May 1, 2007

how embarrassing...

I felt so embarrassed today in class when we all got up in front of the class and did that "question and answer panel". I had nothing to say and to contribute, and i basically said I was coward! oh geez... I don't want to be seen as a coward, but maybe I am one. I don't know.

The thing is that I'm very cautious about me being alone in this city ever since I've gone up here. I came from a small city where this wasn't too much of a problem, so its a bit of a wake up for me. I've been told horror stories of women being attacked on the streets, and I don't want that to happen to me. I'm very little, I'm a little over 100 pounds and easy for a guy to pick up. I'm always afraid that a guy might come up behind me and just pick me up. I'd be powerless. I'm not also strong and I certainly cannot take on a large guy. Whenever I go out alone, even on campus, I get scolded by my friends who say I should never go out alone. I took Karate this year to help me defend myself, but I'm just a beginner still.

When someone suggested Simpson's Shelter for homeless guys, as one can guess, I was very apprehensive. I kept on thinking, what will happen if a guy got up and over took me? What would I be able to do? I didn't say this to the teacher before because he tried to assure me that it would be okay, but I just didn't feel comfortable with the idea of working there.

So when we all got up there, and I was asked about my impressions of volunteering at Simpson's, I just couldn't lie. But I felt like such a coward. I tried to explain myself in that I was trying to be cautious of my well being, but I only felt like I was coming off as being selfish. And i really don't want to come off as being selfish.

Maybe I am a coward and maybe I am being selfish. Maybe I worry too much. I don't know. I feel bad either way. But i still don't know if I could volunteer there. I'd be just too afraid and uncomfortable. I do try to have courage when it comes to being around a lot of men in everyday life, especially since my major has mostly guys in it (aerospace engineering). But sometimes I cannot keep that little voice out of my head describing those horrors that can happen to a woman when they are alone.

ugh... I never felt I had to be cautious of this stuff before.

YES!!!! Finally...

I've got a volunteering job at PSP! Finally! I'm excited! I'll be a roaming librarian giving out books for children and adults to read! I'm a bit disappointed that I wasn't able to do this earlier, but at least I'm getting something done! At least people know that I tried to find a volunteering place!

Well, I went to an orientation/tour thing on Friday which was quite fun! I like this place a lot. You certainly see a lot of diversity here. A lot of different people come here with one thing in common: they are down on their luck and they need a place to stay. You'd be amazed at who comes in there.

In my tour, I saw pretty much all that the building has to offer to its residents. It had a 2 libraries (one for children and one for adults), computer labs, financial aid offices, health aid offices, a place that insured that the children were going to school, tutoring rooms, rooms and apartments as well, a kitchen, a nursery, and the list goes on! When I went in there, one of the first things that I saw that made me a bit nervous was that there was a metal detector right in the door way. At first I though "Is there a real danger here?" But then as I had my tour around the place, I noticed that there wasn't any danger at all and that the metal detector is just there to insure safety. As I walked around, I felt very comfortable. I even got to see a little 7 week old baby, and to know that its safe for a little one to live here, its certainly safe for me.

In my tour, I also saw an introductory movie talking a bit more about PSP and what goes on there. At first I was thinking that it was going to be just another one of those mandatory videos jobs always make their employees watch. But it was kind of cool. I got to see this one woman who had lived at PSP for a while and how she benefited from it a lot. I could tell that she was really impacted by the work done here for her and her family. I liked watching that, and I wish that I could do something like that for someone.

Also, on a lighter note, I was riding up the elevator with the volunteer coordinator who was giving me a tour when a bunch of guys got onto the elevator. They were your typical guys who look gangster with big baggy clothes and hats off to the side. One of them looks at me and says "you've got to be 12 or something". I had to laugh and I said "no, I'm 19!" oh geez! That is certainly not the first time I've been mistaken for a preteen, and I'm sure its not going to be the last!

April 23, 2007

Finally...

It appears that I might actually have a place to volunteer at! woot! Its certainly been long enough, and a heck of a lot of stress was involved as well! I sent in the application and called the people, so now basically I wait and hope to God that I get a volunteering position there!

