Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Guilty Confessions of a Mines Student

I buy argyle socks each time I go to Target so I can look "cool".
I named my fantasy football team Argyle Sox.
I don't like the fact that the toilets in CTLM flush automatically.
I find myself analyzing and talking to myself walking from Maple to class.
I like physics.
I like pi, but don't know many digits. Sigh.
I cringe every time an apostrophe is left out of a word or a possessive is used instead of a contraction.
I wish my peers felt the same.
I have never used the omelet bar at Slate for breakfast simply because I am too lazy.
I get through watching basketball games by analyzing the forces and velocity in the x and y direction.
I used my flashlight on my key chain to fish my fork out of the trash.
I feel incredibly awkward when I try to make words come out of my mouth that defend my "ethical argument".
I'd rather put my thoughts on a computer screen (but only after midnight).
I start gasping for air after running one measly lap in the field house.
I'm from Colorado.
I let some oil company think I was older than a freshman.
I never had failed a test until the first Calc I test.
I had never gotten B's in courses, much less a C before Mines.
(Thus calculating GPA was fun before Mines, now it freaks me out- although I do it anyway.)
I actually like Episodes II and III.
I like ramen noodles.
I don't know the sine and cosine of the "easy" angles off the top of my head: my notecard is my crutch after calculators.
I sometimes feel resentment towards the kid in the front row who "knows everything" and I laugh when the answer is wrong.
I don't care about my appearance anymore (contrary to the wearing of socks). I just roll out of bed and throw on whatever because I think people don't care.
I wish so-and-so would shower though.
I've never played Pokemon or read Harry Potter in my life...and don't intend to.
I get mad when a guy doesn't stop to open the door for me...we girls are kind of spoiled.
I get sad when I look in the mailbox and it's empty, but am so stoked if my friends have a package (cookies?!).
I'm peeved when it's below freezing and some girl has super short shorts on. I mean, seriously.
I complain too much.

I love those nights when my alarm says "you have set your alarm to go off 8 hours 3 minutes from now".
I run Windows, not Linux...but intend to eventually.
I think it's awesome that I'll graduate before I turn 21.
R2D2 is my notification sound on my phone.
I'm working on becoming even more baseball geekier, if my schedule allows me.
I referenced X-Men in a discussion during Nature and Human Values.
I love it when major chords are there where they aren't supposed to be.
I believe that God created the heavens and the earth.
I'm looking forward to eating my leftover marshmallows again after Humans vs. Zombies.
I love this weird messed-up school.

I'm getting hungry, so I will go eat.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rite of Passage

Oh my goodness. In the midst of getting used to college life again, Mines has seemingly placed me in an illusion so that time warps and passes twice as quickly, even though I am awake for more hours in the day (16 as opposed to 12ish). But it's been good. I know it's only the third week, but I have tried to not let myself fall into the traps I did during the first part of last semester, such as goofing off and not doing homework. Instead, I go to Calculus and sit down in the front like a good little nerd and pull out my binder and take notes. No talking or making fun of mustard socks or falling asleep. In fact, in all my classes it is impossible to surf the internet on my laptop or fall asleep without being noticed. Which is good.

I suppose the level of business I had the last few weeks of last semester has carried on to the first part, all because I want it to. It's okay that I have to stay up until 2a.m. because I am actually doing homework. Crazy, I know, but I learned last semester that studying the night before the test and only the night before the test isn't a great strategy, especially for the "easy classes". So here I am, and I am busy again, and never bored, and life is good.

Again, I will offer the disclaimer that this is only week 3. But man, does it feel so good to get my Physics homework done before the weekend. And a bit more satisfying when others agree with you that it was better than Chem (cough, cough, geophysics majors). Or when the power goes out the day before it's due (whew!). The kids who took it last semester say "You will see, young one,....(something about it sucking and I will hate it, much like I have lectured on EPICS)". And then I accept the challenge with the most accepty-ness.

I agree, getting red boxes on Lon-Capa sucks. But it doesn't make me want to throw my laptop out the window. I wish everyone would try to keep a positive attitude about Physics, because the way I see it: the more tries you've spent, the sweeter it is when you finally get that green box.

See, doesn't just looking at that picture make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? This weekend I was pretty stoked about finishing my homework early again so I sought to save others from the red box. My white board diagram for MissileDefense.problem was sick (I think it's still up there.) Forget TV, watching kid's eyes light up to the green box is priceless.

The kid across the hall has this awful drink that he decided to buy on whim, and almost all of us on First Floor North have tried it, at least the cool people anyway. It's this awful molasses gross slimy liquid that was supposed to be some sort of malt thing...I don't even know. It's our rite of passage almost, but it's pretty disgusting.

