Archive for the 'School' Category

Cool things other people did

Posted by Karen in Family, School.
Saturday, August 16th, 2008 at 3:14 pm

Cool thing20080816140706_education_mural.jpg #1:  Sierra was officially accepted into grad school and offered a sweet research assistantship, which will provide funding for her studies!  Way to go Sierra!  You worked really freaking hard for this and totally deserve it!20080816140750_l_f_paddle.jpg

Cool thing #2:  Laurel & Freddie paddled like 20-some miles on the Mississippi River!  Oh yeah, and they got engaged.  HURRAY!

Cool thing #3:20080816141254_liam_pool.jpeg  My nephew Liam won 2nd place in a "Cutest Baby" contest!  (Clearly the 1st place baby paid off a judge.)

I Married MacGyver!!!

Posted by Karen in Bruno, Day to Day, School.
Sunday, March 30th, 2008 at 10:20 am

I totally loved the show MacGyver when I was little and had a monster crush on him (along with then Milwaukee Brewer Paul Molitor and our local news anchor, Mike Gousha).  So I couldn’t be more delighted that I am now married to the real-life version! 

I had set up a work station upstairs for my masters project awhile ago, and last weekend I actually started working on it again (and there was much rejoicing among parents).  I still have a bunch of interviews to transcribe, and that’s a great way to start since I need to refresh myself on the work I did before I can work on my paper.  So I sat down to start transcribing, and the power on the transcriber wouldn’t go on.  It worked fine the last time I used it and has just been sitting there ever since, and I mean I know it’s been awhile but it’s n20080330082459_macgyver.jpgot like it’s been years! Or… uh… not more than 2 years…  anyway… whatever.  So I realized the whole electric outlet wasn’t working, and neither were any of the outlets upstairs.  It wasn’t a fuse, so I was stumped.  Nate came to the rescue of course and fixed it (and I still don’t quite get it).  But the power light on the transcriber still wouldn’t go on.  Nate pulled out his magic power senser thingy and determined that it was the power cord.  So I said ok, I would go buy another one.  But he informed me that I would not likely be able to find one because he had never seen one with an end like that (looked20080330082628_macgyver1.jpg like any old power cord to me…).  Ok.  So he found another cord that had the same voltage, cut them both in half and rewired them back together.  Whoa.  And then it worked.  But the transcriber has a speed control, so you can slow the tapes way down or speed them way up, and now, even the slowest level was pretty fast.  So then Nate took the freaking thing apart, adjusted it, and put it back together!  All is now well in the world of tape transcribing.  But if it weren’t for him, I would still be trying to figure out how to make the outlets work!
Then last night we decided to participate in Earth Hour.  While I was pulling out candles, Nate decided to make his own.  It’s the one on the right, and involves a little bit of vegetable oil in a bowl, and a wick made from paper towel stuffed into a piece of pipe.  Nate decided to take it 20080330084025_lights_out.jpgfurther than just turning off our lights and turned off his computer… and then he got a little lost and confused about his place in the world. So he helped me make another batch of Bruno biscuits by candlelight, how romantic.

On a non-MacGyver note, yesterday we also took Bruno for a hike at Crosby Park, where I will soon be spending quite a bit of time.  We decided it would be a good time to start getting him20080330085314_doggy_backpack.jpg used to his doggy backpack.  We just got a new, bigger tent and can’t wait to take him camping, but dog friend’s gonna have to carry his own food.  Well I’m happy to report that it went quite well.  We put a water bottle in one side and some potatoes in the other, just to balance it out.  He definitely seemed a little extra tired afterwards, but I think he kind of liked having a job. 

And I leave you with a little old school MacGyver.  So dreamy… though I have to say, I selfishly prefer that my MacGyver’s mad skills are applied to household tasks rather than life-threatening confrontations with terrorists and corporate bad guys!

Grade Report

Posted by Nate in School.
Tuesday, December 20th, 2005 at 12:16 pm

Hee hee… Congratulations!!!

I’M DONE!!!!

