The Dreaded Finals Week!

Finals week.  

The reason I have been  missing in action.  The reason my room is a mess.  The reason I haven’t called my mother and the reason my boyfriend sees me only once a day.

Finals week is by far the worst week out of my life.  I am a horrible finals week tester.  For some reason, even though my focus is unyielding throughout the entire semester and I can put my nose to the grind stone, finals week brings out the worst in me.  At the time that I need to be studying hard, understanding concepts, and making a huge dent in my pile of homework, I find myself struggling to even sit at my desk and absorb anything.  It’s like my learning button has turned off in my head.  

Lets face it:  I’m burnt out.  

I’ve discovered that most students take finals week as a get out of jail for free card on all of their behavior.  They try to make up for lost time by sitting in the library for hours, making it impossible for all the usual library dwellers to get a seat, they consume an unusually high level of Starbucks, and they invert their sleeping habits from studying during the day and sleeping at night to sleeping during the day and studying at night, a phenomenon I just can’t understand.  Still, even though it is finals week, I go to sleep at night and just put in the extra hours of studying during the day, when I would usually be hanging out with Lance or doing some other homework or club related activity.  My sleep doesn’t suffer.

However, my focus does.  I only have six more days until this whole semester is done and over with, and its like I can’t even convince myself to push out the last few days.  My body has said enough is enough and my brain is shutting down.  Not good.  I totally don’t understand two of the major concepts in Organic Chemistry at all, and I still need to read two chapters for Cellular and Molecular Biology.   And that’s not even getting into my biostats class or my online geography final.  

 I’m hoping tomorrow I can really bust my butt on some of this stuff.  It’s so important that I do well, but it’s like I’m just shutting down.  So frustrating.  My will wants to go but my mind keeps saying no lol.  It’s on vacation already.

I think my body is also depressed because I turn 21 on the 12th and what do I get for my birthday?  A final!  And a final the day after!  Oh goodie!

So, that is why I haven’t written in a while.   I will be back after December 13th.



My New Media Production Project

So, this semester I am taking a course called New Media Production.  As a bio major, I don’t usually take courses that have me staring at a computer all class.  However, I needed an art credit and I blatently refused to take History of Art or Enjoyment of Music.  So, I opted for the more hands on option. 

I must admit, I’m pretty excited about it.  I get to play with Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and learn how to make cool logos and brochures.  And although I rarely time for it, I do genuinely enjoy making things on the computer. 

Part of my project is to have a wordpress blog.  Check.  The upside of this is I am forced to write thoughout my fall semester in college.  Which can at times, be a feat for me when I’m not motivated.  I get so busy that its hard to really rationalize spending time writing something that isn’t going to get me any credit.  However, now its actually worth something!  The downside is, Lance isn’t allowed to post anything until the semester is over.  Which, he probably wouldn’t have anyways.  We’re both currently taking 18 credits and there is little time to breath, let alone post.  So, I will have to be the scribe to whats going on in both of our acedemic lives.

Within the last two weeks, we’ve both adjusted to our class schedules and settled into a routine.  We eat lunch and dinner together each day, but still spend most of our homework time seperate.  Its so strange after spending 2 years seeing each other once a week to be with each other everyday, but its really nice at the same time!  I no longer have to block out 2 hours a night to talk to him on the phone, which opens up a ton more homework time.  We have also joined the ecology club, evergreen (the enviromental club), tri beta, and Faith Alive, a christian youth group.  And, my Animal Welfare Club went from having 10 interested people to 110 interested people!  Yikes!  All in all, the year is off to a great start, and I feel so much happier to be here than I did last year.

My Future!!!

Hey all, I thought I should bring everyone up to date on what I have been doing this past year. I have been very busy, which I hope you could tell from my lack of posts, and I think a lot of it is important to one of my main subjects: MY FUTURE.

So for anyone who doesn’t know I am attending Duquesne University for Biology/Environmental science. I want to work as a conservation biologist someday which means I want to be the guy zoos send to study endangered animals in the wild so the can protect them and improve their care of them in captivity. since I plan to work in this field I must have as many internships as I can and as much experience in this field as possible. Well, great news this past year i had to apprenticeships through my school. One was Avian Care and Training at the National Aviary, and the Second was Zoo Animal Care and Training at the Pittsburgh Zoo.

Avian Care and Training.

   My time at the aviary was fun and exciting. I did so many things while I was there but I’ll try to recount as much as I can remember.

