Saturday, December 17, 2011

Welcome Home - The Less Obvious Pros and Cons

...Last year there was snow.
This year there is fog. 

Until the "IT'S CHRISTMAS EVERYONE" feeling really sets in, I need to look elsewhere for the happy in my holidays w/o the snow. 1st quarter grades? Probably not the best place to look. Coming home for two and a half weeks and pretending that ALEKS, math, and chemistry never existed? That's a start.

Costco Creme Brulee. Easy to access
at home, a thing of fiction at UW.
When you come back home, you start realizing things you never realized before about home. 1) The carpet all of a sudden feels like the worlds best memory foam mattress compared to the industrial grade "carpet" in the dorms. 2) The vegetables are cooked correctly at home. 3) As good as you think your food stash is at the dorm, the one at your house has always been better. 4) It's a good thing you don't have to wake up early during break because once you brought the alarm clock to college you forgot to put a new one back in your room. 5) If you want to watch your big screen TV, you don't have to awkwardly fight people out of the floor lounge like you do at college. These are the pros.

Then come the cons.
My temporary Facebook/Words
With Friends command post. *sigh*
1) You forget dishes and housework ever existed UNTIL you come home. And once you do remember these tasks exist, all of a sudden they take much, much longer. 2) Depending on a 10 inch netbook for a computer set up in your bedroom SUCKS when you've been working on a much better (and bigger) desktop at college. (Case in point why everyone else bought real laptops...) 3) To get around in Seattle for fun, all you had to do was abuse the UPASS where the bus system actually works. In Bothell, it's back to the basics and driving because community transit is basically useless. The driving part I don't mind, in fact I quite missed it. What I didn't miss were the slightly-guilty and slightly-expensive trips to the gas station.
and finally You know you live in Poplar Hall when... you realize the shower in your house is not as good as the one at college.

Oh well, cons will be cons. I'll happily take my comfy carpets, TV, and food to do a few dishes and use a smaller computer. Are there are frankly more important things to think about than "the less obvious pros and cons of home"? Probably. Family, friends, fellowship, holidays? Perhaps. But admittedly it's much easier to fill a blog with the little things than with actually useful information.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

c.a.l.c - Creating Algebra (so_Long_it_takes_8_sheets_of_paper) Chaos

I've never felt the need to put a WTF on any
of my homework until this year (lower right)
2pi/3(-476+61^3/2). That was the answer to one of my homework questions asking for the volume between to objects. Really??? I was even surprised that my computer told me I got the answer correct. Where in the world will you need to use a volume of a-gazillion pi divided by infinity plus cow over caviar? In the first couple weeks of class, homework took about 30min to an hour - very reasonable. Now, homework takes about 10min a question... and the assignments have 18 questions. Less than reasonable. I think if I've spent 2 hours working on double integrals that the understanding is that I know what I'm doing. Webassign doesn't seem to agree. Trees are dying for the cause - with each passing assignment taking as much as 8 sides of scratch paper. Recycling old sheets is futile. *rant rant rant*. Oh well doing this is supposedly good for me...

( I've had my chance to vent - that is all =] )

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More than Ramen

Sitting at my desk watching How I Met Your Mother and eating a bowl of instant wonton noodle soup, I wondered how much food crap Robby and I really have in the dorm. So... I took stock of the cafe:
  • Food
    • Breakfast
      • Oatmeal 
        • apple cinnamon 
        • maple brown sugar
        • cinnamon spice
      • Waffles
      • Biscuits
        • Ham
        • Sausage
      • Cereal
        • Lucky Charms
        • Special K
      • Nutella bread
      • Yogurt
        • Blueberries
        • Strawbeery
      • Bananas 
      • Oranges
    • Lunch and Dinner
      • Ramen
        • Beef
        • Chicken
      • Wonton Soup
      • PBJ Sandwiches
      • Rice
      • Pork Buns
    • Snacks
    • A rice cooker makes everything better
      • Hello Panda
      • Pop Tarts
      • Nutrigrain Bars
      • Costco Pub Mix
      • Popcorn
      • Ice Cream Sandwiches
      • Gummy Bears
  • Beverages
    • Cold
      • Milk
      • Apple Juice
      • Mango Juice
      • Ginger Ale 
      • Ramune Soda
    • Warm
      • Herbal Teas 
      • Hot Chocolate
      • Apple Cider
      • Mocha
      • Tully's French Roast
Hmmm... nope we don't have enough... 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Internet Works! (explosions, overheads, and Robby's printer)

Thoughts from the first day of school - the yays and the nays:

  • After a week the internet from the wall in my dorm started working on my desktop. Now I don't have to do all my online homework on my tiny netbook. Resounding yay :) 
  • The chemistry teacher carries a tennis racket around on his back and set off four chemical explosions in the lecture hall - yay :)
  • The calculus teacher is Indian and incredibly intelligent. Almost so much so that he expects more from the university's resources. He wanted a white board - they gave him an overhead and a marker. Yeah...  he called it "primitive" but we taught calculus teacher how to use an overhead -yay :)
  • Tennis at the IMA on purple tennis courts - yay :)
  • 3 hours of projected homework a day - nay :(
  • Robby's printer got a permanent paper jam - nay :( 
  • Okay we have to end on a bright note. All my classes ended completely at 12:20pm today - yay :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Changing landscape - An Introduction

