Archive for the ‘School’ Category

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.

Here we go again

August 18, 2010

Whelp, summer is more or less over for me.  I’ve packed up my most prized possessions (including a few new ones, including a fish named Ulysses S. Grant) and hauled myself, with ample help from my family, to San Francisco.  New apartment, new roommates, new fish but lots of old and dear friends to see, so lots to do.  Some of my new roommates are those dear old friends.  I did make a few new friends though.  The mosquitoes.  I currently have a constellation on my arm, my foot, my hand and, happily, my face.  It’s a rather humbling experience, but I won’t let it ruin my happiness.

I’ve picked up a few new habits as well, like running.  I’ve never been much of a runner, unless it was for my life or at work.  You’d be surprised how often I find myself running in the capacity of kid wrangling.  Okay, maybe you do, but that’s not the point.  So yeah, I am now a running, which I feel like negates or contests my swimmer status from high school.  Maybe a better phrase would be frequent jogger.  Or a moderate speed speed-walker.  What I mean to say is, I’m not fast.  I have endurance, but speed will hopefully come later.

I think one of the most defining aspects of San Francisco is the fog.  We live in a cloud at all times, separating us from the outside world and making the myth of vampires applicable with our pasty, pasty skin.  Even Buffy would be confused here.  Anyway, yesterday was an anomaly.   There was sun, sapphire blue skies and a tingly kind of warmth in the air.  To commemorate this event, my roommate and I went to the beach, without getting in the water of course.  Those Alaskan currents aren’t worth the hypothermia it would induce if I had jumped in.  We lay on the beach chatting and reading and studying and preparing for my animation course.

Wait.

Wait a minute…did she say…animation?

OH WAIT DO I FINALLY NOW GET TO TALK ABOUT THE ACTUAL POINT OF THIS BLOG!!?  YEAH!!!

I am finally FINALLY beginning some animation courses.  Therefore, I can proudly wear the name artistic scientist.  While I began this quest possibly on the day of my birth, I feel like I’m so close to actual making some headway.  I have a portfolio review to do on Monday, so wish me luck.

I wish I could have written some prolific prose or made a more concrete essay out of this, but it’s really just an update on my life.  Believe, the next one will be insightful and all that jazz.

Just kidding!

A lot of stupid people

March 4, 2010

Disclaimer:  This is my opinion about goings on right now.  I do consider myself very liberal, but I also don’t tolerate stupidity in any form.

Right now, I’m a college student in California.  Namely, the Bay Area.  This means two things: 1.  We don’t get sunshine more than 5 times an entire semester, even if it is California and 2.  We have no money, and we’re gradually losing more and more classes and staff and facilities and funding.

Because of this fact, there’s a state-wide strike going on today for students and I think faculty.  I don’t know much about it because I’ve decided not to take part in the festivities for a few reasons.  Mostly, I came to college to educate myself about science and how to be a better artist.  Science can be a highly political subject, but for the most part it’s just geeks sitting in labs studying and reading and calculating, all things I like to do.  Art is extremely political, but on my side, I’d rather observe human interaction and record that, so the protest doesn’t even appeal to that side of me.
I also don’t agree with the tactics.  Last night, I got off work at 8 PM, went back to my dorm, and within a half hour of walking in the door and finishing my dinner, I heard quite a hoopla.  The protest, which was supposed to begin this morning at 7 AM, had kicked off at 9 PM last night.  Now, it wasn’t people with signs marching and speechifying, it was ridiculous party girls and hipster boys with a sound system blasting music and having a dance party on campus.  What are they protesting, that school isn’t fun enough?  It’s SCHOOL, it’s not supposed to be a party all the time and it’s supposed to contain some hard work.  And they ended up disrupting the people who have classes in the morning and live on campus, therefore royally pissing off people who could have been their strongest allies.  Basically, good students.

As I good student, I think I was hit by the budget cuts worst.  I want to graduate, and I put all my energy into school (if you can’t tell) and if I can’t get my classes, I can’t graduate or move forward with my degree.  Luckily, I’ve been smart about it and prioritized which classes are necessary and which are chaff, but other than that school is more difficult than it used to be.  We also have these wonderful things called FURLOUGH DAYS which are basically days where the entire campus is shut down because it was either do that, or cut more classes.  While this is a lesser of two evils, it means we have the same amount of material crammed into a shorter time, especially in the spring semester.