Everyday at the aviary I was in a different section of work. One day I would be in the wetland exhibit and the ext they  would have me in commissary. Everyday was great. My first day I started in the wetlands room with the main keeper/trainer Dave. We did simple little tasks like flushing the filter for the rooms huge marsh and change food pans for the birds, but he also allowed us do many hands on jobs too. He let each of my group members train a different bird. I got to train Boris the hammerkop. Now Boris is solitary in the wetlands room because he didn’t get along with the other the other hammerkop in the tropical forest room Now im not saying he was mean but he was indeed moody, and as I found out later extremely hard to train. Dave taught me that proper body language and positioning as well as technique is needed to train birds. He showed me to let them see the food and don’t be afraid to take the chance away to make them see it’s not an indefinite offer. After a few frustrating attempts I was able to point train him to fly around the room. Then I finally finished training him Dave told I did a great job, and let me know he never trained Boris before. When my group mates finished training their birds Dave took us for a real treat, he allowed us to interact with flamingoes, The program that he took us to do is a 25 dollar charge for a normal guest and last half as long as what we got to do. He took us down on to the “shore” and told us to squat down and lower our eyes, which I knew (but he explained anyway) made us seem like we weren’t predators because they couldn’t see our forward facing eyes. Then, they slowly and warily came over and started bumping us. They seemed to be ignoring me, but Dave explained that my glasses were setting them off-balance because they didn’t know what they were and had me take them off. After I took them off the flamingos came over and cuddle all of us. It was great! Another day I was in the tropical rainforest exhibit. We did lots of hard work including moving large cages, and even cleaning a pond. Even doing maintenance work at the aviary was fun after we finished all of the physical labor we were directed to go around with a check list of all the birds in the exhibit and find them and my instructor was surprised and impressed at how good I am at spotting animals. Another great day was in commissary where I got to learn about nutrition and diet of each bird. It was fun and I got a very unique view on feeding and the dietary needs of birds now. My favorite day by far was the finally day when the head educator had us present on one bird in the aviary. After everyone was through presenting she allowed us to do to things like  pet one of the penguins, Simon. I also flew a black vulture!  It was an amazing feeling to have a vulture flying on and of your arm and it was my first time holding a raptor. I was so excited. Everyday I would come home from the aviary with a happy heart and itching to get into my future. It made me want to work with animals and most of all birds for the rest of my life.

Zoo Animal Care and Training.

Ahh, the zoo. I enjoyed my time at the zoo almost as much as I did my time at the aviary. It was much less hands-on and more educational which was great because I got to learn more random facts that I can spew at people. Did you the three banded armadillo is the only armadillo that can completely roll into a ball? Every day we spent an hour in the class room learning about how a zoo operates and then we would go for a tour of the various facilities. I learned about conservation and how zoos trade animals and many other things. In the tours I got to see the reptile winter house where I got to pet and play with No Name the Komodo Dragon ( he’s like a big dog not a fearsome predator), The large cat facilities, the water edge facilities, and many more places. In the last two weeks everyone made a project. we all had to design an exhibit for an animal. I did mine on the ring tailed lemur and won the best enrichment award which got me two free passes to the zoo, some posters, and a nice hat and drawstring bag. The judges really enjoyed my knowledge of primate enrichment like swing poles and complex puzzle feeders as well as my concern for natural enrichment like a place of rocks where they could sun themselves.

Overall, my time at my apprenticeships where great and I wouldn’t trade for anything. If I could go back to work at either facility I would in an instant. I would come home everyday just like I did from my apprenticeships and think My Future looks bright.

Its a New Year!

It’s a new year!  And like everyone else, I have to make some new years resolutions too.

  1. get to the gym more often
  2. stop stressing over  things like mad
  3. (most important) start writing in this blog more!

I’ve let a whole semester go by without documenting any of it.  I’m a total waste of cyber life.  So, I’m going to start breaking that habit and I’m going to start writing much more regularly everyday if I can!  If I have to write it down in my planner next to my homework I will. 

I’m going to do a brief catch up post, so that in my mind, I can organize where I have been over the last few months and know how to start writing.  And there is not a huge sense that I am missing important details. 

obviously, I am still attending Duquesne University.  I am still studying prevet/biology.  I still work in the biology labs.  Over Christmas break, I also went back to the pet store that I worked in while attending community college, and over the summer I will also return there.  Lance and I are still together, of course.  I still have all four of my birds, and he still ha Jules.  Bella still looks like a little tyrannosaurus rex and growls like a werewolf.  However, that’s about where the similarities stop.

I have now moved rooms.  Instead of living on the 5th floor, I live on the 6th floor.  My old roommate was a total piece of shit, and a waste of life.  She had not intentions on growing up or becoming serious about school.  For her, life was just a big party.  Someday, I hope she drinks herself into a coma.  Ok, that’s really mean.  But honestly, the drama I had to endure, no adult should have to.  I felt like I was back in middle school, where clicky girls tell lies to ruin people’s lives and everyone else hides in the shadows hoping to escape their lashing tounges.  It was bad.  It’s such a shame I didn’t write about it, because honestly, my life was like a bad soap opera and it could have been quite humorous.  Not to mention she was roughly the size of a baby killer whale and ate nothing but mac and cheese and pepperoni rolls.  And farted in her sleep all night.  Disgusting.

