Half psychotic, sick, hypnotic

Late last month, my mother went to Russia to visit her family.  (Her entire family — mother, 4 sisters, and 1 brother — all live in either Dagestan or St. Petersburg.)  Today, she and my father got into their car and headed towards Virginia.  A friend of the family is flying to Las Vegas tomorrow.  Her daughter left for Costa Rica two days ago.  My sister and her boyfriend are heading to Aruba in a week or so.  I can’t help but be a little jealous of everyone’s recent expeditions.

It’s been so long since I’ve been able to go away somewhere and relax.  I guess that’s what happens when one works 20+ hours per week and goes to grad school (taking 12 credits at a time).  The last vacation I took was to Montreal with Alex… and that was 2 years ago.  I haven’t been able to travel anywhere because of:

  1. Lack of money
  2. School responsibilities
  3. Work responsibilities

However, I think I’m going to start planning a trip for mid- to late-August… in which Alex and I go to Washington, DC.  I’m looking at hotels, restaurants, museums, stores, bars, galleries, and libraries (oh hai LC) in the area.  I’m not willing to spend too much money on this trip… but I still want it to be nice.  The hotel that I am currently considering is $104/night (which is actually rather pricey by my standards) but it’s near the metro in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, so there are  a lot attractions nearby and I can easily get everywhere else.

Right now I’m trying to decide which mode of transportation to take to get to DC: car, bus, or train.  Taking a car would probably be cheapest but I’ll probably end up paying through the nose for parking.  (DC is not necessarily a car-friendly area.)  Hopping on a Greyhound bus is second cheapest but… ugh, it’s a bus.  Riding an Amtrak train to Union Station seems the most preferable because it’s quick (3.5 hrs) and it allows for passengers to walk around and stretch their legs.  (Buses are always cramped and loud… and prone to getting stuck in traffic.)  I’ll have to discuss this with Alex, I guess.

Coincidentally, I just ordered a digital camera and a mini-tripod on Amazon… so I’ll have a means of documenting this trip.  (I haven’t had a proper camera in about 1-2 years, since the lens motor on my Sony DSC-W7 crapped out on me.)  This trip is also special because this August is the 4th anniversary of my relationship with Alex.  Two years ago, we ran off to Montreal to celebrate… This year, we’re considering Washington, D.C.  We’ll be taking lots of photos, whatever we end up doing this summer.

25 Things

There’s been a random meme going around called “25 Things,” where folks list 25 random things about themselves. I first saw it on Facebook but now it’s cropping up everywhere. So here it is, for your viewing (dis)pleasure:

  1. I was introduced to coffee when I was 7 years old. By my parents. (I’ve been drinking it ever since. I take it with half-and-half and no sugar.)
  2. As much as I enjoy my classes, I wish I could have my Master’s degree already so I can get my career off the ground. It’s paralyzing knowing that I can’t get hired anywhere until I finish this program.
  3. I’m a migraine sufferer. (It runs in the family.) My migraines come with visual auras. Some research suggests that migraines + auras = increased chance of strokes.
  4. Unfortunately, strokes also run in my family. Needless to say, I’m attempting to lead my life in a relatively stress-free fashion.  However, my current lifestyle is contradictory this philosophy, as I am currently trying to hold down a part-time job and attend Master’s-level courses full-time.
  5. I’ve recently learned that there are reproductive problems in my family, too — myself included. (I was diagnosed with Kallmann syndrome when I was 18.) I may be infertile… and I think I’m OK with that. (But, then again, I am only 22.) Continue reading “25 Things”

Kind woman, I give you my all.

A couple of weeks ago, I helped a student research some obscure intelligence test for a paper she was writing for her Master’s-level psychology course. We were only able to find a handful of articles, all authored by the same group of individuals. Together, we came to the conclusion that these people must’ve been the ones who created the analysis tool as they were the only ones being cited.

Yesterday, she came into the library again for more assistance. This time, it was about a different topic. However, before she explained her new problem to me, she asked, “Do you remember you helped me last time?” Now, I’m usually very bad with faces. I help dozens of students every day and I can’t keep track of every one of them. However, I remembered her and I was even able to vaguely recall the topic she had been researching. (I must have spent about 30-45 minutes with her that day. That is significantly more time than I get to spend with most students.) So once I responded in the affirmative, she said, “I got an A on that paper. My professor was very impressed because she wasn’t even aware that the tool had existed. It’s so new that she hadn’t even heard of it yet.”

I’ve had students come up to me days or weeks later and thank me. However, I’ve always been at a loss as to who they are or how I’d helped them. In some cases, I’d forget by the next day. (I don’t know whether this is a testament to the volume of questions I field everyday or to my poor memory.) In this case, the student took the time out to explain to me who she was and exactly how my assistance had helped her.

To my knowledge, this is the first time that my services had gotten someone an A.  Needless to say, I was beaming.