Post-Graduation Plans

December 31, 2008 at 10:07 pm (Fun Stuff) (, , , )

So, for graduation (I know – still a year away…), I am planning a trip to Germany.  I want to go in the near future, but I want to know enough of the language to not have to hope people speak English.

My idea at the moment is to fly into Munich (München) and spend a day or two at the Olympic Park (Olympiapark).  After that, I want to take the train to Füssen.  From there, go to Schwangau and stay at the Hotel Müller for a few days while visiting Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Hohenschwangau.  Then, I want to go to Salzburg, Austria, again by train.  But, because of the Alps, I’d have to go by way of Munich, so that might not fit in this trip – unless perhaps I fly home from Austria…



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December 29, 2008 at 6:02 am (Life) ()

I don’t like guessing.  

I don’t like doing something without following the directions.  

I don’t like failing.  

I don’t like trying something new in front of other people – in case I can’t do it.

According to Psychology Today, my mom, and probably most people who know me, I am a perfectionist.  Which probably sounds like a great thing, unless you are a perfectionist.  Sure, having high standards can be great.  But the stress of always trying to reach these hugh standards can easily get in the way of enjoying life.  The problem comes from the fact that everything is black or white, right or wrong.  I can not stand the look of those artsy asymmetrical sweaters; they look like the knitter measured wrong.  But the biggest problem with perfectionism is if something isn’t right (perfect), its obviously wrong, a failure.

To avoid potential failure, the perfectionist puts things off. Eventually, this procrastination leads to panic. The night before a big test, or a day before a big show, she’ll work like mad, burning the midnight oil to complete the task, likely with less care than if she had given herself enough time. But she’s also relieved of her own internal pressure. “There’s some self-protection involved,” says Jeffrey Ashby, Ph.D.. “If my perfectionist student knows there’s a paper due, and he works on it for ten to twelve hours a week the whole semester and gets a B minus, his whole self-worth will be wrapped up in that grade. But if he writes it at the last minute, he’ll think to himself that he got the B minus because he did it too quickly, which keeps his self-esteem intact.”

Another blogger here on wordpress has already written about this topic.  I will quote part of it here, but it is very well written, so I suggest you read the whole blog entry here.

That being said, perfectionism has its negatives and positives. While it may be seen as great to work hard for hours on end until the project at hand is perfect, there are other complications to being a perfectionist. I, for example, have a horrible habit of giving up on many things the first time around. If I’m not the best at it, I don’t want anything to do with it unless I can grow to be the best at it fast. This is in fact placing a limitation on myself. I cannot develop new skills if I don’t get over the fact that I won’t be the best at everything, especially without significant practice. I know this and yet I continue to fear doing things I don’t think I’ll not only be good, but great at. Another example would be in my writing. If I were to write a poem and not like something specific about it, instead of working it, I would give up and throw it away. It must come out of me nearly perfectly the first time around. I’ve thrown away many potentially good poems with this attitude. I wrote a short story a couple months ago, which about 18 out of 21 people loved, but I broke down horribly just because of the 3 people who didn’t like it at all. I knew that not everyone likes the same things, but the negative comments stood out the most to me. I almost gave up on the story until my boyfriend smacked some sense into me about toughening up to take negative critiques well and that not everyone is going to like my stuff. 

I have a constant feeling within me that I don’t know enough and that I’m not good enough at the skills that I have, and I feel horrible when I’m not good at something at all. I sometimes cry and call myself pathetic I am because I either didn’t know something or screwed up badly on something that I have done and I never forgive myself. I get anger at myself very easily and blame myself foreverything. If something goes wrong, I find a way to link the cause to me and blame myself. There are hobbies that I yearn to take up, but also fear at my lack of talent in those areas. Overall, I feel flawed as a human being just because I can’t do everything I want to do perfectly.

Like this author hinted at, I think for me, I developed this perfectionism when I was really little.  As long as I can remember, I’ve been good at a lot of stuff, and I usually lear things really quickly.  But, if I don’t understand something, I will get frustrated to the point of quitting before I have a chance to figure it out.  

Understandably (I hope), there are times when it would be great to not have this constant pressure on everything I do.  Pyschologists suggest this method of dealing with perfectionism: Give yourself permission to be imperfect. Perfectionists often try to deny their mistakes or cover them up, which just leads to a worse situation. If you adopt a forgiving attitude toward your mistakes, then they can turn into positive learning experiences. Extend that openness to other people’s mistakes as well.  How on Earth is that supposed to help????????  Do they not understand that you can’t just turn off the way you view the world?  Its like saying that this color is now “green” and you must only call it “green” from now on.

Anyway, if you’re interested in the Psychology Today self-test, it can be found here.  Discovery Health also has an abridged version of the same test here.

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The Fearsome Foursome

December 27, 2008 at 6:54 pm (Fun Stuff, Life, Winter Break) (, , , )

Growing up, my three closest friends and I were collectivelly known as the Fearsome Foursome.  Well, as times change, only two of us are still living in our home town (though strangely enough, 3/4ths of us have family in the Twin Cities – that would be Minnesota). One has ended up at UW-Madison and the other at Lewis and Clark College

Anyway, three of us (plus families) are having a christmas/hanukkah party (the fourth is in Minnesota this week…).  If past christmas/hanukkah parties are anything to judge by, it should be really fun.

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Happy Holidays

December 24, 2008 at 10:30 pm (Fun Stuff, Winter Break) (, )

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Santa Tracker

December 23, 2008 at 4:31 pm (Fun Stuff, Winter Break) (, , )

If you don’t know, every year, NORAD  (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) has a bit of fun and tracks santa sightings around the world.

