Monday, October 5, 2009

Freshman Shock

The first month of college has been a whirlwind of homework and projects due within a week of each other. It's nothing like high school, where you have weeks to do something. With a different schedule every day, it is difficult to keep up with what is due when. I feel so overwhelmed, I've been neglecting my blog!

I'm not sure where to start, so I'll just generalize my first month.

I met new friends in my residence hall, including my RA. She is really nice and helps everyone out if they get in trouble.

I went to an ice cream social and brought home a boyfriend... not that second... We waited a bit before going out. His name is Henry.

I've been spending a lot more time with friends and going out, something I missed out on during high school because I was a hermit!

two pencils grade hbImage via Wikipedia

My art classes are really hands-on, and I mean down and dirty. I usually go back to my dorm with black, grimy hands from paint/charcoal/graphite/etc. It's something I must get used to, but my fingernails are also suffering. I've discovered a love for charcoal drawings over the plain graphite pencils. Much darker...

The 'freshman 15' is coming after me! In the mere 5 weeks I've been at school, I've gained 5 pounds! It's like a pound a week... To remedy this, I've been going to the gym (ASRC) more often. When I have time, that is. The food is just too good! They have cheese fries every day, and a variety of ice cream flavors. They taunt me so...

So far, academically, I've been doing alright. I got a B- (hell yea!) on my first essay exam in history! It's a difficult class to follow since it's sit, listen, and take rapid notes. I like the time period though, so it's all good.

Finally, I got my driver's license. It took long enough, huh?

October should be more interesting with Homecoming and Halloween. We shall see!

No sleep. No free time. It's college! 8D

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Final Week of Summer

As the first day of college approaches, I look back on my summer and sigh. Even though it seemed like it was going to drag on forever at the beginning, it flew by as I spent my time indoors on the computer or babysitting. I went swimming a few times and hung out with friends, but not very often. This last week is hectic because I still need to get my license and get in some quality time with close friends before becoming a Hilltopper.

I don't regret my experiences this summer, as busy as I was. I know that next year it will be a lot easier to hang out with local friends since I won't be spending time and money looking for dorm room decor.

My whole family is starting to feel the effects, even one of my cats. My five year old cat Guen is developing a separation anxiety, and her behavior is a bit disturbing to all of us. She lingers in my room around the totes full of my college needs, and has been staring at me for long moments. She is so anxious that she pees on everything made of fabric left on the floor! Poor kitty.

But even though there is a sort of gloom hovering over the Swann houehold, I'm still excited about starting to live on my own up on the hill. My roommate and I are pretty much ready with everything we could possibly need in the small room we share. My loans have been canceled and THE COLLEGE owes me money after everything is said and done. I get my check on the first day of classes.

Tomorrow is my last Friday of summer. Sigh.
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Friday, July 24, 2009

An Afternoon at Oglebay's Good Zoo

While watching my sister's friends, Michael and Alyssa, today, we decided that we were going to use our free zoo passes to visit the local zoo after going to Burger King. Even though I've been to this zoo many times, it's still entertaining. The meerkats were active, looking cute and sitting up on the fake rocks to look at every passer-by. Two were pacing back and forth like they were waiting for food.

The zoo was packed, mostly because of the new attraction: the 18' python! It was HUGE, even when curled up in the corner like it was. It was lazy at the time, only opening its mouth every now and then to breathe. The whole time I was on edge, even with the thick glass in between me and the giant snake. We headed outside after taking a longer look than necessary.

After walking up a steep hill, we all stopped at the otter pen. They were so cute and active, swimming around like they were putting on a show! Next to their enclosed pond is the spectacled bear. He was busy playing in his pond and stayed away from the window.

With a brief stop at the ostrich pen, we headed to the lorikeets...

Rainbow LorikeetImage by iansand via Flickr

At this zoo, you can walk into the netted area and feed these small, colorful birds with little cups of nectar. For me, it's quite terrifying to see one fly at my head, so I opted out of getting nectar. I sat down on one of the benches, watching the kids scramble around with birds on their hands. Another few families joined in, and the birds started to get into a frenzy.
I started relaxing when a large lorikeet flew at my head, causing me to squawk louder than the birds and quickly duck. It landed behind me on the back of the bench, settling down and resting quietly. Michael had some nectar left over, so he let the bird have some. It moved onto his hand, and I relaxed again. After a few more close calls, we left that area and went down the hill to the rest of the exhibits.

There was an ocelot, 4 lemurs, a pond with turtles, ducks, swans, goats, donkeys, a pig, two barn owls, two wild dogs, a red panda with two Chinese gorals in the same pen, and a few other animals.

Ailurus fulgens RoterPanda LesserPanda.Image via Wikipedia

Of course we had to stop in the gift shop before leaving, and I ended up paying for candy and wax lips...
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Not-So-Bad Braunlich Bash

It all started with a vague text.

'Casual cookout. Potluck. 6 o'clock.'

Now, I'm not good with dates and birthdays, so it took me a while to figure out why there was a random cookout going on, but it was my dad's cousin Jamie's birthday.

Since it was a potluck, we didn't want to arrive without bringing something, so we went to Kroger. My sister and I wandered the aisles as weird spy-like music was playing above us, while our parents were hunting for cookies. It didn't take too long, even with Melanie's need to buy Pringles.

