School has officially begun!

And I’ve officially resurrected this blog!

I transferred from Purdue University’s Professional Flight program to Empire State College’s Environmental Studies program.  As of today I am able to access my online courses and sift through the mountain of information on each course’s website.

Yes, I said “online”.  When I thought about leaving Purdue back in January I realized I had spent over half of my life cooped up in a classroom.  Not anymore!

Anyway, I thought I’d post the course descriptions for the four classes I’m taking this semester.  I’m extremely excited and have already completed a couple of tasks.  Given the fact that classes haven’t even started yet (they start next week), I think I’m on a good schedule.

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Ethnobotany:

Our human ancestors depended on plants for food, shelter, medicine, and clothing. Plants also had a key role in religion and mythology. Knowledge of plants and their uses was vital for survival for early peoples, and many cultures today still depend on plants for many of their resources. In this course, students will learn about plant biology and the role of plants in societies throughout the world. Ethnobotanical field methods will be introduced and students will engage in field/practical activities. Other topics for exploration and discussion will include conservation, sustainable development, bioprospecting, and intellectual property rights.

GPS and the New Geography:

The environment is a major topic of public discussion and debate. Spatial information and geographic literacy is a basis for a growing number of disciplines. From agriculture to climate change, people need to know how location affects our understanding of natural systems. This course combines both topics. In this activity-based course, students will explore environmental science from a geographic perspective using global positioning systems and mass GIS to gather and analyze geographically referenced environmental data while learning about the broader applications of these tools to environmental science and other fields. At the same time, students will get a hands-on look at how geographic data is gathered and turned into maps.

Plant Ecology:

Plant ecology is the scientific study of interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of plants within the environment. This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles and concepts of plant ecology through an examination of plants within the environment. Topics will include: the individual plant and how it interacts with its environment; population biology; communities — how populations of different plant species interact; from ecosystems to landscapes; and global patterns and processes of plant ecology. Some of the subjects covered are unique to plants, such as photosynthesis and the ecology of plant-soil interactions. Other topics, such as resource and mate acquisition, emphasize the distinctive ways plants (in contrast to mobile animals) deal with their environments. Human environmental influences on plants are covered.

Contemporary Environmental Issues:

This interdisciplinary course examines a broad range of contemporary global environmental issues, such as biodiversity, pollution, population growth, and global warming, and focuses on how those big issues might affect us locally. It develops students’ environmental literacy and enables them to take part in informed debate and action. It explores environmental materials in a variety of media and teaches students how to navigate these materials; how to analyze and evaluate information; how to balance information from a variety of scientific and nonscientific, objective and subjective sources; and how to develop arguments surrounding environmental problems.

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I’m excited.

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State of the status update…

“I don’t remember the last time I wrote in here.”

It seems a fair amount of my blog posts begin with that sentence.  Often times I wonder why I stop writing in here.  There’s always something on my mind and writing is one of my strongest abilities.  Then again, there are other times when I start writing in here because I have nothing to do.

My other blog for my temporary time here at Purdue is completely stale. I could probably write in it until my fingers fell off.  However, if I’m not getting any readership whatsoever, it makes the process a little less fun.

Things are going a little weirdly here in Indiana.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking (always a problem for me :P) and have settled on the fact that I will not be able to afford a full four year service here at Purdue.  If I try to do so I’ll leave here with well over $150,000 in debt.  There are numerous factors besides money that are also leading me to consider dashing out of here with my associate’s degree and numerous pilot ratings and endorsements.

Brady and I have been talking about this to no end.  There isn’t a day that goes by where the subject doesn’t come up, even if only for a few minutes.  He wants to do ATC on the east coast, preferably in the Northeast.  Why?  He loves it back there and he wants me to be near my family.  If there’s a specific part of the U.S. where the vast majority of my family is located, it’s in New England.  Smart boy.  Hehe.

