A Decision

So, I’ve been having some troubles with my studies lately, and as much as I was thinking about talking with my family about it, I decided that it’s my life and I should spend it the way I want to.

This was actually inspired by one of my friends, who has decided that she wanted to do some travelling after school, since she had to stay and take an extra semester at high school for various reasons, and wants to get ‘out there’ before going to university.

I think I’m going to go with her.

She as some interesting plans, and is already looking to get a hippie van (you know the ones, the kind we all remember from Scooby-Doo?) and Since it isn’t really safe to go travelling on your own, I figure that she’ll welcome the company.

Also, probably, the money.

If she’s fine with waiting to go anywhere out of Canada until after my summer job, I will have a good amount to go for a year or so, and as I said above, I’m having some troubles in classes so this is a great idea!

It really is. It’ll be a break from classes, I’ll get so many new experiences, I’ll be ale to keep in touch, and I’ll be with a friend.

I know my parents might think it’s a bit of a bad idea, but I’m of legal age for a great deal of things (not alcohol in America, no), and that includes the right to make decisions about my life.

It’s not like there’s much out there to worry about, anyway, especially since I’ll be with my friend! I already did some travelling (for school, a trip to London and Paris), and I already had the talks about what not to do, and how to keep from getting hooked into tourist traps, and all that, so everything will be great.

Really. It will be so awesome!

It’s great that the family is coming up to Ottawa for the Easter weekend (next weekend), and I’m planning on telling them what’s going to be happening next year then. It helps that I’ll be talking to the registrar before they get here, so my plans will be well on their way! My friend has been sending me links to Volkswagon vans being sold, and I’ve already agreed to pay for half of it.

I’m sure my sister Lexy will be surprised when she reads this, but I understand that she will understand that I’m posting this on my blog with the confidence that she will see that this is a good idea, and that she will support my decision.

Since I’m posting this today, I would also like to say a BIG Happy Birthday to two of my favourite Harry Potter Characters, Fred and George Weasley, who were born today (April 1st). In my mind neither of you will ever die.

So, in the spirit of today, Happy April Fools.

(It’s a joke people. Lexy don’t worry ;P)

Midterms

I wish that all of my Midterms were bunched together.. about a month ago I had my first midterm, I have a midterm tomorrow, and I have a part 2 midterm of my first midterm to deal with in another week.5.

I’m just glad that exams are all on the same week… I’m lucky, since I have two classes of studios, I only have 3 exams this semester… and My last exam is on the 19th… X-mas break starts the 22nd…

Which also happens to be my friend E’s birthday.

I’m thinking of doing a drawing for her, one of a blue giraffe.

Her fav colour is blue.

Her fav animal is a giraffe.

Why not?

Anyway, writing this because I’m taking a break from studying…

Also to complain that I ONLY have 2 midterms and an exam to get my marks up in Crit. Thinking class, and I have 2 essays + exam to hand in to my Essay Writing Class, and I still haven’t gotten my first exam back…

I’d rather have a bunch of assignments and tests throughout the year to add up a bunch of small marks rather than these very few big tests…

In Art History at least there are a bunch of small tests and assignments to boost the mark.

A good thing as history like this is, for the most part, as boring as a bent nail.

It might be interesting at first, but if you had a class that lasted for 3 hours, studying this bent nail, you would quickly get bored.

I’ve been listening to x-mas songs to alleviate some boredom (not in class, now), and I suggest Bob Rivers’ “Carol of the Bartenders”, “The bathroom door said ‘gentlemen'”, “Pokemon”, and “Walkin ’round in women’s underwear”.

All can be found on grooveshark.com, which also keeps me from boredom.

*sigh*

I’m Just Too Advanced, so I Died 5x

A new concept in school for me is the idea of ‘Virtual Campus’.

I heard about this, and was like “Okay, I’m not using this then….” because while I go on the computer regularly, I still have major issues with things that later, when I complain about it to friends/family, they’re like “Umm… seriously?”

My worst fear is clicking on something that LOOKS harmless, and getting the Blue Screen of Death as a response

It’s amazing that I managed to figure out iMovie enough for class, let alone use it to subtitle my complain video about my hairy roommate…

So one of my teachers said that yeah, he’ll be using it, and he’ll put up the slides on this Virtual Campus thingy, but made it all sound enough of a meh kind of thing that I was like “Okay, so I don’t have to use this to pass.”

