I’ve Been Everywhere, Man

Pardon the unexcused absence, but you see, I’ve been busy:

Attending summer school in De Smet, South Dakota.

Visiting the home of my childhood hero.

Tromping around the Badlands

Catching up with some old friends.

Judging people with tails.

Following the Oregon Trail.

Feeling in awe of the marks people left along the way.

Exploring Salt Lake City.

Learning more about LDS.

Rock climbing at Bridal Veil Falls.

Hiking 1,100 feet up.

Meeting the local wildlife.

Stalking Robert Redford at Sundance.

And somehow, somehow, I also scraped an A in that darn physics class.

 

 

Round Up

Number of pages in the study guide I’ve been working on all evening: 10

Number of multiple choice questions on my physics final: 50

Number of naps I’ve taken: 1

Hours I’ve spent packing today: 0

Pandora stations I’ve listened to: 5

IMDB checks: 6

Times I’ve thought to myself “In less than twenty-four hours I’ll be home free, hurtling through South Dakota in a van packed with family and books”: 104 and counting

I Need a Cookie. And a Hug.

“I need a cookie.  And a hug.”

My thoughts upon finishing my physics midterm this afternoon.

In retrospect, perhaps it wasn’t so bad; there were quite a few answers I was sure of.  But in spec, it was the kind of difficult that leaves you numb and makes you wonder what the heck you were reading for those four hours of study the previous night, and whether it had to do with the test material at all.

Following said midtorture (not clever; sorry), we walked up to the lab for a planetarium lesson, which so far has been my favorite part of the class.  I’ve quickly become fascinated with constellations and stars and their locations amongst the thousands speckling the sky every night.  Maybe not enough to make astronomy a hobby, but enough to want to know what I’m seeing when I look up:

Vega of Lyra, Spica of Virgo, Cassiopeia and her husband Cepheus, Deneb of Cygnus, Corona Borealis, Delphinus the dolphin, Regulus of Leo.

In the planetarium, we sit in the dark, necks craned at the dotted dome above us, and listen to the professor as he names each constellation and major star, circling it with a small laser.  Then he asks us to name each.  I’ve gotten pretty good at this part, mostly because I’m enthralled by the names.  There’s a story behind each one, I know, some ancient myth that’s perhaps long forgotten.

 

Third-to-Last First Day of Class

My third-to-last first day of class was today.  It was Introduction to the Solar System, my sole summer class, and my sole remaining general education requirement.

Impressions:

1.  The professor seems kind, and is thorough about providing examples when he’s explaining something.  I don’t think he has a lot of self-confidence about his lecturing, though; I was tentative about asking questions because they seemed to disconcert him so much.

2.  I remember learning about the solar system in elementary school, but I haven’t really touched it since.  It’ll be nice to get back on the horse in that department, even without poor little Pluto.

3.  “This class will not be math intensive” = huge sigh of relief.  And then, to my despair, math came regardless.  We received a refresher course in trigonomentry, scientific notation, and geometry.  Oh, boy.

4.  I know several people in the class, which is helpful for the exchange of disparaging looks.  And for general merriment in the lab.

5.  Four hours a day five days a week is going to be a lot.

6.  On my walk home tonight, I picked out the constellation Leo in the sky.  Now that’s progress.