Day 102

Once again: what a day.  It seems like so long ago when I woke up.

I got up around 8 and did some work around here.  I decided that I'm going to start reading my bible every morning.  Just one chapter a day, starting in John.  It's been a while since I last read through my bible.  So that was good.  I had to make my lunch because I forgot to do it last night.  I also did some reading for Math and its Applications.  Next week I'm going to start the section on Fair Division, so I'm getting that lesson planned.

I went to the office around 10.  For the first hour I worked on my lesson plan.  I think that what I'm going to end up doing is plan for the whole week and be prepared to just see how far I can get on Tuesday.  If they get it easily then I'll keep going, but if they more time to work on it then I can adapt to what they need.  There are 3 main ideas that I'm planning on covering that first day (types of dividable quantities, 2 person division, and 3 person division), but if I can't get to 3 person division then I'll finish that on Thursday and start on section 2. It's really weird because I have to split 3 sections between 4 days.  For the second hour in the office I worked on Math Finance.  Each column of seats in our class was assigned two problems to present tomorrow so I got my two done during that hour.

After I was done working I went over the the Bursar's office to see why I still had a balance on my account when my assistantship covers my tuition.  So I went over there and the nice lady at the desk told me that everything was covered.  I also have some student fees to pay, but she said that my assistantship allows me to postpone payment until October.  She gave me a few options, but the one I remember was "You don't have to pay by tomorrow." I was so relieved for that that I didn't really care what else happened.  I just know I have a month to worry about it :)

I worked out after that.  Shoulders and back today.  I really don't like working my back out because I don't feel like there are many different muscles to work out.  But oh well.  I'm taking tomorrow off since I don't get off work until 2.

When I was done working out I came back, showered, and worked some more on math finance.  Then it was off to class!  i was going to get to class early to go over the homework before class started, but apparently I missed the memo that we weren't meeting in class, we were meeting elsewhere.  Oh well.

After class I had dinner and did some homework.  Then I did some more homework.  Then I talked with Dustin about the homework.  Then with Kathryn. And Tim.  Then both of them.  Bleh.  I do not like homework.  Just a few minutes ago I was texting Dustin saying how we have the mental ability to do the work and even (usually) the time.  But by the end of the day our brains are just so worn out that we can't use them anymore.  It's very frustrating.

Yeah.  So I'm going to bed now.  Night!

Day 101

Oh goodness.  What a day.

It started off like most others.  I was running a little bit late but got to math finance on time.  Between classes I went to the post office to send the book that I sold on half.com.  I had a little bit of trouble finding it but someone at a help counter was able to help me out.  So I got my book sent off!  It seems that the estimated weight on Amazon was low so I had to pay for a little extra postage (I used the pre-paid Paypal postage).  I didn't care... I just wanted to get rid of the stupid book.  Life contingencies went well.  Just learning more notation and equations.

So then... I had to teach.  That didn't go so well.  Apparently the homework I assigned for them to do over the weekend took them all 3 -4 hours.  In their defense it was a long assignment.  And I hadn't gotten a chance to finish everything that I had planned on doing.  I felt really bad, but some of them weren't really helping any.  I guess they seem to think I know what I'm doing.  I don't.  So we just spent the period going over homework problems...which was not at all how I had planned on doing things.  So after class a couple of the guys came up to me and just said that I was doing a fine job and to ignore the trouble kids....that the kids who kept complaining just wanted a free hand out.  And they both gave me a hug.  I felt better :)  But I think I'm just going to have to start doing more examples.  And assign slightly shorter assignments.  Over lunch I reworked the schedule for Thursday.  I think it should be better.

After lunch I went to go work out.  I felt better after that.  Then I came back, took a shower, and started doing some grading.  I decided to just do this assignment on completion since so many of them had a hard time with it...and since I didn't go over all of it in class.  I guess I really shouldn't have the same expectations for my students that my math professors had for me.  That really isn't fair.  It's just difficult for me to determine how hard everything is for them.  Anyhow, that's all over.  And working out went well.  I focused on chest today.  I'm starting to like working my chest muscles out more, now that I know what I'm doing and have some sort of routine.

When I got back to my apartment I showered and started grading homework.  Then I began planning my lesson for next week.  I think that I'm going to start doing more of my lesson work on the weekends and more homework during the week.  We'll see how that goes.  I haven't been here for a weekend yet so I don't know what they will be like.

I made meatloaf for dinner.  And au gratin potatoes.  The box mix for the potatoes seemed to not make very many... oh well.  The meatloaf will be dinner for two more nights and the potatoes will last me one more night.  I seasoned the meatloaf with green onion and chili spice.  It's really good.

After dinner I did some homework, then Erica and I went to Tim's small group. Well, it's not really his small group but he was the only person I knew besides Erica.  I liked the people there.  I felt a little out of place at first because everyone seemed to be in their late twenties and was married or had a kid.  Except for me.  And I really don't like meeting new people.  I have no idea how I've made it this far in life... Well I do.  But that doesn't change the fact that I don't like meeting new people.  But it was fun.  We just socialized for a while then began discussing what content to go over during the course of the study. I think we're going to do a book... and see how that goes?  I had to leave at 9 to go study more.

Before continuing studying Erica and I decided to go cheer Kathryn up because she'd had a bad day.  So we brought ice cream sandwiches and flowers and surprised her at her apartment.  I don't think she knew what to do.  But she was very excited to see us.  And ice cream and flowers.  I honestly think that just about everyone would feel better if someone brought them ice cream and flowers.  Even most guys would feel better.  You can't receive flowers and scoff at them.  They're flowers.  Everyone likes them.  Anyhow, after that quick side trip it was back to studying.  I'm so over proofs.  I do not like them.  I just want to apply the proofs that someone else has done.  I'm good at that.

Oh well.  I'm tired and rambling.  Until next time: good night.


Day 100

Huh.  I've been doing this for 100 days.  Interesting.  Today didn't really feel any different.  Apparently my blog is not linked to my destiny.  Or at least the number of posts that are multiples of 100.

Today was a long day.  I woke up a little late but still got to class on time.  When Mr. Frye got there he informed us that any of the GAs could use their key to open the door.  Timbo checked and verified that it did, indeed, open the door. So now we don't have to sit in the hall until 8:05 when Mr. Frye shows up.

Between classes I gave some paperwork to the math department, read some Life Contingencies, then printed off my invoice/label for the book I sold on half.com.  I finished that just in time to get to class.  It was pretty tricky to use the computer I was using because the m, l, and ; keys very not responding very well.  So that was exciting, but I got it working.  And made it to class.

After class I went to my office and ate lunch.  It was good.  I used poultry seasoning and basil to flavor my chicken and it tastes really good.  I can't really taste the green onion, which makes me sad.  Timbo's office is near mine, so I talked with him for a little bit as he wandered about.  After lunch I went to the gym to work out.  It wasn't very crowded so that was nice.  I was able to do my workout and not feel very crowded or anything.  After I was done I ran into my friend Liz.  She had taken the bus to class and lives in my apartment complex so I gave her a ride back.

When I got back to my apartment I showered and did some cleaning.  I was going to take my rent down to the office but apparently Chase Quickpay takes 3 business days to complete the transaction.  I guess "quick" means "3 business days."  Rent isn't due for a few more days, so I'm not concerned.  I just wanted to get it done early if I could.  Then I tried to find the post office. Apparently there are multiple post offices on campus.  And apparently I could find none of them.  So... yay.  Google navigation sent me to two places that were not post offices.  Blargh.  I found out in class from Jordan that there is a post office in the student center.  So I need to go find that after class in the morning.

Math statistics was fine.  Nothing too eventful.  It just went.  When it was over I gave Kathryn a ride back to her apartment since she rode the bus.  She was having a rough day today so I tried to cheer her up by drawing a picture of a flower.  It didn't work.  At this point I was out of ideas so I gave up.  When I got back to my apartment I had dinner (corn chowder) and played team fortress for a little bit.  I needed to not think for a few minutes.  After I was done eating I talked with Clifton for a while about... life.  I enjoy talk


Day 99

What a day.  I left Mount Vernon around 8:30 and got back to Muncie around... 12?  Between 11:30 and 12.  Nothing too eventful happened.  It just went.  I got gas on the way back and I guess I ended up getting 33 miles to the gallone... not 37.  But I was still happy.

