a good weekend.

When I decided to be a social being and move to Cincinnati, I had a vision of how weekends would look. This weekend was exactly that.

On Friday, I rounded up a group of people to head to Kings Island for Halloween Haunt. We didn’t do any of the haunted houses or anything, but I just have to say, being on roller coasters in the pitch black of midnight is AWESOME. A much better thrill than ye olde daytime roller coasters.

Saturday I headed down to Great American to watch the Pirates in the second game of the series vs the Reds to decide who got home field for the Wild Card. The Pirates won 8-3, with 6 of those runs being homers. It was incredible, and there were more Pirates fans there than I expected to see. We got some loud chants going! The only downside was the sunburn that quickly took over my legs.

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What I really feel the need to express, though, is my new level of respect for the Reds organization. I didn’t print my ticket beforehand because I wanted a real ticket for memories and stuff, and of course I walked around the whole stadium before I found anything that looked like a box office. I gave up and walked into the VIP box office and asked them to point me in the right direction, which turned out to be right around the corner. The executive director of the Reds Hall of Fame walked me over and even gave me a free ticket to the HoF. He asked me where I was sitting and then during the 7th inning stretch I got to go and spend the rest of the game in one of the suites. After the game, I got a personal tour of the HoF and even a free drink! Classy move taking in the lost Buccos fan. Minimal heckling.

After the game I headed back to Newport and stumbled into some sort of food festival. It was hot so I decided to treat myself to Coldstone and check it out. There was a band that did a pretty legit mash-up of Semi-Charmed Life and Call Me Maybe. I was walking past one of the booths when I heard the phrase “grilled cheese donut”, so you know I turned myself around and got in line. That’s just one of those things you have to try.

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Not too bad either.

Saturday night I headed back to Newport to meet up with some of my co-workers and live it up for a bit.

And today I listened to the Steelers go 0-4, so I guess it wasn’t all good.

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what i’ve been up to.

How’s Cincinnati? What kinds of things have you been doing without spending lots of money? Great questions. Here’s a little insight.

I’ve enjoyed a delicious frozen Baha Blast from Taco Bell and toured a really big house in northern Kentucky. That drink totally matched the green in my dress, but the sun ruined it in the picture. Sad day.

 

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I stayed with my friends for a pretty awesome Arrested Development party/season 4 marathon. We had themed food and everything.

 

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I’ve enjoyed my plastic covered desk chair that acts as our patio furniture.

 

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…I’m bad at selfies.

I’ve discovered a memorial park beside the Sharonville library.

 

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I’ve taken a silly book out and spent time poolside.

 

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Anyway, my church is hosting something called Summer of Service next week. It brings in about 800 kids or so for worship and community outreach. I signed up for 3 volunteer slots as a cafe cashier, cook, and packed lunch maker–Laurelville and Macy’s have given me ALL the skills. I’m kind of upset I didn’t look at the volunteer list sooner, some get to go kayaking! It should feel good to get involved though.

more pictures.

I got most of my Pittsburgh wall decor up. I think it’s an accurate division of my sports love. It’s still too humid for me to trust the 3Ms yet, so my multitude of pennants and Pens canvas must wait for another day.

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The pool and fitness center. We have a sand volleyball pit and a little patio area behind the pool.

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books.

Since I moved to Cincinnati, I find myself without the ability to watch TV or the money to go out and do a lot of things. Being as such, I’ve been spending a considerable amount of my free time reading; I’ll never be one to complain about that.

For the first time in my life, I have a library card. It’s pretty awesome not to have to wait for the books I want to own to be released in paperback before I get to read them. (I don’t care for hardbacks, and I hate mixed sets.) I was finally able to read the rest of the Hunger Games novels and the third installment of the Heist Society series, and I’ve reread a favorite from my own library as well.

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I had run across a list of interesting books to read in your twenties, but when I returned to the library I couldn’t find any of them. Instead, I found one of my favorite authors and grabbed a few of his works I haven’t been through yet. Hocus Pocus sounds especially interesting, and I’m always ready to read more about the strange concoction of a character that is Kilgore Trout.

