3rdragon: (Default)
But it's been ConBust (aka GIANT student-run sci-fi/fantasy/anime/gaming/awesomeness convention), which tends to eat one's life. Of course, most of you have been participating in that, so you know about it already.

Now I just need to get through my Combinatorics take-home midterm and fencing nationals, and then I'll have free time. I could hang out with friends. Or read some of the books strewn about my room. That would be nice.
Also, we established this morning that if the fencing nationals flight is delayed such that I'm late for class on Tuesday (shouldn't happen, but one never knows), I can call the prof and turn in my exam to my grader (who happens to be epee mommy duck). So that's good.

Now I just need to figure out what classes I'm taking and convince Em to proxy for me (again). And, of course, finish any other homework that happens to be due this week, such as the proposal for the paper that I need to write in Portuguese.

-

5 February 2009 07:28 pm
3rdragon: (Default)
I really want that whitewater kayaking class. But last I heard, I was on the waitlist (#2? #3?), and if I don't get an e-mail by tomorrow saying that I've gotten in, it's not happening. At least not this semester. *sigh*

On the subject of other Bannerweb-related things I want, it would be nice to know my grades from last semester. Or even just receive verification that the credits have gone through, or something. I'm not seriously worried about it (either the grades or the credits-going-through), but I'm pretty sure Smith got all of the relevant paperwork at the beginning of January. Or maybe mid-January, thinking about trans-Atlantic postal times. Although PRESHCO does have a fax machine.

In other news, life goes on, and it's better on days when I'm getting over being sick and have enough sleep. I even got enough sleep last night, contrary to popular belief (I'm all for five-college practice. But events at Mt. Holyoke that end at 10pm get to be a little much. Particularly when you're never sure if there's going to be a ride for you to get back to campus, or if you'll have to take the bus. But I did have fun, and got to bed at a nearly-reasonable time). And tomorrow is Friday. I should remember to get food tomorrow so that I can eat on Saturday.
3rdragon: (Default)
You know what?
It's hard to go back to fencing.
I'm not just talking about the ache in my legs whenever I stand in en garde, which I expected, but the simple fact that I'm not as good at it as I used to be. I expected that too, but didn't realize how difficult it would be.
I don't need to win to enjoy fencing. I have spent many years of my life not playing on the winning side. But I do need some feeling of - I don't know - basic-level competence. I feel like I'm fencing badly. And worse, I know that I'm fencing badly. The individual skills aren't completely gone; I did surprisingly well in my preliminary lesson with Scott. But when I fence people - I can't complete actions, actions that I do make just don't work, and I can't hit people. My tip control is still there, but it falls to pieces if I put it in a bout situation. Not to mention this really fun thing where I'm close enough to hitting that I can see the lame indent but don't actually make the light go off. Although now that I think about it, I had similar trouble last year, so maybe I can't blame that on Spain.
And it's really not fair to be grumpy at the random UMass fencers just because I'm displeased with my performance.
Interestingly enough, I'm mostly still chipper and cheerful during the day, despite the fact that it hurts to sit down. And to stand up. Or to go from stationary to moving. I've had worse soreness, but this is plenty bad, thanks. I guess I just have a higher pain tolerance than I do a tolerance to feelings of failure.
I have one last swing dancing lesson this afternoon, and then fencing practice tonight, and then we depart bright and early tomorrow morning to fence in Rhode Island. This is going to be all sorts of interesting, in the Miriam-why-do-you-do-this-to-yourself kind of way. At least I get to sleep in until 5:30.

In other news, my room is amazing. I'm even almost unpacked, although there is still stuff strewn all over everything.
Also, it's excellent to see everyone (almost everyone) again.

I should stop sitting in my windowseat wasting time on my computer, since preparation for tomorrow morning should probably be done by 3:00 this afternoon.
Also, I need to write that letter to Renfe. In spanish.

ETA: And I forgot to mention that there's a dead spot in the center of my lame (for those of you who don't fence, the lame is the metallic shirt I wear on top of everything else that is wired up so that the ref knows when people get hit on target. A dead spot means that it isn't working properly, and a dead spot in the middle means that it's likely that my first opponent of the day will make it very obvious that it doesn't work before we even start bouting). And that's the only foil lame that fits me. If we can't find another by tomorrow, I think that badly malfunctioning equipment that you can't fix/replace disqualifies you from competing. And it would really stink to go the competition and sit on the sideline the whole day.
3rdragon: (sam)
On today:

I think it's called irony when you get up at 6:40 to go to a breakfast meeting where they tell you to take care of yourself and get enough sleep, a meeting which ends half an hour earlier than scheduled - mind you, I'm not complaining, but couldn't it have started at 7:30 rather than 7:00?
The food was decent, though.