When I got back I showered, got some lunch, then went grocery shopping.  When I got back and had put everything away I finished up my lesson plan for the week and sent it off to Dr. Begum. I also made some chicken for the week.  I don't think the chicken breasts I got today were quite as thick as the last ones I got.  But that's ok because I got more of them.  I think I cooked them in.. basil and poultry seasoning?  We'll see how that goes.

After dinner I went to go study with people.  Dustin came this time.  I have affectionately nicknamed him "Pops" because he is the oldest of our group (he's 29).  In other news, after talking with some of my friends in the study group I feel like I'm actually able to handle myself on my own at least decently.  Especially in the kitchen.  Apparently the idea of "decide what you want to eat for the week then go get that food" is not common sense.  It appears that some in my group try the "get food and hope I can make dinner out of it" approach.  Tim and I decided we need to put on cooking seminars for our friends.

I got back from studying around 9:30 or so.  I cleaned up a little bit then played Team Fortress with Adam for a little bit.  My productivity level for the day is done.  So now I'm going to pack a lunch and go to bed!


Day 98

Long day today. Kimmy left this morning around... 630? She had to be at Mount Vernon at 10 so she could start moving in to school. I got up around 7 and got ready to head out. I had to leave by 830 so I could be in mount vernon by 12ish.
I had a pretty uneventful trip. I decided to drive with the windows down to get better gas mileage since I hadn't really been happy with what I'd been getting. So I filled up near Richmond, Indiana at some little nothing town. From there I headed onward! I had been getting about 25 miles to the gallon previously... So not awful but I figured I could do better. And I did! I think I ended up getting... About 36 or so miles to the gallon? I was happy.
Let's see. We got to Akron about 15 minutes before the wedding started. Rachel and Trevor (friends from mount vernon) got married today. It was really nice. There were a lot of people I knew from school... Some of them I hadn't seen forever. Like Dustin... I don't think I'd seen him for about 2 years. But yeah. I had a lot of fun at the wedding. The food was good and there was lots of dancing! I really had a lot of fun. I mean... Friends,  dressing all fancy, excellent food, dancing. It was good. And I got to teach someone swing! Kimmy and I were doing the swing and afterwards one of Rachel lite cousins came up to me and said "She (pointing to a bridesmaid) wants you to teach her to dance." So I taught her to swing!
So yeah. Lots of fun. And now I'm back in Mount vernon tonight. Woo!

Day 97

Alright.  Yesterday.  Yesterday was a really good day.  Math finance went... about normal.  We're starting to get into new stuff so that's been good.  I had a meeting for all the GAs with teaching jobs after math finance.  We talked about teaching strategies, problems, surprises, and things of that nature.  I shared that I was very surprised at how well behaved everyone was.  But I think that it's because I scared them with my syllabus.  It's very strict and firmly states that I won't put up with their shenanigans.  So they've been really good.  One of the other GAs made me laugh.  He had this really confused look on his face and he said "Some of my students just don't show up to class on occasion.  And others won't do homework!  I don't really understand why."  I decided that he didn't know many people during his years at undergrad.

Life contingencies also went really well today.  We spent the first five or ten minutes of class talking about the upcoming job fair and whether any of us stood a chance at ever getting jobs.  Mr. Dean (the professor and the actuarial science adviser) told us that even if we haven't taken any exams, we have a chance of getting at least an interview if we have evidence of good people skills and good grades on our resumes.  He also told us that if we've taken the first few exams we're almost 100% guaranteed to get a job.  The people at the job fairs aren't going to just look at the best two students and tell the rest of us to go work at McDonald's.  It was just very encouraging that if we do well and pass the test we're apparently guaranteed to get jobs.  I guess that before the recession he had a 100% job placement rate after graduation.  He said that it's slowly increasing from the recession, but his best bet was that after graduation half of us (a conservative guess) would have jobs and the other half would have jobs in the following few months.  Now I just need to pass the actuarial exams...

After class I came back to my apartment and Kimmy and I got lunch.  After lunch I did some work on my calendar to schedule preparation and homework times.  Then I did some grading and various blackboard work.  I felt bad for Kimmy that I didn't have time to do much of anything... but this first week has been busy because of on getting the books until Wednesday.

We went to Jessie's for dinner of spaghetti and meatballs.  Richard had something with his department so he couldn't join.  Dinner was good.  I feel like I've been talk a lot about what's going on in my life recently.  Like more than normal.  It's weird.  Anyhow, when Richard came back he had do go for a long run and Jessie was going to ride her bike with him.  So Kimmy and I came back to my apartment while they did that.  I did some statistics homework.  Woo.  Then around 9:30 we went back over to Jessie's for dessert!  It was yummy.  Then Kimmy and I came back around 10:15 and it was bed time.  Yay early bed time on Friday night!


Day 96

Oh, what a day.  I feel like most of them are becoming such things.

This morning I had math finance and life contingencies.  They were fine.  We talked more about interest in math finance (woo....).  Between classes I went up to my office and read some for life contingencies.  When I got to that class we were reminded yet again that getting an A in the class means nothing.  So you know... that's comforting.  Someone did come it to tell us about an upcoming resume building seminar next Thursday, so I'll be sure to to go that.  Mr. Dean (the professor) said that they look really highly on interviewers who have documented experience working with people and being in charge of people.  So I'm hoping that my classroom teaching experiences will be beneficial, especially since I haven't taken any of the actuarial exams.  Mr. Dean also mentioned that internships that become jobs are becoming more common... so I depending on how things go there's a chance that I might not be graduating until next winter.  A little inconvenient, but if if that's what it takes to get a job then I guess I'll have to do it.

After life contingencies (which I'm thankfully starting to pick up on) I taught my class.  It went really well.  After I took roll I started off talking about learning styles.  I told my class that I have no problem lecturing for an hour but I was certain that none of them learned best that way.  So we had a really good talk about how they learn best and ways that I can present that will help them understand.  After that I read them a story from the Book of Virtues.  A couple people had heard of it.  I read them the story of Genghis Khan and his hawk.  It's about self discipline.  They all clapped when I was done :)  When I'd finished reading I got on with the lecture.  I really liked how it went.  They are very respectful while I'm talking but are very quick to ask questions are add when appropriate.  If this keeps up it will be a very good semester.

When class was over I went to my office to eat a quick lunch.  I had a meeting at 1 about the project for my class.  That went ok.  It was a meeting.  We spent 20 minutes discussing why a rubric with 4 standards worth a possible 4 points per standard (for a maximum possible score of 16) was being broken up into "exemplary," "sufficient," and "not sufficient."  It just seemed like someone could have made a decision and just told the rest of us.  Oh well.

I came back to my apartment after that and started working on homework.  More reading, more writing definitions.  Around 3:30 I made a meatloaf for dinner.  Then Kimmy came around...4ish?  So that was lovely :)  We had dinner (meatloaf and mashed potatoes!) and it was tasty.  Then I did some more homework.  Kimmy is nice.  She started grading my homework for me so I had more time to do other work.  She's good to me.

Around 6:30 I had to leave to go do homework with people.  I think there were 9 of us.  I really liked that group.  Dustin was going to join us but he had a meeting he had to attend.  I asked him in class today if he was a group study-er or a lone wolf and he said "well... I'm really just shy."  So I invited him.  I think we finally decided to be done around 9:30 or so.  And now I'm back.  And I'm going to bed.


Day 95

Hm, let's see.  I liked today.  It was a good day.

It started off with me waking up around 7:30 or 8.  And instead of being responsible and working out, I was irresponsible and played Team Fortress.  And I worked on my class for tomorrow, so I wasn't totally irresponsible.

