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September 1, 2007

The flying of time and the changing of things.

OK, so I just remembered that I started this blog at the beginning of fall semester last year, my first semester at the U. Though I only posted a few times, reading through the posts has given me quite the flashback, back in my first days at the U. I remember taking the picture "For Mom," riding the train up to school for the first time, my first taste of University classes like Scientific Thought with people who were not new to the U and Calculus with freshmen who were. I remember the ambition I had to get high grades, coming out of a community college where I had a 4.0 the previous 3 semesters. I also wanted to keep this blog updated continually to keep my family informed with what was going on and keep my thoughts in place.

That, quite obviously, did not happen. Calculus, among my other classes, quickly started kicking my ass and soon it was the choice between blogging and calc homework. Homework won, and rightly so. Now I'm back to school in Fall 07, and I want to give this another shot. I have a new major, philosophy, a new kid on the way, but the same outlook. My ambition is get high grades did not pan out as I slowly lost interest in econ and calc, and my grades suffered. Now I'm in a major I know I love, so my ambition to succeed with high grades has returned, though this time I have the experience to know what that is going to take. Last year I came in with the goal of graduating with honors; unfortunately that is probably not going to happen. So my goal for this year is to get my GPA above 3.0, not stress out to much, and try to have as much fun as possible in my final college year. These are realistic goals.

September 6, 2006

Classes must have been too tough for this woman…

The big news today seems to be that some woman either ‘jumped’ or ‘fell’ from the driving level of the Washington Ave. Bridge yesterday. From MN Daily:

A woman in her 20s suffered "grave injuries" after jumping off the driving level of the Washington Avenue Bridge into the Mississippi River on Tuesday, said University Police Chief Greg Hestness.

About 3:15 p.m., a boater on the water hoisted the woman into the boat and took her to shore, where emergency personnel got her into an ambulance, Hestness said. Upon entering the ambulance, she was alive but unable to communicate, he said.

In other news, I’m a bit more optimistic about calc today, as we went over stuff I remember fairly well and am sure I can do. Ironically, it’s on a much harder level than line equations, but I can deal.

In philosophy we did small group discussions all hour. I guess that is what the majority of the class time is going to consist of. Today was reading over some history and selections of Socrates, and what it means to live ‘the best life possible.’ More on that later.

I’m going to work some on calc now so I don’t have to worry about it tonight. I’ve got some reading to do for Scientific Thought that should eat some time later.

Statistics

I was early again this morning, 30 minutes early to be exact. This included missing the 7:57 train (they run every 10 minutes) and a 10 minute walk across the Washington St. Bridge. I know it’s better than being late, but maybe I’ll try taking the 8:17 train on Friday. The commute has been taking 30-35 minutes, so I should still be fine for my 9:05 Stat.

Speaking of my Stat class, I just got out, and I think Calculus has been confirmed as the boar of this semester. Stat looks like it is going to be fairly easy. The prof said that it was fairly math-lite, and it’s more learning how to use a variety of formula’s, when to use them, and simply plugging numbers in.

I just found out I have quite a break between classes on MWF. My Stat gets out at 10 and my next class, Ancient Philosophy, doesn’t start until 1:25. So I’m going to do a bit more exploring of the East Bank, specifically the Walter Library, rent a locker from Coffman Union so I’m not carrying books I won’t need everyday (i.e. The Basic Works of Aristotle,) and work on the second section of my math homework. I only got one section done last night, and it was discouraging because it was doing simple stuff that I should remember but I’m having a semi-hard time with it. For example, I had problems remembering what the point-slope equation and slope-intercept equation formulas were, or used for. It will come back.

Anyway, I’m going to get over to the library. I need to print some stuff of for my 2 Philosophy classes, then get that math section done.

September 5, 2006

For Mom

Work to Be Done

First day of classes down, but the work is certainly not over. What would a first day be without loads of homework? I’ve got an alphabet to learn, reading to be done and problems to be worked through.

I had three out of my four classes today. First was History of Ancient Philosophy, where among other things we discussed our favorite flavor of ice cream and the TA attempted to convert all to the philosophy major. Seriously though, we did get the syllabus done and some reading assigned. Also, more interestingly, I have to learn the Greek Alphabet. So I have that to look forward to. More immediately I have to get 4 chapters read in one of the books, Philosophy Before Socrates.

