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November 30, 2009

Ninja's Back...Back Again

Whoopee!!! Ninja is back at the UMM!!! Back to friends, martial arts clubs, campus events (Carol Concert), and...oh...yeah the final crunchtime before finals! YIKES!!!!!!!!! Luckily, my parents took pity on me and sent me back to Morris with a HUGE care package for surviving finals. After all, chocolate does improve the memory. Actually, this part of the semester is not as bad as it sounds, since most of my communication classes will be done by next week-I just need to do a couple of presentations, write one more paper, take a quiz then I'm FREE from communication classes until next semester. Then all I have to do is study for my finals in Stats, Accounting, and TaeKwonDo. Piece of cake...mmm...cake. Plus there is a lot of fun stuff coming up on campus before break such as the jazz dance, holiday parties, and a last chance of being horribly corrupted by the Bad Movie Club break..lol.

But you know what the best part about being back in Morris is? My dorm room's temperature is above 50 degrees. My parent's house is currently having heating problems so I don't think there was a single time when I was home that I wasn't wearing a minimum of three layers of clothing in addition to being draped in several thick blankets! BRR!!!

Kiyah!!!!!!!!! Talk later, ~NINJA shivering snowman.jpg

Returning to UMM: A Relief?!

Holy Smokes.

I never would have thought that I would find myself admitting it to be a relief to come back to school- with all of the stress of classes and what not, but I'm finding myself extremely thankful to be back here on campus!
This is because my thanksgiving break was nothing close to relaxing. Exciting, yes. Eventful, yes. Fun, yes. Relaxing, no.


The whole break started off with a bang--literally.
As I was riding in the car to attend a very nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner (comprised of enchiladas and totillas and guacamole dip) in Eau clair WI, a deer ran into our car. It was traumatic, and I think that I am scared for life (...perhaps this is a tad bit too dramatic...). We ended up making it to my cousins house. We were stranded there over night (although, it turned out to be quite the night-- filled with good company and great pies and the Pocahontas movie). The next day, when we attempted to drive back to Rochester, MN (the dealership repair shop had told us that it would be okay to drive back), we were stranded yet again- although this time on the side of the road. So, we were towed back into Eau Clair and given a free rental car. Finally, we were able to make it home.

The rest of the weekend was a blast: ginger bread cookies, movies, sleepless nights, family time, the friends of the library book store, klaus nomi, Christmas tree chopping... the list goes on.

But, I missed out on the "relaxation" part. Although, I do not have any regrets what-so-ever, and I'm enlightened to admit that waking up this morning and getting back into the groove of college life was much welcomed.

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November 24, 2009

"Hello."

Whew! Whoever said being in college would be easy peasy lemon squeezy (Where the heck did that phrase come from, anyway?) compared to high school was sorely mistaken! Between going to classes, homework, work, final projects and papers being wrapped up, and making time to breathe, it has not been a walk in the park. And I'm not the only one. Everyone I talk to is swamped too! I am so ready for Thanksgiving break!

The stress is completely bearable, however, given the fact that I love all of my classes! (I know, I know, "She works in admissions, she NEEDS to talk about how splendorous everything in Morris is." But I'm serious!) I'm a Spanish and International Studies major, and this semester most of my classes are language based. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I make my way to German class (Okay, so German is really hard for me, but no one can be good at everything!) and then to French. Tuesdays and Thursdays I have Spanish and World Politics and on Tuesday nights I take American Sign Language (My favorite class of all of them).

"But Liz," you ask, "don't you get all those languages mixed up, taking them all in one semester?" The answer to that is: YES, I DO. Be smart, people. One foreign language at a time.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Day in the Life...

