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Archive for Saturday, August 16, 2003

Jayhawk journal

Kansas University senior-to-be shares highs, lows of 2002-2003 school year

August 16, 2003

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Editor's note: Abby Mills, a Kansas University senior-to-be from Overland Park and a news clerk at the Lawrence Journal-World, kept a journal during the 2002-2003 academic year at Kansas University. Mills is a journalism and Russian major. Here are excerpts from her journal:

Thursday, Aug. 22

Today was the first day of school. It was eerily similar to elementary school. Just like a grade school kid, I still get first-day jitters. They really hit while I was waiting for the bus. I haven't ridden a bus to school since fifth grade. It rained and stormed all day long. I was kind of enjoying walking around campus in the cool rain, but I found out someone got hit by lightning on campus, which sort of put that pleasant walk in a new perspective. I'm staying away from trees tomorrow. Some first-day back observations:

  • The worst thing about going back to school: Trying to get my schedule worked out. It never seems to go just the way I want it to.

l The best thing about going back to school: Running into people I haven't seen in a long time and starting up a conversation on the sidewalk. There's something so chic about it.

  • Predictions for how my classes will turn out: I think that I will really like American Society, as long as I can keep up with the reading. We have a couple hundred pages every week. The subject matter seems really interesting, though. Editing, on the other hand, I think I am just going to have to try and survive. Every journalism class kind of sucks in its own unique way, and this one looks like it will be really hard. On the other hand, if I don't give up and switch majors, I should learn a lot.
  • Abby Mills, a Kansas University senior-to-be from Overland Park,
looks through her backpack during the first day of classes last
August in front of Stauffer-Flint Hall.

    Abby Mills, a Kansas University senior-to-be from Overland Park, looks through her backpack during the first day of classes last August in front of Stauffer-Flint Hall.

Friday, Aug. 23

All I had today was Russian. Friday is my easy day, but Russian is not going to be so easy. Our teacher seems pretty nice, but she only speaks Russian, and I don't think she ever plans on speaking English. Our last teacher hated us for not speaking the language fluently from day one; this one seems more understanding. I bought my books today -- $413.83. Luckily, my parents are footing the bill.

Monday, Aug. 26

I've now been to all my classes. I think I will really like First Amendment and Society. The teacher, Tom Volek, is really interesting. I can't imagine being bored while he's up there. It's good that I can get to know him, too, because he is "the Russian Guy" in the journalism department and can probably help me with combining my two majors. I also had a cultural anthropology class. The subject seems interesting, but the professor is one of those types that tries to be hip, but just somehow misses the mark.

Tuesday, Aug. 27

I talked to my adviser today and she wanted me to take advanced reporting next semester, which would mean I would be a full-fledged reporter for the Kansan. I tried to explain to her that I am in class or at the Journal-World from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. almost everyday and becoming a reporter just isn't in the game plan. Meanwhile, I am so stressed out by the sheer quantity of homework and stuff to do, I just screamed for a little while when I got home. It takes the edge off. Ahhh, school.

Thursday, Aug. 29

Today went by like a breeze. American Society was very interesting, again. I love classes that are discussion based. There was one guy who fell asleep today -- the professor had to wake him up and tell him to get up and move around if he needed to. Personally, though, I tend to fall asleep in lectures and get excited about discussions. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

Wednesday, Sept. 4

Maybe it's the three-day weekend, or maybe it's a sign that this semester is going to be a rough one, but I just don't seem to care at all about school anymore. I had a bunch of Russian homework to do tonight, but instead I went to the Anything But Joey concert. It was worth it, though. Those guys rocked the house! My roommate, Liya, and I know the guitarist from a restaurant we all worked at, so we try and support the group. It was one of the best shows I've been to in a while.

Monday, Sept. 23

I had a great weekend. All I did was hang out with friends and have a good time. I went dancing at the Granada on Saturday. I went there all the time my freshman year and loved it. I'm not sure about the new ownership, though. The only thing that seems to have changed is the music. They used to have retro Thursday nights. Now all they play is R&B rap stuff, which just isn't my taste. They played a few classic '80s hits, though, and then it was really fun!

Tuesday, Sept. 24

I've decided I'm in the right major, but worried that I will never find a job in said major. I got an A for a paper I was freaking out over in American Society. He told me it's not because my ideas were good, but he liked my writing. He talked about all the stuff they drill into your head at the J-school, short, concise, to-the-point sentences.

Thursday, Sept. 26

I finally got to go exercise at Robinson today. I love the ellipse machines there, where you're running with each leg in its own little thing that goes in half-circles. They're much more fun and less impact than treadmills. I wish I could get to Robinson more often. I always feel so much better physically and mentally. But when the choice is homework, sleep or exercise, I'm afraid my body gets gypped.

Monday, Sept. 30

Saturday was easy enough, but getting up to baby-sit on Sunday morning was tough. There was a huge party on Saturday night and I got maybe three or four hours of sleep. It was fun, but kind of wild. The police showed up and I came away with battle scars. Today was rather bland by comparison, but I did find out I have a test in anthropology on Wednesday. That's really unfortunate, because I feel like I have learned nothing in that class. I guess I will have to really hit the books tomorrow night.

Wednesday, Oct. 2

Abby Mills, right, cheers on Kansas University's football team
against Southwest Missouri State Sept. 14 at Memorial Stadium.

Abby Mills, right, cheers on Kansas University's football team against Southwest Missouri State Sept. 14 at Memorial Stadium.

I studied all night for the test, but I think it was worth it. It really didn't seem that hard. There were a few I just didn't know, but I think I nailed the essay, so that should balance it out. Overall, I had a pretty good day. The test went well, the story is coming along well, and I even got in a little exercise with my roommate tonight. Plus, the season premiere of both "Dawson's Creek" and "Law and Order" were on. I am addicted to both. I have to say, though, that I am getting a little tired of "Law and Order." They try so hard to make it dramatic; it just comes out corny.

Monday, Oct. 7

Fall is here. I hate it because I always get sick when the weather changes, and today I am starting to feel bad. I'll be ill until April. I am definitely a warm weather type of girl. I had a great weekend though. Joseph, a friend of mine from middle school, came up from Wichita to visit. He had never been to Lawrence, so I showed him around campus during the Open House, walked with him up and down Mass Street, and introduced him to Lawrence nightlife. We also went to Clinton Lake, which I had never really been to before, so it wasn't just him seeing new things.

Tuesday, Oct. 15

I got placed with a little sister today. I began the long process of becoming a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters a little while ago. I always like to volunteer, but between work and school, it never seems like I have the time. This program, however, lets me meet with my little sister for an hour once a week. Even I can do that. It means I have to get up at 7 a.m. on Friday, formerly my day to sleep in. But, I figure if I help a kid it's all worth it.

Wednesday, Oct. 23

Sometimes I don't know what is wrong with the world. I was reading CNN online today, keeping up with the news as all good journalists should do, and all I wanted to do was cry. There are 60 armed Chechan rebels holding nearly 600 people hostage in Moscow and the sniper has claimed another victim, making it 13 victims, 10 dead. The Chechans want the Russians to pull out of the region, the sniper wants $10 million. I don't understand how anyone could do these things to other people. Do they not realize the suffering they are causing to their own race?