This was on Wednesday, and my first class with this guy.

On Monday, I got a bit of a shock when I was informed by another teacher that all assignments would be… assigned on the virtual campus.

Egads!

And then she goes on to kill me.

All tests will be performed on the VC as well!

Death.

I was that dead girl at the back of the class. Third row, to the right.

I somehow managed to revive myself enough to hear her continue to explain how that would work.

The Tests had no time limits, and she said that she expects us to use our textbooks for it, and I was revived a bit more. Then she killed me again.

As soon as the test is closed, even if you haven’t clicked the button that says “Submit”, it will be handed in… oh by the way, the program seems to be having some problems and occasionally quits.

Quits?

Death.

So I’m required to use this Virtual Campus in order to pass… Great. And it may hand in my tests only part-way finished… Great.

I also have to figure out how to get ONTO this stupid thing, and I will likely die again before I finish. But… I could also get all of the lecture notes, at least for one of my classes, and not have too go to class!?! BRILLIANT! (Lexy, don’t call in the dogs, both you and I know that though I think I could do the class without going to class, I can’t, and won’t)…

Hermit Hobo Me: You mean... I could NOT go to class and still get your notes...? All I have to do is go onto this horribly complicated site? Why do you raise my hopes so? (also, L is AWESOME! From Death Note)

Thankfully All I have to do to get to the site is Google “UOttawa Virtual Campus”, and it’s my usual Ottawa Username and password to get in (as it is for all students, if you don’t know your student number by now you have already failed, and haven’t been able to hand in any tests, assignments…Fail.), and I noticed when I clicked a link to my class that I had an assignment up. Fun. So I clicked it, as it didn’t have a time limit other than it had to be handed in by the next week.5, and waited as it brought up a blank page.

It wouldn’t open.

Death.

Next class my teacher said that it seems as though people who have a more advanced computer (as I do, and I love my Macbook Pro) may not be able to open anything on the VC.

Bugger.

I figured out that I can hand things IN, I just can’t open the assignment description… I also can open and hand in the tests, which is wonderful as I don’t want to have to go to the library every time I need to finish a test.

Also, now all of the tests are open, so I could, conceivably, finish all of my tests and then finish the assignments as they come, but really, I may do a couple of tests every other week if I’m feeling ambitious, but the test I just did today tells me that my teacher tells us a lot of the answers in class.

So now I’m alive, with my much too Advanced (yes with capital) computer, feeling happy that the test was so easy even if I DID have to go out and buy a $150 set of books (Death), and I DO have to do laundry (DEATH)…

But maybe tomorrow…

Classes Smashes (my social life)

Classes are another part of the everyday life of a student, minus the weekends 😀

I am one of the lucky few who has an additional day off, and even have it on a Tuesday. Yay for that, though i’s mainly an excuse for me to hang out in my room and hold off reviewing…

Fellow procrastinators, can I get a WOOT WOOT!?

Maybe later? oh, okay. 😀

Well, mainly this blog will be about what my schedule will be like this semester… as well as some things I’m noticing about those classes.

Monday:

  •  English Essay Writing = 2:30pm – 3:30pm
  •  Art History  = 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Tuesday is OFF

Wednesday:

  •  Critical Thinking  = 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Thursday:

  •  Painting  = 8:30am – Noon
  •  English Essay Writing = 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Friday:

  •  Film Studies  = 8:30am – Noon
  •  Critical Thinking  = 2:30pm – 3:30pm

My residence is at the top, and the general layout is >>HERE<< as well as below. Most classes are close, but one or two are closer to the bottom of the map 😐

Here is my campus... I know about 50% of it, and the rest of it, in the day, I can figure my way back to the areas I know... Great, during the day 😀

Distance to classes isn’t bad at all, and the two classes that I have at 8:30 are pretty much across the street, but on Mondays, at 7… oh boy.

Site is an engineering building primarily. It’s funky and stylin on the inside, and have a cool set up in all of the rooms.

It is also on the other side of the campus from my room.

It gets dark earlier when winter nears, as many of you should know, and when I get out at 10pm, it’s dark, and kind of sketchy looking, and I don’t generally walk around that area of campus since it’s so out-of-the-way for me, so anything that WOULD look recognizable, isn’t.