Posted by Karen in School.
Tuesday, December 20th, 2005 at 11:34 am

I JUST FINISHED MY LAST FINAL!!! THE WORST SEMESTER EVER IN ALL OF HISTORY IS OFFICIALLY OVER!!! Except for that pesky research project, but I’m not going to think about that right now because I’M DONE WITH CLASSES!!! YIPPEEEEEEE!!!!

Graduate school… these are the times that try boyfriends’ souls.

Posted by Karen in School.
Monday, December 19th, 2005 at 11:58 am

So this morning, when Nate and I left the house, I remembered that I had a near flat rear tire. I had meant to go fill it this weekend, but instead worked on papers and projects and played broomball and forgot. So of course I remembered as soon as we got to the garage. Nate took a look at it and informed me that I was not going to make it far, it was now that flat, at which point I expressed my fear of filling tires. (I once filled my tire, was sure I did it right, but apparently misread the gauge and overfilled it because I got a flat tire approximately 5 minutes later. Hence, fear.) So Nate crabbily (and rightfully so, how annoying and wimpy girly am I?) said he would go with me.

We went to the gas station on the corner, but of course their air thingy was missing a piece and wouldn’t work. So he then followed me to another gas station, where he helped me fill my tire (read: did it for me). As he was about to walk back to his car he noticed that the guy who had been using the air when we got there had now decided he needed to put on his spare tire instead and was having trouble getting it out of his trunk. So of course, Nate, nicest guy in the world, asked if he needed a hand, and proceeded to basically change the guy’s tire for him. Mind you, it was a lively 8 below zero with a windchill of 19 below. I stood there looking dumb because I didn’t want to be a big jerk and leave, but if I couldn’t even handle putting air in my own tire I sure as hell wasn’t going to be much help changing a tire (but for the record, I could do it, it would just take me a little while). Nate waved for me to go, and so I gratefully headed to school to finish my project with a mere 2 hours left.

And now, project and accompanying 3 papers having been handed in, it is time to give some props. So I declare here and now, I have the best boyfriend in the world. He makes me breakfast, he makes me lunch, he helps me with my Hydrology homework, he gets no sleep because I stay up late studying, he (begrudgingly) puts up with me paying too much money for a haircut, he paints and repaints our kitchen. I am aware that I don’t deserve him.

Dear Nate, I promise to try real hard to one day repay you for putting you through the hell that is being boyfriend to a graduate student, but due to the fact that I am going into the not-so-lucrative field of natural resources, that payback may have to come in the form of lots of dog-walking. And beer. You’re the best. Love, Karen PS – I still have one more final to get through.

Theme Song

Posted by Karen in School.
Tuesday, December 13th, 2005 at 7:08 pm

There are times in my life when a theme song becomes necessary. Now is just such a time. Finals are upon me. And not just any finals, but finals of the worst semester ever, in all of history. How is it that every project takes 5 times longer than I expect it to? Where does the time go? And how is it that after all this time and all my efforts, Hydrology and GIS still send my brain into complete lockdown? Even when I get a good grade on something, I’m pretty sure it took me twice the time and twice the pain it should have.

And so here I am. In desperate need of a good theme song to push down the panic attack and see me through it all. Lucky for me there seems to always be a perfect song for everything.

My theme song for this semester:

Ooh-oo child, things are gonna get easier
Ooh-oo child, things’ll get brighter
Ooh-oo child, things are gonna get easier
Ooh-oo child, things’ll be brighter

Some day, yeah
We’ll put it together and we’ll get it all done
Some day
When your head is much lighter
Some day, yeah
We’ll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun
Some day When the world is much brighter

(If I was Nate I would know how to make a cool link so you could actually hear it instead of reading it. I would also be at Herkimer having a drink with the Caveman, instead of at home writing in our blog to avoid doing my GIS project.)

Blog voyeurism

Posted by Karen in Day to Day, School.
Monday, December 5th, 2005 at 9:55 am

My Qualitative Research class takes place in a computer lab, and our instructor requested on the first day that we not check our email or surf the web during class because it’s distracting. I quickly got her point. Every class, the girl sitting next to me is constantly flipping between her email, her blog, all of her friends’ blogs, and an instant messenger thingy. At first I thought she was being disrespectful to ignore the instructor’s request. But I’ve since decided that it’s not that at all. Now I believe that Internet Girl has tied her life to the web in so many ways that she is simply incapable of sitting in front of a computer screen without being logged in to her various forms of expression and communication with the world outside that classroom. I must admit that I myself have had days when I’ve had deadlines looming, the work is nowhere near done, and yet I still somehow can’t get myself to close my email. I just have to see any new messages the instant they arrive in my Inbox.

