Food For Thought

It takes approximately 1,857 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat.

So, let’s say you decide, on some crazy whim to have 1 meatless meal a week, and if you’re a family of 4 you probably use 2 pounds of meat in that meal, or more. That’s 96,564 gallons of water a year, saved just by eating one meatless meal. Water is limited, and there are plenty of ways to have a delicious meal, consider it!

Advertisements

Crazy little thing I call life

Oh well hi there stranger, it’s been a while huh? I mean, holy crap it’s November, I’m on Thanksgiving break and I’ll be home in 16 days. Where did that first term go??? I always told myself I’d get around to posting, but I just never did. It is actually kind of sad that I never got to post. I’ve had ups and downs, but overall I’m living my dream and nothing could spoil that.

I ended up switching my major, I’m now an Environmental Studies major instead of Environmental Science. The difference being that I’ll be in a more social, communications like major instead of a researched based major, and that’s perfect for me. I don’t want to sit in a lab the rest of my life and study one thing, I want to be out there helping people. I discussed what I wanted to do with my major with an upper level advisor and she suggested that I make the switch, so I did.

Not to mention, upper level bio with chem was totally and kind of still is totally kicking my ass. Thanksgiving break, one more week of class, two finals and I’m going to be home…

Ryan and I went to the Academy of Natural Sciences about a week ago, and it was pretty fun. It was for a class, but still I enjoyed it. It’s not something I could do often, it’s geared more towards younger children, but it’s worth going through at least once. The butterfly house was the best part, reminded me of Reimen Gardens at home. We also found this amazing little cafe called Darlings, and we’re addicted!!! They have the best cheesecake and really anything you get there will make you very happy!

I’m at Ryan’s this week for Thanksgiving, and I’m just happy to have a break from campus for a week. I ALSO GOT TO DRIVE YESTERDAY!!! It’s been so long and I felt like I was just starting to drive all over again, but I was still very happy about it. Today I think we’re going to King of Prussia Mall, which won’t be near as much fun as if I had money, but it’ll still be hella fun!

I’ve made some really amazing friends and honestly I don’t know what I’d do without them. I’ve always been that strong, independent girl, and I was getting to the point that I was very unhappy with my decision to go to Drexel. As it turns out, I just needed a little taste of home, someone from home who understands me and knows everything about me. I was just getting stressed and things were crazy, and I needed a rock, and while she doesn’t know everything about me I met this really amazing girl on my floor who doesn’t have to know everything. She’s that girl that everyone loves because she’s just so nice and amazing, and she doesn’t ask questions, if you need something she’ll do what she can to help.

That helped my homesickness a lot, but I’m still extremely excited to go home in 17 days. Justin is picking me up at the airport, and I have so many people to see! It’ll be a break well worth it, a month at home and I think I’ll be good.

Wow!

I cannot begin to explain life since I’ve been here in Philly, it’s been crazy! I’m currently in the middle of midterms, and it feels as if I’ve only been here a few days. Time really has flown, but at the same time, I’m ready for a break because classes really are pretty hard core. Since being here I’ve learned how to actually sit down and study! For me, this is a huge feat considering I have the attention span of a squirrel. I’ve just had to take lots of breaks, turn off my phone, and use my computer at a minimum. It really hasn’t been all that bad.

Chem and Bio have kicked my butt so far, but I’ve discovered a new resource to help me with Bio, and I’m going to go to the help center for Chem in the next week. Hopefully, this will help me a lot. Recently, I decided to stop going to my Chem and Bio lectures because I wasn’t getting anything out of them, and I was taking notes on the lecture slides. Instead I’ve been reading the material, taking notes, and in the case of BIO doing the online supplements (pre-tests, post-tests, review, etc). So far, it seems to be sticking better, I went from super terrible homework, to decent homework. So, we’ll see how this goes. The one professor I really wanted for Chem lecture is Dr. King, and now that I stopped going to Bio lecture, I may just start going to his lectures that are during the same time. Though, I am going to go to Bio lecture this next week because we’re switching professors and I might end up learning more from the new one.

There hasn’t been much of a chance for me to get out and explore yet, but I’m still getting settled and used to college life and college work load, so that’s understandable. I’m anxious to get ahead/caught up enough that I can start using my cultural passport, I want to take advantage of everything in it. I mean, sure Opera doesn’t sound all that great, but hey, it never hurts to try something new! So, when I get the chance I’m going to do just that, try a ton of new things. 🙂

My textbooks are hella expensive, but I learned that the Chem and Bio books I have will get me through at least the first three classes of each, which means I spent $130-160 for the whole year instead of just one term, thank god! Speaking of, I get to register for winter term classes November 16th!!! I’m excited! I have to meet with my advisor between now and then to discuss what classes I should take because with the introduction of the new BEES program next year I may not need to take Chem, and taking that out of my schedule would make my stress levels go waaaaay down!

So, I just said it BEES, what is BEES? Well, this year Drexel partnered up with The Academy of Natural Sciences and starting next fall they will be introducing the BEES program. If anyone is history/environmental buff they’ll know that ANS is the oldest Natural Sciences museum/research facility in the U.S. (Even older than the smithsonian!!). The BEES Program will be the new Environmental based major at Drexel, it stands for Bio-diversity in Earth and Environmental Sciences. I’m pretty excited for this to start. It’s emphasis is Field experience early and often. I’m definitely okay with getting out of the classrooms more. The school digest had an article about it this week: http://www.drexel.edu/now/features/archive/2011/October/BEES-Department/

This week is midterms, and I’m hoping that after this week I’ll finally be settled enough to start blogging regularly again. I’m also hoping to finally be able to start reading a little in my free time again, I really miss that 😦

The one thing that’s been the best since being out here was finally getting to see Maisam! Columbus Day weekend I went to see her in Boston and spent the weekend there. It was so much fun, and I was sooo happy to see her. I missed her bunches! I can’t wait to see her again!

