Monday, August 24, 2009

Life Update


School is starting again today. I had two classes this morning, and I have one more tonight, and two more tomorrow. This semester I am taking:

- English 5730: Studies Early American Literature - This class seems like it will be a lot of work. The professor seems very demanding, but seems to be a pretty nice guy. I've heard good things about him. When I went in to see a counselor for my graduation papers, she told me that if I go in for his office hours he'll love me to death, and I think that's probably true. This class will be a lot of reading early American documents (like the Constitution, or Pioneers, and Rip Van Winkle, which he says is the most under-read important novel). It's about new Americans defining Americanness. Cool.

- Philosophy 1250: Reasoning & Rational Decision Making - I'm not just crazy about this class. It meets my QB math requirement, so it is basically a class instead of "Statistics". It also seemed like a good idea because I'm about to take the LSAT. Here's the only problem: It's taught by a grad student. Why are 80% of all grad students so pompous?! Seriously, my impression of this guy so far is that he thinks he is a god and everyone should bend to his whims. DO NOT BE LATE. It is reasonable to expect people to be on time, but SRSLY, if I have another class that ends 15 minutes before, which I do, and that class goes over, which it does, you're really going to count all of my assignments late if I am not in my seat when the class officially starts? Give me a break. He is also a brat about e-mail. He will not e-mail about grades unless you are using your official university e-mail address. Does anyone even know their password for that? [No.] And what, are my parents going to pretend they're me and find his e-mail address to e-mail him or something? Really?

- English 3702: Intro to Literary History 2 - I think this is going to be a lame class, because the Literary History classes are all miserable and used to be required but are not any more. (But they still double count for requirements.) HOWEVER! It is taught by an amazing professor who knows her stuff and prepares like crazy and makes classes awesome. It will probably become my favorite class this semester, just like the Darwin class that I thought I would hate and actually loved, which she taught last semester.
- English 5885: Adolescent Literature - Very highly recommended professor. At graduation counseling, the lady said this class would be a riot. THANKFULLY, this class is not about the Holocaust like my Children's Lit class was, and includes Catcher in the Rye, which I haven't read since high school but remember liking back then.

- English 5110: Folklore Genres - This class has a big project attached to it, which is writing the life story of an old person. I am really looking forward to it. I can either interview a grandparent or other relative, or the professor will match us up with hospice care people. NEAT.

So that's what I have going on. I am also still preparing for the LSAT, so I have prep classes for that on Monday and Thursday nights.


I quit my job so that I will have time to actually do my homework this semester. And so that I will have much more time to study for the LSAT. (It was really weird. My boss said they had 65 applications for my job. Holy smokes! And they even lowered the pay rate with budget cuts... She interviewed seven applicants and hired a guy last Thursday. I'm going to miss my coworkers since they were sort of my only friends.) I think I am also going to quit volunteering in Preservations, because: 1) I just feel too busy. 2) It doesn't feel very altruistic, so it isn't as rewarding as I had hoped. 3) They treat me like an actual employee and kind of glare when I announce that I will be missing days, but really, who has time to volunteer 10 hours every week? 4) The block of time that I was volunteering before is not free time for me anymore.

So I feel kind of like a quitter, but it's okay because it's really just a re-balancing of my schedule and life and priorities, and all that. And that's good and healthy.

Speaking of good and healthy, I am not. I'm sick today. And yesterday. I have a cold. The grad student said that the University is making accommodations for people with the H1N1 virus (he called it the "piggy sniffles"), which made me wonder if I have that. All of the symptoms are normal being-sick symptoms, so who knows, but I doubt that I do because I'm not vomiting or having diarrhea or anything like that, and I'm not enough of a hypochondriac to actually be concerned about that.

The Race

I am also sore, sore, sore, because my body is broken from running a half marathon this weekend. I ran the Hobble Creek 1/2 Marathon on Saturday. It was an adventure for a lot of reasons. The first reason is, even though I have been driving for a few months now, I have never driven anywhere near Provo. I one-time drove to J's new house in South Jordan, but I insisted upon taking State Street. Sooo, when J decided his move would be the same day as my 1/2 marathon, I realized I would have to drive to Mapleton alone. So far! I decided I would take State Street, since I had heard it goes all the way from Salt Lake to Provo.

