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Blog postings by Jackie - '13


May 6, 2010

Winding down

It's been a somewhat slow week-before-finals week. It seems like there's a frenzy of activity but yet the clock has it's own agenda....Anyways, today I took my first final which went well I thought. It was a "blue book" which, for those of you who are not familiar, is basically a small loose leaf, folded in half with a blue cover to make look like a book, book. Evidently, blue books are much harder to explain...Basically, it's for professors to easily haul essay tests, instead of lots, and I mean, LOTS of single loose leaf sheets.

Today, my final was in East Asian Politics. It was largely about the political, economic and societal issues in North and South Korean and Japan. Looking over my review for this class, I was surprised at just how much material we covered! Luckily, I found a great study group to help review before the test! I lucked out even more, because one student in our study group was from Tokyo, Japan as an exchange student in Morris. So, having a native explain Japan's political history made the review go a lot more smoothly.

Anyways, the final went pretty well so I'm looking forward to my Spanish class' fiesta tomorrow! My Spanish class is slowly winding down, and my teacher is going to bring treats for us tomorrow while we chat in Spanish. I'm really excited! This weekend, I going to try to take a more relaxed approach to studying. I also have a philosophy paper I need to finish up. But other than that I just have about 2 big finals to study for: Analytic Feminism (my philosophy class) and Principles of Art (an art history class). With one final under my belt I feel a lot more confident in my studying ability.

Along with studying, I also have to pack up my things and move out of my dorm room! Crazy! It's so weird that it feels like just yesterday I was packing/cramming my stuff into my parent's car. Now, I have to re-pack, throw away, and organize all my clothes, books, etc. All in all, it also feels nice that my freshmen year has gone pretty smoothly and that I SURVIVED and had tons of FUN! I'm met a lot of new people and learned lots of lessons in Spanish grammar, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, eco-feminism, Ancient Greek Architecture, and more! Overall, I'm grateful for the wonderful learning experience in and outside the classroom.

Have a wonderful summer!

~JO.

April 28, 2010

Bearsssssss in Morrissss

Today a bear was spotted on East 9th street and Oregon Avenue in Morris! So it's big news in Morris. But at least it wasn't a cougar...Morris cougars anyone? hahaha. Still, it's a black bear that doesn't want to come down.

Police and firefighters want to keep pedestrians outside a 2 block radius. Of course it teaches law enforcement and the surrounding people patience right? A woman apparently reported hitting the bear while driving at 11pm yesterday night. Morris police tried to drive the bear out of the area. However, the bear decided it would climb a tree for safety.

DNR officials think the bear will come down and leave at night. Especially with onlookers the bear is probably scared to climb down. A tranquilizer gun was out of the question because in a residential area shooting in the air would be dangerous. The bear is18 months old 150 lbs. and official have said that they will wait for the bear to leave on its own accord.

Either way, I'm sure the bear just wanted to check out the Morris campus...because come on who wouldn't?

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~JO

April 21, 2010

Mastering the art of philosophy

So it's getting down to the final weeks of school which is great. However, I've been working on a analytic feminism philosophy paper which will (hopefully) be my first 10 page paper in college! Analytic Feminism has been an interesting class. Most of the time I come back to my dorm with my head thinking about a million different things just because the topics we talk about are so broad and controversial. So this philosophy class always challenges my mind and my body because it's about an hour and forty minutes to sit in a chair! But slowly I've come to look forward to our discussions which we have every Thursday. I've really enjoyed getting together with a small group of students and discuss important but complicated issues surrounding feminism.

But now that the year is winding down, I have a final paper for analytic feminism to start writing.
As my professor went over the assignment this week in class, all of us students went silent. Being a big reader, English papers came easy to me in high school. So you'd think writing a paper wouldn't be that daunting. But, philosophy papers have a different format in terms of it's overall tone and structure. So, on the bright side I've learned earlier this semester how to write a short (about 3 pages) philosophical paper.

Although now, it's the big end of the year paper...so it's got to be good! Right? I've got to go out of the semester of philosophy with a bang! Easier said then done though. However, I've already gotten a great start to it, so my my mind is somewhat at ease about it. I have to say that the toughest thing in college and this philosophy class/paper is that the professor gives us students the opportunity to choose the topic for our papers. Though it gives us freedom to find something we personally find interesting, it can be hard to settle on one issue. Also, since this paper has to be longer it don't want to take on a broad topic such as ethics of care and justice, ecofeminism, female appearance or whether Plato was a feminist! There's also an endless amount of topics to choose, but it's great to settle on something you have a definite opinion about. Anyways, I'll let you know how it goes as I progress through my first draft.

