OMG! FINALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is that time when all college students simply want to die, but don't because we're so close to being done. With my current grades, I have a semester GPA of 3.38. I'm pretty happy with all the craziness of the semester. Now I just have 3 tests left and I'll be done.

In the mean time, we're not moving. I know, we were, but lots of crazy stuff happened and now we're not. *sigh* I can't even keep up with my own life, I can imagine how you all must feel.

As for this weekend, I ran home because I was completely freaking out. So I took my cat Tibolt and my dog Tilly to get their picture taken with Santa. It was awesome!

I'll take some time to sit down and update this properly later this week. For now though. I have finals on the brain!
My ability to lack on updating this appears to be uncanny. I will break that streak today. First off, I have changed my major. Gasps of shock and horror plague the air. Fear not my terrified readers, this is a good thing and there are very good reasons for it. I am now a Visual Arts major with an emphasis in Graphic Design. A dramatic change from Chemistry yet, I can't say I was this excited to start classes last fall. Chemistry is a great and fascinating field and I do encourage people to pursue it, but part of college if finding the career that is the best fit for you. Chemistry simply wasn't my best fit. It's a lot like picking the right horse and I don't mean that in betting terms. Star, my obnoxious mustang, may have mood swings, not be near as well trained as she should be, and a variety of other things, but even when I'm mad at her and I don't feel like there is anything that could make me forgive her, I still have to admit that she is my match. People talk about their significant other like that, but when you know, you know and I never quite knew with Chemistry. I grew up with art and computers, so it's a natural fit, but I've also grown up surrounded by businesses, which is why I am also pursuing a business minor. It should be an excellent match for me. I will still be in the science building and I'll definitely see my science people every so often, I simply won't be a science major any more. See? I told you there was no reason to fret.

As for the rest of my life...not much. Ha! We all know that's a lie and I'm sure that felt like a slight insult to you intelligence. There is always more. Next up, we have a change in my class schedule. I picked up a mini term political science class and dropped analytical chemistry. Best decision ever. Why you ask? It goes back to my previous point about finding your match and I needed time in my life and the combination of 330 and organic was simply too much. It's better this way.  I have a test tomorrow and I feel confident....okay at least more so than I have previously. 

What else, oh yes, I recently read a book! Shocking I know, I haven't even had time to update this and I read a book? It was a short read, took me a few hours and highly entertaining. It's called "A Princess of Fae." Quite an interesting and hysterical read. I am not a critic, so I will simply give you a few of my thoughts on this book. The interaction between the characters and the people not in the story is genius. Do check it out!

Is there more? Ah yes, I'm moving! Yep, again. Kelly and I found a new apartment complex that we quite like, so we are moving in next month. It will be awesome! I'll take pictures next time I'm over there. In the mean time, I'm driving back to Columbia right after my test tomorrow and driving back to Greenwood that night as we have another Open House on Saturday and I'll be working the Snoopy musical that night. It will be a good, yet busy weekend for me, but that is normal.

In the world of animals, the cats are learning the rules of the Christmas decorations quite quickly and we are all getting ready for Christmas. I have lost my little cleaner goby Haru and my clown goby to ick. I will be taking apart my 10 gallon tank fairly soon as I'm quite saddened by this and that will eliminate any further problems I could have with it. My puffer fish is doing smashingly with Cinnabon the cinnamon clownfish, even when Tigger jumped into the fish tank one afternoon. Needless to say, she hasn't done it again.

That's all I have to report today, or at least all that comes to mind.
Obviously, I need to update this again, but today's update is brought on by the terrible situation that happened at the Pittsburgh Zoo. For those who don't know, the mother had placed her 2 or 3 year old child on the railing, but he slipped and fell into the African Wild Dog exhibit after bouncing out of the net that is meant to keep things from falling into the exhibit. 

As hard as it must be for the mother and I do feel bad for anyone having to bury a child, signs are there for a reason. The lawyers are the ones who are going to chase this and with the currently emotionally unstable mother, they'll easily be able to convince her to sue the zoo. More than likely, they'll be forced to put the dogs down. That not only puts a dent in the few thousand species of these wild dogs in existence, but is bound to harm the breeding efforts the zoo has been working on. Someone had mentioned using darts instead of a gun on the dogs in the comments section of the article I read; however, it takes a bit for those effects to set in. I wish our world didn't work in the way it does where people kill animals for listening to their natural instinct. This is a familiar situation for me.

