Monday, January 26, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

I don't have much time, but I'll share a few interesting tidbits.

First, I've become totally fascinated. I used to love astronomy when I was younger, and that has sorta been replaced with ancient history. Lately, I've been enjoying my astronomy class, as it has awoken my former geekiness in astronomy. Yesterday, Dr. La mentioned something called the heliosphere, which has something to do either with the extent of the sun's gravity or something like that, and also Voyagers 1 and 2 having passed boundaries of part of said heliosphere. He didn't talk much about it, so I went on-line after class and did some research of my own. I'm fascinated with the whole thing, but then anything mysterious and unknown fascinates my geeky brain.

Second, I've been a bit social at school and with friends. A few weeks ago, GGC had a pool party to celebrate the indoor pool being opened. I must be frank, but the party completely stank. They brought in an aerobics teacher and had the twenty or so party guests get into the moderately warm water and do water aerobics. Some of the guests, including myself, stopped the aerobics at a certain point and sat on the edge. So, by the time the aerobics was done, I had little energy left for casual swimming. I left about thirty minutes before the party was over, as aerobics had taken up most of the two hour slot for the party, but I wasn't sad I left. I think the pool party was just a front to get people to do aerobics. Anyway, last Saturday, there was a better social event: Ben Greer's 18th birthday party. We arrived at his house around 4 PM and stayed until about 9 PM or so. We had a blast playing catch phrase, paper telephone, twister, and then the boys played some pranks on Mandy and Bethany during dinner, including dropping a bean or two on their heads or trying to throw stuff into their unprotected cups. All in all, it was a wonderful party. The party pictures are at the following link:

Third, it seems that there's either been sickness or pain in the family for the past few days. On Friday, Seth began having a dull pain right above his left eye. It went away on Friday night (while he was playing the Wii that a friend brought over while she spent the night with Mandy), but it returned full-force on Saturday. Mom and Dad thought it might have been a sinus infection, so they gave him an oil of oregano, and he perked up quickly. However, it returned to haunt him late Saturday evening at Ben's party. We were going to take him to the doctor yesterday, but he was feeling fine so we didn't. So far, we don't know what it is/was. Meanwhile, Mandy, probably due to running around on Friday and Saturday, caught a cold that has made her nose run like crazy and given her a little fever. She wanted to dry up her nose, so she took some Benadryl at school yesterday. Bad idea. Mandy was falling asleep during school, and she slept deeply in the car when Mom picked me up from school. She was doing all right this morning, but we'll have to see if she can fight it off with vitamins.

Well, that's all I can think of for now. I'm sure to remember something and post it eventually.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First Week of Classes

As of now, I can now say that I have been through one week of college and now know a little better how to judge my classes and what to expect. On Wednesday morning I learned that I did not have physical science lab that day and thus only had one class. I spent the morning and early afternoon at Building A until I went to Building B for my government class. Dr. Budryte is Lithuanian and seems nice and enthusiastic, but government/ politics has never really been my subject, so the class is only ok. On Thursday, I had another long day with only one class in the morning and none in the afternoon. Dr. Haynes in psychology was nice, but I'm still not sure what to think about the class itself yet. I spent the afternoon after lunch at the gym, and I felt good afterwards. On Friday morning, I arrived at Building A and spent ten minutes trying to find my classroom in the maze (no kidding, students have gotten lost looking for the bathroom). When I found it, I was amazed to find that classroom was absolutely huge. The science class hasn't changed much, as I have one of the same teachers and several of the same classmates. It was almost like I'd never left, to an extent. After school on Friday, Mom took me to Geneva and I hung out there for the rest of the day. So finished my "first" yet incomplete week of classes.

The second week has been very busy, as it is my first complete week of the new semester. I now can sort of tell which classes I like and which ones I'm not really interested in. On Tuesday, I was nervous when I went into my history class mostly because the last evening class I took (chemistry) I flunked and dropped out of. However, I met Dr. Mason and my fears were laid to rest. He is a nice guy and often made funny remarks that made the whole class laugh. The history class looks very in-depth, focusing not on dates but on why events happened and how they impacted future events, which is what I'm used to. I'm also looking forward to the newspaper project that's due at the end of the semester, as it'll require me to look up an old copy of the New York Times and talk about how different America was at the time. Too bad the class only meets once a week, but I so far I don't mind the length of the class. I'm also liking the science class, as right now we're talking about astronomy, a subject that I'm fairly knowledgable in. I also met my earth science teacher Dr. Purcell, and he's also nice and made the class fun. Government is an ok class, not a favorite, though I am proud to have gotten one of the highest scores in a baseline test that determined how much we knew about government and current politics. Psychology is also an ok class and is a little bit boring, and I believe I've finally managed to get a copy of the expensive textbook. I've been going to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and tomorrow I'm looking forward to the pool party (it's indoors and heated) that GGC is throwing.

