Monday, June 27, 2011

Recent Happenings

Oy, I have fallen very behind in this blog challenge, and quite frankly, I don't know if I have it in me to finish the last few topics.  I feel like I've been writing about a lot of the same things over and over, so today I will just update everyone on the happenings in my wonderful life.

Spring term ended on a better note than I was anticipating.  General Chemistry at a University is not my cup of tea.  I had to take the last term in a three term sequence here at OSU after having taken the other two at a community college, which was so much easier and I got such better grades there.  Luckily, OSU's chem department curves their grades!  It didn't effect my GPA too much, especially since I got an A in my psychology class and in case you didn't know, I have added a second major.  I will now be getting my BS in Dietetics AND Psychology.  I've toyed with many ideas as far as grad school in the future.  My most recent idea is that I complete my dietetics internship while completing my grad degree in health psychology.  I would then have my masters in health psychology and be a registered dietitian, woot woot!

So, since Spring term has ended I have moved into a new apartment (which I love, by the way) and read 2 3/4 books by Silas House (I have about 40 pages of the third to finish!).  I LOVE these books (The Coal Tattoo, Parchment of Leaves, and Clay's Quilt) and am really sad that they are the only three of his at our public library. 

Last week I started summer session.  I am taking two terms of Organic Chemistry, which is normally a total of 20 weeks, in 8 weeks.  I had my first exam today (and have 5 more in the next 6 weeks) which went ok, but I'd like to do better. It's those darn enantiomers and diastereomers that have me all confused!  It'll sink in eventually, I have my handy dandy molecular model kit to help me get them straight.

So, my old roommate, James, got a bike at this auction at the end of Spring term and is letting me use it this summer since he's in Costa Rica.  I LOVE having a bike.  First off, I live about 1.25 miles from campus and while that is an easy walk, it is not very convenient if you are running late, so I get there in like 4-5 minutes on my bike.  Second, I do not have to drive AROUND campus like you do with a car.  So, it takes me 6 minutes to get to the gym rather than 10.  Third, I hate driving now.  I find it annoying and a waste of my money.  I would so much rather ride my bike everywhere and I do as often as possible. The only thing is I'm dreading when fall comes and the rain starts again.  It rains nearly every day from like October through May and sometimes into June over here, boo.  I will have to get some good rain gear.  I learned a lesson on my bike today, watch out for car doors.  This guy was parked right around the corner where I live, so when I turned said corner I could see his door was cracked, but I didn't know if he was opening or closing it.  Well as soon as I was next to him I found out.  Luckily, only my foot hit the door, which only tore off a minor piece of toenail and has left me with a purple bruise on my big toe.  The guy felt terrible and at least wasn't one of those jerks who blames everything on cyclists.

I'm still working on the gardening research project.  I've recently started analyzing diet and physical activity records.  I am also still doing the cooking for the project.  We just had a meeting this past Saturday and we were able to have lunch out at the picnic tables in the middle of the garden; it was a gorgeous day and we made a giant salad from our produce.  We're harvesting a TON of produce.  My roommate (who is one of the garden coordinators on the project) and I have been eating VERY healthy lately (minus the baked goods).  I go a few times a week and get lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, peas, red and green broccoli, beets, onions, and the potatoes should be ready in a few days.  My sister and brother in law came to visit yesterday and we went to the garden and had some raspberries and I had eaten our one and only full size, ripe strawberry.  Tom, my tomato plant who lives on my patio, has been growing like an inch a day, it's time for me to get a cage for him since he has the potential to grow 5-6 feet tall!  I also need a bigger planter for his roots to grow.
Tomato cages. (Tom is way bigger than these guys right now).

Me harvesting some lettuce.

Note to all: don't plant an entire bed of radishes all at once; plant one row per week so you don't end up with 100 radishes ready to harvest at the same time.  We donated them to the Latino gardeners next door :o)

Pretty good view of the lower half of the garden.  I have more pictures at home that are more recent because everything is much larger and greener these days than in these pictures.
Well that about wraps up this edition of Rebecca's Life.  Time to go aloe my awesome sunburn that itches like crazy, eat some ice cream, and watch Breaking Bad because we get free On Demand and I have an entire season to catch up on before the new one starts!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 23: A Picture of Your Favorite Book

So, when I think about the book I would read over again, I think I would chose Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult.  Her books are fictional, but based on real life occurrences.  This one is about a boy who is bullied and is then the gunman of a school shooting.  I feel like she does an excellent job of capturing both sides of a bullying situation.  I've witnessed kids getting picked on in school growing up and always worried what the long term consequences could be.  I think it is terribly unfortunate that people don't realize the psychological effect their words and actions have on people.  This is one of the top reasons I would never want to relive high school.  I myself was ostracized from the group of people I considered my friends starting in 6th grade and into 7th grade.  It was a terrible feeling thinking I was alone.  I rather awkwardly made my way through junior high; high school was a tad better, but not by a lot until junior/senior year.  I think this is why I appreciate and respect the wonderful friends in my life now and why I don't like to bother with a superficial friendship.  Life is short and I want to spend it with awesome people who think I'm awesome too.

