Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How nice of you to say

This evening, I had the dubious honor of being cussed at for being a law-abiding citizen--the first time a truly nasty action was directed as me as a road cyclist.

"Why don't you stay on the bleepin' sidewalk?!" shouted a young man from a passing car.

For the same reasons you don't, sir. I am a wheeled vehicle whose slowest safe speed is considerably faster than most pedestrians can walk, and the more often I am in the midst of slow-moving crowds (and I spend most of my time on a college campus, the definition of slow-moving crowds), the greater chance I have of wrecking and injuring myself and/or other people. Plus there is the minor detail that sidewalks do not go everywhere I need to go.

I'm a law-abiding citizen, keep to the right and clearly signal when I move left or intend to turn. I stop at the same stop signs as every car, and I am easy to pass because I keep as far right as possible without endangering my tires with the road debris swept to the curb (unless I am turning left, in which case I have signaled). But people still find it necessary to yell at me, beep their horns while going round me, and, in one instance I can only describe as idiotic, pull up in the right lane even though they are turning left, because I am already in the left lane like THE LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN THAT I AM.

People have no idea what it is like to be carless. For me, I either walk or ride my bike. There is no third option--I don't even have a driver's license. There's theoretically a bus system in Norman, but I doubt there's a stop near Boyd & Berry (where my local church is) at 6:30 and 9 Wednesday night. Or at 10 o'clock and 12:15 Sunday morning. So I follow the law while taking city streets, which is whenever I can, because I hate driving through crowds of people--and to the clueless young man in the white car, I say sincerely,


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Teaser and a Learning Experience

These three pairs of socks (yes, they are all pairs, even if they aren't pictured as pairs) have something in common, and I bet you can't guess what it is...... And yes, that's all I'm gonna say.

Learning experiences. Don't you love them? Aren't they just your favorite things to encounter when you're going about your business?--No, really, no one does--they're messy and painful and frequently the lesson isn't obvious. I appear to get more than my share of them, though--like yesterday when I got the point firmly sent home that I should not bike down the east edge of Adams Hall/Price Business College. It was quite literally messy and painful, too......

::flashback:: I am riding as safely as I can, from German to English Comp. I'm in a bit of a hurry, because this is my only ten-minute break between classes, and during it I have to ride across three-quarters of campus. (That is not as bad as it sounds--the trek takes 8 minutes on a bad day on my bike, and five on a good day, plus we had let out a little early.) On the east side of Adams Hall, there is an ornamental garden which is very geometric, with completely square corners (and thus the walkways around them are also abrupt angles), and there are always many people walking in the area. Earlier in the semester, I had run smack into a person (who sadly was not looking where he was going--it was not my fault, I could not possibly swerve or I would hit someone else) on one of the narrow paths through a portion of the garden, so I was warily keeping to the wider main paths. Friday, though, even on the main paths there were not many people, yet somehow a pair was standing just at the corner of the path I needed to turn on...... oh well, swing wide to miss them--crash! Head-on collision with one of those anvils disguised as a mountain bike.

We were neither much the worse for it and instantly start off again, wincing at the bruises. But I got only half a pedal-turn before I realized (damnation!) my chain had popped off! Well, I must fix it--good thing I'm a little early.--Yes, yes, I'm fine, but my chain popped off, I answer a kind inquiry as I bend to begin fixing it.

I was still 5 minutes early to English Comp, so I had time to smear my fingers liberally with alcohol sanitizing goop and wipe it off with a tissue, taking most of the grease with it, and I have an impressive bruise on my inner thigh (the size of my heel!) and a smashed finger that bled a little under the nail, but the more lasting result of my collision is the resolve to never ride down the east side of Adams Hall again, but only the west. It will not cost me much time--it may not even cost me any--and I will have a much smaller chance of more crashes and bruises.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Uni geht sehr gut

...... and in English, that's "uni/university/college is going very well." Since I basically have a day off from homework (one essay to read and one review sheet to complete, and that's all that has to be done tomorrow), I figured that I would tell you a bit about my college experience! Since, ahem, I've been at college a full month Sunday, and a month in class as of the 24th......

I got a compliment from my German professor yesterday--we were doing an exercise in class, and after my answer she asked as always, "Is it right?" ::silence:: "Of course it's right; she has almost not missed anything in this class yet." --blush-- That is naturally exaggeration, but it is true that I always get more than 80% on my homework (she doesn't normally grade homework, it's a satisfactory/unsatisfactory deal--quizzes, tests, & papers are all that is graded), and that after getting a 92% on the third quiz I thought, "I must work harder on this"...... I tested into third-semester German, and could possibly have been even the semester above, but it is well.

