Actual Designing

Hello again! I am back from break but it really feels like I never left. Here is a lovely add on that my friend wrote on my little dry erase board:

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Nice.

After weeks and weeks and weeks of site analysis, we are finally getting in to designing our CSL Site. Did I tell you about the project we’ve been working on all semester? I’m not sure but I may have forgotten to mention it because it’s been SO MUCH site analysis. (Side note to anyone who is a landscape architect, I DO understand the importance of site analysis and its necessary function in actually beginning design by understanding different relationships and qualities of the surrounding envrionment, but there’s just SO MUCH!). Anyway, Our CSL site is a small campus with 4 buildings on a bigger plot of land that’s a ways behind the arboretum.

Our little campus is part of a big master plan of the site that will have orchards, a vegetable garden, and some big farm fields, as well as forest and prairie restoration, Obviously, this is all theoretical. Here is the no-so-beautiful master plan that I currently have for my site.

Just kidding, I didn’t take a photo and I think you can probably carry on with your life without ever seeing it.

And this is the 5-acre campus with the 4 buildings. Pretty nifty.

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And, North Halls has now become a full-fledged construction zone. Wooo. (That was sarcasm, it actually sucks). There is way too much noise and activity in our usually quite little part of campus. The entire parking lot is blocked off so no one can use it as a short cut, or park in there. Move out day will be terrible. Also, while the parking lot is being turned into another dorm, the ugliest unfinished water tower ever is being constructed behind Stuckeman as I type. The once lovely view of Hort Woods and such is an ugly mess of welding. There are fences everywhere. I hate it.

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I saw a very sad thing the other day coming home from gymnastics practice:

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Doesn’t that just make you weep? Ah.

Aaanyways, Happy Spring!2016-03-26 18.46.57

What Happens When You Don’t Safely Remove Your USB? You Cry.

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This was my USB after they put it back together

OK SO LET ME JUST TELL YOU SOMETHING.
Super terrifying.
Ok. So, last Sunday, I was about to get ready to work on my studio project on the computer. It was more than half way done and I was super pumped to finish it. I wanted to take my laptop into studio to work on the project. However, my USB, which had my project and all the related files, was plugged into my laptop and all the programs I needed were open on my computer. That meant that I needed to close all my programs in order to take the USB out, and of course, I’m too lazy to do that. So, I proceeded putting my laptop into my backpack when… I DROPPED MY LAPTOP RIGHT ON MY USB and before my eyes, I watched my poor, defenseless USB get snapped in half. IN HALF. I started at it in shock and horror. I’d like to tell you I was calm and collected about the whole situation but that would be the a lie and then some. I. FREAKED. OUT. For like ten minutes. It was all over. I was going to have to start from the beginning for a project due in two short days. I was going to die. Or maybe drop out of school all together. Or maybe I could fix it. No, it’s broken. Forever. All my information gone. After my initial panic, my roommate Haleigh came to the rescue. After asking some computery people on our floor, we discovered that the apparently, the way the USB broke, it could be stuck back together to retrieve the information. My buddy Logan walked down to the library to the IT desk where they could hopefully fix it. I handed them the two parts of the USB and the guy fiddled with the prongs of the one piece, trying to fit them into the holes on the other piece. When he seemed satisfied with the connection, he carefully placed the USB into the port. But nothing happened. He took it out, fiddled with it some more and then stuck it back in the computer, exclaiming “we have light!”. What an emotional roller coaster! I was relieved, and finally got to work on my project. Long story short, if you’re going to break your USB, break it right. Also, don’t be lazy and just take the USB out of the computer.

Other exciting things? We found out there’s a way to get on the roof of our dorm. Pretty cool.
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Also, the Weinermobile was on campus the other day. I don’t know why. But I took a picture of it.

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Muddy Site Walks and Strange Weather Patterns

Hello people! I have finally gotten around to writing a new post!

I have decided to start taking more pictures of all the things my friends and I do, and we do some pretty bizarre things. My friend group has decided to take up knitting, and one night, we all sat on a bed, knitted and watched Harry Potter.

