The Week Before Finals: My Laptop Died Edition

This year’s installment of “the week before finals is absolute the worst” is brought to you by: my laptop’s operating system gets corrupted in the middle of final project panic. Yes. In the week when I have the least amount of time to deal with things due to final projects, I have to go to best buy and sit and wait and cry a little on the inside while they tell me that my laptop (which I just bought a two or three months ago) has to be factory reset. Sigh. I do have my final project boards though if you want to see them:

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Our assignment, which I mentioned in the post You Can’t Spell “Gowanus” without “Us”, deals with a redevelopment concept around the Gowanus canal. I did a large community plaza space thing. I’m not gonna lie, I got a lot of negative feedback on this design but I’m still happy with what I did.

I also presented my final project for photography. My concept was taking pictures from the perspective of a shoe. Here is my final project:

PSUkulele has also been doing some fun things! We had our end-of-year showcase at Webster’s Bookstore downtown:

 

And we played for an event at the Elks Country Club!

 

Now, I am home and enjoying not doing anything at all! I bought a new camera (A Nikon D5300 if you were curious) and am taking up close pictures of my parents and pets with an expensive camera instead of phone so, yeah, I’m moving up in the world. Next week I start my internship with the landscape architect working for DCNR (Department of Conservation and Natural Resources). Very exciting!

 

The THON Experience

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You can’t tell because I’m short but this line is very very long. These are all the groups waiting to go into the BJC and LASS was at the back of the line.

 

I know that I’m not as involved or excited about THON as most of the other people at this school. However, I decided that this year I was going to actually do the THON experience. I went with LASS (landscape architecture student society) and got passes to enter right at 4:00 when the BJC was open for business. Unfortunately, as many people involved in LASS THON (so many acronyms!) were also involved in THON ORGS (organizations that are exclusively for raising money and supporting THON families) there were only four of us available to wait in line with our giant foam letters. We waited in this line probably for a good hour and a half before being able to enter the BJC. Once inside, we pick a section of seats and sat down until everyone had to stand. If you are confused as to what THON is, this is my interpretation: THON is 46 hour dance marathon. The dancers, who represent the different THON organizations, student clubs and fraternities, must stay on their feet and awake for 46 hours. All the clubs and orgs and such stand in the audience supporting and watching the different entertainers that may perform throughout the weekend. It’s quite a spectacle. I personally don’t think its all that healthy to be awake and not able to sit down for two days but its all FTK (for the kids).

But back to my story which isn’t really all that exciting. So we put our giant foam letters in the seats. These are letters that the different groups in the stand hold up to identify their location and show the dancers on the floor that they are still there in the stands. Anyway, we didn’t actually hold up our letters because there were four of us and five letters. You may be wondering, “doesn’t ‘LASS’ only have 4 letters?” Yes but we didn’t want to be responsible for the word that would result if the person holding the “L” were to sit down. So we went with LARCH instead.

Some super exciting and cool things that I got to do/see:

  1. I learned the infamous “line dance” this year. It’s a choreographed dance that is taught to everyone and performed about every hour to make sure everyone keeps moving and stays wake and all that. It’s pretty difficult to pick up because it’s actually pretty long. It’s fun though! Here is a pic from the line dance:_dsc1402
  2. I was DNCE perform! I am not a huge fan of their music but they perform the song “Cake by the Ocean” which is very popular. Also, Joe Jonas who was a childhood Disney star is the lead singer in the band and it’s always cool to see famous people. They were great but it got a little strange when they started doing some questionable looking…’dance moves’ I guess you’d call it and it was definitely not something that small children should’ve witnessed. Other than that, great performance!_dsc1387 _dsc1371
  3. So the real reason I wanted to go to THON was to watch my amazing and talented friends from @PSUkulele perform! I wished I could’ve been on stage with them but I forgot to audition. (oops). Anyway, getting to perform on the THON stage is a pretty coveted position and I am so so proud of them! Our club has really come a long way in the few short years I’ve been in it! Here are the videos (ps you should subscribe):

    Also I took a million pictures of them but only a few cam out ok:_dsc1472_dsc1492 _dsc1497

In total, I stayed for about 9 hours which is nothing compared to most of the people I the stands, but I’m still glad I stayed for long enough to actually get a feel for what it means to be awake and standing for almost two full days.

 

A Whirlwind of Weather

What a roller coaster of weather! Wednesday night last week it snowed 8 inches! It was so magical that the university actually delayed classes until 10:00! Obviously we were hoping for a cancellation but whatever, I guess I can trek through the snow to get to class. (just kidding I took the bus). Then, two days later, it was a sweltering 60 degrees (or something ridiculous). Nearly all the snow has melted and now it’s raining. Of course, I was in beautiful sunny Virginia for a gymnastics meet.

 

jmu_02jmu_01Yes, finally competition season is in full swing. The Club Gymnastics team drove down to James Madison University for our first meet of the year! It was chaotic to say the least. But at least my lovely parents and my sister (who tagged along to surprise me despite being sick) were there :). We didn’t do too shabby! Girls A team placed 2nd and Men’s team placed 1st!!! Woo! I myself also did pretty well, having a no-fall meet and placing 1st on bars, 5th on beam (somehow?!) and 2nd in the all around!

This weekend is THON! And Penn State students are getting antsy to dance their pants off and stay awake and standing for much longer than any doctor would recommend. This year, PSUkulele gets to perform during the 46 hours of non-stop festivities! I am not performing because I forgot to audition but I am still very excited!!!

If you are curious as to why I haven’t talked much about studio this semester, it is because we have all been in a state of constant confusion since the beginning of the semester.

Also, in my photography class I took a very nice picture of Parsley.

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It’s Too Early to be This Busy

Hi friends who still read this blog even though my frequency of posting is dismal. Three weeks of the semester have already come and gone, and many things have happened since my last post. I haven’t even told you what classes I’m taking!

The most frightening thing about this semester is that all the professors have told us that third year is notorious for it’s difficulty and stress level. Not a great thing to hear right out of the gate. Luckily, I am only taking 14 credits. It was going to be 15 because I tried out for a private piano lesson class but messed up pretty bad at the audition and ended up getting the good ol’ boot. But don’t worry! Something even better happened which I will tell you about later. The classes that I’m actually taking are two LARCH studios that deal with community design and planting design which I mostly enjoy but have some gripes about which will be detailed in the next paragraph. I’m taking some writing/history of LARCH class which is very confusing and vague. And, finally, I’m taking an awesome photography course. It’s an intro for learning how to use a DSLR (Digital single lens reflex) camera. It really enjoy it so far, although I’m pretty terrible at taking pictures and having to manually adjust all the settings.

Here are a few of the pictures I have taken with the camera that are not super terrible:

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Anyway. So my gripe about Planting Design class. I spent my entire weekend in studio working on a project for the class. I had almost no time to do anything else for my other classes, which sucked. We have never had to stay in studio that long so early in the week! Sigh. At least my design looked pretty slick! Here is a PDF of it: roane-hopkins_z_mixedplantingbed I was pretty proud of my renderings.

Other good news. I got a new laptop! YAY! and it WORKS! Very exciting! It’s an Acer Aspire R and it is great! Not much else to day about that but I just wanted to let you know.

Last weekend, PSUkulele traveled to the Hershey Medical Center to play ukulele for people. What a wonderful experience! You may or may not recall that we also went last year and played in the lobby and the cafeteria. Well, this time was a little bit different in a very cool way. Instead of playing in the lobby, we were suggested to play outside in front of the pediatric wing, because it has this big wall of windows looking out on a sculpture garden. Although it was a little misty and cold outside, we stood by that sculpture and sang as loud as we could to the windows. I don’t know if any of the patients could actually hear us but we could see a few little head peeking out of the windows and waving to us and it was so cool. While we were playing, a mother walked by and told us were were cute and asked if we wanted to play up on one of the floors. The woman who coordinated our visit told us that we weren’t aloud but we convinced her otherwise. We weren’t allowed to play in the patients rooms but did get to play in one of the small lobbies on one of the floors. A few patients and visitors came over to listen. After we wrapped up our singing, we went to a local crepe place which was delicious!

In the way of club gymnastics stuff, we have an away meet coming up at JMU and I am no where near ready. haha.

That’s about it.

Oh, the reason I was fine about not getting into a piano lesson is because I got offered an opportunity to do paid research with the Stuckeman School! Yay! Ok I’m tired, goodnight.