I Can Handle This

You guys, this is just a quick post to tell you how BUSY and STRESSED I am today.  I missed class because I fell asleep without turning on my alarm, but that’s not a big deal because we weren’t really doing much in there today.  The reason I’m stressed is this:

Due Thursday, 6/2 in class.  6-8 pages, double-spaced, Times Roman 12 pt, in MLA style.  Proper citation of sources in required.

For this essay you will need to research a current environmental issue of interest to you.  This environmental problem could be America or India, though I strongly suggest that you choose an issue which you already have some familiarity in order to reduce the necessity for lengthy research.

The essay must describe the problem and the different sides to the issue, suggest cultural and historical influences on the problem (using the historical background and concepts from the course reading where relevant) that complicate its solution, and, finally, apply any relevant concepts learned in this class (such as approprite scale, continuity between nature and culture, making room for gardens in the natural world, the ethics of care, the himility and responsibility of the hunter, a religious framework, or a land ethic) to suggest a set of actions to address the particular environmental issue.  These actions should not be purely a program of public policy and legislative agendas, but should suggest how human attitudes concerning the issue might be changed and behavios adjusted in appropriate and necessary ways, in accordance with the particular principles you think are appropriate to apply.

Complicated stuff.  And remember yesterday when I said I got good news in this class?  We had an assignment to work in the garden on campus and then write a “journal entry” for it.  I kept trying and trying to work in the garden, but I was constantly told that the weather was not appropriate.  I didn’t get a chance to work in the garden before the assignment was due, so I talked to the teacher and was told that I could just write about my experience with working in gardens before (I think I’ll write about my window-garden).

So, add those together (the journal has to be a minimum of 750 words), and that equals stress.  Both are due tomorrow (but I’m trying to get the journal done tonight).  But!  That’s not all!  We also have room checks today, which means there’s an extra stress-er (because I still haven’t unpacked from Wyoming and clothes are everywhere) that I have to prepare for.

This is going to be a long day.  Better get started.


A gratuitous picture of the plants for you:



I’m alone in my room right now, all I hear is the sound of cars driving by.  I want to write, but my head is all blocked up.
…BACKSPACE.  (I’ve written a paragraph but I hate how it sounds.)
Everything I write is overly dramatic.
…BACKSPACE. (And when I add onto that statement, I sound like I’m 12 years old and cutting again.)
Here’s what’s been going on in my life:

We got our reward letters for next year about a week ago.  As many know, college tuition goes up every year.  This year, here at North Central, it’s gone up about $2,000.  My reward letter granted me about $26,000.  One year of attending this place is around $40,000.  If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you know me, and my money situation.  My parents didn’t save up for my college education.  My parents didn’t even go to college.  I’m on my own.  Dad isn’t paying for my college; I’m working through this by myself.
This both freaks me out and makes me proud.

It’s possible to work through college; hundreds of people have done it.  But without banks letting me get loans (I don’t have that all-important co-signer), the leftover, i.e. what I have to pay, is too much.
I’ve been thinking about going home, but the thought of switching colleges has made me feel like a failure.  I know if I go home, I’ll get caught up in something that won’t allow me to finish college.  I know too many people there and I feel like they’ll pull me down.  I didn’t do much in high school because (I thought) no one wanted to do anything with me.  But now that I’ve talked to classmates, I found out that I wasn’t a pariah; people tried to get a hold of me to invite me, but couldn’t get through (DIAL-UP INTERNET).  If I went back to that, a place where I felt accepted, school would get pushed to the wayside, especially if I didn’t have to pay (and that was the deal: a free-ride).  I feel like, even though I have no friends here, and I’m stressed to pay for this school, I’m in a good place; a place that I will get through because I have no distractions.  It’s scary, being here without my family, but it’s manageable.

Now, delete all of that stress and fast-forward to yesterday.  I found that I just had to “accept” financial aid, and I’m up to $33,000 (which is what I have this year).  It’s payable (I don’t have a whole lot left over for fun stuff, but I’m handling it, barely).  Add to that the fact that I have $65 in my savings account.  My $1,400 tuition payment is due next month.  STRESS.