I didn’t get back to my room until 10:30 last Monday because I got a bit lost…

In Toronto, directions are easy, since it’s pretty much accepted that The Lake is South, so it’s easy to orient yourself… and if you’re down town, the streets are pretty easy to navigate, and there are maps posted every couple of streets.

There are no such landmarks in Ottawa, as far as I can tell.

Yes, there’s the campus maps, but they do me no good if I can’t FIND them.

Ugh, I wish I weren’t directionally challenged… I’m glad my phone has Google maps on it.

As for the times of everything, the closer friends I’ve made here seem to have a lot of classes starting when mine finish… it sucks. I hang out with them mostly after 4-6ish, until we look at the clock and realize that ___ has a class at 8:30 and it’s getting late. I still get to hang out, but I get bored in between classes.

Perhaps I should blog during my free time…

Anyway, here’s what my courses are like:

Critical Thinking:

So far we’re mainly looking at what makes up an argument (not a quarrel, more like in debates… something that it either true or false, and can be proven so), and kind of makes me think of english class… Though the teacher reminds me of one of my friends, so in some discussions, I really can’t take him seriously… He also seems to have something against Katy Perry… most examples of what is or isn’t an argument  goes along the lines of “I don’t like Katy Perry, she sings like a fog horn.” Wow, almost wrote ‘sins’ instead of ‘sings’… I don’t eve have autocorrect to blame 😀

English Essay Writing:

A required course of all 1st years, this is VERY like english class… The teacher even reminds me of my AP English teacher for grade 12, since he keeps on bringing up the fact that we should avoid ‘fluff’ in our essays…

Fluff, for those who don’t know, is the bits of your essay that doesn’t actually give any weight to your argument, and sometimes takes away from your point.

Critical Thinking seems to be the complimenting course for this, since while this class teaches you the best way to write your essay, Critical thinking tells you the best way to frame your point, or thesis, or argument (whatever you want to call it). Hopefully this will help in the long run, and neither teacher will give a rule of thumb that directly clashes with what the other teacher says.

Interesting fact:

The ‘Rule of thumb’ came up because a long, long time ago, there was a law set in place that a man couldn’t beat his wife with a stick thicker than his thumb… This was to prevent a man from causing too much damage to his wife, and also to bring the death counts down… Fun times there. Gotta love those obscure laws…

Art History:

Kind of boring, a lot of it is watching her put up slides, and I have to go buy a stack of books for it… She kind of reminds me of one of my high school arts teachers, but hopefully she won’t be as flakey…

All the quizzes are to be taken online, open book, all the assignments are to be handed in over the virtual campus online, and even though she’s said that all of the things that we’re going to be doing is online already (i.e. the readings for each class), if we miss 3 classes, we may not be allowed to sit the exam. Same goes for my two practical art classes, but I guess that makes sense since I am taking Fine Arts as my major. I would have gone anyway, but saying the limit is 3 classes… well frig.

Painting:

The teacher oftentimes forgets words, or parts of what she was going to say, so there are a lot of pauses where she says ‘um’ and gently waves her hands in front of her as if she’s directing an orchestra, but she seems nice. The course is interesting, and though I’ve nay had 2 classes so far, the work seems like it won’t be dull…

I just need to remember to bring one of my beer t-shirts and a pair of my man-jeans next class. (Beer T-shirt: you remember when they gave out shirts in every case of beer? Yeah, my parents gave me a lot of those. Man-jeans? They are too big for me, and used to belong to my neighbours brother. Man. Jeans. But comfortable)… as well as a Tupperware container.

TIP for PAINTERS: if you use a Tupperware container to ix your colours in, it means that if yo make too much of one colour, you don’t have to waste it, you can seal the container and use it again next class. Dried paint peels off easily to clean it, and if there’s anything stuck that you wasn’t gone, dunk it in hot water and it’ll come off.

Film Studies:

Pretty much movie class… we get film reels and we have to cut and paste bits and pieces of what we’ve got together to make a movie, and then we have to put it onto the computer and edit all the blah bits out of it… 24 slides is 1 second. 1 slide is about as long as your pinky is wide, and bout as tall as your pinky nail is. Thankfully we don’ have to do cartoons or anything like that (we are, in fact, banned from using cartoons in it).

