Sunday, December 27, 2009

Home for a week, then Florida!

This month has been quite busy with term wrapping up. Both of my main classes had big term papers, and it was a big push at the end to get them both done. But they are done now, and I am off on break! I'm home now, which is very nice, and on Tuesday I will be going to Florida for 9 days to train with the crew team. I just checked the weather, and it's going to be warm! I packed a bathing suit, so I hope I get to use it!

Today I got new running shoes, which is very exciting. The store I go to has people who know a ton about running and shoes, and it seems like everyone there runs at least 50-70 miles a week, and there are some that run way more. The guy that was helping me also had the cutest little dog (except Pita!), it looked like a pug but it was something else. Anyway, she was 11 weeks old and so soft! I have to say I got a little distracted from the shoes. But I ended up with a purple pair of sneakers that are very comfortable and almost make me hope that we go running in Florida so I can test them out :) Almost.

It's been pretty warm while I've been home, at least for December. It's been in the 50s the last few days, and raining instead of snowing. When I got home, everything was covered in snow from the storm last weekend, but now it's almost all gone.

I've decided that I'm applying for a dual master's degree with a more policy-flavored program. The application is due in early January, so I've got to get it finished up soon. But before that, I've got to get it started :P The only real hard part is the statement of purpose, as I know from applying to grad school last year. But it's hard to get started, and it's hard to tell when you're done. I'm really excited about this program though, so I will just have to buckle down and start writing.

And now it's time for dinner. Here's a picture of our Hanukkah menorah, my Christmas tree, our Kwanzaa flowers, and our atheist plant. Also some cereal and sugar, and our new curtains in the background, made by my mom! Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The semester's ending, and it's getting cold

I haven't been writing too much lately, but there have been a lot of things going on. This week is the last week of official crew practice until we go to Florida at the end of the month. We've been practicing inside since our last race, but inside sometimes means outside when we're running, so it can be kind of cold. I miss rowing on the water, so hopefully Florida will be a good way to get back into that. I'm not sure how this trip will compare to the swimming trips we've had to Puerto Rico, since the team dynamics are very different on the crew team and the swim team.

Other than crew, research is going all right. I've been working on a slightly different project, and I submitted a first cut at a piece of it to my advisor, so now I'm waiting for him to get back to me with his feedback. Things are going well in the lab, with our Lab Thanksgiving last week and a holiday party coming up in the next couple of weeks. We're also playing an online game called warfish, which is a pretty fun thing to play with 15 people. It provides a nice distraction from resesarch every once in a while.

I've been feeling a bit stressed with final papers/projects for my two classes, but a couple of weeks from now it will all be done and turned in, which I'm very excited for. I've enjoyed my classes this semester, and I'm hoping I can put together a schedule that I'll like as much for next semester. So far, I'm not sure how well that's going to work out. I'm going to be taking at least one more technical class, so hopefully that won't be too much of a shock after the slightly less technical term I've just had. Other than that, scheduling is turning out to be a bit of a problem. Grad school classes don't keep the 5-7 pm block open for sports the way undergrad classes do. I guess this makes sense, because most grad students aren't participating in varsity sports, but it works out to be a problem for me.

It was nice to go home for Thanksgiving and see my family and run in my high school cross country team's annual alumni race. My boyfriend and I drove this year, which didn't take as long as we expected and was much less stressful than taking the overcrowded bus or paying for the train or plane. We listened to some podcasts, which was fun.

There's always more to write about, but I'm going to stop for now. Here's a picture of our crew race, in which you can see how rainy it was: