Showing posts from 2012

2012 in Review

Goodbye 2012!

This year I:

Ran a Super Spartan. (And injured myself, boo.)Saw Enchanted Island (opera) streamed live by the Met. Went to Irish Fest.Read a lot. Played Pottermore, Guild Wars 2, Torchlight 2.Watch a TON of movies (mainly superhero movies...).Rekindled my love of Sherlock (through BBC), Green Arrow (the comic), and Dr. Who!Watched one of my best friends get married!Visited my parents!Turned 28!Saw Curiosity land on Mars!Officially changed my major from Biology to Biology Education.Volunteered with Mission Green and SEEDs!Went to Miami from with friends from Arizona!Went camping and tubing down the Ichetucknee with Granma Irma for the last time. (love)Went to the Miami Seaquarium! I have had such an amazing year. Thank you to everyone who helped make it possible.

Review: The Silent World

The Silent World by Jacques-Yves Cousteau

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is fascinating. The descriptions of what they saw and felt are almost palpable, written is such a way that I could almost experience it myself. Each thing mentioned is backed up with why they did it, whether for science or posterity, or just to do it. Cousteau writes with amazing voice. I simply loved everything in this book.
I recommend it to everyone. To people interested in nature, in science, in swimming, in history, in everything.

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Review: Trouble on Reserve (The Hollows, #10.5).

Trouble on Reserve (The Hollows, #10.5). by Kim Harrison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great little short playing Trent and Rachel in a familiar but fun little adventure. Harrison asked her readers how we felt about the "voice" since she tried to write the short more "mainstream" but I really didn't notice much of a difference. Maybe because when I read a Hollows novel there's already a well worn groove in my brain for how everything flows.

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Review: Bullheaded Black Remembers Alexander: The Story of Alexander the Great's Invasion of the Middle East


Sunday Postponed due to Finals!

Sorry, but the Sunday Wandering has been postponed due to Finals.

Here's some other cool stuff to tide you over:

Culture Drill: FAU Symphony Orchestra

SO. Hubby goes away to drill once a week and I get BORED. Bored bored bored. Sure, I get more homework done than usual, but I'm bored. SO. I've invented a new tradition for myself. Shane hates opera and classical music (though he is kind enough to go when dragged) so when he's gone I'm going to treat myself to a show!

This month, the local college orchestra is putting on a performance I'd love to see!
For the next two months I have two operas on DVD at the library scheduled to be held for me on the drill dates. I'd love to do another "Live at the MET in HD" but this way I can save my pennies and attend the opera in owl socks. WEE!

My inaugural "Culture Drill" was a success! FAU Symphony Orchestra presented "Sabre Dance! Armenian, Austrian, & German Masterworks", with selections by Beethoven, Hayden, and a suite of dances from the ballet Gayane by Khachaturian. You know one of those dances: Sabre Dance! It was much fun!

Where does "Defense Funding" go? With Pictures!

I keep running into people complaining about how much the United States government spends on the Military.. mainly on Facebook. Mainly these people back up their pitchforks with unsourced graphs with "defense spending by country" and fewer still have an explanation of what the numbers in the charts mean. Let's pick on the first graph I find when I search "military defense spending".

The graph I'm referring to is here: *found on random image site, link to SIPRS in sources. (7)

I wanted to explain this one for those who have trouble reading graphs (because they're harder to comprehend than most people think, and I'd bet a pinky nail that most of the people who wave these graphs around couldn't explain them if you asked them). However, it's come to my attention that numbers scare people and they wouldn't read that section if I wrote it anyway. So. Easier numbers then.

What does "46.5% of World Military Expenditures" mean in dolla…

(NF) Challenge 3 - Into the Mountain

6 WEEK CHALLENGE - November 12 to December 24, Rangers, WeyrCat - Into the Mountain (Challenge 3) [link]

November 12, 2012 - RP. Intro, goals.
Nov 13, 2012 - RP. Studied a lot, Minimized a lot, no cardio (still sick). Stretching before bed.

School and goal completions!

Finals are coming! Finals are coming!


I've been pretty busy. It's that time of year when studying for exams and writing final papers takes up almost all my time. For example, I attended an exam review yesterday that took four hours.

I finished my first set of Observation hours for my Intro to Ed class. It was very... illuminating. I happened to be reading Setting Limits in the Classroom by Robert J. MacKenzie Ed.D. at the time so I actually got to see the control methods in action (or inaction...). I did enjoy the experience and look forward to next semester. I hope I get another high school biology course (the grade and subject is not guaranteed).