I feel like if I talk about this next thing, it’ll go sour and I won’t be as lucky anymore, but I’ll risk it.  I was contacted to be a nanny in Naperville this summer.  It’s a live-in position, plus car, pay, and a set-schedule (allowing me to get a side job, as well).  I was supposed to meet with the lady today, but a gymnastic accident put her daughter in the hospital, and we’re meeting on Monday instead.  Send me good thoughts.  I need this.

As of today, there’s only nineteen days until I get to go home.  I get to see my friends, my puppy (that’s not a puppy, and not mine anymore), and my family.

On the reading front.  I haven’t had much time to read, but I what time I do have, I try to get through “The Land of Painted Caves“.  I have to be honest, you guys, and saying this makes my heart hurt, but.  I hate it.  I’m not sure if I hate it because it’s the last one, or just because the storyline sucks.  (Seriously, in one paragraph, Ayla is holding her baby, the next paragraph, with no extra space, her baby is now 4 years old and talking.)  I feel like Jean Auel rushed through this just to get it published and to get herself some money.  There’s no planning, and it’s just, bad.  There’s also way too many numbers to keep track of, and the characters act different than they’re supposed to.  I’m glad I have it, and I am going to finish it, but I’m probably going to complain.  A lot.

In this past week, I’ve watched some of the Disney movies that have been on my Watch List.  Pocahontas 2 (which was extremely racist and not good at all.), Mulan 2 (better than Pocahontas but it was just too much), and Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World.  You guys know how much I love Disney, and Belle.  But this movie was GODAWFUL.  Belle acted like a snobby prude, and Beast acted like a huge asshole (pardon my language) to her the entire time.  I couldn’t even get through the entire thing.  I literally stopped it after about thirteen minutes, and put in the original Beauty and the Beast (which I cried about, and I’m not ashamed to admit it).  I checked out “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” one and two today from the library, and I hope they aren’t bad.  (I don’t have much hope for the second one, but both Kyle and my roommate, who is a HUGE Disney buff, even owning stock in the company, say that it’s one of the best.)

I hope you’ll all forgive me for my lack of posting, and hopefully, after this weekend (WORKING from pretty much 7:30 am to 10 pm Saturday and 11 to 4 on Sunday) I’ll be able to write.  This might have been the writer’s block being stabbed in the face with an icepick.


I could write an unlimited number of open letters to the boy in my Mythology class.  It seems like every little thing that he does annoys me (and not only me; when he raises his hand, there are mutterings from around the classroom).  You don’t have to say, “I have a little bit of a question about…” when you raise your hand.  It is assumed that you have a question if the teacher says, “Any questions?” and you raise your hand.

Anyways, I’m about 20 pages from finishing “We Need to Talk About Kevin” and with every page I turn, I get goosebumps.  Each sentence has the ability to completely shock me, but I’m still enjoying it.  I’ve finally gotten to the point in the story where the school massacre happens.  Before, it was only alluded to; Thursday.  Everything leading up to this gives a good foundation to the wrong-ness that Eva (the mother) feels when she thinks about Kevin.  Even when he was a baby, she knew that there was something wrong with him; not only because she couldn’t bond to him, but because he seemed to play her emotions.  By the time he is 14, she can give examples about everything that is not normal.

I can’t promise a review, because I’m not very good at them, but I will say that it took time (and willingness) to read a book like this.  It’s no wonder it made the list (although I’ve said many different times by now).

I would recommend this book to everyone reading this, sure or unsure about children.  It has a haunting beauty about it; written perfectly to extract every bit of the reader’s emotions.  It may not be your cup of tea, but it definitely deserves your attention.  You’ll thank me when you finish it, because I’ve read a bunch of books, and none compare to this one.

A perfect amount of time to read the rest of the series.


