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.

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.

3rd period pre-birthday ramblings….

Well, I’m glad to say that my last day of being 16 is going pretty well…  I’m wasting my time sitting here in the library during 3rd period study hall (should be doing math homework, but I don’t have the assignment numbers written down, so that’s a little tough to do).  I figured, “Why not write in the wordpress thing?”

So here I am.

Anyway, the day’s outlook seemed grim when my iPod died this morning… I thought I charged it on Friday, but because it’s almost 3 years old it doesn’t hold the charge that it used to… and I’m not paying $150 for a new battery.  I know they’re fairly cheap, but mine is the discontinued iPod Photo 20gig model… so there.  Stupid iPod.

The mood changed, however, when a good friend brought in my early birthday present – six chocolate-covered strawberries from the local chocolate shop.  These things are HUGE… and delicious, too!  I had one in homeroom.  It made a mess and must’ve been quite the feat to watch, but it was well worth it.  I’ll probably have another one at lunch, so long as they hold up in my locker.

Tomorrow’s weather is looking like quite the birthday gift:

Tomorrow: A chance of rain early, then possibly mixing with sleet, freezing rain, or snow, with temperatures dropping from north to south throughout the day.
Sunset: 5:49pm

Temps: 40° early, then dropping by afternoon

 
Tomorrow Night: Cloudy skies. Rainy at times, could mix with sleet or freezing rain.

Wind: East 5-15 mph

Low: 32°

Damn you, weather.  Damn damn damn you.  Way to make my birthday foggy and rainy.  Jerk.

Soggy weather aside, I’m pretty excited for my gift (even though it won’t get here until ’round Thursday)  Here be it… the Tony Dixon Traditional Brass Whistle in D.  It’s nice… very very nice.  Only around $25, too.  Much better than the cheaper whistles, which go for around $6-$10.  I hear this one’s reliable, and if it’s reliable then I want it.  Heh heh. Now the only trick is going to be learning how to play it.  They’re supposed to be relatively easy, but I’m jumping in with a whistle that set the standard for many a player.  I’m like that – I never take the easy way.  Always have to just jump right in there and see what’s what.  Nothing wrong with that, I guess.

Anyway, I’m not sure if I should either try to find the math assignment or just crash around on here some more.  I’m thinking that I prefer the latter… mainly because I’m in the typing mood and the library is unusually quiet today.  Almost disturbingly quiet, believe it or not.

I supposeI could boast about the “A” I got on an English project that I half-assed the night before it was due…  We had to choose between three ideas for “The Catcher in the Rye” – a soundtrack, a book cover, or a psychology report.  Of course I picked soundtrack… my music library of well-over 4,000 songs had to have something that would go along with that weird-ass book.

Anyway, I was up until about one in the morning trying to find five different songs for five different scenes… most of them didn’t even have lyrics and my CD burner was being a moron, so I thought I was screwed in that respect.  But I pressed on, wrote decent descriptions of the songs, and voile!  I got the grading sheet back and there was a beautiful “A” stamped right on the “Final grade” line.  Put a big smile on my face!  The only other project that surprised me like that was the report on Carl Sandburg.  I guess I should be emphasizing my strengths in English when it comes to colleges… math and science just aren’t my thing, I guess.  Heh heh.

Period’s almost over, so I should be getting out of here.  I enjoyed the nice little retreat from reality for a period… though I hope I don’t get shot for not having my math.  Oh well… I’m sure I understand the stuff just fine.  Haha.  No, seriously… this is the first time all year that I actually understand what we’re doing.  Amazing!!!