Saturday, April 30, 2011

Under Construction

Things look a little different around here!  I have been trying my best to refresh the look of this ol' blog but I am having a few technical difficulties. 

Why is the picture at the top just not willing to be centered? 

Yes, I've noticed that the blue font color of the title doesn't exactly match the blues in the background pattern. 

How do I decide where I place my gadgets?  They seem sad stuffed down at the bottom of the page. 

Oh well, things are going to stay like this for the time being.  At least it's brighter and more cheerful than the old layout - perfect for spring and summer.  The picture at the top needs a little work.  I did my best in iPhoto boosting its color and trying to make it look real purrty but I'm no expert at photo-editing, like you couldn't tell already...

The good news is, school is out for the summer so I've got four months to really work on this blog layout thing.  Let's call it my summer project.  I need some input though, is the music nice or just terribly annoying?  That's all for now since I've been on blogger way too long today...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You Know It's Exam Week When...

...You have legitimate anxiety about blue books - How many?!? For what exams?!? Did I put them in my backpack this morning?!?

...Anytime you walk on campus you hear more than one person saying, "I just decided not to study."

...Anytime you walk on campus you hear more than one person saying, "I just decided to study all night."

...It is acceptable to look like a slob, you need to be comfortable when taking an exam.

...It is acceptable (though I question these people) to actually look cute, you need to feel put-together when taking an exam.

...The Nest is out of turkey, ham, roast beef, and tomatoes - but they do have plenty of egg salad!

...You either have 97 meals left or you've been out of meals for two weeks.

...You see people walking back from Giant with "clinking" groceries and get jealous that they're done with exams already.

...Before your math exam more than one person admits their greatest fear in life is having calculator batteries die during a test.

...You decide writing a blog post is a way better use of time than studying for your afternoon exam.

...You "share" your post on facebook because Lord knows everyone studying is really just looking for another way to procrastinate.

Good luck on exams everyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Penny for Your Thoughts

Here's the story - The summer after my freshman year of college my Grammy (Mom's mom) passed away.   . After she died, my mom started to find pennies quite frequently.  I remember she told me that one day she found one while she was golfing and thinking it was someone's ball-marker, she asked the ladies she was with if it was one of theirs.  It didn't belong to anyone.  Sure, maybe a previous golfer had forgotten about it, but I prefer believing in what one of my mom's golf buddies told her.  Pennies are little reminders from someone up in Heaven that they are thinking about us.

After that, my mom continued to find pennies.  She would find them after visiting my Grammy's grave and leaving flowers or going by my Grampa's house to bring him some soup she'd made or his laundry that she'd done.  I remember when we found a penny together over the summer.  My mom and I had gone to BJ's and decided that we would surprise my Grampa with a new computer monitor.  We took our time deciding which one would be best for him and once we were done with our shopping, as we rolled our cart through the parking lot, what do we find - of course, a penny!

My mom moved me into school this year and what should we find on the floor of the brand new, never-been-lived-in apartment - of course, a penny!  A few weeks ago I was meeting some girls I had only met once before for dinner.  I was really anxious about it for some reason and the whole way there I tried to give myself a little pep-talk about not worrying so much about meeting new people.  When I arrived at my destination and went to sit down in the only remaining empty seat, what should be sitting right right there for me to find - of course, a penny!  And just today, after playing a little game of phone tag with my Grampa, he called me and left a voice message, I called him back and left a voice message, I sat down at the library and what is beside me on the floor - of course, a penny! 

Maybe the point of this story is that I am just frugal and always looking for an extra penny.  If you'd like to think that, go right ahead.  I am frugal, but I also think that someone up in Heaven is keeping her eye on me and the rest of my family.  "Find a penny, pick it up.  All day long you'll have good luck!"
By the way, the penny doesn't have to be heads up.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rainy Days

Dear Rainy Days: You are perfect for sleeping in, eating pancakes, drinking coffee, and cranking out homework assignments.

Dear Tornado Warnings: You don't scare me!  But please just remain as a warning and not an actual tornado...cause than I might be scared.