Thursday, Oct. 24

I met with my Russian adviser today. I like them both very much, but my two advisers have very different styles of lighting my path. I walked out of my journalism adviser's office last week not only convinced that I was never going to graduate, but that I probably need to change majors because I can't cut it. Professor Comer, on the other hand, gave me all these tips of how I can navigate the system and get out of here on time. He was even helping me out with what to do after graduation and how to prepare. He wants me to go to Russia for a yearlong internship program after I get my degree. I think that would be so cool! Then, I could come back, get a master's in journalism, and proceed to conquer the world.

Friday, Oct. 25

Abby, far right, joins from lower left, Monica Marx, Bob Kauffman,
Cecilia Compton and Mary Jo Spreitzer for a party. The group was
celebrating Spreitzer's 21st birthday.

Abby, far right, joins from lower left, Monica Marx, Bob Kauffman, Cecilia Compton and Mary Jo Spreitzer for a party. The group was celebrating Spreitzer's 21st birthday.

I met with my little sister today. She seems really cool. I think we will get along well, although I felt kind of bad. I'm pretty shy and I felt like I wasn't talking or trying to engage her enough. I guess that stuff will come, though, as we get to know each other better. I also got my hair styled and my eyebrows waxed today. The waxing doesn't sound nearly as painful as one would think. I like my new look, but unfortunately, I am actually going to have to work at styling to upkeep it. The hassles of being a girl. I would also like to wish a special happy 21st birthday to my friend Josh. He is the first of my friends who will soon be rapidly leaving me all alone in minorland.

Tuesday, Oct. 29

Boys suck. I have tried to keep away from the subject because there are certain things you don't want an entire city reading about, you know? But I can't stop thinking about this evil, evil male who has a girlfriend, but is still ... making his presence known. I can't spare 30 minutes a day to do my Russian homework, but I can devote hours to spacing out and dreaming about him.

Thursday, Oct. 31

Yay for Halloween!!!! I have had a pretty stressed out week with tests and papers and stuff and this weekend looks like it will be a lot of work. Not tonight, though. Tonight is for partying and having a fantastic time. I am a devil for Halloween, and I plan to live up to that persona. Carolyn's throwing a party and I am having fun!!

Friday, Nov. 1

The party was fun. The highlight was when a friend of mine who is obsessed with Michael Jackson, and was dressed as him for Halloween, broke out into a dance in the middle of the living room. He is so good at that he even made a couple of bucks off women shoving dollar bills in his pants. What sucked is I didn't get home until really late and I had to meet with my little sister this morning. So I dragged my butt out of bed at 7:30 a.m. to go see her after only a few hours of sleep and she didn't even show up. I wanted to just go straight back to bed, but we had compositions due today in Russian, so I felt like I couldn't skip. I'm pretty tired right now, but it was worth it.

Monday, Nov. 4

I am crazy busy. I have a 10-page paper due tomorrow, but I only have three pages written; I have a paper due Wednesday I haven't even started; and I just found out today I have an anthropology test on Wednesday as well. To make things just a little bit more frantic, I have Rent tickets for tomorrow and instead of going home afterward to study like I should, I am going to work because it's Election Night. Oh, and I enroll on Wednesday. If I survive this week, it will be an absolute miracle.

Thursday, Nov. 7

Ahhh... today has been such a welcome relief. I went to bed at about midnight last night and didn't wake up until 11. My first class was canceled. In addition, Mother Nature has shined down upon us and gave us a beautiful day with highs in the upper 60s. It's amazing how a little sleep and sunshine can make the whole world seem rosier.

Monday, Nov. 11

At work today I walked downstairs, like I always do, and who do I see but Jeff Boschee, sitting right there in the basement! I have been watching that boy for two years hoping that I could meet him in person, and finally tonight I did. He was here for some taping of a book signing. After the show I went up and got his autograph. Jeff Boschee used my pen to sign an autograph which I now have. Life just doesn't get better. I also had a fantastic weekend. Joseph came up from Wichita and I showed him around Kansas City. I went to Liberty Memorial for the first time and we went up in the tower. You can see everything from that high.

Wednesday, Nov. 13

Yet another night with only three hours of sleep. Why can't I get myself motivated to do this stuff earlier? I'm sort of having the same problem at work. You would think that at a newspaper things can't really pile up too much, but you'd be amazed at the ways I can find to procrastinate. At least I get to go home now and watch "Dawson's Creek" and eat some spaghetti. But after that, I am forcing myself to do some work.

Municipal Judge Randy McGrath, left, addresses Abby at Lawrence
Municipal Court. In February, Mills was charged with minor in
possession of alcohol and failure to pay a speeding ticket.

Municipal Judge Randy McGrath, left, addresses Abby at Lawrence Municipal Court. In February, Mills was charged with minor in possession of alcohol and failure to pay a speeding ticket.

Thursday, Nov. 14

I skipped my sociology class because I am so far behind in the reading, it really would have been an insult to try and participate. Did I use the time to catch up? No. I slept, which was the best part of my day. As I went into work, my wallet fell out of my pocket in the middle of the street and got run over by a car, nearly splitting my KU ID in half. At some point in time, I think it may have been then, I lost my keys and they are nowhere to be found. I was locked out of my apartment. Luckily, I keep a spare car key in my wallet because I have a tendency to lock my keys in the car, and my roommate has a spare apartment key. I just wish these things didn't keep happening to me.

Thursday, Nov. 21

I finished my editing final project, the first part anyway. I think I still have a broadcast segment to do. There were three parts and together they are worth 25 percent of my grade. I really hope I do well. I don't know, though, I am not an editor. I'm not meticulous and ordered and anal enough. It's good I'm taking it because it will teach me to look out for things in my own writing, but it has shown me that if I am going to be a journalist, it will be in the writing part.

Monday, Nov. 25

College is so tiring. All I do is stay out late on weekend nights, get up early to work, and then try desperately to stay awake during my classes. I guess I'm not the most responsible student. Luckily, I only have a two-day week. I am oh-so-thankful for Thanksgiving break!

Tuesday, Nov. 26

Only a few more hours and I will be zipping off to Kansas City, and a few hours after that I will be going with my family to warm, sunny Dallas. I'm not such a big fan of Texas in general, but it snowed today and I can't wait to get away from the bitter cold. Not to mention that I have the coolest family and it is always fun to get together with them.

Wednesday, Dec. 4

I have a date tonight. A real, actual date. Kate, the former receptionist of the Journal-World, set us up. I'm a little nervous because it's pretty much a blind date. We only met once for about five minutes. He also doesn't seem like he would be my type. All I really know about him is that he is a drummer in a punk-rock band and he has a mohawk, a far cry from my usual taste of nerdy computer guys. I'm also frustrated because I have to type the weather forecast, but the meteorologists haven't sent it to me yet, so I am late for our first meeting. I think I'll just call him from here.

Abby, center, joins friends while watching Kansas University play
Syracuse in the NCAA men's basketball championship.

Abby, center, joins friends while watching Kansas University play Syracuse in the NCAA men's basketball championship.

Thursday, Dec. 5

The date was really nice. We went out for pizza, tried unsuccessfully to break into a playground, played basketball and just had a good time. We had lots to talk about. There were never any times where we just sat in uncomfortable silence. But I don't think there was a love connection made last night. Hopefully, we will be friends, although those things are kind of hard. We are both pretty busy with school and work and we only have one mutual friend, who I barely even know. So it's not like we are going to just run into each other. I guess we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, Dec. 12

I managed to get three hours of sleep last night, although it doesn't seem like it because I had nightmares about my paper the whole time. I chased little snippets of things I knew I had to include, but couldn't piece together all night long. But, I simply could not be more pleased. Today was the last day of classes and the sweet taste of freedom is still dancing across my tongue.