The place I will be at is called the Minneapolis Homeless Shelter, or better known as PSP. It looks like a really cool place! They have a lot of positions there for volunteers. They need volunteers in food delivery, tutoring, children's activity assistant, and the list goes on! So the chances of there being an open position for volunteers looks good! I'm excited that things are finally being put into place!

One thing that is keeping me concerned is that if I do not get all the hours needed for this class its going to affect my grade, or I'll get an incomplete or something. I hope that doesn't happen. I talked to Mr. Pierson about it, and he said I shouldn't get an incomplete, but I'm still a bit worried about my grade. I hope it doesn't affect it, because I've been working hard in this class. I've never been good at writing and compositions, even though I do try really hard to write my best. And since I'm in college and all, I want to do well!

Speaking of compositions! I finished my last composition about anti-matter powered engines and quite happy its done! It was so hard and quite tedious trying to find good evidence! I found it a bit hard to believe that something from National Geographic wasn't credible enough for the essay. I also had to look at this one document in microfiche form, and I got so motion sick looking at the screen. ugh... oh well! Its done and over with! Now we are doing our next essay that I'm having a bit more fun writing about!

In our next essay we are supposed to reflect on our experiences in our volunteering jobs. However, since I haven't been able to volunteer at all this semester, I used previous volunteering experiences that I had in the past. I decided to write about the children I watched at the nursery of my church and how impressionable their minds are! I talked about how they can learn so much in the first few years without any prior knowledge of the world, but in the same way be gullible. I watched many children grow up and learn how to walk, speak, and recognize things around them only within a span of about 2 years! And of course, I would use the fact that they were rather naive to my advantage. In one instance, the other nursery attendants and I convinced this little girl that a giraffe said "GIRAFFE!" and a peacock said "PEACOCK!". We had a lot of fun with that, as evil as we were!

But yeah, I really enjoyed myself when writing this essay. I hope others will enjoy reading it as well!

Well, I'm off! Gotta study for my physics test! Eck! Wish me luck!

April 3, 2007

buzzed and really fatigued

It has been a crazy week for me. A heck of a lot of personal problems dealing with my boyfriend and this other guy and ugh... a lot of stress. I wont bother whoever reads this with all the drama that went on. I know from living in the dorms that it can get rather annoying hearing about all the relationship problems that are going on. All I'll say is basically it was really stressful!

This weekend, I decided to take a slight break. Just, not do anything until Sunday, just relax and enjoy life. I also chose to relax more this weekend because my boyfriend was visiting me and I didn't want to be working around him ('tis rude!). But geez, did I choose the wrong weekend to take off. I knew that I would have a lot of things to do by Sunday, I just underestimated on the time! I thought I would surely be able to finish all my work within one night. Well, it turns out that it took all night and all morning as well as part of the afternoon today. Right now I'm going on about 31 hours of no sleep. Whats worse is that I had 5 classes to go to today and one of them had a big test in it, so I basically didn't have any time to even rest my eyes! I did sort of dozed off in my calculus class (which I felt bad for). But it was rather funny, I was falling asleep while I was writing my notes! I kept on messing them up! I'm sure I was a funny sight to see! Nonetheless, I'm happy with myself that I got all that I needed to get done finished and handed in on time.

To try to keep myself awake, I've had 2 cups of coffee and a bottle of diet coke. Now, I'm a little person, and all this caffeine is finally getting to me. Now I'm afraid I wont be able to get to bed tonight! ha!

Going off on a completely different topic: I feel rather bad that I'm basically only writting about things that are happening in my life as if this is my own personal blog and not for class credit. However, my searches for a volunteering place have turned up nil. The woman who had visited us in class before is trying to help me out, which I'm grateful for. However, so far no word of anyplace that needs volunteers. So basically, all I can write about is ... just about me! oh geez... how narcissistic of me. I just hope that there will be some way that I can get all those hours that I've been missing in before the semester ends and before the craziness of finals week starts.

March 20, 2007

Superheros, Physics, and Essays Dont Mix Very Well...

Its time once again to create a new blog, and TRY to catch up to the number of blogs that I should have!