I spent most of my free time today being unproductive.

I've requested an absentee ballot, but I think that they're sending it to my mother's house (in Philadelphia) and I'm not even sure if what they're sending is the actual ballot or the request and absentee ballot form. And did I mention that my mom is in Washington DC right now? I'll call dad tomorrow and ask if he or Isaac can check the mail on Friday and see if they sent me a ballot-sized envelope or a letter-sized envelope, and forward it to me if it's the former.

Fencing was good tonight. We played frisbee and then hooked up electric, but only the one strip, so Caitlyn and I settled down to look at the loot from Nationals. Results )
Then I fenced Scott and got three touches to his five. Mind you, he wasn't fencing the top of his game, but it was a real bout and he wasn't intentionally holding back. And I'd just gotten up from sitting on the floor. And I got three touches. I also fenced Caitlyn, went la belle, and won. I did a bit of reffing, then Scott kicked us off of the strip so that the epees could get a turn and I decided to pack up so that I could get a shower and maybe finish some discrete math homework. Maybe I should get off lj and do a bit of that before bed.
3rdragon: (Default)
Learn to dance? Begin my long-awaited career in sculpture?

Actually, probably clean my room and do homework and go to all of the April obligations. And the SpecFic paper. And job-hunt.

So in case you haven't figured out, both ConBust and Fencing Nationals are over. These two events have been munching up my free time like there's no tomorrow ever since I got back from break, and neither of them are there anymore. It's quite nice. I'm not at the point of walking around campus yelling "Free! FREEEE!" but I am certainly being my own brand of ridiculous.

I seem to be trying to figure out how many days in a row I can wake up before 7:02 and still have enough sleep and be incredibly chipper and cheerful. I worked opening shifts Friday and yesterday, and had to be at the ITT at 7:30 Saturday and Sunday, and today I woke up at 6:30 for no discernible reason. (Mind you, that was actually very nice. I lazed in bed for half an hour and then got up and ironed my shirt and it was still only 7:30.) Tomorrow I have that LEAP breakfast meeting, and if I wake up early for no good reason on Thursday, Friday will make it over a week.
Yes, I know that I'm babbling. How are you?

babbling )
3rdragon: (Default)
I had a setup this morning in the college club. Well, not really a setup. The directions said that I was just supposed to help the presenter start a powerpoint, or something to that effect. I showed up shortly after 11:30 as I was directed to, fully expecting that the talk wouldn't start until sometime after 12 because they never do, and that I would set up the computer and then sit around waiting for the lecturer to show up so that I could help him or her start the whatever. But when I got there, I found a little elderly lady who looked about my grandmother's age (probably not actually that old; my grandmother does pretty well for a 70-something) fussing around the laptop and looking rather like a distressed bird. I introduced myself: "Hello, I'm from the computer lab, etc . . ." and she informed me that she didn't need any help setting things up, but she had several questions for me. And indeed she didn't. The projector wasn't on because she'd figured out Black Screen, and she wanted to make sure that she could leave it that way and it would come back on when she told it to, and that the computer wouldn't go to sleep on her, and she told me in passing that this was a very slow laptop. I verified that the computer was plugged in and wouldn't go to sleep and that the projector was working, and we had a brief chat, and I told her to call the lab if she had any trouble whatsoever, to which she responded in a completely shocked tone, "Even during lunch?" and I assured her that yes, the labs are open right through lunch.
I never did catch her name, or what the lecture was to be about.

But where else does one meet sweet tech-savvy old ladies?





I'm really quite surprised at my current state of being. I fully expected this to be THE WEEK FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, what with ConBust last weekend and Fencing Nationals this weekend. But I'm only moderately busy. In that I have time to take on more fencing responsibilities, and hang out after dinner with friends and be completely ridiculous, and read children's books, and waste time on the internet writing posts like this, and have a nice long chat with my mother, and check my e-mail far too frequently, and still be able to get down to the gym for forty-five minutes to convert lefty foils into righty foils. (Did you know that she had three foils (one of them bent completely upside-down), and probably hasn't been to practice properly since October, November at the latest? I don't think we've broken a blade since she stopped coming.)

Mind you, I did intend to get down to College Relations today and ask for maps, but that didn't happen only because I forgot about it, not because it's an intensely time-consuming commitment that I didn't get around to. Tomorrow will be busy schedule-wise, but shouldn't be terribly stressful, and I ought to be able to swing by there after Spanish class/before lunch.

