- The way sunlight hits snow and makes it glitter
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
- The way sunlight hits snow and makes it glitter
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Sunday: take Mary to airport, head back to Greencastle, rest, get homework done.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
NOTE FROM MARIA: This article is here because for some reason the Gearfire.net is down. In any case, if you have any comments or questions just email me at milyusha @ gmail . com - thanks!
Also, a big thank you to the guys over at HackCollege who linked this!
Balancing School and Sports
via GearFire - Tips for Students by Maria on 8/5/09
As we race steadily on to the start of this next school year, it can never hurt to think a little about what our schedule will be like for the next few months. We have to keep track of classes, study sessions, working, social lives, and all sorts of extracurricular activities. One major time commitment is if one plays a sport (or two, or three…).
No matter at what level - intramural, club, or varsity - playing sports can really take up a lot of time. Being an athlete generally takes up considerably more time than exercising or working out to stay in shape.
I have experience with all three of these levels of sports so I’d like to pass along some insights I’ve gained from the past three years. First, here is some background about my experiences. My freshman year of college I played club soccer (I played soccer from age 4 up through my senior year of high school, but I wasn’t interested in playing at the college level). A large group of us got together about 3 times a week to kick around the ball and get some games going. I probably spent an average of 3-7 hours a week playing soccer in the afternoons. Two of the afternoons were on weekdays and one was on Sundays. This lasted for basically all of my first year at school and gave me a great group of people to know right off the bat, plus it was a ton of fun. My sophomore year I went to the first couple of club soccer practices but hardly anyone showed up (the majority of the guys playing had graduated the previous May), and I figured it wasn’t worth my time to keep going if no one was going to play. I switched to the ultimate frisbee team (also considered a club sport at my school) since I had a lot of friends on it and loved that as well. We also had practices 3 times a week, ironically enough at the same time as the club soccer met, and again I was spending around 6-7 hours each week playing frisbee. I was very active on the team for the first semester but by the end of the second semester I was a little burned out on it. So the fall of my junior year I took up tae kwon do. We have a physical education requirement so I figured I would just take TKD (I had spent about 5 years when I was much younger working through many belts) and ended up also joining the club that semester for extra practice. I spent 5 hours in club and 2 hours in class each week, for another total of 7 hours. (I see a trend here!) For spring semester, though, I had decided to take a huge plunge and join the track and field team, a varsity sport. I attend a Division III school so we don’t really have tryouts or cuts for the running program, which is really nice! I absolutely loved it and am looking forward to running cross country this fall. Track and field took up considerably more time - two hour practice every day plus going to meets usually meant about 10-15 hours of practice plus at least a full day or two for each meet.
All right, now that you know all that background information you can understand a bit more where I’m coming from with these tips. They will apply to anyone interested in playing a sport at school, whether it’s from the IM level all the way to varsity.
- Get stuff done - I can’t stress this enough. If you know you want to spend two hours playing basketball on Wednesday but have homework due Thursday, make sure you get the homework done! Exercise and sports are a great stress reliever but also a great procrastinator. Don’t let your academics slide for sports. If you have a big game or meet over the weekend, make sure you get everything done for Monday so you’re not stressed out Sunday night.
- Know when to stop or take it easy - If your body hurts, give it a rest. There’s no sense in injuring yourself. If you have too much going on, step back from the athletics and figure out what you want to prioritize.
- Talk to your coach and/or captain - About anything. They are there to help you out with your athletics and, really, life in general. Listen to what they have to say, and learn from their experiences.
- Utilize the trainer - If something hurts you, go talk to the trainer! Even if you are not a varsity athlete they can at least point you in the right direction. Don’t wait to get treated for an injury.
- Remember you’re in school to learn - Even if you really love your sport, you really came to college to learn (unless you’re one of those high school athletic prodigies who goes to a DI powerhouse on a full-ride athletic scholarship). Don’t let your academics slide. They’re likely what is going to get you a job or grad school after you finish your undergrad, not athletics.
I hope you find some of these tips useful. It’s a big time commitment to play a sport in college, no matter at what level, but it’s also very rewarding physically, mentally, and socially. Have fun with it!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
I am excited for school to start up; I'm excited for cross country, classes, being a tour guide, tutoring, living with Amanda in what's going to be the most awesome apartment on campus, getting Knit Knite + Knitting for Nets up and running on the web, and a whole slew of other projects. I am going to be so incredibly busy and it's going to be great.
I know I should be taking advantage of the last couple weeks out here (there is a lot going on) but I can't bring myself to leave the comfort of my room or the pool unless someone else is with me. Motivation for running is at an all-time low. I don't feel like biking for the heck of it like I did earlier this summer. I don't even feel like going around taking photographs (instant clue that I'm not totally with it!). The novelty of Los Angeles has worn off, I think. It's a shame. Also, the weather hasn't been nearly that good this summer, and I think that's taken its toll on me. I'm also just ready to get back to Midwest air with Midwest prices and Midwest friends. Don't get me wrong; I really do like LA, but 1. not when I don't have a car 2. not for these long stretches of time and 3. not when it's cloudy for more than half the time I've been here. I will for sure come back and visit (there are too many friendships I've made here that I would hate to see end), but I don't think I'll live here for extended periods of time.
