::Brain Explodes::

So. Yea. Well, I got an email from Johns Hopkins last night saying that I was missing my transcripts and a recommendation from Dr. Knauth. Alright, the transcripts, oops, I forget to get them when I got back to school. My stupid mistake. But Knauth? I then checked all my other schools and not ONE received a recommendation from her. NOT ONE. So I thought, alright, I'll go talk to her about that and see what happened, after I get my transcripts together to mail out to JHU.

When Heather and I walked into our German class today, Kirsten was freaking out about how JHU emailed her and told her that they didn't get a recommendation from Knauth either. This is a serious thing then. Heather started getting worried, too. Dr. Cagle came in while we were all three still fuming a bit, and Len gave us the voice of reason. He said that it was really weird that that happened, but maybe it was because of the new way grad schools handle recommendations: namely, online. He said that it's a little confusing and takes a while to do it (he said 30 minutes!) because there are so many steps to go through and that it's really easy to miss something and have it not submitted. He also said that even though this regrettable thing happened, it will all work out, and he was confident that we really wouldn't have any trouble. I love you, Len Cagle!!!

So I went to talk to Knauth about it and she looked shocked that JHU didn't get it, and when I told her that NONE of my schools received her letters, she looked even more shocked. I told her that all of them were online and that maybe they weren't expecting a paper recommendation and didn't realize they had it, or suggested that maybe something happened with the online recommendation that maybe she missed. She said that she had all my letters in my folder and that if that's the case, she can easily just resend it all. I really hope so. I'm going to be checking DAILY until I see that her recommendations have been received. I'm going to give it until next Friday until I actually freak out and go tearing through her office. Is that reasonable? It's not like my entire future is resting in her hands or anything ::sarcasm::

I also found out that I missed in step in sending my transcripts to UMichigan, too. Apparently I was supposed to send and official copy to the Rackam Graduate Admissions AND an unofficial one to the Near Eastern Studies Department. I called the NES admissions to see what happened (this was before I realized my mistake) because I actually paid $25 to the damned Registrar here at Lyco to have my official transcripts overnighted to UMich so they would only be one or two days late instead of weeks. I was ready to flip out on the registrar because that would have been an entire waste of $25 and I would have demanded my money back and wouldn't have left until I got it back in cash. So now I'm waiting to see if the registrar can print me off an unofficial copy by 4pm (which is 2 people short today, so it might not happen, even though all they have to do is bring up my file and PRINT THE DAMNED THING OUT which would only take, maybe 10 minutes if something goes wrong with the computers, which is bound to happen because it's LYCOMING, of course something like that would happen).

*sigh* relax, Alli. Think of what Cagle said. *sob* I thought this was all done already. ;___; I just want it to be all over because waiting alone is nerve wracking enough, without realizing you're puting your whole future in jeopardy by having missing pieces to your applications!!!!

On a happy note, I got part of my refund check today! Yay! Now I have $300! $250 of which will be going into my savings account and put on reserve for when Kat arrives at the end of February. Ok, I think I may take a nap now to calm my nerves. :(


Busy Bee

Yea, I've got more work ahead of me. I'm banging my head on the desk for having not kept up with my Hebrew studying over break - it's paying...poorly. And I have to actually try to catch up. I've just been scrambling to get done what I can. Why am I putting off Hebrew when that's the one thing I really really want? Possibly because it's a lot of work? Poor excuse, Alli.

Tonight I have a German essay to write along the lines of Sigmund Freud's interpretation of E.T.A. Hoffman's "The Sandman", and the meaning behind the symbolism of the eyes...and maybe also every child's fear of castration? Yep, this is going to be a little difficult. Also, I need to finish reading our little book of Herodotus' tale of Xerxes' invasion of Greece (67/113 pages complete! woo!) so I can write up a short discussion essay to make up for my absence on our discussion day this Friday. This afternoon I'm also going to a meeting for the Green Initiative with the Dean and Treasurer. No doubt the topic of yesterday's Trayless Tuesday event will come up. It went horribly, pretty much. People were shouting loudly and obnoxiously left and right, leaving food on the tables in protest. What the ignorant pricks refuse to realize is that this was NOT Students Senate or LEAF's fault (though we were involved with discussions in going this), but instead Sudexo, our food provider, went over the heads of the entire administration to take away all trays on Tuesdays. Poor Cassie and Bob (two members of Student Senate who were in charge of this) were getting threats from students all weekend.

So LEAF and the Green Committee (both run only by students) are trying to come up with constructive criticisms to make this more convenient for students and think of creative ways people could get around this. CAS floor (well, I guess mostly Josh) had an ingenious idea to make their own tray out of a cardboard sign that read "You can take our trays, but you cannot take our creativity". That's FINE! He still ATE and then took the food up to the belt! This is NOT going to go away and it will eventually become permanent for every day of the week! Nothing the students do will make it go away, they're just going to have to suck it up and deal with it!

