Saturday, March 29, 2003

The war just hit way too close to home. He went to my high school, graduating one year after I did (with my sister).

"You have to understand, Michael-friend," Amin said, spitting out a gob of betel nut and saddling up his camel. "Indians are crazy about this cricket."

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

working with circle uban ministries at the rock of our salvation evangelical free church, with the chicago urban program. it's been a great spring break so far. working with kindergartoners and in the computer lab here...

Friday, March 21, 2003

-I'm on spring break with no internet access. Back in a week-

and maybe i don't know you so well afterall
oblivious tonight

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Bill of Rights Pared Down to a Managable Six: "...the original Bill of Rights, though well-intentioned, was "seriously outdated."
[Thanks Nathan]

Also, the vegan/GreenCampus/EcoClub members emailed this site out, making fun of it. Cool-2b-Real: a site for teenage girls, all pink and flowery/cutsy. And get this: ©2003 Cattlemen's Beef Board, National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Lots of propogranda for beef, including polls on which kind of beef teenage girls like best.
This is Not the Time to Return Library Books
Lightening ahead, behind and to the left. Humid and muggy and POURING DOWN RAIN. Just a drizzle at first as I start out my walk from Stony and then it comes down like crazy the last few blocks. I am soaked from head to toe. My light brown leather jacket has turned dark chocolate brown, and waterfalls of rain are falling down my face, onto my neck and soaking even the inside layers. My thick jeans are wet all the way through and everyone with an umbrella is staring at me. And smirking in a polite way. But there are a few other brave souls out there (Jon) bearing the weather like I am. And we exchange those i-know-what-you're-going-through glances and smile. It feels good to be outside unprotected. And reminds me a bit of home....but not really...the rain is so much different here.
Dan the gentleman comes to my rescue. I hit the Woodlawn light at the wrong time (waiting there desperately for it to change to green) and you couldn't even see from all of the rain (that 40 seconds of downpour was crazyness and fun, but then I was thoroughly drenched...reminded me of the time during one of the biggest thunderstorms in Chicago [last year] when I mistakenly got off at the Chicago stop on the Blue Line and had to walk for miles towards the Lake to get downtown). Crossing the street I heard someone calling my name, and over comes Dan running up to my side and hurredly shoving an umbrella over me. He was walking in the opposite direction, but decided to nicely escort me to the library as we chatted a bit. :o) Walking into the Reg I definitely got started at (and still am now that I'm on the 4th floor with many people who have been here for hours on end as they only faintly notice the raindrops coming down outside the glass windows). My biology textbook was pretty soaked by the time I arrived inside...this afternoon was the most horrible time I could have picked to return the thing...I really hope that I don't get fined for book damage.
Well, now that my shoes and socks and leather jacket are out to dry on a nearby chair, I'm back to studying for my Global Tectonic final tomorrow. Wish me luck! I'm almost done with finals, and am happily skipping barefoot in the Reg.
"Where is Raed?": Blog from Iraq and inside thoughts to what's going on in Baghdad.
"Kevin Sites": First-person account of a [CNN] solo journalist's life on the front lines of war.
Bad transition
Stepping out of ImprovOlympics a little after 10pm, walking past a restaurant blasting the Presidential Address that we're going to war.
She waits to listen for a brief second and comments: "It's really happening. The war has started".
I nod with no response. I just kept walking. I didn't want to stop. I didn't want to listen. I didn't want to think about it.
But now I'm back in the apartment. Trying not to cry.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