New Hampshire is the state of choice for both of us.  He likes the idea of trying to work for either Manchester Airport or Boston’s Logan Intl.  The possibilities for a job with air traffic control are endless, but the main trick is finding a place that’s actually looking to hire someone.  My reason for liking NH is the fact that it has both mountains AND the ocean, and I have a lot of opportunities myself for either finishing up my schooling or diving right into the aviation world full-time.  All of my connections are back that way and I’m sure I’d have no problem finding a job.

I guess the reason why this idea is coming up is solely based on money (and the limitations of it thereof).  Growing up means making big decisions for yourself, and my biggest one so far was leaving New York behind to come out here.  The next big one might be leaving here and walking down a new road with an inevitable fork in it.  Either way I know I’ve got the support of a ton of people, and that’s what matters the most.

Strange blog posting session aside, I’m going to wrap this up and get back to reading.  Thinking about writing another post sometime later this week on religious tolerance as a result of an experience I had earlier in the week.  Leave it to some people here at Purdue to shove a bible in someone’s face….

Till then,

Me.

What to write when you don’t know what to write.

That’s something I’ve been trying to figure out for a long time.  Unfortunately I have yet to come up with the answer.  Till then, you have to deal with endless ramblings of a slightly different caliber.

The ten days since my last post has brought little excitement, save for this weekend.  I’m currently sitting on my precalc notebook and textbook, which are strategically placed atop my chair (for whatever reason I know not of).  I’m also staring at my mess of a desk, half expecting it to clean and organize itself.  So far, no good.

I went down to Vassar College with my aunt and grandmother to see my cousin, a senior, play rugby on Saturday.  A beautiful day for the sport, indeed.  I enjoyed watching the game very much… even convinced my cousin to put in a good word to the rugby coach if I was interested in applying to Vassar in the coming months (which I intend to do).  I have no intention of retaking the SAT test at all, so I suppose I’ll need all the help I can get if I plan on applying to these higher-end schools.

I’m still a bit concerned about college.  I no longer have the anxiety I did before about the regents exams… I learned Wednesday that I need not take the chemistry regents at all because all that is required is three science credits and two regents exams.  So that helps.  A lot.

I thought a lot about Vassar throughout last night and today.  The campus is beautiful, the library is breathtaking, and I could really see myself attending the college for four years and enjoying myself in the process.  I’m still considering majoring in photography or writing.  I’d like to be able to fly corporate jets such as Citations or Gulfstreams for my main career while having something minor to fall back on.  Can only focus on what I’m good at, I suppose.

I should probably pay less attention to writing in here and more attention to the two power points I’m supposed to be making.  One on McCain and his economic policies and another one on quantum mechanics.

Politics = good… physics = not so good.

Such is life.

It’s been awhile…

I’ve been wretched in the way of keeping up with this thing.  I am well aware of that.  It’s not like I’m being pressed to it… I mean, hardly anyone ever reads this thing.  I’m not stuck to a time clock when writing in here.  Luckily.

I made a valiant attempt to write a decent post in here back in August, but it didn’t work out so well.  Saved it in the draft folder and it has been sitting there ever since… no point in publishing it now.  On that note, we’ll forget about the summer completely… it’s not like anything exciting happened.  For the most part.

I’m already eight days into the school year and it seems strange.  I feel like my head is a big swimming pool and I’m doing laps but I can’t get to the edge to take a break for five seconds.  The concept of being a senior just doesn’t sit well with me, I guess.  Ever since the first day I’ve felt downright weird.  Maybe it’s the realization that college isn’t so far away and I haven’t done a damn thing to prepare for it.  Maybe it’s the fact that I still have a chemistry and math b regents to pass in January (hoping against hope).  I think that’s one of the main things that’s bothering me at the moment – the feeling that I still have those two tests hanging over my head.  Math and chem didn’t work out so well for me last year, especially with the regents exams.  I managed to escape both classes with an overall average of 80, but failed the exams.  History and English seem to be my stronger points, unfortunately.