I'm kind of having some trouble with the essay that we are supposed to have written for tomorrow (well, atleast the first draft of it). I decided against the superhero essay that I had described before (arguing that there can be such a thing as superheros) because the one important source that I was able to get was deemed not scholarly. I really don't understand why it wasn't scholarly, because when I glanced through the book it had plenty of physic concepts used and it all made sense. They used such equations that I use in my physics class that I'm going through right now. Also, it is written by a professor who actually works here at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. The only thing that made it an unreliable source was that the publishing company was Gotham Books, which apparently isn't a good enough publishing company. I was a bit annoyed by this, I'm not going to lie, because I was really interested in this topic. I knew that I would have trouble finding sources, but I thought I could look up some of my physics books and other texts and would have enough sources that way. I was going to be hard and certainly a stretch, but I was up to it. Unfortunately since I couldn't have that one book approved, which would have been the main source I was going to use, I had to scrap the idea.

Now I've decided on the topic about why there needs to be a push to have more women in the engineering fields. Even though it does deal with my major, and it will be something that I will have to face in the future, I'm just not that interested in it. I'm not having fun writing this and I'm not connecting with it at all. Its just that I don't really find it too much of a problem. I don't really care if there aren't many women in the engineering field. And I was really looking forward to writing my essay on superheros. Oh well... I guess I shouldn't complain too much.

While I was writing that last bit, however, I thought up another idea for my essay so that I could keep the superheros idea. Perhaps I could focus on one superhero in general (like superman), get out some credible physics books from the Walter Library, and do some of my own calculations. I could probably get enough sources without too much trouble. What I would have to do is focus on certain aspects of this super hero's abilities and use one of my sources to argue that a person could actually have these abilities. Its an idea. I don't know. I might just e-mail the teacher after finishing my blog and see what he says about it. I certainly would have credible sources and I would have quite a lot of fun writing it!

However, if I do decide in doing this its going to be hard. How would a person write an essay and incorporate physics equations in it? This is why science and humanities don't really mix I suppose. Probably why I wasn't really good at writing either... hee!

Also, I should update on volunteering! Still don't have a place to go to yet! ACK! I'm going to try to jump on it this week. I hope I'll be able to find something and with enough time to get a lot out of it! Enough to fill in these blogs with stuff I've observed and inavertedly learned. oh geez...

Well, I'm off to write an e-mail! Wish me luck with the idea pitch!

March 6, 2007

My Rant Blog!

For those who don't want to read about another person's problems, stop here!

I usually try not to complain a lot around people because I know that that can get a bit annoying after a while. However, I do believe that it can be good for people to just get some things off their chests once in a while. I personally find that I feel much better after I do that. So, here is my rant blog!

Right now in my life, I'm experiencing so much stress! It feels like I'm carrying a large burden sometimes because of all the stress that I have to handle, and the muscles in my back start to hurt. I sometimes feel like I can even sympathize with Atlas and how he has to carry the world on his shoulders. Now that this stress has finally caught up with me and I feel all I just need to do is to just let it all out in a rant. What more of a perfect place to do that than a blog, right?

First of all, life in college certainly isn't what I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, I love it here, but I thought i would get so much more extra time. Only taking 4 or 5 courses, compared to my 7 or 8 in high school, I thought it was going to be easy! Geez was I wrong. But I'm definitely trying to meet the challenge that college has to offer. I'm actually trying to keep up a perfect attendance and I'm working as hard as I can in my classes. I want to succeed! The problem is that it certainly is taking a toll on me. As I mentioned in previous blogs, I only get about 5 hours of sleep a day, on average. I don't have much time to take care of myself! I fear I'm losing weight (which isn't good in my case), and I have gray hairs! I'm only 19 and I have gray hairs (hopefully its only a genetic thing)!

But what makes is it worse is that I live among people who enjoy to party all the time. They party almost every weekend, and sleep in until the afternoon. The get drunk a lot. Its fairly annoying when you studying in the dorms and you see people totally drunk. And then you wake up early in the morning for your classes while they sleep in until the afternoon. One instance, I remember it was a Tuesday, and I had already gone through 9 of my classes for the week, and my roommate had only went to one of hers. However, I did feel better about myself when I saw her grade point average. But I still hear stories of people miraculously getting As and Bs in their classes with little to no work involved, and here I am working as hard as I can to manage my classes. It just doesn't seem fair sometimes.

Another thing that is a bit of a stressor is that I'm dating a wonderful guy who lives 300 miles away from me. I started dating him nearly a year before I left for college, and we didn't want to break up when it was time for me to go. But of course, we get very limited contact with each other. What we resorted to is talking over the internet, but even that isn't all that great. I miss him a lot. What i wouldn't give to just hug him! I see people here who are dating and are able to see their boyfriends/girlfriends every day if they so wished, and I wish I was able to do the same thing. What I especially hate seeing is when people who are in relationships take it for granted that they are able to see each other everyday. That as well isn't fair, that these two people can see each other more often than my boyfriend and I, and they take it for granted.

But what keeps me on my feet and not having emotional break downs every other day are my friends. They aren't the party type and they care about their studies as much as I do. They understand what I'm going through and I can confide with them, as they can with me. I've got to thank them more.

So that was my rant. I feel better already.

Gotta think of a new organization!

Oh geez, I'm horrible at keeping this web blog up to date. I'm probably so far behind. I'll just have to write more often to catch up I guess.

Well, apparently some people weren't able to get into the volunteering agency of their choice. I'm one of those unfortunate people, but thats quite alright. Although I would've really enjoyed working at the Children's Hospital, I'm willing to go to another place for volunteering hours. No problem whatsoever!

My next choice, I think, would be the Open Arms place. There you make meals for those who have AIDS and HIV, I believe. I need to look more into that for better information about it. But I think I would have a lot of fun with that! I do enjoy to cook, and I have yet to kill someone with my cooking! Perhaps it will also give me more practice for when I'm truly out living on my own cooking for myself (eck!). Also, I do want to help out those who aren't able to cook for themselves. I don't know how much I would be able to interract with the people who would be recieving these meals (because I don't have a car), which is a bit of a downer, but oh well! I'm sure I'd be able to meet many interesting characters who also volunteer there!

The other place that was mentioned was the homeless shelter for men. I don't know if I would want to do that. For one, I'm already limited with sleep with all the hours I put into my studies. On average I get about 5 hours a day, and I need all the sleep I can get! Also, its going to be in a room full of guys. I know we've all been told that nothing bad will happen to us, and I can believe that. Its just that I don't think I would feel comfortable in that environment. I don't know, but I do believe that where ever one decides on volunteering they should feel safe in their environments. I just dont think that organization is for me.

Oh well, I'm sure I'll find something in the next few days! It'll be good!

As for the next paper that is coming up, I have no idea what to do it on. My major is aerospace engineering, and I want to focus on astronomical engineering, but I have no idea what to do with that for this essay. I thought prehaps writing about the controversy dealing with whether or not we put men on the moon. But then again, that sounds like a weak thesis. Then a friend brought up an interesting topic, which deals with superheros, like whether or not it is possible to have superheros. I thought that would be a very fun issue to research, it is quite interesting! However, its not really linked to my major. But I think I could somehow link it to my major by talking about the physics of it all. I don't know. I'm going to talk to the teacher about it later.

Well, that is enough I think for this entry! I'm definitely going to try to post more! Hope it was enjoyed!

February 26, 2007

third time's the charm!!!

ARGH! This is the third time I’m writing this blog entry. I had written a beautifully long blog too (well, it might not have been beautiful, but it was long!) The first time I accidentally went onto another website without opening up a new tab, and the second time it logged me out of the U of M system. But I’m determined to get this done! As I’m sure you can see, I’m rather far behind on my blogs.

Anyways, onto my story!

I was wondering what I should write about in my blog entry today, and one thing came to mind that is affected me and many other people right now. Many Christians now are going through Lent, as some may know, and I decided to write about my own personal experiences so far with this event this year. Now, I know that there are other people who are reading this entry who aren’t of my religion or do not follow a religion at all. I know that religion is a very touchy subject to address. Don’t worry, I’m going to try not to be disrespectful to the people who fall into either one of these categories and not make this a preachy blog. This is actually one of the first times I’m recognizing Lent and doing something for the holiday.

