Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I can do all things in Christ Who strengthens me.

-- Phillipans 4:13

Because it is required of every Christian (and Tim Tebow fan) to post that at least once on their blogs somewhere.

Dobby Is Free!

Yes, yesterday I was totally skipping out of Bibb Graves again, chanting under my breath, "Master gave Dobby a sock! Dobby is free!"

I have the sinking feeling that is going to be my end-of-semester routine.

Anyway, so yesterday I decided to not even try to park next to the fountain, so I went and parked by Appleby. Sarcastic thanks to the UNA police department for stopping the shuttles from running during the finals. I had never parked on campus before, so, yeah, I was sort of frazzled. My frazzlement (and no, I don't think that's a word either, but I'm going with it) was compounded when I got to Appleby and realized I wasn't exactly sure how to get to campus. There wasn't even anyone else around for me to follow around creepily until they got to campus. I didn't realize you have to walk between two houses. So, paranoid about getting a parking ticket (I'm PARANOID, I tell you! I hear horror stories of everything!) and hoping I wasn't being some sort of creepy trespasser, I took the shortcut and made it across the street without being run over. Someone actually stopped for me. This always amazes me when they do that because people on Church Road DO NOT STOP at all even though there is a clear walkway painted on the asphalt. Seriously, the Riverhill people will run you over like they get 10 points for it or something.

Amy had said once that she knew Willingham Hall only as 'that building I come out by' so I figured I had to be in the right place when I saw it.

Scarily enough, the chemistry test, the standardized one published by the ACS (American Chemical Society... I checked) that has like a 40% average, was hard, but not petrifyingly so. Most of the questions if you know how to think can be reasoned through and you can make educated guesses about. I finished up feeling pretty good about it, so we'll find out soon enough whether rightly so or not.

Dr. Gren didn't give the test. Instead, Dr. Olive was filling in for him. I wonder where Dr. Gren was. Dr. Olive didn't seem to know, but I considered that Dr. Gren's wife looked very pregnant at the awards banquet... Awwww. The thought of another little Gren is just so cute. Mrs. Howell talked about her family all the time (she has two daughters; Timia is 7 and Tamara is 5, and Timia reads on a third-grade level though she is in first grade at Kilby), but Dr. Gren mentioned his kids occasionally, too. Apparently, he has a five-year-old and a two-year-old. The two-year-old likes Despicable Me and goes around the house saying, "Oh, yeah!" Which of course prompted Seth to say that randomly during lectures for the rest of the semester. The five-year-old likes Adele and is apparently responsible for Dr. Gren randomly humming/whistling/whatever 'Rolling in the Deep' before his PowerPoint pulled up one morning. He said he had that song in his head and couldn't get it out.

It's so nice to see that other people have that trouble with songs, too. I mean, it happens literally ALL THE TIME with me. 90% of my time I have some song or another stuck in my head. It's usually the same ones, too. Do you know how annoying that is??? I was trying to take that chemistry final with Alabama's 'The Cheap Seats' in my head. That song only pops up when it will be most annoying. Try thinking about neutrons, redox reactions, and acid-base titrations while THIS is going through your head: "We like our beer as flat as can be/ We like our dawgs with mustard and relish/ We got a great pitcher, what's his name/ Well, we can't even spell it/ We don't worry 'bout the pennant much/ We just like to see the boys hit it deep/ There's nothing like the view from the cheap seats!"

Add a little Celtic Woman or a random song I heard on the radio in the midst and it gets strange, fast.

I don't know how much I'll blog over the summer. I might pop in occasionally, even if only to post a quote. I love quotes. Instead of desperately trying to be original, I take shelter in the originality of others. *smirks evilly* I love not conforming to nonconformity!

In Pace Christi,


Thursday, May 3, 2012

I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand.

-– St. Anselm

A Small Succession of Amusing Things

Tomorrow, for instance, is apparently Star Wars Day. Has anybody else heard of this? At least on the last email Sodexo sent, they're selling Star Wars cupcakes in the Guillot tomorrow. I will HAVE to check this out. I still have almost eleven Dining Dollars left, enough for lunch Monday and something else tomorrow, so maybe I can contrive to use them up.

I don't particularly care about the iPad 3 drawing, because I don't know what I would do with an iPad if I got one (now, if it can run Microsoft Word, I might consider...). Mom, however, says SHE'LL take it.

I also need to use up my bookstore scholarship. Hmm, sounds like a project for tomorrow. I have a book and whatever a Guide to Public Speaking Package is to buy. That sounds intimidating, honestly. I'm not looking forward to Speech (does anyone?) and this is not helping matters. The good news is I know where the communications building is.