While in West Virginia, one of my neighbors found an injured pit bull. The dog and I got along just fine. He came out pretty easily to let us assess the wounds and they were extremely infected. There was little we could do at that point though. I told my parents, who called the pound. Turns out the dog had been in dog fights and had attacked both a young boy and a police officer. In the few days, I was able to interact with the dog it was quite apparent that he wasn't a mean dog, he was quite honestly more scared. Every time someone made loud noises, or entered any state of emotional distress, the dog followed. He would start growling, his eyes would get dark, and he wanted to be left alone. In the few days, he had grown quite accustomed to myself and my neighbor (who's trailer he was hiding under) and all the cheese we fed him. I feel that if given time and kept in the correct environment, even after everything he had been trained to do, he could have pulled through to be a good dog. I do acknowledge the risk that any dog trained in dog fighting poses, but too this day it is still very difficult to see this dog as the violent animal the police claimed him to be. As you can imagine, they put him down without asking any questions. 

These wild dogs at the zoo don't deserve the future they are bound to have now. This incident wasn't even caused by them being trained to fight, it was simply a natural instinct for them to hunt. As they are wild animals, it's difficult to train them to eat meat the way we're used to serving it. That's why it's not unusual for owners of exotics to have to tempt their critters into eating by making the food seem more alive. My puffer fish is even an example of this, he simply won't eat unless it's moving. That's easier to re-create with the currents I have on my tank, but it can still prove a bit difficult at times. Look at snakes, some won't touch food unless you make it move to lure them to attack it. A child that fell from such heights, likely injured at the time, and I would expect a bit of blood, simply looks like and smells like dinner. Put a hunting carnivore on the scent of injured meat and very little will stop them. These are facts of life. 

Well, that is my take on this situation. I'm not trying to sway anyone's opinion, simply stating my own.
My gosh! It's been a month since school started already???? Yikes! Well, that first week Lili  (she's from China) and I went went to see the comedian. We ran into Ashlin and Paisley there. It's great seeing people on campus again. Then, I don't remember much to be quite honest. The rest of the month has been an even split between school, work and fish. So, the updates in that order.

I'm enjoying Analytical Chemistry and I'm taking organic.  Then, I have psychology, which rotates between interesting and not, and my honors class. The honors class is somewhat interesting, mostly I find the views of all the different majors towards science to be interesting. I caught the first bug of the semester and it was awful! I'm still dealing with the sinus drainage from it and can't seem to stop coughing. I was able to start up the latest round of my freshwater aquaria experiment, that made me very happy. :)

Work is good as always. I love my job at ITS, I really do. We did have an issue with the vhs to dvd converter though, so I'm a bit backlogged on conversions right now. I know where I'll be this weekend. 

Now, as for fish. This is a story. The Gourami's in my office are doing very well. They're really easy to keep and I've quite enjoyed them as they're quite active. They also come to see me whenever I  walk in. Kelly's 29 gallon tank is still doing very well. And if anyone is looking for a pet mouse or two, please let me know. The firefish, Cinnabon and Spazzy (the marble molly) get along very well in her 29 gallon tank. Eventually, my 29 will be finished. My stand is progressing slowly. I was going to build my refugium, but discovered that I could save ~$50 if I could afford to loose 5 gallons of water. I had to rework my stocking plans a good bit, but finally came up with a good solution and bought the 10 gallon sump today for $14. This will also save me a lot of time as now all I have to do is get the divider set up properly, and finish my overflow . I'm a bit sad to be loosing the 5 gallons, but the good news is, that it will be very easy to remove the 10 gallon if I ever have need to. Now as for my 10 gallon saltwater nano, well I got a clown goby (who I adore) and now I have ich. *sigh* Now I'm treating that tank, but first I had to pull my corals and inverts out of the tank. None of the other tanks have it and I figure that is mostly due to the lack of sand bed as those parasites reproduce and grow in it. Basically though, that tank is quarantined until May. This has instilled the need for a quarantine tank though and since they are in there for 6 weeks, I put a lot of thought into what exactly I wanted. Most people simply set up a 10 or a 20 gallon tank, but the fish simply don't have the swimming room in there and I don't have the space for either size. So I discovered the bookshelf tank. 7 gallons of water with the length of a 20 gallon and a slightly smaller width than the 10 and it's shorter. It even comes as a kit with a fluorescent light. It's perfect for my spacing and will work wonderfully for fish. Once I'm done stocking, I'll put my firefish in it and get him a buddy and be done new tanks for awhile. At least, that's the plan.

As for my 55 gallon tank, I have decided that I must part with two of my catfish. I am sad to say it, but they will not thrive properly in my tank with three other catfish around. So two of them leave on Saturday to a very nice tank with someone who will take good care of them. I'm happy about where they are going, just sad that they are leaving.

