Archive for September 2011

Today is “thursday” (what americans call the day that is, in practical terms, tuesday. Because tuesday is the second to last day of the week. american’s call is thursday)   2 comments

I had lunch with the other global nomad on my floor. We vented. It was nice. We told funny stories about language and customs and culture. I told the story about how the white boy from India took a taxi home from a party, and the Hindi-speaking driver had no idea where he was going so he called his friend for directions while insisting in English that he knew exactly where he was going, and when they finally made it to the compound, the boy payed, but before he left he thanked the driver in Hindi. The driver’s eyes widened as he realized that the boy had understood his frantic phone call. My friend told a story about living in China and going somewhere on a field trip and waiting in line and hearing middle-aged men talk about the foreign girls on the field trip in a way that they knew that the men assumed that they were not being understood. Most of the girls only knew enough Chinese to know to feel uncomfortable, but one blue-eyed, blond-headed girl who spoke fluent mandarin turned around and cussed out the men in Chinese, rendering their faces to look similar to that of the Indian taxi driver.
She also talked about how whatever country her dad teaches in soon has a military coup.
But global nomads don’t know everything. Living and learning out of the States has dispelled lots of ignorance and stereotypes, but America isn’t the only place that has stereotypes. Like an Asian-looking boy on my floor with a Spanish name, I assumed he was Fillipino, but I just found out he’s Japanese-Brazilian? Global nomads. We think we know everything, but we don’t. We just know more than normal Americans 😉

I’m going to lend my friend the Global Nomads book when I’m done, I think she will like it.

OH there is another girl on my floor who lived in Japan for like the first half of her life.

On a different note.
I wore my Quidditch t-shirt today 🙂 it sparked an excited little Pottermore discussion at the beginning of Deprivation of Liberty. It sparked a funny little wizard rock conversation while me and my partner-in-french-presentation were working in the library. It sparked lots of looks of awe and comments of admiration when we were passing the peace in church. When we were munching on the leftover communion bread after the service, the chaplain/reverend guy was like, “Lolol that’s funny because that’s exactly what the logo would look like if there was an International Quidditch Association.” I made an are-you-crazy face and I was like “There IS!”

Gotta go wash grape juice off the white part of the logo XP


Posted September 29, 2011 by rachelternes in Uncategorized

I’m having such a fun day   2 comments

Je me suis reveille a 7h00, mais je ne me suis pas leve jusqu’a 8h00.

After math I stayed a bit to ask the prof some questions because some of the concepts we have learned seemed weirdly familiar to things that L vaguely remember learning the LAST time I had math, two years ago. I asked if finding equivalent radians is an application of modular arithmetic and if the Pigeon Hole Principle is related to functions. And he was like, totally! And he explained it on the board and it was really cool because both of the things that I remembered from math at DHS, I just barely remembered. Because I didn’t really understand them. It says a lot that I can remember Mr. Carreon ramming the property of a function into my brain, and I can remember some of the wording, but I couldn’t remember the point of a function. And then Mr. Skukalek showed how it was related to what we learned in these past weeks, and suddenly what I learned two years ago MADE SENSE. And the radians thing, I never understood that at DHS– I just had to take Mr. Carreon’s word for it, and and cram some rules and formulas into my working memory before every quiz. But now I understand it. SO cool.
Mr. Skukalek asked, “What are you studying?” and I said, “Um psychology. Maybe. Probably. So far.” And he said I should think about a math minor and I laughed and I said, “Ha well the thing is, I’m not good at math.” And he LAUGHED. Like, guffawed. And I said, “I failed my math placement exam! That’s why I’m in this class! I was originally going to be in stats.” And he made this flabbergasted face, like, you whated your what? And he said “Wow, well that says something about the placement exam, because you are good at math.”
I got that weird feeling , the same one I got when I got PE award and the French award…

THEN I went to Kay to meet with the Methodist chaplain and my co-PR person. We went to get lunch and talked about PR stuff and it was so funnnnn. I’m so excited. Me and my co-PR person get to manage the Methodist twitter, and the fb group and the fb page!!! And put up posters and chalk the sidewalks! And I have an official PR email address! fun fun fun

Then I had french. We have to present on a controversial topic, and me and my partner are going to do l’interdiction du voile integral en France.

