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March 6, 2009 1:15 pm

Ich Bin Ein Berliner

I have finally done it – I signed up for a non-credit German course! I’ve wanted to learn German FOREVER and, while I own a ton of books meant for teaching yourself, I really haven’t progressed farther than learning to say things like “the hedgehog” in my head because I don’t know how to pronounce anything.

I do have a “Learn German” computer program that lets you speak into a microphone and it grades you on your pronunciation, so that has helped a bit. That said, it’s super embarrassing to use and I’ve probably only messed with it two or three times. (Sad! I wanted it really bad when I first got it but we didn’t have a microphone for our computer when I was in high school.)

As far as languages go, I took a year of Spanish in high school but was thwarted by the Worst Teach Ever in the second half of the year (my lovely, wonderful initial Spanish teacher went on maternity leave) and learned nothing. Or if I learned anything, it was idiotic and useless like “the elephants eat peanut soup.” I taught myself how to say “I am a piece of toast” in the sixth grade and that remains the only Spanish phrase I can reliably recite.

I also took an “Afternoon Academy” class (a simple, after-school program for elementary-age children) for French when I was probably seven years old. About all I remember is how to count to ten, and that we ate cheese and bread in class.

So! I am very excited. I don’t really have a use for learning German, I suppose, but I would love to know it nonetheless. My first class is on March 31 so I will definitely post about my progress. Squee!

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December 19, 2006 11:17 pm

College Graduate

:note: Harry Potter IV DVD

To begin, Daniel is all better. He took the next day off of work to recuperate and felt better stomach-wise and then promptly came down with a cold. He’s still snuffly, but he’s feeling okay now, which is awesome.

My parents flew in Thursday evening and we spent a lot of time walking back and forth between their bed & breakfast and our apartment and the grocery store and whatnot. I had a bit of a shock when we looked at their room and I realized there was only one bed – they somehow failed to tell me that my two younger brothers would be staying with us instead of them. Ha ha ha. :P

The portfolio show went very well. I think some of the business people wrote me off because I already have a job, but right now that’s sort of okay with me. I was mostly there as a formality anyway (it’s required for graduation) and the purpose is to make some contacts, which I think I did. A lot of people were inquiring about freelancing, which I haven’t totally ruled out but ye gods I am not interested in more work right now. My goal is to make the next two weeks as painless as possible before I start full time the 1st of the year, and I can’t see freelancing helping that at all. I had a really good response to my branding/identity (if you’re listed as a friend on Flickr you’ve probably already seen a preview of my business card) and lots of people told me it was very nicely done. My department director told me I’ve done the department proud. :)

My cousin, her husband, and their baby showed up unexpectedly! I sent them the mass “I am graduating” email but didn’t exactly expect them to drop by even though they don’t live very far away, but I’m so glad they did. I hadn’t met the baby yet and he’s so cute! Very serious (didn’t crack a smile the whole time I saw him) but adorable and incredibly well-behaved. I’ll see them again around Christmas.

I got to see my friend Keith! And Ben H and Ben D and Stacey and other graduated-types I haven’t seen in a while. My family got to meet all the people that meant a lot to me in school, especially Chris and Angie. I’m really going to miss both of them.

Graduation also went well. I graduated with honors! I hadn’t even thought about it until I was checking in at the ceremony location and received some silver cords, and some time later noticed that not everyone had them. The president of the school mispronounced my last name when he was recognizing the honors students, but oh well. People tend to try to make it sound a lot more elegant than it actually is – you can either emphasize the second syllable and make it sound refined, or emphasize the first and sound backwoods-ish. It’s the backwoods sound you’re going for, and I think people don’t want to offend so they try the other way first. It bothers me but I’m used to it. The guy announcing names as we walked across the stage said it correctly so I think that’s what counts.

The speakers had varying degrees of interestingness. The school president’s speech was about some 16th century Indian philosopher whose name I can’t recall, and it was meant to be inspiring. The keynote speaker was some guy from Germany who was one of those “I’m young and wildly successful” types who spent the last X number of years sleeping on floors and working for free to get into the companies he wanted to work for. He talked a lot about himself and made several references to purple Speedos. I think all the parents loved him and the graduates were sort of lukewarm. The student speaker’s speech was the best because it was short and to-the-point, and wasn’t pretentious or boring.

(more…)

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October 3, 2006 11:58 pm

Back To The Grind

:note: Corpse Bride DVD

Today was my first day of my last term and I am exhausted. I can already tell it’s going to be rough, but I am thanking my lucky stars that I only have school (and my minimal work schedule) to deal with this term. I can’t imagine being one of those people who work 60 hour weeks and then take three classes to try to graduate sooner. I met someone today that did that exact thing last term, and good lord I do not know how he was still alive talking to me.

Sooo… apparently I was a bit mistaken about my GPA earlier, as I received a letter Saturday informing me that it was actually a 3.8 for last term, and I have been named to the Summer Session 2006 Dean’s Honor Roll. Yay me!

I learned something new about Photoshop today. Never, ever use the Brightness/Contrast palette. It basically wrecks your image. Try opening a photo, and then open your Histogram window, and then test out using the brightness/contrast while checking out your histogram. See all those vertical gaps? Not good. Learn something new every day. I also learned how to “properly” make a PDF out of a Word document. You go to File :arrow: Print, and check “print to file,” choose “Adobe PDF” as the printer, and go to – either properties or advanced, I don’t remember – and UNcheck “don’t export fonts for PDF.” Then hit okay, and it’ll have you save some weird file extension. Do that, and then open Adobe Distiller and drop that weird file extension into it, and it will automatically create a PDF for you. Seemed like a lot of extra work to me, that’s for sure, but apparently that’s the “proper” way to do it, according to one instructor.

Commence freaking out. I will be done in less than three months. EEP.

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September 18, 2006 2:25 pm

Maintaining The Ol’ GPA

:note: Dresden Dolls – “The Perfect Fit”

Just now, on a whim, I decided to check my grades and found that they had actually been posted already. I ended up with two As, one A-, and one B+. Definitely better than I was expecting, especially for the personal branding/identity class (the B+) considering the instructor really never gives As. This leaves my GPA at a solid 3.7 for this term, and 3.6 cumulative. Yay!

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September 14, 2006 4:12 am

No Sleep Til…

:note: nothing

It is currently 4am and I am still awake. I will probably still be awake for a while, at which time I will have to be up so I can take a shower and get ready for school. I did fake-snooze a bit for about two hours a while ago, so it’s not like I’m running on no sleep, just very, very little. Enough so that you can keep going, but not enough so that you feel rested at all.

God this project is a nightmare. I still have to print some things, but my printer is… well, it’s dumb, and I have no paper, and Daniel’s printer is neither dumb nor out of paper, but it’s in the bedroom and he is sound asleep. Printers are loud, and I’d feel bad waking him up at four o’clock in the morning for printing purposes. I suppose I’ll have to though. I need to get this done.

I think I might be coming down with something but I sincerely hope I’m not. My throat has just been feeling odd lately, sort of dry but not really sore. I had better not be getting sick. :o I don’t have time for sickness.

Side note: Why, oh why, did iTunes change its pretty green music note to a blue one?

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September 11, 2006 9:32 pm

Class, Concerts, Coffee

:note: Harry Potter III DVD

I’m finally done with my Entrepreneurship class. I got a 95% on my presentation and I honestly don’t care what I get on my business plan. I DON’T CARE. I know I’m going to pass, I’ll probably get a B in the class, and I am FINE with that. Thank god that’s over with. Let us never speak of it again.

Still have three more finals to go – I’m currently working on last-minute edits to a group project website run on WordPress. My whiteboard to-do list is rather full, but I’m feeling confident that I can get it all done. I think.

I finally sent a reply email regarding the subject matter of the last post so I’m feeling a bit better about that. I think I made the right decision, but it’s still so difficult. It really is a wonderful, nearly-perfect opportunity – I just don’t think I’d be able to do it next term, so I’ve said no. It’s what’s best for me, and I think for them as well. I said I didn’t want to compromise either my school experience or my internship experience (because it’s true) and I feel that I would be compromising both if I did take the internship next term. I don’t think I’d be able to get the most out of it, and they wouldn’t be getting their money’s worth. So. We’ll see how this unfolds in the future.

Currently, Daniel is at a Dragonforce concert/show/whatever and about an hour ago he sent me a text-message that said simply: “This show is the largest mass of dickbags I’ve ever seen” so I assume he’s enjoying himself. ;) I wasn’t that keen on going – Dragonforce’s guitar players are phenomenal but I don’t think I would have had that much fun. I’ve been to a lot of shows that, while I didn’t hate it, I wasn’t terribly familiar with the band and therefore didn’t really care whether I went or not. I much prefer going to shows where I’m super excited about seeing the band (Type O Negative, Fear Factory, KMFDM, etc.). The former sort are fun, but latter are infinitely more so.

