Cave Hiking

This past weekend a few RAs in housing decided to host an event to go cave hiking at Pinnacles national Park.  We had to be at housing at 7:15 am, on a Saturday and leave around 8 o’clock.  Yes it was crazy, and yes I was tired, but everyone was and since we had at least a 2 hour drive there it gave us time to sleep on the bus, or wake up some.  Of course some people were a little more ready to sleep on the bus with blankets, pillows, or the taking up of two seats by lying down.  Obviously early mornings and weekends should never be put together, but it happens.

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We got to Pinnacles around 11:30 or so and had time to discuss and figure out what everyone was doing.  Obviously the RA’s who picked it out had maps and an idea of what they wanted to do where as we were kind of there along for the ride.

The day was ahead of us, and we had until 5:30 to be back at the bus.  The slight drawback to this was there was no cell service, so if we were lost or got injured along the way there was no way of making contact to someone for help, the only hope would be to find a park ranger or guide to radio over or something.

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My roommate and I ended up separating from one of the larger groups taking a strenuous route, and decided to do something a little more moderate that was a little longer, but not as much climbing.  Although obviously by the end of it we were all sorts of sore, and not moving as fast as when we got there.  Our hike had beautiful scenery, and a small little cave that we could actually climb through, but you had to look hard to see the small arrows pointing you in the direction up.

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Small little water fall inside Balconies Cave

It was a long day, and yes we were sore, but it still ended up being a lot of fun.

What makes a good book?

It usually depends on who you ask.  Today I’m the one who is going to answer.

It wasn’t that long ago that reading books came to the top of my to do list.  I had made a goal for myself one summer to read all the Harry Potter books (again), which sadly I didn’t complete I think I got through about four of them.  And while it got me reading, I don’t think Harry Potter is something ideal for a college student to be reading if he/she wishes to expand his/her knowledge.  Now I have a few authors that I read constantly.  One that caught my eye my last year of high school, and one that stumbled upon in my own kind of way.

The first is John Grisham who is the author of: The Firm, the Pelican Brief, A Painted House, A Time to Kill, the Innocent Man, and at least 30 others.  Grisham practiced law for about 10 years which probably makes his books appealing (at least to me) because he uses what he learned in life experience and makes the book come to life.  The first book of his I read was the Innocent Man, which is a true story about a man who was falsely accused of murdering a young woman and wasn’t exonerated until the Innocence Project came in and took a look at his case.  I’m not sure if it was the story or the meaning behind it, but I wanted more, found that he had other books, and continued to read his work.

The second is Kathy Reich, who I stumbled upon because of watching Bones.  I had first seen her name after the opening sequence of the show, where they mention producers, directors and such “inspired by the life of forensic anthropologist and author Kathy Reich.” I’m sure I had seen those words a thousand times before finally reading it.  I enjoy the show, so I took a chance and bought one of the books on a whim.  Kathy Reich like John Grisham writes based on experience and expertise.   They follow Temperance Brennan as she helps assist the laboratory in Quebec or Charlette solve murder cases.

The subjects of these books has me learning slightly more about the subject matter I am learning in school.  Both of these authors have kept me interested and wanting to read more.

Do you have any favorite authors or suggestions of books to read?

Secret Serenity

As I’ve recently been spending more time in the music department I have had time to explore this unknown area to me.  And guess what?  I found something, although really it wasn’t that hard to find, its right in between the music building and Snider.  I’m sure I have passed it before and hadn’t thought much of it, or really taken any notice.

Now is different, I now sit here a few minutes before I have to set up and enjoy the peace.  There are a few benches around it, and not many people around.  For me its a place to take a breath, and forget about everything else.


Two days, three exams

Trust me it sounds a little crazy, and after all three exams were over I was done.  I wanted to collapse, take a nap, and give my head a break.  After my first exam my head felt like it was going to explode, you could only imagine how I felt after all three of them.

It’s not like they were all somewhat related in subject matter that might have made them a little easier.  No, this was like taking an exam in math, then in foreign language, and then in geography, they all have little to nothing to do with each other so my head was on over load.


I was stressing and my head was going into over drive.  I had Physical Chemistry which was a bunch of math: derivations, calculations, and concepts based on equations of states, then there was essay format for CJ 4850 and it’s not that I hate essays, but when they are timed and in a four part question your head needs to move fast to get all of the information out, and answer everything.  My last one was somewhat of a relief, the two I just mentioned may have given me a huge head ache, and even with an hour and fifteen minutes for each I couldn’t finish them.  Criminalistics seemed like a breeze, I was whipping through the exam, jumping from question to question and had time to go back and answer the ones I missed.  It’s the class I enjoy the most, so maybe the material stuck in my head a little easier.  Since it was the last one, it was a nice change of pace so that I didn’t collapse after walking out of the exam.

As I was walking to my first exam I ran into my RA, sadly I can’t remember exactly what she said but it went something to the likes of  “Don’t panic, you’ll do fine, there isn’t anything you don’t know, that you’ll be able to learn before the test.”  It was great advice, let me take a breath and understand that it was going to be okay.  For a brief moment I wasn’t stressing out, I was just having a normal conversation with my RA.

If you’re in the middle of exams, or haven’t started exams yet, just remember that you just have to trust yourself in knowing everything on the exam, and you should do fine.

Good luck!