Grinnell, Revisited

August 23, 2006

Once again, I am in Grinnell. The heat is incredibly oppressive to those of us accustomed to air conditioning, slowly eating at our souls. In actuality, I quite enjoyed the first few days here. I arrived early to help ITS set up the network and help the new students become acquainted with Grinnell’s computers systems. This, as you can consider, I greatly enjoyed. When else would I have to fix a five-year old computer that uses the Japanese edition of Windows XP Home? Never!

Unfortunately, now all students are coming back. It was wonderful to see my friends (though most have been here since before I arrived), but still. Something about returning to classes, eating ramen, and falling back in to a monotonous schedule just doesn’t appeal right now. I so greatly enjoyed my work with Linux, Windows GUI programming, A+ certification, and website redesign; it feels like that will all go away as soon as I begin this semester.

There are some shining lights, however. I should be able to take two computer science courses along with a million TC shifts. In fact, of this whole week, I’m most looking forward to tommarrow’s scheduling meeting. The helpdesk, mathlan, av center, etc. all excite me, though I’m not sure why. I’ll post my schedule afterwards.

Sigh. Grinnell, it’s…  well I’m back, Grinnell. Brace yourself.

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The Animal House

July 28, 2006

It seems we are now known as the animal house. I guess I can see why… in the past year we’ve had two dogs, a cat, a hedgehog, five baby rabbits, a gold fish, a group of sea monkeys, and now a turtle. Mind you, the rabits, fish, and sea monkeys all died under our care… Still, we’ve become the animal sanctuary for the neighborhood.

My mother went out with the dogs early this morning after a heavy downpour. She rounded the corner of our block and found a rather large turtle laying in the grass. No one in our neighborhood has a turtle. A few minutes later, I woke up with the slow moving creature feet away from my face.

For a large part of the day, we kept the turtle on the porch, hoping he would warm up. Noticing the webbed feet, I put him in the bathtub in a few milimeters of water. Later we moved him outside and asked if anyone knew him. The turtle decided to escape, running down the sidewalk. By running, I mean crawling at a good 100 ft/hr. By escape, I mean go towards the end of the sidewalk and then turn back.

We eventually got a hold of a neighbor who fishes quite often and asked him to take a look. As it turns out, we found a large snapping turtle. Lovely. It does, however, tell us that the creature comes from the wild, as no one would own (let alone sell) a snapping turtle. Interestingly enough, there aren’t bodies of water nearby. It’s possible the little guy somehow got into the sewer system and finally got out when the waterlevel rose. We’ll take him to the river tommarrow and let him go. In the meantime, he’s staying in our bathtub… far far away from my fingers.

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Such Sweet Sorrow

July 19, 2006

After fifteen wonderful days, Heather has left, and I return to work on this blog. We managed to cover an awfully large amount of ground, spending over 24 hours driving from one location to another. The vacation began with a visit to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. For a Midwest museum, the IMA manages to fit in a good selection of interesting pieces, including a floor held up by army-men and a painting that doesn’t actually exist. It’d make more sense if you visited, which I very strongly recommend; the museum is free for students.

We then headed off to see some friends in Sandusky, OH. Popping in to Cedar Point, we stayed in a hotel for the night, leaving the next morning. I used the phrase “popping in” because we didn’t actually stay at the park for too long. I assumed we’d be around for most of the day, seeing as Heather doesn’t visit too many theme parks, but we were only at the park for, maybe, five hours.

Just a day or so later, we went to the F1 race with some of my friends from the Academy. It was really great to see them all, even though I tend to dislike racing. Something about the remarkable absence of strategy bothers me. Of course, the drivers do need to define what type of equipment they ride, but it seems to me that the races are decided before the race begins. Oh well, I had fun and seeing my friends was more than worth it.

Heather and I then headed off to South Bend, where we celebrated the 4th (twice, actually) and stayed with my extended family. It’s reassuring to know my family like Heather very much. While staying in South Bend, we headed over to see my mother’s friend near Valperaso. As always, it’s good to catch up with old fiends.

On Friday, Heather and my second anniversary, we went to Holiday World, in Santa Claus, IN, effectively completing our unintended goal to cover Indiana from head to toe. Two theme parks in less than two weeks caused a bit of a fun overload that I’m still living down, but the park was very cute. They gave out free soft drinks and sunscreen. I found it kind of odd, but the whole park pushed the “family friendliness” aspect quite hard.

The rest of Heather’s stay (about a half a week), we spent watching movies and taking walks. We ended up covering about two miles of ground in one night. I believe this stay will forever be known as the two weeks of travel. What joy.

Of course, all good things must come to an end, and on Wednesday, Heather was forced to leave. It wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t life-threatening. Meh, what can I say? Parting is such… well, you know. In theory, I’ll go there in October for a week and hopefully live with her in Vancouver in under six months. Sad memories aren’t my thing… yeesh.