Monday, August 29, 2011

Group Photo

Here's the group photo from the hike
from left to right: Jonah, Matt (GTA coordinator aka my boss), J (her real name is Jennifer but she goes by J), Marco, Zach, Me, Randall (in the front), Sarah (in the middle), Alex (in the back)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Top of Arizona

Today I hiked to the top of Arizona! I hiked Humphrey's Peak with some of the GTA's and the GTA coordinator. It's only about 4.8 miles one way, but it is tough! You climb over 3000 feet and the elevation at the top is 12,633. It is the tallest point in Arizona. It took about 3.5 hours to get to the summit and another 2 or so hours to get down. We had the best weather. It was only a little windy and visibility was so good we could see the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

We got a group photo at the top (there were 9 of us) but I don't have a copy of it. If I can get one, I'll post it later. In the mean time, here are the pictures I took:









Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's possible to make a grilled cheese using only a spork

So the only kitchen utensil I have right now is a titanium spork that John gave me, but I'm pretty sure it's all I'll ever need!

Step 1: Get everything out


 Step 2: Butter the bread


Step 3: Cut the cheese (no pun intended) 

  
look at those perfect slices!


 Step 4: Flip


Step 5: Transfer to plate 


Step 6: It's not a grilled cheese if it's not cut in half! 



Step 7: Wash spork & chow down! 

There you have it, it is possible to make a grilled cheese (using block cheese) using only a spork.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Video Tour And More

I moved into my new apartment on Tuesday. It feels nice to have a home. Living half out of my car and half out of a motel was getting old. As the title of this post suggests, here is a video tour of my new place:
video
Here are a couple pictures of my room, in case the video went too fast for you.





And More:
I had orientation every day this week from 9 until about 3 or 4. The first day we did a lot of typical orientation stuff (learning about the Graduate Teaching Assistant position & what our responsibilities would be, getting keys & offices, and doing a bunch of other stuff like that). The next three days (Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday) we learned the content of the course in the morning, met various people from the department, and gave 10 minute mini-lectures in the afternoon. The course I'm (and each of the other 7 new GTAs) teaching is Math 114: Quantitative Reasoning. It's basically math for the non-math/science majors. It is a very practical, real-world class where the students learn a hodge-podge of topics ranging from basic statistics to finance to simple graph theory. All students are required to take at least one math class. For the music, art, english, etc majors, this is the class they will take. So basically, I will have 32 students that hate/are afraid of math and about 1/3 of them will DFW (get a D, get an F, or withdraw). Today we wrapped up the course material (so if you were counting, we learned the entire course in 4 days), played around with the online homework site, and got an official review of how we did in our mini-lectures.
Overall, I did better than I thought I would do with the mini-lectures. In case you are confused (which you probably are since I haven't explained what a mini-lecture is yet), we were assigned 3 topics (one for each of the 3 days that we did this) to give a 10 minute lecture on, just like we would in our class. Our audience consisted of 1 or 2 of the other new GTAs and Matt (the GTA coordinator, aka my boss), Nichole (The MA 114 course coordinator) or 1 or 2 of the returning GTAs. So you would go up to the board and lecture for 10 minutes and then the audience would give you feedback. This was a little nerve wracking to do on only the second day of orientation, but it went really well that day, and all week, so thanks to everyone who has been praying for me. I also want to thank (no this is not an awards speech) anyone who gave me money of gift cards. I had to buy more stuff that I thought I would (like a shower curtain, bathroom rug, toothbrush holder, toliet paper, hand soap, sheets & comforter, laundry basket, trash can, dishes, ice cube tray, towels, hot pads, paper towels, bike lock, etc) so thanks!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Arrival, etc.

After a looooong 25 hour drive, we made it to Arizona. Thanks to my expert calculating, we arrived at 5:30 in the morning. Actually, the drive took 5 hours less than we thought it would. I'm still looking for an apartment. We've looked at 5 places, but hopefully it will be decided by tomorrow.  Anyway, here are some pictures of the states we drove through. I was asleep when we entered Texas and Arizona, but here are the rest.
 Illinois

Missouri

 Oklahoma. I almost missed this one!

 New Mexico. It's a shame it's so dark because it was a really cool sign.

 Buffalo Park Urban Trail Loop. Flagstaff has a system of urban trails that runs all throughout the town. Some of the trails run along streets, some are paved bike-oriented paths, and some are unpaved trails like this one. Most people use FUTS to get around, but some of the loops are good for exercise. Think of it like the River Greenway, but way more awesome.

Downtown at sunset. We ate at Criollo Latin Kitchen. It was delicious! They had really interesting food and beautiful presentation. We ate out back in the patio.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

D-Day: The "D" stands for departure

Tomorrow morning at 7am (or 7:15...or 7:30) Mom and I are leaving. We will be driving for 28 hours, traversing 1,717 miles, passing through 7 states (Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona), and hopefully not losing our minds due to sleep deprivation or extreme boredom.
Due to my mad spacial reasoning skills and the versatility of the hatchback (which some people still have the nerve to mock), I was able to get everything to fit!
Yes I'm parked in the yard, and yes I may have ran over some daisies, but I wanted to get close to the door since I made about 37 trips.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

First Post

So I stared at a blank screen trying to decide what to write for a long time. I wanted to make the first post so awesome that you couldn’t resist leaving the page open and refreshing every few minutes just to see if I posted again. But alas, I finally decided just to write whatever came to mind.

Well, I’m packing up and heading west in about a week. Orientation and training start Monday, August 15th. Mom and I are heading out a few days early so I can find a place to live. I’m hoping to find someone that already has an apartment or house and wants a roommate. I have a few appointments made to look at places once I get there. Until I find a place, I’m staying at a really cheap motel; you know the kind with weekly rates and cockroaches.  On the weekends, I plan on driving the hour or so to Prescott for church.
Overall, things are really coming together. I’m registered for classes, I got a new car (2005 Mazda3 hatch), I even started packing today; well actually it was more like gathering things around into a pile.  My last day of work is Saturday and then I’ll finish getting things around for a few days and then I’m off!

For those of you who didn’t make it through the whole post, skipped to the end because you saw the picture, or have ADD, I summed it all up with the 5 w’s.
Who: Me
What: Moving
When: August 10th – May 2013
Where: Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
Why: Master’s Degree in Statistics

Because I promised to post pictures, here is a camper I saw at work. I know it’s not related to the rest of the post at all, but it looks like the Scooby Doo van, so I took a picture of it.