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December 8, 2006

Not too bad this time

You know, I really should stop mentioning at the beginning of my entries how much time it's been since the last time I updated my blog, so I probably won't do this that much more, unless I decide my entries are not long enough otherwise and that I don't have much to write about, or even when I have a lot to write about but just feel like writing for no reason in particular, in which case I might mention how long it's been until I actually keep up with my standards for the DSLUOEIYPTT (Days Since Last Update Or Entry, If You Prefer That Term). But anyway, on to stuff with a hint of point to it. Before that though, I have to mention that it's been about 2 weeks since my last entry (sorry, habit I'm working on correcting; okay, so I'm not, but, I mean, I might in the future).

Classes are slowing down in approach to finals, which is nice compared to full speed in the middle of the semester. It'll be extremely nice when I can say adios to classes but not nice when I have to say adios to friends for a little while, but that's the way it is. We have the internet, so it won't be a total cutoff or anything. Anyway, winter break will be nice, not having to do anything, but there's still a lot of things I want to do during break, so I'll be able to stay busy with stuff I've put off until I had more time to do it (winter break = more time). Going to Arizona for Christmas will be fun, getting to see one side of the family, and then come home and see some of the other side of the family. It should be pretty exciting, though it just doesn't seem right going to a place for Christmas without snow and where you can just walk outside in a t-shirt and shorts and not freeze into a block of human ice within a few minutes. We could probably bring some snow from Minnesota down to Arizona for those family members who have been missing the snow ever since they decided to live in a snowless place (you know who you are). On the plus side, we'll be able to walk outside in a t-shirt and shorts in Decemeber. Anyways, it'll be good to see a bunch of family during break.

Not to go on a tangent or anything, but I thought I'd mention that "anyways" or "anyway" is basically my key word for saying that I'm pretty much done rambling on and feel like I've used just enough Internet on the subject mentioned before the key word that I feel like we should move on to more important topics, like this one. Anyway, I'm sorry, but I couldn't help from contradicting myself right after I explained my key word because the opportunity was basically just sitting right in front of me like a flat tennis ball, with a racket right next to it, and I just couldn't help myself from sending that tennis ball skyward toward the softball field next to the tennis courts I am in, looking for a softball player to hit smack dab on the helmet and cause them to turn their head towards another individual on the same tennis courts, thinking it was that individual who hit them and not me (just to note that the thought of this activity was never, ever even thought of being done by members of my tennis team from high school to members of our high school's girl softball players, much less physically doing such a childish act; we were better than that). Anyway, this time I'm actually moving on.

My Metro Internship process of matching the companies to the individuals in the program is finally over and I got matched with the company I wanted, Loaves & Fishes (if you don't know what I'm talking about, you can look back at previous entries where you might find mention of it, call me on my cell, or just plain not worry at all about it and keep reading because you don't really have to know about the process unless you really, really want to). Loaves & Fishes is a non-profit company based in Minneapolis that has various sites around the Minneapolis/St. Paul area that give anyone who comes into them a free meal. In addition to giving individuals who come into the sites a free meal, Loaves & Fishes helps these individuals find additional help for their other needs, such as rent assistance, job placement, etc. by having an individual at the sites occasionally to assist them and point them in the right direction. The goal of my internship is to gather up information on these various areas for each site within the site's zip code (since many of these individuals have limited means of transportation), organize the information, and (if there's enough time within the internship) learn the information well enough to be able to go to the different Loaves & Fishes sites and help individuals find the information they are looking for. I'll be working somewhere around 10 to 12 hours a week until the end of the school year, with maybe the possibility of it going into the summer if the goal of the internship is not met (at least I hope it could go into the summer if I don't get everything done).

I'm really excited about the internship, if you couldn't tell by the detailed description above where I actually didn't really go on writing words for few reasons. I see it as a really good opportunity, especially since 'm starting to more clearly see myself majoring in non-profit management and I can learn more about non-profits through this internship and it is a pretty direct way for me to help out the community.

I guess I'll update my current plans for what I'll major in (subject to change with every day and mood swing). Currently I'm thinking of majoring in non-profit management and philosophy (or at least minoring in philosophy) with a leadership minor we have at the U of M, maybe squeezing in enough entrepreneurial classes to major or minor in that too (this last part I just came up with about a minute ago and might or might not be plausible). I have not much of an idea of where I want to be after college, but I figure I have 3 1/2 years to figure that out (and maybe more if I want to get a MBA or something further). Anyway, I guess I'll stop now and find something further to do tonight.

Hope you all have a good couple of weeks until Christmas and if I don't see you at or before Christmas, have a merry Christmas and happy New Year if I don't see you before then either. Adios.