I’ve been noticing unwelcome little visitors in my dorm lately.  The little black kind that are hard to see, easy to mistake for dirt, and like to crawl inside your clothes to make you itch.

At first, I ignored them because I thought maybe I tracked them in or something.  I swept the room and put the thought out of my head.  A few days later in class, I felt something tickling my neck.  I reached back to scratch it and found a bump.  A moving bump.  I brought my hand down in disgust, tossing the ant on the ground in doing so.  That was quite enough.

War had begun.

Every time I saw one of the little critters, I got the broom and swept up.  They were gone, but only for awhile.  One night, after coming back from Kyle’s room, where I had fallen asleep on his bed while he was hanging out with friends at about 1 a.m., I reached under my bed to grab a water and noticed not one, not two, not even 10, but about 20 ants, crawling everywhere.

I jumped back and started using a cardboard piece to smash every single one of them.  Then I went to get the broom and when my roommate asked me what I was doing, I told her matter-of-factly that we had ants.  We both started cleaning in a frenzy.  With each piece of furniture moved and ants discovered, we both uttered one word; a high pitched and drawn out, “ewwwww!”

I told my RA and she called for maintenance.  The next day while I was in class, the guy came, put traps out, and then left.  I haven’t seen the pests since then.

Except last night, while I was falling asleep, my eyes were jumping spasmodically, fighting sleep, when I saw a giant ant on my arm, which was lying on the pillow inches from my face.  My body jumped with fear, my heart pounded, and my stomach dropped before I noticed that there was nothing there, just a cruel joke my mind played on me, turning a little dip in the wall into a giant ant.

It took some time to fall asleep, but when I did, my dreams were happily ant free.  Let’s hope my dorm stays ant-free, too.

*Edited to Add:


I ordered books and yarn about a week ago, and after anxiously waiting, I got both boxes all at one time today.

I got 5 books and yarn for my first hat order.

(You may notice the Kathleen E. Woodiwiss stuck in there… :) )

Hooray for mail!


Class has been going well for me; I’m enjoying all four of them, and I’m happy to say that I got into the one I was trying hard to be in (which is Physical Anthropology).

I had a funny thing happen to me yesterday.  I woke up early, did my questions, and then headed off to check the mail to see if my books had come in.  When I got there (it was about 11:15 at this point), there was nothing in my box, so I left, intending to go to Ted’s to check my schedule, and then come back to the mail room because deliveries are usually made at noon.

When I got to Ted’s, I headed back to the board where everything is posted, and looked for my name.  Under “Tuesday, January 4th” it said: “Server Assistant: 11:30-2:00”.  I was supposed to be at work right then (it was about 11:25).  I went looking for the manager, and told him that I didn’t know I had work, and I was going to run back to my dorm and put on my work clothes, then come back.

I made it back at about 11:40, and after I finished seating the guests that were waiting, doing an open menu count, and collecting menus, I went back to get a drink of water because I was dying of thirst.  The first thing I did was spill it all down my front.

After all that, the rest of the day was pretty slow.  When I got off work, Kyle and I checked my mail (my books had come in), and then ate.  At 4, I left for the class I was wait-listed on (Physical Anthropology) and waited nervously for the teacher to tell me that I was in.  That class was let out early, and I headed to dinner, with just enough time left to grab my bag and walk to my next class (at 6:30 p.m.).

At the end of the day, I was beyond exhausted.  Kyle and I did some latin homework, and then I went to bed.

Only to find that my sleep schedule for all of break (get to bed at about 12 and wake up at 8ish) prevented me from going to sleep right away.  So I dug under my bed in my book box.  The box holds all of the books I’ve acquired since I’ve moved here (and two I brought from home), and I’ve read none of them.  (I also just ordered some books from Barnes and Noble, but I’ve read two of the four I ordered.  I just wanted to own them.)

I grabbed “Fair is the Rose“, a story set in Scotland, and settled in to read it.  I was immediately immersed in the story, and ended up not going to bed until about 1.

Tonight, I’m going to try a lot harder to get to bed early.

