Sunday, February 28, 2010

Shake-n-Bake

I'm getting nervous about the state of Earth with all of these mega earthquakes hitting so frequently lately. I'm not sure if I was just too young to be aware or not, but I don't recall so many strong quakes growing up, and yet in the past two years we've had a handful of terrible disasters...

For example: the South Pacific tsunami which began as an underground quake, the earthquake in Greece, the Sichuan earthquake in China, Haiti, and now Chile.

Could these quakes being caused by human development and resource overuse? I'm curious about that, and a little worried. I obviously don't think some big "2012" thing is going to happen like that ridiculous film, but what does the future hold for humanity if earthquakes wiping out throngs of people and villages/cities comes along on a yearly basis?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Unmotivated

Why is it that I have so many things I want to do, and yet I can never bring myself to do anything? I just spend my days watching the same old TV shows/movies and playing computer games or reloading Facebook until I want to puke!

For example, I have two books I really want to read, yet I haven't touched either of them. I also bought this great book to learn Italian from and have not opened that either...and I've been wanting to teach myself Italian for a while now...no motivation to do so however. I have to study hardxcore for my Praxis do-over exam that is coming up in three weeks and again, I have yet to start studying for that either.

I feel like a complete waste of life. I love technology, yet it screws me over.

On another note, I just watched the women's speed skating relay and South Korea was disqualified and the gold went to China, the silver to Canada, and the broze to the US. The US was really behind and didn't deserve a medal. South Korea BARELY touched China's skate and yet they got disqualified. It was all pretty bunk.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When I Was Younger I Would Say...

There is no better time than when the Olympics are occurring. Usually I begin by putting the events on in the background as I do work or kill time, and then eventually I find myself drawn to the TV and watching it full time. I prefer the summer games, but the winter games are just as good. I'm not sure why I'm so drawn to the Olympics while I basically loathe watching most other sports on TV (but watching sports in person is another story). I think it's the global aspect to the Olympics and of course, the national competition.

I remember the first Olympic games that I watched, the 1996 Atlanta summer Olympics. I just remember being so engaged and interested in the sports. That year was my third grade of schooling, and I recall we did an Olympics week-long team game in class and I was on team Spain. Random. Then I remember the 1998 Nagano, Japan winter games and watching some strange sport that required riding a giant log/tree down a snowy mountain... The 2000 Sydney games were pretty exciting, but I wasn't as into those games. I remember the schedule was very obscure because of the hemisphere and season differences, and I believe the games were very late in the year (possibly October/Novemeber) so I was too busy with school to pay attention. The 2002 Salt Lake City games I don't even recall watching. Then in 2004 I became OBSESSED with the Athens summer games to the point where I called out of work one day just to stay home and watch some of the events. I think I must have watched nearly all of the events. I remember being so excited for the 2008 games in China, and that was back when I really had no interest in China (pre-college). I even recall making a "Beijing 2008" money jar to save up to go (a big dream back then). Little did I know I would actually PURCHASE tickets to the Beijing games! The games in Torino in 2006 I barely watched, sadly. Then the Beijing Games of 2008 I was of course drawn heavily to. The most angering part was that I actually had about eight tickets to these games, but because I was homesick and left Beijing at the end of June I sold them all. I bought them at the end of my sophomore year, thinking I would study abroad there, and also thinking I would have no chance and just doing it for giggles. And then a year later I had eight tickets mailed to me...I had tickets to badminton, tennis, volleyball, and diving. UGH I completely regret that decision... So yeah, that's my Olympic history.

Tonight was the men's skating short program and it was fun to watch. Japan did really well and placed very close to the top. Canada had been hoping for Patrick Chan to place but last I heard he was in fifth, so no luck there Canada. I don't even know if an American made it to that round or not, so I guess I shouldn't bash. It's always funny to watch because the outfits are so outrageous and flashy, and some of the moves are just as out there. Curling was on earlier and I have to say that is probably the funniest sport to watch, for the screaming and grunting sounds alone.

I am pretty sure I'm heading to Baltimore this weekend with two of my friends. I've never been so I'm pretty excited! Of course I double booked other things for the weekend and now I have to back out of them, but sadly that's how I roll.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Teacher Schmeacher

My pre-teaching adventure has begun and swept me up like a whirlwind. This week began my first week volunteering in a second grade classroom at Marks Meadow elementary school right next to UMass. I help out in the classroom for four hours every Mon/Wed/Fri and after two days of going in, I can happily say that I am really enjoying the kids! My favorite time of the day is their lunch period, so obviously not much has changed since I was sitting in the desks! But I'm sure this experience will help prepare me for teaching this upcoming fall, since Teach for America has assigned me to an elementary level classroom. I'm a bit nervous for the big move to Philadelphia this summer, but I'm totally not going into that right now...

Speaking of teaching this fall, I found out last night that I didn't pass one of the Praxis II exams I took in January. Actually, I had anticipated failing this one, because the subject matter was Elementary Curriculum and Skills, or something bull-shit like that. As I have no background in education and have taken no courses, and to further that I BARELY studied (if at all) using the prep book I bought, I wasn't surprised. I'll have to retake it next month during the first weekend of Spring Break (what a great start to spring break "senior year" I know). However, for the other two Praxis exams that I took, I scored in the highest percentile on them, so at least I can be proud for that aspect.

My semester is off to a rocky start as well. Knowing that I already have a job secured for the fall, and that I already have my total credits and degree credits accounted for does not motivate me to study. This is basically an "odds and ends" semester just to fulfill the requirements for an honors history track through Commonwealth and study some more Chinese. I just need to get my head in the game and take it out of the clouds, but it doesn't help that all I want to do is sleep all afternoon after I get home from Marks Meadow!