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~JO

April 13, 2010

Duathlon update

So last week I was sick with a fever, a nasty cough and almost a sinus infection. To say the least it was not fun. So I took 4 days off my running training. Later last weekend, I got over it and was back at the gym. This past weekend, I biked for over an hour and a half with my boyfriend. We biked around It was such a beautiful weekend! Later, on Sunday we ran 5 miles. So I'm definitely getting into the groove on my training.

I'm also thinking about running a half marathon in August for a Kenyan Aid organization. A half marathon is about 13 miles, so I think by then I'll have worked my way up to that. It's all a process! Either way, I'm just glad I've found a hobby I really enjoy. It also complements my school work because whenever I'm stressed, I can always train/exercise as an stress outlet.

~JO

April 6, 2010

Eggs & Nuggets of Advice

Easter this past weekend, was a great time for my family and me. I was able to finally see all the relatives on my dad's side of the family all 9 of his brothers and 2 of his sisters. He is the youngest of 12 which means any gathering with that side, ensures tons of conversations and stories! I think that was what made my Easter so special this year: the stories. Being away at Morris and coming home in the Cities, it always amazes how hungry I am for the latest news or funny incidents my uncles or aunts have gotten into. On the same note, my uncles, aunts and cousins always want to know how college is treating me. I always reply, "pretty well," with a smug smile. It's always nice to have family members be genuinely interested in your school work but it does get repetitive telling 11+ different people your major...Anyways, another high point of this last weekend was the Easter food! Our family is big on ham, so I had lots of it, along with chocolate. It was delicious and well needed. Guess what? There's only about 5 weeks left of school and I've realized how much I've missed home-cooked food.

It's crazy to think how fast this year went by. I remember writing my first blog..Yikes! It seems like 2 weeks ago, I was packing up/jamming all my clothes, books and bedding into my family's car! Just a bit ago, I was meeting my roommate, finding my classes and walking around Main Street in Morris. The year has flown by and the Easter holiday definitely reminded me how much more comfortable I've become talking and being a college student. Though there's still more paper, presentations and tests to go. I'm comfortable to know that I've made it through this year and I'm still having fun and smiling! Which is the most important thing after all, right?

One piece of advice I would give to freshmen is that in your first year of college, try to remain balanced. A constant struggle for me and for other freshmen I've talked to, is to try to achieve a delicate balance between studying and having fun. It's very easy to either become consumed by homework or go off the deep-end into procrastination. Though, I often realize I study a lot more than attending clubs, I've constantly tried to plan fun things throughout my week. One of them that I've mentioned in my previous blog post was the Spanish Voces Unidas/Spanish Conversation Table. I really enjoy going to various Spanish group events. Last semester, I scheduled in Hatha Yoga classes which they offer here at our on-campus gym or the Regional Fitness Center (the RFC as we call it for short) for FREE! Either way, I just can't stress how much students need a breather from school. Though I don't advocate procrastination...I highly recommend planning and structuring your time as efficiently as possible. It'll make college a lot more bearable and interesting if you vary up your routine and/or your week with things NOT related to school work.

March 31, 2010

Hablo Espanol!

So lately it seems my life has surrounded Spanish class. Yes I am a proud Spanish major! Not only is class really fun and interesting, but Voice Unidas our on-campus Spanish group also has a lot of opportunities to learn, speak (and even learn Dance like salsa!) about Hispanic culture. A couple weeks ago I went to the Spanish Conversation table one evening and had a blast. Though it can be difficult to speak in another language it's fun to meet new people and slowly get more comfortable speaking in Spanish. Also, at the end of the hour, I felt super accomplished that I managed to have an hour-longish conversation in Spanish.

This week, on Thursday (tomorrow) Voces Unidas is holding a poetry reading and I'm going to read a poem by Mario Benedetti called "No Te Rindas." If you know some Spanish, this poem is really beautiful and I highly recommend reading it. "No Te Rindas" means don't give up! This poetry reading was originally planned to surround the theme of immigration, however other pieces on all sorts of topics are now being welcomed as well. It'll be really exciting to hear different pieces while sipping on hot Chocolate and nibbling on churros! I'm looking forward to a cultural and laid-back atmosphere tomorrow in Turtle Mountain Cafe. It'll be a relaxing end to an already busy school week.


