Friday, March 31, 2006

5th graders are...

...exhausting. It was my 2nd lesson at Mary Branch Elementary. I think the lessons are going fairly well. I like the 5th graders a lot. If I do ever decide to teach, I think I like that grade level. However, the energy level is high and it can be all consuming.

The lessons are a little tough, because at this point, I am asking the students to ask some researchable questions that we can answer with our river models. It is a pretty difficult request. I told them that often the hardest part for a scientist is to know what questions to ask first. Some of the students are incredible with their thinking skills; others don't seem as interested in really delving into the whole concept of rivers - they just like playing in the model...what do you do when you have students at different levels of engagement?

Monday, March 27, 2006


This past weekend, Mariann and I went to Fredericksburg for Lori's wedding. It was nice, but it did re-emphasize that I don't want to have a wedding. Phew. That is good to know, because at first, a small part of me thought that perhaps I would want one. But after going to another wedding, I remembered that no, they are not for me.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

iTunes shuffle

I tried this game where you put your iTunes (or other music player) on shuffle to answer questions for you. Sort of like the magic 8 ball, but a little more sophisticated. Here's what I got:

How does the world see me?
"Destination" by O.A.R

Will I have a happy life?
“The Joy of the Lord” by Breakaway – Ross King style

What do my friends really think of me?
"Hungry Heart" by Bruce Springsteen

How can I make myself happy?
"Whale Noises" by Brian Regan :)

What should I do with my life?
"You Deserve Flowers" by Chris Thile

What is some good advice for me?
"Love Bites" by Def Leppard - yikes

How will I be remembered?
"Fake Plastic Trees” by Radiohead

What is my signature song?
"The Boy in the Bubble” by Paul Simon

What do I think my signature song is?
"Never Again” by Nickelback

What does everyone else think my signature song is?
"Autumn Jane” by Weezer

What song will play at my funeral?
"Mission Impossible”

What is my day going to be like?
"Tonight I’m Lonely Too” by Alison Krauss

Thursday, March 23, 2006

so much...

...has happened since my last post! Things have been getting very hectic with school and last weekend, Adrian and I got engaged! :) He surprised me with a weekend outing of unknown destination. We ended up at a bed and breakfast in Waco. We went to the Hilton to eat and watch the A&M bball game and then he surprised me with a Nickel Creek concert! They are the best! Then in the morning, we walked the trails at the B&B, and he proposed to me up a trail by the cross. It was nice. :) He gave me his grandmother's ring from 1938. I like it a lot.

One thing funny about the B&B is how you have to small talk with the hosts and eat breakfast with the other guests. We met Patrick and his wife, an older couple from Houston and a younger couple (Chase and I just forgot the girl's name). Anyways, Chase was a strange character who did not seem to enjoy breakfast (it was really good - yogurt parfait, muffins, cinnamon rolls, and this egg casserole thing), and he made us seem dumb about everything we said by saying, "What?!" a lot. Hee hee. Patrick told us not to worry about that numbskull. I just thought the whole thing was pretty funny. It reminded me a little about a Gilmore Girls episode where they end up having to stay at a B&B, and Lorelai and Rory try to dodge the other guests. But I'm glad we had a Chase, because I think it adds a funny story to our engagement weekend. :)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Big Bend!

I just got back from my trip to Big Bend last night. It was the perfect getaway - the perfect balance of hiking and exertion with relaxation. Pictures will be posted in the next week, because of all things I forgot, it was my digital camera. So I ended up buying a disposable one in Johnson City.

The drive was long - about 10 hours in all to get all the way down to Christy's place - but it wasn't unpleasant. It was kind of nice, going through Hill Country. Nothing too eventful occurred on the way over. Outside of Bastrop, a truck had on its bumper, "Keep Bastrop beautiful, shoot a yuppie." I thought it was funny, because instead of it being an actual bumper sticker, he had fashioned it out himself with individual letters. I was just thinking, wow, this man hates yuppies so much that he would go to this much trouble to let everyone know. Also, for some reason, I drank tons of water on the way over and had to stop on the side of I-10 to use the bathroom. But I'm pretty sure no one saw me; I had good coverage.