Next was Scientific Thought. This was a very cool intro to a class, as the prof took about a half an hour explaining how he went from hardcore science geek to philosopher, or at the least professor of philosophy. I have to read an essay titled ‘Understanding and Evaluating Theoretical Hypotheses.’ The prof seems like a fun guy, and I think this will be the class I most look forward to.

If Scientific Thought is the most looked forward to class, Calculus will probably be the least (I haven’t yet been to my Statistics class!) I am dreading working my brain back into this mode after having nothing like it all summer. I couldn’t even remember the basic forms of functions when asked (i.e. the linear function is y=mx + b.) However, the work will begin tonight as I have 2 sections to look over and work through.

I now am sitting in Coffman listening to some incredible pianist (at least I think she is good) and will soon get on the bus for the ride home. I hope to get some of the Philosophy read on the way home.

My commute

The ride in this morning went quite smoothly. My first class isn’t until 11:15 but I wanted to come in as if I had a class at 9, like I will every other day, just to check commute times. I didn’t leave until 7:55, while my goal was 7:30, but I still would have made it to my 9:00 on time just because I never had to wait.

My commute goes something like this: I leave my apartment and hop on HWY 110 in West St. Paul. I take that over to the Fort Snelling 'Park and Ride' for the Light Rail. HWY 110 might turn into HWY 55 somewhere there, but it is pretty much a straight shot. I park and walk to the station. Thanks to my U-Pass I don’t have to purchase a ticket, and I can hop right on, as I did this morning. Right when I walked up to the station the train arrived, which really cut some time off of my commute. Had I missed that one it would have been at least another 10 minutes. The train was fairly full when I got on, as there were no seats available, and continued to fill as we traveled towards downtown Minneapolis. By the time we got to the Metrodome it was quite full. I get off at the Metrodome to catch a bus, and this morning there was a bus waiting for the train. 3 minutes later, and 35 minutes after I left my apartment, I was on the East Bank.

I think my commute this morning was a best case scenario, and I still plan to leave around 7:45 every morning to account for hold-ups. Also, it gives me time to get my stuff together, maybe check e-mail or something, every morning. Right now I’m sitting in Carlson, about 50 feet from my class that begins in 2 hours, with nothing to do. My first class is History of Ancient Philosophy at 11:15. I’ll just start skimming the books.

September 4, 2006

Classes and such

OK, school.

What is my major, and what classes will I be taking? Well, I am currently after an economics major / philosophy minor and my class schedule looks something like this:

STAT 3011 - Intro Statistical Analysis - 4 CR - MWF 9-10 and Thursday 11-12.
Describing data/relationships. Discrete/continuous random variables. Sampling distributions. Confidence intervals. 1-/2-sample significance tests. Simple linear regression.

PHIL 3601W - Scientific Thought - 4 CR - TTh 12:45-2.
Introduction to philosophical issues concerning the nature of scientific knowledge. Reading of historical and contemporary sources that describe major scientific achievements and controversies.

PHIL 3001W - History of Philosophy: Ancient - 4 CR - MWF 1-2 and Tuesday 11-12.
Major developments in ancient Greek philosophic thought: pre-Socrates, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Hellenistic thinkers.

MATH 1271 - Calculus I - 4 CR - MTWThF 230-330.
Differential calculus of functions of a single variable. Introduction to integral calculus of a single variable, separable differential equations. Applications: max-min, related rates, area, volume, arc-length.

One thing you may be wondering: if I’m going for Economics, why no econ classes? Good question, and the answer lies within the halls of Calculus I. I can’t take Intermediate-Micro econ withour Calculus, and I cant take any (most) other econ courses without micro/macro. So I’m getting Statistics and Philosophy out of the way. One other thing. I haven’t yet met the language requirement (I’m still 2 semesters short) but I couldn’t get in this semester because everything was full. So that set me back a bit, but I’ll get another Philosophy class in now.

Till Tomarrow.

Moving

One day to go.

I haven’t finished the ‘about me’ articles, and I won’t be doing that now. Since I published the second part my life has been crazy. I worked almost right up until moving day(s), which was last Wednesday and Thursday, and have been moving in since. We moved from Brainerd to an apartment is West St Paul.

Moving was nuts. I rented one 12 X 6 U-Haul trailer for the move, and with 5 other vehicles (including the one pulling the trailer) hauling stuff I figured it would be enough. We only had a 2 bedroom apartment, there couldn’t be that much stuff, could there? Well, never underestimate the extent of your wife’s stuff.

Continue reading "Moving" »