I had a final today that was a complete and utter joke. 20 questions, 2 hours, open notes/book, and 8 of the Qs were matching. Thing is, stupid test was actually difficult. First off, there were 8 lectures of 100+ slides to review for the exam, as well as 200 pages of readings and 5 in-depth cases. Our in-class case discussions were inconclusive and open ended. So, of COURSE, in the multiple choice, objective exam, 5 of the 13 questions were on the cases. Then, the scope only went through maybe the first 3 lectures at most. WHY did she try to cover so much material, when it clearly wasn’t emphasized? I feel for the Professor, really, because it was the first time the class was offered and I think she kind of gave up on it towards the end. Frustrating exam.

Then, I kept stressing about other exams this week, so to make myself feel better I figured out my current grades. In my two most difficult/quant-heavy courses, I can do poorly and still pass. This helps me. I can get a 56% on my finance exam and still get a B+ in the course. I need a 76% to get an A- (it isn’t possible to get an A). In management science, I need a 70% to get a B, a 78% to get a B+, an 84% to get an A-, and a 91% to get an A…that’s before the curve, which this class will have. (Meaning the average is supposed to be around a B+). So, I’m trying not to overly freak out about the exams.

I might be making a trip to DC on Friday for a friend’s interview. AKA, she would borrow my car anyhow, and I have no classes, so might as well join in. We have our apartment as of Thursday, so we can move some stuff in. I’m trying to set up some interviews/meetings, in which case I’m 100% going. Otherwise, I have to weigh what I would do in Pittsburgh.

Back to studying…

Back to the Grind

Changes to the schedule, and now I have three night classes. Three! Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Ew. Disadvantage – missing the new rope group meetings.  Advantage – I can sleep in on TR, meaning I can do trivia on Wed. and not worry about being out too late.

I’m really excited about my innovation class, it is going to be fascinating. A former ambassador is teaching it, and she is super down to earth but still has sooo much insight to share. Yay! I also got an extension on figuring out which internship to take, so that was also good.

I met a friend’s new dating interest tonight, and he is super sweet and dorky, and from Indiana!  She met him on Match.com, which is interesting, because they’re both totally owning up to online dating in a refreshing way. I’m really hoping it works out for them.

My parents will be in town this weekend, which is nice because I do really miss them. On the other hand, I’m missing a kinky play party event, which is a huge bummer. I really want to play, and I feel safer doing so with other people. I’d host my own event with kinky people I know, but I have thin walls and a small apartment. Grr. It’s game night tomorrow, and I’m going to go, and maybe I’ll be able to talk about/work something out for the weekend after. Perhaps people would be up for play nights two weekends in a row. I mean, it IS my birthday :).

Going with that, turning 23 is kind of lame. I mean, cool for getting older, but it isn’t really a big number in any way. I’m one of the youngest people I know in Pittsburgh, so it’ll be good to be a bit more on an even keel, but in general I don’t feel my age often. I have super immature moments because I’m so easily amused and I fidget a lot, but I will still be like that when I’m 50 so it doesn’t really count. The rest of the time, everyone always comments on how I seem so much more mature than my age indicates. I’ve always been like that – hard childhood made me grow up a bit early.

That’s all for now.

Spring Break ’11

This time last year, I was in Houston, returning from Jamaica. I was just hearing back from grad schools, making decisions, working on my thesis, and preparing for graduation.

This year, I’m in Gulf Shores, Alabama with new friends. I’m fielding internship offers, and generally really enjoying life. I spent the day today in New Orleans, and it was amazing.

Tomorrow will be spent on the beach, even though it is a bit chilly. Then, we have about 17 hours of driving to get back to the ‘Burgh. Afterwards, bring on the semester of hell.

I’ll be taking six courses… crazy hard man sci II, financial analysis, policy innovation (mainly international), policy implementation (bureaucracy 101), digital transformation for managers, and energy and economics. I’ll also be working 10 hrs/week, as well as leading several events for the organization I co-lead.

