Author Archive

Stuff   2 comments

On Monday I passed a girl on the way to class whose shirt, i registered after she had gone, said “RedVines: What the Hell Can’t They Do?” I decided not to tell Danielle because I expected that she would be mad that I missed an opportunity to comment on an AVPM shirt. But then, as I was leaving class and going back to my dorm, I saw the same girl. I said “I love your shirt!” and she said thanks.

Last night I had a zombie apocalypse dream. There was lots and lots of running from zombies. It wasn’t very scary. I finally got nipped on my hand by a zombie, and I wondered if that was enough to turn me into  a zombie myself. I stopped in a school to have a scientist lady check out my hand. She was like, “Yep, that’ll do it” and I was like, “Darn.” I asked her who was in the locked room she was guarding. She said it was her true love, who had been turned into a zombie. She was keeping him in there until she could come up with a cure for zombieism. I said, “Cool” and ran on. I decided that I should find a place to hang out until I zombified and then died, somewhere where I wouldn’t be bothered. I remembered that there was this abandoned industrial complex area thing nearby that I used to play in before the zombie problem. I was looking around, and then I realized that it wasn’t as abandoned as I remembered it being. I went around the corner and saw that there was massive construction going on in an enclosed area. Then I remembered that I had been an official in the organization that was doing the construction, so I walked through the gates without being stopped. I wanted to find out what the construction was for. I came across an amazing building that I realized was a kind of self-sufficient zombpocalypse bunker, but it was AMAZING. It was really big, for a bunker, and could fit a large family comfortably. The inside was beautiful, and so high-tech that it felt magical. It was a cube, and the walls and everything were dark jewel colors. The back fourth was a pool. I couldn’t see through the water, but I saw that there was a shark with five dorsal fins swimming inside, and its fins would rise out of the water occasionally. I went and sat down in a bed/nook/chair. I was awe-struck, and I realized that this was the prototype bunker, and that soon all the surviving families would have their own bunkers in which to wait out the zombpocalypse… Then I dreamed that it had all just been a movie that I was watching, and the movie ended. A friend and I went outside and walked around in an abandoned industrial complex area thing, and we realized that this was where the movie was filmed.

I go to church on Sundays at 7pm and Thursdays at 11pm. I wasn’t going to go to the Thursday services, because they are so late, but I went to one and I was impressed at how it often works: sometimes the Thursday services are an opportunity for students to give lessons if they want, but usually the pastor lets someone shout out a verse that they want a lesson on, or if there are no requests, he lets someone thumb through the Bible and choose a verse randomly. And then he improvises a sermon. It’s kind of thrilling to watch, because it’s like extreme improv sermoning. I’ve never picked a verse, because I feel bad thinking that I might choose something too hard. But last Thursday, the pastor gave the Bible to a girl to pick a verse. She chose A GENEALOGY. Hahaha you should have seen the pastor’s face! The congregation was all laughing and oh-no-you-didn’t-ing. But he did it! And it was a really good sermon! He pwned it! It was impressive, and now I don’t think I’ll be as hesitant to suggest something if I want to. lol.
Afterward, the chaplain was like, as an after thought, “You  know what I should have said, Sarah? ‘Challenge accepted.'”


Posted November 9, 2011 by rachelternes in Uncategorized

Le Weekend d’Halloween   Leave a comment

I though, “I need to post about my Halloween weekend.” then I though, “why do I have the overwhelming feeling that I have already written about that??” then I realized, “Oh, I did: i just wrote it in French, and for an assignment.”