How We Track Santa

NORAD uses four high-tech systems to track Santa – radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets.

Tracking Santa starts with the NORAD radar system called the North Warning System. This powerful radar system consists of 47 installations strung across the northern border of North America. On Christmas Eve, NORAD monitors the radar continuously for indications that Santa Claus has left the North Pole.

The moment that radar indicates Santa has lifted off, we use our second detection system. Satellites positioned in geo-synchronous orbit at 22,300 miles from the Earth’s surface are equipped with infrared sensors which enable them to detect heat. Amazingly, Rudolph’s bright red nose gives off an infrared signature which allow our satellites to detect Rudolph and Santa.

The third tracking system is the Santa Cam network. We began using it in 1998, which is the year we put our Santa Tracking program on the internet. Santa Cams are ultra-cool, high-tech, high-speed digital cameras that are pre-positioned at many locations around the world. NORAD only uses these cameras once a year on Christmas Eve. The cameras capture images and videos of Santa and his reindeer as they make their journey around the world.

The fourth system is made up of fighter jets. Canadian NORAD fighter pilots flying the CF-18 intercept and welcome Santa to North America. In the United States, American NORAD fighter pilots in either the F-15 or the F-16 get the thrill of flying alongside Santa and his famous reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and, of course, Rudolph.

That, from their website.

Anyway, its fun, so check out their website.  The first sighting is expected in about 18 hours.

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To Do List

December 22, 2008 at 6:02 am (Life, Winter Break) ()

Maybe (hopefully) if I write down everything I need to do before going back to school I’ll get more of it done.  And, here seems as good a place as any…

  • Spend time with friends who are home from school (movie?)
  • Spend time with my boyfriend (try new recipe he will like)
  • Sort sock drawer
  • Organize a ton of paperwork
  • Go to local Christmas festivities
  • Get donations for fundraiser
  • Buy tickets for trip to Minnesota
  • Compile an end of year report of a program I’m involved in
  • Clean ferret cage
  • Clean gerbil cage
  • Hang up bird feeder
  • Confirm summer internship(s)
  • Go ice staking
  • Go swimming (indoor pool…)
  • Look at account stuff
  • Try to sell stuff on amazon/craigslist
  • Email pictures to family
  • Get picture of me and my boyfriend for my grandma
  • Look for any scholarships I should apply for

Thats all I can think of at the moment, but I’m sure there is way more to do…

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Grades are in and other news

December 17, 2008 at 8:56 pm (Fall 2008, Fun Stuff, Life, School) (, , , )


Finally, all my instructors have posted semester grades.

  • Juvenile Justice Procedures – A
  • Criminal Investigations – A
  • Human Biology – A
  • Society and Technology – A
  • Chamber Choir – A
  • Sunstance Abuse Pyschology – A

 Credits Completed – 50

GPA – 3.88 (so close…… but its been steadily going back up since that B in Statistics set me back a bit….)

School News:

I’m glad winter break is so long (did I mention its snowing!!!), becuase I have so much to get done…  I usually spend the first week not doing much, then the next five weeks are for catching up on anything I need to do.


I am in the midst of 3 wonderful winter storms.  One Monday night and Tuesday, the second Wednesday (now), and the third overnight and tomorrow morning.  The first brought 8 wonderful inches of snow, and by Thursday there could be up to 2 feet of snow!!!!!!  I’ll upload pictures later.

Other News:

 I really can’t think of anything too exciting.  But, have you heard of “reborning“????? It’s downright creapy.  People take dolls, treat with acetone, bake, paint, and turn them into lifelike (plastic) babies. 

Video of the Day:

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Let It Snow!

December 15, 2008 at 8:11 pm (Fun Stuff) (, , )

According to the national weather service, my house will be hit with two major winter storms this week.

Between now and tomorrow morning, we are supposed to get 8 – 16 inches of snow.  Then we should get another 12 – 25 inches on Tuesday.  On Wednesday there is a 70% chance of snow (but no estimated amount yet).  On Thursday, the chance of snow goes gown to 20%…


Hot cocoa, and sledding, and snow men, and pictures, and so much fun!!!!!!

 If you are unlucky enough to not have a wonderful winter storm this week, check out the Make-A-Flake website.

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December 11, 2008 at 5:01 pm (Fall 2008, School, Winter Break) (, , , )

Today (or tomorrow, depending on when I turn in the last few assignments) is the last day of the semester (thank goodness!). Three of my classes are completely done, and the two online classes are just about done too. Overall, this semester has been fine. A little boring, really easy, but all necessary for graduation.
Anyway, but school has this wonderfully excessive winter break. December 12 through January 21. Yay! 6 wonderful weeks where I don’t have to write papers or do quizes, or anything! Though… why the semester begins on a Wednesday is beyond me…
Plus, its supposed to snow this weekend! Yay!

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December 5, 2008 at 2:39 am (Fall 2008, School) (, , , )

I’m not an outwardly competitive person. People who know me are probably surprised to learn how competitive I really am. But school has provided a great outlet for this competitiveness…
My school uses a program called Blackboard for all the online classes. Other classes use this program too. But anyway this program allows instructors to post students’ grades. The way grades are posted you can see points possible, your grade, and the class average. It is always (ok, usually) my goal to score as close to 100% as possible. But sometimes even more exciting and fun is seeing how much higher my score is than the class average (see, I told you I was competitive).
With one week left in the semester, I only have one (maybe two) classes where I’m really worried about my grade. In that class I have an 88% overall with a major project (that I’m stressing about finishing) due Saturday. In the other class my instructor doesn’t provide grades throughout the semester (which is really frustrating)? And I’ve been getting As and Bs on the quizes.
Ok well, I guess we’ll see…

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