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!

 

Longwood Gardens in Bloom

On a sunny morning in late April, we headed down to Longwood Gardens to look at some plants. You probably don’t remember, but we had actually been to Longwood during Freshman year before all the leaves were on the trees because it was still winter. Anyway, this time, there were actual flowers and things blooming and it was so lovely! If you live in the area and have never been, I would definitely recommend it, even if you are not a plant fanatic because it is beautiful and the amount of maintenance required to keep this place perfect will blow your mind.

We were supposed to be taking notes on different spaces and plants for class but I mostly just looked at all the plants and wandered around.

One of the cool things we go to do was go behind the scenes of some of the plant growing operations. We walked through green houses with rows and rows of different plant species.

There was also this tree called a Mardarinquat (I think) which looked awesome but we weren’t allowed to pick any.

They also showed us these crazy flowers they were propagating that only bloom every 7 years and cost upwards of $600 dollars if I’m not mistaken! So I think this picture should be worth at least $50 haha.

Anyway. After getting a tour, we were able to walk around on our own! Yay! I definitely could’ve stayed longer but I still got to see plenty of foliage and flora.

First we took a stroll down the Flower Garden Walk which was planted with over 250,000 bulbs! That’s crazy! Here are some pics:

Pictures of columbine flowers (I think) planted around the fountain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These pictures don’t really do it justice but you can still see all the pretty flowers 🙂

The formal Italian Water Garden is lined with pollarded trees which I personally am not a fan of but they do look rather sculptural in this setting

The meadow. A perscribed burn had just been done to part of the meadow which was pretty cool. These burns are important and mimic natural meadow ecosystem processes that promote seed germination, ecological health, and the suppression of weeds among other things.

We also got to walk around the indoor greenhouses which are always blooming with beautiful flowers!

 

 

And no trip to Longwood would be complete without using the famous greenwall bathrooms!

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.

 

Suddenly Sickness

If there’s one thing that you want to avoid when first coming back to school, it’s sickness. Unfortunately for many people, this venture proves unsuccessful as sniffling, sneezing, and coughing can be hear throughout the halls and classrooms. And, unfortunately, I am no exception. It was not too lang after arrival that I too became sick. It’s not fun to scooter to and from class while your nose runs faster than you can catch it and constant coughing prevents much productive movement forward. So anyways, I’m finally getting better (although by the sound of my voice you wouldn’t be able to tell).

Living alone in apartment is kinda tough. I think the worst thing about actually being an “adult” is that all you do is dishes. Cooking is so exciting until I remember that I have to actually clean up. Oh well. I guess that’s life.

This first week was rough, let me tell you. It is much more difficult to motivate myself to go to class when I’m all the way down town from where my class is since last year I had a two minute walk from my dorm. I also have yet to do laundry since I have no laundry-doing device and no mode of transportation. Classes seem ok but more than one person has told me and my LARCH friends that 3rd year is the hardest year. yay. That did nothing for my self-confidence. So far, I am not dying of stress but I can’t vouch for end-of-semester Zoe’s state of mind.

Well, it’s late now and I think I’m going to bed.

Finally Home

(This post was supposed to be posted last week but I didn’t do it)
So even though I didn’t have any finals, I had to stay until the next Sunday of finals week because I had another class. Yes, that’s right. Another class. Four long days of filed trips full of plant identifying and nature observing. It was fun, actually even though it rained the first two days. Here are some cool pics!
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I can’t believe I’m going to be a junior! That’s so scary! I still feel like a freshman.
So things I’ve been doing since I got home! Since I’ll be living in an apartment off campus, my kind parents are letting me paint some chairs! I have three of the four done and then I’m going to learn how to re-weave the seats!

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Pretty cool!

Also here is my desk after final presentation week!

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When Your USB Makes You Irrationally Angry

It wasn’t doing anything wrong. My USB was just sitting happily in my backpack. But looking at it reminded me of all the work I had to do and had yet not yet done. The deadline looked over the 2nd year LARCH students as they struggled through rendering after rendering. Sleep deprived eyes staring intently at the glowing screens. This project was the biggest thing we’ve had to put together thus far. Needless to say, we also spent a record number of hours working out all the details to put together our presentation boards that were due in less than a week. I’m sure anyone in the major can attest to the stress of upcoming deadlines. I mean, so much fun. Actually we are all emotionally drained. Sitting on your butt all day can be tiring. Anyway, here are some cool pics of my presentation board and such.

Here is my final presentation board:

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If you actually want to read it (although it isn’t the most captivating thing I’ve ever written) you can read the PDF version here: Roane-Hopkins_Project 2

And here are some lovely close-ups of my drawings:

COPY OF100 Scale siteTHIS ONE

This is master plan of the full site with the different farm areas

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This is a smaller-scale plan of the 5-acre campus with buildings and a parking lot

Here are some cool perspectives that I drew (not quite to scale)Cafe persepcifaijPerspective front

 

Also, there was one day that I just gave up on life so my section drawing turned into someting…else…Just kidding section

 

In other news, there is now a giant hole in North Halls.

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Have a nice day!

 

Post Script:

I started this yesterday. So I must add on that it SNOWED today. In APRIL! SNOW! What?

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Also, my friends and I went to Sadie’s Specialty Waffle Shop (Or something like that. I can’t quite remember the name but if you’re ever in the area, check it out! So delicious!)

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