Hello home. Things have changed, changed very much indeed. Out the window I hear the city, out the window I see the city, and when you go outside and walk around, (surprise surprise), you have access to the proper nightlife of a city -meaning hanging out at the Jimmy John's sandwich place until 1am on the first night. But before that, the whole day was really a microcosm of the of the college social experience. Lots and lots of social experience. First of all, DAWG Daze welcome week is the real deal. It's not some soft welcome day/week even as crowded and overpopulated as it seems. When they say there are free root beer floats for EVERY FRESHMAN in the quad before movie night on a 200' screen, they mean every bit of it. When secrets go around that there are free sunglasses in the microsoft booth and there are free Dawg Pack spirit T shirts at the athletic shop, free stuff will abound. There's the big world effect, where concerts for Macklemore and The Axis of Awesome attract massive audiences. Then there's the small world effect. Every 10 minutes walking around campus, you run into one of your old friends who ended up actually being a friend of the friend walking beside you or vice versa. EVERY bright kid you competed with and remembered from other high schools went to this school (that being said, the Bothell high population here is still pretty predominant). You chat, hang out, alternate which group you hang out for which meal, and take turns having people to your dorm. Speaking of dorms, Robby and I agreed that Poplar Hall is the most ridiculous thing we've ever seen for a residence hall. The whole thing looks like it came out of IKEA. Neither of us lofted our beds but we still have more than enough floor space for our crap. Every floor has 2 study rooms, a 52" flat screen TV lounge, and the third floor has a terrace where BBQ's happen supposedly every saturday. WIN. Good view of red square, good location, good building, good private bathroom and this place begins to feel like a hotel. Good food? So far yes. It's at Terry/ Lander and for having names like Paggliaci's Pizza, a $3 meal is about the most reasonable thing they have here. Athletics are pretty great here as well. The football games here are completely over the top and your ears almost blow out after a touchdown - we had four. The spirit is contagious and for as good as this school is at research, they have the sports down. The stadium is nice, but what I care about is the stuff I can use. The tennis courts are lighted and super nice. There are lots of soccer fields and the fitness center is spectacular. My general impressions of the school I had before I got here have been confirmed. This is a school with nothing to be ashamed of - everything was done right. It feels like college. I expected everything to be an upgrade from high school. Classes haven't started yet but it is safe to say that UW has been an upgrade in every way. Let's see if that stays that way when class resumes tomorrow.
UW v. Cal Football Game 31-23
from the student section

Chalk Walls W/ Alison & Khuntia

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Initial Assessment?

Class doesn't start until next Wednesday. That means home free from thinking right? Alas, peace wasn't to be. My chem professor sent me an email today (the day before move in) that made me purchase a $90 access code (aka charging me for homework) AND said I had a 30 question chemistry and math preliminary skills test due by next Friday. At least its not for a grade but here was my thought process before taking it this evening. I...

  1. Haven't had a chemistry class since sophomore year
  2. Haven't had a math class for two years
  3. Haven't done ANY schoolwork for three months
That being said, I got 70% on it. I'll take it. The sheer fact that I retained 70% of this stuff means that the Bothell chem and math teachers did a better job than I first imagined. In that respect kudos to high school - it worked (err.... 70% worked good enough).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Welcome To Newness

As of today, The Poplar Pal has moved from to this page. Why? I linked the account of my last blog with my university email. It should have worked with that email like any other random yahoo one right? Nope, wrong. UW actually managed that account and limited oodles of functionality. Me being a person who enjoys both authority and functionality would much rather have an account not "managed" by my school. Wouldn't you?

Your Room Is Never Big Enough (ARCHIVED - 9/14 12:27PM)

The "Crap" Corner

Since the beginning of time, the corner of the room in front of my bed has been devoted to storing random junk and tidbits, and since the beginning of time, its storage capacity has more than sufficed. Turns out that that's not the case anymore. Between the new chemistry lab apron, the goggles, the coffee machine, the desk lamp, the bedding set, the memory foam bedding pads FOR the bedding set, and the other necessities of college I have blown my summer paychecks on, the stuff in "the corner" has started encroaching into the stuff "in the middle of my room". My temporary solution? Toss stuff into random closets throughout the house in the hopes I actually remember where I put it by the time I actually move out. But I do stress this as merely a "temporary solution" as the minifridge is set to come in the mail next week... garage perhaps as the next course of expansion?

First Post (ARCHIVED 9/13 10:33AM)

9 days and 21 hours until move in.
Sorry Bothell, I can't wait to leave :-)

Hihi blogger world. Here is the almighty first post - something people will initially will think is hugely important before they realize its really the post no one ever sees because you have no followers. Anyways, I'm still stuck in Bothell - a week and a half until move in and final college preparations are being made. Among them, of course, was the imminent creation of a blog. What will I post here? Pandemonium with the Robby the roommate? Campus thoughts? The best pho shop on the Ave? Photos from the BBQ's in the brand new Poplar Hall I'll be residing in this year? Perhaps a combination of all of the above. But one thing is for sure - I'll have sold my soul to another technological evil: Blogger. Oh well, there's enough of it to go around between facebook, google, microsoft, youtube, and amazon. Stay tuned.