Jon

November 26, 2006

My apologies

It has come to my attention that I am not fulfilling my promise of writing an entry every two weeks or so. To be more specific, it has been nearly a month since my last entry. Some individuals might contend that I'm admitting my faults now, a day before the one month anniversary of my last entry, simply because I wanted to use the phrase "nearly a month since my last entry" as truthfully as possible, and even though I admit I like using my terms to the fullest extent of their truth as much as the next truthful man or woman, I am not doing so now. It just happens to be a coincidence, sort of like how in me writing these words as you read them, you have lost all logical pattern of reason to my writing and am wondering where I am going with this and I were to reply "nowhere" that you would say that is not a valid answer and I would proceed to argue that nowhere is somewhere...but that's another story.

Anyway, the jist of the paragraph above is that I'll try to keep up more frequently.

So, I guess my birthday came and went within the past month. I'm sure you all know of people who, like Bert Blyleven, is gun-ho enough about their birthday that they keep track of the number of days until their birthday and never seem to forget to mention when their birthday is, even when it's 364.99999999999999999 days away. Just to let you know, if you didn't already know, I'm not one of those people. I have problems getting excited about things I should get excited about, but I don't really think my birthday is something I should be that excited about. I mean...yeah, I was born on that day and yes, life is something that should be celebrated, but it just doesn't feel right to me to get so excited about the day I was born and commit energy towards that while there are more important things I could channel my energy towards. Then again, after looking at what I just wrote, I would not be offended if you called me Mr. Scrooge or Mr. Downer or Mr. Looking-too-much-on-the-non-bright-side-er, since I might label myself these if I were you (thought probably not the last one, becuase that's just wierd and downright lame and I'm not like that). But anyway, I had a nice birthday.

There's also been a development in my Metro Internship situacion. Just last week I interviewed at three different companies (Loaves & Fishes, the Minneapolis YMCA, and the Minnesota International Center), which are the three possibillities left for where I will intern. I had to rank the 3 companies in order of preference (which is the order I wrote them above) and each company ranked the possible interns in order of their preference and the mediator of the exchange, the YMCA, tries to match the organizations and interns' preferences as fairly as possible. Though I completely agree with the Y's stance of being fair, I'm hoping for them to be more "fair" to red, curly haired interns than non-red, non-curly haired interns, since no one could question the validity of the Y for doing so.

Since all of you are, by one future not-really-sure-what-he'll-be-when-he-gets-out-of-college-er's estimates, looking forward to having time to fully digest all of this note in full, I will simply say that Thanksgiving was nice, being able to relax and not do homework while also getting to spend some time at home with family and friends and just relaxing and not doing anything and eating turkey and duck (oooooohhhh, that duck and turkey were goooood) and watching some football and playing some cards and getting some more whiteout and really not doing a whole heck of a lot but doing a lot in not doing a whole heck of a lot.

So, there are other things going on too, but since I don't like wasting a lot of space talking about nothing in particular but just rambling on, partically for my own amusement (okay, mostly for my own amusement), I'll stop now while I can. Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and I look forward to seeing you all within a very short period of time. Adios.

Jon.

October 27, 2006

Oh, they have the date right above the title so I don't have to write the date of the entry anymore and instead write any title I feel like writing

That's a relief. Everytime I began an entry I had to move my cursor to the bottom right part of my computer screen to see what the date was. I feel pretty good most of the time about being able to remember (most of the time) the day of the week it is. I gave up figuring out what the actual date of the month was a few years ago.

Anyway, not much exciting has happened within the past week. I do think, though, that for my professors, homework is a drug. The amount has slowly but surely increased from the first week of classes till the very moment at which you are reading these words, with the section of my daily activities pie chart for homework growing to resemble Pac-Man (there's my one pity reference to your generation, so you better eat it up). Okay, so homework is not really that bad. I just thought of the Pac-Man reference, had to figure out a way to get it into this note, and so came up with a way to do it. There is a fair amount of homework, but that's expected with college, though I wouldn't mind my professors pulling up on the reins every once in a while (or more than once in a while).

I hope everyone is doing well and I'll talk to you all later.

Jon

October 20, 2006

10/21/06

Well, it looks like I'm lagging behind on the update scedule again. I apologize to all of you hanging unto the final words of my last note that you had to wait this long. For the few of you who weren't hanging unto the final words of my last note, I forgive you. I have a fair amount of things that have happened since my last note, so I'll try to include everything, but I can't guarantee that I won't miss some things. From the little interaction I've had with the outside world compared to some of you, one thing I have learned is that life is not fair, so if I miss some things, maybe a few things I forget to mention or other things I "forget" to mention, just realize it's apart of life.

