Results tagged “summer” from Hawk Talk - Christian

New England is well known for its crazy weather, from its weekly snow storms to dramatic temperature changes.  Bottom line, the weather here is pretty unpredictable.  But for the passed few weeks, we have experienced what the weathermen (and weather women) call "unseasonably weather."  Let's just say that spring went right on, jumped over the summer, and transformed into fall.  The temperatures during that stretch stayed in the 50-70s range, which is actually comfortable, thanks to the low humidity.  But here is the bummer:  It rained most of the time.  I think June was the most rainiest June in history.  We had a good two week stretch that consisted of... well, rain. 

The rain definitely bothered a lot of New Englanders during that week.  No one went to the beach or went out for a picnic.  No one had any baseball games because of field conditions.  No one went out at all.   That gray stretch was torture.  I'm a very outdoorsy person.  I like to go to the park to play catch, walk, take pictures, or just sit out there and just take everything in.  When it rained "forever,"  I didn't do anything productive.  Sure, it got me to sit down and do paperwork, but that got boring QUICK.  I tried to amuse myself with video games, board games with the family, watching T.V., cleaning my room, and other indoorsy stuff, but that didn't work.  It is amazing how one big ball of fire (also known as the Sun) can make a difference in everyone's life. 

While writing this blog post, I jumped on to wbztv.com and hit the weather link.  It looks like summer finally wants to poke its head into the New England area.  "Oppressive humidity" and high temperatures are FINALLY going to take over.  That means the beaches will be crowed, ice cream parlors will be busy, and air conditions will be in full blast...

... oh Summer, you finally returned :-)


- Christian  

 
Hearing "Blue Christmas" and "Christmastime is Here" was a bit surprising for many of my store's customers.  Looking at our storefront display of ornaments was probably twice as surprising.  Today was my store's Ornament Premier.  It is the summer event, when my store displays and sells very detailed, memorable, and great-looking ornaments to the general public.  You probably think that this is a stupid idea, because it would give customers the "Christmas Blues" or goosebumps about the stressors of the holiday season.  At first I thought it was a stupid idea, because it's only July... why sell Christmas ornaments during a season when no one is thinking about it?  But then I remembered this phrase - "Christmas in July."  After thinking about what the company wanted to get across, I thought the event was a great idea.  First of all, it would boost sales, help ornament collectors get a head start in their collections (or trees), and get people thinking about how wonderful (or horrible) the Christmas season will be. 

I still don't see why people should be so stressed out about the Christmas season.  The season is supposed to be relaxing with less stress.  It is a time where you take and make memories, and spend time with your love ones, friends and family.  Why do people get so stressed out?  Is it because of shopping?  Planning for family dinners?  Planning for trips?  Anyone can do those stuff stress free.  Why panic if you can't find the right gift for your buddy?  Why do you have to be anxious if you made a mistake with the Christmas family recipe?  You don't have to be stressed out through the greatest time of the year.  Just remember the true meaning of Christmas.  There are many meanings of Christmas and only you can answer that.

Well, time to lay on my bed and chill.

Merry (WAY BEFORE) Christmas to all, and to all good night!!!!

- Santa Christian

Finally, summer is here.  The weather is getting nicer, the temperature is rising, and the urge to jump into your pool, sit next to the ocean, or even "chill" in your air conditioned room is increasing quite nicely.  This is also the time when you hop into your car, go to work or head for your vacation destination... or not.  Gas prices are soaring the past few months, and many people are getting a bit nervous about our nation's economy.  Will gas prices reach $5.00 per gallon at the end of summer 2008?  Will it continue increasing?  What should I do?  What will happen to me financially?  These and many other questions have been floating around my mind the past few weeks.

Most of you know that I'm a commuter student who drives from Malden, MA to Lowell, MA everyday.  If you think about it, I drive 60 miles per day, which means that each single way trip is approximately 30 miles. 