Dear New Haircut: You are growing on me.  You make for some pretty epic bedhead which is always amusing.  I worry though, that without regular trims, you might start looking like a mullet - not.cute.

Dear Yesterday's Runners: That was more man-thigh than I ever needed to see...

Dear Target: I cannot believe I made it out without purchasing anything, not even a dollar section item!

Dear Blog: You have over 1,000 views.  That's really great and all, but don't get cocky.

Dear Reader: Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What I Learned This Semester

I am still kind of in disbelief that my semester is ending so soon.  Less than two weeks of classes left.  Not counting today, I have 8 days of classes, 2 reading days, and 3 days of exams.  And then -  See you later junior year, it was nice knowing you!

Since exams are quickly approaching, I've started to think about everything I have learned this semester.  In some of my classes I feel like this semester has been a wash, I am going to take the exam, leave the classroom, and probably never recall any information I crammed into my brain hours before the test.  But I am ok with that.  Thinking about what I have really learned this entire year, none of it could truly be taught in a classroom yet they are lessons I want to take with me for the rest of my life.  These are just a few of them:

Maura's Junior Year Syllabus

Lesson 1 - Frozen berry medley > frozen strawberries.  This lesson is vital when it comes to the art of making delicious smoothies.  I say smoothies, plural, but I really only ever make one kind of smoothie.  Place in a blender, 1 banana, approximately 1 cup orange juice, two heaping spoonfuls of yogurt, and frozen berries, turn that bad boy on the "ice crush" setting and blend into submission for a delightful smoothie.  I cannot believe that for the entire fall semester I never once expanded my horizons and branched out a bit in the berry actually, I can believe this, I'm not the biggest fan of change.  However, I held my head high when Giant was out of frozen strawberries and I bought frozen berry medley instead.  Lindsay told me I would enjoy it just as much, but I was doubtful.  Boy was I wrong!  Mixed berry medley, you rock my socks!

Lesson 2 - Grades are important but they are not everything.  I think this is the first year ever in my lifetime in the education system that I have actually accepted the fact that just a few years from now, no one is ever going to ask about my GPA.  No one is going to meet me, ask for my name and final grade in Historic Preservation 101, and base their opinion of me on my knowledge of different types of brickwork.  Thank goodness, because all I remember is the running pattern of bricks which is not even structurally sound, so does that even count?!?!?!  Really though, my grades are important and I work hard in school, but I am done with the immense anxiety and stress that used to overwhelm me when it came to midterms and final exams.  I study when I have to and try to do my best on assignments, what more can I do?

Lesson 3 - Saying "I'm sorry" is hard but practice makes perfect.  I am really bad at admitting mistakes and apologizing for them.  I know some people who are overly apologetic and it baffles me.  This year I have made a conscious effort to tell people that I am sorry when the situation warrants an apology.  I also now mean it when I say it.  There were countless times growing up when I apologized to one of my siblings because if I didn't I wouldn't get dessert after dinner...that's not exactly the right reason.  Now I'm not saying I've mastered this whole thing by any means, but I am making an effort.

Lesson 4 - A positive attitude and confidence are the two most attractive qualities a person can possess.  When I think about the people I admire and love, I don't like them because they wear expensive clothing or own the latest technological gadget.  I enjoy their company because they are sincere individuals who brighten my life on a regular basis.  Now that I know that a positive attitude and confidence are what I always look for in friends, I want to work on keeping my own attitude positive and being confident in myself - just the way I am.  These things don't happen overnight but thankfully I am surrounded by amazing people who, just by being themselves, remind me everyday to strive for these two qualities for myself.  Slow and steady wins the race when it come to this lesson, I think.

Lesson 5 - I enjoy faith much more than religion.  I am sitting here trying to figure out how to explain my thoughts but it is really just not working.  That's the thing about faith, you can't really ever completely explain it.  Perhaps this topic is meant for its own separate post at a later date.  Still, this deserves mention with the other lessons I have learned this year because it is a huge part of my life.  Just like berry medley kicks strawberry in the behind, religion does not stand a chance against faith, and that is unbelievably awesome.