Around 9:30 I went to my office since I had to be there at 10.  And there I sat for the next two hours in case any of my students needed help (though I knew they wouldn't).  I started working on my classes for next week and got Tuesday lesson just about done.  I just need to put a homework assignment together.  When I was done I came back and left over chicken and rice for lunch.  It was good.  I put some soy sauce and chili spice on it.  That was a really good choice.

After lunch I spent some time trying to get Amazon student working.  Last year I had Amazon prime for free since I was a student and I thought that if I changed my email address it would give me another free year.  That is incorrect.  So I might just have to start a new amazon account for my ball state email address.

I had class at 4.  That was more review, some new stuff, but mostly Dr. Begum going over some proofs.  I've never liked going over proofs in class, but it's good to know the theory.  It's just not a favorite pastime of mine.  After class I was talking with Kathrine as we were leaving class about how we don't like having this class from 4 - 6 because it runs over dinner time!  She mentioned that she's not a very good cook so I figured I would be nice and invite her over for some of my amazing gourmet cooking.  And by that I mean spaghetti.  So She came over and I made spaghetti.  And it was tasty.  Then we just sat around and talked for a while.  Andre joined us when he came back.  Some girl was going around collecting money for the Veterans Association, so I gave her my one dollar in cash and we talked with her for a while.

And now it's bed time.  Yay teaching again tomorrow!  Night all!

Day 94

Today was exciting.  I had math finance this morning and we talked about compound interest.  Nothing new, but a good review.  Between classes had to go make some copies of my syllabus for my class at 11.  So I found the computer lab and printed some stuff off.  While I was there I talked with another G.A. who is teaching the same class... his name is James.  He was telling me that he had never taught anything before and didn't know what he was doing.  I felt really bad for him... he was teaching an 8am class for freshmen, he'd never taught before, and I can't say with certainty that English is his first language.  So I tried to help him out a little bit.  He asked to see my syllabus and notes so I showed them all to him, I explained how I picked the chapters that I did, and I also gave him a couple tips on keeping the student's attention at 8 in the morning.

After I made copies I just walked around outside for a little bit until Life Contingencies started.  I got there a little early and talked with Jacob for a bit.  He studied chemistry and math, but realized that he didn't want to spend the rest of his life in a lab... so he's going into math!  When we got in the classroom I talked with Erica and Jordan about making a study group.  I also (jokingly) asked our professor... but I don't think he caught that it was a joke.

After that class was over I briefly talked with Erica about meeting to work on stuff tonight... but that I had to teach in 5 minutes.  So i gave her my phone number and told her to let me know if anyone wanted to do homework.  As I was leaving Tim and Yu approached me about getting together to study.  I learned later that after I left about 7 people approached Erica about joining our study group.  Which is precisely what I expected to happen.

So my class.  It was fun.  As I walked into the room (which was completely full when I got there) I asked the first guy in the door if this was for MATHS 125.  He assured me that it was.  So as I walked to the front of the room I could see the realization hit him that I was teaching... he laughed a lot.  No one else had any idea what was going on.  It was funny.  So I started the lecture by passing the syllabus out, introducing myself, and reading over the syllabus.  Courtesy of Becky, I did in fact introduce myself as Postmaster Pagano.  I think it might stick.  We'll see.  After I'd read over the syllabus and explained everything I asked if they had any questions.  So they asked about what I was studying, why I was teaching, and stuff like that.  I asked them if they would mind if I read some stories to them from the Book of Virtues and they were all ok with that.  So I'm going to start with that on Thursday.  I also forgot to ask if anyone had any exciting news to share.  Oh well.  I'd like to start every class that way.  I also went through my material way faster than I anticipated.  I had no idea how intelligent they would be or how long it would take. I learned.  It didn't take long.  So I'll probably plan for more on Thursday.  Definitely more examples.  I ended up finishing about 30 minutes early... oh well :)

After class I came back to my apartment and ate lunch.  Around 2 Erica and I went to go explore downtown since neither of us had really gotten a chance to see what was down there.  Yeah... not a whole lot.  We did find this kitchen store and I talked with the lady who worked there for a bit.  I'd asked her what one thing everyone should have.  I figured that would get her talking about everything, which it did.  So about ten minutes later we left... mainly because she had to take a phone call.  So we walked around for a while looking for anything interesting.  Then we came back.

When I got back I cleaned up a little then started making dinner, which was stir-fry tonight.  I had just started when Jessie called to see if she could come over while the repair guy worked on their toilet.  So I invited her to eat as well.  When I was making the rice I kind of forgot that I was supposed to measure how much water I used... I'm used to making pasta.  So that was exciting.  But it tasted ok.  I got the reduced sodium soy sauce from the store.  That was a terrible choice.  But it turned out alright.  It was kinda hard without a wok, but I managed.

At 7 I went to go do homework with people.  This consisted of us finding a study room, spending about 30 minutes working on/discussing the first few problems...then realizing that we hadn't covered anything else.  So we spent the next... 40 minutes or so trying to read the book and figure some more out. But that didn't go well.  I haven't gotten my book yet so I haven't read any of it.  That would have helped a lot.  Oh well.  It should be here tomorrow.

When I got back I was too frustrated from studying/discussing how scary the exams are that I didn't want to do anything.  So I ate some celery and played Team Fortress.

Overall it was a pretty good day.  The exams are a bit stressful... but such is life.  We'll figure something out.  But I'm going to bed now.


Day 93

First day of class.  Woo!  And what a day it was...

I woke up around 6:20 and couldn't fall back asleep.  So I got up and showered.  I was pretty nervous about my first day of classes.  Since I didn't have a parking pass yet I had to park in the garage.  That was an adventure because I didn't know where I was allowed to park and how prepaying worked... or anything.  I felt so silly.  I also copied down what I considered to be important information so that I could get my parking permit between classes.

So I got to my first class around 7:45 and there were already about 10 people waiting in the hall.  I recognized a couple of them from the G.A. meeting I went to on Friday.  I asked the people standing around whether anyone had tried the door and one of the guys, I think his name is David, said he had tried.  Then he asked me if I had heard of the "bars experiment," where scientists had a group of 9 people, 8 of whom were actually researchers as well.  The 8 basically just had to give false information when comparing the sizes of bar (like saying that the bar that was clearly the smallest was actually the largest) to see if the actual participant would follow.  Anyhow, I had heard of it, so I asked David if this was a test, and whether he had actually tried the door.  He claimed he had, but after the story I was uncertain.

The door was in fact locked.

Our professor finally got there right at 8.  So we were seated and he started class.  Today's class was just a review of simple interest.  I was kind of bored... this was something we had all done in 8th grade.  But I learned that apparently the Ball State book store didn't have the right books on the website.  So I had one book I needed but not the one we would be using for the majority of the class.  Blargh.  Oh well.  So after class I scurried over to get my parking pass (after going to the wrong building) and there was a really long line.  Probably about... 25 people?  So I filled out the information card and waited in line.  By this time it was about 9:15... and I had class at 10.  The line moved pretty quickly and I was on my way out around 9:35.  On my way to the parking garage I ran into a couple girls that recognized me from the first class.  So I talked with them for a couple minutes.  Their names were Senzeni and Yu, I believe.  Anyhow, I talked with them, then scurried off to move Pegasus before class started.  Obviously all of these things are on opposite sides of campus.  So I got Pegasus, drove to the commuter parking lot, and got to class with about 5 minutes to spare.  