At the beginning of my junior year, the gas prices were around $2.20 or something like that.  I drive a 2005 Mazda 3 car that can hold about 11 gallons.  If regular gas is $2.20 and I need to fill it up from empty, it would cost $24.20.  That isn't that bad especially for my car.  According to Mazda, my car has a MPG (miles per gallon) of 30 on the highway, and about 24 for city driving.  So if you think about it, one trip from Malden to Lowell is about 1 gallon (30 miles).  So all together (if I have my math right, hehe), 2 gallons would keep me running through my round trip. 

Recently, I've noticed (and most likely all of you) that the prices are creeping very very close to $4.00 per gallon.  I was driving around today and I've seen prices as "cheap" as $3.87, and as extreme as $4.20 (I almost threw up).  Curiously, I drove into a few gas stations and checked the digital readers for amount spent on a full tank.  The most I've seen so far was close to $70.  So let's do the math again.  Let's say, I'm taking the same trip to Lowell and back with $4.00 a gallon.  For my 11 gallon car, I have to spend $44 to fill it up.  That is $19.80 more than the beginning of junior year (yikes!).  And if this trend continues, let's say that gas reaches $5.00 at the start of senior year.  I will have to spend $55 for a full tank. 

I'm lucky to say that my car is very gas friendly.  From my math and experience, I don't spend a lot on gas before.  Nowadays, the price for a full tank is getting too high for comfort.  I used to drive a Ford Explorer and that vehicle was a gas eater!!!  My plan for this summer to work as much as possible, save up, and get ready for a bigger increase in gas prices.  I might have to work 2 (and I think 3) jobs all because of gas prices (and other college stuff).

Throughout the summer, I will be writing more about the increasing gas prices, my experiences as a college commuter student looking for gas, and tips on how to be more fuel efficient.  I also will be posting website URLs that relates to gas prices. 

Christian   

"The baserunner is rounding third, heading home!!!!  Here come the throw from left field... and there is a collision at the plate!!! THE BALL IS LOOSE!!! The home team wins on a RBI single!!!!!  The home team is now 3-0 in the World Series and one more game to go!!!!!  That was definitely the play of the game!!!!"

 

Finally!  My last final (Exercise Physiology II) is done, and the doorway to summer break has opened!  It has been a rough few weeks for me (finals, other problems), but I stuck it through and survived!  This is the time where the commuter student drives back home, sit on his or her bed and finally take a deep breath, and relax!  Usually around this time, professors would correct their exams and/or papers, and post their grades on a cool online system called the Intercampus Student Information System, also known as ISIS (pronounced Ice-Is).  This system has tons of features such as paying your bill online, telling you when you have an advising appointment (and who's your advisor), checking your grades from your past semester and your current semester, your unofficial transcript, and more!  Instead of getting something in the mail (which takes forever), all you have to do is log on and see your grade right away.  It saves money and its "green" since the school doesn't waste that extra paper!  During your freshmen year orientation, you will have a crash course on how to use ISIS and your school email. 

So yeah... right now I'm waiting for my grades, and wondering if I get the Dean's List again. 

Since its the start of summer, I'm going to talk about many topics most (or all) commuters have to face right now.  My next topic is about the rising gas prices and my experience with them.

So look forward to that next week!

Right now, I'm relaxing on the couch about to fall asleep!  For all those UML students who still have finals, good luck!  For those who are graduating, CONGRATS!  And for my fellow EP juniors... we're now SENIORS (if we pass)!!!

- Christian

3 Down - 2 to Go

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Hello everyone,

The battle continues.  Three classes down (Dynamics of Interpersonal Relationships, Introduction to Gerontology, and Exercise Physiology II Lab)... Two classes to go (Abnormal Psychology, Exercise Physiology II Lecture).  This is when the college student has to strap down and get ready for a strong ending.  Many college students would start to slack off after a few finals because the sense of summer is around the corner.  Try your best to stay strong!  Don't let your guard down!  At the same time, try not to stress out about it.  From personal experience, more stress would decrease your concentration and you'll probably won't do as well as you could have.  Just relax, stay focused, and you'll be fine.  The past few days I've been studying with buds at Panera Bread (3 days, 3 locations haha).  It helps me stay relaxed, less stressed, and you can go over notes and stuff. 