Very fun, very new and covered in INTERESTING NEWNESS. Will have me 2nd class in it tomorrow 😀

NOTE: PRACTICAL ART CLASSES ARE EXPENSIVE! HAVE SPENT MORE THAN $100 ON PAINTING SUPPLIES ALONE! BE WARNED, FINE ARTS STUDENTS, BE WARNED…

And those are my classes for this semester… and my general thoughts about them…

My sane and optimistic side is saying that I’ll still have a good opinion at midterms, but my insane and otherwise fairly insightful side is saying that I WILL WANT TO DROP OUT, WILL FEEL LIKE CRYING, AND WILL BE CURSING MY SO-FAR NICE TEACHERS TO THE DEPTHS OF HELL!

We shall see, won’t we?

Grades vs. Prom Dress Shopping

Hey all!

It was fairly recently (as in before I even started the blog) that my school gave out our midterms, something that means that, sometime soon, the school will then be sending out those grades to universities and colleges. That is something that is different than the past 11 years of my schooling, but there was one more thing that was radically different, at least for me;

This time I wasn’t dreading the marks.

This is what I used when Marks were coming in...

There is something that I should point out now, before I tell of my not-so unspectacular marks, and hopefully it will explain a bit as to why I took the courses that I did.  For the past three years I was pretty convinced that I wanted to go into Engineering, architectural or civil, and took courses that would get me into a good university so I could go on and BE an engineer. I did all the sciences, I took all the math’s, I did a lot of looking into the various kind of jobs that I could go into—all that stuff, and it was about 3/5th’s of the way through first semester this year that I realized quite how much I really didn’t want to deal with that.

My schedule went something like, physics, religion (I am not religious, but go to a catholic school), double art, and Advanced functions, and my schedule at the beginning of THIS semester was English, Calculus and Vectors, double art, and chemistry.

It was due to my Physics class paired with the fact that I was doing less than stellar in my math class that made me realize that I was mainly going for engineering because a) Lexy was an engineer, b) it would pay lots of money and would almost guarantee a job, c) I really like buildings, and thought it would be cool to be like “hey, I helped build/design that house/building/structure”, and a great deal of d) I don’t actually know what I want to do, and this seems like a good option.

Physics is a class that I didn’t really have an issue with in grade 11, but I don’t know whether or not it was the teacher this year, or because of the content, but I am absolutely serious in saying that if there is any way to avoid physics, I will. If someone offers me money to redo the class, it would have to be a large sum of money, and it would have to be on the promise to pay me double if I got higher than 70. I may sound violently against this, but that’s because I find it extremely easy to despise a subject that makes me feel like an absolute failure, no matter how much I study for it.

This is an example of Brownstone...isn't it awesome?

I think it may have also been the math in it and for those of you who haven’t realized yet, you kind of really need math (and Physics) to be an engineer.

Like, really, really need it.

So nope, I reevaluated everything, and figured out that no, I just really like old buildings (like Victorian and brownstone buildings), and I think that a majority of the idea of Eng as a career was because I had no clue what else I could do and figured that my sis was doing pretty well as an engineer, so why not?

I don’t know how many people go through their high school career thinking things like this, or maybe going for what seems convenient, but it was not a great feeling, realizing I could have been taking a number of more art-oriented courses.

In a way, I was kind of lucky that I didn’t use any of my spares (my school only allows two spare periods) first semester. Because there was no way that I would be able to get through the day with both Calc. and Chem. in one day. As it is now, I have only English and then after a spare, Art, and then I can go home. Escape! Bwahaha!

Ah! What a wonderful thing that is!

This is a Victorian building... I want to live here!!!!!

But I have pretty much gone almost entirely off track from report cards.

So yeah, report cards come around, and I’m not worried in the least. I did not do well in Math or Physics first semester, and I couldn’t get out of Chemistry until after midterms came out, so that was my lowest mark.

Anyway, including an online mark, my top six marks average up to 83.333… %, so I’m good for the average since it’s only the top six marks that universities look at. So I personally don’t see an issue, except that maybe I could get a couple of marks higher in my online course. However pretty much EVERYONE is cranking down on me to get higher marks, to watch my marks, to make sure that I do my best.

Really, I have two courses this semester, with one online course. Art is something that I could do with my eyes closed, and still get a high mark (I got a 93 in both courses), and English is my favourite subject, and I’m getting an 81 while in Advanced placement. Advanced Placement is exactly what it sounds like, and if your school has an IB program, it’s kind of like that.

