Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Twas the Night Before Finals

It is the night before finals and I am staying up late studying. But I'm interrupting my regularly scheduled studying to bring you a poem I found in my filing cabinet that I had saved from my freshman year way-back-when. It's aptly titled "The Night Before Finals" (author unknown).

'Twas the night before finals,
And all through the college,
The students were praying,
For last minute knowledge.

Most were quite sleepy,
But none touched their beds,
While visions of essays
Danced in their heads.

Out of the taverns
A few were still drinking,
And hoping that liquor
Would loosen their thinking.

In my apartment,
I had been pacing,
And dreading exams,
I soon would be facing.

My roommate was speechless
Her nose in the books
And my comments to her
Drew unfriendly looks.

I drained all the coffee
And brewed a new pot,
No longer caring
That my nerves were shot.

I started at my notes,
But my thoughts were muddy,
My eyes were ablur,
I just couldn't study.

"Some pizza might help,"
I said with a shiver.
But each place I called
Refused to deliver.

I'd nearly concluded
That life was too cruel,
With futures depending
On grades had in school.

When all of the sudden,
Our door opened wide,
And Patron Saint Put It Off
Ambled inside.

His spirit was careless,
His manner was mellow,
A grin on his face as
He started to bellow:

"What kind of student
Would make such a fuss,
To toss back at teachers
What they tossed at us?"

"On Cliff Notes! On Crib Notes!
On Last Year's Exams!
On Wingit and Slingit,
And Last Minute Crams!"

His message delivered,
He vanished from sight,
But we heard him laughing
Outside in the night.

"Your teachers have pegged you,
So just do your best.
Happy Finals to all,
And to all, a good test."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How the Economy Effects College Students

Maybe I should amend that title to say, "How the Economy Effects This College Student."

I've never been a person to get all out-of-shape about the economy. I mean, "what goes up, must come down," right? But I've got to tell you, with the rising cost of eggs, milk, gas, paper,'s starting to become a real bummer.

How has it effected me? Well, we sold our large SUV because we had to have something more fuel-efficient especially since I will spend the next two semesters putting 10,000 miles on a car just traveling to class and back.

Conveniently, since everything else is skyrocketing, tuition is also going up at least 9%. Man....couldn't they have waited a year? I would have everything finished in a year!!

Sometimes I think about how much money I would have saved had I finished my degree in my early 20s. Then again, even with a tuition hike I won't be anywhere near what tuition costs were for my first year of college back in 1995 when I was attending a private liberal arts school.

What am I complaining about anyway? I won't stop buying eggs. I won't stop buying gasoline. I won't stop paying for tuition.

It'd just be nice to have a little wiggle room, KWIM?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Four Hours in a Car

Today was an unusual day. I did the daily commute to school...twice. Yep, I spent four hours in the car (and at these gas prices! Ouch!).

I really haven't minded commuting. My department doesn't schedule 8 a.m. classes (God bless 'em!) and it's actually kind of nice to be stuck in a quiet car for an hour alone (if there were kids on board, that might be a totally different story). But today was one of those days when I wished that I just lived down the street. I went to class, came home and did two hours of hard-n-heavy housecleaning, threw on some fresh clothes and left for the theatre department's production of "Daddy's Dyin' Who's Got the Will" (it for for a class requirement, but I would have wanted to go anyway).

Days like this make me look back and groan. I once worked on a university campus in my early 20's (I even had free tuition if I wanted it. *ugh*). Then I moved to a small town that was only 15 or 20 minutes from a nice university. (*ugh* x 2)

I guess hindsight is 20/20....but in all honesty, I couldn't have been a student in those days (I could have but it would have meant giving up other important things that weren't worth sacrificing).

So, the commute continues. Luckily for me, I see a stop sign in the near future!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The End of Semester Crunch

I distinctly remember posting about how "dead" things were for me at the beginning of the semester. I also remember wondering if it would all come back to haunt me in an end of semester overload.

It did.

In fact, I had an awesome opportunity to fly down to Baton Rouge to shoot a wedding with another photographer this weekend, but I ended up having to stay at home with my butt glued to my office chair and my face planted in front of the computer.

I will resist morphing into Chicken Little ("The sky is falling! The sky is falling!") but some days, it feels like it is.

I'm scrambling to come up with enough hours for my internship (which I thought might be a problem), but I think it's going to work out after spending several more days in front of the computer and hoping that my butt doesn't become welded to my office chair like that lady on the toilet seat (Eww!)!

My husband cleared his calendar so he could have an official "do nothing" weekend and I was plenty jealous. But the show must go on...

Thank heavens there are only 3 class days left for me (one of which I will be missing this week).

Oh my gosh! THREE days left? Can my calendar be deceiving me? I've just gone into serious panic mode!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's the Little Things

At the beginning of the semester, my History instructor mentioned that we could earn 5 extra points by answering the questions at the back of each chapter in our books.

"Why would I want to do that?" I thought. It was almost as absurd as suggesting we actually READ the book! "All that hassle for 5 measly points? No way, Jose!"

Then came the first test and I discovered she was a teacher that required you to memorize every detail of our lecture notes. I still had made a B, but you know me....a perfectionist never settles for a B. I started thinking that maybe those 5 measly points might be worth the trouble after all.

Know what? They were.

Turns out that 5 little points can turn a B into an A. 5 little points can turn a 95 into a 100. Even if I wasn't so hung up on perfection, it would still be worth the time to get the 5 little points because it takes the stress off of you during a test, knowing that you have some room for error.

And the kicker? The questions at the end of each chapter have the answers listed in the back of the book. So yes, I was just that lazy...but I have since reformed! :)

The moral of the story is to take care of the little things b/c the little things have a greater impact than you think! (Oh man , I could get all philosophical with that one...)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It Still Feels Good

I can't help it: I'm a perfectionist. So, when I get an "A"--particularly a 100 on a paper or test--I'm jubilant! It only lasts a second before I start worrying about what my next grade will be or start averaging out what my final grade will be if only I make an "A" on the rest of my assignments, but for one glorious second, it feels good!!

I just got an A on my theatre review. Here's to hoping I will have more cause for celebration this week when I get my history and communications tests back. (Ugh--they were both on given on the same day only an hour apart. No fun!)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

So Annoying

There's a girl in my history class who comes in every class day wearing slippers (a.k.a. "houseshoes"). This annoys me to no end. I might be a little more understanding if she was coming in late or was sick or it just happened a couple of times instead of EVERY class period. She comes to class fully bathed and fully dressed. What? She couldn't find five more seconds in her getting-dressed routine to put on a pair of acceptable shoes? I'm all about comfort, but a pair of tennis shoes or Crocs are more comfy than slippers in my opinion.

I also might be a little more forgiving if she didn't insist on dragging her feet and shuffling them across the floor (that sound is so aggravating).

Sadly, this takes me back to the second semester of my freshman year. I was commuting 45 minutes to school each day and working late at night so it was hard to drag myself out of bed early in the morning. I started looking for short-cuts and soon began wearing a baseball cap to school religiously (at least they were still cool for girls to wear back then). One day, a guy in my class asked me why I always wore a cap. I wanted to hit him or at least give him a long lecture about the many obligations and responsibilities in my life that he didn't have to deal with in his parent-funded, happy little existence.

Maybe I should give the slipper girl a break. (But the least she could do is pick up those feet when she walks!)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Two of My Most Favorite University Resources

The library & the gym.

Lately, I've fallen in love again with reading (probably because I don't have a ton of required reading to do this semester) and I have taken full advantage of my university's library. I bet half the students only step foot in the library to look for research paper materials and never again. That's so sad! There are LOTS of great things in the library. I am a lover of nonfiction books, so there are plenty to keep me excited. I have recently fallen in love with the audio books section. It is a new section of the library so it's not very large, but it's wonderful for a long-distance commuter like myself. They have a great variety from fiction, nonfiction, history, self-help, name it. Study rooms are a favorite resource for me on test days, and, of course, there's also the most used resource at the library: internet access. You can even use internet access to go to the library's web page which has a ton of useful links (card catalog, check your due dates, etc.) but you can even gain access to free e-book downloads as well. Probably the best resource in the entire library is the reference librarians. Oh my gosh---they are SO helpful! When I was writing my last big paper in the fall, the reference librarian saved me hours of research trying to dig up sources and/or information. He was even so specific, he gave me page numbers of the books I was to look up!

My other favorite university resource is the wellness center (gym). I live nowhere near a gym nor would I want to shell out money for a gym membership when I have a fantastic wellness center on campus that I can use for free! It's filled with the latest cardio equipment and weight systems plus an indoor walking track, basketball court (okay, I'll never use that one), and even a rock climbing wall. How cool is that? (I've GOT to try it before I graduate). Luckily for me, I usually use the gym at noon after I get out of class and it is pretty slow at that time of the day. That means I get first dibs on selecting the channels to watch on tv!

Did I mention that all these things are FREE??? Oh yea...I'm taking advantage while I can.