Anyway, enough of the rant. Tonight Denise and I are going to try out Latin dancing! Pretty stoked about that. For now, I must finish my lunch, get a shower, send out a million billion emails, and get my tax exemption form to the FinAid office before class at 2. *sigh* We're getting there...

Ideally I'd also like to organize all my Hebrew flash cards and start making the new ones and read 20 more pages of Xerxes, but we'll see...that may be too much for just 2 hours...


Fishy Update...

Just thought everyone would like to know that my Epi-fish is doing much better. He must have just been in a real bad mood...or else had a cold (can fish get colds?!) or something. Because he's perfectly back to normal now, except for a few more air gulps than normal and bit less active. Maybe he just got moody because he realized how old he is or something. lol.

And I really really really want spaghetti right now. The urge is intense. Most especially I want a garlic butter sauce. Maybe I can figure out a way to accomplish this at the caf tonight...I think they have garlic powder somewhere. Close enough to the real thing.

RecycleMania has started out super slow and not so good. Maybe things will improve. I even forgot to do recycling for the first day...sheesh, Alli. And I also still need to get in contact with the housekeepers, which is proving more difficult than it should. I just want to the know who the hell is in charge of housekeeping and find out the appropriate way to send a message to the individual housekeepers about who's recycling where and the pick up days so they know not to take out our recycling!

This weekend was fun, though unproductive. Saturday...why don't I remember Saturday? OH, I remember. Stuart and I were supposed to go to the movies to see the new Clint Eastwood film that he's been dying to see, but we ended up not having any money. Well, I have some money ($30) but I realized that I am going to D.C. on Friday to hear an archaeological talk at Johns Hopkins International Campus (maybe there will be some professors there from the Baltimore campus!!!), and I will need to pitch in for gas money and buy myself dinner.

Thank God for overestimating on Student Loan Funds (well...for now...)! Now I just have to pray that everything goes through FAST so I get my refund ASAP...as in, before Kat comes for her 2.5 week visit starting February 25! So I have moneys to spend on her! We decided that since she was able to save up the money for the plane tickets, the rest of us will pitch in for her while she's here (since not a one of us in a nice financial situation....). I'm so glad she'll be here. She really needs to get out of her current situation for a little bit, clear up her head. Maybe it'll help her think better when she goes back.

Oh, I was supposed to be updating about my weekend. Saturday night we cooked up the deer steaks dad gave Eric and me and we ate...almost all of them! Let's see, we had Denise, Melissa, Jordan, Eric, me, Heather, Kevin, Sam, and her fiance Jake. Yea, that's a fair amount of people. I had potatoes to throw in, too, thank God, or else there wouldn't have been enough to eat. The frozen corn on the cob that Denise grabbed from her house turned out to be freezer burned and bad. Thank God for my brownie mix, too! (And the kind offering of vegitable oil from our lovely girls in Commons 5). We played Animal Crossing on Denise's Game Cube while waiting for dinner, and then Uno Attack, Taboo, and Scattegories after dinner. It's always so amusing to play video games with Eric because it's never calm. hahaha.

Sunday Denise, Heather, Sam, Jake, and I went to the mall so I could spend my Bon-Ton gift card. I found out Saturday night that they're going out of business, so I have to spend the gift card fast, before it closes. The dress I'd seen there before Christmas turned out to have been long gone. :( But I ended up getting a new long-sleeved shirt (of which I just don't seem to have enough of, now that it's super cold out), and a thicker kind of hoodie. Unfortunately that only took up 1/4 of the gift card, so we browsed, looking for other things to buy, I offered to buy a panda beeny baby for Denise to spend another $10, lol. Then I saw the crockpots!!!!! I am now a proud owner of a 5qt crockpot with a timer and "warm" setting! hahaha. This now opens up for our large group...STEWS AND SOUPS! WOOP WOOP! Which we'll be starting instantly, with Denise using her dad's recipe for 15 bean soup! YUM!

Ok, now I need to get ready for yet another meeting for LEAF...



Between Denise's curiosity of Nerd-dom and the extreme nerdiness of our dear guy friend Kevin, we have decided that Heather, Denise, and I will learn how to play Dungeons & Dragons. This gives me an extreme fit of the giggles, but at the same time has peaked my interest and that creative, artistic spurt at the core of me has again been rekindled. This also makes me very excited to start my ceramics class, since I feel that I will now begin a great creative...well, for lack of a better word - explosion. I had a hard time concentrating on my Hebrew homework - as I'm sure Heather and Denise were with their own homework, also - as Kevin gave little bits of pieces of what goes on with the game. We all kept throwing in little bits about what we want our characters to be like and what skills we want them to have - you know, like numchuck skills... lol. I say that every time Kevin says "skills"...I think I'm starting to get annoying with it. haha.

