Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Everyone wears Mines shirts around here.

That is to be expected, I suppose. What I don't get is why we wear them around campus and then wear our Pacific Beach shirts when we go off campus. I mean, the kids at Mines obviously know you're going to Mines. Why else would you be there with a bunch of science books in your backpack? Do we really need a t-shirt to tell them? Say I'm walking to class. I see a kid with a Mines shirt or hoodie. "Hey, cool story, bro!" "Yeah, true story, man!" "Naw, really? Me too!" (looks down at own Mines shirt). We've learned a lot about each other today.

Being college students, we would love to wear our Mines shirts in public places, but of course we forgot to do laundry this week (now this is a true story). Mines is a thing to be proud of. And we should- we've earned that right. The least we could do to relieve our suffering from homework is go out to the world and say, "Aw, yeah. I go to Mines." And not in a "I think I'm better than you because I go to Mines" way, but in a "I know I'm better than you because I go to Mines" way. So take that! (Well...not really. But yes.) Personally, I guess I have a lot of pride. It comes with the bill for Maple Hall (I kid, I kid!). No but really. I try to take pride in the things I do. But not too much.

I need a Mines hoodie. But that's irrelevant.

Sigh...my class gets our Calc I tests back tomorrow. I'm scared. Not only did I think it was bad, but so did everyone else and their roommate too. The average was in the high 60's. I'm scared.

Last week was hard. Calc almost made me want to cry. I finally hit the point where I had to do something. I went to tutoring and stuff. Maybe it helped. I don't know. But it's harder than you think...
You have to make time. You have to show up. You have to do the work. And you have to get rid of your pride. A few times I've cracked and told some kids who had taken Calc before, I don't know what the heck I'm doing. It's a horrible feeling to be lost, especially when it comes to math. But admitting it and getting help makes it a little better. I've aced a worksheet because of the people I know, and would've gotten a lesser score if I had not waved the white flag.

The flag is kind of heavy and hard to raise sometimes, though.

I'm gonna get my test back Wednesday, and then move on with my life. Can't do anything about it. [Insert cliche here.] Then I'm gonna thank God we're done with Chapter 2. Chapter 3 is already looking better...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Small Victories

There are things in life that we celebrate that may seem so insignificant at the time.
But you have to celebrate them in order to survive.

Last week was insane. First round of testing has come upon me, and the studying that comes along with it, not to mention getting everything else done in time. I studied alright I suppose, remembering most of the concepts from 10th grade, and trying to absorb the new ones. But I am getting old, and my memory is not as sharp as it once was. Or I need more chocolate...that seems to always be a valid response.

The Chemistry exam was 25 questions, multiple choice. So pretty easy compared to a lot of standards. Plus it's so fun to fill in the circles! Anyway...So I was kind of nervous, it being my first test. I don't know why else I was nervous- I had no reason to be except maybe my memory might've failed me and I could've sucked on a test that was supposed to be easy. I got there early and jiggled my keys talking to people. I sat in the back although I hadn't intended to, but went to work. Half the test was no-brainer stupid questions (or so I thought) that everyone knows. After doing those, I calculated my score to be 54 so far, because that's how I roll- calculating things I know to be true. Then I continued.

I was one of the last to leave, but not in a hurry like the others to watch the Thursday Night Movie. I got out and drank a bunch of water since I was feeling deprived of life. I then became very tired, but not until I celebrated in the parking lot. I had to celebrate. I had just survived.

But you gotta do that. You gotta notice the small stuff (or large). Like not having to wait in line for ice cream. Or when my PA coach made note of my awesome baserunning skills and asked if I played softball (scrapiness, for the win!) and then me saying that I just watch a lot of baseball and then thinking "Aw, yeah". Or when there's actually washing machines not being used. Or when I woke up just in time to make it to my 8 a.m. labs or work two days in a row. Or actually being able to sleep in until 9. Or bombing a Math worksheet and then acing the next one.

I went to the Rockies game Friday night for the first time in 46 days. It was so relaxing to watch the balls arc and carry out to the outfield during batting practice. The temperature was around 70 degrees, and it was just amazing to sit there and not have to be doing anything. At college, I'm either in class, doing homework, or eating if I'm sitting down. So to just sit there and forget about everything for 6 hours was nice. The game itself sucked, but that's where counting small victories comes in again. The fireworks show was also amazing beyond words.

It's coming on to Week 5, and I've survived sanely so far. Stay tuned for further details on mental breakdowns, 'cause Calc exam is coming, and it's coming to eat me and spit me out. Or something.

Hmm. I'm gonna be really sad when summer (baseball season) ends. But until then, I'll keep counting.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Five Hours?! It Has Come to This

I'm so...tired.

I was going to take a lot of pictures this week of Maple and write about that, but I haven't had time to take a lot of pictures. And it would've been so appropriate too, with all the #mapleproblems we have. (That is completely a joke, for you all without senses of humor, or with extreme jealousy.) But here I am, and all I have to say is I'm tired.