Friday, Dec. 13

Do you remember that guy I went on a date with? His name is Joey, and yesterday he had a going-away party because he has to work in North Carolina for a while. It was so much fun, but I was up REALLY late again. I couldn't have gotten more than four hours of sleep before I had to be at work. Other than being so tired I can't really function, things are great. I think I may be reconsidering our friends-only status. Plus, today is stop day, so there are sure to be fun things going on tonight, and I plan to take full advantage of my youth while I still have it.

Monday, Dec. 16.

Well, I partied myself sick. I got almost no sleep and weakened my immune system so dramatically that now I am suffering from a terrible cold and can barely keep my eyes open. I got 11 hours of sleep last night -- only slightly more than the last four nights combined -- which helped a lot. But I still do not feel well and I face my first final tomorrow. I'm not too worried about this one, though. It's anthropology and I have aced everything else in there, I can't imagine I would suddenly not be able to do it. Tonight is the Happy Birthday Jesus Christmas Party from 96.5 the Buzz, and I can't wait. I think it is going to be so much fun. But I will definitely need a nap tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, Dec. 17

The concert ROCKED! It was so much fun. Anything But Joey kicked, as usual, but I realized that I really like SR-71. I had never really heard anything by them before, but I think they were my favorite act of the night. On the finals front, anthropology was cake, but I am starting to freak out about my First Amendment tomorrow. Finals are such a big mind game. They don't seem like that big a deal, but then you start thinking about all the stuff that's going to be on it and all the things you don't know, and suddenly you find yourself right in the middle of a panic attack.

Wednesday, Dec. 18

First Amendment was not so good. I think I did OK, but not well. I thought it was the hardest test he's ever given and it covered the most material. But at least it's over. Now all I have is Russian, which will be really tough, but it isn't until Friday so I have some time to get through it all. I'm going to hang out with a friend of mine tonight.

Thursday, Dec. 19

I had planned on studying all day, but not so much. I could not sleep for the life of me. I went to bed around 1 a.m., not too late for me, but I had been to Java Break earlier that night and I think the caffeine was messing with me. It didn't help that my neighbors were throwing a loud party and the crazy people above me were screaming expletives at them. They scream expletives a lot. I had to call the police on them once because they were having this gruesome fight from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. that involved multiple shoutings of the F-word, followed by loud bangs.

Friday, Dec. 20

My Russian final sucked. I know the concepts, but I always feel completely lost when I'm trying to apply them to actually speaking. At least my essay was good. My Russian roommate proofread it for me. In fact, my teacher told me she thought it was too good and that I must have had help in writing it, which I didn't. I told her I could prove it because I had the rough draft with the few corrections my roomie made, but she said she didn't care. I don't even want to know what I got on that test. All I want to do is go out tonight and celebrate the fact that I am done with this awful semester!

Wednesday, Jan. 15

I can't believe Winter Break is over. It has been so much fun, classes just don't seem like they should be a reality. How to sum it all up? Well, things were pretty much dominated by Joey. He got back from North Carolina and we spent almost every day of break together. I'd forgotten how nice it is to have someone like that, someone who's always there to talk to. Christmas went well. I got to spend lots of time with my family, which I love. We are all really close and sometimes it's hard to see so little of them. I got some cool stuff ... mostly clothes. This last week has brought some sad events. My apartment was broken into last Thursday, but luckily they didn't take anything. It just sort of freaked me out. I also lost my cell phone, which is the worst of the two. I always hated cell phones before I had one and thought people who used them were pretentious posers. Now I am one of those posers and have lost the ability to live without the stupid thing. It has all my phone numbers in it and without it I can't call long distance to my family or my friends' cell phones. It is such a hassle. This weekend I am going back to Kansas City just to get another one. I enjoyed my last night of break though -- I went to a party with friends and hung out the rest of the night with the boy. Tomorrow, reality returns with three all new classes to worry about and books to buy. I don't think this semester will be too hard, though. I only have three classes in my majors, of which I think only Russian will really kick my butt. And, they are all very nicely set up so that I go to class from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every day.

Thursday, Jan. 16

I don't know if it's because I have to go to school again, or if it's the weather, but I am just kind of down today. I went to two classes, 19th century Russian fiction and media ethics. I think I will like the Russian lit class, but it will be a lot of reading, possibly more than sociology last semester, and we all remember how well I kept up with that. In addition to reading all the stories, I have to re-read some of them in Russian because it is a 100-level class, but I am taking the 600-level version. Hopefully, I'll get to learn some culture from it. Then there's media ethics, which I think will bore me. The teacher seems really cool and I've heard nothing but good things, but the subject matter just didn't seem to interest me at all. And then there's the cold and the snow. After weeks of good weather, we got below freezing temperatures all day after five inches of snow hit Lawrence last night. I only have one pair of shoes, and they are those sneakers with no backs, so my feet were cold and wet all day. I also don't have any gloves, and no one in Lawrence sells the kind I want, so my hands are cold too. But I ran into lots of people I haven't seen in forever, which is always the best part about coming back to school. I think I am heading home and going straight to bed. There is something about sitting in a classroom that just wears you out, even though you aren't doing anything.

Friday, Jan. 17

Today has been kind of frustrating. It began with me getting up early, way earlier than I had to, to wrap a birthday present for my little sister and get us muffins and juice so we could have a nice birthday breakfast for her. She didn't show up. Again. She apparently has major attendance issues, but I don't know how to help with that. So I went home and went to my other three classes. The day began with ethics, not to be confused with media ethics, although I think I will be just as bored with the material. The teacher seems really nice, and he explains things well, but it's his first job out of grad school and you can tell that he's new at this. Hopefully, that will turn out to be a good thing, but it will take a pretty talented guy to make this philosophy stuff interest me. Then it was on to Russian. For about 10 minutes at the beginning of class I thought that I would do really well this semester. I understood everything that was going on and life was good. Then we started actually working, and I realized I was a fool for thinking I will ever get this stuff. Finally came my computer class. I think this one will challenge me just because I am coming in without any background information at all. That's kind of scary, but I think I will learn more from it than any class this semester, and it will all be really useful stuff. Going back to classes is a really hard adjustment this semester, I have no idea why. It's like in a few weeks I just forgot that I am a student.

Tuesday, Jan. 21

Thank goodness for Martin Luther King Jr. We celebrated ethnic diversity this weekend with a fiesta. All my friends and I got together and drank daiquiris and ate enchiladas to promote racial understanding. It was a good time. Classes weren't too bad today, either. We went over a lot of foundation history stuff that I already knew in Russian lit and we discussed a really interesting situation in media ethics about if you should withhold a story if it benefits the public. I also saw my roommate from last year and a couple other people I hadn't seen since before break over the weekend and we are going out to dinner tonight. If I ever get out of here. We had 10 obituaries at work today, which is a crazy amount. Luckily, I don't have too many other things going on.

Wednesday, Jan. 22

It's so hard to get up for classes when it's this cold outside. The high was in the single digits this morning and by the time I got out of my first class we were in a blizzard. I just lay in bed this morning thinking about skipping class, but then chastising myself because ditching on the second day is setting a bad precedent I may never really get over. I was late to every one of my classes for one reason or another and I just don't want to be in school right now.

