Monday, December 30, 2013

The best is yet to come?

This is currently my desktop background.

I don't know how accurate it is, but I would like to think that it's true, the best is yet to come.
To be honest, everything kind of has nowhere to go but up.
I'm not trying to be pessimistic here, but I am being real, and reality has been harsh this past year.
So, what does 2014 have in store? Let's look at the year ahead. It oughta be a good one.
Classes at Northwest next semester:
Professional Media Writing- Pretty pumped for this class. I got a professor I had this semester, and he's pretty great!
Intro to Design- An art class. I'll be honest and say that I am a little bit trepidatious about being graded on my art, :) but it is a requirement for my major and I'm excited to see what I'll get to create! 
Media Design- I'm excited about this class. It's all about layouts and using the computer to create things for different types of media!
Intro to Advertising-Pumped for this class too! I'm really interested in advertising and it's taught by my advisor, and she's super neat!
University Chorale- What can I say, I'll be back in choir and I can't wait!
Symphonic Band- What can I say, band is great!
Yearbook practicum- I can't wait to see what this class has in store! Basically, I'll be helping to create and publish the yearbook!
*Summary of my feelings on my classes next semester: PUMPED! :)*

Things happening next year:
Studying abroad (maybe)- Look out world!
Retreats with Navigators/J-Team- I can't wait for these! So many neat opportunities!
J-Team in general-J-Team (Joshua Team) is this really cool thing that you can do through Navigators. According to the Navigators, "Joshua Team is a 6-week program designed to develop your spiritual leadership, discipline and vision." It's based around Numbers 32:12.
Being a Sophomore in college next fall!- Ok, this isn't an opportunity, it's an absolute, and it's absolutely exciting thought!
Finding a summer job- Someone, please hire me! I'm friendly, punctual, and I work hard! Also, I'm cute, if that makes a difference.... :)

Overall, 2014 is on a good track right now! I don't really do the whole resolution thing, but I do like to look for something that I can change for the better in the new year. I certainly have a thing or two, but it's mostly about learning from the year before (both good and bad) and moving on from there. Here's some of my inspiration for the new year:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ecstatic: The Math, Arrow, and Frozen Reasons

Humans. I am on top of the figurative world. On TOP of it, I tell you. I know all y'all are wondering why. AND I WILL TELL YOU HOMO SAPIENS WHY. (I would also like to point out: This blog is about our experiences at college. Which includes life. Not strictly college-related activities. As evidenced by past posts.)

1. I just finished my LFR final. Meaning I finished my math final. I never have to take another math class again. I am DONE with math for the rest of my life. This makes me happy. So happy, in fact, that I was wondering on the walk back when the last time was when I was so happy. And I remembered.

My test was like this. Only with letters instead of numbers.
And then Satan said, "Let's put the alphabet in math."

2. The last episode of the TV show Arrow. (On the CW 8/7c on Wednesday nights.) That perfect show with the PERFECT TOMMY MERLYN. Because Tommy Merlyn is the most perfect of individuals. And Oliver is my freaking would-be child. I swear, the world is so cruel to him. I want to tuck him in, give him warm milk, and hiss away all the people who try to hurt him/the WRITERS. (Who are beyond amazing. If I can ever become half of the writers they are, I will have accomplished something.)
It occurs to me that some of you may not be aware or used to this sort of reaction when it comes to characters, or even people in general: fictional or not. And I would say that this is normal, but I am pretty much a nut. My circle of friends at college and my family are used to this, and even partake in similar actions. (Not for Arrow. This is my show. But other shows/books/movies/characters and such.) But my greatest passion in this world is storytelling, and when I manage to find something with good plot, setting, characters, and production, I get excited. I get very excited. And there is no shame in finding joy in what you love.

3. Talking about wonderful storytelling reminds me of the time BEFORE the Arrow mid-season finale that got me ecstatically happy. Seeing Frozen. It came out the Wednesday before Thanksgiving this year, and there was a huge cry of "Best musical experience since The Lion King" and stuff. There was a nice round 100% on Rotten Tomatoes from the critics.
And let me tell you: I can see why. This movie is simply beautiful. Frozen follows two princess sisters, Elsa and Anna. Elsa has the ability to control and create snow and ice, and these abilities are revealed during her coronation day. Elsa runs away, and by doing so brings and eternal winter over the kingdom. Anna has to go and find her sister and bring her back to stop the winter.
Several of you know that I am a huge animation buff. Especially the movies that come from Disney, Disney/Pixar, and Dreamworks. And this movie completely hit all the right notes. Since I love animation so much, I'm biased when it comes to movies like this, but I also know what to look for and appreciate. The music brought me to tears. The songs were beautifully constructed, and "Let it Go", the big musical number, has been nominated for a Golden Globe and a Critics Choice Award. The animation of the snow was wonderfully done, and looked real. And the story. There were a couple of twists that I didn't see coming, which is unique since Disney tends to stick to the same formula.
So yeah. Frozen was a beautiful movie, and you can bet money that I'll be seeing it again, despite having seen it three times already.