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I was also able to pick-up and finally watch the Perks of Being a Wallflower DVD. It made me miss Pittsburgh at night and crave grilled stickies. And of course, I was watching it while tracking the Pens 6-1 loss to Boston, so the irony of “‘How about the Pens this year, dad?’ ‘It’s like they’re allergic to defense.'” was not lost on me.

What are you guys reading these days? Any recommendations for my next library trip? My literary taste ranges from novels meant for teenagers to satire to classics to books on economic theory. Anything goes.

so i moved to cincinnati.

Hey, remember that time I was going to write reflections on every year of college? Oops…

Anyway, as you probably know, I just moved to Cincinnati because friends and work opportunities and stuff. I live in a really nice little area. Here are some pictures, as promised.

Our lovely front door:

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My color-coded bookshelf:

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Another corner of my room:

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Some stuff beside my closet:

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I have a bed, too. Don’t worry.

Our bathroom:

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Our kitchen. Shout out to the MP Vikes!

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Our dining room. Someday we will have a table & chairs and maybe even a pantry more functional than my collection of lime green crates.

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Our living room/deck:

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It’s a nice place, and it has more closets than you could ever want. I didn’t include a picture from our deck because all you can see is the roof of some building. It’s not very pretty.

asbury: the first semester.

I arrived at Asbury in a zombified state, with a dresser full of polos and not a dress in the closet (I now own zero polos and over twenty dresses).  My family drove to Kentucky in the middle of the night, and I was tired.  Out of this came an ID photo that I still hate to look it; I wasn’t a pretty sight.  However, I was at college, and my excitement couldn’t hide behind sleepy eyes forever.  My RA said I was the most enthusiastic freshman she had ever seen.  This meant that on day one I was already succeeding in my goal to be a different person than I was in high school.  That previous summer, I worked at my childhood church camp.  It did wonders to bring me out of my shell, and I was determined to keep that going.

My energy was waning by the time I finally met my roommate.  “HI!!!!!” She came in screaming; I was mortified.  Let’s back up to the day I got that letter in the mail telling me someone named Alex Gervasi was assigned as my roommate.  I did as any eager 18-year old would and immediately logged onto Facebook.  I typed in her name and stopped. “Oh. My. What have they done?” I thought.  Big hair, big sunglasses.  This girl and I could never be a good match.  The first few days in our room were pretty quiet, almost eerily so.  Thankfully there was football for us to relate over.  Almost four years later, I’m happy to say that this girl is one of my best friends.

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One of the larger parts of my first semester was TAG.  I was blessed with a TAG group I actually liked; we were a pretty tight bunch, and I’m still close to quite a few of them.  We had a blast preparing a Napoleon Dynamite dance scene for our masquerade, and our performance won us a s’mores campfire.  It was one of the saddest fires I had ever seen.  We were cold and miserable, but we still managed to have a good time.  I was pleased to find two other math people in my TAG group: my friend Scott and one of our leaders, BJ.

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fruit roll ups!

I had little idea what to expect as a college math major. Happily, I found the Asbury math department to be nothing like the stereotypical idea.  My advisor/professor was awesome and always asked me about football.  There were a lot of dating jokes, a lot of math salutations, and lot of friendly faces.  There is no other department as close knit as this one.  Once monthly we all got together for First Friday, a social event with (gasp!) real food!  I’ve met some truly great people out of this major.

As Asbury thinks highly of community, halls are a big thing.  There were a lot of freshman on my hall as well as on our brother hall, The Brotherhood.  I’m still close to all of those guys.  Our weekly dinners were practically a crime to miss, and as a sister hall, we had a blast baking the guys cookies and supporting them at their intramural games.  Also, man leg.

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While most of my friends came out of hall, department, and TAG events, some came out of chance.  Annie and I didn’t like each other at first, and I’m not sure what the turning point was, but by the end of September, we were basically best friends.

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And that about sums up my first semester.

coming soon.

As one of my goals for the new year, I hope to be diligent with writing. There have been my posts I’ve had in my head that haven’t been published because I just never get around to sitting down and writing them out. However, they’ve pretty much all been about the European Union and my thoughts on Germany’s place in it moving forward. It’s doubtful many people would want to read that anyway.

Instead, as graduation comes closer and I find myself looking back, I’ve decided to write reflections posts on each semester of my undergraduate experience.  Would anyone be interested in reading them?

hindsight is always clearer.

