Monday, October 23, 2006

It's been a little while since I posted, so let me try to get up to date...

I had TWO WHOLE midterms this semester, both this last week. My friends hit me when I say that, but they're 600-level tests.

The first was a closed-book, closed-notes, timed, take-home test. Obviously our teacher is placing a lot of trust in his students, but he also takes a unique view to cheating. Obviously if he catches a student cheating he'll fail him/her, but he's not obsessed with catching cheaters. He pointed out in class that if someone cheats, it'll catch up sooner or later...on the final when you're in the testing center and don't know the material and don't have a chance to cheat because of the monitors walking up and down the rows...or in the next class, or simply later on in life.

The second was an open-book, open-notes, open-friend/classmates/internet/anything, three-question take-home test. The problem was that each question were Master's Thesis-type questions, and I probably spent about eight hours over three days taking the test. The nice part was that at least you're satisfied that you gave the best answer you could, unlike closed-book notes where you're never quite sure if you remembered things properly.

So with those out of the way, I just have to focus on labs, homework, and the semester-project in my machine learning class...curses!! I just remembered that homework is due tomorrow in one of my classes, and it's not one of those "easy" homeworks. Guess I'll be up for another couple hours...

Animal Shelter
The animal shelter was interesting this morning. I got there a little early and the front door was still locked, but there was a couple policemen at their sally port behind the building bringing in a (dead) dog, so I slipped in through their door. Right when I got in, the first shelter employee arrived, and together we looked over the animals that had come in over the weekend.

In one of the cat cages, there were about eight newborn puppies, not more than a day or two old. They were freezing cold, and so stiff that their legs stuck straight out. They were still alive though, so we found them a blanket, stole the heating pad from the iguana's cage, and mixed up some milk for them. After a few minutes working them over they started to look a little healthier, and later that day, one of the shelter employees with a nursing dog took the puppies home to see if she'd take them.

We also caught a live mouse, and it's temporarily housed in a large pickle jar. We're still trying to decide what to do with it.

The third exciting thing was that we got to shave (a small part of) a mule. It had a freeze-brand (branded by a super-cold iron [liquid nitrogen] rather than a hot iron). The freeze-branding kills the color-pigment cells, so the hair grows white instead of colored. We had to shave the mule's winter coat over the brand though, so we could read it clearly.

Last Saturday was me and Child's fourth anniversary of knowing each other, and tomorrow is our third month anniversary of "officially dating". Child is amazing, and it's been a wonderful four months.

Hmmm... seems like I had a couple more things to mention, but that homework is on my mind now. I better go do it, and if I remember, I'll add it.

...oh, right. I was a "finalist" (top six) in the Writer's of the Future contest, but a friend of mine who's "in the know" told me I didn't place in the top three. Too bad. There's still a chance that I could be a "published" finalist, but I'm moving on. Time to write another story to submit.

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