I’m not a very stressed person.  Rarely do I ever bury myself in situations where I feel I’m stuck in the corner with no way out.  However, there are times when I get a bit stressed out… and when I do, it isn’t pretty.  I suppose this isn’t a very good start to my last year in the public schooling system, but there isn’t much I can do about it.  Well, there is, but that’s beside the point.

One would think that being able to type this out would make one feel better.  But in my case it makes me feel even more like an idiot.  Believe it or not, my nose is bleeding now.  I guess I’m building up a bunch of pressure in my head from thinking too much.  That’s just sad.  Now what – I’m turning into Le Chiffre?  Am I going to start bleeding from the eyes?  Great.

Anyway, I think it’s best to publish this and stop thinking for the night.  One nosebleed is good enough for me.

Strange men at GameStop and Keyboredom.

I set this post up quite awhile ago as a draft… apparently I never got around to writing about what I wanted to a few weeks ago, which was my interesting experience in GameStop. I was standing in line waiting to buy the Platinum Edition of Guild Wars and I was behind two semi-old guys (over 40) who happened to be rambling on about online RPG’s. The guy on the left was about 6’5″, heavyset, and he reminded me of the character in the movies who’s sitting at the computer in the dark with a Mountain Dew  and he’s trying to hack into the Federal Government terminal. The guy on the right was a little bit shorter, but he looked like something that came up from the Underworld – sketchy, long green rain jacket, wild grayish hair… and he reeked of cigarettes and a noticeable lack of proper hygienic care. For some reason he kept bragging about his level 35 paladin… and the fat guy said something about kids being “kleptomaniacs” or whatever. I had a blast of a time laughing to myself… it was amazing how much self control was needed to keep from interjecting into the conversation to say something about my level 43 warrior, just to be a smart ass. Hell, I didn’t even know which game they were talking about… but all RPG’s have a warrior class, so it’d be legit.

Anyway, that’s my GameStop story from a few weeks ago. In other funny news, I was extremely bored today and I decided to take all the keys off my keyboard to clean it.Arrows

Keyboard

Note the “ROFL” and “UP”. Yep, rofl up!

F and J had to be in the same spot… but I had no idea that X found its way home. No idea if I’ll change it… probably not.

Anyway, g’night.

Cully strikes again… so did Wednesday morning.

This time, he’s back with a vengeance.  In the form of a U.S. History Critical Book Review.

I still have to finish it.  It was due today, and I worked on it aaallllllll last night.  His views on the Chicago Race Riots are rather intriguing, but I’m having a hell of a time putting it into a modern book review.  That’s alright, Mr. Sandburg, you’re still awesome.  Heh heh.

As a result of having a rather rough night last night trying to write the massive report, this morning was terrible.  I had my hair cut last evening and it came out wonderful, but when I woke up this morning it looked like I kissed a jet engine.  Naturally, I was mad that my hair looked terrible and I took it out on my poor toothbrush and a pine tree.  Thus was the start of the usual Wednesday morning routine…

However, homeroom changed that – my teacher had this pile (by pile I mean about four) envelopes that he was all excited about.  My friend and I received one, and it was a big letter saying that we qualified for the National Honor Society.  I wasn’t surprised that she got one… I was surprised that I got one.  Heh heh.  For good reason, too… my grades have been pretty wobbly this year.  I’ve been acing things I’m terrible at, and botching things I’m wonderful at.

But now I have something to work towards!  An educational goal!

How sweet it is!

Testing ScribeFire Out… among other things.

I just added the “ScribeFire” extension to Firefox… so I’m giving it a shot. I’m liking the fact that I can write in here while still jumping around on websites… makes things amazingly easier, I guess.

