February 2, 2009

So busy

Hi Everyone!

Sorry it has been so long; winter break is over, school has begun, and the loads of reading are beginning to pile. It is so hard to believe that I am in my last semester of undergraduate and I will soon be an alumni. I often feel torn between being glad that the homework, papers, and exams will soon be over. On the other hand while sitting in a class lecture the other day on Social Perceptions of children I got a nostalgic feeling for this place that has been my home for the last few years. I know that I will enjoy getting out of the city for awhile and be more on the outskirts of town. Recently my friend and I had a run-in with the frustrating parking situation that comes with living in a city. In the parking lot between Stub and Herbs and Bona on Washington Ave my friend and I parked for a thirty minute lunch between running to classes. Unfortunately due to the terrible signage that Stub and Herbs uses my friend's car was towed. I can say that neither the management nor the two individuals monitoring the six spaces were in anyway courteous. Its really frustrating to deal with individuals who have no compassion for the individuals they are scamming, which are in fact hard-working college students who are financially strained as it is. So I guess a word to the wise, from a source who just had to pay a $300 fine for a 30 min lunch, ALWAYS be aware of where you are parking . . and boycott Stub and Herbs. Have a good day and ill be posting again soon.

December 20, 2008

Selling Back Books

Now that Fall semester is over and finals are completed it is time to sell those hefty textbooks. I always have mixed feelings when walking into the bookstore, due to the more common than not agony inflicted from there depreciating value but every now and then I walk away feeling good about the exchange as well as the instant cash-in-pocket. Textbooks are like a black hole which seems to always leaves your bank statement in the red. Nevertheless this moment is much appreciated, especially during the fall semester, when the holiday season rolls around and the season of gift purchasing is in full swing. There are a few places at the U that you can sell your books. There is the obvious places like the University bookstore at Coffman, on East Bank, or the Student Center on the St. Paul campus. I feel fortunate to have stumbled upon a store that gives better than average return for those heavy books. Its called Oak St. Bookstore. More often than not I receive 50% or better from them of what I originally paid for each book. They also tend to provide incentives like raffles, additional cash back, and/or itune music cards.

Recently I have learned from a friend a easier way to deal with the daunting prices of textbooks; its called renting. Renting textbooks can be a lot cheaper and more convenient, however I have always been wary of using this service. I worry about things such as rental sharks; those who will take your money and find reasons to not give it back, or other types of scams. On the other hand, when you know what you are doing and what companies are safe this can be one way of reducing a substantial cost from your education bill. Stay tuned to hear more about how this system works, who to use, and what you can look for in return.

December 14, 2008

Holiday Break Cannot Come Soon Enough

I have no doubt that many of you are in the eye of the storm of finals. It is by far one of the most challenging times in your college life. People are frantically trying to study and cram the information from 15 weeks in over a few days. I just had my third final as of last night with two more to go. I always feel the last couple are the most stressful primarily because they tend to be for the courses I find most challenging as well as you have the sights of a month-break within your reach.

I cannot say that I will miss this high-tensioned period however I am finding myself becoming a little nostalgic that this period of my life is coming to an end. After this set of finals I will only have next semester’s left and I will officially be done. You think it would fill a person with relief however, I think about all the great, not at the moment, experiences that have happened. On memory being the long hours at the library with friends, which in my case would usually induce some craziness where we would come up with ‘quiet’ schemes to distract one another. Another fond memory is the cruel and unusual coffee concoctions we would come up with in order to stay up until the wee hours of the morning.

I know it is difficult to take in and enjoy these currently somewhat painful times but try to remember that this too shall pass and when they do you will not remember what class you were studying for, or how hard it was, but instead the small moments shared with friends. Good luck and caffeinate often!

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November 29, 2008

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is a holiday that is not celebrated by everyone; however, I look at it not in the historical context but instead a time to simply give thanks. It is so easy to overlook and take for granted how special family and friends are and the things they do for us. Thanksgiving Day gives me a moment to pause and look around me at the people in my life and what they mean to me. Family is such an important aspect, I can sometimes overlook how much each individual has affected my life, who I have become, and whom I am still to be. Thanksgiving Day can be just as about new traditions as they are old ones. It is not just about the food, although that is usually pretty good, it is also a time to be also encased by warmth and comfortableness.

Now that the upcoming Winter Holiday season is approaching I think more about the endless gift hunting for family and friends, decorating my apartment, and getting into the new Holiday spirit. Perk up finals may be coming upon us soon but they will be over soon and then you get to enjoy a month long break!

Happy Holidays

November 18, 2008

Bittersweet Memories

A few weeks ago I registered for the last time as an undergraduate student. It is such a weird concept that my three years here have come and gone so quickly and that it is time for me to step into the real world. Although I am currently applying for graduate school there is no guarantee that I will be accepted and it concerns me that I might soon be looking for that 'hypothetical' career that we all have spoken of from time to time. For now the idea of being done is so unreal, soon it will be slightly daunting, but with time I think that I will be an exciting next step. I find myself lately looking around and thinking back to different points of my college period. The professors you meet, the friends you make, the mistakes you make, and the 'what if's' of if you could do some things differently all over again. My best advice is to truly try and live every moment in the here and now because no matter if it is The good, The bad, or The ugly, you will later look back on these moments with the utmost fondness. Enjoy the life you live and live it!