Finals were hell.  I was in the process of moving rooms, getting ready to go home for break, and trying to study for absolutely killer finals all at the same time.  It was the worst.  I’m hoping now that I have a semester under my wing I can actually attempt to better than I did last semester.  I’m very close to not being accepted into any vet schools in the country and I have only completed one semester.  I don’t really know what my GPA is, because I constantly have a hold on my account because Duquesne is such a money grubby, greedy school, but it’s probably around a 3.7 -3.8?  I’m guessing?  

Money has been another huge issue these last few months.  I have to take out extra personal loans for Duquesne, because they aren’t giving me enough financial aid money.  And because I do not understand the entire financial aid thing, and how schools work with this, they are being total douche bags about it.  

I would not recommend Duquesne to anyone whose daddy wasnt completely footing the bill.  They do not help you with anything, give you no second chances, and essentially would rather have you go prostitute yourself out on Grant Street than help you get enough money or time to register for classes.  In essence, they don’t care.  They claim to be a Catholic college, but boy are they corrupt.  Unless you are very financially wealthy and can afford $40,000 or better per year, please avoid this university.  I am already so in debt, I feel like I have made the biggest mistake of my life.

I’m aiming to get an internship this summer, either at the aviary or a wild animal rehabilitation center.  Lance is as well.

I still have my club.  I still walk dogs on Fridays.

Christmas came and went.  I’m even more in debt than I was before.  But, I got diamonds from my man 🙂

I’m moving back to Duquesne tonight.  I can’t say I’m excited.  Actually, I’m kinda dreading it.  I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to be stressed and have to work all the time and never have fun.  I want to go back to being a kindergartener. 

Thats about it.  I’m sure I’ll have more to talk about after I go through my first day of classes tomorrow!


Where Has Lance Been?

Even I start to wonder that sometimes lol.  But, don’t worry, I assure you he is alive and well.  He just has been pretty busy.  That doesnt mean what hes doing is any less cool or not worth recording.  Actually, its the opposite!  But because he can’t get to it yet, I’ll give you the general over view and he can fill in the blanks once he gets time.

Lance has gone MIA because it is once again September!  And that means its band season!  . . . . .  Can you feel my excitement?  Actually, every year between the months of September and October, everything falls on the wayside for band.  Band becomes life, breath, bread, and water.  We eat, drink, breath, and sleep band.   And this year, even under new managment and partially non competition and show band, is still no difference.

See, one thing you’ll learn about Lance that you haven’t had the chance to do yet, is that when he commits to something, there is no half assed job in it.  Its one thing I love more than anything about him.  At the same time, its one thing I hate more than anything about him lol.  Mostly just because I’m jealous that everything else becomes equally as important as me!  For example, you will not see him skimping on a practice to come visit me.  You will not find him napping through a show because he’s tired or sick.  Lance just doesn’t do that.

So, right now, my boyfriend has done a little biting off more than he can sucessfully chew this year.  He usually takes a big mouthful, but for whatever reason inspired him this year, he decided to pack his senior schedule in like a sardine.   So, he now has band practice Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursday evenings from around 5 or 6 till 8 or 9 I believe.  He has football games Friday night and he has band competitions Saturday all day.   Sundays and Wenesdays he works at the Giant Eagle.  He also took AP Bio, AP Calc, Honors English, and Anatomy and Physiology for his senior school schedule.  So, the only ones who really see or even talk to Lance are those other sad losers who have devoted their life to marching around with turf turds in their shoes.  Which I will fully admit, I gave into peer pressure and joined when I was a senior just so I wouldn’t have to miss him the way I do now.

He has also, on Wenesdays, began his apprenticeship at the National Aviary, which is the one cool thing that needs to be written down!  I am totally jealous of his apprenticeship.  He literally goes and spends the day on the behinds the scenes stuff at the aviary.  He’s learning so much already!  And now, he is super super pumped about growing up and getting a job.  I have to admit, he definatly picked the cooler one out of the two of us!

At his last trip there, he said he was in the wetlands room.  He got to go into the kitchen and help sort out the bugs for the birds to eat.  Then, they went to the wetlands room with the guy who runs the shows there (I cant remember his name, Lance would know) and they did a show for the people who came to watch.  He said there is a conure who has a vitamin deficiancy and she hops up on a scale and takes her medicine like a little champ before snagging a seed and flying away.  Some of the other birds were hopping on people’s hands and the one bird knows how to poop on command!  The show didn’t last very long because the audience was stupid.  They were shying away and ducking from the incan terns and stuff like that.  Losers. 

After that, they got to go into the flamingo pet and let the flamingos come up to them.  He said you squat down in the mud and they come up and groom you!  So cool!  He said though, if they honk at you, you have to leave.  Thats their warning before they attack! 

Then, they all got to help train some birds.  Lance got to point train a bird who was afraid of even the trainer because he was too tall!  Being short isnt always a sin! He’s really excited about next week and what he gets to do then!