Back in Btown

I’m back in Bloomington and while classes haven’t started; there’s so much stuff that I’ve got to do before the havoc begins:

  1. Register for C500 at the registrar’s office
  2. Register car (finally get Indiana license plates)/get Indiana driver’s license
  3. Get new car insurance policy
  4. Finally finish the bed that has been in the kitchen closet
  5. Buy a bookshelf and put order to the living area
  6. Find a dentist and get teeth cleaned
  7. Find a permanent doctor
  8. Buy textbooks
  9. Celebrate Elise’s b-day in Chicago
  10. Go to Cincy to visit an old chum 😉

It will get done… eventually. Tomorrow I will take care of problems 1,2, and 4. and tonight I will do problem 5.

Oh, I also found out that I will be teaching a gen chem discussion next semester!

Good fortune is already coming my way, and 2010 isn’t even here!


Time heals wounds

I’ve been doing lots of knittting; and I think I’ve finally gotten the knitting bug out of my system. Below you can see the mittens I knit using Cascade chunky alpaca. The yarn is absolutely delicious and the colour is simply brilliant! I had extra yarn after knitting the mittens up; so I made a matching ear warmer.

I’m now posting my 2 week eye incident update. You can see that the swelling is all gone, my eye is no longer bloodshot, and the bruising is down significantly. If you look at the full face picture, you can hardly notice it! I’m thinking/hoping its completely gone by new years, but we’ll see.

Finally, here is a sneak peak of the knitting I did for my friend’s holiday presents… I’ll post a more photos once the gifts have been distributed; I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise!

I’m looking forward to the new year, the new semester, and all that 2010 will bring!


And so this is Christmas

I’ve been spending loads of time with my folks this holiday and have been loving every minute of it. Christmas this year truly felt magical and I’m already dreading having to leave my family. I, for once, am accepting the fact that I did no work. I read a few publications for my own amusement, and aside from that, I did nothing chemistry related. It felt good.

Christmas morning I woke up and played around with my new toy…

yup, that’s right, a brand new DSLR. I never really knew that photography was such an art and science until I met Kyle. In my undergrad years I managed to befriend a photographer who taught me about the difficulties in translating how he wanted to frame a shot into how he needed to take the shot (i.e. adjust the shutter speed, aperture, ISO, etc.). Kyle now shoots with some hi-fi pro Canon DSLR, but he recommended an amateur Nikon DSLR to get me going on my new hobby.

After playing with the camera a bit, I’ve noticed that the auto mode on the camera works phenomenally, but I’ve been attempting to shoot photos in manual mode (based on Kyle’s suggestion). So far 1 in about 10 shots turns out looking half decent; hopefully that ratio gets better as I get more practice.

On another note, I’ve been doing a lot of Christmas knitting the last week. I’ve managed to knit a whole lot of :somethings: for my friends. I’ll post pictures after I distribute the presents; but I’m rather pleased with my handiwork as of late, not to mention, I’ve done well in downsizing on my yarn scraps 🙂

I thought I’d post a photo of the scale. My dad brought it back from one of his business trips to Dubai when I was no more than 10. I think this is the first time I’ve actually made practical use of it. The yarn on the scale is this delicious alpaca that I’m currently knitting a pair of mittens out of. I’ll be sure to post photos when I’m done knitting.

I guess that’s all for now. I’ll try to post more frequently now that the holiday mania is nearly over.


home for the holidays

This is the first year in which I’ve actually felt like I’m ‘home’ for the holidays. When I was an undergrad at Texas, I could come home any old time, but with research obligations, teaching, and classes, time off is rare and coming home even rarer.

I walked in the door on Friday to be greeted by my mother. It was a nice reunion, and since I’ve been home, we’ve been doing mother-daughter activities like holiday baking, knitting, talking about family, cooking, eating, shopping, watching movies, etc. I’m living it up at home and soaking every minute up of my mum and dad’s time. Sometimes it takes moving 1500 miles away to realize how much you will miss them.


Mostly grown up

I feel the end of the semester; my grading is done, and now I’m only one proctoring assignment and 2 separations questions away from being done. It’s been a great semester; I’ve grown so much as a person and feel like my perspectives on most things are changed. I’m more tolerant of the things people do; and I now find oddities to be even more endearing. It’s funny how I managed to survive what is the most painful course known to chemists here, but that what I’ve taken out of the course are the most amazing friends ever, a coffee addiction, and a slight appreciation for analog devices 😉

On a different note; my eye is healing rapidly.







