‘Thanks’giving

There are a lot of things I am thankful for this year and not just this time of year, but every day. We tend to forget to be thankful more than a few days a year, but this past year and the things I’ve gone through have really made me sit back and think about it a lot. The biggest thing I’m thankful for is my life because it was nothing short of a miracle that I lived through my embolisms. The generic friends, but seriously. Everyday when I was in the hospital my core group of friends came up to visit me. I never had to be alone for long, except at night. I’ve always been kind of insecure about whether or not people actually like me or just tolerate me, but this was one of those things that you don’t come and sit with someone in the hospital for hours if you don’t really like them. Come on Soph get real here. So, I know who my real friends are there. I’m thankful for my job, and not in the usual sense that it supports me. Yes, that’s a big thing, but I’m also thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given at my most recent one. My philosophy is to always do things the right way and work hard and eventually it’ll pay off. Eventually I’ll get out on top, now I wouldn’t count a couple small promotions here and there as getting out on top, but it’s a step in the right direction. I mean, two promotions in the first couple months? I can live with that.

Honestly, I could go on and on and on about what I’m thankful for and if you’ve been paying attention I didn’t say I was thankful for my family. I am, however, I’m not thankful for all of it anymore. There are a few things that just seem to be nagging at me today, and I guess I didn’t see it last year because I was spending Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania at one of my best friend’s houses. This year we came to Colorado to spend time with an old family friend who I like to call my third set of grandparents. They really are like a third set of grandparents and I love spending time with them. The thing that’s bothering me is that I grew up in a fairly large family. One that I always thought to be very close. When it all came down to it though I guess there was a lot of hatred simmering under the surface that just kind of exploded when my grandmother passed away. I feel like ever since last August my whole family has fallen apart and have hate or anger in places it never was before. It’s something that really hurts me because growing up in this family made me want to have a large family of my own, but now I hesitate because I wouldn’t want something like that to happen to my family.

I really wish I knew what I could do to change it, but I don’t, so I guess I’m just going to have to live with it.

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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

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!