Thursday, March 31, 2011

Third Quarter, Start

As usual, this quarter started on a Tuesday, and as usual, I've been somewhat hypocritical: feverishly thinking of something to write about for this blog, and at the same time procrastinating. To put all this at an end, I'll just write what comes to mind.

Being a freshman, I was low on the priority list of registering for classes. So naturally at the end of last quarter, all the classes I wanted were full; one of them was so popular, that the online class had a waitlist. One of my friends, a talented schedule-sculpture, was able to give me a set of classes that sounded interesting, and would actually satisfy requirements.

I didn't get back to campus until late Monday evening, too late to hunt down my exact classrooms, so I decided to wake up early on Tuesday to find my first class. Tuesday morning, I was 30 minutes early to class, but it turned out to be very fortunate--I ran into my math teacher from the last two quarters. He jokingly asked if I was coming in on the first day (while still on the waitlist), and told me when the class was going to be. Of course, I didn't have a class at the time, so I sat in on the first day. After the class, he emailed saying a few students were dropping the course, and to watch for emails from the Registrar's Office letting me know if I'd be able to register for it.

Not more than five minutes after I read my teacher's email, the Registrar's email popped up saying I had 12 hours to accept the class. On other days of the week, the time of the math class had an interfering class I was signed up for. After mulling it over, I dropped the interfering class for the new math.

Other than that little bit of schedule-confusion, the quarter has started off slowly and blandly. Not badly, just the usual slow and steady start. Things will get exciting later. For now, I'm enjoying the new schedule and its downtimes, and trying to adjust my sleeping schedule to fit accordingly once again. I've actually been reading a lot again, which didn't happen the last few quarters.

Hope everyone is enjoying the (slowly-coming) spring weather. Between the puddles and the rainclouds, there's been a few spells of sunlight that has people reeling, stumbling blindly, and praying for their sins and forgiveness. 
Not really, but kind of.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

College By The Numbers, Quarter II

Here is the continuation of my "College By the Numbers" series (first quarter here); helping to break down college down into numbers you can relate to. Everything from change found while doing laundry to textbooks to meal plans.
Western's Winter quarter of 2011 started January 4 and officially ends March 18 (of course, some people were done by Tuesday this week).
This quarter was 2 months and 14 days--equivalent of 10.53 weeks; or 74 days; or 53 weekdays.
(Oh, the wonders of WolframAlpha, go ahead, try it).

And here are The Numbers for...

Dorm Life
  • Finished one bar of shower soap
  • Used ~2/3 of a bottle of shampoo
  • About halfway through toothpaste (which I've been using since September)
  • Gone through one toothbrush
  • Finished a roll of paper towels
  • Killed a bottle of hand sanitizer
  • Visited home five weekends, out of eleven weeks.
  • Actually used the microwave a lot this quarter--for popcorn mainly.
  • Have found only $0.38 in the laundry machines--I didn't check as frequently.
  • Didn't play pool in my dorm hall, but did at the Viking Union.
  • Spent $4.75 on my Laundry Card, which is rechargeable at the Dining Halls.

    It's a good idea to have like $3 on it just in case you need to have an emergency washing or drying cycle.

Class Materials

  • Finished off one-and-a-half black, ball-point pens taking notes all quarter.
  • Used about half a "vial" of pencil lead for my mechanical pencil doing math problems.
  • Filled a notebook and a half with notes between three classes.
  • Another eighth of a packet of loose-leaf, lined paper for homework assignments.
  • Gone through ~100 Sticky Notes, writing notes to myself and my roommate, as well as make-shift coasters for cups and utensils.
  • Spent $245.08 for four textbooks--the most expensive again being math, at $78.75.