It’s basically like having WordPress in the bottom half of the browser. I’m liking what it’s all about!

f you have Firefox and you do a lot of blogging or w/e, then go download the extension and mess around with it for a bit. I’ll bet you twenty bucks you’ll like it. I know I do.
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Anyway, the reason why I put a silly picture on the blog yesterday instead of an actual post was because I was in the library with about a thousand people yesterday, and I just didn’t feel like writing about my opinion on gender rolls with the whole damn school wartching over me while I typed. See, we’re reading “Macbeth” in English class (I absolutely love it) and “Merchant of Venice” outside of class (I find that it’s quite possibly the most boring Shakespeare play there is. MoV ultimately lowered my standards of literary boredom. But that’s beside the point.)

We had a massive class discussion about gender rolls in society and how stereotypes went against what Lady Macbeth did in the play right after King Duncan’s murder… i.e. she went down and cleaned up the blood and properly organized (framed) the murder scene because Macbeth was a terrible criminal and so stupid that he ended up bringing the murder weapons back with him. We talked about whether or not stereotypical gender rolls are engraved in our minds while we are growing up, or if we are just born with the gender roll concept in our DNA. I took the side that gender rolls are taught to us as we are growing up because not all cultures are the same. That was pretty much all I said about the subject, and once I did I went back to doodling in my notebook. Heh heh.

Getting back to the point about putting the strange picture post on here, I didn’t want to write all of that on the school computer with everyone as an audience… but I felt obligated to write something simply because I had the “write new” page open already. The mass of empty white space was just screaming “Fill me in! Fill me in!” So I did. There… end of story. 😀

Anyway, the weather here is downright gross. Tell you what – I’ll do the same thing I did before. I’ll put the weather advisories up, just so you can see! Ain’t I nice? Haha.

Weather Advisories: FLOOD WATCH through late Tonight for eastern NY and western New England, south of the Adirondacks. A second installment of heavy rain will arrive this afternoon and evening, with an additional 1″ to 2″ of rain expected by late tonight. This will likely trigger WIDESPREAD FLOODING across the region. Significant river flooding is possible with smaller streams and creeks likely to flood. Urban poor drainage and flash flooding is also a major concern…expect road closures this weekend in flood prone areas and resulting travel difficulties.
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WINTER STORM WARNING through 5am Sunday for northern Herkimer, Hamilton, and northern Warren counties for a combination of significant sleet and freezing rain. While the expected storm track will favor most of the region with rain, enough cold air will linger across the Adirondacks, upper Hudson Valley and the high spots of Vermont, for some mixed wintry precipitation. Areas which received snow, sleet, or freezing rain on Friday will likely see the same today as precipitation builds back in.
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A brief period of wrap around snow is also possible in the Adirondacks late tonight into early Sunday morning as the storm pulls away, with scattered snow showers and a rapid drop in temperatures elsewhere. Very slippery conditions are possible late tonight into Sunday morning as wet surfaces freeze over, and then are potentially coated with snow.
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Strong winds are likely in the wake of the storm late tonight through the day tomorrow with frequent gusts in excess of 40 mph.

Hahaha… just reading it again makes me want to go to someplace very, very warm and dry.

My birthday went pretty well, if I might add. Lots of cake, lots of nice smelling candles… and my tin whistle arrived Thursday!

Let me tell you something about the tin whistle.

It makes no difference whether you’re –Insert my heritages here– Irish, Scottish, French Canadian, Polish, Native American, or Austrian… if you pick up a tin whistle for the first time with hardly any knowledge with wind instruments, you’re f*cked. It was a very discouraging experience for me to be so excited to take it out of the case for the first time, try to play it, and scare the hell out of the cat and every other living thing within a 50-mile radius.

The rest of the day went on, and I condemned myself to staying in my room so I could figure out the notes (without playing, mind you) and get used to holding it. I’m down here at my grandmother’s as of last night (I drove down) not only to be with her for the weekend, but to hide upstairs so I could play that whistle as loud as I wanted to. And it has paid off. I can play it just fine… I know one song already, and it actually sounds alright. You know, like it should. Yay!

I just realized… I’ve written an awful lot for 10:30 AM on a Saturday. Maybe I should take that tin whistle, go downstairs, and eat breakfast. Heh heh.