Friday, August 26, 2011

End of Summer Activites

I really can't believe summer's over already.  I kind of have mixed feelings, on the one hand, I'm happy to be back at USC, but on the other hand, I'm really not excited about having homework again.  Thankfully, I got to celebrate the end of summer with a bang.  A few of my closest friends from St. Louis and I went to the Katy Perry concert at Scott Trade Center in St. Louis!  We got really into Katy's style and went to the concert in costume.  It was really a blast!  I have always known that Katy Perry was amazing, but the concert really showed her artistic side and the fact that she can really sing.  I promise you, she's not all auto-tune!  She did an acoustic version of one of her songs with just her singing and playing guitar and it was really amazing. Of course, I have a few pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Then, the very next day, I flew back to Los Angeles.  But, Katy Perry wasn't the last concert for me this week.  I also went to the Taylor Swift concert Wednesday night!  I couldn't believe that after living in L.A. for a whole year, it was my first time going to a concert in L.A.!  The concert was at the Staples Center only about 3 miles away from campus.  I had such a great time!  And, to top it all off, Jason Mraz made an appearance and sang "I'm Yours" with Taylor!  And in case that wasn't enough star power, Emma Stone (Ms. Skeeter from "The Help") was in the audience!  At one point in the concert, Taylor went over and gave her a hug.  Pretty cool!  And, of course, more pictures!

While concerts and moving in have all been very fun, unfortunately my bike had a catastrophe.  It's been missing screws for a while now and I was always too lazy to go get more and fix the poor thing.  Well, unfortunately the one screw holding on the fender finally gave way while I was biking and the fender hit the wheel and got spun underneath the tire.  It was really sad because the fender got all scraped up getting dragged along the concrete.  Finally, I got the fender dislodged from under the wheel but it was evident that something needed to be done.  Here's a picture of the poor thing.

Finally, despite a semester of doing nothing, the time had finally come for me to bring my bike into the bike shop.  It took a few hours but my bike is back in working order!  Yah!!  Also, my longboard got shipped to me from home so now I have two modes of transportation!  I've boarded around campus a bit and it's been working out pretty well.  Unfortunately, they're doing a ton of construction on the main road that goes from my apartment into campus so there are a ton of pot holes and stuff and it's kind of scary to bike on much less longboard.  Anywho, the semester is off to a good start!

Design Tweaks

Hello All - I've been messing around with some design stuff.  Anyway, check out the new L.A. Skyline background!  I'm probably going to keep messing around with it in the weeks to come so we'll see.  Maybe I'll settle on an image I really like eventually.  Also, if you like reading my blog but forget to check the website, check out the nifty little thing to the right where you can enter your email address and receive emails whenever I update the blog!  Anywho, more to come soon!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Arrival and New Beginnings

Hello All!

Wow - what a summer it's been!  I can't believe summer flew by so quickly and I'm already back at USC!  It's great to be back getting to see everyone and hanging out with all my good friends.  Anywho, much is the same this year, same major - Aerospace Engineering - same job at the composites center, and many of the same friends.  But, there are a few different things too.  For one thing, I'm living in an apartment!  Wooo hoo!!  I'm still in USC but I'm across Jefferson, the main street that defines the northern border of what is considered "campus."  I put campus in quotations because USC technically owns the land north of Jefferson which encompasses my apartment complex and University Village and therefore it is all part of campus but since Jefferson is a fairly large street with plenty of L.A. traffic, there is a divide between traditional "campus" and the north-side which has been acquired by USC fairly recently.

Anywho, I'm so excited to be living in an apartment!  I have one amazing roommate named Preksha who is one of my sorority sisters.  So far we've been having a great time living together!  I just moved in this past Sunday but I've pretty much got my stuff all arranged and sorted out now.  Compared to my dorm last year, this apartment is sooo big!  I have way more space than I know what to do with.  I have a bunch of drawers and shelves left empty because I really don't have anything to put on them.  It's crazy.  Anyway, check out some pictures!

I can't believe we have such a big walk-in closet!!!

Compared to the living room (which is huge) the bathroom is kind of small, but we have two sinks which is perfect for when Preksha and I are getting ready together in the mornings.

Living room.  We arranged the sofa to kind of separate the table from the dining room.  Hopefully I can set up my projector so we can watch movies on the wall!

And we have air conditioning!  For y'all in Louisiana that might seem necessary, but out here in L.A. where it never gets that hot and you're on campus, having air conditioning is quite awesome.

This is where we do most of our group studying.

The kitchen!  We have all the basics covered.  Also not pictured we have a huge walk-in pantry.  Honestly, I could store more food in there than I could eat in a year, it's kind of ridiculous!

Well, that's pretty much it for the apartment.  I'm really loving it!  So far I've only had three days of classes and I already have a math quiz tomorrow.  Yup, that's engineering for you.  Other than that, I'm expecting most of my classes to go pretty smoothly.  This is my first semester only taking 18 units, but I'm only taking engineering classes so I'm not entirely sure how my workload will turn out.  This is what my schedule looks like:

PHED 102: Weight Training - taking this for fun just to make me go to the gym at least twice a week!
MATH 245: Differential Equations - my last undergraduate math class!!
AME 201 - Statics - basically a repeat of physics last year but only systems that don't move
AME 310 - Thermodynamics - study of transfer between heat and mechanical work
PHYS 162 - Advanced Physics: Electricity and Magnetism - forcing myself through honors again
EDCO 030 - Peer Counseling - This class is required to become an RA, since becoming an RA is something I'm considering I figured I'd take the class but it seems like it's just going to be a great way to gain leadership skills.

So that's it for my classes.  As far as extracurriculars, I'm meeting with my boss on Monday to talk about what project I'll be working on this semester, so once all the paperwork for that goes through I'll be going back to work.  Also, I'm assuming the position as secretary of my sorority, so I've been trying to do a lot of organizing and managing for that.  As time permits, I'll be heading over to Rocket Lab because it's so much fun to be involved.  And of course, you can't forget that it's football season!!  We have seven home games this semester so I can already tell you that's seven Saturdays that I won't get any homework done whatsoever!  I'm really looking forward to the games and it's our last year of sanctions!

So, as of right now, that's about all I've got confirmed for the semester.  It's already starting to get busy so I'm glad that I have my Mon/Wed/Fri fairly free to go to work, do homework, meet with professors, etc.  Time management is definitely going to be paramount this semester if I want to be able to handle my workload from class and still maintain some semblance of a social life!

Well, that's about it for now.  Welcome to my year 2 blog!