My Speculative Spring Schedule and Why Alliteration is Annoying

textbooksJust so you’re all aware, I do intend to get more advertisers on here than, “Kirby Says Hi”. That means, as usual, I’m going to have to do some shameless self-advertising and ask that, if any of you know someone interested in sharing their business online, please feel free to direct them to me.

That being said, the headline of this article is only half right. We’re going to talk about my “Speculative Spring Schedule”, but we’re not going to talk about why “Alliteration is Annoying”. That is simply a fact of life and, if you don’t know it by now, you never will.

I’m just kidding, guys.

Anyway, NYU students have been working on their spring schedules for a few weeks now. If there’s anything this semester has taught me, it’s what to look for in a good weekly agenda.

What I’ve Learned This Semester:

1.) The ONLY thing I’m pulling my butt out of bed for at 7am on a Friday morning is work. If it’s not required, I’m not going. The conclusion? No more 8am Friday recitations.

2.) Huge lecture classes are not required and I will find something better to do with my time if I’m given the opportunity. Therefore, avoid courses with more than 75 students at all costs.

3.) Back-to-Back classes are the BEST. I have the perfect excuse not to stay after and talk to my professor, I have no choice but to be on my toes, and there isn’t an annoying hour or two between classes where I can’t actually get anything done but I don’t have time to go all the way home, either.

4.) Classes next to one another are key. The more courses I can squeeze into one building, the better.

5.) Lunch will not be eaten if I don’t leave time for it. Or, if it is eaten, it’ll be at 4pm and dinner will be pushed back to 10pm. Sleep will generally be pushed back in these instances, as well.

6.) A day OFF during the week (AKA Monday thru Thursday) is a day worth living for.

Keeping all of this in mind, I managed to make a tentative schedule for next semester. I’m pretty proud of it, as well as the massive headache endured to come up with it.

 

Monday: 

9:30-10:45 Objectivity

11:00-12:15 Human Origins

2:00-3:15 French

3:30-4:45 Investigative Journalism

6:00-11:00 Work

 

Tuesday:

NOTHING. NOTHING AT FREAKING ALL.

 

Wednesday:

9:30-10:45 Objectivity

11:00-12:15 Human Origins

12:30-1:30 Cohort Meeting (Bi-Weekly)

2:00-3:15 French

3:30-4:45 Investigative Journalism

6:00-11:00 Work

 

Thursday:

9:30-10:45 Objectivity Lab

11:00-12:40 Human Origins Lab

2:00-3:15 French

6:00-11:00 Work

 

Three days of ridiculously hard-work and crazy scheduling = 15 hours of work per-week (more cash), 4 classes, 2 labs, and a partridge in a pear tree.

I’m really hoping these classes don’t fill up before I can make the registration official. 3 days on and 4 days off. What I wouldn’t give to actually have a schedule like that.

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Don’t Worry Christina, I’m Still Alive

67210_1559788754251498_5397857999482169698_nIt’s been a few days since my last post, and there are an endless amount of reasons why.

The last time you tuned into Misadventures, I was heading back home to make a speech at the Howell School Board meeting, despite the close judgments of my friends. But it’s okay. They’ve always considered me crazy.

I left Friday night around 10:15. I’d just gotten off work at 8, I had a paper to turn in before I could leave, and I was barely packed. For some reason, it just didn’t feel like I was leaving. Mara practically had to push me out the door so I wouldn’t miss my bus.

And, just barely, I didn’t.

The cab I took (and there isn’t any choice but to take a cab when you’re going all the way to Times Square with a suitcase and a backpack) decided to go all the way to 44th Street before I reminded my driver that I was only going to 40th. Apparently 40th is 48th, I don’t know. Either way, I ditched the cab and booked it to the station.

When I took the Megabus at the beginning of this month, it was extremely laid back. All of the seats had plugs, we loaded on the side of the street, and our baggage wasn’t really checked.

Greyhounds load in Port Authority (this huge bus terminal in Times Square). It’s like being in an airport. You have to find your gate, get your luggage tagged and weighed, and be in line at least 15 minutes early.

I was lucky they decided to be lenient with my luggage, because I had no idea it was supposed to be tagged until I got on the platform. The guy loading just winked and said, “Don’t worry about it, just made sure you don’t leave it!”

We boarded the bus, I managed to get a seat in the very back (that didn’t recline) next to this really nice Russian guy. We talked for a little while and then the bus got silent (as it always eventually does at night). I stuck in my headphones and, for the next 14 hours, I just listened and stared out the window.

