Boston's header
Monday
10/09/17

New plans already?

Posted by bostonki on October 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

Hi guys!  Sorry about the two-week wait for a new blog post.

Life has been absolutely nuts between classes, lab time, work, club and volunteer commitments, and trying to have a basic Fall experience (apple picking, festivals, Halloween movies, Haunted Hayrides and Haunted Houses.. I need a vacation exclusively for fall activities!).  But what I want to talk about this week isn’t Australia, but some newer, just-as-exciting plans I have in the works for next fall.

I have been back from Planet Irwin for three months and I’m already itching for another adventure.  I’m planning a hopeful one-day trip to New York around finals week because the City at Christmas has been on my bucket list forever, and Mike and I are thinking about going to Boston next summer (har har).  Those are just placations.  I wanted another international experience, which I briefly considered, until I remembered about something I was really enthusiastic about in high school.

The Disney College Program (got any connections THERE, Mr. Mike??).  I’ve decided at this point I’m really tired of being a student and could use a break, especially since I plan on starting graduate school right after graduation.  Also, DISNEY.  So, I am going to apply when applications come out at the end of January.  But..  Disney World or Disneyland?

My family and I have been there eight times, if I’m counting correctly.  I’m a part of the World’s fandom and know the place like the back of my hand.  A lot of cool stuff will be open by next fall, including Toy Story Land.  And a lot has opened since my last visit in May of 2016, like Pandora land, the new Soarin (which debuted less than two weeks after we left, grr), etc.  As an added bonus, Harry Potter land is a twenty minute drive down the road and I still haven’t seen their expanded section, or had a butterbeer since June 2012.

I’ve never been to Disneyland.  My parents are under the impression that it sucks and all that, but it doesn’t sound bad at all.  I’ve heard Disneyland Park is very intimate, plus there are spaces like New Orleans Square that the Magic Kingdom doesn’t have.  Plus, there’s Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure.  It’s much smaller geographically but this is where it all began!  I hope it has the same Disney maagic vibe that I got growing up on Disney World.  The added bonus here is Southern California.  A couple of layovers in LAX in my lifetime does not equate to being in the city.  Though one of my favorite cities, San Francisco, is a six hour drive north, there’s plenty of bucket list items in South Cali.  The Hollywood Sign hike, Stars, Chinese Theatre, Sunset Boulevard, beaches (if I’m feeling it), the San Diego Zoo, free TV tapings (helloooo, Ellen!), and the list goes on.  Go to UCLA for a cheesy sweatshirt (like I want to do at Harvard).

No matter which location I decide to go, I’d definitely take my car.  When I told my parents initially under the assumption I was going to Florida, my dad perked up and seemed excited about taking my car?  But to Cali?  That’s a no-go.  Well why not?  I could make a whole map of places to stop and see.  You take your time.  My Google Map search automatically took me through Chicago, Denver, and Vegas.  At that point, the Grand Canyon is just a short jaunt away.

Terrifying, yes.

But the question remains, Florida or Cali?  I might already know which one I’m leaning towards.

 

Monday
09/25/17

Living across from a bookstore is dangerous. Australia, Part 3.

Posted by bostonki on September 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

Ahh, Monday morning.  It’s been a terrible one so far.  The shuttle was eight minutes late which means I was rushing to get coffee and print.  But my coffee spilled all over my newly printed notes and class was terrible and just cannot get comfy enough to study for more than five minutes and I have a lot work and an exam and just no motivation.  So while there are hundreds of other things I could be doing, I think I’ll continue writing about Australia since it seems to serve as a reprieve.

I left off with the pooping koala.  But fear not, the Australia Zoo had plenty of other hidden treasures.  We saw a lunchtime show (where they spent half of the showtime talking about the work of our Lord and Savior Steve Irwin) with birds trained to fly right over the audience’s head, and a woman egging a saltwater crocodile out of the water to get the food tossed from her hand.  Now that’s just natural selection at work here.

There were your typical snakes (which I touched, ew), wombats, Tasmanian devils, but the second best part (and I only say this because of the koala cuteness factor) were the kangaroos.  They were in a natural enclosure that you could walk into, and they were completely tamed so you could pet them, feed them, whatever.  They were just hippity-hopping around, going about their business of digging in the dirt with their cute, short, t-rex like front paws.  They bore no resemblance to those featured in YouTube videos delivering a nice jump kick to somebody’s stomach.  We’ve all seen the videos.

Perhaps the most epic selfie I’ve ever nabbed.

Look at him just chilling, not worrying about Trump or student loans.  I’m jelly.