Hasta Luego
~JO

March 24, 2010

Back in Action

I'm back in Morris and it's beautiful here! It's still windy of course...but it's sunny and there's no more snow. So I'm pretty happy :) However, the homework load isn't any lighter from coming back from break. Actually April is coming up fast which means a lot of paper and presentation deadlines...yikes. But the weather's nice so it makes doing homework outside very enjoyable! I also received my midterms back which went excellent! All my studying apparently paid off. It's weird to think that I'm almost done with my first year of college. It's becoming apparent to me as the weather gets warmer, and the work load as far as papers are due within these next 2 weeks....meaning it's almost summer! I'm excited to register for classes for next year. Dorky, yes but it's nice to have a plan and interesting classes to look forward to.

Lately, outside of school, I've been training for a duathlon I plan on doing this coming May. I've been running outside. I really enjoyed running around Pomme De Terre, it was so gorgeous Sunday afternoon. As the weather gets warmer, I plan on running outside to strengthen my lungs and build more endurance. Plus, running outside is a lot more realistic for me to visual the actually race, instead of trying to visualize it on a treadmill... Overall, the running has helped become a fun stress outlet for myself throughout the week. Running takes away my stress and I feel so accomplished after a run. With this nice weather, it's motivating me even more to hit the road and enjoy the sun.

~JO

March 11, 2010

The End is Near

All my midterms are DONE!!!! Can't you tell how excited I am???!!! So, right now I just am having a relaxing day evening, knowing tomorrow I have to go to Spanish class, pack, and go home! I've been studying and working really hard for this upcoming 10 days of freedom. Freedom includes, but is not limited to: sleeping in as late as I want, getting home cooked food, walking my dog, enjoying not having to do homework, a break from work and having my best friends and family to catch up with back home. Although, I'm not going anywhere particularly exciting...just home to Roseville, I'm super excited about it. In college it's always nice to have a break in the constant action.

~JO

March 2, 2010

Spring is in the air!

Finally on campus, the air is a bit warmer, there's little wind and YES the snow is melting. Slowly, of course, but the sun and all college students are doing their best to bring about spring. Of course, there's spring fever going around. Not only are all of us students ready for warmer walks to class, but there's also Spring Break coming up! Which is very exciting and strange to think how fast this semester has flown by. I think it's true that as you enter college, the school year just flies by.

Next, week are when most people have midterms or big projects due. I am fortunate to only have one, possibly two midterms. My first, and definite Midterm is for my East Asia Politics and Government class. The other, that I'm still not sure I might have is a midterm/test for Analytic Feminism which is a challenging Philosophy class I'm take this semester. I'm not too nervous for either because I now have at least one semester (last semester) Midterms down, so I know how to study for them, I'm pretty sure. Though, all I admit, it can be hard when the weather is getting so nice out! But that will make all the studying worth it, when, I leave on Friday next week and know that I get to do whatever I want for a whole week! I of course, plan on going back to my hometown of Roseville, MN. Which is a close, close suburb of St.Paul. I'm excited to see my family and my cute dog Daisy!

On a completely other note, I have started training for an Duathlon which is at the end of May. A duathlon consists of a 5k (3 mile) run, following by a 33k bike and ends with another 5K run. The duathlon is the Sartell Apple Duathlon in Sartell, MN. This year my boyfriend asked if I wanted to be on his team. He is an experienced biker and I love to run. So, this past week, once I got over being sick, I started hitting the gym again. I'm really excited because I've never competed before. Here, in Morris the Regional Fitness Center has a training program for students interested in training for triathlons...however, I'm not a huge fan of swimming. Although, I do enjoy running and biking, the whole swimming part, just isn't my thing. So even though, the program sounded intense, but rewarding, I don't think I'm ready to compete in a swim-bike-run competition yet. Either way, I can't wait to get out and run in warm weather!

~JO


February 24, 2010

When Sick, Don't Get Behind!

So of course being sick is a period of time when you feel yucky and don't want to get out of bed. So naturally, living in a dorm close to people, and having stress, of COURSE you'll get sick. But it's bearable! Totally bearable. We have health services have nurses and doctors that will take care of you. So if you've been sick starting from the weekend into the week...like I have, they can check you out. Plus, there's always great food at TMC to cheer you up. Like grilled cheese and tomato soup! Which is of course what I had. It was delicious. On top of that, there's always people on your floor or in your classes who can empathize with you. Not only, do a lot of students get sick at the same time, but college students understand how hard it is to feel miserable and have class AND homework to do. So even though being sick is fun for no one, there are a lot of people and things to make your day a bit better for you.

Stay Healthy!
JO

February 17, 2010

Spanish and Political Science classes oh My!

