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:

_dsc0317 _dsc0318 _dsc0412 _dsc0497 _dsc0589 _dsc0642 _dsc0662 _dsc0668

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.

 

An Uneventful Couple of Weeks

I’m sure you’ve been wondering why I haven’t posted anything in a long while. Well, maybe you haven’t been wondering, but in any event, I haven’t updated you on my marginally exciting life because not much has happened. Just lots of work. I know I haven’t been keeping you updated on anything I’ve been doing in studio but we are learning GIS this year which is a program for creating and analyzing maps. It is not the sort of thing that lends itself to exciting blog posts the way the designing and model-building stuff does.

So what did happen in my life in the past couple of weeks?

Fun with Bricks

Our materials class journeyed down to Penn Technical College to learn about brick laying. We actually got to learn how to lay bricks and CMUs (concrete masonry units) which is much more difficult than one would think, but it was actually really fun!

2016-10-04-08-36-35

Cinder blocks as far as the eye can see

 

2016-10-04-09-16-06

We made an arch with bricks and mortar!

2016-10-04-11-33-12

Fall Festivities

My lovely friends and picked out pumpkins to carve at the arboretum! My pumpkin carving was a little lack luster but oh well.

2016-10-09-13-11-49 2016-10-09-13-11-27 2016-10-15-11-26-43

A Cat!

My friend introduced me to her tiny little kitten which actually isn’t hers it’s her roommates but it’s SO CUTE!

TINY KITTY!

TINY KITTY!

My Professor Owns a Forest

Not really, but kinda. He invited our class to visit his beautiful house and the land that he owned. He is one of our landscape architecture professors. Anyway, his property is beautiful! And on top of touring the place, we were treated to a delicious lunch of chicken and rice, bread and cheese, apples, hot apple cider, and fresh chocolate chip cookies! I love my major! haha. But seriously, it was a beautiful day and it was really interesting to learn about the different nooks and crannies of their property. (And you couldn’t ask for a blue-er sky!)

2016-10-15-14-01-55 2016-10-15-13-48-30 2016-10-15-13-09-58

Potato Party

Half way through the semester and we finally got around to actually planning a get-together with our friends in the form of eating loaded baked potatoes and watching “The Incredibles” on DVD.

2016-10-15-21-34-43

My friends are so strange I mean cool

2016-10-15-21-05-41 2016-10-15-21-33-52

If you are wondering what a potato party is, it is where everyone brings a potato and one potato topping to share so we end up with the right amount of potatoes AND a spectacular array of toppings.

Free Birds

I took my birds out of their cage for the first time! I think it scared them but I got Parsley to sit on my hand!!! They are so cute. But I think they still hate me. Please forgive this awkward photo of me and just look at the bird, thanks.

2016-10-16-09-14-22

Street Uking

My mom asked me to get a picture of myself playing ukulele downtown and I told her that I couldn’t because I was alone. Consequently, I had to ask someone else to take a picture for me. I had some interesting encounters that day. One man came up to me and said “I bought my ex-girlfriend a ukulele and she never learned to play it,” then he threw a dollar in my case. Another guy asked if I was “any good at anything.” I told him “No, I wasn’t’ and he said, ” so people are giving you money for doing nothing?”

“yep.” This was said very sarcastically as it was clear that people were giving me money for looking extremely cold, sitting on the ground, and strumming a ukulele with striking mediocrity.

He later came back, said he felt kinda bad, and gave me a dollar.

2016-10-22-16-59-43-1

 

Enjoy the rest of your day!

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!

2016-03-08 20.10.37

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.

2016-03-05 21.54.47

And, did some lovely sidewalk chalk drawings:

2016-03-08 14.15.11

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

2016-03-08 14.17.46

Vitruvian Sitck Figure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

2016-03-09 09.25.40

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
2016-02-20 22.28.08

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.

PSUkulele

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
2016-03-04 17.31.51

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

 

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

IMG_9148

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.
IMG_9200 IMG_9199 IMG_9186 IMG_9181

Also, the Weinermobile was on campus the other day. I don’t know why. But I took a picture of it.

IMG_9159

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.

IMG_8040

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)

IMG_8044

IMG_8046

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.

 

 

 

IMG_8050

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_8059

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:

IMG_8063

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.

IMG_8065 IMG_8066

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).

Things and Stuff

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think we’re past the point where I need to apologize for not posting for so long because by now you may have noticed a severe lack of posts for this semester. I suppose that is due to the fact that I am taking a full load and, I gotta tell you, a full load is basically like pushing a wheel barrel full of bricks up a steep hill. If you stop to rest for too long, the wheel barrel will roll all the way back down the hill. (Ok that may be an over-exaggeration…).

Any who! So may be you have heard, but Sate College is getting a lot of snow. This is very exciting for me because I love snow and even though I live well within a day’s driving distance from State College, we receive much less snow at home.

Here are some pictures of said snow:

IMG_5786IMG_5785IMG_5781

 

Nice 🙂

So here’s what I’ve been doing for studio:

First of all, I finished my final ‘board’ for our first project, which was looking for point, line, plane, and volume in a space. You don’t really have to understand what the assignment was, just look at my pretty layout!