Two weeks ago I was leaving eating one of the cafeterias here on campus after eating dinner with a couple of friends and I saw a strange sight: my four professors were all sitting down at a table there, having a friendly conversation; or so I thought. I found out later they were planning to give me the chance at experiencing a homework spree for the next two weeks, which I couldn't really say that I appreciated the opportunity to have. However, there's currently a slight lull in the storm, so I'm thankful I can stay on my raft now. The homework alone really wasn't as bad as I described it there (suprise!), but with everything going on, I have been dang busy the past two weeks.

With being on the community council, I was pushed into doing things for homecoming (which still isn't for at least two more weeks), so I volunteered to play on the water polo team and was pulled into doing cheer, though I think it'll actually be fun. We have no plans for water polo practices, mainly because we don't need any practice, but apparently (despite everyone's assessment in my dorm) we need practice for cheer, because there have been about 10 scheduled practices so far (note: scheduled practices and actual practices are two different entities; we've had about 5 actual practices). Anyway, it should turn out pretty good.

I did interview for the Metro Internship Program a couple of days ago, which is an internship coordinated through a YMCA on campus. The firms, both for-profit and non-profit line up at the Y to get students, to which students respond by dashing to the Y in a big mob, piling into the building, and banging on the bars, asking politely to get internships. That may be less dramatic than what actually happens, but you get the picture. Anyway, I think my interview went pretty well and I'll find out pretty soon if I'm in or not. If I get in, I'll go and do some site visits to check the places out and see what I would do for those internships and see which one is the banana for my peanut butter (those are actually pretty good sandwiches if you haven't had them). I would work 10 hours a week from November till the end of spring semester (unincluding J-term, of course) and at the end of the program receive a scholarship worth a thousand dollars (the actual internship is "unpaid", but a thousand dollars seems like being paid to me). The only two problems I see w/ it is that the internship comes with a 6 credit seminar (in which we would discuss all things dealing w/ working), meaning that would take away a class or two that I would take otherwise in spring semester, and that internships go out into the metro area of the Twin Cities, meaning biking to some places would be 1) hazardous to my health and 2) a very long bike trip (I didn't say "bike ride" because it's a fact that a bike trip is longer than a bike ride, so I was just emphasizing the long distance). I have an appointment w/ my academic advisor on the 30th, so we can figure out what's best then.

But basically, I really haven't done much except for eat, sleep, go to class, work (flag football reffing; I think I mentioned it in my last note), and doing homework the past two weeks, so that's all I have to write. But to please all the people who want to be hanging unto my last words, I will write something that ended with my keys getting stuck up on a tree branch last week after finishing this sentence. On the other hand...maybe not. Talk to you all later.

Jon

October 7, 2006

update numero dos

Ok. So I didn't do my whole once a week update to start out. Don't panic, I was just waiting to have enough things happen to keep you all enthrawled for days after you read this. So after that buildup, I would suggest not looking for anything to back it up. Sorry, that's the way it goes sometimes.

Homework really wasn't that bad until lthis past week (oh, yeah, that's the reason why I didn't update last week; I remember now), but this past week was crazy with two midterms, a speech, and a paper due all within four days (if you thought I was going to say one or two days, remember, I'm in college). That always seemed to happen in high school, too, with everything happening within a couple of days and then everything dying down. Two weeks ago I had a couple of readings to do and one short paper, and this coming week I have a couple of readings to do and one paper, but you already heard about the past week. I guess that's life, right? (Cue the lecture and ten mile walks in a blizzard with six foot high snow, in bare feet, with only one glove, when you were two years old).

The sports scene here has been, well, was better than the best word for 'best' you can think of about two weeks ago, and is now worse than the worst word for 'bad' that you can think of. If there was a Minneosta bowling leauge, two weeks ago we would've bowled a 400 (yes, it's impossible, but that's how good it was), with the Wild having made a bunch of good off-season moves, the Gopher hockey near the top of the rankings, and, most importantly, the Twins making their run to win the Central Division on the last day of the regular season, coming from a place more remote than Pluto (that, on a further note, sadly wasn't even good enough to stay a planet and apparently shrunk to become a "dwarf planet"). Now, we would not only scored a zero, but our bowling balls would bounced over to our opponet's lane and given them the chance to bowl a 600. The Twins got swept by Oakland, the Gopher's football team lost to Michigan last week and lost 28-27 to Penn State in overtime (we got the ball first and got a touchdown, but missed the extra point, and then Penn State went and got a touchdown and converted the extra point), and the Gopher hockey team lost their opener, after losing their starting goalie for three games for breaking team rules. Oh, and the Vikings lost last week too. Yes, the Wild did win their opener (in overtime), but they scored too soon, because everyone there wanted to see it go to a shootout (which happens now in the new NHL if the score is tied after overtime). I'm not that affected by it, I can live on, but a fair amount of these 'kids', specifically my roomate, are taking it pretty hard. If you know about Facebook, there are now a handful of groups with college kids saying the Gopher coach should be fired and stuff of the like (if you don't know about Facebook, disregard my last sentence and anything else about current technology I might write).

