Friday, January 30

How the Internet Has Changed My Brain

Today I was "g-chat"ing Ian. I was trying to fill out graduation forms online (yAy!) and I decided to graduate and walk in August. So, I opened up the form to notify the department of when I wanted to walk.

Name you want to be read at graduation:
Beth Black

But wait. Actually, now that I think about it... 

Beth Peacock

Ugh. That sounds so strange. Should I just assume we'll be married by then? I mean, odds are definitely in my favor (heh). 

I message Ian: Will we be married by graduation? It only just occurred to me that I need to know so my diploma/etc will be correct.

Alas, he's busy and doesn't respond. And I am perturbed.

Thoughts start to cross my mind.

What do I need to do to get that changed officially? Or even just at BYU?
Is that really going to be my name?
How do people usually decide to take their husband's name? I mean, I've always expected to.
Does that statistically damage a relationship? To not take their last name?
Can I give myself a middle name when I change my name?

I hover over my chemistry homework for a moment more, and then open a Google tab and start doing a search on some of the above questions.

Did you catch that? Isn't that WEIRD?

I assume that a few decades ago, one would have these same thoughts. But would they act on them? Search them out? My attitude towards knowledge is completely focused on my access to the internet! My brain doesn't go: "oh, I don't know that. I'll have to check that later when I have the resources." My brain goes: "I don't know that... but I as good as know it, give me a second" *takes over my bodily functions to take advantage of the internet*

Okay, I guess it's not as weird as I suddenly felt like it was.

But seriously.

Friday, January 9

Winter Semester 2015

Augh! Classes! But awesome classes. I have several outrageously enthusiastic professors, which might be a blessing . . . I mean, I need all the enthusiasm I can get! (I will blog about this again when I have footage.)

First, with my updated plans, this will be my last on-campus semester. I was going to take a few classes Spring, but I've decided that those classes can come when I move on to grad school. I do need to take business marketing (yeah, when will I use that one?) so I will take it independent study during the summer and graduate in August after Cuba. :)

Does that sound like a good plan? I think it sounds AMAZING. Then I will be free to work for most of the summer. It will be glorious, especially if I get married during that time.

So... hmm. Here are my classes.

Chem 106
And chem goes on! 0_o Everyone I talk to says that this chem is easier than 105, and I keep praying it will be. Professor Macedone has a different sort of policy on his testing and teaching, and as a result I will have 13 exams in this class. When I first saw this, I was horrified. But, seriously, think about it! One of my weaknesses in chem is keeping each chapter's details straight AND being patient enough to test for 4 hours. Taking a mini-exam (like an hour) after each chapter should eliminate both of these issues. I have high hopes for this one. :)

Chem 107 
This is a lab-oriented class. We've finally reached the level where I need my own UVEX Flex technology hawtty-cakes goggles and lab coat. Seems like a reasonable class, and I do love lab...

uvex Flex technology hawtty-cakes goggles

Philosophy 202
My last general ed class. *many tears* I have not taken a humanities class in . . . ages. (Well, semesters.) So this should be fun. I've also never taken anything in philosophy ever. Ever. So here's hoping I find some natural talent because I'm going to need it . . . Maybe I can learn to relate with Ian . . . or at least argue sufficiently with him.

(Side note: almost every time I argue with Ian, as soon as I am gaining some ground, he says something like: "But... can anybody be said to really know anything?" or "Does _______ even exist?" with this ponderous, FRUSTRATING expression that I know means the argument I was winning has now ceased to exist in existential terms.)

Genetics 320
I'm not going to lie. Last semester's microbiology course slaughtered me. True, I hadn't taken the prerequisites, but still. I was nearly devastated to see a subject that I thought was fascinating and driving turn into something that I felt incapable of learning. I did pass, however, and I was able to sign up for this class. Let me just say, it is a 180! Our class is small, and the professor teaches so clearly that I am catching up on things I couldn't grasp in molecular bio. And it's only the first week. This class may turn into a nightmare, but for now I am reveling in loving genetics again.

Plant Physiology 440
Pretty much what it says. And frankly, not that exciting to me. Moving on.

Business Management Entrepreneurship Lecture Series
This is for my business minor. It's a one credit class in which entrepreneurs come and talk to us. I'm a little peeved, because I signed up for a class about "women" entrepreneurs, which may have felt a little less irrelevant to my life, but someone messed up something and the section I'm in is actually for technological entrepreneurs.


I can't switch, so I guess I'm going to spend an hour a week networking with and listening to technological entrepreneurs. Yay...

But yeah, that's my life right now. :) Not as bad as I thought it would be. Of course, it's only the first week...

Sunday, January 4

Afraid. Hopeful.

Winter semester. I can honestly say I have never been so anxious at the start of a new semester as I am now. Last semester, I finished weakly, carving my grades (including my first C) out of the jumbled, rocky remains of what became easily the most aggravating semester of my life. Sometimes you don't live up to your expectations I guess. Often, even. When I saw my grades I just closed my computer and took a nap.

I want to say that I will improve here on out, but most of my classes are building on the ones I just finished. I will get through, I am certain. But I guess my faith in my scientific capacities has been shaken.

One of the wise women in my life prayerfully chooses a word each year to focus on, sort of as a guide to help her examine and understand her life in the coming year. Her word this year is "heal." When I read her post I was overcome with a desire for a word of my own-there seems to be something so wonderful about it.

So I prayed thoughtfully over the last few weeks. This morning, I was writing a narrative in my journal about one of the difficulties I am currently coming to terms with. I wrote a sentence and one word leapt out, and I felt excitement flood through me.

This year, my word shall be clarity.

More about this to come.

I guess that's all I wanted to talk about. Hope you all have a wonderful new year! :)

FYE, Ian and I took Santa pictures again: