Friday, September 30, 2011

Adventure 8 - Falling Apart

Let's just say September was not a good time for the Sox.

Then again, the entire season hasn't really been a good time for the Sox.

Not all of that was their fault. Injuries happen to the best, worst and in-between of players. However, it doesn't cover up the fact that it seemed like no one on the team showed up to the games this past month.

Take Wednesday night for example. Wednesday night was nothing shy of downright embarrassing, and I'm a little annoyed that I stayed up that late on a school night to watch such a poor performance. As a somewhat sport-familiar person, I take nothing for granted, especially leads. I feel that, yes, the Sox could have definitely played better this month, but it's hard to designate specific players to blame for what happened because a lot of the game is left up to chance and no one is perfect. That blown save is proof of this. You can be mad about blowing the lead and the Wild Card, and you can blame Papelbon, God or your next-door neighbor, but it won't change the fact that they lost and ended the season in what is probably the worst possible fashion (though the Yankees blowing their 7-run lead was pretty spectacularly bad as well.)

Now that Francona is leaving the team, the team is going to undergo a lot of changes, and I'm a little worried about how the team will fit together. Tito has been the manager as long as I've been watching, and he managed the '04 and '07 teams, so it's not as if he isn't physically capable of doing his job well. I certainly respect his decision, but Varitek isn't getting any younger, and with the possibility that he might be retiring soon as well, this upcoming winter could potentially pose a large problem in terms of leadership on the team.

Every team goes through some shifting, shuffling and occasionally a complete revamping. Sometimes it works, and other times it doesn't. Here's to hoping 2012 will be better.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Adventure 7 - Futility

Learning that your intended major has, on average, a 60% job rate after graduation will dampen your mood pretty quickly. Especially when your college doesn't have the other aspect that you're interested in and could also help you get that job.

I hate these existential crises. They happen, I think I solve them, life is good for a while and then they're back.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Adventure 6 - Self-Sustainment

As a college student, I have a reasonable stash of food in my room, mostly consisting of carbs like cereal, Ritz crackers and ramen. (Don't judge, you know you did it too.) When I ran out of milk on Saturday, I took advantage of my grandparents being in town and asked them to bring me to the local supermarket after lunch. Between that trip and my impromptu trip today, I learned a few things about food.

  1. I have definitely taken advantage of knowing where everything is back home. Obviously things differ a little from store to store within a chain, but starting over with a completely new company makes life really confusing. Thus, no fruit snacks for me today.
  2. Buying items like loose candy or dried fruit in bulk is a neat concept, but not when you can't scoop the little chunks of whatever out of the bin. I probably destroyed far too many dried pineapple tidbits than I should've because they kept sticking to the scoop and making it impossible to pick up.
  3. The store I went to is a decently large store, so they have a killer international section. What I don't get is how they could sell Pocky but not coffee syrup. Pocky is from Japan. Coffee syrup is a New England thing. I am in New York. This does not compute.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adventure 5 - Sinking In

This week has not been a good week. I was going fine with time, and I've even been working on meeting new people. Then this week happened and I'm swamped. I was just barely late to two of my three classes yesterday (one because I was talking to another professor and the other because I had a Skype date that ran long), and because I was late to the second class, I accidentally left my keys in my room and had to get a dummy key to get back in. I have 12 hours of paint crew between Monday, tonight and Saturday when my grandparents are coming out to visit. I have a test in journalism on Thursday, intro to theater next Tuesday and one in stagecraft within the next week. I have a rather large analytical essay due on the 3rd (which seems like a long time from now but I'm not good with writing 7- to 10-page papers.) I have to work in the dining halls this weekend, and I need to go to job training for my other job at some point in the near future. I have an article due tonight that I don't have all my interviews for because the professor I needed to talk to was never available. I have a Big Bang Theory marathon planned with one of my guy friends on Friday because my boyfriend is busy doing... "other things"... this weekend. And I've just been having all sorts of problems on the boy front lately (more on that later).

I hope this week gets better.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Adventure 4 - Questioning Faith

Also, how I consistently become the odd man out in my Spanish class.

Our class is conversational, so usually our professor doesn't really say much, other than to keep the discussion going, but today he started a discussion about faith and the effect that it has on someone's life. He'd recently lost his brother, plus his wife is expecting and his mother is moving in from Spain, so he talked about how faith has kept him together through all the emotional wear-and-tear, and how it's sad when someone doesn't have anything or anyone to believe in. Naturally, he mentioned religion specifically, and he didn't necessarily throw atheists and other nonbelievers under the proverbial bus, but he did question how someone can use science to justify everything, and he got a general survey of beliefs in deities from the class.

Now, as an equal-opportunity heathen, which is the term I prefer because it has a nicer connotation than "atheist," I didn't necessarily feel targeted by the discussion, but I also knew I was the only one on the non-god-believing side. In horribly broken Spanish, I explained that even though atheists don't believe in a god, they do believe in other things (like food and baseball, but I didn't say that), so it's not like we're poor, hopeless souls with nothing to look up to. I also brought up that not all things can be explained scientifically, and that some things just have to be left to chance. Knowing that I'm a journalismly/sciencely-inclined person, my professor gave me a few examples of books/articles/whathaveyou that... well, not necessarily prove the existence of a divine being, but highly suggest it, though it was hard to tell at that point if he was playing devil's advocate or honestly trying to figure out how/why I think how/why I do.

