Saturday, January 27, 2007

Grading Fun

What happens when eleven chemistry nerds gather together to grade for an afternoon? You might be surprised but a lot of laughter. Especially at the beginning...towards the end of the hours of grading, we're getting tired I think.

Sometimes students are trying to be funny and we laugh at that.
Q: What could you do different to make your experiment work?
A: I could be a good chemist.

Sometimes students answer scientific questions like they're writing in a personal journal and we laugh at that.
Q: What went wrong in your experiment?
A: I was so stressed out and impatient. I need to calm down and learn to breathe and....(it would continue).

Sometime students have no idea what to answer so they either (1) make up something and throw in a few fancy words or (2) state the obvious. And we laugh at that.
Q: Why did you get a high product yield?
A: Because I got more product than I should have.
Q: Why does ice float in water?
A: The scientific process involves energy and things like endothermic reactions.

So whenever we get a good response, we read it outloud to the rest of the TAs. Of course, if a student makes me laugh, they get a smiling to the big slash through their answer.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ice Mountain

Sounds like a good title to some action-packed movie. Nope, it's just what our front yard has become. As many of you know, our house sits high up on a hill so our driveway and front yard is very steep. Now that it is covered with several inches of ice, it's crazy trying to leave the house. Since the ice hit, we had to park our car on the street since it couldn't get up the icy driveway. Josh couldn't break the ice up either in our driveway; it was so dense. I think as the days go by, the front yard is getting slicker and slicker. This morning began the Ice Mountain saga. Josh went out to start the car to get it warmed up. He calls me from the road to tell me he can't get back up to the front door - it's too slick. He proceeds to tell me what I must do - leave the items we don't absolutely need and slide down with the day's necessities. I slide his gym bag down the mountain first. Then of course my gym bag gets stuck halfway down by the only rough centimeter area in the whole yard. We had to take Padme with us to drop her off at the vet for her second hip surgery. Josh said if I throw down the lease (fully extended) he'll catch it and direct her towards him. Uh, it didn't work. The leash wasn't long enough and Padme just ran back inside the warm, non-slick house. Not to worry, I get to take her along with me and my other "necessities" down the mountain then. So I slide down our front yard on my butt with my backpack, purse, and Padme on a leash with Josh yelling out, "Don't forget your gym bag - kick it!" I manage to kick the bag down and get all of me down the hill. It was so cold that my butt isn't even wet. At least that's a positive. We get in the car and I wonder how on earth we're going to get back up to the house when we get home.
When we got home (thankfully Padme has to stay the night at the Vet's so it's just Josh and me), we decide to go along the fence line and hang onto the tree branches. I felt like I was in some movie - holding on for dear life onto a thin tree branch and pulling myself up a mountain. I slipped a lot but never fell completely down. All this is taking place with me laughing too hard and slipping some more and Josh asking, "What are you doing?" What do you think I'm doing? I'm trying not to die. We made it inside without any falls. Five minutes later, Josh bribes me with a hamburger to go with him to Braum's to get milk. Nice. At least, we entertain the neighbors.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Pictures from the Ice Storm

Stillwater did not get hit hard this weekend; not compared to other places here in Oklahoma. We did not lose any power, and I don't think the 2nd storm even hit us (there were 3 storms total that went through Oklahoma). It is very cold though - it's 1 degree outside windchill. I went out briefly to take some pictures. In about 5 minutes my fingers were numb (I was wearing gloves too). It looks like snow outside, but it's just inches of ice. The dogs usually eat the snow so they're having to dig the ice up to eat it. Newman always drags that blue blanket outside (it's usually in his pen) - it was frozen solid.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Big Ice Storm of 2007

A big ice storm started coming into Oklahoma Friday. The university and many places in Stillwater had shut down by noon that day. The high yesterday and today has been in the 20's which is pretty cold for us here. Josh and I have watched a lot of movies and Seinfeld and The Office episodes since yesterday. As you can tell as well, I've spent a lot of time on the internet - updating my blog for one thing. I've also had a handful of students email since yesterday asking about private chemistry tutoring. Apparently, being stuck inside during "The Big Ice Storm of 2007" gives everyone plenty of time for email. We are supposed to get another ice storm tonight, but nothing has hit yet. Because of the storm yesterday and the prediction that we'll get hit again, all of Oklahoma is in a "state of emergency." Hopefully we won't need to use that though!

I Love Oklahoma anyway!

Some of my favorite ones from the list, "Things I Learned in Oklahoma" (courtesy of Jessi forwarding me):

There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 live in Oklahoma
2. There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in OK, plus a few no one has ever seen before.
Nothing will kill a mesquite tree.
The wind blows at 90 mph from Oct 2 till June 25; then it stops totally until October 2.
5. Onced and twiced are words.
6. People actually grow and eat okra.
7. Green grass DOES burn.
8. When you live in the country you don't have to buy a dog. City people drop them off at your front gate in the middle of the night.
You can switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.
You know whether another Okie is from East, West, North, or South OK as soon as he opens his mouth.