Who knows, that might change. And if it does, awesome. If it doesn't, awesome to that too. Life is unpredictable and I'm not wanting to let myself get stuck somewhere. I want to go around and see other parts of the country, too.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
- Maine (some fishing village, an island)
- Oregon (along the coast)
- Washington (also along the coast)
- Redwoods in California
- Arches National Park
- Visit every lighthouse on both the east and west coast
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it's what I thought of in literally the last 3 minutes. Foremost on the list is Maine, and hopefully I'll get to go to Montana soon too.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
For starters, I will never again take for granted the ability to get perfectly ready for work and arrive at work in that same perfect state. In my case, I get mostly ready, hop on my bike, arrive to work a little (or a lot, if it's sunny) sweaty, and finish up my routine, mostly fixing up my hair and de-sweatifying myself, in the bathroom. I also get to put on work pants over my bike shorts and trade running shoes for work shoes. If I drove a car to work none of this would apply.
On a more serious note, biking has really opened up my eyes to the pollution all around me. Los Angeles is, as far as I know, as car-centric as it gets (everyone here drives everywhere...even if it's just two blocks down the street), and this really bothers me. I always imagined California as being this great, green, environmentally-conscious state full of hippies, bikers, and hybrid-driving commoners. Um, no. I see relatively few fellow bikers (to be fair, I bike to work at 6.30 in the morning and bike home at 5pm, so I could just be missing them) who are actually biking to go somewhere, not just for recreation (trust me, there are plenty of those types on the Strand). I've only seen hippies in Venice, but there are a lot of them there, so I guess they make up for the lack elsewhere. (I also haven't ever been out of the Los Angeles area, so I can't say anything about the rest of the state. I heard I need to head to San Francisco.) And while I do see way more hybrids (read: Prius) than I have anywhere else, it's still maybe only 5-10 of the cars I see on my way home, which number in the 100s.
That's another problem. Cars are everywhere. You know what cars do? Pollute. I guess the pollution part doesn't bother me that much as a driver (I will be completely honest with you and tell you that I adore long distance driving, even if I claim to be trying to be environmentally conscious), but as a biker it's wrecking havoc on my body. Seriously, I can tell that my lungs are struggling with the air here. The air quality is not that good to begin with (especially coming from the wide open Midwest where you actually have room to breathe), but couple that with riding behind cars, trucks, semis, and airplanes (I live literally right next to LAX) and it's simply awful. It's probably even worse than all the secondhand smoke I inhaled in Russia. Lungs, I apologize for putting you through this.
Thankfully, one thing that I did expect hasn't come to fruition. I thought there would be a lot more trash than there actually is. Granted, there are shattered glass pieces strewn about the bike path (these patches are pretty scary because I don't have a tire patch kit or bandaids) and some other random trash along the roads, but for the most part everything is pretty clean. Good job, LA. But yeah, I'd appreciate there not being so much glass. I can't even figure out where it comes from...it's not like people are going to be chilling in the bike path having a beer on the highway.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
For the most part I enjoyed myself, although I was in a very strange mood (I think I'm just tired) and probably not all that happy.
It started poorly because I woke up at 3am wide awake (I went to bed at 9, which is actually my normal bedtime here in California because of getting up soo early) and couldn't fall back asleep. Eventually I did around 5 and woke up for real about 8.30. Then I bummed around on the internet for several hours, catching up on a lot of things and generally just enjoying being alone. I went to the grocery store and successfully biked home with a bag of groceries on my back (oh, the small accomplishments in life :) ).
In the afternoon Karen and I went over to Meryl and John's place. I really enjoy their company, although I am the odd one out in my age range. All the people there are either young grandparents or aunts & uncles in their 50s and 60s, young parents in their really late 20s/early 30s, or little kids under 4. So I don't really fit in anywhere with people my age, but I definitely enjoy talking with the grown ups. They know a lot and have interesting stories to tell.
I left for Andrew's party around 5.30pm. The Strand wasn't too bad until I hit El Porto. Then there were a lot of people, but it just kind of felt like any other Saturday afternoon down there. Then I actually hit Manhattan Beach and it was crazy. So many people everywhere! And no one looking to make sure bikes weren't coming. Bikes totally own the bike path, not the pedestrians! Silly peds. It only got worse. I got off the Strand like 20 blocks north of the Hermosa Pier because I just couldn't take it. Crowds of drunk people clogged the path and the beaches were packed. (Unlike in the Midwest, our weather here yesterday was absolutely gorgeous and perfect: sunny and mid-70s and a slight breeze.) I hate large crowds of people when I don't want them around (some exceptions: concerts and amusement parks), and I really hate crowds of drunk people. Like, just despise. So I was not in a particularly good mood with not being able to ride my bike more than 6 inches at a time, and switching to the street is scary when you know half the people driving are probably drunk too, and would think it's a fun game to see if they can hit you on your bike. Luckily, nothing happened. I even saw my friend Mallory which was just crazy. What are the odds of that??!