Continuing on with my blog, one of my friends who happen to be a Lutheran like me said she was going to give up using the elevator for Lent. Since we all live on the 12th floor we have become quite reliant on the elevators (can’t blame us!). So I thought this was a good idea and decided to join her in taking the stairs only. I feel really good about myself now, spiritually (for my own reasons) and physically because as I’m sure you can imagine, it’s kind of a workout to climb up these stairs!

Well what is rather ironic is that while we were chasing a group of our friends who were taking the elevator to the bottom floor, my friend tripped on the stairs and sprained her ankle! She is quite alright, she’s a tough girl, but now she is forced to use the elevators. I however can still be seen climbing up and down the stairs, huffing and puffing.

Another one of my friends has been joining me as I climb up the stairs each morning, although he is not religious. He says he is doing it to “pick up the slack? that my injured friend left behind. It’s really nice of him to do this because now I have a stair climbing buddy again and I really like the company!

But the main point that I bring up this story is because of the relationship I have with my friends. I have a nicely diverse group of friends here with many different backgrounds and beliefs. I especially like listening to what everyone has to say, what they have seen, what they have done, what they plan on doing, what they believe, and in general their own thoughts. I get a glimpse of who they are, and it’s like I can experience what it is like to live another life. Just listening to people talk can make it seem like I’m living more than one life. And likewise, I enjoy telling other people what I have to say. We all can learn a lot from each other that way that we might never have figured out on our own. I know I have been changed by the people who I’ve listened to, and I can only hope that I have impacted other people’s lives positively.

What I especially like about my friends is that we don’t criticize one another for being one way or having a certain belief. I believe that it is very important not to condemn a person for who they are and what they believe until they have really gotten to know that person more. One needs to understand why a person chooses to live their life as they do before they can make any judgments about their lives. It’s like the how the saying goes, “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes?.

I feel that many people make suppositions about people too quickly, and far too often negative assumptions. Stereotypes, a subject commonly brought up in class, can aid these pre-existing ideas of people. I try to challenge myself and others to see past these ideas that a life a person is leading is the wrong lifestyle to follow, because it maybe only based on the idea that they are leading a different and stranger life than is deemed normal in society.

I try to instead listen to what a person has to say about their lives, and in turn I usually learn something new and exciting. Only after I have heard a person’s story can I fully understand them and determine if their lifestyle is indeed a bad one to live or not. Only then I can decide if they need help and redirection.

So that is my blog! Rewritten 3 times! I hope it was enjoyed!

February 16, 2007

The Orientation Meeting for the Children's Hospital!

As I'm sure many of the other people who attended yesterday's orientation meeting for the Children's Hospital will comment on their day, here is what I experienced:

My last class of the day went longer than I wanted it to (we had a midterm) and I had to run out really quickly to drop my things off at the dorm and get to the bus stop in time. When I got there, I had a little less than an hour to get to the hospital, and the bus was no where to be seen. So i decided to walk part of the way. I got well past half the way before the number 2 bus reached me.

So I got on the bus and rode the rest of the way there. On the bus I meet up with Alex and Jackie (sorry if I butcher your names!!!) and was quite pleased to know I was on the right bus going in the right direction! I have had bad instances in the past...

We got there with plenty of time to spare and got all settled in. I was rather impressed with how well they treated us there, giving us snacks and beverages. I remember the chairs were very comfortable as well. So we all sat down, and waited as other people filtered in and commenced with the orientation.

I learned quite a bit on what to do and what not to do while volunteering there. I'm so used to cuddling a child at the nusery, hugging them, playing with them, and kissing them (when they had their boo boos) and here we can't really do that. We cannot also get too attached to them. That'll be hard. But all these restrictions make sense. The chances of us seeing them every time we volunteer are very slim, so we don't want to hurt the kids in that way. Also, if we feel attached to one and we want to do something for them, like buy them a gift, then the others kids will feel left out. Being that I am so used to a regular nursery setting, this will be rather tough for me to get used to.

