Hi hi! I decided to check out my blog on a whim today and I found I”m still getting a lot of visits. Absolutely crazy considering I haven’t posted in about two years. I thought it might be nice to do a little post on life after Temple and what I’m up to now, having gotten some time away and gained perspective.
As for me, I’m at West Virginia University now. I am getting my masters degree in geology. I finished all my course work and am just waiting to finish my research to graduate. Here’s a link about my research! The author makes it sound a lot more heroic than it is, but then again, I can be super modest about certain things. I’ve been awarded the Karst Water Institute’s William L. Wilson Memorial Scholarship and the Milton T. and Doris E. Heald Promising Researcher Award (super modest, right). I’ve traveled to Puerto Rico twice for my research and have presented research posters in Minneapolis, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, and West Virginia. It’s been a pretty exciting time.
While I love WVU for all the opportunity it has afforded me, all the wonderful professors I have learned from (in case you’re reading, Dorothy, Nic, Joe-you are all AMAZING!), the field experience, and the room to gr0w, I miss Temple. I was requesting books through the inter-library loan system (it’s called something else here-I still use my Temple vocab) and one book came from Temple and I got a bit teary eyed.
I find I struggle a lot here to get things done through the university. One thing I really loved and took advantage of at Temple was the computer services. They would help you with any problem you have and not charge unless you needed a replacement part or software, which you would get a discount. When I was writing my thesis here I downloaded a bad PDF and got a virus and could not get rid of it myself. The university computer services was going to charge me $75 to get rid of the virus. I opted to just wipe my hard drive and I lost a lot of stuff. It was a real bummer. The same thing happened at Temple and this really nice guy (can’t remember his name anymore) worked for hours fixing my computer and tracking down the virus and I lost nothing. I didn’t even have to wait there. Conveniently, the office that I worked at is right next to computer services so I just dropped it off at the beginning of my shift and picked it up later. It was absolutely painless. I think I have a whole post about it.
I miss Temple’s atmosphere, the food trucks, Free Food and Fun Fridays, the $2 movies, J&H, seeing all my friends, club TECH, the pizza at the food huts, the juxtaposition, of the original buildings and the new additions, my roommates, getting all excited over seeing Ann Weaver Hart on campus, giving the alumni circle tour stop, the subway, the Tyler students doing stuff like this, the geology department, the noise, being able t0 walk places (WV is a giant mountain and while possible to walk places, one must sacrifice fashion for reasonable shoes), riding my bike (same issue), the diversity, the list is absolutely endless. While as a grad student I probably would be reluctant to take advantage of such things as Free Food and Fun Fridays, you can still escape into the city for a great time. There are infinite places/interests to explore and get lost in. If you’re bored in Philly, you’re doing something wrong.
Time away has given me a fresh/new perspective. I was more than ready to leave the city when I did. I grew up in a small town and Philly seemed so impersonal and cold by the end of it. Having lived there and moved away, I have a new appreciation for it and I don’t think I’ll be feeling that way again. While I know I’ll get sick of the stone jungle that it is and miss seeing trees all over, there are plenty of parks and short drives to escape the city for the day. When I tell my friends/students that I went to Temple, I still get questions about Temple’s safety and honestly, there is not one single time I can think of that I was worried about my safety. Well, maybe after eating at J&H (the all you can eat cafeteria) and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to move for hours. Btw, I have since become a WAY healthier eater. Healthy options exist at J&H, but given a salad or fries, this girl is going cheese fries. Thought!! Imagine loaded fries…like going to the salad bar for bacon!! Good thing I’m not there anymore.