So here it is, because I don’t feel like writing it again:

Salut, Mme Lang,
Le weekend passé j’étais très OQP. Vendredi, j’assisté à une fête mystère assassiner. CT très drôle, et j’ai eu bcp de plaisir. Samedi, une amie et moi, nous sommes allées au Bethesda pour acheter des choses pour nos costumes d’Halloween à une friperie. J’ai rien trouvé pour mon costume—mais j’ai acheté une robe et plusieurs jupes ! Monica a changé son costume—elle a décidé d’être Audrey Hepburn au lieu d’un ouragan, et elle a acheté une belle robe. Nous avions marché dans la pluie pour y arriver, mais quand nous sommes parties, il neigeait ! Ça fait un bail que j’ai vu de neige ! le soir, j’ai joué des jeux de société avec plusieurs autres filles. Dimanche, j’ai acheté les dernières choses pour mon costume, et je l’ai construit. Le soir, ch’uis allée a l’église. Le lundi, j’ai pas eu un class jusqu’à 1h, donc je me suis habillée dans ma costume, et je suis allée trick-or-treat a l’Embassy Row avec Monica ! Mon costume était un robot.
Avez-vous remarqué ? Mon weekend n’a pas inclus de devoir. C pour quoi je serai très OCP pendant cette semaine !
Rachel Ternes

Also. Last night was a Practical Christianity meeting, where we continued our discussion on Occupy Wall Street. It was super interesting.

Right afterwards was the Monthly Movie with the Methodists: Interfaith Edition! Co-sponsored by the Jewish Students Association. The movie was Keeping the Faith, which is a really good/funny movie, I loved it, about three childhood friends who grew up to be a priest, a rabbi, and a workaholic businesswoman, and their friendships and love triangle.
The turnout was twice the usual, I think. I didn’t notice until the lights came up, because I came in late, but it was funny how the room was pretty much divided right and left Jews and gentiles, and we laughed about that. Anyway, we always converse afterwards, and the discussion was a lot about interfaith relationships and interfaith friendships and interfaith families. Then we were talking about EVERYTHING and I was learning so much about Jewish religion and culture. The movie ended around 10:30, and we didn’t leave ’til around 1:30 AM. I was exhausted but I couldn’t leave because it was so interesting.

Posted November 2, 2011 by rachelternes in Uncategorized

MBTI fun and NERD fun   3 comments

I mentioned in the last post that MBTI tests don’t accurately show the degree of my preferences, because I know the questions too well.
I was not at all worried that I might get something unexpected when they handed us the results of our MBTI tests.

Before they did, though, they had us do some exercises to demonstrate the different dichotomies. To show N/S, one of the adviser guys  said, “Write a paragraph about rain.”
“Great,” I though, “I have to write something really creative and abstract. They will expect sentimental stuff from the N’s and a description of the water cycle from the S’s.”
So I wrote like some stream of consciousness  stuff. And it was a good thing I did, because when we were done, he asked another girl and I to read our paragraphs.
Hers was a straightforward and well-organized description of the water cycle. She even hit on acid rain and drought. I was super impressed at the guessing skills of the adviser guy, because he had happened to chose a very representative S and a very representative N as victims. Then I read mine, and everyone was like, wow. If I was in that room and was not yet convinced about the authenticity of MBTI, that would have done it for me.

Then I realized that the adviser guy was looking at our result sheets, and probably chose that girl and I because we were the strongest S and the strongest N, respectively. (At least I looked like the strongest N. But that is probably just because I was cheating.)

For P/J, they put us into groups and told us that we had just learned that a spot had opened up in a research trip to the Galapagos Islands that we were interested in, and that we were leaving in two days. We were supposed to write down everything we would do to prepare. We were the J group, and we were making fun of ourselves, how super-prepared we were. But then the other groups presented, and their lists were just like ours : P
I think it was a faulty prompt, because even P’s will be responsible and stuff if you tell them to.

Then they handed out a packet that summarized each of Keirsey’s temperaments. I was snrking to myself with surprise because the NF page listed “seductive” as a quality. HHAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHAH I can see what they mean, but I had just never seen it put exactly that way heeehhehehh : P
It also says “gives strokes freely.” What does that mean???!?!?

