Category Archives: personal

School update

So far, school has been kicking my butt. Not academically, really, but it’s been… interesting. I started out at a community college, so switching to UNLV was a bit of a culture shock. For the first few weeks, I thought I hated it there, but I’m settling in, students are dropping classes (so it’s less busy), and I now have a routine. I’m thinking of doing A Day in My Life post on Livejournal, with tons of pictures, so when I do I might copy it here. I feel bad that I’ve been mostly ignoring this place, but I’ll try to post more often.

I was very disappointed to find out that the class I was looking forward to the most, Projects in Observational Astronomy, had been canceled. The professor said that she hopes to offer it next semester, but I’m skeptical. Only me and one other person had registered for it, so I don’t know if she’s going to get enough students for it. I’m taking Spanish in its place, which might be helpful in the long run (there is a lot of astronomy work in Latin America), but I really wish I had gotten to take that class.

Meanwhile, I’m taking Calculus I, Computer Science I, Spanish and Chemistry II (which is at my old community college). For next semester, I’m trying to figure out if I want to take Organic Chemistry… because right now, chemistry is by far my favorite class. The lab is so much fun, and my instructor is fabulous. It also helps that my lab partner, who’s been a friend for years, is a chemistry major and his excitement is infectious. We often hold up our test tubes exclaiming, “SCIENCE!!!” We wind up being the last to finish most of the time because we take our time and just enjoy it.

I’m trying to get into a couple of clubs here… most notably the Health Physics Society and Chemical Interactions. I also just joined the Practical Electronics Club, which sounds really awesome because they fund your random electronics projects with student government money, and it’s usually a 100% return. I’ve been wanting to get into Arduino programming, because the boards really aren’t that expensive (only about $25!), and the club might fund the rest. We’ll see. I’m already busy with school work, and I’m aiming for all As this semester because I really have no excuse since I’m not working.

But today, I need to play some Skyrim. I just finished my first two exams (in math and chemsitry), so I think I deserve to slay some dragons for a couple hours.

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For the longest time I gave up on science. My first degree (an Associate of Arts) is in History, but I decided it wasn’t exactly worth it to continue studying, because I mostly just wanted to study ancient civilizations such as Greece and Rome, and I wouldn’t get much of a chance to do advanced study until grad school. I didn’t exactly have much of a choice when I chose that major.

A few years ago, I was planning to major in engineering, because it was the closest degree at my college that would get me on the road to physics/astronomy. I decided around that time that I would just go for it — my childhood dream. I remember staying up late as a kid (when I wasn’t supposed to), flipping through the colorful astronomy books I got at the library. As I got older, I did more advanced research and read a lot of pop science books.

So, I was an engineering major. For one semester. I didn’t even get to any engineering courses, because during Calculus, my job gave me an ultimatum — either transfer and work full time (during the hour my math class was) or lose my job. This was in 2009, when the economy was still at its worst, so I dropped calculus and kept my job. I haven’t been able to take it since, but will finally get to it in the fall semester.

I switched to a history major because of my second, competing passion — ancient history, particularly war history. Plus, most of the classes were online and I wasn’t willing to quit school entirely.

But now that I’m switching to physics, I already have all the prerequisites done. Now all I have left are science and math courses. It’s going to be a very interesting (and frustrating) three years, but I’m excited about it and can’t wait to start my classes in the fall. I’ve never considered myself a patient person!