Saturday, October 4, 2008

Life As a Grad Student

I'm officially the worst blogger ... EVER!!!

Sorry for that. Well, here is my list of the top 10 faves ( in no particular order) about grad school/Austin so far...

1. Meeting new friends- My friendship circle has gone global- it's a great thing. I have friends from Brazil and China- I am always amazed at how brave they were to come, and how well they fit in.

2. Learning to accept differences... and bite my tongue when necessary
( Small classroom setting + extremely outspoken people = some (not-so-great) debates)

3. Living in a big city- I'm never bored
4. Running by the lake (some good people watching here- the gay sightings multiply by the lake)
5. Hula Hut (my favorite restaurant) is located only about 10 minutes away from my apt.
6. Slowly figuring out what I want to do/don't want to do with my life
7. Being challenged daily- by professors and assignments and public transportation- which I still refuse to take because I'm scared/don't know how to use it
( I have quickly learned that I am my biggest roadblock when it comes down to what I want to do)

8. Ryan (and his dogs) are in Austin- he is very helpful when it comes to the technological aspect of my work. :)
9. People watching
10. Realizing that I am here for a reason- maybe I'm not sure what it is yet, and maybe my likes/dislikes might change along the way... but I'm here- and not by mistake.

1. Bicyclists- every time one of them is riding their stupid BIKE in front of my CAR I am tempted to just RUN them over. Call it "bike" rage if you must... but the next time one of them is going 25 MPH in front of my car- I will run them over.

2. Traffic- I live downtown which is great, until about 4:30-6:30 Monday-Friday when the mass exodus occurs. All of the roads/highways become jammed with bumper to bumper traffic- I try to avoid driving during those times.

3. Squirrels- the UT squirrels aren't as nice as Baylor squirrels- I think it's because they are from the streets- I like to think of them as thugs in the squirrel world.

4. Public Transportation- everyone uses public transportation here- except me. I'm scared of it/don't know how to use it- would probably end up in Houston if I tried it. I will stick to my car.

5. The Creeper- He is a man in our program- who thinks he knows everything about everything- and chooses to interject his opinion whenever he feels necessary- which is every 5 seconds. He has been nicknamed the creeper- and he is about twice my age. He once told our class he spent some of his life in Hollywood as a "gutter punk (umm.. I'm from Cali- and have never heard that term before)" that sold acid out of a tent.. ... CLASSY- not so much...

6. Lack of time- I feel as if I spend most of my time in class, lab or practicum- if I'm not in one of those, I'm trying to catch up on sleep, or covering an event/lecture/meeting/etc for a story- oh yeah.. and I haven't even started my Master's project yet.

7. Not knowing what my "area of expertise" will be: each student needs to adopt a specialization- where they will take graduate level courses in that area- so I can obtain a more knowledge in that certain area, therefore, being able to better report on it. I was thinking Women's health...

8. Being.. at least... an hour and half away from any of my Baylor friends

9. The economy- I'm scared- companies all over are trying to condense their staff- not expand. I'm worried I won't be able to find a good job when I graduate.

10. Politics- Good Lord- people here are CRAZY about politics. No, I don't care who you are voting for... and NO, I'm not going to tell you who I'm voting for- and under NO circumstances can we have a small political discussion. Absolutely NOT.

Love you and miss you all....

New apartment pics

Here are some pictures of my new apartment- I'm stillll in the process of hanging things on my walls.

My home for the next two years..... not the old Waco duplex, but still pretty great.
<------ Living room (before my second couch arrived) You can kind of see my fireplace!

<----- Bathroom (had to have a princess sign)

<--- My (still messy) room

<----- Kitchen

Sunday, August 31, 2008

My first OFFICIAL week as a grad student

I know that I haven't updated since I have been here in Austin. For those of you who were wondering, I absolutely love it. I live right downtown- my complex is located directly behind the drag. It feels great to be in a big city again.