But all last night I kept thinking about what I want my character to look like, and what her history was, and it reminded me of this image I had stuck in my head all throughout break that I was never able to successfully put on paper. Maybe I'll be able to finally get it right now, with more than just an image to go on. Now I will know this woman who's been stuck in my imagination. ^.^ Where I used to see this game as a totally creepy and slightly psychopathic game, I now find myself absorbed and seeing it from an understanding that it's actually quite creative and imaginative - just right up my alley. I'm going to be a Hafling Druid! LOL! I'm becoming a total nerd...as if I wasn't already there.

I also had my first German class yesterday. I'm so excited to get reading all these stories and watching the movies. The course is titled "Uncanny Tales" and the first one we're reading now "The Sandman" is quite, well, uncanny. Creepy. We're even going to read some E. A. Poe later, which I am SUPER excited about. But you know what? I forgot how much I absolutely LOVE reading stories like this. It gives you this eery feeling, but it's a really fun feeling, I think. I love the goosebumps and the morbid pictures that run through your head. And we'll be watching movies that are based off of or have similar elements as the stories we read. And let me just tell you how badly I've been craving to watch some absolutely creepy stuff. Scary movies just aren't, well, scary anymore. They're just gross - though I still have yet to watch The Strangers, it's next on my Netflix queue, lol. Over break, I watched The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the original silent noir. It was SO GOOD. And I think if it weren't silent, I really would have been creeped out. For some reason, the silent films make me giggle when I should be gasping. But it really had that creepy element that I've been craving - I just wish it were a stronger one. And I think that craving will be sufficiently satisfied once this semester's over.

But that also being said, I think this will also add to my creative build up currently going on. Now I'm learning what I need to keep that fire going, what things stimulate my imagination most. I never really paid attention to that through high school, but I know I'm making note of everything. I just really wish my ceramics class wasn't canceled last night (the prof has conjunctivitis!) so I can learn a new form and figure out how to express what's in me besides just paper and pencil. Yay! I'm thinking this is going to be a great semester...


The Golden Ass!!!

Well, my first day of classes went really well! Kendo is going to be really awesome. It's not learning to fight with the sword, but learning the way of the sword. Meditation, focus, asking questions, building strength, and learning about ourselves and fighting the self we don't like. I haven't thought about myself in that way, really. Nothing irks me about myself...but that doesn't mean I won't be able to grow or better myself. I may just find that part of me I don't like that I've never noticed before and fix it. I guess that would mostly be the part of me that is just too lazy. lol.

Then Hebrew. As soon as I walked in, irritating Kevin sprang on me with his "How are you?"'s and "How was your break?" and "Got all your applications done?!" *sigh* But the good news is - lol, joke with dad and Eric - he volunteered to move to the first Hebrew section, so I don't think I'll be seeing any more of him. *phew* Dr. Knauth basically reorganized the class syllabus a bit. We'll be focusing on more reading. I'm glad, the class was rather unorganized. Though I still thoroughly enjoyed learning how Hebrew works! We'll be getting into the nitty-gritty of the language this semester. Just to bring everyone to understand, we didn't get into the nitty-gritty of Greek until the 3rd semester. We learned it all in a rush 1st and 2nd semesters, and then really worked on getting it down the 3rd and 4th semesters by doing rote translations from the Bible. With Hebrew, we're doing both simultaneously, and it seems like I'll as good of a grasp on Hebrew in just 2 semesters what it took 4 semesters for Greek. I like Hebrew! So easy! lol.

Ancient History is going to be a BLAST. It's going to be a lot of work, but it's going to also be a lot of fun. Most of the class is composed of the Archie students, much to Dr. Chandler's dismay, lol. Which means I know most of the people pretty well, and they're all a lot of fun. The first day was actually pretty ridiculous. Golden Ass...lol. Man, I'm glad that Chandler's just as immature as half the students in the class because it makes for an amusing time. And he gets it when we make jokes...or at least responds with intense laughter and more jokes. We'll be doing a lot of reading of primary sources, translated of course, from the Greek and Latin! We'll be going super fast through the ancient ancient stuff (namely, the part of archaeology I am most interested in) and focusing on the Greek and Roman worlds (the part I've always found to be just...overdone). BUT this is a history class and not an archaeology class. History deals primarily with texts over anything else, whereas Archaeology looks at physical evidence from excavation along side of ancient texts. Historians and Archaeologists normally don't get a long, or at least mostly disagree upon how history should be studied, and that is the primary difference between the two diciplines. I chose Archaeology over History because of that difference. But I'll get into all this another time...if you're really interested, ask me about it. It'll be at least an hour conversation...erm, lecture. Haha.