I’ve found this too be quite applicable to my collegiate academic life.  With grad school deadlines approaching, you’ve all likely heard or seen me stress about how unprepared I am.  I came into school loving math, and I’m leaving loving economics.  I chose a major that supported both, and I assumed the math background it gave me would give me an edge when applying to grad programs in economics.  I, however, was wrong.  As it turns out, I don’t even meet the prerequisites.  Since I go to a small school, I wasn’t given the opportunity to take intermediate levels of micro- and macroeconomics.  And because it wasn’t required for my major, I never took the economics course in statistics when it was offered.  These three classes are now laughing at me from the fancy websites of all the programs I’d love to get into.  I have no doubt that I could easily soar through these, if given the chance.

I don’t want to settle for other programs.  The options I’m facing are these:

1. Take classes online.  This is the only way to go for micro/macro.  When I emailed the director of one program, he advised me to stay away from for-profit schools like University of Phoenix.  That school is such a joke, and I’m pretty sure we made fun of it almost every week in senior sem.  My first instinct was to check my local community college.  Since I was top 10% in my HS, I was (and should still be?) eligible to take classes there for free.  Of course, they don’t offer intermediate levels either.  I started googling, and I’ve become frightened of the prices for a lot of online courses.  Finally I came across one with an application fee of $25 and a per credit charge of $25.  Thus, I could take both courses for $175, but there’s no way that could be true, is there? I have to be missing something. It’s Park University in Missouri.  Seems legit.  Their classes run 8 weeks so I could take one in January and start the other in March.  That way, I wouldn’t be crazy overloaded.

2.  I’ve found two ways to take Stats next semester.  The psych department is running Stats for Behavioral Sciences.  They use a statistical program and all.  It seems like it would teach all the right material, just applied to a different area.  The problem here is both classes are full, so I’d need to convince the prof to let me in or do a directed study.  The math department is running Probability and Statistics, which is different than the course in probability I already had.  I checked with that same director, and it would cover the requirement for that school at least.  The problem here is it runs at 11:00, and I already have a needed class then so I’d definitely have to do a directed study.  The problem with both of these is that they would put me one credit over max, meaning I’ll have to drop tennis/badminton. 😦

Yoi and Double Yoi.  I’m taking one complicated path to grad school.  I’m also procrastinating a ten page paper for my political science final, a paper I wouldn’t even have to write if I had known I needed stats and had taken that this semester instead.

red river gorge-ous.

I got my first taste of how hard it can be to convince Zealous kids to do stuff together recently.  After a week of spending almost every meal in the cafeteria lobby trying to convince my classmates to come on our camping trip, I had a list of 16 brave souls.  When the time came, just 8 of us made the journey to the Red River Gorge.  My spirits were dim as I stood in the parking lot crossing off names, and I decided it would be a long year for me as Activities Director.  The night became significantly greater on the drive to the Gorge with Amanda, Krysti, and Stockton.  The trip was hilarious, and we messed up our directions quite a few times, turning around in abandoned gas station parking lots and driving on roads that suddenly ended.  The drive took twice as long as it should have.

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We got to Koomer Ridge a little after nine.  The place is run by this really nice older couple.  As we got settled in, we tried to start building a fire.  We tried, we tried, and we tried, but the kindling wouldn’t stay lit long enough to catch any of the dry logs.  After almost an hour of defeat, we decided we needed to ask our campsite neighbors for help.

*note: This post was started on September 28. It is now December. I’m slow.  This is no longer going to be a descriptive tale, but more of a short summary.

Our camping neighbors were nice enough to give us a fire starter log, which we may or may not have opened incorrectly and had a difficult time using.  Eventually, we got a nice fire going and broke out the campfire necessities.  I learned that strawberry marshmallows make delicious s’mores.

*It is yet another week and a half or so later. Finishing this sucker now, because I want to start new posts.

The next morning, half of our group left for school as the rest of us headed to the infamous Miguel’s for lunch.  It’s a known spot to all who head out to the Gorge; they have highly unique pizza toppings.  We ordered one with feta cheese and chicken, and it was quite tasty.