Both classes had pretty much the same people in it (first class was Mathematical Finance and this one was Life Contingencies I).  They saved me a seat in the second row.  My new friends are so thoughtful :)  Since I had the wrong book for this class as well (thank you BSU bookstore...) I tried to buy it via the Amazon app on my phone before class started.  I accidentally hit "one-click buy," which was going to ship the book to Mount Vernon (since that's where I had it set to ship).  This was not where I wanted my book, so I tried to cancel the order... but something went wrong.  So I had to sit through the entire class with the fear that I had just ordered a book to the wrong place and it would take forever to get to me.... So I was not happy.  Anyhow, this professor was a bit intimidating.  Not only did he (in the nicest way possible) inform us that getting an A in these classes in no way guaranteed us of passing the Actuarial exams.  If we got an A, the information seemed "trivial," and we studied up until the day of the class we "should do alright."  So...you know, I feel great about all of this.  Too late to go back now!  Let's do this thing.  But basically by the end of the week we're supposed to read the first two chapters thoroughly and do all the practice problems.  And memorize all the definitions.  And by "thorough," I mean that he mentioned how "often questions on the actuarial exam come from the footnotes."  Boy, this sounds like a jolly good time!

After that business was over, I headed over to the graduate department so I can get paid!  Thankfully my Amazon order did get canceled, by the by.  So I got to the grad office, filled out some paper work, discovered that even though I'm not going to have an assistanship over the summer I will be getting my tuition remitted.  So that's exciting.  When I'd finished up there I went back to my apartment to eat lunch and order some new books... oh joy.  My life contingencies book should be here on Wednesday.  My math finance book... hopefully Thursday or Friday.  I purposely picked someone who was shipping it out of Indiana.

Um... around 2 I went to go run some errands.  I had to stop by Wal-mart to get some folders and soy sauce for dinner tomorrow (the folders are not for dinner).  Then I went back to campus to figure out what my classroom tomorrow is going to be like.  Apparently these rooms are not set up with computers...so no powerpoint.  We're going old school!  That will definitely eliminate some prep time, thankfully.  I had some time to kill (I had intended on working on my powerpoint) so I tried to get my desk key... but apparently that desk does not have a key.  Or the secretary couldn't find it.  But she put an order in for a new key for me.  So yay!

My last class (Mathematical Theory of Statistics) is taught by my faculty mentor, Dr. Begum.  I have the right book!  Yay!  Umm... this class was also a bit slow.  We had a review of basic set theory... most of us were pretty bored but we all very dutifully took notes.  After class I showed Erica where her office is (since it's near mine).  She made the same mistake that I did in thinking that 361 was her office... not 361a.  361 is a conference room.  I made this mistake when I looked for my office last week.  So after class I showed her where her office really is.  We also decided that we're going to ask some of the people in our classes if they want to form a homework/study group... since that makes things a lot more manageable.  So we'll see how that goes.

When I got back I got some dinner.  Then Clifton came and I talked with him for a while.  Then Andre came and we all talked and just got to know each other a bit better.  So we talked for a while and it was good.  Um... I did some laundry, played some Team Fortress, tried to figure out if I had any homework I could do... and I realized that there wasn't because my only assignments are in books I don't have.  So win.

Um.  Now I'm blogging.  But I think I'm going to make my lunch for tomorrow and go to bed.  Yup!


Day 92

Today was a bit of a day.  I got a decent amount of sleep last night, so that was nice.  I got up, ate, showered, then went to church.  The Vandekoppels and Churches were in their usual spot and they were all surprised to see me.  So I explained that I had to pick up Pegasus and get my passport (so I can start getting paid).

After church I came home and played a game on my phone until mom and dad got back from church/shopping.  We had chicken minestrone for lunch.  It was pretty good.  When we finished with lunch I got all of my things packed up and we all went over to go see the grandparents!  Poppy is doing better.  He had some excitement last week and had to stay in the hospital for a few days, but he's finally back and recovering.  For this we are all grateful.  I wasn't able to stay very long because I needed to get back to school, do some grocery shopping, and finish planning my lessons for the week.  So I left a little before 3, stopped to get gas, and headed back to school!

The trip was mostly uneventful.  About halfway back my gas pedal started being dumb again... so apparently the mechanic didn't actually fix the problem.  Thankfully it's still under warranty, but it's just annoying because the closest Kia dealership that I've found is in Indianapolis... blech.  But I'll deal with it for now.  It's nothing too serious.  I also almost got hit by someone.  I was driving through some little town north of Muncie and there were two cars next to me.  The one in front got in front of me and entered the left turn lane.  Apparently the car directly next to me was following the first car and also decided to get over right then.  It just so happens that driving lanes are not two cars wide... and the other driver did not seem to be privy to this information.  So I stopped very abruptly to avoid a wreck.  Hopefully he got where he was going...

I stopped at Aldi's on the way back to my apartment.  I was about to look it up on my GPS when it was just right there!  So that was fortunate.  That was productive and eventful.  In the future I need to find a different place to get produce, but this will do for now.  If I'm in town this Saturday morning I'll go to the farmer's market.

When I got back I put my groceries away, got a quick dinner, then started making my lunch for tomorrow.  I'm going to try eating mostly salads, so I cooked my remaining chicken breast, seasoned it, cut it up, and plan to put it on my salads this week, along with some other vegetables and things.  We'll see how this goes.  After I'd finished and was organizing my room, Jessie and Richard invited me to go get ice cream.  So I went, and it was tasty.  Apparently Ritter's has a 25% discount for Ball State students right now.  That was nice of them.  So we had ice cream and it was fun.  Richard told me about his exciting weekend doing various things with his department, then we just exchanged various college/professor stories.  So that was good.

After we got back from ice cream some of my neighbors were sitting outside talking.  I'd hung out with them on a previous night, so I decided to sit and talk with them for a while.  They're pretty nice.  We just talked about everything and nothing... but mostly nothing.  Just classes, school in general, the apartments, various exciting adventures, how they were going to get the kool-aid stain off the floor... things of that nature.  Eventually I had to go be responsible and finish my lesson plan.  I bid them adieu and wished them well until next time.  Then I came back and finished my lesson plan.  Oh, and I moved my laundry.  Which was exciting, because apparently our dryer doesn't work.  So... yay. I have wet clothes hanging up all over our laundry room now.  Andre or I will call the repair guy tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be an exciting day, for certain.  First day of class...woo!  And I need to get a parking pass.  And make a Powerpoint for my class on Tuesday.  And probably do homework for Tuesday.  We'll see how this first day of grad school goes...


Day 91

Today was a fairly productive day.  After I got up I had an amazing breakfast of pop-tarts and peanut butter (Mmmm...so tasty).  After breakfast I started to look at the information for my class.  I set a blackboard page, uploaded my syllabus, made a page for homework and added an introductory message.  In Blackboard students have an option to not receive email updates when there is an announcement.  But as an instructor I have the ability to override that.  I would feel like such a jerk if I ever did that..

I took a shower then got lunch. Then I worked some more on planning my class. I spent the majority of the afternoon planning my Tuesday session.  I think I've read more of this text book than nearly any other math book I've ever had.  But I think I have Tuesday all planned out and I've started on planning Thursday.  Each Tuesday I think I want to give the students a notecard where they can write their name and a question (or a couple questions) for the day.  Just as a way of getting to know my class.  On Thursdays I want to read a story from the Book of Virtues.  I'm hoping that things like this will take the edge of the whole "ewww...math!" business.

Dad and I had an early dinner then went to go watch a soccer game in Ottoville. That was...something.  Neither team was very good.  The Wapakoneta defense had one tactic: kick the ball out of bounds.  Every time they had the slightest pressure they would kick the ball out.  At half time between both teams there were fewer than 10 shots on goal... but probably at least 40 throw ins.  It was nuts.  So dad and I were less than impressed.  Hopefully his team does well.

When we got back dad made spaghetti and I worked some more on my lesson plans.  I like preparing for this a lot more than when I made lessons in my undergrad.  These are so much less rigorous.  I feel like I have the freedom to teach what needs to be taught and I'm not constantly in fear of the evil State Standards.  Then I chatted with some people on Facebook for a while, catching up with people's lives and such.  Laura and I discussed people, which is always one of my favorite topics.  She's been working at a summer camp and has had first hand experience of how the general public treats customer service like dirt.  So that got us talking about how everyone has a story... and how sad it is that we will never hear very many people's stories.  In fact, I find it interesting how little we know about the people we see on a regular basis and consider to be our friends.  At Mount Vernon I hardly knew anyone's back story.  And it's not because I didn't care or didn't ask, it's that people don't like being vulnerable.  Oh people...