I realize that the marks are important, but I really don’t believe that stressing over marks when they are fine is going to make them better. No, I don’t have as great marks as, say, Lexy did when she went to high school, but honestly I’ve grown up with people telling me that I shouldn’t hold myself up against, or try to be like Lexy, and yet this keeps on coming up?

This is my last few months as a high school student, and I will be acting like a total dork when I graduate and will probably only ever visit to be able to say “I’VE GRADUATED AND I’M NOT HERE FOR SCHOOL!”

I want to be able to enjoy it until the last week at least, where upon I will study my butt off for my single exam.

Until then I will do my assignments, fill out job applications for the summer, and look for a prom dress/grad. dress, WHICH, I might add, is stressful enough.

I have never seriously gone dress shopping until last weekend, and the trip only secured the knowledge that I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO DRESS SHOP.

Guys, if you are reading this and scoffing at the thought of dress shopping being that much harder than, say, suit shopping, then you are wrong. Those who have the y chromosome and have no interest in wearing (let along shopping for) a dress will now be regaled with the kinds of questions that one of my friends (who is more than adept at dress shopping) asked when we walked into the first dress shop. Please note that by the end you would probably be freaking out as much as I did, if not more.

Guys, you'd be freaking out like this kid, or perhaps like this horse...

This looks darker in real life, and looks (in my opinion) better on me than on this model... I don't really like it on the model...

What kind of cut do you want?

What length do you want?

Does the fabric matter to you?

Do you prefer sequins, ___ (insert something she mentioned but I have no clue what it is) ___ or stones?

Why don’t you want floor length?

What colours do you prefer?

Well then, what colours do you NOT want?

Do you have any idea of what LOOK you even want?

Did you want a halter top, strapless, ___, off the shoulder, blah-de-blah, insert-some-other-kind-that-made-me-baffled, or what?

Are you planning on wearing heels? Flats?

Do you want to be able to wear leggings with it?

And it went on like that; until it got t the point that I hid out in the changing room, and told my two friends to just grab whatever they think would look good, or whatever. And to just guess what size I am, ’cause the numbers freak me out. Why can’t they just put XL, L, M, S, or XS rather than the numbers? My one friend (the more than adept one, since Buddy#2 was just laughing because she had to go through this before, and already had her dress, and is just as not-adept as I am) said that I might be a 1, but that seems too small, but I tried on a 5 and it was TOOOO big. 

Yeah guys, a 5. In shoes that’s downright tiny, and it was too big as a dress.

 And Friend 1 was right, I’m a 1… pssh…

Quick bit of info about my two friends since I feel as ifI’ll be mentioning them again in the near-ish future: Friend 1 /Buddy #1(both will have code-names later probably) knows about dress shopping and is someone I’ve known since middle school, but only really got to know in highschool, and Friend 2/Buddy #2 is someone I’ve known since gr. 9, but have had almost all of my classes with her… Friend 2/Buddy #2  is not less than Friend 1/Buddy #1, but I figured for the moment I would call her 2 because i’ve known 1 longer. If you read this, 2, don’t shake your head at me, it’s certainly not MY fault that you didn’t go to a public school for middleschool ;P

And yes I realise that it’s also not YOUR fault that I didn’t go to a Catholic School in middleschool.

This is my third choice...

So I tactifully retreated (some may call it hiding), and occasionally came out in between fighting with zippers, stupid gauze-ey things that were supposed to tie in some odd fashion, zippers that HID from me and were infinitely more irritating than the ones that just fought with me, little clips and clasps that didn’t clip or clasp the right way, and got a couple of pictures of the ones that weren’t entirely horrible…

I’m fairly certain that the maker of the dresses were fairly devious when they were figuring out how ther wanted it to be tied and whatnot, since everything was complex enough that I had to get it readjusted once I got out… the only reason why I didn’t get help while puting it on was because I didn’t feel like flashing the entire store, nor did I want to go out of the changing rooms clutching the dress to my chest.

And yeah, the entire thing was mildly scarring for me, so I’m going to do my best to avoid that stuff in the future.

But hey, I got a couple of dress options that I like (second choice is here), and will probably be going to pick one of them up soon-ish…

But I’m not going to let prom shopping worry me any more than I’ll let grades worry me 😀

Instead I’ll wallow in agony over the fact that the prom tickets are $120 each, and the prom comittee, instead of booking us for a cool, old Opera house, decided to go to some sort of community hall-type thing…

Ciao~