Thursday, Jan. 23

The life of a manic-depressive student. Today I really liked being in class and after the initial difficulty of getting out of bed, I was actually pretty glad I'm in school. Not sure why my outlook today is so different, the weather is colder and I don't necessarily like my classes better. The downside of today was that I couldn't do the crossword again. Usually, I can get pretty close to finishing them, but the last two days it has just killed me. The Kansan crossword is almost my reason for going to class some days, and I usually make an attempt everyday. I figure it's at least increasing my vocabulary, even if it does distract me from actual lecture now and again.

Friday, Jan. 24

My little sister told me today that she didn't think she could meet with me anymore, which is sad, but I am also kind of grateful. I was getting so sick of waking up that early just to have her not show up. In addition, my upstairs neighbors were fighting again, until 4 this morning. I can't wait until I get a new place next year. I think we are moving into townhouses, so we will have two floors, dishwasher and washer and dryer. It will be more expensive, but it would almost be worth it just to get away from the freaks above me and their domestic difficulties.

Monday, Jan. 27

A couple weeks ago I went to the hospital because I was really sick at 7 o'clock on a Friday night, and there wasn't really anywhere else to go. I forgot to tell my mom about the incident and she didn't know I had been to the hospital until she got a rather pricey bill Friday. She called me this weekend, not to ask if I was OK, but to demand money from me that she knows I don't have. This is what upsets me about money. In people's blind desire for a material thing that provides no inherent satisfaction, they end up overlooking the things in life they should really be caring about. And speaking about the evil capitalist materialism that is soaking through the very fabric of our beings, I watched the Super Bowl this weekend. It was a huge blowout. The Raiders didn't stand a chance against the Buccaneers. The commercials, I thought, were a little disappointing, though. The only one I really even liked was for a company I can't even remember the name of, so that's a few million wasted.

Tuesday, Jan. 28

I am doing so much baby-sitting this week. I was there Sunday and Monday and I will go there tonight and be there tomorrow. I love the kids and all, but I could use a break. It really makes me realize that I am not ready to be a parent. I love those kids so much, but more than a few hours a week of them and I'm through. Aaron, the 2-year-old, has been an absolute charmer, lately, though. He's been so considerate. I kind of wonder what he will turn out to be like. Not only does he have the middle child thing working against him, but his other two siblings have metabolic disorders that require so much attention. Aaron is already so independent, I bet he will just grow up to be that way.

Wednesday, Jan. 29

How can I possibly be so behind only two weeks into the semester? I have to read an entire book tonight, about 80 pages, for one class and a chapter, 25 pages, for another one. I only have two classes tomorrow. It's been so nice getting a full eight hours of sleep each night, but I have a feeling I can kiss that goodbye for a while.

Thursday, Jan. 30

I was up until 1 a.m. reading that book, but I kind of enjoyed it. I really didn't want to put it down, but I had to get some sleep. If you haven't read "A Hero of Our Time" by Anton Lermontov, I highly recommend it. It's pretty short, exciting and easy to read. My homework tonight will not be nearly so fun. I have so many Russian exercises I need to finish. The thing with Russian is that I love the language, and I want to know it, but I hate learning it. It's so hard and I feel like I will never get the hang of it. That's why I want to go there after I graduate. In Russia, it all seemed so much easier to understand, because it was all I did for six weeks.

Monday, Feb. 3

I had the best weekend. Beth had a party on Friday, so I went to that for a little while, and then I went dancing at the Granada. I know what you're thinking, who goes dancing at the Granada with the bad hip-hop music and the sleazy guys? Well, sometimes I just love it there and I was definitely in a Granada kind of mood after all the serious studying I've done lately. It feels so good to just let yourself go and jerk around to the music, even if it isn't something I would particularly care to listen to.

Tuesday, Feb. 4

My contacts are gone. I finally abused them for the last time. I keep crashing at friends' houses and not bringing my contact solution with me. Friday was one of these occasions and I was convinced that putting them in Visine was better than plain water. In retrospect, I question the wisdom of that decision. I sort of forgot about the contacts and they soaked in Visine for three days. Then, I replaced the Visine with regular solution and let them soak for two days, but I tried to put them in today and I got a horrible burning sensation in my right eye on the bus ride to school. I endured it for an hour and a half while I listened to my Russian lit discussion, but then I had to get it out and throw it away. Now, I have to deal with the eye-care people in another city, which is always a pain. At moments like these, I wish my mom would baby me just a little and get the contacts for me.

Wednesday, Feb. 5

So I've now skipped two classes, ethics yesterday and Russian today. I just feel like I can't handle some of this stuff right now and I should take a tiny break while I can still get it. Next week is going to be absolute hell because I have two tests and two papers due on Wednesday. I am actually considering staying home one night this weekend to study, which is when you know things have gotten bad. But the good news is I am almost off work and I am ready to be productive tonight. I know what I need to do and even though I don't want to, I think I will actually have the motivation to sit down and get it done. Go me!

Thursday, Feb. 6

I got a call yesterday from Big Brothers Big Sisters and they have paired me up with a new little sibling. I'm pretty psyched. I really enjoyed working with my last pairing, but I felt like I wasn't helping her. I think our personalities just didn't quite mesh like they needed to. The new one is a boy, which I get the feeling they don't do often, but he lives with his grandfather and dad and has never really had a female role model, so I guess that's me. He's a third-grader, which makes me a little nervous. I never know what to do with little ones. I always want to treat them like adults. But it should be a good opportunity, and hopefully I can serve him better than I did my last sibling. I guess we'll see next Wednesday.

Friday, Feb. 7

I went to the Cocknoose concert last night at the Replay. I wasn't sure how much I was going to enjoy it, because they are a big, angry punk band and that's not my usual scene. But Joey really likes them, so I decided to give it a try. We snuck me in by having Joey and two of his friends stand around the door-guy and talk to him while I ducked in behind. It was actually a lot of fun. People started banging into each other and yelling. I think everyone in the bar walked out covered in beer. Tonight looks to be pretty dull, but I stayed up late last night and got up pretty early this morning, so that may not be a bad thing.

Monday, Feb. 10

This was the worst weekend of my college career. Not only was there almost nothing going on, I got an MIP, minor in possession for those of you not boned up on your typical ways of breaking the law in college. I had a bottle of liquor in the car that I had completely forgotten was there, until the kindly officer who pulled me over for speeding pointed it out to me. Not only do I have the MIP to deal with, but this is the second speeding ticket I've gotten in the last month. No good at all. So I have made a new rule for myself that I do not leave third gear within city limits. So far, I have done really well, but I tend to be perpetually late and always in a hurry, so it will be really hard to stick to. My saving grace this weekend was Joey. When he heard what had happened he determined it was his duty to cheer me up so last night we rented a movie and ate ice cream. I like going out and partying, obviously a little too much, but it is so heavenly to just watch a movie and share a pint of ice cream with someone you care about. If I could get that feeling all the time, I wouldn't ever want to drink again.

Tuesday, Feb. 11

I am SO STRESSED OUT! I have two tests tomorrow and I haven't really studied for either. I've been so busy with obits today, there's no way I'm going to get out of her early, like I'd hoped. I had 13 to write today. Usually, I have four or five. And yesterday we had 12. What is going on? The only studying I have done is to try and memorize a section of poem for the Russian test tomorrow. I'm getting closer, but I don't think I will ever get it down well enough to not sound stupid. I hate school when it gets to be like this.