In other news, I've started to use Google Analytics to analyze the data from my blog.  I like that it breaks down how many people are from each city, along with a lot of other cool data.  I wish there was a way for me to know who each person is... but the ISPs can't release that information.  Oh well!

Dad and I talked with mom some when she got back from work.  And now I'm about to go to bed!

Day 90

Yesterday seems like it was kind of a blur.  I got up, had some cereal with a banana, and browsed Reddit for a while.  I didn't sleep well Thursday night, so I'm sure that had something to do with it.  I was pretty unproductive for most of the morning.  For some reason unbeknownst to me, I think I pulled or strained a muscle in my groin-region.  It made standing and walking difficult.  So I sat as much as I could.  I played some Team Fortress and fixed my syllabus.  I forgot to include a grade scale when I sent it off to Dr. Begum, so I fixed that.

After lunch I considered cleaning but ultimately decided not to.  When I'd procrastinated just a little bit longer I got ready to go to my afternoon meeting for all the math GAs.  Dr. Fischer talked about our responsibilities as GAs, how to record hours worked, who to contact with questions, how to balance being a student and GA, and stuff like that.  I guess I didn't realize it, but apparently on the schedule I am as listed as the instructor.  Not my faculty mentor (Dr. Begum), not "staff" or "graduate assistant."  Nope: "Pagano."  I feel pretty special.  After the meeting I went to talk with Dr. Begum and ask her some questions about my class, like what to do the first day, how to dress, and things like that.  I forgot to ask her what to have the students call me.  Because I don't feel like I'm certified to be called a professor, but I don't really want them calling me by my first name either.  If it was an upper division course I would probably just have them call me Joel, but since these are mostly freshman who think they're hot-shots because they're in college, I am anticipating that I will need to ensure a specific set of regulations and chain of command.  I don't want them thinking that just because I'm relatively close to their age that they shouldn't take me or this class seriously.  So I think freshman are more likely to take me less seriously (because of my age) if I let them call me by my first name.  So we'll see.

After the meeting was over I made a quick dinner, packed, cleaned, and left for home!  I had to stop after about half an hour because I was getting tired, so I got a Mountain Dew and felt better.  I made it home in about 2.5 hours, which was surprising considering that I felt as thought half of that I was behind someone going 3 miles per hour....  When I got home I sat around and talked with mom and dad for a while.  Dad told me about his recent soccer game, mom told me about work, and I told them about my class.  When they were going to bed I left and went to go hang out with Becky and Miles.  When I got there they were near the end of the Princess Bride, so we finished watching that.  Miles showed off the costume that Becky made for him for the upcoming Renaissance festival.  It was very impressive.  Then we sat around and talked for a while...which meant that Miles and I got carried away and started talking about philosophy and thought experiments. Becky's a trooper... she lets us sit in her house and talk about things which do not interest her at all.  I was pretty tired from my day, so I came home around midnight and went to bed!


Day 89

I was too tired to update last night, so here I am doing it now!

Yesterday morning after I woke up I browsed Reddit for a little bit, then started working on my syllabus.  I didn't really have any idea what I was doing.  I pulled up a syllabus from a class at Mount Vernon as a reference, an email from Dr. Fischer, and a general syllabus for the class.  I started off by just copying and pasting from the general syllabus and doing some reformatting, but I realized that it was going to be a very long and not very specific syllabus.  Apparently the general syllabus was really just a few pages of what was expected from the class and the syllabus I made.  So after I figured that out, I started making the real thing.  I think it turned out pretty well.  It's about two pages long.  I also got to pick 3 of the chapters that I'll be teaching (3 of them were already picked for every section to do), so I made sure to include the chapter on consumer math, which has stuff like saving, interest, and things of that nature.

After I finished making my syllabus I had time to get a quick lunch, shower, then go pick Richard up for orientation.  It was really boring.  The first hour involved some lady basically convincing us why we should be at Ball State.  I think she forgot we were already pretty committed to going...  Anyhow.  Orientation was not awesome.  But it had to be done.

When we got back it was about 4:30 so I started making dinner... just some spaghetti.  There was a grad student mixer last night at some little restaurant downtown.  It was pretty fun.  I met a lot of people.  Probably for the first half hour I talked with a guy named Ralph and another guy named... I don't remember his name.  They were both studying Urban Planning.  I enjoyed talking with them.  Then a guy named Greg talked with me a for a little bit.  When he went off to find more people I sat at a table with...hmm.. Liz, Ben, Shawn, and....someone else.  And then another person joined.  Shoot.  I can't remember everyone.  Ben was in charge of the second part of the orientation where we broke into different groups and just asked questions.  Then I started talking with the last person who sat down.  She is an art teacher and already has a masters in school counseling.  So now she's getting another masters in art.  So we talked about education and all sorts of fun stuff like that.  It was really loud in there because there were so many people, so we were all shouting the entire time.  I decided to move on to more people and found a group of people that wasn't in some deep conversation so I felt like I could actually join.  So I talked with them.  They were fun.  They didn't like how uppity a lot of the other grad students were.  So we had a good time.  Our group of...5?  Yeah, 5 of us ended up leaving and just walking around downtown for a while.  Let's see... Lauren, Katy, Mathias, and Liz.  Yeah, we all walked around. Lauren and Liz are roommates and live in Windermere also, so we all went back and hung out at their apartment for a while.  Then it suddenly got really late and I came back!  The end. 


Day 88

So much information was processed today.  Oh my word.  This morning started out with a "New to Munice" meeting for graduate students.  Richard and I found a table with a lady named Jennifer.  Then I invited a lady from a nearby table to join us, because she was sitting by herself and all the other tables except hers were filling up.  I think her name was Stephanie.  And then about 3 other guys joined our table, but it was right before the meeting started, so I didn't get a chance to ask their names.

There was so much information, I don't remember it all.  I know we talked about parking, medical services, law help, and probably some other stuff.  There was just so much and it was hard to retain everything.  Hopefully I remember all the important stuff.  After the session was over one of the ladies who spoke came up and talked with us.  She asked me if what I thought of it. I said that I liked it and it was very informative, but I had a terrible time trying to remember everything.  I felt bad but there was just so much information.

Then we had a campus tour.  But before we actually went anywhere, we all got our new IDs.  That was exciting.  There were a lot of us, and it was a kinda slow process.  But we got it done.  And Richard and I look like thugs.  So yay. After that our tour guide showed us some stuff.  It was kind of hard to hear everything.  But I got the important parts of it... I think.  I guess I find out.

After the tour we got lunch.  Richard, Stephanie, and I went to the nearby food court and got lunch.  After a little bit some other people I met joined us.  Lark and... umm...  I can't think of the other girl's name.  But they were both getting a masters in teaching English as a second language.  During the tour we talked about our teaching positions.  Since my office is on their floor, I told them that they could come by my office any time they like.

It's really weird.  I feel so much older than the undergrad students here, even though I'm really not that much older.  We discussed this at lunch.  We didn't really come to any conclusions, just that we felt significantly older than the other students there.  I never liked that feeling, but I can't help it.  It's not quite as bad as the high school/college gap... but it's there.  And it's weird.  After lunch Richard and I were walking back to the Robert Bell building (where my department is) and he asked if I generally made friends with females better.  So I explained that it's mainly because females typically more willing to engage in conversation.  If a guy is someplace by himself, he is generally (I admit to generalizing and stereotyping) fine just staying by himself and not actively looking for conversation.  It's usually pretty tough for a guy to make small talk with another guy when they are both strangers.  But females (again stereotyping) are usually more willing to engage in conversation.  If a lady is somewhere by herself, she is usually more willing to be in a conversation.  So as I explained to him, I don't try to make friends with females just because they're female, but because they tend to be better at making conversation.  And since I'm usually not good at making conversation, it's makes the whole "getting to know each other" thing way easier if one of us is good at talking.

