Tidbits: End of school year wrapup

Saturday, 2004-06-12; 01:19:00

Well, I finished my final structural geology project Thursday night, which was a relief. That class really consumed my life this quarter, since the labs often took a good 6-8 hours to complete. Of course, that's not straight work, but I have to take breaks here and there because structure is pretty hard to endure for any long length of time. Luckily that's overwith.

I also got my grade for my number theory class (this is the class that dealt me a take-home final with which I had so much trouble despite the fact that I had done this sort of math before). I got a flat B. On the one hand, it's a relief, but it's also despicable: I did better in my stats class than I did in this number theory class, despite the fact that number theory is much more enjoyable. Of course, grades often don't mean a lot, but I still am kicking myself because I did better in stats. It's a shame that finals have so much bearing on how you do in a class. I want to see the solutions to that final, though, and they haven't been posted yet. I'm sure the solutions will be super-simple -- it's probably that I was a bit overwhelmed with so much stuff that I just couldn't think straight.

I guess the only class left to worry about is volcanology. But I'm not nearly as worried about that as I was about number theory, even though my volcanology class was taught by my advisor, with whom I'm working this summer on my honors thesis research. My research is on volcanology, so it'd probably be best if I did well in the class (i.e.: the test validates the fact that I can identify volcanic rocks well). We'll see how that goes.

As for structure -- given the grades I've been getting on the labs and how I did on the midterm, I'm not concerned at all. Plus, all I really care about is a passing grade.

But enough about grades. The year's finally over. However, I'm simultaneously really glad and sad about that fact.

I had a 59 unit year, which is only 1 unit under the maximum you can take for a year without petitioning. I have to say that I'm impressed with the fact that I managed to get through the year without really burning out and breaking down, even though I got close to that point this quarter. I even did pretty well in most of my classes. Furthermore, adding to the workload, I had 8:30 and 9 AM classes all year, so needless to say, that made me lose a lot of sleep. Hopefully I can make a lot of that up this summer.

That said, it's kind of sad coming back home and having to say goodbye to a lot of the residents and friends with whom I've come to spend a lot of time during this past year. I've opined on this issue before, and I hope that the friendships I've made this year won't become ones where we just see each other once in a while and briefly chat. As I said before, the people that I meet are probably the most important aspect of school, and it's a shame that I've had friendships basically cut off just because I graduated high school early, or because I live in another dorm and have a lot of schoolwork to do. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to be back home with my parents, but I really love being in a dorm setting where there are 50 people around several different tables at both lunch and dinner, and having so many people to talk to and learn from and hear about. The four years at college are probably the only four years of my life where I'm going to be in a setting like this on a regular basis, and I really don't want it to go away.

I'm going to miss a couple seniors that aren't going to be around next year, including a few geo majors and coterms who I've really gotten to know this year. Some of the juniors at Casa I'm also going to miss, because they may not draw back into Casa. And it's going to be hard not to go back to the dynamic of the geology undergraduate lounge for six months, given that I've been in that room so much this past year that it's basically second nature to go and do my work there. I've even taken a few multi-hour naps in that room on that oh-so-comfortable couch.

I'm especially going to miss one of the geo majors that I only met this year (she's a junior), since I'm not going to see her until next spring -- we're both busy during the summer, I'm abroad during the fall, and she's gone during the winter. She's one of the most amazing people I've ever met -- funny, intelligent, passionate about whatever she does, incredibly politically active, travels a lot, and has so many other talents that she puts me to shame. It's people like her who make me sad to leave for the year, because I can already feel the time slipping away. I just hope that she knows how extraordinary she is, and that I make the same impression on her as she does on me.

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