But Internet Girl takes it to a new level. The way she navigates quickly between writing an email, sending an instant message, and reading blog entries, and still manages to fully participate in the class discussion, well I can’t help but stand in a little bit of awe. But my instructor was right, it is very distracting and so I also can’t help but look at what she’s doing! I sit a little off to the side of the room, so in order for me to look at the instructor, Internet Girl’s computer screen is directly in my line of vision. So I catch little pieces – friends’ difficulties with career decisions, relationship issues, funny stories about trying to give her cat medicine, bits about last weekend’s night out that got a little too rowdy… Part of me feels a little voyeuristic about this, or like I’m violating her privacy, but she’s really not giving me any choice! She’s putting her life right in front of my face!

So then I had caught all of these little pieces of stories, but not any story in its entirety, either because I catch myself and make myself look away, or because she flips from one to another at warp speed. So of course I went home from class and found her blog and read it. She has like a whole blog world, it’s incredible! There is a list a mile long of links to all of her friends’ blogs and each of her entries has like 20 comments from these friends! So this must be what they all do too, sitting in class or at work writing entries every day, checking up on everyone elses, commenting. It’s interesting, because in a way they’ve created a pretty big responsibility for themselves, but at the same time I can’t help but think that they must know each other so much better than most friends since they share so many of their experiences with each other.

So I’ve started to feel a little weird siting next to her in class. Like I know all of this stuff about her life and yet we’d never said more than a few words to each other. And then. Last week, we struck up a conversation and talked for quite a while. It was all I could do to not just blurt out "I’ve read your blog!" But I restrained myself, and the conversation continued. Bruno came up, as he tends to do in my conversations, and she wanted to see a picture. Without thinking I went to our blog to show her the pictures of his birthday party. She made a comment about uploading pictures to Blogger, and I remembered that her blog is also on Blogger. I don’t think she caught the title of our blog, but what if she did? What if she has been reading all about my life now? What if she’s reading this entry about her right now?!?

Reality check

Posted by Karen in Day to Day, School.
Tuesday, November 15th, 2005 at 1:34 pm

So I took too many classes this semester, then my classes turned out to be really hard, then I ended up HATING one of my classes on so very many levels, then I found out last week that I’m doing all of this for no reason because it turns out I don’t actually need these credits, but it’s way past the deadline to drop a class or even change the grade basis. So instead I just get bad grades. I’ve never gotten bad grades before. It’s a humbling experience. In addition to all of this, my research project has seriously picked up, and I was already behind with it so now I’m waaaaay behind, and getting behinder by the day.

So I had an exam this morning. I knew I wasn’t prepared well enough going in to it, but it was like my brain just sort of decided it had reached capacity and wasn’t interested in letting any more in, so my efforts at studying hadn’t been very helpful. Let’s just say that the exam didn’t go well and leave it at that. To ward off the impending tears I immediately took off after it was over to go run some errands. And of course the coldest rain imaginable was coming down. And just as I started to let myself get all oh poor me, I got my much needed reality check.

As I was waiting at a stoplight, I saw a blind woman get off a bus and make her way to the corner. She was having a hard time pushing a little cart of her things with one hand while using her cane to find her way with the other, all the while getting soaked by the coldest rain imaginable. She stood at the busy corner, trying to figure out if it was safe to cross the street. She decided to go and stepped off the curb right into a deep puddle of the coldest water imaginable. It startled her and she paused, and then kept going. And there were my tears again, but this time not the poor me kind. I imagined how terrified I would be if I were her, just trying to cross the street, even on a less busy corner or without the rain or the puddle. The courage it must take.

I have another exam on Thursday, this time in the class that I hate. I feel pretty certain that it too will not go well. But I also feel pretty certain that there are more important things in life than grad school. Sometimes you need to just buck up and quit your whining, and sometimes you need a little help seeing that.