The Gratitude Dance, Truckers, and Synapsidans

10 April 2009

What a busy day! Many exciting events, projects, tests, hospitals, services, and funny scenarios of which I need to mention.

I'll start with the schoolwork (get the boring stuff out of the way). I got little sleep last night in comparison to normal because I decided to stay up a bit late and wake up early to work on my Philosophy of Education paper. I did get enough done in the end - for a rough draft, but I was worried about it. I also had a Chem exam today. Chapters 7, 8, and 9 have been so much better than the previous chapters. Mostly they are about elctron configurations, photons, and light waves. Nothing too difficult in comparison to redox; I still don't understand redox.

This morning at Memorial Hall, basically where I live because it's the building with both the Geology and Education departments, I got a Chai Javalanche and sat down to study chemistry. That only took about twenty minutes and then I headed to Geol230, Evolution of Earth at 9:05. We're finally on a more interesting subject. Recently, Professor Fichter began to discuss the geologic timeline and what happened throughout the course of history (which is much more exciting than three classes on the way ripples work). Today we were talking about the Mississippian, Pennsylvanian, and Permian which means ... Amphibians and Reptiles! Finally some life beyond fish. :)

Anyways, to make this story short, my professor started talking about the reptiles, particularly those distantly related to us (the Synapsidans). Fichter began, "Mammals walk around with their legs right underneath of them, you've seen it" and he put his hands and legs straight underneath of him while he bent over. Then he continued, "Reptiles, however, had their legs out to the side like this [he puts both of his arms out at 90 degree angles and puts his hands down onto the table]. So even though those reptiles are our ancestors and were as big as a cow they ran like this [he begins slapping the table with his palms while making a sort of 'charging' noise]". It was really funny because he did it all only a table in front of me and stared at me while he did acted out being an ancient reptile.

It was really hard not to laugh at him. Similar to the time he told us about snails. Apparently, snails are really resilient and survived the major extinctions (even when 96% of the species on Earth did die out). Although, they have spent all their time since trying to overcome one anatomical error. Apparently when their muscles get strong, their bodies curl up over themselves so that their butt ends up on top of their own head. Basically they poop on themselves (and have done so for millions of years). Sort of similar to this except as a snail and crawling on their bellies! Ficther can be... interesting when it comes to what extra information he decides to teach in class.

In Education we exchanged our Philosophies of Education. Mine are Progressivism and Social Reconstructionism which I'm happy with because I feel like they both really do represent me. My professor, Mrs. Saxton, asked who has already been admitted into the education program and some kids raised their hands. Then she had our whole class stand up and she told us that she wanted us to try a new dance. (Education 360 is highly recommended by me now) We had to bend our arms slightly inward in front of our bodies and bend our knees, then swing back and forth. Although, I found the
Gratitude Dance online and it looks like you're supposed to actually be crossing your arms. Apparently it is well known and you're supposed to do the dance whenever you have something you're thankful for. For instance, "I am grateful I learned the Gratitude Dance because it always puts a smile on peoples' faces (perhaps because you look so hilarious when you're doing it)" - and then you DO THE GRATITUDE DANCE. Everyone was laughing or blushing when we were done in class. I decided to try it a couple of times throughout the day and I don't think there was a single instance that someone didn't at least crack a smile (if not outright laugh at me). It was a lot of fun! I'm really going to miss my professor next semester. She only teaches Elementary classes beyond this and I'm training for High School Earth Science.

Today is Good Friday so Noah, Jake, Jeff, and I headed home to Winchester to celebrate Easter with our families. On the way someone (Jake?) suggested that we try to get trucks to honk their horns at us. We got six trucks on I-81 N to honk at us. I hadn't done that in years! The only disappointment was how many drivers don't even look at the cars passing them. We passed at least four who were looking on the seat beside them and one guy even saw us then didn't pull the whistle. :( Still, it was really fun ride and I felt like I was riding back towards childhood.

I grabbed the papers I needed from my local community college for summer classes (Hallelujah, Physics 140 can be taken at VCCS). Then Jeff was dropped off and Noah and I stayed at Jake's house for about half an hour. We then headed to meet Noah's family at Olive Garden. I just feel awkward now around his family.... Little things end up annoying me more and more. As an example, I haven't seen Jake Tarren in ages and Sam said "Oh I see him all the time"...... I know she probably didn't mean anything by it, but I felt like just screaming "I'm sorry I'm not homeschooled and still living in Winchester or maybe I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted too!". That's really not fair but little things like that go on all the time. Mr. and Mrs. Lizer asked Sam more than three times the number of questions they asked me and Nic and Sam were STILL being awkward. New couples can often be frustrating because they're in that 'honeymoon stage', but Nic and Sam seem particularly bad... It grates on my nerves (especially since Noah's parents used to call us out because of a peck on the lips for goodbye). >:( Still, I know I have such a great relationship, that none of this will really matter in the end.

At the end of dinner, Kelsey called Noah because I turn my phone on silent when I'm out to eat and asked to talk to me. She said "What's going on? I got a text from Dad saying Emergency Room.". I didn't know that! I checked my phone and told her, "I'm leaving dinner right now and am going to the hospital, I'll call you when I learn something". We hung up and I had to excuse myself rather quickly from dinner. I got out to the car and Noah caught up to me saying he was coming too (his stuff was in my car still). We got about 3/4 of the way to the hospital - just a few minutes- and then I got a call from Dad explaining what had happened. Apparently while he was mowing the church's lawn the mower flipped on top of him and his foot got caught underneath. Granted, that's not good but in comparison to what I was thinking, it's not bad either. Dad has already had one heart attack, he has diabetes, and he doesn't exercise. Plus, my grandpa had been working with him. My first thought was "heart attack". When he had his first my 9th grade year of high school, the doctor told dad that he very likely would not survive a second one.

The worst part was that even when I thought about what it would be like to have lost both my parents in one year.... I didn't feel like it would be very different from the way things are now. I can't remember the last time I felt as lonely as I did after that thought. No kid should ever feel that way...

Anyways, he will be fine (I think - he's not home yet and it's 9:30pm, usually he's asleep by now). He told me not to come to the Emergency Room because he just thought it would be better to check while he was so close to the hospital. For anyone reading this who doesn't know, my church is right across the street from the hospital. I did end up going to the hospital and eventually found the emergency room (that place is a labryinth!) but didn't go in. The door said "Authorized Personnel Only" and he had told me not to come so I stopped after already getting there. How many people would do that? Is that strange? To make it so far but not actually go in to see him.... Was I doing it because I wanted to or because I felt obligated to show that I cared? I hate having to ask myself, and I hate my answer even more.

After debating for a few minutes I decided to just leave and head to our church's Good Friday service across the road. Not many people were there (I called a few to see if they were coming and they didn't even know that there was a service). I was asked to do a reading so I agreed; they gave me the longest part too. It was okay though, after years of playing the saxophone for Early Service reading a prepared coulpe of paragraphs doesn't seem so bad. It was a nice service but rather short. Roughly 40 minutes total.

It was good to see my church family again but I'm looking forward to the egg hunt tomorrow even more! Hope there are many more funny days and professors ahead!

Don't forget to do the Gratitude Dance!!! :D

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