Lesson 6 - I enjoy blogging and that alone is reason enough to do it but I also hope you get something out of it too.  I hope that when you read this blog, you are able to relate to what I am writing about.  I hope it makes you smile.  I hope you know how much your readership means to me.  When I see that one more person is "following" this blog or a post has gotten another view, it gives me a sense of validation.  Maybe some people see this as being conceited but honestly, looking at my Blogger stats is like having someone pat me on the back and say, what you are writing has value, your thoughts are valuable, and you yourself are valuable.  Our own personal value is a lesson we all need to be reminded of sometimes, because we are all worthy of great things.  Always.  Don't forget that.

I'd say that's enough for today, class.  No homework, you all deserve a break.  For extra credit though, figure out what makes you feel valued and tap into that.

made by maura, over and out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

My hair is gone.  Gone.  It is off to a better place thanks to Locks of Love and Buzzing 4 Change.  I miss it.  It is nice to know that someone who does not have hair will be getting some of mine, but still, any drastic change is difficult to adjust to at first.  I am sure that in a few weeks I will get used to this new look and I won't think "...what did I do..." every time I look in the mirror.

I figure this is just the first step of starting my modeling career.  Let's be real, without much hair, you can focus without distraction on my exquisite bone structure.  I should have done this years ago!  The next step will be growing approximately eight inches and I really don't think that should take long at all.  Pass the vegetables, I am on my way to see Tyra Banks!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bonjour Blog!

Dear Blog,

Are you feeling neglected?  Perhaps you feel a little bit stuck in March?  Maybe this first post in April will put some spring in your step - even if it is hump day...

Who doesn't like starting their day by actually having to wait for the library to open.  I tried to pretend I was waiting to enter an exclusive club or some brand new museum exhibit.  It didn't really work.  The good thing about getting to the library before it opens is that the chance of someone taking your favorite study alcove is very low.  My cozy study spot on the second floor was vacant at 8am, as was pretty much the entire library.

I know what you're thinking.  Is this post about going to the library all day?  That sounds really boring!  I know, I was at the library, it is boring.  Good thing this post gets better.  After the library, I went to class - woohoo!

Professors were in especially odd moods today.  The morning began with Mathematical Economics.  Mathematical Economics, I love you.  I will optimize equations with you any day of the week.  You maximize my utility.  I know, you're jealous.  Not everyone gets to take a course combining math and economics.  I am so lucky.  Anyways, aside from my love of this class, anytime a professor tells a student that he will "freakin' fail them!" - not just fail them - you know it's going to be a great day.  Such enthusiam in that class!

Later, another econ professor alluded to a possible rap video being produced within the department.  Akon meets Econ.  I just hope the line "Malthus is my boy" makes it into that musical number somewhere.  I cannot wait to get "down with the logit" during Econometrics in the Fall.

And finally, we end with French class.  Oh French.  You are ridiculous with your gender/number agreement rules and other grammatical silliness.  Vocabulary should be easy compared to grammar, right?  Not today.  How did Madame Rose describe our vocabulary for this chapter...oh yes, that's right.  She said, "Gosh!  This is like learning something in a foreign language!"  I'd say she is exaclty correct with that statement.  Things kept getting better when she asked us our favorite television shows.  What's mine?  Hello, The Real Housewives of Orange County - Madame Rose said, in French, "Oh my, I worry about you children..." 

We moved on to exercises from the book.  It was about consummation.  Just kidding.  That's how Madame Rose read the instructions to us at first and then she burst out laughing.  The exercise was actually about alcohol consumption in France vs. consumption in the U.S.  She asked my "camarade de classe" to read number three out loud: "Et toi, qu'est-ce que tu bois a une soiree?"  My job was to respond.  So I said, "Je bois...jus de fruits?"  I'm not sure Madame Rose believed me so she instructed the class to do everything in moderation.

Au revoir,