Friday, September 17, 2010

The Chase Building

Do you ever have one of those moments where you feel like you're in a movie? I've had a couple of those recently, in one class in particular.

The math building at Dalhousie (also called the Chase Building) is currently under renovation. It started with a little upkeep of the stone work. Next it turned into updating all the windows. Then a pipe broke and ruined all sorts of mathematical journals (some of you may find this a good thing... most here don't). There's really only one classroom in the Chase Building that can fit more than 10 people, and so many math students never actually have a class there. It's just a place to relax, a campus-home, if you will. There are a lot of offices and study areas with comfy chairs.

Anyway, I have the privilege this year of having my Optimization class there. And each morning, we hear this thump, bang, or brrrrrrrr from the open window. And if any of you have seen A Beautiful Mind, you'll remember when Professor Nash starts to teach a class, and closes the window to muffle the jackhammer outside, ignoring the sweltering students. Jennifer Connelly's character coolly gets up and politely asks the construction workers to do something else for the time so they can get enough fresh air to think.
Well, I sort of feel like being Jennifer Connelly, because even with the windows closed, they're drilling into the building. It is loud. And it's hard to optimize with brrrrrr going on.
I think I could pull off the hair too. And she has the cutest dresses.
I love math movies.
Picture from A Beautiful Mind, (2001).

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Goodbye, Earl

Shortly before I got to Halifax, I got the memo that I should be expecting a hurricane. On the days leading up to the hurricane, it was hot, still, and humid. I had a tea party at a friend's house, and it was just charming! Hot tea is actually not that bad in hot weather- supposidly it makes your body temperature hoter, which makes the air around seem cooler. The company was great too. There were about eighteen girls in attendence, and we chatted for a while over scones, and then went around and shared our summer and worries for the coming year and praying for each other. It was great.
The other days surrounding Earl I read a lot! I finished Julie and Julia, Grace Abounding, and Columbine. I also baked an apple pie and focaccia bread, which was surprisingly easy! I've made bread before... this was incredible and delicious! So good!
Now that Earl's gone, the weather has cooled. I have helped friends move into their appartments, and have gotten settled back in my room. Unfortunately, I wasn't as content with my class list as I would of liked (I'm not sure what inspired me to take Shakespeare for fun, even though I do like him), and am now trying to scramble my many, random interests into a class schedule. Two days before school starts. *Sigh*

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Quilting Myths Debunked

I think there's this myth out there that in quilting, 90% of your time is spent sewing- probably because that's the obvious outcome of all your work. Depending on the quilt, this amount varies a little, but I would say only 35% of your time is actually sewing patchwork together. Another 30% is quilting. That's really all the sewing.
Besides that, I would estimate 2% of the time is washing, 25% of your time is ironing, 15% of your time is pinning, and 15% of your time is cutting. Oh, and don't forget 8% of your time spent scratching your head, staring at instructions.

And I know that adds up to 130%. That's because it always takes longer than you'd expect.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Fitness Goals

I am not fit. I used to be. No longer.

It's sort of sad. I don't really look it. I'm not especially self-conscious about my appearance- I don't look overweight. I just don't have physical endurance to run or do an exercise program. I'm not taking care of my body. And losing a little fat and gaining muscle never hurt anyone.

The scary thing is, I'll be 20 in January (eek! aah! yipe!). Then it gets harder to start something like this. My uncle, who is in his 40's and started working out several years ago told me that it is something he wishes he had started sooner.

Last year I was a little more fit than I have been in the past couple years. I walked a lot in my day, just on my way to school and between classes. I love walking through downtown Halifax. I took a dance class in the fall, which was good. It wasn't particularly challenging, but it got me out doing something. I also started the couch to 5k program and 200 sit-ups program, briefly. It was a first step... but I also drank a lot of hot chocolate, as my wonderful Halifax family can attest. And I still feel like a dweeb when exercising. Not only can I really not do much, but I just haven't been the tank-top wearing, headband sporting girl. I feel really out of my comfort zone, like everyone's looking at me and thinking, "you call that jogging?".

This year, I want to take advantage of what my school fees are going towards. We have a gorgeous workout facility that I used more for exams than exercising last year, even though I am required to pay membership. I would like to do a couple free group classes this year, particularly Aquafit and Yogaflex.

I like the idea of Aquafit because I just need to get started. I have a feeling once I start exercising, it will come easier rather quickly, but as it is, I get discouraged by the feeling that my knees hurt (those aren't muscles?) and I can't keep up with my breathing. I hope Aquafit will allow my muscles to strengthen enough that my joints are protected, and give me a jump start into cardiowork.

I like the idea of Yogaflex (note, not yoga... more fitness focused than spiritual focused) because it will further tone me and make me more flexible. I used to be really flexible, and kept it for years after I did cheerleading somehow. And though now I am probably still more flexible than I deserve, I'm starting to feel tighter. I love my flexibility and how I feel after a good stretch.

So, those are my plans. I would also like to finish the couch to 5k and 200 sit-ups programs this fall. We will see what the winter brings. I only hope that my classes allow for these other programs, in particular the two group ones I would prefer. And hopefully I'll have a wonderful partner in crime join me- my boyfriend and I talked a lot this summer about how we should start working out. We both feel we should be more health conscious, and doing it together would be good support and motivation.