Naturally, I then proceeded to make myself look like even more of a teenage hooligan when our professor asked us what our presentations were about, since we didn't have time to present them. Most of the topics were important, serious things, like stereotypes in Latin America or the effect that the US has on the culture of other countries. Mine was about all the creative ways that Cubans use condoms. (I kid you not, it was a legit story.)

I personally don't mind discussions that question what you feel. If you can withstand the opposition and support your case, you know that your beliefs are genuine and strong and that you're doing the right thing for you; even if you don't, it gives you an opportunity to rethink things, and worst case scenario, you learn something about yourself and can make positive change.

I also sat on this idea for a good portion of today, and with all the minor existential crises I've had over the past year or so, it gave me yet another opportunity to rethink my life and if what I'm doing is the right thing. Thinking about college has done that a lot: I question if I'm in the right major, minor, even school, and I can't help but feel sometimes that I've messed up somewhere. Academically hasn't been so much of a problem because I'm a horribly compulsive plan-aheader (planner-ahead? Planner-aheader?), so I know that by the time I leave here in (I hope) four years, I'll have a solid foundation and the ability to launch myself into the real world. What worries me is my lack of social abilities. I wasn't exactly a social butterfly in high school, but I knew a lot of people and I was comfortable. With college, my non-partying preference seems to put me in either my friends' rooms or alone on the weekends, and I'm only just barely starting to make friends beyond people I met and hung out with at orientation. I don't want to have to become an inebriated baboon to make friends (nor do I want friends that become inebriated baboons, it works both ways). I don't want to have to join seventy different clubs and meet a bunch of people but end up sacrificing my academics or my sleep. And as much as I love the fact that the wifi is significantly better on Friday and Saturday nights when no one else is around to use it, I don't want to be in quarantine for the rest of my college career. I want people to take me for who I am. The task now is finding those people.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Adventure 3 - Paying the Bills

This (well, part of it) is a little overdue, sorry.

Because of financial aid and whatnot, I got a federal work-study so I can earn some money for school while in school. My original job is the stereotypical freshman job of working the dining hall, and I also have the opportunity to get paid to volunteer for a local organization through the community service program at school. Sounds like a pretty good gig, right?

Of course, it's never that easy. During the few days before classes started, there were various info sessions to attend, one of them being the one where you fill out your working papers and stuff. Fine, no problem, I've done it before. Problem is, I realize that, in my utter brilliance, I left my Social Security card in my file o' important stuff at home, and it's a 6-hour drive. They won't let me fill out the form without it (not even a faxed copy), so my mom overnights it as soon as I get home, supposed to get there the first day of classes, which, conveniently, is also the next info session. That day comes, no mail. I have to reschedule again, I get it the next day, go to the info sessions, life is good.

First day of my dining hall work is... well, it's a dining hall. My job was to clean tables. Not a very glamorous job, but I'm sure it could be worse. And we found a baby mouse after work on the loading dock, so I picked him up with my ID and put him over in a little grassy area so he wouldn't get stepped on or run over.

For the community service thing, I had contacted the local science museum thingy over Labor Day weekend, they sent me an app that I filled out, and my interview was today at 3:30. But again, it's not that easy. With the bus and walking, I was going to get there at 3:30, maybe a minute or two early. Then the bus was a minute or two late, and I had the misfortune of finding out that what Google Maps called a 4-minute walk actually took 14. Asthmatic, stubby-legged me made it to the place at least 10 minutes late, which I thought would ruin me, but since they're always looking for volunteers (plus they know how unreliable the bus can be), they took me anyway. That one will be sporadic, mostly working hours during the week when I don't have classes.

Plus there's that student group I joined that partners with a local organization that raises service dogs and uses students as puppysitters, but I haven't heard anything from them yet. Which is unfortunate.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Adventure 2 - The Field Trip

Technically it was my second field trip (last Friday, I took the bus to Walmart to buy some binders and stuff and it took me two and a half hours to get there and back), but today was my first walking field trip. The guys needed to stock up on arms for the Humans Vs. Zombies round that starts tomorrow, and I needed some milk, so we decided to take the bus to where we'd have to transfer and then just walk the rest of the way. It was a nice walk, about 3 miles round trip, so I also felt good knowing I got some exercise.

And then we had to stop at the local waffle place and get waffles with bacon and eggs. It was really strange, we all ordered the same thing without planning to. I had a bit of a blah stomach this morning, plus I woke up really late (between having gone to bed so late and the sick stomach), so I didn't eat breakfast anyway, but I'm sure I could've gone with a slightly healthier meal. But oh man was it worth it. It's crazy how something as simple as a plain waffle, two fried eggs and two pieces of bacon can taste so good.

The city (which really doesn't count as a legit city since it's the smallest in the state) isn't really much to see, but I wouldn't mind walking around more to see what's around. But for now, I have a Spanish presentation to prepare.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Adventure 1 - Adjusting to the Surroundings

Per request, I took some pictures every day of just random stuff around campus that I found interesting.

video

And I am going to be 100% honest and say that the formatting and graphics of the video were preset on my Mac. All I did was take the pictures.