I think this week has been the first week I can identify a subtle routine. Classes are in full force, homework abounds, and I work 10 hours a week, all while attempting to have a social life. I know when I need to eat, and schedule my life around free food. I know what assignments I have, and I know each weekend I'll still have homework to do...sigh. I do laundry and take the trash and recyclables each Sunday. I hate Mondays, with its full schedule. After classes, I prepare the lab for the next day. I work on Tuesday, then go to Chem lab. Then I read the entirety of Chemistry Chapter Three. Tuesday evenings are InterVarsity Christian fellowship large group meetings. It's a good way to forget about school for a little while, but after that I have to prepare anything due for EPICS on Wednesday. I eat at the SWE (Society of Women Engineers) meetings for lunch Wedsnesday. In the evening there are the small group Bible Studies (next week we're breaking in the Maple grill and BBQing!). On Thursday...I think I try to do Calc homework, but usually end by printing the worksheet out and feeling good about myself for accomplishing something. MAC (Mines Activity Council) puts on  a movie every Thursday night, and so far I've gone to them all (I've seen Thor, Pirates 4, and Super 8 so far). Friday- oh gosh. I hate Fridays. I begin at work, then lunch/ meetings with a lunch, then my classes. At 6, Sara- my roommate and fellow EPICS team member- and I continue our tradition of "Things I'd Rather Be Doing Right Now On This Friday Rather Than Walking to EPICS". Like sleeping, studying, or drowning...heck, way better than EPICS on a Friday. Then finally the week ends, and I usually celebrate and have a lot of fun on Friday nights...which is bad because I have to wake up at 7 on Saturdays for work.

Which is where I am now, fresh (groggy) off a nap and seven hours of work at the football game. I know it's stupid to stay up 'til 2a.m. My alarm clock tell me so: "Your alarm is set to go off 5 hours, 10 minutes from now". Gah. And then (with apologies to Charlie Blackmon) I have to roll out of bed without rolling out of bed, look in the mirror and squint to see greatness. Work was alright today. In fact, it was kind of fun. The football team dominated 55-7, which was great. I was sideline security, which meant I had to prevent streakers or otherwise non-authorized people from going onto the field. Everyone was in a jolly mood and decently sober, so I did not have that problem. Unfortunately, I fell asleep in my chair for the final five minutes, and would've been unaware of spectators exploiting my tiredness and running across the field. But they had their chance and missed it.

I actually did do a little homework today, but out of bad judgement brought my pillow into the study room and fell asleep. Curse you, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz for inventing Calculus and making the most potent sleep aid ever. My neck started hurting, and I just went to bed. Since then I have straightened my room and written a blog post.

Experts say you can only have three of the following at Mines: good grades, social life, or sleep. Coming in, I thought I'd get 8 hours (OH, THE HUMANITY!) and work very hard to get good grades, and maybe schedule fun into there somewhere. I'm decently organized now, but have scheduled fun somewhere almost every night, and still manage to turn in my assignments on time (so far). And now I've become one of those people who wake up early every morning even though their schedule doesn't require them to and gets an average of 5 hours of sleep. It has come to this.

I'm gonna need more coffee.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I was born in Denver. Grew up there. Moved 'west' to Arvada when I was 10, but still practically lived in Denver, as it was a few minutes away. Our favorite pizzeria is still there where we used to eat at least once a week. Everywhere important is still in Denver. I love Denver. Arvada has been my home for the past 7 years, but I could care less about the city. Like one summer, I entered a giant zucchini at the Arvada Harvest Festival and didn't even win. Lame. But seriously: I love my family, I love our yard, but don't really get too enthusiastic when everyone asks where I'm from. Well, yeah, that's the last place I've been living at, but do I really have to consider it my hometown?

I love Golden so far. It's a pretty town. I haven't really walked around downtown yet, but like the view of the valley with Golden, the smallness of the town, and the community around Mines in general, I guess. There's everything I need here, or nearby. Well except a backyard where I can run around barefoot. But whenever I walk around undistracted by the heavy load of books weighing me down, I feel really blessed that I get to spend 75% of the next four years here.

I love Maple Hall. I love the proximity to the Student Center and I love how I get to run downhill for all my classes if I start either at Maple or the Student Center. I love my room and roommate. I love my floor, and a good chunk of the people that make up our small floor- Maple 1st North. I hate how they made the gate on the far side of the building, and didn't put one opening on the north (that's some bad engineering right there). I hate my bed and how small and hard it is, and how I can't jump on my bed or roll out of it. But hey, it makes it easier to wake up at 6:30 every morning.

I love Mines. I fit right in (I think, and hope). I love how I can walk to class and see a few people I know, and do a head nod (sup) or say "Hey, how's it goin'?". I love how I can just sit in the courtyard outside and watch people walk by and do the same if I know them. Same goes for sitting down at Slate, or finding a seat in class. I love(?) how I struggle with the same problems as others taking Calc I, and how we get to feel stupid together. I love the group of people whose names I've managed to remember and the community I've established around myself. Two full weeks, and I feel like I've been here for a while, and have gotten used to it.

The other day, I remembered I forgot something "at home". I then paused and stayed shocked for a moment. I forgot something at Maple, and yeah, it has become my home...ish. But I know that's not true, because home is where my family lives, yes in Arvada, where I may not use my King-sized bed for a while, but there are tomatoes growing in the backyard and good real Mexican food being cooked inside. And there's probably kids yelling and fighting and beating each other up over stupid things too, but that's not important right now.

So now as far as I can tell, I've made myself a home at Mines, yet have still kept my real home on Vance Street. Which is good- having two homes is better than not belonging anywhere. Actually, it's really great. I love it.

You know though, I'm totally wrong. This world ain't my real home. But for now, yeah. And again, I love it.