Anyhow.  After lunch Richard and I went to the resource fair and tried to get some free stuff.  I spent probably about 10 minutes talking with the head of one of the grad student groups. He was really nice.  I might go... we'll see how everything plays out.  After the resource fair I went to my office and filled out some paperwork for payroll.  So I took that to the graduate department. I told them my last name and instantly one of them says "Joel?"  Frightened, I admitted that it was in fact me.  She explained that they had been having some complications (yay) and that the paper work was still being processed because I'm getting more money!  Yay!  But I couldn't finish the paper work because I need another form of ID.  So I'll probably do that when I go home this weekend.

After running around and trying to find all the buildings I went to the meeting for graduate assistants.  They talked about more things.  Mainly how we're going to have to balance everything that's going on.  It was pretty good.  Afterwards Richard and I went home and I started making dinner.  I made a chicken/vegetable/pasta dish I like in the "30 minute cook book."  I had to modify it it a little bit, but it still turned out okay.  I made some for Andree and myself.  During dinner he talked about school and how he picked his major (basically his first choice was only accepting 20 students and he was always number 22), his family, and lots of other stuff.  It was really good to finally get a chance to talk with him.

When we were done eating, I relaxed for a little bit until Richard and I went to go play racquetball.  But as we learned, the racquetball courts were closed.  So we lifted weights instead.  I hate lifting weights... but it had to be done.  When we got back I showered.  Then I went to go hang out with some people I had talked to earlier.  They were kinda boring, so I wandered around the apartments a little bit.  I ended up yelling up to some people to see if I could join them.  I convinced them that I was, in fact, cool enough to hang out with them.  So we just sat around and talked for a while.  We started playing "never have I ever," but people kept having to leave so we didn't finish.  Um... then I came back... and here I am!  And now it is bed time.  Night!


Day 87

Today was a bit of a slow day, which certainly wasn't a bad thing.  I got up around 8:30, ate breakfast, then went down to the gym to work out.  I don't really like the weights they have down there.  The grips are studded metal and kinda rip my palms up when I use them.  So either I'm going to get phenomenal callouses soon or I'm going to get gloves.  Anyhow, that went alright.  It was just one of the managers here at Windermere and myself, so the room was nice and quiet.  Some guy came down and talked to the guy who was also working out (this would make so much more sense if I knew names...).  When I was done working out, I saw that I had a missed call from an unknown number.  So I called it back, but got no response.  After my obligatory checking of Facebook and Reddit, I got a call from the unknown number again.  It turned out to be some one named Clifton who was considering moving into Windermere and he wanted to take a look around an apartment.  So he came over, I showed him around and talked with him for a while.  He was very nice and friendly.  He asked me where I was from and I told him northwest Ohio.  So he asks me "Have you ever heard of Mount Vernon?"  Floored, I explained how I had gotten my bachelor's there.  Apparently he has friends who live in Mount Vernon.  He reminisced about how after church on Sunday they would all go over the the MVNU cafeteria for lunch.  So that was pretty cool.

After Clifton left I took a shower.  Yesterday Andre showed me how to unplug the fan in the bathroom because there is only one switch and it turns both the light and fan on.  So today I showered with my bathroom door open so that it didn't get so hot and everything.  That went well.  These showers are a bit small, but it's not so bad.  It's not worth complaints.  After my shower I got lunch and finished watching Freakonomics.  Someday I want to read the book.  They made some very interesting claims.  The part that I watched today discussed why the crime rate in 1990 began to steadily decrease, when it had been steadily increasing before that.  One of the economists in question said that about 50% was from increased use of prisons, more elaborate police measures, and other things of that nature.  However, he also believed  (and had data to back up his claim) that the legalization of abortions had a lot to do with it.  He specifically said that he was not using this to advocate the morality of abortions, just that he felt the data was point toward this conclusion.  He reasoned that in most situations, the people who commit crimes are usually born into struggling families of a lower socio-economic status.  Prior to the legalization of abortions, if these families had a unwanted child, they would not properly parent the child, which significantly increased the likelihood of a life of crime, starting between ages 15 and 20.  But 17 years after Roe vs. Wade in 1973, the crime rate started to decrease.  His theory is that those families who did not want children (and would have not given proper attention to their children, thus increasing the possibility of criminal activity) instead got an abortion, meaning that the would be criminal was never born.  These families then never had children or waited until they were ready to have children.  So that was interesting.

After lunch Richard and I went for a drive.  He showed me downtown Muncie (which doesn't have a whole lot), then we went to the campus to find out where our orientation is tomorrow.  It got pretty warm.  I was sweating a lot.  I hate sweating... blah.  But we figured out where we're going.  Woo!

When we got back I played some Team Fortress, had a sandwich, and just relaxed for a little bit.  Around 4:45 Jessie and Richard came over and got me so we could go to the state fair!  We drove to some mall where shuttle took us to the fair.  Apparently it was Two Dollar Tuesday, so it only cost $2 to get it.  So that was a nice surprise.  We went to go see the horses and sheep and things.  Then we looked at some art work.  I really liked the photographs.  They were really good.  In between all of this we had to wade through a literal ocean of people.  But yeah, it was pretty cool.  There was one picture in particular which I was really good.  It was a picture of a very toned guy with some tattoos and dreadlocks.  But he had a really pretty face and the dreadlocks looked really good.  I would have taken a picture but that was strictly forbidden.  Oh well.  There were also some really neat LEGO sculptures.  Well, perhaps "scenes" would be more accurate.  I would upload some pictures... but I'm tired and it would take too long.  Maybe if I think of it tomorrow.  Anyhow, after the art section we stood in line to get ice cream.  And milk.  That milk tasted really good.

Then... we waited to get on the shuttle... and came back!  And I'm very tired, so I'm going to bed now.


Day 86

This morning started off earlier than any I've had in a very long time.  I got up around 7:30 for my 9:00 appointment with my faculty mentor, Dr. Begum.  So after getting breakfast and showering and everything, mom and dad prayed with me.  Then I headed over to Ball Stat Campus to go find an office!  Richard told me about some free parking just off campus, so I went there.  It was really nice weather so the walk was very enjoyable.  The math department is located in the Robert Bell building, which is connected to two other buildings. However, I didn't see a sign for Robert Bell so I kept walking until I got to the last building.  Since I wasn't really sure where I was I asked someone at the bookstore.  She was able to tell me where to go, thankfully.

So after wandering around for a little bit longer, I found Dr. Begum's office.  I was just about to knock on the door when she opened it (I think she had just gotten there herself).  She was... startled, to say the least.  But she recovered and we discussed what all I would be doing.  It appears that I will be teaching every class.  She'll be observing me for the first and another class near the end.  Otherwise I'm on my own (unless I need help, of course).  So over the next couple days I need to work on making a syllabus and figure out what I'm doing.  That should be exciting!  I have plenty of materials, so it shouldn't be too bad.  I just need to get on it and do it.  After I finished my meeting, I talked with the coordinators in the math department to get my textbooks, answer key, and office key.  Since I was the first person to get my resources, I was also able to get a test bank!  Woo!  And I have an office!  Granted I have to share it with two other graduate assistants... but I have an office.  And I feel special :)  Because of how everything is number, at first when I got to the room that I assumed was my office, I was very confused.  It was a conference room.  And the key didn't work.  So I went back to the office and the coordinators explained that my office was around the corner... I was in room 331c, not 331.  It was all very confusing, but they helped me figure out what was going on.

When I got back we started moving me in!  The move in process was very efficient.  We had a small issue with the renter's insurance, but that got taken care of shortly.  I met my room mate while I was standing in line.  He was behind me and heard me tell the registration people my name so he introduced himself.  We were able to talk more after we got our stuff moved in.  It didn't take long to do so since mom, dad, and Richard were all helping me.  When we were done, dad took us to Jimmy John's for lunch.  After we'd finished eating, mom and dad went home and I drove Richard back to the apartments.  I spent some time arranging the apartment, my room, and the kitchen.  While we we were at lunch, Windermere apartments called me.  I think they asked if I would mind having another person in our apartment?  There was a lot of noise and I was kinda confused.  But I think that's what they asked.  So we may have another person moving in with us at some point...?