I couldn’t sleep because it was too damn cold. And I’d only worn a tank top and capris, so my jacket either covered my arms or my legs. Not both. One.

Needless to say, when we stopped at the heated bus terminal in Cleveland (where I switched to a new bus heading to Detroit), I was relieved.  And hungry. It was 6 in the morning. So I got some pancakes and chocolate milk that I didn’t finish, some bacon that I did finish, and then got back on board.

Katie got me in Detroit around noon. I’m going to let you in on a secret. All of the street names? They’re the same. Lafayette, 6th, Brooklyn.

Did I leave Manhattan or not?

After getting home, I slept. And then slept. And then slept. And then, my family, as nice as they are, decided to take us all out to see Ouiji (something Mom and I had been wanting to see since the commercials, and something Katie and Dad have been dreading since the commercials).

When our family night ended, I slept.

Wow. I’m interesting.

The next day, Dad and I ran errands together. That seems to be a popular thing when I come visit. I’m sure we’ll be doing it again at Thanksgiving in four weeks.

Then Monday came. Monday the very interesting, very controversial day.

I started it with Kayla. We drove around the Fowlerville area, went to visit her school, and talked. That made my trip to Howell High a lot less nerve-wracking.

Around noon, I got to see Ms. Amanda-freaking-Malo (did you tell I missed her?), as well as Briana Beeman, Liliana Fleming, Mama D, Maggie Grace, and 1800 other people I missed.

And then came the board meeting.

I’d been practicing for days, trying to memorize a speech that, inevitably, I would give looking down anyway. Because who wants to look an angry school board member in the eye?

Some really great people came to support the cause. David Jann, an old friend from high school, showed up. My brother and my mother both came, though Mom ended up going home to watch the meeting with Dad after the board went into a closed session for over an hour. Dominic Freni also came, another high school friend.

Ultimately, it went how I expected it to go. Superintendent Ron Wilson is still on leave, and will be given “charges” and the “opportunity for a public or private hearing before the board”.

This is not a complete loss. Have a little faith in me. I didn’t travel 600 miles just to watch a school board reach a verdict I knew they’d probably reach, regardless of what I said.

No, I went 600 miles because I knew that there were people watching who cared about what I said. And, after the meeting, I got the privilege of meeting a number of those people. To me, that was what mattered.

And, I’ll admit, it was pretty exciting when I found out yesterday afternoon that a portion of my speech was played on the morning radio show.

I’ll continue to follow this story over the next few weeks. If you’ve been reading, don’t worry. I’ll keep writing as the facts become available to me.

After the meeting, I spent some time with my “supporters” David and Dominic, and then I baked some (really awesome) cookies and went to bed. By 5pm the next day, I was on a bus heading home.

And now I’m here. At work. Typing to you. I just got off the bus about an hour and a half ago. How I ended up here, on time, is beyond me. Completely and totally beyond me.

I have work now. Then I have a meeting with my professor. Then a Cohort Meeting. Then French. Then work. Again.

I’m going to be so dead tonight.

Rachael Ray Feedback: My First Volunteer Event

RR2A few weeks ago, I was looking for an opportunity to get involved in the Manhattan community. Kathleen and I talked briefly about it when she came to see me, and I realized how much I missed giving my time to a good cause (That’s not meant to sound corny. It’s actually entirely selfish. No one makes you feel better about yourself than the people you’re helping for no reason at all).

I’ve wanted to visit a soup kitchen since my first week here, but my concern is that I’ll get there and I’ll get attached. And once I get attached, that’s it. I’ll stay there. And I’ll put as much focus and time into that kitchen as humanly possible, and I just don’t have time to do that right now.

So, as much as I would love to do that and increase the stress-level of my life, I decided the most responsible choice I could make would be to find a one-time volunteer event and take part in that. There was no way even I could make that more complicated than it already was.

Okay, listen, when I decided to do that, I had no idea Rachael Ray would get involved.  Or Emeril Lagasse. Or John Legend’s girlfriend.

I really don’t know how these things happen to me.

All I know is that I went online and found volunteer events that were going on during the Wine & Food Festival, this huge event in Manhattan that lasts for about a week and gives all proceeds to the Food Bank. There are famous chefs everywhere. And the first volunteer event listed was for Rachael Ray’s Feedback: Chefs and Cocktails. I clicked on that pretty quickly.

And then I noticed that almost all of the events were full. I looked for close to an hour, and had to end up putting myself on waitlists just to volunteer. Apparently, people start signing up for these things months in advance in hopes of meeting a celebrity.

