kitsjay: (Default)
I got my grades back today! That sociology paper, the one I worried incessantly about and was convinced I would fail? 26.5/27. I would loathe the man were it not for the fact that I made an A in the class. Also, I have no idea what grade I made on the BritLit final but my overall grade is an A, so I'm not too terribly concerned about it.

Aside from a brief tangle with TurboTax, I have been enjoying my brief respite between the end of spring classes and the beginning of summer ones. I woke up late today, sunbathed for a while (my thermometer said 113 degrees, but the weatherman insisted it only reached 97), then went inside to read for a bit. So far I've read three of The Dresden Files, Leaves of Grass, Call of the Wild, and Looking for Alaska since I've been home.

I also rekindled a latent love of hockey and baseball. Dad and I watched all three of the Astros-Nationals games, jeered Zimmerman, and cheered Pinsent and Berkman. Dad doesn't much care for hockey, so he went to bed while I watched the 2004 Stanley Cup playoffs.

At one point, the action in front of the New York Islanders net got tense and they showed a close up of the goalie, DePietro, throwing a punch that sent one of the Tamba Bay Lightning guys flying to the ice.

"Goalies are going to get feistier," the sports announcers predicted.

Later, DePietro tapped his stick against the back of one of the opposing team's skates, trying to send him tripping. A small brawl broke out. The refs broke it up and the camera went to the coach, pacing and shouting things that suspiciously had no sound accompaniment.

"Feistiness starts at the top," one of the announcers said indulgently, with a paternal 'boys will be boys' chuckle.

Oh, hockey. Never let me down, okay?

ETA: It won't. There's an old saying, hockey is where a fight took place and a sport broke out. This video proves it--

Particularly hilarious is about two minutes in when the sports-casters segue seamlessly from a play-by-play of the game to a play-by-play of the fight.
kitsjay: (Woo)
I took my last exams in British Literature and Sociology!

Pretty sure I did well on the BritLit one, though halfway through I suddenly had the need to go to the restroom. Try writing on the line "charter'd Thames" when all you can think is, "That last cup of coffee might have been a mistake..."

Also, there was a tense moment when I realized I had to write two pages on two lines of poetry, but I managed to squeeze something out that sounded halfway decent. Anything I missed I completely made up with my stunning discourse on the comparison of Kurtz to a god, so all good there.

Then my sociology exam, which was a twenty-page multiple choice (I gather this was meant to be a break for us, but all I could think was, "HOW much does each question cost?"). One of the questions gave me a spot of trouble, but then the last two were absolutely incomprehensible. Apparently he had done some statistic trick on one of the two days I missed out of this entire semester and thought, "I should put these two on a test that means if they miss it, it drops a letter grade!"

So we have this:

Effects of Church Attendance on Self-Rated Health
Model 1 Model 2
Hot tempered 1.087** .067
Extracurricular activities -- .54*

19. What theory does model one represent?
a. Reverse causation
b. Independence of science and religion
c. Selection effects
d. None of the above

And really? There is no intuitive way to answer this. I finally put something down and left. I had to forgive him though, because he gave us candy after the final. It was utterly adorable.

Afterwards, Mom and Dad came to pick me up, and we went out to eat at Dirty Martin's, where Janis Joplin used to work. Then we went to the place where I wanted to get the apartment, turned in the pre-lease information and paid the deposit. My parents liked it pretty well! In my dad's words, "You did good, kid."

The only thing is that my parents decided to treat me like I was two, not nineteen. My mom says that she wants me to give her a key to my place so she can crash there. I do not have a problem with my mother visiting, but she had better call first.

Then Dad says he's worried about me not having a roommate, and Mom says that if I don't answer the phone, then she'll call the apartment manager. She says this in front of the manager. I could have died. It's not unreasonable to assume I'm alive if I don't speak to them every day. Really.

In any case, I'll set them straight later. The lease information is supposed to come through next week or so.

Finally, I signed up for summer classes. I'm currently signed up for Bio I, lab and lecture; Chem I lecture; Chem II lab and lecture for the second summer session. There was a problem registering for the Chem I lab, so I might have to take Bio I online in order to take them both, then I have to talk to Palo Alto and convince them that if I did alright in calculus at UT, I really do not need a pre-req to take it at Palo Alto.

So yes! Busy times, glad to be home. Good luck on finals, everyone!
kitsjay: (Expectations)
My brother may have some small success in finding the knaves who broke into his apartment. A woman came forward to the apartment manager about two kids living in the same complex who were bragging about breaking into a cop's apartment and stealing two guns. We're dealing with criminal masterminds, most assuredly.

