Wednesday, August 22, 2012

College Life (Thus Far)

  Sitting here in my dorm watching youtube videos, I reflect on my day feeling fairly unproductive. I assure, it's actually not true, but I feel that way, and since writing a post makes me feel productive, here I am. Thank my weird sense of guilt for being lazy, it brought you this post.
  Here's the thing though-- today has actually been fairly productive, all things considered. I went to my fitness walking class, thus in doing so walked at least a mile today. I wrote a paper. A freakin' two page paper. I think this is why I'm confused at my lazy guilt-- usually if I write anything at all it makes my entire day feel productive (hence the blog post statement above). So I did that, printed it out and everything, good to go for tomorrow's class. I also skyped my boyfriend for a bit-- that's kind of like breakfast though, just something I do most days, so whether I count it as productive I don't know.
  After that for like a solid hour, if not longer, I worked on my flow toy skills. I played around with my flow wand mostly, but I also did a bit with my poi. Now that really should have made me feel productive. It's a physical activity, and when I put on music and really focus on it, it's very rewarding. When I say rewarding, I mean in the sense that (some) people like exercising. You know how people will say that running makes them feel good? I personally think they're crazy; running makes me feel like shit. Honestly though, I get what I assume is the feeling runners get after I do physical activities I actually enjoy, such as iceskating, or in this instance, poi and flow wand. Now for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, maybe I'll be gracious and come back when editing this post and put a link here so you can see, but if not just search it on youtube-- videos of this stuff exist. So now that you've seen it (I'm assuming you took the time to look it up) I will let you know some things you may want to ask me: my personal preference is the flow wand, it is the one I am better at, I don't know if I'm actually that good, I do nothing with fire, I'm pretty much learning it as I go though I hope to have a chance to go to workshops and learn from pros, I listen to music while I do it because I make it all dance-y and flow-y and it's just more fun with music. Anyway, after that I called my parents, had dinner, went to a brief dorm meeting, and then the youtubing began and my lazy guilt kicked in. Seriously though, I don't know why, look at all those words-- I did a lot of stuff today.
  Now no need to fret, children, I will not ramble about my productivity for the entirety of this post. Because 1) It would be a pointless post (because normally my posts have a point? I guess.) 2) You pretty much know my whole day now and I have nothing more to say about it.
  So now I'll tell you about something allegedly more exciting. College. Aww yeah. I've been here about a week and a half now, so I'll let you know about my experience thus far.