I met some of Andre's friends that came to visit him as he and I were unpacking.  But I don't remember either of their names.... Whoops.  But they were nice.  After I got kinda settled in I went to the bank to deposit a check and then to Wal-mart to get some food and other things that I needed.  Like a shower curtain... apparently they don't have those provided.  I decided to make do without getting new sheets, even though they aren't the right size.  I have a double bed, but I have extra long twin sheets.  So I'm not using the fitted sheets... We'll see how this goes.  I felt like an adult going to Wal-mart, figuring out what food I needed to get, and getting it!  It was weird.  But I managed and I think I will have food to sustain me through the rest of the week at least.  When I got back and put my food away, I called the internet people to get my internet working.  After about half an hour of talking with some guy on the phone and trying to get stuff fixed...nothing happened.  So he said he would make an appointment for Thursday, but hopefully it would all get fixed before that.  So I took a shower, then I decided to take a nap, because I was tired.

I woke up around 7 and went down to the pool party/cook out that was going on.  I just kinda of went down by myself since I didn't know anyone.  So I got my hot dog and just kind of stood around for a while.  Eventually I started talking with some of the staff and people ended up joining us.  I met a few people.  I don't remember the first two guy's names.... shoot.  But then I met Shara, Rick, and Dree.  The first guy invited me back to his apartment to watch a movie, but I forgot where he said he lived.  Well, I thought I remembered.  But when I got over there the apartment number I remembered did not exist, so I guess I remembered incorrectly.  So I came back to my apartment, browsed Reddit, and now I'm going to bed!  Night!


Day 84

I almost forgot to blog. Whoops!

This morning I woke up early. A decent bit earlier than I was planning, actually. So I had a pop tart for breakfast, then did some packing. I showered. Yeah. Then I went to church. As I arrived, Mr. Church greeted me and told me to go say hi to Alli in the nursery. So I did. We talked for a few minutes, but she had to take care of little kids so i went to go find a seat. I ended up sitting with the Vandekoppels. I talked with them for a bit before the music started. Today's service was nice. The message was talking about how God talks to and through us. Then we had a few baptisms at the end. It was all really good. I like church :)

When we got back I packed some more while mom made left overseas for lunch. I had to take my desk apart and stuff. I kinda left my room a mess... Oops. Mom went to have ice cream at some event with mama and poppy. When she got back she told us about her visit and about the new medication poppy is on... It seems to disorient him a lot :/

Then we came to Muncie, since I'll be moving in tomorrow morning. We got here before Jessie and Richard so we had dinner at Qdoba and ice cream at dairy queen. Then we went to Jessie and Richard's apartment and talked with them for a while. Richard and i scouted out the secret passage between our apartment complexes, and even found which room I'll have. When we got back, Jessie and Richard and I went shopping for groceries.

We just sat around and talked when we got back. We talked about dad's bike pump and about me figuring out where everything in Muncie is. I think Richard and i are going exploring on Tuesday!

I'm pretty nervous about this grad school thing. I'm afraid that it's going to be like freshman year, but without all the freshman who were as confused as I was. I'll be living with mostly undergrad students who probably already have their social circle. So I have to either try to fit in or just associate with people from my class. Hopefully it all works out...  I have a meeting with my fact mentor in the morning. Hopefully that goes well. And now it's bed time!

Day 83

This is the post in which I describe my last day in Findlay.

I got up this morning at 9:15, ate, showered, and went to go watch dad's soccer team.  They had a scrimmage.  It didn't go so well. :/  Dad was less than amused by their playing.  When he got home we discussed it all in depth over lunch.  I made chili dogs.  They were pretty good.  But yeah, dad's team has some work to do.  We discussed starting JV players, rearranging people, benching people who weren't trying in practice, and various combinations therein.  I think we decided on something... or something.  We'll see!

After lunch dad took his Saturday Afternoon Nap, a classic Pagano maneuver.  I played Just Cause.  Around 2 I did some packing and dad woke up.  I packed for most of the rest of the afternoon.  Around 3:30 I made dough for pizza.  Then... I probably browsed Reddit while pretending to pack.  That's a favorite pastime of mine.

After mom got home I finished making the pizza.  I learned something very important: water that is a bit too warm kills the yeast.  So... that went well.

When dinner was over and we'd dispatched of the pizza that didn't turn out so well, I went to George House to get some spices.  I got cilantro, lemon pepper, minced onions, and taco seasoning.  Then I went over to Hobby Lobby.  Mom thought she'd left her phone there.  So I talked with Jim and we went to the break room to look for it.  But it was no where to be found.  When I was done there I went to visit the grandparents and get the shirts that mama tailored for me.  They fit really well now.  I sat around we talked for a while.  We discussed the job market, how and why jobs are getting outsourced, social security and what it was like growing up in the pre-SS days of the Depression, why colleges cost so much money (and why they're never going to change it), debt and loans (and how those didn't really exist as much during the depression), how college didn't really get big until after world war 2 when men were coming back from the war and there were too many people but no jobs, how a master's degree is becoming the new bachelor's degree, saving money, and all sorts of good stuff.  I enjoy talking with them.

On the way home I stopped to get ice cream for the dump cake mom made.  I went to Great Scot, but they were closed.  I've always been frustrated by Findlay closing at 9.  Blah.  So then I went to Wal-mart and got ice cream.  I came home and we had tasty desert.

I almost went back out to take a walk downtown.  I really debated doing it for quite some time.  I've never walked down Main Street Findlay at night, and I feel like it's something that I should do.  I've lived in Findlay all my life and many times I have considered wandering the main street and alleys.  But I never have.  I feel like I've missed something incredibly important from Findlay by not doing so.  But walking Main Street won't give me the closure I need.  I've never been good at transitions.  They always hit me hard and leave me wanting answers.... even though I rarely know the questions.  It finally came to me last night that I'm leaving Findlay tomorrow.  Not just in the sense that I'm going to school.  When I went to Mount Vernon about four years ago, I knew that Findlay would still be home while I was at school.  I had four years to determine my next steps, during which Findlay would always be home.  But now it is starting to feel less so like home.  After I graduate from Ball State I will hopefully be getting a job and starting a career.  I'll find an apartment and get a job with people who are trying to figure life out, just like I am.  Or perhaps they have resolved to just sustaining themselves, not actually living.  Anyways, I feel like after I leave, Findlay might not feel like home anymore.  Which is weird to me.  I know a lot of my friends are moving on with life, getting jobs and everything, but I don't know that I'm quite ready.  I think I should be and I certainly want to get a job and such... but I don't know whether I'm emotionally ready for it. But I never feel like I'm ready for a transition, so this really is no different.  I feel like every transition I make is rushed so I have to sort out my emotions before they're ready... which leaves residue for the next transition I make.  Perhaps everyone is this way.  Or perhaps other people don't really make as big of a deal of it and this is just part of being human.  I don't know.  Maybe some day I'll sort it all out.  Or maybe I won't.  Time will tell.

I'm going to be doing my best to keep this updated while I'm at grad school.  I guess we'll see how it goes.  I'm going to bed now.  Good night everyone.


Day 82

Today started out well.  I got up around 9-ish and had a wonderful pop tart with peanut butter.  Crunchy peanut butter, of course.  After breakfast I showered.  Then mom and I went to the Kia dealership so they could look at my car.  I've been having troubles with the gas peddle.  It feels kinda like it's getting stuck on something.  It still works fine, you just have to press it past a certain point before it actually does anything.  It sounds a lot worse than it actually is.  Anyhow, the part isn't going to be in until Wednesday, so I'm going to take mom and dad's car to school next week and they're going to get Pegasus fixed.  Then I'll come home next weekend to get him.