I think the thing I struggle with the most is the monotony here. I teach lab classes to undergrads and frequent the gym so I do encounter and interact with the rest of the school population. There’s just very few people that really stick out to me, both visually and personality wise. I know this is thin ice I’m getting into but if you walk both campuses, you’ll notice the difference. You see all sorts of people on Temple’s campus and we get along just fine. It’s pretty fantastic. There is certainly less diversity here and while diversity isn’t just race (sex, orientation, interests, religion, interests, age, etc-thanks social work beginnings!), I personally feel very cookie cutter here. I like to wear dresses and wear some makeup and do my hair and people would question why I do it. Is it that odd to want to look nice?! And it’s not like I do it to impress anyone, it’s just what I like to do. I like to play around with the way I look. Last semester I dyed my hair red and then when that faded I did ombre and I got a lot of negative comments about the changing process. Granted it wasn’t the nicest ombre ever, but when I had it at Temple I got compliments and people asked how I did it. I can’t put my finger quite on how I feel to define it so this is more like jumbled thoughts at this point, and I’m truly sorry if I offend anyone, but Morgantown is just not the place for me. One issue I really have is downtown (which is just a few blocks) basically turns into a club during the school year at night and I’m certainly not one to go clubbing so I feel socially stagnant. Yes, there are other things to do in the area but I just miss being able to hop on the Broad Street line and head downtown without a plan and still have an unforgettable night.
I would like to clarify-I think wherever I went I would feel like that school/city couldn’t match Temple/Philly. It’s nothing personal about WVU. Like I said, WVU has offered me so much, but it is just not the place for me. I’m glad I got away and could get that space to gain perspective and learn more about myself and what is imporatant to me. I’m sure you can find plenty of people on WVU’s campus that would fight tooth and nail defending it and I am ecstatic they found their place. Mine is at Temple. I bleed cherry and white, Hooter will always be my mascot, and Philly will forever be my city. I can’t wait to come home! <3
So I’ve been a bit MIA on here but it’s okay, I have quite a post for today. The weather went from terrible, to gorgeous, to terrible, and is back to gorgeous. So let’s start with terrible:
I graduated!! Right when we got that giant snow storm, it was great. My mom got stuck here an extra day so I suited up and took the subway to meet her and my sister. They were staying at the Conwell Inn on campus which was really cute. I also found out right after the ceremony that I got into WVU, my number one choice for grad school!!! Acid Mine drainage, here I come!
Because of the intense cold and snow, there was a solid period of time that I just sat inside and read and did crafts. And let me tell you, it was great. I started working when I was 16 and between school, work, sports, and extra curricular, I forgot what free time was. So time very well spent. On one of my few outdoor adventures, I went to see Kim Barnouin, author of Skinny Bitch. The book is a sometimes crass argument from veganism. She was speaking at the library in Center City so I took the journey there to see her. Here’s some pictures I snapped while in the city:
And then my cousin’s having a baby so I went home for the shower. I didn’t take pictures of the shower itself, but here are some of my nephew and niece!
And then it got nice out! Morris and I got these passports from Temple to do all this fun stuff free in the city so we went to the Franklin Institute and then moseyed around the city.
And we went to Penn Treaty park and there was this bagpiper:
and a ship.
And we went to the John Weiss wildlife refuge. It’s about a ten minute drive on 95 and it was stunning. It’s a 3.5 mile loop of marshland and it’s relatively flat so not hard at all. We saw so many cool things! We took the dogs too and boy did they have a blast…well, Leonidas did, Xerces looked miserable. He’s a bit of a princess when it comes to getting dirty.
And then it got rainy and terrible again. And so what better to do then go out to Fox and the Hound for karaoke night!! Somewhere I heard that geologist are the sexiest scientists around. Proof:
And now it’s back to being nice out. Yesterday I walked for a good four hours exploring Fishtown. I’ll take pictures next time. And my new favorite place is Penn Treaty Park, right on the rocks by the river. I sat and read there a lot yesterday. There’s also a lot of green space to play. It’s really nice.
And this took far too long and I’m going to go enjoy this weather!
Oh boy, today is my last day of classes at Temple. It’s really bittersweet. It was just around this time five years ago that I couldn’t wait to come and now I have to leave. It’s really sad.
