Continued random musings... staying up through the night, classes, songs

Saturday, 2001-11-10; 08:30:00

Some more recounting of events that have been happening both in and out of class.

Wow, so much happens in a week. This last week has been a really long one. I'm really tired... I'm glad it's finally over.

I guess I should start with what I did the rest of last week. Thursday and Friday were pretty much the same, although Saturday was fun. :) There was a Loro (my dorm's name) slumber party in the lounge. A lot of us just went down to the lounge and talked about whatever came into our heads, and there was some food and some magazines. There was also facial stuff, which I didn't do (since it's so much better when you get a face massage with it like my aunt did to me one time). I gave back massages to people who wanted them (I'm pretty good at it you know ;) ). At like 1:00 we started playing Truth or Dare with everyone that was there.. and we did that for a couple hours -- and then the 5 of us (me, Victor, Lisa, G.D., and Jerry) that stayed up later than 3:00 played Ten Fingers (where you say something that you haven't done, and anybody who has done it puts a finger down) for another couple hours. That was fun, and there were some hilarious stuff that was thought up. Funny thing, though, because we stayed up until about 6:00 doing this, and then we decided to go to the Main Quad to see the sunrise. That was pretty fun.. we actually went to the oval, but there were a lot of trees so we couldn't actually see the sun rise from the horizon. It was beautiful that morning, though. It was nippy, but we all had our jackets on, so it wasn't that bad. There wasn't anybody around, and the street lights were still on even though the morning was already bright. It's things like that that it's worth it to get up early in the morning (or stay up late into the night). Funny that slumber parties often end up doing the opposite of what the name says. :P

After we went to the quad, we were all pretty hungry since we stayed up so late, so we decided to go to Hobees in Town & Country Village, since brunch doesn't start at the dorm until 10:30. So we got there at around 7:15, at it didn't open until 8. Since we were already there, we waited until 8 (well, I slept on a bench for about 30 minutes) and then we went in and got breakfast. I had a breakfast quesadilla with hash browns. Yummy! That was really filling, much better than waiting until 10:30. We then walked back through campus to our dorm, and I promptly went to sleep until about 4 o'clock that afternoon -- I was really tired. But it was a really fun night -- I haven't stayed up all night for a looong time. The only thing I didn't like is getting up so late, since I'm always groggy when I do that, which I hate. It was still fun, though.

A.I. was showing that Sunday, but I didn't go to see it because I was kinda tired and I also wanted to watch Voyager, and nobody was going either -- kinda takes the fun out of it when there's no one to go with you. I also heard it wasn't that great of a movie, especially the ending. Maybe I could rent the DVD or something to watch it sometime. Sometime.

As for this week, I've been pretty busy. In Italian, I had a midterm last Friday (not yesterday), and I got an A on it. :) We've been doing a little more homework than usual, but it hasn't been that bad. It's always fun to learn a little more about a language so you can speak it that much better, especially when you're just starting a new language. I miss being able to converse and write well in the language I'm studying, but I really wanted to learn Italian.

We just recently studied some of the vocab for the things in a city, and we also learned articulated prepositions (prepositions that are combined with the definite article). We've also done a lot of other vocab, as well as a lot of grammar stuff. It's funny -- like French, I'm still learning English grammar while I learn Italian grammar. So much for learning grammar in elementary school. :P

As I said, we also have a "focus" on Italian music. So far we've heard 3 pieces -- "50 Special", "È mio corpo che cambia", and "Ti Prendi e Ti Porto Via". They're actually not that bad for Italian music; Italian music can get worse than this, especially Italian rap (blech). We have sing-a-longs in class (kinda corny), but we kind of study the grammar and the vocab while learning the lyrics to the song, so it helps. And it's better than learning straight from the book, of course.

My math class is doing well, too. I've been having fun in the class, even though the problem sets have been taking up a lot of time. In lecture, we're starting to learn how to do maximum/minimum problems with multivariables. An example is: maximize the area of a triangle if the perimeter has to be 15. I love doing problems like that, because it's really satisfying when you get the answer. It's different from the max/min problems of single-variable calculus (example: find the local max/mins of a curve y = x^2 + 3x + 6) since you have to worry about more than one variable now, so instead of setting the derivative of the function to 0, you have to set the partial derivatives of the function to 0 (their are multiple partial derivatives of a single function defined by many variables) and then solve. It's similar to single-variable calculus, but now you can do a lot more problems since you can take on the more difficult ones.

