Monday, July 30, 2007


Things I really enjoy:
  1. Having house guests. They will eventually all merit their own post.
  2. People in my calculus class who have started seriously referring to denominators as dominators. People who are native English speakers.
  3. Our new fan.
  4. So You Think You Can Dance. Ya, I went there.
Things I don't enjoy:
  1. That "due to the high class average on the midterm, the final will be A MONSTER." (okay, he didn't call it a monster, but he did say it would be hard)
  2. Anything "polar."
  3. Limits.
Things I am indifferent about at the moment:
  1. My final. WHAT? I really need to study...

Monday, July 23, 2007


I got 100% on my calculus midterm. It would appear my 8 hour math days payed off!

I will try for a real update soon!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

mcgill vip treatment

Our professor was away today, so we had a guest lecturer. I feel like McGill was feeling rather generous today and gave us suckers taking Cal2 (as it appears they call it here in m-town) a free ticket to the Just for Laughs festival, Calculus style.

This dude was so funny that even Ms Condescending couldn't help but laugh. Often! He started off the morning with a "tip for champions" and just kept getting funnier. Now I know what you're thinking "tip for champions isn't very funny." You clearly have forgotten what your Math 140 class was like. It sucked. Your prof didn't speak English. It was a very very dull hour out of your day 3 times a week where you madly scribbled foreign symbols down hoping you could decipher them later. Maybe you cried, I don't know.

If only all Math teachers were a little ADHD and as obviously in love with math as prof Charbonneau. Then we could fondly look back on our notes and try to remember what exactly "that cloud thing" was...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I've made school friends! Sure they don't speak French, but they could potentially prove to be valuable resources once the course get harder.

I say potentially, because somehow, I seem to have the best understanding of what's going on. How did this happen? 9 years ago was when I last visited Calculus... I mean, I liked it and stuff, but not enough to have remembered any of it. So at the moment, I'm using the technique of better understanding something through explaining it/my reasoning to others. So far so good. I probably need to run through a forest with my arms outstretched after saying this, but I'm getting it!

At least I'm not annoying know it all girl (she occasionally sit beside me). She has a severe sighing and eye-rolling problem. Anytime anyone asks a questions (be it intelligent or otherwise) or the prof deviates from some imaginary set of strict course material, she cannot help but sigh, roll her eyes or do both. If the question just so happens to be approaching the limit of not so smart, she also mutters. Yesterday, while trying to draw concentric circles, the prof made fun of himself since his circles were less than circular. He took all of 3 seconds to also mention that he's seen a clip on youtube of someone who can infallibly draw perfect circles by hand. I thought she was going to have a seizure. Maybe she did have a petit-mal, it's tough to tell what with her regular state of annoyance.

It's funny that from either side of the teacher's desk, she is the one I always want to sucker punch.

Monday, July 09, 2007

what exactly are we talking about?

My first day of calculus went by surprisingly well considering I haven't touched anything calculus related in 9 years. Deriva-what? That stuff got replaced with phrases from Harry Potter and song lyrics ages ago. In one of my wiser moments (they don't happen very often...) I remembered to snitch one of the new high school calculus texts from the school before I left and spent some time reading it during the drive. Certainly doesn't rank anywhere near recommended reading of any kind, but it was a good warm up stretch before my first class. It kept me from wigging out when my prof started talking about limits anyway. Ya, that's right, my level of confusion is rating somewhere around the wigging out level.

My prof seems alright. His English is passable (thank a random deity!) and his accent rarely throws me off. It took me a few times to realise he pronounces the letter a e (ee). Which is really weird to me. How do you speak really well, yet not know how to say the first letter of the alphabet? Not to mention the letter a comes up a lot, so I am always having to double check what letter he actually means.

There is one little speech issue that I'm having massive difficulties with. We were discussing some kind of function - surprise! - and he kept referring to the nominator. Which, ok, you can't say numerator. It's only a couple vowel sounds. When he started talking about the dominator however, I lost it. Dominator is quite a ways away from denominator. And it's hilarious. Just try and discuss a dominator of x squared without laughing. This might be my pick me up all summer - just thinking about dominators makes me laugh, no matter where I am. Which of course makes me very cool, ie crazy. Thanks professor Laayoumi, I am now crazy laughing metro/walking/random girl because of you.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

the not so long day

Day 1 of our drive to Montreal was by far the best. It was also by far the shortest. That was only partly what made it the best day. Really, the bestestness of day 1 was due to the friend factor. Yay friends.

Knowing it would be a short day, we left early which made lots of time for breakfast in Regina. We met up with the NSFG, D, Not so Cambodian couple and their friend from Cambodia, Chourn. (I think) everyone had a good breakfast, specifically Chourn who was served 3 buttermilk pancakes that were each the size of his head. I'm sure this wasn't his first exposure to the ridiculousness that is North American restaurant culture since he'd already been in Canada for a couple weeks, but it was still pretty awesome to watch his try and make his way through one of the mammoth pancakes.