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Here are some other pictures that I will not explain, but you can look at anyway because they are funny out of context and don’t make sense even in context.

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This winter has been a strange one. Have you heard of that big snow storm on the East Coast? Well, south of State College, people were getting a whopping two feet of wonderful snow. You know what we got? Six lousy inches. Ok, ok, I should be happy that we got snow, but I am still very disappointed that we didn’t get as much as everywhere else. When the snow really started falling, we all ran around outside.

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The next morning, I got up and looked out the window at the end of the hallway to find this:

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It was probably the most wonderful thing I’d ever seen. I woke my friends up so they could see. Whoever did this was a genius but is now short on pants.

Now, about a week later, it’s in the high 30s and 40s. Most of the snow has melted and it feels like early fall or spring. It’s supposed to be winter. We actually played frisbee outside the other day it was so warm out.

I suppose you may be wondering what I’ve been doing in my LARCHie studio (or not. I mean, I doubt it’s crossed your mind but I’ll tell you anyway).

We’ve been doing a whole lot of site analysis. Visiting the site and observing stuff about it and where trees and views and stuff are and why those trees and views and stuff are important. Yesterday, we walked to our site, which was a decent hike of two miles. Our site is a huge farm field, and the day was warm and the snow was melting which creates the perfect conditions for mud. Lots and lots of mud.

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And here is a run-down of some of the less significant/not photographed events that have happened in the last few weeks/will happen soon:

  • I lost my ID twice in one week
  • We ate frozen yogurt at 10:30 at night and then had a snowball fight in the arboretum
  • We played an intense game of don’t touch the floor in one of the lounge areas in the basement
  • I slipped in the mud multiple times
  • I have a gymnastics meet next weekend!

So all in all, some pretty eventful weeks!

Stolen Scooters and Trust Issues

So two weeks ago, my mom brought up this wonderful push scooter for me. It was so cool! I could just ride all the way down Shortiledge. BUT THEN one night I was feeling lazy and I left my awesome scooter on the bike rack outside of my dorm without a lock. It wasn’t a Razor scooter and if was pretty old and heavy so I thought it would be safe. The next morning, it was GONE. STOLEN. So, I posted this literary work of art around campus in hopes of it being returned (I know it has a typo)

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Days go by and the scooter has still not returned. So, in my sadness, my mom agreed to split the cost of a new scooter! I bought this light-weight beauty off of amazon anklet me tell you it was so worth it!

IMG_8342.JPG (not the best picture but whatever!) this thing is awesome! It’s super light (for carrying uphill) compacts nicely (for carrying inside places since I have lost all trust in people). It is also much faster than my old scooter! So I guess you can say it’s ok that someone stole my scooter!

The Not-So-Horrible Stadium Cleanup, and Other Things That Happened

So last weekend the weeked before last (becuase I had actually started writing this post before last weekend) I had my SECOND stadium cleanup of the year and I promise you that I won’t go on a super long rant this time. We actually finished an hour earlier (1:00 PM instead of 2:00) because we had way more people and were slightly more organized. There were also almost no streamers which was wonderful and it hadn’t rained the night before so all the food and stuff wasn’t soggy and wet. And that’s all I have to say about that! (Suprised? So am I).
So since I have really put off this post for a long time, I am just listing the things that have happened in the last 2 and a half weeks:
1.The homecoming parade featuring Keegan Michael Key. Also, my uncle was in the alumni blue band.
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2. Stadium cleanup

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3. I took this pretty picture of a dead bird in the sunset

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4. I went to see the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (and they were AMAZING and so punny!!!)

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5. We had our first field trip in ecology. We are learning about the spring creek watershed

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6. PSUkulele played at Hershey Medical Center
Then we went to Hershey’s Chocolate World where they were handing out trick or treat bags to all the little kids and they gave me one.
On the ride home, we saw a double rainbow

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6.5. It was also parent’s weekend and my lovely family came up to visit 🙂

7. I spent all of my Monday and Tuesday in studio working on a project that was due Wednesday

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We were designing a garden that celebrated rain. This project was a big part of the reason that I hadn’t been posting.

