Sunday, May 03, 2009

Catching up on stuff

Wow! I don't know how I haven't written in so long. All I can say is that there has been really nothing to write about, plus school has kept me busy. Work too.

First a couple blog-related announcements. First, I have claimed this blog on the blog search site Technorati. You can see a link in my "Links" section in the blog sidebar that will allow you to add the blog to your "favorites" on that site. I had a lot of trouble claiming it and then it turned out the only problem was that I was putting "www" in the URL, and I didn't need to. Doi! Anyway, the second announcement is that I now have a second blog on this account! Entitled Le Journal Intime d'Alera Gynne, it's the home of my Harry Potter-based fanfic about my character Alera Gynne. It's written in French, however, so you'll need to know it (preferably at my level, which is intermediate) to understand it. You can check it out through the link in the sidebar or at this link:

School will be out on the 14th. I can't believe the time is already here. The stress is mounting with finals and papers and stuff. Thank heavens my history teacher changed the due date on our second essay or I would've been freaking out on Wednesday night having that paper and the PowerPoint for my Lit class. I managed to finish the history paper today (after having to totally rethink it after looking over the prompt again and breaking it down into smaller elements like I did with the last essay for this class - this really helps when you get super long essay prompts) and a few days ago, after bringing my author paper to my Theory and Practice of K-12 Writing Instruction class (where we were learning about teaching revision and were asked to bring in our own papers), got my paper down to size there too.

I have a teaching philosophy paper due on the 7th for my Theory and Practice of K-12 Writing Instruction class that I need to start. I was going to work on it this last week since there was no other homework in that class, but the history paper (which was originally due on April 30th) preoccupied me. In this paper, we had to compare the Vietnam War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's HARD. Trust me. I think I did a good job though (although my paper was 6 pages when she wanted 5), considering I had to cite in Chicago style, which I'm not very familiar with.

For my author paper, I need to write the last two parts and edit the major works and themes section. It's a lot. This is on top of the aforesaid teaching philosophy paper and tons of history reading (there are these three books on the syllabus that for some reason our teacher tacked on to the reading schedule at the END of the semester) And then finals too. Gah!!

I also had a computer issue. My backspace key, space bar, and enter key all stopped working. Fortunately, I called Dell and got a new keyboard overnighted to me via FedEx, which they assured me I could install myself (my warranty doesn't cover having someone come out to do it for me). Unfortunately, they did not include the tech sheet they said they would and I had to find instructions on the Net. I spent about an hour just getting the key cover off using a flat-head screwdriver, and then I couldn't unscrew the keyboard, so I gave up. Mum helped me with the keyboard today though, and it turned out that the reason I couldn't unscrew the keyboard was because I had the wrong kind of screwdriver (I was using the flat-head one from my eyeglasses repair kit, and I needed a Phillips-head).

Work is stressful right now; I didn't have time to do everything on Wednesday night this week and so yesterday Shelly (my boss) was hopping mad with me. I am distraught about what to do, especially since Juan apparently gets away with just doing basic cleaning (the basic closing stuff, that is) while I do everything on the list -- even the extra cleaning Shelly asks for -- which takes longer and thus sometimes causes me to not finish my work, and I get in trouble. It's not fair! I did the best I could last night, although I didn't have time to do the floors. I had to go to lunch late because I had to wait for Alma from service deli to get back from her lunch. Plus I lost some time after 10pm (I worked till 11 last night) having to go to the office to hear Jeff (the assistant manager) read a memo about swine flu to me and two other employees that I had already read myself when it was posted on the office door upstairs.

Oh yes, as I'm sure you people reading this know, THERE'S AN EPIDEMIC GOING ON. It's of a strain of influenza said to come from pigs, hence the name "swine flu" (although I've heard some people are calling it "H1 N1 Influenza" now because farmers are complaining that they'll lose profits from it being called "swine flu," due to the common misconception that it is foodborne and thus you can get it from eating or handling pork, which is NOT TRUE). Anyway, the epidemic started in Mexico. The first cases in the U.S. were some New York college students who went down to Mexico for spring break (despite the State Department travel warning already in place advising people not to travel to Mexico because of the drug cartel-related violence going on). It's now spreading around the world. I don't think there's been any person-to-person cases yet; I think it's all just people who have been to Mexico recently at this point.

It's pretty late, and I want to go to church today (Sunday; I started this just before midnight on Saturday) since I don't have to work till 5. I stayed up a little later than usual because I was doing laundry. So I think I'm going to go.

Oh one more thing. Today while going through a Yahoo! Games list of 10 free games, I came across an online game called Free Realms. It's basically a free, kid-friendly fantasy MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game). You can still pay for premium content (either with a credit card or with gift card-style cards you buy at places like Target or Wal-Mart, similar to how you buy cards for Zwinky or Gaia Online), but the bulk of the game is free. You can read more about it here. I played it for a little bit. It's fun, but the controls take some getting used to. (I've never played an MMO). Their in-game tutorials are very helpful. You also get to try a bunch of different jobs, something not always possible in highly job-based fantasy RPG's (like many of the Final Fantasy games). I've learned how to be a Chef, a Pet Trainer, and a Brawler (the basic combat category) so far. The graphics are also really good considering it streams straight from the site's server to your computer (no disc or any such thing required).

Ok I really ought to go. It's nearly 1am and I still want to take a shower before bed. Good night!

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