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10 May 2007

Easing into Summer, Busily

First off, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Andrea Day, which of course was Tuesday 08 May. And from the sounds of things, it was just in the nick of time, too. I feel a bit sorry for not being able to send Andrea anything, although I did send her a comment on just about every one of her online profiles right at midnight, and probably freaked out a couple of my friends by asking them to do the same.

And interestingly enough, Wednesday was an Andrea Day of different sorts, if only at the National Hurricane Center. Recent public advisories have made reference to a "slow-moving Andrea... just offshore of the southeastern United States." Whatever. All I know is that our Andrea, slow-moving or not, would be happy to hear that her name is first on the 2007 list of Atlantic tropical cyclones that ends with... Wendy. Can anyone say "cheeseburger"? ;)

Speaking of which, my father cooked some on the grill last night for dinner.

Moving along, though, from that utter nonsense, the last couple weeks have been pretty darn cool for me. Where did I leave off in my last post? Oh, yeah; finals week. I guess it could have gone better, but it all worked out well enough. The PHYS exam was entirely multiple choice, and as I've said before, I maintain that physics knowledge is not adequately assessed by multiple-choice examinations.

I blanked out on how to do one of the main problems in MATH, and we all know how I've loved Honors CHEM exams over the year. In comparison, writing the paper for PS wasn't all that bad, although I had a little bit of trouble finding the office to which it had to be turned in, and ended up submitting it just moments before it was due.

Meanwhile, the DRS project for ENGR 0715 was winding down, and we were still emailing files back and forth and we ended up delivering the files to our client, DRS on Thursday 26 April. And as of yesterday, our version of the online accessibility map is up and running! They seemed to have been thrilled with what we provided, so of course that made all of us very happy. That was combined with all those presentations I mentioned and the huge paper which apparently established "engaging, articulate, well-detailed descriptions, explanations, and evaluations of... all aspects of [our] project, process, and outcomes," i.e., it was good. The end result was a good project and a good grade.

Here's the whole breakdown:

CHEM 0770 Honors General Chemistry for Engineers 2 4 cr. B-
ENGR 0082 Freshman Engineering Seminar 20 cr. S
ENGR 0715 Engineering Applications for Society3 cr. A
MATH 0240 Analytic Geometry & Calculus 34 cr. B
PHYS 0175 Basic Physics for Science & Engineering 24 cr. A-
PS 0200 American Political Process3 cr. B+

These grades represent a QPA of 3.319 for the term on 18 credits, bringing my cumulative average to 3.486... not quite so wonderful as last term, but absolutely respectable nonetheless.

So I was done with everything by late Friday afternoon, 27 April. I quickly checked my messages and then got ready to take a shower before heading off with Emily to PNC Park for a baseball game. Except my mother called at that very moment. Oh, well. It was a slight setback, but all went well, and despite an impromptu bus detour, we found our seats and sat in them just in time to be told to rise for the singing of the national anthem. Which, of course, was performed by a choir of obnoxiously cute elementary school students, among which was my ten-year-old cousin Scott.

The game was good (and the Pirates won 3-1, making it better), but I really enjoyed spending time with Emily and my aunt Bev. It turned out that my friend Andy from high school had brought a group of friends from Slippery Rock University to see the game as well, so we met up for a bit during one of those "middle" innings (the fifth, maybe?). After the game, Emily and I went up the Incline and talked for a while before heading back to Oakland.

I spent most of Saturday 28 April packing up all of my stuff. At some point, I invited Emily over to help. Then Sunday 29 April was Commencement, which started with a wonderful breakfast for us (the band), and then we played a series of commencement-like songs strung together for the 31 minutes it took for all 6,000-plus graduates to process into the Petersen Events Center. Former Governor Tom Ridge gave the keynote address. Soon afterwards, my parents came to take me to dinner, and then we started shoving all of my stuff into the van, save for my trumpet, and a couple suitcases.

Why a trumpet and suitcases? Because of the symphonic band's two-night tour in New Jersey! We played at a high school in Oakhurst, NJ on Monday 30 April and at the Ocean City Music Pier on Tuesday 01 May, right on the beach. And the sand was perfect. I didn't go in the ocean, though. Too cold.

We got back to Pittsburgh around 16:00 on Wednesday 02 May, just in time for me to be whisked away by my father to... a Pitt alumni event in Erie that just happened to be later that evening. I got a little name tag like everyone else, and I had to do a little mingling, but it was pretty cool. Especially considering that I was one of the few there whose class year started with a "2," and certainly the only one whose year was in the future. The lectures were health science-oriented, but some of the stuff they were talking about was just plain awesome! Really, really neat stuff like tissue regeneration, "humanized" mice for lab research, and possible cancer treatments. Really cool.