Right now I'm taking a break from studying... watching the Celtics game... hmmm... I'm not liking what I see. 

Go Celtics!

Christian

Maybe you have noticed this at your high school or college, but the weather has been beautiful the past few days.  It has been beautiful enough to make you not want to work on any school work, skip a day at work, and go outside and play.  I've been feeling this lull lately, and its making me not focus as much.  Usually this is the problem most college students go through during the final stretch of the semester.  On top of it all, it seems that traffic on highways increased.  I guess since there is nice weather (and school vacation for many places) everyone wants to travel despite the sharp increasing gas prices.  If I was a doctor of laziness, I would definitely have the following criteria for "Late April Fatigue Disorder."  By the way it is acute, since the warm weather does not last forever (sometimes).

1)  The environmental (outside) temperature must be above 65 degrees for a particular sense of laziness.  As the temperature increases, the urge to not do any school work and just have fun outside increases.  Of course there is a threshold where most people would rather stay inside in the cool AC.  Usually above 90 degrees (depending on the humidity, UV index, air pollution etc).

2)  The amount of school work usually depends on how focused a student is.  Of course it varies person to person.  For example, if a student does not have any finals and only have two small papers left, the student may "slack off" more than a student with tons of finals and papers (like me).  Another senario, if a student has tons of things due, he or she may put it off to the last minute, which might be a grade killer.

3)  Usually the current grade depends of the laziness.  If a student has all A's in class, he or she may slack off and think, "hey I'll do fine the rest of the semester and I'll just take it easy from now on."  At the same time, that student probably does not understand that his or her (Dyanmics) paper is 80% of their grade.

Diagnosis:
1) STAY ON TOP OF THINGS!!!  The more on schedule you are with your work and studying, the better your chances of a better grade. Here is my logical explanation.   If a student stays on top of things, study or doing a paper without burning an all nighter, and usually studies everyday (with a day of for a mental refresher), the student would obviously do very well on exams and will have a better grade.  A better grade on an evaluation is directly proportional to the final grade (if the exam grade is high, your final grade will be high).  Since you have a higher final grade, you're stress level will be lower.  Then you will have a great summer.

On the other hand, if a student does not "pace" their school work, their grade might decrease, which reflects their final grade.  This would make them work even harder, and most likely be more stressful to make a particular grade.  This would make them think about their GPA, if they need to repeat a class, etc.  Repeating a class to make up for lost time is extra money, thinking power, and time.  If you need to repeat a class because you did not do well, you sometimes can repeat it during the summer.  But then again, it cuts off your summer fun, and with increasing gas prices, it will affect you finanically.  Ouch.  It can be a never ending domino effect if you are not on top of things.

2)  Taking a day off is not bad!!!   If you are a student who works everyday and is taking a mental toll, take a day off.  It's not bad taking a day off and enjoying a nice 80 degree weather day. Like resting during exercise, your mentality needs rest too.  There is so much your brain can handle before you start stressing too much. 

3)  Stay positive.  I know there will be days when the summer-like sun will distract you from doing work.  Sometimes this distraction might make you think, "hey, I've been far behind on everything and I'm not going to do well."  Thinking negative might make you even more stressed out.  Always tell yourself that you can make it to the finish line with flying colors.  

Of course, this whole thing was just for fun, and its not a real disorder (hehe).  But its true that it affects tons of students (elementary to graduate school).  Like I said, don't let the summer-like weather beat you down, because you might end up taking a summer class to retake a class you did not do well on.  Then you will regret not working hard enough during the last few weeks of school.  That's what I think. 

Well time to force myself to get to work,
Christian

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