Thursday, December 13, 2012

Four Final Days

This couldn't end well. The first question was bizarre: "There are M amount of positive charges in the universe and N amount of negative charges, and both have a magnitude of e. If two charges of magnitude e appear, what is the total charge in the universe?" I could not give an electric flux about the charges in the universe, I just wanted to do well on the last Physics exam I'd ever take. Questions baffled me. I didn't have my minty gum, rather I freaked out in the morning when I couldn't find it, then ran to the book store and bought some fruity gum. Bad decision. The Red Bull and Honey Bunches of Oats breakfast combo was fine, my focus was alright, but they didn't help on the weird problems. I wish I had more time to study the day (and week) before.


I barely woke up Tuesday morning. It was 7 a.m., and I'd gotten 4 hours of sleep. I thought about calculating my grade if I slept in and got a 0 on the Economics final. It wasn't good, so I reluctantly rolled out of bed, chugged some yogurt, ate the rest of my Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and cracked open a Red Bull as I meandered to Brown Building to take the test. The TAs were ten minutes late. I was tired, and  not amused. So tired, I don't remember much of that test. I was pretty out of it. I went back home and took a nap.

Tuesday evening: the last night of studying for exams for me. "All I need is a 76," Shane kept saying. After about the 5th time everybody wanted him to shut up. I tried to learn optics in one night, and was pretty successful as I went over homework while I ate the pizza we ordered. Eventually Lon-Capa went down, so we had to find creative ways to study for physics. I should have looked over the past homework, for "Hairpin Curve" would be on the final. But my professor had told me that a good night's sleep and good attitude was going to help me on the final, so I opted to get 7 hours of sleep. Brandon took me home at one.

My geology professor was probably printing out our finals, as he was late. "If you take the full two hours to complete this, there's something wrong!" he had said, so it was okay I guess. I sipped my Starbucks; the weather was cold and windy outside this Monday morning. He finally showed up, and we didn't take a whole lot of time to finish. "Extra credit: draw your favorite dinosaur!" I laughed.

Panino's and more Starbucks with Rima kept me going for lunch. It was great to relax with a friend even though my worst finals hadn't taken place yet. When I got back, my family dropped my off a huge care package of food.

I tried to learn Econ as I Skyped my friend at the Starbucks in Brown later. I was a hopeless case in this subject, but it did help. Brady texted me that his Calc final grade was up, so I checked mine. It wasn't up. But Geology scores were.

I got a 75. I was in denial, but I read my prof's message. He was curving the class by 1.7 percent.

I was excited, but I couldn't dwell on that for too long. Econ was tomorrow. Physics, more importantly, was Wednesday.

But first our Bible Study was going out for Pho for dinner. It was a great time to hang out and get hot soup, for it had been a great semester. The weather was getting colder too, so that warmed us up.

Exams were looming though, so afterwards I texted Brandon. Studying for Econ was for naught, we decided. The more one studies, the less one understands. He picked me up and another late night studying at the Stoop was ahead. "I got an A in Calc!" Shane said. "I need a 76 on physics, do you think I can get that?"

We studied physics until about midnight, then switched to Econ. It was snowing. 'Bout time. Brandon drove me home, and we noticed the snowplows hadn't been out yet. "The key to driving in the snow is to not freak out," he said as he drove sideways in the CTLM parking lot. "No big deal, just driving sideways." It was fun, as it was one of the first snow falls of the year and there was no one awake at that time. There rarely is at 2 a.m. Even the study room in Maple was not lit up as it was so frequently last year.

I walked from Marquez Hall to Brown Sunday night, the place where I spent most of my time this semester. I was just coming from studying for my geology final with classmates, but needed to go over the time scale and maybe some Econ.  I needed a 76 on Geology, and was concerned about not getting it. Alone in Brown, I wrote and rewrote the time scale in hopes of finally memorizing it. I hated studying alone. Maybe it helps focus, but certainly not motivation. I missed having people to study with every night without fail in the Maple study room. Maybe I just hate being alone.

I thought about how different this semester was. With only two more credit hours than the last, I was twice as busy, yet still managed to sleep some of the time. We had split off into majors, although not as completely as we will Spring semester. I missed old friends, had made new friends. Learned more intense stuff, lived more real life. Had kids look up to me as an old, grizzled sophomore yet couldn't get by without the wisdom of those older than me. The semester flew by quite quickly. I was surprised, no, blessed that I got through without too many battle scars.

Three down, five more to go...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Don't Give Up, Don't Ever Give Up

Or, Ramblings of a Wreck

Late night. Everything due the next day, or this week. It seems like it will never end, but you can see the end. It's so close but so hard to get try to fall asleep at 3 a.m. despite the noises. But when you do fall asleep, the nightmares come. Fears of failing, forgotten assignments and exams. 

It's okay. It's weird, but here it's normal. Exam day will come, Dead Week,  finals. 
It's make or break, do or die. If you care that much about grades, that is. But it's really just another month in the life. 

In a week, you'll be in a room filled with anxious students. Their hands on their heads pulling their hair out.  Breathing heavily trying to finish up the year. 

But for now, one day at a time. Go.

You'll get through it. You always do.

Don't lose focus.

Isaiah 41:10  Fear not, for I am with you;  be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you,  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Nobody said it was easy.

Some nights I wish this all would end...

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it." - A League of Their Own

Prov 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.

"Do or do not. There is no try." -Yoda

Isaiah 40:30,31: Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Nobody said it would be so hard.

I just want to go to bed. I'm not even that stressed, just tired as heck.

Romans 12:12: Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

"If you don't set goals high, you're not trying." -Todd Helton

Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

Even if it doesn't work out, life goes on.

It'll all be over soon.

And don't give up. Never.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Geophysics, Heck Yeah

Volunteering to recruit future geophysics majors!
Nearing the end of my third semester, I'm finally getting out of the bulk of core classes everyone has to take here. Gone are the days of building water filters for freshman EPICS design, Chem lab, writing environmental ethics papers, and soon Econ Portal. Next semester I'll be in Human Systems (a social studies class which will be my "fun" class), but the rest of my classes pertain to my major- Theory of Fields I: Static Fields, EPICS II for Geophysics, and Java. I'll be in Differential Equations of course, and I'll be working towards my minor as I take Linear Algebra. What an adventure it will be indeed.

It's been great fun in Introduction to Geophysics this semester. I've gotten to see all the different possibilities of applications for Geophysics: oil/gas, mining,  water, geothermal, agriculture, geohazards like earthquakes, volcanoes, and landslides, and so much more. I don't know what I want to do with  my degree yet, but I'm sure finding out will be awesome. Geohazards fascinate me right now (except landslides).

Another great aspect of Intro has been meeting more of the cool people in my major. I know a few from freshman year (and we all walk together from Intro to Geology and sit in the front row, heh), but the kids I've  met this year confirm my theory that geophysicists are the coolest and happiest people on campus. Us 30 (yep, 30 even) Class of 2015'ers are gonna learn a lot and have a lot of fun in the coming semesters.

I volunteered the other weekend to represent the Geophysics department at Preview Mines, an event for prospective students. It's funny because just two years ago I applied as a Physics major to Mines, but changed my mind after the department tour. The students that were sophomores then are now seniors. Scary. But it was cool, I got to talk about why I chose Geophysics and why I love it here.

Honestly, it's the people. Like I said, my classmates are cool, upperclassmen are really awesome offering advice and making you feel welcome, and the professors are super helpful. Everyone makes everyone feel at home. That's probably the secret as to why geophysicists, the few, the unknown, the awesome, are one of the happiest majors at Mines. Doing what you love working with great people.

Now if Green Center could grow a few windows...I'd be even more stoked about spending three years there.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Palace of Enchantment

There comes a day when you have to "grow up" (or pretend to) and move all your important stuff into your own little dorm room and meet new people in your suite, floor, and hall. And then there comes the day when you have to say goodbye to all the cool people you met there and move out, knowing it will never be that way again. Then there comes the day where you really have to grow up, sign a lease, and move into a house with nine other people who you mostly don't know. Thus begin the tales of the Enchanted Palace.