So, so far this semester seems pretty good. A lot of reading for Ancient History with an interesting internet partner project again, a better organized Hebrew, and a stimulating Kendo class will make for a nice beginning and end to a week of classes, I think. We'll see how German and Ceramics go tomorrow. German's going to be a lot of work, too, but I should hope to enjoy everything we'll be doing, namely reading "uncanny tales" in German, plus at least some Poe! And it's writing intensive, which will be a lot of work in German. Ceramics I think will take up a lot of time, but very enjoyable - I hope. I can't imagine it not being that way. The only time I didn't enjoy an art class was because I didn't like the professor. But then I took the same class with a different professor and had the time of my life. But I know two students who've taken ceramics and they've enjoyed it and the professor, so I think I may, too. Besides, it'll be nice being back in an art class. I miss art.

Man, I forgot what it's like to be finished with classes early...This is the first time in a long while since I've not had a class past 4pm. It's still pretty bright outside...It's still quiet...No rushing to get to places...I like this! haha.

Heather and I saw Sammi when we were leaving History. That made me happy. She left late last semester because of a depressive episode, which I had no idea about and felt like a really bad friend for not noticing that anything was wrong. But I guess that's not really my fault. Well, this semester I will have a bit more free time than the last, so maybe I'll be able to hang out with her some more.

That being said, I still have about an hour until dinner time...I guess I'll unpack a bit more...I'm nearly finished!


"Social responsibility..."

Eric and my last dinner tonight with the family was really nice. We had a $100 gift certificate to 7 Stars Historical Restaurant, and it was fancy! And expensive! And it would have been a very very nice time, except for two things.

Well, let me back track slightly. On the car ride there, Matt farted SO BAD and it was right before we got to the restaurant. So as we were about to get into the restaurant we were still chuckling about it and making fart jokes. My dad turned to us right before we walked in and gave us 'the lecture', "This is a nice restaurant with people paying for and expecting to get a nice, fancy meal, and we aren't going to ruin this!" haha. We sat down at our table, decided what we were going to order, and were having a fairly nice time being "pleasant" (and whenever we kids weren't, we whispered quietly between ourselves and gave overly innocent looks to our parents - you know the look, Cass, Eric's look with the raised eye brows and large closed smile, haha). Then as we got our salads, a group of 2 middle-aged couples sat at the table immediately next to us (Eric: Oooh, new money), already talking loudly and obnoxiously as the host brought them over. There already seemed to be a lot going on - polite conversations, servers bustling around, overhead classical music. But when they came in, everything just started mixing together and sounded awful.

Then not even 5 minutes after they sat down, squawking away, talking about everything and anything which are considered highly inappropriate for a fancy dinner, Paul began complaining of a head ache. And when Paul gets a head ache, it's bad. He becomes cranky, sick, and is completely not his high-sprung and bouncy self. It was just too much stimulation for his already straining ADHD, and my dad had to take him downstairs to the lobby to get him away from the obnoxious people.

So to get back at them for ruining what was turning out to be a very lovely meal indeed, Eric and Matt began mocking and repeating little pieces of their conversations: "Oh, you see it was my social responsibility..."; "...$75..."; "he asked us to pay him only $20,000"; "OH LANCE! AWHAHAHAHAHA!!!" I nearly pissed myself laughing. The two of them took it up a notch when my mom switched with my dad so he could eat some his ENORMOUS steak (Paul decided that he wanted some "fresh air" and my mom took his outside to the car). Matt and Eric grew progressively louder, and I was laughing harder and harder until I couldn't take it anymore and had to go to the bathroom before I peed myself. On my way back, I saw Matt and Eric coming towards the bathrooms and Matt said, "They got the hint..." When I sat back down with my dad, they were pretty quiet.

Then Paul and my mom returned and Paul seemed in a better mood and began to dig into his lobster tail (that boy has the most expensive appetite I've ever seen...). This is when the couples began growing in sound again. My mom was SO pissed off that she began to talk loudly to us about inappropriate and rude table conversations at nice restaurants. lol. So our battle ensued until they left before us and we claimed victory. We stayed at least another 20 minutes after that laughing about every possible thing and having a very good time.

So all-in-all, what could have been a disastrous and horrible meal at a very expensive restaurant turned into the most fun my family has had together in a while. I guess I'm a little sad to head back to school now, what with such a nice mood in the house; it's better than an irritable mood, where I'd be glad to go back. But right now, I'm happy to still be at home.