Wednesday, Feb. 12

Today started out really well. My Russian test went fine, I think I may have even pulled an A on it. I found out yesterday that the paper I thought had due today is due tomorrow, so that makes life easier. And the weather today, was amazing! Just like spring. Then, it somehow all went wrong. I had to take my computer test this evening and my editor gave me a long chewing out for leaving before doing my on-the-street question, which I thought was totally undeserved. He asked me what would happen if I got in a car wreck on the way back. I said it would be just the same as if I got hit by a car while doing on the street, either way he'd just have to deal with an unforeseen emergency situation. Then I took the test itself, but I didn't study nearly hard enough with all the other stuff going on and I don't think I did all that well. Probably a B. So now it's after 9 p.m., I'm still here and I haven't eaten yet today. I want to go home, take a long shower, and sleep for about five years.

Thursday, Feb. 13

Another painfully long day, although I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I realized I left out an important part of what made yesterday fun in the morning, I met my new little brother. He seems like a really sweet kid. He's SO into Oklahoma Sooner football. We talked about football for almost an hour. Instead of me helping him with his assignments, he taught me what a linebacker did. But I think we'll get along just fine. I made a Web page today for computer class and have been trying, and failing to catch up at work. Ah well, there's always next week. I'm going to bed. School is wearing me to the bone.

Friday, Feb. 14

Another lousy Valentine's Day. I hate this holiday. Every year, all the cute girls would be carrying around flowers or licking suckers boys had bought them as part of some school drive. I was never one of those girls. This morning, someone pointed out to me that there was a love-gram from Joey to Abby in the Kansan and for a brief second years of cruel treatment by this stupid holiday seemed almost justified. Then, I found out it was a different Joey sending something to a different Abby and remembered that Valentine's Day shows no mercy, it only oppresses the soul. Joey has to work tonight, but we are having a celebration tomorrow, so hopefully that will repair some of the damage. For tonight, I'm having an anti V-day get-together with some girlfriends.

Monday, Feb. 17

Valentine's Day has officially been redeemed in my eyes. I had a great date with Joey Saturday and everything is cool. He fixed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a snack before dinner, which we drank with champagne. Isn't that the cutest thing you've ever heard of? Then he took me to Free State Brewery, my favorite restaurant in all of Lawrence. I started today meeting with a guy from legal services. He told me what I have to do to take care of my little run-in with the law. I guess I'm a little less nervous, but it's still so much trouble. And so expensive! Any of you minors reading out there, take my word for it, stay off the booze. It's not worth having one evening cost you over $500.

Tuesday, Feb. 18

I have so much Russian to do tonight. I just don't even want to think about it. Not to mention a paper to write for ethics. One may ask why I didn't work on these things over the weekend. I would answer that I have a weak will. I can't make myself work when there's something more fun to be doing. Last semester I was pretty lonely because I didn't have a boyfriend, but I always wondered what I would do with one anyway, since I have no free time. Now, I'm finding out that I would just blow off school and become OK with getting B's. This, however, is a bad trend I need to put a stop to.

Wednesday, Feb. 19

I have spent my entire life wishing I was older. But today, I was driving in my car and had a mini-panic attack. I realized that I'm 20 years old, am able to drive, live on my own and soon will face the harsh world almost completely cut off from my parents' assistance. I felt like I in was completely over my head. I think it's because this week, in fact this semester and really the entire year, are going by so fast. It's not a good fast, either. I feel like I'm on a train whose brakes have failed, heading down a mountain, trying to brace myself for the inevitable crash. I guess this is what growing up is for.

Thursday, Feb. 20

I talked with Beth about going to Chicago for spring break today, and I don't think it's going to happen. Her dad is having surgery that week and I guess her mom wants her to be there for it. I hate trying to organize big things like this, they never seem to work out. But at the same time, I really want to go do something for the break. Knowing me, I'll probably end up either sitting around here doing nothing, or maybe going down to Wichita. Not too exciting, but at least it's something. And I'd get to see my friends from down there. I haven't spoken to them in months.

Friday, Feb. 21

All the preliminary grades are starting to come in, and I am getting a little worried. I have solid B's in all my classes that have grades thus far. That wouldn't seem bad for some people, but I always have been an A-student. It's just that I'm lacking in time and motivation. I work so much and have so many things going on, the last thing I want to do is study when I have a bit of spare time.

Monday, Feb. 24

I went to alcohol education class over the weekend. It was at 8 a.m. Saturday and lasted all afternoon. It was all right. I learned a few things, but I doubt any of it will change my behavior at all. I'm just not an alcoholic. I wasn't even drinking when I got the offense that put me in that class. I'm a college student. Alcohol is just a small, but unavoidable, part of my life right now. Anyway, now that's over, I have to take all my stuff to court Wednesday and hopefully get this all taken care of.

Tuesday, Feb. 25

I'm reading a book called "Fathers and Sons" in Russian lit and it is the first time I've fallen behind in the reading in that class, which I was pretty impressed with. It's longer than the others and it's all psychological and heavy without much plot. I don't like reading it at all, which makes it take a really long time to read. Then there's the ethics test tomorrow, which I imagine will frustrate me. I know all the information in that class, but the teacher is a very subjective grader. Everyone I've talked to in the class agrees he grades more on word choice than comprehension and the test is all short answer, so that leaves tons of room for his opinion of how I did. I just hope I get an A. This B streak is really bumming me out.

Wednesday, Feb. 26

Court day. It wasn't anything like I thought it would be. I thought I would have to go meet with the prosecutor and explain everything to him and beg him to put me on diversion, but I never even saw the guy. They have the whole thing so streamlined that you never even speak to anyone of real importance. The judge talks to you, but you don't speak with him, and everyone else is just cashiers behind the window waiting to take your money. I realized today that I have five speeding tickets under my belt already. I need to become more aware of these things. That's my problem, I just float through life not paying attention. I think that's why I have Bs and that's why I drive too fast. If I really sat down and thought about it, passivity is probably the root of almost every problem I have.

Thursday, Feb. 27

I got an A on the ethics test, I guess pretty much everyone in the class did. It was pretty straightforward, so I'm not too surprised. I'm still slightly worried about my grades, though. I had a group meeting tonight with my media ethics group, and I actually think that is the class I have the easiest A in right now. That seems absolutely impossible in a journalism course. They are usually my hell classes, but this one isn't bad at all. Just keep on the projects, and we're golden.

Friday, Feb. 28

I am so tired. I have no idea why. I'm trying to remember what happened this week, to see why I would be so exhausted, but I have no idea. This weekend is going to be super busy, too. I have so much planned! Tonight, I am going to a Mardi Gras party and tomorrow I am going to see Treasures of the Czars in Topeka. Then I have to go home Sunday to drop some paper work off and do laundry. I am so dependent upon my family for laundry facilities. I bought a regular-sized bottle of laundry detergent at the beginning of the year and I've only used it twice.

Monday, March 3

I am so tired. I'm worried I'm becoming an insomniac. Last night I didn't sleep at all, I have no idea why. I was so tired, but all I could do was toss and turn. I wonder if it's stress. But it's not the first time that has happened this year. I'm also getting sick, which is no fun. And, I found out today my mom had an accident working on their new house in Kansas City. She fell off a ladder and shattered her knee cap. She's going into surgery tomorrow to see if they can fix it, but they don't think they'll be able to. I guess she just pulverized it. I feel so bad for her. I didn't get to talk to her, but Dad said she was in lots of pain.

