Archive for June, 2007

SF: Entry #17

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Got my second exam back yesterday…87%. The average was 88%. Ah well. I am destined to be just below average. I’m not going to sweat it.

While I was reading my book at lunch today, a tiny bird sat down on the bench next to me. It moved as if it were stop-motion animated or a series of photographs. When it moved, it was too quick to see, so it was just a series of poses. When it eventually flew away, the wings made a little buzzing sound.

Last night after class, I ended up chatting with classmates until kinda late. Then today, we had a brief lecture on medieval Latin and the convivium. It’s nice to know that some folks here are pretty geeky too.

I have posted some more photos, including Pride Parade and just some randomness. You’ll have to deal with the heads in the photos.

SF: Entry #16

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Last night was my first night sleeping on the new sofa bed. It was quite nice, and I slept rather well, which was much needed after Monday night.

Had my second exam today. Yesterday, I wasn’t so sure I had a grasp on any of the immense quantities of new material. But at about 9:20 this morning, I said to myself, “ya know, I think I know this.” The exam was, in fact, longer and more difficult than the first, but that opinion was shared by everyone with whom I spoke. And now that I know more people, I can share in the commiseration.

After the afternoon session, I had some ice cream while completing most of my homework for tomorrow. It’s nice that it’s not even 6pm, and the evening won’t have to be entirely devoted to homework. Maybe I’ll read some more.

PS. It’s now bedtime. After my homework and his kung fu class, Chad and I watched “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” I had seen it performed, but I hadn’t seen the movie.

I also realized that Ino longer have Photoshop, and so I can’t crop the Pride Parade photos. I just may have to upload them as is (that is, with 50% of the frame taken up by people’s heads).

SF: Entry #15

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Another weird day.

The day got off to a bad start because I slept poorly last night. I was in a dizzy daze all morning, wandering. I’m not sure how I made it to class; I left early, which was good, because I took the wrong train, then fell asleep, then I zoned out walking to class. At least I ended up at the right building.
Tomorrow we have our second exam, so we had a review today. I left at the 2:30 break because we had already covered everything and were just going to drill some more. I needed a nap. I got back to the apartment early, but found two fellows there delivering Chad and Hann’s new couch. An hour later, we just got things organized for the time being.

Someone this morning was playing the Mario Bros. theme with the bell tower on campus. If it weren’t such an overplayed song, it would have been awesome.

On my ride home, I chatted with a rather cute grad student from Quebec (Chad calls Canadians “Sweater Mexicans”) who was interviewing for the PhD program at Berkeley. With my extensive grasp at public transportation (ha) I helped him get on track to his sight-seeing destinations.

On Saturday, my camera batteries wore out while I was sight-seeing, so I had pay $4 for two batteries. They last less than one day. So I bought four batteries at Walgreens today. None on them worked. Either I am having terrible luck with batteries, or someone is wrong with my camera. My monitor is also acting up. Le sigh.

On a sad note, the gal in the dept from the cycling accident could not be revived, and she won’t be kept on life support.

I *really* need a nap. I think now is the time.

SF: Entry #14

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Today was weird. I received an email late last night canceling our morning session of class today. It turns out that a member of the classics dept at Berkeley (colleague and friend to our instructors) was in a severe cycling accident and that things weren’t looking good for her. So class was low key and solemn.

On the way home, I saw someone playing Beethoven on the steel drum. It was very cool. I wished I had had a dollar at the time.

I am appalled at how unabashedly rude European tourists are.

SF: Entry #13

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Lunch. (brought to you by Karl’s Jr)

We went to the pride parade today. We only watched the first hour, but that was enough to get a nice burn on my arms. Check back soon for photos, because I need to do some cropping.

For the afternoon and evening, I played in Chad’s current Changeling game. Then wrapped¬† up the evening doing homework.

SF: Entry #12

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

More photos uploaded!

Today, Chad and I went to Golden Gate Park. This visit included a trip to the Japanese Tea Garden and the De Young Art Museum. Check out the photos for the loveliness. I was able to get some photos of cool exhibits, but I was not permitted to take photos on the “Nan Kempner: American Chic” exhibit. (Sorry Sixpence. You would’ve enjoyed that exhibit.)