I can see the window of Maple 155A, my old room, from the kitchen window. It's kind of weird. The first month or so of living here, I'd constantly think back to the days of 1stNorthSwag, and lament on how different living here is. In the dorms, everyone is taking the same classes as freshman. Now, I'm surrounded by people in different years, majors, classes, and save the three basement dwellers, am living with 6 girls. All these things terrified me (and some aspects still do). I had to adjust to taking 18 credit hours, so I started studying more than I did freshman year. I practically lived in Brown Building, the engineering building with great study rooms, frequently heating up dinner and bringing it across the street and eating it with my homework. Exhausted, I'd return to the EP and try to fall asleep.

I don't when when things started to change, but they did. Most of my housemates are really cool people, and as Marilyn said "I love the idea that I can have a social life without leaving the house!". So Mines. But really: we have a pretty good dynamic. Everyone has their awesome quirks, including the basement guys who are there to play cards or just talk until really late. We have our princess wall, Marie's cuss wall, and the quips of Michael.

It's really become a place that I can come back to and get support after an exam, even if no one is in my classes. A place where I can have a hear-to-heart conversation, even if I am a few years younger than everyone. A place where there are frequently cookies or cake, and nerdy talk abounds.

A palace of enchantment.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


homework, class, homework
class, homework, paying attention
homework, paying attention, frustration
paying attention, frustration, wolfram alpha
frustration, wolfram alpha, cake
wolfram alpha, cake, sleep
cake, sleep, dream?
sleep dream, love
dream?, love, calculus...?
love, calculus...?, pray
calculus, pray, friends
pray, friends, fun
friends, fun, nerdy
fun, nerdy, Mines
nerdy, Mines, yeah
Mines, yeah, difficulty
yeah, difficulty, no time
difficulty, no time, Lagrange multiplyers
no time, Lagrange multipliers, panic
Lagrange multipliers, panic, solve
panic, solve, crash
solve, crash, laptop battery dying
crash, laptop battery dying, bleh econ
battery dying, bleh econ, give up
bleh econ, give up, write
give up, write, life
write, life, school
life, school, sleep

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Science Nerd Writes: Cookies, and a front page article

Alright, I've forgotten to do this, but here's a few of my more interesting articles the past few weeks:

"Excuse Epidemic Sweeps Campus" 10/07/12

I go to Mines. 'Nuff said.

"Experiences in 151 as told by Fred Fresh, ‘18" 10/29/12

This idea came out of Small Group. We talked about making cookies an EPICS project, then an NHV lecture, where cookies are the stakeholder. 

"SHPE's Noche inspires young students" 10/29/12

So...this is the first article I've written that I made the front page. Pretty stoked about that. Plus, it's awesome in itself that they decided to put SHPE on the front page. Woo, go us!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

25% Reflection

The passing of Fall Break means we're about half-wayish done with the semester.

Fall Break was great. The first part (Friday through Sunday) was my second Fall Conference. I can't really say which was better, because I just felt it was perfect for what I need right now. I need reflection, which is not hard to do when you are up in the mountains with an hour dedicated to meditating while on a snow-covered bleacher. I need direction, which is more complicated and only comes from God. Or rather, it should. And rest and friends and good times playing whiffleball were extra. 

The second part was great as well. I got like eleven hours of sleep each night in my comfy bed in my own room. I got to relax with family and do homework. It was good.

It's been a great semester, it really has. It hasn't been particularly difficult, although I know more difficult times are ahead. I just feel...content. I do homework, and I'm happy I get to do this under the big M. I'm constantly busy learning, working, making time to hang out with friends, helping out younger friends, and just taking in the awesome while not letting the difficult haunt me. Or trying not to. And yes, I do sleep.

I need to continue to work on my time-management. I need to find an internship. I need to work on being healthier. I need to figure out if I want to pick up a minor. And I'd like to make some strange but awesome random memories. And maybe meet more people. And not be satisfied, constantly pushing forward. 

Yeah, let's do that. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Red Bull and Conquer

Remember this stuff!
"Every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something." 
~ Nolan Ryan

I think I'm getting used to it: being a Sophomore. I'm past the shock and differences between freshman year. Yeah, the classes are harder. I'm used to homework being infinite, whereas I would have been stressed out about just homework as a freshman. Hard tests don't hurt anything besides my head anymore. I've formed new friendships and stronger legit study groups for particular subjects. I'm getting to know people in my major, and they're pretty neat.

Yeah, I miss some things, like taking all the same classes and coming back to Digger Den to talk about it after an exam. I miss the accessibility of friends: just being able to go across the hall if I'm bored, or hearing Brady yell, "Saaaaa-raaa!" from down the hall even if we were doing homework. I miss "study breaks" in Maple, including throwing socks with Rebecca and Rima. I miss being innocent and not having to worry about the future as much. 

But not all change is bad, and not everything changes. I have to try and meet with old friends, but we talk about the same things. Everyone has the same quirks. (Brandon still gets up randomly and walks down the hall and forgets what he went down the hall for.) Mines is still hard. We still get through it. Time passes just as quickly. 

New friends are awesome. New challenges are good. And life goes on.

I'm trying to conquer physics this semester. (It's kinda crazy how I'm five-sixths of the way done with general physics here at Mines...) Anyway, it's the same but different. This semester the Physics Department isn't out to screw us, as proven with the biggest curve on a physics exam in the history of life. It's different for me a little: I still love physics, but I feel it is more conquerable this semester. That if I study hard it will actually pay off. I feel I have something to prove, with Physics II being related to my major. So I studied and studied for this circuits exam, which they generally say is the easiest, but prepared to score terribly without a curve. 

I studied with a few guys from The Stoop (one of the baseball houses) over the weekend, and Brandon gave me a Red Bull right before the test. Last year I would have declined, but I have found recently that Red Bull "increased performance, especially during times of increased stress...increases concentration and reaction speed..." blah blah blah. In short, I've did alright on the Calc exam while on Red Bull, so why not add it to my pre-test routine? I got my gum, my lucky pencils, and I was ready. Before the exam, I made an analogy of acing a physics test to throwing a no-hitter, which in turned apparently jinxed any likelihood of me getting an A. But during the exam, I tried to reach down into my weird brain, trying to prove  physics can be conquered. 

I'm sure some peeps conquered physics, I'm sure some were conquered. But for me, it was just the 6th of 8 physics exams I'll ever take, and by far the least difficult. 

Nothing's been proven yet....War is still on, physics. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend in the Life

Woke up at 7 to go to Chuck Stone's lecture during which women were referred to as "wanting to control all the voltage".
Identified minerals and rocks subjectively during 205 lab with Matt from 9-12.
Met Sara at Sherpa house and stayed past 1 during which Calc would've happened.
Tried to do Calc homework. Finished one problem.
Listened to how bad the physics test was and talked about it.
Had a meeting for IV.
Listened again to how bad the physics test was.
Arrived late to horticulture club: helped dig holes and weed.
Talked to Chuck Stone about physics and names with Marvin.
Arrived late to Brown w/ Marvin
Ordered Buffalo Wild Wings
Went and picked them up with John and KC
Ate them.
Watched John play the piano, played the piano for the first time in a while.
Started physics homework with Marvin, KC, and John.
Read email out loud to the guys.
Email said Physics got curved.
Started yelling.
Heard other people yelling too.
Went and found Clinton and peeps and massive celebrations erupted
Ran through Brown yelling
Started physics homework.
Replied to Lon Capa email.
Read Chuck Stone's reply.
Almost fell asleep,but figured it out with the guys.
Went home.
Wrote this.
Fell asleep at 1:30.


