Monday, September 28, 2009

Field Trip

I went on a field trip today, complete with a bus and everything! These buses even had seatbelts! I'm moving up in the world.

We were supposed to see a foundry pour metal into molds and make stuff, but we only got to see them make molds. Still pretty neat. There was a cast of a giant eagle perched on top of the globe. And I mean giant. I had to restrain myself from asking how much I could buy the eagle for during the questions section of the tour.

Next time I need to do some research before I go on tours. It was like walking into Orthanc! Dark, firey, dark, dusty, dark, dirty, dark, warm, and... dark. I can't imagine working there for extended periods of time without coming down with some sort of illness, I've been spitting up sand and dust all afternoon just from a two-hour tour.

I need to get me out of a school and into the real world more.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Back to School Countdown

First full week of classes. Reflection!
Number of-

Popsicles it took to get me through the first 3 days of class: 10
Final Exams until graduation: 9 (shit!)
Free hot dogs+hamburgers+pancakes+shampoo = 8 (shampoo?)
Dollars spent on Diet Coke this week: 7 (shit!)
Courses this semester: 6
Ridiculously hard to find 0.9mm pencils obtained: 5 (thanks, internet!)
Textbooks purchased off Ebay: 4 (thanks again, internet!)
"Oh shit I'm graduating this year" identity crises: 3 (...shit!)
Weeks it took for new roomie to walk in on me in the bathroom: 2 (shit again! literally...)
People in my smallest course: 1 (shit! no skipping)
Times fallen asleep in class: 0! (boooooo-yeah!)
Bicycles: -1 :( (shit! bastards...)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I must draw time.

At some point during my first two years of university, I lost the ability to cram. Part of it may be related to this story.

For some odd reason, despite my inability (at the time) to visualize anything or work with spatial stuff in my head, and struggling with three-dimensional physics, I decided it would be a great idea to go into mechanical engineering. Subsequently, I was faced with the course that would cleave my brain in two and change the very nature of thought as I knew it. Everyone with any kind of ability to visualize things, or any mechanical aptitude loves that course. I thought it was kind of fun to draw all the 3D pictures that looked nice and to use the computer to make objects. At the same time, I was kind of upset because everyone else seemed to be waltzing through the material and I would spend days on the assignments, only to end up with 20, or 30% at best. The midterm didn't go any better.

Despite my best efforts, the fail continued. I guess you can't just make yourself think a different way all of a sudden, you just have to practice and practice until it happens. It wasn't working for me. I didn't want to fail the whole course after such a huge effort. At my weakest moment of desperation, I asked a senior student what she thought I should do. She mentioned that she, also, had struggled with the course and in fact failed it the first time. The only reason she passed the course the second time, she said, was because she had solved every single problem in the textbook. I swear there were thousands of them.

I abandoned everything and everyone and hunched over that book, sketching and sketching until I had to switch hands it hurt so badly. Many days and several dead trees later, it was the night before the exam, and there were (finally!) only a few problems left to solve. My sleep-deprived brain insisted on grabbing a few hours of sleep without notifying me.

This is when I began to be convinced that I was in the final exam. The exam question required that we draw time, and time, as everyone knows, is a rolling stone. I was very proud of myself for figuring out that it was a trick question, and that we weren't supposed to draw any moss because a rolling stone gathers no moss. It was a really tricky imaginary exam, because you couldn't stop drawing time or time would stop, and as you can imagine, that was very stressful.

At some point in real life, I noticed that I had dozed through my alarm and promptly grabbed everything in my immediate vicinity that could possibly be useful in an exam situation and bolted to the test. After being chained with the responsibility of drawing time for an evening, the final was comparatively easy.

When I got back to my dorm room, I noticed that the room was absolutely COVERED in drawings of a circle rolling down a hill, written on every available piece of material I owned, then taped or stapled to the walls, floors, and furniture.

I. made. time.

When the marks were posted for the course, I knew truly that I had commanded time and space, for I ended up with a fairly respectable mark. And most likely lasting mental damage.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Walked through some first-year orientation tours the other day by accident.
Remember so clearly first year. Meeting new friends, going new places, learning new things.

Can't believe I'm going to graduate this year!
Now entering state of denial.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I am legend!

Several tour groups walked by my lab this morning. Each one had a different variation on a theme of the same story. "Somewhere in this lab, there's a really awesome student/programming genius/grad student that builds robots/heavy machinery and who can make all her lab equipment play songs.

How the hell did I end up in the campus tours manual? Awesome sauce. I can't wait to hear what kind of mythical creature I grow into by the time I leave this place. Must increase proportion of mad science going on in lab.

Update: 2 days later, classes started, balloon of awesomeness deflated
I tend to veer off on tangents. Pick your tangent from the menu on the right.