Okay, okay, okay. I've heard about this Rate My Professors website for two semesters, and the other day I decided to finally go have a look at it. So I did. And promptly collapsed into a fit of hysterical laughter. I don't know what the numbers of the easiness rating mean, but, thanks to a conversation from the first day of last semester, I know what the chili pepper means.

A shocking percentage of my professors had chili peppers, which was what caused the hysterical laughter, if you were wondering.

Let's see... I have had how many teachers so far? Dr. Stovall, Dr. Christy, Dr. Diaz, Dr. Roberts, Dr. Bibbee, Mrs. Howell, Dr. Gren, and Dr. Moeller. Eight teachers.

Now, the amount of them that had chili peppers... Dr. Stovall, Dr. Bibbee (surprise, surprise... he reminded me of Professor Lupin from Harry Potter, honestly, even though he looked nothing like the movie Lupin... the picture of him on the UNA website shows him without a beard, so that's probably what prompted the chili pepper), Mrs. Howell, and Dr. Gren. There's four there. I can't remember about Dr. Diaz, but I wouldn't be surprised if some lovestruck girl had prompted a fifth.

That's 50%, at any rate. Yikes.

Maybe I'm immune to overt fangirlism, but rating the relative attractiveness of your teacher seems a little... unacademic. It seems to indicate that you pay more attention to the teacher than to the course material! Not a good thing for anyone's grade, I don't think. However, I suppose it might cause the stupid little swooning students to actually show up for class...

Yes, I'm being sarcastic. It's helping to keep down the hysterical laughter.

Frankly, however, most of the ratings didn't surprise me. I had already heard that Mrs. Howell had one (the first day of last semester), and I was expecting the rest. I KNEW Dr. Gren would have one, as he is completely adorkable in his own way, and also as, well, let's put it this way: the first thing I knew about him last semester was that I was going to have him this semester. The second thing I knew about him was when I was standing at a bus stop with a few other girls and one of them, twirling her umbrella, started talking about finals and mentioned how the only one she could remember the time was her chemistry final, because Dr. Gren was teaching it. Without any prompting whatsoever, she launched into a lengthy ode about how much she loved Dr. Gren. I tried to snicker quietly, but as soon as I got home I laughed and laughed... I still smirk thinking about it.

So, yeah, on the first day of THIS semester, I was prepared to be amused. And, yep, I'll admit Dr. Gren is adorkable. I already did! But I'M not the one talking about wearing an 'I Heart Nerds' shirt to class, as that girl was talking about... *shudders* Poor Dr. Gren.

Now that I come to think of it, I should have looked up my teachers for the fall so I could get an inkling of what to expect. Then again, when I walk into the classroom on the first day of the semester, I come prepared to like the professor, and will only dislike him/her if given a reason to do so. I've liked all my professors so far, except for maybe Dr. Roberts, my chemistry lab teacher last semester, and even then it wasn't that I didn't like her personally- I did-, but she didn't do much teaching. She basically told us where the chemicals were and let us go. I swear, I was terrorized of the kids pouring stuff down the drain with careless abandon. I expected a fiery fireball of doom any moment some times (yes, that was deliberately redundant). Dr. Moeller at least did demonstrations and made us clean out our glassware. Plus, he was funny! "Do not place paper towels in the sink as they will clog the drain and we don't want to flood the biology department... again."

In Pace Christi,


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

P.S. I Have More to Say

Obviously, I've gotten the exemption on my calculus final, so I am not in a puddle of my own tears screaming, "No, precioooouuusss!" Instead, yes, I am doing a happy dance of joy.

Mom says I should email Dr. Gren now and ask if I have to take the chemistry final. I feel that would be impudent (I'm very wary of being impudent towards teachers) and so refuse to do so. She thinks it would be funny. Remember, these are my parents who also wanted me to wear one of dad's old ATO shirts in order to see if Christian would react (he's in cal 2 and he's in ATO).

Oh, and Dr. Olive seemed like he would be a pretty cool teacher. He brought his two girls with him to the awards banquet. Just... awwwww. He also did a really good blessing before the meal. I didn't know you could be faculty and get away with that, but he did. Maybe because it wasn't a proper school function? Who cares?!

And, yes, I got The Serpent's Shadow and The Invaders yesterday. I have already finished the first and handed it off to Peter to read. It was skinnier than the other two Kane Chronicles books (sad face) but it was seriously funny. I almost died laughing when in one chapter Sadie dragged her brother, Carter, to a school dance. Then followed one of the most epic in-universe cross-overs ever! It already hinted in the first two books that the Kane Chronicles take place in the same world as Percy Jackson (Carter seeing a flying horse over Manhatten, anyone?), but that chapter went nuts with the idea. It turns out that Lacy and Drew (her last name's Tanaka!) from The Lost Hero (the girl with braces and the Aphrodite dictator, respectively... apparently, Lacy somehow managed to make her braces match her dress...) go to Sadie's school! LOL! Lacy apparently tried explaining to Sadie that she goes to the same, cough cough, 'summer camp' as Drew and Drew had tried to be a dictator there... haha, until she met Piper, that is! Anyway, Sadie talks Lacy into trying to teach Carter to dance (epic lulz), and Drew makes Sadie want to turn her into an earthworm by acting interested in Walt. Any potential fight was broken up by... DUN DUN DUN.... Anubis crashing the dance!!!!