Uhhh, it doesn't. I got to the end of State Street and took some road to like, Bangerter, to like Alpine Highway, to somewhere. I ended up in Bluffdale and Saratoga Springs, and eventually Lehi, and then I was okay. But I swear, with all the detours I totally went to like, every city between Salt Lake and Provo. I don't know how long it took. I had to change lanes a lot of times, which makes me nervous. I made it to Jessica's house safely, though. And then I had to take the freeway at like 5am on Saturday to get out to Mapleton. And the exit I needed was supposed to be closed, but it wasn't, so I took it. BUT THEN! The streets after the exit were closed! So I drove all around hoping that I would somehow find State Street and going in the direction I thought it was, until the street I was following ended. Uh oh. But I saw a few people who seemed to be going the same way and I followed them, and made a little loop and somehow ended up on State Street. And somehow got there.

And the race was fine. EXCEPT! Know how after I hiked the Grand Canyon in one day in May my left knee hurt for like 3 weeks? And then it finally got better but I could only use elliptical machines for awhile and then finally I could use the treadmill again? At mile eight, my left knee started hurting again. Badly. I found a way to kind of run by swinging my left leg instead of running on it, but it was lame. (hah. Literally.) I mostly walked the last five miles. So instead of improving my time this race, I was a few minutes slower than I was in the SLC 1/2 marathon. Too bad! At the end a few people (separately!) thanked me and told me I had been their pace girl and that I had kept them going. I told them they were mine, too, which was true. When you run, a lot of times you're running with the same people, so you push yourself to get ahead of whoever you keep passing, or to get ahead of the next person in front of you. Everyone inspires everyone else. And when people pass you they call out, "Good job! You're doing great, just keep going!" and they encourage you. It's pretty neat.

I was not last, but there were not a lot of people to finish after me. The race registration closed in two days, and who registers within the first two days of registration for a race?! Hard core people. So I was for sure one of the least-fit, least-trained, least-slim, least-fast people. But that was okay, because I was there. And I finished. And running 13.1 miles on a Saturday morning is much more awesome and healthy than not running. So I feel good about it. I don't think I will be ready for my full marathon next month, though. My cardiovascular system was fine, but my knee had a lot of problems, and if it's been 3 months since the hike, I don't know that 1 more month will make a big enough difference. We'll see.


J and I have been dating for about six months now. It's still going really well. I am very happy. After we were dating exclusively, he asked that I please drive his other car, because he was driving a lot. And since he is quite allergic to Paley, and since my house is tiny, and since I don't have air conditioning, it made sense for us to spend more time at his house than mine, but that meant he would drive from his house to my house to his house, and then drive from his house to my house to his house again to take me home. And he was already paying to insure the other car, he told me, so me not driving it was costing him.

I didn't mind taking TRAX and was really afraid of driving because of my accident in...2002? So I was not crazy about driving at all. Plus driving is expensive. He said he would pay for my gas and insurance, and any repairs, etc. So I started driving when we would go places. Sometimes. And he was patient and confident in me. I was really nervous. But I became comfortable driving between our houses, which made dating me more pleasant, I think. I started driving his white car every day. And then one day I Stopped for Gas! Which was an exciting new challenge. And another day I Switched Lanes! And one day I Went to Walmart! And now I've been driving every day for a few months and I am pleased, because I knew I needed to start driving again eventually, and I can't think of a more ideal set of circumstances for re-learning to drive than the ones that I've had. So that's been good. I took the freeway back from my race this weekend. Go, me!