8:30 AM, waking up in the morning, (can't have my bowl, can't have cereal).
Ran to Intro to Geophysics.
High-fived Shane because we got the same score on the physics test.
Tried not to fall asleep during landslides lecture.
Tried not to fall asleep during Econ recitation. 
Went to Starbucks in Brown with Rima; espresso and chai were gone; ended up with a free frappuccino.
Went to DiggerDen and watched Youtube videos and helped Rebecca with this one problem.
Went to Society of Student Geophysicists meeting, ate Subway, and met a new freshie in GP.
Read Switzer's email about "a calculus guardian angle peeking over your shoulder" and went to math.
Got new assignments for studio groups. 
Had another meeting, got out late.
Went to Rockies game, watched Rockies not throw strikes, watched fireworks show afterwards. 
Lingered at the field after reminded by Jason that it'd probably be my last game.
Went home and crashed.


Woke up late.
Pretended to do homework.
Made lunch.
Cleaned room.
Pretended to do homework.
Went up to Lockridge Arena to work the volleyball game.
Went home and made Rice-a-Roni; had dinner with Rima. 
Studied in Brown. 
Studied at EP. 

Woke up super early and went to Brown to study; Starbucks was not open, to my dismay.
Did Calc for forever.
Got Subway for lunch with Rima and sat outside. 
Lollygagged for a half-hour. 
Studied for Geology with Rosie, Matt, and Lee. 
Ate dinner.
Did Small Group IV stuff.
Went back to Brown. 
Kinda did Econ. 
Went back to EP; did laundry; prepared for Humans vs. Zombies. 

What a life I lead. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Here We Go Again....


Mines Kid: WHAT HAPPEN ?
Mines Kid: WHAT !

Mines Kid: IT'S YOU !!
Mines Kid: WHAT YOU SAY !!
Physics II: HA HA HA HA...

Mines Kid: MOVE 'VECTOR'.

I had two exams this week, and am so so excited to be done with them. The Physics II exam was really rough, I guess, but my cold emotionless heart couldn't tell because, quite frankly, it doesn't hurt anymore. Exams are beginning. Or rather, War.

Here we go again...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


As freshman, we take pride in being "poor college students" for some reason, even though our room and board is paid for one way or another and we have all we ever need. We still stock up on ramen noodles, organizing them in a huge drawer by flavor. We are excited by free food because we are sick and tired of Slate. We buy rice just in case, but the only thing we really ever run out of is laundry detergent.

As sophomores living off campus, we now realized that was a huge pathetic joke. Now, life is real. We are adults and have to hunt and gather for our meals, while furnishing our houses with the necessities of living. Ramen is a great meal- not a snack anymore. We become less picky, willing to try anything as long as it contains sustenance. We become less embarrassed, for staying alive is more important than socially acceptable behavior, and then show up to the most random places as long as there's free food.

Free food. Those two words captivate me. Almost as much as my other favorite two words: green boxes. But gosh, I love free food. Organizations are a power feeding tool: SWE, the MEP groups, SSG, and other professional societies have weekly or bi-weekly meetings which have free food. I mean, really- who goes to hear the talk? Alright, maybe we do, but it's so mind-easing to know you have a lunch coming on those days. Random BBQs are good too. In fact, BBQs are awesome because they most certainly have meat, and my diet needs meat to supplement all the carbs I intake all week.

I bought cereal, but my milk went bad. I guess I should eat breakfast more. But the thing is, I can afford to skip a meal I guess. Today for dinner, I ate one slice of pizza, along with some cheese and humus left over from an info session at The Oredigger meeting. It's not an all-great feeling, but I feel like a scavenger. And scavenging is more time-efficient than making dinner myself, which I do in fact do sometimes.

I'm such a poor college student.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Science Nerd Writes: Satiring Maple; Challenge Kids Reflect

I returned to The Oredigger staff this year, despite knowing I'll be swamped with school and life. Each week, I'll link to any relevant articles I wrote because I did in fact write them, and you probably don't get the paper copy of The Oredigger, and our desire is for everyone to read our exceptional writing (that last part's a bit of a joke). But yeah. As if you need more of my writing to read...

"Syrup Hall plans in progress" 9/09/12

I made fun of Maple in a light-hearted way, while also making fun of the people who make fun of Maple. You know, haters gonn' hate and whatever. So Syrup will be pretty much the opposite. I admit, I had a lot of fun in this piece.

"Challenge program offers freshmen head start" 9/3/12

I asked the Challenge kids for a few quotes, and I was overwhelmed by their eagerness and gratefulness to have gone through Challenge. It was such a huge blessing for me to hear how positive the experience was for them. So again, thank you all.

All articles from The Oredigger is the student voice of CSM.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pure Madness

Three possible straight semesters of 18 credit hours. As opposed to two straight with 16. What drives a person to such self-infliction? Madness, I say.

Its contrast: astounding. How quickly my once free hours become occupied now that I have more class to prepare for and attend! The material: intriguing. I don't mind sitting down and focusing for hours on end, and begin academic and such. My hours spent sleeping in class comes out to a grand total of zero. My notes: as extensive as ever. The professors: quite the characters, from Humphrey getting whoa! excited about sea level changes to Switzer and the darndest things he says, including showing us absurd Youtube videos in class, leaving us to ponder "wut?!" Young is the coolest, but of course he is, being the department head of the coolest major on campus. Flammer is cool, and normal (as opposed to the other physics II I hear). And Houser is just Houser, and it's just economics after all. And I suppose I must mention me being the nerdiest and most unathletic of the students in volleyball class, glasses crooked and everything.

My free hours (minutes)? Nonexistent, for the most part. If there is time, then there is time to do homework. Time spent sleeping: reasonable, with 7 to 8 hours every night.

I long for quiet time sometimes, away from the people and their noises. Maybe a nap on a hill or by the creek. Where frantic pleas for help on physics won't reach me. Grumbles about lack of sleep don't carry. Meals aren't crying to be made, or rather my stomach not crying for food. And I can hear myself think, for I have forgotten to think, but rather move before the madness overtakes me and my futile attempts to stay ahead become for naught as the exams cloud my nightmares.

Monday, August 27, 2012


I write this post physically exhausted, though not emotionally...yet. Classes have been good; homework alright. Other stuff crazy and mostly good. But it leaves me with no time to get ahead on homework and a desire to go to bed before midnight (which I mostly have). I know, crazy, right?

It's crazy being a sophomore. First, I have to make my own food. I miss having munch money to get Starbucks and get Naked, and I don't feel like spending money to continue that habit. I miss coming back to Maple and seeing the floor in the study room, like clockwork. I'm sad that I can't meet new people in Slate. I miss midnight conversations with my roommate, as I am currently in a single room.

But it's good being a sophomore. I can make fun of freshman and their happiness yet insecurity and freshness, while the juniors still  make fun of us. I don't have to carry my keys everywhere. Most of my classes are interesting and relevant. Living at the Enchanted Palace, my practically on-campus house, is pretty sweet too. And I don't know- I just feel cooler, yet jaded now.

But so far, everything's fine, we're all fine here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dear Younger Self: Things to Know Before Freshman Year

Why hello there, freshman me (and new freshman eavesdropping). You have just completed the M-Climb and Orientation blather, but school starts and stuff gets real. Get ready to lose your time, sleep, mental health, hygiene, and anything "normal" about you (except normal forces! Gotta love those). Below is a non-exhaustive list of things that would be pretty nifty to know going in, although some will have to be learned the hard way. Some things are things that just work for me, some things are past advice given by older students, some things are facts of life at Mines. It's gonna be difficult, but it's gonna be a blast!!

Getting ahead isn't the most important thing anymore.

People who think they know it all will try to tell you stuff. Wise people will try to give you great advice.You have to figure out who's full of good advice and who's just full of it.