Being a Spanish and Political Science double major...is fun and a lot of work! Right now, I'm taking Intermediate Spanish and Politics of East Asia. Spanish class has a conversation, grammar, presentation and Facebook component. Yes Facebook! As a class we set up a Spanish Facebook where we post pictures and comments all in Spanish. It's a fun way to use Spanish in a familiar, comfortable setting. In class we talk in Spanish constantly, which is a great way immerse yourself in the language. I'm excited for our presentations later on in the semester. This Friday is our first test, so wish me luck!

On the other hand, Political Science is filled with another language Chinese names of current and past leaders. In Politics of East Asia we start with learning the history and culture of China, move onto the Koreas and finally Japan. So far, in our class we have been covering China and it's Communist Revolution, Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. One memorable class was when we had a Tea party with authentic green tea from Japan and China! It was really great to have class lecture while sipping on some integral Asian culture.

February 11, 2010

What's Happenin' on Campus!

Though it's easy to get into a routine when in college (eat-sleep-study-social life something in between) but there's also a ton of opportunities on-campus that will provide other reasons to get out of bed in the morning. Some of the events that are happening on campus currently, are the Blood Drive, Winter Dance Recital (this weekend), "Adventures in Mating" and the Feminist Art Gallery.

The Blood Drive of course is pretty self-explanatory, but the Winter Dance Recital is a dance recital made up of Dance minor dancers. This show promises culturally diverse dance numbers. Also, the dances performed have been choreographed by both professors and students which is really cool. What's even more cool, is the fact that all the ticket sale money will be donated to Haiti Relief. So this weekend, it's sure to be a popular event for the entertainment and charity purposes. Another production that gets a lot of notice, is the Morris theater group Meiningens is putting on a show about...well relationships with a humorous touch.

Along the art theme, in the Humanities and Fine Arts building is featuring various artists interpretation of Feminism, in various mediums. I personally visited the gallery and was really impressed at the different interpretations and representations behind various art pieces. The gallery is though-provoking for any person, male or female.

Up and coming events for this weekend and beyond...is Valentine's Day which at Food Service will consist of Surf n' Turf! So bring on the sirloin and shrimp! So whether you're happily taken or contentedly single, everyone will be enjoying the delicious meal! I'm so excited to dig in!

Lastly, but of course not leastm FLOGGING MOLLY is coming to Morris. That's right, you did read my excited all caps words right, Flogging Molly is coming to Morris! Though this won't be for a while, it is all the buzz at Morris. So I along with hundreds of other Morris students are happy to take advantage to this band rock out in our own backyard:)

~JO.


February 4, 2010

Tips For Getting Along With Your Roommate

I feel like as a High School Senior, friends, relatives, tell Seniors all their great memories about classes, friends, sports, clubs, study abroad and more about college. Yet, there is the one minor detail, your roommate! It's very essential that you build a friendly relationship with your roommate. Because, who are you sharing a room with? Who are you going to go to sleep and wake up to? Your roommate that's right!

So I've decided to give you some tips on dealing with your roommate, to make it a positive experience your first year.

1) Make sure you know when each other classes are. Just because it's always nice to know when your roommate has to get up at 7 for an 8 o'clock class.

2) Go over the basics: if they are a late night/early morning person, a library-studier, if they have a job outside of work. What they like to do on the weekends (if they go out of town a lot) or if they like to invite friends to stay in the dorm room with them. These are just helpful to know right away, so you know what to expect in a small living space.

3) Find out if they have a boyfriend/girlfriend. This may seem like a very personal question. But I think it's important because then you'll get to know why there's a late-night phone call or Skype session. Or maybe, why they seem upset or emotional. Knowing this information can be helpful, because you'll have some insight their personal life which can effect their school life and the way they relate to you.

4) Find out their study habits. I've mentioned this before, but I just want to reiterate that it's helpful to know if your roommate like to study in the student lounge, library, in your room, etc. If they study in your room, it's important you know this fact, because you want to give them space and all the quiet they need to concentrate.

5) Be clear about when you're going to bed/when you're coming back to the dorm. It's always nice to let your roommate know where you are, or how late you'll be. This may sound controlling, but it's always nice to know your roommate is safe. An easy way to fix this problem (and what some roommates do) is have a whiteboard outside your room, on your door. Then write your name and where you are. This saves you a lot of texting and calling. A whiteboard is especially helpful come finals time when college students are finishing up projects and studying of course!