I’ve met so many people, and made some pretty amazing friends. So far it’s been exactly what I was looking for, major change, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next!!

So, one final little thing and I’ll be done for the night… College is expensive, to the point of downright ridiculousness, and same as most people I’m struggling to pay for it. I recently entered an essay for a scholarship, and it’s win by popular vote. All you have to do is go to the link and click vote. Thanks bunches!

http://www.wyzant.com/scholarships/v2/essay16000-Philadelphia-PA.aspx

Books, books, books and some more books…

So, I’m supposed to be reading Hoops by Major Jackson as my summer reading for school, but I seriously can’t get into it. I’ve thoroughly read the first few poems, but when it takes me 5 times through to fully understand the metaphors and meanings, even when the meanings aren’t clear, it is very disheartening. I mean, I’ve vowed not to procrastinate in college, and this IS my very first college assignment, but damn! I am really struggling here. I would never recommend this book to anyone and feel bad for anyone who has to read it in the future.

I am, however, very excited for some books I recently bought. With Borders going out of business I spent quite a bit on books I was slowly getting as I got the money. I got 5 books pertaining to the environment that I feel will help me not only with my monday environmental posts, but also with classes and any papers I have to write. I skimmed through a few of them and will most definitely be recommending them as I read through them. I’m still finishing up the Harry Potter series, and plan to finish Hoops on the drive to Philadelphia on Monday/Tuesday. By next Friday I should have started a totally new book and possibly be finished with it.

A Change of Temperature

This is probably one of the most simple changes that can be made to be just a bit more environmentally friendly. Heating and Cooling systems in the U.S. together emit 150 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. By turning the thermostat back 10-15 degrees at night, it can save about 5-15% a year on your heating bill.

In warm weather, set the thermostat at 78degrees, and in cold, set it to 68degrees. It’s not all that hard to put on some warmer clothes or to turn on a fan. I’m sure you won’t be complaining when your heating/cooling bill isn’t as high. If you really want to go nuts, set the thermostat for 85degrees when no one is home during the day in the summer and down to 55degrees at night in the winter. An extra blanket never hurt anything.

At home, I can’t control the temperature of the house, I can only ask my mom to follow these guides, but at school, as long as it’s alright with my roommate, I can easily do it. Air conditioning and heating systems weren’t always around, and there are plenty of fun and creative ways to cool down, so don’t be lazy, and while it doesn’t cost me anything extra to blast my heat or air conditioning at school, why not save them a little money?

Season of Change…

I wish that it was fall all year round. There’s many aspects of this season that I absolutely love, and adore.

1) The COLORS!
-This is when people are rushing to be festive for the multitude of holidays ahead, and for many different religions.
-This is when the leaves start to change, and you’re surrounded by a multitude of reds, yellows and oranges.
-This is when all the late summer fruits and vegetables come to harvest and fill the farmers markets with wonderful colors and flavors and smells.

2) The Weather
-Cold enough for hot drinks, but not so cold you can’t sit and sip and enjoy them.
-Shorts and t-shirts are still acceptable, but so are light jackets, jeans, long sleeves, and leggings.
-It’s a perfect in between the bitter cold of winter and the stifling hot of summer.

3) The CHANGE
School starts in the fall. You finally get to see the changes you’ve made over the year, physical, emotional, personal, etc. It seems as if the slow, constant state of change we are in momentarily speeds up and many things happen all at once. It’s a thrill, it’s scary, it’s nerve wracking, and exhilarating. I’ve always loved, encouraged and embraced change, so naturally a state of acceleration is going to excite me.

I love fall, and everything it brings with it, and while I do love it, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate it near as much if I didn’t have the other seasons to compliment it. Not to mention, I do enjoy the other seasons as well, Fall is just m y favorite. I leave for school in 5 days and move into my dorm in 6, I could not be more excited than I am right now. My environmental post, along with my try something new post, will be happening, hopefully, later on today. I was planning on doing the Environmental post yesterday, but I just didn’t happen, but I have an amazing one planned out now!

Worst Feeling in the WORLD

So, I realize I didn’t do my Monday Sustainable life post, I’ll post it later today. I didn’t want it to be rushed like the last one, and I wanted to put some more thought into it, so I’ll be posting it later than usual. Today I ended up getting swamped with packing stuff for moving to college, which happens in like 7 days, just sayin.

My school is approximately 1200 miles from home. None of my friends are leaving the state, in fact, one of my friends who moved to Georgia half way through our senior year came BACK to Iowa…. Okay, whatever, your decision.

For the longest time my best friend was extremely pissed at me because I was moving away, and I was going to just forget her like yesterday’s news. I was going to go away and we wouldn’t be best friends anymore. All of this stuff, and the worst one was, “If our friendship dies it won’t be because of me, it’ll be because of you and you know it.”

Jeez, thanks for the vote of confidence, good to know you doubt our friendship that much. Well, I hate to break it to you, but it’s not me that’s the reason our friendship is falling apart, it’s you. I haven’t even left for school yet, and the whole month of July and August she knew when I was free, but usually blew me off. Then, she promised that she’d come see me her first week of class, and she blew me off again. I told her I’d be free all weekend and she blew me off again. Her boyfriend is one of my best guy friends and he helped me pack today, and he told me that she was hanging out with some kids from school playing xbox, when we were supposed to hang out. I always play xbox, but she never wanted to do that.

I don’t care if this sounds childish, but I miss my best friend, and it’s not my fault that I am missing her. So, thanks for doubting that I’d be decent enough to keep in touch when I leave, but also for accusing me of ignoring you when I leave when it’s the exact opposite…