After the zoo, C and our bus driver Trevor took us to what would be our home for the next two weeks – the cozy beachside yet touristy town of Mooloolaba (moo-loo-luh-buh).  We were staying in a (sort of) high rise and I was living with four of the other ‘Summer Program’ students.  Translate: students who were kind of worthless of too much attention in C’s eyes.  While I’m at it, ‘student teachers’  = thumbs up.  Staying for 13 weeks and working in schools, the sole source of C’s paycheck and reason for existing.  I think the most C addressed us 6 ‘summer program’ students was when he was outlining our final assignment.

Right across from the high rise was a used book store called Corelli’s with a dangerous EXCHANGE program.  I’m not ashamed to say that I peeled through six or seven books on the trip and was in fact dubbed both ‘Bookworm’ and ‘Most Likely to Have a Higher IQ than C’ officially by my peers.  #proudmoment

DANGER! DANGER!

Mooloolaba was the cutest town.  There was the phenomenal Mooloolaba beach with almost magnetic-like, soft sand and crystal-clear water.  Sunrises and sunsets to die for.  Crashing waves supporting wave pool fanatics like me and radical surfers alike.  An esplanade, lined with coffee shops, boutiques, and restaurants.  The town’s favorite craft beer place, Taps, which supported rowdy weekend nights, 50 cent wing Wednesdays (absolutely terrible by the way), and Queensland Maroons games.  The antique clothing store and the massive Kawana shopping complex (featuring teen Boho-hipster shop Typo and the hysterical Bed, Bath, and Table).  Coles, where I learned that whole wheat bread is referred to as wholemeal bread and where I learned that Australia doesn’t sell frozen pancakes.  Or frozen snakes, to reference by dream from this previous spring.  But seriously, I couldn’t dig the no frozen-pancakes thing.  There was this, though.

“Just add freshly ground coffee”…

More on the goings-on of Mooloolaba later.  We’ll just take a brief tour of my apartment as I prepare to say a sad goodbye and return to studying.  It came fully furnished with a living room and kitchen (lots of counter space and full breakfast bar, ooh).  Somehow I got my own bedroom, bathroom, TV, and balcony.  Oh yeah, and a full-sized mirror.  And a full bed.  And everybody else wanted to have a roomie, LOL.

The view out our livingroom window towards the beach!

And the view of the wharf from my balcony. Steve Irwin’s old house is back there, which (SPOILER) I later find 🙂

Sayonara.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday
05/11/17

Average Joes with a dream and a love for Netflix

Posted by bostonki on May 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

I have to admit, one of the tougher things about going to a university as large and world-altering as UB is that you sometimes are feeling inadequate about your accomplishments.  This is something I’ve been dealing with a lot lately, especially as the school year wraps up and prestigious scholarships and awards are handed out.  I can’t help but feel not only a twinge of jealousy, but also annoyance at the fact that merely keeping up your grades, becoming involved, and working on your mental health every day is not enough.

First it was the round of grad school awards like the Goldwater and Fulbright.  Then it’s the College of Arts and Sciences talking about it’s outstanding students.  Then it’s academic awards, which my own floormates have begun to win.  Everyone around you is suddenly curing Africa’s HIV/AIDS problem and building robots to help disabled children learn.  These are wonderful accomplishments, and these students deserved to be recognized, but what about the average Joes?

I have a good GPA, write this blog, have eased myself into a major/minor combination that I am absolutely in love with, work for the Admissions office, am studying abroad in Australia this summer, and am going to be a research assistant in the fall.  But I’ve also dealt with severe depression, loneliness, feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, anxiety, and barely even became involved until my sophomore year because all of these feelings were too overwhelming for a freshman to handle.  What about the people like me, who have rough starts but ultimately begin to find a path to happiness and success?  What does it matter if I’m not curing HIV/AIDS at age nineteen?  I’ve probably taken a lot more steps than the people that I grew up around.

I’m proud to be a part of such a wonderful university, but the culture needs to change.  We need to stop placing all our glory on the same twenty students who are handpicked and labeled as “able to change the world” while the rest of us just kind of slip under the radar and hope that graduate schools and employers recognize that we too have done important things.  It needs to be more about fostering a culture of personal growth and pathfinding, rather than about what project somebody’s taking on to win the Goldwater.  Good for the kids who are able to do that, but the overwhelming majority of students at this university, including me, are not.  We are just average college students who have a dream and a passion, but love to watch Netflix and take life at our own pace.  We’re not superheroes, and certainly praising those at this university who are is not conducive.

Monday
05/08/17

Frozen in the Song

Posted by bostonki on May 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

For me, time is stuck in songs.  I can listen to a song I’ve heard before and place what time period of my life that song was from, what was going on in my life, who I had a crush on, who my friends were, etc.  For a couple minutes, I can travel back to that time, which depending on the song makes me want to throw up or is quite pleasant.

‘Best Love Song’ by T-Pain and Chris Brown?  I was warming up for volleyball games my junior and senior year of high school.  We’d be running through hitting drills to this song and you got bonus cool points if you smacked the ball particularly effectively the moment the bass dropped.

‘Party in the USA’?  Talk about a middle school throwback.  Everytime my friends and I were at a dance and you heard the beginning guitar riff (correct word?) everybody would scream and conglomerate and as my grandmother puts it, “does that jumping up and down thing”.  Embarrassingly, my friends and I even had a special dance where we made butterflies out of our hands.  Miley Cyrus was legitimately our idol.. repeat, was.

‘Girlfriend’ by Avril Lavigne takes me back even further.  I had a friend in elementary school that was obsessed with Avril and had like the whole wardrobe – pink and black striped knee-high socks, black short skirts, converse, etc.  She’s like so whatever, you can do so much better.  I honestly forgot how fun this song was.  What ever happened to her?  Did she fall off the face of the Earth?

I asked my boyfriend if he thinks of intensely specific time periods or events whenever he hears a song, and he looked at me like I was crazy.  I guess it’s a girl thing?  Music was always how I processed events.  No matter how many songs you have on your iPhone (I have like over 400), the vividness comes back each time you listen to it.  Or maybe I just have a really good memory.  I tend to scare people with the extent I can recall knowledge.  I remember the date and time I last got pukey sick, for example.  January 27th, 2007 at 5:30 AM.

Ooh, Sk8er Boi came on next.

It’s just a blog, I’m just a girl, can I make it any more obvious?  We are in love, haven’t you heard, how we rock each others world?

LOOK AT THIS HISTORICAL ARTIFACT.

 

Tuesday
05/02/17

Rethinking Facebook

Posted by bostonki on May 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

At such a politically turbulent time for our country, I’m rethinking the use of Facebook.

I was reading a Buffalo News story this morning about the anti-Robert Spencer protest last night (which I proudly went to because I believe in things like truth and equality, ya know..) and all the commenters were absolutely destroying liberal college students.  Some even called liberalism a “mental illness”.  I kept reading these all day despite my frustration and anger, and by the time five o’clock rolled around I could feel a punch ready to spring from my arm.

Another article talked about a cop a few weeks back at the Walden Galleria mall who suffered a concussion and infected hand from being assaulted by a 16-year old trying to break up a fight.  Those comments were both racist AND again, generational.

So I angrily texted my aunt some expletives about older adults (thank you, generational divide), but I came to a stunning conclusion.  In a world where a majority of the Facebook users I see are pro-Trump older adults spitting all over our liberal, free, awesome vibes (that’s why we’re all cynical, dad), maybe I should just stay away from Facebook.  What comments I can’t read about me being an uneducated ‘snowflake’ (lol) can’t hurt me.  I think it’s worth noting that for the record many of the folks who call us dumb in fact cannot use their/there/they’re properly and can’t figure out how to turn off the caps lock.

I’m really angry.  I haven’t been able to concentrate since last night’s protest.  All of this political junk has just been weighing on my mind, making me excited to leave the country in a month and enter a Trump-and-religion-free zone (Australia’s atheist population makes up about 25% of the country, versus America’s average of 16%).  For five weeks I can at least pretend to be a citizen of a somewhat mellow country where people aren’t wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ hats.  I feel like an Aussie already!

I’ll probably still post on Facebook, though.

 

Tuesday
04/25/17

She’s a wonderful woman. Fantastic. Great, nice, woman.

Posted by bostonki on April 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

Now that I’m a sophomore, it’s not my job to worry about SAT scores and applications.. but it is my job to help those who have to worry about it.  I took a job answering phones in Admissions a couple of months ago.  I love it!  It’s a relatively easy job with great coworkers, and not to mention it’s a glimpse I’m getting into the education field.

But folks… please.. if you need to call UB for anything, don’t just google ‘UB phone number’ or ask Siri for it.  It will take you right to us and we don’t like sifting through the directory to connect you with John Smith of the Transnational Studies department.

And please, open and read your emails and mail that we send you.  It’s actually quite easy to complete the admissions process start to finish without making a single phone call!  I managed to do it.