I went to lunch with Becky at Chipotle.  That was a lot of fun.  We didn't have the normal awkward "how are you?" "good, how are you?" that always makes me feel so weird.  I've just always felt like those are obligatory questions that people (including myself) ask because we don't know what else to say.  But no one seems to take them seriously.  No, Becky and I just started talking about whatever came to mind.  And it was fun.  I never asked what she was doing that day and she never asked what I was doing.  It all just came out in conversation. I felt like I was actually holding a real conversation without weird fillers.  It was excellent!

After lunch I went to mama and poppy's.  Mama tailored some of my shirts so I needed to try them on to make sure they fit.  When I went over the first time (Tuesday, I believe) I don't think I had the top button buttoned.  So...that threw things off.  But she was able to fix the first one while I was there and will have the others done shortly.  Poppy and I played a game of canasta.  He beat me pretty soundly.

When I got home I made some frozen chicken and pasta thing for dinner.  It was good.  Mom had to work tonight so dad and I were on our own... and I didn't get back early enough to think of something to make for dinner.  After dad went to soccer practice, I played Just Cause and packed.  It was all sorts of exciting.

Around 8:30 I went over to Becky's to hang out with Becky and Miles.  Eventually Mile's littler sister Ellie and her friend Emily came over as well.  That was fun.  Nothing too exciting happened.  We played Rock Band for a while.  Then we got Taco Bell.  And just sat around and talked. Then we all went home.  I was not happy.  I don't like saying good bye to my friends... I feel like someone is going to die and I'll never see them again.  I think it's finally starting to sink in that I'm going off to school again... and this is could be the last time that Findlay is really home for me.  In a sense it always will be, but after school I'll hopefully be getting a job shortly after graduation... so I might be moving away someplace and not move back to Findlay.  So I won't really get to see my Findlay friends, and that makes me sad.  Blah.  I hate good byes and I'm really bad at them.  All my friends just need to move with me.  Forever.


Day 81

So this morning I woke up around 8:30 and decided to get some breakfast and start cutting the grass.  Right after I blinked.

When I opened my eyes again it was 9:45.  Shoot.  So I got up, had a quick breakfast, and went to go cut the grass.  Well, that's what I wanted to do.  I had to go get gas first.  When I got back I realized that I didn't even need gas... oh well.  So I went to turn my mp3 player on when I realized that I had done a factory reset on it when I put it through the washing machine, so there was no music on it.  I think that was the last interruption.  Anyways, when I finally got started it was nearly 10:30.  Oh well.  That went uneventfully.  Some of the trees are sharp.  It's not fun to cut around them.  When I was done I used the weed whacker to get all the spots that I couldn't reach with the mower.  Then I noticed that the bushes along the side of the house were getting pretty unruly, so I cut those back as well.

When I was done I took a shower and got lunch.  I had a sandwich and some chili.  It was good.  I put on too much dijon mustard again.  It kinda burns...but I kinda like it.  It's weird.  After lunch I started reorganizing my big box of kitchen stuff that's going to school.  Then mom came home and I talked with her for a little bit.  When she laid down for a nap I dug out my trusty duffle bag and started packing clothes for school.  I feel really weird moving into school again.  I'm going to be sad to leave all my friends and family.  The other night Becky wouldn't let me talk about when I was moving...  :(

After dinner I reorganized all the boards that were getting thrown away.  Last week I cut up the big closet things that were in the basement and tried to throw them away, but the garbage men wouldn't take them (no surprise... they each weighed about 80 or 90 pounds at least).  So I put separated everything into 9 bags instead of 3. Hopefully they get taken this time.

When I was done there I got ready to go hang out with Denise and Terner when Amber called.  Apparently something went wrong and she had to go to the hospital.  I forget what the name is, but basically she got pregnant and the fertilized egg got stuck in the Fallopian tube.  For those (guys) not up on their anatomy, that's not what is supposed to happen.  So she's in the hospital right now getting that fixed so that her body doesn't explode.  But she's going to be ok.  And if I keep telling myself that then hopefully I won't focus on how serious and potentially fatal this is.  So everything is going to be ok.  She'll be having surgery in the next couple hours and everything will be back to normal and the sun can shine and we'll all wake up happy, like nothing ever happened.  Yeah.  It'll all be fine.

Anyways, I'm going to keep going now.  So after that all happened I went to go hang out with Denise and Terner.  That was nice.  I hadn't seen them or talked with them in a while.  They're both just working a lot.  Terner is going to continue going to school for criminal justice at BG and Denise is going to start up there in the spring.  She just moved to Findlay a couple months ago and wanted some more time to adjust.

I'm sure more happened, but I'm way too tired.  So I'm going to bed.  Night!


Day 80

I woke up this morning and had some cereal for breakfast.  It was sort of a granola/raisin bran meld and it tastes really good.  After breakfast I played Just Cause for a little bit.  I was going to cut the grass, but it was still wet from the rain yesterday, so I figured playing video games would be equally productive.  I had an early lunch, then showered and did a little bit of packing.  I'm sure that this weekend is going to be awesome... lots of packing.  Oh joy.

After lunch I went to George House with Kelley.  That was fun.  We caught up on life, traded college stories, the usual.  She just finished two months of shadowing in a hospital... so she had lots of interesting stories to share.  I don't regret that I will be spending the rest of my life behind a desk, and whenever I talk to someone in some area of the medical field I am happier and happier to sit a desk forever.

I got into an argument with people on the internet today.  Someone on a website that I frequent asked whether people should be allowed to post offensive material on the internet?  I stated that illegal material should be treated as such, but legal material should not be punished even if I find it offensive.  That's the "ugly side" of freedom of speech: as long as you remain in the constraints of the law, you are free to say whatever you like even if I disagree with you.  My two main points were that 1: you should only get punished if you break the law (in which case you should get punished) and 2: you can't expect everyone to have the same moral standard that you do.  Just because I find something offensive doesn't mean that you do.  Now, the civil thing for me to do in such a situation is try my best to not offend people, but as long as I'm not breaking the law we are free to do whatever we want.  You can't get in trouble if you're not breaking the law.  Well... people didn't like that.  They were saying "well, A is worse than B" and "this isn't a matter of legality, it's a moral issue!  B isn't hurting anyone, but A is!"  I did my best to explain that the whole mentality of "only things that hurt other people are wrong" is only one moral perspective and you can't assume that everyone uses that same perception.  The law of the land is a moral code to which we must abide or suffer the consequences.  Beyond the law, we are on our own to create whatever moral decisions we deem best.  But we can't expect everyone to agree with us.  People of varying religions should be using their religious texts as a basis for their morality.  But atheists do not have such a higher entity to give them a moral code.  Generally the hold the humanist perspective of "do no harm to others.  All other things are permissible."  Personally, I get the basis of my moral structure from the Bible.  However, I understand that not everyone does.  I do not expect everyone to hold to the same moral structure that I do.  And that's ok.  Our diversity makes us human.  So I will never ask that someone agree with my moral structure.  I will only ask that they be willing to engage in mutual respect for each of our views on morality.  Even people of the same beliefs will have varying degrees of the same moral code.  But how about we all do our best to not offend each other and just understand that we are all different, shall we?

So after all that business, I made pancakes for dinner.  After mom and I cleaned up we went shopping for some school supplies for me.  And food.  I got new shoes!  Woo!

After shopping we got back, put food away and then cleaned up the kitchen.  Then I went over to Becky's to hang out with friends.  After I went to Taco Bell... I was hungry.  Miles brought his little sister and her friend.  It was fun.  After they went home I sat around and talked with Becky for a little bit about life and how she wants to do something more than work at JCPenney.  She talked/thought about going back to school to be a teacher.  I think she'd be good at that.  I also recommended that she consider working at a day care because you don't need an education degree for that.  We're both sad because summer is going to be over soon and we're going to have to be all responsible again.  Which is silly.  But alas.  We go to school so we can get jobs so we can buy things that we can consume and possibly reinvest... so we can buy more things.  But hey, it's the American Dream, right?  Or something.