My Human Rights Club wound up choosing the school Chourn and some others started in his home village as our international charity this year. While really all I did was make sure no one got stabbed during meetings (that is why teacher supervisors are necessary for everything isn't it?) I was the only member of the group available for photos. Isn't it amazing that after only 2.5 hours in the car I'm already a greasy mess? Beware my powers folks...

After breakfast we continued on to Brandon, where we were welcomed with extreme hospitality from JJ and Wade. It would appear owning a house transforms you into domestic gods and goddesses. Seriously, JJ has put together a house that looks like it might be showing up in some home magazine any day now. It would be funny to pretend that Wade had participated in any of the decorating... I'm sure his level of participation included approving of the floor colour and requesting that no more vases be purchased...

On top on the fabulous job they've done with the house, the have also stepped up the whole "hosting friends" thing to the next level. JJ had stuffed mushroom cap appetizers ready for us. Seriously, if that's not a huge step in the direction of adulthood, I'm not too sure what it. Shortly after a few drinks, appetizers, and visiting, Wade stepped up to prove he has also entered some realm of domesticity - by cooking a most delicious salmon BBQ. Mmmm.

Trying to prove we haven't yet entered too far into the adult world, we decided we should at least make an attempt at leaving the house - knowing full well at the first side of being bored we'd be back on JJ's couches in a second. Since it was Canada Day, there was hope of decent music followed by fireworks in the park. The music was pretty good (the lead singer was amazing), there were lots of kids to keep us laughing, however, we got there a little too early to really be able to stay entertained until the fireworks. No problemo, Montana's was just right across the street. It was entertainment in itself watching Wade finish off 3/4 of a mile high mud pie all by himself. We were back in the park with lots of time to spare.

Brandon fireworks, expected to be on the very weak side, actually put Saskatoon to shame. They were also accompanied by a very strange death fog that floated in just as quickly as it floated out. JJ is suspecting there were some special circumstances leading to a rather large firework budget, regardless, they were really good! So if you're ever driving through Brandon on Canada Day, it might be worth it to stop. Assuming they've fixed the parking problems by then...

After all the excitement it was time to go back home. The boys crashed almost immediately and JJ and I weren't far behind. It was great to finally have a reason for going to Brandon, if only for half a day.

The rest of the drive was just that, a big, long drive.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

save 140$? yes please!

Part of getting ready to leave for Montreal included some rather expensive car repairs. Apparently my brakes needed to be fully replaced (ouch!) so while that was being done I asked the nice folks to make sure nothing else needed to be done before Bluey II attempted a 6000km round trip.

This of course was asking for trouble. A belt needed to be replaced. Or several. They quoted me $160 to change all of them. I sighed, grumbled a bit (a lot), and said fine, do it. My childhood memories are filled with our car breaking down on road trips. None of those memories are particularly fun times. Then I talked to Big Red, grumbled some more. Being the calm, gentle person he is, he insinuated that the car place may be lying to me in a very reasonable tone. I actually quite like my mechanic, and don't think he would lie to me, but none the less, it merited checking out.

So I approached the car guy at my school. Contradictory to what Big Red was screaming into the phone, it would seem it was perfectly plausible that I needed one (or more) belts replaced. He, however, seemed to think it would be no trouble to fix it at the school. He implied this would be much cheaper that having it fixed chez my mechanic. So I called my mechanic back and told him not to fix the belts. Being the nice guy he is, he said no problem and somehow managed to fix my breaks cheaper than originally quoted.

The next day I took Bluey II in to be looked at by Murray's car guy. Indeed my belt was a little frayed, and while it might make the trip there and back, fixing it was most likely a better option. If any of you are curious as to how much a belt costs, it's $15.

So, I took car guy out for lunch, and then we swung by Part Source to pick up the belt. Then we went back to school so it could be replaced. By me. At first, I thought car guy was joking when he told me I was going to fix my own car. And then I realised he wasn't. Ok, well for a savings of $140 I was pretty sure I could get a little dirty.

So car guy pointed at things, handed me tools - mostly wrenches of various sizes, taught me about leverage, and used the lift. I did what he pointed at, loosened bolts mostly, managed to get both belts on myself and then tightened things back up. Car guy double checked everything, and it appeared that all was good to go.

The whole process took me 45 minutes. ME. 45 MINUTES. It is mind blowing that a garage was going to charge me over an hours worth of labour for something I did in 45 minutes. Needless to say, car guy is my new best friend and has volunteered his minions to fix any future car problems I may have. Whoot!

i'm back!

Enough time has been put between me and then end of the semester that I actually feel like blogging again. Which is sorta funny since I'm guessing no one reads this anymore. C'est la vie.

Oh yes, and I'm in Montreal now. So I've got new stuff and old stuff to post about, in whichever order I feel like. Have I mentioned I love summer?