I have a lot to tell everyone, so this might be kind of long, so stay with me :) The move-in process went rather smoothly. My dad and I loaded my stuff up from Waco in a U-haul and we drove to Austin. My mom and I had this "genius" idea while I was still home in Cali- that we should hire movers, so my dad, Ryan and I would not have to lift my LIFE up two flights of stairs in the 100+ Texas summer sun. An hour after we had arrived in Austin, the movers were nowhere to be found, and since it wasn't getting any cooler outside, we decided to just grin and bear it. I guess I needed a workout anyways?

Several weeks later.... I am still in the process of putting things where they need to be, and waiting on my new couch/ loveseat to be delivered. I really do love my apartment- I will have to post pictures soon. Living alone is much better than I thought it would be- especially since I really need to take this time to concentrate and focus on my schoolwork. Randomly, one of my neighbors is from Ventura, California. He went to high school with some of my cousins. Small world. HUGE bonus: my apartment is within walking distance of UT- which works out extremely well, considering my lack of bus-riding experience and the lack of parking spaces.

Fastforward to orientation, which was last Thursday. My mom actually came to stay with me last week, to help decorate and make sure I was settled. I wasn't nervous until I was making the walk at 7:30 a.m. to orientation. Of course, I had the obvious doubts in my mind: Would I like the people? Would they like me? Am I sure this is what I'm supposed to be doing? Am I going to like it? Then, came the obligatory awkward entrance into a room full of professors, deans and new students. I took a deep breath- mentally prepared myself for a new beginning, and opened the door.

My program consists of only 35 people, and I am the youngest. Fortunately, there are not too many creepers- only 1 so far, which I will tell everyone about later. It is so completely different than Baylor- so much, that they can't even be compared. Baylor will always be my alma mater and will remain very dear to my heart; however, I am REALLY excited to be in such a great academic environment here at UT.

All of my fears went out the door- because I realized that for the next two years, I will receive the proper training- to help me realize my dream. The people I met, have also been really nice as well.

I made some new friends which I am very excited about- mainly because I was worried that my "new friendgroup" was going to consist of older students (married with children). I was so wrong..... I have a name-twin in my program which was very exciting for me- and for all of our professors who act like they have never had two people with the same name in one of their classes before.. I am currently awaiting my nickname :) The great thing about our group, is that we all come from different places, schools, backgrounds and work experience; however, we are all here, starting on a new journey to essentially achieve the same goal. It will be an honor to walk they stage with them two years from now.

As for school- lets just say that I will be writing.. A LOT for the next two years. More on the Master's project will come later.

I love love love love Austin- there is constantly something going on and new things to try. I tried a new church this morning: Austin Stone- it was great and I think I will make it my home church. It is very contemporary and laid back. The pastor was funny and many other college students attend. I look forward to going back next week.

More later- I have some studying/people watching to do. :) Love and miss you all.

Friday, August 8, 2008

One World One Dream...

I LOVE the Olympics. Every four years I look forward to watching them- especially my faves: gymnastics, swimming, diving and track and field. Almost more impressive than the athletes themselves, is the opening ceremony. The parade of nations is one of my favorite things about the Olympic games. Each country has its chance to showcase their athletes- past and present. They all come out in their different costumes- it truly is a sight to see.  There has been so much controversy surrounding the Beijing Olympics, but when you see all of the athletes walking around and mingling with other athletes from around the world, you realize that they are all part of one world- working to achieve one dream. I love this motto- I really do. 

On a side note... Jeremy Wariner (Baylor grad) just made a quick appearance on tv and Michael Phelps couldn't walk in the parade because it conflicted with one of his competitions :( Sad day- he is my Olympian guilty pleasure. 

On another side note: I promise I will update more often (haha- at least more than once a month). I am coming back to Texas on Sunday. Sad to leave Cali :( but excited to be back in Texas and starting my new life in Austin. Miss you all. 

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Kira got a BLOG!!!!

Finally got one... yay. Thanks Bo-Ho for helping me. In light of J-Patt's wedding (I guess we can't really call her that anymore), I decided to make one. Love you all.