Last week I was really busy, so I waited until this Thursday to start on the problem set (bad, bad me) when it's always due Friday. Luckily we have Thursday during class to work on the problem sets with other people in the class (the T.A for the class lectures on Thursday, but it doesn't help a lot of us, so we do the problem set instead of going to the lecture), and then we often have another session some other time. Thursday, we met at the Tressider café to finish up the problem set... we met at 10 PM, and ended up staying until 2 AM. That's how hard these math problem sets are. :( However, it's still pretty fun, especially when you can talk with other people in your class while you're doing the problem set, so it's both easier and more fun at the same time. I don't really mind staying up late if it's like that. And even though we stayed up that long, I didn't finish a couple of the book problems and one of the additional problems since they're so difficult and I didn't know how to do a lot of them. I don't worry about it though, because that's what the honors track is all about. Plus, the midterms are never as hard as the additional problems he gives us. And it seems the teacher of the class doesn't give below a C, as long as you try in the class.

My humanities course is going along as usual. I had a take-home 24 hour midterm last Thursday, too. The topics were e-mailed to us at 6 PM that day, and we had until 6 PM the next day to finish it and turn it in to our Teaching Fellow's office. It was nerve-racking, kind of, and I did a lot of it the last three hours before the deadline, but I was pretty satisfied with it. And if it goes as well as my first paper, I will be very happy. It's funny, though, since now I'm getting solid As in my humanities classes, and I'm getting high Bs and low As in my math and science classes, instead of the other way around.

We finished our discussion about the book Man and Nature by Marsh, and we are now discussing Walden, by Thoreau. It's really interesting, but I need to get farther in the book... still haven't done the reading for next session (there's so much reading to do for each session, it's kind of an overwhelming amount, but I guess I need to figure out a better study habit for reading and figrue out which parts of the reading). It's kind of amusing reading his book, though, because he is a real satirist, and he makes fun of a lot of things in society. For example, he ridicules farmers by becoming one himself and growing beans, even though in the end he admits that he doesn't like them at all, and sells them for something else.

In my Early Life on Earth seminar, we've still been listening student presentations, and we've heard about panspermia (life coming from outer space), and about the atmosphere of the Earth. It's been pretty interesting, and we've actually gone really in depth about all of these topics. It's kind of hard to explain though. :P My presentation on archaea is coming up next Monday (not this one), so I've really got to get on top of creating an outline for the presentation... I confess I really haven't done much work on it yet, but I'm gonna do a lot of stuff today and tomorrow, so I should be OK. I have to get my readings on the topic out this Monday, but that shouldn't be so hard.

Oof, what else has happened? Oh, right, the Frosh (Freshman) formal. That was last night from 9 PM to 1 AM. It wasn't too dressy, but it was more than just casual clothing. I bet everyone in the Freshman class came sometime during the night, because it was incredibly packed...

Interruption: It's raining. It hasn't done that many times for a while now. I love watching the rain, especially when it's really hard, but it's probably going to stop anytime now, since the clouds aren't especially dark. I want another lightning storm like the one we had a month ago -- that was so incredibly awesome, since we never have things like that here!

Anyway, back on topic: the night was pretty fun.. there was a lot of food, and even some free Jamba Juice if you get there early enough. We danced a lot, and it was kind of tiring, but it was still fun. It's kind of hard to talk in the dance floor since the music was so blaring loud. :\ That's probably the second dance I've ever gone to -- the first being the prom dance.. go figure. Oh well, there's probably going to be a lot more this year, so that should be fun.

After the formal, me and a couple of other friends went to Gavilan lounge, the one with a huge TV, and we watched Disney's Robin Hood, which I hadn't seen in a long time. I was ready to fall asleep, though, and I did right after I got back up to my room. It's been a long week -- TGITW -- thank goodness it's the weekend.

One last thing, the band Nine Days does some good songs. They seem to be a relatively new band, since I haven't really heard anyone talk about them, and they only have one album out, but I like they're songs -- like 257 Weeks, Absolutely, End up Alone, and If I Am. All of their songs on this album are good -- maybe I should actually go out and buy it. ;)

Well, until next time.

-- Simone

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