Don't get behind. It takes one week to go to living homework assignment to assignment. And it's impossible to get ahead once you're behind, so take each semester and stay on top of it.

Choose Geophysics as a major because it's awesome and you are awesome, not because you don't want to take Chem II. Although that tidbit certainly makes it more attractive...

Have a test routine. Maybe you don't take tests well, or maybe there's one subject with an exam coming up that will make you shake. But find out ways to focus and relax. My routine is: study until two hours before the exam, pray for focus and help, maybe play the piano, eat a good meal, maybe listen to my iPod as I'm walking to the room, chew gum throughout the exam, and switch pencils if I'm on a problem.

Don't wait 'til midnight to start homework or studying. Just please, don't.

Wearing a suit to Career Day as a freshman = winning. They'll probably think you're a junior or grad student.

It's okay to cry. Just pull yourself together and focus on what you have to do next.

You're gonna hate EPICS as a class; you'll think it's stupid and useless. Hope to get a good team- although many people will complain about their teammates after they reviewed them and before the final report is due.

You'll probably either hate Chemistry or Physics. Or both.

Attitude is everything. If you think a class sucks, it will. If you think writing papers is dumb, your grades will reflect it. And if you keep muttering that you hate physics to your studio're gonna have a bad time.

Units! Remember to put them. Small things like these add up on exams.

Try everything, meet everyone, do everything, get involved, and put yourself out there first semester! This will be the perfect time to have fun and make friends before you can buckle down with harder classes second semester.

If you're on the 14 meals a week plan, you should take your books to breakfast, eat, study for a few hours, then eat lunch. Two-for-one meal swipes!

There are good and bad things about being on a small campus. Mostly good. But try to remember people's names who apparently know you. And try to be reasonable when something is suddenly changed, and don't do or say anything impulsive because you think it isn't fair, because it is a small campus.

Living in the dorms is awesome. Take advantage of the opportunity this year and become friends with a bunch of different people.

The food's okay. But after a few months (weeks?) you'll find that "stale" is an anagram for "Slate", which also will count for their music playlist.

It's impossible to watch an action movie without it being dissected from now on. Embrace it, or never watch movies with engineering students.

Don't be afraid to change, but remember who you are.

Don't go to EPICS on Fridays. Well, most Fridays.

If you bring a stapler to class the day the worksheet's due, everyone will love you.

There is no such thing as an easy A here.  If you want a grade, you'll have to do the work for it- and more. And you might not end up with the grade you want even if you work hard.

Work hard, have fun, relax.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Summer has a song.
It's a song with no particular melody, but somehow it reminds me of my childhood.
There's crickets and junebugs, cars driving on the freeway, the wind rattling wind chimes.
Sometimes there's a radio on and the crack of a bat is heard.
Maybe a mosquito is zapped as someone pours another glass of iced tea.
Somewhere, kids are yelling.

And at one time, I was the kids yelling.
But now, it's different.

The days of mud pies and bike rides are waning.
Summer changes time signatures and tunes.
And it's not necessarily a bad thing.
I guess I'm just growing up.

So it became that in the summer between freshman and sophomore year:
I end up in a tower, with a job, making sure kids don't yell, along with more important things.

I realize I like talking about school.
I realize I keep my room much neater when I have a roommate.
I realize Weaver is filled with haunting noises (kidding).

But this isn't mostly about me.
I'm just a note on a sheet part of a book.
And Challenge is the prelude for 39 Class of 2016'ers.

They're mostly awesome kids.

They complete pre-calculus and chemistry homework.
Sometimes complain about how late they're up.
I smirk.
But they're hard workers.

They ask me to tell them a story.
I tell of my trippy EPICS teacher, all the D's I've received on exams including the most fateful one on my Earth final.
Why you should probably sleep the night before your Chem final.
Nights exploring the roof of Brown Building and creepy elevators in Maple Hall.

I listen to their story.
How Challenge is their gateway into Mines.
For some, a dream that looked bleak, but now has a chance.

Okay, they're pretty awesome kids.

They know how to have fun already, and are now acquainted with dorm pranks.
In four weeks, they form many inside jokes, sayings, and sounds, a quartet, and friendships.
They know how to decorate a suite window pretty well.
And do the Harvard Baseball dance to Call Me Maybe.
Within a couple weeks, I could tell they are all nerds at heart and belong here.

They learn a lot in four weeks, and more than academics.
And they got a bunch of pretty cool people to teach them all that stuff, if I do say so myself.

Scary to think it's already been a year since I was about to start Mines.
I kind of miss the feeling, the uncertainty.
The 'freshness'; the first-ness of everything.

I talk to them like I might have it figured out.
But I only have freshman year figured out.
Sophomore year will have it's own rises and falls.
And though last year I was scared and uncertain, and anxiously excited,
I'm now scared but respectful, and patiently excited.

Some summers are for ice cream, but maybe this one was for growing up a little bit.
And again, not just me, but everyone who needed a prelude.
A short taste to the event to come.
A way to turn high-schoolers into college freshman.
To turn me from a freshman to a sophomore.

Sophomore....It doesn't sound so weird saying that now.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Not-So-Love Letter

Dear Mines,

I don't know how I feel about you. I mean, I think I really like you, but I've only known you for a year. I've missed you so much over the summer. It's weird...but yet it's how I feel.

Gosh, I miss you so much. But sometimes you're a jerk. You introduced me to them, but it seems you don't give me enough time to hang out with my friends like I want to. You constantly try to take me away from the things I love. You're so distracting. Demanding my full attention. It's not convenient. You make me emotional when I don't want to be emotional. Make me feel stupid at school. Nerdy. Socially awkward and dorky away from school. Insecure and alone when I shouldn't feel that way. You take away the feeling that I have it all figured out and make me come up with this thing called living life, crammed in and intense as an exam.

Now that I think about it, maybe this time away from you has been good. Of course it has been. But gosh, I miss seeing you every day, thinking about everything you bring. I feel this longing for me to go back, no, for you to come back to me. I'm here in Golden right now, waiting during the few weeks until you come back. Everything reminds me of you. Some place will bring up some memory. A picture will bring back a day. Some nights...I even dream about you. 

I'm scared a little bit, of course. The next two years are gonna test our relationship. But I'm really excited where the next year might take us. Maybe that's why I miss you so much: I need the constant pressure back in my life. The excitement and uncertainty of what I want and what's going to happen. I'm ready. Because, again, I think I really like you. I just wish you'd show me that you might feel that way too. Please? Can we just have the time of our lives this year and the next? And the next? (Until the sad day when I'll leave you?)


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Love This Game: Tales from Mines Athletics

Here lie the Tales of Mines Athletics. Stories of my job, the kids down the hall, watching games, and homework. Hopefully the first collection of many.

Before school started, I knew I needed to find a job for my work-study. So I looked at what was available on Diggernet, the school's go-to place to find a job, and came up with a couple decent prospects: Library staff and Event Staff for the Athletic Department. I contacted the latter first, because it sounded pretty legit and it sounded right up my alley. "I am enjoy baseball, football, and all sports, really and would enjoy working in this type of setting." I said. (Wow, I suck at proofreading). My future boss responded, and on my would-be first day of class, I had my first interview for a job. Ever.

I went in at 8:30 along with two other people, and pretty much already had the job. No-pressure interview at all, which was cool. Since I was a work-study kid, I could work in the office too. It was already looking to be a cool job.

"All baseball players look alike." -Rima 

Move-in to Maple Hall was interesting. The first weekend was interesting, meeting everybody and stuff. I learned earlier that I'd be living on one of the co-ed floors of Maple. Along with the other strangley awesomely random kids on Maple 1st North, there was a suite and a half of football players, and one room of baseball players. After the first floor meeting, the football guys would become hermits in their rooms, never to be seen again (a very slight exaggeration).