Daniel starts his new job tomorrow. He said he’s nervous, but as it’s just training (working the espresso machines and how to clean them, as well as a primer on.. dun dun dun… LATTE ART!) I’m not really sure what he’s worried about. I think he’ll do just fine. He’s super stoked about it so I think his enthusiasm will show through, and even if he does mess up on something so what? It’s called training for a reason. :) I’m really, really glad this opportunity came up for him. I think he is too.

I’ve bought train tickets to go home for break so I’m excited about that. Daniel and I have a wedding to go to in a few weeks and I found a skirt I’d like to wear to it, but I need to find some nice, brown ballet flats to go with it and I’m not really willing to spend more than $20 so I haven’t found much. :| I’m terribly excited about going, though. It should be fun. I’m excited for the couple.

So anyway, that’s what’s been going on with me. I haven’t been around much due to school and, well, my own laziness. Lately, if I don’t have anything worthwhile to say I don’t try to force it, I just take the day off. Hence the lack of updating. :sneer:

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September 2, 2006 10:18 pm

Talking With Mom

:note: School of Rock DVD

I’m slowly but surely catching up on my homework. I still have a couple of big projects to work out, but I have today, tomorrow, and Monday to finish them so I’m feeling confident at the moment. And technically I have until Thursday afternoon for both of them, but you know. I want to get ahead, not just scrape by. I have a whole binder of stuff that’s due Thursday and I think I’m only missing one assignment from it, so that should be fairly easy to accomplish.

Today was horribly uneventful – the only interesting thing I did was talk to my mom on the phone for a while. Apparently my mother has just purchased four new goats, bringing her total up to five, all of which I think are unnecessary. She’s planning to breed them, I guess. My brother scratched my car. He allegedly tried to do a u-turn on gravel going about 30 miles per hour and the car didn’t like it and he hit a hill-type thing. He’s fine, the car is scratched though and a bit dented and he’s grounded from driving the nice pickup.

My other brother made it through his first week of college. He even did homework! He’s majoring in something like auto mechanics or auto something or other. Automotive technology? Cars, at least.

Mom also told me about a recent incident she had involving bad milk at work. They have little milk cartons, like schools do, and she grabbed one to drink. She said she took a big swig of it and only then did she realize it was bad. She spit it all over the sink in the break room and gagged and rinsed her mouth out forever. EW! I will admit that that is so much worse than my bad milk experience. Mom said it was days before she could drink milk again. Blech.

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August 9, 2006 7:23 pm

Moving So Fast

:note: The B-52’s – “Girl From Ipanema Goes To Greenland”

I can’t believe it’s already August ninth. That is insane. Conceptually, I understand that I’ve been in school since mid-July and that was five weeks ago and therefore it would be reasonable for it to be August 9th, but it is SO WEIRD. Every term here seems to move faster than the last – I could have sworn it was just January, or that it was just a few terms ago that so-and-so graduated (when really, it’s been a year and a half or something).

The first term I was at school, it dragged on FOREVER. I honestly thought it would never end. I started the very beginning of October and that term went until mid-December, and I think those three months were the three longest months of my life. It also didn’t help that I moved here first and Daniel didn’t move here until over a month later, but it still dragged on.

I wasn’t even really that homesick; I teared up when my parents left me in my new apartment with my roommate that I didn’t know (hi Callie!), but I never full-on cried about them leaving. I didn’t go home until Christmas, and then didn’t go home again until June and I was fine with that. Lately, the terms have been like, “Weekone weekstwothreefourfive omg6789 FINALS” and I want to go home every weekend. I miss my house, I miss my family, my friends, my town. It’s odd to me that I’ve gotten more and more homesick as time has gone on. Does this happen to anybody else? In the beginning I was perfectly fine with only going home once in nine months and now I’m sad that it’s only every three months or less.

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July 19, 2006 7:14 pm

A Blip On The Radar

:note: Killing Joke – “Love of the Masses”

For a class tomorrow I am supposed to write a one page description of who I am as a creative professional and as a person. :o It has to demonstrate what makes me unique and what makes me stand out as a professional. Then I have to write a few paragraphs describing the one or two characteristics I would want to portray about myself to potential employers/clients. I am at an utter, total, and complete loss. I have no idea what to say. Every time I try to write something, I second guess myself and say “well, that doesn’t make me unique” and I end up with nothing.