  • Walk Everywhere My campus is very walkable and my sister has the car, so I literally walk everywhere. For a person who despises running with all of her existence, I sure do like walking. It's so pleasant I even took a walking class. Anyway though, it's just a nice change of pace to know that your feet can carry you to wherever you need or want to go. The lack of dependence on a vehicle is uniquely liberating in my opinion.
  • More Free Time I have days without classes, I only have two days where I have to wake up early, and so I have plenty of time to do whatever I want. Granted, some of the time the choice is to do required things, like eating, sleeping, homework, but it's still nice to do whatever you want with your free time whenever you want to within that free time. Like poi. Or skype. Or meeting people, one I haven't tried yet (antisocial joke. I have friends, really). 
  • Social Events There was a whole "Welcome Week" thing, and there were events like a comedian, a hypnotist show, a dance, and a carnival. Fun, free stuff-- my favorite! So stuff like that tends to happen, probably not so much in the coming weeks as there was for Welcome Week, but you know, more events are bound to arise, and be a good time.
  • Accepting Weirdness I have met people who admit to being a nerd or loser or such things, myself included seeing as I am one. My room mate and I both are nerds and we admit it, which is fun. I just get the feeling that people are more ready to be themselves in college than in high school. Really, there's just something nice about not knowing anyone here from previous parts of life; it makes people more inclined to show themselves as they are. Or at least I hope this is the case, though I'm not sure if I've met enough people to make this assumption for everyone. But it sounds nice for the sake of my blog, so I'll go ahead and say it. Who knows, maybe it'll inspire some quiet shy kid to just lose fear and go be their crazy self. Maybe.
  • Class Stuff That Randomly Excites Me  You get your schedule for the entire semester. First day of class, the syllabus includes a schedule for the entire freakin' semester. Do you understand how cool that is? In high school I would consider myself lucky if I knew what the hell was coming in the upcoming week for a class. And now I know for the entirety of the class. That is so beautiful. Teachers are more free too. I've had at least three professors swear like it's nothing. And they just teach the way the want to-- I have teachers who go at a slow pace with a powerpoint, and some who just start talking and you can take notes if you feel the need. I have a teacher who, after taking role, gives us the option to leave. The same teacher, as we were discussing and he was done lecturing for the day, just left, telling us we were doing great and could leave whenever we were done. That is so freaking awesome. I've had multiple classes end early, which is so cool. It's kind of ironic, because in high school I liked the concept of having bells, mostly because that way teachers couldn't hold you over and be like "I control this class, not the bell." Umm, no, the bell does. When that thing rang we would leave because teachers knew that we had to. Here it's not like that. We get done when we get done, and that tends to be early or on time, and professors have no interest in "controlling the class" when it comes to time; they're not interested in holding us late like we're little kids being punished. Classes are just so much more respectful, I feel like.
  Ah, fun stuff. So that's my rant about college. Pretty cool, right? I'm enjoying myself is the main point I suppose, so I guess even if you can't relate to this post, you can at least be happy for me, because, as I have like ten or so people read my blog, I assume you all know me at least slightly personally, and I like to think you would be glad to hear of my contentedness.
  So we reach the end of another excessively long post. Sometimes I think I ramble, but then I remember that's at least sort of the point of my blog. So let's see if you're picking up on the pattern of my long. Long post, pretty random and virtually pointless, what does that mean you get at the end? If you guessed a random picture, then go find yourself a reward because you are correct! Enjoy.

Look at my campus, it's so pretty! Legit, that's my campus.

Not random enough for you? Then I present to you: Baby Turtle Pic: Round II.

Look that face! You can't deny smiling at that little cutie.

So yeah, I'm done. Hope you enjoyed it, and like I said, as long as college doesn't steal away all my time, I hope to post more random musings soon. If there is ever anything you want me to ramble about, just comment or let me know.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Olympics

  I am going to attempt to express my love for the Olympics in this post, with justification. If it just turns into nonsensical spazzing, I apologize. I just really love the Olympics. Also, I love both Winter and Summer Olympics, but since the Summer Olympics are currently on, I will mostly be discussing them. Makes sense, right?
  There's something incredibly special about the Olympics. Every four years (two if you're talking Winter to Summer) countries come together, thousands of people from all over, to enjoy something as simple as sportsmanship. Countries (for the most part) are able to put their differences aside so that people all over the world can root for their team and favorite athletes in a large variety of sports. I think that's quite an accomplishment.
  Beyond just the concept of the Olympics, spectating the competition is great. The Olympics always manage to start with a bang at the Opening Ceremonies, with performances, the parade of athletes, the lighting of the torch-- it's a great way to get in the spirit of things; it reminds us how special the Olympics truly are. Then we get to the actual sports-- games, races, sports we never even think of viewing outside of this event.

  Now, despite my complete lack of physical abilities or athleticism, I'm actually a pretty big fan of spectator sports (specifically major league baseball and college basketball, if you're wondering). So naturally after all you've read so far, I spazz out over the Olympic sports. I literally watch as much of the Olympics as possible; so it's a good thing it's over the summer, because I have been very unproductive the last couple weeks. Granted, I find some of the sports boring-- like you can only watch so many laps in the pool or track before it gets old, and basketball with the pros is super boring in my opinion. But there are so many great and entertaining sports. Plus in the Olympics you get the top dogs, the most talented athletes from all different countries. So not only are the sports unique, you get to see them executed with extreme talent. The things these athletes are able to do are truly amazing-- some are simply jaw-dropping, others make the challenge look easy, when really it's just incredible these people can do these sports as well as they do.
  And then as I'm watching, I think of what it must be like for them, for the athletes. All I know is that if I was one of them, I'd be absorbing every moment of it. Just reaching the skill level to make it to the Olympics must be amazing, and to win a medal must be indescribable. I watch athletes win gold, and honestly it can be emotional-- for them it's all their hard work rewarded, their dreams come true, just pure and unbelievable joy. To see someone earn the gold and experience this, I get caught up in the emotions too.
  Alright, so that's my sentimental, probably a bit cheesy, view of the Olympics. But seriously, it's good stuff. Now for the fun part-- I'm going to list my top 5 favorite Olympic sports to watch. Before that though, I'd like to give a shout out to a few contenders-- archery and fencing, you almost made it on my list. Here we go:

5. Synchro Diving
                                              Yep, synchronized diving-- whether it's platform or springboard, men or women's, it's a really cool sport. Because diving in general-- jumping from a (especially with platform) high distance and doing crazy spins and twists (the technical terms, I'm sure) in the air as you fall to land in the water with as little a splash as possible is already impressive-- now do it with someone next to you and match them completely. 'nuff said.

4. Volleyball
                                 A pretty normal sport to like, I suppose. For the most part I prefer women's indoor team volleyball, but I'll watch the guys and I do admit I follow May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings pretty closely in the beach volleyball competition. What can I say, they're an incredible team, and I'm rooting for their three-peat-- they honestly deserve. As for indoor, I really like the US women's team, and watching their team work and abilities (man, can they dig and spike that ball), it makes for a great game.

3. Gymnastics 
                                    Probably one of the more popular Olympic sports, but it is for a reason. It's not something that'll pop up on ESPN too often (if at all...I honestly don't know), and so it is one of those sports special to the Olympics. Plus it's entertaining, in one of those jaw-dropping, I can't believe people can physically do that, kind of way. When I watch it, I'm half excited, half nervous for the athletes-- it's a sport where things can go terribly wrong, both point-wise and injury-wise. But that's what makes it fun-- you're on the edge of your seat, and someone does something truly amazing, and it's just such a sense of triumph. My favorite moment was McKayla Maroney's vault for the team competition-- she completely deserved a perfect score, just saying. Plus gymnastics offers a good variety-- unlike a game or race, there are different events, which just adds to the entertainment. So whether it's men or women's, these athletes do incredible things.

2. Badminton
                                  And it's not like your backyard game. If you haven't seen it, go watch it because you won't understand how insane this sport is. The speed is unbelievable. I can't even really describe it beyond that, you just have to watch it. Also, they have something called mixed doubles, where on each team is a man and a woman-- yay for deplenishing sexism in sports! Side Note: Don't get me wrong, I understand that guys and girls can't compete together in most sports, but it's nice to do when they can, am I right? Anyway, this sport is just mind-blowing because of the speed and execution. It's insane, and therefore super entertaining.

1. Water Polo
                                    Super random, I know. Some of you might not even know what it is-- I didn't until the Beijing Olympics. I've watched a few games of it this Olympics though, and it's awesome. They're in a 5 meter deep pool, using a ball that weighs just under a pound, trying to throw it in a goal without fouling and before the shot clock's up. It's intense. There are four 8 minute quarters, so it's well paced, and unlike in soccer (yes, that's a burn towards soccer-- I don't like soccer), they actually score. I prefer the women's in this sport-- oddly enough, they're more aggressive and active in the pool than the guys, in my opinion. It's a great game that requires a ton of endurance (they have to swim back and forth across the pool plenty of times, treading water when not) along with strategy to get the ball past the goalie and defense. So even though my mom laughed at me when I told her, I love watching water polo-- it's crazy entertaining. I get into it like I do basketball and baseball, getting all hyped up and yelling at the tv--usually I'm alone in the room by that point.