Then I went to Tenley with my honors 101 group. blah blah. I went to Whole foods for kombucha. Right now, at least, they don’t have the brand we are used to. I have tried both other brands, and one is too sweet and the other is too watery 😛 but it’s ok.



Posted September 28, 2011 by rachelternes in Uncategorized

Strange experience. This isn’t important, just weird.   2 comments

I have a super busy week.
I went to sleep late last night and was really tired this morning. I was falling asleep–actually falling asleep– in math until I figured out that doodling kept me awake. So i drew this:









(I was doodling and drifting in and out of consciousness while the prof was reviewing something. Somehow I was still absorbing it and once I woke up long enough to mumble/shout the answer to a question that had the rest of the class stumped. That was weird and I laughed in my head.)
After math I was whining at myself and wondering how everyone else seems to run around on so little sleep. Then I realized: caffeine. Only once before in my life have I tried to use caffeine to keep myself awake at school. That was at DSA, and I drank a bottle of fake iced tea. I started shaking and buzzing and it was so weird that I kind of decided not to try that again. But this morning, I really didn’t want to fall asleep in my classes. So I went to the Dav (the campus coffee shop) and got an iced coffee. I started drinking as psych started it tasted like turpentine fumes and stomach acid. And gingerbread. At first I kept doodling to stay awake. Then the coffee kicked in and I started vibrating and flushing. (I felt similar to my public-speaking adrenaline rush.) For the rest of the day, I have been worried when I’m talking to people that they are getting freaked out because I feel like my eyes are rolling in their sockets and my limbs are spasming and I’m shouting nonsense syllables.

Then I came home and talked to Mommy about alternative allergy meds. She said that one possible concern about this one one was that it had capsaicin, and she wondered if I would be sensitive to that because it it an alkaloid (and alkaloids are the toxins in solanaceae aka nightshades). Then she mused that my sensitivity might just make the medicine work better for me.

Then I saw on Wikipedia that caffeine is an alkaloid.

Maybe my sensitivity does mean that the reaction people would normally have to whichever specific alkaloid is super magnified.

Posted September 27, 2011 by rachelternes in Uncategorized

I Just Wrote Nearly This Entire Entry, and Then I Thought, Maybe I Should Save it as a Draft Now Because it’s so Long, and I Wouldn’t Want to Loose it All. So I Hit “Save As Draft” and then it was Deleted. AKML   2 comments

Yeah. Ok i’ll try to it again with just as  much exuberance XP
Here goes.

So much busyness!
On Friday I went to three classes, then I went to Tenly Town with a lot of people from my floor. We ate at Chipotle then watched the freshman student showcase, a play in the Greenburg Theater (which belongs to AU). It was amazingly done, and really fun. About 25% of the cast was from my floor. Then we got milkshakes. Then I went back to campus and met some friends at the Tavern to watch X-Men: First Class, which was screening there. It was really cool. I realized that Heroes is totally copied off of X-Men. Totally. Then I went to bed, around 1.

On Saturday I went to Chinatown to meet my Virginia friend (i feel weird not saying names. haha.) and her aunt and uncle and cute baby cousin. We had lunch, and it was really cool to see her. I went back to campus and did a few hours of homework. I ate dinner at TDR with some friends from church, then we went to Bethesda to watch The Lion King in 3D. It was much more awesome than I expected it to be. During caaaaaaaaaan you FEEL the loooooooooove tonight, Nala makes a super seductive face at Simba, as seductive as a cartoon cat can get, and my friend sitting next to me was like “dayum!” Then we walked back to campus instead of taking the bus, and sang a bit, naturally.

Today a friend on my floor and I went to the Mall for the National Book Festival. It hadn’t started yet when we got there, so we spent  a few hours at the Air and Space museum. It was really cool. My favorite part was this little art exhibit full of space- and rocket- and astronaut-related art.  We went back to the Book Festival and listened to an apparently famous author lady read the first chapter of her in-progress book. It was very funny. The Book Fest wasn’t actually as entertaining as the museum, but cool all the same. The only authors whose names I recognized on the list were Tomy DePaola and Garrison Keillor, but the timing wasn’t right for us to see either of them. Then we went back to campus and I did a few hours of homework. Then I went to church. Afterwards, we were waiting in line for tacos and two of the girls with whom I saw the Lion King were behind me and I heard them singing songs from it and deciding that the girl-who-exclaimed-in-the-theater’s crush on Simba is bestiality. I met a girl I had never seen before, which is strange because she lives a floor above me.