Grading has taken over the last 2 days of my life. Of course, my students never fail to dissapoint; this is where the extra 15-20 minutes of my proctoring time goes…


The ice incident of 2009

3 hours after the incident (trying to not freak out):

18 hours after the incident
(swelling migrated south from frontal lobe area to eye):

24 hours after the incident (eye is swollen shut):

36 hours after the incident (still can’t open the eye):

Doctor says it should be gone in a couple of weeks; hopefully I can post a photo of a happy, smiling me, with 2 opened eyes in a few days to come.



And then, there was SNOW!

I woke up this morning to see snow. EVERYWHERE. I’m not talking about the wannabe flurries you would get in Texas and call ‘snow’… I’m talking bonafide, real-deal pure as white snow! I woke up and swooned… no ice to scrape off the car… just the brush to get the snow off the back. Such bliss…. until I realized that not only do I not know how to drive in this weather, but the rest of Indiana doesn’t either. It didn’t help that the trucks didn’t come out either… Sare rd. was a glorified iced over slip and slide. I’m now at work (much later than anticipated)… but it was so worth it to see the snow 🙂

Maybe next time, I’ll just skate my way to school


A few Thanksgivings later….

As the title suggests, I went to not one, not two, but three Thanksgivings!
Needless to say, I’m stuffed to the max. It’s okay though, I’m changed into pants with an elastic waist 🙂

Here are a couple of photos from Thanksgiving: The first one is the dinner at Dave’s and the second photo is of the grad student gathering…

I think I’ll keep this post simple and focus on my annual reflection of all that I have been thankful for.

1) Friends. I have the greatest friends a girl could ask for here in Bloomington. Quite frankly, this is a huge reason as to why I’ve decided to stay here and not move. My friends here have evolved into my family. It’s great!

2) My boss. Sure he’s eccentric, moody, and a bit of a maniac, but so am I. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Dave’s been great to me as a mentor thus far, it’s hard to come by people who are as encouraging as he’s been.

3) Love. I’m thankful to have my love for life. To go on a walk and fall in love with the wind, the ground beneath my feet, and feel God’s presence is a great feeling.

Of course, I’m thankful for all of the things I was thankful for last year, but this is just an addition to all of those things from before. I’m thinking I should make a list of all of this stuff… that way I can refer back to it when I feel like the world is against me.

Life is a gift, and I’m so thankful to have it.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!


Artificial Intelligence or Associate Instructor?

Many of you have heard my complaints regarding all that is C117 (general chemistry lab), but after giving it some consideration, I’ve decided to put a positive spin on things… Here are some cover sheets from a C117 student; I seriously think that my life span increased by a month just by reading these sheets.

One of my better students, sent me the following at the end of one of his e-mails:

“I’m also assuming that another reason that this might not be working is because the nearest value, and the lowest value (highlighted above) are outliers themselves. So, I don’t know what to do. The chances are that you probably won’t get this in time and the world will end, but it was worth a try. Please respond promptly — the future of the universe depends on it.”

It makes me happy when students care to learn, if I can help them find an appreciation for something I love doing, or at least help them understand my little corner of the universe, I have done my job.


Great weekend!

I had grandiose plans for the weekend, and I feel like while I did not accomplish everything on my to-do list, I got a lot of ‘me’ time in and I could not feel any better right now. I ended up tutoring yesterday, went to the arts festival I wanted to go to, bought fabric, and finally made the Roman shade I’ve been meaning to make: here are some pics of it:

I have quite a few reports to grade tonight, but I’m becoming super efficient at grading so I’m not at my wits end just yet. I also managed to work on my separations presentation. After meeting with my partner, we decided that we needed to make more slides, but all in all, we are making great headway and should have a finalised presentation by the end of the week!

The one thing that I didn’t get done that I wanted to was my C500 paper. It isn’t due for another 2 weeks, and it doesn’t need to be terribly profound, but I still wanted to knock it out of the way. Fortunately, this coming week isn’t terribly hectic, so I can probably get most of it done later if not tonight. My house is *still* a pigsty, I’m hoping that I’ll get grossed out enough to clean it this week.

Other than that, not too much to report. Things are shaping up as I find my niche here.

I like it 😉