I'm so sick of the political listhosts here at the UofC. But most especially the [Rep]. It seems like all they do is complain over and over about how horrible protestors are. And swear at them, and the [ucdems] horridly bash political leaders, etc, etc. Even if they don't agree with others viewpoints, why don't they, for once, actually realize how amazing it is that people are coming together so passionately about a political issue and how they organizing and expressing themselves. I'm annoyed with everyone complaing about the opposite side. If you want to do something, if you really want to express yourself, then organize something, take some action. Express your views positively. Realize that rudely commenting about others is not helping anything, and is extremely unprofessional. Don't just stand around or type out emails bashing the people with differing views--instead articulate your own well and voice a motivating argument for yourself. Constructive criticism may be ok, but definitely not shouting names and verbally harassing. In my opinion you're just making yourself look weak when you do that. On a related matter: Slam campaigns are one of my biggest pet-peeves. I most definitely will not vote for someone who runs any kind of advertising ripping their opponent apart.
Note for the wondering: I am signed up for the Young Democratic Socialist, Republican, and Democrat listhosts. I have liberal views on some things, very conservative views on others, and really not one party holds a platform I agree completely with.
Support Democracy in Iraq. Where is Raed?
It Pays to Complain
I got 30 additional points for Statistics when I went in to my professor today to complain about how horrible the graders are and show him all the problems that they messed up on. Fortunately Dan was really nice about it all and happily gave lots of points back. I'm glad I spent the time going through old homework for once. Maybe this will possibly help with my absolutely terrible final exam I took Monday.
I'd guess he is about 3 or so. And his little bro a tiny bit older. He's adorable in his red and blue fleece joker hat and his tiny round glasses. Running his coat sleeve along the fence, it's sopping up water and he's thoroughly enjoying it. He looks at me walking behind him gave me a huge smile. Then he realizes that he's behind and sprints up to his mom.
"Mom! Mom, you know what? I put my tongue on the fence when it was cold and it fell off!. It fell off!"
The Mom [astonished] gasped: "No way, really?"
"Yah Mom it really did!" [Then she looks over at me and smiles an I-just-love-my-kids look as I pass by].
As I walked on ahead I heard the older brother demanding: "Let me see your tongue."
I couldn't help but giggle. Kids are so funny.

Monday, March 17, 2003

Happy St. Patrick's Day
"St. Patrick's Day, celebrated every year on March 17, is a holiday honoring Saint Patrick, the missionary credited with converting the Irish to Christianity in the A.D. 400s. Saint Patrick's real name was Maewyn Succat. For his first 16 years, Maewyn lived a normal life as the son of a wealthy landowner and magistrate in Britain.
At 16, Maewyn was captured and sold into slavery by a group of pirates who raided his village. After six years of herding sheep, Maewyn escaped, went to France and became a priest, adopting the name Patrick.
During his training, Patrick discovered that his calling was to convert Irish pagans to Christianity. He returned to Ireland, established monasteries across the country, set up schools and churches, and converted many with his winning personality. Patrick carried on a very successful mission for thirty years. When he died on March 17, that day was commemorated as St. Patrick's Day. " --Care2

Sunday, March 16, 2003

studying studying studying all day long. Two finals--Statistics and Biology--tomorrow morning and then I have some freedom! And then my last final--Global Tectonics--on Friday morning.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

One Giant Leap
one of the best cds i own.
thank you paul! :o)
Prelude: Chapter 10
Is the climate growing warmer? Some very fancy data collection and analysis seek to answer this question. Here's a simpler approach. "The Nenana Ice Classic is a betting contest held in Nenana, Alaska [My own note: I have actually been to Nenana a few times. And have been rafting on the Tanana River... it's an absolutely gorgeous place!] (64degrees34'N, 149degrees05'W), in which participants attempt to guess the exact minute in spring that a wooden tripod positioned on the frozen Tanana River will fall through the ice." Because money is at stake, the tripod is watched constantly, and the minute it falls has been recorded by the same standard since 1917.
Sure enough, the ice breakup has moved earlier in the spring over the decades. There is a rough linear trend but lots of variation from year to year. ... The answer is yes. The P-value is P=0.01, giving reason to conclude that there is really a tend in the moment the tripod falls.

For one brief second, I'm actually happily reading my Statistics textbook. Finally they have it right~ encorporating science, controversy, and an amazing location draw my attention into the horrid world of math. But I'd much rather be doing experiments like this than calculating any linear regression lines, prediction intervals, confidence intervals or significance tests!
just staring out the window towards the lake
and feeling more depressed
i'm doing everything that i can
to do nothing that i should
good and bad mixed. bitter feelings for summer plans. i think i'm more angry than i anticipated. parties that i went to. parties i haven't been invited to. and maybe wouldn't go but maybe it just feels nice to be asked. summer plans. future plans. no plans. no caring. no compassion. i miss friends. and Oregon. and yet i smiled tonight through the sadness.
Highlights of the day: Henry calling me at 2am!!!! A walk along the lakeshore, Tea with Sudeep and Amanda, among other friends, IVCF worship and teaching, feeling the warmth of the sun, going to Erin's 21st birthday party. (Happy Birthday Erin!! I hope you had fun tonight! [there should be a link to your blog here!]) AND:

I am pleased to inform you that your application to participate in the 2003 ACM Tanzania program has been approved by the selection committee. On behalf of the ACM staff and faculty involved with this program, I would like to congratulate you. The program dates are July 23 to Dec 7, 2003.

do i stay or do i go now?