J moved this weekend. He bought a house in South Jordan, which I absolutely love. It's kind of ugly. Actually, it's the ugliest house in the neighborhood. But he got a smashing deal on it (he paid $30k less than it appraised for!) and it really is in a great area. It's a neat house. It's divided into two separate living areas (with a shared laundry room in between), so he's renting out the front (which is bigger and nicer), and he will live in the back. It is on half an acre, ag-zoned. It has a pasture that is already fenced off [perfect for goats!], and barns [we put the chickens in part of one!], and a big open backyard [perfect for gardening!], and mature fruit trees, which delight me. It has apricots (we ate like a billion of them and fed like a billion soft ones to our birds), plums (they're next), pears (!!!!!), and apples. The trees need to be pruned so so badly. There is also a ton of storage space. The garage is huge (it has a basketball court in it), it has two storage rooms built into it, plus an above space that is almost like another living area except that it has no water to it, and another area above that that is like a little secret clubhouse for kids, or something. It is an attic area, where the ceiling slants, but it has hardwood floors, and a desk built in, and windows that overlook the yard. It has a bed up there, which I don't know how they got it up there because the hole to climb up to the room is tiny. The neighbor kids said they used to spend the night up there. Fun!

So far we have painted the front kitchen (which was hot pink) and we've done a bunch of yard work. (Actually, J's dad has done a TON of yard work.) We've been getting the front unit ready to rent. I lowered the price on our ad yesterday and J has gotten 4 more calls about it in the past day, so I think it's probably about the right price now and I think it will probably rent soon. (I want to paint the barn, because it looks way run-down, which I think makes the whole property look more run-down, but whatever. We'll get to it.) I think so far we've shown the house to like...4 or 5? people? We had one applicant, but they were just way too risky, so it didn't work out. So this should be good.

Since J and I spend every day together and South Jordan = a lot of driving for me, his wonderful parents have offered to let me stay at their house whenever I want. It is 6 blocks away from J's new house, so it's really convenient for, say, Friday and Saturday nights. We are talking about driving up to Salt Lake in the mornings, and then I would stay there even more. I have my own bedroom and bathroom which are new and gorgeous, and I have drawers and a walk-in closet, and my own nice kitchen, as many cherry tomatoes and fresh garden vegetables as I can eat, etc. (Last night they served us fresh watermelon. It was yellow inside! It tasted delicious.)

The only trouble is, poor Paley can't move in with J or his parents, so she will become an outside cat at J's new house. I'm sure she will love, love, love living there, because the CHICKENS! are outside and they are SO MUCH FUN to watch. And there are grasshoppers! And rodents! And other fun things to catch. But I know she will be sad when I am inside and she can't come in. At least for a little while. The barn will keep her dry and warm, though, so she should be okay. For now she's still at my little apartment by the U of U, but she misses me since I only come home to sleep.

My Birthday

Last week was my birthday. I turned 26. Jess and Mitch celebrated with me the weekend before, and Jess wrote me a nice blog post. J and I went to Red Lobster for dinner. He gave me a little hymn book (in English! Which I have wanted forever but never want to spend the money on.) and socks (which I have needed more of forever but never want to spend the money on.) So that was nice. I like useful presents. (Jess also gave me useful presents. She gave me plates, silverware, pans, and kitchen stuff. Plus six Sees Butterscotch Squares, which I ATE, which I had been in the mood for for a long time since no Sees is near me.)

Hm. What else? I don't know. This is a pretty long post and I need to get some LSAT study in before my next class, so I think I'll stop here. (And hopefully update more often so that my posts are not as long.)


Heather said...

I loove this post! It is so delightful! Wait, no - Emily, YOU are delightful! (I'm using a lot of exclamation points!) I am glad things are going really well and that you are happy. Wahoo!

Braden said...

He will not e-mail about grades unless you are using your official university e-mail address. Does anyone even know their password for that? [No.]

FYI, you can set it up to forward to your GMail, and then set up your GMail to send messages from that address.

MamaErin said...

Thanks for this update, Emily! I think you made a wise decision in trimming down your schedule a bit. I always felt like a quitter leaving jobs but trust me, in the long run you'll be very happy with your choices. I'm glad you had a great birthday! Has it really already been six months???