Archive for September, 2012

Grading for Winners

September 22, 2012

I have had a few jobs in my life:  Babysitter, tutor, camp counselor, fry cook.  My newest job is along the lines of a couple of those old ones, but from a different side, and I don’t mean food critic or mother.  I have become the Holy Grail of college upper division jobs: a grader.  Yes, I now grade papers for a living, so I have officially become the most disjointed educator ever.  I take roll, I lead a class and write on a board for one of my jobs, and in a totally unrelated job in a different school in a different field, I grade the work of a bunch of students.  It kind of goes towards what I want to end up doing and it’s amazing experience.  Well, not necessarily amazing, but it’s enlightening for sure.  I’ve learned that one of the best forms of entertainment is grading on a Friday night, and here’s why.

How I began my evening was making tea and cracking open some delicious creme filled ginger snaps for a sugar high to keep me motivated.  Even a regular night with these two would be delicious, but I decided the cherry on my sundae of school would be a pile of papers to grade.  I got out my red pen, ready and willing to be used, and turned on Iron Man 2 (to get the right amount of ego in my system) and began.  I won’t get into the nitty gritty about what went down, but I will say I yelled…a lot.  Mostly exclamations of “What?  What the hell?”  and some tossing of paper and cursing and wishing for whiskey.  Thinking of it now, I might have some in the freezer for later…no, bad idea, I’d just become meaner.  The first, I would say, 20 papers I went through, I tried to be nice, but 21 was almost no work and just felt like the person phoned it in.  That’s when my heart began to fall and I ate a cookie.  I went on to the next paper, and it was, if anything, worse.  Even Robert Downey Jr. inventing a new atom couldn’t bring me back from these doldrums.  I finally finished the last paper, and breathed a sigh of relief.  However, did I mention that I was going only one part of one problem at a time?  No?  Well, I am.  As of right now, I’ve finished the first two parts…out of more than I’m willing to say.  I was a distance swimmer in high school, so I’m rather good at pacing myself, which I’m going to do now.  That way, when I come back to this pile of doom tomorrow, it will be with fresh, less agressive eyes.

Sound like a plan, Stan?  Too bad, because I’m going to do it anyway.  Now, where’s that whiskey…?

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How to Be a Poor College Student

September 16, 2012

I’m what is lovingly referred to as a fifth year senior, and I’m fine with that.  What I’m not fine with is that I have little to no money, but that’s what comes with college.  It’s amazing how quiet life is when you can’t afford to go out.  Like tonight, it’s just me, my textbooks and Parks and Rec.  I love Parks and Rec.  I feel for Leslie Knope, she’s kind of my soulmate.

Now here’s what I’m going to get to the point my post:  how to ENJOY being a poor college student.  I know it’s a strange kind of sentence, but it’s a skill that needs to be shared.

1.  Read.

You’re in college.  Studying is like 80% of your job anyway.  But while you can’t afford a lot of things, access to reading material is pretty simple to come by.  First of all, you’re reading right now.  (MIND=BLOWN.)  There’s also this fancy place called the library which has free books, both in paper and digital form.  Often there’s a waiting list for the more popular books through digital library downloads, but there’s always an amazing selection.

2.  Go fly a kite.

Go outside, do recreational things.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, has a few frisbees stuffed in the bottom of their closet, or like a four square ball or a basketball.  I, myself, have a wonderful kite wedged between my freebie frisbees.  I’ve had a few different awesome beach days with friends, bon fires and my kite.  The hardest thing for me to do is to get out of my house, but having toys makes it better.

3.  Cook.

The best way to stretch a buck is to make a big meal that will go a looooooooong way, and it’s wonderful to have food that tastes good when you’re low on funds.  It’s a weird kind of comfort.  Here’s a suggestion:  Food Network has a ton of food that is like take out, but it ends up being leftovers for a good amount of time.  I also just enjoy cooking in general, and it’s something to do.  Turn on some music, feel like Alton Brown and get ‘er done.

4.  Make something.

Draw, write (like I’m doing…), craft, paint, sculpt.  It’s pretty easy to use stuff that you already have to make something kind of cool.  You can always cut up a t shirt that you have but are not overly fond of and make something out of it.  Paint is cheap, paper can be cheap, glue is cheap, and it feels amazing to make something.  Knitting, while fun and an excellent way to make useful pieces, can be expensive if you’re a fiber snob like me, so enter at your own risk.

5.  Be friendly.

All the above are made infinitely better with the help of friends.  Misery loves company is an awful phrase, and I prefer to think of it in a more positive light, like I have amazing people in my life and I want to have fun and I have fun with them.

Well, there it is.  This is how I enjoy myself as a poor, sad college student.  Yes, they are all straightforward and pretty cliche, but they work.  Look at me, I am a fair happy and up beat person, even though I’m studying physics, which is another way of saying I have a high potential of being an alcoholic. AS IS LIFE.