Now to go pack for my MONTH LONG BREAK THAT STARTS ON MY BIRTHDAY (tomorrow) AND STUDY FOR MY ASTRONOMY FINAL WHICH IS AT 8PM TONIGHT. What is with this world and dumb test times? Seriously.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Bit of Advice to Myself

Hello!  Tomorrow, I will be halfway done being a freshman!  And I feel the need to give some advice to my second semester self.

Dear Eliza,
Here's what I've learned my first semester at college.

- Don't overbook yourself.  No committing to another regular activity or taking extra shifts at work.  As cool as RUSH was, next year I will not be taking part :)  Time management = good grades + relaxing weekends.
Never let anyone pressure you into doing anything.  As kind and well-meaning as they are, they have never been a pre-nursing major.  This sounds snooty, but it's true.

- This semester, read everything your prof gives you.  This includes syllabi and anything he/she has typed up.  This will save trouble later.

-  Stress and worry are really stupid.  If you feel that way, just do the next thing.  Ya know that phrase?  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  Just do one little to do item and keep on trucking.  College is all about being mentally strong, it seems.  The persevering win in the end.

- If you stay up late pinning on a week night, you may doze off in chapel the next day.  And the chaplain may happen to see you with your eyes closed.  Just speaking from personal experience here...

- As much as you want to do the honors program, as good as it looks on a grad school application, you really don't have time.  You know what else looks good on that application?  Actually getting your BSN!  And actually getting good grades! Ha ha


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Breathing the Same Air as a Celebrity

Okay, so Happy Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza to all. To all of you who were wondering: No. No decorations on my floor.
No, this isn't my dorm hallway. I was too lazy to go and take an actual picture. So I borrowed from the Internet.
However. There was some excitement earlier tonight. And I'll tell you why.

There was a very well known actor who was in Iowa City earlier today, and was on the University of Iowa campus to make the moment sweeter. Who was this dashing actor, you may ask?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Well known for his roles as Arthur in Inception, Jim Hawkins in Treasure Planet, John Blake in The Dark Knight Rises, and scads of other movies and things that involve acting in front of a camera.

Apparently, the man has family in Des Moines, and a personal friend of his is a professor here at UI. The story is as follows:

Kelly, a girl who lives down the hall from me, was sitting in her rhetoric class. And in waltzes JG-L.

Kelly got to meet him and everything.

I kid you not, you all should have seen the uproar my floor became when we got wind of this. There were a few people who entered meltdown mode. A close friend and my RA were curled up in the fetal position in the middle of the hallway. There was talk about hunting him down at the Sheraton. (The nice hotel in the middle of downtown Iowa City.) There was talk about running outside looking for him.

It was awesome. And scary. But yeah. I was breathing the same air as an actor I really like.

I kid you not. This video makes me love him even more. Some of the best 11 seconds YouTube has to offer.

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate, and happy holidays to those of you who do not.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmastime is Here...

I don't know about Eliza or Billie, but around here, finals are looming like, like,  well, I'm plumb out of similes here, so they're just looming. Honestly, my brain is still feeling a bit mushy from the 2 hours I spent on a stats test/final today. Instead of giving us a final next week, our teacher just made our last test our "final" too. That's great, but boy, I walked out of that classroom in a daze. I did figure out one great thing about dorm life, though. Last night, since a good percentage of the people in our little Freshman wing are in Stats, everyone was studying, and if people had questions, they'd just wander from one room to the next to find answers! It was great!
In other news, it is now December, which means that our floor is looking quite festive. I'm not into decorating before Thanksgiving, but I say after Thanksgiving, do as you please! In my case, that means that, much to the disdain of my sister, I pretty much only listen to all of my Christmas stations on Pandora on shuffle. It works great because I have everything from Christian to Classical to Rock to Country! It's even better than the radio! Kelli does not appreciate these festivities, but that's just TOO BAD.
Here in my wing, it is looking quite festive indeed. Let me show you!
Here's a view down my wing. It doesn't look like much,
but let me show you around!

This bathroom door is looking very seasonal...and also a bit dangerous...

Here's a wreath that Ashton made...completely out of shopping bags!!
It looks even cooler in person!
Here are some snowflake decorations that are just the slightest bit inconvenient...

Andrea demonstrates just how low these snowflakes are hanging...

Layne and Amy's door... which leads into the best decorated room
in my opinion. They have Christmas lights covering their ceiling!!

Here are some creatively hung lights that were hung by some girls
around the guys' rooms because they were being Grinches...:)

Here's Miranda and my door. Glitter ribbon!!

This is the extent of the Christmas lights in our room. It actually
casts a nice glow!
After this next week, I'll be heading home to celebrate Christmas with my family, and I CAN'T WAIT!
Even with all of the wrapping paper, lights, and bows, let's not forget what Christmas is really about. I think Linus sums it up best in what could quite possibly be my favorite scene from a Christmas movie EVER.