Back to what they did last night:  They antagonized the university police, who were only doing their job, and disrupted the sleeping patterns of their fellow students, in some cases there was vandalism and they blocked off some roads ar0und the school.  I do think that blocking off the roads, as long as it was done safely, was a good idea, but these students turned it into a street party instead of a protest.  What a bunch of frivolous shallow idiots!  Fight for your education!  Do take some control over the school, but don’t fight the people who just want to go to class and learn something.  Orchestrate teach-ins or something.  School is about education, and I do think the system is flawed, and I do think these students were an excellent example of what comes out of a flawed education system:  Idiots.  If that was their goal, to look ridiculous, they did a great job. However, if their goal was to show to the administration that they were upset, they didn’t quite reach that goal.

The next part of the strike is going to commence at 5 PM towards City Hall, in conjunction with a few other schools in the area.  So, even though I had planned for a night out downtown, I’m going to stay as far away from there as possible and stay in and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I don’t feel safe in that crowd, so I’m going to do my best to stay as far away from it as humanly possible.

I’ll keep you guys posted on the newest…news throughout the day.  Here’s hoping I can actually get to class.

I’ll add pictures once I get some of the protest.

Grade grubbing and my anxieties…

February 27, 2010

Yes, I’m a grade grubber.  I’m not afraid to admit it.  I’m your typical type A, straight A, AP student with achievement on the brain.  So when I get something less than perfection, I kind of lose it, like yesterday. I didn’t do well on a calculus 3 test, so I got really upset and called my father and my sister.  I wanted to kind of just give up on school.  In my little messed up brain, I thought that what’s the point of going to college if I can’t be the best and excel at everything?  Basically, I’m crazy, neurotic and an Asian child in a white girl’s body.

What people like me need to learn is the point of school is learning, not grades.  I have found that I learn best by making mistakes.  If I mess up on something, I never forget what I did wrong, and basically, I never make the same mistake twice.  I think I learned that from my dad.  When I was little, I learned how to roller blade, and I would fall all the time.  I’d have bruises and cuts, but I didn’t really cry when I fell.  My dad said that by falling, I was learning.  And it was true.  Next time I went out on my skates, I wouldn’t fall the same way ever again.  I’d figure out a new way to fall, and by doing so, I’d improve.  Now that I know what I did wrong on that test, I know what I need to learn better.  I’m still disappointed in myself, and so I spent about 6 hours yesterday studying and doing homework but the good news about that is, I feel like I have a better grasp on the material that is being presented to us.

I guess the point of all this is the fact that instead of sulking and feeling defeated by one bad grade, I’m going to come out swinging and do better on the next test and work even harder.  I have gotten in the habit of not working as hard as I used to in college, because I didn’t need to.  But now, I’m ready to get back on the horse, and it actually felt really good to study that hard.

I’m insane.

AND NOW picture time.

A fine lesson in procrastination

February 11, 2010

Well, here we are world…first post.

Anticlimactic, ain’t it?

Basically, I’m going to give a quick lesson in procrastination as I’ve perfected it.  It might not work for you, but I’ve found that it helps keep me on my toes and keep an adequate stress level.
First:  You need an assignment.  Now, you can want to do this assignment or not.  Doesn’t matter.  Right now, I have a calculus assignment that’s due tomorrow evening as well as a physics online quiz, also due tomorrow evening.  So there are my assignments.

Second:  Don’t do them.  If you find yourself with free time during your day, do something else instead.   The assignments will be there when you get back for the most part, and there’s always time to do them later.  Until your boyfriend calls and wants to go out.  Or your friend needs help with the very assignment you’re avoiding.  Or maybe your roommates want to go to the movies with you. Oh great, now you have to go to work.  Wait, there’s a party tonight?

Third:  Start running out of time.  All those little time killing activities have begun to build up and build up until your due date has become a deadline.  Now, if you feel stressed out and like you want to strangle small animals and cry, you’re doing it right.  Those who truly procrastinate as a way of life will still avoid the assignment at this point, and decide to do it once they calm down a little bit.
Fourth:  Frantically try to complete the assignment as each tick of the clock kills more precious time, which you need more than anything at this point.  Watch as time slips further and further away as you find that you only have one minute to finish 4 problems for your online assignment, and those due dates are not soft and fluffy and kind like the ones professors tend to make for turn in assignments.  You press submit for any work you have and call it a day with your bare minimum amount of work.

And finally:  Blame the professor for you poor grade.  It wasn’t your fault you didn’t have time to complete the assignment.  Seriously, the due date was unrealistic.  Didn’t he know that you had a big soiree this weekend, or that Avatar just came out?  Seriously, how is homework supposed to compete with that?

Hope these easy steps could help you not complete your homework on time and scrape by in school!

And now, a picture, which I shall endeavor to include in all my posts.

He procrastinated.  Doesn't he look happy?

My best friend.