sangre_fria: (Default)
A large envelope from Oxford came in the mail today.

Whoever had addressed it had forgotten to write the state and zip code on it. Which means that even though they sent it on the 19th of August, it just made it here today. All of the vital information and paperwork that we've been missing for so long is finally here, a month late. I have little more than a week to take care of a lot of this stuff, such as sending them a picture to put on my student ID card and filling out arrival forms, etc.

It's going to be tough, but I just might be able to pull it off.

I found out something very interesting today. You know that huge reading list that I've been working on endlessly the entire summer? Well, none of the books on that list are required. The guide said, "You should probably give one or two books a try." It said that some people choose to ignore the list completely, and that you should definitely not spend the entire summer reading.

I nearly died laughing. Seriously. I almost died.

To tell the truth, I had always kind of figured that it wasn't required reading. But you guys know how I am. Even if I had known for sure, I still would have tried to read them all...

And I still plan to finish these books, of course. I know what you're thinking: total masochist. Eh, what can I say? It's true.

There was also a letter from my college sister in the envelope. Every incoming freshman (or "fresher") at Oxford is assigned an "older sibling" from their particular college and major. Someone to show them the ropes and help them settle in. My college sis is Natalie, and she seems incredibly nice. (Great sense of humor, too.)

I look forward to meeting "Nat" and hearing what she has to say about the classes, professors, tutors, and city sights. She's already recommended an ice cream parlor and their supposedly awesome brownies. ("If they don't get you through your 9am lectures, nothing will.") It's great to know I'll have someone there to be my guide. Since she did the exact same things last year that I'm going to be doing now, her advice will be priceless.

From now until I leave, I'll keep my cell phone with me as much as possible. I can't promise that I'll be able to answer it while I'm in the shower or sleeping, but I'll try to always have it nearby. I don't think that I'll be able to bring it with me when I leave (it wouldn't work over there), so if you want to chat a bit, now's the time.

As for actual free time out of the house? Who knows. I doubt that I'll have much time for anything. It's starting to get pretty crazy around here.

(Even more crazy than me, and that's saying something...)

^.~
sangre_fria: (Default)
Well, it's almost time for me to leave. My tuition for this year has been paid in full, and I already have a respectable stack of items waiting to be packed.

I received a letter from St Hilda's, and it seems that I'll be living in the Garden building. I've seen pictures of the campus online, and it's all so beautiful. Garden building is unique because of its huge windows, and I really think that I'll enjoy my time there. I'll have my own room, complete with a desk, sink, bed and lamp. I'll have to walk down the hall to use the bathroom/showers, but that's fine with me.

Everyone tells me that I should bring along a digital camera, so I can post pictures of the places I go, the people I meet, and the various shenanigans that I'll no doubt get myself into. Well, sorry folks. It's going to cost me so much money to just be there, that going out and buying a camera is just out of the question. But I will send postcards, if I can.

I'm supposedly getting a laptop computer sometime in the next week, so I'll have an Internet connection and email and all that good stuff. I doubt that I'll have much free time, but I promise to keep you guys updated on how I'm doing.

I also need to go out and buy a ton of cold-weather clothing as soon as possible. I have no idea when that's going to be, but I do know that I'm going to freeze to death while I'm over there. I'm a true Floridian, born and raised, so my blood's just too thin to cope with a British winter...And knowing my luck, it'll be the coldest one on record. But I'm looking forward to seeing some snow, if I can. You can't be from the South without an obsession with snow. I can just see it now...

Student 1: "Did you see that short American girl outside, running around in the snow like a bloody loon?"
Student 2: "Why yes, indeed I did. Giggling to herself the entire time, wasn't she?"
Student 1: "Yes, I do believe she was."
Me *frolicking past window*: "Look everybody! It's snowing! It's snowing!"
*moment of complete silence*
Student 1: "Crazy Yanks. Barking mad, all of them."
Student 2: "Indeed. Pass the scones, if you please."

...Ah, good times are ahead....

We ordered and paid for all of my summer reading books ages ago, but three of them still haven't come in. So Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed, The Sixth Extinction: Biodiversity and its Survival, and Insects, spiders, and other terrestrial arthropods are still out there somewhere. It's a shame, really.

Summer Reading List:
Genome
Unravelling Animal Behavior
Genetics: A Conceptual Approach
Microbes and Man
Evolution
The Variety of Life
Introductory Statistics for Biology Students
Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed
The Ancestor's Tale
The Sixth Extinction: Biodiversity and its Survival
Almost Like a Whale
Field Flora of the British Isles
Insects, spiders, and other terrestrial arthropods

Hopefully I'll be able to leave the house at some point this weekend and hang out with everybody one last time. Abbi has been planning a movie on Saturday, so if anyone wants to see The Exorcism of Emily Rose, then keep your eyes peeled. If you can't come, it's alright.