Although it would be nice if the Housing Office would talk to me.
3rdragon: (Default)
1. Dartmouth College, Hanover NH \neq Dartmouth MA
Luckily we didn't actually need that sabre fencer today, since she didn't show up until just before the foil finished (meaning, a good long time after all of our sabre fencers were done fencing, since they all started at almost the same time).

2. Miriam needs to relax more while fencing. Including her back arm and shoulder. Especially her back arm and shoulder.

3. It's easier to make touches from a six-enguarde than a four-enguarde.

4. Staying for hours and hours waiting for one's teammates to finish fencing in the finals is nearly as tiring as the fencing part of the day. (But yay, Tallclaire! She wanted so badly to be in the top eight at big one, and wound up in the top 4or5 today.)

5. When Miriam has had only six hours of sleep, has been up for 12 hours already, spent a large number of those hours fencing, and the day isn't anywhere close to over, she does not do well on the interacting with other people sorts of stuff. Or at least has very little energy left over for said interactions.

6. Hatfield is right: Scott is just as bad at dealing with other people as the rest of us, but he's better at hiding it.

7. Alonetime is a very good thing. Especially on fencing meet days. Also, sitting in a van for an hour alternating between pretending to sleep and staring out the window at the wet road rushing past is a good cure for oversocialization (hence the having energy/interest in writing this post).

8. Yes, adding too much heavy cream to the vanilla fudge does mean that it doesn't set up properly (although it's close enough that I still have hope that freezing or stirring or reheating and letting it cool again might fix it).

9. A pound of fudge is just as heavy as a pound of lead.


Yes, we did know several of these things already. Or I hope we did. But most of them are good things to re-learn.
3rdragon: (Default)
Yesterday was a very good day. I had fun. My uncle showed up and watched me fence. I felt like I fenced well most of the day, and at least decently during the rest of it; there weren't any of those slumps where I feel like I just get up on strip and can't manage to do anything against my opponents and feel really frustrated because I should have been able to make at least one touch. That didn't happen. There were bouts where I should have made touches but didn't, but that wasn't because my head wasn't in the fencing; it was. I saw the timing - often created the timing - and made the correct action. I do, however, need to work on actually hitting my opponent, because, as my mother would say, "Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades," and being within 1/4 inch of hitting my opponent isn't the same as actually hitting her. But that's a problem I can focus on, and something that will improve with practice. Not being in the fencing mindset is much harder to fix, I think.

In all but one of my bouts I was proud of some aspect of my fencing, I think. As for that one . . . well, I'm just glad that I finished it, and finished it in such a way that the poor man that who had to referee that thing generally only had one light and so didn't have to try to interpret the blade actions and the right-of-way. I felt sorry for him - and I have to say that I wasn't very impressed with his refereeing in general, but that's the sort of bout that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy if I had one. (Come to think of it, that's probably why BU only had two foilists - if the Smith foil squad fenced like that, I would quit too.) Anyway. It wasn't a good bout, it wasn't a pretty bout, but I won and it's over and I sure hope I don't meet that girl onstrip again, because while I can defeat her again, that wasn't fencing. Not what I did, and certainly not what she did.

That bout aside, I was startled to realize that I'm a better fencer than I used to be. This is something that I knew intellectually - if I got to fencing practice three times a week, I must be getting better. But when I fence with the same group of people who are also getting better, I don't notice it very much. And two weeks ago I did notice that I was better at getting touches on people who'd completely creamed me before (so that this time I was creamed but not as badly), but I was still getting creamed, and that's what I expect to happen when we put me (girl who's been fencing for something between one-and-a-half and two-and-a-half years, depending on how you count) against an opponent who's been fencing for six years, and furthermore regularly fences against people who have also been fencing for five or six years. But then yesterday, I fenced people and I won bouts. I made touches. I could feasibly have won many of the bouts that I didn't. I controlled some of the bouts (which didn't mean that I won, particularly for those bouts where my not-sticking tip was especially bad, but I knew what actions my opponent was going to make before she made them because I created all of the moments that allowed her to make those actions) - and that was really cool.

All in all, it was a day I was very happy with. Even if we did arrive two or three hours earlier than we needed to (but that worked out, so it was okay-ish). And no one got seriously hurt, or permanently damaged, and I think that most of the people on the team also had very good days.

In other news, I need to see if taping my curtains around the edges will permit me to sleep past 7:30 next weekend.
3rdragon: (Default)
I'm not sure that I'll be able to move tomorrow morning.

If I haven't shown up by the end of lunch, please send someone upstairs to get me mobile again.

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