Apart from German (which is my major; a life-goal of mine is to be multi-lingual, to really master at least one language besides my native English), I'm in Botany, Ancient Near East History, English Comp and Intro to Logic. Botany I'm perpetually ahead in the readings for; my professor likes his students to read the material after lecture, so we can focus on what he focused on in class, but he got slightly off-sync from his syllabus, so that he's covering some portion of the topic for last class still in this class. Like today he should have moved on to the anatomy of roots and leaves, but instead we are still on DNA & Mitosis (Tuesday's subject, officially), because we spent part of last Thursday still talking about Cytology, and that was because the Tuesday before we spent the beginning of class on Morphology. And so on and so on. So I am ahead in my reading--I read last night the portion that goes with what we discussed this period. Botany for Non-majors is definitely a fun class--I do not have particular trouble keeping up with the prof, either, though he does talk quite fast.

Ancient Near East History, besides being an absurdly long name for a class, with too many capitals, is also fun--it is interesting to compare his teaching style with my Botany professor's. They both use Powerpoint extensively, but that is more or less the end of the similarity. He also talks very quickly, but he's harder to take notes from because he's much less outline driven, plus a great deal of what he says is commentary on pictures of artifacts and the like that he sprinkles through. I tend to write down whatever strikes me as important, and try not to copy down his slides word for word. For one thing, he posts his Powerpoints on an OU website, and for another, if I can remember it in my own words, it's more likely to stick.

English Comp is, well, an English class. It's rather like (so far, at least) a course I took in high school called Critical Reading--there are four sections to this particular English Comp, the first of which is Scholarly Discourse. So we are reading and discussing and writing papers on scholarly essays, all of which have controversial subjects like literacy, equality in education, and so on. It's a bit of a hard class for me, since I am more or less 180 degrees from most of these writers--some of them, I actually feel that the more I think about the essays, the farther I get from the point, because the stance makes no sense to me. But we have an excellent teacher/discussion moderator (it's a discussion class, so he spends little time lecturing), so that makes it more bearable. We have I think only one or two, perhaps three, more weeks before we turn in the Scholarly papers and move on. Despite being harder on me than my other classes, it is also enjoyable, for the most part.

What left--ah, yes, Intro to Logic. I have a schedule chock-full of fun classes this semester, evidently, because this is another! A lot of students take Logic as a way to get out of College Algebra; I have no such mean motive, but am sincerely interested in the mechanics of logic, and always have been. :-D My professor deliberately set it up so that those who get it quickly can skip class Friday, and then he can concentrate on those who are having trouble. Me, I still have to go to class Friday, but need only do something very minimal. The goal is to get 40 points every week, which sort of acts as attendance & participation; I have 35. This is one class that actually stretches me, especially in symbolization of sentences and their manipulation (which is where we are now)--I think very logically and in a fairly straight line when I'm actually arguing something (though when just talking, I can do random with the best of them......), but manipulation of symbols is perhaps not my strongest point.

The hardest part of college is probably getting up in the morning, every morning, even though I go to bed earlier now than I did at home!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Three Rules

I have decided that I have three basic rules for looking and feeling my best.

1. I always look cute, no matter what I'm wearing or what I feel like. It's amazing--once you decide this, it's true. Always. If you don't find fault with your appearance, almost no one else will, either.

2. Dangly earrings improve every outfit and mood. Because c'mon. Self-evident! Actually, this goes for anything dangly or shiny--a necklace, earrings, bracelets, rings--wearing the pretties gives a lift to any day.

3. I am always right. Even when I'm wrong, I'm right anyway, in some way. This I think is a basic rule of womanhood.

Obviously, these are sex-specific rules (get your mind out of the gutter. "Gender" is a grammatical term that I don't like and use only for grammar--too clunky), but I am not qualified to speak for the other half of the population. So guys? You'll just have to find your own rules.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


My roommate and I have the same bedspread. Proof:

My decorating style is rather minimalist......

.......while hers is more heavy on the stuffed animals (they're really soft. Really really. Stuffed animals for grown-ups.).

Here is evidence that we really have the same lime green/aqua blue reversible comforter (reversed from each other because c'mon. Who wouldn't?):

And here, because I love my yellow sheets, is a more accurate picture of the buttery-golden goodness.--I might have a tiny yellow fixation right now.......