You can all go ahead and call me a nerd now.  Since school currently is my life, these two books need some mentioning.  I love them so much I did indeed keep them.  Good thing too because I found my lost sock while digging my A&P book out from under my bed!  Very exciting since it is from my favorite pair of socks to wear around my apartment :o)  So, I have this extreme fascination with the human body.  It may be one of the coolest things I've ever studied.  And if you've been reading my blog from the beginning you know that nutrition is the other coolest thing I've studied.  So the BEST part is learning the connection between the two.  The human body heals itself, but what you eat has a huge effect on that.  The human body can create another human being (Hello! AMAZING!), but what you eat effects the development of that being.  The human body has all these ways of communicating within itself like neurotransmitters and hormones, but what you eat effects the production and release of those communicators.  The human body generates it's own energy, but what you eat effects the amount of energy and how it is used. (A bit of a side note: your metabolic cycles cannot function without carbohydrates, which is why I hate hearing people say carbs are bad.  You just need to chose the right ones and the appropriate amounts). I could go on and on because I am absolutely enthralled with these two topics and am so anxious and excited to continue learning about it and then have the opportunity to share that knowledge with people for the rest of my life!

And now for a picture from my day....

Remember those awesome people I mentioned in the first paragraph?  Well, these two belong in that category.  Dr. Leslie Richards (middle) is the amazing woman directing the research project I talk about so much.  She is such a generous, determined, understanding, enthusiastic person and it has been a great pleasure to be a part of this project.  It has brought so many opportunities and life experiences that I will carry with me forever.  I've also met some other awesome people working on this project like my new roomie come summer, Nadege Dubuisson.  And the lovely lady at the right of the picture, Jillian Grant, who has been an awesome friend and is always an enthusiastic and supportive person.  So, the picture is from the Celebration of Excellence that occurred on campus today to represent outstanding undergrad and grad students who received fellowships, scholarships, and research awards for 2010-2011 and also the 2011-2012 school year.  We had a chance to hear from the Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, the President of OSU, the Executive Associate Dean, the Associate Dean, along with some student reps and several other faculty members.  We were also surrounded by many of the donors who made it possible for all of us to receive our awards.  OSU has received a total of $850 million in fundraising and $113 million of that went to the College of Health and Human Sciences.  Unbelievable!  I hope you all have enjoyed the weekend!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 22: A Picture of Something You Wish You Were Better At

I've always wished I was more coordinated at playing sports.  However, it's just not my thing.  Maybe if I had like a personal trainer to teach me everything they know and to work me to the bone, then I could possibly be awesome at sports.  My hand/eye coordination is not the best; I even have a hard time determining when to release while throwing a Frisbee.  Not good.

If I were an awesome athlete I think I would chose to be a soccer player; my mom always told me I was a kicker in the womb.  Just kidding.  But, I really like to run (in this dream of amazing athleticism I would also get rid of my knee and hip problems) and wish I could do all the fancy foot moves and bump the ball with my head.  It just looks cool ;o)

Check me out in my alternate life!

Since I don't think I will become this sports pro any time soon, I just wish I was better at pushing myself at the gym.  Like many people, I would like to lose about 10 lbs.  And like a lot of those people, I've been working at it for a long time and I seem to fluctuate from being about 8lbs lighter for part of the year to slowly gaining it all back; and the cycle continues.  My biggest problem area is my core; and my least favorite type of workout is core work.  You can see where this could be a problem.  However, I may have found that motivation FINALLY!  For the past year, I've been feeling a bit emotional and down.  I thought I had gotten over it last fall, only for it to return again.  BUT, I had such an awesome, hard workout yesterday that my body was flooded with endorphins and for once I finally felt like my old self again!  It had been a long time since I truly felt that good and I think it will be my motivation to keep on pushing myself as hard as I did yesterday.  I've always felt good after a workout, but now I've broke that threshold from just feeling good to having a literal endorphin high; a better high than any pill could give me :o)

Hopefully I can get myself to do this kind of thing soon!
So, it's the weekend again.  And today is the first day in a long time where I didn't have to wake up and do something or go somewhere right away.  It's nice, but I also just don't know what to do with myself!  I would love to go to the gym, but my body feels like it needs a rest day...maybe.  Maybe I'll feel more motivated once the sun comes out like the forecast said it would.  Happy Weekend!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Make Up Day!