  •  Every student gets $150 of Dining Dollars every quarter, and any leftover money carries over to the next until summer, then they're wiped. Last quarter I only used $58.89, so I had $241.11 at the start of this quarter. I have used $237.86 buying sandwiches, bagels, and coffee outside of the dining hall--I've counted 51 cups of dirty chai (Chai latte with at least one shot of espresso). 
  • Eaten at the dining halls for 176 meals, using all 10 guest passes. This was using the Unlimited Plan, which I've liked a lot because it's flexible and I didn't have to worry about running out. Keep in mind I visited home a few weekends, and the next step down in meal plans is 125 meals. This quarter I kept extensive track on my meals used, since last quarter I estimated the numbers per week--you can see my spreadsheet here.
    An average week for me was 16 meals at the cafeteria, and if I had paid for them myself, rather than using a meal plan, it works out to about $120 a week, or $1,327.50 for 11 weeks (one quarter). According to this file found on WWU's website, the per-quarter cost students pay for an Unlimited Plan is $1,049 during Winter Quarter.
  • Spent $12.32 at the Associated Students Bookstore on things other than textbooks. I was given a $100-gift card to the campus bookstore last September--the $12 was what was left of the card after last quarter. Again, I've only spent like $5 of actual cash on campus. Everything else, like meal plans, printing money, bus passes, and laundry fees, are all on cards.

    I highly recommend even having a gift-card of $50 just to help buy the random things you'll need like paper, pens, and folders, without taking away from your wallet's cash--you know, for movies and stuff.

  • Printed out about 200 pages on the school's computers. Each student gets $25 per quarter, which is about 500 black-and-white pages per quarter (Math breaks it down to ~$0.05 per page, non-color). If a student goes over they must pay for additional pages themselves by buying printing cards.
  • Have yet to actually use the Bellingham Bus System--and thus my ID card to pay for said system, but I will get there eventually. I walked a few times to downtown with my friends, so no bus was needed this quarter.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Things I've Heard In College, QII

A continuation of Things I've Heard in College, from first quarter. This time most of the funny comments were made by my professors. Remember, it is unedited and uncensored.

"Wait, did you just ask me to compare homework answers and then ask what I put for my name?"

My teacher, an enjoyable older woman:
"My, you're all wet! I saw a young man walking to campus in the rain without a coat. He had on a red shirt and cowboy boots, so I think it was more of an attitudinal thing."

Another teacher talking about test dates:
"They're flexible. Because there could be snow days, or I could get hit by a train; you never know."

Student in coffee shop:
"Holy buckets!...Lookatallthecoffee!" [Yes, as one word].

Teacher talking about ethics and morality:
"What is moral? Let's ask Cameron; he shoots zombies all day."

Guy 1: "Wait, how are you two have a black kid?" 
(Talking to his two white friends: guy and a girl)
Guy 2: "From my penis!"
Girl: "We never explained that he's selectively black."

In the dining hall:
"Yes, I am using America as a unit of measurement in this situation." 

The whiteboards in class had notes from an earlier class that read:
"Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1988)
Pirates of the Caribbean (2008)" and a few other scribbles and odd notes.
My teacher erased all but the "Bill and Ted's..." and justified it with "It was the only thing worth keeping up."

 During psych, my teacher was explaining the differences in experiments and observation:
"What if I studied the reaction of undergrads when exposed to a pipebomb? Set it up, set it off, and watch it; what would this be called?"
"Terrorism!" Yelled a student.
"Okay. What if the pipebomb shoots out mini-marshmallows; or money at a very low-trajectory; or like $20 giftcards to iTunes?" My teacher edited.
"Fun terrorism??" Another student retorted.

Greek literature teacher:
"What did Hesiod say about women that wore short-shorts and shook their hips when they walked?"
Students: "They wanted your food!"
Teacher: "Yes. They were after your barn. They knew you have a granary full of grain!"
Student close to me whispered: "Hey-yo!"

Student to teacher: "Satan has goat feet?"
Teacher: "Well, last time I saw him he did. You can't see them when he wears his stiletto boots, though."

Me to a friend: "You walk slower because you have a leisurely way of life."
Friend: "Yeah, I stop to smell the roses, and I forget I have allergies so I sneeze and start coughing and its just no good."

Teacher during lecture: "Putting electrodes on the brain would give me the sensation of someone feeling my digits--Whoa, that sounds dirty."

Advice from teacher: "Blasting and conceiving should never go together."

Student in line for dinner, "There's a time for teasing--and I always seem to do it at the wrong time."

Teacher: "I'm a mathematician--I'm horrible with numbers."