Tuesday, March 4

My mom got through surgery OK, and they were even able to put her knee cap back together. I think I am going home on Sunday to see her and help nurse her back to health. Sometimes I worry about her. She is an amazing woman who could carry the entire world on her back if she needed to, but sometimes I think she takes on too much. My cold was really bad this morning. I went to my first class, but I felt so awful. I was coughing and falling asleep. So I skipped media ethics and went home to take a 2-1/2 hour nap. I feel so much better. I really need to make sleep a priority over break, and from now on.

Wednesday, March 5

We had an ice storm last night and everyone was complaining because KU still held classes. Personally, I'm glad they didn't cancel. Canceling college classes should be more difficult than high school; we're big kids now, we can take care of ourselves. But my Russian teacher couldn't get out of her driveway. Since I missed on Monday to run some very important errands, I am missing a lot of Russian lately. But we're only talking about a movie, so I don't feel too badly about it. I understood it pretty well, and I enjoyed watching it. It was a really good movie about these girls getting caught up in the deaf mafia.

Thursday, March 6

Iraq is all I've been hearing about today. There was a big protest at school; I argued about it for a long time with a friend who supports the war and thinks I'm being brainwashed not to. Bush is addressing the nation and tomorrow that's what the whole front page is about. We are really going to war ... soon. Despite Brett saying that I only oppose war because I don't know the facts, I still think this sounds like a bad idea. The United States has never pre-emptively invaded a country before. It seems like a bad precedent. I don't think anyone would say that Saddam is a good guy or a just ruler, but there are few just rulers out there. How do we decide which countries we invade? It seems so arbitrary.

Friday, March 7

Today was a great end to a great week. I haven't been too stressed out, I've gotten to hang with Joey lots, I've gotten far more sleep than I'm accustomed too, and everything just seems to have gone my way. Even my cold really hasn't gotten bad, as though it hates to impose on the fantastic week I'm having. Tonight, my sister is coming to visit me for the first time ever and she and a few of her friends and I are going to see a guitarist. We then are going dancing at the Granada, I think. That's always nice way to cut loose a little. And, today my boss took me across the street to Java Break and bought me coffee to tell me what a good job I've been doing. I was grinning ear-to-ear. I love hearing that I'm worth something around here.

Monday, March 10

It was really cool hanging out with my sister this weekend, but overall I give it a big thumbs down. Joey left for Europe yesterday and it was really sad saying goodbye. I miss him a bunch, but I don't think I'd be seeing much of him right now, even if he were here. I have two mid-terms tomorrow, both of which I've only mildly studied for. I need to hit the books tonight, but I have to baby-sit until 10 p.m., so I may be up pretty late. I guess that's what college is all about, right?

Tuesday, March 11

I had the worst test of my life today in media ethics. It was worth 25 percent of my grade, but there were only 25 questions, so each one missed was a percentage point off my final grade. I knew it would be that way, though, so I studied pretty well for it. I knew my stuff. I bet I only missed one, maybe two, of the short answer questions, but the multiple choice section absolutely killed me. They were the most ambiguous, poorly written questions I've ever seen on a test. Every one had several answers I could argue were correct, and then those answers were put in combinations and there was always an all of the above answer, so each question ended up having seven or eight choices. It made me want to cry.

Thursday, March 13

I can't focus on school anymore. As far as I'm concerned, it's spring break. The professor didn't come to my Russian lit class today, and media ethics was pretty slow. I found out most of the people in my group had the same concerns about the test, but I also heard a disturbing rumor. Some people said that those who raised their hands to ask about the ambiguity of the questions were told by the TA that any answer with a reasonable justification would be accepted. My question is, how is this fair to tell only some members of the class? How were the rest of us to know that if we wrote a short answer for the multiple choice section of the test, we would get credit? It seems really unfair to me, and if it's true, I plan on complaining to the teacher. I'm so anxious to get that test back.

Friday, March 14

I went dancing at La Tasca's for retro '80s night last night. It was so much fun. The music was good, my friends were all there shaking their groove things, and I even saw Kelly Osbourne. She is going to play a concert tonight at the Granada and I guess she wanted to explore a little of the Lawrence night life first. She looks really different than she does on TV.

SPRING BREAK!

I had a really nice break. I worked a lot, but got four stories in the paper, which is pretty good for me. Joey came back, which was really nice. I picked him up from the airport on Thursday night and I was basically with him until Monday morning, when I didn't have to work. It was nice for us to get some together time since school is starting again, and I won't get to see much of him. The weather was fantastic over the weekend, so we went out and played soccer and enjoyed nature. I am so dreading the return of school, though.

Monday, March 24

Today is Aaron's birthday. He's one of the little boys I baby-sit for and he's now 3. I can't believe it. I still remember when he couldn't even put full sentences together. The family had a birthday party Sunday and I hung around there for a while. I got him the game Hungry, Hungry Hippos. I think he will really dig it and I bet Nicholas, his older brother, will be able to play too.

Tuesday, March 25

I got both my tests back today. I aced the Russian lit, just like I thought. Also just like I thought, the media ethics test was a disaster. We spent the entire class time going over the test and everyone had the same problems with the same questions I did. On one of the questions, everyone who got it correct was asked to raise their hands and it was about 15 members of a 50-person class. But, they were pretty willing to let us argue why we all thought the other answers were correct and fixed our grades. I started out with a B, but I argued my way to an A-. The highlight of the day, though, was getting home and listening to my answering machine. Claudia, for whom I baby-sit, left a message that they were on their sixth game of Hungry Hippos. Aaron absolutely loved it and they were planning on teaching Nicholas how to play when he came home from school. Then she said she wanted to thank me for being so good to the kids and knowing them so well. She is so sweet. I love those children with all my heart and anytime I hear they are happier because of something I've done for them, it just makes me feel all warm and happy inside.

Thursday, March 27

I had another computer engineering test today. I think I did OK, but maybe not as well as I'd hoped. I really studied last night, but it always seems like these engineers can come up with some kind of trick you didn't expect. I'm slowly working this grade back up to an A and I really think I can make it, if I just keep the test scores up.

Friday, March 28

Beth and I have finally decided where we are going to live next year -- Colony Woods. I think we'll really like it. Beth was hesitant because it's a little more expensive than other places we had been looking at, but you get a lot of extra stuff. Both the bedrooms are huge, each has its own adjoining bathroom, there is a nice exercise room with all my favorite equipment, an indoor and outdoor pool and three hot tubs. Plus, they pay water, so it will really be less than $20 more. I am getting so sick of the place I live in now. It's small, cramped and there's no dishwasher. It may be cheap, but I do not think it's worth the money.

Monday, March 31

I had a great weekend. I went to Wichita because one of my friends from middle school, Brandon, is getting married. I cannot describe how much that freaks me out. I haven't talked to my Wichita friends in months because when I lost my cell phone I lost all their numbers as well. We had a cook-out and watched the game (KU's going to the Final Four!!!!) then played some Monkey Ball and hung out and talked. I always miss that group so much, it's nice to get back in touch.

Tuesday, April 1

I met with both my advisers today, and I think I can really graduate in four years. I will already have the slavic degree, technically, by the end of next semester and even the Journalism School can't screw me over so much that I won't be able to get all the classes I need now. Knock on wood. I hope I don't jinx that, you should never underestimate the power of the J-School to make life needlessly difficult. The bad news is that I checked my enrollment date and I don't enroll until April 4. I can't believe how much the enrollment people hate me. I'm a senior and enrollment started yesterday. How do they keep giving me the worst possible day?