I got an email about a week later telling me a space had opened up if I wanted it. I snatched it while I could, and proceeded to tell everybody that I was going to volunteer at a Rachael Ray event.

RR

Most of you asked me if I was going to get to meet her.

Well, I’ll put it like this. At first, I was just outside helping move the line along. But the supervisor apparently decided that I was too fragile to survive in those cold conditions (I’m not complaining), and had me switch out with someone inside. He told me to go with him so he could show me where I was working.

I didn’t know where we were going, I just followed. I was easily the youngest person in the place (you had to be 21 to get in and 18 to volunteer, and most of the people volunteering were closer to their late-20’s), so I was just going to go along with whatever. I was lucky to even be allowed in the venue.

I ended up guarding the VIP section, where Rachael Ray was hanging out with her husband, her friends, and (at one point) Emeril Lagasse. I’m not kidding.

Keeping my cool was pretty difficult, but I managed. Katie, however, would probably have been jumping and freaking out because she actually knows who everyone in that area was. I had no idea. Well, other than John Legend’s girlfriend, who’s apparently close friends with Rachael.

Oh, and it took me half an hour just to determine who Rachael’s husband was.

I fail at celebrity sightings.

So, anyway, I stood there for an hour, stuck between a couch and the separator with barely any room to move, just making sure no one jumped over. The VIP section itself was tiny. Maybe 10 by 12? Not even that much. Everyone in it was within full visibility of the guests, who stood behind me taking pictures for the entirety of the evening.

Volunteers weren’t allowed to take pictures, and I escaped as soon as my shift was over, so I apologize that I didn’t get any pictures of Rachael or Emeril. Although, I can describe Rachael to you fairly well without any help.

She’s a completely normal woman (though the same can’t be said for her supermodel John-Legend’s-girlfriend friend who would make Megan Fox feel uncomfortable). She’s not stick-thin, she was very polite to everyone (especially the volunteers), and she had on a little too much makeup. When you see celebrities up close, you realize they aren’t these God-like things. They’re just people.

No, I didn’t actually talk to her. Someone said something ridiculous from outside of the VIP area and we made eye contact over it. That was about it. She hugged some VIP guests who were standing literally right in front of me though, so she and I almost knocked heads. Then they started taking pictures together and there was nowhere for me to go and nothing for me to do but to duck down and pray I wasn’t in them.

Celebrity or not, I never feel entirely comfortable at big gatherings where people are drinking. The whole thing feels like a mask, and that’s hard to ignore for me. Everyone who came that night didn’t come for the food, they came to see a celebrity. And they didn’t just come to see a celebrity, they came so they could tell everyone else they know that they saw a celebrity. I don’t know. It just all seemed fake.

That’s nothing against Rachael Ray. That’s just how parties feel to me. As soon as my shift ended at midnight, I grabbed my stuff and headed out. I’m not going to lie to you, I probably could have stayed and drank and got into the VIP area to meet Rachael, but it just didn’t appeal to me. I wanted to go home and get rid of my splitting headache.

But I did meet some really great volunteers. The experience itself (setting up, helping people enter, forming the line) wasn’t bad at all. I definitely plan on doing it again.

So there you go. My adventure with Rachael Ray.

My Impromtu Trip Home: Realizing Priorities

9As I sit here, beginning my 70th blog post, I have to wonder how everything came to this climactic moment. Each time I think my life can’t get any more complicated or unbelievable, it finds a way.

Okay no, that’s a complete lie. I find a way. Let’s not joke around here.

I didn’t think Misadventures would ever have over 25,000 hits or 112 followers (12 in the last 3 days. Wow!). I had no idea the Facebook page would catch on, and I most certainly never thought I would reach 70 posts.

When I hit 100, we’re going to have some really serious celebrating to do.

In the midst of trying to update this blog, which has become something of a child for me, finding advertisers (you know, the kind that aren’t paying me $9 to say hi), and continuing to write as a daily part of my life, I’ve also been figuring out where my heart is.

Of course, I’m not going to leave Howell and forget about it. I know you all think I’m in some big, interesting city (and I am), but Howell has not become any less intriguing to me. If I’m being honest with you, I’m having a very hard time with the idea that the world in Michigan is going to continue without me.

Well, partially without me. Like I said, I’m not ditching. I still live there. I just spend an awful lot of time away from home. Which sucks. But it is what it is, I’m getting an amazing education, and I’m making connections along the way. But my heart is still with my family, in that townhouse, probably next to my dogs on the living room floor like it always has been.

I never knew I was such a family person.