After we all got let out, packed up our stuff, handed in the forms we signed, we all went outside into the cold. Apparently those who ran out to the bus stop were able to see the number 2 bus leave. So we all had to stand outside in the cold until the next bus came by, which was about 30 minutes later. I started to feel my legs being pricked by the cold, and soon wasn't able to feel them at all! I don't think I was more happy to see a public bus as I was that night!

I appologize to all of my classmates who are reading this and have heard the story 10 times already from other people's blogs! I'm sure it gets a bit repetative and annoying after a while! eck...

February 12, 2007

My Nursery Experiences

The place that I want to volunteer at for credit for this class is at the Children's Hospital because I have had a lot of dealing with kids in my past. For the past 3 years or so, I have been volunteering for my church's nursery back in my hometown. I would go there every Sunday and watch over the little kids as their older family members would attend the sermon. In those three years I have gone through all sorts of things a kid can dish out on you. I have had to change diapers, I have had to take care of a few sick kids, watch over children only a few months old, rock a sleeping child, clean up all the toys the kids enjoy taking off the shelves, making sure the kids are safe, and the list continues! It was rather crazy, and certainly stressful. But at the same time it was very rewarding.

I remember near the beginning of my volunteering in the nursery, I met this new born child whose name was Neils. His mother was one of those mothers who weren’t so worried about leaving the nursery attendants a few month old child, so I got to know this boy quite early on. What was amazing that I witnessed in this child was that I got to see him grow! I was so amazed when he started to crawl. Soon afterwards, it seemed within weeks, he was able to walk! And almost miraculously, he was soon speaking! It was limited speech, but nonetheless quite remarkable! Last I saw him (about a month ago) he was actually speaking in full sentences!

What I took back from this experience was the miracles a child can bring. For example, it always amazes me how quickly a child can learn. I am currently enrolled in a French class and I’m having some difficulties learning the language. It has taken me about 7 years to arrive to the level that I’m at right now, and here is a 3 year old child able to speak practically fluent English.

I sometimes watch the little kids in the nursery, and wonder what they will become when they get older. Who will become an artist, a scientist, a teacher, a doctor, or even a parent? But I didn’t like to think about it too much, because then that would mean by that time, they’d have lost their childish innocence.

This brings up the other ways a child can bring about miracles. They can somehow make life much more uncomplicated and trouble-free. They helped me be reminded of how important the simpler things in life are. As college students, we are always on the run, worrying about if we will turn in our assignments on time, if we failed a test, and so on. I would get so caught up in all the stress. Watching the children play in the nursery reminded me of when times were simpler and easier for me. Back then I did not know about all the problems and issues that affect me know. As children I did think about wars, I did not think about deaths. I did not worry my mind over issues like racism, sexism, and sex-orientation; I would play with anyone who was willing. I didn’t care about money, could do without trendy clothes, and I wasn’t a witness how corrupt people can be. When I turned on the TV, I would see my favorite shows and characters, not the deaths, the crimes, and the materialistic media that I see now.

Oh, to be a child again, not to have the troubles I experience and see now. Obviously I cannot go back to those times, but perhaps being around a child I can be brought back, just for even a second, when I youthful and happy.

January 18, 2007

Community Involvement

Why did I choose the "Community Learning" section of composition?

From my past experiences with english classes and required work, the one thing that I have found out is that I am a horrible writer. However, I can be a fairly decent writer if I write about something that I really care about and am passionate about. Volunteering in the community and helping out people are one of these things. I really do enjoy helping out in the community and feel I gain a lot out of what I do when I help out other people.

This brings up the question about "service" and how I define it. I have heard from many sources that service is something that you can do to give back to the community and not expect anything back in return. These things that you do for the community involves your own personal strengths. For example, if you are an exceptional singer, singing for the community is something you can do that can be defined as a service. I also believe that even if you do something for the community that isn't a strength of yours, it is still considered a service. As most people say "Its the thought that counts". But if you do have a strength, I figure it is your duty to give it back to the community. Ultimately, I believe that if you do anything at all for the community, whether if it involves your strengths or not, and not expecting anything in return, it is considered a "service".