Friday, March 14, 2003

My roommate bought 4 pints of ice cream for our apartment--and I got the New York Super Fudge Chunk. It's powerpacked with chocolate. A little more than I can handle, but I really appreciate the gift for finals. What a great roommate! :o)

Thursday, March 13, 2003

I was naive enough to think that superglue could fix my Nike Gore-tex shoes. Sadly it doesn't.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Given Out to Every Student in my Bio Class Today
The Dead Grandmother/Exam Syndrome and the Potential Downfall of American Society. Mike Adams, Biology Department, Eastern Connecticut State University. The Connecticut Review, 1990.
[it’s a very short read]
There's nothing like iChat in Crerar with Parker to help me procrastinate from finishing my bio paper!
I'm a bit sad today. I just came out of my last core bio class. Our teacher, Dr. Fineschi bought us tons of snacks (a variety of chips, bagels, cashews, peanuts (both salted, plain, and honey-roasted), and tons of pop for us to consume as she gave us a review lecture. She is such a great incredibly nice, caring, organized, and intelligent. And my classmates are a lot of fun to hang out with. I'll actually miss this class a lot--many other classmates feel the same way.
But on the other hand, nothing could be more comforting to me right now than the fact that in less than 6 days I will be DONE with finals and celebrating! I'm going to treat myself to a little Second City show, I think.
Today has had its ups and downs
Up My oh my it was beautiful outside today! And gorgeous downtown. The perfect day to wear a skirt and walk around for a bit. The sun was out! And I heard through the grapevine that there is a forecast for 65 degrees this weekend?!
Up This morning I took the 6 downtown with Dawn and we went to the Chicago Cultural Center to hear Arthur Caplan, PhD talking on “What’s Immoral About Cloning Human Beings?”. It was really interesting, and he was an excellent speaker, but surprisingly it was a very uncrowded event. It seemed to be mostly an ethics and AMA crowd only. One of Caplan’s basic points was that human cloning is not desirable, safe, or even possible to perform, and so we shouldn’t be worried about it. And on that line of reasoning he fully supports cloning-for-biomedical-research, because there is no basis to believe that the embryos that might be used have any potential for human life as a clone. He went through a list of points for cloning humans and dismissed them: people will want clones for infertility (he says there are other better ways to go about getting children), people will want clones for body parts (he finds this unimaginable), people will want clones to build an army with certain traits (he says that this is unlikely since the environment effects so much of how we are, ie the calico cat which was cloned has a different calico from the cat where the original DNA was obtained, because in the womb the calico coloring [and also how pinto horses are different from the womb] is determined by body temperature and the surrounding environment), and how people will want clones to restore historical figures (he mentions how some people have mentioned cloning Jesus [using DNA from the shroud] and asks why people would want to clone someone who is coming back anyways? ;o) then he goes on to talk about the environment again and how people from the past will not have their historical and cultural setting and will be different if born now). I still disagree that there would not be a demand for cloning if the procedure was safe and accessible. Because of the low birth rate of any cloned animal (it took 400 embryos to get Dolly), it usually takes 200 tries to get a cow, one-third of live-birth clones die after one year, and because there has never been a primate cloned (in the way Dolly was cloned, there has, of course been a primate cloned from the splitting of an embryo in two) Caplan believes that the cloning of humans will never happen–ever. I completely disagree. The technology is new. Animal husbandry has come a long way, and there have been many advancements in the science recently. No, we can’t do human cloning now, but I am almost 100% positive that we will be able to in the future. Maybe not the near future, but sometime I am willing to bet we will see a cloned human.
Of courses, lots of puns and remarks on Raelians were made and he was furious that they got so much attention for their horrible claim of giving birth to a cloned human. He went on a long jaunt about how misinformed the general public is on the notions of human cloning and how the media has been incredibly terrible with basically anything related to science. I definitely agree.
Interesting tidbit: The stem cell used to clone dolly was taken from the udder of a sheep (from mammary tissue), and so the sheep of course had to be named after Dolly Parton!
Up Also at the Cultural Center was an exhibit: “Teddy Bears at Home in Chicago: An Exhibition of All Things Teddy Bear”. It was really cute with so many visuals. Teddy bears all over, pictures, posters, music, the history. And in the back room they have a video camera and Polaroid. Kids bring in their personal teddy and talk about why they love them so much on camera. Then the video is shown to the public. Watching it made me smile! Dawn and I were just about to leave (we inadvertently had walked to the floor of the exhibit on our quest to find the restrooms right before the lecture started) and head back to listen to the speaker, when one of the guys working there came up and asked us if we wanted our picture taken and urged us to come back. So we hugged this giant bear…and the picture turned out to be adorable. The frame they gave us was great too, with a cute sticker on the front announcing the exhibit. Of course though, City of Chicago, Richard M. Daley, Mayor was prominently displayed even on the sticker.
Down I did not make it into the Summer Links Program. Not even as an alternate.
Up I am made it past the first round interviews and now am a finalist (I think there are two of us) for the Outreach Intern position with the Center for Neighborhood Technology (Metcalf Internship). I’ll be interviewing directly with the organization soon!
Up Spending a lot of time with Dawn today, including lunch at Pierce. I’m going to miss her when she goes to study abroad in Greece next quarter!!
Down We had a Global Tectonic lab today, and I was in the computer lab until very late. The class is overwhelming when I think about what I have to do in the next few days. But I’m slowly making progress. Luckily the lab was easier than I thought it would be, so I didn’t end up crying. And Paul waiting very patiently for me as a surprise after it was over made my day.
? Was the Reg on fire this evening? What was up with the firedrill? All I know that it was pretty cool to see all of the emergency lights flashing in the windows as I waited for the bus to come. And to see the people streaming out and the firemen walking in. I hope no one was hurt and nothing was damaged though. I bet it was just someone doing a joke before finals.
Down How do you get someone to be quiet or move? I have no idea. How do you get someone to stop complaining? I have no idea. How do you get anyone to clean. No idea. I guess it’s a lack of communication on my part. And feel like I’m uninformed on so much. I think this is one of the first times in my life when I just feel alone and like I can’t communicate. But I just don’t know where to begin. Or maybe I’m just in a bad mood. Probably a permanent mixture of both. I blame myself.
Up I put on my fleece sheets, and my new fleecy soft duvet cover. My bed is the most comfortable place in the world for me right now. ;o) Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh comfort.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Erin and I managed to somehow finish half of lab6 tonight. For once I feel like smiling. Thank you Erin!!
My eyes made contact with him from a block away.
I could hear the pain. "I'm cold"
"Do you have any spare change?"
I stop. No, I'm sorry I don't.
I saw a glimmer of hope.
He looked appreciative.
"It's alright. At least you speak, most people don't even say anything"