Yeah, I realize the title of this entry is very original but hey this is my first entry. I'm a sophomore here at the University of Minnesota Morris and I've decided that this post will be a glance at the life of a somewhat active college student. Every day I start out going to breakfast at the Turtle Mountain Cafe and enjoying a nice breakfast with an occasional donut. After that I'm off to Differential Equations for an hour. So far that class has been challenging but my professor is more than happy to help me out. After that I head to Calc. 3 for another hour and five minutes. That class is also challenging me in ways I never thought possible. Right now I'm learning about triple integrals. After that I get a nice sized break to kind of recuperate and get ready for the rest of the day. My next class of the day is psychology. Just last week we took an exam in that class and I thought it was pretty easy. After psychology I have data structures. Data structures is a computer science class in which we talk about different sorts of, you guessed it, data structures. Data structures is my last class of the day. I tend to use some of the rest of my day doing homework. Currently I'm using a good portion of my time catching up in my classes. The reason for that is I got sick about 2 weeks ago and am still catching up. Getting sick is no fun at all when it comes to missing classes. With my free time I go to the Regional Fitness Center or RFC and lift and do some form of activity. The RFC is a really nice facility and the staff is very friendly. If I'm not at the RFC I'm either at my apartment or in the gym playing intramural basketball. I've got a pretty good story for intramural basketball. Okay so last night the team I am on had two games, one at 8:30 pm then one right after that at 9:30 pm. Our first game didn't go all that well considering we lost. But the second game was a really good game. For the entire time our team was either leading by a small amount or the other team had a small lead. When the game was about 15 seconds away from being over we were down by 4 points and it was our ball. So we called a time out and devised a brilliant plan to get a 4 point shot from one of the girls on our team. Just so you know when it comes to girls points they get 3 for a shot inside the 3-point line and 4 for anything outside of it. Anyway, so we took the ball out on the side line and ran our play. We set two screens for the girl and she took the 3 (4 pointer) and she made it. We ended up tied. Both teams agreed to a tie since it was about 10:30 pm and both teams were very tired and thought that it was a great game either way. When it comes to the some of the other time I have I am sometimes working here in admissions as a telecounselor. Other than that I do what quite a few college students do. I sit around watching TV and procrastinate about studying. I do get my studies in though. I think I will call it a day on this whole blog thing. I hope you enjoyed reading about a day in the life. I'll get back to you about other happenings that are worthy of your attention.

November 23, 2009

Ninja's Stress Relief Tips

Being a college student can pretty be pretty stressful at times, there's homework, exams, more homework. However, there are plenty of ways in Morris to relieve that stress such as...

1) Go to one of the many student activities on campus. Personally, I recommend Martial Arts Club, nothing relieves stress like practicing ninja moves.

2) Team up with some friends and make something yummy. Brownies are great-buy a box mix follow the directions, while still warm top with mini marshmallows bake until marshmallows are slightly golden and puffy. Sprinkle with M&Ms and drizzle with some chocolate syrup. Let the brownies cool slightly before cutting then enjoy! mmm...good!!

3) Find a cozy futon and blanket and read a good book-a novel with NO EDUCATIONAL VALUE whatsoever! Ninja suggestion-Try "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," its a timeless story with the excellent additions of zombies and ninjas.

4) Watch an intramural game. Personally, I'd recommend Ground Quidditch, that's one of the new sports on campus.Quidditch has everything a sport needs to be good-action, teamwork, broomsticks, live Snitches, etc....

5) Go for a nighttime walk. Walk up to the wind turbine around 6ish and watch the stars come out or if your feeling like a bit of an insomniac go in the wee morning hours during a meteor shower. The view is awesome from up there.

kiyah,~Ninja
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"5 Slapped-Together-Take-It-With-a-Grain-of-Salt-Top-5-Pieces-of-Advice-I-Have-Learned-So-Far"

As I promised yesterday, I'm back to ramble on some more.

Today, I've decided to focus this entry on some advice from me, a vigilant freshman here at UMM.
So, enlighten yourself:

"5 Slapped-Together-Take-It-With-a-Grain-of-Salt-Top-5-Pieces-of-Advice-I-Have-Learned-So-Far"
(In no particular order)

  1. Agenda books save lives. Seriously. I once (about a week ago) went a day with out my agenda, and I felt lost and as if I was suffocating in outer space. Let me just say that being organized is key.
  2. Always be open to new things. There are so many instances where an open mind is crucial to even make it though the day.
  3. Studying is mandatory. Well, if one wants to do well on exams and quizzes, that is. As much as I'd like to believe that I know everything, it is always much more beneficial (sometimes the difference between a B/C and A) to review the material.
  4. Being involved and meeting people is just as important as attending classes. I'm not saying to go skip class in order to attend a meeting, but rather making connections and being an engaged UMM community member can teach you just as much as being lectured at about how the central dogma of molecular biology works. For real.
  5. Sleep is optional. There have been many nights where my head hits the pillow several hours after midnight. Although, if there is an exam the next day, I suggest at least 6 hours of sleep.