Brandon Storm and Brady Smith (living in 151B- the B.S. room) came and hung out in our room one of the first days. I learned that they were both pitchers on the baseball team. They saw the Rocktober poster on my wall and we started talking about baseball. Brady and I discussed the recent Ubaldo Jimenez trade to Cleveland, as Brady is from OH, more specifically- the Dirty Dusk. He also said that Rafael Betancourt sucks. Somehow Brandon and I started talking about a MLB draft pick he's played against over the years, and I knew what/who he was talking about. I know I'm a nerd- that's the point. I love this game.

All of us floormates had to learn which one was which with them having with names beginning with 'Br' (remembering that Brandon is the taller one helped), but after that I guess we thought they might be alright guys, although stereotypical baseball players.

The first Mines Athletics game I worked was doing Bleachers for Volleyball. I had a vague idea what doing Bleachers would be, and it sounded intriguing. After a long day of class that ended at 7 and quickly eating something (I think...I hope...), I headed up to the Student Rec Center and put on a super sweet Mines polo thingie shirt. I felt all official and stuff.

I think I enjoyed doing Bleachers for the most part that first day. I learned that doing Bleachers was making sure none of the spectators at the mostly empty Lockridge Arena went on the court and cleaning up afterwards a little (like collecting dirty towels), but for the most part it was sitting and watching the games. I didn't love it, but volleyball was interesting enough.

The next day I had my first turn at selling tickets. Selling tickets is cool- I get to work the ticket program on the computer- click click- and the tickets print. During events that aren't relatively popular, I mostly surf the internet while talking to whatever person is selling with me. The other kids usually brought homework. Not silly freshman me (I will never do this, actually).

As the season went on, I grew a little tired of volleyball. There was this one set I had to work where it was really late again, and I'm sure I was really hungry. I was doing Bleachers. The matches are best-of-five, and of course this one was taking forever, as there is no clock in volleyball. One team would take forever to get the lead and have 24 points. Then the other team would catch up and the game point volley would go on forever. And once they scored....the noise was deafening. Screeching girls being their own cheerleaders running in circles, celebrating. Of course the visiting team's screams would be the most high pitched. Ugh, let me go home. The match ended up having to go to five games. I don't know why, but I kept staring at the clock. When it finally ended, I was relieved and tired (seriously, my first semester Fridays sucked).

"I'm an athlete." -Brady 

Brady went through my little book of baseball quotes and put sticky notes on the ones he found interesting. "'Pitching is the art of instilling fear. (Sandy Koufax).' I like that," Brady said.

School was in full swing, as was studying. But first semester for me was a lot about having fun and chilling out. But for the guys even in the offseason, it was not. I heard about it all: 6 a.m. swimming, running poles, lifting weights, PFP's..."Do you know what PFP's are, Katerina?" "Hmm. Pitcher Fielding Practice." "Dang, you do know the most about baseball out of everyone I know." Maybe Brady didn't know very many people, but I'd take it, I guess.

And studying...yeah. One or two weeks in to Calculus I, I thought I was doomed. It was making me feel stupid. I had never taken it before. I didn't understand my professor's ramblings. And when I got the homework, I understood so little I wanted to cry. I should have gotten help right then, but instead Brandon and I looked at the worksheet and said "I'm gonna fail Calc". It was one of the first 'I'm so screwed'  moments. But I honestly thought that I would have to fight to pass (especially after the first exam...ouch) and the dude I then thought was like a stereotypical jock would be right there with me.

The cool thing about our hall, living in the dorms, and college in general is that you become friends with people you probably wouldn't have otherwise. Studying helps that. Brady would go to bed the earliest usually, because "he's an athlete" not a Mines kid, or whatever. My other friends would be next, even my overachieving ChemE friend. Then Brandon and I only remained. You know it's getting late when only Brandon is awake. But Brandon began earning my respect with his crazy late nights. I could see he worked hard, even if his time management needed work. During self-proclaimed study breaks, he told me about how he got into Mines, why he came here, stuff like that. He shook his head at the amount of homework and cracked open another Red Bull.

"I can't wait for baseball season. Then I can take it. As long as I can play baseball, then I'll be okay."

In a way, I knew how he felt.

My job in the Athletics main office was not glorious. First semester I woke up to get there at eight two days a week and fought to stay awake as I stuffed envelopes. Second semester I would pass out on the grass outside Volk Gymnasium after running a lot in gym class and then go to the office, and stuff envelopes. I liked doing it, though. The office has a mix of personalities, and its mood also varies depending on the day. When there's nothing to do, I do homework. Again, stuffing envelopes and organizing them by zip code was most of my duties on a normal day. I amused myself by looking at the names or cities they were going to sometimes. Or ranking the athletes' handwriting on their fundraising messages. Sometimes I'd overhear laughs about a liberal arts kid wanting to transfer to Mines to play a sport, followed by a question if they realized our academic integrity we have to uphold or something. Sometimes I'd walk in and my boss would ask, "What's up with your Rockies?" Or we all would speculate on the coming season. Or discuss why O'Dowd traded Ubaldo. This is a pretty normal day in the office. The Athletic Director, easy-going as always, walks in, says good morning/how am I doing, and I'd respond and ask the same of him. "Every day that you get to make a difference in young people's lives is a good day."

The Fridays before a football game day got a little hectic, but fun. I got to go use the poster-making machine and the laminator for signs and such. I love how the signs come out all warm and fresh: small pleasures. The phone's ringing, people are coming in and out, and people are going crazy. I love it. And I get to see it the next day.

This is Division II football. We don't go insane on game day. The stands won't be bursting. But it's a fun time. I wake up early to get down to Campbell Field, and if we're lucky, there's donuts waiting for us Event Staff. I did Bleachers again for the first home game. It's a little more intense than volleyball because people actually show up, and I have to keep them from going on the turf. But it boils down to sitting for the duration of the game and setting up/taking down before/after. Football is entertaining enough. Mines made the playoffs the previous year, so there's also that. The student section would do pushups for every point we had, as we acquired them. The first game Mines ended up winning with a score of 55-7, so they were kept busy by all those points. I thought the game was going great, so I fell asleep. More like barely dozed off a couple minutes sitting in my chair in the final five minutes of the game, but the excitement was making me drowsy. (I was such a bad kid first semester, falling asleep everywhere.) But after a couple games of that, I switched to doing Tickets instead, talking and having fun with whoever I sold with, and frantically getting the already printed tickets to the fans in line until half time came when I'd go in and watch the rest from the student section, chanting "C!S!M! Firrrrrrrrrrst down!". Point is: Bleachers were antisocial, I made a few friends doing Tickets. Either way I'd walk up the steep hill back to Maple and fall asleep with my head buried in my Chemistry book.

"Dude, those Boulder girls looked like I threw my bullpens at their face." -Brady

This being a small school, you get to interact with everyone, and the athletes are not above anyone or anything. I met a few, shared classes and even studio groups with a couple. My RA played softball. But baseball players are goofy. Pitchers are goofy. Bullpen pitchers are goofy. So there were some fun times when we probably shouldn't have been having them. Brandon and Brady have their things that they say all the time- like mimicking the pitching coach.

"Alright guys, throw strikes."
"Throw downhill."
"Fill it up!"

"34 days. Canyon City, TX. West Texas A&M. If you ain't dreaming about it, you ain't ready."

I don't know how many times they watched "[Stuff] Baseball Players Say" and "[Stuff] College Bullpen Pitchers Say" on Youtube:

"What do I throw this guy? Fastball on the black, fastball on the black. Two seamer inside, Derek Jeter dance. Hammer in the dirt! Looks at it. Then two seamer inside. OYA...dial 'em up, kid. BEEP BOOP BOOP BEEP BOOP"

Or how many times Brady made us listen to his potential walk-out songs. Or those silly games we played like the hat game, draw the moon, the cities game. And how they got "Call Me Maybe" stuck in our head while playing Harvard baseball's dance.

The hat game. 