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Harold's Chicken. What incentive to come to the Stony Island house meeting.

And the new website find of the day: The Straight Dope. Fighting ignorance from 1973: (It's taking longer than we thought)

Saturday, March 08, 2003

For over a year I had been looking forward to taking Global [plate] Tectonics as one of my classes this winter quarter. Even in autumn in India I was thinking ahead: "I'm sad to have to go back to the States for winter quarter, but at the same time I'm sooooo excited to take Global Tectonics!" Well, the beginning of the quarter started out ok. Although my prof was in Taiwan for the first two weeks, we read all about the history of tectonics and how the different theories of sea floor spreading, mid-ocean ridges, etc etc etc merged into the big picture of Global Tectonics. That was a lot of reading, but very cool and enjoyable. I was basically content and still pretty happy with the class. But that was then and this is now. Now, I pretty much hate it. It's definitely nowhere near the horridness of gen chem first year, or calc, or hum, but it's definitely been the worst geosci class that I've taken. And it's mostly the labs that account for my anger. They really really suck. Are really really long. Are really really tedious. And [for me] are impossible to get the first time through. I spent hours with my TA every week, and so do many of the other members of my class. I have to say that he is one of the most patient people I have encountered in a while--and I am super thankful for him this quarter. But my TA is about the only one of two positive aspects of this class. The second positive aspect is my classmates, such as Erin (who has the exact same feelings as I do).
Today from 11-5 I went on a field trip to the Art Institude of Chicago with the SafeSpace kids (I volunteer with a women's domestic violence shelter). It was a lot of fun, and I got to meet some kids who I hadn't interacted with previously. It was great! There's something so sweet and lovable about holding a little tiny hand in yours and seeing kids eyes light up as they spot something they're interested in and then pull you over to ask questions.
But on the flip side, now I am incredibly exhausted and don't feel like moving one inch. It's only 8pm, but I feel like I could fall asleep for the night at any moment.
I'm a horrible friend. I'm sorry

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

My Brief explantion on Lent
Lent is an extended time of preparation for Easter. For most Christians Lent begins on Wednesday and ends the Saturday evening before Easter Sunday, for a total of 46 days. It's a time to reflect on the meaning of Easter and the events leading up to it.