I made it to Andrew's at about 7, much later than I anticipated (I was hitting 15-18 mph on the bike before Manhattan Beach). The party was pretty fun. I met a lot of people I didn't know before and that always makes me happy. We watched fireworks on the beach. It's hard to beat watching fireworks go off over the ocean, especially when you can see about 7 shows up and down the coast.
Afterward I biked home, although many people wanted me to stay at the party, but I was not really in the mood to party and I was tired. The ride home went without incident (although there were still a ton of people around, even at 10.30pm) but I didn't get the calmness that I was longing for with a bike ride by the ocean under the stars. It should have been really nice but I think I was still too strung out from all the drunk people and being on high alert for any attackers or anything like that. I may take a nice long ride up north to Pacific Palisades and hang out at Will Rogers State Beach this afternoon. I just kind of want to be by myself for a while! I usually feel this way after trips with groups. I am so used to being able to get away on my own that when I can't for several days I start going a little crazy :) DePauw is wonderful for this. Feel like being alone? Go take a walk to the park and you've got it. Love it.
Russia stories coming soon, I promise. I'm going to experiment with taking this netbook baby on my ride and writing on the beach. My dad has all my pictures right now so I've got to wait until he uploads them to put them with my posts, which I would rather do than just have text. You might notice there are no pictures from the 4th here -- I generally don't take my camera with me to parties and also both of my cameras seriously suck in darkness, so I didn't feel like lugging either of them around last night.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
First of all, I should tell you a little bit more about my general plan. Mostly, I want to build a really nice desktop system that will be used as my base, and as such I also want a super portable machine to take around with me. The super portable machine is where the netbook comes into play.
Luckily (insert sarcasm here) my Dell Latitude D620, which was one of the computers available on DePauw's laptop program back when I was a freshman (the other option was a MacBook, and I'm just not a Mac person) -- the laptop is "required", by the way -- was dying anyway. The Saturday I left for Russia, at about 10am, an hour before I left for the airport, the screen went black. Just went black, no warning, no nothing. I didn't have the time to deal with it then, so when I got back I tried to figure out what was wrong with it. Unfortunately for me I am not really an IT girl. Luckily my friend Andrew came over and connecting to my roommate's external desktop monitor magically worked. Hooray, it is a monitor problem.
Anyway, long story short, that gave me an awesome excuse to either buy the monitor I want for my desktop or to buy a netbook. I choose the netbook route because the monitor I am hoping to get is not going to fit in my backpack to take through security on the flight back to Indiana. Ha. But I will discuss that when I get back to school and build my machine :)
I did a bunch of research on the netbooks trying to find the best one. Pretty much the only two stores around here for computers are Best Buy and Fry's, so those were my options. I don't feel like ordering a computer and either having to have it shipped to Meryl's house or wait outside for the FedEx truck again, so it was definitely a matter of "what can I physically go get right now?".
Best Buy didn't have as many netbooks as I wanted them to have. But I did find one that I liked (it was my 2nd choice while researching, but my first choice came with Vista and I just couldn't do that to myself). Then BB didn't have any more in stock. Went to Fry's, they didn't have it at all (they only had 3 netbooks!). Second BB had it, finally. Hooray.
I bought an Asus Eee PC Netbook. So far I am pretty fond of it. I actually really wanted a tablet, but the "netvertible" I want is not available in the US yet (the Asus T91). If it becomes available at BB within the next 12 days, I will very likely return this one and buy that one.
Pros: Lightweight (it's like 2.4 lbs), has a built in webcam (whoaaa), the keyboard is great especially compared with the other books I tried out, the screen is bright and clear, it looks pretty, and it's just so small and cute.
Cons: Fingerprints show up REALLY EASILY which gets annoying fast, the touchpad is kind of weird and is taking me a while to get used to it, the screen is kind of small (10" is tiny after coming from a full size laptop), and I'm not so sure about the battery yet. Also the fan is kind of loud, although not as loud as my old laptop.
I'll keep you updated. I've actually never owned an Asus before (had two Toshiba laptops and this Dell one), and hopefully it'll be a better experience than the companies I've had in the past.
Here are a couple pictures:
And also, happy 4th of July to all US people :)
Friday, June 26, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
This is the complete list of what I'm taking, in case anyone is interested and in case I lose my own packing list:
Sunday, June 14, 2009
It had chocolate (of course), bananas, and strawberries. Good.