I love you guys, anyway.
sangre_fria: (Default)
Summer Reading List:
Genome
Unravelling Animal Behavior
Genetics: A Conceptual Approach
Microbes and Man
Evolution
The Variety of Life
Introductory Statistics for Biology Students
Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed
The Ancestor's Tale
The Sixth Extinction: Biodiversity and its Survival
Almost Like a Whale
Field Flora of the British Isles
Insects, spiders, and other terrestrial arthropods

This is all I have to show for today.

That, and some very clean laundry.
sangre_fria: (Default)
I haven't posted (or seen posts) in a while because my Internet connection was dead for about a week. It died, not me. I'm just trying to set the record straight here...

Well, last week was fun. I spent a whole day with Laura on Friday, during which we watched most of the Horatio Hornblower series and several movies that I still hadn't seen (Timeline, King Arthur). In between the viewing, we chatted with a very trippy Grant. As he would no doubt tell you, the best thing about getting your wisdom teeth out is the pain medication. Amusement was had all around, especially when Grant would just doze off randomly. But he still managed to make it to level 60 on World of Warcraft, which was more than a little surprising. Kudos to you, Grant. You're an inspiration to us all.

That weekend was spent with my sister, holding down the fort while my mom was out of town. Pretty uneventful, but the peace and quiet was nice. I did have to clean up the house almost constantly, which is just part of living with a younger sibling, I suppose. The beginning of the week was pretty slow too, but I was able to use that to my advantage. I finished the book Microbes and Man, and started reading my genetics textbook and a collection of evolution essays.

The next week or so is a complete blur to me. I spent Thursday with Abbi ([livejournal.com profile] blues_the_word), and despite feeling under the weather, I had a great time running around the mall with her. I think that was the day that we stopped by Barnes and Noble and bumped into Grant, Zeke, and Tommy. We chatted with them for a while, which was nice. Abbi’s friend Mike came over to visit with us while we were there. I swear, he looks exactly like a hobbit. He’s a very sweet guy, not to mention quite handsome. Later, since we were in the neighborhood, we dropped by Becky’s house to see if she had gone to work yet. She had, but Zeke came home at about that time. So now he probably thinks that we’re stalking him.

For the record, I’m not a stalker. I’m just a good friend. A good friend who likes to camp in your front yard.

When we headed back to Barnes and Noble for my mom to pick me up, we saw several more of our high school peers, including Julia. She’s a friendly girl, and though I can’t say that I know her very well, she seems nice. On Saturday, I dragged myself out of bed early for Becky’s birthday party, but that was a no-go. It really is a shame, but what can you do, right? So I was already dressed and kind of sitting around when Abbi called me. She was at the mall again (having to get all of that school shopping done), and I headed up there; though I’m sorry to say that it took me a while.

She had said that she had a surprise for me, which turned out to be an awesome Inuyasha shirt that she had bought me. She said that it’s a kind of “going away” present. It’s yellow, with Kagome on the front of it, and I adore it. Abbi really does spoil me rotten. I bought a red hoodie, which I had big plans for. Those of you that know me well, also know how much I love the color red. Those of you that know me well, also know what a big Harry Potter geek I am. Abbi and I spent the next several days making our own geeky Harry Potter shirts.

I spent the night at her house for several days, and we had a blast. Abbi is just starting to read the HP series, so we had a HP movie marathon while we made the shirts. Mine is bright red; it says “Seeker” in gold letters on the front and “Gryffindor” on the back. The front pocket has a Golden Snitch painted on it, courtesy of Abbi. (See? I told you she spoils me.) All that I did was iron on the letters (and, thus, managing to burn myself), while she did the painting. Abbi made a shirt that has “Muggle” across the front in silver, and the Hogwarts seal on the back. That look incredible, and I promise to post pictures on here soon.

Random thoughts: I learned to play DDR. I definitely need more practice, but I enjoyed it. Even while messing up. What can I say? It’s cheap entertainment. Also, I love Abbi. She’s a wonderful friend, a lovely companion, and one of the greatest artists I have ever seen. I also saw Jesse at the mall. It was a bit surreal, actually. I asked him if he was there to make trouble (yes), he made fun of me, I made fun of myself, he made fun of my friends…But that’s Jesse, and I had started it in the first place. I sat down to wait for Abbi to arrive, and then Jesse comes back and asks me for a nickel. My first thought was, “Jesse wants a gumball.” So I root around in my change purse and pull out the nickel. As I handed it over, Jesse said, “I’m gonna get a gumball!”