"I stay one night in Louisiana, where am I?" "Dude, you're in Louisiana."

"Got heeeeem!"
Basketball season rolled around, and at first it seemed like working them would be the same as the volleyball games. But it was more fun, a little more people came (even the band showed up), and the girls didn't scream so loudly in victory. All the cheerleaders save four quit after football season, so the two boys and two girls made for laughs. I'm a horrible person. I smirked when they didn't catch a girl after she stood on them and jumped or whatever. And also laughed if a basketball or player hit them as they stood behind the net. I shouldn't make fun of them, for I know one of these days I'm going to get hit in the face by something.

(Photo taken by Mines Athletics)
Me in the background. I'm really not that bored. 

But it was fun watching the teams win, and when I got tired of watching them win, I just thought about physics problems with projectile motion. After both games and around five hours of just standing up, it's time to sing the fight song, and then clean up. I find a new appreciation for bleacher-cleaning people, for I have to pick up food and baseball guys' spitters and spare change and packs of bubble gum. After we do 'the team cheer', a phrase that one of us gets begrudgingly assigned to come up with. Once we Tebowed. Once it was Brady's turn. The cheer he came up with was Oredigger Swag. Yeah, you can hashtag that if you want.

"In baseball, never kick the bench. The bench kicks back". -Brady

The guys got back from the first baseball series of the year and were beat: literally and physically. With a long bus ride to and from Texas and the pitching staff's ERA at 99.99 (okay, it was actually 12.55), I kind of felt bad for the team, but expected the games of the coming season to go pretty much like that. But whatever, it's baseball. And I love this game.

"You better be at every game, Katerina. Or I'm gonna be disapointed in you as a baseball fan." Brady was partially serious, and said the same to other floormates. So after lunch the next Saturday and most Saturdays after that, I put on my Mines hoodie and baseball cap, put my waterbottle in a pack, grab Subway, and take the walk down to Jim Darden Field.

It is reasonably cool for this "Opening Day" of sorts. A little windy. The stone bleachers are cold and hard. Around 70 people bear through the double header. Mines ended up losing both games, Brady pitched the last inning of the first game, and it started getting windy and cold as heck so I left after the first game and before I died of hypothermia. Most times attendance is like this: just the parents, the girlfriends, a couple random students, Jason, and now me. Jason brings his portable radio and the Rockies first Spring Training game on KOA plays. It's pretty awesome (and maybe nerdy...don't judge) to take in three baseball games in one day sometimes. Sometimes it gets confusing.

Baseball is a good destresser, and I am advised to not sell tickets at the games, but just to watch baseball. Which would be awesome, but I have to pay the bills, so I don't listen. But some interesting stories came out of selling baseball and softball tickets. The prices are terrible, and nearly every opposing fan shows no hesitation to tell me. One guy got really vocal and proceeded to find an Athletic admin because my ears were apparently filled enough with his angry rants. Once another lady after asking about the ticket prices asked about the restroom facilities. I informed her of the porta potty. She was disgusted. "You mean we have to pay ten dollars for a porta potty?!" "No, ma'am: you're paying to watch the beautiful game of softball!" I flashed my best cheesy smile as she grumbled.

It's not all bad. One time a football player showed up with a girl in each arm saying they forgot their blastercards and therefore could not get into the game for free. I was suspicious. First, because this guy had managed to find two girls. Second, because these girls did not look like 'Mines girls'- they were too blond and Boulderish.

Me: “Hmm. So you swear you’re Mines girls? What’s the integral of e to the x?”
Girls: “I’m not in science classes…”
Me: “Huh. So you’re an Econ major?”
Girls: “Sure…”
Dude: "It’s e to the x!"
Girl: (shrugs) “I’m a business major.”
Dude: ”….We don’t have that here.” “
Girl: "Oh shoot.”
Me: “Pay up.”

One day a guy said he was a scout for the Rockies. My counterpart ticket seller was nosy and asked for proof and also who he was scouting. The man handed him a shiny business card and said he was checking out Mesa. I grabbed it after and saw it was Marc Gustafson, the Senior Director of scouting. The business card was really cool and I kept it.

The Rockies ended up drafting Colorado Mesa outfielder Jeff Popick in the 16th round.

"Do you want to laminate these or help us carry this stuff to Lockridge?" my boss asked.

The Mines basketball team got ranked #1 in the nation after a strong season and was getting ready to host the NCAA Division II tournament. Or rather, we were getting ready to host as the office carried banners and other stuff to get Lockridge Arena ready. "Isn't this cool?" "Yeah, this is pretty cool," they said as we walked. I nodded in agreement because it was: our little engineering school's team was a part of something big. We all know how hard the players must work, athletically and academically. My Calculus professor wished one of the players- her student- good luck (my class was afterwards but in the same room). Same with the guy who works in Digger Den. Our campus had a buzz after winning the RMAC championship, and it was pretty cool.

It was business as usual for working the games, but we had to dress up all professional-like. I had one dress shirt for my EPICS class and for the first time all semester, had to bust out the ironing board. There were also passes marked "STAFF" to wear around our neck. So legit.

Lockridge was packed. I mean, I may never see it that full again in my four years (but hopefully I will). The fans were into it, and the ones right by the court were into giving me a hard time, as their feet threatened to cross the lines. But I like being a mean, strict bleachers person sometimes. After I lectured on the importance of not going onto the court, I watched the game. It was a good game. Great, even. During the regular season I was used to them leading the whole games by 20 or more points, but this time Mines fell behind 7-0. After catching up, the game continued to be neck-in-neck, and became tied with 14 minutes left in the game. It was a fast-paced, exciting game that had the fans hanging (and jumping) on every basket. And eventually, we won.

That's all I remember about that game. I didn't get to go home yet, but worked the second game which was much less exciting. I may have gotten close to dozing off again. But after all the food and trash and chairs were put away, the whole crew gathered to do the cheer. My boss was chosen to come up with this one. "Alright, since we'll be playing the Dragons tomorrow, I want you all to say, 'Suck it, Dragons!'...with attitude." Laughter arose (and a couple eye-rolls), but we put our whole body into it: "Suck it, Dragons!" 

The Basketball team and fans sing the fight song after their last victory.

It was Spring Break for me after that, but my mom and I went to the next game. We beat the Dragons. We would face big, bad Metro next. I was coincidentally at a Nuggets game that night, lamenting in my head how much less fun watching NBA basketball is, but keeping track of the Mines game. Mines lost.

It was a fun run though. Very fun.

"Alright, let's not be distracted. Stop talking about baseball. I love it too much." -Brandon

Brandon Storm warms up before pitching an inning.

If I were to fall in love with baseball, I probably wouldn’t at Jim Darden Field rooting for the Colorado School of Mines to not give up double digit runs to the opposing team. But good thing I already love it. I don't know: everything about baseball is better than any other sport. Relaxing. Intense. It doesn't smell like dirty socks as basketball does, rather the Colorado outdoors and sometimes freshly-cut grass. The view from the field is great. We have the M on one side and the Table Mountains on the other side. Quite nice.

The heat of the semester was here. Both the guys were working hard at school, but I could count on Brandon to be up late. He'd crack open another Mountain Dew, even offering me one if I threatened to pack it up. Spring semester was harder on all of us academically, and now with baseball coming back, it made it harder. I reminded Brandon what he said first semester about it being easier and he just shook his head. His tired, bloodshot eyes told most of the story the day after anything was due. Exhaustion. More than sleep deprivation.

Despite Brandon's insane work ethic, of the two, Brady had the pitching success. After the West Texas A&M series and a new, side-armish delivery, he was throwing pretty well for a freshman or for anybody. At one point in the season, he had the lowest conference ERA on the staff. It wasn't amazing considering Mines plays at altitude and isn't an elite team anyway, but it was good enough to be recognized. It was the weekend of E-Days, and I was hanging out with my friends having fun like every good person should do during E-Days. I ran into Brady going to Slate and asked him what he was doing: living it up, or 'getting weird' like he usually joked? Naw, he was going to do homework and just chill. Because he was starting Saturday.