We did not do too much once I got there. Christy's other friends, Kristi and Robin were also visiting - but for a whole week (sigh, I'm jealous). Her place is quite cute. It is a duplex with a living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. The best part of course is the porch with gorgeous views. That night we mostly got everything together for our backpacking trip. We made guacamole and granola bars! Christy also mixed some spices with cous cous for our dinner when we backpacked.

The next day we backpacked in the Chisos Basin! I was nervous, because I had never gone before and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to carry everthing. But it was not bad at all! Christy helped me pack and adjust my backpack, and it was perfect. Although, I will admit, at one point in the beginning, I had to take my pack off and sit for a few minutes, but then I felt fine - it was weird. On the way to our site, we checked the other backcountry sites for trash and leftover food in the bear boxes. We reached our site and set-up camp. Then, without our packs (hurrah), we hiked to the South Rim, which I have never been to before. It was nice. :)

When we got back, we made supper. After supper, it was about 6 pm. It was quite windy and a bit chilly, so we retreated to the tent. Neither of us had brought any books or cards - I hadn't because I didn't want to carry anything more and Christy had forgot to. So we just layed in the tent and talked for over 3 hours about anything and everything.

The next day we headed back down. We encountered tons of people backpacking up. I felt such a sense of accomplishment when we got back to the car and took our packs off for good. Now that I know I can do it, Adrian and I will need to make arrangements to backpack in the Narrows at Zion. :)

It was very relaxing the rest of the day. We ate lunch on the porch and then drove around the Castolon area, looking at the old ruins. Kristi and Robin came back from their own adventures, and we made spaghetti for supper. It is so fun: Christy has a huge plastic bin just filled with books of all kinds of subject matters. I picked up a collection of essays by John Muir and read a little of it on the porch. Right when supper was ready, Justin and his dad came in, after not being able to get a campsite due to the spring break rush. We all sat on the porch, ate, and talked for a bit. Then, the men went to sleep in Christy's room and we (the 4 girls), set up in the living room and watched a movie (Kristi was very prepared and brought her laptop with tons of DVDs to watch).

In the morning, we ate more of the homemade granola bars on the porch, and then I set off to come back to College Station. On the drive back, I stopped at this HUGE wildflower store outside of Fredericksburg. I must have looked around for almost an hour. I ended up buying two rose bushes (I guess they would be called bushes; I am not sure) to plant in the front yard. :)

All in all, it was a great time. :)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

spring is here!

Hurrah! Spring is here. This morning I saw a bluejay and a robin in the yard, and most of my daffodils are blooming! As you can see from the picture, they are a little droopy but they are still pretty and happy looking. :)

This has to be the best spring break weather I have experienced in a while. It seems like past spring breaks have always been somewhat rainy and cold. Tomorrow, I leave for Big Bend to see Christy! Then a week of lab work, followed by a weekend of fun with Adrian. :)

Monday, March 06, 2006


Saturday, Adrian, Lucy, and I spent all day outside gardening. I planned the whole plot out with my garden book and carefully positioned vegetables together that like each other. Also, we are going to plant a new row of corn every two weeks, so that we will always have fresh corn. We planted: corn, okra, green and red peppers, carrots, onions, tomatoes, watermelon, and pumpkins. According to the seed package, the pumpkins are supposed to grow to weigh 100 pounds! We shall see.

We had a slight set-back with the garden today, though. We went outside to look at it and we found huge giant dog paw prints and a dig hole. It seems that Mason came over to inspect the garden more carefully - oops. Hopefully, we can construct a fence to keep all curious dogs out!

Hmm, I just uploaded the pictures, and they arranged them in a weird, random order. Oh, well. :)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Lucy and the daffodils

The daffodils are starting to bloom! In the last picture, you can see Lucy's shaved leg from Tuesday when she had her dental...poor pup. She came back home that day extremely tired, as you can see from the 1st photo.