8. We went on our second ecology fiend trip

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And now you’re mostly caught up!

The Fascinating, Reoccuring Phenomenon That is “Football”

Last Saturday, I went to my first actual football game. I technically did go to a game last year, but I was up in the suites telling people where to put their trash most of the time (Don’t worry, I was supposed to be doing that) and I could not see the field from that vantage point, and ended up watching most of the game on one of the many TV screens. You might remember a post from last year about this experience.

Anyway. It was definitely not the best day ever to be playing or watching an outdoor sporting event. The sky was overcast and a sporadic drizzle descended over soggy-cold-and-not-so-Happy Valley. But the weather certainly doesn’t stop the fans. Masses of people in blue and white were moving steadily to Beaver Stadium. 

I suppose you’re wondering how, and why I decided to go to the game in the first place. Well, my awesome roommate offered me an extra ticket and after a lengthy debate of whether I had other things to do with my day than sit in the rain, I decided I should go. (Shout-out to my cool roommate and here awesome extended family for letting me tag along!)

It was sort of strange to see the stadium filled with people, since I’ve really only see it filled with trash. Walking up the concourse to where our seats were, the underside of the stadium looked like Piranesi’s drawing, Imaginary Prisons. That’s not really relevant but I thought it was interesting since I’d leaned about that last year in architecture history. Our seats were wet and cold, but I didn’t mind really. I was very glad that is brought a plastic bag to sit on though.
The game itself was pretty exciting. At least, I was excited because I knew what was happening for half the time.
Here are some pictures:
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Stuff I Have Been Up To

It’s been a while since my lovely rant about trash so I guess I should catch you up on the actual things that have happened in my life since them.

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In our design communications studio, we had to design a lantern and cut it out using the laser cutter. It was pretty awesome AND I didn’t burn the building down! Here is a picture, pre-assembly. (I don’t have one taken after it was put together because I forgot)

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We also went to the arboretum for part of studio to look at so rainwater features. After our little lecture, we were allowed to stroll around. We went into the Children’s Garden which apparently has beds of vegetables and such that you can actually pick. I got this cool, tiny carrot.

 

 

The Friday of that week (which would be not the most recently encountered Friday  but the oneIMG_8049 before: The 25th maybe?) my cool friends and I went down to the Farmer’s Market to look around and buy
plants and stuff. I bought a delicious tamale (pictured), an tiny pie and some apple cider. I hadn’t been to the Farmer’s Market before then, but it is very nice! There is so much food and I wanted to buy everything.

 

 

 

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That night, one of my friends and I went geocaching in the dark, which seems like a bad idea because looking for small Tupperware containers is already not super easy when you can see everything. But it was super fun, and we found TWO geocaches! I won’t tell you where they are, of course.

 

 

 

 

On Saturday (the 26th) I played my ukulele downtown to raise IMG_8052money for PSUkulele (the Penn State Ukulele Club). I have done this a total of three times now and I really enjoy it. People get all happy and start swaying or bobbing to the music, which is funny.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday night was the eclipse/blood moon. That probably would’ve been super cool if the sky wasn’t so cloudy. We sat on a wall looking at the sky, while I serenaded everyone in the vicinity with my guitar.

 

 

 

In studio, we have been working in Autocad, tracing a plan of Citygarden in St. Louis, MO which was so stressful you wanted to punch the computer and drop out of school (my friends can attest to this). Then we had to color it in. I drew a shark on mine:

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We are also in the process of designing a rain garden in this “leftover” space created by the visual arts building, the Palmer Art Museum, and Au Bon Pain cafe. Here are some pictures of rip-and-tear models and stuff that I have been working on.

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I think that’s it… except for that I participated in the observation of a nationally-loved sporting event on Saturday, which could also be referred to as “football”. (but that’s a whole other post).

If My Life Were A TV Show, This Would be Season Two

WHERE DID MY SUMMER GO?!?!?!

I have to start school next week! Ack! I’m not ready for this. But I guess I actually did a lot this summer.

I did lots of painting! I painted some ukulele cases…

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and the doors of the gym where I do gymnastics… (sorry about the reflection)

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And finally, after putting it off for most of the summer, I painted my mom’s rain barrel!

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I also drove on the highway for the first time ALL BY MY SELF. This to you may seem like not much of an accomplishment but I am very proud of not chickening out 🙂

My family vacation was to the one and only Yosemite National Park! It certainly lived up to the hype, but there were a ton of tourists there. As much effort as the NPS puts into preserving the natural landscape for everyone to enjoy, it still gets trampled all over by people who are trying to get the experience. Don’t get me wrong, this place is amazing.

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On top of Sentinal Dome

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A lovely shot of the iconic “Half Dome” (which is actually 80% dome), glowing at dusk

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Me doing a cool handstand on the hike up to the top of Vernal Falls (seen in the background) Photo credits to my cool sister

After we visited Yosemite, we made our way to San Francisco where we also did some cool stuff.

My mom drove down Lombard Street, also called the Crooked Street, which was super cool! Even though you can’t tell from my poor photography skills, the street was very pretty. There were also plenty of tourists sanding along the sides taking pictures and watching all the cars brave the crooked road.

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And we also went by the Mythbusters studio, “M5 Industries”

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And also, I accidentally made a scrambled egg in the shape of a chick!

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That’s All for Now

So I’m DONE! Done with my first year of college! Only four more to go! (Yes I said four). I actually got home on Thursday but I’ve been busy.

All in all, it was a pretty great year!  I don’t really have much to say I guess… I apologize for not getting this post up earlier but I don’t think it really matters at this point.

So, to wrap of this year, I’m gonna do something classic and list a bunch of things that I learned in college this year:

1. Everybody looks ridiculous running around campus with a back pack sometimes it has to be done.

2. All-nighters are a real thing. Not for me, though because I didn’t want to have to deal with that so I just did my work on time like some weird person.

3. Campus is the only place where it takes to cross campus with a car than by foot during class changes.

4. When they say that Penn State alumni are everywhere, they are not exaggerating. When I tell adults that I’m going to Penn State, there is a 99.9% chance that they went there, or know someone who went there.

5. Walking up Shortilage is brutal. Walking up Shortilage in below-freezing temperatures is even worse.

6. Hats are essential to survive the winter. And the winter is brutal. State College weather is no joke. One day it’ll be beautiful and the next day will be winter jacket cold.

7. Getting involved is actually a good idea. There’s a crazy amount of stuff to do!

8. Everything is and acronym. Have you gone to the UHS? Did you get your GH and GS credits? CAS is the worst. Are you living in an SLO? Which number is my PSUID?

9. Sleep deprivation is also real. I may not have had any all-nighters but that doesn’t mean I was well rested.

10. College is great! I wasn’t sure what I expected starting out with this big, new adventure but I am very happy with how it’s going.

So I guess that’s all for now! See you next fall on the new season of “Zoe’s College Adventure”!!!

Near-End of Semester Panic: Part 2

One Day in New York City

A few Thursdays ago, my all the landscape architecture majors in the class LARCH 60 went to New York City to look at parks and such. My advice to you is that if you are ever thinking about visiting 18 or more different parks throughout the city in 7 hours, your enjoyment of those parks will be greatly diminished by your lack of ability to actually stay in one place for more than 10 minutes. Just stay for a weekend because otherwise, you’ll be running around like a crazy person (or at least power walking around) and you will not be able to stay very long in any of the places you visit – which is what we had to do.

Of course the first thing we did was visit Olmstead’s legacy of landscape architecture, Central Park. Luckily, we visited on a beautiful day and there were people outside.

Here is a gallery of pictures in a random order from my day!