I went to the library for a tutoring session, and I was the first one there so I went to claim a table. There was only one open one, so I took it even though it was right next to another table where a boy was tutoring another boy. We get kind of loud, and I didn’t want to disturb them, but there was nowhere else.
One of the girls I tutor arrived, and we finished pretty quickly because we had finished all but two problems on Monday. Then the other girl came and we went through the problems together while the first girl was finishing writing some notes. I had the questions up on a word document on my computer on the table. The guys at the other table asked us what class we were in, and one of the girls told them Great Ideas in Mathematics. One of the guys smiled and was like, “Ahh Keynes?” and we were like, no, Skukalek. And they said “Oh, well Keynes teaches Great Ideas too. We’re in his class and he was telling us that his Great Ideas class was doing the same thing as us, but in less depth.” I got all excited and asked what their class was called, and they said Infinity, Game Theory, and Fractals. They said that what we were talking about sounded just like what they were doing, and that they looked over at my computer and thought, is that our homework? One of the guys said something about aleph naught, and I said, “We learned about aleph naught and aleph one a few classes ago, and the prof was talking about how there’s even more than that, but we didn’t go into that– you guys are going into that???” “Yeah, there’s aleph two and three and infinite sizes of infinity!” “WOW… I wanna take that class.” One of my students laughed and was like, we know you do.
It was so cool. I was geeking out : )

Posted October 26, 2011 by rachelternes in Uncategorized

Whose Life Is It Anyway?   Leave a comment

I’m doing a workshop called that ^, and it’s supposed to help me figure out what major and career I want to head toward.

Wait. Back up a little bit.
A long, long, time ago, during 12th grade, I was applying to colleges. I was filling in a lot of “areas of interest” and “possible majors” and always clicking “open to considering other majors” when I had the chance. All the majors I was interested in pointed toward jobs that had the potential to decrease world suck: psychology, education, anthropology, religion, art, etc. Except one: advertising/marketing. It includes so many things I am interested in, like art, and sociology, and psychology, and the idea of making a scheme and seeing it through. Every time I saw something like that as an option, I got this evil thrill as if Harry monster was rising up inside of me*, and I would force myself to squelch it and move on.
Because what increases world suck like advertising does? Advertising is brainwashing that makes poor people spend money on things that they don’t need, and it supports bloated corporations. Advertising has no soul. The thrill is pretty much overpowered by the cringe-worthiness of the thought of getting money for Pantene or Pop-tarts.

Buuuuuttttttt what if I did advertising for non-profit organizations that worked to promote awesome?
Dummy, you can’t work for a non-profit as a job… 

So, that was that. And I put it out of my mind.

Until a few weeks into college, when the Methodist chaplain sent out an email asking whether anyone was interested in taking charge of PR for the Methodist community. The beast was awoken*. I replied, saying that I would like to be a minion for whoever takes the job, because I don’t have enough experience or confidence. It turned out that one of my friends was the only other person who replied, so we became the new PR team. She does Facebook. I do Twitter. We do posters and Today@AU announcements and SpotFlag postings, and we hope to chalk the sidewalk for some event soon. I love doing my part for the community, and being involved and being important. And it’s all very behind the scenes, which is definitely my thing.

So one day, I realized that I was doing advertising stuff, and I still had my soul. And God was like, I’m glad you noticed, Rachel. Now there’s no denying that it is possible to do advertising stuff while promoting awesome.

There is still the issue of getting money XP


Before we met for any of the sessions, they sent us an MBTI test and a Strong Interest Inventory to take. I know MBTI tests too well, so they no longer show the degree of each of my preferences very accurately.
During the first class, we learned about the six occupational themes from Holland Hexagon that the Strong uses.
As we listened to the descriptions of the six types,  I became very confident that I knew which was me. I am an old hand at this personality stuff, after all. The Investigative type matched INTJ almost perfectly. When we had to make second and third choices, I admitted that there were a few aspects of Artistic and Realistic that applied to me as well.
The next time we met, we were given the results to our tests. I thought I knew what I was going to see. So I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this
Social (Moderate interest)
Artistic (Moderate interest)
Investigative (Little interest)
Realistic (Little interest)
Enterprising (Very little interest)
Conventional (Very little interest)

The test was wrong.
I got someone else’s test (oops no it has my name on it…)
I took the test with skills instead of interests in mind. That would screw it up.