Speaking of apartment managers, Court graciously drove me to the 108 Place and we looked at a room. I'm quite charmed by it! I'm already envisioning how the layout is going to be and looking forward to it. The deposit is steep ($500) and the rent is more than I wanted, but upon further reflection, I think it's a fair price. Austin is an expensive place to live and I'm already starting late looking for housing. Not to mention that the location is wonderful--I'm within three major bus routes, walking distance from Walgreens and a park, and it's a very safe neighborhood--so I think I'm going to go ahead and take it. I tried checking out another place that was somewhat cheaper, but they did not even come to the door when we knocked during office hours. I was very unimpressed.

I turned in my paper today in sociology. My teacher was cheerful as always.

"How many of you are confident about your paper?"

Three people raised their hands. Three. I'm torn between being extremely worried and just relieved that it's over with. Thankfully I have two finals in the next two days to keep me from fretting too terribly much.

We were discussing Yeats's "The Second Coming" in class in preparation for our final and my teacher brought up a book by somebody titled Slouching Towards Gomorrah.

"I don't get the reference," someone said.

"Sodom and Gomorrah? The twin cities of sin? We get the word sodomy from Sodom," my teacher explained. He paused. "We don't get anything from Gomorrah, but if we did, it'd be awesome."

I think I'm really going to miss that class, actually. For one, I never would have read Equus on my own, but I read it tonight at the library and quite enjoyed it. Not to mention, I've begrudgingly accepted Jane Austen into the fold of my personal library and I really got something from Eliot and Yeats that I don't think I would have normally. My class next semester, Walt Whitman and His World, had best step up to top this one.
kitsjay: (Default)
I got my paper back in sociology. Five pages of essay, an abstract, a perfect works cited, and he puts, "Good start!" on the bottom. Five pages is not a good start. Five pages is, "Change a few things here and there, and you'll be done!". I am terribly vexed over this.

That said, he did give us today off, so I forgive him somewhat. I've been using my time wisely (Reading the article for Friday? No. Working on my paper? No. Watching Due South and gawking at Paul Gross's incredible ass? Yes indeed!)

In BritLit, we're reading Equus. Correction, my fellow classmates are. The beginning of this year, I could not afford all the books, so I forewent purchasing Frankenstein and Equus. The former was online, but I haven't had any luck finding the latter. I've been faking it in class, but sometime before our final, I probably should read it at the PCL. If some other cheapskate hasn't checked it out.

And finally, I am down to $2.49 in my dine-in-dollars account. I've been scrounging to put together enough meals to last 'til the end of the semester.

My larder consists of a tin of oatmeal, half a jar of peanut butter, two cans of soup, a Ramen packet, mustard, and a packet of tuna. With the $2.49, I can buy 3 more packets of Ramen (the "oriental flavor" is highly recommended, by the way). I can live off of peanut butter sandwiches for a ridiculously long time, but bread is hideously expensive.

Also, I called several apartment complexes yesterday and found several leasing for fall semester. Two of them I am particularly drawn to, though I haven't physically checked them out yet and they may be a bit dodgy. The prices are mostly in the $550 area, with the one I am partial to being $670 a month. Most of them, I'd have to pay for electricity and Internet, but they are along the UT Shuttle route and about a ten-minute ride to campus.

This seems like a nice place to segue into the other thing, which is my schedule. Either it is the most hellacious schedule in the world or the best.

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I would be taking Bio II at 8:00-9:00, then Creative Writing 9:00-10:00, Latin from 10:00-11:00, then Cultural Anthropology from 12:00-1:00, except for Fridays when Anthropology would be from 11:00-12:00. On Mondays, I would have the additional discussion section for Bio II from 4:00-5:00.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, I would have Latin from 10:00-11:00.

The creative writing is iffy--I really would rather be in either a class on "Walt Whitman and His World" or "Shakespeare's Selected Plays", but both were closed when I last checked. The waitlist supposedly opens Thursday, so with luck, I may be able to put myself on that and drop the Creative Writing class.

I am a tad worried about the lack of any breaks, but as my brother said, "Think of it as high school"--I think he meant it to be comforting. Mostly it just provokes nightmarish flashbacks that I would prefer to draw a veil over.

Speaking of drawing a veil over painful scenes--

7 days left!
kitsjay: (Default)
So instead of studying for my sociology test this Monday, reading Heart of Darkness, going to the gym, badgering my mother so I can finally get this FAFSA in, or even doing anything remotely resembling productivity, I have instead ate pizza, watched a marathon of due South, combed through the summaries of four seasons of Northern Exposure on, run out of bandwidth downloading episodes of Corner Gas, convinced myself to become a forest ranger, and spent a truly ungodly portion of my time sucking down Coke Zeros and scouring the 'net for good fanfiction.