The thing about Jesse is that you can never question anything he does. If he were to say, “Hey, I’m going to go paint myself with zebra stripes and free all the animals at the zoo”, you should never ask him why, even if you think it’s weird. If you question what he’s doing, he’ll only make you feel like an idiot. I don’t care how crazy the idea is; if you tell him that it’s crazy, then he’ll somehow turn it around on you so that you begin to wonder if you’re just missing something. Sure, it’s a great idea, but you were just to stupid to see that at first. Let us all pray that Jesse never runs for President. He would win without even having to try. (Though, I have to say that I’d love to see those presidential debates…)

Also, happy belated birthday, Richard.

Summer Reading List:
Genome
Unravelling Animal Behavior
Genetics: A Conceptual Approach (currently reading)
Microbes and Man
Evolution (currently reading)
The Variety of Life
Introductory Statistics for Biology Students
Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed
The Ancestor's Tale (currently reading)
The Sixth Extinction: Biodiversity and its Survival
Almost Like a Whale
Field Flora of the British Isles
Insects, spiders, and other terrestrial arthropods

I really need to buckle down on this list, now.

If I forgot to mention anything, please forgive me.
sangre_fria: (Default)
I was looking over the huge stack of books in my room when I noticed something very fortunate. As it turns out, the Field Flora of the British Isles book isn't meant to be read from cover to cover. It's merely a guide for identifying plants in the wild.

So I sat myself down and read all of the introduction and author notes, as well as familiarizing myself with some of the terms used and how the guide should work. So that means that...

Summer Reading List:
Genome
Unravelling Animal Behavior
Genetics: A Conceptual Approach
Microbes and Man (currently reading)
Evolution
The Variety of Life
Introductory Statistics for Biology Students
Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed
The Ancestor's Tale
The Sixth Extinction: Biodiversity and its Survival
Almost Like a Whale
Field Flora of the British Isles
Insects, spiders, and other terrestrial arthropods

Awesome. Now I'm off to read about bacteria.

Drop me a line if you have any questions about what I've been reading lately. It's all fascinating stuff.
sangre_fria: (Default)
This was an interesting way to spend fifteen minutes.

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Yeah, that's right. I always seem to be the outlier...

^.~


Oh, and guess what?

Summer Reading List:
Genome
Unravelling Animal Behavior
Genetics: A Conceptual Approach
Microbes and Man (currently reading)
Evolution
The Variety of Life
Introductory Statistics for Biology Students
Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed
The Ancestor's Tale
The Sixth Extinction: Biodiversity and its Survival
Almost Like a Whale
Field Flora of the British Isles
Insects, spiders, and other terrestrial arthropods
sangre_fria: (Default)
Yesterday, I went to Kendo for the first time in ages.

Therefore, I'm finding it a bit hard to move today. The phone has been ringing off the hook, so I've had to get up and struggle/limp back and forth to see who it was each time. I think that everyone should go ahead and call me, just for kicks and giggles. I mean, hey, why not? I don't think I've hobbled around enough today.

In any case, I was really glad that I was finally able to make it to Kendo this week.

In other news, my mom woke me up at seven something this morning, after about four hours of sleep. Now, four hours would be the norm for during the school year, but since this is summer, I was a bit confused.

Well, she had just found out that I had made the required 750 on the SAT II Math test!

You guys have no idea how I'm feeling right now. Such intense relief.

Even though I'll still feel the pressure until my AP scores come in, I feel much better. I didn't really discuss this with many of you, but all I'll say is that it's been a crazy, roller coaster of a ride to get this score.

So it's been a pretty happy day. I feel like going out and celebrating, but I know that that's out of the question. I really want to go to your party, Molly, but it's going to take some major convincing on the parental front. I'll try my best, but I can't make any promises. I still have a lot of reading to do.

Summer Reading List:
Genome
Unravelling Animal Behavior (currently reading)
Genetics: A Conceptual Approach
Microbes and Man
Evolution
The Variety of Life
Introductory Statistics for Biology Students
Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed
The Ancestor's Tale
The Sixth Extinction: Biodiversity and its Survival
Almost Like a Whale
Field Flora of the British Isles
Insects, spiders, and other terrestrial arthropods

I've got my work cut out for me, don't I?

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