Moving on from that rant...

Two weeks ago we had Community Council elections and I got voted in as the Food/Facilities Chair. We had our first meeting, and, to my surprise, we did not talk about homecoming (one month away) for an agoning ten minutes. I'm not sure where to go after that, so I'll just write this sentence and see what happens. I still don't really know what I'm going to do with my position, but it does have something to do with food, I'm told. I'm not sure yet.

For the most part college has been...(it's not possible to capture the college experience in one word, so I'm not even going to try). It's cool being able to meet so many new people. There is literally always someone wanting to go do something, which is good and bad (good that you can go do something when you have free time with someone, bad that if someone is looking for something to do at 3 AM, they might let most everyone on your floor let you know about it). But, yeah, it's definately interesting (no, this is not that one word that describes college life; sorry to get your hopes up).

Anyway, I really should go and visit the top of my bed for a while, so I'll talk to you all relatively soon, I think.

Jon

September 23, 2006

first update of the year

This is where I'll occasionally write something so everyone can keep up with what's going on with me, when I remember.

I do have one huge class stereotypical of big colleges, an astronomy lecture with 300+ students, but I really don't find it too different from a regular lecture, except for all the extra bodies in the room and that when the professor asks his occasional question, there is actually a pretty good response from someone.

I was signed up for 5 classes at the beginning of the semester, totaling 19 credits, but I ended up dropping a philosophy of religion class, so now I'm down to 16. I didn't want to go overboard right away, especially because I was already taking a 3000 level philosophy writing-intensive course, but another main reason was that I just couldn't see myself enjoying the class with the professor teaching it. He had just retired this past year from teaching, but had come back to teach just this course. Nowadays there are sites on-line to review professors and how good they are (I used it to choose what section of my courses to sign up for), and he was one of the lowest rated professors at the U of M, with one student saying him choosing to retire "was truly in the best interest of everyone involved." I had pretty much decided before I even entered the first day of class that I was going to drop it; the first day only guaranteed I was going to drop it.

But yeah, I have two writing-intensive courses, one intro to ethics and the other personal leadership, an honors microeconomics class and the astronomy lecture with a lab. The thing is, my easiest class, besides astronomy, is the honor econ course. I would consider it the easiest to understand, at least for now, but not the overall easiest because I still have a fair amount of homework in it.

College is definately different from life before college, mainly being within one block of a couple thousand of people my age. It is different, but for me at least, in a good way. It's a step toward the "real world," though a fair amount of people seem to take a giant leap back on the weekends. But that's not a problem for me. Another thing not too "real" about college is that I get handed a lot of "free stuff," even though the price of tuition is high enough and the additional fees list is long enough that they could sneak in a fee for "free stuff" and no one would take much notice. My schedule is pretty non-real as well on Monday and Friday, when I only have one 55 minute class each day, though I can live with that for the time being.

II'm trying to find something to do when I'm not doing homework, going to class, eating, meeting new people, and not sleeping. I did sign up for intramural tennis, which should start this coming week, giving me at least three solid hours of tennis playing a week. I also decided to run for my residence hall's food/facilities chair. I don't really know what that will entail, but it had the word food in it, so it must be good. Plus I got the chance to make some campaign posters, which I attached for your viewing enjoyment, and a Facebook group (you might be able to see it soon, since Facebook is going public sometime in the near future). The only bad thing was that I probably should have put a picture on the posters or my name bigger or something, because a handful of people have told me that after finishing reading the poster, they had no idea what the poster was for (that was one of my goals of the posters, so maybe I shouldn't have it as a goal next time). I don't really understand how that could happen, but I guess it did. In looking for an on-campus job, the little research I did definitely paid off. I did want to get a job related with something I might major in, which right now is basically anything besides science fields and some math, but I got the next best thing: refereeing intramural flag football. There are some wierd rules to it, but it's basically just flag football. The real deal in the job is that they have scheduled two too many referees each night I have worked so far (which is only two, but still). The first night I got paid for either two or three games, but I refed only one. The reason I'm not sure if I got paid for two or three games is because I was able to leave in the middle of the last games that were going on. The second night, it was pouring and all the games after the first ones got canceled, and I ended up not reffing a game but still getting paid for reffing a game. I doubt I can continue my run of good luck, but I'll try.

Anyway, I really should finish up some homework that's due on Tuesday (yes, I'm two days ahead on my work), so I'll be sure to write something more somewhere in the relatively near future, or you can call me (e-mail me or my parents to get my cell number) if you want to catch up. I'll talk to you all later I'm sure.

Jon