Some of my favorites from the list, "You Know You Grew Up in Tornado Alley If..." (courtesy of some random facebook group):

The first thing you do if you hear tornado sirens during the day is check your watch to see if it's noon.
2. You don't get worried unless the sky looks "green".
3. You know what Doppler radar, Hook echo, wall cloud, and rain-wrapped all mean.
4. Watching the weather is entertaining. And red on the Doppler radar is exciting.
5. You can feel/smell tornado weather brewing a few hours before the storm actually begins.
6. There's an odd feeling as though you've misplaced something if you make it all the way to June without a tornado warning near you.
7. You think people that live in earthquake and/or hurricane prone areas are crazy.
8. You know what people are talking about when they mention the "May 3rd" tornado.
9. You know your weathermen by their first names. i.e. Gary.
10. Most of the tornado video footage comes from everyday people with camcorders instead of from actual news/weathermen.
11. You're sure there's a giant tornado magnet hidden somewhere in Moore. And that there are smaller ones distributed throughout trailer parks.
12. You don't consider it windy until the windspeed is faster than 20mph.
13. You are highly entertained by people from outside tornado alley when there is a tornado watch.
14. You stand under your carport or open your front door to watch hail and/or thunderstorms.
15. The weather is a completely acceptable subject for conversation, at any time, for any occasion.
16. Your local mall has "tornado shelter" signs posted.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mirror Images

Here's a cute pic of Padme and Newman. They look like mirror images. If our bedroom door isn't shut, they go to bed early in the evening. Apparently, they work really hard during the day and need to turn in early.

My BDay

I had a great 26th birthday this year. I recieved a lot of nice cards and gifts from friends and family. Mom and Dad had the new tea store in town put together a package for was full of teas and cookies and a tea kettle. The cute little puppy cake was from Josh. Josh took me out to Red Lobster, and we watched a movie at home later.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Check this out: some nerds have made sudoku puzzles using chemistry. Instead of using numbers, you use chemical symbols. I like sudoku even though I'm not the best at it...I'll have to try this su-chem-du stuff.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Funtimes After Xmas

After Christmas, we had a good time doing a few different things. Josh played his guitar and we all sang different songs. Mom took me for a fancy tea with Joyce and Rochelle in Tucson. I really enjoyed the tea. Afterwards, Mom and Dad gave us our anniversary gift. It's a framed picture from our wedding with the mat that everybody signed at the wedding. Then one day Josh and me drove up to Mesa to see our friends Tony and Jill. It was good to see them. Josh and I went to see Rocky Balboa for our anniversary. The week before we were married, Josh convinced me to watch a Rocky movie every night. I actually liked them. It was neat to watch the final movie for our 6th anniversary.

Christmas Again!!!

Mom, Dad, Josh, and I celebrated Christmas morning by opening up the rest of the gifts. We all got a lot of great stuff! That's Dad's crazy face with his new IPOD accessories. Josh and I got a bunch of 24 stuff. I got Josh some cool sword "things" - that's what he's posing with. Mom got a bunch of cool stuff - here's a picture with the movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washinton".

Bye and Pinnacle Peaks

We said our good-byes to Jordan at the airport...then we went to Pinnacle Peaks in Tucson. It's a steak restaurant set in an old Western "town". Our friends Tyler and Margot recently moved from Stillwater to Tucson. We met them and their family for dinner. It was a fun night.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

More Xmas with Jordan

Here's some more pictures of Xmas with Jordan...

Xmas with Jordan

Here's some pictures from our Christmas with Jordan. We made sugar cookies and opened gifts. Jordan loved Newman and Padme - can you tell?

More Tombstone Pictures


Before Josh got to Arizona, we all went to Tombstone. We had a good time in the museum as you can tell from the pics.

Traveling and Traveling

So my dad flew in on Saturday, and we drove all the way to Arizona. My Dad traveled about 2,000 miles that day. The road trip wasn't too bad. The dogs were pretty good, and we survived New Mexico's awful interstates. We got into Sierra Vista at about 4 AM Arizona time. Then Monday morning, Mom, Jordan (and his dog Cerberus), and I drove up to Bullhead City (the caddy-corner to Sierra Vista corner in the state). We stayed at Gram and Gramps until Wednesday. My Uncle Gary and Aunt Georgia were there too. It was fun to hear old family stories and play cards. Of course, I didn't win a single game of Hand and Foot Canasta the whole time! My Gram made Newman, Padme, and Cerberus quilts for Xmas. They were so neat...this is a picture of Padme's.