Anywho, I finally got home around 21:00, and was utterly exhausted. I basically slept for a couple days. I got a haircut while I was awake on Friday, and oddly enough I knew both of the people sitting in the chairs next to me at the time, which never happens. One was a lady from my church. The other was my aunt Marilyn, whose family is now up from Florida for the summer.

Saturday I went to a wedding with my parents while my brother attended an extracurricular school function. The priest who officiated was large and jovial, and he projected his voice in such a manner that my mother likened him to Santa Claus. What a coincidence, then, that the church was St. Nicholas'?

About halfway through the reception I was practically falling asleep. But not because it was boring. Both sides being Italian, they danced the Tarantella for about eight minutes straight, which is appropriate because it's often danced at "authentic Italian weddings." It was pretty cool. My brother would have run out of the place screaming because he hates the song. Better hope he doesn't marry an Italian.

On Sunday I went to a SeaWolves baseball game, and again, it was primarily for the national anthem. This time it was my brother, as well as the rest of the GHS Select Choir. They certainly weren't "obnoxiously cute elementary school students," but they definitely had talent, as they quite readily pulled off a rather difficult four-part arrangement of the Star-Spangled Banner, despite having a noisy fire truck go by on Tenth Street during the "rockets' red glare."

Occasionally, during lulls in the action on the field, they play songs such as the Tarantella over the loudspeakers at Jerry Uht Park. They didn't on Sunday, which disappointed me. Then again, a mad David isn't usually a good one. But the SeaWolves won. And apparently they're doing well this season, which hasn't happened in a while. So that's cool. [insert trademark wolf howl here]

Um, I applied for a summer job on Tuesday. We'll see how that goes, and I'll keep you posted right here.

I also visited some of my old teachers on Tuesday; all were glad to see me (as one would hope). I'll visit some of the others next week.

Oh, and I found out that I've been selected as a counselor for Music Camp this July! So that's exciting. There will certainly be much more here as camp approaches.

Um, I think that's it. Except I recently came to the realization that my total exhaustion probably has something to do with caffeine withdrawal. Because it was so prominent in my lifestyle at Pitt, it's a big difference here where you'd think it was banned or something. I woke up Wednesday afternoon from another one of those "way-too-long" naps and promptly drank a root beer, because I figured sugar might help. It didn't. I need to detox more gradually. I blame last year's stupid meal plan which didn't let you get milk as part of a meal block... at least that'll be better next year when blocks won't exist.

Okay, here I am talking about being tired, and it's the middle of the night. I'm done.

Random tangent 1: Though I've been home a week, I still haven't finished unpacking, nor will I ever. I've just got to sort enough stuff out so that I have room to walk in my room. That sounds like a project for today...

Random tangent 2: This is post number 123. Just thought you'd like to know.


Barbara said...

Good luck on the job search. I know you will be a great counselor for Music week!! We hope to come to Girard soon but since Leah has soccer on Saturdays it makes it difficult. Good job on your grades.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to read that you and Emily had fun at the Pirates game. Scott and I enjoyed it too!

Lexi Elizabeth said...

the first hurricane is named andrea???....and it happened on the day after andrea day?

that's pretty freaky, if i do say so myself.

you sound very busy. i wish we were out of school right now. *sigh* but i don't want summer to come either

Anonymous said...

I've never seen nor heard the Tarantella.

Tim Parenti said...

Barb: Aw, thanks for the vote of confidence!

Bev: Thanks again for the tickets!

Andrea: It was actually just a Subtropical Storm; hurricane season doesn't start for another three weeks, but it's the same people who have to track the darn thing.

Emily: That is an utter shame. You have clearly had a depraved childhood. Use the link I provided and enjoy. You'll have to imagine the spinning, but I don't think you'll have trouble with that. ;)

Anonymous said...

I had a depraved childhood? Are you sure you mean that?

Anonymous said...

Ok, I have heard this, I just didn't know what it was called... but this still doesn't mean my childhood was depraved.

Tim Parenti said...

Emily: Hey, you were the one who used "depravity" that way first. I guess you rubbed off on me.

Emily (again): Well, that's good.

Anonymous said...

Timmils, I felt that you should know that despite being home since 29 April, i have not even begun to unpack... so yay for us non-unpackers. haha

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