Wednesday, April 2

I'm so sleep deprived. I was going to go to bed early last night, but I ended up staying here until 12:30 a.m. because it was election night. I have a ton of work to finish up still, too. Then, there's always 'Crime and Punishment' to read. I was supposed to have it done Tuesday and I have about 150 pages to go. But I've made significant progress. I had 400 pages to read when the weekend began. Why did they have to pay Dostevsky by the word?

Thursday, April 3

I cannot believe the audacity of our state legislature sometimes. We have a course at KU called human sexuality. The class uses (gasp) pictures with graphic content. The legislature has decided that this is inappropriate and is threatening to revoke funding from the School of Social Welfare, the school in which the class is offered. What right does the government have to come in and dictate to a university what it can and cannot teach? In my opinion it is a blatant overuse of government power. What next, will we censure the political science department for teaching the basics of communism? How about the religious studies department for teaching something besides Protestant values? We're adults. Let us decide what we want to learn.

Friday, April 4

I enrolled today, finally. I despise the enrollment center with the fire of a thousand smoldering lightning bolts and wish nothing more than to smite the entire institution Moses-style and watch those accursed infidels tremble under my wrath. No, I'm sure the people who work there are very nice once you get to know them, but I don't know why they insist on making my life so difficult. They gave me such a late date that my editing class, one of the last two I need to graduate, is already full. If I don't take this class next semester, I do not graduate. That's all there is to it. My salvation lies in my all-powerful adviser, Prof. Shaw. She is the scariest, most awe-inspiring woman I have ever met and I have complete faith that she will break open some heads for me until this gets sorted out. Needless to say, however, I'm a bit nervous about the whole affair.

Monday, April 7

What an incredible weekend! We won the Final Four and are advancing to the championship game tonight. I watched the game with my girlfriends and it was so cool. We absolutely killed Marquette and then we all went up onto Jayhawk Blvd. Everyone was there. They were all screaming and hugging each other and complete strangers would come up and give you high fives. Then, we went to Massachusetts Street and it was an even bigger party. Cars were lined up all the way from Sixth Street to 19th. Pedestrians were mingling with the cars, jumping into random trucks, shaking hands with anyone and everyone. I will remember that moment of glory for the rest of my life and it will be even better tonight when we win the championship.

Tuesday, April 8

Syracuse won. They are national champs, we are not. Last night was not nearly as fun as the Saturday game. I watched the game with Joey and his friends, which is all right, but not quite the same as spending the time with my friends. Then we were behind pretty much the whole game, so the atmosphere was very sour. We went directly home afterward because I didn't want to deal with Mass Street last night. I actually heard it was pretty fun, though. My friend went and said that people were shouting 'Number Two!' and there no big riots or anything. To top it all off, Roy still hasn't said if he will leave or not. I had hoped he would say right after the tournament that he's staying. Joey says he has to stay because he doesn't have another dynasty in him. I don't know about that, though. I think after being here for something like 15 years without winning the championship he may want to try something a little different, and what could pull him away better than his ailing alma mater?

Wednesday, April 9

Enrollment continues to plague me. There doesn't seem to be any way I can get into this class. I'm on a waiting list, but I don't see people dropping much. I'm hoping the school will do something. This is ridiculous. One of the advising people who was helping me with this said the class filled up before most seniors got to enroll. Why is the J-School so poorly organized that their graduating seniors have to squeeze through this bottleneck of taking two campus media courses right at the end?

Thursday, April 10

Beth and I signed the lease today, we are officially moving into Colony Woods. We need to get furniture and kitchen utensils. We are both the ones who mooched off our roommates for that kind of stuff, but we are going to have to get it somehow. In Roy news, Al Bohl was fired, so hopefully that will help induce Williams to stay. He still hasn't decided, though.

Friday, April 11

I had a shadow today. It felt kind of weird. I always feel odd when people younger than me treat me like a grown-up. I still feel way too young for that. I bet she felt gypped, too, because I simply did not know what to do with her. My job is kind of boring to outsiders.

Monday, April 14

He did it. Roy left KU. It was such a sad thing to see. I know he has family there, and who I am I to say what is best for Roy WIlliams, but I can't help but feel he kind of left us high and dry. I know we will end up doing fine, KU has a great basketball tradition with or without him, but he was doing so well here. Our last few seasons have been so successful. I was really thinking next year we may have been able to pull off the big one. Now, not only is he leaving but he's taking all the assistant coaches and there are rumors he's trying to draw some of the players he recruited to North Carolina. Now, instead of a championship T-shirt I'll have to get me one that says "Benedict Williams."

Tuesday, April 15

Today I was told that I am suspected of cheating in my media ethics class. How ironic is that? We have to do these case studies in groups, but my group decided long ago that we weren't going to meet that often and we would just write them individually and e-mail them to the group. Well, today in class she said that there were a few that had all the same ideas and some of the same words and she had held those to inspect further. Mine was one of them. Anyone who knows me knows I would never do something like that, and even if I wanted to, I only know one other person in that class, and we haven't talked since last semester. She left right after class today, so Thursday I'm going to talk to her about it.

Wednesday, April 16

I am starting to get into the part of the semester where I just can't take this anymore. Finals are only about three weeks away and there seems to be so much going on, I just can't keep it all straight. I look around me and everyone else seems to have it all together, but I am really struggling. My grades, which had all improved to A's, are back to B's and I simply do not know how I am going to get them back up. My friends all think I am a whiner for complaining about all A's, but I want to get a fellowship to Russia after I graduate. I want to do so many great, cool things, but I seem to be stuck in the rut of mediocrity.

Thursday, April 17

My ethics teacher gave me the benefit of the doubt today and gave my group back all its points. I'm glad she doesn't really think I did that. Come on, who would cheat in an ethics class? I got all my enrollment stuff for summer finished up today, too. I will have Western Civ every morning except Wednesday at 9:10 a.m. It kind of sucks I have to wake up early, but taking it in the summer has to be better than the agonizing experience I had with Western Civ I the previous fall. I will be really busy this summer. Not only do I have that class, but I will be working here full time, which at least over spring break, meant more than 50 hours a week. I doubt they will let me get away with that for long, though. I had nine hours of overtime on that paycheck.

Friday, April 18

It's been a long day. I am trying to get everything taken care of that I usually do on Saturday because I have to go home. Tomorrow, they put Lady, my dog, to sleep. It will be so sad, but she's old. We've had her for 12 years and she was at least a year old when we got her. My grandma used to work for Parks and Recreation in Wichita, when we lived in Wichita, and she found Lady in a park. My mom and I didn't want her, but I guess my dad thought a boy needed a dog and decided to keep it for Andy. I was scared of her at first because she was massive, but she turned out to be the nicest, friendliest dog I've ever met. She's cute too. Farewell, friend, farewell.

Monday, April 21

The weekend was kind of sad, but fun too. The family got together and had a big Easter dinner and gave me chocolate. Joey finally came over to meet them, but that did not go as well as I'd hoped. He stayed up pretty much all night the night before and then got up early and worked for about 10 hours, so he was a zombie. He only spoke when spoken to, and then with difficulty. But all else went well. Lady left, which is very sad, but I guess the vet told Mom that they were doing the right thing because Lady would only get worse. Then, Saturday night, Joseph came up from Wichita for a brief visit. We talked that night and then went to Free State Brewery the next day for lunch.