When I came to Temple I was the only kid coming here from my highschool. Move in day was nuts. I already knew 2 of my four suite mates so I wasn’t too nervous about that. I was really excited to just start something new. I had these wonderful dreams of being a social worker and saving the world. My, what four and a half years can do! So a photo montage of my time here at Temple.
So that’s a very short list of my times at Temple. My oh my.
I’ll be updating about post graduation activities. Mainly grad school and graduation ceremony. Until then, thanks for reading and I hope that you visit Temple and have just as wonderful an experience as I did!
Hello, hello! Well yesterday was my birthday and I turned the big 23! I thought 22 was anticlimatic, 23 only gets better!
I had class and after that my two BF’s and I went into the city. We went to Cosi for dinner, like always, but the service was really off. We might have to find a new Cosi. Then we went to H&M, Urban Outfitters, the other H&M, and Sephora. The shopping wasn’t too great. There were really cute dresses at Urban but they were $30 so I nayed that idea and went to Kristkindl Markt! Now I get really excited about this because I studied German for many many years and always saw these beautiful pictures of what it’s like at Kristkindl Markt but I went to Germany in the summer so I never got to see a real one.
So my girls entertained me and took pictures by the giant nutcracker.
This was a preemptive picture. I kind of like it. : )
And us by the tree in Center City! I’m going to feel just terrible if little kids decorated this, but it looks awful.
Indeed it was. I went home on Wednesday and stayed until Friday. I stayed with my sister and her four children, a fate I hope to not incur again. I babysat a bunch and took my sister black Friday shopping. I had a massive headache all day from getting up so early but I got to see my best friend. Unfortunately I was too tired to do anything other than small talk but none the less, it was a happy event. Saturday I spent recovering from black Friday/traveling and Sunday I spent putting together a grad presentation.
I’m absolutely terrified of giving this presentation. It’s for my graduate Geochemistry class and I’m going first and I’m one of two undergrads. Yikes! There are just two slides where the geochemistry gets a bit heavy and I get confused. My plan of action is to talk slow and smile a lot. Give a confident front. ….yikes! It’s on banded iron formations, a type of rock that existed in the archean, proterozoic, and precambrian. It’s inter layered iron rocks and cherts, producing a black and red banding. I wanted to be all into this presentation and wear a black and red sweater, kind of like Freddy Krueger, but I couldn’t find one. So I got this instead:
Kind of works, yeah?
So tomorrow is my birthday and I’ll post later this week on those events!!
Okay so it is getting to be the time of year of Kristkindl Markt. I took German for 7 years in middle/high school and a few classes at TU so I am SUPER excited!! Maybe I should tell you what it is though, yeah?
So Philly plays host to a holiday themed market right outside of City Hall (also known as Dilworth Plaza). It runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve so there is plenty of time to make it there. They have over 50 booths that form an authentic representation of an actual German market. They sell European food, candy, and drinks as well as gifts. Last year I got my Frau a little pickle to put on her tree but she moved so I never got to give it to her…So Frau Main, leave me a comment if you want your pickle!
It’s about the most adorable thing ever. Last year Morris and I went to it and it was a blast!
Here’s some pictures from last year!
Oh boy I’m so excited!!!
But I’m also getting really excited for my school work!! I have a physics test and a paper due on Friday. I really have gotten passionate about physics, like yesterday when I was reading I was just so into it! Four years ago when I was a social work major I would have imagined it. And next week is really easy. I don’t think I have anything due. On the 30th (I volunteered to go first so I would have it done by my birthday) I have a presentation in my geochemistry class on banded iron formations and we’re doing a really cool project in vert paleo! I’m going actually going to dedicate a whole paragraph to it.