PLPV

 

 

And now, I’m working in wood shop making a stupid box. We have to make this box to be ‘certified’ to use to wood shop. I am not very good at wood shop, partly because I’m afraid of the table saw.

Here is my box so far (I’m not done yet):

IMG_5792

But what an artsy picture!

In other news, I am competing at my first club gymnastics meet this weekend and I’m very excited!

Can Someone Find My Motivation? I Think I Lost It

Finals week is upon us, and the students are reacting in the that only students would. We are being proactive and getting a lot of work done in a super relaxed manner… HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAH. Let’s be realistic here. As one would expect, finals are being met with panic and procrastination. Luckily for me, I got all my final stuff out of the way (I had an 2 essay-type things and a studio final)! I still have to study though. Blaaah.

Anyhoo. [Insert transitional sentence here]

Our final project for studio was to create a design ‘board’ that showcased some of the work that we did over the semester. But the photos we used had to be tied together by some common ‘theme.’ My idea was to use photos that showed how to get to my final product, I had to go though the process of drawing things over and over and over and over again (That is called iterations). I titled my board, “I Use So Much Trace” because it’s probably the truest thing to be said about first year studio.The professors seemed to think it was funny which made me happy 🙂 So here it is:

Zoe_Roane-Hopkins_final

TA-DA!

Also, just because of why not, I’m posting excerpts from my two essays I had to write 🙂 I read to Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan for this essay, and I definitely recommend reading it if you’re interested in the state of modern agriculture or are looking for a book to read that makes it sound like you read books for your edification (Ironically, I leaned the word ‘edification’ on an episode of Phineas and Ferb). But seriously, this book will make you completely rethink the ethics (or lack there of) involved in the production of food. However, if you don’t want to feel sort of guilty about eating meat for the rest of your life, don’t read it.

Fixing Our Problems with Duct Tape: The Unsustainable Nature of Modern Agriculture

…The mass-production of livestock is, within its own system, unsustainable. The increasing push for meat has resulted in the creation of over-crowded warehouses full of animals lying in their own poop. Conditions this insufferable will, undoubtedly, lead to diseases that must be treated with antibiotics and other chemicals. The animal feed is, of course, made with cheap, federally subsidized corn. This feed turns out to be a problem for a multitude of reasons. Ruminant animals like cattle are built to digest grasses – not corn – and this diet change causes health issues (Pollan 77). The additives in chicken feed cause the poor birds to grow faster than their little legs can handle, so most of them can’t even support their own weight. As Pollan observes, “most of the problems that afflict feedlot cattle can be traced either directly or indirectly to their diet” (77). But of course, corporations rationalize that they are making money, and corn is cheap so it works. Here is a clear example of the second contradiction of capitalism. By shoving all the animals into dark warehouses to maximize space and profit, they are degrading the quality and health of the animals they are selling (Robbins et. al. 106). The way I see it, these corporations are trying to fix their crumbling foundation with duct tape. Duct tape is a good temporary fix for a lot of things, but it won’t last for the long haul; in other words, it’s not sustainable.

Ooooo. Chills.

And then there’s my experimental design project for plant biology. We had to ask a scientific question to research and then make up an experiment for it. Here is a bit of my ‘background research’ that I did. Please don’t feel obligated to read it because it’s boring. I was checking the paper for spelling a grammar errors and all I could hear was the voice of any of the adults that talk in Charlie Brown.

Scientific Question:

How does exposure to a static, electro-magnetic field affect germination of pea seeds?

By Zoe Roane-Hopkins

Many scientists have begun experiments testing the specific effects of electromagnetic forces, with magnetic fields that are stronger and weaker than that of the Earth. There are also a large number of studies testing the germination and growth of different plants using variables including the strength of the magnetic field, frequency, length of exposure, and direction of the field in relation to the seeds. Over all of my research, it appears that scientists attribute changes in germination, inhibition, root growth, water uptake, and nutrient uptake to plant exposure to electromagnetic fields of various strengths (Selim et. al, 2011).These changes were positive or negative, depending on the variable being tested. Martínez et. al. say that the effects of electromagnetic forces are difficult to test because there are so many processes that are influenced, and there are many variables within the question that can be tested (Martínez et. al., 2009).

Riveting.

So that’s fun.

Also, in lab a while back, we propagated plants from stem cuttings and mine lived! It’s so cute!

IMG_5631

[said in a very sarcastic voice] As you can see in the background, I keep a very neat desk.

Side note: In the featured image at the top of this post, my computer screen is displaying a draft of this very post that I am writing right now! ooh. Blogception.

References:

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma. New York: Penguin Books, 2006. Print.

Martínez, E., Carbonell, M.V., Flórez, M., Amaya, J.M., and Maqueda, R. (2009). Germination of Tomato Seeds (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) Under a Magnetic Field. International Agrophysics 23, 45-49.

Selim, A. H., El-Nady, M. F. (2011). Physio-anatomical responses of drought stressed tomato plants to magnetic field. Acta Astronautica 69, 387-396.