December 13, 2011

This is it, Communications Law!

Google. The Crib Sheet the Professor gave us. Four practice tests for Comm Law, and four answer sheets of uncertain trustworthiness. A single black pen.
It's going to be a long night.

Something like Karma

I have this basic, fuzzy idea of karma that I try to let guide my life. It's like this - If I am good at a class, I'll do everything I can to help the others. And for every class like that, there's a class or two where I'm the one mooching off the more experienced/more proactive/smarter students. If someone comes to my country, I'll go out of my way to help them out, make them feel welcome. And for every time someone bothers to come to Missouri, I couchsurf in some foreign city. Maybe I'm just really, really lucky, but so far the formula is working out great for me! :) It's easy to be kind, helpful, and generous when you yourself are drowning in good friends and good fortune!

December 10, 2011

Busy Busy Busy

This is the hardest semester I've ever had for finals week. I'm relieved now that Kevin and I had to cancel our road trip.

I've got journalism projects, however interesting, I have tons of little and less little things to do for Understanding Audiences, I actually have to study for two exams (History of Spanish and Communications Law), and a paper to do for my Spanish literature class. I've still got a little bit of tutoring and a handful of social commitments. Also, I need to pack everything up and get it to the lake house.


December 05, 2011

Max, Finals, New Boots, Snow, and Interview

1.) Max Heiliger from Germany visited me during the last week. We met while I was studying in Bonn, and now he's studying up in Kalamazoo Michigan. He came down to Missouri on - believe it or not - a real American train! I had to find the Amtrak station in St. Louis for the first time in my life, and it didn't even kill me. Despite a few misadventures (and even those were sort of fun), we had good times at the lake, city museum, zoo, etc!

2.) Now that Max is back in Kalamazoo, I need to buckle down and work. Between this week and next, I have to do my multimedia project, finish at least one last good story for the Missourian, work one more G.A. shift, do a research paper for my spanish literature class, write the Understanding Audiences paper and get ready for that project, and study hard for my Spanish Linguistics and Communications Law finals... as well as continue to do tutoring, and packing up everything and getting it to the lake house.

3.) I am very close to finished with all my study abroad shopping. The only things I need now are really rain pants and maybe a few more pairs of sock liners. At the City Museum, Max and I visited the vintage clothing shop upstairs and I bought 5 ugly sweaters, all 100% wool, for $20!! So what if I wouldn't be seen dead in them (though some are better than others) - they're 100% wool and $4 each! :D I also managed to stop by REI for some sock liners and the purchase I was most worried about - mountaineering boots.

I went in and checked out the boot section and was pleased to see a great selection. Among the winter boots, I actually saw most of the pairs I knew about - the adorable ones Zahra uses and some big cute ones with puffs of 'fur' coming out of the top were tempting at first glance, but no good for long walking, hiking, etc. Then I saw several of the ones Liisa and I had discussed such as the Caribou pair and others that were even more of a hiking boot/winter boot hybrid.

Confused, I snagged a representative and explained that I really needed winter boots that could take crampons, etc - I only had the budget and space in my suitcase for one pair. He first showed me the most hiking-boot-esque of the winter boots, but then advised me that he would go with a real mountaineering boot instead. He thought as long as they were waterproof and I wore thick socks, the warmth shouldn't be a problem - and then I would have all the support and crampon ability.

Then, he looked down at my feet and said he was a little bit worried about my size. I told him that yeah, I normally wear a 5 or a 6. He said that could be a problem, since a lot of hiking boots start at size 7... none of them are made in size 5. This is a problem I was well aware of, but anyway I asked him to see what he had in size 6. Of the eight or so pairs of mountaineering boots on display, apparently two of them came in size 6, and one of them came in size 6 1/2 and was on clearance.

The clearance shoes were tempting, but you don't mess around with boots, and these things tend to run large anyway, so it was sort of out of the question. Of the two pairs remaining, one was leather and one was just a gore-tex blend - but the guy actually recommended the gore-tex blend one, AND it was cuter, AND it was cheaper. I tried it on, and it was a little bit but not terrible. The representative checked the fit and he said it was okay too. Actually it felt close to perfect on my left foot, but just at the border of being too loose on my right.

So, I tried on a pair of liners underneath the first pair of wool socks, and tadaa! Perfect fit! :D

The boots ran $210, which was almost exactly what I expected to pay... and really I'm just happy that I found a pair in my size that fulfill both of my needs at once! :)

4.) Driving home from St. Louis today, I ran into a bit of... snow? It really threw me off and confused me. I can't decide if it's just been too long since I saw snow, or if it was actually very tiny hail or something. Basically it suddenly seemed foggy up ahead, and when I reached 'up ahead' it looked like tiny tiny quantities of fine white powder were swirling over the highway in front of me. There was some gradient movement on the wind, and yet nothing was hitting my windshield. Cool, though, I guess it's the first snow of the year, in a year that may be filled with a LOT for me! :)

5.) I got interviewed today by an acquaintance who works in broadcast. Just a little piece about Study Abroad - apparently this is a record year for MU students going abroad. It was kind of fun and I got to show off a few of the pictures on my wall, etc. :) On the other hand, I thought he was asking me the wrong questions. I'm a student who studied abroad - ask me about my motivations, the lessons I learned, the challenges, the cool stories... well, he did, a little, but he asked just as many questions about what I thought about it being a record year and why I thought more people were going abroad. I didn't really know what to say about that except, "Well, I think our International Office here is excellent, blah blah blah."