We arrived to the Braunlich house at around 5, and Melanie jumped right into their pool. I passed on that, knowing many, many, many, maaaaany people were going to pop up and see my hair all messed up if I did. And I hadn't brought my swim stuff anyways.

Anyways, we were pretty much the first ones there... Until it seemed like a floodgate opened.

My dad's cousin Jamie's husband Fritz has 7 siblings. Six showed up with their families. There were family friends and even more family. It became a pretty big party. I get uncomfortable at big parties, and I was hungry.

I shuffled my way through the kitchen and waited in line for a plate, then hurried outside to wait by the grill so my dad could give me a piece of chicken. I called dibs on food...

After receiving said food, I had another dilemma. Where do I sit?

By the pool? No. I hate being surrounded by drippy wet people while eating. In a lawn chair? Nooo, there were begging dogs around wanting my food. In the kitchen? No, too crowded. Well, I ended up in the dining room all by myself, Miss Anti-Social. Haha. I was surrounded by Swedish food because one of the guest's (Courtney, daughter of Fritz's brother Michael) husband Emile lived in Sweden but is in the U.S. now.

Not much went on for a bit, except the birthday girl almost going into the pool with her husband Fritz on the diving board.

Then someone got out the cornhole game. For those who don't know, or are immature, it's a game with wooden boards that you throw corn-filled bags at. There's a hole cut in the board and you try to get the bags in it. On the board is one point, and in the hole is three.

Steelers cornhole gameImage by Chris Winters via Flickr

My mom was teamed up with Victor, one of Fritz's brothers. The first game, they lost 21 to 2, but then he got really good at the game and they won the next four. Everyone who played did very well.

After it got dark, the cornhole games ceased and I ended up near the pool, watching my sister bob around like a nutcase. The pool light lit up the deep end, and the children seemed like flies as they huddled near it. Yes, they could all swim well.

Courtney and Emile (I probably didn't spell his name right) started playing guitar and sang inside, and it was a really good little performance. The party was winding down at this point and I was starting to relax, even with the Braunlich crowd.

Overall, I had fun... Even with the big, strange crowd I was with.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

WLU Orientation!

This morning started with an early wake-up, since I had to be at my future college, West Liberty University, at 8 AM for orientation. With tired eyes and rumbling stomach I rode to the campus with my parents. On the way up, our car was almost out of gas and alerted us with a shrill ding. We had 24 miles left in the tank, give or take. Since the campus was only 20 minutes away from my neighborhood, and the speed limit through the winding hills was 25, we knew we would have enough gas until we got off of the hill.

Registration was quick and painless, and everything I could ever need, want, or not want to know was handed to me in a neat little folder. We were ushered as a large group into one of the audience halls, and welcomed for about 30 minutes. Then the future students (that's me!) were split up into two groups and the fun began.

First of all, I'm pretty shy when it comes to meeting new people. And what is the first thing we do? We have a conversation game. We had to throw a beach ball around a big circle we made and answer questions written on it. Most were reluctant to answer their given question, and then the ball was thrown to me.

"If you were an evil dictator, what country would you rule?" Wow, what a question. Were they serious?

I had to answer, and the first country I blurted was "Canada!"

Canada? Really? I felt my face burn with embarrassment, but I didn't let it get to me too much. I had to answer why, so I added, "I really like Canada..." Silence followed as I threw the ball to the next person and silently begged it not to come near me.

After a few other ice breaking games, we headed to registration sessions. As I walked from building to building, I estimated how long it would take me to lug those heavy, expensive books around. Not long at all, really.

The rest of the morning was pretty much just walk, lecture, walk a bit, lecture, walk some more. I got to meet my drawing instructor though, and he sounded like a fun guy. Just think of Dr. Spencer Reid from 'Criminal Minds' and you have a similar voice. I can't wait for that class!

Everyone crowded into the cafeteria for lunch, making the lines long and cumbersome. I decided to wait a while and made a salad instead. Eventually the line thinned and I could eat. The food is one of my favorite parts, but I hope I don't gain the 'freshman 15' with all that glorious food.

After lunch, we were able to view my dorm room, which is probably 10' by 10' or so. They had warned us that the rooms may be dirty, but they were just cluttered with the furniture they provide (2 beds, 2 desks, 2 chairs, etc.).

I got my ID card picture taken, which was a bit awkward for me because of my new braces. Later I found out that a carrot was stuck in one of the brackets, but at that point I didn't care.

The picture will be really small... I hope.

After a detour to the financial aid office, I ended my visit with a smiling face, almost ready to enter life on my own.

Next stop in my college journey: The bookstore!

New to the Blogging World? Well, so am I.

There's always time to start something new, like cooking an exquisite meal or learning to play an elaborate instrument. Then there's blogging. So simple, but also really complicated at the same time.

I dreaded starting my own because one: I wouldn't get hits, my posts would be lame or boring, and I'd lose the interest of others. Or two: I'd run out of things to blog about.

But I'm here, and I thank you if you're still reading. You poor soul.

My future posts will probably be about my transition into college, the roller coaster that has already been pretty eventful for me.

I hope you join me. If not, I won't be bothered much.