November, Finals Are Approaching

November is the craziest month of the year for college students. It is time to put down the Frisbee, put on the winter wear, and prepare for the marathon studying that is about to ensue. Around this time people are starting to come to the realization that the semester is coming to a close and it is time to get your nose in the books if you have any hope of saving that GPA. I know that this becomes the most stressful time in my life because although classes are coming to a close and finals are beginning nothing else is really adjusting in my life.

If you feel overwhelmed or are unable to study from your own home then I suggest going to one of the campus libraries. I personally like the Walter library. It gives me a chance to get away from the distractions of my own home as well as gives me a nice sense of community since a multitude of other students tends to congregate here. I am able to interact with other students and people that I would otherwise never see. It reduces my feeling of simply being a number and gives everyone a face with a name. So next time you feel unproductive and wondering how you can get your focus back go to a campus library; you might be surprised who you meet.

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November 7, 2008

Registration Approaching . . . Need Saving?

Registration time is approaching; time to buckle down, sharpen your pencils, and start manipulating the 100 different possible schedules for yet another semester.

This semester is a weird one for me. It is the first time ever that I have the first time-slot for registering for classes. It seems like only yesterday that I was the incoming freshman with the very last slot meaning I got to choose from the left-over pickings of those that came before. However trust me when I tell you that it doesn't get any easier. Although I get first choice, my options are limited and there is the additional pressures such as if I do not gain admittance into the courses that I need I will be unable to graduate as planned. It can be stressful but not nearly as bad as I thought it would be for the U when considering the magnitude of the student body.

The worst is trying to come up with the perfect schedule, which if you are a perfectionist like I am you will look at every possible combination under the sun. Never fear I am about to provide you with the most useful tool you will EVER encounter. It is a program designed with U-students in mind. It allows you to simply enter your desired class course numbers and it will provides a clear format of all your schedule options from which you can than pick-and-choose your schedule depending on what works best for you.

http://www.schedulizer.com/

I would recommend that you do not set-up a username and password but simply enter your school. Its way easier.

November 4, 2008

Vote 2008

Today was a very exciting day for me. It was the first time in my life that I was eligible to contribute my voice, my vote, in the 2008 Presidential Election. I hope that for all of those who were able to go out to the polls made their opinions known. Voting is something that I feel strongly about because it continues to instill that we are independent thinkers who matter in the grand scheme of things. I feel that in so many circumstances we are being pushed into adulthood and if we are 'adult' enough to be drafted into a war than we should be 'adult' enough to walk ourselves over to a poll booth and bubble in a few circles. I have to say personally I thought it was rather easy after the three extensive years of scantron test taking; I even considered using the old college technique of design-making when unsure of my choice for judges, . . . don't tell me that you didn't consider doing the same thing . . . (JK!). No matter whether you are for the Republican or Democratic party I am excited to see the results and will most likely be up til the wee hours of tomorrow morning waiting for the final tally. Either way tomorrow is the beginning of a new era so CELEBRATE!

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Loaves and Fishes

Lately my sister and I have been doing some volunteer work with a volunteer-match organization called Hands on Twin Cities (www.handsontwincities.org). They help match volunteers with local organizations that need volunteers. Loaves and Fishes is a non-profit, non-denominational, organization that helps to solve the hunger needs in our local communities. We helped by distributing nonperishable food items and hygiene products. The original time slot was from 5-7pm however once seeing the delivery from the Emergency Foodshelf Network it was clear that there were many more families in need than would be served that night. It was difficult to see how the simplest of items were greeted with such gratitude and sincerity. As a result it was heart wrenching to have to turn away individuals once the supplies were gone. We had enough to supply one-hundred families yet with the current economy the need for basic supplies is only increasing. If you are looking to get involved but are like me in the sense that you do not have the schedule to permit a regular commitment I strongly encourage you to check out the Hands on Twin Cities website. It will allow you the opportunity to get involved without the extensive time commitment.

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October 30, 2008

My Very First Entry . . . .

Hi! My name is Danielle. I am an FSoS major with a minor in Child Psychology. I am a third year student but will be graduating in May. I currently intern at Neighborhood Involvement Program (N.I.P.). I work in the Rape and Sexual Abuse Center as a Crisis Phone and Walk-in Counseling Intern. I provide crisis and supportive telephone counseling and face-to-face services (walk-in), clinical assessment of client needs, knowledge of community resources for referrals, complete telephone intakes for the mental health programs, and assist with mental health program and community outreach projects. When I am not at N.I.P. I am at my paid job which is working at the Metrodome during the Twins and Vikings seasons. Life can get crazy sometimes but I always find time to enjoy the little things and get out to explore the city.