I have another goal for this year: I want to finish reading all of the books I bought that are in the book box.  Another goal for January and February: Start (and finish) “The Clan of the Cave Bear” series before I get the new one shipped to me.

Well, I’m off to do class reading for Mythology, and then go to class.  The rest of the day is going to be spent taking money to the bank, making a few payments, going to the candy store (Kyle told me that it was time to go there), maybe going to the library, and hopefully reading and going to bed early.

A pretty picture of the book I’m reading, and my plants (one of which, the rose in the bowl, is not doing so good).

(P.S. I just noticed the flowers in the picture…along with the book of the same name. “Fair is the Rose” sitting by roses.)

Chegg vs. Bookrenter

Yesterday, I was checking out my schedule for winter term (my college has three trimesters instead of semesters.  We study the same amount as in a semester, but with trimesters, we don’t have as many classes per term, and can take more classes during the year.) and with my schedule, the books that came along with each class.

Winter term is my fullest term with 12 credits (that’s the max amount you can take without paying extra for an “overload”).  My classes are Latin 102, Archaeology, Classical Mythology and Physical Anthropology (I’m on the wait-list for this one, but I still have to buy books and show up to class).  I’m so excited because all of the classes study what I love, and I get a double dose of my two favorite professors; Dr. Fontana with my Archaeology/Physical Anthro and Dr. DeBrauw with Latin and Mythology.  I have two teachers for all term, which is awesome.

Now, the thing that’s not awesome is the price of these books.

I already have the Latin book because I knew I needed it for all the other latin classes, so I just bought it.  But I also need a few others.  All the other books I rented.  Here’s a rundown of the books I need, and the dent they’ll make in my bank account:

Archaeology: “Images of the Past” – $122.25 (Buying new is the only option from the bookstore)

Classical Mythology: “Classical Myth” – $72.25 (Used)

Physical Anthropology: “Intro to Physical Anthropology” – $102.75 (Used)

Latin 102: “Auricula Meretricula” – $9.75 (Used) and “Scribblers, Sculptors, & Scribes” – $17.99 (New)

So, if I bought (because with these books, there is no option to rent) everything from the bookstore, my grand total for this term would be $324.99.

Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I don’t have anywhere NEAR that kind of money.  But this last term, I didn’t get everything from the bookstore.  I think I ended up renting two books from there because the price online wasn’t any cheaper and if I ordered from the bookstore, I didn’t pay shipping.  I mostly got my books from Chegg.  I found out about this site through Facebook, and went to see how much cheaper books were from there.  Turns out they’re A LOT cheaper.  And Chegg plants a tree for every book you order.  No shipping costs, and they’re free to ship back as well.  Let’s look at a rundown of renting (so I won’t have a bunch of books lying around) my books from there:

Archaeology: “Images of the Past” – $51.49 (rent)

Classical Mythology: “Classical Myth” – $40.49 (rent)

Physical Anthropology: “Intro to Physical Anthropology” – $49.49 (rent)

Latin 102: “Auricula Meretricula” – $12.80 (Buy new, $12.95 new at bookstore) and “Scribblers, Sculptors, & Scribes” – $15.79 (Buy new)

Total for renting/buying books from Chegg: $170.06. (I don’t have that kind of money in my bank account, either, but after my next paycheck I will.)  I save $154.93 just switching places.  Because I have so long to get the books, I might order from other places too.  I’m not done shopping around, but I thought I would bring it to your attention that Chegg is better at saving you money.

*Edited to add:

I found another rental place online: Bookrenter that’s even cheaper to rent books.  In most cases, to rent a book is about $5 cheaper than chegg.  Free shipping both ways (same as chegg), and instead of planting trees (which I love because books are trees), Bookrenter makes a book donation to First Book (which gives books to kids).  In some cases, my rental is $10 cheaper.  I’m doing further research, but I think I may have found my rental place.

Check Bookrenter out :) (Use this link and get 5% off your rental…It’s worth it.)