We headed to the Gorge and decided to head to Courthouse Rock.  On the drive over, we came across a cute little dog in the middle of a dangerous stretch of road.  There weren’t any houses around, so we grabbed the dog and took her with us.  The Gorge was beautiful, weather could not have been more perfect, and we found people willing to take the dog to the nearest shelter.  It was a great trip.

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things just kind of suck right now.

I came into this year thinking it could be stress-free. Or at least as stress free as college can be. I signed up for 17 credits, including Real Analysis, arguably the school’s hardest course, but thought I was making it okay be pairing it with gen chem, 2 seminars, and ceramics. I was wrong. It’s possibly more work than I’ve ever had—seminars do NOT mean an easy work-load, apparently.  Add this to the fact that I have less free time than ever and I’m in pretty bad shape.

I signed up for class cabinet this year because I thought it would be fun.  I was totally unaware that my commitment to that put me on Student Congress, Student Activities Board, and a sub-committee.  In addition, we don’t have a male activities director, so I have twice the work to do on cabinet already.  There’s a Bible study I really want to do on Monday night. I have class from 8am-9pm on Tuesdays, save the 9:25 block.  I even have meeting twice a month during dead hour.  As of now, Wednesdays are free, and I work the math lab from 7-11 on Thursday.  Somewhere in here I also need to find [a lot of] extra time to go to the art annex and work on my ceramics projects.

I’d probably be able to manage this if I weren’t in dire need of a second job, but I am if I have any hope of making next semester’s loan payments.  I’m going to start looking for somewhere to work weekends, but this takes up at least half of my time to do schoolwork.  I get stressed so easily.  I stress about the possibility of being stressed.  I know I’ve over-shot myself, and I don’t know what to do about it.

I feel like I need to drop something.  I can’t drop cabinet; we don’t have enough people as it is, and I really like planning activities.  It’s just a lot to do by myself.  I’m not dropping Bible study; I need that in my life.  If you’ve seen me the past week, maybe you’ve noticed I’ve haven’t quite been myself.  I feel like there’s such a weight on my shoulders, and I know I’m going to collapse under it if I don’t ease up.  I just keep thinking about where I’ll be a month from now if stuff is already piling up.  Not to mention last week I found out my shelves at home broke off the wall and shattered my ceramics from high school.  That hurt me to the core.  Not to mention just a few days ago my car broke down again for no reason and I’m going to be scared to drive it for awhile.  I’m running on empty; I barely slept last night.  God is great and all (really), but He’s never been one to lay out what I should do (it can never be that easy, can it?), and I’m not getting any help on this either.  The way I see it, these are my options:

-Drop Real.  This is the class that eats up every minute I have.  I can read the book, study the notes, try the problems, repeat several times, and it still doesn’t get easier.  Not to mention I don’t even want to do math like this anymore.  I love the math department, and math classes are always great to be in, but my heart just isn’t in the work, especially since I figured out I’m absolutely going into econ this summer.  That being said, I can’t even imagine how much I’d be disappointing my professors and fellow peers if I dropped.  I’d be so full of shame.  There are only four of us duking it out (pun intended) to beat the class as is. On top of that, I know that Real could help me get into grad school for econ, because there is similar math involved in some areas.  But I don’t even know if I want to go to grad school… I also have this thing about me where I like to do things the hard way, and keeping this course would definitely be the hard way.

-Drop my American Foreign Policy Sem.  It would free me up Tuesdays from 6:30-9.  That’s it though; the class isn’t much more than reading.  It’s been rough so far though because the book I need that shipped a long time ago still isn’t here so I’m 200 pages behind.  I really want to be in this class though. I actually ENJOY it.  It’s round-table discussion based and reminds me of my econ courses.

-Drop my seminar on International Financial Markets.  This is a T/Th 8 am, and when I signed up for it, I thought it was on markets AND investments.  I already had a class in financial markets by a professor that can’t be topped.  However, this is probably most pertinent to what I’m doing, and again, it’s interesting.  I like it, and there’s very little work outside of class.  VERY little work.

-Don’t get a job and try to delay my loans until after graduation like normal people do.  I lose money doing this though, and as a Financial Math major, I don’t like that.  I’m spending enough on school as it is.

Writing this out has been nice.  Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but let me assure you, it’s eating at me.  Advice?