This weekend, I have had the pleasure of speaking with three (maybe four) nerdfighters. I skyped with Danielle on Saturday which was super fun. My Virginia friend is a nerdfighter.  When we were eating in TDR, the-girl-who-exclaimed said sheepishly that she has stayed up all night reading a YA novel. The other girl said, don’t be embarrassed, YA novels are good, and that she was excited for a YA novel that she had preordered. Rachel thought, no way, and said breathlessly: “What is is called?” The girl said “The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.” And I was like OMG ME TOOOO!! ARE YOU A NERDFIGHTER? She said yeah and we both did clumsy nerdfighter salutes. The other two girls stared blankly as we chatted for a few seconds about Looking for Alaska and Hanklerfish and Leakycon and The Yeti and the Swindontown Swoodleypoopers.
The maybe fourth was the cashier at the Air and Space museum. He either really likes the color custard yellow, or he really likes giraffes who like giraffes, or he is really friendly, or he is a nerdfighter, because as I was paying him for my glow-in-the-dark stars, he said, “Your shirt is awesome.” (I like to imagine that he said it meaningfully.)I smiled and said “Thank you!” and he said, “Here you go!” and I said, “Thanks!” and he said, “You have a very nice day,” and I said,”Thank you. You too!”

Posted September 25, 2011 by rachelternes in Uncategorized

Another Blog Entry   Leave a comment

nanny nanny boo boo
We were SO excited two years ago when she recorded a personal video message for us to see at the EduCare conference. And it was ridiculously awesome to see her and hear her speak. I didn’t really know her story before, but she told it, and it’s great. Look it up, it’s like a novel. She speaks so beautifully and intelligently.

The girl who sits behind me in math class is from Haiti, and the girl who sits behind and to the right of me is from Togo. They speak French to each other sometimes, and I listen and am thrilled to understand a lot. I’m learning math vocab by eaves dropping. One way to say “equals” is “est égal à,” but I think there are more common ways. There are some things you say in other Francophone countries, but not in France.

Anyway, I was reading an old AWOL (American Way of Life) magazine, and I recognized a picture of the Togolese girl in an article. The article was all about the crazy political stuff that is going on in Togo, and how corrupt and violent and oppressive the government is, and how people like this girl in my math class are fighting against the government.
Yesterday at the end of math class I was like “looool i saw you in a magazine!!!!!!11!!” And then we talked (actually, she talked, and I listened, dumbstruck) for half an hour about the situation in Togo. She told me that since the article was written last spring, there had been a failed military coup. Now the people involved in the coup are on trial. My classmate said that some of her fellow opposition members are divided on how they see the failed coup. At first glance you might think that they would be happy to have had the old government fall, but then you realize that this new one would have been just as bad. The trial is also ironic because the current “president” gained power because of a coup. He says he’s a president, but he wasn’t really elected and has been ruling for quite a while. Yeah, he’s one of those guys… The craziest thing is that there’s very little knowledge about this outside of the country, even thought the government is totally corrupt, and ruining the people, and killing off opposition. Other countries like France have business with the corrupt Togolese government, and so won’t do anything about it. My classmate is actually really involved in the opposition. The government released a video saying that she must be a savage for working against men, and threatened to kill her and her family. Yeah.
She says people ask her why she’s still fighting, and she says it’s because she doesn’t have any other choice. She sometimes laughs at the really ridiculous situations. People ask her why she laughs and she says that if you’ve grown up with it your entire life, you have to laugh at the most ridiculous things.