Tuesday, April 22

Today was a very special day. It was Earth Day, for one thing, which is one of my favorite holidays. I think it's very important to take time to remember that our Earth sustains us and we need to be nice to it once and a while. It sort of renews my recycling determination. Today is also my friend Katie's 21st birthday, so happy birthday to her. It was kind of sad, though. I went to the birthday dinner, but felt really left out. They were all 21, except my friend who recently acquired a fake ID, and we're all talking about going out to the bars and when they went out to the bars last week. Everyone who is 21 tells me when I turn 21 I won't want to go to bars anymore, but when I am the only one among my group of friends who can't join them on these little outings, it becomes really hard to be the youngest.

Wednesday, April 23

I was so caught up in bemoaning my underage status that I forgot to mention the best news of all this week. We have a new basketball coach and he will be sweet. Bill Self from Illinois will now be a Jayhawk and I expect great things from our boys next season. Plus, with a name like Self, there are an infinite variety of cheesy headlines to be run. Much better than Williams. Coach Roy is dead, long live Coach Self!!!

Thursday, April 24

I want to wish everyone a happy Gay Pride Week. Tomorrow is the annual drag show and I know that Fred Phelps will be out celebrating the week in his own special way. Speaking of special activities for the week, a Republican senator from Pennsylvania decided to celebrate with putting homosexuality on the same moral plane with incest and bigamy. What's more, the White House is supporting him. Now, I know that I am a journalist and should stay neutral in political issues, but I have to say that something is wrong with a country when the president comes out in favor of bigotry.

Friday, April 25

Today is my Daddy's birthday, so happy 53rd to him. I felt kind of bad for him because my mom is away on business and my brother is a rude adolescent so he went to play ultimate Frisbee rather than hang around. We are doing the big party next weekend in conjunction with my mom's, which is next Friday, so Dad was all by himself playing computer games for his big day. He was happy, though. I guess when you've had more than 50 of them they stop being such a big deal. I had a rough day today and am once again questioning if I should even try to be journalist. I screwed up two obituaries this week and everyone I know said something to me about it. Sigh. I need to figure out a way to not miss these details. That's all this business is, details.

Monday, April 28

I feel crummy. Some horrible disease hit me Sunday and my entire body is sore. My throat hurts and I'm exhausted, even though I got 10 hours of sleep last night and took an hour nap this afternoon. I have so much work to do this week, I want to curl into a fetal position and just pretend that I don't even exist.

Tuesday, April 29

I am getting terrified of my Russian literature paper due Thursday. We have to write eight to 10 pages on any topic in any work we've discussed this semester. The only qualifications are that we can't write about anything discussed in class and we can't do additional research. Needless to say, I spent all afternoon Sunday at the library desperately trying to find information on my topic, the role of women in the book "A Hero of Our Time." I found a book called "The Role of Women in Russian Literature" with an entire chapter dedicated to my book, but was ready to scream when I found out it was checked out. I recalled it, but I don't think that it will come back in time. I almost had a way to save myself and it didn't work out. Surprise, surprise.

Wednesday, April 30

I feel a little bit better about everything today. I decided to just suck it up and buy that book. I found it online for only $17, which isn't bad. It should be here early next week, which will give me time to do the paper. I did a peer editing session on my paper in ethics today and I have to say that it kicks butt. I had to morally justify why, according to this author, abortion is OK but then dispute his claims that killing infants is equally OK. I need to do some editing because it's too long, and there are some things I could make clearer, but overall I think I will do really well on it.

Thursday, May 1

Today, some nice people came by with flowers to do a random act of kindness. They gave potted plants to everyone in the newsroom, and I have to say it really brightened my day. I am going to go home and take it easy. I have had such a stressful week and while things have slowed down for now, I know next week will probably be worse. I have an ethics paper due Monday, a media ethics paper due Thursday and the dreaded Russian lit paper due Friday. Not to mention a computer project due Wednesday. Anyway, I am going to eat some mac and cheese, watch "Dawson," study for my Russian quiz tomorrow and go to bed insanely early. I have to get over this cold over the weekend or else my quality of life will drop to nothing next week.

Friday, May 2

I didn't end up studying for my Russian quiz and I think I failed it. It was really bad. But I find myself not caring. I am so burnt out on school. I just don't want to do it anymore. Today, I talked with my editor about my summer internship and found out I will only be working three days a week. That is good because I will get more free time, but ultimately I don't think I can live off that. Plus, I am kind of new at this reporting stuff and I don't think I can physically get the job done in that amount of time. I guess we will just have to see how often I end up coming in to work on stuff.

Monday, May 5

I had the best weekend I've had in a while. It was relaxing, I got some work done and had a fantastic time with friends. We went to a rock concert Saturday at the Replay that was awesome and I got to play pinball for an hour and a half. My batteries are charged and even though I know these next two weeks are going to be really tough, I feel like I can handle it. Of course, it's Monday. I haven't actually had to face the embarrassing, difficult mess school has become for me much this week. But I was productive today and actually feel almost mildly caught up. Of course, in order to do that, I had to stay on campus until 5 p.m. and at work until 9 p.m. If I can just keep this going for a little bit longer...

Tuesday, May 6

Things are coming together and I think everything is going to be all right. I got the book in the mail today so I could start working on my Russian lit paper. I talked to the professor for reporting next semester and I think she's going to let me in. That means I will get to graduate in four years, but next year is going to be even more packed than this semester was. But I feel like I can handle it. I'm going to be productive this week and get everything done.

Wednesday, May 7

Things are falling apart again. I can't seem to make myself sit down and start on this Russian lit paper. Not to mention I have a journalism paper due tomorrow that I haven't started on yet. It has a maximum of 400 words, so it's not like it will be all that long, but that means it needs to be good and in any case it needs to be done. It's not helping that I am addicted to boys. I told Joey I wasn't going to see him tonight so I could keep going with my homework, but I just invited him over anyway so we could watch South Park. You should have to go to college when you are old and don't want to have fun anymore. Studying is simply wasting my young, carefree days, which should be devoted to partying and men.

Thursday, May 8

Lawrence was hit by a tornado today. It actually came down just a few blocks from Joey's house. Kind of scary, but they weren't really affected. It's now 9 p.m. and I still haven't started my Russian lit paper. That is down right frightening. I am so scared to go home and start on it. I just don't know how I am going to do it. These things are always harder to start than to do. I know if I go home and just start typing, all will turn out all right.

Friday, May 9

Free at last, thank God Almighty, free at last!!! I cannot put into words what a relief it is to have classes and that blasted paper behind me. I didn't end up starting it until 11 p.m. I wrote until 3:30 a.m., got a little sleep, and then got up at 8 a.m. to work some more. I finished at 1:30 and had it slipped under the professor's door by 2:30 p.m., a full hour and a half before it was due. It felt just like sociology last year. But I did well on all those papers, who knows, maybe there's hope for this one. All I know is I don't care. I have two finals on Monday and will have to study my butt off this weekend, but tonight I am doing nothing but having a good time and forgetting every single one of my academic responsibilities. Long live youth in America.

Wrap up

Finals went by like a a breeze and I just checked my final grades. Two B's and three A's. Overall, could be much worse. I started my summer job already and it will be a lot of work. I'm still trying to get the hang of it and am having trouble adjusting, but it will all work out in the end. I feel like I should say some sort of goodbye, but it doesn't really feel like that except in relation to this journal. Life is still flowing as it always has and as it will continue to do, until it stops. But we don't want to think that far into the future. Thanks for reading this and I hope I didn't bore you too much.

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