Sunday, August 31, 2008

Working for the Weekend

I think for the first time in my life I spent the entire weekend studying. Ugh. I did not even get close to finishing everything I have to do. :( My biggest nemesis? I have to give a presentation on a chapter in my textbook. Doesn't sound too hard, I know. I was just really lucky and was assigned the most confusing chapter in the history of the world. I am not using hyperbole - it is the truth. Every chapter following it is like reading Big Dog, Little Dog in its simplicity. And I have to present the chapter that I am pretty sure even the author had no idea what the heck he was talking about. I have read it like 4 times and still do not get it. :( But at least I am not bitter about it.

Today I actually went to the correct ward. I can tell I am homesick because I was listening to all the talks and singing the Hymns and thinking this is so great. Normally I am doing everything I can to stay awake -biting my tongue, keeping my feet off the floor, etc. I even went to choir practice. Okay, that just shows how much I didn't want to do my homework. Tomorrow I will avoid my homework by taking pics for y'all to see the wonders of my apartment. This will be a sight to behold believe me. Psych! In reality I probably won't have time to do that, so sometime in the next week it'll happen.
I think I need to rename this blog stream of consciousness. There is some sort of liberation about just writing whatever the heck you feel like. Yup, I am from Utah. I have said heck twice in this posting. AHHHHHH reveling in my Utahness. AHHHHHHHHH.

Friday, August 29, 2008

El Fin Week 1

Well, I survived the first week. Today we had orientation for the graduate program. Let's just say that I have a ton to do before I have my degree in hand. Namely my little friend named Thesis. This is my new favorite swearword. For example, if I stub my toe I can yell THESIS!!!! If someone cuts me off in traffic, I can shake my fist and yell "THESISHOLE." I invite any and all of you to join me in this revolution.

Wednesday I had my Graduate Seminar in Archaeology and Prehistory. I have more work to do than I ever though imaginable. But I heard that this is the hardest course in the program, so if I can pass this, I can pass anything. If all of you would please pray that I can pass this class I will greatly appreciate it.

I will now spend the entire weekend trying to avoid my homework, and then crying the night before it is due.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First day of class: Graduate Seminar in Cultural Anthropology. 15 students. 9 women, 6 men. 8 Masters students, 7 PhD students. Yup, I said PhD students. I have to hold my own against them. Craptastic.

Class begins with an roll call of sorts. State your name, credentials, and focus. For example: Jane Doe, BS in Anthropology - MA in Archeology, focus Archeology especially zooarcheology. After 13 other people introduced themselves each with a clear focus - Me: Natalie, BS in Psychology - have no idea what my focus is. My professor: Good luck Miss Psychological. Natalie: flipped professor off and ran out of class. Okay, everything but the last part happened. So I basically looked lame. Oh well.

Section 2 consisted of watching a film about how truth is relevant. I am pretty sure that it was from 1982 because the computers it featured reminded me of War Games. Said film followed British professor around the world explaining how no one can really know anything. Only part I remember - insane 1982 special effects showing a witch getting burned at the stake and her face melting off (think Raiders of the Lost Ark). 5-6 page paper on movie is due next week. Pretty sure professor does not want me to mention movie references.

Can anyone name the Christian League reference?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Day 1-4
Apparently in Natalieland time is not linear. It is my blog and time can function however I please. I like being supreme ruler over my blog.

Anyway, here are some highlights from the first few days.

Day 2: So I sit here in a huge mess as I try to stuff my entire life into an 11' x 13' room. My parents have been great. They are sticking around to help me out, so I haven't been too lonely. I have two Asian roommates, one from Beijing and one from Japan, and one American. The kitchen is a mess!! Everyone has their own things, so there are 4 dish soaps, 4 sets of pans, 4 sets of dishes etc. Needless to say there is no room for my stuff. I am probably going to have to store it in my tiny room!! What an adventure. LOL. I have basically spent the past two days putting together all of my IKEA furniture, so now I am a pro! Tomorrow I have orientation from 9:30 to 2:30. Why they have to orient me for 5 hours, I have no idea. BORING!!!!! My bedroom window looks out on the baseball field, so I can hear the marching band practicing at various hours throughout the day. It is pretty crazy. I wish I had more exciting news, but I have just been unpacking.