That's all I've got for now. I have a paper due tomorrow and I must revise it.

Saturday night I went to Saskatoons. This is a place that served exotic foods. The food was awesome. I ate Kangaroo, Gator tail and antelope. It was really good. The service was amazing too. Then they had this awesome chocolate mousse, that was dark chocolate with a layer of white chocolate mouse on it. That was one of the greatest things ever! 

On Sunday, Boyoung and Crystal had a lunch for all the exchange students and those of us that went on the summer study trip. It was great catching up with everyone.  I took red velvet cupcakes. 

All of the Korean and Chinese students made it here safely. It's been really cool seeing them around campus already. There has also been activity on the group page for my graduating class. Basically, we seem to agree, that since we know what to expect, we're not near as excited about Monday as the freshmen are to leave home and go to school. Don't get me wrong, we all love Lander, we just know what to expect and as such see Monday as the start of the next four months of endless studying, whereas the freshman generally believe they can get here and party instead of studying. Failing that first big test is usually the turning point for them, especially with scholarships on the line. 

Anyway, I made a bunch of meat buns and passed them out. I didn't hear any complaints and I didn't have any complaints. I'll have to make some more soon. Ashlin wants a bun filled with banana pudding, topped with whipped cream, and cinnamon sugar sprinkled over the whip cream. This what I've missed most since I've been back. The companionship that we had on the asia trip was awesome, but we got back and all had to attend to life. Now we're getting back to campus so we can at least see each other. We all agree that we need to have a reunion. That would be awesome.

Just because I haven't updated on the fish too recently, my little office tank is doing very well. In fact, I'm quite certain my gouramis are trying to breed. To prevent such a state, I bought and added a small filter to the tank and added four Cherry Shrimp. Shrimp are omnivores. So any eggs that fall to the sand, will get eaten and since I have just enough flow to prevent the bubble nests from staying put, the bubbles will break if the males do try to breed. So I have a two layered defense system against fry in this tank. The five gouramis are quite interesting to watch though. They're quite active and I love that I don't have to worry about the bioload too much with them. It's a really cool little tank. I do need to start feeding my plants though. They're not doing all that well since I don't have enough watts/gallon to support the luiga.

In other news, Dr. Dukes and Dr. Broadhacker have already opened up blackboard and posted the syllabus so I am getting ahead. I've already read the chapters for the first week of analytical and am currently making note cards to help me study. I want an A in a Chem class. I've had B's in the last two. I have been 3 points from an A multiple times during those semesters, but haven't been able to break that line. So I want my A. I'll be reading Organic this weekend. 

I finally got my Psycology book and I e-mailed my professor wanting to know which of these four volumes we are starting in so I can read ahead. Haha! I should know better than to ask a psycology professor such questions in a round about way. Always get straight to the point. Anyway, it should prove to be an interesting class. I'm just assuming we start  in Volume 1. I'm even going to go out and guess that we won't get to volumes 3 or 4 since they use these books in psyc 102 which I am not taking. I do not have the time even if I decided after this class that I would like to. Then we still have my Honors class. I haven't started reading that book, but it doesn't look too complicated to read, so I just have to sit down and do it. I'll plan to have the first couple chapters read before class on Wed. 

Well, that's about it for now. At least that's all that has happened so far. There are plans to do some cool things this year though. It should be pretty exciting. :)

I must say, Lander is much more interesting when people are here. This morning, the volleyball team was having a scavenger hunt and needed a group picture taken. Dr. Ball was out this morning talking to people as he crossed campus. Best thing about this morning though, nothing was wrong with any of my fish tanks! Huzzah! All five Gouramis were waiting to greet me when I walked into my office. I knew it would be a good day when I woke up to find Haru and Cinnabon were eating pellets. En-route to work, I helped a little lost dachshund find his way home. :)

I'm actually getting excited about this semester now. We have quite a few Chinese and Korean students coming to Lander. They'll be moving in tonight and orientation is tomorrow. I started making dumplings for Ms. Qi Lu last night and will finish them tonight. The dough was amazing! I made my first steamed bun last night and it was perfect! :D Now I just have to add meat. 

Well, I'm in my office again. My job today: get it organized for the upcoming semester. All the technology is updated and ready to go, now I have to get me organized.
My steamed bun!


    My name is Rachael and this is my first semester as a sophomore. Even with the inevitable issues that are bound to arise, I feel up to the challenge and ready to take on my course load this semester. I just pray that my fish agree to behave.


    December 2012
    November 2012
    September 2012
    August 2012