Posted September 22, 2011 by rachelternes in Uncategorized

UMSA Fall Retreat yeahhhhh   Leave a comment

I just got back from the retreat! It was so so so fun 🙂

The 26 of us packed into three vans at 7 Friday evening and headed up to these cabins right on the edge of Shenandoah National Park that are owned and sometimes rented out by the University Chaplain, Joe. I rode up in the the fanciest van because some upperclassmen enlisted me to be their token freshman, because they would get in trouble if there were only upperclassmen in the fancy van. A girl who is in my French class, and who runs the Social Justice section of UMSA, said earlier that one of the points of the fall retreat is so to make freshmen think that the older kids are not scary. The ride up was really fun. I don’t think I’d ever been on a school trip before where the vehicle was driven by another student.

We stopped at Panera for dinner.

We got to the cabins around 7. We sat around a camp fire and talked and laughed and sang stupid songs and ate s’mores. It was SUPER cold, but it was warm by the fire. Then we went inside and some of us played mafia until 2 am. I and a few other people (little freshmen) went to sleep then, but I heard that mafia went on ’till 3.

We woke up around 11 and had pancakes. Then we chilled by the campfire (that’s an oxymoronic pun) some more and had a little lesson thing and some reflection and singing. Then we packed up and cleaned up and drove to the trail head. The hike was really beautiful and fun. It was so cold but walking warms you up a lot. We stopped a couple times along the trail and just hung out. After the hike, we ate sandwiches and stuff near the parking lot. Then we piled in the vans again (most people switched up but I somehow was once more the token freshman in the fancy van. One of the vans was called The Vanne because it was driven by a girl named Anne.) We listened to the radio and tried to sing some of the songs, and Total Eclipse of the Heart came on and we sang it.

I found out that one of my freshman friends is an AVPManiac, so she’s coming to our thing, whenever it happens.

I met a girl from Savannah (15 minutes away from Grandma’s house!), who studied abroad in Syria, and has been learning Arabic. I remember that she was at the social justice meeting and she said something like, “i think we should do more, we usually just do this one thing and khallas. finished.”
I did an auditory double take.

I had fun taking pictures 🙂

I found out that another one of the freshmen girls is from Colorado (that makes three.)

It really was a retreat. I can tell because it felt like forever and it felt like we had left only two minuted ago when we pulled back into the parking lot. And I felt like I was stepping into a different world when I stepped out of the elevator onto my floor. It was especially funny because I said goodbye to all the Hughes 5 freshmen who were on the retreat as they left the elevator, including one boy whose twin brother lives on my floor. Then I got out on my floor and the first thing I saw was his brother sleeping on the couch outside the lounge.

Posted September 17, 2011 by rachelternes in Uncategorized

Pretend this is like three different posts, it won’t seem as long   2 comments

As I told Mamma in chat yesterday, I couldn’t go to the Monthly Movie with the Methodists or the Glee showing in the Tavern last night because I was at a baseball game that all honors students were invited to. We only had to pay $5 for what I think was a $30 ticket. It seemed like most honors students were planning on going, and we were supposed to go and fraternize with our Honors 101 groups, but I was one of about 12 people who actually went. And I was the only person from my 101 group. So few came because it was super rainy!

But it was really fun. I met new people, and learned a lot about baseball, and found out that they switch up the metro schedule (and even homogenize (that word really doesn’t fit but it technically kind of makes sense) the escalators to streamline crowds) for big events like baseball games.

I had math this morning. This sounds SO weird, but Great Ideas in Mathematics is kinda sorta almost my favorite of my classes right now. It’s so fun being the person who understands what’s going on, and it’s so fun inwardly rolling my eyes in frustration at the silly sophomores and juniors who don’t get it. It’s not because people in my class just have lower processing power or something– I’ve heard a few people moan that they wish they could move to calculus. It’s just that this works with my brain, and that’s fun.