... and it was glorious.
kitsjay: (Woo)
My Brit Lit class contains one blemish, deemed by me as Awkward Sexual Comment Making Guy. He might have a name, but that would acknowledge him as a human being, which isn't something I'm willing to do.

Now, normally he says something incredibly inappropriate that stops the class. My teacher, with that keen accuracy most teachers are born with, avoids eliciting any opinion from this guy in class, for which we are all thankful. Today, he came up with this gem, which while neither sexual nor really awkward, was so incredibly stupid that I feel it should be preserved somewhere so that others may learn from it. Every time I see the gears slowly turning behind his eyes, I want to cut in and say, "No. Just don't. You're about to speak, and whenever you do that, my soul hurts. So just stop."

We're reading Blake and talking about the French Revolution, its effects on Britain, how this showed up in poetry and literature, et cetera.

He opened his mouth and this proceeded from that dark abyss: "Was this after the Magna Carta was signed?"

For those not paying attention in history class (or, y'know, life), a brief recap.

Magna Carta, 1215. William Blake, 1792.

I am almost certain if I started a petition to allow this guy to get an "A" in the class if he promises never to show up again, everyone, including my professor, will sign it.

Also, yes, my subject line does combine two of my geekiest interests combined, what of it?
kitsjay: (Woo)
In Britlit, we have started reading Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, who is reluctantly changing some of my opinions of women writers. (To be fair, my earliest introduction was Charlotte Bronte, an authoress I continue to loathe with a hatred previously unheard of outside the deepest recesses of Dante's inferno.)

My professor amuses us by relating the story into modern measurements and expanding upon it thusly. We read a brief excerpt from Wollstonecraft's Vindication of Women's Rights ), which protests that men complain women are shallow, but themselves keep women from being anything else. She then points out that the "traditional" values women are taught are morally shady. Women were taught by their mothers to be superficial and manipulative.

"Now we have sororities to do that," my teacher concluded.

We then turned to Catherine and her break from the gothic heroine mould.

"Typical gothic heroines are accomplished at everything, beautiful, with a tragic history..."

With a sudden flash of insight, my mind screamed, "Mary Sues! Gothic heroines were Mary Sues!" and I had to fight not to laugh in the middle of class.

We then were further entertained with an excerpt from a gothic novel, which I present here for your reading entertainment. Sporks at the ready, friends:

Emily gazed with melancholy awe upon the castle, which she understood to be Montoni's; for, though it was now lighted up by the setting sun, the gothic greatness of its features, and its mouldering walls of dark grey stone, rendered it a gloomy and sublime object. As she gazed, the light died away on its walls, leaving a melancholy purple tint, which spread deeper and deeper, as the thin vapour crept up the mountain, while the battlements above were still tipped with splendour. From those too, the rays soon faded, and the whole edifice was invested with the solemn duskiness of evening. Silent, lonely and sublime, it seemed to stand the sovereign of the scene, and to frown defiance on all, who dared to invade its solitary reign. As the twilight deepened, its features became more awful in obscurity, and Emily continued to gaze, till its clustering towers were alone seen, rising over the tops of the woods, beneath whose thick shade the carriages soon after began to ascend.

I laughed along with everyone at it until the irony of the Clive Cussler novel residing in my backpack forced me to shut up.

All in all? A highly successful day.

Addendum: I have rediscovered a love for a band called Lordi. They're like if Def Leppard and Iron Maiden carried on a torrid affair that resulted in the birth of an illegitimate band.
kitsjay: (Woo)
My British Literature midterm was completely undeserving of my stress.

That said, I ran low on coffee this morning and was a tad out of it, so I cannot absolutely promise that I did not unwittingly write "fish fish fish" across the page and think it was an absolutely brilliant discourse on the nuances of Shakespearean sonnets. I'll get back to you on that when blood starts to filter through the caffeine in my veins.

Also, I've made a resolution to become an English professor for the sole purpose of assigning Clive Cussler as reading in the midst of fine literature.

The test would be something like,

"13. How does Dirk Pitt escape from the Cuban prison? (3 pts.)

a. MacGyvers a rocket launcher out of gruel and a crashed blimp
b. Seduces the mistress of Fidel Castro*
c. Al saves him, with witty banter ensuing
d. Chuck Norris comes to him in a dream "

Bonus points if you spot where Clive Cussler inserts himself into each novel. I almost wish I were kidding.