We plan to attend the pride parade tomorrow, so hopefully I will have some more fabulous photos to post. Now time to do homework.

PS. Sorry if these posts are dull. It’s mostly a chronicle of my activities. I’ve always been bad at blogging. Anything clever I have to say comes to me at a time when there is no opportunity for me to blog it. Then I don’t remember. That’s just how it is. Expect dullness.

SF: Entry #11

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Friday. Rest time.

My quiz today was pretty pitiful. It took me too long, and I didn’t finish my last sentence, so I wrote half of a sentence and concluded by writing “Ack”.

After class, we had a short lecture about sculpture and architecture in Aphrodisias. It was followed by wine, cheese and lively discussion. Following the convivium, some of us had homemade dinner (thanks!) and watched Life of Brian, mostly for the Latin graffiti scene. This was the first time I made note of “wolf nipple chips” as being a snack for purchase in the coliseum scene. Too funny.

I noticed something somewhat hypocritical today on campus. One of the ladies bathrooms has stickers on the paper towel dispensers saying “Remember, these are made from trees,” which to me implies that one should not be wasteful with one’s towel use. Fine, but in that same bathroom, three sinks had bad faucets and the water ran all of the time. That to me is equally wasteful. Maybe they could spend less energy preaching and get a maintenance person in there.

SF: Entry #10

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Well, this afternoon I was both surprised and disappointed.

I got a 93% on my exam. This wouldn’t have been so bad, except they mentioned that the average grade was 94%, the mean grade was 95% and the mode grade was 98%. Then I noticed that I had conjugated the verb “to see” as visi rather than vidi… six times. I have never made this mistake before, but that little slip cost me 5% on my grade (6 wrong). Ack. I’m not *trying* to be a perfectionist, but “below average” bugs me.

Back to the grindstone…

SF: Entry #9

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Yesterday was laundry day. Yeah. There were two laundromats reasonably close; I choose the one slightly farther but without the incline. Unfortunately, this laundromat had a resident “special” person. He asked everyone’s name when they came in, pointed to the machines they should use, told them what buttons to push, notified everyone when the buzzer went off (which was evident to all those who could hear) and generally chatted you up the whole time. Fine, whatever. But the problem came when the dryer turned off. He’d jump up to help you take out your laundry. Well, my laundry was still damp, but he pulled it all out. First of all, a person’s laundry is their own business; you shouldn’t be rummaging through it, even if you are trying to be friendly. But insisting it was dry when the pants and towels were obviously damp, that’s downright annoying. Nevertheless, I left with mildly damp pants just because I was tired of the guy. I hung up the pants in my assigned closet. I will use the other laundromat next time.

Today was our first exam for class. Though we have quizzes everyday, this was our first “test”. The day started out with putting on cold, damp pants (they hadn’t dried). At the train station, two people clogged the escalator and made a large group of people (including me) miss the train, setting me back 15 minutes. Then, I got on the wrong train, setting me back another 10 minutes. So, I got to class with no time for extra studying. Fortunately, the test wasn’t too bad. I’d be surprised if I didn’t do well on it.

Just so you all understand how much we are expected to memorize…
For each verb there is an active and a passive voice; there are five verb groupings; there are six indicative cases and four subjunctive cases; there are six conjugations based on person and number; there are three infinitives for each voice. This ultimately adds up to 630 verb forms (126 forms per verb) that we have learned so far. Obviously, there a some patterns involved. Still, it is mind-numbing. And that’s just the verbs.

SF: Entry #8

Monday, June 18th, 2007

So Chad and I finished the Samurai 7 series. Pretty cool.

I am surprised by how much litter there is in San Francisco. But the weather is amazing. It was about 70 today in the sun. It says it’s 54 now that’s it’s evening. It’s on the chillier side. We had a “heat wave” one day last week and it went up to 80 during the day.
Not much to say today. Had class all day, had leftovers for dinner while watching anime. About to do homework. That’s a Monday for ya’. Tomorrow I hope to be motivated to do laundry.

If you haven’t checked out my photos, you should do so. The thing with Berkeley is that you can use a map to get around the big campus, but the maps don’t show the vegetation, which is *everywhere*. You think you are walking toward the correct building but you end up in a small wood and can’t see any buildings. It’s crazy.