Three weeks in, and almost all freshman have now experienced Physics and Lon-Capa, and what it really means to get a colored box- a feeling we only imagined before as friends told tales of getting them. But here we are. And any given Sunday night, if you listen quietly, you can hear a student do a green box happy dance somewhere in Golden. It's an awesome feeling.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Back In the Swing of Things...Not Yet

Even though I had nothing to lose sleep over or no reason to wake up early, I tossed and turned last night until I could finally wake up and take a shower. I ache all over. My XL lofted twin in Maple has nothing on my King pillow-top at home.

So here I write, midnight Friday, and pretty tired from the week that was the first back.

I have all new classes, with a bunch of new people. Highlights: I love all my professors so far, and the times at which my classes take place are the best they can be. Even though I think two classes will be a challenge (Physics and Calc II), the other two seem like they will be fun and easy (Nature & Human Values and Intro to CompSci). Of course, they assigned homework already, but I finished Physics before I went out and had fun tonight and the other assignments are spaced reasonably.

I'm getting the hang of it. Even though I forgot how to integrate in Physics studio, I'm sure I'll be back in the swing of things by next week.
I suppose you can say I enjoy watching football. Root for the hometeam Broncos, even. But I payed no attention to it last semester (actually I didn't pay that much attention to baseball, but that was because the Rockies ceased to play it in July). Weekends are study time, afterall.

So this Tim Tebow guy starts and apparently makes the Broncos win (even though we all know Matt Prater is the MVP of everybody....kidding, kinda....naw). So I continue to study, even though my relatives seem to think that I should watch Tim Tebow as my duty as a former homeschooler and something else. Whatever.

School ends, I go back home, and watch football. Tim "All He Does is Win" Tebow can't throw. Three weeks later, the Broncos eek into the playoffs without winning. The day before I go back to school some miracle happens and the Broncos win. I don't know what to say.

The game is tomorrow. I'm unsure if I'll watch it. I'm pretty sure the Broncos will lose, but most of Tim Tebow's miraculous comebacks have come without me watching and doing school. We'll see.

I should enjoy this concept of playoff football, but I'm just so anxious...to get back in the swing of things.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ya Feelin' Lucky, Mines?

At a time like this, I've gotta ask myself: what did I do right, what did I do wrong, how can I improve, and what do I actually want to do to improve?

I had good intentions going in, formulated even more good intentions during the middle of the semester after a little bit of experience, and ended up winging it. I meant to read the textbooks, meant to do the homework, thought about starting a lab report as soon it was assigned. I told myself I would take out the trash and do laundry every Sunday. I would wake up each morning and get breakfast. Make coffee overnight. And yet I barely found time to comb my hair, never made coffee in the morning because I didn't want to wake up and make it (or have it wake me up and time it), and mostly studied just the week before the subject to be tested (except Calc, which I actually did find a study buddy and did well the last two tests).

Coming in Spring semester, I have even more experience and even more good intentions. For example, I think it would be really nifty to do homework as soon as it is assigned (a.k.a. DON'T PROCRASTINATE). Imagine what I could do on the weekends and think of a world where I don't have to do two things the same night because they're due! Secondly, I hope to read the textbook even though it's not required and do the problems. I have actually taken action on this and registered for Calculus II with a teacher who makes us do the bookwork. Go me! But I intend to do any Physics problem thrown at me and attempt to understand it, same for CompSci 101. I'll read the book. As for the other class I'll have, Nature and Human Values, there will probably be not too much to worry about, and the "tests" are essays. So I'm obviously doomed since science nerds can't write. Good intentions won't help. But actually, I should probably have the intention that I'll start my writing not too late. That always helps.

I want to write more for the Oredigger and actually go pick up my money. I want to keep my room cleaner. I want to learn to play the ukulele. I intend to wake up early again and eat breakfast. Maybe I'll go to the gym this semester more times than I did last, which amounted to zero. Not let things distract me when I need to get soemthing done. Do homework and study after classes. Which will actually work this semester, since I did not schedule myself the worst schedule in the world (seriously, starting at 1 and going until 7 in the evening?!. No wonder I never got anything done.) and will have some structure in my life. And that structure will be key: I work best in a routine- not winging it- and organizing time and events and tasks helps me.

I want to seriously and legitimately have a good physics study group- a couple people that will help me and not distract me. And I hope to regularly meet to continue on the structure thought (inquire within, freshman). Same for Calc, but Physics is going to be a huge focus of mine this semester. I want to prove that I can do well in this class that I've heard everyone whine about all of Fall semester. And I want to like it. You see, I was almost a physics major until we visited the campus and fell asleep in one of their presentations about optics. I took two years of it in high school, "not like it matters" or I'll be prepared for Mines physics or anything: so say the others. I suppose I liked it and did well enough in it. But I decided to keep my soul and do Geophysics instead (which is awesome, by the way...it just is, don't ask me questions until next year). But I still want to do well in Physics, and considering it's a 4.5 credit hour class as opposed to a 4 credit hour class, I need to do well.

But I can't put all my efforts and burn out on one class- we know where that got me last semester. But I think with the right combination of execution of good intentions, I can do much better than last semester. And I fully intend to have fun again.

So go ahead, Mines. Make my day.