Preparing for a new semester

School starts… erm, today! However, in a twist of amazing luck, my first class isn’t until 12PM. That means I can get some definite sleeping in time! Last week, I didn’t feel as though I was mentally prepared for this semester. After this weekend though, I think I’m ready to take it on. Before I explain, let’s talk about the events leading up to this weekend.

Last Sunday, I wanted to get out of the house, so I decided to go for a run. I haven’t done that in awhile, but it also served as a good chance to gauge my ankle. I ended up running two miles and my ankle didn’t bother me a bit! This is very good news and made me quite happy.

On Wednesday night, I decided to go play volleyball at the YMCA near downtown San Francisco. After not playing for nearly 3 months, it was nice to be on the court again. I think I did pretty well. I even recognized some people from the Berkeley YMCA when I played there. There were a few times when I was hitting the ball and landing that my ankle felt slightly sore, but it held up fine!

Silhoutted TreeFinally, this weekend was the ultimate test. As many know, I’ve been wanting to do something before school starts. It seems like it has become somewhat of a tradition. A good way to clear my head and do some adventurous stuff before focusing on academics again. Initially, I planned a camping trip this weekend. As more and more people decided not to go, or weren’t able to go (and it eventually came down to just a girl I know and me going), we decided to scale it back to a one day trip so it wouldn’t be too ackward. So yesterday rolls around and things don’t work out for us to go. That’s fine! Life gives you lemons and you make lemonade (or something)! So I decide to throw a bunch of gear into my car on a whim and drive! I was dead set on going on an adventure before school starts, so I wasn’t going to let a lack of company stop me.

Balconies CaveI drove two and a half hours down to Pinnacles National Monument. I’ve never been there before, but heard quite a bit about it from geology classes and friends. That place is AWESOME. I hiked a total of 15 miles over two days (and have a blister the size of a small country on my right foot to show for it). I definitely want to go back with some friends. The campsite was cool and the park itself was gorgeous.

They even have some caves there that I decided to explore!

I took quite a few pictures and put them up in my photo gallery:
My camping trip to Pinnacles National Monument.

Alright, in school related news, my schedule this semester looks like the following:
Engineering Geology
Quaternary Geology

Yes! 4 geology classes. HOWEVER, I think I may try the “no-social life” approach that I almost perfected last semester by adding a fifth geology class on top of it: Geologic Mapping. Yes, I took that damn class at Cal State San Bernardino, but since you can’t be a geologist unless you have an ego, it is recommended I take this class since it supposedly teaches us more than the class I previously took.

1.) Theoretically, I can graduate THIS FALL. Realistically, the only thing left for me to work on in Spring of 2006 would be my senior thesis. Since I will be 24, I won’t be covered under my parent’s health insurance plan anymore, so it doesn’t matter whether I’m a full time student or not.

2.) My potential New Zealand trip in January/Febraury of 2006 may conflict with a class. If I get this out of the way… nothing to worry about conflicting! This means that after my fieldwork in New Zealand is wrapped up, I can spend an extra week or two to hang around and check out the scenery. That would be two whole months in New Zealand. NICE.

1.) 5 geology classes that ALL have field trips. That means I will basically have ZERO free weekends. That will also mean I can’t get a real job in order to pay bills (though I will be getting an AWESOME stipend next month for my help with the SF-ROCKS project).

2.) I want to go to grad school at Berkeley bad. Will I be able to focus with 5 classes and be able to pull off at least a 3.5 GPA (or more realistically, at least maintain a 3.0)?

3.) If I want to graduate by fall, that means I’ll have to be working on my senior thesis WHILE completing both Physics III, Chemistry II and one other crappy GE class in the fall. Unless… I can talk to an advisor and start working on my thesis over the summer?

Maybe I’ll go to all the classes this week and see what the work load is.