Seth and Mandy had a quiet first week back at school. The seniors and juniors (Cliff, Ben, and Christopher) took the junior/senior trip up the eastern coast, with Pastor Chris going with them. Seth and Mandy were quickly bored, as Mr. Price was not teaching that week and Pastor Chris and three of their schoolmates were gone. Mandy missed her classes, as most of them were study halls, and was glad to get her teachers back this week. Yesterday the seniors, juniors, and Pastor Chris returned, much to the happiness of the teachers and students. For Geneva at Home this week, Mom did some simple tests on a few students to determine blood type. One of her young students actually fainted after being pricked with the needle, but it was interesting that his younger brother in a different class fainted the same day while giving a book report. Anyway, the students at Geneva have had fun pricking their fingers to find out their blood type. Mandy had a bad experience with hers, as Bethany did the pricking and did it three times, way more than necessary, and Mandy was then disappointed to discover her blood is not O positive like most of her classmates and friends.

On Saturday, Mandy and I had a nice time going shopping with Grandma Linda and Granny. We first went to the Mall of Georgia and shopped at a few shops before stopping for lunch at the food court. Mandy and I went to Chick-fil-A for lemonade, which we're allowed to drink because it's real lemonade, and then we shared a plate of Chinese chicken, which we devoured quickly and bought a second. Then we went to Old Navy and then to a thrift store in Buford. We had fun at the thrift store, as we were estimating our sizes due to the fact there were no changing rooms and we even took a few pictures. Mandy and I both bought underwear, some tops, some skirts, and then Mandy got jeans and a pajama outfit that came with a fleece blanket. We had a nice time going out and celebrating our early birthdays.

In regards to the diet, we had to end on the third day because preparing the food was too time-consuming for Mom. However, we've cut back on the sugar we eat and also cut down eating portions. I've gotten used to being hungry and haven't dashed to the kitchen or the vending machines for food as often as I used to, and I've drank almost only water for almost two weeks, except for some orange juice, lemonade on Saturday, and then a little sparkling grape juice. It's actually not been bad, except yesterday I had a craving for a coke but forced myself to ignore it and drink water instead. Mom's begun losing weight already, and we girls have been pretty consistent in avoiding sugar. Another reason we're ignoring sugary drinks is that Mom read an article where they discovered that drinks with high fructose corn syrup can make a person's liver look like that of an alcoholic, so we've not been drinking anything with that in it.

Well, that's all I can think of for now.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Last Week of Christmas Break

My, how time does fly, yet it still seems to go by slowly at the same time. It feels like forever since I've been in school, yet the days have gone by at a relatively fast rate.

