: new windshield wipers, a new oil change, all her fluids topped off, the flap that protects the bottom of the car screwed back on, fuel system cleaner in the gas tank (improves MPG!), inspected brakes and air filter, and a full tank of gas. I also cleaned the stubborn cloudy plastic screens that protect the odometer and speedometer on the dashboard. They have been cloudy and resistant to cleaner since I got the car, but now they are perfectly clear and beautiful. I still need to vacuum her, fix the minor scratches with some wax I got, and check the air pressure in her tires. She is running so well now, it is ridiculous. Everything I did only cost me about $50, because it was all on sale :]
  • Financial Aid needs to get awarded NOW. With the federal Academic Competitiveness Grant ($1,400/year) and the SMART Grants cut ($4,000/year) (thank you asshole republicans in the government), I am really worried for my amount of loans. Guess I just have to wait. At least my GPA is really good, so I have a higher chance of getting a merit scholarship.
  • I should probably go study for my exam now, and then hopefully if I get out early I can see Sean and Tiff! :] Hope you are all doing well.

Jun. 8th, 2011

coffee

I'm not unfaithful, but I'll stray.

I'm not really in a great mood right now, but I said I'd update tonight so here goes.

  • Disney was great. It was a little overwhelming being in huge crowds and with my family 24/7, but I really enjoyed spending time with them, and it improved the patience that I have with my cousin Nathan. Definitely understand him a lot more now. 
  • Seeing Erin was... incomparable. We had a ridiculous amount of fun together at the water park, and our heart to heart until 1am was really nice too. Made me realize just how much I miss her in my every day life. But! Her BF's parents are moving to Providence this Summer, so over winter break she is coming up with them and I will get to spend like 3 days showing her around RI! I am really hoping this happens :] 
  • Finally worked out a time to mentor the Honors Pre-Med students in the Fall. Tuesdays 12:30-1:45 :] I can't wait. 
  • Was asked by the Honors Pre-Med Advisor/Director to be one of eight "Pre-Health Ambassador's." Our first meeting is tomorrow, and I will have more info about it then. 
  • Working full time is exhausting, especially when I continually hear the sad things that are happening in peoples lives. Good news is that I am making about $300-$400 a week, which will be really helpful in paying off my car loan early. I have already paid almost $600 in just two months! 
  • Marisa is coming home early (this Friday), which I am excited for, but it's not for a good reason. She has lost 2 people that were very close to her in the past week alone, and she needs to be able to go to their funerals on Saturday :[ I am going with her to support her. I feel so badly =[ 
  • Summer classes are causing me so much anxiety. And of course, I have been being stupid and have not taken any Zoloft for well over 2 months. I forgot how badly my anxiety disorder inhibits every aspect of my life....
  • Finally went to the Optometrist and ordered 2 new pairs of glasses. One pair looks just like the ones that got broken in my car accident, and the other pair have a little flower design on them :] 
  • Finished doing all of my passport stuff in preparation for Montreal!
  • MCR is touring again soon, and I am seeing them with Marisa during their Montreal show! And then again with Tiff and Sean when I get back. Such a fangirl. 
  • Sad that I will be at Sandy Island when Tegan and Sara play at the Newport Folk Festival. I've been dying to see them since senior year! Hopefully they play somewhere near here soon. 
  • 42 hour work week + 2 summer courses (the equivalent of 4 regular ones) + trying to maintain a somewhat normal social life = no sleep. 
  • The extent to which my friends support me and have my back never ceases to amaze me. I could not ask for more supportive friends and family. 
  • URI is even more gorgeous in the Summer, and it makes me happy. I know I am a sentimental geek and all, but the more I think about how I have established myself here academically, socially, and in terms of campus involvement/leadership, the more I realize how it is the perfect place for me. I never would have this many opportunities anywhere else. 
Okay, I'm seriously falling asleep now, which is not good considering all the work I still have to do tonight. Hope all is well with everyone here <3

Jun. 6th, 2011

coffee

I just want back in your head.

I am too exhausted to write a full update.

I wrote a partial one, but LJ decided to delete it before I posted it and I just don't have it in me to write again. 

Whoever actually reads this, you can expect an update tomorrow night after my math exam.


Hope all are well <3

May. 25th, 2011

sookieyay

(no subject)

 


This is the Disney Beach Club Resport that I will be staying in for the next week! :]

You can't see much of it, but inside it looks like a mansion and is super adorable.

The pool is literally 3 square acre's, has a sand-bottom, has a lazy river, and random other fun stuff like a pirate ship that is actually a huge slide.

I really can't wait to go on all the rides at the amusements parks, and to spend some time with my family. And weather in the 90's all week sounds pretty good too!

I am so grateful that my grandparents are treating us to the entire thing. It is so generous of them!

PLUS! My best friend Erin who goes to school in Orlando is coming to spend the entire day with us at one of the amusement parks! I haven't seen her since last summer, and even then it was only for a few hours.

I am really excited to simply get away from everything for awhile.

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