Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I guess I'm happy (?) that school is pretty hard. For the most part I find my classes stimulating, with the notable, if expected exception of Statistics. In general I would like to find challenge in my readings and classes, but at the same time, I haven't had my ass kicked by acadaemia in a while. It's refreshing, maybe, I think. Oddly enough the most difficult class is one that I had no notion of before showing up for the first class. Turns out that Structure of Cities and Regions is a heavily theoretical class on why the world is shaped as it is, spanning the spectrum from Childe's thesis on stone aged agricultural revolutions to Neo-Marxist thought on the capitalization of urban space. And this is only month one!! Anyway, the reading load is approximately 2500 pages this semester, plus 3 exams and 3 projects. Lovely! Maybe I'll publish some of my work and you can read the kind of crap that they expect over-educated youth to produce these days.

Incidentally, there are 3 Iowans in one of my classes and at least 4 that I know of in the program. Aditionally, of the 15 people I know by name in my program, 2 others are named Aaron (or Aron) and 3 are named Paul. That simplifies my life a bit.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

This is the before picture. This is where we've been for the past few weeks. It isn't really conducive to cooking or healthy dining. Look, all we've got on our shelves is a couple of DeWalt power drills!
Here's the kitchen in the more-or-less "After" picture. Note the sweetness of the appliances and the awesomeness of the cork floors and custom cement countertop.
My life boils down to three things: School, work, home repair. It's not spectacular, but it certainly occupies my time. I'll say this though, now that we've gotten the kitchen appliances in, the house seems a whole lot more livable. The pictures should show that though.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

My first week of classes is over. The first involuntary naps of my graduate career have been taken. Think about it though, if you were stuck in basement classrooms for 8 hours in a single day, wouldn't you doze off? Only one of my five classes is in a room with windows. The others tend to be located in subterranean vaults from the 70's. It's odd that the School of Design is located in one of the shittiest buildings on campus. Myerson hall is kind of like the Humanities building at macalester, but uglier and bigger. On the positive side, they do have bike parking in the basement. I would almost feel safe locking my nice bikes down there.

I've still gotta figure out how much time I'll really need to devote to study. I'm still planning on working some at the bike shop, but can't quite figure out how much to do. Jennifer and I have a fair amout to do on the house, I've got something like 10,000 pages to read this semester and a good number of tests thrown in there as well.

Anyway, less bitching, more working. That's how it should be right?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ok, the plan is to get more regular posting up now that I'm going to be a student again. I'm currently waiting anxiously for my first day of class. My lineup is as follows: Monday's I'll be taking one half of my Techniques of Urban Analysis, and that's all. Tuesday will be my Intro to Environmental Planning and also my Structure of Cities and Regions. Wednesday, I'll have Cities Past and Present, a historical overview and my week finishes with a bang on Thursday with the second half of each of my Monday and Tuesday classes as well as Statistics for the Social Sciences. Fridays will hopefully be free, either to work (probably) or screw off (wishfully). I'm looking forward to the classes for the most part, with a little worry about my ability to maintain consciousness in these longer 3 hour sessions that some of the classes use. Lord knows I had a great deal of trouble staying awake in my undergraduate 1.5 hour classes. I guess I've just got to be dilligent about getting sleep.

In other news, I almost blew up the house last night. We've been moving the old stove around a fair amount in the kitchen and have consequently been turning off the gas after we're done using it. This necessitates re-lighting the burners after each use. Normally, I use the blowtorch to do this each time but the other day I found a lighter in my tool box and decided that it would be great to leave that on top of the stove so that I could light the burners more quickly. After using the stove, I just took the lighter and stuck it between the grates of a grill on the back of the stove, not thinking about the fact that those vents were from the oven. This wasn't a problem for a while since we rarely bake, but while shopping at Aldi the other day we decided to purchase some of the "pop" biscuits and baked those yummy guys up. Well, the oven heated up and as I was upstairs in the bathroom I heart this loud CRACK, this was of course the lighter exploding from the heat. Luckily, there were no burners lit on top of the stove or I could have probably made a huge fireball. Anyway, lesson learned. Don't do like Donnie Don't does.