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Elizabeth

Fun fact about me and music: I love it, and I like making it (I sing in the school a cappella club and the Friday Mass choir and play the uke in my spare time)… but I sure can’t study with it!

And that’s been a tough reality to face this semester.  Even though I become so distracted when there’s music around that I can hardly participate in a conversation, I still THINK I can do homework with the help of some tunes.

Tunes such as…

We Are Scientists, an alternative rock band that’s a melding of OkGo’s guitar riffs and the sounds of dance pop. I like “Make It Easy” especially.

“Make It Easy”

Then again, there’s also Los Colorados, an excellent find I made last week. They’re a Ukranian folk band who does Ke$ha covers and other pop music, adding in their own flavor. They’re pretty much The Best Thing Ever.
“Tik Tok”

So anyway, it’s a constant battle when I have assignments to finish:  I want to make homework-time more fun by listening to music while I’m working…but I wind up just spending more time “working”, because I only have half of my brain engaged with what I’m doing.

I’m sure I’ll get wise one of these days…In the meantime, enjoy some WAS and Los Colorados with me!

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I got confused just writing the title for this blog post, but it’s true: this is the last post I’ll be making for the first (blogging) week of a semester at Fontbonne!

Which, frankly, is crazy.

Then again, this semester will also be crazy, and I suspect I’ll be ready for the end when it comes.

(…Who am I kidding. I love Fontbonne, and I expect to be bawling when things start to wind down in May. I’m currently accepting donations for my Kleenex stash.)

The gen-ed Biology class I’ve successfully avoided for the past 3 years has now caught up with me, and Life Science is coming at me with a vengeance. (I knew I couldn’t evade it forever, but I thought I could at least try…) I’m also taking my last undergraduate Computer Science class, Operating Systems.

Then I’ve got two senior projects, one for my Applied Math major and one for my Computer Science major, which amounts to two 15-page papers and two “deliverables” besides the papers.

-For C.S., I’m making a device with a microcontroller that sits on top of a washing machine and sends a text message when the load is done.

-For Applied Math, I’m going to construct a mathematical model based on statistical study of the population migration out of Saint Louis City and into the County between 1950 and the present.

I’ll also be working as a Programming Intern at an area brewery, helping the Fontbonne IT department for a few hours a week, and doing a bit of cryptography research with the Computer Science department.

The semester has lots of work in store for me, but I consider myself really lucky: I get to take on some very neat things and work with some very neat people.

So as the semester is off and rolling, my final words of my last first blog of the semester are:

Good luck, everyone! Here we go!

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Good day, gentle reader! I’m afraid I’ve been away from my weekly blogs here for almost an entire semester. I’m sure I left you in a real state – I can just imagine you checking my page week after week, only to be disappointed month after month, wondering desperately about what kinds of adventures I’ve been having since last I wrote.

Unfortunately, if you ask me about my adventures, the stories I’ll tell won’t involve my coloring book hobby (which I’ve since given up), or my biking excursions, or any of the other adventurous things I enjoy (And maybe “adventure” is a strong term for coloring. I don’t know.). I was “off the grid” last semester because…(wait for it)…I was on a long climb to the top of a mountain. A mountain of homework, that is. (I’ll admit, that kind of mountain a little less exciting than Kilimanjaro.)

This semester, though, while not really being any lighter in courses and extracurriculars than last semester, I’m vowing to be more disciplined and keep on chronicling my week-to-week experiences at Fontbonne University. Hopefully, reading about the life of an average computer science/applied math major (the faithful reader will be interested to know I’ve decided to double-major) will help you prospective students out there to get a feel for college and the rigors of academia. (I’ll be honest: I really just threw in the latter because it sounds pretentious.) It’s good to be back. Have a good week, everyone!

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If I do say so myself, the classes I picked out this semester are a pretty great mix. I’m taking Advanced Stats, which is more fun than it sounds like it would be when you’re in class with a bunch of your friends, Visual Programming, in which I’m learning Visual Basic, a pretty cool language to learn in that you can make Windows applications, and, probably the most exotic of the bunch, Artificial Intelligence.

AI sounds daunting, and there’s definitely a lot of work from the class that’s keeping me busy, but it’s a pretty intriguing topic that’s really a cross-roads for fields like psychology, programming, neuroscience, and machinery. While I’m only skimming (and by “skimming” I mean “really, really, really skimming”) the surface of the field, it’s making me stretch my reasoning skills and my understanding of what programming and machines are capable of.

Did I mention we’re building a robot in class, too? I’ll have to tell you that story another day. Have a good week, everyone!

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Hello, World!

by Elizabeth September 13, 2012

This week has been an academic marathon for me – I’ve had a test, a quiz, or a monster homework assignment due every day so far, and…(wait for it)…I’ve been so sleepy in the mornings from staying up late studying that I’ve started drinking coffee. (*gasp!*) I’m seriously considering disowning myself for that, seeing as [...]

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Make New Friends, But Keep the Old…

by Elizabeth May 8, 2012

Well, we’ve made it: the end of the 2011-2012 school year. I had my final class period today, and now I’ve got just two exams to conquer before putting the whole thing to rest. One thing that I’ve realized worked out really well this year was my collection of friends. See, a lot of the [...]

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There’s Lots of Learning To Do

by Elizabeth April 30, 2012

You might notice that this text of this blog post is in pink, and of the font “Verdana.” Very observant, you are. I’ve been experimenting with HTML ever since we made a practice web page in my Server Technology class, and I had to go big for my final post of the semester. Anyway, I’ve [...]

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Incoming!

by Elizabeth April 24, 2012

Greetings, blog-readers! We’re smack in the middle of a scary point in the semester: the final stretch.  There’s this exhilarating we’re-almost-done smell in the air, and all kinds of fun events are going on.  A few nights ago I nearly froze to death at the Spring Dance at the Lemp Mansion, which was held on [...]

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The Royal Treatment

by Elizabeth April 20, 2012

Last week, I was hanging out with the Quidditch team (…yes, you read that right. There’s a new Quidditch team on campus, and since I didn’t get in on the action soon enough to be on the team, I’m just a Quidditch groupie now.) and they told me they’d be wearing their new jerseys on [...]

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Go Ahead – Choose ‘Rolling Hills’ Mode

by Elizabeth April 16, 2012

A lot had happened, dear reader, since the last time I blogged.  (I apologize if you’ve been waiting with baited breath to see what will happen  in the next chapter of my ever-exciting life.)  This week was Diversity Week on campus, and to celebrate, I tried something new:  using the weight room in the Dunham [...]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.