That's all I've got for now, but I hope these are helpful. Of course every person is different with different personalities and ways of dealing with things, so it's just important you figure out a great way to communicate with your roommate for YOU.

~JO

January 26, 2010

Busy Busy Busy So Busy

Well I have arrived back on campus after a refreshing month and 1 week winter break. If you are wondering why I'm being exact with the number of days of break, I'm just going to say that you'll realize the importance of it when you've completed your first semester of college! It was nice to finally let my brain relax after studying, reviewing, quizzing, organizing and finishing up all my coursework finals week. It's been great having new classes and seeing some familiar faces walking around campus. Though it's been quite chilly and windy, it's been a treat having the Turtle Mountain Cafe have an abundance of caffeine and choclately warm drinks to make the cold walk to class a little more bearable.

This semester I am taking East Asian Government and Politics, Principles of Art, Analytic Feminism and Intermediate Spanish. So far, I'm digging my Government and Politics class but of course that is to be expected from a double Spanish and Political Science major! This semester along with starting new classes, I'm looking into doing a National Student Exchange or studying abroad in the near future. National Student Exchange would allow me to attend another college within the United States for up to a year. Likewise, study abroad has many options for length of time and country you can go to. I'm still not sure what I'll do, but I know I want to travel!

Though, attending informational meets, I've realized the somewhat daunting task of filling out various application sheets. But either way, I'm ready to explore a notoriously rewarding and challenging part most college students like to do...travel and go to school someplace different. I'll hopefully have more details later, but whenever I need a study break it's been exciting for me to do research on different parts of the world. I'll let you know what I've decided. But having said that, it is still nice to be in Morris. I can tell the professors missed having student interaction, and they all have good stories from break. I too was excited to hear other students and teacher's winter break events. It's been an interesting start to the new year and new semester.

Stay Warm,
J.O

December 15, 2009

You Can Survive Finals As a Freshmen!

After hours of studying, indistinguishable amounts of coffee, heaps of candy and scattered piles of flashcards...I have made it through my first semester finals as a freshmen. Though I was dreading this finals week, it's not too bad. You don't have to get up for classes. For me, I've only have one final each day this week. So even though I studied hard this past weekend, once I finished a final, I'm free to do fun stuff with my floor the rest of the day.

Some advice for studying I can give is the following:

The sooner you start studying, the better off you'll be. Never underestimate the power of studying a little bit each night, even two weeks, before finals if you feel proactive.

Also, making flashcards and testing yourself can make test time less stressful. Writing done practice questions and writing out a full response to it does wonders. Believe me, if you get stressed out when taking hard tests, it is so beneficial to essentially "test yourself" in a quiet environment. It truly makes taking the real final so much easier simply because you've done it before. Plus, it makes answering questions less nerve-racking because you've been exposed to questions. So you don't get shocked or numb when faced with pages of questions/ a blue book for writing in-class essays!

Though, studying with friends can be helpful, it often times is distracting when you get to talking about your plans for break, holiday shopping, and much more. So although, it's always nice to split up the study work/review, it can also create more distraction if you aren't too careful. A simple solution is to have a healthy mix of partner and individual study time.

Furthermore, finding different spots to study can beat the studying blues. It's nice to sit in a quiet library, but finding other nooks, wherever you are, can help prevent monotonous studying spaces. Also, limit studying in your bed or comfy couches. This is important because especially in college, when you are faced with textbooks, notebooks, and flashcards on top of a sleep-able surface....you're doomed to fall asleep. Or you somehow talk to yourself into taking a nap to benefit your studying for finals. So watch out! Don't be too tempted. It's a battle, but it's worth the fight for a great grade you can show off to your parents over winter break.

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Set a time for when you will begin and end a study session! For me this past weekend created for me a challenge. I needed to study enough, but I also knew taking breaks and having fun was also something I wanted for my last weekend at Morris. What I did was set my cell phone alarm to go off after 30-45 minutes of studying. This was really helpful because I also planned a reward, like getting a hot chocolate from Turtle Mountain Cafe, or when it was later at night, I planned watching a movie with my floor. It was these little rewards, that break up the days and hours of studying. Besides, your brain needs a break from memorizing, analyzing, and problem-solving. Instead of cramming, give yourself a time limit to achieve maximum School Information Retention, as I call it.

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I hope these are some helpful tips, but above all make sure you figure what the best study method is for you. Just remember that the end of finals, is the reward of rest and assurance you did you best, by studying your best. Above all after taking any exams, be proud of the work you did and don't be afraid to show off your good grades. After all, you've earned it:)

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~JO




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