I got a 79% on my second Genetics exam. It kind of makes me twitch to be SO CLOSE to the B and just unable to grasp it. I know it's because I'm STILL not spending enough time on it, even though it feels like some days I do nothing BUT genetics.

I've registered for next semester (though I'm still waiting on one…

Week in Review.

Week in review:

Monday (22) my wallet was stolen. Made police report, contacted professor in class it went missing in, emailed whole class offering the cash (19$) in the wallet as a reward if they just returned the plastic. Military spouse cards are a pain in the butt to get replaced around here. About half an hour on the phone with card companies to get them turned off and resent. Dinner was a pity party complete with ice cream and baked mac and cheese.

Tuesday (23): High school observation was a nightmare. They had a sub with zero classroom management skills. I'm not allowed to intervene so I basically just watched three 1.5 hour classes of students walk all over this guy. If nothing else it was a great example of what not to do. Very tired by end of day. Spent 60$ reordering all the essential plastics from my wallet. Studied some, moped most of it. Discover 5k I wanted to at least walk was sold out. BOOOOOOOOOOO.

Wednesday (24): Before class the professor emails me to tell me som…

Arrow, S1E1. SQUEE!

Saw the pilot for Arrow. SQUEEEEEEEE!

They drop few nods to the comic... "Judge Grell" teehee,
*Interesting red dragon tat on back left shoulderblade (Shado, anyone?)
I love these the most since Longbow Hunters (by Grell) was my first GA. *The Buddhist hozen (though they have yet to explain why he would have a link to Buddhism, since it wouldn't be for the comic's reason of accidentally killing a man. *OH the tribal mask at the veeeery beginning, Deathstroke!  *Diggle, wrote Green Arrow Year One [1].I didn't jaw drop over his sister's nickname Speedy, since I'd seen it in a preview (sister, heh). "Thea" is kinda close to "Mia". I did dropjaw at "Tommy Merlyn" though. Bangarang.  Seriously though, what are the carvings on the stones on the island? I can find them, and see them, but not cap them to show YOU.Oh, and I dig the green greasepaint in lieu of the rubber eye mask. I'm trying not to dissect every little thing and se…

Degree map in cloud form.

So, I make a lot lists and tables and whatnot. For everything. The most charted is probably my degree path. I decided to see what my degree looks like as a "cloud" or concept map, with the pre-requisites connecting the classes to the degree. I included the general education requirements, but not all the classes I took as gen-ed or pre-reqs at previous colleges that didn't transfer when I moved. It's still quite large. Classes with required labs are noted with an internal bubble. It's actually pretty cool looking. 
I ended up leaving the "professional" education courses in a single bubble. None of them seem to have any pre-reqs. Some teaching courses have required "observation hours" attached and are noted in the connecting arrow from the node to the degree map. The last semester of teaching-internship gets it's own bubble. I kind of wish I'd drawn something like it when I started, because it makes the weird tangle of pre-reqs in the sc…

Volunteering, Teacher-Intern, and Exams.

I missed posting last week. I blame it on catching after family stress and general malaise. I did due 500 burpees in three days for the NerdFitness Fall Frenzy challenge though. GO ME! (ow ow ow).

Volunteering in an elementary Butterfly Garden!

Last Saturday I volunteered at a local elementary school and helped prune their butterfly garden and weed the lasagna garden. Manual labor in partial sun aside it was actually really fun. Some of the students were there with their parents and looked totally cute in their orange aprons (from Home Depot). Most of my time was spent in the butterfly garden but we bagged up some seven bags of tall weed grass from the lasagna garden and planted some rosemary, purple basil, spicy oregano, and nine Chinese cabbage sprouts. WEE!

The whole project was a lot of fun. At the end the girls presented the volunteers with green apple pins to thank us for our work on the Green Apple Day of Service! I've tacked it up with my medals and patches. Definitely some…

(NF) Challenge 2: DragonRider

6 WEEK CHALLENGE - September 24 to November, Rangers, WeyrCat - DragonRider (Challenge 2) [link]

September 28th, 2012 - RP. Getting in the swing.
September 30th, 2012 - RP. Cardio and Volunteering!
October 15th, 2012 - Short summary. Busy with school.
October 17th, 2012 - On track and rockin!
October 19th, 2012 - Tired, unmotivated!
October 22nd, 2012 - ITBS Flare up.
October 28th, 2012 - Week in review. Wallet Stolen.
October 30th, 2012 - Homework and slipping a little.
October 31st, 2012 - Food: great. PT: bad. School: GOOD.
November 2nd, 2012 - Day 7 food sobriety, chugging along!
November 6th, 2012 - Looks like A, C, D, F for quests, but chuggin along!
November 9th, 2012 - A, C, C, F for Quests. RP.
Gained:  2.4WIS, 3.2STR, 2.9CON,2.2STA. 