So when everything started exploding with the Howell School Board, I took notice. I watched, I printed articles, I asked questions, I did research. It’s in my nature. I can’t help it. I don’t think you understand. I literally can’t sleep at night when I know I could be chasing after a new story. And, for some reason, Howell just draws me in.

Maybe because it’s familiar. Maybe because I still have  a name there. After all, as several friends have pointed out, no one here would care if I wrote a breaking news article. I don’t have a reputation here. Yet.

But I don’t think either of those are really it.

I think it’s because I moved 7 times in my life. 8, if you include New York. In relation to most people in Howell, that’s a lot. But one thing always stayed constant, and that was the Howell community. It was the school. It was the teachers.

It was home.

When I dropped $120 on round-trip bus tickets for this weekend, I didn’t do it because I miss home. I would love to claim that I’m that dedicated, but that’s just a lie. I’m not insane. I’m realistic. If I have to wait until Thanksgiving, then I have to wait until Thanksgiving.

But there was no way in hell I was going to miss this board meeting. I’m sorry if it seems crazy, but picking up a few extra hours at work and missing a few classes seems small in comparison to the damage that’s being done to my school district.

Thinking about that this afternoon made me realize where my priorities are.

Family. Friends. Howell. Career.

I bet my family thought that list was backward a few months ago.

On the plus side, I got a B on my first big paper. That’s a big deal here, especially in this writing class. We don’t have to talk about my French midterm…do we?

Love you all ❤

Random Experiences & Weird People #4: The Subway Edition

home aloneThis is another special series of mini-stories brought to you by: Weird Things That Happen To People In New York City.

High Guy

I don’t know what else to call him. I was on the subway, on my way back from Times Square, and this guy just sat in the corner staring at the other end of the car. I didn’t see him blink once throughout the entire ride. Not once. It didn’t take too much to determine that he was probably high off some kind of drug. But, it’s New York, so I just dismissed it.

When I transferred to the L train, he followed. Again, I didn’t think it was very notable. In fact, I probably wouldn’t even have noticed he was on the train with me again if he hadn’t literally fallen onto the platform floor and started convulsing at my stop on 14th Street.

I was just starting to grasp what was happening when he stopped shaking, stood up, brushed himself off, and continued walking.

No clue how to interpret that situation at all.

Beat-Box Guy

He nodded his head and yelled, “Whoop!” about once every ten seconds while I waited for the train to come. Must have been something good playing on those headphones.

guyGuy in All Black

Alright, this is creepy and I don’t know how else to describe him.

It seems like all of my bizarre subway experiences take place going from Times Square back to Union Square around midnight. I don’t know why, apparently this is high-tide for very weird people.

This man was dressed in tall, black boots and a black trench coat. He had his hair pulled back in a tight braid and was wearing sunglasses. In a subway car. Just imagine the guy in the picture above but, you know, not hot and with a long braid, sunglasses, and an intimidating demeanor. Oh, right. And the most important part.

The man’s face was covered with a black bandanna.

None of this worried me half so much as his behavior. He kept pacing the car while we rode, and he walked with a purpose. When I left the car to transfer to the L train, he got off too.

I usually walk up the stairs as quickly as possible, rather than walking the subway platform and waiting for the last staircase. I don’t know why exactly, but I guess it has something to do with the fact that there’s no reason not to go up the stairs as soon as possible. There’s more air on higher ground, and you can reach your transfer train with less obstacles.

There’s also cops on the upper floor. Always cops on the upper floor.

So when I went up the stairs and started making the long trek to the L-train platform, I thought the man was long gone. I passed a few policemen, nodded my head, and kept going. But the closer I got, the more I started to realize that he was still there, walking the lower platform (it was easy to see below the stairwells next to me).

When the last staircase before the L-train was my sight, I saw him come up. I was hoping he was going to exit the station but, instead, he sauntered over to the platform, hands in his pockets, walking with a deep sense of purpose, and just stood at the top of the stairs to the L-train, crossed his arms, and glared at everyone going in.

You tell me how I’m supposed to handle that. I’d been with this guy since Times Square, and he was seriously creeping me out. Who stands at the top of the stairs to a train, leans against the wall, and just stares at everyone?

I couldn’t help but feel like he was counting them as they went in.

I know I do some risky things in the city, but I didn’t want to go down into that platform anymore. Not with everyone talking about ISIS and how they’ve threatened the subway system. The 5 or 6 block ride wasn’t worth it.

Instead of getting on the train, I turned right, called Dawn, and exited the station. On the phone with her, I walked the 6 blocks home and felt much better about it.

I gotta tell ya, things just keep getting stranger around here.