  So there you have it, why I love the Olympics along with my top favorite sports. Now you know, and maybe this post will get you thinking about your favorite Olympic sports and moments.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Update Time

  Hey kids, I didn't even realize I hadn't posted at all in July. I deeply apologize for this-- July was a super busy month for me, and the time just flew by. Honestly just today did I realize it was August.
  I have a couple ideas for posts, and I hope to accomplish these posts, but a great change is upon us-- or me, at least. Come next week, I'll have moved into a dorm as a freshman in college. Exciting, yes, but I don't know how busy I will be then, so if in the following months my posting lacks even more than it already has, it's because I'm a college kid now.
  Just thought I'd give an update in case my all of maybe ten people who read my blog won't be wondering why it died. I'll just say this-- even if months go by with no posts, I'm not going to give up my blog entirely. There will be posts in the future, I promise! I know, it's a relief to hear.
  So yes, this was a boring post, but I'll post again super duper soon, and in the meantime enjoy a passage from the latest short story I wrote; yep, that's right, I racked up another story, and this one in only a couple days. It's only ten pages, seemingly my general length for short stories, and it was quite the adventure. I thought it up, wrote most of it in like two days, but at the end of the second day I had no idea how to end it. This is honestly the first time that's ever happened to me-- most the time my stories end smoothly, and I get a wonderful sense of closure upon completing the last sentence. But this one was different: I finished it, and thought to myself, "well that was crap." So what I did was, I highlighted the section I thought was crap, and wrote at the bottom: NEED BETTER ENDING. Then I walked away from it, watched some Olympics for a solid 3 hours (I LOVE the Olympics, which is probably what my next post will be discussing) and then came back to it. I wrote a new ending, and found that sense of closure. Success!
  I'm not sure whether I like the story as a whole yet though-- it's unique, the first time I've present tense, and a bit less climatic than most of my stories.
  I feel like the story needs a bit of explaining, so here we go: it's a futuristic/alternate world where people are placed into jobs and social status based purely on their skills, to the point where personalities don't even matter. A girl comes to be judged and states something that intrigues the main character, a young judge (those who place the people in said jobs and case that wasn't clear). Yep, that's all you get, explanation-wise.
  Without further ado, here is a passage:

Some days I feel especially bored with my job, and today is one of them. I listen to each person name off what they can do, and I guess in my mind where they will be placed as the general consensus of the panel agrees—I silently nod my agreement—and that person is duly placed.
A girl approaches the panel and stands for a moment in silence as she waits for our attention. She is perhaps in her late teen years, very pale with dark brown hair. Her thick dark bangs hang just over her eyes, which gaze down at her hands in a way to where I can’t even tell their color. She holds her hands together, letting them hang at her waist. She wears a cream colored dress with red flowers on it. All of this I take in stride; it’s when she speaks and what she says that gains my full attention.
“My name is Elaina Raves, and my skill is being myself,” she says in a calm but strong voice.
At the end of her statement, her eyes turn up fully to the judges. They are the clearest, most vivid pale blue eyes I have ever seen in my life. And there is something more to them even than that—she holds something behind those eyes that I can’t fully grasp, but I can tell is deep and meaningful.
I hear a couple of the judges sigh, and the head judge begins to speak.
“Right, very well then,” he says, clearing his throat, “I guess we’ll just put you down in the dock town, you can be a waitress or maid, whichever they’re in need of at the local pub and motel. Go on then.”
“Yes sir,” she murmurs, her eyes dropped, about the walk off.
“Wait,” I speak up, looking between the head judge and the girl I stopped in her tracks. My gaze meets hers. “What…what did you mean by that? Being yourself?”
Some of the judges groan, a couple mumbling about new judges.
“They show up every now and then,” the woman judge next to me explains, “people who think they’re better than the system, rebels; they don’t want to be judged, so they make up some nonsense like this.”

You're dying to know what happens, right? Compelling stuff, man.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this slightly informative and possibly boring post.
...But it's not over! I feel the need to make up for my lack of posting in July, so here, you get the most random picture I can find in my vast array of pictures:

It's a baby turtle! I found him in my yard a while ago, and put him by a pond. Isn't he a cutie?
Alright, I'm done now. I hope you liked the turtle though. If there's anything to like about this post, it's definitely the turtle. I was so excited when I found him, I took like tons of pics. So if you like the turtle, tell me, and maybe I'll share some more pics of him in future posts.