A birthday present for me showed up today – my parents didn’t really get me a gift for my birthday last month, so I sent my mom a clothes wishlist and asked if that could be my present. And she bought everything off of it! :grin: I now have some jeans that make me look fabulous, a new tank top (which I never usually wear because I can’t find ones that look decent), a t-shirt, some undies, a pair of white cargo pants (Mom just threw those in for fun, I didn’t ask for them), a pair of cargo shorts (long ones!) and a hoodie. I AM SO LUCKY. I’ve been wanting some nice clothes for a while and this totally made my day.

Any advice for my paper?

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July 15, 2006 5:04 pm

Whining About School Again

:note: The Presidents of the USA – “Kitty”

I am so overwhelmed. That new class I registered for? It has a 4-5 page paper due this Monday. I have to research something called Cascadia for one class, for another I must research some company and come up with new design ideas for their website, and for the remaining class I have to do four 8×10″ collages, write a one page paper on myself, write a 1-2 paragraph thing on how I would describe myself to a potential employer, come up with 10 or more concepts for my personal identity/branding, and then write a very specific and well-thought out creative brief. I will admit that I didn’t even know what a creative brief was until halfway through that class.

THIS IS ONLY WEEK ONE. Week one is supposed to be filled with meaningless self-introductions, some preliminary assignments to gauge your knowledge about the subject at hand, maybe a project. Not this.

Instead of being revitalized after break and returning with newfound vigor and enthusiasm, I am finding I’m wishing to retreat and get away from it all. I have absolutely no motivation to do anything and it’s incredibly frustrating. It’s like, I have so many things to get done that I don’t feel like I can do any of it. There’s just too much stuff.

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May 31, 2006 6:13 pm

Planning It Out

:note: The Shins – “So Says I”

This month is looking to be pretty busy. This week isn’t so bad (and it’s already half over :|) but next week is when things start to get crazy.

Week 10 is the week right before finals, so it’s when everybody is scrambling to finish everything and it’s all hectic and crazy. I’ve made an appointment for a haircut (first one since the one last November) a week from today because it is sorely, sorely needed. Later that day there’s a Student Worker Appreciation thing that I think I’m going to attend. The day after, I’m leaving on the train to go back home for the weekend. My brother graduates high school (well, we hope) on Saturday and I leave that night to get back into Portland on Sunday. Also, Paul’s birthday is on Saturday and I’m sorry I’m going to miss it. :sad:

Then finals week starts and I’ll have finals Monday, Tuesday and probably Wednesday too, and then I’ll probably work the portfolio show setup Thursday and Friday and then takedown Friday afternoon. And then the following week is my birthday and then me and Daniel’s five year anniversary. FIVE YEARS. :faint:

Pardon me while I make a public to-do list:

  1. Do reading for tomorrow’s class
  2. Do reading response for tomorrow’s class
  3. Revise paper to re-turn in tomorrow
  4. Work on Flash/XML project (actually coming along!)
  5. Do reflection questions for Monday
  6. Remember about Ryan’s b-day on Saturday
  7. Figure out what to do about a class of mine for next term that got cancelled that is, coincidentally, required for me to graduate
  8. Somehow find time to work on the freelance project

Hblglbjhglbghh.

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May 24, 2006 1:13 pm

Beware Of X-Acto Knives

:note: The B-52’s – “Roam”

Had a bit of an incident today at work. A girl was cutting mat board with an X-acto knife and totally sliced the living daylights out of her hand/finger. I didn’t see it happen but she started saying “OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD” really fast and it didn’t take long to realize what had happened. She was bleeding a bunch and visibly freaked out and worried about leaving her belongings, but fortunately I sent her to the correct department of the school (a lucky guess on my part, as we have no health office or nurse or anything around) and they took care of her. A friend ended up taking her to the hospital for stitches. IT WAS INSANE. This is apparently only the second incident we’ve ever had in the three years that my work dept. has been around. So I’d say we’re doing pretty well. And I handled it just like I should have. Success! I had to fill out an incident report form and everything. I feel bad for the girl – it wasn’t horribly serious, but she will need stitches. Craziness.

Update: She’s fine, but she had to get SEVEN STITCHES. SEVEN. In her thumb. She basically managed to cut almost the entire tip of her thumb off. The stitches were to, um, keep it on. Ew.

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May 22, 2006 3:54 pm

Munch!

:note: something Daniel put on

Anybody remember me mentioning a t-shirt contest held by my school? Yes? Well, the results were announced today, and I won! Here was my entry:

cupcake

I’m going to choose the Adobe Creative Suite 2 as my prize. :D Go me! *does a dance*

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May 15, 2006 11:12 am

Temporary URLs

:note: The Beatles – “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?”

