20 May 2010

A Bit on the Past Semester

I just read a friend's blog post about getting through the end of the year. Most everybody I have talked to said that last semester was just crazy. It was a pure struggle for everybody. That blog post, beyond the cultural whammy I always get from things like it, just brought back what I had wanted to write when the semester ended (but instead opted for a much need break, which was definitely the right decision).

What I would have started the blog post as before was, "I can remember my freshman year, when I would explore buildings, hang out at Vienna with friends, and play plenty of Pokemon." Because really, I had felt like first semester of my freshman year had been a typified semester that I really enjoyed. Thinking back though, I really went through a lot. I can remember my very first class. It was Botany 210, and I was nervous, and then Prof Zanis began the lecture and I knew I would love it and if this was college I was more than ready for it. I can also remember Chemistry 115, and it seemed so hard that first day and their were so many people that I almost pooped my pants. I was sincerely scared. I can remember being worried when I found out Tina had switched majors, because I wanted somebody to get through CHM 115 with. After that first week, there were some fantastic times, but there was also the worry of my first exam ever (when I was told anything taught was fair game by a friend). I can remember the night I broke it off with the first guy I had ever dated. I can also remember the biting savage that is being single. I remember the horrible feeling of being lead on. Don't get me wrong, it was a fantastic semester, especially in perspective. But looking back I can see things that had me sincerely worried.

Then I look back on the past semester, and while I still stand by it was the hardest semester I had ever been through, and that I am sincerely glad it is over, it still had both its ups and downs. The time spent spinning my wheels on stuff was ridiculous. I was also really apathetic about all but a small portion of something I really cared about (and took pride in). All of the spinning my wheels often left me irritated, and it cut deeply into the time I wanted to spend with Nathan. Especially finals week. I studied my butt off, and got incredibly lucky!

But, even with all of the spinning my wheels and questioning (the only time I had really questioned my major) and everything, it turned out to be a semester that was rewarding. We are closer now than ever before at getting Gender Identity and Expression added to Purdue's Nondiscrimination. That is something that is truly rewarding. I built ties I never thought I would have with student government (btw, if anybody is wondering, I am considering a run for Senator for the year after next, so any advise there would be fantastic, lol). I really feel a part of the lab now (that was something that had bugged me first semester of this year). I got to spend time doing all sorts of things.

One event that I think typifies how the good parts of the semester was spent was Monday of finals week. Nathan, Asya, Sally, and I went to a local Russian store, got some Russian food, went back, cooked and ate it, chatted, and studied. The food and company was fantastic, and even the studying seemed to go really well. I feel that is typical of how the good times were that semester.

I am still amazed I pulled off everything I did that semester. I sincerely did not think I would be able to. Multiple times I felt everything would collapse, but those are the times I either buckled down the hardest, rechecked my perspective , or realized there just needed to be a time to relax (usually those decisions were guided by others, lol). It is people that had everything to do with that semester. People that got me through the hard parts, people that made up the fun parts, people that needed an important change, people that counted. And really, what could possibly be more powerful, more rewarding, or more worthwhile than people working, helping, and growing together? [Yes, this is the part relating to the other person's blog post that I had to add for my tongue's sake].

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So, I figured at the end of all of this you would like something totally different come at you. Today, I got to go out into the field with Asya to look at and collect different plants. It was a lot of fun, and we definitely enjoyed ourselves. Here are some pictures of me in the field :D

OMG! Evil Tree!


Skunk Cabbage :D!

Isn't that flower awesome?!

A typical day in the field, lol

2 comments:

  1. how can u be a botany major if u call a tree efil!?!?!

    :D

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  2. Great blog post, Nicholas! I read it to the very end :) :) I'm glad that you've been reaching and overcoming so many obstacles in your college career. Aside from the actual knowledge you gain in classes, these are the things that shape you into a great scientist. It's truly a pleasure having you in our lab!!! I'm glad that you finally feel like you fit in :) I know how that feels! With the rotations and the drama surrounding them during the fist semester, I am happy to have finally found my niche, too (by the way, only an ecologist would use that word in regular conversation ;) )

    I'll keep you updated on my field work schedule. Maybe we can go take that hike along the stream sometime next week :)

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