Traditionally during Lent followers fast for the duration of Lent by "giving up" something. This has evolved from mainly food, to [modern perceptions of a new kind of fasting] giving up actions or objects. Usually people pick something that will be especially hard for them (candy, meat, friend of mine in the past gave up sex, and last year another friend in college "gave up" the internet and instant messaging[except the essential email checking for classes]--I thought that was pretty intense!). Every time that you crave or desire something that you're fasting for during Lent instead of giving in to the desire, it instead should be a time to reflect on God. It is a time of expressing by action (or non-action I guess) your devotion and appreciation for God. (For instance, many people have a prayertime instead of a meal when they fast). For me, fasting is a discipline and is personally very hard at times. It makes me realize how weak I am, but at the same time realizing how amazing God is and what a sacrifice (so many thousands of times harder than anything I could give up) it was to willfully put himself through torture and die on the cross for us.
9 months ago this week. The Priest tonight at the Ash Wednesday service @ Bond reminded me with his short but relavent talk. I cried silently, and luckily no one noticed. Sometimes I forget and then it all comes back to me and I feel guilty for not remembering. And wish I could rewind time. But at least I have those good memories to mix with the sad ones. I miss you Carol.

I made it, but with an honourable discharge (I think some of the logic they gave was a bit strange, but rather interesting to read). How about you? Battleground God: do you have logically consistent ideas about God's existence?

I reek of garlic. And my stomach is rumbling like crazy. I still taste it and it won't go away. Even with super Indian Colgate. Eating the organic meal tonight at Pierce was one of the worst ideas ever. I'm about to boot. (as Erin would say).
My Metcalf interview went well. [i think]. It wasn't great, at some points I was fumbling for words, but it also wasn't horrible. At the end during the feedback session they said that I had a great interview and had no comments--except about how to improve my resume and not adding so much. I guess I could possibly that this all as a good sign. I just feel fortunate to make it to the final 5. But I would *love* to work for the Center for Neighborhood Technology this summer--I really hope that I get a second round interview!!
My first real interview tomorrow. I'm getting a tad nervous.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Two questions I've been thinking about tonight:
1) What should I give up for Lent tomorrow?
Wearing fleece
Eating meat
any other suggestions?
2) Why did GeoUnion receive the new issue of Gentleman's Quarterly? (It's addressed to us and everything!)
Help help help. Too many decisions. Do I work for UBM/S Idaho? Or cross my fingers and hope for UBC Alaska? Or wait a couple of weeks and find out about my interviews? I know I have to wait, but I feel a bit pressured to make a decision about Idaho. I'd love to work there, but at the same time I really think I should stay in Chicago. But then again, I'd only be working until August 5th, and I'd be having an awesome job plus going to Yellowstone and on a lot of geology field trips. But on the downside. It's Moscow. Boring old Moscow. Even though it's an excited UBM/S Program, I think it's a bit more entertaining for the students than for the RA's. There would only be 3 other RA's on staff with me. I just keep thinking back to Alaska last summer and wishing I had the opportunity to go back there.

Monday, March 03, 2003

Rumors of two more suicides. And the the University is keeping them a secret [for now]. Rumors are rumors, and I'm praying that they're untrue. But either way I'm in a very sad and upset mood.
I am getting better.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

The baby just taking her first steps wobbled-ran to me with outstretched arms as I walked up Woodlawn and made me smile. Chicago rat in the alley dim streetlight. Kissing while walking in stride. The elderly limping to the store and walking bag with heavily weighted groceries. The bus passed me by but James wouldn't have done that. It's a nice night for a stroll back 36 degrees and the first night without need of a hat. I have the strong urge to walk to the Point and along the lakeshore--but last time I had that bright idea we got a ticket from the cops and went to court. I've learned my lesson.
Today the CTA made their buses automated. Or maybe it's just a trial run for the ones that run outside my window (My room is directly over a busstop for 3 buses)--either way the announcements that are aired each time each bus opens its doors is incredibly annoying and super loud. I just emailed the CTA and complained. I wonder how long they'll take to respond...if ever?
Also, a tidbit of information:
"CTA has approximately 1,900 buses that operate over 134 routes and 1,937 route miles. Buses make about 1 million passenger trips a day and serve 12,000 posted bus stops. CTA's approximately 1,100 rapid transit cars operate over seven routes and 222 miles of track. CTA trains make about 1,452 trips each day and serve 143 stations."
Deciding When Science Has Gone Astray
I'm not really so knowledgeable on science history (so maybe most of you know this already), but I was very surprised to learn that Dr. Watson didn't actually take the first pictures of the DNA double-helix. In fact, Dr. Rosalind Franklin did. "...Dr. Franklin has come to symbolize the plight of women in science, as men close ranks against them."
50 Years Later, Rosalind Franklin's X-Ray Fuels Debate
sometimes you're just not on