* Wait, am I going to have to start making Raul Castro jokes now?
kitsjay: (Woo)
I'm supposed to be reading Frankstein tonight, but unfortunately my brother never sent me his copy. Meanwhile, I'm in the middle of a thrilling Dirk Pitt novel by Clive Cussler.

I'm so tempted to print out a picture of the cover of Frankenstein and tape it over the Cyclops! cover of my novel, but then imagined the ensuing conversation in class.

"Kitty, why don't you read from chapter three?"

"Uh," I would say, " 'Pitt'--I mean, 'Frankenstein had cleared Cuban waters and was well into the main shipping lane of the Bahama Channel. But his luck was running out.

'Frankenstein and his party were not the first to have probed the gruesome secrets of the Cyclops. Someone else had already come and gone with the La Dorada treasure.' "

There would be a hushed, unsure silence, then I would cough awkwardly and explain, "Updated version."
kitsjay: (Expectations)
So apparently my subconscious knew something I did not. Last night I found it incredibly hard to motivate myself to actually study. I'm a little ADD on a good day, but this was absolutely ridiculous.

"Kitty, you have a test tomorrow," I kept saying to myself. "Stop clicking on that Psych episode. Don't--well, okay. But after this, you're going to work."

And then I spent the next twelve hours or so wikihopping and getting distracted by shiny things on my computer.

I was feeling restless, so I went for a walk at 4:00 a.m., then decided at 5:00, I had best actually study. So I spent the next three hours staring at my notes and pretending I knew what they were talking about.

The class is basically set up to where you read one article for Monday, another article for Wednesday, then another one for Friday every week. Without slacking off too much, I could either choose to read the articles and not pay attention in class or pay attention in class and not read the articles without losing ground.

Yeah. That didn't happen. Instead I stopped reading the articles and wrote letters to people every day in class.

Even with all this, the test was ridiculously easy. I don't think I got a perfect score, but I'm thinking easy A.

Also, in BritLit, we were supposed to have read the first few chapters of Gulliver's Travels, but I skipped a class period and wasn't sure how far we were supposed to read. I've read it before, a long time ago, so I thought, "Surely I'll be able to catch up!"

During class, I hurriedly read enough to insert a few comments here and there so it looked like I knew what I was talking about.

I have three classes. And I still manage to get bored and slack off in two of them. Good times.
kitsjay: (Default)
My British Literature class was interesting. We're going through The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus by Marlowe, which is fun--not because it's new, but because the people in my class provide a refreshingly modern take on it.

I'll give you an example. This one guy started off class by saying, "Yeah, I was really pulling for him."

He sold his soul to the devil--but this guy was pulling for him!

"You had no idea which way it was going to go," he continued.

A hint: any story that starts out with the main character declaring he wants to be better than God? Is not going to end well.

Anyway, later my teacher was asking us about the time period, and what aspects of the Renaissance and Reformation show up in the play, and whether Marlowe was a closet Catholic and such. Anyway, my teacher was talking about Calvinism. The thing is, I'm a Calvinist and people tend to have some really wonky ideas about Calvinism and they're not afraid to share because most everyone thinks it went the way of the Puritans.

"So you have this idea of predestination, which is a problem, because you have people like the Puritans. If you're saved, then you wonder, 'Well, am I doing enough? Am I being holy?' so you're nervous. Or you're not saved, so you wonder, 'Am I not saved? What if I can't be saved, what if I'm doomed to hell?' and you're really nervous. So basically our country was founded by some very nervous, depressed people."

Which is scarily accurate.
kitsjay: (Default)
My TA is so adorkable. He showed up to class today with his orange plaid shirt, then proceeded to cover up with a black sweater with a camouflage pattern of teal, red, and an olive yellow.

When writing on the board, he wrote "eqt" for "equation" and "chng" for "change".

"I try not to write the--ah, what is the word? A, I, E?"

"Vowels?" someone in the front row suggested.

"Yes!" he said triumphantly. "Wowels."

It's oddly endearing.

Though he insists on eschewing equations in favor of long, complicated steps that no one understands (I am perfectly okay doing things by rote, thank you very much), I feel a strange affection for him.

Yes, he's hard to understand. No, he doesn't know what a vertex of a quadratic graph is. Yes, he wears awful sweaters.

But dammit, he's my TA!

In other news, in BritLit today, we watched a clip from Monty Python's Meaning of Life and I managed to think the right answer to a question for ten minutes and not open my mouth because I was scared I would get it wrong. Way to go me.


kitsjay: (Default)

January 2014



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