Please please don’t call us for recommendations about nearby hotels, airport information, or how to get to Toronto (yes, that happened once).  Google is actually quite proficient in all of these.

And calling every other day to check the status of your application will not only annoy us and those working to process it, but it will not get done any quicker.

On the happier side (now that I’ve scraped all the goo off of my heart), I got to work my first Accepted Students’ Day this past weekend.  I find that I really enjoy talking to prospective students about my experiences, and seeing all the excited students made it surprisingly easy to have a chirpy attitude at 7:15 on a Sunday morning.  I helped students with check in (but still managed to get yelled at by a furious parent who claimed we gave them the “wrong” directions) and stood in the Union for awhile answering questions mostly about where the nearest restroom was.

My boyfriend, who is a College of Arts & Sciences Ambassador, even gave a short speech at their presentation about some of UB’s great opportunities!  And I somehow had the courage to walk up to CAS Dean Schuzle and engage her in a ten-minute conversation about Australia and how she got her start in higher ed.  As Donald Trump would probably say, “She’s a wonderful woman.  Fantastic.  Great, nice, woman”.

I crashed later that day in my room and slept for a blissful three hours.

My only regret was not stepping inside the Victor E. Bull suit.

This pic of Mike is supper blurry but you can tell he’s really revving up the crowd with the Italian hand thing going on.

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
04/18/17

WaWa and Golden Corral are really impressive

Posted by bostonki on April 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

I introduced my Jersey roommate to sponge candy the other day.  I think she liked it (I hope she liked it).  For those not native Buffalonians, sponge candy is hard to describe.  The interior flavored chocolate kind of resembles human spongy bone, and it tingles and melts on your tongue.  The outside is hard milk chocolate.  It’s heaven on Earth.

Anyways, this got me thinking more and more about how each of us come from someplace with its own little treasures.  Buffalo has Tim Hortons, Loganberry pop (NOT soda, sorry), Sponge Candy, Food Truck Tuesday, and Mighty Taco.  Mighty Taco’s meat probably should be under suspicion, but it is a delicious calorie-empty, finals-week treat nonetheless.  And most people I ran into from out of state aren’t terribly impressed with Tim Hortons.  But that’s fine, just suffer with your overpriced Starbucks and less-than-satisfactory Dunkin’.

Last summer in Philly, I came upon the great, the powerful, WaWa.  I was told we were going down to the convenience store for breakfast and I thought, “Oh great, some greasy, 45-grams of fat breakfast sandwich but NO, WaWa is a gift from the gods.  The fruit was fresh and there was a sandwich/bagel station and the coffee probably didn’t taste like tar.  Another friend from Jersey (hey, at least it’s a variation on the everyone’s-from-Long-Island trend) brought this up on a car ride last weekend.

Another mouth-watering joy was discovered the last time I visited Florida in the form of Golden Corral.  Oh, my.  The buffet was impressive and delicious (and cheap, from what I can remember).  Cornbread (my first real love, sorry boyfriend) and soups and salads and meats and desserts and pastas and tacos and it’s basically a college student’s heaven.

Too bad the closest location is in Rochester.  Oh well, that warrants another road trip I suppose (what a shame, can I stop at the Museum of Play again like I did over spring break?)

What are some of your regional food treasures?

 

Tuesday
04/11/17

Ooooh, this is an S.O.S

Posted by bostonki on April 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

Don’t wanna second guess

This is the bottom line

it’s true, I gave my all for you

Now my heart’s in two

And I can’t find the other half

This (really) old Jonas Brothers song is of course about love, but I think it applies pretty thoroughly to my school life right now.  Which leads me to today’s thought – HOW does one successfully adult in the face of a never-ending to-do list?

I have two papers for one class, worth in total about 60% of my final grade due within the next three weeks.  WHO DOES THIS??

I have to apply for my visa and begin planning my Australia/New Zealand excursions.

I have to figure out what I’m even taking next semester.

I should probably clean my room while I’m at it.  Disastrous room = disastrous life.

But I work and have class and readings to do.

Oh well.  Guess it’ll be another caffeine-induced night.

Did I shower yesterday?  Can’t remember.

Buzz buzz buzz.  My brain is everywhere.

I wish I still had time to go to the gym.  Time flies by every day.  I need more hours.

Yet I’m sitting here typing away, thinking about how I only have five weeks left in Greiner until I’m halfway done with college and I have no more excuses to not know what I want to do with my life.