Next weekend, my parents come to visit for my birthday. Then I turn 23, and I’m assuming that weekend will be full of fun in a myriad of ways. The first weekend of April is Boston for a conference, and then I have 5 weekends, including finals week. One of those weekends will be the Pittsburgh GRUE. I am hoping to have many kink experiences as well as some more ‘burghy ones. I want to go to Phipps, the Aviary, and the Heinz history museum.

PS BTW – I have a splinter in my foot, and the skin has grown over it. It hurts kind of badly, and won’t be able to be removed until the skin is cut or regenerated. Soooo here’s to hoping that happens.

Life Finals

Talk about the longest week ever…a day of finals, errands, packing, and driving to DC, followed by two days of hard core networking/conference (on tech-heavy, complicated things), followed by two days of interviews, networking, and logistical nightmares, concluded with apartment hunting and more traveling. Have to unpack, do laundry, repack, and off to travel some more. I’m going nuts.

Some good things for the week:

  • I got a particular fellowship for this summer that guarantees me $2500 and an internship in DC. My close friend also got it (1o were awarded from about 50 applicants, so crazy that we both won).
  • I found an apartment for next year in DC! Great location, amenities, price… really it is perfect.
  • I got to see a friend that I rarely see
  • I got to see Secretary Chu and a variety of other awesomely interesting influential speakers

Some bad things:

  • I lost my ID card, AGAIN. This is the 3rd time this year. It costs $25 to replace, so I really need to figure out a way to not do this.
  • Apparently I grind my teeth in my sleep…not good
  • One of my group members entirely abandoned our group paper, leaving the rest of us in a crazy lurch

I have to write a whole bunch of thank you/follow up emails before I leave, and I really don’t want to. I’m so sick of doing everything. I worry about logistics, and I like things to be organized and efficient. (aka, I’m a bit of a control freak.) DC does not work that way sometimes, and it drags on me. Add to that my 4 hrs of sleep, and I’m irritable as hell today. I’m in that weird in-between, partially sleepy, partly loopy, slightly horny, and in general wanting to submit. I need to come up with a better description for this mood, as it happens frequently (especially after particularly stressful times).

I still haven’t decided if I should drop my Tuesday night class next semester. The professor is great, and the class would teach some good skills, but I really would rather have Tuesday free for kinky things and the other class I’d take would be markedly easier. Choices, choices.

Can I just how sad I am to be leaving this city in two months? I’m just starting to really feel like it is home here. DC seems so overwhelming and large. Everything is complicated, and there are just so many people. Even the kink community there is huge. I kind of like the more intimate feel of the Pittsburgh scene, because people are very welcoming and willing to make friends with new people. I feel like I’ll lose that in DC.

Random, but I’m also still seeking a new vibrator. Suggestions are welcome.

I don’t have a catchy title

Last night was a whole host of interesting. Yesterday on the whole was, really.

First I got to work on my campaign finance paper. I may have mentioned one guy in our group is an expert on the topic, so I’ve been more than a little intimidated to work on the paper. He very much supports the Act, and I wasn’t as confident in it. Well, I was able to prove him wrong about some of the language in the bill, and I held my own debating it, and got im to concede. It pretty much made my day. That, and I forgot how much fun it is to be intellectually challenged when  I’ve researched the topic at hand. It almost (almost!) makes me miss mock trial.

Then, I found an apartment for next year that will cost only $2000 for 3 people – in DC! With free parking, 2 blocks to metro, and all utilities included. I pray to God that the place is as nice as it seems when we see it next week.

After that, I headed over to Macys to try to pick up another suit of some sort. Turns out, they’re having a massive sale, and this Macys was giant! I was able to get a suit, a career dress, a winter jacket, and a button down all for only $150. The coat alone is normally $280. Getting a bargain always cheers me up.

I moved on to the kinky meetup thing in my area, and got to meet a bunch of new people. I got to talk energy policy with an energy trader (always fun for me, again back to discussing things I know a lot about). I got a few good book recommendations. I got to be more myself around kinky people, which is always a challenge for me. For some reason, when I’m around people that know I’m submissive, I get way quieter/shier than I normally do. It’s like my brain thinks it’s ok to revert to that, whereas I push past it in my normal interactions out of necessity.