Maybe it wasn't fair: how 'success' isn't directly proportional to how the amount of effort, or inversely proportional to the amount of hours slept. But that's baseball, and that's life.

And most of the time I love it. I loved how through those two semesters, I found my job great. I loved the humor in hardship. The sharing of a common thing. Leaps over players to score at the plate. Yeah, 3a.m. nights. Getting Opening Day off. Walking back from Lockridge in the snow. Playing whiffleball on Kafadar at night (and fearing for my life as Brady threw a pitch to me). Free donuts in the morning at football games. And stuff. No, not stuff I found after basketball games, but stuff in general. And baseball and life.

Baseball actually ended up making the playoffs. Which is pretty cool, as it was the second time in five years, I believe. I ran to my physics final after talking to a player's mom about baseball after the last game. Baseball always helped me unwind. It was fitting that Mines baseball was ending as Physics and the stress associated with it was also.

Let's do it again next year.

The Miner's 'M', a symbol of a brand of mining men,
Whose courage knocks the mountains down and builds them up again,
No matter in this paydirt world Orediggers choose to roam,
Mines is always with them, The 'M' still stands for home.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I Got By (With a Little Help from My Friends)

Me: "...then I stopped doing Math because I'd rather do Physics all day."
Brady: "Sheesh...SOMEBODY goes to Mines."

Dear Everybody,

I think you are awesome.

I think you are so awesome, that you are one of the greatest reasons I'm glad I came here. You are the reason I made it out of freshman year alive (except the grace of God...but I think He let me know you all). You made me get by with fun, encouragement, advice, goofiness, and everything else. You kept me sane and insane when the school would've eaten me. So if I haven't said it before: Thank you.

This post is long overdue, so now it's more of a 'I miss you guys' post.

Thanks to the best floor I could ask for, the inaugural floor of Maple First North. We were all quite different, and not all of us formed friendships, but somehow it ended up being an awesome jumble of #1stNorthSwag. First, I had the best roommate ever. This is inarguable. Thanks for being a beautiful person inside and out, the times outside doing homework, the long conversations late at night.

Me: "Sigh...I just want to go to bed."
Rima: "NO. something for people in liberal arts colleges. We are engineering students!"

Hallmates and other Maplians: you were mostly all awesome, save my shady neighbors that got kicked out after one semester. Thanks for leaving your door open. For having a comfy futon. For the Nerf wars in the hallway and throwing other things. For staying up late studying, but more for the study breaks in between. For being dependably in the same places every night. Distractions, such as Youtube videos, or simply being there. Diggerden runs, and ramen breaks. That time I thought I failed SolidWorks and the Physics test was looming. For listening to my complaints about everything...all the time.

Kyle: "I'm done reading Eragon."
Me: "I'm almost done reading Moneyball."
Jayden: "I'm almost done reading the internet."

InterVarsity: Thanks for being the craziest, awesomest group of people who love Jesus. For the cupcakes. The friendships. The journeys. The sarcastic comments during movie nights. The hugs, needed or not. For looking out for me and being a good bunch of people to hang out with.

"Your opinion doesn't matter, Katerina! Make me a sandwich" ~Ben and Nate

The rest of the Miners: I met you all different ways, from Slate, Playfair, ice cream, SUMMET, to Humans versus Zombies and beyond. A lot of you I met in class and a few of you shared my exact schedule 1st semester (cough, cough, Geophysicists). Thanks for the homework help, making fun of shared professors (and their socks), letting me sleep first semester, ganging up on the jerk in PA dodgeball, surviving as my lab partner, being a cool and reliable EPICS team (gasp! Yes, it can happen), and being goofy during physics studio. For random jam sessions. Trips to get froyo. For advice on classes (especially when to skip), and advice on not selling tickets to the Baseball games. For helping pass the time during said ticket selling with chit chat. The hilarious inappropriate awkwardness in DiggerDen everyday (this is also for IV). Matching sweaters. For helping each other out getting an assignment done, literally, last minute. For sharing in the complaining about everything, even if all of us went overboard.

For making the M stand for home.

I miss you guys.

I started collecting these quotes 2nd semester (so don't be mad if I forgot a lot)....quotes that, to me, said "Mines" in a couple sentences. Some people are quoted more frequently than others because of the amount of time spent late at night high on caffeine with them. So as time approaches infinity, coupled with caffeine use increasing, the quotability of conversations increases exponentially. Or something. Need a graph? Naw, I didn't thing so. So here are the Quotes of Mines Freshman Year:

"My physics TA has a reverse mohawk. I was like wow, you're such a physicist!" ~ Nathaniel

Me: "I should just screw NHV and become a horrible engineer. Then I will kill people with my seismic waves."
Rebecca: "Well I can kill more people as a BioChemE. Then I can implant defective heart pacemakers. MUAHAHAHAHAAHA!!"

"So I've watched 4 seasons of Prison Break, and I've been studying a lot of calculus. So my dream was that I had to do Calc to break out of prison." ~ Brandon

"Geophysicists are like the pimps for Petroleums..." ~ Connor

Me: "I just don't know how to talk to this CSU kid, Rima."
Rima: "Give me a lattee."

Clinton: "I'm freaking out for these tests!"
Me: "You need baseball in your life, Clinton."

(before the torque test):
Nate: "You look like a dog-"
Me: "About to get shot?"
Nate: "No just anxious."

"Hey guys, let's pull an all-nighter!" ~ Rebecca

"He's trying to ask you out. He's trying to ask you out because you're a female with a heartbeat....Back away slowly and wave your arms in the air screaming...make yourself as large as possible...Boyfriending adverted. " ~ Connor as the French Dude at Soiree

"Jesus is like a trip. I don't know what he's on!" ~ Me

"I'm getting really tired of thinking." ~ Matt

"I'm getting senioritis again." ~ Brandon

"So as you can see here, Kay Olin becomes Mus Covite. It's kind of like a sex change."
~ Prof. Duncan, on metamorphic rocks during the only believed instance in which his class laughed

‎"That brings us to Integration by Parts. That's what your book calls it, but I call it witchcraft." ..."So the formula for your integral is ultra-violet minus super voo-doo." ~ Prof. Jane Walker

"Clearly, more logic gates equals more fun!" ~ Prof. Hellman

"Who took the last donut for our learning group?"
"Probably a ChemE."
"#&$%ing ChemEs." ~ Angry People in CompSci Class

"...Next thing you know, they'll be letting girls into Engineering School." ~ Jayden, to me, Andrew, and Dr. Kuo

"Do you guys have stalkers?" ~ UNC girls to me and Rebecca, on being a Mines girl

"So if we can't help you guys with romantic relationships, we can at least help you guys with Physics relationships." ~ Levi the Physics TA

"We know you're married to baseball!!" ~ Clinton, to me

"Smells like....sweaty engineering students." ~ Ethan, after walking into one of the Brown study rooms

"Who are we missing?"
"That one kid who smells like pot."
"I don't know his name." ~ People in CompSci class

"For the rest of studio we should just lon-ygag: lollygag on Lon-Capa until we get the worksheet. You look like you have study-d: ADD while studying." ~ Adam, my physics studio partner

"Curse my continuous partial attention!" ~ Matt, making an NHV reference

Brady: "Do you want to crack my back, Storm?"
Brandon: "If you want me to"
Brady: "Yeah, I'd like that. No homo."
Me: "Hahaha. I'm totally quoting you guys on this."
Brady: "Make sure you don't forget the 'No homo' part."

"Look at those rocks. They're so cute!" ~ Rima

Marilyn: "If there was a sarcasm font, what would it be?"
Nate: "Comic Sans."