SOCIAL???? I was not accepting it. Whatever, I thought.  Whatever. I turned the page in the packet, and saw listed my “Top Ten Strong Occupations.”
The first was “Advertising Account Manager.”

Ohh. OK. Well hmmmm.
(As I understand it, advertising account managers pitch to companies for advertising agencies.  That’s a little too Enterprising for me (the theme code is Artistic/Enterprising), but related careers are Media Manager and Copywriter, and the recommended college courses are Marketing, Advertising, and Communications.)

Pretty much, after a lot of grief and humbugging and resistance and then actually thinking about it, I realized that this is accurate. And it actually explains a lot. I do have a rational mind. That’s how my brain works. I am definitely INTJ. BUT my interests square more with what a typical idealist would be interested in: helping people, education, learning about people.
(There are qualifications though: I like to help people without actually having to come in contact with them. I’m interested in education, but not really in teaching, so I would prefer to to education administration or something.)

SO it appears that I should work in a people-benefiting field, in a creative environment, doing analytical problem-solving stuff.

By the way, THIS WAS MY PROBLEM! I am Rational with Social and Artistic interests!  It’s a weird combination, so neither traditional extreme Rational jobs, nor traditional extreme Social/Artistic jobs suit me. But now I know what to look for : )

So now I will share with you a selection of pages from the big fat packet we were given:

The last picture is something they had us make based on stuff we figure out about ourselves during the sessions.

*I hope you can tell that these are intentionally over-dramatic and meant to be funny.

Posted October 26, 2011 by rachelternes in Uncategorized

HPA, tutoring, pumpkins, post-structuralism, and Who’s Life is it Anyway?   4 comments

On Sunday 16 (the Sunday after my last post) I attended a meeting at the Panera at Dupont Circle that I thought would be a huge gathering of a ton of people from the Capital Chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance. Instead I was one of seven people, which was actually cooler. The others were the girl who has been running the Capital Chapter since the birth of HPA (because the Capital Chapter was one of the first chapters), the two girls who will be gradually taking leadership now, the two leaders of a chapter in Pennsylvania or something, and one more girl. We talked about a ton of stuff (for a more detailed description, hack Dan’s facebook and read my messages to her), but the most important thing is that I am now working on starting and American University chapter, which will function kind of like a subset and home base of the Capital Chapter. One of the main fetters on the Capital Chapter has been a lack of funds and facilities. They’ve done a lot of cool stuff, but there’s no denying that being a recognized student group will be a big advantage to the AU chapter, and by extension, the Capital Chapter : ) right now I’m collecting interested people. There’s a lot of process stuff to do to become a recognized student group, and I don’t think we’ll even have the chance to get funding until next semester.

One day I was sitting in math class, marveling at how strange it was to be the one understanding things while other people floundered. I thought to myself– “Now that I can, maybe I should help other people. Considering how other people have always helped me with math, it would be like Karma.” Then the girl behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I would meet with her and another girl to go over the test corrections, because she had seen that I’d done pretty well. I was like, WELL TOTALLY. That evolved, and to make a long story short, I now tutor three girls in a group, and one other girl separately.  I was hesitant at first, because the point of the class is kind of to be able to see these patterns and come up with the answers on your own. But I realized, if I don’t tutor them, they will either 1. Not understand the math and do badly on assignments, or 2. Not understand the math and cheat and do well on assignments.
But now that I think about, there really is no way to cheat.
So even though it’s not ideal, these tutoring sessions are letting them get a lot more out of the class than they would otherwise. Explaining the concepts to them even helps me understand them better (and catch my mistakes). I’m especially glad that I have this opportunity to help them, because two of the girls have been having health things that have kept them out of class a few times, so they really do need someone to fill them in. So I’m glad I can help with that.
Also, one of the girls is Saudi and we realized we know some of the same people. How weird is it that I don’t even find that very weird?