A few of us moved on to someone’s house for an “afterparty,” which ended up being super fun.  I got to be tied up quite a bit, and flogged. It’s kind of funny, though – I’ve never been just flogged. I’ve experienced it two times now, and both times my reactions to the pain weren’t quite enough so the Top has brought out more evil toys. I think a large part of it is that flogging over clothing is not as intense. Either way, I again freaked myself out by how much I generally get off on pain. I really need to get over that uneasiness.

I was in a super good subspacey place, then we started to play this game of sorts, and I kind of freaked out. I don’t know why, but I got sort of confused and embarrassed all at the same time. I think it was that I was afraid of saying the wrong thing with people watching me, combined with drawing even more attention to myself and being forced to come “back to reality” to think about things when I’d been on the verge of subspace. Either way, I feel really bad that I had such a strange reaction. Logically, I realize that the whole thing was a game, and done in good humor, and the people there weren’t judging or anything. I don’t know why I couldn’t get the logic to communicate to my submissive self. I also got to try a tens unit out, which was fascinating. It’s just so bizarre how you can’t control your muscles.

Now I’m in that happy submissive place I get into, and I need to push past it. I have to take an exam, study for an exam, take another exam, add to a paper, pack, print off a bunch of stuff (including resumes!),  turn in timecards late, and hopefully have some time to do laundry, all before I leave mid-afternoon tomorrow. Eep!

Worker Bee

I was on campus until 11:30 on Friday, and from 10am to 12am yesterday. Working on homework. Studying. Actually doing work. And, I have several hours more to do today, and tomorrow, and the day after that…

For the record – I have NEVER invested this much of a weekend into studying before in my life. I think maybe, *maybe* I spent 10 hours studying for an exam on a Sunday once or twice, like right before the GRE, or before a final. But to spend 16 hours of time on one assignment for a class? Never.

I feel very productive, and at least I know I’m learning and getting my money’s worth of grad school. It’s just a tad daunting.

Random curiosity: when you want sex, you’re “horny” or “aroused.” What’s a good adjective for wanting to be spanked, or tied up?

Graph Porn

Today, I graduated from research assistant to policy analyst. AKA, I learned how to use all sorts of functions in excel to quantitatively analyze the 200+cell of data I’d gathered, I learned how to create some killer graphs, and I figured out a super-complex integer linear programming problem. Rock on, me.

I also am intrigued by how I *still* remember lyrics from songs I was into in 7th grade. Namely, “At the beginning” by Richard Marx and Donna Lewis, from Anastasia.

I also am amused by how the shuttles from my school are full with grad students at 11:30pm on a Friday night – because people were studying. And how, when I left my building, there were still 20+ people studying hard in the labs/lounges (out of like 130 first yrs in the program). Ridiculous. This is my first Friday study night, but it was productive AND fun, since I had friends and a cheap bulgoki bowl to brighten it up.

In other randomness:

Copied from a fetlife note:

A professor sent me a super-cool graphic that depicts the candidates in the republican party in a bubble graph. It shows likelihood of nomination, region, insider/outsider to party, and moderate/conservative all in one graph.

I know I’m a policy grad student, and as a result, my caring is likely much greater than the average person/kinkster. Even so, I love this type of graph and the type of insight it can show, and so I’m sharing.

I will note that I do not necessarily love where all the bubble-candidates fall, although of them all, I would be intrigued most if Daniels won the nomination. Not just because I’m from Indiana, either, but because of how moderate he is, and the chance of him giving Obama something to fight for.

The cool graph:

If you find graphs like these neat (my friends call them graph porn), then here’s a couple of fun youtube videos that really can blow your mind with bubble graphs.

Short and sweet (200 countries, 200 yrs, 4 minutes w/ Hans Rosling):

TedTalk on “Interesting Data”
Minute 8:30 starts to get super cool, if you don’t want to sit for all of it.

Yeah…stuff like this entertains me. I really am that much of a nerd (at least, when it comes to policy I am).