"Screw everything!" ~ Me (often used)

"Now most people will look at it, see it's 2 a.m. and say '[F***], it's 2 a.m.' 

I look at it and say 'Hey, I've got 8 more hours! :D'" ~ Brandon

P.S. I miss you guys.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bright Lights

It is Day 34 without school... I have done a whole lot, and then a whole lot of nothing. Which has been great.

I've also taken a vacation from blogging, as you might have noticed, but have no fear. I intend to wrap up the year with great quotes from crazy Mines kids (my friends), tales from Mines Athletics, a recap of things put in dry-erase, and a post involving my conglomeration of t-shirts acquired after one year. I think. I hope. I will get to it, okay?

And then in July I will begin new adventures, as I will be an RA for MEP's (Multicultural Engineering Program) Challenge Program. Challenge is for incoming freshman to prepare them for Mines to happen to them. That is, they will live in the dorms and take pre-classes to prepare them. I'm really excited to work with MEP, as I was a SUMMET kid in 2010. I'm also really excited to meet some of the Class of 2016.

And then school will start soon after that. But for now, let me rewind and drop a couple pictures of what I've been doing the last couple of weeks:

Visiting NY was great. We did everything we wanted to, going non-stop for seven days walking and walking. The lights are bright, and they sing you can make it anywhere if you can make it there (to which I object with "Try making it at Mines"). Seven days was nice to spend and get a taste of the Big Apple. But it confirmed to me I don't want to live anywhere except Colorado.

Maybe it's because I'm missing everything. (Well, mostly Golden and the people. The studies can wait a few weeks). New York City is too humid for me, too loud, smells on some street corners of trash. There are people everywhere, a lot of them, although I don't have to talk to any of them. Of course they are awake at 3am, which is nice, as opposed to the time at school when I'd be alone at 3am and there would be no food places open.

But I miss looking at Mt. Zion and the Table Mountains everyday, all around. I miss looking at people's faces and recognizing most of them. It's going to be so great to see how pretty Golden is in the summer again, although I think it looks (and Colorado in general) best in Fall and Spring.

I don't ever want to leave.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Good Riddance/The Time of Your Life

I'm having a lot of mixed emotions.
I want to do well in my finals, but then I'm sick of them. I don't want to study anymore.
Then I just want to hang out with everyone before we have to leave each other.
Then I realize I can hang out with them by studying with them.
Oh well.

I don't want to pack because that means I'm leaving soon.
And I don't want to pack because I don't want to pack.

There's something I don't like about having to take a final that's 14 pages thick and pretty difficult. It's worse when you just said goodbye to the first people who left the floor- the baseball guys. 1st North Swag is coming to an end. Hail, hail,  the gang's not here.

But really?! I finished that stupid test and didn't even feel like it was summer. I should feel accomplished (and will after I go to sleep before 1 am in the first time in forever), but it's bittersweet 'cause I know we'll never be freshman together again.
Stop living in the past, I guess.

I packed up sooner than I had thought I would. But I still had a lot of junk.
I took down my Rocktober poster again. Weird.

Maple was half-empty (or half-full) when I left. I said goodbye to the remaining people and walked out.
Probably not for the last time. But I turned in my keys and made it official that I wouldn't be living there again (as far as I can see). The days of us freshies living our lives in the dorms were certainly over.
I snapped some pix as I said goodbye to Maple Hall. It was good to me. I was happy there.

So we're driving up with our truck filled with stuff when I kinda realize it's summer. And that is a good thing. I realize I don't have homework, but I don't think it's set in yet. And in a week I'll be going crazy from lack of it. It's good to be done though. I feel accomplished, and so should you. We need to get away. We need to catch up on sleep (I'm looking at you, although I am very guilty). See and talk to 'normal' people. We can't stay freshman forever. So we rid ourselves, but it's a good riddance.

It's crazy how quickly nine months has passed yet how much has happened in that nine months. We've grown to wide-eyed freshman to somewhat-prepared-for-what's-next sophomores. That person who didn't think they were going to pass Calculus? Passed. Shy to approach anyone about anything? Outgoing. Didn't think anyone understood them? Not anymore. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, and through all the sweat, tears, lost sleep, energy drinks and eraser remnants yet smiles, nerdy inside jokes, green boxes, energy drinks, passed tests and late nights we've somehow found ourselves having the time of our lives.

Yeah, it was hard. If I could tell incoming freshman me how hard it was, it might have scared me more. But of course it was doable. Just add in a few 4am nights. And for what it's worth, it was worth all the while.

So yeah, it was a great year. But I know it doesn't stop here. There's more things to learn. I know next year will change me more, as these past nine months have. And I'll fight through it. With Nerf guns and 'mallows. And stuff.

'Cause I'm a ramblin' wreck from Golden Tech, a helluva engineer.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Mile High, Miles Low, Fifty Billion Miles to Go

(I don't know, I just felt like adding this picture. Taken April 30 on a floor trip to the game.) 

Here, I am, mere days from completing my freshman year at Mines.

I'm in the midst of trying to ace the physics final. Long story. But yeah.
I should've started a week ago, except stupid homework got in the way. I don't even know if it's possible. But I'm sayin'....there's a chance.

So it's Dead Day.
Classes are done, everything's coming to an end.
I ran a mile in PA and didn't die, my NHV prof got us donuts, and everyone else gave us their speech of how great of a class we were. I made copies for the Athletics office for possibly the last time. Besides finals, I'm pretty much done being a freshman.

There's not enough time to try to get A's in my classes, and there's not enough time to end freshman year on a high note with my friends.
It's all coming to an end.

It's so weird.
We feel happy. But sad at the same time. A mile high, miles low. And then people complain about how stressed they are.

It's so weird.
Seniors are graduating.
We're getting older. But are reminded we have so much to go.
But it's coming quickly at the same time.

I'm so tired.
I'm sick of studying. Of staying up until three.
But I know I'll miss it- the late night digger den trips, the stories in between studying at three. The screw everything moments. The green box moments.
That's about it.
(I'm kidding.)

I'm so gonna die. So help us all this weekend.

Stuff for dead week. Brady's knee is seen in the background.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Semester-Long Battle With Physics

It began with the chirp of a droid....

Then there was homework...

And studio....

And studying...

And the Kinematics Exam...I was stoked.
(I was actually nervous inside.)

My grade before the exam.

Then Lon-Capa's all:

And I'm like:

Then we started torque...
Awesome TA's are awesome.
And I started getting less and less sleep.

People needed help with homework on Sunday night...

and I fought on until the Torque Test.

And then we saw it. And were like:

My life is a failure and surely I got an F or G!

People were mad...
Yeah, we mad, bro.

Then I got the test back and Lon-Capa said

"How'd the test go?"

Then I was all 
Heck, yeah. I got this stuff.
I studied hard. Sometimes I needed help.

I knew I could do really well and get an A if I tried (and didn't sleep). So I woke up early the day of the test and went to 8a.m. studio.
"If you don't define a system or axes or write equations in their general forms,
you're gonna have a bad time."

I was wrong.

You know, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. 
And I had the worst luck for the Energy Test (stupid conceptual questions).
But upon further review, I shouldn't have had to rely on luck that much in the first place.
There were a few questions I had to make last second choices on. 

And when I woke up, I realized

It would now take a miracle to pull an A in physics.

I became angry and emotional.

Well, more angry and emotional than usual.
I got sad texts and awesome news from others. But I was stuck in the middle: the average, or right above it.
All week I went back and forth between wanting to try to ace the final so someone can make an inspirational movie about me or giving up and screwing physics and forgetting all the people that might want to study with me but focusing on other classes. I'm pretty sure I did a million calculations.

I still don't know what to do. 
But I'm proud. 

For: "I have fought the good fight, I have (nearly) finished the course, I have kept the faith." ~ II Timothy 4:7

And I only need a 35 on the final to keep my lovely B.