So, if you've been following along you may remember there was a day that I was supposed to post a picture and a letter, but I said the topic needed to wait.  Well, that's because I was going to write a little note to my future niece/nephew that no one knew about until recently. So here it goes....

Dear Baby Karr,

This will be my first time being an auntie, but don't worry, I am fully prepared to spoil you like crazy!  I am also fully prepared to teach you to root for the Packers, Badgers, and even though this may be a rough 2011 season I will still teach you to root for the Beavs (except when they play the Badgers, you always root for the Badgers over all other college teams!).  I'm also taking  up a new pass time to make you a little something for when you are born.  Hopefully I can make your great-grandma Schindler proud (I may need to cross my fingers through the entire process!). I will also be the cool auntie who teaches you how to cook tasty treats and about nature and how to make mud pies in the summer and let them bake in the sun (your grandma taught me how to make those!).  But don't worry, I know how to make real food too.  Especially sweets!  If you're lucky you'll inherit your mom's sweet tooth and your dad's liking of fitness and his metabolism so you can work off all the yummy cookies and cupcakes I make you :o)  I'm not going to lie, you're pretty lucky to have me for an aunt.  But, I think I'll be even more lucky and happy to have you as a niece or nephew.  See you in 7-ish months!


Auntie Rebecca

Day 21: A Picture of Something You Wish You Could Forget

To be honest, there are a few situations from my freshman year of college I wish I could forget.  I'll also be honest in saying my freshman year of college was a big 'ol crapshoot.  I got way too involved in the social scene of college life and my school work got pushed to the side.  When I look back on that year, I say to myself, "who was that person?"  I am generally a far more responsible person than I was at any instance that year.

However, as much as I regret a lot of my decisions from that year, if things hadn't happened as they had, I would not be here in Oregon enjoying life as much as I am.  Sure, I would probably have my bachelors degree finished and likely almost done with my master's, but I think I'm much more happy with the way things are now.  When I hear people talk about their college experience, I can tell that some of them didn't really get much out of it except a degree.  They didn't get involved in clubs or volunteer, or get really great life experiences out of it; and you can usually tell that they just wanted to get through it and be done without enjoying any of the extras.  Well I feel like if I had made better choices and stayed at UWSP I would have had an experience like that.  At OSU, I feel like I'm getting the opposite.  I absolutely love it here and feel this was definitely the right school for me; I'm involved in clubs and get volunteer work in, plus I'm working on an awesome research project with an awesome group of people and getting some great life experience from it.

So, all in all, there were many downsides to that year, but I'm glad they happened and lead me to where I am today :o)

I don't have any pictures to really represent this, so here's one from my weekend which I will talk a bit about.
Me, Grandpa, and Buster
After a very stressful couple of weeks, I found out last Tuesday that I was going to fly back home for the weekend :o)  I had an awesome time!  I had Easter at Grandma Rau's on Saturday filled with lots of great food and tons of laughs.  I even had an egg to search for filled with candy :o)  I got to see one of my favorite people in the whole world, Maggie :o)  Then, I went on a bike ride Sunday morning in lieu of church.  I feel much more connected when I'm outdoors with just my thoughts.  Then it was off to Aunt Jayne's for even more food and laughs.  I saw some family I hadn't seen in a while.  Someone counted and said we were only missing 13 of the 83 Schindlers, pretty good turnout!  The next couple days were spent with my family, grandparents, and Maggie.  I also went to check out my mom's new calf barn.  It's all computerized and keeps track of how often and how much milk each calf is eating.  And when a calf that already drank it's daily limit tries to eat more, it doesn't dispense.  There are four pens where the calves get to run around and they have balls to play with and when it's time to eat, they all line up until it's their turn at the feeder!  I got to fly back to Oregon with my sister, which made the fact that our flight was delayed almost two hours a bit more bearable.  I spent all day Wednesday catching up on Chemistry and today I will be making up my Biopsych exam, so it's a pretty easy catch up :o)  My only complaint is that this is the third day in a row that I've been wide awake before 6am, jet lag!  BUT, it's the weekend again and next weeks weather is looking pretty promising; lots of sunshine and almost 70 degrees with only a couple days of rain :o)

So, I think you can tell by the amount of smiley faces in that paragraph that I had a great time! :o)  Happy Weekend!