Yep. The Egyptian god of toilet paper, excuse me, of death and funerals crashed the dance. Even MORE epic lulz.

As you might have expected, the girls stare like morons at Anubis and start muttering, "Oh my god, oh my god," which in this instance is pretty funny as he IS an Egyptian god. Thank heavens for Rick Riordan and his puns, which are so terrible they are hilarious! (The dam store, anyone?)

I won't spoil the endings, but the whole Walt/Anubis thing which, although solved in a manner that was, I admit, sheer and total literary brilliance and calculated to frazzle the circuits of almost all the fangirls' feeble little minds, annoyed me. I hated the whole hosting-the-gods concept (I'm not big on possession, demonic, godly, or pharaonic [by the way, that ISN'T a word; the makers of Yu-Gi-Oh made it up, though, and I'm quoting them], if you haven't noticed, which is why I really don't care about Atem in YGO, even if he does have a Puzzle to sit around in, and why I prefer Dark Magician, who is also infinitely cuter. Yes, I just typed that. You may go faint now) to begin with, so the ending, while dazzlingly brilliant in its novelty (it's like, DUH, why did we not think of that obvious solution; we were all thinking either/or, and instead Riordan took the third option of both), is still annoying. It's not fair. If you think about it too long, it warps your mind. Yu-Gi-Oh at least acknowledged that Tea liking both Yugi and the Pharaoh, who is living inside Yugi, is weird. Riordan embraces that, however, in all its weirdness.

I prefer Thoth. (I also liked Anubis a bit better before he... I promised myself I would do any spoilers.) I still want to know how Thoth can appear without a mortal host. Or does he have one and it just isn't mentioned??? Gah, see, that whole concept is confusing. I wish I could slide down bannisters like that, though.

Set: "That's my boy!"
Anubis: "Shut up, father."

You see, I had PREDICTED that Anubis, who basically shows up in the first two books for Sadie to drool over, tells her he can't help her with the monsters chasing her (they're always chasing her), gives her something or tells her some information, and departs, would enter in some EPIC way in this last book and prove that the overlooked jackal boy is, by the way, the SON OF THE GOD OF EVIL, DESERTS, AND CHAOS (Set, that is) and procede to kick some heinie. The moment would have been even more epic without a certain annoying sau (cough, cough), but, whatever.

I can now go console myself with The Invaders. Man, John Flanagan's writing gets better and better. The ways his characters interact is simply priceless (Svengal's many aunts, anyone?). I've found that myself. The longer and more I write, the more my characters' interactions becomes easier to write, more personality-filled, and simply more realistic. I find myself inserting pointless scenes (like Lanner opening a closet in Book 1 and a bunch of brooms and mops falling on him) in the middle of dialogue. Because I can. And because I love my characters. I've learned to let Eltieralyu tease his brother for a variety of reasons (1. Because he can. 2. Stress relief. 3. Revenge for Menadun being an annoying sibling. 4. Honestly, a lot of things Menadun does deserve it.), and Menadun to complain, "How come you never take my side?"

I can also console myself with Yu-Gi-Oh. Seto Kaiba, anyone? He's named after SET! Rockin' Red Reaper, anyone? The only thing annoying is that they made Anubis some weird villain, but that was in a movie so it's not really canon anyways. Bwahaha.

I'm not really sure what this post is about, other than to rant. Probably a good time to sign off.

In Pace Christi,


For God deemed it better to being good out of evil than not to permit evil at all.

-– St. Augustine

I Apparently Win At Chemistry

Okay, so yesterday around lunchtime my classes were over for the day and I was at home fixing something to eat for lunch when the phone rang. The caller ID read out something that sounded like 'University of Alabama' and since 'Bama does indeed call all the time wanting money because dad is an alumnus, I ignored it. Mom must have noticed the 'North' part on the readout because she picked it up and answered the phone. After a moment, she handed it to me and said, "It's Dr. Gren."

My thoughts: "Oooookaaaay... as far as I know, we don't have class on Tuesday. Have I done something wrong?"