So normally for vert paleo we look at about 20 bones and decide what happened from them. Last week we had a really cool project where we split into groups and we could ask ten questions about our bone quarry. From that we had to make our analysis of what happened. I thought that was pretty fabulous. My professor called it CSI: Mesozoic. Kind of cute : ) This project is a 3 week taphonomy project. She gave us a data set of about 900 bones and we have to go through and do all of the classifying and data work. I really like it because I’ve become and excel whiz from doing my research so I cannot wait to work on it again! We’re also doing a lot of statistics work which I’ve been doing in geochem so I am more than ready to get started!!
Then the last day of class is December 9th, study days are the 10th and 11th, and then finals start on Monday! I have physics and yoga on the 14th and then t wo take home finals for geochem and vert paleo. For me there are only 13 days left of class and less than a month before I’m done finals.
But on a much happier note, this weekend I have work on Saturday and then Sunday my friends and I are going to see New Moon and shop at King of Prussia. I’ve been wanting to go to Sephora for so long! I love their holiday collections and they are so cheap!
So that’s about it. I certainly will not update until Monday at the soonest so have a lovely weekend!
So the Geological Society of Temple University (or Geoclub) had a bake sale last Thursday and it was a hit! We made about $100. There was this one really memorable customer that LOVED our poster. It was a t-rex with a cookie and Petrie from Land Before Time trying to steal the cookie. We also put “No! They be stealing muh cookie!” like the lolrus. So he loved it and told us. He also took a copy and put it on his fridge. So if you want us to make you a poster, leave a comment.
And here’s Xerces, because he’s adorable.
Hi! So I’m going to share a fun little service Temple offers: Computer Recycling Center (CRC). It’s kind of like the All Dogs Go to Heaven of computers at Temple. My computer has been a bit on the fritz lately and everyone talks about their mac and I get kind of jealous. So I was just on the CRC website and they had a mac for sale! I’m completely computer illiterate so based on the macs that I have used at Temple, it’ll be pretty fantastic. The computers do not have any software but they do come with the basic operating system. Temple is also part of a program that offers reduced prices for software for students. Here’s a screen shot so you get an idea:
Pretty good deals, yeah? Students (and employees!) can also buy Symantec antivirus for $8 with free upgrades. Does this get any better?!
So moral of the story: if you need a nice cheep computer, talk to CRC.
Hello! So this has quite possibly been my busiest weekend this semester. Friday night I decided to play the role of the studious student. I went to see my physics professor and we talked about some homework, GREs and grad school. I went to see him a lot last semester and he remembered my name (including last, which is really impressive with a class of 150ish and tons of Amandas). So we talked about some problems and he was like, ‘You haven’t been doing so well on your quizzes,” and I was like, “You better look again,” and he did and I’m doing just fine. He was just thinking of a different student. He did m that the one quiz I bombed was when I took the GREs though (I wrote him a note not to expect much because I had just taken the GREs the day previous) so then we got into other things. It’s really nice to have professors that care : )
So I got home and wrote a paper about Ludwig Boltzmann. And that was Friday. Then Saturday I had work, followed by some homework. Then it was girls night! I went to my friend Amanda’s house and we watched Transformers 2. That was something else. And soon enough it was 11:00 p.m. and I had a trip the Smithsonian the next day so I headed home to get some sleep.
So then at 8:00 I was back at Temple to go to the Smithsonian with my Vertebrate Paleontology class and it was a BLAST! The drive down was great. We didn’t hit traffic, I was sleeping, it was great. We spent the whole day there and I took plenty of pictures so get pumped!!
And now for the rocks!
So now I’m all nostalgic! Freshman year my RA had a trip to DC and I went with my bff Tomi K. So here’s a little contrast!
Oh geez. That was a fun post. Hope you made it through!
and got a 1260!!! I was so nervous. I am a pleased little lady. My goal for October was to take the GREs with a sufficient score to get into grad school and November is figuring out where I’ll spend my next 2 years.
This weekend I’m going home for my nephews birthday party. It should be a killer time partying with Juicy Juice and pin the tail on the donkey.