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.

 

Breaks in the Spring Time

I’m on Spring Break! (although you probably could’ve guessed from the title). It has be wonderful so far! Remember when I told you that my plant died? or maybe I didn’t, I can’t remember. Anyway, I bought some new plants and they are so cute!

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I also made this clock, which has a technical error in the design, but I won’t tell you what it is because I didn’t notice at first.

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And, did some lovely sidewalk chalk drawings:

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This was meant to be sarcastic but my mom read it and proceeded to drive over it

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Vitruvian Sitck Figure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, I can now pogo stick without hands, which I think is pretty impressive. (I hope you’re jealous)

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While I have you, let me tell you some stuff that’s been happening on campus before break:

My friend and I almost went to THON
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The BJC all lit up

There seems to be this vibe during THON that you will be at THON at some point in the weekend because why wouldn’t you go. Well, after a long bout of indecision, my friend and I decided that we should go to THON and see what’s happening. It was maybe 10:00 PM by the time we got to the Bryce Jordan Center (aka the BJC). We went at a really bad time, when the pep rally was happening. We knew it, but for some reason we went anyway. Well, lo and behold, the stadium was at capacity. But, they’d given us wristbands and every hour, they would send out a text for which numbers could enter the building. So we waited. We walked around and people watched. At 11:00, the text was sent out and our numbers were not in the range which meant waiting until 12:00 AM to see if we could get in. I understand that for THON weekend, 12:00 is not that late, but hey, we were impatient and had a ton of work to do, so we went back to the dorms.

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More exciting, PSUkulele performed at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball. It was a fun time!

UNICEF Playing
(PS follow @PSUkulele on Instagram and Twitter!)

Studio Happenings
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So, super exciting but not really, the little block of north campus I call home is being turned into a giant construction site. On one side of Stuckman, the entire parking lot is closing for construction and they are building a new dorm. On the other side, the are building a new water tower. So far, it looks ugly. They have begun welding and won’t stop for the rest of the semester, and because they we all keep looking up at the pretty sparks from the welding torches, they put paper over the lower windows so to deter us from blinding ourselves (even though there is apparently no real danger of that happening). The good thing is, we are all artsy fartsy people, and we turned the stupid paper into a mural.2016-03-04 11.52.522016-03-02 12.24.29

 

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).