Day 3: Orientation was lame. It was a bunch of Yay! We are in school and it is going to be hard. Yay!! I ended up leaving early because it was just too much. I went to the bookstore and bought my books instead. The football team was there buying books so I just followed around a bunch of man flesh. Yum!! I don't see my roommates very much. I get the feeling that everyone just does their own things. There should be five of us, but only four rooms are filled. We will probably get a new roommate at some point. Ling, from China is the one I see the most. She always has a friend over and they just speak in Chinese all the time. She has stuff everywhere! She has lived here for 2 years so she basically has taken over the place. Miki, the girl from Japan, is never here. Mary, my other roommate has lived here about a week and she has never even seen Miki. It is pretty funny. I saw her only once and I said Hi and she just walked away. I am have decided that she must not speak English very well (or she is just rude.) LOL. This is definitely different than Utah. All of the gas stations have slot machines. I could become a gambling addict and flunk out of school. That is about all I have seen of Reno, oh and Wal-Mart. I am almost all moved in, so I can hopefully go out and explore. My parents are going to go home tomorrow, and then I am going to be all alone. :( I need to find me some hot men. That is about it. I am sure I will have more exciting things when I actually start school next week. Crazy! I can't believe I actually live here. It is a little surreal.

Day 4: So my parents went home today. My mom and I were sobbing, and my dad even had some tears in his eyes. I had a good cry the first night I was here. I missed everyone so much and I had been here less than 24 hours!! LOL. I am such a dork. I have been trying to keep busy. My parents did take some stuff home, but they accidentally left a big pile of odds and ends, so now I have to figure out what to do with them. Ugg. Oh well. I am down to the end, it is almost ready. It totally looks like an anthro nerd's room. I put up a bunch of my masks from around the world on the wall above my desk. I have one from China, three from El Sal, one from New Zealand and one from London. I decided I am obsessed with people because I noticed all the stuff I bring back is figures of people. LOL. NERD!! I forgot to tell you the best part of orientation yesterday. I met another person in my Anthro program. She is probably 45 and from Montana. Let's just say the first thing I noticed about her is the awesome haircut with the giant rat tail in the back. Then she grabbed her backpack and had two "Gay Pride" buttons on the back. It was so obvious. LOL. I totally feel like I am back in college again. Someone is playing Bon Jovi super loud. So dormish. My roommates were all supposed to be grad students, but I found out they are all undergrad. Mary is only 22. I feel like an old lady. It is her birthday today. I was going to see if she wanted to go to a movie or something, but she hasn't come out of her room. As I said, everyone just does their own thing. Mary is a health ecology major. I don't know what Ling and Miki are. Ling is always cooking and it smells good. My mom said I should hire her to be my cook because I can only make Ramen Noodles. I told her I have been to China and it seems she thought that was pretty cool. I have a scroll that I brought back from there and I want to ask her what it says. It probably says "Some stupid American paid 50 bucks for this piece of crap." But since it is all Chinese it looks beautiful. :) Now Pussy Cat Dolls are blaring. I would die without MapQuest. I went to the community college and bought my used textbook for 100 bucks. Ugg. It is in a really pretty setting, up on the "mountain." (Hill compared to the mountains in Utah.) And the parking is free!!! Yay!!! I just discovered that I can download audiobooks from the library to my laptop. I have been listening to books nonstop to take my mind off of the fact that I now live in Reno. I was in target today and some guy offered me a job. He said it involved "financial planning." I have no idea if I want to get involved with that. But he said that a lot of students do it. I hate that all the shows are an hour later here. I don't want to have to stay up late to watch shows that are usually on at nine!! The marching band just started up. LOL.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Day 5

As requested, a blog of my time in Reno.

Let's compare Salt Lake and Reno shall we?

Salt Lake: 15 miles over the speed limit

Reno: 15 miles under the speed limit

Salt Lake: LDS chapel on every corner

Reno: Wedding chapel on every corner

Salt Lake: Ski Utah license plates

Reno: Support your local firefighter license plates!

Salt Lake: Gas stations filled with sugary goodness

Reno: Gas stations filled with slot machines

Salt Lake: the night skyline features beautiful temples

Reno: the night skyline is filled with casinos

Salt Lake: Everyone is a returned missionary

Reno: Everyone is a retired stripper