This semester has been great, though.  I’ve loved my classes.  I know and feel that I’m in the right major/minor combination.  I have a job that I like.  This blog.  Netflix.

Changing my major hasn’t made my days any less exhausting or excruciating, but it makes them much more bearable.  I can at least be thankful that I’m not enrolled in Orgo II and utterly miserable like my floormates.

Seriously, I don’t know anybody who enjoys organic chemistry.

I would like to end this trainwreck of thoughts with a quote from Tina Belcher of Bob’s Burgers. 

“I’m no hero.  I put my bra on one (insert female secondary sex characteristic here) at a time like everyone else”.

 

 

 

Tuesday
04/04/17

Quinoa pancakes and frozen snakes

Posted by bostonki on April 4, 2017 in Australia, travel, Uncategorized

I’ve calculated it.  Eight planes.  I will be taking eight planes in my journey to and around Australia and New Zealand.

Buffalo to New York.  New York to LA.  LA to Brisbane.  Brisbane to Auckland.  Auckland to Sydney.  Sydney to LA.  LA to New York.  New York to Buffalo.

There aren’t many drawbacks to this trip, but the planes definitely are one.  Fourteen hours each way across the Pacific.  I hope Quantas offers good hourly wifi rates.

What am I going to do for fourteen hours?  Netflix, for sure.  Read a book? Maybe.  Facebook everybody back home and brag about what an awesome time I’m having? Definitely.  But there’s just a certain point where I imagine you begin to feel claustrophobic and pray that you don’t enter into a full panicked state.

Getting lost in JFK airport is another concern.  So is dying of dehydration in the middle of the Outback and being left to the poisonous snakes.  But this is a faculty-led study abroad trip, these sort of things don’t happen… right?

I’m sure anybody who has studied abroad before has felt this way.  Totally excited about their experience but also extremely nervous about being halfway around the world with people that you’ve literally just met.

Maybe it’s the mystique of Australia that’s making me feel this way.  Nobody I know has been there (while EVERYBODY I know has been to Italy, of course).  Nobody knows what kinds of secrets and surprises the land down under holds.

I had several dreams over the last several weeks about Australia that reinforced these fears.  In the first, I went to a diner for breakfast and had these repulsive pancakes.  When I asked the waitress what was in them, she answered “quinoa”.  Those repulsive little grains that are shaped like a certain contraceptive if you look at them really close up.  In the other, I was grocery shopping at a local supermarket.  Instead of frozen fish in their freezers, they sold frozen snakes.  ‘Nuff said.

So I have my fears and doubts alongside my excitements, but as the trips grows closer I find I need to shove those fears aside.

Scholarship applications are done, travel guides checked out from the library, books on Australian art rented, and orientation happening across the state this Saturday.

Hopefully they won’t serve pancakes with quinoa.

By the way, upon Googling a suitable picture of quinoa to include with this post, I came across this MONSTROSITY.  According to the recipe, they’re Coffee Quinoa Pancakes with Carrot Frosting.  I’m sorry, but I could have sworn that was meatloaf  with cheese-from-the-can dumped on top.  I wonder what level of Dante’s Inferno hell these are from?

 

Sunday
03/26/17

“Spring Break”

Posted by bostonki on March 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

Saturday: Nothing.  Bliss.

Sunday: Studying, papers, homework.

Monday: Required classroom observations at my old middle school.  *shivers*

Tuesday: Took the day off and went to Rochester with my boyfriend.  I’m not scared to admit that I dragged him along for the Museum of Play (which I have a feeling he enjoyed) and some awesome BBQ from Sticky Lips in Henrietta.

Wednesday:  More classroom observations.  Teacher had to explain to 7th graders why they couldn’t use ‘i’ as a variable.  The horrors of Algebra 2 may never cease to haunt me.

Thursday:  Full shift at work.  On the plus side, Beauty and the Beast (which was AWESOME, by the way).

Friday:  Stayed up until 3 in the morning to work on schoolwork so my weekend would be free, so I ended up working a half day and leaving because I felt sick beyond belief.

Saturday:  Grey’s day.  I think I hammered out six or seven episodes.  But I’m still only on season 7.  I may never finish.

Sunday:  Laundry, cleaning EVERYTHING, packing, and now writing this.  Will likely be forced to write a paper tonight since I have four due in the next week and a half.

The motto: Classifying something with the word “break” does not necessarily make it so.  Nonetheless, it’s been a good week and I hope everybody is ready to hammer out the next eight so we can go into that blissful thing called summer… and I can go to that blissful beach on Australia’s sunshine coast.