Alas, a photo, courtesy of the ACE Office:
This photo was taken during the Study Abroad Story Night 11/18/2009
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Cheers!
nrhw

It's almost turkey time!

It's hard to think that 4 months ago I was moving into my dorm, saying goodbye to my family, and making my new home in Morris. I remember how strange living in a dorm was going to be. Especially, how strange it was going to be waking up, stumbling out of bed, and sleepily making my way to the bathroom, only to see a couple of girls staring back at me in the mirror. Of course this past couple of months my floor has become my Morris family. They've taken the place of my parents by supplying their good advice and also being company during my favorite Office episodes on various Thursday nights. Surely being at Morris, especially being a freshman, I've had to expand my friend circle. It is difficult to step outside your comfort zone in a new place, but college is the perfect place to challenge yourself, if you haven't heard that a million times before.
However, with the holidays right around the corner there is one thing that is on my mind, as well as, the minds of many Morris students....Thanksgiving family time and food.
Though Food Service and Turtle Mountain Cafe has a variety of scrumptious snacks and wholesome meals, right now I could go for homemade pumpkin pie, turkey and stuffing! Yes, it is almost Thanksgiving. I'm feeling ready to make the journey home and spend some quality time with my family alongside quality time with Thanksgiving food! These couple of days before break are of course filled with challenging tests and papers, but that is to be expected. In case you were wondering, being a Political Science and Spanish double major does require lots of time and effort even in your first year here! But both my World Politics and Intermediate Spanish classes have been so much fun. It's truly been a great experience making new friends, starting new classes, and knowing you can come home to share all your stories with family in a matter of days. I don't know about you but I've done the first two things, and am more than excited to complete the last. And who told you college students procrastinate? That's right, I have a plan and I'm intending to finish it with much gusto and gravy! Bring on the turkeys.
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Over & Out,
JO

November 22, 2009

Within the Blink of an Eye:

So much has taken place here at UMM.
Over the past three months (Wait. Hold on....three months...is this possible?!), I have constructively over committed myself (some nights I have less than five minutes to get from meeting to meeting: class until noon, lunch, Campus Resources Planning Committee, work, jazz combo, DFL Exec meeting, study group meeting, homework, relaxing time, shower, and then bed by 2am), expanded my educational learning capability, watched the stars while laying under the UMM wind turbine, met amazing professors and students (insert shout out here to the ACE office- Paula- with candy cigarettes. Exclaimer: UMM in no way endorses smoking; the candy cigarettes are in fact powdered sugar sticks that come from the dollar store). In the midst of everything, I'm finding it incredibly hard to believe that it is nearly Thanksgiving break!

Perhaps, before I go into more detail about all of the events that I have been involved with and that have been happening here on campus, I should explain myself (in facebook style!):
Name: Naomi Halverson Wente
Year: First Year, Nearly Sophomore
Major(s): Environmental Studies- possibly Political Science, Women's Studies, Spanish
View on life: Open the door, step outside and smell the fresh air. Then attempt to do anything and everything that is of interest
Activities: DFL Executive Committee, Minnesota Public Interest research Group (MPIRG), Campus Resources Planning Committee (CRPC), work, "One Toilet at a Time" campaign, Jazz Combo, hanging out/volunteering in the ACE office, star gazing, volunteering at the Co-Op, study groups, hanging out in the Library (third floor couches at Salt Lake City), drinking highlander grog at Common Cup, etc. (to be continued!)
Interests: Changing the World.

Here is a photo taken, courtesy of the Star Tribune.
Sept 28. 2009
"Environmental studies majors Collin Sandoe and
Naomi Wente worked with a biomass gasifier in a lab at the University of
Minnesota-Morris' heating and cooling plant."

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*Stay in-tune for much more to come!
nrhw