Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Parlez-vous francais? No.

So I had this HUGE presentation in my French class today that was worth a whopping 15% of my grade. I've been stressing about this thing for about a month now and spent the previous weekend working on nothing but this. No, needless to say, I was nervous. Incredibly nervous. I'd been shaking with nerves for a solid 24 hours! So before leaving home I made sure I had everything I needed, notes if necessary and my flash drive - very important - and I go to class.
Frere Taylor asks me if I would go first and I said yes just to avoid prolonging the torture. I'm shaking, a bundle of nervous energy, ready to drop dead at the slightest provocation. I had a poem that I wanted to share during my presentation, but for fear that I would throw up if I tried to share it, I asked my friend Nathan to do the honors for me. He agreed, and I felt a little bit better about my life.
Class starts and I head up to the computer, praying the whole way. I plug in my flash drive and ... no powerpoint for me. I was pretty sure that my life was over at that point. My teacher sees me floundering (and he probably caught the look on my face, too) and comes over. I explain that I don't have my presentation and that I need to run home and get it from my computer. I ignored the look of "you're a nutjob" and flew out the door, down the stairs, outside, across the parking lot, across the street, up to my apartment, to the door, and - locked. At this point I was cussing in my mind. I'm 2.3 seconds away from ripping out the screen and jumping through the window when my roommate opens the door. Miracles do happen. So I bolt into my room, re-save the stupid presentation on my flashdrive, and bolt back to my classroom in less than two minutes.
I'm not sure that my class knew what to make of my presentation. Here I was panting as i try to speak in coherent French (a feat on its own) while completing the most critical assignment of my whole life. As you may or may not know, I'm really bad at the whole "Speaking French" thing, so in my powerpoint I had some memory triggers and things to make it interesting. For instance, when I talked about this poet's parents, I put up two little cartoon pictures of a mom and dad - really goofy-looking ones - and I said, "And these are actual photographs of his mother and father!"
You would have thought these people had never heard a joke before. How can she kid around at a time like this? Doesn't she know what this thing is worth! Although they were probably grateful because I was currently in the process of making their presentations look WAY better.
I continued to ramble nonsensically until I came to another fun slide where I talked about this poet's dreams of going into a certain profession being dashed because of an illness. At the point when I said that, the pictures I'd put up of those two professions were crossed out with a "eeeeert" buzz like when you get an answer wrong on a gameshow. I thought that was pretty clever. Again, I was alone. All alone.
So I moved on again to the part I knew couldn't go wrong: the poem. So I introduce the poem and invite Nathan to please read it now. "Nathan. ... Nathan? ..." His neighbor nudged him and he sat up straight. I could be wrong, but I thought he might have been drooling in his sleep. Great. But we woke up for long enough to read the poem, but then dropped back asleep again.
Oh well, what can you expect?
I finished my presentation and went back to my char amid a smattering of applause while my teacher says. "Okay, next?"
So encouraging.
But hey, maybe I'll get points for grace under pressure. Or maybe my professor will just pass me because he doesn't want to sit through anything like that ever again. Who knows?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pig Out

Well I can finally say that I have visited a pig farm. Now, this wasn't exactly one of my all-time top things on the list of things I wanted to do in my life, but it was certainly enlightening. I'm currently on my Spring Break from school, and for kicks, my roommates and I decided to visit our roommate's familyin Burley, Idaho. They live in the middle of nowhere on a mountain with a gorgeous view of the valley that is absolutely unparalleled.
Now, when visiting people, usually I get to sleep on a couch or in a spare room or something, but not this time. We were given the wonderful opportunity to sleep and stay in the barn. Yep, I was pretty surprised when I learned that, too. So here we were thinking that we'd be sleeping in the hay, relying on Jenna's comforter and mattress pad to keep us warm in the cold, windy nights.
But wouldn't you know it, when we got there, the barn was nothing less than a second house ... which was probably worth more than the house I've grown up in!
On Monday, Nicole and her brother took my roommates and I to the pig farms, which are also out in the middle of nowhere, just east. When you think about pigs, you think about how dirty they are, right? Dirty, smelly, muddy, etc. But the interesting thing about these pigs was that we actually had to shower off before we were able to go see them. We couldn't contaminate the pigs. Sounds crazy, but it's true! But it's actually a really good thing because the pigs have less of a chance of getting sick if people aren't bringing their sick people-germs into the room with them.
Pigs are so cool! Strange and kinda wierd, but cool! We had a ton of fun at the farm.
The best part of our trip though, apart from the pigs and the ridiculously long drive into town, was the family's dog. He was so adorable and fun to play with. It made me want a dog super bad.
One day I'll get a beagle and name him Ralph and he'll be my baby and I'll love him to death. But until that day, I'll just have make due playing with other people's pets.

Have a great spring day! :)