Last Saturday was the UMSA fall outing! We went to this farm orchard things, and got pumpkins and apples. See fb album!

Today my psych of education professor got distracted and started telling some students about how he thinks that the ideas of  temperament and introverted/extroverted, and “right-brained” and “left-brained,” and the idea of different people being being naturally inclined to different strengths and preferences etc. is garbage. I help trying to interject (they were talking about two feet away from my face), but being an introvert, I often have a hard time interjecting into conversations loudly enough, or at the right moment. I yelled a bit, but he didn’t notice, so instead I just went up an asked him about it when class was over. I asked why he rejected the idea of temperaments, and whether he just believed that all personality is the result of nature, and how he could reconcile that with the fact that newborns often have obvious temperaments. He was a little bit stumped by the baby personality thing, but he explained that his philosophy of all this stuff is besides the nature vs. nurture argument. I was a bit taken aback, because I’d been taught that some big psychologists believed that everything was nurture, and some believed that everything was nature, and that nowadays we see them as two forces that work together, and while some people are on different places on the continuum, everyone agrees that both are important. But the prof said that some people actually reject the nature vs. nature dichotomy altogether. I had never even considered that, so it’s taking some thinking to wrap my mind around it. He said that some people (including himself) believe that nature vs. nurture is not a universal or eternal idea. He thinks that simplifying it in that way is a product of our culture, and just a tool that we use to understand stuff right now. Like, in different circumstances, we might have come up with something totally different. Then he started talking about post-structuralism, which I guess is related, but I got lost. And I had to go to French. So I told him I would look up post-structuralism, and I did, and it’s crazy talk. I want to sleep walk. Look, I’m growing a mowhawk! Anyway, it was really interesting. My prof can get annoying (like blood boiling annoying), but when he’s talking about something that he seriously cares about, and isn’t being facetious, and isn’t trying to be cool for the class, he’s a ton less annoying. They always say, “Go to office hours! Have conversations with your profs about things they are interested in! They will love you!” And they were not kidding! He really went off on this post-structuralism stuff, and I hope I can talk to him again and have him explain it better.
So I’m glad to have kind of done the “talk to your prof” thing, and that it was fun.
Also, during the class, he said something about everyone in the class being between 19 and 25ish, and then realized maybe he was wrong and asked if there were any 18-year-olds in the class. I was the only one who raised my hand and he thought it was funny.
Then, when we were talking, he said something like “You’re pretty smart for an 18-year-old lol you’re pretty smart for your first year in college. ” lol thnx i no!
ALSO, I was happy to have gotten the opportunity to mention something that I’ve been thinking about, cuz it was related: a long time ago I started wondering how the 9 months in the womb figure into the nurture vs. nature thing.  Like, we say that nurture begins when a baby is born, so if there is any personality at that point, it must be from nature. But the baby was being nurtured for nine months before that! I was very intrigued by this idea, but I hadn’t mentioned it to anyone because 1. Who? and 2. If the time in the womb is nurture, then maybe “temperaments” are a result of that nurture. And that wouldn’t be cool because I like the idea of temperaments, and they are based on the idea that people have intrinsic temperaments before any nurturing gets to them. So it would mess that up.
Anyway, the prof thought that was a really good point. He did that thing where he makes his eyeballs all big and points his finger in the air and gestures with it dangerously. (For more insight into this crazy person, see my fb notes.)