The last week of Christmas break was less hectic than Christmas week had been, much to Mom's relief. On Monday, Mandy and I went to an indoor pool with the Abrahams, Presleys, and some of their friends. We had a good time with the kids. It was odd to be swimming in December, but the water was nice and the pool wasn't too crowded. However, there was a window cleaning guy that made me suspicious. He spent an hour and a half cleaning the large windows, but most of the time he just stared at the pool and those who were frolicking in it and then not really cleaning the windows. Very suspicious..... On Tuesday, Mandy went to the zoo with Bethany, the Abrahams, and their friends the Groths. She took several pictures with her new camera, including one of an adorable baby panda that I wish I had as a pet. On Wednesday, I spent part of the day doing my random historical research that turns on the history geek switch. We didn't have anything planned for New Years' Eve, so we hung out at home, ate Steak N' Shake for dinner, and watched a couple of movies. On Thursday, Dad had the day off and we relaxed at home. I did even more research, and I'm currently working on a historical theory though I'm going to need to read more books on the subject, which will require me to use the GGC library (which has only a few books) or to request books from other USG colleges in Georgia. On Friday, Mandy and I went over to the Abrahams' house to babysit Avalyn and Kyle (Keira was with her grandparents) while Bethany and Adrian took pictures for a wedding. Avalyn slept most of the time we were there, and we had to wake her up for dinner. Kyle was awake most of the time (as he refused to take a nap), so Mandy and I watched a movie and kept an eye on the active boy. Dinner was good, as we bought some cheese sticks, potato skins, and popcorn chicken from Kroger as well as some macaroni and cheese. Avalyn herself complimented Mandy on the meal and ate most of it, which is a feat since she seems to eat like a bird sometimes. Avalyn and Kyle both loved Mandy's new toy pig Wilbur (you press his head, and he oinks and his nose glows blue), and Avalyn at one point believed that Wilbur was hers. Sounds like a birthday present idea..... On Saturday, we woke up at a normal time, picked up Bethany, and then drove to Dawsonville to go shopping with our Christmas money (we were planning on going to Commerce but we decided against it). It was a productive and fun day. Mandy and Bethany spent most of the time together, away from the rest of us, and they both bought shirts. Mandy bought fur boots, but they were too big so she had to return them. Dad and Seth both bought two nice pairs of pants from Dickie's, and Seth contemplated buying a new game but decided to wait and read some reviews before buying it. Mom bought two new shirts and some other things, and I bought clothes for working out in, new flats from Clarks, a blue dress, new jeans, and other stuff. We also enjoyed our last fast food meal for a while when we ate Zaxby's for lunch.

Yesterday (Monday) Mom, Mandy, and I started the South Beach diet. Since we're on phase 1, that means we're on the "cleansing and killing your cravings" stage. My meals mainly consisted of vegetables with some meat, though I remained hungry almost all day. I never realized how much sugar and junk food I eat, and it's been quite an eye-opening experience. Still, the food's not been bad. Last night we had delicious chicken, green beans, and squash pasta with tomato sauce. I'd never had squash before, and it actually tasted food with the sauce. Then I had jell-o with whipped cream for dessert and later some raw cauliflower and low-fat ranch dressing for a late-night snack. So far it's not been too bad, although I'll probably have a different opinion by the end of the week, after I go back to college and then see everyone else eating sandwiches and burgers while I'm eating a salad. And Blair better not tempt me with a coke or she shall regret it... hehe.

College for me starts tomorrow (Wednesday), and this may be my last semester at GGC. I've finally got my classes nailed down. I'm taking psychology (with a teacher who is said to be one of the best), physical science 2 and its lab (I still have Dr. La, but I also get a new teacher. I'm looking forward to studying astronomy as well as earth science since I haven't studied either since 8th grade), political science (one of those stupid required classes that you don't really need, especially since I already feel like I took political science when I took English 1), and US History II. After the incident with Rafshoon on the last day of class, I decided not to take her again. However, the teacher I wanted (a Dr. Mason who is said to be very knowledgeable, has a passion for history, and is otherwise great) had all-full classes, so I decided to take World History II instead. Yet, I kept my eye on banner (where students register for their classes) to see if an opening came up, and my patience paid off when I found an opening for Mason's class. I quickly grabbed it before someone else could. I'm looking forward to the class, yet I'm a bit nervous because it's a once-a-week night class and the last time I took one I had to drop out because I was failing badly. Mom, however, pointed out that I'm good with history and will be fine, so I hope she's fight and my fears are ungrounded.

As I mentioned earlier, this may be my last semester at GGC. I've been thinking about becoming a history major, but a few teachers at Christ College said it wouldn't be a good idea for me to get my major at a secular college (and I believe it, especially after having Rafshoon), so I may be transferring. The history classes they're offering sound cool (Renaissance history, church history, stuff like that), so sometime soon I'll get together to meet with the headmaster and decide what classes I'll take. However, because Christ College is not accredited and is not seeking to be, that means the classes will have to be paid for. I wouldn't mind getting a job over the summer to pay for my classes, but I need to learn to drive first (a fear that has me paralyzed and that I need to overcome). So, we'll see how that works out.

Seth and Mandy started up their classes yesterday. Mandy is happy because Mr. Murphy is coming back to be her math teacher and she's failing math under Pastor Chris (she got an F on the final but a C for the class). On the good side, she got a 96 in Latin, which she's very happy about. According to Mom, Geneva's been quiet because of the Junior/Senior trip which three of the students are taking right now. It's the same trip that I want on back in March of 2006 when I went to Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, Monticello, Washington DC, and Gettysburg. Except they're going in January. Hehe.... they'll probably freeze to death up there.