September 27th, 2012 12:56 AM I've always been a weyrcat. A cat that lives with dragons. What I've never had the courage to do... is ride one.
I'm a helper. I do as others need. I'm a shoulder, a hand, the tablecloth setter, the drin…

Teaching Internship and Family Gatherings

Happy Autumnal Equinox!
Yesterday, September 22, was the Autumnal Equinox and the starts the last quarter turn before winter. It's been a pretty touch quarter for me, so I'm hoping to kind of slide into a more relaxed, but more focused, state of being.

A Student Teaching Opportunity!
Part of my education courses require to me to observe in a classroom for 15 hours this semester. One of my classmates is in another program that allows her to intern. The difference between observing and interning is activity; an intern is more like a Teaching Assistant and can grade, give short lessons, and in this case, get paid a little. I contacted the program director, that day, and even though the application process was closed they worked with me to find me a placement! I'm so excited! In fact, one of the liaisons saw "Secondary Biology" on my after-the-fact application and pitched me to the principal of a local high school, so I actually get to intern in a 9th grade Biology cl…

What I want my Blog, er Life, to be about!

This week has been very self-revealing.

Firstly, I'm looking more at my public persona.
As I get farther into my teaching courses I'm coming to terms the fact that, while I never really worried about keeping private life private, students and parents and even the school districts may "Google" me. I remember reading about a teacher who had a private photo of herself holding a Solo cup; she was forced out of her job for the photo even though the most inappropriate thing about the photo was her duck face. When looking for that article to link here I found yet another article of a teacher forced out of her job due to private photos of her holding wine glasses while on vacation! (1) While I've always held to my own adage of "if you don't want your grandmother to see it, don't post it" glasses of adult beverages don't fall under that category. I've prided myself on having a blog that's accurate over the years so I kept all the quizzes and wh…

Classroom Architect

One of my assignments for Intro to Tech for Educators was to design a classroom (to certain specifications). I'm posting it here
A: Because it's neat. B: In case the file upload goes wrong. C: Look! I made it a science classroom! Look's like the one I had when I was in 7th grade science! Bangarang!

Guild Wars 2: My first Impression.


Guild Wars 2 was released last Tuesday (Aug25) and I'd been doing my best not to stalk it. I loved Guild Wars, have all but the Norn expansion (yay college) and a variety of stuff I probably shouldn't have spent money on but can't really bring myself to regret it (yay gamer magazine vanity pets)!

It's gorgeous, even with my graphics turned as low as they go (seen above).

They took out the instancing, which I'm kind of upset about. It seems to mean that there WILL be competition for quest mobs... except.. if you walk up on someone killing your mob, you automatically join in the "event" and get a participation rating (that I think probably alters your xp, but I'm unsure). You can participate in the event as many times as it happens, but I'm unsure about repeat xp.

I really like it so far. I miss certain things from GW, but I'm honestly still in the starting zone where they teach you how to do things.

Biggest thing I miss: the click to mo…

Dear Mr. President; RE: Congressional Science Committee.

Mr. President,

Why is it that so many of the members of the Congressional Science Committee seem to hold opinions in direct opposition to what is agreed upon by the majority of the scientific community; and what could be done to rectify this?

We have recently seen Akin, who was also recently removed, make a "scientific" statement that could only be "cutting edge" in the 14th century.

An article on lists several of the Republicans sitting on the board and statements they have made that disagree with current science. I understand that not every scientist holds a degree in every science, but it is disconcerting to see persons having jurisdiction over non-defense federal scientific research and development have so little grasp of today's scientific landscape.

Could we see members of this committee who, instead of having a science-based degree while being wholly devoted to politics, are currently active in the scientific community?

Thank you,


School, Geekery, and Science!

Woops! I did not notice that my posts were getting stuck in "draft"!

Here's what been published late:
20120805-11 Curiosity and News.
News: KY Evolution, Medieval Germanic War.

In Life:

School has started again and I've got four classes, Organic Chemistry I, Genetics, Introduction for Teaching, and Introduction to Technology for Educators. For those of you of my generation let me emphasize that the latter is "intro to, technology for educators" and not "intro to technology, for educators". If you don't know the difference: instead of teaching me "Intro to Tech" (typing, how to use word, excel, etc, all that jazz) I'll be learning the programs that educators tend to use nowadays to organize students' grades, build digital classrooms, work through how the law pertaining to teaching interacts with the law pertaining to technology, etc. I'll be keeping two blogs for the class and uploading my final projects so that the school a…