Yesterday in math, we were doing a probability. The handout asked “Without asking everyone, do you think that two people in this class have the same birthday? Do you know that two people in this class have the same birthday? Explain your reasoning.”
I said “Yes, I think that two people in this class have the same birthday. Two girls made a birthday board for my floor, and there are a surprising number of shared birthdays, considering that there are only 55 people on the floor. There are 26 people in this class, so I think that it’s reasonable to guess that there would be at least one shared birthday. But you can’t know either way for sure because birthdays aren’t evenly distributed or anything.”
Most of the class was willing to bet that there would NOT be a shared birthday. One boy spoke up and said that he knew several people in the school who shared his birthday, so he thought that, even though it always surprises us, there are enough birthday overlaps that he would be willing to bet that there would be one in the room. The professor decided to put it to the test, and started having us say our birthdays, starting with the side of the room that I was on. Four girls said their birthdays, and no one from the rest of the class exclaimed that one was also their own. It was my turn, and I said, “February 12th,” and that boy who had spoken up before was like “WOO!” So, we only had to go through like 5 people before we found an overlap. BTW there is also a boy on my floor who shares my bday.

This evening (btw all relative date references are now off because it’s almost 1 AM but I still feel like it’s the 7th.) we had our first Floor Event. Our RA is really into political stuff, so we all sat in the lounge and watched the Republican debates live. It was really interesting. All I really knew about the Republican candidates before was that Jon Huntsman seemed cool, Perry seemed weird, and Michele Bachmann scared me. It was cool to find out that I’m not alone in my opinions of Huntsman, at least: people in the lounge shushed when he was talking, and agreed with what he was saying, and bemoaned the fact that, even though we all wish that the Republicans would choose him as their candidate, he won’t get picked because “He’s too reasonable! He’s too legitimate! for the Republicans” (To quote my RA.)


We discussed stuff afterward, and it was such a cool atmosphere and so many people had so many interesting and intelligent and applicable things to say, and everyone was civil and interested in what everyone else had to say. I spoke three times. My facebook status right now is “shocked to find out that I agree with Michele Bachmann about something.” In the debates, we heard that Bachmann thinks that parents should have a lot more control over what vaccines are given to their kids. So we talked about the vaccine stuff in our discussion. I talked about the conflict of interest, and how the lobbyists who have approved some controversial vaccines in the past have had lots of stock in the drug companies. Someone agreed with me and added that Perry, the governor of Texas who (for a few years) required girls in his state to get the HPV vaccine, had gotten a big campaign donation from from Merck, and that someone who worked for Merck and was pushing the vaccine used to work for Perry! Someone else talked about herd immunity, and how vaccines have such a great track record, and how it’s just rude to not get a vaccine because you’re endangering everyone else. And I COUNTERPOINTED. I said that flu is something that you can avoid, and it’s not that big a deal anyway, and that remaking the flu vaccine every year has caused the virus to mutate. I also said that you can’t say that all vaccines are bad or that all vaccines are good– and that there are some diseases that it makes sense to have immunizations against.

by the way, wish i had this for my factoid 5…

Later we talked about foreign stuff, particularly how the US has or hasn’t been getting involved in the Middle East and North Africa uprisings (and other turmoils in Africa and Middle East) and I just put in the tidbit that the US didn’t want to get involved in Bahrain because their (our, I guess) only Middle East naval base is in Bahrain. I also said that, even though not a lot of the news was getting to the US, the violence and oppression in Bahrain was pretty bad, and comparable to other countries’ turmoils around the same time. Because it sounded like people were saying “Oh, there were so many evil dictators killing their people! Oh and Bahrain had a little burp.”

Behind the scenes: when our discussion moved to vaccination, I started getting nervous and fidgety. When I realized in my head that I had something to say, my heart started beating faster. When I realized that I was going to say it, my heart was pounding and I could hear it and my face was burning. And then I said my first bit, and I stumbled over my words and I gasped for breath and barely kept my heart from coming out of my throat. But I said it, and I had such a surge of epinephrine and norepinephrine, and I couldn’t help it, I spoke again. And then Bahrain came up later and I chemically had to say something. Then my heart stopped pounding so much, and I started shivering. My body was literally shaking. It still is, but not as bad now. It’s been two hours since we left the lounge (it’s 1:34 AM) and I still feel really hyper, not tired at all. My roommate has already gone to bed and I am still up. That is a first.

There were so many people in the lounge, and I don’t know them very well, and they spoke so eloquently.

I feel the way I felt after our international day performance 😛 except this was more interesting.

I’m going to try to go to sleep now.

Posted September 8, 2011 by rachelternes in Uncategorized