YAWN the last bit will have to wait till tomorrow, because it is long and important.
Actually it is already tomorrow sigh


Posted October 25, 2011 by rachelternes in Uncategorized

Ooops.   2 comments

Ooops because I guilted mama into subscribing to my blog and then didn’t write anything for more than a week. Sorry! : P

Last last Friday, a bunch of Methodists went to Dupont Circle. We had Krispy Kream (hot off the conveyor belt) and frozen yogurt from Mr. Yogato, and we went to a cool bookstore called Kramer Books, where I saw cool books like these:

Last Saturday (not today) a bunch of Methodists cleaned up this park/forest area thing down the road as a part of this:
I found a pager, a big ol’ seashell, a whiteboard marker, and fireworks. Other people also found license plates, make-up, couch cushions, tires, motor oil, nice shoes, a car battery, and a half disintegrated wooden golf club. Apparently we didn’t beat last year’s findings though, which included an entire outfit all in one place…

Tuesday I helped a girl who is probably a sophomore or junior with math homework. Whaat? She said she will hire me to tutor her. Whaaaaaat? Gotta think about this he he he :O

Wednesday we watched AVPM! There was a good turnout and everyone had fun! The day before, a friend and I went RedVine hunting, but we couldn’t find any and bought Twizlers instead : ( it’s ok, though, I wrote “RedVines” on the bags in sharpie… Everyone there pretty much agreed that we will do AVPS soon (dan, you will likely need to tell me how to download movies again XP ). It could not have been perfect of course, and there was one little fail on my part: the segment with Dumbledore dying was missing, and we didn’t realize until Harry started singing about how much he missed him… Oops.
OH and before that, a few people went to Dupont to use these vouchers for FREE SMALL FROYO WITH UNLIMITED TOPPINGS from Mr. Yogato! Awesomeness!

On Thursday I went with a friend (who’s mom treated us both because it was my friend’s birthday) to Les Miserables at the Kennedy Center. It was… There are no words. But it was spectacular.
Ok wow. I just skimmed a review of the show be someone who was not a star-struck as I was. Maybe I just like Victor Hugo <– my fav musicals are Notre Dame de Paris and Les Miserables. Hmmmm…

Then I made it back for the last half of our DREAM Sabbath, which was nice, but I do wish I could have seen the whole thing, of course.

Yesterday I partied all day with Uncle and Aunt! We went to The Phillips Collection, especially the Degas exhibit. Then we went to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Today we did the same thing, but at the National Gallery of Art and the Hirshhorn Museum and it’s sculpture garden. When I walk that much, me feet and knees and shins hurt. And when I see that much art, my brain hurts. But while I’m looking at one art, it makes my heart feel good. So.
We also ate good food, like and Yum yum.

Today on the metro a family with a mom and dad and two little boys ran to get on the train before the doors closed. They closed cleanly behind the dad and one of the boys and the mom, and shut the littler boy out. The mom grabbed the doors before they were all the way closed, and tried to pull them open enough for her son to slip through. The dad and a few other people helped her hold the doors for a few seconds, because they are kind of supposed to open back up if something is blocking them. But they wouldn’t open any wider. There were a few inches. A lady ran up to the little boy outside the train and asked for the parents’ cell number through the tiny crack, and said that she would take the boy on the next train and meet them at the next stop.
The parents seemed to handle it fine, but it was just such a dramatic situation. It was striking.

Posted October 15, 2011 by rachelternes in Uncategorized

a fancy accomplishment   Leave a comment

OMG! I just manipulated my psych professor’s subconscious!

I submitted a paper to him over email last Friday– or I thought I did, but he JUST emailed me to say that the paper was not attached. I was annoyed at myself for forgetting, but also a tiny bit annoyed at him for not telling me before. If he had responded soon after I sent the email on Friday, I could have totally still gotten it in on time.

Anyway, I just sent the paper with this message:
Oh my gosh! Shoot, I’m so sorry. I should have checked when I didn’t get a confirmation email. Here it is. I understand if I’m penalized for being late. 
Thanks for letting me know, 

See how the explicit message is that it was my fault. But I subliminally implied that he should have sent a confirmation email! Even though I didn’t say that explicitly 😉

I didn’t think it would work, but he just emailed me back saying that there will be no penalty!  Even though the paper was technically four days late.

Still, I will never make that mistake again.


Posted October 5, 2011 by rachelternes in Uncategorized