But I answered it. According to Dr. Gren, there was some sort of American Chemists' Society (or American Society of Chemists, I'm not very sure...) awards banquet that night and I had been inadvertently left off the list of invitees, so he was calling to tell me about it. After I got off the phone, mom, apparently convinced I had won something, insisted we go. I was desperately hoping I hadn't won something; Elaine was teasing me about having to make an acceptance speech. Additionally, I couldn't figure out HOW I could have won anything. After all, I hadn't done stellar on the last test, at least by my standards. (Anything below 90 is not stellar by my standards, by the way, which is why I was really surprised and EXTREMELY happy- Gott sei dank- that with His help I have managed to pull off an A in calculus and exempt the final.)

Dad was even willing to forego doing hay last night, so that told me he was also convinced I had won something. It wasn't looking good.

I was pretty much certain I was doomed when we got to the Guillot and the name tag they gave me listed me as 'Honored Student'.

Anyway, they gave out awards to a bunch of high school students who had apparently taken some test and won a chemistry book as their award. Yay. However, as the books are like nearly $200 and these were hardback editions, that wasn't as bad of an award as it sounds. Hey, they got nice blue certificates, too. One of my cousins won one of those awards a couple of years ago, my mom informs me.

Then they progressed to UNA awards. Cue me on tenterhooks. Dr. Olive, who was giving out the awards at that point (Dr. Gren did the high school awards, and if you know anything about him from reading my blog, you can imagine how that went) was talking about the award, how it is given to the best freshman chemistry student, etc. I was thinking reassuringly to myself, "That's not me, that's not me, that's not me..."

Well, it was.


I got a certificate and a very nice book about all the different elements with very nice pictures, and another book about chemistry and physics (apparently).

I'm pretty sure they don't tell the invitees what they've won in order to surrepetitiously take pictures of their stunned faces. At any rate, I know I was stunned. I'm still in shock, actually. I know I was doing a fish-out-of-water impersonation as I walked up there. Dr. Olive explained about me to the audience, that I was homeschooled, that I was there with my parents, and added that, "She is an English major with a focus on professional writing. And we all hope she changes her major."

That got a laugh. Mom had said something earlier about them trying to convert me, so she may be right. I thought it was funny, too, but I was still pretty much in shock. I remained in shock for the rest of the evening. (Oh, and as for the professional writing bit? Something's messed up with that. I'm down as going for a bachelor of science degree for some reason and I haven't had it changed yet, figuring I'll just wait until I decide on if/what I want (for) a minor.)

After that, they had awards for best non-freshman Chemistry 112 students, one of which went to Carly (or Carline, I'm not sure), an honors student I met on the Chattanooga trip, and a guy whom I think is named Brian (or Bryan) Johnsson. I call him 'the big guy' when talking about class to mom, as he is literally huge. I know I'm a hobbit, but I come to like his elbow. He sits two seats right from me in chemistry (or he did, as today's the last day of class) and asks really in depth questions. One day here recently he brought a blender (no kidding) with his protein shake or whatever it was in it and drank it straight out of the blender, sitting it on the desk in front of us in the meanwhile.

After that were awards for the Organic Chemistry students and various awards for seniors in chemistry and industrial hygiene.

Anyway, mom and dad are enjoying their newfound bragging rights and have been telling everyone about it, apparently. Mom has called her brother (the dad of the cousin who won one of those awards two years ago). One of my uncles stopped by our house a little while ago and one of the first things he said was, "Congratulations." Me: "Mom and dad are enjoying their bragging rights. As for me, I'm still not sure how I won..."

Apparently, I have some sort of secret aptitude for chemistry!

My parents seem to think I should change my major. But to what? They also think it should be something practical. I mean, what can you do with a history major? Meh, not much, unless you want to teach. After all, they say, I can write stories without an English major. True, very true. But what do I pick???? A German minor would be fine, I think. But I think a math major is beyond me and as for chemistry... well, I never considered THAT before. (When I decide on a biology major, folks, check the floor because sure as anything hell has frozen over. Biology lab scarred me for life.) I've never really considered anything else. Me and modern art do  not agree, so that would probably not be a wise option. Music...? I've played piano for just about 13 years now, but, again, what do you do with a music major? I'm not the home ec person like Elaine, who is currently thinking fashion design or whatever it's called, and cooking... no, just no.

Does anyone have any input on this? What does everyone think a certain clueless, confused little freshman should major in?

Man, life got a whole lot more confusing!

Though I am (apparently) good at math and science, I think I still like words more, so I'm really not sure what all to think... I thought I had an end destination. Now, not so sure. I just want to write my books and draw my characters. I can't see myself as a chemist, not really. Blow up some stuff in lab and create biohazards? Suuuuuure. Do some calculations? All right, those I can handle. But I've heard horror stories about Organic, I tell you...

*begins banging head on table*

Does this count as blogging about my feelings?

*horrified, resumes head-banging*

In Pace Christi,