Just a quick post to let you know where to find our Web Raising sites. The one I worked on is located here, and the other group’s is located here. They’re only hosted there temporarily until the client uploads them to their own server and whatnot. Let me know what you think. :D

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May 5, 2006 6:49 pm

To Be Sixteen Again

:note: Atreyu

I’ve been feeling pretty defeated lately. I know I say this all the time, but it’s true. School is rough. Yes, I go to an art school, but it’s not as foofy as people expect it to be. There is a lot of work to be done and people pretty much talk about your portfolio as if it’s your life rather than a graphical extension of who you are.

What brought this on was that twice this week I’ve had a teacher say something that really hurt me personally, but wasn’t in any way directed personally at me. The first one involved him ranting about people who say they can’t learn things from books and how awful that must be and how sorry he feels for them because they will never get anywhere in life. Um, I am one of those people who doesn’t learn well from books. This is surprising considering the amount that I read, but I read because I enjoy it, not because I’m trying to teach myself something (generally). I can remember facts that I’ve read, but I have a hard time sitting down and teaching myself a concept solely from a book. I really, honestly, learn better when someone is telling it to me in the form of a lecture. The teacher also said something along the lines of “they want to be shown everything! How can you learn anything if you always need somebody to show it to you? I can’t teach you everything you need to know!” Which, yes, is true. Duh. However, I don’t need to be told everything, I just need a solid basis on which to stand in order to continue my learning by using a book. I can’t start from nothing + a book. It doesn’t work for me. Thanks for telling me I am a failure and I will never get anywhere in life.

The second incident involved the concept of grades and how some people are so focused on the grade that they don’t care if they learn stuff or not as long as the grade is good. Several other people were agreeing with the teacher and said in high school they really couldn’t have cared less what grade they received as long as they learned the material. On one hand, I agree with this – the grade shouldn’t matter as long as you learn the material. However, I am SO all about the grades. You guys know this. A C to me is like an F to anyone else. I don’t get them. I can count on one hand the number of Cs I have received in my lifetime. This is just how I am. I generally learn the material, but grades are important to me because it shows that you take things seriously enough to do the work and do it well. That’s why I care. It just seemed like they were insinuating that I was stupid for caring about my grades and that caring meant that I didn’t bother learning anything. So frustrating.

I got a flyer today about a job opportunity, and the guy that handed it out stuck around for a while and made small talk with me about my USB flash drive. “Everybody’s got one of those nowadays. You should really have your name on yours. I mean, so if you leave it behind we know whose it is. We get those all the time in the Lost and Found. It needs your name and phone number. It’s really important.” Meanwhile, I’m trying to interject that yes, I realize they’re easy to lose, I work in a department that ends up with lost ones all the time and yes, we send them to Lost and Found and I am aware that people lose them. He wouldn’t have any of it and I finally said that I’ve got the name of the drive (what it shows up as being named when you plug it into the computer) as “MEGGANS USB” so hopefully that’d help and he said it wouldn’t, I needed to have MY NAME AND PHONE NUMBER on the USB itself blah blah blah. His patronizing attitude really upset me, like I was an idiot five year old that didn’t have my name on my backpack or something. He kept asking questions about my portfolio (crappy) and told me where to send my cover letter (to him, so he can “fix it” and give it back to me) and what to mention in my cover letter (him).

I’m just sick of people ripping me down left and right. Daniel made some sort of joke today about how I don’t help out around the apartment and I didn’t find it funny at all, considering he hasn’t done the dishes in well over a month and I am the one who has done them every single time and I have completely cleaned the apartment a few times and done laundry and vacuumed and cleaned the bathtub and rinsed out my dishes for the poor sap who ends up having to do them and yes, I get thanked occasionally, but does that make up for it? And then he’s going to come home and read this and be all apologetic but I will have already done the dishes and cleaned the bathroom again, and then what can you do? Shall I dirty them again so somebody else can deal with it?

What I’m really wishing for at the moment is to be sixteen again. I was thin, successful in school, not very stressed, still being taken care of by my parents, still in gymnastics, still had friends. I’m seriously unable to find anything really wrong with that picture. Daniel was around. I didn’t have very many responsibilities. I really only ever got in trouble for being on the Internet too late at night. Nobody hassled me about a portfolio or a career or housekeeping or anything like that.

I don’t want to be an adult.

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