Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I finished!

I just validated my word count and won my third NaNoWriMo! I have written three novels during NaNoWriMo so far. Yay!
So, since I just had the idea I have to write it down so I don't forget. Next year's NaNoWriMo-a sequel to this one, maybe called Uncharted Waters. Twenty years after the events of Days of Defiance, none of the protagonists have aged. Curious, they go to the Great Library and find out that somewhere far to the west, in a part of the planet that hasn't been explored in centuries, is someone with the answer they seek. In addition, they hear of a mythical treasure and decide to seek it out. This will be more of a straight-up pirate story with a little bit of fantasy thrown in. Yay!
Doing a sequel makes me want to keep editing and rewriting the first story too, so that I'm working with the characters all year between now and next year's NaNo.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap

Okay, time for the Thanksgiving recap! Last Saturday I drove home after dropping Memo off at the vet. He's being boarded there whenever I go on vacation. So I dropped him off and he was mad at me because I made him go in the magic box (his kitty crate). Then I drove all the way home. The weather was pretty nice although it was really windy. On Sunday I helped my parents teach their Sunday school class. It's a middle school class and they talk about a lot of science and stuff, so I led them all through a cow eye dissection. It went really well and they were all really excited about it! A couple of the kids were really curious about what I do as a real scientist and I was glad that I could answer their questions and hopefully keep them excited about science. On Monday my mum and I went shopping which was fun because shopping alone is kind of boring. Then my brother came home on Tuesday. He was grumpy because he had to have a medical test done and it involved itchy electrodes. But on Tuesday night I went with my dad to fencing club again! I really miss the Schoolcraft club so it was awesome to see some of them again. Wednesday night we all went to Outback Steakhouse with my granny. We discussed some of my more bizarre genealogy results and she said she might ask her older sister what she remembered from growing up so that I can figure out what was true and what's not. On Thursday we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house (they're my dad's parents) for Thanksgiving dinner. My aunt and cousins were there too. It's always a lot of fun when we go over there, and we got my Grandma on facebook for the first time. Then today I drove home :( It's crazy, especially because I'm going back in three weeks, but I was really sad to leave. It just solidifies in my mind that when I graduate from Iowa I'll probably go back home to Michigan for my post-doc. I really do want to live closer to my family.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

200th Post!

I just noticed that this is my 200th post on this blog. Pretty cool!
This week feels like it is going by so slowly. I really want it to hurry up and be Saturday so I can drive home to Detroit for Thanksgiving break! I am really excited to go home and see everyone. I have missed home a lot. I'm boarding my cat Memo at the vet during break. I hope he'll be okay. He can be really nervous so I hope it doesn't upset him. They have a giant fish tank to entertain the cats so I hope that he spends most of his time trying to figure out what a fish is. He's never seen one before so it will be weird and worthy of study. Add in that he's a little mentally slow and hopefully that adds up to him being happy while I'm gone.
NaNoWriMo is going pretty well. I just hit 30,000 words today. I'm still ahead of schedule which is good so that if I lose days on break I'll still be able to finish. As long as I have enough plot left, I should be able to make the 50,000 words easily. It's definitely a rough draft, but I think it might be the first draft that I edit or add to after November is over.
I did manage to get into BBMB 405. I checked again on AccessPlus and a bunch of seats had opened up so I took one. I'm glad so that I don't have to go through all the trouble of getting an add slip in the spring.
The other thing that happened is that I finally got in to see a counselor at SCS on Monday. I'd been on a wait list for almost two months. At first I wasn't sure I even needed to see someone because I'm not in crisis mode right now, but I went anyway and was really glad I did. I always need more help in managing my anxiety disorders. I do have an appointment in December at Student Health to talk about going on medication for a month or two. My counselor and I talked about it and we think it might be helpful so that I can concentrate on learning more coping skills without going into crisis. I have a feeling that I might start to struggle again with homesickness and depression in January, since it will be a while since I'll be able to go back home and my harder classes will be starting. So being on medication for a little while might be helpful. I'm a little reluctant but as long as I don't end up taking medication long-term I think it will be alright.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I just got an email from my Dad. Apparently he heard from my great-aunt's estate attorneys today. They sold her house and after the final taxes, it looks like my brother, cousins, and I will get another thirty thousand dollars each. My great aunt...she was crazy generous.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mid-November already

Time is going by really quickly! It's almost the middle of November. Next weekend, I'll be driving home to spend Thanksgiving with my family! I have two tests that I have to take between now and then-Biochemistry and Bacterial Genetics. I'm a little worried about both of them. I always worry about Biochemistry because I do struggle through the class and I want to get a decent grade. As for Bacterial Genetics, we only have two exams and that's what our entire grade is based on, and I've never had a class taught by this professor before, so I don't really know what to expect. Hopefully everything goes just fine. I did find out that I got a 91% on my Micro 553 exam, which is awesome! And I was way above the class average so that was kind of cool. It's been a while since I've been close to setting the curve in a class so I felt very accomplished.
NaNoWriMo is going pretty well so far. I'm only about a day's worth ahead, and I need to get more since I don't know how much time I'll be able to spend writing during Thanksgiving Break. I think I can do it and since I don't have class until 4pm tomorrow, I'm going to try and write three to five thousand words.
The only bummer is that I registered for classes and BBMB 405 was listed as full! I've never not been able to get into a class. It's a big class and should be easy to get added to in the spring, but it's kind of lame.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Things to be thankful for

November has started. This is the month we're supposed to be thankful and remember. I have so much to be thankful for.
I'll start with the most immediate: as of today my first rotation is done! I gave my report at lab meeting this afternoon. It went really well. I am glad that I was able to do some work with plants since I had never done any before, and there's a slim possibility that I might get a publication out of this. But I'm glad it's done because I'm pretty sure that I don't want to do my thesis there. Giving my report was the last thing I had to do, and now it's not hanging over my head.
Second, National Novel Writing Month started yesterday! I love NaNoWriMo. I am so excited to write my novel this year. It's a lot of fun and a great break from doing science.
Third, in three weeks I am going home for Thanksgiving Break!!! I have been waiting for this since September. I miss my family so much. My parents and I are so close and being far away has been a lot harder than I expected. And I miss my grandparents, who are also back in Michigan. Having all my family nearby as I was growing up was so awesome, and it's just now that I'm realizing how hard it is to go it alone. I am really thankful for having such a wonderful stable family that supports me in everything I do, even when it's hard.
But I have been feeling better about being here in Iowa, and that's in large part because of Tessa and Mike, who are my closest friends here. They are really awesome and it means so much to me that they've been inviting me to things and spending time with me. It makes me feel a lot less lonely and I have a lot of fun with them. Thanks guys!!